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Title: Continental Monthly , Vol. 5, No. 6, June, 1864 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy
Author: Various
Language: English
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THE CONTINENTAL MONTHLY:

DEVOTED TO LITERATURE AND NATIONAL POLICY.


VOL. V.--JUNE, 1864.--NO. VI.



ERNEST RENAN'S THEORY.


Christianity is a fact. We sometimes hear of men who are said to 'deny'
'Christianity.' The expression is nonsense. Men cannot deny the sun.
Christianity has been a visible thing, on this planet, for eighteen
hundred years. It has done a heavy amount of work, which is very visible
too. It is altogether too late in the day to '_deny_ Christianity.'

That is the first thing to be understood. There is no arguing against
the fact. You must take the fact and make the best of it. If your theory
requires the annihilation of the fact, it's a bad thing for your theory,
for the fact insists on staying. What an amount of fearfully laborious
stupidity we would have been saved, if only that plain principle had
been remembered!

Christianity has stood face to face with the world, for ages, a hard,
stern, uncompromising reality. With a pair of tremendous arms it has
worked, fought, endured, conquered, destroyed, builded, all over the
earth. It has burned its brand into time. It has stamped its footprints
in fire and brightness on earth and sea. It so stands, a great,
wonderful, triumphant, flaming fact, blazing through the ages, flaming
to the stars, melting, moulding, enlightening humanity.

The first thing to be remembered, then, by Christian and unbeliever
alike, when they come to speak of Christianity, is that these things are
not the matters in debate. They are the facts to be explained, to be
accounted for. In all argument they themselves must first be taken for
granted.

That is to say, here is this religion, certainly to any thoughtful man
the most wonderful thing, take it all in all, that history has to tell
about. It starts in an obscure corner of an obscure province. Its
founder dies as a felon among felons. Its teachers are stupid peasants,
fettered by a narrow dialect of an almost unknown tongue. Its whole
origin is barbarous, ignorant, disgraceful by any worldly judgment. So
it begins. As it spreads, imperial Rome takes alarm, and turns to crush
the barbarous fanaticism, in the pride of her learning, civilization,
and power. She plants her iron heel on the neck of the creeping sect.
She presses it down with her gigantic weight. Time passes. The little
sect that began in an obscure city of an obscure province, 'the number
of the names together being an hundred and twenty,' in less than three
centuries masters the world's crowned mistress, and plants its standard
in triumph, to remain forever, on the Seven Eternal Hills. Resistless
Rome is beaten to her knees, every national reverence, every national
divinity trampled on, and spit upon, and the barbarous and disgraceful
sect sets its ignominious mark, _the cross of the condemned slave_, on
every monument of Roman reverence, on every trophy of Roman greatness.

There never was such an utter conquest. A pure idea, without a material
hand or weapon, domineers over the greatest empire under the sun, in
spite of the whole power of that empire armed to crush it.

And, after Rome fell, the huge carcase beaten to the dust, and torn to
fragments by the wild creatures that hung upon her borders, this
wondrous mystery, this barbarous, obscure faith alone remained,
invincible among the powers of Rome. Roman civilization was crushed to
the earth, as the Roman legions were. Roman law was trampled out of
sight, as Roman art and literature were; but Christianity stood up and
faced the Vandal and the Goth, the Frank and Saxon, as it had faced the
Cæsars before, and dragged the conquerors of the empire suppliants at
the feet of the church. It built a Christian Europe out of the savage
hordes of Asia, and made an England, and a Germany, and at last an
America out of wild Goth and Ungar, out of bloody Frank and savage Dane.

Now all this is simply _matter of fact_. My belief in Christianity does
not add one jot to these facts. My disbelief does not take one tittle
from them. So far as they are concerned, every man is a believer in
Christianity. He believes it exists. He believes it has existed, has had
such and such a history, has produced such and such results. 'Christian'
and 'infidel' alike, to be reasonable, to have any ground for reasonable
discussion, go thus far together.

_They may differ in their explanations of the facts._ That is the only
ground of difference. There is the point of separation. It is perfectly
logical too. _Prima facie_, we have no complaint to make that they do
differ. And here lies the improvement in the modern type of
'unbeliever.' He does not take the line of his older brethren, and
rudely assail Christianity as a mere imposture with Voltaire and Paine.
That sort of work has had its day. He, on the other hand, freely admits
its beneficent achievements. He has grown reasonable. He accepts
Christianity, as the believer does, as a fruitful, beneficent, and
conquering fact. He only holds that its existence and its achievements
may be accounted for in a far more satisfactory way than we 'believers'
have discovered.

Now all this is comprehensible, and it is really, now, the ground of
difference between those who believe in Christianity as divine, and
those who hold it to be merely human. It is a clear and simple issue.
Christianity accounts for itself and its work on a certain plain,
straightforward, and consistent theory. It holds that theory to be
reasonable, complete, ample, for all the facts. A number of people join
issue just here with Christianity. They admit its facts, but they deny
its manner of explaining them. They claim to put forward other methods
of explanation, which shall be more reasonable, more natural, and, at
the same time, just as ample for the facts. We have had a number of
these philosophers, with their theories, and they have had various
fortunes. On the whole, the Christian world has gone on about as usual,
accepting the old explanation, adopting the old theory, a hundred to
one, and has dropped the new theories one after another, after more or
less investigation, into profound oblivion.

Now we are free to admit the old theory has its difficulties. There are
'things in it hard to be understood.' There are mysteries and wonders
which it does not attempt to explain. There are 'hard sayings' which it
leaves hard. And the new theories always claim to have no difficulties.
They blame the old one bitterly because it tolerates them. They
themselves claim to be 'reasonable,' they 'explain' everything.

They therefore challenge the trial. If they fail to be 'reasonable,' or
if they can only be reasonable at the expense of some of the facts--that
is to say, if they find no place for some of the authentic facts, and so
have to explain them away; or if, on the whole, they make too large
drafts on our credulity, and demand too great a power of faith--we have
the logical right to dismiss them out of our presence with scant
courtesy, and are bound to hold by the old explanation still.

The last man who has come forward with his theory of Christanity is
Monsieur Ernest Renan, a Frenchman, a member of the Institute, and a
Semitic scholar of some considerable pretensions. He broaches his theory
in a book, which he calls 'The Life of Jesus.' He offers it to the
world, through that book, as an improvement on the accepted one. We
propose here to look at M. Renan's theory, and see whether it has any
advantages to offer over that usually taught in churches in America, and
which the present writer learned, some _lustra_ ago, while catechized at
the chancel veil, and which his children are learning now.

It makes the examination easier that M. Renan freely and fully admits
the achievements of Christianity. Indeed he glories over them. The
beneficence of Christianity, its hallowing and elevating power in the
history of the world, its wondrous blessedness among men, the glory it
has cast over human life and human aims, the nobleness it has conferred
on human character, all these he takes a pride in confessing and
appreciating. He will not be a whit behind the stanchest believer in
acknowledging the power of these, or in the capacity of prizing these.

But he cannot accept the explanation Christianity gives of itself. He
proposes another of his own. We may take his theory as the fruit and
flower of all 'liberal' thought. Here, at last, is what unbelieving
learning and philosophy have to offer in lieu of the divine origin of
Christianity. After a good deal of loud boasting, after a large amount
of supercilious sneering, we have here the result of that 'profound
criticism' and that 'careful scholarship' which have been laboring for
years, in Europe, to destroy the supernatural bases of faith. We are
justified, from M. Renan's position and character, in taking it for
granted, that his book is the best that modern unbelief has to offer,
his theory the most satisfactory that the deniers of the divine origin
of Christianity can frame.

In examining that theory, at the first, a suspicious thing strikes a
calm observer. It is the reckless way in which M. Renan deals with his
authorities. For, be it remarked that, with only one or two outside
hints in Josephus and Tacitus, the Four Gospels contain _all_ that we
know of the 'Life of Jesus.' They are formally and professedly His
biographies. They were expressly written to present the outlines of His
life and teaching in connected form. All that we know of Him, His birth,
life, and death, is contained in these four narrations. The utmost
learning and the utmost simplicity here stand side by side. The most
unlearned reader of THE CONTINENTAL is just as well informed,
with the Four Gospels in his hand, as any 'member' of any 'Academy'
under the sun. Out of these Four Gospels, M. Renan has to construct his
'Life of Jesus.' But he has _a theory_, and that theory does not seem to
be the one set forth in the Four Gospels; so he just rejects whatever
goes against his theory, garbles, clips, denies, assents, and colors,
with an assurance, amusing for its impudence, if it were not so criminal
for its recklessness.

On the very threshold he asserts, in the teeth of his sole authorities,
that Jesus was born in _Nazareth_! He refers his startled reader to a
footnote. That footnote informs him that the 'assessment under Quirinus,
by which He is sought to be connected with Bethlehem,' took place ten
years after. We are to take this on M. Renan's sole authority. We are to
fling the Gospels over on the strength of a footnote! Now it is simply
impossible that M. Renan can be ignorant that there are very
satisfactory ways of explaining this difficulty, otherwise than by
charging a _forgery_. Josephus, whom he cites to prove the _assessment_
to be ten years after, would have informed him that the preliminary
_enrolment_ took place at the time mentioned, and that it _did_ extend
over Herod's dominions. Moreover, the authorities for this last fact are
_not_ Christian _only_, as he says. They are Josephus, a Jew, and
Suetonius, a pagan.

This is only an instance, on the threshold, of what occurs, a hundred
times, in the book. Any statement which stands in the way of the
writer's hypothesis, is swept out of existence at one pen-stroke. Calm
historical relations, evidently most essential portions of the writings,
are treated as forgeries, or deceptions, without a condescending why or
wherefore, if they embarrass the writer.

That large portion of the Gospels, the miracles, is scarcely worth a
thought from M. Renan. He dismisses the whole question of miracles with
a _bon mot_. 'Many people followed Jesus into the desert. Thanks to
their extreme frugality, they lived there. They naturally believed they
saw in that a miracle.' Now is not that wonderful! The circumstantial
relation of the miraculous feeding is supposed to be satisfactorily
explained by people 'naturally believing' that _frugality_ was 'a
miracle'! But the great miracle of all, the miracle which seals the
story, which gives ground of hope and faith to all Christian men, that
miracle, without which they have always felt the Gospel would be
preached in vain, that grand consummating and awful miracle, which
flashed brightness into the sepulchre, which shot the light of
immortality athwart the darkness of Death, and gave mortal man a sure
grasp on immortality, that great crowning miracle, the resurrection of
our Lord, on which so much depended, which so many jealous eyes were
watching, which was so early asserted on the very spot where it claims
to have occurred--this M. Renan treats as unworthy serious refutation.
It is not even necessary to try to disprove it. It is simply sufficient
for him to mention 'the strong _imagination_ of Mary Magdalene,' and to
exclaim so _beautifully_!--'Divine power of love, sacred moments in
which the passion of a hallucinated woman gives to the world a
resurrected God!'

There it is! The _doctrine_ of the resurrection, and all that clings
around it for humanity, the doctrine preached always as one of the
foundations of the faith ('because he preached unto them Jesus and the
resurrection'), and the _fact_ of the resurrection, the fact always put
forth as the clinching argument, the justification of the whole story,
thrown into the face of Jew and Greek as a perpetual challenge--this
doctrine and this fact are disposed of by a bit of sickly sentiment!

Now, this sort of thing may be very rhetorical, and very beautiful, when
done up in approved, sentimental French, but it is certainly neither
logical nor philosophical. We have a right to insist that M. Renan shall
come with no theory which compels him to reject half the facts
unexamined, and to garble and misuse half the rest. Those facts stand on
the same ground as all the others. The same authority which tells us
that Christ lived at Nazareth, tells us also that He fed five thousand
with five loaves and two small fishes. M. Renan accepts the first
statement, without examination, and denies the second, without
examination. He does this because he has made up his mind beforehand
that _prima facie_ a miracle is impossible. But that carries us out of
the line of historical investigation altogether. That is a question of
metaphysics. M. Renan's decision of the question is not admitted by an
means universally, not even frequently. The truer decision as well as
the more philosophical is that, _prima facie, all things are possible_,
except contradictions.

At all events, we hold that the Four Evangelists stand on their own
merits. They are not to be declared impostors, either in whole or in
part, beforehand, in order to save a metaphysical theory.

The same logical viciousness shows itself in M. Renan's treatment of the
Prophets. Daniel never could have written the book attributed to him, he
says, because that book contains statements of fact which occurred long
after Daniel! That is to say, M. Renan does not believe in such a thing
as prophecy, and, by consequence, Daniel never wrote the book of Daniel!
This is taking things for granted with a witness.

And, by the way, we may as well ease our minds just here concerning
another trick of the school to which M. Renan belongs, and of which he
furnishes many marked examples. We mean the trick of arbitrarily
deciding by what they are pleased to call 'philological criticism,' all
about all the books and nearly all the chapters in the Bible. 'Learned
men are agreed that such and such chapters were not written by Isaiah.'
'It is clear, from internal evidence of style, that this book was made
up of earlier scattered memoranda.' 'These chapters, it is evident, were
not written till such and such a time.' 'The best critics are agreed
that this narration was added long after the writing of the book.' This
is the way they write, to the astonishment of the simple.

When we were younger, this sort of talk seemed to our simplicity to be
exceedingly imposing. We actually believed that there were a set of
people, in Germany, at least, who could look at a Hebrew chapter and
tell you who wrote it, when he wrote it, how he wrote it, and why; and
the who, when, how, and why, should be each different from those
mentioned by the author of the book himself. As years removed the
credulous simplicity of childhood, we found out that this was only a
trick of the trade. We discovered that no two of these doctors agreed
among themselves, that the line of argument they followed would disprove
the authorship of any page ever written, that decisions from difference
of style, wise as they might be, philologically, were, rationally and
logically, nonsensical; for Burns, no doubt, wrote his _letters_ as well
as his _poems_, and Shakspeare's 'Sonnets' were written by the hand that
wrote 'King Lear,' although, according to these wise doctors, it is
assumed to be utterly impossible that the same man can use two styles,
or that a man at seventy will write otherwise than he did at thirty. In
short, we discovered that there is nothing more arbitrary, more
opinionated, and more unphilosophical than this 'philological
criticism.' Applied, as these wonderful German doctors apply it, to any
book ever penned, and it can be shown, 'as the result of high critical
ability,' that no author ever wrote his own book. It is the easiest
thing in the world to prove that Shakspeare never wrote 'Shakspeare,'
that Milton never wrote 'Paradise Lost,' that 'Johnson's Dictionary'
just 'growed' like Topsey, and was never made at all, and, to name small
things with great, that M. Renan never wrote the 'Life of Jesus.'

When we read, then, that 'it is certain that Isaiah never wrote this
chapter,' that 'St. John could not possibly have written the fourth
Gospel,' that 'this book is composed, undoubtedly, of fragments of
earlier writings,' or that 'this' other 'is the growth of a certain
school,' we advise simple Christians to take it easy. They are to
understand that the world goes on much as usual, and that their family
Bibles still contain the old Table of Contents. There has been no
wonderful discovery made, no ancient book catalogues have come to light,
no files of ancient documents have been dug up. There are still just the
old facts and the old evidence on which Christians made up their minds
sixteen or seventeen hundred years ago. The amount of all this talk is
only that 'the great Doctor Teufelsdroeck' or 'the learned Professor Von
Baum' has hazarded a guess, and made an assertion, which every other
'great doctor' and 'learned professor' will contradict, and displace
with another guess just as probable, in three months' time. There are
men just as learned and just as honest who have examined their guesses,
and find them poor inventions indeed. And we have a right to deny point
blank the assertions so flippantly made by men like M. Renan. 'It is
_universally acknowledged_ that this book was never written by Daniel or
Isaiah or Jeremiah,' '_It is certain_ this chapter is an addition of
such and such a date,' etc. It is _not_ universally acknowledged. It is
_not_ certain. The whole thing is pure guesswork. There is only one way
to prove the authorship of a book, and that is by _testimony_. There is
nothing under the sun more absurd, philologically, than that a common
and very poor stock-actor should have written 'Hamlet.' We know he did
write it, however, not by 'internal evidence,' or from 'philological
criticism,' but by plain human testimony to the _fact_. We cite that,
and leave the 'internal' critics to their profound babble on vowels and
consonants, on long and short syllables, and let them do with the fact
the best they can.

In other words, there is no way by which I can determine whether St.
John wrote his Gospel except by _testimony_. I do not know beforehand
_how_ St. John would write. I can therefore judge nothing by 'style.'
All I can do is to ask of competent witnesses. I do ask. I am told by
such witnesses, straight up to his own day, that he _did_ write this
Gospel, that this is the very one which we now have, for they cite it
and mention its peculiarities. I accept the fact, as I do in the case of
Shakspeare, and let the wise 'critics' settle it among them.

The attempt, therefore, on the part of M. Renan, to get rid of those
large portions of the Gospels which embarrass him in his theory, by
attempting to discredit their authorship, while, at the same time, he
accepts other parts, that stand on the same authority, and the
supercilious way in which he ignores that large part which the miracles
fill, turning them off with a small witticism, or a smaller bit of
sentiment, suggest, at the start, decided suspicions of the honesty of
his intentions and the sufficiency of his theory.

We only hint at these things here. They occur all through his book. They
are not evidence of learning or critical skill. There are no _secrets_
for deciding such matters. The whole _data_ have been public for ages.
All the 'members of the Institute' together do not possess one grain of
evidence that any ordinary scholar in America does not possess as well.
M. Renan rejects, or discredits, or garbles, or slips over silently,
because he finds it necessary for his theory. That is all. He pettifogs
with his witnesses to establish his theory.

That theory is, that He, whom all Christians have called Our Lord, was a
mere man, of what race is uncertain, born in Galilee of a man named
Joseph and of a woman named Mary; who taught in Galilee and a little in
Judea, and who was at last killed and buried, and so an end of _Him_.
This theory M. Renan has to find in the Gospels, and there is, as we
have hinted, very little of the Gospels left when he gets through. It is
so palpably against them that he has to get rid of the most of them to
make it stand.

Now this theory, like all others, must be put to the test. Will it
explain the facts? We have seen how it is compelled to get rid of the
Gospels. But we put that aside. Will it explain the history of
Christianity? Will it explain its place to-day? Will it account for its
effects?

The Jesus of M. Renan is a strange character. He is more difficult of
comprehension than any mystery of orthodoxy. We ask where He gets His
wondrous wisdom, this young carpenter, how _He_ learned to speak 'as man
never spoke?' and M. Renan sentimentalizes. We ask how He got this
wondrous power over men, to lead them and control them, so that they
followed Him and 'heard Him gladly,' and M. Renan goes off into
ecstasies over the 'delicious climate' and 'the lovely villages,' and
the Arcadian simplicity of Galilee, as he fancies they once were, and
expects us to be answered. His influence over women is accounted for
more readily. M. Renan tells us, in his peculiar way, that 'this
beautiful young man' had great power over the 'nervous' susceptibilities
of Mary Magdalene; and Pilate's wife, having once seen him, 'dreamed
about him' the next night, and sent to her husband to save him in
consequence!

However, He begins His teaching. Where He learned it, how He learned it,
why it took the form it did, how _He_ came to give moral law to the
world, where He found the words of wisdom and consolation--the divine
words of power--for all generations, there is positively not one
sentence of explanation. Of all the young Jews of His day, how came He
by these powers and this omnipotent wisdom? Now the Christian theory
_does_ attempt an explanation. It gives an ample answer to the question.
M. Renan gives no answer whatever. He flies to sentiment. We have all
sorts of adjectives--'delicious,' 'enchanting, 'beautiful,' 'sweet,'
'charming'--he beats a whole female seminary at the business, in
attempting to describe how, like full-grown babes, everybody in Galilee
lived, _so_ innocent, so simple, so Arcadian were they all--_and that is
all_! What shall a man do, whom this fine style of novel writing doesn't
answer--to whom, in fact, it seems just a bit of disgusting nonsense? Is
this wonderful power, this omnipotent wisdom, a production of the
'delicious' climate? Is this all 'philosophical criticism' has to offer,
and is he to accept that as more reasonable than the Gospel theory that
they were supernatural and divine?

In this wonderful romantic dialect, M. Renan describes the beginning of
our Lord's ministry. He is embarrassed, however, by the fact that, as
Jesus goes on, He Himself makes claims, and sets up pretensions, and
exercises powers, which are totally at variance with the proposed
explanation. M. Renan cannot deny that He claimed to be the Son of God,
the Messiah, the Son of David, that He claimed to work 'miracles,' to
possess supernatural powers, to be somewhat altogether different from
the amiable, sentimental, young carpenter of his modern biographer.

How is this to be got on with? Why, by declaring boldly that Jesus was
half deceiver and half deceived! by accepting the difficulty, and
confessing that He cheated men for their good--that, as they wished to
be deceived, He stooped to deceive them, and at last half deceived
Himself!

We know nothing more thoroughly _immoral_ than is M. Renan on this
matter. This Jesus of his, about whom he sentimentalizes, whom he
declares a thousand times to be so 'charming,' and so 'divine,' and the
rest, turns out to be a deliberate cheat and quack, putting out claims
He does not Himself believe, and acting in sham miracles which people
coax Him, according to his biographer, to perform.

The raising of Lazarus, for instance, which M. Renan would like to turn
out of the Gospels, but which he is forced to confess must
stay--according to him, was a deliberate, planned, stage performance, a
gross piece of juggling imposition. Now we do not object _per se_ to M.
Renan's taking that view of it. He has a perfect freedom of choice. We
_do_ object to the immorality, the essential blindness to right and
wrong, which lead him to apologize for the cheat, and try to prove it a
perfectly innocent and justifiable thing. We protest against confounding
eternal distinctions, against debauching conscience by proving wrong
right, and a cheat an innocent bit of acting, against claiming an
impostor and a liar as the high priest of the world's 'absolute
religion'!

But few of us, in this part of the world, can appreciate the
transcendental reasoning that makes an impostor half divine, or a cheat
holy. 'Good faith and imposture,' to quote our author, 'are words which,
in our rigid conscience, are opposed like two irreconcilable terms,'
though, he says, it is not so in 'the East,' from which our religion
came, and was certainly far from being so with our Teacher! We cannot
admire M. Renan here. The writing is very fine. He exhausts himself in
his 'charming' style to make it all right, and show us that we have
profound reason to admire this lying teacher, this cheating miracle
monger, whom he holds up between us and the pure 'Son of Mary.' But it
does not answer. In this cold climate a lie is a lie, a cheat is a
cheat, and a mountebank and impostor is not the teacher of 'the absolute
religion of humanity!'

As M. Renan writes His life, that is the way in which the Founder of
Christianity develops Himself. First we have the young man, amiable,
sweet, 'charming,' enacting a 'beautiful pastoral' in the 'delicious
climate of Galilee,' where it appears that nobody has anything to do
save to enact 'pastorals,' although we are told '_brigandage_ was common
in Galilee,' which seems a strange accompaniment to 'pastorals.' Where
He got His wisdom, how He came by these 'transcendent utterances,'
which, we are told, 'some few' only, even now, are lofty enough to
appreciate, we are not informed. There they are. But, right in the midst
of them, this wonderful young man, uttering these 'charming' lessons,
and these 'delicious' sayings, sets to work miracle-mongering, trying
His hand at thaumaturgy and legerdemain, becomes an impostor and a
mountebank, pretending, among other things, to raise a man who puts on a
shroud, gets into a grave, and shams dead! At last He is taken, and
then, in view of death, becomes penitent, reforms, and recovers His
purity!

Now Thomas Paine was, in a way, an honest man. We can say that of him.
Voltaire was, in his degree, honest too. Having said what M. Renan says,
they did not stultify themselves logically. They honestly pronounced
Christianity a delusion. We have respect for their consistency. But our
modern man says that a cheat in religion is no cheat, a lie no lie, that
a true saving faith can be built on a foundation of deception and
trickery! He says it, and undertakes to prove it by _the convincing
logic of sentimentality!_

M. Renan here is just _disgusting_. There are a few things in this world
that do not mix. Right and wrong have something of a ditch between them.
A lie is not own brother to the truth. If he thinks it worth while to
write the life of an impostor, very well; only, when he has declared him
so, and insisted on his being so, we humbly beg he will not turn round
and insist on it that the religion _he_ taught is divine!

If the credulity of believers is great, what shall we say of the
credulity of Messieurs the philosophers, the unbelievers? But what shall
we say of their _morality_?

But if this new theory fails to account for Christianity as a _true_
system of religion, what shall we say of its coherence with
Christianity as a _successful_ system in action? This sentimental
impostor conquers the civilized world. This 'charming' worker of sham
wonders becomes a GOD to the millions who to-day lead mankind!

Here is where M. Renan's theory utterly breaks down, where it becomes
not only utterly illogical and incoherent, but where it becomes too
gross for any mortal credulity, and too blasphemously wicked for any
ordinary sinfulness.

It is utterly incoherent, for it requires us to believe that a system,
begun in fraud and deception, has proved itself the truest and most
beneficent and sacred treasure to the world. M. Renan insists on both.
From such a premise he drags such a conclusion.

Is there any plain Christian who dreads a sneer at Christian credulity?
Let him be comforted. What credulity is like this? What miracle in the
'Four Gospels' begins to be wonderful compared with this miracle of the
modern thaumaturge? The religion which has taught men truth--above all
things, _truth_--which teaches utter horror of a lie, which insists on
the bare, bald reality in heaven and earth, which has taught men hatred
of the false as the meanest and most unmanly thing existing--this
religion took its rise in claptrap miracles, was puffed into popularity
by boasting pretensions, was born in trickery and nurtured by
legerdemain! Its loftiest hopes, its deepest consolations are the
offspring of clumsy jugglery and cheap prestidigitation!

But more: this religion, so born and nurtured, becomes the mistress of
the earth. It is of no consequence that only a minority of men accept
it. That minority hold the world in their hands. In fact, it seems from
history, that any number of men, with this religion in their hearts,
become half omnipotent--that _twelve_ can take it and master humanity by
its power. To-day the men who profess it can do what they will on the
face of this planet. It has so seized temporal power, so moulded blind
force, so mastered strength--it has so conferred wisdom and valor and
might on men, that those who have accepted it have been crowned above
their kind, that they go everywhere as the acknowledged leaders and
lords of the race, the vanguard of humanity.

And a deception has brought all this to pass, a delusion has produced
these stern realities! Here's where the wickedness stands out nakedly!
Is there a true God in heaven, or is Ahriman rightful lord? Is the lying
devil, after all, supreme? Is a lie as good as the truth? Why, the very
earth reels beneath us! _Is there any God at all?_ Are truth and good
and God mere dreams, that a cunning fraud like this can so prosper and
prevail under the white heavens!

M. Renan's 'Life of Jesus' offers me that as a most reasonable theory!
Believing in a _true_ God and a _good_ God, being utterly incapable of
believing in the lying devil it proposes to me, this pleasant theory,
that, beneath the face and eyes of that true God, a poor imposture, a
cheap delusion becomes, not only the holiest thing, the purest thing,
the most sanctifying thing, but also the strongest thing, the most
victorious thing in all the world! If ever theory so played sleight of
hand with cause and effect, if it ever so mingled and mixed right and
wrong, and so taught that lies and truth were about the same, we have
failed to meet with it. And if ever any theory required power of
gullibility like this last and newest, we have failed to hear of that.

The fact is there is no escaping the honest conclusion that, unless
JESUS CHRIST is what He claimed to be, _divine_, 'GOD
manifest in the flesh,' 'the Son of the Father,' then He was simply an
_impostor_. (He could not have been a self-deceived fanatic.) Now any
man is free to accept the last horn of this dilemma, if he chooses. It
is a free country. But if he takes that, we insist that he is _logically
bound_ to call Christianity a _cheat_, a _delusion_, a _snare and a
curse to humanity_! He shall not ask us to swallow the monstrous and
immoral proposition, that this outrageous lie and imposture is the
glory, the blessing and hope of humanity!

And this is what M. Ernest Renan, in most melodious sentences, proposes.
This is his theory of Christianity, its origin and its success.

This is the best thing philosophic and philologic unbelief has to offer,
the most rational account it has to give in the year 1864. Surely
unbelief must have large faith in human nature's capacity of spiritual
swallow, if men are expected to take this down, as more reasonable than
what they will hear in the next pulpit!

Nay, after all, the Christian theory of Christianity is the most
rational yet. It has mysteries, but it calls them mysteries, things
above reason. It accepts them, and so escapes absurdity--ends with no
means, effects from no causes, wonders that spring out of the ground,
divine teachers produced by a 'charming' climate, and impostures that
are holy truths! Above all, it escapes moral idiocy, and holds there is
a line between right and wrong! On the whole, it is, as yet, the only
theory which explains all the facts, the only one of which the
consequences may be logically accepted, which makes Christ or His
religion reasonable or possible.

M. Renan's 'beautiful' young Galilean carpenter, with such power over
'hallucinated' Magdalens, conducting grand picnics in that 'charming'
climate, and making life a May day, is not the world's mighty Deliverer;
and his miracle-mongering demagogue, claiming to be the Son of David in
lying genealogies, and the Son of God in blasphemous audacity, is not
the world's Teacher of all Truth and Righteousness. The new Jesus is a
poor substitute for the Divine Man whom we adore.

We cannot, therefore, accept the new theory. It is not logically
competent to the facts. Established on garbled evidence with painful
struggles, it will not, when completed, fulfil the conditions. It is not
reasonable. It is not moral. We have desired to present this view of it.
The details of criticism we leave to others, who can easily deal with M.
Renan. We have aimed to show, what any plain reader can see, the
unreasonableness and immorality of this theory of Christianity's origin.

As long as we have faith in a righteous God, so long can we never
believe that the best, purest, and holiest religion is born in fraud and
trickery. M. Renan's theory declares the purity and the holiness of
Christianity, and yet insists on the trickery and the fraud: therefore
we must reject his theory.

So long as we believe that a true God is _omnipotent_, we cannot believe
that fraud and deception are masters of the world. But M. Renan insists
that Christianity has mastered the world, and yet declares it founded
upon fraud and deception. We must therefore reject M. Renan.

The fine writing, the sentiment, the abundant 'sweetness' of the book
cannot make beautiful this monstrous perversion of reason, this
insidious attack on the very distinction between God and Satan.

Voltaire's theory is comparatively honest, healthy, moral. Paine's is
so. These men called things by their right names. They never undertook
to upset the human conscience. Ernest Renan's theory is thoroughly
_immoral_, and he only can accept it who denies that the world is
governed by moral laws at all.

We reject his Jesus as a delusion and a dream. God never created such a
creature. He exists nowhere save in M. Renan's pages.

In this blind, reeling world, in this weary, painful time, while the
sobs of a dumb creation break along the shores of heaven in prayer, we
cannot spare the real Jesus, the world's strong Deliverer, its
conquering Lord! The vision He exhibited, of a stainless humanity,
omnipotent in purity, loyalty, and truth, has flashed and flamed before
the eyes of men, through the long night of the ages, their beacon fire
of hope, their star of faith! We cannot spare Him _now_. In Him all is
consistent, all is reasonable, all is harmonious. The Divine Man
accounts for His wisdom, vindicates the origin of His power. In the
vision of His face, Christianity and all its results are the natural
works of His hand.

We turn to _His_ Life. We leave M. Renan's little novel, and turn to the
Godlike life of the typal Man, the Omnipotent and Eternal Man, who
redeemed humanity, and bought the world, and conquered hell and death:
we turn to _that_ life, that death, that awful resurrection, and take
heart and hope. No mere amiable, sentimental, 'beautiful,' or 'charming'
young man will do. The world cries for its Lord! The race He ransomed
looks to the 'Lion of Judah,' the 'Captain of the Lord's Host.' The mad,
half-despairing struggle we have waged all these long centuries, can
find only in 'the Son of Man,' in the omnipotent 'Son of God,' its
explanation and its end: 'God was manifest in the Flesh, reconciling the
World unto Himself!'



ÆNONE:

A TALE OF SLAVE LIFE IN ROME.


CHAPTER VII.

For an instant only. When from Ænone's troubled gaze, the half-blinding
film which the agitation of her apprehensive mind had gathered there,
passed away, she no longer saw before her a proudly erect figure,
flashing out from dark, wild eyes its defiant mastery, but a form again
bent low in timorous supplication, and features once more overspread
with a mingled imprint of sorrowful resignation, trusting devotion, and
pleading humility.

That gleam of malicious triumph which had so brightened up the face of
the slave, had come and gone like the lightning flash, and, for the
moment, Ænone was almost inclined to believe that it was some
bewildering waking dream. But her instinct told her that it was no mere
imagination or fancy which could thus, at one instant, fill the heart
with dread and change her bright anticipations of coming joy into a
dull, aching foreboding of misery. It was rather her inner nature
warning her not to be too easily ensnared, but to wait for coming evil
with unfaltering watchfulness, and, for the purpose of baffling enmity,
to perform the hardest task that can be imposed upon a guileless
nature--that of repressing all outward sign of distrust, hiding the
torture of the heart within, and meeting smile with smile.

But day after day passed on, and even to her watchful and strained
attention there appeared no further sign of anything that could excite
alarm. From morning until night there rested upon the face of the young
Greek slave no expression other than that of tender, faithful, and
pleased obedience. At the morning toilet, at the forenoon task of
embroidery, or at the afternoon promenade, there was ever the same
serene gaze of earnest devotion, and the same delighted alacrity to
anticipate the slightest wish. Until at last Ænone began again to think
that perhaps her perception of that one fleeting look might, after all,
be but a flickering dream. And when, at times, she sat and heard the
young girl speak, not with apparent method, but rather as one who is
unwittingly drawn into discursive prattle, about her cottage home in
Samos, and the lowly lover from whom the invading armies had torn her,
and watched the moistened eye and the trembling lip with which these
memories were dwelt upon, an inward pity and sympathy tempted her to
forget her own distrust; until one day she was impelled to act as she
had once desired, and began to pour out her whole heart to the young
slave as to a friend. The words seemed of themselves to flow to her
lips, as, bidding the girl be comforted, she told, in one short
sentence, how she too had once lived in a tranquil cottage home, away
from the bustle and fever of that imperial Rome, and had had her lover
of low degree, and that both were still innocently dear to her.

All the while that the story had been welling forth from her lips, that
inner instinct which so seldom deceives, told her that she was doing
wrong; and when she had ended, she would have given worlds not to have
spoken. But the words were beyond recall, and she could only gaze
stealthily at the listener, and, with a dull feeling of apprehension
nestling at the bottom of her heart, endeavor to mark their effect, and
to imagine the possible consequences of her indiscretion. But Leta sat
bending over her embroidery, and apparently still thinking, with tearful
eye, upon her own exile from home. Perhaps she had not even heard all
that had been said to her; though, if the words had really caught her
ear, where, after all, could be the harm? It was no secret in Rome that
Sergius Vanno had brought his spouse from a lowly home; and it was
surely no crime, that, during those years of poverty which Ænone had
passed through before being called to fill her present station, she had
once suffered her girlish fancy to rest for a little while upon one of
her own class. And fortunately she had not gone further in her story,
but at that point had left it to rest; making no mention of how that
long-forgotten lover had so lately reappeared and confronted her.

Still there remained in her heart the irrepressible instinct that it
would have been better if she had not spoken. And now, as she silently
pondered upon her imprudence, it seemed as though her anxiety had
suddenly endowed her brain with new and keener faculties of perception,
so many startling ideas began to crowd in upon her. More particularly,
full shape and tone seemed for the first time given to one terrible
suspicion, which she had hitherto known only in a misty, intangible, and
seldom recurring form--the suspicion that, if the passive girl before
her were really an enemy, it was not owing to any mere ordinary impulse
of fear, or envy, or inexplicable womanish dislike, but rather to secret
rivalry.

That, within the past few days, Sergius had more and more exhibited
toward her an indifference, which even his studied attempts to conduct
himself with an appearance of his former interest and affection did not
fully hide, Ænone could not but feel. That within her breast lurked the
terrible thought that perhaps the time had forever passed for her to
come to him as to a loving friend, and there fearlessly pour out her
tribulations, her secret tears confessed. But throughout all this
change, though it became each day more strongly marked, she had tried to
cheat herself into the belief that the romantic warmth of a first
attachment could not in any case be expected to last for many
years--that in meeting indifference she was merely experiencing a common
lot--that beneath his coolness there still lurked the old affection, as
the lava will flow beneath the hardened crust--and that, if she were
indeed losing the appearance of his love, it was merely because the
claims of the court, the exigencies of the social world, or the demands
of ambition had too much usurped his attention.

But now a thousand hitherto unregarded circumstances began to creep into
her mind as so many evidences that his affection seemed passing from
her; not simply because the claims of duty or ambition were stifling in
his heart all power to love, but because he had become secretly attached
elsewhere. The interested gaze with which he followed the motions of the
Greek girl--the solicitude which he seemed to feel that in all things
she should be treated, not only tenderly, but more luxuriously than ever
fell to the lot of even the highest class of slaves--his newly acquired
habit of strolling into the room and throwing himself down where he
could lazily watch her--all these, and other circumstances, though
individually trivial, could not fail, when united, to give cogency to
the one terrible conviction of secret wrong. Whether Leta herself had
any perception of all this, who could yet tell? It might be that she was
clothed in innocent unconsciousness of her master's admiration, or that,
by the force of native purity, she had resisted his advances. And, on
the other hand, it might be that not merely now, but long before she had
been brought into the house, there had been a secret understanding
between the two; and that, with undeviating and unrelenting cunning, she
was still ever drawing him still closer within the folds of her
fascinations. Looking upon her, and noting the humble and almost
timorous air with which she moved about, as though seeking kindness and
protection, and the eloquence of mute appeal for sympathy which lay half
hidden in her dark eyes beneath the scarcely raised lids, and rested in
her trembling lips, who could doubt her? But marking the haughtiness of
pride with which at times she drew up her slight figure to its utmost
height, the ray of scorn and malice which flashed from those eyes, and
the lines of firm, unpitying determination which gathered about the
compressed corners of those lips, who could help fearing and distrusting
her?

Time or chance alone could resolve the question, and meanwhile, what
course could Ænone take? Not that of sending the object of her suspicion
to another place; for even if she had the power to do so, she might not
be able to accomplish it without such open disturbance that the whole
social world of Rome would learn the degrading fact that she had been
jealous of her own slave. Not--as she was sometimes almost tempted--that
of forgetting her pride, and humbling herself before her enemy, to beg
that she would not rob her of all that affection which had once been
lavished upon herself; for, if the Greek girl were innocent, useless and
feeble pity would be the only result, while, if she were guilty, it
would but lead to further secret wiles and malicious triumph. Nor that
of accusing her husband of his fault; for such a course, alas! could
never restore lost love. There could, indeed, be but one proper way to
act. She must possess her soul in patience and prudent dissimulation;
and, while affecting ignorance of what she saw and heard, must strive by
kindness and attention to win back some, if not all, of the true
affection of former days.

Thus sorrowfully reflecting, she left the room, not upon any especial
intent, but simply to avoid the presence of the Greek, who, she could
not help feeling, was all the while, beneath the disguise of that demure
expression, closely watching her. Passing into another apartment, she
saw that Sergius had there sauntered in, and had thrown himself down
upon a lounge at the open window, where, with one hand resting behind
his head, he lay half soothed into slumber by the gentle murmur of the
courtyard fountain. Stealing up gently behind him, with a strange
mingling of affectionate desire to gain his attention, and a morbid
dread of bringing rebuke upon herself by awakening him, Ænone stooped
down and lightly touched his forehead with her lips.

'Ah, Leta!' he exclaimed, starting up as he felt the warm pressure.
Then, perceiving his mistake, he lowered his eyes with some confusion,
and perhaps a slight feeling of disappointment, and tried to force a
careless laugh; which died away, however, as he saw how Ænone stood pale
and trembling at receiving a greeting so confirmatory of all her
apprehensions.

'It is not Leta--it is only I,' she murmured at length, in a tone of
plaintive sadness, which for the moment touched his heart. 'I am sorry
that I awakened you. But I will go away again.'

'Nay, remain,' he exclaimed, restraining her by the folds of her dress,
and, with a slight effort, seating her beside him upon the lounge. 'You
are not--you must not feel offended at such a poor jest as that?'

'Is it all a jest?' she inquired. 'Can you say that the greeting you
gave me did not spring inadvertently from the real preoccupation of your
mind?'

'Of the mind? Preoccupation?' said Sergius. 'By the gods! but it is a
difficult question to answer. I might possibly, in some dreamy state,
have been thinking carelessly of that Greek girl whom you have so
constantly about you. Even you cannot but acknowledge that she has her
traits of beauty; and if so, it is hard for a man not to admire them.'

'For mere admiration of her, I care but little,' she responded. 'But I
would not that she should learn to observe it. And what could I do, if
she, perceiving it, were to succeed in drawing your love from me? What
then would there be for me to do, except to die?'

'To die? This is but foolish talk, Ænone,' he said; and he fastened an
inquiring gaze upon her, as though wishing to search into her soul, and
find out how much of his actions she already knew. Evidently some
fleeting expression upon her countenance deceived him into believing
that she had heard or seen more than he had previously supposed, for,
with another faint attempt at a careless laugh, he continued:

'And if, at the most, there has been some senseless trifling between the
girl and myself--a pressure of the hand, or a pat upon the cheek, when
meeting by any chance in hall or garden--would you find such fault with
this as to call it a withdrawal of my love from you? To what, indeed,
could such poor, foolish pastime of the moment amount, that it should
bring rebuke upon me?'

To nothing, indeed, if judged by itself alone, for that was not the age
of the world when every trivial departure from correctness of conduct
was looked upon as a crime; and had this been all, and the real
affection of his heart had remained with her, Ænone would have taken
comfort. But now she knew for certain that, in uncomplainingly enduring
any familiarities, Leta could not, at all times, have maintained her
customary mien of timorous retirement, and must, therefore, to some
extent, have shown herself capable of acting a deceitful part; and that
even though the deceit may have stopped short of further transgression,
it was none the less certain that in future no further trust could be
reposed in her. Gone forever was that frail hope to which, against all
warnings of instinct, Ænone had persisted in clinging--the hope that in
the Greek girl she might succeed in finding a true and honest friend.

Seeing that she remained absorbed and speechless, Sergius believed that
she was merely jealously pondering upon these trivial transgressions,
and endeavored, by kind and loving expressions, to remove the evil
effects of his unguarded admission. Gathering her closer in his arms, he
strove once more, by exerting those fascinations which had hitherto so
often prevailed, to calm her disturbed fancies, and bring back again her
confidence in him. But now he spoke almost in vain. Conscious, as Ænone
could not fail to be, of the apparent love and tenderness with which he
bent his eyes upon her, and of the liquid melody of his impassioned
intonations, and half inclined, as she felt, at each instant to yield to
the impulse which tempted her to throw her arms about his neck and
promise from henceforth to believe unfalteringly all that he might say,
whatever opposing evidences might stand before her, there was all the
while the restraining feeling that this show of affection was but a
pretence wherewith to quiet her inconvenient reproaches--that at heart
he was playing with deceit--that the husband was colluding with the
slave to blind her eyes--and that the love and friendship of both lord
and menial had forever failed her.

'But hold to your own suspicions, if you will,' he said, at length, with
testy accent, as he saw how little all his efforts had moved her. 'I
have spoken in my defence all that I need to speak, even if excuse were
necessary; and it is an ill reward to receive only cold and forbidding
responses in return.'

'Answer me this,' she exclaimed, suddenly rousing into action, and
looking him earnestly in the face; 'and as you now answer, I will
promise to believe you, for I know that, whatever you may have done, you
will not, if appealed to upon your honor, tell me that which is not
true. About the trivial actions which you have mentioned I care little;
but is there in your heart any real affection for that girl? If you say
that there is not, I will never more distrust you, but will go out from
here with a soul overflowing with peace and joy as when first you came
to take me to your side. But if, on the contrary, you say that you love
her, I will--'

'Will do what?' he exclaimed, seeing that she hesitated, and almost
hoping that she would utter some impatient threat which in turn would
give him an excuse for anger.

'Will pass out from this room, sad and broken hearted, indeed--but not
complaining of or chiding you; and will only pray to the gods that they
may, in their own time, make all things once more go aright, and so
restore your heart to me.'

Sergius hesitated. Never before had he been so tempted to utter an
untruth. If he now did so, he knew that he would be believed, and that
not only would she be made once more happy, but he would be left
unwatched and unsuspected to carry on his own devices. But, on the other
hand, he had been appealed to upon his honor, and, whatever his other
faults, he had too much nobility of soul to lie. And so, not daring to
confess the truth, he chose the middle path of refusing any direct
response at all.

'Now is not this a singular thing,' he exclaimed, 'that no man can ever
let his eyes rest upon a pretty face without being accused of love for
it? While, if a woman does the same, no tongue can describe the clamor
with which she repels the insinuation of aught but friendly interest.
Can you look me in the eye and tell me that mine is the only voice you
ever listened to with love?'

'Can you dare hint to me that I have ever been unfaithful to you, even
in thought or word?' cried Ænone, stung with sudden anger by the
imputation, and rendered desperate by her acute perception of the
evasiveness of his answer. 'Do you not know that during the months which
you so lately passed far away from me, there was not one person admitted
here into society with me who would not have had your firm approval--and
that I kept your image so lovingly before my eyes, and your memory so
constant in my heart, as to become almost a reproach and a sarcasm to
half who knew me?'

'But before that--before I came to you--can you say that no other eyes
had ever looked lovingly into yours, and there met kindred response?'

'Have you the right to inquire into what may have happened before you
met me? What young girl is there who, some time or other, has not
modestly let her thoughts dwell upon innocent love? Is there wrong in
this? Should there have been a spirit of prescience in my mind to
forewarn me that I must keep my heart free and in vacant loneliness,
because that, after many years, you were to come and lift me from my
obscurity?'

'Then, upon your own showing, you acknowledge that there was once
another upon whom your eyes loved to look?' he cried, half gladdened
that he had found even this poor excuse to transfer the charge of blame
from himself. 'And how can I tell but that you have met with him since?'

'I have met him since,' she quietly answered, driven to desperation by
the cruel insinuation.

In his heart attaching but little importance to such childish affections
as she might once have cherished, and having had no other purpose in his
suggestion than that of shielding himself from further inquiry by
inflicting some trifling wound upon her, Sergius had spoken
hesitatingly, and with a shamefaced consciousness of meanness and
self-contempt. But when he listened to her frank admission--fraught, as
it seemed to him, with more meaning than the mere naked words would, of
themselves, imply, an angry flush of new-born jealousy overspread his
features.

'Ha! You have met him since?' he exclaimed. 'And when, and where? And
who, then, is this fortunate one?'

Ænone hesitated. Now, still more bitterly than ever before, she felt the
sad consciousness of being unable to pour out to her husband her more
secret thoughts and feelings. If she could have told, with perfect
assurance of being believed, that in so lately meeting the man whom she
had once imagined she loved, she had looked upon him with no other
feeling than the dread of recognition, joined to a friendly and sisterly
desire to procure his release from captivity and his restoration to his
own home, she would have done so. But she felt too well that the
once-aroused jealousy of her lord might now prevent him from reposing
full and generous trust and confidence in her--that he would be far more
likely to interpret all her most innocent actions wrongly, and to
surround her with degrading espionage--and that, in the end, the
innocent captive would probably be subjected to the bitterest
persecutions which spite and hatred could invent.

'I have met him,' she said at length, 'but only by chance, and without
being recognized or spoken to by him. Nor do I know whether I shall ever
chance to meet him again. Is this a crime? Oh, my lord, what have I done
that you should thus strive to set your face against me? Do you not, in
your secret soul, know and believe that there is no other smile than
yours for which I live, and that, without the love with which you once
gladdened me, there can be no rest or peace for me on earth? Tell me,
then, that all this is but a cruel pleasantry to prove my heart, and
that there has nothing come between us--or else let me know the worst,
in order that I may die.'

Sliding down, until her knees touched the floor, and then winding one
arm slowly about his neck, she hid her face in his breast, and, bursting
into tears, sobbed aloud. It was not merely the reactionary breaking
down of a nervous system strung to the highest point of undue
excitement. It was the half consciousness of a terrible fear lest the
day might come in which, goaded by injustice and neglect, she might
learn no longer to love the man before her--the wail of a stricken soul
pleading that the one to whom her heart had bound her might not fail in
his duty to her, but, by a resumption of his former kindness and
affection, might retain her steadfastly in the path of love.

Touched by the spectacle of her strong agony--aroused for the moment to
the true realization of all the bitterness and baseness of his
unkindness toward her--moved, perhaps, by memories of that time when
between them there was pleasant and endearing confidence, and when it
was not she who was obliged to plead for love--Sergius drew his arm more
closely about her, and, bending over, pressed his lips upon her
forehead. If at that moment the opportunity had not failed, who can tell
what open and generous confessions might not have been uttered,
unrestrained forgiveness sealed, and future miseries prevented? But at
the very moment when the words seemed trembling upon his lips, the door
softly opened, and Leta entered.



THE DOVE.

    Upon the 'pallid bust of Pallas' sat
    The Raven from the 'night's Plutonian shore;'
    His burning glance withered my wasting life,
    His ceaseless cry still tortured as before:
    'Lenore! Lenore! ah! never--nevermore!'

    The weary moments dragged their crimson sands
    Slow through the life-blood of my sinking heart.
    I counted not their flow; I only knew
    Time and Eternity were of one hue;
    That immortality were endless pain
    To one who the long lost could ne'er regain--
    There was no hope that Death would Love restore:
    'Lenore! Lenore! ah! never--nevermore!'

    Early one morn I left my sleepless couch,
    Seeking in change of place a change of pain.
    I leaned my head against the casement, where
    The rose she planted wreathed its clustering flowers.
    How could it bloom when she was in the grave?
    The birds were carolling on every spray,
    And every leaf glittered with perfumed dew;
    Nature was full of joy, but, wretched man!
    Does God indeed bless only birds and flowers?
    As thus I stood--the glowing morn without,
    Within, the Raven with its blighting cry,
    All light the world, all gloom the hopeless heart--
    I prayed in agony, if not in faith;
    Yet still my saddened heart refused to soar,
    And even summer winds the burden bore:
    'Lenore! Lenore! ah! never--nevermore!'

    With these wild accents ringing through my heart,
    There was no hope in prayer! Sadly I rose,
    Gazing on Nature with an envious eye,
    When, lo! a snowy Dove, weaving her rings
    In ever-lessening circles, near me came;
    With whirring sound of fluttering wings, she passed
    Into the cursed and stifling, haunted room,
    Where sat the Raven with his voice of doom--
    His ceaseless cry from the Plutonian shore:
    'Lenore! Lenore! ah! never--nevermore!'

    The waving of the whirring, snowy wings,
    Cooled the hot air, diffusing mystic calm.
    Again I shuddered as I marked the glare
    Which shot from the fell Raven's fiendish eye,
    The while he measured where his pall-like swoop
    Might seize the Dove as Death had seized Lenore:
    'Lenore!' he shrieked, 'ah, never--nevermore!'

    Hovered the Dove around an antique cross,
    Which long had stood afront the pallid bust
    Of haughty Pallas o'er my chamber door:
    Neglected it had been through all the storm
    Of maddening doubts born from the demon cry
    Reëchoing from the night's Plutonian shore:
    'Lenore! Lenore! ah! never--nevermore!'

    I loved all heathen, antique, classic lore,
    And thus the cross had paled before the brow
    Of Pallas, radiant type of Reason's power.
    But human reason fails in hours of woe,
    And wisdom's goddess ne'er reopes the grave.
    What knows chill Pallas of corruption's doom?
    Upon her massive, rounded, glittering brow
    The Bird of Doubt had chos'n a fitting place
    To knell into my heart forever more:
    'Ah I never, nevermore! Lenore! Lenore!'

    The Raven's plumage, in the kindling rays,
    Shone with metallic lustre, sombre fire;
    His fiendish eye, so blue, and fierce, and cold,
    Froze like th' hyena's when she tears the dead.
    The sculptured beauty of the marble brow
    Of Pallas glittered, as though diamond-strewn:
    Haughty and dazzling, yet no voice of peace,
    But words of dull negation darkly fell
    From Reason's goddess in her brilliant sheen!
    No secret bears she from the silent grave;
    She stands appalled before its dark abyss,
    And shudders at its gloom with all her lore,
    All powerless to ope its grass-grown door.
    Can Pallas e'er the loved and lost restore?
    Hear her wild Raven shriek: 'Lenore! no more!'

    With gloomy thoughts and thronging dreams oppressed,
    I sank upon the 'violet velvet chair,
    Which she shall press, ah, never, nevermore!'
    And gazed, I know not why, upon the cross,
    On which the Dove was resting its soft wings,
    Glowing and rosy in the morn's warm light.
    I cannot tell how long I dreaming lay,
    When (as from some old picture, shadowy forms
    Loom from a distant background as we gaze,
    So bright they gleam, so soft they melt away,
    We scarcely know whether 'tis fancy's play
    Or artist's skill that wins them to the day)
    There grew a band of angels on my sight,
    Wreathing in love around the slighted cross.
    One swung a censer, hung with bell-like flowers,
    Whence tones and perfumes mingling charmed the air;
    Thick clouds of incense veiled their shadowy forms,
    Yet could I see their wings of rainbow light,
    The wavings of their white arms, soft and bright.
    Then she who swung the censer nearer drew--
    The perfumed tones were silent--lowly bent
    (The long curls pouring gold adown the wings),
    She knelt in prayer before the crucifix.
    Her eyes were deep as midnight's mystic stars,
    Freighted with love they trembling gazed above,
    As pleading for some mortal's bitter pain:
    When answered--soft untwined the clasping hands,
    The bright wings furled--my heart stood still to hear
    'The footfalls tinkle on the tufted floor'--
    The eyes met mine--O God! my lost Lenore!
    Too deeply awed to clasp her to my heart,
    I knelt and gasped--'Lenore! my lost Lenore!
    Is there a home for Love beyond the skies?
    In pity answer!--shall we meet again?'
    Her eyes in rapture floated; solemn, calm,
    Then softest music from her lips of balm
    Fell, as she joined the angels in the air!
    Her words forever charmed away despair!

        'Above all pain,
        We meet again!

    'Kneel and worship humbly
      Round the slighted cross!
    Death is only seeming--
      Love is never loss!
    In the hour of sorrow
      Calmly look above!
    Trust the Holy Victim--
      Heaven is in His love!

    'Above all pain,
        We meet again!

    'Never heed the Raven--
      Doubt was born in hell!
    How can heathen Pallas
      Faith of Christian tell?
    With the faith of angels,
      Led by Holy Dove,
    Kneel and pray before Him--
      Heaven is in His love!

        'Above all pain,
        We meet again!'

    Then clouds of incense veiled the floating forms;
    I only saw the gleams of starry wings,
    The flash from lustrous eyes, the glittering hair,
    As chanting still the _Sanctus_ of the skies,
    Clear o'er the _Misereres_ of earth's graves,
    Enveloped in the mist of perfumed haze,
    In music's spell they faded from my gaze.
    Gone--gone the vision! from my sight it bore
    My lost, my found, my ever loved Lenore!

    Forgotten scenes of happy infant years,
    My mother's hymns around my cradle-bed,
    Memories of vesper bell and matin chimes,
    Of priests and incensed altars, dimly waked.
    The fierce eye of the Raven dimmed and quailed,
    His burnished plumage drooped, yet, full of hate,
    Began he still his 'wildering shriek--'Lenore!'
    When, lo! the Dove broke in upon his cry--
    She, too, had found a voice for agony;
    Calmly it fell from heaven's cerulean shore:
    'Lenore! Lenore! forever--evermore!'

    Soon as the Raven heard the silvery tones,
    Lulling as gush of mountain-cradled stream,
    With maddened plunge he fell to rise no more,
    And, in the sweep of his Plutonian wings,
    Dashed to the earth the bust of Pallas fair.
    The haughty brow lay humbled in the dust,
    O'ershadowed by the terror-woven wings
    Of that wild Raven, as by some dark pall.
    Lift up poor Pallas! bathe her fainting brow
    With drops of dewy chrism! take the beak
    Of the false Raven from her sinking soul!
    Oh, let the Faith Dove nestle in her heart,
    Her haughty reason low at Jesu's feet,
    While humble as a child she cons the lore:
    'The loved, the lost, forever--evermore!'

    As if to win me to the crucifix,
    The Dove would flutter there, then seek my breast.
    The heart must feel its utter orphanage,
    Before it makes the cross its dearest hope!
    I knelt before the holy martyred form,
    The perfect Victim given in perfect love,
    The highest symbol of the highest Power,
    _Self-abnegation perfected in God_!
    Circling the brow like diadem, there shone
    Each letter pierced with thorns and dyed in blood,
    Yet dazzling vision with the hopes of heaven:
    'I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE!'
    Upon the outstretched hands, mangled and torn,
    I found that mighty truth the heart divines,
    Which strews our midnight thick with stars, solves doubts,
    And makes the chasm of the yawning grave
    The womb of higher life, in which the lost
    Are gently rocked into their angel forms--
    That truth of mystic rapture--'GOD IS LOVE!'

    Still chants the snowy DOVE from heaven's shore:
    'LENORE! LENORE! FOREVER! EVERMORE!'



THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER AND ITS PECULIARITIES.

Few of the people of the North have ever inquisitively considered the
Mississippi River, and as a consequence its numerous peculiarities are
not generally known. Indeed, its only characteristic features are
supposed to be immensity of proportions rather than any specific
variation from the universal nature of rivers. Many there are that have
never seen the river, and have conceptions of its appearance merely in
imagination; others have been more fortunate, have crossed its turbid
flood, or have been borne upon its noble bosom the full breadth of the
land, from beautiful Minnesota to its great reservoir in the South, the
Gulf of Mexico. As the result of this experience, great have been the
sensations of satisfaction or disappointment. Many have turned away with
their extravagant anticipations materially chagrined. This might be
expected in a casual observer. It is true, some portions of the
Mississippi do not present that vastness which a person would very
naturally expect, having previously accepted literally the figurative
appellations that have been applied to it. The Mississippi is not
superficially a great stream, but when it is recognized as the mighty
conduit of the surplus waters of fifty large streams, some of which are
as large as itself, besides receiving innumerable of less
pretensions--when we consider, too, the great physical phenomena which
it presents in its turbid waters, its islands, its bars, and its bayous,
its vast banks of alluvial deposit, its omnipotent force, and the signal
futility of all human endeavors to control it, in this phase is it truly
the 'Father of Waters,' and 'the most wonderful of rivers.'

In a commercial point of view is the Mississippi equally as remarkable
as in its physical presentations. It is the aorta through which, from
the heart of the nation, flow the bountiful returns of industrious and
productive labor, which thus find an outlet to all parts of the world,
opening an avenue of trade for millions of energetic men and fertile
acres. Thus not only is it the life-supporting, but as well the
life-imparting artery of a great section of the republic.

But it is unnecessary to speak of the commercial importance of the
river. This is patent to everybody. Let us, however, unfold some of its
remarkable and singular phenomena, which have never occurred to many,
and may at this particular time be of interest to all, even those who
have given the subject some study. Let us first briefly glance at its
history.

In 1539, Ferdinand de Soto, Governor of Cuba, leaving that island in
charge of his wife, set sail for Florida, where he soon safely
disembarked, and sent his ships back, in order to leave no opportunity
for relentment in the stern resolves of his followers. After a somewhat
erratic journey, on his way passing through Georgia, Alabama, and
Northern Mississippi, he struck the 'Great River' at the Lower Chickasaw
Bluffs, as they are still called, and upon which now stands the city of
Memphis. The expedition crossed the river at that point, and spent some
time in exploring the country beyond, until they found themselves upon
the White River, about two hundred miles from its entrance into the
Mississippi. From there a small expedition set out toward the Missouri,
but soon returned, bringing an unfavorable report. From the White the
expedition moved toward the hot springs and saline confluents of the
Washita. In this neighborhood they wintered. In the spring of 1542, De
Soto and his followers descended the Washita in canoes, but became
entangled in the bayous and marshes of the Red River, to which the
Washita, through the Black, is tributary. At length, however, they
reached the Mississippi. Here a number of explorations were conducted,
but with no success as regards the object of the expedition, a search of
gain. It was in the midst of these explorations, at the mouth of the
Red, while surrounded by the most implacable Indian hostility, a
malignant fever seized the spirit and head of the enterprise, and on May
21st, 1542, De Soto died. Amid the sorrows of the moment and fears of
the future, his body was wrapped in a mantle, and sunk in the middle of
the river. A requiem broke the midnight gloom, and the morning rose upon
the consternation of the survivors. It has indeed been aptly said, that
De Soto 'sought for gold, but found nothing so great as his burial
place.'

The men now looked about them for a new leader. Their choice fell upon
Luis de Moscoso. This man was without enterprise or capacity. After
enduring every calamity, the party built seven brigantines, and in
seventeen days, July, 1543, passed out of the mouth of the river, and
followed the coast toward the east. Out of six hundred, but few over
three hundred ever returned to Cuba.

From the expedition of De Soto more than a century elapsed before any
further discoveries were made. In May, 1673, Marquette, a priest, and
Jolliet, a trader, and five men, made some explorations of the river.

The great work of discovery was reserved for Robert Cavelier de la
Salle, a Frenchman. By his commands, Father Louis Hennepin made the
discovery of the Upper Mississippi, as far as the Falls of St. Anthony.
In January, 1682, La Salle himself, with twenty-three Frenchmen and
eighteen Indians, set out for the exploration of the Lower Mississippi,
entering the river from the Illinois, and descending it until he
arrived at the Passes of the Delta. Here, to his surprise, he found the
river divided into three channels. A party was sent by each, La Salle
taking the western, and on April 9th the open sea was reached. The usual
ceremonies attendant upon any great discovery were repeated here.

Enlivened by success, the party returned to Quebec. La Salle returned to
France, and in 1684, aided by his Government, set sail with four
vessels, for the discovery of the river from the sea. In this he was
unsuccessful. After encountering several storms and losing one of his
vessels, the expedition entered St. Louis Bay (St. Bernard) on the coast
of Texas. The party disembarked, one of the vessels returned to France,
and the others were lost on the coast. Thus cut off, La Salle made every
effort to discover the river by land; but in every attempt he failed. At
length he was assassinated by one of his followers on the 19th of March,
1687. Thus terminated the career of the explorer of the Mississippi.

The discovery of the mouth of the river from the sea, was an event of
some years later, and was consummated by Iberville, in 1699. This person
spent some time in navigating the river and the waters adjacent to its
mouth. His brother, Bienville, succeeded him in these enterprises. A few
years later, and we find settlements springing up upon the banks of the
river. Since that time it has attracted a numerous population, and
to-day, though desolated in parts by the contentions of armies, there is
certainty in the belief that at some time these people of the great
river will wield a mighty power in the political and commercial destiny
of the American continent.

The Mississippi proper rises in the State of Minnesota, about 47° and
some minutes north latitude, and 94° 54' longitude west, at an elevation
of sixteen hundred and eighty feet above the level of the Gulf of
Mexico, and distant from it two thousand eight hundred and ninety-six
miles, its utmost length, upon the summit of Hauteurs de Terre, the
dividing ridge between the rivulets confluent to itself and those to the
Red River of the North. Its first appearance is a tiny pool, fed by
waters trickling from the neighboring hills. The surplus waters of this
little pool are discharged by a small brook, threading its way among a
multitude of very small lakes, until it gathers sufficient water, and
soon forms a larger lake. From here a second rivulet, impelled along a
rapid declination, rushes with violent impetuosity for some miles, and
subsides in Lake Itasca. Thence, with a more regular motion, until it
reaches Lake Cass, from whence taking a mainly southeasterly course, a
distance of nearly seven hundred miles, it reaches the Falls of St.
Anthony. Here the river makes in a few miles a descent of sixteen feet.
From this point to the Gulf, navigation is without further interruption,
and the wonders of the Mississippi begin.

It is not possible to give, with complete exactness, the outlines of the
immense valley drained by the Mississippi, yet, with the assistance of
accurate surveys, we can make an approximation, to say the least, which
will convey some idea of the physical necessity of the river to the vast
area through the centre of which it takes its course.

We will say:

  From the highest point of land
  between the mouth of the
  Atchafalaya and Mississippi
  Rivers, dividing the headwaters
  of their confluents; thence
  along the dividing ridge of tributaries
  confluent to the Sabine
  and other Texas streams from
  those of the Red, in a north-westerly
  course, to the Rocky
  Mountains, thence taking a line
  separating the headwaters of
  the Red, Arkansas, and tributary
  streams, on the east, from
  the Rio Grande and tributaries
  toward the south, and the Colorado   _Miles._
  toward the west, say,                   1,300

  Thence, pursuing the dividing
  summit of the Rocky Mountains,
  to the Marias, tributary
  to the Missouri, in Dakota, say,         700

  Thence, including the headwaters
  of the Missouri, and taking
  direction southeasterly,
  dividing the tributaries of the
  Red River of the North from
  those of the Missouri to the
  source of the Minnesota; thence
  northeasterly, dividing the rivulets
  of the head lakes, Itasca,
  Cass, etc., from those confluent
  to the Red River of the North,
  separating the headwaters of
  the St. Croix from currents tributary
  to Lake Superior; thence
  embracing the confluent streams
  to the Mississippi in Wisconsin,
  Northern Illinois, and Indiana,
  to the Kankakee branch of the
  Illinois, say,                          2,000

  Thence, dividing the streams of
  the Lakes from those emptying
  into the Ohio as far as the extreme
  source of the Alleghany,
  say,                                       400

  Thence along the dividing summit
  of the Atlantic slope to the
  source of the Tennessee; thence
  dividing the streams tending
  toward the Gulf, to the mouth
  of the Mississippi, and thence
  to starting point, say,                   1,700
                                           ______
  Making an aggregate circuit of           6,100

Within this extensive limit we find, from surveys, the following
aggregate area in square miles, estimated by valleys:

                                         _Square Miles._

  The valley of the Ohio,                   200,000

  The valley of the Mississippi
  proper,                                   180,000

  The valley of the Missouri,               500,000

  The valley of the Lower Mississippi,      330,000
                                            _______
                             Total area,    1,210,000

As a natural consequence of the drainage of this immense area, the
Mississippi receives into its waters a large amount of suspended earthy
matter. This, however, does not very strikingly appear on the upper
river, its own banks and those of its tributaries being more of a
gravelly character and less friable than lower down. The gravity of
particles, therefore, worn from the bed and sides of the channel above,
unless the current be exceedingly strong, is greater than the buoyant
capacity of the water, and falls to the bottom, along which, sometimes,
it is forced by the abrasion of the water, until it meets some
obstruction, which gathers the particles into shoal formations. This
fact causes much inconvenience in the navigation of the upper rivers.

It is not until we reach the confluence of the streams of Southern
Illinois and Missouri, that the sediment of the river becomes striking.
Those streams, freighted with the rich loam and vegetable matter of the
prairies of the east and west, soon change entirely the appearance of
the Mississippi. Above the Missouri, the river is but slightly tinged;
and indeed, after that great current enters, for some distance the two
run side by side in the same channel, and yet are divided by a very
distinct line of demarcation. It is only after the frequent sinuosities
of the channel, that the two waters are thrown into each other and
fairly blend. The sedimentary condition of the Missouri is so great that
drift floating upon its muddy surface, by accretion becomes so heavily
laden with earthy matter that it sinks to the bottom. This precipitation
of drift has taken place to such an extent, that the bed of the Missouri
is in many places completely covered to a great depth by immense fields
of logs. Of all the silt thrown into the Mississippi, the Missouri
furnishes about one third.

After receiving the Missouri, next enters the Ohio. The water of this
river is less impregnated than the Missouri, though not by any means
free from silt. The country through which it flows is mountainous, and
the soil hard, and does not afford the same facility of abrasive action
as that of the other rivers.

From the mouth of the Ohio, the Mississippi pursues a course of nearly
four hundred miles, when it receives the turbid waters of the White and
Arkansas Rivers. In the intervening distance a large number of small
currents, more or less largely sedimentary, according to the character
of the country through which they run, enter the Mississippi, in the
aggregate adding materially to the sediment of the receiving stream. The
White and Arkansas carry in their waters a large amount of
unprecipitated matter. In this vicinity, too, sets in that singular
system of natural safeguards of the surrounding country, the bayous. The
country here also changes its appearance, becoming flat and swampy, and
in some parts attaining but a few feet above the flood of the river,
whereas in other parts, as we approach the Gulf, the country is even
lower than the river.

The miasmatic and poisonous water of the Yazoo next enters, about ten
miles above Vicksburg. This river is more deeply impregnated with a
certain kind of impurities than any other tributary of the Mississippi.
The waters are green and slimy, and almost sticky with vegetable and
animal decomposition. During the hot season the water is certain
disease, if taken into the stomach. The name is of Indian origin, and
signifies 'River of Death.' The Yazoo receives its supply from bayous
and swamps, though it has several considerable tributaries.

Below the Yazoo, on the west side, enters the Red. The name indicates
the peculiar caste of its water. This river carries with it the washings
of an extensive area of prairies and swamps, and is the last of the
great tributaries. Hence the tendency of streams is directly to the
Gulf, and that network of lateral branches, of which we will hereafter
speak, begins.

We have only considered the most prominent tributaries: the sediment
also brought down by the numerous smaller streams is very great, and
makes great additions to the immense buoyant matter of the Mississippi.

The river itself from its own banks scours the larger portion of the
sediment it contains; and in so gigantic a scale is this carried on,
that it can be seen without the exercise of any very remarkable powers
of sight. It is not by the imperceptible degrees usually at work in
other streams, but often involves in its execution many acres of
adjoining land. It will be interesting to consider this more fully.

By a curious freak of nature, the tendency of the channel of the
Mississippi is always toward one or the other of its banks, being
influenced by the direction of its bends. The principle is one of nicely
regulated refraction. If the river were perfectly straight, the gravity
and inertia of its waters would move in a right line, with a velocity
beyond all control. But we find the river very sinuous, and the momentum
of current consequently lessened. For example, striking in an arm of the
river, by the inertia of the moving volume, the water is thrown, and
with less velocity, upon the opposite bank, which it pursues until it
meets another repellent obstacle, from which it refracts, taking
direction again for the other side. Above the Missouri, the river is
principally directed by the natural trough of the valley. Below this,
however, the channel is purely the work of the river itself, shaped
according to the necessities of sudden changes or obstructions. This is
proven by the large number of old and dry beds of the river frequently
met with, the channel having been diverted in a new direction by the
accumulation of sediment and drift which it had not the momentum to
force out.

Where the gravity of the greatest volume and momentum of water falls
upon the bed of the river, there is described the thread of the channel,
and all submerged space outside of this, though in the river, acts as a
kind of reservoir, where eddies the surplus water until taken up by the
current. And it always happens, where the channel takes one bend of the
bed, a corresponding tongue of shallow water faces the indenture. Where
the river, by some inexplicable cause, has been thrown from its regular
channel, or its volume of water embarrassed by some difficulties along
the banks, the effect is immediately perceived upon the neighboring
bank. The column of water thus impinged against it at once acts upon the
bank, and, singularly enough, exerts its strongest abrasive action at
the bottom, undermining the bank, which soon gives way, and instead of
toppling forward, it noiselessly slides beneath the water and
disappears. Acres of land have thus been carried away in an incredibly
short time, and without the slightest disruption of the serene flow of
the mighty current.

This carrying away of the banks, immense as is the amount of earth
thrown into the waters of the river, has no sensible effect in blocking
or directing the current, though it imperceptibly raises the channel.
The force of the water does not permit its entire settlement in
quantities at any one place, but distributes it along the bottom and
shores below. Were this not the case, it is easily to be seen, the
abrasion of the river banks would be greatly increased, and the
destruction of the bordering lands immense.

A singular feature resulting from the above may here be mentioned. By
pursuing the course of the river, a short distance below, on the
opposite bank, it will be seen that a large quantity of the earth
introduced into the current by the falling of the banks, has been thrown
up in large masses, forming new land, which, in a few seasons, becomes
arable. That which is not thus deposited, as already stated, is
transported below, dropping here and there on the way, until what is
left reaches the Gulf, and is precipitated upon the 'bars' and 'delta,'
at the mouth. It not unfrequently happens that planters along the river
find themselves suddenly deprived of some of their acres, while one
almost opposite finds himself as unexpectedly blessed with a bountiful
increase of his domain.

From causes almost similar to those given to explain the sudden and
disastrous changes of the channel of the river, are also produced those
singular shortenings, known as 'cut-offs,' which are so frequently met
with on the Mississippi. At a certain point the force of the current is
turned out of its path and impinged against a neck of land, that has,
after years of resistance, been worn down to an exceedingly small
breadth. Possibly the river has merely worn an arm in its side, leaving
an extensive bulge standing out in the river, and connected with the
mainland by an isthmus. The river striking in this arm, and not having
sufficient scope to rebound toward the other bank, is thrown into a
rotary motion, forming almost a whirlpool. The action of this motion
upon the banks soon reduces the connecting neck, which separates and
blocks the waters, until, at last, no longer able to cope with the great
weight resting against it, it gives way, and the river divides itself
between this new and the old channel.

Nor do these remarkable instances of abrasive action constitute the
entire washing from the banks. The whole length of the river is subject
to a continual deposit and taking up of the silt, according to the
buoyant capacity of the water. This, too, is so well regulated that the
quantity of earthy matter held in solution is very nearly the same,
being proportioned to the force of the current. For instance, if the
river receive more earth than it can sustain, the surplus sediment
drops upon the bottom or is forced up upon the sides. If the river be
subject to a rise, a proportionate quantity of the dropped sediment is
again taken up, and carried along or deposited again, according to the
capacity of the water. By this means a well-established average of silt
is at all times found buoyant in the river.

Having briefly examined the sedimentary character of the Mississippi,
some investigations as to the proportion of sediment to water may be of
interest. And it is well to state here that a mean stage of flow is
taken as the basis upon which to start the experiments. The experiments
and analysis of the water were made by Professor Riddell, at intervals
of three days, from May 21st to August 13, 1846, and reported to the
Association of American Geologists and Naturalists.

The water was taken in a pail from the river in front of the city of New
Orleans, where the current is rather swift. That portion of the river
contains a fair average of sedimentary matter, and it is sufficiently
distant from the _embouchure_ of the last principal tributary to allow
its water to mix well with that of the Mississippi.

     'The temperature,' says the Professor, 'was observed at the time,
     and the height of the river determined. Some minutes after, the
     pail of water was agitated, and two samples of one pint each
     measured out. The measure graduated by weighing at 60 degrees
     Fahrenheit 7,295.581 grains of distilled water. After standing a
     day or two, the matter mechanically suspended would subside to the
     bottom. Nearly two thirds of the clear supernatant liquid was next
     decanted, while the remaining water, along with the sediment, was
     in each instance poured upon a double filter, the two parts of
     which had previously been agitated, to be of equal weight. The
     filters were numbered and laid aside, and ultimately dried in the
     sunshine, under like circumstances, in two parcels, one embracing
     the experiments from May 22 to July 15, the other from July 17 to
     August 13. The difference in weight between the two parts of each
     double filter was then carefully ascertained, and as to the inner
     filter alone the sediment was attached, its excess of weight
     indicated the amount of sediment.'

As the table may be interesting, showing the height and temperature of
the water as well as the result of the experiments at the different
times, we introduce it complete:

TABLE _showing the Quantity of Sediment contained in the Water
of the Mississippi River_.

  Date of      Height    Temperature.  Grains of Sediment
  Experiment.  of River                in a Pint of
               above                   Water.
               Low
               Water.

  1846.       ft.  in.         °           A.  B.
  May 21       10  11         72         6.66  7.00
   "  25       10  11         73         9.08  9.12
   "  27       10  10         78         7.80  9.00
   "  29       11   0         74         7.30  8.10
  June 2       11   1         75         4.80  5.45
   "   4       11   1         75         7.87  6.10
   "   6       11   4         75         4.60  4.90
   "   8       11   4         75.5       5.48  5.60
   "  10       10   4         76         6.70  6.80
   "  12       10   8         76         6.50  6.30
   "  14       10   5         76.5       6.00  6.00
   "  16       10   4         76.5       6.47  6.15
   "  20       10   4         77         7.08  7.40
   "  22       10   2         77         9.88  9.00
   "  24        9   8         77         8.40  8.48
   "  26        8   9         77.5       8.25  8.78
   "  28        8   0         79         9.10  9.58
  July 1        7   2         79.5       9.15  9.25
  July 3        7   2         79.5       9.63  10.00
   "   6        6   2         81         8.20  7.57
   "   8        6   0         81         7.30  6.96
   "  10        6   1         81         6.12  6.28
   "  13        5   9         82         7.72  7.30
   "  15        5  10         82         6.67  6.60
   "  17        5  10         82         4.45  4.57
   "  20        5   4         82         6.07  5.75
   "  24        3  10         84         5.76  5.72
   "  27        3   1         84         4.77  4.60
   "  29        3  11         84.5       4.28  4.13
  Aug. 1        2   6         85         4.40  4.44
   "   3        2   0         84         3.18  3.34
   "   5        1   9         83         3.56  3.40
   "   7        1   5         83         2.85  2.85
   "  10        1   6         83         3.03  2.92
   "  13        2   8         84         2.97  3.00

  The mean average of column A. is 6.32.
   "   "      "     "    "   B. is 6.30.

  Transcriber's note: This table has been reproduced exactly as in the
  original.


'By comparison with distilled water,' says the same, 'the specific
gravity of the filtered river water we found to be 1.823; pint of such
water at 60° weighs 7,297.40.' Engineer Forehay says the sediment is 1
to 1,800 by weight, or 1 in 3,000 by volume.

Professor Riddell also comes to the following conclusions, after an
analytic investigation of the sediment. He took one hundred grains from
the river margin, dried it at 212° Fahrenheit, before weighing, and
found it to contain:

  _Grains._

  Silica,         74.15
  Alumina,         9.14
  Oxide of iron,   4.56
  Lime,            2.08
  Magnesia,        1.52
  Manganese,       0.04
  Potassa,}        not determined
  Soda,   }
  Phosphoric acid, 0.44
  Sulphuric acid,  0.07
  Carbonic acid,   0.74
  Chlorine,        0.01
  Water,           3.12
  Organic matter,  3.10
                  -----
  Total,          98.97

The existence of so large a quantity of sediment in the water of the
Mississippi, leads to divers formations in its bed. These formations are
principally 'bars' and 'battures.' The banks are also much affected.

When the water of the river, aided by the current, has attained its full
capacity of buoyant earth, as we have already said, the excess falls to
the bottom. Instead, however, of remaining permanently where it first
lodged, which would soon fill up the channel and cause the river to
overflow, the scouring of the water on the bottom forces a large portion
along with the current, though it be not suspended. Pursuing its course
for a while, some irregularity or obstruction falls in the way--a sunken
log, perhaps. This obstacle checks the progress of the moving earth--it
accumulates; the next wave brings down more--the accumulation becomes
greater; until, in the course of a few years, there is a vast field of
deposit, and a 'bar' is formed. These 'bars' often divert the channel,
and occasion the immense washings before alluded to.

Bars are generally found close to the banks, though there are examples
in which they extend in a transverse direction to the current. Bars of
this kind very much embarrass and endanger navigation in low water. At
Helena, Arkansas, there is an instance of a transverse bar, upon which,
in October, the water is less than six feet. These bars are formed of
sand, which seems to have been the heavier and less buoyant of the
components of the earth thrown into the current by abrasion, the lighter
portions having been separated by the water and carried off.

It will not be necessary to consider further the subject of bars in the
river, but those at its mouth deserve some attention. The subject is one
that has led to much theorizing, study, and fear--the latter
particularly, from an ill-founded supposition that they threaten to cut
off navigation into the Gulf.

Near its entrance into the Gulf, the Mississippi distributes its waters
through five outlets, termed passes, and consequently has as many
mouths. These are termed Pass à l'Outre, Northeast, Southeast, South,
and Southwest. They differ in length, ranging from three to nine miles.
They also all afford sufficient depth of water for commercial purposes,
except at their mouths, which are obstructed by bars. The depth of water
upon one of these is sufficient to pass large vessels; a second, vessels
of less size; and the rest are not navigable at all, as regards
sea-going vessels. These bars, too, are continually changing, according
to the winds or the currents of the river. It is a rather singular fact
that when one of the navigable passes becomes blocked, the river is
certain to force a channel of navigable depth through one of the
others, previously not in use; so that at no one time are all the passes
closed.

In looking into the past, and noticing the changes, it is recorded that
in 1720, of all the passes the South Pass was the only one navigable. In
1730, there was a depth of from twelve to fifteen feet, according to the
winds, and at another time even seventeen feet was known. In 1804, upon
the statement of Major Stoddard, written at that date, the East Pass,
called the Balize, had then about seventeen feet of water on the bar,
and was the one usually navigated. The South Pass was formerly of equal
depth, but was then gradually filling up. (This pass, at present, 1864,
is not at all navigated.) The Southwest Pass had from eleven to twelve
feet of water. The Northeast and Southeast Passes were traversed only by
small craft. Since 1830 the Southwest Pass has been gaining depth. This
and Pass à l'Outre are now the only two out of the five of sufficient
depth to admit the crossing of the larger class of vessels. The former,
however, is the one in most general use. All the other passes, with the
exception of the two mentioned, have been abandoned.

In regard to the changes and numerous singular formations at the mouths
of the Mississippi, we give a statement made by William Talbot, for
twenty-five years a resident of the Balize. He says:

     'The bars at the various passes change very often. The channel
     sometimes changes two and three times in a season. Occasionally one
     gale of wind will change the channel. The bars make to the seaward
     every year. The Southwest Pass is now the main outlet used. It has
     been so only for three years, as at that time there was as much
     water in the Northeast Pass as in it. The Southeast Pass was the
     main ship channel twenty years ago; there is only about six feet of
     water in that pass now; and where it was deepest then, there are
     only a few inches of water at this time. The visible shores of the
     river have made out into the Gulf two or three miles within my
     memory. Besides the deposits of mud and sand, which form the bars,
     there frequently rise up bumps, or mounds, near the channel, which
     divert its course. These bumps are supposed to be the production of
     salt springs, and sometimes are formed in a very few days. They
     sometimes rise four or five feet above the surface of the water.'
     He 'knew one instance when some bricks, that were thrown overboard
     from a vessel outside the bar, in three fathoms of water, were
     raised above the surface by one of these banks, and were taken to
     the Balize, and used in building chimneys. In another instance, an
     anchor, which was lost from a vessel, was lifted out of the water,
     so that it was taken ashore. About twenty years ago, a sloop, used
     as a lighter, was lost outside the bar in a gale of wind; several
     years afterward she was raised by one of these strange formations,
     and her cargo was taken out of her.'

We may say the bumps of which Mr. Talbot speaks are termed 'mud bumps,'
from the fact of being composed of sediment. They present a curious
spectacle as seen from a passing steamer. They are undoubtedly the
result of subterranean pressure, but from what cause, whether volcanic,
or the influence of the sea or river, or both, has not been determined.
Many speculations have been entered into in regard to these phenomena,
but as yet without fruitful result.

Leaving this digression, we proceed to notice that the theories set up
to explain the causes of the bars at the mouth of the river, have been
numerous and various. Some suppose them to be the result of the water of
the river meeting the opposing force of the Gulf waves, checking the
current, and causing a precipitation of the suspended sediment. Others
are of the opinion that the bars are entirely the effect of marine
action, and endeavor to show that the immense inward flow of the Gulf
washes up from its bed the vast accumulations that are continually
forming in the way of navigation.

After a personal observation and investigation, and as well after
frequent and free consultation with others, we are persuaded to
discredit the above-mentioned theories. The resistance of the Gulf does
not form the bars, though it exerts an influence. The immense volume and
force of water ejected from the river receives no immediate repellent
action from the Gulf, but extends into it many miles without the least
signs of disturbance, as may be plainly discovered even in the most
casual observation. It is known as well that the water of the river
remains perfectly palatable at a very close proximity to the sea. This
is a very good evidence of the superior force of the river's current.
The two volumes of water mix a considerable distance out at sea.

An able engineer states that, upon examination, he found a column of
fresh water seven feet deep and seven thousand feet wide, and discovered
salt water at eight feet below the surface. As the result of his
investigations, he divides the water into three strata, as follows:

1. Fresh water, running out at the top with a velocity of three miles an
hour.

2. Salt water, beneath the fresh, also running out at about the same
velocity.

3. A reflex flow of salt water, running in slowly at the bottom.

It is this inward current, he thinks, that produces the deposit, and in
doing so carries with it no small degree of sea drift. The influx of the
lower column flowing up stream, after it passes the dead point, is
allowed time and opportunity for the sediment to deposit. The principle
of the reflex current is somewhat that of an eddy, not only produced by
the conflict of two opposing bodies of water, but also is much
influenced in the under currents by the multitude of estuaries presented
by the irregular sea front of the coast.

A gentleman, who seems to have taken a very statistical view of these
bars, makes the following business-like and curious calculation as to
their immensity: we introduce it on account of its originality. He says
the average quantity of water discharged per second is five hundred and
ten thousand cubic feet. The quantity of salt suspended, one in three
thousand by volume. The quantity of mud discharged, one hundred and
seventy cubic feet per second. Considering seventeen cubic feet equal to
one ton, the daily discharge of mud is eight hundred and sixty-four
thousand tons, and would require a fleet of seventeen hundred and
twenty-eight ships, of five hundred tons each, to transport the average
daily discharge. And to lift this immense quantity of matter, it would
require about seven hundred and seventy-one dredging machines, sixteen
horse power, with a capacity of labor amounting to one hundred and forty
tons, working eight hours.

Another class of sedimentary formations met with along the banks of the
Mississippi are the battures. There is one remarkable instance of these
in front of New Orleans, which has led to much private dispute, and even
public disturbance, as to ownership. Within sixty years, in front of the
Second Municipality of the city, the amount of alluvial formations
susceptible of private ownership were worth over five millions of
dollars, that is, nearly one hundred thousand dollars per annum, and the
causes which have produced them are still at work, and will probably
remain so. As far back as 1847 these remarks were made upon the subject:
'The value of the annual alluvial deposits in front of the Second
Municipality now is not less than two hundred thousand dollars, and,
with the exception of the batture between the Faubourg St. Mary line and
Lacourse street, all belongs to this municipality.' 'Such a source of
wealth was never possessed by any city before. In truth, it may be said
that nature is our taxgatherer, levying by her immutable laws tribute
from the banks of rivers and from the summits of mountains thousands of
miles distant to enrich, improve, and adorn our favored city.' There are
numerous other examples of the kind going on elsewhere along the river.

But the greatest exhibition of the wonderful character of the
Mississippi, and in which all its singular effects are most distinctly
shown, is in its Delta. For a long succession of years the immense
quantities of sediment, of which we have already spoken, had gradually
precipitated upon this portion of the river until it reached the
surface. Drift now lodged upon it: the decomposition of drift and the
accumulation of other vegetable matter soon furnished a suitable bed for
the growth of a marine vegetation, and now a vast area, a level expanse
of waste land and marsh, is seen extending a great distance into the
Gulf, ramified here and there by the outlets of the river. Indeed, so
rapid have been these formations, that upon the testimony of history,
the Mississippi River to-day is twenty-nine miles farther in the Gulf
than it was in 1754.

Mr. Forshey, an engineer, remarks that 'the superficial area of the true
Delta formation of the Mississippi, or below Baton Rouge, where the last
bluffs are found, is about fifteen thousand square miles, constituting a
region of mean width seventy-five miles, and mean length two hundred
miles. Probable depth of alluvion is about one fifth of a mile, by
inference from the depth of the Gulf of Mexico.' In the vicinity of New
Orleans, boring to a depth of two hundred feet, fossils, such as shells,
bones, etc., have been found. And at thirty feet specimens of pottery
and other evidences of Indian habitation have been discovered. The
foundation upon which rest the alluvial formations has been found to
consist of a hard blue silicious clay, closely resembling that met with
in the bed of the Mississippi. The most recent of the alluvial fields of
the Delta have been constituted a parish, termed Plaquemine. In 1800,
according to one authority, there were but very few acres in cultivation
in the entire parish. Since leveeing above, the deposit has been
extremely rapid, until now we find some excellent plantations in
Plaquemine. Fifty miles below New Orleans the tillable land is nearly a
mile in width; below there, it becomes gradually less, until it is lost
in the Gulf. Still the accumulations are going on, and it is impossible
even to surmise what changes the great river may yet effect in the
future geography of this section of the American continent.

Considering the multitude of streams and vastness of area drained by the
Mississippi, it is natural to suppose the river is much affected in the
stage of its water by the seasons. We have seen that the meltings of the
Rocky Mountain snows, the mountain rills of the Alleghanies, the waters
of the valleys of the upper river, of the Missouri, of the Ohio, the
Arkansas, the Yazoo, and the Red, all find outlet through this one
stream. There are certain seasons in the year when all these widely
distant localities are subject to a gradual approach of warmth from the
south, until they arrive at a sort of climatic average. This creates a
maximum of the supply of water. The inverse then takes place, and a
minimum results. For instance, in the latter part of December, the lower
latitudes of the Mississippi begin to experience their annual rains.
These by degrees tend northward as the season advances. In March
commence the thaws of the southern borders of the zone of snow and ice;
and during April, May, and June, it reaches to the most distant
tributary fountain head. The river now is at its highest. The reverse
then sets in. All the tributaries have their excess, the heats of summer
are at hand, drought and evaporation soon exhaust the surplus of the
streams, and the river is at its lowest.

To meet the great annual excess of water in the Mississippi, nature has
provided sure safeguards. These are termed bayous, and are found
everywhere along the river, below the mouth of the Ohio. Additional
preventives against inundation are the lagoons, or sea-water lakes, of
the coast. Into these bayous and lagoons, as the river becomes high, the
excess of water backs or flows. They are natural reservoirs, to ease the
rise, and prevent the inevitable suddenness and danger which would
result without them. In these reservoirs the water rises or falls with
the river; and when the fall becomes permanent, the water in the
bayous--the lagoons having outlet into the sea--falls with it, returning
into the main stream, and finding entrance into the Gulf, from which it
had been temporarily detained. Without the bayous the lands adjacent to
the Lower Mississippi would, with very few exceptions, be subject to an
annual overflow, and be perfectly worthless for certain agricultural
purposes. In summer the bayous in numerous instances become perfectly
dry, and give a very singular effect to the appearance of the country.

Below the mouth of the Red River the tributaries of the Mississippi
cease, and the entire volume of the river is attained. As a protection
against serious consequences arising out of such an immense mass of
water, nature has again introduced a remedy. This consists in a number
of lateral branches, which leave the river a short distance below the
mouth of the Red, tending directly to the Gulf, through a continuous
chain of conduits, lakes, and marshes.

The principal bayous, which exert so important a part in regulating the
stage of this part of the river, are in length and distance from the
Gulf as follows:

                                                       _Distance By River._
                                                       _Miles._  _Miles._

  Bayou La Fourche, from the Mississippi River to the Gulf,   100       180
   " Plaquemine,        "               "          "           60       210
   " Manchac,           "               "          "           50       220
   " Atchafalaya,       "               "          "          110       300

The course of the bayous, it will be seen, have a more direct route than
the river. Their average width is one thousand feet, and fall twenty-two
feet. Their average velocity is about three and two tenths miles per
hour. Though the rise of the river at Baton Rouge sometimes attains a
height of thirty feet, so great is the relieving capacity of these
lateral branches, that at New Orleans the rise never exceeds twelve
feet. At Point à la Hache the difference between the highest and lowest
stage is but six feet; at Fort Jackson, four feet, while it falls to low
water mark when it enters the sea.

Having briefly noted the peculiarities of the Mississippi, a few facts
in recapitulation may place it in a more comprehensive attitude as
regards its appearance and size. In the north, after leaving the Falls
of St. Anthony, the river has but the characteristics of a single
stream, but below the Ohio we find it combines the peculiarities of a
number. The water here begins to show signs of almost a new nature and
greater density. The river develops into a much wider channel, and its
peculiarities become more marked and impressive.

Strange as it may seem, the greatest mean width of the Lower Mississippi
is at the confluence of the Ohio, and from this point it gradually
becomes narrower, until it is but little more than half that width as it
draws near the Gulf. This gives the river a kind of funnel shape, and if
it were not for the numerous bayous and lateral branches, which we have
explained, the most violent convulsion and devastation would arise. In
the United States Engineer Reports we find this statement:

  The mean width of the Mississippi
  River between the Ohio             _Feet._
  and Arkansas Rivers,               4,500

  Mean width between the Arkansas
  and Red Rivers,                    4,100

  Mean width between the Red
  River and Donaldsonville,          3,000

  Mean width between Donaldsonville
  and the Gulf,                      2,500

Above the Red River the range between high and low water is about
forty-five feet, and thence to the Gulf it gradually diminishes to zero.

The greatest velocity of current is about five and a half miles per hour
during floods, and about one and a half miles per hour during low water.

The river is above mean height from January to July, and below from
August to December. The greatest height is attained from March to June,
and the lowest from October to November.

The mud of the Mississippi is very yielding, insomuch that an allowance
of several feet is often made where the draught of a vessel exceeds the
clear depth of the water. We have heard of cases where steamers have
ploughed successfully through four feet of it.

It is singular, too, and exhibits still more clearly what we have said
of deposits, that the lower river for the most part runs along the
summit of a ridge of its own formation, and annually this ridge is
becoming more elevated. The inland deposits are made by the bayous and
their overflow. The lands close to the river are disproportionately
higher than those farther back. The average distance from the river to
the swamp is about two and a half miles. And the slope in some places
sinks to a depression of eighteen feet to a mile. It is upon this strip
of tillable earth that the river plantations are located. By a system of
drainage even much of the swamp lands now unconverted might soon be
turned to profitable use.

The numerous islands and old channels of the Mississippi are also
another source of wonder to the traveller. The 'cut offs,' previously
explained, are mainly the cause of both. In the first instance, the
river forces its way by a new route, and joins the river below; this
necessarily detaches a certain amount of land from the main shore. As
for the second, after the river has taken this new route, its main
abrasive action follows with it. The water in the old channel becomes
comparatively quiet, sediment is rapidly deposited, and in course of
time the old bed loses its identity, or becomes a beautiful lake,
numerous instances of which occur between the Ohio and the Red Rivers.

As the Mississippi reaches the neighborhood of the Balize the east banks
slope to the sea level very rapidly, running off toward the end at a
declination of three feet to a mile; after which, the land is soon lost
in wet sea marsh, covered by tides. On the west side the land declines
more slowly, and in some places is deeply wooded. The chenières begin
where the declination ends, and the great reservoirs of the coast, the
lakes and lagoons, begin.

The incessant changes in the channel and filling up of the Mississippi
preclude the possibility of a table of distances mathematically
accurate, yet we have taken from accepted authorities the number of
miles from the Gulf to the principal points along its banks. The table
may be of service to the many that are daily tending to the great Father
of Rivers, and those at home may be able to form, perhaps, a better
estimate of the immense length of the stream, by having before them
these figures:

TABLE _of Distances and Altitudes on the Mississippi_.

                                                           _Above level_
  From the Gulf of Mexico                             _Miles.  of the sea_.
  To New Orleans, La.,                                   110           10.5
  "  Donaldsonville, La.,                                188           ....
  "  Plaquemine, La.,                                    210           ....
  "  Baton Rouge, La.,                                   240           ....
  "  Port Hudson, La.,                                   263           ....
  "  Bayou Sara, La.,                                    275           ....
  "  Mouth of the Red River, La.,                        315             76
  "  Fort Adams, Miss.,                                  327           ....
  "  Natchez, Miss.,                                     387             86
  "  Grand Gulf, Miss.,                                  450           ....
  "  Warrenton, Miss.,                                   500           ....
  "  Vicksburg, Miss.,                                   512           ....
  "  Mouth of the Yazoo River, Miss.,                    522           ....
  "  Milliken's Bend, La.,                               538           ....
  "  Lake Providence, La.,                               588           ....
  "  Greenville, Miss.,                                  657           ....
  "  Napoleon, Ark., and mouth of the Arkansas River,    730           ....
  "  Mouth of White River, Ark.,                         756           ....
  "  Helena, Ark.,                                       838           ....
  "  Mouth of St. Francis River, Ark.,                   848           ....
  "  Memphis, Tenn.,                                     928           ....
  "  New Madrid, Mo.,                                  1,113           ....
  "  Columbus, Ky.,                                    1,167           ....
  "  Cairo, Ill., and mouth of Ohio River,             1,187            324
  "  Cape Girardeau, Mo.,                              1,237           ....
  "  St. Louis, Mo.,                                   1,388            382
  "  Mouth of the Illinois River,                      1,422           ....
  "  Upper Iowa River, Io.,                            1,984           ....
  "  Mouth of St. Peter's River, Minn.,                2,198            744
  "  Falls of St. Anthony, Minn.,                      2,206            856
  "  Lake Cass, Minn.,                                 2,761          1,402
  "  Itasca Lake, Minn.,                               2,890          1,575
  "  Springs on the summit of Hauteurs de Terre,       2,896          1,680

The Lower Mississippi presents another feature that should not be
forgotten, and which sets forth a great design. Immense forests of
cottonwood and ash are to be seen growing along its banks. These trees
are of rapid growth, and afford excellent (in fact the best, with the
exception of coal) fuel for steamers. Indeed, they constitute much the
greater portion of wood consumed in river navigation. So suitable is the
rich alluvion of the river banks to the growth of these trees, that in
ten years they attain to a sufficient size for felling. Plantations
lying uncultivated for a single year, in the second present a handsome
young growth of cottonwood. This fact is now very well proven on the
Mississippi; the war has ruined agricultural labor almost entirely. No
apprehensions are ever felt by steamboat men on the subject of fuel; the
supply is inexhaustible and reproducing.

The other woods found upon the river, but not, let it be said, to the
extent of the cottonwood or the ash, are the live and water oak, swamp
dogwood, willow, myrtle, wild pecan, elm, and ash. The cypress tree is
found in extensive forests back from the river in the swamps. This tree
attains an enormous height, and is without branches until attaining the
very top, and then they are short and crooked, presenting a very fine
and sparse foliage. The wood of the cypress is very little used upon the
river, not, perhaps, in consequence of its inferiority of quality, but
the difficulty of access to it.

In conclusion, we cannot withhold a few words upon the singular typical
similarity between the appearance of vegetation upon its banks and the
river itself. Gray forests of cypress, the blended foliage of the oak,
the cottonwood, and the ash, with a charming intermixture of that
beautiful parasitic evergreen, the mistletoe, above Vicksburg, suggest
the blooming grandeur of the stream. Below, the appearance of a new
parasite, the Spanish moss, draping the trees with a cold, hoary-looking
vegetation, casts a melancholy and matured dignity upon the scene. Like
the gray locks of age, it reminds the passer by of centuries gone, when
the red savage in his canoe toiled upon its turbid flood; it recalls the
day of discovery, when De Soto and La Salle sought its mighty torrent in
search of gain, and found death; and now looms before us the noblest
picture of all, the existence of a maturing civilization upon its banks.
Associated thus with an ever-present suggestion of a remarkable and
ever-forming antiquity, the Mississippi becomes indeed the wonder of
waters. Ponce de Leon, that most romantic of early Spanish explorers,
traversed the continent in search of a 'fountain of everlasting youth;'
the powerful republic of the West, has _found_ in the 'Father of Waters'
a fountain and a stream of everlasting, vigorous life, wealth, and
convenience.



SKETCHES OF AMERICAN LIFE AND SCENERY.

IV.--MOUNTAIN WAYS.


LUCY D----. Aunt Sarah, did you ever read the Declaration of
Independence?

MRS. GRUNDY. What a question! In my youth it was read
regularly, once a year, at every Fourth of July celebration.

LUCY D----. Did you ever, when listening to it, consider that
your interest in its enunciation of principles was merely incidental,
not direct?

MRS. GRUNDY. How so?

LUCY D----. The 'all men' that are born 'equal,' and with an
'inalienable right to liberty,' does not include you, because, although
you are white, you are a woman.

MRS. GRUNDY. What covert heresy is this, Lucy, with which you
are endeavoring to mystify my old-fashioned notions?

LUCY D----. I advocate no theory. I merely state a fact. My own
belief is, that men are born very _unequal_ (I do not mean _legally_,
but _really_, as they stand in the sight of God), and that they, as well
as we, are free only to do what is right in the fulfilment of
_inalienable duties_. 'Life' and the 'pursuit of happiness' must both
yield to the exactions of such duties. I must confess, however, that,
let my abstract views be as they may, I have occasionally embraced in
their widest extent the generalizations of the Declaration of
Independence; and nowhere has the right of 'Life, Liberty, and the
Pursuit of Happiness' seemed to me so precious and delightful a
possession as, when seated on top of a stage coach, I have breathed the
exhilarating atmosphere of some elevated mountain region. As to
equality, I must also say, that _there_ especially do I feel my
inferiority to, and dependence on the driver, who, in his sphere, reigns
a king.

MRS. GRUNDY. In my day, _ladies_ were always expected to take
inside seats.

LUCY D----. Yes, and be shut up behind a great leather strap, so
that if anything happened, they would be the last to reach the door! I
have a few notes of a stage-coach journey, made last summer. If you
like, I will read it to you while you work on that interminable afghan.
By the way, Aunt Sarah, I do not think you have labored quite so
energetically since the late decision made by the Metropolitan Fair in
regard to raffling. How is that?

MRS. GRUNDY. My dear, I must acknowledge that my ardor is a
little lessened since I began this piece of work, for then I had not
only a vision of the poor soldiers to be aided by my labor, but I also
fancied that this warm wrapping, instead of adding a new lustre to the
carriage of some luxurious lady, might perchance fall to the share of
some poor widow; and these beautiful embroidered leaves and blossoms
might delight some sickly child, whose best covering had hitherto been a
faded blanket shawl, and whose mother was too poor to afford the
indulgence of real flowers, purchased from some collection of exotics,
or plucked by the pale fingers from some fragrant country wayside.
However, I know that was an idle fancy, and the imagination is a
dangerous guide. I surely would never call in question the soundness of
a decision made by so many excellent and respectable people. Read on, if
you please. You know me to be a patient listener.

LUCY D----. Yes, dear aunt, and I know, too, that charity--that
crown of virtues--can warm and expand the primmest conventionality, and
lend bright wings of beauty to the most commonplace conception. The same
Divine Love that fringes dusty highways with delicate, fragrant
blossoms, can cause even the arid soil of worldliness to teem with
lovely growths and refreshing fruits. But, a truce to this digression,
to which, as I foresaw, you give no heed; and now to my notes:

One cool, sunshiny morning in August, a lady traveller, bent for once on
gratifying the whim of seeing what lay beyond the blue hills in the far
distance, left the Laurel House (Catskill Mountains), and took her way
toward Tannersville. Two ladies, charming companions, accompanied her as
far as the bridge over the mill stream, where she struck into a
neglected byway, leading past a melancholy graveyard. The air was
delicious, the mountains were clear, but softened by a dreamy haze; each
cottage garden was bright with phlox, bergamot, mallows, and
nasturtiums, and the soul of the traveller was filled with gratitude
that this earth had been made so beautiful, and she had been given
health, strength, opportunity, and a stout heart to enjoy it.

Tannersville reached, an outside seat was secured on the Lexington
stage. The sharers of my lofty station were a gentleman on his way to
join wife and children at Hunter, and a tattered, greasy-looking
Copperhead.

The 'sunny hill' (Clum's) was soon left behind; the opening of the
Plattekill Clove, with its beautiful mountains and deep hollows (Mink
and Wildcat), passed, and the distant peaks beyond Lexington loomed up
fair as the enchanted borders of the land of Beulah. The hay was nearly
gathered in, and the oats were golden on the hillsides. Men for
farmwork were evidently scarce, and the driver said they had nearly all
gone to the war. The Copperhead remarked: 'I was always too smart for
that, I was.'

The driver told him his turn would come yet, for he would certainly be
drafted. Copperhead said he had the use of only one arm. Driver opined
that would make no difference; they took all, just as they came.
Copperhead grumbled out: 'Yes; I know we ha'n't got no laws nohow!'

At Hunter, the wife and two ruddy little boys came out to meet the
expected head of the family. A bright and happy meeting! The Copperhead
also got down, and took seat inside the stage, where he was soon joined
by a country lassie, whose merry voice speedily gave token of
acquaintance and satisfaction with her fellow traveller.

Opposite Hunter is the most beautiful view of the Stony Clove. The high
and narrow cleft opens to the south, and I thought of loved ones miles
and miles away.

Beyond Hunter, a long, straggling village, with some neat houses, the
road becomes smoother, and gradually descends along the east bank of the
Schoharie, which it rarely leaves. The meadow lands widen a little, and
the way is fringed by maples, beeches, alders, hemlocks, birches, and
occasional chestnuts. The stream is rapid, clear, and, though without
any noteworthy falls, a cheerful, agreeable companion. The mountains on
the left bank are steep and rugged; near Hunter, burnt over; afterward,
green to the top, and, while occasionally curving back from the stream,
and thus forming hollows or ravines, still presenting not a single cleft
between Stony Clove and the clove containing the West Kill, and opening
out from Lexington toward Shandaken. The West Kill enters the Schoharie
a little below Lexington, and the East Kill flows in above, near Jewett.

Every farm glittered with golden sunflowers. I saw one misguided blossom
obstinately turning its face away from the great source of light and
heat. Every petal was drooping, and I wondered if the dwellers in the
neighboring cot heeded the lesson. The buckwheat fields were snowy
with blossoms and fragrant as the new honey the bees were industriously
gathering.

Lexington is a lovely village, with pretty dwellings, soft meadows, and
an infinite entanglement of mountains, great and small, green and blue,
for background in every direction. I had already been warned that the
stage went no farther; and, as my destination that evening was
Prattsville, some means of conveyance was of course necessary. The
driver feared the horses would all be engaged haying, and asked what I
would do in case no wagon could be found. I replied that, as the
distance from Lexington to Prattsville was only seven miles, and I had
no luggage, it might readily be accomplished on foot. He opened his
eyes, and, perhaps, finding the Lexington hotel not likely to be
benefited by my delay, cast about for some way of obliging me. As we
drove up to the post office, the door was found locked, and Uncle
Samuel's agent absent, which circumstance, taken in connection with the
fact that the mail comes to Lexington only twice per week, struck me as
decidedly 'cool.'

By six o'clock I found myself seated in a comfortable buggy, behind a
sleek, fleet pony, and beside an old gentleman, whose upright mien and
pleasant talk added no little to the enjoyment of the hour. The evening
lights were charming, the hills wound in and out, the Schoharie rippled
merrily over the cobble stones or slate rocks forming its bed, and the
clematis and elder bushes gently waved their treasures of white
blossoms, silky seeds, or deepening berries, in the soft summer air. By
and by the slate cliffs rose precipitously from the river shore, leaving
only room sufficient for the road, which, is in fact, sometimes
impassable, when the rains or melting snows have swollen the singing
river to an angry, foaming, roaring flood. My companion told me of the
agriculture of the district, of the wild Bushnell Clove, of bees and
honey making, and of the Prattsville tanneries, which he stigmatized as
a curse to the country, cutting down all the trees, and leaving only
briers and brambles in their stead. He also told me of two brave sons in
the Union army, and of a married daughter far away. The oldest boy had
been wounded at Gettysburg, and all three children had recently been
home on a short visit. 'Children,' said the old man, 'are a heap more
trouble when they are grown than when they are little; for then they all
go away, and keep one anxious the whole time.'

We drove under the steep ledges, the hills of Beulah were passed, and
Prattsville reached.

The following morning was bright and clear, but warm. I rose early, and
went up on the high bluffs overlooking the town. Below was a pretty
pastoral view of stream, meadow, hop fields, pasture lands with cattle,
sundry churches, and neat white houses, shut in by great hills, many
bare, and a few still wooded. Passing beneath the highest ledge, I came
upon an old man, a second Old Mortality, chipping away at the background
for a medallion of the eldest son of Colonel Zadoc Pratt, a gallant
soldier, who fell, I believe, at the second battle of Manassas. On a
dark slab, about five hundred and fifty feet above the river, is a
profile in white stone of the great tanner himself. An honest countryman
had previously pointed it out to me, saying: 'A good man, Colonel
Pratt--but that looks sort of foolish; people will have their failings,
and vanity is not one of the worst!' On the above-mentioned ledges are
many curious carvings, a record of 'one million sides of leather tanned
with hemlock bark at the Pratt tanneries in twenty years,' and other
devices, such as niches to sit in, a great sofa wrought from the solid
rock, and a pretty spring.

At ten o'clock the stage came from Delhi, which place it had left at two
in the morning. Seventy miles from Delhi to Catskill--a good day's
journey! It was full, and our landlord put on an extra, giving me a seat
beside the driver, and filling the inside with men. Said driver was a
carpenter, and an excellent specimen of an American
mechanic--intelligent and self-respecting. This is a great cattle and
dairy region, and we passed several hundred lambs on their way to the
New York market. The driver pitied the poor creatures; and, when passing
through a drove, endeavored to frighten them as little as possible.
'Innocent things!' said he, 'they have just been taken from their
mothers, and know not which way to turn. I hate to think of their being
slaughtered, for what is so meek and so joyous as a young lamb!'

I thought:

    'Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis!
    Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis!
    Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi, dona nobis pacem!'

--the 'nobis' to include the poor lambs.

At the first turn in the road we passed a great bowlder, known
throughout the country as 'the big rock.' Beside the highway flows the
Red Kill, a tributary of the Schoharie. There are some trout in it, but
a couple of cotton factories have frightened them nearly all away. A hot
political discussion soon arose among the inside passengers. Our driver
seemed to think loud and angry words quite out of place, and said: 'I am
a Democrat myself, but the other day I had a talk with the Republican
tax collector of our place, and I concluded we both wanted about one
thing--the good of our country. _Honest_ Republicans and _honest_
Democrats are not so far asunder as people usually think.'

Mountain after mountain stretched away to north, south, east, and west,
blue or green, bright or dark, as distance or the shadows of the
beautiful cumulus clouds severally affected them. Up, up we wound, the
merry kill dancing beside us, and the air growing fresher and more
elastic with every foot of ascent. The country is quite well settled,
and we rose through Red Falls and Ashland to Windham, a long,
peculiar-looking town, where we dined, and exchanged our two stages for
a large one seating eighteen persons (inside and out), and drawn by four
fresh steeds. The mountains grew wilder, the air cooler, and finally
Windham High Peak or Black Head, a great round-topped peak, appeared on
the right. A party from Albany had that day gone up. No water can be
found near the top. This is thought to be the loftiest summit of the
range (3,926 feet), but our new driver said there was another peak
toward the southwest, which he fancied higher.

In the cleft between Windham High Peak and the mountain to the north,
runs the road, which suddenly emerges from the defile and overlooks the
open country. We here find no long cleft as in the Kauterskill,
Plattekill, and Stony Cloves, but the highway descends along the face of
the mountain slope. The first view is toward the northeast, and, of a
clear day, must be very fine. The distance was hazy, but the atmospheric
effects on the near mountains only the more beautiful. The road is
generally through cleared lands, so that the view is constantly visible,
and continually opening out toward the south. Acra, Cairo, and Leeds
were all passed through, and Catskill reached about half past six in the
evening. Kiskatom Round Top rose round and dark to the south of Cairo,
whence also the entire western slope of the Catskills was plainly
visible, a soft, flowing, and tender outline. Near Leeds, on the
Catskill Creek, are some curious rocks. We had changed drivers at Cairo.
The new one was a jollier specimen of humanity than any I had yet seen;
he evidently loved good living, and would not refuse a glass of grog
when off duty. His team was named Lightfoot, Ladybird, Vulture, and
Rowdy, and was coaxed along with gentle words, as: 'Go on, little ones!'
'Get up, lambs!' and similar endearing appellations.

The sunset was glorious. Round Top and Overlook were bathed in purple
red; crimson clouds hung over the North and South Mountains, while Black
Head and the surrounding summits were partly obscured, partly thrown out
by heavy storm clouds.

The night was sultry, and the succeeding morning opaque with an August
fog. Rising early, I sat upon the upper gallery of the little Catskill
inn, and watched the manners and customs of the street corners. An old,
one-armed man, with a younger and more stalwart, appeared at a sort of
chest counter, covered by a bower of green boughs, and drew out two
tables, which were then placed at the edge of the pavement. The chest
was unlocked, and forth came several bushels of potatoes, three or four
dozen wilted ears of corn, two squashes (one white and one orange),
three half-decayed cabbage heads, a quantity of smoked sturgeon, a dish
of blueberries, and a great pan of blackberries. These dainties were
arranged and rearranged upon the tables, to make them look as attractive
as possible, and then left to the sun, the dust, and the flies, to
improve as they best might. Weary hours passed, and customers came
slowly in. At one o'clock, when I left, about half the original stock
remained. On the opposite corner was a group of children struggling for
the possession of two lively kittens: wrangling, coaxing, defying,
yielding, and pouting, gave animation to a scene, in which a pretty,
saucy girl, and a lazy, lordly lad were the principal actors. Down came
the lawyer to the fat, sleek, clean-looking negro barber, to be shaved,
and then away up to the court house, with a jaunty, swinging,
self-satisfied air, that said plainly enough--'Find me a smarter man
than I, will you?' A tipsy porter came staggering under a load for the
down boat; a dusty miller wended his way to a flour store; a little
contraband carried home a fish as long as himself; an indignant, dirty,
black-bearded mulatto cursed at his recent employer, whom he accused of
having defrauded him of his wages; a neat, trig damsel tripped by in
cool morning dress; a buxom dame, unmistakeably English, in great round
hat, brim about a foot radius, swept past the humble market stand; a
natty storekeeper came to his door, and looked out for customers; a
servant lass, sent out with a pretty child in a little wagon to purchase
a newspaper, stopped at a milliner's to read some interesting item to
the shop girl; two young officers, in gay new uniforms, sauntered by; a
crippled soldier hobbled along on a crutch, stages rushed down from the
mountains, parties in buggies and on horseback flew past, the dust
thickened, the sun came out clear and burning, the din increased, and I
went down to the little parlor in search of shade and quiet.

At one the stage for the Mountain House started. The passengers had
already waited three hours for the arrival of the down boat, delayed by
the fog. They were consequently in no very cheerful frame of mind, and
grumbled and growled all the way up the mountain. The day was very warm
(94° in the shade), the horses were wearied out by so many journeys up
and down, and the five outside and two inside gentlemen seemed by no
means willing to relieve their aching limbs and panting hearts. When we
reached the steep portion of the ascent, not a single one offered to
walk. I felt ashamed--three were Germans, and four my own countrymen. Of
the inside ladies, one was German, and four were Americans. In vain did
the mountains, with alternate sun and shadow, shining slopes and
passionate thunder clouds, don their loveliest aspect. Though never up
before, the young German lady and one of the New Yorkers _read_ nearly
the whole way to the summit; another lady kept down her veil, and
refused to look out, because it was _so_ sunny; the German youth slept,
and one only of the inside passengers seemed to feel any real interest
in the beautiful and gradual unveiling of the mysteries of these noble
hills. When about half a mile above the toll-gate, the horses stopped
to rest, and I could no longer endure the idea of their straining up the
steep declivity under so heavy a load. I asked a gentleman to open the
door for me, as I would walk a way, and thus relieve the poor animals of
at least one hundred and ten pounds. Walk I did, but not a single
individual followed my example. Heavy drops began to fall, the thunder
muttered, and I reached Rip Van Winkle's fabled retreat barely in time
to escape a wetting. As the stage came lumbering up with its load of
stout, well-fed men, a young woman in the little hut called out: 'Just
see them _hogs_ on top of that coach!'

Whether the gentlemen heard her, I know not, but the rain having ceased,
all left the top of the vehicle and walked thence to the Mountain House.

I reached the Laurel House in the early twilight, and thus happily ended
my three days' journey.



THE MARCH OF LIFE.

    Less from evils borne we suffer
      Than from those we apprehend,
    And no path through life seems rougher
      Than the one which we ascend.

    But though Time delights in dealing
      Wounds which he alone can heal,
    And the sorrows wed to feeling
      Make it misery to feel;

    Nobler than the soulless Stoic,
      He, who, like the Theban chief,
    Till the fight is won, heroic
      Hides the rankling dart of grief.

    Lords of an immortal glory
      Be the slaves of mortal shame!
    No; though Martyrdom before ye
      Rear a precipice of flame.

    On the barriers that dismay us
      Carve the charter of your birth;
    True endurance, like Antæus,
      Strengthens with each cast to earth.

    Wayward man too often fritters
      Living destinies away,
    Chasing a mirage that glitters
      To bewilder and betray.

    Then press upward in the vanguard;
      Be not guided by the blind;
    For when Vigor waves the standard
      Triumph is not far behind.

    It was that which led the marches
      Through the Revolution's snows,
    And through Jena's fiery arches
      Rolled destruction on its foes.

    Then if failure blunt your spirit,
      Think of this before you swerve:
    He has glory who has merit--
      It is royal to deserve.



THOMAS DE QUINCEY AND HIS WRITINGS.


No more signal service, during the last half century, has been rendered
to the lovers of genuine books, than the collection and republication of
the fragmentary writings of Thomas de Quincey. Cast, for the most part,
upon the swollen current of periodical literature, at the summons of
chance or necessity, during a career protracted beyond the allotted
threescore years and ten, the shattered hand of the Opium Eater was
powerless to arrest their flight to silence and forgetfulness;
increasing remoteness was daily throwing a deeper shadow upon ancient
landmarks, and consequently upon the possibility of their recovery. When
Mr. de Quincey was urged to attempt the collection himself, his emphatic
reply was: 'Sir, the thing is absolutely, insuperably, and forever
impossible. Not the archangel Gabriel, nor his multipotent adversary,
durst attempt any such thing!' From that quarter, then, nothing could be
expected; but the intervention of other parties averted a catastrophe
melancholy to contemplate--restoring to us a vast body of literature,
unique in character and supreme in kind. We do not pretend that De
Quincey has yet been awarded by any very general suffrage the foremost
position among modern _littérateurs_; we expect that his popularity will
be of slow growth, and never universal. Universal popularity a writer of
the highest talent and genius can never secure, for his very loftiness
of thought and impassioned eccentricity cut him off from the sympathy,
and hence from the applause, of a vast section of humanity. But when
contemporary prejudice and indifference shall clear up, and the question
be summoned for final arbitration before the dispassionate tribunal of
the future, we suspect that the name of Thomas de Quincey will head the
list of English writers during the last seventy-five years. If we should
apply to our author the rule which he remorselessly enforces against Dr.
Parr, that the production of a complete, first-class work is the only
absolute test of first-class literary ability, our position would be
untenable, for it is notorious that De Quincey's writings are entirely
fragmentary. But it will never do to lay down a canon of that sort as
the basis of calculation in estimating the intellectual altitude of
literary men. The wider the field the greater the scope for grandeur of
design and the pomp of achievement; but it is seldom that a writer who
can produce an essay of the highest order cannot also meet successfully
the demands of a more protracted effort. Narrowness of bounds, want of
compass for complete elaboration, is often no slight obstacle. The more
minute the mechanism, the more arduous the approach to perfection. The
limits of the essay are at best cramped, and the compression, the
adjusting of the subject to those limits, so that its character and
bearings may be naturally and perspicuously exhibited, imply no ordinary
skill. Besides, the advisability, or rather the possibility of
undertaking a literary work of the first magnitude is dependent not less
upon circumstances beyond the range of individual control than upon
intellectual capacity.

In asserting for De Quincey the leading position among the writers of
this century, we are clothing him with no ordinary honors--honors which
no man can rightfully enjoy without mental endowments at once multiform
and transcendent. Our age thus far has been prolific in genius,
inferior, indeed, to no other, except, perhaps, the Elizabethan; and,
even here, inferior only at two points, tragedy and that section of
poetry in which alone is found the incarnation of the sublime--the
divine strains of John Milton. But in range of achievement our epoch has
scarcely a rival. Mighty champions have arisen in almost every
department of letters, and it is plain that, amid merits so divergent
and wide removed, we can justly ascribe absolute precedence to no man
without establishing, at the outset, a standard of ideal excellence,
and by that adjusting the claims of all competitors.

We may remark, then, in general, that few first-class writers have
appeared who did not require as a condition of success varied and
profound learning. Kant, indeed, won immortality by the efforts of blank
power. It is said that he never read a book; so wonderful was his
synthetical and logical power, that if he could once discover the
starting point, the initial principles of a writer, there was no
occasion for his toiling through the intermediate argumentation to reach
the conclusions--he grasped them almost intuitively, provided, of
course, the deductions were logical. But even Kant, had his acquaintance
with the literature of metaphysics been more extensive, would have
avoided many errors, as well as the trouble of discovering many truths
in which he had been long anticipated. Herder thought that too much
reading had hurt the spring and elasticity of his mind. Doubtless we may
carry our efforts to excess in this direction as well as any other, by
calling into unduly vigorous and persistent action the merely receptive
energies of the mind. Perhaps this was the case with Herder, as the
range of his reading was truly immense; but if so, it argues with fatal
effect against his claims to the highest order of intellect; if the
weight of his body was too great for his wings, there lurked somewhere a
sad defect. In the vast plurality of cases success lies in, and is
graduated by, the intensity of mental reaction upon that which has been
acquired from others. The achievements of the past are stepping stones
to the conquests of the present. New truths, new discoveries, are old
truths, old discoveries remodelled and shifted so as to meet the view
under a different angle; new structures are in no proper sense
creations, but mainly the product of a judicious eclecticism. Sir
William Hamilton was a vast polyhistor long before he could be called a
philosopher, or even thought himself one. Researches the most persistent
in nearly every department of letters were with him the indispensable
prelude to his subsequent triumphs.

But all this is simply conditional. What, then, are the powers which
nature alone can bestow? What must she have done before the highest
results can arise from literary effort, however immense the compass of
our information? There must be powerful analytic and discursive ability,
combined with a commensurate reach of constructive and imaginative
capacity. An intellect thus endowed, approaches the perfection of our
ideal. If one of these elements is deficient, we shall lack either depth
or brilliance, acuteness or fancy; our structures may be massive,
titanic, but hostile to the laws of a refined taste; colossal and
dazzling, but too airy and unsubstantial except for the few who are

  'With reason mad, and on phantoms fed.'

Before some such ideal tribunal as this let us summon the aspirants to
the dictatorial honors which seem to have slumbered since the day of Dr.
Johnson, and arbitrate their claims.

Who shall combat the succession of Thomas de Quincey to this vacant
throne? Shall it be Coleridge, 'the noticeable man with large, gray
eyes,' or the stately Macaulay, or Carlyle, with his Moorish dialect and
sardonic glance, or hale old Walter Scott, or Lamb, or Hazlitt, or
Christopher North? The time was when Coleridge's literary fame was
second to that of no other man. But he has suffered a disastrous
eclipse; it has been articulately demonstrated that the vast body of his
most valuable speculations, both in the department of philosophy, and
also in that of poetry and of the fine arts generally, were so
unblushingly pirated from Schelling and other German writers, that all
defence, even that which was merely palliative, has signally failed.
That fact silences absolutely and forever his claim. Nor can the
pretensions of Macaulay or Carlyle be tolerated; in neither of them is
found in any marked degree what has been aptly called 'double-headed'
power--in neither are combined the antagonistic resources of profound
thought and brilliant imagination. Macaulay, unapproachable in the
delineation of character and in the mastery of stately narrative, seems
to be shorn of his wonted power in the presence of the higher
philosophical and moral questions--the flight that is elsewhere so bold
and triumphant, droops and falters here. As for Carlyle, to say nothing
of other faults, we vainly search his writings for anything positive; he
is a blank destroyer, breathing out everlasting denunciation and regret.
No man can possess the highest order of talent or genius whose powers
are essentially negative. Mere demolition--demolition which is not the
first step in the advance of reform and reconstruction, the preliminary
removal of ancient rubbish for the erection of newer and nobler
structures--is worse than futile. But we will not pursue farther this
phase of our subject. We take our stand upon the position, and think it
can be maintained against all comers, that these writers, and others
which might be named, although supreme in certain departments, fail in
_range_ of power; in other words, that they have specialities outside of
which they attain no remarkable excellence. Scott, for instance, is
unsurpassed in the drama of fiction; but in the more transcendent sphere
of poetry his success is open to a very serious demur. But how is the
case with De Quincey? Did he ever write a poem? No; but he was
nevertheless a poet of the first rank. Did he ever publish a treatise on
metaphysics? No. His great work 'De Emendatione Humani Intellectus,' was
never completed, but he was, notwithstanding, an acute philosopher. The
author of no complete history, he was not the less a divine master of
historic narration, grave or gay, sententious or impassioned. No one is
more profoundly convinced than ourselves that mere rhetorical
declamation, and the sepulchral voice of fulsome eulogy can never
establish claims of such vast magnitude. What has Mr. de Quincey
achieved, what range of capacity has he exhibited in the memorials he
has left behind, in the grand conceptions that have arisen upon his
mind, whether completely projected into the sphere of tangible reality
or not?--these are the crucial questions upon which hang for him the
trophies of renown or the dark drapery of oblivion.

Every person who is competent to form an opinion on the subject, very
readily allows that political economy, so infinite and subtile are the
forces that enter into its shifting phenomena, is a science of no slight
complexity, and that the successful unveiling of its disordered tissue
demands, in the first instance, the highest intellectual acuteness and
profundity. We here encounter the same obstacles as in metaphysics,
except that in the one case the phenomena investigated are subjective,
in the other objective. Both conditions have peculiar advantages; both
are open to peculiar difficulties, which it is unnecessary to discuss at
present. But the power which can grapple successfully with the vexed
complications of the one will be no less potent in piercing those of the
other; acuteness of analysis, sleepless insight, subtile thought, ample
constructive or synthetic ability, these are the only endowments out of
which any original success can arise in either case. What has Mr. de
Quincey achieved for the science of political economy? We might answer
by asking, What has Mr. Ricardo achieved in that department? Ricardo and
De Quincey had independently arrived at the same conclusions on the
subject at about the same time. The fact that Ricardo first proclaimed
to the world his revolutionary doctrines of rent and value has won for
him the lion's share of the applause they compelled; but that rendered
De Quincey's independent conclusions none the less real discoveries,
subtracted nothing from the aggregate of his real merit. The vast
obstacles which lay in the path of these discoveries can never be fully
appreciated, until we apprehend, to some extent, the apparently hopeless
and inextricable confusion with which the whole subject was at that time
invested: out of the blackness of darkness, out of the very heart of
chaos and anarchy rose two mighty luminaries, that have been polar
beacons to all subsequent explorers. De Quincey's writings on political
economy are partially fragmentary; that is, they do not exhaust the
subject as a whole, although thoroughly probing several capital points
upon which the entire subject turns. Sometimes he ostensibly limits
himself to elucidating and defending Ricardo's views; but the discussion
is conducted with so much ease and force and fertility of resources,
disclosing at times a depth of insight far outstripping that of his
pretended master, that we cannot resist the conclusion that the
doctrines which he defends are in fact discoveries of his
own--discoveries which, finding himself anticipated in their
publication, he generously turns to the advantage of his fortunate
rival. Although De Quincey gravely assures us that in his opinion
Ricardo is a 'model of perspicuity,' we suspect that few will agree with
him, as his thought is always subtile and sometimes perplexed; but De
Quincey--while not at all inferior in acuteness and power of thought, in
perception of shy differences and resemblances between contrasted
objects, winning at this point even the praise of John Stuart Mill--in
elasticity, force, and elegance of style, infinitely surpasses the whole
race of political economists. We know of nothing throughout the vast
range of economic investigation more admirable, being at once clear and
conclusive, simple and profound, culminating in the utter razing and
dismantling of the Malthusian theory, than the discussion of value in
the 'Templars' Dialogues.' There is no faltering, no hesitation, no
discursiveness; the arrow flies swiftly and fatally to the mark. It is
not possible, or desirable, at the present time, to discuss minutely De
Quincey's achievements as exhibited in his 'Logic of Political Economy'
and 'Templars' Dialogues:' in these works he laid the foundation of a
colossal structure, which the distraction of nervous misery never
allowed him to complete. He had laboriously gathered the materials out
of every nation and tongue; he had painfully perfected the vast design;
but, when standing on the very verge of triumph, he was doomed to see
life-long hopes extinguished forever, success slipped from his nerveless
grasp in the moment of victory. Surely he might join in the passionate
lament:

    'I feel it, I have heaped upon my brain
    The gathered treasures of man's thought in vain.'

The subjects which De Quincey has critically investigated are very
numerous, and it cannot be expected that our limits will permit any
exhaustive enumeration of them. We propose to select a few of the more
prominent, which will serve as exponents of the whole.

De Quincey's views on war will doubtless be astounding to most persons
who have never given the subject any very particular attention. Deluded
by the false doctrines of peace societies, they doubtless regard war as
an evil, at once inhuman and unnecessary. Altogether hostile to this
idea is the position of De Quincey; he solemnly declares that war
neither can be abolished nor ought to be. 'Most heartily,' says he, 'and
with my profoundest sympathy, do I go along with Wordsworth in his grand
lyrical proclamation of a truth not less divine than it is mysterious,
not less triumphant than it is sorrowful, namely, that among God's
holiest instruments for the elevation of human nature is 'mutual
slaughter' among men; yes, that 'Carnage is God's daughter.'' 'Any
confederation or compact of nations for abolishing war would be the
inauguration of a downward path for man.' 'There is a mystery in
approaching this aspect of the case which no man has read fully. War has
a deeper and more ineffable relation to hidden grandeurs in man than has
as yet been deciphered. To execute judgments of retribution upon
outrages offered to human rights or to human dignity, to vindicate the
sanctities of the altar and the sanctities of the hearth--these are
functions of human greatness which war has many times assumed, and many
times faithfully discharged. But behind all these there towers dimly a
greater. The great phenomenon of war it is--this, and this only--which
keeps open in man a spiracle--an organ of respiration--for breathing a
transcendent atmosphere, and dealing with an idea that else would
perish--viz., the idea of mixed crusade and martyrdom, doing and
suffering, that finds its realization in such a battle as that of
Waterloo--viz., a battle fought for interests of the human race felt
even where they are not understood; so that the tutelary angel of man,
when he traverses such a dreadful field, when he reads the distorted
features, counts the ghastly ruins, sums the hidden anguish, and the
harvests

  'Of horror breathing from the silent ground,'

nevertheless, speaking as God's messenger, blesses it, and calls it very
good.'

Startling as these assertions may appear at first sight, they are,
notwithstanding, profoundly philosophical; all history proclaims their
solemn truth--is, in fact, totally inexplicable and confused on any
other supposition. History is by no means merely biography condensed;
far from it; biography is concerned with the shifting and ephemeral
career of individual men; but history, far transcending that lowly
sphere, records the revolution and progress of principles; these succeed
each other in everlasting succession, like the revolution of day and
night; and individuals rise into importance only as they stand related
to, are the agents of, this progress. The future is forever supplanting
the present; the feud is immortal--the antagonism inevitable; if effete
ideas and principles, which have accomplished their mission, refuse to
retire and peaceably give place to their legitimate successors, conflict
arises of necessity--a conflict in which the usurper must finally
triumph, or the wheels of human progress will be effectually blocked.
War, then, is necessary to the advance of humanity. Although De Quincey
discerns the absolute extinction of war only at the 'infinite and starry
distance of the Millennium,' still, as its enginery is becoming more and
more destructive, its danger and expense increasing, as the progress of
civilization is gradually effacing the darker stains from human society,
and luring it from the path of violence by the charm of luxurious
repose, the necessity of war will gradually disappear--its total decline
approach. We would remark in passing that De Quincey is altogether too
captious in his criticisms upon French ideas of war. So far as the
majority of men are concerned, whether Englishmen or Frenchmen, little
pain is taken to search out the philosophy of events. But Cousin, in his
'Course of History,' has asserted, even more peremptorily than De
Quincey himself, the divine mission of war. He essentially declares that
carnage is always and of necessity God's daughter: to this extreme
doctrine Mr. de Quincey would doubtless demur, averring that 'by
possibility' such _might_ not be the case.

Still profounder insight is disclosed in the article on 'Christianity as
an Organ of Political Movement.' It was a chance perusal of this essay
that first turned our attention to De Quincey's writings, and we
involuntarily exclaimed, as did he when first falling upon Ricardo's
work, 'Thou art the man!' The object in view is to distinguish
accurately between the Christian and pagan idea of religion. There has
been great confusion on this point. What is involved in the term
religion as used by a Christian? According to De Quincey there are four
elements: 1st. A form of worship; 2d. An idea of God; 3d. The idea of a
relation subsisting between God and His creatures; 4th. A doctrinal
part. Now, of these cardinal elements, only one, that of worship, was
present in pagan religions, and even this was so completely distorted,
arose from impulses so utterly despicable, as to be positively immoral
in its tendencies. The gods were, to their worshippers, dreadful
realities--monsters of crime, at once powerful and vindictive--the very
footballs of unhallowed passion; hence worship was not the result of
love or reverence, or even of a regard to future interests, but it was
simply an expedient to shun danger immediately behind--a mock truce
between immortal foes, which either party might violate at pleasure.
'Because the gods were wicked, man was religious; because Olympus was
cruel, earth trembled; because the divine beings were the most lawless
of Thugs, the human being became the most abject of sycophants.' Even in
the most solemn mysteries no such thing as _instruction_ was known--'the
priest did not address the people at all.' Hence all moral theories, all
doctrinal teaching was utterly disjoined from ancient religions--that
was resigned to nature--and, consequently, powerless alike to instruct
men or command their respect, they had no inherent, self-sustaining
energy, but were built upon a mere impulse, and that impulse was the
most abject terror. Where, then, lurks the transcendent power of
Christianity as an organ of political movement? Simply in the fact that
it brings men into the most tender and affecting relations with God,
and, over and above this, that it rests upon a dogmatic or doctrinal
basis. These features were never suspected even as possible until
Christianity revealed them. Hence Christianity 'carried along with
itself its own authentication; since, while other religions introduced
men simply to ceremonies and usages, which could furnish no aliment or
material for their intellect, Christianity provided an eternal
_palæstra_, or place of exercise, for the human understanding vitalized
by human affections: for every problem whatever, interesting to the
human intellect, provided only that it bears a moral aspect, immediately
passes into the field of religious speculation. Religion had thus become
the great organ of human culture.' Of this profound distinction De
Quincey was the original discoverer.

It is known, of course, to every literary person, that Bentley attempted
to _amend_ Milton's 'Paradise Lost,' and that, on the whole, he made a
very signal failure. It has been a matter of great surprise on the part
of many, that one who is so confessedly superior in the criticism of
classical poetry, whose ear was so exquisitely sensitive and accurate
when awakened by ancient lyres, should prove himself such a driveller in
the presence of the grandest cathedral-music of modern times. Coleridge
took occasion to observe that it was only our ignorance that prevented
Bentley's emendations and innovations from appearing as monstrous and
unnatural in the poetry of the ancients as in that of John Milton. The
charge appears very plausible and damaging at first sight. We notice it
in order to exhibit De Quincey's marvellous sagacity in detecting the
true relation of things: he utterly dissipated the force of the cavil by
simply stating the actual bearings of the two classes of poetry. Ancient
poetry was darkly austere and practical; the imagination was fettered by
a grim austerity; the merely passionate--that which proceeds from the
sphere of the sensibilities alone--finds no resting place in its vast
domain; but in the poetry of Milton the element of passion is
triumphant; hence Bentley, with his icy, critical, matter-of-fact
temperament, could never appreciate Milton's majestic flights. We cannot
refrain from quoting, at this point, De Quincey's acute and beautiful
parallel between Grecian and English tragedy:

     'The kind of feeling which broods over the Grecian tragedy, and to
     court which the tragic poets of Greece naturally spread all their
     canvas, was more nearly allied to the atmosphere of death than of
     life. This expresses rudely the character of awe and religious
     horror investing the Greek theatre. But to my own feeling the
     different principle of passion which governs the Greek conception
     of tragedy, as compared with the English, is best conveyed by
     saying that the Grecian is a breathing from the world of sculpture,
     the English a breathing from the world of painting. What we read in
     sculpture is not absolutely death, but still less is it the fulness
     of life. We read there the abstraction of a life that reposes, the
     sublimity of a life that aspires, the solemnity of a life that is
     thrown to an infinite distance. This last is the feature of
     sculpture which seems most characteristic: the form which presides
     in the most commanding groups 'is not dead, but sleepeth:' true;
     but it is the sleep of a life sequestrated, solemn, liberated from
     the bonds of time and space, and (as to both alike) thrown (I
     repeat the words) to a distance which is infinite. It affects us
     profoundly, but not by agitation. Now, on the other hand, the
     breathing life--life kindling, trembling, palpitating--that life
     which speaks to us in painting--this is also the life that speaks
     to us in English tragedy. Into an English tragedy even festivals of
     joy may enter; marriages, and baptisms, or commemorations of
     national trophies: which, or anything _like_ which, is incompatible
     with the very being of the Greek. In that tragedy what uniformity
     of gloom; in the English what light alternating with depths of
     darkness! The Greek, how mournful; the English, how tumultuous!
     Even the catastrophes how different! In the Greek we see a
     breathless waiting for a doom that cannot be evaded; a waiting, as
     it were, for the last shock of an earthquake, or the inexorable
     rising of a deluge: in the English it is like a midnight of
     shipwreck, from which, up to the last and until the final ruin
     comes, there still survives the sort of hope that clings to human
     energies.'

It is not to be expected that we can fully traverse and explore this
vast section of De Quincey's writings; that would be a task beyond our
present resources; and, consequently, we are compelled to pass unnoticed
keen dissections of history; ingenious, although sometimes untenable,
theories regarding the Essenes, the supposed expressions for eternity in
the Scriptures, the character of Judas Iscariot, the doctrine of demons,
the principles of casuistry, style, and rhetoric; the discussions of
various points in philosophy and logic; the prodigality of erudition
displayed in the articles on Plato, Homer, Dinner Real and Reputed,
Bentley; the transcendent critical skill revealed in the little paper
entitled 'The Knocking at the Gate in Macbeth,' in the essays on
Shakspeare, Milton, Wordsworth, Lamb, and others; the minute dissections
of feeling and passion scattered broadcast throughout his writings. We
shall content ourselves with merely adducing another illustration of our
author's extremely speculative and metaphysical cast of mind, and then
close this section of the review. This is taken from that touchingly
beautiful chapter in the 'Autobiographic Sketches,' entitled 'The
Afflictions of Childhood.' De Quincey, even in his childhood, was
profoundly sensitive, and capable of forming the most ardent
attachments. Tender and absorbing was the love which had sprung up
between himself and his sister Elizabeth; she was the joy of his
life--she was supreme in his affections. At the age of nine years she
suddenly sickened and died; De Quincey, although younger by three years,
was overwhelmed with unspeakable agony. When his sister had been dressed
for the grave, he stole silently and alone into her chamber to look once
more upon her beautiful face, to kiss once more her sweet lips: while
standing by the bedside he is suddenly struck down in a trance, and his
description of the scene is one of the noblest prose poems in the
English language. But even here, amid the absorbing disclosures of a
frantic sorrow, when the mighty swell of passion had reached its
culmination, and a solemn Memnonian wind, 'the saddest that ear ever
heard,' began to arise, and the seals of a heavenly vision were about to
be unloosed--even here he pauses, philosophically to 'explain why death,
other conditions being equal, is more profoundly affecting in summer
than in other parts of the year'!

We have said that De Quincey was an eminent master of the historic art.
His power in this direction is signally displayed in his account of 'The
Household Wreck,' 'The Spanish Nun,' 'The First Rebellion,' and the
'Flight of a Tartar Tribe.' 'The Household Wreck' is a powerful and
dramatic narrative, but the plot is somewhat confused; on the whole, it
is decidedly inferior to the 'Spanish Nun.' The nun is a _bona-fide_
historical personage, and her career is delineated with surprising
effect. She was the daughter of a Spanish hidalgo, who pitilessly
carried her in infancy to the Convent of St. Sebastian, where she
remained until the age of fifteen; the quietude of that cloistered life
her stormy spirit could no longer brook; she eloped, assumed male
attire, became the page of a nobleman, at whose house she saw that 'old
crocodile,' her father, who was now searching with mock solicitude for
his absconded daughter; exposure was imminent; no safety remained until
the ocean divided her from Spain, and her plans were formed at once; the
nun embarked for South America, doubled Cape Horn, was shipwrecked on
the coast of Peru; finally arrived at Paita; killed a man in a street
encounter; escaped death only by promising to marry a lady who had
fallen in love with her; once again there was no security but in flight;
she joined a cavalry regiment commanded by her own brother, to whom she
was unknown; him she unwittingly killed in a midnight duel; then follow
the terrific passage of the Andes, the fearful tragedies at Tucuman and
Cuzco, her return to Europe in compliance with royal and papal commands;
she approaches the port of Cadiz; myriads upon myriads line the shore
and cover the houses to catch a glimpse of the martial nun; cardinals
and kings and popes hasten to embrace her; the thunders of popular
welcome arise wherever she appears; but the nun finds no rest; terrific
memories rankle in her bosom, and blast her repose; again she embarks
for America; but then, how closed that career, so tragically
tempestuous? The nun reached Vera Cruz; she took her seat in the boat to
go ashore; no more is known; her fate is concealed in impenetrable
mystery; 'the sea was searched for her--the forests were ransacked. The
sea made no answer--the forests gave up no sign.' These incidents, which
are historical verities, are wrought up into a narrative of absorbing
power.

In De Quincey's brief sketch of the 'First Rebellion' are found some
graphic historical paintings. The following is his description of the
panic at Enniscorthy, at the moment when the rebels had carried the
place by assault:

'Now came a scene, which swallowed up all distinct or separate features
in its frantic confluence of horrors. All the loyalists of Enniscorthy,
all the gentry for miles around, who had congregated in that town, as a
centre of security, were summoned at that moment, not to an orderly
retreat, but to instant flight. At one end of the street were seen the
rebel pikes and bayonets, and fierce faces already gleaming through the
smoke; at the other end, volumes of fire, surging and billowing from the
thatched roofs and blazing rafters, beginning to block up the avenues of
escape. Then began the agony and uttermost conflict of what is worst and
what is best in human nature. Then was to be seen the very delirium of
fear, and the very delirium of vindictive malice; private and ignoble
hatred of ancient origin, shrouding itself in the mask of patriotic
wrath; the tiger glare of just vengeance, fresh from intolerable wrongs,
and the never-to-be-forgotten ignominy of stripes and personal
degradation; panic, self-palsied by its own excess; flight, eager or
stealthy, according to the temper and means; volleying pursuit; the very
frenzy of agitation under every mode of excitement; and here and there,
towering aloft, the desperation of maternal love, victorious and supreme
over all lower passions.'

       *       *       *       *       *

There is a species of narrative in the 'Autobiographic Sketches,' of a
somewhat different cast from that which we have been contemplating, less
grand and passionate, perhaps, but more tender and exquisite--overspread
with a quieter and mellower humor. We refer to the account of his
brother William. He was a youth of the stormiest nature, a genuine
cloud-compeller, forever raising storms and whirlwinds merely for the
pleasure of directing them; 'haughty he was, aspiring, immeasurably
active; fertile in resources as Robinson Crusoe; but also full of
quarrel as it is possible to imagine; and in default of any other
opponent, he would have fastened a quarrel upon his own shadow for
presuming to run before him when going westward in the morning; whereas,
in all reason, a shadow, like a dutiful child, ought to keep
deferentially in the rear of that majestic substance which is the author
of its existence.' He hated books, except those which he chanced to
write himself; he was especially great on the subject of necromancy; was
even the author of a profound work, entitled 'How to Raise a Ghost, and
when You have Got Him Down, how to Keep Him Down.' 'To which work, he
assured us, that some most learned and enormous man, whose name was a
foot and a half long, had promised him an appendix, which appendix
treated of the Red Sea and Solomon's signet ring, with forms of
_mittimus_ for ghosts that might be refractory, and probably a riot act
for any _émeute_ among ghosts;' for he often gravely affirmed that a
confederation, 'a solemn league and conspiracy, might take place among
the infinite generations of ghosts against the single generation of men
at any one time composing the garrison of death.' Deeming this subject
too recondite for his juvenile audience, he dropped it, and commenced a
course of lectures upon physics. 'This undertaking arose from some one
of us envying or admiring flies for their power of walking upon the
ceiling. 'Poh!' said he, 'they are impostors; they pretend to do it, but
they can't do it as it ought to be done. Ah! you should see _me_
standing upright on the ceiling, with my head downward, for half an hour
together, and meditating profoundly.' My sister Mary remarked that we
should all be very glad to see him in that position. 'If that's the
case,' he replied, 'it's very well that all is ready except as to a
strap or two.' Being an excellent skater, he had first imagined that, if
held up till he had started, he might then, by taking a bold sweep
ahead, keep himself in position through the continued impetus of
skating. But this he found not to answer; because, as he observed, 'the
friction was too retarding from the plaster of Paris; but the case would
be very different if the ceiling were covered with ice.' But as it was
_not_, he changed his plan. The true secret, he now discovered, was
this: he would consider himself in the light of a humming top; he would
make an apparatus (and he made it) for having himself launched, like a
top, upon the ceiling, and regularly spun. Then the vertiginous motion
of the human top would overcome the force of gravitation. He should, of
course, spin upon his own axis, and sleep upon his own axis--perhaps he
might even dream upon it; and he laughed at 'those scoundrels, the
flies,' that never improved in their pretended art, nor made anything of
it. The principle was now discovered; 'and, of course,' he said, 'if a
man can keep it up for five minutes, what's to hinder him from doing so
for five months?' 'Certainly, nothing that I can think of,' was the
reply of my sister, whose scepticism, in fact, had not settled upon the
five months, but altogether upon the five minutes. The apparatus for
spinning him, however, perhaps from its complexity, would not work--a
fact evidently owing to the stupidity of the gardener. On reconsidering
the subject, he announced, to the disappointment of some among us, that,
although the physical discovery was now complete, he saw a moral
difficulty. It was not a _humming_ top that was required, but a _peg_
top. Now, in order to keep up the _vertigo_ at full stretch, without
which, to a certain extent, gravitation would prove too much for him, he
needed to be whipped incessantly. But that was what a gentleman ought
not to tolerate: to be scourged unintermittingly on the legs by any grub
of a gardener, unless it were Father Adam himself, was a thing that he
could not bring his mind to face.' Attempted improvements in the art of
flying, which, he alleged, was then 'in a condition disgraceful to
civilized society;' the composition and exhibition of that bloody
tragedy, 'Sultan Amurath;' the conduct of a protracted war which arose
out of a fancied insult from a factory boy, whom, surveying with intense
disdain, 'he bade draw near that he might 'give his flesh to the fowls
of the air!'' the government of the imaginary kingdom of
'Tigrosylvania'--occupied the attention of this hundred-handed youth
until his death, at the age of sixteen--all of which is narrated with
unequalled pathos and humor. But there is still another section of the
narrative art, yet more sublime and unapproachable, where De Quincey
stands alone--the section in which are recorded his dreams. These are
without a rival or even a precedent in the English language; nay, purely
impassioned prose as 'The Confessions' and 'Suspiria de Profundis' is
scarcely to be found in any language; but the narration of dreams, while
exposed to all its difficulties, is invested with superadded
difficulties, arising from the shifting, visionary character of the
world in which its scenes are laid, 'where a single false note, a single
word in a wrong key, will ruin the whole music.' De Quincey's habit of
dreaming was constitutional, and displayed itself even in infancy. He
was naturally extremely sensitive, and of a melancholy temperament; he
was so passionately fond of undisturbed repose, that he willingly
submitted to any amount of contempt if he could only be let alone; he
had that weird faculty which is forever peopling the darkness with
myriads of phantoms; then came the afflictions of childhood--that night,
which ran after his footsteps far into life--and finally came opium,
which is a specific 'for exalting the dream scenery, for deepening its
shadows, and, above all, for strengthening the sense of its fearful
realities:' all these allied characteristics and circumstances, combined
with his vast intellectual capacity, imparted to De Quincey's dreams a
terrific grandeur. They were sometimes frightful, sometimes sublime, but
always accompanied by anxiety and melancholy gloom. 'I seemed,' says he,
'every night to descend--not metaphorically, but literally to
descend--into chasms and sunless abysses, depths below depths, from
which it seemed hopeless that I could ever reascend. Nor did I, by
awaking, feel that I had reascended. This I do not dwell upon; because
the state of gloom which attended these gorgeous spectacles, amounting,
at least, to utter darkness, as of some suicidal despondency, cannot be
approached by words.' De Quincey's most elaborate dreams are: 'The
Daughter of Lebanon,' 'Levana and Our Ladies of Sorrow,' 'The Vision of
Sudden Death,' and 'Dream Fugue.' The last named is the most perfect in
its conception, the most powerful in its execution. It is too long to
quote, too sublime to be marred by abbreviation. If any one desires to
see what can be done with the English language in an 'effort to wrestle
with the utmost power of music,' let him read that dream. We shall,
meanwhile, present one from the year 1820, and leave the reader to
form his own estimate of it:

     'The dream commenced with a music which now I often heard in
     dreams--a music of preparation and of awakening suspense; a music
     like the opening of the Coronation Anthem, and which, like _that_,
     gave the feeling of a vast march, of infinite cavalcades filing
     off, and the tread of innumerable armies. The morning was come of a
     mighty day--a day of crisis and of final hope for human nature,
     then suffering some mysterious eclipse, and laboring in some dread
     extremity. Somewhere, I knew not where--somehow, I knew not how--by
     some beings, I knew not whom--a battle, a strife, an agony, was
     conducting--was evolving like a great drama, or piece of music,
     with which my sympathy was the more insupportable from my confusion
     as to its place, its cause, its nature, and its possible issue. I
     had the power, and yet had not the power, to decide it. I had the
     power, if I could raise myself to will it; and yet again I had not
     the power, for the weight of twenty Atlantics was upon me, or the
     oppression of inexpiable guilt. 'Deeper than ever plummit sounded,'
     I lay inactive. Then, like a chorus, the passion deepened. Some
     greater interest was at stake; some mightier cause than ever yet
     the sword had pleaded, or trumpet had proclaimed. Then came sudden
     alarms; hurryings to and fro; trepidations of innumerable
     fugitives. I knew not whether from the good cause or the bad;
     darkness and lights; tempest and human faces; and, at last, with
     the sense that all was lost, female forms and the features that
     were worth all the world to me, and but a moment allowed--and
     clasped hands, and heartbreaking partings, and then--everlasting
     farewells! and, with a sigh, such as the caves of hell sighed when
     the incestuous mother uttered the abhorred name of
     death--everlasting farewells! and again, and yet again
     reverberated--everlasting farewells!'

O mighty magician!

In point of style and general method of treating subjects, De Quincey's
greatest faults are pedantry and discursiveness. Of the former we have
no defence to make; we think that, in writing avowedly for the public,
and not for any particular class, the use of technical terms merely
because they are technical, and of learned terms merely because they are
learned, is a positive blemish. But still greater offence is given to
many readers by the _occasional_ practice of discursiveness; we employ
the epithet intentionally, for the habit is by no means so inveterate as
many seem to suppose. Yet even where it is most triumphant, there is,
nevertheless, a goal to be reached--a goal which will finally be
reached, despite interminable zigzags and 'harsh angles.' This
peculiarity was, doubtless, in a great degree occasioned by the use of
opium. Opium, even amid the very delirium of rapture it produces, nay,
in consequence of that delirium, is hostile to strictly logical thought;
the excitation approaches the character of an intuition; the glance,
however keen and farsighted, is not steady; it is restless, fitful,
veering forever with the movements of an unnatural stimulation; but when
the exaltation has subsided, and the dread reaction and nervous
depression succeeded, this result is intensified a hundred fold, and
gradually shapes itself into a confirmed habit. Even if the use of opium
was positively beneficial to the intellect, still its dreadful havoc
with the physical system would far more than outweigh its contributions
in that direction. But, so far is that from being the truth in the case,
that opium, at best, has only a revealing, a disclosing power; it
cannot, even in the lowest sense of the term, be called a creative
lower. Let a man dream dreams as gorgeous as De Quincey's, it does not
at all follow that he can write like De Quincey; as related to
literature, the grandeur of dreams depends absolutely upon the dreamer's
mastery of the narrative art, which the dreaming faculty itself does not
either presuppose or bestow. But, over and above all this, universal
experience has declared that the use of opium is fatally hostile to any
very protracted mental power. It ravages the mind no less fearfully than
it does the body--precipitates both in one common ruin; by it ordinary
men are speedily degraded to hopeless impotence, and the most mighty
shorn of half their power--a swift-pursuing shadow closes suddenly and
forever over the transient gleam of unnatural splendor. These
considerations account in part for De Quincey's discursiveness, but
perhaps not wholly. Discursiveness is not without its beauties. We
believe in logic, but still it is pleasant, at times, to see a writer
sport with his subject, to see him gallop at will, unconfined by the
ring circle of strict severity. Nor is this all. Possibly the apparent
discursiveness may be only the preliminary journeying by which we are to
secure some new and startling view of the subject. Perhaps you may
consider these initial movements needlessly protracted and fatiguing;
but trust your guide; whatever your private opinion, at the time, may
be, he will never miss the road, and when at last you are in the proper
position for observation, the thrill of unwonted pleasure will swallow
up all memory of former efforts and former misgivings. Occasionally such
is not the case; for instance, in the papers on Sir William Hamilton.
They are three in number. Nearly half of the first is taken up in
describing the difficulties under which the writer suffers of
communicating with his publishers; the nervous maladies that torment his
happiness; the limits of time and space so narrowly circumscribed. The
same strain is taken up in the second paper. We have short dissertations
on the deadly 'hiatus in the harness which should connect the
pre-revolutionary with the post-revolutionary commonwealths of England;'
on the adjective _old_, and the aged noun _civilation_; then comes a
general belaboring of athletes and gymnasts, at which point Sir William
fairly emerges into view; suddenly our author seems to recollect that
his space is fast diminishing, and concludes to 'take a rise out of
something or other' at once; sets down Sir William as a genuine
logician, and immediately commences the consideration of several ancient
word puzzles, one of which is stated in a very business-like manner:
'Vermin in account with the divine and long-legged Pelides.' Logic is
pretty uniformly the subject of the third paper, and no inferior
acquaintance with the topic is displayed; but we see very little of Sir
William Hamilton in this miscellaneous collection. But unpardonable
wandering is of extremely rare occurrence; and, on the whole, the evils
of discursiveness are altogether outweighed by the positive advantages
and beauties to which we have referred. To this characteristic trait
must be added another--the dramatic and cumulative manner in which the
subjects discussed are treated. That gives to De Quincey's style
increased power and increased beauty; artistic symmetry is superinduced
upon solid excellence. This peculiarity is especially noticeable in
narratives where the element of horror is central, as in 'The Avenger.'
The gentle whisper rises, gradually and by insensible degrees, to the
awful voice of the thunderbolt. The prelude is calm enough, sweet
enough, but soon the music ascends to a fiercer key; the plot darkens;
the crisis gathers; louder and more tumultuous waxes the fiendish
tumult, until all lesser passions are swallowed up, and the empire of a
blank, rayless revenge is triumphant; we are spellbound amid the
successive stages of the demoniac tragedy; we start up convulsively, as
from the horrors of nightmare, at its ghastly catastrophe. But, over and
above all this, in that melody, in that music of style, which exalts
prose to the dignity of poetry, De Quincey is absolutely without a
rival. Read the 'Confessions,' or the 'Autobiographic Sketches,' or the
touching tribute to the Maid of Orleans, and all doubt upon that point
will disappear. Besides, over the surface of his writings there ripples
a quaint, genial humor, which is, for the most part, kept within the
limits of propriety by an exquisite taste. In marked contrast to many of
our most illustrious writers, De Quincey always exhibits a profound
respect for Christianity. Listen to his indignant rebuke of Kant, who,
in his work on 'Religion within the Limits of Pure Reason,' had
expressed opinions so utterly atheistical as to draw forth severe
menaces from the reigning King of Prussia, Frederic William the Second:
'Surely, gray hairs and irreligion make a monstrous union; and the
spirit of proselytism carried into the service of infidelity--a youthful
zeal put forth by a tottering, decrepid old man, to withdraw from
desponding and suffering human nature its most essential props, whether
for action or suffering, for conscience or for hope, is a spectacle too
disgusting to leave room for much sympathy with merit of another kind.'
Finally, we love De Quincey for his abhorrence of all knavish or
quackish men, and his deep respect for human nature. We suspect that but
few dignitaries of the past ever received so sound a 'knouting' as did
that 'accursed Jew' Josephus, at his hands; nor do Grotius and Dr. Parr
fare much better. He believes Josephus to be a villain, Grotius and Dr.
Parr literary impostors, and he strips off their masks in a very summary
manner. But with the trials, the struggles, the miseries of humanity, no
man more profoundly sympathizes than Thomas de Quincey. 'Oftentimes,'
says he, speaking of the daily police reports, 'oftentimes I stand
aghast at the revelations there made of human life and the human heart;
at its colossal guilt, and its colossal misery; at the suffering which
oftentimes throws a shadow over palaces, and the grandeur of mute
endurance which sometimes glorifies a cottage.' How touching is his
memorial of those forlorn twin sisters, who 'snatched convulsively at a
loving smile, or loving gesture, from a child, as at some message of
remembrance from God;' how tender his tribute to 'poor Pink;' how
affecting his devotion to unhappy Ann, whom, in the strength of his
gratitude, he could 'pursue into the darkness of a London brothel, or
into the deeper darkness of the grave'!

But we must close. We have found De Quincey a subtile philosopher, a
mighty master of the historic art, a prose poet of unrivalled splendor.
To powers so versatile and extraordinary, combined with learning so
profound, and a style of such matchless brilliance, we believe that no
other writer of the present age can lay any great claims. Still we take
our leave of that eccentric, storm-tossed man of genius with feelings of
profound regret. Great as his contributions to literature are, he
_might_ have done vastly more. But nervous maladies blasted his hopes,
overthrew his colossal designs, and he evermore drifts down the ages a
wreck--splendid, brilliant, the admiration of all beholders--but none
the less a wreck.



'FEED MY LAMBS.'

PART FIRST.


Harry has crept to his little bed, shivering with childish dread of the
dark. Ungentle hands have placed him there, guardians careless of his
comfort and chary of kind words and looks, and a coarse-voiced girl has
said, as she took the light away, and banged the door behind her:

'Cry out loud, you little imp, and I'll send the black bears to catch
you.'

So Harry is choking down his sobs, and crying silently, very silently.
The chill and melancholy night wind, as it comes moaning through the
casement and rustling the light leaves of the tall poplar as they rest
against the window panes, and the great round tears as they fall with a
dull, heavy drop, drop on his lonely pillow, are the only sounds that
break the dismal stillness, excepting now and then, when a great sob,
too mighty to be choked down, bursts from the little, overcharged heart.
And then Harry fancies he feels, through the thin coverlet and torn
night dress, the huge black paws of these same bears grasping the tender
round shoulder, blue with the cold, while the little boy lies there
shivering and shuddering in an agony of apprehension. Darkness above and
around him, terrible, black, silent darkness; darkness which enwraps and
enfolds him and takes away his breath, like the heavy, stifling folds of
a hideous black mantle; darkness that the active imagination of the
timid child peoples with phantom shapes, grotesque and horrible--forms
made unnaturally visible by their own light, that mouth and leer, and
stretch out distorted arms to seize him, whose appalling presence fills
the room from floor to ceiling, and which eddy and circle around him in
horrid demon dances, whirling gradually nearer and nearer, until myriads
of hideous faces are thrust close to his own, or grin above him, while
he chokes for breath--forms that make the cold sweat stand on his baby
forehead, and freeze the blood in his veins, that he watches night after
night, with his blue eyes starting from their sockets and his hair
standing on end, that make of the desolate nighttime a dread and a
horror! And there is no one to kneel beside his lonely bed and tell the
frightened child, sick with dread, that there are no such things as
odious black dwarfs, who drag young children off to dark and dismal
dungeons by the hair of their head, nor great giants, who grow always
bigger as you look at them, and who eat up, at a mouthful, little boys
who cry in the dark. No tender mother bends low with all but divine
compassion to listen to his little sorrows, or soothe his childish
fears--to teach him his simple prayers, or tell him sweet stories of a
little child like himself, before whose lowly cradle wise men bowed as
at a shrine, and to do whom reverence shining ones came from a
far-distant country. There is no one to pillow his curly head upon a
loving bosom, and lull him to sleep with quaint old lullabies. Harry is
worse than motherless.

So on the night in question, as on all other nights preceding, poor
Harry, worn out with fright and weariness, is dropping to sleep from
sheer exhaustion, closing his swollen eyes in troubled slumber, when,
half unconsciously turning his curly head upon the pillow to find a dry
place for the wet cheek to rest against, something bright and shining
makes long lines of light in the tears still wet on Harry's lashes, and
wakes him up again.

Such a bright, beautiful star it is. One that has been slowly rising,
climbing the blue outside, until it reaches a break in the foliage of
the tree before the window, and shines straight into Harry's eyes.
Something of that strange solemnity that fills minds of a maturer growth
when gazing on the starry heavens, hushes that baby's soul into
reverence as he looks upon it. The terrible shapes melt away into the
gloom, he feels no dread of the dark now, and vaguely and gradually
there arises the first dim consciousness of the deep spiritual want
within him--the first awakened desire of the finite soul to see and find
the Infinite Father and claim his protection. Fragments of childish
hymns, parts of simple prayers, such poor and scattered crumbs of
spiritual instruction as he has gleaned here and there somehow, and on
which the infant soul has been but meagrely fed, crowd in upon him. Then
come wondering thoughts of that great good Being, that strange,
unfathomable mystery, whose name is God, Who lives up in the blue
somewhere, and yet is everywhere. This problem of Omnipresence he has
pondered and pondered over, and reasoned upon, in his childish fashion,
but now it dawns with a newer and clearer light on Harry's mind. God is
everywhere. To his awakened spiritual perception this holy, mysterious,
and invisible presence seems pervading the sky, the air, the earth,
filling and enfolding all things. Night after night, as he had lain
there sobbing and crying and thought himself all alone in the darkness,
this great good God had been with him all the time, and he had never
known it, never felt it until now; and, overwhelmed by the mighty
thought, powerfully felt, though imperfectly comprehended, awestruck
Harry, tremulous with reverence, obedient to some childish fancy that
the name of father is not holy and reverent enough for such a Being,
folds his tiny hands, earnestly praying:

'Our Grandfather which art in heaven, stay near poor Harry in the dark,
and keep the bears away!'

Is it faith or fancy, that soft, gentle, summery atmosphere that fills
the room, and makes the little, lonely heart thrill as with the pleasant
consciousness of a loving presence? It is real to Harry, with his
child's undoubting faith. Stretching forth his rounded arms, and
clasping the dark, impalpable air in a joyous embrace, he nestles
closely to the wet pillow as if it were a loving bosom, and falls asleep
with a smile upon his lip. A childhood robbed of childish joys and
pleasures, the little, insignificant trifles which form its sum of
happiness, denied the sympathetic love and tenderness which is the life
of little hearts, deprived of the pleasures suited to its state, yet too
immature to turn within itself for comfort in its need, its life without
and within a dull, joyless, dreary blank--such was poor Harry's, for a
shadow dark and terrible rested on his baby heart and home, a something
that darkened and deepened day by day, and grew more and more
insupportable as the weary time crept on. What it was, and how long it
had rested there before he became conscious of its presence, and whether
his miserable home had ever been free from it and ever been a happy one,
little Harry never knew. All his brief life it had lain there. Its
shadow had crept into the violet eyes with the first faint glimmer of
intelligence, and when the new-born soul, mysterious breath of God,
first woke from its mystic dreaming, and looked consciously out upon the
world into which it had come, its baleful presence crept into that holy
sanctuary, and darkened what should have been cloudless as well as
sinless. He had drawn it in with every breath from the atmosphere of the
little world around him; it rested on all he came in contact with, and
gradually and sadly there arose in the mind too immature to comprehend
the cause and the nature of this desolating power, yet feeling vaguely
day by day its blighting effects, sorrowful and earnest
questionings--questionings like the following, to which there came back
no answer to the little, suffering heart:

Why his home (if home it may be called in which the heart finds no
resting place), the four walls that enclosed the place where he ate and
slept, was such a dull, joyless, lonesome spot? What that dark something
was that shadowed its light and took from it all joy and comfort,
causing every face within it to wear a melancholy or forbidding aspect?
Why there was no glad smile even on his father's lips, when he came to
seek the sad young creatures that crept silently to his knee and looked
wistfully up into the care-worn face; and why, though loving and kind,
he was always kind with that sorrowful tenderness which makes sad hearts
the sadder? Why this craving that he feels within him, this
half-undefined, insatiable longing for maternal love and sympathy? What
had sealed from the thirsting heart this purest fountain of earthly
tenderness?

A mother's form was present to him day by day, but where was the
maternal heart of love which should have beat within that bosom? 'Can a
mother forget her children?' There is a fell and terrible destroyer,
which murders peace in hearts and homes, whose very breath is a mildew
and a blight, in whose desolating track follow woe, want, and ruin; a
fierce, insatiable appetite, trebly cursed, that makes of life a
loathsome degradation, and fills dishonored graves, blighting all that
is divine and godlike in human nature, sealing the gushing fountain of
maternal tenderness, and teaching even a mother's heart forgetfulness. O
God! of what punishment shall thy justice deem those worthy, who, by
cold neglect, cruelty, or shameful slavery to such a passion, shut out
the light, and check the rich and limitless expansion of all that is
divine in the souls committed to their charge? Ah! what did it matter
that there were honorable titles affixed to the name so disgraced, that
in the home thus blighted were all the luxuries and appliances of
wealth, that rare pictures hung against its walls, carpets covered the
floors whose velvet surface muffled the footfalls, costly curtains shut
out the too garish light, that servants were at command, well paid to
take care of the neglected children, paid to care for the house, and all
fine things within it, and--paid to keep its secrets! What did all this
matter to the miserable possessor of wealth and name, the disgraced
husband, the heart-broken father? He could comprehend this woe in all
its bearings, could measure the length, the breadth, the depth of the
curse that had lighted upon him? Homes there were whose walls and floors
were bare, whose windows were shaded by no costly curtains, but from
which happy faces looked--lowly homes, poor in this world's wealth, but
rich in domestic peace and love; and for the blessed quiet of their
lowly hearthstones, he would joyfully have bartered wealth and fame, and
all such dross as men call happiness. And Harry saw them too. The
little, lonely heart, saddened by a shadow it could not comprehend, from
its own gloomy home turned longingly to their homely cheerfulness, as
flowers turn to the light.

One in particular had attracted his childish notice. It was just across
the road; he could see it from the window of the nursery where he
played, and he used to leave his play to watch it. Such glimpses of a
happy home had streamed through its opening portals and fallen on the
heart of the little solitary watcher like a benison. What hasty peeps he
took at its homely brightness as the door opened and closed, and what
long, long looks he bestowed upon it, when it stood open for hours
together, as it did now in the fine June weather! It was only a simple
cottage. Too unpretending for hall or entry, the little parlor opened
into the street, and from the window where he stood, Harry could see
straight into it. There it was, with its bright papered walls, and gay
red carpet, its deep low window seat looking like a garden, where
flowers bloomed and frail exotics stretched forth their delicate leaves
to bathe in the sunlight that came streaming in, and cunning little
yellow birds, in quaint, tiny cages, sang the long day through. And
there--oh, busy fingers! making neat and bright the little home--heart
of love, shedding blessed sunlight around it--there, so busy and blithe,
so happy and gay, sat the presiding genius of the place, with a face so
bright and good--just such a face as you would expect to see in such a
home; one that sad and disappointed mortals, meeting in the street,
would turn to for a second look, and bless it as it passed; a face to
which childhood cleaves instinctively, sure of ready sympathy with its
little joys and sorrows; one that would never be disfigured by envy or
malice; never grow black with passion, and oh! never, never look
senseless, idiotic, and drivelling, as another face on which he looked
so often did; but to Harry's fancy, it was like the sky on a calm
summer's day, always pure and bright, and always the same. It was
brighter and happier and better altogether when, in the fresh morning
time, the little lady went tripping by on the pavement beneath the
window with a small market basket on her arm. Then Harry, clambering to
the sill, and leaning out, could see straight into it; and sometimes it
happened that, attracted by that fixed gaze of earnest admiration, that
happy face would be turned upward, and break into a beaming smile, as
the sunny eyes met the large, blue, mournful orbs looking down upon
them. Then there would be a smile on the lip and a song in the heart of
the little watcher for the rest of the day. Cheering and dear as that
face had ever been to him since he had first had the happiness of
beholding it, much as he had watched and loved it, it had drawn him with
a more potent attraction still and grown doubly dear of late. He had
been within the sacred precincts of a true home; he had breathed that
atmosphere of heaven; he knew how that small, snug, cosy room looked to
its inmates now. Yes, he had been there, and his going in chanced in the
following manner:

This lady, whose cheerful presence was fast becoming a benison to Harry,
had, among her other bright possessions, a rosy-cheeked, laughing-eyed,
frolicsome mischief, about Harry's age, and he had recently come from
the country happier, merrier, and fresher than ever, having still, as it
were, about him the fragrant breath of the wood-violets, the purity of
the unvitiated air, the freedom of the broad, green fields, the fragrant
atmosphere of all the delightful things with which he had been so
recently in contact.

One morning, not long after his coming, the cross girl who put Harry to
bed at night, marshalled him and his brother out (as was her wont in
fine weather) for a dreary promenade, which usually agreeable exercise
consisted in the present instance in marching down a dusty stone
pavement, by a long, unbroken line of brick buildings, up one street,
and down another (for they always went the same way), until they came to
a huge, dreary-looking schoolhouse, where they left Charley, and came
back more drearily than they went. Well, on this particular morning,
Charley had forgotten his slate, and he and the girl returning to search
for it left Harry at the gate to await their return. The little urchin,
just at that precise moment, spying Harry solus, and impelled by the
agreeable prospect of a playfellow, rushed across the street, at the
imminent danger of being run over, to scrape acquaintance.

'Come, and play with me,' cried the little fellow, bounding up to Harry
in all the ardor of a glowing anticipation, eagerly folding one thin
hand in both his dimpled ones, and flashing a whole flood of sunlight
into the sad young eyes that so timidly met his sunny ones. 'Come, and
play with me, _do!_ and we'll play at horse and build mud houses, and
ma'll give us lots of candy and raisins, and a great big doughnut, ever
so big, as big as my hands and your hands, and all our hands put
together.'

'I can't,' said Harry, sadly resigning all thought of these rare
dainties. 'Betty'll scold so!'

'We'll sit on the bank under the willow at the back of the house,'
pursued the tempter, folding the hand he held still tighter within his
own, 'where she can't see us; and when she comes to take you away, I'll
bite her.'

The youthful pleader had unconsciously used the most potent argument
possible. Harry wavered. To sit on a green bank under a willow, with
such a sunny-faced companion as that, and listen to the birds singing in
the branches, and the rustling of the leaves--to look up through the
green, and see patches of blue sky through breaks in the foliage--and
then, too, oh, blessed hope! to see the lady whom he regarded with such
enthusiastic and reverent devotion, and to whose love he clung with all
the wild tenacity of a desolate heart--to see her smile, and hear her
speak--to _him_, perhaps; all this rose like a glorious vision before
Harry, and the possibility of its realization sent the light to his eyes
and the color to his face.

The contemplated walk in the hot, dusty streets, with the cross
Betty--(which tyrannical young female, having brought the children, as
it were, under military rule, and being a rigid disciplinarian, seldom
failed to punish some fancied dereliction of duty by sundry shakes and
pinches as they went along)--this prospect, placed beside the bright,
cool picture his fancy had conjured up, seemed more unendurable than
ever. With one quick glance toward the house, to see if that ogre,
having in custody that form a little taller and face a little older and
sadder than his own, was making her appearance, Harry, seized by an
irresistible impulse, and still holding fast the chubby hand that had
taken his so confidingly, bounded from the pavement, dashed across the
road, and both dashed through the garden and into the cosy parlor in a
trice, panting like young racehorses. And there, in the brightest spot
of the snug, bright room, by that bower of a window, sat the sunny-faced
lady whom Harry's childish imagination had exalted into a superior
being. Abashed at having so rudely rushed into that revered presence,
Harry stood shyly by the door, trembling with embarrassment, while his
more active companion, releasing his hand, bounded across the room, and,
clambering up into his mother's lap and putting his arms around her neck
and his rosebud of a mouth close to her ear, commenced a whispered
explanation.

There was something strangely attractive in that mother's face, as she
pushed back the clustering hair, after smilingly listening to the story,
and pressed a fervent kiss upon that baby brow--a look which had never
been on any face for him, but which he had dreamed of at night, and
longed for by day, with a strange, undefined, half-conscious longing. It
was as if he had found something he had been blindly searching,
something for which the solitary heart had vaguely felt an ever-present
need; and the timid child, forgetting his timidity, his awe of the
presence into which he had come--forgetting all but his heart's great
need--in a burst of pathetic longing, more sorrowful than tears, cried:

'Give _me_ a kiss, too, just one!'

He was across the room and in her arms in a moment. Blessings on the
true mother's heart! it gave not one kiss, but a dozen. Ah! feeling the
blessing of those tears upon his head, pressed close against the breast
throbbing with pure maternal sympathy, his own starved heart eagerly
drinking from that overflowing fountain, the word _mother_ rose
naturally to his lips _then_.--Alas for her from whom alone that beating
heart, throbbing with a new delight, should have received that
revelation! Alas for the heart thus robbed of its lawful heritage, to
whom the highest and holiest of earth's affection had manifested itself
but as a brutish instinct, which, in fits of maudlin tenderness, could
fold the little form in a loathsome embrace, and smother the pure breath
with drunken kisses! No other love, however high and pure it may be, can
atone to the wronged heart that has been cruelly robbed of this.

In this new-found joy all heavy sorrows were forgotten. Pressed close
against that sympathetic bosom, he was happy _now_, happier than he had
ever been before; and when at last she wiped her tears away, and,
lifting the hand on which his grateful tears were falling (for Harry
cried too), and smilingly up-turning the tear-wet face to meet her own,
that face was so changed by joy that she hardly knew it, and Harry
wondered why it was that she laughed and cried together when she looked
at it, and kissed him over and over again more times than he could
count. Laughing and chatting gayly until she saw her own smiles
reflected on the little, sorrowful features, she, with a tender mother's
care, bathed the flushed face, combed out the bright silky hair,
smoothed and arranged the rumpled dress, and, taking the small hand,
went out to the garden gate to meet the expedition sent in search of
Harry.

Now this was his red-letter day. Harry was in luck. Therefore it was not
one of the many servants of the establishment, or any straggling
acquaintance that had joined in the search. Luckily, it was not one of
these, or the cross Betty, who first espied Harry and the lady:
otherwise he would have been borne away from his friend and his recently
discovered Eden in triumph, in spite of all cries and protestations. It
was Harry's own papa; and it did not take many words, when the
bright-faced lady was the pleader (backed by that little face, with that
strange flush of joy upon it, that spoke more eloquently to the father's
heart than any words could have done), to induce that gentleman to allow
Harry to remain where he was all day; likewise to extort a promise that
he might come to see the lady whenever and as often as she chose to
trouble herself with the care of him: and this being nicely arranged,
Harry's papa went his way and they went theirs. And Harry did that day
what is seldom done in this world of disappointment--more than realized
his anticipations. He sat on the bank and heard the birds sing; he
played at horse until he was tired; and though he did not build mud
houses, he ate sugar ones, which was, in every respect, a vast
improvement on the original design; and, what was more than all, his
little playfellow, whose temper was as sunny as his face, never gave
him a cross word or look the whole day through. They had supper, when
the time came, under the rustling leaves of a huge green tree; and there
were raisins and nuts and candy, cakes grotesquely cut and twisted into
every conceivable shape, and every imaginable dainty. All through that
memorable day, Harry was the happiest of the happy. Other days succeeded
this that were but a thought less bright. A time had come when the rough
path seemed smooth to the little pilgrim's feet, and flowers sprang up
by the lonely wayside, and golden sunlight fell through the rifted
clouds and crowned the little head with its blessing, and light and
warmth crept into the chilled and desolate life, and made existence
beautiful: a brief and joyful time, on which was written, as on all
bright things of earth, those words of mournfulness unutterable:
'Passing away!'


PART SECOND.

It is that hour of day's decline when the turbulent roar from the city's
busy mart is hushed into a lazy hum, when a peaceful, quiet calm
breathes through the atmosphere and settles on the noisy earth, as if
all things were hushed into tranquil silence at thought of the coming
twilight's holy hour. The sun's red, slanting rays fall on the dusty
pavement in front of that gloomy, stately mansion which Harry calls his
home, enter a richly furnished room where the blinds are thrown open and
the curtains looped back, and with their fervent glow rest
compassionately upon a drooping female figure, upon a bent head bowed in
shame, a head still young, whose wealth of rich black tresses passion
and remorse have already marked with gray. Sin-stricken, woe-stricken,
and remorseful, feeling how inefficient is even her mother's love, how
powerless every earthly consideration to hold her back from ruin;
stretching out palsied hands to Heaven for help; racked by the fierce
fires of repentance, her tortured soul corroded by remorse, she mourns
passionately but unavailingly.

Oh! there are hours like this in the hidden history of every fallen and
degraded son of Adam, when the scales are removed from the spiritual
eyes, and the sin-stained soul shiveringly beholds the depth to which it
has fallen, and shrinks back appalled at the sight; when the demon has
departed for a season, and evil thoughts and evil influences are cast
out, and, feeling their power returning with repentance, angels come to
minister unto the sorrowing one. Gentle guardians are there, who have
watched it all its life through, striven with all the means that lie
within the grasp of a spirit's power to stay it on its downward course
and bring the lost soul back. Ah! 'Love's labor lost.' Ineffectual these
oft-repeated efforts _may_ be, ineffectual through all time they
doubtless will be; but who shall say in the 'land of the undying' that
the work of ministering love shall not continue? What man is that, that
in an hour like this can look upon his brother, prostrate in spirit,
racked with remorse, no matter how vile and polluted, and can say
anguish like this shall be that soul's undying portion in the long
hereafter; that God's justice requires infinite punishment for a finite
crime; that, when freed from its earthly body, the ears of the
All-Compassionate shut out that soul's despairing cry for pardon? Who
shall limit infinite mercy? Who shall set bounds to Divine compassion,
or think that, toiling painfully and slowly up the endless heights of
progression, there shall not be a time away onward in the solemn future,
hidden in the dim mists of ages yet to come, when that soul shall be
cleansed from its pollution, freed from its mourning, sin entirely cast
out, and God shall be all and in all?

The light breeze, as it sways the loose heavy tresses, wafts to her ear
a strain of distant music. All the drowsy afternoon it has been playing,
lost almost entirely at first in the busy hum of the streets and in the
long lull of the lazy wind--a strain only caught at rare intervals when
the breeze is strong enough to bear it to her. It has been slowly
approaching as the hours creep on, advancing a few steps at a time.
Ballads and simple ditties, dances, waltzes, grand old marches! with
that unaccountable attraction for trifles which the mind often
experiences in its hours of suffering, mechanically, one after another,
she has traced them all. Now the varied tones cease to pervade the
atmosphere, and there is a long resting pause. When the music begins
again, it is on the pavement, almost beneath the window, and the old
musician, perhaps unconsciously wrought upon by the silent influence of
the hour, has merged from the gay to the pathetic, and plays only sad
little pieces in the minor key. Presently from the multitude of sweet
sounds there arises on the air a song lower and sadder than the
others--a strange, pathetic melody, falling on the ear like a low,
plaintive wail, broken by keen throbs of agony: her whole nature beats
in responsive echo. O God! gone so far down the dreary road which has
darkly led her from that time of purity and peace when that song was
nightly sung to her; after so many weary years of sin and suffering, to
hear those notes again! It is but a simple thing which has the power so
to move her, a mere nothing; half dirge, half hymn, familiar to her
long-forgotten childhood, once sung by her mother as a cradle song! With
her wretched face buried in her hands, she hears it, and clearly the
past rises before her: her childhood in its innocence; her girlhood in
its purity; her womanhood, her motherhood in its degradation! All the
holier part of what was once herself; all that was true and noble,
womanly and pure, from the deep waters of oblivion to which that damning
appetite has consigned them, rise to haunt her now, pale, wan, and
spectre-like. Oh! to sit down, side by side with her former self; to see
herself as she used to be before the tempter crept into the Eden of her
heart; to look despairingly up to the height whence she had fallen, so
wrecked in moral strength that she had not the power to retrace a single
step! Peace departed, virtue lost, health undermined, affection
squandered, ruthlessly murdering the peace of one whose life through all
the time of its sad earth-sojourning is linked with hers; cursing the
home she should have blessed and brightened, making of that fair garden,
wherein sweet domestic graces should have bloomed and blossomed as the
rose, but a desolate and barren waste, knowing that hearts, little
hearts, that had drawn their life-beat from her own, had starved and
sickened for the love which is their rightful food;--with senses bleared
and deadened, she had heard them piteously wailing but for a morsel of
that bread of life without which even the footsteps of the self-reliant,
the strong and brave of heart, faint and falter by the way, and she had
cruelly denied them that precious nutriment; she had given them life,
but had robbed them of all that makes life endurable. Life's duties
unfulfilled, life's high and holy aims trampled under the foot of
sensual indulgence, living to blight instead of to bless! O woman, wife,
and mother, thy life when lived aright a crucifixion of the flesh, a
sublime self-sacrifice--not for thee the pleasures of sense and time,
not for thee may peal earth's songs of triumph! Fainting oft beneath the
burden of the cross, we trace thy way by bloody footprints, suffering as
a saint;--falling from thy estate, how terrible will be thy retribution
as a sinner!

Hark! There is the patter of little feet ascending the staircase, coming
down the long upper hall. To the repentant mother's ears what music so
sweet as that? She listens breathlessly. Was it thought of her that had
impelled them thither? Would they approach her room? Since she had grown
more and more repulsive day by day, since those fits of drunken passion
had become a thing of fearful frequency, and those little ones had
suffered from their violence, and learned to fear her, they had come but
seldom--never alone; but they are approaching now, shyly, hesitatingly,
as if afraid to come, but still approaching--pausing at the very
threshold. The burning tears force their way through the clenched
fingers--the sound of the little feet has given her power to pray.
Though angels fail in the work of redemption, there may yet be power in
the little hands to hold her back. She does not rise to open the door,
but sits choking down her sobs, and listening to the turning, twisting,
shaking of the door knob, to a dozen failures in unskilful attempts to
enter, every movement of the little hand sending a strange thrill of
mingled pain and pleasure through the overburdened heart.

It opens at last, and Harry stands upon the threshold, looking timidly
in. Ah! no maudlin sorrow, no senseless, idiotic mirth, no disgusting
stupor disfigures the face on which he gazes. Its depth of hopeless,
despairing tenderness, so eloquently accompanied by the pathetic
movement of the outstretched hands, almost frightens him by its
intensity; but, in obedience to the motion, he comes forward,
half-fearfully proffering the flower he holds in his hand.

'A flower sent to her by a lady who was so kind,' he tremblingly
explains, 'one that he loves so dearly!'

It is the lily, the emblem of purity. She takes it from him, lays it on
the table behind her, out of sight, a sullen glow of resentment at the
gift mingling with the sorrow of her face as she does so. What mother
had fathomed her shameful secret, and dared to send her child to her
with a gift like that? Some one that is fast gaining the place she
should have occupied in his heart! One that is fast winning away from
her the love she so much needs to aid her in the desired reformation.
She notes how the little face softens and brightens when he speaks of
her, and a sharp pang of jealousy shoots through her heart. The fact
that she has never sought to win that heart to herself by kindness, that
she has forfeited her child's respect, and never deserved its love, only
increases her resentment and adds poignancy to the pang. She feels the
slight form start and shiver with a strange, fearful repulsion as she
places it on her lap. Would the strong natural affection nature had
implanted there, so cruelly crushed out, now nearly if not quite dead,
arise anew to life, and grow stronger than this repulsion? That is the
question to be answered _now_. Ah! if there were but a spark remaining,
were it only a poor, feeble, smouldering flame, it would have the power,
she felt, to light her to higher and better things. With a thrill of
pure maternal love, a stranger to her heart, whose holiest impulses,
deadened by reckless indulgence, have degenerated into instincts, she
folds the little form closer to her, in spite of its shuddering, and,
looking into the upturned face (O mother, miserably blind), reads
understandingly for the first time the hunger of heart so legibly
written on every speaking feature. With the sharp arrow of conviction
that pierces her soul at the sight, comes a voice appealing to its
inmost recesses, a voice speaking those words spoken by the great heart
of Divine Compassion, eighteen hundred years ago; those words of
tenderest pleading: _'Feed my lambs!_' How had she fed those committed
to her charge? The wan, thin, sorrowful face, the little heart finding
no joy in life, grown weary before its time, best answer that question.
Aided by her aroused spiritual perceptions, she reads now all too
truthfully the sad, sad record of the heart-breaking loneliness of the
life she has made desolate; and, pressing the wronged heart close
against her own, the keen remorse of her soul bursts forth in a low moan
of irrepressible anguish:

'Oh, my child! my little, little, little child!'

Studying the face bent over him as children learn to study the faces of
those whom they have reason to fear, whose kindness is at best
capricious, and finding nothing but sorrow and tenderness in it, he
began to fear it less: thankful even for a brief season of kindness, the
solitary child laid the pale cheek close against his mother's, and
twined the thin arms about her neck. It was a strange and blissful
sensation for that mother to feel them clinging there. In her softened
mood it made the tears fall hot and fast, to think how strange it was.

'What made Harry think of coming to see ma to-day?' she said at last,
brushing them hurriedly away.

'A lady gave me that flower, mamma, and told me to bring it to you.'

A pause and a closer pressure--then she questioned nervously:

'What lady is it, Harry? Where does she live? How came you to know her,
darling?'

Harry hesitated. He noticed the dark shadow that swept across her face
at every reference to his new-found friend, and, with a child's
intuitive perception, he saw the subject gave her pain. Striving with
ready tact to draw her attention from it to himself, he went back to the
beginning, to give her a sort of history of how he came to form the
acquaintance.

'Mamma,' he said timidly, twining his arms still closer around her neck,
and speaking in a slow, hesitating way, as if he feared that this would
give her pain also, 'our house, you know, is a very lonesome place. Oh,
so _very_ lonesome!--just like a day when the sun won't shine, and the
rain comes dark and slow. Well, ma, it was always bad enough, but when
Charley went away to school, and you stayed up here more than ever, and
Betty got crosser than ever, you can't think _how_ lonesome it was! Pa
used to bring me playthings at first, but I felt so bad I couldn't play
with them. I felt all the time as if I wanted something, and,' glancing
piteously up into his mother's face, and laying his little hand upon his
heart, 'as if I was _so hungry here_. Well, I used to climb up at the
window and watch the people going by, and wonder and wonder what the
matter was.' He waited as if half expecting an answer; but a stifled sob
was the only reply. 'Looking out the window and seeing other people, I
found out after a while that we were different from everybody else.
Other mothers who had little boys like me, always took their little boys
with them when they went to walk. All the sunshiny days they went
walking up and down--walking up and down; and the mothers were not cross
like Betty, and the little boys were not lonesome like me, but had such
red, chubby cheeks, and looked happy 'most all the time. The first day I
found this out, when Betty took me away from the window, and stood me up
before the glass to comb my hair, and I looked in and saw what a face I
had, I cried and cried. Then the mothers would smile and look pleased
whenever their little boys spoke to them, and seemed to love them so
much, that I wanted them to love me too; and I used to throw little
things out of the window sometimes, so that they would look up and smile
at me.'

Ah! the young, tender heart, living, as yet, only by the affections,
that required such a wealth of love to fill it! The little outcast heart
depending on casual passers by for a stray word or look of comfort,
striving to feed itself on such poor, miserable crumbs as these! It made
the mother's face grow white with anguish to think of _that_.

'Well, about just such a time every morning, when Charley had gone to
school, and I sat by the window as lonesome as lonesome could be, on the
sidewalk under the window there always came a lady who was kinder to me
than the other ladies, who _always_ looked up and smiled. Such a
beautiful lady, ma, with a face as kind as pa's, and a great deal more
smiling; you'd love her if you saw her; I know you would--you couldn't
help it. And ma,' and here Harry's enthusiasm died out, and his voice
took a sadder tone, 'she's got a little boy, just about as big as I am,
and she always takes him with her when she goes out, just like the other
ladies. And--and ma'--the low voice had a frightened tone in it, as if
the little one feared he was venturing too far.

'Yes, Harry.'

'I thought--that--that--'

'What, darling?'

'That if you would go out to walk yourself sometimes, and take us with
you, Charley and me, that we shouldn't be so different from everybody
else, and it wouldn't be quite so lonesome here.'

A long pause followed--a frightened pause on Harry's part. Venturing,
after a little while, to look into his mother's face, its sadness,
unmixed with anger reassured him, and he proceeded:

'That was the lady who sent you the flower. She lives in a little white
house just across the road. One day, when Betty took me out for a walk,
I ran away and went there; and I have been there a good many times
since. It's a little house, ma, a very little house. There are no bright
pictures or beautiful carpets in it; but they are never lonesome there.
She is as kind to her little boy every day as you are to me now. It's a
long time, ma, since you kissed me and held me on your lap, and acted as
if you loved me! Oh, mamma!' He laid the pale cheek, wet with grateful
tears, close against her own. 'Why a'n't you good to me always? I love
you _now_, but I don't love you always; I _can't_ love you always, ma.
That day when you frightened me so, when you pulled my hair, threw me
down on the floor, and whipped me till the blood ran, I didn't like you
for a long time _then_, you hurt me so.'

The grief of the wretched mother burst forth anew in sobs and tears.

'Oh, Harry! oh, my poor, poor child! Did ma do that?'

'Don't cry, ma, oh, don't cry; I don't think you meant to do it. There
is something that changes you, that makes you cross and strange. And
ma'--the timid voice sank away to a low, frightened whisper, broken and
tremulous with tears.

'Yes, dearest.'

'You won't be angry, dear mamma?'

'No, love, no.'

He hid his face on her shoulder, sobbing:

'It's something that you drink. They never have it there, in that little
house,' pursued Harry in a voice choked with rushing tears. 'They never
have it anywhere where they are happy. Oh, mamma! If you'd only send it
away, if you'd throw it away, if you would put it out of sight; oh, my
dear, dear mamma, if you would never look at it, never taste it, never,
never drink it any more!' In the energy of his supplication he twined
the little arms still closer and closer about her neck--his tears fell
like rain upon her bosom. That baby face, eloquent with entreaty and wet
with tears! She could not bear to see it. Crimson with shame, she hid
her own in her outstretched hands. 'She never drinks it. I've watched
her; she drinks coffee sometimes, water sometimes, _tea_ 'most always.
Ma, if you must drink something, why wouldn't _tea_ do just as well?'

She folded her arms about the little form, and clasped it to her bosom.
Her face was lighted with a high resolve, the heart against which her
child's was pressed was throbbing with a lofty impulse.

'It would, my darling, it would; with God's help, it shall. Here in His
holy presence, I solemnly promise, if there is any strength in good
resolutions, if there is any power of good left within me, if God will
not utterly forsake one who has so long forsaken her better nature,
never, never, from this time, henceforth and forever, to touch, taste,
or look upon the accursed thing.'

That night, at the foot of the tall poplar, the flickering sunlight
falling through the leaves on his head, making the brown hair golden
where it fell, Harry sat watching the coming of his brother. He had not
long to wait; in a little while the red, slanting rays fell on that
other head of darker brown. The well-known form appeared at the gateway,
and Harry went bounding down the gravel walk to meet him.

'Ma wants to see you,' panted the little brother. 'She wanted you to
come up to her room as soon as ever you got home. She sent me to tell
you so.'

The message was such an unusual one, he was so flushed and excited, so
_proud_ to give it, and the look of joy shining in the pale face was
such a stranger to it, that the great brown eyes of the elder brother
opened wide in silent wonder, and the excited Harry had caught him by
both hands, and was dragging him by main force toward the house before
he had recovered from his astonishment sufficiently to speak.

'I don't want to go,' cried the unwilling Charley, ruefully drawing
back. 'I don't _want_ to go, Harry. _Why_ does she want to see me? What
_makes_ her want to see me? I a'n't done nothing to be whipped for!'

'Oh! it isn't _that_,' returned the little fellow eagerly. 'We a'n't
going to be whipped any more, unless we're real naughty, and then not
very hard; and ma is going to send Betty away, and we a'n't going to be
scolded any more; and she's going to take us to walk and ride with her
sometimes, as the other mothers do. Why,' cried the eager child, all
glowing at the delightful prospect, 'Why, Charley, we're going to be
happy now.'

'Oh, I don't believe we are,' sadly sighed the more experienced Charley,
scratching his curls disconsolately, and looking at his brother in a
maze of perplexity and doubt. 'I've thought we were going to be happy a
great many times, but we a'n't been never, and I don't believe we ever
will be. The first thing I remember was being lonesome, and I've been as
lonesome as could be ever since. No, no; we shall never be happy. Ta'n't
no use thinking about being happy,' and the forlorn child threw himself
upon the grass in a hopeless and dejected manner. 'But they _do_ say,
Harry,' he continued, looking up through the leaves at the blue vault
above him, 'that there's a place up yonder somewhere where good people
go when they die, and where _everybody_ is happy. I've thought, since I
heard about it, that perhaps some people went there without dying. If
they _do_, Harry, and I can only find out the way, I'd leave this mean
old place, and go there straight, this very minute. I'd like to have you
and pa come, Harry; but ma is always scolding or whipping us for
something. I don't like ma, and I don't care whether she ever gets there
or not. Come to think of it,' pursued Charley, as a new thought seemed
to strike him, 'I had a good deal rather she wouldn't come; for if she
_did_ find out the way, and come up there after a while, like as any way
she'd bring a switch with her.'

'You shouldn't talk so about ma, Charley,' said his meek-eyed brother.
'She isn't cross _always_. She has been kind to me to-day, so kind,'
said the little fellow, stemming with his fingers two great round drops
that were slowly running down his cheeks, 'that it makes the tears come
to think about it. I was with her a great long while, and she didn't
scold or speak cross once. Why, only think, Charley,' he proceeded,
opening his eyes, as if the fact about to be communicated could never be
sufficiently wondered at, 'we were all alone together for ever so long,
and she might have got angry and whipped me just as well as not, and pa
would never know anything about it.'

'It's a wonder she didn't,' scornfully returned his brother; 'it would
have been such a nice chance. She don't get such a chance as _that_
every day. There wouldn't have been any fun in it if she had, though;
for I tell you what it is,' he continued, looking about on his hands for
sundry marks and dents left thereon by the nails of his mother, 'I tell
you what it is, Harry, when she gets hold of a feller, she digs right
in. She pounds us more than half the time for just nothing at all, only
because she gets mad and likes to do it. To be sure, I get mad myself
sometimes, and say ugly words, and ought to be whipped; but you, _you_
never do anything to be whipped for, and _she_,' proceeded the indignant
little fellow, with an emphasis of immeasurable scorn on that personal
pronoun, '_she_ to go to work and pound a little, pale fellow like you!
Why, she ought to be ashamed of herself. I get so mad sometimes when she
gets to whipping us, and pa comes to take us away, that I think if he
would pound her just as hard as she pounds us, and just long enough to
let us see how good it feels, I wouldn't care a bit--I'd just like it:
but he don't never; he only trembles all over and gets very white, sets
her down in a chair, and takes us out of the room--buys us playthings,
or tells us stories to stop our crying, and that's the end of it until
next time.'

Poor Harry! the color had faded from his face, the light from his eyes.
That deep shadow of inexpressible mournfulness had again crept into
them. Memory of such scenes, as are never garnered up in the breasts of
happy childhood, shadowed his face and heart. His short-lived happiness
was over. He made no reply to his brother, but sat motionless, gazing at
the sky with a searching, yearning, far-off gaze. Looking at the two
young faces turned upward, it would have been hard to say which was the
saddest. Young as they were, traces of the working of the curse which
had blighted their lives, were plainly visible in both. Both were
equally pale and thoughtful, both robbed of the brightness and gayety
belonging to their years, only varying in expression as they varied in
temperament. The look of meek and patient endurance on the face of the
younger spoke of a nature that wrong and suffering might crush, but
could never rouse to anger or resentment--of a heart that would break,
if must be, but would patiently lie down and die. The scornful defiance
flashing ever and anon in the face of the elder brother, the
immeasurable bitterness mingling with its sadness, showed a proud and
fiery temperament that could be goaded to desperation.

'But she shall never strike me many times more,' continued Charley, with
suppressed indignation. After a pause, during which, with compressed lip
and clouded brow, he had been resentfully dwelling upon the pain and
humiliation consequent upon the blows he had received: 'Never! never!
for I don't care if it _is_ wrong, if pa _does_ tell me not to do it, I
don't care if she is my mother; after I get just a little bigger, when
she strikes me, I'm going to strike back again.'

These vengeful threats exciting no answering comments from his brother,
Charley turned to look at him. A strange prophetic chill swept across
the intuitional soul, and filled it with vague, shuddering apprehension.

'Harry, don't look that way; Harry, come back to yourself! Oh, Harry!
take your eyes from the sky and look at me. You frighten me so!' cried
Charley, in a voice tremulous with agitation.

The consciousness of his surroundings had dawned so slowly on the rapt
soul, the patient face had turned toward his brother's so calmly, he was
so meek and quiet, so undemonstrative usually, that he was totally
unprepared for the wild burst of passionate weeping with which Harry
threw himself upon his neck.

'Oh! Charley, Charley, I cannot find it, I cannot see the land you talk
of. I know it must be there, where the sky is clear and the sun is
shining; but I've been looking, and I can't see it anywhere. Oh!
Charley, where is it? Where is the place up yonder where they are good
and happy? Show me the way there, show me the way. I don't want to stay
_here_,' sobbed Harry, coming back to his own hopeless self again; 'I
want to go somewhere where folks don't have to be lonesome all the time;
I don't know what dying is, but if dying will do it, I want dying to
take me there.'

He had drawn his brother toward him, wiped his tears away with his own
little apron, and soothed him as well as his agitation would permit,
striving, amid the tumult of his thoughts, to gather up such meagre
scraps of information as he had gleaned upon the subject, and put it
into intelligible words, when, from a window almost hidden by the leaves
of the tree under which they were sitting, they heard a voice calling
to them, a familiar voice, but with a new tone in it, which quickens
their pulse-beat, and makes their hearts throb with a sweet joy. Dimly
visible through the foliage, a familiar face is looking down upon them,
loving and tender as any mother's face should be; and with that look,
the strong instinctive love for her which nature had implanted in their
hearts awoke in all its strength. Pride, anger, sorrow, were all alike
forgotten. To her loving call there came from eager lips the ready
response:

'Yes, mamma; we are coming, dear mamma.'

Those who are blessed with golden memories of a happy childhood,
perchance but lightly prize Heaven's brightest, choicest gift. Those who
have never felt the hungering and thirsting of a heart deprived of
sympathy and kindness, the desolate pining of that state more sorrowful
than orphanage, can but feebly, faintly guess how tender tones and soft
caresses, loving words and looks, such common blessings as awaken in the
happy thought of gratitude, were treasured up in these lonely hearts as
gifts of priceless value, or measure the deep thankfulness which
thrilled them as they knelt side by side at their mother's knee, and
said their prayers in the deepening twilight that summer night.

They had a table spread before the open window, and had their supper in
their mother's room, and, as the light sank into darkness, with an arm
thrown around each little form caressingly, and a brown head resting on
each shoulder, they sat beside her on the sofa, and listened as she told
them, in language suited to their childish comprehension, of the coming
joys in store for them, of what a happy home their future home should
be, now that she had resolutely parted from the curse that had destroyed
their peace, and forever turned her back against it;--listened as she
drew glowing pictures of the walks and rides they would take, of the
varied pleasures they would enjoy together, pleasures it should be her
pleasing task to plan. They had nothing to damp their enjoyment, for she
had dismissed Betty, and with her own hands undressed and bathed them,
and robed them for the night; and they enjoyed it all, not with the keen
zest, the careless hilarity of childhood, but with the subdued and
thoughtful gravity seen in beings of maturer years, to whose lot has
fallen more of the sorrows than the joys of life, and who receive
happiness, when at rare intervals it comes to them, with a tremulous
thankfulness, as if fearful of entertaining so strange a guest; and when
at last it ended, as all happy seasons must, and both tired heads rested
on one pillow, Harry whispered to his brother:

'There is nothing to be sorry for _now_, Charley. She will never drink
that dark stuff any more--I know she never will; she will never forget
the promise she has made.'

Then the drowsy eyes, ere they closed, sought the dim night sky for that
star, the brightest in the blue above him, which had revealed itself
through his tears, when alone in the darkness he had first learned to
pray, and, gazing on it, and on the sky beyond, where a happier home
than any earthly one is proffered, murmured to himself, with a peaceful
smile:

'Oh! we shall be so happy, so very, very, very happy!'


PART THIRD.

She promised. Oh, frail and sandy foundation, on which to build bright
hopes of earthly happiness! Only for four brief weeks, one happy month,
that solemn promise was faithfully remembered. Of the effort that even
this short period of abstinence had cost her, of the burning thirst
which tortured her by day and night, the fierce desire that battled with
and almost overcame her feeble resolution when the enthusiasm that had
at first upheld her died away, of the suffering of those weary weeks of
conflict, only those can tell who, heroes every one, like her, have
battled with this fierce spiritual Apollyon, and who, unlike her, have
overcome. Hour by hour the maddening desire of gratification wasted
little by little her moral strength. The thirst grew stronger, the will
weaker.

The thought of the home she had brightened by her self-denial, the heart
she had gladdened, the little ones who had drawn their life from hers,
whose trust in her was growing stronger day by day, as evening came and
showed the valued promise still remembered, and morning dawned and found
her faithful, held her back at first; but gradually this also lost its
power. Then that torturing, burning, maddening thirst swept over the
doomed soul like a fierce simoom, drying up the fountains of maternal
tenderness, bearing away all sense of duty, all tenderness and sympathy,
the blessed hope of heaven itself, in its desolating track. One wretched
day, when this thirst was so strong upon her that her priceless soul
grew worthless in her eyes, and she would smilingly have bartered it but
for a single draught; one well-remembered, miserable day, when the
little faces were raised to hers, and found upon it no trace of motherly
affection, only that dark foreboding look, and grew pale with fright
when desire had reached that relentless climax which leaves the victim
no choice but of madness or gratification, she had fiercely summoned her
usual messenger, sent for her usual drink, and sat grimly waiting for
it. In vain that trusty messenger, to whose care the wretched father had
confided that pitiful remnant of family honor, the shame of public
exposure, boldly setting fear of her aside, earnestly besought her to
wrestle with the demon yet a little longer, were it but a single day;
and implored her with tears to remember the little ones on whom this
blow would fall so heavily. There was no tone of motherly affection
within that raging breast to respond to that appeal. With parched,
cracked lips, and burning eyes and bloated face fierce with desire, she
had driven her from her presence. Fear lest the lack of this great need
would drive her to distraction quite, and some worse evil yet befall
them, she had gone her way, weeping as she went. She came back
presently. There was enough of that terrible poison in the bottle she
brought to make her mistress drunk a score of times. She may get drunk
_now_, dead drunk; in a little while she may lie upon the floor a
senseless, idiotic, disgusting creature. She almost prays it may be so,
as she hands her the glass which she angrily calls for, for there is yet
a greater evil to be dreaded. The liquor so long untasted, acting upon
her naturally high temper, may arouse within her a wild tempest of
passion; in her frenzy she may fall upon those little ones, beat,
bruise, maim, murder them perhaps. It is not the first time their lives
have been endangered by her violence. To get them from the room without
exciting her opposition, so quietly and naturally that it shall hardly
attract her observation, is her first care; hence, under pretence of
arranging the window curtain, she says to Charley, who is standing near
it:

'Charley, say you want some cakes--a drink of water--anything that's
down stairs, and follow me out of this room.'

'I can't go, Maggie,' returned the child, in the same cautious whisper,
glancing toward his mother with his large dark eyes wildly dilated, and
his small face bleached with fright. 'Harry won't go, and I can't leave
Harry.'

'Harry shall go,' energetically repeated the resolute Maggie, putting
her head out of the window to say her say. 'He is not going to stay here
to be mauled! Harry,' she continued, in the most insinuating tone
imaginable, 'come down stairs with Maggie. There's a darling.'

He was leaning out of the window, apparently looking at something in the
street below, and did not move as she addressed him.

'Harry, Harry,' she called again, in an excited whisper, 'do you hear
me? quick, child, quick!'

He turned toward her his face covered with tears.

'Don't cry, for heaven's sake, child; don't cry _here_,' returned
Maggie, with a suppressed groan, 'or that mother of yours will pounce
upon you in spite of me.'

At the mention of that word, what little self-possession he retained
gave way, and he sobbed outright. It was a sob so passionate and long
suppressed, and it burst forth in spite of him with such vehemence, that
it shook the little form from head to foot, and sounded through the
still room so miserably hopeless, so heart-broken, that it even aroused
the stupefied being nodding in her chair, whom he had the misery to call
by the name of mother. It awakened within her some vague thought of
motherly sympathy; and, stupidly striving to comprehend what it meant,
and idly muttering to her miserable self, she poured out a third glass,
held it in her hand as well as she was able, and came tottering forward,
swaying to and fro in maudlin efforts to keep her feet. She took up her
position directly behind Harry, and looked vacantly out. She was trying
to ask what was the matter, with a tongue whose palsied utterance made
language incomprehensible, when Harry's friend, whom he had been
watching, and whose figure he had, with love's delicate discrimination,
picked out from a score of similar figures, and known to be hers, when
it was but a mere speck in the distance, passed directly under the open
window, and, startled by that sob and by that drunken voice in answer,
looked wonderingly up. Oh, heavens! she read that fearful secret in one
blank, horrified glance. She read it in the despairing hopelessness of
the little face turned toward hers--that look so terrible in a face so
young. She read it still more clearly in that fiery, bloated, senseless
visage looking down upon her with a dull stare, in the swaying form
feebly holding the tell-tale glass. She knew now why that delicate
child, nursed in the lap of affluence, having all that wealth could
purchase, had come so timidly to her lowly dwelling, and earnestly
besought her for a single kiss; what had made the little face sorrowful
and wan, and set that seal of suffering upon it. She saw it all, and,
under the sudden weight of that astounding revelation, she literally
staggered as under the weight of a blow. Looking down through his
tear-dimmed eyes at the face he loved so well, Harry saw upon it no look
of sympathy or recognition for him--only that blank, amazed,
horror-stricken look at that something behind him, a look which embraced
every item of the shameful scene, and showed all too clearly how plainly
it did so. Then, without a word or glance of kindness, she gathered her
veil closely about her pallid visage, and quickly hurried away. Alas for
Harry! he feels that the truth has turned her heart from his, and she
has gone forever. The anguish of that thought was too great for
suppression, and he stretched forth his hands toward the retreating
figure with a forlorn wail of supplication. That look of horror, that
low, plaintive, heart-broken cry, like a child forsaken of its mother,
had sobered her a little. She had been a proud woman once, and a remnant
of the nobler pride which had once uplifted her was still left within
her soul. To have eyes from which shone forth the pure, unsullied spirit
of womanhood, discover her secret, and look upon her in her shame; to
behold in a rival, whom unseen she hated, womanhood enthroned in
excellence; to see its image in herself fallen and defaced, sunken in
degradation; to know that a few kind and well-bestowed caresses had won
her child's love from her, that on that strange maternal bosom the
little head rested more tranquilly and peacefully than on her own; to
owe her a double grudge as discoverer and supplanter--this aroused the
smouldering and now perverted pride yet alive within her bosom, and
fanned it to a flame. She clinched her hands convulsively, her teeth
shut together with a dull, grating sound, the unsteady form swayed to
and fro, like a lithe tree shaken in the wind of a coming tempest, and
the bloated face, dark with wrath, was terrible to look upon. It was a
fearful thing to be alone with that half-drunken creature, and see wave
after wave of passion rolling over her tempest-tossed soul, lashing it
into fury. Maggie felt it to be so _now_. As a trusty confidant and able
protector, one who, by some strange means, had gained an ascendency over
her mistress that no other possessed, and wisely exercised this
controlling power, she had been with these poor children through many
similar scenes, sheltering them under the broad wing of her protection,
but she had never beheld the gathering of so dark a storm, never felt
the vague, shuddering dread, the chill apprehension which seized on her
now. One glance at that terrible being showed her power lost, her
protection insufficient, impotent. To stay with them and endeavor to
breast the coming storm would be madness--to try to get the children
from the room now would be both impolitic and dangerous; at the least
demonstration of the kind that storm would be sure to burst upon them in
all its resistless fury, and before its raging power she felt her
strength would be utter weakness. She must fly for aid. Perhaps even now
some invisible being, conscious of their danger, might be impelling
their father to the rescue.

'Harry,' said Maggie, turning very pale, as she glanced at the dreadful
figure rocking to and fro in fearful communing with itself, and bending
down to whisper a parting injunction as she tied on her bonnet, 'don't
speak to her, don't look toward her. Don't cross her in any way. She's
the devil's own, now.'

A word, a look, a gesture of entreaty to Charley, placing in dumb show
his brother in his charge, and she passed from the room hastily and
noiselessly, but not unperceived. As she vanished, an evil smile of
triumph at thus being so easily rid of an able antagonist, flashed
across the terrible face, giving it almost the look of a demon. In
passing out, Maggie has left the door ajar, which perceiving, the
wretched woman totters across the room, shuts the door, locks it, throws
the key upon the floor, and, tottering back to her seat, again takes a
long, deep draught from the glass upon the table. Fixing her fiery eyes
full on Harry, she calls out imperiously:

'Come here, sir!'

The tone in which the command is given is cruel, stern, and cold,
unsoftened by maternal tenderness, untouched by womanly gentleness, and
the bloated face has the same evil look upon it. Harry shrinks back
affrighted.

'Are you deaf, you adder? Come here, I say, come here.'

There is a fierceness in the tone now which shows a longer delay will be
dangerous; and so Charley, pale and trembling, comes forth from the
corner in which he has been crouching, and, taking his smaller brother
by the hand, they come forward together.

'What made you bawl after that woman--that woman in the street?' she
says, viciously grasping the little shoulder, and giving it a shake.
'Answer me this minute. Speak, sir, speak!'

'I--I can't help loving her, ma,' falters the poor child deprecatingly,
while the blue eyes fill, and the tears fall slowly down his face.

'There, none of your snivelling,' she cries fiercely, giving him another
shake. 'Come up here; come closer. Here! Stand back, you,' pushing
Charley from her with a force that makes him stagger. 'Now then,' she
furiously demands, 'did you ever cry after _me_ when _I_ went away and
left you?'

He is so faint with fright that he can hardly find his voice to answer,
and the words are almost inarticulate as he falters forth:

'Sometimes, ma; sometimes, when you are kind to me.'

'You never did; you know you never did, you little liar,' shrieks the
crazed creature, savagely dealing him a heavy blow which sends him
reeling from her.

'Oh, ma! Oh, ma!' gasps the poor child, crouching down in the extremity
of terror as the terrible figure comes flying toward him. '_Don't_ kill
me, oh, don't kill _me_; I'm such a little boy!'

She pounces upon him like a tigress, lifting the fragile form high in
the air, and dashing it down to the floor again with all her cruel
force. She shakes, she bites him, she rains blows upon the poor,
defenceless child, leaving prints of her vicious fingers all over the
poor little body wherever she touches the tender skin, marks of her
cruel nails on the delicate arms and hands, long, deep scratches from
which the blood exudes slowly. One last cruel blow hushes the suppressed
cries of pain and terror, the low moans for mercy, and lays the bruised
and quivering form senseless at her feet. Then the mad creature, crazed
with drink and passion, goes careering up and down the room, snatching
from table and bureau the costly trinkets with which they are adorned,
and wildly trampling them beneath her feet as she hurries to and fro.
She is so terrible to look upon, with that scarlet, bloated face,
distorted by passion, and the long, thick hair unbound hanging wildly
about it, and that baleful light in her bloodshot eyes, so terrible in
the frenzied excitement of look and motion, that Charley, who has crept
to the side of his prostrate brother, and is tenderly holding the
unconscious head, has no power to cry or move, but sits half frozen with
horror, with his great brown eyes wildly dilated, fixed in a species of
fascination upon the strange motions of that dreadful figure, and merely
in obedience to the instinct of self-preservation endeavors to shield
himself and his insensible charge from the heavy blows aimed at them as
she comes flying past. A few brief moments pass in this way, moments
which to that poor child, alone with that wild being, seem dreadful
hours of torturing length. Then the blessed sounds of coming relief fall
on his ear, footsteps are approaching, a man's firm, hurried tread and
woman's lighter but no less rapid step are heard through the hall below,
up the staircase--on, on they come, crossing the long upper hall,
pausing at the threshold. Then they try the door; swift, crushing blows
are rained upon it, the door is burst open, and they come rushing
distractedly in.

'Oh, pa! pa!' The tongue is loosed whose utterance fear has palsied, and
Charley stretches forth his hands to the strong arm of his earthly
saviour. One hasty glance around the room strewn with fragments of
costly toys, one look at the maniacal form in the centre with wildly
dishevelled hair, and leering, vacant face, then the anguished eyes fall
on _that_ for which they are searching, see the outstretched arms of the
little figure cowering in a corner half hid by the window curtain, see
that other figure lying at its feet, so livid and motionless, so
breathless, with the deathly face upturned, and the long brown lashes,
still wet with tears, resting on the marble cheeks.

'O God! too late! too late!' The strong agony of that father's heart
bursts forth from his bleached lips in that wild, irrepressible cry. He
seizes the tottering form. He shakes it fiercely: 'Woman! fiend! blot on
the name of mother! you have _killed_ my boy!'

That momentary burst of passion past, he leaves the hapless creature to
her witless mumbling, and, with great waves of anguish rolling over his
soul, the broken-hearted father kneels beside his boy.

'Not dead! oh, thank God! not dead.'

There is a slight throbbing motion of the heart, a faint, scarcely
perceptible pulsation at the wrist. They raise the senseless form from
off the floor. Up to his room they bear him; softly on his little bed
they lay him--that little bed from which he is never more to rise.
Gentle footsteps glide noiselessly about the room, loving eyes are bent
above him, and tears fall upon the upturned face. Long days go and come,
fragrant sunny days, bright with the bloom of summer, each day one less
of earth, one nearer heaven. The loving watchers know it, and ever and
anon there are sounds of smothered weeping there. But there are no
answering tears from eyes soon to look on immortal things, for on the
passing soul dawns a vision of a home beyond the shadow and the blight,
where, in meadows fragrant with immortal flowers, the _Great Shepherd
feedeth His sheep_, and, as He tenderly leads them beside the still
waters, gathers the _lambs_ to His bosom. In that clime glows the glory
of unfading light, the bloom of undying beauty. Henceforth the beauty
and the light of this transitory sphere seem wan and cold, and the
fading things of earth grow worthless in the dying eyes, and the tranced
soul longs to be gone, yet bides its time with patient sweetness.
Patient amid all his pain, no groan escapes the parched lips, no
complaining murmur. Bearing all his sufferings with meek endurance,
quiet and very thoughtful he lies upon his little bed, smiling placidly
upon those about him--grateful, very grateful for their love and care;
watching with musing eyes the long hours through the changes of the day
on the sky as seen from his window--gray dawn melting into morning,
morning into mellow day, day, with its varied changes, sinking into
night. The heaven beyond on which he muses as he gazes, the home for
which he longs, baptizes him with its light beforetime. On the sinless
brow the seal of a perfect peace is set, and the air about the child
grows holy. A hush falls on the room mysterious and solemn, and they
know that white-robed immortals are treading earthly courts, mingling in
earthly company; for he murmurs in his dreams of radiant faces that bend
above him; and the wan face, as they watch it in its slumbers, grows
bright with the look of heaven. A few more hours of earth, a little
longer tarrying of the immortal with the mortal part where it has lived
and loved, suffered and rejoiced; a few more moans of pain, and the blue
eyes open and look upon the day whose silent light will dawn upon us
all. They had not thought the end so near at hand; and, worn out with
grief and watching, the father and his faithful nurses had one by one
retired to rest, leaving Charley, at his earnest solicitation, to sit
beside the bed and watch his brother's fitful slumbers. Since that fatal
day, a dread and horror of his mother had seized upon the child. Though
surrounded by those he loved, her near approach would cause strong
nervous chills, and her kiss or touch would throw him into frightful
spasms, from which they could with difficulty recover him; hence, by the
doctor's orders, she was forbidden the room, and it was only when utter
exhaustion had steeped his refined spiritual sense into perfect oblivion
of surrounding objects, that she was permitted to enter there and gaze
for a little on the wan features of her sleeping child. That day,
knowing his time on earth was short, and possessed by a restless and
uncontrollable desire to be near him, even though she could not look
upon his face, into the room of her dying boy she had stolen like a
culprit, and noiselessly shrank into the farthest corner of the room,
screened from his observation by the heavy window-curtain and the high
head-board of the bed. They had discovered her there after a time, but
she, in terms which would have moved the coldest heart to pity, implored
them with tears to allow her to remain; and they, seeing that the demon
had departed from her for a season, and compassionating the forlorn
being, had gone away and left her there. She sits motionless in the
silent room, her despairing eyes fixed on the serene heaven to which her
darling will soon be gone, and from which the stern justice of an
accusing conscience tells her she may be forever excluded.

And oh! if this be truth, if in the world beyond there is no hope for
sinful souls that have gone astray in this, and this parting _is_
eternal, then, oh then, through the long, dark ages of suffering which
may be her future portion, never to look upon her darling more, never
more to kiss the sweet lips that have called her mother, never more to
look upon him here till the silken lashes droop toward the marble cheek
and the half-veiled eyes have lost their lustre, and they lead her in
for a last look ere the little face is shut out from mortal gaze
forever!--oh! the unutterable anguish of that thought, and the remorse
which mingles with it! Not for that last dreadful act, for she never
knew that she had killed him. No clear remembrance of that day lives
within to curse her memory, but she knows that a strange and
unaccountable dread of her has seized upon the child, that she is
banished from his dying presence; and an undefined and vague
remembrance, a misty horror, has fallen on her life, rests on her like
an incubus, pursues her in a thousand phantom shapes through the long,
dark watches of the terror-laden night, and through burdened days of
ceaseless suffering. She knows, for they have told her, that when his
consciousness returned, his first cry had been for the mother of his
heart; that she had left everything and come to him; that she had taken
her place beside his bed, a dearer place than she had ever occupied in
his heart; that no hands like those chill, magnetic ones could soothe
him in his pain, or charm him to his fitful slumbers; that on no bosom
could the throbbing head rest so tranquilly as on her own. What the
mother's heart suffered in that knowledge when her better nature
prevailed, only the Being knows Who framed it. The hours of the long day
wore heavily on. The sun, that had paused awhile in mid-heaven, was now
sinking slowly toward the west. Yet, unmindful of food or rest, seated
in the same corner into which she had shrunk on entering the room, ever
and anon rocking herself to and fro, or wringing her hands in silent
agony, there sits the wretched mother, hidden watcher by the bedside of
her dying boy. The room has been chosen for its retired situation, and
is removed from the noise of household occupations; and the bustle of
the crowded street, even in its busiest hours, falls on the ear in a
distant hum. It is quiet now, very quiet. Harry has awakened once from
his slumbers, asked to be moved nearer the front of the bed, that they
may be very near each other while he sleeps again, and, when that was
done, has smiled lovingly upon the little, sorrowful watcher, and, with
his wasted hand tightly clasped in his, has fallen into sounder
slumbers. In the deathlike stillness which has fallen on the room, she
can hear his breathing, and has ventured twice or thrice, while he slept
thus, to steal softly to the bedside and look upon his face; but as at
each successive attempt he has seemed almost immediately to feel the
dreaded atmosphere, and his slumbers have become broken and uneasy, with
a heavy heart she has crept silently back again. Charley has waited
until the thin hand of the sick child has relaxed its clasp on his own,
then, moved by a loving impulse, noiselessly busies himself in removing
a littered mass of vials, cups, and glasses, which have accumulated on
the stand near the bed, to a table just at hand, and taxes his childish
ingenuity in arranging thereon, in the prettiest possible form, a
multitude of toys and trinkets, gifts sent by the servants of the house
to his brother, putting the new ones in front, so that his eye may fall
on them first when he wakes again. This done, he creeps back to his seat
by the bedside, and silently watches his slumbers as before.

A ray of sunlight, bright and warm, creeps through the lattice and falls
on the veined lids; the eyes open, and instinctively moving from the too
dazzling light, rest placidly on a fragment of blue sky just visible
through the half-closed window. With eyes fixed intently on that hazy
distance, moment after moment, silent and motionless he lies, and the
blue orbs grow lustrous as he gazes with the mystic beauty of eyes whose
inner vision rests on unutterable things, and gradually there comes upon
the little face the look that never comes on any face but once. Oh,
mystic change! Oh, strange solemnity of death! The little watcher by the
bedside, face to face with its mysterious presence for the first time,
ignorant of its processes, feels a dread, half-defined idea of what it
may be, and, with a piteous effort to recall his dying brother back to
his old look and seeming, tremulously falters:

'See all the nice things they've sent you, Harry, all the pretty toys
you've got! Here they are, spread out upon the table. Look, brother,
look!'

The eyes are bright and clear, the shadow of death has not yet dimmed
their light. They turn slowly, very slowly, and, just glancing at the
toy-strewn table, rest upon his brother's face. Oh! what is that look
within them that chills the warm life-current, and makes him cold and
shivering in the heat of that summer day, as the sick child feebly says:

'You may have them all, _all_, Charley; I sha'n't never want them any
more.'

'You've hardly looked at them at all, Harry,' quavers the young voice in
reply, bravely trying to continue the subject. 'You don't know how
handsome they are. The nicest ones, the very nicest ones Betty bought
you! Poor Betty! she has done nothing but cry since you've been
sick--cry, and buy you presents. She says when you get well, Harry--'
and here the brave little voice, that has been tremulous and tear-laden
all along, breaks down entirely, and he puts up his hand to check the
tears that are running down his face. There are no tears in those other
eyes looking into his; the mists of death are gathering within them. He
cannot see the tear-wet face so plainly now, but he feebly strokes the
hand that lies against his own, and says, in a weaker voice, pausing now
and then for breath:

'Poor brother, dear brother! Don't cry, Charley, don't cry! You must
tell Betty not to cry. Poor Betty! I haven't seen her once since I've
been sick. And poor mamma'--the faint voice, forgetful of its weakness,
grows stronger for a moment, and dwells on that name with measureless
compassion--'poor, poor, _poor_ mamma! I don't feel afraid of ma any
more, and I want to see her. I DO so _much_ want to see her!
Where _is_ ma, Charley?'

There is a movement in the lower part of the room, and a bent form comes
tottering forward, with hair hanging wildly about a haggard, despairing,
woeworn face. Her hands are outstretched in piteous supplication.

'Here I am,' a voice choked with sobs makes answer, 'Here's your poor,
miserable, guilty mother, Harry. O Harry! my sins have barred me out
from the heaven you are entering; say you forgive me before we part
forever. Oh! my darling, it is the last time I shall ever ask it; give
me one kiss before you go!' He smiled as only the dying _can_ smile, and
stretched out his feeble arms. 'He smiles upon me, he forgives!'
shrieked the half-demented creature. 'O God! most merciful! Thou hast
not quite forsaken me!' and with a step forward, and a gesture of
embrace, the hapless being falls heavily upon the floor.

'Raise me up, raise me up,' pleads the sick child, after partially
recovering from the shock the fall had given him; and, as he gazes upon
the prostrate form, the white, haggard, insensible features, an angel's
pity and compassion shine in the dying face. 'Oh, I can't kiss _her_,
Charley. Tell poor mamma I _couldn't_ kiss her,' he faintly moans. Then
the fitful strength gives way again, and the tired head droops wearily
on his brother's shoulder. The chilled form creeps closer to a warm
embrace. A little while they hold each other thus--these little ones,
brothers by the ties of blood, bound nearer to each other than any tie
of blood can bind, by the sacred bond of suffering! Then the arm around
poor Charley's neck relaxes its hold, and falls with a dull, lifeless
sound back upon the pillow. The little form grows colder, colder yet. He
has no power to lay it down, no power to cry for help, but sits holding
it, half paralyzed, as he hears them rushing up the stairs, urged wildly
on by the dreadful fear that they have come too late.

There is a piteous supplication in the large, dilated eyes, a mute
prayer for help in the white face he turns upon them as they enter. To
the hurried questions which come pouring forth, the bleached, white lips
make answer:

'He got cold, and went to sleep again; and he has been getting colder
ever since.'

Then the father, stooping, looks into the little face lying on Charley's
shoulder, and, staggering back as if a blow had struck him, cries out:
'Dead!' and the friend that Harry had loved so well raises the curly
head and lays it back upon the pillow. There are no tears in her gentle
eyes for him, for she knows the little, weary heart is resting now on
the great heart of Infinite Love--that he is gone to One who, with
outstretched arms, stood ready to receive him--_One_ who said long ago:
'Suffer little children to come unto Me!'



AN HOUR IN THE GALLERY OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF DESIGN.

THIRTY-NINTH ANNUAL EXHIBITION.


Great is the variety in the different classes of men to be found in
picture galleries. First in importance stand the artists, oftentimes
oracular personages, dangerous of approach by outsiders having opinions
(_such_ must generally expect a direct snubbing, polite indifference, or
silent scorn), knowing much but not everything, no single one
infallible, highly honorable as members of a guild, secretive as doctors
or lawyers, chary of talking shop to the uninitiated, hardworking,
conscientious, half luring, half scoffing at the glorious visions of the
creative imagination granted them chiefly of all men, wonder workers,
world reformers, recorders of the past and prophets of the future,
comforters of prose-ridden humanity, stewards of some of God's best
gifts, openers of the gates of the beautiful, and hence ushers into the
vestibule of the glorious 'Land of the Hereafter.' May they _all_
remember their lofty calling, and never diminish their usefulness by
unworthy contests among themselves, or by sacrificing their own better
judgment to the exigencies of popular requirement!

Next in order come the connoisseurs. Unmistakably one is that young man
with near-sighted eyeglass, with Dundreary whiskers and jaunty air, who
talks of breadth, handling, foreshortening, perspective, etc.; who
perhaps quotes Ruskin, has seen galleries abroad, is devoted to _genre_
pictures, and, after rattling through an exhibition for a half hour,
pronounces definitely upon the merits of the entire collection, singly
and _en masse_.

Equally recognizable is the older picture-fancier. He talks, if
possible, even more learnedly, discoursing of balance, tone,
chiaroscuro; he despises innovations, judges in accordance with _names_;
is of course convinced the present can bear no comparison with the past;
will look through a whole gallery, and finally be captivated by some
well-executed conceit--a sun shining through a hole--three different
sorts of light, of fire, candle, and moon, mixed in with monstrous
shadows and commonplace figures--some meaningless countenance
surmounting a satin whose every shining thread is distinguishable, and
the pattern of whose lace trimming could be copied for a fashion plate;
he is, in short, a fussy, loud individual, with money to buy and some
out-of-the-way place to hang pictures.

Then there is the man who knows but one, or at most two or three
artists, and will look at the works of none other; who sees, as
travellers generally do, not that which _is_, but that which he had made
up his mind to see before he left his own threshold. There are those
attracted by nothing except brilliant color, and others who have heard
so much of the vulgarity of 'high lights' and gaudy hues, that they will
tolerate nothing but brown trees, russet grass, gray skies, slate rocks,
drab gowns, copper skins, and shadows so deep that the discovery of the
objects represented becomes a real game of 'hide and go seek.' There are
also the timidly modest, who, although aware of their own preferences,
are yet afraid to admire any new name until some recognized authority
has given permission. Another division of this class consists of those
who, knowing their own inability to draw or to color the simplest
object, hesitate to refuse admiration to any art production that is even
barely tolerable. Let us concede to this class our respect, as humility
is the only solid basis for any human acquirement.

We also find the pretty young lady, who says 'lovely,' 'charming,' or
'horrid,' 'abominable,' in a very attractive, but most indiscriminating
manner;--the individual who cares only for the design (to whom real
depth or pathos and affected prettiness are too often one and the same),
and the other, who looks only at the technical execution. Rare, indeed,
are the imaginative analysts who, while considering the design, can
comprehend its philosophy, tell why it pleases or displeases, why they
like or dislike; and still rarer are they who add to impartiality,
observation, common sense, imaginative perception, and analytic power, a
sufficiency of technical knowledge to render their criticism useful, not
only to outsiders, but even to artists themselves. Such a guide would
indeed be an invaluable companion in any gallery of art. In default of
him, let us do the best we can, and come to a consideration of some of
the works offered us in this, the thirty-ninth annual exhibition of the
National Academy of Design.

Before we begin, however, let us make a passing remark upon a custom
that seems lately to have come in vogue, namely, to publish in the daily
papers damaging criticisms upon pictures offered for sale at auction,
such criticisms generally appearing one, or at most two days before the
sale. The want of good taste, or even of abstract justice, in such a
proceeding, must be apparent to every one who will pause a moment to
consider. To compare small things with great, for the sake of
illustration, if our neighbor has made his purchase of spring drygoods,
and spreads them upon the counter of his store, we may or may not admire
his taste in the selection of patterns, but we surely should not think
ourselves called upon to rush to the newspapers and blazon forth an
opinion to his detriment, especially if our assertions were mere
guesses, perhaps even untrue, or if we were ourselves concerned in the
selling of similar wares. Among the public are many tastes to be
gratified, and each man can judge for himself of that which pleases him.
A case of impudent pretension or actual imposition will of course
require honest people to give in their testimony, but the facts adduced
in such a case must be susceptible of proof, and not mere matters of
individual taste or opinion; neither must they be advanced at so late an
hour as to render their refutation difficult, or indeed impossible. A
regular exhibition, such as that of the Academy, offers fair ground for
discussion, as all sides have a chance of obtaining a hearing; but even
there, the scales of justice should be nicely poised, and great care
taken that neither rashness, flippancy, nor prejudice be permitted any
share in their adjustment, and 'good will toward men' be the only extra
weight ever added to either side.

To begin with the landscapes, one of the most remarkable, and, to our
individual taste, the most attractive in the whole collection, is No.
147, 'The Woods and Fields in Autumn,' by Jervis McEntee, N. A. The fine
tree-drawing and the exquisite harmony of color in this poetic
representation of autumn scenery are worthy of _all praise_. The clouds
are gathering for dark winter days, a few pleasant hours are yet left to
the dying year, the atmosphere is saturated with moist exhalations, with
tender mists softening but not obscuring the beautiful forms of the
leafless trees and shrubs. The springs are filling, the low grounds
marshy, the leaves on the woodpaths crisp and of a golden brown. Far
away in the west is a band of gray light, that tells of clearer skies
and brighter seasons one day to come, of new hopes to dawn, when the
earth, and the soul, shall have been purified by adverse blasts, by the
baring of their nakedness to the unimpeded, searching light of heaven.
No. 124, 'The Wanderer,' is a picture of similar character by the same
skilful hand. Thoughtful, refined, and discriminating lovers of art
cannot fail to find instruction and delight in these noble conceptions,
and indeed it is chiefly in the possession of such persons that we find
the truthful, conscientious, tenderly conceived, and poetical pictures
of Jervis McEntee.

S. R. Gifford, N. A., exhibits two works, differing widely from each
other, but both worthy of his reputation. Let the names now longer and
more widely established in the estimation of the general public look to
their laurels, for here is one who is destined successfully to enter an
honorable contest for the possession of the very highest honors. Unity
of design, and warmth as well as vividness of light, positive
atmosphere, characterize the works of this artist, and render each one a
satisfactorily completed poem. No. 226, 'South Mountain, Catskills,'
presents a view doubtless well known to many of our readers. The
far-away horizon, the winding Hudson with its tiny sails, the square
dent where lies the lake in the Shawangunk range, the serrated ridges of
the lower hills, the smoke from the lowlands outside the Clove, the
shadowed, ridgy sides of the Round Top Mountain, the stunted pines of
the South Mountain, so characteristically represented, the great rock
overhanging the cliffs, and the whortleberry bushes and other low growth
clustering about its base--all speak to us unmistakably of that very
spot, and tell the story of the place as we scarcely thought it could
have been told, yet so simply, so naturally, that the art of the artist
is almost forgotten in actual enjoyment of the scene portrayed. No. 250,
'A Twilight in the Adirondacs,' glows with an intensity of light
suggestive of some secret art, and not of ordinary paint and canvas. A
few brilliant cloud-specks float in a golden sky, which is reflected
from the surface of a placid lake, high up among the hills, whose
haze-flooded and light-crowned tops fade away into the far distance. To
many this picture will prove more attractive than the view from the
South Mountain: perhaps it is our familiarity with and love for the
original of the last-mentioned view, which induce us to give to it our
personal preference.

No. 158, 'The Old Hunting Grounds,' is by W. Whittredge, N. A. It gives
a charming insight into the mysteries of the woods. The characteristic
white birches, with their reflection in the quiet pool, the dark trunk
and spreading branches of the great tree in the foreground, the tender
foliage, and soft, hazy gleams into the depths of the forest, afford the
materials for a delightful picture, the more precious in our sight that
it is so truly a representation of our native land, so thoroughly
American. The broken birch canoe adds to the beauty of nature a most
effective and pathetic touch, by briefly figuring the melancholy history
of a fast-departing race. Gone forever are the moccasoned feet that
pressed _that_ mossy soil, and the dusky forms that flitted to and fro
among the white trunks that catch and hold the light so lovingly. That
broken canoe has a stranger tale to tell than any ruined arch or fallen
column of the Old World: the one speaks of some empire passed away, the
other of the gradual extinction of an entire type of human beings, a
race of men who seem to have accomplished the work assigned them, and
who die rather than abandon their native instincts and habits of thought
and life. The fortunate possessor of the 'Old Hunting Grounds,' when
shut up within the confined streets and dreary walls of a city, need
only lift his eyes to the picture to dream dreams of the freshness and
freedom of the wild woods, of the scented breeze snuffed by the browsing
deer, of the rocking branches glimmering gold and green against the
clear summer sky. Mr. Whittredge's picture is suggestive and harmonious
as nature itself, and one could never weary of it, as one infallibly
must of weaker and more conventional productions, often highly prized by
frequenters of galleries.

No. 153, 'The Iron-Bound Coast of Maine,' by W. S. Haseltine, N. A., has
the freshness, brightness, and mistiness of such a shore. We have heard
Mr. Haseltine's rocks complained of as too yellow; but, in the absence
of knowledge, are content to presume he painted them as he saw them. The
action of the dashing surf in washing away the lower strata, and
strewing the beach with fragments, is one token, among many, of an
actual observation of facts.

No. 236, 'An Artist's Studio,' and No. 131, 'Christmas Eve,' are by J.
F. Weir. Both are well conceived and executed, the latter being
especially interesting. The old wall, the great bell, the moonlight, and
the elves set the fancy musing over many things in heaven and earth
rarely dreamed of in our philosophy.

No. 12, 'The Argument,' is one of W. H. Beard's excellent fables. The
attitudes of the two bears in discussion, of the sober-minded listener
leaning with crossed paws upon the tree, and of the self-sufficient old
fellow with his paw upon his breast, may read to many a good lesson,
especially during the coming Presidential struggle, when the charities
and _bienséances_ of life will doubtless be but too often outraged. We
have been surprised and pained to see attacks upon the works of this
gentleman, coming from opposite quarters, said strictures being, in our
opinion, unjust and uncalled for. If behind the animal form we see
proof of more than animal intellect, let us not quarrel with the
addition. It is an evil mind that will go out of its way to fasten evil
intentions upon the work of a man of genius. If human faults and follies
so ill beseem the brute creation, should not such representation render
us heartily ashamed of their existence among ourselves. Love and pity
for the animal world, and a proper holding up to ridicule and scorn of
the brutish propensities, too prominent, alas! in the composition of the
human race, have been the lessons taught us by all the works of this
artist we have thus far seen.

No. 204, 'Out All Night,' by J. H. Beard, is an excellent warning to
naughty puppies to keep good hours and shun bad company.

No. 114, 'A Buckwheat Field on Thomas Cole's Farm,' and No. 143, 'The
Catskills from the Village,' are by Thomas C. Farrer, a representative
of a school which professes to paint precisely what it sees. To
represent nature is the aim of all our best modern landscapists. Of
course, no painting can give all that is in any scene, but every painter
must select the means best adapted to convey the idea he has himself
received. Now, in the ultra ideal school (to use a slang word which we
detest) we recognize but little known to us in nature; and in the ultra
matter-of-fact (pre-Raphaelite) school of this country, we find the same
absence of abstract truth, together with a painful stiffness, and the
want of a sense for beauty. We are not sufficiently practical artists to
fathom the difficulty, but it seems to us to arise from the absence of
one of the most prominent elements of beauty and interest to be found in
the universe, namely, mystery. If, in the metaphysical world, with our
limited means, we attempt an _exhaustive_ explanation of any of the
attributes of the Infinite Being, the result must be unsatisfactory; we
will always feel that there is something beyond, which we have failed to
grasp, a something which makes our best effort appear shallow and crude.
Now, the material mystery of actual landscape arises from the presence
of an appreciable atmosphere, softening forms, etherealizing distances,
modifying color, and lending the glow of variously refracted light to
every object falling under its influence. In these pictures of Mr.
Farrer we fail to find any trace of atmosphere, and hence they strike us
as bald, hard, cold, and unnatural.

No. 213, 'The Awe and Mystery of Death,' by Eugene Benson, is an able
treatment of a repulsive subject. As we gaze, we cannot but admire the
genius that has so far overcome the intrinsic difficulties of the
situation; and, while congratulating the artist upon his success, must
add that the Victor Hugo style of morbid horrors, however popular in
some species of literature, can never, we hope, become so in the purer
domain of visible fine art.

No. 246, 'Portrait,' William O. Stone, N. A., is a charming portrayal of
a charming subject.

No. 283, 'A Child,' by George A. Baker, N. A., has lovely brown eyes,
and a beautiful, thoughtful expression.

No. 253, 'A Portrait,' by W. H. Furness, jr., strikes us as a picture
carefully disfigured. The _part_ in the hair is singularly continued in
the part between the wings of the golden butterfly ornamenting the head,
the eyes are just sufficiently turned aside to give them the appearance
of avoiding a direct gaze, and the tight-fitting gown is of white
_moiré_, a material of stiff texture and chaotic pattern. The shimmer of
waves in sun or moonlight is beautiful because restless, but the
watering of a silk is a rude attempt to fix the ever variable in form,
light, and color, and hence is always unsatisfactory.

We are glad to see that the women in our community are beginning to make
some serious efforts in the way of good painting. They are by nature
subtile colorists, and there is surely no reason why they should not
conquer form, attain to technical excellence, and be inspired by noble
ideas. They must remember that excellence is attainable solely through
hard study and patient assiduity, and small things must be well
accomplished before great ones can be expected to succeed. With the
general development of what we may call 'out-door' faculties, a taste
for mere sentimental prettiness will vanish, and a healthy vigor, united
to refined and acute perception, will, we hope, characterize the labors
of the rising aspirants to artistic honors.

No. 91, 'The Sword and the Wreath,' by Miss A. E. Rose, is a poetical
conception, beautifully elaborated. The flowers have no appearance of
having been copied from wax or colored stucco, but are faithful
representations of the actual, fragile, delicate texture of the lovely
children of the garden. The method of presentation suggests a memory of
La Farge, but Miss Rose is too talented and original ever to fall into
servile imitation.

No. 132, 'On the Kaaterskill Creek,' and No. 64, 'Head of the Catskill
Clove from the South Mountain,' are by Miss Edith W. Cook. The first
offers some fine delineations of foliage, intermingled hemlock, and
deciduous trees, and the latter is a spirited and truthful
representation of a beautiful bit of Catskill scenery. The Hunter and
Plattekill Mountains, Haines's Fall, the Clove Road and intervening
ravines, the winding woodpath, and burnt trees, are close records of
fact, set in a far-away sky and a real atmosphere.

Miss Virginia Granbery's 'Basket of Cherries' (No. 81) and
'Strawberries' (No. 73) are tempting specimens of fruit.

No. 202, 'The Seamstress,' by Miss C. W. Conant, gives proof of future
excellence in the truthful pathos of its conception and the energetic
rendering of the idea.

But our hour has come to an end, and we have only space left to mention
the names of Bierstadt, Constant Mayer, Hennessy, May, Durand, Griswold,
Suydam, Bradford, Brevoort, Cropsey, Colman, Cranch, De Haas, Hart,
Homer, Hubbard, Huntington, Vedder, and White, who are all
characteristically represented, and to counsel such of our readers as
are fortunate enough to have the opportunity, to go and see for
themselves. Americans are beginning to comprehend the full value of the
arts, and to appreciate their own artists accordingly.



APHORISMS.

NO. V.


With us it may not be the actual suffering of death, as it was with our
Lord; but that we may truly follow Him, and do what we can for the good
of others, we must hold life, with all its endearments, subject to any
call for sacrifice that may be made on us; and actually give up, from
day to day, just as much of the present life, its pleasures or
interests, as may be necessary, that we may render the best possible
service in the kingdom of Christ. We have the privilege of daily
martyrdom, to be followed by its honors and blessedness, in whatsoever
circumstances we may be placed: how much of the sufferings that
sometimes accompany the spirit and the act, we need not concern
ourselves to inquire.



THE UNKIND WORD.

    Ay--far in the feeling heart
      Cast the unkind word till it smiteth,
    Till deep in the flesh like a poisoned dart
      It stingeth--and ruthlessly biteth!
          What need that the blood
          In a crimson flood
    Flow fast from the throbbing veins--
          What need--if a sob
          Or the heart's wild throb
    Betoken the horrible pains?

    The tears are forced from the mournful eyes
      As the angry word proceedeth;
    Little it cares for the stifled sighs,
      Little recks if the sad heart bleedeth;--
          But onward it goes
          While the life-blood flows
        Fast--fast on its terrible path;
          It laughs at the moan,
          And the low subdued groan,
        As it cuts so deep in its wrath.

        *       *       *       *       *

            But soft on its track,
            And calling it back,
        Soothing the wound it has made,
            A Spirit of Love
            Comes down from above,
        In heavenly beauty arrayed--

            An angel of peace
            Who bids the tears cease,
        And stops the red life-blood's flow,
            And the poisoned dart
            Draws out of the heart,
        That dart that had torn it so,
            And heals o'er the skin--
            But look then within,
        There still is a _scar_ below!



LANGUAGE A TYPE OF THE UNIVERSE.


In a preceding paper, published in the May number of THE
CONTINENTAL, the possibility, the necessity, and the
characteristics of a Scientific Universal Language were considered. In
the present paper it is proposed to examine more at large the relations
of Language to the total Universe; not merely in respect to Elements or
the Alphabetic Domain of Language, and that which corresponds with it in
the Universe; but in respect equally to all that rises above these
foundations of the two edifices in question which are to be compared.

The term Edifice or Structure will be found to be alike applicable to
each. It will be found, likewise, that both arise in parallel
development through a succession of stages or stories (French, _étages_,
ESTAGES, STAGES), and that this and other similar repetitions,
in the development of _the one_, of all the facts and features of the
development of THE OTHER, is what is meant by the Analogy of
one with the other, and by the affirmation implied in the title of this
article, that Language is a Type of the Universe.

We shall begin, therefore, by a general distribution of these two
Domains or Spheres or Structures--for the facts of the analogy will
justify the occasional use and interchange of all these terms--and shall
pursue the relationship between them into so much of detail as space
will allow.

What the Universe is in itself we have no other means of knowing than as
it _impresses_ itself upon our minds, modified as it may be by the
reactive or reflectional element supplied by the mind itself. In
preponderance, then, or primarily, the Universe is for each of us, what
the totality of _Impression_ made by the Universe is within each of us;
and the Universe in that larger and generalized sense in which we speak
of it as one, and not as many individual conceptions, is the mean
aggregate or general average of the _Impression_ made upon all minds, in
so far as it has a general or common character.

The whole of what man individually or collectively puts forth, as the
product of his mind or of all minds, is the totality of _Expression_, in
a sense which exactly counterparts the totality of _Impression_.
Impression is related to Nature, external to man, and acting on him.
Expression has relation to Art, externalized from within man, and taken
in that large sense which means all human performance whatsoever.
Science is _systematized knowing_, and is a middle term, or stands and
functionates mediatorially between Impression or Nature and Expression
or Art.

Nature or the external world impresses itself upon mind, primarily,
through the Senses, and predominantly stands related with the sense of
Feeling, of which all the other special senses are merely modified forms
or differentiations. Feeling as a sense (the sense of Touch), is allied
again with Affection, the internal counterpart of the mere external
sensation, as testified to etymologically by the use of the same word to
express both; namely, Feeling as the synonyme of Touch, and Feeling as
the synonyme of Affection. _Conation_, from the Latin _conari_, TO
EXERT ONESELF, TO PUT FORTH EFFORT, is the term employed by
metaphysicians to signify both _Desire_ and _Will_, the last being the
determination of the mind which results in action. Conation is therefore
related to action, which is again _Expression_, and is also Art, in the
large definition of the term above given.

The grand primary distribution of the Mind made by Kant, followed by Sir
William Hamilton, and now concurred in by the students of the mind
generally, is into: 1. FEELING; 2. KNOWING; and 3.
CONATION (or Will and Desire). In accordance with this is Comte's
famous epitome of the business of life: AGIR PAR AFFECTION, ET
PENSER POUR AGIR; the three terms here being again, 1. Affection
(or Feeling); 2. Knowledge (or Reflection); and 3. Action (or
Performance).

If now, instead of distributing the Mind, we enlarge the sphere of our
thinking, and distribute upon the same principle the total Universe (_as
if it_ were a mind or a mirror of the mind), for Feeling or Affection we
shall put Impression or Nature; for Knowing or Reflection we shall put
Science or Systematized Knowledge; and for Conation or Action we shall
put Art.

The following table will exhibit the two series of distribution, that of
the Universe at large, and that of the Human Mind, in their parallelism,
reading the two columns from below upward:

  I. _Universe_.                                 II. _Mind_.

  3. ART (_or Expression_).          3. CONATION (or Will and Desire).
  2. SCIENCE.                             2. KNOWING.
  1. NATURE (_or Impression_).       1. FEELING (_or Affection_).

The point of present importance in the use of these discriminations is
to make clear to the mind of the reader what perhaps is sufficiently
implied in the very terms themselves, namely: that _Impression_ and
_Expression_ are correlative to, and, in a sense, exactly reflect each
other; that the totality of _Impression_, or the Universe which enters
the mind through the senses, is repeated--with a modification, it is
true, but still with traceable identity, or with a definite and unbroken
relationship--in the totality of _Expression_, or in the Universe of
Art, taken as the entirety of what man does or creates. It is by the
mediation of Science or Knowledge, that one of these worlds is converted
into the other. Nature or _Impression_ is the aggregate of the Rays of
Incidence falling upon a mirror; Science is the Reflecting Mirror; and
Art or Human Performance is the aggregate of the Reflected Rays, whose
angles can be exactly calculated by the knowledge of the angle of
incidence. Science or Knowledge is not only the mirror which makes the
Reflection, but it is the plane or level which is to furnish us the
means of adjusting the angles; of knowing their correspondence or
relation to each other; and of translating the one into the other.
Science must, therefore, as it develops, be the instrument of informing
us of the exact analogy between Nature and Art; and must enable us so to
apply the Laws of Nature, or the Laws of God as exhibited in Nature,
that they shall become a perfect canon of life and action, in all our
attempted performances and constructions, whatsoever they may be; or,
_vice versa_, it must enable us from the knowledge of the laws of our
own actions to reveal the secrets of Nature, and to know, by the
analogy, in what manner she acts. It will then perhaps be found that the
Moral Code, as dictated by inspiration, is only the forecast, through
that method, of what is destined to be more perfectly revealed to the
intellect, when the veil is rent by the millennial perfection of man.

It will be perceived by the reader that the term Art is here employed in
a larger than its usual sense, although the analogy in question has a
special intensification when we confine the term to mean, as it
ordinarily does, the _choicest performances_ of man. The term Science
has also a larger and a smaller extension. In the larger sense it means
the totality of knowledge _extracted from Impression_ or the observation
of Nature, and distinguished _from mere Impression_ or Nature on the one
hand, and from _Expression_, Action, Performance, or Art--the
reprojection of the knowledge into new forms of being--on the other
hand. In the more restricted sense, Science means systematized
knowledge, or, still more specifically, the Body of Principles or Laws
in accordance with which knowledge becomes systematized in the mind.

The larger and the smaller Art-Performances of Humanity--first, all the
Work or Product of the Creative Power of Man; and, secondly, Grand and
Fine Art, as the Choice Product of that faculty--are again epitomized in
LANGUAGE or SPEECH. This last is the Sense-Bearing
Product of the Lips and Coöperative Organs, put representatively for the
product of the hands and of all the other instrumentalities of action.

_It is in this representative sense that_ LANGUAGE _is
preëminently and distinctively denominated_ EXPRESSION. But, as
we have seen, _Expression_ is the Equivalent and exact Reflect of
_Impression_; Art, of Nature; through the mediation of Science, meaning
thereby the Laws of Knowing. _These Laws of Knowing thus hold an exact
relation to the Laws of Doing_; or, in other words, _Scientific Laws to
Creative and Vital Laws_, which last are the Laws of Administration,
human and divine. _As an epitome or miniature, then, the Laws of
Language must be an exact reproduction of the Laws of the Universe._
Language itself, in other words, must be an epitome or miniature image,
in all its perfection, of the Universe at large; as the image formed
upon the retina of the eye, though infinitely small in the comparison,
is an exact epitome or image, inversely, of the external world presented
to the vision.

Let the reader guard himself well against supposing that what is here
meant is the mere commonplace truth that Language is the equivalent of
our _Impression_ of the Universe, in the fact that we can, through the
medium of Language, describe, and in that sense _express_, what we think
and feel of and about the Universe. What is here intended is something
far more recondite than this superficial relation between Speech,
Thought, and the World thought _about_. It is this--That, in the
Phenomena, the Laws, and the Indications of the Structure of
Language--considered as a fabric, or Word-World--_there is an exact
image or reproduction, in a miniature way, of the Phenomena, the Laws,
and the Indications of the entire Universe; in so definite and traceable
a manner as to furnish to us, when the analogy is understood, a complete
model and illustration of the Science of the Universe as a whole_.

If this be true, the immense importance of the discovery can hardly be
over-estimated. We are furnished by means of it with a simple object,
of manageable dimensions, as the subject of our direct investigations;
which, when mastered, will, by reflection, and a definite law of
relation and proportion, enable us to master the Plan of the Universe;
and so to constitute a one Science out of the many Sciences by
recognizing the Domains which they cover as parts of a larger domain,
which is equivalent to the whole.

Holding fast, then, to this thought, let us proceed to the endeavor so
to distribute the totality of the aspects of Language as to exhaust the
subject; and, by a concurrent projection of the analogies into the
larger domain of the Universe as a whole, to establish a valid
scientific _nexus_ between the minor and the major spheres of our
investigation.

First recurring to the preceding table, and translating the Abstract
Conceptions, NATURE, SCIENCE, and ART, into their
Concrete Equivalents or Analogies, they will stand thus:

     _Abstract._             _Concrete._
  3. ART.             3. HUMAN PRODUCTION. (Art Creation.)
  2. SCIENCE.         2. MAN.
  1. NATURE.          1. THE WORLD. (The Natural Universe.)

This is to say, that the World or the Natural Universe is put for the
Natural Impression which it makes of itself on the mind of the knowing
subject; that the Knowing Subject is put in the place of Knowledge; and
that the Product of Activity--the Thing Created--is put for the Activity
itself or the Act of Creation.

It is clear enough that this distribution is exhaustive, thus: 1. The
World, including, in a sense, all things; but here contrasted with, and
in that sense _excluding_, two of its own minor domains; 2. Man,
including Spirit, and God, in so far as human (not seeking to compass or
bring within our scientific classification whatsoever is divine in a
sense absolutely supernatural or transcending the Universe as such); 3.
The Collective or Aggregate Product of Human Activity; including,
especially, as norm or sample, Grand and Fine Art, the Choice Product of
Human Activity; and, in a _more_ especial sense, Language, as the
Special or Typical EXPRESSION, which exactly counterparts and
represents the totality of IMPRESSION made by _Primitive_
Nature or The World, upon Man or the Human Mind.

Nature has again, therefore, like both Science and Art, as shown above,
a double significance, in the former and larger of which it includes and
covers or envelops the two other departments of Being; in the latter and
smaller of which it excludes them, and makes Nature, or the World, to
stand over against them, as that which is to be compared with Man and
the Product of the Labor of Man; and in an especial sense with that
particular product called Speech. The easy transition from the minor to
the larger conception of Nature or the World is what renders Language a
type, not only of the Universe as distinguished from Man and the Product
of his Activity, _but equally a type of the Universe in that larger
sense in which it embraces them both_.

Hence the two terms of our comparison are: 1. LANGUAGE, as the
miniature and image of the whole, with, 2. The World or Universe, in
that larger sense in which it _is_ the whole, and, as such, includes
Language and all else.

Observe, in the next place, that Art, whether in the larger or in the
smaller sense which we have assigned to it, is the Product of the
Combination and Blending of Science with Nature (reflective knowledge
with natural impression); or, speaking in the concrete, of the
conjunction of man with the outside world; man as the Agent or Actor,
and the World or Nature as the Object wrought upon.

In the production of Speech, the _phonos_ or mere sound is the natural,
unwrought material, which corresponds with the Reality of Nature; and
the Meaning or Minding which acts on, articulates and organizes the
Sound into Speech, and which _measures_ the sound quantitatively, as in
Music, is the Scientific Attribute corresponding with Knowledge. The
result of these two in combination is the Art of Speech, generally, and
Improvisation or Song as the Fine Art of this Lingual Domain.

But passing from the Abstract to the Concrete Domain, Unwrought Natural
Sound, bearing its proportion of meaning, furnishes the great basic
department of language, which, for the reason that it is basic, is
usually regarded as the whole of language, namely, ORAL SPEECH,
or SPEECH LANGUAGE, as distinguished from MUSIC AND
SONG.

Music, on the other hand, is _wrought_ or _measured_ Sound, bearing also
its proportion of meaning; a superior language, corresponding with
_Science_, from its relation to _measure_, to _numbers_, to _fixed
laws_; as Oral Speech corresponds, in its freedom and unconstraint, with
Nature.

Music and Oral Language united or married to each other constitute
SONG, which is then the analogue or type, or Nature's
hieroglyph, in this Domain, of Art.

We say instinctively the _Art_ of Speech; the _Science_ of Music, and
the Art of Singing. In the first instance, Art is used for Natural
Performance or Nature; but the whole of speech falling within the domain
of art or performance, its lowest or natural division still has some
claim to the distinction of an art. The first step of this series,
Nature, and the third step, Art, repeat each other by overstepping the
second, which is Science, as _Do_ is accordant with _Mi_, but
disharmonic with _Re_. It is, therefore, from the instinctual perception
of this harmony, that Oral Speech, the basis of Language, the true
Nature-department of Language, is still denominated the _Art_ of Speech.

Adhering, however, to the Concrete Domain, and seeking our analogies
there, oral speech, a Concrete Thing, does not directly correspond with
Nature, an Abstract Conception, but with The World, a concrete thing;
nor does Music, a Concrete Thing, correspond with Science, an Abstract
Conception, but with Man (the Mind-being, Knowledge-being, the
Science-being), a concrete thing; nor, again, does Song, a Concrete
Thing, correspond with Art, an Abstract Conception, but with Human
Product or Doing, a concrete thing. Song is again but the lowest and
simple expression for that combination of Music and Oral Expression,
aided by Action, to which the Italians, full of instinct for Art, have
given the name OPERA, THE WORK _par excellence_, the
culmination of Art in Movement and Sound. This word, from the Latin,
_opus, operari_, work, to work, connects in idea with the Greek [Greek:
poiheô], and the whole with Action and Art. This last relationship
accounts beautifully for the fact that the words _poetry_, _poesy_, and
_poet_ should be derived from the Greek word [Greek: poiheô], which
signifies simply TO DO.

The first threefold division of Language and of The Universe, both
brought into a parallelism in the Concrete--the three ascending Stories
of each Edifice, so to speak, when compared with each other--appear then
as shown in the table below:

          _Language._        _The Universe._
  3. SONG.            3. HUMAN ACHIEVEMENT.
  2. MUSIC.           2. MAN.
  1. ORAL SPEECH.     1. THE WORLD.

Oral Speech is the agglomerism of Sound, conceived of as roundish or _in
the lump_, as an undifferentiated Oneness or mass; and, when wholly
unarticulated, it is the _Bawl_, a mere orthographical variation of
_Ball_; that is to say, it is, to the imagination, Globe-shaped, or
_World_-shaped. It is the concrete or massive world of Language or
Speech.

Music is the _Strain_ or the Abstractism of Sound. _To strain_ means
TO DRAW. _Ab-stract_ is from the Latin _ab_, FROM, and
_strahere_, TO DRAW. The idea is not here _roundish_, as in the
other case, but _elongate_; sound made into a _strain_, a _cord_, or a
_string_, equivalent to a _line_, which is the subject of
_measure_-ment, by _notes_ (or points) and _intervals_. The line, with
its _twoness_ of determination and extremity, has a relation to the
number TWO, like that which the _ball_ or _globe_ has to the
number ONE. The _line_ is at the same time the type of The
Abstract, the Domain of Science, and hence of Science, and of
_Knowledge_, and again, in the concrete, of _Man_, the
_Knowledge-being_. The _ball_ (bawl) is at the same time the type of The
Concrete (_con_, WITH, _crescere_, TO GROW; THE GROWN
TOGETHER, or AGGLOMERATE-world), and hence of Nature, and
again _in_ The Concrete, of The World, as contrasted with Man.

Song is the _measure of the strain_ and the _mingle of the bawl_ again
commingled with each other, in a composite blending of _The Measured_
and _The Free_. As the Composity of that which has for its numerical
type Two, with that which has for its numerical type One, the proper
numerical type of Song is Three; or thus:

  _Language._         _Number._
  3. Song,            THREE.
  2. Music,           TWO.
  1. Oral Speech,     ONE.

These numerical analogues can only be adverted to here, and their
meaning may not be very distinctly perceived. Their full exposition and
that of their immense importance as principles and guides in the domain
of analogy must be treated of elsewhere.

Rhythm is the _measure_ of the _strain_. Music is the _mingled measure_
of _many strains_. Song is the higher mingling of _music_ with the
_bawl_ (the phonos, or the material of Oral Speech).

_Measure_ is the analogue of _Science_, and hence Music is another such
analogue. _Men_-s, MIND, and _men_-sura, MEASURE, are
etymologically cognate words; so the English words MEAN-ing,
THE MIND _that is in a thing_, and MEAN, the average
or measure, or the dia-_meter_, or through-_measure_ of a thing. Again,
the concrete analogue of Science (_Knowledge_, _Mind_, _The Abstract,_
etc.) is, as we have seen, Man. MEN-s, MAN,
_hu_-MAN-us, are again, probably, etymologically cognate to
_homo_, _hominis_, _hoc men_-s, as _hodie_ is to _hoc_ or _hæc dies_.

The Line or Cord is the instrument of _measuring_, and as such is again
the type of Science, as the Ball or Globe is the type of Nature; the
Line, the type of _strictness_, _straightness_, _stretchedness_,
_exactness_; and the lump or aggregative form, that of Freedom from
Constraint, Solution, as of the water-drop, and of Absolute-ness (_ab_,
FROM, and _solvere_, TO FREE). THE RELATIVE
repeats THE ABSTRACT; and THE ABSOLUTE, in Philosophy,
repeats THE CONCRETE. The Relative has for its type _Two_, or
_di-termination_ (_dis_ or _di_, _Two_, and _termini_, ENDS);
and the Absolute has for its type _One_, [Greek: to hen] of the Greeks.
EXISTENCE, embodying The Absolute _and_ The Relative; the _one_
and the _two_; has for its type Three; and the all-sided aspect of
Universal Being which distinguishes and yet combines these _three_
aspects of Being, is TRI-UNITY, OR THE THREE IN ONE.

The Trinism, or third story of ascension in the constitution of things,
again divides into Two Branches, the first of which accords with Duism
(_music_, _line_, _science_, _mind_, _man_), and the second with Unism
(_oral speech_, _globe_, _nature_, _world_).

In respect to Language, the division here made distributes Song (as the
higher type, including all music) into two great departments; as, 1.
COMPOSITION, and 2. PERFORMANCE, or _the Song_as a
_Thing_, and _Singing_ as an _Act_. Song as a whole is the analogue in
language of the totality of _Human Achievement_, in the distribution of
the total Universe, as shown above. The same division applied here
distinguishes the _permanent product_ of human activity, the book or the
statue, from the performance of man--the action of the author or
sculptor. It is the distinction of the Latins between 1. _Res_, and 2.
_Res gestæ_.

Dismissing for the present the higher domain of Language, which is Song,
we reduce the scope of investigation to the lower and middle divisions,
namely: 1. To Oral Speech, and 2. To Music; and, in the distribution of
the Universe at large, to the corresponding lower and middle divisions,
namely: 1. The World (Nature), and 2. Man (Mind).

Oral Speech, the Nature-department of language, separates,
grammatically, into two grand Subdivisions, as follows: 1. Analysis, The
Elements of Language, namely, The Alphabetic and Syllabic distribution
of Language, culminating in Word-Building;--The Word in Language being
THE INDIVIDUAL in that Domain; and, 2. Synthesis, Construction,
the Grammatical Domain proper, including the Parts of Speech and their
Syntax, or their _putting together_ in a Structure or Lingual
Construction.

The first of these is the Domain of the Elementality of Language, and
corresponds with and illustrates what Kant denominates QUALITY;
as the name of one of the groups of three in his table of the twelve
Categories of the Understanding. This group of Quality includes 1.
AFFIRMATION; 2. NEGATION; and 3. LIMITATION.
By Affirmation is meant the Positive Element or Factor of Being; by
Negation, the Negative Element; and by Limitation is meant the
Articulation, that is to say, the _jointing_ or _joining_ of the
Positive and Negative Elements, in a _seam_ or _ridge_, which is the
_existential_ reality, arising from the positive (quasi-negative) and
the negative grounds of Being.

The Positive Element or Factor of Oral Speech, the Absolute Reality or
'Affirmation' of Language, is Vocal Utterance, or, specifically, the
kind of Sound called VOWEL.

The Negative Element or Factor of Oral Speech, the 'Negation' of Kant,
as illustrated in the Speech Domain, is SILENCE; the Silences
or Intervals of Rest which intervene between Sounds (and, by repetition,
between Syllables, Words, Sentences, and the still larger divisions of
Speech).

The Limitational Element of Oral Speech is CONSONANTISM, or,
specifically, the Consonant Sounds, which for that reason are otherwise
denominated Articulations, or _jointings_; as they are the breaks of the
otherwise continuous vocal utterance of Vowel Sound, and, at the same
time, the joinings between the fragments of Vowel Sound, namely, the
Vowels, and the surrounding and intervening medium of Silence. The
Consonants thus become, in a sense, the Bony Structure, or Skeleton of
Speech, the most prominent part, that which furnishes the fossil remains
of Language, which are investigated by the Comparative Philologists.

Sound, the Positive Element or Factor, the Affirmation, the Eternal Yea,
the Absolute _Reality_, is the SOMETHING of Speech.

Silence, the Negative Element or Factor, the Negation, the Eternal Nay,
the Absolute Unreality, is the NOTHING of Speech.

Articulate Sound, the Resultant Element, the _Limitation_ or
Articulation, the Eternal Transition, the Arriving and Departing, is the
EXISTENTIAL REALITY, which comes up between and out of the
Absolute Vocality (quasi-negative), and the Absolute Silence.

But the Vowel Absolute, the continuous, unbroken, unarticulated,
undifferentiated, monotonous Vowel-Sound, would be precisely equivalent
to Silence. This, then, illustrates the famous fundamental aphorism of
the Philosophy of Hegel: SOMETHING = (equal to)
NOTHING; and the seemingly absurd Hegelian affirmation that the
_real Something_ is the resultant of the conjunction of two Nothings.

What Kant denominates Quality, would be, for some uses, better
denominated Elementism or Elementality, and the Domain in which this
principle dominates might then be called the Elementismus of such larger
Domain as may be under consideration. Thus the Elementismus (or
Elementary Domain) of Language would include _Sounds_, or _the
Alphabet_, _Syllables_, and _Root-Words_. These are three _powers_ or
gradations of the Roots of Language. This same domain might therefore be
called the Radicismus or Root-Domain of Language. Typically, one-letter,
two-letter, and three-letter roots, again, represent these three powers.

The Elementismus or Radicismus of the Universe, correspondential with
that of Language, consists of the Metaphysical, the Scientific, and the
Descriptive Principles of Being. The parallelism is exhibited throughout
in the following table:

  _Language_.                                             _Universe_.

  _3d Power_. ROOT-WORDS                           3. DESCRIPTIVE GENERALIZATIONS.
  (Three-letter Syllables).                                    (Averages).
  _2d Power_. SYLLABLES                            2. SCIENTIFIC PRINCIPLES.
  (Two-letter Syllables).                                      (Force, Attraction, etc.)
                                    {3. ARTICULATIONS.                                 {3. CATEGORIES.
  _1st Power_.  THE ALPHABET {2. SILENCE.       1. METAPHYSICAL PRINCIPLES. {2. NOTHING.
  (One-letter Syllables).           {1. SOUND.                                         {1. SOMETHING.

It results from this table that the deep Metaphysical Domain, wherein
Aristotle and Kant were laboring to categorize the Universe, is the
Alphabetic Domain of Universal Being; and that their profound effort
was, so to speak, to discover The Alphabet of the Universe. It also
appears that the Syllabarium of the Universe, and typically the open
two-letter syllables of Language, as _bi, be, ba_, correspond as
analogues with the Physical Principles which lie at the basis of the
Sciences; and finally, that the completed Root-Words, typically the
closed three-letter syllables, or usual monosyllabic root-words, as
_min, men, man_, correspond with the descriptive generalizations or
general averages of Natural Science, as _Universe itself, Matter, Mind,
Movement_, etc.

These analogies need further elaboration and confirmation to render them
perfectly clear and to establish them beyond cavil--such as space here
does not admit of. Let us hurry on, therefore, to the _Relational_ or
Constructive Domains of Language and the Universe, where the analogies
are more obvious.

The second of Kant's groups of Categories, in the order in which it is
most appropriate now to consider them, he denominates RELATION.
Relation is _that which intervenes between the_ PARTS _of a_
WHOLE.

_Prepositions_ are especially defined in Grammar as words denoting
_relations_. Our attention is thus turned in the Domain of Language to
the _Parts_ of Speech; and to the Syntax (putting together), or
Construction of these Parts into the wholeness of Discourse. This is
more specifically the Department of Grammar. Conjointly these are what
may be denominated the Relationismus of Language. This is the Domain
immediately above the Elementismus. In the same way the division of the
human body or any other object into Parts, Limbs, Members, etc., and the
recombination of these into a structural whole, arises in the scale of
creation above the Domain of Elements (Ultimate, Proximate, Chemical,
etc.), this last embracing only the _qualitative_ nature of the
_substances_ entering into the structure. In the Universe at large,
therefore, this Relational Domain is that in which we shall find Things,
Properties, Actions, and, specifically, the Relations between such, and
their Combinations into Structures and Departments, Branches, or Limbs
of Being, and finally into the total Universe itself, which is the
analogue of the totality of Language.

Relation has a threefold aspect: first, in respect to Space; second, in
respect to Time; and third, in respect to _Instance_ or Present Being,
the conjunction of the _Here_ and the _Now_.

The first of these aspects subdivides into what Kant denominates, 1.
SUBSTANCE, and 2. INHERENCE.

The second of these aspects subdivides into what Kant denominates, 1.
CAUSE, and 2. DEPENDENCE.

The third of these aspects of Relation Kant sums up in the term
RECIPROCAL ACTION.

Commencing with the first of these three subdivisions of Relation, and
making our application within the Domain of Language, it is obvious that
it refers to the Substantive and Adjective region of Grammar; Substance
relating to Substantives, and Inherence (or Attributes) to Adjectives;
or otherwise stated, thus:

  SUBSTANTIVES = THINGS   (= Substance.--_Kant_).

  ADJECTIVES = PROPERTIES (= Inherence.--_Kant_).

The one Thing inclusive of all minor Things is the Universe. The
Universe as Thing, or the concrete domain of Being, subdivides into the
world of Things proper as distinguished from the Personal world, or the
Human world or Man. This first division of the _substantive_ Universe
corresponds with the first grand grammatical division of Nouns
Substantive into 1. Common Nouns Substantive, and 2. Proper Nouns
Substantive.

Common Nouns Substantive correspond with Things proper, not aspiring to
the rank of Personality; Things put in contrast with Persons; Things in
that sense in which we speak of a person derogatorily as _a mere thing_;
hence, _common_ or _ordinary_, and as a common, undistinguished herd of
objects, only named and discriminated by the class-name of the class of
objects to which they belong.

Proper Nouns Substantive are the individual and distinctive names of
Men, Women, and Children. Hence they belong to and correspond with the
domain of Personality, or to that of Man as against the world of mere
Things. Some objects, lower in the scale of Being than man, are treated
with that respect and consideration which ordinarily attach to Human
Beings, and are then dignified by applying to them Proper Names. These
are especially the Domestic Animals immediately associated with man;
Mountains, Rivers, Lakes, etc. Restated, this discrimination is as
follows:


1. COMMON NOUNS SUBSTANTIVE = THINGS, THE WORLD.

2. PROPER NOUNS SUBSTANTIVE = PERSONALITY, MAN.


It is to be borne in mind that, as a minor proportion of mere Things are
raised to the dignity of wearing Proper Names, so, on the other hand,
Men, though appropriately distinguished by prenomens and cognomens, may
also sink to the character of Things, and be mentioned by class-names.
Thus it is that throughout Nature one domain overlaps another domain,
and all of our discriminations, though made in terms as if absolute,
signify, in fact, merely the _preponderance_; thus, when we say, that
Proper Names apply to the Human Domain, that is true _in preponderance_,
but not absolutely or exclusively; and when we say that Common Names
apply to Things below Persons, the statement is true _in preponderance_,
but not absolutely or exclusively.

Proper Names--The Human World in Language--are, in the next place,
distinguished by Gender, as that word itself is distinguished by Sex. By
the principle of Overlapping, above explained, this distinction of
Gender or Sex descends in a minor degree into the Thing World; in a
large degree to the Animal World below man: in less degree to the
Vegetable World; and in the least degree to the Mineral and Abstract
World. But characteristically and predominatingly, Sex is predicated of
Humanity, where it is developed in its highest perfection; and in the
same degree Gender in Grammar is, in predominance, confined to the
Proper Nouns Substantive. Masculine and Feminine are the only Proper
Genders. Neuter Gender means of _neither_ Gender, and includes the great
mass of Common Nouns, or the Thing World, as distinguished from
Personality.

Reversing the order, and resuming the above discriminations in the two
domains, Language and the Universe, they are as follows:

  _Language.                                 Universe._

                          {MASCULINE.               {MALE.
  PROPER-NOUN-DOM{               PERSON-DOM{
                          {Feminine.                         {Female.

  COMMON-NOUN-DOM.                        THING-DOM.

Again, in this Concrete World, the world of Persons and Things, Number
reappears, and guides the next great Grammatical division of Nouns
Substantive; and the ruling numbers are, again, One, Two, Three.

The Number One corresponds with the Singular Number in Grammar, and with
the Individual or Single Person (or Thing) in the Universe at large. The
Number Two corresponds with the Dual Number in Grammar, and with the
Couple or Pair in the World of Persons (and Things); and finally the
Number Three corresponds with the Plural Number in Grammar and with
Society or the many among Persons (and Things); or in tabular form,
thus:

  1. SINGULAR NUMBER,       THE NUMBER ONE (1).

  2. DUAL NUMBER,      THE NUMBER TWO (2).

  3. PLURAL NUMBER,    THE NUMBER THREE (3).

The Number Three, as the first Plural Number above the Dual, is the Head
and Type of Plurality in the grammatical discrimination, and stands
representatively for all Plurality.

_One_, _Two,_ and _Three_, are the Representative Numbers and Heads of
the whole Cardinal Series of Number.

_First_, _Second_, and _Third_ are the corresponding Representatives and
Heads of the Corresponding Ordinal Series of Number. These latter
numerals find _their_ representation, grammatically, in the next Grand
Grammatical Distribution of the Proper Nouns Substantive, namely,
PERSON, so called, or, specifically, the

  1st PERSON,
  2d PERSON, and
  3d PERSON (of Proper Nouns).

This distribution represents properly the Rank or Degree of Persons in
the Hierarchy of Personality; the Ego ranking _naturally_ as 'Number
One.' Deference or Grace teaches us afterward to defer to the
personality of others, and _converts_ our primitive notions of rank into
opposites, in a way which is indicated by the _honorific_ use of _Thou_
in addressing the Supreme, etc.

This idea of Personal Rank, the Hierarchical Ascension of Individuality
or Personality in Society, abstracted from the particular Individuals,
and rendered purely official, becomes nominally a new Part of Speech,
and is the whole, substantially, of what we denominate the _Pronouns_.

The Pronoun, as a Part of Speech, is, therefore, the Analogue, within
the Lingual Domain, of The State or the Constitution, governmentally, of
Human Society, the ascending and descending rank of individuals in the
social organization, the Heraldic Schedule of Man.

Finally we arrive at the consideration of the _Casus_ or _Case_ of Nouns
Substantive.

The _Accidents_ of Life or Being, the occasional _states_ of Men or
Things, as acting or being acted upon, or simply as _related_ to each
other in Space, or otherwise, are here represented. It is this which is
meant by CASE, from the Latin _casus_, itself from the Latin
_cadere_, TO FALL, or to FALL OUT or HAPPEN.
In the old Grammars, the Cases of the Nouns are denominated _Accidents_.
Ac-_cid_-ent, is from _ad_, TO, and _cadere_ (cid), TO
FALL; and the same root with _ob_ (_oc_), gives us
OC-CAS-ion, OC-CAS-_ionally_, etc.

The Accidents of Being are a special kind of _Inherence_ to the
_Substance_ of Being; the _Relational_ kind _par excellence_, as
distinguished from the _Qualitative_ kind; which last is denoted by the
proper Adjectives. The Oblique Case of a Noun Substantive, whether
formed by an Inflexion or by a Preposition, is therefore nothing else
than a special kind of Adjective, destitute of the property of
Comparison, because it denotes the Accident instead of the Quality of
Being, and because Accidents or Relations between Things do not vary by
degrees of Intensity as Qualities do.

The above description of the Cases of Nouns applies especially to the
Oblique Cases; that is to say, to all except the Nominative Case.

The Nominative Case is itself susceptible of being regarded as an
Accident; but its more important office is that of the SUBJECT
of the Proposition, which takes it out of the minor category of an
accident, or at least subordinates this latter view of its character.

The Accidents of Being in the Universe at large are therefore the
analogues of the oblique cases of Nouns Substantive in the Domain of
Language; the Nominative Case representing, on the contrary, the central
figure in the particular member of discourse, and that which the
accidents or _falls_ (_casus_) are perceived to relate to or affect.

Substantives and Adjectives were both formerly included under the term
Nouns or Names; and we have still to distinguish, when they are under
special consideration, as they are here, Nouns Substantive, and Nouns
Adjective.

By regarding all the Oblique Cases of Nouns Substantive as a species or
variety of Nouns Adjective, and so classifying them along with the
Adjectives proper, _the Nominative Case_ alone remains to represent _the
Substantive_, in the higher and exclusive sense of the term. This is
then, at the same time, _The Subject_. The terms employed to designate
them sufficiently indicate this identity: _Substantive_, from _sub_,
UNDER, and _stans_, STANDING; and _Subject_, from _SUB_,
UNDER, and _jectus_, THROWN or CAST. These are,
therefore, nearly etymological equivalents.

Before passing to the consideration of the Subject and the Proposition,
let us finish with the Nouns Adjective, to which we have only given an
incidental attention.

These are the representatives of Incidence or Attribution; and
correspond to the entire adjectivity pertaining to the substantiality of
the real or concrete Universe; both Substance and Incidence falling as
parts of one domain within the larger domain of RELATION, which
in Language is the domain of Grammar proper, including Etymology and
Syntax.

It may now be shown that this Adjective World is so much a world by
itself that Kant's _namings_ for the _four_ groups of the Categories of
the Understanding, which we are here enlarging to be the Categories of
All Being, are precisely the most appropriate namings for the
subdivisions of the Adjective World. These are:

  1. Adjectives of QUALITY.
  2. Adjectives of RELATION.
  3. Adjectives of QUANTITY.
  4. Adjectives of MODE.

1. Adjectives of Quality are those which designate the qualities of
things as _good_ or _bad_, etc. They are susceptible of three Degrees of
Comparison; and are, without due consideration, usually regarded by
Grammarians as if they constituted the whole of the Adjective World.

2. Adjectives of Relation are, as we have seen, (chiefly) the Oblique
Cases of the Noun Substantive. They admit of no Degrees of Comparison.
These have not heretofore been regarded as Adjectives; but broadly and
philosophically considered, they are so.

3. Adjectives of Quantity are the Numerals, which always instinctively
find their way among the Adjectives in the Grammar Books, without their
presence there being duly accounted for, that part of speech having been
usually defined as relating exclusively to the _Quality_ of Things.
These numeral Adjectives subdivide into Ordinal Numerals and Cardinal
Numerals; and, like Adjectives of Relation, they are not susceptible of
being varied by the Degrees of Comparison.

4. Adjectives of Mode relate to the Conditions of Existence, as
_necessary_ and _unnecessary_, _important_ and _unimportant_, etc. They
are somewhat ambiguous as to their susceptibility to comparison. It is
over this class of Adjectives that the Grammarians dispute. If a thing
is _necessary_, then, it is said, it cannot be _more necessary_, or
_most necessary_, the Positive Case being itself Absolute or
Superlative. In some cases this rule is not so clear, and there is doubt
whether it is proper to apply the signs of Comparison or not. We may
correctly say _more important_ and _most important_; and on the whole
the Adjectives of Mode, or Modal Adjectives, are to be classed as
capable of Comparison.

These four classes of Adjectives again classify in respect to their
usual susceptibility to comparison, as follows:

  Adjectives of Quality,  }
  Adjectives of Mode      }    Capable of Comparison.
  Adjectives of Quantity, }    Incapable of Comparison.
  Adjectives of Relation, }

The _Principle_ of Comparison is itself _hierarchical_, or pertaining to
gradation or rank divinely ordained; or as the mere scientist might
prefer to say, naturally existent. It repeats, therefore, in an echo, or
correspondentially, THE PERSON (First, Second, Third) of Nouns
Substantive and Pronouns; and has relation to the Three Heads of the
Ordinal Series of Number, 1st, 2d, 3d; as THE NUMBER of Nouns
Substantive (Singular, Dual, and Plural) has relation to the Three Heads
of the Cardinal Series of Number, 1, 2, 3.

The Qualities, the Relations, the Numerical Character, and the Modal
Condition of Things, are conjointly an Adjunct World to the Real World
of Persons and Things, in the Universe at Large; and taken collectively,
it is that domain or aspect of the total Universe which is the
scientific echo to or analogue of the Part of Speech called Adjective in
the Grammar of Language. The Substantivity and the Adjectivity, taken
again collectively with each other, are the totality of the _Concrete_
Universe considered in a state of Rest. The _Movement_ of the Universe
is expressed by the verbal department of Language, and will receive our
subsequent attention. It is, therefore, from within this department that
our concrete analogues of the larger Abstractions of the Universe,
Nature, Science, and Art, namely, The World, Man, and the Product of
Man's labor, were taken. They belong to the Substantivity (Kant's
Substance) of the Universe, and their qualities, relations, number, and
mode of being belong to the Adjectivity of the Universe (Kant's
Inherence); and these two departments of Universal Being or of the
possible aspects of Universal Being are the Scientific Analogues, in the
Universe at large, of Nouns Substantive and Nouns Adjective, in the
Grammar Department of the total distribution of the little Universe of
Language; which is the point to be here specially illustrated and
insisted upon.

We pass now to the consideration of the Verb and Participle, related to
Movement. The Great Noun Class of Words, including the Nominative Noun
Substantive, not yet brought into action and made to functionate as
Subject or Agent, together with the whole Adjective Family of Words as
above defined, is _without Action_. These words, and
correspondentially, the Things and their Attributes which they represent
in the Universe at large, are _static_ or _immovable_. The Universe,
viewed in the light of them solely, is a Universe _at rest_, or, as it
were, _arrested_ in its progression through Time, and existing only in
Space; _for_ TIME _has relation to_ MOTION, _as_
SPACE _has relation to_ POSITION _or_ REST.
This aspect of the Universe or of Language may therefore be
appropriately denominated _Statoid_ (or Spaceoid). The relations between
the Parts of this Aspect, denoted by the Prepositions and Conjunctions,
are inert or _static_ relations, concerning predominantly Position in
Space, as _above_, _below_, etc.

When the Substantive proper (the Nominative Case) passes over and
becomes functionally a SUBJECT (we will consider, first, the
case where the Verb is Active Transitive, and the Subject therefore an
Agent), we pass from _Statism_ to _Motism_; or from Rest to Movement.
This is, at the same time, to pass from the Domain or Kingdom of _Space_
to the Kingdom or Domain of _Time_ (or Tense).

Noun-dom (in its largest extension, including Nouns Substantive and
Nouns Adjective, together with their Words of Relation, Prepositions and
Conjunctions) constitutes, therefore, the STATISMUS (or Domain
of the Principle of Rest) within the RELATIONISMUS (or Domain
of Parts and their Construction, or _Syntaxis_ into a whole) of the
larger Domain of Language, which might then be properly denominated the
Linguismus of the Universe. (Every new Science has to have its new
nomenclature. Let the reader not be repelled, therefore, by these
innovations upon the speech usages of our Language; their great
convenience, and their actual necessity even for the right discussion of
the subject, furnishing their sufficient apology.)

To determine what the limits of the corresponding Domain are in the
Universe at large, and its proper technical designation, it is only
necessary to go back upon the analogues already indicated. We have,
then, the Statismus of the Relationismus of the Universe; which is the
Structural Universe, viewed in respect to the relationship between the
parts and the whole, and as if arrested in Space, or, what is the same
thing, abstracted from Movement in Time.

In going over to the new Domain in Language,--the Grammar of the Verb
and Participle,--we pass then, technically speaking, to the
MOTISMUS of the RELATIONISMUS of Language; and in
going over to the corresponding Domain of the Universe at large, we pass
to the MOTISMUS of the RELATIONISMUS of the
_Universe_, in which action and the relations between actions are
concerned.

Since Motion and Action involve the idea of Force or Power, for which
the Greek word is _dynamis_, furnishing the English words _Dynamic_ and
_Dynamics_, our Philosophers have chosen the distinction _Static_ and
_Dynamic_, instead of _Static_ and _Motic_, the true distinction, and
have in that way obscured and disguised from themselves even the
fundamental and all-important relationship of these two great Aspects of
Being, with the two great negative Grounds or Containers of all Being;
_namely, with_ SPACE _and with_ TIME _respectively_.

It is here, in the Domain of Movement and Time, the Motismus of
Language, and especially of Grammar,--the Relationismus of
Language,--that the Grand Lingual Illustration or Type of the Second
Subdivision of Kant's Group of Relation occurs;--the subdivision which
he _should_ have denominated _Tempic_, as distinguished from the former
Subdivision (of Substance and Inherence), which _should_ then have been
called _Spacic_.

This Tempic Sub-Group of Relation again subdivides, as already stated,
into 1. CAUSE, and 2. DEPENDENCE.

The Subject of a Proposition, in the Active Voice, which is the Typical
or Direct Expression of Action, is the AGENT or _Actor_ in the
performance of the given Action. To be an agent is _to act_; and _to
act_ is to exhibit an effect, the _Cause_ of which resides in the Agent.
_Agent_ and _Cause_ are thus identified. In other words, the Nominative
Case, in the Active Transitive Locution, is the type and illustration of
the Sub-Category, _Cause_, in the Group of Relation, as conceived by the
great German metaphysician. His Correlative Sub-Category, _Dependence_,
is the Action itself, resulting from the Activity of the Agent, and
expressed by the Verb and _its_ dependencies.

_The Cause_ and _Dependence_ of Kant, as a Sub-Group of Relation, are
therefore, when translated into their typical expression in Language,
simply _The Nominative_ and _The Verb_; and belong to the Domain of
Movement, and hence to that of Time.

It is only, however, when the Verb is Active that the Nominative is
Agent or Cause. In the Passive Locution or Voice, a Conversion into
Opposites occurs;--the Direct is exchanged for the Inverse Order of the
Action. The Nominative then names the Object which receives, suffers, or
endures the _force of the Action_, and the Agent is then thrown into the
Category of an Accident, and expressed in an Oblique Case; thus,
_Charles is struck by John_.

The term _Subject_, applied to the Nominative Case, is made, by a happy
_équivoque_, to cover both these aspects; that in which the Nominative
is Agent or Cause, and that in which it is not so. It is only in the
latter instance that it is really or literally a _subject_, that is to
say, subjected to, or made to suffer the force of the action of the
Verb; but _action_ is a _reaction_ from such invasion or infliction of
suffering or impression upon the person (or thing); and the term
_Subject_, changing its meaning, accompanies the person _nominated_ or
named by the Nominative Case over into this new positive relation to the
action. It is interesting to observe that precisely the same doubleness
of meaning arises, in the same way, in respect to the word _Passion_,
from Latin _patior_, to suffer. When we speak of the _passion_ of
Christ, we retain the primitive and etymological meaning of the word;
but, ordinarily, _passion_ means just the opposite; that violent
_reaction_ of the feeling side of the mind from _Impression_ (or passion
in the first sense), which is nearly allied to _Rage_.

Intermediate between the Active and the Passive Locutions is a compound
Active and Reactive state--the action put forth by the agent, and yet
terminating upon himself--which is expressed lingually by what is
appropriately called in Greek the Middle Voice (Sanscrit, _At mane
pada_), and in our modern Grammars, as the French, The Reflective Verb.

This last, the Reflective or Reciprocal Locution, is the grammatical
type and illustration of Kant's third subdivision of the Group of
Relation, that, namely, which he denominates RECIPROCAL ACTION.

The correspondences between Language and the Universe at large are here
too obvious to require to be enlarged or insisted upon. The Active Voice
in Grammar repeats the World of Direct Actions; the Passive Voice, the
World of Inverse Actions; and the Middle Voice the World of Reciprocal
Actions, in the Universe at large. The Nominative Case (in the first and
leading of these Locutions) is the Analogue of Cause, and the Verb, of
Dependence, or the Chain of Effects resulting from the Cause.

The I, the Me, the EGO, as Subject, in the domain of
Philosophy, is first Subject (-ed) under Impression from the world
without, and afterward becomes Cause (in Expression); and the term
Subject has here, therefore, precisely the same ambiguity as in Grammar,
and stands contrasted in the same way with the word Object; the
Accusative Case of the old Grammarians being now called the _Objective_
Case, and denoting that upon which the force of the (direct) action is
expended.

The Middle Voice becomes, by an elision, the Neuter Verb. I walk, means,
I walk _myself_. Neuter Verbs fall, then, into the Category of
Reciprocal Action.

The Typical Neuter Verb, the Typical Verb, in fine, of all verbs, is the
Substantive or Copula Verb TO BE, the Verb of Existence or
Being. _I am_, means, I am _myself_, or, I keep or hold myself in being.

In strictness, the verb _to be_ is the ONLY VERB. Every other
Verb is capable of Solution into this one, accompanied by a Participle;
thus, _I walk_, becomes, _I am_ WALKING, etc.

By this analysis, the Verb, as such, falls back among words of Relation,
or mere Connectives. It may then be classed with Prepositions and
Conjunctions; its office of Connection being still peculiar, however,
namely, to intervene between the Subject and the Predicate. Participles,
into which all other verbs than this _Copula_, are so resolved, then
fall back in like manner into the Class of Adjectives. The Tempic and
Motic Word-Kingdom is thus carried back to its dependence upon the
Spacic and Static Word-Kingdom, as basis; in the same manner as, in
Nature, Time and Motion have Space and Rest for their perpetual
background.

Reduced to this degree of simplicity, there are but three Parts of
Speech: 1. Substantives; 2. Attributes; and 3. Words of Relation; which
correspond with 1. Things; 2. Properties of Things; and 3. The
Interrelationship of Things, of Properties, and of Things and their
Properties, in the Universe at large.

The Adverb has not been mentioned. Analysis reduces it in every instance
to an Oblique Case of the Substantive, or, what is the same thing, to a
Substantive governed by a Preposition; and hence, by a second transfer,
as shown above, to the class of Adjectives of Relation: thus, _happily_
means _in a happy manner_; _now_ means _in the present time_, etc.

In the Grammatical Motismus the Three Tenses,--for there are but three
strictly, or in the first great natural Division of Time,--namely, the
Past, the Present, and the Future, correspond with the Grand Three-fold
Division of The Tempismus, the Universal Ongoing or Procession of
Events, the _Grandis Ordo Naturæ;_ namely, the Past, the Present, and
the Future, as the Three-fold Aspect of Time and of the Universe of _Res
Gestæ_, or Things Done, and Contained in Time, as distinguished from the
other equal Aspect of the total Universe, namely, the Static Expansion
of the Universe in Space.

Mode, which is subsequently developed in Music as a Distinct Grouping of
Categories, finds here, in the domain of Relation, a subordinate
development, in connection with the Verb.

Kant's Subdivision of Mode, as a group of Categories is, 1.
POSSIBILITY and IMPOSSIBILITY; 2. BEING and
NOT-BEING; and 3. NECESSITY and ACCIDENCE.

It is obvious that POSSIBILITY is that Category which is
expressed grammatically by the _Potential_ Mode (from _potentia_,
POWER, POSSIBILITY); otherwise called the Conditional Mode. _I
should do so and so if_--The Negative Form of this Mode expresses
IMPOSSIBILITY: _I should or could not do so and so unless_,
etc.

BEING and NOT-BEING, direct Assertion and Denial, find
their grammatical representation in the Indicative Mode: _I do_ or _I do
not_; and in an _Un-fin-it-ed_ or _In-defi-nite_ way, as a mere naming
of the idea, in The Infinitive Mode, _to do_, etc.

NECESSITY and ACCIDENCE are expressed in the
Imperative Mode for the former and in the Subjunctive Mode for the
latter. _Necessary_ and _Imperative_ are synonymes. To command
absolutely, is _to require_, and _The Required_ or _The Requisite_ is
again _The Necessary_.

_Accidence_ is that which is _under a condition, sub-joined,
Sub-junctive_; which may or may not happen, hence introduced by an _if_,
equal to _gif_, _give_, _grant_, _provided it so happen_.

ELEMENTALITY (Kant's QUALITY of Being) reappears in
this domain of Relation in Connection with the Verb:
AFFIRMATION, in the Affirmative Propositions, as, _I love_;
NEGATION, in Negative Propositions, as, _I do not Love_; and
Limitation, _wavering as between two_, in the Dubitative or Questioning
Forms of the Proposition, as, _Do I love? Do I not love?_ The Celtic
tongues have special modal forms to express these modifications of the
Verb.

NUMBER, the remaining one of Kant's Groups of the Categories,
finds also its minor representative in this domain in the Numbers,
Singular, Dual, and Plural, incorporated into the Conjugation of the
Verb. This leads us to the consideration of Grammatical Agreement and
Government; carries us over into Syntax, Prosody, Logic, and Rhetoric;
back to Lexicology, the domain of the Dictionary or mere Vocabulary in
Language; and thence upward to Music, and finally again to Song, the
culmination of Speech.

The subject grows upon us, and it is impossible to complete it in a
single paper.

The Portions of Language which we have been considering belong to the
two Departments: 1. ELEMENTISMUS (Kant's QUALITY), and
2. RELATION (Grammar more properly). The treatment of these is
not fully exhausted, and must be recurred to hereafter.

The two remaining ones of Kant's Groups of the Categories of the
Understanding (here extended to be the Categories of all Being) are, 3.
QUANTITY, and 4. MODE. The proper domain of these two
is Music. The mere mention of the musical terms Unison, Discord (duism,
diversity), the Spirit of One and the Spirit of Two; and of the Major
and the Minor Mode, suggest QUANTITY and MODALITY as
the reigning principles in that domain. The appearance of Number and
Mode in the domain of Relation (Grammar), is, as already stated, a
subordinate one, and has respect to the principle of
OVERLAPPING, already adverted to, by which all the domains of
Nature are _intricated_ or _con-creted_ with each other.

QUANTITY and MODE, in their own independent and
separate development, will, therefore, be the special subjects of a
subsequent treatment.



APHORISMS.--NO. VI.


Mind is a thing that we partly have by nature, and partly have to create
by mental discipline and exercise. Or, as Horace says:

    'Ego nec studium sine divite vena,
    Nec rude quid prosit video ingenium.'

    _De Arte Poetica_, 409, 410.

In English:

    'What can our studies yield, where mind is weak;
    Or what a genius do, that's not with discipline prepared?'

Nor is it yet clear, on which, supposing a well-organized and healthy
body, most will depend--upon the native endowment, or upon the labor of
developing and applying the inborn power.

Distinguishing, however, between genius and talent, we may safely admit
that no discipline, without 'the gift and faculty divine,' will produce
the one; and hold that well-directed industry, in almost any case of a
naturally sound mind, will surely develop the other. The half-made and
often ill-tutored efforts of the usual processes of learning, are not to
be allowed a decisive voice against the supposition that vigorous mental
life might be the common portion of educated men.



AN ARMY: ITS ORGANIZATION AND MOVEMENTS.


The immense military operations of our civil war have familiarized, to a
considerable extent, not only those connected with the armies, but the
people generally with the systems on which military forces are organized
and the methods of conducting war. Much has been learned in the past
three years, and much accomplished in the improvement of tactics,
internal organization, and the construction of all kinds of material.
Civilians, who were well read in the history of former wars, and even
professional military officers, were comparatively ignorant of all the
numerous details necessarily incident to the formation and movement of
armies. On account of the deficiency of practical information on these
matters, the difficulties which arose at the commencement of the war,
were, as it is well known, immense; but they were overcome with a
celerity and energy absolutely unparalleled in the history of the world,
and to-day we are able to assure ourselves with justifiable pride that
in all essential particulars our armies are fully and properly
organized, equipped, and provided for. We propose to exhibit in a few
articles the methods by which these results have been accomplished--to
present to readers generally the system of organization and the
principles of operation existing in our armies--giving them such
information as can be obtained only from actual thorough acquaintance
with military life, or extended perusal of works on military art, as now
understood among the leading civilized nations.

That such information would be desirable, we were led to believe from
the surprise expressed by an intelligent friend at the definition given
him of the phrase 'line of battle.' He was greatly astonished on
learning that battles are fought, mostly, by lines of only two ranks in
depth. The history of the 'line of battle' is of great interest, and
indeed contains an exposition of the principles on which a great portion
of modern warfare is founded. While the chief principles of strategy, of
the movement of armies, of attack and defence, and to some extent of
tactics, are the same now as in the earliest ages, the mode of arraying
men for battle has undergone an entire change, attributable to the
improvement in the weapons of warfare. We are not superior to the
ancients so much in the science of war, as in the character of our arms.
They undoubtedly fought in the manner most appropriate to the means
which they possessed. The great change which has taken place in the
method of battle, consists chiefly in this--that formerly men were
arrayed in masses, now in lines. The Grecian phalanx was composed of
32,000 men arranged as follows: 16,000 spearmen placed in sixteen ranks
of a thousand men each, forming the centre; on each wing, 4,000 light
spearmen in eight ranks; 4,000 men armed with bows and slings, who
performed the part of skirmishers; 4,000 cavalry. The Roman legion
contained 4,500 men, of which 1,200 were light infantry or skirmishers
armed with bows and slings. The main body consisted of 1,200 spearmen,
who were formed into ten rectangular bodies of twelve men front by ten
deep; behind them were ten other rectangles of the second line; and
behind these a third line of 600 in rectangles of six men front by ten
deep. To the legion was attached 300 cavalry.

In the middle ages, infantry was considered of little importance, the
combat being principally among the knights and cavaliers. The
introduction of gunpowder caused a change in the method of fighting, but
it was effected gradually. For a long time only clumsy cannon were
used, which, however, made great havoc among the formations in mass
still retained. Rude arquebuses were then introduced, and improvements
made from time to time; but even so late as the 17th century the ancient
arms were retained in a large proportion. They did not disappear
entirely until the invention of the bayonet in the 18th century. This
contributed as much as the use of firearms to change the formations of
battle. In the 16th century the number of ranks had been reduced from
ten to six; at the end of the reign of Louis XIV. the number was four;
Frederick the Great reduced it to three. With this number the wars of
the French Republic and Empire were conducted, until at Leipsic, in
1813, Napoleon's army being greatly diminished, he directed the
formation in two ranks, saying that the enemy being accustomed to see it
in three, and not aware of the change, would be deceived in regard to
its numbers. He stated also that the fire of the rear rank was dangerous
to those in front, and that there was no reason for the triple
formation. In this judgment military authorities have since concurred,
and the two-rank formation is almost universally adopted. Russia is the
only civilized power which places men in masses on the battle field.
Formations in column are used when necessary to carry a particular local
position, even at a great expenditure of life. But the usual mode of
combat is that adopted by Napoleon. Our battles have been almost
universally fought in this manner. The rebels have probably used the
formation in column more frequently than the Northern troops. The
non-military reader can easily perceive that formations in mass are more
subject to loss from the fire of artillery and from that of small arms
even at considerable distances, and are less able to deliver their own
fire.

Our old regular army consisted of ten regiments of infantry, two of
cavalry, two of dragoons, and one of mounted rifles, of ten companies
each, and four artillery regiments of twelve companies each. Two
companies each of the latter served as light artillery--the companies
alternating in this service. There was also a battalion of engineers.

At the commencement of the war our force of light artillery was very
inadequate, and rifled ordnance had scarcely been introduced. Our
present immense force of the former has been almost entirely created
since the commencement of the war; the splendid achievements in rifled
artillery have been entirely accomplished within the last three years.
Although it had been applied some years previously in Europe, it was not
formally introduced into our service until needed to assist in
suppressing the gigantic rebellion. The Ordnance Department had,
however, given attention to the matter, and boards of officers were
engaged in making experiments. A report had been made that 'the era of
smooth-bore field artillery has passed away, and the period of the
adoption of rifled cannon, for siege and garrison service, is not
remote. The superiority of elongated projectiles, whether solid or
hollow, with the rifle rotation, as regards economy of ammunition,
extent of range, and uniformity and accuracy of effect, over the present
system, is decided and unquestionable.'[A] We shall see, in discussing
artillery, how far these expectations have been realized.

The regular army was increased in 1861 by the addition of nine regiments
of infantry, one of cavalry, and one of artillery. The Mounted Rifles
were changed into the 3d Cavalry, and the two dragoon regiments into the
1st and 2d Cavalry. The old 1st and 2d Cavalry became the 4th and 5th.
All cavalry regiments have now twelve companies, and the new infantry
regiments are formed on the latest French system of three battalions, of
eight companies each, with a colonel, lieutenant-colonel, and three
majors. Each of the 24 companies has 82 privates.

[Footnote A: Scott's _Military Dictionary_.]

The old regular army comprised, when full, about 18,000 officers and
men. As increased, the total complement is over 43,600, including five
major-generals, nine brigadier-generals, thirty-three aides-de-camp,
besides the field officers of the various regiments and the company
officers. In addition to these officers (but included in the aggregate
above given) are the various staff departments, as follows:

     _Adjutant-Generals._--1 brigadier-general, 2 colonels, 4
     lieutenant-colonels, 13 majors.

     _Judge-Advocates._--1 colonel.

     _Inspector Generals._--14 colonels, 5 majors.

     _Signal Corps._--1 colonel, 1 lieutenant-colonel, 2 majors.

     _Quartermaster's Department._--1 brigadier-general, 3 colonels, 4
     lieutenant-colonels, 11 majors, 48 captains, 12 military
     storekeepers.

     _Subsistence Department._--1 brigadier-general, 2 colonels, 2
     lieutenant-colonels, 8 majors, 16 captains.

     _Medical Department._--1 brigadier-general, 2 colonels, 16
     lieutenant-colonels, 50 majors, 5 captains, 109 first lieutenants,
     6 storekeepers, 119 hospital chaplains, 70 medical cadets.

     _Pay Department._--1 colonel, 2 lieutenant-colonels, 25 majors.

     _Corps of Engineers._--1 brigadier-general, 4 colonels, 10
     lieutenant-colonels, 20 majors, 30 captains, 30 first lieutenants,
     10 second lieutenants. The battalion of engineers comprises a total
     of 805.

     _Ordnance Department._--1 brigadier-general, 2 colonels, 3
     lieutenant-colonels, 6 majors, 20 captains, 20 first lieutenants,
     12 second lieutenants, 15 storekeepers, and a battalion of 905 men.

These figures all pertain to the _regular army_. A considerable number
of the officers in the regiments have been appointed from civil life;
but in the staff departments the officers are almost exclusively
graduates from the Military Academy at West Point.

The raising of the immense volunteer force necessitated a great increase
in the staff departments, and large numbers of persons from civil life
have been appointed into the volunteer staff in the Adjutant-General's,
Judge-Advocate's, Quartermaster's, Commissary, Medical, and Pay
Departments. The ordnance duties are performed by officers detailed from
the line, and engineer duties by regiments assigned for that purpose. A
large number of additional aides-de-camp were also authorized, forming
that branch of duty into a department. Aides-de-camp are also detailed
from the line. The highest rank yet created for volunteer staff officers
is that of colonel in the aides-de-camp. The heads of staff departments
at corps headquarters are lieutenant-colonels, including an assistant
adjutant-general, assistant inspector-general, a chief quartermaster,
and chief commissary. Many regular officers hold these volunteer staff
appointments, gaining in this manner additional rank during the
war--still retaining their positions in the regular service; in the same
manner as many regular officers are field officers in volunteer
regiments.

The aggregate _militia_ force of the United States (including seceded
portions), according to the last returns, was 3,214,769. The reports of
the last census increase this to about 5,600,000, which exceeds to some
extent the number actually _fit_ to bear arms. The computed proportion
in Europe of the number of men who can be called into the field is about
one-fifth or one-sixth of the population. If the population of the
entire United States be assumed to be 23,000,000, the number of men
liable, according to this computation, would be about 4,000,000, which
is sufficiently approximate. The European computation of the force to be
kept as a _standing army_ is a hundredth part of the population--varied
somewhat by circumstances. This would give the United States a force of
230,000. It will be seen how greatly inferior our regular force has
been and still is to the computations adopted in Europe. But the United
States will probably never require such a large force to be permanently
organized; for we have not, like the European powers, frontiers to
protect against nations with whom we may at any time be at war, nor
oppressed nationalities to retain in subjugation by force. Our frontiers
on Canada and Mexico have good natural defences--the first by the St.
Lawrence river and lakes, and the second by the great distance to be
traversed by an invading army before it could reach any important
commercial position. Our vulnerability is in our extensive seacoast. The
principal requirement for an army is a large framework, which can be
rapidly filled by volunteers in expectation of war. With such a military
constitution and a system of military education and drill in the
different States, large and effective armies could be rapidly organized.

Our staff corps and regular army are insignificant, compared with those
of European nations, in which the average strength of the standing
armies is from 250,000 to 300,000 men on the peace footing, and 400,000
to 600,000 on the war footing, with immense magazines of equipage and
material, numerous military schools, and extensive organizations in all
the departments incident to an army. Our own army has hitherto been
modelled to a great extent on the English system--the most aristocratic
of all in Europe, and consequently the least adapted to a republic. To
this is attributable much of the jealousy hitherto felt in regard to the
army and all pertaining to it. We are now, however, conforming more to
the French system, and from it will probably be adopted any changes that
may be introduced.

The French army, since Napoleon gave it the impress of his genius, has
in many characteristics been well adapted to the peculiarities of
republican institutions. A soldier can rise from the ranks to the
highest command, by the exhibition of valor and ability, more easily, in
fact, than he can in our own army, with which political favoritism has
much to do in promotions and appointments. By a recent policy of our War
Department, however, vacancies have been left in the subordinate
commissioned officers of the regular army, which are to be filled
exclusively from the ranks. Many deserving officers in the army have
been private soldiers.

No system will be effective for providing an adequate military
organization that does not include thorough instruction for officers.
The prevailing feeling in our country, as remarked above, has rather
been to underrate the army, and to look with some jealousy on the West
Point Military Academy and its graduates. The present war has effected a
change in this respect. The country owes too much to the educated
regular officers for the organization and conduct of the volunteer
forces, to be insensible of the merits of the system which produced
them. A capable civilian can undoubtedly become just as good an officer
of any rank as a graduate of West Point; but it must be through a course
of study similar to that there pursued. No natural ability can supply
the want of the scientific training in the military, more than in any
other profession. Military science is only the result of all the
experience of the past, embodied in the most comprehensive and practical
form. Napoleon was a profound student of military history. In his
Memoirs he observes: 'Alexander made 8 campaigns, Hannibal 17 (of which
1 was in Spain, 15 in Italy, and 1 in Africa), Cæsar made 15 (of which 8
were against the Gauls, and 5 against the legions of Pompey), Gustavus
Adolphus 5, Turenne 18, the Prince Eugene of Savoy 18, and Frederic 11
(in Bohemia, Silesia, and upon the Elbe.) The history of these 87
campaigns, made with care, would be a complete treatise on the art of
war. The principles one should follow, in both offensive and defensive
war, flow from them as a source.'

To one familiar with the gradual progress in the organization of our
armies, it is interesting to recur to the time when the first levies of
volunteers were raised. Regiments were hurried into Washington half
accoutred and indifferently armed. Officers and men were for the most
part equally ignorant of the details, a knowledge of which enables a
soldier to take care of himself in all circumstances. Staff officers
knew nothing of the various departments and the methods of obtaining
supplies. The Government had not been able to provide barrack
accommodations for the immense irruption of 'Northern barbarians,' and
the men were stowed like sheep in any unoccupied buildings that could be
obtained. These were generally storehouses, without any cooking
arrangements, so that when provisions were procured, no one knew what to
do with them. Hundreds of men, who previously scarcely knew but that
beef-steaks and potatoes grew already cooked and seasoned, could be seen
every day sitting disconsolately on the curbstones cooking their pork on
ramrods over little fires made with twigs gathered from the trees. Those
who happened to be the lucky possessors of a few spare dimes, straggled
off to restaurants. Washington, in those days, was only a great
country-town, and not the immense city which the war has made it. The
vague and laughable attempts of officers to assume military dignity and
enforce discipline, with the careless insubordination of the men,
furnished many amusing scenes. It was not easy for officer and man, who
had gone to the same school, worked in the same shop, sung in the same
choir, and belonged to the same base-ball club, to assume their new
relations.

Privates would address their officer, 'I say, Bill, have you got any
tobacco?' Officers would reply, 'Do you not know, sir, the proper method
of addressing me?' Private would exclaim, 'Well, I guess now you're
puttin' on airs, a'n't you?' Pompous colonels strutted about in a blaze
of new uniforms, and even line officers then considered themselves of
some consequence; while a brigadier-general was a sort of a demigod--a
man to be revered as something infallible. Now-a-days old veterans care
very little for even the two stars of a major-general, unless they know
that the wearer has some other claims to respect than his shoulder
straps.

As matters gradually became arranged, the troops were provided with
tents, and encamped in the vicinity. Never was guard duty more
vigilantly performed than in those camps around Washington. Every one of
us came to the capital with the expectation of being immediately
despatched to Virginia, and ordered to pitch into a miscellaneous fight
with the rebels. Rebel guerillas and spies were supposed to be lurking
in the surroundings of the capital, and 'taking notes' in all the camps.
Woe betide the unsuspicious stranger who might loiter curiously around
the encampments. With half a dozen bayonets at his breast he was hurried
off in utter amazement to the guard house. At night the sentinels saw
'in every bush' a lurking rebel. Shots were pattering all night in every
direction. Unfortunate straggling cows were frequently reduced to beeves
by the bullets of the wary guardians. The colonel's horse broke loose
one night, and, while browsing around, his long, flowing tail, the
colonel's pride, was reduced to an ignominious 'bob' by a bullet, which
neatly severed it near the root. Many was the trigger pulled at me, many
the bullet sent whizzing at my head, as I returned to camp after an
evening in the city. Fortunately, the person fired at was usually
safe--any one within the circle of a hundred feet diameter was likely to
receive the ball. One evening, about dusk, going into camp, I took a
running jump over a ditch, and this rapid motion so frightened an
honest German sentinel--probably a little muddled with lager--that he
actually forgot to fire, and came at me in a more natural way with his
musket clubbed. I escaped a broken head at the expense of a severely
bruised arm. The rule for challenging, it used to be said, was to 'fire
three times, and then cry 'halt!' instead of the reverse, as prescribed
in the regulations.

When the order--long anticipated--for actually invading Virginia
arrived, then was there excitement. Every man felt the premonition of
battle, and nerved himself for conflict. As we marched down to Long
Bridge, at midnight, perfect silence prevailed. Breaths were suspended,
footfalls were as light as snowflakes, orders were given in hollow
whispers. We placed our feet on the 'sacred soil' with more emotion than
the Normans felt when landing in England, or the Pilgrims at Plymouth.
This was war--the real, genuine thing. But our expectations were not
realized. As the 'grand army' advanced, the scattered rebel pickets
withdrew. The only fatality of the campaign was the death of the gallant
but indiscreet Ellsworth. We had our first experience of lying out doors
in our blankets. How vainglorious we felt over it! Many a poor fellow
complained jocosely of the hardship and exposure, whom since I have seen
perfectly content to obtain a few pine boughs to keep him from being
submerged in an abyss of mud. Many, alas! have gone to a couch where
their sleep will be no more broken by the reveille of drum and fife and
bugle--in the trenches of Yorktown, in the thickets of Williamsburg, in
the morasses of the Chickahominy, on the banks of the Antietam, at the
foot of those fatal heights at Fredericksburg, in the wilderness of
Chancellorsville, on the glorious ridge of Gettysburg. Comrades of the
bivouac and the mess! ye are not forgotten in that sleep upon the fields
where swept the infernal tide of battle, obliterating so much glorious
life, leaving so much desolation! Even amid the roar of cannon, exulting
in their might for destruction, amid the shrieking of the merciless
shells, amid the blaze of the deadly musketry, memories of you occur to
us. We resolve that your lives shall not have been sacrificed in vain.
And in these long, dreary, monotonous days of winter, as the sleet
rattles on our frail canvas covering, and the wind roars in our rude log
chimneys, while the jests go around and the song arises, thoughts of the
battle fields of the past cross our minds--we recall the incidents of
fierce conflicts--we say, there and there fell----, no nobler fellows
ever lived! A blunt and hasty epitaph, but the desultory vicissitudes of
a soldier's life permit no other--we expect no other for ourselves when
our turn to follow you shall come. So we break out into our favorite
chorus:

    'Then we'll stand by our glasses steady,
      And we'll drink to our ladies' eyes.
    Three cheers for the dead already,
      And huzza for the next man that dies.

Though your graves are unmarked, save by the simple broad slab from
which storms have already effaced the pencilled legend, or perhaps only
by the murderous fragment of iron, which lies half imbedded on the spot
where you fell and where you lie, yet you live in the memory of your
comrades, you live in the hearts of those who were desolated by your
death, you live in that eternal record of heaven where are written the
names of those who have given their lives to promote the truth and the
freedom which God has guaranteed to humanity in the great charters of
Nature and Revelation. For we are fighting in a holy cause. No crusade
to redeem Eastern shrines from infidels, no struggle for the privilege
of religious freedom, no insurrection for civil independence, has been
more holy than this strife against the great curse and its abettors, who
seek to make a land of freedom a land of bondage to substitute for a
Union of freemen, miserable oligarchies controlled by breeders of
slaves. If we die in this cause, we have lived a full life. An anomalous
state of things had existed between the time of the attack on Sumter and
the 'invasion' of Virginia. Although the war had in reality commenced,
communication was not suspended between Washington and Alexandria. On
the day following the march over the Potomac, we found the plans of
intrenchments marked out by wooden forms on the spots which subsequently
became Fort Corcoran, opposite Georgetown, Fort Runyon, opposite
Washington, and Fort Ellsworth, in front of Alexandria. How this had so
speedily been done by the engineers I did not learn until many months
afterward, when one of the party who planned the works described the
_modus operandi_. They went over to Virginia in a very rustic dress, and
professed to the rebel pickets to be from 'down country,' come up to
take a look at 'them durned Yankees.' So they walked around unmolested,
selected the sites for the intrenchments, formed the plans in their
minds, made some stealthy notes and sketches, and, returning to
Washington, plotted the works on paper, gave directions to the
carpenters about the frames, which were constructed; and, after the army
crossed, these were put in their proper positions, tools were placed
conveniently, and, soon after the crossing was made, the men commenced
to work.

In raising these intrenchments, drilling and organizing, the army passed
about a month--varied only by alarms two or three times a week at night
that the rebels were coming, whereupon the troops turned out and stood
in line till daylight. It was shrewdly suspected that these alarms were
purposely propagated from headquarters to accustom the men to form
themselves quickly at night without panic. In after times, in front of
Richmond, we had such duty to perform, without any factitious reasons.
It was a matter of necessary precaution to stand to our arms nightly for
two or three hours before daybreak.

Until just previous to the disastrous Bull Run campaign, no higher
organization than that of brigades was adopted; but a day or two before
the march commenced, General McDowell organized the brigades into
divisions. These were reorganized by General McClellan as the two and
three years volunteers joined the army. The organization of corps was
made in the spring of 1862, just before the commencement of the
Peninsula campaign, and is now the organization of the army.

The complete organization is now as follows:

  _Regiments_, generally of ten companies.
  _Brigades_, of four or more regiments.
  _Divisions_, generally of three brigades.
  _Corps_, generally of three divisions.

The various staffs have gradually been organized, until they now stand
(in the Army of the Potomac) as follows:

At the headquarters of the army:

  _A Chief of Staff._
  _An Assistant Adjutant-General._
  _A Chief Quartermaster._
  _A Chief Commissary._
  _A Chief of Artillery._
  _An Assistant Inspector-General._
  _A Medical Director._
  _A Judge Advocate-General._
  _An Ordnance Officer._
  _A Provost Marshal-General._
  _A Chief Engineer._
  _A Signal Officer._
  _Aides-de-Camp._

The rank of these officers, as the staff is now composed, is as follows:
The chief of staff, a major-general; the assistant adjutant-general,
chief of artillery, and provost marshal, brigadier-generals; assistant
inspector-general, a colonel; medical director, chief engineer, judge
advocate-general, majors; the signal officer, chief commissary, and
ordnance officer, captains; the aides, of various ranks, lieutenants,
captains, and majors. Most of these officers do not derive their rank
from their position on the staff, but it has been given them in the
volunteer organization, or pertains to them in the line of the regular
or volunteer army. All the department officers (meaning all except
aides) have a number of assistants, and the general officers have staffs
and aides of their own, to which they are entitled by law. The total
number of officers on duty at the headquarters may amount to fifty or
more, and there is plenty of work for all of them during a campaign.
Besides the regular staff, constituted as above related, there are the
officers of an infantry regiment which furnishes guards and escorts, and
officers of cavalry squadrons detailed to furnish orderlies. The
headquarters of the army is therefore a town of considerable population.

At the headquarters of the different corps the staffs are as follows:

  _An Assistant Adjutant-General_--Lieutenant-colonel.
  _A Chief Quartermaster_--Lieutenant-colonel.
  _A Chief Commissary_--Lieutenant-colonel.
  _An Assistant Inspector-General_--Lieutenant-colonel.

[These officers derive their rank from their position, under a law of
Congress.]

  _A Medical Director_--being detailed from
  the senior surgeons of the regular or
  Volunteer army, and ranking as a
  major.

  _A Commissary of Musters._
  _A Provost Marshal._
  _A Signal Officer._

[These officers are detailed from the line, and have the ranks which
there belongs to them. The signal corps is, however, now being
organized, with ranks prescribed by law.]

_Aides-de-Camp_--one with the rank of major, and two with the rank of
captain. Besides these, additional aides are sent to the corps from
those created under an act of Congress of 1861--now repealed--and are
detailed from the line.

       *       *       *       *       *

The quartermaster, commissary, and medical director generally have
assistant officers. There is a squadron of cavalry and usually a company
of infantry at each corps headquarters.

The staffs of divisions and brigades resemble those of the corps, except
that the regular staff officers usually rank only as captains, except in
cases where a major-general commands; he is entitled to an assistant
adjutant-general with the rank of major. Officers detailed from the line
to act on any staff in any capacity, bring with them the rank they hold
in the line. They are not entitled, except the authorized aides and in
some other particular cases, when ordered by the War Department, to
additional allowances; but if they are foot officers, and are properly
detailed for mounted duty, the quartermaster of the staff on which they
serve is obligated to furnish them a horse and equipments. Divisions
usually have an _ordnance officer_, whose duty it is to take charge of
the ammunition of the division, keep the quantity ordered, and supply
the troops in time of battle. By law the chief of artillery at corps
headquarters is the chief ordnance officer for the corps, but this
arrangement has been found impracticable. In the Army of the Potomac the
chief of artillery does not remain at corps headquarters, but is
assigned directly to the command of the artillery, where he also has a
staff, including an ordnance officer, who supplies ammunition and other
articles pertaining to his department, exclusively to the artillery.

The _staff_, it must be recollected, is to an army what the masons,
carpenters, ironworkers, and upholsterers are to a building. As the
latter are the agents for executing the designs of the architect, so the
staff are the medium by which the commander of an army effects his
purposes. Without competent staff officers in all the various grades of
organization constituting an army, the most judicious plans of the
ablest commander will entirely fail. If a campaign is to be made, the
commanding general, having formed his general strategical plan, needs
the advice of his chief of staff as to the condition of his troops, and
his assistance in devising the details. His adjutant-general's office
must contain full records of the numbers of the troops--effective and
non-effective--armed and unarmed--sick and well--present and absent,
with all reports and communications relative to the state of the army.
His quartermaster must have been diligent to provide animals, wagons,
clothing, tents, forage, and other supplies in his department; his
commissary and ordnance officer, the same in relation to subsistence and
munitions--all having made their arrangements to establish depots at the
most accessible points on the proposed route of march. His chief of
artillery must have bestowed proper attention to keeping the hundred
batteries of the army in the most effective condition. His chief
engineer must have informed himself of all the routes and the general
topography of the country to be traversed; he must know at what points
rivers can be best crossed, and where positions for battle can be best
obtained; his pontoon trains and intrenching implements must be complete
and ready for service; his maps prepared for distribution to subordinate
commanders. His inspector must have seen that the orders for discipline
and equipment have been complied with. His medical director must have
procured a supply of hospital stores, and organized the ambulance and
hospital departments. His provost marshal must have made adequate
arrangements to prevent straggling, plundering, and other disorders. His
aides must have informed themselves of the positions of the various
commands, and become acquainted with the principal officers, so as to
take orders through night and storm with unerring accuracy. They must be
cool-headed, daring fellows, alert, and well posted, good riders, and
have good horses under them.

All this work cannot be accomplished in a day, a week, or a month. The
full preparations required to render a campaign successful must have
been the result of long, patient, thoughtful consideration and
organization. It is no time to teach sailors seamanship in a hurricane.
They must know where to find the ropes and what to do with them, with
the spray dashing in their eyes and the black clouds scurrying across
the sky. It is no time for staff officers to begin their duties when a
great army is to be moved. Then it is needed that every harness strap,
every gun-carriage wheel, every knapsack, every soldier's shoe should
have been provided and should be in serviceable order; that the men
should have had their regular fare, and have been kept in the healthiest
condition; that clear and explicit information be ready on all details.
Prepared by the assiduous, intelligent labor of a vigilant and faithful
staff, an army becomes a compact, homogeneous mass--without
individuality, but pervaded by one animating will--cohesive by
discipline, but pliant in all its parts--impetuous with enthusiasm, but
controlled easily in the most minute operations.

These remarks, relative to the requirements for an effective staff,
pertain to all grades of organization. The staff officers at the
headquarters of the army organize general arrangements and supervise the
operations of subordinate officers of their department at the
headquarters of corps; these have more detailed duties, and, in their
turn, supervise the staffs of the divisions; the duties of these again
are still more detailed, and they supervise the staffs of brigades;
these finally are charged with the specific details pertaining to their
commands, supervising the staffs of the regiments, who are in direct
communication with the officers of companies.

Prepared for service by the unremitting labors of the staff officers, it
is seldom that the army cannot move in complete order at six hours'
notice. Think what preparation is required for a family of half a dozen
to get ready to spend a month in the country--how tailors and milliners
and dressmakers are put in requisition--how business arrangements must
be made--how a thousand little vexing details constantly suggest
themselves which need attention. Think of a thousand families--ten
thousand--making these preparations! What a vast hurly burly! What an
ocean of confusion! How many delays and disappointments! During the
fortnight or month which has elapsed while these families have been
getting ready, an army of fifty or a hundred thousand men has marched a
hundred miles, fought a battle, been reëquipped, reclothed, reorganized,
and, perhaps, the order of a nation's history has experienced an entire
change.

Our next paper will describe in detail the operations of the staff
departments.



SLEEPING.

    The purple light sleeps on the hills,
      The shadowed valleys sleep between,
    Down through the shadows slide the rills,
      The drooping hazels o'er them lean.

    The clouds lie sleeping in the sky--
      The crimson beds of sleeping airs;
    The broad sun shuts his lazy eye
      On all the long day's weary cares.

    The far, low meadows sleep in light,
      The river sleeps, a molten tide;
    I dream reclined, with half-shut sight--
      My dog sleeps, couching at my side.

    The branches droop above my head,
      The motes sleep in the slanting beam,
    Yon hawk sails through the sunset red--
      Adieu thought, sailing through a dream!

    And here upon this bank I lie,
      Beneath the drooping, airless leaves,
    And watch the long, low sunset die,
      On silent, dreamy summer eves.

    The slant light creeps the boughs among,
      And drops upon the sleeping sod--
    SHE lies below, in slumber long,
      ASLEEP till the great morn of GOD!



DR. FOX'S PRESCRIPTION.

    'None but bigots will in vain
    Adore a heaven they cannot gain.'--SHERIDAN.


There is a story, familiar to most people of extensive reading, and
quite frequently alluded to, of a fox that, after endeavoring in vain to
possess himself of some luscious grapes which grew beyond his reach,
walked composedly away, solemnly assuring himself and Mr Æsop, who
overheard him, that as yet the grapes were unripe. The story, or any
allusion to it, seldom fails to excite a smile. I, too, laugh when I
hear it; but not so much at Reynard's inconsistency as at his wit. The
faculty of discovering grave defects in that which we have failed to
obtain is one for which we cannot be too thankful. It is a source of
infinite comfort in this comfortless world--a principle which enables
both parties in every contest to be victorious--an important article in
the great law of compensation. It is as old as the human race. The great
fabulist no more invented it than Lord Bacon invented inductive
reasoning. Like that philosopher, he simply enunciated a principle which
had been unconsciously recognized and constantly used ever since the
machinery of the human mind was first set in motion. I have no doubt
that when Adam found himself outside of Eden he wondered how he could
have been contented to remain so long in that little garden, assorting
pinks and training honeysuckles, when here lay a vast farm, well watered
and fertile, needing only to be cleared, fenced, and cultivated to yield
a handsome income.

It is well that pride should sometimes have a fall. But you and I, dear
reader, have often seen envious people gloating over that fall in any
but a Christian spirit. At such times have we not rejoiced at any
circumstance which could break the force of the fall and disappoint the
gratification of such malicious hopes? And what has accomplished that
object so often and so effectually as Reynard's great principle?

Once or twice in my life I have seen a smile on a female face under
circumstances which made it impossible to doubt that the smile was
gotten up for my especial benefit. On such occasions my sense of
gratitude (which is quite large) and my vanity (which is very small)
have conspired to exalt women in my estimation to perhaps an undue
elevation. They have seemed to me to be angels visiting poor, weak,
degraded man from pure motives of love and sympathy. And I have felt a
sort of chagrin that we have only such a dirty, ill-constructed world to
ask them into. But let us suppose that a short time afterward I see on
the same face a decided frown or a look of chilling disdain (I do not
say that I ever did), under circumstances which indicate that this also
is displayed with reference to, and out of a kind regard for, myself.
Here, it should seem, the premises are established which compel me to
admit a very disagreeable conclusion. This I cannot think of doing. How
shall I escape? Why, deny one of the premises, of course. But the
frown--I saw it plainly, alas, too plainly! I cannot dispute the
evidence of my senses. For a moment I falter; and again that ghastly
conclusion stares me in the face. But now I remember that a shrewd
debater sometimes gains a point by denying the premise which he is
expected to concede. Can it be done in this case? Certainly! Human
judgment, you know, is fallible. Not that mine can be at fault _now_;
but it may have been so heretofore. All men have erred; but no man
errs. There is the point! I was in error when I said women were angels.
They are, they must be, mortal. There are unmistakable signs that they
are but human--indeed, some of them might almost be called inhuman. The
world is plenty good enough for them--a little too good for some I could
name. The Mussulman is quite right in excluding them from heaven. What
should we want of them when we get there? Won't there be plenty of
houris there, with all their beauty and virtue, but without their
extravagance and wilfulness? To say the least, they are the weaker
vessels, though they carry the most sail. Am I, then, to drop my lip and
hang my head and put my finger in my eye, because one of them, for some
cause or no cause, chooses to turn up her nose at me? The proposition is
absurd.--Thus, thus only, I save my self-respect without sacrificing my
logic. Am I inconsistent? Nay, verily. For what is the highest
consistency but correspondence with truth? And have I not at length hit
upon the exact truth? Before, I was deceived; then, I was inconsistent.
But now--now I am thoroughly, beautifully consistent. But all this is
simply Dr. Fox's method of treating half the ills which flesh is heir
to, reduced to logical forms and written out in plain English.

Had Lord Byron but availed himself of this panacea after his adventure
in Jack Muster's vineyard, it might, perhaps, have rendered his life
happier, and imparted a 'healthy, moral tone' to his writings.

Every science, in its true progress, works toward simplicity. And
mankind will acknowledge at some future time that the 'sour grapes' at
which they were wont to sneer, contain a powerful stimulant for drooping
ambition--the only infallible remedy for damaged honor and wounded
pride. When the scales shall have fallen from our eyes in that happy
day, politics will become a delightful profession, the contentious
spirit of man will cease from its bickerings, the tongue of woman will
settle down into a steady and respectable trot, the golden age of
duelling will retreat into the shadowy past until it shall seem
contemporary with the half-fabulous chivalry of the middle ages,
distracted maidens will no longer die of broken hearts, nor disappointed
lovers of unbroken halters.

As the parties to a lawsuit have the privilege of challenging
peremptorily a certain number of jurymen, so every man should be allowed
to enjoy a reasonable number of whims and prejudices without being
called upon to give reasons for them. Then let us hear no more derisive
laughter when it is hinted that an unfortunate brother has resorted to
the sour-grape remedy. We all, at times, would be glad to find relief in
a similar way, but are deterred sometimes by ignorance of the true
principles of therapeutics, but oftener by a false pride of consistency.
Let us rather say that he has simply fallen back upon a final privilege,
and exercised a God-given faculty.



LITERARY NOTICES.


     HISTORICAL MEMOIR OF JOAN OF ARC, THE MAID OF ORLEANS.
     Compiled from Authentic Sources. Boston: Patrick Donahoe. 1864

Our attention was first drawn to this work by a notice of it in that
sprightly paper, the _Round Table_. The writer of the notice therein
says: 'I am at a loss where to award its authorship, since it comes
anonymously, but from internal evidence it seems to be a translation
from the German, and to have been rendered likewise into French. It
seems also to have been written before the official publication of the
documentary evidence given on Joan's trial, which was committed to the
press for the first time in 1847, and which within ten years thereafter
was the occasion of an address to the present Emperor of the French,
accompanied by elaborate historical notes, praying him to take the
preliminary steps to secure the canonization of the Maid. It is always
to be regretted that a book is put forth, like the present, without any
vouchers for its authenticity, especially when the knowledge of its
origin dimly presents itself to the reader upon perusal.' We can imagine
no possible reason for the suppression of the name of the careful and
conscientious author of the work under consideration. Such suppressions
and literary piracies expose the writers and translators of America to
suspicion and censure. Have we any right to defraud an author of his
just fame, or to use his works to fill our own pockets, without at least
giving the name of the man to whose labors we stand indebted for our
whole tissue? We think our publishers should frown upon all such
attempts, bearing as they do upon the just claims of foreign authors.
The work in question is a translation from the German of Guido Görres,
the son of the great Görres, author of 'The History of Mysticism.' So
far as we have examined it, it gives the original without abridgment
until the thirtieth chapter, when, in the most interesting part of the
whole life, condensation and omissions begin. The ten last chapters of
the original are crowded into three. We have thirty-three chapters in
the translation, and forty in the original. Many of the most
characteristic, exciting, and intensely interesting passages of the
wonderful trial are excluded.

This work was first translated into English by Martha Walker Cook, and
was given to the public without abridgment in 1859, in the pages of the
_Freeman's Journal_, published in New York. The title page ran thus:
'Joan of Arc, the Maid of Orleans. An Authentic Life from
Contemporaneous Chronicles. From the German of Guido Görres. By Mrs.
Martha Walker Cook.' Mrs. Cook's translation has never appeared in book
form. The rendering of the work in question differs in many important
points from that given by Mrs. Cook. The life in the original is one of
exceeding interest. The standpoint of its author is a Catholic one, he
being a firm believer in the divinity of the mission of the maiden. Her
career was full of marvels, every step marked by the wildest romance
united to the strangest truths. Chained and exposed to the fury and
brutality of the English soldiery, defenceless and alone, she yet knew
how to preserve her virgin sanctity; the hero of the battle field, the
deliverer of her country from the rule of the foreigner, she shed not
human blood; deserted by her friends, she never ceased to pray for them;
bewildered, betrayed, tried and condemned by the clergy of her own
church, her firm faith never wavered. Her answers to the subtle
metaphysical questions propounded to her by her judges on purpose to
entrap her during her painful trial, are models of simplicity,
innocence, and faith, mingled with keen intellect and intuitive
perception of their bearing upon her fate. Maligned and persecuted by
the English, deserted by the French, forgotten by the king she saved
and crowned, betrayed and condemned by the ecclesiastics of the church
she honored--she perished in the flames with the name of the Saviour she
worshipped upon her pure, young lips. Her fame brightens with the
increasing light of our own century, and her canonization is now loudly
demanded from the Church. She has been celebrated in the most opposite
domains of human intelligence, by historians, romancers, theologians,
jurisconsults, philosophers, writers on tactics, politicians,
genealogists, heralds, preachers, orators, epic, tragic, and lyric
poets, magnetizers, demonologists, students of magic, rhapsodists,
biographers, journalists, and critics, and yet we have never met with a
single writer who appeared to comprehend her aright, or who was able to
do justice to the marvellous simplicity, truth, modesty, and force of
her character. A French author has drawn up a list of four hundred works
dedicated to her history, but as yet this uncultured girl of nineteen
has puzzled all her delineators!


     THE NATIONAL ALMANAC AND ANNUAL RECORD FOR THE YEAR 1864.
     Philadelphia: George W. Childs, 628 & 630 Chestnut street. For sale
     by J. Bradburn, 49 Walker street, New York.

The value of this compilation as a book of reference can scarcely be
overestimated. Almost every question likely to be asked about officers,
offices, governments, finances, elections, education, armies, navies,
commerce, navigation, or public affairs, at home or abroad, is answered
herein. There are 600 pages of compactly and clearly printed matter, and
it is marvellous how much has been included in them through a judicious
system of condensation. Stores of information relating to the volunteers
furnished by the several States to the United States army; names, dates,
figures in detail of all the regimental organizations from all the
States and Territories; valuable records of the events of the war,
presented in a twofold form, first by tracing the operations of each of
the great armies, and then by noting the events in chronological
order--are given in these pages, where millions of figures and names
occur, with wonderful accuracy. Particulars of every vessel, with name,
armament, tonnage, &c., and details of the internal revenue system, are
placed before us. We cannot offer even an outline of the contents of
this volume, because the details are so multifarious that we could
compress their index into no reasonable space. A copy of this book
should be in the hands of every reader, thinker, and business man in the
country. It is indeed a 'little library,' a 'photograph of the world'
for the last two years of its rapid course.


     MY CAVE LIFE IN VICKSBURG, WITH LETTERS OF TRIAL AND
     TRAVEL. By a Lady. New York: D. Appleton & Co., 443 and 445
     Broadway.

We are a magnanimous people, and we doubt not this simple record of a
woman's sufferings and terror will be read with interest, although she
is the wife of a Confederate officer. It gives us, indeed, the only
picture we have as yet seen of the interior of Vicksburg during its
ever-memorable siege; the only sketch of the hopes and fears of its
inhabitants. Its dedication is as follows: 'To one who, though absent,
is ever present, this little waif is tenderly and affectionately
dedicated.'

     NEIGHBOR JACKWOOD. By J. T. Trowbridge. Boston: J. E.
     Tilton & Company. For sale by D. Appleton & Co., New York.

A novel from Mr. Trowbridge, the author of 'Cudjo's Cave,' will always
command attention. He gives us no wayside episodes, rambling details, or
useless explanations. He seizes his story at the outset, and sustains
its interest to the close. His action is rapid, and every step is a
direct one to the final _dénouement_. He holds his reins with a firm
hand, and big incidents never swerve from an air-line track. His books
are characteristically American, and he uses the events and characters
of the hour with ability. Poor Charlotte, the heroine, is well drawn,
and her tale is one appealing to all human sympathies, yet, perhaps in
consequence of old and persistent prejudices, we cannot say we like this
work as well as 'Cudjo's Cave.' Many of our readers may like it better.
Grandmother Rigglesty is inimitable, and should be studied by all the
peevish, selfish, and exacting old women in the land.

       *       *       *       *       *

In consequence of the space occupied by our Index, the remaining notices
of new books are unavoidably postponed until the issue of the ensuing
number.--ED. CON.



EDITOR'S TABLE.


THE METROPOLITAN FAIR.

This noble and humane enterprise has nearly reached its conclusion, and
the results, we believe, are quite commensurate with the expectations of
the Executive Committee. It is not possible as yet to arrive at the net
proceeds, but the entire receipts will exceed one million dollars. The
names and reputation of the chiefs of the Sanitary Commission are
sufficient guarantee that the funds thus raised will be applied to the
purpose for which they were given, and many a poor soldier will have
reason to bless the zeal of the energetic men and women who have so
efficiently labored to soothe suffering and furnish to the sick and
wounded the very best aid their country can offer.

We have more than once been pained by hearing the words 'humbug,' 'great
advertizing establishment,' etc., applied to the New York Fair, as well
as to fairs in general. Now, nothing could be more unjust than the first
term; and as to the latter, we have only to say that, if human nature
were perfect, fairs would be unnecessary, and a subscription all that
any just enterprise would require for success. Beneficence on a large
scale, however, requires the money of the selfishly munificent as well
as of the purely generous, and fairs not only procure purchasers for
such articles as givers can spare with the least detriment to
themselves, but also make known the names and quality of wares of
various dealers. The man who might have _subscribed_ ten dollars, is
content to pay one hundred for an object contributed from the time and
labor of some individual devoid of other commodities. If the wares in
question become more widely known, and benefit hence accrue to the
giver, the consequence is surely a legitimate one, and even a fortunate
condition of the facts, as increasing the size of the fund received.
They who give simply with the idea of doing good, will doubtless receive
their appropriate reward; and they who give with mixed motives know well
that the alleviation purchased by their contribution will be as welcome
to the sick soldier as that procured by the more unselfish donation. Our
admiration for the individual may vary with our knowledge of his springs
of action, but if love of self can be made to minister to the wants of
the suffering, all the better, especially as no man can (without certain
knowledge) dare to sit in judgment upon the motives of his fellow men.

Each department has done well, and none better than that devoted to
painting, statuary, engraving, and photography. Large sums have been
realized upon the pictures presented by the artists--generous gifts
indeed from men (and women) not usually overburdened with this world's
gear. M. Knoedler, of the Art Committee, merits the especial gratitude
of the community, not only for the generous but unobtrusive zeal
displayed by him, but also for large contributions in engravings and
photographs.

The gift department of the picture gallery comprised works from all our
best-known names, as well as from some hitherto unknown. The artists'
albums were also a special feature in this domain. Judging merely as
outsiders (having owned no certificate of subscription), we thought the
anti-raffling rule might either have been suspended in their favor, or
should certainly have been enforced upon the first day, before the
burden of so many subscriptions had fallen upon the shoulders of the
energetic artists having them in charge.

The general exhibition, although by no means a complete representation
of all that has been accomplished by painting in America (several of our
best artists having been represented only by their gift pictures), was
nevertheless very interesting. Opportunity was offered for close and
immediate comparison between some of the renowned works that have
adorned our annals, namely, Bierstadt's 'Rocky Mountains,' and Church's
'Andes of Ecuador' and 'Heart of the Andes,' also, Gignoux's and
Church's 'Niagaras.'

The 'arms and trophies' made a very splendid and inspiring array. The
book store, the nautical room, the machine shop, the New York fire,
police, and New Jersey departments, and the grouping and general
arrangement of the Seventeenth-street building, were but a few of the
tasteful and admirable results of the labors of the executive and minor
committees.

Last, but not least, come the Indians, who contributed to the Fair one
of its most attractive features. Good pictures may often be seen, fancy
articles every day, but the advent of these children of the forest has
left a vivid memory of their appearance and of some of their customs,
their musical instruments, songs, and dances, with many who have never
heretofore come in contact with them, and whose grandchildren may
perhaps cross the continent from New York to San Francisco without
meeting a single one of the original denizens of mountain, vale,
prairie, or table land. Great thanks are due to M. Bierstadt for the
almost herculean labors he must have undergone in presenting to us these
living fossils. Keeping them in a good humor must have been one of his
most serious tasks, as they doubtless encountered many contrarieties
calculated to chafe hot blood and annoy men unaccustomed to the
confinement of city life.

Again, thanks to him, and also to them; thanks, indeed, to all the
patriotic men and women who have done so much in New York, Brooklyn,
Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, and other smaller places, and also to those
who are making similar noble efforts in Baltimore, Philadelphia, St.
Louis, Pittsburg, etc., etc. War is a sad phase in the history of
humanity, and yet it has ever had the glory of developing some of the
highest of human virtues.

       *       *       *       *       *

KNOUT, PLETE, AND GANTLET.

The peasants of Poland do not seem very amiably disposed toward the
great Russian czar. Having been already emancipated by their own
leaders, they do not appear to be aware of his superhuman benevolence in
their behalf. They have issued a manifesto against him. They propose to
raise a peasant army of a million of men, from the ages of sixteen to
sixty, to assault Warsaw and other Polish cities held by the Russians.
They treat with scorn the offered emancipation, and determine to resist
'the odious, fierce, greedy, and astute Muscovite, and to organize _en
masse_ under their own captains, while their own National Government
will designate the day upon which the general movement will take place.'
Having accomplished their object--the deliverance of Poland--the
peasants will elect chiefs to arrange the repartition of taxes, and a
national diet will undertake the management of the affairs of the
country. Prussia and Austria will then be called in again to aid in the
subjugation of Poland. This will throw the firebrand of war and
revolution over Western Europe, the oppressed peoples will rise in their
might, and Liberty be inscribed on the banner of the world. In the
indignant refusal of the Polish peasants to receive as a boon from the
foreigner what they already possess as a right from their own leaders;
in the devoted patriotism they are now evincing, they rob Russia of the
vast advantage she hoped to gain in depriving Poland of what has made
part of her marvellous force, the moral sympathies of the civilized
world. For can any one be weak enough to believe that the ukase of
emancipation originated in the magnanimity of Russia? The design was
evidently to divide the peasants from the nobles, to light the flames of
civil war, to murder by the hands of her own sons that unhappy country,
which, deserted by all the nations of the earth, has again and again
risen from her bloody grave to startle her oppressors with the old hymns
of faith and triumph. But, if uncultured, because the iron heel of the
tyrant has been on the heart of the murdered mother, the Polish peasant
is faithful and devoted. He knows the nature of Russian rule. He has
seen women knouted, childred murdered, boys imprisoned, and men exposed
to the tortures of Siberia. Have our readers any true conception of what
it is to be knouted? We will place before them a translation from
Piotrowski of three modes of punishment used by Russia.

'The _Knout_ is a long narrow thong of leather, which is steeped and
boiled in a chemical solution until it becomes thickly coated with
metallic filings and deposit. Prepared in this way, the thong acquires
considerable weight and hardness. Before it cools and hardens, however,
they take care to turn the edges, made thin for this purpose, up toward
each other, thus forming a groove extending through the whole length of
the metal-coated thong, with the exception of the extremity, which is
left limber that it may be wound round the hand of the executioner,
while a strong iron hook is appended to the other extremity. The
scaffold on which the victim suffers is called in Russian 'Kobyla,'
literally a mare. It is an inclined plane, on which the sufferer is
tied, his back is stripped naked, his arms embrace the higher end of the
plank, his hands are tied under it, his feet are fastened on the lower
end, all movement being thus rendered impossible. Hacking down upon the
naked back of the victim, the knout falls with its concave side upon the
skin, which the metalized edge of the instrument cuts like a knife, the
blades of the groove burying themselves in the flesh; the instrument is
not lifted up by the operator, but is drawn horizontally toward himself,
tearing away, by means of the hook, the severed flesh in long strings.
If the operator performs his part conscientiously, the sufferer loses
consciousness after the third blow, and frequently expires with the
fifth. Peter the Great fixed the maximum of the number to be given at
one hundred and one--of course, this was a sentence of death. It is a
singularity of the Russian laws that the number of blows decreed for the
knout is always uneven. As soon as the wretched victim has received the
prescribed number, he is untied, forced to kneel, and submit to the
punishment of the brand. This brand consists of the three letters VOR
(robber, criminal), cut in iron points upon a stamp, and is struck by
the executioner into the forehead and cheeks of the sufferer. While the
blood is still flowing, a black fluid, partly composed of gunpowder, is
injected into the wounds. When the wounds heal, the letters assume a
dark blue tint, and are forever after indelible. After the infliction
of the brand, it was formerly the custom to tear out the nostrils, but
this horrible barbarity was definitely abolished toward the close of the
reign of Alexander I. I have, however, met more than one Siberian exile
thus hideously disfigured, no doubt belonging to the time anterior to
the publication of the ukase. I have met an incalculable number of men
bearing upon cheeks and forehead the triple inscription VOR. I do not
think the brand is applied to woman; at least I have never seen one thus
desecrated.

'The _Plète_, which is often and wrongfully confounded with the knout,
is a far less formidable instrument. It is composed of three strong
leathern thongs, terminated at the one end by balls of lead; the other
is wrapped round the hand of the executioner. In accordance with the
Russian law, this instrument should weigh from five to six pounds. It
strikes like a triple lash upon the naked back of the sufferer. It does
not plough or tear up the flesh like the knout, but the skin of course
breaks under the heavy blows inflicted upon the spinal column and the
sides. Phthisis is a common complaint with those who have been subjected
to the punishment of the plète, the strokes frequently detaching the
viscera from their living walls. In order to give more force to the
blow, the executioner takes a leap and run, only striking as he reaches
his victim. If possible to gain him by a bribe, he may diminish the
punishment without detection. He may manage not to use his little finger
on the instrument, which softens the force of the blow, without
attracting the attention of the superintending officer. If the number of
lashes is to be great, the operator is often bribed to give all his
available force to the first blows, directing them principally toward
the sides, in order to put as short a term as possible to the torture
and life of the miserable sufferer.

'A third kind of punishment is that of the _Skvoz-stroï_, literally,
_through the ranks_. This is generally used for soldiers only, though
many Polish patriots have been subjected to it after condemnation for
political offences. It is thus inflicted: Long rods are taken, freshly
cut and well soaked in water to render them perfectly flexible, and
given to the men who are to operate. A company of soldiers range
themselves, facing each other, in a double file, placing themselves at
such a distance from one another that they may be able to strike with
their whole force without being in the way of each other. The sufferer
is stripped to the waist, his hands are tied before him to a gun, the
bayonet of which rests on his breast, while the butt end of it is
carried by the soldier appointed to lead him through the ranks charged
with the duty of inflicting his punishment. He is led slowly forward
through the files, receiving the lashes on his back and shoulders. When
he faints or falls on the ground, he is raised up and urged to move on.
Peter the Great fixed the maximum of blows at twelve thousand, but
unless they intend to make an example of some offender, more than two
thousand are rarely administered. If more are decreed, the patient is
usually carried to the hospital and cured of his wounds ere he is forced
to undergo the rest of the sentence.

'A conspiracy broke out in Siberia, which was betrayed on the very eve
of its commencement at Omsk. The Abbé Siérocinski was concerned in it,
and he and five of his accomplices, among whom was found an officer of
the empire between sixty and seventy years of age, were condemned to
seven thousand lashes, each without remission. The other conspirators,
numbering nearly a thousand in all, were sentenced to receive from one
thousand to fifteen hundred lashes, and to hard labor for life. The day
of execution arrived. It occurred in 1837, early in the month of March.
It took place at Omsk. General Golofeïev, in consequence of being
celebrated for his cruelty, was sent from the capital to superintend the
punishment and command this mournful _cortége_. Two entire battalions
were ranged in a great plain near the city, the one destined for the six
principal conspirators, the other for those whose punishment was not to
be so severe. It is not our intention to describe the detailed butchery
of this day of horror: we will confine ourselves to the Abbé Siérocinski
and his five companions in misfortune. They were escorted on the plain,
their sentence was read aloud to them with great solemnity, and then the
running of the gauntlet commenced. The lashes were administered,
according to the letter of the decree, 'without mercy,' and the cries of
the wretched sufferers rose to the skies. None of them lived to receive
the full number of lashes: executed one after another, after having
passed two or three times through the dreadful file, they fell upon the
earth, dyeing the pure snow red with the blood of their agonies as they
expired. In order that the Abbé Siérocinski might drink to the dregs the
bitter cup of his punishment, that he might suffer doubly through the
torture of his friends, he had been reserved to the last. His turn now
arrived, they stripped his back and tied his hands to the bayonet, and
the physician advanced to give him, as he had given the others, some
drops to strengthen him for the torment, but he refused them, saying: 'I
do not want your drops--I will not taste them, I am ready--drink, then,
the blood for which you thirst.' The signal of his fearful march was
given, and the strong voice of the old superior of the monastery was
heard entoning with high, clear chant: 'Miserere mei, Deus, secundum
magnam misericordiam tuam!'

'The chant of the priest was broken in upon by the harsh cry of General
Golofeïev to the soldiers: _Pokreptche! Pokreptche!_ 'Harder! Harder!'
Thus was heard for some time the chant of the Basilien broken by the
hissing of the lashes and the angry cry of the general. Siérocinski had
only passed once through the ranks of the battalion, that is to say, he
had received but a thousand lashes, when he rolled without consciousness
over the snow, staining it with his dauntless blood. In vain they tried
to place him again on his feet--he was too weak to stand; and he was
then stretched upon a sled which had been prepared in advance. He was
fastened upon this species of support so as to present his back to the
blows, and again the defile through the ranks began. Cries and groans
were still heard: though they were constantly growing weaker, they
ceased not until the commencement of the fourth course--the three
thousand last blows fell on the body of the hapless corpse.

'A common ditch received those who died on this dreadful day, Poles and
Russians being thrown in together. The holy sign of our faith was placed
by the friends of the dead upon this crowded grave, and even in 1846 the
great wooden cross still stretched its black arms over the steppe
shrouded in its snow of dazzling whiteness.'





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