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Title: Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Vol. 3, July, 1851
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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  HARPER'S

  NEW MONTHLY MAGAZINE.

  NO. XIV.--JULY, 1851.--VOL. III.

[Illustration: ADAMS, SHERMAN, LIVINGSTON, JEFFERSON, FRANKLIN.

THE COMMITTEE APPOINTED TO PREPARE THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.]



OUR NATIONAL ANNIVERSARY.

BY BENSON J. LOSSING.


On the morning of a brilliant day in October, 1760, the heir apparent to
the British throne and his groom of the stole, were riding on horseback
near Kew Palace, on the banks of the Thames. The _heir_ was George, son
of the deceased Frederick, Prince of Wales; the _groom_ was John Stuart,
Earl of Bute, an impoverished descendant of an ancient Scottish
chieftain. The prince was young, virtuous, and amiable; the earl was in
the prime of mature manhood, pedantic, gay, courtly in bearing, and
winning in deportment. He came as an adventurer to the court of George
the Second, for he possessed nothing but an earldom, a handsome person,
and great assurance; he lived in affluence in the royal household of
Frederick, because he played Lothario well not only in the amateur
theatre, but in the drawing-room of the princess, and soon became her
petted favorite.

The Prince of Wales died, and rumor with her half-lying tongue often
whispered in the public ear the suspicion that the earl and the dowager
princess were unmindful of the requirements of virtue. Public credulity
believed the scandal, and the public mind became troubled because the
pupilage of the future sovereign was under the guidance of the shallow
earl. He was a tutor more expert in the knowledge of stage-plays, the
paraphernalia of the acted drama, and the laws of fashion and etiquette
necessary for the beau and the courtier, than in comprehension of the
most simple principles of jurisprudence, the duties of a statesman, or
the solid acquirements necessary for a reigning prince or his chief
adviser. It was evident that the groom of the stole would be the prime
minister of the realm when George should possess the throne of his
grandfather, and this expectation made virtuous men and true patriots
unhappy.

The prince and his inseparable companion had just reined up at the
portal of the garden of the dowager, at Kew, when a solemn peal tolled
out from the bells of London. While they were listening, a messenger
came in haste to the prince and announced the sudden death of the old
king. He was soon followed by William Pitt, the greatest commoner in
England, the idol of the people, and, as prime minister, the actual
ruler of the affairs of the empire. Pitt confirmed the sad tidings, and
made preliminary arrangements for proclaiming the accession of George
the Third.

[Illustration: EARL OF BUTE.]

The earl and his pupil remained that day and night at Kew, in company
with Doddington and a few other friends, and the next morning rode up to
St. James's, in London, to meet the great officers of state. At that
interview, Pitt presented the young king with an address to be
pronounced at a meeting of the Privy Council. The minister was informed
that one had already been prepared. This announcement opened to the
sagacious mind of Pitt a broad and gloomy view of the future. He
perceived that Bute was to be the ruling spirit in the new cabinet; that
he whom he despised for his weakness and illiberality, his pedantic
assumption of superior scholarship, and his merited unpopularity with
the people, was to be the bosom friend and adviser of the king. Pitt
well knew his unfitness, and deplored the consequences. Unwilling to be
held in the least responsible for errors which were certain to abound in
the administration of affairs, he soon withdrew to his mansion at Hayes,
and watched, with all the interest and anxiety of a statesman and
patriot, the gradual weaving of the web of difficulty in which the
impotent men who surrounded the king, were soon ensnared.

By virtue of his office as groom of the stole, Bute was sworn in a Privy
Councilor, and, by degrees he obtained the control of the cabinet. For
nearly ten years his unwise advice and defective statesmanship, in the
cabinet and in the parlor, led George the Third into many and grave
errors, which finally resulted in the loss of the fairest portion of his
American possessions. Had Pitt been allowed to guide the public policy
and direct the honest but stubborn mind of the king at the beginning of
his long reign of half a century, these United States might have
remained a part of the British Empire fifty years longer. But that great
man, whose genius as a statesman, eloquence and wisdom as a legislator,
and whose thorough knowledge of human nature and the past history of the
world, made him peerless, and whose administration of government during
almost the entire progress of _The Seven Years' War_, had carried
England to a height of prosperity and influence which she had never
before approached, was superseded by a fop; his eminent worth was
overlooked; his services were apparently forgotten, and he was allowed
to retire from office and leave the young sovereign and his government
in the hands of weak, crafty, and selfish men. The people venerated
Pitt; they despised the very name of Stuart. They deprecated the
influence of the king's mother as being unfavorable to popular freedom.
A placard which appeared upon the Royal Exchange, bearing, in large
letters, the significant expression of "No petticoat government--no
Scotch minister--no Lord George Sackville," prefigured those popular
tumults which soon afterward disturbed the metropolis and extended to
the American colonies. That placard was the harbinger of that great
DECLARATION, the adoption of which by a representative Congress of the
Anglo-American people fifteen years afterward, is the occasion of our
National Anniversary.

From the accession of Charles the Second, just one hundred years before
George the Third ascended the throne, the English colonies in America
struggled manfully for prosperity against the unjust and illiberal
commercial policy of Great Britain. With a strange obtuseness of
perception in regard to the elements of national prosperity, which the
truths of modern political economy now clearly illustrate to the common
mind, the British government sought to fill its coffers from the
products of colonial industry, by imposing upon their commerce such
severe restrictions that its expansion was almost prohibited. The wisdom
and prudent counsels of men like Robert Walpole were of no avail; and,
down to the accession of George the Third, the industrial pursuits of
the colonists, under the regulations of the Board of Trade, were
subjected to restraints and impositions which amounted to actual
oppression. The Americans often petitioned for justice, but in vain.
Continental wars continually drained the imperial treasury, and the
inventive genius of British statesmen continually planned new schemes
for the creation of a revenue adequate to meet the enormous expenditures
of government. Despite the Navigation Act and kindred measures,
sometimes enforced with rigor, and sometimes with laxity, the American
Colonies grew rich and powerful. Despite the injustice of the mother
country, they were eminently loyal. During the long war between France
and England which was waged in the wilds of America, and which called
into fierce action the savage tribes of the forests, the colonies
contributed men and money with a lavish prodigality to sustain the honor
of Great Britain, and the Gallic power on our continent was crushed,
chiefly by provincial strength. The fidelity, the generosity, the
prowess, and the loyalty of the Americans commanded the admiration of
England, and should have excited her grateful desires to reciprocate and
requite the service. On the contrary, the exhibition of the wealth and
strength of the colonies during that war, excited her jealousy, led to
greater exactions, and were made a pretense for more flagrant acts of
injustice. She seemed to regard the Americans as industrious bees,
working in a hive in her own apiary, in duty bound to lay up stores of
honey for her especial use, and entitled to only the poor requital of a
little treacle.

Relying upon the steady loyalty of the colonists, and their pecuniary
ability, the advisers of the king looked to them for unceasing and
substantial aid in replenishing the exhausted exchequer. Hitherto many
of the commercial regulations had been evaded; now a rigid enforcement
of the revenue laws was commenced. By the advice of Bute the king
determined to "reform the American charters." Secret agents were sent to
traverse the colonies for the purpose of ascertaining the temper of the
people, of conciliating men of wealth and influence, and of obtaining
such information as might be useful to ministers in preparing a plan for
drawing a portion of the surplus wealth of the Americans into the
imperial treasury. The first reform measure was the issuing of _Writs of
Assistance_ to revenue officers. These were warrants to custom-house
officials, giving them and their deputies a general power to enter
houses and stores where it might be suspected that contraband goods were
concealed. This was a violation of one of the dearest principles of
Magna Charta which recognizes the house of every Briton as his castle.
The idea of such latitude being given to "the meanest deputy of a
deputy's deputy" created general indignation and alarm. It might cover
the grossest abuses, and no man's privacy would be free from the
intrusions of these ministerial hirelings. The colonies saw in this the
budding germ of despotism, and resolved to oppose its growth. The voice
of James Otis the younger, a ripe scholar of six-and-thirty, and then
the Advocate General of the colony of Massachusetts Bay, first denounced
the scheme and declared the great political postulate which became the
basis of all subsequent resistance to kingly domination, that "TAXATION,
WITHOUT REPRESENTATION, IS TYRANNY." Like the deep and startling tones
of an alarm-bell, echoing from hill to hill, his bold eloquence aroused
the hearts of thinking men from the Penobscot to the St. Mary; and his
published arguments, like an electric shock, thrilled every nerve in the
Atlantic provinces. "Otis was a flame of fire," said John Adams, in
describing the scene in the Massachusetts Assembly, when the orator
uttered his denunciations. "With a promptitude of classical allusion and
a depth of research, a rapid summary of historical events and dates, a
profusion of legal authority, a prophetic glance of his eyes into
futurity and a rapid torrent of impetuous eloquence, he hurried away all
before him. The seeds of patriots and heroes were then and there sown.
Every man of an immensely crowded audience appeared to me to go away, as
I did, ready to take up arms against _Writs of Assistance_. Then and
there was the first scene of the first act of opposition to the
arbitrary claims of Great Britain. Then and there the child,
Independence, was born. In fifteen years, that is, in 1776, he grew up
to manhood, and declared himself free."

[Illustration: JAMES OTIS.]

Poor Otis! The bludgeon of a ministerial myrmidon paralyzed his
brilliant intellect, and he was not allowed to participate in the scenes
of the Revolution which ensued. Just as the white banner of peace began
to wave over his country, after a struggle of twenty years to which he
gave the first impulse, an electric bolt from the clouds mercifully
released his wearied spirit from its earthly thrall.

The people were now fairly aroused. "Give us a just representation in
the national council," they said, "and we will cheerfully submit to the
expressed will of the majority." Great Britain was too proud to listen
to conditions from her children; too blind to perceive the expediency of
fair concession. She haughtily refused the reciprocity asked, and
menaced the recusants. In the war just closed, the colonists had
discovered their inherent strength, and they were not easily frightened
by the mother's frown. Upon the postulate of Otis they planted the
standard of resistance and boldly kept it floating on the breeze until
the War of the Revolution broke out.

[Illustration: PATRICK HENRY.]

Heedless of the portentous warnings already given, the British ministry
conceived another scheme for taxing the Americans. The famous Stamp Act
was elaborated in council, discussed in parliament, and made a law by
sanction of the king's signature in the spring of 1765. That act imposed
certain duties upon every species of legal writing. It declared invalid
and null every promissory note, deed, mortgage, bond, marriage license,
business agreement, and every contract which was not written upon paper,
vellum, or parchment impressed with the stamp of the imperial
government. For these, fixed rates were stipulated. In this measure the
Americans perceived another head of the Hydra, Despotism. The _Writs of
Assistance_ touched the interests of commercial men; the Stamp Act
touched the interests of the whole people. The principle involved was
the same in each; the practical effect of the latter was universally
felt. Fierce was the tempest of indignation which followed the
annunciation of its enactment, and throughout the colonies the hearts of
the people beat as with one pulsation. Sectional differences were
forgotten. The bold notes of defiance uttered in New England and New
York were caught up and echoed with manifold vehemence in Virginia.
Patrick Henry, the idle boy of Hanover, had just burst from the
chrysalis of obscurity, and was enchanting his countrymen with the
brilliancy of his eloquence. He had been but a few days a member of the
Virginia House of Burgesses, when intelligence of the passage of the
Stamp Act reached the Old Dominion. Upon a scrap of paper torn from the
fly-leaf of an old copy of "Coke upon Littleton," he wrote those famous
resolutions which formed the first positive gauntlet of defiance cast at
the feet of the British monarch. The introduction of those resolutions
startled the apathetic, alarmed the timid, surprised the boldest. With
voice and mien almost superhuman in cadence and aspect, Henry defended
them. In descanting upon the tyranny of the odious Act, he shook that
assembly with alarm, and as he exclaimed in clear bell-tones of deepest
meaning, "Cæsar had his Brutus--Charles the First his Cromwell, and
George the Third--" cries of "Treason! Treason!" came from every part of
the House. Henry faltered not for an instant; but rising to a loftier
altitude, and fixing on the Speaker an eye of the most determined fire,
he finished the sentence with vehement emphasis--"George the the
Third--may profit by their example. If that be treason, make the most of
it." The resolutions were adopted, and from that day Massachusetts and
Virginia were the head and heart of the American Revolution.

We will not tarry to notice the various measures subsequently adopted by
the British Government to tax the Americans without their consent, and
the scenes of excitement which every where prevailed in the colonies.
The taxes imposed were light, some of them almost nominal; the colonists
complained only of the principle involved in the avowal of government,
that it possessed the right to impose taxes without the consent of the
governed. This was the issue, and both parties were unyielding. For ten
years the people complained of wrongs, petitioned for redress, and
suffered insults. They were forbearing, because they were fond of the
name of Englishmen. The mother country was blind, not voluntarily
wicked. The British ministry did not deliberately counsel the king to
oppress his subjects, for he would have spurned such advice with
indignation; yet the measures which they proposed, and which the king
sanctioned, accomplished the ends of positive tyranny and oppression.
Forbearance, at length, became no longer a virtue, and, turning their
backs upon Great Britain, the Americans prepared for inevitable war.
They understood the maxim of revolutionists, that "in union there is
strength." A spontaneous desire for a continental council was every
where manifested. Its proposition by the Massachusetts Assembly was
warmly responded to. The people met in primary assemblies, appointed
representatives, and on the 5th of September, 1774, forty-three
delegates from twelve colonies assembled in convention, in Carpenter's
Hall, Philadelphia. Others soon came, and the first Continental Congress
began its labors.

When the preliminary organization of Congress was completed, and the
delegates were assembled on the morning of the 7th, there was great
solemnity. After the Rev. Mr. Duché had prayed in behalf of the assembly
for Divine guidance, no one seemed willing to open the business of
Congress. There was perfect silence for a few minutes, when a plain man,
dressed in "minister's gray," arose and called the delegates to action.
The plain man was a stranger to almost every one present. "Who is he?"
went from lip to lip. "Patrick Henry," was the soft reply of Pendleton,
his colleague. The master spirit of the storm in Virginia ten years
before, now gave the first impulse to independent continental
legislation. Day after day the interests of the colonies were calmly
discussed; the rights of the people declared; the principles and
blessings of civil freedom extolled, and a determination to maintain and
enjoy them, at all hazards, boldly avowed. The king and parliament were
petitioned; the people of England and America were feelingly addressed,
and yet, during the session, from the 5th of September to the 26th of
October, not a word was uttered respecting political independence.
_Reconciliation_ was the theme; and that body of noble patriots, the
noblest ever assembled, returned to their constituents indulging the
hope that there would be no occasion for the assembling of another
Congress.

When the proceedings of this first general council reached the king, he
was greatly offended, and, instead of accepting the loyal propositions
for insuring mutual good-will, and listening to the just petitions of
his subjects, he recommended coercive measures. Parliament provided for
sending more troops to America to enforce submission to the new and
oppressive laws. The town of Boston, the hot-bed of the rebellion, was
made a garrison, and subjected to martial law. Blood soon flowed at
Lexington and Concord, and two months later the sanguinary battle of
Bunker Hill was fought. In the mean while another congress had assembled
at Philadelphia on the 10th of May; and Ethan Allen and his compatriots
had captured the strong fortresses of Ticonderoga and Crown Point, on
Lake Champlain. The whole country was in a blaze. The furrow and the
workshop were deserted, and New England sent her thousands of hardy
yeomen to wall up the British troops in Boston--to chain the tiger, and
prevent his depredating elsewhere. A Continental Army was organized, and
the supreme command given to George Washington, the hero of the _Great
Meadows_ and of the _Monongahela_. With Titan strength the patriots
piled huge fortifications around Boston, and for nine months they kept
their unnatural enemy a prisoner upon that little peninsula. Then they
drove him in haste out upon the broad Atlantic, and gave peace to the
desolated city. And yet the patriots talked not of political
independence. Righteous concession would have secured reconciliation.
The dismembering blow had not yet fallen. Great Britain was blind and
stubborn still.

Perplexed by dissensions in parliament, and the manifest growth of
sympathy for the Americans in his metropolis, the king was desirous of
making honorable concessions. Foolish ministers and ignorant and knavish
politicians prated of British _honor_, and advised the adoption of
rigorous measures for throwing back the swelling tide of rebellion in
America. It was an easy thing to advise, but difficult to plan, and hard
to execute the schemes proposed. The army of the empire was too much
scattered at distant points to furnish efficient detachments for the
American service. It would have been dangerous to send out levies raised
from the home districts, because the leaven of republicanism was there
at work. Material for an invading force was therefore sought in foreign
markets. Petty German princes happened to have a good supply on hand,
and toward the close of 1775, one of the darkest crimes recorded upon
the pages of English history, was consummated. Seventeen thousand
Germans, known here as Hessians, were hired by the British ministry, and
sent to plunder our seas, ravage our coasts, burn our towns, and destroy
the lives of our people. The king pronounced his subjects in America to
be _rebels_, and virtually abdicated government here, by declaring them
out of his protection, and waging war against them. His representatives,
the royal governors, were expelled from our shores, or driven to the
protection of British arms. All hope for reconciliation faded; petitions
and remonstrances ceased; the sword was drawn and the scabbard thrown
away. The children of Great Britain, who had ever regarded her with
reverence and filial affection, and who never dreamed of leaving the
paternal roof until the unholy chastisements of a parent's hand
alienated their love, were expelled from the threshold, and were
compelled to seek shelter behind the bulwark of a righteous rebellion.
Now their thoughts turned to the establishment of themselves as an
independent nation.

The precise time when aspirations for political independence first
became a prevailing sentiment among the people of the colonies, can not
be determined. No doubt the thought had been born in many minds, and the
desire cherished in many hearts, years before they received tangible
shape in explicit declarations. James Warren, Samuel Adams, Dr.
Franklin, Richard Henry Lee, Patrick Henry, Timothy Dwight, Thomas
Paine, and others seem to have been early impressed with the idea, that
a total separation from Great Britain was the only cure for existing
evils. But it was only a few months before the subject was brought
before Congress, that it became a topic for public discussion.

In 1773 Patrick Henry said, in conversation, "I doubt whether we shall
be able, _alone_, to cope with so powerful a nation as Great Britain;
but," he said, rising from his chair with animation, "where is France?
where is Spain? where is Holland? the natural enemies of Great Britain.
Where will they be all this while? Do you suppose they will stand by,
idle and indifferent spectators of the contest? Will Louis XVI. be
asleep all this time? Believe me, _no_! When Louis XVI. shall be
satisfied by our serious opposition, and our _Declaration of
Independence_, that all prospect of a reconciliation is gone, then, and
not till then, will he furnish us with arms, ammunition, and clothing;
and not with them only, but he will send his fleets and armies to fight
our battles for us. He will form a treaty with us, offensive and
defensive, against our unnatural mother. Spain and Holland will join the
confederation. _Our independence will be established, and we shall take
our stand among the nations of the earth!_" Never did seer or prophet
more clearly lift the veil of the future, and yet few sympathized with
him. Doctor Franklin talked of total political emancipation in 1774, and
Timothy Dwight recommended it early in 1775, and yet Jay, Madison,
Richard Penn, and others positively assert, that until after the meeting
of the second Continental Congress, there was no serious thought of
independence entertained. In reply to an intimation from a friend in
1774, that Massachusetts was seeking independence, Washington wrote,
"Give me leave to add, and I think I can announce it as a fact, that it
is not the wish or interest of that government, or any other upon this
continent, separately or collectively, to set up for independence." But
when fleets and armies came to coerce submission to injustice and wrong;
when King, Lords, and Commons became totally "deaf to the voice of
justice and of consanguinity," the colonies were obliged to "acquiesce
in the necessity" which compelled them to dissolve the political bands
that united them to the parent state.

At the beginning of 1776, Thomas Paine sent forth his remarkable
pamphlet, called _Common Sense_. Its vigorous paragraphs dealt hard
blows upon the British ministry, and its plain truths carried conviction
to the hearts of thousands throughout our land that rebellion was
justifiable. In it he boldly proposed a speedy declaration of
independence. "It matters very little now," he said, "what the King of
England either says or does; he hath wickedly broken through every moral
and human obligation, trampled nature and conscience beneath his feet;
and by a steady and constitutional spirit of insolence and cruelty,
procured for himself a universal hatred. It is now the interest of
America to provide for herself. She hath already a large and young
family, whom it is more her duty to take care of, than to be granting
away her property to support a power which is become a reproach to the
names of men and Christians.... It may be asked, Which is the easiest
and most practicable plan, _reconciliation_ or _independence_? I answer
generally, That _independence_ being a single, simple line, contained
within ourselves, and _reconciliation_ a matter exceedingly perplexed
and complicated, and in which a treacherous, capricious court is to
interfere, gives the answer without a doubt.... Instead of gazing at
each other with suspicious or doubtful curiosity, let each of us hold
out to his neighbor the hearty hand of friendship, and unite in drawing
a line, which, like an act of oblivion, shall bury in forgetfulness
every former dissension. Let the names of Whig and Tory be extinct; and
let none other be heard among us, than those of a good citizen; an open
and resolute friend; and a virtuous supporter of the rights of mankind,
and of the free and independent states of America."

"Common Sense" was printed and scattered by thousands over the land. In
the army it was read by the captains at the head of their companies, and
at public gatherings its strong but just language was greeted with loud
acclaim. Neighbor read it to neighbor, and within three months after its
appearance a desire for absolute independence of Great Britain glowed in
almost every patriot bosom, and found expression at public meetings, in
the pulpit, and in social circles.

The Colonial Assemblies soon began to move in the matter. North Carolina
was the first to take the bold, progressive step toward independence. By
a vote of a convention held on the 22d of April, 1776, the
representatives of that State in the Continental Congress were
authorized "to concur with those in the other colonies, in declaring
independence." Eleven months earlier than this, a meeting at Charlotte,
in Mecklenburg County, forswore allegiance to the British crown.

On the 10th of April, the General Assembly of Massachusetts requested
the people of that colony, at the approaching election of new
representatives, to give them instructions on the subject of
independence. Pursuant to this request, the people of Boston, in town
meeting assembled on the 23d, instructed their representatives to use
their best endeavors to have their delegates at Philadelphia "advised,
that in case Congress should think it necessary for the safety of the
united colonies, to declare themselves independent of Great Britain, the
inhabitants of that colony, with their lives and the _remnants_ of their
fortunes, would most cheerfully support them in the measure."

The Convention of Virginia passed a similar resolution on the 17th of
May, and then proceeded to the establishment of a regular independent
government for the colony. In its instructions the Virginia Convention
directed its representatives to _propose_ a declaration of independence.
The General Assembly of Rhode Island adopted a similar resolution the
same month, and also directed the usual oath of allegiance, thereafter,
to be given to the State of Rhode Island, instead of to the King of
Great Britain.

On the 8th of June the New York delegates in Congress asked for special
instructions on the subject, but the Provincial Assembly, deeming itself
incompetent to instruct in so grave a matter without the previous
sanction of the people, merely recommended the inhabitants to signify
their sentiments at the election just at hand. The New York delegates
were never instructed on the subject, and those who signed the
Declaration did so upon their own responsibility. But when a copy of the
Declaration reached the Provincial Assembly of New York, then in session
at White Plains, that body passed a resolution of approval, and directed
their delegates to act in future, as the public good might require.

The Assembly of Connecticut, on the 14th of June, instructed their
delegates "to give the assent of the colony to such Declaration, when
they should judge it expedient." On the 15th the New Hampshire
Provincial Congress issued similar instructions; and on the 21st the new
delegates from New Jersey were directed to act in the matter according
to the dictates of their own judgments.

[Illustration: THE STATE HOUSE, OR INDEPENDENCE HALL, AS IT APPEARED IN
1776.]

In the Pennsylvania Assembly, several months previously, the subject of
independence had been hinted at. The Conservatives were alarmed, and
procured the adoption of instructions to their delegates, adverse to
such a measure. In June these restrictions were removed, and they were
neither instructed nor officially permitted to concur with the other
colonies in a declaration of independence. But a convention of the
people, held in Philadelphia on the 24th of June, expressed their
willingness and desire to act in concert with those of the other
colonies, and requested the representatives of that province to vote
affirmatively.

The Convention of Maryland, by a resolution adopted at about the close
of May, positively forbade their delegates voting for independence; but
through the influence of Carroll, Chase, Paca, and others, the
prohibition was recalled on the 28th of June, and they were empowered to
give a vote for Maryland concurrent with the other provinces. Delaware,
South Carolina, and Georgia refrained from action on the subject, except
such as occurred at small district meetings, and their delegates were
left free to vote as they pleased. So rapid was the change in public
opinion after the British troops were driven out of Boston, that within
the space of sixty-five days, the representatives of ten of the thirteen
colonies were specially instructed by their constituents to sever the
political tie which bound them to Great Britain.

The Continental Congress, now in permanent session, was assembled in the
State House in Philadelphia, a spacious building yet standing--a relic
of rarest interest to the American, because of the glorious associations
which hallow it.

          "This is the sacred fane wherein assembled
            The fearless champions on the side of Right;
          Men at whose Declaration empires trembled,
            Moved by the Truth's clear and eternal light.

          "This is the hallowed spot where first, unfurling,
            Fair Freedom spread her blazing scroll of light;
          Here, from Oppression's throne the tyrant hurling,
            She stood supreme in majesty and might."

[Illustration: JOHN HANCOCK.]

[Illustration: ROBERT MORRIS.]

Stimulated by affirmative action in the various colonies, the desire for
independence became a living principle in the hall of the Continental
Congress, and that principle found utterance, albeit with timorous
voice. John Hancock, an opulent merchant of Boston, and from the
commencement of difficulties in 1765, a bold, uncompromising, zealous,
and self-sacrificing patriot, was seated in the presidential chair, to
which he had been called a year previously, when Peyton Randolph, the
first incumbent, was summoned to the bedside of his dying wife in
Virginia. The equally bold and uncompromising Adamses were his
colleagues, from Massachusetts Bay. On his right sat Franklin of
Pennsylvania, Sherman of Connecticut, Rutledge of South Carolina, and
young Jefferson of Virginia. On his left was the eloquent Dickenson of
Pennsylvania, and his colleague, Robert Morris, the financier of the
Revolution, whose capital and credit, controlled by untiring energy and
love of country, sustained the cause of freedom in the darkest hours of
its struggles with tyranny. Near him was the lovely and refined Arthur
Middleton of South Carolina, with a heart full of philanthropy, and a
mind at ease while he saw his immense fortune melting away before the
fire of revolution. In front was Richard Henry Lee, the Cicero of that
august assembly, and by his side sat the venerable John Witherspoon of
Princeton College, the equally impressive and earnest preacher of the
gospel of Christ and the gospel of civil liberty. Near the President's
chair sat the attenuated, white-haired secretary, Charles Thomson, who
for fifteen years held the pen of the old Congress, and arranged, with
masterly hand, its daily business. On every side were men, less
conspicuous but equally zealous, bearing upon their shoulders a
responsibility unparalleled in the history of the world in importance,
whether considered in the aspect of immediate effects or prospective
results.

On the 10th of May, the initial step toward independence was taken by
Congress, when it was resolved, "that it be recommended to the several
assemblies and conventions of the United Colonies, where no government,
sufficient to the exigencies of their affairs, hath hitherto been
established, to adopt such a government as shall, in the opinions of the
representatives of the people, best conduce to the happiness and safety
of their constituents in particular, and America in general." A preamble
to this resolution was prepared by a committee, consisting of John
Adams, Edward Rutledge, and Richard Henry Lee, in which the principles
of independent sovereignty were clearly set forth. It was declared
"irreconcilable to reason and a good conscience for the colonists to
take the oaths required for the support of the government under the
crown of Great Britain." It was also declared necessary, that all royal
rule should be suppressed, and all "the powers of government exerted
under the authority of the people of the colonies, for the preservation
of internal peace, virtue, and good order, as well as for the defense of
their lives, liberties, and properties, against the hostile invasions,
and civil depredations of their enemies." This language was certainly
very bold, but not sufficiently positive and comprehensive, as a basis
of energetic action, in favor of independence. The hearts of a majority
in Congress now yearned with an irrepressible zeal for the consummation
of an event which they knew to be inevitable; yet there seemed to be no
one courageous enough in that assembly to step forth and take the
momentous responsibility of lifting the knife that should dismember the
British Empire. The royal government would mark that man as an
arch-rebel, and all its energies would be brought to bear to quench his
spirit, or to hang him on a gibbet.[1]

[Illustration: RICHARD HENRY LEE.]

We have seen that Virginia instructed her representatives in Congress to
_propose_ independence: she had a delegate equal to the task. In the
midst of the doubt, and dread, and hesitation, which for twenty days had
brooded over the National Assembly, Richard Henry Lee arose, and with
his clear, musical voice read aloud the resolution, "That these United
Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States; and
that all political connection between us and the State of Great Britain
is, and ought to be totally dissolved." John Adams immediately arose and
seconded the resolution. To shield them from the royal ire, Congress
directed the secretary to omit the names of its mover and seconder in
the journals. The record says, "Certain resolutions respecting
independence being moved and seconded, _Resolved_, That the
consideration of them be deferred until to-morrow morning; and that the
members be enjoined to attend punctually at ten o'clock, in order to
take the same into their consideration."

The resolution was not taken up for consideration, until three days
afterward, when it was resolved to "postpone its further consideration
until the first day of July next; and in the mean while, that no time be
lost, in case Congress agree thereto, that a committee be appointed to
prepare a declaration to that effect." That committee was appointed on
the eleventh of June, and consisted of Thomas Jefferson of Virginia,
John Adams of Massachusetts, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, Roger
Sherman of Connecticut, and Robert R. Livingston of New York. Mr. Lee
would doubtless have been appointed the chairman of the committee, had
not intelligence of the serious illness of his wife compelled him, the
evening previous to its formation, to ask leave of absence. At the hour
when the committee was formed, Mr. Lee was in Wilmington, on his way to
Virginia. Mr. Jefferson, the youngest member of the committee, was
chosen by his colleagues to write the Declaration, because of his known
expertness with the pen; and in an upper chamber of the house of Mrs.
Clymer, on the southwest corner of Seventh and High-streets, in
Philadelphia, that ardent patriot drew up the great indictment against
George the Third, for adjudication by a tribunal of the nations.

[Illustration: JOHN DICKENSON.]

On the first of July, pursuant to agreement, Mr. Lee's resolution was
taken up in the committee of the whole house, Benjamin Harrison of
Virginia (father of the late President Harrison), in the chair.
Jefferson's draft of a declaration of independence, bearing a few verbal
alterations by Franklin and Adams, was reported at the same time, and
for three consecutive days its paragraphs were debated, altered, and
agreed to, one after another. No written record has transmitted to us
the able arguments put forth on that occasion, and the world has lost
all except a few reminiscences preserved by those who listened to, and
participated in the debates. While all hearts were favorable to the
measure, all minds were not convinced that the proper time had arrived
for "passing the Rubicon." Among the opponents of the resolution was
John Dickenson of Pennsylvania, whose powerful arguments in a series of
_Letters of a Pennsylvania Farmer_, published eight years before, had
contributed greatly toward arousing the colonies to resistance. He did
not regard the measure as impolitic _at all times_, but as premature
and impracticable at _that time_. He urged the want of money, munitions
of war, of a well-organized and disciplined army; the seeming apathy of
several colonies, manifested by their tardiness in declaring their
wishes on the subject; the puissance of Great Britain by sea and land,
and the yet unknown course of foreign governments during the contest
which would follow. Richard Henry Lee, on the other hand, had supported
his resolution with all his fervid eloquence, in Congress and out of it,
from the day when he presented it. He prefaced his motion with a speech,
which his compatriots spoke of in terms of highest eulogium. He reviewed
with voluminous comprehensiveness the rights of the colonists, and the
violation of those rights by the mother country. He stated their
resources, descanted upon the advantages of union daily drawing closer
and closer as external danger pressed upon them, and their capacity for
defense. He appealed to the patriotism of his compeers, portrayed the
beauties of liberty with her train of blessings of law, science,
literature, arts, prosperity and glory; and concluded with these
beautiful thoughts: "Why, then, sir, do we longer delay? Why still
deliberate? Let this happy day give birth to an American Republic! Let
her arise, not to devastate and conquer, but to re-establish the reign
of peace and law. The eyes of Europe are fixed upon us; she demands of
us a living example of freedom, that may exhibit a contrast, in the
felicity of the citizen, to the ever-increasing tyranny which desolates
her polluted shores. She invites us to prepare an asylum, where the
unhappy may find solace, and the persecuted repose. She entreats us to
cultivate a propitious soil, where that generous plant, which first
sprung and grew in England, but is now withered by the blasts of
Scottish tyranny [alluding to Bute, Lord Mansfield, and other Scotch
advocates of the right of Great Britain to tax America], may revive and
flourish, sheltering under its salubrious and interminable shade, all
the unfortunate of the human race. If we are not this day wanting in our
duty to our country, the names of the American legislators of '76 will
be placed by posterity at the side of those of Theseus, of Lycurgus, of
Romulus, of Numa, of the three Williams of Nassau, and of all those
whose memory has been, and forever will be dear to virtuous men and good
citizens."

Edward Rutledge of South Carolina, the youngest member of Congress,
being only twenty-five, was one of Mr. Lee's chief supporters, by his
persevering industry, his charming conversation, and his impressive
eloquence in debate. He was loved as a son by that stern and unyielding
Puritan, Samuel Adams, then at the vigorous old age of fifty-four. He,
too, with a voice that was never heard with inattention, supported the
resolution; and indignantly rebuking what he was pleased to call a
"temporizing spirit" among those who timidly opposed it, he exclaimed,
"I should advise persisting in our struggle for liberty and
independence, though it were revealed from Heaven that nine hundred and
ninety-nine were to perish, and only one of a thousand were to survive,
and retain his liberty! One such freeman must possess more virtue, and
enjoy more happiness, than a thousand slaves; and let him propagate his
like, and transmit to them, what he hath so nobly preserved." Such lofty
sentiments possessed great potency at that perilous hour, when the
stoutest heart was tremulous with emotion.

[Illustration: EDWARD RUTLEDGE.]

[Illustration: SAMUEL ADAMS.]

Dr. Witherspoon, of the same ripe age as Mr. Adams, who had left the
seat of learning at Princeton and the quiet pathways of a Christian
shepherd, and took a seat in the national council, also urged, with all
the power and pathos of his eloquence, delivered in broad Scotch
accents, and marked by broad Scotch common sense, the immediate adoption
of the resolution. While John Dickenson was eloquently pleading with his
compeers, to postpone further action on the subject, and said "the
people are not ripe for a declaration of independence," Doctor
Witherspoon interrupted him and exclaimed, "Not ripe, sir! In my
judgment we are not only ripe, but rotting. Almost every colony has
dropped from its parent stem, and your own province, sir, needs no more
sunshine to mature it!"

[Illustration: JOHN WITHERSPOON.]

Although it was evident from the first, that a majority of the colonies
would vote for the resolution, its friends were fearful that _unanimous_
assent could not be obtained, inasmuch as the Assemblies of Pennsylvania
and Maryland had refused to sanction the measure, and New York, South
Carolina and Georgia were silent. The delegates from Maryland were
unanimously in favor of it, while those from Pennsylvania were divided.
When, on the first of July, a vote was taken in Committee of the whole
House, all the colonies assented, except Pennsylvania and Delaware; four
of the seven delegates of the former voting against it, and the two
delegates from Delaware, who were present, were divided. Thomas M'Kean
favored it, and George Read (who afterward signed it), opposed it. Mr.
M'Kean burning with a desire to have his State speak in favor of the
great measure, immediately sent an express after his colleague, Cæsar
Rodney, the other Delaware delegate, then eighty miles away. Rodney was
in the saddle within ten minutes after the arrival of the messenger, and
reached Philadelphia on the morning of the fourth of July, just before
the final vote was taken. Thus Delaware was secured. Robert Morris and
John Dickenson of Pennsylvania were absent; the former was favorable,
the latter opposed to the measure. Of the other five who were present,
Doctor Franklin, James Wilson, and John Morton were in favor of it;
Thomas Willing, and Charles Humphreys were opposed to it; so the State
of Pennsylvania was also secured. At a little past meridian, on the
FOURTH OF JULY 1776, a unanimous vote of the thirteen colonies was given
in favor of declaring themselves FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES. A number
of verbal alterations had been made in Mr. Jefferson's draft, and one
whole paragraph, which severely denounced Slavery was stricken out,
because it periled the unanimity of the vote. In the journal of Congress
for that day, is this simple record:

"Agreeably to the order of the day, the Congress resolved itself into a
committee of the whole, to take into their further consideration, the
Declaration; and after some time, the President resumed the chair, and
Mr. Harrison reported, that the Committee have agreed to a Declaration,
which they desired him to report. The Declaration being read, was agreed
to as follows:

     "A DECLARATION OF THE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES OF
     AMERICA IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED.

     "When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one
     people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them
     with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth the
     separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of
     nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of
     mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel
     them to the separation.

     "We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created
     equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain
     unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the
     pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are
     instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent
     of the governed; that, whenever any form of government becomes
     destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter
     or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its
     foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such
     form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and
     happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long
     established should not be changed for light and transient causes;
     and, accordingly, all experience hath shown that mankind are more
     disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right
     themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
     But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing
     invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under
     absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw
     off such government, and to provide new guards for their future
     security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies,
     and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their
     former systems of government. The history of the present king of
     Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations,
     all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute
     tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to
     a candid world:

     "He has refused his assent to laws the most wholesome and necessary
     for the public good.

     "He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and
     pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his
     assent should be obtained; and, when so suspended, he has utterly
     neglected to attend to them.

     "He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large
     districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right
     of representation in the legislature--a right inestimable to them,
     and formidable to tyrants only.

     "He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual,
     uncomfortable, and distant from the repository of their public
     records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance
     with his measures.

     "He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly for opposing
     with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

     "He has refused, for a long time after such dissolutions, to cause
     others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of
     annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their
     exercise--the state remaining, in the meantime, exposed to all the
     dangers of invasion from without and convulsions within.

     "He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states--for
     that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners,
     refusing to pass others to encourage migration hither, and raising
     the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

     "He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his
     assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

     "He has made judges dependent on his will alone for the tenure of
     their offices and the amount and payment of their salaries.

     "He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms
     of officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

     "He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies, without
     the consent of our legislatures.

     "He has affected to render the military independent of, and
     superior to the civil power.

     "He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction
     foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws--giving
     his assent to their acts of pretended legislation.

     "For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us;

     "For protecting them, by a mock trial, from punishment for any
     murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these
     states;

     "For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world;

     "For imposing taxes on us without our consent;

     "For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury;

     "For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended
     offenses:

     "For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring
     province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and
     enlarging its boundaries, so as to render it at once an example and
     fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these
     colonies;

     "For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws,
     and altering, fundamentally, the _forms_ of our governments;

     "For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves
     invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

     "He has abdicated government here by declaring us out of his
     protection and waging war against us.

     "He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns,
     and destroyed the lives of our people.

     "He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign
     mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation, and
     tyranny, already begun, with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy
     scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally
     unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

     "He has constrained our fellow-citizens, taken captive on the high
     seas, to bear arms against their country, to become the
     executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves
     by their hands.

     "He has excited domestic insurrections among us, and has endeavored
     to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers the merciless Indian
     savages, whose known rule of warfare is an undistinguished
     destruction of all ages, sexes, and conditions.

     "In every stage of these oppressions, we have petitioned for
     redress in the most humble terms. Our repeated petitions have been
     answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus
     marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the
     ruler of a free people.

     "Nor have we been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We
     have warned them, from time to time, of attempts, by their
     legislature, to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We
     have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and
     settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and
     magnanimity, and we have conjured them, by the ties of our common
     kindred, to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably
     interrupt our connections and correspondence. They, too, have been
     deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must,
     therefore, acquiesce in the necessity which denounces our
     separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies
     in war, in peace friends.

     "We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of
     America, in general Congress assembled, appealing to the Supreme
     Judge of the World for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the
     name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies,
     solemnly publish and declare that these united colonies are, and of
     right ought to be free and independent states; that they are
     absolved from all allegiance to the British crown, and that all
     political connection between them and the state of Great Britain
     is, and ought to be, totally dissolved; and that, as free and
     independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude
     peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other
     acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for
     the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the
     protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other
     our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor."

[Illustration: LIBERTY BELL.]

It was almost two o'clock in the afternoon when the final decision was
announced by Secretary Thomson, to the assembled Congress in
Independence Hall. It was a moment of solemn interest; and when the
secretary sat down, a deep silence pervaded that august assembly.
Tradition says that it was first broken by Dr. Franklin, who remarked,
"Gentlemen, we must now all hang together, or we shall surely hang
separately." Thousands of anxious citizens had gathered in the streets
of Philadelphia, for it was known that the final vote would be taken on
that day. From the hour when Congress convened in the morning, the old
bell-man had been in the steeple. He had placed a boy at the door below,
to give him notice when the announcement should be made. As hour
succeeded hour, the graybeard shook his head, and said, "They will never
do it! they will never do it!" Suddenly a loud shout came up from below,
and there stood the little blue-eyed boy clapping his hands, and
shouting, "Ring! Ring!" Grasping the iron tongue of the old bell,
backward and forward he hurled it a hundred times, its loud voice
proclaiming "Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants
thereof."[2] The excited multitude in the streets responded with loud
acclamations, and with cannon peals, bonfires, and illuminations, the
patriots held a glorious carnival that night in the quiet city of Penn.

The Declaration of Independence was signed by John Hancock, the
President of Congress, only, on the day of its adoption, and thus it
went forth to the world. Congress ordered it to be entered at length
upon the journals; it was also ordered to be engrossed upon parchment
for the delegates to sign it. This last act was performed on the second
day of August ensuing, by the fifty-four delegates then present. Thomas
M'Kean, of Delaware, and Dr. Thornton, of New Hampshire, subsequently
signed it, making the whole number FIFTY-SIX. Upon the next two pages
are their names, copied from the original parchment, which is carefully
preserved in a glass case, in the rooms of the National Institute,
Washington City. It is our pride and righteous boast, and it should be
the pride and boast of mankind, that not one of those patriots who
signed that manifesto ever fell from the high moral elevation which he
then held: of all that band, not one, by word or act, tarnished his fair
fame.

The great Declaration was every where applauded; and, in the camp, in
cities, villages, churches, and popular assemblies, it was greeted with
every demonstration of joy. Washington received it at head-quarters, in
New York, on the ninth of July, and caused it to be read aloud at six
o'clock that evening at the head of each brigade. It was heard with
attention, and welcomed with loud huzzas by the troops. The people
echoed the acclaim, and on the same evening they pulled down the leaden
statue of the king, which was erected in the Bowling-Green, at the foot
of Broadway, in 1770, broke it in pieces, and consigned the materials to
the bullet-moulds.

[Illustration: SIGNATURES ON THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.]

At noon, on the seventeenth of July, Colonel Crafts read the Declaration
to a vast assemblage gathered in and around Faneuil Hall, in Boston,
and when the last paragraph fell from his lips, a loud huzza shook the
old "Cradle of Liberty." It was echoed by the crowd without, and soon
the batteries on Fort Hill, Dorchester, Nantasket, Long Island, the
Castle, and the neighboring heights of Charlestown, Cambridge, and
Roxbury boomed forth their cannon acclamations in thirteen rounds. A
banquet followed, and bonfires and illuminations made glad the city of
the Puritans.

[Illustration: SIGNATURES ON THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.]

On the eighth, John Nixon read it from the Walnut-street front of the
State House, in Philadelphia, to a great concourse of people gathered
from the city and the surrounding country. When the reading was
finished, the king's arms over the seat of Justice in the courtroom, was
torn down and burnt in the street; and at evening bonfires were lighted,
the city was illuminated, and it was not until a thunder-storm at
midnight compelled the people to retire, that the sounds of gladness
were hushed. Newport, Providence, Hartford, Baltimore, Annapolis,
Williamsburg, Charleston, Savannah, and other towns near the seaboard,
made similar demonstrations, and loyalty to the king, hitherto
open-mouthed, was silent and abashed.

From every inhabited hill and valley, town and hamlet of the old
thirteen States, arose the melodies of Freedom, awakened by this great
act of the people's proxies; and thousands of hearts in Europe, beating
strongly with hopes for the future, were deeply impressed and comforted.
Bold men caught the symphony, and prolonged its glad harmony, even
beyond the Alps and the Apennines, until it wooed sleeping slaves from
their slumbers in the shadows of despotism forth into the clear light,
panoplied in the armor of absolute right and justice. France was
aroused, and turning in its bed of submission like the giant beneath old
Ætna, to look for light and liberty, an earthquake shock ensued which
shook thrones, crumbled feudal altars whereon equality was daily
sacrificed, and so rent the vail of the temple of despotism, that the
people saw plainly the fetters and instruments of unholy rule, huge and
terrible, within the inner court. They pulled down royalty, overturned
distinctions, and gave the first impulse to the civil and social
revolutions which have since spread from that focus, to purify the
political atmosphere of Europe. Back to our glorious manifesto the
struggling nations look; and when they wish to arraign their tyrants,
that indictment is their text and guide. Its specific charges against
the ruler of Great Britain, of course have no relevancy in other cases,
but the great truths set forth in the Declaration are immutable. Always
appropriate as a basis of governmental theory and practice, at all times
and in all places, they can not fail to receive the hearty concurrence
of the wise and good in all lands, and under all circumstances. They
were early appreciated by the philosophers and statesmen of Europe, and
that appreciation augments with the flight of years.

"With what grandeur, with what enthusiasm, should I not speak of those
generous men who erected this grand edifice by their patience, their
wisdom, and their courage!" wrote the Abbé Raynal, in 1781, when
descanting upon our Declaration. "Hancock, Franklin, and the two
Adamses, were the greatest actors in this affecting scene: but they were
not the only ones. Posterity shall know them all. Their honored names
shall be transmitted to it by a happier pen than mine. Brass and marble
shall show them to remotest ages. In beholding them shall the friend of
freedom feel his heart palpitate with joy; feel his eyes float in
delicious tears. Under the bust of one of them has been written: HE
WRESTED THUNDER FROM HEAVEN, AND THE SCEPTRE FROM TYRANTS.[3] Of the
last words of this eulogy shall all of them partake. Heroic country, my
advanced age permits me not to visit thee. Never shall I see myself
among the respectable personages of thy Areopagus; never shall I be
present at the deliberations of thy Congress. I shall die without seeing
the retreat of toleration, of manners, of laws, of virtue, and of
freedom. My ashes shall not be covered by a free and holy earth: but I
shall have desired it; and my last breath shall bear to heaven an
ejaculation for thy prosperity."

"I ask," exclaimed Mirabeau, in the tribune of the National Assembly of
France, "if the powers who have formed alliances with the States have
dared to read that manifesto, or to interrogate their consciences after
the perusal? I ask whether there be at this day one government in
Europe--the Helvetic and Batavian confederations, and the British isles
excepted, which, judged after the principles of the Declaration of
Congress on the fourth of July 1776, is not divested of its rights?" And
Napoleon, afterward alluding to the same scene, said, "The finger of God
was there!"

The fourth of July, marked by an event so momentous, is properly our
great NATIONAL ANNIVERSARY. For three-quarters of a century it has been
commemorated by orations, firing of cannon, ringing of bells, military
parades, fireworks, squibs, and bonfires; and, alas! too often the day
has been desecrated by bacchanalian revels. The deep feelings which
stirred the spirits of those who participated in the scenes of the
Revolution, on the recurrence of the anniversary, warm not the hearts of
their children. With them the Declaration of Independence was a great,
and ever-present reality; with us it is only a glorious abstract idea.
We are in the midst of the fruition of their faith and earnest
aspirations; and, surrounded by the noon-tide radiance of the blessings
which have resulted from that act, we can not appreciate the glory of
the morning star of our destiny as a nation. Let us henceforth aim to be
less superficial in our views of the National Anniversary. Let orators
cease grandiloquent displays of bombastic rhetoric, "full of sound and
fury, signifying nothing," and discourse with the sober earnestness of
true philosophy upon the antecedents--the remote springs--of that event,
every where visible in the history of the world; and by expatiating upon
the _principles_ set forth in our manifesto, and their salutary effect
upon the well-being of mankind, give practical force to their vitality.
Huzzas are not arguments for thinking men; and now, when thought is
every where busy in the formation of omnipotent opinion, the American
should cast off the garb of national pride, and with the cosmopolitan
spirit of a true missionary of Freedom, point to the eternal bond of
UNION which binds our sovereign States together, and explain the
character of its strength and vigor. Placed by the side of the
PRINCIPLES involved in our struggle for Independence, the men and their
councils, battles, sieges, and victories, wane into comparative
insignificance. They are but the nerves and muscles, the sinews and the
blood of the being we apotheosize--the mere aids of the mighty brain,
the seat of the controlling spirit of the whole. Let us always revere
those essential aids, and cherish them in our heart of hearts, but
_worship_ only the puissant SPIRIT on our NATIONAL ANNIVERSARY.

[Illustration: THE LIFE-CAR.]



SOME ACCOUNT OF FRANCIS'S LIFE-BOATS AND LIFE-CARS.

BY JACOB ABBOTT.


The engraving at the head of this article represents the operation of
transporting the officers and crew of a wrecked vessel to the shore, by
means of one of the Life-Cars invented by Mr. Joseph Francis for this
purpose. A considerable appropriation was made recently by Congress, to
establish stations along the coast of New Jersey and Long Island--as
well as on other parts of the Atlantic seaboard--at which all the
apparatus necessary for the service of these cars, and of boats, in
cases where boats can be used, may be kept. These stations are
maintained by the government, with the aid and co-operation of the
Humane Society--a benevolent association the object of which is to
provide means for rescuing and saving persons in danger of drowning--and
also of the New York Board of Underwriters, a body, which, as its name
imports, represents the principal Marine Insurance
Companies--associations having a strong pecuniary interest in the saving
of cargoes of merchandize, and other property, endangered in a
shipwreck. These three parties, the Government, the Humane Society, and
the Board of Underwriters, combine their efforts to establish and
sustain these stations; though we can not here stop to explain the
details of the arrangement by which this co-operation is effected, as we
must proceed to consider the more immediate subject of this article,
which is the apparatus and the machinery itself, by which the lives and
property are saved. In respect to the stations, however, we will say
that it awakens very strong and very peculiar emotions in the mind, to
visit one of them on some lonely and desolate coast, remote from human
dwellings, and to observe the arrangements and preparations that have
been made in them, all quietly awaiting the dreadful emergency which is
to call them into action. The traveler stands for example on the
southern shore of the island of Nantucket, and after looking off over
the boundless ocean which stretches in that direction without limit or
shore for thousands of miles, and upon the surf rolling in incessantly
on the beach, whose smooth expanse is dotted here and there with the
skeleton remains of ships that were lost in former storms, and are now
half buried in the sand, he sees, at length, a hut, standing upon the
shore just above the reach of the water--the only human structure to be
seen. He enters the hut. The surf boat is there, resting upon its
rollers, all ready to be launched, and with its oars and all its
furniture and appliances complete, and ready for the sea. The fireplace
is there, with the wood laid, and matches ready for the kindling.
Supplies of food and clothing are also at hand--and a compass: and on a
placard, conspicuously posted, are the words,

SHIPWRECKED MARINERS REACHING THIS HUT, IN FOG OR SNOW, WILL FIND
THE TOWN OF NANTUCKET TWO MILES DISTANT, DUE WEST.

It is impossible to contemplate such a spectacle as this, without a
feeling of strong emotion--and a new and deeper interest in the superior
excellency and nobleness of efforts made by man for saving life, and
diminishing suffering, in comparison with the deeds of havoc and
destruction which have been so much gloried in, in ages that are past.
The Life-Boat rests in its retreat, not like a ferocious beast of prey,
crouching in its covert to seize and destroy its hapless victims, but
like an angel of mercy, reposing upon her wings, and watching for
danger, that she may spring forth, on the first warning, to _rescue_ and
_save_.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration]

The Life-_Car_ is a sort of boat, formed of copper or iron, and closed
over, above, by a convex deck with a sort of door or hatchway through
it, by which the passengers to be conveyed in it to the shore, are
admitted. The car will hold from four to five persons. When these
passengers are put in, the door, or rather _cover_, is shut down and
bolted to its place; and the car is then drawn to the land, suspended by
rings from a hawser which has previously been stretched from the ship to
the shore.

[Illustration]

To be shut up in this manner in so dark and gloomy a receptacle, for the
purpose of being drawn, perhaps at midnight, through a surf of such
terrific violence that no boat can live in it, can not be a very
agreeable alternative; but the emergencies in which the use of the
life-car is called for, are such as do not admit of hesitation or delay.
There is no light within the car, and there are no openings for the
admission of air.[4] It is subject, too, in its passage to the shore, to
the most frightful shocks and concussions from the force of the
breakers. The car, as first made, too, was of such a form as required
the passengers within it to lie at length, in a recumbent position,
which rendered them almost utterly helpless. The form is, however, now
changed--the parts toward the ends, where the heads of the passengers
would come, when placed in a sitting posture within, being made higher
than the middle; and the opening or door is placed in the depressed
part, in the centre. This arrangement is found to be much better than
the former one, as it greatly facilitates the putting in of the
passengers, who always require a greater or less degree of aid, and are
often entirely insensible and helpless from the effects of fear, or of
exposure to cold and hunger. Besides, by this arrangement those who have
any strength remaining can take much more convenient and safer positions
within the car, in their progress to the shore, than was possible under
the old construction.

[Illustration]

[Illustration]

The car, as will be seen by the foregoing drawings, is suspended from
the hawser by means of short chains attached to the ends of it. These
chains terminate in rings above, which rings ride upon the hawser, thus
allowing the car to traverse to and fro, from the vessel to the shore.
The car is drawn along, in making these passages, by means of lines
attached to the two ends of it, one of which passes to the ship and the
other to the shore. By means of these lines the empty car is first drawn
out to the wreck by the passengers and crew, and then, when loaded, it
is drawn back to the land by the people assembled there, as represented
in the engraving at the head of this article.

Perhaps the most important and difficult part of the operation of saving
the passengers and crew in such cases, is the getting the hawser out in
the first instance, so as to form a connection between the ship and the
land. In fact, whenever a ship is stranded upon a coast, and people are
assembled on the beach to assist the sufferers, the first thing to be
done, is always to "get a line ashore." On the success of the attempts
made to accomplish this, all the hopes of the sufferers depend. Various
methods are resorted to, by the people on board the ship, in order to
attain this end, where there are no means at hand on the shore, for
effecting it. Perhaps the most common mode is to attach a small line to
a cask, or to some other light and bulky substance which the surf can
easily throw up upon the shore. The cask, or float, whatever it may be,
when attached to the line, is thrown into the water, and after being
rolled and tossed, hither and thither, by the tumultuous waves, now
advancing, now receding, and now sweeping madly around in endless
gyrations, it at length reaches a point where some adventurous wrecker
on the beach can seize it, and pull it up upon the land. The line is
then drawn in, and a hawser being attached to the outer end of it, by
the crew of the ship, the end of the hawser itself is then drawn to the
shore.

[Illustration: THE CASK.]

This method, however, of making a communication with the shore from a
distressed vessel, simple and sure as it may seem in description, proves
generally extremely difficult and uncertain in actual practice.
Sometimes, and that, too, not unfrequently when the billows are rolling
in with most terrific violence upon the shore, the sea will carry
nothing whatever to the land. The surges seem to pass under, and so to
get beyond whatever objects lie floating upon the water, so that when a
cask is thrown over to them, they play beneath it, leaving it where it
was, or even drive it out to sea by not carrying it as far forward on
their advance, as they bring it back by their recession. Even the
lifeless body of the exhausted mariner, who when his strength was gone
and he could cling no longer to the rigging, fell into the sea, is not
drawn to the beach, but after surging to and fro for a short period
about the vessel, it slowly disappears from view among the foam and the
breakers toward the offing. In such cases it is useless to attempt to
get a line on shore from the ship by means of any aid from the sea. The
cask intrusted with the commission of bearing it, is beaten back against
the vessel, or is drifted uselessly along the shore, rolling in and out
upon the surges, but never approaching near enough to the beach to
enable even the most daring adventurer to reach it.

In case of these life-cars, therefore, arrangements are made for sending
the hawser out from the shore to the ship. The apparatus by which this
is accomplished consists, first, of a piece of ordnance called a mortar,
made large enough to throw a shot of about six inches in diameter;
secondly, the shot itself, which has a small iron staple set in it;
thirdly, a long line, one end of which is to be attached to the staple
in the shot, when the shot is thrown; and, fourthly, a _rack_ of a
peculiar construction to serve as a reel for winding the line upon. This
rack consists of a small square frame, having rows of pegs inserted
along the ends and sides of it. The line is wound upon these pegs in
such a manner, that as the shot is projected through the air, drawing
the line with it, the pegs deliver the line as fast as it is required by
the progress of the shot, and that with the least possible friction.
Thus the advance of the shot is unimpeded. The mortar from which the
shot is fired, is aimed in such a manner as to throw the missile over
and beyond the ship, and thus when it falls into the water, the line
attached to it comes down across the deck of the ship, and is seized by
the passengers and crew.

Sometimes, in consequence of the darkness of the night, the violence of
the wind, and perhaps of the agitations and confusion of the scene, the
first and even the second trial may not be successful in throwing the
line across the wreck. The object is, however, generally attained on the
second or third attempt, and then the end of the hawser is drawn out to
the wreck by means of the small line which the shot had carried; and
being made fast and "drawn taut," the bridge is complete on which the
car is to traverse to and fro.

The visitors at Long Branch, a celebrated watering place on the New
Jersey coast, near New York, had an opportunity to witness a trial of
this apparatus at the station there, during the last summer: a trial
made, not in a case of storm and shipwreck, but on a pleasant summer
afternoon, and for the purpose of testing the apparatus, and for
practice in the use of it. A large company assembled on the bank to
witness the experiments. A boat was stationed on the calm surface of the
sea, half a mile from the shore, to represent the wreck. The ball was
thrown, the line fell across the boat, the car was drawn out, and then
certain amateur performers, representing wrecked and perishing men, were
put into the car and drawn safely through the gentle evening surf to the
shore.

[Illustration: FIRING THE SHOT.]

A case occurred a little more than a year ago on the Jersey shore not
very far from Long Branch, in which this apparatus was used in serious
earnest. It was in the middle of January and during a severe snow storm.
The ship Ayrshire, with about two hundred passengers, had been driven
upon the shore by the storm, and lay there stranded, the sea beating
over her, and a surf so heavy rolling in, as made it impossible for any
boat to reach her. It happened that one of the stations which we have
described was near. The people on the shore assembled and brought out
the apparatus. They fired the shot, taking aim so well that the line
fell directly across the wreck. It was caught by the crew on board and
the hawser was hauled off. The car was then attached, and in a short
time, every one of the two hundred passengers, men, women, children, and
even infants in their mothers' arms, were brought safely through the
foaming surges, and landed at the station. The car which performed this
service was considered as thenceforth fully entitled to an honorable
discharge from active duty, and it now rests, in retirement and repose,
though unconscious of its honors, in the Metallic Life-Boat Factory of
Mr. Francis, at the Novelty Iron Works.

In many cases of distress and disaster befalling ships on the coast, it
is not necessary to use the car, the state of the sea being such that it
is possible to go out in a boat, to furnish the necessary succor. The
boats, however, which are destined to this service must be of a peculiar
construction, for no ordinary boat can live a moment in the surf which
rolls in, in storms, upon shelving or rocky shores. A great many
different modes have been adopted for the construction of surf-boats,
each liable to its own peculiar objections. The principle on which Mr.
Francis relies in his life and surf boats, is to give them an extreme
lightness and buoyancy, so as to keep them always upon the _top_ of the
sea. Formerly it was expected that a boat in such a service, must
necessarily take in great quantities of water, and the object of all the
contrivances for securing its safety, was to expel the water after it
was admitted. In the plan now adopted the design is to exclude the water
altogether, by making the structure so light and forming it on such a
model that it shall always rise above the wave, and thus glide safely
over it. This result is obtained partly by means of the model of the
boat, and partly by the lightness of the material of which it is
composed. The reader may perhaps be surprised to hear, after this, that
the material is _iron_.

Iron--or copper, which in this respect possesses the same properties as
iron--though _absolutely_ heavier than wood, is, in fact, much lighter
as a material for the construction of receptacles of all kinds, on
account of its great strength and tenacity, which allows of its being
used in plates so thin that the quantity of the material employed is
diminished much more than the specific gravity is increased by using the
metal. There has been, however, hitherto a great practical difficulty in
the way of using iron for such a purpose, namely that of giving to these
metal plates a sufficient stiffness. A sheet of tin, for example, though
stronger than a board, that is, requiring a greater force to break or
rapture it, is still very _flexible_, while the board is stiff. In other
words, in the case of a thin plate of metal, the parts yield readily to
any _slight_ force, so far as to bend under the pressure, but it
requires a very great force to separate them entirely; whereas in the
case of wood, the slight force is at first resisted, but on a moderate
increase of it, the structure breaks down altogether. The great thing to
be desired therefore in a material for the construction of boats is to
secure the stiffness of wood in conjunction with the thinness and
tenacity of iron. This object is attained in the manufacture of Mr.
Francis's boats by _plaiting_ or _corrugating_ the sheets of metal of
which the sides of the boat are to be made. A familiar illustration of
the principle on which this stiffening is effected is furnished by the
common table waiter, which is made, usually, of a thin plate of tinned
iron, stiffened by being turned up at the edges all around--the upturned
part serving also at the same time the purpose of forming a margin.

The plaitings or corrugations of the metal in these iron boats pass
along the sheets, in lines, instead of being, as in the case of the
waiter, confined to the margin. The lines which they form can be seen in
the drawing of the surf-boat, given on a subsequent page. The idea of
thus corrugating or plaiting the metal was a very simple one; the main
difficulty in the invention came, after getting the idea, in devising
the ways and means by which such a corrugation could be made. It is a
curious circumstance in the history of modern inventions that it often
requires much more ingenuity and effort to contrive a way to _make_ the
article when invented, than it did to invent the article itself. It was,
for instance, much easier, doubtless, to invent pins, than to invent the
machinery for _making_ pins.

The machine for making the corrugations in the sides of these metallic
boats consists of a hydraulic press and a set of enormous dies. These
dies are grooved to fit each other, and shut together; and the plate of
iron which is to be corrugated being placed between them, is pressed
into the requisite form, with all the force of the hydraulic piston--the
greatest force, altogether, that is ever employed in the service of man.

[Illustration: THE HYDRAULIC PRESS.]

The machinery referred to will be easily understood by the above
engraving. On the left are the pumps, worked, as represented in the
engraving, by two men, though four or more are often required. By
alternately raising and depressing the break or handle, they work two
small but very solid pistons which play within cylinders of
corresponding bore, in the manner of any common forcing pump.

By means of these pistons the water is driven, in small quantities but
with prodigious force, along through the horizontal tube seen passing
across, in the middle of the picture, from the forcing-pump to the great
cylinders on the right hand. Here the water presses upward upon the
under surfaces of pistons working within the great cylinders, with a
force proportioned to the ratio of the area of those pistons compared
with that of one of the pistons in the pump. Now the piston in the
force-pump is about one inch in diameter. Those in the great cylinders
are about twelve inches in diameter, and as there are four of the great
cylinders the ratio is as 1 to 576.[5] This is a great multiplication,
and it is found that the force which the men can exert upon the piston
within the small cylinder, by the aid of the long lever with which they
work it, is so great, that when multiplied by 576, as it is by being
expanded over the surface of the large pistons, an upward pressure
results of about eight hundred tons. This is a force ten times as great
in _intensity_ as that exerted by steam in the most powerful sea-going
engines. It would be sufficient to lift a block of granite five or six
feet square at the base, and as high as the Bunker Hill Monument.

Superior, however, as this force is, in one point of view, to that of
steam, it is very inferior to it in other respects. It is great, so to
speak, in _intensity_, but it is very small in _extent_ and _amount_. It
is capable indeed of lifting a very great weight, but it can raise it
only an exceedingly little way. Were the force of such an engine to be
brought into action beneath such a block of granite as we have
described, the enormous burden would rise, but it would rise by a motion
almost inconceivably slow, and after going up perhaps as high as the
thickness of a sheet of paper, the force would be spent, and no further
effect would be produced without a new exertion of the motive power. In
other words, the whole amount of the force of a hydraulic engine, vastly
concentrated as it is, and irresistible, within the narrow limits within
which it works, is but the force of four or five men after all; while
the power of the engines of a Collins' steamer is equal to that of four
or five thousand men. The steam-engine can do an _abundance_ of _great_
work; while, on the other hand, what the hydraulic press can do is very
little in _amount_, and only great in view of its extremely concentrated
intensity.

Hydraulic presses are consequently very often used, in such cases and
for such purposes as require a great force within very narrow limits.
The indentations made by the type in printing the pages of this
magazine, are taken out, and the sheet rendered smooth again, by
hydraulic presses exerting a force of _twelve_ hundred tons. This would
make it necessary for us to carry up our imaginary block of granite _a
hundred feet higher_ than the Bunker Hill Monument to get a load for
them.[6]

In Mr. Francis's presses, the dies between which the sheets of iron or
copper are pressed; are directly above the four cylinders which we have
described, as will be seen by referring once more to the drawing. The
upper die is fixed--being firmly attached to the top of the frame, and
held securely down by the rows of iron pillars on the two sides, and by
the massive iron caps, called platens, which may be seen passing across
at the top, from pillar to pillar. These caps are held by large iron
nuts which are screwed down over the ends of the pillars above. The
lower die is movable. It is attached by massive iron work to the ends of
the piston-rods, and of course it rises when the pistons are driven
upward by the pressure of the water. The plate of metal, when the dies
approach each other, is bent and drawn into the intended shape by the
force of the pressure, receiving not only the corrugations which are
designed to stiffen it, but also the general shaping necessary, in
respect to swell and curvature, to give it the proper form for the side,
or the portion of a side, of a boat.

It is obviously necessary that these dies should fit each other in a
very accurate manner, so as to compress the iron equally in every part.
To make them fit thus exactly, massive as they are in magnitude, and
irregular in form, is a work of immense labor. They are first cast as
nearly as possible to the form intended, but as such castings always
warp more or less in cooling, there is a great deal of fitting afterward
required, to make them come rightly together. This could easily be done
by machinery if the surfaces were square, or cylindrical, or of any
other mathematical form to which the working of machinery could be
adapted. But the curved and winding surfaces which form the hull of a
boat or vessel, smooth and flowing as they are, and controlled, too, by
established and well-known laws, bid defiance to all the attempts of
mere mechanical motion to follow them. The superfluous iron, therefore,
of these dies, must all be cut away by chisels driven by a hammer held
in the hand; and so great is the labor required to fit and smooth and
polish them, that a pair of them costs several thousand dollars before
they are completed and ready to fulfill their function.

The superiority of metallic boats, whether of copper or iron, made in
the manner above described, over those of any other construction, is
growing every year more and more apparent. They are more light and more
easily managed, they require far less repair from year to year, and are
very much longer lived. When iron is used for this purpose, a
preparation is employed that is called _galvanized_ iron. This
manufacture consists of plates of iron of the requisite thickness,
coated on each side, first with tin, and then with zinc; the tin being
used simply as a solder, to unite the other metals. The plate presents,
therefore, to the water, only a surface of _zinc_, which resists all
action, so that the boats thus made are subject to no species of decay.
They can be injured or destroyed only by violence, and even violence
acts at a very great disadvantage in attacking them. The stroke of a
shot, or a concussion of any kind that would split or shiver a wooden
boat so as to damage it past repair, would only indent, or at most
perforate, an iron one. And a perforation even, when made, is very
easily repaired, even by the navigators themselves, under circumstances
however unfavorable. With a smooth and heavy stone placed upon the
outside for an anvil, and another used on the inside as a hammer, the
protrusion is easily beaten down, the opening is closed, the continuity
of surface is restored, and the damaged boat becomes, excepting,
perhaps, in the imagination of the navigator, as good once more as ever.

Metallic boats of this character were employed by the party under Lieut.
Lynch, in making, some years ago, their celebrated voyage down the river
Jordan to the Dead Sea. The navigation of this stream was difficult and
perilous in the highest degree. The boats were subject to the severest
possible tests and trials. They were impelled against rocks, they were
dragged over shoals, they were swept down cataracts and cascades. There
was one _wooden_ boat in the little squadron; but this was soon so
strained and battered that it could no longer be kept afloat, and it was
abandoned. The metallic boats, however, lived through the whole, and
finally floated in peace on the heavy waters of the Dead Sea, in nearly
as good a condition as when they first came from Mr. Francis's dies.

The seams of a metallic boat will never open by exposure to the sun and
rain, when lying long upon the deck of a ship, or hauled up upon a
shore. Nor will such boats burn. If a ship takes fire at sea, the boats,
if of iron, can never be injured by the conflagration. Nor can they be
sunk. For they are provided with air chambers in various parts, each
separate from the others, so that if the boat were bruised and jammed by
violent concussions, up to her utmost capacity of receiving injury, the
shapeless mass would still float upon the sea, and hold up with
unconquerable buoyancy as many as could cling to her.[7]

A curious instance occurred during the late war with Mexico which
illustrates the almost indestructible character of these metallic boats.

The reader is probably aware that the city of Vera Cruz is situated upon
a low and sandy coast, and that the only port which exists there is
formed by a small island which lies at a little distance from the shore,
and a mole or pier built out from it into the water. The island is
almost wholly covered by the celebrated fortress of St. Juan de Ulloa.
Ships obtain something like shelter under the lee of this island and
mole, riding sometimes at anchor behind the mole, and sometimes moored
to iron rings set in the castle walls. At one time while the American
forces were in possession of the city, an officer of the army had
occasion to use a boat for some purpose of transportation from the
island to the shore. He applied to the naval authorities in order to
procure one. He was informed that there was no boat on the station that
could be spared for such a purpose. In this dilemma the officer
accidentally learned that there was an old copper life-boat, lying in
the water near the castle landing, dismantled, sunk, and useless. The
officer resolved, as a last resort, to examine this wreck, in hopes to
find that it might possibly be raised and repaired.

He found that the boat was lying in the water and half filled with
rocks, sand, and masses of old iron, which had been thrown into her to
sink and destroy her. Among the masses of iron there was a heavy bar
which had been used apparently in the attempt to punch holes in the boat
by those who had undertaken to sink her. These attempts had been
generally fruitless, the blows having only made indentations in the
copper, on account of the yielding nature of the metal. In one place,
however, in the bottom of the boat, the work had been done effectually;
for five large holes were discovered there, at a place where the bottom
of the boat rested upon the rocks so as to furnish such points of
resistance below as prevented the copper from yielding to the blows.

The officer set his men at work to attempt to repair this damage. They
first took out the sand and stones and iron with which the boat was
encumbered, and then raising her, they dragged her up out of the water
to the landing. Here the men lifted her up upon her side, and began to
beat back the indentations which had been made in the metal, by holding
a heavy sledge hammer on the inside, to serve as an anvil, and then
striking with a hand-hammer upon the protuberances on the outside. In
the same manner they beat back the burrs or protrusions formed where the
holes had been punched through the bottom of the boat, and they found,
much to their satisfaction, that when the metal was thus brought back
into its place the holes were closed again, and the boat became whole
and tight as before.

When this work was done the men put the boat back again in her proper
position, replaced and fastened the seats, and then launched her into
the water. They found her stanch and tight, and seemingly as good as
new. The whole work of repairing her did not occupy more than one
hour--much less time, the officer thought, than had been spent in the
attempt to destroy her.

The boat thus restored was immediately put to service and she performed
the work required of her, admirably well. She was often out on the open
sea in very rough weather, but always rode over the billows in safety,
and in the end proved to be the strongest, swiftest, and safest boat in
the gulf squadron.

The _surf_-boats, made in this way, will ride safely in any sea--and
though sometimes after protracted storms, the surges roll in upon
shelving or rocky shores with such terrific violence that it is
impossible to get the boats off from the land, yet once off, they are
safe, however wild the commotion. In fact there is a certain charm in
the graceful and life-like buoyancy with which they ride over the
billows, and in the confidence and sense of security which they inspire
in the hearts of those whom they bear, as they go bounding over the
crests of the waves, that it awakens in minds of a certain class, a high
exhilaration and pleasure, to go out in them upon stormy and tempestuous
seas. To illustrate the nature of the scenes through which such
adventurers sometimes pass, we will close this article with a narrative
of a particular excursion made not long since by one of these boats--a
narrative now for the first time reduced to writing.

[Illustration: THE SURF-BOAT.]

One dark and stormy night Mr. Richard C. Holmes, the collector at the
port of Cape May, a port situated on an exposed and dangerous part of
the coast, near the entrance to the Chesapeake, was awakened from his
sleep by the violence of the storm, and listening, he thought that he
could hear at intervals the distant booming of a gun, which he supposed
to be a signal of distress. He arose and hastened to the shore. The
night was dark, and nothing could be seen, but the report of the gun was
distinctly to be heard, at brief intervals, coming apparently from a
great distance in the offing.

He aroused from the neighboring houses a sufficient number of other
persons to man his surf-boat, embarked on board, taking a compass for a
guide, and put to sea.

It was very dark and the weather was very thick, so that nothing could
be seen; but the crew of the boat pulled steadily on, guided only by the
compass, and by the low and distant booming of the gun. They rowed in
the direction of the sound, listening as they pulled; but the noise made
by the winds and the waves, and by the dashing of the water upon the
boat and upon the oars, was so loud and incessant, and the progress
which they made against the heavy "send" of the surges was so slow, that
it was for a long time doubtful whether they were advancing or not.
After an hour or two, however, the sound of the gun seemed to come
nearer, and at length they could see, faintly, the flash beaming out for
an instant just before the report, in the midst of the driving rain and
flying spray which filled the dark air before them.

Encouraged by this, the oarsmen pulled at their oars with new energy,
and soon came in sight of the hull of the distressed vessel, which began
now to rise before them, a black and misshapen mass, scarcely
distinguishable from the surrounding darkness and gloom. As they came
nearer, they found that the vessel was a ship--that she had been beaten
down upon her side by the sea, and was almost overwhelmed with the
surges which were breaking over her. Every place upon the deck which
afforded any possibility of shelter was crowded with men and women, all
clinging to such supports as were within their reach, and vainly
endeavoring to screen themselves from the dashing of the spray. The boat
was to the leeward of the vessel, but so great was the commotion of the
sea, that it was not safe to approach even near enough to communicate
with the people on board. After coming up among the heaving and tumbling
surges as near as they dared to venture, the crew of the surf boat found
that all attempts to make their voices heard were unavailing, as their
loudest shouts were wholly overpowered by the roaring of the sea, and
the howling of the winds in the rigging.

Mr. Holmes accordingly gave up the attempt, and fell back again,
intending to go round to the windward side of the ship, in hopes to be
able to communicate with the crew from that quarter. He could hear
_them_ while he was to leeward of them, but they could not hear him; and
his object in wishing to communicate with them was to give them
directions in respect to what they were to do, in order to enable him to
get on board.

In the mean time daylight began to appear. The position of the ship
could be seen more distinctly. She lay upon a shoal, held partly by her
anchor, which the crew had let go before she struck. Thus confined she
had been knocked down by the seas, and now lay thumping violently at
every rising and falling of the surge, and in danger every moment of
going to pieces. She was covered with human beings, who were seen
clinging to her in every part--each separate group forming a separate
and frightful spectacle of distress and terror.

Mr. Holmes succeeded in bringing the surf-boat so near to the ship on
the windward side as to hail the crew, and he directed them to let down
a line from the end of the main yard, to leeward. The main yard is a
spar which lies horizontally at the head of the main mast, and as the
vessel was careened over to leeward, the end of the yard on that side
would of course be depressed, and a line from it would hang down over
the water, entirely clear of the vessel. The crew heard this order and
let down the line. Mr. Holmes then ordered the surf-boat to be pulled
away from the ship again, intending to drop to leeward once more, and
there to get on board of it by means of the line. In doing this,
however, the boat was assailed by the winds and waves with greater fury
than ever, as if they now first began to understand that it had come to
rescue their victims from their power. The boat was swept so far away by
this onset, that it was an hour before the oarsmen could get her back so
as to approach the line. It seemed then extremely dangerous to approach
it, as the end of it was flying hither and thither, whipping the surges
which boiled beneath it, or whirling and curling in the air, as it was
swung to and fro by the impulse of the wind, or by the swaying of the
yard-arm from which it was suspended.

The boat however approached the line. Mr. Holmes, when he saw it within
reach, sprang forward to the bows, and after a moment's contest between
an instinctive shrinking from the gigantic lash which was brandished so
furiously over his head, and his efforts to reach it, he at length
succeeded in seizing it. He grasped it by both hands with all his force,
and the next instant the boat was swept away from beneath him by the
retreating billows, and he was left safely dangling in the air.

[Illustration: CLIMBING THE ROPE.]

We say _safely_, for, whenever any one of these indomitable sea-kings,
no matter in what circumstances of difficulty or danger, gets a rope
that is well secured at its point of suspension, fairly within his iron
gripe, we may at once dismiss all concern about his personal safety. In
this case the intrepid adventurer, when he found that the boat had
surged away from beneath him, and left him suspended in the air over the
raging and foaming billows, felt that all danger was over. To mount the
rope, hand over hand, till he gained the yard-arm, to clamber up the
yard to the mast, and then to descend to the deck by the shrouds,
required only an _ordinary_ exercise of nautical strength and courage.
All this was done in a moment, and Mr. Holmes stood upon the deck,
speechless, and entirely overcome by the appalling spectacle of terror
and distress that met his view.

The crew gathered around the stranger, whom they looked upon at once as
their deliverer, and listened to hear what he had to say. He informed
them that the ship was grounded on a narrow reef or bar running parallel
with the coast, and that there was deeper water between them and the
shore. He counseled them to cut loose from the anchor, in which case he
presumed that the shocks of the seas would drive the ship over the bar,
and that then she would drift rapidly in upon the shore; where, when she
should strike upon the beach, they could probably find means to get the
passengers to the land.

This plan was decided upon. The cable was cut away by means of such
instruments as came to hand. The ship was beaten over the bar,
awakening, as she was dashed along, new shrieks from the terrified
passengers, at the violence of the concussions. Once in deep water she
moved on more smoothly, but was still driven at a fearful rate directly
toward the land. The surf-boat accompanied her, hovering as near to her
all the way as was consistent with safety. During their progress the
boat was watched by the passengers on board the ship, with anxious eyes,
as in her were centred all their hopes of escape from destruction.

The conformation of this part of the coast, as in many other places
along the shores of the United States, presents a range of low, sandy
islands, lying at a little distance from the land, and separated from it
by a channel of sheltered water. These islands are long and narrow, and
separated from each other by inlets or openings here and there, formed
apparently by the breaking through of the sea. The crew of our ship
would have been glad to have seen some possibility of their entering
through one of these inlets. The ship could not, however, be guided, but
must go wherever the winds and waves chose to impel her. This was to the
outer shore of one of the long, narrow islands, where at length she
struck again, and was again overwhelmed with breakers and spray.

[Illustration: THE TENT.]

After much difficulty the seamen succeeded, with the help of the
surf-boat, in getting a line from the ship to the shore, by means of
which one party on the land and another on board the vessel could draw
the surf-boat to and fro. In this way the passengers and crew were all
safely landed. When the lives were thus all safe, sails and spars were
brought on shore, and then, under Mr. Holmes's directions, a great tent
was constructed on the sand, which, though rude in form, was sufficient
in size to shelter all the company. When all were assembled the number
of passengers saved was found to be _one hundred and twenty-one_. They
were German emigrants of the better class, and they gathered around
their intrepid deliverer, when all was over, with such overwhelming
manifestations of their admiration and gratitude, as wholly unmanned
him. They had saved money, and jewels, and such other valuables as could
be carried about the person, to a large amount; and they brought every
thing to him, pressing him most earnestly, and with many tears, to take
it all, for having saved them from such imminent and certain
destruction. He was deeply moved by these expressions of gratitude, but
he would receive no reward.

When the tent was completed and the whole company were comfortably
established under the shelter of it, the boat was passed to and fro
again through the surf, to bring provisions on shore. A party of seamen
remained on board for this purpose--loading the boat at the ship, and
drawing it out again when unloaded on the shore. The company that were
assembled under the tent dried their clothes by fires built for the
purpose there, and then made a rude breakfast from the provisions
brought for them from the ship: and when thus in some degree rested and
refreshed, they were all conveyed safely in boats to the main land.



MAURICE TIERNAY, THE SOLDIER OF FORTUNE.[8]



CHAPTER XXXII.

"THE ATHOL TENDER."


As I cast my eyes over these pages, and see how small a portion of my
life they embrace, I feel like one who, having a long journey before
him, perceives that some more speedy means of travel must be adopted, if
he ever hope to reach his destination. With the instinctive prosiness of
age, I have lingered over the scenes of boyhood, a period which, strange
to say, is fresher in my memory than many of the events of few years
back; and were I to continue my narrative as I have begun it, it would
take more time on my part, and more patience on that of my readers, than
are likely to be conceded to either of us. Were I to apologize to my
readers for any abruptness in my transitions, or any want of continuity
in my story, I should, perhaps, inadvertently seem to imply a degree of
interest in my fate which they have never felt; and, on the other hand,
I would not for a moment be thought to treat slightingly the very
smallest degree of favor they may feel disposed to show me. With these
difficulties on either hand, I see nothing for it but to limit myself
for the future to such incidents and passages of my career as most
impressed themselves on myself, and to confine my record to the events
in which I personally took a share.

Santron and I sailed from New York on the 9th of February, and arrived
in Liverpool on the 14th of March. We landed in as humble a guise as
need be. One small box contained all our effects, and a little leathern
purse, with something less than three dollars, all our available wealth.
The immense movement and stir of the busy town, the crash and bustle of
trade, the roll of wagons, the cranking clatter of cranes and
windlasses, the incessant flux and reflux of population, all eager and
intent on business, were strange spectacles to our eyes as we loitered,
houseless and friendless, through the streets, staring in wonderment at
the wealth and prosperity of that land we were taught to believe was
tottering to bankruptcy.

Santron affected to be pleased with all, talked of the "beau pillage" it
would afford one day or other; but in reality this appearance of riches
and prosperity seemed to depress and discourage him. Both French and
American writers had agreed in depicting the pauperism and discontent of
England, and yet where were the signs of it? Not a house was untenanted,
every street was thronged, every market filled; the equipages of the
wealthy vied with the loaded wagons in number; and if there were not the
external evidences of happiness and enjoyment the gayer population of
other countries display, there was an air of well-being and comfort such
as no other land could exhibit.

Another very singular trait made a deep impression on us. Here were
these islanders with a narrow strait only separating them from a land
bristling with bayonets. The very roar of the artillery at exercise
might be almost heard across the gulf, and yet not a soldier was to be
seen about! There were neither forts nor bastions. The harbor, so
replete with wealth, lay open and unprotected, not even a gun-boat or a
guard-ship to defend it! There was an insolence in this security that
Santron could not get over, and he muttered a prayer that the day might
not be distant that should make them repent it.

He was piqued with every thing. While on board ship we had agreed
together to pass ourselves for Canadians, to avoid all inquiries of the
authorities! Heaven help us! The authorities never thought of us. We
were free to go or stay as we pleased. Neither police nor passport
officers questioned us. We might have been Hoche and Massena for aught
they either knew or cared. Not a "mouchard" tracked us; none even looked
after us as we went. To me this was all very agreeable and reassuring;
to my companion it was contumely and insult. All the ingenious fiction
he had devised of our birth, parentage, and pursuits, was a fine romance
inedited, and he was left to sneer at the self-sufficiency that would
not take alarm at the advent of two ragged youths on the quay of
Liverpool.

"If they but knew who we were, Maurice," he kept continually muttering
as we went along. "If these fellows only knew whom they had in their
town, what a rumpus it would create! How the shops would close! What
barricading of doors and windows we should see! What bursts of terror
and patriotism! Par St. Denis, I have a mind to throw up my cap in the
air and cry, 'Vive la Republique,' just to witness the scene that would
follow!"

With all these boastings, it was not very difficult to restrain my
friend's ardor, and to induce him to defer his invasion of England to a
more fitting occasion, so that at last he was fain to content himself
with a sneering commentary on all around him; and in this amiable spirit
we descended into a very dirty cellar to eat our first dinner on shore.

The place was filled with sailors, who, far from indulging in the
well-known careless gayety of their class, seemed morose and sulky,
talking together in low murmurs, and showing, unmistakably, signs of
discontent and dissatisfaction. The reason was soon apparent: the
press-gangs were out to take men off to reinforce the blockading force
before Genoa, a service of all others the most distasteful to a seaman.
If Santron at first was ready to flatter himself into the notion that
very little persuasion would make these fellows take part against
England, as he listened longer he saw the grievous error of the opinion,
no epithet of insult or contempt being spared by them when talking of
France and Frenchmen. Whatever national animosity prevailed at that
period, sailors enjoyed a high pre-eminence in feeling. I have heard
that the spirit was encouraged by those in command, and that narratives
of French perfidy, treachery, and even cowardice, were the popular
traditions of the sea-service. We certainly could not controvert the old
adage as to "listeners," for every observation and every anecdote
conveyed a sneer or an insult on our country. There could be no reproach
in listening to these, unresented, but Santron assumed a most indignant
air, and more than once affected to be overcome by a spirit of
recrimination. What turn his actions might have taken in this wise I can
not even guess, for suddenly a rush of fellows took place up the ladder,
and in less than a minute the whole cellar was cleared, leaving none but
the hostess and an old lame waiter along with ourselves in the place.

"You've got a protection, I suppose, sirs," said the woman, approaching
us; "but still I'll advise you not to trust to it over-much; they're in
great want of men just now; and they care little for law or justice once
they have them on the high seas."

"We have no protection," said I; "we are strangers here, and know no
one."

"There they come, sir; that's the tramp!" cried the woman; "there's
nothing for it now but to stay quiet and hope you'll not be noticed.
Take those knives up, will ye?" said she, flinging a napkin toward me,
and speaking in an altered voice, for already two figures were darkening
the entrance, and peering down into the depth below; while, turning to
Santron, she motioned him to remove the dishes from the table--a service
in which, to do him justice, he exhibited a zeal more flattering to his
tact than his spirit of resistance.

"Tripped their anchors already, Mother Martin?" said a large-whiskered
man, with a black belt round his waist; while, passing round the tables,
he crammed into his mouth several fragments of the late feast.

"You wouldn't have 'em wait for you, Captain John," said she, laughing.

"It's just what I would, then," replied he. "The Admiralty has put
thirty shillings more on the bounty, and where will these fellows get
the like of that? It isn't a West India-service neither, nor a coastin'
cruise off Newfoundland, but all as one as a pleasure-trip up the
Mediterranean, and nothing to fight but Frenchmen. Eh, younker, that
tickles _your_ fancy!" cried he to Santron, who, in spite of himself,
made some gesture of impatience. "Handy chaps, those, Mother Martin,
where did you chance on 'em?"

"They're sons of a Canada skipper in the river yonder," said she,
calmly.

"They arn't over-like to be brothers," said he, with the grin of one too
well accustomed to knavery to trust any thing opposed to his own
observation. "I suppose them's things happens in Canada as elsewhere,"
said he, laughing, and hoping the jest might turn her flank. Meanwhile
the press-leader never took his eyes off me, as I arranged plates and
folded napkins with all the skill which my early education in Boivin's
restaurant had taught me.

"He _is_ a smart one," said he, half-musingly. "I say, boy, would you
like to go as cook's aid on board a king's ship? I know of one as would
just suit you."

"I'd rather not, sir; I'd not like to leave my father," said I, backing
up Mrs. Martin's narrative.

"Nor that brother there; wouldn't he like it?"

I shook my head negatively.

"Suppose I have a talk with the skipper about it?" said he, looking at
me steadily for some seconds. "Suppose I was to tell him what a good
berth you'd have, eh?"

"Oh, if he wished it, I'd make no objection," said I, assuming all the
calmness I could.

"That chap ain't _your_ brother--and he's no sailor neither. Show me
your hands, youngster," cried he to Santron, who at once complied with
the order, and the press captain bent over and scanned them narrowly. As
he thus stood with his back to me, the woman shook her head
significantly, and pointed to the ladder. If ever a glance conveyed a
whole story of terror hers did. I looked at my companion as though to
say, "Can I desert him?" and the expression of her features seemed to
imply utter despair. This pantomime did not occupy half a minute. And
now, with noiseless step, I gained the ladder, and crept cautiously up
it. My fears were how to escape those who waited outside; but as I
ascended I could see that they were loitering about in groups,
inattentive to all that was going on below. The shame at deserting my
comrade so nearly overcame me, that, when almost at the top, I was about
to turn back again. I even looked round to see him, but, as I did so, I
saw the press leader draw a pair of handcuffs from his pocket, and
throw them on the table. The instincts of safety were too strong, and,
with a spring, I gained the street, and, slipping noiselessly along the
wall, escaped the "look-out." Without a thought of where I was going to,
or what to do, I ran at the very top of my speed directly onward, my
only impulse being to get away from the spot. Could I reach the open
country I thought it would be my best chance. As I fled, however, no
signs of a suburb appeared; the streets, on the contrary, grew narrower
and more intricate; huge warehouses, seven or eight stories high, loomed
at either side of me; and at last, on turning an angle, a fresh
sea-breeze met me, and showed that I was near the harbor. I avow that
the sight of shipping, the tall and taper spars that streaked the sky of
night, the clank of chain cables, and the heavy surging sound of the
looming hulls, were any thing but encouraging, longing as I did for the
rustling leaves of some green lane: but still all was quiet and
tranquil; a few flickering lights twinkled here and there from a cabin
window, but every thing seemed sunk in repose.

The quay was thickly studded with hogsheads and bales of merchandise, so
that I could easily have found a safe resting-place for the night, but a
sense of danger banished all wish for sleep, and I wandered out,
restless and uncertain, framing a hundred plans, and abandoning them
when formed.

So long as I kept company with Santron, I never thought of returning to
"Uncle Pat;" my reckless spendthrift companion had too often avowed the
pleasure he would feel in quartering himself on my kind friend,
dissipating his hard-earned gains, and squandering the fruits of all his
toil. Deterred by such a prospect, I resolved rather never to revisit
him, than in such company. Now, however, I was again alone, and all my
hopes and wishes turned toward him. A few hours' sail might again bring
me beneath his roof, and once more should I find myself at home. The
thought was calming to all my excitement; I forgot every danger I had
passed through; I lost all memory of every vicissitude I had escaped,
and had only the little low parlor in the "Black Pits" before my mind's
eye; the wild, unweeded garden, and the sandy, sunny beach before the
door. It was as though all that nigh a year had compassed had never
occurred, and that my life at Crown Point, and my return to England were
only a dream. Sleep overcame me as I thus lay pondering, and when I
awoke the sun was glittering in the bright waves of the Mersey, a fresh
breeze was flaunting and fluttering the half-loosened sails, and the
joyous sounds of seamen's voices were mingling with the clank of
capstans, and the measured stroke of oars.

It was full ten minutes after I awoke before I could remember how I came
there, and what had befallen me. Poor Santron, where is he now? was my
first thought, and it came with all the bitterness of self-reproach.

Could I have parted company with him under other circumstances it would
not have grieved me deeply. His mocking, sarcastic spirit, the tone of
depreciation which he used toward every thing and every body, had gone
far to sour me with the world, and day by day I felt within me the evil
influences of his teachings. How different were they from poor
Gottfried's lessons, and the humble habits of those who lived beneath
them! Yet I was sorry, deeply sorry, that our separation should have
been thus, and almost wished I had staid to share his fate, whatever it
might be.

While thus swayed by different impulses, now thinking of my old home at
Crown Point, now of "Uncle Pat's" thatched cabin, and again of Santron,
I strolled down to the wharf, and found myself in a considerable crowd
of people, who were all eagerly pressing forward to witness the
embarkation of several boats-full of pressed seamen, who, strongly
guarded and ironed, were being conveyed to the Athol tender, a large
three-master, about a mile off, down the river. To judge from the cut
faces and bandaged heads and arms, the capture had not been effected
without resistance. Many of the poor fellows appeared rather suited to
an hospital than the duties of active service; and several lay with
bloodless faces and white lips, the handcuffed wrists seeming a very
mockery of a condition so destitute of all chance of resistance.

The sympathies of the bystanders were very varied regarding them. Some
were full of tender pity and compassion; some denounced the system as a
cruel and oppressive tyranny; others deplored it as an unhappy
necessity; and a few well-to-do-looking old citizens, in drab shorts and
wide-brimmed hats, grew marvelously indignant at the recreant
poltroonery of "the scoundrels who were not proud to fight their
country's battles."

As I was wondering within myself how it happened that men thus coerced
could ever be depended on in moments of peril and difficulty, and by
what magic the mere exercise of discipline was able to merge the
feelings of the man in the sailor, the crowd was rudely driven back by
policemen, and a cry of "make way," "fall back there," given. In the
sudden retiring of the mass, I found myself standing on the very edge of
the line along which a new body of impressed men were about to pass.
Guarded front, flank, and rear, by a strong party of marines, the poor
fellows came along slowly enough. Many were badly wounded, and walked
lamely; some were bleeding profusely from cuts on the face and temples,
and one, at the very tail of the procession, was actually carried in a
blanket by four sailors. A low murmur ran through the crowd at the
spectacle, which gradually swelled louder and fuller, till it burst
forth into a deep groan of indignation, and a cry of Shame! shame! Too
much used to such ebullitions of public feeling, or too proud to care
for them, the officer in command of the party never seemed to hear the
angry cries and shouts around him; and I was even more struck by _his_
cool self-possession than by _their_ enthusiasm. For a moment or two I
was convinced that a rescue would be attempted. I had no conception that
so much excitement could evaporate innocuously, and was preparing myself
to take part in the struggle, when the line halted as the leading files
gained the stairs, and, to my wonderment, the crowd became hushed and
still. Then one burst of excited pity over, not a thought occurred to
any to offer resistance to the law, or dare to oppose the constituted
authorities. How unlike Frenchmen! thought I; nor am I certain whether I
deemed the disparity to their credit!

"Give him a glass of water!" I heard the officer say, as he leaned over
the litter, and the crowd at once opened to permit some one to fetch it.
Before I believed it were possible to have procured it, a tumbler of
water was passed from hand to hand till it reached mine, and, stepping
forward, I bent down to give it to the sick man. The end of a coarse
sheet was thrown over his face, and as it was removed, I almost fell
over him, for it was Santron. His face was covered with a cold sweat,
which lay in great drops all over it, and his lips were slightly
frothed. As he looked up I could see that he was just rallying from a
fainting fit, and could mark in the change that came over his glassy
eyes that he had recognized me. He made a faint effort at a smile, and,
in a voice barely a whisper, said, "I knew thou'd not leave me,
Maurice."

"You are his countryman?" said the officer, addressing me in French.

"Yes, sir," was my reply.

"You are both Canadians, then?"

"Frenchmen, sir, and officers in the service. We only landed from an
American ship yesterday, and were trying to make our way to France."

"I'm sorry for you," said he, compassionately; "nor do I know how to
help you. Come on board the tender, however, and we'll see if they'll
not give you a passage with your friend to the Nore. I'll speak to my
commanding officer for you."

This scene all passed in a very few minutes, and before I well knew how
or why, I found myself on board of a ship's long-boat, sweeping along
over the Mersey, with Santron's head in my lap, and his cold, clammy
fingers grasped in mine. He was either unaware of my presence or too
weak to recognize me, for he gave no sign of knowing me; and during our
brief passage down the river, and when lifted up the ship's side, seemed
totally insensible to every thing.

The scene of uproar, noise, and confusion on board the Athol is far
above my ability to convey. A shipwreck, a fire, a mutiny, all combined,
could scarcely have collected greater elements of discord. Two large
detachments of marines, many of whom, fresh from furlough, were too
drunk for duty, and either lying asleep along the deck, or riotously
interfering with every body; a company of sappers _en route_ to
Woolwich, who would obey none but their own officer, and he was still
ashore; detachments of able-bodied seamen from the Jupiter, full of grog
and prize-money; four hundred and seventy impressed men, cursing,
blaspheming, and imprecating every species of calamity on their captors;
added to which, a crowd of Jews, bum-boat women, and slop-sellers of all
kinds, with the crews of two ballast-lighters, fighting for additional
pay, being the chief actors in a scene whose discord I never saw
equaled. Drunkenness, suffering, hopeless misery, and even
insubordination, all lent their voices to a tumult, amid which the words
of command seemed lost, and all effort at discipline vain.

How we were ever to go to sea in this state I could not even imagine;
the ship's crew seemed inextricably mingled with the rioters, many of
whom were just sufficiently sober to be eternally meddling with the
ship's tackle; belaying what ought to be "free," and loosening what
should have been "fast;" getting their fingers jammed in blocks, and
their limbs crushed by spars, till the cries of agony rose high above
every other confusion. Turning with disgust from a spectacle so
discordant and disgraceful, I descended the ladders which led, by many a
successive flight, into the dark, low-ceilinged chamber called the "sick
bay," and where poor Santron was lying in, what I almost envied,
insensibility to the scene around him. A severe blow from the hilt of a
cutlass had given him a concussion of the brain, and, save in the
momentary excitement which a sudden question might cause, left him
totally unconscious. His head had been already shaved before I
descended, and I found the assistant-surgeon, an Irishman, Mr. Peter
Colhayne, experimenting a new mode of cupping as I entered. By some
mischance of the machinery, the lancets of the cupping instrument had
remained permanently fixed, refusing to obey the spring, and standing
all straight outside the surface. In this dilemma, Peter's ingenuity saw
nothing for it but to press them down vigorously into the scalp, and
then saw them backward the whole length of the head, a performance, the
originality of which, in all probability, was derived from the operation
of a harrow in agriculture. He had just completed a third track when I
came in, and by great remonstrance and no small flattery induced him to
desist. "We have glasses," said he, "but they were all broke in the
cock-pit; but a tin porringer is just as good." And so saying, he
lighted a little pledget of tow, previously steeped in turpentine, and,
popping it into the tin vessel, clapped it on the head. This was meant
to exhaust the air within, and thus draw the blood to the surface, a
scientific process he was good enough to explain most minutely for my
benefit, and the good results of which he most confidently vouched for.

"They've a hundred new conthrivances," said Mr. Colhayne, "for doing
that simple thing ye see there. They've pumps, and screws, and hydraulic
devilments, as much complicated as a watch that's always getting out of
order and going wrong; but with that ye'll see what good 'twill do him;
he'll be as lively as a lark in ten minutes."

The prophecy was destined to a perfect fulfillment, for poor Santron,
who lay motionless and unconscious up to that moment, suddenly gave
signs of life by moving his features, and jerking his limbs to this side
and that. The doctor's self-satisfaction took the very proudest form. He
expatiated on the grandeur of medical science, the wonderful advancement
it was making, and the astonishing progress the curative art had made,
even within his own time. I must own that I should have lent a more
implicit credence to this pæan if I had not waited for the removal of
the cupping vessel, which, instead of blood, contained merely the
charred ashes of the burnt tow, while the scalp beneath it presented a
blackened, seared aspect, like burned leather. Such was literally the
effect of the operation, but as from that period the patient began
steadily to improve, I must leave to more scientific inquirers the task
of explaining through what agency, and on what principles.

Santron's condition, although no longer dangerous, presented little hope
of speedy recovery. His faculties were clouded and obscured, and the
mere effort at recognition seemed to occasion him great subsequent
disturbance. Colhayne, who, whatever may have been his scientific
deficiencies, was good-nature and kindness itself, saw nothing for him
but removal to Haslar, and we now only waited for the ship's arrival at
the Nore to obtain the order for his transmission.

If the Athol was a scene of the wildest confusion and uproar when we
tripped our anchor, we had not been six hours at sea when all was a
picture of order and propriety. The decks were cleared of every one not
actually engaged in the ship's working, or specially permitted to
remain; ropes were coiled; boats hauled up; sails trimmed; hatches down;
sentinels paced the deck in appointed places, and all was discipline and
regularity. From the decorous silence that prevailed, none could have
supposed so many hundred living beings were aboard, still less, that
they were the same disorderly mob who sailed from the Mersey a few short
hours before. From the surprise which all this caused me, I was speedily
aroused by an order more immediately interesting, being summoned on the
poop-deck to attend the general muster. Up they came from holes and
hatchways, a vast host, no longer brawling and insubordinate, but quiet,
submissive, and civil. Such as were wounded had been placed under the
doctor's care, and all those now present were orderly and service-like.
With a very few exceptions, they were all sailors, a few having already
served in a king's ship. The first lieutenant, who inspected us, was a
grim, gray-headed man past the prime of life, with features hardened by
disappointment and long service, but who still retained an expression
of kindliness and good-nature. His duty he dispatched with all the speed
of long habit; read the name; looked at the bearer of it; asked a few
routine questions; and then cried, "stand by," even ere the answers were
finished. When he came to me he said:

"Abraham Hackett. Is that your name, lad?"

"No, sir. I'm called Maurice Tiernay."

"Tiernay, Tiernay," said he a couple of times over. "No such name here."

"Where's Tiernay's name, Cottle?" asked he of a subordinate behind him.

The fellow looked down the list--then at me--then at the list again--and
then back to me, puzzled excessively by the difficulty, but not seeing
how to explain it.

"Perhaps I can set the matter right, sir," said I. "I came aboard along
with a wounded countryman of mine--the young Frenchman who is now in the
sick bay."

"Ay, to be sure; I remember all about it now," said the lieutenant. "You
call yourselves French officers?"

"And such are we, sir."

"Then how the devil came ye here? Mother Martin's cellar is, to say the
least of it, an unlikely spot to select as a restaurant."

"The story is a somewhat long one, sir."

"Then I haven't time for it, lad," he broke in. "We've rather too much
on hands just now for that. If you've got your papers, or any thing to
prove what you assert, I'll land you when I come into the Downs, and
you'll, of course, be treated as your rank in the service requires. If
you have not, I must only take the responsibility on myself to regard
you as an impressed man. Very hard, I know, but can't help it. Stand
by."

These few words were uttered with a most impetuous speed; and as all
reply to them was impossible, I saw my case decided and my fate decreed,
even before I knew they were under litigation.

As we marched forward to go below, I overheard an officer say to
another:

"Hay will get into a scrape about those French fellows; they may turn
out to be officers, after all."

"What matter?" cried the other. "One is dying; and the other Hay means
to draft on board the 'Téméraire.' Depend upon it, we'll never hear more
of either of them."

This was far from pleasant tidings; and yet I knew not any remedy for
the mishap. I had never seen the officer who spoke to me ashore, since
we came on board. I knew of none to intercede for me; and as I sat down
on the bench beside poor Santron's cot, I felt my heart lower than it
had ever been before. I was never enamored of the sea service; and
certainly the way to overcome my dislike was not by engaging against my
own country; and yet this, in all likelihood, was now to be my fate.
These were my last waking thoughts the first night I passed on board the
Athol.



CHAPTER XXXIII.

A BOLD STROKE FOR FAME AND FORTUNE.


To be awakened suddenly from a sound sleep; hurried, half-dressed, up a
gangway; and, ere your faculties have acquired free play, be passed over
a ship's side, on a dark and stormy night, into a boat wildly tossed
here and there, with spray showering over you, and a chorus of loud
voices about you! is an event not easily forgotten. Such a scene still
dwells in my memory, every incident of it as clear and distinct as
though it had occurred only yesterday. In this way was I "passed," with
twelve others, on board his majesty's frigate, Téméraire, a vessel
which, in the sea service, represented what a well-known regiment did on
shore, and bore the reputation of being a "condemned ship;" this
depreciating epithet having no relation to the qualities of the vessel
herself, which was a singularly beautiful French model, but only to that
of the crew and officers; it being the policy of the day to isolate the
blackguards of both services, confining them to particular crafts and
corps, making, as it were, a kind of _index expurgatorius_, where all
the rascality was available at a moment's notice.

It would be neither agreeable to my reader nor myself, if I should dwell
on this theme, nor linger on a description where cruelty, crime,
heartless tyranny, and reckless insubordination made up all the
elements. A vessel that floated the seas only as a vast
penitentiary--the "cats," the "yard-arm," and the "gangway," comprising
its scheme of discipline--would scarcely be an agreeable subject: and,
in reality, my memory retains of the life aboard little else than scenes
of suffering and sorrow. Captain Gesbrook had the name of being able to
reduce any, the most insubordinate, to discipline. The veriest rascals
of the fleet, the consummate scoundrels, one of whom was deemed
pollution to an ordinary crew, were said to come from his hands models
of seamanship and good conduct; and it must be owned, that if the
character was deserved, it was not obtained without some sacrifice. Many
died under punishment; many carried away with them diseases under which
they lingered on to death; and not a few preferred suicide to the
terrible existence on board. And although a Téméraire--as a man who had
served in her was always afterward called--was now and then shown as an
example of sailorlike smartness and activity, very few knew how dearly
that one success had been purchased, nor by what terrible examples of
agony and woe that solitary conversion was obtained.

To me the short time I spent on board of her is a dreadful dream. We
were bound for the Mediterranean, to touch at Malta and Gibraltar, and
then join the blockading squadron before Genoa. What might have been my
fate, to what excess passionate indignation might have carried me,
revolted as I was by tyranny and injustice, I know not, when an
accident, happily for me, rescued me from all temptation. We lost our
mizen-mast, in a storm, in the Bay of Biscay, and a dreadful blow on
the head, from the spanker-boom, felled me to the deck, with a fracture
of the skull.

From that moment I knew of nothing till the time when I lay in my cot,
beside a port-hole of the main deck, gazing at the bright blue waters
that flashed and rippled beside me, or straining my strength to rest on
my elbow, when I caught sight of the glorious city of Genoa, with its
grand mountain background, about three miles from where I lay. Whether
from a due deference to the imposing strength of the vast fortress, or
that the line of duty described our action, I can not say, but the
British squadron almost exclusively confined its operations to the act
of blockade. Extending far across the bay, the English ensign was seen
floating from many a taper mast, while boats, of every shape and size,
plied incessantly from ship to ship, their course marked out at night by
the meteor-like light that glittered in them; not, indeed, that the eye
often turned in that direction, all the absorbing interest of the scene
lying in-shore. Genoa was, at that time, surrounded by an immense
Austrian force, under the command of General Melas, who, occupying all
the valleys and deep passes of the Apennines, were imperceptible during
the day; but no sooner had night closed in, than a tremendous cannonade
began, the balls describing great semicircles in the air, ere they fell,
to scatter death and ruin on the devoted city. The spectacle was grand
beyond description, for while the distance at which we lay dulled and
subdued the sound of the artillery to a hollow booming like far-off
thunder, the whole sky was streaked by the course of the shot, and, at
intervals, lighted up by the splendor of a great fire, as the red shot
fell into and ignited some large building or other.

As, night after night, the cannonade increased in power and intensity,
and the terrible effects showed themselves in the flames which burst out
from different quarters of the city, I used to long for morning, to see
if the tri-color still floated on the walls, and when my eye caught the
well-known ensign, I could have wept with joy as I beheld it.

High up, too, on the cliffs of the rugged Apennines, from many a craggy
eminence, where perhaps a solitary gun was stationed, I could see the
glorious flag of France, the emblem of liberty and glory, too!

In the day the scene was one of calm and tranquil beauty. It would have
seemed impossible to connect it with war and battle. The glorious city,
rising in terraces of palaces, lay reflected in the mirror-like waters
of the bay, blue as the deep sky above them. The orange trees, loaded
with golden fruit, shed their perfume over marble fountains, amid
gardens of every varied hue; bands of military music were heard from the
public promenades; all the signs of joy and festivity which betoken a
happy and pleasure-seeking population. But at night the "red artillery"
again flashed forth, and the wild cries of strife and battle rose
through the beleaguered city. The English spies reported that a famine
and a dreadful fever were raging within the walls, and that all
Massena's efforts were needed to repress an open mutiny of the garrison;
but the mere aspect of the "proud city" seemed to refute the assertion.
The gay caroling of church bells vied with the lively strains of martial
music, and the imposing pomp of military array, which could be seen from
the walls, bespoke a joyous confidence, the very reverse of this
depression.

From the "tops," and high up in the rigging, the movements in-shore
could be descried, and frequently, when an officer came down to visit a
comrade, I could hear of the progress of the siege, and learn, I need
not say with what delight, that the Austrians had made little or no way
in the reduction of the place, and that every stronghold and bastion was
still held by Frenchmen.

At first, as I listened, the names of new places and new generals
confused me; but by daily familiarity with the topic, I began to
perceive that the Austrians had interposed a portion of their force
between Massena's division and that of Suchet, cutting off the latter
from Genoa, and compelling him to fall back toward Chivari and
Borghetto, along the coast of the gulf. This was the first success of
any importance obtained; and it was soon followed by others of equal
significance. Soult being driven from ridge to ridge of the Apennines,
till he was forced back within the second line of defenses.

The English officers were loud in condemning Austrian slowness; the
inaptitude they exhibited to profit by a success, and the over-caution
which made them, even in victory, so careful of their own safety. From
what I overheard, it seemed plain that Genoa was untenable by any troops
but French, or opposed to any other adversaries than their present ones.

The bad tidings--such I deemed them--came quicker and heavier. Now,
Soult was driven from Monte Notte. Now, the great advance post of Monte
Faccio was stormed and carried. Now, the double eagle was floating from
San Tecla, a fort within cannon shot of Genoa. A vast semicircle of
bivouac fires stretched from the Apennines to the sea, and their
reflected glare from the sky lit up the battlements and ramparts of the
city.

"Even yet, if Massena would make a dash at them," said a young English
lieutenant, "the white-coats would fall back."

"My life on't he'd cut his way through, if he knew they were only two to
one!"

And this sentiment met no dissentient. All agreed that French heroism
was still equal to the overthrow of a force double its own.

It was evident that all hope of reinforcement from France was vain.
Before they could have begun their march southward, the question must be
decided one way or other.

"There's little doing to-night," said an officer, as he descended the
ladder to the sick bay. "Melas is waiting for some heavy mortars that
are coming up; and then there will be a long code of instructions from
the Aulic Council, and a whole treatise on gunnery to be read, before he
can use them. Trust _me_, if Massena knew his man, he'd be up and at
him!"

Much discussion followed the speech, but all more or less agreed in its
sentiment. Weak as were the French, lowered by fever and by famine, they
were still an over-match for their adversaries. What a glorious avowal
from the lips of an enemy was this! The words did more for my recovery
than all the cares and skill of physic. Oh, if my countrymen but knew!
if Massena could but hear it! was my next thought; and I turned my eyes
to the ramparts, whose line was marked out by the bivouac fires, through
the darkness. How short the distance seemed! and yet it was a whole
world of separation. Had it been a great plain in a mountain tract, the
attempt might almost have appeared practicable; at least, I had often
seen fellows who would have tried it. Such were the ready roads, the
royal paths to promotion; and he who trod them saved miles of weary
journey. I fell asleep, still thinking on these things; but they haunted
my dreams. A voice seemed ever to whisper in my ear--"If Massena but
knew, he would attack them! One bold dash, and the Austrians would fall
back." At one instant, I thought myself brought before a court-martial
of English officers, for attempting to carry these tidings, and proudly
avowing the endeavor, I fancied I was braving the accusation. At
another, I was wandering through the streets of Genoa, gazing on the
terrible scenes of famine I had heard of. And lastly, I was marching
with a night party to attack the enemy. The stealthy foot-fall of the
column appeared suddenly to cease; we were discovered; the Austrian
cavalry were upon us! I started and awoke, and found myself in the dim,
half-lighted chamber, with pain and suffering around me, and where, even
in this midnight hour, the restless tortures of disease were yet
wakeful.

"The silence is more oppressive to me than the roll of artillery," said
one, a sick midshipman, to his comrade. "I grew accustomed to the
clatter of the guns, and slept all the better for it."

"You'll scarcely hear much more of that music," replied his friend. "The
French must capitulate to-morrow or next day."

"Not if Massena would make a dash at them," thought I; and with
difficulty could I refrain from uttering the words aloud.

They continued to talk to each other in low whispers, and lulled by the
drowsy tones I fell asleep once more, again to dream of my comrades and
their fortunes. A heavy bang like a cannon-shot awoke me; but whether
this were real or not I never knew; most probably, however, it was the
mere creation of my brain, for all were now in deep slumber around me,
and even the marine on duty had seated himself on the ladder, and with
his musket between his legs, seemed dozing away peacefully. I looked out
through the little window beside my berth. A light breeze was faintly
rippling the dark water beneath me. It was the beginning of a
"Levanter," and scarcely ruffled the surface as it swept along.

"Oh, if it would but bear the tidings I am full of!" thought I. But why
not dare the attempt myself? While in America I had learned to become a
good swimmer. Under Indian teaching, I had often passed hours in the
water; and though now debilitated by long sickness, I felt that the
cause would supply me with the strength I needed. From the instant that
I conceived the thought, till I found myself descending the ship's side,
was scarcely a minute. Stripping off my woolen shirt, and with nothing
but my loose trowsers, I crept through the little window, and lowering
myself gently by the rattlin of my hammock, descended slowly and
noiselessly into the sea. I hung on thus for a couple of seconds, half
fearing the attempt, and irresolute of purpose. Should strength fail, or
even a cramp seize me, I must be lost, and none would ever know in what
an enterprise I had perished. It would be set down as a mere attempt at
escape. This notion almost staggered my resolution, but only for a
second or so; and, with a short prayer, I slowly let slip the rope, and
struck out to swim.

The immense efforts required to get clear of the ship's side discouraged
me dreadfully, nor probably without the aid of the "Levanter" should I
have succeeded in doing so, the suction of the water along the sides was
so powerful. At last, however, I gained the open space, and found myself
stretching away toward shore rapidly. The night was so dark that I had
nothing to guide me save the lights on the ramparts; but in this lay my
safety. Swimming is, after all, but a slow means of progression. After
what I judged to be an hour in the water, as I turned my head to look
back, I almost fancied that the great bowsprit of the Téméraire was over
me, and that the figure who leaned over the taffrail was steadily gazing
on me. How little way had I made, and what a vast reach of water lay
between me and the shore! I tried to animate my courage by thinking of
the cause, how my comrades would greet me, the honor in which they would
hold me for the exploit, and such like; but the terror of failure damped
this ardor, and hope sank every moment lower and lower.

For some time I resolved within myself not to look back; the
discouragement was too great; but the impulse to do so became all the
greater, and the only means of resisting was by counting the strokes,
and determining not to turn my head before I had made a thousand. The
monotony of this last, and the ceaseless effort to advance, threw me
into a kind of dreamy state, wherein mere mechanical effort remained. A
few vague impressions are all that remain to me of what followed. I
remember the sound of the morning guns from the fleet; I remember, too,
the hoisting of the French standard at daybreak on the fort of the
Mole: I have some recollection of a bastion crowded with people, and
hearing shouts and cheers, like voices of welcome and encouragement; and
then a whole fleet of small boats issuing from the harbor, as if by one
impulse; and then there comes a bright blaze of light over one incident,
for I saw myself, dripping and almost dead, lifted on the shoulders of
strong men, and carried along a wide street filled with people. I was in
Genoa!



CHAPTER XXXIV.

"GENOA IN THE SIEGE."


Up a straight street, so steep and so narrow that it seemed a stair,
with hundreds of men crowding around me, I was borne along. Now, they
were sailors who carried me; now, white-bearded grenadiers, with their
bronzed bold faces; now, they were the wild-looking Faquini of the Mole,
with long-tasseled red caps, and gaudy sashes round their waists.
Windows were opened on either side as we went, and eager faces protruded
to stare at me; and then there were shouts and cries of triumphant joy
bursting forth at every moment, amidst which I could hear the
ever-recurring words--"Escaped from the English fleet."

By what means, or when, I had exchanged my dripping trowsers of coarse
sailcloth for the striped gear of our republican mode--how one had given
me his jacket, another a cap, and a third a shirt--I knew not; but there
I was, carried along in triumph, half fainting from exhaustion, and
almost maddened by excitement. That I must have told something of my
history--heaven knows how incoherently and unconnectedly--is plain
enough, for I could hear them repeating one to the other--"Had served
with Moreau's corps in the Black Forest;" "A hussar of the Ninth;" "One
of Humbert's fellows;" and so on.

As we turned into a species of "Place," a discussion arose as to whither
they should convey me. Some were for the "Cavalry Barracks," that I
might be once more with those who resembled my old comrades. Others,
more considerate, were for the hospital; but a staff officer decided the
question by stating that the general was at that very moment receiving
the report in the church of the Anunziata, and that he ought to see me
at once.

"Let the poor fellow have some refreshment," cried one--"Here, take
this, it's coffee." "No, no, the 'petit goutte' 's better--try that
flask." "He shall have my chocolate," said an old major from the door of
a café; and thus they pressed and solicited me with a generosity that I
had yet to learn how dear it cost.

"He ought to be dressed;" "He should be in uniform;" "Is better as he
is;" "The general will not speak to him thus;" "He will;" "He must."

Such, and such like, kept buzzing around me, as with reeling brain and
confused vision they bore me up the great steps, and carried me into a
gorgeous church, the most splendidly ornamented building I had ever
beheld. Except, however, in the decorations of the ceiling, and the
images of saints which figured in niches high up, every trace of a
religious edifice had disappeared. The pulpit had gone--the chairs and
seats for the choir, the confessionals, the shrines, altars--all had
been uprooted, and a large table, at which some twenty officers were
seated writing, now occupied the elevated platform of the high altar,
while here and there stood groups of officers, with their reports from
their various corps or parties in out-stations. Many of these drew near
to me as I entered, and now the buzz of voices in question and rejoinder
swelled into a loud noise, and while some were recounting my feat with
all the seeming accuracy of eye-witnesses, others were as resolutely
protesting it all to be impossible. Suddenly the tumult was hushed, the
crowd fell back, and as the clanking muskets proclaimed a "salute," a
whispered murmur announced the "General."

I could just see the waving plumes of his staff, as they passed up, and
then, as they were disappearing in the distance, they stopped, and one
hastily returned to the entrance of the church.

"Where is this fellow, let me see him," cried he, hurriedly, brushing
his way through the crowd. "Let him stand down; set him on his legs."

"He is too weak, capitaine," said a soldier.

"Place him in a chair, then," said the aid-de-camp, for such he was.
"You have made your escape from the English fleet, my man," continued
he, addressing me.

"I am an officer, and your comrade," replied I, proudly; for, with all
my debility, the tone of his address stung me to the quick.

"In what service, pray?" asked he, with a sneering look at my motley
costume.

"Your general shall hear where I have served, and how, whenever he is
pleased to ask me," was my answer.

"Ay, parbleu," cried three or four sous-officiers in a breath, "the
general shall see him himself."

And with a jerk they hoisted me once more on their shoulders, and with a
run--the regular storming tramp of the line--they advanced up the aisle
of the church, and never halted till within a few feet of where the
staff were gathered around the general. A few words--they sounded like a
reprimand--followed; a severe voice bade the soldiers "fall back," and I
found myself standing alone before a tall and very strongly built man,
with a large, red-brown beard; he wore a gray upper coat over his
uniform, and carried a riding whip in his hand.

"Get him a seat. Let him have a glass of wine," cried he, quickly, as he
saw the tottering efforts I was making to keep my legs. "Are you better
now?" asked he, in a voice which, rough as it was, sounded kindly.

Seeing me so far restored, he desired me to recount my late adventure,
which I did in the fewest words, and the most concise fashion I could.
Although never interrupting, I could mark that particular portions of my
narrative made much impression on him, and he could not repress a
gesture of impatience when I told him that I was impressed as a seaman
to fight against the flag of my own country.

"Of course, then," cried he, "you were driven to the alternative of this
attempt."

"Not so, general," said I, interrupting; "I had grown to be very
indifferent about my own fortunes. I had become half fatalist as to
myself. It was on very different grounds, indeed, that I dared this
danger. It was to tell you, for, if I mistake not, I am addressing
General Massena, tidings of deep importance."

I said these words slowly and deliberately, and giving them all the
impressiveness I was able.

"Come this way, friend," said he, and, assisting me to arise, he led me
a short distance off, and desired me to sit down on the steps in front
of the altar railing. "Now, you may speak freely. I am the General
Massena, and I have only to say, that if you really have intelligence of
any value for me, you shall be liberally rewarded; but if you have not,
and if the pretense be merely an effort to impose on one whose cares and
anxieties are already hard to bear, it would be better that you had
perished on sea than tried to attempt it."

There was a stern severity in the way he said this, which for a moment
or two actually overpowered me. It was quite clear that he looked for
some positive fact--some direct piece of information on which he might
implicitly rely; and here was I now with nothing save the gossip of some
English lieutenants--the idle talk of inexperienced young officers. I
was silent. From the bottom of my heart I wished that I had never
reached the shore, to stand in a position of such humiliation as this.

"So, then, my caution was not unneeded," said the general, as he bent
his heavy brows upon me. "Now, sir, there is but one _amende_ you can
make for this; tell me, frankly, have others sent you on this errand, or
is the scheme entirely of your own devising? Is this an English plot, or
is there a Bourbon element in it?"

"Neither one nor the other," said I, boldly; for indignation at last
gave me courage. "I hazarded my life to tell you what I overheard among
the officers of the fleet yonder; you may hold their judgment cheap;
_you_ may not think their counsels worth the pains of listening to; but
_I_ could form no opinion of this, and only thought, If these tidings
could reach him he might profit by them."

"And what are they?" asked he, bluntly.

"They said, that your force was wasting away by famine and disease; that
your supplies could not hold out above a fortnight; that your granaries
were empty, and your hospitals filled."

"They scarcely wanted the gift of second sight to see this," said he,
bitterly. "A garrison in close siege for four months may be suspected
of as much."

"Yes; but they said that as Soult's force fell back upon the city your
position would be rendered worse."

"Fell back from where?" asked he, with a searching look at me.

"As I understood, from the Apennines," replied I, growing more confident
as I saw that he became more attentive. "If I understood them aright,
Soult held a position called the 'Monte Faccio.' Is there such a name?"

"Go on," said he, with a nod of assent.

"That this could not long be tenable without gaining the highest
fortified point of the mountain. The 'Monte Creto,' they named it."

"The attempt on which has failed!" said Massena, as if carried away by
the subject; "and Soult himself is a prisoner! Go on."

"They added, that now but one hope remained for this army."

"And what was that, sir," said he, fiercely. "What suggestion of cunning
strategy did these sea wolves intimate?"

"To cut your way through the blockade, and join Suchet's corps,
attacking the Austrians at the Monte Ratte, and by the sea road gaining
the heights of Bochetta."

"Do these heroic spirits know the strength of that same Austrian
corps?--did they tell you that it numbered fifty-four thousand
bayonets?"

"They called them below forty thousand; and that now that Bonaparte was
on his way through the Alps, perhaps by this, over the Mount Cenis--"

"What! did they say this? Is Bonaparte so near us?" cried he, placing a
hand on either shoulder, as he stared me in the face.

"Yes; there is no doubt of that. The dispatch to Lord Keith brought the
news a week ago, and there is no secret made about it in the fleet."

"Over Mount Cenis!" repeated he to himself. "Already in Italy!"

"Holding straight for Milan, Lord Keith thinks," added I.

"No, sir, straight for the Tuileries," cried Massena, sternly: and then,
correcting himself suddenly, he burst into a forced laugh. I must
confess that the speech puzzled me sorely at the time, but I lived to
learn its meaning, and many a time have I wondered at the shrewd
foresight which even then read the ambitious character of the future
emperor.

"Of this fact, then, you are quite certain?--Bonaparte is on his march
hither?"

"I have heard it spoken of every day for the last week," replied I; "and
it was in consequence of this that the English officers used to remark,
if Massena but knew it he'd make a dash at them, and clear his way
through at once."

"They said this, did they?" said he, in a low voice, and as if pondering
over it.

"Yes; one and all agreed in thinking there could not be a doubt of the
result."

"Where have you served, sir?" asked he, suddenly turning on me, and
with a look that showed he was resolved to test the character of the
witness.

"With Moreau, sir, on the Rhine and the Schwarzwald; in Ireland with
Humbert."

"Your regiment?"

"The Ninth Hussars."

"The 'Tapageurs,'" said he, laughing. "I know them, and glad I am not to
have their company here at this moment; you were a lieutenant?"

"Yes, sir."

"Well, supposing that, on the faith of what you have told me, I was to
follow the wise counsel of these gentlemen, would you like the
alternative of gaining your promotion in the event of success, or being
shot by a peloton if we fail."

"They seem sharp terms, sir," said I, smiling, "when it is remembered,
that no individual efforts of mine can either promote one result or the
other."

"Ay, but they can, sir," cried he, quickly. "If _you_ should turn out to
be an Austro-English spy; if these tidings be of a character to lead my
troops into danger; if, in reliance on _you_, I should be led to
compromise the honor and safety of a French army--_your_ life, were it
worth ten thousand times over your own value of it, would be a sorry
recompense. Is this intelligible?"

"Far more intelligible than flattering," said I, laughing; for I saw
that the best mode to treat him was by an imitation of his own frank and
careless humor. "I have already risked that life you hold so cheaply, to
convey this information, but I am still ready to accept the conditions
you offer me, if, in the event of success, my name appear in the
dispatch."

He again stared at me with his dark and piercing eyes; but I stood the
glance with a calm conscience, and he seemed so to read it, for he said:

"Be it so. I will, meanwhile, test your prudence. Let nothing of this
interview transpire; not a word of it among the officers and comrades
you shall make acquaintance with. You shall serve on my own staff; go
now, and recruit your strength for a couple of days, and then report
yourself at head-quarters when ready for duty. Latrobe, look to the
Lieutenant Tiernay; see that he wants for nothing, and let him have a
horse and a uniform as soon as may be."

Captain Latrobe, the future General of Division, was then a young, gay
officer of about five-and-twenty, very good looking, and full of life
and spirits, a buoyancy which the terrible uncertainties of the siege
could not repress.

"Our general talks nobly, Tiernay," said he, as he gave me his arm to
assist me; "but you'll stare when I tell you that 'wanting for nothing'
means, having four ounces of black bread, and ditto of blue cheese per
diem; and as to a horse, if I possessed such an animal, I'd have given
a dinner-party yesterday and eaten him. You look surprised, but when you
see a little more of us here, you'll begin to think that prison rations
in the fleet yonder were luxuries compared to what _we_ have. No matter:
you shall take share of my superabundance, and if I have little else to
offer, I'll show you a view from my window, finer than any thing you
ever looked on in your life, and with a sea-breeze that would be
glorious if it didn't make one hungry."

While he thus rattled on, we reached the street, and there calling a
couple of soldiers forward, he directed them to carry me along to his
quarters, which lay in the upper town, on an elevated plateau that
overlooked the city and the bay together.

From the narrow lanes, flanked with tall, gloomy houses, and steep,
ill-paved streets, exhibiting poverty and privation of every kind, we
suddenly emerged into an open space of grass, at one side of which a
handsome iron-railing stood, with a richly ornamented gate, gorgeously
gilded. Within this was a garden and a fish-pond, surrounded with
statues, and further on, a long, low villa, whose windows reached to the
ground, and were shaded by a deep awning of striped blue and white
canvas. Camelias, orange-trees, cactuses, and magnolias, abounded every
where; tulips and hyacinths seemed to grow wild; and there was in the
half-neglected look of the spot something of savage luxuriance that
heightened the effect immensely.

"This is my Paradise, Tiernay, only wanting an Eve to be perfect," said
Latrobe, as he set me down beneath a spreading lime-tree. "Yonder are
your English friends; there they stretch away for miles beyond that
point. That's the Monte Creto, you may have heard of; and there's the
Bochetta. In that valley, to the left, the Austrian outposts are
stationed; and from those two heights closer to the shore, they are
gracious enough to salute us every evening after sunset, and even
prolong the attention sometimes the whole night through. Turn your eyes
in this direction, and you'll see the 'cornice' road, that leads to La
Belle France, but of which we see as much from this spot as we are ever
like to do. So much for the geography of our position, and now to look
after your breakfast. You have, of course, heard that we do not revel in
superfluities. Never was the boasted excellence of our national cookery
more severely tested, for we have successively descended from cows and
sheep to goats, horses, donkeys, dogs, occasionally experimenting on
hides and shoe leather, till we ended by regarding a rat as a rarity,
and deeming a mouse a delicacy of the season. As for vegetables, there
would not have been a flowering plant in all Genoa, if tulip and
ranunculus roots had not been bitter as aloes. These seem very
inhospitable confessions, but I make them the more freely since I am
about to treat you 'en Gourmet.' Come in now, and acknowledge that
juniper-bark isn't bad coffee, and that commissary bread is not to be
thought of 'lightly.'"

In this fashion did my comrade invite me to a meal, which, even with
this preface, was far more miserable and scanty than I looked for.

  (TO BE CONTINUED.)



MORBID IMPULSES.


"Please, sir, it's seven o'clock, and here's your hot wa'ar." I half
awoke, reflected moodily on the unhappy destiny of early risers; and
finally, after many turns and grunts, having decided upon defying all
engagements and duties, I fell asleep once more. In an instant I was
seated in the pit of Her Majesty's Theatre, gazing upon the curtain,
and, in common with a large and brilliant audience, anxiously awaiting
its arising, and the appearance of Duprez. The curtain does rise; the
orchestra are active; Duprez has bowed her thanks to an applauding
concourse; and the opera is half concluded: when, just as the theatre is
hushed into death-like silence for the great aria which is to test
Duprez's capacity and power, a mad impulse seizes hold of me. I have an
intense desire to yell. I feel as if my life and my eternal happiness
depend upon my emulating a wild Indian, or a London 'coster' boy. I look
round on the audience; I see their solemn faces; I note the swelling
bosom of the cantatrice, the rapt anxiety of the leader, and the dread
silence of the whole assembly, and I speculate on the surprise and
confusion a loud war-whoop yell would create; and though I foresee an
ignominious expulsion, perhaps broken limbs and disgraceful exposure in
the public prints, I can not resist the strange impulse; and throwing
myself back in my stall, I raise a wild cry, such as a circus clown
gives when he vaults into the arena, and ties himself up into a knot by
way of introduction. I had not under-calculated the confusion, but I had
under-calculated the indignation. In an instant all eyes are upon
me--from the little piccolo-player in the corner of the orchestra, to
the diamonded duchess in the private box; cries of "Shame! turn him
out!" salute me on all sides; my neighbors seize me by the collar, and
call for the police; and in five minutes, ashamed, bruised, and
wretched, I am ejected into the Haymarket, and on my way to Bow-street.

"Please, sir, it's nine o'clock now; and Mr. Biggs has been, sir; and he
couldn't wait, sir; and he'll come again at two."

I sit up in bed, rub my eyes, and awake to consciousness of two
facts--namely, that I have not kept a very particular engagement, and
that I have had a strange dream. I soon forgot the former, but the
latter remains with me for a long time very vividly. It _was_ a dream, I
know; but still it _was_ so true to what might have occurred, that I
half fancy I shall recognize myself among the police intelligence in my
daily paper; and when I have read the "Times" throughout, and find it
was indeed a dream, the subject still haunts me, and I sit for a long
time musing upon those singular morbid desires and impulses which all
men more or less experience.

What are they? Do they belong strictly to the domain of physics or of
metaphysics? How nearly are they allied to insanity? May there not be a
species of spiritual intoxication created by immaterial alcohol,
producing, through the medium of the mind, the same bodily absurdities
as your fluid alcohol produces through the directer agency of the body
itself? How far can they be urged as extenuating or even defending
misdemeanors and crimes? To guide me in my speculations, I run over a
few cases that I can call to mind at once.

There is a general fact, that no sooner have you mounted to a great
eminence, than a mysterious impulse urges you to cast yourself over into
space, and perish. Nearly all people feel this; nearly all conquer it in
this particular; but some do not: and there may be a great doubt as to
whether all who have perished from the tops of the monuments have been
truly suicides. Then, again, with water: when you see the clear river
sleeping beneath--when you see the green waves dancing round the
prow--when you hear and see the roaring fury of a cataract--do you not
as surely feel a desire to leap into it, and be absorbed in oblivion?
What is that impulse but a perpetual calenture?--or may not the theory
of calentures be all false, and the results they are reported to cause
be in reality the results of morbid impulses? I have sat on the deck of
a steamer, and looked upon the waters as they chafed under the perpetual
scourging of the paddles; and I have been compelled to bind myself to
the vessel by a rope, to prevent a victory to the morbid impulses that
have come upon me. Are not Ulysses and the Sirens merely a poetic
statement of this common feeling?

But one of the most singular instances of morbid impulses in connection
with material things, exists in the case of a young man who not very
long ago visited a large iron manufactory. He stood opposite a huge
hammer, and watched with great interest its perfectly regular strokes.
At first it was beating immense lumps of crimson metal into thin, black
sheets; but the supply becoming exhausted, at last it only descended on
the polished anvil. Still the young man gazed intently on its motion;
then he followed its strokes with a corresponding motion of his head;
then his left arm moved to the same tune; and finally, he deliberately
placed his fist upon the anvil, and in a second it was smitten to a
jelly. The only explanation he could afford was that he felt an impulse
to do it; that he knew he should be disabled; that he saw all the
consequences in a misty kind of manner; but that he still felt a power
within, above sense and reason--a morbid impulse, in fact, to which he
succumbed, and by which he lost a good right hand. This incident
suggests many things, besides proving the peculiar nature and power of
morbid impulses: such things, for instance, as a law of sympathy on a
scale hitherto undreamt of, as well as a musical tune pervading all
things.

But the action of morbid impulses and desires is far from being confined
to things material. Witness the occurrence of my dream, which, though a
dream, was true in spirit. More speeches, writings, and actions of
humanity have their result in morbid impulse than we have an idea of.
Their territory stretches from the broadest farce to the deepest
tragedy. I remember spending an evening at Mrs. Cantaloupe's, and being
seized with an impulse to say a very insolent thing. Mrs. Cantaloupe is
the daughter of a small pork butcher, who, having married the scapegrace
younger son of a rich man, by a sudden sweeping away of elder brethren,
found herself at the head of a mansion in Belgravia, and of an ancient
family. This lady's pride of place, and contempt for all beneath her,
exceeds any thing I have ever yet seen or heard of; and, one evening,
when she was canvassing the claims of a few _parvenu_ families in her
usual _tranchant_ and haughty manner, an impulse urged me to cry, at the
top of my voice: "Madam, your father was a little pork-butcher--you know
he was!"

In vain I tried to forget the fact; in vain I held my hands over my
mouth to prevent my shouting out these words. The more I struggled
against it, the more powerful was the impulse; and I only escaped it by
rushing headlong from the room and from the house. When I gained my own
chambers, I was so thankful that I had avoided this gross impertinence
that I could not sleep.

This strange thralldom to a morbid prompting not unfrequently has its
outlet in crimes of the deepest dye. When Lord Byron was sailing from
Greece to Constantinople, he was observed to stand over the sleeping
body of an Albanian, with a poniard in his hand; and, after a little
time, to turn away muttering, "I should like to know how a man feels who
has committed a murder!" There can be no doubt that Lord Byron, urged by
a morbid impulse, was on the very eve of knowing what he desired; and
not a few crimes have their origin in a similar manner. The facts exist;
the evidence is here in superabundance; but what to do with it? Can a
_theory_ be made out? I sit and reflect.

There are two contending parties in our constitution--mind and matter,
spirit and body--which in their conflicts produce nearly all the ills
that flesh is heir to. The body is the chief assailant, and generally
gains the victory. Look how our writers are influenced by bile, by
spleen, by indigestion; how families are ruined by a bodily ailment
sapping the mental energy of their heads. But the spirit takes its
revenge in a guerilla war, which is incessantly kept up by these morbid
impulses--an ambuscade of them is ever lurking to betray the
too-confident body. Let the body be unguarded for an instant, and the
spirit shoots forth its morbid impulse; and if the body be not very
alert, over it goes into the sea, into the house-tops, or into the
streets and jails. In most wars the country where the fighting takes
place suffers most: in this case man is the battle-ground; and he must
and will suffer so long as mind and matter, spirit and body, do not
co-operate amicably--so long as they fight together, and are foes.
Fortunately, the remedy can be seen. If the body do not aggress, the
spirit will not seek revenge. If you keep the body from irritating, and
perturbing, and stultifying the mind through its bile, its spleen, its
indigestion, its brain, the mind will most certainly never injure,
stultify, or kill the body by its mischievous guerilla tactics, by its
little, active, imp-like agents--morbid impulses. We thus find that
there is a deep truth in utilitarianism, after all--the rose-color
romancings of chameleon writers. To make a man a clear-judging member of
society, doing wise actions in the present moment, and saying wise and
beautiful things for all time, a great indispensable is--to see that the
house that his spirit has received to dwell in be worthy the wants and
capabilities of its noble occupant. Hence--Rat-tat-ta-tat!

"Please, sir, Mr. Biggs!"



THE HOUSEHOLD OF SIR THO^S MORE.[9]

LIBELLUS A MARGARETA MORE. QUINDECIM ANNOS NATA, CHELSEIÆ INCEPTVS.

"Nulla dies sine linea."


Entering, o' the suddain, into Mercy's chamber, I founde her all be-wept
and waped, poring over an old kirtle of mother's she had bidden her
re-line with buckram. Coulde not make out whether she were sick of her
task, had had words with mother, or had some secret inquietation of her
owne; but, as she is a girl of few words, I found I had best leave her
alone after a caress and kind saying or two. We alle have our troubles.

... Trulie may I say soe. Here have they ta'en a fever of some low sorte
in my house of refuge, and mother, fearing it may be y^e sicknesse, will
not have me goe neare it, lest I s^d bring it home. Mercy, howbeit, hath
besought her soe earnestlie to let her goe and nurse y^e sick, that
mother hath granted her prayer, on condition she returneth not till y^e
fever bates, ... thus setting her life at lower value than our owne.
Deare Mercy! I woulde fayn be her mate.

       *       *       *       *       *

We are alle mightie glad that Rupert Allington hath at lengthe
zealouslie embraced y^e studdy of the law. 'Twas much to be feared at
y^e firste there was noe application in him, and though we all pitied
him when father first broughte him home, a pillaged, portionlesse
client, with none other to espouse his rightes, yet 'twas a pitie soone
allied with contempt when we founde how emptie he was, caring for nought
but archerie and skittles and the popinjaye out o' the house, and dicing
and tables within, which father w^d on noe excuse permitt. Soe he had
to conform, ruefullie enow, and hung piteouslie on hand for awhile. I
mind me of Bess's saying about Christmasse, "Heaven send us open weather
while Allington is here; I don't believe he is one that will bear
shutting up." Howbeit, he seemed to incline towards Daisy, who is
handsome enow, and cannot be hindered of two hundred pounds, and so he
kept within bounds, and when father got him his cause he was mightilie
thankfulle, and would have left us out of hand, but father persuaded him
to let his estate recover itself, and turn y^e mean time to profitt,
and, in short, so wrought on him, that he hath now become a student in
right earneste.

       *       *       *       *       *

Soe we are going to lose not only Mr. Clement, but Mr. Gunnel! How
sorrie we alle are! It seemeth he hath long been debating for and
agaynst y^e church, and at length finds his mind so stronglie set
towards it, as he can keep out of it noe longer. Well! we shall lose a
good master, and y^e church will gayn a good servant. Drew will supplie
his place, that is, according to his beste, but our worthy Welshman
careth soe little for young people, and is so abstract from y^e world
about him, that we shall oft feel our loss. Father hath promised
Gonellus his interest with y^e Cardinall.

I fell into disgrace for holding speech with Mercy over y^e pales, but
she is confident there is noe danger; the sick are doing well, and none
of y^e whole have fallen sick. She sayth Gammer Gurney is as tender of
her as if she were her daughter, and will let her doe noe vile or
paynfull office, soe as she hath little to doe but read and pray for y^e
poor souls, and feed 'em with savourie messes, and they are alle so
harmonious and full of cheer, as to be like birds in a nest. Mercy
deserves theire blessings more than I. Were I a free agent, she s^d not
be alone now, and I hope ne'er to be withheld therefrom agayn.

       *       *       *       *       *

Busied with my flowers y^e chief o' the forenoon, I was fayn to rest in
the pavilion, when, entering therein, whom shoulde I stumble upon but
William, layd at length on y^e floor, with his arms under his head, and
his book on y^e ground. I was withdrawing brisklie enow, when he called
out, "Don't goe away, since you _are_ here," in a tone soe rough, soe
unlike his usual key, as that I paused in a maze, and then saw that his
eyes were red. He sprung to his feet and sayd, "Meg, come and talk to
me," and, taking my hand in his, stepped quicklie forthe without another
word sayd, till we reached the elm-tree walk. I marvelled to see him soe
moven, and expected to hear somewhat that shoulde displease me, scarce
knowing what; however, I might have guest at it from then till now,
without ever nearing y^e truth. His first words were, "I wish Erasmus
had ne'er crost y^e thresholde; he has made me very unhappie;" then,
seeing me stare, "Be not his council just now, dear Meg, but bind up, if
thou canst, the wounds he has made.... There be some wounds, thou
knowest, though but of a cut finger or the like, that we can not well
bind up for ourselves."

I made answer, "I am a young and unskilled leech."

He replyed, "But you have a quick wit, and patience, and kindnesse, and,
for a woman, are not scant of learning."

"Nay," I sayd, "but Mr. Gunnel--"

"Gunnel would be the last to help me," interrupts Will, "nor can I speak
to your father. He is alwaies too busie now ... besides--"

"Father Francis," I put in.

"Father Francis?" repeats Will, with a shake o' the head and a ruefull
smile, "dost thou think, Meg, he coulde answer me if I put to him
Pilate's question, 'What is truth?'"

"We know alreadie," quoth I.

Sayth Will, "What do we know?"

I paused, then made answer reverentlie, "That Jesus is the way, the
truth, and the life."

"Yes," he exclaymed, clapping his hands together in a strange sort of
passion; "that we _doe_ know, blessed be God, and other foundation can
or ought no man to lay than that is layd, which is Jesus Christ. But,
Meg, is this the principle of our church?"

"Yea, verily," I steadfastlie replied.

"Then, how has it beene overlayd," he hurriedlie went on, "with men's
inventions! St. Paul speaks of a sacrifice once offered; we holde the
host to be a continuall sacrifice. Holy writ telleth us where a tree
falls it must lie; we are taughte that our prayers may free souls from
purgatorie. The word sayth, 'by faith ye are saved;' the church sayth we
may be saved by our works. It is written 'The idols he shall utterly
abolish;' we worship figures of gold and silver...."

"Hold, hold," I sayd, "I dare not listen to this ... you are wrong, you
know you are wrong."

"How and where," he sayth; "onlie tell me. I long to be put righte."

"Our images are but symbols of our saints," I made answer; "tis onlie
y^e ignorant and unlearned that worship y^e mere wood and stone."

"But why worship saints at alle?" persisted Will; "where's the warrant
for it?"

I sayd, "Heaven has warranted it by sundrie and speciall miracles at
divers times and places. I may say to you, Will, as Socrates to Agathon,
'You may easilie argue agaynst me, but you cannot argue agaynst the
truth.'"

"Oh, put me not off with Plato," he impatientlie replyed, "refer me but
to holie writ."

"How can I," quoth I, "when you have ta'en away my Testament ere I had
half gone through it? 'Tis this book, I fear me, poor Will, hath
unsettled thee. Our church, indeed, sayth the unlearned wrest it to
theire destruction."

"And yet the apostle sayth," rejoyned Will, "that it contayns alle
things necessarie to our salvation."

"Doubtlesse it doth, if we knew but where to find them," I replied.

"And how find, unlesse we seeke?" he pursued, "and how know which road
to take, when we find the scripture and the church at issue?"

"Get some wiser head to advise us," I rejoyned.

"But an' if the obstacle remains the same?"

"I cannot suppose that," I somewhat impatientlie returned, "God's word
and God's church must agree; 'tis only we that make them at issue."

"Ah, Meg, that is just such an answer as Father Francis mighte give--it
solves noe difficultie. If, to alle human reason, they pull opposite
ways, by which shall we abide? I know; I am certain. '_Tu, Domine Jesu,
es justitia mea!_'"

He looked soe rapt, with claspt hands and upraysed eyes, as that I
coulde not but look on him and hear him with solemnitie. At length I
sayd, "If you know and are certayn, you have noe longer anie doubts for
me to lay, and with your will, we will holde this discourse noe longer,
for however moving and however considerable its subject matter may be,
it approaches forbidden ground too nearlie for me to feel it safe, and I
question whether it savoureth not of heresie. However, Will, I most
heartilie pitie you, and will pray for you."

"Do, Meg, do," he replyed, "and say nought to anie one of this matter."

"Indeede I shall not, for I think 'twoulde bring you if not me into
trouble, but, since thou hast soughte my counsel, Will, receive it now
and take it...."

He sayth, "What is it?"

"To read less, pray more, fast, and use such discipline as our church
recommends, and I question not this temptation will depart. Make a fayr
triall."

And soe, away from him, though he woulde fain have sayd more, and I have
kept mine owne worde of praying for him full earnestlie, for it pitieth
me to see him in such case.

       *       *       *       *       *

Poor Will, I never see him look grave now, nor heare him sighe, without
thinking I know the cause of his secret discontentation. He hath, I
believe, followed my council to y^e letter, for though y^e men's quarter
of y^e house is soe far aparte from ours, it hath come rounde to me
through Barbara, who hath it from her brother, that Mr. Roper hath of
late lien on y^e ground, and used a knotted cord. As 'tis one of y^e
acts of mercy to relieve others, when we can, from satanic doubts and
inquietations, I have been at some payns to make an abstracte of such
passages from y^e fathers, and such narratives of noted and undeniable
miracles as cannot, I think, but carry conviction with them, and I hope
they may minister to his soul's comfort.

       *       *       *       *       *

  Tuesday.

Supped with my Lord Sands. Mother played mumchance with my lady, but
father, who saith he woulde rather feast a hundred poor men than eat at
one rich man's table, came not in till late, on plea of businesse. My
lord tolde him the king had visitted him not long agone, and was soe
well content with his manor as to wish it were his owne, for the
singular fine ayr and pleasant growth of wood. In fine, wound up y^e
evening with musick. My lady hath a pair of fine toned clavichords, and
a mandoline that stands five feet high; the largest in England, except
that of the Lady Mary Dudley. The sound, indeed, is powerfull, but
methinketh the instrument ungaynlie for a woman. Lord Sands sang us a
new ballad, "The King's Hunt's up," which father affected hugelie. I
lacked spiritt to sue my lord for y^e words, he being soe free-spoken as
alwaies to dash me; howbeit, I mind they ran somewhat thus....

          "The hunt is up, the hunt is up,
          And it is well-nigh daye.
          Harry our King has gone hunting
          To bring his deere to baye.
          The east is bright with morning lighte,
          And darkness it is fled,
          And the merrie horn wakes up y^e morn
          To leave his idle bed.
          Beholde y^e skies with golden dyes,
          Are ..."

--The rest hath escaped me, albeit I know there was some burden of
hey-tantera, where my lord did stamp and snap his fingers. He is a merry
heart.

Now that Gunnel is gone, I take to heart that I profited not more by his
teaching. Saying to Mercy, overnight, that methought she missed not our
good master, she made answer, "Oh yes, I doe; how can I choose but miss
him, who taught me to be, to doe, and to suffer?" And this with a light
laugh, yet she lookt not merrie.

... Writing y^e above, I was interrupted by shrill cries either of woman
or boy, as of one in acute payn, and ran forthe of my chamber to learne
y^e cause. I met Bess coming hastilie out of y^e garden, looking
somewhat pale, and cried, "What is it?" She made answer, "Father is
having Dick Halliwell beaten for some evill communication with Jack.
'Tis seldom or never he proceedeth to such extremities, soe the offence
must needs have beene something pernicious; and, e'en as 'tis, father is
standing by to see he is not smitten over-much; ne'erthelesse, Giles
lays the stripes on with a will."

It turned me sick. I have somewhat of my mother in me, who was a tender
and delicate woman, that woulde weepe to see a bird killed by a cat. I
hate corporall punishments, and yet they've Scripture warrant. Father
seldom hath recourse to 'em; and yet we feare as well as love him more
than we doe mother, who, when she firste came among us, afore father had
softened her down a little, used to hit righte and left. I mind me of
her saying one day to her own daughter Daisy, "Your tucker is too low,"
and giving her a slap, mighte have beene hearde in Chelsea Reach. And
there was the stamp of a greate red hand on Daisy's white shoulder all
y^e forenoon, but the worst of it was, that Daisy tooke it with perfect
immoveabilitie, nor lookt in the leaste ashamed, which Scripture sayth
a daughter shoulde doe, if her parent but spit in her face, i.e. sett on
her some publick mark of contumely. Soe far from this, I even noted a
silent look of scorn, which payned me, for of all the denunciations in
Holy Writ, there is none more awfull to my mind than that which sayth,
"The eye that mocketh at father or mother," not alone the tongue, but
e'en the eye,--"the young ravens of the valley shall pick it out."

       *       *       *       *       *

Sayth Lord Rutland to my father, in his acute sneering way, "Ah, ah, Sir
Thomas, _Honores mutant mores_."

"Not so, in faith, my lord," returns father, "but have a care lest we
translate the proverb, and say, Honours change Manners."

It served him right, and the jest is worth preserving, because 'twas not
premeditate, as my lord's very likely was, but retorted at once and in
self-defence. I don't believe honours _have_ changed the Mores. As
father told mother, there's the same face under the hood. 'Tis comique,
too, the fulfilment of Erasmus his prophecy. Plato's year has not come
rounde, but they have got father to court, and the king seems minded
never to let him goe. For us, we have the same untamed spiritts and
unconstrayned course of life as ever, neither lett nor hindered in our
daylie studdies, though we dress somewhat braver, and see more companie.
Mother's head was a little turned, at first, by the change and
enlargment of the householde ... the acquisition of clerk of the
kitchen, surveyor of the dresser, yeoman of the pastrie, etc., but as
father laughinglie tolde her, the increase of her cares soon steddied
her witts, for she found she had twenty unthrifts to look after insteade
of half-a-dozen. And the same with himself. His responsibilities are so
increast, that he grutches at every hour the court steals from his
family, and vows, now and then, he will leave off joking that the king
may the sooner wearie of him. But this is onlie in jest, for he feels it
is a _power_ given him over lighter minds, which he may exert to usefull
and high purpose. Onlie it keepeth him from needing Damocles his sword;
he trusts not in the favour of princes nor in the voyce of the people,
and keeps his soul as a weaned child. 'Tis much for us now to get an
hour's leisure with him, and makes us feel what our olde privilleges
were when we knew 'em not. Still, I'm pleased without being over elated,
at his having risen to his proper level.

The king tooke us by surprise this morning: mother had scarce time to
slip on her scarlett gown and coif, ere he was in y^e house. His grace
was mighty pleasant to all, and, at going, saluted all round, which
Bessy took humourously, Daisy immoveablie, Mercy humblie, I
distastefullie, and mother delightedlie. She calls him a fine man; he is
indeede big enough, and like to become too big; with long slits of eyes
that gaze freelie on all, as who shoulde say "Who dare let or hinder
us?" His brow betokens sense and franknesse, his eyebrows are
supercilious, and his cheeks puffy. A rolling, straddling gait, and
abrupt speech.

'Tother evening, as father and I were, unwontedly, strolling together
down the lane, there accosts us a shabby poor fellow, with something
unsettled in his eye....

"Master, sir knight, and may it please your judgeship, my name is
Patteson."

"Very likely," says father, "and my name is More, but what is that to
the purpose?"

"And that is _more_ to the purpose, you mighte have said," returned the
other.

"Why, soe I mighte," says father, "but how shoulde I have proved it?"

"You who are a lawyer shoulde know best about that," rejoyned the poor
knave; "'tis too hard for poor Patteson."

"Well, but who are you?" says father, "and what do you want of me?"

"Don't you mind me?" says Patteson; "I played Hold-your-tongue, last
Christmasse revel was five years, and they called me a smart chap then,
but last Martinmasse I fell from y^e church steeple, and shook my
brain-pan, I think, for its contents have seemed addled ever since; soe
what I want now is to be made a fool."

"Then you are not one now?" says father.

"If I were," says Patteson, "I shoulde not have come to _you_."

"Why, like cleaves to like, you know they say," says father.

"Aye," says 'tother, "but I've reason and feeling enow, too, to know you
are no fool, though I thoughte you might want one. Great people like 'em
at their tables, I've hearde say, though I am sure I can't guesse why,
for it makes me sad to see fools laughed at; ne'erthelesse, as I get
laughed at alreadie, methinketh I may as well get paid for the job if I
can, being unable, now, to doe a stroke of work in hot weather. And I'm
the onlie son of my mother, and she is a widow. But perhaps I'm not bad
enough."

"I know not that, poor knave," says father, touched with quick pity,
"and, for those that laugh at fools, my opinion, Patteson, is, that they
are the greater fools who laugh. To tell you the truth, I had had noe
mind to take a fool into mine establishment, having always had a fancy
to be prime fooler in it myselfe; however, you incline me to change my
purpose, for, as I said anon, like cleaves to like, soe I'll tell you
what we will doe--divide the businesse and goe halves--I continuing the
fooling, and thou receiving the salary; that is, if I find, on inquiry,
thou art given to noe vice, including that of scurrillitie."

"May it like your goodness," says poor Patteson, "I've been the subject,
oft, of scurrillitie, and affect it too little to offend that way
myself. I ever keep a civil tongue in my head, 'specially among young
ladies."

"That minds me," says father, "of a butler who sayd he always was sober,
especially when he had cold water to drink. Can you read and write?"

"Well, and what if I cannot?" returns Patteson, "there ne'er was but
one, I ever heard of, that knew letters, never having learnt, and well
he might, for he made them that made them."

"Meg, there is sense in this poor fellow," says father, "we will have
him home and be kind to him."

And, sure enow, we have done so and been so ever since.

A glance at the anteceding pages of this libellus me-sheweth poor Will
Roper at y^e season his love-fitt for me was at its height. He troubleth
me with it no longer, nor with his religious disquietations. Hard studdy
of the law hath filled his head with other matters, and made him
infinitely more rationall, and by consequents, more agreeable. 'Twas one
of those preferences young people sometimes manifest, themselves know
neither why nor wherefore, and are shamed, afterwards, to be reminded
of. I'm sure I shall ne'er remind him. There was nothing in me to fix a
rational or passionate regard. I have neither Bess's witt nor white
teeth, nor Daisy's dark eyes, nor Mercy's dimple. A plain-favoured girl,
with changefulle spiritts--that's alle.

Patteson's latest jest was taking precedence of father yesterday, with
the saying, "Give place, brother; you are but jester to King Harry, and
I'm jester to Sir Thomas More; I'll leave you to decide which is y^e
greater man of the two."

"Why, gossip," cries father, "his grace woulde make two of me."

"Not a bit of it," returns Patteson, "he's big enow for two such as you
are, I grant ye, but the king can't make two of you. No! lords and
commons may make a king, but a king can't make a Sir Thomas More."

"Yes, he can," rejoyns father, "he can make me Lord Chancellor, and then
he will make me more than I am already; _ergo_ he will make Sir Thomas
more."

"But what I mean is," persists the fool, "that the king can't make such
another as you are, any more than all the king's horses and all the
king's men can put Humty-dumty together again, which is an ancient
riddle, and full of marrow. And soe he'll find, if ever he lifts thy
head off from thy shoulders, which God forbid."

Father delighteth in sparring with Patteson far more than in jesting
with y^e king, whom he alwaies looks on as a lion that may, any minute,
fall on him and rend him. Whereas, with 'tother, he ungirds his mind.
Their banter commonly exceeds not plesantrie, but Patteson is ne'er
without an answer, and although, maybe, each amuses himselfe now and
then with thinking, "I'll put him up with such a question," yet, once
begun, the skein runs off the reel without a knot, and shews the
excellent nature of both, soe free are they alike from malice and
over-license. Sometimes their cuts are neater than common listeners
apprehend. I've seen Rupert and Will, in fencing, make their swords
flash in the sun at every parry and thrust; agayn, owing to some change
in mine owne position, or the decline of y^e sun, the scintillations
have escaped me, though I've known their rays must have been emitted in
some quarter alle the same.

Patteson, with one of Argus's cast feathers in his hand, is at this
moment beneath my lattice, astride on a stone balustrade, while Bessy,
whom he much affects, is sitting on the steps, feeding her peacocks.
Sayth Patteson, "Canst tell me, mistress, why peacocks have soe manie
eyes in theire tails, and yet can onlie see with two in theire heads?"

"Because those two make them so vain alreadie, fool," says Bess, "that
were they always beholding theire own glory, they would be intolerable."

"And besides that," says Patteson, "the less we see or heare, either, of
what passes behind our backs, the better for us, since knaves will make
mouths at us then, for as glorious as we may be. Canst tell me,
mistress, why the peacock was the last bird that went into the ark?"

"First tell me, fool," returns Bess, "how thou knowest that it was soe?"

"Nay, a fool may ask a question w^d puzzle a wiseard to answer," rejoyns
Patteson; "I mighte ask you, for example, where they got theire fresh
kitchen-stuff in the ark, or whether the birds ate other than grains, or
the wild beasts other than flesh. It needs must have been a granary."

"We ne'er shew ourselves such fools," says Bess, "as in seeking to know
more than is written. They had enough, if none to spare, and we scarce
can tell how little is enough for bare sustenance in a state of perfect
inaction. If the creatures were kept low, they were all y^e less
fierce."

"Well answered, mistress," says Patteson; "but tell me, why do you wear
two crosses?"

"Nay, fool," returns Bess, "I wear but one."

"Oh, but I say you wear two," says Patteson, "one at your girdle, and
one that nobody sees. We alle wear the unseen one, you know. Some have
theirs of gold, alle carven and shaped, soe as you hardlie tell it for a
cross ... like my lord cardinall, for instance ... but it is one, for
alle that. And others, of iron, that eateth into their hearts ...
methinketh Master Roper's must be one of 'em. For me, I'm content with
one of wood, like that our deare Lord bore; what was goode enow for him
is goode enow for me, and I've noe temptation to shew it, as it isn't
fine, nor yet to chafe at it for being rougher than my neighbour's, nor
yet to make myself a second because it is not hard enow. Doe you take
me, mistress?"

"I take you for what you are," says Bess, "a poor fool."

"Nay, niece," says Patteson, "my brother your father hath made me
rich."

"I mean," says Bess, "you have more wisdom than witt, and a real fool
has neither, therefore you are only a make-believe fool."

"Well, there are many make-believe sages," says Patteson; "for mine owne
part, I never aim to be thoughte a Hiccius Doccius."

"A hic est doctus, fool, you mean," interrupts Bess.

"Perhaps I do," rejoins Patteson, "since other folks soe oft know better
what we mean than we know ourselves. Alle I woulde say is, I ne'er set
up for a conjuror. One can see as far into a millstone as other people
without being that. For example, when a man is overta'en with qualms of
conscience for having married his brother's widow, when she is noe
longer soe young and fair as she was a score of years ago, we know what
that's a sign of. And when an Ipswich butcher's son takes on him the
state of my lord pope, we know what that's a sign of. Nay, if a young
gentlewoman become dainty at her sizes, and sluttish in her apparel, we
... as I live, here comes John Heron with a fish in's mouth."

Poor Bess involuntarilie turned her head quicklie towards y^e watergate,
on which Patteson, laughing as he lay on his back, points upward with
his peacock's feather, and cries, "Overhead, mistress! see, there he
goes. Sure, you lookt not to see Master Heron making towards us between
y^e posts and flower-pots, eating a dried ling?" laughing as wildly as
though he were verily a natural.

Bess, without a word, shook the crumbs from her lap, and was turning
into the house, when he witholds her a minute in a perfectly altered
fashion, saying, "There be some works, mistress, our confessors tell us
be works of supererogation ... is not that y^e word? I learn a long one
now and then ... such as be setting food before a full man, or singing
to a deaf one, or buying for one's pigs a silver trough, or, for the
matter of that, casting pearls before a dunghill cock, or fishing for a
heron, which is well able to fish for itself, and is an ill-natured bird
after all, that pecks the hand of his mistress, and, for all her
kindness to him, will not think of Bessy More."

How apt alle are to abuse unlimited license? Yet 'twas good counsel.



PHANTOMS AND REALITIES.--AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY.[10]

PART THE THIRD--NIGHT.


I.

The whole color of my life was changed in a single night. Years of
excitement could not have wrought such a miracle upon me. The next day,
I seemed to have passed out of my former self into a new individual and
a new state of existence. I was no longer alone! I was no longer
drifting about, aimless and dreamy. There was work for me to do, and the
interest I had in it was vivid and engrossing.

What had become of the dwarf? Not a trace of him was to be found. I
examined the grass, and fancied I could detect two or three dark spots;
but there had been heavy showers in the night, and as the mould had been
thrown up here and there, discoloring the verdure, I could not determine
whether these spots were blood-marks, as I feared, or the mere beating
of rain and mire. But I did not trouble myself any further. Our
persecutor was gone. That was all we cared to be assured of; and our
next step was to escape from a place in which it was no longer safe for
us to remain.

That mournful voice was still in my ears; but the consciousness of
danger, the sense of triumph, the selfishness of happiness, out-clamored
it! Destined as it was to return in after-years in tones that always
seemed more piteous and more laden with pain and bitterness as that
miserable night receded further and further back into the darkness of
the past, it came upon me the next morning with something of a feeling
of asperity and antagonism. There was yet the risk that the dwarf might
re-appear, and as every thing concerning his rights and his probable
mode of proceeding was vague and uncertain, we were much more occupied
in thinking of our own security, than of his sufferings or wrongs.
Indeed, under the influence of the feelings that actuated us then, we
were strongly impressed with the conviction that the wrongs were all on
our side, and that whatever he might have suffered, was nothing more
than a measure of just punishment for having inflicted them.

People who do a wrong seldom have any difficulty in finding out excuses
and justifications for it. We certainly had abundant ground to complain
of the conduct of poor Mephistophiles. We were not aware that in those
moments of irritation and revenge we exaggerated his faults, and
palliated our own. We could see every thing he had done that was harsh,
or disagreeable, or unjust; we could see nothing we had done ourselves
that was not forced upon us in self-defense, and capable of vindication.
We had acted all throughout, upon a necessity he had woven round us like
a net. We were, in fact, the victims, and he was the cool, crafty,
heartless tempter and persecutor. We did all we could to forget the
brief gleam of humanity he had betrayed the evening before. What was
that, weighed against years of oppression and cruelty? And even if we
were inclined to admit that it showed his character in rather a better
light, it came too late to be entitled to any consideration from us. If
he had been capable of such manly feelings, why did he not exhibit them
sooner? But the truth was, we affected not to believe in the genuineness
of his emotions. He was such an habitual mimic, that he could assume any
mood that suited the occasion, and nobody could tell whether he was in
earnest or not, which warranted us in supposing that the whole of that
wild burst of passionate reproaches, apparently welling up out of
baffled and imploring love, might have been put on like any other piece
of cunning gesticulation.

I was quite willing to believe that the deep and harrowing emotion he
exhibited was mere acting, or at least a passing spasm of wounded
vanity, or even of love in its dying throes. It was comfortable to
suppose that he had endeavored to impose upon me to the last, to gull
and outrage me. I wanted some such apology to myself for hating him,
with that heart-rending cry rising up out of the earth, and ascending in
accents of unutterable grief to heaven! It was needful that I should
hate and despise him during the first few hours of that violent
transition which was to alter the whole face of things, and project me
into a new life, in which occupation and intercourse were to be
displaced by lonely wanderings and the isolation of the heart. It was
needful that I should have some strong sophism to bridge over the gulf
that was henceforth to yawn between me and mankind; and I felt that this
detestation of the dwarf was a link that still connected me with the
world I had forsaken.

I had not courage enough to attempt to do any justice to him. I did not
dare to imagine what his agonies must have been, if, indeed, he still
lived. I was plumed with conquest: he was crushed. I could only fancy
him crawling, bleeding, and straining himself along the earth, to creep
away and hide himself, and leave me to my happiness. But to relieve this
image of its appealing claims upon my pity or remorse, to arm myself
against a possibility of relenting, I associated this figure of the
wretch groveling out of sight with all that was venomous and treacherous
in the nature of reptiles. I refused to consider him human. Had I dared
to look into his heart--now that the wretch's last hope was extinct--to
gaze upon the misery which filled it to overflowing, if, indeed, he were
not dead, and his heart broken, how could I have held my head erect, and
looked into Astræa's face with eyes that rained joy, and pride, and
exultation into hers?

Some sorts of happiness are essentially cruel and selfish. Such was
hers--such was mine. We knew it; yet, although our natures were not
originally hard or narrow, we would not suffer ourselves to be generous
even in our thoughts toward him we had wronged. We were afraid to trust
our feelings in that direction.

Few questions passed between us that morning. We knew by instinct what
was before us, and what it was necessary for each of us to do. We had a
mutual terror that he was dead, but we did not give it utterance; there
was no need. We knew that the same fear was in both our minds, and we
tried to avoid it. We imagined that we ought to be very cheerful, and
banish all gloomy and distressing subjects. It was a kind of hymeneal
day with us! There were wild altars in our thoughts, hung with garlands,
and lighted up by sunshine; and to these we brought our vows and
offerings, and all the mirth and gayety, without much speech, we could
summon into our looks. There was a visible effort in all this at both
sides; but notwithstanding the ghastly hand, smeared with blood, that
seemed every now and then to come out of the darkness of the night, and
hold us back, our jubilee rode out the day valiantly.

Astræa did not go to the windows. This was not from an apprehension of
any thing she should see, but from a nervous aversion of the light,
which strangely affected her that morning. She kept her rooms darkened,
and busied herself over her preparations for departure. We hardly
exchanged a single word on the subject; yet both felt how imperative it
was to fly from that house. And flight it was; not mere traveling for
ease or pleasure. How rapidly we got through our task-work, and what
vivacity there was in our eyes and fingers! It was the eagerness to get
away, as if all our joys lay before us, and at a distance from that
place, which gave such activity to our motions. At a hasty glance it
might be supposed we were merrily occupied, there was so much alacrity
in the bustle we made; but the bent and silent heads offered a strange
contradiction to the busy hands.

At last the moment came when we were to take our departure. A thrill of
terror shot through our veins, as a close post-chaise, sweeping through
the trees, stopped suddenly at the door, where we stood in the shadow of
the portico, with our cases and boxes waiting for its arrival. The good
people of the house, somewhat alarmed, and hardly knowing what
construction to put upon this sudden movement, which they connected
vaguely with the mysteries of the night before, were dotted about the
gravel-walk and under the trees; two very old people and two or three
grandchildren, looking up helplessly at us, with a bewildering wonder in
their open mouths, which, under any other circumstances, might have
amused us; but we were not in a mood to appreciate points of humor.
Terror, shapeless and oppressive, shook us both to the core as I handed
Astræa into the post-chaise, and, hastily following her, closed the
door--leaving the windows open, that we might breathe freely, and see
every object distinctly around us, and in advance of us.

There was a desperate exultation in that moment, too!--a riotous sense
of fierce happiness! I was carrying away Astræa from the whole world!
Astræa was giving up the whole world for me! My heart beat loudly, and
poured its palpitating blood into my throbbing temples. The postillion
cracked his whip, and the panting horses started off with a plunge, as
if they would tear up the earth. We turned to each other--our faces were
lighted up with a flash of rapture--I clasped her hands in mine, and
showered a hundred burning kisses upon them; and when we cleared the
little valley, and felt the fresh breeze of the cool uplands upon our
cheeks, we thought that, from the days of the first innocence in the
garden of Eden to that hour, no two people ever loved each other so
passionately, or were ever so profoundly happy!


II.

The first hour of accomplished love is, perhaps, the only passage in a
man's life with which he is perfectly satisfied. It is the only reality
that does not disappoint the dream of expectation. There is no region of
speculation beyond it--its horizon bounds his world--its present engulfs
his past and his future. In all other circumstances, it is true that--

          Man never is, but always to be, blest;

but here the aphorism is falsified. In this brief hour, the lover is so
thoroughly "blest" as to have but one desire left--that it should last
forever! Clouds, surcharged with tears that will not flow, gather into
our eyes as we look back upon these memories.

What we both wanted was oblivion. We were anxious to forget every thing,
except the perilous delight we had borne, like a burning brand, out of
that dark struggle. We had the oblivion we desired--for a time. All
other considerations were absorbed in ourselves. The scenes and the
people with whom we had been mixed up, and the incidents that had driven
us out from among them, entered no more into our conversation than if
they had never existed. We felt that we had given up the old life, and
had begun a new one, and that an effort was necessary to strengthen
ourselves against any suggestions of pity or remorse that might point
toward the waste and ashes we had left behind us. We felt, too, that
those efforts hardened us; but people who harden themselves for each
other's sake against the rest of the world, have a great faith in their
own sensibility while the process of hardening is going on. They even
believe that the more callous they become, and the more completely they
isolate their sympathies, the more tenderness they are capable of
developing to each other. It is like people who bar up their doors and
windows to enjoy themselves by themselves, forgetting that all genial
and healthy elements and influences--light, sunshine, air--are diffusive
and universal.

I took precautions to avoid the danger of being tracked. I knew not what
I had to dread--what shapes of revenge or retribution might follow me;
but whether law or vengeance, it was equally necessary, at least while
blood on both sides was hot, to cut off all pursuit. Dismissing the
post-chaise outside Dover, we walked into the town, having sent our
luggage forward by a different conveyance. I urged upon Astræa the
necessity of avoiding public places at present--that we should not be
seen on the drive or the esplanade--that, in short, we ought to keep as
much is possible in obscurity. The color mounted into her cheeks as I
spoke to her, and heavy rolling clouds seemed to course ever her face.
It was early to open the book of fate for omens of the future! She had
never thought of this before. The actual details and humiliations of the
Pariah's life had never presented themselves to her; and this unexpected
suggestion of the ban that shut us out from the open daylight of the
world around us, fell heavily upon her. It was the first blush of
shame! But shaking off her rich tresses, which in the heat and flurry
had fallen down over her shoulders, she looked up at me, and laughed--a
brave laugh, that chilled me to the heart.

Passing out of Dover in a carriage which we hired at the further end of
the town, we made our way in the haze of the evening toward a scattered
village on the coast near Walmer Castle. Here we established ourselves,
quite secure from interruption, and with ample opportunity, in the way
of leisure, to reflect upon our situation, and strike out permanent
plans for the future.

Leisure it was, most rare and ethereal! We had nothing on earth to do
but to walk out, and walk in again, and look at each other all day long.
The interminable stretches of strand we paced, hour after hour; the old
wooden huts on the beach, white as silver, that the sea used to beat
against every day, leaving little crests of foam in the hollows between
them, to glisten there for a moment, till the sand sucked them up; the
row of marine cottages, with pea-green shutters, and small gardens in
front, boxed up with tarred railings, and cut in the centre by a single
walk, strewn all over with the dust and fragments of shells; the single
bathing-machine that served the whole village, and seemed even too much
for it, and that looked as if it had never moved out of the one spot,
with its rusty wheels half buried in the drift of gravel and
sea-weed--all such little unchangeable items of that marvelous leisure
are strongly impressed upon me. It would have been very dreary if we had
not had something in ourselves to fall back upon; and as long as that
lasted, we bore up against the flatness and sameness of our lives. The
sea, of all things, grows heavy and wearing to people whose
constitutions are not capable of drinking in health and elasticity from
its exhilarating breezes. There is nothing so monotonous as the wailing
and lashing sea, especially in the night time, when darkness covers it,
and its presence is announced only by that eternal surging and moaning
of the waters which strike upon the invalided fancy like the cries of
suffering spirits. The seaboard population on the coast of Brittany have
an ocean superstition which exactly answers to this interpretation of
the peculiar melancholy of the waves, soughing and pining along the
beach at night.

We liked this solitude at first. It left us entirely to ourselves, which
was precisely the ideal life we had yearned for. The same objects every
day in our walks--the same objects every moment to look out upon from
our windows--the same faces, few or none, on the desolate sands--the
very same sky, with hardly any variation, although the slightest
fluctuation in the points of the wind, or the current of the clouds,
produced a sensation! It suited us at first, for we had no space in our
thoughts for external objects, and the total absence of all excitement
threw us more in upon ourselves. But even then it was sad. Such days of
idleness--such idle dalliance--such a happy negation of all action and
effort! How long was this to last? or rather, how long could such a life
last for two people who felt within themselves aspirations for movement
and results of some kind?

Although we hid ourselves in this retirement for several months, I did
not consider it necessary to adopt the further security of changing my
name. I yielded to the prudence of avoiding a collision with the dwarf,
if he still lived; but I shrank from the meanness of denying myself to
any demand that might be made upon us, should my retreat be discovered.
All links between us and London were broken. For three months, Astræa
had had no communication with any body. Her friends and relations might
have supposed that she was dead, which she wished them to think. She
knew that she was dead to the world, and that she should never re-enter
it; and she only looked forward to the moment when she might put her
house in order, and sit down for the rest of her life in tranquillity
and obscurity. In the beginning, this was a gladdening prospect to her;
her high spirits and bounding enthusiasm sped onward into the future,
and filled it with images of love in a state of beatitude; but as time
advanced, and the dreary sea fell dismally on her ears, and the long
walks on the beach had lost their freshness, and there was nothing to be
read in each others' faces, which had not been read there ten thousand
times over--except, perhaps, an increasing look of care and
anxiety--this prospect of settling down, alone, away from human
intercourse, without any object to live for, without motives to
exertion--without aims, purpose, occupation--with a brand upon us that
seemed stamped upon our foreheads, so that we dared not venture into the
haunts of our fellow-men, lest they should shun us or expel us from
among them--this prospect, as time advanced, grew darker and darker, and
Astræa, still buoyant and energetic, and strong in her resolves,
relinquished slowly the charming pictures she had drawn in her
imagination, and came down to the most prosaic views of our position,
tinged from day to day with tints that grew more and more sombre. The
bright colors of the poetry had all faded.

With the agent of my property in the north I was in constant
correspondence. To him alone I confided my address, and through him
received all letters and communications that were left for me in London
or elsewhere. Strange to say, that for three months no intelligence
reached us concerning the dwarf; nor had I any means of procuring
information, unless I intrusted my agent with my secret, which I
considered unsafe. I was unwilling to originate any inquiry on the
subject. It was for him to seek me, not for me to follow him. He could
have had no difficulty in reaching me by a letter, and his silence
seemed to imply either that he had abandoned all further thoughts of
revenge, or, which was more likely, that he was dead.

As the days shortened into winter, and the howling winds came early in
the evenings, and drove us home a dreary hour or two before dinner, to
get through the interval as well as we could by the fireside, our
reserve on personal matters gradually wore off, and it became a relief
to us to talk freely upon the topics which we had hitherto been
reluctant to approach. These wintry conversations, leading to nothing,
yet wonderfully animated by bitterness of spirit, showed the change that
Astræa's character was undergoing. She was more easily chafed by
contradiction than she used to be, and dwelt more upon words, and small
points, and trifles which formerly she would have hurried over with
indifference; conversation degenerated, I could hardly tell how, into
discussion; and notwithstanding the ascendency and elevation of her
language and her manner, I could see that there was less real strength
behind, and that beneath the calmness which still sat loftily upon her,
there was much secret and repressed agitation. Sometimes she presented
to me the idea of a woman who was sustaining an habitual expression of
command and self-possession by the mere energy of her will, and who,
when that failed her, would break down at once, and be shattered, like a
vase, in the fall.

The winter was deepening round us, and drifting gales ran shudderingly
along the bleak strand, and rising over the waters, lashed them into
fury, till they broke upon the ears like distant thunder. Sometimes
there was an epic grandeur in these scenes, when a rush of black clouds,
descending upon the sea, blotted out its mighty palpitations, burying
it, and the masses that floated on its surface, under one vast pall,
which hung there like a curtain, till the lightning rent it open and
disclosed an horizon of fire. But these occasional changes, although
they imparted a little variety to the out-of-door scene, only helped to
make our in-door life more _triste_, by shutting us up half the day in
the house.

The seasons are all-important to two people who are living apart from
the world. It is surprising how much depends upon their
fluctuations--how the temper, the health, the desire of life and
capacity of enjoyment, are affected by the aspect of the morning, the
turn of the day at noon, the intermittent shower, the shifting of the
wind, the cold, the heat. When people are occupied, these things have
little influence upon them, and very often none at all. But to the
listless and idle--especially when they are constrained into idleness
against their inclinations--the slightest incident that breaks the dull
monotony of the day is magnified into an event.

What were we to do in these short, dismal days, and long, shivering
nights? Books? Newspapers? We had both, and tired of them. The power of
abstraction necessary for the enjoyment of books was no longer at our
command. We could not abstract ourselves from our own thoughts to enter
into the political controversies of history, or the fictitious sorrows
of the novel or romance. The newspaper had some attraction at first. We
looked out for the names of people we knew. Births, marriages, and
deaths, which, I believe, I had never read in my life before, were now
explored with breathless curiosity. But week by week, and month by
month, our curiosity diminished; and as we became more and more divorced
from society, and our personal interest in it fell away, the newspaper
lost its charm. It lay sometimes untouched upon the table. Astræa
relinquished it first; and although I dawdled over it every day out of
sheer inanition, it only yielded me a sort of excuse for silence. Astræa
saw that I used it as a refuge against a _tête-à-tête_ after breakfast,
and had the good sense to provide herself with other occupations, so
that she should not seem to be deserted for the newspaper!

This was all very well in the morning. But when the rapid darkness fell,
and evening and night came, how was time to be filled? It was not always
pleasant to sit listening to the savage roar of the waters across the
high road in front of our windows, or to watch the flickering of the
lights, or the ripple of the curtain, as the wind, forcing its way into
the house in spite of all precautions, exhibited a special curiosity to
investigate every cranny of our small apartment. We had no resource but
to talk. Reading, as a habit, under such circumstances, with a fear and
doubt upon our minds, which had latterly grown terribly alarming, from
the interval of time that had elapsed without one word to clear up the
mystery that haunted us, would have driven us mad. We were compelled to
turn to each other, and talk in those dismal winter nights; and as the
one subject was insensibly acquiring a monopoly of our thoughts, we
could not help constantly reverting to it. At last we brooded so much
over it, that, whatever subject we began upon, we were sure to drop into
and end with that.

It was natural we should be much occupied with a matter which concerned
us so deeply. Five months had now passed away since the night we last
saw the dwarf, and we had a right to suppose that, if he still lived,
his vengeance was not idle. Yet we had never heard of him, although, had
he taken any steps to trace us, they must have reached me through the
channel by which all other communications were conveyed to me. Had he
abandoned the revenge he had threatened us with, or were all animosities
between us discharged in the grave? My belief was, that he was
dead--judging partly from his wound, and the dreadful excitement he had
undergone, which was not unlikely to prove fatal to a frame so liable to
snap from any violent action. Astræa thought otherwise: she was
convinced that he still lived, and that he was cherishing some subtle
scheme to destroy us. She said that she knew him better than I did, and
over and over again cautioned me to be upon my guard. I urged the
necessity of endeavoring to obtain the requisite information, to set
our doubts at rest, and proposed to go to London privately for the
purpose. But Astræa strongly resisted that proceeding. She did not care
to obtain any information. How would it help us? _Suppose he was dead?_

The course she took upon this subject gave me some uneasiness. I echoed
in my own heart the question she so frequently started, but which I
could never answer. _Suppose he was dead?_ I could only suppose it; I
could not follow the speculation any further. Astræa may have
conjectured that all was mist and storm in my mind beyond that point,
and was therefore indifferent about clearing up our present position.
She thought it better to leave things as they were, than to open new
sources of embarrassment--perhaps of sorrow and bitterness!

This was the main topic between us. We talked over it perpetually, and
used to sit up long past midnight, weaving foolish webs of things that
might never be, and unweaving things that had been, for the sake of
fancying how differently we might have woven them had we had the threads
from the first in our own hands! One night--a gusty, dry, cold
night--while we were thus engaged, as usual, in a kind of waking dream
over the fire, a sudden knock at the door startled the whole house. It
was a very small house, or cottage, and the sound ran all up the little
stairs, and seemed to enter bodily every one of the little rooms. It was
a peremptory and nervous knock. The circumstance was extraordinary in
itself, particularly at that hour; and before the owner of the house,
who occupied the rooms below, could make up his mind to open the door,
he thought it necessary to take my opinion and counsel on the subject.

"If it be for you, sir, what am I to say?" cried the man, looking a
little pale and terrified.

"For me? That is very unlikely--very. But if it should be--"

"At home, of course," said Astræa. "If it be any body for us, show them
up."

We listened anxiously, as the landlord went down stairs. Astræa was
quite collected, and sat opposite the door of our apartment, so that
whoever entered should see her at once. Presently the bolts were
withdrawn, and the chain dropped--for in these small houses they adopted
precautions in the winter season, when the poor, like the birds, were
starved out, and are occasionally compelled to commit depredations for
food. A stranger entered the hall. We heard the tramp of his boots, and
could distinguish clearly that there was but one person. There was a
flutter for a moment below, and then the stranger, following the
landlord, ascended the stairs. The door opened, and a man, warmly
muffled up, entered the room. We both rose. He looked at us for a
moment--spoke to me by my name--but I recognized neither his features
nor his voice. One fact, however, was obvious--he was not our
Mephistophiles.


III.

"You have forgotten me," said the stranger. "I am not surprised at it.
Many years have elapsed, and great changes have happened since we
parted."

I scrutinized him carefully. His voice awakened some dim associations,
but nothing distinctly; and I could not recall where or when I had seen
him before. At length, just as I had almost given it up, it burst upon
me all at once.

"Forrester!" I exclaimed.

"You find me altered: but it is only in appearance. We all alter in
time. I hope you will not think I have intruded unwarrantably upon you.
The truth is--but"--and he turned hesitatingly toward Astræa, who was
still standing, looking on, and wondering at the scene before her.

I finished the sentence for him by introducing him to her in a hurried
way. It was the first time such a ceremony had taken place. I did not
know how it was to be done exactly, and felt at a loss how to designate
her. To escape the difficulty, I simply presented him, but did not
repeat her name. The circumstance was trifling in itself, and proceeded,
on my part, from delicacy, rather than any evasion of responsibility;
but I thought Astræa, as she made a very formal courtesy to the
stranger, looked hurt and angry. Slight things were beginning to jar
upon her nerves; and it was not until I noticed the effect of this
trivial action upon her, that I had the least suspicion she would have
even noticed it.

Forrester was much altered. His face had grown thinner, and was bronzed
all over; his figure had spread out, and become gaunt; and his voice had
fallen into a low, husky tone, in which I could trace hardly a single
reminiscence of those modulations in which he used to relate ghost
stories, and other strange narratives, with such wonderful _gusto_ and
effect. The sight of him--seated there in a great cushioned chair by the
fireside that winter's night, talking in his deep voice, brought back a
flood of memories. A youth of mental sorcery and disordered
passion--things inexplicable in themselves, and marvelous in their
issues--returned upon me, bringing with them the awe and superstition of
the old creed. It was like a piece of enchantment. I was living in that
world of spirits over again; and as I observed Forrester stretch out his
long, sharp fingers over the table, I could not help thinking that he
was come on a mission from a potentate, whom people generally name with
more terror than respect. Of course, I shook off these absurd fancies;
and after a few general revelations on both sides, during which he told
me that he had spent all the intervening years in wandering, chiefly in
the East, and that he had found his way back to England only within the
last two months, I inquired how he had discovered our retreat.

"I was anxious to see you again," he replied, "and having found and lost
several traces of you in London, I went into the north, believing that
there, at least, I should obtain some satisfactory tidings. Your agent
knew me, and was, perhaps, more confidential with me than he would have
been with others." He paused, as if he was not quite sure whether he
ought to enter into particulars before Astræa. My only apprehension was,
that he was about to make some allusion to former circumstances in which
we had been mutually interested, and intimating to him by a sign, which
he evidently understood, my desire to avoid all those matters, I
requested him to continue his narrative.

"Pray go on," said I, assuming an appearance of the utmost candor; "we
have no secrets from each other."

"He seemed to think that something had happened which rendered it
necessary for you to keep out of London," Forrester resumed. "This first
attracted my attention, and, being an idle man, I thought my services
might be of some use to you. I had great difficulty in prevailing on him
to give me your address, nor would he consent to give it until I had
made some inquiries in certain quarters in town, which he indicated to
me. He had strong suspicions that there was danger in those quarters;
and the only inducement I could bribe him with was that I should
ascertain whether his suspicions were well founded, in order that I
might apprise you of the result. He would have done all this himself,
but he was afraid you might think it a liberty."

"Well, my steward is certainly a shrewd fellow; but I can not imagine
what inquiries he could have set you upon."

Forrester looked at me very earnestly. He had small gray eyes, and when
he was moved by any strong feeling, the light that came into them
conveyed it with most singular effect. At this moment, in his eyes and
in his voice, there was an unmistakable expression of grief and
compassion as he pronounced the name of the dwarf.

I confess I was startled at the sound. The mystery that had always hung
over Forrester was darker than ever. He was utterly unlike all other
men. Whatever subject or business he took an interest in, seemed to grow
into solemn importance under his hands, and to acquire an unaccountable
fascination from his connection with it. His attenuated figure, the
habit of loneliness which imparted such severe and inflexible gravity to
his features, his very dress, loose, careless, and slouching, all helped
to give a peculiar force to his words. Had the Wandering Jew suddenly
appeared before us, and mentioned the name of the dwarf, I could not
have been more astonished. My steward was ignorant of my acquaintance
with him, and Forrester had left England before it began. By what means,
then, could Forrester have obtained a clew to him? It really looked like
a stroke of diablerie.

"You knew him, then?" inquired Astræa, quite as much surprised as I was
myself.

"I have known him many years," he returned.

"How very strange!" I observed. "This gentleman," I continued, turning
to Astræa, "is a very old friend of mine. Long before I knew you, we
were much together; at one time inseparable. Yet I never heard him speak
of--did you know him _then_?" I inquired of Forrester.

"Yes, intimately. I was in his confidence. There is nothing surprising
in that."

"Oh, no; only it _does_ seem odd, that, in London, where there are so
many hundreds of thousands of human beings, people should find so many
common acquaintances in the crowd."

"We can generally trace the wonder to very natural causes, if we will
only take the trouble to look into it. You made his acquaintance through
a friend of mine--in fact, through me!"

It was so; and I had forgotten all about it. Forrester's knowledge of
the dwarf was, therefore, antecedent to my own; and, curiously enough,
it was my acquaintance with him that led to my introduction to the
family. How very strangely these things seemed to come about, and to
bring me back to the time when Forrester held my destiny in his
power!--an age of exciting experiences, equal in emotion and reaction to
a whole life-time, had passed in the interval, and here he was now
returned suddenly, and sitting at my hearth, with the threads of my fate
again in his hands!

I was all impatience to know whether the dwarf still lived, but was
afraid to ask the question, or, rather, to betray my anxiety about it.
Astræa, as usual, was more courageous.

"You have seen him, then? It was to him, I presume, the steward directed
your inquiries?"

"Exactly so; but I must beg an indemnity for the man's zeal, if you
think he did wrong in confiding his fears to me."

"These old servants," I replied, "will do things their own way. Pray go
on. You saw him?"

"Yes, I saw him."

"How long since?"

"I left him only last night."

At these words, I took the liberty of indulging myself with a very long
breath, which I certainly had not ventured upon since the beginning of
this nervous conversation; and even Astræa, _malgré_ her grand air of
indifference, looked a little more at her ease.

"I will tell you every thing exactly as it happened. I came here to tell
it to you, hoping I might be the means of rendering some service--at
both sides. If I should say any thing painful to either, you must
forgive me. My intention is not to inflict fresh wounds, but to heal old
ones."

We assured him that we accepted his kindness as it was meant; and he
then went on.

"Harley (that was the name of the steward) suspected that you had had a
quarrel in that quarter; and in the course of some inquiries he had
made, he discovered that your antagonist, as he supposed, had been shot,
and his fears, following up this discovery, led him to apprehend
nothing less than a criminal prosecution. Finding that I was personally
acquainted with the gentleman, he entreated me to ascertain exactly how
the case stood. I knew nothing more. Harley threw out some vague
conjectures as to the cause of this supposed quarrel; but they were so
very vague, that I thought it best to dismiss them from my mind
altogether, and to obtain the information I sought from the principal
himself. You must remember that I have not yet heard your version of the
affair; and that I am now about to give you his.

"It is about a month since I first saw him. He was in a small room
leading from his bedchamber, and was apparently suffering great pain. An
extraordinary change had taken place in him since I had formerly known
him. His person was emaciated almost to a skeleton, showing his angular
and ungainly form at a distressing disadvantage. His face had withered
away to a narrow point under the large bones of his head, which looked
larger than ever, with his great shock hair starting out from it on all
sides. The skin of his face had become crimped and yellow; but the most
remarkable change of all was, that his hair, a dark auburn when I knew
him, was quite silvery, not exactly white or gray, but gleaming all
over. This gave him almost an unearthly appearance.

"The weather was cold, and pinched him; and after the first few words of
recognition were over, he told me that the changes of the season
affected him severely. A bullet was lodged somewhere in his shoulder,
and the easterly winds always inflicted excruciating agonies upon him in
consequence. This led to an inquiry as to how it happened, which brought
out the whole narrative."

Forrester here entered into all the details, which were accurate enough
in the main, only that they were drawn from the dwarf's point of sight,
and colored by his own vehemence and malice. We constantly stopped
Forrester, to set him right on particular points; and long before he had
wound up the story, we found ourselves embroiled in assertions and
rejoinders, which must have greatly bewildered him. Without wasting time
over matters with which the reader is already acquainted, I will confine
myself to the only new facts Forrester had to relate to us.

On the night when we had the rencontre with the little demon, the ball,
as I apprehended, had struck him in the scuffle, and entering the fleshy
part of the arm, had settled in the back. Crawling off in considerable
pain, when he found that his appeal to Astræa was useless, and bleeding
the whole way, he regained a carriage which was waiting for him at a
little distance, and drove back to London. His intention was to return
the next day; but loss of blood, agony of mind, prostration of strength,
and physical pain rendered the journey impossible. For several days his
life hung on a thread, and two or three months elapsed before he was
able to move about the house. An awful change had passed over him in
the mean while! It cost even Astræa some struggle to hide the shock
which Forrester's description of his sufferings inflicted on her. Poor
Astræa! she had need to shut her heart against pity, and to crush all
tenderness out of her nature. This was her work--and mine! What would
have become of her if she had allowed herself to look back upon it, and
think, and feel? No, no; she dared not look there with a woman's eyes or
a woman's heart. It would have killed her, had she felt it, and given
way to it. And so she sat and listened, and looked cold and angry by
turns, as if his miseries were an impertinence and a wrong to her;
trying to take refuge against remorse in a great bravery of hate and
contempt!

He related the whole history to Forrester who had been in his confidence
about the marriage from the beginning. We had no suspicion of the
inordinate love, suppressed, chafed, galled, and tortured into madness,
he had borne to Astræa all through those years of malediction, during
which he had exhausted every form of threat and appeal to enforce his
rights. He had hoped on wildly to the last. He had watched the progress
of my attachment to her, and had encouraged it under a frantic delusion,
that the final detection of it would place her at his mercy. His mind
had been so wrought upon by this terrible passion, and the plots and
schemes he was forever weaving to win or ensnare her, that much of his
conduct which had appeared to me monstrous and absurd, became
susceptible of a sufficiently obvious solution.

He assigned as a reason for not having adopted legal means to compel the
fulfillment of the contract, his fear of driving Astræa to extremities.
He had always apprehended that the moment he adopted any step of that
kind, she would make her escape from him; and his policy was to keep on
terms with her, at all events, and by a system of small, perpetual
persecution, to subjugate her at last.

And now that she was gone, and that she had put the world between them,
what course did he intend to pursue? Implacable vengeance against
me--peace and pardon for her! This unintelligible being, whose person
was not more hideous than his mind, had yet in the depths of his nature
one drop of sweetness that redeemed and made him human. This love had
survived all hatreds and revenges; and now that hope was over, that its
object never could soothe his agonies or reward his devotion, that even
the sufferings he was undergoing on her account only rendered him more
repulsive in her eyes, nothing but tenderness and forgiveness toward her
remained, with the bitterest regrets and self-accusations for the wrongs
he had done her and the issues to which he had forced her. How such a
flower of noble and delicate feeling could have sprung up in such a soil
was, indeed, inexplicable. But it is wonderful how a great sorrow
purifies and strengthens the soul!

But for me? There was no clemency for me. The concentrated venom of his
nature was reserved for a man who had robbed him of the miserable right
of persecuting Astræa. Had I simply made her unhappy by awakening a
passion in her heart, and then abandoning her upon the discovery of her
situation (which was exactly what he appeared to have calculated upon),
he would have forgiven me; he might have even been grateful to me for
having humiliated her, and cast her helpless at his feet. But the crime
I had committed in loving her too well to forsake her, admitted of no
palliation. He could extract nothing out of it but vengeance. The
sleepless hostility with which the Indian follows the trail of his foe,
is not more vindictive and persevering than the feelings of hatred with
which he coiled himself up for the spring which he was nursing all his
strength to make upon me. He had not yet been able to get out of the
house--but he was coming! No inducements, no arguments, founded on mercy
or justice, could move him to sue for a dissolution of the marriage. He
was determined to hold that horror over our heads, so that the vulture
should tear our hearts, and shriek "despair!" in our ears forever and
ever. He had the power in his own hands to embitter our whole lives, and
could distill the last dregs of the poison that was to rack and madden
us.

I did not expect any other sort of treatment from him. To me he was
still the same crooked fiend he had ever been. So far as I was
concerned, he was perfectly consistent; and although I secretly admired
the relenting spirit he exhibited toward Astræa, recognizing in it the
elements of a tenderness which circumstances had stunted, as nature had
stunted his person, I could not help feeling that his malice, now that
it could avail him nothing except the gratification of a wanton revenge,
fully justified henceforth any reprisals opportunity might enable me to
make. It plucked out all commiseration, and obliterated the injury (if
injury there were) of which he complained.

It seemed to me, that of all three it was I who had the greatest reason
to complain. Ignorant of the existence of his claim upon Astræa, and
meeting her as a free agent, I had formed this attachment, and won her
love before I became acquainted with the position in which she was
placed. What right had he to complain, if, having kept his rights hidden
from the world, he found me unknowingly trespassing upon them? The law
might certainly hold me responsible, but moral claim upon me I felt he
had none.

We eagerly inquired of Forrester as to the nature of the terrible
retribution he intended to exact; but there Forrester could give us no
information. Mephistophiles was impenetrable on that subject; and all
that could be exacted from him was, that he would have a reckoning with
us at his own time, and in his own way. Forrester, who knew his nature
well, inferred from the vehemence of his expression that this reckoning
would be carried out in a spirit of calm, demoniacal revenge, against
which it would be impossible to set up any safeguards; and that, if we
could not, by a legal separation, place Astræa under the protection of
the laws, the only course that remained, as a measure of security, was
to leave the kingdom. It was, in fact, to warn us of our danger, and to
give us this friendly advice, that he had sought us out.

Astræa agreed with Forrester in his view of the dwarf's character, and
was equally persuaded that whatever plan of vengeance he adopted, would
be marked by subtlety and perseverance. But she was by no means disposed
to fly from the danger. On the contrary, she thought it advisable to
confront it, and ascertain the worst at once. What had we to fear?
Personal violence was out of the question. He would never bring his own
life into jeopardy by attempting ours. She believed he was quite capable
of the most dastardly and treacherous crime; but she thought he was too
cunning, cautious, and selfish, to contemplate a mode of revenge which
could not be accomplished without risk to himself. In any case, however,
she was clearly convinced that the best plan was to go boldly upon him
at once. It was like taking the sting out of a nettle, by grasping it
suddenly. She thought he would shrink from publicity; and that if we
refused to give him a struggle in the dark, we should effectually baffle
him.

There was much reason in this argument. Men like our dwarf always avoid
direct collisions when they can. They fight at a disadvantage unless
they are permitted to use their own weapons and their own tactics. On
the other hand, there was a serious objection to this mode of
proceeding. In her passionate aversion to the dwarf, and her eagerness
to publish her defiance and contempt of him, Astræa had overlooked the
peculiarities of our situation, unconscious of the way in which the
world would be likely to regard an open demonstration such as she
recommended. She had not yet acquired the full flavor of that obloquy
which waits upon those who outrage social conventions; scarcely a
_soupçon_ of its bitterness had troubled her palate!

But Forrester and I had seen and experienced too much of human life not
to distrust the policy of flying in the face of society. We knew that
the recoil would strike us down. A middle course was, therefore, hit
upon, and finally adopted. It was agreed that Forrester should go back
to London, for the purpose of seeing the dwarf again, armed with
authority from us to open a negotiation for a divorce--thus, at least,
showing that we were ready to meet all the legal consequences of our
act, and throwing upon him the consequences of a refusal.

Long after midnight we sat discussing these questions, and were forcibly
impressed throughout by the quiet earnestness with which Forrester
entered into our feelings. He was the only friend we had--the only one
that had come to us in the season of darkness and trouble, and we clung
to him wildly in our loneliness.

The next day he went back to London, promising to return within two
days. It seemed to us that those two days lasted a month. At length they
passed away, but Forrester had not returned. A third and a fourth day
passed, and our impatience became intolerable. Morning and night we
watched in agonizing suspense; but the sun rose and set, and still
Forrester had not returned.

  (TO BE CONTINUED.)



SOMNAMBULISM.


That a person deeply immersed in thought, should, like Dominie Sampson,
walk along in a state of "prodigious" unconsciousness, excites no
surprise, from the frequency of the occurrence; but that any one should,
when fast asleep, go through a series of complicated actions which seem
to demand the assistance of the senses while closed against ordinary
external impressions is, indeed, marvelous. Less to account for this
mysterious state of being, than to arrange such a series of facts as may
help further inquiry into the subject, we have assembled several curious
circumstances regarding somnambulism.

Not many years ago a case occurred at the Police-office at Southwark, of
a woman who was charged with robbing a man while he was walking in his
sleep during the daytime along High-street, in the Borough, when it was
proved in evidence that he was in the habit of walking in his
somnambulic fits through crowded thoroughfares. He was a plasterer by
trade, and it was stated in court that it was not an uncommon thing for
him to fall asleep while at work on the scaffold, yet he never met with
any accident, and would answer questions put to him as if he were awake.
In like manner, we are informed that Dr. Haycock, the Professor of
Medicine at Oxford, would, in a fit of somnambulism, preach an eloquent
discourse; and some of the sermons of a lady who was in the habit of
preaching in her sleep have been deemed worthy of publication.

We remember meeting with the case of an Italian servant, who was a
somnambulist, and who enjoyed the character of being a better waiter
when he was asleep than when he was awake. Every book on the subject
repeats the anecdote which has been recorded of the blind poet, Dr.
Blacklock, who, on one occasion, rose from his bed, to which he had
retired at an early hour, came into the room where his family were
assembled, conversed with them, afterward entertained them with a
pleasant song, and then retired to his bed; and when he awoke, had not
the least recollection of what he had done. Here, however, on the very
threshold of the mystery, we meet with this difficulty--were these
persons, when they performed the actions described, partially awake, or
were they really in a state of profound sleep? In solving this problem,
we shall proceed to consider some of the phenomena of somnambulism,
premising only that if we avail ourselves of cases which the reader may
before have met with, it is to throw light on what we may, perhaps, call
the physiology of this very curious affection.

There can be no doubt that somnambulism is hereditary. Horstius
mentions three brothers who were affected with it at the same period;
and Dr. Willis knew a whole family subject to it. It is considered by
all medical men as a peculiar form of disease. It seldom manifests
itself before the age of six, and scarcely ever continues beyond the
sixtieth year. It depends, physically, upon the susceptibility or
delicacy of the nervous system; and on this account females are more
liable to it than males; and in youth it manifests itself more
frequently than in mature age. It is caused mentally by any violent and
profound emotion; as well as by excessive study, and over-fatiguing the
intellectual faculties. Some persons walk periodically in their sleep;
the fit returns at stated intervals--perhaps two or three times only in
the month. It has been also observed--although we by no means vouch for
the fact--by an eminent German physician, that some persons walk at the
full, others at the new moon, but especially at its changes. One German
authority--Burdach--goes the comical length of asserting that the
propensity of somnambulists to walk on the roofs of houses is owing to
the attraction of the moon, and that they have a peculiar pleasure in
contemplating the moon, even in the day time. Whatever may be the cause
of the affection, somnambulism undoubtedly assumes different degrees of
intensity. The first degree evinces itself by the movements we have
referred to and by sleep-talking. This stage is said to be marked by an
impossibility of opening the eyes, which are as if glued together. There
are many curious circumstances to be observed concerning sleep-talking.
The intonation of the voice differs from the waking state, and persons
for the most part express themselves with unusual facility.

We were acquainted with a young lady accustomed to sit up in bed and
recite poetry in her sleep, whose mother assured us that she sometimes
took cognizance of circumstances which she could not, in any way,
account for. On one occasion they had been to a ball; and, after the
daughter was in bed and asleep, her mother went quietly into her room,
and taking away her dress and gloves deposited them in another room.
Presently, as usual, the fair somnambule began talking in her sleep; her
mother entered, as usual, into conversation with her; and, at length,
asked, "But what have you done with your new ball-dress?" "Why, you
know," replied she, "you have laid it on the couch in the drawing-room."
"Yes," continued the mother, "but your gloves--what have you done with
them?" "You know well enough," she answered, in an angry tone, "you have
locked them up in your jewel-box." Both answers were correct; and it may
be here observed that somnambulists, if equivocated with in
conversation, or in any way played upon, will express themselves
annoyed, and betray angry feelings. The truthfulness of sleep-talking
may, we apprehend, always be relied on. In this state there is no
attempt at evasion; no ingenuity exercised to disguise any thing. The
master-mind of Shakspeare--which seems to have divined the secrets of
Nature, and illustrated scientific principles before they were
discovered by philosophers--recognized this fact, in making Iago thus
rouse the jealousy of Othello:

          "There are a kind of men so loose of soul
          That in their sleep will mutter their affairs;
          One of this kind is Cassio.
          In sleep I heard him say, 'Sweet Desdemona,
          Let us be wary.'"

Hitherto Othello had borne up manfully against the cruel insinuations of
Iago--but this sleep-revelation "denoted a foregone conclusion," and
carried with it irresistible conviction. Upon the same principle, Lord
Byron founded the story of "Parisina." Not long ago a robbery was
committed in Scotland, which was discovered by one of the guilty parties
being overheard muttering some facts connected with it in his sleep.
Mental anxiety will, almost at any age, give rise to sleep-talking. The
ideas of children during sleep are often very vivid; nor is there any
thing more common than to hear them utter expressions of distress,
connected, particularly, with any fears that may, unwisely, have been
impressed on the waking mind. The case of a little girl came lately
under our notice, who exhibited the most alarming symptoms during sleep;
sobbing and imploring help, under the imagination that she was being
pursued by an evil spirit; in consequence of a foolish, fanatical person
having frightened her with threats of this description, while the child,
before going to bed, was saying her prayers. Very much convulsed
inwardly, she was with difficulty awakened, and for some time afterward
remained in a state of agitation bordering on delirium. Assuredly
parents can not be too careful in endeavoring to make very young
children go to bed with composed and happy minds, otherwise they know
not what hideous phantoms may draw aside the curtain of their sleep;
and, by terrifying the imagination, produce fits, that may be incurable
in after-life. We believe it quite possible that epilepsy itself may be
so produced.

In schools sleep-talking is very common; anxious pupils, in their sleep,
will frequently repeat a lesson they can not remember when awake. The
son of the eminent linguist and commentator, Dr. Adam Clarke, tells us
that his father overheard him, in his sleep, repeat a Greek verb which
he was endeavoring to learn, and which, the following morning, he was
unable to remember. This is a curious fact--he knew his lesson in his
sleep, but did not do so when he was awake; the faculty of memory,
however, in a state of somnambulism undergoes many singular
modifications. Thus, persons who talk in their sleep, may, by
conversation, be brought to remember a dream within a dream; and it is
very common, in the higher stages of somnambulism, for a person to
recollect what happened in the preceding fit, and be unconscious of any
interval having elapsed between them. A somnambulist, at Berlin, in one
of her paroxysms, wandering in her sleep, was guilty of an indiscretion
which she had no recollection of in her waking hours; but, when she
again became somnambulic, she communicated all the circumstances to her
mother. During the next convalescent interval, they again escaped her
memory. The case is related, by Treviranus, of a young student who when
he fell asleep began to repeat aloud a continuous and connected dream,
which began each night precisely where it left off the preceding night.
This reminds us of the story of the drunken porter, who in a fit of
intoxication left a parcel at a wrong house: when he became sober he
could not recollect where he had left it, but the next time he got drunk
he remembered the house, and called and recovered it.

In persons disposed to somnambulism, dreams of a very striking and
exciting nature call into action, in the early stage of this affection,
the muscles of the voice before those which are implicated in the
movement of rising and walking: and it is worthy of notice that the
muscles, upon which the voice is dependent, are very numerous and
exquisitely delicate; the result of which is, that they are affected by
all mental emotions. Hence, the tones of the voice truly indicate the
character of certain passions and feelings, for which reason, on the
stage, the intonation given by the actor, whether it be the distressed
cry of a Belvidera, or the pathetic singing of an Ophelia, will carry
along the sympathies of the audience, albeit, the exact words may not be
understood. A particular tone of voice causes, without reference to
words, a corresponding feeling, just as the vibration of one instrument
will harmonize with the vibration of another; but this is not all; the
voice is the first organ which is affected by any excitement of the
brain. It betrays the wine-bibber having drunk to excess while he is yet
perfectly rational; it is, therefore, by no means surprising that
persons in their sleep when excited by dreams, should moan, mutter, or
even speak articulately. In this state, the mind seems to struggle, in
its connection with the body, to give utterance to its emotions; and it
is reasonable to believe the greater the intensity of the
dream-conception, the clearer will be the articulation of the voice, and
the greater, also, the precision of the somnambulic movements. Hence,
apparently, it is only in very profound sleep that persons will rise,
dress themselves, walk about, &c.; while, in less profound sleep, their
vivid dreams only agitate and make them restless. One of the most
interesting, and indeed affecting, cases on record, is that of Laura
Bridgman, who, at a very early age, was afflicted with an inflammatory
disease, which ended in the disorganization and loss of the contents of
her eyes and ears; in consequence of which calamity she grew up blind,
deaf, and dumb. Now, it is quite certain that persons who have once
enjoyed the use of their senses, and then lost them, have very vivid
dreams, in which they recall the impressions of their earliest infancy.
So was it with the blind poet, Dr. Blacklock; and so also was it with
Laura Bridgman, and it is a very interesting fact that she, being unable
to speak, when asleep used the finger alphabet. This she did sometimes
in a very confused manner, the irregularity of her finger-signs
corresponding with that defective articulation which persons give
utterance to, when they murmur and mutter indistinctly their
dream-impressions. It was, be it observed, when she was disturbed in her
sleep that she ran over her finger alphabet confusedly, like one who,
playing on a stringed instrument, has not the attention sufficiently
fixed to give precision and expression to the performance. The minstrel,
described by Sir Walter Scott, with his fingers wandering wildly through
the strings of his harp, resembles poor Laura giving utterance, thus
imperfectly, to her bewildered dreams.

When the somnambulic state becomes more intense, the voluntary muscles
of the limbs are excited into action; the somnambulist rises; dresses
himself; and in pursuing his dream-imagery, wanders about, or sits down
steadily to execute some task, which, however difficult in his waking
hours, he now accomplishes with facility. The condition of the body in a
physiological point of view becomes now a solemn mystery: the eyes are
open, but insensible to light; the portals of the ears, also, but the
report of a pistol will, in some cases, not rouse the sense of hearing;
the sense of smell, too, is frequently strangely altered, and that of
taste, likewise becomes perverted, or, perhaps, entirely suspended. The
sensibility of the surface of the body is often remarkably impaired;
and, for the time, partially or entirely abolished. In the case of a
female somnambulist described in "The Philosophy of Natural History," by
Dr. Smellie, he tells us that, when she was in one of her paroxysms, he
ran a pin repeatedly into her arm--but not a muscle moved, nor was any
symptom of pain discoverable. Here we may observe an important and
interesting fact, that, as a general principle, in proportion as the
mind concentrates its powers and energizes itself within, the
sensibility of the body diminishes. The soldier, in his excitement on
the battle-field, feels not his wounds; he will faint from loss of blood
before he knows that he has been "hit." The unconsciousness of danger is
often the best protection against it. On looking down a precipice, a
sense of apprehension instantly suggests itself; the nervous system
recoils; the circulation of the blood within the brain on a sudden
becomes irregular; dizziness ensues and a total loss of command over the
voluntary muscles. Man is probably the only being in whom this occurs;
the stag, the goat, the antelope, will gaze unmoved down the chasms of
the deepest Alpine precipices. The dizziness which is felt on ascending
an elevation, arises undoubtedly from mental alarm, which modifies the
impressions received by the eye, which no longer correctly estimates the
relations of distance. Accordingly we are told by Mr. Wilkinson in his
"Tour to the British Mountains," that a blind man, who was the
scientific and philosophic Mr. Gough, ascended with him to the summit of
one of the Cumberland Mountains; and in walking along, he described to
him the fearful precipices which he pretended surrounded him; but soon
he repented his inventive picturesque description, for the blind man,
mentally affected by the supposed peril of his situation, became
suddenly dizzy, and screaming with the apprehension that he was tumbling
down the rocks into the abyss below, fell upon the ground. In cases of
sleep-walking upon dangerous heights, there is no apprehension or
fear--the mind is intently absorbed in the object pursued; all the
muscular movements are performed with confidence and with unerring
precision; and under these circumstances the gravitation of the body is
supported on the most slender basis.

One of the most curious and indeed inexplicable phenomena connected with
somnambulism is, that persons in this condition are said to derive a
knowledge of surrounding objects independent of the organs of the
external senses. The Archbishop of Bordeaux attested the case of a young
ecclesiastic, who was in the habit of getting up during the night in a
state of somnambulism, taking pen, ink, and paper, and composing and
writing sermons. When he had finished one page he would read aloud what
he had written, and correct it. In order to ascertain whether the
somnambulist made use of his eyes, the archbishop held a piece of
pasteboard under his chin to prevent his seeing the paper upon which he
was writing; but he continued to write on, without being in the least
incommoded. He also, in this state, copied out pieces of music, and when
it happened that the words were written in too large a character, and
did not stand over the corresponding notes, he perceived his error,
blotted them out, and wrote them over again with great exactness. A
somnambulist is mentioned by Gassendi, who used to dress himself in his
sleep, go down into the cellar, draw wine from a cask, in perfect
darkness--but if he awoke in the cellar, he had then a difficulty in
groping his way through the passages back to his bed-room. The state of
the eyes during somnambulism is found to vary considerably--they are
sometimes closed--sometimes half closed--and frequently quite open; the
pupil is sometimes widely dilated, sometimes contracted, sometimes
natural, and for the most part insensible to light. This, however, is
not always the case. The servant girl, whose case was so well described
by Dr. Dyce, of Aberdeen, when this state was impending felt drowsy--a
pain in the head, usually slight, but on one occasion very intense, then
succeeded--and afterward a cloudiness or mistiness came over her eyes.
Occasionally her sensations were highly acute; the eyelids appeared
shut, though not entirely closed; the pupils were much contracted, and
there was great intolerance of light. She could not name objects when
the light of the candle or fire shone fully on them, but pointed them
out correctly in the shade, or when they were dimly illuminated. At
other times, however, the pupil of the eye was quite insensible to
light. Her feelings also appear to have been very excitable. During one
of her paroxysms she was taken to church; attended to the service with
every appearance of devotion, and was at one time so much affected by
the sermon, that she shed tears. The sensibility of the eye was also
observed, in the case of Dr. Bilden; when a degree of light, so slight
as not to affect the experimenter, was directed to the lids of this
somnambulist, it caused a shock equal to that of electricity, and
induced him to exclaim, "Why do you wish to shoot me in the eyes?" These
are exceptions; as a general rule, the eye during somnambulism is
insensible, and the pupil will not contract, though the most vivid flash
of light be directed upon it. It also should be observed that although
somnambulists will light a candle, it does not follow that they are
guided by its light, or that they really see any thing by it. Their
movements may still be purely automatic. This curious circumstance is
finely illustrated by Shakspeare, who describes the Lady Macbeth walking
in her sleep with a lighted taper in her hand:

     "_Gentlewoman._--Lo, yon, here she comes: This is her very guise,
     and upon my life, fast asleep.

     _Doctor._--How came she by that light?

     _Gentlewoman._--Why, it stood by her. She has light by her
     continually--'tis her command.

     _Doctor._--You see her eyes are open--

     _Gentlewoman._--Ay--but their sense is shut."

It is related of Negretti, a sleep-walker, that he would sometimes carry
about with him a candle as if to give him light in his employment; but,
on a bottle being substituted, he took it and carried it, fancying that
it was a candle. Castelli, another somnambulist, was found by Dr. Soames
translating Italian into French, and looking out the words in his
dictionary. His candle being purposely extinguished, he immediately
began groping about, as if in the dark, and although other candles were
in the room, he did not resume his occupation until he had relighted his
candle at the fire. In this case we may observe that he could not see,
excepting with the candle he had himself lighted, and he was insensible
to every other, excepting that on which his attention was fixed.

How are these curious anomalies to be explained? There is, it appears to
us, a striking analogy between the actions as they are performed by the
blind and those executed by somnambulists, who are insensible to light;
the exaltation of the sense of touch, in blindness, is so great, that
some physiologists have conceived the existence of a _sixth_ sense--the
muscular sense--which communicates the impression before the actual
contact of objects. This muscular sense is supposed by Dr. Fowler to
adjust the voice, the eye, and the ear, to the distances at which sounds
are to be heard, and objects seen. It may, perhaps, be described as a
peculiar exaltation of the sense of feeling. A lady during her
somnambulism, observed to Despine, her physician, "You think that I do
not know what is passing around me; but you are mistaken. I see nothing;
but I _feel_ something that makes an impression on me, which I can not
explain." Another somnambulist, a patient of Hufeland, used to say
invariably, "I feel"--"I am conscious" of the existence of this or that
object. The blind girl, Jane Sullivan, described by Dr. Fowler, could,
without a guide, feel her way to every part of the work-house, and
recognize all its inmates by the feel of their hands and clothes. It is
said of Laura Bridgman, that she could, in walking through a passage,
with her hands spread before her, recognize her companions, and could in
this way distinguish even their different degrees of intellect; nay,
that she would regard with contempt a new-comer, after discovering her
weakness of mind. It has been also observed, that the pupils in the
Manchester Asylum for the Blind are aware, by this muscular sense, of
their approach, even to a lamp-post, before actually coming against or
up to it. May not the somnambulist walking through intricate passages
and performing complicated manual operations in the dark, have his
movements guided by this sense? May he not, in like manner, be sensible
of his approach to obstructing obstacles, and may not this sense, in a
higher degree of development, lead to perceptions, which are ordinarily
conveyed to the mind through their appropriate and respective organs?

The sense of hearing in somnambulism is not often suspended, for,
generally speaking, somnambulists will answer questions and carry on
conversation; but it is remarkable that the same ear which may be deaf
to the loudest noises, will perceive even a whisper from one particular
person with whom the sleeper may alone appear to hold communion. In the
"Transactions of the Medical Society" at Breslau, we meet with the case
of a somnambulist who did not hear even the report of a pistol fired
close to him. In another instance, that of Signor Augustin, an Italian
nobleman, his servants could not arouse him from his sleep by any
description of noise--even blowing a trumpet in his ear. On the other
hand, the same individual would, in another paroxysm, apply his ear to
the key-hole of the door, and listen attentively to noises which he
heard in the kitchen. The sense of smell, as we have observed, is
frequently altered. Brimstone and phosphorus are said to have a pleasant
scent to the somnambulist, but sometimes it appears completely
abolished. In one case, a snuff-box filled with coffee, was given to a
somnambulist, who took it as he would have taken snuff, without
perceiving the difference. So also is it with taste. Some somnambulists
have not been able to distinguish wine from water.

Another very remarkable circumstance has been observed in somnambulism;
it is, that persons in this state have exhibited an extraordinary
exaltation of knowledge. Two females mentioned by Bertrand, expressed
themselves, during the paroxysms, very distinctly in Latin; although
they afterward admitted having an imperfect acquaintance with this
language. An ignorant servant girl, described by Dr. Dewar, evinced an
astonishing knowledge of astronomy and geography, and expressed herself
in her own language in a manner which, though often ludicrous, showed an
understanding of the subject. It was afterward discovered that her
notions on these subjects had been derived from hearing a tutor giving
instructions to the young people of the family. A woman in the Infirmary
of Edinburgh, on account of an affection of this kind, during her
somnambulism, mimicked the manner of the physicians, and repeated
correctly some of their prescriptions in the Latin language. Many of
these apparent wonders are referable to the circumstance of old
associations being vividly recalled to the mind; this very frequently
happens also in the delirium of fever. There is nothing miraculous in
such cases, although upon them are founded a host of stories descriptive
of persons in their sleep speaking unknown languages, predicting future
events, and being suddenly possessed of inspiration.

Not only are the mental powers intensified in this state, but the
physical energies are unwontedly increased. Horstius relates the case of
a young nobleman living in the Citadel of Breslau, who used to steal out
of his window during his sleep, muffled up in a cloak, and, by great
muscular exertion, ascend the roof of the building where, one night, he
tore in pieces a magpie's nest, wrapped up the little ones in his cloak,
and then returned to bed; and, on the following morning, related the
circumstances as having occurred in a dream, nor could he be persuaded
of its reality until the magpies in the cloak were shown to him. In the
"Bibliothèque de Médecine" we find the account of a somnambulist who got
out of his bed in the middle of the night, and went into a neighboring
house which was in ruins, and of which the bare walls, with a few
insecure rafters running between them, alone remained; nevertheless he
climbed to the top of the wall, and clambered about from one beam to
another, without once missing his hold. It is affirmed that
somnambulists will maintain their footing in the most perilous
situations with perfect safety, so long as they remain in a state of
somnambulism; but when they are disturbed or awakened in such positions,
they are then taken by surprise, and instantly lose self-possession. A
young lady was observed at Dresden walking one night in her sleep upon
the roof of a house; an alarm being given, crowds of people assembled in
the street, and beds and mattresses were laid upon the ground, in the
hope of saving her life in case of her falling. Unconscious of danger,
the poor girl advanced to the very edge of the roof, smiling and bowing
to the multitude below, and occasionally arranging her hair and her
dress. The spectators watched her with great anxiety. After moving along
thus unconcernedly for some time, she proceeded toward the window from
which she had made her exit. A light had been placed in it by her
distressed family; but the moment she approached it, she started, and
suddenly awakening, fell into the street, and was killed on the spot.
Upon this incident Bellini founded the charming opera of "La
Sonnambula."

The actions of the somnambulist are, doubtless, prompted and governed by
those dream-impulses which the imaginary incidents passing through the
sleeper's mind suggest. He is a dreamer able to act his dreams. This we
learn from those exceptional cases in which the somnambulist, upon
awaking, has remembered the details of his dream; in illustration of
which we find an anecdote, related with much vivacity, by
Brillat-Savarin, in the "Physiology of Taste." The narrator is a M.
Duhagel, who was the prior of a Carthusian monastery, and he thus tells
us the story: "We had in the monastery in which I was formerly prior, a
monk of melancholic temperament and sombre character, who was known to
be a somnambulist. He would sometimes, in his fits, go out of his cell
and return into it directly; but at other times he would wander about,
until it became necessary to guide him back again. Medical advice was
sought, and various remedies administered, under which the paroxysms so
much diminished in frequency, that we at length ceased to think about
them. One night, not having retired to bed at my usual hour, I was
seated at my desk occupied in examining some papers, when the door of
the apartment, which I never kept locked, opened, and I beheld the monk
enter in a state of profound somnambulism. His eyes were open, but
fixed; he had only his night-shirt on; in one hand he held his cell
lamp, in his other, a long and sharp bladed knife. He then advanced to
my bed, upon reaching which he put down the lamp, and felt and patted it
with his hand, to satisfy himself he was right, and then plunged the
knife, as if through my body, violently through the bed-clothes,
piercing even the mat which supplied, with us, the place of a mattress.
Having done this, he again took up his lamp and turned round to retrace
his steps, when I observed that his countenance, which was before
contracted and frowning, was lighted up with a peculiar expression of
satisfaction at the imaginary blow he had struck. The light of the two
lamps burning on my desk did not attract his notice; slowly and steadily
he walked back, carefully opening and shutting the double door of my
apartment, and quietly retired to his cell. You may imagine the state of
my feelings while I watched this terrible apparition; I shuddered with
horror at beholding the danger I had escaped, and offered up my prayers
and thanksgiving to the Almighty; but it was utterly impossible for me
to close my eyes for the remainder of the night.

"The next morning I sent for the somnambulist, and asked him, without
any apparent emotion, of what he had dreamt the preceding night? He was
agitated at the question, and answered, 'Father, I had a dream, so
strange, that it would give me the deepest pain were I to relate it to
you.' 'But I command you to do do; a dream is involuntary; it is a mere
illusion,' said I; 'tell it me without reserve.' 'Father,' continued he,
'no sooner had I fallen asleep than I dreamt that you had killed my
mother, and I thought that her outraged spirit appeared before me,
demanding satisfaction for the horrid deed. At beholding this, I was
transported with such fury, that--so it seemed to me--I hurried, like a
madman, into your apartment, and finding you in bed there, murdered you
with a knife. Thereupon I awoke in a fright, horrified at having made
such an attempt, and then thanked God it was only a dream, and that so
great a crime had not been committed.' 'That act has been committed,' I
then observed, 'further than you suppose.' And thereupon I related what
passed, exhibiting at the same time the cuts intended to be inflicted
upon me which had penetrated the bed-clothes; upon which the monk fell
prostrate at my feet, weeping and sobbing, and imploring to know what
act of penance I should sentence him to undergo. 'None; none!' I
exclaimed. 'I would not punish you for an involuntary act; but I will
dispense with your performing in the holy offices at night for the
future; and I give you notice that the door of your cell shall be bolted
on the outside when you retire, every evening, and not opened until we
assemble to our family matins at break of day.'"

Here we may recur to the question with which we set out;--whether
persons in somnambulism are partially awake, or in a state of unusually
and preternaturally profound sleep? The phenomena we have above referred
to--particularly those connected with the insensibility of the body and
the organs of the senses--lead us to believe, that in somnambulism there
is an increased intensity of sleep, producing an extreme degree of
unconsciousness in regard to the physical organization, very similar to
that which we find in hysterical, cataleptic, and many other nervous
affections. The mental phenomena exhibited in this state are those
connected with exaggerated dreams, and as the physiology of dreams is by
no means well understood in the healthy state, still less can they be
explained under the aspect of disease.

It may be asked, How somnambulism, being an affection likely to entail
more serious diseases upon persons subject to it, is to be cured? When
the general health is affected, the family doctor, we apprehend will
speedily put an end to metaphysical mystery; but in young persons, even
where it is hereditary, attention must be paid to diet, regimen, and a
due amount of bodily exercise. The shower-bath has sometimes been found
serviceable. It is thought, also, that it may be resisted by a strong
effort of the will, inasmuch as, in young persons, it has been
suppressed by the fear of punishment; but this, on the other hand, may
have a very contrary effect, disturbing and exciting, rather than
composing, the nervous system. In the north of Scotland the following
plan is in some schools adopted. The youthful somnambulist is put to
sleep in bed with a companion who is not affected, and the leg of the
one boy is linked by a pretty long band of ribbon or tape to the leg of
the other. Presently, the one disposed to ramble in his sleep gets out
of bed, and, in so doing, does not proceed far before he awakens the
non-somnambulist, who in resisting being dragged after him, generally
throws the other down, which has the effect of awakening him. In this
way we have been assured that several such cases have been effectually
cured. But is it always safe thus to awake a person during the paroxysm?
Macnish relates the case of a lady who being observed walking in her
sleep into the garden, one of the family followed her, and laying hold
of her, awaked her, when the shock was so great that she fell down
insensible, and shortly afterward expired.

We feel satisfied that all sudden and abrupt transitions should be
avoided. The state of sleep, apart from somnambulism, is one of natural
repose; the organs of the body have their various functions
appropriately modified; and we can not help thinking that to interrupt
abruptly the course of nature, and throw, as it were, a dazzling light
upon the brain, the functions of which are in abeyance, is unwise, and
may prove injurious. Many persons suddenly awakened out of a deep sleep,
complain afterward of severe headache. We conceive, therefore, that
somnambulists who may be considered in a state of preternaturally
profound sleep, ought not to be forcibly awakened. It is true that some
somnambulists, like the servant girl described by Dr. Fleming, above
referred to, have been awakened without after ill consequence, but as a
general rule, the nervous system ought not to be subjected to any rude
or unnecessary shock. The management of, and treatment of the
somnambulist, must, it is obvious, depend very much on age, sex,
temperament, and upon the causes, in particular--whether physical or
mental--to which the affection may be ascribed. The most interesting
circumstance connected with somnambulism is, that it brings palpably
under our observation a preternatural state of being, in which the body
is seen moving about, executing a variety of complicated actions, in the
condition, physically, of a living automaton, while the lamp of the
human soul is burning inwardly, as it were, with increased intensity;
and this very exaltation of the mental faculties proves, incontestably,
that the mind is independent of the body, and has an existence in a
world peculiar to itself.



A CHAPTER ON GIRAFFES.


Of the many features which will hereafter stamp the nineteenth century
as "Centuria Mirabilissima," not the least will be the vast number of
animals and birds introduced into Europe, and the great stride made in
our knowledge of Natural History during its progress. The precise date
of the extinction of a genus or a species has interest; the dodo of the
Mauritius and the dinornis of New Zealand have disappeared within the
historical period, and there is no reason to suppose that such gaps have
been, or will be, filled up by new creations. Second only in interest to
the occurrence of these blanks in the list of living inhabitants of the
surface of this globe is the record of the introduction of a new race
into a part of our planet where it was previously unknown. In such
instances the last twenty years have been prolific; the graceful
bower-birds and the _Tallegalla_ or mound-raising birds, those wondrous
denizens of the Australian wilderness, may now be seen in the Regent's
Park for the first time in this hemisphere. For the first time, also,
the wart hog of Africa there roots, and the hippopotamus displays his
quaint gambols; and that "fairest animal," the giraffe, is now beheld in
health and vigor, a naturalized inhabitant of Great Britain.

A giraffe presented by the Pasha of Egypt to the king of England, was
conveyed to Malta under the charge of two Arabs, and was from thence
forwarded to London in the "Penelope," which arrived on the 11th of
August, 1827. She was conveyed to Windsor two days afterward, and was
kept in the royal menagerie at the Sandpit-gate. George the Fourth took
much interest in this animal, visiting her generally twice or thrice a
week, and sometimes twice a day. It would have been better if he had
left her to the management of the keepers; but, acting on some vague
instructions left by the Arabs, his majesty commanded that she should be
fed on milk alone--a most unnatural diet when the animal had attained
the age of two years. From this cause, and in consequence of an injury
which she had received during her journey from Sennaar to Cairo, the
giraffe became so weak as to be unable to stand; a lofty triangle was
built, and the animal kept suspended on slings to relieve its limbs from
the support of its weight. The apparatus was provided with wheels, and,
in order that she might have exercise, it was pushed along by men, her
feet just moving and touching the ground. It may well be supposed that
such an artificial existence could not be prolonged to any great length
of time, and although the giraffe lived between two and three years, and
grew eighteen inches in height, she gradually sank and died in the
autumn of 1829, to the great regret of the king. Her body was dissected
by the sergeant-surgeon, Sir Everard Home, and an account thereof
published by him.

Those who frequented the British Museum in the days of Montague-house,
shortly before the present building was erected, will remember a
hairless stuffed giraffe, which stood at the top of the stairs, mounting
sentry, as it were, over the principal door. This miserable skin was
interesting, as being the remains of the first entire specimen recorded.
Its history was as follows: The late Lady Strathmore sent to the Cape,
to collect rare flowers and trees, a botanist of the name of Paterson,
who seems to have penetrated a considerable distance into the
interior--sufficiently far, at least, to have seen a group of six
giraffes. He was so fortunate as to kill one, and brought the skin home
for Lady Strathmore; her ladyship presented it to the celebrated John
Hunter, and it formed part of the Hunterian collection until a
re-arrangement of that museum took place on its removal to the present
noble hall in the College of Surgeons. This stuffed specimen, with many
others of a similar description, was handed over to the British Museum,
and for some years occupied the situation on the landing above
mentioned; being regarded as "rubbish," it was destroyed, and the
"stuffing" used to expand some other skin. There are now, however, two
noble stuffed specimens in the first zoological room of the Museum; one
especially remarkable for its dark-brown spots is no less than eighteen
feet in height. It is from the southern parts of Africa, and was
presented by that veteran zoologist, the Earl of Derby; the other was
one of the giraffes brought by M. Thibaut to the Zoological Gardens.

The Zoological Society having made known its wish to possess living
specimens of the giraffe, the task of procuring them was undertaken by
M. Thibaut, who having had twelve years' experience in African travel,
was well qualified for the arduous pursuit.

M. Thibaut quitted Cairo in April, 1834, and after sailing up the Nile
as far as Wadi Halfa, the second cataract, took camels and proceeded to
Debbat, a province of Dongolah, whence he started for the Desert of
Kordofan. Being perfectly acquainted with the locality and on friendly
terms with the Arabs, he attached them still more by the desire of
profit; all were desirous of accompanying him in pursuit of the
giraffes, for up to that time, they had hunted them solely for the sake
of the flesh, which they ate, and the skin, of which they made bucklers
and sandals. The party proceeded to the southwest of Kordofan, and in
August were rewarded by the sight of two beautiful giraffes; a rapid
chase of three hours, on horses accustomed to the fatigues of the
desert, put them in possession of the largest of these noble animals;
unable to take her alive, the Arabs killed her with blows of the sabre,
and cutting her to pieces, carried the meat to their head-quarters,
which had been established in a wooded situation, an arrangement
necessary for their own comfort, and to secure pasturage for their
camels. They deferred till the following day the pursuit of the
motherless young one, which the Arabs knew they would have no
difficulty in again discovering. The Arabs quickly covered the live
embers with slices of the meat, which M. Thibaut pronounces to be
excellent.

On the following morning the party started at daybreak in search of the
young giraffe, of which they had lost sight not far from the camp. The
sandy desert is well adapted to afford indications to a hunter, and in a
very short time they were on the track of the object of their pursuit:
they followed the traces with rapidity and in silence, lest the creature
should be alarmed while yet at a distance; but after a laborious chase
of several hours through brambles and thorny trees, they at last
succeeded in capturing the coveted prize.

It was now necessary to rest for three or four days, in order to render
the giraffe sufficiently tame, during which period an Arab constantly
held it at the end of a long cord; by degrees it became accustomed to
the presence of man, and was induced to take nourishment, but it was
found necessary to insert a finger into its mouth to deceive it into the
idea that it was with its dam; it then sucked freely. When captured, its
age was about nineteen months. Five giraffes were taken by the party,
but the cold weather of December, 1834, killed four of them in the
desert, on the route to Dongolah; happily that first taken survived, and
reached Dongolah in January, 1835, after a sojourn of twenty-two days in
the desert. Unwilling to leave with a solitary specimen, M. Thibaut
returned to the desert, where he remained three months, crossing it in
all directions, and frequently exposed to great hardships and
privations; but he was eventually rewarded by obtaining three giraffes,
all smaller than the first. A great trial awaited them, as they had to
proceed by water the whole distance from Wadi Halfa to Cairo, and thence
to Alexandria and Malta, besides the voyage to England. They suffered
considerably at sea during a passage of twenty-four days in very
tempestuous weather, and on reaching Malta in November, were detained in
quarantine twenty-five days more; but despite of all these difficulties,
they reached England in safety, and on the 25th of May were conducted to
the Gardens. At daybreak, the keepers and several gentlemen of
scientific distinction arrived at the Brunswick Wharf, and the animals
were handed over to them. The distance to the Gardens was not less than
six miles, and some curiosity, not unmingled with anxiety, was felt as
to how this would be accomplished. Each giraffe was led between two
keepers, by means of long reins attached to the head; the animals walked
along at a rapid pace, generally in advance of their conductors, but
were perfectly tractable. It being so early in the morning, few persons
were about, but the astonishment of those who did behold the
unlooked-for procession, was ludicrous in the extreme. As the giraffes
stalked by, followed by M. Thibaut and others, in Eastern costume, the
worthy policemen and early coffee-sellers stared with amazement, and a
few revelers, whose reeling steps proclaimed their dissipation,
evidently doubted whether the strange figures they beheld were real
flesh and bone, or fictions conjured up by their potations; their gaze
of stupid wonder indicating that of the two they inclined to the latter
opinion. When the giraffes entered the park, and first caught sight of
the green trees, they became excited, and hauled upon the reins, waving
the head and neck from side to side, with an occasional caracole and
kick out of the hind legs, but M. Thibaut contrived to coax them along
with pieces of sugar, of which they were very fond, and he had the
satisfaction of depositing his valuable charges, without accident or
misadventure, in the sanded paddock prepared for their reception.

The sum agreed on with M. Thibaut was £250 for the first giraffe he
obtained, £200 for the second, £150 for the third, and £100 for the
fourth, in all £700; but the actual cost to the society amounted to no
less than £2386. _3s. 1d._, in consequence of the heavy expenses of
freight, conveyance, &c.

During the following months of June and July the giraffes excited so
much interest, that as much as £120 was sometimes taken at the Gardens
in one day, and the receipts reached £600 in the week; they then
decreased, and never, until the arrival of the hippopotamus, attained
any thing like that sum again. Shortly after their arrival one of the
animals struck his head with such force against the brickwork of the
house, while rising from the ground, that he injured one of his horns,
and probably his skull, as he did not long survive. Guiballah died in
October, 1846, and Selim in January, 1849; Zaida, that worthy old
matron, is still alive, and may be recognized by her very light color.

An unusual birthday _fête_ was celebrated on the 9th of June, 1839, when
Zaida presented the society with the first giraffe ever born in Europe;
but alas! it only survived nine days. A spirited water-color sketch was
made of the dam and young one when a day old by that able artist, the
late Robert Hills; and we recently had an opportunity of seeing this
interesting memento. Two years afterward a second was born, and throve
vigorously; this fine animal was sent to the Zoological Gardens at
Dublin, in 1844. It was rather a ticklish proceeding, but was managed as
follows: He was taken very early in the morning to Hungerford market,
where a lighter with tackles had been previously arranged. With some
dexterity slings were placed under him, and to his great astonishment,
he was quickly swung off his feet, and hoisted by a crane into the
lighter, and from the lighter, by tackle, on board the deck of the
steamer; he had a fine passage, and was welcomed with enthusiasm by the
warm-hearted Hibernians, and is now one of the chief ornaments of the
Dublin Gardens. Another remarkably fine male, named _Abbas Pasha_, was
born in February, 1849, and is thriving in great vigor in the Gardens
at Antwerp.

The giraffes at present in the Regent's Park are _Zaida_, with her
offspring, _Alfred_ and _Ibrahim Pasha_, _Alice_, presented by his
highness, Ibrahim Pasha, and _Jenny Lind_, purchased by Mr. Murray. With
the exception of _Ibrahim Pasha_, they are exceedingly good-tempered,
but this fine animal is obliged to be kept separate, as he is very apt
to fight with his brother. Their mode of fighting is peculiar; they
stand side by side, and strike obliquely with their short horns,
denuding the parts struck to the magnitude of a hand. One of them met
with an awkward accident some time ago, which, had it not been for the
presence of mind of Mr. Hunt, the head keeper, who had the especial
charge of these animals, might have been attended with fatal
consequences. In rising quickly from the ground, the giraffe struck the
wall with such force that one of the horns was broken, and bent back
flat upon the head; Hunt seeing this, tempted him with a favorite dainty
with one hand, and taking the opportunity while his head was down,
grasped the fractured horn, and pulled it forward into its natural
position; union took place, and no ill effects followed. We may here
remark, that the horns are distinct bones, united to the frontal and
parietal bones by a suture, and exhibiting the same structure as other
bones. The protuberance on the forehead is not a horn (as supposed by
some), but merely a thickening of the bone. The horns of the male are
nearly double the size of those of the female, and their expanded bases
meet in the middle line of the skull, whereas, in the female, the bases
are two inches apart.

Each of the giraffes eats daily eighteen pounds of clover hay, and the
same quantity of a mixed vegetable diet, consisting of turnips,
mangel-wurzel, carrots, barley, and split beans; in spring they have
green tares and clover, and are exceedingly fond of onions. It was
curious to see the impatience they exhibited in our presence when a
basket of onions was placed in view; their mouths watered to a ludicrous
and very visible extent; they pawed with their fore legs, and rapidly
paced backward and forward, stretching their long necks and sniffing up
the pungent aroma with eager satisfaction. Each drinks about four
gallons of water a day.

Soon after the arrival of the giraffes at the Regent's Park, Mr. Warwick
obtained three for Mr. Cross, of the Surrey Gardens. These were
exhibited in an apartment in Regent-street, in the evening as well as by
day; their heads almost touched the ceiling, and the room being lighted
with gas, they were fully exposed to the influence of foul air, and, as
might be expected, did not long survive.

It has been stated that giraffes utter no sound; we have, however, heard
_Ibrahim Pasha_ make a sort of grunt, or forcible expiration, indicating
displeasure, and the little one which died bleated like a calf.

The extensibility, flexibility, and extraordinary command which the
giraffe possesses over the movements of its tongue had long attracted
notice, but it was reserved for Professor Owen to point out their true
character. Sir Everard Home, who had examined the giraffe which died at
Windsor, described the wonderful changes of size and length, which occur
in the tongue, as resulting from vascular action, the blood-vessels
being at one time loaded, at another empty; but the Hunterian professor
proved that the movements of the tongue are entirely due to muscular
action, and adds the following interesting remarks: "I have observed all
the movements of the tongue, which have been described by previous
authors. The giraffe being endowed with an organ so exquisitely formed
for prehension, instinctively puts it to use in a variety of ways, while
in a state of confinement. The female in the Garden of Plants, at Paris,
for example, may frequently be observed to amuse itself by stretching
upward its neck and head, and, with the slender tongue, pulling out the
straws which are plaited into the partition separating it from the
contiguous compartment of its inclosure. In our own menagerie, many a
fair lady has been robbed of the artificial flower which adorned her
bonnet, by the nimble, filching tongue of the object of her admiration.
The giraffe seems, indeed, to be guided more by the eye than the nose in
the selection of objects of food; and, if we may judge of the apparent
satisfaction with which the mock leaves and flowers so obtained are
masticated, the tongue would seem by no means to enjoy the sensitive in
the same degree as the motive powers. The giraffes have a habit, in
captivity at least, of plucking the hairs out of each other's manes and
tails, and swallowing them. I know not whether we must attribute to a
fondness for epidermic productions, or to the tempting green color of
the parts, the following ludicrous circumstance, which happened to a
fine peacock, which was kept in the giraffes' paddock. As the bird was
spreading his tail in the sunbeams, and curvetting in presence of his
mate, one of the giraffes stooped his long neck, and entwining his
flexible tongue round a bunch of the gaudy plumes, suddenly lifted the
bird into the air, then giving him a shake, disengaged five or six of
the tail feathers, when down fluttered the astonished peacock, and
scuffled off, with the remains of his train dragging humbly after
him."[11]

The natural food of the giraffe is the leaves, tender shoots, and
blossoms of a singular species of mimosa, called by the colonists
_kameel doorn_, or giraffe thorn, which is found chiefly on dry plains
and sandy deserts. The great size of this tree, together with its thick
and spreading top, shaped like an umbrella, distinguish it at once from
all others. The wood, of a dark red color, is exceedingly hard and
weighty, and is extensively used by the Africans in the manufacture of
spoons and other articles, many being ingeniously fashioned with their
rude tools into the form of the giraffe.

The class to which the giraffe belongs, is the deer tribe. It is, in
fact, as pointed out by Professor Owen, a modified deer; but the
structure by which so large a ruminant is enabled to subsist in the
tropical regions of Africa, by browsing on the tops of trees,
disqualifies it for wielding antlers of sufficient strength and size to
serve as weapons of offense. The annual shedding of the formidable
antlers of the full-grown buck has reference to the preservation of the
younger and feebler individuals of his own race; but, as the horns of
the giraffe never acquire the requisite development to serve as weapons
of attack, their temporary removal is not needed.

When looking at a giraffe, it is difficult to believe that the fore-legs
are not longer than the hind-legs. They are not so, however, for the
greater apparent length results from the remarkable depth of the chest,
the great length of the processes of the anterior dorsal vertebræ, and
the corresponding length and position of the shoulder blade, which is
relatively the longest and narrowest of all mammalia. In the simple walk
the neck is stretched out in a line with the back, which gives them an
awkward appearance; this is greatly diminished when the animals commence
their undulating canter. In the canter the hind-legs are lifted
alternately with the fore, and are carried outside of and beyond them,
by a kind of swinging movement; when excited to a swifter pace, the
hind-legs are often kicked out, and the nostrils are then widely
dilated. The remarkable gait is rendered still more automaton-like by
the switching at regular intervals of the long black tail which is
invariably curled above the back, and by the corresponding action of the
neck, swinging as it does like a pendulum, and literally giving the
creature the appearance of a piece of machinery in motion. The tail of
the giraffe is terminated by a bunch of wavy hair, which attains a
considerable length, but the longest hairs are those which form a
fringe, extending about three inches on its under side. Two of these in
our possession, from the tail of _Alfred_, are each rather more than
four feet two inches in length; this long whisp of hair must be of great
service in flicking off flies and other annoyances.

Major Gordon relates an anecdote of a giraffe slain by himself, which
illustrates the gentle, confiding disposition of these graceful
creatures. Having been brought to the ground by a musket-ball, it
suffered the hunter to approach, without any appearance of resentment,
or attempt at resistance. After surveying the crippled animal for some
time, the major stroked its forehead, when the eyes closed as if with
pleasure, and it seemed grateful for the caress. When its throat was
cut, preparatory to taking the skin, the giraffe, while struggling in
the last agonies, struck the ground convulsively with its feet with
immense force, as it looked reproachfully on its assailant, with its
fine eyes fast glazing with the film of death, but made no attempt to
injure him.

Some of the best and most animating accounts of giraffe hunts are
contained in the works of Sir W. Cornwallis Harris and Mr. R.G. Cumming.
Of that magnificent folio, "Portraits of the Game and Wild Animals of
South Africa," by the former of these gallant sportsmen, we can not
speak too highly; it is equal, in many respects, to the truly-superb
folios of Mr. Gould. From it we extract the following spirit-stirring
adventures:

"It was on the morning of our departure from the residence of his
Amazoola Majesty, that I first actually saw the giraffe. Although I had
been for weeks on the tiptoe of expectation, we had hitherto succeeded
in finding the gigantic footsteps only of the tallest of all the
quadrupeds upon the earth; but at dawn of that day, a large party of
hungry savages, with four of the Hottentots on horseback, having
accompanied us across the Mariqua in search of elands, which were
reported to be numerous in the neighborhood, we formed a long line, and,
having drawn a great extent of country blank, divided into two parties,
Richardson keeping to the right, and myself to the left. Beginning, at
length, to despair of success, I had shot a hartebeeste for the savages,
when an object, which had repeatedly attracted my eye, but which I had
as often persuaded myself was nothing more than the branchless stump of
some withered tree, suddenly shifted its position, and the next moment I
distinctly perceived that singular form of which the apparition had
ofttimes visited my slumbers, but upon whose reality I now gazed for the
first time. Gliding rapidly among the trees, above the topmost branches,
of many of which its graceful head nodded like some lofty pine, all
doubt was in another moment at an end--it was the stately, the
long-sought giraffe, and, putting spurs to my horse, and directing the
Hottentots to follow, I presently found myself half-choked with
excitement, rattling at the heels of an animal which, to me, had been a
stranger even in its captive state, and which, thus to meet free on its
native plains, has fallen to the lot of but few of the votaries of the
chase; sailing before me with incredible velocity, his long swan-like
neck, keeping time to the eccentric motion of his stilt-like legs--his
ample black tail curled above his back, and whisking in ludicrous
concert with the rocking of his disproportioned frame--he glided
gallantly along 'like some tall ship upon the ocean's bosom,' and seemed
to leave whole leagues behind him at each stride. The ground was of the
most treacherous description; a rotten, black soil, overgrown with long,
coarse grass, which concealed from view innumerable gaping fissures that
momentarily threatened to bring down my horse. For the first five
minutes, I rather lost than gained ground, and, despairing over such a
country of ever diminishing the distance, or improving my acquaintance
with this ogre in seven-league boots, I dismounted, and the mottled
carcase presenting a fair and inviting mark, I had the satisfaction of
hearing two balls tell roundly upon his plank-like stern. But as well
might I have fired at a wall; he neither swerved from his course nor
slackened his pace, and pushed on so far ahead during the time I was
reloading, that, after remounting, I had some difficulty in even keeping
sight of him among the trees. Closing again, however, I repeated the
dose on the other quarter, and spurred my horse along, ever and anon
sinking to his fetlock--the giraffe now flagging at each stride--until,
as I was coming up hand-over-hand, and success seemed certain, the cup
was suddenly dashed from my lips, and down I came headlong--my horse
having fallen into a pit, and lodged me close to an ostrich's nest, near
which two of the old birds were sitting. Happily, there were no bones
broken, but the violence of the shock had caused the lashings of my
previously-broken rifle to give way, and had doubled the stock in half,
the barrels only hanging to the wood by the trigger-guard. Nothing
dismayed, however, by this heavy calamity, I remounted my jaded beast,
and one more effort brought me ahead of my wearied victim, which stood
still and allowed me to approach. In vain did I now attempt to bind my
fractured rifle with a pocket-handkerchief, in order to admit of my
administering the _coup de grace_. The guard was so contracted that, as
in the tantalizing phantasies of a night-mare, the hammer could not by
any means be brought down upon the nipple. In vain I looked around for a
stone, and sought in every pocket for my knife, with which either to
strike the copper-cap and bring about ignition, or hamstring the
colossal but harmless animal, by whose towering side I appeared the
veriest pigmy in the creation. Alas! I had lent it to the Hottentots to
cut off the head of the hartebeeste, and, after a hopeless search in the
remotest comers, each hand was withdrawn empty. Vainly did I then wait
for the tardy and rebellious villains to come to my assistance, making
the welkin ring, and my throat tingle with reiterated shouts. Not a soul
appeared, and in a few minutes the giraffe, having recovered his wind,
and being only slightly wounded on the hind-quarters, shuffled his long
legs, twisted his bushy tail over his back, walked a few steps, then
broke into a gallop, and, diving into the mazes of the forest, presently
disappeared from my sight. Disappointed and annoyed at my discomfiture,
I returned toward the wagons, now eight miles' distant, and on my way
overtook the Hottentots, who, pipe in mouth, were leisurely strolling
home, with an air of total indifference as to my proceedings, having
come to the conclusion that 'Sir could not fung de kameel' (catch the
giraffe), for which reason they did not think it worth while to follow
me, as I had directed. Two days after this catastrophe, having advanced
to the Tolaan River, we again took the field, accompanied by the whole
of the male inhabitants of three large kraals, in addition to those
that had accompanied us from the last encampment. The country had now
become undulating, extensive mimosa groves occupying all the valley, as
well as the banks of the Tolaan winding among them, on its way to join
the Mariqua. Before we had proceeded many hundred yards, our progress
was opposed by a rhinoceros, who looked defiance, but quickly took the
hints we gave him to get out of the way. Two fat elands had been pointed
out at the verge of the copse the moment before. One of which Richardson
disposed of with little difficulty, the other leading me through all the
intricacies of the labyrinth to a wide plain on the opposite side. On
entering which, I found the fugitive was prostrate at my feet in the
middle of a troop of giraffes, who stooped their long necks, astounded
at the intrusion, then consulted a moment how they should best escape
the impending danger, and in another were sailing away at their utmost
speed. To have followed upon my then jaded horse would have been absurd,
and I was afterward unable to recover any trace of them.

"Many days elapsed before we again beheld the tall giraffe, nor were our
eyes gladdened with his sight until, after we had crossed the Cashan
Mountains to the country of the Baquaina, for the express purpose of
seeking for him. After the many _contretemps_, how shall I describe the
sensations I experienced as, on a cool November evening, after rapidly
following some fresh traces in profound silence, for several miles, I at
length counted from the back of _Breslau_, my most trusty steed, no
fewer than thirty-two of various sizes, industriously stretching their
peacock necks to crop the tiny leaves that fluttered above their heads,
in a flowering mimosa grove which beautified the scenery. My heart leapt
within me, and my blood coursed like quicksilver through my veins, for,
with a firm wooded plain before me, I knew they were mine; but, although
they stood within a hundred yards of me, having previously determined to
try the _boarding_ system, I reserved my fire.

"Notwithstanding that I had taken the field expressly to look for
giraffes, and in consequence of several of the remarkable spoors of
these animals having been seen the evening before, had taken four
mounted Hottentots in my suite, all excepting Piet had, as usual,
slipped off unperceived in pursuit of a troop of koodoos. Our stealthy
approach was soon opposed by an ill-tempered rhinoceros, which, with her
ugly old-fashioned calf, stood directly in the path, and the twinkling
of her bright little eyes, accompanied by a restless rolling of the
body, giving earnest of her mischievous intentions, I directed Piet to
salute her with a broadside, at the same time putting spurs to my horse.
At the report of the gun, and sudden clattering of the hoofs, away
bounded the herd in grotesque confusion, clearing the ground by a
succession of frog-like leaps, and leaving me far in their rear. Twice
were their towering forms concealed from view by a park of trees, which
we entered almost at the same instant, and twice, on emerging from the
labyrinth, did I perceive them tilting over an eminence far in advance,
their sloping backs reddening in the sunshine, as with giant port they
topped the ridges in right gallant style. A white turban that I wore
round my hunting-cap, being dragged off by a projecting bough, was
instantly charged and trampled under foot by three rhinoceroses, and
long afterward, looking over my shoulder, I could perceive the ungainly
brutes in the rear fagging themselves to overtake me. In the course of
five minutes the fugitives arrived at a small river, the treacherous
sands of which receiving their spider-legs, their flight was greatly
retarded, and by the time they had floundered to the opposite side and
scrambled to the top of the bank, I could perceive that their race was
run. Patting the steaming neck of my good steed, I urged him again to
his utmost, and instantly found myself by the side of the herd. The
lordly chief being readily distinguishable from the rest by his dark
chestnut robe, and superior stature, I applied the muzzle of my rifle
behind his dappled shoulder with my right hand, and drew both triggers;
but he still continued to shuffle along, and being afraid of losing him
should I dismount, among the extensive mimosa groves with which the
landscape was now obscured, I sat in my saddle, loading and firing
behind the elbow, and then placing myself across his path to obstruct
his progress. Mute, dignified, and majestic stood the unfortunate
victim, occasionally stooping his elastic neck toward his persecutor,
the tears trickling from the lashes of his dark humid eye, as broadside
after broadside was poured into his brawny front.

          'His drooping head sinks gradually low,
          And through his side the last drops ebbing slow
          From the red gash fall heavy one by one,
          Like the first of a thunder shower.'

"Presently a convulsive shivering seized his limbs, his coat stood on
end, his lofty frame began to totter, and at the seventeenth discharge
from the deadly grooved bore, like a falling minaret bowing his graceful
head from the skies, his proud form was prostrate in the dust. Never
shall I forget the intoxicating excitement of that moment! At last,
then, the summit of my ambition was actually attained, and the towering
giraffe laid low! Tossing my turban-less cap into the air, alone in the
wild wood, I hurraed with bursting exultation, and unsaddling my steed,
sank, exhausted with delight, beside the noble prize that I had won.

"While I leisurely contemplated the massive form before me, seeming as
though it had been cast in a mould of brass, and wrapped in a hide an
inch and a half in thickness, it was no longer matter of astonishment
that a bullet discharged from a distance of eighty or ninety yards
should have been attended with little effect upon such amazing strength.

"Two hours were passed in completing a drawing, and Piet still not
making his appearance, I cut off the ample tail, which exceeded five
feet in length, and was measureless the most estimable trophy I had
ever gained. But on proceeding to saddle my horse, which I had left
quietly grazing by the running brook, my chagrin may be conceived when I
discovered that he had taken advantage of my occupation to free himself
from his halter and abscond. Being ten miles from the wagons, and in a
perfectly strange country, I felt convinced that the only chance of
saving my pet from the clutches of the lion, was to follow his trail;
while doing which with infinite difficulty, the ground scarcely deigning
to receive a foot-print, I had the satisfaction of meeting Piet and
Mohanycom, who had fortunately seen and recaptured the truant. Returning
to the giraffe, we all feasted merrily on the flesh, which, although
highly scented with the rank mokaala blossoms, was far from despicable,
and losing our way in consequence of the twin-like resemblance of two
scarped hills, we did not finally regain the wagons until after the
setting sunbeams had ceased to play upon the trembling leaves of the
light acacias, and the golden splendor which was sleeping upon the plain
had gradually passed away."

Singular and striking as is the form of the giraffe, it only furnishes a
proof of the wonderful manner in which an all-wise Creator has adapted
means to ends. A vegetable feeder, but an inhabitant of sterile and
sandy deserts, its long slender neck and sloping body, enable it to
reach with ease its favorite food: leaf by leaf is daintily plucked from
the lofty branch by the pliant tongue, and a mouthful of tender and
juicy food is speedily accumulated. The oblique and narrow apertures of
the nostrils, defended even to their margins by a _chevaux de frise_ of
strong hairs, and surrounded by muscular fibres by which they can be
hermetically sealed, effectually prevent the entrance of the fine
particles of sand which the suffocating storms of the desert raise in
fiery clouds, destructive to the lord of the creation. Erect on those
stilt-like legs, the giraffe surveys the wide expanse, and feeds at
ease, for those mild, large eyes are so placed that it can see not only
on all sides, but even behind, rendering it next to impossible for an
enemy to approach undiscovered. As we reflect on these and numberless
other points for admiration presented by the giraffe, we involuntarily
exclaim with the Psalmist, "Oh, Lord! how manifold are thy works; in
wisdom hast thou made them all!"

          "Nature to these, without profusion kind,
          The proper organs, proper powers assigned;
          Each seeming want compensated of course,
          Here with degrees of swiftness, there of force;
          All in exact proportion to the state,
          Nothing to add, and nothing to abate."



THE SOLAR SYSTEM.


The earth is a huge oblate or orange-shaped sphere, spinning on its
shorter axis like a humming-top, yet at such a rate of speed as to seem
standing still; it goes once round in twenty-four hours, its rotation
being both the cause and the measure of day and night. The highest
mountains range from four to five miles in height; the greatest depth
of the ocean is probably little more than five miles, although Ross let
down 27,000 feet of sounding-line in vain on one occasion. So that the
earth's surface is very irregular; but its mountainous ridges and
oceanic valleys are no greater things in proportion to its whole bulk,
than the roughness of the rind of the orange it resembles in shape. The
geological crust--that is to say, the total depth to which geologists
suppose themselves to have reached in the way of observation--is no
thicker in proportion than a sheet of thin writing paper pasted on a
globe two feet in diameter. The surface of the earth is some 148,500,000
of miles in extent; and only one-fourth of that large space is dry land,
the rest being ocean and ice. The atmosphere rises all round to a height
between forty-five and fifty miles above the sea-level. The solar
radiance sends such heat as it brings no deeper any where than 100 feet
into the surface or scurfskin of the dry land--from forty to a hundred
feet, one-third of the sun's heat being absorbed by the air. Yet the
deeper man digs beyond the hundred feet, the warmer he finds the earth,
and that at a somewhat determinable rate of increase. Supposing that
rate of increment to go on toward the centre, it is computable that the
solid underwork of the world, say granite by way of conjecture, must be
in a state of fusion at no vast depth from the ground on which we tread.
Let the scientific imagination descend a little lower, and it will find
the melted granite in the form of a fiery vapor or gas--the dry steam of
a red-hot liquid, in which the rock-built foundations of "the
everlasting hills" melt like icebergs. But this is conjectural and
probable, not observable and proved.

Far away from this spinning and perilous globe of ours, at the distance
of some 95,000,000 miles, stands the sun. A ray of light, starting from
his surface at any given moment, takes eight minutes to reach us,
although light runs at the speed of 195,000 miles in a second. The sun
is 1,380,000 times as large as the earth, and 355,000 times as heavy;
but the stuff of which he is made is just about a fourth part as dense
as the average matter of this world. The sun is of as light a substance,
taking his whole body, as coal; whereas the earth is twice as heavy as
brimstone, striking the mean between the air, the ocean, the dry land,
and the internal vapor. The sun has an atmosphere like the earth, or
rather he has two. One of them, close upon his solid surface, seems to
resemble our own; it bears cloudy bodies in its upper levels. The other
is a sort of fiery gas, surrounding the former, kindled and sustained in
the calorific and luminous state, no man knows or can conjecture how.
Storms in the lower atmosphere are constantly blowing this
phosphorescent airy envelope aside, so as to afford us glimpses down
into the (comparatively) dark and black recesses beneath. These are the
spots on the sun. Galileo inferred the rotation of the sun on his axis
from the motions of those spots. The explanation of those spots,
afforded by the discoveries of Wilson and Herschel, diminishes the value
of the inference; but no Copernican can doubt that the sun is forever
turning, and that with unimaginable swiftness and impetuosity.

At the distance, then, of more than ninety-five millions of miles, this
dim spot which men call earth, this great globe and all its dwellers,
this ever-spinning planet, revolves around the sun once every year, that
revolution being both the cause and the measure of that space of time.
Its orbit is not a circle; it is an ellipse, but not very far removed
from the circular path. The terrestrial axis is not at right angles to
that ellipse, else there were no seasons; it is somewhat inclined. The
earth, once regarded as the fixed and solid centre of creation, is now
to be conceived of as a globular sphere of some fire-blown stream,
bounded by a film of rock like a soap-bubble, carrying an unresting sea
in the hollows of its rind, swathed in a soft gauze of air, going round
upon itself every day, running round the sun every year; and all that
with so much silence, security, and stillness of speed that nobody ever
suspects the dread predicament of physical circumstance in which he
wakes and sleeps, lives and dies, does good or evil, and passes away to
judgment. It is difficult to realize the truth, now that it is told; for
the knowledge of the intellect is one thing, and the consent of the
whole man is quite another.

Precisely as the earth goes round the sun from year to year, the moon
goes round the earth from month to month, and that at a distance of some
240,000 miles; the same lunar side or hemisphere being always turned
toward us, although that satellite turns upon her own axis as well as
the earth and the sun. The earth is in repose so far as the moon is
concerned; it is her sun. The two combined, being as true a unity as any
chemical molecule which is composed of two atoms, go round the sun as if
they were one; the earth carries her moon with her. So that it is
possible, if not probable in the first instance, that the sun, though in
repose as to the earth and her moon (and, indeed, to all the planets yet
to be mentioned) may be in motion on some vast orbit of his own; an
orbit along which he carries all his planetary adherents with him, just
as the earth takes her moon round the sun. It is curious to perceive
how, not only in the case of our own moon, but in the cases of the moons
of Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus, and actually in those of all the planets
considered as the moons of the sun, the Platonic epicycle really holds
good. The earth turns on her heel, with the moon held out at arm's
length, while she goes round the amphitheatre before the solar eye; so
do the other moon-bearers. So does the sun himself upon a vaster arena
and before a greater spectator, like another Briareus; holding out his
seventeen planets, and nobody knows how many comets, in his hundred
hands. The moons, of those solar planets which have them, represent the
epi-epicyclical orbits of the Ptolemaic theory. It is curious, and also
touching, to notice how often the errors of man are thus the shadows of
truth. Were it not for the preceding shadows, indeed, the substance
would never arrive; and therefore the Ptolemaics of the world are
second, in value and in merit, only to epochal discoverers like
Copernicus.

Suppose the sun to be represented by a radiant little orb two feet in
diameter, in order to bring it within the measure of our eye; then this
great globe of ours, with all its stupendous histories, is no bigger
than a full-sized pea in proportion, revolving at the distance of 215
feet. Neptune, the outermost and last discovered of the planets, would
stand at the distance of a mile and a quarter from a sun of that
imaginary size, and it would be no larger than a cherry. Another cherry
at the distance of three-quarters of a mile would stand for Uranus.
Saturn would be a small orange at two-fifths of a mile from our two-feet
solar body. A middle-sized orange, at the distance of a quarter of a
mile, would be his Jupiter. At some 500 feet the nine little planets,
commonly called asteroids, probably enough the fragments of an exploded
orb, and now moving in a sort of group, would be represented by as many
grains of sand. A pin-head, at 327 feet, would do for Mars. Then comes
the earth. Still nearer the sun, namely at 142 feet from our present
model, revolves Venus, of the dimensions of a pea. And finally little
Mercury wheels along his orbit, with a radius of 82 feet, and the
dimensions of a mustard seed.

Add the terrestrial moon, the four moons of Jupiter, the ring within
ring that whirls round Saturn like an endless moon, the eight ordinary
moons of that extraordinary planet, the moons of Uranus and Neptune (yet
uncertain in their number), and it is impossible to say how many comets,
not to forget the enormous groups or hosts of comparatively small stones
or meteors, which are believed to be revolving round the solar centre
like pigmy asteroids; and the Copernican conception of the mere
constitution of the solar system, as developed by time and toil, is
completed. The sun is 882,000 miles in diameter; the earth is 7926; Juno
is 79; Saturn, 79,160, and so forth. The earth is more than five times
as heavy as water; Saturn is as light as cork. The earth rotates in
twenty-four hours; Jupiter in ten. The earth revolves in a year; Mars in
a year and ten months; Mercury in about three months; Venus in seven and
a half months; Jupiter in eleven years; Saturn in twenty-nine; Uranus in
eighty-four; Neptune in a hundred and sixty-four. A summer in Mercury
lasts some three weeks; in Neptune forty-one years. Light leaps from the
sun to the earth in eight minutes; to Neptune in four hours. In short,
the reader has to consider thousands of discovered facts, to carry with
him a whole world of indubitable inference, and to study a truly
wonderful bringing of the whole machinery, or rather organization, to
geometrical law, before he can apprehend how glorious a whole the
Copernican astronomy has become.



THE CONVICT'S TALE.


In the gloomy cell of the condemned were two persons. A muscular and
powerfully-made man, heavily ironed, sat on a low bench placed in one
corner. At a glance an observer would have pronounced him a native of
Ireland. His head was well-formed, and covered with a thick mass of
curling hair, of a light-brown color. The form of his mouth indicated
courage and decision, and in the large blue eyes there was a thrilling
expression of suffering and despair, which is never seen among the
hardened in crime. It seemed as if the over-burdened spirit looked forth
from those mirrors of the soul, and in his extremity asked sympathy and
consolation from those among whom his fearful lot was cast.

His companion was a Catholic priest, the tones of whose voice, as he
spoke in soothing accents to the condemned, were soft and clear as those
of a woman.

The prisoner spoke, and his voice sounded dull and hollow. Hope was
extinguished in his soul, and all the lighter inflections which express
the varied emotions stirring within us, had ceased to vary the
monotonous sounds which issued from his lips. A few more hours, and for
him Time would have ceased to revolve. What then had he to do with human
aspirations--with human joys? Nothing: his fate on earth was known--an
outlaw's life, a felon's death!

The prisoner folded his manacled hands over his breast, and said:

"Why should I seek to prolong my wretched existence by asking such a
commutation of my sentence? Death is but one pang, whereas solitary
confinement for life, to which I should probably be doomed, would be a
living torture. To live forever alone! Think what that must be even to a
man innocent of crime, and feel how far worse than the bed of Procrustes
it must be to one like me. No, holy father, let me die before the time
appointed by Nature. Thus let the tender mercies of my race toward me be
consummated."

"You are reckless, my son," said the priest, mildly. "Think how far
worse it will be to face an offended Judge in your present mood, than to
live for repentance."

"Repentance!" repeated the prisoner, in the same passionless manner;
"that is ever the jargon of your cloth, father: you condemn a man
without adverting to the motives, which, in his view, often sanctify the
act."

The priest looked at him rebukingly. As if the slumbering energies of
his impetuous nature were suddenly aroused by that look, the prisoner
started from his seat; his pale features glowed; his eyes sparkled with
fury, as he exclaimed: "Yes, I would again trample the life out of the
wretch who murdered my love by deception and ill-treatment with as
little, ay, with less compunction than if he had planted his dagger in
her heart."

He covered his face with his hands, and large tears fell over them.
Passionless as he was, the priest was touched by this overwhelming
emotion in one who had hitherto been so passive. He laid his hand on the
sufferer's arm, and kindly said: "Tell me, my son, how it was."

Melting beneath the voice of friendly sympathy, the murderer wept like a
child. When he became calmer, he said:--

I will give you the history of my life, and you may judge me:

I was born on a wild and rock-bound portion of the coast of Ireland. My
father was at the head of a small and wretchedly-built village, whose
inhabitants were all, with one exception, wreckers. You have heard of
those lawless and hardened men who exist on the spoils of unfortunate
mariners, whose destruction is often brought about through means of
false lights placed as beacons of safety. Fit parentage, you will say,
for the murderer!

My mother died before I can remember her; and the schoolmaster of the
parish was the only one who ever spoke to me of higher and nobler
pursuits than those followed by my father's adherents. The dominie was a
poor creature, whose necessities compelled him to abide in our
neighborhood, though his moral sense was greatly shocked at the crimes
which were often perpetrated around him. He fancied that he discovered
some superiority in me to the other urchins who were taught to read in
his turf-built hovel, and many hours did he employ in endeavoring to
impress on my young mind the great evil of spending a life in such a
pursuit as that to which I seemed destined. The good man died while I
was yet a mere child, and I soon forgot his lectures. The schoolroom was
abandoned for the ocean, and I grew up a promising pupil of my father's
wild occupation. Young, buoyant, full of activity, I was ardently
attached to the adventurous life I led. My moral perceptions were not
active, and there was a keen delight in dashing through the surf, when
the billows threatened each moment to ingulf my boat, in pursuit of the
wealth the greedy waves seemed eager to claim as their prey.

I can not deny that in this absorbing object the shrieks of drowning
wretches were too often unheeded, while we appropriated their property;
but I can truly say that I was never deaf to the voice of entreaty, and
frequently drew on myself the anger of my father by saving those whose
claims on his spoils sometimes seriously interfered with the profits of
the expedition. He never, however, refused to relinquish property thus
claimed; for he was exceedingly desirous of allowing no serious cause of
complaint to reach the ears of those who might make him feel the strong
arm of authority, even in the out-of-the-way place in which he had fixed
his residence. At an early age I considered myself as having no superior
in my wild occupation. The strong energies of my nature had no other
outlet. For days I would remain alone on the ocean, with the storm
careering around my frail boat, and at such times my restless soul would
look into the Future, and ask of Fate if such was ever to be my lot. My
thoughts often soared beyond the limited horizon of my home, and I made
several excursions among the cities of my native island; but I was glad
to return to my wild retreat. Uncouth in manners and appearance,
ignorant of the conventional forms of society, I keenly felt my
inferiority to the only class among whom I would have deigned to dwell.
After such humiliation I enjoyed a fiercer pleasure in my solitary
excursions on the deep.

I can not say that my life was passed without excess. In such a home as
mine, that would have been impossible. The frequent brawl, the
wassail-bowl and drunken revel were almost of nightly occurrence; and I
was fast sinking into the mere robber and inebriate, when an event
occurred which rescued me for a time from the abyss on the brink of
which I was standing.

He paused, as if nerving himself for what was to follow, and the priest
gazed with strong interest on his features, over which swept many wild
emotions, occasionally softened by a gleam of tenderer feeling. He at
length proceeded:--

One evening, in the stormy month of March, a ship was seen from our
look-out, drifting at the mercy of the wind and waves. The sky was a
mass of leaden clouds, and the sun as it sank from view, threw a lurid
glare over the angry waters, such as one might fancy to arise from the
deepest abyss of Hades. My father ordered the false light to be shown,
which had already brought swift destruction on many a gallant bark. I
knew not why, but my heart was interested in the fate of this vessel,
and I opposed his commands.

"Are you mad?" said he, sternly; "do you not see that this is a ship of
the largest class, and the spoils must be great?"

"But her decks are crowded with human beings," said I, lowering the
glass through which I had been surveying her; "and there are many women
among them. Put not up the false light, I conjure you. If she founders,
the spoils are legitimately yours, but--"

Even as I spoke the baleful light streamed far up into the rapidly
darkening air; a private signal had been given to one of his men, and it
was now too late to remonstrate. I rushed to my own boat, calling on a
boy, who sometimes accompanied me on such occasions, to follow. One
glance at the ship assured me that in five minutes she would be on the
sunken rock over which the light gleamed, and no human power could
prevent her from instantly going to pieces. My boat had weathered many a
storm as severe as this threatened to be, and I was fearless as to the
result. I resolved to die, or save some of the helpless creatures I had
seen on the deck of the doomed ship. A whistle brought a large
Newfoundland dog to my side, and in a very short time I was launched on
the waves of the heaving ocean. My father nodded approvingly to me,
thinking that I had made up my mind to assist as usual in rescuing our
game from the waves.

"Right, my boy!" said he, through his speaking trumpet: "all you save
to-night shall belong to yourself alone."

I was borne beyond the reach of his voice, and as I turned my face
toward the ship, there came a violent burst of thunder which seemed to
fill the echoing vault of heaven, attended by a continual flashing of
lightning. Mingled with its awful roar was a cry more terrible still,
that of human agony uttering its wild appeal to heaven for mercy in the
last dire extremity. The ship had struck, and hundreds were cast into
the ocean. The struggling wretches vainly raised their arms from the
foaming waters, and implored help from those who could have saved them
had they so willed it. The boats passed on and left them to their fate.

Having only myself and the boy to propel my boat, we did not reach the
scene of action so soon as the rest. As I came within speaking distance,
my father shouted to me to save a large box which was in reach of my
boat-hooks, but I was deaf to his voice. Also near me were two of the
unfortunate persons who had been shipwrecked. A man, with a female form
clasped to his breast, was feebly struggling with the waves. I saw that
his strength was nearly exhausted, and that before I could reach him
both must sink. Then came my noble dog to my assistance. I pointed to
the sinking forms: Hector sprang into the water, and swam to the side of
the unfortunates; he seized the dress of the lady, made an effort to
sustain both against the force of the raging waves, and turned a piteous
glance on me as he felt their united weight too much for his strength.
"Courage, old fellow!" I shouted, and made a desperate plunge with my
boat to reach them. The impetus of the rising billow sent me past them.
The father, for such I knew him to be, with sublime self-sacrifice
relaxed his hold, and turning his death-pale face toward me, uttered
some words which were lost amid the howling of the blast, and sank
forever from my sight. Relieved of the double weight, Hector now
gallantly struck out for my boat, and in a short space of time I had
drawn the senseless girl from the waves. I wrapped her in my sailor's
jacket, and used every means in my power to restore her. A few drops of
brandy from a small flask I carried in my pocket, brought a faint shade
of color to her cheeks and lips, and presently she unclosed her eyes and
gazed wildly around. With a shudder she again closed them, and seemed to
relapse into insensibility.

"She must have immediate attention, or she will perish!" I exclaimed,
and I bent vigorously to the oar. Barney steered, and I never for an
instant raised my eyes from the sweet pale face before me until my boat
grated on the strand.

Never have I seen so purely beautiful a countenance as was hers. It
seemed to me to be the mortal vesture chosen by one of the angels of
heaven to express to earthly souls all the attributes of the children of
light. She was fair as the lily which has just unfolded its stainless
leaves to the kisses of the sun, with hair of a bright golden hue
clinging in damp curls around her slender form. Her eyes were of the
color of the cloudless summer heaven, and the pale lips were so
exquisitely cut that a sculptor might have been proud to copy them for
his _beau ideal_ of human loveliness. I gazed, and worshiped this
creature rescued by myself from the jaws of destruction. Hitherto I had
thought little of love. The specimens of the female sex in our rough
settlement were, as may be supposed, not of a very attractive
description. Coarse, uneducated, toil-worn women, and girls who promised
in a few years to emulate their mothers in homeliness, possessed no
charms for me. It is true, that in my occasional visits to the more
civilized portions of my country, I saw many of the beautiful and gently
nurtured, but they were placed so far above me that it would have seemed
as rational to become enamored of the fairest star in heaven, and think
to make it mine. But this lovely girl had been rescued by me; her life
had been my gift, and she seemed of right to belong to me. All, save
herself, had perished in the wreck; she was probably alone in the world,
and I hugged to my soul the hope that in me, her preserver, she would
find father, brother, lover, all united.

My thoughts were interrupted by the voice of my father, who had just
landed with a boat-load of bales and boxes.

"How is this, Erlon?" he thundered. "Have you again dared to save life,
and neglect the object of our expedition? Fool! you will yet be driven
forth as a drone from the hive. The girl's dead; throw her into the sea;
she will be a dainty morsel for the sharks."

The girl raised her head as he spoke, and cast a wild look around her.

"Father! oh, where is my father?" said she, in a piercing tone. "O God,
let me die!" and she clasped her hands over her eyes as if to shut out
the vision of the swarthy, reckless-looking men who pressed forward to
gaze upon her.

"Hear her prayer," said the old man, brutally; "in with her at once! We
want no witnesses against us of this night's work."

He stepped forward as if to put his threat in execution. She shivered,
and shrank beneath the covering I had placed around her. I arose, and
stepping between them, said,

"You must first throw me in; for, by the heaven above us, we both go
together! I have your own promise for all I succeeded in saving, and I
claim this waif as my own."

"Be it so," said he, sneeringly; "I always knew you to be an idiot. A
profitable adventure, truly, this is likely to prove to you."

"I am satisfied with it, at all events," I replied, and he strode away.
I then turned to the young girl, and said in as soft a tone as I
command,

"Fear nothing, beautiful being. I am rough in appearance, but my heart
is in the right place. I will protect you. I will be to you a friend."

"Am I then alone?" she asked, in an accent of indescribable anguish.
"Oh, why did you not suffer me to perish with the rest? Wretched,
wretched Alice! to survive all that loved her!"

"Not all, lady, for _I_ am here," I said, naïvely.

"You! I know you not; all--all have perished. Forgive me," she
continued, seeing the blank expression of my countenance; "I know not
what I say. The wretched are excusable."

"Ah!" I replied with fervor, "I am too happy in being made the
instrument of serving such a being as you are to take any offense at
words wrung from the over-burdened heart. Come with me, fair Alice, and
I will place you in safety." I conducted her to the cottage of an old
woman, who had been my nurse. Though rough and frightful, she was kindly
in her nature, and I knew would do any thing to oblige me.

The narrator paused, arose, and rapidly paced the floor, his hands
nervously working, and the cold drops streaming from his corrugated
brow. He again threw himself upon his seat, and remained so long silent
that the priest ventured to speak to him:

"My friend, time passes. The sun is going to his rest, and beyond that
hour I can not remain."

"Pardon me," said the prisoner, in a subdued tone; "but the
recollections that crowd on my mind madden me. Think what it is to me,
the condemned, the outcast, to speak of past happiness. It is like
rending apart soul and body, to dwell on bright scenes amid the profound
yet palpable darkness of guilt and woe that is ever present with me.
'The heart knoweth its own bitterness,' was once quoted to me by her
lips. Ah! how overwhelmingly significant is that phrase to the
guilt-stricken! My God, my God! pardon and forgive; for thou knowest the
provocation."

The priest breathed a few words of consolation and hope, and again the
bitter waves of anguish rolled back from his soul, and left him calm. He
sat a few moments silent, as if recalling the scenes he was about to
depict; his brow cleared, his eyes lighted up with love and joy. For a
few moments the magic of the happy past seemed to hold complete sway
over his mind. He continued:

Heretofore my character had been undeveloped. The master-passion was
required to show me my true nature. As the warmth of the sun is needful
to give life and beauty to the productions of earth, so the soul of man
remains in its germ until love has aroused and expanded his being into
the more perfect state of existence. All the better feelings of my
nature were brought into action, for I loved a being far superior to
myself; one who I felt would long ere this have perished in the
atmosphere of evil in which I had been reared. Until I knew this pure
girl I had never felt all the degradation, the debasing effects of my
mode of life; but now I blushed before her, and resolved to rescue
myself from my associates and become worthy of her.

Alice was many weeks recovering from the shock she had sustained, and
the subsequent exposure. During that time a portion of our men, headed
by my father, had perished in one of their expeditions. I thus became by
hereditary descent the head of the village. In pursuance of my recent
determinations, I at once delegated my authority to a nephew of my
nurse, the same Reardon on whose body I have since perpetrated such fell
revenge as he merited. I learned from Alice that the ship was bound for
New York, from Liverpool, and five hundred souls were on board when she
struck. And must so many perish to bring thee to my side? was my
thought; for I felt that she was the guardian angel sent to save me from
utter destruction.

For many days after the storm bodies were washed on shore, which were
thrown into one common grave. Among them I recognized the father of
Alice, and gave him sepulture with my own hands. I selected a small
headland which sloped gradually toward the sea; the green sward was
shaded by a single thorn-tree, beneath whose shelter I placed the grave
of the unfortunate stranger. When Alice had sufficiently recovered to
walk to the spot, I led her thither, and pointed out the mound which
marked his resting-place. She thanked me with many tears, and from that
hour I date the commencement of my interest in her heart.

On that spot I learned the simple history of Alice. Her father was an
officer on half-pay in the British army. He had no influential
connections, and never rose beyond the rank of lieutenant. A severe
wound received in the battle of Waterloo affected his health so
seriously that he was compelled to retire from active service; but his
pension supported himself and his only child in comfort. As his health,
however, visibly declined, he anxiously contemplated the future fate of
his daughter; and after mature reflection resolved to visit the United
States in search of a brother who had emigrated to that country many
years before, and had there accumulated a fortune. Alice said she had no
other relatives except the family of this uncle. In the wide world she
was alone, without the means of reaching him, even if she could have
remembered the place of his abode. Many of her father's effects had been
saved, but among them were no letters or papers which gave any
information relative to the residence of Mr. Crawford.

During the illness of Alice I had busied myself in preparing for her an
abode removed a short distance from the village. About half a mile from
the sea stood a lonely and deserted cottage, sheltered by several fine
trees. The rank grass had overgrown the walks in the garden, and the few
shrubs which some unknown hand had planted around the house, had spread
in wild luxuriance over the miniature lawn. I put every thing in order
myself. The ruined portico was securely propped, and the graceful vine
made to trail its foliage over the rustic pillars which supported it.
Among the accumulated stores of my deceased father, concealed in vaults
constructed for the purpose, I sought the richest carpets for the floor,
and the most beautifully-wrought fabrics, with which the mildewed walls
were hung. I made a visit to a distant town, and secretly purchased
every article of luxury which could be desired in the household of the
most delicately-nurtured of Fashion's daughters.

When Vine Cottage, as I named the place, was ready for the reception of
its mistress, I secretly induced old Elspeth to remove thither; and
after spending an hour of sweet communion at her father's grave, I
persuaded Alice to walk with me in the direction of the cottage. As we
drew near it, she expressed her admiration of its simply elegant
appearance, and seemed surprised to find so neat a residence in such a
vicinity.

"A friend of mine lives here, dear Alice," said I; "let us visit her."

Alice acquiesced with an air of interest, and I led her forward. Elspeth
met us at the door. I will not attempt to describe her astonishment and
delight when she found that this charming place was to be her future
abode. She turned her beautiful eyes on me, humid with tears, and said:

"You must be the possessor of Aladdin's wonderful lamp to accomplish so
much in so short a time. But, no, I wrong you, Erlon; perseverance and
affection are the true sources of what you have here accomplished. I can
never sufficiently thank you, my friend, my brother!"

"No, not a brother," said I, abruptly; "I love you far better than a
brother."

Elspeth had left us, and I poured forth my passion with eloquence
inspired by its own intensity. I ended by saying:

"I do not ask you to live forever in this horrible neighborhood. Since I
have known you I have ceased to be a wrecker. Never since that eventful
night have I gone forth with the band, and from the hour of my father's
death his authority has been given by me into the hands of my namesake,
Erlon Reardon."

Alice slightly shuddered at the mention of his name, but at the moment I
was so absorbed in my own feelings that I did not observe her emotion.
She answered my passionate declaration, as nearly as I can remember, in
the following words, pronounced with a sweet seriousness which was very
impressive:

"I will not deny, Erlon, that your delicate kindness, from one from whom
I could least have expected it, has made a deep impression on my
feelings; and that impression is perhaps heightened by my forlorn and
destitute condition. But I can not conceal from you that I will never
consent to marry a man who has, only through his passion for me, torn
himself from a pursuit opposed alike by the laws of God and humanity.
Your sorrow for the past must come from a higher source. Your soul must
be bowed in humility before the throne of Him whose commands you have
outraged, and your life must show the effects of your repentance, before
I would dare to trust my earthly lot in your keeping."

"What more can I do?" I bitterly asked. "I was born and have been reared
in darkness, and if I am willing to accept the light which first shone
on my benighted path through your agency, do I not manifest a desire to
improve?"

"But I fear that you regard the weak instrument more than Him who threw
me in your way," she replied, with a faint smile. "But let us not
misunderstand each other, Erlon. I joyfully accept the mission which has
been appointed me. I see so much in you that is excellent, so much that
is noble, that to me it will be a delightful task to assist you in
overcoming the evil which is naturally foreign to your soul. The day
will arrive when I can with confidence place my hand in yours as your
wife, even as I now give it as your plighted bride."

I rapturously received it; but after a vain attempt to repress my
feelings, I entreated her to wed me then, and I would never cease
striving after the excellence she wished me to attain. But on that score
she was obdurate. Her hand must be the reward of my entire reformation,
not the precursor of it.

From that period I spent the greater portion of my time with Alice. She
was passionately fond of reading, and, what few women are, an excellent
classic scholar. She accounted for this by informing me that her father
had been originally designed for the church, and was educated with that
view; but afterward rebelled against the parental decree, and entered
the army. He was a passionate admirer of the old authors, and imparted
to his daughter his own knowledge of, and exceeding love for their
beauties.

Among the things cast on shore from the ship was a box of Mr. Crawford's
treasured books, and to them I added such modern works as were most
congenial to the taste of Alice. I have mentioned that my education had
not proceeded much beyond its first elements, and now for the first time
did I begin to appreciate the intense enjoyment found in literary
pursuits. I studied deeply, and was soon competent to converse with my
mistress on the beauties of her favorite authors. We then read together,
and I sought, while reading aloud the impassioned strains of the poet,
to express by the varied intonations of my voice the tender and
soul-thrilling emotions with which my listener inspired me; for I felt
when near her an ineffable satisfaction, as if the soul had found its
better part, and the being that was needed to complete my existence was
beside me. A holy calm pervaded my whole being--springing not from the
dull listlessness which falls over the stupid or inert, but from the
fullness of content. The assurance that I was making myself daily more
worthy to claim this beloved girl as my own, spread through my soul a
delicious, all-pervading sense of uninterrupted happiness. No man,
however rough, could thus associate with a delicate and refined woman
without acquiring some of the elegance which distinguished her. I
imperceptibly lost the clownish air which had so often bitterly
mortified me; and as my perceptions became more acute I saw in my own
manners all that could render me repulsive, and hastened to correct it.

Ah! if Alice would then have married me, all the horror, all the
wretchedness which has ensued might have been avoided! But I must not
anticipate.

Eighteen months passed thus, and again I urged Alice to listen to my
prayers for an immediate union. She replied:

"The time has now arrived when I can express to you the scruples which
still fill my mind. Your perceptions are now so correct that I believe
you will feel with me that it is wrong for you to retain the wealth your
father's pursuit enabled him to accumulate."

"I have thought of this," said I; "but how could it possibly be returned
to its rightful owners? Besides, much of it is legally the right of
those who rescued it from the ocean at the risk of life. All was not
purchased at so fearful a price as when you--"

She interrupted me gently: "It matters not how obtained, Erlon; its
possession will bring with it a curse. I can not consent to enjoy
property the loss of which, perhaps, consummated the ruin of its
rightful owners. You might think, perhaps, that for nearly two years
past I have very quietly submitted to this; but the object I had in view
in rescuing a human being, capable of better things, from such a life,
was my motive; and to my mind it seemed good. But now we must leave this
place. Your duty leads you to a higher sphere, where you must seek the
means of a more honorable support. While you do this, I will obtain a
home among the Sisters of Charity in Dublin, and in acts of mercy and
kindness pass the time until you are in circumstances to claim me as
your wife."

"No, no! dear Alice, you must not expose yourself to such privations as
are endured by those excellent women. I will go forth and seek
independence, but you must remain with my good Elspeth; she loves me as
a mother, and will watch over you for my sake."

"I can not remain when you leave," said Alice, quietly, but decisively.

I pressed her so earnestly for her reason, and opposed her wish to go
so strongly, that she at length said, with great reluctance:

"If you will not be satisfied without a reason, I must give you the true
one, Erlon; but promise me that you will not give way to anger."

I gave the desired promise, and she then said in a low tone:

"I should not feel quite safe here in your absence. The nephew of
Elspeth, in spite of his knowledge of our engagement, often intrudes
himself in my presence, and speaks of his passion for me in words that
sometimes terrify me."

I started up in irrepressible wrath:

"Cowardly rascal! I will instantly punish him!"

"Nay, remember your promise, dearest Erlon," said Alice, in her softest
tone. I was instantly calmed, so magical was her influence over me, and
I seated myself by her side. Our plans were then talked over, and
definitely arranged. I proposed to go at once to Dublin, and with a sum
of money which had been hoarded by my father, get into some mercantile
employment, for which I considered myself well fitted. I promised Alice
that so soon as I could possibly spare such a sum the whole amount I had
taken from my father's stores should be placed in the hands of a
competent person to be dispensed in charities, thus clearing myself of
all participation in the fruits of his crimes. She was to obtain an
asylum with the Sisters of Charity, as she had proposed; for she
steadily refused to be any longer dependent on me until the period had
arrived when she should become my wife.

Our intentions were silently but quickly put into execution; and on the
third morning after our consultation every thing was in readiness for
our departure. Until the carriage I had sent for by a trusty person was
at the door, even Elspeth remained in ignorance of our intended
flitting. I then sought the village, and announced to the people my
final departure. They heard me in silence; the majority of them had
already looked on me as one extirpated from their band.

In spite of the change in me, some of the old leaven still remained; and
I could not refrain from giving a parting blow to Reardon for having
dared to raise his eyes to the object of my adoring love. There had been
a feud existing from boyhood between him and a young man named Casey,
both born and reared to their present mode of life; and when I withdrew
from the command which devolved on me at my father's death, there had
been a struggle between the two as to which should assume the authority
I resigned. Reardon applied to me, and, as the nephew of my nurse, I
preferred him as my successor. As my last act among the villagers I now
reversed that decision, and appointed Ira Casey as the representative of
my hereditary right. I turned away amid the acclamations of Casey's
partisans, and Reardon approached me. His face was pale with
concentrated passion, and in his eyes was an expression that for one
moment made even my strong nerves quiver. His voice was scarcely above a
whisper, but it was peculiarly distinct:

"Though the same arm had enfolded us in infancy, though the same mother
had nursed us, I would still have sworn toward you inextinguishable
hatred for this cowardly act. If you had left me in peace, I should have
forgotten the blue-eyed daughter of the Briton, and have suffered you to
live in happiness. But now, in your hour of brightest hope, remember
Reardon, and let his name send a thrill of fear to your soul; for I
solemnly swear to you to destroy that happiness, if it should cost me my
life!"

I laughed aloud, and turned off, saying:

"I defy thee, braggart! The whole village knows how much Erlon Reardon
is given to boasting of his future exploits."

"Call it a boast, if you will; but to you it shall yet become a terrible
reality."

"Do your worst!" I replied, with a sneer, and hastily waving an adieu to
the assembled throng, I hurried toward "Vine Cottage," and in a few
moments was borne away from ---- forever.

Knowing the catastrophe which has since occurred, you will be surprised
to hear that I really had no fear of the machinations of Reardon. I knew
him to be a great braggart, as I had said; and his threats against those
who offended him were a standing jest in the village, for they had never
in any instance been fulfilled. My taunt perhaps stung him into the
accomplishment of his words to me; or his passion for Alice was so great
as to urge him onward in wrecking her happiness, sooner than see her
mine.

Reardon possessed a talent which had frequently afforded me much
amusement, and I had never thought of the evil influence it might enable
him to wield over those who were not on their guard against him. He was
an admirable ventriloquist, and an excellent mimic. Often have I been
startled by his voice sounding so exactly like an echo of my own that
the nicest ear must have been deceived. We were nearly the same size and
not unlike in features, and he could mimic my walk and air so accurately
that, by a dim light, my best friend would have declared the counterfeit
the true man. Alice was not aware of this, and to spare her some
uneasiness I never mentioned the threat of Reardon. From these simple
causes sprang all the evil that afterward ensued. Are we not indeed the
blind puppets of a fate that is inevitable?

"My son," said the mild voice of the priest, "we make our own fate, and
the shadows which darken our path are thrown from the evil passions of
our nature. Had you left Reardon to his wild command, you had not now
been here, his condemned executioner."

"True, true; but I must hasten. The remaining part of my unhappy story
must be told in as few words as possible, or I shall madden over its
recital."

We went to Dublin, and put our mutual plans in execution. I was
successful beyond my hopes, and anticipated our union at the end of my
first year in the capital. I entered into partnership with a substantial
trader, and after several months I was compelled to go over to England
on business. An advantageous opening for a branch of our trade presented
itself in one of the sea-port towns in that country, and I was
reluctantly compelled to take charge of it. It was impossible for Alice
to leave Ireland until the year had expired for which she had assumed
the garb of a Sister of Charity; and though we both repined at our
separation, we were compelled to submit to the fate which parted us. We
wrote frequently, and it was mutually arranged that at the end of her
probation we should be united.

As the time of our union drew near, I was so pressed with affairs of the
last importance to my future prosperity, that I found it impossible to
leave home long enough to visit Ireland and claim my bride. I wrote to
Alice, informing her of the circumstances which detained me; and
requested her to take the first packet for Liverpool, where I would meet
her and have every thing in readiness for our immediate marriage. A
vessel would be in waiting to convey us to my residence, so soon as the
ceremony was performed. I sent this letter by my confidential clerk,
who, I afterward found, was in the pay of my dire enemy. The answer duly
came, promising to be punctual; and words can convey to you no idea of
my happiness. "Another week, and she will be mine!" I repeated a
thousand times.

I made every arrangement that could promote her comfort; and having
chartered a vessel for the purpose, set out with a light heart. The
captain of my craft proved, as I then thought, very stupid in the
navigation of his vessel; but I afterward knew that he had been bribed
to delay my arrival. I did not reach Liverpool until many hours after I
should have been married. I hurried with breathless haste to the hotel,
and inquired for Miss Crawford. The answer which I there received almost
paralyzed me:

"A lady of that name was married here last evening at eight o'clock, and
immediately embarked with her husband in a ship bound for America."

"Married! Who then was her husband?" I knew at once; but I need not
repeat to you all my frenzied inquiries, nor the dark certainty which
fell on my soul that Reardon was the cause of this terrible catastrophe!

He again paced the floor in deep agitation.

"Yes, yes!" he continued; he came indeed in my hour of brightest hopes! I
will now tell you what I subsequently heard from the lips of the dying
Alice; for once again we met face to face, and I beheld upon her brow
the impress of approaching death, and thanked God that it was so. I
could without tears lay her in the silent earth, knowing that her pure
spirit was with angels; but it rived my soul with unutterable pangs to
know that she was the wife of such a wretch as Reardon.

On the night of my expected arrival in Liverpool, Reardon, who was kept
informed of all my plans by my perfidious clerk, personated me with such
success that even Alice was deceived. He met her in a room very dimly
lighted, and under the pretense that he was very much hurried by the
captain, who wished to avail himself of wind and tide in his favor, he
wore his cloak ready for instant departure. His hair was of the same
color, and disposed as I always wore mine; he spoke to her in her
lover's voice, and Alice, hurried, agitated, half-blinded by her tears,
doubted not that I was beside her. The license was handed to the
clergyman, who hurried over the ceremony, and within half an hour after
Reardon's appearance at the hotel, they were on board a ship which was
ready to sail immediately. They remained on deck until the vessel was
many miles from land; and when Reardon felt himself secure in the avowal
of his villainy, he resolved to exult in the anguish of his victim. He
entered her state-room, and seating himself before her, said:

"Alice Crawford, you acknowledge yourself my lawful wife in the sight of
heaven, and you have willingly come on board this ship to accompany me
to my home?"

"Assuredly, dear Erlon; why such questions?" said Alice.

"Erlon? yes, Erlon is the name I bear in common with him who is dear to
you; and from him have I stolen you. Behold!"

He dropped the cloak, threw of his hat, and stood before her. Alice
uttered an exclamation, and fell fainting from her seat. Oh, had she
then died! But no; she revived, to know and feel the full bitterness of
her lot. Vain were her pathetic entreaties; vain her protestations that
she would never consider herself as his wife. In reply to the first he
said:

"I love you quite as well as Purcel, and you must make up your mind to
fulfill the vows you have this night uttered." And to her threat to
appeal to the captain and passengers, and state the diabolical deception
he had practiced, he replied:

"I have provided for every contingency, madam. The captain believes you
to be my insane wife, whom I am taking to New York on a visit to your
parents, in the hope that the sight of your native home may benefit your
mind. I have already anticipated your story, and represented it as the
vagary of a disordered intellect. My arrangements are all made, and you
leave this state-room no more until we reach New York. Withdraw your
affections as speedily as possible from Purcel, and centre them on your
lawful husband, or it may be worse for you."

Fancy the torture of such a situation to a high-principled and sensitive
girl! Reardon was true to his word, and her story was listened to
incredulously by the maid, the only person beside himself who was
allowed access to her during the voyage. By the time they reached New
York her spirit was completely broken, and her health in an alarming
state of decay. This enraged Reardon, and he brutally reproached her
with grieving over my loss. Indeed, I believe he sometimes proceeded
beyond reproaches toward his helpless and now uncomplaining victim. She
bore it all in silence, for she felt that death would soon release her
from the sufferings she endured.

On their arrival in this city Reardon procured a house, and set his
servant as a spy on her during his absence from home. Alice made an
attempt to escape from his power, determined to throw herself on the
protection of the first person she met who looked as if he might give
credence to her story. The servant followed and brought her back to her
prison, and when Reardon returned, his anger knew no bounds. Then I know
he struck her, for she fell with violence against the sharp corner of a
table; and that blow upon her breast hastened the doom that was already
impending over her.

To die with him was horrible, and she next found means, through the
agency of an intelligent child, who sometimes played beneath her window
to send to one of the city papers a letter containing an advertisement
addressed to her unknown uncle. She knew that Reardon never read any
thing, and equally well, that there was little danger of being
discovered by him in this last effort to escape from the horrible
thralldom in which she was held.

Several weeks rolled away--weeks of sickening doubts and harrowing
fears; but, at length, the hour of her rescue came. One morning, shortly
after Reardon had left the house, a carriage stopped before the door,
containing an elderly lady and gentleman, who inquired for Alice. It was
her uncle and his wife, and after hearing her story he instantly removed
her to his hotel, from whence in another hour they started for his
residence in the interior of the State, thus eluding all chances of
discovery by Reardon.

It was a mere chance that the advertisement had reached Mr. Crawford.
When it did, he lost no time in seeking his brother's daughter, and
offering her his protection. Alice felt assured that I would follow her,
and she yearned to behold me once more, before her eyes closed forever
in this world. Yes, she was dying of a broken heart, while I madly
plowed the ocean in pursuit of her destroyer. The ship was detained by
long calms, and I bowed in abject supplication to the God of the storm,
to send us wind that might waft me to the land I so ardently desired to
behold. At last, haggard from intense suffering, and half-maddened with
the fever of my mind, I stood upon the sod of the New World.

I at once sought out the post-office, for I knew if still living, Alice
would there have deposited a clew to her abode. I found a letter from
her uncle directing me to his residence, and the last words sent a cold
and sickening thrill through my soul: "Come as soon as this reaches you,
if you would find Alice alive; her only desire is now to behold you," he
wrote. The letter bore the date of the previous month. If I could but
see her again, I felt that I could resign her; but to behold no more the
being who had become so knit to my very existence; to find the grave
closed over that form of unequaled beauty, was a thought which made my
brain whirl and my blood grow cold. I learned the route to----, near
which place was Mr. Crawford's residence. I took my seat in the first
stage-coach which left for that town, and was borne toward my dying
Alice. I can not tell you how the day and night which I spent on the
road passed. I know that my mind was not perfectly clear; but one idea
filled it: Alice, dead or dying, and I condemned to live forever alone.
In this wide and breathing world, so filled with human aspirations and
human hopes, I felt myself doomed to wander without ties and without
sympathy. Then came the image of him who had thus desolated my path, and
at once a fixed resolve filled my mind.

When we stopped, I mechanically ate, because I feared that without
nourishment the unnatural tension of my nerves might incapacitate me
from going through with the trying ordeal which awaited me. I at length
reached the house. I dismounted at the gate, and walked up the avenue.
My feet seemed glued to the ground, and I faltered like a drunken man,
as I slowly drew near the portico, afraid to learn that I had arrived
too late.

A gentleman met me at the door, and my parched lips syllabled the name
of Alice. He read the question I would have asked, in my agonized and
distorted countenance. "She lives," he said, and led me toward her
apartment.

The doors were all wide open, for it was summer, and in a darkened room,
on a bed whose snowy drapery was scarcely whiter than her face, lay my
adored Alice in a calm slumber. I approached and leaned over her: then I
could mark the ravages which suffering had made on her sweet features;
but I read on her tranquil brow, and in the subdued expression of her
small mouth, that the angel of peace had folded his wings over her
departing spirit. I felt that her trust in a higher Power had subdued
the bitterness of approaching death, and I prayed fervently to be
enabled even then to say: "My God, not my will, but Thine be done;" but
my rebellious heart would not thus be schooled. A moment I dared to ask
why she, who loved all human beings, would turn aside from her path to
spare the meanest insect that crawls, should have this unutterable load
of suffering laid upon her? My burning tears fell over her; I knew not
that I wept, until she unclosed her eyes, and wiped from her cheek a
lucid drop which had fallen there. She gazed upon me with a radiant
smile; a bright gleam from the heaven to which she was hastening seemed
to shine over her lovely countenance, and she stretched forth her
emaciated hands to me:

"Ah, I dreamed this. I knew you would come. Heaven is kind to permit
another earthly meeting, before I go hence. My beloved Erlon, you are
just in time!"

She turned to her uncle, and requested him to leave us alone for a brief
space. The old gentleman withdrew, and I then listened to the narrative
of her sufferings.

The whirlwind, in its greatest might, is the only fitting type of the
wild thoughts and bitter purposes which filled my mind. In the darkest
recess of my soul I registered a vow to seek Reardon over the world,
until I had signally avenged her wrongs, my own blighted manhood, and
darkened future.

Alice then spoke of mercy and peace to all men, and conjured me for my
own sake to spare her destroyer. I heard without accurately
comprehending her. My future course was irrevocably determined, and with
that stupefaction which only the extreme of mental suffering can
produce, I listened to her dying words.

In two hours after my arrival the family was called in to receive her
last farewell. I supported her upon my breast, which no longer heaved
with the wild pulsations of anguish that had so long thrilled in every
throb of my heart. No; the worst was known, and above my great sorrow
arose the intense and burning desire for revenge. Two great emotions can
not exist together: one must succumb to the other.

Alice comprehended something of what was passing in my mind, and almost
with her last breath she murmured: "Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord."

I muttered: "Ay; but He often chooses earthly instruments by which to
accomplish it."

She died; and imprinting a last kiss upon her pale lips, I left the
house: I could not remain to perform the last rites to her precious
remains.

I wandered in the woods in communion with the spirit of the dead, until
the returning stage arrived. I was then borne to the scene of
anticipated retribution. It was midnight when I reached New York. I felt
that I could not rest: in such a condition of feverish excitement,
motion was the only state I could bear, and I hurriedly paced the
streets, arranging in my mind the means of discovering my doomed enemy.
Day was just beginning to dawn when I passed the open door of an
oyster-cellar, from which two men were emerging. A voice spoke which
made my blood bubble in my veins. It was Reardon. He said, "I shall
leave to-day, or that fool Purcel will be on my track. If that girl had
not played me such a trick, I should long since have been buried in the
far West, where I would have defied him to find me. I have fooled away
too much time in trying to seek her out."

He stepped on the pavement. At that moment a line of rosy light shot
upward from the rising sun, and streamed full on my pale and determined
countenance. Reardon recoiled and drew his knife from his breast. Not a
word was spoken; we rushed on each other, and I sheathed my dagger in
his traitorous heart.

The prisoner ceased, and the priest said emphatically: "Your life must
be saved, my son. I must now leave you, but you shall hear from me ere
long."

We will only add that all the facts of the case being taken into
consideration, the sentence of Erlon Purcel was finally changed to
imprisonment for ten years. His good conduct caused that time to be
reduced to half the term. Once more free, he went to St. Louis, and
there joined a band of trappers bound for the far West. Let us hope that
in the eternal forest, far from the haunts of civilized men, he has
repented of the crime he committed, and found that peace and trust in
the future which is Life's most precious possession.



A BRUSH WITH THE BISON.

BY JOHN MILLS, ESQ.


Previously to the introduction of Birmingham and Sheffield manufactures
into the Indian market, the weapons used in war and hunting were of an
exceedingly primitive kind. Instead of rifles, scalping knives,
tomahawks, and two-edged lances of polished steel, the North American
brave possessed but a short bow made of bone with twisted sinews for
strings, and a quiver of flint-tipped arrows, with a stone hatchet,
comprised his whole stand-of-arms. As a matter of course, the more
destructive kinds of instruments introduced at once increased the
slaughter of the game, and, from the eagerness of the traders to
exchange their goods for skins, led the Indians to destroy those animals
by wholesale which formerly were killed only for food and clothing for
themselves. Even at certain seasons of the year, when the fur of the
buffalo is in the worst possible condition, it has been known for vast
herds to be exterminated merely for their tongues, which would be
bartered for a few gallons of villainous whisky. The numbers still
ranging over the prairies are, doubtless, very great, extending from the
western frontier to the western verge of the Rocky Mountains, and from
the 30th to the 55th degree of north latitude; but, as if the end was
fixed for the extermination of this the principal provision of the
Indian, with the Indian himself, they are rapidly becoming thinned, and
in a few years it is highly probable that a buffalo, in its native
state, will be as rare on the American continent as a bustard is in our
own island.

It is worthy of a passing reflection to glance at the particular
purposes for which the buffalo was assigned: to supply the three chief
temporal wants of the Indian, as they are those of the white man--food,
raiment, and lodging. The flesh affords ample provision, the skin robes
for clothing, bedding, and covering to his wig-wam, while, as a
further, utility, the hoofs are melted into glue to assist him in
fabricating his shield, arrows, and other necessary articles for savage
life. It may, therefore, be imagined that the buffalo is indispensable
to the Indian's simple existence; for, whatever may have been said and
written concerning schemes for his civilization, I am quite certain
that, from his innate indolence, love of roving, fierce passions, and
unconquerable desire for the excitement of war and hunting, nothing can
be more impossible than that any such attempts should meet with a
different result than positive defeat. Indeed, the American government,
and various religious sects, actuated by the purest philanthropy, have
dispatched agents and missionaries to the different tribes, with
unflagging perseverance, in the hope of reclaiming the red man from his
present degenerated condition; but to no purpose. He adopts the vices of
civilization with the greatest readiness, and meets with the most
accomplished tutors in the persons of the traders and trappers by whom
he is surrounded; but he can not comprehend either the temporal or
eternal happiness offered through the medium of Christianity. Ribald as
the statement may appear, I have heard an Osage declare, with much
seriousness, that "nothing could seem to him less inviting than what the
pale face called heaven, and if he was to go there he should not know
how to pass his time." With these unsophisticated notions, and the
plain, blunt questions with which the Indiana are accustomed to examine
all theological matters, it may readily be supposed that a minister of
the Gospel would find considerable difficulty in obtaining many
proselytes to the true faith.

In the vicinity of St. Louis I once witnessed a most ridiculous scene,
wherein a camp preacher, and one of the good old school, thundered forth
the evil consequences of not listening to what he was saying with
reverence, and, surrounded by Indians of various tribes, the good man,
mounted on a primitive rostrum seat, dealt liberally in the terrors of
the church, while he offered a niggardly allowance of hope even to the
best, always excepting himself. For a time the motley crowd seemed
disposed to assume a becoming deportment; but when the preacher went
into the particulars of the fiery ordeal, prepared alike for sinners of
all ages, sizes, and complexions, a roar of laughter broke
simultaneously from the lips of each, and the shouts of mirth drowning
his voice, left him violently gesticulating; and, at length, waxing
warmer at the reception his homily met with, he began to foam at the
mouth with frantic rage, and a more distant likeness to Him who bore
contumely with meekness never opened to unwilling ears and stubborn
hearts.

We were now on the verge of the upper prairies, no longer enameled with
flowers and flowering plants, but covered with a short, coarse, herbage
called "buffalo grass," on which the buffalo loves to feed. These
hunting grounds are far easier to ride over, from being free of vines
and entangling shrubs which interlace each other in impenetrable masses,
although the yawning clefts, made by the water courses, the wallows
caused by the buffaloes forming baths for themselves by ripping the
earth open with their heads in soft, oozy spots, and the burrowing of
that sharp and watchful little animal the prairie dog, cause both horse
and horseman to run considerable risk when taking a spin over the flat.
Hill and dale, bluff and level, the landscape broke upon the eye in one
of those infinite and fruitful wastes, which strikes the mind with awe
at its grand and boundless scale.

The serious object of the expedition was now on the eve of being
realized, and the land of promise being gained, every preparation had
been made the succeeding morning for a regular buffalo hunt. In addition
to my rifle and pistols, I carried a long lance with the shaft made of
the toughest ash. This weapon I found rather unwieldy and awkward, and
saw how different it looked in the hands of my companions; but Hawkeye
insisted that it was indispensable, an I could not attempt the use of
bow and arrow.

Stripped of all superfluous garments, and fully equipped for the
expedition, my companions mounted their horses, with their lassos
uncoiled and trailing upon the ground, as invariably is the rule in war
or hunting, for the purpose of facilitating the re-capture of the animal
should an unlucky separation take place between the rider and his
saddle. Alike eager for the sport, both horses and men seemed to be
moved by a desire to let no "impotent delay" stand between them and the
consummation of their hopes, and, as we moved forward to give chase to
the herds which were known to be in the vicinity, I thought that a finer
set of Osage hunters, albeit the last of the race, never, perhaps, drew
a bowstring or couched a lance. Indeed, nothing can be conceived
handsomer than they looked, as, with their bronzed chests and
finely-developed limbs exposed, they sat upon their plunging horses like
statues of faultless mould. A few had decorated their bits and bridles
with blue and scarlet tassels, and not the least of the most
gayly-decked was my retainer Hawkeye's, who appeared disposed to be
equally conspicuous in field, or tent, or lady's bower.

It was now that I rued the luckless mishap which cost me Sunnyside, and
learned--alas! not for the first time--the true value of lessons taught
by experience. For knowing how much depends upon their horses, in
expeditions of this kind, the Indians take the greatest care in running
no unnecessary risks with them, although when in the ardor of the chase
they ride like demons, and reck little of danger to life and limb.

As my wild colt had successfully given me the slip at the moment of
anticipating his services in carrying me "to buffalo," I was fain to
depend still upon Nigger, who, Hawkeye swore by the shades of his
fathers, would outstrip the best of the herd, "if I only drove my spurs
well in and _held them there_." Certes, this was a fair specimen of
Indian treatment to the horse, more particularly should his master be in
possession of the white man's instruments of torture and control.
Delighted with making an exhibition of his horsemanship, and totally
regardless of the maddening effects of bit and spurs, the Indian is
never at rest with them, but keeps both at work with relentless rigor
and perseverance. Among the red man's virtues, humanity to the brute
creation, or indeed to those of his own kind, can not be classed with an
approach to truth.

Without evincing any emotions of deep chagrin, Adonis was left behind
to guard such goods, chattels, and provisions as would have proved
useless to have been carried forward, and as it was expected that we
should be enabled to return to the encampment before night-fall, he was
directed to hold all things in readiness, and more especially to
withstand temptation in keeping his mouth from the bung of my nearly
exhausted whisky-keg. In an extended line, or by the familiar
description of Indian file, we began this march as usual just at ruddy
daybreak, and were not far advanced on the great prairie stretching
before us like a vast and limitless ocean, when Blackwolf, who headed
the force, reined in his dark iron-gray steed with a sudden jerk which
sent him nearly upon his haunches. In an instant all was commotion.
Arrows were drawn from their quivers, bow-strings tried and thrummed,
lances poised, and every eye directed to the spot on which the chief
fixed his earnest and flashing gaze.

Not two miles distant, and grazing in fancied security on a piece of
table land as level as a bowling-green, a large herd of buffalo was
descried, looking at the distance like so many black specks on the
waste. Some I could perceive were lying down, and the scene altogether
may be compared, without violence to the imagination, to what the
tourist may witness by the aid of railways, within a few hours of the
metropolis, in a canter across Dartmoor or Exmoor, and where no dread
exists of Pawnees and Camanches.

It was decided that we should head the herd, and endeavor to drive them
back toward the encampment, in order to save as little time and trouble
as possible in getting the meat and skins to that quarter. In
prosecuting this scheme we had to make a wide circle from the direct
course, and, indeed, it would have been impossible to approach them in
any other way, as we were down the wind, and their powers of scent, like
those given to the denizens of the wild in general, are of the most
acute order.

"You know, major," observed Hawkeye, as he turned our horses
considerably to the left, for for the purpose of covering our
circumventing manoeuvre under the screen of two lines of bluffs
running parallel with each other, "You know, major," repeated he, with a
sly twinkle of satire in his snake-like eyes, "for all de Britishers dat
come here say _you know_ to every thing, dat buff_alo_ smell Indian mile
off. No see far; but smell--Hah! no saying how far buff_alo_ smell."

Taking every precaution to prevent an exercise of these powers upon the
force now approaching their precincts, our head and front of the party,
Blackwolf led us, with consummate generalship, close to the rear of the
unsuspecting animals, and we were upon them without a single head being
disturbed. At first, as we gave ourselves to view from behind the
bluffs, a few of the nearest jerked up their heads, and after a stare,
remarkable for its brevity, erected their tufted tails over their backs
and moved off not rapidly, but evidently preparing for a bolt. This
example was soon followed by several others; but as the main body,
consisting of upward of a hundred, still remained undisturbed, the
signal for attack was reserved, as the first object in buffalo-hunting
appears to be precisely that in our own glorious fox-hunting--to get on
good terms with the chase. Cautiously, and restraining the ardent and
fierce spirit of our horses to keep within the compass of control, we
still slowly advanced in a double line, while many of the animals
knowing, like an old seasoned English hunter when he catches a glimpse
of the pack at the meet, the fun in preparation, pulled with might and
main and almost defied the stalwart tug upon their jaws.

The pickets having been driven in, I noticed an animal of striking
appearance surrounded by a knot of others, suddenly throw up his head,
and elevating his tail simultaneously with his pericranium, wheel
suddenly in an opposite direction and gallop away, doubtlessly, as fast
as his legs and hoofs would carry him.

This praiseworthy precedent of self-preservation was immediately adopted
by the entire family, and the patriarch, leading the way, found ready
followers at a pace corresponding with his own.

It was a moment of the most thrilling excitement of my life, as with a
swoop the Indians dashed ahead, and with halter and rein dangling free,
to see their horses strain their utmost powers to outstrip the
fugitives, and bring them within reach of bow and lance. Nigger, I may
confidently state, did his best without the aid of Hawkeye's cruel
suggestion, although in a very short distance, it was conclusively
obvious that he could not long live the pace we were going at. The pony,
however, rattled away with his ears thrown back like a racehorse, at his
final effort, and we were within a few score yards at the moment of
Blackwolf's bearing close to the right side of the nearest buffalo, and
drawing his bow at the moment of passing, buried the arrow to the
feather. In an instant the horse wheeled to avoid the thrust which the
wounded buffalo often makes; but Blackwolf's victim was stricken in a
vital part, and he rolled over struggling and bleeding in the throes of
deadly agony. Right and left the Indians scoured the plain in hot
pursuit of the doomed and frightened animals, and never halting in the
chase, but rushing from one to another as the huge beasts shouldered
along in their ungainly gallop down the valleys and over the bluffs, and
across huge gaping rents in the prairie, caused by the winter torrents,
brought them to the ground like skittles from well-directed hands.

There appeared to be no chance for me to flesh my maiden lance, and I
began to despair of adding a single head to the number slain, when I
caught sight of a solitary fugitive stealing away through a stony ravine
much to the left of the line which the rest had taken, and from his
action I concluded that he had met with a wound which materially
interfered with his speed. With an unequivocal disposition to refuse
taking any other course than the one he was pursuing, Nigger began to
wrestle for the mastership, and being encumbered with my lance I had
some little difficulty in pricking him toward the point where the
buffalo, alone in his flight, was using his best energies to escape. The
pointed iron, however, prevailed, and the plucky little horse, seeing
the animal scramble over a conical shaped hillock in the distance,
settled himself again in his best pace, and carried me forward in
winning style.

The buffalo in his stride is a most singular looking animal, pitching to
and fro in heavy lumbering fashion, and yet gets over the ground much
faster than he appears. From the thickness of his forehand he is any
thing but speedy on rising ground; but on a level, or descent, he can
play a merry bat. He is, however, no match for a horse under any
circumstances, and under-sized as Nigger was, and notwithstanding the
distance lost at the start, I have no doubt, had he not been crippled,
but that we should have come up with the patriarch in a run of somewhat
longer duration.

As it was we were, in nautical phraseology, coming up with the chase
hand over hand, and after floundering through a spongy bottom, in which
were several wallows of some dozen feet in diameter made by the
buffaloes, I found myself near enough to try the effect of lead, and
dropping my lance to trail along the ground by a thong attached to my
wrist, for I was not expert enough to handle both it and my rifle, as an
Indian would have done without inconvenience, I brought the barrels to
bear and gave the contents of both just as Nigger's nose was on a level
with the haunch of one of the largest and blackest bulls that ever
ranged over a western plain.

With due regard for the preservation of himself, and possibly his rider,
Nigger made an abrupt curve, and sheering off, almost at a right angle,
avoided an ugly, vicious thrust, which the bull might have made much
more effective than my brace of bullets, had not the sagacity of the
pony taught him to avoid it. Upon reining in my gallant and discreet
little steed, and turning his head again toward the buffalo, I saw that
he was standing still, and giving as bold a front as was ever offered to
an enemy. Coming to a corresponding attitude, I deliberately reloaded my
rifle, and approached him with the greatest caution; for whether he
intended to wait my second attack, or plunge forward and send me and
Nigger skimming to some unknown corner of the earth, appeared a matter
of doubt not quite made up. After a few brief moments for reconnoitring,
I urged Nigger to advance to within less than thirty paces of where the
bull stood glaring at us, with his curling mane and beard sweeping below
his knees, and his distended jaws dropping foam, scarlet dyed with
blood. Nothing, indeed, can be imagined more ferocious than the wounded
animal looked, fixing the peculiar white balls and black iris of his
eyes upon us, under his shaggy frontlet, with the expression of the
devil in a mood far from funny. Thinking it expedient to bring the
contest to a conclusion without further waste of time, I essayed a
manoeuvre in order to obtain a sight at a more vulnerable part of my
victim's carcass than that which, as I had been given to understand by
Hawkeye, his head presented. But, as the baited grimalkin turns to the
worrying cur, so did the bull turn exactly with my movements, ever
presenting his head, and nothing but his head. This proving exceedingly
wearisome, and quickly exhausting the slender stock of patience with
which nature supplied me at my birth, I resolved to try what a shot
would do in the centre of his forehead, and steadying Nigger for a
moment, snapped my left barrel at him, when with the crack down he
dropped, and spurring forward in the belief that I had given him his
_coup-de-grace_, I was not a little surprised to see him again stagger
to his feet, ready to receive me on his two short black horns, curved in
the best possible shape for the ripping business.

Perceiving, however, that notwithstanding the last bullet had only
flattened on his _os frontis_, he was fast sinking from the internal
hemorrhage caused by the two first, which brought him to a check, I
determined to expend no more valuable ammunition upon him, but inflict a
final thrust or two of cold steel. Reslinging my rifle across my
shoulders, I for the first time couched a lance for a deadly object, and
rode at the bull's flank; but he was too quick for me, and turned as if
upon a pivot. Round and round we went, Nigger, with pricked ears and
nimble limbs, keeping a steady look upon the buffalo's movements, and
far from liking the loud snorts of mingled rage and pain which he
momentarily sent forth as we whirled about him. But the attempts of the
enemy to foil our purpose grew gradually weaker, and at length, failing
to twist with his former adroitness, I plunged the head of the lance to
the shaft in his body, and as I plucked it out, the crimson current of
his life poured forth, and falling upon his knees, he rolled over dead
without a struggle.

Dismounting from Nigger, who steamed and reeked, probably from the
combined effects of fear and exertion, I commenced a close inspection of
my victim, and found that an arrow had passed into the fleshy part of
the near thigh, not far from the hock, and, breaking within a few inches
of the barbed point, left it buried there. The beast was certainly a
noble specimen of the wild bull of the prairie, and might, from his huge
size, patriarchal beard, and luxuriant mane, which almost imbedded his
head, ears, and horns, have roved many successive years as the chieftain
of his clan. But in a luckless hour the Osage hunters espied his
whereabouts, and within a short half hour of the discovery, not a single
head lived, not a remnant was left.

So occupied and engrossed had I been with my own sport, that I had taken
no interest in what was going on with my companions; but upon making a
sweep of the horizon, I perceived a few in sight, scattered here and
there, evidently occupied with the carcasses of the slain. Climbing
again into the saddle, I rode to the nearest, and found Firefly busily
engaged in stripping a skin from a cow, and as it smoked from his bloody
fingers, I must own, a slight nausea affected the regions of my stomach.
Hot, naked, and fierce from excitement, the savage was tearing away at
his butchering task, and I was glad to turn aside from the gory and
sickening sight.

The rest, he informed me, I should find similarly employed with himself,
as the whole herd was killed, and seven had fallen to his bow. He
boasted of having used but a single arrow to each head; but I
subsequently found this was not quite in accordance with the truth,
although the first three had fallen as he described, at the first shot,
and his quiver proved that many shafts had not been thrown away.

Upon leaving Firefly at his truly dirty work, I put Nigger to a gentle
canter, and soon passed several carcasses of the buffaloes stretched on
the greensward, where they had fallen dead, or been disabled by the
arrow, and subsequently lanced by the hunters who swept in the trail of
the bowmen.

Like flies collecting around carrion, so do the birds and beasts of prey
hover and slink toward a scene of carnage on the prairie from every
quarter, and with marvelous powers discover the spot where their feast
is prepared. In incredible numbers ravens, buzzards, crows, and others
of the same large family now wheeled screaming most discordantly in the
air, and packs of wolves appeared, howling with impatience for the
banquet. The appearance of these animals in the distance is that of a
flock of sheep, being generally perfectly white; but among some dozen or
fifteen occupying a bluff in the course I was taking, and howling a most
dismal chorus, I perceived a jet black member, whose skin I felt
desirous of possessing. It is not, however, an easy task to get on
close terms with a wolf, unless gorging himself, when so reluctant is he
to quit his meal, that, craven-hearted as he is, he can scarcely be
driven from it; but turning Nigger's head away from them, as if I
intended in no way to interrupt the assembly, I suddenly brought him in
an opposite direction, upon getting on a line with the yelling crew,
and, spurring hard, sent them scampering at their best speed. It was a
long, raking shot, but covering the knight of the sable hue, I pulled,
and dropped him with a shot through the spine. He grinned most horribly,
and snapped his teeth together like the rattle of castanets, as I rode
up close to his side, and gave him his quietus with a pistol.

There being an insurmountable difficulty in my marking the spot where he
fell, as neither tree nor bush was to be seen by which it was to be
retraced, I considered it advisable to make sure of my booty by carrying
it with me, and as I was not expert in flaying, I was compelled to lift
the carcass, and, bearing it before me across the pony's shoulders,
commenced a piece of diversion for my red-skinned friends, which lasted
as long as I was with them.

Seeing a group of hunters coming toward me, I advanced to meet them, and
among the foremost I distinguished the bold Hawkeye, who carried a large
bale of hides in front of him, and in the same manner that I was
conveying my treasure.

"Has major killed buff'lo?" inquired he; but before I could return any
answer he saw the quality of my prize, and bursting into a roar of
laughter, exclaimed, "Major's meat! Ha! ha! ha! Major's meat! Nice
roast, major, but _berry_ lean!"

The rest also were moved with equal mirth at the trouble I had taken of
bagging a wolf, and I was twitted immensely by my facetious critics,
who, had they been seen rolling on their horses, making the welkin ring
with shouts of laughter, would have given a practical denial of the
solemn character assigned to them by the writers of fictions for the
subscribers of circulating libraries. Notwithstanding the explanation
given, I was frequently reminded of the great care I bestowed upon the
carcass of the black wolf, it being alleged that my intention was to eat
the most savory parts, only for the discovery of the error that he did
not come under the head of "game."

Their good-humor, however, but added to my own; and a balm to my vanity,
supposing it stood in need of any such soothing influence, was offered
in the unanimous decision, that the skin I had taken that day was the
best of the herd.



JOSEPHINE AT MALMAISON.


The Palace of Malmaison, though not built on a large scale, became, with
the additions afterward made, a most princely residence. The hall, the
billiard-room, the reception-rooms, the saloon, dining-room, and
Napoleon's private apartment, occupied the ground floor, and are
described as having been very delightful. The gallery was appropriated
to the noblest specimens of the fine arts; it was adorned with
magnificent statuary by Canova and other celebrated artists, and the
walls were hung with the finest paintings. The pleasure-grounds, which
were Josephine's especial care, were laid out with admirable taste;
shrubs and flowers of the rarest and finest growth, and the most
delicious odors were there in the richest profusion. But there is an
interest far deeper than the finest landscape, or the most exquisite
embellishments of art could ever impart--an interest touchingly
associated with the precincts where the gifted and renowned have moved,
and with the passions and affections, the joys and sorrows by which they
were there agitated. It is, indeed, an interest which excites a mournful
sympathy, and may awaken salutary reflection. Who, indeed, could visit
Malmaison without experiencing such?

The vicissitudes experienced by some individuals have been so strange,
that had they been described in a romance, it would have lost all
interest from their improbability; but occurring in real life, they
excite a feeling of personal concern which forever attaches to the name
with which they are associated. Of this, the eventful life of Napoleon
furnishes a striking example. There can not be found in the range of
history one who appears to have identified himself so much with the
feelings of every class and every time; nay, his manners and appearance
are so thoroughly impressed on every imagination, that there are few who
do not rather feel as if he were one whom they had seen, and with whom
they had conversed, than of whom they had only heard and read. Scarcely
less checkered than his, was the life of Josephine: from her early days
she was destined to experience the most unlooked-for reverses of
fortune; her very introduction to the Beauharnais family and connection
with them, were brought about in a most unlikely and singular manner,
without the least intention on her part, and it ultimately led to her
being placed on the throne of France. The noble and wealthy family of
Beauharnais had great possessions in the West Indies, which fell to two
brothers, the representatives of that distinguished family; many of its
members had been eminent for their services in the navy, and in various
departments. The heirs to the estates had retired from the royal marine
service with the title of _chefs d'escadre_. The elder brother, the
Marquis de Beauharnais, was a widower, with two sons; the younger, the
Vicomte de Beauhrnais, had married Mademoiselle Mouchard, by whom he had
one son and two daughters. The brothers, warmly attached to each other
from infancy, wished to draw still closer the bonds which united them,
by the marriage of the Marquis's sons with the daughters of the Vicomte;
and with this view, a rich plantation in St. Domingo had never been
divided. The two sisters were looked on as the affianced brides of
their cousins; and when grown up, the elder was married to the elder son
of the marquis, who, according to the prevalent custom of his country,
assumed the title of Marquis, as his brother did that of Vicomte. M.
Renaudin, a particular friend of the Beauharnais, undertook the
management of their West India property. The Marquis, wishing to show
some attention in return for this kindness, invited Madame Renaudin over
to Paris, to spend some time. The invitation was gladly accepted; and
Madame Renaudin made herself useful to her host by superintending his
domestic concerns. But she soon formed plans for the advancement of her
own family. With the marquis's permission, she wrote to Martinique, to
her brother, M. Tacher de la Pagerie, to beg that he would send over one
of his daughters. The young lady landed at Rochefort, was taken ill, and
died almost immediately. Notwithstanding this unhappy event, madame did
not relinquish the project which she had formed, of bringing about a
union between the young vicomte and a niece of her own. She sent for
another--and _Josephine_ was sent. When the young creole arrived, she
had just attained her fifteenth year, and was eminently attractive; her
elegant form and personal charms were enhanced by the most winning
grace, modesty, and sweetness of disposition. Such fascinations could
not have failed in making an impression on the young man with whom she
was domesticated. His opportunities of becoming acquainted with his
cousin were only such as were afforded by an occasional interview at the
grating of the convent, where she was being educated; so no attachment
had been formed; and he fell passionately in love with the innocent and
lovely Josephine. She was not long insensible to the devotion of a lover
so handsome and agreeable as the young vicomte. Madame Renaudin sought
the good offices of an intimate friend, to whose influence with the
young man's father she trusted for the success of her project. In a
confidential interview the lady introduced the subject--spoke of the
ardent attachment of the young people, of the charms of the simple girl
who had won his son's heart, and urged the consideration of the young
man's happiness on his father, assuring him it rested on his consent to
his marriage with Josephine. The marquis was painfully excited; he loved
his son tenderly, and would have made any sacrifice to insure his
happiness; but his affection for his brother, and the repugnance which
he felt, to fail in his engagement to him, kept him in a state of the
most perplexing uneasiness. At length, stating to his brother how
matters stood, he found that he had mortally offended him; so deeply,
indeed, did he resent the affront, that he declared he could never
forget or forgive it--a promise too faithfully kept.

The affection and confidence of a whole life were thus snapped asunder
in a moment. The vicomte insisted on a division of the West Indian
property; and, with feelings so bitterly excited, no amicable
arrangement could take place, and the brothers had recourse to law, in
which they were involved for the rest of their days.

The marriage of the young people took place, and the youthful
Mademoiselle Tacher de Pagerie became Vicomtesse de Beauharnais.

It is said that her husband's uncle took a cruel revenge for the
disappointment, of which she had been the cause, by awakening suspicion
of the fidelity of Josephine in the mind of her husband. The distracting
doubts he raised made his nephew wretched; to such a degree was his
jealousy excited, that he endeavored, by legal proceedings, to procure a
divorce; but the evidence he adduced utterly failed, and after some
time, a reconciliation took place.

The uncle died, and his daughter had in the mean time married the
Marquis de Baral. So all went well with the young couple. They met with
the most flattering reception at court. The vicomte, who was allowed to
be the most elegant dancer of his day, was frequently honored by being
the partner of the queen. And as to Josephine, she was the admired of
all admirers; she was not only considered one of the most beautiful
women at court, but all who conversed with her were captivated by her
grace and sweetness. She entered into the gayeties of Versailles with
the animation natural to her time of life and disposition.

But the sunshine of the royal circle was, ere long, clouded, and the
gathering storm could be too well discerned; amusement was scarcely
thought of. The States General assembled, and every thing denoted a
revolutionary movement.

Josephine was an especial favorite with the queen; and in those days,
dark with coming events, she had the most confidential conversations
with her; all the fears and melancholy forebodings which caused the
queen such deep anxiety, were freely imparted to her friend. Little did
Josephine think, while sympathizing with her royal mistress, that she
would herself rule in that court, and that she, too, would be a sufferer
from the elevation of her situation. Her husband, the Vicomte de
Beauharnais, was then called to join the army, as war had been
unexpectedly declared. He distinguished himself so much, that he
attained the rank of general. But in the midst of his successful career,
he saw the danger which was impending, and he could perceive that not
only were the days of Louis's power numbered, but he even feared that
his life was not safe. His fears were unhappily fulfilled; and he
himself, merely on account of belonging to the aristocracy, was
denounced by his own troops, and deprived of his commission by
authority, arrested, brought to Paris, and thrown into prison. It was
during his imprisonment that the vicomte had the most affecting proofs
of the attachment of Josephine: all the energies of her mind and of her
strong affection were bent on obtaining his liberty; no means she could
devise were left untried; she joined her own supplications to the
solicitations of friends, to whom she had appealed in her emergency; she
endeavored, in the most touching manner, to console and cheer him. But
the gratification of soothing him by her presence and endearments was
soon denied, for she was seized, and taken as a prisoner to the convent
of the Carmelites. A few weeks passed, and the unfortunate vicomte was
brought to trial, and condemned to death by the revolutionary tribunal.
Though natural tears fell at thoughts of parting from his wife and
children, and leaving them unprotected in the world, his courage never
forsook him to the last.

When the account of his execution reached Josephine she fainted away,
and was for a long time alarmingly ill. It was while in prison, and
every moment expecting to be summoned before the revolutionary tribunal,
that Josephine cut off her beautiful tresses, as the only gift which she
had to leave her children, for all the family estates in Europe had been
seized, and the destruction of property at St. Domingo had cut off all
supplies from that quarter. Yet, amidst her anxieties, her afflictions,
and her dangers, her fortitude never forsook her, and her example and
her efforts to calm them, to a degree supported the spirits of her
fellow-prisoners. Josephine herself ascribed her firmness to her
implicit trust in the prediction of an old negress which she had
treasured in her memory from childhood. Her trust, indeed, in the
inexplicable mysteries of divination was sufficiently proved by the
interest with which she is said to have frequently applied herself
during her sad hours of imprisonment to learn her fortune from a pack of
cards. Mr. Alison mentions, that he had heard of the prophecy of the
negress in 1801, long before Napoleon's elevation to the throne.
Josephine herself, Mr. Alison goes on to say, narrated this
extraordinary passage in her life in the following terms:

"One morning the jailer entered the chamber where I slept with the
Duchesse d'Aiguillon and two other ladies, and told me he was going to
take my mattress, and give it to another prisoner.

"'Why,' said Madame d'Aiguillon, eagerly, 'I will not Madame de
Beauharnais obtain a better one?'

"'No, no,' replied he, with a fiendish smile, 'she will have no need of
one, for she is about to be led to the Conciergerie, and then to the
guillotine.'

"At these words, my companions in misfortune uttered piercing shrieks. I
consoled them as well as I could; and, at length, worn out with their
eternal lamentations, I told them that their grief was utterly
unreasonable; that I not only should not die, but live to be Queen of
France.

"'Why, then, do you not name your maids of honor?' said Madame
d'Aiguillon, irritated at such expressions, at such a moment.

"'Very true,' said I; 'I did not think of that. Well, my dear, I make
you one of them.'[12]

"Upon this the tears of the ladies fell apace for they never doubted I
was mad; but the truth was, I was not gifted with any extraordinary
courage, but internally persuaded of the truth of the oracle.

"Madame d'Aiguillon soon after became unwell, and I drew her toward the
window, which opened, to admit through the bars a little fresh air. I
then perceived a poor woman who knew us, and who was making a number of
signs, which I could not at first understand. She constantly held up her
gown (_robe_); and, seeing that she had some object in view, I called
out _robe_; to which she answered, _yes_. She then lifted up a stone,
and put it into her lap, which she lifted a second time. I called out,
_pierre_. Upon this, she evinced the greatest joy at perceiving that her
signs were understood. Joining then the stone to her robe, she eagerly
imitated the motion of cutting off the head, and immediately began to
dance and evince the most extravagant joy.

"This singular pantomime awakened in our minds a vague hope that
possibly Robespierre might be no more.

"At this moment, while we were vacillating between hope and fear, we
heard a great noise in the corridor, and the terrible voice of our
jailer, who said to his dog, giving him at the same time a kick, 'Get
in, you cursed Robespierre.'"

This speech told them they were saved.

Through the influence of Barras, a portion of her husband's property, in
which Malmaison was included, was restored to Josephine. In this
favorite abode she amused herself in exercising her taste in the
embellishment of the grounds, and in the pursuit of botany; but her
chief enjoyment was in the society and instruction of her children, to
whom she was passionately attached. Their amiable dispositions and their
talents were a source of the most exquisite pleasure to her, not,
however, unmingled with regret at finding herself without the means of
conferring on them the advantages of which they were so deserving.
However, a better time was to come. Madame Tallien and several of
Josephine's friends, after a time, prevailed on her to enter into
society, and the fair associates became the principal ornaments of the
directorial circle. Through their influence, revolutionary manners were
reformed, and all the power which their charms and their talents gave
them was exerted in the cause of humanity.

Napoleon's acquaintance with Josephine arose from the impression made on
him by her son Eugène Beauharnais, then a little boy. He came to request
that his father's sword, which had been delivered up, might be restored
to him. The boy's appearance--the earnestness with which he urged his
request, and the tears which could not be stayed when he beheld the
sword, interested Napoleon so much in his favor, that not only was the
sword given to him, but he determined to become acquainted with the
mother of the boy. He visited her, and soon his visits became frequent.
He delighted to hear the details which she gave of the court of Louis.

"Come," he would say, as he sat by her side of an evening, "now let us
talk of the old court--let us make a tour to Versailles." It was in
these frequent and familiar interviews that the fascinations of
Josephine won the heart of Napoleon. "She is," said he, "grace
personified--every thing she does is with a grace and delicacy peculiar
to herself."

The admiration and love of such a man could not fail to make an
impression on a woman like Josephine. It has been said, that it was
impossible to be in Napoleon's company without being struck by his
personal appearance; not so much by the exquisite symmetry of his
features, and the noble head and forehead, which have furnished the
painter and the sculptor with one of their finest models; nor even by
the meditative look, so indicative of intellectual power; but the magic
charm was the varying expression of countenance, which changed with
every passing thought, and glowed with every feeling. His smile, it is
said, always inspired confidence. "It is difficult, if not impossible,"
so the Duchess of Abrantes writes, "to describe the charm of his
countenance when he smiled;--his soul was upon his lips and in his
eyes." The magic power of that expression at a later period is well
known. The Emperor of Russia experienced it when he said, "I never loved
any one more than that man." He possessed, too, that greatest of all
charms, an harmonious voice, whose tones, like his countenance, changing
from emphatic impressiveness to caressing softness, found their way to
every heart. It may not have been those personal and mental gifts alone
which won Josephine's heart; the ready sympathy with which Napoleon
entered into her feelings may have been the greatest charm to an
affectionate nature like hers.

It was in the course of one of those confidential evenings that, as they
sat together, she read to him the last letter which she had received
from her husband: it was a most touching farewell. Napoleon was deeply
affected; and it has been said that that letter, and Josephine's emotion
as she read it, had a powerful effect upon his feelings, already so much
excited by admiration.

Josephine soon consented to give her hand to the young soldier of
fortune, who had no dower but his sword. On his part, he gave a pledge
that he would consider her children as his own, and that their interests
should be his first concern. The world can testify how he redeemed his
pledge! To his union with Josephine he declared he was indebted for his
chief happiness. Her affection, and the interchange of thought with her,
were prized beyond all the greatness to which he attained. Many of the
little incidents of their every-day life can not be read without deep
interest--evincing, as they do, a depth of affection and tenderness of
feeling which it is difficult to conceive should ever have been
sacrificed to ambition. They visited together the prison where Josephine
had passed so many dreary and sad hours. He saw the loved name traced on
the dank wall, by the hand which was now his own. She had told him of a
ring, which she had fondly prized; it had been the gift of her mother.
She pointed out to him the flag under which she had contrived to hide
it. When it was taken from its hiding-place and put into her hand, her
delight enchanted Napoleon. Seldom have two persons met whose feelings
and whose tastes appeared more perfectly in unison than theirs, during
the _happy_ days of their wedded life. The delight which they took in
the fine arts was a source of constant pleasure; and in their days of
power and elevation, it was their care to encourage artists of talent.
Many interesting anecdotes are related of their kind and generous acts
toward them. In Josephine's manner of conferring favors, there was
always something still more gratifying than the advantage
bestowed--something that implied that she entered into the feelings of
those whom she wished to serve. She had observed that M. Turpin, an
artist who went frequently to Malmaison, had no conveyance but an almost
worn-out cabriolet, drawn by a sorry horse. One day, when about to take
his leave, he was surprised to see a nice new vehicle and handsome horse
drawn up. His own arms painted on the panels, and stamped on the
harness, at once told him they were intended for him; but this was not
the only occasion on which Josephine ministered to the straitened means
of the painter. She employed him in making a sketch of a Swiss view,
while sitting with her, and directed him to take it home, and bring the
picture to her when finished. She was delighted with the beautiful
landscape which he produced, and showed it with pleasure to every
visitor who came in. The artist no doubt felt a natural gratification at
finding his fine work appreciated. Josephine then called him aside, and
put the stipulated price in bank-notes into his hand.

"This," said she, "is for your excellent mother; but it may not be to
her taste; so tell her that I shall not be offended at her changing this
trifling token of my friendship, and of the gratification which her
son's painting has given me, for whatever might be more acceptable."

As she spoke, she put into his hand a diamond of the value of six
thousand francs.

Josephine attended Napoleon in many of his campaigns. When she was not
with him, he corresponded regularly with her, and no lover ever wrote
letters more expressive of passionate attachment.

"By what art is it," he says, in one of them, "that you have been able
to captivate all my faculties. It is a magic, my sweet love, which will
finish only with my life. To live for Josephine is the history of my
life. I am trying to reach you. I am dying to be with you. What lands,
what countries separate us! What a time before you read these lines!"

Josephine returned her husband's fondness with her whole heart. Utterly
regardless of privation and fatigue, she was ever earnest in urging him
to allow her to accompany him on all his long journeys; and often, at
midnight, when just setting out on some expedition, he has found her in
readiness.

"No, love," he would say, "no, no, love, do not ask me; the fatigue
would be too much for you."

"Oh, no," she would answer; "no, no."

"But I have not a moment to spare."

"See, I am quite ready;" and she would drive off, seated by Napoleon's
side.

From having mingled in scenes of gayety from her earliest days, and from
the pleasure which her presence was sure to diffuse, and perhaps, it may
be added, from a nature singularly guileless, that could see no evil in
what appeared to her but as innocent indulgences, she was led into
expenses and frivolous gratifications which were by no means essential
for a mind like hers. Dishonest tradesmen took advantage of her
inexperience and extreme easiness, and swelled their bills to an
enormous amount; but her greatest, and far most congenial outlay, was in
the relief of the distressed. She could not endure to deny the petition
of any whom she believed to be suffering from want; and this tenderness
of heart was often imposed on by the artful and rapacious. Those who,
from interested motives, desired to separate her from Napoleon, felt a
secret satisfaction in the uneasiness which her large expenditure
occasionally gave him. To their misrepresentations may be ascribed the
violent bursts of jealousy by which he was at times agitated; but he was
ever ready to perceive that there was no foundation to justify them. It
was during one of their separations, that the insinuations of those
about Napoleon excited his jealousy to such a degree, that he wrote a
hasty letter to Josephine, accusing her of _coquetry_, and of evidently
preferring the society of men to those of her own sex.

"The ladies," she says, in her reply, "are filled with fear and
lamentations for those who serve under you; the gentlemen eagerly
compliment me on your success, and speak of you in a manner that
delights me. My aunt and those about me can tell you, ungrateful as you
are, whether _I have been coquetting with any body_. These are your
words, and they would be hateful to me, were I not certain that you see
already they are unjust, and are sorry for having written them."

Napoleon's brothers strove to alienate his affections from Josephine;
but the intense agony which he suffered when suspicion was awakened,
must have proved to them how deep these affections were. Perhaps no
trait in Josephine's character exalts it more than her conduct to the
family who had endeavored to injure her in the most tender point. She
often was the means of making peace between Napoleon and different
members of his family with whom he was displeased. Even after the
separation which they had been instrumental in effecting, she still
exerted that influence which she never lost, to reconcile differences
which arose between them. Napoleon could never long mistrust her
generous and tender feelings, and the intimate knowledge of such a
disposition every day increased his love; she was not only the object of
his fondest affection, but he believed her to be in some mysterious
manner connected with his destiny; a belief which chimed in with the
popular superstition by which she was regarded as his good genius--a
superstition which took still deeper hold of the public mind when days
of disaster came, whose date commenced in no long time after the
separation. The apparently accidental circumstance by which Josephine
had escaped the explosion of the infernal machine was construed by many
as a direct interposition of Providence in favor of _Napoleon's Guardian
Angel_.

It was just as she was stepping into her carriage, which was to follow
closely that of the First Consul to the theatre, that General Rapp, who
had always before appeared utterly unobservant of ladies' dress,
remarked to Josephine, that the pattern of the shawl did not match her
dress. She returned to the house, and ran up to her apartment to change
it for another; the delay did not occupy more than three minutes, but
they sufficed to save her life. Napoleon's carriage just cleared the
explosion; had Josephine's been close behind, nothing could have saved
her. In the happy days of love and confidence, Malmaison was the scene
of great enjoyment: the hand of taste could be discerned in all its
embellishments. Napoleon preferred it to any other residence. When he
arrived there from the Luxemburg or the Tuileries, he was wild with
delight, like a school-boy let loose from school--every thing enchanted
him, but most of all, perhaps, the chimes of the village church-bells.
It may have been partly owing to the associations which they awakened.
He would stop in his rambles if he heard them, lest his foot-fall should
drown the sound--he would remain as if entranced, in a kind of ecstasy,
till they ceased. "Ah! how they remind me of the first years I spent at
Brienne!"

Napoleon added considerably to the domain of Malmaison by purchasing the
noble woods of Butard, which joined it. He was in a perfect ecstasy with
the improvement; and, in a few days after the purchase was completed,
proposed that they should all make a party to see it. Josephine put on
her shawl, and, accompanied by her friends, set out. Napoleon, in a
state of enchantment, rode on before; but he would then gallop back, and
take Josephine's hand. He was compared to a child who, in the eagerness
of delight, flies back to his mother to impart his joy.

Nothing could be more agreeable than the society at Malmaison. Napoleon
disliked ceremony, and wished all his guests to be perfectly at their
ease. All his evenings were spent in Josephine's society, in which he
delighted. Both possessed the rare gift of conversational powers.
General information and exquisite taste were rendered doubly attractive
by the winning manners and sweet voice of Josephine. As for Napoleon, he
appeared to have an intuitive knowledge on all subjects. He was like an
inspired person when seen amid men of every age, and all professions.
All thronged round the pale, studious-looking young man--feeling that
"he was more fitted to give than to receive lessons." Argument with him
almost invariably ended by his opponent going over to his side. His tact
was such that he knew how to select the subject for discussion on which
the person with whom he conversed was best informed; and thus, from his
earliest days, he increased his store of information, and gave infinite
pleasure by the interest which he took in the pursuits of those whom
chance threw in his way. The delightful flow of his spirits showed how
much he enjoyed the social evenings. He amused his guests in a thousand
ways. If he sat down to cards, he diverted them by pretending to cheat,
which he might have done with impunity, as he never took his winnings.
He sometimes entertained them with tales composed on the moment. When
they were of ghosts and apparitions, he took care to tell them by a dim
light, and to prepare them by some solemn and striking observation.
Private theatricals sometimes made the entertainment of the evening.
Different members of Napoleon's family, and several of the guests,
performed. The plays are described as having been acted to an audience
of two or three hundred, and going off with great effect--every one,
indeed, endeavored to acquit themselves to the best of their ability,
for they knew they had a severe critic in Napoleon.

The amiable and engaging manners of Napoleon and Josephine gave to
Malmaison its greatest charm. The ready sympathy of Josephine with all
who were in sorrow, or any kind of distress, endeared her to every one.
If any among her domestics were ill, she was sure to visit the sick-bed,
and soothe the sufferer by her tenderness. Indeed, her sympathy was
often known to bring relief when other means had failed. She was deeply
affected by the calamity of M. Decrest. He had lost his only son
suddenly by a fatal accident. The young man had been on the eve of
marriage, and all his family were busy making preparations for the
joyful occasion, when news of his death was brought. The poor father
remained in a state of nearly complete stupor from the moment of the
melancholy intelligence. All attempts to arouse him were unavailing.
When Josephine was made acquainted with his alarming state, she lost not
a moment in hurrying to him; and leading his little daughter by the
hand, and taking his infant in her arms, she threw herself, with his two
remaining children, at his feet. The afflicted man burst into tears, and
nature found a salutary relief, which saved his life. In such acts
Josephine was continually engaged. Nothing could withdraw her mind from
the claims of the unfortunate. Her tender respect for the feelings of
others was never laid aside; and with those who strove to please her she
was always pleased. On one occasion, when the ladies about her could not
restrain their laughter at the discordant music made by an itinerant
musician, who had requested permission to play before her, she preserved
a becoming gravity, and encouraged, and thanked, and rewarded the poor
man. "He did his best to gratify us," she said, when he was gone: "I
think it was my duty not only to avoid hurting his feelings, but to
thank and reward him for the trouble which he took to give pleasure."

Such were the lessons which she impressed upon her children. She often
talked with them of the privations of other days, and charged them never
to forget those days amid the smile of fortune which they now enjoyed.

Josephine saw with great uneasiness the probable elevation of the First
Consul to the throne. She felt that it would bring danger to him, and
ruin to herself; for she had discernment enough to anticipate that she
would be sacrificed to the ambition of those who wished to establish an
hereditary right to the throne of the empire. Every step of his
advancing power caused her deep anxiety. "The real enemies of
Bonaparte," she said to Raderer, as Alison tells, "the real enemies of
Bonaparte are those who put into his head ideas of hereditary
succession, dynasty, divorce, and marriage. I do not approve the
projects of Napoleon," she added. "I have often told him so. He hears me
with attention; but I can plainly see that I make no impression. The
flatterers who surround him soon obliterate all I have said." She strove
to restrain his desire of conquest, by urging on him continually a far
greater object--that of rendering France happy by encouraging her
industry and protecting her agriculture. In a long letter, in which she
earnestly expostulates with him on the subject, she turns to herself in
affecting terms: "Will not the throne," she says, "inspire you with the
wish to contract new alliances? Will you not seek to support your power
by new family connections? Alas! whatever these connections may be, will
they compensate for those which were first knit by corresponding
fitness, and which affection promised to perpetuate?" So far, indeed,
from feeling elated by her own elevation to a throne, she regretted it
with deep melancholy. "The assumption of the throne," she looked on as
"an act that must ever be an ineffaceable blot upon Napoleon's name." It
has been asserted by her friends that she never recovered her spirits
after. The pomps and ceremonies, too, attendant on the imperial state,
must have been distasteful to one who loved the retirement of home, and
hated every kind of restraint and ostentation.

From the time that Napoleon became emperor he lavished the greatest
honors on the children of Josephine. Her daughter Hortense received the
hand of Louis Bonaparte, and the crown of Holland. Eugène, his first
acquaintance of the family, and especial favorite, obtained the rank of
colonel, and was adopted as one of the imperial family; and the son of
Hortense and Louis was adopted as heir to the throne of France. The
coronation took place at Notre Dame, with all the show and pomp of which
the French are so fond. When the papal benediction was pronounced,
Napoleon placed the crown on his head with his own hands. He then turned
to Josephine, who knelt before him, and there was an affectionate
playfulness in the manner in which he took pains to arrange it, as he
placed the crown upon her head. It seemed at that moment as if he forgot
the presence of all but her. After putting on the crown, he raised it,
and placing it more lightly on, regarded her the while with looks of
fond admiration. On the morning of the coronation, Napoleon had sent for
Raguideau the notary, who little thought that he had been summoned into
the august presence to be reminded of what had passed on the occasion of
their last meeting, and of which he had no idea the emperor was in
possession. While Napoleon had been paying his addresses to Josephine,
they walked arm-in-arm to the notary's, for neither of them could boast
of a carriage. "You are a great fool," replied the notary to Josephine,
who had just communicated her intention of marrying the young officer:
"you are a great fool, and you will live to repent it. You are about to
marry a man who has nothing but his cloak and his sword." Napoleon, who
was waiting in the ante-chamber, overheard these words, but never spoke
of them to any one. "Now," said Napoleon, with a smile, addressing the
old man, who had been ushered into his presence: "now, what say you,
Raguideau? have I nothing but my cloak and sword?" The empress and the
notary both stood amazed at this first intimation that the warning had
been overheard.

The following year, the magnificent coronation at Milan took place,
surpassing, if possible, in grandeur that at Paris. Amidst the
gorgeousness of that spectacle, however, there were few by whom it was
not forgotten in the far deeper interest which the principal actors in
the scene inspired. Amidst the blaze of beauty and of jewels, and the
strains of music, by which he was surrounded, what were the feelings of
Napoleon, as he held within his grasp the iron crown of Charlemagne,
which had reposed in the treasury of Monza for a thousand years, and for
which he had so ardently longed. Even at that moment, when he placed it
on his own head, were the aspirings of the ambitious spirit
satisfied?--or were not his thoughts taking a wider range of conquest
than he had yet achieved? And for her, who knelt at his feet, about to
receive the highest honor that mortal hands can confer--did the pomp and
circumstance of that scene, and the glory of the crown, satisfy her
loving heart? Ah, surely no! It was away in the sweet retirement of
Malmaison--amidst the scenes hallowed by Napoleon's early affection. And
how few years were to elapse ere the crown just placed on the head of
Josephine was to be transferred to another!--when the place which she,
the loving and beloved, occupied by her husband's side was to be filled
by another! Though doubts had arisen in her mind--though she knew the
influence of those who feared the sceptre might pass into the hands of
another dynasty--still, the hope never forsook her, that affection would
triumph over ambition, till Napoleon himself communicated the cruel
determination. With what abandonment of self she was wont to cast her
whole dependence on Napoleon, may be seen in a letter addressed to Pope
Pius VII. In it she says: "My first sentiment--one to which all others
are subservient--is a conviction of my own weakness and incapacity. Of
myself I am but little; or, to speak more correctly, my only value is
derived from the extraordinary man to whom I am united. This inward
conviction, which occasionally humbles my pride, eventually affords me
some encouragement, when I calmly reflect. I whisper to myself, that the
arm under which the whole earth is made to tremble, may well support my
weakness."

Hortense's promising child was dead; Napoleon and Josephine had shed
bitter tears together over the early grave of their little favorite; and
there was now not even a nominal heir to the throne. The machinations of
the designing were in active motion. Lucien introduced the subject, and
said to Josephine that it was absolutely necessary for the satisfaction
of the nation that Napoleon should have a son, and asked whether she
would pass off an illegitimate one as her own. This proposal she refused
with the utmost indignation, preferring any alternative to one so
disgraceful.

On Napoleon's return from the battle of Wagram, Josephine hastened to
welcome him. After the first warm greetings and tender embraces, she
perceived that something weighed upon his mind. The restraint and
embarrassment of his manner filled her with dread. For fifteen days she
was a prey to the most cruel suspense, yet she dreaded its termination
by a disclosure fatal to her happiness. Napoleon, who loved her so much,
and who had hitherto looked to her alone for all his domestic felicity,
himself felt all the severity of the blow which he was about to inflict.
The day at length came, and it is thus affectingly described by Mr.
Alison:--

"They dined together as usual, but neither spoke a word during the
repast; their eyes were averted as soon as they met, but the countenance
of both revealed the mortal anguish of their minds. When it was over, he
dismissed the attendants, and approaching the empress with a trembling
step, took her hand, and laid it upon his heart. 'Josephine,' said he,
'my good Josephine, you know how I have loved you; it is to you alone
that I owe the few moments of happiness I have known in the world.
Josephine, my destiny is more powerful than my will; my dearest
affections must yield to the interests of France.'

"'Say no more,' cried the empress. 'I expected this; I understand and
feel for you, but the stroke is not the less mortal.' With these words,
she uttered piercing shrieks, and fell down in a swoon.

"Doctor Corvisart was at hand to render assistance, and she was restored
to a sense of her wretchedness in her own apartment. The emperor came to
see her in the evening, but she could hardly bear the emotion occasioned
by his appearance."

Little did Napoleon think, when he was making a sacrifice of all the
"happiness which he had known in the world," that the ambitious views
for which it was relinquished would fade away ere five years ran their
course. What strange destinies do men carve out for themselves! what
sacrifices are they ever making of felicity and of real good, in the
pursuit of some phantom which is sure to elude their grasp! How many
Edens have been forfeited by madness and by folly, since the first pair
were expelled from Paradise!

It was not without an effort on her part to turn Napoleon from a purpose
so agonizing to them both, that Josephine gave up all hope. In about a
month after the disclosure, a painful task devolved on the imperial
family. The motives for the divorce were to be stated in public, and the
heart-stricken Josephine was to subscribe to its necessity in presence
of the nation. In conformity with the magnanimous resolve of making so
great a sacrifice for the advantage of the empire, it was expedient that
an equanimity of deportment should be assumed. The scene which took
place could never be forgotten by those who witnessed it. Napoleon stood
pale and immovable as a statue, showing in the very stillness of his air
and countenance a deep emotion. Josephine and Hortense alone appeared
divested of every ornament, while those about them sparkled in all the
splendor of court costume. Every eye was directed to Josephine, as with
slow steps she reached the seat which had been prepared for her. She
took it with her accustomed grace, and preserved throughout a dignified
composure. Hortense stood weeping behind her chair, and poor Eugène was
nearly overcome by agitation, as the act of separation was read;
Napoleon declared that it was in consideration of the interests of the
monarchy and the wishes of his people that there should be an heir to
the throne, that he was induced "to sacrifice the sweetest affections of
his heart." "God knows," said he, "what such a determination has cost my
heart." Of Josephine he spoke with the tenderest affection and respect.
"She has embellished fifteen years of my life; the remembrance of them
will be forever engraven on my heart."

When it was Josephine's turn to speak, though tears were in her eyes,
and though her voice faltered, the dignity of all she uttered impressed
every one who was present. "I respond to all the sentiments of the
emperor," she said, "in consenting to the dissolution of a marriage
which henceforth is an obstacle to the happiness of France, by
depriving it of the blessing of being one day governed by the
descendants of that great man, evidently raised up by Providence to
efface the evils of a terrible revolution, and restore the altar, the
throne, and social order I know," she went on to say, "what this act,
commanded by policy and exalted interest, has cost his heart; but we
both glory in the sacrifice which we make to the good of our country. I
feel elevated by giving the greatest proof of attachment and devotion
_that ever was given upon earth_."

It was not till Josephine heard the fatal words which were to part her
from the object of her affection forever, that her courage seemed for a
moment to forsake her; but hastily brushing away the tears that forced
their way, she took the pen which was handed to her, and signed the act;
then taking the arm of Hortense, and followed by Eugène, she left the
saloon, and hurried to her own apartment, where she shut herself up
alone for the remainder of the day.

It is well known that, notwithstanding the courage with which the
imperial family came forward before the public on this occasion, they
gave way to the most passionate grief in private. Napoleon had retired
for the night, and had gone to his bed in silence and sadness, when the
private door opened, and Josephine appeared. Her hair fell in wild
disorder, and her countenance bore the impress of an incurable grief.
She advanced with a faltering step; then paused; and bursting into an
agony of tears, threw herself on Napoleon's neck, and sobbed as if her
heart were breaking. He tried to console her, but his own tears fell
fast with hers. A few broken words--a last embrace--and they parted. The
next morning, the whole household assembled to pay the last tribute of
respect to a mistress whom they loved and revered. With streaming eyes,
they saw her pass the gates of the Tuileries never to return.

The feelings with which Josephine took up her residence at Malmaison,
amidst the scenes so dear to her, may be conceived; but true to the
wishes of the emperor, and to the dictates of her own elevated mind, she
bore up under her trying situation with exemplary dignity; but grief had
done its part; and no one could look into her face, or meet the sweet
melancholy smile with which she welcomed them, without being moved.
Happy days, which she had enjoyed amidst these scenes with many of those
who waited on her, were sadly contrasted with her forlorn feelings; and
though she strove to speak cheerfully, and never complained, the tears
which she tried to check or to conceal would sometimes force their way.
The chief indulgence which she allowed her feelings was during those
hours of the day when she shut herself up alone in Napoleon's cabinet;
that chamber where so many moments of confidential intercourse had
passed, and which she continued to hold so sacred, that scarcely any one
but herself ever entered it. She would not suffer any thing to be moved
since Napoleon had occupied it. She would herself wipe away the dust,
fearing that other hands might disturb what he had touched. The volume
which he had been reading when last there lay on the table, open at the
page at which he had last looked. The map was there, with all his
tracings of some meditated route; the pen which had given permanence to
some passing thought lay beside it; articles of dress were on some of
the chairs; every thing looked as if he were about to enter.

Even under the changed circumstances which brought Josephine back to
Malmaison, her influence over Napoleon which had been always powerful,
was not diminished. No estrangement took place between them. His visits
to her were frequent, though her increased sadness was always observed
on those days when he made them. They corresponded to the last moment of
her life. The letters which she received from him were her greatest
solace. It is thus she alludes to them in writing to him: "Continue to
retain a kind recollection of your friend; give her the consolation of
occasionally hearing from you, that you still preserve that attachment
for her which alone constitutes the happiness of her existence."

The nuptials of Napoleon and Marie Louise took place a very short time
after the divorce was ratified. Whatever the bitter feelings of
Josephine might have been, they were not mingled with one ungenerous or
unjust sentiment. No ill-feeling toward the new empress was excited in
her bosom by the rapturous greetings with which she was welcomed on her
arrival. "Every one ought," said she, "to endeavor to render France dear
to an empress who has left her native country to take up her abode among
strangers."

But however elevated above all the meaner passions, the affections of
Josephine had received a wound from which they could never recover, and
she found it essential for any thing like peace of mind, to remove from
scenes of former happiness. She retired to a noble mansion in Navarre,
the gift of Napoleon; and as he had made a most munificent settlement on
her, she was able to follow the bent of her benevolent mind, and to pass
her time in doing good. So far from feeling any mortification on the
birth of his son, she unfeignedly participated in the gratification
which the emperor felt, and she ever took the most lively interest in
the child. She was deeply affected when his birth was announced to her,
and retired to her chamber to weep unseen; but no murmur mingled with
those natural tears.

It is rare to meet an example of one like Josephine, who has escaped the
faults which experience tells us beset the extremes of destiny. In all
the power and luxury of the highest elevation, no cold selfishness ever
chilled the current of her generous feelings; for in the midst of
prosperity her highest gratification was to serve her fellow creatures,
and in adverse circumstances, unspited at the world, such was still her
sweetest solace. She was, indeed, so wonderfully sustained throughout
all the changes and chances of her eventful life, that it needs no
assurance to convince us that she must have sought for support beyond
this transitory scene.

She employed the peasantry about Navarre in making roads and other
useful works. Ever prompt in giving help to those in want, she chanced
to meet one of the sisters of charity one day, seeking assistance for
the wounded who lay in a neighboring hospital. Josephine gave large
relief, promised to put all in train to have her supplied with linen for
the sick, and that she would help to prepare lint for their wounds. The
petitioner pronounced a blessing on her, and went on her way, but turned
back to ask the name of her benefactress; the answer was affecting--"_I
am poor Josephine_."

There can be no doubt but that Napoleon's thoughts often turned with
tenderness to the days that he had passed with Josephine. Proof was
given of an unchanging attachment to her, in the favors which he
lavished on those connected with her by relationship or affection. Among
her friends was Mrs. Damer, so celebrated for her success in sculpture.
She had become acquainted with her while she was passing some time in
Paris. Charmed by Josephine's varied attractions, she delighted in her
society, and they became fast friends; when parting, they promised never
to forget each other. The first intimation which Mrs. Damer had of
Josephine's second marriage was one day when a French gentleman waited
on her; he was the bearer of a most magnificent piece of porcelain and a
letter, with which he had been charged for her by the wife of the First
Consul. Great was her astonishment, when she opened the letter to find
that it was indeed from the wife of the First Consul; no longer
Vicomtesse de Beauharnais, but her dear friend Josephine, who urged her
with all the warmth of friendship, to pay her an immediate visit at
Paris. "I do long," she added, "to present my husband to you." Such a
tempting invitation was gladly accepted, and she was received with joy
by Napoleon and Josephine. In after years, she constantly recalled to
mind the pleasures of that visit, with mingled feelings of melancholy
and delight. The domestic scene left a lasting impression. Napoleon,
always so fascinating in conversation, made himself delightfully
agreeable to her; he loved to talk with her of her art; and his
originality, enthusiasm, and taste gave an interest to every thing he
said. He had a great admiration for Fox, and expressed a wish to have
his bust. When Mrs. Damer next visited Paris, she brought Fox's bust,
but Josephine's place was occupied by another. The emperor saw her, and
met her with all the cordiality and kindness which the recollection of
former happy days, and her attachment to Josephine, were sure to
inspire. At parting, he gave her a splendid snuff-box, with his likeness
set in diamonds. The box is now in the British Museum.

It was in her retirement at Navarre that Josephine wept bitterly over
the fallen fortunes of Napoleon. The Russian expedition caused her such
deep inquietude that her health and spirits visibly declined; she saw in
it a disastrous fate for Napoleon, and trembled, too, for the safety of
Eugène, a son so dearly and so deservedly beloved, and who was, if
possible, rendered still more precious, as the especial favorite of
Napoleon, and as having been the means of introducing him to her.
Josephine now scarcely joined her ladies, but would remain for the
length of the day alone in her chamber, by the large traveling-desk
which contained Napoleon's letters. Among these there was one that she
was observed to read over and over again, and then to place in her
bosom; it was the last that she had received; it was written from
Brienne. A passage in it runs thus: "On revisiting this spot, where I
passed my youthful days, and contrasting the peaceful condition I then
enjoyed with the state of terror and agitation to which my mind is now a
prey, often have I addressed myself in these words: I have sought death
in numberless engagements, I can no longer dread its approach; I should
now hail it as a boon. Nevertheless, I could still wish to see Josephine
once more--" He again adds: "Adieu, my dear Josephine; never dismiss
from your recollection one who has never forgotten, and never will
forget you."

It would be needless to dwell on the rapid events which led to
Napoleon's abdication, but it would be impossible, even in this
imperfect sketch, not to be struck by the strange coincidences of
Josephine's life--twice married--twice escaped from a violent
death--twice crowned--both husbands sought for a divorce--one husband
was executed--the other banished! One of Napoleon's first cares, in
making his conditions when he abdicated, was an ample provision for
Josephine; £40,000 per annum was settled on her.

It was after Napoleon's departure from the shores of France, that the
Emperor Alexander, touched with admiration of Josephine's character, and
with pity for her misfortunes, prevailed on her to return to Malmaison
to see him there. The associations so linked with the spot that she had
loved to beautify must, indeed, have been overpowering. It was there
that Napoleon's passionate attachment to her was formed. How many
recollections must have been awakened by the pleasure grounds adorned
with the costly shrubs and plants which they had so often admired
_together_; how many tears had afterward fallen among them when the
hours of separation came. The Emperor Alexander used every effort to
console her, and promised his protection to her children, but sorrow had
done its part, and the memories of other times had their effect.
Josephine fell sick; malignant sore throat was the form which disease
took, during the fatal illness of but a few days. Alexander was
unremitting in his attentions; he again soothed the dying mother by the
renewal of his promise of care for her children, a promise most
faithfully kept. It was in the year 1814 that Napoleon left France for
Elba, and also that Josephine died. The bells to which they had loved to
listen together tolled her funeral knell. Her remains rest in the parish
church of Ruel, near Malmaison. They were followed to the place of
interment by a great number of illustrious persons who were desirous of
paying this parting token of respect to one so much loved and honored.
Upward of eight thousand of the neighboring peasantry joined the funeral
procession to pay their tribute of affection and veneration to her, who
was justly called, "_the mother of the poor and distressed_." The tomb
erected by her children marks the spot where she takes her "long last
sleep." It bears the simple inscription--

  EUGÈNE ET HORTENSE À JOSEPHINE.

Napoleon, too, paid a parting visit to the residence which he had
preferred to every other. After his unsuccessful attempt to resume the
sovereignty of France, he spent six days at Malmaison to muse over
departed power and happiness, and then left the shores of France
forever!



          WORK AWAY!

                Work away!
          For the Master's eye is on us,
          Never off us, still upon us,
                Night and day!
                Work away!
          Keep the busy fingers plying,
          Keep the ceaseless shuttles flying;
          See that never thread lie wrong;
          Let not clash or clatter round us,
          Sound of whirring wheels, confound us;
          Steady hand! let woof be strong
          And firm, that has to last so long!
                Work away!

          Keep upon the anvil ringing
          Stroke of hammer; on the gloom
          Set 'twixt cradle and 'twixt tomb
          Shower of fiery sparkles flinging;
          Keep the mighty furnace glowing;
          Keep the red ore hissing, flowing
          Swift within the ready mould;
          See that each one than the old
          Still be fitter, still be fairer
          For the servant's use, and rarer
          For the master to behold:
                Work away!

                Work away!
          For the Leader's eye is on us,
          Never off us, still upon us,
                Night and day!
          Wide the trackless prairies round us,
          Dark and unsunned woods surround us,
          Steep and savage mountains bound us;
                Far away
          Smile the soft savannas green,
          Rivers sweep and roll between:
                Work away!

          Bring your axes, woodmen true;
          Smite the forest till the blue
          Of Heaven's sunny eye looks through
          Every wild and tangled glade;
          Jungled swamp and thicket shade
                Give to day!

          O'er the torrents fling your bridges,
          Pioneers! Upon the ridges
          Widen, smooth the rocky stair--
          They that follow, far behind
          Coming after us, will find
          Surer, easier footing there;
          Heart to heart, and hand with hand,
          From the dawn to dusk o' day,
                Work away!
          Scouts upon the mountain's peak--
          Ye that see the Promised Land,
          Hearten us! for ye can speak
          Of the country ye have scanned,
                Far away!

                Work away!
          For the Father's eye is on us,
          Never off us, still upon us,
                Night and Day!
                WORK AND PRAY!
          Pray! and Work will be completer;
          Work! and Prayer will be the sweeter;
          Love! and Prayer and Work the fleeter
                Will ascend upon their way!
          Fear not lest the busy finger
          Weave a net the soul to stay;
          Give her wings--she will not linger;
          Soaring to the source of day;
          Cleaving clouds that still divide us
          From the azure depths of rest,
          She will come again! beside us,
          With the sunshine on her breast,
          Sit, and sing to us, while quickest
          On their task the fingers move,
          While the outward din wars thickest,
          Songs that she hath learned above.

          Live in Future as in Present;
          Work for both while yet the day
          Is our own! for Lord and Peasant,
          Long and bright as summer's day,
          Cometh, yet more sure, more pleasant,
          Cometh soon our Holiday;
                Work away!



THE USURER'S GIFT.


A few months ago in London an old man sat in a large paneled room in one
of the streets near Soho-square. Every thing in the apartment was brown
with age and neglect. Nothing more superlatively dingy could well be
imagined. The leathern covers of the chairs were white and glossy at the
edges; the carpet was almost of a uniform tint, notwithstanding its
original gaudy contrasts; there were absurd old engravings upon the
walls--relics of the infancy of the art; and curtains to the windows,
which the smoke of years had darkened from a delicate fawn to a rusty
chocolate color. In the centre of the room, and, as it were, the sun of
this dusty system, stood an office-table of more modern manufacture, at
which was seated the old man alluded to, sole lord and master of the
dismal domicile. He was by profession a money-lender. His age might be
from sixty to sixty-five years; his face was long, and his features
seemed carved out of box-wood or yellow sand-stone, so destitute were
they of mobility; his eyes were of a cold, pale, steel color, but his
brows were black and tufted like a grim old owl's; a long aquiline
nose, a thin and compressed mouth, and a vast double chin, buried in a
voluminous white neckcloth of more than one day's wear, completed the
portrait. Nor did the expression of his countenance undergo any
perceptible change as, after a timid knock, the door opened, and a young
man entered of singularly interesting appearance.

The new-comer was well-dressed, though his clothes were none of the
newest, and had the air of a man accustomed to society. His pale brow
was marked with those long horizontal lines of which time is rarely the
artist. His dark, deep-set gray eyes flashed with a painful brightness;
his long chestnut hair, damp with perspiration, clung in narrow strips
to his forehead; his whole manner implied the man who had made up his
mind to some extraordinary course, from which no wavering or weakness on
_his_ part was likely to turn him aside, whatever the opposition of
others might compel him to abandon or determine. Bending his tall figure
slightly, he addressed the money-lender in a tone of constrained
calmness.

"You lend money, I believe?"

"Sometimes--on good security," replied the usurer, indifferently,
forming a critical summary of his visitor's costume at a glance.

The stranger hesitated: there was a discouraging sort of coldness in the
mode of delivering this answer that seemed to prejudge his proposition.
Nevertheless, he resumed with an effort--"I saw your advertisement in
the paper." The usurer did not even nod in answer to this prelude. He
sat bolt upright in his chair, awaiting further information. "I am, as
you will see by these papers, entitled to some property in reversion."

The usurer stretched out his hand for the papers, which he looked over
carefully with the same implacable tranquillity, while his visitor
entered into explanations as to their substance.

Once only the money-lender peered over the top of a document he was
scanning, and said, gruffly: "Your name, sir, is Bernard West?"

"It is," replied the stranger, mechanically taking up a newspaper, in
which the first thing which caught his eye was the advertisement alluded
to, which ran thus:--"_Money_ to any amount advanced immediately on
every description of security, real or personal. Apply between the hours
of ten and five to Mr. John Brace, ---- street, Soho-square."

After a brief interval of silence, the usurer methodically rearranged
the papers, and returned them to the stranger. "They are of no use," he
said, "no use whatever: the reversion is merely contingent. You have no
available security to offer?"

"Could you not advance something upon these expectations--not even a
small sum?"

"Not a farthing," said the money-lender.

"Is there no way of raising fifty--thirty--even twenty pounds?" said the
stranger, anxiously, and with the tenacity of a drowning man grasping at
a straw.

"There is a way," said the usurer, carelessly. West in his turn was
silent, awaiting the explanation of his companion. "On personal
security," continued the latter with a sinister impatience, beginning to
arrange his writing materials for a letter.

"I will give any discount," said the young man, eagerly. "My prospects
are good: I can--"

"Get a friend to be security for the payment of the interest?"

"Of the interest and principal, you mean?"

"Of the interest only--and the life insurance," added the usurer, with a
slight peculiarity of intonation that might have escaped the notice of
one whose nerves were less exalted in their sensitive power than those
of his visitor's.

"And what sum can I borrow on these terms?" said West, gloomily.

"A hundred pounds: more if you require it. In fact, any amount, if your
security be good."

"The interest will doubtless be high?"

"Not at all: four or five per cent. As much is often given for money on
mortgage of land."

"And the life insurance?"

"You will insure your life for five hundred pounds, and you will pay the
premiums with the interest."

"For _five_ hundred?" said West, hesitating. "That is, if I borrow--"

"_One_ hundred," replied the usurer, sharply. "Men who lend money do not
run risks. You may die, and four out of five insurance offices may fail;
but the chances are that the fifth would pay."

"But it is not likely--" began Bernard West, amazed at this outrageous
display of caution.

"I do not say it is likely," snarled the usurer with a contemptuous sort
of pity for his visitor's dullness of apprehension; "I say it is
possible; and I like to be on the safe side."

"Well, and how is the affair to be arranged?"

"Your security, who of course must be a person known to have property,
will give a bond guaranteeing the regular payment of interest and
premiums--that is all."

West reflected for some minutes in silence. The faint expression of hope
that had for an instant lighted up his countenance vanished. He
understood the money-lender and his proposition. A sufficiently clear
remembrance of the tables of life assurance which he had seen, enabled
him to perceive that the interest and premiums together would amount to
nearly twenty per cent., and that the bond engaged his security to pay
an annuity for his (West's) life of that amount. It is true that, full
of energy and hope, he felt no doubt of his capacity to meet the
payments regularly: it is true that, monstrous as were the terms, he
would have accepted eagerly still harder ones, had it simply depended on
his own decision. But where find, or how ask, a friend to become his
bondsman? He ran over in despair the scanty list of acquaintances whom
his poverty had not already caused to forget him. He felt that the thing
was impossible. There was not one he could think of who would have even
dreamed of entering into such a compact. He turned desperately to the
money-lender.

"I have no friend," he said, "of whom I could or would ask such a
service. If I had, I should not be here. Are there _no_ terms, however
high, on which you can lend me even the most trifling sum, for which I
myself alone need be responsible?"

"None," replied the usurer, already commencing his letter.

"I will give thirty per cent.?"

"Impossible."

"Fifty?"

The usurer shook his head impatiently.

"A hundred--cent. per cent.?"

"No!"

The strange seeker of loans at length rose to depart. He reached the
door. Suddenly he turned back, his eyes blazing with the sombre radiance
of despair. He strode up to the table, and planted himself, with folded
arms, immediately in front of the usurer.

"Mark me!" said West, in a tone of deep suppressed passion, like the
hollow murmur of the sea before a storm: "It is a question of life or
death with me to get money before sunset. Lend me only twenty pounds,
and within twelve months I will repay you one hundred. I will give you
every power which the law can give one man over another; and I will
pledge my honor, which never yet was questioned, to the bargain!"

The usurer almost smiled, so strangely sarcastic was the contraction of
his features, as he listened to these words.

"I do not question your honor," he said, icily, "but honor has nothing
to do with business. As for the law, there is an old axiom which says,
Out of nothing, nothing comes."

Bernard West regarded the cold rocky face and the passionless mouth from
which these words proceeded with that stinging wrath a man feels who has
humiliated himself in vain. Nevertheless he clung to the old flinty
usurer as to the last rock in a deluge, and a sense of savage
recklessness came over him when he advanced yet closer to the living
cash-box before him, while the latter shrank half-terrified before the
burning gaze of his visitor's dilated pupils.

Laying his hand upon the money-lender's shoulder, by a gesture of
terrible familiarity that insisted upon and commanded attention to his
words, West spoke with a sudden clearness and even musical distinctness
of utterance that made his words yet more appalling in their solemn
despair--"Old man, I am desperate; I am ruined. It is but a few months
since my father died, leaving me not only penniless, but encircled by
petty obligations which have cramped every movement I would have made. I
have had no time, no quiet, to make an effort such as my position
requires. This day I have spent my last shilling. I am too proud to beg,
and to borrow is to beg when a man is known to be in _real_ distress.
Within one hour from this time I shall be beyond all the tortures of a
life which for my own sake I care little to preserve. And yet I have
spent my youth in accumulating treasures, which but a brief space might
have rendered productive of benefit to man, and of profit to myself. My
father's little means and my own have vanished in the pursuit of
science, and in the gulf of suffering more immediate than our own. If I
die also, with me perish the results of his experiments, his studies,
and his sacrifices. There are moments when all ordinary calculations and
prudence are empty baubles. Life is the only real possession we have,
and death the only certainty. Listen! I will make one last proposal to
you. Lend me but _ten_ pounds--that is but _ten_ weeks of life--and I
swear to you that if I live, I will repay you for each pound lent not
ten or twenty, but one hundred--in all; one thousand pounds! Grant that
it be but a chance upon the one hand, yet, upon the other, how small is
the risk; and then, to save a human life--- is not that something in the
scale?" And the stranger laughed at these last words with a bitter
gayety, which caused a strange thrill to creep along the nerves of the
usurer.

However, the lender of gold shrugged his shoulders without relaxing his
habitual impassibility of manner. He did not speak. Possibly the idea
occurred to him that his strange client meditated some act of violence
upon himself or his strong box. But this idea speedily vanished, as the
stranger, relapsing suddenly into silence and conventional behavior,
removed his hand from the usurer's shoulder, and strode rapidly but
calmly from the apartment.

The door closed behind the ruined man, and the usurer drew a long
breath, while his bushy brows were contracted in a sort of agony of
doubt and irresolute purpose.

Meanwhile Bernard West paused for an instant on the threshold of the
outer-door, as if undecided which road to take. In truth all roads were
much alike to him at that moment. Some cause, too subtle to be seized by
the mental analyst, determined his course. He turned to the right, and
strode rapidly onward.

He felt already like one of the dead, to join whom he was hurrying
headlong. He looked neither to the right nor to the left; and before him
was a mist, in which the phantoms of his imagination disported
themselves, to the exclusion of all other visible objects. Nothing
earthly had any further interest for him. He did not even hear the steps
of some one running behind him, nor hear the voice which called after
him to stop; but his course was soon more effectually arrested by the
firm grasp of a man's hand, which seized him by the arm with the force
and the tenacity of a vice.

He turned fiercely round. He was in no humor for the converse of casual
acquaintances. Nor was it any gay convivialist of happier days whose
face now greeted him: it was the old money-lender, who in a voice husky
with loss of breath, or possibly emotion, said, thrusting couple of
twenty-pound bank-notes into West' hand--

"Here! take these notes. Take them, I say!" he repeated, as the young
man, dizzy with amazement, stammered out--

"You accept, then, my terms?"

"No!" growled the usurer, "I _give_ them to you. Do you understand me? I
say I _give_ them to you. I am an old man; I never gave away a shilling
before in my life! Repay me if you will, when and how it please you. I
have no security--I ask no acknowledgment; I want none. I do not count
upon it. _It is gone!_" and the usurer pronounced the last words with an
effort which was heroic, from the evident self-mastery it cost him.
"There! go--go!" he resumed, "and take an old man's advice--Make money
at all hazards, and never lend except on good security. Remember that!"
The old man gently pushed West away, and all hatless and slippered as he
was, ran back muttering to his den, leaving the object of his mysterious
generosity fixed like a statue of amazement in the centre of the
pavement.

About three months had elapsed, when Bernard West once more knocked at
the door of the money-lender.

"Is Mr. Brace at home?" he inquired, cheerfully.

"Oh! if you please, sir, they buried him yesterday," replied the
servant, with a look of curiously-affected solemnity.

"Buried him!" cried the visitor, with sincere disappointment and grief
in his tone.

"Yes, sir; perhaps you would like to see Miss Brace, if it's any thing
very particular?"

"I should, indeed," said West; "and when she knows the cause of my
visit, I think she will excuse the intrusion."

The servant gave an odd look, whose significance West was unable to
divine, as she led the way to her young mistress's drawing-room.

West entered timidly, for he doubted the delicacy of such a proceeding,
though his heart was almost bursting with desire of expansion under the
shock just received. A beautiful and proud-looking girl of nineteen or
twenty years rose to meet him. Her large blue eyes, which bore traces of
many and recent tears, worked strangely upon his feelings, already
sufficiently excited.

"I came," he said, in his deep musical voice, "to repay a noble service.
Will you permit me to share a grief for the loss of one to whom I owe my
life--yes, more than my life!" West paused, and strove vainly to master
the emotion which checked his utterance.

"My father rendered you a service?" said the young lady, eagerly,
regarding with involuntary interest the noble countenance of Bernard,
which, though it still bore traces of great suffering, was no longer
wild and haggard, as at his interview with the money-lender.

"A most unexpected and generous service," replied West, who, softening
down the first portion of the scene we have described, proceeded to
recount to the fair orphan the narrative of the great crisis in his
destiny.

"I knew it was so!" cried the young lady, almost hysterically affected;
"I knew he was not so grasping--so hard-hearted, as they said--as he
himself pretended. I knew he had a generous heart beneath all his
seeming avarice! Oh, you are not the only one doubtless whom he has thus
served!"

West did not discourage the illusion. Nay, the enthusiasm of the
charming woman before him was contagious. "Thanks to your father's
disinterested liberality," he resumed, "I am now in comparatively
prosperous circumstances. I came not merely to discharge a debt; believe
me, it is no common gratitude I feel! Doubtless you inherit all your
father's wealth--doubtless it is but little service I can ever hope to
render you. Yet I venture to entreat you never to forget that you
possess one friend of absolute devotion, ready at all times to sacrifice
himself in every way to your wishes and to your happiness."

West paused abruptly, for the singular expression of the young lady's
features filled him with astonishment.

"You do not know, then--" she began.

"Know what?"

"That I--am a--a natural child!" she completed, with, a crimson blush,
turning away her head as she spoke, and covering her face with her
hands--"that I am without fortune or relations; that my father died
intestate; that the heir-at-law, who lives abroad, and without whose
permission nothing can be done--moreover, who is said to be a heartless
spendthrift--will take all my father leaves; that I have but one more
week given me to vacate this house by the landlord; in short, that I
must work if I would not starve: that, in a word, I am a beggar!" And
the poor girl sobbed convulsively; while Bernard West, on whom this
speech acted as some terrible hurricane upon the trees of a tropical
forest, tearing up, as it were, by the roots, all the terrible stoicism
of his nature, and rousing hopes and dreams which he had long banished
to the deepest and most hopeless abysses of his soul; while Bernard, we
repeat, ventured to take her hand in his own, and calm her painful
agitation by such suggestions as immediately occurred to his mind.

"In the first place," he said, "my dear Miss Brace, I come to repay to
you your father's generous gift."

"It belongs to his legal heirs. I can not receive it with honor," said
the money-lender's daughter, firmly.

"Not so," replied West, gravely: "it was a free gift to me. I repay it
by a natural, not a legal obligation;" and he laid the two twenty-pound
notes upon the table. "Next," he resumed, "I have to pay a debt of
gratitude. I owe my life to your father. Thus in a manner I have become
his adopted son. Thus," he continued impetuously, "I have a right to
say to you, regard me as a brother; share the produce of my labor;
render me happy in the thought that I am serving the child of my
benefactor! To disdain my gratitude would be a cruel insult."

"I can not disdain it!" exclaimed the daughter of the usurer with a
sudden impulse of that sublime confidence which a noble and generous
soul can alone inspire. "Yes--I accept your assistance!"

The face of Bernard brightened up, as if by an electric agent. But how
were the two children of sorrow confounded by the discovery that they
were no longer alone, and that their conversation had been overheard by
an utter stranger, who, leaning against the wall at the further end of
the room, near the door, appeared to survey them with an utter
indifference to the propriety of such behavior!

He was a man of between forty and fifty years; a great beard and
mustache concealed the lower part of a swarthy but handsome countenance
of rare dignity and severity of outline. His dress was utterly
un-English. A vast mantle, with a hood, fell nearly to the ground, and
he wore huge courier's boots, which were still splashed, as if from a
journey. His great dark eyes rested with an expression of royal
benevolence upon the two young people, toward whom he had advanced with
a courteous inclination, that, as if magnetically, repressed Bernard's
first indignant impulse.

"I am the heir-at-law," he said, in a mild voice, as if he had been
announcing a most agreeable piece of intelligence.

"Then, sir," said Bernard, "I trust--"

"Trust absolutely!" interrupted quickly the foreign-looking heir. "My
children, do you know who I am? No? I will tell you. I am a monster, who
in his youth preferred beauty to ambition, and glory to gold. For ten
years after attaining manhood I struggled on, an outcast from my family,
in poverty and humiliation, without friends, and often without bread. At
the end of five more years I was a great man, and those who had
neglected, and starved, and scorned me, came to bow down and worship.
But the beauty I had adored was dust, and the fire of youthful hope
quenched in the bitter waters of science. For ten years since I have
wandered over the earth. I am rich; I may say my wealth is boundless;
for I have but to shake a few fancies from this brain, to trace a few
ciphers with this hand, and they become gold at my command. Yet, mark my
words, my children! One look of love is, in my esteem, worth more than
all the applause of an age, or all the wealth of an empire!" The dark
stranger paused for an instant, as if in meditation, then abruptly
continued: "_I_ take your inheritance, fair child!--_I_ rob the orphan
and the fatherless!"--and the smile of disdainful pride which followed
these words said more than whole piles of parchment renunciations as to
his intention.

Involuntarily the orphan and Bernard seized each a hand of the
mysterious man beside them, who, silently drawing the two hands
together, and uniting them in his own, said, gently, "Love one another
as you will, my young friends, yet spare at times a kind thought for the
old wandering poet! Not a word! I understand you, though you do not
understand yourselves. It is as easy to tell a fortune as to give it."

And _was_ the prophecy realized? asks a curious reader. But no answer is
needed; for if the prophecy were false, why record it? And, pray, who
was the stranger, after all? Too curious reader!--it is one thing to
tell stories, and another to commit breaches of confidence.



A FRENCHMAN IN LONDON.

BY JULES DE PREMARY.


One of the principal causes of surprise to me in walking along the
streets of London, has been to see myself all at once become a curious
animal. I did not think that I had any of the qualities necessary for
such a thing, being neither humpbacked nor clubfooted, neither a giant
nor a dwarf. Thus, when on the day of my arrival I went along
Regent-street, and heard the exclamations and laughter of the crowd on
seeing me, I examined myself from head to foot, to ascertain the cause
of the unhoped-for success which I obtained in England. I even felt all
up my back, thinking that perhaps some facetious boy might have
transformed me into a walking placard. There was nothing, however; but I
had mustaches and a foreign air! A foreign air! That is one of the
little miseries on which you do not count, oh, simple and inexperienced
travelers!

At home you may have the dignity and nobleness of the Cid--you may be
another Talma: but pass the Channel--show yourself to the English, and
in spite of yourself you will become as comic as Arnal. Arnal! do I say?
why, he would not make them laugh so much as you do; and they would
consider our inimitable comedians, Levassor and Hoffmann, as serious
personages. Do not be angry. They would only laugh the more. In this
respect the English are wanting in good taste and indulgence. Their
astonishment is silly and their mockery puerile. The sight of a pair of
mustaches makes them roar with laughter, and they are in an ecstasy of
fun at the sight of a rather broad-brimmed hat. A people must be very
much bored to seize such occasions of amusing themselves. However, all
the _travers_, like all the qualities of the English, arise from the
national spirit carried to exaggeration. They consider themselves the
_beau ideal_ of human kind. Their stiffness of bearing, their pale
faces, their hair, their whiskers cut into the shape of mutton chops,
the excessive height of their shirt collars, and the inelegant cut of
their coats--all that makes them as proud as Trafalgar and Waterloo.

In our theatres we laugh at them as they laugh at us; and on that score
we are quits. But in our great towns they are much better and more
seriously received than we Frenchmen are in England.

At Paris nowadays nobody laughs at an Englishman; but at London every
body laughs at a Frenchman. We do not make this remark from any feeling
of ill-will; in fact, we think that to cause a smile on the thin and
pinched-up lips of old England is not a small triumph for our beards and
mustaches. After all, too, the astonishment which the Englishman
manifests at the sight of a newly disembarked Frenchman (an astonishment
which appears singular when we call to mind the frequent communications
between the two nations), is less inexplicable than may be thought.
Geographically speaking, France and England touch each other; morally,
they are at an immeasurable distance. Nothing is done at Calais as at
Dover, nothing at London as at Paris. There is as much difference
between the two races as between white and black. In France, the
Englishman conforms willingly to our customs, and quickly adopts our
manner of acting; but in England we are like a stain on a harmonious
picture.

Our fashion of sauntering along the streets, smiling at the pretty girls
we meet, looking at the shops, or stopping to chat with a friend, fills
the English with stupefaction. They always walk straight before them
like mad dogs. In conversation there is the same difference. In England,
it is always solemn. Left alone after dinner, the men adopt a subject of
conversation, which never varies during all the rest of the evening.
Each one is allowed to develop his argument without interruption.
Perhaps he is not understood, but he is listened to. When he has ended,
it becomes the turn of another, who is heard with the same respect. The
thing resembles a quiet sitting of the parliament. But in France,
conversation is a veritable _mêlée_; it is the contrary excess. A
subject is left and taken up twenty times, amidst joyous and unforeseen
interruptions. We throw words at each other's heads without doing
ourselves any harm; smart sallies break forth, and _bons mots_ roll
under the table. In short, the Englishman reflects before speaking; the
Frenchman speaks first and reflects afterward--if he has time. The
Frenchman converses, the Englishman talks: and it is the same with
respect to pleasure. Place a Frenchman, who feels _ennui_, by the side
of an Englishman who amuses himself, and it will be the former who will
have the gayest air. From love the Englishman only demands its brutal
joys; whereas the Frenchman pays court to a woman. The Englishman, at
table, drinks to repletion; the Frenchman never exceeds intoxication.

A difference equally striking exists between the females of the two
countries. I do not now speak of the beauty of the type of the one, or
the elegance and good taste of the others; but I will notice one or two
great contrasts. In France a young girl is reserved, is timid, and, as
it were, hidden under the shade of the family: but the married woman has
every liberty, and many husbands can tell you that she does not always
use it with extreme moderation! In England you are surprised at the
confident bearing of young girls, and the chaste reserve of married
women. The former not only willingly listen to gallant compliments, but
even excite them; while the latter, by the simple propriety of their
bearing, impose on the boldest.

The boldness of young girls in England was explained to me, by the great
emigration of young men--in other words, by the scarcity of husbands.
The French girl who wants a husband is ordinarily rather disdainful; the
English girl is by no means difficult.

A Frenchwoman walks negligently leaning on our arm, and we regulate our
steps by the timidity and uncertainty of hers; the Englishwoman walks
with the head erect, and takes large strides like a soldier charging. An
accident made me acquainted with the secret of the strange way of
walking which Englishwomen have. I was lately on a visit to the family
of a merchant, whose three daughters are receiving a costly education.
The French master, the drawing master, and the music master, had each
given his lesson, when I saw a sergeant of the Grenadiers of the Guard
arrive. He went into the garden, and was followed by the young ladies.

"Ah! mon Dieu!" I cried to the father; "these young ladies are surely
not going to learn the military exercise!"

"No," said he, with a smile.

"What, then, has this professor in a red coat come for?"

"He is the _master of grace_!"

"What! that grenadier who is as long as the column in Trafalgar-square?"

"Yes, or rather he is the _walking master_."

I looked out of the window and saw the three young ladies drawn up and
immovable as soldiers, and presently they began to march to the step of
the grenadier. They formed a charming platoon, and trod the military
step with a precision worthy of admiration. I asked for an explanation
of such a strange thing.

"We, in England," said my host, "understand better the duty of women
than you Frenchmen do. We can not regulate our manner of walking on that
of a being subjected to us. Our dignity forbids it. It is the woman's
duty to follow us; consequently she must walk as we do--we can't walk as
she does."

"_Ma foi!_" said I, "I must admit that in progress you are decidedly our
masters. In France the law, it is true, commands the wife to follow her
husband; but it does not, I confess, say that she must do so at the rate
of _quick march_!"

The contrasts between the two countries are in truth inexhaustible.
Indeed I defy the most patient observer to find any point of resemblance
between them. In France, houses are gay in appearance; in London, with
the exception of some streets in the centre, such as Regent-street or
Oxford-street, they are as dark and dismal as prisons. Our windows open
from the left to the right; windows in England open from top to bottom.
At Paris, to ring or knock too loud is vulgar and ill-bred; at London,
if you don't execute a tattoo with the knocker or a symphony with the
bell, you are considered a poor wretch, and are left an hour at the
door. Our hack cabs take their stand on one side of the street; in
England they occupy the middle. Our coachmen get up in front of their
vehicles; in England they go behind. In Paris Englishmen are charming;
at home they are--Englishmen. One thing astonishes me greatly--that the
English don't walk on their hands, since we walk on our feet.

I do not know from experience the Scottish hospitality which M. Scribe
has lauded in one of his _vaudevilles_. But I know what to think of that
of the county of Middlesex capital--London. Here I can assure you it is
never given, but always sold. London is the town of closed doors. You
feel yourself more a foreigner here than in any other country. On
strolling along the spacious squares and magnificent streets in which
civilization displays all its marvels, you seek in vain for some fissure
by which to introduce yourself into English society, which is thickly
steeped in individualism. With letters of recommendation, if of high
authority, you may, it is true, gain access to a family of the middle
class; and, once received, you will be well treated. But what conditions
you must fulfill to gain that! You must lead a life like that of the
cloister, and sacrifice all your dearest habits. The Englishman, though
he invented the word eccentric, does not tolerate eccentricity in a
foreigner. And, on the whole, the _bourgeoise_ hospitality is not worth
the sacrifices it costs.

We must not, however, be angry with the English for being so little
communicative with foreigners, since they scarcely communicate among
themselves. The extent of distances and the fatigue of serious affairs
are the principal causes of this. It is almost only in the evening you
can visit them, and in the evening they are overwhelmed with fatigue.
Besides this, all the usages of the English show that they are not
naturally sociable. The cellular system of taverns, in which every
person is confined in a sort of box without a lid; the silent clubs, in
which some write while others read the papers, and only interrupt
themselves to make a sign of "good evening" with the hand--all that sort
of thing constitutes an existence which the French have the irreverence
to call selfish.

Among the high aristocracy, hospitality is a great and noble thing; but
it is more accessible to the wealthy tallow chandler than to a writer or
an artist of genius. In England, with the exception of Dickens and
Bulwer, the literary man is less considered than the comedian was in
France a century ago. In France, it is admirable to witness the fusion
of the aristocracies of family, money, and intelligence. Artists and
poets are invited to all the _fêtes_ of high society. As soon as a
writer has raised himself somewhat above the vulgar, he perceives that
the great ones of this world occupy themselves with him, show him
protection and sympathy. But what is a man of intelligence here in
London? He is an animal less considered than the lowest coal-dealer in
the city. And what is the consequence of this neglect of arts and
literature? That England is almost reduced to the necessity of robbing
our artists and writers. The theatres in particular pirate from us with
unexampled effrontery.

But to return to the want of hospitality of the English to the foreign
bards who have come over to sing the marvels of the Great Exhibition.
You may meet in London at this moment a dozen literary phantoms who drag
the shroud of their _ennui_ and discouragement along Piccadilly. These
shadows, when they recognize each other, shake hands and relate their
disappointments. They are French journalists. Separated one from the
other, and not knowing on what chord of their lyres to celebrate the
virtues of a people who laugh in their faces, and who seem to be
ignorant of the men whose names are most known and admired at Paris,
these French journalists ask each other the same question--"Do you amuse
yourself at London?" And they all make the same reply, "I am bored at
the rate of twenty shillings a day!" To which they all exclaim in
chorus, "That's very dear!"

A year ago, when the Friends of Peace, those generous Utopian dreamers,
came to London, they were received at the station by the most celebrated
English economists, carried in triumph to the residences prepared for
them, taken to visit all that is curious in England--in a word, treated
as princes. But then they were the friends of the great Cobden! whereas
England cares not a straw for the mob of simple literary men, writers of
imagination! She would not even send their _confrères_ to bid them
welcome. Let them manage them as they can; let them lodge in bad hotels,
and dine ill; let them content themselves with seeing London on the
outside, for neither the docks of the Thames nor the museums of the
great nobles will be opened to them!

But what matters, after all, that we are at London without any guides
but ourselves? My opinion is, that we must put a good face on it, and
see the marvels of the monster town in spite of itself.



LONDON SPARROWS.

BY CHARLES DICKENS.


How extremely plain--not to say ugly--street-children often are! Their
hard life and the characters of their parents, cause it. This child, who
is now staring in at the window upon a print of Sir Robert Peel, and
flattening his nose against the glass, has a forehead "villainous low,"
with dark eyes, and short dark hair, and his diminutive face, both in
features and expression, is uncommonly like one end of a cocoa-nut. What
a sad lot for these children to be left thus--perhaps even turned adrift
by their parents, to wander about the streets, and pick up, here and
there, a precarious crumb! And now, as I turn round, I see three others,
apparently in the same wretched outcast condition--two boys and a girl.
The elder boy seems not to care much about it; he has, no doubt, become
more accustomed to his lot. He is between twelve and thirteen. His voice
is hoarse, cracked, and discordant; perhaps by some street-cry. He has a
large projecting nose, red pulpy lips, a long chin, and a long throat,
uncovered. No collar--indeed, now, I look again, no shirt! and he wears
a greasy jacket and trowsers, both much too small for him; so that his
large red hands and wrists swollen with chilblains hang listlessly far
below the end of his sleeves; and his long, thin ankles, and large
unshapely feet are so far below the end of his trowsers, as to give the
appearance of the legs and feet of a bird. He is whistling a sort of jig
tune, and beating time with one of his heels. Poor boy!--I dare say he
would be very glad to work if he had an opportunity. A girl, of about
twelve, stands on one side of him. She is so scantily clad as to be
scarcely decent. Her shoulder-blades stick up, she is so meagre, and she
shivers with the cold. But I do not like the expression of her face;
for, though I pity her eager, hungry look, and evidently bad state of
health, I can not help seeing that she has very much the look of a
sickly rat. On the other side of the elder boy, stands a younger one--of
some ten years of age. He is very pale, and has fair hair, a rueful
mouth, rather dropping at the corners, large sad eyes, with very long
lashes, and an expression at once timid yet indifferent--innocent and
guilty. Guilty?--of what can such a child be guilty? They slowly walk
away, all three--perhaps in consequence of my observing them so
attentively. They quicken their pace as they turn the corner. Why was I
so tardy to relieve them? It would have become me, as a Christian, to
have thought of relieving their necessities, even for the night, far
better than to have speculated upon their physiognomies as a
philosopher. But it is time for me to return home. Sad addition to my
experience. My wife waiting tea for--bless my so--where? it can't be?
yes, it can--my watch is gone! Slipt down through my pocket--no
doubt--there's a hole in it--no--or it fell out while I was stooping to
fasten my gaiter button in Pall Mall. Most vexatious. A family watch!
Gold chain and seals, too! Well--it can't be helped. In these cases a
pinch of snuff often--often--pshaw!--often relieves--relieves
one--hillo! have I been relieved of that, also! Perhaps it's in my side
pocket, with my purse--purse! why, my purse is gone; I really begin to
think I must have been robbed!



CONCERNING THE ECLIPSES IN THE MONTH OF JULY, 1851.

BY CHARLES COLBY.


In the month of July, 1851, there will occur two eclipses; one of the
moon and one of the sun.

The former will occur after midnight, Sunday morning, July 13th; and the
latter on the morning of Monday, July 28th.

Unless clouds prevent, both will be visible throughout the United
States; and if visible will (the solar eclipse especially) attract
general observation.

[Illustration]

As here represented, there are formed complete shadows, called _umbras_;
and partial shadows, called _penumbras_.

When an eclipse of the sun occurs, it appears totally eclipsed to those
persons who are within the moon's umbra, and partially eclipsed, to
those situated within the penumbra.

When an eclipse of the moon occurs, it appears totally eclipsed, if
entirely within the earth's umbra, and partially eclipsed, if partially
within it.

The length of the moon's umbra is usually greater than the distance of
the moon from the earth.

[Illustration]

The moon, therefore, crosses the sun's path twice in each revolution.

If, at new moon, it always crossed exactly in that part where the sun
is, there would evidently be an eclipse of the sun; and it would recross
in the opposite part and pass through the earth's umbra.

But the moon does not always cross the ecliptic where the sun is, nor
uniformly in the same part.

Its crossing-place is different at each succeeding revolution.

[Illustration]

Since the limits of this article will not allow an extended explanation
of the manner of mathematically predicting eclipses, we will apply the
foregoing statements in showing that there will occur an eclipse of the
sun in July, 1851.

The first diagram on page 240 represents the relative positions of the
sun and moon at the time of new moon in June, July, and August, 1851,
calculated for Greenwich.

It is probable that there will be but few among the millions who may
thus behold these wonderful phenomena who will not understand their
causes.

However, an article explaining the manner of predicting these eclipses
with diagrams illustrating the path of the moon's shadow in the solar
eclipse across the United States and upon the whole earth, may not be
acceptable.

Since the earth and moon are solid opaque bodies, they intercept the
light passing from the sun through the heavens; or, in other words, they
cause the existence of shadows.

Hence, if the moon, in its revolution pass directly between the sun and
the earth its umbra will fall upon the earth, and cause a total eclipse
of the sun.

If the moon passed through the heavens in exactly the same path as the
sun, there would result eclipses of both sun and moon at each
revolution; for it would pass directly over the disc of the sun, and
through the centre of the earth's umbra.

But it was long since discovered that the path of the moon is inclined
to the sun's path, or the ecliptic, about 5° (5° 8' 48").

This results from the fact that these crossing-places (which for
convenience and according to astronomical usage we shall call the
_nodes_), are in motion upon the ecliptic, from east to west.

Therefore, the moon may cross the ecliptic at such a distance from the
sun, that when it passes between the sun and the earth, it will appear
to pass above or below the disc of the sun; also, in the opposite part
of its orbit, it may cross at so great distance from the earth's umbra,
that it will pass above or below the umbra, as represented in the
following diagram.

In June, the moon is seen below the sun, passing upward to the ascending
node, and beyond the limits within which eclipses can occur.

While the moon is completing another revolution around the earth, the
sun continues to move eastward, and when it again comes to A the sun is
near B. The moon, moving much faster than the sun, passes upward in its
orbit, and is in conjunction with the sun at B, within the limits of
eclipses.

At this time the moon's umbra will fall upon the earth, and cause an
eclipse, which will be total at all places over which the umbra will
move; and partial at those places over which the penumbra will move.

In this, as in all solar eclipses, only a part of the earth is covered
by the shadows.

[Illustration: _Limits within which Eclipses of the Sun can occur._]

In August, at new moon, the sun has passed eastward to C, and the moon
is seen above the sun, beyond the limit of eclipses.

The following engraving is a projection of the shadows of the moon upon
the earth, exhibiting that portion where a total eclipse will be
visible; and those portions where a partial eclipse will be visible.

[Illustration: _West._ _East._]

As shown in the first cut, the shadows of the moon are of a conical
form, and, if the total eclipse existed but an instant, its projection
upon the earth would be of a circular form.

But, since the earth revolves upon its axis, different parts are brought
into the shadows; and this chart, to represent all that portion of the
earth where any eclipse will be visible, has an oblong form.

Also, since the sun appears to rise in one portion of the earth at the
same instant when in another portion of the earth it appears to set,
this projection exhibits those parts of the earth where the eclipse
commences at the instant of sunrise and sunset.

The next engraving is an enlarged representation of a part of the
preceding; embracing a large portion of the United States, where a
partial eclipse will be visible.

[Illustration]

As exhibited in both charts, the southern line of simple contact of the
disks of the sun and moon, passes through Florida.

[Illustration]

To express the extent of a partial eclipse of either sun or moon, the
diameters of each are divided into twelve equal parts, called digits;
and the extent of an eclipse at any place upon the earth is said to be a
certain number of these digits.



THE DESERTED HOUSE.


Having been detained by the illness of a relative at the small town of
Beziers, when traveling a few years since in the south of France, and
finding time hang somewhat heavily on my hands during the slow progress
of my companion's convalescence, I took to wandering about the
neighborhood within a circle of four or five miles, inspecting the
proceedings of the agriculturists, and making acquaintance with the
country-people. On one of these excursions, seeing a high wall and an
iron-gate, I turned out of my road to take a peep at the interior
through the rails; but I found them so overgrown with creepers of one
sort or another, that it was not easy to distinguish any thing but a
house which stood about a hundred yards from the entrance. Finding,
however, that the gate was not quite closed, I gave it a push; and
although it moved very stiffly on its hinges, and grated along the
ground as it went, I contrived to force an aperture wide enough to put
in my head. What a scene of desolation was there! The house, which was
built of dark-colored bricks, looked as if it had not been inhabited for
a century. The roof was much decayed, the paint black with age, the
stone-steps green with moss, and the windows all concealed by discolored
and dilapidated Venetian blinds. The garden was a wilderness of weeds
and overgrown rose-bushes; and except one broad one, in a right line
with the main-door of the house, the paths were no longer
distinguishable. After surveying this dismal scene for some time, I came
away with a strange feeling of curiosity. "Why should this place be so
entirely deserted and neglected?" thought I. It was not like a fortress,
a castle, or an abbey, allowed to fall into ruins from extreme age,
because no longer appropriate to the habits of the period. On the
contrary, the building I had seen was comparatively modern, and had
fallen to decay merely for want of those timely repairs and defenses
from the weather that ordinary prudence prescribes. "Perhaps there is
some sad history attached to the spot," I thought; "or perhaps the race
to whom it belonged have died out; or maybe the cause of its destruction
is nothing more tragical than a lawsuit!"

As I returned, I inquired of a woman in the nearest village if she could
tell me to whom that desolate spot belonged.

"To a Spaniard," she answered; "but he is dead!"

"But to whom does it belong now?" I asked. "Why is it suffered to fall
into ruin?"

"I don't know," she said, shaking her head, and re-entering the hovel,
at the door of which she had been standing.

During dinner that day I asked the host of the inn if he knew the place,
and could satisfy my curiosity. He knew it well, he answered. The last
inhabitant had been a Count Ruy Gonzalez, a Spaniard, whose wife had
died there under some painful circumstances, of which nobody knew the
particulars. He had been passionately fond of her, and immediately after
her decease had gone to reside in Paris, where he had also died. As the
place formed part of the lady's fortune, it had fallen into the hands of
some distant relation of hers, who had let it; but the tenant, after a
residence of a few months, left it, at some sacrifice of rent; and other
parties who subsequently took it having all speedily vacated under one
pretext or another, an evil reputation gathered round and clung to it so
tenaciously, that all idea of occupation had been relinquished.

It may be conceived that this information did not diminish my interest
in the deserted house; and on the following day I was quite eager to see
my invalid settled for her mid-day slumber, in order that I might repeat
my visit, and carry my investigations further. I found the gate ajar as
before, and by exerting all my strength, I managed to force my way in. I
had not gone three steps before a snake crossed my path, and the ground
seemed actually alive with lizards; but being determined to obtain a
nearer view of this mysterious house, I walked straight on toward it. A
close inspection of the front, however, showing me nothing but what I
had descried from a distance, I turned to the left, and passed round to
the back of the building, where I found the remains of what had been a
small flower-garden, with a grass-plot; and beyond it, divided by a
wall, a court surrounded by mouldy-looking stabling: but, what was much
more interesting, I discovered an open door leading into the house.
Somebody, therefore, must surely be within; so I knocked with my parasol
against the panel, but nobody came; and having repeated my knock with no
better success, I ventured in, and found myself in a stone passage,
terminating in a door, which, by a feeble light emitted through it, I
saw was partly of glass.

"Any body here?" I said aloud, as I opened it and put in my head, but
all was silent: so I went forward, not without some apprehension, I
confess; but it was that sort of pleasing terror one feels when
witnessing a good melodrama. I was now in a tolerably-sized hall,
supported by four stone pillars, and on each side of it were two doors.
I spoke again, and knocked against them, but nobody answered; then I
turned the handles. The first two I tried were locked, but the third was
not. When I saw it yield to my hand, I confess I felt so startled that I
drew back for a moment; but curiosity conquered--I looked in. The dim
light admitted by the Venetian blinds showed me a small apartment,
scantily furnished, which might have been a _salon_ or an ante-room. Two
small tables standing against the wall, a few chairs covered with yellow
damask, and a pier-glass, were all it contained; but at the opposite end
there was another open door: so, half-pleased and half-frightened, I
walked forward, and found myself in what had formerly been a
prettily-furnished boudoir. Marble slabs, settees covered with blue
velvet, chairs and curtains of the same, and three or four round or oval
mirrors in elaborately-carved gilt frames, designated this as the lady's
apartment. A third door, which was also open, showed me a bed in an
alcove, with a blue velvet dais and a fringed counterpane of the same
material. Here I found a toilet-table, also covered with what had once
been white muslin, and on it stood several China-boxes and bottles. In
one of the former there were some remains of a red powder, which
appeared to have been _rouge_; and on lifting the lid of another I
became sensible of the odor of musk. The looking-glass that stood on the
table had a drapery of muslin and blue bows round the frame; and the
old-fashioned mahogany chest of drawers was richly gilt and ornamented.
None of these rooms was papered; all appeared to be plastered or
stuccoed, and were elaborately adorned with designs and gilt mouldings,
except in one place, which seemed to have formerly been a door--the door
of a closet probably; but it was now built up--the plaster, however,
being quite coarse and unadorned, and not at all in keeping with any
thing else in the room. It was also broken, indented, and blackened in
several places, as if it had been battered with some heavy weapon.
Somehow or other, there was nothing that fixed my attention so much as
this door! I examined it--- I laid my hand upon it. Why should it have
been so hastily built up, to the disfigurement of the wall? for the
coarseness of the plaster and the rudeness of the work denoted haste. I
was standing opposite to it, and asking myself this question, when I
heard a heavy foot approaching; and before I had time to move, I saw the
astonished face of an elderly man in clerical attire standing in the
doorway. I believe he thought at first I was the ghost of the former
inhabitant of this chamber, for he actually changed color and stepped
back.

"Pardon, mon père!" said I, smiling at his amazement: "I found the door
open; and I hope you will excuse the curiosity that has led me to
intrude?"

"Une Anglaise!" said he, bowing; "a traveler, doubtless. You are the
first person besides myself that has entered these apartments, madame,
for many a long year, I assure you!"

After giving him an explanation of how I came to be there--an
explanation which he listened to with much kindness and placidity--I
added, that the appearance of the place, together with the little
information I had gathered from the host of the inn, had interested me
exceedingly. He looked grave as I spoke. I was about to question him
regarding the closed door, when he said: "I do not recommend you to
remain long here: the house is very damp; and as the windows are never
opened, the air is unwholesome." I do not know whether this was an
excuse to get rid of me; but the atmosphere was certainly far from
refreshing, and at all events I thought it right to accept the
intimation; so I accompanied him out, he locking the doors behind him.
As we walked along, he told me that he visited the house every day, or
nearly so; and that he had never thought of shutting the gate, since
nobody in the neighborhood would enter it on any account. This gave me
an opportunity of inquiring into the history of the place, which, if it
were not impertinent, I should be very glad to learn. He said he could
not tell it me then, having a sick parishioner to visit; but that if I
would come on the following day, at the same hour, he would satisfy my
curiosity. I need not say that I kept the appointment; and as I
approached the garden-gate, I saw him coming out.

"A walk along the road would be more agreeable than that melancholy
garden," he said; and, if I pleased, he would escort me part of the way
back. So we returned, and after a few desultory observations, I claimed
his promise.

"The house," he said, "has never been inhabited since I came to live in
this neighborhood, though that is now upward of forty years since. It
belonged to a family of the name of Beaugency, and the last members of
it who resided here were a father and daughter. Henriette de Beaugency
she was called: a beautiful creature, I have been informed, and the idol
of her father, whose affection she amply returned. They led a very
retired life, and seldom quitted the place, except to pay an annual
visit to the other side of the Pyrenees, where she had an elder brother
married to a Spanish lady of considerable fortune; but Mademoiselle
Henriette had two companions who seemed to make her amends for the
absence of other society. One was a young girl called Rosina, who had
been her foster-sister, and who now lived with her in the capacity of
waiting-maid; the other was her cousin, Eugène de Beaugency, an orphan,
and dependent on her father; his own having lost every thing he
possessed, in consequence of some political offense previous to the
Revolution. It was even reported that the Beaugency family had been nigh
suffering the same fate, and that some heavy fines which had been
extracted from them had straitened their means, and obliged them to live
in retirement. However this might be, Henriette appeared perfectly
contented with her lot. Eugène studied with her, and played with her;
and they grew up together with all the affection and familiarity of a
brother and sister; while old M. de Beaugency never seems to have
suspected that any other sentiment could possibly subsist between them:
not that they took the slightest pains to disguise their feelings; and
it was their very openness that had probably lulled the father's
suspicions. Indeed, their lives flowed so smoothly, and their
intercourse was so unrestrained, that nothing ever occurred to awaken
even themselves to the nature of their sentiments; while the affection
that united them had grown so gradually under the parent's eyes, that
their innocent terms of endearment, and playful caresses, appeared to
him but the natural manifestations of the relation in which they stood
to each other. The first sorrow Henriette had was when Eugène was sent
to Paris to study for the bar; but it was a consolation that her own
regret scarcely exceeded that of her father; and when she used to be
counting the weeks and days as the period of his return drew nigh, the
old man was almost as pleased as she was to see their number diminish.

"All this harmony and happiness continued uninterrupted for several
years; but, at length, an element of discord, at first slight, seemed to
arise from the appearance on the scene of a certain Count Ruy Gonzalez,
who came here with the father and daughter after one of their annual
excursions into Catalonia. He was an extremely handsome, noble-looking
Spaniard, of about thirty years of age, and said to be rich; but there
was an air of haughty, inflexible sternness about him, that repelled
most people, more than his good looks and polished manners attracted
them. These unamiable characteristics, however, appeared to be much
modified, if not to vanish altogether, in the presence of Mademoiselle
de Beaugency, to whom it soon became evident he was passionately
attached; while it was equally clear that her father encouraged his
addresses. Even the young lady, in spite of her love for her cousin,
seems to have been not quite insensible to the glory of subduing this
magnificent Catalonian, who walked the earth like an archangel in whom
it was a condescension to set his foot on it. She did not, therefore, it
is to be feared, repress his attentions in the clear and decided manner
that would have relieved her of them--though, indeed, if she had done
so, considering the character she had to deal with, the _dénouement_
might not have been much less tragical than it was. In the mean while,
pleased and flattered, and joyfully anticipating her cousin's return,
she was happy enough; for the pride of the Spaniard rendering him
cautious to avoid the possibility of refusal or even hesitation in
accepting him, he forebore to make his proposal till the moment arrived
when he should see it eagerly desired by her. All this was very well
till Eugène came home; but then the affair assumed another color. Love
conquered vanity; and the Spaniard, finding himself neglected for the
young advocate, began to exhibit the dark side of his character;
whereupon the girl grew frightened, and fearing mischief, she tried to
avert it by temporizing--leading the count to believe that the affection
betwixt herself and her cousin was merely one of early habit and
relationship; while she secretly assured Eugène of her unalterable
attachment. So great was her alarm, that she tacitly deceived her father
as well as the Spaniard; and as the latter seemed resolved not to yield
his rival the advantage his own absence would have given him, she was
actually rejoiced when the period of her cousin's visit expired.

"The young man gone, Ruy Gonzalez resumed his former suavity of manner;
and as he possessed many qualities to recommend him in a lady's eyes, he
might possibly have won her heart had it been free; but as the matter
stood, she ardently desired to get rid of him, and waited anxiously for
the moment when he would give her an opportunity of declining his hand,
trusting that would be the signal for his final departure. But whether
from caution, or because he had penetrated her feelings, the expected
offer was not made, although he assiduously continued his attentions,
and spent more of his time at her house than at his own in Catalonia. At
length Mademoiselle de Beaugency began to apprehend that he intended to
wait the result of his observations at her cousin's next visit; and
feeling quite assured that if the rivals met again, a quarrel would
ensue, she persuaded her father to select that season for their own
visit to her brother; while she wrote to Eugène, excusing their absence,
and begging him not to come to see her at present. It is true, all this
was but putting off the evil day; but she had a presentiment of
mischief, and did not know what to do to avert it; the rather that she
was aware both her father and brother wished to see her married to the
count, and that neither of them would consent to her union with Eugène,
who had no means of supporting her, nor was likely to have for some
years to come. It was not to be expected that this arrangement should be
agreeable to the young lover: it was now his turn to be jealous; and
instead of staying away as he was desired, he set out post-haste with
the fixed determination of following them from their residence to
Catalonia, and coming to an immediate explanation with the count. But
his jealous pangs were appeased, and all thoughts of revenge postponed,
by finding his uncle at the last extremity, his mistress in great
distress, and Ruy Gonzalez not with them. Their journey had been
prevented by the sudden seizure of M. de Beaugency, who, after a few
days' suffering, expired in his daughter's arms, quite ignorant of her
attachment to her cousin, and with his dying breath beseeching her to
marry the count. When his affairs began to be looked into, the motive
for this urgency became apparent. He had been living on the principal of
what money he had; and nearly all that remained of his dilapidated
fortunes was this house and the small piece of ground attached to it.
This was a great disappointment to the young couple, who, previous to
their discovery, had agreed to be married in six months--the lady
believing her fortune would be sufficient to maintain them both. But now
marriage was out of the question till Eugène had some means of
maintaining her. At present, he had nothing; he was an advocate without
a brief, and had been hitherto living on the small stipend allowed by
his uncle; starving himself three-quarters of the year, in order that he
might have the means of spending the other quarter at the Beaugency
mansion. And what a long time might elapse before he could make any
thing by his profession! It was, as they both agreed, _désespérant_.

"These events occurred in the early years of the French Republic, when
France was at war with all the world, and soldiering the best trade
going. 'I'll enter the army,' said Eugène; 'it is the profession I
always preferred, and that for which I have most talent, and the only
one in these times by which a man can hope to rise rapidly. At the bar I
may wait for years without getting any thing to do. Besides, I am
intimate with a son of General Duhamel's; and I know he will speak a
good word for me, and get his father to push me on.' Of course there
were objections to this plan on the part of Henriette, but her lover's
arguments overcame them; and, after repeated vows of fidelity, they
parted, he to fulfill his intentions, and she to remain at home with
Rosina and an elderly female relative, who came to live with her--a plan
she preferred to accepting her brother's invitation to reside with him
in Catalonia, where she would have been exposed to the constant visits
of the count: whereas, now that her father was dead, he could not, with
propriety, visit her at her own house. It appeared afterward that he had
only been deferring his proposals till what he considered a decorous
moment for making them; being meanwhile assured of the brother's
support, and having little doubt of being accepted since the state of M.
de Beaugency's affairs was disclosed. But before that moment came, a
circumstance occurred to facilitate his views, in a manner he little
expected; for, eager to distinguish himself under the eye of his
commanding officer, Eugène de Beaugency, with the ardor and inexperience
of youth, had rushed into needless danger, and fallen in the very first
battle his regiment was engaged in."

By the time my companion had reached this point in his narration, we
found ourselves at the entrance of the village, where the church stood,
and beside it the small house occupied by the curé. It had a little
garden in front, and under the porch sat a very ancient woman basking in
the sun. Her head shook with palsy, her form was bent, and she had a
pair of long knitting needles in her hands, from her manner of using
which I perceived she was blind. The priest invited me to walk in,
informing me that that was Rosina; and adding, that if I liked to rest
myself for half an hour, he would ask her to tell me the rest of the
story. Feeling assured that some strange catastrophe remained to be
disclosed, I eagerly accepted the good man's offer; and having been
introduced to Henriette's former companion, whose memory, in spite of
her great age, I found perfectly clear, I said I feared it might give
her pain to recall circumstances that were doubtless of a distressing
nature.

"Ah, madame," said she, "it is but putting into words the thoughts that
are always in my head! I have never related the sad tale but twice; for
I would not, for my dear mistress's sake, speak of such things to the
people about her; but each time I slept better afterward. I seemed to
have lightened the heaviness of my burthen by imparting the secret to
another."

"You were very much attached to Mademoiselle de Beaugency?" said I.

"My mother was her nurse, madame, but we grew up like sisters," answered
Rosina. "She never concealed a thought from me; and the Virgin knows her
thoughts will never keep me an hour out of Paradise, for there was no
more sin in them than a butterfly's wing might bear."

"I suppose she suffered a great deal when she heard of her cousin's
death?" said I. "How long was it before she married the count? For she
did marry him, I conclude, from what I have heard?"

"Ay, madame, she did, about a year after the--the news came, worse luck!
Not that she was unhappy with him exactly. He did not treat her ill; far
from it; for he was passionately fond of her. But he was
jealous--heavens knows of whom, for he had nobody to be jealous of. But
he loved like a hot-blooded Spaniard, as he was; and I suppose he felt
that she did not return his love in the same way. How should she, when
she had given her whole heart to her cousin? Still she liked the count,
and I could not say they were unhappy together; but she did not like
Spain, and the people she lived among there. The count's place was
dreadfully gloomy, certainly. For my part, I used to be afraid to go at
night along the vaulted passages, and up those wide, dark staircases, to
my bed. But the count doted on it because it had belonged to the family
time out of mind; and it was only to please her that he ever came to her
family home at all."

"But surely this place is very dismal, too?" said I.

"Dismal!" said she. "Ay, now, I daresay, because there's a curse on it;
but not then. Oh, it was a pleasant place in old M. de Beaugency's time!
besides, my poor mistress loved it for the sake of the happy days she
had seen there; and when the period approached that she was to be
confined of her first child, she entreated her husband to bring her
here. She wanted to have my mother with her, who had been like a mother
to her; and as she told him she was sure she should die if he kept her
in Catalonia, he yielded to her wishes, and we came. The doctor was
spoken to, and everything arranged; and she was so pleased, poor thing,
at the thoughts of having a baby, that as we used to sit together making
the clothes for the little creature that was expected, she chatted away
so gayly about what she would do with it, and how we should bring it up,
that I saw she was now really beginning to forget that she was not
married to the husband her young heart had chosen.

"Well, madame," continued Rosina, after wiping her sightless eyes with
the corner of her white apron--"we were all, as you will understand,
happy enough, and looking forward shortly to the birth of the child,
when, one afternoon, while my master and mistress were out driving, and
I was looking through the rails of the garden gate for the carriage--for
they had already been gone longer than usual--I saw a figure coming
hastily along the road toward where I stood, a figure which, as it drew
near, brought my heart into my mouth, for I thought it was an
apparition! I just took a second look, and then, overcome with terror, I
turned and ran toward the house; but before I reached it, he had opened
the gate, and was in the garden."

"Who was?" said I.

"M. Eugène, madame--Eugène de Beaugency, my lady's cousin," answered
Rosina.

"'Rosina!' cried he, 'Rosina! don't be frightened. I'm no ghost, I
assure you. I suppose you heard I was killed? But I was not, you see; I
was only taken prisoner, and here I am, alive and well, thank God! How's
my cousin? Where is she?'

"I leave you to judge, madame, how I felt on hearing this," continued
the old woman. "A black curtain seemed to fall before my eyes, on which
I could read woe! woe! woe! I could not tell what form it would take; I
never could have guessed the form it did take; but I saw that behind the
dark screen which vailed the future from my eyes there was nothing but
woe on the face of the earth for those three creatures. The Lord have
mercy upon them! thought I; and for the world to come, I hope my prayer
may have been heard--but it was of no avail for this!

"Well, madame, my first fear was, that the count would return and find
him there, for well I knew there would be bloodshed if they met; so
without answering his questions, I entreated him to go away instantly to
my mother's, promising that I would follow him presently, and tell him
every thing; but this very request, together with the agitation and
terror he saw me in, made him suspect the truth at once; and, seizing my
arm with such violence that I bore the marks of his poor fingers for
many a day afterward, he asked me if she was married. 'She is,' said I:
'she thought you were dead; she had no money left; and you know it was
her father's dying injunction that--' 'Married to the Spaniard--to Ruy
Gonzalez?' said he, with such a face, the Lord deliver me!" (and the old
woman paused for a moment, as if to recover from the pain of the
recollection.) "'Yes,' said I, 'to Ruy Gonzalez; and if he sees you
here, he'll kill you!' 'Let him.' said he. 'But it will be her death,'
said I; 'and she's--she's'--I hadn't the heart to go on. 'What?' said
he. 'In the family way--near her confinement,' I answered. He clenched
his two fists, and clapped them on his forehead. 'I must see her,' said
he. 'Impossible,' I answered; 'he never leaves her for a moment.' 'Where
are they now?' he asked. 'Out driving,' said I. 'In a dark-blue
carriage?' 'Yes; and I expect them every minute. Go, go, for the Lord's
sake, go to my mother's!' 'I saw the carriage,' said he, with a bitter
smile. 'It passed me just this side of Noirmoutier. Little I
thought'--and his lip quivered for a moment, and his features were
convulsed with agony. 'I will, I must see her,' continued he; 'and you
had better help me to do it, or it will be the worse for us all. Hide me
in her room; he does not sleep there, I suppose?' 'No,' I replied; 'but
he goes there often to talk to her when she is dressing.' 'Put me in the
closet,' said he, 'there's room enough for me to crouch down under the
book-shelves. You can then tell her; and when he has left her for the
night, you can let me out.' 'My God!' I cried, my knees beginning to
shake under me, 'I hear the carriage; they'll be here in an instant!'
'Do as you like!' said he, seeing the advantage this gave him; 'if you
won't help me to see her, I'll see her without you. I shall stay where I
am!' and he struck his cane into the ground with a violence that showed
his resolution to do what he threatened. 'Come away, for the Lord's
sake!' cried I, for the carriage was close at hand, and there was not a
moment to spare; and seizing him by the arm, I dragged him into the
house; for even now he was half inclined to wait for them, and I saw he
was burning to quarrel with the count. Well, I had but just time to lock
him into the closet, and put the key in my pocket, before they had
alighted, and were walking up the garden.

"You may conceive, madame, the state I was in when I met the count and
my lady; and my confusion was not diminished by finding that he observed
it. 'What is the matter, Rosina?' said he, 'has any thing unusual
happened?' and as he spoke, he fixed his dark, piercing eyes upon me in
such a way that I felt as if he was reading my very thoughts. I affected
to be busy about my mistress, keeping my face away from him; but I knew
he was watching me, for all that. Generally, when they came home, he
used to retire to his own apartment, and leave his wife with me; but now
he came into the _salon_, took off his hat, and sat himself down; nor
did he leave her for two minutes during the whole evening. This conduct
was so unusual, that it was plain to me he suspected something; besides,
I saw it in his countenance, though I did not know whether his
suspicions had been roused by my paleness and agitation, or whether any
thing else had awakened them; but I felt certain afterward, that he had
seen the poor young man when the carriage passed him, or at least, been
sufficiently struck with the resemblance to put the true interpretation
on my confusion. Well, madame, you may imagine what an evening I spent.
I saw clearly that he was determined not to leave me alone with his
wife; but this was not of so much consequence, since I had resolved not
to give her a hint of what had happened till the count had taken leave
of her for the night, because I knew that her agitation would have
betrayed the secret. In the mean while she suspected no mischief; for
although she observed something was wrong with me, she supposed I was
suffering in my mind about a young man I was engaged to marry, called
Philippe, who had been lately ill of a fever, and was now said to be
threatened with consumption.

"While I pretended to be busying myself in my lady's room, they went out
to take a stroll in the garden; and when I saw them safe at the other
end, I put my lips to the key-hole, and conjured Eugène, for the sake of
all that was good, to be still; for that I was certain it would not only
be his death, but my mistress's too, if he were discovered; and he
promised me he would. I had scarcely got upon my feet again, and turned
to open a drawer, when I heard the count's foot in the _salon_. 'The
countess is oppressed with the heat,' said he, 'and wants the large
green fan: she says you'll find it in one of the shelves in the closet.'

"Only think, madame! only think!" said Rosina, turning her wrinkled face
toward me, and actually shaking all over with the recollection of her
terror. "I thought I should have sank into the earth! I stood for a
moment aghast, and then I began to fumble in my pocket. 'Where can the
key be?' said I, pretending to search for it; but my countenance
betrayed me, and my voice shook so, that he read me like a book. I am
sure he knew the truth from that moment. He looked hard at me, while his
face became quite livid; and then he said, in a calm, deep voice: 'For
the fan, no matter; I'll take another; but I see you are ill: you have
caught Philippe's fever; you must go to bed directly. Come with me, and
I'll lead you to your room.' 'I am not ill, Monsieur le Conte,' I
stammered out; but taking no notice of what I said, he grasped my arm
with his powerful hand, and dragged me away up-stairs; I say dragged,
for I had scarcely strength to move my feet, and it was rather dragging
than leading. As soon as he had thrust me into the room, he said in a
significant tone: 'Remember, you are in danger! Unless you are very
prudent, this fever will be fatal. Go to bed, and keep quite still till
I come to see you again, or you may not survive till morning!' With that
he closed the door and locked it; and I heard him take out the key, and
descend the stairs. Then I suppose I swooned; for when I came to myself
it was nearly dark, I was lying on the floor, and could not at first
remember what had happened. When my recollection returned, I crawled to
the bed, and burying my face in the pillows, I gave vent to my anguish
in sobs and tears; for I loved my mistress, madame, and I loved M.
Eugène, and I knew there would be deadly mischief among them. I expected
that the count would break open the closet, and that one or both would
be killed; and considering the state she was in, I did not doubt that
the grief and fright would kill the countess also. You may judge,
madame, what a night I passed! sometimes weeping, sometimes listening:
but I could hear nothing unusual, and at length I began to fancy that
the conflict had occurred while I was lying in the swoon. But how had it
terminated? I would have given worlds to know; but there I was, a
prisoner, and I feared that if I tried to give any alarm, I might only
make bad worse.

"Well, madame, I thought the morning would never break; but at length
the sun rose, and I heard people stirring. It seemed, indeed, that there
was an unusual bustle and running about; and by-and-by I heard the sound
of wheels and horses' feet in the court, and I knew they were bringing
out the carriage. Where could they be going? I could not imagine; but,
on the whole, I was relieved, for I fancied that the meeting and
explanation were over, and that now the count wished to leave the house,
which, under the circumstances, I could not wonder at. He has spared
Eugène for her sake, thought I. And this belief was strengthened by my
master's entering my room presently afterward, and saying, 'Your
mistress is gone away; I am afraid of her taking this fever. When I
think it proper, you shall be removed: till then, remember that your
life depends on your remaining quiet!' He placed a loaf of bread and a
carafe of water on the table, and went away, locking the door as before.
I confess now that much as I felt for M. Eugène, I could not help
pitying the count also. What ravages the sufferings of that night had
made on him! His cheeks looked hollow, his eyes sunken, his features all
drawn and distorted, and his complexion like that of a corpse. It was a
dreadful blow to him, certainly, for I knew that he loved my mistress to
madness.

"Well, madame, I passed the day more peacefully than I could have hoped;
but my mind being somewhat relieved about my lady, I began to think a
little of myself, and to wonder what the count meant to do with me. I
felt certain he would never let me see her again if he could help it,
and that alone was a heartbreaking grief to me; and then it came into my
head that perhaps he would confine me somewhere for life--shut me up in
a convent, perhaps, or a madhouse! As soon as this idea possessed me, it
grew and grew till I felt as if I really _was_ going mad with the horror
of it; and I resolved, though it was at the risk of breaking my neck, to
try and make my escape by the window during the night. It looked to the
side of the house, and was not very high up; besides, there were soft
flower-beds underneath to break my fall; so I thought by tying the
sheets together, and fastening them to an iron bar that divided the
lattice, I might reach the ground in safety. I was a little creature,
and though the space was not large, it sufficed for me to get through;
and when all was quiet, and I thought every body was in bed, I made the
attempt, and succeeded. I had to jump the last few feet, and I was over
my ankles in the soft mould; but that did not signify--I was free; and
taking to my heels, I ran off to my mother's, who lived then in a
cottage hard by, where we are now sitting; and after telling her what
had happened, it was agreed that I should go to bed, and that if anybody
came to inquire for me she should say I was ill of the fever, and could
not be seen. I knew when morning came I should be missed, for doubtless
the count would go to my room; and besides that, I had left the sheets
hanging out of the window.

"For two days, however, to my great surprise, we heard nothing; but on
the third, Philippe (the young man I was engaged to) hearing I was not
at the Beaugency house, came to our cottage to inquire about me. We had
not met for some time, the countess having forbidden all communication
between us, as she had a horrible dread of the fever, so that he could
only hear of me through my mother. 'Rosina is here, and unwell,' said my
mother: 'we think she's got the fever;' for though we might have trusted
Philippe with our lives, we thought it would be safer for him to be
ignorant of what had happened. Upon this he begged leave to see me; and
she brought him into my chamber. After asking about himself, and telling
him I was very poorly, and so forth, he said, 'This is a sad thing for
the countess!' 'What is?' I asked. 'Your being ill at this time,' said
he, 'when she must want you so much.' 'What do you mean?' said I; 'the
countess is not at the house?' 'Don't you know she's come back,' said
he, 'and that she's ill? The doctor has been sent for, and they say
she's very bad.' 'Gracious heavens!' I exclaimed; 'is it possible? My
poor dear mistress ill, and I not with her!' 'Robert, the footman,
says,' continued Philippe--'but he bade me not mention it to any
body--that when they stopped at the inn at Montlouis, Rateau, the
landlord, came to the carriage-door, and asked if she had seen M. Eugène
de Beaugency; and that when the countess turned quite pale and said,
'Are you not aware my cousin was killed in battle, M. Rateau?' he
assured her it was no such thing; for that M. Eugène had called there
shortly before on his way to her house. Rateau must have taken somebody
else for him, of course; but I suppose she believed it, for she returned
directly.' 'Rateau told her that he had seen M. Eugène?' said I. 'So
Robert says; but Didier, the mason, says she was ill before she went,
and that it was the rats in the closet that frightened her.' 'Rats!'
said I, sitting up in my bed and staring at him wildly. 'What
rats?--what closet?' 'Some closet in her bed-room,' said he. 'The count
sent for Didier to wall it up directly.' 'To wall it up?--wall up the
closet?' I gasped out. 'Yes, build and plaster it up. But what's the
matter, Rosina? Oh, I shouldn't have told you the countess was ill!' he
cried out, terrified at the agitation I was in. 'Leave me, in the name
of God!' I screamed, 'and send my mother to me!'

"I remember nothing after this, madame, for a long, long time. When my
mother came, she found me in my night-clothes, tying the sheets together
in order to get out of the window, though the door was wide open; but I
was quite delirious. Weeks passed before I was in a state to remember or
comprehend any thing. Before I recovered my senses, my poor mistress and
her baby were in the grave, my master gone away, nobody knew whither,
the servants all discharged, and the accursed house shut up. Not long
afterward the news came that the count had died in Paris."

"But, Rosina,' said I, 'are you sure that M. de Beaugency was in that
closet? How do you know the count had not first released him?"

"Ah, madame," she replied, ominously shaking her palsied head, "you
would not ask that question if you had known Ruy Gonzalez as I did. The
moment the words were out of Philippe's mouth I saw it all. It was just
like him--just the revenge for that stern and inflexible spirit to take.
Besides, madame, when all was over, and he durst speak, Didier the mason
told me that nothing should ever convince him that there was not some
living thing in that closet at the time he walled it up, though who or
what it could be he never could imagine."

"And do you think, Rosina," said I, "do you think the countess ever
suspected the secret of that dreadful closet?"

"Ay did she, madame," answered she; "and it was that which killed her;
for when my mistress came back so unexpectedly, the count was closeted
up-stairs with his agent, making arrangements for quitting the place
forever, and had given orders not to be disturbed. He had locked up her
apartments, and had the key in his pocket; but he had forgotten that
there was a spare key for every room in the house, which the housekeeper
had the charge of; so my lady sent for her to open the doors. Now,
though from putting this and that together--the count's agitation, my
sudden disappearance, her own removal, and the innkeeper's story--she
felt sure there was some mischief in the wind, she had no suspicion of
what had really occurred; as indeed how should she, till her eyes fell
upon the door of the closet. Then she comprehended it all. You may
imagine the rest, madame! Words couldn't paint it! When they came into
the room, she was battering madly at the wall with the poker. But a few
hours terminated her sufferings. She was already dead when Philippe was
telling me of her return."

"It's a fearful tragedy to have lived through!" said I. "And Philippe:
what became him?"

"He died like the rest, madame, about six months after these sad events
had occurred. When I recovered my health, I went into service, and for
the last forty years I have been housekeeper to M. le Curé here."

"And he is the only person that ever enters that melancholy house?"

"Yes, madame. I went there once--just once--to look at that fatal
chamber, and the bed where my poor mistress died. When the place was
let, those apartments were locked up; but"--and she shook her head
mournfully--"the tenants were glad to leave it."

"And for what purpose does M. le Curé go there so often?" I asked.

"To pray for the souls of the unfortunates!" said the old woman,
devoutly crossing herself.

Deeply affected with her story, I took leave of this sole surviving
witness of these long-buried sorrows; and I, too, accompanied by the
curé, once more visited the awful chamber. "Ah, madame!" said he, "poor
human nature! with its passions, and its follies, and its mad revenges!
Is it not sad to think that so much love should prove the foundation of
so much woe?"



VISIT TO AN ENCAMPMENT OF LAPLANDERS.

BY WILLIAM HURTON.


Of all the wonders of distant climes of which we read in childhood,
perhaps none make a stronger impression on our imaginations than such
objects as exist beyond the mystic Arctic Circle. The pictorial
representations of the Midnight Sun, the North Cape, the Aurora
Borealis, the Laplanders and their reindeer, which all of us have
gloated over in our dreaming youthful days, sink indelibly into our
memory. While I sojourned on the Island of Tromsö, learning that on the
neighboring mainland some Laplanders were encamped, I resolved to pay
them a visit. Procuring a boat, I rowed over to the opposite shore (on
the 17th July, 1850), where I met with a Nordlander, who informed me
that the Lap encampment might be found somewhere toward the extremity of
Trömsdal--a magnificent ravine commencing at no great distance from the
shore, and running directly inland. He stated that the Laps had a noble
herd of _reins_ (the name universally given to reindeer), about eight
hundred in number, and that, when the wind blew from a certain quarter,
the whole herd would occasionally wander close to his house, but a
_rein-hund_ (reindeer-dog) was kept by him to drive them back.

The entrance to Trömsdal was a rough, wild tract of low ground, clothed
with coarse wild grasses and dwarf underwood. There were many wild
flowers, but none of notable beauty, the most abundant being the white
flower of that delicious berry the _moltebær_. The dale itself runs
with a gentle but immense curve, between lofty ranges of rock, which
swell upward with regularity. The bed of this dale, or ravine, is from
one quarter to three quarters of a mile across, and the centre was one
picturesque mass of underwood and bosky clumps. All shrubs, however,
dwindled away up the mountains' sides, and the vegetation grew scantier
the higher one looked, until, at an altitude of not more than one
hundred yards above the level of the sea, the snow lay in considerable
masses. Overhead hung a summer Italian sky! Looking backward, the
entrance to Trömsdal seemed blocked up by towering snow-clad mountains;
and, looking forward, there was a long green vista between walls of
snow, closed at the extremity by huge fantastic rocks, nodding with
accumulated loads of the same material. Down the gray rocks on each
hand, countless little torrents were leaping. They crossed the bottom of
the ravine every few yards, and all of them hurried to blend with
Trömsdal Elv--"the river of Trömsdal"--which runs through the dale, and
falls into the sea at its entrance.

I had probably wandered four or five English miles down this noble dale,
when a wild but mellow shout or halloa floated on the crisp, sunny
breeze from the opposite side. I listened eagerly for its repetition,
and soon it was repeated, more distinctly and more musically, and then I
felt sure that it was the call of a Lap to the herd of reins. I paused,
glanced keenly between the intercepting branches, and lo! there they
were, of all sizes, by twos and threes, and dozens and scores. There
they were, "native burghers of this desert city," denizens of the wilds,
gathering together in one jostling mass of animated life! See their
tossing antlers and glancing sides, as they pass to and fro among the
green underwood.

They were on the far side of Elv; and just as I reached one bank of the
stream, they came up to the other. The water here flowed with extreme
violence, and was piercingly cold, but I unhesitatingly plunged in, and
waded across. In a minute I was in the midst of the herd, and then saw
that a Lap youth and Lap girl were engaged in driving them to the
encampment. The youth had very bright, playful, hazel eyes, rather
sunken, and small regular features of an interesting cast. His hands,
like those of all Laps, are as small and finely shaped as those of any
aristocrat. The simple reason for this is, that the Laps, from
generation to generation, never perform any manual labor, and the very
trifling work they necessarily do is of the lightest kind. His _pæsk_
(the name of a sort of tunic, invariably worn by the Laplanders) was of
sheep-skin, the wool inward, reaching to his knees. His boots were of
the usual peaked shape, a few inches higher than his ankles, and made of
the raw skin of the reindeer, the hair being nearly all worn off. On his
head was a round woolen cap, shaped precisely like a night-cap, with a
red tassel, and a red worsted band round the rim. This species of cap is
the favorite one worn by the Laps.

The dress of the girl was similar in shape, but her pæsk was of very
coarse, light-colored woolen cloth, a material frequently used in summer
for the pæsks of both sexes, as being cooler than reindeer-skin or
sheep-skin. Her head was bare, and her hair hung low over her shoulders.
Her features were minute, and the prettiest and most pleasing of any Lap
I ever saw either before or since. The complexion was a tawny reddish
hue, common to all Laplanders. The legs of the nymph in question were
bare from the tops of her boots to the knee, and were extremely thick
and clumsy, furnishing a striking contrast to the delicate shape of her
hands. The twain were accompanied by three little rein-dogs, and were
very leisurely driving the herd onward, each having a branch of a tree
in hand, to whisk about, to urge the deer on. The girl had a great
coarse linen bag slung round her neck, and resting on her back. This she
filled with a particular kind of moss as she went along. I asked her
what she gathered it for, and she gave me to understand it was used in
milking the reins; but in what manner, was as yet to me a mystery. I
found both the girl and the youth very good-natured, and the eyes of the
latter especially sparkled with merry humor. They could speak only a
very few words of Norwegian, but understood some of my questions in that
language, and very readily answered them. They were driving the herd to
be milked, and on my telling them I was an Englishman, come from afar to
see them and their reins, they repeated the word "_Englesk_" several
times, in a tone of surprise, and regarded me with an interest and
curiosity somewhat akin to what the appearance of one of their people
would excite in an English city. Yet I must remark that, except in what
immediately concerns themselves, the emotions of all Laplanders, so far
as my opportunities of judging enable me to conclude, flow in a most
sluggish channel. I asked the girl to show me the moss the reins eat,
and she did so (after a little search), and gathered me some. It is very
short in summer, but long in winter. In Sweden, I learn that this most
admirable provision of nature for the sole support of the deer during
nine months in the year (and in consequence, the existence of the
Laplanders also depends on it) grows much more abundantly, and is of a
greater length; which is the reason most Laps prefer Swedish Lapmark for
their winter wanderings. Coming to a marshy spot where a particular
long, sharp, narrow grass grew, I plucked some, and asked the Laps if
they did not use that to put in their boots in lieu of stockings? They
instantly responded affirmatively. This is the celebrated bladder carex,
or cyperus grass (the _carex-vesicaria_ of Linnæus). I gathered some,
and afterward found it in several parts of the Island of Tromsö; but it
only grows in marshy spots. The Laps at all seasons stuff their boots
quite full of it, and it effectually saves their feet from being
frost-bitten.

Onward we went, driving the herd, in which I gleefully helped, the three
little dogs at times barking and fetching up stragglers. The Laps
occasionally gave a short cry or urging shout to the reins, and I burst
forth with my full-lunged English hallo, to the evident amusement of my
companions. The scene was most exciting, and vividly brought to my
recollection the forest scenes in "As you like it." The brilliant
sunlight, the green grass, the sparkling, murmuring Elv, the picturesque
glen, the figures of the Laps, the moving herd of reins--the novelty of
the whole was indescribably delightful. I found the reins did _not_ make
such a very loud, "clicking" noise as most travelers have asserted. Here
were hundreds of reins striking their hoofs together, and yet the noise
was certainly any thing but loud from their cloven feet and horny
fetlocks, and would hardly have been noticeable had I not particularly
listened for it. But another thing, of which I had never read any
notice, struck me much--the loud, snorting noise emitted by the deer at
every step. Unpoetical as my fancy may seem, it reminded me most
strongly of the grunting of swine, but was certainly not so coarse a
noise, and, at the same time, partook much of the nature of a _snort_.
The cause of the noise is this: when the deer are heated, they do not
throw off their heat in sweat--their skin is too thick for that; but,
like the dog, they emit the heat through the mouth. The size of some of
the reins astonished me. In many instances they were as large as
Shetland ponies, and some had most magnificent branching antlers of a
very remarkable size. This is the only animal of the deer genus which
invariably has a horizontal branch from the main antlers, projecting in
a line over each eye. These antlers are covered with a short gray hair.
Some of the herd in question had broken pieces off their antlers, which
hung down bleeding by the skin. The does also have antlers, but very
small, and generally straight, which, when skinned and dried, can be
distinguished from those of the male by their whiteness. All the herd
were casting their winter hair, and consequently their coats looked
somewhat ragged and parti-colored--the new color being generally a dark,
and the old a light gray. In some cases, however, the deer are white;
and in winter all are more or less of a light color. There were many
pretty young does running among the herd.

The eye of the rein is beautiful; it is rather prominent, with clear,
dark eyeball and reddish iris. One noble deer was the leader of the
herd, and was distinguished by a bell hanging beneath his neck, just in
front of the chest, and suspended from a broad slip of wood bent round
his neck, and tied with a thong.

We at length drew nigh the Lap encampment, consisting of two large
_gammes_ (summer huts), most rudely constructed of earth, stones, and
trunks of trees; and also of a summer canvas tent. Besides these, were
two or three extraordinary erections of trees and branches, which I
shall hereafter describe. Between us and the encampment flowed a bend of
Trömsdal Elv, and on the north side of this (the side we were on) were
inclosed circus-like open places, each of a diameter of one hundred and
fifty feet, as nearly as I could estimate. They were formed by stumps of
trees and poles, set upright on the ground, and these were linked
together by horizontal poles, and against the latter were reared birch
poles and branches of trees, varying from six to ten feet in height,
without the slightest attempt at neatness, the whole being as rude as
well could be; but withal, this inclosure was sufficiently secure to
answer the purpose of its builders. On the south side of the Elv, and
about one hundred yards distant, was a third similar inclosure.

Soon we were joined by the whole Lappish tribe, who came by twos and
threes, bringing with them all the instruments and appliances necessary
for the important business of milking. These consisted of long thongs of
reindeer-skin, and also hempen cords of the manufacture of civilized
men, for noosing the reins, and of bowls, kits, &c., to receive the
milk. The bowls were thick, clumsy things, round, and of about nine
inches in diameter, with a projecting hand-hold. They would probably
each hold a couple of quarts, and the edges inclined inward, so as to
prevent the milk from spirting over during the operation of milking. The
large utensils for receiving the milk from these hand-bowls consisted of
four wooden kits with covers, one iron pot, and a long keg or barrel.

All the Lap huts I have seen are furnished with one or more small
barrels, containing a supply of water for drinking. The utensils
enumerated were set apart together on the long grass, close beside the
fence, in the inner portion of the circle, and in their midst was placed
another object, which I regarded with extreme interest, viz., _a child's
cradle_! This was the last thing brought from the encampment, which then
did not contain a living animal--men, women, children, and dogs, being
one and all assembled in the inclosures. The cradle was ingeniously made
entirely of reindeer-skin, shorn of hair, and, as it appeared to me,
also hardened or tanned by some process. Its shape much resembled a huge
shoe of the fashion of the middle ages, having a high back, and turned
up at the foot or toe. It reminded me strongly of the bark cradles of
the North American Indians, and was equally adapted to be slung at the
mother's back on a journey, or to be hung up in a gamme, or on a tree,
out of the reach of hungry dogs or prowling wolves. The head of the
cradle was spanned by a narrow top, from which depended a piece of
coarse common red check woolen stuff, drawn so tightly over the body of
the cradle that one would have fancied the little creature in some
danger of suffocation, and it was only by an occasional feeble struggle
under the cloth, that I was apprised of the existence of a living
creature beneath it. Evidently this cover was necessary, for I saw a
huge musquito--the summer pest of the North--settle repeatedly upon it,
as though longing to suck the blood of the innocent little prisoner.

The entire number of Laps now assembled could not be less than forty,
men, women, and children included; and the three dogs had been joined by
at least a score of their brethren. The men, generally, were attired in
rough and ragged pæsks, either of reindeer-skin or of sheep-skin; the
hair of the latter being worn inward, but of the former, outward. The
women had all pæsks of cloth, but their appearance was so strikingly
similar to that of the men, and the hair of both sexes hung down over
the shoulders and shaded the face so much, that it was, in some cases,
difficult, at the first glance, to distinguish the sex of the younger
adults. The heads of the women were bare, and they all wore girdles of
leather, studded with glittering brass ornaments, of which they are
excessively proud. The men wore caps, as already described, and plain
leather girdles, with a knife attached in a sheath, and in some
instances the woman also wore a small knife. The children had miniature
pæsks of sheep-skin, their only clothing. I had read of the generally
diminutive stature of the Laplanders, and found them to be truly a
dwarfish race. On an average the men did not appear to exceed five feet
in height, and the women were considerably less. They were most of them
very robust, however, and probably the circumference of their chest
nearly equaled their height. The complexion of all was more or less
tawny, their eyes light-colored, and their hair either reddish or
auburn, and its dangling masses added much to the wildness of their
aspect. Some of them wore mustaches and beards, but nature had
apparently denied the majority such hirsute signs of manhood.

The gait or bearing of the Laps is indescribably clumsy, when they are
walking on level ground, and as unsteady as that of a person under the
influence of liquor; but they appear the reverse of awkward when engaged
in the avocations incident to their primitive life. They are exceedingly
phlegmatic in temperament, greedy, avaricious, suspicious, very indolent
and filthy, and by no means celebrated for strict adherence to truth.
The Nordlanders one and all spoke of them, in answer to my questions,
with mingled distrust and contempt, and my own limited experiences most
assuredly did not tend much toward impressing me with a more favorable
opinion. The countenances of most of the Laps present a combination of
stolidity, low cunning, and obstinacy, so as to be decidedly repulsive;
yet it is undeniably true, that crimes attended with violence rarely
occur among them, though I take that as no decided proof of the mildness
of their disposition. They also are strict in their attendance at
church, whenever opportunity serves; but their conduct immediately on
quitting the sacred edifice, too frequently evinces that hardly a spark
of genuine religion has lightened up the darkness of their souls.
Drunkenness has long been, and is still their besetting sin, but I am
assured that this failing, so common to all uncivilized races, is
rapidly decreasing.

The tribe of Laps whom I am particularly describing were not Norwegian
but Swedish Laps, and for a number of years have regularly resorted to
Trömsdal, as affording a very fine pasturage for their herds, as well as
being in the immediate vicinity of salt water, it being absolutely
necessary for the herd to be driven to the sea-shore during the fervid
summer season, to avoid the deadly pests of musquitoes and other
insects, and to be within the cooling influence of the sea-breezes.

The herd was now driven within the inclosure, and all outlets secured. I
stood in the midst of the animated, jostling mass of reins, Laps, and
dogs. I found myself naturally an object of curiosity to the tribe, who
questioned the youth and girl, whom I had accompanied to the spot,
concerning me; and, from the glances the Laps cast on me and exchanged
with one another, it was clear that I was regarded with some degree of
suspicion, for they evidently considered I must have some secret
ulterior object in visiting them. The Lapponic language is as liquid as
the purest Italian, but it always struck me as being pervaded with a
plaintive, melancholy, wailing tone. Anxious to conciliate my Lappish
friends, I addressed a few words of Norwegian to one after another, but
a shake of the head and a dull, glowering stare was the only answer I
got. At length, finding one who appeared a principal man of the
commonwealth, who spoke Norwegian very well, I made him understand that
a desire to see a herd of reins had alone drawn me to the spot. He
exchanged a few amicable "_Ja, Ja's_" with me, but was too intent on the
great business of the day to say much.

Throwing my wet stockings and shoes aside, I walked about bare-legged
among the throng, bent on seeing all that was to be seen. The first
thing to be done was to secure the restive reins. Selecting a long thong
or cord, a Lap took a turn of both ends round his left hand, and then
gathered what sailors call the _bight_ in loose folds held in his right.
He now singled out a rein, and threw the bight with unerring aim over
the antlers of the victim. Sometimes the latter made no resistance, but
generally no sooner did it feel the touch of the thong than it broke
away from the spot, and was only secured by the most strenuous exertions
of its capturer. Every minute might be seen an unusually powerful rein
furiously dragging a Lap round and round the inclosure, and occasionally
it would fairly overcome the restraint of the thong, and whirl its
antagonist prostrate on the sod. This part of the scene was highly
exciting, and one could not but admire the great muscular strength and
the trained skill evinced by all the Laps, women as well as men. The
resistance of a rein being overcome, the Lap would take a dexterous
hitch of the thong round his muzzle and head, and then fasten him to a
trunk of a prostrate tree, many of which had been brought within the
level inclosure for that especial purpose. Even when thus confined, some
of the reins plunged in the most violent manner. Men and women were
indiscriminately engaged, both in singling out milk-reins and in milking
them. The wooden bowl, previously described, was held in the operator's
left hand, and he then slapped the udder of the rein several times with
the palm of the right hand; after which, moistening the tips of his
fingers with his lips, he rapidly completed the operation. I paid
particular attention to the amount of milk yielded by a single rein,
noticing only bowls which had not previously received contributions, and
I found that, although some yielded little more than a gill, others gave
at least double, and a few thrice, that quantity. I think the fair
average might be half a pint.

This milk is as thick as the finest cream from the cow, and is luscious
beyond description. It has a fine aromatic smell, and in flavor reminded
me most strongly of cocoa-nut milk. No stranger could drink much of it
at a time--it is too rich. I bargained with the Laps subsequently for a
large bottleful, and never shall I forget the treat I enjoyed in sipping
the new, warm milk on the ground. When a rein was milked, the operator
took up a small portion of the particular species of moss spoken of, and
carefully wiped the drained udder and teats with it. From time to time,
the bowls were emptied into the kits, &c.

It is impossible to give an adequate idea of the impressive,
exhilarating _tout ensemble_ of the whole inclosure. Every soul seemed
fully occupied, for even the little Lap children were practicing the
throwing of the _lasso_, and evinced great dexterity, although their
strength was insufficient to hold the smallest doe. Many of the young
reins attempted to suck the parent doe, but were always beaten away by
the Laps. Great quantities of the loose hair on the backs of the reins
fell to the ground at a touch, and I observed that the women failed not
to gather it every now and then, and put it aside in large handfuls.
Inquiring the reason of this, I learned they used it to form beds, on
which to stretch their reindeer-skins, and thus save them from contact
with the mud floor of the huts. I seated myself on a fragment of rock in
the centre of the circle, and made hasty notes of what I beheld around
me. This act excited very general dissatisfaction among the Laps, who
regarded me with increased suspicion, doubtless imagining me to be
enumerating themselves and reins for the purpose of taxation, or
something worse. Several came close up to me, and peered over the
cabalistic signs on my paper with a sort of gloomy inquisitiveness. I
spoke to the Lap who understood Norwegian, and he acted as _tolk_ in
interpreting anew to his brethren the purely amicable nature of my
intentions. As to the half-dozen of little wild imps of children, I had
already won their confidence by distributing among them large rye cakes,
with which I had filled my pockets at Tromsö, expressly with that view.
At first it was with difficulty they were induced to approach me to
receive my gifts, but they soon came readily enough, and, as fast as I
broke up the cakes and distributed the fragments, just so fast did the
said fragments disappear down their hungry little stomachs. They gave no
sign of acknowledgment of the treat--as it truly was to them--no more
than so many automata. The _tolk_, however, marking this, made one of
them say, in the Norwegian, "_Taks, mange taks_" (thanks, many thanks).



THE WORSHIP OF GOLD.


It is curious to look back on the fatal and universal prevalence of
Gold-worship recorded in the history of our race, from the period when
Midas became its victim, and the boy chased the rainbow to find the pot
of treasure at its foot, to the days when the alchemist offered his all
a burnt-sacrifice on the altar; until we reach the present time, when,
although the manner of its worship has changed, the old idolatry remains
in spirit the same. One or two anecdotes illustrative of the passion for
gold worship may not prove uninteresting.

The hero of our first story--a chamois hunter of the Swiss Alps--was for
many years of his existence an absolute stranger to the very sight of
gold. He dwelt in a mountain _chalet_, in the peaceful contentment and
ignorant simplicity of former ages--lord of his own freedom, with nature
for his domain, and the fleet Alpine creatures for his subjects. By some
unfortunate chance, however, he moved from this dwelling of his youth to
the lower station, and to the side of a pass frequented by travelers,
toward whom he was frequently called on to exercise hospitality. His
services, and the shelter he afforded, were occasionally rewarded with
gold, which, though of little actual use or value to him as a
circulating medium, gradually exercised a strange fascination over his
senses. He hoarded his guineas with the doting fondness of the miser; he
looked on them with more pleasure than on the faces of his children; and
listened to their chink with a satisfaction no tone of household love or
sweet Alpine melody could call forth. It chanced one day that our
hunter, in the pursuit of his ordinary avocation, perceived a tiny
cavern hitherto unknown to him. He determined to snatch his hasty
noon-tide meal beneath its shelter; and in order to enter it, rolled
away a block of stone which obstructed the mouth of the fissure. To his
amazement, its removal presented to his gaze a deep hole, in which a
vase of considerable size was buried. He removed the lid, and there,
fresh and bright, as if they were coins of yesterday, glittered before
his eyes a multitude of golden pieces, mingled with shining particles of
ore. A buried treasure of long past ages was before him. He took them in
his hands, he clutched them, he stared at them with half-insane
delight. He could not, of course, divine how they had come to be in
their strange hiding-place, or who had placed them there; the
inscriptions on them--the figure of a lamb, which some few bore--said
nothing to him. There appeared to be something supernatural in the
discovery, and he wasted all the remaining hours of daylight beside the
vase; then, as night closed in, he replaced both the lid and the stone
above the treasure. He did not attempt to remove it to his own dwelling,
nor did he breathe a word of his discovery even to his wife; but from
that hour he became an altered man.

The love of gold is an absorbing passion, especially when thus embodied
and materialized. He lived only beside his treasure; thither he bent his
steps daily, nor left it till the gloom of evening hid the object of his
idolatry from his eager gaze. His hunter's craft was neglected; his
family pined for food; he himself grew gaunt and thin, anxious and
suspicious; ever dreading that his secret might be discovered; restless
and miserable except when beside his wealth, where want, and hunger, and
the sad, suffering faces of those he had once loved, were all forgotten.
Only when the gathering darkness drove him from his hoard did he think
of using his fowling-piece, and scanty was the provision thus obtained.
In order fully and perfectly to contemplate his gold, it was necessary
for him to stretch himself at full length before the entrance to the
little hollow; his head and shoulders to the waist being thus within the
cave, immediately over the vase, his body and legs outside. The cliff
above the opening was nearly perpendicular, and had been much split and
shaken by the frosts since an avalanche had deprived it of its crown of
snow; but of his danger he was heedless or unconscious. One morning
while lying prone, repeating for the fiftieth time his daily counting of
the old coins, a portion of the rock detached itself slowly, and falling
on his waist, pinned him to the earth, without however crushing or
greatly injuring him. He uttered a loud cry, and made desperate
exertions to raise it and free himself, but in vain; a force beyond his
strength to resist had fixed him to the spot of his unhallowed and
insane devotion. Imagination can scarcely conceive a more fearful death
than the slow lingering one of bodily torture and starvation that must
have followed. He was of course sought for as soon as missed; but the
spot was unknown even to the most practiced hunters, and it was more
than a week before the body was discovered. The surprise and horror of
his family may be imagined. They had never been able to comprehend his
altered conduct and mysterious disappearances: all was explained,
however, when the huge stone being removed, he was found--perhaps from
his position involuntarily--clutching in his dead fingers the fatal
gold.

We relate this incident on the authority of a Swiss lady who had seen
the cave, and who assured us that the simple mountaineers avoid the
spot with superstitious horror. To them there must have appeared to be
some strange magic in the hidden treasure; and so to the calmest
judgment it would seem, when in the ordinary course of life we behold,
not only the fearful and painful sacrifices made for the attainment of
gold, but the court paid, the homage offered to its possessors by those
who have no hope of gaining any thing by their reverence for the mere
name of wealth.

To come nearer home, our village at one time rejoiced in a
gold-worshiper, whose history is worth relating. While still young, and
taking our daily walk with our nurse, we observed an old man working at
the repairs of some miserably dismantled houses. He was a tall, gaunt
personage, painfully meagre, and very ragged. His jawbones protruded
distressingly, and his poor thin elbows looked so sharp, that one could
have fancied they had cut their way through the torn coat that no longer
covered them. We pitied, and with childlike sympathy and freedom made
acquaintance with him; always pausing to speak to him when we passed the
spot on which he labored. Sometimes a little boy, a fair delicate child,
was with him, assisting in the work as far as his age allowed; and with
this young creature we grew intimate, and were at length led by him to
the old man's home. It was a very large, old-fashioned farm-house, but
so much out of repair that only three or four rooms were habitable.
These, however, were kept in exquisite order by the wife, who was a very
pretty, sad-looking woman, many years younger than her husband. By her
care the antique furniture, which must have counted its century at
least, was preserved brightly polished; the floors were so clean, that
the lack of carpeting was scarcely perceptible; and the luxuriant
jessamine she had trained round the windows was a charming substitute
for curtains. There was one peculiarity about the dwelling, of a
striking kind when its apparent poverty and the character of its owner
were considered: it contained a music-room! in which was a tolerably
large church-organ, _made and used_ by the miser himself. To the
debasing and usually absorbing passion which governed him, he united a
wonderful taste and genius for music, to gratify which he had
constructed himself the instrument we have named, on which we have heard
him perform in a style of touching, and at times sublime, expression,
the compositions of Purcell, Pergolesi, Handel, &c. We have always
thought this love of harmony in a miser a more singular and inconsistent
characteristic than the avarice of Perugino or Rembrandt, since in their
case the art they practiced fed their reigning passion for gold;
nevertheless, so it was--old Mr. Monckton would go without a meal, see
his wife and family want common necessaries, with plenty of money at his
command, and yet solace himself by performances on the organ, which
frequently went far into the night, startling the passing stranger by
bursts of solemn midnight melody; for he never played till the faded
daylight rendered it impossible for him to work at the various little
jobs by which he added to his hoards.

He had two sons: the pretty child we first knew, and an elder one--a
slim, delicate youth, who was by nature an artist. His father's
parsimony rendered it, however, a difficult matter for him to procure
materials for the exercise of his art, which was wholly self-taught; and
it was wonderful to witness the effect he could produce from a bit of
common lamp-black, or an ordinary drawing-pencil. His genius at last
found aid in the loving heart of his mother, who secretly and at
night--often while her strange husband filled the house with solemn
music--worked at her needle to procure the means of purchasing paints,
canvas, brushes, &c., for her boy; toiling secretly, for if she had
permitted the father to know that she possessed even a few shillings, he
would have extorted them from her. It was all she could do to help the
young painter in his eager self-teaching; for she possessed no other
knowledge than that acquired at a village school during her childhood.
Her own fate had been a very sad one. She was a laborer's daughter,
betrothed from early girlhood to a sailor, who was her cousin; but
during one of his voyages--the last he was to make before their
marriage--her beauty attracted the admiration of the rich Mr. Monckton,
and he offered to make her his wife. The poor girl would fain have
refused him, and kept her promise to her absent lover, but her family
were flattered and dazzled by the idea of her wedding a man known to be
so wealthy, and she was not proof against their entreaties and their
anger. She married him; her relatives, however, derived no benefit from
the match their selfishness had made. The miser's doors were closed
against them; and lest his wife should be tempted to assist their
poverty at his expense, he forbade her ever seeing her parents. A weary
lot had been poor Mary's from that hour she married. Her only comfort
was derived from her children; and even they became a source of sorrow
as they grew past infancy, and she found that her husband's avarice
would deny them even the advantages she had enjoyed as a poor cottage
child. They received no education but such as she could give them; nay,
were made to toil at the lowest drudgery in return for the scanty food
and clothing their father bestowed. She taught them to read and write;
and afterward Richard, the elder, became his own instructor. There were
many old books to be found in the farm-house, and of those he made
himself master. The villagers, who had a few volumes, were willing to
lend them to such a clever lad; and at length, as we have said, his
genius for painting developed itself, and was ministered to by his
mother's industry. We remember seeing his first attempt at original
composition. It was boldly conceived and well executed, considering the
difficulties under which he labored: the subject was Phaeton driving the
chariot of the sun. It was shown to the clergyman of the village, a man
of great taste, and a connoisseur in painting. He was so much pleased
with it that he became the warm friend of the young artist, and, as far
as circumstances permitted, his instructor in literature and painting.
The younger brother inherited his father's taste for music, and was a
quiet, thoughtful child, passionately attached to Richard, on whom he
looked as a prodigy of learning and talent. Nothing, in fact, could be
more touching than the attachment of these two brothers: at their
leisure hours they were always to be seen together; their pleasures or
sorrows were mutual.

The privations, injustice, and restraint to which they were subjected
appeared to bind them to each other with a love "passing the love of
woman;" and both found consolation in the mental gifts mercifully
imparted to them.

About four years after we first became acquainted with the Moncktons,
the fair, gentle child, then nearly fourteen, became ill; growing thin,
pale, and weak, till his mother and Richard, in great alarm, besought
old Monckton to let him have medical advice. The request produced a
storm of passionate reproaches. "The boy," he said, "was well enough. He
ate as much as was good for him. Did they think people could not live
without gormandizing as they did? Did they imagine he should throw away
his little means upon doctors, who were all a set of cheats? He should
do nothing of the kind!" And poor Ernest was left to pine and wither,
till Richard in despair sought out a physician, and telling him their
story, besought him to come and see his brother, promising to repay the
advice he asked by his future toil.

Dr. N---- was a kind-hearted, benevolent man. He at once complied with
the youth's entreaty, and called at an hour when the old man was absent
at the farm. He found his patient worse than the brother's report had
led him to believe. The illness was decline, caused probably by want of
sufficiently nourishing food at a period of rapid growth, and increased
by the overworking of a mind that was ever craving after knowledge. He
prescribed such remedies as he judged best; but informed the mother, at
the same time, that strengthening food was of the first importance, and
would be the best means to effect a cure. Alas! how was it to be
obtained? The heart of the miser was impenetrable to their remonstrances
and entreaties--what was life in his eyes compared with gold? When they
found that no human sympathy could be expected from the father, the
mother and brother determined to use their own exertions to obey the
behest of the physician. Early and late the former worked at her needle,
the good doctor finding her as much employment as he could; while
Richard, abandoning the study of his art, painted valentines,
card-racks, and fancy articles for the stationers, and sought eagerly
for every opportunity of winning a few shillings, to be spent in
ministering to the comfort of the beloved sufferer. But it was all too
late: Ernest sank slowly, but surely.

There were intervals when life, like the flicker of an expiring lamp,
appeared successfully struggling with death; but these occasional
brightenings were always succeeded by a more entire prostration and
languor. The personal beauty, for which Ernest had always been
remarkable, grew almost superhuman during his illness, and Richard could
not resist stealing a little time from his busy labors to paint his
brother's portrait. In the execution of this task of love, however, many
hindrances occurred; and before it was more than a sketch, the dear
original had passed away from them in one of those quiet sleeps which in
such cases, are the usual harbingers of death. The painting was removed
to Richard's chamber, and in the first agony of his grief, forgotten;
but when Ernest had been committed to the grave, and life had assumed
its usual monotony--more gloomy now than ever--he remembered his
attempt, and resolved on finishing the likeness from memory. An easy
task! for nightly, in his slumbers, he saw the fair, sweet face of his
young brother. The second morning after he had resumed his pencil, he
was startled at finding that the painting appeared to be in a more
advanced state than he had left it the night before, but he fancied
imagination must be juggling him, and that he really had done more than
he remembered. The following day, however, the same phenomenon startled
him, and he mentioned the circumstance to his mother. She was
superstitious, and nervous from sorrow and regret; and she at once
adopted the fanciful notion that there was something supernatural in the
matter; suggesting the possibility of their dear Ernest's gentle spirit
having thus endeavored to show them, that in another world he still
thought of them and loved them. Richard combated the idea by every
argument his reason offered him; but as he was convinced of the fact,
and could give no satisfactory explanation of it, he was at last
persuaded by her earnest entreaties to leave the picture untouched for
two or three days, and see what consequences would follow. The painting
progressed! daily, or rather nightly, it advanced toward completion.
Every morning a stronger likeness of the dead smiled on them from the
canvas, and a more skillful hand than the young painter's appeared to be
engaged on the work. It was a marvel past their simple comprehension;
but the mother, confirmed in her first belief, resolved to watch, and
try if it might be permitted to her living eyes to gaze upon the child
whom the grave had shut from her sight. With this hope she concealed
herself, without Richard's knowledge, in a large closet in his
bed-room--placing the door ajar that she might see all that passed in
the chamber. Her watch was of no long duration; suddenly her sleeping
son rose from his couch, lighted his candle, approached his easel, and
began to work at the portrait! Much amazed and half angry at the
deception she believed he had practiced on her, Mrs. Monckton issued
from her hiding-place, and spoke to him. He made her no answer; she
stood before him--he saw her not; he was fast asleep! It was indeed a
spirit's painting; for love had in this instance burst the bands of
matter, and the somnambulist had achieved a work of art that surpassed
all the efforts of his waking hours.

The story of the sleep-painting got abroad, and reached the ears of a
gentleman of large fortune, who resided in the neighborhood. He called
on the young artist; was pleased with his manners; and proposed engaging
him as traveling companion to his own son, a youth about to visit Italy
with his tutor; proffering a salary that would enable him to cultivate
his genius for painting in the land of its birth, and of its perfect
maturity. The offer was eagerly and thankfully accepted, and old
Monckton made no opposition to his son's wish: he was only too thankful
to be relieved from the burden of supporting him. Indeed the miser was
somewhat changed since Ernest's death; not that he expressed in words
any remorse for having preferred his gold to the life of his fair young
son; but from that time he never touched the organ--the spirit of music
appeared to have died with Ernest; and he often visibly shrank from
meeting the silent reproach of Richard's eyes. The neighbors also
shunned him; they had loved poor Ernest, and the conduct of his father
toward him--the fact of his refusing to pay the physician who had
attended him, "because he never sent for him"--and the mean, pauper-like
funeral which he had grudgingly bestowed on the dead--revolted and
disgusted them. A mean funeral was one of the offenses the people of
K---- never forgave! The old man probably detected something of their
feelings in their manners, for he gradually gave up his ordinary work
about the village--that is, the keeping in repair such cottages as
belonged to him--and remained much within doors. This change of habits
and want of exercise told fatally on three score and ten, and probably
hastened his death, which took place two years after his son's. He died
without a will, but left very considerable property. It was supposed he
died intestate, either because he grudged the expense of making a will,
or because he could not endure the thought of parting from the gold
which had had the worship and service of his life. Richard, on his
return, repaired the old farm-house, and restored it to something like
comfort. He proved liberal, but not (as is frequently the case in such
instances) lavish. The only piece of extravagance of which he was ever
accused--and it was the village stone-mason who blamed him for
that--being the procuring an elegant marble monument from Italy, the
work of a first-rate sculptor, to place over the grave of his beloved
brother. The figures on it were--an admirable likeness of Ernest, taken
from the somnambulist's picture, and two angelic beings in the act of
presenting the risen spirit with the palms and crown of victory gained
over sorrow, suffering, and death. The inscription on the tomb had an
awful and touching meaning to those who knew the story of the brother's
life; and we know not how we can better conclude our sketches of the
insane folly of gold-worship, than by finishing them with those solemn
words--"Lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven."



MY NOVEL; OR, VARIETIES IN ENGLISH LIFE.[13]



CHAPTER VII.


Leonard had been about six weeks with his uncle, and those weeks were
well spent. Mr. Richard had taken him to his counting-house, and
initiated him into the business and the mysteries of double entry; and,
in return, for the young man's readiness and zeal in matters which the
acute trader instinctively felt were not exactly to his tastes, Richard
engaged the best master the town afforded to read with his nephew in the
evening. This gentleman was the head-usher of a large school--who had
his hours to himself after eight o'clock--and was pleased to vary the
dull routine of enforced lessons by instructions to a pupil who took
delightedly--even to the Latin grammar. Leonard made rapid strides, and
learned more in those six weeks than many a cleverish boy does in twice
as many months. These hours which Leonard devoted to study Richard
usually spent from home--sometimes at the houses of his grand
acquaintances in the Abbey Gardens, sometimes in the Reading-room
appropriated to those aristocrats. If he staid at home, it was in
company with his head-clerk, and for the purpose of checking his
account-books, or looking over the names of doubtful electors.

Leonard had naturally wished to communicate his altered prospects to his
old friends, that they in turn might rejoice his mother with such good
tidings. But he had not been two days in the house before Richard had
strictly forbidden all such correspondence.

"Look you," said he, "at present we are on an experiment--we must see if
we like each other. Suppose we don't, you will only have raised
expectations in your mother which must end in bitter disappointment; and
suppose we do, it will be time enough to write when something definite
is settled."

"But my mother will be so anxious--"

"Make your mind easy on that score. I will write regularly to Mr. Dale,
and he can tell her that you are well and thriving. No more words, my
man--when I say a thing, I say it." Then, observing that Leonard looked
blank and dissatisfied, Richard added, with a good-humored smile, "I
have my reasons for all this--you shall know them later. And I tell you
what, if you do as I bid you, it is my intention to settle something
handsome on your mother; but if you don't, devil a penny she'll get from
me."

With that Richard turned on his heel, and in a few moments his voice
was heard loud in objurgation with some of his people.

About the fourth week of Leonard's residence at Mr. Avenel's, his host
began to evince a certain change of manner. He was no longer quite so
cordial with Leonard, nor did he take the same interest in his progress.
About the same period he was frequently caught by the London butler
before the looking-glass. He had always been a smart man in his dress,
but he was now more particular. He would spoil three white cravats when
he went out of an evening, before he could satisfy himself as to a tie.
He also bought a peerage, and it became his favorite study at odd
quarters of an hour. All these symptoms proceeded from a cause, and that
cause was--Woman.



CHAPTER VIII.


The first people at Screwstown were indisputably the Pompleys. Colonel
Pompley was grand, but Mrs. Pompley was grander. The Colonel was stately
in right of his military rank and his services in India; Mrs. Pompley
was majestic in right of her connections. Indeed, Colonel Pompley
himself would have been crushed under the weight of the dignities which
his lady heaped upon him, if he had not been enabled to prop his
position with a "connection" of his own. He would never have held his
own, nor been permitted to have an independent opinion on matters
aristocratic, but for the well-sounding name of his relations, "the
Digbies." Perhaps on the principle that obscurity increases the natural
size of objects, and is an element of the Sublime, the Colonel did not
too accurately define his relations "the Digbies;" he let it be casually
understood that they were the Digbies to be found in Debrett. But if
some indiscreet _Vulgarian_ (a favorite word with both the Pompleys)
asked point-blank if he meant "my Lord Digby," the Colonel, with a lofty
air, answered--"The elder branch, sir." No one at Screwstown had ever
seen these Digbies: they lay amidst the Far--the Recondite--even to the
wife of Colonel Pompley's bosom. Now and then, when the Colonel referred
to the lapse of years, and the uncertainty of human affections, he would
say--"When young Digby and I were boys together," and then add with a
sigh, "but we shall never meet again in this world. His family interest
secured him a valuable appointment in a distant part of the British
dominions." Mrs Pompley was always rather cowed by the Digbies. She
could not be skeptical as to this connection, for the Colonel's mother
was certainly a Digby, and the Colonel impaled the Digby arms. _En
revanche_, as the French say, for these marital connections, Mrs.
Pompley had her own favorite affinity, which she specially selected from
all others when she most desired to produce effect; nay, even upon
ordinary occasions the name rose spontaneously to her lips--the name of
the Honorable Mrs. M'Catchley. Was the fashion of a gown or cap admired,
her cousin, Mrs. M'Catchley, had just sent to her the pattern from
Paris. Was it a question whether the Ministry would stand, Mrs.
M'Catchley was in the secret, but Mrs. Pompley had been requested not to
say. Did it freeze, "my cousin, Mrs. M'Catchley, had written word that
the icebergs at the Pole were supposed to be coming this way." Did the
sun glow with more than usual fervor, Mrs. M'Catchley had informed her
"that it was Sir Henry Halford's decided opinion that it was on account
of the cholera." The good people knew all that was doing at London, at
court, in this world--nay, almost in the other--through the medium of
the Honorable Mrs. M'Catchley. Mrs. M'Catchley was, moreover, the most
elegant of women, the wittiest creature, the dearest. King George the
Fourth had presumed to admire Mrs. M'Catchley, but Mrs. M'Catchley,
though no prude, let him see that she was proof against the corruptions
of a throne. So long had the ears of Mrs. Pompley's friends been filled
with the renown of Mrs. M'Catchley, that at last Mrs. M'Catchley was
secretly supposed to be a myth, a creature of the elements, a poetic
fiction of Mrs. Pompley's. Richard Avenel, however, though by no means a
credulous man, was an implicit believer in Mrs. M'Catchley. He had
learned that she was a widow--an honorable by birth, an honorable by
marriage--living on her handsome jointure, and refusing offers every day
that she so lived. Somehow or other, whenever Richard Avenel thought of
a wife, he thought of the Honorable Mrs. M'Catchley. Perhaps that
romantic attachment to the fair invisible preserved him heart-whole
among the temptations of Screwstown. Suddenly, to the astonishment of
the Abbey Gardens, Mrs. M'Catchley proved her identity, and arrived at
Col. Pompley's in a handsome traveling-carriage, attended by her maid
and footman. She had come to stay some weeks--a tea-party was given in
her honor. Mr. Avenel and his nephew were invited. Colonel Pompley, who
kept his head clear in the midst of the greatest excitement, had a
desire to get from the Corporation a lease of a piece of ground
adjoining his garden, and he no sooner saw Richard Avenel enter, than he
caught him by the button, and drew him into a quiet corner in order to
secure his interest. Leonard, meanwhile, was borne on by the stream,
till his progress was arrested by a sofa table at which sat Mrs.
M'Catchley herself, with Mrs. Pompley by her side. For on this great
occasion the hostess had abandoned her proper post at the entrance, and,
whether to show her respect to Mrs. M'Catchley, or to show Mrs.
M'Catchley her well-bred contempt for the people of Screwstown, remained
in state by her friend, honoring only the _élite_ of the town with
introductions to the illustrious visitor.

Mrs. M'Catchley was a very fine woman--a woman who justified Mrs.
Pompley's pride in her. Her cheek-bones were rather high, it is true,
but that proved the purity of her Caledonian descent; for the rest, she
had a brilliant complexion, heightened by a _soupçon_ of rouge--good
eyes and teeth, a showy figure, and all the ladies of Screwstown
pronounced her dress to be perfect. She might have arriven at that age
at which one intends to stop for the next ten years, but even a
Frenchman would not have called her _passée_--that is, for a widow. For
a spinster, it would have been different.

Looking round her with a glass, which Mrs. Pompley was in the habit of
declaring that "Mrs. M'Catchley used like an angel," this lady suddenly
perceived Leonard Avenel; and his quiet, simple, thoughtful air and
looks so contrasted with the stiff beaux to whom she had been presented,
that experienced in fashion as so fine a personage must be supposed to
be, she was nevertheless deceived into whispering to Mrs. Pompley--

"That young man has really an _air distingué_--who is he?"

"Oh," said Mrs. Pompley, in unaffected surprise, "that is the nephew of
the rich Vulgarian I was telling you of this morning."

"Ah! and you say that he is Mr. Arundel's heir?"

"Avenel--not Arundel--my sweet friend."

"Avenel is not a bad name," said Mrs. M'Catchley. "But is the uncle
really so rich?"

"The Colonel was trying this very day to guess what he is worth; but he
says it is impossible to guess it."

"And the young man is his heir?"

"It is thought so: and reading for College, I hear. They say he is
clever."

"Present him, my love; I like clever people," said Mrs. M'Catchley,
falling back, languidly.

About ten minutes afterward, Richard Avenel, having effected his escape
from the Colonel, and his gaze being attracted toward the sofa table by
the buzz of the admiring crowd, beheld his nephew in animated
conversation with the long-cherished idol of his dreams. A fierce pang
of jealousy shot through his breast. His nephew had never looked so
handsome and so intelligent; in fact, poor Leonard had never before been
drawn out by a woman of the world, who had learned how to make the most
of what little she knew. And, as jealousy operates like a pair of
bellows on incipient flames, so, at first sight of the smile which the
fair widow bestowed upon Leonard, the heart of Mr. Avenel felt in a
blaze.

He approached with a step less assured than usual, and, overhearing
Leonard's talk, marveled much at the boy's audacity. Mrs. M'Catchley had
been speaking of Scotland and the Waverley Novels, about which Leonard
knew nothing. But he knew Burns, and on Burns he grew artlessly
eloquent. Burns the poet and peasant; Leonard might well be eloquent on
_him_. Mrs. M'Catchley was amused and pleased with his freshness and
_naïveté_, so unlike any thing she had ever heard or seen, and she drew
him on and on, till Leonard fell to quoting: and Richard heard, with
less respect for the sentiment than might be supposed, that

          "Rank is but the guinea stamp,
          The man's the gowd for a' that."

"Well!" exclaimed Mr. Avenel. "Pretty piece of politeness to tell that
to a lady like the Honorable Mrs. M'Catchley. You'll excuse him, ma'am."

"Sir!" said Mrs. M'Catchley, startled, and lifting her glass. Leonard,
rather confused, rose, and offered his chair to Richard, who dropped
into it. The lady, without waiting for formal introduction, guessed that
she saw the rich uncle.

"Such a sweet poet--Burns!" said she, dropping her glass. "And it is so
refreshing to find so much youthful enthusiasm," she added, pointing her
fan toward Leonard, who was receding fast among the crowd.

"Well, he is youthful, my nephew--rather green!"

"Don't say green!" said Mrs. M'Catchley. Richard blushed scarlet. He was
afraid he had committed himself to some expression low and shocking. The
lady resumed, "Say unsophisticated."

"A tarnation long word," thought Richard; but he prudently bowed, and
held his tongue.

"Young men nowadays," continued Mrs. M'Catchley, resettling herself on
the sofa, "affect to be so old. They don't dance, and they don't read,
and they don't talk much; and a great many of them wear _toupets_ before
they are two-and-twenty!"

Richard mechanically passed his hand through his thick curls. But he was
still mute; he was still ruefully chewing the cud of the epithet
_green_. What occult horrid meaning did the word convey to ears polite?
Why should he not say "green?"

"A very fine young man your nephew, sir," resumed Mrs. M'Catchley.

Richard grunted.

"And seems full of talent. Not yet at the University? Will he go to
Oxford or Cambridge?"

"I have not made up my mind yet, if I shall send him to the University
at all."

"A young man of his expectations!" exclaimed Mrs. M'Catchley, artfully.

"Expectations!" repeated Richard, firing up. "Has the boy been talking
to you of his expectations?"

"No, indeed, sir. But the nephew of the rich Mr. Avenel. Ah, one hears a
great deal, you know, of rich people; it is the penalty of wealth, Mr.
Avenel!"

Richard was very much flattered. His crest rose.

"And they say," continued Mrs. M'Catchley, dropping out her words very
slowly, as she adjusted her blonde scarf, "that Mr. Avenel has resolved
not to marry."

"The devil they do, ma'am!" bolted out Richard, gruffly; and then,
ashamed of his _lapsus linguæ,_ screwed up his lips firmly, and glared
on the company with an eye of indignant fire.

Mrs. M'Catchley observed him over her fan. Richard turned abruptly, and
she withdrew her eyes modestly, and raised the fan.

"She's a real beauty," said Richard, between his teeth.

The fan fluttered.

Five minutes afterward, the widow and the bachelor seemed so much at
their ease that Mrs. Pompley--who had been forced to leave her friend,
in order to receive the Dean's lady--could scarcely believe her eyes
when she returned to the sofa.

Now, it was from that evening that Mr. Richard Avenel exhibited the
change of mood which I have described. And from that evening he
abstained from taking Leonard with him to any of the parties in the
Abbey Gardens.



CHAPTER IX.


Some days after this memorable _soirée_, Colonel Pompley sat alone in
his drawing-room (which opened pleasantly on an old-fashioned garden)
absorbed in the house-bills. For Colonel Pompley did not leave that
domestic care to his lady--perhaps she was too grand for it. Colonel
Pompley, with his own sonorous voice, ordered the joints, and with his
own heroic hand dispensed the stores. In justice to the Colonel, I must
add--at whatever risk of offense to the fair sex--that there was not a
house at Screwstown so well managed as the Pompleys'; none which so
successfully achieved the difficult art of uniting economy with show. I
should despair of conveying to you an idea of the extent to which
Colonel Pompley made his income go. It was but seven hundred a year; and
many a family contrive to do less upon three thousand. To be sure, the
Pompleys had no children to sponge upon them. What they had, they spent
all on themselves. Neither, if the Pompleys never exceeded their income,
did they pretend to live much within it. The two ends of the year met at
Christmas--just met, and no more.

Colonel Pompley sat at his desk. He was in his well-brushed blue
coat--buttoned across his breast--his gray trowsers fitted tight to his
limbs, and fastened under his boots with a link chain. He saved a great
deal of money in straps. No one ever saw Colonel Pompley in
dressing-gown and slippers. He and his house were alike in order--always
fit to be seen--

          "From morn to noon, from noon to dewy eve."

The Colonel was a short compact man, inclined to be stout--with a very
red face, that seemed not only shaved, but rasped. He wore his hair
cropped close, except just in front where it formed what the
hair-dresser called a feather; but it seemed a feather of iron, so stiff
and so strong was it. Firmness and precision were emphatically marked on
the Colonel's countenance. There was a resolute strain on his features,
as if he was always employed in making the two ends meet!

So he sat before his house-book, with his steel pen in his hand, and
making crosses here and notes of interrogation there. "Mrs.
M'Catchley's maid," said the Colonel to himself, "must be put upon
rations. The tea that she drinks! Good Heavens!--tea again!"

There was a modest ring at the outer door. "Too early for a visitor!"
thought the Colonel. "Perhaps it is the Water-rates."

The neat man-servant--never seen, beyond the offices, save in _grande
tenue_, plushed and powdered--entered, and bowed.

"A gentleman, sir, wishes to see you."

"A gentleman," repeated the Colonel, glancing toward the clock. "Are you
sure it is a gentleman?"

The man hesitated. "Why, sir, I ben't exactly sure; but he speaks like a
gentleman. He do say he comes from London to see you, sir."

A long and interesting correspondence was then being held between the
Colonel and one of his wife's trustees, touching the investment of Mrs.
Pompley's fortune. It might be the trustee--nay, it must be. The trustee
had talked of running down to see him.

"Let him come in," said the Colonel; "and when I ring--sandwiches and
sherry."

"Beef, sir?"

"Ham."

The Colonel put aside his house-book, and wiped his pen.

In another minute the door opened, and the servant announced--"MR.
DIGBY."

The Colonel's face fell, and he staggered back.

The door closed, and Mr. Digby stood in the middle of the room, leaning
on the great writing-table for support. The poor soldier looked sicklier
and shabbier, and nearer the end of all things in life and fortune, than
when Lord L'Estrange had thrust the pocket-book into his hands. But
still the servant showed knowledge of the world in calling him
gentleman; there was no other word to apply to him.

"Sir," began Colonel Pompley, recovering himself, and with great
solemnity, "I did not expect this pleasure."

The poor visitor stared round him dizzily, and sank into a chair,
breathing hard. The Colonel looked as a man only looks upon a poor
relation, and buttoned up first one trowser-pocket and then the other.

"I thought you were in Canada," said the Colonel at last.

Mr. Digby had now got breath to speak, and he said meekly, "The climate
would have killed my child, and it is two years since I returned."

"You ought to have found a very good place in England, to make it worth
your while to leave Canada."

"She could not have lived through another winter in Canada--the doctor
said so."

"Pooh," quoth the Colonel.

Mr. Digby drew a long breath. "I would not come to you, Colonel Pompley,
while you could think that I came as a beggar for myself."

The Colonel's brow relaxed. "A very honorable sentiment, Mr. Digby."

"No: I have gone through a great deal: but you see, Colonel," added the
poor relation, with a faint smile, "the campaign is well-nigh over, and
peace is at hand."

The Colonel seemed touched.

"Don't talk so, Digby--I don't like it. You are younger than I
am--nothing more disagreeable than these gloomy views of things. You
have got enough to live upon, you say--at least so I understand you. I
am very glad to hear it; and, indeed, I could not assist you, so many
claims on me. So it is all very well, Digby."

"Oh, Colonel Pompley," cried the soldier, clasping his hands, and with
feverish energy, "I am a suppliant, not for myself, but my child! I have
but one--only one--a girl. She has been so good to me. She will cost you
little. Take her when I die; promise her a shelter--a home. I ask no
more. You are my nearest relative. I have no other to look to. You have
no children of your own. She will be a blessing to you, as she has been
all upon earth to me!"

If Colonel Pompley's face was red in ordinary hours, no epithet
sufficiently rubicund or sanguineous can express its color at this
appeal. "The man's mad," he said at last, with a tone of astonishment
that almost concealed his wrath, "stark mad! I take his child!--lodge
and board a great, positive, hungry child! Why, sir, many and many a
time have I said to Mrs. Pompley, ''Tis a mercy we have no children. We
could never live in this style if we had children--never make both ends
meet.' Child--the most expensive, ravenous, ruinous thing in the
world--a child!"

"She has been accustomed to starve," said Mr. Digby, plaintively. "Oh,
Colonel, let me see your wife. _Her_ heart I can touch--she is a woman."

Unlucky father! A more untoward, unseasonable request the Fates could
not have put into his lips.

Mrs. Pompley see the Digbies! Mrs. Pompley learn the condition of the
Colonel's grand connections! The Colonel would never have been his own
man again. At the bare idea, he felt as if he could have sunk into the
earth with shame. In his alarm he made a stride to the door, with the
intention of locking it. Good heavens, if Mrs. Pompley should come in!
And the man, too, had been announced by name. Mrs. Pompley might have
learned already that a Digby was with her husband--she might be actually
dressing to receive him worthily--there was not a moment to lose.

The Colonel exploded. "Sir, I wonder at your impudence. See Mrs.
Pompley! Hush, sir, hush!--hold your tongue. I have disowned your
connection. I will not have my wife--a woman, sir, of the first
family--disgraced by it. Yes; you need not fire up. John Pompley is not
a man to be bullied in his own house. I say disgraced. Did not you run
into debt, and spend your fortune? Did not you marry a low creature--a
vulgarian--a tradesman's daughter? and your poor father such a
respectable man--a beneficed clergyman! Did not you sell your
commission? Heaven knows what became of the money! Did not you turn (I
shudder to say it) a common stage-player, sir? And then, when you were
on your last legs, did I not give you £200 out of my own purse to go to
Canada? And now here you are again--and ask me, with a coolness
that--that takes away my breath--takes away--my breath, sir--to provide
for the child you have thought proper to have; a child, whose
connections on the mother's side are of the most abject and
discreditable condition. Leave my house, leave it--good heavens, sir,
not that way--this." And the Colonel opened the glass-door that led into
the garden. "I will let you out this way. If Mrs. Pompley should see
you!" And with that thought the Colonel absolutely hooked his arm into
his poor relation's, and hurried him into the garden.

Mr. Digby said not a word, but he struggled ineffectually to escape from
the Colonel's arm; and his color went and came, came and went, with a
quickness that showed that in those shrunken veins there were still some
drops of a soldier's blood.

But the Colonel had now reached a little postern-door in the garden
wall. He opened the latch, and thrust out his poor cousin. Then, looking
down the lane, which was long, straight, and narrow, and seeing it was
quite solitary, his eye fell upon the forlorn man, and remorse shot
through his heart. For a moment the hardest of all kinds of avarice,
that of the _genteel_, relaxed its gripe. For a moment the most
intolerant of all forms of pride, that which is based upon false
pretenses, hushed its voice, and the Colonel hastily drew out his purse.
"There," said he--"that is all I can do for you. Do leave the town as
quick as you can, and don't mention your name to any one. Your father
was such a respectable man--beneficed clergyman!"

"And paid for your commission, Mr. Pompley. My name!--I am not ashamed
of it. But do not fear I shall claim your relationship. No; I am ashamed
of _you_!"

The poor cousin put aside the purse, still stretched toward him, with a
scornful hand, and walked firmly down the lane.

Colonel Pompley stood irresolute. At that moment a window in his house
was thrown open. He heard the noise, turned round, and saw his wife
looking out.

Colonel Pompley sneaked back through the shrubbery, hiding himself among
the trees.



CHAPTER X.


"Ill-luck is a _bêtise_," said the great Cardinal Richelieu; and on the
long run, I fear, his eminence was right. If you could drop Dick Avenel
and Mr. Digby in the middle of Oxford-street--Dick in a fustian jacket,
Digby in a suit of superfine--Dick with five shillings in his pocket,
Digby with a thousand pounds--and if, at the end of ten years, you
looked up your two men, Dick would be on his road to fortune,
Digby--what we have seen him! Yet Digby had no vice; he did not drink,
nor gamble. What was he, then? Helpless. He had been an only son--a
spoiled child--brought up as "a gentleman;" that is, as a man who was
not expected to be able to turn his hand to any thing. He entered, as we
have seen, a very expensive regiment, wherein he found himself, at his
father's death, with £4000 and the incapacity to say "No." Not naturally
extravagant, but without an idea of the value of money--the easiest,
gentlest, best-tempered man whom example ever led astray. This part of
his career comprised a very common history--the poor man living on equal
terms with the rich. Debt; recourse to usurers; bills signed sometimes
for others, renewed at twenty per cent.; the £4000 melted like snow;
pathetic appeal to relations; relations have children of their own;
small help given grudgingly, eked out by much advice, and coupled with
conditions. Among the conditions there was a very proper and prudent
one--exchange into a less expensive regiment. Exchange effected; peace;
obscure country quarters; _ennui_, flute-playing and idleness. Mr. Digby
had no resources on a rainy day--except flute-playing; pretty girl of
inferior rank; all the officers after her; Digby smitten; pretty girl
very virtuous; Digby forms honorable intentions; excellent sentiments;
imprudent marriage. Digby falls in life; colonel's lady will not
associate with Mrs. Digby; Digby cut by his whole kith and kin; many
disagreeable circumstances in regimental life; Digby sells out; love in
a cottage; execution in ditto. Digby had been much applauded as an
amateur actor; thinks of the stage; genteel comedy--a gentlemanlike
profession. Tries in a provincial town, under another name; unhappily
succeeds; life of an actor; hand-to-mouth life; illness; chest affected;
Digby's voice becomes hoarse and feeble; not aware of it; attributes
failing success to ignorant provincial public; appears in London; is
hissed; returns to provinces; sinks into very small parts; prison;
despair; wife dies; appeal again to relations; a subscription made to
get rid of him; send him out of the country; place in
Canada--superintendent to an estate, £150 a year; pursued by ill-luck;
never before fit for business, not fit now; honest as the day, but keeps
slovenly accounts; child can not bear the winter of Canada; Digby
wrapped up in the child; return home; mysterious life for two years;
child patient, thoughtful, loving; has learned to work; manages for
father; often supports him; constitution rapidly breaking; thought of
what will become of this child--worst disease of all. Poor Digby! Never
did a base, cruel, unkind thing in his life; and here he is, walking
down the lane from Colonel Pompley's house! Now, if Digby had but
learned a little of the world's cunning, I think he would have succeeded
even with Colonel Pompley. Had he spent the £100 received from Lord
Estrange with a view to effect--had he bestowed a fitting wardrobe on
himself and his pretty Ellen; had he stopped at the last stage, taken
thence a smart chaise and pair, and presented himself at Colonel
Pompley's in a way that would not have discredited the Colonel's
connection, and then, instead of praying for home and shelter, asked the
Colonel to become guardian to his child in case of his death, I have a
strong notion that the Colonel, in spite of his avarice, would have
stretched both ends so as to take in Helen Digby. But our poor friend
had no such arts. Indeed, of the £100, he had already very little left,
for before leaving town he had committed what Sheridan considered the
extreme of extravagance--frittered away his money in paying his debts;
and as for dressing up Helen and himself--if that thought had ever
occurred to him, he would have rejected it as foolish. He would have
thought that the more he showed his poverty, the more he would be
pitied--the worst mistake a poor cousin can commit. According to
Theophrastus, the partridge of Paphlagonia has two hearts; so have most
men: it is the common mistake of the unlucky to knock at the wrong one.



CHAPTER XI.


Mr. Digby entered the room of the inn in which he had left Helen. She
was seated by the window, and looking out wistfully on the narrow
street, perhaps at the children at play. There had never been a playtime
for Helen Digby. She sprang forward as her father came in. His coming
was her holiday.

"We must go back to London," said Mr. Digby, sinking helplessly on the
chair. Then with his sort of sickly smile--for he was bland even to his
child--"Will you kindly inquire when the first coach leaves?"

All the active cares of their careful life devolved upon that quiet
child. She kissed her father, placed before him a cough mixture which he
had brought from London, and went out silently to make the necessary
inquiries, and prepare for the journey back.

At eight o'clock the father and child were seated in the night-coach,
with one other passenger--a man muffled up to the chin. After the first
mile, the man let down one of the windows. Though it was summer, the air
was chill and raw. Digby shivered and coughed.

Helen placed her hand on the window, and, leaning toward the passenger,
whispered softly.

"Eh!" said the passenger, "draw up the windows? You have got your own
window; this is mine. Oxygen, young lady," he added solemnly, "oxygen is
the breath of life. Cott, child!" he continued, with suppressed choler,
and a Welsh pronunciation, "Cott! let us breathe and live."

Helen was frightened, and recoiled.

Her father, who had not heard, or had not heeded this colloquy,
retreated into the corner, put up the collar of his coat, and coughed
again.

"It is cold, my dear," said he languidly to Helen.

The passenger caught the word, and replied indignantly, but as if
soliloquizing--

"Cold--ugh! I do believe the English are the stuffiest people! Look at
their four-post beds?--all the curtains drawn, shutters closed, board
before the chimney--not a house with a ventilator! Cold--ugh!"

The window next Mr. Digby did not fit well into its frame.

"There is a sad draught," said the invalid.

Helen instantly occupied herself in stopping up the chinks of the window
with her handkerchief. Mr. Digby glanced ruefully at the other window.
The look, which was very eloquent, aroused yet more the traveler's
spleen.

"Pleasant!" said he. "Cott! I suppose you will ask me to go outside
next! But people who travel in a coach should know the law of a coach. I
don't interfere with your window; you have no business to interfere with
mine."

"Sir, I did not speak," said Mr. Digby meekly.

"But Miss here did."

"Ah, sir!" said Helen plaintively, "if you knew how papa suffers!" And
her hand again moved toward the obnoxious window.

"No, my dear: the gentleman is in his right," said Mr. Digby; and,
bowing with his wonted suavity, he added, "Excuse her, sir. She thinks a
great deal too much of me."

The passenger said nothing, and Helen nestled closer to her father, and
strove to screen him from the air.

The passenger moved uneasily. "Well," said he, with a sort of snort,
"air is air, and right is right; but here goes"--and he hastily drew up
the window.

Helen turned her face full toward the passenger with a grateful
expression, visible even in the dim light.

"You are very kind, sir," said poor Mr. Digby: "I am ashamed to"--his
cough choked the rest of the sentence.

The passenger, who was a plethoric, sanguineous man felt as if he were
stifling. But he took off his wrappers, and resigned the oxygen like a
hero.

Presently he drew nearer to the sufferer, and laid hand on his wrist.

"You are feverish, I fear. I am a medical man. St!--one--two. Cott! you
should not travel; you are not fit for it!"

Mr. Digby shook his head; he was too feeble to reply.

The passenger thrust his hand into his coat-pocket, and drew out what
seemed a cigar-case, but what, in fact, was a leathern repertory,
containing a variety of minute vials, from one of these vials he
extracted two tiny globules. "There," said he; "open your mouth--put
those on the tip of your tongue. They will lower the pulse--check the
fever. Be better presently--but should not travel--want rest--you should
be in bed. Aconite!--Henbane!--hum! Your papa is of fair complexion--a
timid character, I should say--a horror of work, perhaps. Eh, child?"

"Sir!" faltered Helen, astonished and alarmed--Was the man a conjurer?

"A case for _phosphor_!" cried the passenger; "that fool Browne would
have said _arsenic_. Don't be persuaded to take arsenic."

"Arsenic, sir!" echoed the mild Digby. "No; however unfortunate a man
may be, I think, sir, that suicide is--tempting, perhaps, but highly
criminal."

"Suicide," said the passenger tranquilly--"suicide is my hobby! You have
no symptom of that kind, you say?"

"Good heavens! No, sir."

"If ever you feel violently impelled to drown yourself, take
_pulsatilla_. But if you feel a preference toward blowing out your
brains, accompanied with weight in the limbs, loss of appetite, dry
cough, and bad corns--_sulphuret of antimony_. Don't forget."

Though poor Mr. Digby confusedly thought that the gentleman was out of
his mind, yet he tried politely to say "that he was much obliged, and
would be sure to remember;" but his tongue failed him, and his own ideas
grew perplexed. His head fell back heavily, and he sank into a silence
which seemed that of sleep.

The traveler looked hard at Helen, as she gently drew her father's head
on her shoulder, and there pillowed it with a tenderness which was more
that of mother than child.

"Moral affections--soft--compassionate!--a good child, and would go well
with--_pulsatilla_."

Helen held up her finger, and glanced from her father to the traveler,
and then to her father again.

"Certainly--_pulsatilla_!" muttered the homeopathist: and, ensconcing
himself in his own corner, he also sought to sleep. But after vain
efforts, accompanied by restless gestures and movements, he suddenly
started up, and again extracted his vial-book.

"What the deuce are they to me?" he muttered. "Morbid sensibility of
character--_coffee?_? No!--accompanied by vivacity and violence--_nux_!"
He brought his book to the window, contrived to read the label on a
pigmy bottle. "_Nux_! that's it," he said--and he swallowed a globule!

"Now," quoth he, after a pause, "I don't care a straw for the
misfortunes of other people; nay, I have half a mind to let down the
window."

Helen looked up.

"But I won't," he added, resolutely; and this time he fell fairly
asleep.



CHAPTER XII.


The coach stopped at eleven o'clock, to allow the passengers to sup. The
homeopathist woke up, got out, gave himself a shake, and inhaled the
fresh air into his vigorous lungs, with an evident sensation of delight.
He then turned and looked into the coach:

"Let your father get out, my dear," said he, with a tone more gentle
than usual. "I should like to see him in-doors--perhaps I can do him
good."

But what was Helen's terror when she found that her father did not stir.
He was in a deep swoon, and still quite insensible when they lifted him
from the carriage. When he recovered his senses, his cough returned, and
the effort brought up blood.

It was impossible for him to proceed further. The homeopathist assisted
to undress and put him into bed. And having administered another of his
mysterious globules, he inquired of the landlady how far it was to the
nearest doctor--for the inn stood by itself in a small hamlet. There was
the parish apothecary three miles off. But on hearing that the
gentlefolks employed Dr. Dosewell, and it was a good seven miles to his
house, the homeopathist fetched a deep breath. The coach only stopped a
quarter of an hour.

"Cott!" said he angrily to himself--"the _nux_ was a failure. My
sensibility is chronic. I must go through a long course to get rid of
it. Hallo, guard! get out my carpet-bag. I shan't go on to-night."

And the good man, after a very slight supper, went up-stairs again to
the sufferer.

"Shall I send for Dr. Dosewell, sir?" asked the landlady, stopping him
at the door.

"Hum! At what hour to-morrow does the next coach to London pass?"

"Not before eight, sir."

"Well, send for the doctor to be here at seven. That leaves us at least
some hours free from allopathy and murder," grunted the disciple of
Hahnemann, as he entered the room.

Whether it was the globule that the homeopathist had administered, or
the effect of nature, aided by repose, that checked the effusion of
blood, and restored some temporary strength to the poor sufferer, is
more than it becomes one not of the Faculty to opine. But certainly Mr.
Digby seemed better, and he gradually fell into a profound sleep, but
not till the doctor had put his ear to his chest, tapped it with his
hand, and asked several questions; after which the homeopathist retired
into a corner of the room, and, leaning his face on his hand, seemed to
meditate. From his thoughts he was disturbed by a gentle touch. Helen
was kneeling at his feet.

"Is he very ill--very?" said she; and her fond wistful eyes were fixed
on the physician's with all the earnestness of despair.

"Your father _is_ very ill," replied the doctor, after a short pause.
"He can not move hence for some days at least. I am going to
London--shall I call on your relations, and tell some of them to join
you?"

"No, thank you, sir," answered Helen, coloring. "But do not fear; I can
nurse papa. I think he has been worse before--that is, he has complained
more."

The homeopathist rose and took two strides across the room, then he
paused by the bed, and listened to the breathing of the sleeping man.

He stole back to the child, who was still kneeling, took her in his
arms, and kissed her. "Tamm it," said he, angrily, and putting her down,
"go to bed now--you are not wanted any more."

"Please, sir," said Helen, "I can not leave him so. If he wakes he would
miss me."

The doctor's hand trembled; he had recourse to his globules. "Anxiety,
grief suppressed," muttered he. "Don't you want to cry, my dear?
Cry--do!"

"I can't," murmured Helen.

"_Pulsatilla!_" said the doctor, almost with triumph. "I said so from
the first. Open your mouth--here! Good night. My room is opposite--No.
6; call me if he wakes."



CHAPTER XIII.


At seven o'clock Dr. Dosewell arrived, and was shown into the room of
the homeopathist, who, already up and dressed, had visited his patient.

"My name is Morgan," said the homeopathist--"I am a physician. I leave
in your hands a patient whom, I fear, neither I nor you can restore.
Come and look at him."

The two doctors went into the sick-room. Mr. Digby was very feeble, but
he had recovered his consciousness, and inclined his head courteously.

"I am sorry to cause so much trouble," said he. The homeopathist drew
away Helen; the allopathist seated himself by the bedside and put his
questions, felt the pulse, sounded the lungs, and looked at the tongue
of the patient. Helen's eye was fixed on the strange doctor, and her
color rose, and her eye sparkled when he got up cheerfully, and said in
a pleasant voice, "You may have a little tea."

"Tea!" growled the homeopathist--"barbarian!"

"He is better, then, sir?" said Helen, creeping to the allopathist.

"Oh, yes, my dear--certainly; and we shall do very well, I hope."

The two doctors then withdrew.

"Last about a week!" said Dr. Dosewell, smiling pleasantly, and showing
a very white set of teeth.

"I should have said a month; but our systems are different," replied Dr.
Morgan, drily.

DR. DOSEWELL (courteously).--"We country doctors bow to our metropolitan
superiors; what would you advise? You would venture, perhaps, the
experiment of bleeding."

DR. MORGAN (spluttering and growing Welsh, which he never did but in
excitement).--"Pleed! Cott in heaven! do you think I am a butcher--an
executioner? Plead! Never."

DR. DOSEWELL.--"I don't find it answer myself, when both lungs are gone!
But perhaps you are for inhaling."

DR. MORGAN.--"Fiddledee!"

DR. DOSEWELL (with some displeasure).--"What would you advise, then, in
order to prolong our patient's life for a month?"

DR. MORGAN.--"Stop the hæmoptysis--give him _Rhus_!"

DR. DOSEWELL.--"Rhus, sir! _Rhus!_ I don't know that medicine. _Rhus!_"

DR. MORGAN.--"_Rhus Toxicodendron._"

The length of the last word excited Dr. Dosewell's respect. A word of
five syllables--this was something like! He bowed deferentially, but
still looked puzzled. At last he said, smiling frankly, "You great
London practitioners have so many new medicines; may I ask what Rhus
toxico--toxico--"

"Dendron."

"Is?"

"The juice of the Upas--vulgarly called the Poison-tree."

Dr. Dosewell started.

"Upas--poison-tree--little birds that come under the shade fall down
dead! You give upas juice in hæmoptysis--what's the dose?"

Dr. Morgan grinned maliciously, and produced a globule the size of a
small pin's head.

Dr. Dosewell recoiled in disgust.

"Oh!" said he, very coldly, and assuming at once an air of superb
superiority, "I see, a homeopathist, sir!"

"A homeopathist!"

"Um!"

"Um!"

"A strange system, Dr. Morgan," said Dr. Dosewell, recovering his
cheerful smile, but with a curl of contempt in it, "and would soon do
for the druggists."

"Serve 'em right. The druggists soon do for the patients."

"Sir!"

"Sir!"

DR. DOSEWELL (with dignity).--"You don't know, perhaps, Dr. Morgan, that
I am an apothecary as well as a surgeon. In fact," he added, with a
certain grand humility, "I have not yet taken a diploma, and am but
Doctor by courtesy."

DR. MORGAN.--"All one, sir! Doctor signs the death warrant--'pothecary
does the deed!"

DR. DOSEWELL. (with a withering sneer).--"Certainly we don't profess
to keep a dying man alive upon the juice of the deadly upas-tree."

DR. MORGAN (complacently).--"Of course you don't. There are no poisons
with us. That's just the difference between you and me, Dr. Dosewell!"

DR. DOSEWELL (pointing to the homeopathist's traveling pharmacopoeia,
and with affected candor).--"Indeed, I have always said that if you can
do no good, you can do no harm, with your infinitesimals."

Dr. Morgan, who had been obtuse to the insinuation of poisoning, fires
up violently at the charge of doing no harm.

"You know nothing about it! I could kill quite as many people as you, if
I chose it; but I don't choose."

DR. DOSEWELL (shrugging up his shoulders).--"Sir! 'tis no use arguing;
the thing's against common sense. In short, it is my firm belief that it
is--is a complete--"

DR. MORGAN.--"A complete what?"

DR. DOSEWELL (provoked to the utmost).--"Humbug!"

DR. MORGAN.--"Humbug! Cott in heaven! You old--"

DR. DOSEWELL.--"Old what, sir?"

DR. MORGAN (at home in a series of alliteral vowels, which none but a
Cymbrian could have uttered without gasping).--"Old allopathical
anthropophagite!"

DR. DOSEWELL (starting up, seizing by the back the chair on which he had
sat, and bringing it down violently on its four legs).--"Sir!"

DR. MORGAN, (imitating the action with his own chair).--"Sir!"

DR. DOSEWELL.--"You're abusive."

DR. MORGAN.--"You're impertinent."

DR. DOSEWELL.--"Sir!"

DR. MORGAN.--"Sir!"

The two rivals fronted each other.

They were both athletic men, and fiery men. Dr. Dosewell was the taller,
but Dr. Morgan was the stouter. Dr. Dosewell on the mother's side was
Irish; but Dr. Morgan on both sides was Welsh. All things considered, I
would have backed Dr. Morgan if it had come to blows. But, luckily for
the honor of science, here the chamber-maid knocked at the door, and
said, "The coach is coming, sir."

Dr. Morgan recovered his temper and his manners at that announcement.
"Dr. Dosewell," said he, "I have been too hot--I apologize."

"Dr. Morgan," answered the allopathist, "I forgot myself. Your hand,
sir."

DR. MORGAN.--"We are both devoted to humanity, though with different
opinions. We should respect each other."

DR. DOSEWELL.--"Where look for liberality, if men of science are
illiberal to their brethren?"

DR. MORGAN (aside).--"The old hypocrite! He would pound me in a mortar
if the law would let him."

DR. DOSEWELL (aside).--"The wretched charlatan! I should like to pound
him in a mortar."

DR. MORGAN.--"Good-by, my esteemed and worthy brother."

DR. DOSEWELL.--"My excellent friend, good-by."

DR. MORGAN (returning in haste).--"I forgot. I don't think our poor
patient is very rich. I confide him to your disinterested
benevolence."--(Hurries away.)

DR. DOSEWELL (in a rage).--"Seven miles at six o'clock in the morning,
and perhaps done out of my fee! Quack! Villain!"

Meanwhile, Dr. Morgan had returned to the sick-room.

"I must wish you farewell," said he to poor Mr. Digby, who was languidly
sipping his tea. "But you are in the hands of a--of a--gentleman in the
profession."

"You have been too kind--I am shocked," said Mr. Digby. "Helen, where's
my purse?"

Dr. Morgan paused.

He paused, first, because it must be owned that his practice was
restricted, and a fee gratified the vanity natural to unappreciated
talent, and had the charm of novelty, which is sweet to human nature
itself. Secondly, he was a man "Who knew his rights, and, knowing, dared
maintain." He had resigned a coach fare--staid a night--and thought he
had relieved his patient. He had a right to his fee.

On the other hand he paused, because, though he had small practice, he
was tolerably well off, and did not care for money itself, and he
suspected his patient to be no Croesus.

Meanwhile, the purse was in Helen's hand. He took it from her, and saw
but a few sovereigns within the well-worn net-work. He drew the child a
little aside.

"Answer me, my dear, frankly--is your papa rich?" And he glanced at the
shabby clothes strewed on the chair, and Helen's faded frock.

"Alas, no!" said Helen, hanging her head.

"Is that all you have?"

"All."

"I am ashamed to offer you two guineas," said Mr. Digby's hollow voice
from the bed.

"And I should be still more ashamed to take them. Good-by, sir. Come
here, my child. Keep your money, and don't waste it on the other doctor
more than you can help. His medicines can do your father no good. But I
suppose you must have some. He's no physician, therefore there's no fee.
He'll send a bill--it can't be much. You understand. And now, God bless
you."

Dr. Morgan was off. But as he paid the landlady his bill he said,
considerately, "The poor people up-stairs can pay you, but not that
doctor--and he's of no use. Be kind to the little girl, and get the
doctor to tell his patient (quietly, of course) to write to his
friends--soon--you understand. Somebody must take charge of the poor
child. And stop--hold your hand; take care--these globules for the
little girl when her father dies--(here the Doctor muttered to himself,
'grief;--_aconite_')--and if she cries too much afterward--these (don't
mistake). Tears;--_caustic!_"

"Come, sir," cried the coachman.

"Coming;--tears--_caustic_," repeated the homeopathist, pulling out his
handkerchief and his vial-book together as he got into the coach. And he
hastily swallowed his anti-lachrymal.



CHAPTER XIV.


Richard Avenel was in a state of great nervous excitement. He proposed
to give an entertainment of a kind wholly new to the experience of
Screwstown. Mrs. M'Catchley had described with much eloquence the
_déjeûnés dansants_ of her fashionable friends residing in the elegant
suburbs of Wimbledon and Fulham. She declared that nothing was so
agreeable. She had even said point-blank to Mr. Avenel, "Why don't you
give a _déjeûné dansant_?" And, therewith, a _déjeûné dansant_ Mr.
Avenel resolved to give.

The day was fixed, and Mr. Avenel entered into all the requisite
preparations with the energy of a man and the providence of a woman.

One morning as he stood musing on the lawn, irresolute as to the best
site for the tents, Leonard came up to him with an open letter in his
hand.

"My dear uncle," said he, softly.

"Ha!" exclaimed Mr. Avenel, with a start. "Ha--well--what now?"

"I have just received a letter from Mr. Dale. He tells me that my poor
mother is very restless and uneasy, because he can not assure her that
he has heard from me; and his letter requires an answer. Indeed, I shall
seem very ungrateful to him--to all--if I do not write."

Richard Avenel's brows met. He uttered an impatient "pish!" and turned
away. Then coming back, he fixed his clear, hawk-like eye on Leonard's
ingenuous countenance, linked his arm in his nephew's, and drew him into
the shrubbery.

"Well, Leonard," said he, after a pause, "it is time that I should give
you some idea of my plans with regard to you. You have seen my manner of
living--some difference from what you ever saw before, I calculate! Now
I have given you, what no one gave me, a lift in the world; and where I
place you, there you must help yourself."

"Such is my duty, and my desire," said Leonard, heartily.

"Good. You are a clever lad, and a genteel lad, and will do me credit. I
have had doubts of what is best for you. At one time I thought of
sending you to College. That, I know, is Mr. Dale's wish; perhaps it is
your own. But I have given up that idea; I have something better for
you. You have a clear head for business, and are a capital
arithmetician. I think of bringing you up to superintend my business;
by-and-by I will admit you into partnership; and before you are thirty
you will be a rich man. Come, does that suit you?"

"My dear uncle," said Leonard, frankly, but much touched by this
generosity, "it is not for me to have a choice. I should have preferred
going to College, because there I might gain independence for myself,
and cease to be a burden on you. Moreover, my heart moves me to studies
more congenial with the college than the counting-house. But all this is
nothing compared with my wish to be of use to you, and to prove in any
way, however feebly, my gratitude for all your kindness."

"You're a good, grateful, sensible lad," exclaimed Richard, heartily;
"and believe me, though I'm a rough diamond, I have your true interest
at heart. You _can_ be of use to me, and in being so you will best serve
yourself. To tell you the truth, I have some idea of changing my
condition. There's a lady of fashion and quality who, I think, may
condescend to become Mrs. Avenel; and if so, I shall probably reside a
great part of the year in London. I don't want to give up my business.
No other investment will yield the same interest. But you can soon learn
to superintend it for me, as some day or other I may retire, and then
you can step in. Once a member of our great commercial class, and with
your talents, you may be any thing--member of parliament, and after
that, minister of state, for what I know. And my wife--hem!--that is to
be--has great connections, and you shall marry well; and--oh, the
Avenels will hold their heads with the highest, after all! Damn the
aristocracy--we clever fellows will be the aristocrats--eh!" Richard
rubbed his hands.

Certainly, as we have seen, Leonard, especially in his earlier steps to
knowledge, had repined at his position in the many degrees of
life--certainly he was still ambitious--certainly he could not now have
returned contentedly to the humble occupation he had left; and woe to
the young man who does not hear with a quickened pulse, and brightening
eye, words that promise independence, and flatter with the hope of
distinction. Still, it was with all the reaction of chill and mournful
disappointment that Leonard, a few hours after this dialogue with his
uncle, found himself alone in the fields, and pondering over the
prospects before him. He had set his heart upon completing his
intellectual education, upon developing those powers within him which
yearned for an arena of literature, and revolted from the routine of
trade. But to his credit be it said that he vigorously resisted this
natural disappointment, and by degrees schooled himself to look
cheerfully on the path imposed on his duty, and sanctioned by the manly
sense that was at the core of his character.

I believe that this self-conquest showed that the boy had true genius.
The false genius would have written sonnets and despaired.

But still Richard Avenel left his nephew sadly perplexed as to the
knotty question from which their talk on the future had diverged--viz.,
should he write to the Parson; and assure the fears of his mother? How
do so without Richard's consent, when Richard had on a former occasion
so imperiously declared that, if he did, it would lose his mother all
that Richard intended to settle on her. While he was debating this
matter with his conscience, leaning against a stile that interrupted a
path to the town, Leonard Fairfield was startled by an exclamation. He
looked up, and beheld Mr. Sprott the tinker.



CHAPTER XV.


The tinker, blacker and grimmer than ever, stared hard at the altered
person of his old acquaintance, and extended his sable fingers, as if
inclined to convince himself by the sense of touch, that it was Leonard
in the flesh that he beheld, under vestments so marvelously elegant and
preternaturally spruce.

Leonard shrank mechanically from the contact, while in great surprise he
faltered--

"You here, Mr. Sprott! What could bring you so far from home?"

"'Ome!" echoed the tinker, "I 'as no 'ome! or rayther, d'ye see, Muster
Fairfilt, I makes myself at 'ome verever I goes! Lor' love ye, I ben't
settled on no parridge. I vanders here and I vanders there, and that's
my 'ome verever I can mend my kettles, and sell my tracks!"

So saying the tinker slid his paniers on the ground, gave a grunt of
release and satisfaction, and seated himself with great composure on the
stile, from which Leonard had retreated.

"But, dash my vig," resumed Mr. Sprott, as he once more surveyed
Leonard, "vy, you bees a rale gentleman now, sure_ly_! Vot's the
dodge--eh?"--

"Dodge!" repeated Leonard mechanically--"I don't understand you." Then,
thinking that it was neither necessary nor expedient to keep up his
acquaintance with Mr. Sprott, nor prudent to expose himself to the
battery of questions which he foresaw that further parley would bring
upon him, he extended a crown-piece to the tinker; and saying with a
half smile, "You must excuse me for leaving you--I have business in the
town; and do me the favor to accept this trifle," he walked briskly off.

The tinker looked long at the crown-piece, and then sliding it into his
pocket, said to himself--

"Ho--'ush-money! No go, my swell cove."

After venting that brief soliloquy he sat silent a little while, till
Leonard was nearly out of sight, then rose, resumed his fardel, and,
creeping quick along the hedgerows, followed Leonard toward the town.
Just in the last field, as he looked over the hedge, he saw Leonard
accosted by a gentleman of comely mien and important swagger. That
gentleman soon left the young man, and came, whistling loud, up the
path, and straight toward the tinker. Mr. Sprott looked round, but the
hedge was too neat to allow of a good hiding-place, so he put a bold
front on it, and stepped forth like a man. But, alas for him! before he
got into the public path, the proprietor of the land, Mr. Richard Avenel
(for the gentleman was no less a personage), had spied out the
trespasser, and called to him with a "Hillo, fellow," that bespoke all
the dignity of a man who owns acres, and all the wrath of a man who
beholds those acres impudently invaded.

The tinker stopped, and Mr. Avenel stalked up to him.

"What the devil are you doing on my property, lurking by my hedge? I
suspect you are an incendiary!"

"I be a tinker," quoth Mr. Sprott, not louting low (for a sturdy
republican was Mr. Sprott), but like a lord of humankind,

          "Pride in his port, defiance in his eye."

Mr. Avenel's fingers itched to knock the tinker's villainous hat off
his Jacobinical head, but he repressed the undignified impulse by
thrusting both hands deep into his trowsers' pockets.

"A tinker!" he cried--"that's a vagrant, and I'm a magistrate, and I've
a great mind to send you to the treadmill--that I have. What do you do
here, I say? You have not answered my question?"

"What does I do 'ere?" said Mr. Sprott. "Vy, you had better ax my
crakter of the young gent I saw you talking with just now; he knows me!"

"What! my nephew know you?"

"W--hew," whistled the tinker, "your nephew is it, sir? I have a great
respek for your family. I've knowed Mrs. Fairfilt, the vasher-voman,
this many a year. I 'umbly ax your pardon." And he took off his hat this
time.

Mr. Avenel turned red and white in a breath. He growled out something
inaudible, turned on his heel, and strode off. The tinker watched him as
he had watched Leonard, and then dogged the uncle as he had dogged the
nephew. I don't presume to say that there was cause and effect in what
happened that night, but it was what is called "a curious coincidence"
that that night one of Richard Avenel's ricks was set on fire; and that
that day he had called Mr. Sprott an incendiary. Mr. Sprott was a man of
very high spirit and did not forgive an insult easily. His nature was
inflammatory, and so was that of the lucifers which he always carried
about him, with his tracts and glue-pots.

The next morning there was an inquiry made for the tinker, but he had
disappeared from the neighborhood.



CHAPTER XVI.


It was a fortunate thing that the _déjeûné dansant_ so absorbed Mr.
Richard Avenel's thoughts, that even the conflagration of his rick could
not scare away the graceful and poetic images connected with that
pastoral festivity. He was even loose and careless in the questions he
put to Leonard about the tinker; nor did he set justice in pursuit of
that itinerant trader; for, to say truth, Richard Avenel was a man
accustomed to make enemies among the lower orders; and though he
suspected Mr. Sprott of destroying his rick, yet, when he once set about
suspecting, he found he had quite as good cause to suspect fifty other
persons. How on earth could a man puzzle himself about ricks and
tinkers, when all his cares and energies were devoted to a _déjeûné
dansant_? It was a maxim of Richard Avenel's, as it ought to be of every
clever man, "to do one thing at a time;" and therefore he postponed all
other considerations till the _déjeûné dansant_ was fairly done with.
Among these considerations was the letter which Leonard wished to write
to the Parson. "Wait a bit, and we will _both_ write!" said Richard
good-humoredly, "the moment the _déjeûné dansant_ is over!"

It must be owned that this fête was no ordinary provincial ceremonial.
Richard Avenel was a man to do a thing well when he set about it,

          "He soused the cabbage with a bounteous heart."

By little and little his first notions had expanded, till what had been
meant to be only neat and elegant now embraced the costly and
magnificent. Artificers accustomed to _déjeûnés dansants_ came all the
way from London to assist, to direct, to create. Hungarian singers, and
Tyrolese singers, and Swiss peasant-women who were to chant the _Ranz
des Vaches_, and milk cows, or make syllabubs, were engaged. The great
marquee was decorated as a Gothic banquet hall; the breakfast itself was
to consist of "all the delicacies of the season." In short, as Richard
Avenel said to himself, "It is a thing once in a way; a thing on which I
don't object to spend money, provided that the thing _is_--the thing!"

It had been a matter of grave meditation how to make the society worthy
of the revel; for Richard Avenel was not contented with the mere
aristocracy of the town--his ambition had grown with his expenses.
"Since it will cost so much," said he, "I may as well come it strong,
and get in the county."

True, that he was personally acquainted with very few of what are called
county families. But still, when a man makes himself of mark in a large
town, and can return one of the members whom that town sends to
parliament; and when, moreover, that man proposes to give some superb
and original entertainment, in which the old can eat and the young can
dance, there is no county in the island that has not families enow who
will be delighted by an invitation from THAT MAN. And so Richard,
finding that, as the thing got talked of, the Dean's lady, and Mrs.
Pompley, and various other great personages, took the liberty to suggest
that Squire this, and Sir Somebody that, would be _so_ pleased if they
were asked, fairly took the bull by the horns, and sent out his cards to
Park, Hall, and Rectory, within a circumference of twelve miles. He met
with but few refusals, and he now counted upon five hundred guests.

"In for a penny, in for a pound," said Mr. Richard Avenel. "I wonder
what Mrs. M'Catchley _will_ say?" Indeed, if the whole truth must be
known, Mr. Richard Avenel not only gave that _déjeûné dansant_ in honor
of Mrs. M'Catchley, but he had fixed in his heart of hearts upon that
occasion (when surrounded by all his splendor, and assisted by the
seductive arts of Terpsichore and Bacchus), to whisper to Mrs.
M'Catchley those soft words which--but why not here let Mr. Richard
Avenel use his own idiomatic and unsophisticated expression? "Please the
pigs, then," said Mr. Avenel to himself, "I shall pop the question!"



CHAPTER XVII.


The Great Day arrived at last; and Mr. Richard Avenel, from his
dressing-room window looked on the scene below, as Hannibal or Napoleon
looked from the Alps on Italy. It was a scene to gratify the thought of
conquest and reward the labors of ambition. Placed on a little eminence
stood the singers from the mountains of the Tyrol, their high-crowned
hats and filagree buttons and gay sashes gleaming in the sun. Just seen
from his place of watch, though concealed from the casual eye, the
Hungarian musicians lay in ambush amidst a little belt of laurels and
American shrubs. Far to the right lay what had once been called (_hor
resco referens_) the duck-pond, where--_Dulce sonant tenui gutture
carmen aves_. But the ruthless ingenuity of the head artificer had
converted the duck-pond into a Swiss lake, despite grievous wrong and
sorrow to the _assuetum innocuumque genus_--the familiar and harmless
habitants, who had been all expatriated and banished from their native
waves. Large poles twisted with fir branches, stuck thickly around the
lake, gave to the waters the becoming Helvetian gloom. And here, beside
three cows all bedecked with ribbons, stood the Swiss maidens destined
to startle the shades with the _Ranz des Vaches_. To the left, full upon
the sward, which it almost entirely covered, stretched the great Gothic
marquee, divided into two grand sections--one for the _dancing_, one for
the _déjeûné_.

The day was propitious--not a cloud in the sky. The musicians were
already tuning their instruments; figures of waiters--hired of
Gunter--trim and decorous, in black trowsers and white waistcoats,
passed to and fro the space between the house and marquee. Richard
looked and looked; and as he looked he drew mechanically his razor
across the strop; and when he had looked his fill, he turned reluctantly
to the glass and shaved! All that blessed morning he had been too busy,
till then, to think of shaving.

There is a vast deal of character in the way that a man performs that
operation of shaving! You should have seen Richard Avenel shave! You
could have judged at once how he would shave his neighbors, when you saw
the celerity, the completeness with which he shaved himself--a
forestroke and a backstroke, and _tondenti barba cadebat_! Cheek and
chin were as smooth as glass. You would have buttoned up your pockets
instinctively if you had seen him.

But the rest of Mr. Avenel's toilet was not completed with correspondent
dispatch. On his bed, and on his chairs, and on his sofa, and on his
drawers, lay trowsers, and vests, and cravats, enough to distract the
choice of a Stoic. And first one pair of trowsers was tried on, and then
another--and one waistcoat, and then a second, and then a third.
Gradually that _chef d'oeuvre_ of Civilization--a _man dressed_--grew
into development and form; and, finally, Mr. Richard Avenel emerged into
the light of day. He had been lucky in his costume--he felt it. It might
not suit every one in color or cut, but it suited him.

And this was his garb. On such occasions, what epic poet would not
describe the robe and tunic of a hero?

His surtout--in modern phrase, his frockcoat--was blue, a rich blue, a
blue that the royal brothers of George the Fourth were wont to favor.
And the surtout, single-breasted, was thrown open gallantly; and in the
second button-hole thereof was a moss rose. The vest was white, and the
trowsers a pearl-gray, with what tailors style "a handsome fall over the
boot." A blue and white silk cravat, tied loose and debonair; an ample
field of shirt front, with plain gold studs; a pair of lemon-colored kid
gloves, and a white hat, placed somewhat too knowingly on one side,
complete the description, and "give the world assurance of the man."
And, with his light, firm, well-shaped figure, his clear complexion, his
keen, bright eye, and features that bespoke the courage, precision, and
alertness of his character--that is to say, features bold, not large,
well-defined, and regular--you might walk long through town or country
before you would see a handsomer specimen of humanity than our friend
Richard Avenel.

Handsome, and feeling that he was handsome; rich, and feeling that he
was rich; lord of the fête, and feeling that he was lord of the fête,
Richard Avenel stepped out upon his lawn.

And now the dust began to rise along the road, and carriages, and gigs,
and chaises, and flies might be seen at near intervals and in quick
procession. People came pretty much about the same time--as they do in
the country--heaven reward them for it!

Richard Avenel was not quite at his ease at first in receiving his
guests, especially those whom he did not know by sight. But when the
dancing began, and he had secured the fair hand of Mrs. M'Catchley for
the initiatory quadrille, his courage and presence of mind returned to
him; and, seeing that many people whom he had not received at all seemed
to enjoy themselves very much, he gave up the attempt to receive those
who came after--and that was a great relief to all parties.

Meanwhile Leonard looked on the animated scene with a silent melancholy,
which he in vain endeavored to shake off--a melancholy more common among
very young men in such scenes than we are apt to suppose. Somehow or
other the pleasure was not congenial to him; he had no Mrs. M'Catchley
to endear it; he knew very few people; he was shy; he felt his position
with his uncle was equivocal; he had not the habit of society; he heard
incidentally many an ill-natured remark upon his uncle and the
entertainment; he felt indignant and mortified. He had been a great deal
happier eating his radishes and reading his book by the little fountain
in Riccabocca's garden. He retired to a quiet part of the grounds,
seated himself under a tree, leaned his cheek on his hand, and mused. He
was soon far away--happy age, when, whatever the present, the future
seems so fair and so infinite!

But now the _déjeûné_ had succeeded the earlier dances; and, as
champagne flowed royally, it is astonishing how the entertainment
brightened.

The sun was beginning to slope toward the west, when, during a
temporary cessation of the dance, all the guests had assembled in such
space as the tent left on the lawn, or thickly filled the walks
immediately adjoining it. The gay dresses of the ladies, the joyous
laughter heard every where, and the brilliant sunlight over all,
conveyed even to Leonard the notion, not of mere hypocritical pleasure,
but actual healthful happiness. He was attracted from his reverie, and
timidly mingled with the groups. But Richard Avenel, with the fair Mrs.
M'Catchley--her complexion more vivid, and her eyes more dazzling, and
her step more elastic than usual--had turned from the gayety just as
Leonard had turned toward it, and was now on the very spot (remote,
obscure, shaded by the few trees above five years old that Mr. Avenel's
property boasted) which the young dreamer had deserted.

And then! Ah! then! moment so meet for the sweet question of questions,
place so appropriate for the delicate, bashful, murmured popping
thereof!--suddenly from the sward before, from the groups beyond, there
floated to the ears of Richard Avenel an indescribable, mingled, ominous
sound--a sound as of a general titter--a horrid, malignant, but low
cacchination. And Mrs. M'Catchley, stretching forth her parasol,
exclaimed, "Dear me, Mr. Avenel, what can they be all crowding there
for?"

There are certain sounds and certain sights--the one indistinct, the
other vaguely conjecturable--which, nevertheless, we know by an
instinct, bode some diabolical agency at work in our affairs. And if any
man gives an entertainment, and hears afar a general, ill-suppressed,
derisive titter, and sees all his guests hurrying toward one spot, I
defy him to remain unmoved and uninquisitive. I defy him still more to
take that precise occasion (however much he may have before designed it)
to drop gracefully on his right knee before the handsomest Mrs.
M'Catchley in the universe, and--pop the question! Richard Avenel
blurted out something very like an oath; and, half guessing that
something must have happened that it would not be pleasing to bring
immediately under the notice of Mrs. M'Catchley, he said hastily,
"Excuse me; I'll just go and see what is the matter--pray, stay till I
come back." With that he sprang forth; in a minute he was in the midst
of the group, that parted aside with the most obliging complacency to
make way for him.

"But what's the matter?" he asked impatiently, yet fearfully. Not a
voice answered. He strode on, and beheld his nephew in the arms of a
woman!

"God bless my soul!" said Richard Avenel.



CHAPTER XVIII.


And such a woman!

She had on a cotton gown--very neat, I dare say--for an under housemaid;
and _such_ thick shoes! She had on a little black straw bonnet, and a
kerchief that might have cost tenpence, pinned across her waist instead
of a shawl; and she looked altogether--respectable, no doubt, but
exceedingly dusty! And she was hanging upon Leonard's neck, and
scolding, and caressing, and crying very loud. "God bless my soul!" said
Mr. Richard Avenel.

And as he uttered that innocent self-benediction, the woman hastily
turned round, and darting from Leonard, threw herself right upon Richard
Avenel--burying under her embrace blue coat, moss-rose, white waistcoat
and all--with a vehement sob and a loud exclamation!

"Oh! brother Dick!--dear, dear brother Dick! and I lives to see thee
agin!" And then came two such kisses--you might have heard them a mile
off! The situation of brother Dick was appalling! and the crowd, that
had before only tittered politely, could not now resist the effect of
this sudden embrace. There was a general explosion! It was a roar! That
roar would have killed a weak man; but it sounded to the strong heart of
Richard Avenel like the defiance of a foe, and it plucked forth in an
instant from all conventional let and barrier the native spirit of the
Anglo-Saxon.

He lifted abruptly his handsome masculine head, looked round the ring of
his ill-bred visitors with a haughty stare of rebuke and surprise.

"Ladies and gentlemen," then said he, very coolly, "I don't see what
there is to laugh at! A brother and sister meet after many years'
separation, and the sister cries, poor thing. For my part, I think it
very natural that _she_ should cry; but not that you should laugh!" In
an instant the whole shame was removed from Richard Avenel, and rested
in full weight upon the bystanders. It is impossible to say how foolish
and sheepish they all looked, nor how slinkingly each tried to creep
off.

Richard Avenel seized his advantage with the promptitude of a man who
had got on in America, and was therefore accustomed to make the best of
things. He drew Mrs. Fairfield's arm in his, and led her into the house;
but when he had got her safe into his parlor--Leonard following all the
time--and the door was closed upon those three, _then_ Richard Avenel's
ire burst forth.

"You impudent, ungrateful, audacious--drab!"

Yes, drab was the word. I am shocked to say it, but the duties of a
historian are stern; and the word _was_ drab.

"Drab!" faltered poor Jane Fairfield; and she clutched hold of Leonard
to save herself from falling.

"Sir!" cried Leonard, fiercely.

You might as well have cried "sir" to a mountain-torrent. Richard
hurried on, for he was furious.

"You nasty, dirty, dusty dowdy! How dare you come here to disgrace me in
my own house and premises, after my sending you fifty pounds? To take
the very time, too, when--when--"

Richard gasped for breath; and the laugh of his guests rang in his ears,
and got into his chest, and choked him. Jane Fairfield drew herself up,
and her tears were dried.

"I did not come to disgrace you; I came to see my boy, and--"

"Ha!" interrupted Richard, "to see _him_."

He turned to Leonard: "You have written to this woman, then?"

"No, sir, I have not."

"I believe you lie."

"He does not lie; and he is as good as yourself, and better, Richard
Avenel," exclaimed Mrs. Fairfield; "and I won't stand here and hear him
insulted--that's what I won't. And as for your fifty pounds, there are
forty-five of it; and I'll work my fingers to the bone till I pay back
the other five. And don't be afeard I shall disgrace you, for I'll never
look on your face agin; and you're a wicked, bad man--that's what you
are."

The poor woman's voice was so raised, and so shrill, that any other and
more remorseful feeling which Richard might have conceived, was drowned
in his apprehension that she would be overheard by his servants or his
guests--a masculine apprehension, with which females rarely sympathize;
which, on the contrary, they are inclined to consider a mean and
cowardly terror on the part of their male oppressors.

"Hush! hold your infernal squall--do!" said Mr. Avenel, in a tone that
he meant to be soothing. "There--sit down--and don't stir till I come
back again, and can talk to you calmly. Leonard, follow me, and help to
explain things to our guests."

Leonard stood still, but shook his head slightly.

"What do you mean, sir?" said Richard Avenel, in a very portentous
growl. "Shaking your head at me? Do you intend to disobey me? You had
better take care!"

Leonard's front rose; he drew one arm round his mother, and thus he
spoke:

"Sir, you have been kind to me, and generous, and that thought alone
silenced my indignation, when I heard you address such language to my
mother; for I felt that, if I spoke, I should say too much. Now I speak,
and it is to say shortly that--"

"Hush, boy," said poor Mrs. Fairfield, frightened; "don't mind me. I did
not come to make mischief, and ruin your prospex. I'll go!"

"Will you ask her pardon, Mr. Avenel?" said Leonard, firmly; and he
advanced toward his uncle.

Richard, naturally hot and intolerant of contradiction, was then
excited, not only by the angry emotions which it must be owned, a man so
mortified, and in the very flush of triumph, might well experience, but
by much more wine than he was in the habit of drinking; and when Leonard
approached him, he misinterpreted the movement into one of menace and
aggression. He lifted his arm: "Come a step nearer," said he, between
his teeth, "and I'll knock you down." Leonard advanced that forbidden
step; but as Richard caught his eye, there was something in that
eye--not defying, not threatening, but bold and dauntless--which
Richard recognized and respected, for that something spoke the freeman.
The uncle's arm mechanically fell to his side.

"You can not strike me, Mr. Avenel," said Leonard, "for you are aware
that I could not strike again my mother's brother. As her son, I once
more say to you--ask her pardon."

"Ten thousand devils! Are you mad?--or do you want to drive me mad? you
insolent beggar, fed and clothed by my charity. Ask her pardon! what
for? That she has made me the object of jeer and ridicule with that d--d
cotton gown, and those double-d--d thick shoes? I vow and protest
they've got nails in them! Hark ye, sir, I've been insulted by her, but
I'm not to be bullied by you. Come with me instantly, or I discard you;
not a shilling of mine shall you have as long as I live. Take your
choice--be a peasant, a laborer, or--"

"A base renegade to natural affection, a degraded beggar indeed!" cried
Leonard, his breast heaving, and his cheeks in a glow. "Mother, mother,
come away. Never fear--I have strength and youth, and we will work
together as before."

But poor Mrs. Fairfield, overcome by her excitement, had sunk down into
Richard's own handsome morocco leather easy-chair, and could neither
speak nor stir.

"Confound you both!" muttered Richard. "You can't be seen creeping out
of my house now. Keep her here, you young viper, you; keep her till I
come back; and then if you choose to go, go and be--"

Not finishing his sentence, Mr. Avenel hurried out of the room, and
locked the door, putting the key into his pocket. He paused for a moment
in the hall, in order to collect his thoughts--drew three or four deep
breaths--gave himself a great shake--and, resolved to be faithful to his
principle of doing one thing at a time, shook off in that shake all
disturbing recollection of his mutinous captives. Stern as Achilles when
he appeared to the Trojans, Richard Avenel stalked back to his lawn.



CHAPTER XIX.


Brief as had been his absence, the host could see that, in the interval,
a great and notable change had come over the spirit of his company. Some
of those who lived in the town were evidently preparing to return home
on foot; those who lived at a distance, and whose carriages (having been
sent away, and ordered to return at a fixed hour) had not yet arrived,
were gathered together in small knots and groups; all looked sullen and
displeased, and all instinctively turned from their host as he passed
them by. They felt they had been lectured, and they were more put out
than Richard himself. They did not know if they might not be lectured
again. This vulgar man, of what might he not be capable?

Richard's shrewd sense comprehended in an instant all the difficulties
of his position; but he walked on deliberately and directly toward Mrs.
M'Catchley, who was standing near the grand marquee with the Pompleys
and the Dean's lady. As these personages saw him make thus boldly toward
them, there was a flutter. "Hang the fellow!" said the Colonel,
intrenching himself in his stock, "he is coming here. Low and
shocking--what shall we do? Let us stroll on."

But Richard threw himself in the way of the retreat.

"Mrs. M'Catchley," said he, very gravely, and offering her his arm,
"allow me three words with you."

The poor widow looked very much discomposed. Mrs. Pompley pulled her by
the sleeve. Richard still stood gazing into her face, with his arm
extended. She hesitated a minute, and then took the arm.

"Monstrous impudent!" cried the Colonel.

"Let Mrs. M'Catchley alone, my dear," responded Mrs. Pompley; "_she_
will know how to give him a lesson!"

"Madam," said Richard, as soon as he and his companion were out of
hearing, "I rely on you to do me a favor."

"On me?"

"On you, and you alone. You have influence with all those people, and a
word from you will effect what I desire. Mrs. M'Catchley," added
Richard, with a solemnity that was actually imposing, "I flatter myself
that you have some friendship for me, which is more than I can say of
any other soul in these grounds--will you do me this favor, ay or no?"

"What is it, Mr. Avenel?" asked Mrs. M'Catchley, much disturbed, and
somewhat softened--for she was by no means a woman without feeling;
indeed, she considered herself nervous.

"Get all your friends--all the company, in short--to come back into the
tent for refreshments--for any thing. I want to say a few words to
them."

"Bless me! Mr. Avenel--a few words!" cried the widow, "but that's just
what they are all afraid of! You must pardon me, but you really can't
ask people to a _déjeûné dansant_, and then--scold 'em."

"I'm not going to scold them," said Mr. Avenel, very seriously--"upon my
honor, I'm not! I'm going to make all right, and I even hope afterward
that the dancing may go on--and that you will honor me again with your
hand. I leave you to your task; and, believe me, I'm not an ungrateful
man." He spoke, and bowed--not without some dignity--and vanished within
the breakfast division of the marquee. There he busied himself in
re-collecting the waiters, and directing them to re-arrange the mangled
remains of the table as they best could. Mrs. M'Catchley, whose
curiosity and interest were aroused, executed her commission with all
the ability and tact of a woman of the world, and in less than a quarter
of an hour the marquee was filled--the corks flew--the champagne
bounced and sparkled--people drank in silence, munched fruits and cakes,
kept up their courage with the conscious sense of numbers, and felt a
great desire to knew what was coming. Mr. Avenel, at the head of the
table, suddenly rose--

"Ladies and Gentlemen," said he, "I have taken the liberty to invite you
once more into this tent, in order to ask you to sympathize with me,
upon an occasion which took us all a little by surprise to-day.

"Of course, you all know I am a new man--the maker of my own fortunes."

A great many heads bowed involuntarily. The words were said manfully,
and there was a general feeling of respect.

"Probably, too," resumed Mr. Avenel, "you may know that I am the son of
very honest tradespeople. I say honest, and they are not ashamed of
me--I say tradespeople, and I'm not ashamed of them. My sister married
and settled at a distance. I took her son to educate and bring up. But I
did not tell her where he was, nor even that I had returned from
America--I wished to choose my own time for that, when I could give her
the surprise, not only of a rich brother, but of a son whom I intended
to make a gentleman, so far as manners and education can make one. Well,
the poor dear woman has found me out sooner than I expected, and turned
the tables on me by giving me a surprise of her own invention. Pray,
forgive the confusion this little family scene has created; and though I
own it was very laughable at the moment, and I was wrong to say
otherwise, yet I am sure I don't judge ill of your good hearts when I
ask you to think what brother and sister must feel who parted from each
other when they were boy and girl. To me (and Richard gave a great
gulp--for he felt that a great gulp alone could swallow the abominable
lie he was about to utter)--to me this has been _a very happy occasion_!
I'm a plain man; no one can take ill what I've said. And, wishing that
you may be all as happy in your family as I am in mine--humble though it
be--I beg to drink your very good healths!"

There was an universal applause when Richard sat down--and so well in
his plain way had he looked at the thing, and done the thing, that at
least half of those present--who till then had certainly disliked and
half despised him--suddenly felt that they were proud of his
acquaintance. For, however aristocratic this country of ours may be, and
however especially aristocratic be the genteeler classes in provincial
towns and coteries--there is nothing which English folks, from the
highest to the lowest, in their hearts so respect as a man who has risen
from nothing, and owns it frankly! Sir Compton Delaval, an old baronet,
with a pedigree as long as a Welshman's, who had been reluctantly
decoyed to the feast by his three unmarried daughters--not one of whom,
however, had hitherto condescended even to bow to the host--now rose.
It was his right--he was the first person there in rank and station.

"Ladies and Gentlemen," quoth Sir Compton Delaval, "I am sure that I
express the feelings of all present when I say that we have heard with
great delight and admiration the words addressed to us by our excellent
host. (Applause.) And if any of us, in what Mr. Avenel describes justly
as the surprise of the moment, were betrayed into an unseemly merriment
at--at--(the Dean's lady whispered 'some of the')--some of the--some of
the"--repeated Sir Compton, puzzled, and coming to a dead lock--('holiest
sentiments,' whispered the Dean's lady)--"ay, some of the holiest
sentiments in our nature--I beg him to accept our sincerest apologies. I
can only say, for my part, that I am proud to rank Mr. Avenel among the
gentlemen of the county (here Sir Compton gave a sounding thump on the
table), and to thank him for one of the most brilliant entertainments it
has ever been my lot to witness. If he won his fortune honestly, he
knows how to spend it nobly!"

Whiz went a fresh bottle of champagne.

"I am not accustomed to public speaking, but I could not repress my
sentiments. And I've now only to propose to you the health of our host,
Richard Avenel, Esquire; and to couple with that the health of his--very
interesting sister, and long life to them both!"

The sentence was half-drowned in enthusiastic plaudits, and in three
cheers for Richard Avenel, Esquire, and his very interesting sister.

"I'm a cursed humbug," thought Richard Avenel, as he wiped his forehead;
"but the world _is_ such a humbug!"

Then he glanced toward Mrs. M'Catchley, and, to his great satisfaction,
saw Mrs. M'Catchley wiping her eyes.

Now, though the fair widow might certainly have contemplated the
probability of accepting Mr. Avenel as a husband, she had never before
felt the least bit in love with him; and now she did. There is something
in courage and candor--at a word, in manliness--that all women, the most
worldly, do admire in men; and Richard Avenel, humbug though his
conscience said he was, seemed to Mrs. M'Catchley like a hero.

The host saw his triumph. "Now for another dance!" said he, gayly; and
he was about to offer his hand to Mrs. M'Catchley, when Sir Compton
Delaval, seizing it, and giving it a hearty shake, cried, "You have not
yet danced with my eldest daughter; so, if you won't ask her, why, I
must offer her to you as your partner. Here--Sarah."

Miss Sarah Delaval, who was five feet eight, and as stately as she was
tall, bowed her head graciously; and Mr. Avenel, before he knew where he
was, found her leaning on his arm. But as he passed into the next
division of the tent, he had to run the gauntlet of all the gentlemen
who thronged round to shake hands with him. Their warm English hearts
could not be satisfied till they had so repaired the sin of their
previous haughtiness and mockery. Richard Avenel might then have safely
introduced his sister--gown, kerchief, thick shoes and all--to the
crowd; but he had no such thought. He thanked heaven devoutly that she
was safely under lock and key.

It was not till the third dance that he could secure Mrs. M'Catchley's
hand, and then it was twilight. The carriages were at the door, but no
one yet thought of going. People were really enjoying themselves. Mr.
Avenel had had time, in the interim, to mature all his plans for
completing and consummating that triumph which his tact and pluck had
drawn from his momentary disgrace. Excited as he was with wine and
suppressed passion, he had yet the sense to feel that, when all the halo
that now surrounded him had evaporated, and Mrs. M'Catchley was
redelivered up to the Pompleys, whom he felt to be the last persons his
interest could desire for her advisers--the thought of his low relations
would return with calm reflection. Now was the time. The iron was
hot--now was the time to strike it, and forge the enduring chain.

As he led Mrs. M'Catchley after the dance, into the lawn, he therefore
said tenderly--

"How shall I thank you for the favor you have done me?"

"Oh!" said Mrs. M'Catchley, warmly, "it was no favor--and I am so
glad"--She stopped.

"You're not ashamed of me, then, in spite of what has happened?"

"Ashamed of you! Why, I should be so proud of you, if I were--"

"Finish the sentence, and say--'your wife!'--there it is out. My dear
madam, I am rich, as you know; I love you very heartily. With your help,
I think I can make a figure in a larger world than this; and that
whatever my father, my grandson at least will be--But it is time enough
to speak of _him_. What say you?--you turn away. I'll not tease you--it
is not my way. I said before, ay or no; and your kindness so emboldens
me that I say it again--ay or no?"

"But you take me so unawares--so--so--Lord, my dear Mr. Avenel; you are
so hasty--I--I--." And the widow actually blushed, and was genuinely
bashful.

"Those horrid Pompleys!" thought Richard, as he saw the Colonel bustling
up with Mrs. M'Catchley's cloak on his arm.

"I press for your answer," continued the suitor, speaking very fast. "I
shall leave this place to-morrow, if you will not give it."

"Leave this place--leave me?"

"Then you will be mine?"

"Ah, Mr. Avenel!" said the widow, languidly, leaving her hand in his;
"who can resist you?"

Up came Colonel Pompley; Richard took the shawl: "No hurry for that now,
Colonel--Mrs. M'Catchley feels already at home here."

Ten minutes afterward Richard Avenel so contrived that it was known by
the whole company that their host was accepted by the Honorable Mrs.
M'Catchley. And every one said, "He is a very clever man, and a very
good fellow," except the Pompleys--and the Pompleys were frantic. Mr.
Richard Avenel had forced his way into the aristocracy of the country.
The husband of an Honorable--connected with peers!

"He will stand for our city--Vulgarian!" cried the Colonel.

"And his wife will walk out before me," cried the Colonel's lady--"nasty
woman!" And she burst into tears.

The guests were gone; and Richard had now leisure to consider what
course to pursue with regard to his sister and her son.

His victory over his guests had in much softened his heart toward his
relations; but he still felt bitterly aggrieved at Mrs. Fairfield's
unseasonable intrusion, and his pride was greatly chafed by the boldness
of Leonard. He had no idea of any man whom he had served, or meant to
serve, having a will of his own--having a single thought in opposition
to his pleasure. He began, too, to feel that words had passed between
him and Leonard which could not be well forgotten by either, and would
render their close connection less pleasant than heretofore. He, the
great Richard Avenel, beg pardon of Mrs. Fairfield, the washerwoman! No;
she and Leonard must beg his. "That must be the first step," said
Richard Avenel; "and I suppose they have come to their senses." With
what expectation, he unlocked the door of his parlor, and found himself
in complete solitude. The moon, lately risen, shone full into the room,
and lit up every corner. He stared round, bewildered--the birds had
flown. "Did they go through the key-hole?" said Mr. Avenel. "Ha! I
see--the window is open!" The window reached to the ground. Mr. Avenel,
in his excitement, had forgotten that easy mode of egress.

"Well," said he, throwing himself into his easy chair, "I suppose I
shall soon hear from them; they'll be wanting my money fast enough, I
fancy." His eye caught sight of a letter, unsealed, lying on the table.
He opened it, and saw bank-notes to the amount of £50--the widow's
forty-five country notes, and a new note, Bank of England, that he had
lately given to Leonard. With the money were these lines, written in
Leonard's bold, clear writing, though a word or two here and there
showed that the hand had trembled--

"I thank you for all you have done to one whom you regarded as the
object of charity. My mother and I forgive what has passed. I depart
with her. You bade me make my choice, and I have made it. LEONARD
FAIRFIELD."

The paper dropped from Richard's hand, and he remained mute and
remorseful for a moment. He soon felt, however, that he had no help for
it but working himself up into a rage. "Of all people in the world,"
cried Richard, stamping his foot on the floor, "there are none so
disagreeable, insolent, and ungrateful as poor relations. I wash my
hands of them."

  (TO BE CONTINUED.)



Monthly Record of Current Events.



POLITICAL AND GENERAL NEWS.

UNITED STATES.


From the abstract of the Seventh Census of the United States, and from
the returns of the previous decennial periods, we compile the following
table and statements, setting forth the principal features of the
increase of the population of the country. The manner of apportioning
the Congressional representation was fixed by an Act passed May 23,
1850. From and after March 3, 1853, the House of Representatives, unless
otherwise ordained by Congress, is to consist of 233 members. The
apportionment is made by adding to the number of free persons
three-fifths of the number of slaves: the representative population,
thus found, divided by 233, gives the ratio of apportionment: the
representative population of each State, divided by this ratio, shows
the number of Representatives to which the State is entitled. To the
aggregate thus obtained is added a number sufficient to make up the
whole number of 233 members; this additional number is apportioned among
the States having the largest fractions. It is, however, provided by the
Constitution that each State shall be entitled to at least one
Representative. The representative population being 21,832,521, the
ratio of representation is 93,702. The States which have a
Representative for a fraction of the ratio are indicated in the table by
an A. Those whose population is estimated are designated by a B.

  STATES.                POPULATION IN 1850.

                     Free.     Slave.     Total.

  Alabama[A]        428,765   342,894    771,659
  Arkansas          162,658    46,983    209,641
  California[B]     200,000    ----      200,000
  Connecticut[A]    370,604    ----      370,604
  Delaware           89,239     2,289     91,528
  Florida            48,046    39,341     87,387
  Georgia[A]        515,669   362,966    878,635
  Illinois          858,298    ----      858,295
  Indiana[A]        988,734    ----      988,734
  Iowa              192,122    ----      192,122
  Kentucky[A]       779,728   221,768  1,001,496
  Louisiana         269,956   230,807    500,762
  Maine             583,232    ----      583,232
  Maryland[A]       492,706    89,800    582,506
  Massachusetts[A]  994,271    ----      994,271
  Michigan          395,703    ----      395,703
  Mississippi       292,434   300,419    592,853
  Missouri          594,843    89,289    684,132
  New Hampshire     317,831    ----      317,831
  New Jersey        488,552       119    488,671
  New York[A]     3,090,022    ----    3,090,022
  N. Carolina       580,458   288,412    868,470
  Ohio            1,977,031    ----    1,977,031
  Pennsylvania[A] 2,311,681    ----    2,311,681
  Rhode Island[A]   147,555    ----      147,555
  S. Carolina       283,554   384,925    668,469
  Tennessee[A]      773,599   249,519  1,023,118
  Texas[A]          134,057    53,346    187,403
  Vermont           313,466    ----      313,466
  Virginia          948,055    473,026 1,421,081
  Wisconsin         304,226    ----      304,226
  Dist. Columbia     48,000      3,687    51,687
  Minnesota           6,192    ----        6,192
  New Mexico         61,632    ----       61,632
  Oregon[B]          20,000    ----       20,000
  Utah[B]            25,000    ----       25,000
                  20,087,909 3,179,589 23,267,498


  STATES.                INCREASE SINCE 1840.     REP. POP.     REPS.

                      Free.   Slave.    Total.              1853. 1851.

  Alabama[A]         91,541   89,362   180,903    634,501     7     7
  Arkansas           85,019   27,048   112,067    190,848     2     1
  California[B]     200,000    ----    200,000    200,000     2     2
  Connecticut[A]     60,596 [dec. 17]   60,579    370,604     4     4
  Delaware           13,759 [dec. 316]  13,443     90,612     1     1
  Florida            19,286   13,624    32,910     71,650     1     1
  Georgia[A]        105,221   82,022   187,243    733,448     8     8
  Illinois          382,446 [dec. 331] 382,115    858,298     9     7
  Indiana[A]        302,871 [dec. 3]   302,868    988,734    11    10
  Iowa              149,027 [dec. 16]  149,011    192,122     2     2
  Kentucky[A]       182,158   39,510   221,668    912,788    10    10
  Louisiana          85,996   62,355   148,351    408,440     4     4
  Maine              81,439   ----      81,439    583,232     6     7
  Maryland[A]       112,424       63   112,487    546,586     6     6
  Massachusetts[A]  256,572   ----     256,572    994,271    11    10
  Michigan          183,427   ----     183,427    395,703     4     3
  Mississippi       111,994  105,208   217,202    472,685     5     4
  Missouri          269,381   31,049   300,430    648,416     7     5
  New Hampshire      33,258 [dec. 1]    33,257    317,831     3     4
  New Jersey        115,801 [dec. 555] 115,246    488,623     5     5
  New York[A]       661,105 [dec. 4]   661,101  3,090,022    33    34
  N. Carolina        72,856   42,595   115,451    753,505     8     9
  Ohio              457,567 [dec. 3]   457,564  1,977,031    21    21
  Pennsylvania[A]   587,712 [dec. 64]  587,648  2,311,681    25    24
  Rhode Island[A]    38,730 [dec. 5]    38,725    147,555     2     2
  S. Carolina        16,184   57,887    74,071    514,499     5     7
  Tennessee[A]      127,448   66,460   193,908    923,310    10    11
  Texas[A]          134,057   53,346   187,403    166,064     2     2
  Vermont            21,518   ----      21,518    313,466     3     4
  Virginia          157,245   24,039   181,284  1,231,870    13    15
  Wisconsin         273,292 [dec. 11]  273,281    304,226     3     3
  Dist. Columbia      8,982 [dec. 1,007] 7,975    ----       --    --
  Minnesota           6,192   ----       6,192    ----       --    --
  New Mexico         61,632   ----      61,632    ----       --    --
  Oregon[B]          20,000   ----      20,000    ----       --    --
  Utah[B]            25,000   ----      25,000    ----       --    --
                  5,511,911  692,234 6,204,145 21,832,521   233   233

The Free Colored population, included in the above, numbers 419,173; of
whom 184,882 are in the Free States, and 234,291 in the Slave States.
Maryland has the highest number, 73,943. They have increased during the
last ten years only 32,880, or 7.84 per cent. At the six previous
enumerations respectively, there were returned 40,370, 35,946, 27,505,
18,148, 3553, and 1129 slaves from the Free States. The published
abstract of the recent census shows only 119, all in New Jersey. The
population, and the increase since 1840, are made up of the following
elements; the total population of the territories not included in the
census of 1840 being considered as increase:

  _Free States:_  Free Inhabitants       13,646,152
                       Slaves                        119--13,646,271
  _Slave Slates:_ Free Inhabitants        6,441,757
                       Slaves                  3,179,470-- 9,621,227
                                                          ----------
                            Total Population              23,267,498

  _Free States:_  Increase of free Inhab. 3,937,362
                       Less decrease of Slaves     1,010-- 3,926,352
  _Slave States:_ Increase of free Inhab. 1,584,549
                       Increase of Slaves        693,244-- 2,277,793
                                                          ----------
                            Total Increase                 6,204,145

At the last apportionment, the House of Representatives consisted of
223 members, of whom 135 were from the Free States, and 88 from the
Slave States; a Free State majority of 47. By the next apportionment
there will be 233 members, of whom 144 will be from the Free States, and
89 from the Slave States; a Free State majority of 55: being an increase
of 8 above that at the previous apportionment.

The projected invasion of Cuba has entirely miscarried. The bands of
adventurers who had been collected at various points have dispersed,
none of them having succeeded in getting away from the United States. At
Jacksonville, Florida, where some hundreds were at different times
congregated, many were indebted to charity for the means of returning to
their homes. A number of persons have been arrested on charge of
participation in the proposed expedition.

After the celebration of the opening of the New York and Erie Railroad,
noticed in our Record of last month, President FILLMORE returned to
Washington by way of Rochester, Albany, New York, and Philadelphia. He
reached the seat of Government on the 24th of May, after an absence of
twelve days. Mr. WEBSTER remained behind for a few days, and delivered,
at Buffalo, Syracuse, and Albany, a series of elaborate speeches,
setting forth his views of the state of public affairs, and explaining
and vindicating his course and principles. He expressed his entire and
hearty concurrence in all the prominent measures adopted by the
Administration. The question, as far as related to the North, was not
one of Union or Disunion; but whether the Constitution should be so
administered that all the members of the Confederacy could remain within
it. He disclaimed, most emphatically all idea of concession; the South
should not have a hair's-breadth of concession from him; but he would
maintain, to the utmost of his power, and in the face of all danger, the
rights, under the Constitution, of the South as well as of the North;
"and God forsake me and my children, if I ever be found to falter in one
or the other." He gave a sketch of the historical relations of slavery
to the Constitution; and insisted that the meaning and intent of the
clause providing for the return of fugitives from labor, was so plain
and evident, that not an attorney could be found who could raise a doubt
about it. It was assumed in many quarters, that if a colored man comes
to the North, he comes as a freeman; but, according to the Constitution,
if he comes as a fugitive from service or labor, he is not a freeman,
and must be delivered up, upon claim of those who are entitled to his
services. There was not a man who held office under the General or State
Government who was not bound by solemn oath to support and carry out
this clause of the Constitution. Mr. W. asserted most emphatically, that
he was and ever had been opposed to the admission of new slave territory
into the Union, believing that it was beyond the power and against the
provisions of the Constitution. He would never consent that there should
be one foot of slave-territory beyond what the old Thirteen States had
at the time of the formation of the Union. He was not in Congress at the
time of the acquisition of Louisiana and Florida. But when the project
of the annexation of Texas was about to be brought forward, he had gone
out of his way, in a speech at New York, in 1837, to denounce, in
advance the annexation of Texas as slave territory to the United States.
He then expressed the opinion that the people of the United States
would not, and ought not to consent to bring this territory into the
Union. But he had proved a false prophet. The State of New York
consented to it, and the vote of her Senators decided the question. In
Congress, before the final consummation of the deed, he fought against
the measure, and he would not now, before the country or the world,
consent to be numbered among those who introduced new slave power into
the Union. He disliked the Mexican war, and disliked the peace still
more, because it brought in new territories. The rush of Northern men to
California made it of necessity a Free State. As to New Mexico and Utah,
he saw that the existence of slavery there was impossible; and as the
South thought that the application of the Wilmot Proviso was irritating
and disrespectful, he voted against it; for he was not disposed to give
offense without cause. Mr. W. discussed at length the question of the
Texas boundary, and proclaimed it as his solemn belief that unless it
had been settled by Congress, a civil war would have ensued. The other
great question, in 1850, was that of the Fugitive Slave Law. Under the
provisions of the Constitution a law for the delivery of fugitives had
been passed in 1793, by general consent. It answered its purpose till
1841 or 1842, when the States began to make enactments in opposition to
it. Mr. W. was in favor of a proper law; he had, indeed, proposed a
different one; he was of the opinion that a trial by jury might be had.
But the law of 1850, passed, and he would undertake to say, that it was
more favorable to the fugitive than that of 1793; since it placed the
matter within the jurisdiction of a higher tribunal. Mr. W. denounced in
the severest terms those who counseled resistance to the law; and
defended his own course in advocating the Compromise measures. He felt
that he had a duty to perform to exert every power to keep the country
together, and if the fate of John Rogers had been presented to him, if
he had heard the thorns crackling, by the blessing of Almighty God, he
would have gone on and discharged the duty which he thought his country
called upon him to perform.

No little interest has been awakened by a legal suit brought by the
Methodist Episcopal Church South, to recover a portion of the "Book
Fund" belonging to the Methodist Episcopal Church before its division.
This fund, arising from the sale of books and publications, and devoted
to the benefit of traveling, supernumary, superannuated, and worn-out
preachers, their wives, widows, and children, amounted, in 1845, when
the division in the Church took place, to about $750,000. It was under
the charge of the General Conference, with the restriction that they
should appropriate it to no other purpose than that above specified,
except by a vote of two-thirds, upon the recommendation of three fourths
of the members of the Annual Conferences. In 1844, when it seemed
apparent that the diversities of opinion in the Church on the subject of
slavery, would render a separation advisable, the General Conference
recommended to the Annual Conferences to pass resolutions authorizing it
to make proper arrangements as to the Fund; and in anticipation of such
authorization, appointed a committee to meet one from the South, to make
the necessary arrangements for an equitable division. But the
separation, thus amicably proposed, did not take place without great
exasperation on both sides. In the Annual Conferences the vote
authorizing the division was 2135 out of 3205, lacking 269 of the
requisite majority of three-fourths. The Northern Commissioners,
therefore, decided that they had no authority to act. The separation was
formally effected in 1845. In May, 1848, the General Conference, held at
Pittsburgh, authorized the Book Agents in New York and Cincinnati, to
submit the matter to arbitration, provided that, upon consultation with
eminent counsel, they should be satisfied they had the legal power so to
do, when clothed with all the authority the General Conference could
confer. If the Agents should find that they had no such legal power,
they were authorized, in the event of a suit being instituted by the
Southern Church, to submit the claims to a legal arbitration, under the
authority of a competent court. And in case no suit should be commenced,
the General Conference recommended to the Annual Conferences so to
suspend the "restrictive clause" as to authorize a voluntary
arbitration. Previous to the commencement of this suit, the Bishops had
begun to lay the above recommendation before the Annual Conferences.
When, however, in June, 1849, a suit was instituted, this proceeding was
suspended. The suit came on, upon the 19th of May, in the United States
Circuit Court, before Judges NELSON and BETTS. It lasted eight days,
four of which were occupied with the arguments of counsel--Messrs.
DANIEL LORD and REVERDY JOHNSON for the plaintiffs, and RUFUS CHOATE and
GEO. WOOD for the defendants. On the part of the South it was
claimed:--That the Fund was the property of those who received the
benefit of it; of which they could not be deprived without clear proof
of a breach of condition:--That there had been no forfeiture by the
separation, because the General Conference, in the exercise of its
legitimate authority, and for good and sufficient reasons, had assented
to that division. They therefore ask that an equitable proportion of the
capital, and of the profits of the Concern since 1845, should be awarded
to them. On the part of the North it was claimed:--That the Fund was the
property of the Methodist Episcopal Church, the beneficiaries receiving
the profits of it merely by way of charity:--That the Southern
Conferences seceded from and so form, at the present time, no part of
the Church; since the General Conference had no power to authorize a
separation; and, in fact, did not authorize it, their action being
prospective, and accompanied by conditions which had not been complied
with. And even had the separation been legitimate, a division of the
property could only be claimed in virtue of a special
agreement--sanctioned by a competent court; and there was, moreover, if
the action of the General Conference was available, a special agreement
as to the property in question, in virtue of which the plaintiffs can
have no claim upon it. At the close of the arguments, the Court
announced that it would not give its decision for some time; and advised
the parties, in the mean while, to make an amicable adjustment of the
matter; intimating that such an adjustment, if made, would receive the
sanction of the Court. The defendants, therefore, made proposals to the
plaintiffs to submit the matter to a legal arbitration, under the
sanction of the Court; without, however, conceding any thing as to the
question before the Court. The plaintiffs, meanwhile, before this offer
was communicated to them, made similar overtures to the defendants.
There is, therefore, every reason to hope for an amicable adjustment of
this vexatious case.

The General Assembly of the New School Presbyterian Church convened at
Utica, May 15. Rev. ALBERT BARNES of Philadelphia was chosen Moderator
by a unanimous vote. The chief topic of interest discussed was a plan
for the extension of the distinctive principles of the denomination,
especially at the West. A few petitions on the subject of Slavery were
presented. They were quietly disposed of by re-affirming the
conciliatory action of the preceding General Assembly. Hon. J.R.
GIDDINGS, of Ohio, who was elected as a delegate, and was expected to
agitate this question, was prevented by an accident from being present.
The city of Washington was selected as the place for the next
meeting.---- The General Assembly of the Old School Presbyterian Church
met on the 20th of May at St. Louis. Rev. Dr. HUMPHREYS, of Kentucky,
was chosen Moderator. The next meeting of the Assembly was appointed to
be held at Charleston, upon the assurance of delegates from South
Carolina that there was no danger of that city being at that time
situated in a foreign country.

The question as to the comparative speed of the British and American
Ocean Steamers has been settled for the present. The Pacific, of
Collins's line, has made the four shortest passages, three of them
consecutive, that have been made across the Atlantic. They were all
performed within ten days, which has not been accomplished by any
British steamer. The American Ocean Steamers now afloat number 74, with
an aggregate tonnage of nearly 90,000. Of these, 9 ships, averaging
about 2400 tons, cross the Atlantic; 25 vessels, averaging 1250 tons,
ply between ports on the Atlantic and on the Gulf of Mexico; and 40
steamers, averaging 650 tons, are employed on the Pacific.

During the month of May 38,858 immigrants arrived at the port of New
York. The arrivals in five months of the present year were 100,571,
exceeding by 21,169 those of the corresponding period last year. The
English and Irish papers announce the expected departure of increasing
numbers of emigrants, of the most desirable class; to make amends for
which, the local authorities are emptying the poor-houses upon our
shores; it being found cheaper to export than to feed their paupers.
This will be done, unless prevented, more extensively this year than
ever before.

The Legislature of New York convened in Special Session on the 10th of
June. In the House Hon. J.B. VARNUM of New York City was chosen Speaker,
in place of Mr. RAYMOND, who is in Europe, and the organization was
continued in other respects as before the adjournment. The twelve
Senators who resigned in order to prevent the passage of the bill for
the Enlargement of the Canals, were, with a single exception, nominated
for re-election. The result of the special election was, that of the
twelve vacancies, five were filled with advocates, and seven with
opponents of the proposed measure; and in one district there was no
choice. The Senate therefore stands at present twenty-two in favor, and
nine opposed to the bill. The Message of Governor HUNT narrates the
events which gave occasion to the Extra Session, and argues in favor of
the constitutionality and expediency of the proposed measure for the
enlargement of the canals.---- An Address has been issued by 56 of the
112 members of the Convention which framed the Constitution of the
State, whose names are appended to that document, in which, after
examining the provisions of the Constitution, and of the proposed
Enlargement Bill, they express it as their opinion that the bill
violates the entire spirit and scope of the financial article of the
Constitution, and is inconsistent with several of its express
provisions.

A large number of Germans who had assembled at Hoboken, opposite to New
York, on the 26th of May, to celebrate their customary May-Festival,
were attacked by a gang of desperadoes from New York, known as "Short
Boys." The Germans repulsed their assailants, and made violent
reprisals. In the course of the riot great damage was done to property,
and one person lost his life, besides many being severely injured.

The Legislature of Massachusetts closed a very protracted session on the
24th of May. Among the measures passed, was a General Banking Act; a
Homestead Exemption Law, with a limit of $500; the Secret Ballot Law,
requiring all ballots to be inclosed in envelopes; a law to take the
sense of the people whether a Convention shall be called to revise the
Constitution of the State; a law changing the composition of the Board
of Overseers of Harvard University; the Plurality Act, in accordance
with which members of Congress at the second trial, and Presidential
electors at the first, are elected by a plurality of votes. At the
special election to supply three vacancies in the Congressional
representation, Mr. RANTOUL, Free-Soil Democrat, and Messrs. THOMPSON
and GOODRICH, Whigs, received a plurality, and were elected. Mr. SUMNER
has addressed to the Legislature a letter, accepting the office of
United States Senator. He says that he will maintain the interests of
all parts of the country, and oppose every effort to loosen the ties of
the Union, as well as "all sectionalism, whether it appear in
unconstitutional efforts by the North to carry freedom to the Slave
States, or in unconstitutional efforts of the South, aided by Northern
allies, to carry the sectional evil of slavery into the Free States; or
in whatsoever efforts it may make to extend the sectional dominion of
slavery over the United States." He looks upon the Union as the guardian
of the repose of the States, and as the model of a future federation
among nations; and he does not believe that any part of it can be
permanently separated from the rest. Politics, he says, are simply
morals applied to public affairs; and his political course shall be
determined by those everlasting rules of right and wrong, which are a
law alike to individuals and communities. An address from 170 members of
the late Legislature has been published, denouncing, in the severest
terms, the political combination which resulted in the election of the
present Governor and Senator. The Supreme Court have pronounced a
unanimous opinion, affirming the constitutionality of the Fugitive Slave
law. Several persons charged with aiding in the escape of Shadrach, the
fugitive, have been tried; but the jury were unable to agree upon a
verdict.

The Governor of Maine, in his Message to the Legislature, complains of
the illiberal conduct of Massachusetts, in regard to the land-claims
within the State of Maine; and especially in refusing to aid in the
construction of the Aroostook road, which passes mainly through those
claims. The Legislature, previous to its adjournment till January,
passed a stringent law for the suppression of tippling-houses; and made
an appropriation of $2000 to circulate document relating to the survey
for the North American and European Railway. It is reported that gold
has been discovered in the northern part of the State, bordering upon
Canada. Companies have been formed for securing the treasures of this
Northern Eldorado.

In New Hampshire Hon. SAMUEL DINSMOORE, Democrat, has been elected
Governor by the Legislature, no choice having been made by the people.
In his Inaugural Address, he speaks of the Compromise measures as a part
of the law of the land, the maintenance of which is demanded by every
consideration of good faith and sound policy. The Fugitive Slave law he
says, "is painfully repugnant to the feelings of the North, but is
designed to fulfill a plain constitutional obligation, deliberately and
unanimously assumed, with a full knowledge of its import, by those who
framed the Constitution, and since affirmed and enforced by our highest
political and judicial authorities."

A new Constitution has been adopted in Maryland, of which, apart from
the usual legislative, judicial, and executive formulas, the following
are the principal provisions: The franchise is vested in all free white
male citizens, who have resided a year within the State, and six months
within the county. A conviction for larceny or any infamous crime
operates as a disfranchisement. The only religious test for office is a
declaration of belief in the Christian religion; or, in case of Jews, of
a belief in a future state of rewards and punishments. Participation in
a duel, or bribery, disqualifies from holding office. The Legislature
has power to provide for the disposition or removal of the free colored
population. Clergymen are not eligible as members of the Legislature. No
religious sect or teacher, as such, without express Legislative
permission, can receive any gift or sale of land, except five acres for
a church, parsonage or burial-ground. The Legislature can grant no
divorces, nor pass any laws abolishing the relation of master and slave.
The credit of the State can not be loaned. No State debt can be
contracted without the imposition of a tax sufficient to meet the
interest, and liquidate the debt in fifteen years. Corporations to be
formed only under general laws; stockholders are liable to an amount
equal to their shares; no officer of a corporation to borrow money of
it. Imprisonment for debt is abolished. Lotteries are prohibited after
1858. Provisions are made for digesting and codifying the laws, and for
simplifying the forms of legal procedure. The will of the people to be
taken every ten years whether a Convention for amending the Constitution
shall be called.

In Georgia Hon. HOWELL COBB, late Speaker of the House of
Representatives, is the Union candidate for Governor. Ex-Governor
CHARLES J. MCDONALD, President of the late Nashville Convention, has
been nominated by the secession party. In Georgia this party by no means
assumes the extreme ground of their namesakes in South Carolina; they
only advocate the absolute right of secession, and its expediency in
certain contingencies. Party lines appear to be in a great measure lost
sight of. Mr. Cobb, though a Democrat, is supported by no small portion
of the Whig party, and denounced by a part of his own. In a recent
speech at Savannah, he spoke in opposition to the course pursued by
South Carolina, in assuming the sole decision of the momentous issues at
stake, and endeavoring to drag the other Southern States into the gulf
of disunion. He hoped that Georgia would give her to understand that no
aid in such a project was to be expected from her.---- In Mississippi
Hon. H.S. FOOTE is the Union candidate for Governor, opposed by General
QUITMAN, who has been nominated for re-election. He, however,
emphatically repudiates the charge of being in favor of disunion.---- In
South Carolina the advocates for secession--immediate, unconditional,
and at all hazards--for a time over-bore all opposition. The cautious
and skillful policy of Mr. CALHOUN, advocated by the cooler politicians
of the State, was apparently abandoned. Recent indications seem to show
that the prominence assumed by the advocates of secession was out of all
proportion to their real strength in the State. The glowing visions of
commercial prosperity presented by Mr. RHETT, to be maintained by making
South Carolina the great entrepôt from which contraband goods were to be
poured into all the Southern States, are dissipated by a writer in a
leading Charleston paper, who demonstrates that a commerce of five
millions, affording a revenue, by the proposed duty, of half a million,
is all that the nation of South Carolina could expect, even though
unmolested by the United States. Hon. J.R. POINSETT has published a
letter in relation to Mr. Rhett's notable project, in which he says,
"The Senator tells us that 'safety and honor are on the one hand, danger
and degradation on the other;' and I agree with him except as to on
which side lie the danger and degradation." Jealousy begins to show
itself on the part of the country party against the towns, which are
represented to be influenced by a "foreign population," as Governor
SEABROOK denominates citizens from other states. Every week shows an
increase of strength and confidence in the party opposed to immediate
secession, who for a time appeared completely overawed.

In the Constitutional Convention of Virginia the basis of representation
has been settled by compromise. The House is to consist of 150 members;
the Senate of 50. Eastern Virginia, with 401,540 whites, 45,783 free
colored persons, and 409,793 slaves, in all 857,116 inhabitants, is to
have 82 Representatives and 20 Senators. Western Virginia, with 492,609
whites, 8123 free colored, and 62,233 slaves, 563,965 in all, is to have
68 Representatives and 30 Senators. A new apportionment is to be made in
1865. A provision has been adopted prohibiting the Legislature from
passing any law for the emancipation of slaves.

From Texas and New Mexico accounts continue to reach us of Indian
depredations and murders. The Apaches commenced violating the treaty
they had entered into within a month from its completion. Troops are to
be posted in such a manner as to cover the water-courses along which the
Indians take their way, ostensibly in pursuit of the buffalo, but really
for plunder and murder. An encounter took place on the 9th of April
between a body of Texan militia and a party of Indians, in which nine of
the latter were killed; none of the whites were injured. A company of
200 dragoons has been ordered to assist the Indian Agents in procuring
the release of captives, and punishing the Indians who have violated the
treaty. A portion of the Mormons, known as the "Brewster branch," have
purchased land and commenced a settlement in New Mexico.

From California we have intelligence to May 1. The Legislature adjourned
on the last day of April. A law had been passed exempting homesteads and
certain other property from legal seizure, in prescribed cases. The
legal rate of interest is fixed at 10 per cent.; 18 per cent. may be
taken by special agreement. In the municipal election at San Francisco
the Whigs were successful. Large sums of money have been issued by
private coiners, worth less than its nominal value. The refusal of the
coiners to redeem this causes great dissatisfaction. There is little or
no diminution in the frequency of outrages upon persons and property, or
abatement in the determination to inflict summary and extra-judicial
punishment upon the offenders. In San Francisco a prison is in course of
erection by the labor of felons condemned to the chain-gang. The amount
of gold produced in the course of the current year is expected to be
very large. The great desideratum at present is to find some cheap and
effective method of disengaging the microscopic gold contained in the
auriferous quartz. The methods now in use fail to extricate more than
one-fifth of the amount contained in many of the richest veins. A treaty
has been negotiated with six Indian tribes numbering some 15,000 souls,
who have been the chief annoyance in the region of the Mariposa and
Merced rivers. A territory twelve miles square has been assured to them
forever, together with the privilege of hunting up to the Sierra Nevada,
and of fishing and gathering gold in the rivers. Supplies to a limited
amount, together with teachers and mechanics, are to be provided for
them by the United States Government.

The tide of emigration has begun to set once more strongly toward
Oregon. A late arrival brought out six female teachers sent under the
auspices of a society at the East. Discoveries of coal have been made at
various points along the Pacific coast. Steam communication has been
established between the mouth of the Columbia and the Willamette.


SOUTHERN AMERICA.

In MEXICO Congress has been endeavoring to devise some means to raise
funds to meet the current expenses of Government. Among other expedients
it was proposed to withhold from the public creditors the balance of the
United States indemnity remaining in the treasury, and to impose
indirect contributions on the departments. An unsuccessful attempt was
made to invest the President with full powers to raise funds as he
could, without the concurrence of the legislative authority. Congress,
however, adjourned on the 23d of May, leaving affairs in the utmost
confusion and uncertainty. The late resignation of Señor Esteva, the
Minister of Finance, was occasioned by his inability, from want of
funds, to effect the consolidation of the interior debt. He wished the
indemnity to be withheld from the public creditors, and a suspension of
payments till 1852 to be decreed. The Indians in Yucatan have suffered
severe checks, and are giving up hostilities. Claims to a large amount
have been presented against the Government of the United States, for
damages arising from failure to prevent Indian depredations, according
to the stipulations of the treaty.

In BRAZIL warlike preparations are still carried on against Buenos
Ayres, or rather against Rosas, the President, who has made himself
especially obnoxious to all the States on the Parana. Little
apprehensions of actual hostilities are entertained.

In PERU Gen. Echenique, who had been chosen President by 2392 out of
3804 votes, entered upon his office on the 20th of April. He is the
first President who has attained the post by election; his predecessors
owing their elevation to the sword. He nominated Gen. Vivanco, his
principal opponent, as Minister to Washington, perhaps as a kind of
honorable banishment. The appointment was declined. An insurrection was
attempted, and Vivanco was named by the insurgents as their leader,
apparently without his direct concurrence. He was, however, arrested and
imprisoned.

In CHILI a tumult arising out of political feeling, in view of the
approaching election, broke out on the 20th of April. Some regiments,
headed by Col. Urricola, took up arms. The insurrection was suppressed
in a few hours; some 20 were killed, among whom was Urricola. Valparaiso
and Santiago were put under martial law. A series of severe shocks of an
earthquake have taken place, commencing on the 2d of April. For three
days the shocks averaged one an hour. One on the 2d lasted 55 seconds,
by which many houses in Valparaiso were thrown down. So severe an
earthquake has not been felt in Chili since 1822.

In CENTRAL AMERICA discontent is felt at the unsettled state of affairs.
Permission has been accorded by the British authorities for the election
of a municipal council in the city of San Juan de Nicaragua. Of the five
members chosen two were Americans. This is hailed as the initiatory step
toward the withdrawal of the British protectorate. A violent earthquake
occurred in Costa Rica on the 8th of March.


GREAT BRITAIN.

The Great Exhibition of the Industry of all Nations has succeeded beyond
all anticipations. Long after every other doubt had been removed, its
financial success was considered problematical, and it was feared that
application must be made to Government to supply a large deficiency in
the amount of funds. A writer in the _Times_, who professed to speak
after careful investigation, estimated the expenditures at £120,000; the
receipts from subscriptions at £60,000, and the utmost that could be
hoped from visitors at £25,000, leaving a deficit of £35,000. This
estimate of expenses did not include the absolute purchase of the
building, which was hoped rather than expected by the most sanguine
friends of the enterprise. But the three first weeks of the Exhibition
have placed its financial success beyond a question. From subscriptions
and season tickets £130,000 have been realized; and nearly £40,000 have
been received for admissions at the doors. It is not believed that the
receipts for the next hundred days can fall short of £1500 a day. The
total receipts will thus amount to some £320,000, which will enable the
Committee to purchase the building for the permanent use of the nation,
and graduate all the expenditures on a much more liberal scale than was
at first thought possible. The value of the articles exhibited is
variously estimated at from twelve to thirty millions of pounds. The
condensed Catalogue, which merely gives the names of the articles and of
the exhibitors, forms a volume with fully three times the amount of
matter contained in a Number of our Magazine. The large Catalogue will
extend to a number of volumes, and will constitute a comprehensive
Cyclopædia of the Industry of the Nineteenth Century. The American
contributions do not fulfill the expectations that had been raised. From
the amount of space asked, it was supposed that the contributions from
the United States would exceed those from any other foreign country with
the exception of France, which proves to be by no means the case; apart
from their number, the American contributions, consisting to a
considerable extent of raw materials, are not of a nature to be fully
appreciated by ordinary visitors when brought into immediate contact
with the more ornamental products of European industry. Mr. Riddle, the
American commissioner, notwithstanding the sneers of the English press,
writes that in every respect save that of number these contributions are
worthy of the country. He urges that immediate and strenuous exertions
be made to supply the deficiency, stating that the Exhibition will
remain open till late in the autumn, and articles will be received until
the first of August. The effect of the Exhibition has been in many
respects different from what was anticipated. Those who had expected to
make fortunes by supplying the wants of visitors have been woefully
disappointed. The current sets from London almost as rapidly as to it,
so that at no time is the population sensibly augmented. The visitors
spend comparatively little, and the shopkeepers complain of unusual
dullness. The Exhibition has taken the place of theatres and other
places of amusement, which are, to a great extent, kept open at a loss.
Some apprehensions were felt of tumult, or at least of an inconvenient
pressure, when the price of admission should be reduced to a shilling;
and a few precautions were taken to prevent the evil. These fears were
found to be altogether gratuitous. On the first day only about 20,000
visitors were present, though the building will amply accommodate 60,000
at a time. As apprehension wore off the number rapidly rose to upward of
50,000 a day. The order and decorum observed by those who paid the
reduced price has not been inferior to that of those who paid the
highest. The Queen makes visits to the Exhibition, even on the shilling
days.

In Parliament the Ecclesiastical Titles Bill advances slowly through the
House of Commons, opposed most pertinaciously at every step by a small
band of members, mostly Irish Catholics, who take every occasion to
embarrass its progress by calls for a division, and motions for
adjournment. As it is not made a question between the great parties, the
majorities in its favor are very large; at the final vote the majority
can not well be less than ten to one. The Ministers are alternately
victorious and beaten on subordinate questions, but there seems a tacit
understanding on the part of the Opposition, that no measure of
sufficient importance to force them to resign shall be pressed against
them; and on the part of the Ministers, that they will not abandon the
conduct of affairs on account of minor checks. The motion for a vote of
censure on Lord Torrington, as Governor of Ceylon, the last important
measure to be brought forward, was lost, by a majority of 80, so that
the position of the Ministers is assured for the remainder of the
session. The bill to appoint visitors to inspect female convents and
religious houses has been rejected.

The decision of the Courts, made last year, adverse to copyrights of
foreigners, has been reversed. The decision now is, that a foreigner who
publishes a book originally in Great Britain, whether it be written
there or abroad, is entitled to a copyright. This decision is not
absolutely final, as an appeal is open to the House of Lords. At a
meeting of publishers interested in cheap reprints it was resolved to
bring the matter before the Lords, with a view to a final decision of
the question. A subscription was entered into to defray the expenses of
the procedure.

A Protectionist meeting and dinner was held at Tamworth, the residence
of the late Sir Robert Peel. It was looked upon as a wanton insult to
the memory of the great Free Trade statesman, and was attacked by a mob
and dispersed.

THACKERAY, the most brilliant writer of the day, Dickens, in our
judgment, not excepted, is delivering a course of lectures on the
English Humorists. The lectures are received with great favor by an
audience fit and not few. The first was upon Swift, and was a striking
portraiture of that able, unscrupulous, and baffled clerical adventurer.
The second lecture was upon Congreve, the most worthless, and Addison,
the most amiable of the English Humorists. His treatment of Addison is
characterized as more brilliant than any thing Addison himself ever
produced. His appearance is thus described: "Thackeray in the rostrum is
not different from Thackeray any where else. It is the same strange,
anomalous, striking aspect: the face and contour of child--of the
round-cheeked humorous boy, who presumes so saucily on being liked, and
liked for his very impudence--grown large without losing its infantile
roundness or simplicity; the sad grave eyes looking forth--through the
spectacles that help them, but baffle you with their blank dazzle--from
the deep vaults of that vast skull, over that gay, enjoying smile; the
curly hair of youth, but gray with years, brought before their time by
trouble and thought. Those years, rich in study, have produced the
consummate artist."


FRANCE.

The revision of the Constitution occupies public attention to the almost
entire exclusion of every other topic. On the 28th of May the National
Assembly entered upon the third year of its existence, when by the
Constitution it is competent to consider the question of revision. Some
very exciting and stormy debates have occurred. The plans and wishes of
parties begin to develop themselves. The Bonapartists desire an
alteration in but a single point: that which renders the President
ineligible for a second term at the conclusion of the first. The
Monarchists are in favor of a revision, by which they mean an entire
abolition of the republican Constitution, and the establishment of a
monarchy. The Legitimatists are eager for the restoration of the
Bourbons; the Orleanists for the elevation of the heir of
Louis-Philippe. A union of these two branches of the Monarchists is not
impossible, since the Count of Chambord, the Bourbon heir, is childless,
and his elevation to the throne would be only a postponement of the
claims of the House of Orleans. The Revolutionists of all classes have a
large majority in the Assembly, but not the requisite constitutional
three-fourths. The Republicans of all shades, who unite to oppose the
revision, number fully 250 members, and 188 is all that they need to
prevent its accomplishment without a violation of the Constitution. They
announce their determination to defend the Constitution at all hazards.
Petitions pour in from all quarters in favor of a revision, and it is
hoped that they will be sufficiently numerous to declare that the will
of the nation is in favor of it; in which case the Assembly may take
upon itself the responsibility of setting aside the letter of the
Constitution, and appealing to the nation for a vindication of its
course. In the event of the calling of a Convention a further question
is to be considered as to whether the delegates shall be elected by
universal suffrage, or under the present restrictive laws. The Ministry
now in office seem pledged to the latter, while the _Constitutionnel_,
understood to be the organ of the President, advocates universal
suffrage. From this it is inferred that Bonaparte intends to keep the
choice open to himself of selecting either scheme which events shall
indicate to be most favorable to his interests. The probabilities now
are that the national desire will be found to be so decidedly in favor
of the continuance of the President in office, that the prohibitory
article will be altered in his favor. He has this great advantage over
his opponents, that he is one and they are many.

In Algeria some severe encounters have recently taken place. Early in
May the French troops entered Kabylia, and a series of engagements took
place in which the Kabyles were defeated with great loss.

The editor of the _Charivari_ has been condemned to an imprisonment of
six months and a fine of 2000 francs for having published a caricature
representing the Constitution set up as a mark, and the President
offering a reward to the person who should shoot it down. The artist who
designed the print was also sentenced to a fine of 200 francs, and
imprisonment for two months.


GERMANY.

The Dresden Conference closed on the 4th of May. The Frankfort Diet
recommenced its sittings with as little formality as though the last
three years had never existed, and it was re-assembling after an
ordinary adjournment. The sovereigns of Russia, Prussia, and Austria,
have had a fraternal meeting at Warsaw, preparatory to a more formal
conference at Olmutz. The Emperor of Russia was especially gracious to
the King of Prussia. The Prussian Chambers adjourned on the 11th, having
rendered still more stringent the laws for the regulation of the press.
The Royal speech was delivered by proxy. It stated that in whatever form
revolution might show itself, the Government would be found firm, and
Prussia armed. The threatening position assumed by the enemies of order
rendered it the urgent duty of all German Governments no longer to leave
Germany without a central power; and whether they returned to the old
form of the Diet, or whether the plans of re-organization, by no means
abandoned, should be carried into effect, the independent development of
Prussia would in neither case be endangered. The Austrian Government was
busy in endeavors to improve the financial condition of the empire,
which is in a lamentable state of disorganization.


SOUTHERN EUROPE.

In PORTUGAL the insurrection under the Duke of Saldanha has proved
entirely successful. His rival, the Count of Thomar has fled to England.
The royal consort has been deprived of the command of the army. The Duke
of Saldanha has formed a ministry of his partisans, he himself taking
the post of President of the Council, with actual dictatorial authority.

In SPAIN the farce of an election of members of Cortes has been enacted.
A large majority of the members returned are in favor of the Government.
A _Concordat_ with the Roman Court has been unofficially made public.
Various ecclesiastical regulations are agreed upon. The Catholic
religion is to be the only one tolerated. Public education and the
superintendence of the press and of books introduced into the country
are to be committed to the clergy. Serious disturbances had broken out
among the students of the University of Madrid, which called for the
intervention of the police, in the course of which a number of the
students were severely injured. The tumult arose from personal, not
political causes.

In ITALY the most prominent subject of interest is literally one of
smoke. The various Governments derive a large revenue from the duties
upon tobacco. The malcontents make a demonstration of their hatred to
the Governments by abstaining from the use of the weed, and endeavoring
to induce others, sometimes by no gentle means, to do the same. At
Bologna the Austrian commandant was obliged to issue an ordinance
threatening punishment upon those who offered violence to peaceable
citizens by hindering them from using tobacco either for smoking or as
snuff. At Rome the state of things is much the same. Continual
encounters take place between the French soldiers and the Romans. The
French commander has suppressed all permission to carry arms in
consequence. Fire-arms, swords, and poinards, were ordered to be
surrendered by a certain day, after which domiciliary visits would be
made, and all persons found having weapons in their possession, were to
be tried by court-martial. Persons carrying sword-canes to be arrested
and fined.



Literary Notices.


_Memoirs of William Wordsworth_, Vol. I., by his nephew, CHRISTOPHER
WORDSWORTH, edited by HENRY REED, and published by Ticknor, Reed, and
Fields, will disappoint those who have anticipated an abundance of
interesting personal details in the biography of its illustrious
subject. It is the history of his mind, not of his external life. The
incidents of his peculiar career were the successive births of his
poems. No man ever led a more self-contained, interior, subjective life
than Wordsworth, and hence the development of thought takes the place in
his biography which is usually occupied by the flow of events. Every
object was valued by him in proportion as it furnished the materials of
poetry. The aspects of the glorious mountain region in which he had
established his household gods, the intercourse of society in which,
during the later portion of his life, he took a conspicuous part, on
account of the influx of visitors that besieged his retired,
contemplative haunts, the manifestations of the contemporary literature
of the day in its wonderful, pregnant phases, and the strong current of
political excitements throughout a most eventful period of English
history, never disturbed the deep, placid stream of the poet's
existence, or seduced him from the exclusive communion with the realms
of fancy and reflection, to which he was wedded by ties of indissoluble
fealty. His biographer has been true to this cardinal fact, which
characterizes the identity of Wordsworth. He has aimed only to explain
the genesis of his poems, in a manner to make them the historians of
their author. The critical disquisitions which thus arise often possess
great interest, and furnish suggestive lessons which few living poets
can study without profit. Numerous extracts from the correspondence of
Wordsworth are given in this volume, which are marked by his usual
gravity and intenseness of reflection, but are destitute of the
spontaneous ease which forms the chief beauty of epistolary writing. On
the whole, we regard this biography as eminently instructive, presenting
many noticeable facts in psychology and literary history, and well
rewarding an attentive study, but of so uniformly a didactic cast as to
grow tedious in perusal, and likely to find few readers beyond the
circle of Wordsworth's enthusiastic admirers.

_The Religion of Geology and its Connected Sciences_, by EDWARD
HITCHCOCK, President of Amherst College (published by Phillips, Sampson,
and Co.), presents in a compact, popular form, the latest established
results of geological investigation, in connection with their bearings
on revealed religion. In the opinion of President Hitchcock, a large
proportion of the works which have been written within the last thirty
years on this subject, excepting those of J. Pye Smith, Dr. Chalmers,
Dr. Harris, Dr. Buckland, Professor Sedgewick, Professor Whewell, Dr.
King, Dr. Anderson, Hugh Miller, and similar writers, have shown a
deficiency of the knowledge essential to a mastery of the question. A
number of authors, though familiar with the Bible, had no accurate
knowledge of geology, and by resorting to the denunciation of their
opponents, have excited a gross and unfounded prejudice against the
cultivators of that science, and at the same time have awakened a
disgust among intelligent students, who have inferred the weakness of
their cause from the folly of its defense. The subject is discussed in
the present volume with a large, philosophical comprehension, and with
distinguished ability. Faithful to the substantial deductions of
science, it strenuously defends the received principles of religion and
presents, from its elevated point of view, a variety of conclusions of
no less importance to natural theology, than to a lucid conception of
the structure of the material universe.

_The Glens_ (published by Charles Scribner) is a new novel, by J.L.
M'CONNEL, the author of "Grahame," and "Talbot and Vernon," who now
comes before the public for the first time under his own name. The plot
and execution of "The Glens" sufficiently resemble his former
productions to betray the identity of their origin. With greater
compression of style, and a more natural development of incident, it
exhibits the same passion for dealing with legal evidence, and the same
acute and comprehensive analysis of character, which distinguish the
other writings of the author. He certainly possesses a rare power of
clothing the darker emotions of the soul with a life-like naturalness,
and depicting the excesses of stern and sullen passion in colors that
are no less abhorrent than truthful. The plot of this novel is one of
terrible intensity, though it can not be charged with extravagance. The
prevailing gloom of the story is happily relieved by the descriptions of
Western manners and scenery, which are lively and picturesque, and at
the same time, as we have reason to believe, remarkable for their exact
fidelity. We think the success of this work must decide the vocation of
the author. He has already gained a reputation in American literature of
which he may justly be proud. We shall look with interest for the future
creations of his genius, which with the increasing polish of their
execution, we are confident, will not lose their natural fragrant
freshness, nor their bold masculine vitality.

_The History of Cleopatra_, by JACOB ABBOTT, a new volume of his
Historical Series, publishing by Harper and Brothers, presents a subject
of considerable delicacy for the pen of its grave and highly ethical
author. He seems to be aware of the difficulty at the outset. "The story
of Cleopatra," he observes, "is a story of crime. It is a narrative of
the course and the consequences of unlawful love. In her strange and
romantic history we see this passion portrayed with the most complete
and graphic fidelity, in all its influences and effects, its
uncontrollable impulses, its intoxicating joys, its reckless and mad
career, and the dreadful remorse, and ultimate despair and ruin in which
it always and inevitably ends." But Mr. Abbott has disposed of the
uncongenial theme with his accustomed ingenuity and good sense. Without
vailing the character of the voluptuous queen, or concealing the
poetical aspects of her romantic history, he delineates the events in
her life, for which she is now chiefly remembered, with a naïve
simplicity that becomes piquant from its apparent artlessness. Nor does
he indulge, to any disagreeable excess, in the superfluous moralizing
which a less shrewd writer would have deemed essential to the effect. He
leaves the story to assert its own moral. The reader, who chooses, may
find it for himself.

C.S. Francis and Co. have republished a new volume of _Poems_, by
ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING, containing "Prometheus Bound," "A Lament for
Adonis," "Casa Guidi Windows," and a variety of miscellaneous pieces.
They bear the authentic impress of Mrs. Browning's peculiar genius,
abounding in bursts of noble inspiration, combined with the workings of
earnest reflection, and expressed in a style which is no less remarkable
for the richness of its classic adornings, than for its wild, erratic
strength, and its frequent displays of an almost puerile simplicity.
The typographical appearance of this volume is very neat.

The Third and last Volume of HUMBOLDT'S _Cosmos_, in Otté's translation,
is issued by Harper and Brothers, embracing a general view of the
discoveries of astronomical science, considered in two divisions,
namely, the region of the fixed stars, and our solar and planetary
system. This portion of Humboldt's great work is characterized by the
sublime brevity, the profound comprehensiveness, the affluence of
physical facts, and the reverent modesty of speculation which
distinguish the philosophical writings of the author, and which are in
such admirable harmony with the impressive dignity of the theme. In the
Introduction to the present volume, Humboldt gives an historical review
of the attempts to reduce the phenomena of the universe to a grand
central unity, including the labors of Anaxagoras, Aristotle, Giordano
Bruno, Descartes, and Sir Isaac Newton. The problem, as he conclusively
shows, still remains to be solved. The present imperfect state of
physical science offers insuperable obstacles to a speedy solution. New
substances and new forces are constantly brought to light, nor can we
escape from the conviction that no observation or analysis has yet
exhausted the number of impelling, producing, and formative agencies.
"The great and solemn spirit," Humboldt remarks, "which pervades the
intellectual labor in question arises from the sublime consciousness of
striving toward the infinite, and of grasping all that is revealed to us
amid the boundless and inexhaustible fullness of creation, development,
and being." The fidelity to this sentiment which is every where apparent
in "Cosmos," is no less remarkable than the compactness of its reasoning
and the wealth of its details, and to the mind imbued with the genuine
spirit of science, invests this extraordinary work with a perpetual
charm.

A useful educational work has just been issued by A.S. Barnes and Co.,
entitled _The Orthoepist_, by JAMES H. MARTIN, comprising a selection of
nearly two thousand English words, which are supposed to be especially
liable to an incorrect pronunciation. The tables of words are
illustrated by exercises in reading, which exhibit both the diligence
and the ingenuity of the author in a favorable light. We have no doubt
that this little work might be used to great advantage by a skillful
instructor, besides forming a convenient manual for private
consultation.

_The Heir of Wast-Wayland_, by MARY HOWITT (published by Harper and
Brothers), is the latest production of its charming author, written with
more vigor and not less sweetness than the popular stories which have
given her such a beautiful fame as a writer of graceful and touching
fiction. The best-drawn character in this tale is Richard Ellworthy, a
designing, subtle villain, whose bold and crafty manoeuvres are
depicted in striking contrast with several admirable specimens of
feminine loveliness, and a few touches of Quaker life, which pervade the
volume with their pure, refreshing influence. The unmistakable power of
this story, no less than its delightful domestic spirit, will win a
heart-felt welcome for it among the numerous American friends of Mary
and William Howitt.

_A Grandmother's Recollections_, by ELLA RODMAN (published by Charles
Scribner), is a natural, affectionate, and delightful narrative of early
days, purporting to be from a charming old lady, who has both a
retentive memory and an enviable gift of genial, winning expression.

MAYHEW'S _London Labor and the London Poor_, of which we have the
seventh number, from the press of Harper and Brothers, continues to
exhibit an appalling picture of the lower strata of civilization in
London society. In connection with the magnificent displays of English
industry and art, which are exciting the admiration of the world in the
Crystal Palace, Mr. Mayhew's disclosures afford a pregnant commentary on
the moral effects of the present intensely competitive system of labor
and commerce. His revelations are startling, at times almost incredible,
but always instructive. His facts are arranged, no doubt, with a view to
effect, but they are sustained by ample evidence, and are more
impressive, from being free from theory or speculation. They are
fruitful of suggestion to every thinking mind.

_Ida_ is the title of an anonymous poem in three books, published by
James Monroe and Co., Boston. Polished and graceful to an uncommon
degree in its versification, this little poem exhibits a fine
contemplative vein, and a pervading tone of genuine pathos. The
influence of favorite authors is too perceptible in its composition for
entire originality, many of the lines sounding like reminiscences of
favorite strains.

_Land and Lee in the Bosphorus and Egean_, is a new volume of Rev.
WALTER COLTON'S Collected Works, edited by Rev. HENRY T. CHEEVER, and
published by A.S. Barnes and Co. It is the substance of a work published
during Mr. Colton's life-time, under the title of "Visit to Athens and
Constantinople," with additions from the original manuscripts of the
author, and revised and condensed by the editor. Mercurial, sketchy, and
incoherent, tasting strongly of the salt water and the ship's-cabin,
enlivened with occasional flashes of harmless vanity, it rewards the
attention of the reader by its lively, rapid descriptions, its unfailing
fund of good humor, and its local and geographical details, which are
frequently instructive and entertaining. The snatches of common-place
sentimentality, which the author appears to indulge in both as a matter
of taste and from a sense of duty, might safely be dispensed with.

_History of the Protestants of France_, by G. DE FELICE, translated by
HENRY LOBDELL, M.D. (published by Edward Walker), is a lucid, popular
narrative of the development of French Protestantism from the
Reformation to the present time. The author is well-known among the
living religious writers of France, as a man of learning, ability, and
zeal. His style combines great vivacity of expression with a tone of
earnest and profound reflection. The present work is evidently the fruit
of conscientious research, and though making no pretensions to
impartiality, is written without bitterness. The translation is executed
with care, and although by no means a model in its kind, is generally
free from glaring faults. Some general views are advanced in the Preface
which will be read with interest in the present state of the Catholic
controversy.

_Para; or, Scenes and Adventures on the Banks of the Amazon_, by JOHN
ESAIAS WARREN (published by G.P. Putnam), is a spirited volume of
travels in Brazil, by a very susceptible observer and fluent writer. The
pictures of South American life which he delineates with enthusiastic
unction, are soft and sunny, presenting a delicious profusion of
enchantments. According to his mellow descriptions, the equator has a
decided advantage over these dull, temperate, hyperborean regions.

The edition of _The Life and Writings of George Herbert_, published by
James Munroe and Co., contains the Life of Herbert, abridged from Izaak
Walton, The Temple, and The Country Parson, together with the
Synagogue, an imitation usually accompanying his works. The quaint
felicities and pious unction of this earnest-minded old English poet and
divine, with his sweet and saintly spirit, will always keep his memory
fresh among the readers of the best contemplative literature. We are
glad to possess his inimitable productions in such a convenient and
beautiful American edition.

_Caleb Field_, by the author of "Passages in the Life of Mrs. Margaret
Maitland" (published by Harper and Brothers), is a religious story of
the English Puritan age, distinguished for the characteristic sweetness
and pathos of the earnest and powerful writer. The heroine, Edith Field,
is a charming creation. The daughter of a stern Puritan clergyman, who
devotes himself to the spiritual care of his flock during the prevalence
of the Great Plague, she ministers to their temporal needs with the
constancy of a martyr, and the gentleness of an angel. Her beautiful
nature presents an admirable relief to the scenes of stern and dark
passion which are portrayed. The lights and shades of the story are
managed with genuine artistic effect. Though constructed of slight
materials, and absolutely without pretension, it must be regarded as a
truly exquisite gem.

_First Things_, by GARDINER SPRING, D.D. (published by M.W. Dodd), is
the title of a series of lectures upon a number of great facts and moral
lessons contained in the early portions of the Scriptures, composed in a
style of grave and harmonious beauty, characteristic of the venerable
author. The distinguishing features of the theological school to which
Dr. Spring belongs are brought unshrinkingly forward, constituting as
they do, in his opinion, vital and essential portions of the system of
revealed religion. We meet with occasional interpretations and
expositions of Scripture which, though formerly accepted, had, we
supposed, been generally set aside by the investigations of modern
criticism; and some of the topics treated of, while essential to the
plan of the work, require a degree of violence to comprise them under
the somewhat fanciful title selected. These volumes are dedicated to the
flock under the pastoral care of the author, and can not fail to prove a
welcome and appropriate memorial, to the two generations to whom his
unbroken ministrations have been addressed, of one of the ablest and
most honored divines who have adorned the American pulpit.

_Yeast. A Problem._ (Harper and Brothers.) Under this quaint title, the
author of "Alton Locke" has collected into a volume a series of papers
formerly contributed to Frazer's Magazine. Not so radical, so fantastic,
nor so vigorous as many portions of the "Autobiography of a Tailor,"
dealing more with religious, and less with social questions, written in
a more obscure and uncertain stage of experience, this production is a
sparkling effervescing fragment, abounding in passages of singular
beauty and heart-rending pathos, with some delineations of character,
which, for originality of conception and force of coloring, can rarely
be matched in contemporary literature. The work is abrupt, spasmodic,
and, of course, very unequal in its execution; the plot serves only as
an apology for the exhibition of psychological studies; and although it
breaks off with little warning and no satisfaction, its perusal can not
fail to touch the deepest sympathies of the reader.

Stanford and Swords have published a neat edition of _The Angel's Song,
a Christmas Token_, by CHARLES B. TAYLOR, one of the best religious
stories of that popular writer. His style is marked by a beautiful
simplicity, which gives an unfailing freshness to his narrative, while
his skill in availing himself of the most effective incidents
challenges the constant curiosity of the reader. The volume is got up in
a uniform style with the seven preceding volumes, forming a valuable
series for the family or parish library.

_Stuart of Dunleath_, by Mrs. NORTON. (Harper and Brothers.) With scarce
an exception, no novel of the present season has received such
enthusiastic praise from the English press as this brilliant production.
The style is no less chaste and exquisite, than the plot is deep and
absorbing. Variety, movement, passion, and intense interest, pervade the
whole narrative, which, at the same time, is singularly natural,
depending for its effect on its truthful revelations of character and
life. In the profusion of superior novels which have recently made their
appearance, we can not hesitate to yield the pre-eminence to "Stuart of
Dunleath."

_Isabella_ is the subject of the Sixth Tale in the Girlhood of
_Shakspeare's Heroines_, by MARY COWDEN CLARKE, published by Geo. P.
Putnam. The narrative shows the fertility of invention which
characterizes all the Tales of the present series, and as an exercise of
fanciful ingenuity, is not inferior to any which have preceded it. The
reverence for Shakspeare, which is an inwrought element in the character
of the author, may palliate, if it does not excuse the presumption of
her enterprise. It must be confessed that her success thus far has to a
great degree falsified the predictions which the announcement of her
plan called forth.

_The Solitary of Juan Fernandez_, by the author of _Picciola_,
translated from the French, by ANNE T. WILBUR (published by Ticknor,
Reed, and Fields), is founded on the Life of Alexander Selkirk, whose
adventures it employs to enforce the moral lesson of the importance of
society. The story is constructed with the subtle delicacy of conception
which pervades the charming Picciola, and contains several passages of
exquisite beauty. In presenting a vivid picture of the pernicious
influence of solitude on the human faculties, the author claims a
greater fidelity to nature than was exercised by De Foe, whose Robinson
Crusoe, he maintains, completely alters the mental physiognomy of his
model. Robinson is not a man in a state of entire isolation, but is, in
fact, a European developing the resources of his industry, while
contending with a barren soil and ferocious enemies. Without comparing
the present work with the immortal production of De Foe, which regards
the history in another point of view, we must allow it the merit of a
rich poetical fancy, and uncommon felicity of expression. The
translation shows some marks of haste, but, on the whole, is gracefully
executed.

_Not so Bad as We Seem_ is the title of Sir E. BULWER LYTTON'S new
Comedy (published by Harper and Brothers), written for the benefit of
the Guild of Literature and Art, and performed with brilliant eclat at
Devonshire House, by a company of literary amateurs. The part taken in
its representation by Dickens, Douglas Jerrold, John Forster, Marston,
Wilkie Collins, and other men of prominent intellectual distinction, has
given a remarkable prestige to this play, independent of its actual
merits. It can not fail to be sought with avidity, both from interest in
the occasion, and the popularity of the author. Nor is it altogether
unworthy of his great reputation. The construction of the plot shows his
usual fertility of resource, and the dialogue, which is various and
spirited, is managed with no small skill. The scene is laid in London
during the reign of George I., and the incidents are drawn from the
political manoeuvres of that day.



Editor's Drawer.


Doubtless there are few men, who at all enjoy their own thoughts, or
books, the printed thoughts of others, either of the past, or in the
present, but have preserved in some form what impressed them favorably
or interested them deeply. Some elaborate at night, after their hours of
business are over, a daily record, or diary, in which are set down many
of the "choice things" and all the "remarkable occurrences," to which
the day may have given rise. Others--and they are not only wise but
benevolent--do not selfishly shut up these things between the covers of
a private manuscript-volume, but copy them off in a fair hand, and send
them to the editor of some clever journal or magazine, where they are
soon "known and read of all men"--and women. Now _we_ have a collection
of the kind to which we have alluded. When scribbled, they have been
thrown into a drawer of the table whereon they were written. They are of
all kinds and descriptions; of matters humorous and of matters pathetic:
some have come warm from the heart--others come fresh from the fancy.
Many things from the lips of others have been preserved, some of which
drew tears from eyes unused to weep; while, on the other hand, and in
respect of _other_ things, the "water of mirth" has crept into the same
eyes. Of such are the materials of our collection. There will be found
in them no attempts at "fine writing;" for that is a thing as much
beyond our inclination as our power. Simplicity, earnestness, a desire
to put down plainly our own natural thoughts and meditations, and the
brief, amusing, or instructive thoughts of others--these are the means
and this the purpose of our "_Editor's Drawer_." Wherefore, reader,
perpend the first "batch," and patiently await a second and a better.

       *       *       *       *       *

How much there is in the power of a single felicitous word in poetry,
toward making a perfect picture to the mind of the reader! It often
invests an inanimate object with almost actual life, and makes the
landscape a sentient thing. Here are a few lines that live in our
memory--from PROCTOR, BARRY CORNWALL, if we do not mistake--which are
eminently in illustration of this. The poet is sitting at night-fall
upon a green meadow-bank, with his little daughter by his side, looking
at the setting sun, and the twilight exhalations colored by its evening
beams:

                    "----Here will we sit,
          The while the sun goes down the glowing west,
          And drink the balmy air
          Exhaling from the meadows; the nectarous breath
          Which EARTH sends upward _when her lord, the Sun_,
          _Kisses her cheek at parting_."

There is action as well as vitality in this beautiful simile. SHAKSPEARE
paints similarly, when he says:

          "How soft the moonlight _sleeps_ upon yon bank!"

Now, suppose he had written "_rests_ upon yon bank?" how tame, in
comparison, would the word have been; and yet it would be equally
"correct." What is it that gives to the following line from CAMPBELL'S
"Battle of Hohenlinden" its almost terrific force, but a single word:

          "Far flashed the _red_ artillery!"

That little word of one syllable sets the distant horizon all a-glow
with the bursting flames from the deep-mouthed ordnance. Wherefore, ye
minor bardlings, look to your accessories.

       *       *       *       *       *

It was impossible not to laugh when the following circumstance was
mentioned the other day in our hearing: A lady, whose little child had
by accident partaken of something which it was feared would inflame or
distend its bowels, was awakened in the night by the bursting of a
yeast-bottle, in an adjoining closet. "Husband!" she exclaimed "get up!
get up! BETSEY has exploded! I heard her explode this minute!"--and
nothing short of lighting a candle, and going to the apartment where the
little girl slept would convince her of the unreality of her ridiculous
impression.

       *       *       *       *       *

The memories of childhood, after a mature age has been attained, are
more powerful than many people are aware of. And especially is this the
case, in reference to the religious observances which first arrest the
attention of children. Our annual anniversaries, which bring to the
Great Metropolis so many ministers of different denominations, are
fruitful examples of the strong memories of children in this respect.
With the familiar faces of the clergymen who ministered before him in
holy things in his boyhood, come back to the city denizen fresh memories
of his early life in the country; the plain village-church, with its
farmer-occupants; the "tiding-men," who used to pull his ears, and make
him change his seat, when he was restive under the delays and restraints
of the sanctuary. "Do you see that white-haired old gentleman?" said a
friend to us in the crowded Tabernacle, at a late religious anniversary,
pointing to a venerable clergyman, the personification of solemn
dignity. He was our minister in the country nearly forty years ago, and
he was called "_old_ Mr. L----" then. How well I remember his baptizing
my little sister!--and it seemed but a _dream_ of time, afterward, when
I saw him marry her to a young man who had won her heart; and in less
than two years afterward he uncovered his white head at her grave, and
endeavored to speak words of consolation to her bereaved friends. The
last time I heard him in the country was at a conference-meeting, on a
summer afternoon, at the little school-house; and well do I recollect
how, as the late twilight drew on, and I was looking out upon the
deepening green of the trees that surrounded the humble building, his
voice trembled with emotion as he read the parting hymn:

          'The day is past and gone,
            The evening shades appear;
          Oh, may we all remember well,
            The night of DEATH draws near!

          'We lay our garments by,
            Upon our beds to rest;
          So DEATH will soon disrobe us all
            Of what we here possessed.'

"I should like," continued our friend, as we walked away after the
services were over; "I should like to go home to die, when it shall
please GOD to call me away, and have that good old man, the friend and
director of my boyhood, speak a few words over my last remains."

       *       *       *       *       *

It is a pleasant thing, once in a while, to encounter a man of
imperturbable good-nature; and such a one it was, who recently, at one
of our hotels, after pulling some dozen of times at his bell, which
continued unanswered, all at once said to a friend who was in his
apartment: "I wonder if it's because I keep pulling at that bell so,
that they don't come up! I'm afraid it is, really. Perhaps they're
offended at me!" Even _such_ patience is better than loud grumbling in a
tavern-hall, and vociferous "bully-ragging" of servants.

Somebody--and we know not whom, for it is an old faded yellow
manuscript scrap in our drawer--thus rebukes an Englishman's aspiration
to be "independent of foreigners:" A French cook dresses his dinner for
him, and a Swiss valet dresses him for his dinner. He hands down his
lady, decked with pearls that never grew in the shell of a British
oyster, and her waving plume of ostrich-feathers certainly never formed
the tail of a barn-door fowl. The viands of his table are from all
countries of the world; his wines are from the banks of the Rhine and
the Rhone. In his conservatory he regales his sight with the blossoms of
South American flowers; in his smoking-room he gratifies his scent with
the weed of North America. His favorite horse is of Arabian blood; his
pet dog of the St. Bernard breed. His gallery is rich with pictures from
the Flemish school, and statues from Greece. For his amusement he goes
to hear Italian singers warble German music, followed by a French
ballet. The ermine that decorates his judges was never before on a
British animal. His very mind is not English in its attainments: it is a
mere pic-nic of foreign contributions. His poetry and philosophy are
from ancient Greece and Rome; his geometry from Alexandria; his
arithmetic from Arabia, and his religion from Palestine. In his cradle,
in his infancy, he rubbed his gums with coral from oriental oceans; and
when he dies, he is buried in a coffin made from wood that grew on a
foreign soil, and his monument will be sculptured in marble from the
quarries of Carrara. A pretty sort of man this, to talk of being
"independent of foreigners!"

       *       *       *       *       *

Parodies, as a general thing, are rather indifferent reading. The
"Rejected Addresses" and "Warrenniana," however, are brilliant
exceptions to this remark. One of the most happy native exhibitions of
this sort that we have seen, is a parody upon the Scottish song of
"_Jessie, the Flower of Dunblane_," written by a distinguished jurist in
Pennsylvania:

          "Oh, shweet ish de lily mit its prown yellow plossom,
            Und so ish de meadow, all covered mit green;
          But noding's so sweet, nor yet sticks in my posom,
            Like sweet liddel KATY, vot lives on de plain:
          She's pashful as any--like her dere's not many;
            She's neider high-larnt, nor yet foolish, nor vain;
          Und he's a great villain, mitout any feelin',
            Dat vould hurt vonce my KITTY, vot lives on de plain."

       *       *       *       *       *

In a story which we once heard related by an Englishman, there seemed to
us so good an exemplification of one phase of human incredulity,
overcome by superior cunning, that we could not resist the inclination
to "make a note of it." A fat, burly English landlord was sitting one
afternoon at the door of his inn, in a provincial town not a hundred
miles from London, when a person entered the house, and after
complimenting its cleanliness and snug appearance, ordered a good dinner
and a bottle of wine. The dinner, when ready, was laid in an upper
apartment, looking out upon a pleasant garden; and after it had been
thoroughly discussed, and the wine sipped luxuriously to the bottom of
the bottle, the satisfied guest sent for his host, and when he entered
the room, thus addressed him: "You have a fine inn here, landlord--a
_very_ fine inn: every thing is particularly nice--in fact, what _I_
call comfortable." The landlord expressed his gratification. "I shall
have great pleasure," continued the guest, without noticing the
interruption, "in recommending your house to my friends in town. There
remains only _one_ thing more to mention, landlord; and as the subject
is one which I have reason to think will be as unpleasant to you as to
myself, I will express it in a few words. I have not, at this moment,
any money; but I will be here again in--" "_No money_!" exclaimed the
landlord, in a voice husky with anger. "NO MONEY!! then why did you come
to the 'Hen-and-Chickens' and run up a bill that you can't pay? Get out
of my house this instant! Go! walk!" "I expected this," replied the
guest, rising; "I anticipated this treatment; nor can I much blame you,
landlord, to tell you the truth, for you don't _know_ me. Because you
sometimes meet with deception, you think _I_ am deceiving you; but I
pledge you my honor that a fortnight from this day I will be with you
again, and you will confess your self ashamed of your suspicions." "Bah!
you're a swindler!" ejaculated Boniface; "this will be the last of you:
take _that_!" and with a vigorous _coup de pied_, was "sped the parting
guest." "You will live to regret this, landlord, I am sure; but I do not
blame you, for you are ignorant of my character," was the meek reply to
this gross indignity. Just two weeks from that day, this same ill-used
gentleman (with a traveling friend), was, with many apologies and
protestations, shown into the best room of the celebrated
"Hen-and-Chickens" inn. The landlord's profuse apologies were accepted;
he was forgiven; and even invited to dine with the two friends upon the
best dinner, flanked by the very choicest wines which his house
afforded. When all was finished, and while the landlord, who had become
exceedingly mellow, was protesting that he should never be so suspicious
of a "real gentleman" again, he was interrupted by his first guest with:
"But, landlord, there is _one_ thing which we ought, in justice to you,
to mention. _I_ do not happen to have, at this moment, a single penny;
and, I grieve to say, that my companion, who is a _good_ man, but in a
worldly point of view, very poor, is not a whit better off. Under these
unpleasant circumstances, it becomes, as it were, a necessity, to bid
you a very good evening!" "'Done' twice! the 'Hen and Chickens' 'done'
twice!--and both times exactly alike!" said the landlord, as he went
down to set the swindle to the account of "Profit and Loss."

       *       *       *       *       *

A forcible example of the necessity of observing accent and punctuation
in reading, was afforded by the careless reader who gave the passage
from the Bible, with the following pauses: "And the old man said unto
his sons, 'Saddle _me_, the ass;' and they saddled _him_!"

       *       *       *       *       *

The following specimen of sepulchral literature was copied literally
from an old tombstone in Scotland:

          "Here lies the body of ALEXANDER MACPHERSON,
          Who was a very extraordinary person:
          He was two yards high in his stocking-feet,
          And kept his accoutrements clean and neat;
          He was slew
          At the battle of Waterloo:
          He was shot by a bullet
          Plumb through his gullet;
          It went in at his throat,
          And came out at the back of his coat."

       *       *       *       *       *

There is something very ludicrous in the specimens of inanimate
personation mentioned by DICKENS in one of his sketches. One Vauxhall
waiter in London bawls out to another: "I say; look out, BILL; there's a
Brandy-and-water a-gettin' over the railing, and a
Go-o'-gin-and-a-Muffin a-slinkin' out o' the back-gate! Stop 'em,
Bill--stop 'em!"



A Leaf from Punch.

FACTS AND COMMENTS.

BY MR. PUNCH.


There has lately been started a new steam-boat, with the odd title of
the _Emmet_. It certainly is the very worst name for a sea-going craft,
since no one will go on board the _Emmet_ without thinking of an
_Emetic_.... There was a thorough specimen of American Independence
exhibited at the Botanical Gardens by the celebrated American plants,
which were advertised to appear in full bloom, at least three weeks
earlier than they condescended to show themselves. Every one was asking
how it was that the American plants did not show themselves, according
to promise. But they obstinately remained shut up in their buds, as if
when looked for to blossom, their reply had been, "If I do, I'm blowed."
... The French Republic is always represented as wearing the Cap of
Liberty. A fitter head-dress would be a _mob-cap_.... If you wish to
hear all your faults fully canvassed, have your portrait taken, and
invite your friends to come and keep you company.... I hate parrots,
parroquets, and cockatoos. They are odious creatures (screechers)!...
The Dictionary puts down _make_ and _construct_ as synonymous. They do
not, however, mean precisely the same, for an omnibus, which is
_constructed_ to hold twelve persons, is _made_ to hold fourteen, and
sometimes more, especially on wet nights.... The new process of cooking
by gas is a splendid triumph of gas-tronomy.... The reason why lightning
turns milk and beer sour, probably is, that the electric fluid does not
know how to conduct itself any better.... Philosophers have often tried
to explain why a cat runs after a mouse; the reason undoubtedly is,
because the mouse runs away from the cat.

[Illustration: COMPARATIVE LOVE.

_Papa._--"SO, CHARLEY, YOU REALLY ARE IN LOVE WITH THE LITTLE BLACK-EYED
GIRL YOU MET LAST NIGHT?"

_Charley._--"YES, PAPA, I LOVE HER DEARLY!"

_Papa._--"HOW MUCH DO YOU LOVE HER, CHARLEY? DO YOU LOVE HER AS MUCH AS
PUDDING?"

_Charley._--"O YES, PAPA! AND A GREAT DEAL BETTER THAN PUDDING.
BUT--(_pausing to reflect_)--I DO NOT LOVE HER--SO MUCH AS--JELLY!"]

[Illustration: _Wife of his Bosom._--"UPON MY WORD, MR. PEEWITT! IS
THIS THE WAY YOU FILL UP YOUR CENSUS PAPER? SO YOU CALL YOURSELF THE
'HEAD OF THE FAMILY'--DO YOU--AND ME A 'FEMALE?'"]

[Illustration: _First Frenchman._--"MON DIEU, ALPHONSE! LOOK THERE! WHAT
DO YOU CALL THAT MACHINE?"

_Second Frenchman._--"I SEE! IT'S A VERY DROLL AFFAIR, BUT I DON'T KNOW
WHAT IT IS."]



Summer Fashions.


[Illustration: BRIDAL, MORNING, AND VISITING COSTUMES.]

The Summer in all its fervor is now prevailing, and the dictations of
fierce Leo may not be disregarded with impunity. Light textures, only,
are seasonable, and the genius of modists has wrought out beautiful and
appropriate patterns for dresses, bonnets, mantelets, &c. The textures
most in vogue are light silks, taffetas, _barèges_, _mousseline de
soie_, valencias, plain and printed cambric muslins, jaconets, &c. Our
first Illustration exhibits appropriate costume for three phases in the
character of fashion; a bride's dress, a morning costume, and a visiting
dress.

The BRIDAL DRESS, seen on the left, is extremely elegant. The hair is in
short bandeaux and very large. The vail of illusion silk net, is
embroidered above the hem with twelve rows of narrow silk braid put very
near together. It is laid flat on the head and incloses the back hair.
The edge comes on the forehead. The crown is composed of double laurel
flowers, bunches of lilies of the valley, and reed leaves. It goes round
the head behind, and does not meet in front. The foliage reaches forward
and falls all round the head.

The under-dress is of white silk, the upper of India muslin, open in
front, in the body and skirt, so as to show one width of the silk. The
body is almost high. A deep _valenciennes_, scolloped, forms a lapel
down the body and the edges of the skirt. The short pagoda sleeves are
trimmed with rows of _valenciennes_. The body and skirt have several
rows of narrow _valenciennes_, three together at intervals, and so
arranged as to form undulations. These trimmings are fixed to one
insertion: they are not loose, but so fastened as to follow all the
motions of the folds of the skirt. The cross-bands are ornamented on the
body with a silk bow in the middle; on the skirt, with two others placed
at the extremities. A bow on each arm holds up the pagodas. The collar
is plaited; an embroidered insertion, and three rows of _valenciennes_,
undulated like the trimming of the dress. The under-sleeves, of
embroidered muslin at the bottom, are straight, and rather loose at the
wrist. They have an insertion and three rows _of valenciennes_.

The sitting figure shows a MORNING COSTUME composed of taffeta and other
light materials. An elegant and rather gay style is taffeta of a light
gray ground, striped broad, with intervening wreaths of roses. The body
three-quarter height at the back. It opens in a large lapel down each
side of the _tablier_, which is trimmed with fringe, of hues
corresponding with the dress. The fringe is continued from the bottom of
the lapel down each side of the _tablier_. Sleeves are funnel-shaped,
rather more than a half-length, and finished with fringe. Cambric
chemisette, made quite up to the throat, and cambric under-sleeves.
Lemon colored silk or drawn bonnet, the brim very open at the sides. The
interior is trimmed in cap style with tulle; lemon colored _brides_ or
strings.

The figure on the right shows a VISITING DRESS. The body is _à la Louis
XV._; demi-long sleeves of the small pagoda form. A pardessus like a
little pelisse; a close fitting body, moderately open on the bosom;
bordered with a very rich fancy trimming. Wide sleeves descending to the
hand, and terminated with fancy trimming and a rich fringe. The skirt is
short behind, but nearly a half length in front, open before, and
trimmed round the bottom with three rows of fringe laid on as flounces.
Rice straw bonnet; a very small open brim, the interior trimmed with
tufts of red and yellow roses and their foliage, and white _brides_. The
exterior of the bonnet is decorated with a wreath of the same flowers,
intermixed with thin foliage, and light sprigs of small white flowers
and buds.

[Illustration: FIG. 2.--BONNETS.]

Bonnets continue to be made small and very open in front. Light silks
are fashionable. These are covered by rows of white festooned ribbon, as
seen in the second Illustration of Fig. 2. Others have white lace on the
front, over the centre, and upon the crown and curtain; as seen in the
other Illustration. Florence straw, gauze, tulle, crape, and crapelisse,
are more fashionable and much more seasonable. Rice straw bonnets are
very much in vogue this season. The general forms of bonnets have not
much changed since our last report.

[Illustration: TURKISH COSTUME.]

There appears to be a decided and growing tendency on the part of our
countrywomen, to wear the trowsers. If _properly_ done, we certainly can
not object. For some time past indications of an invasion, by the
ladies, of men's peculiar domain in dress, incited by the strong-minded
Miss Webers of the day, have been tangible, but the frowns of Fashion
have hitherto kept the revolutionists quiet, and ladies' dresses have
every month been increasing in longitude, until train-bearers are
becoming necessary. It is conceded by all that the dresses of prevailing
immoderate length, sweeping the ground at every step, are among the
silliest foibles of Fashion; expensive, inconvenient, and untidy.
Recently, in several places, practical reformers, as bold as Joan d'Arc,
have discarded the trailing skirts, and adopted the far more convenient,
equally chaste, and more elegant dresses of Oriental women. Some
ridicule them; others sneer contemptuously or laugh incredulously, and
others commend them for their taste and courage. We are disposed to be
placed in the latter category; and to show our good-will, we present,
above, a sketch of ORIENTAL COSTUME, as a model for our fair reformers.
What can be more elegant and graceful, particularly for young ladies?
The style is based upon good taste, and, if the ladies are in earnest,
it must prevail. A crusty cynic at our elbow who never believed in
progress in any thing, thinks so too; and has just whispered in our ear
of woman, that

          "If she will, she will, you may depend on't,
          And if she won't, she won't--so there's an end on't."


  FOOTNOTES:

[1] At that time a son of Mr. Lee was at school at St. Bees, in England.
One day, as he was standing near one of the professors of the academy,
who was conversing with a gentleman of the neighboring country, he heard
the question asked, "What boy is this?" To which the professor replied,
"He is the son of Richard Henry Lee, of America." The gentleman, upon
hearing this, put his hand upon the boy's head, and remarked, "We shall
yet see your father's head upon Tower Hill." The boy promptly answered,
"You may have it when you can get it." That boy was the late Ludwell
Lee, Esq., of Virginia.

[2] The history of this bell, now hanging in the steeple of the State
House, in Philadelphia, is interesting. In 1753, a bell for that edifice
was imported from England. On the first trial ringing, after its
arrival, it was cracked. It was recast by Pass and Stow, of
Philadelphia, in 1753, under the direction of Isaac Norris, the then
Speaker of the Colonial Assembly. Upon fillets around its crown, cast
there twenty-three years before the Continental Congress adopted the
Declaration of Independence, are the words of Holy Writ, "Proclaim
liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof." How
prophetic! Beneath that very bell the representatives of the thirteen
colonies "proclaimed liberty throughout all the land," and its iron
tongue echoed the annunciation! For more than two hours its glorious
melody floated clear and musical as the voice of an angel above the
discordant chorus of booming cannon, rolling drums, and the mingled
acclamations of an excited multitude. It, too, was fractured, and for
long years its voice has been silent. When I stood in the belfry and
sketched this portrait of the old herald, the spirit of the Past, with
all its retinue, seemed to be there, for association summoned to the
audience chamber of imagination, from the lofty hills and green valleys
of the Republic, that band of patriots who stood sponsors at its baptism
in 1776.

[3] This is in allusion to the line which Turgot wrote under the bust of
Franklin: _Eripuit cælo fulmen, sceptrumque tyrannis_.

[4] None such are in fact required, for the car itself contains air
enough for the use of its passengers for a quarter of an hour, and there
is rarely occupied more than a period of two or three minutes to pass it
through the surf to the shore.

[5] Areas being as the squares of homologous lines, the ratio would be,
mathematically expressed, 1²: 4 × 12² = 1: 4 × 144 = 1: 576.

[6] There are nine of these presses in the printing-rooms of Harper and
Brothers, all constantly employed in smoothing sheets of paper after the
printing. The sheets of paper to be pressed are placed between sheets of
very smooth and thin, but _hard_ pasteboard, until a pile is made
several feet high, and containing sometimes two thousand sheets of
paper, and then the hydraulic pressure is applied. These presses cost,
each, from twelve to fifteen hundred dollars.

[7] The principle on which these life-boats are made is found equally
advantageous in its application to boats intended for other purposes.
For a gentleman's pleasure-grounds, for example, how great the
convenience of having a boat which is always stanch and tight--which no
exposure to the sun can make leaky, which no wet can rot, and no neglect
impair. And so in all other cases where boats are required for
situations or used where they will be exposed to hard usage of any kind,
whether from natural causes or the neglect or inattention of those in
charge of them, this material seems far superior to any other.

[8] Continued from the June Number.

[9] Continued from the June Number.

[10] Continued from the June Number.

[11] Transactions of the Zoological Society.

[12] Josephine might afterward have fulfilled this promise, had not
Madame d'Aiguillon been a divorced wife, which excluded her from holding
any situation about the Empress.

[13] Continued from the June Number.





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