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Title: Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science - Volume 15, No. 88, April, 1875
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science - Volume 15, No. 88, April, 1875" ***

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[Note: The Table of Contents and the list of illustrations were added
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APRIL, 1875.

Vol. XV, No. 88

















Books Received.




















       *       *       *       *       *




APRIL, 1875.

Vol. XV, No. 88

       *       *       *       *       *



[Illustration: FOREST OF COCKATOOS.]

People who go to Australia expecting every other man they meet to be a
convict, and every convict a ruffian in felon's garb, will assuredly
find themselves mistaken. And if contemplating a residence in Sydney or
Melbourne they need not anticipate the necessity of living in a tent or
a shanty, nor yet of accepting the society of convicts or negroes as the
only alternative to a life of solitude. Neither will it be necessary to
go armed with revolvers by day, nor to place plate and jewels under
guard at night. Sydney, the capital of the penal colony, is a quiet,
orderly city, abounding in villas and gardens, churches and schools, and
about its well-lighted streets ride and walk well-dressed and well-bred
people, whose visages betray neither the ruffian nor the cannibal. Some
of them may be convicts or "ticket-of-leave-men," but this a stranger
would need to be told, as they dress like others, their equipages are
quite as stylish, and many of them not only amass more property, but are
really more honest, than some of those never sentenced, because they
know that the continuance of their freedom depends on their reputation.

[Illustration: SYDNEY.]

The city, built on the south side of a beautiful lake, is perfectly
unique in design, being composed of five broad promontories, looking
like the five fingers of a hand slightly expanded. All the important
streets run from east to west, and each terminates in a distinct harbor,
while clearly visible from the upper portion of the street is a grand
moving panorama of vessels of every description, with masts, sails and
colors that seem peering out from every interstice between the houses.
Each day witnesses the arrival and departure of eight or ten steamers,
ferry-boats leave every half hour all the principal landings for the
various sections of the city, and the wharves are lined with the
shipping of every nation, many of the vessels ranging from fifteen
hundred to two thousand tons burden. On a huge rock in Watson's Bay
stands the lighthouse at the entrance of Port Jackson. The sea lashes
the black rock with ceaseless fury, the light from the summit rendering
even the base visible at a great distance. The light is 350 feet above
the level of the sea, yet it was almost under its very rays that the
good ship Dunbar came to grief. Missing the passage, she was engulfed in
the raging sea, and her three hundred and ninety passengers perished in
full view of the homes they were seeking.

Orange and almond trees, with other tropical plants, loaded with
blossoms and fruit, beautify the lowlands, while in more elevated
localities are found the fruits and foliage of the temperate zone, very
many of them exotics brought by the settlers from their English homes.
Down to the very water's edge extends the verdure of tree and shrub,
overshadowing to the right Fort Jackson, and to the left Middle Harbor.
The Government House commands the bay with the imposing mien of a
fortress, and the magnificent reception-rooms are worthy of a
sovereign's court. The garden surrounding it occupies a beautiful
promontory, its borders washed by the sea, the walks shaded by trees
imported from Europe, and the whole parterre redolent with tropical
beauty and fragrance. On the promenades are frequently assembled at
evening two or three hundred ladies and gentlemen in full dress, while
military bands discourse sweet music for the entertainment of the
brilliant throng.

Ballarat may be called the city of gold; Melbourne, of clubs, democracy
and thriving commerce; Hobart Town takes the premium for hospitality and
picturesque beauty; but Sydney bears the impress of genuine English
aristocracy, in combination with a sort of Creole piquancy singularly in
contrast with English exclusiveness, yet giving a wonderful charm to the
society of this city of high life, so full of gayety, brilliancy and
luxury. Who would recognize in the Sydney of to-day, with its four
hundred thousand inhabitants, its churches, theatres and libraries, the
outgrowth of the penal colony of Botany Bay, planted only eighty-seven
years ago on savage shores? It was in May, 1787, that the first colony
left England for Botany Bay, a squadron of eleven vessels, carrying
eleven hundred and eighteen colonists to make a lodgment on an unknown
shore inhabited by savages. Of these eleven hundred and eighteen, there
were six hundred male and two hundred and fifty female convicts, the
remaining portion being composed of officers and soldiers to take charge
of the new penal settlement, under the command of Governor Phillip. From
so unpromising a beginning has grown the present rich and flourishing
settlement, and in lieu of the few temporary shanties erected by the
first colonists there stands a magnificent city of more than ordinarily
fine architecture, with banks and hospitals, schools and churches--among
the latter a superb cathedral--all displaying the proverbial prodigality
of labor and expense for which the English are noted in the erection and
adornment of their public edifices. Among the educational establishments
are the English University, with a public hall like that of Westminster;
St. John's College (Catholic); and national primary and high schools,
where are educated about thirty-four thousand pupils at an annual
expense to the government of more than three hundred thousand dollars.
From the parent colony have sprung others, while the poverty and
corruption that were the distinguishing features of the original element
have been gradually lost in the more recent importations of honest and
respectable citizens.

Apart from the wealth and gayety of Sydney, there is much in its various
grades of society to interest the average tourist. The "ticket-of-leave
men"--that is, convicts who, having served out a portion of their term
and been favorably reported for good conduct, are permitted to go at
large and begin life anew--form a distinct class, and exert a widespread
influence by their wealth, benevolence and commercial enterprise.


Very many of the better class are talented and well educated, with the
manners and appearance of gentlemen; and in some cases there has been
perhaps but the _single_ crime for which they suffered expatriation
and disgrace. Such as these, as a rule, conduct themselves with
propriety from the moment of being sentenced; never murmur at their work
or discipline, be it ever so hard; and probably after a single year of
hardship are favorably reported, and permitted to seek or make homes for
themselves. Many of them own bank shares and real estate, and some
become immensely rich, either by ability or chance good-fortune. The
property is their own, but the owners are always watched by those in
power, and are liable at any moment to be ordered back to their old
positions. These "remanded men" are treated with the greatest severity,
and few have sufficient power of endurance to live out even a short term
with its increase of rigor and hardship. Yet to the energy and
enterprise of the liberated felons is probably due, more than to any
other cause, that increase of prosperity which has long since rendered
these colonies not only self-supporting, but a source of revenue to the

[Illustration: CANNIBAL FIRES.]

Another and the most dangerous class of convicts are those known as
"bushrangers." They are desperate fellows, composed of the very lowest
scum of England, have ordinarily been sentenced for life, and, having no
hope of pardon or desire for amendment, they escape as soon as possible,
often by the murder of one or more of their guards, and take refuge in
the wilds of the interior. Some of these bushrangers are associated
together in large hordes, but others roam solitary for months before
they will venture to trust their lives in the hands of other desperadoes
like themselves. There are hundreds of these lawless men prowling like
wild beasts for their prey in the vicinity of every thoroughfare between
the cities and the mines, robbing and murdering defenceless passengers,
plundering the mails, and constantly exacting the best of their flocks
and herds from the stockmen and shepherds, who in their isolated
positions dare not refuse their demands. So desperate is the character
of these outlaws that they are seldom taken, though thousands of pounds
are occasionally offered for the head of some noted ringleader. They may
be killed in skirmishes, but will not suffer themselves to be taken
alive. A man calling himself "Black Darnley" ranged the woods for years,
committing all sorts of crimes, but at length met a violent death at the
hands of another convict, whose daughter he had outraged.

A curious memento of the first theatre opened in Sydney and the first
performance within its walls has come down to us from the year 1796,
about eight years after the establishment of the penal colony. It was
opened by permission of the governor: all the actors were convicts who
won the privilege by good behavior, and the price of admission was one
shilling, payable in silver, flour, meat or wine. The prologue, written
by a _cidevant_ pickpocket of London, illustrates the character of
the times in those early days of the colony:

    From distant climes, o'er widespread seas, we come,
    Though not with much _éclat_ or beat of drum,
    True patriots all; for be it understood,
    We left our country for our country's good:
    No private views disgraced our generous zeal;
    What urged our travels was our country's weal;
    And none will doubt but that our emigration
    Has proved most useful to the British nation.
    But, you inquire, what could our breasts inflame
    With this new passion for theatric fame?
    What in the practice of our former days
    Could shape our talents to exhibit plays?
    Your patience, sirs: some observations made,
    You'll grant us equal to the scenic trade.
    He who to midnight ladders is no stranger
    You'll own will make an admirable Ranger,
    And sure in Filch I shall be quite at home:
    Some true-bred Falstaff we may hope to start.
    The scene to vary, we shall try in time
    To treat you with a little pantomime.
    Here light and easy Columbines are found,
    And well-tried Harlequins with us abound.
    From durance vile our precious selves to keep,
    We often had recourse to the flying leap,
    To a black face have sometimes owed escape,
    And Hounslow Heath has proved the worth of crape.
    But how, you ask, can we e'er hope to soar.
    Above these scenes, and rise to tragic lore?
    Too oft, alas! we've forced the unwilling tear,
    And petrified the heart with real fear.
    Macbeth a harvest of applause will reap,
    For some of us, I fear, have murdered sleep.
    His lady, too, with grace will sleep and talk:
    Our females have been used at night to walk.
    Grant us your favor, put us to the test:
    To gain your smiles we'll do our very best,
    And without dread of future Turnkey Lockets,
    Thus, in an honest way, still _pick your pockets_!

It was by the coral-bound Straits of Torres, reckoned by navigators the
most difficult in the world, that the English government determined a
few years ago to send an envoy to open communication between the
Australian colony and the Dutch possessions of Java and Sumatra. The
Hero was the vessel selected for this perilous mission--a voyage of
twelve hundred miles through seas studded thickly with reefs and islands
of coral, many of which lay just beneath the surface of the
waves--hidden pitfalls of death whose yawning jaws threatened instant
destruction to the unwary voyager. The splendid steamer Cowarra had been
wrecked on these reefs only a few months before, but a single one of her
two hundred and seventy-five passengers escaping a watery grave. Her
tall masts, still standing bolt upright amid the coral-reefs, presented
a gaunt spectacle, plainly visible from the Hero's decks as she threaded
her way among the shoaly waters, while a similar though less tragical
warning was the disaster that had overtaken two other vessels, the
Astrolabe and the Zélée, which by a sudden ebb of the tide were thrown
high and dry upon the sands, and remained in this frightful condition
for eight days before the returning waters drifted them off. But the
Hero was a staunch craft--an iron blockade-runner, built at Glasgow
during our late war. She was of twelve hundred tons burden, manned by
forty-two men, and had already weathered storms and dangers enough to
earn a right to the name she bore. Right nobly she fulfilled her
dangerous mission, threading her way with difficulty among whole fields
of coral, that sometimes almost enclosed her low hull as between two
walls; again seeming upon the very verge of the breakers or ready to be
engulfed in their whirling eddies, but emerging at last into the open
channel, a monument of the skill and watchfulness of her officers. Many
of these for days together never left the deck, and the lead was cast
three or four times an hour during the whole passage of these dangerous
seas. Such is the history of navigation in coral seas, but if full of
danger, they are equally replete with picturesque beauty. In the coral
isle, with its blue lagoon, its circling reef and smiling vegetation,
there is a wondrous fascination; while in the long reefs, with the ocean
driving furiously upon them, only to be driven pitilessly back, all
wreathed in white foam and diamond spray, there is enough of the sublime
to transfix the most careless observer. The barrier reef that skirts the
north-east coast of the Australian continent is the grandest coral
formation in the world, stretching for a distance of a thousand miles,
with a varying breadth of from two hundred yards to a mile. The maximum
distance from the shore is seventy miles, but it rarely exceeds
twenty-five or thirty. Between this and the mainland lies a sheltered
channel, safe, for the most part, when reached; but there are few open
passages from the ocean, and the shoals of imperfectly-formed coral that
lie concealed just below the surface render the most watchful care
necessary to a safe passage. The fires of the cannibals, visible on
every peak all along the coast, shed their ruddy light over the blue
waters, illumining here and there some lofty crest, and adding a weird
beauty to the enchanting scene.


"America has no monuments," say our Transatlantic cousins, "because it
is but two hundred years old." Well, Australia, with little more than
three-quarters of a hundred, has already its monument--a beautiful
bronze monument erected to the memory of the explorers Burke and Wills
on a lofty pedestal of elegant workmanship, and occupying a commanding
eminence in the city of Melbourne. The figures, two in number, are of
more than life size, one rising above the other--the chief, with noble
form and dignified air, fraternally supporting his younger confrere. The
pedestal shows three bas-reliefs of exquisite design--one the return to
Cooper's Creek,


where the torn garments and emaciated limbs tell with sad emphasis the
woeful tale of hardship and toil through which the heroic explorers had
been passing; another exhibiting the subsequent death of Burke;


and the third the finding of the remains.


Burke and Wills, to whom belongs the honor of being the first explorers
that crossed the entire continent of Australia, extending their
researches from the Australian to the Pacific Ocean, set out on the 20th
of August, 1860, with a party of fifteen hardy pioneers upon their
perilous mission. Burke was in the prime of life, a man of iron frame,
dauntless courage and an enthusiasm that knew neither difficulty nor
danger. Wills, who belonged to a family that had already given one of
its members to Sir John Franklin's fatal expedition, to find a martyr's
grave among the eternal icebergs of the north, was somewhat younger, and
perhaps less enthusiastic, but was endowed with a rare discretion and
far-seeing sagacity that peculiarly fitted him to be the friend and
counselor of the enthusiastic Burke in such an undertaking. All
Melbourne was in excitement: the government gave fifty thousand dollars,
various individuals ten thousand, to aid the enterprise; and every heart
was aglow with aspirations for their success as the little band of
heroes waved their adieus and turned their faces outward to seek paths
hitherto untrodden by the white man's foot. Besides horses, twenty-seven
camels had been imported from India for the express use of the explorers
and for the transportation of tents, baggage, equipments, and fifteen
months' supply of provisions, with vessels for carrying such supplies of
water as the character of the country over which they were passing
should require them to take with them. Their plan of march divided
itself into three stages, of which Cooper's Creek was the middle one,
and about the centre of the Australian continent. At first their
progress was slow, encumbered as they were by excess of baggage and
equipments: then discontents arose in the little band, and Burke, too
ardent and impulsive for a leader, was first grieved, and then angered,
at what he deemed a want of spirit among some of his men. On the 19th of
October, at Menindie, he left a portion of the troop under the command
of Lieutenant Wright, with orders after a short rest to rejoin him at
Cooper's Creek. It was the end of January before Wright set out for the
point indicated. Meanwhile, as month followed month, bringing to
Melbourne no news of Burke's party, the worst fears were awakened
concerning its fate, and an expedition was fitted out to search for the
lost heroes. To young Howitt was given the command, and it was his
fortune to unveil the sad mystery that had enveloped their fate. On the
29th of June, 1861, crossing the river Loddon, Howitt encountered a
portion of Burke's company under the lead of Brahe, the fourth
lieutenant. Four of his men had died of scurvy, and the rest of his
little band seemed utterly dispirited. Howitt learned that in two months
Burke had crossed the entire route, sometimes desert, sometimes prairie,
between Menindie and Cooper's Creek, and had reached the borders of the
Gulf of Carpentaria, on the extreme north of the continent; also, that
he was there in January, enduring the fiercest heat of summer, and men
and beasts alike languishing for water, and nearly out of provisions. It
was all in vain that he deplored the tardiness of Wright, and hoped, as
he neared Cooper's Creek, for the coming of those who alone had the
means of life for his little squad of famished men. Equally in vain that
Wills with three camels reconnoitred the ground for scores of miles,
hoping to find water. Not an oasis, not a rivulet, was to be found, and
without a single drop of water to quench their parched lips they set out
on another long and dreary march. Desiring to secure the utmost speed,
Burke had left Brahe on the 16th of December with the sick and most of
his provisions at Cooper's Creek, to remain three months at least, and
longer if they were able, while he, with Wills, Grey and King, and six
camels, pushed bravely on, determined not to halt till the Pacific was
reached. Battling with the terrible heat, sometimes for days together
without water, and again obtaining a supply when they had almost
perished for want of it, having occasional fierce conflicts with the
natives, and more deadly encounters with poisonous serpents, but with an
energy and courage that knew no such word as failure, the indomitable
quartette went bravely on. The wished-for goal was reached, and the
heroes, jubiliant though worn and weary, then returned once more to
Cooper's Creek, to find the post deserted by Brahe, and Wright not
arrived, while neither water nor provisions remained to supply their


All this Howitt learned after his arrival at the rendezvous, where he
observed cut in the bark of a tree the word "Dig," and on throwing up
the earth found an iron casket deposited by Brahe, giving the date of
his departure and reasons for withdrawal before the appointed time. Of
far deeper interest were papers written by Burke, announcing that he had
reached the Pacific coast, and retraced his steps as far as Cooper's
Creek--that for two months the little party had advanced rapidly, making
constantly new discoveries of fertile lands, widespread prairies,
gushing streams and well-watered valleys. Occasionally they had found
lagoons of salt water, hills of red sand, trees of beautiful foliage,
and mounds indicating the presence at some unknown period of the
aboriginal inhabitants. They had discovered a range of high mountains in
the north, and called them the Standish Mountains, while at their foot
lay outspread a scene so lovely, of verdant groves and fertile meadows,
of well-watered plains and heavy forest trees, that they christened it
the Land of Promise. Then they reached again more sterile lands, parched
and dry, without a rivulet or an oasis. They suffered for water and food
grew scarce, but, sure of relief at Cooper's Creek, they pushed bravely
on, and reached the rendezvous to learn that the men who could have
saved them had passed on but seven hours before! After having
accomplished so much, so bravely battled with heat and hunger, serpents
and cannibals, to perish at last of starvation, seemed a fate too
terrible; and we cannot wonder that the little band fought their destiny
to the last. Little scraps of the journal of Burke and his friends tell
the sad tale of the last few weeks of agony. On March 6th, Burke seemed
near dying from having eaten a bit of a large serpent that he had
cooked. On the 30th they killed one of their camels, and on April 10th
they killed "Billy," Burke's favorite riding-horse. On the 11th they
were forced to halt on account of the condition of Grey, who was no
longer able to proceed. On the 21st they reached an oasis--a little
squad of human skeletons, scarcely more than alive.


Far and wide their longing eyes gazed in search of succor: they called
aloud with all their little remaining strength, but the oasis was
deserted, and the echo of their own sad voices was all the reply that
reached the despairing men. Then, at their rendezvous, finding the word
"Dig" on the tree where Howitt found it at a later day, they opened the
soil, and so learned the departure of Brahe on that very morning. How
terribly tantalizing, after their exhausting march and still more
exhausting return, after having killed and eaten all their camels but
two, and all their horses, after making discoveries that unlocked to the
world the vast interior of this hitherto unknown continent, to find that
they were just too late to be saved! Despair and death seemed staring
them in the face: their long overtaxed powers of endurance failed them
utterly, and the gaunt spectre of famine that had been journeying with
the brave men for weeks threatened now to enfold them in its terrible
embrace. Should they yield without another struggle? Burke suddenly
remembered Mount Despair, a cattle-station about one hundred and fifty
leagues away, and with his indomitable resolution persuaded his
companions to start for it, depositing first in the little iron casket
the journal of his discoveries and the date of his departure. As if to
add the last finishing stroke of agony to the sad story, Burke and his
companions had hardly turned their faces westward ere Brahe and Wright,
who had met at the passage of the Loddon, and were now overwhelmed with
remorse at their careless neglect of their leader's orders, determined
to revisit Cooper's Creek, and see if any tidings were to be gained of
the missing party.


Thoughtless as imprudent, they did not examine the casket, but supposing
it had remained undisturbed where they left it, they turned their faces
southward to the Darling, utterly unsuspicious of the recent visit of
Burke and his unfortunate comrades. Within two days after the trio began
their dreary march to Mount Despair both their camels fell from
exhaustion, but still the poor weary travelers pressed onward,
continuing their search till the 24th of May. Discovering no eminence
above the horizon, they then gave up in despair and began to retrace
their steps, leaving on a tree the date of departure. In one more day's
march they would have reached the summit and been saved!

On the 20th of June it was evident that young Wills could not long
survive, and on the 29th are dated his last words, a letter to his
father full of tenderness and resignation: "My death here within a few
hours is certain, but my soul is calm." Still, almost in the last agony
he made another effort to escape his fatal destiny, and set forth to
reconnoitre the ground once more if perchance succor might be found.
Alone, with none to close his eyes, he fell asleep, and Howitt after
long search found the skeleton body stretched upon the sands, the
natives having compassionately covered it with boughs and leaves.
Burke's last words are dated on the 28th, one day earlier than those of
Wills: "We have gained the shores of the ocean, but we have been
aband--" The last word is unfinished, as if his pen had refused to make
the cruel record. Burke's wasted remains too were found, covered with
leaves and boughs. By his side lay his revolver, and the record of his
great exploits was in the little casket at the foot of the tree. King
survived, and was found by Howitt, naked, famished and unable to speak
or walk; but after long recruiting he was able to relate the details of
suffering of those last few months, unknown to all the world save
himself. Howitt reverently wrapped the precious remains in the union
jack, and, leaving them in their lonely grave, retraced his steps to
Melbourne with the precious casket of papers, the last legacy of the
dead heroes. On the 6th of the following December, Howitt again visited
the desolate spot, charged with the melancholy mission of bringing back
the remains for interment in Melbourne. The chaste and elegant monument
that marks the spot where the heroes sleep is a far less enduring
memorial than exists in the wonderful development and unprecedented
prosperity which mark the colony as the fruit of the labors, sufferings
and death of these martyred heroes.

A pretty romance is associated with the discovery and naming of Van
Diemen's Land. A young man, Tasman by name, who had been scornfully
rejected by a Dutch nabob as the suitor of his daughter, resolved to
prove himself worthy of the lady of his heart. So, while his inamorata
was cruelly imprisoned in the palace of her sire at Batavia, young
Tasman, instead of wasting time in regrets, set forth on a voyage of
adventure, seeking to win by prowess what gallantry had failed to
effect. On his first voyage he so far circumnavigated the island as to
be convinced of its insular character, but really saw little of the
land. In subsequent voyages he made extensive explorations, calling not
only the mainland, but all the little islets he discovered, by the
several names and synonyms of Mademoiselle Van Diemen, his beloved. When
at length he was able to lay before the Dutch government the charts of
his voyages and a digest of his discoveries in the beautiful land where
he had already planted the standard of Holland, the cruel sire relented
and consented to receive as a son-in-law the successful adventurer.
Tasman, it seems, never very fully explored the waters that surrounded
his domain, and the honor was reserved to two young men, Flinders and
Bass, of discovering in 1797 the deep, wide strait of two hundred and
seventy miles in width that bears the name of Bass. The scenery of Van
Diemen's Land is full of picturesque beauty--a sort of miniature
Switzerland, with snow-clad peaks, rocks and ravines, foaming cataracts
and multitudinous little lakes with their circling belt of green and
dancing rivulets bordered with flowers. The Valley of Launceston is a
very Arcadia of pastoral repose, while the Tamar--which in its whole
course is rather a succession of beautiful lakes than an ordinary
river--with its narrow defiles, basaltic rocks and sparkling cataracts,
picturesque rocks that cut off one lake and suddenly reveal another, is
a very miracle of beauty, dancing, frothing, foaming, like some playful
sprite possessed with the very spirit of mischief.

[Illustration: HOBART TOWN.]

Hobart Town, the capital of Tasmania, is a quiet, hospitable little
town, but a very hotbed of aristocracy--the single spot on the
Australian continent where English exclusiveness can, after the gay
seasons of the large cities, retire to aristocratic country-seats, to
nurse and revivify its pride of birth, without fear of coming in contact
with anything parvenu or plebeian. The town is prettily laid out, with a
genuine Gothic château for its government palace, and elegant private
residences. It seems tame and deserted when visited from Sydney or
Melbourne, but offers just the rest and refreshment one needs after a
season of exhausting labor in the mines of Ballarat.

The rapid growth of the Australian colonies, their remoteness from the
mother country, and the vastness of the territory over which they are
spread, naturally suggest the question whether they are destined to
remain in a condition of dependence or are likely to follow the example
of their American prototypes. On this point the opinion of the count of
Beauvoir is entitled to consideration, as that of an impartial as well
as intelligent observer. He had expected, he tells us, in visiting the
country, to find it preparing for its speedy emancipation; but he left
it with the conviction that, far from desiring a severance of the
connection, the colonists would regard it as a blow to their material
interests--the one event, in fact, capable of arresting their
unparalleled progress. It can only occur as the result of a European war
in which the power of England shall be so crippled as to disable her
from protecting these distant possessions, casting upon them the whole
burden of self-defence, and forcing them to assume the responsibilities
of national existence.



A somewhat tedious journey of thirty hours from Paris brought me one
fine afternoon in the early part of July to Kulstein, an ancient
fortress forming the frontier-town of the North Tyrol, toward Bavaria.
While occupied in passing my portmanteau through the prying and
unutterably dirty hands of the custom-house officials I was accosted by
a man dressed in the garb of a Tyrolese mountaineer--short leathern
breeches reaching to the knee, gray stockings, heavy hobnailed shoes, a
nondescript species of jacket of the roughest frieze, and a battered hat
adorned with two or three feathers of the capercailzie and a plume of
the royal eagle. Old Hansel was one of the gamekeepers on a large
imperial preserve close by, with whom some years previously I had on
more than one occasion shared a hard couch under the stunted pines when
inopportune night overtook us near the glaciers while in hot pursuit of
the chamois.

This unexpected meeting proved a source of the liveliest interest to me,
inasmuch as this old veteran of the mountains was on the point of
starting on an expedition of a somewhat remarkable character. A pair of
golden eagles, it appeared, had made a neighboring valley the scene of
their frequent ravages and depredations among the cattle and game, and
Hansel was about to organize an expedition to search for, and if
possible despoil, the eyrie. Of late years these birds have become very
rare. Switzerland is nearly, if not quite, cleared of them, while the
Tyrol, affording greater solitude and a larger stock of game, can boast
of eight or at the most ten couples. They are, as is well known, the
largest and most powerful of all the birds of prey inhabiting Europe,
measuring from eight to eight and a half feet in the span, and
possessing terrible strength of beak, talons and wings. A full-grown
golden eagle can easily carry off a young chamois, a full-grown roe or a
sheep, none of them weighing less than thirty pounds; and well-attested
cases have occurred of young children being thus abstracted. In the fall
of 1873 a boy nearly eight years of age was carried away by one of these
birds from the very door of his parents' cottage, situated not far from
the celebrated Königsee, near Salzburg.


The breeding-season falls in the month of June, and in the course of the
first fortnight of the succeeding month the young offspring take wing
and commence their raids in quest of pillage on their own account. The
eyrie or nest is an object of the greatest care with the parent birds,
the site being chosen with a view to the greatest possible security,
generally in some crevice on the face of a perpendicular precipice
several hundred feet in height. It is built of dry sticks of wood coated
on the inside with moss. Hansel informed me of a surmise that the eyrie
of this pair would be discovered in the face of the terribly steep
"Falknerwand;" and although I had once before been engaged in a similar
exploit, I could not resist the temptation to join in this expedition,
and despatched on the spot a telegram to the friend who was awaiting my
arrival in Ampezzo in order to make some ascents in the Dolomites,
announcing a detention of some days. This done, we re-entered the cars
and proceeded a few stations farther down the line to quaint old
Rattenberg, a small town on the banks of the swift Inn. Not an hour from
this place the scantily-inhabited Brandenberg valley opens on the broad
and sunny Innthal. The former is merely a mountain-gorge. Far up in its
recesses stands a small cottage belonging to the keeper of a wood-drift,
and in close proximity to this solitary habitation is a second very wild
and wellnigh inaccessible ravine, the scene of the coming adventure.

Having passed the night in the modest little inn at Rattenberg, Hansel
and I set off next morning long before sunrise on our eight hours' tramp
to the wood-drift by a path which was in most places of just sufficient
breadth to allow of one person passing at a time. Few of my
fellow-travelers of the day before would have recognized me in the
costume I had donned for the occasion--an old and much-patched coat,
short leathern trousers, as worn and torn as the poorest woodcutter's,
and a ten-seasoned hat which had been originally green, then brown, and
had now become gray. My face and knees were still bronzed from the
exposure attendant on a long course of Alpine climbing the year before.


The keeper of the wood-drift was an old acquaintance of mine, whose
qualities as a keen sportsman had shone forth when four or five years
previously I had quartered myself for a month in his secluded
neighborhood, spending the day, and frequently also the night, on the
peaks and passes surrounding his cottage. To the buxom Moidel, his
pretty young wife, I was also no stranger, and her smile and blush
assured me that she still remembered the time when, reigning supreme
over her father's cattle on a neighboring alp, she had administered to
the wants of the young sportsman seeking a night's lodging in the
lonesome chalet. Many a merry evening had I spent in the low,
oak-paneled "general room" of Tomerl's cottage when he was still a gay
young bachelor, and no change had since been made in the aspect of the
apartment. In one corner stood the huge pile of pottery used for heating
the room, and round it were still fixed the rows of wooden laths by
means of which I had so frequently dried my soaking apparel. Running the
whole length of the room was a broad bench, in front of which were
placed two strong tables; and at one of these were seated, at our
entrance, two woodcutters, who had heard of the intended expedition and
come to offer their help. They informed us that four more men engaged in
wood-felling in a forest an hour or so distant would also be delighted
to join us, as they did at the close of their day's work.

The evening was spent in discussing the details of the approaching
exploit and getting our various arrangements and implements in order. At
nine o'clock, leaving Tomerl and his wife their accustomed bed on the
top of the stove, the rest of us retired to our common bed-room, the
hayloft. We were up again by three, and an hour later were all ready to
start. Tomerl led the way, but stopped ere we lost sight of the cottage
to shout a last "jodler" to his wife, who returned the greeting with a
clear, bell-like voice, though her heart was doubtless beating fast
under her smartly-laced bodice.

Three hours later we had reached the gorge, and after some difficult
scrambling and wading through turbulent torrents we arrived at the base
of the Falknerwand, which rises perpendicularly upward of nine hundred
feet--an altitude diminished in appearance by the tenfold greater height
of the surrounding mountains. Finding, after a few minutes' close
observation, that nothing could be done from the base of the cliff, we
proceeded to scale it by a circuitous route up a practicable but
nevertheless terribly steep incline. Safely arrived at the top, we threw
down our burdens and began to reconnoitre the terrain, which we did
_ventre à terre_, bending over the cliff as far as we dared. Great
was our dismay to perceive that some eighty or ninety feet below us a
narrow rocky ledge, which had escaped our notice when looking up from
the foot of the cliff, projected shelf-wise from the face of the
precipice, shutting out all view of a crevice which we had descried from
the bottom, and which, as we anticipated, contained the eyrie.

After consulting some time, we decided to lower ourselves down to this
rock-band, and make it the base of our further movements, instead of
operating, as we had intended, from the crest of the cliff, where
everything but for this obstacle would have been tenfold easier. Posting
one of the men at the top of the cliff to lower the heavy rope, three
hundred feet in length, by means of a cord, we descended to the ledge,
which was nowhere more than three feet in width, and in several places
scarcely over a foot and a half. Standing in a single row on this
miniature platform, we had to manipulate the rope with a yawning gulf
some eight hundred feet in depth beside us, and nothing to lay hold of
for support but the smooth face of the rock.

We began operations by driving a strong iron hook into the solid rock,
at a point some two or three feet above the ledge. Through this hook the
rope was passed, one end pendent over the cliff; and to obviate the
peril of its being frayed and speedily severed by the sharp outer edge
of our platform, we rigged up a block of wood with some iron stays to
serve as an immovable pulley. These preparations completed, the men were
assigned to their respective positions. Hansel and Tomerl, two renowned
shots, were to lie at full length, rifle in hand, one at each end of the
row, to act as my guardian angels if I were surprised and attacked by
the old eagles while engaged in the work of spoliation. The remaining
woodcutters, with the exception of the one who had been left on the top
of the cliff, were placed in file along the ledge to lower and raise the
plank which was to serve as my seat, and to which the rope was securely
fastened after being passed through an iron ring attached to my stout
leathern girdle. A signal-line was to hang at my side, and a
hunting-knife, a revolver, a strong canvas bag to hold the booty, and an
ashen pole iron-shod at one end and provided with a strong iron boathook
at the other, completed my equipment, each article of which had
undergone the strictest scrutiny before its adoption.

Taking the pole from the hands of Hansel, I let myself glide over the
edge of the cliff, and the next moment hung in empty space. After being
lowered about eighty feet, I found myself on a level with the crevice
before mentioned, and gave the preconcerted signal for arresting my
downward progress. Owing, however, to a beetling crag or boulder which
overhung the recess, I was still at a distance of ten or twelve feet
horizontally from the goal. Fixing the boathook into a convenient
indentation of the rock, I gradually pulled myself in till I reached the
face of the wall. Then leaving the plank, I crawled up an inclined slab
of rock which led to the actual crevice, until I was stopped by a
barrier of dry sticks about two feet in height. Raising myself on my
knees, I peered into the oval-shaped eyrie, and saw perched up at the
farther side two splendid young golden eagles.


It is a very rare occurrence to find two young eagles in one eyrie.
These, though only four or five weeks old, were formidable birds,
measuring considerably over six feet in the span, and displaying beaks
and talons of imposing size. It took some time to capture and pinion
these powerful and refractory ornithological specimens, whose loud,
discordant screams caused me several times to glance involuntarily over
my shoulder at the strip of horizon visible, to assure myself that the
old eagles were not swooping down to the rescue. I was in the more haste
to leave the eyrie that the stench which emanated from the remains of
numerous victims strewn in and about it was something terrific. These
relics, which I had the curiosity to count, consisted of a half-devoured
carcass of a chamois, three pairs of chamois' horns and the
corresponding bones of the animals, the skeleton of a goat picked clean,
the remains of an Alpine hare, and the head and neck of a fawn.

[Illustration: ENTERING THE EYRIE.]

The canvas bag being too small to contain both the eaglets, I was
obliged to hang one of them to my belt, after tying my handkerchief
round his beak. The game secured, I crept cautiously down the slab to
the plank, and fixing the hook of my pole in the indentation of which I
had made use in drawing myself in, I gave the preconcerted two jerks
with the signal-line. Now occurred the first of a series of accidents
which came near resulting fatally to the whole party. Contrary to my
strict injunctions, the men hauling the rope gave a sudden and violent
pull, wrenching the pole from my grasp, and communicating to the plank a
motion like that of a pendulum, which sent me flying out into space,
with the immediate prospect of being dashed by the retrograde swing
against the solid wall of rock. Happily, I preserved my presence of
mind, and grasped instantly the only chance of escape. Tilting myself
back as far as the rope and the ring on my belt allowed, and stretching
out my legs horizontally, I awaited the contact. Half a second later
came a heavy blow on the soles of my feet, the pain of which ran through
my whole frame like the shock of a galvanic battery. Had it been my
head, the reader would probably never have been troubled with any
account of my sensations. As it was, my feet, though protected by
immensely heavy iron-shod shoes, received a concussion the effects of
which continued to be felt for weeks.

Almost at the moment of this incident I had noticed a dark object
shooting past me, at so close a proximity that I distinctly heard the
whistling sound as it cleft the air. Supposing it to be a stone, I gave
it no further thought, and my attention was presently occupied by a
sharp gash which the young eagle at my belt managed to inflict on my
left thigh. It was not until I had stopped the haemorrhage by strewing
some grains of powder into the wound that I perceived with surprise that
I was still stationary, instead of ascending, as in due course I ought
to have been. The boulder of rock projecting a few feet over my head
prevented any view of the ledge, and my shouts inquiring the cause of
the delay received indistinct answers, the words "patience" and "wait"
being the only intelligible ones. These might have had a consoling
influence but for the fact that a thunderstorm--an occurrence of great
frequency in the beginning of summer in the High Alps--was fast
approaching, and my position was one that exposed me to its full fury
without any possibility of escape. Ere long it burst over my head,
drenching me to the skin in the first five minutes, while the lightning
played about me in every direction, and terrific claps of thunder
followed each other at intervals of scarcely a few seconds. What
heightened the danger as well as the absurdity of my situation was the
chance that one or both of the old eagles might return at any moment,
under circumstances that must render a struggle, if any ensued, a most
unequal one. Supposing my guards to be still at their post, the distance
of the ledge was such as to make a shot at a flying bird, large as it
might be, anything but a sure one; and the tactics of the golden eagle
when defending its home do not allow of any second attempt. A speck is
seen on the horizon, and the next moment the powerful bird is down with
one fell swoop: a flap with its strong wing and the unhappy victim is
stunned, and immediately ripped open from the chest to his hip, while
his skull is cleft or fractured by a single blow of the tremendous beak.
Instances are, however, known in which the cool and self-possessed
"pendant" has shot or cut down his foe at the very instant of the
encounter. Happily, my own powers were not put to so severe a test: the
old birds were that day far off, circling probably in majestic swoops
over some distant valley or gorge.

I was forced, however, to be constantly on the alert, and my impatience
and perplexity may be imagined as hours elapsed and there were still no
signs of my approaching deliverance. The storm had long since passed
over, and darkness was settling down when I again felt a pull at the
rope, and continued my ascent, begun nearly four hours before. It was of
the utmost importance that the whole party should regain the top of the
cliff before night had fairly set in. I therefore deferred, on my
arrival at the ledge, all questions and rebukes till we had gained a
place of safety. The heavy rope, fastened to the cord, was hauled up by
the man on the top, and after it had been secured to a tree-stump we
swarmed up without loss of time. We had still before us a somewhat
perilous scramble in the darkness down the steep incline, but the
exhaustion we had undergone made it necessary that we should first
recruit our strength by means of the food and bottle of "Schnapps" with
which we were fortunately provided. While we were thus engaged I
received from my companions an account of the causes of the perilous

On receiving my signal they had begun to haul, but after the first pull
had felt a sudden jerk, and perceived that the block, supposed to have
been securely fastened at the edge of the platform, was gone. They
imagined at first that it had struck and killed me, but my shouts soon
apprised them of my safety. Fearing to continue the process of hauling
lest the rope should be cut by the sharp-edged stones, they informed the
man on the cliff of the mishap, and despatched him to procure a second
block. He accordingly ran down the slope to the bottom of the mountain,
cut a young pine tree, shaped a block, and was in the act of carrying it
up when the storm burst forth, and the lightning, playing around him in
vivid flashes, cleft and splintered a rock weighing hundreds of tons
that had stood within thirty paces of him. He received no injury except
being thrown on the ground and partially stunned by the terrible
concussion, but it was not till after a considerable time that he was
able to rise and continue his ascent. Had he been killed, our situation
would have been a most precarious one. There would have been no
possibility of regaining the cliff without help, and as our party
comprised all the working force of the neighborhood, and Tomerl's
cottage was the only dwelling within fifteen or twenty miles, our
chances of rescue would have been extremely slight.

We reached the bottom of the mountain as the upper part was beginning to
be lit by the rays of a full moon, and a three hours' tramp brought us
without further mishap to the cottage. Moidel, forewarned of our return
by a series of "jodlers," a sound which may challenge competition as a
joyful acclaim, had prepared an ample supper; and when Tomerl produced
his well-tuned "zither," a species of guitar producing simple but soft
and highly musical strains, the mirth was at its height. Then followed
songs eulogistic of the life of the chamois-stalker, who, "with his gun
in his hand, a chamois on his back and a girl in his heart," has no
cause to envy a king. A dance called the "Schuhblatteln," in which the
art consists in touching the soles of one's shoes with the palm of the
hand, finished our evening's amusement, and we retired, rather worn out,
just as day was breaking.

After four hours' sleep we rose refreshed and eager to examine our two
captives. Attached to Tomerl's cottage was a diminutive barn, from which
we removed the door, and nailing strong laths across the aperture,
managed to improvise a large and roomy cage. A couple of rabbits
furnished a luxurious breakfast, which was devoured with extraordinary
voracity. The hen-bird, as is the case with all birds of prey, was
considerably larger and stronger than her brother, though the latter had
the finer head and eyes.

A week after their capture they were "feathered" for the first time.
This process consists in pulling out the long down-like plumes situated
on the under side of the strong tail-feathers. These plumes, which, if
taken from a full-grown eagle, frequently measure seven or eight inches
in length, are highly prized by the Tyrolese peasants, but still more by
the inhabitants of the neighboring Bavarian Highlands, who do not
hesitate to expend a month's wages in the purchase of two or three with
which to adorn their hats or those of their buxom sweethearts. The value
of a crop of plumes varies somewhat. Generally, however, an eagle yields
about forty florins' ($16) worth of feathers per annum.

Six weeks after this incident I again wended my steps into the secluded
Brandenburg valley, and found the eagles thriving and much grown. Being
curious to see if their confinement had subdued their wild and ferocious
spirit, I removed one of the laths and entered the barn. An angry hiss,
similar to that of a snake, warned me of danger, but too late to save my
hands some severe scratches. With one bound and a flap of their gigantic
wings they were on me, and had it not been for Tomerl, who was standing
just behind me armed with a stout cudgel, I should have paid dearly for
my incautious visit.

I know of no instance where human skill has subdued in the slightest
degree the haughty spirit of the free-born golden eagle. An untamable
ferocity is the predominating characteristic of this noble bird, more
than of any other animal. Circling majestically among the fleeting
clouds, he reigns lord paramount over his vast domain, avoiding the
sight and resenting the approach of man.

                                        W.A. BAILLIE-GROHMAN.





"Yes, mother," said Mabyn, bursting into the room, "here I am; and
Jennifer's down stairs with my box; and I am to stay with you here for
another week or a fortnight; and Wenna's to go back at once, for the
whole world is convulsed because of Mr. Trelyon's coming of age; and
Mrs. Trelyon has sent and taken all our spare rooms; and father says
Wenna must come back directly, for it's always 'Wenna, do this,' and
'Wenna, do that;' and if Wenna isn't there, of course the sky will
tumble down on the earth--Mother, what's the matter, and where's Wenna?"

Mabyn was suddenly brought up in the middle of her voluble speech by the
strange expression on her mother's face.

"Oh, Mabyn, something dreadful has happened to our Wenna."

Mabyn turned deadly white. "Is she ill?" she said, almost in a whisper.

"No, not ill, but a great trouble has fallen on her."

Then the mother, in a low voice, apparently fearful that any one should
overhear, began to tell her younger daughter of all she had learnt
within the past day or two--how young Trelyon had been bold enough to
tell Wenna that he loved her; how Wenna had dallied with her conscience
and been loath to part with him; how at length she had as good as
revealed to him that she loved him in return; and how she was now
overwhelmed and crushed beneath a sense of her own faithlessness and the
impossibility of making reparation to her betrothed.

"Only to think, Mabyn," said the mother in accents of despair, "that all
this distress should have come about in such a quiet and unexpected way!
Who could have foreseen it? Why, of all the people in the world, you
would have thought our Wenna was the least likely to have any misery of
this sort; and many a time--don't you remember?--I used to say it was so
wise of her getting engaged to a prudent and elderly man, who would save
her from the plagues and trials that young girls often suffer at the
hands of their lovers. I thought she was so comfortably settled.
Everything promised her a quiet and gentle life. And now this sudden
shock has come upon her, she seems to think she is not fit to live, and
she goes on in such a wild way--"

"Where is she?" Mabyn said abruptly.

"No, no, no!" the mother said anxiously, "you must not speak a word to
her, Mabyn. You must not let her know I have told you anything about it.
Leave her to herself, for a while at least: if you speak to her, she
will take it you mean to accuse her, for she says you warned her, and
she would pay no heed. Leave her to herself, Mabyn."

"Then where is Mr. Trelyon?" said Mabyn, with some touch of indignation
in her voice. "What is he doing? Is he leaving her to herself too?"

"I don't know what you mean, Mabyn," her mother said timidly.

"Why doesn't he come forward like a man and marry her?" said Mabyn
boldly. "Yes, that is what I would do if I were a man. She has sent him
away? Yes, of course: that is right and proper. And Wenna will go on
doing what is right and proper, if you allow her, to the very end, and
the end will be a lifetime of misery: that's all. No, my notion is, that
she should do something that is not right and is quite improper, if only
it makes her happy; and you'll see if I don't get her to do it. Why,
mother, haven't you had eyes to see that these two have been in love for
years? Nobody in the world had ever the least control over him but her:
he would do anything for Wenna; and she--why she always came back
singing after she had met and spoken to him. And then you talk about a
prudent and sensible husband! I don't want Wenna to marry a watchful,
mean, old, stocking-darning cripple, who will creep about the house all
day and peer into cupboards, and give her fourpence-halfpenny a week to
live on. I want her to marry a man--one that is strong enough to protect
her. And I tell you, mother--I've said it before, and I say it
again--she _shall not_ marry Mr. Roscorla."

"Mabyn," said her mother, "you are getting madder than ever. Your
dislike to Mr. Roscorla is most unreasonable. A cripple! Why--"

"Oh, mother!" Mabyn cried with a bright light on her face, "only think
of our Wenna being married to Mr. Trelyon, and how happy and pleased and
pretty she would look as they went walking together! And then how proud
he would be to have so nice a wife! and he would joke about her and be
very impertinent, but he would simply worship her all the same, and do
everything he could to please her. And he would take her away and show
her all the beautiful places abroad; and he would have a yacht, too; and
he would give her a fine house in London. And don't you think our Wenna
would fascinate everybody with her mouselike ways and her nice small
steps? And if they did have any trouble, wouldn't she be better to have
somebody with her not timid and anxious and pettifogging, but somebody
who wouldn't be cast down, but make her as brave as himself?"

Miss Mabyn was a shrewd young woman, and she saw that her mother's
quick, imaginative, sympathetic nature was being captivated by this
picture. She determined to have her as an ally.

"And don't you see, mother, how it all lies within her reach? Harry
Trelyon is in love with her: there was no need for him to say so. I knew
it long before he did. And she--why, she has told him now that she cares
for him; and if I were he, I know what I'd do in his place. What is
there in the way? Why, a--a sort of understanding."

"A promise, Mabyn," said the mother.

"Well, a promise," said the girl desperately, and coloring somewhat.
"But it was a promise given in ignorance: she didn't know--how could she
know? Everybody knows that such promises are constantly broken. If you
are in love with somebody else, what's the good of your keeping the
promise? Now, mother, won't you argue with her? See here: if she keeps
her promise, there's three people miserable. If she breaks it, there's
only one; and I doubt whether he's got the capacity to be miserable.
That's two to one, or three to one, is it? Now, will you argue with her,

"Mabyn, Mabyn," the mother said with a shake of the head, but evidently
pleased with the voice of the tempter, "your fancy has run away with
you. Why, Mr. Trelyon has never proposed to marry her."

"I know he wants to," said Mabyn confidently.

"How can you know?"

"I'll ask him and prove it to you."

"Indeed," said the mother sadly, "it is no thought of marriage that is
in Wenna's head just now. The poor girl is full of remorse and
apprehension. I think she would like to start at once for Jamaica, and
fling herself at Mr. Roscorla's feet and confess her fault. I am glad
she has to go back to Eglosilyan: that may distract her mind in a
measure: at present she is suffering more than she shows."

"Where is she?"

"In her own room, tired out and fast asleep. I looked in a few minutes

Mabyn went up stairs, after having seen that Jennifer had properly
bestowed her box. Wenna had just risen from the sofa, and was standing
in the middle of the room. Her younger and taller sister went blithely
forward to her, kissed her as usual, took no notice of the sudden flush
of red that sprang into her face, and proceeded to state, in a
business-like fashion, all the arrangements that had to be made.

"Have you been enjoying yourself, Wenna?" Mabyn said with a fine air of

"Oh yes," Wenna answered; adding hastily, "Don't you think mother is
greatly improved?"

"Wonderfully! I almost forgot she was an invalid. How lucky you are to
be going back to see all the fine doings at the Hall! Of course they
will ask you up."

"They will do nothing of the kind," Wenna said with some asperity, and
with her face turned aside.

"Lord and Lady Amersham have already come to the Hall."

"Oh, indeed!"

"Yes. They said some time ago that there was a good chance of Mr.
Trelyon marrying the daughter--the tall girl with yellow hair, you

"And the stooping shoulders? Yes. I should think they would be glad to
get her married to anybody. She's thirty."

"Oh, Wenna!"

"Mr. Trelyon told me so," said Wenna sharply.

"And they are a little surprised," continued Mabyn in the same
indifferent way, but watching her sister all the while, "that Mr.
Trelyon has remained absent until so near the time. But I suppose he
means to take Miss Penaluna with him. She lives here, doesn't she? They
used to say there was a chance of a marriage there too."

"Mabyn, what do you mean?" Wenna said suddenly and angrily. "What do I
care about Mr. Trelyon's marriage? What is it you mean?"

But the firmness of her lips began to yield: there was an ominous
trembling about them, and at the same moment her younger sister caught
her to her bosom, and hid her face there and hushed her wild sobbing.
She would hear no confession. She knew enough. Nothing would convince
her that Wenna had done anything wrong, so there was no use speaking
about it.

"Wenna," she said in a low voice, "have you sent him any message?"

"Oh no, no!" the girl said trembling. "I fear even to think of him; and
when you mentioned his name, Mabyn, it seemed to choke me. And now I
have to go back to Eglosilyan; and oh, if you only knew how I dread
that, Mabyn!"

Mabyn's conscience was struck. She it was who had done this thing. She
had persuaded her father that her mother needed another week or
fortnight at Penzance; she had frightened him by telling what bother he
would suffer if Wenna were not back at the inn during the festivities at
Trelyon Hall; and then she had offered to go and take her sister's post.
George Rosewarne was heartily glad to exchange the one daughter for the
other. Mabyn was too independent; she thwarted him; sometimes she
insisted on his bestirring himself. Wenna, on the other hand, went about
the place like some invisible spirit of order, making everything
comfortable for him without noise or worry. He was easily led to issue
the necessary orders; and so it was that Mabyn thought she was doing her
sister a friendly turn by sending her back to Eglosilyan in order to
join in congratulating Harry Trelyon on his entrance into man's estate.
Now Mabyn found that she had only plunged her sister into deeper
trouble. What could be done to save her?

"Wenna," said Mabyn rather timidly, "do you think he has left Penzance?"

Wenna turned to her with a sudden look of entreaty in her face: "I
cannot bear to speak of him, Mabyn. I have no right to: I hope you will
not ask me. Just now I--I am going to write a letter--to Jamaica. I
shall tell the whole truth. It is for him to say what must happen now. I
have done him a great injury: I did not intend it, I had no thought of
it, but my own folly and thoughtlessness brought it about, and I have to
bear the penalty. I don't think he need be anxious about punishing me."

She turned away with a tired look on her face, and began to get out her
writing materials. Mabyn watched her for a moment or two in silence;
then she left and went to her own room, saying to herself, "Punishment!
Whoever talks of punishment will have to address himself to me."

When she got to her own room she wrote these words on a piece of paper
in her firm, bold, free hand: "A friend would like to see you for a
minute in front of the post-office in the middle of the town." She put
that in an envelope, and addressed the envelope to Harry Trelyon, Esq.
Still keeping her bonnet on, she went down stairs and had a little
general conversation with her mother, in the course of which she quite
casually asked the name of the hotel at which Mr. Trelyon had been
staying. Then, just as if she were going out to the Parade to have a
look at the sea, she carelessly left the house.

The dusk of the evening was growing to dark. A white mist lay over the
sea. The solitary lamps were being lit along the Parade, each golden
star shining sharply in the pale purple twilight, but a more confused
glow of orange showed where the little town was busy in its narrow
thoroughfares. She got hold of a small boy, gave him the letter, a
sixpence and his instructions. He was to ask if the gentleman were in
the hotel. If not, had he left Penzance, or would he return that night?
In any case, the boy was not to leave the letter unless Mr. Trelyon was

The small boy returned in a couple of minutes. The gentleman was there,
and had taken the letter. So Mabyn at once set out for the centre of the
town, and soon found herself in among a mass of huddled houses, bright
shops and thoroughfares pretty well filled with strolling sailors, women
getting home from market and townspeople come out to gossip. She had
accurately judged that she would be less observed in this busy little
place than out on the Parade; and as it was the first appointment she
had ever made to meet a young gentleman alone, she was just a little

Trelyon was there. He had recognized the handwriting in a moment. He had
no time to ridicule or even to think of Mabyn's school-girl affectation
of secresy: he had at once rushed off to the place of appointment, and
that by a short cut of which she had no knowledge.

"Mabyn, what's the matter? Is Wenna ill?" he said, forgetting in his
anxiety even to shake hands with her.

"Oh no, she isn't," said Mabyn rather coldly and defiantly. If he was in
love with her sister, it was for him to make advances. "Oh no, she's
pretty well, thank you," continued Mabyn, indifferently. "But she never
could stand much worry. I wanted to see you about that. She is going
back to Eglosilyan to-morrow; and you must promise not to have her asked
up to the Hall while these grand doings are going on--you must not try
to see her and persuade her. If you could keep out of her way

"You know all about it, then, Mabyn?" he said suddenly; and even in the
dusky light of the street she could see the rapid look of gladness that
filled his face. "And you are not going to be vexed, eh? You'll remain
friends with me, Mabyn--you will tell me how she is from time to time.
Don't you see, I must go away; and--and, by Jove, Mabyn! I've got such a
lot to tell you!"

She looked round.

"I can't talk to you here. Won't you walk back by the other road behind
the town?" he said.

Yes, she would go willingly with him now. The anxiety of his face, the
almost wild way in which he seemed to beg for her help and friendship,
the mere impatience of his manner, pleased and satisfied her. This was
as it should be. Here was no sweetheart by line and rule, demonstrating
his affection by argument, and acting at all times with a studied
propriety; but a real, true lover, full of passionate hope and as
passionate fear; ready to do anything, and yet not knowing what to do.
Above all, he was "brave and handsome, like a prince," and therefore a
fit lover for her gentle sister.

"Oh, Mr. Trelyon," she said with a great burst of confidence, "I did so
fear that you might be indifferent!"

"Indifferent!" said he with some bitterness. "Perhaps that is the best
thing that could happen, only it isn't very likely to happen. Did you
ever see anybody placed as I am placed, Mabyn? Nothing but
stumbling-blocks every way I look. Our family have always been
hot-headed and hot-tempered: if I told my grandmother at this minute how
I am situated, I believe she would say, 'Why don't you go like a man and
run off with the girl?'"

"Yes!" said Mabyn, quite delighted.

"But suppose you've bothered and worried the girl until you feel ashamed
of yourself, and she begs of you to leave her, aren't you bound in fair
manliness to go?"

"I don't know," said Mabyn doubtfully.

"Well, I do. It would be very mean to pester her. I'm off as soon as
these people leave the Hall. But then there are other things. There is
your sister engaged to this fellow out in Jamaica--"

"Isn't he a horrid wretch?" said Mabyn between her teeth.

"Oh, I quite agree with you. If I could have it out with him now! But,
after all, what harm has the man done? Is it any wonder he wanted to get
Wenna for a wife?"

"Oh, but he cheated her," said Mabyn warmly. "He persuaded her and
reasoned with her, and argued her into marrying him. And what business
had he to tell her that love between young people is all bitterness and
trial, and that a girl is only safe when she marries a prudent and
elderly man who will look after her? Why, it is to look after him that
he wants her. Wenna is going to him as a housekeeper and a nurse.
Only--only, Mr. Trelyon, _she hasn't gone to him just yet_!"

"Oh, I don't think he did anything unfair," the young man said gloomily.
"It doesn't matter, anyhow. What I was going to say is, that my
grandmother's notion of what one of our family ought to do in such a
case can't be carried out: whatever you may think of a man, you can't go
and try to rob him of his sweetheart behind his back. Even supposing she
were willing to break with him--which she is not--you've at least got to
wait to give the fellow a chance."

"There I quite disagree with you, Mr. Trelyon," Mabyn said warmly. "Wait
to give him a chance to make our Wenna miserable! Is she to be made the
prize of a sort of fight? If I were a man I'd pay less attention to my
own scruples and try what I could do for her--Oh, Mr. Trelyon--I--I beg
your pardon."

Mabyn suddenly stopped on the road, overwhelmed with confusion. She had
been so warmly thinking of her sister's welfare that she had been
hurried into something worse than an indiscretion.

"What then, Mabyn?" said he, profoundly surprised.

"I beg your pardon: I have been so thoughtless. I had no right to assume
that you wished--that you wished for the--for the opportunity--"

"Of marrying Wenna?" said he with a great stare. "But what else have we
been speaking about? Or rather, I suppose we did assume it. Well, the
more I think over it, Mabyn, the more I am maddened by all these
obstacles, and by the notion of all the things that may happen. That's
the bad part of my going away. How can I tell what may happen? He might
come back and insist on her marrying him right off."

"Mr. Trelyon," said Mabyn, speaking very clearly, "there's one thing you
may be sure of. If you let me know where you are, nothing will happen to
Wenna that you don't hear of."

He took her hand and pressed it in mute thankfulness. He was not
insensible to the value of having so warm an advocate, so faithful an
ally, always at Wenna's side.

"How long do letters take in going to Jamaica?" Mabyn asked.

"I don't know."

"I could fetch him back for you directly," said she, "if you would like


"By writing and telling him that you and Wenna were going to get
married. Wouldn't that fetch him back pretty quickly?"

"I doubt it. He wouldn't believe it of Wenna. Then he is a sensible sort
of fellow, and would say to himself that if the news was true he would
have his journey for nothing. Besides, Barnes says that things are
looking well with him in Jamaica--better than anybody expected. He might
not be anxious to leave."

They had now got back to the Parade, and Mabyn stopped: "I must leave
you now, Mr. Trelyon. Mind not to go near Wenna when you get to

"She sha'n't even see me. I shall be there only a couple of days or so;
then I am going to London. I am going to have a try at the Civil Service
examinations--for first commissions, you know. I shall only come back to
Eglosilyan for a day now and again at long intervals. You have promised
to write to me, Mabyn. Well, I'll send you my address."

She looked at him keenly as she offered him her hand. "I wouldn't be
downhearted if I were you," she said. "Very odd things sometimes

"Oh, I sha'n't be very down-hearted," said he, "so long as I hear that
she is all right, and not vexing herself about anything."

"Good-bye, Mr. Trelyon. I am sorry I can't take any message for you."

"To her? No, that is impossible. Good-bye, Mabyn: I think you are the
best friend I have in the world."

"We'll see about that," she said as she walked rapidly off.

Her mother had been sufficiently astonished by her long absence: she was
now equally surprised by the excitement and pleasure visible in her

"Oh, mammy, do you know whom I've seen? Mr. Trelyon."


"Yes. We've walked right round Penzance all by ourselves. And it's all
settled, mother."

"What is all settled?"

"The understanding between him and me. An offensive and defensive
alliance. Let tyrants beware!"

She took off her bonnet and came and sat down on the floor by the side
of the sofa: "Oh, mammy, I see such beautiful things in the future! You
wouldn't believe it if I told you all I see. Everybody else seems
determined to forecast such gloomy events. There's Wenna crying and
writing letters of contrition, and expecting all sorts of anger and
scolding; there's Mr. Trelyon haunted by the notion that Mr. Roscorla
will suddenly come home and marry Wenna right off; and as for him out
there in Jamaica, I expect he'll be in a nice state when he hears of all
this. But far on ahead of all that I see such a beautiful picture!"

"It is a dream of yours, Mabyn," her mother said, but there was an
imaginative light in her fine eyes too.

"No, it is not a dream, mother, for there are so many people all wishing
now that it should come about, in spite of these gloomy fancies. What is
there to prevent it when we are all agreed?--Mr. Trelyon and I heading
the list with our important alliance; and you, mother, would be so proud
to see Wenna happy; and Mrs. Trelyon pets her as if she were a daughter
already; and everybody--every man, woman and child--in Eglosilyan would
rather see that come about than get a guinea apiece. Oh, mother, if you
could see the picture that I see just now!"

"It is a pretty picture, Mabyn," her mother said, shaking her head. "But
when you think of everybody being agreed, you forget one, and that is
Wenna herself. Whatever she thinks fit and right to do, that she is
certain to do, and all your alliances and friendly wishes won't alter
her decision, even if it should break her heart. And indeed I hope the
poor child won't sink under the terrible strain that is on her: what do
you think of her looks, Mabyn?"

"They want mending--yes, they want mending," Mabyn admitted, apparently
with some compunction, but then she added boldly, "and you know as well
as I do, mother, that there is but the one way of mending them."



If this story were not tied by its title to the duchy of Cornwall, it
might be interesting enough to follow Mr. Roscorla into the new world
that had opened all around him, and say something of the sudden shock
his old habits had thus received, and of the quite altered views of his
own life he had been led to form. As matters stand, we can only pay him
a flying visit.

He is seated in a verandah fronting a garden, in which pomegranates and
oranges form the principal fruit. Down below him some blacks are
bringing provisions up to Yacca Farm along the cactus avenue leading to
the gate. Far away on his right the last rays of the sun are shining on
the summit of Blue Mountain Peak, and along the horizon the reflected
glow of the sky shines on the calm sea. It is a fine, still evening; his
cigar smells sweet in the air; it is a time for indolent dreaming and
for memories of home.

But Mr. Roscorla is not so much enraptured by thoughts of home as he
might be. "Why," he is saying to himself, "my life in Basset Cottage was
no life at all, but only a waiting for death. Day after day passed in
that monotonous fashion: what had one to look forward to but old age,
sickness, and then the quiet of a coffin? It was nothing but an hourly
procession to the grave, varied by rabbit-shooting. This bold breaking
away from the narrow life of such a place has given me a new lease of
existence. Now I can look back with surprise on the dullness of that
Cornish village, and on the regularity of habits which I did not know
were habits. For is not that always the case? You don't know that you
are forming a habit: you take each act to be an individual act, which
you may perform or not at will; but, all the same, the succession of
them is getting you into its power; custom gets a grip of your ways of
thinking as well as your ways of living; the habit is formed, and it
does not cease its hold until it conducts you to the grave. Try Jamaica
for a cure. Fling a sleeping man into the sea, and watch if he does not
wake. Why, when I look back to the slow, methodical, common-place life I
led at Eglosilyan, can I wonder that I was sometimes afraid of Wenna
Rosewarne regarding me as a somewhat staid and venerable individual, on
whose infirmities she ought to take pity?"

He rose and began to walk up and down the verandah, putting his foot
down firmly. His loose linen suit was smart enough: his complexion had
been improved by the sun. The consciousness that his business affairs
were promising well did not lessen his sense of self-importance.

"Wenna must be prepared to move about a bit when I go back," he was
saying to himself. "She must give up that daily attendance on cottagers'
children. If all turns out well, I don't see why we should not live in
London, for who will know there who her father was? That consideration
was of no consequence so long as I looked forward to living the rest of
my life in Basset Cottage: now there are other things to be thought of
when there is a chance of my going among my old friends again."

By this time, it must be observed, Mr. Roscorla had abandoned his hasty
intention of returning to England to upbraid Wenna with having received
a ring from Harry Trelyon. After all, he reasoned with himself, the mere
fact that she should talk thus simply and frankly about young Trelyon
showed that, so far as she was concerned, her loyalty to her absent
lover was unbroken. As for the young gentleman himself, he was, Mr.
Roscorla knew, fond of joking. He had doubtless thought it a fine thing
to make a fool of two or three women by imposing on them this
cock-and-bull story of finding a ring by dredging. He was a little angry
that Wenna should have been deceived; but then, he reflected, these
gypsy rings are so much like one another that the young man had probably
got a pretty fair duplicate. For the rest, he did not want to quarrel
with Harry Trelyon at present.

But as he was walking up and down the verandah, looking a much younger
and brisker man than the Mr. Roscorla who had left Eglosilyan, a servant
came through the house and brought him a couple of letters. He saw they
were respectively from Mr. Barnes and from Wenna; and, curiously enough,
he opened the reverend gentleman's first--perhaps as schoolboys like to
leave the best bit of a tart to the last.

He read the letter over carefully; he sat down and read it again; then
he put it before him on the table. He was evidently puzzled by it. "What
does this man mean by writing these letters to me?"--so Mr. Roscorla,
who was a cautious and reflective person, communed with himself.--"He is
no particular friend of mine. He must be driving at something. Now he
says that I am to be of good cheer. I must not think anything of what he
formerly wrote. Mr. Trelyon is leaving Eglosilyan for good, and his
mother will at last have some peace of mind. What a pity it is that this
sensitive creature should be at the mercy of the rude passions of this
son of hers! that she should have no protector! that she should be
allowed to mope herself to death in a melancholy seclusion!"

An odd fancy occurred to Mr. Roscorla at this moment, and he smiled: "I
think I have got a clew to Mr. Barnes's disinterested anxiety about my
affairs. The widower would like to protect the solitary and unfriended
widow, but the young man is in the way. The young man would be very much
in the way if he married Wenna Rosewarne; the widower's fears drive him
into suspicion, then into certainty; nothing will do but that I should
return to England at once and spoil this little arrangement. But as soon
as Harry Trelyon declares his intention of leaving Eglosilyan for good,
then my affairs may go anyhow. Mr. Barnes finds the coast clear: I am
bidden to stay where I am. Well, that is what I mean to do; but now I
fancy I understand Mr. Barnes's generous friendship for me and his
affectionate correspondence."

He turned to Wenna's letter with much compunction. He owed her some
atonement for having listened to the disingenuous reports of this
scheming clergyman. How could he have so far forgotten the firm,
uncompromising rectitude of the girl's character, her sensitive notions
of honor, the promises she had given?

He read her letter, and as he read his eyes seemed to grow hot with
rage. He paid no heed to the passionate contrition of the trembling
lines--to the obvious pain that she had endured in telling the story,
without concealment, against herself--to the utter and abject
wretchedness with which she awaited his decision. It was thus that she
had kept faith with him the moment his back was turned! Such were the
safeguards afforded by a woman's sense of honor! What a fool he had
been, to imagine that any woman could remain true to her promise so soon
as some other object of flirtation and incipient love-making came in her

He looked at the letter again: he could scarcely believe it to be in her
handwriting. This the quiet, reasonable, gentle and timid Wenna
Rosewarne, whose virtues were almost a trifle too severe? The despair
and remorse of the letter did not touch him--he was too angry and
indignant over the insult to himself--but it astonished him. The
passionate emotion of those closely-written pages he could scarcely
connect with the shy, frank, kindly little girl he remembered: it was a
cry of agony from a tortured woman, and he knew at least that for her
the old quiet time was over.

He knew not what to do. All this that had happened was new to him: it
was old and gone by in England, and who could tell what further
complications might have arisen? But his anger required some vent: he
went in-doors, called for a lamp, and sat down and wrote with a hard and
resolute look on his face:

     "I have received your letter. I am not surprised. You are a woman,
     and I ought to have known that a woman's promise is of value so
     long as you are by her side to see that she keeps it. You ask what
     reparation you can make: I ask if there is any that you can
     suggest. No: you have done what cannot be undone. Do you think a
     man would marry a woman who is in love with, or has been in love
     with, another man, even if he could overlook her breach of faith
     and the shameless thoughtlessness of her conduct? My course is
     clear, at all events. I give you back the promise that you did not
     know how to keep; and now you can go and ask the young man who has
     been making a holiday toy of you whether he will be pleased to
     marry you.

                "RICHARD ROSCORLA."

He sealed and addressed this letter, still with the firm, hard look
about his face: then he summoned a servant--a tall, red-haired Irishman.
He did not hesitate for a moment: "Look here, Sullivan: the English
mails go out to-morrow morning. You must ride down to the post-office as
hard as you can go; and if you're a few minutes late, see Mr. Keith and
give him my compliments, and ask him if he can possibly take this letter
if the mails are not made up. It is of great importance. Quick, now!"

He watched the man go clattering down the cactus avenue until he was out
of sight. Then he turned, put the letters in his pocket, went in-doors,
and again struck a small gong that did duty for a bell. He wanted his
horse brought round at once. He was going over to Pleasant Farm:
probably he would not return that night. He lit another cigar, and paced
up and down the gravel in front of the house until the horse was brought

When he reached Pleasant Farm the stars were shining overhead, and the
odors of the night-flowers came floating out of the forest, but inside
the house there were brilliant lights and the voices of men talking. A
bachelor supper-party was going forward. Mr. Roscorla entered, and
presently was seated at the hospitable board. They had never seen him so
gay, and they had certainly never seen him so generously inclined, for
Mr. Roscorla was economical in his habits. He would have them all to
dinner the next evening, and promised them such champagne as had never
been sent to Kingston before. He passed round his best cigars, he hinted
something about unlimited loo, he drank pretty freely, and was
altogether in a jovial humor.

"England!" he said, when some one mentioned the mother-country. "Of one
thing I am pretty certain: England will never see me again. No, a man
lives here: in England he waits for his death. What life I have got
before me I shall live in Jamaica: that is my view of the question."

"Then she is coming out to you?" said his host with a grin.

Roscorla's face flushed with anger. "There is no _she_ in the matter,"
he said abruptly, almost fiercely. "I thank God I am not tied to any

"Oh, I beg your pardon," said his host good-naturedly, who did not care
to recall the occasions on which Mr. Roscorla had been rather pleased to
admit that certain tender ties bound him to his native land.

"No, there is not," he said. "What fool would have his comfort and peace
of mind depend on the caprice of a woman? I like your plan better,
Rogers: when they're dependent on you, you can do as you like, but when
they've got to be treated as equals, they're the devil. No, my boys, you
don't find me going in for the angel in the house--she's too exacting.
Is it to be unlimited?"

Now to play unlimited loo in a reckless fashion is about the easiest way
of getting rid of money that the ingenuity of man has devised. The other
players were much better qualified to run such risks than Mr. Roscorla,
but none played half so wildly as he. His I.O.U.'s went freely about. At
one point in the evening the floating paper bearing the signature of Mr.
Roscorla represented a sum of about three hundred pounds, and yet his
losses did not weigh heavily on him. At length every one got tired, and
it was resolved to stop short at a certain hour. But from this point the
luck changed: nothing could stand against his cards; one by one his
I.O.U.'s were recalled; and when they all rose from the table he had won
about forty-eight pounds. He was not elated.

He went to his room and sat down in an easy-chair; and then it seemed to
him that he saw Eglosilyan once more, and the far coasts of Cornwall,
and the broad uplands lying under a blue English sky. That was his home,
and he had cut himself away from it, and from the little glimmer of
romance that had recently brightened it for him. Every bit of the place,
too, was associated somehow with Wenna Rosewarne. He could see the seat
fronting the Atlantic on which she used to sit and sew on the fine
summer forenoons. He could see the rough road leading over the downs on
which he met her one wintry morning, she wrapped up and driving her
father's dog-cart, while the red sun in the sky seemed to brighten the
pink color the cold wind had brought into her cheeks. He thought of her
walking sedately up to church; of her wild scramblings among the rocks
with Mabyn; of her enjoyment of a fierce wind when it came laden with
the spray of the great rollers breaking on the cliff outside. What was
the song she used to sing to herself as she went along the quiet
woodland ways?--

    Your Polly has never been false, she declares,
    Since last time we parted at Wapping Old Stairs.

He could not let her go. All the anger of wounded vanity had left his
heart: he thought now only of the chance he was throwing away. Where
else could he hope to find for himself so pleasant a companion and
friend, who would cheer up his dull daily life with her warm sympathies,
her quick humor, her winning womanly ways?

He thought of that letter he had sent away, and cursed his own folly. So
long as she was bound by her promise he knew he could marry her when he
pleased, but now he had voluntarily released her. In a couple of weeks
she would hold her manumission in her hands; the past would no longer
have any power over her; if ever they met they would meet as mere
acquaintances. Every moment the prize slipping out of his grasp seemed
to grow more valuable; his vexation with himself grew intolerable; he
suddenly resolved that he would make a wild effort to get back that
fatal letter.

He had sat communing with himself for over an hour: all the household
was fast asleep. He would not wake any one, for fear of being compelled
to give explanations; so he noiselessly crept along the dark passages
until he got to the door, which he carefully opened and let himself out.
The night was wonderfully clear, the constellations throbbing and
glittering overhead: the trees were black against the pale sky.

He made his way round to the stables, and had some sort of notion that
he would try to get at his horse, until it occurred to him that some
suddenly awakened servant or master would probably send a bullet
whizzing at him. So he abandoned that enterprise, and set off to walk as
quickly as he could down the slopes of the mountain, with the stars
still shining over his head, the air sweet with powerful scents, the
leaves of the bushes hanging silently in the semi-darkness.

How long he walked he did not know: he was not aware that when he
reached the sleeping town a pale gray was lightening the eastern skies.
He went to the house of the postmaster and hurriedly aroused him. Mr.
Keith began to think that the ordinarily sedate Mr. Roscorla had gone

"But I must have the letter," he said. "Come now, Keith, you can give it
me back if you like. Of course I know it is very wrong, but you'll do it
to oblige a friend."

"My dear sir," said the postmaster, who could not get time for
explanation, "the mails were made up last night--"

"Yes, yes, but you can open the English bag."

"They were sent on board last night."

"Then the packet is still in the harbor: you might come down with me."

"She sails at daybreak."

"It is not daybreak yet," said Mr. Roscorla, looking up.

Then he saw how the gray dawn had come over the skies, banishing the
stars, and he became aware of the wan light shining around him. With the
new day his life was altered; he would no more be as he had been; the
chief aim and purpose of his existence had been changed.

Walking heedlessly back, he came to a point from which he had a distant
view of the harbor and the sea beyond. Far away out on the dull gray
plain was a steamer slowly making her way toward the east. Was that the
packet bound for England, carrying to Wenna Rosewarne the message that
she was free?



The following correspondence may now, without any great breach of
confidence, be published:

    "EGLOSILYAN, Monday morning.

    DEAR MR. TRELYON: Do you know what Mr. Roscorla says in the
    letter Wenna has just received? Why, that you could not get
    up that ring by dredging, but that you must have bought the
    other one at Plymouth. Just think of the wicked old wretch
    fancying such things! As if you would give a ring _of emeralds
    to any one_! Tell me that this is a story, that I may bid
    Wenna contradict him at once. I have got no patience with a man
    who is given over to such mean suspicions. Yours faithfully,


    "LONDON, Tuesday night.

    Dear Mabyn: I am sorry to say Mr. Roscorla is right. It was a
    foolish trick--I did not think it would be successful, for my
    hitting the size of her finger was rather a stroke of luck--but
    I thought it would amuse her if she did find it out after an
    hour or two. I was afraid to tell her afterward, for she would
    think it impertinent. What's to be done? Is she angry about it.
    Yours sincerely,



    Dear Mr. Trelyon: How could you do such a thing? Why, to give
    Wenna, of all people in the world, an emerald ring, just after I
    had got Mr. Roscorla to give her one, for bad luck to himself!
    Why, how could you do it? I don't know what to say about it,
    unless you demand it back, _and send her one with sapphires in
    it at once_.

    Yours, M.R.

    P.S.--As quick as ever you can."

    "LONDON, Friday evening.

    Dear Mabyn: Why, you know she wouldn't take a sapphire ring or
    any other from me. Yours faithfully,

    H. TRELYON."

    "MY DEAR MR. TRELYON: Pray don't lose any time in writing, but
    send me at once a sapphire ring for Wenna. You have hit the size
    once, and you can do it again; but in any case I have marked the
    size on this bit of thread, and the jeweler will understand. And
    please, dear Mr. Trelyon, don't get a very expensive one, but a
    plain, good one, just what a poor person like me would buy for a
    present if I wanted to. And post it at once, please: _this is
    very important_. Yours most sincerely,


In consequence of this correspondence Mabyn one morning proceeded to
seek out her sister, whom she found busy with the accounts of the sewing
club, which was now in a flourishing condition. Mabyn seemed a little
shy. "Oh, Wenna," she said, "I have something to tell you. You know I
wrote to ask Mr. Trelyon about the ring. Well, he's very, very
sorry--oh, you don't know how sorry he is, Wenna--but it's quite true.
He thought he'd please you by getting the ring, and that you would make
a joke of it when you found it out; and then he was afraid to speak of
it afterward."

Wenna had quietly slipped the ring off her finger. She betrayed no
emotion at the mention of Mr. Trelyon's name. Her face was a trifle red:
that was, all. "It was a stupid thing to do," she said, "but I suppose
he meant no harm. Will you send him back the ring?"

"Yes," she said eagerly. "Give me the ring, Wenna."

She carefully wrapped it up in a piece of paper and put it in her
pocket. Any one who knew her would have seen by her face that she meant
to give that ring short shrift. Then she said timidly, "You are not very
angry, Wenna?"

"No. I am sorry I should have vexed Mr. Roscorla by my carelessness."

"Wenna," the younger sister continued, even more timidly, "do you know
what I've heard about rings?--that when you've worn one for some time on
a finger, you ought never to leave it off altogether: I think it affects
the circulation, or something of that kind. Now, if Mr. Trelyon were to
send you another ring, just to--to keep the place of that one until Mr.
Roscorla came back--"

"Mabyn, you must be mad to think of such a thing," said her sister,
looking down.

"Oh yes," Mabyn said meekly, "I thought you wouldn't like the notion of
Mr. Trelyon giving you a ring. And so, dear Wenna, I've--I've got a ring
for you--you won't mind taking it from me--and if you do wear it on the
engaged finger, why, that doesn't matter, don't you see?"

She produced the ring of dark blue stones, and herself put it on Wenna's

"Oh, Mabyn," Wenna said, "how could you be so extravagant? And just
after you gave me that ten shillings for the Leans!"

"You be quiet," said Mabyn briskly, going off with a light look on her

And yet there was some determination about her mouth. She hastily put on
her hat and went out. She took the path by the hillside over the little
harbor, and eventually she reached the face of the black cliff, at the
foot of which a gray-green sea was dashing in white masses of foam:
there was not a living thing around her but the choughs and daws, and
the white seagulls sailing overhead.

She took out a large sheet of brown paper and placed it on the ground.
Then she sought out a bit of rock weighing about two pounds. Then she
took out the little parcel which contained the emerald ring, tied it up
carefully along with the stone in the sheet of brown paper: finally, she
rose up to her full height and heaved the whole into the sea. A splash
down there, and that was all.

She clapped her hands with joy: "And now, my precious emerald ring,
that's the last of you, I imagine! And there isn't much chance of a fish
bringing you back, to make mischief with your ugly green stones."

Then she went home, and wrote this note:

    "EGLOSILYAN, Monday.

    DEAR MR. TRELYON: I have just thrown the emerald ring you gave
    Wenna into the sea, and she wears the other one now _on her
    engaged finger_, but she thinks I bought it. Did you ever
    hear of an old-fashioned rhyme that is this?--

         Oh, green is forsaken,
           And yellow's forsworn;
         And blue is thesweetest
           Color that's worn.

    You can't tell what mischief that emerald ring might not have
    done. But the sapphires that Wenna is wearing now are perfectly
    beautiful; and Wenna is not so heartbroken that she isn't very
    proud of them. I never saw such a beautiful ring. Yours


    P.S.--Are you never coming back to Eglosilyan any more?"

So the days went by, and Mabyn waited with a secret hope to see what
answer Mr. Roscorla would send to that letter of confession and
contrition Wenna had written to him at Penzance. The letter had been
written as an act of duty, and posted too; but there was no mail going
out for ten days thereafter, so that a considerable time had to elapse
before the answer came.

During that time Wenna went about her ordinary duties just as if there
was no hidden fire of pain consuming her heart; there was no word spoken
by her or to her of all that had recently occurred; her mother and
sister were glad to see her so continuously busy. At first she shrank
from going up to Trelyon Hall, and would rather have corresponded with
Mrs. Trelyon about their joint work of charity, but she conquered the
feeling, and went and saw the gentle lady, who perceived nothing altered
or strange in her demeanor. At last the letter from Jamaica came; and
Mabyn, having sent it up to her sister's room, waited for a few minutes,
and then followed it. She was a little afraid, despite her belief in the
virtues of the sapphire ring.

When she entered the room she uttered a slight cry of alarm and ran
forward to her sister. Wenna was seated on a chair by the side of the
bed, but she had thrown her arms out on the bed, her head was between
them, and she was sobbing as if her heart would break.

"Wenna, what is the matter? what has he said to you?"

Mabyn's eyes were all afire now. Wenna would not answer. She would not
even raise her head.

"Wenna, I want to see that letter."

"Oh no, no!" the girl moaned. "I deserve it: he says what is true. I
want you to leave me alone, Mabyn: you--you can't do anything to
help this."

But Mabyn had by this time perceived that her sister held in her hand,
crumpled up, the letter which was the cause of this wild outburst of
grief. She went forward and firmly took it out of the yielding fingers:
then she turned to the light and read it. "Oh, if I were a man!" she
said; and then the very passion of her indignation, finding no other
vent, filled her eyes with proud and angry tears. She forgot to rejoice
that her sister was now free. She only saw the cruel insult of those
lines, and the fashion in which it had struck down its victim. "Wenna,"
she said hotly, "you ought to have more spirit. You don't mean to say
you care for the opinion of a man who would write to any girl like that?
You ought to be precious glad that he has shown himself in his true
colors. Why, he never cared a bit for you--never!--or he would never
turn at a moment's notice and insult you."

"I have deserved it all; it is every word of it true; he could not have
written otherwise." That was all that Wenna would say between her sobs.

"Well," retorted Mabyn, "after all, I am glad he was angry. I did not
think he had so much spirit. And if this is his opinion of you, I don't
think it is worth heeding, only I hope he'll keep to it. Yes, I do. I
hope he'll continue to think you everything that is wicked, and remain
out in Jamaica. Wenna, you must not lie and cry like that. Come, get up,
and look at the strawberries that Mr. Trewhella has sent you."

"Please, Mabyn, leave me alone, there's a good girl."

"I shall be up again in a few minutes, then: I want you to drive me over
to St. Gwennis. Wenna, I _must_ go over to St. Gwennis before lunch; and
father won't let me have anybody to drive. Do you hear, Wenna?"

Then she went out and down into the kitchen, where she bothered Jennifer
for a few minutes until she had got an iron heated at the fire. With
this implement she carefully smoothed out the crumpled letter, and then
she as carefully folded it, took it up stairs, and put it safely away in
her own desk. She had just time to write a few lines:

    "DEAR MR. TRELYON: Do you know what news I have got to tell you?
    Can you guess? The engagement between Mr. Roscorla and Wenna
    _is broken off_; and I have got in my possession the letter
    in which he sets her free. If you knew how glad I am! I should
    like to cry 'Hurrah! hurrah!' all through the streets of
    Eglosilyan; and I think every one else would do the same if only
    they knew. Of course she is very much grieved, for he has been
    most insulting. I cannot tell you the things he has said: you
    would kill him if you heard them. But she will come round very
    soon, I know: and then she will have her freedom again, and no
    more emerald rings, and letters all filled with arguments. Would
    you like to see her, Mr. Trelyon? But don't come yet--not for a
    long time: she would only get angry and obstinate. I'll tell you
    when to come; and in the mean time, you know, she is still
    wearing your ring, so that you need not be afraid. How glad I
    shall be to see you again! Yours most faithfully,


She went down stairs quickly and put this letter in the letter-box.
There was an air of triumph on her face. She had worked for this
result--aided by the mysterious powers of Fate, whom she had conjured to
serve her--and now the welcome end of her labors had arrived. She bade
the hostler get out the dog-cart, as if she were the queen of Sheba
going to visit Solomon. She went marching up to her sister's room,
announcing her approach with a more than ordinarily accurate rendering
of "Oh, the men of merry, merry England!" so that a stranger might have
fancied that he heard the very voice of Harry Trelyon, with all its
unmelodious vigor, ringing along the passage.



Perhaps you have been away in distant parts of the earth, each day
crowded with new experiences and slowly obscuring the clear pictures of
England with which you left: perhaps you have only been hidden away in
London, amid its ceaseless noise, its strange faces, its monotonous
recurrence of duties. Let us say, in any case, that you are returning
home for a space to the quiet of Northern Cornwall.

You look out of the high window of a Plymouth hotel early in the
morning. There is a promise of a beautiful autumn day--a ring of pink
mist lies around the horizon; overhead the sky is clear and blue; the
white sickle of the moon still lingers visible. The new warmth of the
day begins to melt the hoarfrost in the meadows, and you know that out
beyond the town the sun is shining brilliantly on the wet grass, with
the brown cattle gleaming red in the light.

You leave the great world behind, with all its bustle, crowds and
express engines, when you get into the quiet little train that takes you
leisurely up to Launceston, through woods, by the sides of rivers, over
great valleys. There is a sense of repose about this railway journey.
The train stops at any number of small stations--apparently to let the
guard have a chat with the station-master--and then jogs on in a quiet,
contented fashion. And on such an autumn day as this, that is a
beautiful, still, rich-colored and English-looking country through which
it passes. Here is a deep valley, all glittering with the dew and the
sunlight. Down in the hollow a farmyard is half hidden behind the
yellowing elms; a boy is driving a flock of white geese along the
twisting road; the hedges are red with the withering briers. Up here,
along the hillsides, the woods of scrub-oak are glowing with every
imaginable hue of gold, crimson and bronze, except where a few dark firs
appear, or where a tuft of broom, pure and bright in its green, stands
out among the faded brackens. The gorse is profusely in bloom: it always
is in Cornwall. Still farther over there are sheep visible on the
uplands; beyond these, again, the bleak brown moors rise into peaks of
hills; overhead the silent blue, and all around the sweet, fresh country

With a sharp whistle the small train darts into an opening in the hills:
here we are in the twilight of a great wood. The tall trees are becoming
bare; the ground is red with the fallen leaves; through the branches the
blue-winged jay flies, screaming harshly; you can smell the damp and
resinous odors of the ferns. Out again we get into the sunlight! and lo!
a rushing, brawling, narrow stream, its clear flood swaying this way and
that by the big stones; a wall of rock overhead crowned by glowing
furze; a herd of red cattle sent scampering through the bright-green
grass. Now we get slowly into a small white station, and catch a glimpse
of a tiny town over in the valley: again we go on by wood and valley, by
rocks and streams and farms. It is a pleasant drive on such a morning.

In one of the carriages in this train Master Harry Trelyon and his
grandmother were seated. How he had ever persuaded her to go with him to
Cornwall by train was mysterious enough, for the old lady thoroughly
hated all such modern devices. It was her custom to go traveling all
over the country with a big, old-fashioned phaeton and a pair of horses;
and her chief amusement during these long excursions was driving up to
any big house she took a fancy to, in order to see if there was a chance
of its being let to her. The faithful old servant who attended her, and
who was about as old as the coachman, had a great respect for his
mistress, but sometimes he swore--inaudibly--when she ordered him to
make the usual inquiry at the front-door of some noble lord's country
residence, which he would as soon have thought of letting as of
forfeiting his seat in the House of Peers or his hopes of heaven. But
the carriage and horses were coming down, all the same, to Eglosilyan,
to take her back again.

"Harry," she was saying at this moment, "the longer I look at you, the
more positive I am that you are ill. I don't like your color: you are
thin and careworn and anxious. What is the matter with you?"

"Going to school again at twenty-one is hard work, grandmother," he
said. "Don't you try it. But I don't think I'm particularly ill: few
folks can keep a complexion like yours, grandmother."

"Yes," said the old lady, rather pleased, "many's the time they said
that about me, that there wasn't much to complain of in my looks; and
that's what a girl thinks of then, and sweethearts and balls, and all
the other men looking savage when she's dancing with any one of them.
Well, well, Harry; and what is all this about you and the young lady
your mother has made such a pet of? Oh yes, I have my suspicions; and
she's engaged to another man, isn't she? Your grandfather would have
fought him, I'll be bound; but we live in a peaceable way now. Well,
well, no matter; but hasn't that got something to do with your glum
looks, Harry?"

"I tell you, grandmother, I have been hard at work in London. You can't
look very brilliant after a few months in London."

"And what keeps you in London at this time of the year?" said this
plain-spoken old lady. "Your fancy about getting into the army?
Nonsense, man! don't tell me such a tale as that. There's a woman in the
case: a Trelyon never puts himself so much about from any other cause.
To stop in town at this time of the year! Why, your grandfather, and
your father too, would have laughed to hear of it. I haven't had a brace
of birds or a pheasant sent me since last autumn--not one. Come, sir, be
frank with me. I'm an old woman, but I can hold my tongue."

"There's nothing to tell, grandmother," he said. "You just about hit it
in that guess of yours: I suppose Juliott told you. Well, the girl is
engaged to another man: what more is to be said?"

"The man's in Jamaica?"


"Why are you going down to-day?"

"Only for a brief visit: I've been a long time away."

The old lady sat silent for some time. She had heard of the whole affair
before, but she wished to have the rumor confirmed. And at first she was
sorely troubled that her grandson should contemplate marrying the
daughter of an innkeeper, however intelligent, amiable and well-educated
the young lady might be; but she knew the Trelyons pretty well, and knew
that if he had made up his mind to it, argument and remonstrance would
be useless. Moreover, she had a great affection for this young man, and
was strongly disposed to sympathize with any wish of his. She grew in
time to have a great interest in Miss Wenna Rosewarne: at this moment
the chief object of her visit was to make her acquaintance. She grew to
pity young Trelyon in his disappointment, and was inclined to believe
that the person in Jamaica was something of a public enemy. The fact
was, her mere sympathy for her grandson would have converted her to a
sympathy with the wildest project he could have formed.

"Dear! dear!" she said, "what awkward things engagements are when they
stand in your way! Shall I tell you the truth? I was just about as good
as engaged to John Cholmondeley when I gave myself up to your
grandfather. But there! when a girl's heart pulls her one way, and her
promise pulls her another way, she needs to be a very firm-minded young
woman if she means to hold fast. John Cholmondeley was as good-hearted a
young fellow as ever lived--yes, I will say that for him--and I was
mightily sorry for him; but--but you see, that's how things come about.
Dear! dear! that evening at Bath--I remember it as well as if it was
yesterday; and it was only two months after I had run away with your
grandfather. Yes, there was a ball that night; and we had kept very
quiet, you know, after coming back; but this time your grandfather had
set his heart on taking me out before everybody, and you know he had to
have his way. As sure as I live, Harry, the first man I saw was John
Cholmondeley--just as white as a ghost: they said he had been drinking
hard and gambling pretty nearly the whole of these two months. He
wouldn't come near me: he wouldn't take the least notice of me. The
whole night he pretended to be vastly gay and merry: he danced with
everybody, but his eyes never came near me. Well--you know what a girl
is--that vexed me a little bit; for there never was a man such a slave
to a woman as he was to me. Dear! dear! the way my father used to laugh
at him, until he got wild with anger! Well, I went up to him at last,
when he was by himself, and I said to him, just in a careless way, you
know, 'John, aren't you going to dance with me to-night?' Well, do you
know, his face got quite white again; and he said--I remember the very
words, all as cold as ice--'Madam,' says he, 'I am glad to find that
your hurried trip to Scotland has impaired neither your good looks nor
your self-command.' Wasn't it cruel of him?--but then, poor fellow! he
had been badly used, I admit that. Poor young fellow! he never did
marry; and I don't believe he ever forgot me to his dying day. Many a
time I'd like to have told him all about it, and how there was no use in
my marrying him if I liked another man better; but though we met
sometimes, and especially when he came down about the Reform Bill
time--and I do believe I made a red-hot radical of him--he was always
very proud, and I hadn't the heart to go back on the old story. But I'll
tell you what your grandfather did for him: he got him returned at the
very next election, and he on the other side, too; and after a bit a man
begins to think more about getting a seat in Parliament than about
courting an empty-headed girl. I have met this Mr. Roscorla, haven't I?"

"Of course you have."

"A good-looking man rather, with a fresh complexion and gray hair?"

"I don't know what you mean by good looks," said Trelyon shortly. "I
shouldn't think people would call him an Adonis. But there's no
accounting for tastes."

"Perhaps I may have been mistaken," the old lady said, "but there was a
gentleman at Plymouth Station who seemed to be something like what I can
recall of Mr. Roscorla: you didn't see him, I suppose?"

"At Plymouth Station, grandmother?" the young man said, becoming rather

"Yes. He got into the train just as we came up. A neatly-dressed man,
gray hair and a healthy-looking face. I must have seen him somewhere
about here before."

"Roscorla is in Jamaica," said Trelyon positively.

Just at this moment the train slowed into Launceston Station, and the
people began to get out on the platform.

"That is the man I mean," said the old lady.

Trelyon turned and stared. There, sure enough, was Mr. Roscorla, looking
not one whit different from the precise, elderly, fresh-colored
gentleman who had left Cornwall some seven months before.

"Good Lord, Harry!" said the old lady nervously, looking at her
grandson's face, "don't have a fight here."

The next second Mr. Roscorla wheeled round, anxious about some luggage,
and now it was his turn to stare in astonishment and anger--anger,
because he had been told that Harry Trelyon never came near Cornwall,
and his first sudden suspicion was that he had been deceived. All this
had happened in a minute. Trelyon was the first to regain his
self-command. He walked deliberately forward, held out his hand, and
said, "Hillo, Roscorla! back in England again? I didn't know you were

"No," said Mr. Roscorla, with his face grown just a trifle grayer--"no,
I suppose not."

In point of fact, he had not informed any one of his coming. He had
prepared a little surprise. The chief motive of his return was to get
Wenna to cancel for ever that unlucky letter of release he had sent her,
which he had done more or less successfully in subsequent
correspondence; but he had also hoped to introduce a little romanticism
into his meeting with her. He would enter Eglosilyan on foot. He would
wander down to the rocks at the mouth of the harbor on the chance of
finding Wenna there. Might he not hear her humming to herself, as she
sat and sewed, some snatch of "Your Polly has never been false, she
declares"? or was that the very last ballad in the world she would now
think of singing? Then the delight of regarding again the placid, bright
face and earnest eyes, of securing once more a perfect understanding
between them, and their glad return to the inn!

All this had been spoiled by the appearance of this young man: he loved
him none the more for that.

"I suppose you haven't got a trap waiting for you?" said Trelyon with
cold politeness. "I can drive you over if you like."

He could do no less than make the offer: the other had no alternative
but to accept. Old Mrs. Trelyon heard this compact made with
considerable dread.

Indeed, it was a dismal drive over to Eglosilyan, bright as the forenoon
was. The old lady did her best to be courteous to Mr. Roscorla and
cheerful with her grandson, but she was oppressed by the belief that it
was only her presence that had so far restrained the two men from giving
vent to the rage and jealousy that filled their hearts.

The conversation kept up was singular.

"Are you going to remain in England long, Roscorla?" said the younger of
the two men, making an unnecessary cut at one of the two horses he was

"Don't know yet. Perhaps I may."

"Because," said Trelyon with angry impertinence, "I suppose if you do,
you'll have to look round for a housekeeper."

The insinuation was felt; and Roscorla's eyes looked anything but
pleasant as he answered, "You forget I've got Mrs. Cornish to look after
my house."

"Oh, Mrs. Cornish is not much of a companion for you."

"Men seldom want to make companions of their housekeepers," was the
retort, uttered rather hotly.

"But sometimes they wish to have the two offices combined, for economy's

At this juncture Mrs. Trelyon struck in, somewhat wildly, with a remark
about an old ruined house which seemed to have had at one time a private
still inside: the danger was staved off for the moment. "Harry," she
said, "mind what you are about: the horses seem very fresh."

"Yes, they like a good run: I suspect they've had precious little to do
since I left Cornwall."

Did she fear that the young man was determined to throw them into a
ditch or down a precipice, with the wild desire of killing his rival at
any cost? If she had known the whole state of affairs between them--the
story of the emerald ring, for example--she would have understood at
least the difficulty experienced by these two men in remaining decently
civil toward each other.

So they passed over the high and wide moors until far ahead they caught
a glimpse of the blue plain of the sea. Mr. Roscorla relapsed into
silence: he was becoming a trifle nervous. He was probably so occupied
with anticipations of his meeting with Wenna that he failed to notice
the objects around him; and one of these, now become visible, was a very
handsome young lady, who was coming smartly along a wooded lane,
carrying a basket of bright-colored flowers.

"Why, here's Mabyn Rosewarne! I must wait for her."

Mabyn had seen at a distance Mrs. Trelyon's gray horses: she guessed
that the young master had come back, and that he had brought some
strangers with him. She did not like to be stared at by strangers. She
came along the path with her eyes fixed on the ground: she thought it
impertinent of Harry Trelyon to wait to speak to her.

"Oh, Mabyn," he cried, "you must let me drive you home. And let me
introduce you to my grandmother. There is some one else whom you know."

The young lady bowed to Mrs. Trelyon; then she stared and changed color
somewhat when she saw Mr. Roscorla; then she was helped up into a seat.

"How do you do, Mr. Trelyon?" she said. "I am very glad to see you have
come back.--How do you do, Mr. Roscorla?"

She shook hands with them both, but not quite in the same fashion.

"And you have sent no message that you were coming?" she said, looking
her companion straight in the face.

"No--no, I did not," he said, angry and embarrassed by the open enmity
of the girl. "I thought I should surprise you all."

"You have surprised me, any way," said Mabyn, "for how can you be so
thoughtless? Wenna has been very ill--I tell you she has been very ill
indeed, though she has said little about it--and the least thing upsets
her. How can you think of frightening her so? Do you know what you are
doing? I wish you would go away back to Launceston or London, and write
her a note there, if you are coming, instead of trying to frighten her."

This was the language, it appeared to Mr. Roscorla, of a virago; only,
viragoes do not ordinarily have tears in their eyes, as was the case
with Mabyn when she finished her indignant appeal.

"Mr. Trelyon, do you think it is fair to go and frighten Wenna so?" she

"It is none of my business," Trelyon answered with an air as if he had
said to his rival, "Yes, go and kill the girl. You are a nice sort of
gentleman, to come down from London to kill the girl!"

"This is absurd," said Mr. Roscorla contemptuously, for he was stung
into reprisal by the persecution of these two: "a girl isn't so easily
frightened out of her wits. Why, she must have known that my coming home
was at any time probable."

"I have no doubt she feared that it was," said Mabyn, partly to herself:
for once she was afraid of speaking out. Presently, however, a brighter
light came over the girl's face. "Why, I quite forgot," she said,
addressing Harry Trelyon--"I quite forgot that Wenna was just going up
to Trelyon Hall when I left. Of course she will be up there. You will be
able to tell her that Mr. Roscorla has arrived, won't you?"

The malice of this suggestion was so apparent that the young gentleman
in front could not help grinning at it: fortunately, his face could not
be seen by his rival. What _he_ thought of the whole arrangement
can only be imagined. And so, as it happened, Mr. Roscorla and his
friend Mabyn were dropped at the inn, while Harry Trelyon drove his
grandmother up and on to the Hall.

"Well, Harry," the old lady said, "I am glad to be able to breathe at
last: I thought you two were going to kill each other."

"There is no fear of that," the young man said: "that is not the way in
which this affair has to be settled. It is entirely a matter for her
decision; and look how everything is in his favor. I am not even allowed
to say a word to her; and even if I could, he is a deal cleverer than me
in argument. He would argue my head off in half an hour."

"But you don't turn a girl's heart round by argument, Harry. When a girl
has to choose between a young lover and an elderly one, it isn't always
good sense that directs her choice. Is Miss Wenna Rosewarne at all like
her sister?"

"She's not such a tomboy," he said, "but she is quite as straightforward
and proud, and quick to tell you what is the right thing to do. There's
no sort of shamming tolerated by these two girls. But then Wenna is
gentler and quieter, and more soft and lovable, than Mabyn--in my fancy,
you know; and she is more humorous and clever, so that she never gets
into those school-girl rages. But it is really a shame to compare them
like that; and, indeed, if any one said the least thing against one of
these girls, the other would precious soon make him regret the day he
was born. You don't catch me doing that with either of them. I've had a
warning already when I hinted that Mabyn might probably manage to keep
her husband in good order. And so she would, I believe, if the husband
were not of the right sort; but when she is really fond of anybody, she
becomes their slave out and out. There is nothing she wouldn't do for
her sister; and her sister thinks there's nobody in the world like
Mabyn. So you see--"

He stopped in the middle of this sentence.

"Grandmother," he said, almost in a whisper, "here she is coming along
the road."

"Miss Rosewarne?"

"Yes: shall I introduce you?"

"If you like."

Wenna was coming down the steep road between the high hedges with a
small girl on each side of her, whom she was leading by the hand. She
was gayly talking to them: you could hear the children laughing at what
she said. Old Mrs. Trelyon came to the conclusion that this merry young
lady, with the light and free step, the careless talk and fresh color in
her face, was certainly not dying of any love-affair.

"Take the reins, grandmother, for a minute."

He had leapt down into the road, and was standing before her almost ere
she had time to recognize him. For a moment a quick gleam of gladness
shone on her face: then, almost instinctively, she seemed to shrink from
him, and she was reserved, distant, and formal.

He introduced her to the old lady, who said something nice to her about
her sister. The young man was looking wistfully at her, troubled at
heart that she treated him so coldly.

"I have got to break some news to you," he said: "perhaps you will
consider it good news."

She looked up quickly.

"Nothing has happened to anybody--only some one has arrived. Mr.
Roscorla is at the inn."

She did not flinch. He was vexed with her that she showed no sign of
fear or dislike. On the contrary, she quickly said that she must then go
down to the inn; and she bade them both good-bye in a placid and
ordinary way, while he drove off with dark thoughts crowding into his
imagination of what might happen down at the inn during the next few
days. He was angry with her, he scarcely knew why.

Meanwhile Wenna, apparently quite calm, went on down the road, but there
was no more laughing in her voice, no more light in her face.

"Miss Wenna," said the smaller of the two children, who could not
understand this change, and who looked up with big, wondering eyes, "why
does oo tremble so?"



    The curious eye may watch her lovely face,
      Whereon such rare and roseate tinctures glow,
    And cry, How fair the rose and lily show
      Mid all the glories of a maiden grace!
    If this sweet show, this bloom and tender glance,
      Would so attract a stranger's unskilled eyes,
    Until he sees the light of Paradise
      Dawn in the garden of that countenance--
    I, to whom love hath given finer powers,
      See there the emblems of a flowering soul
    That hath its root in other world than ours,
      And which doth ever seek its native goal;
    Meanwhile decks life with love and grace and flowers,
      And in one beauteous garland binds the whole.

                                        F.A. HILLARD.


Twenty-Two centuries ago--eighteen hundred years before Columbus sailed
in quest of the New World--a Phocean colony from Marseilles founded this
celebrated city, calling it Nichê (Nice or Victory), in honor of a
signal triumph obtained by their arms over their enemies, the Ligurians,
or inhabitants of the northern coast of Italy. For ages it flourished,
being almost as famous with the ancients as a health-resort as it is
to-day; but its evil hour came when the Goths, Lombards and Franks in
A.D. 405, pouring through the defiles and gorges of the Maritime Alps,
laid Nice and almost all the other cities of Italy, even beyond Rome, in
ashes. A hundred years later it was rebuilt, but its beautiful forum,
its classical temples, its mosaic-paved villas and marble theatres had
disappeared utterly, and the new city was but a shadow of the old. In
the tenth century the Saracens conquered Nice, and remained in quiet
possession for seventy years, and during their stay introduced much of
the tropical vegetation which we still admire. They were finally driven
away by the insurgent natives in A.D. 975, but they left the impress of
their occupation in many Arabic words which still mark the local
_patois_; and as a number of the fugitives were captured and reduced to
slavery, intermarrying in the course of time with the native population,
the Moorish type is still very noticeable amongst the peasantry. Freed
from the Saracenic yoke, the Niçois lived in peace for nearly two
centuries, being only disturbed from time to time by the unwelcome
visitations of pirates. Later on, toward the middle of the thirteenth
century, like most other Southern and Italian cities, Nice fell a victim
to the constant quarrels of the powerful families allied respectively to
the Ghibelline and Guelphic factions. Thus, the incessant broils between
the Lascaris of Tenda, the Grimaldis of Monaco and the Dorias of
Dolceacqua desolated the surrounding country, and often reduced the city
to a state of siege. The Niçois were compelled to keep up a perpetual
guerilla, which, however inspiriting, was by no means conducive to their
material prosperity. In 1364 an invasion of locusts from Africa led to a
famine, and ultimately a plague which destroyed two-thirds of the
population. The people, attributing their misfortunes to the
intercession of the Jews with the powers below, rose up and massacred
them: only five Israelites out of over two thousand are said to have
escaped their blind fury. When order was at last re-established, and the
Niçois began to settle down again, they perceived their impoverished and
subordinate position to be so alarming that their only chance of safety
was immediately to place themselves under the protection of the dukes of
Savoy, who for a century and a half defended them from the attacks of
their numerous enemies in a most valiant manner. But in 1521, Francis I.
of France wrenched the city and province from the beneficent rule of the
Savoyards and proclaimed himself count of Nice. In 1524 war broke out
between Francis and the emperor Charles V., and the contending armies
alternately devastated and pillaged Nice and its environs. The pest
reappeared, and with it a drought and famine of so fearful a character
that many thousand persons perished, and others in their despair slew
themselves. Pope Paul III. undertook the difficult task of reconciling
the belligerents, and even went so far as to travel to Nice for the
purpose. A marble cross which gives its name to a suburb of the town
("La Croix de Marbre") still marks the spot where the conference took
place in which Francis and Charles swore a peace in the presence of His
Holiness which they took the first opportunity to violate. In 1540 the
war recommenced, and a number of dissolute young men of good family
formed themselves into organized companies of bandits and overran
the country, to the terror of the wretched peasantry and the utter ruin
of many hundreds of honest families. But in 1543 a second Joan of Arc
was raised up by Providence to deliver the Niçois in the person of the
still popular heroine, Catterina Segurana. Francis I. had recently
scandalized Christendom by allying himself with the famous Mohammedan
corsair, Barbarossa of Algiers with a view of reconquering Nice, which
he considered the key of Italy. Accordingly, one fine morning three
hundred vessels belonging to the Algerine pirate entered the neighboring
port of Villefranche, and presently the whole country was filled with a
horde of turbaned freebooters. Cimiez, Montboron, Mont Gros and a
hundred other villages and hamlets were soon alive with French marauders
and Turkish pirates, who presently proceeded to bombard the city itself.
The siege was short, but terrible, and the inhabitants were at the last
gasp when the energetic Catterina Segurana, a washer-woman by trade, and
surnamed _Mao faccia_ ("Ugly face"), on account of the homeliness of her
countenance, seized a hatchet, and, after a vigorous address to her
fellow-citizens, placed herself at their head and led them against the
enemy. The same result attended her efforts as did those of her
immediate prototype, the glorious Maid of Orleans. She so animated the
people, so roused their patriotism, that before the day was over the
French and infidels were conquered, and the bold and generous Catterina.
stood surrounded by her enthusiastic fellow-citizens, waving the
conquered Algerine flag, in token of victory, from the summit of the
castle hill, on the spot where formerly stood her statue.[001]

From the time of the brave Catterina to our own, Nice has sustained at
least a dozen sieges of more or less severity. That of 1706 was perhaps
one of the most shocking on record. The city, by the treaty of Turin of
1696, had once more passed under the protectorate of the dukes of Savoy,
but the French, who have always had a longing eye for the "Department of
the Maritime Alps," as they even then called it, broke the treaty they
had themselves framed, and sent the duc de la Feuillade over the
frontier with twenty thousand men to conquer the country. Nice was then
governed by the marquis de Caraglio, who, although entreated by the
enemy to allow the women and children to leave the city's gates,
positively refused to do so. The consequence was that during the siege,
which lasted six months, more than a third of the inhabitants perished
from starvation. Men are said to have killed their wives for food, and
women their children. Sixty thousand shells fell in various parts of the
town, and the castle, cathedral and many churches were entirely

In 1792, under the First Republic, Nice was again occupied by the
French, and declared a _chef-lieu de département_. By the treaty of 1814
the place was handed over to the Piedmontese, and stayed contentedly
beneath the rule of the Sardinian kings until 1860, when, by the treaty
of March 24, Napoleon III. annexed the county of Nice and the duchy of
Savoy to his imperial possessions, in exchange for the services his army
had rendered Italy at Magenta and Solferino. How long Nice will continue
French is a question somewhat difficult to answer just now. There exists
in the city and province a very strong Italian party, and during the war
of 1870, Nice was declared in a state of siege, owing to the constant
and very serious demonstrations of a certain part of the population. One
of the leading inhabitants, a noted banker, even went so far as
to travel to Florence with the intention of proving to the Italian
government that whilst the French troops were concentrated in the north
those of Victor Emmanuel would find no difficulty in crossing the
frontier and uniting Nice to Italy. To the honor of the Italian
government, this treacherous suggestion was rejected, but in those days
the feeling between France and Italy was more cordial than it has since
been. The Italian party is so active in the city and the department that
the government has difficulty in keeping note of its proceedings.
Thousands of pamphlets are secretly circulated amongst the lower orders,
in which the advantages of the city's return to Italy are vividly
contrasted with the disadvantages it suffers from by remaining French.
The clergy, however, who are both numerous and influential, are French
to a man, and dread the hour which will see them governed by the "jailer
of Pius IX.," and consequently prove a very great assistance to the
authorities in counteracting the intrigues of the Italians. But should
ever, in future years, a war break out between either France and Italy,
or between France and Italy's new ally, Prussia, the _question de Nice_
will be once more on the _tapis_, and victory alone will preserve this
magnificent possession to its present owners.

Nice may well boast herself a rival in point of splendor of natural
position of the most famous cities of the South--of Lisbon, Genoa,
Naples and Constantinople--and she eclipses them in point of climate.
Built at the eastern extremity of a fine gulf--that of Les Anges--and
backed by an amphitheatre of hills and lofty mountains, she is sheltered
from cold winds in winter, and in summer the Alpine breezes temper an
atmosphere which would else be unendurably sultry, owing to the
prevalence of the sirocco, a hot wind which passes directly hither over
the Mediterranean from the burning shores of Africa. One can scarcely
imagine a more glorious panorama than that of this city and its environs
as seen from the sea or from any neighboring elevation. Let us suppose
it a fine morning late in spring, and that we stand upon the deck of a
yacht about a mile and a half distant from the shore. Nice, we see,
surrounds a steep and rugged rock which rises almost perpendicularly
from the Mediterranean to the height of about six hundred feet, and is
crested by the ruins of the ancient castle, and covered with terraced
gardens forming a delicious promenade. Groves of cypresses and sycamores
hang on the declivities of this rock, which in places is rough with
cactuses and aloes and with the Indian fig, whose bright orange flowers,
when the sun's rays fall on them, have a magic splendor of color. A
group of palm trees at the extremest elevation, standing out on a high
crag, add not a little to the picturesque appearance of this singular
urban hill. On one side of this rock the rapid torrent Paillon,
traversed by several handsome bridges, some of them adorned with
statues, separates the "old" from the "new" town. On the other is the
port, filled with steamers and innumerable fishing-craft. Beyond the
port stretches the Boulevard de l'Impératrice, inaugurated a few years
since by the late empress of Russia, with its fine villas, notably the
splendid Venetian Palace, an exact reproduction of the celebrated
Moncenigo Palace at Venice, belonging to Viscount Vigier, whose wife was
once a popular idol of the musical world of Paris and London--Sophie
Cruvelli--and the extraordinary Moresque-looking castle of Mr. Smith,
which is well called the _Folie d'un Anglais_--the "craze of an
Englishman." The latter stands on the end of a promontory, and with its
lofty towers and domes closes in the view. It is perhaps the most
curious residence in the world, being built on a barren rock, and its
apartments literally hewn out of the marble of which it is composed. On
the top of the hill is a long building, with two curious twin towers and
a dome, built of red brick faced with white marble. Here is situated the
chief entrance. You descend from the spacious entry-hall a long well
staircase cut in the rock and lighted from above, until you reach a
superb octagonal chamber of white marble ornamented with
statues and Oriental divans covered with Persian silk. This is the great
saloon, and leading out of it are other fine chambers, all of them lined
with polished marble and furnished with Eastern magnificence.
Externally, there is no trace of these chambers visible. They are, as I
have said, excavated, like Egyptian tombs, in the heart of the mountain.
The proprietor, an eccentric English bachelor, never inhabits this
fantastic mansion, but lives in a second-rate hotel, spending thousands
annually in adding embellishments to his astonishing castle, where,
notwithstanding its magnificent suites of apartments, no human being has
ever slept a night or eaten a meal.

"Smith's Craze," as I have said, closes in the view to our right. To the
left, beyond the torrent Paillon, is situated modern Nice, with its
quays, leviathan hotels, and an almost interminable line of villas
marking the celebrated Promenade des Anglais. The background of the
scene is filled up by a semicircle of well-wooded hills, verdant with
vines, fig, orange, olive and pomegranate trees, and sparkling with
white country-seats, convents, and campanili. Towering over these hills
appears another range, of rocky and bold outlines, and then another, of
lofty mountains whose peaks lose themselves in clouds, and by their
fantastic figures form as delightful an horizon as the eye can behold.
In the centre rises the conical peak of Monte Cao, an extinct volcano,
exactly resembling Vesuvius in conformation, and only wanting a curl of
smoke issuing from its crater to make the illusion perfect. Alongside of
Monte Cao is another extinct volcano, on which are seen the ruins of the
ancient and deserted village of Châteauneuf, while between the two
summits (thirty-five hundred feet high) are distinctly visible the peaks
of some of the ever-snowy Alps. The foreground of the picture is formed
by the deep indigo waters of the Mediterranean, diversified by a hundred
sunny sails, and overhead hangs the cloudless Italian sky.

Let us now put back to port and walk through the city, visiting first
Old Nice, then the modern Pompeii, as Alphonse Karr pleasantly calls
the new town. Old Nice resembles Genoa on a small scale, and has very
narrow streets of lofty (and in some cases really fine) houses, no end
of churches, gloomy-looking convents, and one or two palaces. In the
narrow streets surrounding the cathedral--a large and showy building,
formerly a parish church--is a market supplied with native
fruits--oranges, lemons, grapes, figs, and many varieties of melons and
nuts. The streets, which are in places so narrow that you can almost
stretch your arms across them, are full of bright-looking shops, with
all their varied goods displayed at the open, unglazed windows. Here and
there one comes across remains of ancient times of considerable
interest. Thus, in the Rue Droite is an old house, with a series of
quaint little arches and a curious Gothic gateway, which was formerly
part of the palace inhabited by Joanna II. of Naples. Near the church of
St. Jacques is another old residence, with an odd decoration on its
front in the shape of colossal figures of Adam and Eve, executed in
alto-rilievo, which have their feet on either side of the doorway and
their heads above the fifth story. The tree of knowledge, over-laden
with its dangerous fruit, flourishes between the windows of what was
once the saloon, and is now a manufactory of maccaroni. In the Rue du
Centre is the quondam palace of the Lascaris family, an old Italian
mansion, with marble balconies, wide, majestic staircases adorned with
Corinthian columns, and vast apartments frescoed by Carlone, a reputable
Genoese painter of mythological subjects. Carlone's gods and goddesses
look down no longer on the members of the House of Lascaris, who once
ruled over Tenda, and were the lineal descendants of the imperial
Byzantine house of Del Comneno, but on those of an amiable Niçois
family, who most willingly show the old palace to any stranger who may
choose to knock at their door.

Some years ago a Turinese lawyer, looking over his father's private
papers, discovered that he was the legitimate heir to the Lascaris
titles and estates, which had been left unreclaimed for many
centuries. This gentleman, on proving his claim, assumed the grandiose
title of Prince Lascaris del Comneno, grand duke of Macedonia. His glory
was short-lived. His wife went to Rome and obtained a full recognition
of her rights from the Holy Father and admission into the first circles
of Roman society, but was subsequently expelled from the city for
plotting against the papal government; but she returned with the
Piedmontese occupation in 1870, only, however, to get into a still worse
pickle by exposing herself to the charge of defrauding Flaminio Spada's
bank of a large sum of money. During the trial she _mizzled_, and has
not, I believe, been heard of since. This lady is the famous "Princess
Mopsa" about whose adventures the Roman papers have entertained their
readers considerably during the last year or so.

The churches are usually in the Italian style, having heavy façades,
plain brick sides and queer but rather picturesque bell-towers.
Internally, they are gaudy and tasteless, the altars ornamented on high
days and holidays with innumerable wax candles, festoons of red, white
and blue drapery, and huge pyramids of paper roses with gold foliage.
Ecclesiastical affairs are presided over by Monsignor Pietro Sola, a
charming old bishop, who is the essence of kindliness and charity. He
was formerly one of the spiritual directors of Queen Adelaide of
Austria, the late wife of Victor Emmanuel. The number of priests, monks
and nuns is very considerable. There is a very large Franciscan
monastery up at Cimiez on the hill, and a rambling old Capuchin convent
at St. Bartolomé. The Nice Capuchins are a splendid body of men, and a
goodly sight to see marching in a procession with their
chocolate-colored hooded robes and long, flowing beards. Their present
prior is a marquis Raggi of Genoa, a man of high family and rank, who
some years since abandoned a world he had known only too well, gave all
his fortune to the poor, and turned monk.

There is a street in the old part of Nice which is perfectly unique. It
is nearly a mile and a half long, runs parallel with the sea, and
consists of a double row of low, one-storied houses having a paved
terrace on their roofs, to which you ascend by several handsome
staircases. The terrace forms a very popular promenade of an evening,
and from it are enjoyed lovely views of the bay and mountains. Between
these two rows of houses is the fish-market, where are frequently seen
displayed monsters like Victor Hugo's famous _pieuve_ sprawling out
their dozen glutinous legs fringed with eyes and deadly weapons in
almost supernatural hideousness, to the admiration of a group of English
or American tourists. Hard by the fish-market is the Corso, a shady
promenade round which the gala carriages drive in Carnival time, while
the masked inmates pelt and get pelted in turn with comfits made of
painted clay. The Corso is also the scene of numerous religious
processions, some of which are quaint and picturesque. There are a
number of ancient confraternities established amongst the trades-people
of Nice, who wear costumes of, red, white, black and blue serge,
according to the guild they belong to. This sack-like garment covers
them from head to foot, face and all, there being only two eyeholes slit
in the mask to permit the wearer to see out. These brotherhoods attend
the sick, bury the dead and take care of the widows and orphans, and in
Holy Week make the narrow streets of the old city delightful to the
artistic eye by the bright mass of their vivid-colored raiment, the
flickering of their tapers, and the gigantic crucifixes of gold and
silver they carry in procession from church to church. Every morning
there is a market held on the Corso of fruits, vegetables and flowers.
Such magnificent baskets of camellias, japonicas and roses, such
nosegays of violets and orange-blossoms, can be seen, I fancy, nowhere
but at Nice. Here also the peasant-women sometimes bring immense pots of
Peruvian aloes for sale, whose snowy blossoms are scented like those of
the magnolia, and rise in gigantic pyramids of magnificent cup-shaped
flowers. They are plants to salute respectfully as you pass by
them, such is their size and dignity. In Holy Week women are to be seen
all over the old town selling plaited palm branches of a pale
straw-color, some of which are bedecked with little bows of ribbon or
stars of tinsel, used in the ceremonies of Palm Sunday. The
peasant-girls who come to market at Nice are rather handsome, but as
dark as Nubians, with almond-shaped eyes and long, coarse black hair,
which they wear plaited into tails bound round the head with broad
velvet ribbons, like a coronet. On the top of this headgear they sport a
wide-brimmed straw hat of peculiar shape, ornamented with little black
crosses made of narrow velvet. In Princess Marie Lichtenstein's _Holland
House_ there is a portrait of Lady Augusta Holland wearing one of these
Nice hats.

But it is time for us to cross the bridges and pay our respects to Nice
the "new." When I first visited Nice in 1856 at least two-thirds of this
part of the city were not in existence. There were no splendid
railway-stations then; only one or two, instead of twenty, monster
hotels; the Promenade des Anglais only extended about a mile along the
shore, instead of four; and there were but one quay and two bridges. Now
superb quays line the river on either side, and there are six bridges,
and Heaven only knows how many churches for the accommodation of all the
denominations imaginable and unimaginable, from Père Lavigne's very
beautiful and very orthodox church, in which Monsignor Capel has
preached in Lent, down to Léon Pilate's, where collections are made for
the evangelical missions presided over by Mrs. Gould and W.C. Van Metre.
There is a Greek church of exceeding beauty, the altar-screen of which
was sent from Moscow as a present from the czar; and an Episcopal
church, surrounded by a beautiful cemetery, where sleeps the philosophic
Bussy d'Anglas, with many others whose names are well known. The real
Niçois almost all dwell in Old Nice, leaving the new city to the foreign
colony. Indeed, the natives are rarely if ever seen, except in the
street. They keep to their old quiet way of living, and, beyond letting
their houses and selling their goods, appear to be utterly unconscious
even of the existence of the strangers on the other side of Paillon.
Many of the Nice families are titled and wealthy, but with the exception
of that of the count de Cessoles, it is very rare to meet the Niçois in
society. Mademoiselle Mathilde de Cessoles is the reigning belle, and
deserves the honor. She is a superb-looking woman, with a head and
countenance worthy of a regal diadem. Her features resemble those of the
House of Bourbon, her complexion is admirable, and she has a certain
good-natured, indolent, sultana way of moving which is perfectly
charming. Cupid alone knows how many have sighed for her hand since her
long reign as a queen of society began, but none have as yet been
favored with a kinder glance than that of friendship. Scottish dukes,
Roman princes and American officers have wooed, but never won: la belle
Mathilde still walks the orange groves of her villa, "in virgin
meditation, fancy free."

"But it waxes late--'tis near three o'clock:" let us hasten past the
casinos, cafes, reading-rooms, Turkish baths and American drinking-bars
which flourish on the quays, and make our way to the Promenade des
Anglais, by this time alive with fashionables. The "Promenade," as I
have said, is nearly four miles long, and faces the sea. It is very
broad, and has on one side a row of villas and hotels--on the other a
walk shaded by oleanders and palm trees, through the openings of which
are obtained magnificent views of the Mediterranean. Some of these
villas are remarkably beautiful, especially that of the Princes Stirby,
the former sovereigns of Wallachia, which is surrounded with exquisite
gardens abounding with noble camellia trees, some of which produce as
many as fifteen hundred flowers. The Villa de Dempierre is very pretty,
and is the property of the countess of that name, who is a most
noteworthy person. Madame de Dempierre belongs to one of the most
ancient and wealthy families of France. She was once a great
beauty, and is still a brilliant wit and charming artist. Some years ago
she visited the empress of Russia, then residing at Nice, where she
died. Her Imperial Majesty, who was noted for her habit of making
personal remarks, said bluntly, "Madame la comtesse, how beautiful you
must have been!" "Majesty," answered the _spirituelle_ Madame de
Dempierre, "you were complaining of the nearness of your sight: since
you can distinguish my beauty through the vista of so many years, I
think you enjoy long-sightedness in a remarkable degree." The empress
wrinkled her nose, and presently observed: "I think, countess, I
remember to have seen your husband, General de Dempierre, in Russia."
"Doubtless Your Majesty did so: he was the first Frenchman that entered
the Kremlin." The czarina was silent: the fall of Moscow was not a
pleasant subject of conversation to the wife of Nicholas. The Villa de
Diesbach comes next, the winter residence of the historical family of
that name, into which married a few years since a tall, gazelle-eyed
American belle, Miss Meta McCall. Then follows the pretty Villa
Bouxhoevden, the property of a Corlandese count of a very noble house,
whose wife hails from New Jersey. The countess is much the fashion, and
her hospitable house is a rendezvous of the elite of the foreign and
American colony. She is a tall, graceful woman, with a pale and
interesting countenance, shadowed with clusters of light-brown curls,
which reminds one of Vandyke's portraits of Queen Henrietta Maria--a
likeness somewhat increased by costumes admirably suited to her
style--long flowing robes of rich silk trimmed with ermine and costly
lace. Then there is Mrs. Williams's garden, with Indian creepers and
gaudy Eastern plants, sent to her by her gallant son, the Crimean hero,
from the slopes of the Himalayas. Here on a Sunday gathers a pleasant
circle to drink five-o'clock tea and listen to the bright remarks of
Madame de la Caume, the daughter of the hostess, who knows more about
French politics than many a deputy at Versailles. But whilst we have
been looking in at villa-gardens the Promenade has filled up rapidly. A
continuous stream of carriages occupies the centre of the road, a throng
of gay folks animate with their showiest toilets the oleander walk and
the Jardin Publique, where a tolerable band plays for two or three hours
thrice a week. The marble stairs of the Casino are crowded with
loungers, and the windows and balconies of every villa are filled with
well-dressed men and women. Nowhere, perhaps, excepting in Rotten Row or
the Bois de Boulogne, can so many celebrated and beautiful women and
handsome or famous men be seen parading up and down together as on the
Promenade des Anglais of a fine afternoon in the season. Here gathers
the _crême de la crême_ of two worlds, the Old and the New, Europe and
America. In the winter of 1870 the town was crowded to excess. Never
before were there so many notabilities assembled at Nice--never was
there so much gossip, so much _cancan_ and small talk. It was amusing to
sit in the shade of a palm tree on the promenade and review the
_personæ_ of this Vanity Fair. Frederick Charles of Prussia and his
princess in a landau, with two Nubians on the box; the crown-princess
Victoria of England and her sister of Hesse-Darmstadt, on a trip from
Cannes, where they were then visiting; Her Grace of Newcastle; De
Villemessant of the _Figaro_, in an invalid's chair, the most
accomplished of _causeurs_; Count Montalivet, the former minister of
Louis Philippe, and by him, for a few days at the full of the season, a
little old gentleman with a squeaky voice, M. Adolphe Thiers. Next comes
a group of ladies, the three daughters of the Hispano-Mexican duchess De
Fernan-Nuñez; all three looking exactly alike, tall and dark; all three
of a height; all three invariably dressed in black, with lofty Tyrolese
hats and cocks' feathers; all three unmarried; all three marriageable,
and worth Croesus only knows how many millions; all three invariably
alone--a fact which made old Madame Colaredo scream out of her window
one day, "_Tiens! voilà les trois cent (sans) gardes_!" Then follow
Lord Rokeby, the most affable of lordships; Lord Portarlington;
General Sir William Williams of Kars; Princess Kantacuzène, the last
descendant of the imperial Byzantine house of that name; the ideally
lovely Miss Amy Shaw of Boston; the three pretty Miss Warrens of New
York; Madame Gavini de Campile, the wife of the prefect, a fine-looking
dame gloriously arrayed in showy robes, whom half the society adored and
the rest cordially hated; the duke de Mouchy, who married Anna Murat;
the duke de Périgord-Talleyrand, who married an American; the duke de la
Conquista, who derives his title from the conquest of Peru; the lovely
countess Del Borgo; and the famous Italian beauty, Madame Bellotti, a
Milanese lady, whose maiden name was Visconti, of that semi-royal house.
Theresa Bellotti's beauty is of a grand style seen nowhere out of Italy.
Picture her to yourself as I once saw her at a masquerade at the
préfecture. Round her superb figure swept an ample robe of crimson
velvet looped up with bands of gold. Her bare arms, models worthy of the
chisel of Canova, gleamed from the rich sables which lined the hanging
sleeves of her dress. Her hair, dark as night, was gathered up in the
high fashion Sir Joshua Reynolds loved to depict. A half-moon of
enormous diamonds fastened a plume over her left temple, and her neck
and fingers flashed back the colors of the rainbow from a thousand gems.
As to her face, it was radiant. Rich color flushed her cheeks, her eyes
sparkled with animation when she spoke; but at times, when her features
resumed a calm after conversation, she resembled the portraits of some
of the famous Italian women of the Renaissance--her own ancestress, for
instance, Bianca Visconti, duchess of Milan, or Veronica Cibò, or
Lucrezia Petroni, whose daughter was the ill-fated Beatrice Cenci. And
now come by the fascinating Mrs. Lloyd, whom all the world knows and
likes; grand-looking Mrs. Senator Grymes of Louisiana, a witty,
brilliant old lady, whose salon is one of the most elegant in Nice;
Baron Haussmann, and with him his colossal daughter, Madame de Perneti,
the handsomest of giantesses, who was once asked to join in private
theatricals, but when the stage was built up in her friend's
drawing-room, being about five feet from the level of the rest of the
chamber, it was discovered that _la belle Caryatide_, as her friends
call her, could not act on it, for the simple reason that she was a full
head taller than the scenery; clever Madame de Skariatine, the daughter
of the famous Count Schouvalof (the "Shoveloff" of our times), who,
after being Russian ambassador half over Europe, turned Barnabite monk
at Rome; Lady Dalling and Bulwer, the great duke of Wellington's niece,
and now the widow of one of England's most illustrious statesmen;
hospitable Marquise de St. Agnan, and her pretty daughter, Mademoiselle
Henriette; and Princess Souvarow, _ci-devant_ widow Apraxine, _ci-devant_
widow Kisselof, the most fascinating of Russian princesses, and one of
the greatest of female gamblers, who one night broke the bank at Monte
Carlo for two hundred and fifty thousand francs, and lost them the next.
On the opposite side of the way, screening herself from observation,
demurely clad in sober-colored attire, Madame Volnis passes along from
some mission of charity. This lady was once one of the most popular
actresses on the French stage, and with Mademoiselle Mars and Rose Chéri
was the idol of Paris--Léontine Fay. She was, if possible, a still
greater favorite in St. Petersburg, where, on her retirement from the
stage, she became French reader to the late czarina. Since the death of
the empress she has always resided at Nice, where she is distinguished
for her exalted piety and extreme charity. Even when on the stage this
lady devoted her leisure to charitable works. She was always remarked
for her modesty of manner: her dress was simplicity itself. At the
theatre she wore costumes rich and elegant, suited to the parts she
enacted, but in society she invariably appeared in plain white muslin or
dark silk. It would be impossible to exaggerate her goodness. Her whole
life has been passed amongst the poor, in the minute fulfillment
of her duties, and on her knees in church. After acting one part of
the evening, she would hasten, on the fall of the curtain, to pass the
rest of it watching by the bedside of some poor wretch stricken low
perhaps by some infectious disease. During the war of 1870, Madame
Volnis's conduct was angelical. If there was some awful operation to be
performed upon any of the wounded soldiers sent to Nice from the field
of battle, it was she who was present, who held the sufferer's hand, and
who consoled and cheered with the tenderness of a Sister of Charity--of
a mother.

As the austere figure of Léontine Fay passes away, hidden in a cloud of
sunny dust raised by the wheels of a hundred carriages, another form
comes upon the stage, radiant amongst the most brilliant, the observed
of all observers--Madame Rattazzi, _née_ Princess Bonaparte Wyse. What a
wonderful toilette is hers! One fine afternoon she appeared upon the
Promenade clad in a purple velvet robe, edged and flounced with
canary-colored satin, looped up voluminously _en panier_, and adorned
with big bows of yellow ribbon. Her hat was a broad-brimmed Leghorn
straw trimmed with large bunches of pansies. No one but Madame Rattazzi
could have worn such an attire in the public streets without the risk of
being hooted, but such are the grace and beauty of this celebrated woman
that her costume seemed in perfect keeping. She was in Nice one winter
for at least five months, and every day saw her out in a fresh dress.
When she travels she has more boxes than Madame Ristori. She dwelt on
the Promenade, over the dowager of Colaredo, who had a special spite
against her; in consequence of which she invariably illuminated her
windows, when she had company, with the Italian colors, red, white and
green, to the supreme disgust of the old Ultramontane countess. Her
apartment was elegantly furnished, and adorned with beautiful vases of
mignonette and plants of moss-roses. When she received of an evening the
chambers were agreeably lighted up with many pale and subdued lamps. Her
tables were always covered with new books, magazines and several copies
of her own poems and novels, including an exceedingly clever story,
_Louise Keller_, which she had just finished. On the walls hung pictures
in oil and water-colors of her own execution; on the piano were
scattered, together with much classical music, some hymns, polkas and
ballads of her composition. One night she acted in a comedy of her own
writing, and her rendering of the part of the heroine, a witty and
intriguing widow, was inimitable. Many severe critics have declared that
Madame Rattazzi is, as an actress, a worthy rival of Fargeuil or
Madeleine Brohan. Her manners are very fascinating--a little bit too
natural to be quite French, and a little too ceremonious to be quite
Italian. She would have proved an invaluable acquisition at the downfall
of the tower of Babel, for she is mistress of I dare not say how many
languages. As a rule, women hate her, and men do just the contrary. This
is not to be wondered at, for she is very beautiful even now. Her face
has the chiseled cameo features of her uncle, Napoleon I.; her eyes are
deep violet, fringed with long sweeping lashes; her mouth is perfectly
exquisite, and on either side of it two pretty dimples appear whenever
she smiles. So many enemies has she amongst her own sex that to avenge
herself for the affronts they constantly offer her she published a
magazine in Florence called the _Matinées Italiennes_, for the purpose
of showing up her female antagonists. Here is a sample: "At Nice a grand
ball; Madame la Viscomtesse de B---- _en grande toilette_, looking for
all the world like a big Nuremberg doll, with her black hair dyed an
impossible straw-color, and appearing at least five years younger than
she did when I first saw her make her _début_ in society five-and-twenty
years ago; and she was then a gushing maiden of twenty-one." By and by
comes the hour of vengeance. Madame Rattazzi gives a ball, and not a
woman will go to it. In 1870 she gave one at the Grand Hotel, to which
half the town was invited. There arrived at the festal scene
about five hundred men and just thirty-two women. It was funny enough.
The thirty-two women besported themselves with thirty-two partners in
the centre of the hall to the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut,
psaltery, and all kinds of musical instruments, whilst the rest of the
men stood round the hall five deep, like a deep dark fringe on a Turkish
carpet. Madame Rattazzi, however, achieved a great triumph against all
odds. By dint of grace, charm of manners and tact she put all her guests
in the best humor. The "thirty-two" had a fine time of it, and danced to
their hearts' content. The five hundred men were introduced and grouped
and wined and punched until every man there swore that earth did not
hold a fairer or more genial hostess. Madame Rattazzi was "supported,"
as the phrase goes, on this memorable occasion by Madame la Princesse,
her mother, a rather formidable-looking dowager, a daughter of Lucian
Bonaparte, and widow of Sir Thomas Wyse, once British consul at Athens.
Her Imperial Highness Princess Letitia must have been a wonderful beauty
in her youth--a stately grand being who one could easily imagine might
have resembled the Roman Agrippina or empress Livia. Once the barrier of
her stately manners overcome, she proved to be a talkative, affable
woman of the world, with a huge experience thereof. I can see her now,
dressed in a scarlet satin robe and glittering with jewels. She wore a
headdress of diamonds with two long ostrich feathers in it, one of
which, a white one, got out of its place and stood bolt upright, as if
it was frightened, until some charitable hand laid it down. This was, I
fancy, the last ball Princess Letitia ever graced, for she died a very
little while afterward. Poor Rattazzi was there too. He was not a
striking-looking man, but agreeable and excessively polite. He rarely
talked politics--I rather suspect from the fear of compromising
himself--but his conversation was was pleasant and varied. After his
death Madame Rattazzi removed to Monaco, where she busied herself with
editing his letters and memoirs--a task which, it appears, the Italian
government would be delighted that she should spare herself, as his
papers are said to be very full of compromising matter relative to the
Mentana expedition. A large sum of money was offered her to relinquish
her hold on these documents, but she answered by a letter published in
the Italian papers that they were left to her as a sacred trust, and
that she felt herself in duty bound to make their contents public, in
order to justify her husband's memory. As a curious proof of her
political sagacity--unless it is to be considered a mere coincidence--I
may mention that in January, 1870, she came to a masked ball at the
Casino dressed as Mars, in a short skirt of red satin, a cuirass of
gold, on her head a helmet, in one hand a spear, and in the other a
shield, and on it was written "Roma." Did Madame Rattazzi foresee that
by September of the same year there would be a war, and that as one of
its results Rome would so soon become the capital of that Italy which
her husband had helped to build up?[003]

From this somewhat rambling sketch the reader will readily understand
that Nice is one of the great centres of society in Europe, and indeed
in late years it is rather, as a place of gay reunion that it is
frequented than as a resort for invalids. Since the foundation of
quieter colonies at Mentone and San Remo, Nice has somewhat lost its
reputation as a sanitarium, for it is rather difficult, especially for
young people, to resist the temptation of its innumerable balls and
round of gayeties; and these are not considered conducive to the
preservation of health even amongst the healthiest. The medical men,
therefore, recommend places along the neighboring coast which enjoy
the same or even greater advantages of climate. That of Nice, after
all that has been written about it, still seems to me one of the finest
in the world. The air is exquisitely pure and clear, and has proved
beneficial in many hundreds of cases of incipient consumption. But the
fatal error is often made of sending hither patients in whom the disease
has made considerable progress. In such cases the irritating air hastens
death. I have known people brought here in the second and last stages of
consumption, who have been carried off in a fortnight after their
arrival, and who might have lingered on for years elsewhere. The patient
who finds himself benefited should remain at Nice for at least three or
four years, only varying the air in summer by a visit to some of the
many pleasant places in the neighboring mountains, where the atmosphere
is pure, cool and wholesome. Perhaps, it is owing in part to the
brightness of the sunshine and the beauty of the scenery that soon after
his arrival the health of the invalid often revives as if by
enchantment. Alphonse Karr, a resident of many years, who knows every
nook and corner of the place, and who has cultivated a garden in its
environs as celebrated throughout the world as his own sparkling pen,
says well: "Who is there so downhearted as to resist the glorious heat
of the sun, the beauty of that deepest of blue seas, the loveliness of
the varied trees, the tropical vegetation, the scent of the
orange-flowers, the music of the brooks, the sight of the ever-changing
hues of the mountains of _Nizza la bella_?"

                                        R. DAVEY.




For more than two centuries Russian orthodoxy has been undermined by
obscure sects, unknown to foreigners, and little known to Russians
themselves. Beneath the imposing pile of the official Church have been
hollowed out vast underground burrows and a labyrinth of gloomy crypts,
which form a retreat for the popular beliefs and superstitions. We
propose to descend into these catacombs of ignorance and fanaticism. We
shall attempt to map them out, to explore their remotest nooks, and to
lay hold in this, their hiding-place, of the character and aspirations
of the people. Nothing could yield better means of acquaintance with the
genius of the nation and the groundwork of Russian society. The
_Raskol_, with its thousand sects, is perhaps the most original
feature of Russia, and what most sharply distinguishes it from Western

Like rivers colored by the soil through which they flow, religions often
change their characteristics according to the nations who practice them.
The Raskol is Byzantine Christianity issuing from the Russian lower
classes. In the thick and muddy waters of Muscovite sectarianism we can
distinguish foreign admixtures, sometimes Protestant, sometimes Jewish,
or even Mohammedan, more frequently Gnostic or pagan. The Raskol,
nevertheless, remains wholly different, in principle and in tendency,
from all the religions and religious movements of the world: it is
original and national from the foundation up. So thoroughly Russian is
it that outside of its native country it has never made a proselyte, and
even within the empire has hardly any adherents excepting among the
people of "Greater Russia," the most thoroughly national of all. So
spontaneous has been its growth that in all its phases it is its own
best interpreter, and if confined to an isolated continent, its
development would have been the same. The Raskol is the most national of
all the religious movements to which Christianity has given birth, and
at the same time the most exclusively popular. It took its rise, not in
the schools, nor in the monasteries, but in the mujik's hovel and in the
shop; and it has never spread beyond its birthplace. Hence, the student
of politics and the philosopher take a keener interest in ignorant
heresies than is to be found in their doctrines alone. These sects of
lately-liberated peasants claim an attention by no means due to their
meagre theology, from their being the symptom of a mental condition and
a social state for even a distant approach to which all Western Europe
would be scoured in vain.

The Raskol (schism) is neither a sect nor a group of sects. It is,
rather, an aggregate of doctrines and heresies, which are often
divergent or even contradictory, with no other tie than a common
starting-point and a common hostility to the official orthodox Church.
In this respect the Raskol is more nearly analogous to Protestantism
than to anything else. It is inferior to Protestantism in the numbers
and education of its adherents, but it almost equals it as regards the
variety and originality of its developments. Further the likeness cannot
be fairly said to go. In the midst of their unfilial revolt, German
Protestantism and the Russian Raskol preserve alike the signs of their
origin, the stamp (so to speak) of the Church whence they have issued,
as well as of the widely-differing states of society which gave them
birth. In Western Europe love of speculation and a critical spirit gave
rise to the larger part of modern sects, while in Russia they are the
offspring of reverence and unenlightened obstinacy. In the West, the
predominance of feeling over the value attached to the externals of
religion has been the cause of religious divisions, whereas the same
result has been produced in Russia by an extraordinary reverence for
external forms for ritual and ceremonial. The two movements thus seem to
be in absolutely opposite directions, but they have nevertheless
terminated at the same point. In other words, the Raskol, when once
freed from the authority which maintained the unity of the faith, was as
powerless as Protestantism to establish any authority within itself. It
has in consequence become a prey to the same license of opinion, to the
same individualism, and, finally, to the same anarchy.

Few religious revolutions have involved results so, complex as the
Raskol, yet few have been simpler in their inception. The countless
sects which for two centuries have had their being among the Russian
people took their rise, in general, from the revision of the liturgy.
One stock produced them nearly all: only a few sects (though these, by
the way, are by no means the least curious) date from an earlier time or
have another origin than this liturgic reform. The Middle Ages in
Russia, as elsewhere, were marked by the rise of heresies. Of these the
oldest may have arisen before the Mongol conquest, from contact with
Greeks or Slaves, particularly with the Bulgarian Bogomiles, the
ancestors or Oriental brethren of the Albigenses. Other heresies sprang
up later in the North, in the Novgorod region, from intercourse with
Jewish or other Western traders. Of most of these the name alone
remains: such are the _Martinovtsy_, the _Strigolniki_, the
Judaizers, and so on. All these sects were dying away when the Raskol
broke out; and it absorbed all the vague, embryonic beliefs floating in
the popular mind. Some of these antique heresies--the Strigolniki, for
instance--after having disappeared from history, seem to have come to
light again in the shape of certain sects of our own days; and one might
fancy that they had been for centuries running on in an underground

In the dim disputes of mediæval times, however, one may make out with
some clearness the fundamental principle of the Raskol: it is a
scrupulous veneration for the letter--formalism, in a word. "In such a
year," says a Novgorod chronicler of the fifteenth century, "certain
philosophers began to chant, '_O_ Lord, have mercy upon us!' while
others said, '_Lord_, have mercy upon us!'"[004] In this remark the
whole Raskol stands revealed. Controversies like these begat the schism
which has rent the Russian Church asunder. Religious invocations have
for this people the nature of magical formulæ, the slightest change in
which destroys their efficacy. The Russian clings to the heathen
feeling, though he hides it under a Christian veil. He believes in the
power of particular words and gestures. He still seems to regard his
priest as a kind of _chaman_, religious ceremonies as enchantments,
and religion in general as witchcraft. A fondness for rites
(_obriad_) is indeed one of the characteristics of the inhabitant
of Greater Russia. The way in which Russia was converted to Christianity
has much to do with this. The mass of the people became Christians at
the bidding of others, and with no sufficient preparatory instruction,
without even having passed through all the stages of that polytheistic
evolution from which other nations of Europe had emerged before their
adoption of Christianity. The religion of the gospel was, in its highest
statement, too far advanced for the mental and social condition of the
people; and so it was corrupted, or rather reduced to external forms.
Russia adopted merely the outside of Christianity; and there, even more
strictly than in the West, it is true that the peasant was still a
heathen. Other nations have adopted the outside of a religion, and have
afterward absorbed its spirit: from its geographical and historical
remoteness such an absorption was hard for Russia to achieve. It was
separated from the centres of the Christian world by distance and by
Mongol rule: its religion, like everything else, was debased by poverty
and ignorance. Theology, properly speaking, utterly vanished, and its
place was taken by ceremonial, which thus became the whole of religion.
Amidst the general degradation a knowledge of the words and rites of
public worship was all that could be exacted of a clergy which did not
always know how to read.

The changes which had taken place in the traditional texts and ritual
have little solid ground for the popular devotion entertained for them.
The liturgy was corrupted by the superstitious veneration paid it by the
ignorant. False readings had crept into the books which contained the
various local "uses," to borrow a term from the Anglican terminology.
Liturgical unity had imperceptibly disappeared amidst various readings
and discordant ceremonies. In course of transcription absurdities had
slipped into the missals, along with grotesque additions and arbitrary
intercalations, while the new readings were received with the respect
due to antiquity, and these sometimes unintelligible passages acquired a
sanctity in direct proportion to their obscurity. The devout mind found
in them mysteries and occult meanings. On such perverted texts were
erected theories and systems which pious fraud from time to time
expanded into treatises attributed to the Fathers of the Church. So wild
was the confusion, and so palpable the alterations, that early in the
sixteenth century Vassili IV., a Russian prince, summoned a Greek monk
for the purpose of revising the liturgical books. But the blind
veneration of the clergy and people rendered this attempt abortive. The
reviser, Maximus, was condemned by a council, and confined on a charge
of heresy in a distant monastery. The crisis was superinduced by the
introduction of the press. Here, as elsewhere, the new discovery brought
with it a taste for the study and revision of texts, and ultimately
violent theological contests. The missals which issued from the Russian
presses of the sixteenth century at first only aggravated the evils for
which they should have afforded a remedy. The errors of the manuscripts
from which they were printed received from these missals the authority
and circulation of type. The copyists had introduced countless
variations, but these acquired a fresh unity and unanimity from the very
fact of their publication in such a form.

The Slavonic liturgy of Russia seemed in a state of hopeless corruption
when, toward the middle of the seventeenth century, the patriarch Nikon
determined upon a measure of reform. In addition to a degree of
cultivation unusual in his age and country, and an enterprising and
determined character, he possessed what was specially required for such
a step: he had learning, firmness and power, for through his influence
over Alexis, the czar, he ruled the State almost as thoroughly as he
ruled the Church. In Russia, as it was before Peter the Great, a task so
completely dependent on learning was indeed a bold undertaking. By order
of the patriarch ancient Greek and Slavonic manuscripts were gathered
from all quarters, and monks were summoned from Byzantium and from the
learned community of Athos to collate the Slavic versions with their
Greek originals. The interpolations due to the ignorance or whims of
copyists were remorselessly stricken out, and into the ritual, thus
purified, was introduced the pomp customary at the court of Byzantium.
The new missals were printed and adopted by a council (through the
patriarch's influence), and finally imposed, with all the authority of
the state government, on every Russian province. "A sore trembling laid
hold upon me," says a copyist of the sixteenth century, "and I was
affrighted when the reverend Maximus the Greek bade me blot out certain
lines from one of our Church books." Not less was the scandal under
Peter the Great. The man who laid hands on the sacred books was
everywhere held guilty of sacrilege. Whether from a knowledge of the
propriety of the measure, or from the spirit of ecclesiastical fidelity,
the higher clergy upheld the patriarch, but their inferiors and the
common people made a determined fight. And even now, after the lapse of
more than two centuries, a large body adhere immovably to the ancient
books and the ancient ritual, which are made sacred to them by the
approbation of national councils and the blessing of generations of
patriarchs. Such was the inception of the schism, the Raskol, which
still divides the Russian Church. Tracing the matter back to its source,
the contest is seen to turn upon the knotty question of the transmission
and the translation of the sacred texts, which has more than once
divided the churches of the West. In Russia no one was competent to form
a proper judgment of the essence of the dispute, and it was thus
rendered only more lasting and bitter. Monks, deacons, plain sextons,
denounced the innovations as novelties borrowed from Rome or from the
Protestants, and as being tantamount to the bringing in of a new
religion. When the Church brought to bear upon these recusants the pains
and penalties everywhere employed against heretics, the only result was
to give the schism martyrs, and with martyrs a fresh impetus. Ten years
after the promulgation of the revised liturgy its rash author fell a
victim to the jealousy of the boyards and to his own arrogance, and was
solemnly deposed by a council. To the Raskol his deposition appeared in
the light of a justification of their own course. The condemnation of
the reformer seemed necessarily to involve the condemnation of the
reform. Great, then, was the popular bewilderment when the council
turned from deposing the author of the liturgic revision to hurl its
anathemas against those who opposed that revision. The share taken in
this excommunication by the Oriental patriarchs rather lessened than
added to its weight, since the dissenters denied to Greek and Syrian
bishops, who knew not a letter of the Slavonic alphabet, the right of
passing judgment on Slavonic books.

The theological world is no stranger to subtleties, but never perhaps
did causes so trifling breed such interminable quarrels. The sign and
the form of the cross, the heading of processions westward or eastward,
the reading of a particular article of the Creed, the spelling of the
name of Jesus, the inscription to be placed over the crucifix, the
single or double repetition of the Hallelujah, the number of eucharistic
wafers to be consecrated,--such are the leading points in the
controversy which ever since has rent the Russian Church. The orthodox
make the sign of the cross with three fingers, while the dissenters
follow the Armenian practice of only two. The former permit the cross
with four arms, like our own: the latter cannot away with any but that
with eight arms, with a crosspiece for the Saviour's head and another
for his feet. Since the reform the Church chants the Hallelujah thrice,
the Raskolniks only twice. The dissenters defend their persistence by
symbolical interpretations, and delight to make a profession of faith
out of the simplest rite. For instance, they insist that after their
fashion of making the sign of the cross the three closed fingers render
homage to the Trinity, while the two others testify to the double nature
of Christ, so that, without uttering a word, the sign of the cross is an
act of adherence to the three fundamental dogmas of Christianity--the
Trinity, the incarnation and the atonement. In like manner they
interpret the double Hallelujah following the three Glorias, and cast it
in the teeth of their opponents that they ignore in their ritual one or
another of the great Christian doctrines. Such interpretations, based on
corrupted texts or feigned visions, show the grotesque blending of
coarseness and subtlety which makes up the Raskol.

If we may judge from the origin of the schism, its essence lies in the
worship of the letter, the servile respect for forms. To the
anti-reforming Russian, ceremonies form the whole of Christianity, and
liturgy is one with orthodoxy. The same confusion between faith and the
outward forms of worship is revealed by the chosen name in which the
dissenters delight. Not content with the title of _Starovbriadtsy_
(old ritualists), they adopt that of _Starovery_ (maintainers of
the old faith), which amounts to styling themselves _true_
believers, the genuine orthodox, since in religious matters, unlike
those of human science, authority is on the side of antiquity, and even
innovations must come forward invoking the past. Here, as often happens,
there is little ground for the Starovery's boast, for if they preserve
the ancient Russian books, their opponents have gone back to the old
Byzantine liturgy; and the party which most loudly vaunts its claim to
antiquity does so with least reason.

The principle of the Raskol, which sometimes runs out into the wildest
dreams of mysticism, is essentially realistic. Under this materialistic
_cultus_, however, there lurks a sort of idealism, of coarse
spiritualism. Religious vagaries, with all their absurdities, always
have a lofty, sometimes even a sublime, side. It would be wrong to fancy
that there is nothing but ignorant superstition in the Starovere's
scrupulous attachment to his ancestral worship. The vulgar heresy is, in
fact, only an overdone ritualism, whose logic lands it in absurdity. The
Old Believer's reverence for the letter comes from his belief that
letter and spirit are indissolubly united, and that the forms of
religion are as needful as its essence. Religion is to him, both as
regards forms and dogmas, a whole, all whose parts hang together; and no
human hand can touch this masterpiece of Providence without blemishing
it. There is an occult sense in every word and in every rite. He cannot
believe that any ceremony or formula of the Church is void of meaning or
of efficacy. Divine service has nothing in it merely accessory,
indifferent or unmeaning. Holy things are holy throughout: in the
worship of the Lord everything is deep and full of mystery; and it is
blasphemy to change anything or to withhold from it its proper
veneration. The Starovere, of course, cannot formulate his doctrine, but
if he could, religion would appear, according to his view, a sort of
completed and adequate representation of the supernatural world. His
simple logic exacts from all public worship an absolute perfection which
it is impossible to realize. Looked at in this light, the Old Believer
who marched to the stake for the sign of the cross, and sacrificed his
tongue rather than chant another Hallelujah, grows highly respectable.
From this standing-point the Russian schism is essentially religious:
its mistake, so to speak, is the excess of religion. Symbolism is the
principle of its formalism, or rather the Raskol is symbolism run into a
heresy. This gives it originality and value in sectarian history. To
these extravagant ritualists ceremonies are not simply the garb of
religion: they are its flesh and blood, in whose absence dogma is but a
lifeless skeleton. Thus, the Raskol is the direct opposite of ordinary
Protestantism, which by its very nature sets small store by outward
ceremonies, regarding them as needless ornament or a dangerous
superfluity. Ritual to the Starovere is as much an integral part of
traditional Christianity as doctrine: it, is equally the legacy of
Christ and the apostles; and the sole mission of the Church and the
clergy is to preserve both intact. This leaning to symbolism saves his
scrupulous fidelity to outward forms from degenerating into a slavish
superstition. On the other hand, the allegorizing tendency which clings
fast to the letter sometimes takes odd liberties with the spirit of
ceremonies and texts. It is the peculiarity of the symbolizing temper
scrupulously to respect the form while arbitrarily dealing with the
spirit. Thus, the ritual and the sacred books become a kind of heavenly
charade, whose answer must be found by the imagination. And so, in their
hunt after the hidden sense of narratives and words, some of the
Raskolniks have allegorized the histories of the Old and New Testaments,
and changed the gospel records into parables. Some have gone so far as
to see in the greatest of the gospel miracles nothing but types.[005]
Such a system of exegesis easily leads to a kind of mystic rationalism:
the forms of religion tend to gain more consistency than the essence,
and public worship to be placed above doctrine. Some of the extreme
sects of the Raskol have actually reached this point. A perfect carnival
of wild interpretation prevailed among this ignorant rabble, and crazy
doctrines and grotesque tenets were not slow in following in its train.

The Old Believer loves his peculiar rites, not only for the meaning he
puts into them, but also for the sake of the authority on which he holds
them: the moral and social _rationale_ of the schism is a deep
respect for traditional customs and for the habits handed down from his
forefathers. But even in his slavish devotion to ancestral ritual and
prayers the Starovere simply exaggerates a feeling which, if not
properly religious, commonly links itself with religion and adds to its
influence. All men and all nations set great store by the maintenance of
their hereditary faith, and even the common rhetorical abuse of such
phrases demonstrates its power. When thus intertwined with the
associations of family and country, religion assumes the guise of an
inheritance solemnly committed to our trust by the departed. This
feeling is singularly powerful in Russia from linking itself with a
superstitious veneration for antiquity. You can often get no other
reason from many of these sectaries for the faith that is in them. Quite
recently a judge tried to bring to reason a group of peasants who were
under prosecution for celebrating clandestine religious rites, but he
could extract no other answer than this: "Our fathers practiced these
customs. Take us anywhere you please, but leave us free to worship as
our fathers did." A like reply is said to have been made by the Old
Believers of Moscow to the late czarovitch on occasion of a visit to
their burying-ground at Rogojski.

The liturgic reform of the seventeenth century was a revolution in the
simplest elements of worship: it called upon the son to unlearn the sign
of the cross that his mother had taught him. Such a change would have
been hazardous anywhere, but it caused a peculiarly serious disturbance
in Russia, where all prayer is connected with a kind of ceremonial of
repeated bowings and crossings, which more closely resemble the
devotional customs of the Mohammedans than those of other Christian
countries. The people violently rejected the new sign of the cross and
the entire reformed liturgy. It mattered little that the new ritual was
more ancient than their own. The ignorant Russian knows no antiquity
older than his fathers and grandfathers, and his attachment to the outer
forms of orthodoxy was only intensified by remembering the recent
attempts of popes and Jesuits to gain a foothold in the country. If he
suffered the least change in his cherished customs, he might risk being
Romanized, and, like the United Greeks of Poland, one day wake up and
find himself part and parcel of the spiritual dominion of the papacy.
With such dim fears the Old Believer opposed to the orthodox hierarchy a
blind fidelity to orthodoxy. Their dread of seeing the Church corrupted
inspired people and clergy with suspicion of all foreigners, even of
their brethren in the faith whom the czars or the patriarchs had invited
from Byzantium and from Kief. The Russian alone, of all the orthodox
nations, had maintained his independence against infidel and pope, and
he held himself the people of God, chosen to preserve the true faith.
Everything European was indiscriminately rejected by this long-isolated
nation. Their detestation of the West, its churches and its
civilization, leads some of the Old Believers to anathematize even the
language of theology and learning. Not longer ago than the close of the
last century one of their writers waxed hot against the orthodox priests
of Lesser Russia, many of whom, he said, "study the thrice-accursed
Latin tongue." He reviled them for their readiness to commit the mortal
sin of calling God _Deus_, and God the Father _Pater_, as
though the Deity could have no other than the Slavic name of _Bog_,
or the change of appellation involved a change of God. A like spirit is
evident in the resistance offered by the Staroveres to the correct
spelling of the name of Jesus, whom they persist in calling Issous,
rejecting as diabolical the more accurate form Iissous. Such
peculiarities show a nation shut up in its own vastness and isolated by
its position and its history. It is a kind of Christianized China,
knowing, and desiring to know, nothing beyond itself.

The revolt against the innovating patriarch was, in reality, a revolt
against foreign, particularly against Western, influences. Instead of
the accusation that he leaned to Romanism or Lutheranism, it would have
been a better representation of the real grievance to charge him and the
czar with borrowing from the West, not its theology, but its spirit and
civilization, and even this, perhaps, unwittingly. The outbreak of the
Raskol synchronizes with the introduction of foreign influence; and the
coincidence is not accidental. The schism was but the reaction against
the reforms which the Romanoffs carried out in so European a spirit. The
patriarch's enterprise has been sometimes attributed to his vanity or
his thirst for literary fame, but it was really the first indication of
the approaching revolution, and of a growing sympathy with the West,
where (as in England, for instance) at about the same period
analogous[006] reforms gave birth to similar disturbances. If the former
hermit of the White Sea invited criticism and learning to review the
ritual of his Church, it was only in obedience to the same
_Zeitgeist_ which under Peter the Great's elder brother, who
succeeded Alexis, was to found at Moscow a kind of ecclesiastical
university modeled on that of Kief. The Church, not less than the State,
felt the Western breeze that was rising on the Russian steppes. And, as
the Western spirit first attempted to introduce itself in the sphere of
religion, so religion confronted it with its most formidable barrier.
From the historian's point of view, the Raskol is that same popular
resistance to the introduction of Western novelties which under Peter
the Great passed from its original aspect of an ecclesiastical and
religious revolt into the further stage of a social and civil


In spite of himself, Peter the Great both inherited and aggravated
the schism. At the present day it is hard to picture the impression
produced upon his subjects by Peter I. He not merely astonished and
bewildered them: he scandalized them. An open, systematic and
sometimes brutal attack was made upon the customs, traditions and
prejudices of the people. The reformer did not confine himself to
the civil institutions: he laid violent hands upon the Church, and
forced his way into the family, regulating, as the whim seized him,
both public affairs and the private life of the citizen. The
old-fashioned Russian was a stranger in Peter's new empire. His eyes
were shocked by the spectacle of an unaccustomed garb, and novel
administrative titles fell strangely on his ear. Names and things,
the almanac and the laws, the alphabet and the fashions of
dress,--everything was transformed. The very elements of
civilization were hardly recognizable. The year began on the first
of January, instead of the first of September. Men were no longer to
date from the creation, but must adopt the Latin era. The old
Slavonic characters, hallowed by immemorial ecclesiastical use, were
partly cast aside, and what were retained took a new shape. The
masculine attire was altered and the chin was shorn of its beard,
while the veil no longer might protect the modesty of the women. The
impression made by such a succession of shocks upon a nation so
bigotedly attached to its ancestral ways was comparable only to an
earthquake rocking Old Russia to its foundations.

Many of these innovations, as being borrowed from the Romanists or
the Lutherans of the West, had a religious significance for the
people. The change introduced by Peter the Great in the ancient
calendar, in the Slavonic alphabet and in the national costume
seemed but a carrying out of those which Nikon had initiated. So
natural was the parallel that the Old Believers held the one to be
but the continuation of the other; and the notion took shape in a
seditious legend, according to which Peter was the adulterous
offspring of the patriarch. The popular aversion felt for the
reforms of the latter was augmented by that aroused by the emperor's
innovations: the social revolt took the disguise of religion, since
it had been provoked by a Church measure, and still more because
Russia had not yet emerged from that stage of civilization in which
every great popular movement assumes a religious aspect. A national
prestige was thus communicated to the Raskol, which in its turn lent
to the popular resistance the energy of religion. By giving the
social revolt the semblance of a struggle for the rights of
conscience the schism imparted to it a vigor and persistency which
the lapse of two centuries has not succeeded in crushing.

But the Raskol rebelled not only against innovations and the
introduction of foreign elements, but still more obstinately against
the principle of the reforms and the modern method of state
administration. The Russian, like the Mohammedan East of to-day and
all other primitive societies, was most keenly sensitive to the
burdens and vexations made necessary by this imitation of the
European governmental system. From this point of view the Raskol was
the opposition of a half-patriarchal society to the regular,
scientific, omnipresent, impersonal system of European
administration. It kicks instinctively against centralization and
bureaucracy--against the state's encroachments upon private life,
the family and the community. It struggles to tear itself loose from
the pitiless machinery of government, hemming every life within its
iron pale. The Cossack took refuge in the wild freedom of nomadic
life, and the Old Believer was equally averse to giving in to the
complicated mechanism of government. He would have nothing to do
with the census, with passports or stamped paper. He strove to elude
the new systems of taxation and conscription, and to this day some
of the Raskolniks are in a state of systematic revolt against the
simplest of governmental methods. Religious grounds, of course, are
found for this insubordination, and they have theological arguments
to urge against the census, as well as against the registration of
births and deaths. In the opinion of a strict Old Believer the right
of numbering the people belongs to God alone, as is shown by the
biblical record of David's punishment. Sometimes the official
designations strengthen the scruples of these simple folk, with
their tendency to attach a great importance to phrases and names;
and hence, partly at least, the popular antipathy to the poll-tax
under its Russian form, "soul-tax." The revolt against such phrases
is the fashion in which this nation of serfs, whose body was chained
to the soil, asserted its possession of a soul.[007]

The struggle against the supervision and interference of the state
has gone with some sects to the length of refusing submission to
obligations imposed by every civilized country. The _Stranniki_
(wanderers) in particular boast of keeping up a ceaseless struggle
with the civil authority, and make rebellion a moral principle and a
religious duty. From condemning the state as the protector and
helper of the Church, they have come to cursing it for its own
tendencies and claims. Thus, the singular spectacle is presented of
the more extreme schismatics looking upon their native government
with the same feelings as were entertained by some of the Christians
of the first three centuries toward the pagan empire of Rome. To
these fanatics the government of the orthodox czars came to be the
reign of Satan and the dominion of Antichrist. Nor was this an empty
metaphor: it was a clear, determined conviction, and it still exerts
a strong religious and political influence upon the schism. The
Raskolniks could see but one interpretation of the overturning of
public and private order under Peter the Great, and for what they
regarded as the triumph of darkness: to them it was the coming end
of the world and the advent of Antichrist. The old customs, it
seemed, must carry with them in their fall the Church, society and
all mankind. For centuries the extremity of agony or of wonder has
wrung this cry from Christendom. After political revolutions and
disastrous wars, in the most enlightened countries of Europe, in
France and elsewhere, religious persons, in the panic of calamity,
have been seen to take refuge in this last solution for the woes of
Church or of State, and proclaim with the Raskolniks that the time
was at hand. But what must have been the state of mind in Old Russia
when the stunning blows of Peter the Great seemed to be dashing
everything to pieces? Even at the period of the liturgic reform the
fanatics had cried that the patriarch's fall was the harbinger of
the world's end. The days of man, they said, are numbered; the
Apocalyptic woes are at hand; Antichrist draws nigh. With the
accession of Peter the Great, while he was reducing everything to
confusion before their bewildered eyes, and trampling under foot the
old customs, along with morality itself at times, the Raskolniks
were at no loss to recognize in him the coming Antichrist. Nations
are not always clear-sighted: the creator of modern Russia was
regarded by a considerable portion of his subjects as an envoy or
representative of hell; and his empire has never ceased to hold the
unexampled position of a government cursed by a part of its own
people as the dominion of Antichrist.

This Satanic apotheosis derived no little support from some of the
reformer's idiosyncrasies. He was to his subjects what a rejected
claimant of the Messianic office may have been to the Jews--a stone
of stumbling and a rock of offence to the people whom he came to
bring to a new birth. His civil and ecclesiastical reforms, with the
seeming decapitation of the Church by the abrogation of the
patriarchate, were to the mass of the people an enigma only one
shade less disreputable than the demeanor of himself and his
courtiers. The repudiation of his legitimate wife, Eudoxia, and his
adulterous connection with a foreign concubine, the death
(perhaps by his own hand) of his son Alexis, even the morbid state
of his health and the nervous twitching of his face, and his
astonishing triumphs after equally incredible disasters, contributed
to invest the sombre and gigantic physiognomy of the reformer with a
kind of diabolic halo. The vices of Ivan the Terrible had been as
monstrous, but even in the thick of his crimes he was a true
Russian, as superstitious a devotee as the meanest of his subjects.
But the astonishment and bewilderment inspired by Peter the Great
were only deepened by the reverence felt by the old Russian for the
person of his sovereign. Men could not help doubting whether such a
man, who had cast aside his national and scriptural title for the
foreign and heathen style of emperor, could be the true, the "white"
czar. The story of the usurpers and the false Dmitri had not faded
from the popular memory; and thus there grew up amidst the
unlettered and bewildered Russian people a string of legends in
which were harmonized their belief in the reign of Antichrist and
the popular respect for the czar. In this way the Raskolniks have
created a fantastic history which has been handed down to our own
days, according to one version of which, as has been said, Peter the
Great is the impious bastard of the patriarch Nikon (and from such a
parentage only a devil's offspring could be looked for); while
another asserts that Peter Alexovitch was a pious prince, like his
forefathers, but that he had perished at sea, and in his stead had
been substituted a Jew of the race of Danof, or Satan. On gaining
possession of the throne, continues the legend, the false czar
immured the czarina in a convent, slew the czarovitch, espoused a
German adventuress and filled Russia with foreigners. Such is the
Old Believers' explanation of the portentous phenomenon of a Russian
czar engaged in destroying the institutions of Holy Russia. In the
midst of the nineteenth century the incidents of Peter's career,
whether insignificant or important--his vices not less than his
glory--are used as proofs of his infernal mission. The remarkable
victories with which he recovered from terrible disasters were
miracles wrought by the help of the devil and the Freemasons. The
extension of his power beyond that of all previous Russian monarchs
and of all the ancient _bogatyrs_ was effected by the determination
of Satan that his offspring should receive divine honors. The same
interpretation is applied to the simplest events. Thus, Peter's
celebration with allegorical figures and festivals of the beginning
of the year on the first of January was due to his desire to restore
the worship of false deities and "the old Roman idol Janus." These
silly fables, and this incapacity of understanding how a pagan name
or emblem can be used without falling back into paganism, betray one
of the peculiar features of the Raskol--namely, the realistic
nature, of its symbolism, and its matter-of-fact determination to
fill images, allegories and words with occult meaning.

When once the presence of Antichrist was clearly made out, there was
nothing to hinder the application to Russia of the gloomy
descriptions of the prophets. Their disposition to hunt out
mysterious enigmas in names and numbers made it easy for the
fanatics to find the whole Apocalypse in modern Russia; and the
number of the Beast was sought in the names of Peter and of his
successors. Each letter of the Slavonic alphabet, as of the Greek,
has a numerical value, and the problem is thus to add up the total
of the letters of a name, and so obtain the Apocalyptic number 666
(Rev. xiii. 18). By inserting, reduplicating or omitting certain
letters, and not insisting too strongly on an exact result, the
sectaries have discovered the infernal number in the names of most
of the Russian sovereigns from Peter the Great to Nicholas. Such
alterations are defended on the ground that to throw investigators
off the scent the Beast changes the number which is meant to
designate him, so that he should be recognized under the number 662
or 664 as clearly as under 666. Turning from the particular
sovereign to the imperial title, the Raskolniks have unearthed the
number of the Beast in the letters composing it. Singularly
enough, it happens that all which is needed to obtain the
Apocalyptic number from the word _imperator_ is the omission of the
second letter; whence they say that Antichrist hides his accursed
name behind the letter M. By an equally odd and embarrassing
coincidence the Council of Moscow--which, after deposing Nikon,
definitively excommunicated the schismatics--met in 1666. Here,
plainly enough was the fatal number, and when the reform of the
calendar attracted the attention of the Old Believers to the point,
they considered it a weapon thrust into their hands by their
opponents. The year in question, accordingly, was fixed as the date
of Satan's accession. But not content with turning the line of
monarchs into so many emissaries of hell, some of these champions of
Old Russia have managed, by the help of an anagram, to identify
their native country with the mysterious land which is the object of
so many prophetic curses. In the _Asshur_ of the Bible they find
_Russia_, and apply to it the anathemas launched by the prophets
against Nineveh and Babylon.

The infernal sign, however, was visible to the Raskolniks not only
in the title and the names of their rulers, but in all their
innovations as well, and in all that they imported from abroad.
Since Russia is under the dominion of the "devil, the demon's son,"
the truly faithful are bound to reject all that has been introduced
during "the years of Satan." Encouraged by the notion of Antichrist,
the Raskol's opposition against the modern reform of government
spread until it embraces in its hostility everything brought from
the West. In no other of its developments do we see more distinctly
the characteristic features of the schism, its narrow formalism and
its coarse allegorizing, its blind worship of the past and its
national exclusiveness. It presented the novel spectacle of a group
of popular sects holding in abomination every object of foreign
commerce, everything new--material articles of consumption not less
than the discoveries of science. While the products of the East and
West Indies were pouring into the rest of Europe, the Old Believer
rigorously excluded them. He frowned upon the use of tobacco, of
tea, of coffee and of sugar, and by a curious transfer of his
respect for antiquity to his meat and drink, he stormed against
almost all colonial produce as heretical and diabolical. All that
had come in since Nikon and Peter was put under the ban by the
champions of the ancient liturgy. One Raskolnik forbade traveling on
turnpikes, because they were an invention of Antichrist. More
recently, another showed that the potato was the forbidden fruit
which caused the fall of our first mother. On every side the Old
Believer raised about him a wall of scruples and prejudices,
entrenching himself behind his stagnation and ignorance, and
anathematizing all civilization in a breath. To meet Peter's edicts
enjoining a new costume or alphabet or calendar, the Raskol put
forth a second decalogue: "Thou shalt not shave; Thou shalt not
smoke; Thou shalt use no sugar," etc. In the North, where they are
stricter and more numerous, many Raskolniks still have conscientious
scruples about using tobacco and putting sugar in their tea. The
scriptural arguments urged for this opposition are generally marked
by the coarsest realism. The Old Believer who will not smoke adduces
the passage, "There is nothing from without a man that entering into
him can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are
they that defile the man." The rebuker of the use of sugar urges
that blood is used in its manufacture; whereas Scripture forbids the
eating of the blood of animals--a prohibition, by the way, which
seems to have been maintained longer in Russia than in any other
Christian country. The true ground of the opposition to this or that
article or habit is to be sought not in these theological arguments,
but in its novelty and late introduction. As regards his way of life
and his faith, his table and his devotions, he is minded to tread in
his forefathers' footsteps. A Raskolnik and a member of the orthodox
Church were drinking together, when the latter took a cigar. "Out on
the infernal poison!" cried the Raskolnik.--"What do you, think of brandy?"
asked his companion. "Oh! Wine" (_vino_, the Russian name for
brandy)--"wine was Noah's favorite drink."--"Very good!" said the
other: "now prove to me that Noah was not a smoker." These folk are
still in the patriarchal stage, and an appeal to antiquity is an end
of controversy, "Jeer not at the old," says one of their proverbs,
"for the old man knows old things and teaches justice."

The parties to any political or religious contest need a
standard--some outward sign which appeals to the eye and the
intelligence of all. The most serious of the political questions
that convulse France to-day are symbolized and summed up in the
color of a flag; and thus in the Russian conflict between popular
obstinacy and the modern propagandism the rallying-sign of the Old
Believers, and the emblem of the champions of nationality and
conservatism, was the beard. The national chin was the centre of a
conflict less puerile than might be fancied. Long before Peter the
Great imitators of Western ways had begun to shave, thus setting at
defiance the Oriental custom which everywhere prevailed in Russia.
Under Peter's father one of the Raskol leaders, the protopope
Avvakum, denounced "these bold-faced" men--bold-faced meaning
shaven. The prohibition of Leviticus (xxix. 27; xxi. 5) was first
adduced, in conformity with the love for alleging religious
scruples. Recourse was next had to the ancient missals and the
decrees of the _Stoglaf_, a sort of ecclesiastical code attributed
to a national council. The prohibition of the razor was at first
confined to the clergy, but it spread by little and little to all
the faithful of the orthodox Church. Up to the time of Nikon the
patriarchs had laid hardly less stress on forms and on the exclusion
of foreign ways than their future opponents of the Raskol, and had
condemned shaving as "an heretical practice which disfigures the
image of God, and makes men look like dogs and cats." This is the
main theological argument of the foes of the barber, and their
current interpretation of the verse of Genesis, "God created man in
His own image," "The image of God is the beard," writes a Raskolnik
about 1830, "and His likeness is the moustache." "Look at the old
images of Christ and the saints," urge the Old Believers: "all of
them wear their beards." And so cogent is the argument that the
orthodox theologians are fain to hunt up the scanty list of
beardless saints to be found in Byzantine iconography. Whatever the
force of the arguments drawn from divinity, at bottom the opposition
was only the simple folks' one way of seeing things--the same
clinging to forms, the same compound of symbolism and realism. The
living work of God is to them as sacred as the text of the divine
word. Every word and letter of the sacred office must have its
separate significance; and they cannot admit that the hair with
which the Almighty has covered a man's face is without a meaning. It
is to them the distinctive mark of the male countenance; to remove
it is to change, and therefore to disfigure, the divine handiwork:
it is, in short, hardly less than mutilation.[008]

The beard, like the single repetition of the Hallelujah and the
cross with eight branches, has had its martyrs. No later than last
year (1874), on the Gulf of Finland a peasant who had been drafted
for the navy obstinately refused to be shaved, and rather than
betray his religion underwent a sentence of several years for
insubordination. Scruples of this sort have led the government to
grant permission to wear the beard in the case of certain corps (for
instance, the Cossacks of the Ural) which are mainly composed of Old
Believers. Peter the Great used every means to overcome these
popular prejudices, but the beard was too much for the reformer.
Finding himself unable to shave all the recusants by force, he
bethought him of laying a tax on the wearers of long beards, but in
vain. He was similarly foiled in his attempt to lay a double tax on
the schismatic upholders of the ancient ways. He forbade them to live
in the towns; he deprived them of civil rights; he forced them to
wear a bit of red cloth on the shoulder as a distinctive badge; but
these measures only marked them out as the bravest champions of
national traditions, and increased the respect everywhere rendered

Such an attitude toward civilization leaves no room for mistake as
to the social and political character of the schism. It is a popular
protest against the irruption of foreign customs. It is a reaction
against the reforms of Peter the Great, somewhat as Ultramontanism
is a reaction against the spirit of the French Revolution. The
Staroveres are the champions of ancient customs in the civil sphere
as well as in the religious. The Old Believer is emphatically the
old-fashioned Russian--the Slavophilist of the lower classes--and
hence extreme to the point of absurdity. His revolt against
authority has more resemblance to that of La Vendée than to that of
the Jacobins. Like a conscript obstinately refusing to join his
regiment, he holds back from all part and lot in the changes of
modern Russia; and in this light the schism is the feature which
above all others assimilates Russia to the East.

And just as the East has bound itself fast to externals, so the
Raskolnik praises his fossilism to the skies, and would gladly run
the risk of petrifying society in its inherited shape. With him, as
with the child or the Oriental, wisdom and science belong to the
infancy of civilization, and the maxims of antiquity leave nothing
to be learnt. Under both aspects the Old Believer is reactionary,
opposed to the very principle of progress--the hero of routine and a
martyr to prejudice. His gaze turns naturally to the past, and if
reform ever enters his mind, he dreams of a return to the good old
times of yore. Even his struggle against authority is based on the
old idea of sovereignty: his political motto, as well as that of
most of the people, is, "No emperor, but a czar!" The czar was one
day pointed out to a Raskolnik conscript. "That is no czar," he
said: "he wears a moustache, a uniform and a sword, like all the
rest of the officers. He is nothing but a general." These
worshipers of the past, with their devotion to ceremonial, think of
the czar only as a long-bearded man in a flowing robe, such as they
see in the ancient images. The Old Believers are the exaggerated
representatives of the spirit of stagnation which everywhere
confronts the Russian government. Nothing gives a clearer conception
of the obstacles still in the way of reforms which elsewhere would
be matters of course (as, for instance, the substitution of the
Gregorian for the Julian calendar) than the resistance which other
measures have already encountered.

In principle the Raskol is conservative, not to say reactionary, but
its attitude toward the Church and the State, and the habits
engendered by two centuries of opposition and persecution, give it a
revolutionary, or even an anarchical, character. A secret tie unites
all the branches of public authority, and the rejection of one leads
to the rejection of another. As has been said by an eminent
historian of Russia, the refusal to submit to a single form of
authority brings into activity a disposition to rid one's self of
all social and moral ties. The Hussite revolt against Rome speedily
results in the Taborite revolt against society: Luther calls the
Anabaptists into being. The same phenomenon is repeated in Russia,
in England and in Scotland. Once carried away by the spirit of
revolt, an irresistible tendency sweeps the schism on in the
direction of civil liberty; and both in theory and in practice some
of these sects have reached the most unbridled license. Hence, by
one of those contrasts which are so common in Russia, the Raskol is
judged in two utterly different ways, each of which is partly
correct. The reactionary movement in its inception had the
appearance of an assertion of the rights of individual liberty and
national life, as opposed to the autocratic government; and such it
was, after a fashion--the fashion of refractory conscripts or of
smugglers, not to say of brigands--the fashion, in short, in which
all abuses and prejudices are defended. What it claimed
was liberty, indeed, but liberty as the commonalty understand
it--liberty to retain its customs, its superstitions and its
ignorance--liberty to go and come as it chose. But in all this there
was no notion of political freedom. With all his hatred of foreign
importations, the Old Believer is no enemy to reform in the sense of
national tradition or of furthering the interests of the lower
classes, the artisan and the peasant. Like all popular movements,
the Raskol is essentially democratic, and in some of its sects
socialistic and communistic.

Two things which have especially tended to give the Raskol a
democratic--or even liberal--complexion are serfdom and the
bureaucratic despotism of the country. It was no mere coincidence
which caused the Raskol to break out about half a century after
serfdom was established. Much of its popularity and life was due to
the enslavement of the mass of the people. The slave was proud of
having a different faith from his master; and slavery is always a
propitious soil for the growth of sects. This nation of serfs dimly
felt the Raskol to be an assertion of religious liberty and
self-respect against master, Church and government; and these were
symbolized by the beard and the peculiar sign of the cross. The
Raskol offered to all the oppressed a moral, and often a material,
refuge, an asylum for all enemies of the master and the law, and a
shelter for the fugitive serf, for the deserter, for public debtors
and outlaws of every description. Some sects (as the Wanderers, for
example) are specially organized for such purposes. In these
respects the Raskol was unconsciously one form of the opposition to
serfdom and official despotism; and hence the Old Believers are most
numerous among the most refractory elements of Russia--in the North
among the free peasants (the old colonists of Novgorod), and in the
South among the independent Cossacks of the steppes. Religious and
political opposition have joined hands, and to this combination is
due the strength of the great popular movements of the seventeenth
and eighteenth centuries, such as the Streltsy insurrections at the
time of the revolt of Pougatchef, whose excesses curiously recall
the wars of the Peasants and Anabaptists in the West before the
abolition of serfdom. In the great Russian Jacquerie, and in all the
seditions which held out the hope of emancipation, the first place
was taken by the Old Believers and the Cossacks, most of whom held
the same faith. These two forms of national resistance are naturally
akin. They equally personify the character and the prejudices of the
old Russian. Their main point is their character of protests, so
that an Old Believer may be described as a Cossack in religion,
transporting into that domain the instincts peculiar to the wild
horsemen of the Don. But both Cossack and Starovere have found
themselves forced to give way before the march of civilization, and
the different branches into which the Raskol has split have reached
very divergent conclusions both as to politics and religion.


Nothing is more logical than religious creeds--nothing more rigorously
consequent in its deductions than the theological mind. Religious
thought has an unimpeded course in the twilight of mystery where it
takes its airy flight, and no material facts avail to check it or divert
it from the chosen path. The innate logic of the Russian mind adds force
to the kindred theological quality in its influence upon the Raskol, for
the inhabitant of Greater Russia is distinguished for his logical
consecutiveness and his acceptance of the extremest consequences of a
position. This is partly the cause of the multiplicity and growth of the
strange doctrines prevalent among them; and while this disposition
frequently lands the schism in the most grotesque of absurdities, it
gives a remarkable unity and regularity to even its apparent
divergencies and variations. Irregularity and the play of chance have as
little real place in this spiritual phenomenon as in one belonging to
the region of physics; and a knowledge of the _terminus a quo_
would have suggested its complications as well as the point ultimately
reached. One is now and then tempted to look upon the various sects as
utterly chaotic, but it is not difficult to trace the general course of
their natural evolution.

A less robust faith might easily have been cast down by the obstacle
which confronted the schism at the outset. The revolt aimed at
maintaining the ritual, yet the lack of priests to officiate
necessitated its abandonment. The defenders of the old faith found
themselves, at the first step, deprived of the means of practicing its
rites. A single bishop, Paul of Kolomna, had held out for the ancient
books at the time of Nikon's reform, but he had been imprisoned, and
perhaps put to death: at all events, he died without consecrating a
bishop, and the Raskol was consequently left without an episcopate or a
priesthood. Now, Oriental orthodoxy is not simply doctrinal in its
character, but, as M. A. Réville has remarked of Catholicism, "is, above
all, a method of establishing communication between man and God by the
medium of an organized priesthood, whose successive members transmit
uninterruptedly the divine powers which they hold from Christ;" and the
death of Paul of Kolomna snapped the chain uniting the Old Believers
with Christ, for ever depriving the schism of the powers conferred by
Christ on the apostles and essential to the continuance of the
priesthood and the Church.

The Raskol, so to speak, was stillborn. Unless they retraced their
steps, there were but two paths to take--either to admit priests
consecrated by a Church they had condemned, or to dispense with the
clergy, who alone could celebrate the rites in defence of which they had
revolted. There was little to choose between the two self-contradictory
courses, and each had its partisans. This first check split the schism
into two groups, whose hostility has not been allayed by the lapse of
two centuries. According to some, as Christianity cannot exist without a
priesthood, its complicity with Nikon's heresy has not deprived the
Russian Church of apostolic powers--of the _cheirotonia_, or right
to consecrate bishops and priests by the laying on of hands; and as
their ordination is valid, the schismatics have only to bring back
priests of the official Church to the observance of the ancient ritual.
To this it is answered that by abandoning the ancient books and
anathematizing the ancient traditions the sect of Nikon has lost all
claim to the apostolical succession, so that the established clergy
constitute no longer a Church, but the synagogue of Satan. All communion
with these emissaries of hell is a sin, and ordination by the apostate
bishops a defilement. The Oriental patriarchs have shared the heresy of
the Russian prelates by agreeing to their anathemas against the ancient
rites, and orthodoxy has carried with it in its fall the episcopate,
apostolical succession and the lawful priesthood.

Thus, in the first generation the Raskol fell into two sections--the
_Popovtsy_, who adhere to the priests, and the _Bezpopovtsy_,
who do not. To recruit their clergy the Popovtsy were fain to have
recourse to deserters from the established Church, and were thus
dependent upon it; though we shall see that of late they have succeeded
in getting an independent episcopate along with a complete
ecclesiastical hierarchy. By maintaining a priesthood, however scanty
and ignorant, the Popovtsy preserve the sacraments and the orthodox
Christian system; and, despite the inconsistency of admitting the
priests of a Church that they condemn, they have paused at the first
step of schism and maintain the original position. It is almost
impossible, on the other hand, for the Bezpopovtsy to stop on the slope
down which their logic inexorably drags them. Involved in the
abandonment of the priesthood is that of orthodoxy, or at least of the
orthodox ritual, and the sacrament of orders carries with it the
sacraments which none but the priest can administer. Of the seven
traditional channels of divine grace, baptism alone remains open: the
other six are dried up for ever. Thus, the first step of the Bezpopovtsy
brings them to the destruction of the first principle of Christian
worship. The more rigid of them do not shrink from this most glaring of
contradictions. To save the entire ritual they have sacrificed its most
essential parts. For the double Hallelujah and the sign of the cross
with two fingers instead of three they have foregone the whole Christian
life and the one visible link between man and God, which is to be found
only in the sacraments. The abolition of the sacred ministry and divine
service is their protest against the trifling changes introduced into
their devotional customs by the established Church. In barring the
entrance to Nikon's so-called innovations they have done away with the
priesthood, and so with every dyke against sectarian whimsies or the
very novelties against which they blindly contend.

In the melancholy upshot of the Bezpopovtsy movement there was nothing
to satisfy the fondness for ceremonial and tradition to which the schism
owed its birth; and it was hard to fill the gap left by the loss of
priesthood and sacraments. The old orthodox law had become impossible to
carry out, yet it had not been abrogated. Though perfectly united as to
rejecting the priesthood, they accordingly fell into new fragments,
marked now by hesitations and compromises, and now by grotesque fancies
or by cruel doctrines. For the timid and for those who clung to public
worship it was impossible to believe in Christian life and salvation
without the divinely-appointed means; and in the perplexed effort to
supply the loss of the sacraments their piety resorted to all manner of
ingenious make-believes. Priestly absolution being out of the question,
confession is sometimes made to the "elder" or to a woman, and the
promise of pardon has to do duty for the direct absolution. As the
Eucharist cannot be consecrated, famishing souls resort to types or
memorials of the holy sacrament; and for this _quasi_ communion
rites have been devised which are sometimes pleasing, sometimes bloody
and horrible. One of these is the distribution of raisins by a young
girl; while one sect (which is, however, but indirectly connected with
the Raskol) use the breast of a young maiden instead of the element of
bread. To one of the Bezpopovtsy sects the name of "gapers" is given,
because they are accustomed to keep their mouths open during the
Maundy-Thursday service, that the angels, God's only remaining
ministers, may give them drink from an invisible chalice, since, as they
hold, Christ cannot have wholly deprived the faithful of the flesh and
blood offered upon the cross.

Such are the expedients of the more gentle or enthusiastic to escape
from the religious vacuum into which schism has precipitated them. Quite
different is the course of the more strict and dauntless theologians;
and the ascendency of logic over pious feeling carries with these the
majority of the Bezpopovtsy. No consequence is too revolting for them,
and no hesitating subterfuge worthy of a thought. The priesthood, they
hold, is extinct, leaving only the sacrament of baptism, which the laity
may administer. Make-believes are of no avail. The chain that linked
Heaven with earth is snapped, and can be reunited only by miracle.
Meanwhile, the faithful are like men shipwrecked on a desert island
without a priest among them. Eucharist, penitence, chrism, and, more
than all, marriage, are alike impossible. The priest alone can pronounce
the nuptial benediction; and where there is no priest there can be no
marriage. Such is the ultimate consequence of the schism--the rock on
which the Bezpopovtsy split. With marriage the family goes, society with
the family, and such teachings can never be in harmony with the
feelings, with society or with morality. Marriage is their
stumbling-block and the principal matter on which their discussions and
divisions turn, giving rise to the wildest aberrations and strangest
compromises. The more practical retain marriage as a social
conventionality, while the more logical make celibacy universally
binding, thereby fostering anything but asceticism. Among the Russian
sectaries the familiar combination is repeated of sensuality and
mysticism. Free-love has been both preached and practiced among them;
and among the lower classes the grossest heresies of ancient Gnosticism
have mingled with the wildest and most morbid of modern social theories.
Most of their theological writers, while avoiding such extremes, urge
the most extraordinary maxims in connection with their forbiddance of
marriage, such as that immorality, being but a passing weakness, is less
criminal than marriage, which is interdicted by the faith.... To such a
point as this have the conscientious champions of old ceremonial been
brought. They have carried with them a few shreds of ancient ritual, and
they have not only abandoned Christian and natural morality, but in
their struggle with modern government and civilization deny the
principle which upholds all society.

Even fanatics must stand affrighted before conclusions like these, and
the Bezpopovtsy feel the need of some justification for their subversal
of the _cultus_ and the morality of Christianity. They find but one
solution for the awful enigma presented by Christ's abandonment of the
Church and mankind, by the extinction of appointed sacraments and means
of grace, and by the impious rupture of the tie between man and God. The
downfall of Church and priesthood and the triumph of falsehood and wrong
were foretold by the prophets. This is the time predicted in Holy Writ,
when the very elect shall be wellnigh seduced, and when God shall seem
to give up His own into the hand of the Adversary. The priestless Church
is the Church in the state of widowhood foretold by Daniel in the last
days. Thus, the Raskol was brought by the new path of theology to that
belief in the approaching end of the world and the reign of Antichrist
to which we have already seen it led by its aversion to ecclesiastical
and civil reforms. That the reign of Antichrist is begun is the
fundamental doctrine of the Raskol, and particularly of the
Bezpopovstchin. In the light of this new dogma all the contradictions of
the latter are explained and justified. This is the reason for the
extinction of the priesthood, of marriage and of the family.
Wherefore--many ask--wherefore continue the race when the archangel's
trump is about to proclaim the end of humanity?

The end of the world was announced to be nigh even before Peter the
Great; and they who proclaimed it are not yet weary of awaiting it. Like
Christians in the West in other periods, they are not undeceived by the
delay of the destined time, and are at no loss to explain it. Many
consider the reign of Antichrist to be a period or era which may last
for centuries, as one of the three great epochs in religious history,
and as having, like those of the old and the new dispensations, a law of
its own which abrogates what went before. All of the Raskolniks, or even
of the Bezpopovtsy, however, do not agree as to Antichrist; for while
his reign is generally admitted, it seems to be very differently
understood. Those who retain the priesthood and the more moderate of
their opponents hold his reign to be spiritual and invisible, and
government and established Church to be the unconscious or unwilling
tools of Satan; while the extremists of the Bezpopovstchin maintain that
Antichrist reigns materially and palpably. He it is, as we have seen,
who occupies the throne of the czars since Peter the Great, and his
Sanhedrim that usurps the name of the holy synod. Trivial as the
difference is, theologically speaking, its political consequences are
considerable; for the state may arrive at some understanding with sects
that only regard it as blind and misled, while even a truce is out of
the question with those which look upon it as the incarnate enemy of

Very singular are the vagaries to which the ignorant peasants are
naturally led by this belief. Since the world is in subjection to
"Satan, the son of Beelzebub," all contact with it was defiling, and
submission to its laws nothing short of a denial of the faith. To escape
the hellish contagion the best means was isolation or rigid withdrawal
into inaccessible retreats or desert places. In their spiritual
confusion and terror some of the sectaries saw no refuge but death, and
murder and suicide were systematically resorted to for the purpose of
shortening the time of probation and hastening their departure from the
accursed world. With some fanatics, called "child-slayers"
(_dietoubütsy_), it was held a duty to expedite the entrance to
heaven of newborn children, and thus to save them infernal anguish.
Others, called "stranglers" or "butchers" (_duchelstchiki,
tiukalstchiki_), think they render a valuable service to their
relatives and friends by anticipating a natural death, in hastening the
end of those who are seriously ill. Taking with a savage literalness the
text, "The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it
by force" (Matt. xi. 12), they hold that none can enter into the kingdom
of heaven but those who die a violent death. One of the most numerous
and powerful bodies in the first century of the Raskol, the
_Philipovtsy_, or "burners," like the Indian fakeers, preached
redemption by suicide, and salvation by the baptism of fire, holding
that the flames alone could purify men from the defilements of a world
which had fallen under the rule of Satan. In Siberia and the
neighborhood of the Ural these sectaries have been known to burn
themselves in hundreds on enormous piles built for the purpose, or by
families in their hovels, to the sound of hymns and chants. Such acts
have been known even during the present century.

One insanity begets another, and belief in the presence of Antichrist
leads to belief in the approaching restoration of the earth, the second
advent of Christ and the millennium, which has infected the more extreme
sects of the Bezpopovstchin, thus connecting it with Gnostic sects of
various origins. Russian literalism, like many early Christian heresies,
interprets the prophets and the Apocalypse in a purely material sense.
The mujik or artisan looks for the establishment of Christ's temporal
kingdom, and anticipates the dominion promised to the saints. Such a
belief opens the door to a trust in prophets, and to all the
extravagances and rascalities that come in its train. In vain does the
Russian statute-book condemn false prophets and lying miracles: from
time to time the country is overrun by _illuminati_ proclaiming the
Second Advent, and occasionally giving themselves out as the expected
Messiah. They are frequently accompanied by a woman, who plays the part
of mystical mother or spouse, and to whom they give the title of the
Mother of God or the Blessed Virgin. Sometimes it is only the simple
folk who are themselves hunting for the Redeemer; and not long since
appeared a body of Siberian sectaries, called "Christ-hunters,"
maintaining that the Saviour was about to appear, and scouring desert
and forest to find him. Peasants have even been known to refuse payment
of their taxes under pretext that Christ was come and had done away with
them. The Messiah of the Russian sectaries is sometimes sought in the
person of a simple peasant, and sometimes in a native or foreign prince.
Some have long beheld the expected liberator in Napoleon, for their
persuasion that the Russian state is the reign of Antichrist easily led
to welcoming as a Saviour any one who seemed destined to destroy it; and
in the great enemy of the empire, the great furtherer of a general
abolition of serfdom, many recognized the conquering Messiah of the
prophets. It is said that at their meetings an image of Napoleon is
worshiped, and busts of him are certainly nowhere met with more commonly
than in Russia. An equal veneration is paid to pictures representing the
first emperor surrounded by his marshals and floating above the clouds
in a kind of apotheosis, which is literally accepted by the
matter-of-fact Russian. The story runs among his worshipers that
Napoleon is not dead, but has escaped from St. Helena and taken shelter
on the shores of Lake Baikal, whence he will one day come forth to
overturn the throne of Satan and found the kingdom of justice and peace.

The main point of these millennial hopes was the abolition of forced
labor and the _obrok_, the emancipation of the serfs, and the
equitable distribution of land and other property. A ready reception was
sure to await such a gospel, with its combination of promises of liberty
and faint dreams of communism; and something of the kind is necessary to
explain the easy success of so many extravagant sects, lying prophets
and feigned Messiahs. Dreams like these in the West incited the
revolutions of the peasants in mediæval times and of the Anabaptists in
the sixteenth century, but they must slowly vanish with the slavery
which gave them birth. The age of freedom anticipated by the mujik, the
kingdom of God of which he caught a glimpse in the promises of the
prophets, is come at last: the Messiah and freer of the people has
appeared, and his reign is begun. The emancipation of the serfs has
given a blow to these millennial dreams, and consequently to the more
advanced sects of the Raskol: its ruin will be completed by education
and material improvement.

The sects whose general evolution we have sketched may appear to us
ridiculous and childish. We are tempted to look with contempt upon a
people capable of such extravagances; but such an estimate would be
erroneous. Absurdity and extravagance have always found a ready welcome
when presented under the garb of religion; and countries boasting of
older and more widespread civilization are not behind Russia in this
regard. The Raskol has its counterpart in the past and the contemporary
sectarianism of England and of the United States. A strong likeness
holds between the Puritans and the Old Believers; and both as to
originality and religious eccentricities the Anglo-Saxon and the
inhabitant of Greater Russia may be compared. The Russians delight in
pointing out the resemblances between their country and the great
republic of the New World; and this is not the least of them. The
Americans have their prophets and prophetesses, just like the old
Russian serfs, and no absurdity or immorality is too gross to find
preachers and converts among them. How shall we account for so striking
an analogy between the two most extensive empires of the two continents?
To characteristics of race and an incomplete blending of different
stocks, or to the nature of the soil, the extremes of heat and cold, and
the strong contrasts of the seasons? to the vastness of their
territories and the scanty diffusion of population and culture over
areas so immense? or still again to the rapid and inharmonious growth of
the two countries--to the lack of popular education in the one, and the
low standard of the higher education in the other? Separately or
combined, these causes fail completely to explain the curious
phenomenon; and still they are the most striking points of resemblance
between the two colossal powers. In some respects, the sectarian spirit
presents itself in a different and almost opposite manner in the
democratic republic and the despotic empire. In the United States the
ranker growths of religious enthusiasm spring from an excess of
individualism and enterprise--from the independent and pushing temper
transported from politics and business into religion. In Russia, on the
contrary, the popular mind has thrown off all restraint in the religious
sphere, simply because this was long the only one in which it could
disport itself unchecked. The religious boldness and extravagance which
in the one country is the direct consequence of the state of society is
in the other rather a reaction against it. Russia's advantage over
America lies in the fact that there the excesses of fancy and zeal
prevail in a more primitive, unsophisticated and childlike race. Some
diseases are best passed through early in life, before the time of full
development. It is no less true of some moral maladies: childhood
suffers from them less than youth or maturity. Russia is still in that
stage of civilization which is naturally subject to attacks of feverish
and mystical religion, but one day it will emerge from it; and the
precocious skepticism of a large portion of its educated classes shows
plainly that no inexorable fate condemns the national character to
credulity and superstition.

The Raskol is more than a morbid symptom or a sign of weakness. If it
does little credit to the sense or cultivation of the people, it does
much to its heart, its conscience and its will. Independence and
individuality are often said to be lacking in it, but the Old Believers
show that firmness and conception of duty which are as needful as
intelligence to a nation's strength. Beneath the dull, monotonous
surface of political society these sects give us a glimpse of the hard
rock which is the groundwork of this seemingly inert race: its
originality and stern individuality are what are dear to it. One day
Russia will display in other spheres the originality and patient, sturdy
energy which these religious struggles have called forth. That a
considerable portion of the people have revolted against the liturgic
reform shows that it is not the stupid, sluggish herd Europe has so long
imagined. On one ground at least its conscience has displayed sufficient
independence, and told despotism that it is not all-powerful. And if
mere ritual alterations have aroused such opposition, what would result
from a change of religion--from the transition to Catholicism or
Protestantism so often dreamed of and advised by Western theologians? So
far from being always docile and void of will and determination, the
Russian people, even in their religious vagaries, have displayed a
singular power of organization and combination.


I first met Eleanor Vachy at a boarding-school in the city of R----,
where we soon became intimate friends. Eleanor was the result of a
system. When but a few months old, and an orphan, she had been left to
the care of her aunt, Miss Willmanson, a reformer, a progressionist,
advanced both in life and opinions, who had spared nothing to make her
niece an example to her sex. No pugilist ever believed more fully in
training than did Miss Willmanson: she looked upon institutions of
learning as forcing-houses, where nipping, budding and improving the
natural growth was the constant occupation, and where the various
branches of knowledge were cultivated, like cabbages, at so much a head.
When Eleanor became, so to speak, her property, she seized with avidity
the opportunity of submitting her principles to the test of
experiment--of demonstrating to an incredulous world the power of
education, and the vigor of the female mind and body when formed by
proper discipline. The child was fed in accordance with the most recent
discoveries in chemistry: she was taught to read after the latest
improvement in primers; she was provided with mathematical toys and
gymnastic exercises. Did she take a walk in summer, her attention was
directed to botany; if she picked up a stone to make it skip over a
passing brook, passages from the _Medals of Creation_ or _Thoughts on a
Pebble_ were quoted; and when the stone went skimming over the surface
of the calm pool, the theory of the ricochet was explained and the
wonders of natural philosophy were dilated upon. Every sentence she
spoke was made the text of a lesson, and the names of sages and
philosophers became as familiar to her as those of Jack the Giant-killer
and Blue Beard are to ordinary children.

Especially were the stories of distinguished women repeated by Miss
Willmanson in glowing language, pointed out as precedents, and dwelt
upon as worthy of emulation. "If their genius was great enough," she
would remark, "to extort a recognition in times when only masculine pens
wrote history, what could not the same ability do now?--now, when,
strengthened by waiting, encouraged by ungrudging praise, and sure of
having chroniclers of their own sex who will do them justice, a new era
is dawning. The history of the world needs to be reseen from a woman's
point of view, and rewritten by a woman's hand. Men have had
the monopoly of making public opinion, and have distorted facts. What in
a king they name policy, in a queen is called cruelty; what in a
minister is diplomacy, in a favorite is deceit; what in a man is
justice, in a woman is inhumanity; vigor is coarseness, generosity is
weakness, sincerity becomes shallowness; and faults that are passed over
lightly in the hero are sufficient to doom the heroine for all

The peculiar views of Eleanor's aunt did not prevent her from being an
agreeable acquaintance. Although she believed in the intellectual
capacity of woman, she did not look upon herself as a representative of
the class: her admiration of her sex did not degenerate into
self-laudation, and her enthusiasm was not tainted by egotism. Hers was
not a strong-mindedness that showed itself in ungainly coiffures and
tasteless attire. It was content with desiring and claiming for woman
whatever is best, noblest and most lovely in mind and body. She would
have given her life to further this end, but thought it mattered little
if her name were forgotten in the bulletin that announced success to the

Owing to her extreme reserve in talking of herself, it was very
gradually that I gained this knowledge of Miss Willmanson's character;
but many of her opinions were received at second hand from Eleanor, who
admired her aunt greatly, and never tired of quoting her. It was she who
told me that this talented lady was engaged upon a book the title of
which was _Footsteps of Women in All Ages_. The aunt returned this
admiration in no stinted measure, and her highest ambition seemed
centred in her niece.

Eleanor was a tall, well-formed, unaffected girl, with a clear olive
complexion; a slight rose-colored bloom on cheeks and lips; deep blue
eyes, rather purple than blue, rather amethyst than purple, that looked
every one candidly in the face; and hair reminding you of late
twilight--a shade that, though dark, still bore traces of having once
been light, even sunny.

As to her acquirements, however, what in the older lady was love of
information, in the younger appeared to be what Pepys called a "curious
curiosity." If she had been obliged to investigate a subject by constant
labor, I doubt whether she would have stood the test. At school she was
a parlor-boarder, attended outside lectures on the sciences, went to
concerts and the opera, frequented museums, had small blank-books in
which she took voluminous notes, and was constantly busy with some new
scheme of improvement. In looking at her I often thought that could her
aunt's dreams be realized, could her intellect ever approach the unusual
symmetry and beauty of her face and form, it would indeed be an
achievement. But was it likely that Nature, who is so grudging of her
gifts, after having endowed her so highly physically would do as much
for her mentally? "Aunt Will," as the girl called her, had none of these
misgivings. This beautiful physique she believed to be the effect of her
own foresight and care--of proper food and clothing, of training in the
gymnasium, riding and walking. It was itself an earnest of the success
of her plans, and made her confident for the future. One of the tenets
of her faith was that Eleanor needed only to decide in what direction to
exert herself, and that in any career success was certain. For this
reason she gave her opportunities of every kind, that her choice might
be unlimited.

In this, as in every other opinion, Eleanor agreed with her aunt, not
through vanity, but through respect and habit. What she intended to
become was the theme of long confidences between us when alone together,
for the time which most other girls of her age devote to dreams of love
and lovers was employed by her in speculations about her future
profession. The artlessness of the girl in thus appropriating to herself
the whole field of human wisdom would have been ludicrous had it not
been so frank: it reminded you of a child reaching out its chubby hands
to seize the moon.

In regard to love and marriage, Aunt Will was most resolute in speaking
against them, and by precept and example she endeavored to influence her
niece in the same direction. "It is a state which mentally
unfits a woman for anything"--a dictum which was accepted by Eleanor
without argument. It was understood that her life was to be devoted to
being great, not to being loved. But Aunt Will refused to lend her help
or advice in deciding what the career should be, believing that the
prophetic fire would kindle itself without human help, and fearing that
the least hint of what she desired might fetter a waking genius, though
the girl often plaintively remarked, "I wish aunt would settle it for

The entire faith with which these two women looked forward to the future
roused no little curiosity on my part as to the realization of their
hopes. A year after our acquaintance began the ladies left R---- to
travel abroad. Eleanor assured me solemnly that she should not return
until she had won renown, that vision of so many young hearts on leaving
home. "The great trouble is to decide what to do;" and here she sighed.
"But Aunt Will says our work shapes itself without our knowing. Some
morning we wake and find it ready for our hands, with no more doubt on
the subject. I am waking."

"Meanwhile enjoying yourself."

"Why not?" she answered, smiling: "it is what aunt wishes me to do."

At first I had frequent letters from my friend, but the intervals
between them became longer, as is usual when a new life replaces the
old. In those which I received there was no allusion to the career, and
I felt that inquiries on the subject would be indiscreet. If she were
succeeding, I should hear of it soon enough; and if not, why should I
give her pain? After a separation of about eighteen months, and a
silence of six, one morning, on being sent for to the parlor, what was
my surprise to find myself face to face with Eleanor Vachy, and the
girl, prettier than ever, pressing warm kisses on my cheeks!

We had been talking on every conceivable topic for perhaps an hour, as
only friends can talk, when I chanced to remark, "You intended to make a
much longer stay when you left: I hope nothing disagreeable has
happened to bring you home."

"Nothing _dis_agreeable," she replied, looking slightly
embarrassed. "I would have written about it, but thought I would rather
tell you. I hope it won't alter your opinion of me when you hear it: I
hope you won't think less of me;" and the color mounted swiftly in her
cheeks as she gave me one deprecating glance out of her purple eyes, and
then as quickly hid them under their long lashes.

"I will try to be impartial," I answered gravely, seeing that she was
not in a humor to be laughed at. "I suppose it is in reference to your

"Yes it is," she replied, looking attentively at the point of her
boot; "and I fear aunt is disappointed, although she says nothing;
and it is very possible that you will be disappointed also."

"If you have chosen anything reasonable," I remarked encouragingly, "I
am sure your aunt will be satisfied: she is so unprejudiced, and you
know she always declared that she would not influence you."

"She trusted me too much," sighing. "What I have preferred,
you--maybe she--that is, many people--would think no career at all."

"Ah, indeed! Poetry?" (I knew that Aunt Will had no great opinion of
most of the versifiers.)

She interlocked her fingers and gave them a slight twist, looked still
more intently at the toe of her boot, and dropped ruefully one little
word, "No."

"It is not the stage, surely?" looking at her perfect beauty with a
sudden start.

"No, no! it is not that. You cannot guess. I may as well tell you. I
will begin at the beginning, and you will see that I could not help
it: that is--For Mercy's sake don't look at me as if I were a
criminal, or I won't say another word!"

"Nonsense, Eleanor! I am not looking at you as if you were a criminal.
Go on and tell me."

"It is too late now," she said hastily: "I have been here so long
already. I will see you to-morrow."

"If you dare to go without making a full confession, I will never
forgive you. Sit down: the sooner it is over the more composed you
will feel. I have been so anxious to hear about it!"

"Well, if it must be. I know you will be disgusted. I have to begin when
we left here."

"I have plenty of time to listen."

    "You remember we started on the voyage by ourselves. At our first
    dinner on board aunt recognized an old friend, a Mrs. Kenderdine,
    who was also crossing, together with her son. That first dinner was
    our last for some time, for, though we tried to be as strong-minded
    as possible, in the end we were obliged to stay in our cabins.
    Having recovered sooner than aunt, one day I stumbled out as far as
    the companion-way, and was sitting there very disconsolately when
    Mr. Kenderdine, passing by, stopped to ask if he should assist me on
    deck. Of course I was only too glad to go. He had not been sick at
    all, and could walk about quite easily, which gave me a high opinion
    of his abilities. Later he brought me my dinner, with a glass of
    wine, of which he did not spill a drop, and by evening I found that
    with the aid of his arm I could promenade.

    "That day was a sample of all until the voyage was over, for if I
    attempted to move alone I stumbled, rolled and behaved with a lack
    of dignity that was frightful; and yet, after getting a taste of
    fresh air, I could not bear to stay below. Somehow, it became
    understood that each morning Mr. Kenderdine might find me in the
    companion-way at a certain hour; and as aunt would not leave her
    state-room, and old Mrs. Kenderdine could not, we had nothing to do
    but to try and amuse each other; so we ended by becoming pretty well
    acquainted by the time we arrived at Queenstown.

    "In England aunt was very busy. You used to think her a student
    here: I wish you could have seen her there. For six months she spent
    almost every hour of daylight in the library of the British Museum,
    where she had been introduced by a learned friend. Aunt Will has a
    wonderful admiration for Boadicea: she was also critically examining
    the history of Queen Henrietta and of Elizabeth. She thinks the
    latter did not do justice to her opportunities, and that her vanity
    was the mark of a feeble mind. You know aunt has no patience with
    vanity and--"

"But about yourself, Eleanor?"

    "I am coming to that directly. Mrs. Kenderdine had gone abroad to
    get medical advice: as her health would permit her to take but
    little exercise, a morning drive, with receiving and paying visits
    (she is of an English family and well connected), was all she was
    capable of.

    "It happened in this way that the only ones of our party fit for
    active duty were Fred--I mean Mr. Kenderdine--and myself. As we had
    formed the habit of amusing each other on the voyage, we still
    continued it. Aunt would join us when any historical site was to be
    visited; but there were many places that were not historical, but
    that were just as pleasant or as beautiful as if they had been, and
    to these we went together. We stayed in London until the season was
    over, and then started for Paris.

    "You can form no idea how aunt reveled in the antiquities of Paris.
    If she went to the Musée Cluny in the morning, we might be sure we
    should see no more of her for that day at least. She absolutely took
    rooms at Versailles for two weeks that she might study up the
    _locale_ of the Pompadour, whom she regards as a female Richelieu,
    and she also found a rich field of investigation in the lives of the
    French queens."

"And what were you doing all this time?"

    "Oh! I had professors, French, Italian and German, for the
    languages, I visited the galleries, and aunt would read me her
    notes, so that I was gaining much information. You see, in a foreign
    country it is not the thing to sit in the house to study: you must
    go about as much as possible and use your eyes, which is an
    education in itself. That is what I was doing."

"About your career, I mean?"

    "Don't be so impatient: I am about to tell you. We concluded to
    spend the winter in Rome, aunt and I: the Kenderdines
    remained in Paris. Aunt preceded me to Brussels about two weeks
    to explore the libraries there, as we were to make the Rhine tour
    before going to Italy. I should have accompanied her, but we were
    expecting a remittance from home that had not arrived, and I was
    obliged to wait for it. The day before I left Paris I was regretting
    that I had not been to Montmorency, and Mr. Kenderdine, who
    overheard me, proposed that as I did not mind fatigue we should go.
    By starting early in the morning we could make our 'last day,' as he
    called it, a _fête_. I consented, and we arranged to take the early
    train to Enghien, to breakfast there, ride through Montmorency to
    the Château de la Chasse, where we could have dinner, and return in
    time for the Belgian train in the evening. The next morning I was
    ready, my riding-skirt in a satchel, and off we went. The day was
    perfect, the air cool and delicious. We took the cars at the Gare du
    Nord, and in less than an hour we arrived at Enghien, ordered
    breakfast at a charming little hotel that overlooks the lake, and
    had it brought to us on the balcony, from whence we could listen to
    the band playing, and look at the beautiful villas that border the
    water, watch the invalids taking their constitutionals, and see the
    brightly-painted boats bobbing over the small waves. While waiting
    for the horses, Fred made me go to the springs and taste the water,
    which is horrid: then we mounted and cantered leisurely on to
    Montmorency, a hilly, desolate-looking place, although so much
    lauded by the Parisians: I suppose the beautiful forest in the
    vicinity is its attraction. The road for the next five or six miles
    was shaded by trees, and most of it was a soft turf on which the
    horses' hoofs rebounded noiselessly, with views of rolling country
    at intervals. The château had been a hunting-lodge two or three
    hundred years ago, but nothing remains of it now but a couple of
    towers, to which a modern country inn has been added, where
    excellent dinners may be had, as I can testify. It is a great place
    for the picnics and pleasure-parties of the natives, but foreigners
    seldom visit it. After we had wandered about for several hours,
    enjoying ourselves in that silly French way, with nothing but light
    hearts, fresh air, green grass and blue sky for all incitement
    thereto, I, in consideration of my evening journey, recommended our
    return. We had the horses brought round, and then my career

"Why, how?"

    "You know that road from the château? No you don't, but I will tell
    you of it. The woods lie on one side, and an ivy-covered wall
    separates it from sloping fields on the other--the prettiest place
    on earth." ("Artistic," thought I: "she has decided on
    landscape-painting;" but I did not interrupt.) "It was just there
    that Mr. Kenderdine came to my side: he had dismounted to open the
    gate, and was leading his horse. He came to my side, and, looking up
    at me, said half seriously, half smiling, 'You are very happy
    to-day, Miss Eleanor: what will you do when I am not with you to
    ride and walk and talk to?'

    "'I suppose I shall find some one in Rome who rides, walks and talks
    as well. They say the Campagna is lovely for riding.'

    "'And perhaps some one who waltzes as well.'

    "'Certainly: that is no great accomplishment. Like playing a
    hurdy-gurdy, if you turn round often enough you cannot fail to make
    a successful performance.'

    "'There is one thing you will not find, Eleanor;' and he laid his
    hand on my wrist: 'that is, some one who loves you as well.'

    "'Mr. Kenderdine, please get on your horse, and don't talk

    "'I suppose I have as good a right to talk nonsense as any one, and
    I believe the fancy for doing so comes to all of us once in our

    "'I admit your right to talk, and claim mine to refuse to listen;'
    so saying, I gave my horse a cut. The animal started, but Fred's
    hand was still on my bridle-wrist, and with a motion he checked the
    animal so violently that it reared, afterward coming down on the sod
    with a thud that almost unseated me.

    "'I will talk, and you shall listen,' said Mr. Fred, looking

    "'So it appears,' I retorted, thoroughly provoked; 'but I hope you
    will oblige me by being as expeditious as possible, for I am very
    much afraid that I shall miss the train to-night.'

    "He looked at me a moment as if to be sure he understood my meaning,
    then turned and sprang on his horse, at the same time remarking,
    'You are right: I had better not detain you. I had forgotten your

    "We cantered on in silence for about three miles. The flush of anger
    had slowly faded out of his face, when he commenced abruptly: 'Miss
    Vachy, I have no _right_ to ask you what I intend asking, but I have
    always thought you had a kind heart, and perhaps you will answer my
    question. You may depend that the confidence you may place in me
    will be held sacred.' Then less quickly, 'Will you tell me, have you
    an understanding, or are you engaged, or do you care for any one

    "For a moment I thought of entering into an explanation--of telling
    him what my aunt expected of me, and what I intended doing--only I
    did not myself know what I intended doing; and it seemed absurd to
    begin such an account without being able to complete it. Besides, if
    he thought I cared for some one else, it would end the matter and
    save a world of argument; so I replied hesitatingly, 'I am sorry,
    Mr. Kenderdine, that I cannot answer your question, but--'

    "'Enough: I understand.'

    "Then our canter quickened into a gallop, and the gallop into a
    race. I am quite sure those horses never went at such a pace in
    their lives before. Fred seemed unconscious of the run we were
    making of it, unconscious of everything, urging his poor beast
    whenever it flagged, and fretting its mouth by alternately jerking
    and loosening the reins, until had it been anything but a livery
    hack it would have been frantic. Conversation was impossible, and I
    had nothing to sustain me during the ride but the satisfaction of
    feeling that I had done my duty."

    "It don't seem to me that you are getting any nearer the end of your

    "The darkest hour is that which precedes the dawn," said Eleanor,
    adding maliciously, "if you are tired I will tell you the rest
    to-morrow. Don't you see that I must bring you up to it gradually,
    so that the shock will not be too great?"

    "But think of the suspense I am in."

    "My dear, the first steps in any career are as important as the
    last; so curb your curiosity and listen. If you were telling it, you
    would not get on one bit faster."

    "Perhaps not," I answered doubtfully: "however, continue."

    "Thanks to our haste, we got to Paris early enough to allow me to
    rest and have supper. I had sent on my baggage by express, and had
    nothing to worry about Starting at seven, I should arrive next
    morning at Brussels. I can sleep famously in the cars, and I
    apprehended no difficulty. Fred, looking as black as a thundercloud,
    took me to the station, and was preposterous enough to ask me if I
    was not sorry I was going."

    "And what did you say?"

    "Say? Why, the truth--that I was glad; and then Mr. Thundercloud
    looked blacker than ever.

    "I had several stations to pass before we reached Creil, where I was
    to change cars and take the express. I settled myself comfortably,
    so that I could look out of the window, and I whiled away the time
    by reviewing the whole of my acquaintance with Mr. Kenderdine. I was
    forced to admit that I had acted imprudently in not letting him know
    from the beginning what my life was to be, but I never thought it
    would matter to him. Then my conscience reproached me for the lie I
    had implied: I might have told him the truth, and spared him the
    mortification of believing that I preferred some one else. I knew,
    in thinking of it calmly, that it was not to avoid an argument that
    I had done it, but to make him feel as badly as possible, because I
    was angry at him for stopping my horse. It was mean in me,
    especially as that De Vezin was the person he would pitch on. You
    see, I had made a good deal of De Vezin while in Paris, but it was
    only to improve my French accent--a fact which poor Fred
    could not know.

    "The train whizzed on. The night grew dark: I could scarcely
    distinguish objects outside the blurred window, but I still remained
    attentive to the voice of the conductor as he called out the names
    of the successive stations until--until I heard no more: I had
    fallen asleep.

    "I suppose I slept profoundly for about half an hour, when I was
    suddenly awakened by a jerk: the cars had stopped. I was not aware I
    had been sleeping, but I had an undefined sense that something was
    wrong. I hastily opened the window and heard the name Liancourt
    shouted. There was no such stopping-place between Paris and Creil,
    for I had studied up my route before starting. The truth flashed
    upon me, and impulsively I left my car, rushed to the conductor, and
    asked, 'What place is this?'


    "'And where is Creil?'

    "'We have passed it. Did you want to go there?'

    "'Of course I did. Why did you not call it?'

    "'We did call it,' said he indignantly: 'you must have been asleep.'

    "'No such thing,' I replied, for at the moment I did not think it
    could be possible.

    "There was but little time for reflection. Should I go on to the
    next large town, or should I stay? If I went on, I should get to my
    destination in the middle of the night, and, knowing nothing of the
    place, might have great difficulty in finding lodgings. If I stayed,
    I might get a train back or a carriage, or even find here a hotel of
    some kind where they would accommodate me until morning. I decided
    to remain, and off went the cars.

    "One of the ticket-agents came forward from the office--as I
    supposed to offer his services: there were but few people about, but
    all understood my situation. As I said, the man came forward and
    bowed: 'Your fare, if you please.'

    "I handed him my ticket: he stood before me and repeated, 'Your
    fare, if you please.'

    "'I have given you my ticket,' said I, looking at him inquiringly.

    "'This one is not for Liancourt: it is for Creil.'

    "'I was going to Creil, only the train brought me past.'

    "'Exactly, and you will please pay for the extra distance,' said he

    "It was too much. I had the misfortune of being carried out of my
    way, and this exasperating clerk was coolly asking me to pay the
    company a premium for the result of the conductor's carelessness. It
    was one of those situations in which words fail to express the
    extent of your indignation. The fellow's audacity verged on the
    sublime. He stood there with the calmness of a hero. And what did I
    do? Why, I paid him. But I tell you truly that I have hated that
    whole railroad company with the blackest hatred ever since. That was
    not all. As soon as he received the provoking money--I wish it had
    been red hot--he turned on his heel and walked into his office.

    "But it was not the time to indulge in resentment: I must act
    promptly. The people there when I arrived were fast dispersing. I
    addressed myself to a half-grown boy who was standing near me: 'When
    does the next train go to Paris?' I thought I had better return and
    start afresh in the morning.

    "'The last has gone for to-night,' answered the lad.

    "'Are you quite sure?'

    "He gave his head a decisive jerk.

    "'How far is this place from Creil?'

    "'About five miles.'

    "'Can I get a carriage to take me there?'

    "'No.' This time he looked for corroboration to the group who had
    gathered round us, all of whom with one accord wagged their heads in
    the negative.

    "'Is there a hotel here?'


    "'Isn't it a town?'

    "'No,' much intensified.

    "I knew that there are many stations in France consisting of a
    single building located in the midst of fields: these places take
    their names from the nearest town (which may be several
    miles distant), and are marked on the maps by a black spot like a
    hyphen: many of them are served by an omnibus. I found, on further
    questioning, that this was one of the aforesaid black spots, minus
    the omnibus.

    "'What is the nearest town?' I continued.

    "'Liancourt is a little more than a mile off, but it is a village.'

    "'Is there an inn there?'

    "'I believe there is.'

    "By this time most of my audience had satisfied their curiosity and
    departed, leaving only the boy, and an old man who attracted my
    attention. He held a lantern which illuminated a kindly,
    weatherbeaten face, looking like that of an old sailor. I discovered
    later that he had come from Normandy, and like most Normans had
    spent half his life on the waves. He seemed interested in my hapless
    plight: perhaps he would assist me.

    "'I want to go back to Creil' (I knew I should find a hotel there):
    'won't you come with me and show me the way with your lantern?'

    "'Can't, mademoiselle: can't leave here.' He gave an indicative jerk
    of his head and thumb in a certain direction toward the railroad.

    "'Why not?'

    "'I am the night-watchman, and should lose my place if I left.'

    "Then please point out the road: I shall have to return alone.'

    "'Can't, mademoiselle: it is too dark. You would get lost.'

    "I thought I could not get much more lost than I was at that moment,
    but did not say so. Just then a bright idea struck me: 'I will walk
    back on the railroad: I cannot fail to find my way.'

    "The old man looked aghast at the proposition, and pointed to the
    long line of high thick hedge that bordered it on each side.

    "'How could you leave the track if you did get to Creil? They are
    locked up there for the night. Besides, you would be crushed by
    passing trains, and you would be fined too, for it is against the
    law. Now,' he went on in that patronizing manner which, from its
    naïveté is so charming in the French peasant--'now, mademoiselle
    does not wish to die to-night, does she, and be also fined?'

    "'No,' I replied dolefully, seeing my chances of shelter
    diminishing, 'but I shall certainly die if you will not help me to
    find a hotel.'

    "'Wait,' he whispered--'wait a little until all the world is gone.
    It won't be five minutes until every one has departed and every
    light is out in the station; then--'

    "I could not see how this was to improve my condition, but, having
    no choice, I waited patiently while he went and busied himself about
    his work. Presently he returned. Everything was silent, and pointing
    mysteriously to the waiting-room in the building, he said in a low
    voice, '_There_ is where you can stay till morning. They would not
    allow it if they knew, but no one will be the wiser. You can leave
    as soon as it is light, and to-night sleep on one of the sofas.
    That's where I sit at night, and I will give it up to you.'

    "The idea was repugnant to me. I could not consent; it was too
    frightful; it was impossible. I hastened to say, 'It will not do--I
    cannot stay here: you must take me back. Do take me to Creil.'

    "'Can't do it.'

    "'Well, take me to the next town: there is an inn, and it is not

    "He wavered, and seeing my distress his good-nature conquered. 'I
    will go with you,' he answered, slowly shaking his head as if
    admonishing himself for being such a fool; 'but if they should find
    it out--'

    "You may think it was unkind in me to let him run the risk of losing
    his place, but what was I to do? I could not submit to stay at the
    station like a vagabond, and I could not find my way alone. So,
    without allowing him time to change his mind, I set out. The road
    was bad and the night dark; the lantern threw a circle of light
    around us, but all beyond was impenetrable; still, the hope of
    shelter at the end made the walk agreeable to me. We
    stumbled along in silence, and by and by heard the barking of dogs
    that always heralds a night approach to a village. The first house
    that greeted my eyes had the welcome signboard swinging before it,
    and above its lintel a bush. It was a tiny place, but it was a
    refuge, and I felt quite cheerful as I requested the old tar to

    "He did so, and the sound echoed and re-echoed, but there was no

    "'Again,' I said, and 'again,' and 'again,' with no better result.
    It was anything but encouraging.

    "'They cannot hear, they are asleep: take up a stone and beat the
    door. You must awaken them.'

    "He obediently picked up a stone, and there followed a noise like
    thunder. I should not have been surprised to see the wee house tilt
    over and lie down on its side under the force of the blows. Now a
    gruff voice called out, 'What do you want?'


    "'We have no room for any one: go away.'

    "'Tell him I must stay,' And with the help of my prompting the old
    fellow put my case in the most persuasive light possible, but,
    although we talked and knocked with perseverance, the owner of the
    voice neither appeared, nor would he vouchsafe us another answer.
    One might have thought the house had been suddenly enchanted.

    "'It is of no use--of no use whatever: they will not open,' finally
    said my exhausted companion.

    "'Is there no other inn here?'

    "'No: you will have to return.'

    "'Then you must take me to Creil.'

    "'That I can't do. I have been away too long already: there is a
    freight-train expected, and I must see that the track is clear. We
    must go back;' and he turned resolutely and led the way.

    "Just as we left the village a gay party of peasant-girls passed us
    coming from a ball, laughing and chatting merrily with their beaus.
    I had an insane idea of accosting them, appealing to their pity, and
    asking them to keep me for the night, but fear lest they should
    refuse restrained me: I was too dejected to risk a second repulse.
    I have been able to realize the poetical things they tell us of the
    sensations of outcasts, of adventurers; and homeless wanderers ever
    since. The sight of this merry party made me feel more terribly
    alone; and the beaus--well, I confess I did wonder what Fred was
    doing at that moment. Then I thought of the horror of my aunt could
    she know where I was, and what she would think of the 'footsteps'
    her own niece was making just then, could she see her.

    "When we arrived at the station my guide preceded me to the
    waiting-room, and I, completely worn out, meekly followed him.

    "'This is much better than sleeping in the fields,' he remarked
    cheerily as we entered: 'shall I make you a fire?'

    "'No, thank you, but let me go into the other room.' My reason for
    this was that its sofas and chairs had some pretensions to comfort,
    being 'first class.' He went to open the connecting door. It was

    "'This is the only room that is open: I am sorry. Wait a moment: I
    will bring something to make a pillow, and you can sleep like a
    top.' He went out, and returned with an old coat, which he folded
    for me, and which, after covering it with my handkerchief, made a
    tolerable resting-place for my head. My bed was a hard bench.

    "'Now,' said my protector in a tone of much satisfaction--'now, you
    will be well. _Voilà un bon gîte_! Both these other doors are
    fastened, and this one you can lock after me. Very early I will come
    and take you part of the way back, and by daylight you can easily
    find the rest yourself. _Bonne nuit, mademoiselle: dormez bien_.' He
    went to the door, and taking the key from the outside put it inside.
    It would not turn. The lock had been made to work with two keys, and
    the other was absent.

    "'I will tell you what I will do,' said my friend, not in the least
    discomfited: 'I will lock the door and take the key with me. I must
    go up the road about two miles on my beat, but you can feel
    quite safe: no one can get in while I am gone. There is another
    watchman on the road: he might come while I am away, and--and raise
    a row. It is best to lock you up.' He nodded his head with great
    complacency at his good management, and prepared to leave me. I
    could suggest nothing better. I was at the end of my resources, and
    had to accept my fate. It would be interesting to know what the
    Pompadour or Queen Elizabeth would have done under the
    circumstances, wouldn't it?

    "It was with no pleasant feeling that I saw the door shut, heard the
    key turned, then withdrawn: the lantern glimmered for a moment
    through the window, and I was left in the darkness a prisoner.
    Thoroughly a prisoner, for none of the three doors had keys on my
    side, and the windows, with their tiny panes of ground glass, were
    high above the floor. Then, too, the old man had insisted on
    speaking in a whisper, and walked about on tiptoe. Who were those
    persons he evidently feared to waken? Persons near by, of course.
    Probably they carried the missing keys and could enter at any
    moment. And the other watchman? What if he should come, and, this
    being the room allotted to himself and companion, refuse to be
    barred out? Those other unknowns would be aroused by his knocking,
    and rush in to seek an explanation. If I were found there, should I
    be taken before the police as a vagabond? Or imagine a fire--a fire
    and no one knowing that I am here! A fire and no means of escape! My
    friends losing all trace of me, unable to ascertain how I came by my
    death! And such a horrible death! Four hours yet till dawn! What
    might not happen in four hours? The man himself might only have gone
    to seek an accomplice to murder me. He might have known that the key
    would not turn on the inside. But at last, in spite of myself,
    fatigue conquered fear and I slept.

    "I cannot say how long I had been unconscious when I was awakened by
    hearing a key turning in the lock: the door cautiously opened, and a
    man entered and came toward the bench where I was lying. My
    drowsiness calmed me. I wondered quite placidly whether it was to be
    robbery or murder. What a paragraph it would make in the _Moniteur_
    next day! I would cheerfully give him my watch and purse if they
    would content him. I might call out and rouse the house, but most
    likely Brunhilda in my situation would have held a parley. A good
    precedent. I sat up to show that I was awake, and in doing so
    recognized my old man. Though nothing could look more threatening as
    he stealthily advanced, shading his light, taking pains to make no
    noise, I could not entirely mistrust the weatherbeaten face with its
    anxious, benevolent eyes that met mine.

    "'Is it time to go?' I asked.

    "'Not yet, but soon. I have just returned, and came in to know if
    you would have a fire: it is cold outside.'

    "'No, never mind: I am doing well enough. I think I will take
    another nap.'

    "'Very well: I shall be near for the rest of the night, so you need
    not be afraid.' And he left, carefully locking me in again.

    "When he came for me the dawn was beginning to break; the morning
    star was shining in the sky; the earliest birds were twittering, and
    cocks answered each other from distance to distance; but not a human
    being was to be seen. We crossed ploughed fields and stubble to find
    the road, and I felt the truth of my guide's augury of the night
    before. Had I attempted to go alone I should have become bewildered,
    and ended by sleeping in the fields. It did strike me that if the
    man wished to rob me, now would be his chance, and at first I
    intentionally kept a little behind; but his innocent garrulity was
    such as to allay all suspicions, and we jogged on very amicably
    until, coming to two roads, he pointed out that which leads to
    Creil, and bade me good-bye.

    "Had I had the giving of a medal of the Legion of Honor, I should
    have decorated him on the spot. I believe it repaid me for my
    annoyance to have found such ample goodness, such chivalry, such
    kindness, growing as it were by the wayside. It was as if
    the world had rolled back into the days of knight-errantry, when to
    rescue and protect distressed damsels ranked next to religious
    worship. Sure am I if my weatherbeaten old man had lived at that
    time, none would have been more renowned for gentle deeds: in this
    prosaic age he is but a watchman on a railroad. I was about to pour
    out my gratitude, when I remembered we were in the nineteenth
    century, and looking into his face, I fancied that something more
    substantial would be better. I drew out my purse. He was frankly
    delighted with what I gave him, saying only that it was too much,
    and we separated mutually pleased.

    "I sauntered on, lingering by the way to avoid waiting at Creil;
    consequently, I was just able to procure my ticket and a paper of
    brioches at the buffet when the English train came in. As I stood at
    the door, knowing that as soon as it moved off the Belgian train was
    due, whom should I see get out but Fred! I thought he would re-enter
    in a moment, and placed myself so that he could not see me. I was
    mistaken. The train started, and mine puffed up: there he was still.
    In the crowd I hoped I should not be discovered, but as I stepped
    from the door his eyes met mine, and he rushed up to me with the
    exclamation, 'In the name of Heaven, how did you get here? Was there
    an accident? Are you hurt? What is the matter?'

    "It was singular how his voice unnerved me: I could not say a word.
    The crowd carried us with them, and he helped me into a car, sitting
    by me and recommencing his questions. Then I stammered, 'You will be
    taken on if you do not get out: there is nothing wrong.'

    "For answer he shut the door of the compartment, and said, 'I am
    going with you. Now tell me how you come to be here?'

    "I do not know why I should have given way when all danger was
    over--I believe there is no parallel case in the life of any
    celebrated woman--but I suppose I was tired out. My anxiety and
    fright, a night spent on a hard board, the surprise of meeting Mr.
    Kenderdine,--whatever it was, I leaned back in the corner of the
    seat, took out my handkerchief, and cried harder than I had ever
    done in my life before. He was greatly alarmed, but, like a sensible
    man, waited until I became more composed, and when I was able to
    tell him, instead of blaming me or thinking I was stupid, he
    censured himself for not accompanying me.

    "'I did mean to ask your permission to do so, Miss Eleanor,' he said
    slightly embarrassed, 'and I was prig enough to think you would
    allow it, but when you told me of your engagement I did not dare.
    After you left I had a dread that something might happen, and I
    could not rest satisfied until I had made up my mind to come on and
    see that you had arrived safely. I thought you would forgive me, as
    it is for the last time, and De Vezin need not be jealous, for he
    will have you for ever, while I--' Fred can be wonderfully pathetic.

    "Then I made up my mind to undeceive him, as was my duty, you know.
    I told him very gently that he was under a false impression. I was
    not engaged: my aunt had educated me for a purpose, and we both had
    quite determined that I should never marry, but instead do something
    great in the world, though I had not yet decided what. I explained
    it to him fully, so that there should be no more mistakes about it.
    When I ended I did not venture to look at him for a long time,
    fearing to see him grieved at this irrevocable barrier; but when I
    did, what was my surprise to see his face beaming with joy! He began
    impetuously, 'If you had told me I was to be crowned at Brussels, it
    would not be better news. I was sure it was De Vezin who separated
    us. Now I can hope.'

    "'You must not talk in that way if you do not want our friendship to
    cease: you offend me deeply. Can't you see that if you persist in
    this idea of yours, our pleasant acquaintance must end?' It was so
    frivolous in Fred, and I spoke very decidedly.

    "'Not at all, Eleanor: it would only begin. Why should not our whole
    life be like this past year?'

    "'You know it can't,' said I. 'Haven't I told you the reason?'

    "'It will be no reason when De Vezin asks you,' said he

    "'De Vezin is nothing to me.'

    "'You carry a _gage d'amour_ from him on your watch-chain at this
    very minute.'

    "Now, wasn't that talk silly? De Vezin had brought me a two-centime
    piece one day because I said I had never seen one, and I put a hole
    in it and hung it to my chain. Fred to call that a _gage d'amour!_

    "'Nonsense!' said I.

    "'De Vezin thought the same when he saw it there. I took him for a
    fool, but I see he was right.'

    "'Well, now you will see you were both fools,' said I angrily, and I
    twisted off the coin and threw it from the window.

    "'Is only that preposterous notion in the way?' he asked, looking
    happy again and taking a seat by me.

    "I told you how I cried on first entering the cars, and now--would
    you believe it?--I got terribly embarrassed. It seemed as if
    everything I did or said made matters worse. I was scarcely able to
    stammer, 'My aunt--'

    "'I will speak to her. Let me put this on your finger until I can
    replace it by another:' and he slipped off his seal and leaned
    forward with an entreating look.

    "I shook my head.

    "'I won't ask you to promise anything: only wear it that I may not
    be forgotten in Rome.'

    "'No, no, I cannot!' I exclaimed, clasping my hands. I suppose the
    action and tone were very exaggerated, for Mr. Kenderdine drew back,
    saying, 'I shall not _force_ you to take it;' and then went to the
    other window, took a newspaper out of his pocket and pretended to
    read it, while I was angry and sorry and miserable, though why I
    should feel so much like crying at what had only amused me the day
    before I cannot understand. I suppose none of those wonderful ladies
    would have acted so, would they?

    "But you are tired long ago, and you can easily imagine what comes
    after. See!" and she turned a ring on her finger until I could catch
    the shimmer of its stone. "That is how it ended; and though I did
    not accept it until the next spring in Rome, I shall always blame
    that night for the whole affair. When I asked Fred why he took the
    trouble to follow me after the double snubbing I had given him, he
    said 'I was worth it.' But since we are engaged he teases me
    shamefully--calls me doctor, hopes I intend to support him in
    comfort and ease, and says that it always was his ambition to be the
    husband of a strong-minded woman, and broadly hints about my
    experience in traveling being so useful to him. And aunt? When I
    first told her she looked so shocked and disappointed that I threw
    myself in her arms, saying I would not distress her for the world;
    that I would do anything she desired; that if she wished she might
    send Fred off, for I loved her best on earth. But after some minutes
    of deep thought she looked at me quizzically and replied, 'You know,
    dear, I always said you must choose your career for yourself.' Then
    seeing that I seemed hurt and ashamed, she kissed me and whispered,
    'Love makes us selfish: my affection for you has grown stronger than
    my ambition. If _you_ are happy, my Eleanor, I can wait patiently
    for the advancement of the rest of my sex.'"

Then Eleanor rose, and drawing her shawl round her preparatory to going,
said shyly, "And what I came to tell you is, that the wedding will take
place at Christmas."

                                        ITA ANIOL PROKOP.


We are looking over sundry trunks and boxes, the careful and the
careless gatherings of three generations. There are law-papers in dusty
files; familiar gossipy letters from brothers and sisters and college
chums; dignified letters from reverend judges and law-makers; letters
bursting with scandalized Federalisms, and burning or melting with
long-forgotten joys and sorrows. We have read some thousands of these
papers, and begin to be very uncertain about the times we are living in.
What indeed is this year of our Lord? We have a dim recollection that we
have been wished a happy New Year in 1875, yet we are living and
thinking with the boys and girls of 1776, who have grown to be the men
and women of Jefferson's time.

To make things more misty to our comprehension, we are sitting by a
dormer window in a high, "hip-roofed" garret of a mansion built just
before the Revolution, and the air is redolent of ancient memories. The
very cobweb that swung across the window just now has a venerable
appearance, entirely inconsistent with the fact that the housemaid's
broom was supposed to have whisked across these beams but yesterday. But
then the housemaids of to-day, as everybody knows, are, as a source of
perplexity and vexation of spirit, always to be relied upon, but never
to be relied upon for anything else. And with the thought we sigh for
the "good old days" and the "good old servants" of our grandmothers.

Happy grandmothers! so blessed in their simple, quiet lives, unvexed by
ever-changing fashions and domestics! What did they know of trouble
whose best silk gowns remained in fashion from year to year, and whose
cooks never treated them to an empty breakfast-table, and a cool "I
thought I'd be a-lavin' this marnin', mum"? Happy grandmothers!

Thus thinking, we pick up a little rough paper-book with marbled covers
from the corner of the old hair trunk where it was long ago thrown by
some careless hand. The little tumbled book proves to be a diary. Not a
record of a soul's strivings and pantings after a higher life, or a
curiously minute inquiry into the possible reasons which induced the
Almighty to allow Satan to afflict Job, but a simple daily note-book,
the memoranda of a housekeeper. The old letters had been to us what the
newspapers of to-day will be to the great-grandchildren of the present
generation. The diary carried us back into the immediate home-life of
seventy years ago.

The diarist had been a fair and stately dame in her day, and it is easy
to remove her from the frame where her portrait hangs on the walls of
the south parlor, and fancy her seated in the same room before the
crackling fire jotting down the memoranda of the day. She is a pretty
sight, we think, sitting in her straight-backed mahogany arm-chair, with
her feet on the polished brass fender and her book resting on the little
stand, which also holds the two tall silver candlesticks with their tall
tallow candles, for wax candles are saved for gala-nights, when diaries
are not in requisition. She must have been nearly forty years old when
she wrote in this little book, but we see her as her portrait shows her,
very young-looking in spite of her stateliness, enhanced though it is by
the high turban of embroidered muslin edged with soft lace falling over
the clusters of fair curls on her temples, and by the black satin gown,
short-waisted and scanty, relieved only by delicate lace frills, which
shade the beautiful throat and the strong, white, shapely hands. The
shadow on her face as she gazes into the fire is not marvelous, for it
is winter in her quiet Connecticut home; the post comes but twice a
week; her husband is representing his State in Washington, and her only
child is studying in distant Yale. Perhaps, though, the shadow is not
that of pure loneliness. Is there not some perplexity in it? And
something also of vexation? Yes, and it is the very vexation of spirit
which--in the face of Solomon's venerable testimony to the contrary--we
had fancied to be peculiar to our own evil days. Almost the first entry
in this quaint little diary is to the effect that "Jim was sulky
to-night and gave short answers." A little farther on we find that
"Yesterday Jim went away without leave, and stayed all night;" which
delinquency, being accompanied by a suspicion of drunkenness, caused the
anxious dame to "send for General T---- to come and give Jim a lecture."
Lecturing, however, was not then so popular as now, and Jim appears to
have profited little by the veteran general's discourse, for on the very
next night he repeats his offence. We have reason also to fear that
Jim's honesty was not above suspicion, for we read that Betsey, an
American woman who acted as assistant housekeeper and companion, "found
in Jim's possession a red morocco pocket-book which I had given her, but
"--alas for Betsey!--"with the contents all gone."

Other entries to the effect that madam one day lost her key to the
wine-cellar, and the next day discovered the bibulous Jim in the said
cellar "sucking brandy through a straw inserted in the bunghole of the
cask," and that, "furthermore, Jim had confessed to having stolen and
sold a coffee-basin for rum," do not tend to raise in our estimation
this pattern of an ancient darkey. This time it appears that madam did
not need to call in the aid of General T----, for she admits that she
herself "lectured Jim severely;" sarcastically adding, "he professed
penitence, but that did not hinder him from stealing another basin

But the refractory Jim, we think, must have been the exception which
proved the rule that all servants prior to the late Celtic invasion were
models of deportment. Accordingly, we are not surprised to find that
Betsey was a handmaiden held in high estimation, and that "old Jack" was
a servant whose shortcomings were offset by his general good conduct and
affectionate heart. But we find also that there was a certain Sally, who
could be tolerated only because of her great culinary skill; and an
uncertain Silvy, who appears to have been in mind, if not in fact, the
twin-sister of Jim, with a spice of Topsy thrown in.

The trouble in those days was not the prospect of suddenly losing cook
or nursemaid, but that there was no getting rid of either. The fact of
slavery was, under the act of 1793, slowly fading away from Connecticut,
but all its habits remained in full force. "I wish I could send Jim and
Silvy away," writes madam, "but the poor rascals have no place to go

Silvy was a tricksome spright that delighted in breaking bottles of the
"best Madeira wine and spilling the contents over the new English
carpet" when the mistress had invited the parson's and the doctor's
families to dinner. This, though of course it was "not to be endured,"
might have been accidental, and so was very "tolerable" in comparison
with Silvy's next exploits of poisoning the beloved house-dog and
throwing by the roadside the bottle of wine--possibly emptied first--the
jar of jelly and the fresh quarter of lamb which had been sent to a poor
and sick old woman. These two offences, occurring on the same day, we
are sorry to confess, incited the stately, white-handed dame to do
something more decisive than to "deliver a lecture" to Silvy. It is
demurely recorded that "for these two misdeeds I whipped Silvy." What
effect the whipping had upon that somewhat too frolicsome damsel we are
not informed, but madam admits that it made herself ill, and adds that
"if Silvy does not reform it is impossible to see what can be done for
her, for she will not listen to remonstrance. Betsey is not strong
enough to punish so strapping a wench, and it does not seem right that a
man should be set to whip any woman or girl, even a wench, else Jack
could do it."

However, Jack's own patience having been tried by the refractory Silvy,
he seems to have taken the matter into his own hands, for his mistress
tells us how she was scandalized, on her return from church, by "finding
Jack whipping Silvy," while that young lady was "screaming vehemently,
so that all the people passing by could hear her." As Jack had
discovered Silvy engaged in the amiable diversion of breaking the legs
of the young calves by throwing stones at them, one can have a little
charity for his summary action, although, as madam gravely remarks, "he
might at least have waited until Monday."

The calves, by the way, had an unlucky winter of it, and were especially
shaky about the legs. We find that a few weeks later "Jack having
neglected to repair the barn floor, as he had been directed, a plank had
given way and three of the calves' legs had been broken by the fall." We
have felt a deep interest in the fate of these calves, but with all our
anxiety have failed to discover whether three calves had all their legs
broken, or only three legs in all had been sacrificed to Jack's culpable

By this time we begin to think that madam would have been just as well
off if she had not kept so many servants, and to wonder what they could
have had to do. Perhaps it was the idle man's playmate that made the
trouble. But a little farther reading in the old diary dissipates this
illusion. If anybody thinks that our grandmothers must have been cursed
with ennui because they did not attend three parties a night three times
a week, with operas and theatres to fill in the off nights, they are
mightily mistaken.

Of sociability there could have been no lack in this rural neighborhood,
for besides a ball or two madam records numbers of tea-drinkings and
debating clubs, and meetings of the Clio, a literary club, at which
assisted at least two future judges of the supreme courts of the States
of their adoption, and several other men and women whose names would
attract attention even in our clattering days. Visiting, too, of the
old-fashioned spend-the-day sort had not gone out of date--was indeed so
common that madam one evening enters in her journal--whether in sorrow
or in thankfulness there is nothing to tell us, but at least as a
notable fact--that she had "had no company to-day."

But it was not company that occupied all the hours of so busy a dame as
our diarist. Though she had not to remodel her dresses in hot chase
after the last novelty of the fashion-weekly, she had to superintend the
manufacture of the stuff of which her maids' gowns and her own
morning-gowns were made, to say nothing of bed-and table-linen, etc.
Bridget in our day seems to think that to do a family washing is a labor
of Hercules. Yet seventy years ago before a towel could be washed the
soap wherewith to cleanse it must be made at home; and this not by the
aid of condensed lye or potash, but with lye drawn by a tedious process
of filtering water through barrels or leach-tubs of hard-wood ashes. The
"setting" of these tubs was one of the first labors of the spring, and
to see that Silvy or Jim poured on the water at regular intervals, and
did not continue pouring after the lye had become "too weak to bear up
an egg," was a part of Betsey's daily duty for some weeks. Then came the
soap-boiling in great iron kettles over the fire in the wide fireplace.
Apparently, this was not always a certain operation. Science had not yet
put her meddling but useful finger into the soap-pot, for madam sadly
records that on the twenty-first of May she had superintended the
soap-boiling, but had not been blessed with "good luck;" and on the
third of June we find the suggestive entry, "Finished the soap-boiling
to-day." Eleven days--for we must of course count out the two
Sundays--eleven days of greasy, odorous soap-boiling! We think that if
we had been in madam's slippers we should have allowed Sally, Silvy and
the rest to try the virtues of the unaided waters of heaven upon the
family washing, and when this ceased to be efficacious should have let
the clothes be purified by fire. But upon second thoughts, no: it was
too much trouble to make those clothes.

We are not yet through with the preparations for the washing. The
ancient housewife could not do without starch for her "ruffs and cuffs
and fardingales," and for her lord's elaborately plaited ruffles. Yet
she could not buy a box of "Duryea's best refined." The starch, like the
soap, must be made at home. "On this day," writes our diarist, "had a
bushel of wheat put in soak for starch;" and in another place we find
the details of the starch-making process. The wheat was put into a tub
and covered with water. As the chaff rose to the top it was skimmed off.
Each day the water was carefully turned off, without disturbing the
wheat, and fresh water was added, until after several days there was
nothing left but a hard and perfectly white mass in the bottom of the
tub. This mass was spread upon pewter platters and dried in the sun.

Another sore trouble was the breadmaking. The great wheat-fields of the
West were not then opened, and we find that the wheat was frequently
"smutty;" hence, that "the barrel was bad," which must sorely have tried
the soul of the good housewife. Woe be to Silvy if that damsel did not
carry herself gingerly on the baking-day when the long, flat shovel
removed from the cavernous brick oven only heavy and sticky lumps of
baked dough, in place of the light white loaves which the painstaking
housewife had a right to expect!

In the absence of husband and son the care of a large farm fell upon our
madam's shoulders, and the details of cost and income are dotted through
the little journal. We can imagine the lady, gracious in her
stateliness, marshaling old General T---- and Colonel C----, two
veterans of the Revolution, out into her barnyard to get their opinion
as to the value of her fat cattle, and the concealed disapproval with
which she received their judgment that forty-five dollars was a fair
price for the pair, "when," as she quietly remarks, "I considered that
fifty dollars was little enough for so fine a pair of fat cattle; and in
fact I got my own price for them the next day."

Fifty dollars was a much larger sum then than now. Imagine how many
things could be bought for fifty dollars, when butter brought but ten,
veal three or four, beef six or seven cents respectively per pound, and
a pair of fat young chickens brought but twenty-five cents! There is one
article upon whose accession of price we can dwell with pleasure. Madam
records discontentedly that it "took two men all day to kill four hogs,
_notwithstanding_ that she had spent fifty cents for a half gallon
of rum for them to drink." Fancy the sort of liquor that could now be
bought for a dollar the gallon, and the sort of men that could drink two
quarts thereof and live!

It is heretical, of course, to hint a syllable against the open
wood-fire which crackled and flickered so beautifully while our madam
wrote about her cattle and pigs and Jim and Silvy, but in truth we
cannot envy our ancestors the care of those fires. With three yawning,
devouring fireplaces constantly to be fed, and an additional one for
each of the guest-rooms so often occupied during the winter--for this
was the visiting season--there was no lack of business for Ralph, a
white man; and his colored coadjutors, Jack and Jim. When we look at the
still existing kitchen fireplace, nine feet in width and four in depth,
we cease to blame Jack for neglecting to mend the barn floor. We only
wonder that he found time to whip Silvy.

Among the occupations of the women one great time-consumer must have
been the daily scouring, so much woodwork was left unpainted to be kept
as white as a clean sea-beach by applications of soap and sand. Probably
a good deal of this hand-and-knee work fell upon the unfortunate Silvy,
as well as the polishing of the pewter plates, the brass fenders,
andirons, tongs, shovels, door-knobs, knockers, and the various brazen
ornaments which bedecked the heavy sideboards and tall secretaries.

Seventy years ago, when gas and kerosene were not, and wax candles were
an extravagance indulged in only on state occasions, even by the
wealthy, the tallow dip was an article of necessity, and "candle
dip-day" was as certain of recurrence as Christmas, though perhaps even
less welcome than the equally certain annual Fast Day. Fancy an immense
kitchen with the before-mentioned fireplace in the centre of one side.
Over the blaze of backlog and forestick, and something like half a cord
of "eight-foot wood," are swinging the iron cranes laden with great
kettles of melting tallow. On the opposite side of the kitchen two long
poles about two feet apart are supported at their extremities upon the
seats of chairs. Beside the poles are other great kettles containing
melted tallow poured on the top of hot water. Across the poles are the
slender candle-rods, from which depend ranks upon ranks of candle-wicks
made of tow, for cotton wick is a later invention. Little by little, by
endlessly repeating the slow process of dipping into the kettles of
melted tallow and hanging them to cool, the wicks take on their proper
coating of tallow. To make the candles as large as possible was the aim,
for the more tallow the brighter the light. When done, the ranks of
candles, still depending from the rods, were hung in the sunniest spots
of a sunny garret to bleach.

But all these employments were as play compared with the home
manufacture of dry goods. Ralph, Jack and Jim had no time for such work,
so two other men were all winter kept busy in the barn at "crackling
flax" and afterward passing it through a coarse hetchel to separate the
coarsest or "swingling tow." After this the flax was made up into
switches or "heads" like those which we see in pictures, or that which
Faust's Marguerite so temptingly wields. These were deposited in barrels
in the garret. During the winter the "heads" were brought down by the
women to be rehetcheled once and again, removing first the coarser, and
then the finer tow. This must have been a fearfully dusty operation. It
makes one cough only to think of "the inch depth of flax-dust" which
settled upon Betsey's protecting handkerchief while she "hetcheled."

The finest and best of the flax was saved for spinning into thread, for
cotton thread there was none, excepting, possibly, a little of very poor
quality in small skeins. The small wheel that we see in the far corner
of the garret--just like Marguerite's--was used for spinning the fine
thread. A larger wheel was used to spin the tow into yarn for the coarse
clothing for boys and negroes or for "filling" in the coarser linens.
All the boys, and very often the men--perhaps even our M.C.
himself--wore in summer trousers made of linen cloth, for which the yarn
was spun at home by the maids, and was then taken to the weaver's to be
made into cloth. Part of the linen yarn was dyed blue, and, mingled with
white or unbleached yarn, was woven into a chequered stuff for the
curtains of servants' beds and for dresses for the maids and aprons for
their mistresses. In view of the fact that all the bed-linen and most of
the table-linen was thus made at home, one cannot wonder that a
house-wife's linen-closet was an object of special care and pride.

If there were at that time any woolen manufactories in the United
States, their powers of production must have been very limited, while
foreign cloths could only have been worn by the gentlemen, and by them
probably not at all times, for a few years later than the date of
madam's diary we find that English cloths were sold at the then fearful
prices of eighteen and twenty dollars per yard. So sheep must be kept
and sheared, and their wool carded, rolled and spun. As linen-spinning
was the fancy-work of winter, so wool-spinning was that of summer. Back
and forth before the loud-humming big wheel briskly stepped the cheerful
spinner through the long bright afternoons of summer, busily spinning
the yarn that was to be woven into cloths and flannels of different
textures. Busily indeed must both mistress and maids have stepped, for
not without their labors could be provided the coats and trousers, the
undershirts, the petticoats and the woolen sheets, to say nothing of
blankets, white or chequered, and the heavy coverlets of blue or green
and white yarns woven into curiously intermingling figures, all composed
of little squares; and last, but not least, the yarn for countless pairs
of long warm stockings for the feet of master and man, mistress and
maid. For as a legacy from dying slavery the servants were still unable
or unwilling to provide for their own wants, and the house-mistress had
frequently to knit Jack's stockings with her own fair fingers, as well
as to "cut out the stuff for Jim's pantaloons," which she will "try to
teach Silvy to sew."

Did we think that we had reached the last purpose for which the homespun
woolen yarn was required? We were mistaken, for here is the entry:
"To-day dyed the yarn for back-hall carpet. Remember to tell the weaver
that I prefer it plaided instead of striped."

Economy of time must, one would think, have been the most necessary of
economies to the old-time housewives. With so many things to do, how did
they find time to make those marvels of misplaced industry, the patched
bed-quilts? Our diarist, rich as her closets were in blankets and linen,
left but few bed-quilts to vex the eyes of her descendants, yet we read
that "Betsey and I quilted a bed-quilt this afternoon"--their fingers
were surely nimble--"and in the evening"--happy change of
employment!--"Betsey finished reading aloud from Blair's
_Lectures._ To-morrow evening we shall begin the _Spectator_.
My husband has sent us by private hand Mr. A. Pope's translation of the
_Iliad_ and _Odyssey_, but it has not yet arrived. Strange
that a private hand should be slower than the post!"

And indeed the slowness of the post had been a source of frequent
disquietude to our madam during this lonely winter, for very lonely it
was to the waiting wife and mother, notwithstanding all her occupations.
"'Life's employments are life's enjoyments,'" she sadly writes on the
night before Christmas, "and surely I have not a few of them; but with
my beloved husband and son far from me I cannot half enjoy my life. I
have given the servants their presents to-night" (though living in
Puritan Connecticut, our madam was of Hollandish stock, and did not
ignore the Christmas festival), "and paid them eighteen pence apiece not
to wish me a Merry Christmas to-morrow, for little merriment indeed
should there be for me."

Yet she was a cheerful soul, this stately madam who sadly gazes into the
fire on the Christmas Eve of seventy years ago--a cheerful, loving soul,
and a kindly (notwithstanding her chastisement of the delinquent Silvy);
and after all the winter wore not unhappily away.

With the opening spring husband and son returned to gladden her heart,
and we close the little diary with a smile at once of sympathy and of
amusement as we read that while madam had intended to meet her loved
ones with the family coach on their landing from the sloop at
Poughkeepsie, thirty miles from her home, she was "so detained by reason
of the depth and vileness of the mud that it was full fifteen miles this
side the river" (Hudson) "that our coach fell in with a hired carriage
coming this way. The road was so bad that we had difficulty in passing,
and it was not until we were almost by that my dear husband noticed his
own coach. There was some trouble in getting from the one carriage to
the other, but when all were safely in the coach there was much
rejoicing, you may be sure."

                                        ETHEL C. GALE.


    Black boughs against a pale, clear sky,
    Slight mists of cloud-wreaths floating by;
    Soft sunlight, gray-blue smoky air,
    Wet thawing snows on hillsides bare;
    Loud streams, moist sodden earth; below
    Quick seedlings stir, rich juices flow
    Through frozen veins of rigid wood,
    And the whole forest bursts in bud.
    No longer stark the branches spread
    An iron network overhead,
    Albeit naked still of green;
    Through this soft, lustrous vapor seen,
    On budding boughs a warm flush glows,
    With tints of purple and pale rose.
    Breathing of spring, the delicate air
    Lifts playfully the loosened hair
    To kiss the cool brow. Let us rest
    In this bright, sheltered nook, now blest
    With broad noon sunshine over all,
    Though here June's leafiest shadows fall.
    Young grass sprouts here. Look up! the sky
    Is veiled by woven greenery,
    Fresh little folded leaves--the first,
    And goldener than green, they burst
    Their thick full buds and take the breeze.
    Here, when November stripped the trees,
    I came to wrestle with a grief:
    Solace I sought not, nor relief.
    I shed no tears, I craved no grace,
    I fain would see Grief face to face,
    Fathom her awful eyes at length,
    Measure my strength against her strength.
    I wondered why the Preacher saith,
    "Like as the grass that withereth."
    The late, close blades still waved around:
    I clutched a handful from the ground.
    "He mocks us cruelly," I said:
    "The frail herb lives, and she is dead."
    I lay dumb, sightless, deaf as she;
    The long slow hours passed over me.
    I saw Grief face to face; I know
    The very form and traits of Woe.
    I drained the galled dregs of the draught
    She offered me: I could have laughed
    In irony of sheer despair,
    Although I could not weep. The air
    Thickened with twilight shadows dim:
    I rose and left. I knew each limb
    Of these great trees, each gnarled, rough root
    Piercing the clay, each cone of fruit
    They bear in autumn.
                         What blooms here,
    Filling the honeyed atmosphere
    With faint, delicious fragrancies,
    Freighted with blessed memories?
    The earliest March violet,
    Dear as the image of Regret,
    And beautiful as Hope. Again
    Past visions thrill and haunt my brain.
    Through tears I see the nodding head,
    The purple and the green dispread.
    Here, where I nursed despair that morn,
    The promise of fresh joy is born,
    Arrayed in sober colors still,
    But piercing the gray mould to fill
    With vague sweet influence the air,
    To lift the heart's dead weight of care,
    Longings and golden dreams to bring
    With joyous phantasies of spring.

                            EMMA LAZARUS.


It may be that before these lines meet the eye of the readers they are
intended for the world will be once again witnessing that function of
the Roman Catholic Church which of all others makes the highest
pretensions to transcendental spiritual significance, and is in reality
the most utterly and grossly mundane--a _conclave_. In any case, it
cannot be long before that singular spectacle is enacted on the
accustomed stage before the converging eyes of Christendom. In any case,
too, it will be nearly thirty years since the world has seen the like.
And never before since St. Peter sat (or did not sit) in the seat of the
Roman bishops has so long a period elapsed unmarked by the election of a
supreme pontiff. The coming conclave will be held under circumstances
essentially dissimilar from those surrounding all its predecessors, as
will be readily understood if we consider the difference which recent
changes, both lay and ecclesiastical, have made in the position of the
pope. If, on the one hand, the political changes in Europe have taken
from the cardinals the power of creating a sovereign prince, the
ecclesiastical changes which the late ecumenical council has wrought in
the constitution of the Church have placed in their hands the power and
duty of selecting a supreme ruler of the Church with acknowledged claims
to a loftier and more tremendous authority than the most high-handed of
his predecessors has hitherto claimed. And the nature of this authority
is such that the political rulers of the world may well feel--and are,
as we know, feeling--a more anxious interest in the result of the
election than they have for many a generation felt in the elevation of a
temporal ruler of the ci-devant States of the Church. Under these
circumstances it may be acceptable to our readers to have some brief
account of what conclaves are and have been.

That this method of choosing a supreme head of the universal Church was
in its origin abusive--that the earliest popes were chosen by the
suffrages of the entire body of the faithful, that by a process of
encroachment this election was in the course of time arrogated to
themselves by the Roman clergy, and was ultimately, by a further process
of similar encroachment, monopolized by the "Sacred College" of
cardinals,--all this is sufficiently well known. It is, however, curious
enough to merit a passing word, that a precisely analogous process of
progressive encroachment may be observed to have taken place in the mode
of appointing the bishops of the Church, not only in the Catholic, but
also in the Protestant branch of it. First freely elected by the body of
the faithful, they were subsequently chosen by the clergy, and lastly by
a small and select body of these in the form of a "chapter." Only in
this case a further step of encroachment being still possible, that step
has been made; and bishops are nominated in the Catholic Church
formally, and in the Anglican really, by the pope and the sovereign

It does not seem that in the earliest elections made by the cardinals
the precautions of a "conclave," or a shutting up together of the
cardinals, was adopted. The first conclave seems to have been that which
elected Innocent IV. in 1243, and the motive for the locking up appears
to have been the fear of interference by the emperor Frederick, who was
at the time ravaging all the country around Rome. The first conclave
that was guarded by a Savelli, in whose family the office of marshal of
the Church and guardian of the conclaves became hereditary, was that
which elected Nicholas IV. in 1288. The mode in which this pontiff
merited his elevation is worth telling, apropos of conclaves. The
conclave had lasted over ten months, and been prolonged into the hottest
and most unhealthy season, insomuch that six cardinals died, many more
fell ill, and all ran away save one, the bishop of Palestrina. He,
"keeping large fires continually burning to correct the air," stuck to
it, remained in conclave all alone, and was unanimously elected pope at
the return of the cardinals when the pestilence had ceased. In 1270 we
find a conclave sitting under difficulties of another kind. It was at
Viterbo, and their Eminences sat for two years without making any
election; whereupon, we are told, Raniero Gatti, the captain of the
city, took the step of unroofing the palace in which they were assembled
as a means of hastening their decision. That their Eminences were not
thus to be hurried, however, is proved by their having subsequently
dated a bull, still to be seen with its seventeen seals, "from the
unroofed episcopal palace of Viterbo." There were four or five popes
elected subsequently to this, however, without conclaves; but from the
death of Boniface VIII. in 1303 the series of conclaves has been
unbroken. Celestine V., who abdicated in 1294, drew up the rules which,
confirmed by his successor, Boniface VIII., and by many subsequent popes
from time to time down to the last century, still regulate the
assembling and holding of the conclave, modified in some degree, as
regards the food and private comforts of the cardinals, by indulgence of
later pontiffs.

In old and long-since-forgotten books concerning the conclaves many
curious particulars may be found respecting the customs and ceremonies
connected with the disposal of the body of the deceased pontiff. A
learnedly antiquarian dispute has been raised on the question whether in
early times the body of a pope was embalmed, as we understand the word,
or only exteriorly washed and perfumed. It seems, on the whole, clear
that the first pope who was, properly speaking, embalmed, was Julius
II., who died in 1513. But here is a striking account of the condition
of things in the papal palace after the death of that great, high-handed
and powerful pontiff, Sixtus IV., which occurred in 1484, after a reign
of thirteen years. The statement is that of Burcardo (Burckhardt), the
papal master of the ceremonies, the same writer whose diary, jotted down
from day to day, has revealed to us the incredible atrocities of the
court of Alexander VI., the Borgia pope, who died in 1503. "For all that
I could do," writes the master of the ceremonies, who perhaps at that
time occupied some less conspicuous post in the papal court, "I could
not get a basin, a towel, or any kind of utensil in which the wine and
the water for the odoriferous herbs could be put for washing the body of
the deceased. Nor could I obtain drawers or a clean shirt for putting on
the body, though I asked for them again and again. At length the cook
lent me the copper kettle in which he was wont to heat the water for
washing the plates, together with some hot water; and Andrew the barber
brought me his barber's basin from his shop. So the pontiff was washed.
And as there was no towel to wipe the body with, I caused him to be
wiped with the shirt in which he died, torn into two halves. I could not
change the drawers in which he died and was washed, because there were
no others. His canonical vestments were put upon him without any shirt,
and a pair of red cloth stockings, furnished by the bishop of Cervia,
who was his chamberlain, and a long tunic, if I remember rightly, of red
damask, as well as some other things." This pope, whose body was thus
washed with his shirt torn in half for want of a towel, was that same
Sixtus the enormous wealth and boundless luxury of whose nephews seem
almost fabulous to readers even of these money-abounding days.

The explanation of the extraordinary state of things above described is
to be found in the custom which existed of sacking the apartments of the
deceased pope as soon as ever the breath was out of his body. The utter
lawlessness which prevailed at Rome _sede vacante_--that is to say,
during the interval between the death of one pope and the election of
his successor--was not, indeed, confined to the residence of the
departed pontiff. Throughout Rome all law used to be on those occasions
in abeyance. The streets were scenes of the most unbridled excesses and
violence of all sorts. That was the time for the satisfying of old
grudges. Murder was as common as murderous hate; and no man's life was
safe save in so far as his own hand or his own walls could protect it.
And walls did not always avail. I find a petition to Leo X. from a
monastery in Rome, setting forth that a document assuring certain
indulgences to the house had been lost at the time of the sack and
plunder of the convent during the last conclave. No sort of claim, it is
to be observed, is attempted to be set up of redress for the plunder and
destruction of the property of the convent; only a prayer that the
privileges in question might be again granted in consideration of the
loss of the document. A very curious illustration of Roman manners in
the sixteenth century is to be found in a practice with regard to these
periods of interregnum which I find recorded by Cancellieri in his work
on the conclaves. Roman wives, it seems, were forbidden--not without
reason--to leave their homes and go forth into the streets of Rome at
their pleasure. But in the articles of the marriage contract it was
stipulated that the lady should be free to go out on certain specified
occasions, mainly ecclesiastical festivals; and among these it was
always specially provided that the lady might go out during the days of
the exposition of the body of a deceased pope for the purpose of kissing
his feet. One would have thought that, looking to the state of things in
the city, the time of the interregnum would have been the very last to
select for ladies to venture into the streets. It would seem, however,
that the Roman matrons thought otherwise. Cancellieri says that it was
in those days a common saying among Roman ladies that "Happy were they
who were married to Spaniards!" For it would seem that the Spanish
husbands in Rome did not think it necessary to enforce this restraint on
their wives--a circumstance that rather curiously contradicts our
general notions of Spanish marital feelings and discipline.

In truth, the condition of Rome during the period of the conclave down
to very recent times affords a singular evidence of the virtue of the
old French formula, "Le roi est mort! Vive le roi!" as signifying the
non-existence of any period of transition between one embodiment of law
and authority and his successor; for the absence of any similar
provision in the case of the popes made Rome a veritable hell upon earth
during the period of a papal election.

But if the city outside the walls within which the purple fathers of the
Church were deliberating presented a scene which was a disgrace and a
scandal to Christendom, that which was being enacted within those walls
was very often still more profoundly scandalous. Never probably has any
human institution existed in which practice was more grossly and
notoriously in disaccord with pretensions and theory, and with respect
to which the highest and most sacred of all conceivable human sanctions
was so shamelessly desecrated and profaned to the lowest and vilest

Before touching on this part of the subject, however, it is necessary
first to give in as few words as possible some intelligible account of
the formal regulations and method of holding the conclave and electing
the pontiff. All the regulations, which have been made with extreme
minuteness, together with the subsequent modifications of them by
different pontiffs, would occupy far too much space to be given here.
The following rules seem to be the essential points. Ten days, including
that of the pope's death, are to be allowed for the coming of absent
cardinals. This delay may, however, be dispensed with for urgent
reasons. The conclave should properly be held in the building in which
the pope died. Regulations of various degrees of rigor have been made
for securing the isolation of the members of the Sacred College, greater
latitude and indulgence having been permitted as we approach modern
times. Sundry means also were devised for hastening the deliberations of
their Eminences. The old rule of Gregory X. prescribed that if an
election were not made in three days, the cardinals should be supplied
during the following five days with one dish only at dinner and one at
supper; and if at the end of those five days the election was still
uncompleted, the electors should be allowed only bread and water till
they had accomplished their task. But, as may be readily supposed, all
this has been materially modified. Many of the minute and rigorous
precautions for preventing communication with the world outside the
conclave have also fallen into desuetude. The purpose of these,
however--that is, the absolute prevention of any possibility of
consultation between those in conclave and those outside--is still
sought to be, and probably is, maintained. Cardinals obliged to leave
the conclave by ill-health, on sworn certificates of the two physicians
who are shut up with them in conclave, may return to it, if able to do
so, before the election is made. No censure or excommunication or
deposition of any cardinal by the pope whose successor is to be elected
can avail to deprive such cardinal of the right to take part in the
conclave and in the election. No cardinal under pain of excommunication
may say anything, or promise anything, or request anything, to or from
another cardinal for the purpose of influencing him in the giving of his
vote. It may safely be asserted, however, that pretty much all that is
done in the conclave from the beginning to the end of it is one long
contravention of this rule. The whole--at all events, the
main--occupation of those in conclave consists of exactly what is here
forbidden. The rule proceeds to declare that all such bargains,
agreements and obligations, even sworn to, are _ipso facto_ void,
and "he who does not keep them merits praise rather than the blame of
perjury." This merit elected popes have usually been found to strive
after with all their strength. Julius II., by a bull issued in 1505,
declared that any pope elected by means of bargains or promises is
elected simoniacally; that his election is null even if he have the vote
of every cardinal; that he is a heresiarch and no pope; that such an
election cannot become valid by enthronation, or by lapse of time, or by
the obedience of the cardinals; that it is lawful for the cardinals, the
clergy and the people of Rome to refuse obedience to a pope so elected.
On all which Monsignor Spondano in his ecclesiastical annals, remarks,
with a naïveté of hypocrisy which is irresistibly amusing, that inasmuch
as there would be considerable difficulty in applying the remedy
proposed, God has specially provided that there should never be any need
of it. How far Monsignor Spondano can have supposed that such was the
case will become evident from the account of the doings of a conclave
which I propose giving to the reader presently.

Together with the cardinals there are shut up in the conclave two
attendants, called "conclavisti," for each cardinal, or three for such
of them as are ill or infirm; one sacristan, two masters of the
ceremonies, one confessor, two physicians, one surgeon, one carpenter,
two barbers and ten porters. Any conclavist who may leave the conclave
cannot on any account return. The different cells prepared in the
Quirinal, Vatican or other place in which the conclave may be held are
assigned to the cardinals by lot. The election may be made in the
conclave in either of three different manners--by scrutiny of votes, by
compromise, or by acclamation. A vote by scrutiny is to be taken twice
every day in the conclave--once in the morning and once in the
afternoon. All the cardinals, save such as are confined to their cells
by infirmity, proceed to the chapel, and there, after the mass, receive
the communion. They then return each to his cell to breakfast, and
afterward meet in the chapel again. The next morning at 8 A.M. the
sub-master of the ceremonies rings a bell at the door of each cell; at
half-past eight he rings again; and at nine a third time, adding in a
loud voice the summons, "_In capellam Domini!_"

The arrangement of the Pauline Chapel at the Vatican, in which the
voting takes place, is as follows: The floor is raised by a boarding to
the level of the pontifical throne, which stands by the side of the
altar, and which is left in its place in readiness for the newly-elected
pope to seat himself and receive the "adoration" of his electors. All
around the walls of the chapel are erected as many thrones as there are
cardinals, and over each of them a canopy, so arranged that by means of
a cord it can be suddenly let down; so that at the moment the election
is pronounced all the canopies are suddenly made to fall except that of
the new pope. In front of each throne and under each canopy there is a
little table covered with silk--green in the case of all those cardinals
who have been created previously to the pontificate of the pope recently
deceased, and purple in the case of those created by him. The colors of
the canopies are similar. On each table are printed registers prepared
for registering the votes at each scrutiny, the schedules for giving the
votes, the means for sealing, etc. On the front of each table is
inscribed the name of the cardinal who is to occupy it, together with
his armorial bearings. In the midst of the body of the chapel are six
little tables covered with green cloth, with a seat at each of them for
the use of any cardinal who may fear that his neighbor might overlook
him while writing his voting paper if he wrote it on the table before
his throne. In front of the altar there is a large table covered with
crimson silk, on which are folded schedules, wafers, sealing-wax; four
candles, not lighted, but ready for use; a tinder-box with steel and
matches; scarlet and purple twine for filing the voting schedules; a box
of needles for the same purpose; a tablet with seventy holes in it,
answering to the number of cardinals if the college were full, and in
each hole a little wooden counter with the name of a cardinal, so that
there are as many counters as cardinals in the college; and finally, a
copy of the form of oath respecting the putting the schedules into the
urns, the two urns themselves, and a box with a key, used for receiving
the voting papers of such cardinals as may be too ill to leave their
cells. The two urns, however, at the time of the scrutiny are placed on
the altar. Behind the altar there is placed a little iron brazier or
stove, in which, after every scrutiny which does not succeed in electing
a pope, the voting papers are burned, together with some damp straw, the
object being to cause a dense smoke, which, passing by a pipe outside
the building, serves to inform the Romans that no election has yet been
made. Twice a day, at about the same hour every day till the election is
achieved, this smoke, which is eagerly watched for by all Rome, and
specially by the commandant of the Castle of St. Angleo, who is waiting
to fire a salute for the new pope, tells the city that there is no pope
yet. When the hour passes and no smoke is seen, it is known that the
election is made, and the cannoneers fire away without waiting to know
whom they are saluting.

There is no portion of the day or of the lives of the cardinals in
conclave which is not regulated by a host of minute regulations and
ceremonies. The introduction of the food supplied to them; the form of
bringing it from their palaces; the method of communication with the
outside world, and the precautions taken to prevent any communication
with reference to the great business in hand; the form and color of the
garments to be worn by their Eminences and by all the subordinates; the
amount of remuneration and perquisites to be received by the latter
(among which regulations I find the following: "Let no man receive
anything who has not purchased the office he holds"); the order of
precedence of everybody, from the dean of the Sacred College to the last
sweeper who enters the conclave with their Eminences,--all subject to
minute rules, which would require, one would imagine, a lifetime to make
one's self master of, and which, curious as some of them are, it is
impossible to find place for here. We must get on to the method of

Each cardinal has a schedule about eight inches long by six wide,
divided by printed lines into five parts. On the topmost is printed
"Ego, Cardinalis----," to be filled up with the name and titles of the
elector using it. On the second space are printed, toward either side of
the paper, two circles, indicating the exact place where the paper when
folded is to be sealed. On the middle space is printed the words "Eligo
in Summum Pontificem R'um D'um meum Dom. Card.," leaving only the name
of the person chosen to be filled in. On the fourth space two circles
are printed, as on the second, indicating the places of two more seals,
which, when the paper is folded and sealed down, make it impossible to
see the motto which is written, together with a number, on the last
space. On the back of the second and fourth divisions are printed the
words "nomen" and "signum," denoting that immediately under them are the
name and motto of the elector. There are also printed certain ornamental
flourishes, the object of which is to render it impossible to see the
writing within through the paper. Thus, the schedule, with its top and
bottom folds sealed down, can be freely opened so far as to allow the
name of the cardinal for whom the vote is given to be seen, but not so
far as to make it possible to see the name or motto of the giver of the

When the voting papers have been thus prepared, the senior cardinal, the
dean of the Sacred College, rises from his throne and walks to the foot
of the altar, holding his schedule aloft between his finger and thumb.
There he kneels and passes a brief time in private prayer. Then rising
to his feet, he pronounces aloud in a sonorous voice the following oath:
"Testor Christum Dominum qui me judicaturus est, me eligire quem
secundum Deum judico eligi debere, et quod in accessu praestabo" ("I
call to witness the Lord Christ, who shall judge me, that I elect him
whom before God I judge ought to be elected, and which vote I shall give
also in the _accessit_"). The last words allude to a subsequent
part of the business of the election, to be explained presently. It is
hardly necessary to point out to the reader that this oath, solemn as it
sounds, might just as well be omitted. It is as a matter of course
evident that each elector will give his vote for the person who
_ought_ in his opinion to be elected. But as to the _motives_
of that opinion, as to the _grounds_ on which it seems best to each
elector that such and such a man _ought_ to be elected, the oath
says nothing. The cardinals whose votes Alexander VI. bought thought, no
doubt, that in all honesty they _ought_ to give their voices for
the man who had fairly paid for them. But, putting aside such gross
cases, let the reader reflect for a moment how extensive a ground is
covered by the celebrated "A.M.D.G." formula ("Ad majorem Dei gloriam").
The conscience of an elector may be supposed to speak to him thus: "It
is true that I know A.B. to be a profligate and thoroughly worldly man,
but his influence with such or such a statesman or monarch will probably
be the means of saving the Church from a schism in this, that or the
other country. And that assuredly is A.M.D.G. And he is the man,
therefore, who ought to be elected."

Well, the oath having been thus pronounced, the voter places his folded
schedule on a silver salver, and with this casts it into the silver urn
which is on the altar. And one after another every cardinal present does
the same--every cardinal present except, however, any one who may not
have received at least deacon's orders. One so disqualified may indeed
be empowered to vote by dispensation of the deceased pope; but this
dispensation is usually given for a limited period--a few days
probably--only; and if this time has expired before the election is
completed the cardinal who is not in sacred orders must cease to vote
till he have received orders. It has frequently occurred that cardinals
have been ordained under these circumstances in the conclave. When all
the schedules have been placed in the urn, three cardinals, who have
been previously chosen by lot for the purpose, as scrutineers proceed to
verify the result of the voting. First, the schedules are counted to
ascertain that they are equal in number to the number of the cardinals
present. If this should not be the case, all are forthwith burned and
the business is recommenced. But if this is all right, then comes the
moment of interest which sets many an old heart beating under its purple
vestments. The three scrutineers seat themselves at the large table with
their backs turned to the altar, so that they face the assembly. Then
each cardinal in his throne-seat places on the little table before him a
large sheet duly prepared with the names of all the cardinals living,
and ruled columns for the votes, and pen in hand awaits the declaration
of these. The first scrutineer takes a schedule from the urn, unfolds
the central part, leaving the two sealed ends intact, takes note of the
vote declared within, and hands the paper to the second scrutineer, who
also notes the vote and hands it to the third, who declares the vote
aloud in a voice audible to all present, and each cardinal marks it on
his register. Then, if the votes shall have been sufficient to elect the
pope--that is, two-thirds of those voting--there is nothing more to be
done save to number the votes, to verify them, and then burn the
schedules. But if this is not the case, as it rarely if ever is, the
cardinals proceed to the _accessit_. The papers and all the forms
for this are precisely the same as for the first voting, save that in
the place of the word "Eligo" there is the word "Accedo," and that in
the place of the name of the cardinal voted for those who do not choose
to alter their previous vote write "Nemini" ("To no one"). Then the
matter proceeds as before; and if no election is effected, the assembly
breaks up, and meets for another voting and scrutiny that afternoon or
the next morning, as the case may be. And this is done twice every day
till the election is made. The reader, I fear, may think that I have
been prolix in my statement of these particulars of the method of the
election, but I can assure him that I have given him only the main and
important points, selected from some hundreds of pages in the works of
those who have treated on the wonderfully minute regulations and
prescriptions with which the whole matter is surrounded.

It will be easily seen that the moment of proceeding to the accessit is
the time for fine strokes of policy, for the most cautious prudence and
craftiest cunning. The general condition of the ground has been
disclosed by the results of the previous scrutiny. The possibilities and
chances begin to discover themselves. "Frequently," says the President
de Brosses, who was at Rome during the conclave which elected Benedict
XIV. in 1740, in the charming published volume of his
letters--"Frequently at the accessit everything which was done at the
preceding ceremony is reversed; and it is at the accessit that the most
subtle strokes of policy are practiced. Sometimes, for example, when a
party has been formed for any cardinal, the leader of the party keeps in
reserve for the accessit all the votes that he can count on as certain,
and induces those that he suspects may be doubtful to vote for the
person intended to be made pope at the first scrutiny, so as to make
sure by the number of votes given whether his supporters have been true
to their party, and to avoid unmasking his policy till he shall be sure
of his _coup_."

The story of the conclave which elected Cardinal Lambertini pope as
Benedict XIV., gives a curious picture of the schemes and intrigues
carried on in the mysterious seclusion of the conclave. Clement XII., of
the Florentine Corsini family, had died. The cardinal Corsini, his
nephew, was at the head of one faction in the conclave, and the cardinal
Albani, nephew of Clement XI., who died in 1721, at the head of the
other. The former party seemed at the beginning of the conclave to be
the most numerous. But De Brosses describes the two men as follows.
Corsini, he says, had little intelligence, less sense, and no capacity
for affairs. Of Albani, he says that he was "highly considered for his
capacity, and both hated and feared to excess--a man without faith,
without principles; an implacable enemy even when appearing to be
reconciled; of a great genius for affairs; inexhaustible in resource and
intrigue; the ablest man in the college, and the worst-hearted man in
Rome." It soon became clear that the struggle between the factions thus
led would be severe, and the conclave a long one. The history of the
plots and counterplots by which each strove to circumvent the other is
extremely amusing, but too long to be given here. After various
fruitless attempts, the Corsini faction concentrated all their forces on
Cardinal Aldrovandi. He was a man of decent character, and had the
support of a small body of independent cardinals, called the "Zelanti,"
who, to the great disgust and contempt of their brethren in purple, were
mainly influenced by the consideration of the worthiness of his
character. The number of voices needed to make the election was
thirty-four: Aldrovandi had thirty-three. Cardinal Passionei, the
scrutator who had to declare the votes, and a member of the opposite
faction, became, we are told, as pale as death when he announced with
trembling voice the thirty-third vote. There was every reason to think
that at the accessit he would have the one other vote needful to make
the election. But it was not so. The terrible Albani was too much
feared, and had his own party too well in hand. But the thing was run
very close. The danger was great that during the hours of the night that
must intervene before the next scrutiny some means might be found to
detach _one_ Albani follower from his allegiance. There was the
great bait to be offered that the one who changed his vote would be in
effect the maker of the new pope. Under these circumstances, Albani felt
that nothing but some "heroic" measure could save him. What he did was
this: There was a certain Father Ravali, a Cordelier, and one of the
leading men of his order, on whom Albani could depend, and who was, in
language more expressive than ecclesiastical, "up to anything." This
monk was instructed to seek a conference with Aldrovandi at the
_rota_. (The rota was the opening in the wall at which such
interviews were permitted in presence of certain high dignitaries
specially appointed to attend it, for the express purpose of hearing all
that might be said, and preventing any communication having reference to
the business of the conclave. How they performed their duty the present
story shows.) The monk began by saying that all Rome looked upon the
election of Aldrovandi as a certain thing. Aldrovandi, doing the humble,
replied that to be sure many of his brethren had deigned to think of
him, but that he did not make any progress--that there were those who
were too determinately opposed to his election, etc. The monk thereupon
goes into a long and unctuous discourse on all the sad evils to
Christendom of a conclave so prolonged. (It had already lasted over five
months.) To which Aldrovandi replies that he ought rather to address his
remonstrances to Cardinal Albani, who is in truth the cause of the
inability of the conclave to come to an election. "Ah, monsignor,"
returns the Cordelier, "put yourself in the place of the cardinal
Albani. I know his sentiments from the many conversations we have had
together. He is far from feeling any personal objection or enmity to
you. But you know that there has been in the past unpleasant feeling
between your family and his, and he fears that you are animated by
hostility toward him." "I assure you," replies Aldrovandi, falling into
the trap, "that he is greatly mistaken. I have long since forgotten all
the circumstances you allude to. Besides, as I remember, the cardinal
had no part in the matter. He can't doubt that I have the greatest
respect for his personal character. Besides, I am not the man to forget
a service rendered to me." "Since those are the sentiments of Your
Eminence," cries the monk, "I begin to see an end to this interminable
conclave. I perceive that there will be no difficulty in arranging
matters between Your Eminence and the cardinal Albani. Will you permit
me to be the medium of your sentiments upon the subject?" Aldrovandi is
delighted, and feels the tiara already on his head. Then, after a little
indifferent talk, the Cordelier, in the act of taking leave of the
cardinal, turns back and says, "But, after all, the mere word of a poor
monk like me is hardly sufficient between personages such as Your
Eminence and the cardinal Albani. Permit me to write you a letter, in
which I will lay before Your Eminence those considerations concerning
the crying evils of the length of this conclave which I have ventured to
mention to you, and that will give me an opportunity of entering on the
matters we have been speaking of. And then you, in your reply to me, can
take occasion to say what you have already been observing to me of your
sentiments toward the cardinal Albani." Aldrovandi eagerly agreed to
this, and the two letters were at once written. "I am told," adds De
Brosses, "that the letter of Aldrovandi was strong on the subject of the
_gratitude_ he should feel toward Albani." No sooner has the
perfidious Cordelier got the letter into his hand than he runs with it
to Albani, who goes with it at once to the body of the "Zelanti"
cardinals with pious horror in his face: "Here! Look at your Aldrovandi,
your man of God, that you tell me is incapable of intriguing in order to
become His vicar! Here he is making promises to seduce me into violating
my conscience."--"Alas! alas! It is too true! Clearly the Holy Ghost
will none of him. Speak to us of him no more!" So Aldrovandi's chance
was gone, and Albani found the means of uniting the necessary number of
voices on Lambertini, a good-enough sort of man, by all accounts, but
hardly of the wood from which popes are or should be made. He became
that Benedict XIV. who was Voltaire's correspondent, and who, as the
story goes, when he was asked by a young Roman patrician to make him a
list of the books he would recommend for his studies, replied, "My dear
boy, we always keep a list of the best books ready made. It is called
the _Index Expurgatorius_!"

Such were the doings of conclaves, and such the popes which resulted
from them, in that eighteenth century whose boasted philosophy pretty
well culminated in the conviction that pudding was good and sugar sweet.
Such will not be the conclave which will assemble at the death of the
present pontiff. The election will doubtless be scrupulously canonical
on all points; and, though it may be doubted how far the deliberations
of the Sacred College will be calculated to advance the truly understood
spiritual interests of humanity, there is, I think, little doubt that
they will be directed, according to the lights of the members, to the
choice of that individual who shall in their opinion be most likely to
advance the interests of the Church "A.D.M.G."

                                        T. ADOLPHUS TROLLOPE.


  Monsoor Pacha, it is pleasant to meet
     Here, in the heart of this treacherous town--
  Where faith is a peril and courtship a cheat,
     More false to the touch than a rose overblown--
     With a soul that is true to itself, as your own.

  Monsoor Pacha, as two gentlemen may,
     Civilized, city-bred, link we our hands:
  Now from the town to the desert away!
     Ours is a friendship whose spirit demands
     The scope of the sky and the stretch of the sands.

  Monsoor Pacha, doff your courtier's garb;
     We have given to courtesy all of its dues;
  Spring to your throne on the back of your barb,
     Shake to the breezes your regal burnous,
     Wave your lance-sceptre wherever you choose!

  Monsoor, my chief! ah, I know you at length!
     King of the desert, your children are come
  To cluster, like sheep, in the shade of your strength,
     Or to strike, like young lions, for country and home,
     When your eyes are ablaze at the roll of the drum!

  Monsoor, my chief! now one gallop, to see
     The land you have sworn that no despot shall grind!
  Though sun-tanned and arid, by Allah! 'tis free!
     Its crops are these lances: these sons of the wind,
     Our steeds, are its flocks--a grim harvest to bind!

  Monsoor, my chief! how we dash o'er the sand,
     Hissing behind us like storm-driven snow!
  Flash the long guns of your wild Arab band,
     Brandish the spears, and the light jereeds throw,
     As, half-winged, through the shrill singing breezes we go!

  Monsoor, my chief! send the horses away:
     The sports of your tribe I have seen with delight.
  Now let us watch while the rose-tinted day
     Fades from the desert, and peace-bearing Night
     Shakes the first gem on her brow in our sight.

  Monsoor, my host! lo, I enter your tent,
     As brother by brother, hands clasping, is led:
  I sleep like a child in a dream Heaven-sent;
     For have I not eaten the salt and the bread?
     And Monsoor will answer for me with his head.

                                        GEORGE H. BOKER.

CONSTANTINOPLE, Jan. 10, 1875.


This was in slave times. It was also immediately after dinner, and the
gentlemen had gone to the east piazza. Mr. Smith was walking back and
forth, talking somewhat excitedly for him, while Dr. Rutherford sat with
his feet on the railing, thoughtfully executing the sentimental
performance of cutting his nails. Dr. Rutherford was an old friend of
Mr. Smith who had been studying surgery in Philadelphia, and now, on his
way back to South Carolina, had tarried to make us a visit.

"You see," Mr. Smith was saying, "about a week ago one of our old
negroes died under the impression that she was 'tricked' or bewitched,
and the consequence has been that the entire plantation is demoralized.
You never saw anything like it."

"Many a time," said Dr. Rutherford, and calmly cut his nails.

"There is not a negro on the place," continued Edward, "who does not lie
down at night in terror of the Evil Eye, and go to his work in the
morning paralyzed by dread of what the day may bring. Why, there is a
perfect panic among them. They are falling about like a set of ten-pins.
This morning I sent for Wash (best hand on the place) to see about
setting out tobacco plants, and behold Wash curled up under a haystack
getting ready to die! It is enough to--So as soon as you came this
morning a plan entered my head for putting a stop to the thing. It will
be necessary to acknowledge that two or three of them are under the
spell, and it is better to select those who already fancy themselves
so.--Rosalie!" I appeared at the window. "Are any of the house-servants

"Mercy is," said I, "and I presume Mammy is going to be: I saw her make
a curtsey to the black cat this morning."

"Well, what is your plan?" inquired Dr. Rutherford.

Mr. Smith seated himself on the piazza railing, dangling his feet
thereagainst, rounding his shoulders in the most attractive and engaging
manner, as you see men do, and proceeded to develop his idea. I was
called off at the moment, and did not return for an hour or two. As I
did so I heard Dr. Rutherford say, "All right! Blow the horn;" and the
overseer down in the yard

    Blew a blast as loud and shrill
    As the wild-boar heard on Temple Hill--

an event which at this unusual hour of the day produced perfect
consternation among the already excited negroes. They no doubt supposed
it the musical exercise set apart for the performance of the angel
Gabriel on the day of judgment, and in less than ten minutes all without
exception had come pell-mell, helter-skelter, running to "the house."
The dairymaid left her churn, and the housemaid put down her broom; the
ploughs stood still, and when the horses turned their heads to see what
was the matter they found they had no driver; she also who was cooking
for the hands "fled from the path of duty" (no Casabianca nonsense for
_her!_), leaving the "middling" to sputter into blackness and the
corn-pones to share its fate. Mothers had gathered up their children of
both sexes, and grouped them in little terrified companies about the
yard and around the piazza-steps.

Edward was now among them, endeavoring to subdue the excitement, and
having to some extent succeeded, he made a signal to Dr. Rutherford, who
came forward to address the negroes. Throwing his shoulders back and
looking around with dignity, he exclaimed, "I am the great Dr.
Rutherford, the witch-doctor of Boston! I was far away in the North,
hundreds of miles from here, and I saw a spot on the sun, and it looked
like the Evil Eye! And I found it was a great black smoke. Then I knew
that witch-fires were burning in the mountains, and witches were dancing
in the valleys; and the light of the Eye was red! I am the great Dr.
Rutherford, the witch-doctor of Boston! I called my black cat up and
told her to smell for blood, and she smelled, and she smelled, and she
smelled! She smelled, and she smelled, and she smelled! And presently
her hair stood up like bristles, and her eyes shot out sparks of fire,
and her tail was as stiff as iron!" He threw his shoulders back, looked
imposingly around and repeated: "I am the great Dr. Rutherford the
witch-doctor of Boston! My black Cat tells me that the witch is
here--that she has hung the deadly nightshade at your cabin-doors, and
your blood is turning to water. You are beginning to wither away. You
shiver in the sunshine; you don't want to eat; your hearts are heavy and
you don't feel like work; and when you come from the field you don't
take down the banjo and pat and shuffle and dance, but you sit down in
the corner with your heads on your hands, and would go to sleep, but you
know that as soon as you shut your eyes she will cast hers on you
through the chinks in the cabin-wall."

"Dat's me!" said Mercy--"dat certny is me!"

"Gret day in de mornin', mas' witch-doctor! How you know? Is you been
tricked?" inquired Martha, who, having been reared on the plantation,
was unacquainted with the etiquette observed at lectures.

Wash groaned heavily, and shook his head from side to side in silent
commendation of the doctor's lore.

"My black cat tells me that the witch is here; and she _is_ here!"
(Immense sensation among the children of Ham.) "But," continued he with
a majestic wave of the arm, "she can do you no harm, for I _also_ am
here, the great Dr. Rutherford, the witch-doctor of Boston!"

"Doctor," inquired Edward in a loud voice, "can you tell who is conjured
and who is not?"

"I cannot tell unless robed in the blandishments of plagiarism and the
satellites of hygienic art as expunged by the gyrations of nebular
hypothesis. Await ye!" He and Mr, Smith went into the house.

The negroes were very much impressed. They have excessive reverence for
grandiloquent language, and the less they understand of it the better
they like it.

"What dat he say, honey?" asked old Mammy. "I can't heer like I used

"He says he will be back soon, Mammy, and tell if any of you are
tricked," said I; and just then Edward and the doctor reappeared,
bearing between them a pine table. On this table were arranged about
forty little pyramids of whitish-looking powder, and in their midst
stood a bottle containing some clear liquid, like water. Dr. Rutherford
seated himself behind it, robed in the black gown he had used in the
dissecting-room, and crowned by a conical head-piece about two feet
high, manufactured by Edward and himself, and which they had completed
by placing on the pinnacle thereof a human skull. The effect of this
picturesque costume was heightened by two large red circles around the
doctor's eyes--whether obtained from the juice of the pokeberry or the
inkstand on Edward's desk need not be determined.

In front of the table stood the negroes, men, women and children. There
was the preacher, decked in the clerical livery of a standing collar and
white cravat, but, perhaps in deference to the day of the week, these
were modified by the secular apparel of a yellow cotton shirt and
homespun pantaloons, attached to a pair of old "galluses," which had
been mended with twine, and pieced with leather, and lengthened with
string, till, if any of the original remained, none could tell the color
thereof nor what they had been in the day of their youth. The effect was
not harmonious. There was Mammy, with her low wrinkled forehead, and
white turban, and toothless gums, and skin of shining blackness, which
testified that her material wants were not neglected. There was Wash, a
great, stalwart negro, who ordinarily seemed able to cope with any ten
men you might meet, now looking so subdued and dispirited, and of a
complexion so ashy, that he really appeared old and shrunken and weak.
There was William Wirt, the ploughboy, affected by a chronic grin which
not even the solemnity of this occasion could dissipate, but the
character of which seemed changed by the awestruck eyes that rolled
above the heavy red lips and huge white teeth. There was Apollo--in
social and domestic circles known as 'Poller--there was Apollo, his hair
standing about his head in little black tufts or horns wrapped with
cotton cord to make it grow, one brawny black shoulder protruding from a
rent in his yellow cotton shirt, his pantaloons hanging loosely around
his hips, and bagging around that wonderful foot which did not suggest
his name, unless his sponsors in baptism were of a very satirical turn.
There were Martha, and Susan, and Minerva, and Cinderella, and
Chesterfield, and Pitt, and a great many other grown ones, besides a
crowd of children, the smallest among the latter being clad in the
dishabille of a single garment, which reached perhaps to the knee, but
had little to boast in the way of latitude.

There they all stood in little groups about the yard, looking with awe
and reverence at the great Dr. Rutherford, who sat behind the table with
his black gown and frightful eyes and skull-crowned cap.

"You see these little heaps of powder and this bottle of water. You will
come forward one at a time and pour a few drops of the water in this
bottle on one of these little heaps of powder. If the powder turns
black, the person who pours on the water is 'witched. If the powder
remains white, the person who pours on the water is _not_ 'witched. You
may all examine the powders, and see for yourselves whether there is any
difference between them, and you will each pour from the same bottle."

During a silence so intense that nothing was heard save the hum of two
great "bumblebees" that darted in and out among the trees and flew at
erratic angles above our heads, the negroes came forward and stretched
their necks over each other's shoulders, peering curiously at the
little mounds of powder that lay before them, at the innocent-looking
bottle that stood in their midst, and the great high priest who sat
behind. They stretched their necks over each other's shoulders, and each
endeavored to push his neighbor to the front; but those in front, with
due reverence for the uncanny nature of the table, were determined not
to be forced too near it, and the result was a quiet struggle, a silent
wrestle, an undertone of wriggle, that was irresistibly funny.

Then arose the great high priest: "Range ye!"

Not knowing the nature of this order, the negroes scattered instanter
and then collected _en masse_ around Mr. Smith.

"Range ye! range!" repeated the doctor with dignity, and Edward
proceeded to arrange them in a long, straggling row, urging upon them
that there was no cause for alarm, as, even should any of them prove
'witched, the doctor had charms with him by which to cast off the spell.

"Come, Martha," said Edward; but Martha was dismayed, and giving her
neighbor a hasty shove, exclaimed,

"You go fus', Unk' Lumfrey: you's de preacher."

Uncle Humphrey disengaged his elbow with an angry hitch: "I don't keer
if I is: go 'long yose'f."

"Well, de Lord knows I'm 'feerd to go," said Martha; "but ef I sot up
for preachin', 'peers to me I wouldn' be'feerd to sass witches nor
goses, nor nuffin' else."

"I don't preach no time but Sundays, an' dis ain't Sunday," said Uncle

"Hy, nigger!" exclaimed Martha in desperation, "is you gwine to go back
on de Lord cos 'tain't Sunday? How come you don't trus' on Him

"I does trus' on Him fur as enny sense in doin' uv it; but ef I go to
enny my foolishness, fus' thing I know de Lord gwine leave me to take
keer uv myse'f, preacher or no preacher--same as ef He was ter say,
'Dat's all right, cap'n: ef you gwine to boss dis job, boss it;' an'
den whar _I_ be? Mas' Ned tole you to go: go on, an' lemme 'lone."

"Uncle Humphrey," said Edward, "there is nothing whatever to be afraid
of, and you must set the rest an example. Come!"

Uncle Humphrey obeyed, but as he did so he turned his head and
rolled--or, as the negroes say, _walled_--his eyes at Martha in a manner
which convinced her, whatever her doubts in other matters pertaining to
theology, that there is such a thing as future punishment. The old
fellow advanced, and under direction of the great high priest poured
some of the contents of the bottle on the powder indicated to him, and
it remained white.

"Thang Gord!" he exclaimed with a fervency which left no doubt of his
sincerity, and hastened away.

Two or three others followed with a similar result. Then came Mercy, the
housemaid, and as her trembling fingers poured the liquid forth, behold
the powder changed and turned to black! The commotion was indescribable,
and Mercy was about to have a nervous fit when Dr. Rutherford, fixing
his eyes on her, said in a tone of command, "Be quiet--be perfectly
quiet, and in two hours I will destroy the spell. Go over there and sit

She tottered to a seat under one of the trees.

One or two more took their turn, among them Mammy, but the powders
remained white. I had entreated Edward not to pronounce her 'witched,
because she was so old and I loved her so: I could not bear that she
should be frightened. You should have seen her when she found that she
was safe. The stiff old limbs became supple and the terrified
countenance full of joy, and the dear ridiculous old thing threw her
arms up in the air, and laughed and cried, and shouted, and praised God,
and knocked off her turban, and burst open her apron-strings, and
refused to be quieted till the doctor ordered her to be removed from the
scene of action. The idea of retiring to the seclusion of her cabin
while all this was going on was simply preposterous, and Mammy at once
exhibited the soothing effect of the suggestion; so the play proceeded.

More white powders. Then Apollo's turned black, and, poor fellow! when
it did so, he might have been a god or a demon, or anything else you
never saw, for his face looked little like that of a human being, giving
you the impression only of wildly-rolling eyeballs, and great white
teeth glistening in a ghastly, feeble, almost idiotic grin.

Edward went up to him and laid his hand on his shoulder: "That's all
right, my boy. We'll have you straight in no time, and you will be the
best man at the shucking to-morrow night."

More white powders. Then came Wash, great big Wash; and when his powder
changed, what do you suppose he did? Well, he just fainted outright.

The remaining powders retaining their color, and Wash having been
restored to consciousness, Dr. Rutherford directed him to a clump of
chinquapin bushes near the "big gate" at the entrance of the plantation.
There he would find a flat stone. Beneath this stone he would find
thirteen grains of moulding corn and some goat's hair. These he was to
bring back with him. Under the first rail near the same gate Mercy would
find: a dead frog with its eyes torn out, and across the road in the
hollow of a stump Apollo was to look for a muskrat's tail and a weasel's
paw. They went off reluctantly, the entire _corps de plantation_
following, and soon they all came scampering back, trampling down the
ox-eyed daisies and jamming each other against the corners of the rail
fence, for, sure enough, the witch's treasures had been found, but not a
soul had dared to touch them. Dr. Rutherford sternly ordered them back,
but all hands hung fire, and their countenances evinced resistance of
such a stubborn character that Edward at length volunteered to go with
them. Then it was all right, and presently returned the most laughable
procession that was ever seen--Wash with his arms at right angles,
bearing his grains of moulding grain on a burdock leaf which he held at
as great a distance as the size of the leaf and the length of his arms
would admit, his neck craned out and his eyes so glued to the uncanny
corn that he stumbled over every stick and stone that lay in his path;
Mercy next, with ludicrous solemnity, bearing her unsightly burden on
the end of a corn-stalk; Apollo last, his weasel's paw and muskrat's
tail deposited in the toe of an old brogan which he had found by the
roadside, brown and wrinkled and stiff, with a hole in the side and the
ears curled back, and which he had hung by the heel to a long crooked
stick. On they came, the crowd around them following at irregular
distances, surging back and forth, advancing or retreating as they were
urged by curiosity or repelled by fear.

It was now getting dark, so Dr. Rutherford, having had the table
removed, brought forth three large plates filled with different colored
powders. On one he placed Mercy's frog, on another Wash's corn, and on
the third the muskrat's tail and weasel's paw taken from Apollo's shoe.
Then we all waited in silence while with his hands behind him he strode
solemnly back and forth in front of the three plates. At length the bees
had ceased to hum; the cattle had come home of themselves, and could be
heard lowing in the distance; the many shadows had deepened into one;
twilight had faded and darkness come. Then he stood still: "I am the
great Dr. Rutherford, the witch-doctor of Boston! I will now set fire to
these witch's eggs, and if they burn the flames will scorch her. She
will scream and fly away, and it will be a hundred years before another
witch appears in this part of the country."

He applied a match to Apollo's plate and immediately the whole place was
illuminated by a pale blue glare which fell with ghastly effect on the
awestricken countenances around, while in the distance, apparently near
the "big gate," arose a succession of the most frightful shrieks ever
heard or imagined. Then the torch was applied to Mercy's frog, and
forthwith every nook and corner, every leaf and every blade of grass was
bathed in a flood of blood-red light, while the cries grew, if
possible, louder and fiercer. Then came Wash's corn, which burned with a
poisonous green glare, and lashed its sickly light over the house and
yard and the crowd of black faces; and hardly had this died away when
from the direction of the big gate there slowly ascended what appeared
to be a blood-red ball.

"There she goes!" said the great Dr. Rutherford, and we all stood gazing
up into the heavens, till at length the thing burst into flames, the
sparks died away and no more was to be seen.

"Now, that is the last of her!" impressively announced the witch-doctor
of Boston; "and neither she nor her sisters will dare come to this
country again for the next hundred years. You can all make your minds
easy about witches."

Then came triumph instead of dread, and scorn took the place of fear.
There arose a succession of shouts and cheers, laughter and jeers. They
patted their knees and shuffled their feet and wagged their heads in

"Hyar! hyar! old gal! Done burnt up, is you? Take keer whar you lay yo'
aigs arfer dis!" advised William Wirt in a loud voice.--"Go 'long, pizen
sass!" said Martha. "You done lay yo' las' aig, you is!"--"Hooray
tag-rag!" shouted Chesterfield.--"Histe yo' heels, ole Mrs. Satan,"
cried one.--"You ain't no better'n a free nigger!" said another.--"Yo'
wheel done skotch for good, ole skeer-face! hyar! hyar! You better not
come foolin' 'long o' Mas' Ned's niggers no mo'!"

The next night was a gala one, and a merrier set of negroes never sang
at a corn-shucking, nor did a jollier leader than Wash ever tread the
pile, while Mercy sat on a throne of shucks receiving Sambo's homage,
and, unmolested by fear, coyly held a corncob between her teeth as she
hung her head and bashfully consented that he should come next day to
"ax Mas' Ned de liberty of de plantashun."

"But, Edward," said I, "why did those three powders turn black?"

"Because they were calomel, my dear, and it was lime-water that was
poured on them," said Mr. Smith.

"Well, but why did not the others turn black too?"

"Because the others were tartarized antimony."

"Where did you get what was in the plates, that made the lights, you

"Rutherford had the material. He is going to settle in a small country
town, so he provided himself with all sorts of drugs and chemicals
before he left Philadelphia."

"But, Edward," persisted I, putting my hand over his book to make him
stop reading, "how came those things where they were found? and the
balloon to ascend just at the proper moment? and who or what was it
screaming so? Neither you nor Dr. Rutherford had left the yard except to
go into the house."

"No, my dear; but you remember Dick Kirby came over just after dinner,
and he would not ask any better fun than to fix all that."

"Humph!" said I, "men are not so stupid, after all."

Edward looked more amused than flattered, which shows how conceited men

                                        JENNIE WOODVILLE.


The last thing which the student learns, the last thing which the world,
that universal student, comprehends, is how to study. It is only after
our little store of facts has been laboriously accumulated, after we
have tried path after path that promised to take us by an easy way up
the Hill Difficulty, and have abandoned each in turn,--it is only when
we have attained a point somewhere near the top, that we can look down
and see the way we should have come, the one road that avoided
unnecessary steepness and needless windings, and led by the quickest and
easiest direction to the summit. The knowledge that we have thus gained,
however late to profit by it ourselves, should at least be valuable to
others. But, unfortunately, as Balzac has said, experience is an article
that no one will use at second hand. When the great teachers of the
world, who have been its most patient scholars, shall go to work to
teach us how to study, and when we are content to learn, then we shall
all be in a fair way to become sages.

But, in the mean time, there are two things we must apprehend--truisms
both of them, but, like all truisms, better known theoretically than
practically. The first is, that we must not use a microscope if we want
to study the stars; and the second is, that we must beware of having a
fly between the lenses of our telescope, unless we wish to discover a
monster in the moon. If a discriminating public would not consider it an
insult, one might add, in the third place, that it is useless to look
for lunar rainbows in the daytime.

It is true that all this sounds like child's play, but it is astonishing
how many of our Shakespearian critics commit one or all of these faults.
Forgetting entirely that criticism demands common sense, impartial
judgment, intense sympathy, a total absence of prejudice, and a great
deal of general information, they bring to their task minds deeply
tinctured with preconceived systems of truth, goodness and beauty, upon
whose Procrustean bed the unfortunate poet must be stretched; while, as
if ignorant of the history of thought, they judge the productions of
another age and another atmosphere by the canons of criticism that hold
good to-day among ourselves. Not only this, but they snuff enigmas in
every line, and scent abstruse theories behind the simplest
statement. They take up passages of Shakespeare whose obvious meaning
any person of average intelligence can understand, and turn and twist
them into such intricate doublings that they cannot undo their own
puzzle. They attack his poetry as if it were a second Rosetta Stone, or
as if it had to be read, like the lines in a Hebrew book, backward. They
study him in the spirit of the fool, who, being given a book upside
down, stood on his head to read it--a position naturally confusing to
the intellect.

Nor is it only in their methods of investigation that many of our
Shakespearian critics are at fault. Their fondness for rearing vast
temples of possibilities upon small corner-stones of fact is proverbial.
We know that Shakespeare went to London, where he both wrote and acted
plays, and upon this slender basis you may find, in almost any of his
commentators, such added items of biography as this sentence from
Heraud's book upon Shakespeare's _Inner Life:_ "That he had a house in
Southwark, that his brother Edmund lived with him, and that his wife was
his frequent companion in London, are all exceedingly probable
suppositions." So they may be to Mr. Heraud's mind, but the next
biographer shall form a totally different set of "exceedingly probable
suppositions" equally satisfactory to himself. The same critic says that
when Shakespeare, in his Sonnets, spoke of "a black beauty" (a phrase
universally used to express a brunette as late even as the age of Queen
Anne), the poet had his Bible open at Solomon's Song, and meant the
Bride "who is black but comely;" in other words, the Reformed Church.
Mr. Page, the artist, finds in the Chandos portrait, after it has been
cleaned and scraped, and upon the photographs of the German mask, a
certain mark which he thinks the indication of a scar. Two gentlemen,
one an artist, who have seen the mask itself, assure him that they find
his scar to be merely a slight abrasion or discoloration of the plaster;
but Mr. Page, secure in his position, quotes Sonnet 112,

    Your love and pity doth the impression fill
    Which vulgar scandal stamped upon my brow,

and triumphantly asks, "If that doesn't refer to the scar, what does it
refer to?"

The Sonnets of Shakespeare have been quite too much neglected by the
lovers of his plays, and Stevens said that the strongest act of
Parliament that could be framed would fail to compel readers into their
service. Two classes of minds, however, have always pondered over
them--the poets, who could not fail to appreciate their wonderful power
and beauty, and the psychologists, who have found in them an ample field
for speculation. The variety and extent of the theories of these latter
gentlemen can only be rivaled by the feat of the camel-evolving German.
Indeed, it is the true German school of thought to which these
speculations belong, and it is but just that to a genuine Teuton belongs
the honor of the most extraordinary solution of the mystery yet given.
It would take too long to sum up all the theories that have been
broached upon the subject, but two or three will do as an example.
Without stopping to dwell upon the ideas of M. Philarète Chasles, or of
Gen. Hitchcock, who believes the Sonnets to be addressed to the Ideal
Beauty, we will pass on to the book of Mr. Henry Browne, published in
London in 1870. His idea is that the Sonnets are dedicated to William
Herbert, afterward earl of Pembroke, and are intended chiefly as a
parody upon the reigning fashion of mistress-sonneting and upon the
sonneteers of the day, especially Davies and Drayton; that they also
contain much which is valuable in the way of autobiography, and that
"the key to the whole mystery lies in _Shakespeare's_ conceit (_i. e_.,
Mr. Browne's conceit) of the union of his friend and his Muse by
marriage of verse and mind; by which means, and for which favor, his
youth and beauty are immortalized, but which theme does not fully
commence till the friend had declined the invitation to marriage, which
refusal begets the mystic melody." Mr. Browne graciously accepts the
Sonnets in their order, and professes to be unable to name the real
mistress of Herbert, though he considers Lady Penelope Rich to
be the object of their allegorical satire.

Mr. Heraud also accepts the order of the Sonnets as correct. His book
contains an article on the Sonnets published by him in _Temple Bar_ for
April, 1862, the result, he declares (and far be it from us to dispute
it), of pure induction. He has evolved the theory that Shakespeare in
writing against celibacy had in view the practice of the Roman Catholic
Church; that the friend whom he apostrophizes was the Ideal Man, the
universal humanity, who gradually develops into the Divine Ideal, and
becomes a Messiah, while the Woman is the Church, the "black but comely
bride" of Solomon. "Shakespeare found himself between two loves--the
celibate Church on the one hand, that deified herself, and the Reformed
Church on the other, that eschewed Mariolatry and restored worship to
its proper object.... Thus, Shakespeare parabolically opposed the
Mariolatry of his time to the purer devotion of the word of God, which
it was the mission of his age to inaugurate."

This is pretty well for a flight of inductive genius, but it is quite
surpassed by the soaring Teutonic mind before mentioned, who, in the
words of the reflective Breitmann,

    Dinks so deeply
    As only Deutschers can.

This mighty philosopher, of whom Mr. Heraud speaks with becoming
reverence, is Herr Barnstorff, who published a book in 1862 to prove
that the "W.H." of the dedication means _William Himself_, and that the
Sonnets are apostrophes to Shakespeare's Interior Individuality! Mr.
Heraud thinks this idea is rather too German, but, after all, not so
very far out of the way, for in Sonnet 42 the poet certainly declares
that his Ideal Man is simply his Objective Self.[009] For, as Mr. Heraud
beautifully and lucidly remarks, "the Many, how multitudinous soever,
are yet properly but the reflex of the One, and the sum of both is the
Universe." And herein, according to Mr. Heraud, we find the key to the

In 1866, Mr. Gerald Massey published a large volume on the same
subject, with the somewhat pretentious title. _Shakespeare's Sonnets,
never before interpreted; his private friends identified; together with
a recovered likeness of himself_. The first chapter contains a summary
of the opinions of Coleridge, Wordsworth and others upon the Sonnets; a
notice of the theory of Bright and Boaden (_Gentleman's Magazine_,
1832), afterward confirmed by a book written by Charles Armitage Brown
(1838); the theories of Hunter, Hallam, Dyce, Mrs. Jameson, M. Chasles,
Ulrici, Gervinus and many others (most of them, by the way, confirming
the theory originated by Boaden and Bright); and having thus gone over
the work of twenty-five _named_ authors, and a space of time extending
from 1817 to 1866, Mr. Massey begins his second chapter by saying that
as yet there has never been any genuine attempt to interpret the
Sonnets, "nothing having been done except a little surface-work." Mr. C.
Armitage Brown in particular (who, by the way, must not be confounded
with Mr. _Henry Browne_) appears to be Mr. Massey's special aversion.
The very name of Brown irritates him as scarlet does an excitable bull.
Armitage Brown was the intimate friend of Keats and Landor, and, Severn
says, was considered to know more about the Sonnets than any man then
living, while the "personal theory," as Mr. Massey styles it, has had a
far larger number of supporters than any other. Unfortunately, the
opinions of others have not the slightest weight with Mr. Massey, and
words are too weak to express his scorn of this theory and its
supporters. Mr. Brown wraps things in a winding sheet of witless words
(delicious alliteration!); he leaves the subject dark and dubious as
ever; his theory has only served to trouble deep waters, and make them
so muddy that it is impossible to see to the bottom; in short, Mr. Brown
and his fellow thinkers, in the opinion of Mr. Massey, are
arch-deceivers and audacious misinterpreters, and have no more idea of
what Shakespeare meant than they have of telling the truth about it. Why
Mr. Massey should have worked himself into a passion before he
began to write is a mystery darker than any he attempts to solve, but
the intemperate, bitter and self-conceited tone of the whole book is
alone an immense injury to its critical value.

In constructing his elaborate theory of the Sonnets, Mr. Massey has
committed many grave offences against the rules of criticism. He has
gone to his work with the strongest possible prejudices; he has begun it
with certain preconceived ideas of what Shakespeare meant to write; he
has found it necessary to destroy entirely the order of the poems, and
to rearrange them, even sometimes to alter the text, to fit his own
notions; and he has carried his investigations into such puerile and
minute twistings of the text as can only be paralleled by Mr. Page's
quotation in support of his scar. For instance, in Sonnet 78 occur these

    Thine eyes that taught the dumb on high to sing
      And heavy ignorance aloft to fly,
    Have added feathers to the learned's wing
      And given grace a double majesty.

Mr. Massey thinks that in this quatrain (which the vulgar mind would
accept as it stands, nor expect to treat as other than figurative)
Shakespeare was passing in review the writers under the patronage of the
earl of Southampton, to whom the sonnet is addressed, and that he can
identify the four personifications! Shakespeare of course is the Dumb
taught to sing by the favor of the earl; resolute John Florio, the
translator of Montaigne, is Heavy Ignorance; Tom Nash is the Learned,
who has had feathers added to his wing; and Marlowe is the Grace to whom
is given a double majesty! Marlowe's chief characteristic was majesty,
says Mr. Massey; therefore, we suppose, he is spoken of as _grace_. The
rest of his "exquisite reasons" may be found at pages 134-143 of the

This is nothing, however, to the feats of which Mr. Massey's subtlety is
capable. Sonnet 38 begins:

    How can my Muse want subject to invent,
      While thou dost breathe, that pour'st into my verse
    Thine own sweet argument, too excellent
      For every vulgar paper to rehearse?

That is, kindly explains Mr. Massey--lest we should be tempted to accept
the obvious meaning of the lines, that the poet could not want a
subject while his friend lived, whose worth was too great for every
ordinary writing to celebrate fitly--"that is, the new subject of the
earl's suggesting and the new form of the earl's inventing are too
choice to be committed to _common paper_; which means that Shakespeare
had until then written his personal sonnets on slips of paper provided
by himself, and now the excelling argument of the earl's love is to be
written in Southampton's own book"! Perhaps it means that Shakespeare
had taken to gilt-edged, hot-pressed, double-scented Bath note.

Mr. Massey's ingenuity in getting over a difficulty is as great as his
faculty of construction. Having assumed Lady Rich (that Stella whose
golden hair makes half the glory of Sidney's verse) to be the "black
beauty" of the Sonnets, he finds that Sonnet 130 perversely says, "If
hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head"--a bit of evidence that
would seem to upset this theory. But Mr. Massey is not to be put down so
easily. This is ironical, he says in effect; Shakespeare did not mean
this; "it is a bit of malicious subtlety to call the lady's hair black
wires, which was so often besung as golden hair; and _she had been so
vain of its mellow splendor!_ ... And there is the '_if_' to be
considered--'much virtue in an _if'!_--'_If_ hairs be wires,' says the
speaker, 'black wires grow on her head!' So that the 'black' is only
used conditionally, and the fact remains that 'hairs' are _not_
'wires.'" If we are to interpret Shakespeare in this manner, where is
such foolery to cease?

To sum up the principal facts of Mr. Massey's elaborate theory in a few
words, we find that he considers the Sonnets to be dedicated to William
Herbert, earl of Pembroke, as "their only begetter" (or obtainer) for
the publisher, Mr. Thomas Thorpe; that they consist properly of two
series, the first written for Henry Wriothesley, earl of Southampton,
the second for the earl of Pembroke; that they begin with the poet's
advice to Southampton to marry; that when the earl fell in love with
Elizabeth Vernon, he suggested a new argument (see Sonnet 38),
wherein is no such thing as a _new_ argument, by the way; and that then
the poet begins to write love-poems in the person of his friend. This
continues up to the year 1603, when the earl of Southampton was released
from prison, the dramatic sonnets being interspersed with personal ones.
These dramatic sonnets also include sonnets written for Elizabeth Vernon
of and to Penelope Lady Rich, of whom she is supposed to be jealous;
sonnets from Southampton to herself upon the lovers' quarrel, and the
desperate flirtation of Elizabeth Vernon to punish her lover (which Mr.
Massey says ensued upon this jealousy); together with various other
sonnets between them, and upon the earl's varying fortunes, his
marriage, imprisonment, etc., which make up the first series. The second
series are love-poems written for William Herbert, and addressed to Lady
Rich, who is supposed by Mr. Massey to be the "black beauty" (or
brunette) of the closing sonnets, although it is well known that Lady
Rich was a golden blonde, with nothing dark about her but her black
eyes. To make out this complicated story, Mr. Massey arranges the
Sonnets in groups to suit his fancy, baptizes them as he chooses, and
does not scruple to vilify the fair name of man or woman in order to
make out his argument and to defend the spotless purity of Shakespeare's
moral character.

_Shakespeare's Autobiographical Poems_, by Charles Armitage Brown
(1838), is the book which more than all others on the subject seems to
have excited Mr. Massey's indignation, chiefly because it is the leading
advocate of "the personal theory"--that is, the autobiographical and
non-dramatic character of the poems. This implies an acceptance of the
statement clearly made in the Sonnets of Shakespeare's infidelity to his
wife; and this Mr. Massey pronounces an outrageous and unwarranted
slander. But in order to leave the name of Shakespeare pure from any
stain of mortal imperfection, Mr. Massey arranges a dramatic intention
for the Sonnets which involves, with more or less of light or evil
conduct, no less than four other names--the earl of Southampton and
Elizabeth Vernon (daughter of Sir John Vernon), whom he afterward
married; William Herbert, earl of Pembroke, and Lady Rich, for whom Mr.
Massey finds no words too abusive, and whom he considers the "worser
spirit" of the later Sonnets. The history of this lady is sufficiently
well known, and, so far as I can ascertain, there is no historical
warrant for supposing her to have been the mistress of Herbert, or the
beguiler of Southampton into such a lapse of duty to his beloved
Elizabeth Vernon as should inspire the expressions of Sonnets 134, 133,
144, which Mr. Massey says are written in the person of this lady to
Lady Rich. Lady Penelope Devereux, sister of Essex, was born in 1563,
and her father, who died when she was but thirteen, expressed a desire
that she should be married to Sir Philip Sidney. For some unknown reason
the intended match was broken off, and the fair Penelope, who is
described as "a lady in whom lodged all attractive graces of beauty, wit
and sweetness of behavior which might render her the absolute mistress
of all eyes and hearts," was married in 1580 to Lord Rich, a man whom
she detested. Sidney's _Astrophel and Stella_, a series of one hundred
and eight sonnets and poems addressed to Lady Rich, and celebrating the
strength and the purity of their love for each other, was first printed
in 1591. Sidney had died five years before, and so long as he lived, at
least, no whisper had been breathed against Lady Rich. In 1600 we have
the first notice of her losing the queen's favor from a suspicion of her
infidelity to her husband, and in 1605, having been divorced, her lover,
the earl of Devonshire, formerly Lord Mountjoy, immediately married her.
He defended her in an eloquent _Discourse_ and an _Epistle to the King_,
in which he says: "A lady of great birth and virtue, being in the power
of her friends, was by them married against her will unto one against
whom she did protest at the very solemnity and ever after." Lord Rich
treated her with great brutality, and having ceased to live with her for
twelve years, "did by persuasions and threatenings move her to
consent unto a divorce, and to confess a fault with a nameless
stranger." In spite of Mountjoy's noble pleadings for his wife, the
whole court rose up against his marriage. The earl's sensitive heart was
broken by the disgrace he had brought upon one whom he had loved so
dearly and so long (for he was Sidney's rival in his early youth, and
had been rejected by Lady Penelope's family before her marriage with
Lord Rich), and he died of grief four months after their marriage, April
3, 1606. His countess, "worn out with lamentation," did not long survive

Does that look like the conduct of a light and fickle heart? or was it
likely that so noble a man as Charles Mountjoy would have died of grief
for the disgrace he had brought upon a notoriously bad woman? As to Lord
Southampton's alleged flirtation with Lady Rich, which so excited
Elizabeth Vernon's jealousy, Mr. Massey has not one circumstance in
proof of it but the forced interpretation he chooses to put upon certain
lines of certain sonnets which he has wrested from their proper places,
as well as their proper meaning. After using such sonnets as the 144th
to express this jealousy, he quietly confesses at the end of the chapter
that it could not have gone very deep, as the intimacy of the two fair
cousins (for such was their relationship) continued to be of the
closest--that it was to Lady Rich's house that Elizabeth Vernon retired
after her secret marriage to the earl in 1598, and there her baby was
born, named Penelope after her cousin and friend! There was only matter
enough in it for poetry, Mr. Massey concludes after having upset the
whole order of the Sonnets to prove its reality.

Now, as to the story of Lady Rich's having been the mistress of Herbert,
for whom Mr. Massey says that twenty-four of the Sonnets were written.
William Herbert, afterward earl of Pembroke, was born in 1580. He came
up to London in 1598, being then eighteen years of age, and made the
acquaintance of Shakespeare, who was then thirty-four years old. Lady
Rich, at that time, according to Mr. Massey's own statement, was
"getting on for forty." The fact is that she was just thirty-five,
having been born, as he tells us, in 1563. According to the obvious
meaning of the Sonnets, the lady spoken of is much younger than
Shakespeare, instead of a year older, and, according to Mr. Massey, Lady
Rich was at that time (1597) in the midst of her love-affair with
Mountjoy. The lady of the Sonnets, if we take them literally, could have
borne no such high position as Lady Rich: she seems to have been neither
remarkably beautiful and high-bred, nor virtuous, and was evidently a
married woman of no reputation. (_Sonnets_ 150, 152.)

It is impossible to bring up separately, in a single article, the items
contained in a volume of 603 pages, so we must be content to leave Mr.
Massey's theory with these meagre allusions to its principal statements,
and pass on to that of Mr. Charles Armitage Brown. Upholding the opinion
that the Sonnets are autobiographical, he maintains that they are in
reality not sonnets, but poems in the sonnet stanza, there being but
three sonnets, properly so called, in the series. The poems are six in
number, terminating each with an appropriate _envoi_, and are addressed,
the first five to the poet's friend, "W.H.," and the sixth to his
mistress. That friend must have been very young, very handsome, of high
birth and fortune; and to all this the description of William Herbert
exactly answers. The divisions made by Mr. Brown are as follows: First
poem, 1 to 26--to his friend, persuading him to marry. Second poem, 27
to 55--to his friend, who had robbed the poet of his mistress, forgiving
him. Third poem, 56 to 77--to his friend, complaining of his coldness,
and warning him of life's decay. Fourth poem, 78 to 101--to his friend,
complaining that he prefers another poet's praises, and reproving him
for faults that may injure his character. Fifth poem, 102 to 126--to his
friend, excusing himself for having been some time silent, and
disclaiming the charge of inconstancy. Sixth poem, 127 to 152--to his
mistress, on her infidelity. In this last poem, says Mr. Brown,
we find the whole tenor to be "hate of my sin grounded on sinful
loving." However the poet may waver, and for the moment seem to return
to his former thralldom, indignation at the faithlessness of his
mistress and at her having been, through treachery, the cause of his
estrangement from a friend, at the last completely conquers his sinful
loving. "For myself," continues Mr. Brown, "I confess I have not the
heart to blame him at all, purely because he so keenly reproaches
himself for his own sin and folly. Fascinated as he was, he did not,
like other poets similarly guilty, directly or by implication obtrude
his own passions on the world as reasonable laws. Had such been the
case, he might have merited our censure, possibly our contempt."

Having thus glanced over the work of the principal commentators upon the
Sonnets, let us try the simple plan of reading them as we read
Tennyson's _In Memoriam_, for instance, or the _Sonnets from the
Portuguese_, by Mrs. Browning. In Mr. R.G. White's admirable edition of
Shakespeare he confesses that he has no opinion upon the subject: "Mr.
Thomas Thorpe appears in his dedication as the Sphinx of literature, and
thus far he has not met his Oedipus." But herein have we not the main
difficulty stated? The first great error committed by almost all
students of the Sonnets, if we may be pardoned the opinion, is to take
it for granted that they are a mystery whose key is lost. Just so long
as the Sonnets are considered as a species of enigma they will be
misunderstood and misinterpreted. It was not Shakespeare's habit to talk
in riddles or to propound psychological problems: of all poets except
Chaucer he is the most simple, direct and straightforward.

We have in the _Amoretti_ of Spenser, and in the _Astrophel and Stella_
of Sir Philip Sidney, admirable examples of autobiographical poems
written mostly in sonnet stanza, of irregular and varied construction
and subject, although the general theme is the same. Surely we may bring
to the study of Shakespeare's poems the same simple method used in
reading these. Poets of his own day, and using in their highest flights
the form which was Shakespeare's familiar relaxation, nobody has tried
to ascribe to Sidney and Spenser metaphysical mysteries and
psychological conceits. Let us hope that some day this mistaken idolatry
of Shakespeare, which besmokes his shrine with concealing clouds of
incense, will be done away with, and that we shall be allowed to behold
the simple truth, which never suffers in his case for being naked.

In his 76th Sonnet, Shakespeare says,

    Why write I still all one, ever the same.
      And keep invention in a noted weed,
    _That every word doth almost tell my name_,
      _Showing their birth and whence they did proceed_?
    Oh know, sweet love, I always write of you,
    And you and love are still my argument.

With this explicit declaration of Shakespeare, the general character of
the poems, and the similar writings of his friends and contemporaries,
we can but consider the Sonnets as autobiographical poems, written
during a period of time beginning certainly as early as 1598 (when Meres
speaks of Shakespeare's having written sonnets), and ceasing some time
before their first publication in 1609. In the same way were written the
poems composing Tennyson's _In Memoriam_, which, although dedicated to
"A.H.H.," close with a long poem addressed to the poet's sister.

The first and principal series of the Sonnets (divided from the second
in many editions of Shakespeare by a mark of separation) is clearly
addressed to a male friend. The extremely lover-like use of language by
which they are characterized was a common trait of the age; and here
again we see the necessity of thoroughly understanding the atmosphere
that Shakespeare breathed. To us, with our frigid vocabulary of
friendship, such a style sounds unnatural, and undignified perhaps: with
the Elizabethans it was an every-day habit. Lilly, the author of
_Euphues_, says in his _Endymion,_ "The love of men to women is a thing
common and of course; the friendship of man to man, infinite and
immortal." And indeed it is to the influence of the _Euphues_ that much
of the poetic ardor of language characterizing the masculine friendship
of the time was due. A man's beauty was as often the theme of
verse as a woman's, and the endearing terms only associated by us with
the conversation of lovers were used continually among men. The friends
in Shakespeare's plays, as in all the other dramas and novels of the
period, continually address each other as "sweet," and even "sweet love"
and "beloved." Ben Jonson called himself the "lover" of Camden, and
dedicated his eulogistic lines to "my beloved Mr. William Shakespeare."
There is therefore no reason for considering the language of the first
series of Sonnets as necessarily inapplicable to a masculine friend. The
second series, beginning with the 127th Sonnet, is as evidently
addressed, as Mr. Brown says, "to his mistress, on her infidelity;" and
the Sonnets end with two upon "Cupid's Brand," admitted by all to be
separate poems, and wrongfully tacked on to the Sonnets proper.

Taking it for granted, then, from this very literal survey of the text,
that the Sonnets are autobiographical, we find their study divided into
two branches: (1) the story that the poems themselves tell by the most
simple and direct statements; and (2) the conjectural explanation of the
personages of that story, involving a careful historical comparison of
names and dates, but amounting, after all is said that can be said,
simply to conjecture, incapable of direct proof. The first part is to
the real lover of Shakespeare and of poetry the only important one; the
second concerns that which is mortal and has passed away. The first
implies a knowledge of the friendship and the love of Shakespeare; the
second the discovery of the names of his friend, of the poet who was his
rival in the praises of that friend, and of the mistress who was
unworthy of them both; not to mention such other items concerning time
and place as might be ascertained by a persevering antiquarian.

It is impossible, within less than a volume, to quote from the Sonnets
very freely, therefore we shall be compelled to trust to the reader's
recollection of them, assisted by an occasional reference; this
explanation of them being simply a record of the impressions they have
produced upon an unbiased mind reading them as one would read any other
poetry of the same character.

The story unfolded by the Sonnets, then, is this: Shakespeare had an
ardent friendship, made all the livelier by the fervor of the poetic
temperament, for a young man of noble birth and very great personal
beauty, himself a lover of poetry, if not a poet. This youth was very
much younger than Shakespeare, who was already beginning to speak of
himself as past the prime of life, although he was probably not more
than thirty-four. The friend of Shakespeare was almost perfect in
beauty, intellect and disposition, but he had two faults: he was
extremely fond of flattery (Sonnet 84), and he was over-addicted to

    How sweet and lovely dost thou make the shame
    Which, like a canker in the fragrant rose,
    Doth spot the beauty of thy budding name!   (95.)

Shakespeare scorned to palter with the truth--"fair, kind and true" he
had called his friend--but he saw his faults with the keen eye of love,
that cannot bear an imperfection in the one who should be all-perfect.

    Thou truly fair wert truly sympathized
    In true plain words by thy true-telling friend;   (82.)


                        I love thee in such sort,
    As, thou being mine, mine is thy good report;   (36.)

therefore in all love he warns him to take heed.

Such was the character of Shakespeare's friend, to whom he begins by
addressing seventeen sonnets (or poems in the sonnet stanza, which is
the better definition), urging him to marry. He knows the weakness of
his character and the temptations that beset him, and in a strain of
loving persuasion, whose theme bears great resemblance to many passages
in Sidney's _Arcadia_, he beseeches him, now that he stands upon the top
of happy hours,

    Make thee another self for love of me.
    That beauty still may live in thine or thee.

Sonnet 17 in a most beautiful manner sums up the argument and ends the

The Sonnets from the 18th to the 126th are all addressed to this beloved
friend, who nevertheless, early in the history of their
friendship, inflicted upon the poet a cruel wrong. With the 33d Sonnet
begin the references to this double treachery. It is impossible for an
unprejudiced reader to interpret this and the other poems upon the same
subject in any way but one. The mistress of Shakespeare, fascinated by
the beauty and brilliant qualities of his friend, took advantage of the
poet's absence to win that facile heart, so incapable of resisting the
charms of woman and the tongue of flattery;

    And when a woman woos, what woman's son
    Will sourly leave her till she have prevailed? (41.)

His friend's loss was the greater to the poet, for, although he loved
with passionate strength, it was against his conscience and his reason.
Such a love, he says, is "enjoyed no sooner but despised straight;"
"Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream."

    All this the world well knows; yet none knows well
    To shun the heaven that leadeth to this hell. (129.)

Nor does he mince matters in directly addressing her. She is a brunette,
with black eyes and black hair, yet black in nothing except her deeds,
which have given her an evil reputation. She has sealed false bonds of
love as often as he, and is twice forsworn, having deceived both her
husband and her lover. She is as cruel as if she had that transcendent
beauty which in reality she only possesses in his doting eyes. He knows
that her heart is "a bay where all men ride," and yet love persuades him
to believe her true.

    Who taught thee how to make me love thee more
    The more I hear and see just cause of hate?

She is his "worser spirit," tempting him to ill--his "false plague,"
whom he knows to be "as black as hell, as dark as night," though he has
sworn her fair and true. His friend's name is Will also, and Sonnets
135, 136 contain a play upon their names:

    Whoever hath her wish, thou hast thy "Will,"
    And "Will" to boot, and "Will" in overplus.

Only love my name, he says to her, and then you will still love me, for
_my_ name too is "Will."

Such are the three actors in this tragedy of sin and sorrow and remorse;
and the more we read these wonderful poems, and perceive the intense
passion that throbs through them, the nearer we seem to get to the great
heart of Shakespeare, the real inner life of that man of whose outer
personality we know so little. We see him wounded to the quick by his
dearest friend, yet weighing the sin of that friend in the balance of
divinest mercy as he acknowledges the strength of the temptation, and,
while he does not extenuate the sin, extends a loving pardon to the
sinner. He knows weakness of his own soul: he himself struggles in the
toils of an unworthy passion, which his reason abhors while his heart is
led captive. His is the battle and the defeat: who is he that he should
judge with indignant virtue the failing of another?--

    I do forgive thy robbery, gentle thief,
      Although thou steal thee all my poverty;
    And yet love knows it is a greater grief
      To bear love's wrong than hate's known injury.   (40.)

He pardons the penitent as freely as only so great and magnanimous a
soul can, but gently reminds him that "though thou repent, yet I have
still the loss:"

    The offender's sorrow lends but weak relief
    To him that bears the strong offence's cross. (34.)

Hereafter we two must be twain, the poet says, although our undivided
loves are one, for fear thy good report suffer, which is to me as my
own. Do not even remember me after I am dead, if that remembrance cause
you any sorrow, nor rehearse my poor name, but let your love decay with
my life;

    Lest the wise world should look into your moan,
    And mock you with me after I am gone.

Such is the story of the Sonnets, the saddest of all stories, as it
comes to us from the simple and unbiased reading of the series as it
stands, without alteration or transposition. The meaning is sufficiently
obvious without making any change, although, judging from the purely
eulogistic character of some of the first series of the Sonnets, and the
purely reflective style of others, it seems probable that those which
are more or less reproachful in tone may belong together, nearer the
second series. Still, even to this rearrangement there are objections
when we consider the alternations of feeling and the different
conditions that must have affected the poet during the space of time
covered by these poems. In the 104th Sonnet three years are mentioned as
having elapsed since the friends first met, and the time covered by the
whole series was probably still longer. Conjectural evidence points to
William Herbert as the person to whom the Sonnets are addressed. His
name, his age, his beauty, his rank, all agree with Shakespeare's
description. As for the earl of Southampton, the poet's early patron, to
whom the _Venus and Adonis_ and the _Lucrece_ are dedicated, his name
was Henry; he was but nine years younger than Shakespeare, and therefore
not likely to have been called by him "a sweet boy;" he was a remarkably
plain man, instead of an Adonis, and noted, not for his devotion to
women in general, but for his ardent attachment to Mistress Elizabeth
Vernon, whom he married secretly, in spite of the queen's opposition, in
1598. Now, the earliest mention that we have of Shakespeare's poems is
when Meres speaks of "his sugared sonnets among his private friends."
This was in 1598, and, as Hallam and other critics have argued, is
probably a reference to earlier sonnets which have been lost, not to
those published in 1609. It was in 1598 that William Herbert, a
brilliant and fascinating young man, addicted to pleasure and
susceptible to flattery, but strongly disinclined to marriage, came up
to London to live, having visited the metropolis during the previous

As for Lady Rich, besides the objections already urged on the score of
her personal appearance and her age, Shakespeare would never have dared
to speak of a reigning beauty of the court in the words of Sonnets 137,
144, 152. In fact, Mr. Massey's whole argument upon this head is based
upon his assertion that the poems are dramatic and not personal.

Mr. Massey's conviction that Marlowe is the rival poet of whose "great
verse" Shakespeare was jealous depends upon Southampton, and not
Herbert, being acknowledged to be the friend addressed, for Marlowe died
in 1593, when Herbert was but thirteen years old, and five years before
we have the first mention of Shakespeare as a writer of sonnets.
Certainly, a writer who had died five years before we find any mention
of the Sonnets can hardly be the living poet of whom Shakespeare
distinctly speaks in Sonnets 80 and 86. Also in Sonnet 82 he makes
mention of the "dedicated words" this rival addresses to his friend.
Now, we have no evidence that Marlowe ever dedicated anything to
Southampton, although Mr. Massey tries to bolster up a desperate case by
saying that "there is nothing improbable in supposing that Marlowe's
_Hero and Leander_ was intended to be dedicated to Southampton" had the
poet lived to finish it!

A stronger chain of evidence (still conjectural, it must be remembered)
points to Ben Jonson as this rival poet. His _Epigrams_, which contain a
eulogy upon Pembroke, and his _Catiline_, were both dedicated to this
earl, although neither of them was published till after the Sonnets. We
find the earl of Pembroke's name among the actors in Ben Jonson's
masques, and Falkland's eclogue testifies to their intimacy. And in the
80th Sonnet, Shakespeare uses the same comparison of himself and his
rival, to two ships of different bulk, which Fuller used to describe
Shakespeare and Ben Jonson as they appeared at the Mermaid Tavern.

As for the name of the false woman who ensnared two such noble hearts,
it is lost for ever, let us hope, in a deserved oblivion. The scanty
data that we have given here are about all that can be accepted without
wrenching history and poetry from their proper sphere. But so long as
the spirit is more than the letter, so long will the Sonnets of
Shakespeare be read by all true lovers of true poetry, whether their
historical significance ever be known or not. They are the saddest and
the sweetest story of friendship that we have in all literature; and
while one faithful friend remains possessed of that fine wit that can
"hear with eyes what silent love hath writ," his heart will beat in
answer to the perfect love of the greatest of all poets and the noblest
of all friends.

                                        KATE HILLARD.



Some visitors to the Eternal City leave it without having found time to
see this one of its wonders, while others are driven by the sad
inelasticity of the hours to leave a different class of objects for
"another time." But it may be safely asserted that none who have been at
Rome for even twenty-four hours ever left it without having had their
attention forcibly arrested by the groups of painters' and sculptors'
models--the former mainly--who haunt the upper part of the great steps
that lead up from the Piazza di Spagna to the Trinità di Monti, and
perhaps even more specially the corner where the Via Sistina falls into
the Piazza Barberini. But very few probably have asked for, and fewer
still obtained, information as to who and what these people are, and
whence they come. Yet to an attentive observer many points about the
appearance of these groups must suggest that a curious interest might
attach itself to the reply to such questions. There are sights in Rome
of grander and greater interest, but there is nothing in all the famous
centre of the Catholic world more distinctively, essentially and
exclusively Roman, more unlike anything that is seen elsewhere, more
instinct with _couleur locale_, than these singularly picturesque groups
of nomads.

Let us, then, take a stroll among them, starting from that bright centre
of the foreigners' quarter of Rome, the Piazza di Spagna. It is a
brilliant January day, and, we will say, ten o'clock in the morning. In
the Via Babuino and the neighboring streets, which the sun has not yet
visited, the morning cold is a little sharp. _Matutina parum cautos jam
frigora mordent_. But the magnificent flight of the great stair--there
are properly eleven flights, divided by as many spacious and handsomely
balustraded landing-places, each flight consisting of twelve steps, and
all of white marble--with its southern exposure has almost the
temperature of a hothouse. There are two or three beggars basking in the
sunshine near the bottom of the steps. But our models do not consort
with these. Not only are they not beggars, but they belong to a
different caste and a different race. We leisurely saunter up the huge
stair, pausing at each landing-place to turn and enjoy the view over the
city, and the gradually rising luminous haze around the cupola of St.
Peter's, and the heights of Monte Mario clear against the brilliant blue
sky. It is not till we are at the topmost flight that we come upon the
objects of our ramble. There we fall in with a group of them, consisting
perhaps of three or four girls, as many children, a man in the prime of
life, and an aged patriarch. There is not the smallest possibility that
we should pass them unobserved. They are far too remarkable and too
unlike anything else around us. Even those who have no eye for the
specialties of type which characterize the human countenance will not
fail to be struck by the peculiarities of the costume of the group of
figures before us. At the first glance the eye is caught by the quantity
of bright color in their dresses. The older women wear the picturesque
white, flatly-folded linen cloth on their heads which is the usual dress
of the _contadine_ women in the neighborhood of Rome. The younger have
their hair ornamented with some huge filagree pin or other device of a
fashion which proclaims itself to the most unskilled eye as that of some
two or three hundred years ago. All have light bodices of bright blue or
red stuff laced in front, and short petticoats of some equally bright
color, not falling below the ankle. But the most singular portion of the
costume is the universally-worn apron. It consists of a piece of very
stout and coarsely-woven wool of the brightest blue, green or yellow,
about twenty inches broad by thirty-three in length, across which, near
the top and near the bottom, run two stripes, each about eight
inches wide, of hand-worked embroidery of the strangest,
old-world-looking patterns and the most brilliant colors. These things
are manufactured by the peasantry of the hill-country in the
neighborhood of San Germano, who grow, shear, spin, weave, dye and
embroider the wool themselves. And being barbarously unsophisticated by
any adulteration of cotton, and in no wise stinted in the quantity of
material, they are wonderfully strong and enduring. The most remarkable
thing about them, however, is the unerring instinct with which these
uneducated manufacturers harmonize the most audaciously violent
contrasts of brilliant color. It is not too much to assert that they are
_never_ at fault in this respect. So much is this the case, and so truly
artistic is this homely peasant manufacture, that there is hardly a
painter's studio in Rome in which two or three of these richly colored
apron-cloths may not be seen covering a sofa or thrown over the back of
a chair. A great part of the singularly picturesque and striking
appearance of the group of figures we are speaking of is due to the
universal use of these aprons by the women. The men also affect an
unusually large amount of bright color in their costume. The waistcoat
is almost always scarlet; the velveteen jacket or short coat generally
blue; the breeches sometimes the same, but often of bright yellow
leather, and the stockings a lighter blue. The men often wear a long
cloak reaching to the heels, always hanging open in front, and generally
lined with bright green baize. They generally, too, have some
bright-colored ribbons around their high-peaked, conical felt hats. But
I must not forget to mention the costume of the children. It consists of
an exact copy in miniature of that of their elders; and the
inconceivable quaintness and queer old-world look produced is not to be
imagined by those who have never witnessed it. Fancy a little imp of six
or seven years old dressed in little blue jacket, bright-yellow leather
breeches, blue stockings, sheepskin sandals on his little bits of feet,
and long bright flaxen curls streaming down from under a gayly-ribboned
brigand's hat!

But if the first glance is given to this singularity of costume, the
second will not fail to take cognizance of the remarkable beauty of
feature to be observed in almost every individual of this race of
models. The men are well grown, almost invariably wear their black hair
streaming over their shoulders, and have generally fine eyes and
picturesquely colored, swarthy red faces. But the beauty of the girls is
in almost every case something quite extraordinary; and the same may be
said of the children. The next thing which the closeness of observation
this unusual degree of beauty is calculated to attract will reveal to
the observer is that all these singularly lovely faces are remarkably
like each other, and at the same time remarkably unlike any of the faces
around them. There is often much beauty among the Roman women of the
lower classes, but it is of an essentially different type. The Roman
beauty is generally large in stature and ample in development, with
features whose tendency to heaviness needs the majestic and Juno-like
style of beauty which the Roman women so frequently have to redeem them.
But the countenances of the women of whom we have been speaking have
nothing at all of this. The features are small, delicately cut, the form
of face generally short, rather than tending to oval, being in this
respect also in marked contrast with the ordinary Roman type. There is a
type of face well known to most English eyes, though less so, I take it,
to those on the western side of the Atlantic, which is strangely
recalled to the memory by these model-girls; and that is the gypsy type.
There is the same Oriental look about them, the same brilliancy of dark
eyes under dark low brows, the same delicately-cut noses and full yet
finely-chiseled lips. They have also almost invariably the same wondrous
wealth of long raven black tresses, glossy but not fine. The complexions
are fresher, more delicate, and with more of bloom, than is often seen
among the gypsies; and this is the principal difference between the two
types. There is also another point of similarity, which, if the
accounts of Eastern travelers may be accepted, seems also to point to an
Oriental origin. I allude to the singular gracefulness of "pose" which
is observable in these people, among the men and women alike. There they
stand and lounge, or sit propped, half recumbent, against a balustrade
in the sun, in all sorts of attitudes, but in all they are graceful.
There is that indefinable simplicity and ease in the natural movement
and disposition of their limbs which tuition can never, and birth in the
purple can so rarely, enable a European to assume. It may perhaps be
supposed that the exigencies of their profession have not been without
influence in producing the effect I am speaking of. But I do not think
that such is the case. In the young and the old, in the children even,
the same thing is observable; and the exceeding difficulty of teaching
it may be accepted, I think, as a guarantee that it has not been taught
in the case of creatures so unteachable as these half-wild sons and
daughters of Nature.

Now, if these people, who for generations past have exercised the
profession of artists' models in Rome, do really belong to a race apart
from the inhabitants of the district around Rome, as I think cannot be
doubted by any one who has carefully observed them, the question
suggests itself, Who and what are they, and whence do they come?
Fortunately, we are not unprovided with an answer, and the answer is
rather a curious one. If the excursionist from Rome to Tivoli will
extend his ramble a little way among the Sabine Mountains which lie
behind it, up the valley through which the Teverone--the _præceps Anio_
of Horace--runs down into the Campagna, he will see on his right hand,
when he has left Tivoli about ten miles behind him, a most romantically
situated little town on the summit of a conically shaped mountain. The
name of it is Saracinesco, and its story is as curious as its situation.
It is said--and the tradition has every appearance of truth--that the
town was founded by a body of Saracens after their defeat by Berengarius
in the ninth century. The spot is just such as might have been selected
for such a purpose. It is difficult of access to an extraordinary
degree, and it is said to be no less than two thousand five hundred feet
above the stream which flows at the base of the rocky hill on which it
is built. Tradition, however, is not the only testimony to the truth of
this account of the origin of the strangely placed little town, for in
many cases the inhabitants have preserved their old Arabic names. It is
from this strange eyrie of Saracinesco that our picturesque and handsome
friends of the Piazzi di Spagna descend to seek a living at Rome from
the profession which they have followed for generations of artists'
models. And this is the explanation of the singular sameness of
beautiful feature, the utterly un-Roman type, the sharply-cut features,
and the admirable grace of movement and of attitude which characterize
these denizens of the steps--if of the steppes no longer.

What a life they lead! From early morn to dewy eve there they lounge, in
every sort of restful attitude, basking in the sun, with nothing on
earth to occupy mind or body save an eternal clatter. On what subjects,
who shall say or attempt to guess? Every now and then one of the tribe
is hired by an artist to go and _pose_ for a Judith, a Lucretia, a
Venus, as the case may be. Some are wanted for an arm, some for a hand,
some for a brow, some for a leg, some for a bust. Some one may have a
special gift for personating an ancient Roman, and another exactly
assume the saintly look of a Madonna or the smile and expression of a
Venus. Their several and special gifts and capacities are all well known
in the world of their patrons, and special reputations are made in the
art-world accordingly. It is a strange life: not probably conducive to a
high development of intellectual and moral excellence, but very much so
to the picturesque peopling of the most magnificent flight of stairs in

                                        T. A. T.


Nowhere do we see the genuine soul and character of a people so
distinctly as in its myths, legends, popular songs and traditions. They
reflect faithfully, though--perhaps we should say,
_because_--unconsciously, the deeds, aspirations and beliefs of the
earlier ages, and not only afford to our own precious material for
philological and ethnological study, but still exert, in many instances
at least, considerable influence over the ideas and feelings of men. The
Faust legend will never lose its mysterious fascination: many poets have
felt it, but Goethe's insight penetrated all its depth of meaning, and
his marvelous poem is for us the supreme expression of it.

But it is interesting to find the same legend in Poland, with
characteristic variations from the German conception, illustrative of
the hospitality and chivalry and the dominant influence of woman which
are such marked features in Polish history. Twardowsky (the Doctor
Faustus of Poland) lived in the sixteenth century, in the time of
Sigismund Augustus. He studied at the University of Cracow, rose to the
rank of doctor, and devoted himself especially to chemistry and physics,
having a secret laboratory in a vast cavern of Mount Krzemionki. Science
in those days was regarded as intimately associated with the black arts,
and it was not surprising that Twardowsky's contemporaries added the
title of sorcerer to those of doctor and professor, supposed he had made
an alliance with Satan, and fancied an army of demons always waiting to
do his bidding. All this did not prevent his enjoyment of the king's
favor. Sigismund had married, against his mother's wish, Barbara
Radziwill, the beautiful daughter of a Polish magnate. The nobles,
probably influenced by Bona, the mother of the king, demanded that
Barbara should be repudiated: he indignantly refused, and shortly
afterward she was poisoned. The grief and rage of Sigismund were
without bounds: he exiled his mother, wore black all the rest of his
life, and had the apartments of his palace hung with it. His melancholy
gave him new interest in the occult sciences, and he became more than
ever intimate with Twardowsky, sometimes visiting him in his cavern,
sometimes receiving him secretly in his palace. At first, he was
satisfied with the chemical experiments which the populace regarded as
supernatural, but after a while he urgently desired Twardowsky to
produce for him a vision of Barbara. Twardowsky appointed a night for
the exhibition of his skill, and after drawing a magic circle and
pronouncing some mysterious words, he called Barbara thrice by name, and
she appeared--not as a spectre risen from the tomb, but in all the
beauty and freshness which had been the king's delight. He fainted at
the sight, and his regard for the magician increased greatly. But one
fatal evening he found the door of the cavern shut. Twardowsky, not
expecting him, was not there. After some delay the door was opened by a
beautiful young woman. "Barbara!" exclaimed Sigismund. "Barbara is my
name, but I am alive, not dead," was her reply. Twardowsky's device was
now exposed. He had created an illusion for the satisfaction of
Sigismund by employing this substitute for his lost Barbara. She was a
girl named Barbara Gisemka, whom Twardowsky had rescued from the hands
of a furious mob, had concealed in his cavern, and initiated into the
sciences to which he devoted himself. She became his adept and his
mistress. But the king, furious at the imposition which had been
practiced upon him, and desirous of making this beautiful creature his
own, had Twardowsky murdered, and gave out that the devil had carried
him off. Barbara Gisemka acquired immense influence over the mind of her
royal lover, which lasted while he lived. When he was ill she suffered
no physician to approach him, and was with him when he died in 1572.

So much for history. Tradition has transformed Twardowsky into a gay and
brilliant gentleman, who, in order to gain all the pleasures of life,
sold his soul to the devil, engaging on his honor to give it up to him
whenever he (the devil) should enter the city of Rome. Twardowsky now
enjoyed to the full his new power, reveling in luxury himself, and
lavishing gifts and banquets on his friends. The populace also
shared his generosity--all the more, too, from the strange manner of it.
On one occasion, we are told, he pierced three holes in a shoemaker's
nose with his own awl, and caused a tun of brandy to flow from it for
the refreshment of the crowd. One day he was informed that a stranger
who was at the inn called the "City of Rome" wished to see him. He went
at once to the place with no misgivings, but on his arrival there found
the devil, who had come to claim the fulfillment of the contract.
Provoked at the quibble, he resolved to employ a ruse himself, and just
as the devil was about to take possession of him he seized the infant
child of the innkeeper from its cradle and held it up before him, its
innocence being a sure defence against Satan's power. He, however,
demanded what had become of his plighted word. The honor of the Polish
gentleman could not resist this appeal. He put down the child and rose
into the air with Satan. But while they were still hovering over Cracow
the sound of church-bells awoke in Twardowsky's recollection a hymn to
the Virgin, which he forthwith sang, and the devil could hold him no
longer. Twardowsky, however, could not get down again, but remains
suspended in the air, only receiving news from the earth by means of a
spider which happened to be on the tail of his coat, and which
occasionally spins a thread and goes down, for a while, returning with
whatever it may have picked up for his information and amusement.

No Polish story would be complete without a woman, and so we find that
Twardowsky had a wife, beautiful, witty and imperious, with all the
fascinations universally conceded to the Polish women. Madame Twardowsky
is said to have ruled her husband just as he ruled the devil during the
time of that personage's subjection; and there is a second version of
the story which makes her too much for Satan himself. According to this
account, Twardowsky was entertaining a number of friends at the "City of
Rome," when suddenly the devil appeared. While Twardowsky, to gain
time, was reading over the compact, his wife, looking over his
shoulder, suddenly laughed, and addressing the devil, told him there
were still three conditions for him to fulfill, on failure of which the
parchment should be torn up, and asked whether she might impose them.
The devil politely replied in the affirmative. "Here, then," said she,
"see this horse painted on the wall of the inn: I wish to mount him, and
you must make me a whip of sand and a staple of walnuts." The devil
bowed, and in a moment the horse was prancing before their eyes. The
lady now had a large tub of holy water brought in, and invited the
devil, as his second task, to plunge into it and refresh his weary
limbs. He coughed, shivered, then went in resolutely, coming out again
as quickly as possible, and shaking himself well. "The third task will
be a pleasant one," said the lady with her most bewitching smile: "The
first year my husband passes in hell you shall spend with me, swearing
to me love, fidelity and implicit obedience. Will you?" The devil rushed
toward the door, but she was too quick for him, and succeeded in locking
it and putting the key into her pocket. Satan, resolved to escape from
the servitude in store for him, could only do so by going through the
keyhole, which has been black ever since.

                                        E. C. R.


HAVANA, Feb. 14, 1875.

It is not a very long sail from home to Cuba--you pass into the Bay of
Havana on the morning of the fifth day, if you have luck--but the sky
and land you left behind at this wintry season at home are very
different from those you find on arriving here. It is a great change in
so short a time from the dun-colored shore and the frozen river to the
waving verdure of the Cuban coast and the sparkling blue and white of
the water. We made the land before daylight, and, the rules forbidding
us to enter the harbor till sunrise, we bobbed up and down for two or
three hours a mile or so outside of the Moro Castle, which guards the
narrow entrance to Havana. The moon was so brilliant that we did not
have to wait for day to enjoy the scene before us: in fact, it could not
have been improved by the sun. The fortress of Moro crouches on a bed of
rock, rearing a tall lighthouse aloft. Its Moorish turrets have a soft
rounded outline, and the undulations of the shore blend with the masonry
of the castle; only a sharp retiring angle here and there gives an
occasional glimpse of a grim purpose. When the Moro light is put out,
ships in the offing may enter the bay. The mouth of the harbor is not
more than half a mile wide, and on the shore opposite to the Moro the
town of Havana comes down to the water's edge, withdrawing up the bay on
one hand, and up the sea-coast on the other. A pilot is not necessary
except for the perquisites of office, but one comes on board, and with
anxious countenance directs the ship straight on through clear water for
a mile, when the anchor is dropped.

Just as day breaks on the high ground on the Moro shore, and the growing
light brings houses and trees and ships into relief, with all their rich
variety of color, the scene is memorable and full of beauty. On the
green slope behind the castle, while the outline of the tropical
vegetation is only stealing into view, there is hid, and yet visible, a
long, low building of yellow columns, blue facade, brown gables and red
tiles: if you shut out the rest of the landscape with your hands, you
would say it was a picture by Fortuny. The expanse of the bay is fine,
and the large fleet at anchor furnishes it but thinly. Townward, as the
sun's rays begin to dissipate the brown shadows and define shape and
color, the city sparkles like a gorgeous mosaic; but in another half
hour, when the sun is higher, the hazy softness has departed and the
city is ablaze with light, so that your eyes can scarcely look at it.
Then, if you have seen it earlier, it loses its charm.

I was jealous of Havana from what I had heard and read of it: if the
shore-line, and the entrance, and the bay, and the scene were finer than
Rio, I was prepared to be angry; but Rio is grand and Havana is pretty,
so that one may like both and not divide his allegiance. A patchwork of
good pictures in the Moorish vein of town, and shore, and water would
reproduce, and yet not copy, all that Havana has to offer; but there is
not a picture in the world that aspires to the grandeur of Rio. But I
won't deny the sparkle and brilliancy of Havana. At this moment the sky
is of a perfect "Himmel-blau." I can see from my window, near the roof,
the rich, harmonious Moorish blending of varied colors in the houses;
and beyond these "the white feet of the wind shine along the sea." A
ship with all sail set is coming into port, the white-capped waves
rolling her along before the stiff sea-breeze. Wind is the bane of the
place. It sets in to blow, as the sailors say, soon after daylight nine
days in ten, and blows all day, and sometimes far into the night. It is
not always the soft, perennial zephyr of tradition, but often chill and
raw, and then there is no escape from it except to shut yourself in your
room; and that means hermetically sealing, for when you close a window
here you close a shutter, and thus, if you shut out the breeze, you shut
the light out also. The doors and windows are not meant to exclude the
air, and so when the breeze gets on a frolic it whirls up stairs and
down--goeth, in fact, where it listeth; and sometimes one feels it going
through him like a knife.

The houses are built in one width of rooms round a hollow square;
consequently, when you put your boots out you put them out of doors. In
the midst of the house, with the sky overhead, the umbrageous palm tree
and banana spread their broad leaves. The rooms are high and white, with
little furniture, and no curtains, with open ceiling of painted rafters,
and iron gratings, like a prison's bars, shutting out the street in the
front of the house. Behind these gratings the passer-by may see the
Cuban family arranged in two prim rows of arm-chairs _vis-à-vis_,
or gathered about the bars as if looking for some means of escape.
Occasionally now in some of the better quarters a child of either sex,
but black as night, disports itself in full view, "covered by the
darkness only." There is an infinite variety of opinion in regard to the
clothing necessary to comfort here. I have often found a light overcoat
comfortable, but there is a tribe or clan from some Spanish province
whose boast it is to wear coat nor vest by day or night. The
representatives of the various provinces maintain their individuality
here, and preserve for festive occasions the costumes which characterize
them in Spain. Some of these are very rich, and many of the men,
especially of the lower orders, being stalwart and handsome, their gala
appearance is decidedly striking. In the fête in honor of Alfonso XII.
there were some beautiful groups of men, women and children in Spanish
costumes, dancing in the procession with silk emblems and flower
wreaths, and singing provincial songs. Others were mounted on the
splendid Andalusian horses, which make one's mouth water with desire to
ride them. They are as beautiful as Fromentin and Gérôme have painted
them--such eyes and nostrils, and such action! It has taken centuries to
produce him, but at last there is a saddle-horse: if only for parade
occasions, that is no matter. He is perfect in his kind. The Arab keeps
his horse in his tent, but the Cuban keeps his in his house. We should
say that the horse-owning Cuban sleeps over a stable, but no doubt to
his mind his stable is merely under his room. A rich gentleman in town
has encased his horses in a beautiful drawing-room of cedar and
satin-wood, and it is rather pleasant than otherwise to pass through it
on the way to the other apartments.

The houses of Havana are low; the streets are narrow; the sidewalks
ditto: there is an occasional plaza of broad, white glare, which must be
intolerable in summer-time. The Prado has trees which are rather Dutch
than tropical; and the Paseo, where the driving is, is quite a fine
avenue. This afternoon, though it is Lent, the Carnival will rage there.
Some people go in masks, but not many; and there are no confetti. It is
mainly a parade--rich people turning out in their best, poor people
making light of their poverty: the rich gorgeous in apparel, and
splendid in equipage, the poor arrayed in some gay, inexpensive motley,
and crowded into miserable vehicles. The particolored costumes give an
aspect of brightness to the street; but it is a solemn sight to see four
Cuban women, of the middle age, drawn by a four-in-hand, arrayed in full
ball-dress, powdered and bejeweled, and passing in review of admiring

The ugliness of the women amounts to a vice, and is unredeemed by any
quality such as sometimes palliates plainness of features. I have cried
aloud for the beautiful Cuban, but in vain. I am assured that she
exists, am told, "My dear fellow, you never made a greater mistake in
your life," am poohpoohed in various ways; but I cannot find her. I hear
it said that owing to the political chaos here she has retired from
public view, but it is not denied that she will go to the Carnival and
the opera. I was warned not to expect her at the ball in Alfonso's honor
at the Spanish Club, and certainly it was a timely warning. Fancy a long
hall of colored marble, pillars running the length of it forming
arcades; balconies on both sides hanging over the streets, and full of
young men smoking cigarettes; men parading up and down the hall and
quizzing the women, who were all seated--two rows of them, hundreds all
together--seriously contemplating the male procession: enameled,
powdered, attired in the wealth of the Indies, saying nothing, doing
nothing, not smiling, not blinking, just sitting there, an awful array
of hideousness. After the band struck up and the dancing began, I
remained long enough to lose in the music the horrible impression of,
the opening scene, and then hurried home. At the opera and the Carnival
it is not so positively unendurable, but a handsome face, or a pretty
face, or even an intelligent, expressive face, I have not yet seen in a
woman in Havana; and at this season of the year, if ever, Havana is
Cuba. I don't condemn them--I merely give my luck.

The town is of course full of Spanish military and their accessories,
civil functionaries who are all Spanish, money-makers, adventurers,
shoddy. The Spanish army is at "the front," posted across or partly
across the island on a sort of strong picket-line, fortified by
block-houses, whence watch is kept on the movements of the insurgents,
who seem to come and go as they please in the Spanish front, and cross
the lines with impunity. The Spanish hold the whole seaboard, all
important towns and villages, hold the insurgents practically in check,
so far as the fertile region of the island is concerned, and from year
to year keep military matters just about in _statu quo_. The
insurgents dwell in the wildest portion of the island, often in almost
impenetrable woods, living the life of savages, and depending on the
bounty of Nature for their daily bread.

So the war lingers. It is not what we would call a war: it is a
condition of armed hostility. It is conducted almost wholly at the
expense of Spain in _men_, wholly at the expense of Cuba in
_money_. The Cuban volunteers are a home-guard, but the purse of
the Cubans is open. Spain is not loath to dip into it, and taxation
for carrying on the government and the war has become very
onerous--dreadfully so, in fact, though I believe that the Cubans do not
realize it so fully as strangers do. The government is impoverished; the
war makes no progress; what becomes of the enormous revenue derived from
the taxes? A rich planter said to me dryly, "They are ignorant men: they
make mistakes in applying it." Hard things are openly said of all
Spanish officials; and all officials, from the captain-general to the
harbor pilot, are Spanish. Startling things are heard here every day in
political and military discussions. The people think in classes: there
is the Spanish view, the Creole view, the foreign view--none very
dispassionate, and none very accurate. There is no accepted basis of
fact for anything: nobody believes anybody else, and truth here lies in
a _very_ deep well. But one thing else is clear. Cuba, so gifted by
Nature, is being despoiled by man; and what ought to be a garden will
become overgrown with weeds if there is not a change of fortune. There
is taxation without representation under an iron despotism: there is an
army without war, and the people look on. It is not necessary to find
any new means of going to the bad at a gallop. The rich give practical
support to the Spanish, and moral support to the insurrection; but if
the insurrection should triumph, I can't see how it will benefit the
Creole Cubans of property. I think ideas here are confused on the
subject, and while they are giving hearty encouragement to neither
cause, between the two they are sure to be utterly ruined.

I have spent a week in all on sugar plantations in the interior. I was
delightfully entertained, and reveled in the luxury of soft air and
out-of-door life. I was on horseback a good deal, riding one of the
shuffling little animals they have here, whose gait is so easy that it
doesn't amount to motion. The crops are to a great extent still uncut;
the green cane, which looks like our broom-corn at a distance, waves in
the winds as far as the eye can reach. The country is level, but has a
frame of mountain-land. The woods are festooned with air-plants and
parasites; palm trees dot the landscape in every direction or run in
splendid avenues, sometimes in double rows, alternating with the round,
full mamey tree, whose deep green foliage brings into fine relief the
white stalk of the palm. The breeze rustles through the broad
plantations of bananas and sways the orange groves. The gardens are rich
in flowers of brilliant hues. The fields swarm with negroes and
ox-carts; the ponderous machinery of the boiling-houses maintains a
steady hum; the picturesque buildings are all touched with Fortuny-like
tints: there is much to see and much to tell of, but I must have some
regard for your patience. I have not finished, but I must stop.

                                        F. C. N.


Reading the slang of a language is much like seeing the said language in
its intellectual shirt-sleeves, off duty and taking its ease: one feels
sure of detecting some essential characteristics of the people who speak
it, and one turns over the pages of a slang dictionary expecting to
recognize through its corruption and perversions the real nature of the
people who have created it. French slang is no exception to this,
theory: the two hundred and thirty double-columned pages of M. Larcher's
_Dictionnaire historique, etymologique et anecdotique de l'argot
parisien_ tell us that the two grand sources and inspirations of our
American slang are entirely wanting: there is not a humorous word or
phrase from beginning to end; and hardly an instance of that incongruous
exaggeration which is so salient a picture of our best-known and most
original slang phrases. But, on the other hand, there is satire keen and
fine on every page, a reckless, devil-may-care gayety, and throughout
that mocking spirit which is so essentially French, making game alike of
its own pain and that of others, and jeering always at the sight of an
altar, never mind what may chance to be thereon, whether its own sacred
things or those of others. Half the words in the book are quaint,
grotesque phrasings of two ideas--ideas which most people on our side of
the water are hardly inclined to joke about: one is the idea of death,
and the other the frailty or falseness of women. One is specially struck
by the wealth of words and the sameness of ideas, and, above all, by the
quickwittedness that must belong to the people who can all catch a
verbal allusion or suggestion as Anglo-Saxons might a plump, square hit.
Sometimes a little unconscious pathos mingles with the mocking vein, for
courage is moving when it is light-hearted. When a Frenchman tells you
he has eaten nothing for two days, he adds, "Ça, ce n'est pas drôle"
("Now, that's no joke"). "Coeur d'artichaut" (a heart like an artichoke)
is a felicitous expression for a person who has a succession of caprices
and short-lived fancies; and there is something to the point in the
satire which calls a surgical instrument "baume d'acier" (steel balm),
or in the saying which mocks the credulous faith many people vaguely
have in the efficacy of mineral waters: "Croyez cela et buvez de l'eau"
(Believe that and drink water). There is something desperately
significant in a language in which the lover who supports, protects and
is deceived is called "le dessus," and the one who is favored at his
expense "le dessous;" while the words "une femme," a woman, without
qualification, are identical with frailty, and virtue, being the
exception, demands an adjective to identify and proclaim it.

But there is something fine in the old French slang for the beginning of
a war: "La danse va commencer" (The dance is about to begin, or the ball
to open), and this dates from time immemorial: fighting has always been
fun to Frenchmen. And there is something better still in the phrase
which has become an official one, and has a proper technical meaning,
with which the orders of a naval officer when sent on a difficult or
dangerous expedition always end. "Debrouillez vous," meaning simply
"Come well out of it." There must be stuff in men who can be trusted to
always extricate themselves from a tight place with credit to their flag
without more words than that simple exhortation. But one cannot say much
for the morality of a country where, when any one says "la muette" (the
dumb one), it is understood to mean conscience.

The instances are rare of resemblance between our slang phrases and
theirs. Once in a while such a phrase as "Asseyezvous dessus"
(literally, Sit on him) strikes one; but seldom. French slang teems with
words that caricature and satirize personal defects, of which many are
brutally coarse and not quotable. A comical expression for a sumptuous
meal is a "Balthazar" (Belshazzar); and an unpleasant one for a coffin
is a "boite a dominos" (a box of dominoes); a droll phrase for a
plagiarist is "demarqueur de linge" (some one who alters the marking of
another's linen). An interesting fact for the notice of physiologists is
that when the officers of the engineer corps lose a comrade from
insanity, they say, "Il s'est passé au dixième," in allusion to the fact
that their loss in numbers from this cause amounts to practical
decimation. This is attributed to the close study of the exact sciences.
Under "femme du demi-monde" we find the origin of the phrase as created
by A. Dumas fils: "Femme née dans un monde distingué, dont elle conserve
les manières sans en respecter les lois" ("a woman belonging by birth to
the upper class, the manners of which she retains, without respecting
its laws"); but the present meaning is quite different from this, the
phrase being now used as a euphuistic designation of a disreputable
woman. French slang is saturated with irreverence. A common term for an
emaciated-looking man is to call him an "ecce homo," and a "grippe
Jésus" is thieves' slang for a gendarme.

The author of this dictionary evidently sympathizes with modern
romanticists and light literature in general, for we find "académicien"
defined as "littérateur suranné." One is always inclined to suspect sour
grapes of giving the flavor to French sarcasm concerning the Academy,
and is reminded of Piron's epigram in the shape of his own epitaph:

    Ci git Piron qui ne fut rien,
    Pas même académicien.

He wrote it, however, after his failure to obtain one of the
much-coveted arm-chairs.

Our national vanity might be flattered by hearing that the phrase
"L'oeil Américain" is used to describe an eye whose piercing vision is
escaped by nothing, were we not told that it dates from the translation
of Cooper's Leatherstocking tales into French, and has no reference, as
"Natty Bumpo" would say, to "_white_ gifts."

We find long, elaborate definitions of those much-disputed words,
"chic," "cachet" and "chien," which, after all has been said, seem to
take their meaning from the intention of those who use them and the
perception of those who hear. "Chocnoso" is a delightfully expressive
and absurd onomatopeic word to describe what is brilliant, startling and
remarkable. The most striking feature of this elaborate book is that,
although it contains almost words enough to constitute the vocabulary of
a miniature language, yet the vast majority of these words would be as
unintelligible to an educated Frenchman as to an Englishman. The bulk of
French slang is never heard by the ears of educated people nor uttered
by their lips: it circulates among the classes which create it; and the
size of this dictionary is therefore not necessarily appalling to a
Frenchman's eyes: it does not represent the corruption of the language,
because slang does not taint the speech of those classes who control and
make the standard speech and literature of the nation. If a dictionary
of English slang were published now, how many young ladies and gentlemen
of the educated classes, either in England or America, could profess
honest and absolute ignorance of the meaning of most of the words? The
answer to this question makes the moral of this paper.

                                        F. A.


If it be true, as a writer in the February Gossip says, that "it is what
Mr. Mill has omitted to tell us in his _Autobiography_, quite as much as
what he has there told us, that excites popular curiosity," the
following anecdote told by John Neal, one of Jeremy Bentham's
secretaries, may be found interesting. The father of John Stuart Mill,
it seems, was in the habit of borrowing books of Bentham, and was even
allowed the privilege of carrying them away without asking permission--a
courtesy so well utilized that from five to seven hundred volumes found
their way in time from Bentham's library into the study of the elder
Mill. He was a more conscientious borrower, however, than most of his
class are, for he had a case made for these books, kept them carefully
locked up, and carried the key in his pocket. This put the owner to some
trouble occasionally when he wanted to consult his books. In one
instance he begged Mr. Mill to leave the key when the latter was going
out of town. In vain, however, for Mill marched off to the country
carrying the key with him, and Bentham had to wait a whole month for a
peep at his own books. If we could know all the facts, doubtless it
would be found that Mill knew too well the careless habits of the
philosopher to trust him to such an extent. It is not prudent to
decide until the evidence is all in. It is that these books--two or
three thousand dollars' worth, according to Neal--were, on the death of
Mr. Bentham, all recovered by his heir.

Quarritch, a London bookseller, lately advertised for sale a Chinese
book from the library of the emperor Khang-Hi, bearing the following
title: _Yu Sionan Row-wen youen kien_--that is, "Mirror of the Profound
Resources of Ancient Literature," being extracts from those profound
resources arranged chronologically in the order of their production; but
the singular thing about the book is its typography. It is printed in
inks of four different colors. All the articles dating from the time of
Confucius (B.C. 550) to the Mongol dynasty (A.D. 1260) are printed in
black, with punctuations in red. All names of persons and places are
upon scrolls, to distinguish them from the ordinary text. Observations
upon the emperor Khang-Hi (who annotated the whole book autographically)
are printed in yellow, the color of the reigning dynasty; those upon
scholars and authors living at the time of the publication of the book
are printed in red, the color of the living; those upon persons deceased
in blue, the mourning color of China. The work is in twenty-five
volumes, preserved in four cases. It was printed in 1685.

In the infancy of astronomy the moon and all the planets of our solar
system were supposed to be gliding along over the smooth blue firmament
like a boat upon smooth water or a sleigh upon ice. The blue vault was a
solid substance; hence the word _firm_ament. In this vault were set the
"fixed" stars, and of course the moon or any planet passing across it
might run straight into the constellation Leo or some other dreadful
beast; and this explained why direful things happened to this world,
which was supposed to be the only world in the universe. As the moon has
always been the most observed of all the heavenly bodies, and as she
passes most rapidly across the constellations of the zodiac, it is easy
to understand that her phases should excite profound wonder, and that
strange effects should be predicated upon these phases, called "changes"
from time immemorial. In fact, however, the moon is not "changing" at
one time any more than at another. She is continually passing in and out
of the earth's shadow as she revolves around the earth, and the width of
this shadow, with the state of being in the full light of the sun,
constitutes her phases or changes. She does not "enter" any sign of the
zodiac in the sense of entering, as understood by the illiterate; and if
she did, the signs Cancer, Leo, Virgo, have no comprehensible relation,
to plants or parts of the human body. Again, if the moon or sun, or any
of the planets, are said to "enter" these signs, they are not now the
same as the constellations known as the Crab, the Lion, the Virgin. They
did correspond some two thousand or more years ago, when the zodiacal
belt was divided into twelve parts and named; but at present, on account
of the nutation or gyratory motion of the poles of the earth, the signs
of the zodiac (not the constellations) are drifting westward at the rate
of one degree in about seventy-one years. This movement is known in
astronomy as the precession or recession of the equinoxes. It happens,
therefore, that when the astrologer consults his tables, and finds that,
at, the time of the birth of a person whose horoscope he is going to
cast, Venus was in Cancer--a terrible condition of things for happiness
in love--Venus is in reality passing the constellation Gemini or the
Twins, which ought to make everything all lovely. The development of the
Copernican system did a great deal of damage to the interests of
astrology, but it was not until the discovery of the precession of the
equinoxes that this venerable and pretentious art received its
death-blow. To be sure, "the fools are not all dead yet," for certain
people still pay five dollars to have their horoscopes cast, and not a
few rustics consult the moon or the almanac before planting beans or
weaning calves.


The Romance of the English Stage.
  By Percy Fitzgerald.
  Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott
  & Co.

According to Carlyle, the only biographies in the English language worth
reading--of course with implied exceptions--are the lives of players.
Over English biographers in general there hangs, as he says, a
"Damocles' sword of Respectability," forbidding revelations that might
either offend somebody's sensibilities or exhibit the subject in any
other than a dignified attitude and sober light, and, as a consequence,
compelling the suppression of details which were needed to render the
portraiture characteristic and lifelike. Actors being as a class outside
the pale of "respectability," no such sacrifice is demanded in their
case; and whereas in their lifetime they assume many characters, and
though constantly before the public are known to it only in disguised
forms and borrowed attributes, after death their personality is laid
bare, and they are made to contribute once more to the entertainment of
the world by a last appearance in which nothing is unreal and nothing
dissembled or concealed. This, of course, applies far better to a former
period than to the present, as does also the explanation of the same
fact offered by Mr. Fitzgerald--namely, the romantic interest attaching
to the stage and exciting curiosity in regard to those wonderful beings
who appear before us as embodiments of passion and poetry, humor and
whimsicality, transporting us into an ideal world, and leaving us, when
they vanish, in a prosaic one to which they do not seem to belong.
Illusions of this kind are scarcely retained by even the young--perhaps,
indeed, least of all by the young--of our generation. Moreover, the
changes which society has undergone during the last half century have
rubbed out much that was distinctive in the actor's life, and have given
to manners and habits in general a uniformity that leaves little that is
striking and piquant to describe. The adventures and the eccentricities
of actors and actresses of a bygone time were paralleled or exceeded by
those of other classes. At present such sources of interest are rare in
any class, and we are obliged to have recourse to sensational novels or
the records of crime.

Future biographers are no more likely to have such a subject as Samuel
Johnson than such a one as George Frederick Cooke; while both Boswell
and Dunlap, had they written in our day, would probably have been much
more reticent and much less amusing. We cannot therefore agree with Mr.
Fitzgerald in thinking that the colorless character of the few
theatrical biographies that have appeared in recent times is to be
ascribed to the decay of the art of acting and the lack of an ideal
involving a long and arduous struggle in the attainment of eminence. In
France, as he justly observes, the history of the profession has never
possessed the same adventurous interest, the lives of French actors
showing in general a mere record of steady and regular progression, such
as is found in other professions. The stage in France, as in all
Catholic countries, lay under a heavier ban than in England; but on this
very account the actors constituted a separate class, having little
contact with society, receiving few recruits from without, regulated by
fixed usages, and confined to a particular groove. In England, on the
contrary, the stage was an outlet for irregular talent, impatient of
steady labor or severe restrictions, and captivated by the freedom and
diversity of a career which, beginning in vagrancy, might lead at a
single bound to a brilliant and enviable position. Hence the biographies
of English players, taken collectively, offer a vast store of amusing
anecdotes, illustrative not only of the history of the stage, but of
personal character and social manners. Yet books of this kind; though
read with avidity on their first appearance, have naturally fallen into
neglect. Like most other biographies, they are overloaded with details
that have no abiding interest, and few readers of the present day are
tempted to explore the mass for themselves. It was, however, no very
arduous task to sift out the more valuable relics and dispose them in
proper order, and we can only wonder that Mr. Fitzgerald was not
anticipated in the performance of it by some earlier collector. Gait's
_Lives of the Players_ and Dr. Doran's _History of the English
Stage_ have left this particular field almost wholly unworked, and it
is one for which Mr. Fitzgerald was well fitted, both by his previous
labors and knowledge of the soil, and by his practiced dexterity in the
use of the necessary implements. He has accordingly produced a volume
which may either be read consecutively or dipped into at random with the
certainty of entertainment and without risk of tedium. Among the sources
from which his material is drawn he assigns the first place to the
_Memoirs of Tate Wilkinson_ and its sequel, _The Wandering
Patentee_, and the summary which he gives, as far as possible in the
narrator's own language, presents a graphic picture of the provincial
stage at a period when it formed a real nursery of talent for the
metropolitan theatres, enriched with anecdotes of Foote and Garrick as
lively and dramatic as any of the scenes in their own farces, and
affording the strongest confirmation of their protégé's account of his
unrivaled mimicry. The story of George Anne Bellamy, and that of Mrs.
Robinson, the "Perdita" of a somewhat later day, deal with the more
familiar and less obsolete vicissitudes of betrayed beauty, while giving
us glimpses of a social crust that has since been replaced by a more
composite exterior. A deeper and far more pathetic interest attaches to
the brief career of Gerald Griffin, the author of _The Collegians_
and _Gisippus_, who, had he lived in our day, would have been in
danger of having his head turned by premature success, instead of being
heart-sickened by long neglect and coarse rebuffs, and smothering his
aspirations in a convent. In striking contrast with this pale figure is
the portly and imposing one of Robert William Elliston, type of
theatrical charlatans, embodiment of bombast and puffery, monarch over
the realm of pasteboard, immortalized by Lamb, and surely not
undeserving of the honor. With him may be said to have ended the line of
the eccentrics, which fills a large space in Mr. Fitzgerald's volume.
The great actors are comparatively unnoticed, Garrick, Siddons and Kean
being only introduced incidentally, while a whole chapter is given to
"the ill-fated Mossop." This is consistent with the general design of
the book, but there was no good reason for a fresh repetition of the
oft-told tale of the Ireland forgeries. There are, as Mr. Fitzgerald
remarks, many subjects--such as the lives of Macklin and Quin, of Mrs.
Inchbald and Mrs. Jordan--omitted which might fairly have claimed a
place, and which would furnish ample matter for a second and equally
agreeable volume.

Democracy and Monarchy in France from the
  Inception of the Great Revolution to the
  Overthrow of the Second Empire.
  By Charles Kendall Adams, Professor of History
  in the University of Michigan.
  New York: Henry Holt & Co.

There can be no more fruitful and interesting study than that of the
changes and struggles which have occurred in France since the fall of
the ancient monarchy. But the time has not yet come when a general
survey can be taken of this important epoch, its successive phases seen
in their true relations and proportions, and its character fully and
correctly appreciated. The overthrow of the Second Empire was clearly
not the closing scene of the drama, and even within the last few weeks a
sudden turn in the line of events has awakened curiosity afresh, and
prepared us for the introduction of new elements or new complications,
with results which can only be conjectured. For lack of that key which
the Future still holds in its hand the most acute and comprehensive mind
must be at fault in the endeavor to analyze the workings and appreciate
the significance of the conflicting principles. If Professor Adams has
had no such misgivings, this seems to be accounted for by his ready
acceptance of a theory which has long passed current in England and
America, and which springs from a habit peculiar to the people of these
two countries of regarding the movements of all other nations, when not
on a parallel course, as deviations from a prescribed orbit. According
to this theory, the excesses of the First Revolution, due in part to the
passions engendered by a long course of misgovernment, in part to wild
speculations and experiments, produced an anarchical spirit which has
frustrated every subsequent attempt to establish a solid government of
any form, including the constitutional monarchy of Louis Philippe,
patterned on the English model--the resemblance being in fact that of a
castle of cards to its Gothic prototype--which offered the proper
compound of liberty and authority in sufficiently balanced proportions.
The French people having thus proved itself incapable of uniting liberty
with order, the one great need is the destruction or suppression of the
revolutionary spirit, to which end a strong government of whatever kind
is the first requisite, and some form of Napoleonism the most available,
it being improbable that the nation would accept permanently anything
better. Such is the view of Professor Adams, one with which all readers
have long been familiar, but which most independent thinkers have come
to reject as shallow and false. However obscure the issue, however
doubtful the solution, it cannot but be apparent to all who, casting
aside prejudices, have studied the history of France in its entirety and
recognized its special character, that its course during the period in
question exhibits no mere series of lawless oscillations, but a process
of development, often checked and retarded, often prematurely hastened,
but passing from stage to stage without suffering itself to be stifled
by factitious aid or crushed by arbitrary repression. What underlies the
history of these events, what distinguishes it from the galvanic
agitations of the torpid Spanish populations in Europe and America, is
the constant presence and activity of ideas, shaping and shaped by
events, hardened or fused by conflict, and preserving through all
vicissitudes and convulsions the incomparable vitality of the nation.
France, more than any other country, is to be studied as a living
spirit, not as an inert mass, and in a study of this kind the
mechanico-philosophical method will not carry us far. It does not appear
to strike Professor Adams as singular that a nation "abandoned for the
last eighty years to the domination of Siva, the fierce god of
destruction," should have all this while been cutting a somewhat
respectable figure in literature, science and the arts, and during most
of that period paid its way in the solid and shining metal considered by
our rulers to have merely a mythical significance. Or rather he seems to
contend that civilization has in fact perished in France, that as "such
a tendency to turbulence is destructive of all healthy national growth,"
the inevitable result has ensued. He admits that there are still some
good scholars in France, but he proves--need we add, by
statistics?--that the illiteracy of the masses is greater than it was
under the _ancien regime_, if not in the reign of Clovis. The
controlling influence of Paris is shown, of course, to have been a prime
source of mischief, and we are asked to "imagine the United States
withdrawing from all interest in political affairs, and saying to New
York City, 'Govern us as you please: we do not care to interfere.'" The
fact, as most people are aware, is not at all as here assumed; but that
aside, is it possible that Professor Adams knows so little of the
difference in the origin and structure of the two nations as not to
perceive that the comparison is ridiculous?

_Books Received_.

Social Life in Greece, from Homer to Menander.
  By Rev. J.P. Mahaffy, M.A.
  London: MacMillan & Co.

A Free Lance in the Field of Life and Letters.
  By William Cleaver Wilkinson.
  New York: Albert Mason.

The Bewildered Querists and other Nonsense.
  By Francis Blake Crofton.
  New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons.

A Practical Theory of Voussoir Arches.
  By Professor William Cain, C.E.
  New York: D. Van Nostrand.

On Teaching: Its Ends and Means.
  By Henry Calderwood.
  New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons.

The Influence of Music on Health and Life.
  By Dr. H. Chomet.
  New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons.

The Man in the Moon, and Other People.
  By R.W. Raymond.
  New York: J.B. Ford & Co.

Sowed by the Wind; or, The Poor Boy's Fortune.
  By Elijah Kellogg.
  Boston: Lee & Shepard.

Religion and Modern Materialism.
  By James Martineau.
  New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons.

Singers and Songs of the Liberal Faith.
  By Alfred P. Putnam.
  Boston: Roberts Brothers.

Winter Homes for Invalids. By Joseph W. Howe, M.D.
  New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons.

Helps to a Life of Prayer. By Rev. J.M. Manning, D.D.
  Boston: Lee & Shepard.

Far from the Madding Crowd. By Thomas Hardy.
  New York: Henry Holt & Co.

A Foregone Conclusion. By W.D. Howells.
  Boston: James R. Osgood & Co.

That Queer Girl. By Virginia F. Townsend.
  Boston: Lee & Shepard.

Magnetism and Electricity. By John Angell.
  New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons.

Estelle: A Novel. By Mrs. Annie Edwards.
  New York: Sheldon & Co.

A Rambling Story. By Mary Cowden Clarke.
  Boston: Roberts Brothers.

Life and Times of Sir Philip Sidney.
  New York: J.B. Ford & Co.

An Old Sailor's Story. By George Sergeant.
  Boston: Henry Hoyt.

Nature and Culture. By Harvey Rice.
  Boston: Lee & Shepard.

The Story of Boon. By H.H.
  Boston: Roberts Brothers.


[Footnote 001: Another statue to this remarkable woman is now in
progress of execution, and will be soon ready to place on its
pedestal in one of the principal squares of the town.]

[Footnote 002: So complete was the destruction that few persons who
now visit Nice would ever imagine that the hill in its centre, which
is laid out with terraced gardens and used as a public promenade, was
before the siege of 1706 completely covered with houses, churches, an
episcopal palace, a fine cathedral of great antiquity, and an immense
castle, which still gives its name to the fashionable walk, _Le
Château_. Every vestige, save the crumbling walls of the fortress, of
this by far the largest portion of the old town has entirely
disappeared, and picnics are now made under the shade of beautiful
avenues of trees which replace the labyrinthine streets of yore.]

[Footnote 003: Madame Rattazzi is now living in Paris, in the little
palace once inhabited by the duke d'Aquila, in the Cour de la Reine,
where she entertains the literary and artistic world once a week. Her
soirées this year are becoming famous. Recently she acted in
Ponsard's _Horace et Lydie_ and in other little comedies, assisted by
the greatest actors and actresses of Paris including Mesdames Favart
and Roussel, but according to universal testimony her own performance
was by far the finest. Never has Madame Rattazzi been so popular as
at present, and her salon is frequented by all the celebrities of the
French capital, to whom she extends the most charming hospitality.]

[Footnote 004: This refers to the _Gospodi pomiloui_ (the Roman
Catholic _Kyrie eleison_), which perpetually recurs in the Russian
liturgy. Similar discussions about the _Hallelujah_ and other
liturgic forms are met with long before the Raskol broke out.]

[Footnote 005: If we may trust Dmitri of Rostof, a bishop of the last
century, even so early certain sectaries regarded the raising of
Lazarus as not a fact, but a parable: "Lazarus is the human soul, and
his death is sin. His sisters, Martha and Mary, are the body and the
soul. The tomb represents the cares of this life, and his raising
from the dead is conversion. Similarly, Christ's entry into Jerusalem
sitting on an ass is a mere parable."]

[Footnote 006: The analogy must certainly be admitted to lie very far
from the surface.--(_Note of the Translator_.)]

[Footnote 007: The opposition of some of the Raskolniks to this tax
(which has lately been modified) was rendered more determined by the
fact that in the interval between one census and another the tax
continued to be paid for "dead souls." Gogol's novel is founded on
this. From its being nominally levied on the dead, this tax was
regarded by these simple people as a sacrilege.]

[Footnote 008: To combat this notion, an orthodox bishop, Dmitri of
Rostof, wrote a treatise on the image and likeness of God. A
Raskolnik told this prelate, "We would as lief lose our heads as our
beard."--"Will your heads grow again?" was the bishop's retort.]

[Footnote 009: "But here's the joy, my friend and I are one..."]

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science - Volume 15, No. 88, April, 1875" ***

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