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Title: Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science - Volume 17, No. 099, March, 1876
Author: Various
Language: English
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March, 1876.

Vol. XVII, No. 99.




























  Books Received.




























MARCH, 1876.

Vol. XVII, No. 99.




We have presented a feeble sketch of a century that stands out from
its fellows, not as a mere continuation, or even intensification, of
them--a hundred annual circuits of the earth in its orbit as little
distinguished by intellectual or material achievement as those
repetitions of the old beaten track through space are by astronomical
incident--but as an epoch _sui generis_, a century _d'elite_, picked
out from the long ranks of time for special service, charged by
Fate with an extraordinary duty, and decorated for its successful
performance. Those of its historic comrades even partially so honored
are few indeed. They will not make a platoon--scarce a corporal's
guard. We should seek them, for instance, in the Periclean age,
when eternal beauty, and something very like eternal truth, gained
a habitation upon earth through the chisel and the pen; in the first
years of the Roman empire, when the whole temperate zone west of China
found itself politically and socially a unit, at rest but for the
labors of peace; and in the sixteenth century, when the area fit for
the support of man was suddenly doubled, when the nominal value of his
possessions was additionally doubled by the mines of Mexico and
Peru, and when his mental implements were in a far greater proportion
multiplied by the press.


The last of these periods comes nearest to our standard. The first had
undying brilliance in certain fields, but the scope of its influence
was geographically narrow, and its excessively active thought was not
what we are wont to consider practically productive, its conquests in
the domain of physical science being but slender. The second was in no
sense originative, mankind being occupied, quietly and industriously,
in making themselves comfortable in the pleasant hush after the
secular rattle of spear and shield. The third was certainly full of
results in art, science and the diffusion of intelligence through the
upper and middle strata of society. It might well have celebrated the
first centennial of the discovery of printing or of the discovery of
America by assembling the fresh triumphs of European art, so wonderful
to us in their decay, with the still more novel productions of
Portuguese India and Spanish America. But the length of sea--voyages
prosecuted in small vessels with imperfect knowledge of winds and
currents, and the difficulties of land-transportation when roads
were almost unknown, would have restricted the display to meagre
proportions, particularly had Vienna been the site selected. Few
visitors could have attended from distant countries, and the masses of
the vicinage could only have stared. The idea, indeed, of getting up
an exhibition to be chiefly supported by the intelligent curiosity of
the bulk of the people would not have been apt to occur to any one.
The political and educational condition of these was at the end of the
century much what it had been at the beginning. Labor and the laborer
had gained little.

The weapon-show, depicted in _Old Mortality_, and the market-fair, as
vivid in the _Vicar of Wakefield_, exemplify the expositions of
those days. To them were added a variety of church festivals, or
"functions," still a great feature of the life of Catholic countries.
Trade and frolic divided these among themselves in infinite gradation
of respective share, now the ell-wand, and now the quarter-staff or
the fiddler's bow, representing the sceptre of the Lord of Misrule.
"At Christe's Kirk on the Grene that day" the Donnybrook element would
appear to have predominated. The mercantile feature was naturally
preferred by gentle Goldy, and the hapless investor in green
spectacles may be counted the first dissatisfied exhibitor on record
at a modern exposition, for he skirts the century.

Looking eastward, we find these rallies of the people, the
time-honored stalking-grounds of tale-writers and students of
character generally, swell into more imposing proportions. The sea
dwindles and the land broadens. Transportation and travel become
difficult and hazardous. Merchant and customer, running alike a
labyrinthine gauntlet of taxes, tolls and arbitrary exactions by the
wolves of schloss and château, found it safest to make fewer trips and
concentrate their transactions. The great nations, with many secondary
trade-tournaments, as they may be termed, had each a principal one.
From the great fair of Leipsic, with the intellectual but very bulky
commodity of books for its specialty to-day, we pass to the two
Novgorods--one of them no more than a tradition, having been
annihilated by Peter the Great when, with the instinct of great rulers
for deep water, he located the new capital of his vast interior empire
on the only available harbor it possessed. Its successor, known from
its numerous namesakes by the designation of "New," draws convoys of
merchandise from a vast tributary belt bounded by the Arctic and
North Pacific oceans and the deserts of Khiva. This traffic exceeds
a hundred millions of dollars annually. The medley of tongues and
products due to the united contributions of Northern Siberia, China
and Turkestan is hardly to be paralleled elsewhere on the globe.
_Was_, insists the all-conquering railway as it moves inexorably
eastward, and relegates the New Novgorod, with its modern fairs,
to the stranded condition of the old one, with its traditional
expositions. As, however, the rail must have a terminus somewhere,
if only temporary, the caravans of camels, oxen, horses, boats and
sledges will converge to a movable entrepôt that will assume more
and more an inter-Asiatic instead of an inter-national character. The
furs, fossil ivory, sheepskins and brick tea brought by them after
voyages often reaching a year and eighteen months, come, strictly
enough, under the head of raw products. Still, it is the best they
can bring; which cannot be said of what Europe offers in
exchange--articles mostly of the class and quality succinctly
described as "Brummagem." It is obvious that prizes, diplomas, medals,
commissioners and juries would be thrown away here. The palace
of glass and iron can only loom in the distant future, like the
cloud-castle in Cole's _Voyage of Life_. It may possibly be essayed in
a generation or two, when Ekaterinenborg, built up into a great
city by the copper, iron, gold, and, above all, the lately-opened
coal-mines of the Ural, shall have become the focus of the Yenisei,
Amour, Yang-tse and Indus system of railways. But here, again, we are
overstepping our century.


To us it seems odd that in the days when an autocratic decree could
summarily call up "all the world" to be taxed, and when, in prompt
obedience to it, the people of all the regions gathered to a thousand
cities, the idea of numbering and comparing, side by side, goods,
handicrafts, arts, skill, faculties and energies, as well as heads,
never occurred to rulers or their counselors. If it did, it was never
put in practice. The difficulties to which we have before adverted
stood in the way of that combination of individual effort to which the
great displays of our day are mainly indebted for their success; but
what the government might have accomplished toward overcoming distance
and defective means of transport is evidenced by the mighty current
of objects of art, luxury and curiosity which flowed toward the
metropolis. Obelisks, colossal statues, and elephants and giraffes by
the score are articles of traffic not particularly easy to handle even


At the annual exposition of the Olympic games we have the feature of a
distribution of prizes. They were conferred, however, only on horses,
poets and athletes--a conjunction certainly in advance of the asses
and savants that constituted the especial care of the French army in
Egypt, but not up to the modern idea of the comprehensiveness of human
effort. While our artists confess it almost a vain hope to rival
the cameo brooch that fastened the scanty garment of the Argive
charioteer, or the statue spattered with the foam of his horses and
shrouded in the dust of his furious wheel--while they are content to
be teachable, moreover, by the exquisite embroidery and lacework
in gold and cotton thread displayed at another semi-religious and
similarly ancient reunion at Benares,--they claim the alliance and
support of many classes of craftsmen unrepresented on the Ganges or
Ilissus. These were, in the old days, ranked with slaves, many of whom
were merchants and tradesmen; and they labor yet in some countries
under the social ban of courts, no British merchant or cotton-lord,
though the master of millions, being presentable at Buckingham Palace,
itself the product of the counting-room and the loom. Little, however,
does this slight appear to affect the sensibilities of the noble army
of producers, who loyally rejoice to elevate their constitutional
sovereign on their implements as the Frankish prolétaries did upon
their shields.

The family of expositions with which we are directly concerned is,
like others of plebeian origin, at some loss as to the roots of its
ancestral tree. We may venture to locate them in the middle of the
eighteenth century. In 1756-57 the London Society of Arts offered
prizes for specimens of decorative manufactures, such as tapestry,
carpets and porcelain. This was part of the same movement with that
which brought into being the Royal Academy, with infinitely less
success in the promotion of high art than has attended the development
of taste, ingenuity and economy in the wider if less pretentious

France's first exhibition of industry took place in 1798. It was
followed by others under the Consulate and Empire in 1801, 1802, 1806.
In 1819 the French expositions became regular. Each year attested an
advance, and drew more and more the attention of adjacent countries.
The international idea had not yet suggested itself. The tendency
was rather to the less than the more comprehensive, geographically
speaking. Cities took the cue from the central power, and got up each
its own show, of course inviting outside competition. The nearest
resemblance to the grand displays of the past quarter of a century
was perhaps that of Birmingham in 1849, which had yet no government
recognition; but the French exposition of five years earlier had a
leading influence in bringing on the London Fair of 1851, which
had its inception as early as 1848--one year before the Birmingham

The getting up of a World's Fair was an afterthought; the original
design having been simply an illustration of British industrial
advancement, in friendly rivalry with that which was becoming,
across the Channel, too brilliant to be ignored. The government's
contribution, in the first instance, was meagre enough--merely the use
of a site. Rough discipline in youth is England's system with all her
bantlings. She is but a frosty parent if at bottom kindly, and, when
she has a shadow of justification, proud. In the present instance
she stands excused by the sore shock caused her conservatism by the
conceit of a building of glass and iron four times as long as St.
Paul's, high enough to accommodate comfortably one of her ancestral
elms, and capacious enough to sustain a general invitation to all
mankind to exhibit and admire.

Novelty and innovation attended the first step of the great movement.
The design of the structure made architects rub their eyes, and
yet its origin was humble and practical enough. The Adam of crystal
palaces, like him of Eden, was a gardener. When Joseph Paxton raised
the palm-house at Chatsworth he little suspected that he was building
for the world--that, to borrow a simile from his own vocation, he was
setting a bulb which would expand into a shape of as wide note as the
domes of Florence and St. Sophia. And the cost of his new production
was so absurdly low--eighty thousand pounds by the contract.
The cheapness of his plan was its great merit in the eyes of the
committee, and that which chiefly determined its selection over
two hundred and forty-four competitors. This new cathedral for the
apotheosis of industry resembled those of the old worship in the
attributes of nave, aisles and transepts; and these features have
been, by reason in great degree of the requirements of construction,
continued in its successors. Galleries were added to the original
design to secure space additional to what was naturally deemed at
first an ample allowance for all comers. Before ground had been well
broken the demands of British exhibitors alone ran up to four hundred
and seventeen thousand superficial feet instead of the two hundred and
ten thousand--half the whole area--allotted them. The United States
were offered forty thousand feet; France, fifty thousand, afterward
increased to sixty-five; the Zollverein, thirty thousand, and
India the same. A comparison of the whole number of exhibitors, as
distributed between Great Britain and other countries, indicates that
the equal division of the superficial space was a tolerably accurate
guess. They numbered 7381 from the mother-country and her colonies,
and 6556 from the rest of the world. Certainly, a change this from the
first French exhibition, held in the dark days of the Directory, when
the list reached but 110 names. We shall dismiss the statistics of
this exhibition with the remark that it has precedence of its fellows
in financial success as well as in time, having cleared a hundred
and seventy-odd thousand pounds, and left the Kensington Museum as
a memorial of that creditable feat, besides sending its cast-off but
still serviceable induviæ to Sydenham, where it enshrines another
museum, chiefly of architectural reproductions in plaster, in a
sempiternal coruscation of fountains, fireworks and fiddle-bows. The
palace of industry has become the palace of the industrial--abundantly
useful still if it lure him from the palace of gin. The chrism of
Thackeray's inaugural ode will not have been dishonored.

[Illustration: CORK EXHIBITION BUILDING, 1853.]

The first of the great fairs, in so many respects a model to all
that came after, was beset at the outset by the same difficulty in
arrangement encountered by them. How to reconcile the two headings of
subjects and nations, groups of objects and groups of exhibitors, the
endowments and progress of different races and the advance of mankind
generally in the various fields of effort, was, and is, a problem only
approximately to be solved. It was yet more complicated in 1851 from
the compression of the entire display into one building of simple and
symmetrical form, instead of dispersing certain classes of objects,
bulky and requiring special appliances for their proper display, into
subsidiary structures--the plan so effectively employed in Fairmount
Park. A sort of compromise was arrived at which rendered possible the
mapping of both countries and subjects, especially in the reports, and
to some extent in the exhibition itself, without making the spectacle
one of confusion. The visitor was enabled to accomplish his double
voyage through the depths of the sea of glass without a great deal
of backing and filling, and to find his log, after it was over,
reasonably coherent.

The articles displayed were ranged under thirty heads. The
preponderance of matter of fact was shown in the concession of four of
these to raw material, nineteen to manufactures, and _one_ to the
fine arts. Twenty-nine atoms of earth to one of heaven! Of course the
one-thirtieth whereinto the multiform and elastic shape of genius was
invited, like the afreet into his chest, to condense itself, had to
be subdivided--an intaglio and a temple, a scarabæus and a French
battle-picture, being very different things. This was accomplished,
and the Muses made as comfortable as could be expected. They soon
asserted the pre-eminence theirs by right divine, and came to be the
leading attraction of the affair, next to the Koh-i-noor. On this
barbaric contribution of the gorgeous East the French observers, a
little jealous perhaps, were severe. One of them says: "They rely on
the sun to make it sparkle," and, when the fog is too thick, on gas.
The curiosity about it, in the eyes of this incisive Gaul, was "not
the divinity, but the worshipers." All day long a crowd filed solemnly
by it under the supervision of a detachment of police, each pilgrim
bestowing upon the fetish, "an egg-shaped lump of glass," half a
second's adoration, and then moving reluctantly on. Thousands of far
more beautiful things were around it, but none embodying in so small
a space so many dollars and cents, and none therefore so brilliant in
the light of the nineteenth century. As this light, nevertheless, is
that in which we live, move and have our being, we must accept it, and
turn to substantials, wrought and unwrought.

On our way to this feast of solids we must step for a moment into St.
Paul's and listen to the great commemorative concert of sixty-five
hundred voices that swept all cavilers, foreign and domestic, off
their feet, brought tears to the most sternly critical eye, and caused
the composer, Cramer, to exclaim, as he looked up into the great dome,
filled with the volume of harmony, "Cosa stupenda! stupenda! La gloria

A transition, indeed, from this to coal and iron--from a concord of
sweet sounds to the rumble into hold, car and cart of thirty-five
millions of tons of coal and two and a half millions of iron, the
yearly product at that time of England! She has since doubled that of
iron, and nearly trebled her extract of coal, whatever her progress
in the harvest of good music and good pictures. Forced by economical
necessity and assisted by chemistry, she makes her fuel, too, go a
great deal farther than it did in 1851, when the estimate was that
eighty-one per cent. of that consumed in iron-smelting was lost, and
when the "duty" of a bushel of coal burnt in a steam-engine was less
than half what it now is. The United States have the benefit of these
improvements, at the same time that their yield of coal has swelled
from four millions of tons at that time to more than fifty now, and
of iron in a large though not equal ratio. The Lake Superior region,
which rested its claims on a sample of its then annual product of one
hundred tons of copper, now exports seven hundred thousand tons of
iron ore.

Steel, now replacing iron in some of its heaviest uses, appeared as
almost an article of luxury in the shape of knives, scissors and the
like. The success of the Hindus in its production was quite envied and
admired, though they had probably advanced little since Porus deemed
thirty pounds a present fit for Alexander; their rude appliances
beating Sheffield an hour and a half in the four hours demanded by the
most adroit forgers of the city of whittles for its elimination from
the warm bath of iron and carbon. Bessemer, with his steel-mines, as
his furnaces at the ore-bank may be termed, was then in the future.
The steel rails over which we now do most of our traveling were
undreamed of. Bar iron did duty on all the eighty-eight hundred miles
of American and sixty-five hundred of British railway; not many, if
at all, more than are now laid, in this country at least, with steel.
This poetic and historic metal has become as truly a raw product as
potatoes. The poets will have to drop it. The glory of Toledo--of
her swords bent double in the scabbard, of her rapiers that bore into
one's interior only the titillating sensation of a spoonful of vanilla
ice, and of her decapitating sabres that left the culprit whole so
long as he forbore to sneeze--is trodden under foot of men.


In crude materials the Union is at home. It was so in 1851, and is
still; but then it was not so much at home in anything else as now.
We have advanced in that field too, since we sent no silver, and from
Colorado no gold, no canned fruits, meats or fish, and no wine but
some Cincinnati Catawba, thin and acid, according to the verdict
of the imbibing jury. We adventured timidly into manufacturing
competition with the McCormick reaper, which all Europe proceeded
straightway to pirate; ten or twelve samples of cotton and three of
woolen goods; Ericsson's caloric-engine; a hydrostatic pump; some
nautical instruments; Cornelius's chandeliers for burning lard
oil--now the light of other days, thanks to our new riches in
kerosene; buggies of a tenuity so marvelous in Old-World eyes that
their half-inch tires were likened to the miller of Ferrette's legs,
so thin that Talleyrand pronounced his standing an act of the most
desperate bravery; soap enough to answer Coleridge's cry for a
detergent for the lower Rhine; and one bridge model, forerunner of the
superb iron erections that have since leaped over rivers and ravines
in hundreds.

Meagre enough was the display of our craftsmen by the side of that
made by their brethren of the other side. It could have been scarce
visible to Britannia, looking down from a pinnacle of calico ready for
a year's export over and above her home consumption, long enough, if
unrolled, to put a girdle thirty times round the globe, though not all
of it warranted to stand the washing-test that would be imposed by the
briny part of the circuit.

And yet there were visible in the American department germs
of original inventions and adaptations, the development and
fructification of which in the near future were foreseen by acute
observers. Our metallic life-boats were then unknown to other
countries, those of England being all of wood. The screw-propeller
was quite a new thing, though the Princeton had carried it, or been
carried by it, into the Mediterranean ten years before. Engines
designed for its propulsion attracted special attention. The
side-wheel reigned supreme among British war-steamers, although some
of the altered liners which cut such an imposing figure till the
Sebastopol forts in '55 checked, and iron-clads in '62 finished,
their career, were under way. A model of one of them, The Queen, was
exhibited as the highest exemplification of "the progress of art
as applied to shipbuilding during the last eighteen centuries"--a
progress entirely eclipsed by that of the subsequent eighteen years.

We sent no steam fire-engines, no locomotives, and no cars. Our great
printing-presses, since largely borrowed from and imported by Europe,
were scarcely noticed. Not so with "a most beautiful little machine"
for making card wire-cloth, copied from America. Recognition of the
supreme merits of the pianos of Chickering, Steinway and the rest was
still wanting, Erard's Parisian instruments bearing the bell. Borden's
meat-biscuit--to revert to the practical--caused quite a sensation,
the Admiralty being overloaded with spoiled and condemned _preserved_
meat. The American daguerreotypes on exhibition were pronounced
decidedly superior to those of France, and still more to those of
England. Whipple displayed the first photograph taken of the moon,
thus securing to this country the credit of having broken ground for
the application of the new art to astronomy. No photograph of a star
or of the sun had been obtained. The distance between the United
States and Europe in the application and improvement of photography
cannot be said, notwithstanding our advantage in climate, to have been
since widened. A field of competition still lies open before them in
the fixing of color by the camera and the sensitive surface. The
sun still insists on doing his work with India ink and keeping his
spectral palette strictly to himself. For cheap and popular renderings
of color man was then, as now, fain to have recourse to the press.
The English exhibited some chromatic printing, far inferior to the
chromo-lithographs of today.

And this brings us to art. One out of thirty in the programme, it was,
as it always will be on these occasions, nearer thirty to one in the
estimation of assembled sight-seers. The dry goods and machinery, even
the bald, shadeless and ugly (however comfortable) model cottages of
the inevitable Prince Albert, failed to draw like the things which
flattered the lust of the eye; as the pigs and pumpkins of an
"agricultural horse-trot" attract but a wayside glance from the
procession to the grand stand. We are all dwellers in a vast
picture-gallery, with frescoed dome above and polychromed sculpture
and mosaic pavement on the floor below. Its merits we perceive, enjoy
and interpret according to our individual gifts and education. But it
makes amateurs in some sort of every mother's son or daughter, of us;
and we hasten to plunge, confident each in his particular grammar of
the beautiful, into the study of what imitative gallery may be offered
us. Though the financial idea may have been uppermost in the minds of
the devotees of the Mountain of Light, and their pleasure in the march
past that of a stroll through the vaults of the Bank of England, they
also expected to see in it the combined brilliance of all diamonds.
Not finding that, we dare say few of them paid it a second visit, but,
led by a like craving for dazzle, sought more legitimate intoxication
in marble, canvas, porcelain and chased and cast metals.

There they saw the diamond put into harness by the Hindus and used
for drilling gems as it is now for drilling railway tunnels. In the
carpets and shawls of the same region was to be traced an exact and
unfaltering instinct for color, the tints falling into their proper
places like those of the rainbow--the result not a picture, any more
than the rainbow is a picture, but a blotted study rubbed up with the
palette-knife, or what in music would be a fantasia.


From the Asiatic display, more complete by far than any before known,
the eye passed to the works of the more disciplined hand and fancy and
the more scholastic color-notions of Europe. There was young Munich
with Müller's lions and the anti-realistic figures of Schwanthaler;
Austria with Monti's veiled heads, henceforth to be credited to
Lombardy; Prussia with Rauch; and Denmark with Thorwaldsen--all pure
form, copied without color from Nature, from convention and from
the antique. Then came design and color united in ceramics--in
the marvelously delicate flowers of Dresden, purified in the
porcelain-furnace as by fire; in the stately vases of Sèvres, just
but varied in proportion, unfathomable in the rich depths of their
ground-shadows, and exact and brilliant in the superimposed details;
the more raw but promising efforts of Berlin, marked, like the jewelry
from the same city, by faithful study of Nature; and, blending the
decorative with the economic, the works of the English Wedgwoods and
Mintons, infinite in variety of style and utility, and often pleasing
in design. Italy, though supplying from her ancient stores so many
of the models and so much of the inspiration of the countries named,
seems to have forgotten Faenza and Etruria, and to prefer solid stone
as a material to preparations of clay and flint. Her Venetian glass
has markedly declined, at the same time that glass elsewhere--notably,
the stained windows of Munich and the smaller objects of France
and Bohemia--shows a great advance in perfection of manufacture and
manageability for art purposes.

In that debatable land where the artistic and the convenient meet at
the fire-side and the tea-table, English invention, enterprise
and solicitude for the comfort and presentability of home shone
conspicuous. Domestic art finds in the island a congenial home,
and helps to make one for the islanders. English interiors, often
incongruous and sombre in their decorations, at least produce the
always pleasant sensation of physical comfort, the attainment of
which the average Briton will class among the fine arts. Lovely as the
Graces are, they need a little editing to harmonize them with a coal

This halfway house of the nineteenth century, the house of glass in
which it boldly ensconced itself to throw stones at its benighted
relations, will ever be a landmark to the traveler over the somewhat
arid expanse of industrial and commercial history. Its humblest
statistics will be preserved, and coming generations will read with
interest that 42,809 persons visited it, on an average, each day, that
these rose on one day to 109,915, and that there were at one time
in the building 93,224, or six thousand more than Domitian's most
tempting and sanguinary bill of theatrical fare could have drawn
into the Coliseum. Its length, by the way, was exactly equal to the
circumference of the Flavian amphitheatre--1848 feet.

A new home (of progress)! who'll follow? "I," quoth New York. The
British empire had taken three years in preparation: New York was
ready with less than two. Not quite ready, either, we are apt to
say now, but most creditably so for the time and the means of a few
enterprising private men bestowed upon it. And up to this time the
display of '53 under the Karnak-like shadow of the Croton Reservoir
has not been equaled on our soil.

Architecturally, the building was superior to that of London, and
showed itself less cramped by the peculiarities of the novel material.
The form was that of a Greek cross, with a central dome a hundred and
forty-eight feet high, and eight towers at the salients of seventy
feet. The space, including galleries, did not reach a third of that
afforded by its prototype, but proved equal to the demand.

Considering the absence of any formal public character in the movement
and the brief notice, foreign exhibitors came forward in tolerable
force. They could not expect to address through this display each
other's commercial constituencies, as very few visitors would traverse
the Atlantic: they could reach only the people of the United States.
This difficulty must interfere--though much less now than twenty years
ago, when the means of ocean-travel were but a fraction of what they
are at present--with the strictly international complexion of any
exposition in this country. If, however--as we are already assured
beyond peradventure will be the case with the Centennial--our
neighbors over the way send us a full representation of their
products, and a delegation of visitors from their most intelligent
classes, not inferior in numbers, for example, to the Germans who went
to London, and the English who repaired in '73 to Vienna, we shall
claim a cosmopolitan character for our exposition, and hold that it
well fills its place in the line of progress.

What Europe did send to New York sufficed to prove the superiority
of our own artisans in such labor-saving contrivances as suited the
conditions of the country. The foreign implements and machines were
more cumbrous in both complexity and weight of parts than ours. In
the finer departments of manufacture, the Gobelin tapestry, the French
glass, porcelain and silks, the broadcloths of England and Prussia,
and a host of other such articles, could expect no rivalry here. The
slender contributions of statuary and paintings hardly sufficed to
illustrate the conceded superiority of the Old World in art. Crawford
and Powers did very well by the side of the other, disciples of
the antique, their chief opposition coming from some indifferent
plaster-casts of Thorwaldsen's _Twelve Apostles_. In point of
popularity, Kiss's spirited melodramatic group of the _Amazon and
Tiger_ threw them all into the shade. Its triumph at London was almost
as marked, and the innumerable reductions of it met with everywhere
show it to be one of the few hits of modern sculpture.

The general result of the exhibition was to encourage our
manufacturers, without giving them a great deal of food for higher
ambition; while our artists and the taste of their patrons, actual
and possible, were disappointed of the instruction they had reason to
expect, and which the ateliers of Europe will supply in fuller measure
this year.

The succeeding years present us with an epidemic of expositions, most
of them, often on the slenderest grounds, arrogating the title of
"international." The sprightly little city of Cork was one year ahead
of New York. Then came Dublin in '53, Munich in '54, Paris in '55,
Manchester in '57 (of art exclusively, and very brilliant), Florence
in '61, London again in '62, Amsterdam in '64; and in '65 the mania
had overspread the globe, that year witnessing exhibitions dubbed
"international" in Dublin, New Zealand, Oporto, Cologne and Stettin,
with perhaps some outliers we have missed. Then ensued a lull or a
mitigation till the moribund empire of France and the remodeled empire
of Austro-Hungary flared up into the magnificent demonstrations of '67
and '73. To these last we shall devote the remainder of this article,
with but a glance at the second British of 1862.


This, held upon the same ground with its forerunner of eleven years
previous, affords a better measure of progress. It developed a
manifest advance in designs for ornamental manufactures. The
schools of decorative art were beginning to tell. Carpets, hangings,
furniture, stuffs for wear, encaustic tiles, etc. showed a sounder
taste; and this in the foreign as well as the British stalls. French
porcelain was more fully represented than before, and in finer
designs. The Paris exhibition of '55, more extensively planned, though
less of a financial success, than the London one it followed, was not
without effect on the industry and art-culture of France. The United
States also showed that they had not been idle. Our fabrics of
vulcanized rubber and sewing-machines were boons to Europe she has not
been slow to seize. The latter are now sold in England, with trifling
modifications and new trademarks, at from one-third to one-half the
price our people have to pay.

The secret of making money out of these great fairs seemed to have
been lost. Although England's second took in much more than the first,
and four times as much as the first French, four hundred and sixty
thousand pounds having entered its treasury, it failed to leave any
such profitable memorials of profit.

By this time the spirit of French emulation was stirred to its
inmost depths. They had gone to London, argued the Gauls, under every
disadvantage. To prove that they had returned covered with glory,
they hunted every nook and corner of numerical analysis. Out of 18,000
exhibitors of all nations, they had had but 1747, and yet Paris had
received thirty-nine council medals, or honors of the first order,
per million of inhabitants, against fourteen per million accorded to
London. She had beaten the metropolis of fog not only in general,
but in detail. In every branch, from the most solid to the most
sentimental, she was victorious. For machinery a million of gamins
beat a million of Cockneys in the proportion of seven to six; in the
economical and chemical arts, four to one; in the geographical and
geometrical, eight to three; and in the fine arts, Waterloo was
reversed to the tune of twenty to four.

Nothing could be more conclusive; but to take a bond of fate it
was determined to imitate England in trying a second display, and
supplement '53 with '67 more effectively than Albion had '51 with
'62. In what gallant style this determination was carried out we
all remember. France did put forth her strength. She illustrated the
Second Empire with an outpouring of her own genius and energy the
variety and comprehensiveness of which no other nation could pretend
to equal; and she called together the nearest approach to a rally of
the nations that had yet been seen.

The casket of these assembled treasures was hardly worthy of them,
so far as the effect of the mass went. It needed a facade as badly
as does a confectioner's plum-cake. Had the vitreous mass been dumped
upon the Champs de Mars from the clouds in a viscous state like
the Alpine _mers de glace_, it would have assumed much such a thick
disk-like shape as it actually wore. Then decorate it with some
spun-sugar pinnacles and some flags of silver paper, and the confiseur
stood confessed. Nevertheless, motive was there. Catch anything French
without it.


The pavilion consisted of seven concentric ovals, the arcs and their
radii effecting the duplicate division of objects and countries.
Outside, under the eaves and in the surrounding area, the peoples
were encamped around their possessions. The gastric fluid being the
universal solvent, the festive board was assigned the position nearest
the building, a continuous shed protecting the restaurants of all
nations, each with its proper specialty in the way of viands and
service. Necessarily, there was in the carrying out of the latter idea
a good deal of the sham and theatrical. But that gave the thing more
zest, and the saloons were by no means the least effective feature of
the appliances for introducing the races to each other. Tired of
the tender intercourse of chopsticks, forks and fingers, they could
exchange visits in their drawing-rooms; most of the known styles
of dwelling-place, if we except the snow-huts of the Esquimaux,
the burrows of the Kamtchadales and the boats of Canton, having

The United States government took particular interest in this
exposition, and published a long and detailed report made by its
commissioners. Our contributions were not worthy of the country, and
showed but little novelty. Implements of farming and of war, pianos,
sewing-machines and locomotives attracted chief attention. The pianos
were "unreservedly praised." The wines, California having come to the
rescue, were pronounced an improvement on previous specimens. The only
trait of our engines that was admired or borrowed appears to have been
that which had least to do with the organism of the machine--the cab.
In cars our ideas have fruited better, and Pullman and Westinghouse
have gained a firm foothold in England, with whose endorsement their
way is open across the Channel. In the arts we are credited with
seventy-five pictures, against a hundred and twenty-three from England
and six hundred and fifty-two from France.


Here France was at home, and felt it. The works of Dubray, Triquetti,
Yvon, Giraud, Gérôme, Dubufe, Toulmouche, Courbet, Troyon, Rosa
Bonheur and others exhibited the route toward the naturalistic
taken by her modern school, so different from that pursued by the
Pre-Raphaelites in England. The Düsseldorf school has been drawn into
the same path--France's one conquest from Prussia, who made at the
same time a stout struggle in defence of the classic manner through
Kaulbach. The drawings and paintings of art-students maintained by the
French government in Italy attested an enlightened liberality other
governments, general or local, would do well to imitate. The cost of
supporting a few score of pupils in Rome could in no way be better
bestowed for the promotion of commerce, manufactures and education.
Taste has unquestionably a high economic value. But this is only one
of France's ways of recognizing the fact. The government École des
Beaux Arts at Paris contained, in 1875, a hundred and seventy-two
students of architecture, a hundred and eighty-three of painting,
forty of sculpture and two hundred and fifty of engraving.

As a corollary to this assiduous culture, French art collectively was
at the exposition "first, and the rest nowhere." The old works sent
by Italy stood by themselves; and in mosaic, Salviati's glass, and
statuary led by Vela's _Last Moments of Napoleon_, the modern studios
of that country ranked in the front. Prussia had some heliographic
maps, then a new thing, and chromos, also in the bud; Austria and
England, fine architectural drawings; and Eastlake, Stanfield,
Landseer, Frith and Faed crossed pencils with the French. But nothing
modern of the kind could stand by the porcelain of Sèvres, the glass
of St. Louis and Baccarat, the bronzes of other French producers, the
vast collection of drawings of ancient and mediaeval monuments and
architecture in France, her book-binding and illustration by Bida and
Doré, her jewelry and her art-manufactures as a whole. In carriages
she had obviously studied the turnouts of American workshops to

In agricultural machinery all civilized exhibitors had gone to school
to our artisans.

One of our specialties, a postal-car, appeared under the Prussian
flag. So did things more legitimately the property of the nascent
empire. The Krupp gun cast its substance, as well as its shadow,
before. A locomotive destined for India made Bull rub his eyes.
Chemicals in every grade of purity spoke the potency of the German

The probability that the production of beetroot-sugar would before
many years attain a position among the industries of this country gave
interest in the eyes of American visitors to the display of European
machinery employed so successfully in that business. Labor-saving
machinery we have not generally been in the habit of borrowing.
Neither, on the other hand, has Europe been accustomed to draw from
us crude material for the finest manufactures; and the balance was set
even by the admirable quality of the glass made from American sand
and the porcelain moulded in American kaolin. The latter substance, a
silicate of alumina, is not found in England, and at but few points on
the Continent. We have it in abundance and of the finest quality.


The extraordinary steps made within five years in the arts of
destruction were illustrated by the twelve-inch Armstrong rifles of
England and the Essen gun, throwing a 1212-pound shot. In 1862 the
heaviest projectile shown did not exceed one hundred pounds. For
field-service the limit of practice in weight seems long ago to have
been reached: for forts and ships it cannot be far off. Armor and
projectiles must soon bring each other to a standstill; as when, in
the Italian wars of the fifteenth century, offence and defence reached
the _reductio ad absurdum_ of the incapacity of men-at-arms to inflict
serious injury upon each other, or even to pick themselves up when
the weight of their armor, with some aid from the clumsy blows of
an antagonist, had overthrown them. Assailant and assailed were _in
equilibrio_, and personal equilibrium could not be restored. Some such
inane result may be witnessed when a pair of hostile iron-clads, out
of sight of their nursing convoys, shall meet alone upon the deep;
with the disagreeable difference that they will, if they go down, have
a great deal farther to fall than the cuirassiers of the land.


Since 1851 a new commercial cement had come into operation in the
adoption by neighboring powers of the French metrical system. England
and America still hold out against the mètre and the gramme; and the
press of both occasionally levels at it the old jokes of making the
spheres weigh a pound of butter and the polar axis measure a yard
of calico. With the innovation, however, our merchants have become
perforce familiar, a large share of their imported commodities
being invoiced in accordance with it. Its immense superiority to our
complicated and arbitrary weights and measures, in the tables whereof
the same word often has half a dozen meanings, is beyond argument.
In the United States it has earned a quasi-official adoption, but the
force of habit among the people has yet to be overcome.

We may here give, in evidence of the increasing hold these expositions
have upon the popular mind, the gradual multiplication of the numbers
exhibiting. At London, in '51, the exhibitors were 13,937; at Paris,
'55, 23,954; at London, '62, 28,653; and at Paris, '67, 50,226.

Austria, with admirable spirit, determined to anticipate her turn to
enter the lists of peace. Undismayed by Solferino and Sadowa, she had
found her Antaeus in Andrassy. Her capital city was advancing with
immense strides in beauty and extent. Geographically and ethnically it
was, like the empire itself, a meeting-ground of north and south, east
and west. Isolated from the sea, it offered for the transport of heavy
articles a system of railways proved by the event to be sufficiently
effective. It was decided that the march of progress should be more
than kept up, and that the building, with its appendages, should be an
improvement on all its predecessors in extent, in architectural effect
and in solidity of material. The dimensions are so variously stated,
owing largely to difference of opinion as to what should be embraced
within the admeasurement, that we are at a loss how to give them. To
the main building, however, was assigned a capacity of seventy-three
thousand five hundred and ninety-three square mètres. Sixty-three
hundred and eighty of these were awarded to France, ten mètres less
to England; and thirteen hundred and sixty to the United States. The
marquee-like rotunda rose to a height of two hundred and fifty feet,
with a diameter at base of three hundred and fifty-four. The principal
entrance, with piers and arches of cut stone profusely decorated
with statues and reliefs, was in highly satisfactory contrast to
the fragile shells of glass and cast iron that sheltered the earlier


Perhaps in all this solid work the demands of time had not been duly
considered. Certainly, the display was not punctual to the appointed
period of opening. Exceptionally bad weather was another drawback, and
the greed of the Viennese hotel-keepers a third. For such, among other
reasons, the enterprise was financially a failure--a fact which little
concerns those who went to study and learn, and those who three years
later have to describe. If the darkening of the imperial exchequer
prove more than a passing shadow, and an ultimate loss on the
speculation cease to be matter of question, the few millions it cost
may be recovered by the disbanding of a regiment or two. For one
brigade, out of half a million soldiers, to bring the world and its
wealth to the seat of government, is doing better than the usual work
of the bayonet.

The country and the city themselves were a study to foreigners in
many of the modes of life. The extent to which the utilization, as
stationary and locomotive machines, of pigs, cows, women and dogs
was carried elicited constant remark from the Western tourists, with
sundry moral conclusions perhaps too hastily arrived at. This outside
feature of the exposition may serve as an admonition to put our own
surroundings in order. They are not apt to expose us to such comments
as naturally occur to those who have never seen dogs and damsels in
harness together; but other vulnerable points may peradventure be
descried. We must demonstrate our civilization to be complete at
all points, and not simply a coddled exotic under glass. What if our
Viennese guests, physically a stouter race than we, should pronounce
our women _too_ obviously not hod-carriers, and painfully unaccustomed
to wheeling anything heavier than an arm-chair or a piano-stool?

In that land of music concerts could not fail to be a leading feature.
The Boston improvement of emphasizing the bass with discharges of
distant artillery, or its equivalent, the slamming of cellar-doors
nearer by, was not attained. Noise and harmony were kept at arm's
length apart.

The illustration of homes was made a specialty. As at Paris, the
peoples brought their dwellings, or, more often, the dwellings came
without their occupants. The four-footed and feathered live-stock
were of more indubitable authenticity. The display of all the European
breeds of cattle and horses--English Durhams, Alderneys and racers,
Russian trotters, Holstein cows and Flemish mares, the gray oxen of
Hungary and the buffaloes of the Campagna, the wild red pigs of the
Don and the razor-backs of Southern France--was calculated to amuse,
if but moderately to edify, our breeders of Ohio, Kentucky and New
York. A thousand horses and fifteen hundred horned cattle comprised
this congress, while two hundred and fifty pigs were deemed enough to
represent the grunters of all nations.

Of animals in another form, the preserved meats of Australia, sent
sound across the tropics to the amount of seventeen thousand tons in
1872, against _four_ tons in 1866, had their use of instruction to
our packers. So with the improved display of agricultural produce from
Southern Russia, our chief competitor in the grain-market. Our reapers
and threshers are supplanting, in Eastern Europe, the ridiculous
flails, sickles and straight-handled scythes that figured at New York
in 1853. We have sent the Dacians, Huns and Sarmatians weapons to
cut our own commercial throats. There are more enriching articles of
export than wheat, as we must continue to learn.

In turning to other provinces, we find that England was foremost in
machinery, the United States, "the only rival," says a British critic,
"from whom we had anything to fear," being feebly represented, as
we were in other respects, thanks to certain irregularities in the
management of our commissioners sufficiently discussed at the time.
The British carpets out-shone the display of any competitor, the
influence of her new schools of decorative design being unmistakably

The Aubusson carpets of France still maintained their position, as did
the velvet, faïence, tapestry, engravings, books, marine photographs,
etc. of the same country. Italy made her usual contribution in the
arts. Among the Austrian objects of this class the opals of Hungary
were prominent.

India was unexpectedly complete in her collection: not only her modern
industry, but her antiquities, had abundant specimens.

Much criticism has been expended upon the alleged lavish and
indiscriminate distribution of medals and diplomas at Vienna. But,
however numerous the undeserving who obtained them, the deserving must
at the same time have had their share: the shower that fell on the
unjust could not have missed the just. Therefore we note that, despite
our slender show, one hundred and seventy-eight medals for Merit and
sixty-nine for Progress, two for the Fine Arts (German Bierstadt and
French Healey) and five for Good Taste, came to America. The
National Bureau of Education, the Lighthouse Board and the State of
Massachusetts obtained "Grand Diplomas of Honor" for documents. The
like honor was awarded to the city of Boston and the Smithsonian
Institution, and to four private exhibitors for the more
palpable contributions of tool-making machinery, steam-machinery,
mowing-machines and dentistry. This list does not teach us much. The
prizes are, unless awarded with the most intelligent and conscientious
precision, valuable chiefly as advertisements to the recipients, who
can earn, and generally have earned, better advertisements in other

Thus have the chief powers of Western and Central Europe displayed
their mettle in peaceful tourney. The visor of a young and unknown
knight is now barred for the fray. He has, like the rest in these days
of modern chivalry, to be his own herald and blow his own preliminary
blast. It is a tolerably sonorous one. Let the event show that he
speaks not through brass alone.



Thus we fared leisurely along. We passed Cabul merchants peddling
their dried fruit on shaggy-haired camels; to these succeeded, in
more lonesome portions of the road, small groups of Korkas, wretched
remnants of one of the autochthonal families of Central India--even
lower in the scale of civilization than the Gónds, among whom they are
found; and to these the richly-caparisoned elephants of some wealthy
Bhopal gentleman making a journey. We lingered long among the
marvelous old Buddhistic _topes_ or tumuli of Sanchi, and I interested
my companion greatly in describing the mounds of the United
States, with which I was familiar, and whose resemblance to these
richly-sculptured and variously-ornamented ruins, though rude and far
off, was quite enough to set his active fancy to evolving all manner
of curious hypotheses going to explain such similarity. The whole way,
by Sangor, Gharispore, Bhilsa, Sanchi, Sonori, presented us with the
most interesting relics of the past, and the frequent recurrence of
the works of the once prevalent Buddhistic faith continually incited
us to new discussions of the yet unsolved question, Why has Buddha's
religion, which once had such entire possession of this people's
hearts, so entirely disappeared from the land?

And, as nothing could be more completely contrasted with the desert
asceticism which Buddha's tenets inculcated than the luxury into which
Mohammed's creed has flowered, so nothing could have more strikingly
broken in upon our discussions of the Buddhistic monuments than
the view which we at last obtained of the lovely Mohammedan city of
Bhopal. To the south and east ran a strip of country as barren and
heartacheish as if the very rocks and earth had turned Buddhist,
beyond which a range of low rounded hills, not unlike _topes_,
completed the ascetic suggestion. But, turning from this, we saw
Mohammedanism at its very loveliest. Minarets, domes, palaces,
gardens, the towers of the citadel, waters of lovely lakes, all
mingled themselves together in the voluptuous light of the low
sun: there was a sense of music, of things that sparkled, of pearly
lustres, of shimmering jewels, of softness, of delight, of luxury.
Bhopal looked over the ragged valley like a sultan from the window of
his zenana regarding afar off an unkempt hermit in his solitude. My
companion had arranged for permission to enter the town, and it was
not long ere we were installed in the house of a friend of Bhima
Gandharva's, whose guests we remained during our stay in Bhopal.


On a rock at the summit of a hill commanding this interesting city
stands the fort of Fatehgarh, built by a certain Afghan adventurer,
Dost Mohammed Khan, who, in a time when this part of India must have
been a perfect paradise for all the free lances of the East, was
so fortunate as to win the favor of Aurungzebe, and to receive as
evidence thereof a certain district in Malwa. The Afghan seems to
have lost no time in improving the foothold thus gained, and he thus
founded the modern district of Bhopal, which was formerly divided
between Malwa and Góndwana, one gate of the town standing in the
former and one in the latter country. Dost Mohammed Khan appears,
indeed, to have been not the only adventurer who bettered his fortunes
in Bhopal. It is a curious fact, and one well illustrating the
liberality which has characterized much of the more modern history of
the Bhopal government, that no long time ago it was administered by
a regency consisting of three persons--one a Hindu, one a Mohammedan,
and the other a Christian. This Christian is mentioned by Sir John
Malcolm as "Shahzed Musseah, or Belthazzar Bourbona" (by which Sir
John means _Shahzahad Messiah_--a native appellation signifying "the
Christian prince"--or _Balthazar of Bourbon_), and is described by
that officer, to whom he was well known, as a brave soldier and an
able man. He traced his lineage to a certain Frenchman calling himself
John of Bourbon, who in the time of Akbar was high in favor and
position at Delhi. His widow, the princess Elizabeth of Bourbon, still
resides at Bhopal in great state, being possessed of abundant wealth
and ranking second only to the Begum. She is the acknowledged head of
a large number of descendants of John of Bourbon, amounting to five or
six hundred, who remain at Bhopal and preserve their faith--having a
church and Catholic priest of their own--as well as the traditions of
their ancestry, which, according to their claim, allies them to the
royal blood of France.

No mention of Bhopal can fail to pay at least a hasty tribute in
commemoration of the forcible character and liberal politics of
the Begum, who has but of late gone to her account after a long and
sometimes trying connection with the administration of her country's
affairs. After the death of her husband--who was accidentally killed
by a pistol in the hands of a child not long after the treaty with the
English in 1818--their nephew, then in his minority, was considered as
the future nawab, and was betrothed to their daughter, the Begum being
regent during his minority. When the time came, with his majority, for
the nuptials, the Begum refused to allow the marriage to take place,
for reasons which need not here be detailed. After much dispute a
younger brother of the nephew was declared more eligible, but the
Begum still managed in one way or another to postpone matters, much to
his dissatisfaction. An arbitration finally resulted in placing him
on the throne, but his reign was short, and he died after a few years,
leaving the Begum again in practical charge of affairs--a position
which she improved by instituting many wise and salutary reforms and
bringing the state of Bhopal to a condition of great prosperity. The
Pearl Mosque (_Monti Masjid_), which stands immediately in front
of the palace, was built at her instance in imitation of the great
cathedral-mosque of Delhi, and presents a charming evidence of her
taste, as well as of the architectural powers still existing in this
remarkable race.

The town proper of Bhopal is enclosed by a much--decayed wall of
masonry some two miles in circuit, within which is a fort, similar
both in its condition and material to the wall. Outside these limits
is a large commercial quarter (_gunge_). The beautiful lake running
off past the town to the south is said to be artificial in its origin,
and to have been produced at the instance of Bho Pal, the minister
of King Bohoje, as long ago as the sixth century, by damming up the
waters of the Bess (or Besali) River, for the purpose of converting an
arid section into fertile land. It is still called the Bhopal Tal.


If this were a ponderous folio of travels, one could detail the
pleasures and polite attentions of one's Bhopalese host; of the social
_utter-pán_; of the sprinklings with rose-water; of the dreamy talks
over fragrant hookahs; of the wanderings among bazaars filled with
moving crowds of people hailing from all the ports that lie between
Persia and the Góndwana; of the _fêtes_ where the nautch-girl of
Baroda contended in graceful emulation with the nautch-girl of Ulwur,
and the cathacks (or male dancers) with both; of elegantly-perfumed
Bhopalese young men; of the palaces of nobles guarded by soldiers
whose accoutrements ranged from the musket to the morion; of the
Moharum, when the Mohammedan celebrates the New Year. But what would
you have? A sketch is a sketch. We have got only to the heart of
India: the head and the whole prodigious eastern side are not yet
reached. It is time one were off for Jhansi.

At Bioura we encountered modern civilization again in the shape of the
south-west branch of the Grand Trunk road, which leads off from the
main stem at Agra. The Grand Trunk is not a railroad, but a firm and
smooth highway, with which the English have united Calcutta to the
North-west Provinces and to the west of India. Much of this great
roadway is metaled with _kunkur_, an oolitic limestone found near the
surface of the soil in Hindustan; and all Anglo-India laughed at the
joke of an irreverent punster who, _apropos_ of the fact that this
application of kunkur to the road-bed was made under the orders of
Lord William Bentinck, then governor-general, dubbed that gentleman
William the Kunkurer.

We had abandoned our _chapaya_--which, we may add for the benefit
of future travelers, we had greatly improved as against jolting by
causing it to be suspended upon a pair of old springs which we found,
a relic of some antique break-down, in a village on the route--and
after a short journey on elephants were traveling _dâk_; that is, by
post. The _dâk-gharri_ is a comfortable-enough long carriage on four
wheels, and constitutes the principal mode of conveyance for travelers
in India besides the railway. It contains a mattress inside, for it
goes night and day, and one's baggage is strapped on top, much as in
an American stage-coach after the "boot" is full. Frequent relays of
horses along the route enable the driver to urge his animals from one
station to the other with great speed, and the only other stoppages
are at the _dâk_-bungalows.

"I have discovered," I said to Bhima Gandharva after a short
experience of the _dâk-gharri_ and the _dâk_-bungalows--"I have
discovered a general remark about India which is _not_ absurd: all the
horses are devils and all the _dâk_-bungalow servants are patriarchs."

"If you judge by the heels of the former and the beards of the latter,
it is true," he said.

This little passage was based on the experience of the last relay,
which was, however, little more than a repetition of many previous
ones. My friend and I having arranged ourselves comfortably in the
_dâk-gharri_ as soon as it was announced ready to start, the long and
marvelously lean Indian who was our driver signified to his team by
the usual horse-language that we should be glad to go. The horse did
not even agitate his left ear--a phenomenon which I associate with
a horse in that moment when he is quietly making up his mind to be
fractious. "Go, my brother," said the driver in a mellifluous and
really fraternal tone of voice. The horse disdained to acknowledge the
tie: he stood still.


Then the driver changed the relationship, with an access of tenderness
in voice and in adjuration. "Go, my son," he entreated. But the son
stood as immovable as if he were going to remain a monument of filial
impiety to all time.

"Go, my grandson, my love." This seemed entirely too much for the
animal, and produced apparently a sense of abasement in him which was
in the highest degree uncomplimentary to his human kinsman and lover.
He lay down. In so doing he broke several portions of the ragged
harness, and then proceeded, with the most deliberate absurdity, to
get himself thoroughly tangled in the remainder.

"I think I should be willing," I said to my companion, "to carry that
horse to Jhansi on my own shoulders if I could have the pleasure of
seeing him blown from one of the rajah's cannon in the, fort."

But the driver, without the least appearance of discomposure, had
dismounted, and with his long deft Hindu fingers soon released the
animal, patched up his gear, replaced him between the shafts and
resumed his place.


Another round of consanguinities: the animal still remained immovable,
till presently he lunged out with a wicked kick which had nearly
obliterated at one blow the whole line of his ancestry and collateral
relatives as represented in the driver. At this the latter became
as furious as he had before been patient: he belabored the horse,
assistants ran from the stables, the whole party yelled and
gesticulated at the little beast simultaneously, and he finally broke
down the road at a pace which the driver did not suffer him to relax
until we arrived at the bungalow where we intended to stop for supper.

A venerable old Mohammedan in a white beard that gave him the majesty
of Moses advanced for the purpose of ascertaining our wants.

"Had he any mutton-chops?" asked Bhima Gandharva in Hindustani, the
_lingua franca_ of the country.

"Cherisher of the humble! no."

"Any beefsteak?"

"Nourisher of the poor! no."

"Well, then, I _hear_ a chicken," said my friend, conclusively.

"O great king," said the Mohammedan, turning to me, "there _is_ a

In a twinkling the cook caught the chicken: its head was turned toward
Mecca. Bismillah! O God the Compassionate, the Merciful! the poor
fowl's head flew off, and by the time we had made our ablutions supper
was ready.

Turning across the ridges to the north-eastward from Sipri, we were
soon making our way among the tanks and groves which lie about the
walls of Jhansi. Here, as at Poona, there was ever present to me a
sense of evil destinies, of blood, of treacheries, which seemed to
linger about the trees and the tanks like exhalations from the old
crimes which have stained the soil of the country. For Jhansi is in
the Bundelcund, and the Bundelcund was born in great iniquity. The
very name--which properly is _Bundelakhand,_ or "the country of the
Bundelas"--has a history thickly set about with the terrors of caste,
of murder and of usurpation. Some five hundred years ago a certain
Rajput prince, Hurdeo Sing, committed the unpardonable sin of marrying
a slave (_bundi_), and was in consequence expelled from the Kshatriya
caste to which he belonged. He fled with his disgrace into this
region, and after some years found opportunity at least to salve his
wounds with blood and power. The son of the king into whose land he
had escaped conceived a passion for the daughter of the slave wife.
It must needs have been a mighty sentiment, for the conditions which
Hurdeo Sing exacted were of a nature to try the strongest love. These
were, that the nuptial banquet should be prepared by the unmentionable
hands of the slave wife herself, and that the king and his court
should partake of it--a proceeding which would involve the loss of
their caste also. But the prince loved, and his love must have lent
him extraordinary eloquence, for he prevailed on his royal father to
accept the disgrace. If one could only stop here, and record that he
won his bride, succeeded his magnanimous old parent on the throne,
lived a long and happy life with his queen, and finally died regretted
by his loving people! But this is in the Bundelcund, and the facts
are, that the treacherous Hurdeo Sing caused opium to be secretly put
into all the dishes of the wedding-feast, and when the unsuspecting
revelers were completely stupefied by the drug had the whole party
assassinated, after which he possessed himself of the throne and
founded the Bundelcund.

One does not wonder that the hills and forests of such a land became
the hiding-places of the strangling Thugs, the home of the poisoning
Dacoits, the refuge of conspirators and insurgents and the terror of
Central India.

As for Jhansi, the district in whose capital we were now sojourning,
its people must have tasted many of the sorrows of anarchy and of
despotism even in recent times. It was appurtenant no long time ago to
the Bundela rajah of Ourcha: from him it passed by conquest into the
possession of the Peishwa. These small districts were all too handy
for being tossed over as presents to favorites: one finds them falling
about among the greedy subordinates of conquerors like nuts thrown out
to school-boys. The Peishwa gave Jhansi to a soubahdar: the British
government then appeared, and effected an arrangement by which the
soubahdar should retain it as hereditary rajah on the annual payment
of twenty-four thousand rupees. This so-called rajah, Ramchund Rao,
died without issue in 1835. Amid great disputes as to the succession
the British arbitrators finally decided in favor of Rugonath Rao; but
new quarrels straightway arose, a great cry being made that Rugonath
Rao was a leper, and that a leper ought not to be a rajah. His death
in some three years settled that difficulty, only to open fresh
ones among the conflicting claimants. These perplexing questions the
British finally concluded quite effectually by assuming charge of the
government themselves, though this was attended with trouble, for the
stout old mother of Ramchund Rao made armed resistance from the fort
or castellated residence of the rajahs, which stands on its great
rock overlooking the town of Jhansi. A commission finally decreed the
succession to Baba Gunghadar Rao, but retained the substantial power
until the revenues had recovered from the depression consequent upon
these anarchic disturbances.


"At any rate," I said as Bhima Gandharva finished this narrative while
we were walking about the burial-place of the rajahs of Jhansi, and
occupying ourselves with tracing the curious admixture of Moslem with
Hindu architecture presented by the tombs, "these rajahs, if they
loved each other but little in life, appear to have buried each other
with proper enough observances: the cenotaphs are worthy of tenderer

"Yes," he said: "this part of India is everywhere a land of beautiful
tombs which enclose ugly memories. I recall one tomb, however, near
which I have spent many hours of tranquil meditation, and which is
at once lovely without and within: it is the tomb of the Muslim saint
Allum Sayed at Baroda. It was built of stones taken from an old Jain
temple whose ruins are still visible near by; and with a singular
fitness, in view of its material, the Muslim architect has mingled
his own style with the Hindu, so that an elegant union of the keen
and naked Jain asceticism with the mellower and richer fancy of the
luxurious Mohammedan has resulted in a perfect work of that art which
makes death lovely by recalling its spiritual significance. Besides,
a holy silence broods about the cactus and the euphorbian foliage,
so that a word will send the paroquets, accustomed to such unbroken
stillness, into hasty flights. The tomb proper is in the chamber at
the centre, enclosed by delicately-trellised walls of stone. I can
easily fancy that the soul of Allum Sayed is sitting by his grave,
like a faithful dog loath to quit his dead master.

[Illustration: TOMB OF ALLUM SAYED.]

Jhansi was once in the enjoyment of a considerable trade. The caravans
from the Deccan to Furruckabad and other places in the Douab were
in the habit of stopping here, and there was much trafficking in the
cloths of Chanderi and in bows, arrows and spears--the weapons of the
Bundela tribes--which were here manufactured. Remnants of the wealth
then acquired remain; and on the evening of the same day when we were
wandering among the rajahs' tombs we proceeded to the house of a rich
friend of Bhima Gandharva's, where we were to witness a _nautch_, or
dance, executed by a wandering troop of Mewati bayadères. We arrived
about nine o'clock: a servant sprinkled us with rose-water, and we
were ushered into a large saloon, where the bayadères were seated with
a couple of musicians, one of whom played the tam-tam and another
a sort of violin. When the family of our host, together with a few
friends, were seated at the end of the room opposite the bayadères,
the signal was given, and the music commenced with a soft and
indescribably languorous air. One of the bayadères rose with a lithe
and supple movement of the body not comparable to anything save the
slow separating of a white scud from the main cloud which one sees
on a summer's day high up in the cirrus regions. She was attired in a
short jacket, a scarf, and a profusion of floating stuff that seemed
at once to hide and expose. Presently I observed that her jewelry was
glittering as it does not glitter when one is still, yet her feet
were not moving. I also heard a gentle tinkling from her anklets and
bracelets. On regarding her more steadily, I saw that her whole body
was trembling in gentle and yet seemingly intense vibrations, and she
maintained this singular agitation while she assumed an attitude
of much grace, extending her arms and spreading out her scarf in
gracefully-waving curves. In these slow and languid changes of
posture, which accommodated themselves to the music like undulations
in running water to undulations in the sand of its bed, and in the
strange trembling of her body, which seemed to be an inner miniature
dance of the nerves, consisted her entire performance. She intensified
the languid nature of her movements by the languishing coquetries of
her enormous black eyes, from which she sent piercing glances
between half-closed lids. It was a dance which only southern peoples
understand. Any one who has ever beheld the _slow juba_ of the negro
in the Southern United States will recognize its affinity to these
movements, which, apparently deliberate, are yet surcharged with
intense energy and fire.

[Illustration: MEWATI DANCING-GIRL.]

Her performance being finished, the bayadère was succeeded by others,
each of whom appeared to have her specialty--one imitating by her
postures a serpent-charmer; another quite unequivocally representing
a man-charmer; another rapidly executing what seemed an interminable
pirouette. Finally, all joined in a song and a closing round, adding
the sound of clapping hands to the more energetic measures of the

"I can now understand," I said when the nautch was finished, "the
remark of the shah of Persia which set everybody laughing not long ago
in England. During his visit to that country, being present at a ball
where ladies and gentlemen were enjoying themselves in a somewhat
laborious way in dancing, he finally asked, 'Why do you not make
your servants do this for you?' It is at least entertaining to see
a nautch, but to wade through the English interpretation of a waltz,
_hic labor hoc opus est_, and the servants _ought_ to perform it."

"Do you know," said Bhima Gandharva, "that much the same national mode
of thought which prompts the Hindu to have his dancing done by the
nautch-girls also prompts him to have his tax-gathering and general
governing done by the English? We are often asked why the spectacle
has so often been seen of our native princes quietly yielding up their
kingdoms to strangers, and even why we do not now rise and expel the
foreigner from power over us. The truth is, most Hindus are only
glad to get some one else to do the very hard work of governing. The
Englishman is always glad to get a French cook, because the French can
cook better than the English. Why should not we be also glad to get
English governors, when the English govern so much better than the
Hindus? In truth, governing and cooking are very like--the successful
ruler, like the successful cook, has only to consult the tastes of his
employers; and upon any proper theory of politics government becomes
just as purely an economic business as cooking. You do not cook your
own dinner: why? Because you desire to devote your time to something
better and higher. So we do not collect taxes and lay them out for the
public convenience, because there are other things we prefer to do. I
am amazed at the modern ideas of government: it is looked upon as an
end, as an objective result in itself, whereas it is really only
the merest of means toward leaving a man at leisure to attend to his
private affairs. The time will come"--and here the Hindu betrayed more
energy than I had hitherto ever seen him display--"when the world will
have its whole governing work done upon contract by those best fitted
for it, and when such affairs will be looked upon as belonging simply
to the police function of existence, which negatively secures us from
harm, without at all positively touching the substantial advancement
of man's life."

The next day we fared northward toward Agra, by Duttiah, Gwalior and
Dholepore. Learning at Agra that the northward-bound train--for
here we had come upon complete civilization again in the East Indian
Railway--would pass in an hour, we determined to reserve the Taj
Mahal (the lovely Pearl Mosque of Agra) until we should be returning
from Delhi to Calcutta. Bhima Gandharva desired me, however, to see
the Douab country and the old sacred city of Mattra; and so when we
had reached Hatras Station, a few miles north of Agra, we abandoned
the railway and struck across to the south-westward, toward Mattra, in
a hired carriage.

We were now veritably in ancient Hindustan. It was among these level
plains through which we were rolling that the antique Brahmins came
and propounded that marvelous system which afterward took the whole
heart of the land. Nothing could have been more striking than to cast
one's eye thus over the wide cotton-fields--for one associates cotton
with the New--and find them cultivated by these bare-legged and
breech-clouted peasants of the Douab, with ploughs which consisted
substantially of a crooked stick shod with iron at the end, and with
other such farming-implements out of the time that one thinks of
as forty centuries back. Yet in spite of this primitive rudeness
of culture, and of an aridity of soil necessitating troublesome
irrigation, these plains have for a prodigious period of time
supported a teeming population; and I could not help crying out to
Bhima Gandharva that if we had a few millions of these gentle and
patient peasants among the cotton-fields of the United States, the
South would quickly become a Garden of Delight and the planters could
build Jammah Masjids with rupees for marble.

[Illustration: PEASANTS OF THE DOUAB.]

The conservatism which has preserved for so long a time the ancient
rude methods of industry begins to grow on one as one passes between
these villages of people who seem to be living as if they were
perfectly sure that God never intended them to live any other way.

"It is not long," said my friend, "since a British officer of
engineers, on some expedition or other, was encamped for the night
at no great distance from here. His tent had been pitched near one of
those Persian water-wheels such as you have seen, which, although of
great antiquity, are perhaps as ingeniously adapted to the purpose of
lifting water as any machine ever invented. The creaking of the wheel
annoyed him very much, and after a restless night, owing to that
cause, he rose and went out of his tent and inquired of the proprietor
of the wheel (a native) why in the name of Heaven he never greased it.
'Because,' said the conservative Hindu, 'I have become so accustomed
to the noise that I can only sleep soundly while it is going on: when
it stops, then I wake, and knowing from the cessation of the sound
that my bullock-driver is neglecting his duty, I go out and beat him.'
Thus, even the conservation of the useless comes in time to create
habits which are useful."

"It is true," I replied, "and it recalls to me a somewhat unusual
illustration. A summer or two ago a legal friend of mine, who is the
possessor of a large family of children, came into the court-room one
morning with very red eyes, and to my inquiry concerning the cause
of the same he replied: 'To tell you the truth, I can't go to sleep
unless a child is crying about the house somewhere; but my wife left
town yesterday for the summer with all the children, and I haven't had
a wink the whole night.'"

A drive of some five hours brought us to Mattra after dark, and as we
crossed the bridge of boats over the sacred Jumna (the _Yamuna_ of the
Sanscrit poems) he seemed indeed thrice holy, with his bosom full
of stars. Mattra, which lies immediately on the western bank of the
river, stands next to Benares among the holy cities of the Hindus:
here both the soil and the river-water are consecrated, for this was
the birthplace of Krishna, or, more properly speaking, the scene of
that avatar of Vishnu which is known as Krishna. When we rose early in
the morning and repaired to the river-bank, hundreds of the faithful
were ascending and descending the numerous ghâts leading down the high
bank to the water, while a still more animated crowd of both sexes
were standing up to their middle in the stream, throwing the water in
this direction and that, and mingling their personal ablutions with
the rites of worship in such a way as might at once clean both
souls and bodies. Evidences of the holy character of the town met
us everywhere as we strolled back to our lodgings. Sacred monkeys,
painted red over their hind quarters in consecration to the monkey-god
Hanuman, capered and grinned about us, and sacred bulls obstructed
our way along the narrow and dirty streets, while everywhere we saw
pictures representing Krishna--sometimes much like an Apollo in the
guise of a youthful shepherd playing the flute to a group of young
girls, who danced under a tree; sometimes as a Hercules strangling a
serpent or performing other feats of physical strength.

Fabulous stories are told of the early wealth and glory of Mattra.
Ferishta relates that when Mahmoud of Ghazni had arrived with his
troops in the neighborhood in the year 1017, he heard of this rich
city consecrated to Krishna Vasu-Deva, and straightway marching upon
it captured it and gave it up to plunder. Writing of it afterward to
the governor of Ghazni, he declared that such another city could not
be built within two centuries; that it contained one thousand edifices
"as firm as the faith of the faithful," and mostly built of marble;
that among the temples had been found five golden idols in whose heads
were ruby eyes worth fifty thousand dinars; that in another was a
sapphire weighing four hundred _miskals_ (the present _miskal_ of
Bosrah is seventy-two grains), the image itself producing, after being
melted, ninety-eight thousand three hundred _miskals_ of pure gold;
and that besides these there were captured one hundred silver idols,
each of which was a camel's load.

We spent a pleasant morning in wandering about the old ruined
fort which was built here by Jey Singh (or Jaya Sinha), the famous
astronomer, and we were particularly attracted, each in his own
contemplative and quiet way, by the ruins of an observatory which we
found on the roof of one of the buildings, where the remains of old
dials, horizontal circles and mural instruments lay scattered about.
I think the only remark made by either of us was when Bhima Gandharva
declared in a voice of much earnestness, from behind a broken gnomon
where he had ensconced himself, that he saw Time lying yonder on his
back, with his head on a broken dial, nearly asleep.


Returning to Hatras Station on the same day, we again took the train,
and this time did not leave it until we had crossed the great tubular
bridge over the Jumna and come to a standstill in the station at
Delhi. Here we found one of the apparently innumerable friends of
Bhima Gandharva, a banker of Delhi, awaiting us with a carriage, and
we were quickly driven to his residence--a circumstance, by the way,
which I discovered next day to be a legitimate matter of felicitation
to myself, for there is, strange to say, no hotel in Delhi for
Europeans, travelers being dependent upon the accommodations of a
_dâk_-bungalow, where one is lodged for a rupee a day.

In the morning we made an early start for the palace of the padishahs,
which stands near the river, and indeed may be said to constitute the
eastern portion of the city, having a wall of a mile in extent on its
three sides, while the other abuts along the offset of the Jumna upon
which Delhi is built. Passing under a splendid Gothic arch in the
centre of a tower, then along a vaulted aisle in the centre of which
was an octagonal court of stone, the whole route being adorned with
flowers carved in stone and inscriptions from the Koran, we finally
gained the court of the palace, in which is situated the Dewani Khas,
the famous throne-room which contained the marvelous "peacock throne."
I found it exteriorly a beautiful pavilion of white marble crowned by
four domes of the same material, opening on one side to the court,
on the other to the garden of the palace. On entering, my eye was
at first conscious only of a confused interweaving of traceries and
incrustations of stones, nor was it until after a few moments that I
could bring myself to any definite singling out of particular elements
from the general dream of flowing and intricate lines; but presently
I was enabled to trace with more discriminating pleasure the flowers,
the arabesques, the inscriptions which were carved or designed in
incrustations of smaller stones, or inlaid or gilt on ceiling, arch
and pillar.

Yet what a sense of utter reverse of fortune comes upon one after the
first shock of the beauty of these delicate stone fantasies! Wherever
we went--in the Dewani Aum or hall of audience; in the Akbari Hammun
or imperial baths; in the Sammam Burj or private palace of the
padishahs, that famous and beautiful palace over whose gate the
well-known inscription stands, "If there is a Paradise on earth, it
is here;" in the court, in the garden--everywhere was abandonment,
everywhere the filthy occupations of birds, everywhere dirt, decay,

It was therefore a prodigious change when, emerging from the main gate
of the palace, we found ourselves in the great thoroughfare of Delhi,
the Chandni Chowk (literally "Shining street"), which runs straight to
the Lahore gate of the city. Here an immense number of daily affairs
were transacting themselves, and the Present eagerly jostled the Past
out of the road. The shops were of a size which would have seemed very
absurd to an enterprising American tradesman, and those dealing in
the same commodities appeared to be mostly situated together--here the
shoemakers, there the bankers, and so on.

The gold-embroidered cloths--Delhi is famous for them--made me think
of those embroidered in stone which we had just seen in the Dewani
Khas. These people seem to dream in curves and flowing lines, as the
German dreams in chords and meandering tones, the Italian in colors
and ripe forms.

("And as the American--?" said Bhima Gandharva with a little smile as
we were walking down the Chandni Chowk.

"The American does not dream--yet," I answered.)


We saw much of the embroidered fabrics known as "kincob" (properly,
_kunkhwab_) and "kalabatu;" and Bhima Gandharva led me into an inner
apartment where a _nakad_ was manufacturing the gold thread (called
_kalabatoon_) for these curious loom embroideries. The kalabatoon
consists of gold wire wound about a silk thread; and nothing could
better illustrate the deftness of the Hindu fingers than the motions
of the workman whom we saw. Over a polished steel hook hung from the
ceiling the end of a reel of slightly twisted silk thread was passed.
This end was tied to a spindle with a long bamboo shank, which was
weighted and nearly reached the floor. Giving the shank of the spindle
a smart roll along his thigh, the workman set it going with great
velocity: then applying to the revolving thread the end of a quantity
of gold wire which was wound upon a different reel, the gold wire
twisted itself in with the silk thread and made a length of kalabatoon
about as long as the workman. The kalabatoon was then reeled off on a
separate reel, and the process continually repeated.

We stopped at the office of our banker for a moment on our way along
the Chandni Chowk in order to effect some changes of money. As we were
leaving, Bhima Gandharva inquired if I had observed the young man in
the red cotton turban who had politely broken off in our favor a long
negotiation with our banker, which he resumed when we had finished our
little business.

"Of course I did," I replied. "What a beautiful young man he was!
His aquiline nose, his fair complexion, his brilliant eyes, his
lithe form, his intelligent and vivacious expression,--all these
irresistibly attracted me to him."

"Ha!" said Bhima Gandharva, as if he were clearing his throat. He
grasped my arm: "Come, I thought I saw the young man's father standing
near the door as we passed out. I wonder if _he_ will irresistibly
attract you?" He made me retrace my steps to the banker's office:
"There he is."

He was the image of the son in feature, yet his face was as repulsive
as his son's was beautiful: the Devil after the fall, compared with
the angel he was before it, would have presented just such a contrast.

"They are two Vallàbhácháryas," said my companion as we walked away.
"You know that the trading community of India, comprehended under
the general term of Baniahs, is divided into numerous castes, which
transmit their avocations from father to son and preserve themselves
free from intermixture with others. The two men you saw are probably
on some important business negotiation connected with Bombay or the
west of India; for they are Bhattias, who are also followers of
the most singular religion the world has ever known--that of the
Vallàbháchárya or Maharaja sect. These are Epicureans who have quite
exceeded, as well in their formal creeds as in their actual practices,
the wildest dreams of any of those mortals who have endeavored to
make a religion of luxury. They are called Vallàbhácháryas, from
_Vallabha_, the name of their founder, who dates from 1479, and
_áchárya_, a "leader." Their _Pushti Marga_, or eat-and-drink
doctrine, is briefly this: In the centre of heaven (_Gouloka_) sits
Krishna, of the complexion of a dark cloud, clad in yellow, covered
with unspeakable jewels, holding a flute. He is accompanied by Roaha,
his wife, and also by three hundred millions of Gopis, or female
attendants, each of whom has her own palace and three millions of
private maids and waiting-women. It appears that once upon a time two
over-loving Gopis quarreled about the god, and, as might be expected
in a place so given over to love, they fell from heaven as a
consequence. Animated by love for them, Krishna descended from heaven,
incarnated himself in the form of Vallabha (founder of the sect), and
finally redeemed them. Vallabha's descendants are therefore all gods,
and reverence is paid them as such, the number of them being now sixty
or seventy. To God belong all things--_Tan_ (the body), _Man_ (the
mind) and _Dhan_ (earthly possessions). The Vallàbhácháryas therefore
give up all first to be enjoyed by their god, together with his
descendants (the Maharajas, as they royally term themselves) and
his representatives, the gosains or priestly teachers. Apply these
doctrines logically, and what a carnival of the senses results! A few
years ago one Karsandas Mulji, a man of talent and education, was sued
for libel in the court at Bombay by this sect, whose practices he
had been exposing. On the trial the evidence revealed such a mass
of iniquity, such a complete subversion of the natural proprietary
feelings of manhood in the objects of its love, such systematic
worship of beastly sin, as must for ever give the Vallàbhácháryas
pre-eminence among those who have manufactured authority for crime out
of the laws of virtue. For the Vallàbhácháryas derive their scriptural
sanction from the eighth book of the _Bhagavata Purana_, which they
have completely falsified from its true meaning in their translation
called the _Prem Sagar_, or "Ocean of Love." You saw the son? In
twenty years--for these people cannot last long--trade and cunning
and the riot of all the senses will have made him what you saw the


On the next day we visited the Jammah Masjid, the "Great Mosque" of
Shah Jehan the renowned, and the glory of Delhi. Ascending the flight
of steps leading to the principal entrance, we passed under the lofty
arch of the gateway and found ourselves in a great court four hundred
and fifty feet square, paved with red stone, in the centre of which
a large basin supplied by several fountains contained the water for
ceremonial ablutions. On three sides ran light and graceful arcades,
while the fourth was quite enclosed by the mass of the mosque proper.
Crossing the court and ascending another magnificent flight of
stone steps, our eyes were soon commanding the façade of the great
structure, and reveling in those prodigious contrasts of forms and
colors which it presents. No building could, for this very reason,
suffer more from that lack of simultaneity which is involved in any
description by words; for it is the vivid shock of seeing, in one
stroke of the eye, these three ripe and luxuriant domes (each of which
at the same time offers its own subsidiary opposition of white and
black stripes), relieved by the keen heights of the two flanking
minarets,--it is this, together with the noble admixtures of reds,
whites and blacks in the stones, crowned by the shining of the gilded
minaret-shafts, which fills the eye of the beholder with a large
content of beautiful form and color.

As one's eye becomes cooler one begins to distinguish in the front,
which is faced with slabs of pure white marble, the divisions adorned
by inscriptions from the Koran inlaid in letters of black marble,
and the singularly airy little pavilions which crown the minarets. We
ascended one of the minarets by a winding staircase of one hundred
and thirty steps, and here, while our gaze took flight over Delhi and
beyond, traversing in a second the achievements of many centuries
and races, Bhima Gandharva told me of the glories of old Delhi.
Indranechta--as Delhi appears in the fabulous legends of old India,
and as it is still called by the Hindus--dates its own birth as far
back as three thousand years before our era. It was fifty-seven years
before the time of Christ that the name of Delhi began to appear in
history. Its successive destructions (which a sketch like this cannot
even name) left enormous quantities of ruins, and as its successive
rebuildings were accomplished by the side of (not upon) these remains,
the result has been that from the garden of Shahlimar, the site of
which is on the north-west of the town, to beyond the Kantab Minar,
whose tall column I could plainly distinguish rising up nine miles
off to the south-west, the plain of Delhi presents an accumulation and
variety of ruins not to be surpassed in the whole world.


With their enthusiasm fairly kindled for the work which the government
carries on in the signal-service department of the little house on the
beach,[A] our exploring party descended the narrow ladder and found
themselves in a ten-by-twelve room, warmed by a stove and surrounded
by benches. It is used, the old captain who has volunteered as guide
tells us, by the men on the life-saving service during the nine months
in which they are on duty. A cheerful fire was burning in the stove,
and we gathered about it: the wind blew a stronger gale each moment
outside, barring out the far sea-horizon with a wall of gray mist. The
tide rolled up on the shelving beach beneath the square window with a
sullen, treacherous roar.

"It's the bar that gives the sea that sound," said the captain. "This
is the ugliest bit of coast for vessels from Nova Scotia to Florida.
It's like this," drawing his finger across the table in the
vain effort to map out the matter intelligibly to a landsman's
comprehension. "Here's the Jersey coast. You've got to hug it close
with your vessel to make New York harbor--there; and all along it,
from Sandy Hook to Cape May, runs the bar--so. Broken, but so much the
worse. A nor'-easter drives you on it, sure. I've known from sixteen
to twenty wracks in a winter on this coast before the companies or
government took up the matter."

[Footnote A: See the article entitled "The House on the Beach," in
_Lippincott's Magazine_ for January. Since the publication of that
paper a letter of distinction has been received by General Albert J.
Myer from the International Congress of Geographical Sciences, held
in Paris in 1875, which states that the United States signal service
appeared to the Congress to deserve an exceptional reward. "This
service, so remarkably organized, has been the cause of such progress
in meteorological science that the distinctions provided by the
regulations of the Congress would not be commensurate for it." The
letter of distinction was therefore sent as the highest award decreed
by the Congress.]

"That only argued bad seamanship," said one of his listeners. "When
every ship's captain knew the bar--"

"That's precisely what they didn't know. It alters with every year;
and on a dark night, with a driving sea and wind both against you,
there's small chance of clearing it. However, I don't mean to say
that all of them vessels were wracked fair and square. It got to be
customary with owners of wornout coast-schooners to send them out with
light cargoes and run them on the Jersey bar. The captain and crew
would time it so's they could get ashore, and the sea would soon break
up the vessel, and then up they goes to York for insurance on ship and
cargo. There was a good deal of that sort of work went on when I was
a boy, until the underwriters got wind of it and established the
wracking system."

"This building?--"

"No, no! Don't confound the two things. This is government work
altogether, and maintained solely for the saving of life. The crew
of the lifeboat here are not allowed to touch a pound of freight or
baggage on a wracked ship. The wracking-masters were appointed and
paid by the board of underwriters in New York. Old Captain Brown was
general agent on this beach. They took the coast in charge, as you
might say, long before this government service was started. It was
managed--like this," resorting again to his finger and the imaginary
lines on the table. "A vessel came ashore on the bar. The first man
who saw it gave warning to the wracking-master, who took command of
the men ashore and the cargo in behalf of the insurance companies."

"Were there any signals then to rouse the coast in case of wreck?"

"Lord save you! no: every man warned his neighbor. There weren't but a
few scattered folks along the coast then, but in time of a wrack you'd
see them in the dead of night ready and waiting along the beach. No
need of your signal-flags for them, I reckon. They knew there'd be
dead men and plenty of wrack coming ashore before morning."

"And every man was ready to go out in his boat?" cried an enthusiastic
townsman, "or to carry a line to the sinking ship?"

"Well--hardly," said the captain with a dry smile. "Folks that
know the water don't go exactly that way to work. There was regular
wracking-boats, built for the surf, and crews for each, you see: best
man in the starn. The man in the starn, he generally owned the boat
and chose his crew. Picked men. He kept them year after year. Then the
wracking-masters hired him, his boat and his crew. Best crew chosen
first, of course. Two dollars a day each was reckoned good pay. They
got famous names, some of them surfboat crews," reflectively. "There
was William Chadwick--Bill Shattuck he goes by--his crew was known
from Sandy Hook to Hatteras. There's one of them now: he can tell you
about it better than me.--Hello, Jake!"

We looked out of the window and saw the fisherman whom we had met in
the afternoon lazily drawing his slow length along the beach, two
or three blue mackerel dangling from his hand: he had not enough of
energy, apparently, to hold them up. This was the fellow whom, an hour
before, we had pitied as a dull soul to whom the wreck was "timber"
and the life-saving station a "shed." We all had a vague ideal
before us of a gallant sailor, with eyes of fire and nerves of steel,
plunging into the cruel surf to rescue the sinking ship. We accepted
the slouching Jacob instead with disrelish. He was not the stuff of
which heroes in books are made.

"Jake," said the captain, "where is Shattuck's boat now? I was
speaking of it to the gentlemen here."

"Take a cigar," interpolated one of the party.

Jacob took a cigar, bit off the end and dropped easily into a
seat: "Bill's boat? Well, it's drawed up ashore at the head of
Barnegat--down there. You kin see it out of the window ef you like."

"There is very seldom any call for the surf-boats and crews in
summer," explained the captain. "The men follow fishing usually. But
in winter they're always ready if a ship comes on the bar."

"Your crew has done good service in saving life, I hear, Jacob?" said
one of the strangers.

"Well, I dunno. We're generally the first called on by the
wracking-master. Sure of the best pay. There's Shattuck and Curtis and
Van Note and George Johnson, and Fleming in the starn," checking them
off with his fingers--"all good men to bring off trade in a heavy

"You don't mean that these surf boat crews are paid to save the cargo,
and that human life is left to the care of the government?" cried a
listener indignantly.

"The government undertakes the life-saving service, and we're paid
by the wracking-master, certainly," said Jacob calmly. "To save the
cargo. But the human bein's is took out first. Of course. As you say.
It's not likely any man's a-goin' to bring trade out of a wrack's
long's there's a live critter aboard."

"There's not one of these men," said the captain with a little heat in
his tone, "who has not saved many a life at the risk of his own. Isn't
that true, Jacob?"

"I dunno. We jist work ahead at what's got to be done. I know Van Note
saved _my_ life. The way of it was this. It was the time the Clara
Brookman went down: you mind the Clara Brookman, cap'n? She was
homeward bound after a long cruise--three year--and she struck the bar
just below, a mile or two. It was a swashin' sea an' a black night.
Our surfboat was overturned with thirteen aboard: 'leven of us was
picked up by the other boat. The men, they stood in the starn an'
hauled us aboard by main force--lifted us clear out of the water. Van
Note's a tremendous musc'lar fellar, he is. He caught me by the wrist
jest as I was goin' down for the last time: I'm not a small fish,
either," slapping his brawny thigh. "Yes, sir. Van Note and I never
mixed much together afore or sence. But he did that for me: I don't
deny it."

"You remember some terrible scenes of suffering no doubt, Jacob?"

"Well, I've seen vessels pretty well smashed up, sir. There was the
Alabama, coast-schooner: all the crew went down on her in full sight;
and the Annandale: she was a coal-brig, and she run aground on a
December night. It was a terrible storm: but one surfboat got out to
her. They took off what they could--the women and part of the crew. I
was a boy then, and I mind seein' them come ashore, their beards and
clothes frozen stiff. After the boat left, some of the crew jumped
into the sea, but they couldn't live in it two minutes. It was nigh
dawn when the boat got out to the brig agen, and there wasn't a livin'
soul aboard of her; only the body of the mate lashed tight to the
mainmast, a solid mass of ice. He couldn't be got down, and I've heerd
my father say it was awful to see him, with one hand held out as if
p'intin' to shore, rockin' to and fro there overhead till the brig
went under. Months after, some of the bodies of the crew was thrown up
by the tide; they was as fresh as if they'd jest gone to sleep."

"How could that be? Where had they been?"

"Sucked into the sand. Them heavy nothe-easters always throws up a
bar, an' they was sucked under it. When the bar give way the tide
threw them up. But as soon as the air tetched them they began to

There was a short silence. The evening was gathering fast, cold and
threatening, the little fire threw our shadows high up on the wall,
and the wail of the wind and thunder of the incoming tide gave a
ghastly significance to this matter-of-fact catalogue of horrors. As
we looked through the little window at the vast gray plain of water,
it seemed as if every wave covered a wreck or dead men's bones.

"Now, George Johnson," continued Jacob, "he was the first man as saw
the John Minturn come ashore. That was the worst storm I ever seen on
this coast.--You mind it, cap'n?"

The captain nodded gravely: "February 15, 1846. It was the night old
Phoebe Hall died, and I was sitting with the body when I heerd the
guns fired from the Minturn," he remarked.--"But go on, Jacob," waving
his pipe.

"The current was a-settin' south. Sech a tide hadn't been knowd sence
the oldest men could remember: the sea broke over all the mashes clear
up to the farm-houses. Well, sir, I was but a lad, but I couldn't
sleep: seemed as ef I ought to be a doin' something, I didn't rightly
know what. About three o'clock in the morning I heerd a gun, and in a
minute another, 'Mother,' I says, 'there's a vessel on the bar.' So,
as I gets on my clothes, she makes me a mug of hot coffee. 'You must
drink this, Jacob, an' eat some'at,' she says, 'before you go out.' So
to quiet her I takes the mug, but I hadn't half drunk it when I hears
shouting outside. It was one of the Shattucks: he says, 'There's a
ship come ashore up by Barnegat' I says, 'No,' I says: 'the guns are
from off the inlet.' So I runs one way, and Shattuck the other. The
night was dark as pitch, and the storm drivin' like hell. And we was
both right, for there was two vessels--a coast-schooner down by
Squan, where I goes, and this big ship, the John Minturn, just here,"
pointing with his thumb over his shoulder to the beach outside and bar

"Were there many lives lost?"

"Over three hundred--all but fourteen. They come ashore tied on
to boards or hencoops or the like--seven of the crew and seven
passengers. We tried to launch the surfboat, but the boat was never
built that could live on that sea. She was bound from New Orleans to
New York, and the most of her passengers were wealthy people, going to
the North for the winter. At least, so we jedged from her papers and
the bodies and clothes of them that come ashore--some pretty
little children, I mind, babies and their black nurses, and their
mothers--delicate women with valooable rings on their hands. Some of
them's buried in the graveyard in the village, and their friends took
some away."

"There was the Minerva, too," said the captain as Jacob paused to
light his cigar again. "I forgit how many emigrants went down on that
ship, but I remember picking up on the beach next day a clay pipe,
with a stem nigh a yard long, not even chipped. It seemed curious that
a useless thing like that should be washed safe ashore and hundreds of
human lives be lost. And there was the New Era--went down near Deal:
three hundred emigrants drowned. The captain had nailed down the
hatches on them. Oh, that's generally done," he added, seeing the
look of horror on our faces: "in a storm the steerage can't be managed

"I remember," said one of the listeners, "an incident which occurred
when I was in China about ten years ago. Five hundred Chinese soldiers
were being taken across the Inland Sea to quell an insurrection:
when off Hoang-Ho the ship sprung a leak. The boats could only give a
chance of escape to about eighty. The troops were all ordered on deck,
while a detachment was selected to fill the boats. The rest remained
immovable, standing under arms without a word, until the ship went

Somebody reminded him of the story of the Birkenhead, which sank
within four miles of the English coast with a regiment aboard that
was coming home after five years' absence in India. They too stood in
solid rank on deck, their homes almost in sight, while the women and
children were taken off and the ship slowly sank, the officers, with
swords drawn, presenting arms to Death.

"Discipline! discipline!" said the captain. "But one wouldn't have
looked for it in them heathen Chinees."

Duty! duty! we thought, and were quite sure heathenism had never
interfered with that kind of heroism.

"Now, the usual run of American sailors," said Jacob, who felt by
this time that his final verdict was needed, wouldn't have done
that. Passengers is easier managed in time of a storm than sailors,
especially them of coast-ships. Passengers is like sheep: they're so
skeert they'll do what you bids 'em; but the sailors broach the liquor
first thing. I'd rather manage so many pigs than sailors when they get
holt of the grog. There was the City of New York. When she went down
the mate stood with a club in his hand to keep the crew off the Scotch
ale which was part of the freight. Well; sir, they got it, and thar
they stayed, drinkin', till the vessel parted amidships: couldn't be
got off no-how. There was three hundred passengers landed from that
ship. We used the apparatus for her: government had taken hold of the
matter then."

"Before we say anything about the government service, one question
about the Jersey wreckers. They bear a bad name. The story goes that
the Barnegat pirates in old times drew vessels ashore by false lights,
and plundered the shipwrecked people. How about that, Jacob? Honestly,

"Well, sir, them stories is onjust. Them men as is called Barnegat
pirates are not us fishermen--never were: they're from the
main--colliers and sech--as come down to a wrack, and they will have
something to kerry home when they're kept up all night. They do their
share of stealin', I'll confess; but from Sandy Hook to Cape May
it's innocent to what is done on Long Island. It's the stevedores and
rigger-men on Long Island--reg'lar New York roughs. No man or woman
was ever robbed on this beach till they was dead. Of course I don't
mean their trunks and sech, but not the body. The Long Islanders cut
off the fingers of livin' people for rings, but the Barnegat men never
touch the body till it's dead. _No_, sir."

"And you understand," interposed the captain eagerly, "these Barnegat
robbers are a very different class from Jacob and the crews of surf

"Certainly. We understand the noble work which these wrecking-crews
have done.--By the way, how do they choose their captain, Jacob--the
man in the stern, as you call him? The most brave, heroic fellow, I

"I dunno about that," with a perplexed air. "We don't calcoolate much
on heroism and sech: we choose the man that's got the best judgment of
the sea--a keerful, firm man. These six men hes got to obey him--hes
got to put their lives altogether in his hand, you see. They
don't want a headlong fellow: they want a man that knows the

"Besides," added the captain, "it is as with any other business--the
best crew is surest of employment and pay. Each owner of a
wracking-boat chooses his men for their muscle and skill: and the
wracking-master chooses the best boat and crew. There's competition,
competition. On the contrary, the life-saving service, like all
other government work, for a good many years fell into the hands of
politicians: the superintendent was chosen because he had given some
help to his party, and he appointed his own friends as lifeboat-men,
often tavern loafers like himself. A harness-maker from Bricksburg
held the place of master of the station below here for years--a man
who probably never was in a boat, and certainly would not go in one in
a heavy sea."

"One would hardly expect to find fishermen in this solitary corner
of the world struggling for political preferment on the seats of a
lifeboat," laughed one of the party.

But the captain could see no joke in it: "Well, sir, it's a fact that
it was done. And the consequence was, the people's money was thrown
away, and hundreds of human beings was left to perish within sight of
land. If the administration--"

But while the captain and his companions labor over the well-trodden
road thus opened, we will look into the work done in the house on
the beach with the help of authorities more accurate than himself and

Oddly enough, the first effort anywhere to stop the enormous loss
of human life by shipwreck was made by that most selfish of rulers,
George IV., and the first lifeboat was built by a London coachmaker,
Lukin, who, it is said, had never seen the sea. After that other
models of lifeboats were produced in England, none of which proved
satisfactory until in 1850 the duke of Northumberland offered one
hundred guineas as a prize for the best model, which was gained by
James Beeching. A modification of his boat is now used by the
National Lifeboat Institution, to which the entire care of the English
life-saving service is committed. There is probably no object on which
the British nation has more zealously expended sentiment, enthusiasm
and money than this service, yet despite its grand record of work
done there can be no doubt that it has been grossly mismanaged, and
is ineffective to cope with the actual need. The roll of the National
Lifeboat Institution numbers names of the most noble, humane and
wealthy men and women in Great Britain; the queen is its patron; its
resources are amply sufficient; no pains have been spared to secure
the most scientific and perfect appliances. The whole work is made,
in a degree, a matter of sentiment--exalted and humane sentiment,
but, like all other emotional service, apt to be gusty and at times
unpractical. The man who saves human life is rewarded with silver or
gold medals: the individual lifeboats are themes of essays and song,
and when one wears out a tablet is raised with the record of its
services. It is the beautiful and touching custom, too, for mourners
to offer a memorial lifeboat to the memory of their dead, instead of a
painted window or a showy monument. But with all this genuine feeling
and actual expenditure of time and money the fact remains that the
loss of human life from shipwreck is five hundred per cent. larger
on the coast of Great Britain than on our own, although there are 242
stations on their comparatively small extent of shore, and but 104
on our whole Atlantic seaboard. In three cases of shipwreck on the
English coast in 1875 the loss of life was directly traceable to the
lack of some necessary appliance or to the absence of guards at the
stations. In one instance there were no means of telegraphing
for boats or aid: in the case of the Deutschland, as late as last
November, where the disaster occurred on a stretch of coast known as
the most dangerous in England (except that of Norfolk)--a spot where
shipwrecks have been numbered literally by thousands--there was no
lifeboat nor any means of taking a line to the ship. The secret of
these failures lies in the fact that the institution relies for its
work on spontaneous service and emotion, and is not, like ours, a
legalized, systematic business. No permanent force or watch is kept at
the stations: a reward of seven shillings is paid to anybody who gives
notice of a wreck to the coxswain of the boat. The crews of the boats
are volunteers, and if they do not happen to report themselves at the
time of a disaster, their places are filled with any good oarsmen who
offer. In short, the whole system is based upon the occasional zeal
and heroism of men, instead of tried and paid skill, fitness for the
work and a simple sense of duty.

Our own life-saving service is founded on wholly different principles.
It dates from 1848, when Hon. William Newell of New Jersey (incited
probably by the recent terrible loss of the John Minturn, of which the
captain told us) brought before Congress the frightful dangers of the
coast of that State, and procured an appropriation of ten thousand
dollars for "providing surf boats, carronades, etc. for the better
protection of life and property from shipwreck on the coast between
Sandy Hook and Little Egg Harbor." The next session a similar
appropriation was obtained. Small houses were built and furnished,
but no persons were paid or authorized to take charge of them, and the
business was managed in the well-meaning but slipshod English fashion.
In 1854 the wreck of the Powhatan on Squan Beach and the loss of three
hundred lives produced a storm of public indignation which aroused
Congress, and twenty thousand dollars were appropriated for lifeboats,
etc. for the coast of New Jersey, and a similar sum for the ocean side
of Long Island. A superintendent was appointed for each coast and a
keeper for each of the houses, but for sixteen years no regular crews
were employed. It was during this period, too, that the petty offices
of superintendent and keeper became the reward of small village
politicians, and wreckers who, like Jacob, had worked for years
without pay in saving human life, showed their righteous indignation
at these political favorites by refusing to work under them. Several
terrible disasters in the winter of 1870 and '71 called public
attention again to the subject, and Captain John Faunce was appointed
by the department to inspect the coast and the stations. He reported
the houses as generally in a filthy, dilapidated condition, and often
so far gone as to be worthless; the apparatus rusty, and many of the
most necessary articles wanting; in some stations nothing which could
be carried away was left; the keepers were utterly unfit for
their position, and the crews which they employed worse. Yet,
notwithstanding this mismanagement and lack of system, and although no
regular official record had been kept, there was proof that 4163 lives
had been saved and $716,000 worth of property.

In 1871, S.I. Kimball, to whom the Revenue Marine Bureau was then
given in charge, proceeded to completely reorganize the service. New
houses were built or the old ones repaired and enlarged; competent men
were appointed as keepers, and strict orders given as to the selection
of experienced and skillful surfmen as crews; the houses were
thoroughly furnished with every appliance requisite in time of
disaster, for which the keeper is held responsible. The average
distance between the stations is three miles. Immediate proof of
the efficacy of the improvements in the service was given, as in the
twenty-two wrecks occurring that season on the Long Island and New
Jersey coasts not a single life was lost. In a word, Mr. Kimball began
successfully the seemingly hopeless task of converting the dirty,
ruinous station-houses and their lazy, disorderly keepers and crews,
scattered along the coast, to the order, discipline and efficiency
of forts and drilled soldiers, and the result proved that order and
discipline, when evolved out of the worst materials, can grapple with
and conquer even the sea. In 1873 the seventy-one station-houses
were increased to eighty-one, the line having been extended along the
coasts of Cape Cod and Rhode Island. Congress having appropriated
one hundred thousand dollars for the establishment of new stations,
twenty-three were contracted for, giving the Maine coast five; New
Hampshire, one; Massachusetts, five; Virginia, two; North Carolina,
ten. The connection between the life-saving and storm-signal
service was effected at several stations, thus supplying telegraphic
communication between the department and the coast outposts. This,
probably, was the most marked advance made by the service: it was
the nerve-line which brought the working members under control of an
intelligent head. In thirty-two wrecks occurring during the year on
the coasts where stations were established but one life had been lost.

The unprecedented success of the service to this point justified its
demand for larger means and fuller powers. In the last session of
the Forty-second Congress a bill was introduced by Hon. John Lynch of
Maine to provide for the establishment of additional stations on the
North Atlantic seaboard, and directing the Secretary of the Treasury
to report the points on the entire sea and lake coasts at which
stations would best subserve the interests of humanity and commerce,
with estimates of the cost. This bill passed, and was approved March
3, 1873. The commission appointed consisted of Mr. Kimball, Captain
John Faunce and Captain J.H. Merryman. Their report is the result
of minute examination into the wrecks and disasters on every mile of
coast for the previous ten years--a research into ghastly horrors for
a practical end unparalleled perhaps in accuracy and patience.
They recommended the erection of twenty-three life-saving stations
complete, twenty-two lifeboat stations and five houses of refuge. The
first class, containing all appliances for saving life on stranded
vessels, and manned by regular crews during the winter months, were
for flat beaches with outlying bars distant from settlements, and were
required on certain points of the shores of the great lakes and on the
Atlantic coast as far south as Hatteras. "Upon the coast of Florida
the shores are so bold," the report states, "that stranded vessels are
usually thrown high enough upon the beach to permit easy escape from
them; therefore the usual apparatus belonging to the complete stations
are not considered necessary. The section of that coast from Indian
River Inlet to Cape Florida is almost destitute of inhabitants, and
persons cast upon its inhospitable shores are liable to perish
from starvation and thirst, from inability to reach the remote
settlements." Upon these coasts it was recommended that houses
of refuge should be built large enough to accommodate twenty-five
persons, supplied with provisions to support them for ten days, and
provided with surfboat, oars and sails. For the majority of points
on the Pacific and lake coasts, where disasters were infrequent,
lifeboats only were considered necessary, these in general to be
manned by volunteer crews. It was proposed that these crews should
be paid for services rendered at each wreck, and a system of rewards
adopted in the shape of medals of honor. The estimated cost of a
life-saving station complete was $5302; of a house of refuge, $2995;
of a lifeboat station, $4790. A bill founded on this report was
prepared by Mr. Kimball, the chief both of the Revenue Marine and
Life-saving Service, and became a law June, 1874. This bill provides
for the protection of the entire lake and sea-coasts of the United
States by a cordon of stations, lifeboats or houses of refuge placed
at all dangerous points. The stations on the Pacific coast are not yet
built, but it is hoped that all will be finished and in working
order by the fall of 1876. The United States will then offer to the
shipwrecked voyager security and protection through her vast extent of
coast such as is afforded by no other nation. The measures promoting
this end were carried through Congress by Senators Newell, Stockton,
Hamlin, Boutwell, Chandler and Frelinghuysen, and Representatives
Lynch, Hale of Maine, Cox, Hooper and Conger. But the actual credit of
this great national work of humanity is due to Sumner I. Kimball, who
not only conceived the idea of the complete guarding of the coast and
prepared the bill for Congress, but has reorganized the entire
system and carried it out successfully in all of its minute practical

The work accomplished by the service may be clearly understood by a
glance at the following figures. There is no record of the loss of
life on stranded vessels previous to its formation in 1848. There
remain only the terrible legends, such as those which the captain and
Jacob told us, of numbers of emigrant ships and steamers yearly going
down with three to four hundred souls on board. The coasts of Long
Island and New Jersey have justly been called "the despair of mariners
and shipowners." During the first twenty years of the operation of the
service, despite its mismanagement, the number of lives lost yearly
was reduced to an average of twenty-five. Since 1871 the period of its
reorganization, the loss of life on the coasts of New Jersey and
Long Island has averaged but one per annum. The report for these four
years, inclusive of the whole coast guarded by stations, is--

  Total number of disasters,                    185
  Total number of lives imperiled,             2583
  Total number of lives saved,                 2564
  Total number of lives lost,                    19
  Total number of shipwrecked persons sheltered
  at the stations,                              368
  Total number of days' shelter afforded,      1307
  Total value of property imperiled,     $6,293,658
  Total value of property saved,          4,514,756
  Total value of property lost,           1,742,902

Included in this report are the fourteen lives lost on the Italian
bark Giovanni near Provincetown, Cape Cod, in a storm unprecedented
for its terrors. A story found its way into the papers at the time
that the powder used in the mortar was damp, and that from this
trifling neglect help could not be extended from the station. A strict
investigation was made, and it was proved by the testimony of the
people in Provincetown that all the apparatus was in perfect order and
the keepers and surfmen exerted themselves heroically in aid of the
doomed vessel, but that she was stranded so far from shore that it
was simply impossible to reach her. In another case, that of the
Vicksburg, wrecked on the Long Island coast, where a life was lost
through the remissness of the keeper, the whole force of the station
was discharged, and the order to that effect read to every crew in the

The localities of the stations and houses of refuge now legally
authorized are--

  Districts.       Location.               Stations.

   1st. Coasts of Maine and New Hampshire,         6
   2d.  Coast of Massachusetts,                   14
   3d.  Coasts of Long Island and Rhode Island,   36
   4th. Coast of New Jersey,                      39
   5th. Coasts of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia, 8
   6th. Coasts of Virginia and North Carolina,    10
   7th. Eastern coast of Florida,                  5[A]
   8th. Coasts of Lakes Ontario and Erie,          9
   9th. Coasts of Lakes Huron and Superior,        9
  10th. Coast of Lake Michigan,                   12
  11th. Pacific coast,                             8

[Footnote A: Houses of refuge.]

While we have been looking into these facts and figures the exploring
party in the house on the beach have told many a terrible tale of
shipwreck and half-hinted horrors, among others that of the ill-fated

"Suppose that a ship should be driven on this bar in the middle of the
night, a storm raging," said one of the party, "what would then be the
keeper's duty?"

The captain threw open the door of the larger room, which in the
fading light looked full, but for a moment only, of ghostly shadows.
There we saw boats suspended halfway from the ceiling, other
mysterious apparatus ranged on either side, anchors, great cables
coiled accurately in heaps, and all in as exact neatness as though
upon the deck of a man-of-war.

"When a wrack is sighted," said the captain, "the signal-officer up
stairs telegraphs to the other near stations, whose keepers at once
send their lifeboats, cars and surfmen here. The ship is signaled--by
flags in daytime, by rockets at night." He opened a closet in which
were arranged the cases of lights, with books of instruction for
their use. "The keepers ought to understand these as well as all other
apparatus in the station, and under the new management they usually
do. The keeper here is an old wracker, and has 'good judgment of
the sea,' as Jacob would say. _He_ never made harness or friends in
Congress," the captain threw in with fine satire. "If the ship can
be reached by a boat, this lifeboat is run into the surf. It moves on
wheels, you see, and in two minutes ought to be launched and the men
aboard. This ridge on the outside is an air-tight chamber for giving
buoyancy. Here are the oars swung in place and the buckets for
bailing, as you see."

"Is this the English lifeboat?"

"No, sir. Two years ago the service imported a lifeboat and rocket
apparatus from England to test them here. The lifeboat was found to be
nearly perfect, but too heavy for launching on our flat beaches with
light crews: she weighed four thousand pounds. This boat was invented
by Lieutenant Stodder."

"But if the sea be too heavy for the lifeboat to live in it?"

"Then we give the ship a line: the ball is fired from this mortar, the
line being fastened to the shot by a spiral wire. Mortar, powder and
matches are set, you see, ready for instantaneous use. The ball must
be shot so that the line falls over the ship. Not an easy mark to hit
in the night and the storm driving. Sometimes it is not done until
after many trials: sometimes, as in the case of the Giovanni, it
cannot be reached at all. I saw the Argyle go down eight years ago
with all on board, after we had tried all night to reach her. One man
was washed ashore, and we made a rope of hands out beyond the first
breaker, and so got him in."

"The men farthest out on the line had not much better chance than he?"

"No, but the man had to be got in," carelessly. "I was going to say
that as soon as the line does fall over the ship it is hauled
aboard. There is a hauling-line fastened to it, and a hawser to the
hauling-line. Here they all are in order. When the hawser reaches the
ship it is made taut and secured to the mizzentop or mainmast, high
enough to swing clear of the taffrail. It is fastened on shore by
this sand-anchor. Then we send over the breeches-buoy," pointing to a
complete suit of india-rubber very similar in appearance to that used
by Paul Boyton. "One man can be sent safely to shore in that. But we
use the life-car most frequently."

"A boat?"

"You may call it a covered boat if you will. That life-car, sir, was
invented by Captain Douglass Ottinger, and this is the first one ever
used. It was sent out to the ship Ayrshire, and more than two hundred
souls were saved by it when there was no other way of giving them
human help. There she is, sir." He laid his hand with a good deal of
feeling on the queer shell that hung from the ceiling.

The Ottinger life-car, the patent for which the generous inventor gave
to the; public, is simply an egg-shaped case with bands of cork about
it. Along the top are iron rings through which it is slung on the
hawser. The car is drawn by another line from the shore to the vessel.
It opens by means of a door or lid two feet square on top. Eleven
passengers can be crowded inside. The lid is then screwed down and the
car drawn ashore.

"Eleven!" cried one of the party. "It would not hold four

"Men in that extremity are not apt to stand on the order of their
going," said another.

"Nor women, neither," added the captain; "though women always do cry
out to go in the open boat rather than the car, though there isn't
half the chance for them."

"How is it ventilated?"

"Ventilated? Lord bless you! What would be the good of it if it wasn't
air-tight? It's under the water all the time, upside down, over and
over a hundred times. There's air in it enough to last 'em for three
minutes, and it's calculated that it can be brought ashore in less
time. I've seen husbands put their wives into it, and mothers their
little babies--them standing on deck, never hoping to live to see them

"And when it was opened--"

"Well, sir, there's curious things seen on the beach on nights of
shipwreck. I'm no hand at describing. Some men stagger out of the car
sick, some crying or praying, some as cool as if they'd just stepped
off the train."

The captain locked the rocket-closet, hung the key on the nail and
rearranged a coil of rope which had been displaced. "Things have to
be shipshape when the lives of a crew may depend on a missing match
or wet powder. The houses," he added as we came out of the door and
he stopped to close it, "are built every three miles along the beach.
From November 15 until April 15 the keeper and six surfmen live in
this house, and take watches, patrolling the beach night and day,
meeting halfway between the stations. Chief Kimball's plan is that
there shall be an unbroken line of sentries along this dangerous coast
during the six stormy months."

When the hearty old captain had left us, and we found our way again
across the marshes, the solitude of the night and stormy sky and the
moaning sea became oppressive again, and took on all their old meaning
of death and disaster. But we looked back at the square black shadow
of the little house upon the headland with its fluttering flag, and
at the red light burning in the window, and felt a sense of protection
and trust in the government which we had never known before.



In the early spring of the year 1780 two ladies attired in morning
_négligé_ were sitting together in the parlor of a fine old country
mansion in lower South Carolina. The remains of two or three huge
hickory logs were smouldering on the capacious hearth, for the cool
air of the early morning made fires still comfortable, though as
the day wore on and the southern sun gathered power the small-paned
windows which opened on the lawn had been raised to admit the soft
breeze, which already whispered of opening flowers and breathed the
sweet fragrance of the jessamine and magnolia. These same embers would
have furnished heat enough in a house of modern construction to have
made the room intolerable, but as they reposed upon their bed of ashes
in the depths of the wide-mouthed chimney-place, lazily sending
up their little curls of smoke, they served only to create a
draught-power which cooled the apartment by the free circulation of
the flower-scented air. The wide lawn was green with the fresh
spring grass, amid which a lively company of field-larks were busily
searching for grasshoppers and grubs, their gay yellow breasts and
jetty breastpins glancing in the sunlight as they raised their heads
from time to time to utter their soft whistling notes. The blackbirds
puffed their feathers and sounded their singular call from the
branches of the old pecan tree, and the flashing of the oriole
enlivened the sombre foliage of the enormous live-oaks in the avenue.
Three or four deer-hounds were stretched about under the broad
benches of the piazza or snapped at the flies under the shade of the
rose-bushes, already heavy with bloom, paying no attention to the
tame doe which jingled her little bell over their very heads as she
stretched up to browse the young shoots of "rose-candy" above them.
Two mocking-birds, one perched on the chimney-stack of the house, and
the other on a straggling spray of the wild-orange hedge, vied with
each other in imitating the medley of bird-language which made the air
vocal on every side, pouring a rich flood of melody through the open
windows and into the appreciative ears of the ladies who sat within.

"What a lovely day!" exclaimed the elder of the two as she dropped her
piece of embroidery and rose to look out upon the scene.

"Oh, how I wish we could take a long ride! Here have I been staying at
Oaklands three whole weeks, and I have not been in the saddle once! I
declare, Jane, this horrid war will never be over;" and Rebecca Stead
drew a long sigh and leaned her pretty head thoughtfully against the

"Well, suppose we ride over to The Willows?" answered Jane Elliott
with a ringing laugh. "If you'll take the old broken-winded mare, I'll
take one of the plough-mules, and Billy can go with us on the other.
Wouldn't it be fun?"

In response to the bell, Billy soon made his appearance--an elderly
negro of most respectable appearance, dressed in a blue cloth coat
with large brass buttons, a red plush waistcoat with flaps nearly
reaching his knees, and a pair of yellow breeches with plated
knee-buckles and coarse blue worsted stockings. A single glance at his
face and bearing was enough to show his sense of importance and his
keen appreciation of the responsibility of his position. He listened
with a look of utter amazement to the orders of his young mistress,
and then replied in a tone of stern authority, such as none but an old
family negro servant could assume: "Miss Jane, dat mule nebber had no
saddle 'pon he back sence he been born."

"Well, Billy, it's high time he should know how it feels."

"He wi' kick you' brains out 'fore you git on um, an' broke you' neck
'fore you kin git from here to de gate."

"Oh nonsense, Billy! Have the saddle put on him at once, and get the
old mare for Miss Rebecca."

"Miss 'Becca can't ride de ole mare tid-day, 'cause she 'way down
in de pasture, an' anybody can't ketch um in tree hour time; an' you
can't ride de mule, Miss Jane, 'cause you ma done tell me I must tek
good care o' you an' de house w'ile she gone, an' I ain't gwine let
you broke you' neck or you' arm--not tid-day." And Billy quietly
walked out and closed the door, leaving the young ladies half vexed
and half amused at his summary disposal of their scheme.

"After Tarleton's troop and that horrid Tory Ball took my saddle-pony
out of the pasture," said Miss Elliott, "mamma sent all the blooded
horses to General Lincoln, and we hear that they were turned over to
the Virginia Light Horse."

"Yes," replied Miss Stead with a mischievous smile, "and I hear that
Colonel Washington has taken the beautiful bay mare for his own mount,
and named her 'Jane.'"

"That's a piece of his Virginia impudence," rejoined Miss Elliott. "I
have met him only once, at General Izard's, and I think he has taken a
great liberty with my name. They say he behaved splendidly at Trenton
and Princeton."

"Oh, I wish he would call while I am here," said her companion. "They
say he is an elegant rider. I wonder if he looks like the general?
I don't believe any Virginian can ride better than our young men. I
wonder if he can take up a handful of sand at a gallop, like cousin
John Izard?"

"Or jump his horse on the table," suggested Miss Elliott with a
roguish glance, "as I've heard that Mr. Izard did one day after a

Miss Stead colored slightly as she said that the gentlemen all
complained of the strength of the last box of claret received from
Charleston before the club was broken up.

"I hear that Colonel Washington is a fine swordsman," said Miss
Elliott, "and that his troop are all bold riders. They have fought
Tarleton's Legion once or twice in skirmishes, and they say the
red-coats are rather shy of them."

Just at this point the conversation was interrupted by the entrance
of Billy, bearing a peace-offering in the shape of a huge waiter of
luncheon. Billy was butler and major-domo to the establishment, and
the young ladies could not restrain their mirth at the profusion and
variety with which the faithful fellow was evidently trying to
make amends for the disappointment which his high sense of duty had
compelled him to inflict upon them. Had there been a dozen instead of
two, there would have been ample provision for their wants upon the
broad silver salver. Cakes and jellies, preserves and sandwiches,
tarts and ruddy apples, a decanter of sherry and a stand of liqueurs,
left barely room enough for the dainty little plates and glasses,
while Billy's special apology appeared in the form of two steaming
little tumblers of rum-punch, the characteristic beverage of the
day. All severity of tone and manner had disappeared, and there was
something almost chivalric in the deferential smile and rude grace
with which the old fellow handed his waiter to the ladies and assured
them of the harmless mildness of the punch. Depositing his burden upon
a little stand within easy reach of the sofa, Billy turned to leave,
but paused as his eye wandered down the opening vista of the avenue,
and after gazing for a moment in silence he suddenly exclaimed,
"Dere's two sojer gemplemans comin' t'rough de big gate."

In an instant both the young ladies were on their feet and at the
window, for such an announcement was cause enough for excitement in
that time of war, when the "sojer gemplemans" might prove to be either
friends or foes. Charleston had already narrowly escaped capture
during the previous summer by General Prevost, who, although compelled
to retire on Savannah, had worsted Lincoln's militia army, destroying
about one-fourth of the little force. In October had occurred the
disastrous, attack upon Savannah, in which the gallant Pulaski
lost his life, and Jasper, the hero of Fort Sullivan, received his
death-wound. Sumter, the "Game-Cock" of Carolina, had retired from
the State with his handful of followers badly demoralized; Marion, the
"Swamp-Fox," was concealed with his little band among the cypress-bays
and canebrakes of the Pedee; and a tone of gloom and despondency
prevailed among the people. In the neighborhood of Charleston all
was uncertainty. The plantation residences were occupied chiefly by
ladies, the gentlemen being generally with the army. Tarleton's Legion
had become widely known and feared on account of the dashing forays
which that famous command was constantly making under the lead of its
brave and impetuous chief. No wonder, then, that the hearts of the
two young ladies at Oaklands beat quick with anxiety as they strained
their gaze down the avenue, uncertain whether they should see the
hated scarlet uniforms of the British troopers or the welcome blue of
the Continental cavalry.

But the "big gate" to which Billy had alluded was a full quarter of
a mile distant, and although the first glance satisfied the excited
watchers that their visitors were friends, little more could be
certain until they should approach more nearly. Patience, however,
was hardly to be expected under the circumstances, and its place was
effectually supplied by a little red morocco-covered spy-glass which
Miss Elliott took from the table. Scarcely was it brought to bear upon
the approaching horsemen when she laid it down as suddenly as she had
seized it, the rich color mantling to her forehead.

"Why, Jane," said her friend, "am I not to have a look at the
strangers? Oh, I declare--yes, I _do_ believe I know that horse. It
must be--"

"It is Colonel Washington and some other officer whom I do not know,"
said Miss Elliott, who had regained her self-possession completely.
"You have your wish, Rebecca."

The two visitors cantered rapidly up the broad avenue, and found Billy
waiting to receive them. One was a tall, soldierly-looking man of
about twenty-eight, his fine face bronzed by exposure, and his easy
seat in the saddle betokening one who had been a horseman from his
youth. He wore the blue coat with yellow facings and the buckskin
breeches of the Continental cavalry, his red sash bound over a broad
sword-belt which supported a strong sabre, while the handsome and
well-muscled bay mare which he rode carried a leather portmanteau in
addition to the heavy bearskin holster. His large cavalry-boots were
well bespattered, and his whole bearing was that of an officer
on duty, rather than of a gallant bent on visiting lady fair. His
companion was a mere youth, seemingly not over seventeen, well mounted
also, and dressed in the simple uniform of an orderly, but evidently
the friend and social equal of his superior officer. The young man sat
his horse with the ease and grace of one born to the saddle, and his
fiery chestnut seemed to know and understand his rider thoroughly.
Like the other, he was provided with holsters and portmanteau, a heavy
blue cavalry cloak being strapped over the unstuffed saddle-tree.
Entering the drawing-room, Colonel Washington presented his companion
to Miss Elliott as "Mr. Peyton of Virginia," and both gentlemen were
in turn presented to Miss Stead, who received their courtly bows with
one of those graceful, sweeping courtesies which may be ranked among
the lost arts of a past generation. Billy had followed the guests to
the parlor-door, where he stood as if waiting orders.

"You seem to have ridden far," said: the fair hostess when the
ordinary salutations had passed. "Let me order your horses to the
stable to be fed."

"I thank you very kindly, miss, but there will be scarcely time,
for we are under marching orders, and must be in Charleston before
sunset," replied the colonel with a bow; and there was something
in his tone which faintly suggested a mental desire to see the said
marching orders in Jericho.

Perhaps young Peyton detected this, for he said immediately, "I think
we had best accept Miss Elliott's kindness, for we have a long ride
before us, and we cannot tell what orders may be awaiting us at the
end of it."

"I believe Peyton is right," said the colonel, "and if you will permit
me I will ask him to give some directions to the servant."

Billy, however, had heard enough to give him his cue, and had
disappeared, nor did the summons of the bell bring him back until full
ten minutes had elapsed. When he did return it was to bring in two
more tumblers of punch, but this time of "the regulation size" and
strength, which were handed to the guests and disposed of with bow
and sentiment; and then the young orderly went out with him to see the
horses stripped and the holsters deposited on the piazza before the
animals were led off to be fed.

"We shall have to defer accepting your invitation to attend the dress
parade until your return to camp," said Miss Elliott.

"I regret to be obliged to say that the fortunes of war have deprived
us for the present of that honor. My orders extend to the command,
which broke camp this morning and is now on its march to Charleston."

"Oh, what are we to do? We felt so safe while they were near us."

The remark burst involuntarily from Miss Stead, who blushed and cast
down her eyes as if conscious of having said too much for maidenly
propriety, but the smile of acknowledgment on Colonel Washington's
face gave way to a look of grave anxiety as he replied, "No lady of
Carolina shall ever need a defender while a man of my command is left
to draw a sword; but we have news of movements on the enemy's part
which require our presence nearer to the city, and I have advised that
all noncombatants who can possibly move into Charleston should do
so at their earliest convenience. Perhaps we may meet there in a few

A momentary pallor had overspread Miss Elliott's face, but it was
succeeded immediately by a proud flush as she said, "It is true, then,
that General Clinton has left Savannah and is moving on Charleston?"

"Such is the report, and I fear we are badly prepared to meet him."

"We have a righteous cause, and God is on our side," replied the brave
girl with flashing eyes. "Governor Rutledge has issued a call for all
men not in service to take up arms, and the whole upper country will
swarm down to meet these hireling British."

"So we all hope and expect; and if they are only in good time, there
will be no fear of the result."

"Fear! Who fears these upstart baronets and their insolent soldiers?
Oh, how I wish women could fight! If the men can't drive them back,
let _us_ take the field, and Clinton shall never set his foot in the
streets of Charleston;" and the brave little beauty looked as if she
meant every word she said.

"The men cannot fail to be heroes when the eyes of such women are upon
them," exclaimed the gallant colonel, looking with amused admiration
at the lovely face all aglow with patriotic excitement. "But you must
let us do the fighting, Miss Elliott, while you cheer and support us
with your smiles and your prayers.--Peyton, what do you think would
be the result of a charge by a squadron of ladies upon Tarleton's

"I can't answer for Tarleton," laughingly replied the orderly, who had
just entered the room, "but I am afraid I should throw down my arms
and desert in the face of the enemy."

"You are an ungallant fellow, Peyton, to hint even that the ladies
could ever be your enemies."

"Oh, do look there!" cried Miss Stead with a silvery laugh, and
pointing through the open window: "shall we take the issue of that
struggle as an omen?"

The whole party rushed to the window and looked out on the lawn. A
brilliant redbird, the proximity of whose nest perhaps had fired his
timid heart with courage, had made a savage assault on a bluejay, the
colors of whose feathers were strikingly suggestive of the Continental
uniform. For a moment the two combatants fluttered in angry strife,
and the result seemed doubtful, when a female mocking-bird flew from
her nest in the shrubbery and drove them both ingloriously from the

"That settles the matter," exclaimed Colonel Washington, laughing
gayly. "If Governor Rutledge calls out the ladies, I shall throw up
my commission at once, and retire in good order to the security of
private life."

"Perhaps then Lieutenant Peyton would succeed to the command?"
rejoined Miss Elliott, glancing archly at the young orderly.

"I am almost sorry that your corps has not been organized, miss, for
I might then consider myself gazetted for promotion, and claim my
lieutenant's commission over your signature." The young man spoke in a
tone of gay badinage, but a shade of annoyance came over his features
as he added with a slight bow, "I am only plain 'Mr.' Peyton as yet."

"I beg pardon," said Miss Elliott, "but I thought 'lieutenant' was an
ensign's proper title."

"If Peyton were the ensign of the troop, his office would be a
sinecure," laughed the colonel, "seeing we have no standard for him to

"You surely don't mean, colonel, that your gallant corps fights
without colors?" said Miss Stead.

"Why, we cannot use those that we captured from the enemy, and I fear
our lady friends will be unable to present us with a stand until the
war is over and silk becomes more plentiful."

Miss Elliott's eyes flashed with a sudden impulse, and the color
deepened on her cheek as she eagerly asked, "Would you carry so poor a
little flag as a Carolina girl can present to you? Many a good knight
has gone into battle with no richer standard than a lady's scarf."

"If Miss Elliott will honor my command by entrusting her kerchief to
its keeping, I swear to fly it in the face of Tarleton's Legion and
defend it to the last drop of my blood."

"Then let this be your flag," cried the noble girl with a burst of
enthusiasm which echoed that which rung in Colonel Washington's tones.
A large _fauteuil_, covered with heavy crimson silk embroidered with
raised laurel-leaves, was standing near. Miss Elliott seized, as she
spoke, the scissors from her work-basket, and in a moment had cut out
the rectangular piece which covered the back and offered it to her
distinguished guest. Washington bowed low with courtly grace and
touched his lips to the fair hand which presented it, while young
Peyton, carried away by the excitement of the moment, sprang to his
feet with a cheer which started the wild birds from the shrubbery:
"Colonel Washington, I claim the right, by Miss Elliott's commission,
to carry that flag into action, and I swear that it shall never be
stained with dishonor while Walter Peyton has a right hand to grasp
its staff."

"Take it, my boy," said the colonel in a voice tremulous with emotion,
"and guard it with your life. With God's help we will make that flag
a terror to the enemies of our country.--Miss Elliott, accept a
soldier's gratitude for your precious gift to-day. No prouder banner
ever waved over battle-field or claimed the devotion of patriotic
hearts. It shall be fringed and mounted this very night in Charleston,
and I pledge my sacred honor that Washington's Light Horse shall prove
worthy of their trust."

There was a pause in the conversation which was broken by young
Peyton, who rattled on for some time with Miss Stead in that light
vein which the most serious circumstances cannot long repress when
youth and beauty meet. Colonel Washington spoke but little, and
with an evident effort at gayety which ill agreed with the earnest,
thoughtful look which settled on his features, while Miss Elliott
could not conceal the embarrassment which her heightened color and
downcast eyes betrayed as she toyed with her embroidery, avoiding the
glances of deep and ardent yet restrained admiration with which
her distinguished guest regarded her. The hour had arrived when the
soldiers must resume their journey; and while Rebecca Stead stood
watching from the piazza the final preparations which the young
orderly was making for the march, Colonel Washington took the hand of
his fair hostess and after a moment's hesitation bowed low and pressed
it to his lips, but with somewhat more of warmth than was required by
the stately courtesy of the day. Their eyes met for an instant, and
then, without one word of spoken adieu, they parted. When Miss Stead
turned to join her friend she found herself alone with old Billy,
who was gazing after the fast-receding forms of the troopers. "Mass'
Tahlton done ketch de debbil ef he meet dem Virginia man to-night,"
said the old fellow sententiously as he slowly retired into his

[Footnote A: This fine old relic of the Revolution is preserved by the
Washington Light Infantry of Charleston, South Carolina. It was borne
by Colonel William Washington's corps at Cowpens and Eutaw.]


On the 12th of May, 1780, General Lincoln, after sustaining a close
siege of more than a month's duration, surrendered Charleston, with
five thousand men and four hundred pieces of artillery, into the hands
of Sir Henry Clinton. The dark cloud which had long been threatening
Lower Carolina now settled like a pall over the whole State, and but
for two causes the whole issue of the war might have been changed. One
of these was the severity of Cornwallis, who succeeded Clinton in the
command, and who by his unwise policy drove the despondent people to
desperation: the other was the indomitable courage and self-devoted
heroism of the women, which encouraged and strengthened the flagging
patriotism of the men. The militia who had been captured with the city
regarded themselves as absolved from a parole which did not protect
them from enlistment in the ranks of the Crown, and the irregular
bands of Marion, Pickens and Sumter received large accessions.
Mill-saws were roughly forged into sabres and pewter table-ware melted
and beaten into slugs for the shot-guns with which the men were armed.
The British dared not forage except in force, the pickets were shot
from ambushes, and their Tory allies hung whenever captured. In
August the disastrous battle of Camden destroyed Gates's army, and
the Congress sent Greene to supersede him. Making his head-quarters in
North Carolina, this experienced commander divided his force and sent
General Morgan, with about one thousand men, into South Carolina to
harass Cornwallis in the rear. The latter at once sent Tarleton with
eleven hundred troopers, among them his famous Legion, to cut off
Morgan or drive him back upon Greene. In the latter part of December
the Americans were in the region of the upper Broad River, in
Spartanburg district, South Carolina, Morgan having but one hundred
and thirty mounted men--they could hardly be called cavalry--among
whom was Washington's troop.

It was about nine o'clock on the night of the 16th of January, 1781,
that the little army was encamped between the Pacolet and Broad
rivers, near a piece of thin woodland known as Hannah's Cowpens. The
weather was very cold, for the elevation of that part of the country
produces a temperature equal in severity to that of a much higher
latitude, but neither tents nor shanties protected the sleeping
soldiers from the frosty air. Here and there a rough shelter of pine
boughs heaped together to windward of the smouldering camp-fires told
of a squad who had not been too weary to work for a little show of
comfort; but in most cases the men were stretched out on the bare
ground, their feet toward the embers and their arms wrapped up with
them in their tattered blankets, which scarcely served to keep out the
cold. The regular troops, who had seen some service, might have
been easily distinguished from the less experienced militia by their
superior sleeping arrangements. Two and sometimes three men would be
found wrapped in one blanket, "spoon-fashion," with another blanket
stretched above them on four stakes to serve as a tent-fly, and their
fires were usually large and well covered with green branches to
prevent their burning out too rapidly. One and all, however, slept
as soundly as if reposing on beds of down, while the same quiet stars
smiled on them and on the anxious wives and mothers who lay waking
and praying in many a distant home. In and out among the weird and
shifting shadows of the outer lines the dim figures of the sentinels
stalked with their old "Queen Anne" muskets at the "right-shoulder
shift," or tramped back and forth along their beats at the double
quick to keep their blood in circulation. At a little distance from
the infantry camp the horses of Washington's dragoons and M'Call's
mounted Georgians were picketed in groups of ten, the saddles piled
together, and a sentinel paced between every two groups, while the
men were stretched around their fires, sleeping on their arms like the
infantry, for it was known that Tarleton had crossed the Pacolet that
day, and an attack was expected at any time. A party of officers were
asleep near one of the fires, with nothing, however, to distinguish
them from the men but the red or buff facings of their heavy cloaks.
One of these lay with his face to the stars, sleeping as placidly as
if his boyish form were safe beneath his mother's roof. One arm lay
across his chest, clasping to his body the staff of a small cavalry
flag, while the other stretched along his side, the hand resting
unconsciously upon a holster-case of pistols. As the glare of the
neighboring fire played over his features it was easy to recognize
Walter Peyton, guarding faithfully, even in his sleep, the banner
which Jane Elliott had cut from her mother's parlor _fauteuil_, and
which had already become known to the enemy. A rough log cabin stood a
little way from the bivouac, before which two sentinels in the uniform
of the Continental regulars were pacing up and down. The gleam of
the roaring lightwood fire flashed through the open seams between the
logs, and heavy volumes of smoke rolled out of the clay chimney.
Just in front of the huge fire-place stood the tall, burly figure of
Morgan, and near him were grouped, in earnest consultation, the manly
figure of William Washington, the brave and knightly John Eager Howard
of Maryland, McDowell, Triplett, Cunningham and other officers of the
field and staff. Determination not unmingled with gloom was visible
upon the faces of all. Every arrangement had been made for the
probable fight of the morrow, and the council was about to disperse,
when the silence of the night was broken by the call of a distant
sentinel, taken up and repeated along the line. Morgan instantly
despatched an orderly, to the bivouac of the guard, and the party were
soon cheered by the intelligence that a courier had just arrived who
reported the near approach of Pickens with three hundred Carolina
riflemen--a timely and valuable addition to the little force of

The first gray pencilings of dawn were scarcely visible when the
slumbering camp was roused by the rolling notes of the reveille from
the drum of little Solly Barrett,[A] the drummer-boy of Howard's
Maryland Regulars. Fully refreshed by a good night's rest, the men
prepared and ate their breakfasts with but little delay, and by seven
o'clock the entire force was in line of battle, awaiting the approach
of the enemy.

[Footnote A: "Solly" resided for many years after the war at Easton,
Maryland. A good portrait of him is still there.]

Tarleton, flushed with the assurance of easy victory, had made a
forced march during the night, and his command was much jaded when at
eight o'clock he came in sight of Morgan's outposts: notwithstanding
this, however, he determined, as was fully expected by those who knew
his disposition and mode of warfare, to attack the American lines
forthwith. It must be left to the historian to tell how the battle
raged with varying fortunes until Howard's gallant Marylanders taught
the British regulars that the despised provincials had learned the
trick of the bayonet, and decided the issue of the day. Up to this
moment the cavalry, which had been posted in reserve behind a slight
wooded eminence, had been chafing for a hand in the fray. As has
been stated, these troops consisted of McCall's mounted militia and
Washington's Light Dragoons. The latter were all well mounted and
armed, for their frequent successes in skirmishes with the enemy's
horse kept them well supplied. They were a crack corps, and well
had they earned their reputation. Just as Howard's regulars turned
savagely on their disorderly pursuers and put them to the rout, a
squadron of British light horse made a dash at McCall, whose men
were unused to the sabre, and had been demoralized by the first
bayonet-charge of the enemy, which they had sustained on foot. Now was
Washington's chance.

"Are you ready, men? Charge!" The words were scarcely off his lips
ere the noble mare which he rode shot forward, touched by her rider's
spur. With a wild yell, which drowned the regular cheer of the
Englishmen, the men dashed after their brave and impetuous leader,
who was ever the first to cross a sabre with the enemy. Rising in
his stirrups as the gallant chestnut answered the spur, Walter Peyton
looked backward at the men as he raised the light staff of his little
banner and shook its folds to the breeze, and the next moment he was
close by the side of his chief in the very thickest of the mêlée. For
a moment all was dust and confusion, for Tarleton's veterans were not
the men to break at the first onset, and they met the furious charge
of the Virginians with a determination which promised a bloody and
doubtful struggle. One stout fellow, mounted on a powerful horse,
singled out the young ensign as his special quarry, not noticing, in
his ardor to capture the daring little rebel flag, that the trooper
who rode next to it was the gallant colonel himself. Reining back his
horse almost upon its haunches, he had raised his sabre in the very
act to strike when that of Washington came down with tremendous force,
severing the upper muscles of his sword-arm, and at the same instant
Peyton, for the first time observing his danger, dropped his rein and,
grasping the flagstaff with both hands, swung it full in the face of
his assailant. The man's horse shied violently as the folds of the
little banner flapped across his eyes, and as his rider fell heavily
from the saddle dashed at full speed through the British line. Already
this had begun to waver, and in another moment the panicstricken
troopers were flying in wild confusion toward their reserve. To
rally a body of frightened cavalry is no easy matter under any
circumstances, but when a determined pursuing force is pressing hotly
on the rear it becomes a simple impossibility. The entire command gave
way as the fugitives approached, and in a little while was in full
retreat. Colonel Washington, as usual far in advance of his men,
caught sight of the British commander, who, with two of his aides,
was endeavoring to rally a favorite regiment, and without a thought of
support pressed toward the group, accompanied only by Peyton with Jane
Elliott's flag and a little bugler, a mere boy, who carried no sword,
but who had drawn a pistol from his holster and kept close to the
colors all through the day.

Tarleton was not deficient in personal courage, and turned to meet his
old enemy in a hand-to-hand encounter. The officer nearest him struck
at Washington as he passed, but missed his blow and received a bullet
in his side from the young bugler's pistol.

"Carter," cried Tarleton to the other aide, who rode near him, "a
captain's brevet if you take that woman's petticoat," pointing with
his sword to the saucy little flag, the story of which had reached the
British camps.

But it was no woman's hand which was there to defend it, and as the
Englishman wheeled his horse for the attack Peyton's pistol flashed
almost in his face, and he fell forward on his charger's neck,
convulsively clasping it as the animal ran wildly forward unguided
toward the American lines. Meanwhile, the two commanders had crossed
swords, and as both were good fencers, a duel _à l'outrance_ seemed
imminent. But Tarleton had no time for chivalrous encounters. His
opponent beat down his guard, and with a sudden thrust wounded the
British colonel in the hand. The latter drew a pistol, and as he
wheeled to follow his flying squadrons discharged it at his adversary,
the ball taking effect near the knee. The battle was now really at an
end, and the pursuit was abandoned at this point.

As Walter Peyton lay down beside his camp-fire that night it was with
a body worn down by excitement and fatigue, but with a heart beating
high with pride as he looked at the flag he had so gallantly defended,
and remembered his colonel's words of commendation, which he more than
hoped meant promotion to a captain's commission.

In the city of Charleston all was gloom and sorrow except in the
little circle of society which boasted of its loyalty to the Crown.
Scarcely a family but had some representative in the Continental
ranks, and as all intelligence reached the city through British
channels, the darkest side of every encounter between the armies was
the first which the imprisoned patriots saw. The non-combatant members
of all the planters' families had moved into the city before
its capitulation, and while the ladies permitted the visits and
acquaintance of the English officers, they never lost an opportunity
to show them how hateful they esteemed the royal cause.

It was nearly a month after the victory at the Cowpens that Miss
Elliott was sitting with her mother one evening in the parlor of
their city residence. Conspicuous among the furniture was a large and
comfortable arm-chair upholstered in heavy crimson silk damask, but
while everything else in the room was neat and even elegant, this
chair appeared to be more fit for the lumber-closet, the entire square
of silk having been cut from the back, leaving the underlining of
coarse striped cotton exposed to view. The tones of the curfew or
"first bell," which may still be heard nightly in the seagirt old
city, had just died away when a loud rap came from the heavy brass
knocker on the street-door, and in a few moments old Billy appeared to
announce "Captain Fraser."

A look of slight annoyance passed over the face of the elder lady as
she arranged the snowy ruffles of her cap, while the deepened color
and sparkling eyes of the younger, with the almost imperceptible
sarcasm of her smile, seemed to indicate mingled pleasure, defiance
and contempt. The visitor who entered was resplendent in the gay
scarlet and glittering lace of the British uniform, and his redundancy
of ruffles, powder and sword-knot betokened the military exquisite,
his bearing presenting a singular mixture of high breeding and haughty
insolence. With his right hand laid upon the spot where his heart
was supposed to be, while his left daintily supported the leathern
scabbard of his sword, he bowed until the stiff little queue of his
curled wig pointed straight at the heavy cornice. The ladies swept the
floor with their graceful courtesies, that of the younger presenting
the least touch of exaggeration as with folded arms and downcast eyes
she sank backward before her guest. Another knock was heard, and when
the names of three more of the garrison officers were announced, Miss
Elliott whispered to Billy a hasty message to some of her fair friends
in the neighborhood to come in and help her entertain them. These
impromptu parties were quite common, and in a little while the room
was sparkling with beauty, gallantry and wit. It may seem strange that
the patriotic belles of the day, the fair Brewtons and Pinckneys
and Rutledges, the Ravenels and Mazycks, should have cultivated such
pleasant associations with the enemies of their country. But among the
officers they had many old friends and acquaintances of _ante-bellum_
days, and not a few marriages had established even closer ties. Thus,
Lord Campbell, the last royal governor, was husband to Sarah Izard,
the sister of General Ralph Izard, who was brother-in-law to our
former acquaintance, Rebecca Stead; and even General Washington had
invited Admiral Fairfax to dine, on the ground that a state of war did
not preclude the exchange of social civilities between gentlemen who
served under opposing flags.

Mrs. Elliott received the attentions of her daughter's visitors with
dignified grace, but with a degree of reserve which it was impossible
altogether to conceal, and to which the officers had become too much
accustomed to feel any offence; while the younger ladies drove the
keen darts of their sarcasm home to the feelings of their hostile
guests, who were forced to submit to it or forego entirely the
pleasures of female society.

"May I ask if Company K has been on duty at the picket-lines to-day?"
asked Miss Elliott of Captain Fraser, who had just sauntered up to her

"May I answer the question after the fashion of my ancestors," was the
reply, "by asking why you should think so?"

"Only because you seem to be suffering from fatigue, which a long
march might explain."

Fraser's company was notoriously a "fancy corps," whose severest duty
was generally to furnish the guard at head-quarters and to go through
a dress parade every evening at the Battery.

"Ah, no, but I have been on inspection duty, and it's a bore, I assure

"Inspecting the flower-gardens, I presume, to be sure that there are
no rattlesnakes under the rose-bushes, or the milliner-shops, to see
that no palmetto cockades are made. May I insist upon a seat for you?
Not _that_ chair," she added hastily and with heightened color as the
captain was about to occupy the mutilated _fauteuil_: "excuse me, but
that is a 'reserved seat.'"

"Ah, I see--beg pardon," said Fraser with a slight sneer, for
the story of Washington's flag was generally known, and also Miss
Elliott's aversion to the use of the chair by any British officer.
"Somebody seems to have carried off the back of that one."

"When last heard from," said the beauty with curling lip, "it was at
Colonel Tarleton's back."

"Tarleton should be court-martialed for that affair at Cowpens," said
Fraser with some warmth, and forgetting the proffered seat he prepared
to take his leave.

"Perhaps Captain Fraser would like to have had a hand in the 'affair'
also," added Miss Elliott with a demure smile. This allusion to
Tarleton's wound was too much for the gallant captain, and again
elevating the point of his queue toward the ceiling, but this time
without his hand to his heart, he left the room with a face somewhat
redder than his uniform.


There are defeats which are more glorious than victory, and one
of these it was which, on the 8th of September, 1781, gave to Jane
Elliott's flag the title which has come down with it to posterity. In
the earlier days of its history the saucy little standard was known to
the gallant men who followed it to action as "Tarleton's Terror," and
sometimes it is even now spoken of as "the Cowpens Banner." But the
name by which its brave custodians most love to call it is "the Eutaw
Flag," It is hard to realize as one stands beside the lovely fountains
which flow to-day as they did a hundred--or perhaps a thousand--years
ago, that close by these placid waters was fought one of the most
desperate and bloody struggles of a long and cruel war. The sunfish
and bream floated with quivering fins or darted among the rippling
shadows on that autumn morning as we see them doing now. The
mocking-bird sang among the overhanging branches the same varied
song which gladdens our ears, and the wild deer then, as now, lay
peacefully in the shady coverts of the neighboring woods. Who knows
what they may have thought when they heard their only enemy, man, ring
out his bugle-call to slip the war-dogs on his fellows, or when the
sharp crack of the rifle told them for the first time of safety to
themselves and of death to their wonted destroyers?

Already had "Light-horse Harry" Lee struck the first blow victoriously
in the capture of Coffin and the discomfiture of his force. Already
for several hours the old black oaks had quivered beneath the thunder
of artillery more fearfully destructive than that of Heaven itself as
Williams hurled back from his field-battery the iron hail with which
the enemy strove to overwhelm him. Already had Howard's gallant
Marylanders, the heroes of the Cowpens, crossed bayonets with the
veteran "Irish Buffs" and forced them in confusion from the field.
Majoribanks, with his regulars, grenadiers and infantry, was strongly
posted behind a copse too dense to be forced by cavalry, and yet to
dislodge him was Colonel Washington's special duty. Pointing with his
sword toward a narrow passage near the water, he dashed the spurs into
the flanks of his gallant mare and called on his men to follow.
There was a momentary pause, for the duty was of the most desperate
character, but Captain Peyton snatched the little banner which he had
carried so long from the hand of the sergeant who had succeeded to its
charge, and raising it above his head spurred after his leader. As the
silken folds fluttered out on the air a ringing cheer went up from
the troop, and the whole line, wheeling into sections so as to pass
through the narrow gap, dashed forward as one man. It was a daring
attempt, and terribly did they pay for their audacity. A perfect storm
of bullets greeted the brave Virginians, and nearly one-half of them
went down, horse and man, beneath its fearful breath ere the other
half were in the midst of the enemy's ranks. Those were days when a
certain simplicity of character made the soldier believe that bayonets
and sabres were terrible weapons and meant to do terrible work. No
rewards were then offered for "a dead cavalryman" or for "a bloody
bayonet." There were cloven skulls at Eutaw as at Crecy, and men were
transfixed by each other's deadly bayonet-thrusts. As Washington,
maddened by the loss of his brave troopers, swung his sharp blade like
the flail of death, a shot from the musket of a tall grenadier pierced
the lung of his noble bay, and as the falling steed rolled over on her
gallant rider the man shortened his musket and buried the sharp steel
in the colonel's body. A second thrust would have followed with deadly
result had not the British major, Majoribanks, seized the arm of the
soldier and demanded the surrender of his fallen and bleeding foe. The
tide of battle had receded like some huge swell of ocean, and as the
wounded hero struggled to his feet he found himself surrounded by
enemies, to contend with whom would have been folly. Turning his
feeble glance for a second toward the retreating remnant of his
shattered command, he caught a glimpse through the smoke and dust of
his little battle-flag fluttering in the distance, and fast receding
toward the point whence Hampton's bugles were already sounding the
rally. Neither William Washington nor his "Eutaw Flag" was ever again
in battle for the country, for the captivity of the former terminated
only with the war, and the latter fades from history from that
date until, in 1827, Jane Washington, for seventeen years a widow,
presented it as a precious inheritance to the gallant corps of
Charleston citizen soldiery, who still guard its folds from dishonor,
as they do the name of the knightly paladin which they bear. The
wedding was celebrated soon after the establishment of peace. Major
Majoribanks escaped the carnage of the day, but he lived not to
deliver his distinguished prisoner at Charleston. Sickening on the
retreat with the deadly malaria of the Carolina swamps, he died near
Black Oak, and his mossy grave may be seen to-day by the roadside,
marked by a simple stone and protected from desecration by a wooden
paling. It stands near the gate of Woodboo plantation, which old
Stephen Mazyck, the Huguenot, first settled, about twenty-five miles
from Eutaw and forty-three from Charleston. On the banks of the
Cooper, amid the lovely scenes of "Magnolia," Charleston's city of
the dead, there stands a marble shaft enwreathed in the folds of the
rattlesnake, the symbol of Revolutionary patriotism, and beneath it
rests all that was mortal of William Washington and Jane Elliott his



To those who have had but little opportunity to examine the inner
workings of the Catholic Church the subject of the conventual life has
always been something of a puzzle. Of course it has been difficult for
them to obtain a personal insight into its details, just as it would
be difficult to gain admittance into the mosque of St. Sophia or a
Hindu community of religious. Curiosity, unsatisfied, betakes itself
to hearsay, and since those who know most are generally most silent
about their knowledge, it is to the gossip of ignorance or prejudice
that curiosity looks for an answer. Distorted views or imaginary
descriptions end by being received into the mill of public opinion,
and issue thence ground into gospel truth and invested with mysterious
(because fictitious) interest. It is strange that a phase of life
which is in constant practice at the present day, often within a
stone's throw of our own doors, and which has personal ramifications
in the families of our neighbors and acquaintances, should still be
so much of a phenomenon to the public mind. In England, France, Italy,
Germany and America I have been familiarly acquainted with it, have
studied its principles and its details under many varying forms,
and never found it less interesting because it was _not_ mysterious.
Human, fallible beings are the inhabitants of monasteries either
for males or females, with individual peculiarities and different
sympathies--by no means machines, but free and intelligent agents,
each with a character as individual as that of separate flowers in a
large garden--full of personality and of human imperfection.

In Rome, not far from the Fountain of Trevi--of whose waters it is
said that they have the power to ensure the return to Rome of any
one who has drunk of them in a cup not heretofore devoted to common
purposes--is the spacious convent called San Domenico e Sisto. Here
the first convent of Dominican friars was established, and the spot
is historic ground in the annals of the order of Preachers. In the
turbulent thirteenth century, when papal, feudal and democratic
parties opposed each other in Rome, and the vigorous sap of half-tamed
barbarian life still coursed through the pulses of Italy, Saint
Dominic rose like a reformer, a lawgiver and a peace-maker. On the
other side of the Tiber, entrenched behind baronial walls and fiercely
protected by baronial champions, was a convent of women whose practice
of their vows had become too relaxed for such a bad example to be
allowed to remain unreproved. The ecclesiastical authorities wished
peremptorily to disestablish the convent and filter its inmates
through some neighboring religious houses more zealous and more
edifying in their conduct. But the nuns, who were mostly of noble
families, appealed to their charters, their immunities and exemption
from papal jurisdiction. Their fathers and brothers, the formidable
barons who held within the papal city many strongholds well
garrisoned, took up their quarrel and dared the world to dispossess
the refractory sisterhood. Saint Dominic had just brought his friars
to the dilapidated house then known as San Sisto, had caused rapid
repairs to be made, and in his fervor had created round himself a
nucleus of ardent reformers. The Gordian knot was referred to him, and
with characteristic abruptness he promised to cut it at once. He came
alone to the gates of the convent, presented no credentials from pope
or cardinal, and asked an interview with the abbess. He spoke of the
holiness of an austere life, the reward of those that "follow the Lamb
whithersoever He goeth," the merit of obedience, the need of reform,
the great work that his order was doing for God, and the call for more
laborers in the field: he proposed to the nuns to be his helpers
among their own sex, and his coheiresses in the heavenly reward of the
future. His eloquence and zeal soon melted the haughty resolve of
the rebellious but still noble-minded women. Roused to a new sense of
power and responsibility, they embraced his rigid rule, and with the
enthusiasm of their sex, that never halts midway in reform, became
models of austerity. The better to signify to the world the spiritual
change wrought in their temper, they migrated from the abode which
they had sworn to make the symbol and palladium of their independence,
and went to San Sisto, Saint Dominic taking his monks to repeople the
convent across the Tiber left vacant by the submissive sisterhood.

It is with this new house, henceforth called San Domenico e Sisto,
that one of my earliest recollections of conventual life is connected.
The order is one which enjoins strict enclosure. The dress is of
coarse white serge or flannel, consisting of a long, narrow tunic with
flowing sleeves drawn over tight ones of linen; a _scapular_ or stole
(i.e., a piece of straight stuff half a yard broad worn hanging from
the shoulders both behind and before); a leathern girdle round the
waist, from which hangs a rosary, large, common and set in steel;
strong, thick sandals; a linen wimple enveloping the face and hiding
the ears, neck and roots of the hair; a woolen veil, black for the
professed nuns, white for the novices, and of white _linen_ for the
lay sisters; and over all an immense black cloak, falling around the
figure in statuesque folds.

In this order, and almost invariably in every other, a candidate is
admitted at first as a _postulant_ for a period of six months--a sort
of preliminary trial of her fitness for the religious life. She wears
ordinary clothes during this time--plain and black, of course, but not
of any prescribed shape. Sometimes, however, she is required by custom
to wear a plain black cap. After six months she is admitted as a
novice--i.e., she solemnly puts off the secular dress and wears the
habit of the order, making the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience
for the space of one year only. The details of the ceremony vary in
different orders, but the ceremony itself is called in all by the
generic name of "clothing" or "taking the white veil." In orders where
a white woolen veil is the badge of profession (these are not many)
a linen one is equally the mark of the novice and the lay sister.
Although there exists for convenience' sake a distinction between
choir-nuns and lay sisters--the former paying a dowry to the common
fund on the day of their entrance, and the latter bringing their
manual service to the house instead of any offering--still, the
difference is not spiritual, and beyond the mere distribution of labor
is not practically discernible. In orders where the education of youth
is the primary object, the lay sisters, under the supervision of the
choir-nun to whose charge the housekeeping is directly entrusted,
perform all the menial service, which would otherwise make too many
inroads on the time of the teaching nuns; but in other orders, the
Carmelites for instance, the lowest work, be it of the kitchen, the
laundry or the chamber, is undertaken in turn by every member of the
community. When Madame Louise, the daughter of Louis XV. of France,
became a Carmelite nun, the first task assigned her was the washing of
coarse dishes and the sweeping of floors. A parallel case is that of
the Cistercian monks, who to this day, at their famous farm-monastery
at Mount St. Bernard, England, are bound by their rule to labor with
their hands so many hours a day. No exception is made for the abbot
himself; and when we visited the establishment a few years ago we had
to wait some time for the abbot, who was digging in a distant field.
Scholar and savant are not exempt any more than the humblest member of
the brotherhood; and as it is a very learned order, and attracts
many recent converts to Catholicism, it is not infrequently that one
recognizes in the monk-laborer, digging potatoes or hoeing turnips,
some Anglican clergyman of delicate nurture and scholarly renown.
To this monastery, entirely self-supported by its extensive farm,
is attached a boys' reformatory, one of whose products is the most
excellent butter known in England. Tailoring, shoemaking, carpentry,
turning, etc. are all taught under the supervision of the monks:
those among the boys who wish it are helped to emigrate, and others
apprenticed at the proper time to the trades they have already been
taught at Mount St. Bernard.

To resume our sketch of the Dominican nuns in Rome. It is the custom
in Italy for a young lady about to "enter religion" to choose a
godmother or _madrina_, a lady of proper age and mature experience,
who acts as her chaperon during the few weeks preceding the
"clothing." She comes forth from the convent where she has been a
postulant, and, dressed in the garb of the world, makes formal
visits to all her relations, friends and patrons, assists at public
ceremonies in the local churches, even visits some places of interest,
such as museums and galleries. This is her solemn farewell to the
world, and she is supposed thus to have another trial given to the
steadfastness of her resolve, another chance to abandon it before it
is too late. A young girl of an illustrious Roman family, but of very
slender fortune, was about to enter the Dominican order at the time to
which I allude, in 1853. Her only sister had for some years been a nun
of a strictly enclosed order, and Mademoiselle G----, having chosen as
her madrina an English Catholic lady who had been enabled to show her
some kindness while still in the world, went to bid farewell to this
elder sister. The meeting was very affecting: the sisters could not
see each other face to face--a thick grating separated them. The elder
had long been a spiritual guide to the younger: she had led her mind
in the direction of the cloister, and now rejoiced sincerely that God
had smoothed away the family difficulties and pecuniary embarrassments
which for some time had stood in the way of her vocation. Still,
natural affection was not stifled in the generous, unselfish heart of
the cloistered nun, and she wept with her sister at the thought that,
though the walls of the same city would hold them both till death, and
hardly a few blocks of houses separate their convent homes, yet in
the flesh they should never meet again. The English godmother sat in a
remote corner of the cool, shady parlor, sympathizing in silence with
the touching scene, but keeping as much in the background as etiquette
and custom allowed, that she might not intrude on this last farewell.
At length the curtain behind the grating fell, and the young girl had
severed the tenderest link that bound her to the world. Many other
visits were paid--some to friends of Mademoiselle G----'s parents (she
had long been an orphan), some to ecclesiastical personages who had
interested themselves to procure her admission into the Dominican
community. With repeated blessings the young girl left their presence,
every day advancing nearer to her spiritual bridal.

At last the day came. Early in the morning the madrina arrived at the
convent with her two little girls of six and eight years old dressed
in white as bridesmaids, or, as the Italian term _angiolini_ has it,
little angels. They bore delicate baskets filled with white flowers to
strew before the "bride," and their office during the ceremony was
to hold the novice's gloves, fan and handkerchief. The young girl
herself, looking pale and earnest, walked up the aisle of the convent
chapel in bridal robes of white silk, with a veil and wreath on her
head, and round her neck a string of pearls, an heirloom in the G----
family. Her brother, the only male representative of her once powerful
house, was present in the outer chapel, full of grief at a sacrifice
which he had never countenanced, and ready to claim that morning the
only legacy of his sister the promise of which he had been able to
secure--the thick coils of her black hair when they should have been
cut off preparatory to her taking the novice's veil. The scene was
very solemn. The nuns sat in their carved stalls within the grating
whose black bars divided them from the "bride" and her friends in the
ante-chapel: the chant of psalms and versicles came down from a hidden
gallery, and the priest in rich vestments stood at the foot of the
altar within the railing. The service went on in the midst of a
palpable hush; the very air seemed hardly to vibrate; the bride,
attended by her two angiolini, left her gorgeous kneeling-chair and
advanced to the open door in the grating, where the priest met her.
Question and answer were interchanged in Italian, and the young girl
vowed that of her own free will she left the world and joined the
order of St. Dominic. Prayers in Latin followed, then again a chanted
psalm, and Mademoiselle G---- was led away through the iron-grated
door, which was then closed. It was not long ere she reappeared in
the long close tunic of white serge, her head covered with a temporary
veil of coarse linen and her feet shod in sandals. A procession of
nuns, each bearing a lighted taper, escorted her to the foot of the
altar (everything was visible through the grating), and she knelt
before the officiating priest. A white woolen veil was handed to
him, which he blessed with holy water, the sign of the cross and the
prescribed ejaculations accompanying these rites: he then laid it
on her head as a "symbol of the virgin modesty" to which she was now
pledged. Two nuns were at hand to pin it into the right folds while a
silver ring was being blessed in the same manner as the veil. This
was placed on the ring-finger of the left hand as a "symbol of the
intimate union and espousal with Christ" signified by her renunciation
of the world. The scapular of white serge, similarly blessed, was
then laid upon her shoulders as a type of the "yoke of obedience and
sacrifice;" and lastly, the black cloak, signifying charity, covering
and enveloping the whole person. Then in a loud, firm voice, instinct
with passion and resolve, she read, standing, the formal declaration
of her religious vows. When this was over the mother-superior led
the novice, now Sister Maria Colomba, to a small table on which lay
a bridal wreath of white roses and a crown of thorns. She asked her
solemnly which was her choice in life, and the novice took up the
crown of thorns and placed it on her head. This typical ceremony I
never saw performed in any other order. Shortly after the crown of
thorns was exchanged for that of roses, the superior saying, "Inasmuch
as thou hast chosen the crown which thy Saviour wore, He rewards thee
with that which is a shadow of the heavenly crown reserved for His
spouses in heaven." This bridal token the new nun wears during the
whole day.

To a few ladies and to the angiolini a special permission to enter the
enclosure was given in honor of the day: a festive meal was served in
the bare, cool refectory, the rule of silence being relaxed for the
special occasion, and the nuns wearing a happy, child-like expression
that hardly varied in the face of the youngest novice and that of
the septuagenarian "mother." The strangers were shown through the
dormitories, the kitchen, the laundry, the garden, the community-room,
where embroidery, painting and study diversify the labors of the broom
and the dishcloth, and everywhere the same exquisite neatness
struck the eye. Everything used in the house was of the coarsest
description--the linen like sack-cloth, but speckless; the delf as
thick and rough as if made for sailors; the floors mostly of brick or
stone; the furniture of unpainted deal. Over each bed, which is only a
board on trestles covered with heavy sacking, is a common crucifix and
a sprig of box or olive blessed on Palm Sunday. The sisters sleep in
their tunics. The library is common property, but no one may use or
read any book save by permission of the superioress. The rules of
fasting and abstinence are not exactly the same in every convent of
the order, but the broad rule is that meat should be eaten only on
great holidays, vegetables and farinaceous preparations, such as most
Italians are not unskilled in, forming the staple of the nuns' food.
Fish is almost as rare a luxury as meat. Their bread is coarse and
brown, and their drink indifferently water or a wine so sour that it
is practically vinegar. Not that these nuns are not good cooks and
bakers: witness the delicate sweetmeats, biscuits and pastry they
offer to strangers on such festival days as the one just described,
the fruit-preserves in blocks sold for their sustenance by the nuns
at Funchal, Madeira, and the fairy frostwork of sugar seen on great
occasions in French convents. No womanly art is a stranger to the deft
fingers of cloistered nuns. Bookbinding is a pursuit well known among
them, as is also the mounting in delicate filigree of the "Agnus Dei"
or waxen representation of the Lamb of God, blessed by the pope
at Easter and distributed throughout Christendom from the papal
metropolis. Another convent industry is the preparation of the wafers
used in the celebration of mass.

These Dominicanesses rise at four in the morning and dine at eleven,
making after that only one slight meal in the evening--bread and
vegetables, for instance, or a saucerful of macaroni. At stated times
they assemble in the chapel for the singing of the "divine office,"
and always have an early mass, at which the whole community receives
holy communion. This is administered by the priest through a square
opening in the iron grating dividing the nuns from the altar. At
eight, or at latest nine o'clock in the evening, all are in bed,
whence they rise again at midnight (in some orders at two o'clock in
the morning, but this custom involves rising somewhat later, generally
five o'clock) for matins and lauds.

The duties of separate departments are judiciously divided among the
sisters. There is the infirmarian; the _économe_, or housekeeper,
to whose share falls the supplying of the larder; the librarian, the
sacristan, the portress (often in cloistered orders this position,
which is exceptional in its exemptions, involves the ordering of
outside business matters), the care-taker of the garments and linen,
the gardener, the secretary, the mistress and sub-mistress of novices.
The house is managed like clockwork. Punctually as the bell rings each
sister goes to the task appointed for that hour, and leaves it, no
matter how important or absorbing it may be, for the duty appointed
by the rule for the next division of time. Silence prevails among the
sisters at almost all hours: for at most three times a day speech is
permitted, and seldom for more than half an hour at a time. During
meals one sister reads the _Lives of the Saints_ aloud. Each in her
turn takes the place of server at table. The superioress alone has
power to dispense with the rule of silence in case of necessity, as
she transacts most of the business, social or legal, of her community.

During the year of novitiate the novices are under the direct rule
of the mistress of novices, whose authority over them is paramount,
though she herself is of course under a vow of obedience to the
superior. When a novice receives a visit from one in the world she is
accompanied by the "mistress," and if the visitor be a near relation
and a woman the curtain behind the grating is withdrawn; if only a
friend, the visitor does not even see the nun, as the thick curtain
is drawn, and the only communication possible is by speech. It is
generally possible, on any necessity arising, to obtain a special
permission to break through the rule of enclosure: this is done by
applying to the superior-general of the order, or in Rome to the Holy
Father, whose authority naturally supersedes all others. Sometimes
the power to dispense lies with the local superior, but it is a
prerogative seldom used, and wisely so. In every order the internal
government of each house is of an elective form, but when once chosen
the superiors exercise absolute authority. The community meets
every three years (in some orders every year) and chooses by vote a
superioress, an assistant superioress and a mistress of novices. Only
the professed nuns have a vote, and the majority carry the day.
These "officers," once appointed, rule the house and choose all minor
deputies themselves. The heads alone of each house assemble at the
death of the superior-general (or abbess, as she is styled in some
of the more ancient orders) and choose another, equally by vote, the
election being sometimes decided by only one vote. This assembly is
called a "chapter." The generals of most orders reside in Rome.

The year after the "clothing" of Sister Maria Colomba we witnessed the
final ceremony of her "profession"--that is, of her assuming the black
veil and renewing her religious vows _for life_. Hitherto, she had
been free to return to the world and marry: henceforth such a return
(unless by a dispensation so rarely given that it is practically
non-existent) would be sacrilege. The details of the ceremony vary in
different orders, and with those which are not cloistered the scene
is far less impressive. What we were going to see included the most
solemn forms ever used. This time the whole service took place behind
the grating: there were no "bridesmaids" now, no shadow of worldly
pomp was borrowed to enhance the last and momentous consecration of
religion. The novice knelt between the superior and the mistress of
novices, each bearing a lighted taper. The white veil was taken
from her head, and a black one, previously blessed with holy water
sprinkled over it in the form of a cross, substituted: the low chant
of the unseen choir of nuns sounded impressively as the echo of
another world. Then came the renewal of the dread vows, binding now
until death, and the voice of the young girl seemed firm though low:
her face wore a calm, peaceful look, subdued by the solemn occasion,
yet irrepressibly suggesting a joy unknown in the world, where joy is
seldom free from passion. The most interesting ceremony, however, was
yet to come. The slow chant shaped itself into the words of the psalm
_De Profundis_, the special prayer which in the Catholic Church is
reserved for the dead, and four professed nuns advanced toward their
new sister, who was now prostrate at the foot of the altar. Each held
the corner of a funeral pall, which they slowly; dropped over the
figure of Sister Maria Colomba, and, kneeling, held it over her until
the last verse of the psalm had been sung. This suggestive ceremony
closed the service. It is a forcible and picturesque type of the
complete severance of the nun's future life and interests from the
outside world, the death of her heart to all carnal affections, the
"dying daily" which Saint Paul calls the "life" of the Christian soul.
A long procession accompanied the newly-professed nun to the inner
rooms of the convent, and for this one day again she wore over the
black veil the bridal wreath, which to-morrow would be put away until
required for her last adornment in the coffin.

Ten years after our farewell to Sister Maria Colomba behind the
bars of the convent-parlor we saw her again, and, armed with a papal
permission, were shown by her over the whole convent. Those rare
occasions when a stranger is allowed to penetrate the "enclosure" are
always gala-days for the nuns. I remarked the blithe, youthful look
that shone on all their faces: Sister Maria Colomba herself, from a
pale, nervous girl, had expanded into a strong, hale, buxom woman. The
glow of health was on her cheek, the sparkle of innocent mirth shone
in her eye. There was one among the sisters who gleefully asked me to
guess at her age. She was a sweet, fresh-complexioned, matronly woman.
"Not more than fifty, good mother," was the answer.

She laughed and gently clapped her hands. "Add twenty years to that,"
she answered with an innocent burst of pride. Then she told how she
had entered the order while yet in her "teens," had held half the
offices of trust in the community, and had never missed any of the
most rigid fasts or absented herself once from the midnight office,
never having known so much as a day's ill-health. "Ah, a nun's life is
a healthy one, child, as well as a happy one," she said in conclusion.

We went over the kitchen, laundry, refectory, dormitories, chapel,
garden, etc. Just the same as before--a little "calvary" at one end
of the garden and a rough picture of a Madonna in an arbor, the
long, echoing corridors spotless as the deck of a man-of-war, and the
smiling faces making a very flower-garden of the community-room. We
left loaded with specimens of the nuns' work--Agnus Deis in frames of
silver filigree dotted with white roses and hanging from white satin
ribbon-bows; flake-like biscuits of peculiar flavor; and baskets,
pincushions, etc. of delicate workmanship. I do not know whether this
convent is still in the hands of the Dominicanesses, so many in Rome
having become barracks since the new royal authority superseded that
of the pope. But the picture of San Domenico e Sisto as it was in
1853 and 1863 may yet interest many who perhaps will never have the
opportunity of seeing such an establishment for themselves.

This is a very fair sample of the convents of the stricter and
cloistered orders: there are some exceptional houses, such as that of
the Sepolte Vive, where the rule is far more austere. There is but
one convent of this description in Rome, and I believe one or two in
France. It is a noteworthy fact that most of the strictest observances
of penance originated in France, and are continued there to this day.
This convent of the Sepolte Vive ("Buried Alive") is not formally
sanctioned by the papal authority, but only _tolerated_. The nuns
were forbidden more than ten years ago to admit any more novices, and
although the individual zeal of those who started the order was not
exactly censured, still a tacit intimation of its being considered
excessive and imprudent was given by the highest ecclesiastical court.
Among their customs (which much resemble those of the Trappist monks)
these nuns have that of digging their own graves, and as the cemetery
is small and included in the "enclosure," the oldest graves are opened
after a period of forty or fifty years, and the crumbling contents
ejected to make room for the lately deceased. The death of a nun's
nearest relation, be it father, mother, brother or sister, is made
known to the superior alone, and she in her turn announces it, _not_
to the bereaved one, but to the whole sisterhood, in this manner: They
are all assembled in the community-room, and admonished to "pray for
the soul of the father or mother" (as the case may be) "of one among
their number." To the day of her death the nun never knows how near
and dear by the ties of Nature may have been the soul for which she
has prayed every day since the announcement was made.

The Sepolte Vive, when found guilty of any breach of the rule, are
labeled with a ticket attached to their habit, and on which their
fault is written in large, conspicuous letters--for instance,
"Disobedience," "Curiosity," "Talkativeness"--and this they wear
at their ordinary avocations for as many hours as the superioress
commands. They never undress on going to bed, and wear the same habit
winter and summer, the stuff being too hot for the one and too cold
for the other; so that at all times the penance is the same. On the
wrists many of them wear iron manacles that graze the skin and cause
constant irritation at every turn of the hand: this is sometimes
imposed as a penance, but very often is voluntarily inflicted
on themselves by zealous members of the sisterhood. Before the
prohibition to receive additional novices the sisterhood consisted of
a fixed number, and when a vacancy occurred by the death of one the
place was filled by the first on the list of postulants. _This list
was always a large one_, and generally contained many names belonging
to the noblest families of Rome. These details were gathered from
the same lady who acted as madrina to the Dominican nun Sister Maria
Colomba; and when she and a friend obtained permission from the pope
to penetrate the "enclosure," the nuns told her that it was _twenty
years_ since the same privilege had been granted. For almost the space
of a generation no stranger had been seen or heard by them, for not
even the privilege of a grated and curtained parlor interview is
allowed to the Sepolte Vive. And yet with all this unparalleled
refinement of austerity they were as blithe and healthy a body of
women, as cheerful and youthful in manner, as peaceful and calm in
appearance, as could be found among the Sisters of Charity or the lay
members of an association of Mercy.

The Carmelites are an order spread wide over the Christian world. The
reform of Saint Teresa was sadly needed among these nuns three hundred
years ago, and the recital of the vehement opposition made to her
efforts shows the merit due to her. At the present day the order is
one of the strictest in existence. The habit is of coarse brown serge,
including the tunic and scapular, a cord round the waist, sandals (in
England and other northern climates shoes are allowed), a black veil
and an ample white cloak. They rise at two o'clock, winter and summer
alike, to sing matins, and when they retire to rest at night one of
their number walks through the corridors--in this order each nun has
a cell--springing a rattle and repeating in a clear tone a verse of
Scripture to serve as a subject of meditation before going to sleep.
In the choir the Carmelites are only permitted the use of three notes,
the reason alleged for this restriction being that the service of God
must not run the risk of becoming an occasion of temptation to the
singers. These nuns are very strictly cloistered, and their rules
regarding visitors are much the same as those described at length in
the beginning of this paper.

The cloistered orders are less numerous, but also less known, than the
communities formed for active duty, such as education and nursing
the sick; but in describing their constitution and rules we show the
reader the true basis on which the more modern and active orders are
constituted. The traditions of the spiritual life came down through
them, and they represent the principle of vicarious oblation
which animates all the different phases of convent life; i.e. the
substitution of a small body of voluntary servants of God for the
entire world, which ought to be perpetually engaged in His service
and worship. The Benedictines, Capuchins and Visitation nuns are also
cloistered, but the last are the only ones of this description who are
likewise teachers of youth. Many very superior women belong to this
order, which, except for the enclosure, practices no special physical
austerities. The principle of the rule is the subduing of the will
and the curbing of the spirit. The order is a recent one, and was
instituted by Saint Francis of Sales while Beza ruled in Geneva and
the Reformation had just disturbed the religious balance of Europe.
With consummate prudence the new order was directed to employ the
means best understood by the age. Cold calculation had succeeded to
ardent zeal: the public mind no longer instinctively revered the old
heroic type of dragon-tamers, be they called Roland or Saint Benedict.
The new current required a new rudder, and the Visitation nuns
supplied the need. At first they were not even meant to be cloistered,
but to form a kind of missionary society (as their very name implies)
among the Calvinists of Savoy and France. This original intention was
soon overruled by the Italian advisers of Saint Francis: the southern
European mind has ever been slow to conceive the idea of a more
spiritual protection than bolts and bars. But even in their cloistered
sphere the Visitation nuns clung to useful, active work, and became
a teaching order. They and the Ursulines (who in Italy, at least, are
cloistered) shared this task among them till the more modern order of
the "Sacred Heart" almost monopolized it. I have myself known women
of the most tried virtue and rare learning among the "Visitandines."
Their rule is less strict about visitors, and even strangers are
admitted to the parlor without a curtain being drawn behind the
grating. Their features are thus perfectly visible, and you can even
shake hands between the bars.

Even to this day there is hardly a noble family of Catholic Europe
that has not one or more representatives among the religious orders.
In England, both among "converts" and families of old Catholic stock,
there are many girls whose names have been absorbed into those given
at the same time as the ring and veil of a novice. In Flanders
there are fully half a dozen convents--at Bruges, Antwerp and
Louvain--emphatically called "English," and founded by scions of great
English families exiled for their adherence to the old faith under
Elizabeth and James I. They are mostly Augustinians. The new order of
the "Sacred Heart" has drawn to it women from Russia, Spain, America,
as well as from its native land of France, and the Sisters of Charity
have won a worldwide fame in the hospitals of the East and the recent
battle-fields of the West.

I have dwelt chiefly on the life of the old contemplative, cloistered
orders, because they are less known to the public and more mistakes
are made about their constitution and rules, and also because in these
old cradle-institutions are hidden the roots of the whole religious
system which to this day crops out so vigorously in works of mercy
over every land where the Catholic Church has a foothold. Among the
uncloistered orders of religious women--and here we expect to be
better understood and more fairly met by those whose knowledge
of "religion" is not personal--there are many that fulfill heroic
missions, perform useful tasks, or even silent, uncomplaining
drudgery. In all large European towns the _cornette_ of the Sister
of St. Vincent of Paul is seen in hospital, prison and asylum, in the
garret of the dying workman as well as by the bed where the warrior
lies in state--in the humble schools of the lowest suburbs and in the
_crèches_ of the darkest byways.

The crèche--so called in remembrance of the crib of Bethlehem--is
an institution of the greatest use to poor women obliged to work for
their living. They either find their children an insuperable bar
to their labor, or else a source of constant anxiety during their
absence. To the crèche, however, they can take the little ones in the
early morning and leave them till late at night, paying only a
small sum, such as five cents a day, if they are able, while if
circumstances warrant their being exempted even this is not required.
The house is supported chiefly by voluntary contributions, and the
sisters often have lay assistants eager to share in their labor of
love. The children are taken in at all ages, the tiniest, unweaned
infant not excepted: there are little cots of all sizes prepared for
them, an abundance of milk, toys for the older ones, picture-books,
etc. They are fed three times a day, washed and combed before being
sent home (although constant applicants are expected to bring their
children tidy and neat on first arrival), and if the mother fails to
return at night, they are of course housed with the tenderest care. As
there would be no room to accommodate permanent baby-boarders without
impairing the original intention for which the crèche is opened, these
little waifs, if not claimed after three nights and days, are sent to
the foundling asylum: this, however, does not often occur. There are
many of these institutions scattered through France: London has two,
and New York will soon have one--perhaps by this time it has already
been opened. A woman earning her bread by hard work would have to
leave her children in the care of some neighbor, who most likely would
fail in her task or teach the children bad things, and demand some
compensation all the same. If the eldest child were left in charge
of younger infants, as is so often the case with the honest poor, the
chances are that it will break or injure its spine by carrying
the little ones. All this anxiety is avoided by this beautiful and
inviting arrangement, which is generally under the management of the
Sisters of Charity. The London crèches have a night school for working
girls and grown women in connection with the principal part of the
institution; also a Sunday school for children. Among the rules is one
which forbids the wearing of artificial flowers or any tawdry finery
during school-time. But in another part of London artificial flowers
in a Sunday bonnet are a sign of a reclaimed female drunkard, as the
clergyman has hit on the ingenious method of advising the women to
leave off drinking, that they may be able to afford some Sunday finery
wherewith to please their husbands' eyes and to hold up their heads
with the best in church!

Old age is as helpless as infancy, and less attractive in its
helplessness, so that the task undertaken by the Little Sisters of the
Poor is still more meritorious when performed in the devoted spirit
which characterizes them. They are literally the servants of beggars:
they are bound to possess nothing and to hoard nothing; they live on
the refuse of refuse, begging the crumbs from rich men's tables to
feed the hungry ones under their care, and when these are satisfied
sitting down to the scanty remains. They have a large establishment
in London, which I once visited, but which has since been divided
into two, the aim of both continuing the same. The sisters wear a very
unpretending black gown and cap: when out of doors they add to this
a poke-bonnet and thick veil, with a large black shawl. They have a
little donkey-cart, which they drive themselves, and which makes daily
pilgrimages all over town, stopping at the houses of the rich of all
denominations and receiving contributions of that which is too often
thought below the cook's while to claim as a perquisite. So laden, the
Little Sisters return to their old people, and a transformation begins
in the vast kitchen. No one would believe what savory dishes
they manufacture out of the leavings and parings of great houses:
everything is sifted, cleaned, washed, as the case requires; each kind
of food is carefully separated and placed in its appointed place; an
immense cauldron is continually on the fire, and soups and jellies are
in a constant state of fusion and preparation. Puddings of all sorts
come out of the renovating oven: joints of roast meat are the only
things which are exceptional, and sometimes the more generous charity
of some outsider adds even this luxury to the usual fare. The Little
Sisters of the Poor clothe as well as feed their charges: for this,
too, they trust to charity, and left-off clothes are a great boon to
them. They are so ingenious that there is hardly a thing of which they
cannot make a deft use. They have houses in New York and Philadelphia,
and already do an immense deal of good among the destitute aged poor.

The Order of Sion is a rather peculiar one, its principal object
being the conversion to Christianity and subsequent education of
young Jewesses. It has been founded within the last forty years by
the brothers Ratisbonne, both of them Jews of distinction converted
to Christianity. The elder brother (they are both priests now)
superintends the order in Europe: the younger resides at
the mother-house at Jerusalem. The convent is an educational
establishment, where the daughters of Orientals of all kinds are
received--Jews, Arabs, Syrians, Armenians, etc. In Europe the houses,
of course, do not confine themselves to Jewish pupils, else they would
find less work than their many hands could do, but receive boarders
and give a solid education like the other and more fashionable
convents. As a child I lived nearly a year in one of these houses, a
large, roomy, silent villa, two hours from Paris. Behind the house
was a garden and grove crossed in all directions by bewildering
little paths leading into unexpected hollows where a rustic altar
and statuette of Our Lady would be placed, or a crucifix erected in
startling loneliness on a little hillock. A wide avenue of lime trees,
where the pupils might be seen early in the morning studying their
tasks, or in the afternoon eating their luncheon of grapes and brown
bread, traversed this grove in a straight line, and here on certain
feast-days nuns and pupils would form picturesque processions, with
the customary banners, tapers, white veils and swelling hymns. Here
the Ratisbonne brothers came to rest from their work of furthering the
interests of the order--the elder a fatherly, portly man with white
hair and a gentle manner, the younger a bronzed, black-bearded man,
a true Oriental, with enthusiasm expressed in every line of his
countenance and every flash of his piercing eye. He was only on a
visit at that time, and then, as now, made Jerusalem his permanent
home. There are one or two convents of this order in England, but I
think none as yet in America.

The convent of the Assumption at Auteuil, a suburb of Paris, is one
renowned for its excellent educational advantages. I spent a week
there one winter on a visit to a near relative among the pupils, and
had an opportunity to observe the clock-like life of the place. All
the girls I have known to be educated there were better scholars than
any brought up elsewhere. There were many English and American girls,
besides Poles, Germans and West Indian Creoles. The war of 1860-64
left traces of strange animosity among the Northern and Southern
children: it was hardly credible that such a spirit could animate
young children so long removed from the immediate home influences that
would otherwise have accounted for the feeling. Among the nuns were
several English women, clever and deeply read, but softer-hearted than
most scholars who have had too much to do with the world. There was
also a sister of Père Hyacinthe among the Assumptionists, and the
great orator himself often came to the convent-chapel to preach simple
little sermons to the school-girls. His sister was terribly crushed
by the news of his defection from the Catholic Church, and, I believe,
refused even to see him again.

A very beautiful scene which I witnessed on the 8th of December in
this convent was the renewal of the vows. The mass was celebrated in
the chapel at five in the morning, of course by gas- and candle-light.
The body of the chapel was perfectly clear, the community sat in
carved wooden stalls round the altar, the pupils assisted from the
galleries above, and hidden under the gallery was the small but very
perfect choir of nuns and children. The hymns of Père Hermann, a
famous pianist and composer, a pupil of Liszt, a convert from Judaism,
and afterward a Carmelite friar, are very popular in France, and of
these the music chiefly consisted. At the communion the superioress
stepped forward, wearing the white woolen mantle (which with a purple
tunic is the complete dress of this order) and knelt to receive the
holy sacrament. A nun in the same costume, bearing a lighted taper and
bowing almost to the ground, stood on each side of her as the priest
communicated her, and so on till the whole sisterhood had each knelt
separately and the bowing figures, like attendant angels, had
done homage to each as the tabernacle, for a time, of the blessed
sacrament. When the mass was over each professed sister solemnly read
over the formula of her religious vows before a table on which lay
a crucifix, which each reverently kissed in token of rededication of
herself to the divine service.

The order of the Good Shepherd is one that is known throughout the
world. It has branch houses in every country. The one to which I shall
specially refer is in New York. It stands on the banks of the East
River, overlooking Astoria and Long Island, and from its top windows
the eye reaches far up the Sound. Like all convents, it is marvelously
clean. The order is devoted to the reclaiming of fallen women, and in
this instance the house is a government reformatory. A certain
annual subsidy is guaranteed by the city authorities, but voluntary
contributions and the industry of the inmates give more than half
toward the real support of the house. Three sorts of women are
under the care of the nuns: (1) those whom the judges send there as
criminals for a specified term; (2) those whom their friends send
in hope of their being quietly reformed without the intervention of
justice; and (3) those who seek of their own accord to do penance and
earn forgiveness for their sins. This is of course the most hopeful
class, and it frequently happens that these penitents become in time
permanent inmates, and even nuns. In the latter case, as the rule of
the order does not allow of the reception of any woman with a stain on
her reputation, they are clothed in the habit of the Carmelite Third
Order (brown serge tunic and black veil), in which the austerities are
not very great. They go through the usual novitiate and make their
vows in the regular manner: they are then called "Magdalens," and
inhabit a portion of the house reserved for them, say their office
at stated hours in their own chapel, contiguous to that of the Good
Shepherd nuns, and live under obedience to the superioress of the
latter. I saw about a dozen of them taking their evening walk in a
pretty enclosed garden by the river-side. Other women who do not feel
inclined to so full a renunciation of their liberty bind themselves
by a promise, good for one year only, to the service of the house, and
wear a semi-religious kind of cap and a scarlet badge with the letter
_P_ or _F_: they are divided into two classes, under the patronage of
Saint Joseph and Saint Patrick. They renew the promise from year to
year, and often spend their lives in this lay sisterhood of penance.
Every inmate, be she prisoner or penitent, is taught to sew, first
by hand, then on the machine: many on their first entrance are so
ignorant that they do not know on which finger to place the thimble,
but after a while most are able to do a good day's work on common
shirts and linen articles which the order contracts for with the
wholesale shops. Another source of profit to the house is the laundry,
but this is conducted exclusively by the nuns themselves. They do all
the washing of surplices, altar-cloths, etc. for most of the Catholic
churches of New York, for the convents and colleges, and for many
private families. The fluting on children's frocks and the polish on
shirts is something wonderful, and the young nun who superintends
the concern seemed to be a real enthusiast in the matter. The nuns'
dormitories, as well as those of the prisoners, are miracles of
neatness; the refectories likewise. There are various immense airy
halls where the nuns and girls sit sewing, and where a stranger sees
a spectacle new to most people, certainly unexpected by the greater
number--that of an assemblage of ugly faces, each belonging to
an _unfortunate_ whose temptations are usually understood to lie
originally in her fatal beauty. Many of them are scarcely fourteen,
and if once admitted, the melancholy chance is that they will be here
again time after time: the sentences are seldom long enough to afford
room for thought and conversion. Among the penitents the cases are
far more hopeful, but the gentle sisters never forget their kind,
conciliatory manner toward all; and unless a perverse demon whispers
to their ear that these nuns are their _jailers_, the poor prisoners
see little to remind them that they are not in a voluntarily chosen

Nuns are by no means a shiftless, unbusiness-like set of women: they
can look after themselves as well as after the poor and forlorn:
many of them, were they in the world, would be called strong-minded,
blue-stockinged women. At Montreal there is a large establishment
of the Sisters of the Congrégation de Notre Dame, generally called
Congregation Sisters, founded by Margaret Bourgeoys. They are the
great educational sisters of Lower Canada. They own St. Paul's Island,
some distance above the city: this is their farm, and one of the nuns,
called the sister économe, has to visit it frequently and superintend
matters, being the stewardess and committee of ways and means and
revenue department combined. Of course a good horse is desirable for
these drives, and their horses being one source of profit, the économe
feels that the reputation of the breed ought not to be depreciated
by her own "turnout." The young men of the town often meet her on the
road and try to distance her, but this she will never permit, and her
horse, faultlessly groomed and in splendid condition, always comes
off the winner in these innocent races. One day, however, the
bishop, having heard of this rivalry on the road, sent for her and
remonstrated, alleging that such "fast" conduct might lend itself to
scandalous rumors, and was altogether unbecoming in a _religious_. The
nun smiled, and protested that she was ready to obey her superiors'
orders in every particular, as all good Catholics and good religious
are bound to do, but slyly insinuated the following cogent argument:
"Does not Your Lordship think, however, that, since our convent lives
partly on the reputation of this famous breed of trotters, it is
hardly for the credit of the house that its representative conveyance
should drag along as dejectedly as a street-vendor's donkey-cart?"
What the bishop's reply was "the deponent sayeth not," but we may
infer that this shrewd woman was at least as capable of controlling a
wide meshwork of business details as he was of managing his diocese.
Now, there are many such women in convents, for the religious
life leads not, as people think, to a renunciation of your own
self-dependence, but on the contrary to the highest kind of confidence
in your own power _when backed by the help of Almighty God_. Saint
Teresa of Spain once said these memorable words: "Teresa and tenpence
are nothing: Teresa, tenpence _and God_ are omnipotent."






The frost came early this year; and by the second week in December
the ponds and shallows in the neighborhood of North Aston were covered
with ice that made good sliding-grounds for the children. Presently
it grew and spread till the deeper waters were frozen over, and a
skating-rink was formed of the Broad that bore the heavier weights
without danger. It was a merry time for the North Astonians; and even
the elder men strapped on their skates and took colds and contusions
in their endeavors to double back on their supple youth and to forget
the stiffer facts of time. As for the young people, they were in the
full swing of innocent enjoyment; and the girls wished that the frost
would last through the whole of the winter, so that they might make
up skating-parties with the boys every day, and avoid the unmeaning
deadness of "tender" weather.

This ice had been in perfect condition for three days and the Broad
had been thronged, but Leam had not appeared. All the other young
ladies of the country had come, Adelaide Birkett one of the most
diligent in her attendance, for was not Edgar Harrowby one of the
most constant in his? But though more than one pair of eyes had looked
anxiously along the road that led to Ford House, which some people
still continued to call Andalusia Cottage, no lithe, graceful figure
had been seen gliding between the frosted hedgerows, and Edgar, like
Alick, had skated in disappointment, the former with the feeling of an
actor playing to an empty house when he made his finest turns and she
was not there to see them; the latter with the self-reproach of one
taking enjoyment abroad while the beloved is sitting in solitude and
dreariness at home.

At last, on the fourth day, she came down with her father; and to at
least two on the ground the advent of a slender-waisted girl with dark
eyes and small feet changed the whole aspect of things, and made life
for the moment infinitely more beautiful and desirable than it had
been. It was a brilliant day, with as fine a sun as England can show
in winter--no wind, but a clear air, crisp, dry and exhilarating,
Every one was there--Edgar, the most graceful of the skaters; Alick,
the most awkward; Dr. Corfield, essaying careful little spurts,
schoolboy fashion, along the edges; and the portly rector, proud
to show his past superiority in sharp criticism on the style of the
present day as a voucher for his own greater grace and skill in the
days when he too was an Adonis for the one part and an Admirable
Crichton for the other, and carried no superfluous flesh about his
ribs. Among them, too, looking on the scene as if it was something in
which he had no inherited share, as if these were not men and women to
whom he was sib on Adam's side, but cunningly contrived machines whose
movements he contemplated with benign indifference, was to be seen the
mild philosophic occupant of Lionnet--that Mr. Gryce of whom no one
knew more than that he studied dead languages through the day and
caught moths and beetles in the twilight, had come without letters of
introduction and was never seen at church; hence that he was a man of
whom to beware, and a dangerous element among them. The pendulum of
acceptance, which had swung so far on one side in the unguaranteed
reception of Madame de Montfort, had now gone back to the
corresponding extent on the other; and no one, not even Mr. Birkett as
the clergyman, nor Mr. Dundas as the landlord, had held out a finger
to the new-comer, not to speak of a hand; while all regarded
his presence at North Aston as rather a liberty than otherwise.
Nevertheless, as time would show, though he had come there without
purpose and lived among the people without interest, he would not be
found without his uses, and one at least of the threads making up the
skein of life at North Aston would be placed in his hands.

As Leam came to the side both Edgar Harrowby and Alick Corfield turned
to greet her, the usually sad face of the curate, already brightened
by fresh air and exercise, brighter still at seeing her, the handsome
head of the squire held a little higher as his figure involuntarily
straightened and he put out his best powers in her honor. But Alick's
shambling legs carried him fastest, and he was first at the edge, the
neighborhood looking on, prepared to build a Tower of Babel heaven
high on the foundation of a single brick. Leam Dundas had not yet been
fitted with her hypothetical mate, and people wanted to see to whom
they were to give her.

"Oh, come on with me!" cried Alick as soon as he came up, speaking
with the unconscious familiarity of gladness at the advent for which
he had watched so long. He held out his arm to Leam crooked awkwardly
at the elbow.

"No," said Leam a little shortly.

She always stiffened when Alick spoke to her before folk with anything
like intimacy in his manner. He was her good friend, granted, and she
liked him in a way and respected him in a way, though he was still too
much after the pattern of her former slave and dog to gain her best
esteem. She was one of those women who are arbitrary and disdainful to
masculine weakness, and require to be absolutely dominated by men if
they are to respect them as men like to be respected by women, and
as--_pace_ the Shriekers--the true woman likes to respect men. And
Alick, though he had her in his hands and might destroy her at a
word--clergyman, too, as he was, and thus possessing the key to higher
things than she knew--was always so humble, so subservient, he made
her feel as if she was his superior--not, as it should have been, that
he was hers. In consequence, girl-like, proud and shy, she treated
him with more disdain than she ought to have done, and used the power
which he himself gave her without much consideration as to its effect.
Besides, she did not wish to let people think he knew too much of
her. With the nervous fancy of youth, ever believing itself to be
transparent and understood all through, she imagined it would be seen
that he had the right to speak to her familiarly--that he had her in
his hand to destroy her at a word if so minded. Wherefore she said
"No" shortly, and turned away her eyes as her protest against his glad
face, crooked elbow and eager offer.

"I will not let you fall, and it is very jolly," cried Alick cheerily,
more like the boyish Alick of former days than the ascetic young
curate of modern times.

"I do not like it," said Leam.

Alick's countenance fell; and when his face, always long, became
longer still, with a congealed-looking skin, sad, red-lidded eyes
and a hanging under lip, it was not lovely. Indeed, according to
the miserable fatality which so often makes the spiritually best the
physically worst--like the gods whom the Athenians enclosed in outer
cases of satyrs and hideous masks of misshapen men--Alick's face was
never lovely. But his soul? If that could have been seen, the old
carved parable of the Greeks would have been justified.

"Nonsense, Leam! Why cannot you do as others do?" cried Mr. Dundas.

He wanted to get rid of her for a while, and he was not unwilling that
Alick, whose affection he suspected, should rid him of her for ever
if he cared to saddle himself for life with such an uncomfortable

"I do not like it," repeated Leam.

"Nonsense!" said her father again. "Other girls are on. Why should you
not join them? I see Adelaide Birkett and the Fairbairns. Why not go
to them with Alick?"

"It looks silly balancing one's self on the edge of a knife. And I
should fall," said Leam.

"No, you shall not fall," Alick pleaded. "I will undertake that you
shall not."

His arm was still held out, always awkwardly crooked.

Leam lifted her eyes. "No," she said with her old calm decision, and
moved away. Four years ago she would have supplemented her refusal by
the words, "You are stupid. You tease me," Now she contented herself
with action and accent.

Alick, very sorry, moist-eyed from disappointment, but not caring to
stand there and get chilled--for our good Alick was a little afraid
of cold, after the manner of mothers' sons in general--skated off
again to keep up his circulation, his knees bent, his chin forward,
his arms swinging as balance-weights to his long body, the ends of
his white woolen comforter flying behind him, and his legs running
anywhere, the clumsiest and most ungraceful skater on the Broad. All
the same, he never fell, and he went faster than even Edgar in his
perfection of manly elegance.

Edgar had watched the whole of this little scene between Leam and
Alick while seeming to be occupied only in executing his spread eagles
and outside curves to perfection, and it was no secret to him what
it meant. The demon of masculine vanity, never far off where a pretty
woman was concerned, entered and took possession of him. He would
succeed where Alick Corfield had failed, and Leam, who refused her old
friend, should gratify her new. He had been guiding Adelaide over the
ice, but she was rather too stiff in her movements, not sufficiently
pliant nor yielding to be a very pleasant skating companion. And he
had been pushing Josephine along the slide, but Joseph was too stout
and short-breathed to be an ideal convoy; also he had been racing and
half romping with the Fairbairn girls, who slipped and tumbled and
laughed and screamed--more hoydenish than he thought pleasing; but
now he intended to reward himself with Leam, whose action he was sure
would be all that was delightful, even though unaccustomed, and who
would look so well on his arm. Her slight and supple figure against
his breadth and height and sense of solidity and strength, her dark
hair and his beard of tawny brown, her large dark eyes and his of true
Saxon blue, her southern face, oval in shape, cream-colored in tint,
and his, square, open, ruddy, Scandinavian,--yes, they would make
a splendid pair by their very contrast; and Edgar, narrowing his
ambition to his circumstances, was quietly resolved to win the day
over Alick Corfield by inducing Leam to cross the Broad with him
after she had so manifestly refused her old friend. It was but a small
object of ambition, but we must do what we can, thought Edgar; and
it is the best wisdom to content ourselves with mice when we have no
lions to destroy. He did not, however, rush up to her with Alick's
tactless precipitancy. He waited just long enough for her to desire,
and not so long as to disappoint; then, speaking to Adelaide by the
way, and giving her and Josephine each a helping hand, he came in
a series of clean, showy curves to where Leam and her father were

Leam was glad to meet again this handsome man who had seen so much and
who talked so well. He was something different from the rest, and
so far superior to them all. But, not being one of those instinctive
girls who yield without pressure and fall in love at first sight,
there were no flushings nor palpitations as Edgar came up; only a
grave little smile stole half timidly over her face, and she forgot
that he had insulted her mother's country by calling her the prettiest
Andalusian he had ever seen.

"Do you skate, Miss Dundas?" asked Edgar after a while, during which
he had been talking of different matters, beginning with the weather,
that camel of English conversation, and ending with the state of the
ice and the chances of a thaw. His five minutes of commonplaces seemed
an eternity to Adelaide, watching them jealously from a distance.

"No," said Leam.

"I want her to learn; and this is a good opportunity," put in her

"You are right. It is a capital exercise and a graceful
accomplishment," said Edgar. "I think a woman never looks better than
when she is skating," he added carelessly.

"I think she looks silly," said Leam.

He laughed. "That is because you are not English _pur sang_," he cried
gayly. "If you had only the brave old Norse blood in you, you would
take to the frost and ice like second nature."

"No, I am not English _pur sang_," answered Leam gravely. "I am more
than half Spanish," a little proudly.

"Hang it all, you can't make it more than half!" said her father

"And that makes such a splendid combination," said Edgar, slightly
lowering his voice as, ignoring his remark, he turned away from Mr.
Dundas and gave himself wholly to Leam. "Spanish for art and poetry
and all the fervid beauty of the South--English for the courage,
the hardihood, the energy of the North. You ought to cultivate the
characteristics of both nationalities, Miss Dundas," in a louder tone;
"and to do justice to one of them you ought to learn to skate."

"That's right, Edgar; so I say," cried Mr. Dundas, who had heard only
the last part.

"I cannot learn," said Leam; but her face became strangely flushed,
and she felt her resolution growing limp as her cheeks grew red.

"Yes, you can. I could teach you in half an hour," cried Edgar,
pulling down his coat-cuffs with an air.

"Go, Leam: let Major Harrowby give you a lesson," said her father.
"Perhaps he is a better teacher than that shambling-looking Alick. Go,

"Shall I?" asked Edgar. "At least let me assist you to cross the ice,
if without skates at first."

He held out his hand.

"I shall fall," objected reluctant Leam.

"No, you shall not. I will answer for that. Come. Will you not trust
me?" This last phrase was said half tenderly, half with an offended
kind of remonstrance, and he was still holding out his hand.

"Go, Leam," urged her father.

"It is silly, and I shall fall," repeated Leam.

Nevertheless, she put her hand in Edgar's, and he took her on his arm
in triumph.

At first her steps were slow and timid; but as her feet grew more
accustomed to the unusual ground, as she gained more confidence in
the strong arm that held her like a bar of iron, as her youth began
to assert itself in the physical pleasure of the fresh air and the
gliding movement, she lost her shyness and timidity, and she found
herself almost laughing--she, who never laughed and only so rarely

"You like it?" he asked, looking down on her with a man's admiration
for a pretty woman marked in every line and feature.

"Yes, so much!" she answered, her usual reserved, self-centred manner
for the moment lost.

"Now you will know how to trust me in future," he said not very

She looked up to him, carrying her eyes right into his. "Yes, I will,"
she answered simply.

At this moment Alick joined them, and Leam suddenly lost her new-found

"I am glad you have come on at last," said her faithful dog, effacing
himself and his disappointment with an effort.

"They made me," Leam replied.

"I hope not against your will and not to your displeasure," said
Edgar, still looking down into her face with the man's admiration of a
woman's beauty so strongly marked in his own.

"No," she answered: "I have liked it."

"Let us take her between us, major, and give her a good spin," said
Alick, grasping the upper part of her arm uncomfortably.

Edgar slightly pressed the hand he held crosswise. "Would you like to
double your protectors?" he asked. "Shall I share my office?"

"No," said Leam. "I like best to be with one person only."

"And possession being the nine points, let us go on," laughed Edgar,
whirling her away. "By the by, would you have preferred my giving
you to Mr. Corfield as 'the one person only'?" he asked with affected
doubt, making pretence of wishing to know her mind. He was skating
rapidly now. It was as good as flying to Leam, and she was happy and
very grateful.

"I would rather be with you," she answered.

"Thanks!" said Edgar, and smiled.

"He is awkward, and you are not," continued Leam, anxious to explain.
"But I like him very much. He is good and kind; and he cannot help
being awkward, can he?"

"No," said Edgar coldly. "So you like him very much, do you?"

"Very much," repeated Leam with loyal emphasis, "He has always been my
friend here."

"I hope for the future that I may be included in that sacred place,"
said Edgar after a pause.

Leam looked at him slowly, fixedly. "You will never be so good to me
as he is," she answered.

It was the man's heart that beat now, the man's cheek that flushed.
Who could keep his pulses still when those eyes were turned to his
with, as it seemed, such maddening meaning? "I will try," he said; and
from that moment the die was cast. Edgar put himself in competition
with Alick: he lowered his pride to such a rivalry as this, and threw
his whole energies into the determination to surpass and supplant a
man for whom even the least personable of his own sex need have had no

He kept Leam for a long time after this, laying ground-lines for the
future; forgetting Adelaide and the suitability which had hitherto
been such an important factor in his calculations; forgetting his
horror of Pepita, whose daughter Leam was, and his contempt for weak,
fusionless Mr. Dundas, who was her father; forgetting the conventional
demands of his class, intolerant of foreign blood; forgetting all but
the words which said that Alick was her best friend here, and doubted
his (Edgar's) ever being so good to her as that other had been. It was
on his heart now to convince her that he could be as good to her as
Alick, and, if she would allow him, a great deal better. At last he
slackened, and pulled up at the group of which the Fairbairn girls and
Adelaide Birkett were the most conspicuous members.

"What a long skate you have had!" said Susy Fairbairn ruefully, for
all that she was a good-tempered girl and not disposed to measure her
neighbor's wheat by her own bushel. But this was a special matter; for
Edgar Harrowby was the pride of the place, and they took count of his
doings as of their local prince, and envied the lucky queen of the
hour bitterly or sadly according to the mood and the person.

"It was the first time I had tried," said Leam, all aglow with the
unwonted exercise and unusual excitement.

"I suppose you began by saying you could not and would not, and then
did more than any one else?" said Adelaide in an acrid voice, veiling
a very displeased face with a very unpleasant smile; but the veil was
too transparent and showed the displeasure with palpable plainness.

Leam looked at her in a half-surprised way. Jealousy was a passion
of which she was wholly ignorant, and she did not understand the
key-note. She knew nothing of the unspoken affair between Edgar and
the rector's daughter, and could not read between the lines. Why was
Adelaide cross because she had been a long time upon the ice? Did it
hurt her? They had not been near her--not interfered with her in any
way: why should she be vexed that they, Major Harrowby and herself,
had been enjoying themselves? So she thought, gazing at Adelaide with
the serious, searching look which always irritated that young lady,
and at this moment almost unbearably.

"I wonder they did not teach you at school that it was rude to stare
as you do, Leam," she cried with impolitic haste and bitterness. "What
are you looking at? Am I changing into a monster, or what?"

"I am looking at you because you are so cross about nothing," answered
Leam gravely. "What does it matter to any one if I have been on the
ice long or no? Why should you be angry?" "Angry!" said Adelaide with
supreme disdain. "I am not sufficiently interested in what you do,
Leam, to be angry or cross, as you call it. I confess I do not like
affectation: that is all."

"Neither do I like affectation," returned Leam. "People should say
what they feel."

"Indeed! That might not always be agreeable," said Adelaide with her
most sarcastic air. "Perhaps it is as well that the laws of politeness
keep one's mouth shut at times, and that we do not say what we feel."

"It would be better," insisted Leam.

"I wonder if you would say so were I to tell you what I thought of you
now?" Adelaide replied, measuring her scornfully with her eyes.

"Why should you not? What have I done to be ashamed of?" Leam asked.

"And you call yourself natural and not affected!" Adelaide cried,
turning away abruptly.--"How wrong," she said in a low voice to Edgar,
"turning the head of such a silly child as this!"

Edgar laughed. The vein of cruelty traversing his nature made him find
more amusement than chagrin in Adelaide's patent jealousy: he thought
she was silly, and he was rather amazed at her want of dignity; still,
it was amusing, and he enjoyed it as so much fun.

But when he laughed Leam's discomfiture was complete. "I am sorry I
came on the ice at all," she said with a mixture of her old pride and
new softness that made her infinitely lovely, the proud little head
held high, but the beautiful eyes dewy. "I have offended every one,
and I do not know why." Just then Alick came rambling by. She held out
her hand to him. Here at least was her friend and faithful follower.
He would not jeer at her nor laugh, nor yet look cross and angry, as
if she had done wrong. "Take me to papa," she said superbly, making as
if to withdraw her other hand from Edgar.

Alick's homely face brightened like the morning. "Certainly," he said.

"Certainly not," flashed Edgar proudly, taking both her hands in his
crosswise and grasping them even more firmly than before. "You are in
my charge, Miss Dundas, and I can give you up to no one else--not even
by your own desire."

Adelaide's slight cast became an unmistakable squint; the Fairbairn
girls fluttered, half frightened at the chance of a fracas; Alick
looked irresolute; Edgar looked haughty and displeased; Leam tragic
and proud, partly bewildered, partly distressed.

Then Edgar cut the whole thing short by taking her away in silence,
but like a whirlwind, saying, when half over the ground and well out
of hearing, "What have I done to you, Miss Dundas, that you should try
to throw me over like that?"

"You laughed at me," said Leam.

"Laughed at you? You are dreaming."

"You did," she persisted.

"Pardon me: I laughed because my little friend Adelaide was so cross
at your skating. It was fun to see her so angry."

"I saw no fun in it," Leam returned. "I only saw that she was angry
with me, and impertinent, and that then you laughed at me."

"I swear to you I did not," cried Edgar earnestly. "Will you believe
me? Tell me, Miss Dundas, that you exonerate me from such a charge.
Tell me that you are sure I did not laugh at you."

Leam looked at him with her large luminous eyes serious, questioning.
"If you say so, I must believe you," she answered slowly, "but I
thought you did."

"If you could read my heart, you would know I did not," he said

They were close on the bank now, where Mr. Dundas was walking with the

"Say you believe me," Edgar almost whispered in his rich musical
voice, so sweet and tender. "Say it, I beseech you! You do not know
how I shall suffer else."

She looked at him again. "I do," she said in the manner of a
surrender, the grave little smile which was her most eloquent
expression of pleasure stealing over her face.

"Thank you," said Edgar: "now you have made me happy."

"I do not understand why," she answered with serious simplicity.

"Perhaps you will some day," he replied as her father came down to
receive her, rather more content with her than he usually was, seeing
that Edgar Harrowby--Major Harrowby, the possessor of the Hill and
some thousands a year--had singled her out for his special attention,
and had made a picture on the ice almost as pretty as an illustrated

But Edgar, not wishing to go too far in the way of provocation, nor
to burn his boats behind him before he had decided on his settlement,
skated off to Adelaide so soon as he had deposited Leam, and by a few
judicious praises and well-administered tendernesses of voice and look
succeeded in bringing her back to her normal condition of quiescent
resolve and satisfaction. Then, when she was her smiling self
again--for if she had frowns for many others, she had always
smiles for the Harrowbys as a race, and specially for Edgar as an
individual--he said, in the manner of one wishing to know the truth of
a thing, "What made you so savage to Miss Dundas just now?"

"I cannot bear her," said Adelaide with energy.

"No, I see that you dislike her; but why?"

"I can hardly tell you: she has never done anything very bad, but I
always feel as if she could, she is so silent, so reserved, so odd

"A woman's reason!" he laughed, "Dr. Fell over again."

"It may be," returned Adelaide coldly, "but I believe in my own
instinctive dislikes. I felt the same kind of mistrust for that
wretched woman who called herself Madame de Montfort, about whom papa
and mamma and the whole place went mad. And after her death quite
odd-enough stories came out to justify my doubts and condemn her
faithful friends. Every one said she poisoned herself because she knew
that she would be unmasked and she was afraid to face the ordeal. And
her debts, I believe, were frightful; though it served that ridiculous
Mr. Dundas right for marrying such a creature."

"But granting that this woman was an adventuress, as you say, what has
that to do with Miss Dundas?"

"Nothing, of course: I only mentioned her to show you that I have some
accuracy of judgment, and that when I say I dislike Leam Dundas my
opinion ought to be taken as worth consideration."

Adelaide said this quietly, in the well-bred but absolutely positive
manner which she would have when they were married and she differed
from him in opinion. It was the moral arbitrariness of the superior
being, which, amusing now in the maiden, might become wearisome, not
to say oppressive, in the wife.

"Well, I do not know her as you do, of course, but I cannot see why
you should dislike her so much," persisted Edgar.

"Trust me, some day it will be seen why," she answered. "I feel
confident that before long Leam will show herself in her true colors,
and those will be black. I pity the man who will ever be her husband."

Edgar laughed somewhat forcedly, then looked at Leam walking up the
road alone, and thought that her husband would not need much pity
for his state. Her beauty stood with him for moral qualities and
intellectual graces. Given such a face as hers, such a figure, and
all the rest was included. And when he thought of her eyes and the
maddening way in which they looked into his; of the grave little
smile, evanescent, delicate, subtle, the very aroma of a smile, so
different from the coarse hilarity of your commonplace English girls;
of the reticence and pride which gave such value to her smaller
graces; of the enchanting look and accent which had accompanied
her act of self-surrender just now--that acceptance of his word and
renunciation of her own fancy which had put him in the place and given
him the honor of a conqueror,--he accused Adelaide in his heart of
prejudice and jealousy, and despised her for her littleness. In fact,
he was nearer to loving Leam Dundas because of these strictures
than he would have been had the rector's daughter praised her; and
Adelaide, usually so politic, had made a horribly bad move by her
unguarded confession of distrust and dislike.

The whole episode, however, had been lost in its true meaning to all
save one--that one the Mr. Gryce of Lionnet, who already knew what
there was to be known of every family in the place, and who had the
faculty of dovetailing parts into a whole characteristic of the born



The frost broke suddenly, and was succeeded by damp, close,
unseasonable weather, continuing up to Christmas, and giving the
"green yule" which the proverb says "makes a fat churchyard." That
proverb was justified sadly enough at North Aston, for typhus set in
among the low-lying cottages, and, as in olden times, when jail-fever
struck the lawyer at the bar and the judge on the bench in stern
protest against the foulness they fostered, so now the sins of the
wealthy landlords in suffering such cottages as these in the bottom
to exist reacted on their own class, and the fever entered other
dwellings beside those of the peasants.

Two of the gentry were struck down by it--Alick Corfield and the new
occupant of Lionnet, that Mr. Gryce who never went to church, and who
was assumed in consequence to have neither a soul to be saved by God
nor a heart to be touched by man. And these were just the two who,
according to the theory of the good or evil of a man's deeds returned
to him in kind, had the most reason to expect exemption. For Alick had
spent his strength in visiting the sick as a faithful pastor should,
and Mr. Gryce had taken them material help with royal abundance. Both
together they had to pay the price of principle, always an expensive
luxury, and never personally so safe a card to play in the game of
life as selfishness. For virtue has not only to be contented with its
own reward, as we constantly hear, but has to accept punishment for
its good deeds, vice for the most part carrying off the blue ribbons
and the gold medals, while poor virtue, shivering in the corner, gets
fitted with the fool's cap or is haled into the marketplace to be
pelted in the pillory. As was seen now in North Aston.

The rector, who never went into an infected cottage nor suffered
a parishioner to stand between the wind and his security, kept his
portly strength and handsome flesh intact, but Alick nearly lost his
life as the practical comment on his faithful ministry; and Mr. Gryce,
who, if he did not carry spiritual manna wherewith to feed hungry
souls, did take quinine and port wine, money and comforting substances
generally, for half-starved aching bodies, was also laid hold of by
that inexorable law which knows nothing about providential immunities
from established consequences on account of the good motives of the
actors. This would have been called heresy by the North Astonian
families, who professed to trust themselves to superior care, but none
the less used Condy's Fluid as a means whereby the work of Providence
might be rendered easier to it, nor disdained precipitate flight from
the protection in which they all said dolefully they believed. But
there is a wide difference between saying and doing, and men who are
shocked by words of frank unbelief find faithless deeds both natural
and in reason.

In spite, then, of that expressed trust in Providence which is part
of the garniture of English respectability, a great fear fell on the
North Aston gentry when these two of their own circle were attacked.
The fever, while it had confined itself to the ill-drained,
picturesque little cottages below, was lamentable enough, but not more
than lamentable on the broad platform of a common humanity; and those
who had lost nothing told those who had lost all that they must bear
their cross with patience, seeing that it was the divine will that it
should be so. Now, when the fiery epidemic had come upon the gentry
face to face in their homes, it was a monster from which they must
flee without delay, for no one knew whose house was safe, nor for how
long his own might remain uninfected.

Mrs. Harrowby and her daughters went off to Cheltenham two days after
Alick was announced as "down," to find there the security of
living which had failed them here. They were people of the highest
respectability--people who are the very pith and marrow of English
social virtue; but they had not been touched with the divine fire of
self-sacrifice for humanity, and they had no desire to hush the groans
of the afflicted if they thereby ran the risk of having to gnash their
own teeth. They could do no good at home. As Mrs. Harrowby said, as
one propounding a self-evident paradox, how could they go and see the
sick or help to nurse ploughmen and their children? They would only
catch the fever themselves, and so spread it still farther. And every
one knows what a wicked thing that is to do. Cook had orders to supply
a certain amount of soup and wine when asked for, which was more to
the purpose than any mere sentimental kindness, of no use to the one
and highly dangerous to the other; and as Edgar had a great deal to do
in the house and stables, it was as well, she said with the air of one
undergoing something disagreeable for high principles, to get out of
his way and leave him to his bricks and mortar undisturbed. Gentlemen,
she said, as the clamp holding all together, do not like to be
interfered with in their own domain. That fever in the bottom was such
an admirable lever of womanly good sense! So they went and enjoyed
themselves at Cheltenham as much as it was in the Harrowby nature to
do, and even Josephine's kind heart consoled itself in the Pump-room
while their miserable tenants at home sickened and died as comfortably
as circumstances would allow.

The Fairbairns, too, found themselves obliged to pay a long-promised
visit to London now on the instant, and swept out of the place with
even more than their characteristic promptitude; and the rector would
have given up his charge to a substitute if he could. But floating
clerical labor was just then scarce, and he could not find any one
to take his place in the Valley of the Shadow, though he offered the
liberal terms which are dictated by fear. He sent away his wife and
daughter, but he himself was bound to his post, and had to make the
best of the bad bit of cord that held him. He used to say with his
grand manner of martyrdom that, whatever he suffered, he must pull
the laboring-oar to the end, and attend to the sheep committed to his
charge. And he said it so often that he got at last to believe in his
own devotion. All the same, that laboring-oar of his pulled nothing
heavier than a cock-boat, and in waters no stormier than a duck-pond;
and when his sheep had the rot he was too delicate about the hands
to meddle with them. He preached to the living and he buried the dead
surrounded by all the protective appliances that science has devised
or money can supply. When the epidemic was over he too talked of
Providence and his trust therein, and how he had been mercifully
spared as his reward.

Mrs. Birkett's native indolence would have kept her at home, well
fumigated and isolated, even in such a strait of fear and danger as
this in which they all were, and Adelaide was racked with torment at
leaving Leam unwatched and unhindered in the same place as Edgar; yet,
being more afraid of the fever than even of a potential rival, she
agreed with her father that in justice to themselves they ought to go
now at once; and Pace, who was to remain to take care of the rector,
packed up their best dresses, and sent them off with Adelaide's maid
shared between them. She prophesied, however, that their things would
all be spoiled before they returned, and then they would know her
value. As Mr. Dundas elected to remain at home, not being afraid of
infection and being tired of travel, Mrs. Birkett insisted on
taking little Fina with her. This was her contribution to the sum
of philanthropy and self-sacrifice in the world, and it was not
despicable; for Fina was restless and only six years of age, and Mrs.
Birkett was indolent and soon tired.

Thus, the whole society of the place was reduced now to the rector,
Mr. Dundas and Leam, with Edgar Harrowby left alone at the Hill. The
Corfields did not count, because of Alick's illness, by which they
were put in quarantine; and if Mr. Gryce at Lionnet had not been the
cipher he was, his illness too would have disbarred him.

There was nothing of the saint by nature nor of the instinctive
philanthropist about Leam. She was too concentrated for general
benevolence, and men and women whom she did not know were little more
than symbols to her. When she loved it was with her whole heart, her
whole being: failing this kind of love, she had but weak affections
and no curiosity, in which much of our ordinary charity consists. When
the servants told her of such and such distressing circumstances, she
was sorry because they were sorry, not because she realized in her own
emotions the troubles she did not share or see. When prompted she sent
improper things in the way of diet and useless things in the way
of dress for the benefit of the poor fever patients--and she sent
generously--but it never occurred to her as possible that she should
go to see them in their own homes. When we read of a cyclone in China
which has killed half a hundred mandarins and a small army of coolies,
we realize the sorrow of the survivors no more than we realize the
distress of a disturbed ant-hill; and Leam's attitude of mind toward
the poor of her native village was precisely the same as ours toward
the Chinese killed in a cyclone or the ants murdered in their hill.

But she went daily to Steel's Corner, because she knew the Corfields
and in her own way liked Alick. Mrs. Corfield assured her there was
no danger, not a particle, with her free use of disinfectants and her
cunning devices of ventilation. And Leam believed her, and acted on
her belief, which gave her a false look of heroism and devotion that
won the heart of poor Pepita's "crooked stick" for ever. She thought
it so good of the girl, so brave and unselfish; and you could scarcely
have expected such nice feeling from Leam, now could you? she used
to ask her husband half a dozen times a day, ringing the changes
on Leam's good qualities as no one in the place had ever rung them
before, and disturbing the poor doctor in his calculations on the
varying strength of henbane and aconite till he wished that Leam
Dundas had never been born. Mrs. Corfield was just as wrong in
ascribing heroic qualities to the girl for her daily visits to ask
after Alick as she had been when she had credited her with moral
faults because of her intellectual ignorance. She was not afraid
because she knew nothing about infection, and had therefore the
boldness of ignorance, and she went daily to ask after Alick because
she somehow slipped into the groove of doing so; and a groove was
a great thing to conservative Leam. Nevertheless, she was really
concerned at the illness of her first North Astonian friend, and
wished that he would soon get well. She never thought that if he died
she would be rid of the only person who knew her deadly secret. Leam
was not one who would care to buy her own safety at the price of
another's destruction; and, more than this, she was not afraid that
Alick would betray her.

This, then, was the condition of things at North Aston at this moment:
the villagers dying of fever in the bottom, the families seeking
safety in flight, Leam going daily to Steel's Corner to ask after
Alick and sit for precisely half an hour with Mrs. Corfield, and Edgar
not so much taken up with bricks and mortar as not to understand times
and habits, and therefore, through that understanding, seeing her for
some part of every day. And the more he saw of her the more he yearned
to see, and the stronger grew her strange fascination over him. To
him, at least, the fever had not been an unmitigated evil; and though
he was sometimes inclined to quarrel with the fact that Leam went
daily to Steel's Corner to inquire after Alick Corfield, yet, as he
got the grain and Alick only the husk, he submitted to the process by
which the best was winnowed to his side. As the gain of that winnowing
process became more evident he grew philosophically convinced that
nothing is so charming in a woman as faithful friendship for a sick
man, and that sitting daily for half an hour, always at exactly the
same time, with an afflicted mother is the most delightful act of
charity to be imagined.



Riding was one of the accomplishments brought by Leam from school,
though she had never been able to thoroughly conquer either her
timidity or her reluctance. Her childish days of inaction and
inclusion had left their mark on her for life, and, moreover, she was
not of the race or kind whence, by any process of education possible,
could have been evolved a girl of the florid, fearless, energetic kind
usually held as the type of the English maiden. Hence she was never
quite happy on horseback, and always wondered how it was that people
could be enthusiastic about riding. Nevertheless, she had learnt to
sit with grace, if not with confidence, and she was too proud to
show the discomfort she felt. Her father had bought for her use the
showiest chestnut to be had in the market; and as he wished her to
ride sometimes with him, if oftener with only the groom at her heels,
and as, again, she had honestly set herself to please him, she used
to mount her Red Coat, as she called her beast, punctually every
other day, and carry her dislike to the exercise as the penance it was
fitting she should perform. And besides all this, that devouring
fever in her blood, that oppressive consciousness rather than active
remembrance, lying always at the back of her life, was best soothed
by long hours alone in the open air. For when she had only the groom
behind her, Leam--to whom all men were as yet powers undesignated,
and a man of low degree a mere animal that made intelligible sounds
on occasions and was of a little more use than a dog--forgot him
altogether, and was as much alone as if he had not been there.

Once or twice before the hegira of the gentry she had chanced to
meet Major Harrowby in her rides, and he had turned with her and
accompanied her, which was half a pain to' Leam and half a pleasure.
The pain was connected with her reins and her stirrups, her saddle and
the girths, the restless way in which the chestnut moved his ears,
the discomposing toss of his small impatient head, the snorts which
frightened her as the heralds of an outbreak, and his inclination
to dance sideways into the hedge rather than walk discreetly in the
middle of the road, whereby her seat was disturbed and her courage
tried, she all the while not liking to show that she was ill at
ease. The pleasure was personal, arising from the strange sense of
protection that she felt in Edgar's society and the charming way in
which he talked to her. He had seen a great deal, and he had a facile
tongue, and between fact and color, memory and make-up, his stories
were delightful. Also, after the manner of men who seek to influence a
young girl's mind and heart, he lent her books to read, and he marked
his favorite passages, which he discussed afterward. They were not
passages of abstract thought and impersonal sentiment, like the
penciled notes in Alick Corfield's literary loans, but scenes of
passion or of pathos, going straight to the heart of youth, which
feels rather than reflects, or descriptions of places which were
equal to pictures of human life. Under Alick's guidance she had fallen
asleep over Wordsworth--under Edgar's she dreamed beneath the stars
over Byron, and had heartaches without knowing why.

If they had met sometimes, and by chance, before the families went
away, they met now continually, and not by chance. But as Edgar's
passion and reason were not in accord, he restrained himself, for him
marvelously, and neither made love to her in earnest nor flirted with
her in jest. Indeed, Leam was too intense to be approached at any time
with levity. As well dress the Tragic Muse in the costume of a Watteau
shepherdess as ply Leam Dundas with the pretty follies found so useful
with other women. She did not understand them, and it seemed useless
to try to make her. If Edgar paid her any of the trivial compliments
always on his lips for women, Leam used to look at him with her
serious eyes and ask him how could he possibly know what she was
like--he, who scarcely knew her at all. If he praised her beauty, she
used to turn away her head offended and tell him he was rude. He felt
as if he could never touch her, never hold her: his ways were not as
hers; and if her fascination for him increased, so did his trouble.

He was in doubt on both sides--for her and for himself. He could not
read that silent, irresponsive nature nor measure his influence over
her. By no blushes when they met, no girlish poutings when he kept
away, by no covert reproaches, no ill-concealed gladness, no tremors
and no consciousness could he gain the smallest clew to guide him. She
was always the same--grave, gentle, laconic, self-possessed. But who
that looked into her eyes could fail to see underneath her Spanish
pride and more than Oriental reserve that fund of passion lying hidden
like the waters of an artesian well, waiting only to be brought to the
surface? He had not yet brought that hidden treasure into the light
of the sun and of love, and he wondered if ever he should. And if he
should, would it be for happiness? Leam was the kind of girl to love
madly under the orange trees and myrtles, to break one's heart for
when brothers interposed in the moonlight with rapiers and daggers
and caught her away for conventual discipline or for marriage with the
don; but as the mistress of an English home, the every-day wife of an
English squire with a character to keep up and an example to set,
was she fit for that? She was so quaint, so original, there were
such depths of passionate thought and feeling side by side with such
strange shallows of social and intellectual ignorance--though reticent
she was so direct, though tenacious so simple, her love, if difficult
to win, had such marvelous vitality when won--that he felt as if
she spoke a language sweeter and purer in many of its tones than the
current speech of society, but a language with which neither his own
people nor that society would ever be familiar.

Amorous and easily impressed as he was, her beauty drew him with its
subtle charm, but his doubt and her pride interposed barriers which
even he dared not disregard; and at the end of two months he was no
nearer than at the beginning that understanding which he would have
established with any other pretty woman in less than a week. And he
was no surer of himself and what he did really desire. Yet, accustomed
as he was to loves as easily won as the gathering of a flower by the
wayside, and to the knowledge that Adelaide Birkett, his social match
in all things, was ready to pick up the handkerchief when he should
think fit to throw it, this very doubt both of himself and Leam made
half the interest if all the perplexity of the situation. He knew, as
well as he knew that the Corinthian shaft should bear the Corinthian
capital, if it was Leam whom he loved it was Adelaide whom he ought to
marry. She would carry incense to the gods of British respectability
as a squire's lady should, doing nothing that should not be done and
leaving as little undone that should be done. She would preside at
the Hill dinners with grace and join the meet at the coverside with
punctuality; she would dress as became her position, but neither
extravagantly nor questionably, and she would be more likely to stint
than to squander; she would live as a polite Christian should, in
the odor of genteel righteousness, not a fibre laid cross to the
conventional grain, not a note out of tune with the orthodox chord.
Yes, it was the rector's daughter whom he ought to marry, but it was
Pepita's whom he loved. Yet how would things go with such a perplexing
iconoclast at the head of affairs? Imagine the feelings of an English
squire, M.H. of his county, loving dogs and horses as some women love
children, and regarding poaching and vulpicide as crimes almost as
bad as murder--imagine his feelings when his beautiful wife, grave and
simple, should say at a hunt-dinner, "I do not like riding. I think
hunting stupid and cruel: an army of men in red coats after a poor
little hare--it is horrid! I think poaching quite right. God gave
beasts and birds to us all alike, and your preserves are robberies. I
would like to save all the foxes, and I hate the dogs when they catch
them;" for be sure she would never learn to call them hounds. What
would he feel? It would be an incongruous kind of thing altogether,
Edgar used to think when meditating on life as seen through the
curling clouds of his cigar.

But he loved her--he loved her: daily with more passion, because
daily holding a stronger check on himself, and so accumulating by
concentration. It was the old combat between love and reason, personal
desires and social feelings, and as yet it was undecided which side
would win. Now it was Adelaide and her exact suitability for her part,
when he would avoid Leam Dundas for days; now it was Leam and his
fervid love for her, his passion of doubt, his fever of longing, when
he would all but commit himself and tempt the fortune of the future

One day, during this, time of sickness in the village and Edgar's
lonely residence at the Hill, Leam was riding along the Green Lanes,
a pretty bit of quiet country, when she heard the well-known hoofs
thundering rapidly behind her, and in due time Major Harrowby drew
rein at her side. "I saw you from the Sherrington road," he said, his
eyes kindling with pleasure at the meeting.

Leam smiled, that pretty little fluttering smile which was so
peculiarly her own, playing like a flicker of tender sunshine over
her face, but she felt gladder than she showed. It was not her way to
flourish her feelings like flags in the face of men. Her reticence was
part of her dislike to noise and glare. "I am glad to see you," she
returned quietly, her eyes raised for a moment to his.

"I sometimes fear I annoy you by joining you so often," said Edgar.

"No, you do not annoy me," Leam answered.

"It is a pleasure to know at least as much as that," he returned with
a forced laugh.

"Yes? But why should you think that you annoy me?" she asked.

"Oh, perhaps you see too much of me, and so get tired of me. The thing
is possible," he said, stroking his horse's ears.

Leam looked at him as she had looked before, but this time without the
smile. "Are you tired of me that you say so?" she asked.

"No, no, no! How can you say such a thing--how dream it?" cried Edgar.
"How could I be tired of you? Why, you are the sunshine of my life,
the one thing I "--he checked himself--"I look forward to meeting," he
added awkwardly.

"Then why should I be tired of you?" she returned. "You are kind
to me; you tell me things I do not know; and," with maddening
unconsciousness of how her words might be taken, "there is no one

This was the nearest approach to a compliment that Leam had ever made.
She meant simply that, as there was no one else to tire her, how could
her pleasant friend Major Harrowby possibly do so? But Edgar naturally
took her words awry. "And if there were anyone else I suppose I should
be nowhere? My part has not often been that of a _pis aller_," with a
deep flush of displeasure.

"Why do you say that?" she asked in a slight tone of surprise. "You
would be always where you are."

"With you?"

Her face asked his meaning.

"I mean, would you always hold me as much your friend, always care for
me as much as you do now--if, indeed, you care for me at all--if any
one else was here?" he explained.

Leam turned her troubled eyes to the ground. "I do not change like the
wind," she answered, wishing he would not talk of her at all.

"No, I do not think you do or would," returned Edgar, bending his head
nearer to hers as he drew his horse closer. "I should think that once
loved would be always loved with you, Miss Dundas?" He said this in a
low voice that slightly trembled.

She was silent. She had a consciousness of unknown dangers, sweet
and perilous, closing around her--dangers which she must avoid she
scarcely knew how, only vaguely conscious as she was that they were
about. Then she said, with an effort, "I do not like myself talked of.
It does not matter what I am."

"To me everything!" cried Edgar impulsively.

"You say what you do not mean," returned Leam. "I am not your
sister; how, then, should it matter?"

Her grave simplicity was more seductive to him than the most
coquettish wiles would have been. She was so entirely at sea in the
art of love-making that her very ignorance provoked a more explicit
declaration. "Are there only sisters in the world?" he asked
passionately, yet angry with himself for skirting so near to the edge
of peril.

"No: there are mothers," said Leam.

Edgar caught his breath, but again checked himself just in time to
prevent the words "and wives," that rose to his lips. "And friends,"
he substituted, with evident constraint and as awkwardly as before. It
was not often that a woman had been able to disconcert Edgar Harrowby
so strangely as did this ignorant and innocent half-breed Spanish

"And friends," repeated Leam. "But they are not much."

"Alick Corfield? He is my good friend," she answered quietly.

"Yes, I know how much you like him." An understanding ear would have
caught the sneering undertone in these words.

"Yes, I like him," responded Leam with unmoved gravity.

"And you are sorry that he is ill--very sorry, awfully sorry?"

"I am sorry."

"Would you be as pained if I were ill? and would you come every day
to the Hill to ask after me, as you go to Steel's Corner to ask after

"I would be pained if you were ill, but I would not go to the Hill
every day," said Leam.

"No? Why this unfair preference?" he asked.

"Because I am not afraid of Mrs. Corfield," she answered.

"And you are of my mother?"

"Yes. She is severe."

"It is severe in you to say so," said Edgar gently.

"No," said Leam with her proud air. "It is true."

"Then you would not like to be my mother's daughter?" asked Edgar,
both inflamed and troubled.

Leam looked him straight in the face, utterly unconscious of his
secret meaning. "No," she answered, her head held high, her dark eyes
proud and fixed, and her small mouth resolute, almost hard. "I would
like to be no one's daughter but mamma's."

"I do love your fidelity," cried Edgar with a burst of admiration.
"You are the most loyal girl I know."

She turned pale: her head drooped. "Let us talk of something else,"
she said in an altered voice. "Myself is displeasing to me."

"But if it pleases me?"

"That is impossible," said Leam. "How can it please you?"

Was it craft? was it indifference? or was it honest ignorance of the
true motive of a man's words and looks? Edgar pondered for a moment,
but could come to no definite conclusion save rejection of that one
hypothesis of craft. Leam was too savagely direct, too uncompromising,
to be artful. No man who understood women only half so well as Edgar
Harrowby understood them could have credited such a character as hers
with deception.

He wavered, then, between the alternative of indifference or
ignorance. If the one, he felt bound by self-respect to overcome
it--that self-respect which a man of his temperament puts into his
successes with women; if the other, he must enlighten it. "Does it not
please you to talk of those you like?" he asked after a short pause.

"Yes," said Leam, her face suddenly softening into tenderness as she
thought of her mother; of whom Edgar did not think. "Talk to me of
Spain and all that you did there."

"And that would be of what you like?" he asked.

"Of what I love," returned Leam in a low voice, her eyes lifted to
his, soft and humid.

"How can I read you? What can I think? What do you want me to
believe?" cried Edgar in strange trouble.

"What have I said?" she asked with grave surprise. "Why do you speak
like this?"

"Are you playing with me, or do you want me to understand that you
have made me happy?" he cried, his face, voice, bearing, all changed,
all full of an unknown something that half allured and half frightened

She turned aside her head with her cold, proud, shrinking air. "I am
not playing with you; and you are silly to say I have made you happy,"
she said, shaking her reins lightly and quickening her chestnut's
uneasy pace; and Edgar, quickening the pace of his heavy bay,
thought it wiser to let the moment pass, and so stand free and still
wavering--in doubt and committed to nothing.

Thus the time wore on, with frequent meetings, always crowded
with doubts and fears, hopes, joys, displeasures in a tangled heap
together, till the drying winds of March set in and cleared off the
last of the fever, which had by now worn itself away, and by degrees
the things of North Aston went back to their normal condition. The
families came into residence again, and save for the widow's wail and
the orphan's cry in the desolated village below, life passed as it had
always passed, and the strong did not spend their strength in bearing
the burdens of the weak.

The greatest social event that had taken place in consequence of
the epidemic was, that Mr. Dundas had made acquaintance with his new
tenant at Lionnet. Full of painful memories for him as the place was,
he could not let the poor fellow die, he said, with no Christian soul
near him. As a landlord he felt that he owed this mark of humanity to
one of whom, if nothing absolutely good was known, neither was there
anything absolutely bad, save that negative misdemeanor of not coming
to church. As this was not an unpardonable offence to a man who had
traveled much if he had thought little, Mr. Dundas let his humanity
get the upper hand without much difficulty. By which it came about
that he and his new tenant became friends, as the phrase goes, and
that thus another paragraph was added to the restricted page of life
as North Aston knew it.



Of all those who lived through the fever, poor Alick Corfield's
case had been the most desperate while it lasted. Mr. Gryce, his
fellow-sufferer, had been up and about his usual work, extracting
Aryan roots and impaling Lepidoptera for a month and more, while Alick
was still in bed among ice-bags and Condy's Fluid, and as bad as at
the beginning--indeed, worse, having had a relapse which nothing but
his wiry constitution, backed by his mother's scientific nursing,
could have pulled him through. Gradually the danger passed, and this
time his convalescence was solid, and, though slow, uninterrupted. He
began to creep about the house by the aid of sticks and arms, and he
came down stairs for the first time on the day when the Harrowbys
and Birketts returned home; but he remained in strict quarantine, and
Steel's Corner was scrupulously avoided by the neighbors as the local
lazaretto which it would be sinful to invade. By all but Leam, who
went daily to ask after the invalid, and to keep the mother company
for exactly half an hour by the clock.

One day when she went on her usual errand Mrs. Corfield met her at the
hall-door, "Alick will be glad to see you, my dear," she called out,
radiant with happiness, as the girl crossed the threshold. "We are in
the drawing-room to-day, as brisk and bonny as a bird: such a treat
for him, poor dear!"

"I am glad," said Leam, who held a basket of early spring flowers
in her hand. "Now you are happy." Tears came into the poor mother's
haggard eyes. "Happy, child! You do not know what I feel," she said
with tremulous emotion. "Only a mother who has been so near to the
loss of her dearest, so near to heartbreak and despair, as I have
been, can know the blessed joy of the reprieve."

"How you love him!" said Leam in a half whisper. "I loved mamma like

"Yes, poor child! I remember," said Mrs. Corfield with compassion. She
forgot that at the time she had thought the girl's love and despair,
both the one and the other, exaggerated and morbid. She met her now on
the platform of sympathy, and her mind saw what it brought to-day as
it had seen what it had brought before, but she was not conscious of
the contradiction.

"I thought I should have died too when she did. I wish I had," said
Leam, looking up to the sky with dreamy love, as if she still thought
to meet her mother's face in the blue depths.

"My poor dear! it was terrible for you," sighed the elder woman
sympathetically. "But you must not always mourn, you know. There is
a time for everything, even for forgetting, and for being happy after

"Never a time for me to forget mamma, nor to be happy," said Leam.

"Why not?" answered Mrs. Corfield in her impatient way. "You are
young, nice-looking, in tolerably good health, but you are black
round your eyes to-day. You have friends: I am sure all of us, from my
husband downward, think a great deal of you. And Alick has always been
your friend. Why should you not be happy?"

Leam put the question by. "Yes, you have always been kind to me," she
answered. "I remember when mamma died how you wanted to be kind then.
But I did not understand you as I do now. And how good Alick was! How
sorry I should have been if anything had happened to him now!" Her
beautiful face grew tender with the thought. She did really love Alick
in her girlish, sisterly way.

Mrs. Corfield looked at her. "Have you never loved any one else as you
loved your poor mother?" she asked.

Leam lifted her eyes. "Never," she answered simply. "I have liked a
few people since, but love as I loved mamma? No!"

"Leam, I am going to ask you a straightforward question, and you must
give me a straightforward answer: Which do you like best, my boy or
Edgar Harrowby?" Mrs. Corfield asked this suddenly, as if she wanted
to surprise the girl's secret thought rather than have a deliberate

"I like them differently," began Leam without affectation. "Alick is
so unlike Major Harrowby in every way. And then I have known him so
long--since I was a mere child. I feel that I can say what I like to
him: I always did. But Major Harrowby is a stranger, and I am--I don't
know: it is all different. I cannot say what I mean." She hesitated,
stopped, grew pale, glanced aside and looked disturbed; then putting
on her old air of cold pride, she drew herself a few paces away and
said, "Why do you ask me such a question, Mrs. Corfield? You should

Mrs. Corfield sighed. If Edgar was undecided between his personal
desires and conventional fitness, she was undecided between her
longing to see Alick happy and her dislike to his being happy in any
way but the one she should design for him. He had raved a good deal
during his illness, and had said many mad things connected with
Leam--always Leam; and since his convalescence his mother had seen
clearly enough how his heart was toward her. His pleasure when he
heard that she had been there, his childish delight in anything that
she had brought for him, the feverishness with which he waited to hear
her step, her voice from a distance, always demanding that the doors
should be left open so that he might hear her,--all betrayed to his
mother as plainly as confession would have done the real thoughts of
his heart, and cast a trouble into her own whence she saw no present
satisfactory issue. Though she was fond of Leam now, and grateful to
her for her faithful visits during Alick's illness, yet, just as Edgar
doubted of her fitness as a wife for the master of the Hill, so did
she doubt of her fitness as a daughter-in-law for Steel's Corner. As a
friend she was pleasant enough, with her quaint ways and pretty face;
but as one of the Corfield family, bound to them for ever--what then
would she be? But again, if Alick really loved her, she would not like
to see him disappointed. So, what between her dislike to the marriage
should it ever be, and her fear for Alick's unhappiness should he ask
and be refused, the poor mother was in a state of confused feelings
and contradictory wishes which did not agree with a nature like hers,
given to mathematical certainties and averse to loose ends and frayed
edges anywhere. As nothing more was to be got out of Leam at this
moment, and as Mrs. Corfield knew that Alick would be impatient, they
went into the drawing-room together, Leam carrying her basket of
spring flowers for her old friend.

It was pitiful to see the poor fellow. Thin, gaunt, plainer than ever,
if also ennobled by that almost saintly dignity which is given by
illness, the first impression made on Leam was one of acute physical
repulsion: the second only gave room to compassion. Fortunately, that
little shudder of hers was unnoticed, and Alick saw only the beloved
face, more beautiful to him than anything out of heaven, with its
grave intensity of look that seemed so full of thought and feeling,
turned to him--saw only those glorious eyes fixed once more straight
on his--felt only the small hand which seemed to give him new life
to touch lying clasped in his own, weak, wasted, whitened, like a dead
hand for color against the warm olive of her skin. It was almost worth
while to have been separated so long to have this joy of meeting; and
he thought his pain and danger not too dearly bought by this exquisite
pleasure of knowing that she had pitied him and cared for him.

He raised himself from his pillows as he took her small, warm, fibrous
hand, and his pallid face brightened into a tearful smile. "Ah!" he
said, drawing a deep breath, "I am so glad to see you again!"

"I am glad to see you too," said Leam with a certain sudden
embarrassment, she did not know why, but it came from something that
she saw in his eyes and could not explain even to herself.

"Are you?" He pressed her hand, which he still held. "It does me good
to hear you say so," he replied.

"I have brought you some flowers," then said Leam, a little coldly,
drawing away her hand, which she hated to have either held or pressed.

He took them with a pleased smile. "Our pretty wild-flowers!" he said
gratefully, burying his face in them, so cool and fresh and fragrant
as they were. "They are like the giver," he added after a pause, "only
not so sweet."

"Do you remember when I persisted to you there were no wild-flowers
in England?" asked Leam, wishing that Alick would not pay her

"Do I remember? That was the first time I saw you," cried Alick. "Of
what else have I thought ever since?"

"You like wild-flowers and celandine, do you not?" asked poor Leam,
desperately disturbed. "I found them in the wood as I came here."

"And picked them for me?--up in the corner there by Barton's? I know.
And you went up the lane for them--for me?" he repeated.

"Yes," said Leam.

"For me?" he asked again.

"Why, yes: for whom else could it have been?" answered Leam in the
tone of grave rebuke he knew so well--the tone which always expressed,
"You are stupid."

Alick's lip quivered. "You are so good," he said.

"Am I?" asked Leam seriously.

Then something passed over her face, a kind of gray shadow of
remembrance, and she dropped her eyes. Was she good? and could he
think so?

A silence fell between them, and each knew of what the other was
thinking; then Leam said suddenly, to break that terrible silence,
which she felt was more betraying than even speech would have
been, "I am sorry you have been so ill. How dreadfully ill you have

"Yes," he said, "I have been bad enough, I believe, but by God's grace
I have been spared."

"It would have been more grace not to have let you get ill in the
beginning," said Leam gravely.

Alick looked distressed. Should he never Christianize this pagan?
"Don't say that, dear," he remonstrated. "We must not call in question
His will."

"Things are things," said Leam with her quiet positiveness. "If they
are bad, they are bad, whoever sends them."

"No. God cannot send us evil," cried Alick.

"Then He does not send us disease or sorrow," answered Leam. "If He
does, it is silly to say they are good, or that He is kind to make us
ill and wretched. I cannot tell stories. And all you people do."

"Leam, you pain me so much when you talk like this. It is bad,
dear--impious and unchristian. Ah! can I never bring you to the true
way?" he cried with real pain.

"You cannot make me tell stories or talk nonsense because you say
it is religious," replied Leam, impervious and unconvinced. "I like
better to tell the truth and call things by their right names."

"And you cannot feel that we are little children walking in the dark
and that we must accept by faith?" said Alick.

She shook her head, then answered with a certain tone of triumph in
her voice, "Well, yes, it is the dark: so let it be the dark, and do
not pretend you understand when you do not. Do not say God made you
ill in one breath, and in another that He is kind. It is silly."

"Now, my boy, don't excite yourself," said Mrs. Corfield, bustling
into the room and noting how the thin cheek had flushed and how bright
and feverish the hollow eyes of her invalid were looking. "You know
the doctor says you are not to be excited or tired. It is the worst
thing in the world for you."

"I am neither, mother: don't alarm yourself," he answered; "but I must
have a little talk with Leam. I have not seen her for so long. How
long is it, mother?"

"Well, my dear, you have been ill for over ten weeks," she said as she
went to the window with a sudden gasp.

"Ten weeks gone out of my life!" he replied.

"We have all been sorry," said Leam a little vaguely.

His eyes grew moist. He was weak and easily moved. "Were you very
sorry?" he asked.

"Very," she answered, for her quite warmly.

"Then you did not want me to die?" He said this with a yearning look,
raising himself again on his elbow to meet her eyes more straightly.

"Want you to die?" she repeated in astonishment. "Why should I want
you to die? I want you to get well and live."

He took her hand again. "God bless you!" he said, and turned his face
to the pillow to conceal that he was weeping.

Again that gray look of remembrance, passed over her face. She knew
now what he had meant. "No," she said slowly, "I do not want you to
die. You are good, and would harm no one."

After this visit Leam saw Alick whenever she called at the house,
which, however, was not so often as heretofore, and week by week
became still more seldom. Something was growing up in her heart
against him that made his presence a discomfort. It was not fear
nor moral dislike, but it was a personal distaste that threatened to
become unconquerable. She hated to be with him; hated to see his face
looking at her with such yearning tenderness as abashed her somehow
and made her lower her eyes; hated his endeavors to convert her to
an orthodox acceptance of mysteries she could not understand and of
explanations she could not believe; hated his sadness, hated his joy:
she only wished that he would go away and leave her alone. What did
he mean? What did he want? He was changing from the blushing, awkward,
subservient dog of his early youth, and from the still subservient if
also more argumentative pastor of these later days alike, and she did
not like the new Alick who was gradually creeping into the place of
the old.

When Mrs. Corfield spoke of taking him to the sea for change of air,
her heart bounded as if a weight had been suddenly removed, and she
said, "Yes, he ought to go," so warmly that the mother was surprised,
wondering if she cared so much for him that the idea of his getting
good elated her beyond herself and made her forget her usual reserve.
She instinctively contrived not to see him alone now when she went to
Steel's Corner during his tedious convalescence, for the poor fellow
mended but slowly, if surely. Either she had only a short time to
stay, and so stood for a moment, making serious talk impossible, or
she took little Fina with her, or maybe she entangled Mrs. Corfield
in the conversation so that she should not leave them alone, the vague
fear and distaste possessing her making her strangely _rusée_ and on
the alert. But one day she was caught. It had to come, and it was only
a question of time. She knew that, as we know when our doom is upon

Leam had not intended to go in to-day, but Alick, who was in the
garden rejoicing in the warmth and freshness of this tender April
noontide, came to meet her at the second gate, and asked her to come
and sit with him on the garden-seat, there where the budding lilacs
began to show their bloom, and there where they sat on that fatal day
when she had hidden the little phial in her hair and bade him tell her
of flowers till she tired.

She hesitated, and was on the point of refusing, when he took her by
the upper part of her arm as if to hold her. "Do," he pleaded. "I want
to say something to you."

"I have no time to stay," she answered, shrinking from his touch.

"Yes, yes, time enough for all I have to say," he returned. "I beg you
to come with me to-day, Leam--I beg it; and I do not often ask a favor
of you."

There was something in his manner that seemed to compel Leam to
consent in spite of herself. True, he besought, but also he seemed
almost to command; and if he did not command, then his earnestness was
so strong that she was forced to yield to it. Trembling, but with
her proud little head held straight--wondering what was coming, and
vaguely conscious that whatever it was it would be pain--Leam let
him take her to the garden-seat where the budding lilacs spoke of
springtime freshness and summer beauty. Alick was trembling too, but
from excitement, not from fear. He had made up his mind now, and when
he had once resolved he was not wavering. He would ask her to share
his life, accept his love, and he would thus take on himself half the
burden of her sin. This was how he felt it. If he married her, knowing
all that he knew, he would make himself the partner of her crime,
because he would accept her past like her present--like her future;
and thus he would be equally guilty with her before God. But he would
trust to prayer and the Supreme Mercy to save her and him. He would
carry no merits of devotion as his own claim, but he would have freed
her of half her guilt, and he would be content to bear his own portion
of punishment for this unfathomable gain. It was the man's love, but
also the soul's passionate promise of sacrifice and redemption, that
gave him boldness to plead, power to ask for a grace to which, had
this deep stain of sin never tainted her, he would not have dared to
aspire. But, as it was, his love was her greater safety, and what
he gained in earthly joy he would lose in spiritual peace, while her
partial forgiveness would be bought by the loss of his security of
salvation. Not that she understood all this or ever should, but it
gave him courage.

"When you first saw me, Leam, after my illness you said that you
wanted me to live," he began in a low voice, husky with emotion. "Do
you mean this?"

"Yes," she said, looking straight before her.

"Live for you?" he asked.

"For us all," she answered.

"No, not for us all--for you," he returned with insistence.

"That would be silly," said Leam quietly. "I am not the only person in
the world: you have your mother."

"For my mother, perhaps; but for the world, nothing. You are the world
to me," said Alick. "Give me your love, and I care for nothing else.
Tell me you will be my wife, and I can live then--live as nothing else
can make me. Leam, can you love me, dear? I have loved you from the
first moment I saw you. Will you be my wife?"

"Your wife!" cried Leam with an involuntary gesture of repulsion. "You
are dreaming."

"No, no: I am in full earnest. Tell me that you love me, Leam. Oh,
I believe that you do. Surely I have not deceived myself so far. Why
should you have come every day--every day, as you have done--if you do
not love me? Yes, you do--I know you, do. Say so, Leam, my darling, my
beloved, and put me out of my misery of suspense."

"You are my good friend: I love you like a friend; but a wife--that is
different," faltered Leam.

"Yes, but it will come if you try," pleaded Alick, shifting his point
from confidence to entreaty. "Won't you try to love me as I love you,
Leam? Won't you try to love me as a wife loves her husband?"

She turned away. "I cannot," she answered in a low voice, yet firm
and distinct. It was a voice in which even the most sanguine must have
recognized the accent of hopeless certainty, inevitable despair.

"Leam, it will be your salvation," cried Alick, taking her hands.
He meant her spiritual salvation, not her personal safety: it was a
prayer, not a threat.

"You would not force me by anything you may know?" asked Leam in the
same low, firm, distinct voice. "Not even for safety, Alick."

"Which I would buy with my own," he answered--"with my eternal

"I am not worthy of such love," said Leam trembling. "And oh, dear
Alick, do not blame me, but I cannot return it," she added piteously.

She saw him start and heard him moan when she said this, but for a
moment he was silent. He seemed half stunned as if by a heavy blow,
but one that he was doing his best to bear. "Tell me so again, Leam.
Let me be convinced," he then said with pathetic calmness, looking
into her face. "You cannot love me?--never? never?"

"Never," she said, her voice breaking.

Alick covered his face in his hands, and she saw the tears trickle
slowly through his fingers. He made no com-plaint, no protestation,
only covered up his face and prayed, weeping, recognizing his fate.

She was sorry and heart-struck. She felt cruel, selfish, ungrateful,
but for all that she could not yield nor say that she would marry him,
trying to love him. Confused images of something dearer than this as
the love of her life passed before her mind. They were images without
recognizable form or tangible substance, but they were the true love,
and this was not like them. No, she could not yield. Sorry as she
might be for him, and was, she could not promise to marry him.

"Yes," he then said after a pause, lifting up his wan face,
tear-stained and disordered, but making a sad attempt to smile--"yes,
dear Leam, I was, as you say, dreaming. We shall always be friends,
though--brother and sister, as we have been--to the end of our lives,
shall we not?"

"Yes," was her answer, tears in her own eyes and a kind of wonder at
her hardness running through her repugnance.

"Thank you, darling, thank you! If you want a friend, and I can be
that friend and can serve you, you will come to me, will you not? You
may want me some day, and you know that I shall not fail you. Don't
you know that, my royal Leam?"

"I am sure of you," she half whispered, shuddering. To be in his power
and to have rejected him! It all seemed very terrible and confused to
Leam, to whom things complex and entangled were abhorrent.

"And now forget all this. I was only dreaming, dear. Why, no, of
course you could not have married me--never could--never, never!
I know that well enough now. You see I have been ill," nervously
plucking at his hands, "and have had strange fancies, and I do not
know myself or anything about me quite yet. But forget it all. It was
only a sick fancy, and I thought what did not exist"

"I am sorry to have hurt you even in fancy," said Leam; giving a sigh
of relief. "I do not like to see you unhappy, Alick. You are so-good
to me."

"And to the end of my life I shall be what I have been," he said
earnestly. "You can trust me, Leam."

"I am sorry I have hurt you," she said again, bending forward and
looking up into his face. "But it was only a dream, was it not?"

He smiled pitifully, "Yes, dear, only a dream," he answered, turning
away his head. After a while he took her hand and looked into her
face, "And now it has passed," he said, calm that she should not be



  Build for my love a costly sepulchre;
    Not underneath cathedral arches dim,
  Where the sad soul may wake to comfort her
    The stately music of a funeral hymn;

  Nor on some wind-swept hill, whose wavering grass
    Sways to the summer breezes blowing free,
  While the great cedars, rustling as they pass,
    Murmur a cadence of the mournful sea;

  Not in the arched depths of the solemn woods,
    Within the flickering shadows cool and deep,
  Where the still wing of silence ever broods,
    And woos the weary soul to dreamless sleep.

  But build it in the temple of my heart,
    And from the sacred and mysterious shrine
  A flame of deathless memory shall start,
    Tended by Sorrow and by Love divine.

  All sweetest recollections of past joy
    Shall haunt that shrine, to make it heavenly fair:
  All memories of bliss without alloy
    Shall cluster in undying beauty there.

  There quiet peace shall hold resistless sway:
    Softer than snow the holy hush shall be.
  Till even Sorrow gently glide away,
    And Love divine alone keep watch with me.




ALGOA BAY, October 23, 1875.

Two days ago we steamed out of Table Bay on just such a gray,
drizzling afternoon as that on which we entered it. But the weather
cleared directly we got out to sea, and since then it has carried us
along as though we had been on a pleasant summer cruise. All yesterday
we were coasting along the low downs which edge the dangerous
sea-board for miles upon miles. From the deck of the Edinburgh Castle
the effect is monotonous enough, although just now everything
is brightly green; and, with their long ribbon fringe of white
breaker-foam glinting in the spring sunshine, the stretches of
undulating hillocks looked their best. This part of the coast is well
lighted, and it was always a matter of felicitation at night when,
every eighty miles or so, the guiding rays of a lighthouse shone out
in the soft gloom of the starlight night. One of these lonely towers
stands more than eight hundred feet above the sea-level, and warns
ships off the terrible Agulhas Bank.

We have dropped our anchor this fresh bright morning a mile or so from
the shore on which Port Elizabeth stands. Algoa Bay is not much of a
shelter, and it is always a chance whether a sudden south-easter
may not come tearing down upon the shipping, necessitating a sudden
tripping of anchors and running out to sea to avoid the fate which
is staring us warningly in the face in the shape of the gaunt ribs or
rusty cylinders of sundry cast-away vessels. To-day the weather is on
its good behavior; the south-easter rests on its

            aëry nest
  As still as a brooding dove;

and sun and sea are doing their best to show off the queer little
straggling town creeping up the low sandy hills that lie before us. I
am assured that Port Elizabeth is a flourishing mercantile place. From
the deck of our ship I can't at all perceive that it is flourishing,
or doing anything except basking in the pleasant sunshine. But when I
go on shore an hour or two later I am shown a store which takes
away my breath, and before whose miscellaneous contents the
stoutest-hearted female shopper must needs _baisser son pavilion_.
Everything in this vast emporium looked as neat and orderly as
possible, and, though the building was twice as big as the largest
co-operative store in London, there was no hurry or confusion.
Thimbles and ploughs, eau-de-cologne and mangles, American stoves,
cotton dresses of astounding patterns to suit the taste of Dutch
ladies, harmoniums and flat-irons,--all stood peaceably side by side
together. But these were all "unconsidered trifles" next the more
serious business of the establishment, which was wool--wool in every
shape and stage and bale. In this department, however, although for
the sake of the dear old New Zealand days my heart warms at the sight
of the huge packages, I was not supposed to take any interest; so we
pass quickly out into the street again, get into a large open carriage
driven by a black coachman, and make the best of our way up to a
villa on the slope of the sandy hill. Once I am away from the majestic
influence of that store the original feeling of Port Elizabeth being
rather a dreary place comes back upon me; but we drive all about--to
the Park, which may be said to be in its swaddling-clothes _as_ a
park, and to the Botanic Gardens, where the culture of foreign
and colonial flowers and shrubs is carried on under the chronic
difficulties of too much sun and wind and too little water. Everywhere
there is building going on--very modest building, it is true, with
rough-and-ready masonry or timber, and roofs of zinc painted in
strips of light colors, but everywhere there are signs of progress and
growth. People look bored, but healthy, and it does not surprise me in
the least to hear that though there are a good many inhabitants, there
is not much society. A pretty little luncheon and a pleasant hour's
chat in a cool, shady drawing-room, with plenty of new books and music
and flowers, gave me an agreeable impression to carry back on board
the ship; which, by the way, seemed strangely silent and deserted when
we returned, for most of our fellow-passengers had disembarked here on
their way to different parts of the interior.

As I saunter up and down the clean, smart-looking deck of what has
been our pleasant floating home during these past four weeks, I
suddenly perceive a short, squat pyramid on the shore, standing out
oddly enough among the low-roofed houses. If it had only been red
instead of gray, it might have passed for the model of the label on
Bass's beer--bottles; but, even as it is, I feel convinced that there
is a story connected with it: and so it proves, for this ugly, most
unsentimental-looking bit of masonry was built long ago by a former
governor as a record of the virtues and perfections of his dead wife,
whom, among other lavish epithets of praise, he declares to have been
"the most perfect of women." Anyhow, there it stands, on what was once
a lonely strip of sand and sea, a memorial--if one can only believe
the stone story, now nearly a hundred years old--of a great love and a
great sorrow; and one can envy the one and pity the other just as much
when looking at this queer, unsightly monument as when one stands
on the pure marble threshold of the exquisite Taj Mahal at Agra, and
reads that it too, in all its grace and beauty, was reared "in memory
of an undying love."

Although the day has been warm and balmy, the evening air strikes
chill and raw, and our last evening on board the dear old ship has to
be spent under shelter, for it is too cold to sit on deck. With the
first hours of daylight next morning we have to be up and packing, for
by ten o'clock we must be on board the Florence, a small, yacht-like
coasting-steamer which can go much closer into the sand-blocked
harbors scooped by the action of the rivers all along the coast. It is
with a very heavy heart that I, for one, say good-bye to the Edinburgh
Castle, where I have passed so many happy hours and made some pleasant
acquaintances. A ship is a very forcing-house of friendship, and no
one who has not taken a voyage can realize how rapidly an acquaintance
grows and ripens into a friend under the lonely influences of sea
and sky. We have all been so happy together, everything has been so
comfortable, everybody so kind, that one would indeed be cold-hearted
if, when the last moment of our halcyon voyage arrived, it could bring
with it anything short of a regret.

With the same chivalrous goodness and courtesy which has taken thought
for the comfort of our every movement since we left Dartmouth, our
captain insists on seeing us safely on board the Florence (what a
toy-boat she looks after our stately ship!) and satisfying himself
that we can be comfortably settled once more in our doll's house of a
new cabin. Then there comes a reluctant "Good-bye" to him and all
our kind care-takers of the Edinburgh Castle; and the last glimpse we
catch of her--for the Florence darts out of the bay like a swallow in
a hurry--is her dipping her ensign in courteous farewell to us.

In less than twenty-four hours we had reached another little port,
some hundred and fifty miles or so up the coast, called East London.
Here the harbor is again only an open roadstead, and hardly any vessel
drawing more than three or four feet of water can get in at all near
the shore, for between us and it is a bar of shifting sand, washed
down, day by day, by the strong current of the river Buffalo. All
the cargo has to be transferred to lighters, and a little tug steamer
bustles backward and forward with messages of entreaty to those said
lighters to come out and take away their loads. We had dropped our
anchor by daylight, yet at ten o'clock scarcely a boat had made its
appearance alongside, and every one was fuming and fretting at the
delay and consequent waste of fine weather and daylight. That is to
say, it was a fine bright day overhead, with sunshine and sparkle all
round, but the heavy roll of the sea never ceased for a moment. From
one side to the other, until her ports touched the water, backward and
forward, with slow, monotonous heaving, our little vessel swayed with
the swaying rollers until everybody on board felt sick and sorry.
"This is comparatively a calm day," I was told: "you can't possible
imagine from this what rolling really is." But I _can_ imagine quite
easily, and do not at all desire a closer acquaintance with this
restless Indian Ocean. Breakfast is a moment of penance: little G----
is absolutely fainting from agonies of sea-sickness, though he has
borne all our South-Atlantic tossings with perfect equanimity; and it
is with real joy that I hear the lifeboat is alongside, and that the
kind-hearted captain of the Florence (_how_ kind sailors are!) offers
to take babies, nurse and me on shore, so as to escape a long day of
this agonizing rolling. In happy unconsciousness of what landing at
East London, even in a lifeboat, meant when a bar had to be crossed,
we were all tumbled and bundled, more or less unceremoniously, into
the great, roomy boat, and were immediately taken in hand by the busy
little tug. For half a mile or more we made good progress in her wake,
being in a position to set at naught the threatening water-mountains
which came tumbling in furious haste from seaward. It was not until we
seemed close to the shore and all our troubles over that the tug was
obliged to cast us off, owing to the rapidly shoaling water, and
we prepared to make the best of our own way in. Bad was that best,
indeed, though the peril came and went so quickly that it is but a
confused impression I retain of what seemed to me a really terrible
moment. One instant I hear felicitations exchanged between our
captain--who sits protectingly close to me and poor, fainting
little G----, who lies like death in my arms--and the captain of the
lifeboat. The next moment, in spite of sudden panic and presence of
danger, I could laugh to hear the latter sing out in sharpest tones
of terror and dismay, "Ah, you would, would you?" coupled with rapid
orders to the stout rowers and shouts to us of "Look out!" and I _do_
look out, to see on one side sand which the retreating wave has sucked
dry, and in which the boat-seems trying to bury herself as though
she were a mole: on the other hand there towers above us a huge
green wave, white-crested and curled, which is rushing at us like a
devouring monster. I glance, as I think, for the last time, at the
pale nurse, on whose lap lies the baby placidly sucking his bottle.
I see a couple of sailors lay hold of her and the child with one hand
each, whilst with the other they cling desperately to the thwarts.
A stout seafaring man flings the whole weight of his ponderous
pilot-coated body upon G---- and me: I hear a roar of water, and, lo!
we are washed right up alongside of the rude landing-place, still _in_
the boat indeed, but wet and frightened to the last degree. Looking
back on it all, I can distinctly remember that it was not the sight
of the overhanging wave which cost me my deadliest pang of sickening
fright, but the glimpse I caught of the shining, cruel-looking sand,
sucking us in so silently and greedily. We were all trembling so much
that it seemed as impossible to stand upright on the earth as on the
tossing waters, and it was with reeling, drunken-looking steps that
we rolled and staggered through the heavy sand-street until we reached
the shelter of an exceedingly dirty hotel. Everything in it required
courage to touch, and it was with many qualms that I deposited limp
little G---- on a filthy sofa. However, the mistress of the house
looked clean, and so did the cups and saucers she quickly produced;
and by the time we had finished a capital breakfast we were all quite
in good spirits again, and so sharpened up as to be able to "mock
ourselves" of our past perils and present discomforts. Outside there
were strange, beautiful shrubs in flower, tame pigeons came cooing and
bowing in at the door, and above all there was an enchanting freshness
and balminess in the sunny air.

In about an hour "Capting Florence" (as G---- styles our new
commander) calls for us and takes us out sight-seeing. First and
foremost, across the river to the rapidly-growing railway lines, where
a brand-new locomotive was hissing away with full steam up. Here we
were met and welcomed by the energetic superintendent of this iron
road, and, to my intense delight, after explaining to me what a long
distance into the interior the line had to go and how fast it was
getting on, considering the difficulties in the way of doing anything
in South Africa, from washing a pocket-handkerchief up to laying down
a railway, he proposed that we should get _on_ the engine and go as
far as the line was open for anything like safe traveling. Never were
such delightful five minutes as those spent in whizzing along through
the park-like country and cutting fast through the heavenly air. In
vain did I smell that my serge skirts were getting dreadfully singed,
in vain did I see most uncertain bits of rail before me: it was all
too perfectly enchanting to care for danger or disgrace, and I could
have found it in my heart to echo G----'s plaintive cry for "More!"
when we came to the end and had to get off. But it consoled us a
little to watch the stone-breaking machine crunching up small rocks as
though they had been lumps of sugar, and after looking at that we set
off for the unfinished station, and could take in, even in its present
skeleton state, how commodious and handsome it will all be some day.
You are all so accustomed to be whisked about the civilized world when
and where you choose that it is difficult to make you understand the
enormous boon the first line of railway is to a new country--not only
for the convenience of travelers, but for the transport of goods, the
setting free of hundreds of cattle and horses and drivers--all sorely
needed for other purposes--and the fast-following effects of opening
up the resources of the back districts. In these regions labor is the
great difficulty, and one needs to hold both patience and temper fast
with both one's hands when watching either Kafir or Coolie at work.
The white man cannot or will not do much with his hands out here, so
the navvies are slim-looking blacks, who jabber and grunt and sigh a
good deal more than they work.

It is a fortunate circumstance that the delicious air keeps us all in
a chronic state of hunger, for it appears in South Africa that one is
expected to eat every half hour or so. And, shamed am I to confess,
we _do_ eat--and eat with a good appetite too--a delicious luncheon at
the superintendent's, albeit it followed closely on the heels of our
enormous breakfast at the dirty hotel. Such a pretty little bachelor's
box as it was!--so cool and quiet and neat!--built somewhat after the
fashion of the Pompeian houses, with a small square garden full of
orange trees in the centre, and the house running round this opening
in four corridors. After lunch a couple of nice, light Cape carts came
to the door, and we set off to see a beautiful garden whose owner had
all a true Dutchman's passion for flowers. Here was fruit as well as
flowers. Pine-apples and jasmine, strawberries and honeysuckle,
grew side by side with bordering orange trees, feathery bamboos and
sheltering gum trees. In the midst of the garden stood a sort of
double platform, up whose steep border we all climbed: from this we
got a good idea of the slightly undulating land all about, waving down
like solidified billows to where the deep blue waters sparkled and
rolled restlessly beyond the white line of waves ever breaking on the
bar. I miss animal life sadly in these parts: the dogs I see about the
streets are few in number, and miserably currish specimens of their
kind. "Good dogs don't answer out here," I am told: that is to say,
they get a peculiar sort of distemper, or ticks bite them, or they got
weak from loss of blood, or become degenerate in some way. The horses
and cattle are small and poor-looking, and hard-worked, very dear
to buy and very difficult to keep and to feed. I don't even see many
cats, and a pet bird is a rarity. However, as we stood on the breezy
platform I saw a most beautiful wild bird fly over the rose-hedge just
below us. It was about as big as a crow, but with a strange iridescent
plumage. When it flitted into the sunshine its back and wings shone
like a rainbow, and the next moment it looked perfectly black and
velvety in the shade. Now a turquoise-blue tint comes out on its
spreading wings, and a slant in the sunshine turns the blue into a
chrysoprase green. Nobody could tell me its name: our Dutch host spoke
exactly like Hans Breitmann, and declared it was a "bid of a crow,"
and so we had to leave it and the platform and come down to more roses
and tea. There was so much yet to be seen and to be done that we could
not stay long, and, laden with magnificent bouquets of _gloire de
Dijon_ roses and honeysuckle, and divers strange and lovely flowers,
we drove off again in our Cape carts. I observed that instead of
saying "Whoa!" or checking the horses in anyway by the reins, the
driver always whistles to them--long, low whistle--and they stand
quite still directly. We bumped up and down, over extraordinarily
rough places, and finally slid down a steep cutting to the brink of
the river Buffalo, over which we were ferried, all standing, on a big
punt, or rather pontoon. A hundred yards or so of rapid driving then
took us to a sort of wharf which projected into the river, where the
important-looking little tug awaited us; and no sooner were we all
safely on board--rather a large party by this time, for we had gone
on picking up stragglers ever since we started, only three in number,
from the hotel--than she sputtered and fizzed herself off up-stream.
By this time it was the afternoon, and I almost despair of making
you see the woodland beauty of that broad mere, fringed down to the
water's edge on one side with shrubs and tangle of roses and woodbine,
with ferns and every lovely green creeping thing. That was on the bank
which was sheltered from the high winds: the other hillside showed the
contrast, for there, though green indeed, only a few feathery tufts
of pliant shrubs had survived the force of some of these south-eastern
gales. We paddled steadily along in mid-stream, and from the bridge
(where little G---- and I had begged "Capting Florence" to let us
stand) one could see the double of each leaf and tendril and
passing cloud mirrored sharp and clear in the crystalline water. The
lengthening shadows from rock and fallen crag were in some places
flung quite across our little boat, and so through the soft, lovely
air, flooded with brightest sunshine, we made our way, up past Picnic
Creek, where another stream joins the Buffalo, and makes miniature
green islands and harbors at its mouth, up as far as the river was
navigable for even so small a steamer as ours. Every one was sorry
when it became time to turn, but there was no choice: the sun-burned,
good-looking captain of the tug held up a warning hand, and round we
went with a wide sweep, under the shadows, out into the sunlight, down
the middle of the stream, all too soon to please us.

Before we left East London, however, there was one more great work to
be glanced at, and accordingly we paid a hasty visit to the office of
the superintendent of the new harbor-works, and saw plans and drawings
of what will indeed be a magnificent achievement when carried out.
Yard by yard, with patient under-sea sweeping, all that waste of sand
brought down by the Buffalo is being cleared away; yard by yard, two
massive arms of solidest masonry are stretching themselves out beyond
those cruel breakers: the river is being forced into so narrow a
channel that the rush of the water must needs carry the sand far
out to sea in future, and scatter it in soundings where it cannot
accumulate into such a barrier as that which now exists.

Lighthouses will guard this safe entrance into a tranquil anchorage,
and so, at some not too far distant day, there is good hope that East
London may be one of the most valuable harbors on this vast coast; and
when her railway has reached even the point to which it is at present
projected, nearly two hundred miles away, it will indeed be a thriving
place. Even now, there is a greater air of movement and life and
progress about the little seaport, what with the railway and the
harbor-works, than at any other place I have yet seen; and each
great undertaking is in the hands of men of first-rate ability and
experience, who are as persevering as they are energetic. After
looking well over these most interesting plans there was nothing left
for us to do except to make a sudden raid on the hotel, pick up our
shawls and bags, pay a most moderate bill of seven shillings and
sixpence for breakfast for three people and luncheon for two, and the
use of a room all day, piteously entreat the mistress of the inn to
sell us half a bottle of milk for G----'s breakfast to-morrow--as he
will not drink the preserved milk--and so back again on board the tug.
The difficulty about milk and butter is the first trouble which besets
a family traveling in these parts. Everywhere milk is scarce and poor,
and the butter such as no charwoman would touch in England. In vain
does one behold from the sea thousands of acres of what looks like
undulating green pasturage, and inland the same waving green hillocks
stretch as far as the eye can reach: there is never a sheep or cow to
be seen, and one hears that there is no water, or that the grass
is sour, or that there is a great deal of sickness about among the
animals in that locality. Whatever the cause, the result is the
same--namely, that one has to go down on one's knees for a cupful of
milk, which is but poor, thin stuff at its best, and that Irish salt
butter out of a tub is a costly delicacy.

Having secured this precious quarter of a bottle of milk, for which
I was really as grateful as though it had been the Koh-i-noor, we
hastened back to the wharf and got on board the little tug again.
"Now for the bridge!" cry G---- and I, for has not Captain Florence
promised us a splendid but safe tossing across the bar? And faithfully
he and the bar and the boat keep their word, for we are in no danger,
it seems, and yet we appear to leap like a race-horse across the strip
of sand, receiving a staggering buffet first on one paddle-wheel and
then on the other from the angry guardian breakers, which seem sworn
foes of boats and passengers. Again and again are we knocked aside by
huge billows, as though the poor little tug were a walnut-shell; again
and again do we recover ourselves, and blunder bravely on, sometimes
with but one paddle in the water, sometimes burying our bowsprit in a
big green wave too high to climb, and dashing right through it as fast
as if we shut our eyes and went at everything. The spray flies high
over our heads, G---- and I are drenched over and over again, but
we shake the sparkling water off our coats, for all the world like
Newfoundland dogs, and are all right again in a moment, "Is that the
very last?" asks G---- reluctantly as we take our last breaker like
a five-barred gate, flying, and find ourselves safe and sound, but
quivering a good deal, in what seems comparatively smooth water. Is it
smooth, though? Look at the Florence and all the other vessels. Still
at it, see-saw, backward and forward, roll, roll, roll! How thankful
we all are to have escaped a long day of sickening, monotonous motion!
But there is the getting on board to be accomplished, for the brave
little tug dare not come too near to her big sister steamboat or
she would roll over on her. So we signal for a boat, and quickly the
largest which the Florence possesses is launched and manned--no
easy task in such a sea, but accomplished in the smartest and most
seamanlike fashion. The sides of the tug are low, so it is not very
difficult to scramble and tumble into the boat, which is laden to the
water's edge by new passengers from East London and their luggage.
When, however, we have reached the rolling Florence it is no easy
matter to get out of the said boat and on board. There is a ladder let
down, indeed, from the Florence's side, but how are we to use it when
one moment half a dozen rungs are buried deep in the sea, and the next
instant ship and ladder and all have rolled right away from us? It has
to be done, however, and what a tower of strength and encouragement
does "Capting Florence" prove himself at this juncture! We are all to
sit perfectly still: no one is to move until his name is called, and
then he is to come unhesitatingly and do exactly what he is told.

"Pass up the baby!" is the first order which I hear given, and
that astonishing baby is "passed up" accordingly. I use the word
"astonishing" advisedly, for never was an infant so bundled about
uncomplainingly. He is just as often upside down as not; he is
generally handed from one quartermaster to the other by the gathers of
his little blue flannel frock; seas break over his cradle on deck,
but nothing disturbs him. He grins and sleeps and pulls at his bottle
through everything, and grows fatter and browner and more impudent
every day. On this occasion, when--after rivaling Léotard's most
daring feats on the trapeze in my scramble up the side of a vessel
which was lurching away from me--I at last reached the deck, I found
the ship's carpenter nursing the baby, who had seized the poor man's
beard firmly with one hand, and with the finger and thumb of the other
was attempting to pick out one of his merry blue eyes. "Avast
there!" cried the long-suffering sailor, and gladly relinquished the
mischievous bundle to me.

Up with the anchor, and off we go once more into the gathering
darkness of what turns out to be a wet and windy night. Next day the
weather had recovered its temper, and I was called upon deck directly
after breakfast to see the "Gates of St. John," a really fine pass
on the coast where the river Umzimvubu rushes through great granite
cliffs into the sea. If the exact truth is to be told, I must confess
I am a little disappointed with this coast-scenery. I have heard
so much of its beauty, and as yet, though I have seen it under
exceptionally favorable conditions of calm weather, which has allowed
us to stand in very close to shore, I have not seen anything really
fine until these "Gates" came in view. It has all been monotonous,
undulating downs, here and there dotted with trees, and in some places
the ravines were filled with what we used to call in New Zealand
_bush_--i.e., miscellaneous greenery. Here and there a bold cliff or
tumbled pile of red rock makes a landmark for the passing ships, but
otherwise the uniformity is great indeed. The ordinary weather along
this coast is something frightful, and the great reputation of our
little Florence is built on the method in which she rides dry and safe
as a duck among these stormy waters. Now that we are close to "fair
Natal," the country opens out and improves in beauty. There are still
the same sloping, rolling downs, but higher downs rise behind them,
and again beyond are blue and purpling hills. Here and there, too, are
clusters of fat, dumpy haystacks, which in reality are no haystacks at
all, but Kafir kraals. Just before we pass the cliff and river which
marks where No-Man's Land ends and Natal begins these little locations
are more frequently to be observed, though what their inhabitants
subsist on is a marvel to me, for we are only a mile or so from shore,
and all the seeing power of all the field-glasses on board fails to
discern a solitary animal. We can see lots of babies crawling about
the hole which serves as door to a Kafir hut, and they are all as fat
as little pigs; but what do they live on? Buttermilk, I am told--that
is to say, sour milk, for the true Kafir palate does not appreciate
fresh, sweet milk--and a sort of porridge made of _mealies_. I used
to think "mealies" was a coined word for potatoes, but it really
signifies maize or Indian corn, which is rudely crushed and ground,
and forms the staple food of man and beast.

In the mean time, we are speeding gayly over the bright waters, never
very calm along this shore. Presently we come to a spot clearly marked
by some odd-colored, tumbled-down cliffs and the remains of a great
iron butt, where, more than a hundred years ago, the Grosvenor, a
splendid clipper ship, was wrecked. The men nearly all perished or
were made away with, but a few women were got on shore and carried
off as prizes to the kraals of the Kafir "inkosis" or chieftains.
What sort of husbands these stalwart warriors made to their reluctant
brides tradition does not say, but it is a fact that almost all the
children were born mad, and their descendants are, many of them,
lunatics or idiots up to the present time. As the afternoon draws on a
chill mist creeps over the hills and provokingly blots out the coast,
which gets more beautiful every league we go. I wanted to remain up
and see the light on the bluff just outside Port d'Urban, but a heavy
shower drove me down to my wee cabin before ten o'clock. Soon after
midnight the rolling of the anchor-chains and the sudden change of
motion from pitching and jumping to the old monotonous roll told us
that we were once more outside a bar, with a heavy sea on, and that
there we must remain until the tug came to fetch us. But, alas! the
tug had to make short work of it next morning, on account of the
unaccommodating state of the tide, and all our hopes of breakfasting
on shore were dashed by a hasty announcement at 5 A.M. that the tug
was alongside, the mails were rapidly being put on board of her, and
that she could not wait for passengers or anything else, because ten
minutes later there would not be water enough to float her over the

"When shall _we_ be able to get over the bar?" I asked dolefully.

"Not until the afternoon," was the prompt and uncompromising reply,
delivered through my keyhole by the authority in charge of us. And he
proved to be quite right; but I am bound to say the time passed more
quickly than we had dared to hope or expect, for an hour later a bold
little fishing-boat made her way through the breakers and across the
bar in the teeth of wind and rain, bringing F---- on board. He has
been out here these eight months, and looks a walking advertisement of
the climate and temperature of our new home, so absolutely healthy
is his appearance. He is very cheery about liking the place, and
particularly insists on the blooming faces and sturdy limbs I
shall see belonging to the young Natalians. Altogether, he appears
thoroughly happy and contented, liking his work, his position,
everything and everybody; which is all extremely satisfactory to
hear. There is so much to tell and so much to behold that, as G----
declares, "it is afternoon directly," and, the signal-flag being up,
we trip our anchor once more and rush at the bar, two quartermasters
and an officer at the wheel, the pilot and captain on the bridge, all
hands on deck and on the alert, for always, under the most favorable
circumstances, the next five minutes hold a peril in every second,
"Stand by for spray!" sings out somebody, and we do stand by, luckily
for ourselves, for "spray" means the top of two or three waves. The
dear little Florence is as plucky as she is pretty, and appears to
shut her eyes and lower her head and go _at_ the bar. Scrape, scrape,
scrape! "We've stuck! No, we haven't! Helm hard down! Over!" and so
we are. Among the breakers, it is true, buffeted hither and thither,
knocked first to one side and then to the other; but we keep right on,
and a few more turns of the screw take us into calm water under the
green hills of the bluff. The breakers are behind us, we have twenty
fathoms of water under our keel, the voyage is ended and over, the
captain takes off his straw hat to mop his curly head, everybody's
face loses the expression of anxiety and rigidity it has worn these
past ten minutes, and boats swarm like locusts round the ship. The
baby is passed over the ship's side for the last time, having been
well kissed and petted and praised by every one as he was handed from
one to the other, and we row swiftly away to the low sandy shore of
the "Point."

Only a few warehouses, or rather sheds of warehouses, are to be
seen, and a rude sort of railway-station, which appears to afford
indiscriminate shelter to boats as well as to engines. There are
leisurely trains which saunter into the town of D'Urban, a mile and a
half away, every half hour or so, but one of these "crawlers" had just
started. The sun was very hot, and we voyagers were all sadly
weary and headachy. But the best of the colonies is the prompt,
self-sacrificing kindness of old-comers to new-comers. A gentleman had
driven down in his own nice, comfortable pony-carriage, and without a
moment's hesitation he insisted on our all getting into it and making
the best of our way to our hotel. It is too good an offer to be
refused, for the sun is hot and the babies are tired to death; so we
start, slowly enough, to plough our way through heavy sand up to the
axles. If the tide had been out we could have driven quickly along the
hard, dry sand; but we comfort ourselves by remembering that there
had been water enough on the bar, and make the best of our way through
clouds of impalpable dust to a better road, of which a couple of
hundred yards land us at our hotel. It looks bare and unfurnished
enough, in all conscience, but it is a new place, and must be
furnished by degrees. At all events, it is tolerably clean and quiet,
and we can wash our sunburned faces and hands, and, as nurse says,
"turn ourselves round."

Coolies swarm in every direction, picturesque fish- and fruit-sellers
throng the verandah of the kitchen a little way off, and everything
looks bright and green and fresh, having been well washed by the
recent rains. There are still, however, several feet of dust in the
streets, for they are _made_ of dust; and my own private impression
is, that all the water in the harbor would not suffice to lay the dust
of D'Urban for more than half an hour. With the restlessness of people
who have been cooped up on board ship for a month, we insist, the
moment it is cool enough, on being taken out for a walk. Fortunately,
the public gardens are close at hand, and we amuse ourselves very well
in them for an hour or two, but we are all thoroughly tired and worn
out, and glad to get to bed, even in gaunt, narrow rooms on hard

The two following days were spent in looking after and collecting
our cumbrous array of boxes and baskets. Tin baths, wicker chairs and
baskets, all had to be counted and recounted, until one got weary of
the word "luggage;" but that is the penalty of drafting babies about
the world. In the intervals of the serious business of tracing No. 5
or running No. 10 to earth in the corner of a warehouse, I made many
pleasant acquaintances and received kindest words and notes of welcome
from unknown friends. All this warm-hearted, unconventional kindness
goes far to make the stranger forget his "own people and his father's
house," and feel at once at home amid strange and unfamiliar scenes.
After all, "home" is portable, luckily, and a welcoming smile and
hand-clasp act as a spell to create it in any place. We also managed,
after business-hours, when it was of no use making expeditions to
wharf or custom-house after recusant carpet-bags, to drive to
the Botanic Gardens. They are extensive and well kept, but seem
principally devoted to shrubs. I was assured that this is the worst
time of year for flowers, as the plants have not yet recovered
from the winter drought. A dry winter and wet summer is the correct
atmospheric fashion here: in winter everything is brown and dusty and
dried up, in summer green and fragrant and well watered. The gardens
are in good order, and I rather regretted not being able to examine
them more thoroughly. Another afternoon we drove to the Berea, a
sort of suburban Richmond, where the rich semi-tropical vegetation is
cleared away in patches, and villas with pretty pleasure-grounds
are springing up in every direction. The road winds up the
luxuriantly-clothed slopes, with every here and there lovely sea-views
of the harbor, with the purpling lights of the Indian Ocean stretching
away beyond. Every villa must have an enchanting prospect from its
front door, and one can quite understand how alluring to the merchants
and business--men of D'Urban must be the idea of getting away after
office-hours, and sleeping on such; high ground in so fresh and
healthy an: atmosphere. And here I must say that we Maritzburgians (I
am only one in prospective) wage a constant and deadly warfare with
the D'Urbanites on the score of the health and convenience of our
respective cities. _We_ are two thousand feet above the sea and
fifty-two miles inland, so we talk in a pitying tone of the poor
D'Urbanites as dwellers in a very hot and unhealthy place. "Relaxing"
is the word we apply to their climate when we want to be particularly
nasty, and they retaliate by reminding us that they are ever so much
older than we are (which is an advantage in a colony), and that they
are on the coast, and can grow all manner of nice things which we
cannot compass, to say nothing of their climate being more equable
than ours, and their thunderstorms, though longer in duration, mere
flashes in the pan compared to what we in our amphitheatre of hills
have to undergo at the hands of the electric current. We never can
find answer to that taunt, and if the D'Urbanites only follow up their
victory by allusions to their abounding bananas and other fruits,
their vicinity to the shipping, and consequent facility of getting
almost anything quite easily, we are completely silenced, and it is a
wonder if we retain presence of mind enough to murmur "Flies." On the
score of dust we are about equal, but I must in fairness confess that
D'Urban is a more lively and a better-looking town than Maritzburg
when you are in it, though the effect from a distance is not so
good. It is very odd how unevenly the necessaries of existence are
distributed in this country. Here at D'Urban anything hard in the
way of stone is a treasure: everything is soft and friable: sand and
finest shingle, so fine as to be mere dust, are all the available
material for road-making. I am told that later on I shall find that
a cartload of sand in Maritzburg is indeed a rare and costly thing:
there we are all rock, a sort of flaky, slaty rock underlying every
place. Our last day, or rather half day, in D'Urban was very full of
sightseeing and work. F---- was extremely anxious for me to see the
sun rise from the signal-station on the bluff, and accordingly he,
G---- and I started with the earliest dawn. We drove through the sand
again in a hired and springless Cape cart down to the Point, got into
the port-captain's boat and rowed across a little strip of sand at the
foot of a winding path cut out of the dense vegetation which makes
the bluff such a refreshingly green headland to eyes of wave-worn
voyagers. A stalwart Kafir carried our picnic basket, with tea and
milk, bread and butter and eggs, up the hill, and it was delightful
to follow the windings of the path through beautiful bushes bearing
strange and lovely flowers, and knit together in patches in a green
tangle by the tendrils of a convolvulus or clematis, or sort of wild,
passion-flower, whose blossoms were opening to the fresh morning air.
It was a cool but misty morning, and though we got to our destination
in ample time, there was never any sunrise at all to be seen. In fact,
the sun steadily declined to get up the whole day, so far as I knew,
for the sea looked gray and solemn and sleepy, and the land kept its
drowsy mantle of haze over its flat shore; which haze thickened and
deepened into a Scotch mist as the morning wore on. We returned by
the leisurely railway--a railway so calm and stately in its method
of progression that it is not at all unusual to see a passenger step
calmly out of the train when it is at its fullest speed of crawl,
and wave his hand to his companions as he disappears down the by-path
leading to his little home. The passengers are conveyed at a uniform
rate of sixpence a head, which sixpence is collected promiscuously
by a small boy at odd moments during the journey. There are no nice
distinctions of class, either, for we all travel amicably together in
compartments which are a judicious mixture of a third-class carriage
and a cattle-truck. Of course, wood is the only fuel used, and that
but sparingly, for it is exceedingly costly.

There was still much to be done by the afternoon--many visitors to
receive, notes to write and packages to arrange, for our traveling of
these fifty-two miles spreads itself over a good many hours, as you
will see. About three o'clock the government mule-wagon came to the
door. It may truly and literally be described as "stopping the way,"
for not only is the wagon itself a huge and cumbrous machine, but
it is drawn by eight mules in pairs, and driven by a couple of black
drivers. I say "driven by a couple of drivers," because the driving
was evidently an affair of copartnership: one held the reins--such
elaborate reins as they were! a confused tangle of leather--and the
other had the care of two or three whips of differing lengths. The
drivers were both jet black--not Kafirs, but Cape blacks--descendants
of the old slaves taken by the Dutch. They appeared to be great
friends, these two, and took earnest counsel together at every rut and
drain and steep pinch of the road, which stretched away, over hill and
dale, before us, a broad red track, with high green hedges on either
hand. Although the rain had not yet fallen long or heavily, the
ditches were all running freely with red, muddy water, and the dust
had already begun to cake itself into a sticky, pasty red clay. The
wagon was shut in by curtains at the back and sides, and could hold
eight passengers easily. Luckily for the poor mules, however, we
were only five grown-up people, including the drivers. The road was
extremely pretty, and the town looked very picturesque as we gradually
rose above it and looked down on it and the harbor together. Of a
fine, clear afternoon it would have been still nicer, though I was
much congratulated on the falling rain on account of the absence of
its alternative--dust. Still, it was possible to have too much of a
good thing, and by the time we reached Pine Town, only fourteen miles
away, the heavy roads were beginning to tell on the poor mules, and
the chill damp of the closing evening made us all only too thankful to
get under the shelter of a roadside inn (or hotel, as they are called
here), which was snug and bright and comfortable enough to be a credit
to any colony. It seemed the most natural thing in the world to be
told that this inn was not only a favorite place for people to come
out to from D'Urban to spend their holiday time in fine weather (there
is a pretty little church in the village hard by), but also that it
was quite _de rigueur_ for all honeymoons to be spent amid its pretty

A steady downpour of rain all through the night made our early start
next day an affair of doubt and discouragement and dismal prophecy;
but we persevered, and accomplished another long stage through a cold
persistent drizzle before reaching an inn, where we enjoyed simply the
best breakfast I ever tasted, or at all events the best I have tasted
in Natal. The mules were also unharnessed, and after taking, each, a
good roll on the damp grass, turned out in the drizzling rain for a
rest and a nibble until their more substantial repast was ready. The
rain cleared up from time to time, but an occasional heavy shower
warned us that the weather was still sulky. It was in much better
heart and spirits, however, that we made a second start about eleven
o'clock, and struggled on through heavy roads up and down weary hills,
slipping here, sliding there, and threatening to stick everywhere.
Our next stage was to a place where the only available shelter was a
filthy inn, at which we lingered as short a time as practicable--only
long enough, in fact, to feed the mules--and then, with every prospect
of a finer afternoon, set out once more on the last and longest stage
of our journey. All the way the road has been very beautiful, in spite
of the shrouding mist, especially at the Inchanga Pass, where round
the shoulder of the hill as fair a prospect of curved green hills,
dotted with clusters of timber exactly like an English park, of
distant ranges rising in softly-rounded outlines, with deep violet
shadows in the clefts and pale green lights on the slopes, stretches
before you as the heart of painter could desire. Nestling out of sight
amid this rich pasture-land are the kraals of a large Kafir location,
and no one can say that these, the children of the soil, have not
secured one of the most favored spots. To me it all looked like a fair
mirage. I am already sick of beholding all this lovely country
lying around, and yet of being told that food and fuel are almost at
famine-prices. People say, "Oh, but you should see it in winter. _Now_
it is green, and there is plenty of feed on it, but three months ago
no grass-eating creature could have picked up a living on all the
country-side. It is all as brown and bare as parchment for half the
year. _This_ is the spring." Can you not imagine how provoking it is
to hear such statements made by old settlers, who know the place only
too well, and to find out that all the radiant beauty which greets
the traveler's eye is illusive, for in many places there are miles and
miles without a drop of water for the flock and herds; consequently,
there are no means of transport for all this fuel until the days of
railways? Besides which, through Natal lies the great highway to
the Diamond Fields, the Transvaal and the Free States, and all the
opening-up country beyond; so it is more profitable to drive a wagon
than to till a farm. Every beast with four legs is wanted to drag
building materials or provisions. The supply of beef becomes daily
more precarious and costly, for the oxen are all "treking," and
one hears of nothing but diseases among animals--"horse sickness,"
pleuro-pneumonia, fowl sickness (I feel it an impertinence for the
poultry to presume to be ill), and even dogs set up a peculiar and
fatal sort of distemper among themselves.

But to return to the last hours of our journey. The mules struggle
bravely along, though their ears are beginning to flap about any way,
instead of being held straight and sharply pricked forward, and the
encouraging cries of "Pull up, Capting! now then, Blue-bok, hi!"
become more and more frequent: the driver in charge of the whips is
less nice in his choice of a scourge with which to urge on the patient
animals, and whacks them soundly with whichever comes first. The
children have long ago wearied of the confinement and darkness of
the back seats of the hooded vehicle; we are all black and blue from
jolting in and out of deep holes hidden by mud which occur at every
yard; but still our flagging spirits keep pretty good, for _our_
little Table Mountain has been left behind, whilst before us, leaning
up in one corner of an amphitheatre of hills, are the trees which mark
where Maritzburg nestles. The mules see it too, and, sniffing their
stables afar off, jog along faster. Only one more rise to pull up: we
turn a little off the high-road, and there, amid a young plantation
of trees, with roses, honeysuckle and passion-flowers climbing up the
posts of the wide verandah, a fair and enchanting prospect lying
at our feet, stands our new home, with its broad red tiled roof
stretching out a friendly welcome to the tired, belated travelers.



  From tales of rural gods I rose,
    And sought them through the woody deeps,
  Where, held in shadowy, sweet repose,
    The sunshine, like Endymion, sleeps--
  Where murmurous waters softly sing
    To listening branches, bended low,
  And tuneful birds on waving wing,
    As Zephyrus, gently come and go.


  Vainly I sought the gods, yet heard
    Their whispering spirits say to mine,
  "Who seeks us finds the forests stirred
    By myriad voices all divine,
  And learns that still the mystic spell
    Of fauns and dryads fills the place
  With beauty myths have failed to tell--
    One god in every hidden face."



It was in Vienna during the stormy days of October, 1848. The sky was
lurid with the glow of surrounding conflagrations: roof and turret
were illumined by the glaring reflection of the sea of fire, while
the broad Danube madly stretched forth its blood-red tongue to the
blood-red walls of the city. The clashing of weapons and rolling of
drums resounded through the streets. Every house became in its turn a
fortress, every window a porthole. During these days of horror there
assembled in the evening at the dwelling of Friedrich Bodenstedt a
circle of friends, who sought in conversation on literary topics some
relief after the agitating experiences of the day.

"Bodenstedt," exclaimed Auerbach on one of these occasions, "tell
us of your adventures in the East. Awake with blithesome touch the
memories of your past: transport us into a new world where will be
dispelled the gloom of the present."

"Yes, do," chimed in the rest, drawing their chairs closer together.

"Tell us, above all, of your famous teacher, Mirza-Schaffy," added

One usually narrates one's experiences best in a circle of sympathetic
listeners, and even under ordinary circumstances Bodenstedt was
esteemed a good talker. Soon a spirit of cheerfulness prevailed, and
as the friends sat far into the night, the tumult without, the burning
suburbs, the beat of drums and the firing of cannons were forgotten.

Night after night the friends met--poets, philosophers, men of
learning, artists--and sat, to use Bodenstedt's own words, "on the
carpet of expectation, smoked the pipe of satisfaction, saw the
sunshine of wine sparkle up from the flask, and fished for words of
pearls with the delicate nets of the ears." The story of Eastern life
grew and rounded in its proportions, and Auerbach, who seemed most of
all entranced, insisted that the source of so fascinating a narrative
should be guided through the "canal of the pen into the sea of
publicity." Bodenstedt demurred, maintaining that the "art-hewn path
from the head to the hand" was far more difficult to traverse than the
natural one from the mouth to the ear.

"Yes, but it leads farther," rejoined Auerbach, "and what pleases us,
who listen, you may rest assured, with critical ears, cannot fail to
please in more extended circles."

Upon this foundation arose that delightful book, _A Thousand and One
Days in the Orient_, which was the occasion of one of the most
amusing mystifications and controversies that ever occupied the German
literary world.

Friedrich Bodenstedt was born at Peine in Hanover, April 21, 1819.
Notwithstanding his precocious intellectuality and remarkable poetic
talents, he was condemned by his parents to a mercantile career. After
a mournful apprenticeship he managed, however, to escape from this
uncongenial employment, and pursued a course of study at Göttingen,
Munich and Berlin, devoting himself chiefly to philology and history.
The year 1840 found him in Moscow as private tutor in the family of
Prince Galitzin, and shortly after he published his first volume of
poetry. Later, he was appointed teacher of languages at the Tiflis
Gymnasium, and the result of his learned investigations here were
given to the world in his _People of Caucasus_, in which, however,
were wholly thrust into the background poetical reminiscences evoked,
as we have seen, by gifted and genial friends.

During his sojourn in Tiflis, the mountain-encompassed capital of
Georgia, Bodenstedt undertook the study of the Tartar language,
finding it to be a universally-employed means of communication with
the many-tongued races of Caucasus. Among the numerous teachers
recommended to him, he selected one called Mirza-Schaffy, "the wise
man of Gjändsha," being attracted to him partly because of his calm,
dignified demeanor, partly because he possessed a sufficient knowledge
of Russian, with which Bodenstedt was perfectly familiar, to render
intercourse easy and agreeable.

Here it may not be amiss to observe that "Mirza" is a title which
placed before a proper name signifies "scribe"--after a name it
designates a prince. Thus, Mirza-Schaff[^y] means "Scribe Schaffy,"
but Schaffy-Mirzâ would mean "Prince Schaffy." Each word, when
pronounced separately, has the accent on the last syllable, but
together they are pronounced as one word, with the accent on the final

The Tartars possess no such brilliant stores of literature as the
Persians, but they are endowed with a manly vigor which the latter
have lost. Mirza-Schaffy was a Tartar by birth, nurtured with Persian
culture, and was, when Bodenstedt made his acquaintance, in December,
1843, a man of some forty years of age, of very stately appearance
and excessive neatness. He wore a soft silken suit, about which he
carelessly draped a blue Turkish cloak, while a tall black sheep-skin
hat of sugar-loaf form adorned his shapely head. A dark, well-tended
beard framed his handsomely chiseled face, whose calm, earnest
expression was heightened by the deep, rich hue of his complexion, and
his large, serious eyes were void of the usual cunning of his class.
His high-heeled slippers, whose purity he miraculously preserved
unimpaired when mud was at its height in the streets of Tiflis, he
left always at the threshold of his pupil's room, pressing carpet and
divan only with his immaculate variegated stockings.

But Mirza-Schaffy's main charm lay in his thorough genuineness,
his earnestness of purpose and the tranquillity of his whole being.
Misfortune and sorrow had visited him in many forms, leaving their
impress on his brow, yet he had not been crushed; and thoroughly as he
appreciated the refined enjoyments of life, he could most gracefully
renounce luxuries attainable only by Fortune's favorites. So long as
he could have his _tschibuq_ filled with good tobacco and his goblet
with good wine, both of which were plentiful in Tiflis, he seemed
content with the entire dispensation of the world. Highly as he
prized, however, the beneficent effects of wine, he was an enemy to
excess, having made moderation in all things the law of his life.

The whole atmosphere surrounding the man produced a deep and lasting
impression on Bodenstedt, who, longing to immortalize the name of one
who had unfolded to him the treasures of Eastern lore, and from whom
he had derived so much pleasure and profit, conceived the idea of
representing his teacher in his public characterization with poetic
freedom, as a type of the Eastern poet and man of learning. Poet,
Mirza-Schaffy was not in reality, for although he was skilled in the
art of rhyming, and could translate with ease any simple song from
the Persian into the Tartar language, Bodenstedt found only one of his
original efforts which was worthy of preservation. The song referred
to was one hurled, as it were, at the head of an offending mullah who
had derided Mirza-Schaffy for his tenderness to wine, and reads as

  Mullah! pure is our wine:
    It to revile were sin.
  Shouldst thou censure my word,
    May'st find truth therein!

  No devotion hath me
    To thy mosque led to pray:
  Through wine render'd free,
    I have chanced there to stray.

All other poems introduced into the _Thousand and One Days in the
Orient_ are entirely of Bodenstedt's own composition, were designed
to add flavor to the picture of an Eastern divan of wisdom, and were
usually written while the impression was fresh of intercourse with the
wise man of Gjändsha. Shortly after the appearance of the book, which
was well received by the public, the publisher proposed to Bodenstedt
to issue separately the poems contained in it; and this was finally
done in an attractive volume entitled _The Songs of Mirza-Schaffy_,
many additions being made to the original collection. Of these, one of
the most fresh and sparkling is a spring song, which has never before
appeared in English, and which we present as a fitting introduction:

  When young Spring up mountain-peaks doth hie,
    And the sunbeams scatter stores of snow--
  When the trees put forth their leaflets shy,
    And amid grass the first wild flower doth blow--
      When in yonder vale
      Fleeth in a gale
    All the dolesome rain and wintry wail,
      Rings from upland air
        Forth to many a clime,
      "Oh, how wond'rous fair
        Is the glad spring-time!"

  When the glaciers quail 'neath hot sunbeams,
    And all Nature into life doth spring--
  When from mountain-sides gush forth cool streams,
    And with sounds of glee the forests ring--
      Fragrant zephyrs too
      Stray the green meads through
    And the heavens smile, serene and blue.
      While from upland air
        Rings to many a clime,
      "Oh, how wond'rous fair
        Is the glad spring-time!"

  And was it not in the days of spring
    That thy heart and mine, O maiden fair!
  Were united, while our lips did cling
    In their first long kiss, so sweet and rare?
      What the glad grove sang
      Through the wide vale rang,
    And the fresh stream from the mountain sprang.
      While the upland air
        Wafted forth its rhyme,
      "Oh, how wond'rous fair
        Is the glad spring-time!"

Seldom has a volume of poems been received with more general applause.
Their renown spread rapidly through their native land; constantly
increasing demand for copies rendered needful frequent new editions,
to which at divers times were added by the author freshly-created
poems; and the interest is still alive, now nearly quarter of a
century after their first appearance, when they have passed their
fiftieth edition. They have been at one time or other translated into
most of the modern tongues of Europe; and that they have never gained
popularity with us is due probably to the fact that in those which
have been translated into our tongue neither the essence nor the form
of the original has been preserved. By the title no mystification was
ever designed: it came, as it were, of itself, and the purport of
the narrative through which the main songs were interwoven being well
known, it was never, supposed that a doubt concerning the authorship
could arise. Nevertheless, the critics accepted them as translations
from the Persian, and sharp lines of distinction were drawn between
the poet, Mirza-Schaffy, and his translator, Friedrich Bodenstedt,
not precisely to the advantage of the latter. Many a hearty laugh
did Bodenstedt indulge in on reading in one or another learned
dissertation that he was the possessor of a very neat poetic talent,
and frequently reminded one in his original compositions of the works
of his genial teacher, Mirza-Schaffy, of which he had given admirable
translations, though without attaining to the excellence of the
original. Now, a poet, in the wildest flights of his imagination,
could not hope for a more brilliant success for the poetic fiction
of his own creation than to have it accepted by the world as a living
reality. In this he would naturally delight, even though his own
personality were for a time thrust into the background, precisely like
a loving father whose children meet with better fortune in life than
himself. Sundry renditions into foreign tongues were even announced as
direct translations from the Persian.

After the death of the real Mirza-Schaffy in 1852, which was duly
announced by the press, sundry efforts were made by Eastern travelers
to visit his grave in Tiflis and gain those particulars concerning
him and his writings which Bodenstedt was supposed to have selfishly
withheld from the public. Of these, one of the most prominent was
Professor H. Brugsch, secretary of the Prussian embassy to Persia in
1860, who in his book of travels thus descants on his futile efforts:
"No one could inform us where the last earthly remains of a certain
Mirza-Schaffy were laid to rest. We consoled ourselves with the
reflection that neither mounds nor monuments are requisite to preserve
a poet's fame, but that through his songs is his name transmitted to
posterity. Yet even here we were doomed to disappointment. No one
whom we encountered knew aught of the songs of the jovial, genial
Mirza-Schaffy which in our German Fatherland have penetrated to the
very life of the people."

Some years later the Russian imperial state counselor Bergé, while
chief of educational institutions in Caucasus, also made the matter
a subject of investigation, and in the year 1870 gave the history
thereof to the world in the _Journal of the German Oriental Society_.
He tells of his vain efforts to learn something of the genius of
Mirza-Schaffy in his own land, and the amusement he created by his
queries concerning possible posthumous works, and finally settles the
question beyond dispute concerning the authorship of the poems.

After this, Bodenstedt yielded to the solicitations of friends to give
in the pages of the popular German magazine _Daheim_ a correct version
of the whole affair.

Let the reader present to his mind's eye a picture of the Eastern
scribe, clad in the apparel before described, seated on the
comfortable divan, with legs crossed after the fashion of the country,
the long _tschibuq_ caressingly held in one hand, the other uplifted,
and with finger pointed to his brow, haranguing the German man of
letters at his side on the advantages to be enjoyed under his tuition,
and on the idle pretensions of those who call themselves learned
without so much as comprehending the sacred languages. He cherished,
however, the pious hope that in the course of time, thanks to his
efforts, the enlightenment of the East might take effect in the West,
which hope was strengthened by the encouraging fact that Bodenstedt
was the fifth scholar who had felt the need of migrating to Tiflis to
profit by his instructions. In his excess of national modesty the wise
man of Gjändsha only styled himself the first wise man of the East,
but since the children of the West dwelt under a dark cloud of
unbelief, it resulted as a matter of course that he must be the wisest
of all men.

"I, Mirza-Schaffy," said he to his pupil, "am the first wise man
of the East, consequently thou, as my disciple, art the second. But
misunderstand me not. I have a friend, Omar Effendi, an extremely wise
man, who verily is not third among the learned scribes of the land.
Did not I live, and were Omar Effendi thy teacher, he would be first,
and thou the second wise man."

On being asked what he should do if told that the wise men of the West
would consider him as deficient in enlightenment as he did them, he
rejoined, "What could I do but be amazed at their folly? What new
thing can I learn from their opinions when they merely repeat my own?"
Hence the song:

  Shall I laugh or fall to wailing
    That the most of men so dumb are,
  Ever borrowed thoughts retailing,
    And in mother-wit so mum are?

  No: thanksgiving heavenward rise
    That fools so crowd this generation,
  Else the wisdom of the wise
    Would be lost to observation.

Numerous rivals envied Mirza-Schaffy his lessons, for each of which
he was paid a whole silver ruble--an unusually high tuition-fee. Most
formidable among these was Mirza-Jussuf (Joseph), the wise man of
Bagdad, who called one day on Bodenstedt and boldly informed him that
the revered Mirza-Schaffy was an Ischekj ("an ass") among the bearers
of wisdom--that he could not write properly, and could not sing
at all. "And what is wisdom without song?" he exclaimed. "What is
Mirza-Schaffy compared with me?" With bewildering eloquence he set
forth his own superior accomplishments, dwelling largely on his name,
which had been exalted by the Hebrew poet Moses as well as by
the Persian poet Hafiz, and exerting himself to prove that the
significance of a great name must be transmitted to all future bearers
thereof. He was still speaking when a measured tread was heard in
the ante-chamber, and Mirza-Schaffy himself drew near. He appeared to
comprehend intuitively the cause of the guest's presence, for he cast
on Jussuf, who had become suddenly stricken with modesty, a glance
of withering contempt, and was about giving vent to his emotions when
Bodenstedt interposed with the words, "Mirza-Schaffy, wise man of
Gjändsha, what have my ears heard? You undertake to instruct me, and
you can neither write nor sing! You are an Ischekj among the bearers
of wisdom: thus sayeth Mirza-Jussuf, the wise man of Bagdad."

Without deigning a word of reply, Mirza-Schaffy clapped his hands, a
sign at which the servant usually brought him a fresh pipe, but
this time he demanded his thick-soled slippers. With one of these he
proceeded to so unmercifully belabor the wise man of Bagdad that the
latter besought mercy with the most appealing words and gestures. But
the chastiser was inexorable. "What?" said he. "I cannot sing, dost
thou say? Wait, I will make music for thee! And I cannot write,
either? Let it be, then, on thy head!" Whimpering and writhing beneath
the blows accompanying these words, the wise man of Bagdad staggered
toward the door and vanished from sight.

More calmly than might have been anticipated did Mirza-Schaffy return
from the contest of wisdom, and promptly taking his usual seat on the
divan, he began to exhort his German disciple to lend no ear to such
false teachers as Jussuf and his fellows, whose name, he said, was
legion, whose avarice was greater than their wisdom, and whose aim was
to plunder, not teach, their pupils.

Later, Jussuf strove to win Bodenstedt by repeated messages,
accompanied by songs in the most exquisite handwriting.
Mirza-Schaffy's opinion concerning these compositions is embodied in
quite a number of songs, of which space must be found for one:

  Forsooth! is Mirza-Jussuf a very well-read man!
  Now searcheth he Hafiz, now searcheth the Koran,
  Now Dshamy and Chakany, and now the _Gülistan_.
  Here stealeth he a symbol, and there doth steal a flower,
  Here robbeth precious thoughts, and there a true word's power.
  He giveth as his own what has been said before,
  Transplanted! the whole world into his tedious lore;
  And proudly decketh he his prey with borrowed plumes,
  Then flauntingly that this is poetry assumes.

  How differently lives and sings Mirza-Schaffy!
  A glowing star his heart to lighten paths of gloom,
  His mind a blooming garden, filled with sweet perfume,
  And in his rich creations no plagiarist is he:
  His songs are full of beauty, and perfect as can be.

Mirza-Schaffy himself was a miracle of skill in chirography: none
could equal him in wielding the _kalem_. His aim was not to impart a
precise regularity to the characters, but to indicate by the writing
the matter and style. Proverbs or utterances of wisdom were indited
by him in a firm, bold hand with unadorned simplicity; love-songs with
delicate, clear-cut lines, attractive capricious curves, enigmatical,
almost illegible minuteness, designed to set forth the type of female
character. The chirography of the songs to wine and earthly pleasure
is full of fire and flourish--that of the songs of lamentation neat,
legible and unadorned. To impart this skill to his pupil was one of
his most earnest endeavors.

One day, when inspired by choice wine and soothed by the fragrant
fumes of his _tschibuq_, Mirza-Schaffy was moved to tell of the love
his heart had cherished--love such as man had never before known. The
object of his adoration was Zuléikha, daughter of Ibrahim, the chan of
Gjändsha. Her eyes, darker than the night, shone with a brighter
glow than the stars of heaven: passing description were the graceful
loveliness of her form, the dainty perfection of hands and feet, her
soft hair long as eternity, and the sweet mouth whose breath was more
fragrant than the roses of Schiraz. He who was destined to be her
slave had watched her daily for six months--as she sat on the housetop
at midday with her companions, or on moonlight evenings when she
amused herself with the dancing of her slaves--before he received so
much as a sign that she deemed him worthy of her regard. He rejoiced
in the splendor of her countenance, but dared no more approach her
than the sun in whose warm rays he might bask. By day he was compelled
to exercise the utmost caution, as his life would have been in
jeopardy had Ibrahim Chan descried him casting loving looks at
Zuléikha, but in the evening he was safe to draw attention to himself,
as after eight o'clock the old man never crossed his threshold. Then
the flames of the lover's heart burst into song, and he gave
utterance to a _ghazel_ now of Hafiz, now of Firdusa, while still more
frequently he sang his own songs.

Finally, Ibrahim Chan set forth on an expedition against the enemies
of Moscow, and thus was afforded a rare opportunity for the enamored
Mirza to present himself and his songs to the fair one's notice. One
dark evening, when the ladies had failed to appear on the housetop,
as Mirza-Schaffy was turning disappointed away he was accosted by a
closely-veiled female, who, bidding him follow her, led the way to
a secluded spot where interruption would be improbable, and thus
addressed him: "I am Fatima, the confidential attendant of Zuléikha.
My mistress hath gazed on thee with the eye of satisfaction. The
resonance of thy voice hath delighted her ear, the purport of thy
songs touched her heart. I am come of my own accord, without my lady's
bidding, to let thee drink hope from the fountain of my words, because
I wish thee well."

"Has, then, Zuléikha not closed her ear to the poorest of her slaves?"
exclaimed the overjoyed Mirza. "And will my heart not be lacerated
by the thorn of her displeasure? Allah min! Allah bir! The God of
thousands is one only God! Great is His goodness and wonderful are His
ways! What have I done that He hath guided the stream of my songs to
the sea of beauty?"

Fatima told him he did well to prize the merciful goodness of Allah
and the loveliness of her mistress, who was a "jewel in the ring of
beauty, a pearl in the shell of fortune." Her noble lady, she said,
would have given token of her favor before had not her virtuous
modesty exceeded her beauty, and had she not feared the displeasure
of her father, who tenderly loved her and would never consent to her
stooping to a poor mirza. Then she proceeded to tell how Achmed
Chan of Avaria, who was at the war with Ibrahim Chan, was suing for
Zuléikha's hand, which was promised by the father should he return
triumphant from the campaign. This would render prompt action
desirable, and Fatima suggested that Mirza-Schaffy should appear on
the following evening, when the call to prayer resounded from the
minaret, before the garden with his choicest offering of song, to
which, the messenger was ready to wager, would be accorded a rosebud.
Intoxicated with joy, Mirza-Schaffy bestowed on the friendly Fatima
his purse, his watch and all the valuables about him, also promising a
talisman to cure a black spot on her left cheek; and they parted
with the understanding that they should meet, again for further

And here, in exemplification of the learned scribe's rejoinders to
his pupil's queries concerning the significance of the thorn of
displeasure and the rosebud, is introduced the song:

  The thorn is token of rejection,
    Of disapproval and of scorn:
  If she to union hath objection,
    She giveth me as sign a thorn.

  Yet if, instead, the maiden throws me
    A tender rosebud as a token,
  That fate propitious is it shows me,
    And bids me wait with faith unbroken.

  But if a full-blown rose she tenders,
    Its open chalice is a token
  Which boldest hope in me engenders;
    Through it her love is clearly spoken.

On the ensuing evening Mirza-Schaffy presented himself promptly at
the appointed place, prepared with a love-song which he knew none of
womankind could resist. The evening was calm and clear, and on the
housetop, alone with Fatima, was plainly discernible Zuléikha, her
veil slightly drawn aside in token of favor. Taking courage, the
enamored Mirza pushed back his cap in order to display his freshly
shaven head, of whose whiteness he was excessively proud, and which he
felt to be irresistible to maidens' eyes, and began to sing his song,
having first cast a written copy folded about a double almond-kernel,
as a keepsake at the feet of beauty. The song given at this point is
excessively flowery, and declares the maiden's eyes to be brighter
than those of the wild gazelle, her form more ethereal than the
slender pine, and pronounces the wooer, his heart and his tuneful lay
to be but slaves of her loveliness. This by way of preparation, the
highest point of the offering being the concluding stanzas:

  With faithful heart and hopefully
    Approach I now Love's sacred bower,
  And cast this wistful song at thee,
    This fragrant song, as question-flower.

  Accept with joy or scornfully,
    Give my heart death or consolation,
  Cast rosebud, rose, or thorn at me,
    I humbly wait thy revelation.

Smilingly the maiden cast a rosebud at her waiting suitor, and for the
first time fully displayed to him her beauteous face. From this moment
new life dawned on our Mirza, and for six weeks he basked in the
sunshine of felicity ere threatening clouds loomed up in his horizon.
Then Ibrahim Chan returned from the war, and with him came his
daughter's suitor. A troop of horsemen had been despatched to Avaria
for the bridal gift, and on their return they were to conduct Achmed
Chan and his chosen lady home. Prize combats and festivities were
planned to celebrate the return of the heroes, and at Zuléikha's
request a singing festival was likewise to take place. All the singers
of the land were invited and bidden to prepare their choicest lays
extolling the sovereign lady of the fête: to the victorious competitor
would be accorded the right to break the instruments of his opponents.

Now was the time for Mirza-Schaffy to gather all his courage, for he
knew the crisis of his destiny to be at hand. He arranged with Fatima
that the day of the singing festival should be likewise that of his
flight with Zuléikha, for he was troubled with no doubt concerning
the success of his lyrical efforts. An Armenian who was about setting
forth with a caravan was confided in, and engaged to reserve camels
for and accord protection to the fugitives.

The minutes seemed like days, the hours like years, until the
announcement was heralded that Ibrahim Chan had sallied forth with his
guests to the prize combat, and that the ladies awaited the minstrels.
They were assembled on the housetop, lovely matrons and maidens, and
there was spread a large carpet on which set two players on the _sass_
and _tshengir_, between whom each singer in turn took his place to
sing his offering to the sound of strings. The handsomest boy
in Gjändsha was appointed to hand to each singer a silver plate,
wherewith to conceal from the eye of beauty the emotions depicted in
his countenance while singing. Twenty singers stood in a circle and
stepped forth one after the other, Mirza-Schaffy, as the youngest
of the number, coming last. All other emanations he felt to be
faint sparks in comparison with the fire of his own. How could it be
otherwise, considering the source of his inspiration? As he sang his
heart swelled with ecstasy, and when he concluded there lay at his
feet a full-blown rose. He was victor of the festival, yet so filled
was he with thoughts of his beloved that he remembered not to break
the instruments of the vanquished.

The flight was effected; the bride, although awaiting the coming of
the bridegroom in bridal array, offering all due resistance as he led
her from her home; indeed, so zealous was she to be faithful to the
customs of her country that her cries would have roused the household
had not the prudent Fatima interposed. On reaching the caravan a
double security seemed to arise from the Armenian proving to be
the accepted lover of Fatima; and Zuléikha, although deeming it a
degradation for a daughter of Ali to unite her destinies with an
unbeliever, was herself too strongly in the bondage of love to
withhold her consent. Then how happy were they all! and what
precautions were taken for their safety! Nevertheless, they were
overtaken by the angry father and the outraged suitor of his choice.
Zuléikha and Fatima were rudely snatched from the protection of their
lovers, and the learned scribe--we blush to write it--received on the
very soles which had borne him to the summit of bliss the ignominious
blows of the bastinado.

From that day Mirza-Schaffy had felt indisposed to bestow his
affections on mortal woman, and since the sun of his hopes had set
dwelt serenely in the moonlight of remembrance. As Zuléikha, the
embodiment of all virtue and beauty, had loved him, he believed
himself to be an object of adoration to all feminine hearts, and
grimly resolved that all womankind must suffer in expiation of his own

During the winter there arrived another student from Germany, who,
becoming acquainted with Bodenstedt, arranged to share with him the
lessons in Tartar and Persian, which Mirza-Schaffy was pleased to call
"hours of wisdom." In course of time other friends joined the circle,
so that finally arose a formal divan, where the wise man of Gjändsha
discoursed less on personalities, dwelling chiefly on general
effusions of wisdom, interspersed with many a song. One of the latter
reads as though designed by Bodenstedt to indicate the relation borne
by Mirza-Schaffy to his own productions:

  Thou art of my song the begetter;
    Its drapery putteth my wand on;
  Thou yieldest the purest of marble,
    And I lay the sculpturing hand on.

  Thou givest the spirit, the essence:
    Me for utt'rance alone mak'st demand on--
  Oft my power's deficient, and madly
    Thy crude thoughts I haste to expand on.

Sundry songs extolling the beneficence of wine and earthly pleasure
arose at this period. Of these we find none more attractive than that
which owed its origin to a conversation held in the divan of wisdom
concerning certain Russians and Georgians who drank wine more freely
than the camels drank water, yet had gained no inspiration therefrom:

  From wine's fiery fascination
    From the goblet's mystic pleasure,
  Poison foams, and sweet refreshment,
  Beauty flows, and degradation,
    As the drinker's worth may measure,
  According to his brain's assessment.

  In debasement deeply sunken
    Lies the fool, through wine's might captur'd:
  When _he_ drinks becomes he drunken;
    When _we_ drink we are enraptured.
    Sparkling gleams of wit, worth dreaming,
    Flash from tongues like angel's seeming,
    And with ardor we are teeming,
  And alone with beauty drunken.

  Well resembles wine the shower
    Which to mire fresh mire amasses,
  But to fair fields brings a dower
    Rich in blessing as it passes.

One evening Bodenstedt discovered his worthy teacher singing before
a house on whose roof sat a graceful maiden, and from the man's whole
manner then and thereafter concluded that in the long-faithful heart
had been at last replaced the image of Zuléikha. And so it proved. On
the very evening when he was returning home with softened heart after
the recital of the joys and sorrows of his first love, Mirza-Schaffy's
attention had been arrested by a lovely maiden who, as he pushed
back his cap--solely, of course, to cool his heated brow--gave
incontestable evidences of being smitten with him. When he went to
his couch that night sleep refused to visit his eyelids, and as he
restlessly tossed to and fro, the image of Zuléikha haunting him with
reproachful mien, his thoughts turned ever to the peerless maiden who
menaced further fidelity to the old love. Ere morning dawned he had
resolved to break the spell, and for several days avoided the locality
of the fair enticer. But the attraction became finally too strong to
resist. He went, he saw the maiden, and she bestowed on him a glance
which rendered him her slave for life;

  A wond'rous glance hath met my eyes:
    The magic of this moment rare
  Worketh for aye a fresh surprise,
    A miracle beyond compare.

  A question, therefore, ask I thee--
    Pay heed, sweet life whom I adore--
  Was that fond glance bestowed on me?
    A token give, then, I implore.

  And round thee could my strong arm cling,
    Might I to thee life consecrate,
  Loud jubilees my heart would sing,
    And these to thee I'd dedicate.

The first interview presents decidedly a comical side. By a
confidential attendant Mirza-Schaffy was introduced on the roof
disguised in female costume, his face and flowing beard modestly
covered with a long veil. Luckily, he was not doomed long to such
undignified concealment, for he soon managed, through his beauty
and genius, to win favor in the eyes of the lady's mother, and she
promised to intercede in his behalf with the stern old father. The
latter, however, having eyes neither for beauty nor poetry, thought
only to demand what means of support the bold intruder had to offer
his daughter, and when he learned how small these were, withheld
his consent until the suitor could secure a professorship in some
institution of learning. Although loath to renounce his freedom,
Mirza-Schaffy determined for Hafisa's sake to make application, as he
had often been advised to do, at the Tiflis Gymnasium for the position
of teacher of Tartaric. But, alas! there was prepared for our poor
Mirza a humiliation second only to the bastinado. His reply was a
portentous document in the Russian language, of which he could not
read a word. Hafisa's father demanded sight of it, had it interpreted
by a learned mullah, and it proved to be a summons for the applicant
to appear at an appointed hour for examination. This was too much.
Mirza-Schaffy, the first wise man of the East, the pride of his race,
the pearl in the shell of poetry, to be examined in his own language!
Hafisa's father declared his belief that the mirza's wisdom was as
doubtful as his fortune, and the wise man himself began to wonder
whether his wisdom had not gone "pleasuring in the dusk of the
evening." Moreover, during the conference with the mullah certain
revelations came to light concerning the lack of orthodoxy in the
mirza's belief and the frequent slurs it was his wont to cast on the
powerful mullahs; and this set the old father hopelessly against him,
causing him to revoke all promise of possible consent. Such being
the case, Mirza-Schaffy had no heart to brave the humiliation of an
examination. Shortly after, however, he was honored with a call to the
new school at Gjändsha, and Hafisa's father dying about the same time,
all obstacles were removed to a union with the maiden of his choice.
And so with his bride he returned to his native place, and felt that
the summit of earthly bliss was attained.

Friedrich Bodenstedt has been a very prolific author, having published
several volumes of poetry, besides numerous romances, tales and
miscellaneous works. He is one of a committee of poets and men
of learning appointed not long since to retranslate the works of
Shakespeare. At present he is adding to his well-earned laurels
through his volume _Aus dem Nachlasse Mirza-Schaffys_. The book is
divided into seven parts, the first of which is dedicated to love.
Then there are songs of earthly pleasure, songs of consolation,
sayings of wisdom, stories in rhyme of Eastern romance, a series of
problems and a "bouquet of cypresses and roses."



  Look where a three-point star shall weave his beam
  Into the slumb'rous tissue of some stream,
  Till his bright self o'er his bright copy seem
  Fulfillment dropping on a come-true dream;
  So in this night of art thy soul doth show
  Her excellent double in the steadfast flow
  Of wishing love that through men's hearts doth go:
  At once thou shin'st above and shin'st below.
  E'en when thou strivest there within Art's sky
  (Each star must round an arduous orbit fly),
  Full calm thine image in our love doth lie,
  A Motion glassed in a Tranquillity.
  So triple-rayed, thou mov'st, yet stay'st, serene--
  Art's artist, Love's dear woman, Fame's good queen!



The heat of London in the midsummer of 1857, even to my American
apprehension, was intense. The noise of the streets oppressed me,
and perhaps the sight now and again of freshly-watered flowers which
beautify so many of the window-ledges, and which seem to flourish and
bloom whatever the weather, filled me the more with a desire for the
quiet of green fields and the refreshing shade of trees. I had just
returned from Switzerland, and the friends with whom I had been
journeying in that land of all perfections had gone back to their home
among the wealds and woods of Essex. I began to feel that sense of
solitude which weighs heavily on a stranger in the throng of a great
city; so that it was with keen pleasure I looked forward to a visit to
Mr. Kingsley. A most kind invitation had come from him, offering me "a
bed and all hospitality in their plain country fashion."

At four in the afternoon of a hot July day I started for Winchfield,
which is the station on the London and Southampton Railway nearest to
Eversley--a journey of an hour and a half. I took a fly at Winchfield
for Eversley, a distance of six miles. My way lay over wide silent
moors: now and then a quiet farmstead came in view--_moated granges_
they might have been--but these were few and far between, this part of
Hampshire being owned in large tracts. It was a little after six when
I drew near to the church and antique brick dwelling-house adjoining
it which were the church and rectory of Eversley. There were no other
houses near, so that it was evidently a wide and scattered parish.
Old trees shaded the venerable irregularly-shaped parsonage, ivy
and creeping plants covered the walls, and roses peeped out here and
there. Mr. Kingsley himself met me at the open hall-door, and there
was something in his clear and cheerful tone that gave a peculiar
sense of welcome to his greeting. "Very glad to see you," said he.
Then taking my bag from the fly, "Let me show you your room at once,
that you may make yourself comfortable." So, leading the way, he
conducted me up stairs and along a somewhat intricate passage to a
room in the oldest part of the house. It was a quaint apartment, with
leaden casements, a low ceiling, an uneven floor--a room four hundred
years old, as Mr. Kingsley told me, but having withal a very habitable
look. "I hope you'll be comfortable here," said my host as he turned
to go--"as comfortable as one can be in a cottage. Have you everything
you want? There will be a tea-dinner or a dinner-tea in about half
an hour." Then, as he lingered, he asked, "When did you see Forster

"Six weeks ago," I said--"in London. He had just received news of
the vacancy at Leeds, and at once determined to offer himself as the
Liberal candidate. He went to Leeds for this purpose, but subsequently
withdrew his name. I gather from his speech at the banquet his
supporters gave him afterward that this was a mistake, and that if he
had stood he would have been elected."

"Ah," said Kingsley, "I should like to see Forster in Parliament. He
is not the man, however, to make head against the _tracasseries_ of an
election contest."

Some other talk we had, and then he left me, coming back before long
to conduct me to the drawing-room. Two gentlemen were there--one a
visitor who soon took leave; the other, the tutor to Mr. Kingsley's
son. Mrs. Kingsley came in now and shook hands with me cordially, and
I had very soon the sense of being at one with them all. Our having
mutual friends did much toward this good understanding, but it was
partly that we seemed at once to have so much to talk of on the events
of the day, and on English matters in which I took keen interest.

India was naturally our first subject, and the great and absorbing
question of the mutiny. I told what the London news was in regard to
it, and how serious was the look of things. Kingsley said there must
be great blame somewhere--that as to the British rule in India, no man
could doubt that it had been a great blessing to the country, but
the individual Englishman had come very far short of his duty in
his dealings with the subject race: a reckoning was sure to come.
_Oakfield_ was mentioned--a story by William Arnold of which the scene
was laid in India, and which contained evidence of this ill-treatment
of the Hindoos by their white masters. Kingsley spoke highly of this
book. I said I thought it had hardly been appreciated in England.
Kingsley thought the reason was it was too didactic--there was too
much moralizing. Only the few could appreciate this: the many did not
care for it in a novel.

Our tea-dinner was announced: it was served in the hall. Mrs.
Kingsley spoke laughingly of their being obliged to make this their
dining-room. The talk at the table fell on American affairs. Sumner's
name was mentioned. I said he was in London, and that I had had a
long conversation with him a few days before. Would I give them his
address? they asked: they must have a visit from him. I said he would
be glad to visit them, I was sure, for when I told him I was coming
here he said he envied me. He was at present engaged in a round
of dinners--expected to go to France in August to stay with De
Tocqueville, but would be again in England in the autumn. Kingsley
spoke of Brooks's death--of the suddenness of it seeming almost a
judgment. I said Brooks, as I happened to know, was thought a good
fellow before the assault--that he really had good qualities, and
was liked even by Northern men. "So we have heard from others," said
Kingsley, "and one can well believe it. The man who suffers for a bad
system is often the best man--one with attractive qualities." Charles
I. and Louis XVI. were instances he gave to illustrate this. A recent
article in the _Edinburgh Review_ on slavery was spoken of. I said
it had attracted a good deal of attention with us, because we saw
immediately it could only have been written by an American. Of
slavery Mr. Kingsley spoke in calm and moderate words. I told him his
introductory chapter to _Two Years Ago_ showed that he appreciated the
difficulties with which the question was encumbered. He said it would
be strange if he did not see these difficulties, considering that he
was of West Indian descent (his grandfather had married a West Indian
heiress). He admitted that the result of emancipation in the West
Indies was not encouraging as it regarded the material condition
of the islands, especially of Jamaica, and he was quite able to
understand how powerfully this fact would weigh on our Southern
planters, and how it tended to close their ears to all anti-slavery
argument. They could hardly be expected to look beyond this test of
sugar-production to the moral progress of the black race which freedom
alone could ensure.

Our pleasant meal being over, we strolled out on the lawn and sat down
under one of the fine old trees, where we continued our talk about
slavery. Mr. Kingsley said he could quite believe any story he might
hear of cruelty practiced upon slaves. He knew too well his own
nature, and felt that under the influence of sudden anger he would be
capable of deeds as violent as any of which we read. This, of course,
was putting out of view the restraints which religion would impose;
but it was safe for no man to have the absolute control of others.

He left us to go into the house, and Mrs. Kingsley then spoke of his
parochial labors. She wished I could spend a Sunday with them--"I
should so like you to see the congregation he has. The common
farm-laborers come morning and afternoon: the reason is, he preaches
so that they can understand him. I wish you could have been with us
last Sunday, we had such an interesting person here--Max Müller, the
great linguist and Orientalist. But we can't have pleasant _meets_
here: we have only one spare room."

"How old is Max Müller?" I asked.

"Twenty-eight, and he scarcely looks to be twenty-two."

"How long has Mr. Kingsley been here?" I asked.

"Fifteen years--two years as curate, and then the living becoming
vacant, it was given to him."

She told me a funeral was to take place directly--that of a poor woman
who had been a great sufferer. "Ah, here it comes," she said.

There was the bier borne on men's shoulders and a little company
of mourners, the peasantry of the neighborhood, the men wearing
smock-frocks. They were awaiting the clergyman at the lichgate. Mr.
Kingsley appeared at the moment in his surplice, and the procession
entered the churchyard, he saying as he walked in front the solemn
sentences with which the service begins. It was the scene which I had
witnessed in another part of Hampshire some years before, when the
author of _The Christian Year_ was the officiating clergyman. Mrs.
Kingsley and I joined the procession and entered the church. It was a
small, oddly-arranged interior--brick pavements, high-backed pews,
the clerk's desk adjoining the reading-desk, but a little lower. Mr.
Kingsley read the service in a measured tone, which enabled him to
overcome the defect in his utterance noticeable in conversation. At
the grave the rest of the office was said, and here the grief of the
poor mourners overcame them. The family group consisted of the husband
of the deceased, a grown-up daughter and a son, a boy of fifteen. All
were much moved, but the boy the most. He cried bitterly--a long wail,
as if he could not be comforted. Mr. Kingsley tried to console him,
putting his arm over his shoulders. He said words of sympathy to the
others also. They went their way over the heath to their desolate
home. Mr. and Mrs. Kingsley spoke of the life of toil which had thus
ended, and of the patience with which long-continued bodily pain had
been borne. It was clear that the popular author was first of all a
parish priest.

We now went into his study, where he lighted a long pipe, and we then
returned to a part of the lawn which he called his quarter-deck, and
where we walked up and down for near an hour. What an English summer
evening it was!--dewy and still. Now and then a slight breeze stirred
in the leaves and brought with it wafts of delicate odors from the
flowers somewhere hidden in the deep shadows, though as yet it was not
night and the sweet twilight lay about us like a charm. He asked if
I knew Maurice. I did slightly--had breakfasted with him six weeks
before, and had seen enough of him to understand the strong personal
influence he exerted. "I owe all that I am to Maurice," said Kingsley,
"I aim only to teach to others what I get from him. Whatever facility
of expression I have is God's gift, but the views I endeavor to
enforce are those which I learn from Maurice. I live to interpret him
to the people of England."

A talk about the influence of the Oxford writers came next: on
this subject I knew we should not agree, though of course it was
interesting to me to hear Mr. Kingsley's opinion. He spoke with some
asperity of one or two of the leaders, though his chief objection was
to certain young men who had put themselves forward as champions of
the movement. Of Mr. Keble he spoke very kindly. He said he had at
one time been much under the influence of these writings. I mentioned
Alexander Knox as being perhaps the forerunner of the Oxford men.
"Ah," he said, "I owe my knowledge of that good man to Mrs. Kingsley:
you must talk with her about him." We joined the party in the
drawing-room, and there was some further conversation on this subject.

At about ten o'clock the bell was rung, the servants came in,
prayers were said, and the ladies (Mrs. Kingsley and their daughter's
governess) bid us good-night. Then to Mr. Kingsley's study, where
the rest of the evening was spent--from half-past ten to half-past
twelve--the pipe went on, and the talk--a continuous flow. Quakerism
was a subject. George Fox, Kingsley said, was his admiration: he read
his _Journal_ constantly--thought him one of the most remarkable men
that age produced. He liked his hostility to Calvinism. "How little
that fellow Macaulay," he said, "could understand Quakerism! A man
needs to have been in Inferno himself to know what the Quakers meant
in what they said and did." He referred me to an article of his on
Jacob Boehme and the mystic writers, in which he had given his views
in regard to Fox.

We talked about his parish work: he found it, he said, a great help to
him, adding emphatically that his other labor was secondary to this.
He had trained himself not to be annoyed by his people calling on him
when he was writing. If he was to be their priest, he must see them
when it suited them to come; and he had become able if called off from
his writing to go on again the moment he was alone. I asked him when
he wrote. He said in the morning almost always: sometimes, when much
pushed, he had written for an hour in the evening, but he always had
to correct largely the next morning work thus done. Daily exercise,
riding, hunting, together with parish work, were necessary to keep him
in a condition for writing: he aimed to keep himself in rude health.
I asked whether _Alton Locke_ had been written in that room. "Yes," he
said--"from four to eight in the mornings; and a young man was staying
with me at the time with whom every day I used to ride, or perhaps
hunt, when my task of writing was done."

A fine copy of St. Augustine attracted my attention on his
shelves--five volumes folio bound in vellum. "Ah," he said, "that _is_
a treasure I must show you;" and taking down a volume he turned to the
fly-leaf, where were the words "Charles Kingsley from Thomas Carlyle,"
and above them "Thomas Carlyle from John Sterling." One could
understand that Carlyle had thus handed on the book, notwithstanding
its sacred associations, knowing that to Kingsley it would have a
threefold value. My eye caught also a relic of curious interest--a
fragment from one of the vessels of the Spanish Armada. It lay on the
mantelpiece: I could well understand Kingsley's pleasure in possessing

At the breakfast-table the next morning we had much talk in regard to
American writers. Kingsley admitted Emerson's high merit, but thought
him too fragmentary a writer and thinker to have enduring fame. He had
meant that this should be implied as his opinion in the title he gave
to _Phaethon_--"Loose Thoughts for Loose Thinkers"--a book he had
written in direct opposition to what he understood to be the general
teaching of Emerson. I remarked upon the great beauty of some of
Emerson's later writings and the marvelous clearness of insight which
was shown in his _English Traits_. Kingsley acquiesced in this, but
referred to some American poetry, so called, which Emerson had lately
edited, and in his preface had out-Heroded Herod. Kingsley said the
poems were the production of a coarse, sensual mind. His reference, of
course, was to Walt Whitman, and I had no defence to make. Of Lowell,
Mr. Kingsley spoke very highly: his _Fable for Critics_ was worthy of
Rabelais. Mr. Froude, who is Kingsley's brother-in-law, had first made
him acquainted with Lowell's poetry. Hawthorne's style he thought was
exquisite: there was scarcely any modern writing equal to it. Of all
his books he preferred the _Blithedale Romance_.

We talked of Mr. Froude, whom Kingsley spoke of as his dearest friend:
he thought Froude sincerely regretted ever having written the _Nemesis
of Faith_. Mr. Helps, author of _Friends in Council_, he spoke of as
his near neighbor there in Hampshire, and his intimate friend. Mr.
Charles Reade he knew, and I think he said he was also a neighbor:
his _Christie Johnston_ he thought showed high original power. Mrs.
Gaskell we talked of, whose _Life of Charlotte Bronté_ had just then
been published: Mr. Kingsley thought it extremely interesting and
"slightly slanderous." He told me of the author of _Tom Brown's
School-days_, a copy of which, fresh from the publishers, was lying on
his table. Mr. Hughes is now so well known to us I need only mention
that Mr. Kingsley spoke of him as an old pupil of Arnold's and a
spiritual child of Maurice. He spoke most warmly of him, and offered
me a letter of introduction to him. I could not avail myself of this,
having so little time to remain in London.

I must mention, as showing further Mr. Kingsley's state of mind toward
Maurice, that he had named his son after him. He spoke of the boy as
being intended for the army: the family, he said, had been soldiers
for generations. "That is the profession England will need for the
next five-and-twenty years." Of Forster he said, "What a pity he had
not been put in the army at the age of eighteen!--he would have been a
general now. England has need of such men." I note this as showing
the curious apprehension of war which he, an Englishman, felt eighteen
years ago, and which he expressed to me, an American. How little
either of us thought of the struggle which men of English blood were
to engage in in three years from that time! How little I could dream
that one of the decisive battles of the world was so soon to be fought
in my own State, Pennsylvania!

Our morning was spent in all this varied talk, walking partly on the
lawn, partly in the study. His pipe was still his companion. He
seemed to need to walk incessantly, such was his nervous activity of
temperament. He asked me if it annoyed me for him to walk so much up
and down his study. The slight impediment in his speech one forgot as
one listened to the flow of his discourse. He talked a volume while
I was with him, and what he said often rose to eloquence. There was
humor too in it, of which I can give no example, for it was fine and
delicate. But what most impressed me was his perfect simplicity of
character. He talked of his wife with the strongest affection--wished
I could remain longer with them, if only to know her better. Nothing
could be more tender than his manner toward her. He went for her when
we were in the study, and the last half hour of my stay she sat with
us. She is one of five sisters who are all married to eminent men.

It occurs to me to note, as among my last recollections of our talk,
that I spoke of Spurgeon, whom I had heard in London a short time
before, and was very favorably impressed with. I could not but commend
his simple, strong Saxon speech, the charm of his rich full voice,
and above all the earnest aim which I thought was manifest in all he
uttered. Mr. Kingsley said he was glad to hear this, for he had been
told of occasional irreverences of Spurgeon's, and of his giving way
now and then to a disposition to make a joke of things. Not that he
objected altogether to humor in sermons: he had his own temptations
in this way. "One must either weep at the follies of men or laugh
at them," he added. I told him Mr. Maurice had spoken to me of Mr.
Spurgeon as no doubt an important influence for good in the land, and
he said this was on the whole his own opinion. He told me, however,
of teaching of quite another character, addressed to people of
cultivation mainly, and to him peculiarly acceptable. His reference
was to Robertson's _Sermons_: he showed me the volume--the first
series--just then published. The mention of this book perhaps led to
a reference by Mr. Kingsley to the Unitarians of New England, of whom
he spoke very kindly, adding, in effect, that their error was but
a natural rebound from Calvinism, that dreary perversion of God's
boundless love.

But I had now to say good-bye to these new friends, who had come to
seem old friends, so full and cordial had been their hospitality, and
so much had we found to talk of in the quickly-passing hours of my
visit. Mr. Kingsley drove me three miles on my way to Winchfield. His
talk with me was interspersed with cheery and friendly words to his
horse, with whom he seemed to be on very intimate terms. "Come and
see us again," he said as we parted: "the second visit, you know, is
always the best."




I have now lived in Paris two consecutive years, and during this time
the question has often been put to me, "How do you like Paris and the
Parisians?" That question I will now try to answer.

Like Paris? Of course I do--heartily and truly. Cold indeed must the
heart be that does not find space in its depths for a true affection
for the fair queen-city which welcomes all strangers so kindly and
hospitably, which has a smile for all, and which at the wide banquet
of her bounty sets forth food for every phase of mental hunger. Do you
wish to study? Her libraries lie open to your research--her monuments,
her galleries, her public institutions are given to your inspection,
freely and without price. Do you seek amusement? Paris, in that
respect, is like the rollicking heroine of _Barbe-Bleu:_ there is none
like Boulotte, "quand il s'agit de batifoler." Do you wish to hide
yourself in depths of unbroken quiet? There are in her very heart
lonely streets where scarce a cart ever penetrates, and in her suburbs
green shaded nooks where the spirit of Solitude reigns supreme.

Life runs on such smooth and well-oiled wheels for all humanity in
Paris that half the cares that torture us are cast aside as soon as
we enter her precincts. Take, for instance, the grand question of
housekeeping. Fancy living in a land where all the servants
are skilled and civil, if not all trustworthy and honest; where
washing-days and ironing-days and baking-days are unknown; where there
are no staircases to sweep down and no front-door steps to scour;
where rents and eating and all other household expenses may be gauged
in accordance with one's purse. If you wish to entertain, you may give
a soirée that will cost ten dollars if you cannot afford to give a
ball that costs five thousand. Nothing is _de rigueur_ in Paris. It
is neither incumbent upon you to be housed splendidly nor to feast
sumptuously--to drive your own carriage nor to entertain an army of
servants. "Do the best you can" is the motto of Parisian life. And
so it often happens that in a small room, up half a dozen flights
of stairs, with a cup of tea for sole refreshment and music or
conversation for sole amusement, one will find some of the pleasantest
society in Paris. You do not get champagne and boned turkey and the
German, but you hear sometimes a little music, such as one pays untold
gold to hear at the opera, or a fragment of declamation by some noted
elocutionist, or a new poem fresh from the pen of some celebrated
writer. And you have always conversation; that is to say, the wit and
sparkle of the wittiest and brightest nation on the face of the earth.
In a world that is becoming more and more a Paradise of Fools the
charm of sheer brain and brightness is irresistible. To live in such
an intellectual centre is in itself delightful. Paris is a veritable
_Foire aux Idées_. Its criticism, keen as the sword of Saladin,
overwhelming as the battle-axe of Coeur de Lion, is in itself a
study. It is not so much the intellectual productions of Paris as the
comments they call forth that are at once instructive and fascinating.

When we turn from the world of intellect to that of ordinary life
the same charm haunts our footsteps. Everything is so well done,
so gracefully and so winningly presented! The exquisite perfume of
refinement hangs about every trivial detail. Your washerwoman is a
lady, and your coalman a Chesterfield. If a Frenchman is ever rude, he
is rude with malice prepense and aforethought. He knows better, we may
be sure. Patrick may err on the score of politeness from ignorance,
but Alphonse is a beast only because he chooses to be bestial. All the
traditions of his race run counter to his conduct when he forgets the
supreme suavity that should characterize a Gaul.

And yet it is possible for an American--or rather an Anglo-Saxon--to
live for years in the midst of this brilliant, polished, fascinating
people, and never to feel specially interested in them, either
individually or nationally. What is the reason? Why is it that, loving
Paris like a second home, we do not take the Parisians to our hearts
as brothers and sisters, or at least as dear first cousins? The causes
are many and various. In the first place, the Parisians do not like
us. The popularity which Americans were said to possess in Paris has
vanished with the Empire--that is, if it really existed. It probably
was nothing more at any time than the courtesy shown by an astute
sovereign of a nation of shopkeepers to a nation of purchasers. To-day
Americans are not popular in Parisian society. It is almost impossible
that they should be. Our ideas, our social customs, our notions of
right and wrong, are diametrically opposed to all the social theories
of France. Our girls, with their free frank ways and their liberty of
speech and action, are so many disreputable horrors in Parisian eyes.
Madame la Comtesse de St. Germain would as soon think of taking her
daughters to see Schneider as of permitting them to associate with
young ladies who are allowed to receive morning calls from gentlemen
without the presence of their parents--who call the male friends of
their childhood by their first names--and who are suffered to witness
_Faust_ at the opera and _La Haine_ at La Gaîté. Americans, especially
wealthy ones, usually draw around them a vast circle of French
acquaintances, it is true, but these are mostly sponges and
adventurers, well born and well bred, it may be, but decidedly, to use
a vulgar but expressive American idiom, "on the make." Of the pure
and inner sanctuary of French society scarce a glimpse is afforded to
these alien eyes. It would not amuse them very much if it were,
for, by all accounts, this hallowed inner circle is as dull as it is
exclusive. The charm of French society is to be found in those salons
which are frequented by the kings of Parisian Bohemia--journalists,
poets, dramatists, artists--wherein the Republic is queen and Victor
Hugo a god.

Two great and ineradicable defects underlie the brightness and
fascination of the external part of French character--namely,
selfishness and insincerity. Perfect in manner, in dress, in grace,
in suavity, in sweetness it may be, the French are utterly and wholly
unreliable. They resemble the phantom woman in the story told by Leigh
Hunt, that was only a suit of clothes, with no face beneath the hood
and no body inside of the robes; or rather those malignant spirits
that look like fair women when seen in front, but when seen from
behind show only as hollow shells.

And the tradespeople, the bourgeoisie--your dressmaker, your milliner,
your tailor, your butcher and baker and candlestick-maker--skilled and
suave and generally charming--O heaven and earth! how they do lie!
Not occasionally, not when hard-pressed, not when truth will not do as
well, but persistently, calmly, eternally. "I swear to you, monsieur,"
will your Parisian say, "that your work shall be done in two hours,"
Esteem yourself fortunate if it is finished in two days: very probably
two weeks will see it still uncompleted. Send for a workman to execute
some little job about your house. "He will come at once--yes, at
once." Days roll round, and he never comes at all. Your dressmaker
agrees to make you a dress for a certain price: your bill comes
home for half as much again. An American in Paris ordered an extra
door-key, giving the original key as a pattern. The key was to cost
four francs. Here is a copy of the bill as presented:

For taking off lock (a process wholly unnecessary,
   by the by),                                       1-1/2
For putting it on again,                             1-1/2
Workman's time,                                      1
Journey from shop (about half a square),             1
Key,                                                 4
     Total                                           9

Another American sent for a bell-hanger to inspect an electric bell
which was thought to be out of order, but which proved on inspection
to be all right. He got a bill of five francs, whereof one item ran
thus: "_For looking at the bell_, 2 francs." He had not touched the
thing, be it borne in mind.

I cannot refrain from here making answer to a remark too often
heard from American lips, that America is as immoral as France--that
American society is every whit as depraved as the French. It is _not_.
The immorality of America is as a festering wound on an otherwise
healthy body: the immorality of France is like a scrofulous taint that
poisons the whole life-current. One gets weary and heartsick with the
old eternal song, the everlasting theme, which is sung and told and
dramatized and written about and painted--that flies in your face at
every corner and stares up at you from every inch of printed paper,
every square of colored canvas, in the whole nationality. And to sum
up at last this, "a woman's opinion," I will freely state that the
longer I live in France the more I admire the Parisians and the less I
like them.



The Collegio Romano was always worth a visit, because it contained the
celebrated Kircherian Museum and the admirable observatory presided
over by Father Secchi, the world-celebrated astronomer. But these are
matters sufficiently treated of by the guide-books, and may be left
to them. Of the story of the enormous building they have less to tell,
though there is much of curious interest to be told. But neither is
that my object on the present occasion. My purpose is to speak of the
strangely-changed fortunes and destinies of the old historic pile, and
of what it now is and is to be. But little in Rome, as we all
know, has remained unchanged in these strange latter days. But few
things--at least few material things--have experienced such a change
as the Collegio Romano. The "Collegio Romano" was in fact nothing
more than the principal convent of the Jesuits. The establishment was
founded immediately after the institution of the order, and mainly by
the care and energy of Saint Francisco Borgia, the third general
of the order. The present building, however, was raised in the
pontificate of Gregory XIII. by the Florentine architect Ammanati,
the first stone having been laid in 1582. It is an enormous mass of
building--enormous even among the huge structures for which Rome above
all other cities is remarkable--situated near the church of the Gesù
and not far from the Piazza di Venezia. There is nothing remarkable in
its outward appearance save the vast size, the object of the builders
having evidently been only to adapt it in a business-like way to
the purposes to which it was destined. These included not only the
provision of a residence for the fathers of the order resident
in Rome, and for the all-but all-powerful general of the terrible
order--the "Black Pope," as the Romans were wont to call him--but also
all the _locale_ necessary for a very large educational establishment,
whence the building took its name.

The Jesuits, like all other members of the almost innumerable monastic
establishments in Rome, have, as we all know, been turned out of their
homes, their property has been--or rather is being--sold, and the
convents have become national property. Many of these are vast
buildings, but no one of them is to be compared with the great Jesuit
convent, which was the central home and head-quarters of the "Company
of Jesus." And a memorable day it was in Rome, and a very singular
sight, when, the dreaded fathers of the terrible "Company" having
taken their departure, the few remaining goods and chattels in the
convent were sold by public auction. Few and not of much value were
the articles to be sold; for the fathers are not men to take no heed
of those shadows which coming events cast before them, and they had
long foreseen that their day in Rome was at an end, and had contrived
to leave as little as might be to the spoiler. None the less was it a
strange sight, as I say, to see the _profanum vulgus_ of the buyers
of old furniture, and the still more numerous herd of the curious,
looking on with very diversified feelings--some with bitterness enough
in their hearts--pushing and tramping through those noble corridors
and vast halls and secret cells, on which no profane gaze had rested
for more than three hundred years.

There has been abundance of doubt, but no difficulty, in disposing of
the great number of buildings which have thus come into the possession
of the nation. Many of the smaller convents have been sold in the same
manner as the other property of the ousted communities. But this has
not been done--and indeed could hardly have been done--in the case of
the larger buildings; and there has been a competition very much in
the nature of a scramble for the appropriation of them by the heads of
the several governmental departments. That of Public Instruction, now
worthily represented by Signor Bonghi, has succeeded in laying hands
on perhaps the grandest prize of all, the great Jesuit establishment
of the Collegio Romano; and, looking to the uses to which it is being
put by Signor Bonghi, it may, I think, be said that it could not have
been better bestowed. Under his auspices it is intended to assume, and
is indeed rapidly assuming, the functions of the still vaster pile of
building in Great Russell street, London, known to all the world as
the British Museum, as will be seen from the following statement of
the purposes it is intended to serve and of the various matters to be
housed in it.

On the ground-floor there is already established a "Museo
Scolastico-Pedagogico"--a museum of all the means and appurtenances
that are used, or have been used, in different countries for the ends
and purposes of instruction. This is the idea and the creation of
Signor Bonghi; and it will, I think, be admitted that it is a very
happy one and likely to be fruitful in good results. A visit to it is
more interesting than might perhaps at first sight be imagined. I may
mention that on asking the very competent and enlightened director of
the establishment what people he considered to have done most and as
foremost in the work of educating the masses, he said that the
Germans had done most theoretically and in the way of thinking on
the philosophy of the matter, but that the Americans had done most
practically in the way of improving the material means for popular

On the first and second floors the great national library, the
"Biblioteca Vittorio Emmanuele," is--or, it would perhaps be more
accurate to say, will be--placed and made accessible to the public.
At Florence there exists the celebrated Magliabecchian Library, which
when Florence became the capital of Italy was called the National
Library--somewhat ungratefully, it will probably be thought, to the
learned and indefatigable collector who gave his life and his means to
the formation of it, and then bequeathed it to his native city. And I
am inclined to believe that this library is still, for all the general
working purposes of a nineteenth-century student, the best in Italy.
In Rome, when the Eternal City in its turn became the capital of a
New Italy, there existed nothing that deserved to be called a national
library, and the present minister of Public Instruction set about
doing what was possible to supply the want. The Company of Jesus
possessed a fine and valuable library, containing about one hundred
and seventy thousand volumes. This, when the Jesuits were turned out,
was declared national property, and it forms the nucleus of the new
Victor Emmanuel Library. While the Jesuits inhabited their old home it
was arranged in one very fine hall built in the form of a cross,
which will continue to be one of the principal receptacles, in the
new establishment. It was in the middle of 1874 that the Italian
government took possession of this collection. To this have been added
forty-eight other libraries, the former property of the suppressed
convents of the city and provinces of Rome. They were placed for the
nonce in the cells which had been inhabited by the Jesuit fathers. The
mass of books thus collected amounts to about four hundred thousand
volumes. It will be seen at once that the labor of reducing to
order, classifying and arranging such a confused mass must be truly
herculean. But the first librarian of the Victor Emmanuel Library,
Signor Carlo Castellani, well known in the literary world as a
palaeographer of great eminence, is laboring at the colossal task with
an energy and a zeal that have already accomplished much, and is daily
making sensible advances in the work. It is, however, also evident
that four hundred thousand volumes thus collected must include an
immense number of duplicates; and, worse still, that (as may be
readily supposed from the sources whence the books have come) one
special branch of general literature will be represented in very undue
proportion. Of course, the greater portion of the conventual
libraries was theological. It may be presumed that classical and (old)
historical literature will be found to exist, the former in tolerable
completeness (so far as regards old and in many cases now obsolete
editions), and the latter in considerable abundance. But of modern
literature little or nothing can be expected, even of Italian, and
still less of any other language. Among the number of volumes which
has been mentioned there are some seven or eight thousand manuscripts,
and perhaps an equal number of the editions of the fifteenth century,
which go far to make the library an interesting one to the learned and
to the student and lover of bibliography, but are of very little avail
toward rendering the collection worth much as a national _working_
library. The question then arises, What means has Italy of procuring
such a library for her capital? Something may be probably expected
from the liberality of her Parliament in furtherance of this great
national object. But for the present, in the depressed (though
improving) state of the Italian finances, this cannot be much. There
exists in Italy a law similar to that on the same subject in England,
by which every publisher is obliged to deposit one copy of every book
published in the national library. But this copy at present is sent to
the Magliabecchian Library at Florence. Signor Castellani hopes that
the privilege may be transferred, as seems but reasonable, to Rome.
But I do not see why it should be necessary thus to impoverish
Florence to enrich the capital. In England the law requires eleven
copies which are distributed to the great libraries of the three
kingdoms. It is true that this exaction has sometimes been complained
of, and it is said that in the case of very costly illustrated
works the tax is a very heavy one, and that in some instances it
has operated to make the production of certain books impossible. And
perhaps it may be reasonable to make some regulation by which such
works should be exempted from the obligation. But in ordinary cases
the tax is an almost inappreciable one, and, such as it is, must of
course fall ultimately on the writers and readers of books--mainly on
the latter--for the benefit of which classes libraries exist. It seems
to me, therefore, that a somewhat larger number of copies than one or
two might reasonably and advantageously be exacted from publishers.
And if three or four copies were delivered to the great Roman library,
there would be the means of effecting very advantageous exchanges with
other countries. I asked Signor Castellani what increase in the number
of volumes the _locale_ now at the disposal of the library would be
capable of accommodating. He said that there would be room for about
seven hundred thousand volumes, evidently a quite inadequate provision
for the future. Many years will not elapse before the measure which
is now demanded at the British Museum--viz., the removal of all
the various collections housed there to other localities, and
the dedication of the entire building to the library--will become
necessary at the old Collegio Romano. Vast as the building is, the
entirety of it is not at all too large for the Roman library of the
future. Or--since we _are_ allowing our thoughts to consider
events which cast their shadows before as if they were accomplished
facts--may it not perhaps be found better some of these days to move
the whole of the present collection to the Vatican, to be united with
the colossal and almost unknown hoards there buried in one collection?
As it is, a new reading-room, after the model of that existing at the
National Library in Paris, is about to be built in the courtyard of
the Collegio Romano. The classification, arrangement and methods
of working the library will be copied in great measure from those
introduced by Mr. Panizzi at the British Museum. Unlike the liberal
practice of the great German libraries, no volume will be on any
account permitted to leave the library. I was sorry to find that in
one all-important respect the Roman practice as regards the national
library will differ from that of London. The collection is being
catalogued in slips, to be kept, after the fashion of booksellers,
in boxes made for the purpose, and there is no present intention of
making any catalogue in volumes accessible to the public. Of course it
is impossible to allow the public to have access to the slips; and
all who have ever really used a great library know but too well that a
library the catalogue of which is not accessible to the student is at
least _half_ useless. Even putting aside the numerous cases in which
an inquirer knows of the existence of such or such a work, but is not
aware of the author's name, and cannot therefore ask for or obtain
the book in question, it happens more often than not that a person
inquiring on any given subject finds his best guide to the available
sources of information in the catalogue.

I have not left myself room, I fear, to say anything on the present
occasion of the other highly interesting collections which are
at present lodged, or in the course of being placed, under the
all-sheltering roof of the Collegio Romano. I must content myself with
simply enumerating them, with the hope of giving some account of them
at some future time. I may briefly state, then, that the celebrated
Kircherian Museum, formed toward the close of the sixteenth century
by the learned Jesuit father Kircher, still occupies the rooms on the
ground-floor, with a somewhat improved arrangement, which it occupied
when the fathers of the Company inhabited the building. The collection
of ancient Roman marbles discovered in the excavations of the buried
city of Ostia have been brought thence, and arranged in rooms also
on the third floor--a fact which strikes one as not a little to the
credit of the handiwork of Ammanati, the Florentine architect. Also
on the third floor there is an exceedingly interesting collection,
of which I hope to speak somewhat more at length another time. It
is called a palaeo-ethnographical museum, and consists of a large
collection of the implements of all sorts of the people belonging to
the pre-historic period, together with a similar gathering of articles
used by the uncivilized races of the present day. The interest of
such a comparative study as is here suggested is, as may be
readily understood, very great. On the fourth floor there is a very
considerable collection of objects illustrating Italian art of the
ante-Roman period, and also a Museum of Industrial Art, conceived on
the plan of the English School of Art at South Kensington.



In these days of trades unionism and strikes an account of the germ of
such associations in this country is not without interest. So far
back as 1806 a remarkable trial arising out of such a combination took
place before the recorder of Philadelphia and a jury. It lasted three
days and excited extraordinary interest. Jared Ingersoll and Joseph
Hopkinson were counsel for the prosecution, and Caesar A. Rodney and
Walter Franklin for the defence.

The defendants, eight in number, were indicted for not being content
to work at the usual prices, but contriving to increase and augment
them, and for endeavoring to prevent by threats, menaces and other
unlawful means other artificers from working at the usual rate, and
uniting into a club or combination to make and ordain unlawful and
arbitrary rules to govern those engaged in their trade, and unjustly
exact great sums of money by means thereof.

The evidence went to show in the clearest manner that a system of
frightful thralldom had been put in force. A witness named Harrison
stated that when he reached the United States in 1794 he found this
system of terrorism prevalent. He went to work for a Mr. Bedford,
and presently got a hint that if he did not join the association of
journeymen shoemakers he was liable to be "scabbed," which meant that
men would not work in the same shop, nor board or lodge in the same
house, nor would they work at all for the same employer. The case of
this man seemed exceptionally hard. He made shoes exclusively, and
when "a turn-out came to raise the wages on boots" he remonstrated,
pleading that shoes did not enter into the question, and urging that
he had a sick wife and a large family. But it was all to no
purpose. He then resolved that he would turn a "scab" unknown to the
association, and continue his work; but having a neighbor whom it was
impossible for him to deceive, he went to him and said that he knew
his circumstances, and that his family must perish or go to "the
bettering-house" unless he continued to work. This neighbor, Swain,
replied that he knew his condition was desperate, but that a man
had better make any sacrifice than turn a "scab" at that time. He
presently informed against him, and Mr. Bedford (his employer) was
warned that he must discharge his "scabs." He refused, saying
that, "Let the consequence be what it might, we should sink or swim
together." However, one Saturday night, when all but Harrison and a
man named Logan had left him, Bedford's resolution gave way, and he
exclaimed, "I don't know what the devil I am to do: they will ruin
me in the end. I wish you would go to the body and pay a fine, if not
very large, in order to set the shop free once more." The fine offered
was refused, and Mr. Bedford's shop remained "under scab" for a year.
Still, Mr. Bedford, who must have been a very plucky fellow, would not
give Harrison up, but removed in 1802 to Trenton. Harrison stated that
although he could not, had Mr. Bedford given him up, have got work
anywhere else, and that he might have ground him down to any terms,
yet he (Bedford) very nobly always gave him full price. At length,
by paying a fine, Harrison became reconciled to his persecutors, and
Bedford's shop was once more free.

William Forgrave said that "the name of a 'scab' is very dangerous:
men of this description have been hurt when out at night." He had been
threatened, and joined the association from fear of personal injury.
A vast deal more of evidence was given and eloquent speeches delivered
by counsel, but the foregoing gives the sum and substance of the case.

In the course of the summing up Recorder Levy said: "To make an
artificial regulation is not to regard the excellence of the work or
quality of the material, but to fix a positive and arbitrary price,
governed by no standard, but dependent on the will of the few who are
interested.... What, then, is the operation of this kind of conduct
upon the commerce of the city? It exposes it to inconveniences, if
not to ruin: therefore it is against the public welfare. How does it
operate upon the defendants? We see that those who are in indigent
circumstances, and who have families to maintain, have declared
here on oath that it was impossible for them to hold out. They were
interdicted from all employment in future if they did not continue to
persevere in the measures taken by the journeymen shoemakers. Does not
such a regulation tend to involve necessitous men in the commission
of crimes? If they are prevented working for six weeks, it might lead
them to procure support for their wives and children by burglary,
larceny or highway robbery."

The jury found the defendants "guilty of a combination to raise their
wages," and the court sentenced them to pay a fine of eight dollars
each, with costs of suit, and to stand committed till paid.


One of our popular clergymen, in a late Sunday discourse upon the
Bible in the public schools, labored to show that the question was a
very unimportant one. because none were much interested in it except
infidels and politicians--a sufficiently absurd position for a
professed teacher of the people to assume. Doubtless it is a folly to
fan into flame the slumbering embers of a quarrel, but it is a greater
folly to pretend, in the face of the common sense of the people, that
all signs of fire are extinguished or never existed where there is
so much inflammable material about and the "wind of doctrine" running

This question of secular education for our public schools is in fact
one of the most difficult of solution. Chicago has met it in a summary
manner by excluding the Bible from all her free schools, but this does
not settle the question, because both believers and unbelievers in the
various creeds of the churches admit that there should be provision
made for the training of the moral faculties of the children in
our public schools. Many of them, especially in cities and large
manufacturing centres, come out of the dark alleys where intemperance,
poverty and ignorance tend to arrest the development of their higher
sentiments. For the unfortunate children of such homes the sessions of
the public school afford the only glimpse of a better life, the
only chance for moral and æsthetic culture. Protestants, as a rule,
honestly believe that the reading of the Bible at the opening of
school tends to waken and develop the moral aspirations of the child.
Just as honestly and conscientiously do Catholics disbelieve in the
efficacy of Bible reading, while they boldly condemn secular education
as a principle. Father Muller, priest of the congregation of the Most
Holy Redeemer, in his work upon public school education, published
three years ago in Boston, says: "The language of the Vicar of Christ
in regard to godless education is very plain and unmistakable"....
"Our Holy Father, Pope Pius IX., has declared that Catholics cannot
approve of a system of educating youth unconnected with the Catholic
faith and the power of the Church".... "The voice of common sense, the
voice of sad experience, the voice of Catholic bishops, and especially
the voice of the Holy Father, is raised against and condemns the
public school system as a huge humbug, injuring and not promoting
personal virtue and good citizenship, and as being most pernicious to
the Catholic faith and life and all good morals. A pastor, therefore,
cannot maintain the contrary opinion without incurring guilt before
God and the Church. He cannot allow parents to send their children to
such schools of infidelity. He cannot give them absolution and say,
_Innocens sum_."

According to the _American Annual Cyclopædia_ for 1875, the Roman
Catholic Church has in the United States 1 cardinal, 8 archbishops, 54
bishops, 4872 priests, 4731 churches, 1902 chapels, 68 colleges, 511
academies, and a lay membership numbering over 6,000,000. This shows
a great and increasing prosperity of that Church in this country; yet
our institutions have nothing to fear from that prosperity unless
the principles of Catholicity support the "one-man power" against the
doctrine of the sovereignty of the people, the foundation-principle
of republicanism. Patriotic Catholic citizens claim that there is no
conflict. They love their Church and their country, and will labor to
preserve peace and harmony. Yet how can harmony be maintained while
a large and increasing number of our tax-paying citizens, accepting
their Church and its head as infallible, are forced by their spiritual
allegiance to send their children to Catholic schools, though at
the same time paying taxes to support those "godless" public schools
condemned by the infallible Church? To take the ground that these
two powers, the Catholic Church and our government, do not conflict,
because one is a spiritual and the other a civil power, is simply
absurd. We see that they _do_ conflict. The pope interferes with the
civil rights of our citizens when--as, for example, in his encyclical
letter of December 8, 1874--he commands all Catholics to treat the
liberty of speech, of the press, of conscience and of worship, the
separation of Church and State and the secular education of youth, as
"_reprobatas, proscriptas, atque damnatas_."


A recent lecture of the Rev. Dr. Storrs in New York, before the
Society for the Advancement of Science and Art, must have been very
interesting to an ordinary audience, but for one composed of professed
promoters of learning it could hardly have been sufficiently exact to
give general satisfaction if the newspaper reports of it were at all
correct. They represent the lecturer as saying that an immense number
of books date back to 1450. Now, the first printed book bearing a date
is the _Psalter_ of Füst and Schoeffer, 1457. A _portion_ of the
Bible was printed by Gutenberg and Füst in 1450, but the work was
so expensive and so imperfect that it was abandoned. In 1452, after
Schoeffer joined the firm, another Bible is supposed to have been
printed, but no copy of it is known to exist. Of course it is well
known that many of the earliest printed books are without date, but
none could have been printed before 1450; and there is no proof, we
believe, that the Bible said to be of 1455 bore that or any date.
In that year the firm of Gutenberg, Füst and Schoeffer dissolved. L.
Grégoire in his _Dictionnaire Encyclopédique_, published in Paris in
1817, says that there are only three or four copies of the Füst
Bible known to exist. Dr. Storrs, however, says, without giving his
authority, that there are fifteen.

The sole idea of the early printers was to imitate exactly the
manuscript characters of the scribes. The initial letters of the
Bibles and the numbers of the chapters were therefore added with a pen
in blue and red ink alternately; and there is not the slightest doubt
that these first books were palmed off upon an unsuspecting public as
manuscripts. All the servants or employés of Füst and Schoeffer were
put under solemn oath to divulge nothing of the secret concerning
printing. It is to the policy which the first printers exerted to
conceal their art that we owe the tradition of the Devil and Dr.
Faustus. Füst having printed off quite a number of Bibles, and had the
large initial letters added by hand, he took them to Paris and sold
them for about fifty dollars apiece. The scribes demanded about ten
times that sum, and they earned the money, for it must have been an
herculean task to copy, as they did, every letter of the Bible with
such exquisite care, and then draw and illuminate the heads of the
chapters and the initial letters. It was a marvel how this new man
could produce these ponderous books at so low a rate. And then the
uniformity of the letters and the pages increased the wonder, until
the cry of "sorcerer" was raised: complaints before the magistrates
were made against him, his lodgings were searched and a great number
of copies were found and confiscated. The populace in their ignorance
and superstition declared that he was in league with the devil, and
that the red ink with which the books were embellished was his blood.
It is a satisfaction to know that the Parliament of Paris passed an
act to discharge the sorcerer from all prosecution in consideration of
_the usefulness of his art_.



An Irish clergyman is said to have discovered last autumn a charming
antidote to flies, which it is only a pity he could not have lighted
on rather earlier in the season. Having occasion to change his abode,
he sent on his window-plants, calceolarias and geraniums, to that
which he intended to occupy several days before he went himself, and
immediately found that he was pestered with flies, whereas previously
he had enjoyed perfect immunity from the nuisance. A more agreeable
remedy cannot be conceived. Next autumn let our windows be a blaze
of brilliancy, so that all visitors to the Centennial may say, at all
events, "There are no flies in Philadelphia."


Shakespeare Hermeneutics; or, The Still Lion. Being an Essay towards
the Restoration of Shakespeare's Text. By C.M. Ingleby, M.A., LL.D.
London: Trübner & Co.

Setting aside those who care merely to see a play on the stage, it may
be said that of Shakespeare there are readers and readers; and both
classes have rights and privileges which should be treated with
deference. The reader who studies every line should not fleer at
him who studies not at all. Have we not a right to read a play of
Shakespeare's through in two short hours, surrendering ourselves,
unvexed by logic or grammar, to the enchantment which scenes and
phrases and words conjure up as they glide through our minds? When all
the atmosphere is tremulous with airs from heaven or blasts from hell,
must we, forsooth! stop and philosophically investigate what Hamlet
means by a "_dram of eale"_? Must we lose a scruple of the sport by
turning aside to find out what Malvolio means by the "_lady of the
Strachey_"? If Timon chooses to invite _Ullorxa_ to his feast, are we
to bar the door because no one ever heard the name before? No: let us
have our Shakespeare (is he not as much ours as yours?) free from
all notes, on a page purified from the musty cobwebs of black-letter
pedants. We want no jargon of bickering critics to drown the music
that sings at Heaven's gate. Give us those immortal plays just
as Shakespeare wrote them, that we may read them without let or

But, fair and softly, is not this the very point at which we are
striving? With all our twistings and turnings, our patchings and
piecings, have we aught else in view than to decipher just what
Shakespeare wrote? Where are Shakespeare's exact words to be found?
Not in the so-called Quartos; for they are said by Shakespeare's
intimate and dear friends to have been "maimed and deformed by the
frauds and stealthes of injurious impostors," and taken down perhaps
from the lips of some of the actors, bribed by stoops of liquor at
_Yaughan's_ (and from the gibberish here and there set down it is to
be feared that the potations were at times pottle deep). Nor can
we take the Folio in which all his dramas were first collected:
Shakespeare never saw a line of it; for seven years he had been hid in
death's dateless night when that volume was printed. What, then, is
to be done? The Quartos and Folios are all the authority we have,
and none of them present what can be held to have been undeniably
Shakespeare's exact words. In dealing with the text we must never
for a moment forget that there stands, and will for ever stand, as
interpreters between us and Shakespeare, a crew of dishonest actors
or of more or less ignorant compositors. Is such a text, thus
transmitted, to be held in reverence so deep that not a syllable is to
be changed for fear of the cry that we are tampering with the words of
Shakespeare? Is the curse in his epitaph on the mover of his bones to
hang over his text? Small reverence for Shakespeare does it betoken,
in our opinion, to believe this. Rather, let us regard these pages of
the Folio as what they virtually are in so many cases--namely, as but
little better than our modern proof-sheets. And they should be
dealt with accordingly by a modern critic; but only on one condition
precedent: he must be Shakespeare's peer. In default of this we can
only humbly erase here, and reverently suggest there, summoning to our
aid all possible knowledge, lest in plucking up the tares we pluck up
the wheat also.

And this is really all that textual criticism for the last hundred
and forty years has aimed at--merely to get at what Shakespeare really
wrote. We know that he could not write sheer nonsense, and yet at
times sheer nonsense mows at us from his printed page. Those who
clamor for Shakespeare's text, pure and simple, divested of all notes
and annotations, have no idea how much thought and time have been
expended on every line,--nay, on every word, on every comma,--in the
text of any good modern edition of his dramas, and with the single
aim, be it remembered, of revealing exactly what the poet wrote.

It must not, however, be thought that since the original texts of
Shakespeare's plays are so corrupt, any criticaster has good leave to
expunge or expand at will, under a roving commission to hack and
hew wheresoever and howsoever it may please him, under the plea of
restoring the text. On the contrary, since we cannot fulfill the
condition precedent of being Shakespeare's peers, we must exercise the
greatest caution in changing a reading of the Quartos or Folios, lest
in condemning the text as corrupt we pass judgment on our own wit.

  He who the sword of Heaven would bear
  Must be as holy as severe.

And we must be very sure that the passage is corrupt before we set
about amending it. First and last, we must remember that primal elder
law, that of two readings the more difficult is to be preferred.
_Durior lectio preferenda 'st_ should be a frontlet between our brows.
The weaker reading or the plainer meaning is more likely to be a
printer's interpretation of what he failed to comprehend.

But to understand Shakespeare's meaning in a degree that will
authorize us to amend the text, we must understand Shakespeare's
speech; that is, we must be thoroughly familiar with the words and
usages of Elizabethan English; and not only with Elizabethan words and
phrases, but also, as far as possible, with the very pronunciation.

This fundamental principle is well enforced and illustrated in Dr.
Ingleby's book, which was originally published in one of the Annuals
of the German Shakespeare Society under the title of _The Still Lion_,
a title suggested by a passage in De Quincey, where the danger of
meddling with Milton's text is compared to that of meddling with
a still lion, which may be neither dead nor sleeping, but merely
shamming. Dr. Ingleby substitutes Shakespeare for Milton, and
maintains that the mass of Shakespearian emendations that have
been proposed during the last twenty years are needless; and that
corruptions have been assumed where none exist, owing to the limited
knowledge possessed by the critics. Thus, for instance, in the _Comedy
of Errors_ (I. i. 152) the Duke bids Aegeon to "seek thy _help_
by beneficial _help_." At once there is a chorus from all of
us, sciolists, of "Corruption!" "Sophistication!" "Cacophonous
repetition!" etc. etc. "But gently, friends," says Dr. Ingleby: "may
not 'help' have borne a different or a special meaning in Elizabethan
English?" and turning to medical writers and books on medicine of
the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (among them Dr. John Hall,
Shakespeare's own son-in-law), he proves that _heal_ and _help_ having
a common origin, _help_ was used by Shakespeare's contemporaries as a
synonym for _cure, deliverance_. The text, then, is perfectly correct,
Ægeon being bid to seek his _deliverance_ from the doom of death by
the _help_ of what friends he can find. The lion's slumbers were here
of the lightest, and happy men be our dole to have escaped with whole
skins. Thus Dr. Ingleby takes up passage after passage of Shakespeare
that has been pronounced corrupt, and shows that the fault imputed to
it lies not in the text, but in the lack of requisite knowledge, be it
of language, of usage, of manners and customs, or even of Elizabethan
spelling and grammar, on the part of the critic. The mischief that
ignorance has done in the past is irrevocable, but such impressive
warnings as Dr. Ingleby gives us may help, in both senses of the
word, in the future. We may be spared, hereafter, the infliction
of numberless "felicitous" conjectures, on which the following is
scarcely a parody. It was proposed many years ago in sport by the late
deeply-lamented Chauncey Wright, and, as far as we know, has never yet
appeared in print, though it may live to be gravely noted down in
some future Variorum, being a genuine echo of many a note by Zachary
Jackson or Andrew Beckett. In _As You Like It_ occur the familiar
lines, "And thus our life ... finds ... books in the running brooks,
sermons in stones," etc. "This is stark nonsense, and must be
remedied. Who ever found a _book_ in a _rivulet_ or a _sermon_ in
a _rock?_ It is clearly an error of a most ignorant or careless
compositor, who has transposed the nouns. Read, '_stones in the
running brooks and sermons in books_.' Sense is vindicated. Stones
are frequently found in brooks. David chose smooth _pebbles from
the brook_, and sermons are quite frequently printed and sold in a
book-form. By this restoration Shakespeare's wonderful observation
is," etc., etc., etc.

Great as is the service done in particular cases, the most valuable
part of _The Still Lion_ is the moral which it points, that
"successful emendation is the fruit of severe study and research on
the one hand, and of rare sensibility and sense on the other." And in
our opinion Dr. Ingleby might have gone even farther, and demanded for
it a spark of that creative power which is genius. But it must not be
inferred that all the difficult passages in Shakespeare can be thus
explained away. Despite all learning, or acuteness, or genius, there
remains a considerable number that have never yet been solved, and
never will be, in general acceptation, till the crack of doom. These,
however, bear so small a proportion to the vast mass of perplexing
riddles that have been satisfactorily settled that, like an infinitely
small quantity in mathematics, they may be neglected. Therefore, let
not him who wishes to read his Shakespeare unalloyed by notes and
textual comment, despise the painful critic or accuse him of playing
at loggats with the words of Shakespeare. It is through the labors of
critics that the text is in such a shape that the work-a-day reader
can read it at all. In the Folios and Quartos we see Shakespeare
as through a glass darkly, but, thanks to those drudges, the
commentators, in numberless places we can now see him face to face.

The Orphan of Pimlico, and other Sketches, Fragments and Drawings.
By William Makepeace Thackeray. With some notes by Anne Isabella
Thackeray. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co.

The artistic sense--the vivid conception of things and persons in
their external aspects and with a constant regard to their groupings
and the effect upon the spectator--made itself peculiarly prominent
in all that Thackeray wrote. It is not that he gives us elaborate
descriptions: this, indeed, is the resource of writers who are lacking
in the faculty mentioned, and are consequently obliged to reach the
result, if at all, by inferior means. His power lay in the selection
of traits which were strictly characteristic, in making every act or
phrase indicative of individuality. An astute critic, therefore--one
gifted with that keenness of vision to which the exercise of the
office unhappily implies a claim--should have been able to infer
Thackeray's dexterity with the pencil from the methods of his literary
work. There was, however, no room for conjecture on this point, as the
fact was early a matter of notoriety, and many of the illustrations
in his books were known to be from his own sketches. Recently, too, a
publication containing some of his earliest and slightest work in this
way attracted considerable attention, with the fortunate result of
calling out the volume before us, which embodies the best specimens
of his skill reproduced by a method that renders every line an exact
transcript, and accompanied by facsimiles of whatever written text or
comment appeared on the same page. Many of them partake more or less
of the nature of caricature, and if the execution alone be considered,
they show that Thackeray might, in default of talents of a different
order, have pursued this line with as much success as some of its
cleverest cultivators. But what distinguishes the drolleries in
this book is the inventiveness shown in the conception and the
characteristic ingenuity of the details. The designs for "Playing
Cards," in which the tray of spades is represented by the figures of
Johnson, Boswell and Gibbon, and a scene at "Dr. Birch's School" does
duty for the seven of hearts, are especially felicitous in this way;
while a different but not less familiar trait is exhibited in
some carefully-drawn "Initial Letters," embodying charming bits of
child-life and quaint allusions to well-known scenes in history and
romance. "Othello" in the form of "Dandy Jim of Souf Caroline," and
"The Little Assessor of Tübingen"--a mysterious personage of whom
the author refused to reveal the secret--are equally amusing and
suggestive. There are some half hundred subjects of the same or
other kinds in the volume, which, as a mere picture-book, is full of
entertainment for readers of all ages, while for those with whom the
name of Thackeray is a dear household word it will have a still higher
charm, calling up as it does so many associations connected with the
author and the man, and seeming like a fragment of the biography which
has been vainly looked for.


The Illustrated Annual Register of Rural Affairs for 1876. By J.J.
Thomas. Albany: Luther Tucker & Son.

The Chevalier Casse-Cou: The Red Camellia. By Fortuné Du Boisgobey.
Translated from the French by Thos. Picton. New York: Robert M. De

Household Elegancies. By Mrs. C.S. Jones and Henry T. Williams. New
York: Henry T. Williams.

The Children's Treasury of English Song. By Francis Turner Palgrave.
New York: Macmillan & Co.

Stories from the Lips of the Teacher. By O.B. Frothingham. New York:
G.P. Putnam's Sons.

Songs of Three Centuries. Edited by J.G. Whittier. Boston: James R.
Osgood & Co.

Roddy's Reality. By Helen Kendrick Johnson. New York: G.P. Putnam's

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science - Volume 17, No. 099, March, 1876" ***

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