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Title: The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 01, No. 06, April, 1858
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 01, No. 06, April, 1858" ***

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       *       *       *       *       *

VOL. I.--APRIL, 1858.--NO. VI.

       *       *       *       *       *



That period of history between the 20th of March and the 28th of June,
1815, being the interregnum in the reign of Louis the Eighteenth,
caused by the arrival of Napoleon from Elba and his assumption of the
government of France, is known as "The Hundred Days."

It is as interesting as it was eventful, and has been duly chronicled
wherever facts have been gathered to gratify a curiosity that is not yet
weary of dwelling on the point of time which saw the Star of Destiny
once more in the ascendant before it sank forever.

Whatever is connected with this remarkable epoch is worthy of
remembrance, and whoever can add the interest of a personal experience,
though it be limited and unimportant, should be satisfied, in the
recital, to adopt that familiar form which may give to his recollections
the strongest impress of reality.

I was at that time a schoolboy in Paris. The institution to which I was
attached was connected with one of the National Lyceums, which were
colleges where students resided in large numbers, and where classes from
private schools also regularly attended, each studying in its respective
place and going to the Lyceum at hours of lecture or recitation. All
these establishments were, under Napoleon, to a certain degree military.
The roll of the drum roused the scholar to his daily work; a uniform
with the imperial button was the only dress allowed to be worn; and the
physical as well as the intellectual training was such, that very little
additional preparation was required to qualify the inmate of the Lyceum
for the duties and privations of the soldier's life. The transition
was not unnatural; and the boy who breakfasted in the open air, in
midwinter, on a piece of dry bread and as much water as he chose to pump
for himself,--who was turned adrift, without cap or overcoat, from the
study-room into the storm or sunshine of an open enclosure, to amuse
himself in his recess as he best might,--whose continual talk with his
comrades was of the bivouac or the battle-field,--and who considered the
great object of life to be the development of faculties best fitted to
excel in the art of destruction, would not be astonished to find himself
sleeping on the bare ground with a levy of raw conscripts.

I was in daily intercourse with several hundred young men, and it
may not be uninteresting to dwell a moment on the character of my
companions, especially as they may be considered a fair type of the
youth of France generally at that time. It is, moreover, a topic with
which few are familiar. There were not many Americans in that country at
that period. I knew of only one at school in Paris beside myself.

If the brilliant glories of the Empire dazzled the mature mind of
age, they wrought into delirium the impulsive brain of youth, whose
impressions do not wait for any aid from the judgment, but burn into the
soul, never to be totally effaced. The early boyhood of those with whom
I was associated had been one of continual excitement. Hardly had the
hasty but eloquent bulletin told the Parisians that the name of another
bloody field was to be inscribed among the victories of France, and the
cannon of the Invalides thundered out their notes of triumph, when again
the mutilated veterans were on duty at their scarcely cooled pieces and
the newswomen in the streets were shrilly proclaiming some new triumph
of the imperial arms. Then came the details, thrilling a warlike people,
and the trophies which symbolized success,--banners torn and stained
in desperate conflict, destined to hang over Christian altars until the
turning current of fortune should drift them back,--parks of artillery
rumbling through the streets, to be melted into statue or triumphal
column,--and, amid the spoils of war, everything most glorious in Art to
fill that wondrous gallery, the like of which the eye of man will never
look upon again. At last, in some short respite of those fighting days,
came back the conquerors themselves, to enjoy a fleeting period of rest
and fame ere they should stiffen on Russian snows, or swell the streams
which bathe the walls of Leipsic, or blacken, with countless dead, the
plains stretching between the Rhine and their own proud capital.

By no portion of the people were these things gathered with such avidity
and regarded with such all-absorbing interest as by the schoolboys of
Paris. Every step of the "Grand Army" was watched with deep solicitude
and commented upon with no doubtful criticism. They made themselves
acquainted with the relative merit of each division, and could tell
which arm of the service most contributed to the result of any
particular battle. They collected information from all sources,--from
accounts in newspapers, from army letters, from casual conversation with
some maimed straggler fresh from the scene of war. Each boy, as he
made his periodical visit to his family, brought back something to the
general fund of anecdote. The fire that burned in their young bosoms was
fed by tales of daring, and there was a halo round deeds of blood which
effectually concealed the woe and misery they caused. There was but one
side of the medal visible, and the figures on that were so bold and
beautiful that no one cared for or thought of the ugly death's-head on
the reverse. The fearful consumption of human life which drained the
land, sweeping off almost one entire generation of able-bodied men, and
leaving the tillage of the fields to the decrepitude of age, feebly
aided by female hands, gave ample opportunity to gratify the ardent
minds panting to exchange the tame drudgery of school and college for
the limited, but to them world-wide, authority of the subaltern's sword
and epaulet. There seemed to them but one road to advancement. The
profession of arms was the sole pursuit which opened a career bounded
only by the wildest dreams of ambition. What had been could be; and the
fortunate soldier might find no check in the progressive honors of his
course, until his brows should be encircled by the insignia of royalty.
It required more than mortal courage for a young man to intimate a
preference for some more peaceful occupation. A learned profession might
be sneeringly tolerated; but woe to him who spoke of agriculture,
or commerce, or the mechanic arts! There was little comfort for the
luckless wight who, in some unguarded moment, gave utterance to such
ignoble aspirations. Henceforth he was, like the Pariah of India, cut
off from human sympathy, and the young gentlemen whose tastes and
tendencies led them to prefer the more aristocratic trade of butchery
felt that there was a line of demarcation which completely and
conclusively separated them from him.

This predilection for military life received no small encouragement
from the occasional visit of some young Caesar, whose uniform had been
tarnished in the experiences of one campaign, and who returned to his
former associates to indulge in an hour of unalloyed glorification.

Napoleon, when he entered the Tuileries after prostrating some hostile
kingdom, never felt more importance than did the young lieutenant in his
service when he passed the ponderous doors which ushered him into the
presence of his old schoolfellows. What a host of admirers crowded
around him! What an honor and privilege to be standing in the presence,
and even pressing the hand or rushing into the embrace, of an officer
who had really seen bayonet-charges and heard the whistling of
grapeshot! How the older ones monopolized the distinguished visitor, and
how the little boys crowded the outer circle to catch a word from the
military oracle, proudly happy if they could get a distant nod of
recognition! And then the questions which were showered upon him, too
numerous and varied to be answered. And how he described the forced
marches, and the manoeuvring, and the great battle!--how the cannonade
seemed the breaking up of heaven and earth, and the solid ground shook
under the charges of cavalry; how, yet louder than all, rang the
imperial battle-cry, maddening those who uttered it; how death was
everywhere, and yet he escaped unharmed, or with some slight wound which
trebled his importance to his admiring auditors. He would then tell how,
after hours of desperate fighting, the Emperor, seeing that the decisive
moment had arrived, ordered up the Imperial Guard; how the veterans,
whose hairs had bleached in the smoke of a hundred battles, advanced to
fulfil their mission; how with firm tread and lofty bearing, proud
in the recollections of the past and strong in the consciousness of
strength, they entered the well-fought field; and how from rank to rank
of their exhausted countrymen pealed the shout of exultation, for
they knew that the hour of their deliverance had come; and then, with
overwhelming might, all branches of the service, comprised in that
magnificent reserve, swept like a whirlwind, driving before them
horse and foot, artillery, equipage, and standards, all mingled in
irremediable confusion.

With what freedom did our young hero comment on the campaign, speaking
such names as Lannes and Ney, Murat and Massena, like household words!
He did not, perhaps, state that the favorable result of things was
entirely owing to his presence, but it might be inferred that it was
well he threw in his sword when the fortunes of the Empire trembled in
the balance.

Under such influences, and with the excitement produced by the
marvellous success of the French armies, it is not singular that young
men looked eagerly forward to a participation in the prodigies and
splendors of their time,--that they should turn disdainfully from the
paths of honest industry, and that everything which constitutes the true
wealth and greatness of a state should have been despised or forgotten
in the lurid and blood-stained glare of military glory, which cowered
like an incubus on the breast of Europe. The battle-fields were beyond
the frontiers of their own country; the calamities of war were too far
distant to obtrude their disheartening features; and no lamentations
mingled with the public rejoicings. Many a broken-hearted mother mourned
in secret for her son lying in his bloody grave; but individual grief
was disregarded in the madness which pervaded all classes, vain-glorious
from repeated and uninterrupted success.

But the time had come when the storm was to pour in desolation over the
fields of France, and the nations which had trembled at her power were
to tender back to her the bitter cup of humiliation. The unaccustomed
sound of hostile cannon broke in on the dreams of invincibility which
had entranced the people, and deeds of violence and blood, which had
been complacently regarded when the theatre of action was on foreign
territory, seemed quite another thing when the scene was shifted to
their own vineyards and villages.

The genius of Napoleon never exhibited such vast fertility of resources
as when he battled for life and empire in his own dominions. Every foot
of ground was wrested from him at an expense of life which thinned the
innumerable hosts pressing onward to his destruction. He stood at bay
against all Europe in arms; and so desperately did he contend against
the vast odds opposed to him, and so rapidly did he move from one
invading column to another, successively beating back division upon
division, that his astonished foes, awed by his superhuman exertions,
had wellnigh turned their faces to the Rhine in panic-stricken retreat.
But the line of invasion was so widely extended that even his ubiquity
could not compass it. His wonderful power of concentration was of little
avail to him when the mere skeletons of regiments answered to his call,
and, along his weakened line, the neglected gleanings left by the
conscription, now hastily garnered in this last extremity, greeted him
in the treble notes of childhood. The voices of the bearded men, which
once hailed his presence, were hushed in death. They had shouted his
name in triumph over Europe, and it had quivered on their lips when
parched with the moral agony. Their bones were whitening the sands of
Egypt, the harvests of Italy had long waved over them, their
unnumbered graves lay thick in the German's Fatherland, and
the floods of the Berezina were yet giving up their unburied
dead. The remnant of that once invincible army did all that
could be done; but there were limits to endurance, and exhaustion
anticipated the hour of combat. Men fell dead in their ranks, untouched
by shot or steel; and yet the survivors pressed on to take up the
positions assigned by their leader, who seemed to be proof against
either fatigue or despair. His last bold move, on which he staked his
empire, was a splendid effort, but it failed him. It was the daring play
of a desperate gamester, and nearly checkmated his opponents. But when,
instead of pursuing him, they marched on Paris, he left his army to
follow as it could, and hastened to anticipate his enemies. When about
fifteen miles from Paris, he received news of the battle of Montmartre
and the capitulation of the city. The post-house where he encountered
this intelligence was within sight of the place where I passed my
vacations. I often looked at it with interest, for it was there that the
vision first flashed before him of his broken empire and the utter ruin
which bade farewell to hope. He had become familiar with reverses. His
veteran legions had perished in unequal strife with the elements, or
melted away in the hot flame of conflict; his most devoted adherents
had fallen around him; yet his iron soul bore up against his changing
fortunes, and from the wrecks of storm and battle there returned

  -------"the conqueror's broken car,
  The conqueror's yet unbroken heart."

But the spirit which had never quailed before his enemies was crushed
by the desertion of his friends. He had now to feel that treason and
ingratitude are attendants on adversity, and that the worshippers of
power, like the Gheber devotee, turn their faces reverently towards the
rising sun.

There are few things in history so touching as the position of Napoleon
at Fontainebleau, during the few days which preceded his abdication
and departure for the Island of Elba. Nearly all his superior officers
forsook him, not even finding time to bid him adieu. Men whom he had
covered with wealth and honors, who had most obsequiously courted his
smiles, and been most vehement in their protestations of fidelity, were
the first to leave him in his misfortune, forgetting, in their anxiety
to conciliate his successor, to make the slightest stipulation for the
protection of their benefactor. He was left in the vast apartments of
that deserted palace, with hardly the footsteps of a domestic servant to
break its monastic stillness; and, for the first time in his eventful
life, he sat, hour after hour, without movement, brooding over his
despair. At last, when all was ready for his departure, he called up
something of his old energy, and again stood in the presence of what
remained of the Imperial Guard, which was faithful to the end. These
brave men had often encircled him, like a wall of granite, in the hour
of utmost peril, and they were now before him, to look upon him, as they
thought, for the last time. He struggled to retain his firmness, but
the effort was beyond human resolution; his pride gave way before his
bursting heart, and the stern vanquisher of nations wept with his old

Napoleon was gone. His empire was in the dust. The streets of his capital
were filled with strangers, and the volatile Parisians were almost
compensated for the degradation, in their wonder at the novel garb and
uncouth figures of their enemies. The Cossacks of the Don had made their
threatened "hurra," and bivouacked on the banks of the Seine. Prussian
and Austrian cannon pointed down all the great thoroughfares, and by
their side, day and night, the burning match suggested the penalty of
any popular commotion. The Bourbons were at the Tuileries, and France
appeared to have moved back to the place whence she had started on her
course of redemption. At length, slowly and prudently, the allied armies
commenced their homeward march, and the reigning family were left to
their own resources, to reconcile as they could the heterogeneous
materials stranded by the receding tide of revolution. But concession
formed no part of their character, and reconciliation was an unknown
element in their plan of government. They took possession of the throne
as though they had only been absent on a pleasure excursion, and,
ignoring twenty years of _parvenu_ glory, affected to be merely
continuing an uninterrupted sovereignty. The pithy remark of Talleyrand,
that "they had learned nothing and forgotten nothing," was abundantly
verified. Close following in their wake, came hordes of emigrants
famished by long exile and clamorous for the restitution of ancient
privileges. There was nothing in common between them and the men of the
Republic, or of the Empire. They assumed an air of superiority, which
the latter answered with the most undisguised contempt. Ridicule, that
fearful political engine, which, especially in France, is sufficient to
batter down the hopes of any aspirant who lays himself open to it, and
which Napoleon himself, in his greatest power, feared more than foreign
armies or intestine conspiracies, was most unsparingly directed against
them. The print-shops exposed them in every possible form of caricature,
the theatres burlesqued their pretensions, songs and epigrams
contributed to their discomfiture, and all the ingenuity of a witty
and laughter-loving people was unmercifully poured out upon this
resurrection of antediluvian remains. Their royal patrons came in for a
full share of the general derision, but they seemed entirely unmindful
that there was such a thing as popular opinion, or any other will than
their own. There were objects all around them which might have preached
to them of the uncertainty of human grandeur and the vanity of kingly
pride, reminding them that there is but a step from the palace to the
scaffold, which step had been taken by more than one of their family.
The walls of their abode were yet marked by musket-balls, mementos of
a day of appalling violence, and from the windows they could see the
public square where the guillotine had permanently stood and the
pavement had been crimsoned with the blood of their race. They had
awakened from a long sleep, among a new order of men, who were strangers
to them, and who looked upon them as beings long since buried, but
now, unnaturally and indecorously, protruded upon living society. They
commenced by placing themselves in antagonism to the nation, and erected
a barrier which effectually divided them from the people. The history of
the Republic and the Empire was to be blotted out; it was a forbidden
theme in their presence, and whatever reminded them of it was carefully
hidden from their legitimate vision. The remains of the Old Guard were
removed to the provinces or drafted into new regiments; leaders, whose
very names stirred France like the blast of a trumpet, were almost
unknown in the royal circle; and the great Exile was never to be
mentioned without the liability to a charge of treason.

During all this time of change, the youth of France, shut up in schools
and colleges, kept pace with the outer world in information, and
outstripped it in manifestations of feeling. I can judge of public
sentiment only by inferences drawn from occasional observation, or the
recorded opinions of others. I believe that many did not regret the fall
of Napoleon, being weary of perpetual war, and hoping that the accession
of the Bourbons would establish permanent peace. I believe that those
who had attained the summit of military rank were not unwilling to pass
some portion of their lives in the luxury of their own homes. I believe
that there were mothers who rejoiced that the dreaded conscription had
ended, and that their sons were spared to them. I believe all this,
because I understood it so to be. But whatever may have been the hopes
of the lovers of tranquillity, or the wishes of warriors worn out in
service, or the maternal instincts which would avert the iron hand
clutching at new victims for the shrine of Moloch, I can answer that the
boys remained staunch Bonapartists, for I was in the midst of them, and
I have the fullest faith that those about me were exponents of the whole
generation just entering on the stage of action. During the decline of
the Empire, when defeat might be supposed to have quenched the fire of
their enthusiasm, they remained unchanged, firmly trusting that glory
would retrace her steps and once more follow the imperial eagles. And
now, when their idol was overthrown, their veneration had not diminished
nor wavered. Napoleon, with his four hundred grenadiers, at Elba, was
still the Emperor; and those who, as they conceived, had usurped his
government, received no small share of hatred and execration. Amidst
abandonment and ingratitude, when some deserted and others reviled him,
the boys were true as steel. It was not solely because the career which
was open to them closed with his abdication, but a nobler feeling of
devotion animated them in his hour of trial, and survived his downfall.

Many of our instructors were well satisfied with the new state of
things. Some of the older ones had been educated as priests, and were
officiating in their calling, when the Revolution broke in upon them,
trampling alike on sacred shrine and holy vestment. The shaven crown was
a warrant for execution, and it rolled beneath the guillotine, or fell
by cold-blooded murder at the altar where it ministered. Infuriated
mobs hunted them like bloodhounds; and the cloisters of convent and
monastery, which had hitherto been disturbed only by footsteps gliding
quietly from cell to chapel, or the hum of voices mingling in devotion,
now echoed the tread of armed ruffians and resounded with ribaldry and
imprecations. An old man, who was for a time my teacher, told me many a
tale of those days. He had narrowly escaped, once, by concealing himself
under the floor of his room. He said that he felt the pressure, as
his pursuers repeatedly passed over him, and could hear their avowed
intention to hang him at the next lamp-post,--a mode of execution not
uncommon, when hot violence could not wait the slow processes of law.

These men saw in the Restoration a hope that the good old times would
come back,--that the crucifix would again be an emblem of temporal
power, mightier than the sword,--that the cowled monk would become the
counsellor of kings, and once more take his share in the administration
of empires.

But if they expected to commence operations by subjecting their pupils
to their own legitimate standard, and to bring about a tame acquiescence
in the existing order of things, they were wofully mistaken.
Conservatism never struggled with a more determined set of radicals.
Their life and action were treason. They talked it, and wrote it, and
sang it. There was no form in which they could express it that they left
untouched. They covered the walls with grotesque representations of the
royal family; they shouted out parodies of Bourbon songs; and there was
not a hero of the old _régime_, from Hugh Capet down, whose virtues were
not celebrated under the name of Napoleon. It was in vain that orders
were issued not to mention him. They might as well have told the young
rebels not to breathe. "Not mention him! They would like to see who
could stop them!" And they yelled out his name in utter defiance of
regulation and discipline.

Wonder was occasionally expressed, whether the time would come which
would restore him to France. And now "the time had come, and the man."

While the assembled sovereigns were parcelling out the farm of Europe,
in lots to suit purchasers, its late master decided to claim a few acres
for his own use, and, as he set foot on his old domain, he is said to
have exclaimed,--"The Congress of Vienna is dissolved!"

It was a beautiful afternoon of early spring, when a class returned from
the Lyceum with news almost too great for utterance. One had in his hand
a coarse, dingy piece of paper, which he waved above his head, and
the others followed him with looks portending tidings of no ordinary
character. That paper was the address of Napoleon to the army, on
landing from Elba. It was rudely done, the materials were of the most
common description, the print was scarcely legible,--but it was headed
with the imperial eagle, and it contained words which none of his old
soldiers could withstand. How it reached Paris, simultaneously with the
intelligence of his landing, is beyond my comprehension; but copies of
it were rapidly circulated, and all the inhabitants of Paris knew its
contents before they slept that night.

I know of no writer who has so thoroughly understood the wonderful
eloquence of Napoleon as Lord Brougham. He has pronounced the address
to the Old Guard, at Fontainebleau, "a masterpiece of dignified and
pathetic composition"; and the speech at the Champ de Mars, he says,
"is to be placed amongst the most perfect pieces of simple and majestic
eloquence." Napoleon certainly knew well the people with whom he had to
deal, and his concise, nervous, comprehensive sentences told upon French
feeling like shocks of a galvanic battery. What would have been absurd,
if addressed to the soldiers of any other nation, was exactly the thing
to fire his own with irresistible energy. At the battle of the Pyramids
he said to them, "Forty centuries look upon your deeds," and they
understood him. He pointed to "the sun of Austerlitz," at the dawn of
many a decisive day, and they felt that it rose to look on their
eagles victorious. If the criterion of eloquence be its power over the
passions, that of Napoleon Bonaparte has been rarely equalled. It was
always the right thing at the right time, and produced precisely the
effect it aimed at. It was never more apparent than in the address in
question. There were passages which thrilled the martial spirit of the
land, and quickened into life the old associations connected with days
of glory. Marshal Ney said, at his trial, that there was one sentence[A]
in it which no French soldier could resist, and which drew the whole of
his army over to the Emperor.

[Footnote A: "La victoire marchera au pas de charge."]

Such was the paper, which was read amidst the mad demonstrations of
my schoolfellows. Their extravagance knew no limits; studies were
neglected; and the recitations, next morning, demonstrated to our
discomforted teachers that the minds of their pupils had passed the
night on the march from Cannes to Paris.

The court journals spoke lightly of the whole matter, pronounced the
"usurper" crazy, and predicted that he would be brought to the capital
in chains. There were sometimes rumors that he was defeated and
slain, and again that he was a prisoner at the mercy of the king. The
telegraphic despatches were not made public, and the utmost care was
practised by the government to conceal the fact that his continually
increasing columns were rapidly approaching. There appeared to be no
alteration in the usual routine of the royal family, and there was no
outward sign of the mortal consternation that was shaking them to the
centre of their souls. The day before the entrance of the Emperor, I
happened to be passing through the court-yard of the Tuileries, when an
array of carriages indicated that the inmates of the palace were about
to take their daily drive. As my position was favorable, I stopped to
look at the display of fine equipages, and soon saw part of the family
come down and go out, as I supposed, for their morning recreation. It
was, however, no party of pleasure, and they did not stop to take breath
until they had passed the frontiers of France. They had information
which was unknown to the public, and they thought it advisable to quit
the premises before the new lessee took possession.

The next afternoon, my father, who was at that time in Paris, called for
me, told me that a change was evidently about to take place, and wished
me to accompany him. As we passed through the streets, the noise of our
carriage was the only sound heard. Most of the shops were closed; few
persons were abroad, and we scarcely met or passed a single vehicle. As
we drew near the Tuileries the evidences of life increased, and when we
drove into the Place du Carrousel, the quadrangle formed by the palace
and the Louvre, the whole immense area was filled with people; yet the
stillness was awful. Men talked in an undertone, as they stood grouped
together, apparently unwilling to communicate their thoughts beyond
their particular circle. The sound of wheels and the appearance of the
carriage caused many to rush towards us; but, seeing strangers, they let
us pursue our way until we drew up near the Arch of Triumph.

It was a strange sight, that sea of heads all around us heaving in
portentous silence at the slightest incident. They felt that something,
they hardly knew what, was about to take place. They were ignorant of
the exact state of things; and as the royal standard was still on the
palace, they supposed the king might be there. Now and then, a few
officers, having an air of authority, would walk firmly and quickly
through the crowd, as though they knew their errand and were intent on
executing it. Again, a band of Polytechnic scholars, always popular with
the mob, would be cheered as they hurried onward. Occasionally, small
bodies of soldiers passed, going to relieve guard; and as they bore
the Bourbon badge, they were sometimes noticed by a feeble cry of
allegiance. At last, a drum was heard at one of the passages, and a
larger number of troops entered the square. They were veteran-looking
warriors, and bore upon them the marks of dust-stained travel. Their
bronzed faces were turned towards the flag that floated over the
building, and, as they marched directly towards the entrance, the
multitude crowded around them, and a few voices cried, "Vive le Roi!"
The commanding officer cast a proud look about him, took off his cap,
raised it on the point of his sword, showing the tricolored cockade, and
shouted, "Vive l'Empereur!" The charm was broken; and such a scene as
passed before me no man sees twice in this world. All around those armed
men there burst a cry which, diverging from that centre, spread to
the outer border, till every voice of that huge mass was shrieking in
perfect frenzy. Those nearest to the soldiers rushed upon them, hugging
them like long-lost friends; some danced, or embraced the man next to
them; some laughed like maniacs, and some cried outright. The place,
where a few minutes before there arose only a confused hum of suppressed
whisperings, now roared like a rock-bound sea-coast in a tempest. As if
by magic, men appeared decorated with tricolored ribbons, and all joined
with the soldiers in moving directly toward the place where the white
flag was flapping its misplaced triumph over eyes which glared at it in
hatred and hands which quivered to rend it piecemeal. Their wishes were
anticipated; for the foremost rank had scarcely reached the threshold
of the palace, when down went the ensign of the Bourbons, and the
much-loved tricolor streamed out amidst thunder shouts which seemed to
shake the earth.

A revolution was accomplished. One dynasty had supplanted another;
and an epoch, over which the statesman ponders and the historian
philosophizes, appeared to be as much a matter-of-course sort of thing
as the removal of one family from a mansion to make room for another.
In this case, however, the good old custom of leaving the tenement in
decent condition was neglected; the last occupants having been too
precipitate in their departure to conform to the usages of good
housekeeping by consulting the comfort and convenience of their
successor. On the contrary, to solace themselves for the mortification
of ejection, the retiring household pocketed some of the loose articles,
denominated crown jewels, which were afterwards recovered, however, by a
swap for one of the family, who was impeded in his retreat and flattered
into the presumption that he was worth exchanging.

We alighted from our carriage and passed through the basement-passage of
the palace into the garden. We walked to the further end, encountering
people who had heard the shouting and were hurrying to ascertain its
meaning. At a bend of the path we met Mr. Crawford, our Minister at
Paris, with Mr. Erving, U.S. Minister to Spain, and they eagerly
inquired, "What news?" My father turned, and, walking back with them a
few steps to where the building was visible, pointed to the standard at
its summit. Nothing more was necessary. It told the whole story.

I left them and hurried back to the institution to which I belonged. I
was anxious to relate the events of the day, and, as I was the only one
of the pupils who had witnessed them, I had a welcome which might well
have excited the jealousy of the Emperor. As far as the school was
concerned, I certainly divided honors with him that evening. It was,
however, a limited copartnership, and expired at bedtime.

Napoleon entered the city about eight o'clock that night. We were nearly
two miles from his line of progress, but we could distinctly trace it
by the roar of voices, which sounded like a continuous roll of distant

I saw him, two days after, at a window of the Tuileries. I stopped
directly under the building, where twenty or thirty persons had
assembled, who were crying out for him with what seemed to me most
presumptuous familiarity. They called him "Little Corporal,"--"Corporal
of the Violet,"--said they wanted to see him, and that he _must_ come to
the window. He looked out twice during the half-hour I staid there, had
on the little cocked hat which has become historical, smiled and nodded
good-naturedly, and seemed to consider that something was due from him
to the "many-headed" at that particular time. Such condescension was not
expected or given in his palmy days, but he felt now his dependence on
the people, and had been brought nearer to them by misfortune.

It was said, at the time, that he was much elated on his arrival, but
that he grew reserved, if not depressed, as his awful responsibility
became more and more apparent. He had hoped for a division in the Allied
Councils, but they were firm and united, and governed only by the
unalterable determination to overwhelm and destroy him. He saw that
his sole reliance was on the chances of war; that he had to encounter
enemies whose numbers were inexhaustible, and who, having once dethroned
him, would no longer be impeded by the terror of his name. There was,
besides, no time to recruit his diminished battalions, or to gather the
munitions of war. The notes of preparation sounded over Europe, and
already the legions of his foes were hastening to encircle France with
a cordon of steel. The scattered relics of the "Grand Army" which had
erected and sustained his empire were hastily collected, and, as they in
turn reached Paris, were reviewed on the Carrousel and sent forward to
concentre on the battle-ground that was to decide his fate. No branch of
art was idle that could contribute to the approaching conflict. Cannon
were cast with unprecedented rapidity, and the material of war was
turned out to the extent of human ability. But he was deficient in
everything that constitutes an army. Men, horses, arms, equipage, all
were wanting. The long succession of dreadful wars which had decimated
the country had also destroyed, beyond the possibility of immediate
repair, that formidable arm which had decided so many battles, and which
is peculiarly adapted to the impetuosity of the French character. The
cavalry was feeble, and it was evident, even to an unpractised eye, as
the columns marched through the streets, that the horses were unequal to
their riders. The campaign of Moscow had been irretrievably disastrous
to this branch of the service. Thirty thousand horses had perished in
a single night, and the events which succeeded had almost entirely
exhausted this indispensable auxiliary in the tactics of war.

The expedients to which the government was reduced were evident in
the processions of unwashed citizens, which paraded the streets as a
demonstration of the popular determination to "do or die." Whatever
could be raked from the remote quarters of Paris was marshalled before
the Emperor. Faubourgs, which in the worst days of the Revolution had
produced its worst actors, now poured out their squalid and motley
inhabitants, and astonished the more refined portions of the metropolis
with this eruption of semi-civilization.

[To be continued.]





I can no longer complain that I see no one but Kate, for she has an
ardent admirer in one of our neighbors. He comes daily to watch her, in
the Dumbiedikes style of courtship, and seriously interferes with our
quiet pursuits. Besides this "braw wooer," we have another intruder upon
our privacy.

Kate told me, a fortnight ago, that she expected a young friend of hers,
a Miss Alice Wellspring, to pay her a visit of some weeks. I did not
have the ingratitude to murmur aloud, but I was secretly devoured by

How irksome, to have to entertain a young lady; to be obliged to talk
when I did not feel inclined; to listen when I was impatient and weary;
to have to thank her, perhaps fifty times a day, for meaningless
expressions of condolence or affected pity; to tell her every morning
how I was! Intolerable!

Ten chances to one, she was a giggling, flirting girl,--my utter
abhorrence. I had seldom heard Lina speak of her. I only knew that she
and her half-brother came over from Europe in the same vessel with my
sister, and that, as he had sailed again, the young lady was left rather
desolate, having no near relatives.

Miss Wellspring arrived a week ago, and I found that my fears had been
groundless. She is an unaffected, pretty little creature,--a perfect
child, with the curliest chestnut hair, deep blue eyes, and the
brightest cheeks, lips, and teeth. She has a laugh that it is a
pleasure to hear, and a quick blush which tempts to mischief. One wants
continually to provoke it, it is so pretty, and the slightest word of
compliment calls it up.

What the cherry is to the larger and more luscious fruits, or the lily
of the valley to glowing and stately flowers, or what the Pleiades
are among the grander constellations, my sister's _protégée_ is among
women;--it is ridiculous to call her Kate's _friend_. Many men would
find their ideal of loveliness in her. She would surely excite a tender,
protecting, cherishing affection. But where is there room in her for the
wondering admiration, the loving reverence, which would make an attempt
to win her an _aspiration?_ And that is what my love must be, if it is
to have dominion over me.

Ah, Mary! I forget continually that for me there is no such joy in the

  "Hope springs eternal in the human breast,"

and no reasoning can quell it. I subdue my fancy to my fate sometimes,
as a rational creature ought surely to do; but then I suffer acutely,
and am wretched; while in a careless abandonment of myself to any and
every dream of coming joy I find present contentment. I cannot help
myself. I shall continue to dream, I am sure, until I have grown so old
that I can resign all earthly hopes without sighing. I pray to be spared
the sight of any object which, by rousing within me the desire of
present possession, may renew the struggle with despair, to which I
nearly succumbed when my profession was wrenched from me.

I was at first surprised to find that my sister cherished a more
exceeding tenderness for her young friend than I had ever seen her
manifest for any one; but my astonishment ceased when I found out that
Alice's half-brother, who bears a different name, is the gentleman I saw
with Kate in the box-tree arbor.

Since she has been here, Alice has been occupied in writing to different
relatives about the arrangements for her future home,--a matter that
is still unsettled. She brings almost all her letters to us, to be
corrected; for she has a great dread of orthographic errors.

I was lying upon my couch, in the porch, yesterday, and through the low
window I could see Alice as she sat at her writing-desk. Kate was sewing
beside her, but just out of my sight. The young girl's hand flew over
the paper, and a bright smile lighted up her face as she wrote.

"This is a different kind of letter from yesterday's, I fancy," said
Kate,--"not a business, but a pleasure letter."

"Yes, so it is: for it is to Brother Walter, and all about you! When
he wrote to tell me to love you and think much of your advice, and all
that, he said something else, which requires a full answer, I can tell

Kate was silent. The letter was finished, and Alice sprang up, tired of
her long application. I heard her kiss my sister, who then said, with a
lame attempt at unconcern,--

"I suppose I am to look over your letter while you run about to rest

Alice quickly answered, "No, thank you. I won't give you the trouble.
The subject will make Walter blind to faults."

"But do you suppose that I have no curiosity as to what you have said
about me?"

"I have said nothing but good. A little boasting about your conquests is
the worst. I mention your Dumbiedikes most flatteringly. I don't make
fun of him. I only want to scare Walter a bit."

"But, Alice, you don't know the circumstances. Do let me see the letter;
it may be important"----

"No, no! you shall never see it! Indeed, no!" cried the girl, running
across the porch and down the garden. She did not want any fastidious
caution to suppress the fine things she had said, or cause the trouble
of writing another letter. So she ran out of hearing of the entreaties
of her friend.

Ben came to the door to say that Old Soldier and the cabriolet were
ready for my daily drive. While we were gone, the boy would call and
take Alice's letter to the post. The writer of it was out of sight and
hearing. Here was a dilemma!

Kate threw her thimble and scissors into her box without her usual care,
and I heard her walking to and fro. She passed the window at every turn,
and I could see that her cheek was very pale, her eyes fixed upon the
floor, and her finger pressed to her lip. She was thinking intently, in
perfect abstraction. I could see the desk with the open letter upon it.
At every turn Kate drew nearer to it.

It was a moment of intense temptation to my sister. I knew it, and I
watched her struggles with a beating heart. It was a weighty matter with
her. A belief in a successful rival might give Mr. ---- pain,--might
cause him to doubt her truth and affection,--might induce him to forget
her, or cast her off in bitter indignation at her supposed fickleness.
I could see in her face her alarm at these suppositions. Yes, it was a
great temptation to do a very dishonorable action. A word from me would
have ended the trial; for it is only in solitude that we are thus
assailed. But then where would have been her merit? I should only cheat
her out of the sweetest satisfaction in life,--a victory over a wicked
suggestion. My presence would make the Evil One take to flight, and now
she was wrestling with him. I felt sure she would not be conquered; for
I could not have looked on to see her defeat. But who can estimate the
power of a woman's curiosity, where the interests which are her very
life are concerned?

She paused by the desk. The letter was upside down to her. Her hand was
upon it to turn it, and she said boldly, aloud,--having forgotten me

"I have a _right_ to know what she says."

Then there was a hesitating pause, while she trembled on the brink of
dishonor,--then a revulsion, and an indignant "Pshaw!"

It was a contemptuous denial of her own flimsy self-justification. She
snatched away her hand, as she said it, with an angry frown. The blood
rushed back to her face.

"I ought to be ashamed of myself!" she exclaimed, energetically. In a
minute she was bustling about, putting away her things. In passing
the window, now that she was freed from the thraldom of her intense
thinking, she saw me lying where I might have been the witness to her
inclination to wrong.

She started guiltily, and then began bunglingly to draw from me whether
I had noticed anything of it. I took her hands, and looked her full in
the face.

"I love you and honor you from the very bottom of my soul, Kate!"

"Not now! You can't! You must despise me!" she answered, turning away
with a swelling bosom.

"I declare I never held you in so high estimation. Evil thoughts must
come, even to the holiest saint; but only those who admit and welcome
them are guilty,--not those who repel and conquer them. Surely not!"

"Thank you, Charlie. That is encouraging and comforting doctrine; and I
think it is true. But what a lesson I have had to-day!"

"Yes, it has been a striking one. I will write about it to Mary."

"Oh, no! for mercy's sake don't expose me further!"

"Then you wish her to think you are too immaculate to be even tempted!
stronger, purer even than our Saviour! for he knew temptation. You are
above it,--are you? Come, Kate,--insincerity, pretension, and cowardice
are not your failings, and I shall tell Mary of this incident, which
has deeply moved me, and will, I know, really interest her. Here comes

The little lady presented herself before us all smiles, concealing one
hand under her apron.

"Who's lost what I've found?" she cried.

"One of us, of course," said Kate.

"No, neither, so far as I know; but it nearly concerns you, Miss Lina,
and I intend to drive a hard bargain."

"What are your terms?"

"Promise faithfully to tell me how it came where I found it, and I will
show it to you,--yes, give it to you,--though, perhaps, I have the best
claim to it, as nearest of kin to the owner."

Kate changed color, but would not betray too much eagerness.

"I cannot promise," she replied, trying for coolness,--"but if I can, I
will tell you all you want to know about it."

Alice could hide it no longer. She held up a ring, with a motto on it in
blue enamel. I had seen it upon Kate's finger, but not recently.

"Where did you find it?" asked my sister, with difficulty. She was very

"In the box-tree arbor. How came it there? It _was_ Watty's, for I was
with him when he bought it in Venice. I can believe that it is yours;
but how came it lost, and trampled into the earth? Didn't you care for

She questioned with an arch smile. She knew better than that, and she
was burning with curiosity to understand why finding it moved Kate so
deeply. She had a young girl's curiosity about love-affairs. I came to
the conclusion that Kate had offered to return the ring on the day they
parted, and that it fell to the ground, disregarded by both, occupied,
as they were, with great emotions.

"Come," continued Alice,--"did he, or you, throw it away? Speak, and you
shall have it."

"I can tell you nothing about it, and I will not claim your
treasure-trove. Keep it, Ally."

"Indeed, I won't keep other folks' love-tokens! There,--it belongs on
that finger, I know! But do tell me about it!--do! I will tell you
something, if you will. Yes, indeed, I have got a secret you would give
anything to know! Walter told it to me, and it is about you. He spoke of
it in his last letter, and said he meant to--Come, I'll tell you, though
he said I mustn't, if you will only let me into the mystery of this
ring. The secret is in my letter, and I will let you read it, if you

Lina looked at me with meaning eyes. The contents of the letter were
doubled in value by this confession, and yet this was no temptation at
all. She was not alone.

"You foolish little thing," she said, kissing the sweet, entreating
face, "do you suppose I will tell you my secrets, when you are so easily
bribed to betray your brother's?"

Alice's conscience was alarmed.

"Why!" she ejaculated. "How near I came to betraying confidence,--and
without meaning to do it, either! Oh, how glad I am you did not let me
go on so thoughtlessly! I should have been so sorry for it afterwards! I
know Walter will tell you himself, some day,--but I have no business to
do it, especially as he did not voluntarily make me his confidante; I
found out the affair by accident, and he bound me to secresy. Oh, I
thank you for stopping me when I was forgetting everything in my eager
curiosity! And this letter, too, I offered to show you! How strangely

"Perhaps I read it while you were gone," said Kate, in a low voice.

"No, you didn't, Kate! You can't make me believe that of you! I know you
too well!"

"Indeed!" said Kate, blushing violently; "I can tell you, I came very
near it."

"'A miss is as good as a mile,' Lina. And I know you were far enough
from anything so mean."

"I was so near as to have my hand upon your letter, Alice dear. One
feather's weight more stress of temptation, and I should have fallen."

"Pure nonsense! Isn't it, Charles?"

"Yes. Kate, you need not flatter yourself that you have universal
ability, clever as you are. In anything dishonorable you are a perfect
incapable, and that is all you have proved this morning."


New York; July.

I was too comfortable, Mary! Such peace could not last, any more than a
soft Indian-summer can put off relentless winter.

Oh, for those sweet June days when I had my couch wheeled to the deepest
shade of the grove, and lay there from morning until evening, with the
green foliage to curtain me,--the clover-scented wind to play about my
hair, and touch my temples with softest, coolest fingers,--the rushing
brook to sing me to sleep,--the very little blossoms to be obsequious
in dancing motion, to please my eye,--and the holy hush of Nature to
tranquillize my soul!

I had brought myself, by what I thought the most Christian effort, to
be content with my altered lot. I gave up ambition, active usefulness,
fireside, and family. I tried but for one thing,--peace.

I had nearly attained it, when there comes an impertinent officer of
fate, known as Dr. G., and he peremptorily orders me out of my gentle
bliss. I am sinking into apathy, forsooth! The warm weather is
prostrating me! I must be stirred to activity by torture, like the
fainting wretch on the rack! I am commanded to travel! I, who cannot
bear the grating of my slow-moving wheels over the smooth gravel-walk,
without compressed lips and corrugated brow!

The Doctor ordained it; Kate executed it. I am no longer my own master;
and so here I am in New York, resting for a day, on my way to some
retired springs in the Green Mountains, where the water is medicinal,
the air cool and bracing, the scenery transcendent, and the visitors

I have taken Ben for my valet. He looks quite a gentleman when dressed
in his Sunday clothes, and his Scotch shrewdness serves us many a good
turn. He has the knack of arresting any little advantages floating on
the stream of travel, and securing them for our benefit.

I journey on my wheeled couch from necessity, as I have not been able to
sit up at all since the heats of June set in. So I have, in this trip, a
novel experience,--on the railroad, being consigned to the baggage car,
and upon the steamboat, to the forward deck. I cannot endure the
close saloons, and prefer the fresh breeze, even when mingled with
tobacco-smoke. I go as freight, and Kate keeps a sharp eye to her
baggage, for she will not leave my side. I tried to flatter her by
saying that the true order of things was reversed,--her sex being
entitled to that name and position, and mine to the relation she now
bore to me. She had the perversity to consider this a _twit_, and gave
me a stinging reply, which I will not repeat to you, because you are a
woman likewise, and would enjoy it too much.

We left peaceful, green Bosky Dell late in the afternoon, and slept in
Philadelphia that night. Yesterday--the hottest day of the season--we
set out for New York. I thought it was going to be sultry, when, as we
passed Washington Square before sunrise, on our way to the boat, I saw
the blue haze among the trees, as still and soft and hay-scented as if
in the country. Ben often quotes an old Scotch proverb,--"Daylight will
peep through a sma' hole." So beauty will peep through every small
corner that is left to Nature, even under severe restrictions. Witness
our noble trees, walled in by houses and cramped by pavements!

The streets were quite deserted that morning,--for, being obliged to
ride very slowly, I had set out betimes. No one was up but ourselves and
the squirrels, except one wren, whose twittering sounded strangely loud
in the hushed city. Probably she took that opportunity to try her voice
and note her improvement in singing, for in the rush of day what chance
has she? These country sounds and sights, in the heart of a populous
city, were, for that reason, a thousand-fold more sweet to me than ever.
Their delights were multiplied to me by thinking of the number of hearts
that took them in daily.

Kate and I rode in a carriage. Ben followed in a wagon, with the trunks
and "jaunting-car-r-r." When we reached the ferry, the porters carried
my couch, and Ben myself, depositing us upon the deck, where I could
look upon the river. The stately flow of the waters impressed me with
dread. They swept by, not swift, not slow,--steady, like fate. Ours
may be a dull river to an artist; but its volume of water, its width,
perhaps even the flat shores, which do not seem to bound it, make it
grand and impressive.

Kate recalled me from my almost shuddering gaze down into the water, and
drew my attention to a scene very unlike our little picturesque, rural
views at home. The ruddy light of morning made the river glow like the
deep-dyed Brenta, while our dear, unpretending Quaker city showed like
one vast structure of ruby. Vessels of all kinds and sizes (though of
but two colors,--black in shadow, and red in sunlight) lay motionless,
in groups.

The New York passengers had now collected on the ferry-boat, and I was
all alive to impressions of every kind. A crowd of men and boys around
a soap-peddler burst into a laugh, and I must needs shout out in
irrepressible laughter also, though I did not hear the joke. I was
delighted to mingle my voice with other men's in one common feeling.
Compulsory solitude makes us good democrats. Kate regarded me with
watchful eyes; she was afraid I had become delirious! I was amazed at
myself for this susceptibility,--I, who, accustomed to hotel-life, had
formerly been so impassive, to be thus tickled with a straw!

The river was soon crossed, and then we took the cars. The heat and
suffocation were intolerable to me, and when we arrived at Amboy I was
so exhausted that strangers thought me dying. But Kate again, though
greatly alarmed herself, defended me from that imputation. One half-hour
on the deck of the boat to New York, with the free ocean-breeze blowing
over me, made me a strong man again,--I mean, strong as usual. It was
inexpressible delight, that ocean-breeze. It makes me draw a long breath
to think of it, and its almost miraculous power of invigoration. But
I will not rhapsodize to one who thinks no more of a sea-breeze every
afternoon than of dessert after dinner.

With my strength, my sense of amusement at what went on about me revived
in full force. I was so absorbed, that I could not take in the meaning
of anything Kate said to me, unless I fixed my eyes, by a great effort,
upon her face. So she let me stare about me undisturbed, and smiled like
some indulgent mother, amused at my boyishness. I had no idea that so
few months spent in seclusion would make the bustling world so novel to

Observe, Mary, that I did not become purely egotistical, until I began
to mingle again with "the crowd, the hum, the shock of men." Henceforth
I shall not be able to promise you any other topic than my own
experiences. My individuality is thrust upon my notice momently by my
isolation in this crowd. In solitude I did not dream what a contrast I
had become to my kind. Those strong, quick, shrewd business-men on the
boat set it before me glaringly.

Soon after I was established upon the forward deck, my attention was
attracted by two boys lying close under the bulwarks. I was struck by
their foreign dress, their coarse voices, and their stupid faces. Two
creatures, I thought, near akin to the beasts of the field. They cowered
in their sheltered corner, and soon fell asleep. One of the busy
boat-hands found them in his way, and gave them a shove or two, but
failed to arouse them. He looked hard at them, pitied their fatigue,
and left them undisturbed. Presently an old Irish woman, a
cake-and-apple-vendor, I suppose, sat down near them upon a coil of
rope, and took from her basket a fine large cherry-pie, which appeared
to be the last of her stock, and reserved as a tit-bit for her dinner.
She turned it round, and eyed it fondly, before she cut it carefully
into many equal parts. Then, with huge satisfaction, she began to devour
it, making a smacking of the lips and working of the whole apparatus
of eating, which proved that she intensely appreciated the uses of
mastication, or else found a wonderful joy in it. "How much above an
intelligent pig is she?" I asked myself.

While I was pondering this question, I saw that the boy nearest her
stirred in his sleep, struggled uneasily with his torpor, and at last
lifted his head blindly with his eyes yet shut. He sniffed in the
air, like a hungry dog. Yes! The odor of food had certainly reached
him,--that sniff confirmed it,--and his eyes starting open, he sat up,
and looked with grave steadiness at the pie. It was just the face of a
dog that sees a fine piece of beef upon his master's table. He knows it
is not for him,--he has no hope of it,--he does not go about to get it,
nor think of the possibility of having it,--yet he wants it!

It was a look of unmitigated desire. The woman had disposed of half
of her dainty fare, taking up each triangular piece by the crust, and
biting off the point, dripping with cherry-juice, first, when her
wandering gaze alighted upon the boy. She had another piece just poised,
but she slowly lowered it to the plate, and stared at the hungry face. I
expected her to snarl like a cat, snatch her food and go away. But she
didn't. She counted the pieces,--there were five. She eyed them, and
shook her head. She again raised the tempting morsel,--for the woman was
unmistakably hungry. But the boy's steady look drew the pie from her
lips, and she suddenly held out the plate to him, saying, "There,
honey,--take that. May-be ne'er a morsel's passed yer lips the day." The
boy seized the unexpected boon greedily, but did not forget to give a
duck of his head, by way of acknowledgment. The woman leaned her elbows
on her knees, and watched him while he was devouring it.

He had demolished two pieces before the other boy awoke at the sound of
eating, which, however, at last reached his ears and aroused him, though
the shout and kick of the boat-hand had not disturbed him. He drew close
to his companion, and watched him with watering mouth, but did not dare
to ask him for a share of what he seemed little disposed to part with.
The big boy finished the third piece, and hesitated about the fourth;
but no, he was a human being,--no brute. He thrust the remainder into
his watcher's hands, and turned his back upon him, so as not to be
tantalized. Beasts indeed! Here were two instances of self-denial,
nowhere to be matched in the whole animal creation, except in that race
which is but little lower than the angels!

Among the young gentlemen smoking around us, there was one who drew my
attention, and that of every other person present, by his jolly laugh.
He was a short man, with broad shoulders and full chest, but otherwise
slight. He was very good-looking, and had the air of a perfect man of
the world,--but not in any disagreeable sense of the word, for a more
genial fellow I never saw. His _ha! ha!_ was irresistible. Wherever he
took his merry face, good-humor followed. He had a smart clap on the
shoulder for one, a hearty hand-shake for another, a jocular nod for
a third. I envied those whose company he sought,--even those whom he
merely accosted.

Presently, to my agreeable surprise, he drew near me, threw away his
cigar, on Kate's account, and said,--

"Lend me a corner of this machine, Sir? No seats to be had."

"Certainly," I responded eagerly, and then, with a bow to Kate, he sat
down upon the foot of my couch. He turned his handsome, roguish face to
me, with a look at once quizzical and tenderly commiserating, while he
rattled off all sorts of lively nonsense about the latest news. The
captain, who pitied my situation, I suppose, came up just then, to ask
if anything could be done to make me more comfortable; and he happened
to call both the stranger and myself by our names. I thus learned that
his was Ryerson.

When he heard mine, he changed color visibly, and looked eagerly at
Kate. I introduced him, and then, with a timidity quite unlike his
former dashing air, he said he had the pleasure of being acquainted with
an admiring friend of hers,--Miss Alice Wellspring. Had she heard from
her lately?

"Yes; she was very well, staying with her aunt."

He was aware of that. He had asked the question, because he thought he
could, perhaps, give later information of her than Kate possessed, and
set her mind at rest about the welfare of her young friend, as she must
be anxious. He was glad to say that Miss Wellspring was quite well--two
hours ago.

Kate made a grimace at me, and answered, that she was "glad to hear it."
Mr. Ryerson looked unutterably grateful, and said he was "sure she must

"Portentous!" whispered Kate to me, when the young man made a passing
sloop the excuse for turning away to hide his blushing temples.

She gave him time, and then asked a few questions concerning Alice's
home and friends. He replied, that she was in "a wretched fix." Her aunt
was a vixen, her home a rigorous prison. He sighed deeply, and seemed
unhappy, until the subject was changed,--a relief which Kate had too
much tact to defer long.

This sunny-hearted fellow made the rest of the journey very short to
me. I think such a spirit is Heaven's very best boon to man. It is a
delightful possession for one's self, and a godsend to one's friends.

When we reached the Astor House, I was put to bed, like a baby, in the
middle of the afternoon, thoroughly exhausted by the unusual excitement.
The crickets and grasshoppers in the fields at home were sufficiently
noisy to make me pass wakeful nights; but now I dropped asleep amid the
roar of Broadway, which my open windows freely admitted.

Before I had finished my first nap, I was awakened by whispering voices,
and saw Ben standing by me, pale, and anxiously searching Kate's face
for information. Her eyes were upon her watch, her fingers on my wrist.

"Pulse good, Ben. We need not be alarmed. It is wholesome repose,--much
better than nervous restlessness. He can bear the journey, if he gets
such sleep as this."

"Humph!" I thought, shutting my eyes crossly. "Why don't she let a
fellow be in peace, then? It is very hard that I can't get a doze
without being meddled with!"

"I was just distraught, Miss Kathleen," said Ben; "for it's nigh about
twenty hour sin' he dropped asleep, and I was frighted ontil conshultin'
ye aboot waukin' him."

I burst into a laugh, and they both joined me in it, from surprise. It
is not often I call upon them for that kind of sympathy. It is generally
in sighs and groans that I ask them--most unwillingly, I am sure--to

Kate wrote, some time ago, to our dear little Alice, begging her to join
us in the Green Mountains, for it makes us both unhappy to think of that
pretty child under iron rule; but her aunt refused to let her come to


C---- Springs. July.

I am here established, drinking the waters and breathing the mountain
air, but not gaining any marvellous benefit from either of them. When I
repine in Ben's hearing, he sighs deeply, and advises me "to heed the
auld-warld proverb, and 'tak' things by their smooth handle, sin'
there's nae use in grippin' at thorns." Kate, too, reproves me for
hindering my recovery by fretting at its tardiness. She tries to comfort
me, by saying that I ought to be thankful, that, instead of being
obliged to waste my youth in "horrid business," I can lie here observing
and enjoying the beautiful world. Thereupon I overwhelm her with
quotations:--"The horse must be road-worn and world-worn, that he may
thoroughly enjoy his drowsy repose in the sun, where he winks in sleepy
satisfaction";--and Carlyle: "Teufelsdröckh's whole duty and necessity
was, like other men's, to work in the right direction, and no work was
to be had; whereby he became wretched enough";--and, "Blessed is he who
has found his work; let him ask no other blessedness." Then I ask her,
if it is not the utmost wretchedness to have found that work and felt
its blessedness, and then be condemned _not_ to do it. To all this she
replies by singing that old hymn,--I make no apology for writing it down
entire,--perhaps you do not know it,--

    "Heart, heart, lie still!
  Life is fleeting fast;
  Strife will soon be past."
    "I cannot lie still;
    Beat strong I will."

    "Heart, heart, lie still!
  Joy's but joy, and pain's but pain;
  Either, little loss or gain."
    "I cannot lie still;
    Beat strong I will."

    "Heart, heart, lie still!
  Heaven over all
  Rules this earthly ball."
    "I cannot lie still;
    Beat strong I will."

    "Heart, heart, lie still!
  Heaven's sweet grace alone
  Can keep in peace its own."
    "Let that me fill,
    And I am still."

"Heaven's sweet grace" does not fill my heart; for I am exhausting
myself in longings to walk again,--to be independent. I long to climb
these mountains,--perverse being that I am,--principally to get out of
the way of counsel, sympathy, and tender care. Since I can never so
liberate myself, I am devoured by desire to do so. Kate divines this
new feeling, and respects it; but as this is only another coal of fire
heaped upon my head, of course it does not soothe me.

Sometimes in the visions of the night I am happy. I dream that I am at
the top of Mount Washington. Cold, pure air rushes by me; clouds lie,
like a gray ocean, beneath me. I am alone upon the giant rock, with the
morning star and the measureless heights of sky. I tremble at the awful
silence,--exult fearfully in it. The clouds roll away, and leave the
world revealed, lying motionless and inanimate at my feet. Yet I am as
far from all sight of humanity as before! Should the whole nation be
swarming below the mountain, armies drawn up before armies, with my eyes
resting upon them, I should not see them, but sit here in sublime peace.
Man's puny form were from this height as undistinguishable as the blades
of grass in the meadows below. I know, that, if all the world stood
beneath, and strained their vision to the utmost upon the very spot
where I stand, I should still be in the strict privacy of invisibility.
This isolation I pine for. But I can never, never feel it--out of a

You guess rightly. I am in a repining mood, and must pour out all my
grievances. I feel my helplessness cruelly.

But I must forget myself a little while, and describe these Springs to
you, with the company here assembled,--only twenty or thirty people. The
house is a good enough one; the country yet very wild. My couch is daily
wheeled to a shady porch which looks down the avenue of trees leading to
the spring, a white marble basin, bubbling over with bright water.

Gay parties, young ladies with lovers, happy mammas with their children,
fathers with their clinging daughters, pass me,--and I, motionless,
follow them with my eyes down the avenue, until they emerge into the
sunlight about the spring. Many of them give me a kindly greeting; some
stop to stare. The look of pity which saddens nearly every face that
approaches me cuts me to the heart. Can I never give joy, or excite
pleasurable emotion? Must I always be a mute and unwilling petitioner
for sympathy in suffering!--always giving pain? never anything but pain
and pity?


There is a summer-house near the spring, and now I lie there, watching
the water-drinkers. Like rain upon the just and unjust, the waters
benefit all,--but surely most those simple souls who take them with
eager hope and bless them with thankful hearts. The first who arrive
are from the hotel, mostly silken sufferers. They stand, glass in hand,
chatting and laughing,--they stoop to dip,--and then they drink. These
persons soon return to the house in groups,--some gayly exchanging
merry words or kindly greetings, but others dragging weary limbs and
discontented spirits back to loneliness.

The fashionable hour is over, and now comes another class of
health-seekers. A rough, white-covered wagon jolts up. The horse is tied
to a post, a curtain unbuttoned and raised, and from a bed upon the
uneasy floor a pale, delicate boy, shrinking from the light, is lifted
by his burly father. The child is carried to the spring, and puts out a
groping hand when his father bids him drink. He cannot find the
glass, and his father must put it to his lips. He is blind, except to
light,--and that only visits those poor sightless eyes to agonize them!
Where the water flows off below the basin in a clear jet, the father
bathes his boy's forehead, and gently, gently touches his eyelids. But
the child reaches out his wasted hands, and dashes the water against his
face with a sad eagerness.

Other country vehicles approach. The people are stopping to drink of
this water, on their way to drink of the waters of life in church. They
are smart and smiling in their Sunday clothes. I observe, that, far from
being the old or diseased, they are mostly young men and pretty girls.
The marble spring is a charming trysting-place!

There are swarms of children here all day long. This is the first time
since I left Kate's apron-string at seven years old, that I have seen
much of children. Boys, to be sure, I was with until I left college;
but the hotel-life I afterwards led kept me quite out of the way of
youngsters. Now, I am much amused at the funny little world that opens
before my notice. They flirt like grown-up people! I heard a little chit
of six say to a youth of five,--

"How dare you ask me to go to the spring with you, when you've been and
asked Ellen already? _I_ don't have to put up with half a gentleman!"

A flashy would-be lady, bustling up to the spring with her little
daughter, burst into a loud laugh at the remark of an acquaintance.

"Mamma!" said Miss, tempering severity with benign dignity,--"you must
not laugh so loud. It's vulgar."

Her mother lowered her tone, and looked subdued. Miss turned to a
companion, and said, gravely,--

"I have to speak to her about that, often. She don't like it,--but I
_must_ correct her!"

A little girl--a charming, old-fashioned, _real_ child--came into the
summer-house a few minutes ago, and I gave up my writing to watch her.
After some coy manoeuvring about the door, she drew nearer and nearer to
me, as if I were a snake fascinating a pretty bird. Her tongue
seemed more bashful than the rest of her frame; for she came within
arm's-length, let me catch her, draw her to me, and hold her close to
my side. A novel sensation of fondness for the little thing made me
venture--not without some timidity, I confess--to lay my hand upon her
head, and pass it caressingly over her soft young cheek, meanwhile
saying encouraging things to her, in hopes of hearing her voice and
making her acquaintance. She would not speak, but played with my
buttons, and hung her head. At last I asked,--

"Don't you want me to tell you a little story?"

Her head flew up, her great black eyes wide open, and she said, eagerly,
"Oh, yes! that's what I came for."

"Did you? Well, what shall it be about?"

"Why, about yourself,--the prince who was half marble, and couldn't get
up. And I want to see your black marble legs, please!"

If I had hugged an electrical eel, I could not have been more shocked! I
don't know how I replied, or what became of the child. I was conscious
only of a kind of bitter horror, and almost affright. But when Kate, a
quarter of an hour afterwards, brought her book and sat down beside me,
I could not tell her about it, for laughing.

The little girl is in sight now. She is standing near the porch, talking
to some other children, gesticulating, and shaking her curls. Probably
she was a deputy from them, to obtain a solution of the mystery of my
motionless limbs. They half believe I am the veritable Prince of the
Black Isles! They alternately listen to her and turn to stare at me; so
I know that I am the subject of their confab.

Some one is passing them now,--a lady. She pauses to listen. She, too,
glances this way with a sad smile. She comes slowly down the avenue. A
graceful, queenly form, and lovely face! She has drunk of the waters,
and is gone.

Mary, do you know that gentle girl has added the last drop of bitterness
to my cup? My lot has become unbearable. I gnash my teeth with impotent
rage and despair.

I _will_ not be the wreck I am! My awakening manhood scorns the thought
of being forever a helpless burden to others. I _demand_ my health, and
all my rights and privileges as a man,--to work,--to support others,--to
bear the burden and heat of the day! Never again can I be content in my
easy couch and my sister's shady grove!

Ah, Dr. G., you have indeed roused me from apathy! I am in torture, and
Heaven only knows whether on this side of the grave I shall ever find
peace again!

Poor Kate reads my heart, and weeps daily in secret. Brave Kate, who
shed so few tears over her own grief!


C---- Springs. August.

I so continually speak of my illness, Mary, that I fear you have
good right to think me that worst kind of bore, a hypochondriac. But
something is now going on with me that raises all my hopes and fears. I
dare not speak of it to Kate, lest she should be too sanguine, and be
doomed to suffer again the crush of all her hopes.

I really feel that I could not survive disappointment, should I ever
entertain positive hope of cure. Neither can I endure this suspense
without asking some one's opinion. There is no medical man here in whom
I have confidence, and so I go to you, as a child does to its mother in
its troubles, not knowing what she can do for it, but relying upon her
to do something.

I will explain what it is that excites me to such an agony of dread and
expectation. When the little girl asked me to let her see my marble
limbs, supposing me the Prince of the Black Isles, she sprang forward in
the eagerness of childish curiosity, and touched my knee with her hand.
I was so amazed at this glimpse into her mind, that for some time I only
tingled with astonishment. But while I was telling Kate about it, it all
came back to me again,--her stunning words, her eager spring, her prompt
grasp of my knee,--and I remembered that I had involuntarily started
away from her childish hand, that is, moved my _motionless_ limb!

I tried to do it again, but it was impossible. Still I could not help
thinking that I had done it once, under the influence of that electrical

Then I have another source of hope. I have never suffered any pain in
my limbs, and they might have been really marble, for all the feeling I
have had in them. Now I begin to be sensible of a wearisome numbness and
aching, which would be hard to bear, if it were not that it gives me the
expectation of returning animation. Do you think I may expect it, and
that I am not quite deluding myself?

August 14.

So I wrote two days ago, Mary, and I was right! That _was_ returning
sensation and motion. I can now move my feet. I cannot yet stand, or
walk, or help myself, any more than before; but I can, by a voluntary
effort, _move_.

Rejoice with me! I am a happy fellow this day! Dazzling daylight is
peeping through this sma' hole! Remember what I wrote of a certain
lady;--and Ben has hunted me up a law-book, which I am devouring. My
profession, and other blessings, again almost within grasp! This is
wildness, hope run riot, I know; but let me indulge to-day, for it is
this day which has set me free. I never voluntarily stirred before
since the accident,--I mean my lower limbs, of course. After writing a
sentence, I look down at my feet, moving them this way and that, to make
sure that I am not stricken again.

The day I began this letter I had proof that I had not merely fancied
movement, when the little girl startled me. A clumsy boy stumbled over
my couch, and I shrank, visibly, from receiving upon my feet the pitcher
of water he was carrying. I was in the porch. The beautiful girl who
formerly made my affliction so bitter to me was passing at the moment,
with her arm drawn affectionately through her father's. She saw the
stumble, and sprang forward with a cry of alarm. It looked, certainly,
as if my defenceless feet must receive the crash, and I attempted
instinctively to withdraw them,--partially succeeding! I saw this at the
same time that I heard the sweetest words that ever fell into my heart,
in the most joyful, self-forgetful tones of the sweetest voice!

"Oh, father! He moved! He moved!"

Mr. Winston turned to me with congratulations, shaking my hand with
warmth; and then his daughter extended hers,--cordially! Of course my
happiness was brimming!

I afterwards tried repeatedly to put my feet in motion. I could not do
it. I could not think how to begin,--what power to bring to bear upon
them. This annoyed me beyond measure, and I spent yesterday in wearisome
effort to no purpose. My thinking, willing mind was of no use to me; but
instinctive feeling, and a chapter of accidents, have brought me to my
present state of activity. A wish to change an uncomfortable position in
which Ben left me this morning restored me to voluntary action. I tried
to turn away from the sun-glare, using my elbows, as usual, for motors.
To my surprise, I found myself assisting with my feet,--and by force of
will I persisted in the effort, and continued the action. Having got the
clue to the mystery, I have now only to will and execute. My rebellious
members are brought into subjection! I am king of myself! Hurrah!

Good-bye, dearest friend. I shake my foot to you,--an action more
expressive of joyful good-will than my best bow.

I hope my return to health will not cost me dear. I begin to fear losing
the sympathy and affection of those I have learned to love so dearly,
and who have cherished me in their hearts simply because of my
infirmities. When I am a vigorous man, will you care for me? will Kate
centre her life in me? will Miss Ada Winston look at me so often and so

Well, don't laugh at me for my grasping disposition! Affection is very
grateful to me, and I should be sorry to do without it, after having
lived in a loving atmosphere so long.

I believe Ben is as proud of me as he was of his Shanghai, but he has a
proverb which he quotes whenever he sees me much elated: "When the cup's
fu', carry't even." His own cautious Scotch head could do that, perhaps;
but mine is more giddy, and I am afraid I shall spill some drops from my
full cup of joy by too rash advancing.

Kate is not so wild with delight as I am. She still forbids herself to
exult. Probably she dares not give way to unbounded hope, remembering
the bitterness of her former trial, and dreading its recurrence. She
says it makes her tremble to see my utter abandonment to joyful dreams.

August 20.

It is Kate's fault that you have not received this letter before now.
She kept it to say a few words to you about my recovery, but has at last
yielded to me the pleasure of telling of something far more interesting,
which has occurred since,--not more interesting to me, but probably so
to any one else.

One evening, Kate went, with everybody from the house, to see the sunset
from the hills above this glen, and I lay alone in the back porch, in
the twilight. A light wagon drove up, and in two minutes a little lady
had run to me, thrown herself upon her knees beside me, and pressed her
sweet lips to my forehead. It was our darling little Alice Wellspring.

Immediately following her came Mr. Ryerson, in a perfect ecstasy of
laughter, and blushing.

"We've run away!" whispered she.

"And got married this morning!" said he.

"But where was the necessity of elopement?" I asked, bewildered,--Kate
having told me that Alice's aunt was doing her best to "catch Ryerson
for her niece," she having had certain information upon that point from
a near relative.

"Ha, ha, ha!" laughed he, slapping his knees in intense enjoyment, as he
sat in his old place by my feet. "It is a practical joke,--one that will
have in it what somebody calls the first element of wit,--surprise. A
more astonished and mystified old lady than she will be would be hard to
find! She was so willing!"

"Don't say anything against Aunt, Harry. I'm safe from her now, and so
are you. She wanted such an ostentatious wedding, Charlie, that I did
not like it, and Harry declared positively that he would not submit to
it. So I had just to go off quietly, and come here to Kate and you, my
best friends in the world, except Walter. After you know Harry, you
won't blame me."

It was very rash of the child, but really I cannot blame her, as I
should, if she had chosen any one else. Ryerson is one who shows in his
face and in every word and action that he is a kind and noble fellow.

Kate, to my surprise, is enchanted with this performance. It chimes with
her independent notions, but not with my prudent ones. However, it is
done, and I never saw a more satisfactorily mated couple. It would have
been a cruel pity to see that light, good little heart quelled by a
morose husband, or its timidity frightened into deceitfulness by a
severe one. Now she is as fearless and courageous as a pet canary.

Ryerson has one grievous fault; he uses all sorts of slang phrases. It
makes his conversation very funny, but Alice don't like it, especially
when he approaches the profane.

He told a very good story the other day, spiced a little in language.
Everybody laughed outright. Alice looked grave.

"What is the matter, wifey?" he called out, anxiously; for with him
there is no reserve before strangers. He seems to think the whole world
kin, and himself always the centre of an attached and indulgent family.

"How could you say those bad words, with a child in the room?" she said,
reproachfully,--pointing to my little black-eyed friend.

"I only said, 'The Devil,'--that's all! But now I remember,--if a
story is ever so good, and 'the Devil' gets into it, it's no go with
you! But, Allie, you shouldn't be a wet blanket to a fellow! When he
is trying to be entertaining, you might help him out, instead of
extinguishing him! Laugh just a little to set folks going, and make
moral reflections afterwards, for the benefit of the children."

"You know, Harry, I can't make reflections!"

"No more you can,--ha! ha! If you could, there would be the Devil to
pay--in curtain lectures, wouldn't there?"

"Again, Harry!"

"Pshaw, now, Allie, don't be hard upon me! That was a very little
swear--for the occasion!"

She will refine him in time.

Ryerson has infused new spirit into this stiff place. The very day he
came, I observed that various persons, who had held aloof from all
others, drew near to him. The fellow seems the soul of geniality, and
everybody likes him,--from old man to baby. The young girls gather
round him for chat and repartee,--the young men are always calling to
him to come boating, or gunning, or riding with them,--the old gentlemen
go to him with their politics, and the old ladies with their aches.
Young America calls him a "regular brick," for he lends himself to build
up everybody's good-humor.

He is everything to me. Before he came, Mr. Winston was almost my only
visitor, though other gentlemen occasionally sat with me a few minutes.
But now everybody flocks to my couch, because Harry's head-quarters
are there. He has broken down the shyness my unfortunate situation
maintained between me and others. His cheery "Well, how are you to-day,
old fellow?" sets everybody at ease with me. The ladies have come out
from their pitying reserve. A glass of fresh water from the spring, a
leaf-full of wild berries, a freshly pulled rose, and other little daily
attentions, cheer me into fresh admiration of them "all in general, and
one in particular," as Ryerson says.

Perhaps you think--I judge so from your letter--that I ought to describe
Miss Winston to you. She is finely----Ah, I find that she is wrapped in
some mysterious, ethereal veil, the folds of which I dare not disturb,
even with reverent hand, and for your sake! Ah, Mary, I aspire!


C---- Springs. September.

The autumn scenery is gorgeous up among these misty hills, but I will
not dwell upon it. I have too much to say of animated human nature, to
more than glance out of doors. Nearly all the boarders are gone. Miss
Winston left last week for her home in Boston. I am desolate indeed! The
day after she went away, I stood upon my own feet without support, for
the first time. Now I walk daily from the house to the spring, with the
help of Kate's or Ben's arm and a cane, though I am still obliged to
remain on my couch nearly all day long. I write this in direct reply to
your question.

Now for the great exciting subject of the present time. I will give it
in detail, as women like to have stories told.

The little wife, our Alice, came running into Kate's parlor one day,
while we were both sitting there reading. She was in extreme excitement.
We heard her laughing, just outside the door, in the most joyous manner;
but she pulled a long face as she entered. She sank down upon the floor
by my couch, so as to be on a level with me, took my hand and Kate's,
and then, taking breath, said:

"Listen, Kate, and don't be agitated."

Kate was, of course, extremely agitated at once. She divined the subject
about to be introduced, and her heart beat tumultuously.

"You remember I nearly betrayed Walter's secret once? Well, I am going
to tell it to you now, really."

"He gave you leave, then!" said Kate, almost breathless.

"Yes, yes! This is it----Now, Kate, if you look so pale, I can't go on!"

I motioned to her to proceed at once.

"Well, he had some engineering to do in Russia, you know. They wanted
to get him to undertake another job,--I don't know, nor care, what it
was,--and he went out to see about it. For Charlie's sake, you let him
go away almost in despair, you cruel girl! Well, when I was visiting
you, he made a little spy of me. I was not to spy you, Kate, but Charlie
here, and let Walter know of the slightest change for the better in him.
Then he was to get some one to attend to his Russian work, and post
right straight home to you, Kate! Well, my aunt wouldn't let me stay
with you,--cross old thing! And she kept me so very close, that I
couldn't watch Charlie at all. Then she went and threatened me with a
long engagement with Harry, only to give me time to get heaps and
heaps of sewing done! I knew the only chance I could get of gaining
information for Walter was just to run off to you with Hal, and cut a
long matter short. Well, so I came, and I wrote to Walter, the very
night I arrived, that the doctor said, Charlie, that you would be quite
well in a month or two! That was a month ago. But Walter had not waited
for me. Perhaps he had other spies. At any rate"----

She paused.

"What? what? Be quick!" cried I, seeing that Kate was almost fainting
from this suspense.

"He has come!"

Kate pressed her hand over the joyful cry that burst from her lips, and,
turning away from us, sprang up, and walked to the window. There was a
moment of perfect silence. Kate put her hand behind her, and motioned to
the door. Alice went softly out and closed it. I could not rise, poor
cripple, from intense agitation.

My sister drew one long, quivering, sobbing breath,--and then she had a
good cry, as women say. It seemed to me enough to give one a headache
for a week, but it refreshed her. After bathing her eyes with some iced
water, she came and leaned over me.

"Thank God, Kate," I said, "for your sake and mine!"

"Can you spare me, after you are well again, Charlie,--if he"----

"Am I a monster of selfishness and ingratitude?"

She kissed me, took up her work, and sat down to sew.

"Kate!" said I, amazed, "what are you doing? Why don't you go down?"

"What for? To hunt him up at the bar-keeper's desk? or in the stables,

"Oh! Ah! Propriety,--yes! But how you can sit there and wait I cannot

There came a knock. I expected her to start up in rapture and admit Mr.
Walter ----. She only said, "Come in!"--calmly.

Alice peeped in, and asked, "May he come?"

"Where is he?" I asked.

"In the parlor, waiting to know."

"Yes," said Kate, changing color rapidly.

"Stop, stop, Alice! You two give me each a hand, and help me into my

"Charlie," said Kate, "you need not go! you must not go!"

"Ah, my dear sister, I have stood between you and him long enough, I
will do to him as I would be done by. Come, girls, your hands!"

They placed me in my easy-chair, both kissed me with agitated lips,
and left me. Half an hour afterwards Kate and Mr. ---- petitioned for
admittance to my room. Of course I granted it, and immediately proceeded
to a minute scrutiny of my future brother-in-law. He is a fine fellow,
very scientific, clear in thought, decisive in action, quite reserved,
and very good-looking. This reserve is to Kate his strongest
attraction,--her own nature being so entirely destitute of it, and she
so painfully conscious of her want of self-control. Yes,--he is just the
one Kate would most respect, of all the men I ever saw.

Is not this happiness,--to find her future not wrecked, but blessed
doubly? for her conduct has made Walter almost worship her. I _am_ happy
to think I have brought her good, rather than ill; but--selfish being
that I am--I am not contented. I have a sigh in my heart yet!

Bosky Dell. December.

How it happened that this letter did not go I cannot imagine. I have
just found it in Kate's work-basket; and I open it again, to add the
grand climax. I have been so very minute in my accounts of Kate's
love-affairs, that I feel it would not be fair to slur over mine. So,
dear friend, I open my heart to you in this wise.

The rage for recovery which took such violent possession of me I believe
effected my cure. In a month from the time I began to walk, I could
go alone, without even a cane. Kate entreated me to remain as long as
possible in the mountains, as she believed my recovery was attributable
to the pure air and healing waters. It was consequently the first of
this month before we arrived at her cottage, where we found good old
Saide so much "frustrated" by delight as to be quite unable to "fly
roun'." Indeed, she could hardly stand. When I walked up to shake hands
with her, she bashfully looked at me out of the "tail of her eye," as
Ben says. Her delicacy was quite shocked by my size!

"Saide," said I, "you positively look pale!" She really did. You have
seen negroes do so, haven't you?

"Laws, Missr Charles," she answered, with a coquettish and deprecating
twist, "call dat 'ere stove pale,--will yer?"

No sooner was Kate established at home, and I in my Walnut-Street
office, than I undertook a trip to Boston. As I approached Miss
Winston's home, all my courage left me. I walked up and down the Common,
in sight of her door, for hours, thinking what a witless fool I was,
to contemplate presenting my penniless self--with hope--before the
millionnaire's daughter!

At last Mr. Winston came home to dinner and began to go up the steps. I
sprang across the street to him, and my courage came back when I looked
upon his good sensible face. When he recognized me, he seized my hand,
grasped my shoulder, and gave me, with the tears actually in his eyes, a
reception that honors human nature.

Such genuine friendliness, in an old, distinguished man, to a young
fellow like me, shows that man's heart is noble, with all its depravity.

When he had gazed some time, almost in amazement, at my tall
proportions, (he never saw them perpendicular before, you know,) he

"Come in, come in, my boy! Some one else must see you! But she can't be
more glad than I am, to see you so well,--that is, I don't see how she
can,--for I _am_ glad, I am _glad_, my boy!"

Was not this heart-warming?

When we entered, he stopped before the hat-rack, and told me "just to
walk into the parlor;--his daughter might be there." I could not rush in
impetuously, I had to steady my color. Besides, ought I not to speak to
him first?

Mr. Winston took off his hat,--hung it up; then his overcoat, and
hung it up. I still stood pondering, with my hand upon the door-knob.
Surprised at my tardiness in entering, he turned and looked at me. I
could not face him. He was silent a minute. I felt that he looked right
through me, and saw my daring intentions. He cleared his throat. I
quailed. He began to speak in a low, agitated voice, that I thought very
ominous in tone.

"You want to speak to me, perhaps. I think I see that you do. If so,
speak now. A word will explain enough. No need to defer."

"I want your consent, Sir, to speak to your daughter," I stammered out.

"My dear boy," said he, clapping me on the shoulder, "she is motherless
and brotherless, and I am an old man. Nothing would give me more
pleasure; for I know you well enough to trust her with you. There,--go
in. I hear her touch the piano."

He went up stairs. I entered. My eyes swept the long, dim apartment.
In the confusion of profuse luxury I could not distinguish anything at
first,--but soon saw the grand piano at the extreme end of the rooms. I
impetuously strode the whole length of the two parlors,--and she rose
before me with chilling dignity!

Ah, Mary, that moment's blank dismay! But it was because she thought me
some bold, intruding stranger. When she saw my face, she came to me, and
gave me both her hands, saying,--

"Mr. ----! Is it possible? I am happy that you are so well!"

It was genuine joy; and for a moment we were both simply glad for that
one reason,--that I was well.

"You seem so tall!" she said, with a rather more conscious tone. She
began to infer what my recovery and presence imported to _her_. I felt
thrilling all over me what they were to me!

But I must say something. It is not customary to call upon young
ladies, of whom you have never dared to consider yourself other than
an acquaintance merely, and hold their hands while you listen to their
hearts beating. This I must refrain from doing,--and that instantly.

"Yes," I stammered, "I am well,--I am quite well." Then, losing all
remembrance of etiquette----But you must divine what followed. Truly

  "God's gifts put man's best dreams to

P.S.--Kate will send you her cards, and Ada ours, together with the
proper ceremonious invitations to the weddings, as soon as things are




  Yet to the wondrous St. Peter's, and yet to the solemn Rotonda,
    Mingling with heroes and gods, yet to the Vatican walls,
  Yet may we go, and recline, while a whole mighty world seems above us
    Gathered and fixed to all time into one roofing supreme;
  Yet may we, thinking on these things, exclude what is meaner around
    Yet, at the worst of the worst, books and a chamber remain;
  Yet may we think, and forget, and possess our souls in resistance.--
    Ah, but away from the stir, shouting, and gossip of war,
  Where, upon Apennine slope, with the chestnut the oak-trees immingle,
    Where amid odorous copse bridle-paths wander and wind,
  Where under mulberry-branches the diligent rivulet sparkles,
    Or amid cotton and maize peasants their waterworks ply,
  Where, over fig-tree and orange in tier upon tier still repeated,
    Garden on garden upreared, balconies step to the sky,--
  Ah, that I were, far away from the crowd and the streets of the city,
    Under the vine-trellis laid, O my beloved, with thee!

  I.--MARY TREVELLYN TO MISS ROPER,--_on the way to Florence_.

  Why doesn't Mr. Claude come with us? you ask.--We don't know.
  You should know better than we. He talked of the Vatican marbles;
  But I can't wholly believe that this was the actual reason,--
  He was so ready before, when we asked him to come and escort us.
  Certainly he is odd, my dear Miss Roper. To change so
  Suddenly, just for a whim, was not quite fair to the party,--
  Not quite right. I declare, I really am almost offended:
  I, his great friend, as you say, have doubtless a title to be so.
  Not that I greatly regret it, for dear Georgina distinctly
  Wishes for nothing so much as to show her adroitness. But, oh, my
  Pen will not write any more;--let us say nothing further about it.

         *       *       *       *       *

  Yes, my dear Miss Roper, I certainly called him repulsive;
  So I think him, but cannot be sure I have used the expression
  Quite as your pupil should; yet he does most truly repel me.
  Was it to you I made use of the word? or who was it told you?
  Yes, repulsive; observe, it is but when he talks of ideas,
  That he is quite unaffected, and free, and expansive, and easy;
  I could pronounce him simply a cold intellectual being.--
  When does he make advances?--He thinks that women should woo him;
  Yet, if a girl should do so, would be but alarmed and disgusted.
  She that should love him must look for small love in return,--like
       the ivy
  On the stone wall, must expect but rigid and niggard support, and
  Even to get that must go searching all round with her humble embraces.

  II.--CLAUDE TO EUSTACE,--_from Rome_.

  Tell me, my friend, do you think that the grain would sprout in the
  Did it not truly accept as its _summum et ultimum bonum_
  That mere common and may-be indifferent soil it is set in?
  Would it have force to develope and open its young cotyledons,
  Could it compare, and reflect, and examine one thing with another?
  Would it endure to accomplish the round of its natural functions,
  Were it endowed with a sense of the general scheme of existence?
    While from Marseilles in the steamer we voyaged to Civita Vecchia,
  Vexed in the squally seas as we lay by Capraja and Elba,
  Standing, uplifted, alone on the heaving poop of the vessel,
  Looking around on the waste of the rushing incurious billows,
  "This is Nature," I said: "we are born as it were from her waters,
  Over her billows that buffet and beat us, her offspring uncared-for,
  Casting one single regard of a painful victorious knowledge,
  Into her billows that buffet and beat us we sink and are swallowed."
  This was the sense in my soul, as I swayed with the poop of the
  And as unthinking I sat in the ball of the famed Ariadne,
  Lo, it looked at me there from the face of a Triton in marble.
  It is the simpler thought, and I can believe it the truer.
  Let us not talk of growth; we are still in our Aqueous Ages.


  Farewell, Politics, utterly! What can I do? I cannot
  Fight, you know; and to talk I am wholly ashamed. And although I
  Gnash my teeth when I look in your French or your English papers,
  What is the good of that? Will swearing, I wonder, mend matters?
  Cursing and scolding repel the assailants? No, it is idle;
  No, whatever befalls, I will hide, will ignore or forget it.
  Let the tail shift for itself; I will bury my head. And what's the
  Roman Republic to me, or I to the Roman Republic?
    Why not fight?--In the first place, I haven't so much as a musket.
  In the next, if I had, I shouldn't know how I should use it.
  In the third, just at present I'm studying ancient marbles.
  In the fourth, I consider I owe my life to my country.
  In the fifth,--I forget; but four good reasons are ample.
  Meantime, pray, let 'em fight, and be killed. I delight in devotion.
  So that I 'list not, hurrah for the glorious army of martyrs!
  _Sanguis martyrum semen Ecclesiae_; though it would seem this
  Church is indeed of the purely Invisible, Kingdom-Come kind:
  Militant here on earth! Triumphant, of course, then, elsewhere!
  Ah, good Heaven, but I would I were out far away from the pother!


  Not, as we read in the words of the olden-time inspiration,
  Are there two several trees in the place we are set to abide in;
  But on the apex most high of the Tree of Life in the Garden,
  Budding, unfolding, and falling, decaying and flowering ever,
  Flowering is set and decaying the transient blossom of Knowledge,--

  Flowering alone, and decaying, the needless, unfruitful blossom.
  Or as the cypress-spires by the fair-flowing stream Hellespontine,
  Which from the mythical tomb of the godlike Protesilaus
  Rose, sympathetic in grief, to his lovelorn Laodamia,
  Evermore growing, and, when in their growth to the prospect attaining,
  Over the low sea-banks, of the fatal Ilian city,
  Withering still at the sight which still they upgrew to encounter.
    Ah, but ye that extrude from the ocean your helpless faces,
  Ye over stormy seas leading long and dreary processions,
  Ye, too, brood of the wind, whose coming is whence we discern not,
  Making your nest on the wave, and your bed on the crested billow,
  Skimming rough waters, and crowding wet sands that the tide shall
       return to,
  Cormorants, ducks, and gulls, fill ye my imagination!
  Let us not talk of growth; we are still in our Aqueous Ages.

  V.--MARY TREVELLYN TO MISS ROPER,--_from Florence_.

  Dearest Miss Roper,--Alas, we are all at Florence quite safe, and
  You, we hear, are shut up! indeed, it is sadly distressing!
  We were most lucky, they say, to get off when we did from the
  Now you are really besieged! They tell us it soon will be over;
  Only I hope and trust without any fight in the city.
  Do you see Mr. Claude?--I thought he might do something for you.
  I am quite sure on occasion he really would wish to be useful.
  What is he doing? I wonder;--still studying Vatican marbles?
  Letters, I hope, pass through. We trust your brother is better.


  Juxtaposition, in fine; and what is juxtaposition?
  Look you, we travel along in the railway-carriage, or steamer,
  And, _pour passer le temps_, till the tedious journey be ended,
  Lay aside paper or book, to talk with the girl that is next one;
  And, _pour passer le temps_, with the terminus all but in
  Talk of eternal ties and marriages made in heaven.
    Ah, did we really accept with a perfect heart the illusion!
  Ah, did we really believe that the Present indeed is the Only!
  Or through all transmutation, all shock and convulsion of passion,
  Feel we could carry undimmed, unextinguished, the light of our
    But for his funeral train which the bridegroom sees in the distance,
  Would he so joyfully, think you, fall in with the marriage-procession?
  But for that final discharge, would he dare to enlist in that service?
  But for that certain release, ever sign to that perilous contract?
  But for that exit secure, ever bend to that treacherous doorway?--
  Ah, but the bride, meantime,--do you think she sees it as he does?
    But for the steady fore-sense of a freer and larger existence,
  Think you that man could consent to be circumscribed here into action?
  But for assurance within of a limitless ocean divine, o'er
  Whose great tranquil depths unconscious the wind-tost surface
  Breaks into ripples of trouble that come and change and endure not,--
  But that in this, of a truth, we have our being, and know it,
  Think you we men could submit to live and move as we do here?
  Ah, but the women,--God bless them!--they don't think at all about it.

    Yet we must eat and drink, as you say. And as limited beings
  Scarcely can hope to attain upon earth to an Actual Abstract,
  Leaving to God contemplation, to His hands knowledge confiding,
  Sure that in us if it perish, in Him it abideth and dies not,
  Let us in His sight accomplish our petty particular doings,--
  Yes, and contented sit down to the victual that He has provided.
  Allah is great, no doubt, and Juxtaposition his prophet.
  Ah, but the women, alas, they don't look at it in that way!
    Juxtaposition is great;--but, my friend, I fear me, the maiden
  Hardly would thank or acknowledge the lover that sought to obtain her,
  Not as the thing he would wish, but the thing he must even put up
  Hardly would tender her hand to the wooer that candidly told her
  That she is but for a space, an _ad-interim_ solace and
  That in the end she shall yield to a perfect and absolute something,
  Which I then for myself shall behold, and not another,--
  Which amid fondest endearments, meantime I forget not, forsake not.
  Ah, ye feminine souls, so loving and so exacting,
  Since we cannot escape, must we even submit to deceive you?
  Since, so cruel is truth, sincerity shocks and revolts you,
  Will you have us your slaves to lie to you, flatter and--leave you?


  Juxtaposition is great,--but, you tell me, affinity greater.
  Ah, my friend, there are many affinities, greater and lesser,
  Stronger and weaker; and each, by the favor of juxtaposition,
  Potent, efficient, in force,--for a time; but none, let me tell you,
  Save by the law of the land and the ruinous force of the will, ah,
  None, I fear me, at last quite sure to be final and perfect.
    Lo, as I pace in the street, from the peasant-girl to the princess,
  _Homo sum, nihil humani a me alienum puto,--
  Vir sum, nihil faeminei_,--and e'en to the uttermost circle,
  All that is Nature's is I, and I all things that are Nature's.
  Yes, as I walk, I behold, in a luminous, large intuition,
  That I can be and become anything that I meet with or look at:
  I am the ox in the dray, the ass with the garden-stuff panniers;
  I am the dog in the doorway, the kitten that plays in the window,
  Here on the stones of the ruin the furtive and fugitive lizard,
  Swallow above me that twitters, and fly that is buzzing about me;
  Yea, and detect, as I go, by a faint, but a faithful assurance,
  E'en from the stones of the street, as from rocks or trees of the
  Something of kindred, a common, though latent vitality, greet me,
  And, to escape from our strivings, mistakings, misgrowths, and
  Fain could demand to return to that perfect and primitive silence,
  Fain be enfolded and fixed, as of old, in their rigid embraces.


  And as I walk on my way, I behold them consorting and coupling;
  Faithful it seemeth, and fond, very fond, very probably faithful;
  And I proceed on my way with a pleasure sincere and unmingled.
    Life is beautiful, Eustace, entrancing, enchanting to look at;
  As are the streets of a city we pace while the carriage is changing,
  As is a chamber filled-in with harmonious, exquisite pictures,
  Even so beautiful Earth; and could we eliminate only
  This vile hungering impulse, this demon within us of craving,
  Life were beatitude, living a perfect divine satisfaction.


  _Mild monastic faces in quiet collegiate cloisters:_
  So let me offer a single and celibatarian phrase a
  Tribute to those whom perhaps you do not believe I can honor.
  But, from the tumult escaping, 'tis pleasant, of drumming and
  Hither, oblivious awhile, to withdraw, of the fact or the falsehood,
  And amid placid regards and mildly courteous greetings
  Yield to the calm and composure and gentle abstraction that reign o'er
  _Mild monastic faces in quiet collegiate cloisters._
    Terrible word, Obligation! You should not, Eustace, you should not,
  No, you should not have used it. But, O great Heavens, I repel it!
  Oh, I cancel, reject, disavow, and repudiate wholly
  Every debt in this kind, disclaim every claim, and dishonor,
  Yea, my own heart's own writing, my soul's own signature! Ah, no!
  I will be free in this; you shall not, none shall, bind me.
  No, my friend, if you wish to be told, it was this above all things,
  This that charmed me, ah, yes, even this, that she held me to nothing.
  No, I could talk as I pleased; come close; fasten ties, as I fancied;
  Bind and engage myself deep;--and lo, on the following morning
  It was all e'en as before, like losings in games played for nothing.
  Yes, when I came, with mean fears in my soul, with a semi-performance
  At the first step breaking down in its pitiful rôle of evasion,
  When to shuffle I came, to compromise, not meet, engagements,
  Lo, with her calm eyes there she met me and knew nothing of it,--
  Stood unexpecting, unconscious. _She_ spoke not of obligations,
  Knew not of debt,--ah, no, I believe you, for excellent reasons.


  Hang this thinking, at last! what good is it? oh, and what evil!
  Oh, what mischief and pain! like a clock in a sick man's chamber,
  Ticking and ticking, and still through each covert of slumber
    What shall I do to thee, O thou Preserver of Men? Have compassion!
  Be favorable, and hear! Take from me this regal knowledge!
  Let me, contented and mute, with the beasts of the field, my brothers,
  Tranquilly, happily lie,--and eat grass, like Nebuchadnezzar!


  Tibur is beautiful, too, and the orchard slopes, and the Anio
  Falling, falling yet, to the ancient lyrical cadence;
  Tibur and Anio's tide; and cool from Lucretilis ever,
  With the Digentian stream, and with the Bandusian fountain,
  Folded in Sabine recesses, the valley and villa of Horace:--
  So not seeing I sung; so seeing and listening say I,
  Here as I sit by the stream, as I gaze at the cell of the Sibyl,
  Here with Albunea's home and the grove of Tiburnus beside me.[A]
  Tivoli beautiful is, and musical, O Teverone,
  Dashing from mountain to plain, thy parted impetuous waters!
  Tivoli's waters and rocks; and fair under Monte Gennaro,
  (Haunt even yet, I must think, as I wonder and gaze, of the shadows,
  Faded and pale, yet immortal, of Faunus, the Nymphs, and the Graces,)
  Fair in itself, and yet fairer with human completing creations,
  Folded in Sabine recesses the valley and villa of Horace:--
  So not seeing I sung; so now,--nor seeing, nor hearing,
  Neither by waterfall lulled, nor folded in sylvan embraces,
  Neither by cell of the Sibyl, nor stepping the Monte Gennaro,
  Seated on Anio's bank, nor sipping Bandusian waters,
  But on Montorio's height, looking down on the tile-clad streets, the
  Cupolas, crosses, and domes, the bushes and kitchen-gardens,
  Which, by the grace of the Tiber, proclaim themselves Rome of the
  But on Montorio's height, looking forth to the vapory mountains,
  Cheating the prisoner Hope with illusions of vision and fancy,--
  But on Montorio's height, with these weary soldiers by me,
  Waiting till Oudinot enter, to reinstate Pope and Tourist.

[Footnote A:

  ----domus Albuneae resonantis,
  Et praeceps Anio, et Tiburni lucus, et uda
    Mobilibus pomaria rivis.]


  Dear Miss Roper,--It seems, George Vernon, before we left Rome, said
  Something to Mr. Claude about what they call his attentions.
  Susan, two nights ago, for the first time, heard this from Georgina.
  It is _so_ disagreeable, and so annoying, to think of!
  If it could only be known, though we never may meet him again, that
  It was all George's doing and we were entirely unconscious,
  It would extremely relieve--Your ever affectionate Mary.

  P.S. (1).
    Here is your letter arrived this moment, just as I wanted.
  So you have seen him,--indeed,--and guessed,--how dreadfully clever!
  What did he really say? and what was your answer exactly?
  Charming!--but wait for a moment, I have not read through the letter.

  P.S. (2).
    Ah, my dearest Miss Roper, do just as you fancy about it.
  If you think it sincerer to tell him I know of it, do so.
  Though I should most extremely dislike it, I know I could manage.
  It is the simplest thing, but surely wholly uncalled for.
  Do as you please; you know I trust implicitly to you.
  Say whatever is right and needful for ending the matter.
  Only don't tell Mr. Claude, what I will tell you as a secret,
  That I should like very well to show him myself I forget it.

  P.S. (3).
    I am to say that the wedding is finally settled for Tuesday.
  Ah, my dear Miss Roper, you surely, surely can manage
  Not to let it appear that I know of that odious matter.
  It would be pleasanter far for myself to treat it exactly
  As if it had not occurred; and I do not think he would like it.
  I must remember to add, that as soon as the wedding is over
  We shall be off, I believe, in a hurry, and travel to Milan,
  There to meet friends of Papa's, I am told, at the Croce di Malta;
  Then I cannot say whither, but not at present to England.


  Yes, on Montorio's height for a last farewell of the city,--
  So it appears; though then I was quite uncertain about it.
  So, however, it was. And now to explain the proceeding.
    I was to go, as I told you, I think, with the people to Florence.
  Only the day before, the foolish family Vernon
  Made some uneasy remarks, as we walked to our lodging together,
  As to intentions, forsooth, and so forth. I was astounded,
  Horrified quite; and obtaining just then, as it chanced, an offer
  (No common favor) of seeing the great Ludovisi collection,
  Why, I made this a pretence, and wrote that they must excuse me.
  How could I go? Great Heaven! to conduct a permitted flirtation
  Under those vulgar eyes, the observed of such observers!
  Well, but I now, by a series of fine diplomatic inquiries,
  Find from a sort of relation, a good and sensible woman,
  Who is remaining at Rome with a brother too ill for removal,
  That it was wholly unsanctioned, unknown,--not, I think, by Georgina:
  She, however, ere this,--and that is the best of the story,--
  She and the Vernon, thank Heaven, are wedded and gone--honey-mooning.
  So--on Montorio's height for a last farewell of the city.
  Tibur I have not seen, nor the lakes that of old I had dreamt of;
  Tibur I shall not see, nor Anio's waters, nor deep en-
  Folded in Sabine recesses the valley and villa of Horace;
  Tibur I shall not see;--but something better I shall see.
    Twice I have tried before, and failed in getting the horses;
  Twice I have tried and failed: this time it shall not be a failure.

         *       *       *       *       *

  Therefore farewell, ye hills, and ye, ye envineyarded ruins!
    Therefore farewell, ye walls, palaces, pillars, and domes!
  Therefore farewell, far seen, ye peaks of the mythic Albano,
    Seen from Montorio's height, Tibur and Aesula's hills!
  Ah, could we once, ere we go, could we stand, while, to ocean
    Sinks o'er the yellow dark plain slowly the yellow broad sun,
  Stand, from the forest emerging at sunset, at once in the champaign,
    Open, but studded with trees, chestnuts umbrageous and old,
  E'en in those fair open fields that incurve to thy beautiful hollow,
    Nemi, imbedded in wood, Nemi, inurned in the hill!--
  Therefore farewell, ye plains, and ye hills, and the City Eternal!
    Therefore farewell! We depart, but to behold you again!

[To be continued.]



  Vix fama nota est, abditis
  Quam plena sancti Roma sit;
  Quam dives urbanum solum
  Sacris sepulchris floreat.

  Mille victoriose chiare palme.


The results of the investigations in the catacombs during the last three
or four years have well rewarded the zeal of their explorers. Since the
great work of the French government was published, in 1851-55, very
curious and important discoveries have been made, and many new minor
facts brought to light. The interest in the investigations has become
more general, and no visit to Rome is now complete without a visit to
one at least of the catacombs. Strangely enough, however, the Romans
themselves, for the most part, feel less concern in these new
revelations of their underground city than the strangers who come from
year to year to make their pilgrimages to Rome. It is an old complaint,
that the Romans care little for their city. "Who are there to-day," says
Petrarch, in one of his letters, "more ignorant of Roman things than the
Roman citizens? And nowhere is Rome less known than in Rome itself." It
is, however, to the Cavaliere de Rossi, himself a Roman, that the most
important of these discoveries are due,--the result of his marvellous
learning and sagacity, and of his hard-working and unwearied energy. The
discovery of the ancient entrance to the Catacombs of St. Callixtus,
and of the chapel within, where St. Cecilia was originally buried, is
a piece of the very romance of Archaeology. The whole history of St.
Cecilia, the glorious Virgin Martyr and the Saint of Music, as connected
with the catacombs, is, indeed, one of the most curious to be found in
the annals of the Church. Legend and fact are strangely mingled in it,
and over it hangs a perplexing mist of doubt, but not so dense as wholly
to conceal all certainty. It is a story of suffering, of piety, of
enthusiasm, of superstition, and of science;--it connects itself in many
points with the progress of corruption in the Church, and it has been
a favorite subject for Art in all ages. The story is at last finished.
Begun sixteen hundred years ago, it has just reached its last chapter.
In order to understand it, we must go back almost to its introduction.

According to the legend of the Roman Church, as preserved in the "Acts
of St. Cecilia," this young and beautiful saint was martyred in the year
of our Lord 230.[A] She had devoted herself to perpetual virginity,
but her parents had insisted upon marrying her to a youthful and noble
Roman, named Valerian. On the night of her marriage, she succeeded in
so far prevailing upon her husband as to induce him to visit the pope,
Urban, who was lying concealed from his persecutors in the catacombs
which were called after and still bear the name of his predecessor,
Callixtus,[B] on the Appian Way, about two miles from the present walls
of the city. The young man was converted to the Christian faith. The
next day witnessed the conversion of his brother, Tiburtius. Their lives
soon gave evidence of the change in their religion; they were brought
before the prefect, and, refusing to sacrifice to the heathen gods, were
condemned to death. Maximus, an officer of the prefect, was converted
by the young men on the way to execution. They suffered death with
constancy, and Maximus soon underwent the same fate. Nor was Cecilia
long spared. The prefect ordered that she should be put to death in her
own house, by being stifled in the _caldarium_, or hot-air chamber of
her baths. The order was obeyed, and Cecilia entered the place of death;
but a heavenly air and cooling dews filled the chamber, and the fire
built up around it produced no effect. For a whole day and night the
flames were kept up, but the Saint was unharmed. Then Almachius sent an
order that she should be beheaded. The executioner struck her neck three
times with his sword, and left her bleeding, but not dead, upon the
pavement of the bathroom. For three days she lived, attended by faithful
friends, whose hearts were cheered by her courageous constancy; "for she
did not cease to comfort those whom she had nurtured in the faith of the
Lord, and divided among them everything which she had." To Pope Urban,
who visited her as she lay dying, she left in charge the poor whom she
had cared for, and her house, that it might be consecrated as a church.
With this her life ended.[C] Her wasted body was reverently lifted, its
position undisturbed, and laid in the attitude and clothing of life
within a coffin of cypress-wood. The linen cloths with which the blood
of the Martyr had been soaked up were placed at her feet, with that care
that no precious drop should be lost,--a care, of which many evidences
are afforded in the catacombs. In the night, the coffin was carried out
of the city secretly to the Cemetery of Callixtus, and there deposited
by Urban in a grave near to a chamber destined for the graves of the
popes themselves. Here the "Acts of St. Cecilia" close, and, leaving her
pure body to repose for centuries in its tomb hollowed out of the rock,
we trace the history of the catacombs during those centuries in other
sources and by other ways.

[Footnote A: _The Acts of St. Cecilia_ are generally regarded by the
best Roman Catholic authorities as apochryphal. They bear internal
evidence of their want of correctness, and, in the condition in which
they have come down to us, the date of their compilation cannot be set
before the beginning of the fifth century. At the very outset two facts
stand in open opposition to their statements. The martyrdom of St.
Cecilia is placed in the reign of Alexander Severus, whose mildness
of disposition and whose liberality towards the Christians are well
authenticated. Again, the prefect who condemns her to death, Turchius
Almachius, bears a name unknown to the profane historians of Rome. Many
statements of not less difficulty to reconcile with fact occur in the
course of the _Acts_. But, although their authority in particulars be
thus destroyed, we see no reason for questioning the reality of the
chief events upon which they are founded. The date of the martyrdom of
St. Cecilia may be wrong, the reports of her conversations may be as
fictitious as the speeches ascribed by grave historians to their heroes,
the stories of her miracles may have only that small basis of reality
which is to be found in the effects of superstition and excited
imagination,--but the essential truth of the martyrdom of a young,
beautiful, and rich Roman girl, of her suffering and her serene faith,
and of the veneration and honor in which her memory was held by those
who had known her, may be accepted without reserve. At least, it is
certain, that as early as the beginning of the fourth century the name
of St. Cecilia was reverenced in Rome, and that from that time she has
been one of the chief saints of the Roman calendar.]

[Footnote B: The Catacombs of St. Callixtus are among the most important
of the underground cemeteries. They were begun before the time of
Callixtus, but were greatly enlarged under his pontificate [A.D.
219-223]. Saint though he be, the character of Callixtus, if we may
judge by the testimony of another saint, Hippolytus, stood greatly in
need of purification. His story is an amusing illustration of the state
of the Roman episcopacy in those times. He had been a slave of a rich
Christian, Carpophorus. His master set him up as a money-dealer in the
Piscina Publica, a much frequented quarter of the city. The Christian
brethren (and widows also are mentioned by Hippolytus) placed their
moneys in his hands for safe-keeping, his credit as the slave of
Carpophorus being good. He appropriated these deposits, ran away to sea,
was pursued, threw himself into the water, was rescued, brought back to
Rome, and condemned to hard labor. Carpophorus bailed him out of the
workhouse,--but he was a bad fellow, got into a riot in a Jewish
synagogue, and was sent to work in the Sardinian mines. By cheating he
got a ticket of leave and returned to Rome. After some years, he was
placed in charge of the cemetery by the bishop or pope, Zephyrinus, and
at his death, some time later, by skilful intrigues he succeeded in
obtaining the bishopric itself. The cemetery is now called that of
_Saint_ Callixtus,--and in the saint the swindler is forgotten.]

[Footnote C: The passage in the _Acts of St. Cecilia_ which led to her
being esteemed the patroness of music is perhaps the following, which
occurs in the description of the wedding ceremonies: "Cantantibus
organis, Caecilia in corde suo soli Domino decantabat, dicens: 'Fiat cor
meum et corpus meum immaculatum, ut non confundar.'"]

The consequences of the conversion of Constantine exhibited themselves
not more in the internal character and spirit of the Church than in
its outward forms and arrangements. The period of worldly prosperity
succeeded speedily to a period of severest suffering, and many who
had been exposed to the persecution of Diocletian now rejoiced in the
imperial favor shown to their religion. Such contrasts in life are
not favorable to the growth of the finer spiritual qualities; and the
sunshine of state and court is not that which is needed for quickening
faith or developing simplicity and purity of heart. Churches above
ground could now be frequented without risk, and were the means by which
the wealth and the piety of Christians were to be displayed. The newly
imperialized religion must have its imperial temples, and the little
dark chapels of the catacombs were exchanged for the vast and ornamental
spaces of the new basilicas. It was no longer needful that the dead
should be laid in the secret paths of the rock, and the luxury of
magnificent Christian tombs began to rival that of the sepulchres of
the earlier Romans. The body of St. Peter, which had long, according
to popular tradition, rested in the catacombs of the Vatican, was now
transferred to the great basilica which Constantine, despoiling for the
purpose the tomb of Hadrian of its marbles, erected over the entrance to
the underground cemetery. So, too, the Basilica of St. Paul, on the way
to Ostia, was built over his old grave; and the Catacombs of St. Agnes
were marked by a beautiful church in honor of the Saint, built in part
beneath the soil, that its pavement might be on a level with the upper
story of the catacombs and the faithful might enter them from the

The older catacombs, whose narrow graves had been filled during the last
quarter of the third century with the bodies of many new martyrs, were
now less used for the purposes of burial, and more for those of worship.
New chapels were hollowed out in their walls; new paintings adorned the
brown rock; the bodies of martyrs were often removed from their original
graves to new and more elaborate tombs; the entrances to the cemeteries
were no longer concealed, but new and ampler ones were made; new
stairways, lined with marble, led down to the streets beneath;
_luminaria_, or passages for light and air, were opened from the surface
of the ground to the most frequented places; and at almost every
entrance a church or an oratory of more or less size was built, for the
shelter of those who might assemble to go down into the catacombs, and
for the performance of the sacred services upon ground hallowed by so
many sacred memories. The worship of the saints began to take form, at
first, in simple, natural, and pious ways, in the fourth century; and
as it grew stronger and stronger with the continually increasing
predominance of the material element in the Roman Church, so the
catacombs, the burial-places of the saints, were more and more visited
by those who desired the protection or the intercession of their
occupants. St. Jerome, who was born about this time in Rome, [A.D. 331,]
has a curious passage concerning his own experiences in the catacombs.
He says: "When I was a boy at Rome, being instructed in liberal studies,
I was accustomed, with others of the same age and disposition, to go on
Sundays to the tombs of the apostles and martyrs, and often to go into
the crypts, which, being dug out in the depths of the earth, have for
walls, on either side of those who enter, the bodies of the buried; and
they are so dark, that the saying of the prophet seems almost fulfilled,
_The living descend into hell._" But as the chapels and sacred tombs
in the catacombs became thus more and more resorted to as places for
worship, the number of burials within them was continually growing
less,--and the change in the spirit of the religion was marked by the
change of character in the paintings and inscriptions on their walls.
By the middle of the fifth century the extension of the catacombs had
ceased, and nearly about the same time the assemblies in them fell off.
The desolation of the Campagna had already begun; Rome had sunk rapidly;
and the churches and burial-places within the walls afforded all the
space that was needed for the assemblies of the living or the dead.

When the Goths descended upon Italy, ravaging the country as they passed
over it, and sat down before Rome, not content with stripping the land,
they forced their way into the catacombs, searching for treasure, and
seeking also, it seems likely, for the bodies of the martyrs, whom their
imperfect creed did not prevent them from honoring. After they retired,
in the short breathing-space that was given to the unhappy city, various
popes undertook to do something to restore the catacombs,[D]--and one
of them, John III., [A.D. 560-574,] ordered that service should be
performed at certain underground shrines, and that candles and all else
needful for this purpose should be furnished from the Basilica of St.
John Lateran. Just at the close of the sixth century, Gregory the Great
[590-604] again appointed stations in the catacombs at which service
should be held on special days in the course of the year, and a curious
illustration of the veneration in which the relics of the saints were
then held is afforded by a gift which he sent to Theodelinda, queen of
the Lombards. At this time the Lombards were laying all Italy waste.
Their Arian zeal ranged them in religious hate against the Roman
Church,--but Theodelinda was an orthodox believer, and through her
Gregory hoped to secure the conversion of her husband and his subjects.
It was to her that he addressed his famous Dialogues, filled with
the most marvellous stories of holy men and the strangest notions of
religion. Wishing to satisfy her pious desires, and to make her a very
precious gift, he sent to her many phials of oil taken from the lamps
that were kept burning at the shrines of the martyrs in the catacombs.
It was the custom of those who visited these shrines to dip
handkerchiefs, or other bits of cloth, in the reservoirs of oil, to
which a sacred virtue was supposed to be imparted by the neighborhood of
the saints; and even now may often be seen the places where the lamps
were kept lighted.[E]

[Footnote D: An inscription set up by Vigilius, pope from A.D. 538 to
555, and preserved by Gruter, contains the following lines:--

  "Dum peritura Getae posuissent castra sub urbe,
  Moverunt sanctis bella nefunda prius,
  Istaque sacrilego verterunt corde sepulchra
  Martyribus quondam rite sacrata piis.
  Diruta Vigilius nam mox haec Papa gemiscens,
  Hostibus expulsis, omne novavit opus."]

[Footnote E: The phials sent by Gregory to Queen Theodelinda were
accompanied by a list of the shrines from which they were taken; among
them was that of St. Cecilia. The document closes with the words, "Quae
olea sca temporibus Domini Gregorii Papae adduxit Johannes indignus
et peccator Dominae Theodelindae reginae de Roma." The oils are still
preserved in the treasury of the cathedral at Monza,--and the list
accompanying them has afforded some important facts to the students of
the early martyrology of Rome. A similar belief in the efficacy of oils
burned in lamps before noted images, or at noted shrines, still prevails
in the Papal City. In a little pamphlet lying before us, entitled
_Historic Notices of Maria SSma del Parto, venerated in St. Augustine's
Church in Rome_, published in 1853, is the following passage: "Many who
visited Mary dipped their fingers in the lamps to cross themselves with
the holy oil, by the droppings from which the base of the statue was so
dirtied, that hanging-lamps were substituted in the place of those that
stood around. But that the people might not be deprived of the trust
which they reposed in the holy oil, bits of cotton dipped in it were
wrapped up in paper, and there was a constant demand for them among the
devout." This passage refers to late years, and the custom still exists.
Superstition flourishes at Rome now not less than it did thirteen
hundred years ago; and superstitious practices have a wonderful vitality
in the close air of Romanism.]

But although the memory of those who had been buried within them was
thus preserved, the catacombs themselves and the churches at their
entrances were falling more and more into decay. Shortly after Gregory's
death, Pope Boniface IV. illustrated his otherwise obscure pontificate
by seeking from the mean and dissolute Emperor Phocas the gift of the
Pantheon for the purpose of consecrating it for a Christian church. The
glorious temple of all the gods was now dedicated [A.D. 608, Sept. 15]
to those who had displaced them, the Virgin and all the Martyrs. Its new
name was S. Maria ad Martyres,--and in order to sanctify its precincts,
the Pope brought into the city and placed under the altars of his new
church twenty-eight wagon-loads of bones, collected from the different
catacombs, and said to be those of martyrs. This is the first notice
that has been preserved of the practice that became very general in
later times of transferring bodies and bones from their graves in the
rock to new ones under the city churches.

Little more is known of the history of the catacombs during the next
two centuries, but that for them it was a period of desolation and
desertion. The Lombard hordes often ravaged and devastated the Campagna
up to the very gates of the city, and descended into the underground
passages of the cemeteries in search of treasure, of relics, and of
shelter. Paul III., about the middle of the eighth century, took many
bones and much ashes from graves yet unrifled, and distributed them
to the churches. He has left a record of the motives that led him
to disturb dust that had rested so long in quiet. "In the lapse of
centuries," he says, "many cemeteries of the holy martyrs and confessors
of Christ have been neglected and fallen to decay. The impious Lombards
utterly ruined them,--and now among the faithful themselves the old
piety has been replaced by negligence, which has gone so far that even
animals have been allowed to enter them, and cattle have been stalled
within them." Still, although thus desecrated, the graves of the martyrs
continued to be an object of interest to the pilgrims, who, even in
these dangerous times, from year to year came to visit the holy places
of Rome; and itineraries, describing the localities of the catacombs
and of the noted tombs within them, prepared for the guidance of such
pilgrims, not later than the beginning of the ninth century, have
been preserved to us, and have afforded essential and most important
assistance in the recent investigations.[F]

[Footnote F: Four of these itineraries are known. One of them is
preserved in William of Malmesbury's _Chronicle_. The differences and
the correspondences between them have been of almost equal assistance in
modern days in the determination of doubtful names and localities.]

About the same time, Pope Paschal I. [A.D. 817-824] greatly interested
himself in searching in the catacombs for such bodies of the saints as
might yet remain in them, and in transferring these relics to churches
and monasteries within the city. A contemporary inscription, still
preserved in the crypt of the ancient church of St. Prassede, (a church
which all lovers of Roman legend and art take delight in,) tells of the
two thousand three hundred martyrs whose remains Paschal had placed
beneath its altars. Nor was this the only church so richly endowed. One
day, in the year 821, Paschal was praying in the church that stood on
the site of the house in which St. Cecilia had suffered martyrdom, and
which was dedicated to her honor. It was now one of the oldest churches
in Rome. Two centuries before, Gregory the Great, St. Gregory, had
restored it,--for it even then stood in need of repairs, and now it was
in greater need than ever. Paschal determined, while praying, that he
would rebuild it from its foundations; but with this determination came
the desire to find the body of the Saint, that her new church might not
want its most precious possession. It was reported that the Lombards had
sought for it and carried it away, and the knowledge of the exact place
of the grave, even, was lost. But Paschal entered vigorously on the
search. He knew that she had been buried in the Cemetery of St.
Callixtus, and tradition declared that her sepulchre had been made near
the Chamber of the Popes. There he sought, but his seeking was vain.

On a certain day, however,--and here he begins his own story,--in the
Church of St. Peter, as he sat listening to the harmony of the morning
service, drowsiness overcame him, and he fell asleep.[G] As he was
sleeping, a very beautiful maiden of virginal aspect, and in a rich
dress, stood before him, and, looking at him, said,--"We return thee
many thanks; but why without cause, trusting to false reports, hast thou
given up the search for me? Thou hast been so near me that we might have
spoken together."

[Footnote G: "Quadam die, dum ante Confessionem Beati Petri
Apostoli psallentium matutinali lucescente Dominica residentes
observaremus harmoniam, sopore in aliquo corporis fragilitatem
aggravaute."--_Paschalis Papae Diploma_, as quoted in _L'Histoire de
Sainte Cécile_, par l'Abbé Guéranger. The simplicity of the old Pope's
story is wofully hurt by the grandiloquence of the French Abbé: "Le
Pontife écoutait avec délices l'harmonie des Cantiques que l'Église fait
monter vers le Seigneur au lever du jour. Un assoupissement produit par
la fatigue des veilles saintes vient le saisir sur le siége même où il
présidait dans la majesté apostolique," etc., etc., etc., _ad nauseam._]

The Pope, as if hurt by her rebuke, and doubtful of his vision, then
asked the name of her who thus addressed him.

"If thou seekest my name," she said, "I am called Cecilia, the
handmaiden of Christ."

"How can I believe this," replied the sleeping Pope, "since it was long
ago reported that the body of this most holy martyr was carried away by
the Lombards?"

The Saint then told him that till this time her body had remained
concealed; but that now he must continue his search, for it pleased God
to reveal it to him; and near her body he would also find other bodies
of saints to be placed with hers in her new-built church. And saying
this, she departed.

Hereupon a new search was begun, and shortly after, "by the favor of
God, we found her in golden garments, and the cloths with which her
sacred blood had been wiped from her wounds we found rolled up and full
of blood at the feet of the blessed virgin."

At the same time, the bodies of Valerian, Tiburtius, and Maximus were
found in a neighboring cemetery, and, together with the relics of Pope
Urban,--as well as the body of St. Cecilia,--were placed under the
high altar of her church.[H] The cypress coffin in which she had been
reverently laid at the time of her death was preserved and set within a
marble sarcophagus. No expense was spared by the devout Paschal to adorn
the church that had been so signally favored. All the Art of the time
(and at that time the arts flourished only in the service of the Church)
was called upon to assist in making the new basilica magnificent. The
mosaics which were set up to adorn the apse and the arch of triumph were
among the best works of the century, and, with colors still brilliant
and design still unimpaired, they hold their place at the present
day, and carry back the thought and the imagination of the beholder a
thousand years into the very heart of this old story. Under the great
mosaic of the apse one may still read the inscription, in the rude Latin
of the century, which tells of Paschal's zeal and Rome's joy, closing
with the line,

  "Roma resultat ovans semper ornata per

[Footnote H: It is a remarkable fact, to be explained by the believers
in the virtue of relics, that, notwithstanding the body of St. Cecilia
was deposited perfect in her grave, and, as we shall see, was long after
found complete, no less than five heads of St. Cecilia are declared
to exist, or to have existed,--for one has been lost,--in different
churches. One is in the church of the SS. Quattro Coronati, at Rome,
which possessed it from a very early period; a second is at Paris, a
third at Beauvais, a fourth was at Tours, and we have seen the reliquary
in which a fifth is preserved in the old cathedral of Torcello.]

And thus once more the body of the virgin was left to repose in peace,
once more the devout could offer their prayers to the Saint at the altar
consecrated by her presence, and once more the superstitious could
increase the number of the miracles wrought by her favor. Through the
long period of the fall and depression of Rome, her church continued to
be a favorite one with the people of the city, and with the pilgrims to
it. From time to time it was repaired and adorned, and in the thirteenth
century the walls of its portico were covered with a series of frescoes,
representing the events of St. Cecilia's life, and the finding of her
body by Paschal. These frescoes--precious as specimens of reawakening
Art, and especially precious at Rome, because of the little that was
done there at that period--were all, save one, long since destroyed
in some "restoration" of the church. The one that was preserved is now
within the church, and represents in its two divisions the burial of the
Saint by Pope Urban, and her appearance in St. Peter's Church to the
sleeping Paschal, whose figure is rendered with amusing naïveté and

Meanwhile, after the translation of St. Cecilia's body, the catacombs
remained much in the same neglected state as before, falling more and
more into ruin, but still visited from year to year by the pilgrims,
whom even pillage and danger could not keep from Rome. For two
centuries,--from the thirteenth to the fifteenth,--scarcely any mention
of them is to be found. Petrarch, in his many letters about Rome, dwells
often on the sacredness of the soil within the city, in whose crypts and
churches so many saints and martyrs lie buried, but hardly refers to the
catacombs themselves, and never in such a way as to show that they were
an object of interest to him, though a lover of all Roman relics and a
faithful worshipper of the saints. It was near the end of the sixteenth
century that a happy accident--the falling in of the road outside the
Porta Salara--brought to light the streets of the Cemetery of St.
Priscilla, and awakened in Antonio Bosio a zeal for the exploration of
the catacombs which led him to devote the remainder of his long life to
the pursuit, and by study, investigation, and observation, to lay
the solid basis of the thorough and comprehensive acquaintance with
subterranean Rome which has been extended by the researches of a long
line of able scholars down to the present day. But to Bosio the
chief honor is due, as the earliest, the most exact, and the most
indefatigable of the explorers.

It was during his lifetime that the story of St. Cecilia received a
continuation, of which he himself has left us a full account. In
the year 1599, Paolo Emilio Sfondrati, Cardinal of the Title of St.
Cecilia,[I] undertook a thorough restoration of the old basilica erected
by Paschal. He possessed a large collection of relics, and determined
that he would place the most precious of them under the high altar. For
this purpose the vault containing the sarcophagi in which St. Cecilia
and her companions lay must be opened, and on the 20th of October the
work was undertaken. Upon breaking through the wall, two sarcophagi of
white marble were discovered. The Cardinal was on the spot, and, in the
presence of numerous dignitaries of the Church, whom he had sent for as
witnesses, he caused the heavy top of the first of these stone coffins
to be lifted. Within was seen the chest of cypress-wood in which,
according to the old story, the Saint had been originally placed.
Sfondrati with his own hands removed the lid, and within the chest was
found the body of the virgin, with a silken veil spread over her rich
dress, on which could still be seen the stains of blood, while at her
feet yet lay the bloody cloths which had been placed there more than
thirteen centuries before. She was lying upon her right side, her feet a
little drawn up, her arms extended and resting one upon the other,
her neck turned so that her head rested upon the left cheek. Her form
perfectly preserved, and her attitude of the sweetest virginal grace and
modesty, it seemed as if she lay there asleep rather than dead.[J]--The
second sarcophagus was found to contain three bodies, which were
recognized as being, according to tradition, those of Tiburtius,
Valerian, and Maximus.

[Footnote I: The _Titoli_ of Rome correspond nearly to Parishes. They
date from an early period in the history of the Church.]

[Footnote J: "Dormientis instar," says Bosio, in his _Relatio
Inventionis et Repositionis S. Caeciliae et Sociorum_. The discovery
of the body of the Saint in this perfect state of preservation has,
of course, been attributed by many Romanist authors to miraculous
interposition. But it is to be accounted for by natural causes. The
soil of the catacombs and of Rome is in many parts remarkable for its
antiseptic qualities. The Cavaliere de Rossi informed us that he had
been present at the opening of an ancient tomb on the Appian Way, in
which the body of a young man had been found in a state of entire
preservation, fresh almost as on the day of its burial, and with it was
a piece of sponge which had apparently been soaked in blood,--for his
death had been by violence. In the winter of 1857, two marble sarcophagi
were found in one of the passages of the Catacombs of St. Callixtus, in
which excavations were then going on, and upon being opened, a body
was found in each, in a state, not of entire, but of almost perfect
preservation. The skin had become somewhat shrunk, and the flesh was
hardened and darkened, but the general form and features were preserved.
Possibly these also may have been the bodies of saints. The sarcophagi
were kept through the winter in the catacombs where they were found, and
their marble lids being removed, covers of glass were fitted to them, so
that the bodies might be seen by the visitors to the catacombs. It was a
frequent custom, chiefly in the fourth and fifth centuries, to bury the
rich in sarcophagi placed within tombs in the catacombs.]

The day advanced as these discoveries were made, and Sfondrati having
had a chest of wood hastily lined with silk, and brought to a room in
the adjoining convent, which opened into the church, (it is the room
at the left, now used for the first reception of novices,) carried the
cypress chest with its precious contents to this apartment, and placed
it within the new box, which he locked and sealed. Then, taking the key
with him, he hastened to go out to Frascati, where Pope Clement VIII.
was then staying, to avoid the early autumn airs of Rome. The Pope was
in bed with the gout, and gave audience to no one; but when he heard of
the great news that Sfondrati had brought, he desired at once to see
him, and to hear from him the account of the discovery. "The Pope
groaned and grieved that he was not well enough to hasten at once to
visit and salute so great a martyr." But it happened that the famous
annalist, Cardinal Baronius, was then with the Pope at Frascati, and
Clement ordered him to go to Rome forthwith, in his stead, to behold and
venerate the body of the Saint. Sfondrati immediately took Baronius
in his carriage back to the city, and in the evening they reached the
Church of St. Cecilia.[K] Baronius, in the account which he has left
of these transactions, expresses in simple words his astonishment and
delight at seeing the preservation of the cypress chest, and of the body
of the Saint: "When we at length beheld the sacred body, it was then,
that, according to the words of David, 'as we had heard, so we saw, in
the city of the Lord of Hosts, in the city of our God.'[L] For as we had
read that the venerated body of Cecilia had been found and laid away by
Paschal the Pope, so we found it." He describes at length the posture
of the virgin, who lay like one sleeping, in such modest and noble
attitude, that "whoever beheld her was struck with unspeakable
reverence, as if the heavenly Spouse stood by as a guard watching his
sleeping Bride, warning and threatening: 'Awake not my love till she
please.'"[M] The next morning, Baronius performed Mass in the church in
memory and honor of St. Cecilia, and the other saints buried near her,
and then returned to Frascati to report to the Pope what he had seen. It
was resolved to push forward the works on the church with vigor, and
to replace the body of the Saint under its altar on her feast-day, the
twenty-second of November, with the most solemn pontifical ceremony.

[Footnote K: This account is to be found in the _Annals_ of Baronius,
_ad annum_ 821.]

[Footnote L: Psalm xlviii. 8.]

[Footnote M: Song of Solomon, ii. 7.]

Meanwhile the report of the wonderful discovery spread through Rome,
and caused general excitement and emotion. The Trasteverini, with whom
Cecilia had always been a favorite saint, were filled with joy, with
piety, and superstition. Crowds continually pressed to the church, and
so great was the ardor of worshippers, that the Swiss guards of the
court were needed to preserve order. Lamps were kept constantly burning
around the coffin, which was set near a grating in the wall between the
church and convent, so as to be visible to the devout. "There was
no need of burning perfumes and incense near the sacred body, for a
sweetest odor breathed out from it, like that of roses and lilies."

Sfondrati, desirous to preserve for future generations a memorial
likeness of the Saint, ordered the sculptor Stefano Maderno to make a
statue which should represent the body of Cecilia as it was found lying
in the cypress chest. Maderno was then a youth of twenty-three years.
Sculpture at this time in Rome had fallen into a miserable condition of
degraded conventionalism and extravagance. But Maderno was touched with
the contagion of the religious enthusiasm of the moment, and his work is
full of simple dignity, noble grace, and tender beauty. No other work
of the time is to be compared with it. It is a memorial not only of the
loveliness of the Saint, but of the self-forgetful religious fervor of
the artist, at a period when every divine impulse seemed to be absent
from the common productions of Art. Rome has no other statue of such
sacred charm, none more inspired with Christian feeling. It lies in
front of the high altar, disfigured by a silver crown and a costly
necklace, the offerings of vulgar and pretentious adoration; but even
thus it is at once a proof and prophecy of what Art is to accomplish
under the influence of the Christian spirit. The inscription that
Sfondrati placed before the statue still exists. It is as follows:
"Behold the image of the most holy virgin Cecilia; whom I, Paul,
Cardinal of the Title of St. Cecilia, saw lying perfect in her
sepulchre; which I have caused to be made in this marble, in the very
position of the body, for you."

The twenty-second of November arrived. The Pope had recovered from
his gout. The church was splendidly decorated. A solemn procession,
illustrated by the presence of all the great dignitaries of the Church,
of the ambassadors of foreign states, and the nobles of Rome, advanced
up the nave. Clement intoned the Mass. Then proceeding to the cypress
chest, it was lifted by four cardinals, and carried to the vault under
the altar, while the choir chanted the anthem, _O beata Coecilia,
quoe Almachium superâsti, Tiburtium et Valerianum ad martyrii coronam
vocâsti!_ The old coffin, undisturbed, was placed in a silver case; the
last service was performed, and the body of the virgin was once more
laid away to rest.

We pass now over two centuries and a half. About five years ago the
Cavaliere de Rossi found lying upon the ground, in a _vigna_ bordering
on the Appian Way, about two miles from Rome, a portion of a sepulchral
stone on which were the letters NELIUS MARTYR, the NE broken across.
He immediately conjectured that this was a piece of the stone that had
covered the grave of Pope Cornelius, [A.D. 250-252,] and on the truth of
this conjecture important results depended. It was known that this pope
had been buried in the Catacombs of St. Callixtus; and it was known
also, from the itineraries and some other sources, that his grave was
not in the same chamber with the graves of the other popes who were
buried in those catacombs, but that it was not far away from it. It was
further known, as we have seen, that the chapel in which St. Cecilia
had been buried was close to the Chamber of the Popes. But a tradition
dating from a late period of the Middle Ages had given the name of
Callixtus to the catacombs opening from the Church of St. Sebastian,
at a little greater distance from Rome. In these catacombs the place
supposed to be that of St. Cecilia's grave was pointed out, and an
inscription set up to mark the spot, by a French archbishop, in the
year 1409, still exists. Many indications, however, led De Rossi
to disbelieve this tradition and to distrust this authority. It
contradicted the brief indications of the itineraries, and could not be
reconciled with other established facts. Not far from the place where
the broken inscription was found was an accidental entrance into
catacombs which had been supposed to have been originally connected with
those of St. Sebastian, but were believed by De Rossi to be a portion of
the veritable Catacombs of St. Callixtus, and quite separate from the
former. The paths in this part, however, were stopped up in so many
directions, that it was impossible to get an entrance through them to
such parts as might determine the question. Again, in the neighborhood
of the discovery of the broken stone was an old building, used as a
stable, and for other mean purposes. On examination of it, De Rossi
satisfied himself that it had been originally one of the churches
erected in the fourth century at the entrance of the catacombs, and he
had little doubt that he had now found the place of the main descent
into the Catacombs of St. Callixtus. The discovery was a great one; for
near the main entrance had been the burial-place of the popes, and of
St. Cecilia. De Rossi laid the results of his inductive process of
archaeological reasoning before the pope, who immediately gave orders
for the purchase of the _vigna_, and directions that excavations should
be at once begun.[N]

[Footnote N: Another curious point was made by De Rossi previously to
the commencement of the explorations. It illustrates the accuracy of his
acquaintance with the underground archaeology. In one of the itineraries
it was said, speaking of the burial-place of Cornelius, that here also
St. Cyprian was buried. Now, as is well known, Cyprian was buried in
Africa, where he had suffered martyrdom. His martyrdom took place on
the same day with that of Cornelius, though in another year; and their
memories were consequently celebrated by the Church on the same day, the
16th of September. De Rossi declared, that, if he discovered the tomb of
St. Cornelius, he should find near it something which would explain the
error of the itinerary in stating that Cyprian's grave also was here.
And such proved to be the fact. On the wall, by the side of the grave,
was found a painting of Cornelius, with his name, "S[=c][=s] Cornelius,"
and by the side of this figure was another painting of a bishop in his
robes, with the letters "S[=c][=s] Ciprianus."]

[Transcriber's note: Here and below the = sign is used to indicate an

The work was scarcely begun, before an ancient stairway, long ago buried
under accumulated earth and rubbish, was discovered, leading down to the
second story of the catacombs. The passages into which it opened were
filled with earth, but, as this was cleared away, a series of chambers
of unusual size, reaching almost to the surface of the soil, was entered
upon. At the right a wide door led into a large chapel. The walls were
covered with rudely scratched names and inscriptions, some in Greek
and some in Latin. De Rossi, whose eyes were practised in the work,
undertook to decipher these often obscure scribblings. They were for the
most part the inscriptions of the pilgrims who had visited these places,
and their great number gave proof that this was a most important portion
of the cemetery. The majority of these were simply names, or names
accompanied with short expressions of piety. Many, for instance, were in
such form as this,--[Greek: Elaphin eis mneian echete],--"Keep Elaphis
in remembrance." Many were expressions of devotion, written by the
pilgrims for the sake of those who were dear to them, as,--_Vivat in
Domino_, "May he live in the Lord"; _Pet[ite] ut Verecundus cum suis
bene naviget_, "Seek that Verecundus with his companions may voyage
prosperously." The character of the writing, the names and the style,
indicate that these inscriptions belong mostly to the third and fourth
centuries. Among these writings on the wall were one or two which
confirmed De Rossi in the opinion that this must be the sepulchre in
which the greater number of the popes of the third century had been
buried. Carefully preserving all the mass of rubbish which was taken
from the chamber, he set himself to its examination, picking out from
it all the bits and fragments of marble, upon many of which letters
or portions of letters were cut. Most of them were of that elaborate
character which is well known to all readers of the inscriptions from
the catacombs as that of Pope Damasus,--for this Pope [A.D. 366-385] had
devoted himself to putting up new inscriptions over celebrated
graves, and had used a peculiar and sharply cut letter, easy to be
distinguished. It was known that he had put new inscriptions over the
tombs of the popes buried in the Cemetery of St. Callixtus. After most
patient examination, De Rossi succeeded in finding and putting together
the inscriptions of four of these early popes, and, with Cuvier-like
sagacity, he reconstructed, out of a hundred and twelve separate,
minute, and scattered pieces, the metrical inscription in which Damasus
expressed his desire to be buried with them, but his fear of vexing
their sacred ashes.[O]

[Footnote O: In another part of the catacombs the remainder of the stone
that had been set over the grave of Cornelius was found. It fitted
precisely the piece first found by De Rossi. The letters upon it
were CORN EP. The whole inscription then read, "Cornelius Martyr,
Ep[iscopus.]" It is rare that a bit of broken stone paves the way to
such discoveries. But it must be a man of genius who walks over the
pavement. Cardinal Wiseman has given an imperfect account of these
discoveries in his diverting novel, _Fabiola_.]

There could no longer be any doubt; this was the Chapel of the
Popes, and that of St. Cecilia must be near by. Proceeding with the
excavations, a door leading into a neighboring crypt was opened. The
crypt was filled with earth and _débris_, which appeared to have
fallen into it through a _luminare_, now choked up with the growth and
accumulated rubbish of centuries. In order to remove the mass of earth
with least risk of injury to the walls of the chamber, it was determined
to take it out through the luminare from above. As the work advanced,
there were discovered on the wall of the luminare itself paintings
of the figures of three men, with a name inscribed at the side of
each,--Policamus, Sebastianus, and Cyrinus. These names inspired fresh
zeal, for they were those of saints who were mentioned in one or more
of the itineraries as having been buried in the same chapel with St.
Cecilia. As the chapel was cleared, a large arcosolium was found, and
near it a painting of a youthful woman, richly attired, adorned with
necklaces and bracelets, and the dress altogether such as might befit
a bride. Below, on the same wall, was a figure of a pope in his robes,
with the name "S[=e][=s] Urbanus" painted at the side: and close to this
figure, a large head of the Saviour, of the Byzantine type, with a glory
in the form of a Greek cross. The character of the paintings showed that
they were of comparatively late date, probably not earlier than the
sixth century, and obviously executed at a time when the chapel was
frequented by worshippers, and before the traditional knowledge of the
exact site of St. Cecilia's sepulchre had been lost.

The discovery made by Paschal after the place had been deserted was thus
repeated by De Rossi after a second, longer, and more obscure period of
oblivion. The divine vision which had led the ancient Pope, according
to his own account, to the right spot, was now replaced by scientific
investigation. The statements of inspiration were confirmed, as in so
many more conspicuous instances, by the discoveries of science. Cecilia
had lain so near the popes, that she might, as she had said to Paschal,
have spoken to him when he was in their chapel, _as ad as_, "mouth to
mouth." But the questions naturally arose, Why was it that in Paschal's
time, before this chapel was encumbered with earth, it had been so
difficult to find her grave? and, Why had not the Lombards, who had
sought for her sacred body, succeeded in finding it? De Rossi was
able to furnish the solution. In several instances he had found walls
carefully built up in front of tombs so as to conceal them. It was plain
that this must have been done with some definite purpose; and it seems
altogether likely that it was to hide these tombs from sacrilegious
invaders. The walls had been built when the faithful were forced by
the presence of their enemies to desert the catacombs and leave them
unprotected. It was a striking illustration of the veneration in which
these holy places had been held. Upon examination of the floor in front
of the areosolium of this chapel, traces of the foundation of a wall
were discovered, and thus the Lombard failure and Paschal's difficulty
were explained.

So ends the story of St Cecilia and her tomb. Within her church are the
remains of the bath-chamber where she suffered death. The mosaics of
the apse and the arch of triumph tell of the first finding of her body;
Maderno's statue recalls the fact of its second discovery long after;
and now this newly opened, long forgotten chapel shows where her
precious body was first laid away in peace, brings the legend of her
faithful death into clearer remembrance, and concludes the ancient story
with dramatic and perfect completeness.

"The Lord discovereth deep things out of darkness, and bringeth out to
light the shadow of death."

[To be continued.]

       *       *       *       *       *


  Wing-Footed! thou abid'st with him
  That asks it not: but he who hath
  Watched o'er the waves thy fading path
  Will never more on ocean's rim,
  At morn or eve, behold returning
  Thy high-heaped canvas shoreward yearning:
  Thou only teachest us the core
  And inmost meaning of No More,
  Thou, who first showest us thy face
  Turned o'er the shoulder's parting grace,
  And whose sad footprints we can trace
  Away from every mortal door!


When the great storms raged along the Atlantic coast, they sometimes
tossed a token into Diver's Bay. In more than one of the rude cabins
composing the fishermen's settlement memorials of shipwreck and disaster
might be found; and these memorials did not always fail to kindle
imagination, and to arouse soft feelings of pity for the calamities they

One morning, that dawned bright and mild after a week of tempest,
Clarice Briton went out with her coarse basket to gather the sea-weed
tossed on the shore. She was the first child out that morning, and on
account of the late storm, which had prevented the usual daily work, the
harvest was a rich one.

There was always need that Clarice should work with her might when she
found work to do, and she now labored from dawn till sunrise, filling
her basket many times over, until the boards where she spread the weed
to dry were nearly covered. Then she threw herself down to rest by her
father's door. But when the sun was rising she went and sat among the
rocks, and watched the changing of the sky and water, and the flocks of
birds as they came screaming from their nests to dive among the waves
and mount beyond her sight among the mists of morning. She never tired
of watching them, or of gazing on these scenes. She knew the habits of
the shore birds, understood their indications and devices, and whatever
their movements foreboded concerning the weather. Clarice was also
versed in winds and clouds, and knew as well as the wise fishermen what
the north-wind had in store, and what the south-wind would give them.

While she sat resting a few minutes, and wondering that the other
children of the beach were so long in waking to the pleasant day,
suddenly, as she looked down along the rocks that lay between her and
the water, she saw lying near her feet, securely lodged by the waves
among the stones, a basket. It was a very different affair from that
other, lying a few paces off, with which she went about gathering
sea-weed. It was small, and light, and delicately woven,--embroidered,
too, with floss. When she bent forward and picked it up, long strings
of shiny weed dangled dripping from the handles,--and something beside;
for, as she attempted to remove the traces of wild voyaging, something
that was not weed resisted her efforts, and caused her to raise the lid.
As she did so, a chain, which had been partly secured by the closing of
the lid, was disengaged, and fell into her lap.

"What's that, Clarice?" said a voice just above her, as she in amazement
lifted the chain, and endeavored to free it from the weed.

"Oh, Luke, there must have been a wreck! See! I found it just here at
my feet," said Clarice, sorrowfully,--apparently not taken by surprise
by the sudden coming and speaking of Luke Merlyn; she did not even lift
her head, nor for an instant turn to him from what occupied her.

"There's a ring, too, I declare!" said Luke, coming down to her side;
and he took from her lap a small ring, in which was set a solitary
pearl;--the ring had dropped from the chain. "What next? Look in."

Clarice opened the basket again, and turned out the white silk lining,
which was soaking and stained with wild sea-travel. "That is all," said

"That chain is a gold one," remarked Luke Merlyn. "There must have been
a wreck. Who do you suppose these things belonged to? Some lady? Look at
that basket now. She kept her trinkets in it. I suppose lots of 'em got
shook out by the way. I am glad it was you found it, Clarice. Just try
that ring on your finger now; I should think it might fit you."

He took up the ring and looked at Clarice, but she shrunk back

"Oh, no!--I should feel as if it would drag me down to the bottom of the
sea after the owner."

"It's the neatest thing I ever saw, though, Clarice. Look, what a pearl!
You must keep it for your own, any way, if you won't wear it. Nobody
about here is fit but you. The poor little basket, too,--poor little

He took it up and looked it over, much as though it were a dead bird, or
some other pretty thing that once had life, and knew bow to enjoy it.

"Are you going out to-day, Luke?" asked Clarice.

"Don't you see I've got the net? Father will be down by the time I'm
ready. We are tired enough hanging about waiting for the blow to be

"May-be you will see something," said Clarice, in an undertone. "If you
could only find out about the ship, and the poor passengers!"

"May-be," answered Luke,--saying this to comfort her. "Is your father
going out to-day?"

"He said he would, last night. I'm glad it came off so pleasant. See
how long this chain is!--a great many times longer than his big

"Worth fifty times as much, too."

"Is it?" said Clarice, looking up in wonder, almost incredulous;--but
then Luke had said it.

"This is gold. Come and walk down to the boat, Clarice. How many times
have you filled your basket this morning? You look tired. How did you
come to wake up so soon? I believe I heard you singing, and that was
what brought me out so quick."

"I haven't sung any, Luke," she answered, looking at him in wonder.

"Oh, yes!--I'm sure I heard you. I got up and looked out of my window;
there you were. You are the best girl around, Clarice! Come now, why
don't you say I'm the best fellow? Then we'll be even. I am, you know.
But then I want to hear you say so."

The merry fellow was in earnest, though he laughed. He blushed more
deeply than the girl,--indeed, she did not blush at all,--when he thus
spoke to her. She looked at him a little surprised.

"Come," said he, with gentle coaxing. "I know what you think. Speak out,
and make me feel happy, all the days of my life. If it wasn't that you
feel so about the ring--But why shouldn't you feel solemn about it? It
belonged to some beautiful lady, I suppose, who lies at rest in the
bottom of the sea by this time. _H.H._"--he read the initials engraved
on the clasp of the chain.

Clarice, who held the ring, inadvertently turned it that moment to the
light so that her eyes could not fail to perceive that two letters were
also written by a graver underneath the pearl. These letters likewise
were _H.H._ She gave the ring, to Luke, pointing to the initials.

"Yes, to be sure," said he, examining it with his bright eyes. "It's the
prettiest thing I ever saw. These letters must have stood for something.
Clarice,"--he hesitated a moment,--"Clarice, they might stand for
something yet, _Heart and Hand_. Here they are,--take them,--they're
yours,--my heart and my hand,--till Death comes between!"

"Don't talk that way, Luke," answered the girl, gravely. "Your father is
waiting for you, I'm sure."

But Luke did not believe that she was in such haste to be rid of him.

"He hasn't gone down yet. I've watched," said he. "He'd be willing to
wait, if he knew what I was saying. Besides, if you are in a hurry, it
won't take but a minute to say yes, Clarice. Will you take my heart and
my hand? Here is your ring."

Clarice took the ring and looked away; but, in looking away, her eyes
fell on Luke, and she smiled.

"It's the prettiest thing, that ring is, in the world, except you,
Clarice,"--so the smile made him speak.

"That's new for me," said the girl. "Talk sense, Luke."

"Handsome is that handsome does, say I. And if you a'n't the best
girl in the Bay, Clary, who is, then? When are you going to say yes?"
demanded the young fellow.

"Now," replied Clarice, suddenly.

"Have you taken my heart and hand?" asked the lad as quickly, his face
glowing with delight.


"To keep forever, Clarice?" It seemed, after all, incredible.

"Yes, Luke." And so speaking, the girl meant _yes, forever_.

Now this promise had not really taken either of these children by
surprise. They had long understood each other. But when they had given
a mutual promise, both looked grave. Clarice stood by the water's edge,
careless that time was passing. Luke was in no hurry for his father.

But at length a shrill voice called the girl. Dame Briton stood in the
cabin door, and her angry tongue was laden with reproaches ready for
utterance when Clarice should come within easier reach of her voice.

"I must go," said Clarice to Luke.

"I'll follow you, to-night. Don't work too hard," he answered. "Take
care of my heart, Clarice."

A storm broke upon Clarice when she went home to her mother. She bore
the blame of her idleness with tolerable patience, until it seemed as if
the gale would never blow over. At last some quick words escaped her:--

"Three bushels of weed lie there on the boards ready spread, and drying.
I gathered them before another creature was stirring in Diver's Bay."
Then she added, more gently, "I found something besides."

But though Dame Briton heard, she passed this last bit of information
without remark.

"Idling down there on the beach to see the boys off fishing!" she could
not help saying. "You needn't be up afore the break o' day for work like

"It was Luke Merlyn."

"No matter."

"I showed him what I had found. Ask him if I'm ever too free. He'd know
as quick as anybody,--and care as much."

Clarice, while speaking this, had departed yet farther both in look and
voice from her usual serenity.

The dame let her last words pass without taking them up. She was by this
time curious.

"What did you find?" asked she.

Clarice showed the basket and the gold chain. Her mother handled both
with wondering admiration, asking many a question. At last she threw the
chain around her neck.

"It's gold," said she. "It's worth much. If you could pick up the like
of that every day, you might let the old weed-basket drift."

"I had rather gather weeds till my back was broken doing it, than ever
find another," said Clarice.

The dame took this for a child's exaggeration; observing which, Clarice
said, sadly,--

"Why, don't you see how it came to shore? There's been a wreck in the
storm last week. Oh, may-be I've found all that will tell of it!"

"What's that in your hand?" asked the dame, who spied the ring.

Clarice half opened her palm; she did not like to let the ring pass from
her keeping, and all this while she had stood doubting whether or not
she should show it to her mother.

Dame Briton took it quickly. The dull glitter of greedy eyes fell on the
mild lustre of the pearl, but found no reflection.

"A ring!" said she, and she tried to fit it to her little finger. It
would not pass the first rough joint.

"Try it," said she to Clarice.

"No," was the quiet answer. "But I will keep the ring. It must have been
a lady's. May-be it was a token."

"May-be it was.--If your father should take that chain to the Port,
he might make a handsome bargain,--if he was worth a snap at
bargains.--Here's something; what be these marks? look here, Clarice."

The face of the girl flushed a little as she answered,--"_H. H_."

"_H.H.!_ What does that mean? I wonder."

"May-be the name of the owner," answered Clarice, timidly.

She was thinking, not of what the letters might have meant to others,
but of what they had come to signify to her and Luke.

"Who knows?" answered her mother; and she stood musing and absent, and
her face had a solemn look.

Clarice now took the basket to the fireplace and held it there till it
was dried. With the drying the colors brightened and the sand was easily
brushed away; but many a stain remained on the once dainty white silk
lining; the basket would hardly have been recognized by its owner.
Having dried and cleansed it as well as she was able, Clarice laid it
away in a chest for safe-keeping, and then ate her breakfast, standing.
After that, she went out to work again until the tide should come in.
She left the chain with her mother, but the ring she had tied to a cord,
and hung it around her neck.

By this time the children of the fishermen were all out, and the most
industrious of them at work. They scattered among the rocks and crags,
and wandered up and down the coast three miles, gathering sea-weed,
which it was their custom to dry, and then carry to town, the Port, not
many miles distant, where it was purchased by the glassmakers.

Clarice had neither brother nor sister, and she made little of the
children of the neighboring fishermen; for her life was one of toil, and
her inheritance seemed very different from theirs, though they were all
poor, and ate the crusts of labor.

Her father, had Nature only given him what she seemed to have intended
at the outset, might have been as successful a fisherman as lived at
the Bay. But he trusted to luck, and contrived to make half of what he
earned a serious damage to him. The remainder was little enough for the
comfort of his family, small though that family was.

Briton was a good fellow, everybody said. They meant that he was always
ready for sport, and time-wasting, and drinking, and that sort of
generosity which is the shabbiest sort of selfishness. They called him
"Old Briton," but he was not, by many, the oldest man in Diver's Bay;
he might have been the wickedest, had he not been the jolliest, and
incapable of hiding malice in his heart. And if I said he was out and
out the wickedest, I should request that people would refrain from
lifting up their hands in horror, on account of the poor old fellow. We
all know--alas, perhaps, we all love--wickeder souls than could have
been produced from among the older fishermen, had all their sins been
concentrated in one individual.

Old Briton was what the people called a lucky fisherman. In seasons when
he chose to work, the result was sufficiently obvious, to himself and
others, to astonish both. But even in the best seasons he was a bad
manager. He trusted everybody, and found, to his astonishment, how few
deserve to be trusted.

Dame Briton was a stout, loud-talking woman, whom experience had not
softened in her ways of speech or thought or action. She was generally
at strife with her husband, but the strife was most illogical. It did
not admit of a single legitimate deduction in the mind of a third
person. It seemed sometimes as if the pair were possessed of the
instincts of those animals which unite for mutual destruction, and as if
their purpose were to fulfil their destiny with the utmost rapidity.

In the years when Dame Briton, by nature proud and ambitious, was
putting forth the most successful efforts she ever made at decent
housekeeping, endeavoring to transform her husband into such a person as
he was not born to be, striving hard to work her will,--in those years
Clarice was born.

Is the pearl a product of disease?

Clarice grew up in the midst of influences not the purest or most
elevating. She was not by nature gay, but silent, truthful, and
industrious. She was no coward by nature, and her training made her
brave and hardy. Sometimes Old Briton called her his boy, and exacted
from her the service of a son. Dame Briton did not quarrel with him for
that; she was as proud as the fisherman of any feat of skill or strength
or courage performed by Clarice. In their way they were both fond of the
child, but their fondness had strange manifestation; and of much tender
speech, or fondling, or praise, the girl stood in no danger.

Idleness especially was held up before her, from the outset, as the most
destructive evil and dire iniquity of which human creature was capable;
and Old Briton, lounging about all day with his pipe in his mouth,--by
no means a rare spectacle,--did not interfere with the lesson the
child's mother enforced. Winter and summer there was enough for the
little feet and hands to do. So, as Clarice grew up, she earned the best
reputation for industry of any girl in Diver's Bay.

Before she became the praise of the serious Bay people, Luke Merlyn's
bright eyes were on the little girl, and he had a settled habit of
seeking times and opportunities for quiet talks with her. He liked to
ask and follow her advice in many matters. Many a heavy basket of weeds
had he helped her carry home from the rocks; many a shell and pebble had
he picked up in his coast-work, when he went beyond the limits of the
Bay,--because he knew the good girl had a liking for every pretty thing.

If Clarice Briton was the finest girl, Luke Merlyn, beyond question, was
the most promising fellow in this little village of fishermen. He was
strong, active, ready for any undertaking that required a bold spirit
and firm hand,--was quicker in thought and readier in speech than any
lad about. He had a little personal vanity,--and good looks to encourage
the same; but he had besides a generous heart, and the conviction was
general, whether expressed or not, that in Luke a man was growing up who
would some day take the lead among the fishermen of Diver's Bay. He had
a livelier fancy, a more active imagination, than any lad thereabout;
these qualities of mind, united to his courage and warmth of heart,
seemed to point toward a future worth arriving at.


When Luke returned from fishing, towards evening, he went down to
Briton's cabin, hardly taking time to remove from his person the traces
of his day of toil, his haste was so great.

Briton had arrived before him, and now sat at supper with his cup of
grog beside him. When Luke entered, Dame Briton was exhibiting the gold
chain, reserved, in spite of her impatience, till she had cooked the

It was partly on account of this chain that Luke had made such haste in
coming. He felt interested in the fortunes of the family to-night, and
he knew Briton's habit of bargaining and throwing away treasure.

Clarice was standing on the hearth when he arrived. As Luke passed the
window, he thought her face looked very sad; but when he crossed the
threshold, the expression greatly changed, or else he was mistaken. She
had been telling her father how she found the chain,--but concerning the
ring was silent, as in the morning. That ring was still fastened to its
cord, and hung about her neck. With reluctance she had shown it even
to her mother, and by this time, having scarcely thought of anything
beside, it possessed an almost sacred charm to her eyes. Why should I
not say it was the most sacred of all things to her, since that is but

"Is that the chain," asked Luke, as he came up behind the fisherman's
chair, and clapped Old Briton on the shoulder. "You could trade that for
a silver watch."

"What's that?" asked Briton, quickly taking up the lad's words; and he
pulled out his pewter watch and laid it on the table. "A silver watch?"
said he.

"A silver watch, as good as ever run, for that gold chain. Just see how
fine it is!"

"So, so!" said the fisherman, thoughtfully resting his rough chin in his
broad palm. That was his attitude, when, at home, he contemplated any
of those famous bargains which always turned out so differently from
anything that he anticipated.

"Let Luke do the trading for ye," said Briton's wife, quickly
recognizing his symptoms.

She looked from the lad to her daughter, and back again, five or six
times in a second,--seeing more than most people could have seen in
observation apparently so careless and superficial.

"I kept a sharp look out, Clary, all day, but I saw nothing," said Luke,
going over to the hearth.

"Nothing,--but," he added, she looked so disappointed, "but, for all
that, some one else may."

"Oh, I hope so"!"

"What are you talking about?" asked Briton.

"The shipwreck," said Luke.

"Oh!--well, Luke,--will you make the trade, Sir? What do _you_ say,
Clarice? The chain belongs to you, after all," said Briton, with a
laugh,--he could not help the shipwreck. "What are you going to do with
it, my girl?"

"It is yours, father."

"Thank ye!--a present!" Old Briton looked well pleased.

"And if Luke will take it over"--

"I'll go to-night," said Luke, ready to start that moment, if such was
the wish of any person in the house.

Briton laughed. "No, you won't," said he. "What the deuse!--Sit down and
take something. What are you all standing about for? Sit down. You shall
do the trading, Luke. There now, I've said it, and I hope you are all

He laughed again; for he knew very well--he had often enough heard it
stated in full--the estimate set on his skill in making a bargain.

"You haven't seen the ring yet?" said Dame Briton, quite kindly, now
that this matter was settled to her mind. "Where's the ring, Clarice?"

Other eyes were on the girl besides those of her mother. Old Briton
pushed back his dish, and looked at Clarice. Luke was smiling. That
smile became joyful and beautiful to see, when Clarice, blushing,
removed the string from her neck and showed the ring.

"That's neat," said Briton, turning the delicate ornament round and
round, examining its chaste workmanship admiringly. "I never saw a
pearl like that, Mother. What do you wear it round your neck for,
Clarice?--put it on your finger."

Luke Merlyn had come to Briton's cabin to explain how matters stood
between him and Clarice, as well as to look after the other bargain.
Taking advantage of her hesitation, he now said,--

"She could not wear it at her work. And it's a token betwixt her and me.
_Heart and Hand_. Don't you see the letters? That's what they mean to

Luke spoke out so boldly, that Clarice ceased to tremble; and when he
took her hand and held it, she was satisfied to stand there and answer,
that the joined hands were a symbol of the united hearts.

"What's that, old woman?" asked Briton, looking at his wife, as if for
an explanation.

"Luke, what do you mean? Are you asking for Clarice?" inquired the dame.

"Yes, Mrs. Briton."

"That's right enough, old woman," said Briton; and strong approval,
together with some emotion, was in his voice.

"Babes in arms, both of 'em! But a promise a'n't no hurt,"--was the
dame's comment. Neither was she quite unmoved, as she looked at the
young pair standing on the hearth; such another, her heart told her, was
not to be found in Diver's Bay.

"Clarice is a good girl, Luke Merlyn," said Old Briton, solemnly.

"She is so," confirmed the mother. "So take the ring there for your

Luke came forward and received the ring from Old Briton, and he laid the
string that held it round Clarice's neck.

"Take this chain," said Briton, with a softened voice. "It's fitter than
the string, and none too good for Clarice. Take it, Luke, and put the
ring on't."

"I'm going to trade that chain for a silver watch," said Luke, answering
according to the light he saw in the eyes of Clarice. "That chain is
Clary's wedding present to her father."

"Thank you, Luke," said Briton,--and he drew his hand across his eyes,
not for a pretence. Then he took up his old pewter watch, the companion
of many years; he looked at it without and within, silently; perhaps was
indulging in a little sentimental reflection; but he put it into his
pocket without speaking, and went on with his supper, as if nothing had

       *       *       *       *       *

This took place before Clarice was fourteen years of age. At seventeen
she was still living under her father's roof, and between her and Luke
Merlyn the pearl ring still remained a token.

Luke used to praise her beauty when there was little of it to praise.
He was not blinder when the young face began to be conspicuous for the
growing loveliness of the spirit within. The little slender figure
sprang up into larger, fuller life, with vigor, strength, and grace; the
activity of her thoughts and the brightness of their intelligence became
evident, as well as the tenderness and courage of her heart. Her own
home, and many another, was the better for Clarice.

Some Sunday in this summer of her seventeenth year, when the missionary
came down to the Bay, they were to be married. It was settled where they
were to live. A few years before, a young artist came to the Bay and
built a cabin near the settlement; there, during the summer months, he
lodged, for several seasons,--spending his time in studying the rocks
of the coast and sailing about in his pleasure-boat. The last autumn he
spent here he gave the cabin to Luke, in consideration of some generous
service, and it was well known that to this home Luke would bring his
wife ere long.


But one bright day of this gay summer of anticipated bridal, Luke Merlyn
went with his father, taking the fishing-nets, and a dozen men beside
sailed or rowed out from the moorings; and all that went returned, save
Merlyn and his son,--returned alive, but rowing desperately, sails
furled, rowing for life in the gale. Nearly all the women and children
of the Bay were down on the beach at nightfall, watching for the coming
of husband, son, and brother; and before dark all had arrived except
Merlyn and his Luke.

The wind was blowing with terrific violence, and darkness fell on the
deep like despair. But until the windows of heaven were opened, and the
floods poured down, Clarice Briton and her father, and the wife and
children of Merlyn, stood on the beach, or climbed the rocks, and waited
and tried to watch.

There was little sleep among them all that night. With the first
approach of day, Clarice, who had sat all night by the fire watching
with her fears, was out again waiting till dawn should enable her
to search the shore. She was not long alone. The fishermen gathered
together, and when they saw the poor girl who had come before them, for
her sake they comforted each other, as men dare,--and for her sake, more
than their own, when they saw that there had come in to shore by night
no token of disaster. Doubtless, they argued, Merlyn had put into the
nearest port when the sudden storm arose. As the day advanced, they one
after another got out their boats, and rowed down the bay, but did not
take their nets.

Bondo Emmins went out with Old Briton, and Clarice heard him say, though
he did not address her, that, if Luke Merlyn was alive, they would never
come home without him. Now Bondo Emmins never loved Luke Merlyn, for
Luke won every prize that Bondo coveted; and Bondo was not a hero to
admire such superior skill. When Clarice heard his words, and saw that
he was going out with her father, her heart stood still; it did not
bless him; she turned away quickly, faint, cold, shivering. What he said
had to her ears the sound of an assurance that this search was vain.

All day there was sad waiting, weary watching, around Diver's Bay. And
late in the afternoon but one or two of the boats that went out in
search had returned.

Towards evening Clarice walked away to the Point, three miles off;
thence she could watch the boats as they approached the Bay from the
ocean. Once before, that day, under the scorching noontide sun, she had
gone thither,--and now again, for she could not endure the sympathy of
friends or the wondering watch of curious eyes. It was better than to
stand and wait,--better than to face the grief of Merlyn's wife and
children,--better than to see the pity in her neighbors' faces, or even
than to hear the voice of her own mother.

The waves had freight for her that evening. When the tide came in, and
her eyes were lifted, gazing afar, scanning the broad expanse of water
with such searching, anxious vision, as, it seemed, nothing could
escape, Luke Merlyn's cap was dashed to her very feet, tossed from the

Moving back to escape the encroaching tide, Clarice saw the cap lying,
caught on the cragged point of rock before her. Oh, she knew it well!
She stooped,--she took it up,--she need not wait for any other token.
She dared not look upon the sea again. She turned away. But whither?
Where now was her home? So long a time, since she was a child, it had
been in the heart of Luke! Where was that heart lying? What meant this
token sent to her from the deep sea? Oh, life and love! was not all now
over? Heart still, hand powerless, home lost, she sat on the beach till
night fell. At sunset she stood up to look once more up and down the
mighty field of waters, along the shore, as far as her eyes could
reach,--but saw nothing. Then she sat down again, and waited until long
after the stars appeared. Once or twice the thought that her mother
would wonder at her long absence moved her; but she impatiently
controlled the feeble impulse to arise and return, until she recalled
the words of Bondo Emmins. Luke's mother, too,--and the cap in her care.
If no one else had tidings for her, she had tidings.

Her father had reached home before her, and there was now no watcher on
the beach, so far as Clarice could discover. Perhaps there was no longer
any doubt in any mind. She hurried to the cabin. At the door she met
Bondo Emmins coming out. He had a lantern in his hand.

"Is that you, Clarice?" said he. "I was just going to look for you."

She scanned his face by the glare of the lantern with terrible
eagerness, to see what tidings he had for her. He only looked grave. It
was a face whose signs Clarice had never wholly trusted, but she did not
doubt them now.

"I have found his cap," said she, in a low, troubled voice. "You said,
that, if he was alive, you would find him. I heard you. What have you


Then she passed by him, though he would have spoken further. She went
into the house and sat down on the hearth with Luke's cap in her hand,
which she held up before the fire to dry. So she sat one morning holding
the tiny basket which the waves had dashed ashore.

Briton and his wife looked at each other, and at young Emmins, who,
after a moment's hesitation, had put out the lantern light, and followed
her back into the house.

"It is his cap," said Bondo, in a low voice, but not so low as to escape
the ear of Clarice.

"The sea sent it for a token," said she, without turning her gaze from
the fire.

The old people moved up to the hearth.

"Sit down, Emmins," said Briton. "You've served us well to-day." In any
trouble Old Briton's comfort was in feeling a stout wall of flesh around

Bondo sat down. Then he and Briton helped each other explain the course
taken by themselves and the other boat-men that day, and they talked of
what they would do on the morrow; but they failed to comfort Clarice,
or to awaken in her any hope. She knew that in reality they had no hope

"They will never come back," said she. "You will never find them."

She spoke so calmly that her father was deceived. If this was her
conviction, it would be safe to speak his own.

"The tide may bring the poor fellows in," said he.

At these words the cap which the poor girl held fell from her hand.
She spoke no more. No word or cry escaped her,--not by a look did she
acknowledge that there was community in this grief,--as solitary as if
she were alone in the universe, she sat gazing into the fire. She was
not overcome by things external, tangible, as she had been when she sat
alone out on the sea-beach at the Point. The world in an instant seemed
to sink out of her vision, and time from her consciousness; her soul set
out on a search in which her mortal sense had failed,--and here no arm
of flesh could help her.

"I shall find him," she said, in a whisper. They all heard her, and
looked at one another, trouble and wonder in their faces. "I shall find
him," she repeated, in a louder tone; and she drew herself up, and bent
forward,--but her eyes saw not the cheerful fire-light, her ears took
in no sound of crackling fagot, rising wind, or muttered fear among the
three who sat and looked at her.

Bondo Emmins had taken up the cap when Clarice dropped it,--he had
examined it inside and out, and passed it to Dame Briton. There was
no mistaking the ownership. Not a child of Diver's Bay but would have
recognized it as the property of Luke Merlyn. The dame passed it to the
old man, who looked at it through tears, and then smoothed it over his
great fist, and came nearer to the fire, and silence fell upon them all.

At last Dame Briton said, beginning stoutly, but ending with a sob, "Has
anybody seen poor Merlyn's wife? Who'll tell her? Oh! oh!"

"I will go tell her that Clarice found the cap," said Bondo Emmins,

Clarice sat like one in a stupor,--but, that was no dull light shining
from her eyes. Still she seemed deaf and dumb; for, when Bondo bade her
good-night, she did not answer him, nor give the slightest intimation
that she was aware of what passed around her.

But when he was gone, and her father said,--"Come, Clarice,--now for
bed,--you'll wake the earlier,"--she instantly arose to act on his

He followed her to the door of her little chamber and lingered there a
moment. He wanted to say something for comfort, but had nothing to say;
so he turned away in silence, and drank a pint of grog.


Bondo Emmins was not a native of Diver's Bay. Only during the past three
or four years had he lived among the fishermen. He called the place his
home, but now and then indications of restlessness escaped him, and
seemed to promise years of wandering, rather than a life of patient,
contented industry. He and Luke Merlyn were as unlike as any two young
men that ever fished in the same bay. Luke was as firm, constant,
reliable, from the day when he first managed a net, as any veteran whose
gray hairs are honorable. Emmins flashed here and there like a wandering
star; and whatever people might say of him when he was out of sight, he
had the art of charming them to admiration while they were under his
personal influence. He was lavish with his money; almost every cabin had
a gift from him. He could talk forever, and with many was a true oracle.
Though he worked regularly at his business, work seemed turned to play
when he took it in hand. He could shout so as to be heard across the
ocean,--so the children thought; he told stories better than any; and at
the signal of his laughter it seemed as if the walls themselves would
shake to pieces. When he hit on a device, it was strange indeed if
he did not succeed in executing it; and no one was the wiser for the
mortification and inward displeasure of the man, when he failed in any

When Emmins came to Diver's Bay Clarice Briton was but a child, yet
already the promised wife of Luke Merlyn. If this fact was made known
to him, as very probably it was, Clarice was not a girl to excite his
admiration or win his love. But as time passed on, Emmins found that he
was not the only man in Diver's Bay; of all men to regard as a rival,
there was Luke Merlyn! Luke, who went quietly about his business,
interfering with no one, careful, brave, exact, had a firm place among
the people, which might for a time be overshadowed, but from which he
could not be moved. Two or three times Bondo Emmins stumbled against
that impregnable position, and found that he must take himself out of
the way. A small jealousy, a sharp rivalry, which no one suspected,
quietly sprang up in his mind, and influenced his conduct; and he was
not one who ever attempted to subdue or destroy what he found within
him, he was instead always endeavoring to bring the outer world
into harmony with what he found within. A fine time he had of it,
persistently laboring to make a victim of himself to himself!

People praised Clarice Briton, and now and then Emmins looked that way,
and saw that the girl, indeed, was well enough. He despised Luke, and
Clarice seemed a very proper match for him. But while Bondo Emmins was
managing in his own way, and cherishing the feeling he had against Luke,
by seeking to prove himself the braver and more skilful fellow, Clarice
was growing older in years and in love, her soul was growing brighter,
her heart was getting lighter, her mind clearer,--her womanhood was
unfolding in a certain lovely manner that was discernible to other eyes
than those of Luke Merlyn. Luke said it was the ring that wrought the
change,--that he could see its light all around her,--that it had a
charm of which they could know nothing save by its results, for its
secret had perished with its owner in the sea. His mermaid he would
sometimes call her,--and declared that often, by that mysterious pearly
light, he saw Clarice when far out at sea, and that at any time by two
words he could bring her to him. She knew the words,--they were as dear
to her as to him.

While Clarice was thus unfolding to this loveliness through love, Bondo
Emmins suddenly saw her as if for the first time. The vision was to him
as surprising as if the ring had indeed a power of enchantment, and
it had been thrown around him. He was as active and as resolute in
attempting to persuade himself that all this was nothing to him as
he was active and resolute in other endeavors,--but he was not as
successful as he supposed he should be. For it was not enough that
Emmins should laugh at himself, and say that the pretty couple were
meant for each other. Now and then, by accident, he obtained a glimpse
of Clarice's happy heart; the pearl-like secret of their love, which was
none the less a secret because everybody knew that Luke and Clarice were
to be married some day, would sometimes of itself unexpectedly give some
token, which he, it seemed, could better appreciate than any one beside
the parties concerned. When some such glimpse was obtained, some such
token received, Bondo Emmins would retire within himself to a most
gloomy seclusion; there was a world which had been conquered, and
therein he had no foothold. If Clarice wore the pearl in her bosom, on
Luke's head was a crown, and Bondo Emmins just hated him for that.

But he never thought of a very easy method by which he might have
escaped the trouble of his jealousy. The great highway of ocean was open
before him, and millions of men beside Luke Merlyn were in the world,
millions of women beside Clarice Briton. No! Diver's Bay,--and a score
of people,--and a thought that smelt like brimstone, and fiery enough
to burn through the soul that tried to keep it,--this for
him;--fishing,--making bargains,--visiting at Old Briton's,--making
presents to the dame,--telling stories, singing songs by that fireside,
and growing quieter by every other,--that was the way he did it;--cured
himself of jealousy? No! made himself a fool.

Old Briton liked this young man; he could appreciate his excellences
even better than he could those of Luke; there were some points
of resemblance between them. Emmins was as careless of money, as
indifferent to growing rich, as Briton ever was; the virtues of the
youth were not such as ever reproached the vices of the veteran. They
could make boisterous merriment in each other's company. Briton's praise
was never lacking when Bondo's name was mentioned. He accepted service
of the youth, and the two were half the time working in partnership. In
the cabin he had always a welcome, and Dame Briton gave him her entire

Luke did not fear, he had once admired the man; and because he was a
peace-maker by nature, and could himself keep the peace, he never took
any of Bondo's scathing speech in anger nor remembered it against him.
Usually he joined in the laugh, unless some brave, manly word were
required; honorable in his nature, he could not be always jealous in
maintaining that of which he felt so secure.

If Clarice did not penetrate the cause, she clearly saw the fact that
Bondo Emmins had no love for Luke. She might wonder at it, but Luke
suffered no loss in consequence,--it was rather to his praise, she
thought, that this was so. And she remembered the disputes between the
young men which she had chanced to hear, only to decide again, as she
had often decided, in favor of Luke's justice and truth.

When the time of great trouble came, and this man was going out with her
father in search of Merlyn and his son, her impulse, had she acted on
it, would have prevented him. He looked so strong, so proud, in spite
of his solemn face! He looked so full of life, she could not endure to
think that his eyes might discover the dead body of poor Luke.

When she came home and found that he had returned with her father,
before her, on the evening of that day of vain search for Merlyn and his
son, a strange satisfaction came to Clarice for a moment,--touched her
heart and passed,--was gone as it came. When she said, "I shall find
him," conviction, as well as determination, was in the words,--and more
beside than entered the ears of those that heard her.

[To be continued.]



  Karin the fair, Karin the gay,
  She came on the morn of her bridal day,--

  She came to the mill-pond clear and bright,
  And viewed hersel' in the morning light.

  "And oh," she cried, "that my bonny brow
  May ever be white and smooth as now!

  "And oh, my hair, that I love to braid,
  Be yellow in sunshine, and brown in shade!

  "And oh, my waist, sae slender and fine,
  May it never need girdle longer than mine!"

  She lingered and laughed o'er the waters clear,
  When sudden she starts, and shrieks in fear:--

  "Oh, what is this face, sae laidly old,
  That looks at my side in the waters cold?"

  She turns around to view the bank,
  And the osier willows dark and dank;--

  And from the fern she sees arise
  An aged crone wi' awsome eyes,

  "Ha! ha!" she laughed, "ye're a bonny bride!
  See how ye'll fare gin the New Year tide!

  "Ye'll wear a robe sae blithely gran',
  An ell-long girdle canna span.

  "When twal-months three shall pass away,
  Your berry-brown hair shall be streaked wi' gray.

  "And gin ye be mither of bairnies nine,
  Your brow shall be wrinkled and dark as mine."

  Karin she sprang to her feet wi' speed,
  And clapped her hands abune her head:--

  "I pray to the saints and spirits all
  That never a child may me mither call!"

  The crone drew near, and the crone she spake:--
  "Nine times flesh and banes shall ache.

  "Laidly and awsome ye shall wane
  Wi' toil, and care, and travail-pain."

  "Better," said Karin, "lay me low,
  And sink for aye in the water's flow!"

  The crone raised her withered hand on high,
  And showed her a tree that stood hard by.

  "And take of the bonny fruit," she said,
  "And eat till the seeds are dark and red.

  "Count them less, or count them more,
  Nine times you shall number o'er;--

  "And when each number you shall speak,
  Cast seed by seed into the lake."

  Karin she ate of the fruit sae fine;
  'Twas mellow as sand, and sweet as brine.

  Seed by seed she let them fall;
  The waters rippled over all.

  But ilka seed as Karin threw,
  Uprose a bubble to her view,--

  Uprose a sigh from out the lake,
  As though a baby's heart did break.

         *       *       *       *       *

  Twice nine years are come and gone;
  Karin the fair she walks her lone.

  She sees around, on ilka side,
  Maiden and mither, wife and bride.

  Wan and pale her bonny brow,
  Sunken and sad her eyelids now.

  Slow her step, and heavy her breast,
  And never an arm whereon to rest.

  The old kirk-porch when Karin spied,
  The postern-door was open wide.

  "Wae's me!" she said, "I'll enter in
  And shrive me from my every sin."

  'Twas silence all within the kirk;
  The aisle was empty, chill, and mirk.

  The chancel-rails were black and bare;
  Nae priest, nae penitent was there.

  Karin knelt, and her prayer she said;
  But her heart within her was heavy and dead.

  Her prayer fell back on the cold gray stone;
  It would not rise to heaven alone.

  Darker grew the darksome aisle,
  Colder felt her heart the while.

  "Wae's me!" she cried, "what is my sin?
  Never I wrongèd kith nor kin.

  "But why do I start and quake wi' fear
  Lest I a dreadful doom should hear?

  "And what is this light that seems to fall
  On the sixth command upon the wall?

  "And who are these I see arise
  And look on me wi' stony eyes?

  "A shadowy troop, they flock sae fast
  The kirk-yard may not hold the last.

  "Young and old of ilk degree,
  Bairns, and bairnies' bairns, I see.

  "All I look on either way,
  'Mother, mother!' seem to say.

  "'We are souls that might have been,
  But for your vanity and sin.

  "'We, in numbers multiplied,
  Might have lived, and loved, and died,--

  "'Might have served the Lord in this,--
  Might have met thy soul in bliss.

  "'Mourn for us, then, while you pray,
  Who might have been, but never may!'"

  Thus the voices died away,--
  "Might have been, but never may!"

  Karin she left the kirk no more;
  Never she passed the postern-door.

  They found her dead at the vesper toll;--
  May Heaven in mercy rest her soul!


It was well said, by one who has himself been a leader in one of the
great philanthropic enterprises of the day,[A] that, "if the truthful
history of any invention were written, we should find concerned in it
the thinker, who dreams, without reaching the means of putting his
imaginings in practice,--the mathematician, who estimates justly the
forces at command, in their relation to each other, but who forgets to
proportion them to the resistance to be encountered,--and so on, through
the thousand intermediates between the dream and the perfect idea, till
one comes who combines the result of the labor of all his predecessors,
and gives to the invention new life, and with it his name."

[Footnote A: M. Edouard Seguin.]

Such was the history of the movement for the education of deaf-mutes.
There had been a host of dreamy thinkers, who had invented, on paper,
processes for the instruction of these unfortunates, men like Cardan,
Bonet, Amman, Dalgarno, and Lana-Terzi, whose theories, in after years,
proved seeds of thought to more practical minds. There had been men
who had experimented on the subject till they were satisfied that
the deaf-mute could be taught, but who lacked the nerve, or the
philanthropy, to apply the results they had attained to the general
instruction of the deaf and dumb, or who carefully concealed their
processes, that they might leave them as heir-looms to their
families;--among the former may be reckoned Pedro de Ponce, Wallis, and
Pietro da Castro; among the latter, Pereira and Braidwood.

Yet there was wanting the man of earnest philanthropic spirit and
practical tact, who should glean from all these whatever of good there
was in their theories, and apply it efficiently in the education of
those who through all the generations since the flood had been dwellers
in the silent land, cut off from intercourse with their fellow-men, and
consigned alike by the philosopher's dictum and the theologian's decree
to the idiot's life and the idiot's destiny.

It was to such a work that the Abbé de l'Épée consecrated his life. But
he did more than this; he, too, was a discoverer, and to his mind was
revealed, in all its fulness and force, that great principle which lies
at the basis of the system of instruction which he initiated,--"that
there is no more necessary or natural connection between abstract ideas
and the articulate sounds which strike the ear, than there is between
the same ideas and the written characters which address themselves to
the eye." It was this principle, derided by the many, dimly perceived by
the few, which led to the development of _the sign-language_, the means
which God had appointed to unlock the darkened understanding of the
deaf-mute, but which man, in his self-sufficiency and blindness, had

It is interesting to trace the history of such a man,--to know something
of his childhood,--to learn under what influences he was reared, to what
temptations exposed,--to see the guiding hand of Providence shaping his
course, subjecting him to the discipline of trial, thwarting his most
cherished projects, crushing his fondest hopes, and all, that by these
manifold crosses he may be the better prepared for the place for which
God has destined him. We regret that so little is recorded of this truly
great and good man, but we will lay that little before our readers.

Charles Michel de l'Épée was born at Versailles, November 5th, 1712. His
father, who held the post of Architect to the King, in an age remarkable
above any other in French history for the prevalence of immorality,
which even the refinement and pretended sanctity of the court and
nobility could not disguise, was a man of deep piety and purity of
character. Amid the lust, selfishness, and hypocrisy of the age,
he constantly sought to impress upon the minds of his children the
importance of truthfulness, the moderation of desire, reverence for God,
and love for their fellow-men.

To the young Charles Michel compliance with the behests of such a parent
was no difficult task; naturally amiable and obedient, the instructions
of his father sunk deep into his heart. At an early age, he manifested
that love of goodness which made every form of vice utterly distasteful
to him; and in after years, when he heard of the struggles of those who,
with more violent passions or less careful parental training, sought to
lead the Christian life, his own pure and peaceful experience seemed
to him wanting in perfection, because he had so seldom been called to
contend with temptation.

As manhood approached, and he was required to fix upon a profession, his
heart instinctively turned toward a clerical life, not, as was the case
with so many of the young priests of that day, for its honors, its
power, or its emoluments, but because, in that profession, he might
the better fulfil the earnest desire of his heart to do good to his
fellow-men. He accordingly commenced the study of theology. Here all
went well for a time; but when he sought admission to deacon's orders,
he was met by unexpected opposition. To a pious mind, like that of young
De l'Épée, the consistent and Scriptural views of the Jansenists, not
less than their pure and virtuous lives, were highly attractive, and
through the influence of a clerical friend, a nephew of the celebrated
Bossuet, he had been led to examine and adopt them. The diocesan to whom
he applied for deacon's orders was a Jesuit, and, before he would admit
him, he required him to sign a formula of doctrine which was abhorrent
alike to his reason and his conscience. He refused at once, and, on his
refusal, his application was rejected; and though subsequently admitted
to the diaconate, he was insultingly told by his superior, that he need
not aspire to any higher order, for it should not be granted.

It was with a saddened heart that he found himself thus compelled to
forego long cherished hopes of usefulness. With that glowing imagination
which characterized him even in old age, he had looked forward to the
time when, as the curate of some retired parish, he might encourage the
devout, reprove and control the erring, and, by his example, counsel,
and prayers, so mould and influence the little community, that it should
seem another Eden. But an overruling Providence had reserved for him a
larger field of usefulness, a more extended mission of mercy, and it was
through the path of trial that he was to be led to it.

Regarding it as his duty to employ his time, he at length determined
to enter the legal profession. He passed with rapidity through the
preliminary course of study, and was admitted to the bar. The practice
of the law was not, at that time, in France, nor is it, indeed, now,
invested with the high character attaching to it in England. Its
codes and rules bore the impress of a barbarous age; and among its
practitioners, fraud, artifice, and chicanery were the rule, and honesty
the rare and generally unfortunate exception.

For such a profession the pure-minded De l'Épée found himself entirely
unfitted, and, abandoning it with loathing, his eyes and heart were
again directed toward the profession of his choice, and, this time,
apparently not in vain. His early friend, M. de Bossuet, had been
elevated to the see of Troyes, and, knowing his piety and zeal, offered
him a canonry in his cathedral, and admitted him to priest's orders.
The desire of his heart was now gratified, and he entered upon his new
duties with the utmost ardor. "In all the diocese of Troyes," says one
of his contemporaries, "there was not so faithful a priest."

But his hopes were soon to be blasted. Monseigneur de Bossuet died, and,
as the Jansenist controversy was at its height, his old enemies, the
Jesuits, exerted their influence with the Archbishop of Paris, and
procured an interdict, prohibiting him from ever again exercising the
functions of the priesthood.

A severer blow could scarcely have fallen upon him. He sought not for
honor, he asked not for fame or worldly renown; he had only desired to
be useful, to do good to his fellow-men; and now, just as his hopes were
budding into fruition, just as some results of his faithful labors were
beginning to appear, all were cut off by the keen breath of adversity.

It was while suffering from depression, at his unjust exclusion from
the duties of his calling, that his attention was first directed to the
unfortunate class to whom he was to be the future evangelist, or bringer
of good tidings. Bébian thus relates the incident which led him to
undertake the instruction of the deaf and dumb:--

"He happened one day to enter a house, where he found two young females
engaged in needlework, which seemed to occupy their whole attention. He
addressed them, but received no answer. Somewhat surprised at this, he
repeated his question; but still there was no reply; they did not even
lift their eyes from the work before them. In the midst of the Abbé's
wonder at this apparent rudeness, their mother entered the room, and
the mystery was at once explained. With tears she informed him that
her daughters were deaf and dumb; that they had received, by means
of pictures, a little instruction from Father Farnin, a benevolent
ecclesiastic of the order of "Christian Brothers," in the neighborhood;
but that he was now dead, and her poor children were left without any
one to aid their intellectual progress.--'Believing,' said the Abbé,
'that these two unfortunates would live and die in ignorance of
religion, if I made no effort to instruct them, my heart was filled with
compassion, and I promised, that, if they were committed to my charge, I
would do all for them that I was able.'"

It was in 1755 that the Abbé de l'Épée thus entered upon his great
mission. Six years before, Jacob Rodriguez de Pereira had come from
Spain, and exhibited some deaf and dumb pupils whom he had taught,
before the Academy of Sciences. They were able to speak indifferently
well, and had attained a moderate degree of scientific knowledge.
Pereira himself was a man of great learning, of the most agreeable and
fascinating manners, and possessed, in a high degree, that tact and
address in which the Spanish Jews have never been surpassed. He soon
made a very favorable impression upon the court, and led a pleasant life
in the society of the literary men of the age. During his residence in
France, he taught some five or six mutes of high rank to speak and to
make considerable attainments in science,--charging for this service
most princely fees, and at the same time binding his pupils to perfect
secrecy in regard to his methods, which it was his intention to
bequeathe to his family. This intention was thwarted, however, soon
after his death, by a fire which destroyed nearly all his papers, and to
this day his method has remained a secret, unknown even to his children.
It is certain, however, that he made no use of the sign-language, though
there is some evidence that he invented and practised a system of
syllabic dactylology. Of this, the only successful effort which, up to
that time, had been made in France, to teach deaf-mutes, it is obvious
that De l'Épée could have known nothing, save the fact that it
demonstrated the capacity of some of this class to receive instruction.
It is, indeed, certain, from his own statements, that, at the time of
commencing his labors, he had no knowledge of any works on the subject.
He had somewhere picked up the manual alphabet invented by Bonet in
1620; and in subsequent years he derived some advantages from the works
of Cardan, Bonet, Amman, Wallis, and Dalgarno.

It was well for the deaf and dumb that he entered upon his work thus
untrammelled by any preconceived theory; for he was thus prepared to
adopt, without prejudice, whatever might facilitate the great object
for which he labored. "I have not," he said, in a letter to Pereira, in
which he challenged an open comparison of their respective systems of
instruction, promising to adopt his, should it prove to be better than
his own,--"I have not the silly pride of desiring to be an inventor;
I only wish to do something for the benefit of the deaf-mutes of all
coming ages."

We have already adverted to the great principle which lay at the
foundation of his system of instruction. The corollary deduced from
this, that the idea was substantive, and had an existence separate
from and independent of all words, written or spoken, was a startling
proposition in those days, however harmless we may now regard it.
But, convinced of its truth, De l'Épée set to himself the problem of
discovering how this _idea_ could be presented to the mind of the mute
without words; and in their gestures and signs he found his problem
solved. Henceforth, the way, though long and tedious, was plain before
him. To extend, amplify, and systematize this language of signs was his
task. How well he accomplished his work, the records of Deaf and Dumb
Institutions, in Europe and America, testify. Others have entered into
his labors and greatly enlarged the range of sign-expression,--modified
and improved, perhaps, many of its forms; but, because Lord Rosse's
telescope exceeds in power and range the little three-foot tube of
Galileo Galilei, shall we therefore despise the Italian astronomer? To
say that his work, or that of the Abbé De l'Épée, was not perfect, is
only to say that they were mortals like ourselves.

But it is not only, or mainly, as a philosopher, that we would present
the Abbé De l'Épée to our readers, he was far more than this; he was, in
the highest sense of the word, a philanthropist. While Pereira, in the
liberal compensation he received from French nobles for the instruction
of their mute children, laid the foundation of that fortune by means of
which his grandsons are now enabled to rank with the most eminent of
French financiers, De l'Épée devoted his time and his entire patrimony
to the education of indigent deaf-mutes. His school, which was soon
quite large, was conducted solely at his own expense, and, as his
fortune was but moderate, he was compelled to practise the most careful
economy; yet he would never receive gifts from the wealthy, nor admit to
his instructions their deaf and dumb children. "It is not to the rich,"
he would say, "that I have devoted myself; it is to the poor only. Had
it not been for _these_, I should never have attempted the education of
the deaf and dumb."

In 1780, he was waited upon by the ambassador of the Empress of Russia,
who congratulated him on his success, and tendered him, in her name,
valuable gifts. "Mr. Ambassador," was the reply of the noble old man, "I
never receive money; but have the goodness to say to her Majesty, that,
if my labors have seemed to her worthy of any consideration, I ask, as
an especial favor, that she will send to me from her dominions some
ignorant deaf and dumb child, that I may instruct him."

When Joseph II., of Austria, visited Paris, he sought out De l'Épée,
and offered him the revenues of one of his estates. To this liberal
proposition the Abbé replied: "Sire, I am now an old man. If your
Majesty desires to confer any gift, upon the deaf and dumb, it is not my
head, already bent towards the grave, that should receive it, but the
good work itself. It is worthy of a great prince to preserve whatever is
useful to mankind." The Emperor, acting upon his suggestion, soon after
sent one of his ecclesiastics to Paris, who, on receiving the necessary
instruction from De l'Épée, established at Vienna the first national
institution for the deaf and dumb.

A still more striking instance of the self-denial to which his love for
his little flock prompted him is related by Bébian. During the severe
winter of 1788, the Abbé, already in his seventy-seventh year, denied
himself a fire in his apartment, and refused to purchase fuel for this
purpose, lest he should exceed the moderate sum which necessarily
limited the annual expenditure of his establishment. All the
remonstrances of his friends were unavailing; his pupils at length cast
themselves at his feet, and with tears besought him to allow himself
this indulgence, for their sake, if not for his own. Their importunities
finally prevailed; but for a long time he manifested the greatest regret
that he had yielded, often saying, mournfully, "My poor children, I have
wronged you of a hundred crowns!"

That this deep and abiding affection was fully reciprocated by those
whom he had rescued from a life of helpless wretchedness was often
manifested. He always called them his children, and, indeed, his
relation to them had more of the character of the parent than of the
teacher. On one occasion, not long before his decease, in one of his
familiar conversations with them, he let fall a remark which implied
that his end might be approaching. Though he had often before spoken of
death, yet the idea that _he_ could thus be taken from them had never
entered their minds, and a sudden cry of anguish told how terrible to
them was the thought. Pressing around him, with sobs and wailing, they
laid hold of his garments, as if to detain him from the last long
journey. Himself affected to tears by these tokens of their love for
him, the good Abbé succeeded, at length, in calming their grief; he
spoke to them of death as being, to the good, only the gate which
divides us from heaven; reminded them that the separation, if they were
the friends of God, though painful, would be temporary; that he should
go before them, and await their coming, and that, once reunited, no
further separation would ever occur; while there the tongue would be
unloosed, the ear unsealed, and they would be enabled to enjoy the music
as well as the glories of heaven. Thus quieted, with chastened grief
came holy aspiration; and it is not unreasonable to hope that the world
of bliss, in after years, witnessed the meeting of many of these poor
children with their sainted teacher.

It is interesting to observe the humility of such a man. The praises
lavished on him seemed not in any way to elate him; and he invariably
refused any commendation for his labors: "He that planteth is nothing,
neither he that watereth, but God, who giveth the increase," was his
reply to one who congratulated him on the success which had attended his

With one incident more we must close this "record of a good man's life."
Some years after the opening of his school for deaf-mutes, a deaf and
dumb boy, who had been found wandering in the streets of Paris, was
brought to him. With that habitual piety which was characteristic of
him, De l'Épée received the boy as a gift from Heaven, and accordingly
named him Theodore. The new comer soon awakened an unusual interest
in the mind of the good Abbé. Though dressed in rags when found, his
manners and habits showed that he had been reared in refinement and
luxury. But, until he had received some education, he could give no
account of himself; and the Abbé, though satisfied that he had been the
victim of some foul wrong, held his peace, till the mental development
of his _protégé_ should enable him to describe his early home. Years
passed, and, as each added to his intelligence, young Theodore was able
to call to mind more and more of the events of childhood. He remembered
that his ancestral home had been one of great magnificence, in a large
city, and that he had been taken thence, stripped of his rich apparel,
clothed in rags, and left in the streets of Paris. The Abbé determined,
at once, to attempt to restore his _protégé_ to the rights of which he
had been so cruelly defrauded; but, being himself too infirm to attempt
the journey, he sent the youth, with his steward, and a fellow-pupil
named Didier, to make the tour of all the cities of France till they
should find the home of Theodore. Long and weary was their journey, and
it was not till after having visited almost all of the larger cities,
that they found that the young mute recognized in Toulouse the city of
his birth. Each of its principal streets was evidently familiar to him,
and at length, with a sudden cry, he pointed out a splendid mansion as
his former home. It was found to be the palace of the Count de Solar.
On subsequent inquiry, it appeared that the heir of the estate had been
deaf and dumb; that some years before he had been taken to Paris, and
was said to have died there. The dates corresponded exactly with the
appearance of young Theodore in Paris. As soon as possible, the Abbé
and the Duke de Penthièvre commenced a lawsuit, which resulted in the
restoration of Theodore to his title and property. The defeated party
appealed to the Parliament, and, by continuing the case till after the
death of the Abbé and the Duke, succeeded in obtaining a reversal of the
decision, and the declaration that the claimant was an impostor. Stung
with disappointment at the blighting of his hopes, young Theodore
enlisted in the army, and was slain in his first battle.

The Abbé de l'Épée died at Paris on the 23d of December, 1789, in the
seventy-eighth year of his age. Had he been spared two years longer, he
would have seen his school, the object of his fond cares, adopted by the
government, and decreed a national support. But though this act, and the
accompanying vote, which declared that it was "done in honor of Charles
Michel de l'Épée, _a man who deserved well of his country_," were
creditable to the National Assembly, and the people whom it represented,
yet we cannot but remember the troublous times that followed,--times in
which no public service, no private goodness, neither the veneration
due to age, the delicacy of womanhood, nor the winsome helplessness
of infancy, was any protection against the insensate vengeance of a
maddened people; and remembering this, we cannot regret that he whose
life had been so peaceful was laid in a quiet grave ere the coming of
the tempest.

It is but justice, however, to the French people to say, that no name
in their history is heard with more veneration, or with more profound
demonstrations of love and gratitude, than that of the Abbé de l'Épée.
In 1843, the citizens of Versailles, his birth-place, erected a bronze
statue in his honor; and the highest dignitaries of the state, amid the
acclamations of assembled thousands, eulogized his memory. In 1855, the
centennial anniversary of the establishment of his school for deaf-mutes
was celebrated at Paris, and was attended by delegations from most of
the Deaf and Dumb Institutions of Europe.

But sixty-eight years have elapsed since the death of this noble
philanthropist, and, already, more than two hundred institutions for the
deaf and dumb have been established, on the system projected by him and
improved by his successors; and tens of thousands of mutes throughout
Christendom, in consequence of his generous and self-denying zeal, have
been trained for usefulness in this life, and many of them, we hope,
prepared for a blissful hereafter. To all these the name of the Abbé de
l'Épée has been one cherished in their heart of hearts; and, through
all the future, wherever the understanding of the deaf-mute shall be
enlightened by instruction, his memory shall be blessed.


(_Extracted from the Correspondence of the London Police_.)


London, 4th July, 18--.

Sergeant Bulmer,

This is to inform you that you are wanted to assist in looking up a case
of importance, which will require all the attention of an experienced
member of the force. The matter of the robbery on which you are now
engaged you will please to shift over to the young man who brings you
this letter. You will tell him all the circumstances of the case, just
as they stand; you will put him up to the progress you have made (if
any) towards detecting the person or persons by whom the money has been
stolen; and you will leave him to make the best he can of the matter now
in your hands. He is to have the whole responsibility of the case, and
the whole credit of his success, if he brings it to a proper issue.

So much for the orders that I am desired to communicate to you. A word
in your ear, next, about this new man who is to take your place. His
name is Matthew Sharpin; and between ourselves, Sergeant, I don't think
much of him. He has not served his time among the rank and file of the
force. You and I mounted up, step by step, to the places we now fill;
but this stranger, it seems, is to have the chance given him of dashing
into our office at one jump,--supposing he turns out strong enough to
take it. You will naturally ask me how he comes by this privilege. I can
only tell you, that he has some uncommonly strong interest to back him
in certain high quarters, which you and I had better not mention except
under our breaths. He has been a lawyer's clerk; and he looks, to my
mind, rather a mean, underhand sample of that sort of man. According to
his own account,--by the bye, I forgot to say that he is wonderfully
conceited in his opinion of himself, as well as mean and underhand to
look at,--according to his own account, he leaves his old trade and
joins ours of his own free will and preference. You will no more believe
that than I do. My notion is, that he has managed to ferret out some
private information, in connection with the affairs of one of his
master's clients, which makes him rather an awkward customer to keep in
the office for the future, and which, at the same time, gives him hold
enough over his employer to make it dangerous to drive him into a corner
by turning him away. I think the giving him this unheard-of chance among
us is, in plain words, pretty much like giving him hush-money to keep
him quiet. However that may be, Mr. Matthew Sharpin is to have the case
now in your hands; and if he succeeds with it, he pokes his ugly nose
into our office, as sure as fate. You have heard tell of some sad stuff
they have been writing lately in the newspapers, about improving the
efficiency of the Detective Police by mixing up a sharp lawyer's clerk
or two along with them. Well, the experiment is now going to be tried;
and Mr. Matthew Sharpin is the first lucky man who has been pitched on
for the purpose. We shall see how this precious move succeeds. I put
you up to it, Sergeant, so that you may not stand in your own light by
giving the new man any cause to complain of you at head-quarters, and
remain yours,

Francis Theakstone.


London, 5th July, 18--.

Dear Sir,

Having now been favored with the necessary instructions from Sergeant
Bulmer, I beg to remind you of certain directions which I have received,
relating to the report of my future proceedings, which I am to prepare
for examination at head-quarters.

The document in question is to be addressed to you. It is to be not only
a daily report, but an hourly report as well, when circumstances may
require it. All statements which I send to you, in this way, you are, as
I understand, expected to examine carefully before you seal them up and
send them in to the higher authorities. The object of my writing and of
your examining what I have written is, I am informed, to give me, as an
untried hand, the benefit of your advice, in case I want it (which I
venture to think I shall not) at any stage of my proceedings. As the
extraordinary circumstances of the case on which I am now engaged make
it impossible for me to absent myself from the place where the robbery
was committed, until I have made some progress towards discovering the
thief, I am necessarily precluded from consulting you personally. Hence
the necessity of my writing down the various details, which might,
perhaps, be better communicated by word of mouth. This, if I am not
mistaken, is the position in which we are now placed. I state my own
impressions on the subject, in writing, in order that we may clearly
understand each other at the outset,--and have the honor to remain your
obedient servant,

Matthew Sharpin.


London, 5th July, 18--.


You have begun by wasting time, ink, and paper. We both of us perfectly
well knew the position we stood in towards each other, when I sent you
with my letter to Sergeant Bulmer. There was not the least need to
repeat it in writing. Be so good as to employ your pen, in future, on
the business actually in hand. You have now three separate matters
on which to write me. First, you have to draw up a statement of your
instructions received from Sergeant Bulmer, in order to show us that
nothing has escaped your memory, and that you are thoroughly acquainted
with all the circumstances of the case which has been entrusted to you.
Secondly, you are to inform me what it is you propose to do. Thirdly,
you are to report every inch of your progress, (if you make any,) from
day to day, and, if need be, from hour to hour as well. This is your
duty. As to what _my_ duty may be, when I want you to remind me of it, I
will write and tell you _so_. In the mean time I remain yours,

Francis Theakstone.


London, 6th July, 18--.


You are rather an elderly person, and, as such, naturally inclined to be
a little jealous of men like me, who are in the prime of their lives
and their faculties. Under these circumstances, it is my duty to be
considerate towards you, and not to bear too hardly on your small
failings. I decline, therefore, altogether, to take offence at the tone
of your letter; I give you the full benefit of the natural generosity of
my nature; I sponge the very existence of your surly communication out
of my memory; in short, Chief Inspector Theakstone, I forgive you, and
proceed to business.

My first duty is to draw up a full statement of the instructions I have
received from Sergeant Bulmer. Here they are at your service, according
to my version of them.

At Number Thirteen, Rutherford Street, Soho, there is a stationer's
shop. It is kept by one Mr. Yatman. He is a married man, but has no
family. Besides Mr. and Mrs. Yatman, the other inmates of the house are
a lodger, a young single man named Jay, who occupies the front room on
the second floor,--a shopman, who sleeps in one of the attics,--and a
servant-of-all-work, whose bed is in the back-kitchen. Once a week a
charwoman comes to help this servant. These are all the persons who, on
ordinary occasions, have means of access to the interior of the house,
placed, as a matter of course, at their disposal.

Mr. Yatman has been in business for many years,--carrying on his affairs
prosperously enough to realize a handsome independence for a person in
his position. Unfortunately for himself, he endeavored to increase
the amount of his property by speculating. He ventured boldly in his
investments, luck went against him, and rather less than two years ago
he found himself a poor man again. All that was saved out of the wreck
of his property was the sum of two hundred pounds.

Although Mr. Yatman did his best to meet his altered circumstances, by
giving up many of the luxuries and comforts to which he and his wife had
been accustomed, he found it impossible to retrench so far as to allow
of putting by any money from the income produced by his shop. The
business has been declining of late years,--the cheap advertising
stationers having done it injury with the public. Consequently, up
to the last week, the only surplus property possessed by Mr. Yatman
consisted of the two hundred pounds which had been recovered from the
wreck of his fortune. This sum was placed as a deposit in a joint-stock
bank of the highest possible character.

Eight days ago, Mr. Yatman and his lodger, Mr. Jay, held a conversation
together on the subject of the commercial difficulties, which are
hampering trade in all directions at the present time. Mr. Jay (who
lives by supplying the newspapers with short paragraphs relating to
accidents, offences, and brief records of remarkable occurrences in
general,--who is, in short, what they call a penny-a-liner) told his
landlord that he had been in the city that day, and heard unfavorable
rumors on the subject of the joint-stock banks. The rumors to which he
alluded had already reached the ears of Mr. Yatman from other quarters;
and the confirmation of them by his lodger had such an effect on his
mind,--predisposed, as it was, to alarm, by the experience of his former
losses,--that he resolved to go at once to the bank and withdraw his
deposit. It was then getting on toward the end of the afternoon; and he
arrived just in time to receive his money before the bank closed.

He received the deposit in bank-notes of the following amounts:--one
fifty-pound note, three twenty-pound notes, six ten-pound notes, and six
five-pound notes. His object in drawing the money in this form was
to have it ready to lay out immediately in trifling loans, on good
security, among the small tradespeople of his district,--some of whom
are sorely pressed for the very means of existence at the present time.
Investments of this kind seemed to Mr. Yatman to be the most safe and
the most profitable on which he could now venture.

He brought the money back in an envelope placed in his breast pocket;
and asked his shopman, on getting home, to look for a small flat tin
cash-box, which had not been used for years, and which, as Mr. Yatman
remembered it, was exactly of the right size to hold the bank-notes. For
some time the cash-box was searched for in vain. Mr. Yatman called to
his wife to know if she had any idea where it was. The question was
overheard by the servant-of-all-work, who was taking up the tea-tray at
the time, and by Mr. Jay, who was coming down stairs on his way out
to the theatre. Ultimately the cash-box was found by the shopman. Mr.
Yatman placed the bank-notes in it, secured them by a padlock, and
put the box in his coat pocket. It stuck out of the coat pocket a very
little, but enough to be seen. Mr. Yatman remained at home, up stairs,
all that evening. No visitors called. At eleven o'clock he went to bed,
and put the cash-box under his pillow.

When he and his wife woke the next morning, the box was gone. Payment
of the notes was immediately stopped at the Bank of England; but no news
of the money has been heard of since that time.

So far, the circumstances of the case are perfectly clear. They point
unmistakably to the conclusion that the robbery must have been committed
by some person living in the house. Suspicion falls, therefore, upon the
servant-of-all-work, upon the shopman, and upon Mr. Jay. The two first
knew that the cash-box was being inquired for by their master, but did
not know what it was he wanted to put into it. They would assume, of
course, that it was money. They both had opportunities (the servant,
when she took away the tea,--and the shopman, when he came, after
shutting up, to give the keys of the till to his master) of seeing the
cash-box in Mr. Yatman's pocket, and of inferring naturally, from its
position there, that he intended to take it into his bedroom with him at

Mr. Jay, on the other hand, had been told, during the afternoon's
conversation on the subject of joint-stock banks, that his landlord had
a deposit of two hundred pounds in one of them. He also knew that Mr.
Yatman left him with the intention of drawing that money out; and he
heard the inquiry for the cash-box, afterwards, when he was coming down
stairs. He must, therefore, have inferred that the money was in the
house, and that the cash-box was the receptacle intended to contain it.
That he could have had any idea, however, of the place in which Mr.
Yatman intended to keep it for the night is impossible, seeing that he
went out before the box was found, and did not return till his landlord
was in bed. Consequently, if he committed the robbery, he must have gone
into the bedroom purely on speculation.

Speaking of the bedroom reminds me of the necessity of noticing the
situation of it in the house, and the means that exist of gaining easy
access to it at any hour of the night. The room in question is the back
room on the first floor. In consequence of Mrs. Yatman's constitutional
nervousness on the subject of fire, which makes her apprehend being
burnt alive in her room, in case of accident, by the hampering of the
lock, if the key is turned in it, her husband has never been accustomed
to lock the bedroom door. Both he and his wife are, by their own
admission, heavy sleepers. Consequently, the risk to be run by any
evil-disposed persons wishing to plunder the bedroom was of the most
trifling kind. They could enter the room by merely turning the handle of
the door; and if they moved with ordinary caution, there was no fear
of their waking the sleepers inside. This fact is of importance. It
strengthens our conviction that the money must have been taken by one of
the inmates of the house, because it tends to show that the robbery, in
this case, might have been committed by persons not possessed of the
superior vigilance and cunning of the experienced thief.

Such are the circumstances, as they were related to Sergeant Bulmer,
when he was first called in to discover the guilty parties, and, if
possible, to recover the lost bank-notes. The strictest inquiry which he
could institute failed of producing the smallest fragment of evidence
against any of the persons on whom suspicion naturally fell. Their
language and behavior, on being informed of the robbery, was perfectly
consistent with the language and behavior of innocent people. Sergeant
Bulmer felt, from the first, that this was a case for private inquiry
and secret observation. He began by recommending Mr. and Mrs. Yatman to
affect a feeling of perfect confidence in the innocence of the persons
living under their roof; and he then opened the campaign by employing
himself in following the goings and comings, and in discovering the
friends, the habits, and the secrets of the maid-of-all-work.

Three days and nights of exertion on his own part, and on that of others
who were competent to assist his investigations, were enough to satisfy
him that there was no sound cause for suspicion against the girl.

He next practised the same precautions in relation to the shopman.
There was more difficulty and uncertainty in privately clearing up this
person's character without his knowledge, but the obstacles were at last
smoothed away with tolerable success; and though there is not the same
amount of certainty, in this case, which there was in the case of the
girl, there is still fair reason for believing that the shopman has had
nothing to do with the robbery of the cash-box.

As a necessary consequence of these proceedings, the range of suspicion
now becomes limited to the lodger, Mr. Jay. When I presented your letter
of introduction to Sergeant Buhner, he had already made some inquiries
on the subject of this young man. The result, so far, has not been at
all favorable. Mr. Jay's habits are irregular; he frequents public
houses, and seems to be familiarly acquainted with a great many
dissolute characters; he is in debt to most of the tradespeople whom
he employs; he has not paid his rent to Mr. Yatman for the last month;
yesterday evening he came home excited by liquor, and last week he was
seen talking to a prize-fighter. In short, though Mr. Jay does call
himself a journalist, in virtue of his penny-a-line contributions to the
newspapers, he is a young man of low tastes, vulgar manners, and bad
habits. Nothing has yet been discovered, in relation to him, which
redounds to his credit in the smallest degree.

I have now reported, down to the very last details, all the particulars
communicated to me by Sergeant Buhner. I believe you will not find an
omission anywhere; and I think you will admit, though you are prejudiced
against me, that a clearer statement of facts was never laid before you
than the statement I have now made. My next duty is to tell you what I
propose to do, now that the case is confided to my hands.

In the first place, it is clearly my business to take up the case at
the point where Sergeant Buhner has left it. On his authority, I am
justified in assuming that I have no need to trouble myself about the
maid-of-all-work and the shopman. Their characters are now to be
considered as cleared up. What remains to be privately investigated is
the question of the guilt or innocence of Mr. Jay. Before we give up
the notes for lost, we must make sure, if we can, that he knows nothing
about them.

This is the plan that I have adopted, with the full approval of Mr. and
Mrs. Yatman, for discovering whether Mr. Jay is or is not the person who
has stolen the cash-box:--

I propose, to-day, to present myself at the house in the character of a
young man who is looking for lodgings. The back room on the second floor
will be shown to me as the room to let; and I shall establish myself
there to-night, as a person from the country, who has come to London to
look for a situation in a respectable shop or office. By this means I
shall be living next to the room occupied by Mr. Jay. The partition
between us is mere lath and plaster. I shall make a small hole in it,
near the cornice, through which I can see what Mr. Jay does in his room,
and hear every word that is said when any friend happens to call on him.
Whenever he is at home, I shall be at my post of observation. Whenever
he goes out, I shall be after him. By employing these means of watching
him, I believe I may look forward to the discovery of his secret--if he
knows anything about the lost bank-notes--as to a dead certainty.

What you may think of my plan of observation I cannot undertake to
say. It appears to me to unite the invaluable merits of boldness
and simplicity. Fortified by this conviction, I close the present
communication with feelings of the most sanguine description in regard
to the future, and remain your obedient servant,

Matthew Sharpin.


7th July.


As you have not honored me with any answer to my last communication, I
assume, that, in spite of your prejudices against me, it has produced
the favorable impression on your mind which I ventured to anticipate.
Gratified and encouraged beyond measure by the token of approval which
your eloquent silence conveys to me, I proceed to report the progress
that has been made in the course of the last twenty-four hours.

I am now comfortably established next door to Mr. Jay; and I am
delighted to say that I have two holes in the partition, instead of one.
My natural sense of humor has led me into the pardonable extravagance
of giving them both appropriate names. One I call my Peep-Hole, and the
other my Pipe-Hole. The name of the first explains itself; the name of
the second refers to a small tin pipe, or tube, inserted in the hole,
and twisted so that the mouth of it comes close to my ear, when I am
standing at my post of observation. Thus, while I am looking at Mr. Jay
through my Peep-Hole, I can hear every word that may be spoken in his
room through my Pipe-Hole.

Perfect candor--a virtue which I have possessed from my childhood--
compels me to acknowledge, before I go any farther, that the ingenious
notion of adding a Pipe-Hole to my proposed Peep-Hole originated with
Mrs. Yatman. This lady--a most intelligent and accomplished person,
simple, and yet distinguished, in her manners--has entered into all my
little plans with an enthusiasm and intelligence which I cannot too
highly praise. Mr. Yatman is so cast down by his loss, that he is quite
incapable of affording me any assistance. Mrs. Yatman, who is evidently
most tenderly attached to him, feels her husband's sad condition of mind
even more acutely than she feels the loss of the money; and is mainly
stimulated to exertion by her desire to assist in raising him from the
miserable state of prostration into which he has now fallen. "The money,
Mr. Sharpin," she said to me yesterday evening, with tears in her eyes,
"the money may be regained by rigid economy and strict attention to
business. It is my husband's wretched state of mind that makes me so
anxious for the discovery of the thief. I may be wrong, but I felt
hopeful of success as soon as you entered the house; and I believe,
that, if the wretch who has robbed us is to be found, you are the man to
discover him." I accepted this gratifying compliment in the spirit in
which it was offered,--firmly believing that I shall be found, sooner or
later, to have thoroughly deserved it.

Let me now return to business,--that is to say, to my Peep-Hole and my

I have enjoyed some hours of calm observation of Mr. Jay. Though rarely
at home, as I understand from Mrs. Yatman, on ordinary occasions, he has
been in-doors the whole of this day. That is suspicious, to begin with.
I have to report, further, that he rose at a late hour this morning,
(always a bad sign in a young man,) and that he lost a great deal
of time, after he was up, in yawning and complaining to himself of
headache. Like other debauched characters, he eat little or nothing for
breakfast. His next proceeding was to smoke a pipe, a dirty clay pipe,
which a gentleman would have been ashamed to put between his lips. When
he had done smoking, he took out pen, ink, and paper, and sat down
to write, with a groan,--whether of remorse for having taken the
bank-notes, or of disgust at the task before him, I am unable to say.
After writing a few lines, (too far away from my Peep-Hole to give me
a chance of reading over his shoulder,) he bent back in his chair, and
amused himself by humming the tunes of popular songs. I recognized "My
Mary Anne," "Bobbin' Around," and "Old Dog Tray," among other melodies.
Whether these do or do not represent secret signals by which he
communicates with his accomplices remains to be seen. After he had
amused himself for some time by humming, he got up and began to walk
about the room, occasionally stopping to add a sentence to the paper on
his desk. Before long, he went to a locked cupboard and opened it. I
strained my eyes eagerly, in expectation of making a discovery. I saw
him take something carefully out of the cupboard,--he turned round,--it
was only a pint-bottle of brandy! Having drunk some of the liquor, this
extremely indolent reprobate lay dawn on his bed again, and in five
minutes was fast asleep.

After hearing him snoring for at least two hours, I was recalled to
my Peep-Hole by a knock at his door. He jumped up and opened it with
suspicious activity. A very small boy, with a very dirty face, walked
in, said, "Please, Sir, I've come for copy," sat down on a chair with
his legs a long way from the ground, and instantly fell asleep! Mr. Jay
swore an oath, tied a wet towel round his head, and, sitting down to his
paper, began to cover it with writing as fast as his fingers could move
the pen. Occasionally getting up to dip the towel in water and tie it
on again, he continued at this employment for nearly three hours,--then
folded up the leaves of writing, woke the boy, and gave them to him,
with this remarkable expression: "Now, then, young sleepy-head, quick,
march! If you see the Governor, tell him to have the money ready for
me when I call for it." The boy grinned, and disappeared. I was sorely
tempted to follow "sleepy-head," but, on reflection, considered it
safest still to keep my eye on the proceedings of Mr. Jay.

In half an hour's time, he put on his hat and walked out. Of course, I
put on my hat and walked out also. As I went down stairs, I passed Mrs.
Yatman going up. The lady has been kind enough to undertake, by previous
arrangement between us, to search Mr. Jay's room, while he is out of
the way, and while I am necessarily engaged in the pleasing duty of
following him wherever he goes. On the occasion to which I now refer,
he walked straight to the nearest tavern, and ordered a couple of
mutton-chops for his dinner. I placed myself in the next box to him, and
ordered a couple of mutton-chops for my dinner. Before I had been in the
room a minute, a young man of highly suspicious manners and appearance,
sitting at a table opposite, took his glass of porter in his hand and
joined Mr. Jay. I pretended to be reading the newspaper, and listened,
as in duty bound, with all my might.

"How are you, my boy?" says the young man. "Jack has been here,
inquiring after you."

"Did he leave any message?" asks Mr. Jay.

"Yes," says the other. "He told me, if I met with you, to say that he
wished very particularly to see you to-night; and that he would give you
a look-in, at Rutherford Street, at seven o'clock."

"All right," says Mr. Jay. "I'll get back in time to see him."

Upon this, the suspicious-looking young man finished his porter, and,
saying that he was rather in a hurry, took leave of his friend, (perhaps
I should not be wrong, if I said his accomplice?) and left the room.

At twenty-five minutes and a half past six,--in these serious cases it
is important to be particular about time,--Mr. Jay finished his chops
and paid his bill. At twenty-six minutes and three-quarters, I finished
my chops and paid mine. In ten minutes more I was inside the house in
Rutherford Street, and was received by Mrs. Yatman in the passage.
That charming woman's face exhibited an expression of melancholy and
disappointment which it quite grieved me to see.

"I am afraid, Ma'am," says I, "that you have not hit on any little
criminating discovery in the lodger's room?"

She shook her head and sighed. It was a soft, languid, fluttering
sigh,--and, upon my life, it quite upset me. For the moment, I forgot
business, and burned with envy of Mr. Yatman.

"Don't despair, Ma'am," I said, with an insinuating mildness which
seemed to touch her. "I have heard a mysterious conversation--I know of
a guilty appointment--and I expect great things from my Peep-Hole and my
Pipe-Hole to-night. Pray, don't be alarmed, but I think we are on the
brink of a discovery."

Here my enthusiastic devotion to business got the better of my tender
feelings. I looked,--winked,--nodded,--left her.

When I got back to my observatory, I found Mr. Jay digesting his
mutton-chops in an arm-chair, with his pipe in his mouth. On his table
were two tumblers, a jug of water, and the pint-bottle of brandy. It was
then close upon seven o'clock. As the hour struck, the person described
as "Jack" walked in.

He looked agitated,--I am happy to say he looked violently agitated. The
cheerful glow of anticipated success diffused itself (to use a strong
expression) all over me, from head to foot. With breathless interest I
looked through my Peep-Hole, and saw the visitor--the "Jack" of this
delightful case--sit down, facing me, at the opposite side of the table
to Mr. Jay. Making allowance for the difference in expression which
their countenances just now happened to exhibit, these two abandoned
villains were so much alike in other respects as to lead at once to the
conclusion that they were brothers. Jack was the cleaner man and the
better-dressed of the two. I admit that, at the outset. It is, perhaps,
one of my failings to push justice and impartiality to their utmost
limits. I am no Pharisee; and where Vice has its redeeming point, I say,
let Vice have its due,--yes, yes, by all manner of means, let Vice have
its due.

"What's the matter now, Jack?" says Mr. Jay.

"Can't you see it in my face?" says Jack. "My dear fellow, delays are
dangerous. Let us have done with suspense, and risk it, the day after

"So soon as that?" cries Mr. Jay, looking very much astonished. "Well,
I'm ready, if you are. But, I say, Jack, is Somebody Else ready, too?
Are you quite sure of that?"

He smiled, as he spoke,--a frightful smile,--and laid a very strong
emphasis on those two words, "Somebody Else." There is evidently a third
ruffian, a nameless desperado, concerned in the business.

"Meet us to-morrow," says Jack, "and judge for yourself. Be in the
Regent's Park at eleven in the morning, and look out for us at the
turning that leads to the Avenue Road."

"I'll be there," says Mr. Jay. "Have a drop of brandy and water. What
are you getting up for? You're not going already?"

"Yes, I am," says Jack. "The fact is, I'm so excited and agitated, that
I can't sit still anywhere for five minutes together. Ridiculous as it
may appear to you, I'm in a perpetual state of nervous flutter. I can't,
for the life of me, help fearing that we shall be found out. I fancy
that every man who looks twice at me in the street is a spy"----

At those words, I thought my legs would have given way under me. Nothing
but strength of mind kept me at my Peep-Hole,--nothing else, I give you
my word of honor.

"Stuff and nonsense!" cries Mr. Jay, with all the effrontery of a
veteran in crime. "We have kept the secret up to this time, and we will
manage cleverly to the end. Have a drop of brandy and water, and you
will feel as certain about it as I do."

Jack steadily refused the brandy and water, and steadily persisted
in taking his leave. "I must try if I can't walk it off," he said.
"Remember to-morrow morning,--eleven o'clock,--Avenue-Road side of the
Regent's Park."

With those words he went out. His hardened relative laughed desperately,
and resumed the dirty clay pipe.

I sat down on the side of my bed, actually quivering with excitement. It
is clear to me that no attempt has yet been made to change the stolen
bank-notes; and I may add, that Sergeant Bulmer was of that opinion
also, when he left the case in my hands. What is the natural conclusion
to draw from the conversation which I have just set down? Evidently,
that the confederates meet to-morrow to take their respective shares in
the stolen money, and to decide on the safest means of getting the notes
changed the day after. Mr. Jay is, beyond a doubt, the leading criminal
in this business, and he will probably run the chief risk,--that of
changing the fifty-pound note. I shall, therefore, still make it my
business to follow him,--attending at the Regent's Park to-morrow, and
doing my best to hear what is said there. If another appointment is made
for the day after, I shall, of course, go to it. In the mean time, I
shall want the immediate assistance of two competent persons (supposing
the rascals separate after their meeting) to follow the two minor
criminals. It is only fair to add, that, if the rogues all retire
together, I shall probably keep my subordinates in reserve. Being
naturally ambitious, I desire, if possible, to have the whole credit of
discovering this robbery to myself.

8th July.

I have to acknowledge, with thanks, the speedy arrival of my two
subordinates, men of very average abilities, I am afraid; but,
fortunately, I shall always be on the spot to direct them.

My first business this morning was, necessarily, to prevent possible
mistakes, by accounting to Mr. and Mrs. Yatman for the presence of the
two strangers on the scene. Mr. Yatman (between ourselves, a poor,
feeble man) only shook his head and groaned. Mrs. Yatman (that superior
woman) favored me with a charming look of intelligence. "Oh, Mr.
Sharpin!" she said, "I am so sorry to see those two men! Your sending
for their assistance looks as if you were beginning to be doubtful of
success." I privately winked at her, (she is very good in allowing me to
do so without taking offence,) and told her, in my facetious way, that
she labored under a slight mistake. "It is because I am sure of success,
Ma'am, that I send for them. I am determined to recover the money, not
for my own sake only, but for Mr. Yatman's sake, and for yours." I laid
a considerable amount of stress on those last three words. She said,
"Oh, Mr. Sharpin!" again,--and blushed of a heavenly red,--and looked
down at her work. I could go to the world's end with that woman, if Mr.
Yatman would only die.

I sent off the two subordinates to wait, until I wanted them, at the
Avenue-Road gate of the Regent's Park. Half an hour afterwards I was
following the same direction myself, at the heels of Mr. Jay.

The two confederates were punctual to the appointed time. I blush to
record it, but it is, nevertheless, necessary to state, that the third
rogue--the nameless desperado of my report, or, if you prefer it,
the mysterious "Somebody Else" of the conversation between the two
brothers--is----a woman! and, what is worse, a young woman! and, what
is more lamentable still, a nice-looking woman! I have long resisted a
growing conviction, that, wherever there is mischief in this world, an
individual of the fair sex is inevitably certain to be mixed up in it.
After the experience of this morning, I can struggle against that sad
conclusion no longer. I give up the sex,--excepting Mrs. Yatman, I give
up the sex.

The man named "Jack" offered the woman his arm. Mr. Jay placed himself
on the other side of her. The three then walked away slowly among the
trees. I followed them at a respectful distance. My two subordinates, at
a respectful distance also, followed me.

It was, I deeply regret to say, impossible to get near enough to them to
overhear their conversation, without running too great a risk of being
discovered. I could only infer from their gestures and actions that they
were all three talking together with extraordinary earnestness on some
subject which deeply interested them. After having been engaged in this
way a full quarter of an hour, they suddenly turned round to retrace
their steps. My presence of mind did not forsake me in this emergency.
I signed to the two subordinates to walk on carelessly and pass them,
while I myself slipped dexterously behind a tree. As they came by me, I
heard "Jack" address these words to Mr. Jay:--

"Let us say half-past ten to-morrow morning. And mind you come in a cab.
We had better not risk taking one in this neighborhood."

Mr. Jay made some brief reply, which I could not overhear. They walked
back to the place at which they had met, shaking hands there with an
audacious cordiality which it quite sickened me to see. Then they
separated. I followed Mr. Jay. My subordinates paid the same delicate
attention to the other two.

Instead of taking me back to Rutherford Street, Mr. Jay led me to the
Strand. He stopped at a dingy, disreputable-looking house, which,
according to the inscription over the door, was a newspaper office,
but which, in my judgment, had all the external appearance of a place
devoted to the reception of stolen goods. After remaining inside for a
few minutes, he came out, whistling, with his finger and thumb in his
waistcoat pocket. Some men would now have arrested him on the spot.
I remembered the necessity of catching the two confederates, and the
importance of not interfering with the appointment that had been made
for the next morning. Such coolness as this, under trying circumstances,
is rarely to be found, I should imagine, in a young beginner, whose
reputation as a detective policeman is still to make.

From the house of suspicious appearance Mr. Jay betook himself to a
cigar-divan, and read the magazines over a cheroot. I sat at a table
near him, and read the magazines, likewise, over a cheroot. From the
divan he strolled to the tavern, and had his chops. I strolled to the
tavern, and had my chops. When he had done, he went back to his lodging.
When I had done, I went back to mine. He was overcome with drowsiness
early in the evening, and went to bed. As soon as I heard him snoring, I
was overcome with drowsiness, and went to bed also.

Early in the morning, my two subordinates came to make their report.
They had seen the man named "Jack" leave the woman at the gate of an
apparently respectable villa-residence, not far from the Regent's Park.
Left to himself, he took a turning to the right, which led to a sort of
suburban street, principally inhabited by shopkeepers. He stopped at
the private door of one of the houses, and let himself in with his own
key,--looking about him as he opened the door, and staring suspiciously
at my men as they lounged along on the opposite side of the way. These
were all the particulars which the subordinates had to communicate. I
kept them in my room to attend on me, if needful, and mounted to my
Peep-Hole to have a look at Mr. Jay.

He was occupied in dressing himself, and was taking extraordinary pains
to destroy all traces of the natural slovenliness of his appearance.
This was precisely what I expected. A vagabond like Mr. Jay knows the
importance of giving himself a respectable look when he is going to
run the risk of changing a stolen bank-note. At five minutes past ten
o'clock he had given the last brush to his shabby hat and the last
scouring with bread-crumb to his dirty gloves. At ten minutes past ten
he was in the street, on his way to the nearest cab-stand, and I and my
subordinates were close on his heels.

He took a cab, and we took a cab. I had not overheard them appoint a
place of meeting, when following them in the Park on the previous day;
but I soon found that we were proceeding in the old direction of the
Avenue-Road gate. The cab in which Mr. Jay was riding turned into the
Park slowly. We stopped outside, to avoid exciting suspicion. I got out
to follow the cab on foot. Just as I did so, I saw it stop, and detected
the two confederates approaching it from among the trees. They got in,
and the cab was turned about directly. I ran back to my own cab, and
told the driver to let them pass him, and then to follow as before.

The man obeyed my directions, but so clumsily as to excite their
suspicions. We had been driving after them about three minutes,
(returning along the road by which we had advanced,) when I looked out
of the window to see how far they might be ahead of us. As I did this,
I saw two hats popped out of the windows of their cab, and two faces
looking back at me. I sank into my place in a cold sweat;--the
expression is coarse, but no other form of words can describe my
condition at that trying moment.

"We are found out!" I said, faintly, to my two subordinates. They stared
at me in astonishment. My feelings changed instantly from the depth of
despair to the height of indignation. "It is the cabman's fault. Get
out, one of you," I said, with dignity,--"get out, and punch his head."

Instead of following my directions, (I should wish this act of
disobedience to be reported at head-quarters,) they both looked out of
the window. Before I could pull them back, they both sat down again.
Before I could express my just indignation, they both grinned, and said
to me, "Please to look out, Sir!"

I did look out. Their cab had stopped. Where? At a church door!

What effect this discovery might have had upon the ordinary run of
men, I don't know. Being of a religious turn myself, it filled me with
horror. I have often read of the unprincipled cunning of criminal
persons; but I never before heard of three thieves attempting to double
on their pursuers by entering a church! The sacrilegious audacity of
that proceeding is, I should think, unparalleled in the annals of crime.

I checked my grinning subordinates by a frown. It was easy to see what
was passing in their superficial minds. If I had not been able to look
below the surface, I might, on observing two nicely dressed men and one
nicely dressed woman enter a church before eleven in the morning, on a
week day, have come to the same hasty conclusion at which my inferiors
had evidently arrived. As it was, appearances had no power to impose on
_me_. I got out, and, followed by one of my men, entered the church. The
other man I sent round to watch the vestry door. You may catch a weasel
asleep,--but not your humble servant, Matthew Sharpin!

We stole up the gallery-stairs, diverged to the organ-loft, and peeped
through the curtains in front. There they were, all three, sitting in a
pew below,--yes, incredible as it may appear, sitting in a pew below!

Before I could determine what to do, a clergyman made his appearance in
full canonicals, from the vestry door, followed by a clerk. My brain
whirled, and my eyesight grew dim. Dark remembrances of robberies
committed in vestries floated through my mind. I trembled for the
excellent man in full canonicals;--I even trembled for the clerk.

The clergyman placed himself inside the altar rails. The three
desperadoes approached him. He opened his book, and began to read.
What?--you will ask.

I answer, without the slightest hesitation; the first lines of the
Marriage Service.

My subordinate had the audacity to look at me, and then to stuff his
pocket-handkerchief into his mouth. I scorned to pay any attention to
him. After my own eyes had satisfied me that there was a parchment
license in the clergyman's hand, and that it was consequently useless to
come forward and forbid the marriage,--after I had seen this, and after
I had discovered that the man "Jack" was the bridegroom, and that the
man Jay acted the part of father and gave away the bride, I left the
church, followed by my man, and joined the other subordinate outside
the vestry door. Some people in my position would now have felt rather
crestfallen, and would have begun to think that they had made a very
foolish mistake. Not the faintest misgiving of any kind troubled me. I
did not feel in the slightest degree depreciated in my own estimation.
And even now, after a lapse of three hours, my mind remains, I am happy
to say, in the same calm and hopeful condition.

As soon as I and my subordinates were assembled together, outside the
church, I intimated my intention of still following the other cab, in
spite of what had occurred. My reason for deciding on this course will
appear presently. The two subordinates appeared to be astonished at
my resolution. One of them had the impertinence to say to me, "If you
please, Sir, who is it we are after? A man who has stolen money, or
a man who has stolen a wife?" The other low person encouraged him
by laughing. Both have deserved an official reprimand; and both, I
sincerely trust, will be sure to get it.

When the marriage ceremony was over, the three got into their cab; and,
once more, our vehicle (neatly hidden round the corner of the church,
so that they could not suspect it to be near them) started to follow
theirs. We traced them to the terminus of the South-Western Railway. The
newly married couple took tickets for Richmond,--paying their fare with
a half sovereign, and so depriving me of the pleasure of arresting them,
which I should certainly have done, if they had offered a bank-note.
They parted from Mr. Jay, saying, "Remember the address,--l4, Babylon
Terrace. You dine with us to-morrow week." Mr. Jay accepted the
invitation, and added, jocosely, that he was going home at once to get
off his clean clothes, and to be comfortable and dirty again for the
rest of the day. I have to report that I saw him home safely, and that
he is comfortable and dirty again (to use his own disgraceful language)
at the present moment.

Here the affair rests, having by this time reached what I may call its
first stage. I know very well what persons of hasty judgments will be
inclined to say of my proceedings thus far. They will assert that I have
been deceiving myself, all through, in the most absurd way; they will
declare that the suspicious conversations which I have reported referred
solely to the difficulties and dangers of successfully carrying out
a runaway match; and they will appeal to the scene in the church, as
offering undeniable proof of the correctness of their assertions. So let
it be. I dispute nothing, up to this point. But I ask a question, out of
the depths of my own sagacity as a man of the world, which the bitterest
of my enemies will not, I think, find it particularly easy to answer.
Granted the fact of the marriage, what proof does it afford me of
the innocence of the three persons concerned in that clandestine
transaction? It gives me none. On the contrary, it strengthens my
suspicions against Mr. Jay and his confederates, because it suggests a
distinct motive for their stealing the money. A gentleman who is going
to spend his honeymoon at Richmond wants money; and a gentleman who is
in debt to all his tradespeople wants money. Is this an unjustifiable
imputation of bad motives? In the name of outraged Morality, I deny it.
These men have combined together, and have stolen a woman. Why should
they not combine together and steal a cash-box? I take my stand on the
logic of rigid Virtue; and I defy all the sophistry of Vice to move me
an inch out of my position.

Speaking of virtue, I may add that I have put this view of the case
to Mr. and Mrs. Yatman. That accomplished and charming woman found it
difficult, at first, to follow the close chain of my reasoning. I am
free to confess that she shook her head, and shed tears, and joined
her husband in premature lamentation over the loss of the two hundred
pounds. But a little careful explanation on my part, and a little
attentive listening on hers, ultimately changed her opinion. She now
agrees with me, that there is nothing in this unexpected circumstance of
the clandestine marriage which absolutely tends to divert suspicion from
Mr. Jay, or Mr. "Jack," or the runaway lady,--"audacious hussey" was the
term my fair friend used in speaking of her, but let that pass. It is
more to the purpose to record, that Mrs. Yatman has not lost confidence
in me, and that Mr. Yatman promises to follow her example and do his
best to look hopefully for future results.

I have now, in the new turn that circumstances have taken, to await
advice from your office. I pause for fresh orders with all the composure
of a man who has got two strings to his bow. When I traced the three
confederates from the church door to the railway terminus, I had two
motives for doing so. First, I followed them as a matter of official
business, believing them still to have been guilty of the robbery.
Secondly, I followed them as a matter of private speculation, with a
view of discovering the place of refuge to which the runaway couple
intended to retreat, and of making my information a marketable commodity
to offer to the young lady's family and friends. Thus, whatever happens,
I may congratulate myself beforehand on not having wasted my time. If
the office approves of my conduct, I have my plan ready for further
proceedings. If the office blames me, I shall take myself off, with
my marketable information, to the genteel villa-residence in the
neighborhood of the Regent's Park. Any way, the affair puts money into
my pocket, and does credit to my penetration, as an uncommonly sharp

I have only one word more to add, and it is this:--If any individual
ventures to assert that Mr. Jay and his confederates are innocent of
all share in the stealing of the cash-box, I, in return, defy that
individual--though he may even be Chief Inspector Theakstone himself--to
tell me who has committed the robbery at Rutherford Street, Soho.

Strong in that conviction,

I have the honor to be
Your very obedient servant,

Matthew Sharpin.


Birmingham, July 9th.

Sergeant Bulmer,

That empty-headed puppy, Mr. Matthew Sharpin, has made a mess of the
case at Rutherford Street, exactly as I expected he would. Business
keeps me in this town; so I write to you to set the matter straight.
I enclose, with this, the pages of feeble scribble-scrabble which the
creature, Sharpin, calls a report. Look them over; and when you have
made your way through all the gabble, I think you will agree with me
that the conceited booby has looked for the thief in every direction but
the right one. The case is perfectly simple, now. Settle it at once;
forward your report to me at this place; and tell Mr. Sharpin that he is
suspended till further notice.


Francis Theakstone.


London, July 10th.

Inspector Theakstone,

Your letter and enclosure came safe to hand. Wise men, they say, may
always learn something, even from a fool. By the time I had got through
Sharpin's maundering report of his own folly, I saw my way clear enough
to the end of the Rutherford-Street case, just as you thought I should.
In half an hour's time I was at the house. The first person I saw there
was Mr. Sharpin himself.

"Have you come to help me?" says he.

"Not exactly," says I. "I've come to tell you that you are suspended till
further notice."

"Very good," says he, not taken down, by so much as a single peg, in
his own estimation. "I thought you would be jealous of me. It's very
natural; and I don't blame you. Walk in, pray, and make yourself at
home. I'm off to do a little detective business on my own account, in
the neighborhood of the Regent's Park. Ta-ta, Sergeant, ta-ta!"

With those words he took himself out of my way,--which was exactly what
I wanted him to do. As soon as the maid-servant had shut the door, I
told her to inform her master that I wanted to say a word to him in
private. She showed me into the parlor behind the shop; and there was
Mr. Yatman, all alone, reading the newspaper.

"About this matter of the robbery, Sir," says I.

He cut me short, peevishly enough,--being naturally a poor, weak,
womanish sort of man. "Yes, yes, I know," says he. "You have come to
tell me that your wonderfully clever man, who has bored holes in my
second-floor partition, has made a mistake, and is off the scent of the
scoundrel who has stolen my money."

"Yes, Sir," says I. "That _is_ one of the things I came to tell you. But
I have got something else to say, besides that."

"Can you tell me who the thief is?" says he, more pettish than ever.

"Yes, Sir," says I, "I think I can."

He put down the newspaper, and began to look rather anxious and

"Not my shopman?" says he. "I hope, for the man's own sake, it's not my

"Guess again, Sir," says I.

"That idle slut, the maid?" says he.

"She is idle, Sir," says I, "and she is also a slut; my first inquiries
about her proved as much as that. But she's not the thief."

"Then, in the name of Heaven, who is?" says he.

"Will you please to prepare yourself for a very disagreeable surprise,
Sir?" says I. "And in case you lose your temper, will you excuse my
remarking, that I am the stronger man of the two, and that, if you allow
yourself to lay hands on me, I may unintentionally hurt you, in pure

He turned as pale as ashes, and pushed his chair two or three feet away
from me.

"You have asked me to tell you, Sir, who has taken your money," I went
on. "If you insist on my giving you an answer"--

"I do insist," he said, faintly. "Who has taken it?"

"Your wife has taken it," I said, very quietly, and very positively at
the same time.

He jumped out of the chair as if I had put a knife into him, and struck
his fist on the table, so heavily that the wood cracked again.

"Steady, Sir," says I. "Flying into a passion won't help you to the

"It's a lie!" says he, with another smack of his fist on the table,--"a
base, vile, infamous lie! How dare you"--

He stopped, and fell back into the chair again, looked about him in a
bewildered way, and ended by bursting out crying.

"When your better sense comes back to you, Sir," says I, "I am sure you
will be gentleman enough to make me an apology for the language you have
just used. In the mean time, please to listen, if you can, to a word of
explanation. Mr. Sharpin has sent in a report to our Inspector, of the
most irregular and ridiculous kind; setting down, not only all his own
foolish doings and sayings, but the doings and sayings of Mrs. Yatman as
well. In most cases, such a document would have been fit only for the
waste-paper basket; but, in this particular case, it so happens that Mr.
Sharpin's budget of nonsense leads to a certain conclusion which the
simpleton of a writer has been quite innocent of suspecting from the
beginning to the end. Of that conclusion I am so sure, that I will
forfeit my place, if it does not turn out that Mrs. Yatman has been
practising upon the folly and conceit of this young man, and that she
has tried to shield herself from discovery by purposely encouraging him
to suspect the wrong persons. I tell you that confidently; and I will
even go farther. I will undertake to give a decided opinion as to why
Mrs. Yatman took the money, and what she has done with it, or with a
part of it. Nobody can look at that lady, Sir, without being struck by
the great taste and beauty of her dress"----

As I said those last words, the poor man seemed to find his powers of
speech again. He cut me short directly, as haughtily as if he had been
a duke instead of a stationer. "Try some other means of justifying your
vile calumny against my wife," says he. "Her milliner's bill, for the
past year, is on my file of receipted accounts, at this moment."

"Excuse me, Sir," says I, "but that proves nothing. Milliners, I must
tell you, have a certain rascally custom which comes within the daily
experience of our office. A married lady who wishes it can keep two
accounts at her dress-maker's:--one is the account which her husband
sees and pays; the other is the private account, which contains all the
extravagant items, and which the wife pays secretly, by instalments,
whenever she can. According to our usual experience, these instalments
are mostly squeezed out of the housekeeping money. In your case, I
suspect no instalments have been paid; proceedings have been threatened;
Mrs. Yatman, knowing your altered circumstances, has felt herself
driven into a corner; and she has paid her private account out of your

"I won't believe it!" says he. "Every word you speak is an abominable
insult to me and to my wife."

"Are you man enough, Sir," says I, taking him up short, in order to save
time and words, "to get that receipted bill you spoke of just now, off
the file, and to come with me at once to the milliner's shop where Mrs.
Yatman deals?"

He turned red in the face at that, got the bill directly, and put on his
hat. I took out of my pocket-book the list containing the numbers of the
lost notes, and we left the house together immediately.

Arrived at the milliner's, (one of the expensive West-End houses, as I
expected,) I asked for a private interview, on important business, with
the mistress of the concern. It was not the first time that she and I
had met over the same delicate investigation. The moment she set eyes on
me, she sent for her husband. I mentioned who Mr. Yatman was, and what
we wanted.

"This is strictly private?" says the husband. I nodded my head.

"And confidential?" says the wife. I nodded again.

"Do you see any objection, dear, to obliging the Sergeant with a sight
of the books?" says the husband.

"None in the world, love, if you approve of it," says the wife.

All this while poor Mr. Yatman sat looking the picture of astonishment
and distress, quite out of place at our polite conference. The books
were brought,--and one minute's look at the pages in which Mrs. Yatman's
name figured was enough, and more than enough, to prove the truth of
every word that I had spoken.

There, in one book, was the husband's account, which Mr. Yatman had
settled. And there, in the other, was the private account, crossed off
also; the date of settlement being the very day after the loss of the
cash-box. This said private account amounted to the sum of a hundred and
seventy-five pounds, odd shillings; and it extended over a period of
three years. Not a single instalment had been paid on it. Under the last
line was an entry to this effect: "Written to for the third time, June
23d." I pointed to it, and asked the milliner if that meant "last June."
Yes, it did mean last June; and she now deeply regretted to say that it
had been accompanied by a threat of legal proceedings.

"I thought you gave good customers more than three years' credit?" says

The milliner looks at Mr. Yatman, and whispers to me,--"Not when a lady's
husband gets into difficulties."

She pointed to the account as she spoke. The entries after the time when
Mr. Yatman's circumstances became involved were just as extravagant, for
a person in his wife's situation, as the entries for the year before
that period. If the lady had economized in other things, she had
certainly not economized in the matter of dress.

There was nothing left now but to examine the cash-book, for form's
sake. The money had been paid in notes, the amounts and numbers of which
exactly tallied with the figures set down in my list.

After that, I thought it best to get Mr. Yatman out of the house
immediately. He was in such a pitiable condition, that I called a cab
and accompanied him home in it. At first, he cried and raved like a
child; but I soon quieted him,--and I must add, to his credit, that he
made me a most handsome apology for his language, as the cab drew up at
his house-door. In return, I tried to give him some advice about how to
set matters right, for the future, with his wife. He paid very little
attention to me, and went up stairs muttering to himself about a
separation. Whether Mrs. Yatman will come cleverly out of the scrape
or not seems doubtful. I should say, myself, that she will go into
screeching hysterics, and so frighten the poor man into forgiving her.
But this is no business of ours. So far as we are concerned, the case
is now at an end; and the present report may come to a conclusion along
with it.

I remain, accordingly, yours to command,

Thomas Bulmer.

P.S.--I have to add, that, on leaving Rutherford Street, I met Mr.
Matthew Sharpin coming back to pack up his things.

"Only think!" says he, rubbing his hands in great spirits, "I've been
to the genteel villa-residence; and the moment I mentioned my business,
they kicked me out directly. There were two witnesses of the assault;
and it's worth a hundred pounds to me, if it's worth a farthing."

"I wish you joy of your luck," says I.

"Thank you," says he. "When may I pay you the same compliment on finding
the thief?"

"Whenever you like," says I, "for the thief is found."

"Just what I expected," says he. "I've done all the work; and now you
cut in, and claim all the credit.--Mr. Jay, of course?"

"No," says I.

"Who is it, then?" says he.

"Ask Mrs. Yatman," says I. "She'll tell you."

"All right! I'd much rather hear it from her than from you," says
he,--and goes into the house in a mighty hurry.

What do you think of that, Inspector Theakstone? Would you like to stand
in Mr. Sharpin's shoes? I shouldn't, I can promise you!


July 12th.


Sergeant Bulmer has already told you to consider yourself suspended
until further notice. I have now authority to add, that your services as
a member of the Detective Police are positively declined. You will please
to take this letter as notifying officially your dismissal from the

I may inform you, privately, that your rejection is not intended to cast
any reflections on your character. It merely implies that you are not
quite sharp enough for our purpose. If we are to have a new recruit
among us, we should infinitely prefer Mrs. Yatman.

Your obedient servant,

Francis Theakstone.

       *       *       *       *       *

Note on the preceding correspondence--The editor is, unfortunately, not
in a position to add any explanations of importance to the last of the
published letters of Chief Inspector Theakstone. It has been discovered
that Mr. Matthew Sharpin left the house in Rutherford Street a quarter
of an hour after his interview outside of it with Sergeant Bulmer,--his
manner expressing the liveliest emotions of terror and astonishment, and
his left cheek displaying a bright patch of red, which looked as if it
might have been the result of what is popularly termed a smart box on
the ear. He was also heard, by the shopman at Rutherford Street, to use
a very shocking expression in reference to Mrs. Yatman; and was seen to
clinch his fist vindictively, as he ran round the corner of the street.
Nothing more has been heard of him; and it is conjectured that he has
left London with the intention of offering his valuable services to the
provincial police.

On the interesting domestic subject of Mr. and Mrs. Yatman still less
is known. It has, however, been positively ascertained that the medical
attendant of the family was sent for in a great hurry on the day when
Mr. Yatman returned from the milliner's shop. The neighboring chemist
received, soon afterwards, a prescription of a soothing nature to
make up for Mrs. Yatman. The day after, Mr. Yatman purchased some
smelling-salts at the shop, and afterwards appeared at the circulating
library to ask for a novel that would amuse an invalid lady. It has been
inferred from these circumstances that he has not thought it desirable
to carry out his threat of separating himself from his wife,--at least
in the present (presumed) condition of that lady's sensitive nervous

       *       *       *       *       *


[Footnote A: A remarkable custom, brought from the Old Country formerly
prevailed in the rural districts of New England. On the death of a
member of the family, the bees were at once informed of the event, and
their hives dressed in mourning. This ceremonial was supposed to be
necessary to prevent the swarms from leaving their hives and seeking a
new home.]

  Here is the place; right over the hill
    Runs the path I took;
  You can see the gap in the old wall still,
    And the stepping-stones in the shallow brook.

  There is the house, with the gate red-barred,
    And the poplars tall;
  And the barn's brown length, and the cattle-yard,
    And the white horns tossing above the wall.

  There are the bee-hives ranged in the sun;
    And down by the brink
  Of the brook are her poor flowers, weed-o'errun,
    Pansy and daffodil, rose and pink.

  A year has gone, as the tortoise goes,
    Heavy and slow;
  And the same rose blows, and the same sun glows,
    And the same brook sings of a year ago.

  There's the same sweet clover-smell in the breeze;
    And the June sun warm
  Tangles his wings of fire in the trees,
    Setting, as then, over Fernside farm.

  I mind me how with a lover's care
    From my Sunday coat
  I brushed off the burrs, and smoothed my hair,
    And cooled at the brook-side my brow and throat.

  Since we parted, a month had passed,--
    To love, a year;
  Down through the beeches, I looked at last
    On the little red gate and the well-sweep near.

  I can see it all now,--the slantwise rain
    Of light through the leaves,
  The sundown's blaze on her window-pane,
    The bloom of her roses under the eaves.

  Just the same as a month before,--
    The house and the trees,
  The barn's brown gable, the vine by the door,--
    Nothing changed but the hives of bees.

  Before them, under the garden wall,
    Forward and back,
  Went, drearily singing, the chore-girl small,
    Draping each hive with a shred of black.

  Trembling, I listened: the summer sun
    Had the chill of snow;
  For I knew she was telling the bees of one
    Gone on the journey we all must go!

  Then I said to myself, "My Mary weeps
    For the dead to-day:
  Haply her blind old grandsire sleeps
    The fret and the pain of his age away."

  But her dog whined low; on the doorway sill,
    With his cane to his chin,
  The old man sat; and the chore-girl still
    Sung to the bees stealing out and in.

  And the song she was singing ever since
    In my ear sounds on:--
  "Stay at home, pretty bees, fly not hence!
    Mistress Mary is dead and gone!"


To Baron von Hammer Purgstall, who died in Vienna during the last year,
we owe our best knowledge of the Persians. He has translated into
German, besides the "Divan" of Hafiz, specimens of two hundred poets,
who wrote during a period of five and a half centuries, from A.D. 1000
to 1550. The seven masters of the Persian Parnassus, Firdousi, Enweri,
Nisami, Dschelaleddin, Saadi, Hafiz, and Dschami, have ceased to be
empty names; and others, like Ferideddin Attar, and Omar Chiam, promise
to rise in Western estimation. That for which mainly books exist is
communicated in these rich extracts. Many qualities go to make a good
telescope,--as the largeness of the field, facility of sweeping the
meridian, achromatic purity of lenses, and so forth,--but the one
eminent value is the space-penetrating power; and there are many virtues
in books, but the essential value is the adding of knowledge to our
stock, by the record of new facts, and, better, by the record of
intuitions, which distribute facts, and are the formulas which supersede
all histories.

Oriental life and society, especially in the Southern nations, stand in
violent contrast with the multitudinous detail, the secular stability,
and the vast average of comfort of the Western nations. Life in the East
is fierce, short, hazardous, and in extremes. Its elements are few
and simple, not exhibiting the long range and undulation of European
existence, but rapidly reaching the best and the worst. The rich feed on
fruits and game,--the poor, on a watermelon's peel. All or nothing is
the genius of Oriental life. Favor of the Sultan, or his displeasure, is
a question of Fate. A war is undertaken for an epigram or a distich, as
in Europe for a duchy. The prolific sun, and the sudden and rank plenty
which his heat engenders, make subsistence easy. On the other side, the
desert, the simoom, the mirage, the lion, and the plague endanger it,
and life hangs on the contingency of a skin of water more or less.
The very geography of old Persia showed these contrasts. "My father's
empire," said Cyrus to Xenophon, "is so large, that people perish with
cold, at one extremity, whilst they are suffocated with heat, at the
other." The temperament of the people agrees with this life in extremes.
Religion and poetry are all their civilization. The religion teaches
an inexorable Destiny. It distinguishes only two days in each man's
history: his birthday, called _the Day of the Lot_, and the Day of
Judgment. Courage and absolute submission to what is appointed him are
his virtues.

The favor of the climate, making subsistence easy, and encouraging
an outdoor life, allows to the Eastern nations a highly intellectual
organization,--leaving out of view, at present, the genius of the
Hindoos, (more Oriental in every sense,) whom no people have surpassed
in the grandeur of their ethical statement. The Persians and the Arabs,
with great leisure and few books, are exquisitely sensible to the
pleasures of poetry. Layard has given some details of the effect which
the _improvvisatori_ produced on the children of the desert. "When the
bard improvised an amatory ditty, the young chief's excitement was
almost beyond control. The other Bedouins were scarcely less moved by
these rude measures, which have the same kind of effect on the wild
tribes of the Persian mountains. Such verses, chanted by their
self-taught poets, or by the girls of their encampment, will drive
warriors to the combat, fearless of death, or prove an ample reward,
on their return from the dangers of the _ghazon_, or the fight. The
excitement they produce exceeds that of the grape. He who would
understand the influence of the Homeric ballads in the heroic ages
should witness the effect which similar compositions have upon the wild
nomads of the East." Elsewhere he adds, "Poetry and flowers are the wine
and spirits of the Arab; a couplet is equal to a bottle, and a rose to a
dram, without the evil effect of either."

The Persian poetry rests on a mythology whose few legends are connected
with the Jewish history, and the anterior traditions of the Pentateuch.
The principal figure in the allusions of Eastern poetry is Solomon.
Solomon had three talismans: first, the signet ring, by which he
commanded the spirits, on the stone of which was engraven the name of
God; second, the glass, in which he saw the secrets of his enemies, and
the causes of all things, figured; the third, the east wind, which was
his horse. His counsellor was Simorg, king of birds, the all-wise fowl,
who had lived ever since the beginning of the world, and now lives alone
on the highest summit of Mount Kaf. No fowler has taken him, and none
now living has seen him. By him Solomon was taught the language of
birds, so that he heard secrets whenever he went into his gardens. When
Solomon travelled, his throne was placed on a carpet of green silk, of
a length and breadth sufficient for all his army to stand upon,--men
placing themselves on his right hand, and the spirits on his left. When
all were in order, the east wind, at his command, took up the carpet,
and transported it, with all that were upon it, whither he pleased,--the
army of birds at the same time flying overhead, and forming a canopy to
shade them from the sun. It is related, that, when the Queen of Sheba
came to visit Solomon, he had built, against her arrival, a palace, of
which the floor or pavement was of glass, laid over running water, in
which fish were swimming. The Queen of Sheba was deceived thereby, and
raised her robes, thinking she was to pass through the water. On the
occasion of Solomon's marriage, all the beasts, laden with presents,
appeared before his throne. Behind them all came the ant with a blade of
grass: Solomon did not despise the gift of the ant. Asaph, the vizier,
at a certain time, lost the seal of Solomon, which one of the Dews, or
evil spirits, found, and, governing in the name of Solomon, deceived the

Firdousi, the Persian Homer, has written in the _Shah Nameh_ the annals
of the fabulous and heroic kings of the country: of Karun, (the Persian
Croesus.) the immeasurably rich gold-maker, who, with all his treasures,
lies buried not far from the Pyramids, in the sea which bears his name;
of Jamschid, the binder of demons, whose reign lasted seven hundred
years; of Kai Kaus, whose palace was built by demons on Alberz, in which
gold and silver and precious stones were used so lavishly, and such was
the brilliancy produced by their combined effect, that night and day
appeared the same; of Afrasiyab, strong as an elephant, whose shadow
extended for miles, whose heart was bounteous as the ocean, and his
hands like the clouds when rain falls to gladden the earth. The
crocodile in the rolling stream had no safety from Afrasiyab. Yet when
he came to fight against the generals of Kaus, he was but an insect in
the grasp of Rustem, who seized him by the girdle, and dragged him
from his horse. Rustem felt such anger at the arrogance of the King of
Mazinderan, that every hair on his body started up like a spear. The
gripe of his hand cracked the sinews of an enemy.

These legends,--with Chiser, the fountain of life, Tuba, the tree of
life,--the romances of the loves of Leila and Medschun, of Chosru and
Schirin, and those of the nightingale for the rose,--pearl-diving, and
the virtues of gems,--the cohol, a cosmetic by which pearls and eyebrows
are indelibly stained black,--the bladder in which musk is brought,--the
down of the lip, the mole on the cheek, the eyelash,--lilies, roses,
tulips, and jasmines,--make the staple imagery of Persian odes.

The Persians have epics and tales, but, for the most part, they affect
short poems and epigrams. Gnomic verses, rules of life, conveyed in a
lively image, especially in an image addressed to the eye, and contained
in a single stanza, were always current in the East; and if the poem
is long, it is only a string of unconnected verses. They use an
inconsecutiveness quite alarming to Western logic, and the connection
between the stanzas of their longer odes is much like that between the
refrain of our old English ballads,

  "The sun shines fair on Carlisle wall,"


  "The rain it raineth every day,"

and the main story.

Take, as specimens of these gnomic verses, the following:--

  "The secret that should not be blown
    Not one of thy nation must know;
  You may padlock the gate of a town,
    But never the mouth of a foe."

Or this of Omar Chiam:--

  "On earth's wide thoroughfares below
  Two only men contented go:
  Who knows what's right and what's forbid,
  And he from whom is knowledge hid."

Or this of Enweri:--

  "On prince or bride no diamond stone
  Half so gracious ever shone,
  As the light of enterprise
  Beaming from a young man's eyes."

Or this of Ibn Jemin:--

  "Two things thou shalt not long for, if thou
    love a life serene:
  A woman for thy wife, though she were a
    crowned queen;
  And, the second, borrowed money, though
    the smiling lender say
  That he will not demand the debt until the
    Judgment Day."

Or this poem on Friendship:--

  "He who has a thousand friends has not a
    friend to spare,
  And he who has one enemy shall meet him

Here is a poem on a Melon, by Adsched of Meru:--

  "Color, taste, and smell, smaragdus, sugar,
    and musk,--
  Amber for the tongue, for the eye a picture
  If you cut the fruit in slices, every slice a
    crescent fair,--
  If you leave it whole, the full harvest-moon
    is there."

Hafiz is the prince of Persian poets, and in his extraordinary gifts
adds to some of the attributes of Pindar, Anacreon, Horace, and Burns
the insight of a mystic, that sometimes affords a deeper glance at
Nature than belongs to either of these bards. He accosts all topics with
an easy audacity. "He only," he says, "is fit for company, who knows how
to prize earthly happiness at the value of a night-cap. Our father Adam
sold Paradise for two kernels of wheat; then blame me not, if I hold it
dear at one grapestone." He says to the Shah, "Thou who rulest after
words and thoughts which no ear has heard and no mind has thought,
abide firm until thy young destiny tears off his blue coat from the old
graybeard of the sky." He says,--

  "I batter the wheel of heaven
    When it rolls not rightly by;
  I am not one of the snivellers
    Who fall thereon and die."

The rapidity of his turns is always surprising us:--

  "See how the roses burn!
    Bring wine to quench the fire!
  Alas! the flames come up with us,--
    We perish with desire."

After the manner of his nation, he abounds in pregnant sentences which
might be engraved on a sword-blade and almost on a ring.

"In honor dies he to whom the great seems ever wonderful."

"Here is the sum, that, when one door opens, another shuts."

"On every side is an ambush laid by the robber-troops of circumstance;
hence it is that the horseman of life urges on his courser at headlong

"The earth is a host who murders his guests."

"Good is what goes on the road of Nature. On the straight way the
traveller never misses."

  "Alas! till now I had not known
  My guide and Fortune's guide are one."

  "The understanding's copper coin
  Counts not with the gold of love."

  "'Tis writ on Paradise's gate,
  'Wo to the dupe that yields to Fate!'"

  "The world is a bride superbly dressed;--
  Who weds her for dowry must pay his soul."

  "Loose the knots of the heart; never think on
         thy fate:
  No Euclid has yet disentangled that snarl."

  "There resides in the grieving
    A poison to kill;
  Beware to go near them
    'Tis pestilent still."

Harems and wine-shops only give him a new ground of observation, whence
to draw sometimes a deeper moral than regulated sober life affords,--and
this is foreseen:--

  "I will be drunk and down with wine;
  Treasures we find in a ruined house."

Riot, he thinks, can snatch from the deeply hidden lot the veil that
covers it:--

  "To be wise the dull brain so earnestly throbs,
  Bring bands of wine for the stupid head."

    "The Builder of heaven
      Hath sundered the earth,
    So that no footway
      Leads out of it forth.

    "On turnpikes of wonder
      Wine leads the mind forth,
    Straight, sidewise, and upward,
      West, southward, and north.

    "Stands the vault adamantine
      Until the Doomsday;
    The wine-cup shall ferry
      Thee o'er it away."

That hardihood and self-equality of every sound nature, which result
from the feeling that the spirit in him is entire and as good as the
world, which entitle the poet to speak with authority, and make him an
object of interest, and his every phrase and syllable significant, are
in Hafiz, and abundantly fortify and ennoble his tone.

His was the fluent mind in which every thought and feeling came readily
to the lips. "Loose the knots of the heart," he says. We absorb elements
enough, but have not leaves and lungs for healthy perspiration and
growth. An air of sterility, of incompetence to their proper aims,
belongs to many who have both experience and wisdom. But a large
utterance, a river, that makes its own shores, quick perception and
corresponding expression, a constitution to which every morrow is a new
day, which is equal to the needs of life, at once tender and bold, with
great arteries,--this generosity of ebb and flow satisfies, and we
should be willing to die when our time comes, having had our swing and
gratification. The difference is not so much in the quality of men's
thoughts as in the power of uttering them. What is pent and smouldered
in the dumb actor is not pent in the poet, but passes over into new
form, at once relief and creation.

The other merit of Hafiz is his intellectual liberty, which is a
certificate of profound thought. We accept the religions and politics
into which we fall; and it is only a few delicate spirits who are
sufficient to see that the whole web of convention is the imbecility
of those whom it entangles,--that the mind suffers no religion and no
empire but its own. It indicates this respect to absolute truth by the
use it makes of the symbols that are most stable and reverend, and
therefore is always provoking the accusation of irreligion.

Hypocrisy is the perpetual butt of his arrows.

  "Let us draw the cowl through the brook of

He tells his mistress, that not the dervis, or the monk, but the lover,
has in his heart the spirit which makes the ascetic and the saint; and
certainly not their cowls and mummeries, but her glances, can impart to
him the fire and virtue needful for such self-denial. Wrong shall not be
wrong to Hafiz, for the name's sake. A law or statute is to him what a
fence is to a nimble schoolboy,--a temptation for a jump. "We would do
nothing but good; else would shame come to us on the day when the soul
must hie hence;--and should they then deny us Paradise, the Houris
themselves would forsake that, and come out to us."

His complete intellectual emancipation he communicates to the reader.
There is no example of such facility of allusion, such use of all
materials. Nothing is too high, nothing too low, for his occasion. He
fears nothing, he stops for nothing. Love is a leveller, and Allah
becomes a groom, and heaven a closet, in his daring hymns to his
mistress or to his cup-bearer. This boundless charter is the right of
genius. "No evil fate," said Beethoven, "can befall my music, and he to
whom it is become intelligible must become free from all the paltriness
which the others drag about with them."

We do not wish to strew sugar on bottled spiders, or try to make
mystical divinity out of the Song of Solomon, much less out of the
erotic and bacchanalian songs of Hafiz. Hafiz himself is determined to
defy all such hypocritical interpretation, and tears off his turban and
throws it at the head of the meddling dervis, and throws his glass after
the turban. But the love or the wine of Hafiz is not to be confounded
with vulgar debauch. It is the spirit in which the song is written that
imports, and not the topics. Hafiz praises wine, roses, maidens, boys,
birds, mornings, and music, to give vent to his immense hilarity and
sympathy with every form of beauty and joy; and lays the emphasis on
these to mark his scorn of sanctimony and base prudence. These are the
natural topics and language of his wit and perception. But it is the
play of wit and the joy of song that he loves; and if you mistake him
for a low rioter, he turns short on you with verses which express the
poverty of sensual joys, and to ejaculate with equal fire the most
unpalatable affirmations of heroic sentiment and contempt for the world.
Sometimes it is a glance from the height of thought, as thus:--"Bring
wine; for, in the audience-hall of the soul's independence, what is
sentinel or Sultan? what is the wise man or the intoxicated?"--and
sometimes his feast, feasters, and world are only one pebble more in the
eternal vortex and revolution of Fate:--

  "I am: what I am
  My dust will be again."

A saint might lend an ear to the riotous fun of Falstaff; for it is
not created to excite the animal appetites, but to vent the joy of a
supernal intelligence. In all poetry, Pindar's rule holds,--[Greek:
sunetois phonei], it speaks to the intelligent; and Hafiz is a poet for
poets, whether he write, as sometimes, with a parrot's, or, as at other
times, with an eagle's quill.

Every song of Hafiz affords new proof of the unimportance of your
subject to success, provided only the treatment be cordial. In general,
what is more tedious than dedications or panegyrics addressed to
grandees? Yet in the "Divan" you would not skip them, since his muse
seldom supports him better.

  "What lovelier forms things wear,
  Now that the Shah comes back!"

And again:--

  "Thy foes to hunt, thy enviers to strike
  Poises Arcturus aloft morning and evening
    his spear."

And again:--

  "Mirza! where thy shadow falls,
  Beauty sits and Music calls;
  Where thy form and favor come,
  All good creatures have their home."

Here are a couple of stately compliments to his Shah, from the kindred
genius of Enweri:--

    "Not in their houses stand the stars,
    But o'er the pinnacles of thine!"

  "From thy worth and weight the stars
  And the equipoise of heaven is thy house's

It is told of Hafiz, that, when he had written a compliment to a
handsome youth,--

  "Take my heart in thy hand, O beautiful boy
    of Schiraz!
  I would give for the mole on thy cheek Samarcand
    and Buchara!"--

the verses came to the ears of Timour in his palace. Timour taxed Hafiz
with treating disrespectfully his two cities, to raise and adorn which
he had conquered nations. Hafiz replied, "Alas, my lord, if I had not
been so prodigal, I had not been so poor!"

The Persians had a mode of establishing copyright the most secure of any
contrivance with which we are acquainted. The law of the _ghaselle_, or
shorter ode, requires that the poet insert his name in the last stanza.
Almost every one of several hundreds of poems of Hafiz contains his name
thus interwoven more or less closely with the subject of the piece. It
is itself a test of skill, as this self-naming is not quite easy. We
remember but two or three examples in English poetry: that of Chaucer,
in the "House of Fame"; Jonson's epitaph on his son,--

  "Ben Jonson his best piece of poetry";

and Cowley's,--

  "The melancholy Cowley lay."

But it is easy to Hafiz. It gives him the opportunity of the most
playful self-assertion, always gracefully, sometimes almost in the fun
of Falstaff, sometimes with feminine delicacy. He tells us, "The angels
in heaven were lately learning his last pieces." He says, "The fishes
shed their pearls, out of desire and longing, as soon as the ship of
Hafiz swims the deep."

  "Out of the East, and out of the West,
    no man understands me;
  Oh, the happier I, who confide to none but
    the wind!
  This morning heard I how the lyre of the
    stars resounded,
  'Sweeter tones have we heard from Hafiz!'"


  "I heard the harp of the planet Venus, and
  it said in the early morning, 'I am the disciple
  of the sweet-voiced Hafiz!'"

And again,--

  "When Hafiz sings, the angels hearken,
  and Anaitis, the leader of the starry host,
  calls even the Messiah in heaven out to the

  "No one has unveiled thoughts like Hafiz,
  since the locks of the Word-bride were first

  "Only he despises the verse of Hafiz who
  is not himself by nature noble."

But we must try to give some of these poetic flourishes the metrical
form which they seem to require:--

  "Fit for the Pleiads' azure chord
  The songs I sung, the pearls I bored."


  "I have no hoarded treasure,
     Yet have I rich content;
  The first from Allah to the Shah,
    The last to Hafiz went."


  "High heart, O Hafiz! though not thine
    Fine gold and silver ore;
  More worth to thee the gift of song,
    And the clear insight more."


  "Thou foolish Hafiz! say, do churls
  Know the worth of Oman's pearls?
  Give the gem which dims the moon
  To the noblest, or to none."


  "O Hafiz! speak not of thy need;
    Are not these verses thine?
  Then all the poets are agreed,
    No man can less repine."

He asserts his dignity as bard and inspired man of his people. To the
vizier returning from Mecca he says,--

  "Boast not rashly, prince of pilgrims, of
  thy fortune, Thou hast indeed seen the
  temple; but I, the Lord of the temple. Nor
  has any man inhaled from the musk-bladder
  of the merchant, or from the musky morning-wind,
  that sweet air which I am permitted to
  breathe every hour of the day."

And with still more vigor in the following lines:--

  "Oft have I said, I say it once more,
  I, a wanderer, do not stray from myself.
  I am a kind of parrot; the mirror is holden to me;
  What the Eternal says, I stammering say again.
  Give me what you will; I eat thistles as roses,
  And according to my food I grow and I give.
  Scorn me not, but know I have the pearl,
  And am only seeking one to receive it."

And his claim has been admitted from the first. The muleteers and
camel-drivers, on their way through the desert, sing snatches of his
songs, not so much for the thought, as for their joyful temper and tone;
and the cultivated Persians know his poems by heart. Yet Hafiz does not
appear to have set any great value on his songs, since his scholars
collected them for the first time after his death.

In the following poem the soul is figured as the Phoenix alighting on
the Tree of Life:--

  "My phoenix long ago secured
    His nest in the sky-vault's cope;
  In the body's cage immured,
    He is weary of life's hope.

  "Round and round this heap of ashes
    Now flies the bird amain,
  But in that odorous niche of heaven
    Nestles the bird again.

  "Once flies he upward, he will perch
    On Tuba's golden bough;
  His home is on that fruited arch
    Which cools the blest below.

  "If over this world of ours
    His wings my phoenix spread,
  How gracious falls on land and sea
    The soul refreshing shade!

  "Either world inhabits he,
    Sees oft below him planets roll;
  His body is all of air compact,
    Of Allah's love his soul."

Here is an ode which is said to be a favorite with all educated

  "Come!--the palace of heaven rests on aëry pillars,--
  Come, and bring me wine; our days are wind.
  I declare myself the slave of that masculine soul
  Which ties and alliance on earth once forever renounces.
  Told I thee yester-morn how the Iris of heaven
  Brought to me in my cup a gospel of joy?
  O high-flying falcon! the Tree of Life is thy perch;
  This nook of grief fits thee ill for a nest.
  Hearken! they call to thee down from the ramparts of heaven;
  I cannot divine what holds thee here in a net.
  I, too, have a counsel for thee; oh, mark it and keep it,
  Since I received the same from the Master above:
  Seek not for faith or for truth in a world of light-minded girls;
  A thousand suitors reckons this dangerous bride.
  This jest [of the world], which tickles me, leave to my vagabond self.
  Accept whatever befalls; uncover thy brow from thy locks;
  Neither to me nor to thee was option imparted;
  Neither endurance nor truth belongs to the laugh of the rose.
  The loving nightingale mourns;--cause enow for mourning;--
  Why envies the bird the streaming verses of Hafiz?
  Know that a god bestowed on him eloquent speech."

Here is a little epitaph that might have come from Simonides:--

  "Bethink, poor heart, what bitter kind of jest
    Mad Destiny this tender stripling played:
  For a warm breast of ivory to his breast,
    She laid a slab of marble on his head."

The cedar, the cypress, the palm, the olive, and fig-tree, and the birds
that inhabit them, and the garden flowers, are never wanting in these
musky verses, and are always named with effect. "The willows," he says,
"bow themselves to every wind, out of shame for their unfruitfulness."
We may open anywhere on a floral catalogue.

  "By breath of beds of roses drawn,
    I found the grove in the morning pure,
  In the concert of the nightingales
    My drunken brain to cure.

  "With unrelated glance
    I looked the rose in the eye;
  The rose in the hour of gloaming
    Flamed like a lamp hard-by.

  "She was of her beauty proud,
    And prouder of her youth,
  The while unto her flaming heart
    The bulbul gave his truth.

  "The sweet narcissus closed
    Its eye, with passion pressed;
  The tulips out of envy burned
    Moles in their scarlet breast.

  "The lilies white prolonged
    Their sworded tongue to the smell;
  The clustering anemones
    Their pretty secrets tell."

Presently we have,--

  ----"All day the rain
  Bathed the dark hyacinths in vain,
  The flood may pour from morn till night
  Nor wash the pretty Indians white."

And so onward, through many a page.

The following verse of Omar Chiam seems to belong to Hafiz:--

  "Each spot where tulips prank their state
  Has drunk the life-blood of the great;
  The violets yon fields which stain
  Are moles of beauties Time hath slain."

As might this picture of the first days of Spring, from Enweri:--

  "O'er the garden water goes the wind alone
    To rasp and to polish the cheek of the wave;
  The fire is quenched on the dear hearth-stone,
  But it burns again on the tulips brave."

Friendship is a favorite topic of the Eastern poets, and they have
matched on this head the absoluteness of Montaigne.

Hafiz says,--

"Thou learnest no secret until thou knowest friendship; since to the
unsound no heavenly knowledge enters."

Ibn Jemin writes thus:--

  "Whilst I disdain the populace,
  I find no peer in higher place.
  Friend is a word of royal tone,
  Friend is a poem all alone.
  Wisdom is like the elephant,
  Lofty and rare inhabitant:
  He dwells in deserts or in courts;
  With hucksters he has no resorts."

Dschami says,--

  "A friend is he, who, hunted as a foe,
    So much the kindlier shows him than before;
  Throw stones at him, or ruder javelins throw,
    He builds with stone and steel a firmer floor."

Of the amatory poetry of Hafiz we must be very sparing in our citations,
though it forms the staple of the "Divan." He has run through the
whole gamut of passion,--from the sacred, to the borders, and over
the borders, of the profane. The same confusion of high and low, the
celerity of flight and allusion which our colder muses forbid, is
habitual to him. From the plain text,--

  "The chemist of love
    Will this perishing mould,
  Were it made out of mire,
    Transmute into gold,"--

or, from another favorite legend of his chemistry,--

  "They say, through patience, chalk
    Becomes a ruby stone;
  Ah, yes, but by the true heart's blood
    The chalk is crimson grown,"--

he proceeds to the celebration of his passion; and nothing in his
religious or in his scientific traditions is too sacred or too remote to
afford a token of his mistress. The Moon thought she knew her own orbit
well enough; but when she saw the curve on Zuleika's cheek, she was at a

  "And since round lines are drawn
    My darling's lips about,
  The very Moon looks puzzled on,
    And hesitates in doubt
  If the sweet curve that rounds thy mouth
  Be not her true way to the South."

His ingenuity never sleeps:--

  "Ah, could I hide me in my song,
  To kiss thy lips from which it flows!"--

and plays in a thousand pretty courtesies:--

  "Fair fall thy soft heart!
    A good work wilt thou do?
  Oh, pray for the dead
    Whom thine eyelashes slew!"

And what a nest has he found for his bonny bird to take up her abode

  "They strew in the path of kings and czars
    Jewels and gems of price;
  But for thy head I will pluck down stars,
    And pave thy way with eyes.

  "I have sought for thee a costlier dome
    Than Mahmoud's palace high,
  And thou, returning, find thy home
    In the apple of Love's eye."

Nor shall Death snatch her from his pursuit:--

  "If my darling should depart
    And search the skies for prouder friends,
  God forbid my angry heart
    In other love should seek amends!

  "When the blue horizon's hoop
    Me a little pinches here,
  On the instant I will die
    And go find thee in the sphere."

Then we have all degrees of passionate abandonment:--

  "I know this perilous love-lane
    No whither the traveller leads,
  Yet my fancy the sweet scent of
    Thy tangled tresses feeds.

  "In the midnight of thy locks,
    I renounce the day;
  In the ring of thy rose-lips,
    My heart forgets to pray."

And sometimes his love rises to a religious sentiment:--

  "Plunge in yon angry waves,
    Renouncing doubt and care;
  The flowing of the seven broad seas
    Shall never wet thy hair.

  "Is Allah's face on thee
    Bending with love benign,
  And thou not less on Allah's eye
    O fairest! turnest thine."

We add to these fragments of Hafiz a few specimens from other poets.



  "In Farsistan the violet spreads
    Its leaves to the rival sky,--
  I ask, How far is the Tigris flood,
    And the vine that grows thereby?

  "Except the amber morning wind,
    Not one saluted me here;
  There is no man in all Bagdad
    To offer the exile cheer.

  "I know that thou, O morning wind,
    O'er Kerman's meadow blowest,
  And thou, heart-warming nightingale,
    My father's orchard knowest.

  "Oh, why did partial Fortune
    From that bright land banish me?
  So long as I wait in Bagdad,
    The Tigris is all I see.

  "The merchant hath stuffs of price,
    And gems from the sea-washed strand,
  And princes offer me grace
    To stay in the Syrian land:

  "But what is gold for but for gifts?
    And dark without love is the day;
  And all that I see in Bagdad
    Is the Tigris to float me away."


  "While roses bloomed along the plain,
  The nightingale to the falcon said,
  'Why, of all birds, must thou be dumb?
  With closed mouth thou utterest,
  Though dying, no last word to man.
  Yet sitt'st thou on the hand of princes,
  And feedest on the grouse's breast,
  Whilst I, who hundred thousand jewels
  Squander in a single tone,
  Lo! I feed myself with worms,
  And my dwelling is the thorn.'--
  The falcon answered, 'Be all ear:
  I, experienced in affairs,
  See fifty things, say never one;
  But thee the people prizes not,
  Who, doing nothing, say'st a thousand.
  To me, appointed to the chase,
  The king's hand gives the grouse's breast;
  Whilst a chatterer like thee
  Must gnaw worms in the thorn. Farewell!'"

The following passages exhibit the strong tendency of the Persian poets
to contemplative and religious poetry and to allegory.



  "A painter in China once painted a hall;--
  Such a web never hung on an emperor's wall;--
  One half from his brush with rich colors did run,
  The other he touched with a beam of the sun;
  So that all which delighted the eye in one side,
  The same, point for point, in the other replied.

  "In thee, friend, that Tyrian chamber is found;
  Thine the star-pointing roof, and the base on the ground:
  Is one half depicted with colors less bright?
  Beware that the counterpart blazes with light!"


  "I read on the porch of a palace bold
    In a purple tablet letters cast,--
  'A house, though a million winters old,
    A house of earth comes down at last;
  Then quarry thy stones from the crystal All,
  And build the dome that shall not fall.'"

"What need," cries the mystic Feisi, "of palaces and tapestry? What need
even of a bed?

  "The eternal Watcher, who doth wake
    All night in the body's earthen chest,
  Will of thine arms a pillow make,
    And a holster of thy breast."

A stanza of Hilali on a Flute is a luxury of idealism:--

  "Hear what, now loud, now low, the pining flute complains,
    Without tongue, yellow-cheeked, full of winds that wail and sigh,
  Saying, 'Sweetheart, the old mystery remains,
    If I am I, thou thou, or thou art I.'"

Ferideddin Attar wrote the "Bird Conversations," a mystical tale, in
which the birds, coming together to choose their king, resolve on a
pilgrimage to Mount Kaf, to pay their homage to the Simorg. From this
poem, written five hundred years ago, we cite the following passage, as
a proof of the identity of mysticism in all periods. The tone is quite
modern. In the fable, the birds were soon weary of the length and
difficulties of the way, and at last almost all gave out. Three only
persevered, and arrived before the throne of the Simorg.

  "The bird-soul was ashamed;
  Their body was quite annihilated;
  They had cleaned themselves from the dust,
  And were by the light ensouled.
  What was, and was not,--the Past,--
  Was wiped out from their breast.
  The sun from near-by beamed
  Clearest light into their soul;
  The resplendence of the Simorg beamed
  As one back from all three.
  They knew not, amazed, if they
  Were either this or that.
  They saw themselves all as Simorg,
  Themselves in the eternal Simorg.
  When to the Simorg up they looked,
  They beheld him among themselves;
  And when they looked on each other,
  They saw themselves in the Simorg.
  A single look grouped the two parties.
  The Simorg emerged, the Simorg vanished,
  This in that, and that in this,
  As the world has never heard.
  So remained they, sunk in wonder,
  Thoughtless in deepest thinking,
  And quite unconscious of themselves.
  Speechless prayed they to the Highest
  To open this secret,
  And to unlock _Thou_ and _We_.
  There came an answer without tongue.--
  'The Highest is a sun-mirror;
  Who comes to Him sees himself therein,
  Sees body and soul, and soul and body:
  When you came to the Simorg,
  Three therein appeared to you,
  And, had fifty of you come,
  So had you seen yourselves as many.
  Him has none of us yet seen.
  Ants see not the Pleiades.
  Can the gnat grasp with his teeth
  The body of the elephant?
  What you see is He not;
  What you hear is He not.
  The valleys which you traverse,
  The actions which you perform,
  They lie under our treatment
  And among our properties.
  You as three birds are amazed,
  Impatient, heartless, confused:
  Far over you am I raised,
  Since I am in act Simorg.
  Ye blot out my highest being,
  That ye may find yourselves on my throne;
  Forever ye blot out yourselves,
  As shadows in the sun. Farewell!'"

Among the religious customs of the dervises, it seems, is an
astronomical dance, in which the dervis imitates the movements of the
heavenly bodies by spinning on his own axis, whilst, at the same time,
he revolves round the sheikh in the centre, representing the sun; and as
he spins, he sings the song of Seid Nimetollah of Kuhistan:--

  "Spin the ball! I reel, I hum,
  Nor head from foot can I discern,
  Nor my heart from love of mine,
  Nor the wine-cup from the wine.
  All my doing, all my leaving,
  Reaches not to my perceiving.
  Lost in whirling spheres I rove,
  And know only that I love.

  "I am seeker of the stone,
  Living gem of Solomon;
  From the shore of souls arrived,
  In the sea of sense I dived;
  But what is land, or what is wave,
  To me who only jewel crave?
  Love's the air-fed fire intense,
  My heart is the frankincense;
  As the rich aloes flames, I glow,
  Yet the censer cannot know.
  I'm all-knowing, yet unknowing;
  Stand not, pause not, in my going.

  "Ask not me, as Muftis can
  To recite the Alcoran;
  Well I love the meaning sweet,--
  I tread the book beneath my feet.

  "Lo! the God's love blazes higher,
  Till all difference expire.
  What are Moslems? what are Giaours?
  All are Love's, and all are ours.
  I embrace the true believers,
  But I reck not of deceivers.
  Firm to heaven my bosom clings,
  Heedless of inferior things;
  Down on earth there, underfoot,
  What men chatter know I not."

       *       *       *       *       *



Sin has many tools, but a lie is the handle which fits them all.

----I think, Sir,--said the divinity-student,--you must intend that for
one of the sayings of the Seven Wise Men of Boston you were speaking of
the other day.

I thank you, my young friend,--was my reply,--but I must say something
better than that, before I could pretend to fill out the number.

----The schoolmistress wanted to know how many of these sayings there
were on record, and what, and by whom said.

----Why, let us see,--there is that one of Benjamin Franklin, "the great
Bostonian," after whom this lad was named. To be sure, he said a great
many wise things,--and I don't feel sure he didn't borrow this,--he
speaks as if it were old. But then he applied it so neatly!--

"He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you
another than he whom you yourself have obliged."

Then there is that glorious Epicurean paradox, uttered by my friend, the
Historian, in one of his flashing moments:--

"Give us the luxuries of life, and we will dispense with its

To these must certainly be added that other saying of one of the
wittiest of men:--

"Good Americans, when they die, go to Paris."

----The divinity-student looked grave at this, but said nothing.

The schoolmistress spoke out, and said she didn't think the wit meant
any irreverence. It was only another way of saying, Paris is a heavenly
place after New York or Boston.

A jaunty-looking person, who had come in with the young fellow they call
John,--evidently a stranger,--said there was one more wise man's saying
that he had heard; it was about our place, but he didn't know who said
it.--A civil curiosity was manifested by the company to hear the fourth
wise saying. I heard him distinctly whispering to the young fellow who
brought him to dinner, _Shall I tell it?_ To which the answer was, _Go
ahead!_--Well,--he said,--this was what I heard:--

"Boston State-House is the hub of the solar system. You couldn't
pry that out of a Boston man, if you had the tire of all creation
straightened out for a crowbar."

Sir,--said I,--I am gratified with your remark. It expresses with
pleasing vivacity that which I have sometimes heard uttered with
malignant dulness. The satire of the remark is essentially true of
Boston,--and of all other considerable--and inconsiderable--places with
which I have had the privilege of being acquainted. Cockneys think
London is the only place in the world. Frenchmen--you remember the line
about Paris, the Court, the World, etc.--I recollect well, by the way,
a sign in that city which ran thus: "Hotel de l'Univers et des États
Unis"; and as Paris _is_ the universe to a Frenchman, of course the
United States are outside of it.--"See Naples and then die."--It is
quite as bad with smaller places. I have been about, lecturing, you
know, and have found the following propositions to hold true of all of

1. The axis of the earth sticks out visibly through the centre of each
and every town or city.

2. If more than fifty years have passed since its foundation, it is
affectionately styled by the inhabitants the "_good old_ town _of_"----
(whatever its name may happen to be).

3. Every collection of its inhabitants that comes together to listen
to a stranger is invariably declared to be a "remarkably intelligent

4. The climate of the place is particularly favorable to longevity.

5. It contains several persons of vast talent little known to the world.
(One or two of them, you may perhaps chance to remember, sent short
pieces to the "Paetolian" some time since, which were "respectfully

Boston is just like other places of its size;--only, perhaps,
considering its excellent fish-market, paid fire-department, superior
monthly publications, and correct habit of spelling the English
language, it has some right to look down on the mob of cities. I'll tell
you, though, if you want to know it, what is the real offence of Boston.
It drains a large water-shed of its intellect, and will not itself be
drained. If it would only send away its first-rate men, instead of its
second-rate ones, (no offence to the well-known exceptions, of which we
are always proud,) we should be spared such epigrammatic remarks as that
which the gentleman has quoted. There can never be a real metropolis
in this country, until the biggest centre can drain the lesser ones of
their talent and wealth. I have observed, by the way, that the people
who really live in two great cities are by no means so jealous of each
other, as are those of smaller cities situated within the intellectual
basin, or _suction-range_, of one large one, of the pretensions of any
other. Don't you see why? Because their promising young author and
rising lawyer and large capitalist have been drained off to the
neighboring big city,--their prettiest girl has been exported to the
same market; all their ambition points there, and all their thin gilding
of glory comes from there. I hate little toad-eating cities.

----Would I be so good as to specify any particular example?--Oh,--an
example? Did you ever see a bear-trap? Never? Well, shouldn't you
like to see me put my foot into one? With sentiments of the highest
consideration I must beg leave to be excused.

Besides, some of the smaller cities are charming. If they have an old
church or two, a few stately mansions of former grandees, here and there
an old dwelling with the second story projecting, (for the convenience
of shooting the Indians knocking at the front-door with their
tomahawks,)--if they have, scattered about, those mighty-square houses
built something more than half a century ago, and standing like
architectural boulders dropped by the former diluvium of wealth, whose
refluent wave has left them as its monument,--if they have gardens with
elbowed apple trees that push their branches over the high board-fence
and drop their fruit on the side-walk,--if they have a little grass in
the side-streets, enough to betoken quiet without proclaiming decay,--I
think I could go to pieces, after my life's work were done, in one of
those tranquil places, as sweetly as in any cradle that an old man may
be rocked to sleep in. I visit such spots always with infinite delight.
My friend, the Poet, says, that rapidly growing towns are most
unfavorable to the imaginative and reflective faculties. Let a man live
in one of these old quiet places, he says, and the wine of his soul,
which is kept thick and turbid by the rattle of busy streets, settles,
and, as you hold it up, you may see the sun through it by day and the
stars by night.

----Do I think that the little villages have the conceit of the great
towns?--I don't believe there is much difference. You know how they read
Pope's line in the smallest town in our State of Massachusetts?--Well,
they read it

  "All are but parts of one stupendous HULL!"

----Every person's feelings have a front-door and a side-door by which
they may be entered. The front-door is on the street. Some keep it
always open; some keep it latched; some, locked; some, bolted,--with a
chain that will let you peep in, but not get in; and some nail it up,
so that nothing can pass its threshold. This front-door leads into
a passage which opens into an ante-room, and this into the interior
apartments. The side-door opens at once into the sacred chambers.

There is almost always at least one key to this side-door. This is
carried for years hidden in a mother's bosom. Fathers, brothers,
sisters, and friends, often, but by no means so universally, have
duplicates of it. The wedding-ring conveys a right to one; alas, if none
is given with it!

If nature or accident has put one of these keys into the hands of a
person who has the torturing instinct, I can only solemnly pronounce the
words that Justice utters over its doomed victim,--_The Lord have mercy
on your soul!_ You will probably go mad within a reasonable time,--or,
if you are a man, run off and die with your head on a curb-stone, in
Melbourne or San Francisco,--or, if you are a woman, quarrel and break
your heart, or turn into a pale, jointed petrifaction that moves about
as if it were alive, or play some real life-tragedy or other.

Be very careful to whom you trust one of these keys of the side-door.
The fact of possessing one renders those even who are dear to you very
terrible at times. You can keep the world out from your front-door, or
receive visitors only when you are ready for them; but those of your own
flesh and blood, or of certain grades of intimacy, can come in at the
side-door, if they will, at any hour and in any mood. Some of them have
a scale of your whole nervous system, and can play all the gamut of your
sensibilities in semitones,--touching the naked nerve-pulps as a pianist
strikes the keys of his instrument. I am satisfied that there are as
great masters of this nerve-playing as Vieuxtemps or Thalberg in their
lines of performance. Married life is the school in which the most
accomplished artists in this department are found. A delicate woman
is the best instrument; she has such a magnificent compass of
sensibilities! From the deep inward moan which follows pressure on the
great nerves of right, to the sharp cry as the filaments of taste are
struck with a crashing sweep, is a range which no other instrument
possesses. A few exercises on it dally at home fit a man wonderfully for
his habitual labors, and refresh him immensely as he returns from them.
No stranger can get a great many notes of torture out of a human soul;
it takes one that knows it well,--parent, child, brother, sister,
intimate. Be very careful to whom you give a side-door key; too many
have them already.

----You remember the old story of the tender-hearted man, who placed a
frozen viper in his bosom, and was stung by it when it became thawed? If
we take a cold-blooded creature into our bosom, better that it should
sting us and we should die than that its chill should slowly steal into
our hearts; warm it we never can! I have seen faces of women that were
fair to look upon, yet one could see that the icicles were forming
round these women's hearts. I knew what freezing image lay on the white
breasts beneath the laces!

A very simple _intellectual_ mechanism answers the necessities of
friendship, and even of the most intimate relations of life. If a watch
tells us the hour and the minute, we can be content to carry it about
with us for a life-time, though it has no second-hand, and is not
a repeater, nor a musical watch,--though it is not enamelled nor
jewelled,--in short, though it has little beyond the wheels required
for a trustworthy instrument, added to a good face and a pair of useful
hands. The more wheels there are in a watch or a brain, the more trouble
they are to take care of. The movements of exaltation which belong to
genius are egotistic by their very nature. A calm, clear mind, not
subject to the spasms and crises that are so often met with in creative
or intensely perceptive natures, is the best basis for love or
friendship.--Observe, I am talking about _minds_. I won't say, the more
intellect, the less capacity for loving; for that would do wrong to the
understanding and reason;--but, on the other hand, that the brain often
runs away with the heart's best blood, which gives the world a few pages
of wisdom or sentiment or poetry, instead of making one other heart
happy, I have no question.

If one's intimate in love or friendship cannot or does not share
all one's intellectual tastes or pursuits, that is a small matter.
Intellectual companions can be found easily in men and books. After all,
if we think of it, most of the world's loves and friendships have been
between people that could not read nor spell.

But to radiate the heat of the affections into a clod, which absorbs all
that is poured into it, but never warms beneath the sunshine of smiles
or the pressure of hand or lip,--this is the great martyrdom of
sensitive beings,--most of all in that perpetual _auto da fé_ where
young womanhood is the sacrifice.

----You noticed, perhaps, what I just said about the loves and
friendships of illiterate persons,--that is, of the human race, with a
few exceptions here and there. I like books,--I was born and bred among
them, and have the easy feeling, when I get into their presence, that a
stable-boy has among horses. I don't think I undervalue them either as
companions or as instructors. But I can't help remembering that the
world's great men have not commonly been great scholars, nor its great
scholars great men. The Hebrew patriarchs had small libraries, I think,
if any; yet they represent to our imaginations a very complete idea of
manhood, and, I think, if we could ask in Abraham to dine with us men of
letters next Saturday, we should feel honored by his company.

What I wanted to say about books is this: that there are times in which
every active mind feels itself above any and all human books.

----I think a man must have a good opinion of himself, Sir,--said the
divinity-student,--who should feel himself above Shakspeare at any time.

My young friend,--I replied,--the man who is never conscious of any
state of feeling or of intellectual effort entirely beyond expression
by any form of words whatsoever is a mere creature of language. I can
hardly believe there are any such men. Why, think for a moment of the
power of music. The nerves that make us alive to it spread out (so the
Professor tells me) in the most sensitive region of the marrow, just
where it is widening to run upwards into the hemispheres. It has its
seat in the region of sense rather than of thought. Yet it produces
a continuous and, as it were, logical sequence of emotional and
intellectual changes; but how different from trains of thought proper!
how entirely beyond the reach of symbols!--Think of human passions as
compared with all phrases! Did you ever hear of a man's growing lean by
the reading of "Romeo and Juliet," or blowing his brains out because
Desdemona was maligned? There are a good many symbols, even, that are
more expressive than words. I remember a young wife who had to part with
her husband for a time. She did not write a mournful poem; indeed, she
was a silent person, and perhaps hardly said a word about it; but she
quietly turned of a deep orange color with jaundice. A great many people
in this world have but one form of rhetoric for their profoundest
experiences,--namely, to waste away and die. When a man can _read_, his
paroxysm of feeling is passing. When he can _read_, his thought has
slackened its hold.--You talk about reading Shakspeare, using him as an
expression for the highest intellect, and you wonder that any common
person should be so presumptuous as to suppose his thought can rise
above the text which lies before him. But think a moment. A child's
reading of Shakspeare is one thing, and Coleridge's or Schlegel's
reading of him is another. The saturation-point of each mind differs
from that of every other. But I think it is as true for the small mind
which can only take up a little as for the great one which takes up
much, that the suggested trains of thought and feeling ought always
to rise above--not the author, but the reader's mental version of the
author, whoever he may be.

I think most readers of Shakspeare sometimes find themselves thrown into
exalted mental conditions like those produced by music. Then they may
drop the book, to pass at once into the region of thought without words.
We may happen to be very dull folks, you and I, and probably are, unless
there is some particular reason to suppose the contrary. But we get
glimpses now and then of a sphere of spiritual possibilities, where we,
dull as we are now, may sail in vast circles round the largest compass
of earthly intelligences.

----I confess there are times when I feel like the friend I mentioned
to you some time ago,--I hate the very sight of a book. Sometimes it
becomes almost a physical necessity to talk out what is in the mind,
before putting anything else into it. It is very bad to have thoughts
and feelings, which were meant to come out in talk, _strike in_, as they
say of some complaints that ought to show outwardly.

I always believed in life rather than in books. I suppose every day
of earth, with its hundred thousand deaths and something more of
births,--with its loves and hates, its triumphs and defeats, its pangs
and blisses, has more of humanity in it than all the books that were
ever written, put together. I believe the flowers growing at this moment
send up more fragrance to heaven than was ever exhaled from all the
essences ever distilled.

----Don't I read up various matters to talk about at this table or
elsewhere?--No, that is the last thing I would do. I will tell you my
rule. Talk about those subjects you have had long in your mind, and
listen to what others say about subjects you have studied but recently.
Knowledge and timber shouldn't be much used till they are seasoned.

----Physiologists and metaphysicians have had their attention turned a
good deal of late to the automatic and involuntary actions of the mind.
Put an idea into your intelligence and leave it there an hour, a day, a
year, without ever having occasion to refer to it. When, at last,
you return to it, you do not find it as it was when acquired. It has
domiciliated itself, so to speak,--become at home,--entered into
relations with your other thoughts, and integrated itself with the whole
fabric of the mind. Or take a simple and familiar example. You forget
a name, in conversation,--go on talking, without making any effort to
recall it,--and presently the mind evolves it by its own involuntary and
unconscious action, while you were pursuing another train of thought,
and the name rises of itself to your lips.

There are some curious observations I should like to make about the
mental machinery, but I think we are getting rather didactic.

----I should be gratified, if Benjamin Franklin would let me know
something of his progress in the French language. I rather liked that
exercise he read us the other day, though I must confess I should hardly
dare to translate it, for fear some people in a remote city where I once
lived might think I was drawing their portraits.

----Yes, Paris is a famous place for societies. I don't know whether the
piece I mentioned from the French author was intended simply as Natural
History, or whether there was not a little malice in his description.
At any rate, when I gave my translation to B.F. to turn back again into
French, one reason was that I thought it would sound a little bald in
English, and some people might think it was meant to have some local
bearing or other,--which the author, of course, didn't mean, inasmuch as
he could not be acquainted with anything on this side the water.

[The above remarks were addressed to the schoolmistress, to whom I
handed the paper after looking it over. The divinity-student came
and read over her shoulder,--very curious, apparently, but his eyes
wandered, I thought. Seeing that her breathing was a little hurried and
high, or _thoracic_, as my friend, the Professor, calls it, I watched
her a little more closely.--It is none of my business.--After all, it
is the imponderables that move the world,--heat, electricity,

This is the piece that Benjamin Franklin made into boarding-school
French, such as you see here; don't expect too much;--the mistakes give
a relish to it, I think.


Ces Sociétés là sont une Institution pour suppléer aux besoins d'esprit
et de coeur de ces individus qui ont survécu à leurs émotions à l'égard
du beau sexe, et qui n'ont pas la distraction de l'habitude de boire.

Pour devenir membre d'une de ces Sociétés, on doit avoir le moins
de cheveux possible. S'il y en reste plusieurs qui resistent aux
dépilatoires naturelles et autres, on doit avoir quelques connaissances,
n'importe dans quel genre. Dès le moment qu'on ouvre la porte de la
Société, on a un grand intérêt dans toutes les choses dont on ne sait
rien. Ainsi, un microscopiste démontre un nouveau _flexor_ du _tarse_
d'un _melolontha vulgaris_. Douze savans improvisés, portans des
besicles, et qui ne connaissent rien des insectes, si ce n'est les
morsures du _culex_, se précipitent sur l'instrument, et voient--une
grande bulle d'air, dont ils s'émerveillent avec effusion. Ce qui est
un spectacle plein d'instruction--pour ceux qui ne sont pas de ladite
Société. Tous les membres regardent les chimistes en particulier avec
un air d'intelligence parfaite pendant qu'ils prouvent dans un discours
d'une demi heure que O^6 N^3 H^5 C^6 etc. font quelque chose qui n'est
bonne à rien, mais qui probablement a une odeur très désagréable, selon
l'habitude des produits chimiques. Après celà, vient un mathématicien
qui vous bourre avec des _a+b_ et vous rapporte enfin un _x+y_, dont
vous n'avez pas besoin et qui ne change nullement vos relations avec
la vie. Un naturaliste vous parle des formations spéciales des animaux
excessivement inconnus, dont vous n'avez jamais soupçonné l'existence.
Ainsi il vous décrit les _follicules_ de _l'appendix vermiformis_ d'un
_dzigguetai_. Vous ne savez pas ce que c'est qu'un _follicule_. Vous ne
savez pas ce que c'est qu'un _appendix vermiformis_. Vous n'avez
jamais entendu parler du _dzigguetai_. Ainsi vous gagnez toutes ces
connaissances à la fois, qui s'attachent à votre esprit comme l'eau
adhére aux plumes d'un canard. On connait toutes les langues _ex
officio_ en devenant membre d'une de ces Sociétés. Ainsi quand on entend
lire un Essai sur les dialectes Tchutchiens, on comprend tout celà de
suite, et s'instruit énormément.

Il y a deux espèces d'individus qu'on trouve toujours à ces Sociétiés:
1° Le membre à questions; 2° Le membre à "Bylaws."

La _question_ est une spécialité. Celui qui en fait métier ne fait
jamais des réponses. La question est une manière très commode de dire
les choses suivantes: "Me voilà! Je ne suis pas fossil, moi,--je respire
encore! J'ai des idées,--voyez mon intelligence! Vous ne croyiez pas,
vous autres, que je savais quelque chose de celà! Ah, nous avons un
peu de sagacité, voyez vous! Nous ne sommes nullement la bête qu'on
pense!"--_Le faiseur de questions donne peu d'attention aux réponses
qu'on fait; ce n'est pas là dans sa spécialité._

Le membre à "Bylaws" est le bouchon de toutes les émotions mousseuses
et généreuses qui se montrent dans la Société. C'est un empereur
manqué,--un tyran à la troisième trituration. C'est un esprit dur,
borné, exact, grand dans les petitesses, petit dans les grandeurs, selon
le mot du grand Jefferson. On ne l'aime pas dans la Société, mais on le
respecte et on le craint. Il n'y a qu'un mot pour ce membre audessus
de "Bylaws." Ce mot est pour lui ce que l'Om est aux Hindous. C'est sa
religion; il n'y a rien audelà. Ce mot là c'est la CONSTITUTION!

Lesdites Sociétés publient des feuilletons de tems en tems. On les
trouve abandonnés à sa porte, nus comme des enfans nouveau-nés, faute
de membrane cutanée, ou même papyracée. Si on aime la botanique, on y
trouve une mémoire sur les coquilles; si on fait des études zoölogiques,
on trouve un grand tas de q[square root]-1, ce qui doit étre infiniment
plus commode que les encyclopédies. Ainsi il est clair comme la
métaphysique qu'on doit devenir membre d'une Société telle que nous

  Recette pour le Dépilatoire Physiophilosophique.
    Chaux vive lb. ss. Eau bouillante Oj.
        Dépilez avec. Polissez ensuite.

----I told the boy that his translation into French was creditable to
him; and some of the company wishing to hear what there was in the piece
that made me smile, I turned it into English for them, as well as I
could, on the spot.

The landlady's daughter seemed to be much amused by the idea that,
a depilatory could take the place of literary and scientific
accomplishments; she wanted me to print the piece, so that she might
send a copy of it to her cousin in Mizzourah; she didn't think he'd
have to do anything to the outside of his head to get into any of
the societies; he had to wear a wig once, when he played a part in a

No,--said I,--I shouldn't think of printing that in English. I'll tell
you why. As soon as you get a few thousand people together in a town,
there is somebody that every sharp thing you say is sure to hit. What
if a thing was written in Paris or in Pekin?--that makes no difference.
Everybody in those cities, or almost everybody, has his counterpart
here, and in all large places.--You never studied averages, as I have
had occasion to.

I'll tell you how I came to know so much about averages. There was
one season when I was lecturing, commonly, five evenings in the week,
through most of the lecturing period. I soon found, as most speakers do,
that it was pleasanter to work one lecture than to keep several in hand.

----Don't you get sick to death of one lecture?--said the landlady's
daughter,--who had a new dress on that day, and was in spirits for

I was going to talk about averages,--I said,--but I have no objection to
telling you about lectures, to begin with.

A new lecture always has a certain excitement connected with its
delivery. One thinks well of it, as of most things fresh from his mind.
After a few deliveries of it, one gets tired and then disgusted with
its repetition. Go on delivering it, and the disgust passes off, until,
after one has repeated it a hundred or a hundred and fifty times, he
rather enjoys the hundred and first or hundred and fifty-first time,
before a new audience. But this is on one condition,--that he never lays
the lecture down and lets it cool. If he does, there comes on a
loathing for it which is intense, so that the sight of the old battered
manuscript is as bad as sea-sickness.

A new lecture is just like any other new tool. We use it for a while
with pleasure. Then it blisters our hands, and we hate to touch it.
By-and-by our hands get callous, and then we have no longer any
sensitiveness about it. But if we give it up, the calluses disappear;
and if we meddle with it again, we miss the novelty and get the
blisters.--The story is often quoted of Whitefield, that he said a
sermon was good for nothing until it had been preached forty times.
A lecture doesn't begin to be old until it has passed its hundredth
delivery; and some, I think, have doubled, if not quadrupled, that
number. These old lectures are a man's best, commonly; they improve by
age, also,--like the pipes, fiddles, and poems I told you of the other
day. One learns to make the most of their strong points and to carry off
their weak ones, to take out the really good things which don't tell on
the audience, and put in cheaper things that do. All this degrades
him, of course, but it improves the lecture for general delivery. A
thoroughly popular lecture ought to have nothing in it which five
hundred people cannot all take in a flash, just as it is uttered.

----No, indeed,--I should be very sorry to say anything disrespectful
of audiences. I have been kindly treated by a great many, and may
occasionally face one hereafter. But I tell you the _average_ intellect
of five hundred persons, taken as they come, is not very high. It may be
sound and safe, so far as it goes, but it is not very rapid or profound.
A lecture ought to be something which all can understand, about
something which interests everybody. I think, that, if any experienced
lecturer gives you a different account from this, it will probably be
one of those eloquent or forcible speakers who hold an audience by the
charm of their manner, whatever they talk about,--even when they don't
talk very well.

But an _average_, which was what I meant to speak about, is one of the
most extraordinary subjects of observation and study. It is awful in its
uniformity, in its automatic necessity of action. Two communities of
ants or bees are exactly alike in all their actions, so far as we can
see. Two lyceum assemblies, of five hundred each, are so nearly alike,
that they are absolutely undistinguishable in many cases by any definite
mark, and there is nothing but the place and time by which one can tell
the "remarkably intelligent audience" of a town in New York or Ohio from
one in any New England town of similar size. Of course, if any principle
of selection has come in, as in those special associations of young
men which are common in cities, it deranges the uniformity of the
assemblage. But let there be no such interfering circumstances, and one
knows pretty well even the look the audience will have, before he goes
in. Front seats: a few old folks,--shiny-headed,--slant up best ear
towards the speaker,--drop off asleep after a while, when the air begins
to get a little narcotic with carbonic acid. Bright women's faces, young
and middle-aged, a little behind these, but toward the front--(pick out
the best, and lecture mainly to that). Here and there a countenance
sharp and scholarlike, and a dozen pretty female ones sprinkled about.
An indefinite number of pairs of young people,--happy, but not always
very attentive. Boys in the back-ground, more or less quiet. Dull faces
here, there,--in how many places! I don't say dull _people_, but faces
without a ray of sympathy or a movement of expression. They are what
kill the lecturer. These negative faces with their vacuous eyes and
stony lineaments pump and suck the warm soul out of him;--that is the
chief reason why lecturers grow so pale before the season is over. They
render _latent_ any amount of vital caloric; they act on our minds as
those cold-blooded creatures I was talking about act on our hearts.

Out of all these inevitable elements the audience is generated,--a great
compound vertebrate, as much like fifty others you have seen as any two
mammals of the same species are like each other. Each audience laughs,
and each cries, in just the same places of your lecture; that is, if you
make one laugh or cry, you make all. Even those little indescribable
movements which a lecturer takes cognizance of, just as a driver notices
his horse's cocking his ears, are sure to come in exactly the same place
of your lecture, always. I declare to you, that, as the monk said about
the picture in the convent,--that he sometimes thought the living
tenants were the shadows, and the painted figures the realities,--I
have sometimes felt as if I were a wandering spirit, and this great
unchanging multivertebrate which I faced night after night was one
ever-listening animal, which writhed along after me wherever I fled, and
coiled at my feet every evening, turning up to me the same sleepless
eyes which I thought I had closed with my last drowsy incantation!

----Oh, yes! A thousand kindly and courteous acts,--a thousand faces
that melted individually out of my recollection as the April snow melts,
but only to steal away and find the beds of flowers whose roots are
memory, but which blossom in poetry and dreams. I am not ungrateful, nor
unconscious of all the good feeling and intelligence everywhere to be
met with through the vast parish to which the lecturer ministers. But
when I set forth, leading a string of my mind's daughters to market, as
the country-folk fetch in their strings of horses----Pardon me, that
was a coarse fellow who sneered at the sympathy wasted on an unhappy
lecturer, as if, because he was decently paid for his services, he had
therefore sold his sensibilities.--Family men get dreadfully homesick.
In the remote and bleak village the heart returns to the red blaze of
the logs in one's fireplace at home.

  "There are his young barbarians all at play,"--

if he owns any youthful savages.--No, the world has a million roosts for
a man, but only one nest.

----It is a fine thing to be an oracle to which an appeal is always made
in all discussions. The men of facts wait their turn in grim silence,
with that slight tension about the nostrils which the consciousness
of earning a "settler" in the form of a fact or a revolver gives the
individual thus armed. When a person is really full of information, and
does not abuse it to crush conversation, his part is to that of the real
talkers what the instrumental accompaniment is in a trio or quartette of

----What do I mean by the real talkers?--Why, the people with fresh
ideas, of course, and plenty of good warm words to dress them in. Facts
always yield the place of honor, in conversation, to thoughts about
facts; but if a false note is uttered, down comes the finger on the key
and the man of facts asserts his true dignity. I have known three of
these men of facts, at least, who were always formidable,--and one of
them was tyrannical.

----Yes, a man sometimes makes a grand appearance on a particular
occasion; but these men knew something about almost everything, and
never made mistakes.--He? _Veneers_ in first-rate style. The mahogany
scales off now and then in spots, and then you see the cheap light
stuff.--I found ---- very fine in conversational information, the other
day, when we were in company. The talk ran upon mountains. He was
wonderfully well acquainted with the leading facts about the Andes, the
Apennines, and the Appalachians; he had nothing in particular to
say about Ararat, Ben Nevis, and various other mountains that were
mentioned. By and by some Revolutionary anecdote came up, and he showed
singular familiarity with the lives of the Adamses, and gave many
details relating to Major André. A point of Natural History being
suggested, he gave an excellent account of the air-bladder of fishes.
He was very full upon the subject of agriculture, but retired from the
conversation when horticulture was introduced in the discussion. So
he seemed well acquainted with the geology of anthracite, but did not
pretend to know anything of other kinds of coal. There was something so
odd about the extent and limitations of his knowledge, that I suspected
all at once what might be the meaning of it, and waited till I got an
opportunity.--Have you seen the "New American Cyclopaedia?" said I.--I
have, he replied; I received an early copy.--How far does it go?--He
turned red, and answered,--To Araguay.--Oh, said I to myself,--not quite
so far as Ararat;--that is the reason he knew nothing about it; but he
must have read all the rest straight through, and, if he can remember
what is in this volume until he has read all those that are to come, he
will know more than I ever thought he would.

Since I had this experience, I hear that somebody else has related a
similar story. I didn't borrow it, for all that.--I made a comparison
at table some time since, which has often been quoted and received many
compliments. It was that of the mind of a bigot to the pupil of the eye;
the more light you pour on it, the more it contracts. The simile is a
very obvious, and, I suppose I may now say, a happy one; for it has just
been shown me that it occurs in a Preface to certain Political Poems of
Thomas Moore's, published long before my remark was repeated. When a
person of fair character for literary honesty uses an image such as
another has employed before him, the presumption is, that he has struck
upon it independently, or unconsciously recalled it, supposing it his

It is impossible to tell, in a great many cases, whether a comparison
which suddenly suggests itself is a new conception or a recollection. I
told you the other day that I never wrote a line of verse that seemed to
me comparatively good, but it appeared old at once, and often as if it
had been borrowed. But I confess I never suspected the above comparison
of being old, except from the fact of its obviousness. It is proper,
however, that I proceed by a formal instrument to relinquish all claim
to any property in an idea given to the world at about the time when
I had just joined the class in which Waster Thomas Moore was then a
somewhat advanced scholar.

I, therefore, in full possession of my native honesty, but knowing the
liability of all men to be elected to public office, and for that reason
feeling uncertain how soon I may be in danger of losing it, do hereby
renounce all claim to being considered the _first_ person who gave
utterance to a certain simile or comparison referred to in the
accompanying documents, and relating to the pupil of the eye on the one
part and the mind of the bigot on the other. I hereby relinquish all
glory and profit, and especially all claims to letters from
autograph collectors, founded upon my supposed property in the above
comparison,--knowing well, that, according to the laws of literature,
they who speak first hold the fee of the thing said. I do also agree
that all Editors of Cyclopedias and Biographical Dictionaries, all
Publishers of Reviews and Papers, and all Critics writing therein,
shall be at liberty to retract or qualify any opinion predicated on
the supposition that I was the sole and undisputed author of the above
comparison. But, inasmuch as I do affirm that the comparison aforesaid
was uttered by me in the firm belief that it was new and wholly my own,
and as I have good reason to think that I had never seen or heard it
when first expressed by me, and as it is well known that different
persons may independently utter the same idea,--as is evinced by that
familiar line from Donatus,--

  "Pereant illi qui ante nos nostra dixcrunt,"--

now, therefore, I do request by this instrument that all well-disposed
persons will abstain from asserting or implying that I am open to any
accusation whatsoever touching the said comparison, and, if they have
so asserted or implied, that they will have the manliness forthwith to
retract the same assertion or insinuation.

I think few persons have a greater disgust for plagiarism than myself.
If I had even suspected that the idea in question was borrowed,--I
should have disclaimed originality, or mentioned the coincidence, as
I once did in a case where I had happened to hit on an idea of
Swift's.--But what shall I do about these verses I was going to read
you? I am afraid that half mankind would accuse me of stealing their
thoughts, if I printed them. I am convinced that several of you,
especially if you are getting a little on in life, will recognize some
of these sentiments as having passed through your consciousness at some
time. I can't help it,--it is too late now. The verses are written, and
you must have them. Listen, then, and you shall hear


  That age was older once than now,
    In spite of locks untimely shed,
  Or silvered on the youthful brow;
    That babes make love and children wed.

  That sunshine had a heavenly glow,
    Which faded with those "good old days,"
  When winters came with deeper snow,
    And autumns with a softer haze.

  That--mother, sister, wife, or child--
    The "best of women" each has known.
  Were schoolboys ever half so wild?
    How young the grandpapas have grown!

  That _but for this_ our souls were free,
    And _but for that_ our lives were blest;
  That in some season yet to be
    Our cares will leave us time to rest.

  Whene'er we groan with ache or pain,
    Some common ailment of the race,--
  Though doctors think the matter plain,--
    That ours is "a peculiar case."

  That when like babes with fingers burned
    We count one bitter maxim more,
  Our lesson all the world has learned,
    And men are wiser than before.

  That when we sob o'er fancied woes,
    The angels hovering overhead
  Count every pitying drop that flows
    And love us for the tears we shed.

  That when we stand with tearless eye
    And turn the beggar from our door,
  They still approve us when we sigh,
    "Ah, had I but _one thousand more_!"

  That weakness smoothed the path of sin,
    In half the slips our youth has known;
  And whatsoe'er its blame has been,
    That Mercy flowers on faults outgrown.

  Though temples crowd the crumbled brink
    O'erhanging truth's eternal flow,
  Their tablets bold with _what we think_,
    Their echoes dumb to _what we know_;

  That one unquestioned text we read,
    All doubt beyond, all fear above,
  Nor crackling pile nor cursing creed
    Can burn or blot it: GOD is LOVE!

       *       *       *       *       *


  Have you read in the Talmud of old,
  In the legends the Rabbins have told
    Of the limitless realms of the air,
  Have you read it,--the marvellous story
    Of Sandalphon, the Angel of Glory,
    Sandalphon, the Angel of Prayer?

  How, erect, at the outermost gate
  Of the City Celestial he waits,
    With his feet on the ladder of light,
  That, crowded with angels unnumbered,
  By Jacob was seen, as he slumbered
    Alone in the desert at night?

  The Angels of Wind and of Fire
  Chant only one hymn, and expire
    With the song's irresistible stress,--
  Expire in their rapture and wonder,
  As harp-strings are broken asunder
    By the music they throb to express.

  But serene in the rapturous throng,
  Unmoved by the rush of the song,
    With eyes unimpassioned and slow,
  Among the dead angels, the deathless
  Sandalphon stands listening, breathless,
    To sounds that ascend from below,--

  From the spirits on earth that adore,
  From the souls that entreat and implore
    In the frenzy and passion of prayer,--
  From the hearts that are broken with losses,
  And weary with dragging the crosses
    Too heavy for mortals to bear.

  And he gathers the prayers as he stands,
  And they change into flowers in his hands,
    Into garlands of purple and red;
  And beneath the great arch of the portal,
  Through the streets of the City Immortal,
    Is wafted the fragrance they shed.

  It is but a legend, I know,--
  A fable, a phantom, a show
    Of the ancient Rabbinical lore;
  Yet the old mediaeval tradition,
  The beautiful, strange superstition,
    But haunts me and holds me the more.

  When I look from my window at night,
  And the welkin above is all white,
    All throbbing and panting with stars,
  Among them majestic is standing
  Sandalphon the angel, expanding
    His pinions in nebulous bars.

  And the legend, I feel, is a part
  Of the hunger and thirst of the heart,
    The frenzy and fire of the brain,
  That grasps at the fruitage forbidden,
  The golden pomegranates of Eden,
    To quiet its fever and pain.

       *       *       *       *       *


Mr. Buchanan came into power with the prestige of experience; he was
known to have been long in public life; he had been a senator, a
secretary, a diplomatist, and almost everything else which is supposed
to fit a man for the practical conduct of affairs.

This presumed fitness for office greatly assisted his chances in the
Presidential campaign; and it assisted him especially with those timid
and conservative minds, of which there are many, apt to conceive that a
familiarity with the business and details of government is the same as
statesmanship, and to confound the skill and facility acquired by mere
routine with a genuine ability in execution. Had these men, however,
looked more closely into Mr. Buchanan's official career, they would have
found causes for suspecting the validity of their judgment, in the very
length and variety of his services. They would have discovered, that,
long as these had been and various as they had been, they were quite
undistinguished by any peculiar evidences of capacity or aptitude.

He had been, senator, secretary, and diplomatist, it is true; but in no
one of these positions had he achieved any remarkable successes. The
occasion could not be indicated on which he had risen above the average
level of respectability as a public man. There were no salient points in
his course,--no splendid developments of mastery,--no great reports, or
speeches, or measures, to cause him to be remembered,--and no leading
thoughts or acts, to awaken a high and general feeling of admiration on
the part of his countrymen. He was never such a senator as Webster
was, nor such a secretary as Clay, nor such a diplomatist as Marey.
Throughout his protracted official existence, he followed in the wake
of his party submissively, doing its appointed work with patience, and
vindicating its declared policy with skill, but never emerging as a
distinct and prominent figure. He never exhibited any peculiar largeness
of mind or loftiness of character; and though he spoke well and wrote
well, and played the part of a cool and wary manager, he was scarcely
considered a commanding spirit among his fellows. Amid that array of
luminaries, indeed, which adorned the Senate, where his chief reputation
was made,--among such men as Calhoun, Clay, Webster, Benton, and
Wright,--he shone with a diminished lustre.

Now, forty years of action, in the most conspicuous spheres,
unillustrated by a single incident which mankind has, or will have,
reason to cite and applaud, were not astonishing evidence of fitness for
the chief magistracy; and the event has shown, that Mr. Buchanan was to
be regarded as an old politician rather than a practised statesman, that
the most serviceable soldier in the ranks may prove to be an indifferent
general in command,--and that the experience, for which he was vaunted
and trusted, was not that ripening discipline of the mind and heart,

  -------"which doth attain
  To something of prophetic strain,"--

but that other unlearning use and wont, which

  ----"chews on wisdom past,
  And totters on in blunders to the last."

His administration has been a series of blunders, and worse; it
has evinced no mastery; on the other hand, it may be arraigned for
inconsistencies the most palpable, for proceedings the most awkward, for
a general impotence which places it on a level with that of Tyler or
Pierce, and for signal offences against the national sense of decorum
and duty.

It is scarcely a year since Mr. Buchanan assumed the reins at
Washington. He assumed them under circumstances by which he and his
party and the whole country had been taught a great lesson of
political duty. The infamous mismanagement of Kansas, by his immediate
predecessor, had just shattered the most powerful of our party
organizations, and caused a mighty uprising of the masses of the North
in defence of menaced freedom. His election was carried amid the
extremest hazards, and with the utmost difficulty. Two months more of
such ardent debate and such popular enlightenment as were then going
forward would have resulted in his defeat. As it was, nearly every
Northern State--no matter how firm its previous adherence to the
Democratic party--was aroused to a strenuous opposition. Nearly every
Northern State pronounced by a stupendous majority against him and
against his cause. Nothing but a systematic disguise of the true
questions at issue by his own party, and a gratuitous complication of
the canvass by means of a foolish third party, saved his followers from
the most complete and shameful rout that had been given for many years
to any political array. Men of every class, of every shade of faith,
joined in that hearty protest against the spirit which animated the
Democratic administration, and joined in it, that they might utter the
severest rebuke in their power, of its meanness and perfidy.

Mr. Buchanan ought to have read the warning which was thus blazed across
the political skies, like the hand-writing upon the wall. He ought to
have discerned in this general movement the signs of a deep, earnest,
and irrepressible conviction on the part of the North. It is no slight
cause which can start such general and enthusiastic expressions of
popular feeling; they cannot be manufactured; they are not the work of
mere party excitement; there is nothing spurious and nothing hollow in
them; but they well up from the deep heart of nations, showing that a
chord of sympathy has been touched, with which it is fatal to tamper or
to sport. Call it fanaticism, if you will; call it delusion; call it
anything; but recollect also that it is out of such feelings that
revolutions are born, and by them that awful national crises are

But Mr. Buchanan has not profited, as we shall see, by the monition. His
initial act, the choice of a cabinet, in which the only man of national
reputation was superannuated, and the others were of little note, gave
small hope that he would do so; and his subsequent mistakes might have
been augured from the calibre of the counsellors by whom he chose to
be surrounded.--But let the men pass, since our object is to discuss

The questions with which the President and his cabinet have had to deal,
without following them in the order either of time or importance, may
be classified as the Mormon question, the Financial question, the
Filibuster question, and the Kansas question. All these required, for
a proper adjustment of them, firmness rather than ability,--a clear
perception of the principles of right, rather than abstruse policy,--and
vigor of execution, rather than profound diplomatic skill. Yet we do not
perceive that our government has displayed, in regard to the treatment
of any of these questions, either firmness or ability. It has employed
policy enough and diplomacy enough, but the policy has been incoherent
and the diplomacy shallow. At the end of the first year of its rule, the
most striking result of its general management is the open defection of
many of its most powerful friends, and the increased earnestness and
energy of all its foes.

The difficulty with the Mormons originated, before the accession of the
present administration, in a hasty and improper extension of the Federal
authority over a people whose customs and religious opinions were
utterly incompatible with those of our own people. The inhabitants of
Utah were averse from the outset to the kind of government provided for
them at Washington. Having adopted a form of society more like that of
Congo and Dahomey than of the United States, and having accepted too
literally the prevalent dogma, that every community has the right to
form its own institutions for itself,--they preferred the polygamy
of barbarism to the monogamy of civilization, and the rod of the
priest-prophet Brigham or the seal of Elder Pratt to the sceptre
of Governor Steptoe or the sword of Colonel Johnston. Under these
circumstances, the duty of the government of the United States was to
relinquish its pretensions to supremacy over a nation opposed to its
rule, or to maintain that supremacy, if it were necessary, with a strong
and unflinching hand. Mr. Buchanan, on his own principles of popular
sovereignty, as far as we can understand them, ought, logically, to have
adopted the former course, but (as the interests of Slavery were not
involved) he elected to pursue the latter; and he has pursued it with an
impotence which has cost the nation already many millions of
dollars, and which has involved the "army of Utah" in inextricable
embarrassments, allowing them to be shut up in the snows of the
mountains before they could strike a blow or reach the first object of
their expedition. Not very well appointed in the beginning, this little
force was despatched to the Plains when it was too late in the season; a
part of it was needlessly delayed in assisting to choke down freedom in
Kansas; and when it attained the hills which guard the passages to the
valley of the Salt Lake, it found the canons obstructed by snow, and
the roads impassable. The supplies required for its subsistence were
scattered in useless profusion from Leavenworth to Fort Laramie, and
assistance and action were alike hopeless until the arrival of the

[Footnote: A: More recently the energy and wisdom of Col. Johnston
have repaired some of the mischief produced by the dilatoriness of his

The same feebleness, which left the poor soldier to perish in the
desert, has brought an overflowing treasury nearly to default. Mr.
Buchanan, in his Message, discussed the existing financial crisis with
much sounding phrase and very decided emphasis. He rebuked the action of
the banks, which had presumed to issue notes to the amount of more than
three times that of their specie, in a tone of lofty and indignant
virtue. He commended them to the strictest vigilance and to the
exemplary discipline of the State legislatures, while descanting at
large upon the safety, the economy, the beauty, and the glory of a sound
hard-money currency. When he entered upon his office, he found the
Treasury replete with eagles and dimes; it was so flush, that, in the
joy of his heart, he ordered the debts of the United States to be
redeemed at a premium of sixteen _per cent_.; and he and his followers
were disposed to jubilate over the singular spectacle, that, while all
other institutions were failing, the Treasury of the United States was
firm and resplendent in its large possession of gold. It was deemed a
rare wisdom and success, indeed, which could utter a note of triumph in
the midst of so universal a cry of despair; it was deemed a rare piece
of liberality, that the government should come to the aid of society in
an hour of such dark distress. The stocks of the United States, which
had been originally sold at a small advance, were bought back on a very
large advance; the usurers and the stock-jobbers received sixteen _per
cent_. for what they had bought at a premium of but two or three _per
cent_.; and an unparalleled glory shone around the easy vomitories of
the Treasury. The foresight and the sagacity of the proceeding were
marvellous! In less than a quarter by the moon, the coffers of the
government were empty,--the very clerks in its employ went about the
streets borrowing money to pay their board-bills,--and the grand-master
of the vaults, Mr. Cobb, counting his fingers in despair over the vacant
prospect, was compelled, in the extremity of his distress, to fill
his limp sacks with paper. Of the nineteen millions of gold which in
September distended the public purse, little or nothing remained in
December, while in its place were paper bills,--founded, not upon a
basis of one-third specie, but upon a basis of--_We promise to pay_! It
was a sad application of the high-sounding doctrines of the Message,--a
dreadful descent for a pure hard-money government,--and a lamentable
conversion of the pompous swagger of October into the shivering collapse
of January!

It may be said, that, by this pre-purchase of its own stocks, running at
an interest of six _per cent_., the government has saved the amount of
interest which would else have accrued between the time of the purchase
and the time of ultimate redemption. And this is true to some
extent,--and it would show an admirable economy, if the Treasury had had
no other use for its money. A government, like an individual, having a
large balance of superfluous cash on hand, can do no better with it than
to pay off its debts; but to do this, when there was every prospect of a
Mormon war to raise the expenditure, little prospect of retrenchment
in any branch of service, and a daily diminishing revenue at all
points,--it was purely a piece of folly, a want of ordinary forecast, to
get rid of the cash in hand. Mr. Buchanan and Mr. Cobb were guilty of
this folly, and, for the sake of the poor _éclat_ of coming to the
relief of the money-market, (which was no great relief, after all,) they
sacrificed the hard-money pretensions of the government, and sunk its
character to the level of that of the needy "kiteflier" in Wall Street.
Their true course, in the existing condition and aspect of affairs, was
to retain their capital, and to institute a most rigid economy, a most
searching reduction, in every branch of the public service. We have,
however, yet to learn whether any such economy and reduction have been

All this was simply weakness; but in turning from the conduct of
the Finances by the administration, to consider its management of
Filibusterism, we pass from the consideration of acts of mere debility
to the consideration of acts which have a color of duplicity in them.
On the Filibusters, as on the Finances, the First Annual Message of the
President was outspoken and forcible. It characterized the past and
proposed doings of William Walker and his crew, as the common sense
and common conscience of the world had already characterised them, as
nothing short of piracy and murder. Recognizing the obligations of
fraternity and peace as the rule of right in international relations, it
pledged the utmost vigilance and energy of the Federal powers against
every semblance of freebootery. In pursuance of this promise, orders
were issued to the various civil and naval authorities, (orders not very
clear, it is true, but clear enough to bear but one meaning in honest
and simple minds,) to the effect that they should maintain a sharp
watch, and execute a summary arrest of every person suspected of or
discovered in unlawful enterprises. The authorities on land, to whom it
was easy to hold secret communication with Washington, were found to
have very blind eyes and very slippery hands. General Walker and his
confederates were taken at New Orleans, but they passed through
the courts far more rapidly than goods are apt to pass through the
custom-houses. Under a merely nominal recognizance, he sailed away with
flying colors, and amid the plaudits of an admiring crowd, among whom,
it is to be presumed, the authorities took care to be only not too

But the authorities on the sea, who could not so readily get a cue from
Wellington, with the directness, in construing orders, which is the
habit of the military mind, took their instructions at the word.
Commanded to intercept all marauders and pirates, they kept a look-out
for Walker. He eluded the guns of Captain Chatard, but Commodore
Paulding seized him in the very act of invading a friendly soil.
Hoisting him on board of a war-ship, he returned him in pressing haste
to the President. Commodore Paulding, who had read the Message, and read
the instructions of Secretary Cass, doubtless supposed that black meant
black, and white, white. Perhaps, also, in the unsophisticated pride
with which he contemplated the promptitude and decision of his action,
in saving an innocent people from a sanguinary ruffian, and in
maintaining the honor of his country unsullied, dim visions crossed his
mind of a letter of thanks from the President, and of the vote of a
sword by Congress. Alas for such hopes! Commodore Paulding was clearly
not a politician; he did not know that black meant white and white meant
black,--nor that the present of a filibuster, which he sent to the
President, was the present of something worse than an elephant. It
was the present of a herd of elephants,--of a sea of troubles. Mr.
Buchanan's fine denunciations of freebooters had only been fine words
for the public ear; secretly he cherished a _penchant_ for freebooters,
or rather for the friends of freebooters; and, under those
circumstances, to be presented, by his own agent, with the very chief
of the freebooters, as a criminal and a scamp, was the most unheard-of
simplicity of understanding, and the most astounding literalness of
obedience, in any subordinate. What to do was the question. He had
menaced Chatard with a cashiering for allowing Walker to escape; and
here was Paulding, who did not allow him to escape,--so he menaced
Paulding likewise; and by way of capping the climax of absurdities, he
set Walker himself at large, to go about the country clamoring to be
sent back, at the expense of the government, to the scenes of his late
innocent occupations and virtuous designs, whence he had been ruthlessly
torn by an over-officious sailor.

The history of the farce is both argument and comment. Walker was either
a citizen of the United States, levying war upon a friendly foreign
state, and as such amenable to the penalties of our neutrality laws,--or
he was a citizen of Nicaragua, as he pretended to be, abusing our
protection to organize warlike enterprises against his fellow-citizens,
and as such also amenable to our neutrality laws. In either capacity,
and however taken, he should have been severely dealt with by the
President. But, unfortunately, Mr. Buchanan, not left to his own
instincts of right, is surrounded by assistants who have other than
great public motives for their conduct. Walker's schemes were not
individual schemes, were not simple projects of piracy and plunder,
got up on his own responsibility and for his own ends. Connected with
important collateral issues, they received the sympathy and support of
others more potent than himself. He was, in a word, the instrument
of the propagandist slave-holders, the fear of whom is ever before a
President's eyes. As the old barbarian Arbogastes used to say to the
later Roman emperors, whom he helped to elevate, "The power which made
you is the power which can break you," so these modern masters of the
throne dictate and guide its policy. Mr. Buchanan was their man as much
as Walker was, and, however grand his speeches before the public, he
must do their bidding when things came to the trial.

But this allusion brings us, by an obvious transition, to the last and
most important question submitted to the administration,--the question
of Kansas,--in the management of which, we think, it will be found that
all the before-noted deficiencies of the government have been combined
with a criminal disregard of settled principles and almost universal
convictions. In reference to Kansas, as in reference to the other
topics, the President began with fair and seductive promises. He did
not, it is true, either in his Message or anywhere else, that we know
of, narrate the actual history of the long contest which has divided
that Territory, but he did hold up for the future the brightest hopes
of an honest and equitable adjustment of all the past difficulties. He
selected and commissioned Robert J. Walker, as Governor, for the express
purpose of "pacifying Kansas." Pretending to overlook the past causes
of trouble, he announced that everything would now be set right by new
elections, in which the whole people should have full opportunity
of declaring their will. Mr. Walker went to Kansas with a full
determination to carry out this amiable promise of the President. Both
he and his secretary, Mr. Stanton, labored strenuously to convince
the people of the Territory of his honest purposes, and, by dint of
persuasions, pledges, assurances, and oaths, at length succeeded in
procuring a pretty general exercise of the franchise. The result was a
signal overthrow of the minority which had so long ruled by fraud and
violence; and the sincerity of the President is tested by the fact,
avouched by both Walker and Stanton, that, from the moment of the
success of the Free-State party, he was wroth towards his servants.
Stanton was removed and Walker compelled to resign, though their only
offence was a laborious prosecution of the President's own policy. Ever
since then, he has strained every nerve, and at this moment is straining
every nerve, to defeat the well-known legally demonstrated wish of the
majority. In the face of his own plighted word, and of the emphatic
assurances of his agents, sanctioned by himself, he insists upon
imposing on them officers whom they detest and an instrument of
government which they spurn. These people of Kansas,--who were to
be "pacified,"--to be conciliated,--to be guarantied a just
administration,--are denounced in the most virulent and abusive terms as
refractory, and are threatened with the coercion of a military force,
because they are unwilling to submit to outrage!

The excuse offered by the President for this perfidious course is
the Lecompton Constitution, which he professes to consider a legal
instrument, framed by a legal Convention, and approved by a legal
election of the people,--and which is therefore not to be set aside
except by the same sovereign power by which it was created. It would be
a good excuse, if it were not a transparent and monstrous quibble from
beginning to end. The Lecompton Constitution has no one element of
legality in it; from the _Whereas_, to the signatures, it is an
imposture;--for neither had the Legislature, that called the Convention
in which it was made, lawful authority to do so,--nor was that
Convention lawfully constituted,--nor was the alleged adoption of it by
the people more than a trick.

A Territory is an inchoate and dependent community, which can be erected
into a State only in two ways: first, formally, by an enabling act of
Congress, giving permission to the inhabitants to set up for themselves;
and second, informally, by a spontaneous and general movement of the
people, which Congress must afterwards legitimate. In either case, the
consent of Congress, first or last, is necessary to the validity of the
proceeding. But a Territorial Legislature, which is the mere creature of
Congress, having no powers but what are strictly conveyed to it in the
Organic Act instituting the Territorial government, cannot originate
a movement to supersede itself, and also to abrogate the authority
of Congress. The attempt to do so, as declared by General Jackson's
cabinet, in the case of Arkansas, would be, not simply null and void,
but unlawful, rebellious; and the President would be obliged to suppress
it, if called upon, by force of arms. The Organic Act is the supreme law
of the Territory, which can be altered or revoked only by the authority
from which it emanated; and every measure commenced or prosecuted with a
design to annul that law, to subvert the Territorial government, or
to put in force in its place a new government, without the consent of
Congress, is a flagrant usurpation.

Now the Lecompton Convention was called not merely without the consent
of Congress, but against its consent; it was called by and under the
arrangements of the Territorial Legislature; it was not the spontaneous
act of the people, a large majority of whom condemned the movement
and refused to participate in it; and thus, in its inception, it was
unlawful. It was neither regularly nor irregularly proper;--the supreme
legislature had not acknowledged it; the masses of society had not
acknowledged it; and the entire project possessed no other character
than that of a factious scheme for perpetuating the power of a few
pro-slavery demagogues.

But, if we grant the right of the Territorial Legislature to originate
such a movement, the manner in which it was carried into effect would
still brand it with the marks of illegality. A census and registry of
voters had been provided for in the law authorizing the Convention, as
the basis of an apportionment of the delegates, and that provision was
not complied with. In nineteen out of the thirty-eight counties no
registry was made, and in the others it was imperfectly made. "In some
of the counties," according to the evidence of Mr. Stanton, then acting
Governor, "the officers were probably deterred and discouraged by the
people from their duty of taking the census," (although he adds that he
does not know that such was the fact,) "while in others the officers
utterly refused to do their duty." "I know," he says, "that the people
of some of those counties ardently desired to be represented in the
Convention, for they afterwards, under the statements of Governor Walker
and myself, that they would probably be admitted, elected delegates and
sent them up to the Convention; but they were not admitted to seats."
In consequence of this failure or refusal to do their duty, only
the geographical half or the numerical fourth of the Territory was
represented in the Convention. Nor is it any excuse for the defaulting
officers, even if it had been true, that some of the people opposed the
execution of their duty. They professed to be acting under law; their
functions were plainly prescribed to them; and they were bound to make
the census and registry, whatever the disposition of the people. In a
land of laws, it is the law, and not any mere prevailing sentiment,
which prescribes and limits official duty. There is, however, no
evidence that the discharge of their task was rendered impossible by the
popular opposition, while there is evidence that they were very willing
to neglect it, and very willing to allow any obstacle, no matter how
trivial, to obstruct their performance of it. They were, in truth, as
everybody knows, the simple tools of the faction which started this
Convention movement, and not at all desirous to secure a fair and
adequate representation of the inhabitants.

That many of the people should be careless of the registration, and even
unfriendly to it, is natural, because they disapproved the plan, and
were hostile to the ends of the Convention. They doubted the authority
by which it had been summoned; they doubted both the validity and the
probable fairness of an election under such authority; and, moreover,
they were indifferent as to its proceedings, because they had been
assured that they would be called upon to pronounce _pro_ or _con_ upon
its results. The Convention, as actually constituted when assembled,
consisted of sixty delegates, representing about 1,800 voters, in an
electoral body of 12,000 in all,--or one delegate to thirty voters! A
convention so composed ought to have been ashamed of the very pretence
of acting in the name of the whole people. It would have been ashamed of
it, if it had contained men sincerely anxious to reflect the will of the
great body of the citizens. It would have been as much ashamed of it,
as any honest man would be to pass himself off as the agent of a person
whom he had never known, or who openly derided and despised him. But
this precious body--each man of whom represented thirty men besides
himself, in a voting population of 12,000--was not sensible to such
considerations. By a miserable chicane, it had got into a position to do
mischief, and it proceeded to do it, with as much alacrity and headlong
zeal as rogues are apt to exhibit when the prize is great and the
opportunity short. An election for the Legislature, held subsequently to
that for the Convention, showing a public opinion decidedly adverse to
it, the sole study of its members thenceforth seemed to be, how they
could most adroitly and effectively nullify the ascendency of the
majority. For this end alone they consulted, and caballed, and
calculated, and junketed; and the Lecompton Constitution, with the
Schedule annexed, was the worthy fruit of their labors.

It is monstrous in Mr. Buchanan to assume that a body so contrived and
so acting expressed in any sense the sovereign will of the people. But,
not to dwell upon this point, let us suppose that the Convention had
been summoned by a competent authority, that it had been fairly chosen
by its small constituency, and that its proceedings had been managed
with ordinary decorum,--would the Constitution it framed be valid, in
the face of a clear popular condemnation? We hold that it would not,
because, in our estimation, and in the estimation of every intelligent
American, the very essence of republicanism is "the consent of the
governed." It is the highest function of political sovereignty to devise
and ordain the organic law of society, the vital form of its being; and
the characteristic difference between the despotic or oligarchical and
the republican government is, that in the one case the function is
exercised by a monarch or a class, and in the other by the body of the
citizens. This distinctive feature of our politics, as opposed to
all others, regards the will of the people, directly or indirectly
expressed, as alone giving validity to law; our National Constitution,
and every one of our thirty-one State Constitutions, proceeds upon
that principle; every act of legislation in the Congress and the State
Assemblies supposes it; and every decision of every Court has that for
its basis. Constitutions have been adopted, undoubtedly, without a
distinct submission of them to the ratification of the people; but in
such cases there has been no serious agitation of the public mind, no
important conflict or division of opinion, rendering such ratification
necessary,--and, in the absence of dispute, the general assent of the
community to the action of its delegates might fairly be presumed. But
in no case, in which great and debatable questions were involved, has
any Convention dared to close its labors without providing for their
reference to the popular sanction; much less has there been any instance
in which a Convention has dared to make its own work final, in the
face of a known or apprehended repugnance of the constituency. The
politicians who should have proposed such a thing would have been
overwhelmed with unmeasured indignation and scorn. No sentiment more
livingly pervades our national mind, no sentiment is juster in itself,
than that they who are to live under the laws ought to decide on the
character of the laws,--that they whose persons, property, welfare,
happiness, life, are to be controlled by a Constitution of Government,
ought to participate in the formation of that government.

Conscious of this truth, and of its profound hold on the popular heart,
Mr. Buchanan instructed Governor Walker to see the Kansas Constitution
submitted to the people,--to protect them against fraud and violence in
voting upon it,--and to proclaim, in the event of any interference with
their rights, that the Constitution "would be and ought to be rejected
by Congress." Walker was voluble in proclamations to that end. The
trainers of the Constitution, aware of its invalidity without the
sanction of the people, provided for its submission to "approval"
or "disapproval," to "ratification" or "rejection"; and yet, by the
paltriest juggle in recorded history, devised, in the same breath, a
method of taking the vote, which completely nullified its own terms.
No man was allowed to "disapprove" it, no man was allowed to "reject"
it,--except in regard to a single section,--and before he could vote for
or against that, he was obliged to vote in favor of all the rest. If
there had been a hundred thousand voters in the Territory opposed to
the Constitution, and but one voter in its favor, the hundred thousand
voters could not have voted upon it at all, but the one voter
could,--and the vote of that one would have been construed into a
popular approval, while the will of all the others would have been
practically void. By this pitiful stratagem, it was supposed, the
double exigency of Mr. Buchanan's often repeated sentiments, and of
the pro-slavery cause, which dreaded a popular vote, was completely
satisfied; and the President of the United States, reckless of his
position and his fame, lent himself to the shameless and despicable
palter. He not only lent himself to it, but he has openly argued its
propriety, and is now making the adherence of his friends to such
baseness the test of their party fidelity. In the name of Democracy,--of
that sacred and sublime principle into which we, as a nation, have been
baptized,--which declares the inalienable rights of man,--and which,
as it makes the tour of the earth, hand and hand with Christianity, is
lifting the many from the dust, where for ages they have been trampled,
into political life and dignity,--he converts a paltry swindle into its
standard and creed, and prostitutes its glorious mission, as a redeeming
influence among men, into a ministry of slavery and outrage.

Mr. Buchanan knows--we believe better than any man in the country--that
the Lecompton Constitution is not the act of the people of Kansas. By
the election of the 4th of January--an election which was perfectly
valid, because it was held under the authority of a Territorial
Legislature superior to the Convention--it was solemnly and
unequivocally condemned. This of itself was enough to demonstrate that
fact. But all the Democratic Governors of the Territory--with the single
exception of Shannon, and the recently appointed acting Governor,
Denver, who is prudently silent--testify urgently to the same truth.
Reeder, Geary, and Walker, together with the late acting Governor,
Stanton, asseverate, in the most earnest and emphatic manner, that the
majority in Kansas is for making it a Free State,--that the minority
which has ruled is a factious minority, and that they have obtained and
perpetuated their ascendency by a most unblushing series of crimes and
frauds. Yet, in the teeth of this evidence,--of repeated elections,--of
his own witnesses turning against him,--the President adheres to the
infamous plans of the pro-slavery leaders; and, if not arrested by the
rebukes of the North, he will insist on imposing their odious measures
upon their long-suffering victims.

Looking at the administration of Mr. Buchanan simply from the point of
view of an enlightened statesmanship, we find nothing in it that is not
contemptible; but when we regard it as the accredited exponent of the
moral sense of a majority of our people, it is saved from contempt,
indeed, but saved only because contempt is merged in a deeper feeling
of humiliation and apprehension. Unparalleled as the outrages in Kansas
have been, we regard them as insignificant in comparison with the
deadlier fact that the Chief Magistrate of the Republic should strive to
defend them by the small wiles of a village attorney,--that, when the
honor of a nation and the principle of self-government are at stake, he
should show himself unconscious of a higher judicature or a nobler
style of pleading than those which would serve for a case of petty
larceny,--and that he should be abetted by more than half the national
representatives, while he brings down a case of public conscience to the
moral level of those who are content with the maculate safety which they
owe to a flaw in an indictment, or with the dingy innocence which is
certified to by the disagreement of a jury.

These things are the logical consequences of that profound national
demoralization which followed the enactment of the Fugitive Slave Bill
and alone made its execution possible,--a demoralization wilfully
brought about, for selfish ends, in that sad time which saw our greatest
advocates and our acutest politicians spending all their energy of mind
and subtlety of argument to persuade the people that there was no higher
law than that rule of custom and chicane woven of the split hairs of
immemorial sophistry, and whose strongest fibre is at the mercy of an
obstinate traverse juror,--no law higher than the decree of party,
ratified by a popular majority achieved by the waiters on Presidential
providence, through immigrant voters whom the gurgling oratory of
the whiskey-barrel is potent to convince, and whose sole notion of
jurisprudence is based upon experience of the comparative toughness
of Celtic skulls and blackthorn shillalahs. And such arguments were
listened to, such advocates commended for patriotism, in a land from
whose thirty thousand pulpits God and Christ are preached weekly to
hearers who profess belief in the Divine government of the world and the
irreversible verdicts of conscience!

The capacity of the English race for self-government is measured by
their regard as well for the forms as the essence of law. A race
conservative beyond all others of what is established, averse beyond all
others to the heroic remedy of forcible revolution, they have yet three
times in the space of a century and a half assumed the chances of
rebellion and the certain perils of civil war, rather than submit to
have Right infringed by Prerogative, and the scales of Justice made a
cheat by false weights that kept the shape but lacked the substance of
legitimate precedent. We are forced to think that there must be a bend
sinister in the escutcheon of the descendants of such men, when we find
them setting the form above the substance, and accepting as law that
which is deadly to the spirit while it is true to the letter of
legality. It is a spectacle portentous of moral lapse and social
disorganization, to see a statesman, who has had fifty years' experience
of American politics, quibbling in defence of Executive violence against
a free community, as if the conscience of the nation were no more august
a tribunal than a police justice sitting upon a paltry case of assault.
Yet more portentous is it to see a great people consenting that fraud
should be made national by the voice of a Congress in which the casting
vote may be bought by a tide-waitership, and then invested with the
solemnity of law by a Court whose members are selected, not for
uprightness of character or breadth of mind, but by the inverse test of
their capacity for cringing in subservience to party, and for narrowing
a judgment already slender as the line of personal interest, till it
becomes so threadlike as to bend at the touch, nay, at the breath, of
sectional rapacity. Have we, then, forgotten that the true prosperity of
a nation is moral, and not material? that its strength depends, not on
the width of its boundaries, nor the bulk of its census, but on its
magnanimity, its honor, its fidelity to conscience? There is a Fate
which spins and cuts the threads of national as of individual life, and
the case of God against the people of these United States is not to be
debated before any such petty tribunal as Mr. Buchanan and his advisers
seem to suppose. The sceptre which dropped successively from the grasp
of Egypt, Assyria, Carthage, Greece, Rome, fell from a hand palsied by
the moral degeneracy of the people; and the emasculate usurper or the
foreign barbarian snatched and squandered the heritage of civilization
which escheated for want of legitimate heirs of the old royal race,
whose divine right was the imperial brain, and who found their strength
in a national virtue which individualized itself in every citizen. The
wind that moans among the columns of the Parthenon, or rustles through
the weeds on the palaces of the Caesars, whimpers no truer prophecies
than that venal breath which, at a signal from the patron in the White
House, bends all one way the obsequious leaves of a partisan press,
ominous of popular decadence.

Do our leading politicians, and the prominent bankers and merchants who
sustain them, know what a dangerous lesson they are setting to a people
whose affairs are controlled by universal suffrage, when they affirm
that to be right which can by any false pretence be voted so? Does not
he who undermines national principle sap the foundations of individual
property also? If burglary may be committed on a commonwealth under
form of law, is there any logic that will protect a bank-vault or a
strong-box? When Mr. Buchanan, with a Jew broker at one elbow and a
Frenchman at the other, (strange representatives of American diplomacy!)
signed his name to the Ostend circular, was he not setting a
writing-lesson for American youth to copy, and one which the pirate hand
of Walker _did_ copy in ungainly letters of fire and blood in Nicaragua?

The vice of universal suffrage is the infinitesimal subdivision of
personal responsibility. The guilt of every national sin comes back to
the voter in a fraction the denominator of which is several millions.
It is idle to talk of the responsibility of officials to their
constituencies or to the people. The President of the United States,
during his four years of office, is less amenable to public opinion than
the Queen of England through her ministers; senators, with embassies in
prospect, laugh at instructions; representatives think they have made a
good bargain when they exchange the barren approval of constituencies
for the smile of one whom a lucky death, perhaps, has converted into
the Presidential Midas of the moment; and in a nation of adventurers,
success is too easily allowed to sanctify a speculation by which a man
sells his pitiful self for a better price than even a Jew could get for
the Saviour of the world. It cannot be too often repeated, that the only
responsibility which is of saving efficacy in a Democracy is that of
every individual man in it to his conscience and his God. As long
as any one of us holds the ballot in his hand, he is truly, what we
sometimes vaguely boast, a sovereign,--a constituent part of Destiny;
the infinite Future is his vassal; History holds her iron stylus as
his scribe; Lachesis awaits his word to close or to suspend her fatal
shears;--but the moment his vote is cast, he becomes the serf of
circumstance, at the mercy of the white-livered representative's
cowardice, or the venal one's itching palm. Our only safety, then, is
in the aggregate fidelity to personal rectitude, which may lessen the
chances of representative dishonesty, or, at the worst, constitute a
public opinion that shall make the whole country a penitentiary for
such treason, and turn the price of public honor to fairy-money, whose
withered leaves but mock the possessor with the futile memory of
self-degradation. Let every man remember, that, though he may be a
nothing in himself, yet every cipher gains the power of multiplying by
ten when it is placed on the _right side_ of whatever unit for the time
represents the cause of truth and justice. What we need is a thorough
awakening of the individual conscience; and if we once become aware how
the still and stealthy ashes of political apathy and moral insensibility
are slipping under our feet and hurrying us with them toward the
crater's irrevocable core, it may be that the effort of self-preservation
called forth by the danger will make us love the daring energy and the
dependence on our individual strength, that alone can keep us free and
worthy to be freemen.

While we hold the moral aspect of the great question now before the
country to be cardinal, there are also some practical ones which the
Republican party ought never to lose sight of. To move a people among
whom the Anglo-Saxon element is predominant, we will not say, with Lord
Bacon, that we must convince their pockets, but we do believe that moral
must always go hand in hand with common sense. They will take up arms
for a principle, but they must have confidence in each other and in
their leaders. Conscience is a good tutor to tell a man on which side to
act, but she leaves the question of _How to act_ to every man's prudence
and judgment. An over-nice conscience has before now turned the stomach
of a great cause on the eve of action. Cromwell knew when to split hairs
and when skulls. The North has too generally allowed its strength to be
divided by personal preferences and by-questions, till it has almost
seemed as if a moral principle had less constringent force to hold
its followers together than the gravitation of private interest, the
Newtonian law of that system whereof the dollar is the central sun,
which has hitherto made the owners of slaves unitary, and given them the
power which springs from concentration and the success which is sure
to follow concert of action. We have spent our strength in quarrelling
about the character of men, when we should have been watchful only of
the character of measures. A scruple of conscience has no right to
outweigh a pound of duty, though it ought to make a ton of private
interest kick the beam. The great aim of the Republican party should
be to gain one victory for the Free States. One victory will make us a
unit, and is equal to a reinforcement of fifty thousand men. The genius
of success in politics or war is to know Opportunity at first sight.
There is no mistress so easily tired as Fortune. We must waste no more
time in investigating the motives of our recruits. Have we not faith
enough in our cause to believe that it will lift all to its own level of
patriotism and devotion? Let us, then, welcome all allies, from whatever
quarter, and not inquire into their past history as minutely as if we
were the assignees of the Recording Angel and could search his books at
pleasure. When Soult was operating in the South of France, the defection
of two German regiments crippled all his combinations and gave the
advantage to Wellington. Ought Wellington to have refused their aid? For
our own part, if Mr. Douglas be the best tactician, the best master of
political combination, we are willing to forget all past differences and
serve under him cheerfully, rather than lose the battle under a general
who has agreed with us all his life. When we remember, that, of the two
great cathedrals of Europe, one is dedicated to Saint Peter who denied
his Lord under temptation, and the other to Saint Paul who spent his
early manhood in persecuting true believers, and that both these patrons
of the Church, differing as they did in many points of doctrine, were
united in martyrdom for their belief, we cannot but think that there is
room even for repentant renegades in the camp of the faithful.

While we insist that Morals should govern the _motives_ of political
action, and that no party can be permanently strong which has not the
reserve of a great principle behind it, we affirm with no less strength
of conviction that the details of our National Housekeeping should be
managed by practical sense and worldly forethought. The policy of states
moves along the beaten highways of experience, and, where terrestrial
guide-posts are plenty, we need not ask our way of the stars. The
advantage of our opponents has been that they have always had some sharp
practical measure, some definite and immediate object, to oppose to our
voluminous propositions of abstract right. Again and again the whirlwind
of oratorical enthusiasm has roused and heaped up the threatening masses
of the Free States, and again and again we have seen them collapse like
a water-spout, into a crumbling heap of disintegrated bubbles, before
the compact bullet of political audacity. While our legislatures have
been resolving and re-resolving the principles of the Declaration of
Independence, our adversaries have pushed their trenches, parallel after
parallel, against the very citadel of our political equality. A
siege, if uninterrupted, is a mere matter of time, and must end in
capitulation. Our only safety is in assuming the offensive. Are we to be
terrified any longer by such Chinese devices of warfare as the cry of
Disunion,--a threat as hollow as the mask from which it issues, as
harmless as the periodical suicides of Mantalini, as insincere as
the spoiled child's refusal of his supper? We have no desire for a
dissolution of our confederacy, though it is not for us to fear it. We
will not allow it; we will not permit the Southern half of our dominion
to become a Hayti. But there is no danger; the law that binds our system
of confederate stars together is of stronger fibre than to be snapped by
the trembling finger of Toombs or cut by the bloodless sword of Davis;
the march of the Universe is not to be stayed because some gentleman in
Buncombe declares that his sweet-potato-patch shall not go along with
it. But we have no apprehension. The sweet attraction which knits the
sons of Virginia to the Treasury has lost none of its controlling force.
We must make up our minds to keep these deep-descended gentlemen in the
Union, and must convince them that we have a work to accomplish in it
and by means of it. If our Southern brethren have the curse of Canaan in
their pious keeping, if the responsibility lie upon them to avenge the
insults of Noah, on us devolves a more comprehensive obligation and the
vindication of an elder doom;--it is for us to assert and to secure the
claim of every son of Adam to the common inheritance ratified by the
sentence, "In the sweat of thy brow shalt thou earn thy bread." We are
to establish no aristocracy of race or complexion, no caste which Nature
and Revelation alike refuse to recognize, but the indefeasible right of
man to the soil which he subdues, and the muscles with which he subdues
it. If this be a sectional creed, it is a sectionality which at least
includes three hundred and fifty-nine degrees of the circle of man's
political aspiration and physical activity, and we may well be easy
under the imputation.

But so rapid has been the downward course of our national politics under
the guidance of our oligarchical Democracy, that the question on which
we take issue, whatever it may once have been, is no longer a sectional
one, and concerns not the slavery of the negro, but that of the Northern
white man. Whatever doubt there may be about the physical degeneration
of the race, it is more than certain that the people of the Northern
States have no longer the moral stature of their illustrious ancestry;
that their puny souls could find room enough in but the gauntlet finger
of that armor of faith and constancy and self-devotion which fitted
closely to the limbs of those who laid so broad the foundations of our
polity as to make our recreancy possible and safe for us. It wellnigh
seems as if our type should suffer a slave-change,--as if the fair hair
and skin of those ancestral _non Angli sed angeli_ should crisp into
wool and darken to the swarthy livery of servility. No Northern man can
hold any office under the national government, however petty, without an
open recantation of those principles which he drew in with his mother's
milk,--those principles which, in the better days of the republic,
even a slaveholder could write down in the great charter of our
liberties,--those principles which now only the bells and cannon
are allowed to utter on the Fourth of July or the Seventeenth of
June,--bells that may next call out the citizen-soldiery to aid in the
rendition of a slave,--cannon whose brazen lips may next rebuke the
freedom whose praises they but yesterday so emptily thundered.

When we look back upon the providential series of events which prepared
this continent for the experiment of Democracy,--when we think of those
forefathers for whom our mother England shed down from her august
breasts the nutriment of ordered liberty, not unmixed with her best
blood in the day of her trial,--when we remember the first two acts of
our drama, that cost one king his head and his son a throne, and that
third which cost another the fairest appanage of his crown and gave a
new Hero to mankind,--we cannot believe it possible that this great
scene, stretching from ocean to ocean, was prepared by the Almighty
only for such men as Mr. Buchanan and his peers to show their feats of
juggling on, even though the thimble-rig be on so colossal a scale that
the stake is a territory larger than Britain. We cannot believe that
this unhistoried continent,--this virgin leaf in the great diary of
man's conquest over the planet, on which our fathers wrote two words of
epic grandeur,--Plymouth and Bunker Hill,--is to bear for its colophon
the record of men who inherited greatness and left it pusillanimity,--a
republic, and made it anarchy,--freedom, and were content as serfs,--of
men who, born to the noblest estate of grand ideas and fair expectancies
the world had ever seen, bequeathed the sordid price of them in gold.
The change is sad 'twixt Now and Then: the Great Republic is without
influence in the councils of the world; to be an American, in Europe, is
to be the accomplice of filibusters and slave-traders; instead of men
and thought, as was hoped of us, we send to the Old World cotton, corn,
and tobacco, and are but as one of her outlying farms. Are we basely
content with our pecuniary good-fortune? Do we look on the tall column
of figures on the credit side of our national ledger as a sufficing
monument of our glory as a people? Are we of the North better off as
provinces of the Slave-holding States than as colonies of Great Britain?
Are we content with our share in the administration of national affairs,
because we are to have the ministry to Austria, and because the
newspapers promise that James Gordon Bennett shall be sent out of the
country to fill it?

We of the Free States are confessedly without our fair share of
influence in the administration of national affairs. Its foreign and
domestic policy are both directed by principles often hostile to our
interests, sometimes abhorrent to our sense of right and honor. Under
loud professions of Democracy, the powers of the central government and
of the Executive have increased till they have scarcely a match among
the despotisms of Europe, and more than justify the prophetic fears of
practical statesmen like Samuel Adams and foresighted politicians like
Jefferson. Unquestionably superior in numbers, and claiming an equal
preeminence in wealth, intelligence, and civilization, we have steadily
lost in political power and in the consideration which springs from it.
Is the preponderance of the South due to any natural superiority of an
Aristocracy over a Democracy? to any mental inferiority, to lack of
courage, of political ability, of continuity of purpose, on our own
part? We should be slow to find the cause in reasons like these; but we
_do_ find it in that moral disintegration, the necessary result of that
falsehood to our own sense of right forced upon us by the slave-system,
and which, beginning with our public men, has gradually spread to the
Press, the Pulpit, nay, worse than all, the Home, till it is hard to
find a private conscience that is not tainted with the contagious mange.

For what have we not seen within the last few years? We have seen the
nomination to office made dependent, not on the candidate's being large
enough to fill, but small enough to take it. Holding the purity of
elections as a first article of our creed, we have seen one-third of
the population of a Territory control the other two-thirds by false or
illegal votes; hereditary foes of a standing army, we have seen four
thousand troops stationed in Kansas to make forged ballots good by real
bullets; lovers of fair play, we have seen a cowardly rabble from the
Slave States protected by Federal bayonets while they committed robbery,
arson, and Sepoy atrocities against women, and the Democratic party
forced to swallow this nauseous mixture of force, fraud, and Executive
usurpation, under the name of Popular Sovereignty. We have seen Freedom
pronounced sectional and Slavery national by the highest tribunal of the
republic. We have seen the legislatures of Southern States passing acts
for the renewal and encouragement of the slave-trade. We have seen the
attempted assassination of a senator in his seat justified and applauded
by public meetings and the resolutions of State Assemblies. We have
seen a pirate, for the hanging of whom the conscious Earth would have
produced a tree, had none before existed, threaten the successor of
Washington with the exposure of his complicity, if he did not publicly
violate the faith he had publicly pledged.--But enough, and more than

It lies in the hands of the people of the Free States to rescue
themselves and the country by peaceable reform, ere it be too late, and
there be no remedy left but that dangerous one of revolution, toward
which Mr. Buchanan and his advisers seem bent on driving them. But the
reform must be wide and deep, and its political objects must be attained
by household means. Our sense of private honor and integrity must be
quickened; our consciousness of responsibility to God and man for the
success of this experiment in practical Democracy, in order to which the
destiny of a hemisphere has been entrusted to us, must be roused and
exalted; we must learn to feel that the safety of universal suffrage
lies in the sensitiveness of the individual voter to every abuse of
delegated authority, every treachery to representative duty, as a
stain upon his own personal integrity; we must become convinced that
a government without conscience is the necessary result of a people
careless of their duties, and therefore unworthy of their rights.
Prosperity has deadened and bewildered us. It is time we remembered
that History does not concern herself about material wealth,--that the
life-blood of a nation is not that yellow tide which fluctuates in
the arteries of Trade,--that its true revenues are religion, justice,
sobriety, magnanimity, and the fair amenities of Art,--that it is only
by the soul that any people has achieved greatness and made lasting
conquests over the future. We believe there is virtue enough left in the
North and West to infuse health into our body politic; we believe that
America will reassume that moral influence among the nations which
she has allowed to fall into abeyance; and that our eagle, whose
morning-flight the world watched with hope and expectation, shall no
longer troop with unclean buzzards, but rouse himself and seek his eyrie
to brood new eaglets that in time shall share with him the lordship of
these Western heavens, and shall learn of him to shake the thunder from
their invincible wings.

       *       *       *       *       *


_Library of Old Authors_. London: John Russell Smith, 1856-7.

Many of our older readers can remember the anticipation with which they
looked for each successive volume of the late Dr. Young's excellent
series of old English prose-writers, and the delight with which they
carried it home, fresh from the press and the bindery in its appropriate
livery of evergreen. To most of us it was our first introduction to the
highest society of letters, and we still feel grateful to the departed
scholar who gave us to share the conversation of such men as Latimer,
More, Sidney, Taylor, Browne, Fuller, and Walton. What a sense of
security in an old book which Time has criticized for us! What a
precious feeling of seclusion in having a double wall of centuries
between us and the heats and clamors of contemporary literature! How
limpid seems the thought, how pure the old wine of scholarship that
has been settling for so many generations in those silent crypts and
Falernian _amphorae_ of the Past! No other writers speak to us with the
authority of those whose ordinary speech was that of our translation
of the Scriptures; to no modern is that frank unconsciousness possible
which was natural to a period when yet reviews were not; and no later
style breathes that country charm characteristic of days ere the
metropolis drew all literary activity to itself, and the trampling feet
of the multitude had banished the lark and the daisy from the fresh
privacies of language. Truly, as compared with the present, these
old voices seem to come from the morning fields and not the paved
thoroughfares of thought.

Even the "Retrospective Review" continues to be good reading, in virtue
of the antique aroma (for wine only acquires its _bouquet_ by age) which
pervades its pages. Its sixteen volumes are so many tickets of admission
to the vast and devious vaults of the sixteenth and seventeenth
centuries, through which we wander, tasting a thimbleful of rich Canary,
honeyed Cyprus, or subacidulous Hock, from what dusty butt or keg our
fancy chooses. The years during which this Review was published were
altogether the most fruitful in genuine appreciation of old English
literature. Books were prized for their imaginative, and not their
antiquarian value, by young writers who sat at the feet of Lamb and
Coleridge. Rarities of style, of thought, of fancy were sought, rather
than the barren scarcities of typography. But another race of men seems
to have sprung up, in whom the futile enthusiasm of the collector
predominates, who substitute archaeologic perversity for aesthetic
scholarship, and the worthless profusion of the curiosity-shop for
the sifted exclusiveness of the cabinet of Art. They forget, in their
fanaticism for antiquity, that the dust of never so many centuries is
impotent to transform a curiosity into a gem, that only good books
absorb tone-mellowness from age, and that a baptismal register which
proves a patriarchal longevity (if existence be life) cannot make
mediocrity anything but a bore, or garrulous commonplace entertaining.
There are volumes which have the old age of Plato, rich with gathering
experience, meditation, and wisdom, which seem to have sucked color and
ripeness from the genial autumns of all the select intelligences that
have steeped them in the sunshine of their love and appreciation;--these
quaint freaks of russet tell of Montaigne; these stripes of crimson
fire, of Shakespeare; this sober gold, of Sir Thomas Browne; this
purpling bloom, of Lamb;--in such fruits we taste the legendary gardens
of Alcinoüs and the orchards of Atlas; and there are volumes again which
can claim only the inglorious senility of Old Parr or older Jenkins,
which have outlived their half dozen of kings to be the prize of showmen
and treasuries of the born-to-be-forgotten trifles of a hundred years

We confess a bibliothecarian avarice that gives all books a value in our
eyes; there is for us a recondite wisdom in the phrase, "A book is a
book"; from the time when we made the first catalogue of our library, in
which "Bible, large, 1 vol.," and "Bible, small, 1 vol.," asserted their
alphabetic individuality and were the sole _B_s in our little hive, we
have had a weakness even for those checker-board volumes that only fill
up; we cannot breathe the thin air of that Pepysian self-denial, that
Himalayan selectness, which, content with one book-case, would have no
tomes in it but _porphyrogeniti_, books of the bluest blood, making room
for choicer newcomers by a continuous ostracism to the garret of present
incumbents. There is to us a sacredness in a volume, however dull; we
live over again the author's lonely labors and tremulous hopes; we see
him, on his first appearance after parturition, "as well as could be
expected," a nervous sympathy yet surviving between the late-severed
umbilical cord and the wondrous offspring, doubtfully entering the
Mermaid, or the Devil Tavern, or the Coffee-house of Will or Button,
blushing under the eye of Ben or Dryden or Addison, as if they must
needs know him for the author of the "Modest Enquiry into the Present
State of Dramatique Poetry," or of the "Unities briefly considered by
Philomusus," of which they have never heard and never will hear so much
as the names; we see the country-gentlemen (sole cause of its surviving
to our day) who buy it as a book no gentleman's library can be complete
without; we see the spend-thrift heir, whose horses and hounds and
Pharaonic troops of friends, drowned in a Red Sea of claret, bring it to
the hammer, the tall octavo in tree-calf following the ancestral oaks
of the park. Such a volume is sacred to us. But it must be the original
foundling of the book-stall, the engraved blazon of some extinct
baronetcy within its cover, its leaves enshrining memorial flowers of
some passion which the church-yard smothered while the Stuarts were yet
unkinged, suggestive of the trail of laced ruffles, burnt here and there
with ashes from the pipe of some dozing poet, its binding worn and
weather-stained, that has felt the inquisitive finger, perhaps, of
Malone, or thrilled to the touch of Lamb, doubtful between desire and
the odd sixpence. When it comes to a question of reprinting, we are more
choice. The new duodecimo is bald and bare, indeed, compared with its
battered prototype that could draw us with a single hair of association.

It is not easy to divine the rule which has governed Mr. Smith in making
the selections for his series. A choice of old authors should be a
_florilegium_, and not a botanist's _hortus siccus_, to which grasses
are as important as the single shy blossom of a summer. The old-maidenly
genius of antiquarianism seems to have presided over the editing of
the "Library." We should be inclined to surmise that the works to be
reprinted had been commonly suggested by gentlemen with whom they were
especial favorites, or who were ambitious that their own names should
be signalized on the title-pages with the suffix of EDITOR. The volumes
already published are: Increase Mather's "Remarkable Providences"; the
poems of Drummond of Hawthornden; the "Visions" of Piers Ploughman; the
works in prose and verse of Sir Thomas Overbury; the "Hymns and Songs"
and the "Hallelujah" of George Wither; the poems of Southwell; Selden's
"Table-talk"; the "Enchiridion" of Quarles; the dramatic works of
Marston and Webster; and Chapman's translation of Homer. The volume of
Mather is curious and entertaining, and fit to stand on the same
shelf with the "Magnalia" of his book-suffocated son. Cunningham's
comparatively recent edition, we should think, might satisfy for a long
time to come the demand for Drummond, whose chief value to posterity is
as the Boswell of Ben Jonson. Sir Thomas Overbury's "Characters" are
interesting illustrations of contemporary manners, and a mine of
footnotes to the works of better men,--but, with the exception of "The
Fair and Happy Milkmaid," they are dull enough to have pleased James the
First; his "Wife" is a _cento_ of far-fetched conceits,--here a tomtit,
and there a hen mistaken for a pheasant, like the contents of a
cockney's game-bag; and his chief interest for us lies in his having
been mixed up with an inexplicable tragedy and poisoned in the Tower,
not without suspicion of royal complicity. The "Piers Ploughman" is
a reprint, with very little improvement that we can discover, of
Mr. Wright's former edition. It would have been very well to have
republished the "Fair Virtue," and "Shepherd's Hunting" of George
Wither, which contain all the true poetry he ever wrote; but we can
imagine nothing more dreary than the seven hundred pages of his "Hymns
and Songs," whose only use, that we can conceive of, would be as penal
reading for incorrigible poetasters. If a steady course of these did not
bring them out of their nonsenses, nothing short of hanging would. Take
this as a sample, hit on by opening at random:--

  "Rottenness my bones possest;
  Trembling fear possessed me;
  I that troublous day might rest:
  For, when his approaches be
  Onward to the people made,
  His strong troops will them invade."

Southwell is, if possible, worse. He paraphrases David and puts into his
mouth such punning conceits as "Fears are my feres," and in his "Saint
Peter's Complaint" makes that rashest and shortest-spoken of the
Apostles drawl through thirty pages of maudlin repentance, in which the
distinctions between the north and northeast sides of a sentimentality
are worthy of Duns Scotus. It does not follow, that, because a man is
hanged for his faith, he is able to write good verses. We would almost
match the fortitude that quails not at the good Jesuit's poems with his
own which carried him serenely to the fatal tree. The stuff of which
poets are made, whether finer or not, is of a very different fibre from
that which is used in the tough fabric of martyrs. It is time that
an earnest protest should be uttered against the wrong done to the
religious sentiment by the greater part of what is called religious
poetry, and which is commonly a painful something misnamed by the noun
and misqualified by the adjective. To dilute David, and make doggerel of
that majestic prose of the Prophets which has the glow and wide-orbited
metre of constellations, may be a useful occupation to keep
country-gentlemen out of litigation or retired clergymen from polemics;
but to regard these metrical mechanics as sacred because nobody wishes
to touch them, as meritorious because no one can be merry in their
company,--to rank them in the same class with those ancient songs of the
Church, sweet with the breath of saints, sparkling with the tears of
forgiven penitents, and warm with the fervor of martyrs,--nay, to set
them up beside such poems as those of Herbert, composed in the upper
chambers of the soul that open toward the sun's rising, is to confound
piety with dulness, and the manna of heaven with its sickening namesake
from the apothecary's drawer. The "Enchiridion" of Quarles is
hardly worthy of the author of the "Emblems," and is by no means an
unattainable book in other editions,--nor a matter of heartbreak, if it
were so. Of the dramatic works of Marston it is enough to say that they
are truly _works_ to the reader, but in no sense dramatic, nor worth the
paper they blot. He seems to have been deemed worthy of republication
because he was the contemporary of true poets; and if all the Tuppers
of the nineteenth century will buy his plays on the same principle, the
sale will be a remunerative one. The Homer of Chapman is so precious
a gift, that we are ready to forgive all Mr. Smith's shortcomings in
consideration of it. It is a vast _placer_, full of nuggets for the
philologist and the lover of poetry.

Having now run cursorily through the series of Mr. Smith's reprints, we
come to the closer question of _How are they edited?_ Whatever the merit
of the original works, the editors, whether self-elected or chosen by
the publisher, should be accurate and scholarly. The editing of the
Homer we can heartily commend; and Dr. Rimbault, who carried the works
of Overbury through the press, has done his work well; but the
other volumes of the Library are very creditable neither to English
scholarship nor to English typography. The Introductions to some of
them are enough to make us think that we are fallen to the necessity
of reprinting our old authors because the art of writing correct and
graceful English has been lost. William B. Turnbull, Esq., of Lincoln's
Inn, Barrister at Law, says, for instance, in his Introduction to
Southwell: "There was resident at Uxendon, near Harrow on the Hill,
in Middlesex, a Catholic family of the name of Bellamy whom [which]
Southwell was in the habit of visiting and providing with religious
instruction when he exchanged his ordinary [ordinarily] close
confinement for a purer atmosphere." (pp. xxii.-xxiii.) Again, (p.
xxii.,) "He had, in this manner, for six years, pursued, with very great
success, the objects of his mission, when these were abruptly terminated
by his foul betrayal into the hands of his enemies in 1592." We should
like to have Mr. Turnbull explain how the _objects_ of a mission could
be terminated by a betrayal, however it might be with the mission
itself. From the many similar flowers in the Introduction to Mather's
"Providences," by Mr. George Offor, (in whom, we fear, we recognize
a countryman,) we select the following: "It was at this period when,
[that,] oppressed by the ruthless hand of persecution, our pilgrim
fathers, threatened with torture and death, succumbed not to man, but
trusting on [in] an almighty arm, braved the dangers of an almost
unknown ocean, and threw themselves into the arms of men called savages,
who proved more beneficent than national Christians." To whom or what
our pilgrim fathers _did_ succumb, and what "national Christians" are,
we leave, with the song of the Sirens, to conjecture. Speaking of the
"Providences," Mr. Offor says, that "they faithfully delineate the state
of public opinion two hundred years ago, the most striking feature being
an implicit faith in the power of the [in-]visible world to hold visible
intercourse with man:--not the angels to bless poor erring mortals, but
of demons imparting power to witches and warlocks to injure, terrify and
destroy,"--a sentence which we defy any witch or warlock, though he
were Michael Scott himself, to parse with the astutest demonic aid.
On another page, he says of Dr. Mather, that "he was one of the first
divines who discovered that very many strange events, which were
considered preternatural, had occurred in the course of nature or by
deceitful juggling; that the Devil could not speak English, nor prevail
with Protestants; the smell of herbs alarms the Devil; that medicine
drives out Satan!" We do not wonder that Mr. Offor put a mark of
exclamation at the end of this surprising sentence, but we do confess
our astonishment that the vermilion pencil of the proof-reader suffered
it to pass unchallenged. Leaving its bad English out of the question,
we find, on referring to Mather's text, that he was never guilty of the
absurdity of believing that Satan was less eloquent in English than
in any other language; that it was the British (Welsh) tongue which a
certain demon whose education had been neglected (not _the_ Devil) could
not speak; that Mather is not fool enough to say that the Fiend cannot
prevail with Protestants, nor that the smell of herbs alarms him, nor
that medicine drives him out.

Mr. Offor is superbly Protestant and iconoclastic,--not sparing, as we
have seen, even Priscian's head among the rest; but, _en revanche_, Mr.
Turnbull is ultramontane beyond the editors of the _Civiltà Cattolica_.
He allows himself to say, that, "after Southwell's death, one of his
sisters, a Catholic in heart, but timidly and blameably simulating
heresy, wrought, with some relics of the martyr, several cures on
persons afflicted with desperate and deadly diseases, which had baffled
the skill of all physicians." Mr. Turnbull is, we suspect, a recent
convert, or it would occur to him that doctors are still secure of a
lucrative practice in countries full of the relics of greater saints
than even Southwell. That father was hanged (according to Protestants)
for treason, and the relic which put the whole pharmacopoeia to shame
was, if we mistake not, his neckerchief. But whatever the merits of the
Jesuit himself, and however it may gratify Mr. Turnbull's catechumenical
enthusiasm to exalt the curative properties of this integument of his,
even at the expense of Jesuits' bark, we cannot but think that he has
shown a credulity that unfits him for writing a fair narrative of his
hero's life, or making a tolerably just estimate of his verses. It is
possible, however, that these last seem prosaic as a neck-tie only to
heretical readers.

Anything more helplessly inadequate than Mr. Offor's preliminary
dissertation on Witchcraft we never read; but we could hardly expect
much from an editor whose citations from the book he is editing show
that he had either not read or not understood it.

We have singled out the Introductions of Messrs. Turnbull and Offor for
special animadversion because they are on the whole the worst, both of
them being offensively sectarian, while that of Mr. Offor in particular
gives us almost no information whatever. Some of the others are not
without grave faults, chief among which is a vague declamation,
especially out of place in critical essays, where it serves only to
weary the reader and awaken his distrust. In his Introduction to
Wither's "Hallelujah," for instance, Mr. Farr informs us that "nearly
all the best poets of the latter half of the sixteenth century--for that
was the period when the Reformation was fully established--and the whole
of the seventeenth century were sacred poets," and that "even Shakspeare
and the contemporary dramatists of his age sometimes attuned their
well-strung harps to the songs of Zion." Comment on statements like
these would be as useless as the assertions themselves are absurd.

We have quoted these examples only to justify us in saying, that Mr.
Smith must select his editors with more care, if he wishes that his
"Library of Old Authors" should deserve the confidence and thereby gain
the good word of intelligent readers,--without which such a series can
neither win nor keep the patronage of the public. It is impossible that
men who cannot construct an English sentence correctly, and who do not
know the value of clearness in writing, should be able to disentangle
the knots which slovenly printers have tied in the thread of an old
author's meaning; and it is more than doubtful whether they who assert
carelessly, cite inaccurately, and write loosely are not by nature
disqualified for doing thoroughly what they undertake to do. If it were
unreasonable to demand of every one who assumes to edit one of our early
poets the critical acumen, the genial sense, the illimitable reading,
the philological scholarship, which in combination would alone make
the ideal editor, it is not presumptuous to expect some one of these
qualifications singly, and we have the right to insist upon patience and
accuracy, which are within the reach of every one, and without which all
the others are wellnigh vain. Now to this virtue of accuracy Mr. Offor
specifically lays claim in one of his remarkable sentences: "We are
bound to admire," he says, "the accuracy and beauty of this specimen of
typography. Following in the path of my late friend William Pickering,
our publisher rivals the Aldine and Elzevir presses, which have been so
universally admired." We should think that it was the product of those
presses which had been admired, and that Mr. Smith presents a still
worthier object of admiration when he contrives to follow a path and
rival a press at the same time. But let that pass;--it is the claim to
accuracy which we dispute; and we deliberately affirm, that, as far as
we are able to judge by the volumes we have examined, no claim more
unfounded was ever set up. In some cases, as we shall show presently,
the blunders of the original work have been followed with painful
accuracy in the reprint; but many others have been added by the
carelessness of Mr. Smith's printers or editors. In the thirteen
pages of Mr. Offor's own Introduction we have found as many as seven
typographical errors,--unless some of them are to be excused on the
ground that Mr. Offor's studies have not yet led him into those arcana
where we are taught such recondite mysteries of language as that verbs
agree with their nominatives. In Mr. Farr's Introduction to the "Hymns
and Songs" nine short extracts from other poems of Wither are quoted,
and in these we have found no less than seven misprints or false
readings which materially affect the sense. Textual inaccuracy is a
grave fault in the new edition of an old poet; and Mr. Farr is not
only liable to this charge, but also to that of making blundering
misstatements which are calculated to mislead the careless or uncritical
reader. Infected by the absurd cant which has been prevalent for the
last dozen years among literary sciolists, he says,--"The language used
by Wither in all his various works--whether secular or sacred--is pure
Saxon." Taken literally, this assertion is manifestly ridiculous, and,
allowing it every possible limitation, it is not only untrue of Wither,
but of every English poet, from Chaucer down. The translators of our
Bible made use of the German version, and a poet versifying the English
Scriptures would therefore be likely to use more words of Teutonic
origin than in his original compositions. But no English poet can write
English poetry except in English,--that is, in that compound of Teutonic
and Romanic which derives its heartiness and strength from the one and
its canorous elegance from the other. The Saxon language does not sing,
and, though its tough mortar serve to hold together the less compact
Latin words, porous with vowels, it is to the Latin that our verse owes
majesty, harmony, variety, and the capacity for rhyme. A quotation of
six lines from Wither ends at the top of the very page on which Mr. Parr
lays down his extraordinary _dictum_, and we will let this answer him,
Italicizing the words of Romanic derivation:--

  "Her true _beauty_ leaves behind
  _Apprehensions_ in the mind,
  Of more sweetness than all _art_
  Or _inventions_ can _impart_;
  Thoughts too deep to be _expressed_,
  And too strong to be _suppressed_."

But space fails us, and we shall take up the editions of Marston and
Webster in a future article.

_Galleries and Cabinets of Art in Great Britain_, etc. By DR. WAAGEN.
Forming a Supplemental Volume to the "Treasures of Art in Great
Britain." 8vo. London. 1857.

The Manchester Exhibition, although containing a vast number of works
of Art, displayed but a small portion of the treasures of painting and
sculpture scattered through Great Britain, in the city and country
houses of the upper classes. Every year is adding greatly to the number
and value of both private and public galleries in England. It is but
three years since Dr. Waagen published his three ponderous volumes on
the "Treasures of Art in Great Britain," and he has already found new
material for a fourth, not less cumbrous than its predecessors. The
larger part of this last volume is, indeed, composed of descriptions of
galleries existing at the time of the publication of his first work, but
the most interesting portion of it relates to the acquisitions that have
been made within the last three years.

A better taste, and a truer appreciation of the relative merits of works
of Art, prevails in England now than at any previous time, and the
recent acquisitions are distinguished not more by their number than by
their intrinsic value. The National Gallery has at last begun to make
its purchases upon a systematic plan, and is endeavoring to form such a
collection as shall exhibit the historic progress of the various schools
of painting. The late additions to it have been of peculiar interest in
this view; including some very admirable pictures by masters whose works
are rare and of real importance. Among them are very noble works of
some of the chief earlier Florentine, Umbrian, and Venetian masters;
especially a beautiful picture by Benozzo Gozzoli, (the Virgin enthroned
with the infant Saviour in her arms and surrounded by Saints,)--a
thoroughly characteristic specimen of Giovanni Bellini, (also a Virgin
holding the Child,) in which the deep, fervent, and tender spirit, the
manly feeling, and the unsurpassed purity of color of this great master
are well shown,--and one of the finest existing pictures of Perugino,
the three lower and principal compartments of an altarpiece painted for
the Certosa at Pavia. We know, indeed, no work by the master of Raphael
to be set above this. Two of the best pictures of Paul Veronese have
also just been added to the National Gallery.

Still more important are the recent private purchases. The Duke of
Northumberland procured in Rome, in 1850, the whole of Camuccini's
famous collection. It contained seventy-four pictures, and many of
them of great value. Among them was a small, but precious picture
by Giotto,--a beautiful little Raphael,--three undoubted works of
Titian,--and, most precious of all, a picture, formerly in the Ludovisi
collection, painted jointly by Giovanni Bellini and Titian. It is the
Descent of the Gods to taste the Fruits of the Earth, half-comic in
conception, but remarkable for the grace of some of its figures; the
landscape is by Titian, and Dr. Waagen says, justly, that "it is,
without comparison, the finest that up to that period had ever been
painted,"--and we would add, few finer have been painted since.

Meanwhile Sir Charles Eastlake has obtained a picture by Mantegna, and
another by Bellini, both of which rank very high among the works of
these masters, and both in excellent condition. And Mr. Alexander
Barker, whose collection is becoming one of the best selected and most
interesting in England, has purchased several pictures of great value,
especially one by Verocchio, the master of Leonardo da Vinci, which Dr.
Waagen speaks of as "the most important picture I know by this rare
master." Mr. Barker has also made an addition to his collection so
recent as not to be described even in this last volume of the "Art
Treasures," but which is of unsurpassed interest. He has purchased from
the Manfrini Gallery at Venice, a gallery which has long been famous as
containing some of the best works of the Venetian school, eighteen of
its best pictures, and was lately in treaty for a still larger number.
He has already secured Titian's portrait of Ariosto, Giorgione's
portrait of a woman with a guitar, and other works by these masters, by
Palma Vecchio, Giovanni Bellini, and other chief Venetian painters. We
trust that he may bring to England (if it must leave Venice) Bellini's
St. Jerome, a picture of the most precious character.

This catalogue, long as it already is, by no means completes the list of
the last three years' gains of pictures for England. Such a record shows
how compact with treasures the little island is becoming. And meanwhile,
what is America doing in this way? The overestimate of the importance
and value of Mr. Belmont's collection in New York shows how far the
American public yet is from knowing its own ignorance and poverty in
respect to Art.

No praise can be given to the execution of Dr. Waagen's book. His
descriptions of pictures are rarely characteristic; his tone and
standard of judgment are worthless; his style of writing is poor; his
inaccuracies frequent; and his flunkeyism intolerable. It would be an
excellent undertaking for a competent person, using Dr. Waagen's book
as a basis, to compress the account of the principal private galleries,
those which really contain pictures of value, into one small and
portable volume,--to serve as a handbook for travellers in England, as
well as for a guide to the present place of pictures interesting in the
history of artists and of Art. Such a volume, if well done, would be of
vastly more value than these heavy four. The usual delightful liberality
of English collectors in opening their galleries to the public on
certain days would make such a volume something more than a mere
tantalizing exposition of treasures that could not be seen, and would
render it, to all lovers of Art, an indispensable companion in England.
We may add that this liberality might be imitated with advantage by the
directors of some collections in which the public have a greater claim.
We tried once in vain to get sight of the portraits of Alleyn and
Burbage at Bulwich College, and were prevented from seeing the Hogarths
in the Sloane Museum by the length of time required for the preliminary

_The New American Cyclopaedia._ A Popular Dictionary of General
Knowledge. Edited by GEORGE RIPLEY and CHAS. A. DANA. Vol. I.
A--ARAGUAY. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 8vo.

The design of this work is to furnish the American public with a
Cyclopaedia which shall be readable as well as valuable,--possessing
all the advantages of a dictionary of knowledge for the purposes of
reference, and all the interest which results from a scholarly treatment
of the subjects. Judging from the first volume, it will occupy a middle
ground between the great Encyclopaedias and the numerous special
Dictionaries of Art and Science; and if its plan be carried out with the
vigor and skill which mark its commencement, it will, when completed, be
the best and most condensed Cyclopaedia for popular use in any language.
The guaranty for its successful completion is to be found in the
character and abilities of the editors, and the resources at their
command. Mr. Ripley is an accomplished man of letters, familiar with the
whole field of literature and philosophy, gifted with a mental aptitude
equally for facts and ideas, a fanatic for no particular branch of
knowledge, but with a genial appreciation of each, and endowed with a
largeness and catholicity of mind which eminently fit him to mould the
multitudinous materials of a work like the present into the form of a
prescribed plan. Mr. Dana is well known as one of the chief editors
of the most influential journal in the country, as combining vigorous
intellect with indefatigable industry, and as capable, both in the
domain of facts and in the domain of principles, of "toiling terribly."
The resources of the editors are, literally, almost too numerous
to mention. They include the different Encyclopaedias and popular
Conversations-Lexicons in various languages,--recent biographies,
histories, books of travel, and scientific treatises,--the opportunities
of research afforded by the best private and public libraries,--and a
body of contributors, scattered over different portions of the United
States and Europe, of whom nearly a hundred have written for the present
volume, and, in some cases, have contributed the results of personal
observation, research, and discovery. These contributors are selected
with a view to their proficiency and celebrity in their several
departments. The scientific articles are written by scientific men;
those on technology and machinery, by practical machinists and
engineers; those on military and naval affairs, by officers of the army
and navy; and those which relate to the history and doctrines of the
various Christian churches and denominations, by men who have both the
knowledge of their subjects which comes from study and the knowledge
which comes from sympathy.

The plan of the editors implies a perfect neutrality in regard to all
controverted points in politics, science, philosophy, and religion;
and though they cannot avoid controversy as a fact in the history of
opinion, it is their purpose to have the Cyclopaedia give an impartial
statement of various opinions without an intrusion of their own or those
of their contributors. In considering how far, in the first volume, they
have succeeded in their general design, it must be remembered that a
Cyclopaedia which shall be satisfactory to all readers alike is an ideal
which the human imagination may contemplate, but which seems to be
beyond the reach of human wit practically to attain. Besides, each
reader is apt to have a pet interest in certain persons, events, topics,
beliefs, which stand in his own mind for universal knowledge, and he is
naturally vexed to find how their importance dwindles when they appear
in relation to the whole of nature and human life. In respect to
Biography, especially in a Cyclopaedia which admits lives of the living
as well as the dead, and to whose biographical department a great
variety of authors contribute, there is an inherent difficulty of
preserving the proper gradation of reputations. Doubtless, many an
American gentleman will find that this Cyclopaedia gives him an
importance, in comparison with the rest of the world, which time will
not sanction; and doubtless, some of the dead _A_s, if rapped into
utterance by the modern process of spiritual communication, would
complain of the curt statement which coffined their souls in a space
more limited than that now occupied by their bodies. The biographies,
however, of John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Addison, Aeschylus, Mark
Anthony, Alfieri, Akenside, Allston, Agassiz, and a number of others,
are evidently by "eminent hands," and, as compared with the rest, are
treated with more fulness and richness of detail, with an easier and
more genial mastery of the subjects, and with less fear of being
redundant in good things. Still, most of the biographies serve the
primary purpose of the work as a book of reference, and contain as large
an amount of information as could well be crammed into so limited a

Such a variety of minds have been engaged on the present volume, that
among its twenty-five hundred articles will be found every kind of
style, from austere scientific statement, to brilliant wit and fancy.
Two subjects, never before included in a Cyclopaedia in the English
language, namely, Aesthetics and Absolute, are ably, though far too
briefly treated. Entertainment is not overlooked in the plan of the
editors, and there are some articles, like those on Almacks, Actors, and
Adventures, which contain information at once curious and amusing.
The article "Americanism" might have been made much more valuable and
pleasing, had the subject been treated at greater length, with more
insight into the reasons which led to the establishment of an American
verbal mint, and with a more complete list of the felicities of its
coinage. The articles which refer to bodily health, such as those on
Appetite, Age, Aliment, Total Abstinence, contain important facts and
admirable suggestions in condensed statements. Agriculture, Agricultural
Schools, and Agricultural Chemistry are evidently the work of writers
who appreciate the practical wants of the farmer, as well as understand
the aids which science can furnish him. Two divisions of the globe,
Africa and America, come within the scope of the present volume, and,
though the special reader will notice in the articles devoted to them
some omissions, and some statements which may require modification, they
bear the general marks of industry, vigilance, and research. The paper
on Anaesthetics is evidently by a writer who meant to be impartial, but
still injustice is done to the claims of Dr. Jackson, and we trust that
in the next edition some of the statements will be corrected, even if
the whole question of the discovery is not more thoroughly argued. It
seems curious that a discovery which destroys pain should be a constant
cause of pain to every person in any way connected with it. It may not
be within the province of a Cyclopaedia to undertake the decision of a
question still so vehemently controverted; but we think it might be so
stated as to include all the facts, harmonize portions at least of
the conflicting evidence, and put some people "out of pain." We must
attribute it to a careless reading of the proof-sheets that the editors
have allowed the concluding paragraph in the article "Adams" to intrude
village gossip into a work which should be an example to American
scholarship, and not a receptacle of newspaper scandal.

In conclusion, we think that the impression which an examination of the
present volume, considered as a whole, leaves on the mind is, that the
editors have generally succeeded in making it both comprehensive and
compact,--comprehensive without being superficial, and compact without
being dry and dull. As a book for the desultory reader, it will be found
full of interest and attractiveness, while it is abundantly capable of
bearing severer tests than any to which the desultory reader will be
likely to subject it. Minor faults can easily be detected, but we think
its great merits are much more obvious than its little defects. The
probability is, that, when completed, it will be found to contain
articles by almost every person of literary and scientific note in the
United States; for the wide and friendly relations which the editors
hold with American authors and _savans_, of all sects, parties, and
sections, will enable them to obtain valuable contributions, even if
the general interest in the success of an American Cyclopaedia were not
sufficient of itself to draw the intellect of the country to its pages.
As a work which promises to be so honorable to the literature of the
country, we trust that it will meet with a public patronage commensurate
with its deserts.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 01, No. 06, April, 1858" ***

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