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Title: The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 01, No. 07, May, 1858
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 01, No. 07, May, 1858" ***

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VOL. I.--MAY, 1858.--NO. VII.


The results of the past ten or fifteen years in historical investigation
are exceedingly mortifying to any one who has been proud to call himself
a student of History. We had thought, perhaps, that we knew something
of the origin of human events and the gradual development from the
past into the world of to-day. We had read Herodotus, and Gibbon,
and Gillies, and done manful duty with Rollin. There were certain
comfortable, definite facts in antiquity. Romulus and Remus were our
friends; the transmission of the alphabet by the Phoenicians was a
resting-spot; the destruction of Babylon and the date of the Flood were
fixed stations in the wilderness. In more modern periods, we had a
refuge in the date of the discovery of America; and if we were forced
back into the wilds and uncertainties of American History, Mr. Prescott
soon restored to us the buried empires, and led us easily back through a
few plain centuries.

Beyond these dates, indeed, there was a shadowy land, through whose
changing mists could be seen sometimes the grand outlines of abandoned
cities, or the faint forms of temples, or the graceful column or massive
tomb, which marked the distant path of the advancing race: but these
were scarcely more than visions for a moment, before darkness again
covered the view. Our mythology and philosophy of the past were almost
equally misty and vague. History was to us a succession of facts; empire
succeeding empire, and one form of civilization another, with scarcely
more connection than in the scenes of a theatre;--the great isolated
fact of all being the existence of the Jews. All cosmic myths and noble
conceptions of Deity and pure religious beliefs were only offshoots of
Hebrew tradition.

This, we are pained to say, is all changed now. Our beloved dates, our
easy explanation, and popular narrative are half dissolved under the
touch of modern investigation. Roman History abandons poor Romulus and
Remus; the Flood sinks into a local inundation, and is pushed back
nobody knows how many thousands of years; an Egyptian antiquity arises
of which Herodotus never knew; and Josephus is proved ignorant of his
own subject. Nothing is found separate from the current of the world's
history,--neither Hebrew law and religion, nor Phoenician commerce,
nor Hindoo mythology, nor Grecian art. On the shadowy Past, over the
deserted battle-fields, the burial-mounds, the mausolea, the temples,
the altars, and the habitations of perished nations, new rays of light
are cast. Peoples not heard of before, empires forgotten, conquests not
recorded, arts unknown in their place at this day, and civilizations of
which all has perished but the language, appear again. The world wakes
to find itself much older than it thought. History is hardly the same
study that it once was. Even more than the investigations of hieroglyphs
and bass-reliefs and sculptures, during the past few years, have the
researches in one especial direction changed the face of the ancient

LANGUAGE is found to be itself the best record of a nation's origin,
development, and relation to other races. Each vocabulary and grammar
of a dead nation is a Nineveh, rich in pictures, inscriptions, and
historical records, uncovering to the patient investigator not merely
the external life and actions of the people, but their deepest internal
life, and their connection with other peoples and times. The little
defaced word, the cast-away root, the antique construction, picked up
by the student among the vestiges of a language, may be a relic fresher
from the past and older than a stone from the Pyramids, or the sculpture
of the Assyrian temple.

In American history, this work of investigation till recently had not
been thoroughly entered upon. Within the last quarter of a century,
Kingsborough and Gallatin and Prescott and Davis and Squier and
Schoolcraft and Müller have each thrown some light over the mysterious
antiquity of our own continent. But of all, a French Abbé, an
ethnologist and a careful investigator,--M. BRASSEUR DE BOURBOURG,--has,
in a history recently published, done the best service to this cause. It
is entitled "Histoire des Nations Civilisées du Mexique et de l'Amérique
Centrale." (Paris, 1857.) M. de Bourbourg spent many years in Central
America, studying the face of the country and the languages of the
Indian tribes, and investigating the ancient picture-writing and the
remains of the wonderful ruins of that region. Probably no stranger has
ever enjoyed better opportunities of reading the ancient manuscripts and
studying the dialects of the Central American races. With these helps he
has prepared a groundwork for the history of the early civilized peoples
of our American continent,--a history, it should be remembered, ending
where Prescott's begins,--reaching back, possibly, as far as the
earliest invasions of the Huns, and one of whose fixed dates is at the
time of the Antonines. He has ventured to lift, at length, the veil from
our mysterious and confused American antiquity. It is an especial merit
of M. de Bourbourg, in this stage of the investigation, that he has
attempted to do no more. He has collected and collated facts, but
has sought to give us very few theories. The stable philosophical
conclusions he leaves for later research, when time shall have been
afforded for fuller comparison.

There is an incredible fascination to many minds in these investigations
into the traditions and beliefs of antiquity. We feel in their presence
that they are the oldest things; the most ancient books, or buildings,
or sculptures are modern by their side. They represent the childish
instincts of the human mind,--its _gropings_ after Truth,--its dim
ideals and shadowings forth of what it hopes will be. They are the
earliest answers of man to the great questions, WHENCE and WHITHER?

       *       *       *       *       *

The most ancient people of Central America, according to M. de
Bourbourg,--a people referred to in all the oldest traditions, but of
whom everything except the memory has passed away,--are the Quinames.
Their rule extended over Mexico and Guatemala, and there is reason to
suppose that they attained to a considerable height of civilization. The
only accounts of their origin are the oral traditions repeated to the
Spaniards by the Indians of Yucatan,--traditions relating that the
fathers of this great nation came from the East, and that God had
delivered them from the pursuit of their enemies and had opened to
them a way over the sea. Other traditions reveal to us the Quinames as
delivered up to the most unnatural vices of ancient society. Whether
the Cyclopean ruins scattered over the continent,--vast masses of
stone placed one upon another without cement, which existed before the
splendid cities whose ruins are yet seen in Central America,--whether
these are the work of this race, or of one still older, is entirely

The most ancient language of Central America, the ground on which all
the succeeding languages have been planted, is the Maya. Even the Indian
languages of to-day are only combinations of their own idioms with this
ancient tongue. Its daughter, the Tzendale, transmits many of the oldest
and most interesting religious beliefs of the Indian tribes.

All the traditions, whether in the Quiche, the Mexican, or the Tzendale,
unite in one somewhat remarkable belief,--in the reverent mention of an
ancient Deliverer or Benefactor; a personage so enveloped in the halo
of religious sentiment and the mist of remote antiquity, that it is
difficult to distinguish his real form. With the Tzendale his name is
Votan;[A] among the many other names in other languages, Quetzalcohuatl
is the one most distinctive. Sometimes he appears as a wise and
dignified legislator, arrived suddenly among an ignorant people from an
unknown country, to instruct them in agriculture, the arts, and even in
religion. He bears suffering in their behalf, patiently labors for them,
and, when at length he has done his work, departs alone from amid the
weeping crowd to the country of his birth. Sometimes he is the mediator
between Deity and men; then again, a personification of the Divine
wisdom and glory; and still again, the noble features seem to be
transmuted in the confused tradition into the countenance of Divinity.
Whether this mysterious person is only the American embodiment of
the Hope of all Nations, or whether he was truly a wise and noble
legislator, driven by some accident to these shores from a foreign
country, and afterwards glorified by the gratitude of his people,
is uncertain, though our author inclines naturally to the latter
supposition. The expression of the Tzendale tradition, "Votan is
the first man whom God sent to divide and distribute these lands of
America," (Vol. I. p. 42,) indicates that he found the continent
inhabited, and either originated the distribution of property or became
a conqueror of the country. The evidence of tradition would clearly
prove that at the arrival of Votan the great proportion of the
inhabitants, from the Isthmus of Panama to the territories of
California, were in a savage condition. The builders of the Cyclopean
ruins were the only exception.

[Footnote A: The resemblance of this name to the Teutonic Wuotan or Odin
is certainly striking and will afford a new argument to the enthusiastic
Rafn, and other advocates of a Scandinavian colonization of

The various traditions agree that this elevated being, the father of
American civilization, inculcated first of all a belief in a Supreme
Creator, Lord of Heaven and Earth. It is a singular fact, that the
ancient Quiche tradition represents the Deity as a Triad, or Trinity,
with the deified heroes arranged in orders below,--a representation not
improbably connected with the Hindoo conception. The belief in a Supreme
Being seems to have been generally diffused among the Central American
and Mexican tribes, even as late as the arrival of the Spaniards. The
Mexicans adored Him under the name of Ipalnemoaloni, or "Him in whom and
by whom we are and live." This "God of all purity," as he is
addressed in a Mexican prayer, was too elevated for vulgar thought or
representation. No altars or temples were erected to him; and it was
only under one of the later kings of the Aztec monarchy that a temple
was built to the "Unknown God."--Vol. I. p. 46.

The founders of the early American civilization bear various titles:
they are called "The Master of the Mountain," "The Heart of the Lake,"
"The Master of the Azure Surface," and the like. Even in the native
traditions, the questions are often asked: "Whence came these men?"
"Under what climate were they born?" One authority answers thus
mysteriously: "They have clearly come from the other shore of the
sea,--from the place which is called 'Camuhifal,'--_The place
where is shadow."_ Why may not this singular expression refer to a
Northern country,--a place where is a long shadow, a winter-night?

A singular characteristic of the ancient Indian legends is the mingling
of two separate courses of tradition. In their poetic conceptions, and
perhaps under the hands of their priests, the old myths of the Creation
are constantly confused with the accounts of the first periods of their

The following is the most ancient legend of the Creation, from the MSS.
of Chichicastenango, in the Quiche text: "When all that was necessary to
be created in heaven and on earth was finished, the heaven being formed,
its angles measured and lined, its limits fixed, the lines and parallels
put in their place in heaven and on earth, heaven found itself created,
and Heaven it was called by the Creator and Maker, the Father and
Mother of Life and Existence, ... the Mother of Thought and Wisdom, the
excellence of all that is in heaven and on earth, in the lakes or the
sea. It is thus that he called himself, when all was tranquil and calm,
when all was peaceable and silent, when nothing had movement in the void
of the heavens."--Vol. I. p. 48.

In the narrative of the succeeding work of creation, says M. de
Bourbourg, there is always a double sense. Creation and life are
civilization; the silence and calm of Nature before the existence of
animated beings are the calm and tranquillity of Ocean, over which a
sail is flying towards an unknown shore; and the first aspect of the
shores of America, with its mighty mountains and great rivers, is
confounded with the first appearance of the earth from the chaos of

"This is the first word," says the Quiche text. "There were neither men,
nor animals, nor birds, nor fishes, nor wood, nor stones, nor valleys,
nor herbs, nor forests. There was only the heaven. The image of the
earth did not yet show itself. There was only the sea, on all sides
surrounded by the heaven ... Nothing had motion, and not the least sigh
agitated the air ... In the midst of this calm and this tranquillity,
was only the Father and the Maker, in the obscurity of the night; there
were only the Fathers and Generators on the whitening water, and they
were clad in azure raiment... And it is on account of them that heaven
exists, and exists equally the Heart of Heaven, which is the name of
God."--Vol. I. p. 51. [B]

[Footnote B: Compare the Hindoo conception, translated from one of the
old Vedic legends, in Bunsen's _Philosophy of History_:--

  "Nor Aught nor Nought existed; yon bright
  Was not, nor heaven's broad roof outstretched
  What covered all? What sheltered? What
  Was it the waters' fathomless abyss?
  There was not death,--yet was there nought
  There was no confine betwixt day and night.
  The only One breathed breathless by itself;--
  Other than it there nothing since has been.
  Darkness there was, and all at first was veiled
  In gloom profound,--an ocean without light.
  The germ that still lay covered in the husk
  Burst forth, one nature, from the fervent

The legend then pictures a council between these "Fathers" and the
Supreme Creator; after which, the word is spoken, and the earth bursts
forth from the darkness, with its great mountains and forests and
animals and birds, as they might to a voyager approaching the shore. An
episode occurs, describing a deluge, but still bearing in it the
traces of the double tradition,--the one referring to some primeval
catastrophe, and the other to a local inundation, which had perhaps
surprised the first legislators in the midst of their efforts. The
Mexican tradition (Codex Chimalpopoca) shows more distinctly the united
action of the Mediator (Quetzalcohuatl) and the Deity:--"From ashes had
God created man and animated him, and they say it is Quetzalcohuatl who
hath perfected him who had been made, and hath _breathed into him, on
the seventh day, the breath of life_."

Another legend, after describing the creation of men of wood, and women
of _cibak_, (the marrow of the corn-flag,) tells us that "the fathers
and the children, from want of intelligence, did not use the language
which they had received to praise the benefaction of their creation, and
never thought of raising their eyes to praise Hurakan. Then were they
destroyed in an inundation. There descended from heaven a rain of
bitumen and resin... And on account of them, the earth was obscured; and
it rained night and day. And men went and came, out of themselves, as if
struck with madness. They wished to mount upon the roofs, and the houses
fell beneath them; when they took refuge in the caves and the
grottoes, these closed over them. This was their punishment and
destruction."--Vol. I. p. 55.

In the Mexican tradition, instead of the rain we find a violent eruption
of the volcanoes, and men are changed into fishes, and again into
_chicime_,--which may designate the barbarian tribes that invaded
Central America.

In still another tradition, the Deity and his associates are more
plainly men of superior intelligence, laboring to civilize savage
races; and finally, when they cannot inspire two essential elements of
civilization,--a taste for labor, and the religious idea,--a sudden
inundation delivers them from the indocile people. Then--so far as the
mysterious language of the legend can be interpreted--they appear to
have withdrawn themselves to a more teachable race. But with these
the difficulty for the new law-givers is that they find nothing
corresponding to the productions of the country from which they had
come. Fruits are in abundance, but there is no grain which requires
culture, and which would give origin to a continued industry. The legend
relates, somewhat naively, the hunger and distress of these elevated
beings, until at length they discover the maize, and other nutritious
fruits and grains in the county of Paxil and Cayala.

Our author places these latter in the state of Chiapas, and the
countries watered by the Usumasinta. The provinces of Mexico and the
Atlantic border of Central America he supposes to be those where the
first legislators of America landed, and where was the cradle of the
first American civilization. In these regions, the great city attributed
to Votan,--Palenque,--the ruins of whose magnificent temples and palaces
even yet astonish the traveller, was one of the first products of this

With regard to the much-vexed question of the origin of the Indian
races, M. de Bourbourg offers no theory. In his view, the evidence from
language establishes no certain connection between the Indian tribes and
any other race whatever; though, as he justly remarks, the knowledge of
the languages of the Northeast of Asia and of the interior of America is
yet very limited, and more complete investigations must be waited for
before any very satisfactory conclusions can be attained. The similarity
of the Indian languages points without doubt to a common origin, while
their variety and immense number are indications of a high antiquity;
for who can estimate the succession of years necessary to subdivide a
common tongue into so many languages, and to give birth out of a savage
or nomadic life to a civilization like that of the Aztecs?

In the passage of man from one hemisphere to another he sees no
difficulty; as, without considering Behring's Strait, the voyage, from
Mantchooria, or Japan, following the chain of the Koorile and the
Aleutian Isles, even to the Peninsula of Alaska, would be an enterprise
of no great hazard.

The traditions of the Indian tribes, as well as their monumental
inscriptions, point to an Eastern origin. From whatever direction the
particular tribe may have emigrated, they always speak of their fathers
as having come from the rising of the sun. The Quiche, as well as the
Chippeway traditions, allude to the voyages of their fathers from the
East, from a cold and icy region, through a cloudy and wintry sea, to
countries as cold and gloomy, from which they again turned towards the

Without committing himself to a theory, M. de Bourbourg supposes that
one race--the Quiche--has passed through the whole North American
continent, erecting at different stages of its civilization those
gigantic and mysterious pyramids, the _tumuli_ of the Mississippi
Valley,--of whose origin the present Northern Indian tribes have
preserved no trace, and for whose erection no single American tribe
now would have the wealth or the superfluous labor. This race was
continually driven towards the South by more savage tribes, and it at
length reached its favorite seats and the height of its civilization in
Central America. In comparing the similar monuments of Southern Siberia,
and the dates of the immigration to the Aztec plateau, with those of
the first movements of the Huns and the great revolutions in Asia, an
indication is given, worthy of being followed up by the ethnologist,
of the Asiatic origin of the Central American tribes. The traditions,
monuments, customs, mythology, and astronomic systems all point to a
similar source.

The thorough study of the aboriginal races reveals the fact, that the
whole continent, from the Arctic regions to the Southern Pole, was
divided irregularly between two distinct families;--one nomadic
and savage, the other agricultural and semi-civilized; one with no
institutions or polity or organized religion, the other with regular
forms of government and hierarchical and religious systems. Though
differing so widely, and little associated with each other, they
possessed an analogous physical constitution, analogous customs, idioms,
and grammatical forms, many of which were entirely different from those
of the Old World.

At the period of the discovery of America, not a single tribe west of
the Rocky Mountains possessed the least agricultural skill. Whether the
superiority of the Central American and Mexican tribes was due to
more favorable circumstances and a more genial climate, or to the
instructions of foreign legislators, as their traditions relate, our
author does not decide. In his view, American agriculture originated in
Central America, and was not one of the sciences brought over by the
tribes who first emigrated from Asia.

Of the architectural ruins found in Central America M. de Bourbourg
says: "Among the edifices forgotten by Time in the forests of Mexico and
Central America are found architectural characteristics so different
from one another, that it is as impossible to attribute their
construction to one and the same people, as it is to suppose that they
were built at the same epoch.... The ruins that are the most ancient and
that have the most resemblance to one another are those which have been
discovered in the country of the Lacandous, the foundations of the city
of Mayapan, some buildings of Tulha, and the greater part of those
of Palenque; it is probable that they belong to the first period of
American civilization."--Vol. I. p. 85.

The truly historical records of Central America go back to a period but
little before the Christian era. Beyond that epoch, we behold through
the mists of legends, and in the defaced pictures and sculptures, a
hierarchical despotism sustained by the successors of the mysterious
Votan. The empire of the Votanides is at length ruined by its own vices
and by the attacks of a vigorous race, whose records and language have
come down even to our day,--the only race on the American continent
whose name has been preserved in the memory of the peoples after the
ruin of its power, the only one whose institutions have survived its own
existence,--the Xahoa, or Toltec.

Of all the American languages, the Nahuatl holds the highest place, for
its richness of expression and its sonorous tone,--adapting itself with
equal flexibility to the most sublime and analytic terms of metaphysics,
and to the uses of ordinary life, so that even at this day the
Englishman and the Spaniard employ its vocabulary for natural objects.

The traditions of the Nahoas describe their life in the distant Oriental
country from which they came:--"There they multiplied to a considerable
degree, and lived without civilization. They had not then acquired the
habit of separating themselves from the places which had seen them born;
they paid no tributes; and all spoke a single language. They worshipped
neither wood nor stone; they contented themselves with raising their
eyes to heaven and observing the law of the Creator. They waited with
respect for the rising of the sun, saluting with their invocations the
morning star."

This is their prayer, handed down in Indian tradition,--the oldest piece
extant of American liturgy:--"Hail, Creator and Former! Regard us!
Listen to us! Heart of Heaven! Heart of the Earth! do not leave us! Do
not abandon us, God of Heaven and Earth!... Grant us repose, a glorious
repose, peace and prosperity! the perfection of life and of our being
grant to us, O Hurakan!"

What country and what sun nourished this worship and gave origin to this
great people is as uncertain as all other facts of the early American
history. They came from the East, the tradition says; they landed, it
seems certain, at Panuco, near the present port of Tampico, from seven
barks or ships. Other traditions represent them as accompanied by sages
with venerable beards and flowing robes. They finally settled somewhere
on the coast between Campeachy and the river Tabasco, and founded the
ancient city of Xicalanco. Their chief, who in the reverent affection of
the nation became afterwards their Deity, was Quetzalcohuatl. The
myths which surround his name reveal to us a wise legislator and noble
benefactor. He is seen instructing them in the arts, in religion, and
finally in agriculture, by introducing the cultivation of maize and
other cereals.

Whether he had become the object of envy among the people, or whether he
felt that his work was done, it appears, so far as the vague traditions
can be understood, that he at length determined to return to the unknown
country whence he had come. He gathered his brethren around him and thus
addressed them:--"Know," said he, "that the Lord your God commands you
to dwell in these lands which he hath subjected to you this day. For
him, he returns whence he has come. But he goes only to return later;
for he will visit you again, when the time shall have arrived in which
the world shall have come to an end.[C] In the mean while wait, ye
others, in these countries, with the hope of seeing him again!...Thus
farewell, while we depart with our God!"

[Footnote C: This is the expression of the legend, and certainly points
to the ideas of the Eastern hemisphere. The coincidence with the legends
of Hiawatha and the Finnish Wainamoinen will be remarked.--EDD.]

We will not follow the interesting narrative of the destruction of
the ancient empire of the Votanides by the Nahoas or Toltecs; nor the
account of the dispersion of these latter over Guatemala, Yucatan, and
even among the mountains of California. This last revolution presents
the first precise date which scholars have yet been able to assign to
early American history; it probably occurred A.D. 174.

With the account of the invasion of the Aztec plateau by the Chichemees,
a barbarian tribe of the Toltec family, in the middle of the seventh
century, or of the establishment of the Toltec monarchy in Anahuac, we
will not delay our readers, as these events bring us down to the period
of authentic history, on which we have information from other sources.

"From the moment," says M. de Bourbourg, "in which we see the supremacy
of the cities of Culhuacan and Tollan rise over the cities of the Aztec
plateau dates the true history of this country; but this history is, to
speak the truth, only a grand episode in the annals of this powerful
race [the Toltec]. In the course of a wandering of seven or eight
centuries, it overturns and destroys everything in order to build on the
ruins of ancient kingdoms its own civilization, science, and arts; it
traverses all the provinces of Mexico and Central America, leaving
everywhere traces of its superstitions, its culture, and its laws,
sowing on its passage kingdoms and cities, whose names are forgotten
to-day, but whose mysterious memorials are found again in the monuments
scattered under the forest vegetation of ages and in the different
languages of all the peoples of these countries."--Vol. I. p. 209.

M. de Bourbourg fitly closes his interesting volumes--from which we have
here given a résumé of only the opening chapters--with a remarkable
prophecy, made in the court of Yucatan by the high-priest of Mani.
According to the tradition, this pontiff, inspired by a supernatural
vision, betook himself to Mayapan and thus addressed the king:--"At the
end of the Third Period, [A.D. 1518-1542,] a nation, white and bearded,
shall come from the side where the sun rises, bearing with it a sign,
[the cross,] which shall make all the Gods to flee and fall. This nation
shall rule all the earth, giving peace to those who shall receive it in
peace and who will abandon vain images to adore an only God, whom these
bearded men adore." (Vol. II. p. 594.) M. de Bourbourg does not vouch
for the pure origin of the tradition, but suggests that the wise men of
the Quiche empire already saw that it contained in itself the elements
of destruction, and had already heard rumors of the wonderful white race
which was soon to sweep away the last vestiges of the Central American

[NOTE.--We cannot but think that our correspondent receives the
traditions reported by M. de Bourbourg with too undoubting faith. Some
of them seem to us to bear plain marks of an origin subsequent to the
Spanish Conquest, and we suspect that others have been considerably
modified in passing through the lively fancy of the Abbé. Even
Ixtlilxochitl, who, as a native and of royal race, must have had access
to all sources of information, and who had the advantage of writing more
than three centuries ago, seems to have looked on the native traditions
as extremely untrustworthy. See Prescott's _History of the Conquest of
Mexico_, Vol. I. p. 12, note.--EDD.]

       *       *       *       *       *


The Man With Two Shadows.

"There is ever a black spot in our sunshine." Carlyle.

The sky is gray with unfallen sleet; the wind howls bitterly about the
house; relentless in its desperate speed, it whirls by green crosses
from the fir-boughs in the wood,--dry russet oak-leaves,--tiny cones
from the larch, that were once rose-red with the blood of Spring, but
now rattle on the leafless branches, black and bare as they. No leaf
remains on any bough of the forest, no scarlet streamer of brier flaunts
from the steadfast rocks that underlie all verdure, and now stand out,
bleak and barren, the truths and foundations of life, when its ornate
glories are fled away. The river flows past, a languid stream of lead;
a single crow, screaming for its mate, flaps heavily against the
north-east gale, that enters here also and lifts the carpet in
long waves across the floor, whiffles light eddies of ashes in the
chimney-corner, and vainly presses on door and window, like a houseless
spirit shrieking and pining for a shelter from its bodiless and helpless
unrest in the elements.

The whole air,--although, within, my fire crackles and leaps with
steady cheer, and the red rose on my window is warm and sanguine with
bloom,--yet this whole air is full of tiny sparks of chill to my
sensitive and morbid nature; it is at once electric and cold, the very
atmosphere of spirits.--What a shadow passed that pane! Roger, was it
you?--The storm bursts, in one fierce rush of sleet and roaring wind;
the little spaniel crouched at my feet whimpers and nestles closer; the
house is silent,--silent as my thoughts,--silent as he is who walked
these rooms once, with a face likest to the sky that darkens them
now, and lonelier, lonelier than I, though at his side forever trod a

This valley of the Moosic is narrow and thinly settled. Here and
there the mad river, leaping from some wooded gorge to rest among the
hemlock-covered islands that break its smoother path between the soft
meadows, is crossed by a strong dam; and a white village, with its
church and graveyard, clusters against the hill-side, sweeping upward
from the huge mills that stand along the shore just below the bridge.
Here and there, too, out of sight of mill or village, a quiet farmer's
house, trimly painted, with barns and hay-stacks and wood-piles drawn up
in goodly array, stands in its old orchard, and offers the front of a
fortress against want and misery. Idle aspect! fortress of vain front!
there are intangible foes that no man may conquer! In such a stronghold
was born Roger Pierce, the Man with two Shadows.

He was the son of good and upright parents. Before he came into their
arms, three tiny shapes had lain there, one after another, for a few
brief weeks, smiled, moaned, and fallen asleep,--to sleep, forever
children, under the daisies and golden-rods. For this reason they cling
to little Roger with passionate apprehension; they fought with the Angel
of Death, and overcame; and, as it ever is to the blind nature of man,
the conquest was greater to them than any gift.

The boy grew up into childhood as other children grow, a daily miracle
to see. Only for him incessant care watched and waited; unwearied as the
angel that looked from him to the face of God, so to gather ever fresh
strength and guidance for the wayward child, his mother's tender eyes
overlooked him all day, followed his tottering steps from room to room,
kept far away from him all fear and pain, shone upon him in the depths
of night, woke and wept for him always. Never could he know the hardy
self-reliance of those whom life casts upon their own strength and care;
the wisdom and the love that lived for him lived in him, and he grew to
be a boy as the tropic blossom of a hot-house grows, without thought or

It was not until his age brought him in contact with others, that there
seemed to be any difference between his nature and the common race
of children. Always, however, some touch of sullenness lurked in his
temperament; and whatever thwarted his will or fancy darkened the light
of his clear eyes, and drew a dull pallor over his blooming cheek, till
his mother used to tell him at such times that he stood between her and
the sunshine.

But as he grew older, and shared in the sports of his companions, a
strange thing came to pass. Beside the shadow that follows us all in the
light, another, like that, but something deeper, began to go with Roger
Pierce,--not falling with the other, a dial-mark to show the light that
cast it, but capriciously to right or left; on whomever or whatever was
nearest him at the moment, there that Shadow lay; and as time crept on,
the Shadow pertinaciously crept with it, till it was forever hanging
about him, ready to chill with vague terror, or harden as with a frost,
either his fellows or himself.

One peculiar trait this Shadow had: the more the restless child thought
of his visitant, the deeper it grew,--shrinking in size, but becoming
more intensely dark, till it seemed like part of a heavy thunder-cloud,
only that no lightning ever played across its blank gloom.

The first time that the Shadow ever stood before him as an actual
presence was when, a mere child, he was busied one day in the warm May
sunshine making a garden by the school-house, in a line with other
little squares, tracked and moulded by childish fingers, and set with
branches of sallow silvered with downy catkins, half-opened dandelions,
twigs of red-flowered maple, mighty reservoirs of water in sunken
clam-shells, and paths adorned with borders of broken china and
glittering bits of glass. Next to Roger's garden-bed was one that
belonged to two little boys who were sworn friends, and one of these was
busy weaving a fence for his garden, of yellow willow-twigs, which the
other cut and sharpened.

Roger looked on with longing eyes.

"Will you help me, Jimmy?" said he.

"I can't," answered the quiet, timid child.

"No!" shouted Jacob,--the frank, fearless voice bringing a tint of color
into his comrade's cheek. "Jim shan't help you, Roger Pierce! Do you
ever help anybody?"

Then the Shadow fell beside Roger, as he stood with anger and shame
swelling in his throat; it fell across the blue violets he had taken
from Jacob to dress his own garden, and they drooped and withered; it
crossed the path of shining pebbles that he had forced the younger
children to gather for him, and they grew dull as common stones; it
reached over into Jacob's positive, honest face, and darkened it, and
Jimmy, looking up, with fear in his mild eyes, whispered, softly,--"Come
away! it's going to rain;--don't you see that dark cloud?"

Roger started, for the Shadow was darkening about himself; and as he
moodily returned home, it seemed to grow deeper and deeper, till his
mother drew his head upon her knee, and by the singing fire told him
tales of her own childhood, and from the loving brightness of her tender
eyes the Shadow slunk away and left the boy to sleep, unhaunted.

As day by day went by, in patient monotony, Roger became daily more
aware of this ghostly attendant. He was not always alone, for he had
friends who loved him in spite of the Shadow, and grew used to its
appearing;--but he liked to be by himself; for, out of constant
companionship and daily use, this Shadow made for itself a strange
affinity with him, and following his daily rambles over the sharp hills,
tracing to their source the noisy brooks, or setting snares for the
wild creatures whose innocent timid eyes peered at their little enemy
curiously from nook and crevice, he grew to have a moody pleasure in the
knowledge that nothing else disturbed his path or shared his amusements.

But a time came when he must mix more with the outer world; for he was
sent away from home to school, and there, amid a host of strange faces,
he singled out the only one that had a thought of his past life and
home in it, as his special companion,--the same quiet boy who had
unconsciously feared the Shadow in their earlier school-days.

So good and gentle was he, that he did not feel the cloud of Roger's
hateful Double as every one else did; and he even won the boy himself to
except him only from a certain suspicion that had lately sprung from,
his own consciousness of his burden,--a suspicion gradually growing into
a belief that all the world had such a Shadow as his own.

Now this was not a strange result of so painful a reality. Seeing, as
Roger Pierce did, in every action of others toward himself the dark
atmosphere of the Shadow that was peculiarly his own, he watched also
their mutual actions, and, throwing from his own obscurity a shade over
all human deeds, he became possessed of the monomania, a practical
belief that every mortal man, except it might be Jimmy Doane, was
followed and overlooked by this terrible Second Shadow.

In proportion as the gloom of this black Presence seemed to be lightened
over any one was his esteem for him; but by daily looking so steadily
and with such a will to see only darkness in the hearts of men, he
discovered traces of the Shadow even in Jimmy Doane,--and the darkness
shut down, like night at sea, over all the world then.

Now Roger was miserable enough, knowing well that he could escape, if
he would; for there had come with his increasing sense of his tyrant,
a knowledge that every time he thought of the Shadow it darkened more
deeply than ever, and that in forgetting it lay his only hope of escape
from its power. But withal there was a morbid pleasure, the reflex
influence of habit and indolence, that mingled curiously with his
longing desire to forget his Double, but rendered it impossible to do
so without a greater effort than he cared to make, or some help from
another hand; and soon that help seemed to come.

When Roger left his home for school, he left in the quaint oak cradle
a little baby-sister, too young to have a place in his thought as a
definite existence; but after an absence of two years he came back to
find in her a new phase of life, into which the Shadow could not yet

The child's name her own childish tongue had softened into "Sunny," a
name that was the natural expression of her sunshiny traits, the clear
gay voice, the tranquil azure eyes, the golden curls, the loving looks,
that made Sunny the darling of the house,--the stray sunbeam that
glanced through the doors, flitted by the heavy wainscots, and danced up
the dusky stairways of that old and solitary dwelling.

When Roger returned, fresh from the rough companionship of school, Sunny
seemed to him a creature of some better race than his own. The Shadow
vanished, for he forgot it in his new devotion to Sunny. Nothing did he
leave undone to please her wayward fancies. In those hot summer-days,
he carried her to a little brook that rippled across the meadow, and,
sitting with her in his arms on the large smooth stones that divided
those shallow waters, held her carefully while she splashed her tiny
dimpled feet in the cool ripples, or grasped vainly at the blue-winged
dragon-flies sailing past, on languid, airy pinions, just beyond her
reach. Or he gathered heaps of daisies for the child to toss into the
shining stream, and see the pale star-like blossoms float smoothly down
till some eddy caught them in its sparkling whirl, and, drenching the
frail, helpless leaves, cast them on the farther shore and went its
careless way. Or he told her, in the afternoons, under some wide
apple-tree, wonderful stories of giants and naughty boys, till she fell
asleep on the sweet hay, where the curious grasshoppers peered at her
with round horny eyes, and velvet-bodied spiders scurried across her
fair curls with six-legged speed, and the robin eyed her from a bough
above with wistful glances, till Roger must needs carry her tenderly out
of their neighborhood to his mother's gentle care.

All this guard and guidance Sunny repaid with her only treasure, love.
She left her pet kitten in its gayest antics to sit on Roger's knee; she
went to sleep at night nestled against his arm; every little dainty that
she gathered from garden or field was shared with him; and no pleasure
that did not include Roger could tempt Sunny to be pleased.

For a while the unconscious charm endured; absorbed in his darling,
Roger forgot the Shadow, or remembered it only at rare intervals; and in
that brief time every one seemed to grow better and lovelier. He did not
see in this the coloring of his own more kindly thoughts.

But when, at length, the novelty of Sunny's presence wore off, her
claims grew tiresome. In the faith of her child's heart, she came as
frankly to Roger for help or comfort as she had ever done; and he found
his own plans for study or pleasure constantly interrupted by her
requests or caresses, till the Shadow darkened again beside him, and,
looking over his shoulder, fell so close to Sunny, that his old belief
drew its veil across his eyes for a moment, and he started at the sight
of what he dreaded,--a Shadow haunting Sunny.

Then,--though this first dread passed away,--slowly, but creeping on
with unfailing certainty, the Shadow returned. It fell like a brooding
storm over the fireside of home; he fancied a like shadow following his
mother's steps, darkening his baby-sister's smile; and as if in
revenge for so long an absence, the Shadow forced itself upon him more
strenuously than ever, till poor Roger Pierce was like a bruised and
beaten child,--too sore to have peace or rest, too sensitive to bear any
remedy for his ailment, and too petulant to receive or expect sympathy
from any other and more gentle nature than his own.

It was long before the Shadow made itself felt by Sunny. She never saw
it as others did. If its chill passed over her warm rosy face, she stole
up softly to her brother, and, with a look of pure childish love, put
her hand in his, and said softly, "Poor Roger!" or, with a keener sense
of the Presence, forbore to touch him, but played off her kitten's
merriest tricks before him, or rolled her tiny hoop with shouts of
laughter across the old house-dog as he slept on the grass, looking
vainly for the smile Roger had always given to her baby plays before.

So by degrees she went back to her own pleasures, full of tender thought
for every living thing, and a loving consciousness of their wants and
ways. Her lisping voice chattered brook-like to birds and bees; her
lip curled grievously over the broken wing of a painted moth, or the
struggles of a drowning fly; in Nature's company she played as with an
infant ever divine; and no darkness assailed the never-weary child.

But Roger grew daily closer to his Shadow, and gave himself up to its
dominion, till his mother saw the bondage, and tried, mourning, every
art and device to win him away from the evil spirit, but tried in vain.
So they lived till Sunny was four years old, when suddenly, one bright
day in June, she left the roses in her garden with broken stems, but
ungathered, and, tottering into the house, fell across the threshold,
flushed and sleepy,--as they who lifted her saw at once, in the first
stage of a fever.

This unexpected blow once more severed Roger from his Shadow. He watched
his little sister with a heart full of anxious regret, yet so fully
wrapt in her wants and danger, that the gloomy Shadow, which looked afar
off at his self-accusations, dared not once intrude.

At length that day of crisis came, the pause of fever and delirium,
desired, yet dreaded, by every trembling, fearful heart that hung over
the child's pillow. If she slept, the physician said, her fate hung on
the waking; life or death would seal her when sleep resigned its claim.
It was early morning when this sentence was given; in an hour's time the
fever had subsided, the flush passed from Sunny's cheek, and she slept,
watched breathlessly by Roger and his mother. The curtains of the room
were half drawn to give the little creature air, and there rustled
lightly through them a low south wind, bearing the delicate perfume of
blossoms, and the lulling murmur of bees singing at their sweet toil.

Roger was weary with watching; the chiming sounds of Summer, the low
ticking of the old clock on the stairs, and the utter quiet within,
soothed him to slumber; his head bent forward and rested on the bedside;
he fell asleep, and in his sleep he dreamed.

Over Sunny's pillow (for in this dream he seemed to himself waking and
watching) he saw a hovering spirit, the incarnate shape of Light, gazing
at the sleeping child with ineffable tenderness; but its keen eyes
caught the aspect of Roger's Shadow; the pure lineaments glowed with
something more divinely awful than anger, and with levelled lance it
assailed that evil Presence and bore it to the ground; but the Shadow
slipped aside from the spear, and cowered into distance; the angelic
face saddened, and, stooping downward, folded Sunny in its arms as if to
bear her away.

Roger woke with his own vain attempt to grasp and detain the child. The
setting sun streamed in at the window, and his mother stood at his side,
brought by some inarticulate sound from Sunny's lips.

She sent the boy to call his father, and when they came in together, the
child's wide blue eyes were open, full of supernatural calm; her parched
lips parted with a faint smile; and the loose golden curls pushed off
her forehead, where the blue veins crept, like vivid stains of violet,
under the clear skin.

"Dear mother!" she said, raising her arms slowly, to be lifted on the
pillow; but the low, hoarse voice had lost its music.

Then she turned to her father with that strange bright smile, and again
to Roger, uttering faintly,--

"Stand away, Roger; Sunny wants the light."

They drew all the curtain opposite her bed away, and, as she stretched
her hands eagerly toward the window, the last rays of sunshine glowed
on her pale illuminated face, till it was even as an angel's, and Roger
caught a sudden gleam of wings across the air; but a cold pain struck
him as he gazed, for Sunny fell backward on her pillow. She had gone
with the sunshine.

It seemed now for a time as if the phantasm that haunted Roger Pierce
were banished at last. His moody reserve disappeared; he addressed
himself with quiet, constant effort to console his mother,--to aid his
father,--to fill, so far as he could, the vacant place; and his heart
longed with an incessant thirst for the bright Spirit that hovered in
his dream over Sunny;--he seemed almost to have begun a natural and
healthy life.

But year after year passed away, and the light of Sunny's influence
faded with her fading memory. Green turf grew over her short grave, and
the long slant shadow of its headstone no longer lay on a foot-worn
track. Roger's pilgrimages to that spot were over; his heart had ceased
to remember. The Shadow had reassumed its power, and reigned.

Still through its obscurity he kept one gleam of light,--an admiration
undiminished for those who seemed to have no such attendance; but daily
the number of these grew less.

At length, after the studies of his youth were over, and he had returned
to his old home for life, there came over the settled and brooding
darkness of his soul a warm ray of dawn. In some way, as naturally as
one meets a fresh wind full of vernal odor and life, yet never marks the
moment of its first caress, so naturally, so unmarkedly, he renewed a
childish acquaintance with Violet Channing, a dweller in the same
quiet valley with himself, though for long years the fine threads of
circumstance had parted them.

Not a stone, and the frail green moss that clings to it, are more
essentially different than were Roger Pierce and Violet Channing.
Without a trace of the Shadow in herself, Violet disbelieved its
existence in others. She had heard a rumor of Roger's phantom, but
thought it some strange delusion, or want of perception, in those who
told her,--being rather softened toward him with pity that he should be
so little understood.

In the first days of their acquaintance, it seemed as if the light
of the girl's face would have dispelled forever the darkness of her
companion's Shadow, it was so mild and quiet a shining,--not the mere
outer lustre of beauty, but the deep informing expression of that Spirit
which had companioned Sunny heavenward.

With Violet, soothed by the timid sweetness of her manner, aroused by
her sudden flashes of mirth and vivid enthusiasm, Roger seemed to forget
his hateful companion, or remembered it only to be consoled by her
tender eyes that beamed with pity and affection.

Month after month this intimacy went on, brightening daily in Roger's
mind the ideal picture of his new friend, but creating in her only
a deeper sympathy and a more devout compassion for his wretched and
oppressed life. But as years instead of months went by, the sole
influence no longer rested with the girl, drawing Roger Pierce upward,
as she longed and strove to do, into her own sunshine. Their mutual
relation had only lightened his darkness in part, while it had drawn
over her the faint twilight of a Shadow like his own. But as the chief
characteristic of this unearthly Thing was that it grew by notice, as
some strange Eastern plants live on air, it throve but slowly near to
Violet Channing, whose thoughts were bent on curing the heart-evil of
Roger Pierce, and were so absorbed in that patient care that they had
little chance to turn upon herself; though, when patience almost failed,
and, weary with fruitless labor and unanswered yearning, her heart sunk,
she was conscious of a vague influence that made the sunbeams fall
coldly, and the songs of Summer mournful.

Hour after hour she lavished all the treasure she knew, and much that
she knew not consciously, to beguile the darkness from Roger's brow; or
recalled again and again her own deeds and words, to review them with
strict judgment, lest they might have set provocation in his path; till
at length her loving thoughts grew restless and painful, her face paled,
her frame wasted away, and over her deep melancholy eyes the Shadow hung
like a black tempest reflected in some clear lake.

Roger was not blind to this change; he did not see who had cast the
first veil of darkness over the pure light that had shone so freely for
him; and while he silently regretted what he deemed the desecration of
the spotless image he had loved, nothing whispered that it was his own
Shadow brooding above the true heart that had toiled so faithfully and
long for his enlightening.

The most painful result of all to Violet was the new coldness of Roger's
manner to her. Shadowed as he was, he did not perceive this change in
himself; but Violet, in the silence of night, or in the solitary hours
she spent in wood and field beside her growing Shadow, felt it with
unmingled pain. Vainly did the Spirit of Light within her counsel her to
persevere, looking only at the end she would achieve; subtler and more
penetrative to her untuned ear were the words of the fiend at her side.

One day she had brooded long and drearily on the carelessness and
coldness of her dear, her disregardful friend, and in her worn and weary
soul revolved whatever sweetness of the past had now fled, and what
pangs of love repulsed and devotion scorned lay before her in the
miserable future; and as she held her throbbing head upon her hands,
wasted with fiery pulses, it seemed to her as if the Shadow, inclining
to her ear, whispered, almost audibly,--

"Think what you have given this man!--your hope and peace; the breath of
your life and the beatings of your heart. All your soul is lavished on
him, and see how he repays you!"

The weak and disheartened girl shivered; the time was past when she
could have despised the voice of this dread companion, when the Shadow
dared not have spoken thus; and with bitter tears swelling into her eyes
she and the Shadow walked forth together to a haunt on the mountain-side
where she had been used to meet Roger.

It was a bare rock, just below the summit of a peak crowned with a few
old cedars, from whose laborious growth of dull, dark foliage long
streamers of gray moss waved in the wind. There were scattered crags
about their roots, against whose lichen-covered sides the autumn sun
shone fruitlessly; and from the leafless forests in the deep valley
beneath rose a whispering sound, as if they shuddered, and were stirred
by some foreboding horror.

Violet made her way to this height as eagerly as her lessened strength
and panting heart allowed; but as she lifted her eyes from the narrow
path she had tracked upward, they rested on the last face she wished to
meet, the gloomy visage of Roger Pierce. The girl hesitated, and would
have drawn back, but Roger bade her come near.

"There is no need of your going, Violet," said he; and she crouched
quietly on the rock at his feet, silently, but with fixed eyes,
regarding the double nature before her, the Man and his Shadow.

Still upward from the valley crept that low shiver of dread; the pale
sun shed its listless light on the gray rocks and dusky cedars; the
silent unexpectant earth seemed to have paused; all things were wrapt in
vague awe and dim apprehension; some inexpressible fatality seemed to
oppress life and breath.

A sudden impulse of escape, desperate in its strength, possessed Violet;
perhaps to name that Thing that clung so closely to Roger might shake
its power,--and with a trembling, vibrating voice she spoke:--

"Roger,--you are thinking of the Shadow?"

He did not move, nor at once speak; no new expression stirred his dark
face; at length he answered, in a voice that seemed to come from some
lips far away, in an unechoing distance:--

"The Shadow?--Yes. I see it in all faces. It lies on the valley yonder;
in the air; on every mortal brow and lip it gathers deeper yet. Violet,
you, too, share the Shadow!"

Slowly, as if his words froze her, Violet rose and turned toward him;
a light shone from her eyes that melted their dark depths into the
radiance of high noon; and she spoke with a thrilled, yet unfaltering

"Yes, I share it, it is true. I feel and see the gloom; but if the
Shadow haunts me, Roger Pierce, ask your own heart who cast it there!
When we were first friends, I knew nothing of that darkness. I tried
with all purity and compassion to draw you upward into light; and for
reward, you have wrapped your own blackness round me, and hate your own
doing. My work is over,--is in vain! It remains only that I free myself
from this Shadow, and leave you to the mercy of a Power with whom no
such Presence can cope,--in whom no darkness nor shadow may abide."

She turned to leave him with these words, but cast back a look of such
love and tender pity, that she seemed to Roger the very Spirit that had
borne Sunny away.

Bewildered and pained to the heart, he groped his way homeward, and
night lapsed into morning, and returned and went again more than once,
ere sleep returned to his eyes.

Violet kept no vigils; she wept herself asleep as a child against its
mother's bosom, and loving eyes guarded that childlike rest. But Roger's
waking was haunted with remorse and fearful expectation; and as days
crept by, and Memory, like one who fastens the galley-slave to his oar,
still pressed on his thoughts the constant patience, toil, and affection
of Violet Channing, he felt how truly she had spoken of him, and from
his soul abhorred the Shadow of his life.

Here he vanishes. Whether with successful conflict he fought with the
evil and prevailed, and showed himself a man,--or whether the Thing
renewed its dominion, and he drew to himself another nature, not for the
good power of its pure contact, but for the further increase of that
darkness, and the blinding of another soul, is never yet to be known.

Of Violet Channing he saw no more; with her his sole earthly redemption
had fled; she went her way, free henceforward from the Shadow, and
guarded in the arms of the shining Spirit.

The wind yet howls and dashes without; the rain, rushing in gusts on
roof and casement, keeps no time nor tune; the fire is dead in the
ashes; the red rose, in the lessening light, turns gray;--but far away
to the south the cloud begins to scatter; faint amber steals along the
crest of the distant hills; after all evils, hope remains,--even for a
Man with two Shadows. Let us, perhaps his kindred after the spirit, not




  Eastward, or Northward, or West? I wander, and ask as I wander,
      Weary, yet eager and sure, where shall I come to my love?
  Whitherward hasten to seek her? Ye daughters of Italy, tell me,
      Graceful and tender and dark, is she consorting with you?
  Thou that out-climbest the torrent, that tendest thy goats to the summit,
      Call to me, child of the Alp, has she been seen on the heights?
  Italy, farewell I bid thee! for, whither she leads me, I follow.
      Farewell the vineyard! for I, where I but guess her, must go.
  Weariness welcome, and labor, wherever it be, if at last it
      Bring me in mountain or plain into the sight of my love.

  I.--Claude to Eustace,--_from Florence_.

  Gone from Florence; indeed; and that is truly provoking;--
  Gone to Milan, it seems; then I go also to Milan.
  Five days now departed; but they can travel but slowly;--
  I quicker far; and I know, as it happens, the house they will go to.--
  Why, what else should I do? Stay here and look at the pictures,
  Statues, and churches? Alack, I am sick of the statues and pictures!--
  No, to Bologna, Parma, Piacenza, Lodi, and Milan,
  Off go we to-night,--and the Venus go to the Devil!

  II.--Claude to Eustace,--_from Bellaggio_.

  Gone to Como, they said; and I have posted to Como.
  There was a letter left, but the _cameriere_ had lost it.
  Could it have been for me? They came, however, to Como,
  And from Como went by the boat,--perhaps to the Splügen,--
  Or to the Stelvio, say, and the Tyrol; also it might be
  By Porlezza across to Lugano, and so to the Simplon
  Possibly, or the St. Gothard, or possibly, too, to Baveno,
  Orta, Turin, and elsewhere. Indeed, I am greatly bewildered.

  III.--Claude to Eustace,--_from Bellaggio_.

  I have been up the Splügen, and on the Stelvio also:
  Neither of these can I find they have followed; in no one inn, and
  This would be odd, have they written their names. I have been to
  There they have not been seen, and therefore not at Lugano.
  What shall I do? Go on through the Tyrol, Switzerland, Deutschland,
  Seeking, an inverse Saul, a kingdom, to find only asses?
    There is a tide, at least in the _love_ affairs of mortals,
  Which, when taken at flood, leads on to the happiest fortune,--
  Leads to the marriage-morn and the orange-flowers and the altar,
  And the long lawful line of crowned joys to crowned joys succeeding.--
  Ah, it has ebbed with me! Ye gods, and when it was flowing,
  Pitiful fool that I was, to stand fiddle-faddling in that way!

  IV.--CLAUDE TO EUSTACE,--_from Bellaggio._

  I have returned and found their names in the book at Como.
  Certain it is I was right, and yet I am also in error.
  Added in feminine hand, I read, _By the boat to Bellaggio._--
  So to Bellaggio again, with the words of her writing, to aid me.
  Yet at Bellaggio I find no trace, no sort of remembrance.
  So I am here, and wait, and know every hour will remove them.

  V.--CLAUDE TO EUSTACE,--_from Belaggio._

  I have but one chance left,--and that is, going to Florence.
  But it is cruel to turn. The mountains seem to demand me,--
  Peak and valley from far to beckon and motion me onward.
  Somewhere amid their folds she passes whom fain I would follow;
  Somewhere among those heights she haply calls me to seek her.
  Ah, could I hear her call! could I catch the glimpse of her raiment!
  Turn, however, I must, though it seem I turn to desert her;
  For the sense of the thing is simply to hurry to Florence,
  Where the certainty yet may be learnt, I suppose, from the Ropers.

  VI.--MARY TREVELLYN, _from Lucerne_, TO MISS ROPER, _at Florence_.

  Dear Miss Roper,--By this you are safely away, we are hoping,
  Many a league from Rome; ere long we trust we shall see you.
  How have you travelled? I wonder;--was Mr. Claude your companion?
  As for ourselves, we went from Como straight to Lugano;
  So by the Mount St. Gothard;--we meant to go by Porlezza,
  Taking the steamer, and stopping, as you had advised, at Bellaggio;
  Two or three days or more; but this was suddenly altered,
  After we left the hotel, on the very way to the steamer.
  So we have seen, I fear, not one of the lakes in perfection.
    Well, he is not come; and now, I suppose, he will not come.
  What will you think, meantime?--and yet I must really confess it;--
  What will you say? I wrote him a note. We left in a hurry,
  Went from Milan to Como three days before we expected.
  But I thought, if he came all the way to Milan, he really
  Ought not to be disappointed; and so I wrote three lines to
  Say I had heard he was coming, desirous of joining our party;--
  If so, then I said, we had started for Como, and meant to
  Cross the St. Gothard, and stay, we believed, at Lucerne, for the
  Was it wrong? and why, if it was, has it failed to bring him?
  Did he not think it worth while to come to Milan? He knew (you
  Told him) the house we should go to. Or may it, perhaps, have
  Any way, now, I repent, and am heartily vexed that I wrote it.
  There is a home on the shore of the Alpine sea, that upswelling
    High up the mountain-sides spreads in the hollow between;
  Wilderness, mountain, and snow from the land of the olive conceal it;
    Under Pilatus's hill low by its river it lies:
  Italy, utter one word, and the olive and vine will allure not,--
    Wilderness, forest, and snow will not the passage impede;
  Italy, unto thy cities receding, the clue to recover,
    Hither, recovered the clue, shall not the traveller haste?


  There is a city, upbuilt on the quays of the turbulent Arno,
    Under Fiesole's heights,--thither are we to return?
  There is a city that fringes the curve of the inflowing waters,
    Under the perilous hill fringes the beautiful bay,--
  Parthenope do they call thee?--the Siren, Neapolis, seated
    Under Vesevus's hill,--thither are we to proceed?--
  Sicily, Greece, will invite, and the Orient;--or are we to turn to
    England, which may after all be for its children the best?

  I.--MARY TREVELLYN, _at Lucerne_, TO MISS ROPER, _at Florence_.

  So you are really free, and living in quiet at Florence;
  That is delightful news;--you travelled slowly and safely;
  Mr. Claude got you out; took rooms at Florence before you;
  Wrote from Milan to say so; had left directly for Milan,
  Hoping to find us soon;--_if he could, he would, you are
  Dear Miss Roper, your letter has made me exceedingly happy.
    You are quite sure, you say, he asked you about our intentions;
  You had not heard of Lucerne as yet, but told him of Como.--
  Well, perhaps he will come;--however, I will not expect it.
  Though you say you are sure,--if he can, he will, _you are
  O my dear, many thanks from your ever affectionate Mary.



  _Action will furnish belief,_--but will that belief be the true
  This is the point, you know. However, it doesn't much matter
  What one wants, I suppose, is to predetermine the action,
  So as to make it entail, not a chance-belief, but the true one.
  _Out of the question,_ you say, _if a thing isn't wrong, we
       may do it._
  Ah! but this wrong, you see;--but I do not know that it matters.
    Eustace, the Ropers are gone, and no one can tell me about them.


  Pisa, they say they think; and so I follow to Pisa,
  Hither and thither inquiring. I weary of making inquiries;
  I am ashamed, I declare, of asking people about it.--
  Who are your friends? You said you had friends who would certainly
       know them.


  But it is idle, moping, and thinking, and trying to fix her
  Image more and more in, to write the old perfect inscription
  Over and over again upon every page of remembrance.
    I have settled to stay at Florence to wait for your answer.
  Who are your friends? Write quickly and tell me. I wait for your


  You are at Lucca Baths, you tell me, to stay for the summer;
  Florence was quite too hot; you can't move further at present.
  Will you not come, do you think, before the summer is over?
    Mr. C. got you out with very considerable trouble;
  And he was useful and kind, and seemed so happy to serve you;
  Didn't stay with you long, but talked very openly to you;
  Made you almost his confessor, without appearing to know it,--
  What about?--and you say you didn't need his confessions.
  O my dear Miss Roper, I dare not trust what you tell me!
    Will he come, do you think? I am really so sorry for him!
  They didn't give him my letter at Milan, I feel pretty certain.
  You had told him Bellaggio. We didn't go to Bellaggio;
  So he would miss our track, and perhaps never come to Lugano,
  Where we were written in full, _To Lucerne, across the St.
  But he could write to you;--you would tell him where you were going.


  Let me, then, bear to forget her. I will not cling to her falsely;
  Nothing factitious or forced shall impair the old happy relation.
  I will let myself go, forget, not try to remember;
  I will walk on my way, accept the chances that meet me,
  Freely encounter the world, imbibe these alien airs, and
  Never ask if new feelings and thoughts are of her or of others.
  Is she not changing, herself?--the old image would only delude me.
  I will be bold, too, and change,--if it must be. Yet if in all things,
  Yet if I do but aspire evermore to the Absolute only,
  I shall be doing, I think, somehow, what she will be doing;--
  I shall be thine, O my child, some way, though I know not in what way.
  Let me submit to forget her; I must; I already forget her.


  Utterly vain is, alas, this attempt at the Absolute,--wholly!
  I, who believed not in her, because I would fain believe nothing,
  Have to believe as I may, with a wilful, unmeaning acceptance.
  I, who refused to enfasten the roots of my floating existence
  In the rich earth, cling now to the hard, naked rock that is left me.--
  Ah! she was worthy, Eustace,--and that, indeed, is my comfort,--
  Worthy a nobler heart than a fool such as I could have given.


  Yes, it relieves me to write, though I do not send; and the chance
  Takes may destroy my fragments. But as men pray, without asking
  Whether One really exist to hear or do anything for them,--
  Simply impelled by the need of the moment to turn to a Being
  In a conception of whom there is freedom from all limitation,--
  So in your image I turn to an _ens rationis_ of friendship.
  Even to write in your name I know not to whom nor in what wise.


  There was a time, methought it was but lately departed,
  When, if a thing was denied me, I felt I was bound to attempt it;
  Choice alone should take, and choice alone should surrender.
  There was a time, indeed, when I had not retired thus early,
  Languidly thus, from pursuit of a purpose I once had adopted.
  But it is over, all that! I have slunk from the perilous field in
  Whose wild struggle of forces the prizes of life are contested.
  It is over, all that! I am a coward, and know it.
  Courage in me could be only factitious, unnatural, useless.


  Rome is fallen, I hear, the gallant Medici taken,
  Noble Manara slain, and Garibaldi has lost _il Moro_;--
  Rome is fallen; and fallen, or falling, heroical Venice.
  I, meanwhile, for the loss of a single small chit of a girl, sit
  Moping and mourning here,--for her, and myself much smaller.
    Whither depart the souls of the brave that die in the battle,
  Die in the lost, lost fight, for the cause that perishes with them?
  Are they upborne from the field on the slumberous pinions of angels
  Unto a far-off home, where the weary rest from their labor,
  And the deep wounds are healed, and the bitter and burning moisture
  Wiped from the generous eyes? or do they linger, unhappy,
  Pining, and haunting the grave of their by-gone hope and endeavor?
    All declamation, alas! though I talk, I care not for Rome, nor
  Italy; feebly and faintly, and but with the lips, can lament the
  Wreck of the Lombard youth and the victory of the oppressor.
  Whither depart the brave?--God knows; I certainly do not.


  He has not come as yet; and now I must not expect it.
  You have written, you say, to friends at Florence, to see him,
  If he perhaps should return;--but that is surely unlikely.
  Has he not written to you?--he did not know your direction.
  Oh, how strange never once to have told him where you were going!
  Yet if he only wrote to Florence, that would have reached you.
  If what you say he said was true, why has he not done so?
  Is he gone back to Rome, do you think, to his Vatican marbles?--
  O my dear Miss Roper, forgive me! do not be angry!--
  You have written to Florence;--your friends would certainly find him.
  Might you not write to him?--but yet it is so little likely!
  I shall expect nothing more.--Ever yours, your affectionate Mary.


  I cannot stay at Florence, not even to wait for a letter.
  Galleries only oppress me. Remembrance of hope I had cherished
  (Almost more than as hope, when I passed through Florence the first
  Lies like a sword in my soul. I am more a coward than ever,
  Chicken-hearted, past thought. The _caffes_ and waiters distress
  All is unkind, and, alas, I am ready for any one's kindness.
  Oh, I knew it of old, and knew it, I thought, to perfection,
  If there is any one thing in the world to preclude all kindness,
  It is the need of it,--it is this sad self-defeating dependence.
  Why is this, Eustace? Myself, were I stronger, I think I could tell
  But it is odd when it comes. So plumb I the deeps of depression,
  Daily in deeper, and find no support, no will, no purpose.
  All my old strengths are gone. And yet I shall have to do something.
  Ah, the key of our life, that passes all wards, opens all locks,
  Is not _I will_, but _I must_. I must,--I must,--and I do


  At the last moment I have your letter, for which I was waiting.
  I have taken my place, and see no good in inquiries.
  Do nothing more, good Eustace, I pray you. It only will vex me.
  Take no measures. Indeed, should we meet, I could not be certain;
  All might be changed, you know. Or perhaps there was nothing to be
  It is a curious history, this; and yet I foresaw it;
  I could have told it before. The Fates, it is clear, are against us;
  For it is certain enough that I met with the people you mention;
  They were at Florence the day I returned there, and spoke to me even;
  Staid a week, saw me often; departed, and whither I know not.
  Great is Fate, and is best. I believe in Providence, partly.
  What is ordained is right, and all that happens is ordered.
  Ah, no, that isn't it. But yet I retain my conclusion:
  I will go where I am led, and will not dictate to the chances.
  Do nothing more, I beg. If you love me, forbear interfering.


  Shall we come out of it all, some day, as one does from a tunnel?
  Will it be all at once, without our doing or asking,
  We shall behold clear day, the trees and meadows about us,
  And the faces of friends, and the eyes we loved looking at us?
  Who knows? Who can say? It will not do to suppose it.

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

  Rome will not suit me, Eustace; the priests and soldiers possess it;
  Priests and soldiers;--and, ah! which is worst, the priest or the
  Politics farewell, however! For what could I do? with inquiring,
  Talking, collating the journals, go fever my brain about things o'er
  Which I can have no control. No, happen whatever may happen,
  Time, I suppose, will subsist; the earth will revolve on its axis;
  People will travel; the stranger will wander as now in the city;
  Rome will be here, and the Pope the _custode_ of Vatican marbles.
    I have no heart, however, for any marble or fresco;
  I have essayed it in vain; 'tis vain as yet to essay it:
  But I may haply resume some day my studies in this kind.
    Not as the Scripture says, is, I think, the fact. Ere our death-day,
  Faith, I think, does pass, and Love; but Knowledge abideth.
  Let us seek Knowledge;--the rest must come and go as it happens.
  Knowledge is hard to seek, and harder yet to adhere to.
  Knowledge is painful often; and yet when we know, we are happy.
  Seek it, and leave mere Faith and Love to come with the chances.
  As for Hope,--to-morrow I hope to be starting for Naples.
  Rome will not do, I see; for many very good reasons.
  Eastward, then, I suppose, with the coming of winter, to Egypt.

  XIV.--Mary Trevellyn to Miss Roper.

  You have heard nothing; of course, I know you can have heard nothing.
  Ah, well, more than once I have broken my purpose, and sometimes,
  Only too often, have looked for the little lake-steamer to bring him.
  But it is only fancy,--I do not really expect it.
  Oh, and you see I know so exactly how he would take it:
  Finding the chances prevail against meeting again, he would banish
  Forthwith every thought of the poor little possible hope, which
  I myself could not help, perhaps, thinking only too much of;
  He would resign himself, and go. I see it exactly.
  So I also submit, although in a different manner.
    Can you not really come? We go very shortly to England.

         *       *       *       *       *

  So go forth to the world, to the good report and the evil!
    Go, little book! thy tale, is it not evil and good?
  Go, and if strangers revile, pass quietly by without answer.
    Go, and if curious friends ask of thy rearing and age,
  Say, _I am flitting about many years from brain unto brain of
    Feeble and restless youths born to inglorious days_;
  _But_, so finish the word, _I was writ in a Roman chamber,
  When from Janiculan heights thundered the cannon of France_.


The desire, the duty, the necessity of the age in which we live is
education, or that culture which developes, enlarges, and enriches each
individual intelligence, according to the measure of its capacity, by
familiarizing it with the facts and laws of nature and human life.
But, in this rage for information, we too often overlook the mental
constitution of the being we would inform,--detaching the apprehensive
from the active powers, weakening character by overloading memory, and
reaping a harvest of imbeciles after we may have flattered ourselves we
had sown a crop of geniuses. No person can be called educated, until he
has organized his knowledge into faculty, and wields it as a weapon.
We purpose, therefore, to invite the attention of our readers to some
remarks on Intellectual Character, the last and highest result of
intellectual education, and the indispensable condition of intellectual

It is evident, that, when a young man leaves his school or college to
take his place in the world, it is indispensable that he be something
as well as know something; and it will require but little experience to
demonstrate to him that what he really knows is little more than what
he really is, and that his progress in intellectual manhood is not more
determined by the information he retains, than by that portion which, by
a benign provision of Providence, he is enabled to forget. Youth, to
be sure, is his,--youth, in virtue of which he is free of the
universe,--youth, with its elastic vigor, its far-darting hopes, its
generous impatience of prudent meanness, its grand denial of instituted
falsehood, its beautiful contempt of accredited baseness,--but youth
which must now concentrate its wayward energies, which must discourse
with facts and grapple with men, and through strife and struggle, and
the sad wisdom of experience, must pass from the vague delights of
generous impulses to the assured joy of manly principles. The moment he
comes in contact with the stern and stubborn realities which frown on
his entrance into practical life, he will find that power is the soul of
knowledge, and character the condition of intelligence. He will discover
that intellectual success depends primarily on qualities which are not
strictly intellectual, but personal and constitutional. The test
of success is influence,--that is, the power of shaping events by
informing, guiding, animating, controlling other minds. Whether this
influence be exerted directly in the world of practical affairs, or
indirectly in the world of ideas, its fundamental condition is still
force of individual being, and the amount of influence is the measure
of the degree of force, just as an effect measures a cause. The
characteristic of intellect is insight,--insight into things and their
relations; but then this insight is intense or languid, clear or
confused, comprehensive or narrow, exactly in proportion to the weight
and power of the individual who sees and combines. It is not so much the
intellect that makes the man, as the man the intellect; in every act of
earnest thinking, the reach of the thought depends on the pressure of
the will; and we would therefore emphasize and enforce, as the primitive
requirement of intellectual success, that discipline of the individual
which developes dim tendencies into positive sentiments, sentiments into
ideas, and ideas into abilities,--that discipline by which intellect
is penetrated through and through with the qualities of manhood, and
endowed with arms as well as eyes. This is Intellectual Character.

Now it should be thundered in the ears of every young man who has
passed through that course of instruction ironically styled education,
"What do you intend to be, and what do you intend to do? Do you purpose
to play at living, or do you purpose to live?--to be a memory, a
word-cistern, a feeble prater on illustrious themes, one of the world's
thousand chatterers, or a will, a power, a man?" No varnish and veneer
of scholarship, no command of the tricks of logic and rhetoric, can ever
make you a positive force in the world. Look around you in the community
of educated men, and see how many, who started on their career with
minds as bright and eager and hearts as hopeful as yours, have been
mysteriously arrested in their growth,--have lost all the kindling
sentiments which glorified their youthful studies, and dwindled into
complacent echoes of surrounding mediocrity,--have begun, indeed, to die
on the very threshold of manhood, and stand in society as tombs rather
than temples of immortal souls. See, too, the wide disconnection between
knowledge and life;--heaps of information piled upon little heads;
everybody speaking,--few who have earned the right to speak; maxims
enough to regenerate a universe,--a woful lack of great hearts, in
which reason, right, and truth, regal and militant, are fortified and
encamped! Now this disposition to skulk the austere requirements of
intellectual growth in an indolent surrender of the mind's power of
self-direction must be overcome at the outset, or, in spite of your
grand generalities, you will be at the mercy of every bullying lie,
and strike your colors to every mean truism, and shape your life
in accordance with every low motive, which the strength of genuine
wickedness or genuine stupidity can bring to bear upon you. There is no
escape from slavery, or the mere pretence of freedom, but in radical
individual power; and all solid intellectual culture is simply the right
development of individuality into its true intellectual form.

And first, at the risk of being considered metaphysical,--though we fear
no metaphysician would indorse the charge,--let us define what we
mean by individuality; for the word is commonly made to signify some
peculiarity or eccentricity, some unreasonable twist, of mind or
disposition. An individual, then, in the sense in which we use the term,
is a causative spiritual force, whose root and being are in eternity,
but who lives, grows, and builds up his nature in time. All the objects
of sense and thought, all facts and ideas, all things, are external to
his essential personality. But he has bound up in his personal being
sympathies and capacities which ally him with external objects, and
enable him to transmute their inner spirit and substance into his own
personal life. The process of his growth, therefore, is a development
of power from within to assimilate objects from without, the power
increasing with every vital exercise of it. The result of this
assimilation is character. Character is the spiritual body of the
person, and represents the individualization of vital experience, the
conversion of unconscious things into self-conscious men. Sir Thomas
Browne, in quaint reference to the building up of our physical frame
through the food we eat, declares that we have all been on our own
trenchers; and so, on the same principle, our spiritual faculties can be
analyzed into impersonal facts and ideas, whose life and substance we
have converted into personal reason, imagination, and passion. The
fundamental characteristic of man is spiritual hunger; the universe of
thought and matter is spiritual food. He feeds on Nature; he feeds on
ideas; he feeds, through art, science, literature, and history, on
the acts and thoughts of other minds; and could we take the mightiest
intellect that ever awed and controlled the world, and unravel his
powers, and return their constituent particles to the multitudinous
objects whence they were derived, the last probe of our analysis, after
we had stripped him of all his faculties, would touch that unquenchable
fiery atom of personality which had organized round itself such a
colossal body of mind, and which, in its simple naked energy, would
still be capable of rehabilitating itself in the powers and passions of
which it had been shorn.

It results from this doctrine of the mind's growth, that success in all
the departments of life over which intellect holds dominion depends, not
merely on an outside knowledge of the facts and laws connected with each
department, but on the assimilation of that knowledge into instinctive
intelligence and active power. Take the good farmer, and you will find
that ideas in him are endowed with will, and can work. Take the good
general, and you will find that the principles of his profession are
inwrought into the substance of his nature, and act with the velocity
of instincts. Take the good judge, and in him jurisprudence seems
impersonated, and his opinions are authorities. Take the good merchant,
and you will find that commerce, in its facts and laws, seems in him
embodied, and that his sagacity appears identical with the objects on
which it is exercised. Take the great statesman, take Webster, and note
how, by thoroughly individualizing his comprehensive experience, he
seems to carry a nation in his brain; how, in all that relates to the
matter in hand, he has in him as _faculty_ what is out of him in _fact_;
how between the man and the thing there occurs that subtile freemasonry
of recognition which we call the mind's intuitive glance; and how
conflicting principles and statements, mixed and mingling in fierce
confusion and with deafening war-cries, fall into order and relation,
and move in the direction of one inexorable controlling idea, the
moment they are grasped by an intellect which is in the secret of their

  "Confusion hears his voice, and the wild uproar

Mark, too, how, in the productions of his mind, the presence and
pressure of his whole nature, in each intellectual act, keeps his
opinions on the level of his character, and stamps every weighty
paragraph with "Daniel Webster, his mark." The characteristic, of all
his great speeches is, that the statements, arguments, and images have
what we should call a positive being of their own,--stand out as plainly
to the sight as a ledge of rocks or chain of hills,--and, like the works
of Nature herself, need no other justification of their right to exist
than the fact of their existence. We may detest their object, but we
cannot deny their solidity of organization. This power of giving a
substantial body, an undeniable external shape and form, to his thoughts
and perceptions, so that the toiling mind does not so much seem to pass
from one sentence to another, unfolding its leading idea, as to
make each sentence a solid work in a Torres-Vedras line of
fortifications,--this prodigious constructive faculty, wielded with the
strength of a huge Samson-like artificer in the material of mind, and
welding together the substances it might not be able to fuse, puzzled
all opponents who understood it not, and baffled the efforts of all who
understood it well. He rarely took a position on any political question,
which did not draw down upon him a whole battalion of adversaries, with
ingenious array of argument and infinite noise of declamation; but after
the smoke and dust and clamor of the combat were over, the speech loomed
up, perfect and whole, a permanent thing in history or literature,
while the loud thunders of opposition had too often died away into low
mutterings, audible only to the adventurous antiquary who gropes in the
"still air" of stale "Congressional Debates." The rhetoric of sentences
however melodious, of aphorisms however pointed, of abstractions however
true, cannot stand in the storm of affairs against this true rhetoric,
in which thought is consubstantiated with things.

Now in men of this stamp, who have so organized knowledge into faculty
that they have attained the power of giving Thought the character of
Fact, we notice no distinction between power of intellect and power of
will, but an indissoluble union and fusion of force and insight. Facts
and laws are so blended with their personal being, that we can hardly
decide whether it is thought that wills or will that thinks. Their
actions display the intensest intelligence; their thoughts come from
them clothed in the thews and sinews of energetic volition. Their force,
being proportioned to their intelligence, never issues in that wild and
anarchical impulse, or that tough, obstinate, narrow wilfulness, which
many take to be the characteristic of individualized power. They may, in
fact, exhibit no striking individual traits which stand impertinently
out, and yet from this very cause be all the more potent and influential
individualities. Indeed, in the highest efforts of ecstatic action,
when the person is mightiest, and amazes us by the giant leaps of his
intuition, the mere peculiarities of his personality are unseen and
unfelt. This is the case with Homer, Shakspeare, and Goethe, in
poetry,--with Plato and Bacon, in philosophy,--with Newton, in
science,--with Caesar, in war. Such men doubtless had peculiarities and
caprices, but they were "burnt and purged away" by the fire of their
genius, when its action was intensest. Then their whole natures were
melted down into pure force and insight, and the impression they leave
upon the mind is the impression of marvellous force and weight and reach
of thought.

If it be objected, that these high examples are fitted to provoke
despair rather than stimulate emulation, the answer is, that they
contain, exemplify, and emphasize the principles, and flash subtile
hints of the processes, of all mental growth and production. How comes
it that these men's thoughts radiate from them as acts, endowed not only
with an illuminating, but a penetrating and animating power? The answer
to this is a statement of the genesis, not merely of genius, but of
every form of intellectual manhood; for such thoughts do not leap, _à
la_ Minerva, full-grown from the head, but are struck off in those
moments when the whole nature of the thinker is alive and aglow with an
inspiration kindled long before in remote recesses of consciousness from
one spark of immortal fire, and unweariedly burning, burning, burning,
until it lit up the whole inert mass of surrounding mind in flame.

To show, indeed, how little there is of the _extempore_, the hap-hazard,
the hit-or-miss, in the character of creative thought, and how
completely the gladdest inspiration is earned, let us glance at the
psychological history of one of those imperial ideas which measure the
power, test the quality, and convey the life, of the minds that conceive
them. The progress of such an idea is from film to form. It has its
origin in an atmosphere of feeling; for the first vital movement of the
mind is emotional, and is expressed in a dim tendency, a feeble feeling
after the object, or the class of objects, related to the peculiar
constitution and latent affinities of its individual being. This
tendency gradually condenses and deepens into a sentiment, pervading the
man with a love of those objects,--by a sweet compulsion ordering his
energies in their direction,--and by slow degrees investing them,
through a process of imagination, with the attribute of beauty, and,
through a process of reason, investing the purpose with which he pursues
them with the attribute of intelligence. The object dilates as the mind
assimilates and the nature moves, so that every step in this advance
from mere emotion to vivid insight is a building up of the faculties
which each onward movement evokes and exercises,--sentiment,
imagination, reason increasing their power and enlarging their scope
with each impetus that speeds them on to their bright and beckoning
goal. Then, when the individual has reached his full mental stature, and
come in direct contact with the object, then, only then, does he "pluck
out the heart of its mystery" in one of those lightning-like _acts_ of
thought which we call combination, invention, discovery.

There is no luck, no accident, in all this. Nature does not capriciously
scatter her secrets as golden gifts to lazy pets and luxurious darlings,
but imposes tasks when she presents opportunities, and uplifts him whom
she would inform. The apple that she drops at the feet of Newton is but
a coy invitation to follow her to the stars.

Now this living process of developing manhood and building up mind,
while the person is on the trail of a definite object of intelligence,
is in continual danger of being devitalized into a formal process of
mere acquisition, which, though it may make great memories of students,
will be sure to leave them little men. Their thoughts will be the
_attachés_, not the offspring, of their minds. They will have a bowing
acquaintance with many truths, without being admitted to the familiarity
of embracing or shaking hands with one. If they have native stamina of
animal constitution, they may become men of passions and opinions, but
they never will become men of sentiments and ideas; they may know the
truth as it is _about_ a thing, and support it with acrid and wrangling
dogmatism, but they never will know the truth as it is in the thing,
and support it with faith and insight. And the moment they come into
collision with a really live man, they will find their souls inwardly
wither, and their boasted acquisitions fall away, before one glance of
his irradiating intelligence and one stroke of his smiting will. If, on
the contrary, they are guided by good or great sentiments, which are the
souls of good or great ideas, these sentiments will be sure to organize
all the capacity there is in them into positive intellectual character;
but let them once divorce love from their occupations in life, and they
will find that labor will degenerate into drudgery, and drudgery will
weaken the power to labor, and weakness, as a last resort, will
intrench itself in pretence and deception. If they are in the learned
professions, they will become tricksters in law, quacks in medicine,
formalists in divinity, though _regular_ practitioners in all; and
clients will be cheated, and patients will be poisoned, and parishioners
will be--we dare not say what!--though all the colleges in the universe
had showered on them their diplomas. "To be weak is miserable": Milton
wrested that secret from the Devil himself!--but what shall we say of
those whose weakness has subsided from misery into complacency, and who
feel all the moral might of their being hourly rust and decay, with the
most amiable indifference and lazy content with dissolution?

Now this weakness is a mental and moral sickness, pointing the way to
mental and moral death. It has its source in a violation of that law
which makes the health of the mind depend on its activity being directed
to an object. When directed on itself, it becomes fitful and moody;
and moodiness generates morbidness, and morbidness misanthropy, and
misanthropy self-contempt, and self-contempt begins the work of
self-dissolution. Why, every sensible man will despise himself, if he
concentrates his attention on that important personage! The joy and
confidence of activity come from its being fixed and fastened on things
external to itself. "The human heart," says Luther,--and we can apply
the remark as well, to the human mind,--"is like a millstone in a mill;
when you put wheat under it, it turns, and grinds, and bruises the wheat
into flour; if you put no wheat in, it still grinds on, but then it is
itself it grinds, and slowly wears away." Now activity for an object,
which is an activity that constantly increases the power of acting,
and keeps the mind glad, fresh, vigorous, and young, has three deadly
enemies,--intellectual indolence, intellectual conceit, and intellectual
fear. We will say a few words on the operation of this triad of

Montaigne relates, that, while once walking in the fields, he was
accosted by a beggar of Herculean frame, who solicited alms. "Are you
not ashamed to beg?" said the philosopher, with a frown,--"you who are
so palpably able to work?" "Oh, Sir," was the sturdy knave's drawling
rejoinder, "if you only knew how lazy I am!" Herein is the whole
philosophy of idleness; and we are afraid that many a student of good
natural capacity slips and slides from thought into reverie, and from
reverie into apathy, and from apathy into incurable indisposition to
think, with as much sweet unconsciousness of degradation as Montaigne's
mendicant evinced; and at last hides from himself the fact of his
imbecility of action, somewhat as Sir James Herring accounted for the
fact that he could not rise early in the morning: he could, he said,
make up his mind to it, but could not make up his body.

"He who eats with the Devil," says the proverb, "has need of a long
spoon"; and he who domesticates this pleasant vice of indolence, and
allows it to nestle near his will, has need of a long head. Ordinary
minds may well be watchful of its insidious approaches when great ones
have mourned over its enfeebling effects; and the subtle indolence
that stole over the powers of Mackintosh, and gradually impaired the
productiveness even of Goethe, may well scare intellects of less natural
grasp and imaginations of less instinctive creativeness. Every step,
indeed, of the student's progress calls for energy and effort, and every
step is beset by some soft temptation to abandon the task of developing
power for the delight of following impulse. The appetites, for example,
instead of being bitted, and bridled, and trained into passions, and
sent through the intellect to quicken, sharpen, and intensify its
activity, are allowed to take their way unmolested to their own objects
of sense, and drag the mind down to their own sensual level. Sentiment
decays, the vision fades, faith in principles departs, the moment that
appetite rules. On the closing doors of that "sensual stye," as over the
gate of Dante's hell, be it written: "Let those who enter here leave
hope behind."

But a more refined operation of this pestilent indolence is its way
of infusing into the mind the delusive belief that it can attain the
objects of activity without its exercise. Under this illusion, men
expect to grow wise, as men who gamble in stocks expect to grow rich, by
chance, and not by work. They invest in mediocrity in the confident hope
that it will go many hundred per cent. above par; and so shocking has
been the inflation of the intellectual currency of late years, that this
speculation of indolence sometimes partially succeeds. But a revulsion
comes,--and then brass has to make a break-neck descent to reach its
proper level below gold. There are others whom indolence deludes by some
trash about "fits" of inspiration, for whose Heaven-sent spasms they are
humbly to wait. There is, it seems, a lucky thought somewhere in the
abyss of possibility, which is somehow, at some time, to step out
of essence into substance, and take up its abode in their capacious
minds,--dutifully kept unoccupied in order that the expected celestial
visitor may not be crowded for room. Chance is to make them king, and
chance to crown them, without their stir! There are others still, who,
while sloth is sapping the primitive energy of their natures, expect to
scale the fortresses of knowledge by leaps and not by ladders, and who
count on success in such perilous gymnastics, not by the discipline of
the athlete, but by the dissipation of the idler. Indolence, indeed,
is never at a loss for a smooth lie or delicious sophism to justify
inaction, and, in our day, has rationalized it into a philosophy of the
mind, and idealized it into a school of poetry, and organized it into a
"hospital of incapables." It promises you the still ecstasy of a divine
repose, while it lures you surely down into the vacant dulness of
inglorious sloth. It provides a primrose path to stagnant pools, to an
Arcadia of thistles, and a Paradise of mud.

But in a mind of any primitive power, intellectual indolence is sure to
generate intellectual conceit,--a little Jack Horner, that ensconces
itself in lazy heads, and, while it dwarfs every power to the level of
its own littleness, keeps vociferating, "What a great man am I!" It is
the essential vice of this glib imp of the mind, even when it infests
large intellects, that it puts Nature in the possessive case,--labels
all its inventions and discoveries "My truth,"--and moves about the
realms of art, science, and letters in a constant fear of having its
pockets picked. Think of a man's having vouchsafed to him one of those
awful glimpses into the mysteries of creation which should be received
with a shudder of prayerful joy, and taking the gracious boon with
a smirk of all-satisfied conceit! One page in what Shakspeare calls
"Nature's infinite book of secrecy" flies a moment open to his eager
gaze, and he hears the rustling of the myriad leaves as they close and
clasp, only to make his spirit more abject, his vanity more ravenous,
his hatred of rivals more rancorous and mean. That grand unselfish
love of truth, and joy in its discovery, by whomsoever made, which
characterize the true seeker and seer of science and creative art, alone
can keep the mind alive and alert, alone can make the possession of
truth a means of elevating and purifying the man.

But if this conceit, in powerful natures, tends to belittle character,
and eat into and consume the very faculties whose successful exercise
creates it, its slyly insinuated venom works swifter and deadlier on
youth and inexperience. The ordinary forms of conceit, it is true,
cannot well flourish in any assemblage of young men, whose plain
interest it is to undeceive all self-deception and quell every
insurrection of individual vanity, and who soon understand the art of
burning the nonsense out of an offending brother by caustic ridicule
and slow-roasting sarcasm. But there is danger of mutual deception,
springing from a common belief in a false, but attractive principle of
culture. The mischief of intellectual conceit in our day consists in its
arresting mental growth at the start by stuffing the mind with the husks
of pretentious generalities, which, while they impart no vital power and
convey no real information, give seeming enlargement to thought, and
represent a seeming opulence of knowledge. The deluded student, who
picks up these ideas in masquerade at the rag-fairs and old-clothes'
shops of philosophy, thinks he has the key to all secrets and the
solvent of all problems, when he really has no experimental knowledge of
anything, and dwindles all the more for every juiceless, unnutritious
abstraction he devours. Though famished for the lack of a morsel of the
true mental food of facts and ideas, he still swaggeringly despises all
relative information in his ambition to clutch at absolute truth, and
accordingly goes directly to ultimates by the short cuts of cheap
generalities. Why, to be sure, should he, who can, Napoleon-like, march
straight on to the interior capital, submit, Marlborough-like, to the
drudgery of besieging the frontier fortresses? Why should he, who can
throw a girdle of generalization round the universe in less than forty
minutes, stoop to master details? And this easy and sprightly amplitude
of understanding, which consists not in including, but in excluding all
relative facts and principles, he calls comprehensiveness; the mental
decrepitude it occasions he dignifies with the appellation of repose;
and, on the strength of comprehensiveness and repose, is of course
qualified to take his seat beside Shakspeare, and chat cosily with
Bacon, and wink knowingly at Goethe, and startle Leibnitz with a slap
on the shoulder,--the true Red-Republican sign of liberty in manners,
equality in power, and fraternity in ideas! These men, to be sure, have
a way of saying things which he has not yet caught; but then their
wide-reaching thoughts are his as well as theirs. Imitating the
condescension of some contemporary philosophers of the Infinite, he
graciously accepts Christianity and patronizes the idea of Deity, though
he gives you to understand that he could easily pitch a generalization
outside of both. And thus, mistaking his slab-sidedness for
many-sidedness, and forgetting that there is no insight without force
to back it,--bedizened in conceit and magnificent in littleness,--he is
thrown on society, walking in a vain show of knowledge, and doomed to
be upset and trampled on by the first brawny concrete Fact he stumbles
against. A true method of culture makes drudgery beautiful by presenting
a vision of the object to which it leads;--beware of the conceit that
dispenses with it! How much better it is to delve for a little solid
knowledge, and be sure of that, than to be a proper target for such
a sarcasm as a great statesman once shot at a glib advocate, who was
saying nothing with great fluency and at great length! "Who," he asked,
"is this self-sufficient, all-sufficient, insufficient man?"

Idleness and Conceit, however, are not more opposed to that
out-springing, reverential activity which makes the person forget
himself in devotion to his objects, than Fear. A bold heart in a sound
head,--that is the condition of energetic thinking, of the thought that
thinks round things and into things and through things; but fear freezes
activity at its inmost fountains. "There is nothing," says Montaigne,
"that I fear so much as fear." Indeed, an educated man, who creeps
along with an apologetic air, cringing to this name and ducking to that
opinion, and hoping that it is not too presumptuous in him to beg the
right to exist,--why, it is a spectacle piteous to gods and hateful to
men! Yet think of the many knots of monitory truisms in which activity
is likely to be caught and entangled at the outset,--knots which a brave
purpose will not waste time to untie, but instantly cuts. First, there
is the nonsense of students killing themselves by over-study,--some few
instances of which, not traceable to over-eating, have shielded the
short-comings of a million idlers. Next, there is the fear that the
intellect may be developed at the expense of the moral nature,--one of
those truths in the abstract which are made to do the office of lies in
the application, and which are calculated not so much to make good men
as _goodies_,--persons rejoicing in an equal mediocrity of morals and
mind, and pertinent examples of the necessity of personal force to
convert moral maxims into moral might. The truth would seem to be, that
half the crimes and sufferings which history records and observation
furnishes are directly traceable to want of thought rather than to bad
intention; and in regard to the other half, which may be referred to
the remorseless selfishness of unsanctified intelligence, has that
selfishness ever had more valuable allies and tools than the mental
torpor that cannot think and the conscientious stupidity that will not?
Moral laws, indeed, are intellectual facts, to be investigated as
well as obeyed; and it is not a blind or blear-eyed conscience, but a
conscience blended with intelligence and consolidated with character,
that can both see and act.

But curtly dismissing the fallacy, that the moral and spiritual
faculties are likely to find a sound basis in a cowed and craven reason,
we come to a form of fear that practically paralyzes independent thought
more than any other, while it is incompatible with manliness and
self-respect. This fear is compounded of self-distrust and that mode
of vanity which cowers beneath the invective of men whose applause it
neither courts nor values. If you examine critically the two raging
parties of conservatism and radicalism, you will find that a goodly
number of their partisans are men who have not chosen their position,
but have been bullied into it,--men who see clearly enough that both
parties are based on principles almost equally true in themselves,
almost equally false by being detached from their mutual relations. But
then each party keeps its professors of intimidation and stainers of
character, whose business it is to deprive men of the luxury of large
thinking, and to drive all neutrals into their respective ranks. The
missiles hurled from one side are disorganizer, infidel, disunionist,
despiser of law, and other trumpery of that sort; from the other side,
the no less effective ones of murderer, dumb dog, traitor to humanity,
and other trumpery of that sort; and the young and sensitive student
finds it difficult to keep the poise of his nature amid the cross-fire
of this logic of fury and rhetoric of execration, and too often ends in
joining one party from fear, or the other from the fear of being
thought afraid. The probability is, that the least danger to his mental
independence will proceed from any apprehension he may entertain of what
are irreverently styled the "old fogies"; for if Young America goes on
at its present headlong rate, there is little doubt that the old fogy
will have to descend from his eminence of place, become an object of
pathos rather than terror, and be compelled to make the inquiring appeal
to his brisk hunters, so often made to himself in vain, "Am I not a man
and a brother?" But with whatever association, political or moral, the
thinker may connect himself, let him go in,--and not be dragged in or
scared in. He certainly can do no good to himself, his country, or his
race, by being the slave and echo of the heads of a clique. Besides,
as most organizations are constituted on the principles of a sort of
literary socialism, and each member lives and trades on a common capital
of phrases, there is danger that these phrases may decline from signs
into substitutes of thought, and both intellect and character evaporate
in words. Thus, a man may be a Union man and a National man, or an
Anti-Slavery man and a Temperance man and a Woman's-Rights' man, and
still be very little of a man. There is, indeed, no more ludicrous sight
than to see Mediocrity, perched on one of these resounding adjectives,
strut and bluster, and give itself braggadocio airs, and dictate to all
quiet men its maxims of patriotism or morality, and all the while be
but a living illustration through what grandeurs of opinion essential
meanness and poverty of soul will peer and peep and be disclosed. To be
a statesman or reformer requires a courage that dares defy dictation
from any quarter, and a mind which has come in direct contact with the
great inspiring ideas of country and humanity. All the rest is spite,
and spleen; and cant, and conceit, and words.

It is plain, of course, that every man of large and living thought will
naturally sympathize with those great social movements, informing
and reforming, which are the glory of the age; but it must always be
remembered that the grand and generous sentiments that underlie those
movements demand in their fervid disciple a corresponding grandeur and
generosity of soul. There is no reason why his philanthropy should be
malignant because other men's conservatism may be stupid; and the vulgar
insensibility to the rights of the oppressed, and the vulgar scorn of
the claims of the wretched, which men calling themselves respectable and
educated may oppose to his own warmer feelings and nobler principles,
should be met, not with that invective which may be as vulgar as the
narrowness it denounces, nor always with that indignation which is
righteous as well as wrathful, but with that awful contempt with which
Magnanimity shames meanness, simply by the irony of her lofty example
and the sarcasm of her terrible silence.

In these remarks, which we trust our readers have at least been kind
enough to consider worthy of an effort of patience, we have attempted to
connect all genuine intellectual success with manliness of character;
have endeavored to show that force of individual being is its primary
condition; that this force is augmented and enriched, or weakened and
impoverished, according as it is or is not directed to appropriate
objects; that indolence, conceit, and fear present continual checks to
this going out of the mind into glad and invigorating communion with
facts and laws; and that as a man is not a mere bundle of faculties,
but a vital person, whose unity pervades, vivifies, and creates all
the varieties of his manifestation, the same vices which enfeeble and
deprave character tend to enfeeble and deprave intellect. But perhaps we
have not sufficiently indicated a diseased state of consciousness, from
which most intellectual men have suffered, many have died, and all
should be warned,--the disease, namely, of mental disgust, the sign and
the result of mental debility. Mental disgust "sicklies o'er" all the
objects of thought, extinguishes faith in exertion, communicates a dull
wretchedness to indolence in the very process by which it makes activity
impossible, and drags into its own slough of despond, and discolors with
its own morbid reveries, the objects which it should ardently seek and
genially assimilate. It sees things neither as they are, nor as they are
glorified and transfigured by hope and health and faith; but, in the
apathy of that idling introspection which betrays a genius for misery,
it pronounces effort to be vanity, and despairingly dismisses knowledge
as delusion. "Despair," says Donne, "is the damp of hell; rejoicing is
the serenity of heaven."

Now contrast this mental disgust, which proceeds from mental debility,
with the sunny and soul-lifting exhilaration radiated from mental
vigor,--a vigor which comes from the mind's secret consciousness that it
is in contact with moral and spiritual verities, and is partaking of the
rapture of their immortal life. A spirit earnest, hopeful, energetic,
inquisitive, making its mistakes minister to wisdom, and converting the
obstacles it vanquishes into power,--a spirit inspired by a love of the
excellency and beauty of knowledge, which will not let it sleep,--such
a spirit soon learns that the soul of joy is hid in the austere form of
Duty, and that the intellect becomes brighter, keener, clearer, more
buoyant, and more efficient, as it feels the freshening vigor infused
by her monitions and menaces, and the celestial calm imparted by her
soul-satisfying smile. In all the professions and occupations over which
Intellect holds dominion, the student will find that there is no grace
of character without its corresponding grace of mind. He will find that
virtue is an aid to insight; that good and sweet affections will bear a
harvest of pure and high thoughts; that patience will make the intellect
persistent in plans which benevolence will make beneficent in results;
that the austerities of conscience will dictate precision to statements
and exactness to arguments; that the same moral sentiments and moral
power which regulate the conduct of life will illumine the path and
stimulate the purpose of those daring spirits eager to add to the
discoveries of truth and the creations of art. And he will also find
that this purifying interaction of spiritual and mental forces will give
the mind an abiding foundation of joy for its starts of rapture and
flights of ecstasy;--a joy, in whose light and warmth languor and
discontent and depression and despair will be charmed away;--a joy,
which will make the mind large, generous, hopeful, aspiring, in order to
make life beautiful and sweet;--a joy, in the words of an old
divine, "which will put on a more glorious garment above, and be joy
superinvested in glory!"




Alfred Noble had grown up to manhood among the rocks and hills of a New
England village. A year spent in Mobile, employed in the duties of a
clerk, had not accustomed him to the dull routine of commercial life. He
longed for the sound of brooks and the fresh air of the hills. It was,
therefore, with great pleasure that he received from his employer a
message to be conveyed to a gentleman who lived in the pleasantest
suburb of the city. It was one of those bright autumnal days when the
earth seems to rejoice consciously in the light that gives her beauty.

Leaving behind him the business quarter of the town, he passed through
pleasant streets bordered with trees, and almost immediately found
himself amid scenes clothed with all the freshness of the country.
Handsome mansions here and there dotted the landscape, with pretty
little parks, enclosing orange-trees and magnolias, surrounded with
hedges of holly, in whose foliage numerous little foraging birds were
busy in the sunshine. The young man looked at these dwellings with
an exile's longing at his heart. He imagined groups of parents and
children, brothers and sisters, under those sheltering roofs, all
strangers to him, an orphan, alone in the world. The pensiveness of
his mood gradually gave place to more cheerful thoughts. Visions of
prosperous business and a happy home rose before him, as he walked
briskly toward the hills south of the city. The intervals between the
houses increased in length, and he soon found himself in a little forest
of pines. Emerging from this, he came suddenly in sight of an elegant
white villa, with colonnaded portico and spacious verandas. He
approached it by a path through a grove, the termination of which had
grown into the semblance of a Gothic arch, by the interlacing of two
trees, one with glossy evergreen leaves, the other yellow with the tints
of autumn. Vines had clambered to the top, and hung in light festoons
from the branches. The foliage, fluttering in a gentle breeze, caused
successive ripples of sun-flecks, which chased each other over trunks
and boughs, and joined in wayward dance with the shadows on the ground.

Arrested by this unusual combination of light and shade, color and form,
the young man stood still for a moment to gaze upon it. He was thinking
to himself that nothing could add to the perfection of its beauty, when
suddenly there came dancing under the arch a figure that seemed like the
fairy of those woods, a spirit of the mosses and the vines. She was a
child, apparently five or six years old, with large brown eyes, and a
profusion of dark hair. Her gypsy hat, ornamented with scarlet ribbons
and a garland of red holly-berries, had fallen back on her shoulders,
and her cheeks were flushed with exercise. A pretty little white dog was
with her, leaping up eagerly for a cluster of holly-berries which she
playfully shook above his head. She whirled swiftly round and round the
frisking animal, her long red ribbons flying on the breeze, and then she
paused, all aglow, swaying herself back and forth, like a flower on its
stem. A flock of doves, as if attracted toward her, came swooping down
from the sky, revolving in graceful curves above her head, their white
breasts glistening in the sunshine. The aërial movements of the child
were so full of life and joy, she was so in harmony with the golden day,
the waving vines, and the circling doves, that the whole scene seemed
like an allegro movement in music, and she a charming little melody
floating through it all.

Alfred stood like one enchanted. He feared to speak or move, lest the
fairy should vanish from mortal presence. So the child and the dog,
equally unconscious of a witness, continued their graceful gambols for
several minutes. An older man might have inwardly moralized on the folly
of the animal, aping humanity in thus earnestly striving after what
would yield no nourishment when obtained. But Alfred was too young and
too happy to moralize. The present moment was all-sufficient for him,
and stood still there in its fulness, unconnected with past or future.
This might have lasted long, had not the child been attracted by the
dove-shadows, and, looking up to watch the flight of the birds, her eyes
encountered the young man. A whole heart full of sunshine was in the
smile with which he greeted her. But, with a startled look, she turned
quickly and ran away; and the dog, still full of frolic, went bounding
by her side. As Alfred tried to pursue them, a bough knocked off his
hat. Without stopping to regain it, he sprang over a holly-hedge, and
came in view of the veranda of a house, just in time to see the fairy
and her dog disappear behind a trellis covered with the evergreen
foliage of the Cherokee rose. Conscious of the impropriety of pursuing
her farther, he paused to take breath. As he passed his hand through his
hair, tossed into masses by running against the wind, he heard a voice
from the veranda exclaim,--

"Whither so fast, Loo Loo? Come here, Loo Loo!"

Glancing upward, he saw a patrician-looking gentleman, in a handsome
morning-gown, of Oriental fashion, and slippers richly embroidered. He
was reclining on a lounge, with wreaths of smoke floating before him;
but seeing the stranger, he rose, and taking the amber-tubed cigar from
his mouth, he said, half laughing,--

"You seem to be in hot haste, Sir. Pray, what have you been hunting?"

Alfred also laughed, as he replied,--

"I have been chasing a charming little girl, who would not be caught.
Perhaps she was your daughter, Sir?"

"She _is_ my daughter," rejoined the gentleman. "A pretty little witch,
is she not? Will you walk in, Sir?"

Alfred thanked him, and said that he was in search of a Mr. Duncan,
whose residence was in that neighborhood.

"I am Mr. Duncan," replied the patrician. "Jack, go and fetch the
gentleman's hat, and bring cigars."

A negro obeyed his orders, and, after smoking awhile on the veranda, the
two gentlemen walked round the grounds.

Once when they approached the house, they heard the pattering of little
feet, and Mr. Duncan called out, with tones of fondness,--

"Come here, Loo Loo! Come, darling, and see the gentleman who has been
running after you!"

But the shy little fairy ran all the faster, and Alfred saw nothing but
the long red ribbons of her gypsy hat, as they floated behind her on the

Declining a polite invitation to dine, he walked back to the city. The
impression on his mind had been so vivid, that, as he walked, there rose
ever before him a vision of that graceful arch with waving vines, the
undulating flight of the silver-breasted doves, and the airy motions of
that beautiful child. How would his interest in the scene have deepened,
could some sibyl have foretold to him how closely the Fates had
interwoven the destinies of himself and that lovely little one!

When he entered the counting-room, he found his employer in close
conversation with Mr. Grossman, a wealthy cotton-broker. This man was
but little more than thirty years of age, but the predominance of animal
propensities was stamped upon his countenance with more distinctness
than is usual with sensualists of twice his age. The oil of a thousand
hams seemed oozing through his pimpled cheeks; his small gray eyes were
set in his head like the eyes of a pig; his mouth had the expression of
a satyr; and his nose seemed perpetually sniffing the savory prophecy
of food. When the clerk had delivered his message, he slapped him
familiarly on the shoulder, and said,--

"So you've been out to Duncan's, have you? Pretty nest there at Pine
Grove, and they say he's got a rare bird in it; but he keeps her so
close, that I could never catch sight of her. Perhaps you got a peep,

"I saw a very beautiful child of Mr. Duncan's," replied Alfred, "but I
did not see his wife."

"That's very likely," rejoined Grossman; "because he never had any

"He said the little girl was his daughter, and I naturally inferred that
he had a wife," replied Alfred.

"That don't follow of course, my gosling," said the cotton-broker.
"You're green, young man! You're green! I swear, I'd give a good deal
to get sight of Duncan's wench. She must be devilish handsome, or he
wouldn't keep her so close."

Alfred Noble had always felt an instinctive antipathy to this man, who
was often letting fall some remark that jarred harshly with his romantic
ideas of women,--something that seemed to insult the memories of a
beloved mother and sister gone to the spirit-world. But he had never
liked him less than at this moment; for the sly wink of his eye, and
the expressive leer that accompanied his coarse words, were very
disagreeable things to be associated with that charming vision of the
circling doves and the innocent child.


Time passed away, and with it the average share of changing events.
Alfred Noble became junior partner in the counting-house he had entered
as clerk, and not long afterward the elder partner died. Left thus
to rely upon his own energy and enterprise, the young man gradually
extended his business, and seemed in a fair way to realize his favorite
dream of making a fortune and returning to the North to marry. The
subject of Slavery was then seldom discussed. North and South seemed
to have entered into a tacit agreement to ignore the topic completely.
Alfred's experience was like that of most New Englanders in his
situation. He was at first annoyed and pained by many of the
peculiarities of Southern society, and then became gradually accustomed
to them. But his natural sense of justice was very strong; and this,
added to the influence of early education, and strengthened by scenes of
petty despotism which he was frequently compelled to witness, led him
to resolve that he would never hold a slave. The colored people in his
employ considered him their friend, because he was always kind and
generous to them. He supposed that comprised the whole of duty, and
further than that he never reflected upon the subject.

The pretty little picture at Pine Grove, which had made so lively
an impression on his imagination, faded the more rapidly, because
unconnected with his affections. But a shadowy semblance of it always
flitted through his memory, whenever he saw a beautiful child, or
observed any unusual combination of trees and vines.

Four years after his interview with Mr. Duncan, business called him to
the interior of the State, and for the sake of healthy exercise he
chose to make the journey on horseback. His route lay mostly through a
monotonous region of sandy plain, covered with pines, here and there
varied by patches of cleared land, in which numerous dead trees were
prostrate, or standing leafless, waiting their time to fall. Most of
the dwellings were log-houses, but now and then the white villa of some
wealthy planter might be seen gleaming through the evergreens. Sometimes
the sandy soil was intersected by veins of swamp, through which muddy
water oozed sluggishly, among bushes and dead logs. In these damp places
flourished dark cypresses and holly-trees, draped with gray Spanish
moss, twisted around the boughs, and hanging from them like gigantic
cobwebs. Now and then, the sombre scene was lighted up with a bit of
brilliant color, when a scarlet grosbeak flitted from branch to branch,
or a red-headed woodpecker hammered at the trunk of some old tree, to
find where the insects had intrenched themselves. But nothing pleased
the eye of the traveller so much as the holly-trees, with their glossy
evergreen foliage, red berries, and tufts of verdant mistletoe. He
had been riding all day, when, late in the afternoon, an uncommonly
beautiful holly appeared to terminate the road at the bend where it
stood. Its boughs were woven in with a cypress on the other side, by
long tangled fringes of Spanish moss. The setting sun shone brightly
aslant the mingled foliage, and lighted up the red berries, which
glimmered through the thin drapery of moss, like the coral ornaments of
a handsome brunette seen through her veil of embroidered lace. It was
unlike the woodland picture he had seen at Pine Grove, but it recalled
it to his memory more freshly than he had seen it for a long time. He
watched the peculiar effects of sunlight, changing as he approached the
tree, and the desire grew strong within him to have the fairy-like child
and the frolicsome dog make their appearance beneath that swinging
canopy of illuminated moss. If his nerves had been in such a state that
forms in the mind could have taken outward shape, he would have realized
the vision so distinctly painted on his imagination. But he was well and
strong; therefore he saw nothing but a blue heron flapping away among
the cypresses, and a flock of turkey-buzzards soaring high above the
trees, with easy and graceful flight. His thoughts, however, continued
busy with the picture that had been so vividly recalled. He recollected
having heard, some time before, of Mr. Duncan's death, and he queried
within himself what had become of that beautiful child.

Musing thus, he rode under the fantastic festoons he had been admiring,
and saw at his right a long gentle descent, where a small stream of
water glided downward over mossy stones. Trees on either side interlaced
their boughs over it, and formed a vista, cool, dark, and solemn as the
aisle of some old Gothic church. A figure moving upward, by the side of
the little brook, attracted his attention, and he checked his horse
to inquire whether the people at the nearest house would entertain a
stranger for the night. When the figure approached nearer, he saw that
it was a slender, barefooted girl, carrying a pail of water. As she
emerged from the dim aisle of trees, a gleam of the setting sun shone
across her face for an instant, and imparted a luminous glory to her
large brown eyes. Shading them with her hand, she paused timidly before
the stranger, and answered his inquiries. The modulation of her tones
suggested a degree of refinement which he had not expected to meet in
that lonely region. He gazed at her so intently, that her eyes sought
the ground, and their long, dark fringes rested on blushing cheeks. What
was it those eyes recalled? They tantalized and eluded his memory. "My
good girl, tell me what is your name," he said.

"Louisa," she replied, bashfully, and added, "I will show you the way to
the house."

"Let me carry the water for you," said the kind-hearted traveller. He
dismounted for the purpose, but she resisted his importunities, saying
that _she_ would be very angry with her.

"And who is _she_?" he asked. "Is she your mother?"

"Oh, no, indeed!" was the hasty reply. "I am--I--I live there."

The disclaimer was sudden and earnest, as if the question struck on a
wounded nerve. Her eyes swam with tears, and the remainder of her answer
was sad and reluctant in its tones. The child was so delicately formed,
so shy and sensitive, so very beautiful, that she fascinated him
strongly. He led his horse into the lane she had entered, and as he
walked by her side he continued to observe her with the most lively
interest. Her motions were listless and languid, but flexile as a
willow. They puzzled him, as her eyes had done; for they seemed to
remind him of something he had seen in a half-forgotten dream.

They soon came in sight of the house, which was built of logs, but
larger than most houses of that description; and two or three huts in
the rear indicated that the owner possessed slaves. An open porch
in front was shaded by the projecting roof, and there two dingy,
black-nosed dogs were growling and tousling each other. Pigs were
rooting the ground, and among them rolled a black baby, enveloped in a
bundle of dirty rags. The traveller waited while Louisa went into the
house to inquire whether entertainment could be furnished for
himself and his horse. It was some time before the proprietor of the
establishment made his appearance. At last he came slowly sauntering
round the end of the house, his hat tipped on one side, with a rowdyish
air. He was accompanied by a large dog, which rushed in among the pigs,
biting their ears, and making them race about, squealing piteously. Then
he seized hold of the bundle of rags containing the black baby, and
began to drag it over the ground, to the no small astonishment of the
baby, who added his screech to the charivari of the pigs. With loud
shouts of laughter, Mr. Jackson cheered on the rough animal, and was
so much entertained by the scene, that he seemed to have forgotten the
traveller entirely. When at last his eye rested upon him, he merely
exclaimed, "That's a hell of a dog!" and began to call, "_Staboy_!"
again. The negro woman came and snatched up her babe, casting a furtive
glance at her master, as she did so, and making her escape as quickly as
possible. Towzer, being engaged with the pigs at that moment, allowed
her to depart unmolested; and soon came back to his master, wagging his
tail, and looking up, as if expecting praise for his performances.

The traveller availed himself of this season of quiet to renew his

"Well," said Mr. Jackson, "I reckon we can accommodate ye. Whar ar ye
from, stranger?"

Mr. Noble having stated "whar" he was from, was required to tell "whar"
he was going, whether he owned that "bit of horse-flesh," and whether
he wanted to sell him. Having answered all these interrogatories in a
satisfactory manner, he was ushered into the house.

The interior was rude and slovenly, like the exterior. The doors were
opened by wooden latches with leather strings, and sagged so much on
their wooden hinges, that they were usually left open to avoid the
difficulty of shutting them. Guns and fishing-tackle were on the walls,
and the seats were wooden benches or leather-bottomed chairs. A tall,
lank woman, with red hair, and a severe aspect, was busy mending a
garment. When asked if the traveller could be provided with supper, she
curtly replied that she "reckoned so"; and, without further parlance, or
salute, went out to give orders. Immediately afterward, her shrill voice
was heard calling out, "You gal! put the fixens on the table."

The "gal," who obeyed the summons, proved to be the sylph-like child
that had guided the traveller to the house. To the expression of
listlessness and desolation which he had previously noticed, there
was now added a look of bewilderment and fear. He thought she might,
perhaps, be a step-daughter of Mrs. Jackson; but how could so coarse a
man as his host be the father of such gentleness and grace?

While supper was being prepared, Mr. Jackson entered into conversation
with his guest about the usual topics in that region,--the prices
of cotton and "niggers." He frankly laid open his own history and
prospects, stating that he was "fetched up" in Western Tennessee, where
he owned but two "niggers." A rich uncle had died in Alabama, and he had
come in for a portion of his wild land and "niggers"; so he concluded
to move South and take possession. Mr. Noble courteously sustained his
share of the conversation; but his eyes involuntarily followed the
interesting child, as she passed in and out to arrange the supper-table.

"You seem to fancy Leewizzy," said Mr. Jackson, shaking the ashes from
his pipe.

"I have never seen a handsomer child," replied Mr. Noble. "Is she your

"No, Sir; she's my nigger," was the brief response.

The young girl reëntered the room at that moment, and the statement
seemed so incredible, that the traveller eyed her with scrutinizing
glance, striving in vain to find some trace of colored ancestry.

"Come here, Leewizzy," said her master. "What d'ye keep yer eyes on the
ground for? You 'a'n't got no occasion to be ashamed o' yer eyes. Hold
up yer head, now, and look the gentleman in the face."

She tried to obey, but native timidity overcame the habit of submission,
and, after one shy glance at the stranger, her eyelids lowered, and
their long, dark fringes rested on blushing cheeks.

"I reckon ye don't often see a poottier piece o' flesh," said Mr.

While he was speaking, his wife had come in from the kitchen, followed
by a black woman with a dish of sweet potatoes and some hot corn-cakes.
She made her presence manifest by giving "Leewizzy" a violent push, with
the exclamation, "What ar ye standing thar for, yer lazy wench? Go and
help Dinah bring in the fixens." Then turning to her husband, she said,
"You'll make a fool o' that ar gal. It's high time she was sold. She's
no account here."

Mr. Jackson gave a knowing wink at his guest, and remarked, "Women-folks
are ginerally glad enough to have niggers to wait on 'em; but ever sence
that gal come into the house, my old woman's been in a desperate hurry
to have me sell her. But such an article don't lose nothing by waiting
awhile. I've some thoughts of taking a tramp to Texas one o' these
days; and I reckon a prime fancy article, like that ar, would bring a
fust-rate price in New Orleans."

The subject of his discourse was listening to what he said; and partly
from tremor at the import of his words, and partly from fear that she
should not place the dish of bacon and eggs to please her mistress, she
tipped it in setting it down, so that some of the fat was spilled upon
the table-cloth. Mrs. Jackson seized her and slapped her hard, several
times, on both sides of her head. The frightened child tried to escape,
as soon as she was released from her grasp, but, being ordered to
remain and wait upon table, she stood behind her mistress, carefully
suppressing her sobs, though unable to keep back the tears that trickled
down her cheeks. The traveller was hungry; but this sight was a damper
upon his appetite. He was indignant at seeing such a timid young
creature so roughly handled; but he dared not give utterance to his
emotions, for fear of increasing the persecution to which she was
subjected. Afterward, when his host and hostess were absent from the
room, and Louisa was clearing the table, impelled by a feeling of pity,
which he could not repress, he laid his hand gently upon her head, and
said, "Poor child!"

It was a simple phrase; but his kindly tones produced a mighty effect on
that suffering little soul. Her pent-up affections rushed forth like
a flood when the gates are opened. She threw herself into his arms,
nestled her head upon his breast, and sobbed out, "Oh, I have nobody to
love me now!" This outburst of feeling was so unexpected, that the
young man felt embarrassed, and knew not what to do. His aversion to
disagreeable scenes amounted to a weakness; and he knew, moreover, that,
if his hostess should become aware of his sympathy, her victim would
fare all the worse for it. Still, it was not in his nature to repel the
affection that yearned toward him with so overwhelming an impulse. He
placed his hand tenderly on her head, and said, in a soothing voice, "Be
quiet now, my little girl. I hear somebody coming; and you know your
mistress expects you to clear the table."

Mrs. Jackson was in fact approaching, and Louisa hastily resumed her

Had Mr. Noble been guilty of some culpable action, he could not have
felt more desirous to escape the observation of his hostess. As soon
as she entered, he took up his hat hastily, and went out to ascertain
whether his horse had been duly cared for.

He saw Louisa no more that night. But as he lay awake, looking at a star
that peeped in upon him through an opening in the log wall, he thought
of her beautiful eyes, when the sun shone upon them, as she emerged from
the shadows. He wished that his mother and sister were living, that they
might adopt the attractive child. Then he remembered that she was a
slave, reserved for the New Orleans market, and that it was not likely
his good mother could obtain her, if she were alive and willing to
undertake the charge. Sighing, as he had often done, to think how many
painful things there were which he had no power to remedy, he fell
asleep and saw a very small girl dancing with a pail of water, while
a flock of white doves were wheeling round her. The two pictures had
mingled on the floating cloud-canvas of dream-land.

He had paid for his entertainment before going to bed, and had signified
his intention to resume his journey as soon as light dawned. All was
silent in the house when he went forth; and out of doors nothing
was stirring but a dog that roused himself to bark after him, and
chanticleer perched on a stump to crow. He was, therefore, surprised to
find Louisa at the crib where his horse was feeding. Springing toward
him, she exclaimed,--

"Oh, you have come! Do buy me, Sir! I will be _so_ good! I will do
everything you tell me! Oh, I am so unhappy! Do buy me, Sir!"

He patted her on the head, and looked down compassionately into the
swimming eyes that were fixed so imploringly upon his.

"Buy you, my poor child?" he replied. "I have no house,--I have nothing
for you to do."

"My mother showed me how to sew some, and how to do some embroidery,"
she said, coaxingly. "I will learn to do it better, and I can earn
enough to buy something to eat. Oh, do buy me, Sir! Do take me with

"I cannot do that," he replied; "for I must go another day's journey
before I return to Mobile."

"Do you live in Mobile?" she exclaimed, eagerly. "My father lived in
Mobile. Once I tried to run away there, but they set the dogs after me.
Oh, do carry me back to Mobile!"

"What is your name?" said he; "and in what part of the city did you

"My name is Louisa Duncan; and my father lived at Pine Grove. It was
such a beautiful place! and I was _so_ happy there! Will you take me
back to Mobile? _Will_ you?"

Evading the question, he said,--

"Your name is Louisa, but your father called you Loo Loo, didn't he?"

That pet name brought forth a passionate outburst of tears. Her voice
choked, and choked again, as she sobbed out,--

"Nobody has ever called me Loo Loo since my father died."

He soothed her with gentle words, and she, looking up earnestly, as if
stirred by a sudden thought, exclaimed,--

"How did you _know_ my father called me Loo Loo?"

He smiled as he answered, "Then you don't remember a young man who ran
after you one day, when you were playing with a little white dog at Pine
Grove? and how your father called to you, 'Come here, Loo Loo, and see
the gentleman'?"

"I don't remember it," she replied; "but I remember how my father used
to laugh at me about it, long afterward. He said I was very young to
have gentlemen running after me."

"I am that gentleman," he said. "When I first looked at you, I thought I
had seen you before; and now I see plainly that you are Loo Loo."

That name was associated with so many tender memories, that she seemed
to hear her father's voice once more. She nestled close to her new
friend, and repeated, in most persuasive tones, "You _will_ buy me?
Won't you?"

"And your mother? What has become of her?" he asked.

"She died of yellow fever, two days before my father. I am all alone.
Nobody cares for me. You _will_ buy me,--won't you?"

"But tell me how you came here, my poor child," he said.

She answered, "I don't know. After my father died, a great many folks
came to the house, and they sold everything. They said my father was
uncle to Mr. Jackson, and that I belonged to him. But Mrs. Jackson won't
let me call Mr. Duncan my father. She says, if she ever hears of my
calling him so again, she'll whip me. Do let me be _your_ daughter! You
_will_ buy me,--won't you?"

Overcome by her entreaties, and by the pleading expression of those
beautiful eyes, he said, "Well, little teaser, I will see whether Mr.
Jackson will sell you to me. If he will, I will send for you before

"Oh, don't _send_ for me!" she exclaimed, moving her hands up and down
with nervous rapidity. "Come _yourself_, and come _soon_. They'll carry
me to New Orleans, if _you_ don't come for me."

"Well, well, child, be quiet. If I can buy you, I will come for you
myself. Meanwhile, be a good girl. I won't forget you."

He stooped down, and sealed the promise with a kiss on her forehead.
As he raised his head, he became aware that Bill, the horse-boy, was
peeping in at the door, with a broad grin upon his black face. He
understood the meaning of that grin, and it seemed like an ugly imp
driving away a troop of fairies. He was about to speak angrily, but
checked himself with the reflection, "They will all think so. Black or
white, they will all think so. But what can I do? I _must_ save this
child from the fate that awaits her." To Bill he merely said that he
wished to see Mr. Jackson on business, and had, therefore, changed his
mind about starting before breakfast.

The bargain was not soon completed; for Mr. Jackson had formed large
ideas concerning the price "Leewizzy" would bring in the market; and
Bill had told the story of what he witnessed at the crib, with sundry
jocose additions, which elicited peals of laughter from his master. But
the orphan had won the young man's heart by the childlike confidence she
had manifested toward him, and conscience would not allow him to break
the solemn promise he had given her. After a protracted conference, he
agreed to pay eight hundred dollars, and to come for Louisa the next

The appearance of the sun, after a long, cold storm, never made a
greater change than the announcement of this arrangement produced in the
countenance and manners of that desolate child. The expression of fear
vanished, and listlessness gave place to a springing elasticity of
motion. Mr. Noble could ill afford to spare so large a sum for the
luxury of benevolence, and he was well aware that the office of
protector, which he had taken upon himself, must necessarily prove
expensive. But when he witnessed her radiant happiness, he could not
regret that he had obeyed the generous impulse of his heart. Now, for
the first time, she was completely identified with the vision of that
fairy child who had so captivated his fancy four years before. He never
forgot the tones of her voice, and the expression of her eyes, when she
kissed his hand at parting, and said, "I thank you, Sir, for buying me."


In a world like this, it is much easier to plan generous enterprises
than to carry them into effect. After Mr. Noble had purchased the child,
he knew not how to provide a suitable home for her. At first, he placed
her with his colored washerwoman. But if she remained in that situation,
though her bodily wants would be well cared for, she must necessarily
lose much of the refinement infused into her being by that early
environment of elegance, and that atmosphere of love. He did not enter
into any analysis of his motives in wishing her to be so far educated
as to be a pleasant companion for himself. The only question he asked
himself was, How he would like to have his sister treated, if she had
been placed in such unhappy circumstances. He knew very well what
construction would be put upon his proceedings, in a society where
handsome girls of such parentage were marketable; and he had so long
tacitly acquiesced in the customs around him, that he might easily have
viewed her in that light himself, had she not become invested with a
tender and sacred interest from the circumstances in which he had first
seen her, and the innocent, confiding manner in which she had implored
him to supply the place of her father. She was always presented to his
imagination as Mr. Duncan's beloved daughter, never as Mr. Jackson's
slave. He said to himself, "May God bless me according to my dealings
with this orphan! May I never prosper, if I take advantage of her
friendless situation!"

As for his _protégée_, she was too ignorant of the world to be disturbed
by any such thoughts. "May I call you Papa, as I used to call my
father?" said she.

For some reason, undefined to himself, the title was unpleasant to him.
It did not seem as if his sixteen years of seniority need place so wide
a distance between them. "No," he replied, "you shall be my sister." And
thenceforth she called him Brother Alfred, and he called her Loo Loo.

His curiosity was naturally excited to learn all he could of her
history; and it was not long before he ascertained that her mother was a
superbly handsome quadroon, from New Orleans, the daughter of a French
merchant, who had given her many advantages of education, but from
carelessness had left her to follow the condition of her mother, who
was a slave. Mr. Duncan fell in love with her, bought her, and remained
strongly attached to her until the day of her death. It had always
been his intention to manumit her, but, from inveterate habits of
procrastination, he deferred it, till the fatal fever attacked them
both; and so _his_ child also was left to "follow the condition of her
mother." Having neglected to make a will, his property was divided among
the sons of sisters married at a distance from him, and thus the little
daughter, whom he had so fondly cherished, became the property of Mr.
Jackson, who valued her as he would a handsome colt likely to bring
a high price in the market. She was too young to understand all the
degradation to which she would be subjected, but she had once witnessed
an auction of slaves, and the idea of being sold filled her with terror.
She had endured six months of corroding homesickness and constant fear,
when Mr. Noble came to her rescue.

After a few weeks passed with the colored washerwoman, she was placed
with an elderly French widow, who was glad to eke out her small income
by taking motherly care of her, and giving her instruction in music
and French. The caste to which she belonged on the mother's side was
rigorously excluded from schools, therefore it was not easy to obtain
for her a good education in the English branches. These Alfred took upon
himself; and a large portion of his evenings was devoted to hearing her
lessons in geography, arithmetic, and history. Had any one told him,
a year before, that hours thus spent would have proved otherwise than
tedious, he would not have believed it. But there was a romantic charm
about this secret treasure, thus singularly placed at his disposal; and
the love and gratitude he inspired gradually became a necessity of his
life. Sometimes he felt sad to think that the time must come when she
would cease to be a child, and when the quiet, simple relation now
existing between them must necessarily change. He said to the old French
lady, "By and by, when I can afford it, I will send her to one of the
best schools at the North. There she can become a teacher and take care
of herself." Madame Labassé smiled, shrugged her shoulders, and said,
"_Nous verrons_." She did not believe it.

The years glided on, and all went prosperously with the young merchant.
Through various conflicts with himself, his honorable resolution
remained unbroken. Loo Loo was still his sister. She had become
completely entwined with his existence. Life would have been very dull
without her affectionate greetings, her pleasant little songs, and the
graceful dances she had learned to perform so well. Sometimes, when he
had passed a peculiarly happy evening in this fashion, Madame Labassé
would look mischievous, and say, "But when do you think you shall send
her to that school?" True, she did not often repeat this experiment; for
whenever she did it, the light went out of his countenance, as if an
extinguisher were placed upon his soul. "I _ought_ to do it," he said
within himself; "but how _can_ I live without her?" The French widow was
the only person aware how romantic and how serious was this long
episode in his life. Some gentlemen, whom he frequently met in business
relations, knew that he had purchased a young slave, whom he had placed
with a French woman to be educated; but had he told them the true state
of the case, they would have smiled incredulously. Occasionally, they
uttered some joke about the fascination which made him so indifferent
to cards and horses; but the reserve with which he received such jests
checked conversation on the subject, and all, except Mr. Grossman,
discontinued such attacks, after one or two experiments.

As Mr. Noble's wealth increased, the wish grew stronger to place Louisa
in the midst of as much elegance as had surrounded her in childhood.
When the house at Pine Grove was unoccupied, they often went out there,
and it was his delight to see her stand under the Gothic arch of trees,
a beautiful _tableau vivant_, framed in vines. It was a place so full
of heart-memories to her, that she always lingered there as long as
possible, and never left it without a sigh. In one place was a tree her
father had planted, in another a rose or a jessamine her mother had
trained. But dearest of all was a recess among the pine-trees, on the
side of a hill. There was a rustic garden-chair, where her father had
often sat with her upon his knee, reading wonderful story-books, bought
for her on his summer excursions to New York or Boston. In one of her
visits with Alfred, she sat there and read aloud from "Lalla Rookh."
It was a mild winter day. The sunlight came mellowed through the
evergreens, a soft carpet of scarlet foliage was thickly strewn beneath
their feet, and the air was redolent of the balmy breath of pines. Fresh
and happy in the glow of her fifteen summers, how could she otherwise
than enjoy the poem? It was like sparkling wine in a jewelled goblet.
Never before had she read anything aloud in tones so musically
modulated, so full of feeling. And the listener? How worked the wine in
_him?_ A voice within said, "Remember your vow, Alfred! this charming
Loo Loo is your adopted sister"; and he tried to listen to the warning.
She did not notice his tremor, when he rose hastily and said, "The sun
is nearly setting. It is time for my sister to go home."

"Home?" she repeated, with a sigh. "_This_ is my home. I wish I could
stay here always. I feel as if the spirits of my father and mother were
with us here." Had she sighed for an ivory palace inlaid with gold, he
would have wished to give it to her,--he was so much in love!

A few months afterward, Pine Grove was offered for sale. He resolved to
purchase it, and give her a pleasant surprise by restoring her to her
old home, on her sixteenth birth-day. Madame Labassé, who greatly
delighted in managing mysteries, zealously aided in the preparations.
When the day arrived, Alfred proposed a long ride with Loo Loo,--in
honor of the anniversary; and during their absence, Madame, accompanied
by two household servants, established herself at Pine Grove. When
Alfred returned from the drive, he proposed to stop and look at the dear
old place, to which his companion joyfully assented. But nothing could
exceed her astonishment at finding Madame Labassé there, ready to
preside at a table spread with fruit and flowers. Her feelings
overpowered her for a moment, when Alfred said, "Dear sister, you said
you wished you could live here always; and this shall henceforth be your

"You are too good!" she exclaimed, and was about to burst into tears.
But he arrested their course by saying, playfully, "Come, Loo Loo, kiss
my hand, and say, 'Thank you, Sir, for buying me.' Say it just as you
did six years ago, you little witch!"

Her swimming eyes smiled like sunshine through an April shower, and she
went through the pantomime, which she had often before performed at his
bidding. Madame stepped in with her little jest: "But, Sir, when do you
think you shall send her to that _pension_?"

"Never mind," he replied, abruptly; "Let us be happy!" And he moved
toward the table to distribute the fruit.

It was an inspiring spring-day, and ended in the loveliest of
evenings. The air was filled with the sweet breath of jessamines and
orange-blossoms. Madame touched the piano, and, in quick obedience to
the circling sound, Alfred and Loo Loo began to waltz. It was long
before youth and happiness grew weary of the revolving maze. But when at
last she complained of dizziness, he playfully whirled her out upon the
piazza, and placed her on a lounge under the Cherokee rose her mother
had trained, which was now a mass of blossoms. He seated himself in
front of her, and they remained silent for some minutes, watching the
vine-shadows play in the moonlight. As Loo Loo leaned on the balustrade,
the clustering roses hung over her in festoons, and trailed on her white
muslin drapery. Alfred was struck, as he had been many times before,
with the unconscious grace of her attitude. In imagination, he recalled
his first vision of her in early childhood, the singular circumstance
that had united their destinies, and the thousand endearing experiences
which day by day had strengthened the tie. As these thoughts passed
through his mind, he gazed upon her with devouring earnestness. She was
too beautiful, there in the moonlight, crowned with roses!

"Loo Loo, do you love me?" he exclaimed.

The vehemence of his tone startled her, as she sat there in a mood still
and dreamy as the landscape.

She sprang up, and, putting her arm about his neck, answered, "Why,
Alfred, you _know_ your sister loves you."

"Not as a brother, not as a brother, dear Loo Loo," he said,
impatiently, as he drew her closely to his breast. "Will you be my love?
Will you be my wife?"

In the simplicity of her inexperience, and the confidence induced by
long habits of familiar reliance upon him, she replied, "I will be
anything you wish."

No flower was ever more unconscious of a lover's burning kisses than she
was of the struggle in his breast.

His feelings had been purely compassionate in the beginning of their
intercourse; his intentions had been purely kind afterward; but he had
gone on blindly to the edge of a slippery precipice. Human nature should
avoid such dangerous passes.

Reviewing that intoxicating evening in a calmer mood, he was
dissatisfied with his conduct. In vain he said to himself that he had
but followed a universal custom; that all his acquaintance would have
laughed in his face, had he told them of the resolution so bravely kept
during six years. The remembrance of his mother's counsels came freshly
to his mind; and the accusing voice of conscience said, "She was a
friendless orphan, whom misfortune ought to have rendered sacred. What
to you is the sanction of custom? Have you not a higher law within your
own breast?"

He tried to silence the monitor by saying, "When I have made a little
more money, I will return to the North. I will marry Loo Loo on the way
and she shall be acknowledged to the world as my wife, as she now is in
my own soul."

Meanwhile, the orphan lived in her father's house as her mother had
lived before her. She never aided the voice of Alfred's conscience by
pleading with him to make her his wife; for she was completely satisfied
with her condition, and had undoubting faith that whatever he did was
always the wisest and the best.

[To be continued.]


  The wind got up moaning, and blew to a breeze;
   I sat with my face closely pressed on the pane;
   In a minute or two it began to rain,
  And put out the sunset-fire in the trees.

  In the clouds' black faces broke out dismay
   That ran of a sudden up half the sky,
   And the team, cutting ruts in the grass, went by,
  Heavy and dripping with sweet wet hay.

  Clutching the straws out and knitting his brow,
   Walked Arthur beside it, unsteady of limb;
   I stood up in wonder, for, following him,
  Charley was used to be;--where was he now?

  "'Tis like him," I said, "to be working thus late!"--
   I said it, but did not believe it was so;
   He could not have staid in the meadow to mow,
  With rain coming down at so dismal a rate.

  "He's bringing the cows home."--I choked at that lie:
   They were huddled close by in a tumult and fret,
   Some pawing the dry dust up out of the wet,
  Some looking afield with their heads lifted high.

  O'er the run, o'er the hilltop, and on through the gloom
   My vision ran quick as the lightning could dart;
   All at once the blood shocked and stood still in my heart;--
  He was coming as never till then he had come!

  Borne 'twixt our four work-hands, I saw through the fall
   Of the rain, and the shadows so thick and so dim,
   They had taken their coats off and spread them on him,
  And that he was lying out straight,--that was all!



Custodit Dominus emnia ossa eorum.
Ps. xxxiii. 20


Not quite two miles from the city-gate known as the Porta Pia, there
stands, on the left hand of the Nomentan Way, the ancient, and, until
lately, beautiful, Church of St. Agnes outside the Walls. The chief
entrance to it descends by a flight of wide steps; for its pavement is
below the level of the ground, in order to afford easy access to the
catacombs known as those of St. Agnes, which opened out from it and
stretched away in interlacing passages under the neighboring fields.
It was a quiet, retired place, with the sacredness that invests every
ancient sanctuary, in which the prayers and hymns of many generations
have risen. The city was not near enough to disturb the stillness within
its walls; little vineyards, and plots of market-garden, divided from
each other by hedges of reeds and brambly roses, with wider open fields
in the distance, lay around it; a deserted convent stood at its side;
its precious marble columns were dulled and the gold ground of its
mosaics was dimmed by the dust of centuries; its pavement was deeply
worn; and its whole aspect was that of seclusion and venerable age,
without desertion and without decay.

The story of St. Agnes is one of those which at the beginning of the
fourth century became popular among the Christians and in the Church of
Rome. The martyrdom, under most cruel tortures and terrors, of a young
girl, who chose to die rather than yield her purity or her faith,
and who died with entire serenity and peace, supported by divine
consolations, caused her memory to be cherished with an affection and
veneration similar to that in which the memory of St. Cecilia was
already held,--and very soon after her death, which is said to have
taken place in the year 304, she was honored as one of the holiest of
the disciples of the Lord. Her story has been a favorite one through all
later ages; poetry and painting have illustrated it; and wherever the
Roman faith has spread, Saint Agnes has been one of the most beloved
saints both of the rich and the poor, of the great and of the humble.

In her Acts[A] it is related that she was buried by her parents in a
meadow on the Nomentan Way. Here, it is probable, a cemetery had already
for some time existed; and it is most likely that the body of the Saint
was laid in one of the common tombs of the catacombs. The Acts go on
to tell, that her father and mother constantly watched at night by her
grave, and once, while watching, "they saw, in the mid silence of the
night, an army of virgins, clothed in woven garments of gold, passing
by with a great light. And in the midst of them they beheld the most
blessed virgin Agnes, shining in a like dress, and at her right hand a
lamb whiter than snow. At this sight, great amazement took possession of
her parents and of those who were with them. But the blessed Agnes asked
the holy virgins to stay their advance for a moment, when she said to
her parents, 'Behold, weep not for me as for one dead, but rejoice with
me and wish me joy; for with all these I have received a shining seat,
and I am united in heaven to Him whom while on earth I loved with all my
heart.' And with these words she passed on." The report of this vision
was spread among the Christians of Rome. The pleasing story was received
into willing hearts; and the memory of the virgin was so cherished, that
her name was soon given to the cemetery where she had been buried,
and, becoming a favorite resting-place of the dead, its streets were
lengthened by the addition of many graves.

[Footnote A: This is the name given to the accounts of the saints and
martyrs composed in early times for the use of the Church.]

Not many years afterwards, Constantia, the daughter of the Emperor
Constantine, suffering from a long and painful disease, for which she
found no relief, heard of the marvellous vision, and was told of
many wonderful cures that had been wrought at the tomb and by the
intercession of the youthful Saint. She determined, although a pagan,
to seek the aid of which such great things were told; and going to the
grave of Agnes at night, she prayed for relief. Falling suddenly into a
sweet sleep, the Saint appeared to her, and promised her that she should
be made well, if she would believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. She awoke,
as the story relates, full of faith, and found herself well. Moved with
gratitude, she besought her father to build a church on the spot in
honor of Saint Agnes, and in compliance with her wish, and in accordance
with his own disposition to erect suitable temples for the services of
his new faith, Constantine built the church, which a few centuries later
was rebuilt in its present form and adorned with the mosaics that still

Nearly about the same time a circular building was erected hard by the
church, designed as a mausoleum for Constantia and other members of the
imperial family. The Mausoleum of Hadrian was occupied by the bodies of
heathen emperors and empresses, and filled with heathen associations.
New tombs were needed for the bodies of those who professed to have
revolted from heathenism. The marble pillars of the Mausoleum of
Constantia were taken from more ancient and nobler buildings, its walls
were lined with mosaics, and her body was laid in a splendid sarcophagus
of porphyry. In the thirteenth century, after Constantia had been
received into the liberal community of Roman saints, her mausoleum was
consecrated as a church and dedicated to her honor. A narrow, unworn
path leads to it from the Church of St. Agnes; it has been long left
uncared-for and unfrequented, and, stripped of its movable ornaments,
it is now in a half-ruinous condition. But its decay is more impressive
than the gaudy brightness of more admired and renovated buildings.
The weeds that grow in the crevices of its pavement and hang over the
capitals of its ancient pillars, the green mould on its walls, the
cracks in its mosaics, are better and fuller of suggestion to the
imagination than the shiny surface and the elaborate finish of modern
restorations. Restoration in these days always implies irreverence and
bad taste. But the architecture of this old building and the purpose
for which it was originally designed present a marked example of the
rapidity of the change in the character of the Christians with the
change of their condition at Rome, during the reign of Constantine. The
worldliness that follows close on prosperity undermined the spirit of
faith; the pomp and luxury of the court and the palace were carried into
the forms of worship, into the construction of churches, into the manner
of burial. Social distinctions overcame the brotherhood in Christ.
Riches paved an easy way into the next world, and power set up guards
around it. Imperial remains were not to mingle with common dust, and the
mausoleum of the princess rose above the rock-hewn and narrow grave of
the martyr and saint.

The present descent into the catacombs that lie near the churches of St.
Agnes and St. Constantia is by an entrance in a neighboring field, made,
after the time of persecution, to accommodate those who might desire
to visit the underground chapels and holy graves. A vast labyrinth of
streets spreads in every direction from it. Many chambers have been cut
in the rock at the side of the passages,--some for family burial-places,
some for chapels, some for places of instruction for those not yet fully
entered into the knowledge of the faith. It is one of the most populous
of the subterranean cemeteries, and one of the most interesting,
from the great variety in its examples of underground architectural
construction, and from the number of the paintings that are found upon
its walls. But its peculiar interest is, that it affords at one point a
marked example of the connection of an _arenarium_, or pit from which
_pozzolana_ was extracted, with the streets of the cemetery itself. At
this point, the bed of compact _tufa_, in which the graves are dug,
degenerates into friable and loosely compacted volcanic sand,--and it
was here, very probably, that the cemetery was begun, at a time when
every precaution had to be used by the Christians to prevent the
discovery of their burial-places. No other of the catacombs gives a
clearer exhibition of the differences in construction resulting from
the different objects of excavation. In the Acts known as those of St.
Valentine it is related, that in the time of Claudius many Christians
were condemned to work in certain sand-pits. Under cover of such
opportunities, occasions might be found in which hidden graves could
be formed in the neighboring harder soil. In digging out the sand, the
object was to take out the greatest quantity consistent with
safety, leaving only such supports as were necessary to hold up the
superincumbent earth. There are few regular paths, but wide spaces with
occasional piers,--the passages being of sufficient width to admit of
the entrance of beasts of burden, and even of carts. The soil crumbles
so easily, that no row of excavations one above another could be made in
it; for the stroke of the pick-axe brings it down in loose masses. The
whole aspect of the sand-pit contrasts strikingly with that of the
catacombs, with their three-feet wide galleries, their perpendicular
walls, and their tier on tier of graves.

The stratum of pozzolana at the Catacombs of St. Agnes overlies a
portion of the more solid stratum of tufa, and the entrance to the
sand-pit from the cemetery is by steps leading up from the end of a long
gallery. Such an entrance could have been easily concealed; and the tufa
cut out for the graves, after having been reduced to the condition of
pozzolana, might easily at night have been brought up to the floor of
the pit. In many of the Acts of the Martyrs it is said that they were
buried _in Arenario_, "in the sand-pit,"--an expression which, there
seems no good reason for doubting, meant in the catacombs whose entrance
was at the sand-pit, they not having yet received a distinctive name.

It is difficult to convey to a distant reader even a small share of the
interest with which one sees on the spot evidences of the reality of the
precautions with which, in those early centuries, the Christians of Rome
were forced to guard themselves against a persecution which extended to
their very burial-places,--or even of the interest with which one walks
through the unchanged paths dug out of the rock by this _tenebrosa et
lucifugax natio_. In the midst of the obscurity of history and the fog
of fable, here is the solid earth giving evidence of truth. Here one
sees where, by the light of his dim candle, the solitary digger hollowed
out the grave of one of the near followers of the apostles; and here one
reads in hasty and ill-spelt inscriptions something of the affection and
of the faith of those who buried their dead in the sepulchre dug in the
rock. The Christian Rome underground is a rebuke to the Papal Rome above
it; and, from the worldly pomp, the tedious forms, the trickeries, the
mistakes, the false claims and falser assertions, the empty architecture
that reveals the infidelity of its builders, the gross materialism, and
the crass superstition of the Roman Church, one turns with relief of
heart and eyes to the poverty and bareness of the dark and narrow
catacombs, and to the simple piety of the words found upon their
graves. In them is at once the exhibition and the promise of a purer
Christianity. In them, indeed, one may see only too plainly the
evidences of ignorance, the beginnings of superstitions, the first,
traces of the corruption of the truth, the proofs of false zeal and of
foolish martyrdoms,--but with these are also to be plainly seen the
purity and the spirituality of elevated Christian faith.

In the service of the Roman Church used at the removal of the bodies of
the holy martyrs from their graves in the catacombs is a prayer in which
are the words,--"Thou hast set the bodies of thy soldiers as guards
around the walls of this thy beloved Jerusalem";--and as one passes from
catacomb to catacomb, it is, indeed, as if he passed from station to
station of the encircling camp of the great army of the martyrs. Leaving
the burial-place of St. Agnes, we continue along the Nomentan Way to the
seventh milestone from Rome. Here the Campagna stretches on either side
in broad, unsheltered sweeps. Now and then a rough wall crosses the
fields, marking the boundaries of one of the great farms into which the
land is divided. On the left stands a low farm-house, with its outlying
buildings, and at a distance on each side the eye falls on low square
brick towers of the Middle Ages, and on the ruinous heaps of more
ancient tombs. The Sabine mountains push their feet far down upon the
plain, covered with a gray-green garment of olive-woods. Few scenes in
the Campagna are more striking, from the mingling of barrenness and
beauty, from the absence of imposing monumental ruins and the presence
of old associations. The turf of the wide fields was cropped in the
winter by the herds driven down at that season from the recesses of the
Neapolitan mountains, and the irregular surface of the soil afforded no
special indications of treasures buried beneath it. But the Campagna is
full of hidden graves and secreted buildings.

In the Acts of the Martyrdom of St. Alexander, who, according to the
story of the Church, was the sixth successor of St. Peter, and who was
put to death in the persecution of Trajan, in the year 117, it was said
that his body was buried by a Roman lady, Severina, "on her farm, at the
seventh milestone from Rome on the Nomentan Way." These Acts, however,
were regarded as apocryphal, and their statement had drawn but little
attention to the locality. In the spring of 1855, a Roman archaeologist,
Signore Guidi, obtained permission from the Propaganda, by whom the land
was now held, as a legacy from the last of the Stuarts, the Cardinal
York, to make excavations upon it. Beginning at a short distance from
the road, on the right hand, and proceeding carefully, he soon struck
upon a flight of steps formed of pieces of broken marble, which, at
about fifteen feet below the surface of the ground, ended upon a
floor paved with bits of marble, tombstones, and mosaics. As the work
proceeded, it disclosed the walls of an irregular church, that had been
constructed, like that of St. Agnes, partially beneath the soil, for the
purpose of affording an entrance into adjoining catacombs. Remains of
the altar were found, and portions of the open-work marble screen which
had stood before it over the crypt in which the bodies of St. Alexander
and one of his fellow-martyrs had been placed. A part of the inscription
on its border was preserved, and read as follows: ET ALEXANDRO DEDICATUS
fulfilment of a vow to ---- and Alexander, the Bishop Ursus consecrating
it." The Acts supply the missing name of Eventius,--an aged priest, who,
it was said, had conversed with some of the apostles themselves. His
greater age had at that early and simple time given him the place of
honor in the inscription and in men's memory before the youthful,
so-called, Pope Alexander. Probably this little church had been built in
the fourth century, and here a bishop had been appointed to perform the
rites within it.

It was a strange and touching discovery, that of this long-buried, rude
country-church,--the very existence of which had been forgotten for more
than a thousand years. On the 3d of May, 1855, the day set apart in the
calendar to the honor of the saints to whom it was consecrated, the holy
services were once more performed upon the ancient altar of the roofless
sanctuary. The voices of priest and choir sounded through the long
silent chapels, while the larks sang their hymns of gladness over the
fields above. On the rough floor, inscriptions, upon which, in the
early centuries, the faithful had knelt, were again read by kneeling
worshippers. On one broken slab of marble was the word MARTYR; on
another, the two words, SPARAGINA FIDELIS; on another, POST VARIAS

The catacombs opening from the church have not been entered to a great
distance, and though more rudely excavated than most of those nearer the
city, as if intended for the burial-places of a poorer population, they
are of peculiar interest because many of their graves remain in their
original state, and here and there, in the mortar that fastens their
tiled fronts, portions of the vessel of glass or pottery that held the
collected blood of the martyr laid within are still undisturbed. No
pictures of any size or beauty adorn the uneven walls, and no chapels
are hollowed out within them. Most of the few inscriptions are scratched
upon the mortar,--_Spiritus tuus in bono quiescat_,--but now and then a bit
of marble, once used for a heathen inscription, bears on its other side some
Christian words. None of the inscriptions within the church which bear
a date are later than the end of the fifth century, and it seems likely
that shortly after this time this church of the Campagna was deserted,
and its roof falling in, it was soon concealed under a mass of rubbish
and of earth, and the grass closed it with its soft and growing

During two years, the uncovered church, with its broken pillars, its
cracked altar, its imperfect mosaics, its worn pavement, remained open
to the sky, in the midst of solitude. But how could anything with such
simple and solemn associations long escape desecration at Rome? How
could such an opportunity for _restoration_ be passed over? How could so
sacred and venerable a locality be protected from modern superstition
and ecclesiastical zeal? In the spring of 1837, preparations were being
made for building upon the ground, and a Carthusian convent, it was
said, was to be erected, which would enclose within its lifeless walls
the remains of the ancient church. Once more, then, it is to be shut
out of the sky; and now it is not Nature that asserts her predominance,
protecting while she conceals, and throwing her mantle over the martyrs'
graves to keep them from sacrilege,--but she is driven away by the
builders of the papal court, and all precious old associations are
incongruous with those of modern Roman architecture and Roman conventual

One morning, in the spring of 1855, shortly after the discovery had been
made, the Pope went out to visit the Church of St. Alexander. On his
return, he stopped to rest in the unoccupied convent adjoining the
Church of St. Agnes. Here there was a considerable assemblage of those
who had accompanied him, and others who were admitted at this place to
join his suite. They were in the second story of the building, and the
Pope was in the act of addressing them, when suddenly the old floor,
unable to support the unaccustomed weight, gave way, and most of the
company fell with it to the floor below. The Pope was thrown down, but
did not fall through. The moment was one of great confusion and alarm,
the etiquette of the court was disturbed, but no person was killed and
no one dangerously hurt. In common language and in Roman belief, it was
a miraculous escape. The Pope, attributing his safety to the protection
of the Virgin and of St. Agnes, determined at once that the convent
should be rebuilt and reoccupied, and the church restored. The work
is now complete, and all the ancient charm of time and use, all the
venerable look of age and quiet, have been laboriously destroyed, and
gaudy, inharmonious color, gilding and polish have been substituted in
their place.

The debased taste and the unfeeling ignorance of restorers have been
employed, as so often in Italy, to spoil and desecrate the memorials
of the past; and the munificence of Pius, _Munificentia Pii IX._, is
placarded on the inner walls. One is too frequently reminded at Rome of
the old and new lamps in the story of Aladdin.

We turn reluctantly from the Nomentan Way, and passing through Rome,
we go out of the gate which opens on the Appian. About a mile from the
present wall, just where the road divides before coming to the Catacombs
of St. Callixtus, a little, ugly, white church, of the deformed
architecture of the seventeenth century, recalls, by its name of _Domine
quo vadis?_ "O Lord, whither goest thou?" one of the most impressive,
one of the earliest and simplest, of the many legends of the legendary
religious annals of Rome. It relates, that, at the time of the
persecution of Nero, St. Peter, being then in Rome, was persuaded to fly
secretly from the city, in the hope of escaping from the near peril.
Just as he reached this place, trembling, we may well believe, not more
with fear than with doubt, while past scenes rose vividly before him,
and the last words heard from his Master's lips came with a flood of
self-reproach into his heart,--as he hurried silently along, with head
bowed down, in the gray twilight, he became suddenly aware of a presence
before him, and, looking up, beheld the form of that beloved Master whom
he was now a second time denying. He beheld him, moreover, in the act
of bearing his cross. Peter, with his old ardor, did not wait to be
addressed, but said, _Domine, quo vadis?_--"O Lord, whither goest
thou?" The Saviour, looking at him as he had looked but once before,
replied, _Venio Romam iterum crucifigi_,--"I come to Rome to be
crucified a second time"; and thereupon disappeared. Peter turned,
reëntered the gate, and shortly after was crucified for his Lord's sake.
His body, it is said, was laid away in a grave on the Vatican Hill,
where his great church was afterwards built.

And here we come upon another legend, which takes us out again on the
Appian Way, to the place where now stands the Church of St. Sebastian.
St. Gregory the Great relates in one of his letters, that, not long
after St. Peter and St. Paul had suffered martyrdom, some Christians
came from the East to Rome to find the bodies of these their countrymen,
which they desired to carry back with them to their own land. They so
far succeeded as to gain possession of the bodies, and to carry them as
far as the second milestone on the Appian Way. Here they paused, and
when they attempted to carry the bodies farther, so great a storm of
thunder and lightning arose, that they were terrified, and did not
venture to repeat their attempt. By this time, also, the Romans had
become aware of the carrying off of the sacred bodies, and, coming out
from the city, recovered possession of them. One of the old pictures on
the wall of the portico of the ancient basilica of St. Peter's preserved
a somewhat different version of the legend, representing the Romans as
falling violently upon the Oriental robbers, and compelling them, with
a storm of blows, to yield up the possession of the relics they were
carrying away by stealth.

But the legend went on further to state, that, on the spot where they
thus had regained the bodies of their saints, the Romans made a deep
hole in the ground, and laid them away within it very secretly. Here for
some time they rested, but at length were restored to their original
tombs, the one on the Ostian Way, the other on the Vatican. But St.
Peter was again to be laid in this secret chamber in the earth on the
Appian Way. In the episcopate of the saint and scoundrel Callixtus,
the Emperor Elagabalus, with characteristic extravagance and caprice,
resolved to make a circus on the Vatican, wide enough for courses of
chariots drawn by four elephants abreast. All the older buildings in the
way were to be destroyed, to gratify this imperial whim; and Callixtus,
fearing lest the Christian cemetery, and especially the tomb of the
prince of the apostles might be discovered and profaned, removed the
body of St. Peter once more to the Appian Way. Here it lay for forty
years, and round it and near it an underground cemetery was gradually
formed; and it was to this burial-place, first of all, that the name
Catacomb,[B] now used to denote all the underground cemeteries, was

[Footnote B: A word, the derivation of which is not yet determined. The
first instance of its use is in the letter of Gregory from which we
derive the legend. This letter was written A.D. 594.]

Though at length St. Peter was restored to the Vatican, from which he
has never since been removed, and where his grave is now hidden by his
church, the place where he had lain so long was still esteemed sacred.
The story of St. Sebastian relates how, after his martyred body had been
thrown into the Cloaca Maxima, that his friends might not have the last
satisfaction of giving it burial, he appeared in a vision to Lucina, a
Roman lady, told her where his body might be found, and bade her lay it
in a grave near that in which the apostles had rested. This was done,
and less than a century afterward a church rose to mark the place of his
burial, and connected with it, Pope Damasus, the first great restorer
and adorner of the catacombs, [A.D. 266-285,] caused the chamber that
was formed below the surface of the ground around the grave of the
apostles to be lined with wide slabs of marble, and to be consecrated as
a subterranean chapel. It is curious enough that this pious work should
have been performed, as is learned from an inscription set up here by
Damasus himself, in fulfilment of a vow, on the extinction among the
Roman clergy of the party of Ursicinus, his rival. This custom of
propitiating the favor of the saints by fair promises was thus early
established. It was soon found out that it was well to have a friend
at court with whom a bargain could be struck. If the adorning of this
chapel was all that Damasus had to pay for the getting rid of his
rival's party, the bargain was an easy one for him. There had been
terrible and bloody fights in the Roman streets between the parties of
the contending aspirants for the papal seat. Ursicinus had been driven
from Rome, but Damasus had had trouble with the priests of his faction.
Some of them had been rescued, as he was hurrying them off to prison,
and had taken refuge with their followers in the Basilica of St. Maria
Maggiore. Damasus, with a mob of charioteers, gladiators, and others of
the scum of Rome, broke into the church, and slew a hundred and sixty
men and women who had been shut up within it. Ursicinus, however,
returned to the city; there were fresh disturbances, and a new massacre,
on this occasion, in the Church of St. Agnes; and years passed before
Damasus was established as undisputed ruler of the Church.

It was then, in fulfilment of the vow he had made during his troubles,
that _Saint_ Damasus (for he became a saint long since, success being a
great sanctifier) adorned the underground chapel of the apostles. The
entrance to it is through the modern basilica of St. Sebastian. It is
a low, semicircular chamber, with irregular walls, in which a row of
arched graves (_arcosolia_) has been formed, which once were occupied,
probably, by bodies of saints or martyrs. Near the middle of the chapel
is the well, about seven feet square, within which are the two graves,
lined with marble, where the bodies of the apostles are said to have
lain hid. Fragments of painting still remain on the walls of this
pit, and three faint and shadowy figures may be traced, which seem to
represent the Saviour between St. Peter and St. Paul. Over the mouth of
the well stands an ancient altar. However little credence may be given
to the old legends concerning the place, it is impossible not to look
with interest upon it. For fifteen hundred years worshippers have knelt
there as upon ground made holy by the presence of the two apostles. The
memory of their lives and of their teachings has, indeed, consecrated
the place; and though superstition has often turned the light of that
memory into darkness, yet here, too, has faith been strengthened, and
courage become steadfast, and penitence been confirmed into holiness, by
the remembrance of the zeal, the denial of Peter, and the forgiveness of
his Master, by the remembrance of the conversion, the long service, the
exhortations, and the death of Paul.

The catacombs proper, to which entrance may be had from the Basilica of
St. Sebastian, are of little importance in themselves, and have lost, by
frequent alteration and by the erection of works of masonry for their
support, much that was characteristic of their original construction.
During a long period, while most of the other subterranean cemeteries
were abandoned, this remained open, and was visited by numerous
pilgrims. It led visitors to the church, and the guardians of the church
found it for their interest to keep it in good repair. Thus, though
its value as one of the early burial-places of the Christians was
diminished, another interest attached to it through the character of
some of those visitors who were accustomed to frequent its dark paths.
Saint Bridget found some of that wild mixture of materialism and
mysticism, (a not uncommon mingling,) which passes under the name of
her Revelations, in the solitude of these streets of the dead. Here St.
Philip Neri, the Apostle of Rome, the wise and liberal founder of the
Oratorians, the still beloved saint of the Romans, was accustomed
to spend whole nights in prayer and meditation. Demons, say his
biographers, and evil spirits assailed him on his way, trying to terrify
him and turn him back; but he overcame them all. Year after year he kept
up this practice, and gained strength, in the solitude and darkness, and
in the presence of the dead, to resist fiercer demons than any that had
power to attack him from without. And it is related, that, when St.
Charles Borromeo, his friend, the narrow, but pure-minded reformer of
the Church, came to Rome, from time to time, he, too, used to go at
night to this cemetery, and watch through the long hours in penitence
and prayer. Such associations as these give interest to the cemetery of
St. Sebastian's Church.

The preëminence which the Appian Way, _regina viarum_, held among the
great streets leading from Rome,--not only as the road to the South and
to the fairest provinces, but also because it was bordered along its
course by the monumental tombs of the greatest Roman families,--was
retained by it, as we have seen, as the street on which lay the chief
Christian cemeteries. The tombs of the Horatii, the Metelli, the
Scipios, were succeeded by the graves of a new, less famous, but not
less noble race of heroes. On the edge of the height that rises just
beyond the Church of St. Sebastian stand the familiar and beautiful
ruins of the tomb of Cecilia Metella. Of her who was buried in this
splendid mausoleum nothing is known but what the three lines of the
inscription still remaining on it tell us,--


She was the daughter of Quintus, surnamed the Cretan, and the wife of
Crassus. But her tomb overlooks the ground beneath which, in a narrow
grave, was buried a more glorious Cecilia.[C] The contrast between the
ostentation and the pride of the tombs of the heathen Romans, and the
poor graves, hollowed out in the rock, of the Christians, is full of
impressive suggestions. The very closeness of their neighborhood to each
other brings out with vivid effect the broad gulf of separation that lay
between them in association, in affection, and in hopes.

[Footnote C: Guéranger, _Histoire de St. Cécile_. p. 45.]

Coming out from the dark passages of the Catacombs of St. Callixtus, in
the clear twilight of a winter's evening, one sees rising against the
red glow of the sky the broken masses of the ancient tombs. One city of
the dead lies beneath the feet, another stretches before the eyes far
out of sight. The crowded history of Rome is condensed into one mighty
spectacle. The ambitions, the hates, the valor, the passions, the
religions, the life and death of a thousand years are there; and, in
the dimness of the dusky evening, troops of the dead rise before the
imagination and advance in slow procession by opposite ways along the
silent road.

[To be continued]

       *       *       *       *       *




Did she talk of flesh and blood, when she said that she would find
him?--The summer passed away; and when autumn came, it could not be said
that search for the bodies of these fishermen was quite abandoned. But
no fragment of boat, nor body of father or son, ever came, by rumor or
otherwise, to the knowledge of the people of the Bay.

The voyage was long to Clarice. Marvellous strength and acuteness of
vision come to the eyes of those who watch. Keen grow the ears that
listen. The soldier's wife in the land of Nena Sahib inspires
despairing ranks: "Dinna ye hear the pibroch? Hark! 'The Campbells are
coming!'"--and at length, when the hope she lighted has gone out in
sullen darkness, and they bitterly resent the joy she gave them,--lo,
the bagpipes, banners, regiment! The pibroch sounds, "The Campbells
are coming!" The Highlanders are in sight!--But, oh, the voyage was
long,--and Clarice could see no sail, could hear no oar!

Clarice ceased to say that she must find the voyagers. She ceased to
talk of them. She lived in these days a life so silent, and, as
it seemed, so remote from other lives, that it quite passed the
understanding of those who witnessed it. Tears seldom fell from her
eyes, complaints never;--but her interest was aroused by no temporal
matter; she seemed, in her thoughts and her desires, as far removed as a
spirit from the influences of the external world.

This state of being no person who lives by bread alone could have
understood, or endured patiently, in one with whom in the affairs of
daily life he was associated.

The Revelator was an exile in Patmos.

Dame Briton was convinced that Clarice was losing her wits. Bondo Emmins
yielded to the force of some inexplicable law, and found her fairer
day by day. To his view, she was like a vision moving through a dream,
rather than like any actual woman; and though the drift of the vision
seemed not towards him, he was more anxious to compel it than to
accomplish any other purpose ever entertained. The actual nearness,
the apparent unattainableness, of that he coveted, excited in him such
desires of conquest and possession as he would seek to appease in
one way alone. To win her would have been to the mind of any other
inhabitant of Diver's Bay a feat as impracticable as the capture of the
noble ghost of Hamlet's father, as he stands exorcized by Mrs. Kemble.

And yet, while her sorrow made her the pity and the wonder of the
people, it did not keep her sacred from the reach of gossip. Observing
the frequency with which Bondo Emmins visited Old Briton's cabin, it was
profanely said by some that the pale girl would ere long avert her eyes
from the dead and fix them on the living.

Emmins had frequent opportunities for making manifest his good-will
towards the family of Briton. The old man fell on the ice one day and
broke his thigh, and was constrained to lie in bed for many a day, and
to walk with the help of crutches when he rose again. Then was the
young man's time to serve him like a son. He brought a surgeon from
the Port,--and the inefficiency of the man was not his fault, surely.
Through tedious days and nights Emmins sat by the old man's bedside,
soothing pain, enlivening weariness, endeavoring to banish the gloomy
elements that combined to make the cabin the abode of darkness. He would
have his own way, and no one could prevent him. When Old Briton's money
failed, his supplies did not. Even Clarice was compelled to accept his
service thankfully, and to acknowledge that she knew not how they could
have managed without him in this strait.

The accident, unfortunate as it might be deemed, nevertheless exercised
a most favorable influence over the poor girl's life. It brought her
soul back to her body, and spoke to her of wants and their supply,--of
debts, of creditors,--of fish, and sea-weed, and the market,--of bread,
and doctor's bills,--of her poor old father, and of her mother. She came
back to earth. Now, henceforth, the support of the household was with
her. Bondo Emmins might serve her father,--she had no desire to prevent
what was so welcome to the wretched old man,--but for herself, her
mother, the house, no favor from him!

And thus Clarice rose up to rival Bondo in her ready courage. When her
father, at last careful, at last anxious, thoughtful of the future,
began to express his fear, he met the ready assurance of his daughter
that she should be able to provide all they should ever want; let him
not be troubled; when the spring came, she would show him.

The spring came, and Clarice set to work as never in her industrious
life before. Day after day she gathered sea-weed, dried it, and carried
it to town. She went out with her mother in the fishing-boat, and the
two women were equal in strength and courage to almost any two men of
the Bay. She filled the empty fish-barrels,--and promised to double the
usual number. She dried wagon-loads of finny treasure, and she made good
bargains with the traders. No one was so active, no one bade fair to
turn the summer to such profit as Clarice. She had come back to flesh
and blood.--John came back from Patmos.

Her face grew brown with tan; it was not lovely as a fair ghost's, any
longer; it was ruddy,--and her limbs grew strong. Bondo Emmins marked
these symptoms, and took courage. People generally said, "She is well
over her grief, and has set her heart on getting rich. There is that
much of her mother in her." Others considered that Emmins was in the
secret, and at the bottom of her serenity and diligence.

Dame Briton and her spouse were not one whit wiser than their
neighbors. They could not see that any half-work was impossible with
Clarice,--that, if she had resolved, for their sake, to live as people
must, who have bodies to respect and God-originated wants to supply, she
must live by a ceaseless activity. Because she had ascended far beyond
tears, lamentation, helplessness, they thought she had forgotten.

Yes, they came to this conclusion, though now and then, not often,
generally on some pleasant Sunday, when all her work was done, Clarice
would go down to the Point and take her Sabbath rest there. No danger of
disturbance there!--of all bleak and desert places known to the people
of Diver's Bay, that point was bleakest and most deserted.

The place was hers, then. In this solitude she could follow her
thoughts, and be led by them down to the ocean, or away to heavenly
depths. It was good for her to go there in quietness,--to rest in
recollection. Strength comes ever to the strong. This pure heart had
nothing to fear of sorrow. Sorrow can only give the best it has to such
as she. Grief may weaken the selfish and the weak; it may make children
of the foolish and drivellers; by grief the inefficient may come to the
fulness of their inefficiency;--but out of the bitter cup the strong
take strength, though it may be with shuddering.

One Sunday morning Clarice lingered longer about the house than usual,
and Emmins, who had resolved, that, if she went that day to the Point,
he would follow her, found her with her father and mother, talking
merely for their pleasure,--if the languid tones of her voice and the
absent look of her eyes were to be trusted.

Emmins thought that this moment was favorable to him. He was sure of
Dame Briton and the old man, and he almost believed that he was sure
of Clarice. Finding her now with her father and mother at home on this
bright Sunday morning, one glance at her face surprised him and, almost
before he was aware, he had spoken what he had hitherto so patiently
refrained from speaking.

But the answer of Clarice still more surprised him. With her eyes gazing
out on the sea, she stood, the image of silence, while Bondo warily
set forth his hopes. Old Briton and the dame looked on and deemed the
symptoms favorable. But Clarice said,--

"Heart and hand I gave to him. I am the wife of Luke;--how can I marry

Bondo seemed eager to answer that question, for he hastily waved his
hand toward Dame Briton, who began to speak.

"Luke will never come back," said he, gently expostulating.

"But I shall go to him," was the quiet reply.

Then the old people, whose hearts were in the wooing, broke out
together,--and by their voices, if one should argue with them, strife
was not far off. Clarice staid one moment, as if to take in the burden
of each eager voice; then she shook her head:--

"I am married already," she said; "I gave him my heart and my hand. You
would not rob Luke Merlyn?"

When she had so spoken, calmly, firmly, as if it were impossible that
she should be moved or agitated by such speech as this she had heard,
Clarice walked away to the beach, unmoored her father's boat, and rowed
out into the Bay.

Bondo Emmins stood with the old people and gazed after her.

"Odd fish!" he muttered.

"Never mind," said Old Briton, hobbling up and down the sand; "it's the
first time she's been spoke to. She'll come round. I know Clarice."

"You know Clarice?" broke in Dame Briton. "You don't know her! She isn't
Clarice,--she's somebody else. Who, I don't know."

"Hush!" said Bondo, who had no desire that the couple should fall into
a quarrel. "I know who she is. Don't plague her. It will all come out
right yet. I'll wait. But don't say anything to her about it. Let me
speak when the time comes.--Where's my pipe, Dame Briton?"

Emmins spent a good part of the day with the old people, and did not
allow the conversation once to turn upon himself and Clarice. But he
talked of the improvements he should like to make in the old cabin, and
they discussed the market, and entertained each other with recollections
of past times, and with strange stories made up of odd imaginations and
still more uncouth facts. Supernatural influences were dwelt upon, and
many a belief in superstitions belonging to childhood was confessed in
peaceful unconsciousness of the fact that it was Clarice who had turned
all their thoughts to-day from the great prosaic highway where plain
facts have their endless procession.


Clarice went out alone in her fishing-boat, as during all the past week
she had purposed to do when this day came, if it should prove favorable.
She wished to approach the Point thus,--and her purpose in so doing was
such as no mortal could have suspected. And yet, as in the fulfilment
of this purpose she went, hastened from her delaying by the address of
Bondo Emmins, it seemed to her as if her secret must be read by the
three upon the beach.

She wore upon her neck, as she had worn since the days of her betrothal
to Luke, the cord to which the pearl ring was attached. The ring had
never been removed; but now, as Clarice came near to the Point, she
laid the oars aside, and with trembling hands untied the black cord and
disengaged the ring, and drew it on her finger, that trembled like a
leaf. She was doing now what Luke had bidden her do,--and for his
sake. Until now she had always looked upon it as a ring of betrothal;
henceforth it was her wedding-ring,--the evidence of her true marriage
with Luke Merlyn.

O unseen husband, didst thou see her as anew she gave herself to love,
to constancy, to duty?

She was floating toward the Point, when she knelt in the fishing-boat
and plunged the hand that wore the ring under the bright cold water. How
bright, how cold it was! It chilled Clarice; she shuddered; was she the
bride of Death? But she did not rise from her knees, neither withdraw
her hand, until her vow, the vow she was there to speak, was spoken.
There she knelt alone in the great universe, with God and Luke Merlyn.

When at last she stood upon the Point, she had strength to meet her
destiny, and patience to wait while it was being developed. She knew
her marriage covenant was blest, and filial duty was divested of every
thought or notion that could tempt or deceive her. Treading thus
fearlessly among the high places of imagination, no prescience of mortal
trouble could lurk among the mysterious shadows. By her faith in the
eternity of love she was greatly more than conqueror.

The day passed, and night drew near. It was the purpose of Clarice to
row home with the tide. But a strange thing happened to her ere she set
out to return. As she stood looking out upon the sea, watching the waves
as they rolled and broke upon the beach, a new token came to her from
the deep.

Almost as she might have waited for Luke, she stood watching the onward
drift; calculating the spot at which the waves would deposit their
burden, she stood there when the plank was borne inland, to save it, if
possible, from being dashed with violence on the rocks.

To this plank a child was bound,--a little creature that might be three
years old. At the sight of this form, and this helplessness, the heart
of the woman seemed to break into sudden living flame. She carried the
plank down to a level spot with an energy that would have made light of
a burden even ten times as great; she stooped upon the sand; she unbound
the body; and she thought, "The child is dead!" Nevertheless she took
him in her arms; she dried his limbs with her apron; she wiped his face,
and rubbed his hair;--but he gave no sign of life. Then she wrapped him
in her shawl, and laid him in the boat, and rowed home.

There was no one in the cabin when Clarice went in. When Dame Briton
came home, she found her daughter with a ring upon her finger, bending
over the body of a child that lay upon her bed.

The dame was quickly brought into service, and there was no reason to
fear that she would desist from her labors until she had received some
evidence of death or life. She and Clarice worked all night over the
body of the child, and towards morning were rewarded by the result. The
boy's eyes opened, and he tried to speak. By noon of that day he was
lying in the arms of Clarice, deathly pallor on his little face; but he
could speak, and his pretty eyes were open.

All those hours of mutual sympathy and striving, Dame Briton had been
thinking to say, "Clarice, what's the ring for?" But she had not said
it, when, in the afternoon, Bondo Emmins came into the cabin, and saw
Clarice with a beautiful boy in her arms, wrapped in her shawl, while
before the fire some rags of infant garments were drying.

They talked over the boy's fortune and the night's work, the dame taking
the chief conduct of the story; and Bondo was so much interested,
and praised the child so much, and spoke with so much concern of the
solitary, awful voyage the little one must have made, that, when he
subsequently offered to take the child in his arms, Clarice let him go,
and explained, when the young man began to talk to the boy, that he
could not understand a word, neither could she make out the meaning of
his speech.

Emmins heard Clarice say that she must go to the Port the next day and
learn what vessel had been lost, and if any passengers were saved; and
by daybreak he set out on that errand. He returned early in the morning
with the news that a merchantman, the "Gabriel," had gone down, and
that cargo and crew were lost. While he was telling this to Clarice he
observed the ring upon her finger, and he coupled the appearing of that
token with the serenity of the girl's face, and hailed his conclusion as
one who hoped everything from change and nothing from constancy.

Clarice had found the boy in the place where she had looked for Luke
that night when his cap was washed to her feet. Over and over again she
had said this to her father and mother while they busied themselves
about the unconscious child; now she said it again to Bondo Emmins, as
if there were some special significance in the fact, as indeed to her
there was. He was her child, and he should be her care, and she would
call him Gabriel.

People could understand the burden imposed upon the laborious life of
Clarice by this new, strange care. But they did not see the exceeding
great reward, nor how the love that lingered about a mere memory seemed
blessed to the poor girl with a blessing of divine significance.

To make the child her own by some special act that should establish her
right became the wish of Clarice. It was not enough for her that she
should toil for him while others slept, that she should stint herself in
order to clothe him in a becoming manner, that she should suffer anxiety
for him in the manifold forms best known to those who have endured it.
She had given herself to Luke, so that she feared no more from any man's
solicitation. She would fain assert her claim to this young life which
Providence had given her. But this desire was suggested by external
influence, as her marriage covenant had been.

Now and then a missionary came down to Diver's Bay, and preached in the
open air, or, if the weather disappointed him, in the great shed built
for the protection of fish-barrels and for the drying of fish. No
surprising results had ever attended his preaching; the meetings were
never large, though sometimes tolerably well attended; the preacher
was almost a stranger to the people; and the wonder would have been a
notable one, had there been any harvest to speak of in return for the
seed he scattered. The seed was good; but the fowls of the air were free
to carry it away; the thorns might choke it, if they would; it was not
protected from any wind that blew.

A few Sundays after Gabriel became the charge of Clarice, the missionary
came and preached to the people about Baptism. Though burdened with a
multitude of cares which he had no right to assume, which kept him busy
day and night in efforts lacking only the concentration that would have
made them effective, the man was earnest in his labor and his speech,
and it chanced now and then that a soul was ready for the truth he

On this occasion he addressed the parents in their own behalf and
that of their children. The bright day, the magnificent view his eyes
commanded from the place where he stood to address the handful of
people, the truth, with whose importance he was impressed, made him
eloquent. He spoke with power, and Clarice Briton, holding the hand of
little Gabriel, listened as she had never listened before.

"Death unto sin," this baptism signified, he said. She looked at the
child's bright face; she recalled the experience through which she had
passed, by which she was able to comprehend these words. She had passed
through death; she had risen to life; for Luke was dead, and was alive
again,--therefore she lived also. Tears came into the girl's eyes,
unexpected, abundant, as she listened to the missionary's pleading with
these parents, to give their little ones to their Heavenly Father, and
themselves to lives of holiness.

He would set the mark of the cross on their foreheads, he said, to show
that they were Christ's servants;--and then he preached of Christ,
seeking to soften the tough souls about him with the story of a divine
childhood; and he verily talked to them as one should do who felt that
in all his speaking their human hearts anticipated him. It was not
within the compass of his voice to reach that savage note which in
brutal ignorance condemns, where loving justice never could condemn.
He had an apprehension of the vital truth that belief in the world's
Saviour was not belief in a name, but the reception of that which Jesus
embodied. He came down to Diver's Bay, expecting to find human nature
there, and the only pity was that he had not time to perform what he
attempted. Let us, however, thank him for his honest endeavor; and be
glad, that, for one, Clarice was there to hear him,--she heard him so

To take a vow for Gabriel, to give him to God, to confirm him in
possession of the name she had bestowed, became the desire of Clarice.
One day when she had some business to transact in the market, she
dressed Gabriel in a new frock she had made for him, and took him with
her to the Port, carrying him in her arms half the way. She did not find
the minister, but she had tested the sincerity of her desire. When he
came down again to the Bay, as he did the next Sunday, she was waiting
to give him the first fruits of his labors there.

He arrived early in the morning, that he might forestall the fishermen
and their families in whatever arrangements they might be making for the
day. When Clarice first saw him, her heart for a moment failed her,--she
wished he had not come, or that she had gone off to spend the day before
she knew of his coming. But, in the very midst of her regrets, she
caught up Gabriel and walked forth to meet the preacher.

The missionary recognized Clarice, and he had already heard the story
of the child. He was the first to speak, and a few moments' talk, which
seemed to her endless, though it was about Gabriel, passed before she
could tell him how she had sought him in his own home on account of the
boy, and what her wish was concerning him.

A naturalist, walking along that beach and discovering some long-sought
specimen, at a moment when he least looked and hoped for it, would have
understood the feeling and the manner of the missionary just then.
Surprise came before gladness, and then followed much investigation,
whereby the minister would persuade himself, even as the naturalist
under similar circumstances would do, of the genuineness of what was
before him;--he must ascertain all the attending circumstances.

It was a simple story that his questioning drew forth. The missionary
learned something in the interview, as well as Clarice. He learned what
confidence there is in a noble spirit of resignation; that it need not
be the submission of helplessness. He saw anew, what he had learned for
himself under different circumstances, the satisfaction arising from
industry that is based on duty, and involves skill in craft, judgment in
affairs, and that integrity which keeps one to his oath, though it be
not to his profit. He heard the voice of a tender, pitiful, loving
womanhood, strongly manifesting its right to protect helplessness, by
the utterance of its convictions concerning that helplessness. He knew
that to such a woman the Master would have spoken not one word of
reproach, but many of encouragement and sympathy. So he spoke to her
of courage, and shared her hopes, by directing them with a generous
confidence in her. He was the man for his vocation, for in every strait
he looked to his human heart for direction,--and in his heart were not
only sympathy and gentleness, but justice and judgment.

While he talked to Clarice, the idea which had taken cognizance of
Gabriel alone enlarged,--it involved herself.

"What doth hinder me to be baptized?" she asked, in the words of Philip.

"If thou believest, thou mayest."

Accordingly, at the conclusion of the morning prayer, when the preacher
said, "Those persons to be baptized may now come forward," Clarice
Briton, leading little Gabriel by the hand, rose from her seat and
walked up before the congregation, and stood in the presence of all.

Not an eye was turned from her during the ceremony. When she lifted
Gabriel, and held him in her arms, and promised the solemn promises for
him as well as for herself, the souls that witnessed it thought that
they had lost Clarice. The tears rolled down Old Briton's cheeks when he
looked upon the girl. What he saw he did not half understand, but there
was an awful solemnity about the transaction, that overpowered him. He
and Dame Briton had come to the meeting because Clarice urged them to do
so;--she had said she was going to make a public promise about Gabriel,
and that was all she told them; for, beside that there was little time
for explanation in the hurry of preparing Gabriel and herself, Clarice's
heart was too deeply stirred to admit of speech. After she had obtained
the promise of her parents, she said no more to them; they did not hear
her speak again until her firm "I will" broke on their ears.

Dame Briton was not half pleased at what she saw and heard, during this
service. She looked at Bondo Emmins to see what he was thinking,--but
little she learned from his solemn face. When the sign of the cross was
laid on the forehead of Clarice, and on the forehead of Gabriel, a
frown for an instant was seen on his own; but it was succeeded by an
expression of feature such as made the dame look quickly away, for in
that same instant his eyes were upon her.

Enough of surprise and gaping wonder would Dame Briton have discovered
in other directions, had she sought the evidences; but from Bondo Emmins
she looked down at her "old man," and she saw his tears. Then came
Clarice, and before she knew it she was holding the little Christian
Gabriel in her stern old arms, and kissing away the drops of hallowed
water that flashed upon his eye-lids.

A sermon followed, the like of which, for poetry or wonder, was never
heard among these people. The preacher seemed to think this an occasion
for all his eloquence; nay, for the sake of justice, I will say, his
heart was full of rejoicing, for now he believed a church was grafted
here, a Branch which the Root would nourish. His words served to deepen
the impression made by the ceremonial. Clarice Briton and little Gabriel
shone in white raiment that day; and, thanks to him, when he went on to
prove the Kingdom of Heaven upon earth one with that mysterious majesty
on high, a single leap took Clarice Briton over the boundaries of faith.


But if to others Clarice seemed to have passed the boundary line of
their dominion, to herself the bond of neighborhood was strengthened.
The missionary told her all he had a right to expect of her now, as a
fellow-worker, and pointed out to her the ways in which she might second
his labors at the Bay. It was but a new form of the old work to which
she had been accustomed her life long. Never, except in the dark summer
months when all her life was eclipsed, had Clarice lived unmindful of
the old and sick and helpless, or of the little children. Her kindliness
of heart could surprise no one; her generosity was nothing strange; her
caution, her industry, her courage, her gentleness, were not traits to
which her character had been a stranger hitherto. But now they had
a brighter manifestation. She became more than ever diligent in her
service; the Sunday-school was the result of old sentiments in a new
and intelligent combination; and the neighbors, who had always trusted
Clarice, did not doubt her now. Novelty is always pleasing to simple
souls among whom innovation has not first taken the pains to excite
suspicion of itself.

For a long time, more than usual uncertainty seemed to attend the
chances of Gabriel's life. In the close watching and constant care
required of Clarice, the child became so dear to her, that doubtless
there was some truth in the word repeated in her hearing with intent to
darken any moment of special tenderness and joy, that this stranger was
dearer to her than her "born relations."

As much as was possible by gentle firmness and constant oversight,
Clarice kept him from hurtful influences. He was never mixed up in the
quarrels of ungoverned children; he never became the victim of their
rude sport or cruelty. She would preserve him peaceful, gentle, pure;
and in a measure her aim was accomplished. She was the defender,
companion, playmate of the child. She told him pretty tales, the
creations of her fancy, and strove by them to throw a soft illusion
around the rough facts of their daily life. The mystery surrounding him
furnished her not meagrely with material for her imagination; she could
invent nothing that seemed to herself incredible; her fairy tales were
not more wonderful than facts as she beheld them. She taught the boy
songs; she gave him language. The clothes he wore, bought with her own
money, fashioned by her own hands, were such as became the beauty of the
child, and the pure taste and the little purse of Clarice.

Never had a childhood so radiant in beauty, so wonderful in every
manifestation, developed before the eyes of the folk of Diver's Bay.
He became a wonder to the old and young. His sayings were repeated.
Enchantment seemed added to mystery;--anything might have been believed
of Gabriel.

Sometimes, when she had dressed him in his Sunday suit, and they were
alone together, Clarice would put upon his finger the pearl ring,--her
marriage ring. But she kept to herself the name of Luke Merlyn till the
time should come when, a child no longer, he should listen to the story;
and she would not make that story grievous for his gentle heart, but
sweet and full of hope. Well she knew how he would listen as none other
could,--how serious his young face would look when the sacred dawn of a
celestial knowledge should begin to break; then a new day would rise on
Gabriel, and nothing should separate them then.

But, lurking near her joy, and near her perfect satisfaction, even in
the days when some result much toiled for seemed to give assurance that
she was doing well and justly, was the shadow of a doubt. One day the
shadow deepened, and the doubt appeared. Clarice was sitting in the
doorway, busy at some work for Gabriel. The boy was playing with Old
Briton, who could amuse him by the hour, drawing figures in the sand.
Dame Briton was busy performing some household labor, when Bondo Emmins
came rowing in to shore. Gabriel, at the sound of the oars, ran to meet
the fisherman, who had been out all day; the fisherman took the child
in his arms, kissed him, then placed in his hands a toy which he had
brought for him from the Point, and bade him run and show it to Clarice.
Gabriel set out with shouts, and Emmins went back smiling to look after
his boatload.

"He's a good runner," said Old Briton, watching the child with laughter
in his eyes. Dame Briton, drawn to the door by the unusual noise, looked
out to see the little fellow flying into Clarice's arms, and she said,
softly, "Pretty creature!" while she strode back to her toil.

Presently, the little flutter of his joy having subsided, Gabriel sat
on the doorstep beside Clarice, his eyes seriously peering into the
undiscoverable mystery of the toy. Then Bondo came up, and the toy was
forgotten, the child darting away again to meet him. Emmins joined the
group with Gabriel in his arms, looking well satisfied.

"Gabriel is as happy as if this was his home in earnest," said he. He
dropped the words to try the group.

"His home!" cried Dame Briton, quickly. "Well, ain't it? Where then? I

The sharp tone of her voice told that the dame was not well pleased with
Bondo's remark; for the child had found his way into her heart, and she
would have ruined him by her indulgence, had it not been for Clarice's
constant vigilance. And this was not the least of the difficulties the
girl had to contend with. For Dame Briton, you may be sure, though she
might be compelled to yield to her daughter's better sense, could never
be constrained by her own child to hold her tongue, and the arguments
with which she abandoned many of her foolish purposes were almost
as fatal to Clarice's attempts at good government as the perfect
accomplishment of these purposes would have been.

Bondo answered her quick interrogatory, and the troubled wonder in the
eyes of Clarice, with a confused, "Of course it is his home; only I was
thinking, that, to be sure, they must have come from some place, and
maybe left friends behind them."

Now it seemed as if this answer were not given with malicious purpose,
but in proper self-defence; and by the time Clarice looked at him, and
made him thus speak, Bondo perhaps supposed that he had not intended to
trouble the poor soul. But he could not avoid perceiving that a deep
shadow fell upon the face of Clarice; and the conviction of her
displeasure was not removed when she arose and led the child away. But
Clarice was not displeased. She was only troubled sorely. She asked her
surprised self a dreary question: If anywhere on earth the child had
a living parent, or if he had any near of kin to whom his life was
precious, what right to Gabriel had she? Providence had sent him to her,
she had often said, with deep thankfulness; but now she asked, Had he
sent the child that she might restore him not only to life, but to
others, whom, but for her, death had forever robbed of him?

From the day that the shadow of this thought fell across her way, the
composure and deep content of the life of Clarice were disturbed. Not
merely the presence of Emmins became a trouble and annoyance, but the
praise that her neighbors were prompt to lavish on Gabriel, whenever she
went among them, became grievous to her ears. The shadow which had swept
before her eyes deepened and darkened till it obscured all the future.
She was experiencing all the trouble and difficulty of one who seeks to
evade the weight of a truth which has nevertheless surrounded and will
inevitably capture her.

Nothing of this escaped the eyes of the young fisherman. Time should
work for him, he said; he had shot an arrow; it had hit the mark; now he
would heal the wound. He might easily have persuaded himself that the
wound was accidental, and so have escaped the conviction of injury
wrought with intention. All would have been immediately well with him
and Clarice, had it not been for Clarice! There are persons, their name
is Legion, who are as wanton in offence as Bondo Emmins,--whose souls
are black with murderous records of hopes they have destroyed; yet they
will condole with the mourners!

To this doubt as to her duty, this evasion of knowledge concerning it,
this silence in regard to what chiefly occupied her conscience, was
added a new trouble. As Gabriel grew older, a restless, adventurous
spirit began to manifest itself in him. From a distance regarding the
daring feats of other children, his impulse was to follow and imitate
them. At times, in ungovernable outbreaks of merriment, he would escape
from the side of Clarice, with fleet, daring steps which seemed to set
her pleasure at defiance; and when, after his first exploit, which
filled her with astonishment, she prepared to join him in his sport, and
did follow, laughing, a wilfulness, which made her tremble, roused to
resist her, and gave an almost tragic ending to the play.

One day she missed the lad. Searching for him, she found that he had
gone out in a boat with other children, among whom he sat like a little
king, giving his orders, which the rest were obeying with shouted
repetitions. When Clarice called to him, and begged the children to
return, he followed their example, took off his cap, and waved it at
her, in defiance, with the rest.

Clarice sat down on the shore in despair. Bitter tears ran down her

Bondo Emmins passed by, and saw what was going on. "Ho! ho! Clarice
needs some one to help her hold the rein," said he to himself; and going
to the water's edge, he raised his voice, and beckoned the children
ashore. He enforced the gesture by a word,--"Come home!"

The little rebels did not wait a second summons, but obeyed the strong
voice of the strong man, trembling. They paddled the boat to the shore,
and landed quite crestfallen, ashamed, it seemed. Then Bondo, having bid
the youngsters disperse, with a threat, if he ever saw them engaged in
the like business, walked away, without speaking to Gabriel, or even
looking at him.


Clarice was half annoyed at this interference; it seemed to suppose, she
thought, that she was unequal to the management of her own affairs.--But
_was_ she equal to it?

After Bondo had walked away, she called to Gabriel, who stood alone when
the other children had deserted him, and knew not what to do. He would
have run away, had he not been afraid of fisherman Emmins.

"Come here, my son," said Clarice. She did not speak very loud, nor in
the least sternly; but he heard her quite distinctly, and he hesitated.

"I'm not your son!" he concluded to answer.

A sword through the heart of Clarice would have killed her, but there
are pains which do not slay that are worse than the pains of death.
Clarice Briton's face was pale with anguish, when she arose and said,--

"Gabriel, come here!"

The child saw something awful in her eyes, and heard in her voice
something that made him tremble. He came, and sat down in the place to
which Clarice pointed. It was a hard moment for her. Other words bitter
as this, which disowned her love and care and defied her authority, the
child could not have spoken. She answered him as if he had not been a
child; and a truth which no words could have made him comprehend seemed
to break upon and overwhelm him, while she spoke.

"It is true," she said, "you are not my son. I have no right to call you
mine. Listen, Gabriel, while I tell you how it happens that you live
with me, and I take care of you, as if you were my child. I was down at
the Point one day,--that place where we go to watch the birds, you know,
my--Gabriel. While I sat there alone, I saw a plank that was dashed by
the waves up and down, as you see a boat carried when the wind blows
hard and sounds so terrible; but there was nobody to take care of that
plank except God,--and He, oh, He, is always able to take care! When
that plank was washed near to the shore, I stepped out on the rocks and
caught it, and then I saw that a little child was tied fast to it; so I
knew that some one must have thrown him into the water, hoping that he
would be picked up. I do not know what they who threw the little child
into the sea called him; but I, who found him, called him Gabriel, and I
carried him, all dripping with the salt sea-water, to my father's cabin.
I laid him on my bed, and my mother and I never stopped trying to waken
him, till he opened his eyes; for he lay just like one who never meant
to open his eyes or speak again. At last my mother said, 'Clarice, I
feel his heart beat!' and I said in my heart, 'If it please God to spare
his life, I will work for him, and take care of him, and be a mother to
him.' And I thought, 'He will surely love me always, because God has
sent him to me, and I have taken him, and have loved him.' But now he
has left me! He is mine no more! And oh, how I have loved him!"

Long before this story was ended, tears were running down Gabriel's
face, and he was drawing closer and closer to Clarice. When she ceased
speaking, he hid his face in her lap and cried aloud, according to the
boisterous privilege of childhood.

"Oh, mother, dear mother, I haven't gone away! I'm here! I do love you!
I am your little boy!"

"Gabriel! Gabriel! it was terrible! terrible!" burst from Clarice, with
a groan, and a flood of tears.

"Oh, don't, mother! Call me your boy! Don't say, Gabriel! Don't cry!"

So he found his way through the door of the heart that stood wide open
for him. Storm and darkness had swept in, if he had not.

The reconciliation was perfect; but the shadow that had obscured the
future deepened that obscurity after this day's experience. If her right
to the lad needed no vindication, was she capable of the attempted
guidance and care? Could she bear this blessed burden safely to the end?

Sometimes, for a moment, it may have seemed to Clarice that Bondo Emmins
could alone help her effectually out of her bewilderment and perplexity.
She had not now the missionary with whom to consult, in whose wisdom to
confide; and Bondo had a marvellous influence over the child.

He was disposed to take advantage of that influence, as he gave
evidence, not long after the exhibition of his control over the
boat-load of delinquents, by asking Clarice if she were never going
to reward his constancy. He seemed at this time desirous of bringing
himself before her as an object of compassion, if nothing better; but
she, having heard him patiently to the end of what he had to urge in his
own behalf and that of her parents, replied in words that were certainly
of the moment's inspiration, and almost beyond her will; for Clarice
had been of late so much troubled, no wonder if she should mistake
expediency for right.

"I am married already," she said. "You see this ring. Do you not know
what it has meant to me, Bondo, since I first put it on? Death, as you
call it, cannot part Luke Merlyn and me. 'Heart and hand,' he said.
Can I forget it? My hand is free,--but he holds it; and my heart is
his.--But I can serve you better than you ask for, Bondo Emmins. You
learned the name of the vessel that sailed from Havre and was lost. Take
a voyage. Go to France. See if Gabriel has any friends there who have a
right to him, and will serve him better than I can; and if he has such
friends, I myself will take Gabriel to them. Yes, I will do it.--You
will love a sailor's life, Bondo. You were born for that. Diver's Bay
is not the place for you. I have long seen it. The sea will serve you
better than I ever could. Go, and Clarice will thank you. Oh, Bondo, I
beg you!"

At these words the man so appealed to became scarlet. He seemed
to reflect on what Clarice had said,--seriously to ponder; but his
amazement at her words had almost taken away his power of speech.

"The Gabriel sailed from Havre," said he, slowly, "If I went out as a
deckhand in the next ship that sails"--


"To scour the country--I hope I shan't find what I look for; you
couldn't live without him.--Very likely you will think me a fool for my
pains. You will not give me yourself. You would have me take away the
lad from you."--He looked at Clarice as if his words passed his belief.

"Yes, only do as I say,--for I know it must be the best for us all.
There is nothing else to be done,--no other way to live."

"France is a pretty big country to hunt over for a man whose name you
don't know," said Emmins, after a little pause.

"You can find what passengers sailed in the Gabriel," answered Clarice,
eager to remove every difficulty, and ready to contend with any that
could possibly arise. "The vessel was a merchantman. Such vessels don't
take out many passengers.--Besides, you will see the world.--It is for
everybody's sake! Not for mine only,--no, truly,--no, indeed! May-be
if another person around here had found Gabriel, they would never have
thought of trying to find out who he belonged to."

"I guess so," replied Bondo, with a queer look. "Only now be honest,
Clarice; it's to get rid of me, isn't it? But you needn't take that
trouble. If you had only told me right out about Luke Merlyn"--

While Bondo Emmins spoke thus, his face had unconsciously the very
expression one sees on the face of the boy whose foot hovers a moment
above the worm he means to crush. The boy does not expect to see the
worm change to a butterfly just then and there, and mount up before his
very eyes toward the empyrean. Neither did Bondo Emmins anticipate her

"You knew about it all the while."

"Not the whole," said he,--"that you were married to Luke, as you say";
and the fisherman looked hastily around him, as if he had expected to
see the veritable Luke.

"It isn't to get rid of you, then, Bondo," Clarice explained; "but I
read in the Book you don't think much of, but it's everything to me, _If
ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give
you that which is your own?_ So you see, I am a little selfish in it
all; for I want peace of mind, and I never shall have peace till it is
settled about Gabriel; if I must give him up, I can."

Bondo Emmins looked at Clarice with a strange look, as she spoke these
words,--so faltering in speech, so resolute in soul.

"And if I'm faithful over another man's," said he, "better the chance of
getting my own, eh? But I wonder what my own is."

"Everything that you can earn and enjoy honestly," replied Clarice.

Emmins rose up quickly at these words. He walked off a few paces without
speaking. His face was gloomy and sullen as a sky full of tornadoes when
he turned his back on Clarice,--hardly less so when he again approached

"I am no fool," said he, as he drew near.--From his tone one could
hardly have guessed that his last impulse was to strike the woman to
whom he spoke.--"I know what you mean. You haven't sent me on a fool's
errand. Good bye. You won't see me again, Clarice--till I come back from
France. Time enough to talk about it then."

He did not offer to take her hand when he had so spoken, but was off
before Clarice could make any reply.

Clarice thought that she should see him again; but he went away without
speaking to any other person of his purpose; and when wonder on account
of his absence began to find expression in her father's house, and
elsewhere, it was she who must account for it. People thereat praised
him for his good heart, and made much of his generosity, and wondered if
this voyage were not to be rewarded by the prize for which he had sought
openly so long. Old Briton and his dame inclined to that opinion.

But in the week following that of his departure there was a great stir
and excitement among the people of the Bay. Little Gabriel was missing.
A search, that began in surprise when Clarice returned home from some
errand, was continued with increasing alarm all day, and night descended
amid the general conviction that the child was drowned. He had been seen
at play on the shore. No one could possibly furnish a more reasonable
explanation. Every one had something to say, of course, and Clarice
listened to all, turning to one speaker after another with increasing
despair. Not one of them could restore the child to life, if he was

There was a suspicion in her heart which she shared with none. It
flashed upon her, and there was no rest after, until she had satisfied
herself of its injustice. She went alone by night to town, and made her
way fearlessly down to the harbor to learn if any vessel had sailed
that day, and when the last ship sailed for Havre. The answers to the
inquiries she made convinced her that Bondo Emmins must have sailed for
France the day after his last conversation with her.

By daylight Clarice was again on the shore of Diver's Bay, there to
renew a search which for weeks was not abandoned. Gabriel had a place in
many a rough man's heart, and the women of the Bay knew well enough that
he was unlike all other children; and though it did not please them well
that Clarice should keep him so much to herself, they still admired
the result of such seclusion, and praised his beauty and wonderful
cleanliness, as though these tokens of her care were really beyond the
common range of things,--attainable, in spite of all she could say, by
no one but Clarice Briton, and for no one but Gabriel. These fishermen
and their wives did not speedily forget the wonderful boy; the boats
never went out but those who rowed them thought about the child; the
gatherers of sea-weed never went to their work but they looked for some
token of him; and for Clarice,--let us say nothing of her just here.
What woman needs to be told how that woman watched and waited and


Few events ever occurred to disturb the tranquillity of the people of
Diver's Bay. People wore out and dropped away, as the old fishing boats
did,--and new ones took their place.

Old Briton crumbled and fell to pieces, while he watched for the return
of Bondo Emmins. And Clarice buried her old mother. She was then left
alone in the cabin, with the reminiscences of a hard lot around her. The
worn-out garments, and many rude traces of rough toil, and the toys, few
and simple, which had belonged to Gabriel, constituted her treasures.
What was before her? A life of labor and of watching; and Clarice was
growing older every day.

Her hair turned gray ere she was old. The hopes that had specially
concerned her had failed her,--all of them. She surveyed her experience,
and said, weighing the result, the more need that she should strive to
avert from others the evils they might bring upon themselves, so that,
when the Lord should smite them, they, too, might be strong. The
missionary had long since left this field of labor and gone to another,
and his place at Diver's Bay was unfilled by a new preacher. The more
need, then, of her. Remembering her lost child, she taught the children
of others. She taught them to read and sew and knit, and, what was more
important, taught them obedience and thankfulness, and endeavored to
inspire in them some reverence and faith. The Church did not fall into
ruin there.

I wish that I might write here,--it were so easy, if it were but
true!--that Bondo Emmins came back to Diver's Bay in one of those long
years during which she was looking for him, and that he came scourged by
conscience to ask forgiveness of his diabolic vengeance.

I wish that I might write,--which were far easier, if it were but
fact,--that all the patience and courage of the Pure Heart of Diver's
Bay, all the constancy that sought to bring order and decency and
reverence into the cabins there, met at last with another external
reward than merely beholding, as the children grew up to their duties
and she drew near to death, the results of all her teaching; that those
results were attended by another, also an external reward; that the
youth, who came down like an angel to fill her place when she was gone,
had walked into her house one morning, and surprised her, as the Angel
Gabriel once surprised the world, by his glad tidings. I wish, that,
instead of kneeling down beside her grave in the sand, and vowing there,
"Oh, mother! I, who have found no mother but thee in all the world, am
here, in thy place, to strive as thou didst for the ignorant and
the helpless and unclean," he had thrown his arms around her living
presence, and vowed that vow in spite of Bondo Emmins, and all the world

But it seems that the gate is strait, and the path is ever narrow, and
the hill is difficult. And the kinds of victory are various, and the
badges of the conquerors are not all one. And the pure heart can wear
its pearl as purely, and more safely, in the heavens, where the
white array is spotless,--where the desolate heart shall be no more
forsaken,--where the BRIDEGROOM, who stands waiting the Bride, says,
"Come, for all things are now ready!"--where the SON makes glad. Pure
Pearl of Diver's Bay! not for the cheap sake of any mortal romance will
I grieve to write that He has plucked thee from the deep to reckon thee
among His pearls of price.

       *       *       *       *       *


  I bore my mystic chalice unto Earth
    With vintage which no lips of hers might name;
  Only, in token of its alien birth,
    Love crowned it with his soft, immortal flame,
           And, 'mid the world's wide sound,
      Sacred reserves and silences breathed round,--
    A spell to keep it pure from low acclaim.

  With joy that dulled me to the touch of scorn,
    I served;--not knowing that of all life's deeds
  Service was first; nor that high powers are born
    In humble uses. Fragrance-folding seeds
         Must so through flowers expand,
      Then die. God witness that I blessed the Hand
   Which laid upon my heart such golden needs!

  And yet I felt, through all the blind, sweet ways
    Of life, for some clear shape its dreams to blend,--
  Some thread of holy art, to knit the days
    Each unto each, and all to some fair end,
        Which, through unmarked removes,
      Should draw me upward, even as it behooves
    One whose deep spring-tides from His heart descend.

  To swell some vast refrain beyond the sun,
    The very weed breathed music from its sod;
  And night and day in ceaseless antiphon
    Rolled off through windless arches in the broad
        Abyss.--Thou saw'st I, too,
      Would in my place have blent accord as true,
    And justified this great enshrining, God!

  Dreams!--Stain it on the bending amethyst,
    That one who came with visions of the Prime
  For guide somehow her radiant pathway missed,
    And wandered in the darkest gulf of Time.
          No deed divine thenceforth
      Stood royal in its far-related worth;
    No god, in truth, might heal the wounded chime.

  Oh, how? I darkly ask;--and if I dare
    Take up a thought from this tumultuous street
  To the forgotten Silence soaring there
    Above the hiving roofs, its calm depths meet
           My glance with no reply.
      Might I go back and spell this mystery
    In the new stillness at my mother's feet,--

  I would recall with importunings long
    That so sad soul, once pierced as with a knife,
  And cry, Forgive! Oh, think Youth's tide was strong,
    And the full torrent, shut from brain and life,
           Plunged through the heart, until
      It rocked to madness, and the o'erstrained will
    Grew wild, then weak, in the despairing strife!

  And ever I think, What warning voice should call,
    Or show me bane from food, with tedious art,
  When love--the perfect instinct, flower of all
    Divinest potencies of choice, whose part
           Was set 'mid stars and flame
      To keep the inner place of God--became
    A blind and ravening fever of the heart?

  I laugh with scorn that men should think them praised
    In women's love,--chance-flung in weary hours,
  By sickly fire to bloated worship raised!--
    O long-lost dream, so sweet of vernal flowers!
           Wherein I stood, it seemed,
      And gave a gift of queenly mark!--I _dreamed_
    Of Passion's joy aglow in rounded powers.

  I dreamed! The roar, the tramp, the burdened air
    Pour round their sharp and subtle mockery.
  Here go the eager-footed men; and there
    The costly beggars of the world float by;--
              Lilies, that toil nor spin,
      How should they know so well the weft of sin,
    And hide me from them with such sudden eye?

  But all the roaming crowd begins to make
    A whirl of humming shade;--for, since the day
  Is done, and there's no lower step to take,
    Life drops me here. Some rough, kind hand, I pray,
                 Thrust the sad wreck aside,
      And shut the door on it!--a little pride,
    That I may not offend who pass this way.

  And this is all!--Oh, thou wilt yet give heed!
    No soul but trusts some late redeeming care,--
  But walks the narrow plank with bitter speed,
    And, straining through the sweeping mist of air,
              In the great tempest-call,
      And greater silence deepening through it all,
    Refuses still, refuses to despair!

  Some further end, whence thou refitt'st with aim
    Bewildered souls, perhaps?--Some breath in me,
  By thee, the purest, found devoid of blame,
    Fit for large teaching?--Look!--I cannot see,--
           I can but feel!--Far off,
      Life seethes and frets,--and from its shame and scoff
    I take my broken crystal up to thee.

       *       *       *       *       *




The most remarkable event of the "Hundred Days" was the celebrated
"Champ de Mai," where Napoleon met deputies from the Departments, and
distributed eagles to representatives of his forces. He intended it as
an assembly of the French people, which should sanction and legalize his
second accession to the throne, and pledge itself, by solemn adjuration,
to preserve the sovereignty of his family. It was a day of wholesale
swearing, and the deputies uttered any quantity of oaths of eternal
fidelity, which they barely kept three weeks. The distribution of the
eagles was the only real and interesting part of the performance, and
the deep sympathy between both parties was very evident. The Emperor
stood in the open field, on a raised platform, from which a broad flight
of steps descended; and pages of his household were continually running
up and down, communicating with the detachments from various branches of
the army, which passed in front of him, halting for a moment to receive
the eagles and give the oath to defend them.

I was present during the whole of this latter ceremony. Through the
forbearance of a portion of the Imperial Guard, into whose ranks I
obtruded myself, I had a very favorable position, and felt that in this
part of the day's work there was no sham.

I would here bear testimony to the character of those veterans known as
the "Old Guard." I frequently came in contact with individuals of them,
and liked so well to talk with them, that I never lost a chance of
making their acquaintance. One, who was partial to me because I was an
American, had served in this country with Rochambeau, had fought under
the eye of Washington, and was at the surrender of Cornwallis. He had
borne his share in the vicissitudes of the Republic, the Consulate, and
the Empire. He was scarred with wounds, and his breast was decorated
with the cross of the Legion of Honor, which he considered an ample
equivalent for all his services. My intercourse with these old soldiers
confirmed what has been said of them, that they were singularly mild
and courteous. There was a gentleness of manner about them that was
remarkable. They had seen too much service to boast of it, and they
left the bragging to younger men. Terrible as they were on the field of
battle, they seemed to have adopted as a rule of conduct, that

  "In peace, there's nothing so becomes a man
  As modest stillness and humility."

On this memorable day, I saw Napoleon more distinctly than at any other
time. I was frequently present when he was reviewing troops, but either
he or they were in motion, and I had to catch a glimpse of him as
opportunities offered. At this time, as he passed through the Champs
Elysées, I stood among my friends, the soldiers, who lined the way, and
who suffered me to remain where a man would not have been tolerated. He
was escorted by the Horse Grenadiers of the Guard. His four brothers
preceded him in one carriage, while he sat alone in a state coach, all
glass and gold, to which pages clung wherever they could find footing.
He was splendidly attired, and wore a Spanish hat with drooping
feathers. As he moved slowly through the crowd, he bowed to the right
and left, not in the hasty, abrupt way which is generally attributed to
him, but in a calm, dignified, though absent manner. His face was one
not to be forgotten. I saw it repeatedly; but whenever I bring it up, it
comes before me, not as it appeared from the window of the Tuileries, or
when riding among his troops, or when standing, with folded arms or his
hands behind him, as they defiled before him; but it rises on my vision
as it looked that morning, under the nodding plumes,--smooth, massive,
and so tranquil, that it seemed impossible a storm of passion could ever
ruffle it. The complexion was clear olive, without a particle of color,
and no trace was on it to indicate what agitated the man within. The
repose of that marble countenance told nothing of the past, nor of
anxiety for the deadly struggle that awaited him. The cheering sounds
around him did not change it; they fell on an ear that heard them not.
His eye glanced on the multitudes; but it saw them not. There was more
machinery than soul in the recognition, as his head instinctively swayed
towards them. The idol of stone was there, joyless and impassive amidst
its worshippers, taking its lifeless part in this last pageant. But the
thinking, active man was elsewhere, and returned only when he found
himself in the presence of delegated France, and in the more congenial
occupation which succeeded.

Immediately after this event, all the available troops remaining in
Paris were sent toward the Belgian frontier, and in a few days were
followed by the Emperor. Then came an interval of anxious suspense,
which Rumor, with her thousand tongues, occupied to the best of her
ability. I was in the country when news of the first collision arrived,
and a printed sheet was sent to the château where I was visiting, with
an account of the defeat of the Prussians at Ligny and the retreat of
the British at Quatre Bras. Madame Ney was staying in the vicinity; and,
as the Marshal had taken an active part in the engagement, I was sent to
communicate to her the victory. She was ill, and I gave the message to
a lady, her connection, much pleased to be the bearer of such welcome
intelligence. I returned that day to Paris, and found my schoolmates in
the highest exhilaration. Every hour brought confirmation of a decisive
victory. It was thought that the great battle of the campaign had been
fought, and that the French had only to follow up their advantage.
Letters from officers were published, representing that the Allies were
thoroughly routed, and describing the conflict so minutely, that there
could be no doubt of the result. All was now joy and congratulation; and
conjectures were freely made as to the terms to be vouchsafed to the
conquered, and the boundary limits which should be assigned to the
territory of France.

A day or two after this, we made a customary visit to a swimming-school
on the Seine, and some of us entered into conversation with the
gendarme, or police soldier, placed there to preserve order. He was very
reserved and unwilling to say much; but, at last, when we dwelt on the
recent successes, he shook his head mournfully, and said he feared there
had been some great disaster; adding, "The Emperor is in Paris. I saw
him alight from his carriage this morning, when on duty; he had very few
attendants, and it was whispered that our army had been defeated." That
my companions did not seek relief at the bottom of the river can be
ascribed only to their entire disbelief of the gendarme's story. But, as
they returned home, discussing his words at every step, fears began to
steal over them when they reflected how seriously he talked and how
sorrowful he looked.

The gendarme spoke the truth. Napoleon was in Paris. His army no longer
existed, and his star had been blotted from the heavens. His plans,
wonderfully conceived, had been indifferently executed; a series of
blunders, beyond his control, interrupted his combinations, and delay in
important movements, added to the necessity of meeting two enemies at
the same moment, destroyed the centralization on which he had depended
for overthrowing both in succession. The orders he sent to his Marshals
were intercepted, and they were left to an uncertainty which prevented
any unity of action. The accusation of treason, sometimes brought
against them, is false and ungenerous; and the insinuations of Napoleon
himself were unworthy of him. They may have erred in judgment, but they
acted as they thought expedient, and they never showed more devotion to
their country and to their chief than on the fatal day of Waterloo.

I have been twice over that field, and have heard remarks of military
men, which have only convinced me that it is easier to criticize a
battle than to fight one. Had Grouchy, with his thirty thousand men,
joined the Emperor, the British would have been destroyed. But he
stopped at Wavre, to fight, as he supposed, the whole Prussian army,
thinking to do good service by keeping it from the main battle. Blücher
outwitted him, and, leaving ten thousand men to deceive and keep him in
check, hurried on to turn the scale. The fate of both contending hosts
rested on the cloud of dust that arose on the eastern horizon, and the
eyes of Napoleon and Wellington watched its approach, knowing that it
brought victory or defeat. The one was still precipitating his impetuous
columns on the sometimes penetrated, but never broken, squares of
infantry, which seemed rooted to the earth, and which, though torn by
shot and shell, and harassed by incessant charges of cavalry, closed
their thinned ranks with an obstinacy and determination such as he had
never before encountered. The other stood amidst the growing grain,
seeing his army wasting away before those terrible assaults; and when
the officers around him saw inevitable ruin, unless the order for
retreat was given, he tore up the unripened corn, and, grinding it
between his hands, groaned out, in his agony,--"Oh, that Blücher, or
night, would come!"

The last time I was at Waterloo, many years ago, the guide who
accompanied me told me, that, a short time before, a man, whose
appearance was that of a substantial farmer, and who was followed by
an attendant, called on him for his services. The guide went his usual
round, making his often-repeated remarks and commenting severely
on Grouchy. The stranger examined the ground attentively, and only
occasionally replied, saying, "Grouchy received no orders." At last, the
servant fell back, detaining the guide, and, in a low tone, said to him,
"Speak no more about Marshal Grouchy, for that is he." The man told me,
that, after that, he abstained from saying anything offensive; but that
he watched carefully the soldier's agitation, as the various positions
of the battle became apparent to him. He, doubtless, saw how little
would have turned the current of the fight, and knew that the means of
doing it had been in his own hands. The guide seemed much impressed with
the deep feeling of the Marshal, and said to me, "I will never speak ill
of him again."

The battle of Waterloo is often mentioned as the sole cause of
Napoleon's downfall; and it is said, that, had he gained that day, he
would have secured his throne. It seems to be forgotten that a complete
victory would have left him with weakened forces, and that he had
already exhausted the resources of France in his preparations for this
one campaign; that the masses of Austria and Russia were advancing
in hot haste, which, with the rallied remains of Prussia, and the
indomitable perseverance and uncompromising hostility of England,
quickened by a reverse of her arms, would have presented an array
against which he could have had no chance of success. The hour of utter
ruin would only have been procrastinated, involving still greater waste
of life, and augmenting the desolation which for so many years had been
the fate of Europe.

Yes, Napoleon was in Paris,--a general without soldiers, and a sovereign
without subjects. The prestige of his name was gone; and had the Chamber
of Deputies invested him with the Dictatorship, as was suggested, it
would have been "a barren sceptre in his gripe," and the utmost stretch
of power could not have collected materials to meet the impending
invasion. At no period did he show such irresolution as at this time. He
tendered his abdication, and it was accepted. He offered his services as
a soldier, and they were declined. He had ceased, for the moment, to
be anything to France. Yet he lingered for days about the capital, the
inhabitants of which were too intent in gazing at the storm, ready to
burst upon them, to be mindful of his existence. There was, however,
one exception. The _boys_ were still faithful to him, and were more
interested in his position than in that of the enemy at their gates.

There was a show of resistance. The fragments of the army of Belgium
gathered round Paris; the National Guard, or militia of the city,
was marched out; and the youth of the colleges were furnished with
field-pieces and artillery officers, who drilled them into very
effective cannoneers, and they took naturally to the business,
pronouncing it decidedly better fun than hard study. They were of an age
which is full of animal courage, and their only fear was a peremptory
order from parents or guardians to leave college and return home. Some
of my school-fellows, anticipating such an injunction, joined the camp
outside the city, and saw service enough to talk about for the remainder
of their lives.

One morning, I was at the Lyceum, where all were prepared for an
immediate order to march, and each one was making his last arrangements.
No person could have supposed that these young men expected to be
engaged, within a few hours, in mortal combat. They were in the highest
spirits, and looked forward to the hoped-for battle as though it were to
be the most amusing thing imaginable. While I was there, a false
report came in that Napoleon had resumed the command of the army. The
excitement instantly rose to fever-heat, and the demonstration told what
hold he still had on these his steadfast friends. From our position the
rear of the army was but a short distance, while the advanced portions
of it were engaged. Versailles had been entered by the Allies, who were
attacked and driven out by the French under Vandamme. The cannonade was
at one time as continuous as the roll of a drum. Prisoners were guarded
through the streets, and wagons, conveying wounded men, were continually

Stragglers from the routed army of Waterloo were to be met in all
directions, many of them disabled by their pursuers, or the fatigues of
a harried retreat. Pride was forgotten in extreme misery, and they were
grateful for any attention or assistance. One of them was taken into
our institution as a servant. He had been in the army eighteen years,
fifteen of which he had served as drummer. He had been in some of the
severest battles, had gone through the Russian campaign, and was among
the few of his regiment who survived the carnage of Waterloo. And yet
this man, who had been familiar with death more than half his life, and
who at times talked as though he were a perfect tornado in the field,
was as arrant a poltroon as ever skulked.

After the Allied Troops entered Paris, and were divided among the
inhabitants, some Prussian cavalry soldiers were quartered on us.
Collisions occasionally took place between them and the scholars; and in
one instance, one of them entered a study-room in an insulting manner,
and in consequence thereof made a progress from the top of the stairs to
the bottom with a celerity that would have done credit to his regiment
in a charge. His comrades armed themselves to avenge the indignity, and
the students, eager for the fray, sallied out to meet them with pistols
and fencing-foils, the latter with buttons snapped off and points
sharpened. There was hopeful promise of a very respectable skirmish;
but it was nipped in the bud by the interposition of our peace-making
instructors, aided by the authority of a Prussian officer. When the
affair was over, some wonder was expressed why our fire-eating military
attendant had not given us his professional services; and, on search
being made, we found him snugly stowed away in a hole under the stairs,
where he had crept on the first announcement of hostilities. He
afterwards confessed to me that he was a coward, and that no one could
imagine what he had suffered in his agonies of fear during his various
campaigns. Yet he came very near being rewarded for extraordinary valor
and coolness. His regiment was advancing on the enemy, and as he was
mechanically beating the monotonous _pas de charge_, not knowing whether
he was on his head or his heels, a shot cut the band by which his drum
was suspended, and as it fell, he caught it, and without stopping, held
it in one hand while he continued to beat the charge with the other. An
officer of rank saw the action, and riding up, said, "Your name, brave
fellow? You shall have the cross of honor for that gallant deed." He
told me he really did not know what he was doing; he was too frightened
to think about anything. But he added, that it was a pity the general
was killed in that very battle, as it robbed him of the promised

I mention this incident as an evidence of what diversified materials an
army is composed, and that the instruments of military despotism are not
necessarily endowed with personal courage, the discipline of the mass
compensating for individual imperfection. It also gives evidence that
luck has much to do in the fortunes of this world, and that many a man
who "bears his blushing honors thick upon him" would as poorly stand a
scrutiny as to the means by which they were acquired, as our friend, the
drummer, had he been enabled to strut about, in piping times of peace,
with a strip of red ribbon at his button-hole.

While preparations were making for the defence of Paris, and the alarmed
citizens feared, what was at one time threatened, that the defenders
would be driven in, and the streets become a scene of warfare, involving
all conditions in the chances of indiscriminate massacre, the powers
that were saw the futility of resistance, and opening negotiations with
the enemy, closed the war by capitulation. Whatever relief this may have
been to the people generally, it was a sad blow to the martial ardor
of my schoolmates. Their opinion of the transaction was expressed in
language by no means complimentary to their temporary rulers. To lose
such an opportunity for a fight was a height of absurdity for which
treason and cowardice were inadequate terms. Their military visions
melted away, the field-pieces were wheeled off, the army officers bade
them farewell, they were required to deliver up their arms, and they
found themselves back again to their old bondage, reduced to the
inglorious necessity of attending prayers and learning lessons.

The Hundred Days were over. The Allies once more poured into France,
and in their train came back the poor, despised, antiquated Bourbons,
identifying themselves with the common enemy, and becoming a byword and
a reproach, which were to cling to them until they should be driven into
hopeless banishment. The King reentered Paris, accompanied by foreign
soldiers. I saw him pass the Boulevard, and I then hastened across the
Garden to await his arrival at the Tuileries, standing near the spot
where, three months before, I had seen Napoleon. The tricolor was no
longer there, but the white flag again floated over the place so full of
historical recollections. Louis XVIII soon reached this ancestral abode
of his family, and having mounted, with some difficulty and expenditure
of breath, to the second story, he waddled into the balcony which
overlooked the crowd silently waiting for the expected speech, and,
leaning ponderously on the railing, he kissed his hand, and said, in a
loud voice, "Good day, my children." This was the exordiam, body, and
peroration of his address, and it struck his audience so ludicrously,
that a laugh spread among them, until it became general, and all seemed
in the best possible humor. The King laughed, too, evidently regarding
his reception as highly flattering. The affair turned out well, for the
multitude parted in a merry mood, considering his Majesty rather a jolly
old gentleman, and making sundry comparisons between him and the late
tenant, illustrative of the difference between King Stork and King Log.

Paris was crowded with foreign soldiers. The streets swarmed with them;
their encampments filled the public gardens; they drilled in the open
squares and on the Boulevards; their sentinels stood everywhere. Their
presence was a perpetual commentary on the vanity of that glory which
is dependent on the sword. They gazed at triumphal monuments erected to
commemorate battles which had subjected their own countries to the iron
rule of conquest. They stood by columns on which the history of their
defeat was cast from their captured cannon, and by arches whose friezes
told a boastful tale of their subjugation. They passed over bridges
whose names reminded them of fields which had witnessed their headlong
rout. They strolled through galleries where the masterpieces of art hung
as memorials that their political existence had been dependent on the
will of a victorious foe. Attempts were made to destroy these trophies
of national degradation; but, in some instances, the skill of the
architect and the fidelity of the builder were an overmatch for the
hasty ire of an incensed soldiery, and withstood the attacks until
admiration for the work brought shame on their efforts to demolish it.

But for the Parisians there was a calamity in reserve, which sank
deeper into their souls than the fluttering of hostile banners in their
streets, or the clanging tread of an armed enemy on their door-stones.
It was decided that the Gallery of the Louvre should be despoiled, and
that the works of art, which had been collected from all nations, making
that receptacle the marvel of the age, should be restored to their
legitimate owners. A wail went up from the universal heart of France
at this sad judgment. It was felt that this great loss would be
irreparable. Time, the soother of all sorrow, might restore her
worn energies, recruit her wasted population, cover her fields with
abundance, and, turning the activity of an intelligent people into
industrial channels, clothe her with renewed wealth and power. But the
magnificence of that collection, once departed, could never come to
her again; and the lover of beauty, instead of finding under one roof
whatever genius had created for the worship of the ages, would have
to wander over all Europe, seeking in isolated and widely-separated
positions the riches which at the Louvre were strewed before him in
congregated prodigality. But lamentations were in vain. The miracles of
human inspiration were borne to the congenial climes which originated
them, to have, in all after time, the tale of their journeyings an
inseparable appendage to their history, and even their intrinsic merit
to derive additional lustre from the perpetual boast, that they had been
considered worthy a place in the Gallery of Napoleon.

In the general amnesty which formed an article in the capitulation of
Paris, there was no apprehension that revenge would demand an atonement.
But hardly had the Bourbons recommenced their reign, when, in utter
disregard of the faith of treaties, they sought satisfaction for their
late precipitate flight in assailing those who had been instrumental
in causing it. Many of their intended victims found safety in foreign
lands. Labedoyère, who joined the Emperor with his regiment, was tried
and executed. Lavalette was condemned, but escaped through the heroism
of his wife and the generous devotion of three Englishmen. Ney was
shot in Paris. I would dwell a moment on his fate, not only because
circumstances gave me a peculiar interest in it, but from the fact that
it had more effect in drawing a dividing line between the royal family
and the French people than any event that occurred during their reign.
It was treasured up with a hate that found no fit utterance until the
memorable Three Days of 1830; and when the insurgents stormed the
Tuileries, their cries bore evidence that fifteen years had not
diminished the bitter feeling engendered by that vindictive,
unnecessary, and most impolitic act.

During the Hundred Days, and shortly before the battle of Waterloo, I
was, one Sunday afternoon, in the Luxembourg Garden, where the fine
weather had brought out many of the inhabitants of that quarter. The
lady I was accompanying remarked, as we walked among the crowd, "There
is Marshal Ney." He had joined the promenaders, and his object seemed to
be, like that of the others, to enjoy an hour of recreation. Probably
the next time he crossed those walks was on the way to the place of his
execution, which was between the Garden and the Boulevard. At the time
of his confinement and trial at the Luxembourg Palace, the gardens were
closed. I usually passed through them twice a week, but was now obliged
to go round them. Early one morning, I stopped at the room of a medical
student, in the vicinity, and, while there, heard a discharge of
musketry. We wondered at it, but could not conjecture its cause; and
although we spoke of the trial of Marshal Ney, we had so little reason
to suppose that his life was in jeopardy, that neither of us imagined
that volley was his death-knell. As I continued on my way, I passed
round the Boulevard, and reaching the spot I have named, I saw a few
men and women, of the lowest class, standing together, while a sentinel
paced to and fro before a wall, which was covered with mortar, and which
formed one side of the place. I turned in to the spot and inquired what
was the matter. A man replied,--"Marshal Ney has been shot here, and his
body has just been removed." I looked at the soldier, but he was gravely
going through his monotonous duty, and I knew that military rule forbade
my addressing him. I looked down; the ground was wet with blood. I
turned to the wall, and seeing it marked by balls, I attempted, with my
knife, to dig out a memorial of that day's sad work, but the soldier
motioned me away. I afterwards revisited the place, but the wall had
been plastered over, and no indications remained where the death-shot
had penetrated.

The sensation produced by this event was profound and permanent. Many
a heart, inclined towards the Bourbons, was alienated by it forever.
Families which had rejoiced at the Restoration now cursed it in
their bitterness, and from that day dated a hostility which knew no
reconciliation. The army and the youth of France demanded, why a
soldier, whose whole life had been passed in her service, should be
sacrificed to appease a race that was a stranger to the country, and
for which it had no sympathy. A gloom spread like a funeral pall over
society, and even those who had blamed the Marshal for joining the
Emperor were now among his warmest defenders. The print-shops were
thronged with purchasers eager to possess his portrait and to hang it
in their homes, with a reverence like that attaching to the image of a
martyred saint. Had he died at Waterloo, as he led on the Imperial Guard
to their last charge, when five horses were shot under him, and his
uniform, riddled by balls, hung about him in tatters, he would not have
had such an apotheosis as was now given him, with one simultaneous
movement, by all classes of his countrymen.

The inveterate intention of the reigning family was to obliterate every
mark that bore the impress of Napoleon. Wherever the initial of his name
had been inserted on the public edifices, it was carefully erased; his
statues were broken or removed; prints of him could not be exposed for
sale; and it appeared to be their fixed determination to drive him
from men's memories. But he had left mementos which jealousy could not
conceal nor petty malice destroy. His Code was still the law of the
land; the monuments of his genius were thickly scattered wherever his
dominion had extended; his mighty name was on every tongue; and as time
mellowed the remembrance of him, the good he had done survived and the
evil was forgotten or extenuated.

Whoever would judge this man should consider the times which produced
him and the fearful authority he wielded. He came to take his place
among the rulers of the earth, while she was rocking with convulsions,
seeking regeneration through the baptism of blood. He came as a
connecting link between anarchy and order, an agent of destiny to act
his part in the great tragedy of revolution, the end of which is not
yet. His mission was to give a lesson to sovereigns and people,
to humble hereditary power, and to prove by his own career the
unsubstantial character of a government which deludes the popular will
that creates it. During his captivity, he understood the true causes of
his overthrow, and talked of them with an intelligence which misfortune
had saddened down into philosophy. He saw that the secret of his
reverses was not to be found in the banded confederacy of kings, but in
the forfeited sympathy of the great masses of men, who felt with him,
and moved with him, and bade him God-speed, until he abandoned the
distinctive principle which advanced him, and relinquished their
affection for royal affiances and the doubtful friendship of monarchs.
His better nature was laid aside, his common sense became merged in
court etiquette, he sacrificed his conscience to his ambition, and the
Man was forgotten in the Emperor.

It is creditable to the world, that his divorce did more, perhaps, than
anything else to alienate the respect and attachment of mankind; and
many who could find excuses for his gravest public misdeeds can never
forgive this impiety to the household gods.

I was most forcibly impressed with the relation between him and
Josephine, in a visit I made to Malmaison a short time subsequent to her
death, which occurred soon after his first abdication. It was the place
where they had lived together, before the imperial diadem had seared
his brain; and it was the chosen spot of her retreat, when he, "the
conqueror of kings, sank to the degradation of courting their alliance."
The house was as she left it. Not a thing had been moved, the servants
were still there, and the order and comfort of the establishment were
as though her return were momently expected. The plants she loved were
carefully tended, and her particular favorites were affectionately
pointed out. The old domestic who acted as my guide spoke low, as if
afraid of disturbing her repose, or as if the sanctity of death still
pervaded the apartments. He could not mention her without emotion; and
he told enough of her quiet, unobtrusive life, of her kindness to the
poor, of her gentleness to all about her, to account for the devotion of
her dependants. The evidences of her refined taste were everywhere,
and there were tokens that her love for her husband had survived his
injustice and desertion. After his second marriage, he occasionally
visited her, and she never allowed anything to be disturbed which
reminded her that he had been there. Books were lying open on the table
as he had left them; the chair on which he sat was still where he had
arisen from it; the flower he had plucked withered where he had dropped
it. Every article he had touched was sacred, and remained unprofaned
by other hands. Doubtless, long after he had returned to his brilliant
capital, and all remembrance of her was lost in the glittering court
assembled about the fair-haired daughter of Austria, that lone woman
wandered, in solitary sadness, through the places which had been
hallowed by his presence, and gazed on the senseless objects consecrated
by his passing attention.

After his last abdication, he retired once more to Malmaison, where he
passed the few days that remained, until he bade a final farewell to the
scenes which he had known at the dawn of his prosperity. No man can tell
his thoughts during those lonely hours. His wife was in the palace of
her ancestors, and his child was to know him no more. He could hear the
din of marching soldiers, and the roar of distant battle, but they were
nothing to him now. His wand was broken, the spell was over, the
spirits that ministered to him had vanished, and the enchanter was left
powerless and alone. But, in the still watches of the night, a familiar
form may have stood beside him, and a well-known voice again whispered
to him in the kindly tones of by-gone years. The crown, the sceptre, the
imperial purple, the long line of kings, for which he had renounced a
woman worth them all, must have faded from his memory in the swarming
recollections of his once happy home. He could not look around him
without seeing in every object an accusing angel; and if a human heart
throbbed in his bosom, retribution came before death.

Yet call him not up for judgment, without reflecting that his awful
elevation and the gigantic task he had assumed had perverted a heart
naturally kind and affectionate, and left him little leisure to devote
to the virtues which decorate domestic life. The numberless anecdotes
related of him, the charm with which he won to himself all whom he
attempted to conciliate, the warm attachment of those immediately about
him, tend to the belief that there was much of good in him. But his eye
was continually fixed on the star he saw blazing before him, and in his
efforts to follow its guidance, he heeded not the victims he crushed in
his onward progress. He considered men as mere instruments to extend his
dominion, and he used them with wasteful expenditure, to advance his
projects or to secure his conquests. But he was not cruel, nor was he
steeled to human misery. Had he been what he is sometimes represented,
he never could have retained the ascendency over the minds of his
followers, which, regardless of defeat and suffering and death, lived on
when even hope had gone.

Accusatory words are easily spoken, and there is often a disposition to
condemn, without calculating the compelling motives which govern human
actions, or the height of place which has given to surrounding objects a
coloring and figure not to be measured by the ordinary rules of ethics.
Many a man who cannot bear a little brief authority without abusing it,
who lords it over a few dependants with insolent and arbitrary rule,
whose temper makes everybody uncomfortable within the limited sphere
of his government and whose petty tyranny turns his own home into a
despotic empire, can pronounce a sweeping doom against one who was
clothed with irresponsible power, who seemed elevated above the
accidents of humanity, whose audience-chamber was thronged by princes,
whose words were as the breath of life, and who dealt out kingdoms to
his kindred like the portions of a family inheritance. Let censure,
then, be tempered with charity, nor be lightly bestowed on him who will
continue to fill a space in the annals of the world when the present
shall be merged in that shadowy realm where fact becomes mingled with
fable, and the reality, dimmed by distance, shall be so transfigured by
poetry and romance, that it may even be doubted whether he ever lived.

Seventeen years after the period which I have attempted to illustrate
by a few incidents, I stood by his grave at St. Helena. I was returning
from a long residence in the East, and, having doubled the stormy Cape
of Good Hope, looked forward with no little interest to a short repose
at the halting-place between India and Europe. But when I saw its blue
mass heaving from the ocean, the usual excitement attendant on the
cry of "Land!" was lost in the absorbing feeling, that there Napoleon
Bonaparte died and was buried. The lonely rock rose in solitary
barrenness, a bleak and mournful monument of some rude caprice of
Nature, which has thrown it out to stand in cheerless desolation amidst
the broad waters of the Atlantic. The day I passed there was devoted to
the place where the captive wore away the weary and troubled years of
his imprisonment, and to the little spot which he himself selected when
anticipating the denial of his last wish,--now fully answered,--"that
his ashes might repose on the banks of the Seine, in the midst of that
French people whom he had so much loved."

There was nothing in or about the house to remind one of its late
occupant. It was used as a granary. The apartments were filled with
straw; a machine for threshing or winnowing was in the parlor; and the
room where he died was now converted into a stable, a horse standing
where his bed had been. The position was naked and comfortless, being
on the summit of a hill, perpetually swept by the trade-winds, which
suffered no living thing to stand, except a few straggling, bare,
shadeless trees, which contributed to the disconsolate character of the
landscape. The grave was in a quiet little valley. It was covered by
three plain slabs of stone, closely surrounded by an iron railing; a
low wooden paling extended a small distance around; and the whole was
overhung by three decaying willows. The appearance of the place was
plain and appropriate. Nothing was wanting to its unadorned and
affecting simplicity. Ornament could not have increased its beauty, nor
inscription have added to its solemnity.

The mighty conqueror slept in the territory of his most inveterate foes;
but the path to his tomb was reverently trodden, and those who had stood
opposed to him in life forgot that there had been enmity between them.
Death had extinguished hostility; and the pilgrims who visited his
resting-place spoke kindly of his memory, and, hoarding some little
token, bore it to their distant homes to be prized by their posterity as
having been gathered at his grave.

The dome of the Invalides now rises over his remains; his statue again
caps the column that commemorates his exploits; and one of his name,
advanced by the sole magic of his glory, controls, with arbitrary will
and singular ability, the destinies, not of France only, but of Europe.

The nations which united for his overthrow now humbly bow before the
family they solemnly pledged themselves should never again taste power,
and, with ill-concealed distrust and anxiety, deprecate a resentment
that has not been weakened by years nor forgotten in alliances.

Not to them alone has Time hastened to bring that retributive justice
which falls alike on empires and individuals. The son of "The Man"
moulders in an Austrian tomb, leaving no trace that he has lived; while
the lineal descendant of the obscure Creole, of the deposed empress,
of the divorced wife, sits on the throne of Clovis and Charlemagne, of
Capet and Bonaparte. Within the brief space of one generation, within
the limit of one man's memory, vengeance has revolved full circle; and
while the sleepless Nemesis points with unresting finger to the barren
rock and the insulted captive, she turns with meaning smile to the
borders of the Seine, where mausoleum and palace stand in significant
proximity,--the one covering the dust of the first empire, the other the
home of the triumphant grandson of Josephine.

       *       *       *       *       *


  Said Fortune to a common spit,
    "Your rust and grease I'll rid ye on,
  And make ye in a twinkling fit
     For Ireland's Sword of Gideon!"

  In vain! what Nature meant for base
     All chance for good refuses;
  M. gave one gleam, then turned apace
     To dirtiest kitchen uses.


(From Original Sources.)

There is upon record a remark of Mozart--probably the greatest musical
genius that ever lived--to this effect: that, if few had equalled him
in his art, few had studied it with such persevering labor and such
unremitting zeal. Every man who has attained high preëminence in
Science, Literature, or Art, would confess the same. At all events, the
greatest musical composers--Bach, Handel, Haydn, Gluck--are proofs that
no degree of genius and natural aptitude for their art is sufficient
without long-continued effort and exhaustive study of the best models of
composition. And this is the moral to be drawn from Beethoven's early

_"Voila Bonn! C'est une petite perle!"_ said the admiring Frenchwoman,
as the Cologne steamboat rounded the point below the town, and she
caught the first fair view of its bustling landing-places, its old wall,
its quaint gables, and its antique cathedral spires. A pearl among the
smaller German cities it is,--with most irregular streets, always
neat and cleanly, noble historic and literary associations, jovial
student-life, pleasant walks to the neighboring hills, delightful
excursions to the Siebengebirge and Ahrthal,--reposing peacefully upon
the left bank of the "green and rushing Rhine." Six hundred years ago,
the Archbishop-Electors of Cologne, defeated in their long quarrel with
the people of the city of perfumery, established their court at Bonn,
and made it thenceforth the political capital of the Electorate. Having
both the civil and ecclesiastical revenues at their command, the last
Electors were able to sustain courts which vied in splendor with those
of princes of far greater political power and pretensions. They could
say, with the Preacher of old, "We builded us houses; we made us gardens
and orchards, and planted trees in them of all manner of fruits"; for
the huge palace, now the seat of the Frederick-William University, and
Clemensruhe, now the College of Natural History, were erected by them
early in the last century. Like the Preacher, too, "they got them
men-singers and women-singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as
musical instruments, and that of all sorts." Music they cherished with
especial care: it gave splendor to the celebration of high mass in
chapel or cathedral; it afforded an innocent and refined recreation, in
the theatre and concert-room, to the Electors and their guests.

In the list of singers and musicians in the employ of Clemens Augustus,
as printed in the Electoral Calendar for the years 1759-60, appears the
name, "Ludwig van Beethoven, Bassist." We know little of him, and it is
but a very probable conjecture that he was a native of Maestricht, in
Holland. That he was more than an ordinary singer is proved by the
position he held in the Chapel, and by the applause which he received
for his performances as _primo basso_ in certain of Mosigny's operas. He
was, moreover, a good musician; for he had produced operas of his own
composition, with fair success, and, upon the accession of Maximilian
Frederick to the Electorate in 1761, he was raised to the position of
Kapellmeister. He was already well advanced in life; for the same record
bears the name of his son Johann, a tenor singer. He died in 1773, and
was long afterward described by one who remembered him, as a short,
stout-built man, with exceedingly lively eyes, who used to walk with
great dignity to and from his dwelling in the Bonngasse, clad in the
fashionable red cloak of the time. Thus, too, he was quite magnificently
depicted by the court painter, Radoux, wearing a tasselled cap,
and holding a sheet of music-paper in his hand. His wife--the Frau
Kapellmeisterinn--born Josepha Poll--was not a helpmeet for him, being
addicted to strong drink, and therefore, during her last years, placed
in a convent in Cologne.

The Bonngasse, which runs Rhineward from the lower extremity of the
Marktplatz, is, as the epithet _gasse_ implies, not one of the principal
streets of Bonn. Nor is it one of great length, notwithstanding the
numbers upon its house-fronts range so high,--for the houses of the town
are numbered in a single series, and not street by street. In 1770,
the centre of the Bonngasse was also a central point for the music and
musicians of Bonn. Kapellmeister Beethoven dwelt in No. 386, and the
next house was the abode of the Ries family. The father was one of the
Elector's chamber musicians; and his son Franz, a youth of fifteen, was
already a member of the orchestra, and by his skill upon the violin gave
promise of his future excellence. Thirty years afterward, _his_ son
became the pupil of _the_ Beethoven in Vienna.

In No. 515, which is nearly opposite the house of Ries, lived the
Salomons. Two of the sisters were singers in the Court Theatre, and the
brother, Johann Peter, was a distinguished violinist. At a later period
he emigrated to London, gained great applause as a virtuoso, established
the concerts in which Haydn appeared as composer and director, and was
one of the founders of the celebrated London Philharmonic Society.

It is common in Bonn to build two houses, one behind the other, upon the
same piece of ground, leaving a small court between them,--access to
that in the rear being obtained through the one which fronts upon the
street. This was the case where the Salomons dwelt, and to the rear
house, in November, 1767, Johann van Beethoven brought his newly married
wife, Helena Keverich, of Coblentz, widow of Nicolas Laym, a former
valet of the Elector.

It is near the close of 1770. Helena has experienced "the pleasing
punishment that women bear," but "remembereth no more the anguish for
joy that a man is born into the world." Her joy is the greater, because
last year, in April, she buried, in less than a week after his birth,
her first-born, Ludwig Maria,--as the name still stands upon the
baptismal records of the parish of St. Remigius, with the names of
Kapellmeister Beethoven, and the next-door neighbor, Frau Loher, as
sponsors. This second-born is a strong, healthy child, and his baptism
is recorded in the same parish-book, Dec. 17, 1770,--the day of,
possibly the day after, his birth,--by the name of Ludwig. The
Kapellmeister is again godfather, but Frau Gertrude Müller, _née_ Baum,
next door on the other side, is the godmother. The Beethovens had
neither kith nor kin in Bonn; the families Ries and Salomon, their
intimate friends, were Israelites; hence the appearance of the
neighbors, Frauen Loher and Müller, at the ceremony of baptism;--a
strong corroborative evidence, that No. 515, Bonngasse, was the actual
birth-place of Beethoven.

The child grew apace, and in manhood his earliest and proudest
recollections, save of his mother, were of the love and affection
lavished upon him, the only grandchild, by the Kapellmeister. He had
just completed his third year when the old man died, and the bright sun
which had shone upon his infancy, and left an ineffaceable impression
upon the child's memory, was obscured. Johann van Beethoven had
inherited his mother's failing, and its effects were soon visible in the
poverty of the family. He left the Bonngasse for quarters in that
house in the Rheingasse, near the upper steamboat-landing, which now
erroneously bears the inscription, _Ludwig van Beethovens Geburtshaus_.

His small inheritance was soon squandered; his salary as singer was
small, and at length even the portrait of his father went to the
pawnbroker. In the April succeeding the Kapellmeister's death, the
expenses of Johann's family were increased by the birth of another
son,--Caspar Anton Carl; and to this event Dr. Wegeler attributes the
unrelenting perseverance of the father in keeping little Ludwig from
this time to his daily lessons upon the piano-forte. Both Wegeler and
Burgomaster Windeck of Bonn, sixty years afterward, remembered how, as
boys, visiting a playmate in another house across the small court, they
often "saw little Louis, his labors and sorrows." Cecilia Fischer, too,
a playmate of Beethoven in his early childhood, and living in the same
house in her old age, "still saw the little boy standing upon a low
footstool and practising his father's lessons," in tears.

What indications, if any, the child had given of remarkable musical
genius, we do not know,--not one of the many anecdotes bearing upon this
point having any trustworthy foundation in fact. Probably the father
discovered in him that which awakened the hope of some time rivalling
the then recent career of Leopold Mozart with little Wolfgang, or at
least saw reason to expect as much success with his son as had rewarded
the efforts of his neighbor Ries with his Franz; at all events, we have
the testimony of Beethoven himself, that "already in his fourth year
music became his principal employment,"--and this it continued to be to
the end. Yet, as he grew older, his education in other respects was not
neglected. He passed through the usual course of boys of his time, not
destined for the universities, in the public schools of the city, even
to the acquiring of some knowledge of Latin. The French language was, as
it still is, a necessity to every person of the Rhine provinces above
the rank of peasant; and Beethoven became able to converse in it with
reasonable fluency, even after years of disuse and almost total loss of
hearing. It has also been stated that he knew enough of English to read
it; but this is more than doubtful. In fact, as a schoolboy, he made the
usual progress,--no more, no less.

In music it was otherwise. The child Mozart seems alone to have equalled
or surpassed the child Beethoven. Ludwig soon exhausted his father's
musical resources, and became the pupil of Pfeiffer, chorist in the
Electoral Orchestra, a genial and kind-hearted man, and so good a
musician as afterward to be appointed band-master to a Bavarian
regiment. Beethoven always held him in grateful and affectionate
remembrance, and in the days of his prosperity in Vienna sent him
pecuniary aid. His next teacher was Van der Eder, court organist,--a
proof that the boy's progress was very rapid, as this must have been the
highest school that Bonn could offer. With this master he studied the
organ. When Van der Eder retired from office, his successor, Christian
Gottlob Neefe, succeeded him also as instructor of his remarkable pupil.

Wegeler and Schindler, writing several years after the great composer's
death, state, that, of these three instructors, he considered himself
most indebted to Pfeiffer, declaring that he had profited little or
nothing by his studies with Neefe, of whose severe criticisms upon his
boyish efforts in composition he complained. These statements have
hitherto been unquestioned. Without doubting the veracity of the two
authors, it may well be asked, whether the great master may not have
relied too much upon the impressions received in childhood, and thus
unwittingly have done injustice to Neefe. The appointment of that
musician as organist to the Electoral Court bears date February 15,
1781, when Ludwig had but just completed his tenth year, and the sixth
year of his musical studies. These six years had been divided between
three different instructors,--his father, Pfeiffer, and Van der Eder;
and during the last part of the time, music could have been but the
extra study of a schoolboy. That the two or three years, during which at
the most he was a pupil of Pfeiffer, and that, too, when he was but
six or eight years of age, were of more value to him in his artistic
development than the years from the age of ten onward, during which he
studied with Neefe, certainly seems an absurd idea. That the chorist may
have laid a foundation for his future remarkable execution, and have
fostered and developed his love for music, is very probable; but that
the great Beethoven's marvellous powers in higher spheres of the art
were in any great degree owing to him, we cannot credit. Happily, we
have some data for forming a judgment upon this point, unknown both to
Wegeler and Schindler, when they wrote.

Neefe was, if not a man of genius, of very respectable talents,
a learned and accomplished organist and composer, as a violinist
respectable, even in a corps which included Reicha, Romberg, Ries. He
had been reared in the severe Saxon school of the Bachs, and before
coming to Bonn had had much experience as music director of an operatic
company. He knew the value of the maxim, _Festina lente_, and was wise
enough to understand, that no lofty and enduring structure can be
reared, unless the foundations are broad and deep,--that sound and
exhaustive study of canon, fugue, and counterpoint is as necessary to
the highest development of musical genius as mathematics, philosophy,
and logic are to that of the scientific and literary man. He at once saw
and appreciated the marvellous powers of Johann van Beethoven's son, and
adopted a plan with him, whose aim was, not to make him a mere youthful
prodigy, but a great musician and composer in manhood. That, with this
end in view, he should have criticized the boy's crude compositions with
some severity was perfectly natural; equally so that the petted and
bepraised boy should have felt these criticisms keenly. But the
severity of the master was no more than a necessary counterpoise to the
injudicious praise of others. That Beethoven, however he may have spoken
of Neefe to Wegeler and Schindler, did at times have a due consciousness
of his obligations to his old master, is proved by a letter which he
wrote to him from Vienna, during the first transports of joy and delight
at finding himself the object of universal wonder and commendation
in the musical circles of the great capital. He thanks Neefe for the
counsels which had guided him in his studies, and adds, "Should I ever
become a great man, it will in part be owing to you."

The following passage from an account of the virtuosos in the service of
the Elector at Bonn, written in 1782, when Beethoven had been with Neefe
but little more than a year, and which we unhesitatingly, attribute to
the pen of Neefe himself, will give an idea of the course of instruction
adopted by the master, and his hopes and expectations for the future
of his pupil. It is, moreover, interesting, as being the first public
notice of him who for half a century has exercised more pens than any
other artist. The writer closes his list of musicians and singers

"Louis van Beethoven, son of the above-named tenorist, a boy of eleven
years, and of most promising talents. He plays the piano-forte with
great skill and power, reads exceedingly well at sight, and, to say all
in a word, plays nearly the whole of Sebastian Bach's 'Wohltemperirtes
Klavier,' placed in his hands by Herr Neefe. Whoever is acquainted with
this collection of preludes and fugues in every key (which one can
almost call the _non plus ultra_ of music) knows well what this implies.
Herr Neefe has also, so far as his other duties allowed, given him
some instruction in thorough-bass. At present he is exercising him
in composition, and for his encouragement has caused nine variations
composed by him for the piano-forte upon a march[A] to be engraved at
Mannheim. This young genius certainly deserves such assistance as will
enable him to travel. He will assuredly become a second Wolfgang Amadeus
Mozart, should he continue as he has begun.

[Footnote A: The variations upon a march by Dressler.]

  "'Wem er geneigt, dem sendet der Vater der
    Menschen und Götter
  Seinen Adler herab, trägt ihn zu himmlischen
    Höh'n und welches
  Haupt ihm gefällt um das flicht er mit
    liebenden Händen den Lorbeer.'

In the mere grammar of musical composition the pupil required little of
his master. We have Beethoven's own words to prove this, scrawled at the
end of the thorough-bass exercises, afterward performed, when studying
with Albrechtsberger. "Dear friends," he writes, "I have taken all this
trouble, simply to be able to figure my basses correctly, and some
time, perhaps, to instruct others. As to errors, I hardly needed to
learn this for my own sake. From my childhood I have had so fine a
musical sense, that I wrote correctly without knowing that it _must_ be
so, or _could_ be otherwise."

Neefe's object, therefore,--as was Haydn's at a subsequent period,--was
to give his pupil that mastery of musical form and of his instrument,
which should enable him at once to perceive the value of a musical idea
and its most appropriate treatment. The result was, that the tones of
his piano-forte became to the youth a language in which his highest,
deepest, subtilest musical ideas were expressed by his fingers as
instantaneously and with as little thought of the mere style and manner
of their expression as are the intellectual ideas of the thoroughly
trained rhetorician in words.

The good effect of the course pursued by Neefe with his pupil is visible
in the next published production--save a song or two--of the boy;--the

"Three Sonatas for the Piano-forte, composed and dedicated to the most
Reverend Archbishop and Elector of Cologne, Maximilian Frederick, my
most gracious Lord, by LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN, _Aged eleven years_."

We cannot resist the temptation to add the comically bombastic
Dedication of these Sonatas to the Elector, which may very possibly have
been written by Neefe, who loved to see himself in print.



"Already in my fourth year Music began to be the principal employment of
my youth. Thus early acquainted with the Lovely Muse, who tuned my soul
to pure harmonies, she won my love, and, as I oft have felt, gave me
hers in return. I have now completed my eleventh year; and my Muse, in
the hours consecrated to her, oft whispers to me, 'Try for once, and
write down the harmonies in thy soul!'--'Eleven years!' thought I,--'and
how should I carry the dignity of authorship? What would _men_ in the
art say?'--My timidity had nearly conquered. But my Muse willed it:--I
obeyed and wrote.

"And now dare I, Most Illustrious! venture to lay the first fruits of my
youthful labors at the steps of _Thy_ throne? And dare I hope that Thou
wilt deign to cast upon them the mild, paternal glance of Thy cheering
approbation? Oh, yes! for Science and Art have ever found in Thee a wise
patron and a magnanimous promoter, and germinating talent its prosperity
under Thy kind, paternal care.

"Filled with this animating trust, I venture to draw near to _Thee_
with these youthful efforts. Accept them as a pure offering of childish
reverence, and look down graciously, Most Exalted! upon them and their
young author,


"These Sonatas," says a most competent critic,[B] "for a boy's work,
are, indeed, remarkable. They are _bonâ fide_ compositions. There is no
vagueness about them.... He has ideas positive and well pronounced,
and he proceeds to develope them in a manner at once spontaneous and
logical.... Verily the boy possessed the vital secret of the Sonata
form; he had seized its organic principle."

[Footnote B: J.S. Dwight.]

Ludwig has become an author! His talents are known and appreciated
everywhere in Bonn. He is the pet of the musical circle in which he
moves,--in danger of being spoiled. Yet now, when the character is
forming, and those habits, feelings, tastes are becoming developed and
fixed, which are to go with him through life, he can look to his father
neither for example nor counsel. He idolizes his mother; but she is
oppressed with the cares of a family, suffering through the improvidence
and bad habits of its head, and though she had been otherwise situated,
the widow of Laym, the Elector's valet, could hardly be the proper
person to fit the young artist for future intercourse with the higher
ranks of society.

In the large, handsome brick house still standing opposite the minster
in Bonn, on the east side of the public square, where now stands the
statue of Beethoven, dwelt the widow and children of Hofrath von
Breuning. Easy in their circumstances, highly educated, of literary
habits, and familiar with polite life, the family was among the first in
the city. The four children were not far from Beethoven's age; Eleonore,
the daughter, and Lenz, the third son, were young enough to become
his pupils. In this family it was Ludwig's good fortune to become a
favorite, and "here," says Wegeler, who afterward married Eleonore, "he
made his first acquaintance with German literature, especially with the
poets, and here first had opportunity to gain the cultivation necessary
for social life."

He was soon treated by the Von Breunings as a son and brother, passing
not only most of his days, but many of his nights, at their house, and
sometimes spending his vacations with them at their country-seat in
Kerpen,--a small town on the great road from Cologne to Aix la Chapelle.
With them he felt free and unrestrained, and everything tended at the
same time to his happiness and his intellectual development. Nor was
music neglected. The members of the family were all musical, and
Stephen, the eldest son, sometimes played in the Electoral Orchestra.

No person possessed so strong an influence upon the oft-times stubborn
and wilful boy as the Frau von Breuning. She best knew how to bring him
back to the performance of his duty, when neglectful of his pupils; and
when she, with gentle force, had made him cross the square to the house
of the Austrian ambassador, Count Westfall, to give the promised lesson,
and saw him, after hesitating for a time at the door, suddenly fly
back, unable to overcome his dislike to lesson-giving, she would bear
patiently with him, merely shrugging her shoulders and remarking,
"To-day he has his _raptus_ again!" The poverty at home and his love for
his mother alone enabled him ever to master this aversion.

To the Breunings, then, we are indebted for that love of Plutarch,
Homer, Shakspeare, Goethe, and whatever gives us noble pictures of that
greatness of character which we term "heroic," that enabled the future
composer to stir up within us all the finest and noblest emotions,
as with the wand of a magician. The boy had an inborn love of the
beautiful, the tender, the majestic, the sublime, in nature, in art, and
in literature,--together with a strong sense of the humorous and even
comic. With the Breunings all these qualities were cultivated and in
the right direction. To them the musical world owes a vast debt of

Beethoven was no exception to the rule, that only a great man can be a
great artist. True, in his later years his correspondence shows at
times an ignorance of the rules of grammar and orthography; but it also
proves, what may be determined from a thousand other indications, that
he was a deep thinker, and that he had a mind of no small degree of
cultivation, as it certainly was one of great intellectual power. Had he
devoted his life to any other profession than music,--to law, theology,
science, or letters,--he would have attained high eminence, and
enrolled himself among the great.

But we have anticipated a little, and now turn back to an event which
occurred soon after he had completed his thirteenth year, and which
proved in its consequences of the highest moment to him,--the death
of the Elector, which took place on the 15th of April, 1784. He was
succeeded by Maximilian Francis, Bishop of Münster, Grand Master of
the Teutonic Order, a son of the Emperor Francis and Maria Theresa of

A word upon this family of imperial musicians may, perhaps, be pardoned.
It was Charles VI., the father of Maria Theresa, a composer of canons
and music for the harpsichord, who, upon being complimented by his
Kapellmeister as being well able to officiate as a music-director, dryly
observed, "Upon the whole, however, I like my present position better!"
His daughter sang an air upon the stage of the Court Theatre in her
fifth year; and in 1739, just before her accession to the imperial
dignity, being in Florence, she sang a duet with Senesino--of Handelian
memory--with such grace and splendor of voice, that the tears rolled
down the old man's cheeks. In all her wars and amid all the cares of
state, Maria Theresa never ceased to cherish music. Her children were
put under the best instructors, and made thorough musicians;--Joseph,
whom Mozart so loved, though the victim of his shabby treatment; Maria
Antoinette, the patron of Gluck and the head of his party in Paris; Max
Franz, with whom we now have to do,--and so forth.

Upon learning the death of Max Frederick, his successor hastened to Bonn
to assume the Archiepiscopal and Electoral dignities, with which he
was formally invested in the spring of 1785. In the train of the new
Elector, who was still in the prime of life, was the Austrian Count
Waldstein, his favorite and constant companion. Waldstein, like his
master, was more than an amateur,--he was a fine practical musician. The
promising pupil of Neefe was soon brought to his notice, and his talents
and attainments excited in him an extraordinary interest. Coming from
Vienna, where Mozart and Haydn were in the full tide of their success,
where Gluck's operas were heard with rapture, and where in the second
rank of musicians and composers were such names as Salieri, Righini,
Anfossi, and Martini, Waldstein could well judge of the promise of the
boy. He foresaw at once his future greatness, and gave him his favor
and protection. He, in some degree, at least, relieved him from the dry
rules of Neefe, and taught him the art of varying a theme _extempore_
and carrying it out to its highest development. He had patience and
forbearance with the boy's failings and foibles, and, to relieve his
necessities, gave him money, sometimes as gifts of his own, sometimes as
gratifications from the Elector.

As soon as Maximilian was installed in his new dignity, Waldstein
procured for Ludwig the appointment of assistant court organist;--not
that Neefe needed him, but that he needed the small salary attached to
the place. From this time to the downfall of the Electorate, his name
follows that of Neefe in the annual Court Calendar.

Wegeler and others have preserved a variety of anecdotes which
illustrate the skill and peculiarities of the young organist at this
period, but we have not space for them;--moreover, our object is rather
to convey some distinct idea of the training which made him what every
lover of music knows he afterward became.

Maximilian Francis was as affable and generous as he was passionately
fond of music. A newspaper of the day records, that he used to walk
about the streets of Bonn like any other citizen, and early became very
popular with all classes. He often took part in the concerts at the
palace, as upon a certain occasion when "Duke Albert played violin, the
Elector viola, and Countess Belderbusch piano-forte," in a trio. He
enlarged his orchestra, and, through his relations with the courts at
Vienna, Paris, and other capitals, kept it well supplied with all the
new publications of the principal composers of the day,--Mozart, Haydn,
Gluck, Pleyel, and others.

No better school, therefore, for a young musician could there well have
been than that in which Beethoven was now placed. While Neefe took care
that he continued his study of the great classic models of organ
and piano-forte composition, he was constantly hearing the best
ecclesiastical, orchestral, and chamber music, forming his taste upon
the best models, and acquiring a knowledge of what the greatest masters
had accomplished in their several directions. But as time passed on, he
felt the necessity of a still larger field of observation, and, in the
autumn of 1786, Neefe's wish that his pupil might travel was fulfilled.
He obtained--mainly, it is probable, from the Elector, through the good
offices of Waldstein--the means of making the journey to Vienna,
then the musical capital of the world, to place himself under the
instructions of Mozart, then the master of all living masters. Few
records have fallen under our notice, which throw light upon this visit.
Seyfried, and Holmes, after him, relate the surprise of Mozart at
hearing the boy, now just sixteen years of age, treat an intricate fugue
theme, which he gave him, and his prophecy, that "that young man would
some day make himself heard of in the world!"

It is said that Beethoven in after life complained of never having heard
his master play. The complaint must have been, that Mozart never played
to him in private; for it is absurd to suppose that he attended none
of the splendid series of concerts which his master gave during that

The mysterious brevity of this first visit of Beethoven to Vienna we
find fully explained in a letter, of which we give a more literal than
elegant translation. It is the earliest specimen of the composer's
correspondence which has come under our notice, and was addressed to a
certain Dr. Schade, an advocate of Augsburg, where the young man seems
to have tarried some days upon his journey.

"Bonn, September 15, 1787.


"What you must think of me I can easily conceive; nor can I deny that
you have well-grounded reasons for looking upon me in an unfavorable
light; but I will not ask you to excuse me, until I have made known the
grounds upon which I dare hope my apologies will find acceptance. I must
confess, that, from the moment of leaving Augsburg, my happiness, and
with it my health, began to leave me; the nearer I drew toward my native
city, the more numerous were the letters of my father, which met me,
urging me onward, as the condition of my mother's health was critical.
I hastened forward, therefore, with all possible expedition, for I was
myself much indisposed; but the longing I felt to see my sick mother
once more made all hindrances of little account, and aided me in
overcoming all obstacles.

"I found her still alive, but in a most pitiable condition. She was in
a consumption, and finally, about seven weeks since, after enduring the
extremes of pain and suffering, died. She was to me such a good and
loving mother,--my best of friends!

"Oh, who would be so happy as I, could I still speak the sweet name,
'Mother,' and have her hear it! And to whom _can_ I now speak? To the
dumb, but lifelike pictures which my imagination calls up.

"During the whole time since I reached home, few have been my hours of
enjoyment. All this time I have been afflicted with asthma, and the fear
is forced upon me that it may end in consumption. Moreover, the state
of melancholy in which I now am is almost as great a misfortune as my
sickness itself.

"Imagine yourself in my position for a moment, and I doubt not that I
shall receive your forgiveness for my long silence. As to the three
Carolins which you had the extraordinary kindness and friendship to lend
me in Augsburg, I must beg your indulgence still for a time. My journey
has cost me a good deal, and I have no compensation--not even the
slightest--to hope in return. Fortune is not propitious to me here in

"You will forgive me for detaining you so long with my babble; it is all
necessary to my apology. I pray you not to refuse me the continuance of
your valuable friendship, since there is nothing I so much desire as to
make myself in some degree worthy of it. I am, with all respect, your
most obedient servant and friend,


  "Court Organist to the Elector of Cologne."

We know also from other sources the extreme poverty in which the
Beethoven family was at this period sunk. In its extremity, at the time
when the mother died, Franz Ries, the violinist, came to its assistance,
and his kindness was not forgotten by Ludwig. When Ferdinand, the son
of this Ries, reached Vienna in the autumn of 1800, and presented his
father's letter, Beethoven said,--"I cannot answer your father yet; but
write and tell him that I have not forgotten the death of my mother.
That will fully satisfy him."

Young Beethoven, therefore, had little time for illness. His father
barely supported himself, and the sustenance of his two little brothers,
respectively twelve and thirteen years of age, devolved upon him. He
was, however, equal to his situation. He played his organ still,--the
instrument which was then above all others to his taste; he entered
the Orchestra as player upon the viola; received the appointment of
chamber-musician--pianist--to the Elector; and besides all this,
engaged in the detested labor of teaching. It proves no small energy
of character, that the motherless youth of seventeen, "afflicted with
asthma," which he was "fearful might end in consumption," struggling
against a "state of melancholy, almost as great a misfortune as sickness
itself," succeeded in overcoming all, and securing the welfare of
himself, his father, and his brothers. When he left Bonn finally, five
years later, Carl, then eighteen, could support himself by teaching
music, and Johann was apprenticed to the court apothecary; while the
father appears to have had a comfortable subsistence provided for
him,--although no longer an active member of the Electoral Chapel,--for
the few weeks which, as it happened, remained of his life.

The scattered notices which are preserved of Beethoven, during this
period, are difficult to arrange in a chronological order. We read of a
joke played at the expense of Heller, the principal tenor singer of the
Chapel, in which that singer, who prided himself upon his firmness in
pitch, was completely bewildered by a skilful modulation of the boy
upon the piano-forte, and forced to stop;--of the music to a chivalrous
ballad, performed by the noblemen attached to the court, of which for a
long time Count Waldstein was the reputed author, but which in fact was
the work of his _protégé;_--and there are other anecdotes, probably
familiar to most readers, showing the great skill and science which he
already exhibited in his performance of chamber music in the presence of
the Elector.

We see him intimate as ever in the Breuning family, mingling familiarly
with the best society of Bonn, which he met at their house,--and even
desperately in love! First it is with Fraülein Jeannette d'Honrath, of
Cologne, a beautiful and lively blonde, of pleasing manners, sweet and
gentle disposition, an ardent lover of music, and an agreeable singer,
who often came to Bonn and spent weeks with the Breunings. She seems to
have played the coquette a little, both with our young artist and his
friend Stephen. It is not difficult to imagine the effect upon the
sensitive and impulsive Ludwig, when the beautiful girl, nodding to him
in token of its application, sang in tender accents the then popular

  "Mich heute noch von dir zu trennen,
  Und dieses nicht verhindern können,
    Ist zu empfindlich für mein Herz."

She saw fit, however, to marry an Austrian, Carl Greth, a future
commandant at Temeswar, and her youthful lover was left to console
himself by transferring his affections to another beauty, Fraülein W.

We behold him in the same select circle, cultivating his talent for
improvising upon the piano-forte, by depicting in music the characters
of friends and acquaintances, and generally in such a manner that the
company had no difficulty in guessing the person intended. On one
of these occasions, Franz Ries was persuaded to take his violin and
improvise an accompaniment to his friend's improvisation, which he did
so successfully, that, long afterwards, he more than once ventured to
attempt the same in public, with his son Ferdinand.

Professor Wurzer, of Marburg, who well knew Beethoven in his youth,
gives us a glimpse of him sitting at the organ. On a pleasant summer
afternoon, when the artist was about twenty years of age, he, with some
companions, strolled out to Godesberg. Here they met Wurzer, who, in the
course of the conversation, mentioned that the church of the convent of
Marienforst--behind the village of Godesberg--had been repaired, and
that a new organ had been procured, or perhaps that the old one had been
put in order and perfected. Beethoven must needs try it. The key was
procured from the prior, and the friends gave him themes to vary and
work out, which he did with such skill and beauty, that at length the
peasants engaged below in cleaning the church, one after another,
dropped their brooms and brushes, forgetting everything else in their
wonder and delight.

In 1790, an addition was made to the Orchestra, most important in its
influence upon the artistic progress of Beethoven, as he was thus
brought into daily intercourse with two young musicians, already
distinguished virtuosos upon their respective instruments. The Elector
made frequent visits to other cities of his diocese, often taking a part
or the whole of his Chapel with him. Upon his return that summer from
Münster, he brought with him the two virtuosos in question. Andreas
Romberg, the violinist, and now celebrated composer, and his cousin
Bernhard, the greatest violoncellist of his age. With these two
young men Beethoven was often called to the palace for the private
entertainment of Maximilian. Very probably, upon one of these occasions,
was performed that trio not published until since the death of its
composer--"the second movement of which," says Schindler, "may be looked
upon as the embryo of all Beethoven's scherzos," while "the third is, in
idea and form, of the school of Mozart,--a proof how early he made that
master his idol." We know that it was composed at this period, and that
its author considered it his highest attempt then in free composition.

A few words must be given to the Electoral Orchestra, that school in
which Beethoven laid the foundation of his prodigious knowledge of
instrumental and orchestral effects, as in the chamber-music at the
palace he learned the unrivalled skill which distinguishes his efforts
in that branch of the art.

The Kapellmeister, in 1792, was Andrea Lucchesi, a native of Motta, in
the Venetian territory, a fertile and accomplished composer in most
styles. The concert-master was Joseph Reicha, a virtuoso upon the
violoncello, a very fine conductor, and no mean composer. The violins
were sixteen in number; among them were Franz Ries, Neefe,
Anton Reicha,--afterward the celebrated director of the Paris
Conservatoire,--and Andreas Romberg; violas four, among them Ludwig
van Beethoven; violoncellists three, among them Bernhard Romberg;
contrabassists also three. There were two oboes, two flutes,--one of
them played by another Anton Reicha,--two clarinets, two horns,--one by
Simrock, a celebrated player, and founder of the music-publishing house
of that name still existing in Bonn,--three bassoons, four trumpets, and
the usual tympani.

Fourteen of the forty-three musicians were soloists upon their several
instruments; some half a dozen of them were already known as composers.
Four years, at the least, of service in such an orchestra may well be
considered of all schools the best in which Beethoven could have been
placed. Let his works decide.

Our article shall close with some pictures photographed in the sunshine
which gilded the closing years of Beethoven's Bonn life. They illustrate
the character of the man and of the people with whom he lived and moved.

In 1791, in that beautiful season of the year in Central Europe, when
the heats of summer are past and the autumn rains not yet set in, the
Elector journeyed to Mergentheim, to hold, in his capacity of Grand
Master, a convocation of the Teutonic Order. The leading singers of
his Chapel, and some twenty members of the Orchestra, under Ries as
director, followed in two large barges. Before, starting upon the
expedition, the company assembled and elected a king. The dignity was
conferred upon Joseph Lux, the bass singer and comic actor, who, in
distributing the offices of his court, appointed Ludwig van Beethoven
and Bernhard Romberg scullions!

A glorious time and a merry they had of it, following slowly the
windings of the Rhine and the Main, now impelled by the wind, now drawn
by horses, against the swift current, in this loveliest time of the

In those days, when steamboats were not, such a voyage was slow, and not
seldom in a high degree tedious. With such a company the want of speed
was a consideration of no importance, and the memory of this journey was
in after years among Beethoven's brightest. Those who know the Rhine and
the Main can easily conceive that this should be so. The route embraced
the whole extent of the famous highlands of the former river, from
the Drachenfels and Rolandseek to the heights of the Niederwald above
Rüdesheim, and that lovely section of the latter which divides the hills
of the Odenwald from those of Spessart. The voyagers passed a thousand
points of local and historic interest. The old castles--among them
Stolzenfels and the Brothers--looked down upon them from their rocky
heights, as long afterwards upon the American, Paul Flemming, when he
journeyed, sick at heart, along the Rhine, toward ancient Heidelberg.
Quaint old cities--Andernach, with "the Christ," Coblentz, home of
Beethoven's mother, Boppard, Bacharach, Bingen--welcomed them; Mainz,
the Electoral city, and Frankfurt, seat of the Empire. And still beyond,
on the banks of the Main, Offenbach, Hanau, Aschaffenburg, and so onward
to Wertheim, where they left the Main and ascended the small river
Tauber to their place of destination.

Among the places at which they landed and made merry upon the journey
was the Niederwald. Here King Lux advanced Beethoven to a more honorable
position in his court, and gave him a diploma, dated from the heights
above Rüdesheim, attesting his appointment to the new dignity. To this
important document was attached, by threads ravelled from a boat-sail,
a huge seal of pitch, pressed into a small box-cover, which gave
the instrument a right imposing look,--like the Golden Bull in the
Römer-Saal at Frankfurt. This diploma from His Comic Majesty Beethoven
carried with him to Vienna, where Wegeler saw it several years afterward
carefully preserved.

At Aschaffenburg, the summer residence of the Electors of Mainz, Ries,
Simrock, and the two Rombergs took Beethoven with them to call upon the
great pianist, Sterkel. The master received the young men kindly, and
gratified them with a specimen of his powers. His style was in the
highest degree graceful and pleasing,--as Father Ries described it to
Wegeler, "somewhat lady-like." While he played, Beethoven stood by,
listening with the most eager attention, doubtless silently comparing
the effects produced by the player with those belonging to his own
style, which was rather rough and hard, owing to his constant practice
upon the organ. It is said that this was his first opportunity of
hearing any distinguished virtuoso upon the piano-forte,--a mistake,
we think, for he must have heard Mozart in Vienna, as before remarked.
Still, the delicacy of Sterkel's style may well have been a new
revelation to him of the powers of the instrument. Upon leaving the
piano-forte, the master invited his young visitor to take his place.
Beethoven was naturally diffident, and was not to be prevailed with,
until Sterkel intimated a doubt whether he could play his own very
difficult variations upon the air, "Vieni, Amore," which had then just
been published. Thus touched in a tender spot, the young author sat down
and played such as he could remember,--no copy being at hand,--and
then improvised several others, equally, if not more difficult, to the
surprise both of Sterkel and his friends. "What raised our surprise to
real astonishment," said Ries, as he related the story, "was, that the
impromptu variations were in precisely that graceful, pleasing style
which he had just heard for the first time."

Upon reaching Mergentheim, music, and ever music, became the order of
the day for King Lux and his merry subjects. Most fortunately for the
admirers of Beethoven, we have a minute account of two days (October 11
and 12) spent there, by a competent and trustworthy musical critic of
that period,--a man not the less welcome to us for possessing something
of the flunkeyism of old Diarist Pepys and Corsica Boswell. We shall
quote somewhat at length from his letter, since it has hitherto come
under the notice of none of the biographers, and yet gives us so lively
a picture of young Beethoven and his friends.

"On the very first day," writes Junker, "I heard the small band which
plays at dinner, during the stay of the Elector at Mergentheim. The
instruments are two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, and two horns.
These eight performers may well be called masters in their art. One can
rarely hear music of the kind, distinguished by such perfect unity
of effect and such sympathy with each other in the performers, and
especially in which so high a degree of exactness and perfection of
style is reached. This band appeared to me to differ from all others
I have heard in this,--that it plays music of a higher order; on this
occasion, for instance, it gave an arrangement of Mozart's overture to
'Don Juan.'"

It would be interesting to know what, if any, of the works of Beethoven
for wind-instruments belong to this period of his life.

"Soon after the dinner-music," continues our writer, "the play began. It
was the opera, 'King Theodor,' music by Paisiello. The part of _Theodor_
was sung by Herr Nüdler, a powerful singer in tragic scenes, and a good
actor. _Achmet_ was given by Herr Spitzeder,--a good bass singer, but
with too little action, and not always quite true,--in short, too cold.
The inn-keeper was Herr Lux, a very good bass, and the best actor,--a
man created for the comic. The part of _Lizette_ was taken by Demoiselle
Willmann. She sings in excellent taste, has very great power of
expression, and a lively, captivating action. Herr Mändel, in
_Sandrino,_ proved himself also a very fine and pleasing singer. The
orchestra was surpassingly good,--especially in its _piano_ and _forte_,
and its careful _crescendo._ Herr Ries, that remarkable reader of
scores, that great player, directed with his violin. He is a man who may
well be placed beside Cannabich, and by his powerful and certain tones
he gave life and soul to the whole....

"The next morning, (October 12,) at ten o'clock, the rehearsal for the
concert began, which was to be given at court at six in the afternoon.
Herr Welsch (oboist) had the politeness to invite me to be present. I
was held at the lodgings of Herr Ries, who received me with a hearty
shake of the hand. Here I was an eye-witness of the gentlemanly bearing
of the members of the Chapel toward each other. One heart, one mind
rules them. 'We know nothing of the cabals and chicanery so common;
among us the most perfect unanimity prevails; we, as members of one
company, cherish for each other a fraternal affection,' said Simrock to

"Here also I was an eye-witness to the esteem and respect in which this
chapel stands with the Elector. Just as the rehearsal was to begin, Ries
was sent for by the prince, and upon his return brought a bag of gold.
'Gentlemen,' said he, 'this being the Elector's name-day, he sends you a
present of a thousand thalers.'

"And again I was eye-witness of this orchestra's surpassing excellence.
Herr Winneberger, Kapellmeister at Wallenstein, laid before it a
symphony of his own composition, which was by no means easy of
execution, especially for the wind instruments, which had several solos
_concertante_. It went finely, however, at the first trial, to the great
surprise of the composer.

"An hour after the dinner-music, the concert began. It was opened with
a symphony of Mozart; then followed a recitative and air, sung by
Simonetti; next a violincello concerto, played by Herr Romberger
(Bernhard Romberg); fourthly, a symphony, by Pleyel; fifthly, an air by
Righini, sung by Simonette; sixthly, a double concerto for violin and
violoncello, played by the two Rombergs; and the closing piece was the
symphony by Winneberger, which had very many brilliant passages. The
opinion already expressed as to the performance of this orchestra was
confirmed. It was not possible to attain a higher degree of exactness.
Such perfection in the _pianos, fortes, rinforzandos_,--such a swelling
and gradual increase of tone, and then such an almost imperceptible
dying away, from the most powerful to the lightest accents,--all this
was formerly to be heard only at Mannheim. It would be difficult to find
another orchestra in which the violins and basses are throughout in such
excellent hands."

We pass over Junker's enthusiastic description of the two Rombergs,
merely remarking, that every word in his account of them is fully
confirmed by the musical periodical press of Europe during the entire
periods of thirty and fifty years of their respective lives after the
date of the letter before us,--and that their playing was undoubtedly
the standard Beethoven had in view, when afterward writing passages for
bowed instruments, which so often proved stumbling-blocks to orchestras
of no small pretensions. What Junker himself saw of the harmony and
brotherly love which marked the social intercourse of the members of
the Chapel was confirmed to him by the statements of others. He adds,
respecting their personal bearing towards others,--"The demeanor of
these gentlemen is very fine and unexceptionable. They are all people of
great elegance of manner and of blameless lives. Greater discretion of
conduct can nowhere be found. At the concert, the ill-starred performers
were so crowded, so incommoded by the multitude of auditors, so
surrounded and pressed upon, as hardly to have room to move their arms,
and the sweat rolled down their faces in great drops. But they bore all
this calmly and with good-humor; not an ill-natured face was visible
among them. At the court of some little prince, we should have seen,
under the circumstances, folly heaped upon folly.

"The members of the Chapel, almost without exception, are in their best
years, glowing with health, men of culture and fine personal appearance.
They form truly a fine sight, when one adds the splendid uniform in
which the Elector has clothed them,--red, and richly trimmed with gold."

And now for the impression which Beethoven, just completing his
twenty-first year, made upon him.

"I heard also one of the greatest of pianists,--the dear, good
Beethoven, some compositions by whom appeared in the Spires 'Blumenlese'
in 1783, written in his eleventh year. True, he did not perform in
public, probably because the instrument here was not to his mind. It is
one of Spath's make, and at Bonn he plays upon one by Steiner. But, what
was infinitely preferable to me, I heard him extemporize in private;
yes, I was even invited to propose a theme for him to vary. The
greatness of this amiable, light-hearted man, as a virtuoso, may, in my
opinion, be safely estimated from his almost inexhaustible wealth of
ideas, the altogether characteristic style of expression in his playing,
and the great execution which he displays. I know, therefore, no one
thing which he lacks, that conduces to the greatness of an artist. I
have heard Vogler upon the piano-forte,--of his organ-playing I say
nothing, not having heard him upon that instrument,--have often heard
him, heard him by the hour together, and never failed to wonder at his
astonishing execution; but Beethoven, in addition to the execution, has
greater clearness and weight of idea, and more expression,--in short,
he is more for the heart,--equally great, therefore, as an adagio or
allegro player. Even the members of this remarkable orchestra are,
without exception, his admirers, and all ear whenever he plays. Yet
he is exceedingly modest and free from all pretension. He, however,
acknowledged to me, that, upon the journeys which the Elector had
enabled him to make, he had seldom found in the playing of the most
distinguished virtuosos that excellence which he supposed he had a right
to expect. His style of treating his instrument is so different from
that usually adopted, that it impresses one with the idea, that by a
path of his own discovery he has attained that height of excellence
whereon he now stands.

"Had I acceded to the pressing entreaties of my friend Beethoven, to
which Herr Winneberger added his own, and remained another day in
Mergentheim, I have no doubt he would have played to me hours; and the
day, thus spent in the society of these two great artists, would have
been transformed into a day of the highest bliss."

Doubtless, Herr Junker, judging from the enthusiasm with which you have
written, it would have been so; and for our sake, as well as your own,
we heartily wish you had remained!

Again in Bonn,--the young master's last year in his native city,--that
_petite perle_. It was a fortunate circumstance for the development of
a genius so powerful and original, that the place was not one of such
importance as to call thither any composer or pianist of very great
eminence,--such a one as would have ruled the musical sphere in which
he moved, and become an object of imitation to the young student.
Beethoven's instructors and the musical atmosphere in which he lived and
wrought were fully able to ground him firmly in the laws and rules of
the art, without restraining the natural bent of his genius. His taste
for orchestral music, even, was developed in no particular school,
formed upon no single model,--the Electoral band playing, with equal
care and spirit, music from the presses of Vienna, Berlin, Munich,
Mannheim, Paris, London. Mozart, however, was Beethoven's favorite,
and his influence is unmistakably impressed upon many of the early
compositions of his young admirer.

But the youthful genius was fast becoming so superior to all around him,
that a wider field was necessary for his full development. He needed the
opportunity to measure his powers with those of the men who stood,
by general consent, at the head of the art; he felt the necessity of
instruction by teachers of a different and higher character, if any
could be found. Mozart, it is true, had just passed away, but still
Vienna remained the great metropolis of music; and thither his hopes and
wishes turned. An interview with Haydn added strength to these hopes and
wishes. This was upon Haydn's return, in the spring of 1792, after his
first visit to London, where he had composed for and directed in the
concerts of that Johann Peter Salomon in whose house Beethoven first
saw the light. The veteran composer, on his way home, came to Bonn, and
there accepted an invitation from the Electoral Orchestra to a breakfast
in Godesberg. Here Beethoven was introduced to him, and placed before
him a cantata which he had offered for performance at Mergentheim,
the preceding autumn, but which had proved too difficult for the
wind-instruments in certain passages. Haydn examined it carefully, and
encouraged him to continue in the path of musical composition. Neefe
also hints to us that Haydn was greatly impressed by the skill of the
young man as a piano-forte virtuoso.

Happily, Beethoven was now, as we have seen, free from the burden of
supporting his young brothers, and needed but the means for his journey.

"In November of last year," writes Neefe, in 1793, "Ludwig van
Beethoven, second court organist, and indisputably one of the first of
living pianists, left Bonn for Vienna, to perfect himself in composition
under Haydn. Haydn intended to take him with him upon a second journey
to London, but nothing has come of it."

A few days or weeks, then, before completing his twenty-second year,
Beethoven entered Vienna a second time, to enjoy the example and
instructions of him who was now universally acknowledged the head of
the musical world; to measure his powers upon the piano-forte with the
greatest virtuosos then living; to start upon that career, in which,
by unwearied labor, indomitable perseverance, and never-tiring
effort,--alike under the smiles and the frowns of fortune, in sickness
and in health, and in spite of the saddest calamity which can befall
the true artist, he elevated himself to a position, which, by every
competent judge, is held to be the highest yet attained in perhaps the
grandest department of pure music.

Beethoven came to Vienna in the full vigor of youth just emerging into
manhood. The clouds which had settled over his childhood had all passed
away. All looked bright, joyous, and hopeful. Though, perhaps, wanting
in some of the graces and refinements of polite life, it is clear, from
his intimacy with the Breuning family, his consequent familiarity with
the best society at Bonn, the unchanging kindness of Count Waldstein,
the explicit testimony of Junker, that he was not, could not have been,
the young savage which some of his blind admirers have represented him.
The bare supposition is an insult to his memory. That his sense of
probity and honor was most acute, that he was far above any, the
slightest, meanness of thought or action, of a noble and magnanimous
order of mind, utterly destitute of any feeling of servility which
rendered it possible for him to cringe to the rich and the great, and
that he ever acted from a deep sense of moral obligation,--all this his
whole subsequent history proves. His merit, both as an artist and a man,
met at once full recognition.

And here for the present we leave him, moving in Vienna, as in Bonn,
in the higher circles of society, in the full sunshine of prosperity,
enjoying all that his ardent nature could demand of esteem and
admiration in the saloons of the great, in the society of his brother
artists, in the popular estimation.

       *       *       *       *       *


    Love hailed a little maid,
  Romping through the meadow:
    Heedless in the sun she played,
  Scornful of the shadow.
    "Come with me," whispered he;
  "Listen, sweet, to love and reason."
    "By and by," she mocked reply;
      "Love's not in season."

    Years went, years came;
  Light mixed with shadow.
    Love met the maid again,
  Dreaming through the meadow.
    "Not so coy," urged the boy;
  "List in time to love and reason."
    "By and by," she mused reply;
      "Love's still in season."

    Years went, years came;
  Light changed to shadow.
    Love saw the maid again,
  Waiting in the meadow.
    "Pass no more; my dream is o'er;
  I can listen now to reason."
    "Keep thee coy," mocked the boy;
      "Love's out of season."


[Footnote A: _Life Thoughts, gathered from the Extemporaneous Discourses
of Henry Ward Beecher._ By a Member of his Congregation. Boston:
Phillips, Sampson & Co. 1858. pp. 299.]

There are more than thirty thousand preachers in the United States,
whereof twenty-eight thousand are Protestants, the rest Catholics,--one
minister to a thousand men. They make an exceeding great army,--mostly
serious, often self-denying and earnest. Nay, sometimes you find them
men of large talent, perhaps even of genius. No thirty thousand
farmers, mechanics, lawyers, doctors, or traders have so much of that
book-learning which is popularly called "Education."

No class has such opportunities for influence, such means of power; even
now the press ranks second to the pulpit. Some of the old traditional
respect for the theocratic class continues in service, and waits upon
the ministers. It has come down from Celtic and Teutonic fathers,
hundreds of years behind us, who transferred to a Roman priesthood the
allegiance once paid to the servants of a deity quite different from the
Catholic. The Puritans founded an ecclesiastical oligarchy which is by
no means ended yet; with the most obstinate "liberty of prophesying"
there was mixed a certain respect for such as only wore the prophet's
mantle; nor is it wholly gone.

What personal means of controlling the public the minister has at his
command! Of their own accord, men "assemble and meet together," and look
up to him. In the country, the town-roads centre at the meeting-house,
which is also the _terminus a quo_, the golden mile-stone, whence
distances are measured off. Once a week, the wheels of business, and
even of pleasure, drop into the old customary ruts, and turn thither.
Sunday morning, all the land is still. Labor puts off his iron apron and
arrays him in clean human clothes,--a symbol of universal humanity, not
merely of special toil. Trade closes the shop; his business-pen, well
wiped, is laid up for to-morrow's use; the account-book is shut,--men
thinking of their trespasses as well as their debts. For six days, aye,
and so many nights, Broadway roars with the great stream which sets this
way and that, as wind and tide press up and down. How noisy is this
great channel of business, wherein Humanity rolls to and fro, now
running into shops, now sucked down into cellars, then dashed high up
the tall, steep banks, to come down again a continuous drip and be lost
in the general flood! What a fringe of foam colors the margin on either
side, and what gay bubbles float therein, with more varied gorgeousness
than the Queen of Sheba dreamed of putting on when she courted the eye
of Hebrew Solomon! Sunday, this noise is still. Broadway is a quiet
stream, looking sober, or even dull; its voice is but a gentle murmur of
many waters calmly flowing where the ecclesiastical gates are open
to let them in. The channel of business has shrunk to a little
church-canal. Even in this great Babel of commerce one day in seven is
given up to the minister. The world may have the other six; this is for
the Church;--for so have Abram and Lot divided the field of Time, that
there be no strife between the rival herdsmen of the Church and the
World. Sunday morning, Time rings the bell. At the familiar sound, by
long habit born in them, and older than memory, men assemble at the
meeting-house, nestle themselves devoutly in their snug pews, and button
themselves in with wonted care. There is the shepherd, and here is the
flock, fenced off into so many little private pens. With dumb, yet
eloquent patience, they look up listless, perhaps longing, for such
fodder as he may pull out from his spiritual mow and shake down before
them. What he gives they gather.

Other speakers must have some magnetism of personal power or public
reputation to attract men; but the minister can dispense with that;
to him men answer before he calls, and even when they are not sent by
others are drawn by him. Twice a week, nay, three times, if he will, do
they lend him their ears to be filled with his words. No man of science
or letters has such access to men. Besides, he is to speak on the
grandest of all themes,--of Man, of God, of Religion, man's deepest
desires, his loftiest aspirings. Before him the rich and the poor meet
together, conscious of the one God, Master of them all, who is no
respecter of persons. To the minister the children look up, and their
pliant faces are moulded by his plastic hand. The young men and maidens
are there,--such possibility of life and character before them, such
hope is there, such faith in man and God, as comes instinctively to
those who have youth on their side. There are the old: men and women
with white crowns on their heads; faces which warn and scare with the
ice and storm of eighty winters, or guide and charm with the beauty
of four-score summers,--rich in promise once, in harvest now. Very
beautiful is the presence of old men, and of that venerable sisterhood
whose experienced temples are turbaned with the raiment of such as have
come out of much tribulation, and now shine as white stars foretelling
an eternal day. Young men all around, a young man in the pulpit, the old
men's look of experienced life says "Amen" to the best word, and their
countenance is a benediction.

The minister is not expected to appeal to the selfish motives which
are addressed by the market, the forum, or the bar, but to the eternal
principle of Right. He must not be guided by the statutes of men,
changeable as the clouds, but must fix his eye on the bright particular
star of Justice, the same yesterday, to-day, and forever. To him,
office, money, social rank, and fame are but toys or counters which the
game of life is played withal; while wisdom, integrity, benevolence,
piety are the prizes the game is for. He digs through the dazzling sand,
and bids men build on the rock of ages.

Surely, no men have such opportunity of speech and power as these thirty
thousand ministers. What have they to show for it all? The hunter,
fisher, woodman, miner, farmer, mechanic, has each his special wealth.
What have this multitude of ministers to show?--how much knowledge
given, what wise guidance, what inspiration of humanity? Let the best
men answer.

This ministerial army may be separated into three divisions. First, the
Church Militant, the Fighting Church, as the ecclesiastical dictionaries
define it. Reverend men serve devoutly in its ranks. Their work is
negative, oppositional. Under various banners, with diverse, and
discordant war-cries, trumpets braying a certain or uncertain sound, and
weapons of strange pattern, though made of trusty steel, they do battle
against the enemy. What shots from antique pistols, matchlocks, from
crossbows and catapults, are let fly at the foe! Now the champion
attacks "New Views," "Ultraism," "Neology," "Innovation," "Discontent,"
"Carnal Reason"; then he lays lance in rest, and rides valiantly
upon "Unitarianism," "Popery," "Infidelity," "Atheism," "Deism,"
"Spiritualism"; and though one by one he runs them through, yet he never
quite slays the Evil One;--the severed limbs unite again, and a new
monster takes the old one's place. It is serious men who make up the
Church Militant,--grim, earnest, valiant. If mustered in the ninth
century, there had been no better soldiers nor elder.

Next is the Church Termagant. They are the Scolds of the Church-hold,
terrible from the beginning hitherto. Their work is denouncing; they
have always a burden against something. _Obsta decisis_ is their
motto,--"Hate all that is agreed upon." When the "contrary-minded" are
called for, the Church Termagant holds up its hand. A turbulent people,
and a troublesome, are these sons of thunder,--a brotherhood of
universal come-outers. Their only concord is disagreement. It is not
often, perhaps, that they have better thoughts than the rest of men,
but a superior aptitude to find fault; their growling proves, "not
that themselves are wise, but others weak." So their pulpit is a
brawling-tub, "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." They have a
deal of thunder, and much lightning, but no light, nor any continuous
warmth, only spasms of heat. _Odi presentem laudare absentem_,--the
Latin tells their story. They come down and trouble every Bethesda in
the world, but heal none of the impotent folk. To them,

  "Of old things, all are over old,
  Of new things, none is new enough."

They have a rage for fault-finding, and betake themselves to the pulpit
as others are sent to Bedlam. Men of all denominations are here, and it
is a deal of mischief they do,--the worst, indirectly, by making a sober
man distrust the religious faculty they appeal to, and set his face
against all mending of anything, no matter how badly it is broken. These
Theudases, boasting themselves to be somebody, and leading men off to
perish in the wilderness, frighten every sober man from all thought of
moving out of his bad neighborhood or seeking to make it better.--But
this is a small portion of the ecclesiastic host. Let us be tolerant to
their noise and bigotry.

Last of all is the Church Beneficent or Constructant. Their work is
positive,--critical of the old, creative also of the new. They take hold
of the strongest of all human faculties,--the religious,--and use this
great river of God, always full of water, to moisten hill-side and
meadow, to turn lonely saw-mills, and drive the wheels in great
factories, which make a metropolis of manufactures,--to bear alike the
lumberman's logs and the trader's ships to their appointed place; the
stream feeding many a little forget-me-not, as it passes by. Men of
all denominations belong to this Church Catholic; yet all are of one
_persuasion_, the brotherhood of Humanity,--for the one spirit loves
manifoldness of form. They trouble themselves little about Sin, the
universal but invisible enemy whom the Church Termagant attempts to
shell and dislodge; but are very busy in attacking Sins. These ministers
of religion would rout Drunkenness and Want, Ignorance, Idleness, Lust,
Covetousness, Vanity, Hate, and Pride, vices of instinctive passion or
reflective ambition. Yet the work of these men is to build up; they cut
down the forest and scare off the wild beasts only to replace them with
civil crops, cattle, corn, and men. Instead of the howling wilderness,
they would have the village or the city, full of comfort and wealth and
musical with knowledge and with love. How often are they misunderstood!
Some savage hears the ring of the axe, the crash of falling timber,
or the rifle's crack and the drop of wolf or bear, and cries out, "A
destructive and dangerous man; he has no reverence for the ancient
wilderness, but would abolish it and its inhabitants; away with him!"
But look again at this destroyer, and in place of the desert woods,
lurked in by a few wild beasts and wilder men, behold, a whole New
England of civilization has come up! The minister of this Church of the
Good Samaritans delivers the poor that cry, and the fatherless, and him
that hath none to help him; he makes the widow's heart sing for joy, and
the blessing of such as are ready to perish comes on him; he is eyes to
the blind, feet to the lame; the cause of evil which he knows not he
searches out; breaking the jaws of the wicked to pluck one spirit out
of their teeth. In a world of work, he would have no idler in the
market-place; in a world of bread, he would not eat his morsel alone
while the fatherless has nought; nor would he see any perish for want of
clothing. He knows the wise God made man for a good end, and provided
adequate means thereto; so he looks for them where they were placed,
in the world of matter and of men, not outside of either. So while he
entertains every old Truth, he looks out also into the crowd of new
Opinions, hoping to find others of their kin: and the new thought does
not lodge in the street; he opens his doors to the traveller, not
forgetful to entertain strangers,--knowing that some have also thereby
entertained angels unawares. He does not fear the great multitude, nor
does the contempt of a few families make him afraid.

This Church Constructant has a long apostolical succession of great men,
and many nations are gathered in its fold. And what a variety of beliefs
it has! But while each man on his private account says, CREDO, and
believes as he must and shall, and writes or speaks his opinions in what
speech he likes best,--they all, with one accordant mouth, say likewise,
FACIAMUS, and betake them to the one great work of developing man's
possibility of knowledge and virtue.

Mr. Beecher belongs to this Church Constructant. He is one of its
eminent members, its most popular and effective preacher. No minister
in the United States is so well known, none so widely beloved. He is
as well known in Ottawa as in Broadway. He has the largest Protestant
congregation in America, and an ungathered parish which no man attempts
to number. He has church members in Maine, Wisconsin, Georgia, Texas,
California, and all the way between. Men look on him as a national
institution, a part of the public property. Not a Sunday in the year but
representative men from every State in the Union fix their eyes on him,
are instructed by his sermons and uplifted by his prayers. He is
the most popular of American lecturers. In the celestial sphere of
theological journals, his papers are the bright particular star in that
constellation called the "Independent": men look up to and bless the
useful light, and learn therefrom the signs of the times. He is one of
the bulwarks of freedom in Kansas,--a detached fort. He was a great
force in the last Presidential campaign, and several stump-speakers
were specially detailed to overtake and offset him. But the one man
surrounded the many. Scarcely is there a Northern minister so bitterly
hated at the South. The slave-traders, the border-ruffians, the
purchased officials know no Higher Law; "nor Hale nor Devil can make
them afraid"; yet they fear the terrible whip of Henry Ward Beecher.

The time has not come--may it long be far distant!--to analyze his
talents and count up his merits and defects. But there are certain
obvious excellences which account for his success and for the honor paid

Mr. Beecher has great strength of instinct,--of spontaneous human
feeling. Many men lose this in "getting an education"; they have tanks
of rain-water, barrels of well-water; but on their premises is no
spring, and it never rains there. A mountain-spring supplies Mr. Beecher
with fresh, living water.

He has great love for Nature, and sees the symbolical value of material
beauty and its effect on man.

He has great fellow-feeling with the joys and sorrows of men. Hence he
is always on the side of the suffering, and especially of the oppressed;
all his sermons and lectures indicate this. It endears him to millions,
and also draws upon him the hatred and loathing of a few Pharisees, some
of them members of his own sect.

Listen to this:--

"Looked at without educated associations, there is no difference between
a man in bed and a man in a coffin. And yet such is the power of the
heart to redeem the animal life, that there is nothing more exquisitely
refined and pure and beautiful than the chamber of the house. The couch!
From the day that the bride sanctifies it, to the day when the aged
mother is borne from it, it stands clothed with loveliness and dignity.
Cursed be the tongue that dares speak evil of the household bed! By its
side oscillates the cradle. Not far from it is the crib. In this sacred
precinct, the mother's chamber, lies the heart of the family. Here the
child learns its prayer. Hither, night by night, angels troop. It is the
Holy of Holies."

How well he understands the ministry of grief!

"A Christian man's life is laid in the loom of time to a pattern which
he does not see, but God does; and his heart is a shuttle. On one side
of the loom is sorrow, and on the other is joy; and the shuttle, struck
alternately by each, flies back and forth, carrying the thread, which
is white or black, as the pattern needs; and in the end, when God shall
lift up the finished garment, and all its changing hues shall glance
out, it will then appear that the deep and dark colors were as needful
to beauty as the bright and high colors."

He loves children, and the boy still fresh in his manhood.

"When your own child comes in from the street, and has learned to swear
from the bad boys congregated there, it is a very different thing to
you from what it was when you heard the profanity of those boys as you
passed them. Now it takes hold of you, and makes you feel that you are a
stockholder in the public morality. Children make men better citizens.
Of what use would an engine be to a ship, if it were lying loose in the
hull? It must be fastened to it with bolts and screws, before it can
propel the vessel. Now a childless man is just like a loose engine. A
man must be bolted and screwed to the community before he can begin to
work for its advancement; and there are no such screws and bolts as

He has a most Christ-like contempt for the hypocrite, whom he scourges
with heavy evangelical whips,--but the tenderest Christian love for
earnest men struggling after nobleness.

Read this:--

"I think the wickedest people on earth are those who use a force of
genius to make themselves selfish in the noblest things, keeping
themselves aloof from the vulgar and the ignorant and the unknown;
rising higher and higher in taste, till they sit, ice upon ice, on the
mountain-top of eternal congelation."

"Men are afraid of slight outward acts which will injure them in the
eyes of others, while they are heedless of the damnation which throbs in
their souls in hatreds and jealousies and revenges."

"Many people use their refinements as a spider uses his web, to catch
the weak upon, that they may he mercilessly devoured. Christian men
should use refinement on this principle: the more I have, the more I owe
to those who are less than I."

He values the substance of man more than his accidents.

"We say a man is 'made.' What do we mean? That he has got the control of
his lower instincts, so that they are only fuel to his higher feelings,
giving force to his nature? That his affections are like vines, sending
out on all sides blossoms and clustering fruits? That his tastes are so
cultivated, that all beautiful things speak to him, and bring him their
delights? That his understanding is opened, so that he walks through
every hall of knowledge, and gathers its treasures? That his moral
feelings are so developed and quickened, that he holds sweet commerce
with Heaven? Oh, no!--none of these things! He is cold and dead in heart
and mind and soul. Only his passions are alive; but--he is worth five
hundred thousand dollars!

"And we say a man is 'ruined.' Are his wife and children dead? Oh, no!
Have they had a quarrel, and are they separated from him? Oh, no! Has he
lost his reputation through crime? No. Is his reason gone? Oh, no! it's
as sound as ever. Is he struck through with disease? No. He has lost his
property, and he is ruined. The _man_ ruined? When shall we learn
that 'a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things he

Mr. Beecher's God has the gentle and philanthropic qualities of Jesus
of Nazareth, with omnipotence added. Religious emotion comes out in his
prayers, sermons, and lectures, as the vegetative power of the earth in
the manifold plants and flowers of spring.

"The sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers, but for the wide
world's joy. The lonely pine on the mountain-top waves its sombre
boughs, and cries, 'Thou art my sun!' And the little meadow-violet lifts
its cup of blue, and whispers with its perfumed breath, 'Thou art my
sun!' And the grain in a thousand fields rustles in the wind, and makes
answer, 'Thou art my sun!'

"So God sits effulgent in heaven, not for a favored few, but for the
universe of life; and there is no creature so poor or low, than he may
not look up with childlike confidence and say, 'My Father! thou art

"When once the filial feeling is breathed into the heart, the soul
cannot be terrified by augustness, or justice, or any form of Divine
grandeur; for then, to such a one, _all the attributes of God are but so
many arms stretched abroad through the universe, to gather and to press
to his bosom those whom he loves. The greater he is, the gladder are
we_, so that he be our Father still.

"But, if one consciously turns away from God, or fears him, the nobler
and grander the representation be, the more terrible is his conception
of the Divine Adversary that frowns upon him. The God whom love beholds
rises upon the horizon like mountains which carry summer up their sides
to the very top; but that sternly just God whom sinners fear stands
cold against the sky, like Mont Blanc; and from his icy sides the soul,
quickly sliding, plunges headlong down to unrecalled destruction."

He has hard words for such as get only the form of religion, or but
little of its substance.

"There are some Christians whose secular life is an arid, worldly
strife, and whose religion is but a turbid sentimentalism. Their life
runs along that line where the overflow of the Nile meets the desert.
_It is the boundary line between sand and mud_."

"_That gospel which sanctions ignorance and oppression for three
millions of men_, what fruit or flower has it to shake down for the
healing of the nations? _It is cursed in its own roots, and blasted in
its own boughs_."

"Many of our churches defy Protestantism. Grand cathedrals are they,
which make us shiver as we enter them. The windows are so constructed
as to exclude the light and inspire a religious awe. The walls are of
stone, which makes us think of our last home. The ceilings are sombre,
and the pews coffin-colored. Then the services are composed to these
circumstances, and hushed music goes trembling along the aisles, and men
move softly, and would on no account put on their hats before they reach
the door; but when they do, they take a long breath, and have such a
sense of relief to be in the free air, and comfort themselves with the
thought that they've been good Christians!

"Now this idea of worship is narrow and false. The house of God should
be a joyous place for the right use of all our faculties."

"There ought to be such an atmosphere in every Christian church, that
a man going there and sitting two hours should take the contagion of
heaven, and carry home a fire to kindle the altar whence he came."

"The call to religion is not a call to be better than your fellows, _but
to be better than yourself_. Religion is relative to the individual."

"My best presentations of the gospel to you are so incomplete!
Sometimes, when I am alone, I have such sweet and rapturous visions of
the love of God and the truths of his word, that I think, if I could
speak to you then, I should move your hearts. I am like a child, who,
walking forth some sunny summer's morning, sees grass and flower all
shining with drops of dew. 'Oh,' he cries, 'I'll carry these beautiful
things to my mother!' And, eagerly plucking them, the dew drops into his
little palm, and all the charm is gone. There is but grass in his hand,
and no longer pearls."

"There are many professing Christians who are secretly vexed on account
of the charity they have to bestow and the self-denial they have to use.
If, instead of the smooth prayers which they _do_ pray, they should
speak out the things which they really feel, they would say, when they
go home at night, 'O Lord, I met a poor curmudgeon of yours to-day, a
miserable, unwashed brat, and I gave him sixpence, and I have been sorry
for it ever since'; or, 'O Lord, if I had not signed those articles of
faith, I might have gone to the theatre this evening. Your religion
deprives me of a great deal of enjoyment, but I mean to stick to it.
There's no other way of getting into heaven, I suppose.'

"The sooner such men are out of the church, the better."

"The youth-time of churches produces enterprise; their age, indolence;
but even this might be borne, did not _these dead men sit in the door
of their sepulchres, crying out against every living man who refuses to
wear the livery of death_. In India, when the husband dies, they burn
his widow with him. I am almost tempted to think, that, if, with the end
of every pastorate, the church itself were disbanded and destroyed, to
be gathered again by the succeeding teacher, we should thus secure an
immortality of youth."

"A religious life is not a thing which spends itself. It is like a river
which widens continually, and is never so broad or so deep as at its
mouth, where it rolls into the ocean of eternity."

"God made the world to relieve an over-full creative thought,--as
musicians sing, as we talk, as artists sketch, when full of suggestions.
What profusion is there in his work! When trees blossom, there is not
a single breastpin, but a whole bosom full of gems; and of leaves they
have so many suits, that they can throw them away to the winds all
summer long. What unnumbered cathedrals has he reared in the forest
shades, vast and grand, full of curious carvings, and haunted evermore
by tremulous music! and in the heavens above, how do stars seem to have
flown out of his hand, faster than sparks out of a mighty forge!"

"Oh, let the soul alone! Let it go to God as best it may! It is
entangled enough. It is hard enough for it to rise above the
distractions which environ it. Let a man teach the rain how to fall, the
clouds how to shape themselves and move their airy rounds, the seasons
how to cherish and garner the universal abundance; but let him not teach
a soul to pray, on whom the Holy Ghost doth brood!"

He recognizes the difference between religion and theology.

"How sad is that field from which battle hath just departed! By as much
as the valley was exquisite in its loveliness, is it now sublimely sad
in its desolation. Such to me is the Bible, when a fighting theologian
has gone through it.

"How wretched a spectacle is a garden into which the cloven-footed
beasts have entered! That which yesterday was fragrant, and shone all
over with crowded beauty, is to-day rooted, despoiled, trampled, and
utterly devoured, and all over the ground you shall find but the
rejected cuds of flowers and leaves, and forms that have been champed
for their juices and then rejected. Such to me is the Bible, when the
pragmatic prophecy-monger and the swinish utilitarian have toothed its
fruits and craunched its blossoms.

"O garden of the Lord! whose seeds dropped down from heaven, and to
whom angels bear watering dews night by night! O flowers and plants of
righteousness! O sweet and holy fruits! We walk among you, and gaze with
loving eyes, and rest under your odorous shadows; nor will we, with
sacrilegious hand, tear you, that we may search the secret of your
roots, nor spoil you, that we may know how such wondrous grace and
goodness are evolved within you!"

"What a pin is, when the diamond has dropped from its setting, is the
Bible, when its emotive truths have been taken away. What a babe's
clothes are, when the babe has slipped out of them into death and the
mother's arms clasp only raiment, would be the Bible, if the Babe of
Bethlehem, and the truths of deep-heartedness that clothed his life,
should slip out of it."

"There is no food for soul or body which God has not symbolized. He
is light for the eye, sound for the ear, bread for food, wine for
weariness, peace for trouble. Every faculty of the soul, if it would but
open its door, might see Christ standing over against it, and silently
asking by his smile, 'Shall I come in unto thee?' But men open the door
and look down, not up, and thus see him not. So it is that men sigh on,
not knowing what the soul wants, but only that it needs something. Our
yearnings are homesickness for heaven; our sighings are for God; just
as children that cry themselves asleep away from home, and sob in
their slumber, know not that they sob for their parents. The soul's
inarticulate moanings are the affections yearning for the Infinite, but
having no one to tell them what it is that ails them."

"I feel sensitive about theologies. Theology is good in its place; but
when it puts its hoof upon a living, palpitating, human heart, my heart
cries out against it."

"There are men marching along in the company of Christians on earth,
who, when they knock at the gate of heaven, will hear God answer,
'I never knew you.'--'But the ministers did, and the church-books
did.'--'That may be. I never did.'

"It is no matter who knows a man on earth, if God does not know him."

"The heart-knowledge, through God's teaching, is true wealth, and they
are often poorest who deem themselves most rich. I, in the pulpit,
preach with proud forms to many a humble widow and stricken man who
might well teach me. The student, spectacled and gray with wisdom, and
stuffed with lumbered lore, may be childish and ignorant beside some old
singing saint who brings the wood into his study, and who, with the
lens of his own experience, brings down the orbs of truth, and beholds
through his faith and his humility things of which the white-haired
scholar never dreamed."

He has eminent integrity, is faithful to his own soul, and to every
delegated trust. No words are needed here as proof. His life is daily
argument. The public will understand this; men whose taste he offends,
and whose theology he shocks, or to whose philosophy he is repugnant,
have confidence in the integrity of the man. He means what he says,--is
solid all through.

"From the beginning, I educated myself to speak along the line and in
the current of my moral convictions; and though, in later days, it
has carried me through places where there were some batterings and
bruisings, yet I have been supremely grateful that I was led to
adopt this course. I would rather speak the truth to ten men than
blandishments and lying to a million. Try it, ye who think there is
nothing in it! try what it is to speak with God behind you,--to speak so
as to be only the arrow in the bow which the Almighty draws."

With what affectionate tenderness does this great, faithful soul pour
out his love to his own church! He invites men to the communion-service.

"Christian brethren, in heaven you are known by the name of Christ.
On earth, for convenience's sake, you are known by the name of
Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Methodists, Congregationalists, and
the like. Let me speak the language of heaven, and call you simply
Christians. Whoever of you has known the name of Christ, and feels
Christ's life beating within him, is invited to remain and sit with us
at the table of the Lord."

And again, when a hundred were added to his church, he says:--

"My friends, my heart is large to-day. I am like a tree upon which rains
have fallen till every leaf is covered with drops of dew; and no wind
goes through the boughs but I hear the pattering of some thought of joy
and gratitude. I love you all more than ever before. You are crystalline
to me; your faces are radiant; and I look through your eyes, as through
windows, into heaven. I behold in each of you an imprisoned angel, that
is yet to burst forth, and to live and shine in the better sphere."

He has admirable power of making a popular statement of his opinions. He
does not analyze a matter to its last elements, put the ultimate facts
in a row and find out their causes or their law of action, nor aim at
large synthesis of generalization, the highest effort of philosophy,
which groups things into a whole;--it is commonly thought both of these
processes are out of place in meeting-houses and lecture-halls,--that
the people can comprehend neither the one nor the other;--but he gives
a popular view of the thing to be discussed, which can be understood on
the spot without painful reflection. He speaks for the ear which takes
in at once and understands. He never makes attention painful. He
illustrates his subject from daily life; the fields, the streets, stars,
flowers, music, and babies are his favorite emblems. He remembers that
he does not speak to scholars, to minds disciplined by long habits of
thought, but to men with common education, careful and troubled about
many things; and they keep his words and ponder them in their hearts. So
he has the diffuseness of a wide natural field, which properly spreads
out its clover, dandelions, dock, buttercups, grasses, violets, with
here and there a delicate Arethusa that seems to have run under this
sea of common vegetation and come up in a strange place. He has not the
artificial condensation of a garden, where luxuriant Nature assumes the
form of Art. His dramatic power makes his sermon also a life in the
pulpit; his _auditorium_ is also a _theatrum_, for he acts to the eye
what he addresses to the ear, and at once wisdom enters at the two
gates. The extracts show his power of thought and speech as well as of
feeling. Here are specimens of that peculiar humor which appears in all
his works.

"Sects and Christians that desire to be known by the undue prominence of
some single feature of Christianity are necessarily imperfect just in
proportion to the distinctness of their peculiarities. The power of
Christian truth is in its unity and symmetry, and not in the saliency
or brilliancy of any of its special doctrines. If among painters of
the human face and form there should spring up a sect of the eyes, and
another sect of the nose, a sect of the hand, and a sect of the foot,
and all of them should agree but in the one thing of forgetting that
there was a living spirit behind the features more important than them
all, they would too much resemble the schools and cliques of Christians;
for the spirit of Christ is the great essential truth; doctrines are but
the features of the face, and ordinances but the hands and feet."

Here are some separate maxims:--

"It is not well for a man to pray cream and live skim-milk."

"The mother's heart is the child's school-room."

"They are not reformers who simply abhor evil. Such men become in the
end abhorrent themselves."

"There are many troubles which you can't cure by the Bible and the
Hymn-book, but which you can cure by a good perspiration and a breath of
fresh air."

"The most dangerous infidelity of the day is the infidelity of rich and
orthodox churches."

"The fact that a nation is growing is God's own charter of change."

"There is no class in society who can so ill afford to undermine the
conscience of the community, or to set it loose from its moorings in
the eternal sphere, as merchants who live upon confidence and credit.
Anything which weakens or paralyzes this is taking beams from the
foundations of the merchant's own warehouse."

"It would almost seem as if there were a certain drollery of art which
leads men who think they are doing one thing to do another and very
different one. Thus, men have set up in their painted church-windows the
symbolisms of virtues and graces, and the images of saints, and even
of Divinity itself. Yet now, what does the window do but mock the
separations and proud isolations of Christian men? For there sit
the audience, each one taking a separate color; and there are blue
Christians and red Christians, there are yellow saints and orange
saints, there are purple Christians and green Christians; but how few
are simple, pure, white Christians, uniting all the cardinal graces, and
proud, not of separate colors, but of the whole manhood of Christ!"

"Every mind is entered, like every house, through its own door."

"Doctrine is nothing but the skin of Truth set up and stuffed."

"Compromise is the word that men use when the Devil gets a victory over
God's cause."

"A man in the right, with God on his side, is in the majority, though he
be alone; for God is multitudinous above all populations of the earth."

But this was first said by Frederic Douglas, and better: "_One with God
is a majority._"

"A lie always needs a truth for a handle to it; else the hand would cut
itself, which sought to drive it home upon another. The worst lies,
therefore, are those whose blade is false, but whose handle is true."

"It is not conviction of truth which does men good; it is moral
consciousness of truth."

"A conservative young man has wound up his life before it was unreeled.
We expect old men to be conservative; but when a nation's young men are
so, its funeral-bell is already rung."

"Night-labor, in time, will destroy the student; for it is marrow from
his own bones with which he fills his lamp."

A great-hearted, eloquent, fervent, live man, full of religious emotion,
of humanity and love,--no wonder he is dear to the people of America.
Long may he bring instruction to the lecture associations of the North!
Long may he stand in his pulpit at Brooklyn with his heavenly candle,
which goeth not out at all by day, to kindle the devotion and piety of
the thousands who cluster around him, and carry thence light and warmth
to all the borders of the land!

We should do injustice to our own feelings, did we not, in closing, add
a word of hearty thanks and commendation to the Member of Mr. Beecher's
Congregation to whom we are indebted for a volume that has given us
so much pleasure. The selection covers a wide range of topics, and
testifies at once to the good taste and the culture of the editress.
Many of the finest passages were conceived and uttered in the rapid
inspiration of speaking, and but for her admiring intelligence and care,
the eloquence, wit, and wisdom, which are here preserved to us, would
have faded into air with the last vibration of the preacher's voice.


  Under a sultry, yellow sky,
  On the yellow sand I lie;
  The crinkled vapors smite my brain,
  I smoulder in a fiery pain.

  Above the crags the condor flies;
  He knows where the red gold lies,
  He knows where the diamonds shine;--
  If I knew, would she be mine?

  Mercedes in her hammock swings;
  In her court a palm-tree flings
  Its slender shadow on the ground,
  The fountain falls with silver sound.

  Her lips are like this cactus cup;
  With my hand I crush it up;
  I tear its flaming leaves apart;--
  Would that I could tear her heart!

  Last night a man was at her gate;
  In the hedge I lay in wait;
  I saw Mercedes meet him there,
  By the fire-flies in her hair.

  I waited till the break of day,
  Then I rose and stole away;
  I drove my dagger through the gate;--
  Now she knows her lover's fate!

       *       *       *       *       *



[This particular record is noteworthy principally for containing a paper
by my friend, the Professor, with a poem or two annexed or intercalated.
I would suggest to young persons that they should pass over it for the
present, and read, instead of it, that story about the young man who was
in love with the young lady, and in great trouble for something like
nine pages, but happily married on the tenth page or thereabouts, which,
I take it for granted, will be contained in the periodical where this
is found, unless it differ from all other publications of the kind.
Perhaps, if such young people will lay the number aside, and take it
up ten years, or a little more, from the present time, they may find
something in it for their advantage. They can't possibly understand it
all now.]

My friend, the Professor, began talking with me one day in a dreary sort
of way. I couldn't get at the difficulty for a good while, but at last
it turned out that somebody had been calling him an old man.--He didn't
mind his students calling him _the_ old man, he said. That was a
technical expression, and he thought that he remembered hearing it
applied to himself when he was about twenty-five. It may be considered
as a familiar and sometimes endearing appellation. An Irish-woman calls
her husband "the old man," and he returns the caressing expression by
speaking of her as "the old woman." But now, said he, just suppose a
case like one of these. A young stranger is overheard talking of you as
a very nice old gentleman. A friendly and genial critic speaks of your
green old age as illustrating the truth of some axiom you had uttered
with reference to that period of life. What _I_ call an old man is a
person with a smooth, shining crown and a fringe of scattered white
hairs, seen in the streets on sunshiny days, stooping as he walks,
bearing a cane, moving cautiously and slowly; telling old stories,
smiling at present follies, living in a narrow world of dry habits; one
that remains waking when others have dropped asleep, and keeps a little
night-lamp-flame of life burning year after year, if the lamp is not
upset, and there is only a careful hand held round it to prevent the
puffs of wind from blowing the flame out. That's what I call an old man.

Now, said the Professor, you don't mean to tell me that I have got to
that yet? Why, bless you, I am several years short of the time when--[I
knew what was coming, and could hardly keep from laughing; twenty years
ago he used to quote it as one of those absurd speeches men of genius
will make, and now he is going to argue from it]--several years short
of the time when Balzac says that men are--most--you know--dangerous
to--the hearts of--in short, most to be dreaded by duennas that
have charge of susceptible females.--What age is that? said I,
statistically.--Fifty-two years, answered the Professor.--Balzac ought
to know, said I, if it is true that Goethe said of him that each of his
stories must have been dug out of a woman's heart. But fifty-two is a
high figure.

Stand in the light of the window, Professor, said I.--The Professor took
up the desired position.--You have white hairs, I said.--Had 'em any
time these twenty years, said the Professor.--And the crow's-foot,--_pes
anserinus_, rather.--The Professor smiled, as I wanted him to, and the
folds radiated like the ridges of a half-opened fan, from the outer
corner of the eyes to the temples.--And the calipers, said I.--What
are the _calipers_? he asked, curiously.--Why, the parenthesis, said
I.--_Parenthesis_? said the Professor; what's that?--Why, look in the
glass when you are disposed to laugh, and see if your mouth isn't framed
in a couple of crescent lines,--so, my boy ( ).--It's all nonsense, said
the Professor; just look at my _biceps_;--and he began pulling off his
coat to show me his arm.--Be careful, said I; you can't bear exposure to
the air, at your time of life, as you could once.--I will box with you,
said the Professor, row with you, walk with you, ride with you, swim
with you, or sit at table with you, for fifty dollars a side.--Pluck
survives stamina, I answered.

The Professor went off a little out of humor. A few weeks afterwards he
came in, looking very good-natured, and brought me a paper, which I
have here, and from which I shall read you some portions, if you don't
object. He had been thinking the matter over, he said,--had read Cicero.
"De Senectute," and made up his mind to meet old age half way. These
were some of his reflections that he had written down; so here you have


There is no doubt when old age begins. The human body is a furnace which
keeps in blast three-score years and ten, more or less. It burns about
three hundred pounds of carbon a year, (besides other fuel,) when in
fair working order, according to a great chemist's estimate. When the
fire slackens, life declines; when it goes out, we are dead.

It has been shown by some noted French experimenters, that the amount of
combustion increases up to about the thirtieth year, remains stationary
to about forty-five, and then diminishes. This last is the point where
old age starts from. The great fact of physical life is the perpetual
commerce with the elements, and the fire is the measure of it.

About this time of life, if food is plenty where you live,--for that,
you know, regulates matrimony,--you may be expecting to find yourself a
grandfather some fine morning; a kind of domestic felicity that gives
one a cool shiver of delight to think of, as among the not remotely
possible events.

I don't mind much those slipshod lines Dr. Johnson wrote to Thrale,
telling her about life's declining from _thirty-five_; the furnace is in
full blast for ten years longer, as I have said. The Romans came very
near the mark; their age of enlistment reached from seventeen to
forty-six years.

What is the use of fighting against the seasons, or the tides, or the
movements of the planetary bodies, or this ebb in the wave of life that
flows through us? We are old fellows from the moment the fire begins to
go out. Let us always behave like gentlemen when we are introduced to
new acquaintance.

_Incipit Allegoria Senectutis_.

Old Age, this is Mr. Professor; Mr. Professor, this is Old Age.

_Old Age_.--Mr. Professor, I hope to see you well. I have known you for
some time, though I think you did not know me. Shall we walk down the
street together?

_Professor_. (drawing back a little)--We can talk more quietly,
perhaps, in my study. Will you tell me how it is you seem to be
acquainted with everybody you are introduced to, though he evidently
considers you an entire stranger?

_Old Age_.--I make it a rule never to force myself upon a person's
recognition until I have known him at least _five years_.

_Professor_.--Do you mean to say that you have known me so long as that?

_Old Age_.--I do. I left my card on you longer ago than that, but I am
afraid you never read it; yet I see you have it with you.


_Old Age_.--There, between your eyebrows,--three straight lines running
up and down; all the probate courts know that token,--"Old Age, his
mark." Put your forefinger on the inner end of one eyebrow, and your
middle finger on the inner end of the other eyebrow; now separate the
fingers, and you will smooth out my sign-manual; that's the way you used
to look before I left my card on you.

_Professor_.--What message do people generally send back when you first
call on them?

_Old Age.--Not at home_. Then I leave a card and go. Next year I call;
get the same answer; leave another card. So for five or six,--sometimes
ten years or more. At last, if they don't let me in, I break in through
the front door or the windows.

We talked together in this way some time. Then Old Age said again,--
Come, let us walk down the street together,--and offered me a cane, an
eyeglass, a tippet, and a pair of over-shoes.--No, much obliged to you,
said I. I don't want those things, and I had a little rather talk with
you here, privately, in my study. So I dressed myself up in a jaunty way
and walked out alone;--got a fall, caught a cold, was laid up with a
lumbago, and had time to think over this whole matter.

_Explicit Allegoria Senectutis_.

We have settled when old age begins. Like all Nature's processes, it is
gentle and gradual in its approaches, strewed with illusions, and all
its little griefs soothed by natural sedatives. But the iron hand is
not less irresistible because it wears the velvet glove. The buttonwood
throws off its bark in large flakes, which one may find lying at its
foot, pushed out, and at last pushed off, by that tranquil movement from
beneath, which is too slow to be seen, but too powerful to be arrested.
One finds them always, but one rarely sees them fall. So it is our youth
drops from us,--scales off, sapless and lifeless, and lays bare the
tender and immature fresh growth of old age. Looked at collectively,
the changes of old age appear as a series of personal insults and
indignities, terminating at last in death, which Sir Thomas Browne has
called "the very disgrace and ignominy of our natures."

  My lady's cheek can boast no more
  The cranberry white and pink it wore;
  And where her shining locks divide,
  The parting line is all too wide----

No, no,--this will never do. Talk about men, if you will, but spare the
poor women.

We have a brief description of seven stages of life by a remarkably good
observer. It is very presumptuous to attempt to add to it, yet I have
been struck with the fact that life admits of a natural analysis into no
less than fifteen distinct periods. Taking the five primary divisions,
infancy, childhood, youth, manhood, old age, each of these has its
own three periods of immaturity, complete development, and decline. I
recognize an _old_ baby at once,--with its "pipe and mug," (a stick of
candy and a porringer,)--so does everybody; and an old child shedding
its milk-teeth is only a little prototype of the old man shedding his
permanent ones. Fifty or thereabouts is only the childhood, as it were,
of old age; the graybeard youngster must be weaned from his late suppers
now. So you will see that you have to make fifteen stages at any rate,
and that it would not be hard to make twenty-five; five primary, each
with five secondary divisions.

The infancy and childhood of commencing old age have the same ingenuous
simplicity and delightful unconsciousness about them that the first
stage of the earlier periods of life shows. The great delusion of
mankind is in supposing that to be individual and exceptional which is
universal and according to law. A person is always startled when he
hears himself seriously called an old man for the first time.

Nature gets us out of youth into manhood, as sailors are hurried on
board of vessels,--in a state of intoxication. We are hustled into
maturity reeling with our passions and imaginations, and we have drifted
far away from port before we awake out of our illusions. But to carry us
out of maturity into old age, without our knowing where we are going,
she drugs us with strong opiates, and so we stagger along with wide open
eyes that see nothing until snow enough has fallen on our heads to rouse
our comatose brains out of their stupid trances.

There is one mark of age that strikes me more than any of the physical
ones;--I mean the formation of _Habits_. An old man who shrinks into
himself falls into ways that become as positive and as much beyond the
reach of outside influences as if they were governed by clockwork. The
_animal_ functions, as the physiologists call them, in distinction from
the _organic_, tend, in the process of deterioration to which age
and neglect united gradually lead them, to assume the periodical or
rhythmical type of movement. Every man's _heart_ (this organ belongs,
you know, to the organic system) has a regular mode of action; but I
know a great many men whose _brains_, and all their voluntary existence
flowing from their brains, have a _systole_ and _diastole_ as regular
as that of the heart itself. Habit is the approximation of the animal
system to the organic. It is a confession of failure in the highest
function of being, which involves a perpetual self-determination, in
full view of all existing circumstances. But habit, you see, is an
action in present circumstances from past motives. It is substituting a
_vis a tergo_ for the evolution of living force.

When a man, instead of burning up three hundred pounds of carbon a
year, has got down to two hundred and fifty, it is plain enough he must
economize force somewhere. Now habit is a labor-saving invention which
enables a man to get along with less fuel,--that is all; for fuel is
force, you know, just as much in the page I am writing for you as in the
locomotive or the legs that carry it to you. Carbon is the same thing,
whether you call it wood, or coal, or bread and cheese. A reverend
gentleman demurred to this statement,--as if, because combustion is
asserted to be the _sine qua non_ of thought, therefore thought is
alleged to be a purely chemical process. Facts of chemistry are one
thing, I told him, and facts of consciousness another. It can be proved
to him, by a very simple analysis of some of his spare elements,
that every Sunday, when he does his duty faithfully, he uses up more
phosphorus out of his brain and nerves than on ordinary days. But then
he had his choice whether to do his duty, or to neglect it, and save his
phosphorus and other combustibles.

It follows from all this that _the formation of habits_ ought naturally
to be, as it is, the special characteristic of age. As for the muscular
powers, they pass their maximum long before the time when the true
decline of life begins, if we may judge by the experience of the ring. A
man is "stale," I think, in their language, soon after thirty,--often,
no doubt, much earlier, as gentlemen of the pugilistic profession are
exceedingly apt to keep their vital fire burning _with the blower up_.

----So far without Tully. But in the mean time I have been reading the
treatise, "De Senectute." It is not long, but a leisurely performance.
The old gentleman was sixty-three years of age when he addressed it to
his friend T. Pomponius Atticus, Eq., a person of distinction, some two
or three years older. We read it when we are schoolboys, forget all
about it for thirty years, and then take it up again by a natural
instinct,--provided always that we read Latin as we drink water, without
stopping to taste it, as all of us who ever learned it at school or
college ought to do.

Cato is the chief speaker in the dialogue. A good deal of it is what
would be called in vulgar phrase "slow." It unpacks and unfolds
incidental illustrations which a modern writer would look at the back
of, and toss each to its pigeonhole. I think ancient classics and
ancient people are alike in the tendency to this kind of expansion.

An old doctor came to me once (this is literal fact) with some
contrivance or other for people with broken kneepans. As the patient
would be confined for a good while, he might find it dull work to sit
with his hands in his lap. Reading, the ingenious inventor suggested,
would be an agreeable mode of passing the time. He mentioned, in his
written account of his contrivance, various works that might amuse the
weary hour. I remember only three,--Don Quixote, Tom Jones, and _Watts
on the Mind_.

It is not generally understood that Cicero's essay was delivered as a
lyceum lecture, (_concio popularis_,) at the Temple of Mercury. The
journals (_papyri_) of the day ("Tempora Quotidiana,"--"Tribunus
Quirinalis,"--"Praeco Romanus," and the rest) gave abstracts of it, one
of which I have translated and modernized, as being a substitute for the
analysis I intended to make.

IV. Kal. Mart....

The lecture at the Temple of Mercury, last evening, was well attended
by the _élite_ of our great city. Two hundred thousand sestertia were
thought to have been represented in the house. The doors were besieged
by a mob of shabby fellows, (_illotum vulgus_,) who were at length
quieted after two or three had been somewhat roughly handled (_gladio
jugulati_). The speaker was the well-known Mark Tully, Eq.,--the
subject, Old Age. Mr. T. has a lean and scraggy person, with a very
unpleasant excrescence upon his nasal feature, from which his nickname
of _chick-pea_ (Cicero) is said by some to be derived. As a lecturer is
public property, we may remark, that his outer garment (_toga_) was of
cheap stuff and somewhat worn, and that his general style and appearance
of dress and manner (_habitus, vestitusque_) were somewhat provincial.

The lecture consisted of an imaginary dialogue between Cato and Laelius.
We found the first portion rather heavy, and retired a few moments for
refreshment (_pocula quoedam vini_).--All want to reach old age, says
Cato, and grumble when they get it; therefore they are donkeys.--The
lecturer will allow us to say that he is the donkey; we know we shall
grumble at old age, but we want to live through youth and manhood, _in
spite_ of the troubles we shall groan over.--There was considerable
prosing as to what old age can do and can't--True, but not new.
Certainly, old folks can't jump,--break the necks of their thigh-bones,
(_femorum cervices_,) if they do, can't crack nuts with their teeth;
can't climb a greased pole (_malum inunctum scandere non possunt_); but
they can tell old stories and give you good advice; if they know what
you have made up your mind to do when you ask them.--All this is well
enough, but won't set the Tiber on fire (_Tiberim accendere nequaquam

There were some clever things enough, (_dicta haud inepta_,) a few of
which are worth reporting.--Old people are accused of being forgetful;
but they never forget where they have put their money.--Nobody is so old
he doesn't think he can live a year.--The lecturer quoted an ancient
maxim,--Grow old early, if you would be old long,--but disputed it.--
Authority, he thought, was the chief privilege of age.--It is not great
to have money, but fine to govern those that have it.--Old age begins
at _forty-six_ years, according to the common opinion.--It is not every
kind of old age or of wine that grows sour with time.--Some excellent
remarks were made on immortality, but mainly borrowed from and credited
to Plato.--Several pleasing anecdotes were told.--Old Milo, champion of
the heavy weights in his day, looked at his arms and whimpered, "They
are dead." Not so dead as you, you old fool,--says Cato;--you never
were good for anything but for your shoulders and flanks.--Pisistratus
asked Solon what made him dare to be so obstinate. Old age, said Solon.

The lecture was on the whole acceptable, and a credit to our culture
and civilization.--The reporter goes on to state that there will be no
lecture next week, on account of the expected combat between the bear
and the barbarian. Betting (_sponsio_) two to one (_duo ad unum_) on the

----After all, the most encouraging things I find in the treatise, "De
Senectute," are the stories of men who have found new occupations when
growing old, or kept up their common pursuits in the extreme period of
life. Cato learned Greek when he was old, and speaks of wishing to learn
the fiddle, or some such instrument, (_fidibus_,) after the example of
Socrates. Solon learned something new, every day, in his old age, as he
gloried to proclaim. Cyrus pointed out with pride and pleasure the trees
he had planted with his own hand. [I remember a pillar on the Duke of
Northumberland's estate at Alnwick, with an inscription in similar
words, if not the same. That, like other country pleasures, never wears
out. None is too rich, none too poor, none too young, none too old to
enjoy it.] There is a New England story I have heard more to the point,
however, than any of Cicero's. A young farmer was urged to set out some
apple-trees.--No, said he, they are too long growing, and I don't want
to plant for other people. The young farmer's father was spoken to about
it; but he, with better reason, alleged that apple-trees were slow and
life was fleeting. At last some one mentioned it to the old grandfather
of the young farmer. He had nothing else to do,--so he stuck in some
trees. He lived long enough to drink barrels of cider made from the
apples that grew on those trees.

As for myself, after visiting a friend lately,--[Do remember all the
time that this is the Professor's paper,]--I satisfied myself that I had
better concede the fact that--my contemporaries are not so young as they
have been,--and that,--awkward as it is,--science and history agree in
telling me that I can claim the immunities and must own the humiliations
of the early stage of senility. Ah! but we have all gone down the hill
together. The dandies of my time have split their waistbands and taken
to high-low shoes. The beauties of my recollections--where are they?
They have run the gantlet of the years as well as I. First the years
pelted them with red roses till their cheeks were all on fire. By and by
they began throwing white roses, and that morning flush passed away. At
last one of the years threw a snow-ball, and after that no year let
the poor girls pass without throwing snow-balls. And then came rougher
missiles,--ice and stones; and from time to time an arrow whistled and
down went one of the poor girls. So there are but few left; and we don't
call those few _girls_, but----

Ah, me! here am I groaning just as the old Greek sighed _Ai, ai!_ and
the old Roman, _Eheu!_ I have no doubt we should die of shame and grief
at the indignities offered us by age, if it were not that we see so many
others as badly or worse off than ourselves. We always compare ourselves
with our contemporaries.

[I was interrupted in my reading just here. Before I began at the next
breakfast, I read them these verses;--I hope you will like them, and get
a useful lesson from them.]


  Though young no more, we still would dream
    Of beauty's dear deluding wiles;
  The leagues of life to graybeards seem
    Shorter than boyhood's lingering miles.

  Who knows a woman's wild caprice?
    It played with Goethe's silvered hair,
  And many a Holy Father's "niece"
    Has softly smoothed the papal chair.

  When sixty bids us sigh in vain
    To melt the heart of sweet sixteen,
  We think upon those ladies twain
    Who loved so well the tough old Dean.

  We see the Patriarch's wintry face,
    The maid of Egypt's dusky glow,
  And dream that Youth and Age embrace,
    As April violets fill with snow.

  Tranced in her Lord's Olympian smile
    His lotus-loving Memphian lies,--
  The musky daughter of the Nile
    With plaited hair and almond eyes.

  Might we but share one wild caress
    Ere life's autumnal blossoms fall,
  And Earth's brown, clinging lips impress
    The long cold kiss that waits us all!

  My bosom heaves, remembering yet
    The morning of that blissful day
  When Rose, the flower of spring, I met,
    And gave my raptured soul away.

  Flung from her eyes of purest blue,
    A lasso, with its leaping chain
  Light as a loop of larkspurs, flew
    O'er sense and spirit, heart and brain.

  Thou com'st to cheer my waning age,
    Sweet vision, waited for so long!
  Dove that wouldst seek the poet's cage,
    Lured by the magic breath of song!

  She blushes! Ah, reluctant maid,
    Love's _drapeau rouge_ the truth has told!
  O'er girlhood's yielding barricade
    Floats the great Leveller's crimson fold!

  Come to my arms!--love heeds not years;
    No frost the bud of passion knows.--
  Ha! what is this my frenzy hears?
    A voice behind me uttered,--Rose!

  Sweet was her smile,--but not for me;
    Alas, when woman looks _too_ kind,
  Just turn your foolish head and see,--
    Some youth is walking close behind!

As to _giving up_ because the almanac or the Family-Bible says that it
is about time to do it, I have no intention of doing any such thing. I
grant you that I burn less carbon than some years ago. I see people
of my standing really good for nothing, decrepit, effete, _la lèvre
inférieure déjà pendante_, with what little life they have left mainly
concentrated in their epigastrium. But as the disease of old age is
epidemic, endemic, and sporadic, and everybody that lives long enough is
sure to catch it, I am going to say, for the encouragement of such as
need it, how I treat the malady in my own case.

First. As I feel, that, when I have anything to do, there is less time
for it than when I was younger, I find that I give my attention more
thoroughly, and use my time more economically than ever before; so that
I can learn anything twice as easily as in my earlier days. I am not,
therefore, afraid to attack a new study. I took up a difficult language
a very few years ago with good success, and think of mathematics and
metaphysics by-and-by.

Secondly. I have opened my eyes to a good many neglected privileges and
pleasures within my reach, and requiring only a little courage to enjoy
them. You may well suppose it pleased me to find that old Cato was
thinking of learning to play the fiddle, when I had deliberately taken
it up in my old age, and satisfied myself that I could get much comfort,
if not much music, out of it.

Thirdly. I have found that some of those active exercises, which are
commonly thought to belong to young folks only, may be enjoyed at a much
later period.

A young friend has lately written an admirable article in one of the
journals, entitled, "Saints and their Bodies." Approving of his general
doctrines, and grateful for his records of personal experience, I cannot
refuse to add my own experimental confirmation of his eulogy of one
particular form of active exercise and amusement, namely, _boating_.
For the past nine years, I have rowed about, during a good part of the
summer, on fresh or salt water. My present fleet on the river Charles
consists of three rowboats. 1. A small flat-bottomed skiff of the shape
of a flat-iron, kept mainly to lend to boys. 2. A fancy "dory" for two
pairs of sculls, in which I sometimes go out with my young folks. 3.
My own particular water-sulky, a "skeleton" or "shell" race-boat,
twenty-two feet long, with huge outriggers, which boat I pull with
ten-foot sculls,--alone, of course, as it holds but one, and tips him
out, if he doesn't mind what he is about. In this I glide around the
Back Bay, down the stream, up the Charles to Cambridge and Watertown, up
the Mystic, round the wharves, in the wake of steamboats, which have
a swell after them delightful to rock upon; I linger under the
bridges,--those "caterpillar bridges," as my brother Professor so
happily called them; rub against the black sides of old wood-schooners;
cool down under the overhanging stern of some tall India-man; stretch
across to the Navy-Yard, where the sentinel warns me off from the
Ohio,--just as if I should hurt her by lying in her shadow; then strike
out into the harbor, where the water gets clear and the air smells of
the ocean,--till all at once I remember, that, if a west wind blows up
of a sudden, I shall drift along past the islands, out of sight of the
dear old State-house,--plate, tumbler, knife and fork all waiting at
home, but no chair drawn up at the table,--all the dear people waiting,
waiting, waiting, while the boat is sliding, sliding, sliding into the
great desert, where there is no tree and no fountain. As I don't want
my wreck to be washed up on one of the beaches in company with
devils'-aprons, bladder-weeds, dead horse-shoes, and bleached
crab-shells, I turn about and flap my long, narrow wings for home. When
the tide is running out swiftly, I have a splendid fight to get through
the bridges, but always make it a rule to beat,--though I have been
jammed up into pretty tight places at times, and was caught once between
a vessel swinging round and the pier, until our bones (the boat's, that
is) cracked as if we had been in the jaws of Behemoth. Then back to my
moorings at the foot of the Common, off with the rowing-dress, dash
under the green translucent wave, return to the garb of civilization,
walk through my Garden, take a look at my elms on the Common, and,
reaching my habitat, in consideration of my advanced period of life,
indulge in the Elysian abandonment of a huge recumbent chair.

When I have established a pair of well-pronounced feathering-calluses on
my thumbs, when I am in training so that I can do my fifteen miles at a
stretch without coming to grief in any way, when I can perform my mile
in eight minutes or a little less, then I feel as if I had old Time's
head in chancery, and could give it to him at my leisure.

I do not deny the attraction of walking. I have bored this ancient city
through and through in my daily travels, until I know it as an old
inhabitant of a Cheshire knows his cheese. Why, it was I who, in the
course of these rambles, discovered that remarkable avenue called
_Myrtle Street_, stretching in one long line from east of the Reservoir
to a precipitous and rudely paved cliff which looks down on the grim
abode of Science, and beyond it to the far hills; a promenade so
delicious in its repose, so cheerfully varied with glimpses down the
northern slope into busy Cambridge Street with its iron river of the
horse-railroad, and wheeled barges gliding back and forward over it,--so
delightfully closing at its western extremity in sunny courts and
passages where I know peace, and beauty, and virtue, and serene old age
must be perpetual tenants,--so alluring to all who desire to take their
daily stroll, in the words of Dr. Watts,--

  "Alike unknowing and unknown,"--

that nothing but a sense of duty would have prompted me to reveal the
secret of its existence. I concede, therefore, that walking is an
immeasurably fine invention, of which old age ought constantly to avail

Saddle-leather is in some respects even preferable to sole-leather. The
principal objection to it is of a financial character. But you may be
sure that Bacon and Sydenham did not recommend it for nothing. One's
_hepar_, or, in vulgar language, liver,--a ponderous organ, weighing
some three or four pounds,--goes up and down like the dasher of a
churn in the midst of the other vital arrangements, at every step of
a trotting horse. The brains also are shaken up like coppers in a
moneybox. Riding is good, for those that are born with a silver-mounted
bridle in their hand, and can ride as much and as often as they like,
without thinking all the time they hear that steady grinding sound as
the horse's jaws triturate with calm lateral movement the bank-bills and
promises to pay upon which it is notorious that the profligate animal in
question feeds day and night.

Instead, however, of considering these kinds of exercise in this
empirical way, I will devote a brief space to an examination of them in
a more scientific form.

The pleasure of exercise is due first to a purely physical impression,
and secondly to a sense of power in action. The first source of pleasure
varies of course with our condition and the state of the surrounding
circumstances; the second with the amount and kind of power, and the
extent and kind of action. In all forms of active exercise there are
three powers simultaneously in action,--the will, the muscles, and the
intellect. Each of these predominates in different kinds of exercise.
In walking, the will and muscles are so accustomed to work together
and perform their task with so little expenditure of force, that the
intellect is left comparatively free. The mental pleasure in walking,
as such, is in the sense of power over all our moving machinery. But in
riding, I have the additional pleasure of governing another will, and my
muscles extend to the tips of the animal's ears and to his four hoofs,
instead of stopping at my hands and feet. Now in this extension of
my volition and my physical frame into another animal, my tyrannical
instincts and my desire for heroic strength are at once gratified. When
the horse ceases to have a will of his own and his muscles require no
special attention on your part, then you may live on horseback as Wesley
did, and write sermons or take naps, as you like. But you will observe,
that, in riding on horseback, you always have a feeling, that, after
all, it is not you that do the work, but the animal, and this prevents
the satisfaction from being complete.

Now let us look at the conditions of rowing. I won't suppose you to be
disgracing yourself in one of those miserable tubs, tugging in which is
to rowing the true boat what riding a cow is to bestriding an Arab. You
know the Esquimaux _kayak_, (if that is the name of it,) don't you? Look
at that model of one over my door. Sharp, rather?--On the contrary, it
is a lubber to the one you and I must have; a Dutch fish-wife to
Psyche, contrasted with what I will tell you about.--Our boat, then, is
something of the shape of a pickerel, as you look down upon his back,
he lying in the sunshine just where the sharp edge of the water cuts in
among the lily-pads. It is a kind of a giant _pod_, as one may say,--
tight everywhere, except in a little place in the middle, where you sit.
Its length is from seven to ten yards, and as it is only from sixteen to
thirty inches wide in its widest part, you understand why you want those
"outriggers," or projecting iron frames with the rowlocks in which the
oars play. My rowlocks are five feet apart; double or more than double
the greatest width of the boat.

Here you are, then, afloat with a body a rod and a half long, with arms,
or wings, as you may choose to call them, stretching more than twenty
feet from tip to tip; every volition of yours extending as perfectly
into them as if your spinal cord ran down the centre strip of your boat,
and the nerves of your arms tingled as far as the broad blades of your
oars,--oars of spruce, balanced, leathered, and ringed under your own
special direction. This, in sober earnest, is the nearest approach to
flying that man has ever made or perhaps ever will make. As the hawk
sails without flapping his pinions, so you drift with the tide when you
will, in the most luxurious form of locomotion indulged to an embodied
spirit. But if your blood wants rousing, turn round that stake in the
river, which you see a mile from here; and when you come in in sixteen
minutes, (if you do, for we are old boys, and not champion scullers, you
remember,) then say if you begin to feel a little warmed up or not! You
can row easily and gently all day, and you can row yourself blind and
black in the face in ten minutes, just as you like. It has been long
agreed that there is no way in which a man can accomplish so much labor
with his muscles as in rowing. It is in the boat, then, that man finds
the largest extension of his volitional and muscular existence; and
yet he may tax both of them so slightly, in that most delicious of
exercises, that he shall mentally write his sermon, or his poem, or
recall the remarks he has made in company and put them in form for the
public, as well as in his easy-chair.

I dare not publicly name the rare joys, the infinite delights, that
intoxicate me on some sweet June morning, when the river and bay are
smooth as a sheet of beryl-green silk, and I run along ripping it up
with my knife-edged shell of a boat, the rent closing after me like
those wounds of angels which Milton tells of, but the seam still shining
for many a long rood behind me. To lie still over the Flats, where the
waters are shallow, and see the crabs crawling and the sculpins gliding
busily and silently beneath the boat,--to rustle in through the long
harsh grass that leads up some tranquil creek,--to take shelter from the
sunbeams under one of the thousand-footed bridges, and look down its
interminable colonnades, crusted with green and oozy growths, studded
with minute barnacles, and belted with rings of dark muscles, while
overhead streams and thunders that other river whose every wave is
a human soul flowing to eternity as the river below flows to the
ocean,--lying there moored unseen, in loneliness so profound that
the columns of Tadmor in the Desert could not seem more remote from
life,--the cool breeze on one's forehead, the stream whispering against
the half-sunken pillars,--why should I tell of these things, that I
should live to see my beloved haunts invaded and the waves blackened
with boats as with a swarm of water-beetles? What a city of idiots
we must be not to have covered this glorious bay with gondolas and
wherries, as we have just learned to cover the ice in winter with

I am satisfied that such a set of black-coated, stiff-jointed,
soft-muscled, paste-complexioned youth as we can boast in our Atlantic
cities never before sprang from loins of Anglo-Saxon lineage. Of the
females that are the mates of these males I do not here speak. I
preached my sermon from the lay-pulpit on this matter a good while
ago. Of course, if you heard it, you know my belief is that the total
climatic influences here are getting up a number of new patterns of
humanity, some of which are not an improvement on the old model.
Clipper-built, sharp in the bows, long in the spars, slender to look at,
and fast to go, the ship, which is the great organ of our national
life of relation, is but a reproduction of the typical form which the
elements impress upon its builder. All this we cannot help; but we can
make the best of these influences, such as they are. We have a few
good boatmen,--no good horsemen that I hear of,--nothing remarkable, I
believe, in cricketing,--and as for any great athletic feat performed
by a gentleman in these latitudes, society would drop a man who should
run round the Common in five minutes. Some of our amateur fencers,
single-stick players, and boxers, we have no reason to be ashamed of.
Boxing is rough play, but not too rough for a hearty young fellow.
Anything is better than this white-blooded degeneration to which we all

I dropped into a gentlemen's sparring exhibition only last evening. It
did my heart good to see that there were a few young and youngish youths
left who could take care of their own heads in case of emergency. It is
a fine sight, that of a gentleman resolving himself into the primitive
constituents of his humanity. Here is a delicate young man now, with an
intellectual countenance, a slight figure, a sub-pallid complexion, a
most unassuming deportment, a mild adolescent in fact, that any Hiram or
Jonathan from between the ploughtails would of course expect to handle
with perfect ease. Oh, he is taking off his gold-bowed spectacles! Ah,
he is divesting himself of his cravat! Why, he is stripping off his
coat! Well, here he is, sure enough, in a tight silk shirt, and with two
things that look like batter puddings in the place of his fists. Now see
that other fellow with another pair of batter puddings,--the big one
with the broad shoulders; he will certainly knock the little man's
head off, if he strikes him. Feinting, dodging, stopping, hitting,
countering,--little man's head not off yet. You might as well try to
jump upon your own shadow as to hit the little man's intellectual
features. He needn't have taken off the gold-bowed spectacles at all.
Quick, cautious, shifty, nimble, cool, he catches all the fierce lunges
or gets out of their reach, till his turn comes, and then, whack goes
one of the batter puddings against the big one's ribs, and bang goes the
other into the big one's face, and, staggering, shuffling, slipping,
tripping, collapsing, sprawling, down goes the big one in a
miscellaneous bundle.--If my young friend, whose excellent article I
have referred to, could only introduce the manly art of self-defence
among the clergy, I am satisfied that we should have better sermons and
an infinitely less quarrelsome church-militant. A bout with the gloves
would let off the ill-nature, and cure the indigestion, which, united,
have embroiled their subject in a bitter controversy. We should then
often hear that a point of difference between an infallible and a
heretic, instead of being vehemently discussed in a series of newspaper
articles, had been settled by a friendly contest in several rounds,
at the close of which the parties shook hands and appeared cordially

But boxing you and I are too old for, I am afraid. I was for a moment
tempted, by the contagion of muscular electricity last evening, to try
the gloves with the Benicia Boy, who looked in as a friend to the noble
art; but remembering that he had twice my weight and half my age,
besides the advantage of his training, I sat still and said nothing.

There is one other delicate point I wish to speak of with reference
to old age. I refer to the use of dioptric media which correct the
diminished refracting power of the humors of the eye,--in other words,
spectacles. I don't use them. All I ask is a large, fair type, a strong
daylight or gas-light, and one yard of focal distance, and my eyes are
as good as ever. But if _your_ eyes fail, I can tell you something
encouraging. There is now living in New York State an old gentleman who,
perceiving his sight to fail, immediately took to exercising it on the
finest print, and in this way fairly bullied Nature out of her foolish
habit of taking liberties at five-and-forty, or thereabout. And now
this old gentleman performs the most extraordinary feats with his pen,
showing that his eyes must be a pair of microscopes. I should be afraid
to say to you how much he writes in the compass of a half-dime,--
whether the Psalms or the Gospels, or the Psalms _and_ the Gospels, I
won't be positive.

But now let me tell you this. If the time comes when you must lay down
the fiddle and the bow, because your fingers are too stiff, and drop the
ten-foot sculls, because your arms are too weak, and, after dallying
awhile with eye-glasses, come at last to the undisguised reality of
spectacles,--if the time comes when that fire of life we spoke of has
burned so low that where its flames reverberated there is only the
sombre stain of regret, and where its coals glowed, only the white ashes
that cover the embers of memory,--don't let your heart grow cold, and
you may carry cheerfulness and love with you into the teens of your
second century, if you can last so long. As our friend, the Poet, once
said, in some of those old-fashioned heroics of his which he keeps for
his private reading,--

  Call him not old, whose visionary brain
  Holds o'er the past its undivided reign.
  For him in vain the envious seasons roll
  Who bears eternal summer in his soul.
  If yet the minstrel's song, the poet's lay,
  Spring with her birds, or children with their play,
  Or maiden's smile, or heavenly dream of art
  Stir the few life-drops creeping round his heart,--
  Turn to the record where his years are told,--
  Count his gray hairs,--they cannot make him old!

_End of the Professor's paper_.

[The above essay was not read at one time, but in several instalments,
and accompanied by various comments from different persons at the table.
The company were in the main attentive, with the exception of a little
somnolence on the part of the old gentleman opposite at times, and a
few sly, malicious questions about the "old boys" on the part of that
forward young fellow who has figured occasionally, not always to his
advantage, in these reports.

On Sunday mornings, in obedience to a feeling I am not ashamed of,
I have always tried to give a more appropriate character to our
conversation. I have never read them my sermon yet, and I don't know
that I shall, as some of them might take my convictions as a personal
indignity to themselves. But having read our company so much of the
Professor's talk about age and other subjects connected with physical
life, I took the next Sunday morning to repeat to them the following
poem of his, which I have had by me some time. He calls it--I suppose,
for his professional friends--THE ANATOMIST'S HYMN; but I shall name


  Not in the world of light alone,
  Where God has built his blazing throne,
  Nor yet alone in earth below,
  With belted seas that come and go,
  And endless isles of sunlit green,
  Is all thy Maker's glory seen:
  Look in upon thy wondrous frame,--
  Eternal wisdom still the same!

  The smooth, soft air with pulse-like waves
  Flows murmuring through its hidden caves
  Whose streams of brightening purple rush
  Fired with a new and livelier blush,
  While all their burden of decay
  The ebbing current steals away,
  And red with Nature's flame they start
  From the warm fountains of the heart.

  No rest that throbbing slave may ask,
  Forever quivering o'er his task,
  While far and wide a crimson jet
  Leaps forth to fill the woven net
  Which in unnumbered crossing tides
  The flood of burning life divides,
  Then kindling each decaying part
  Creeps back to find the throbbing heart.

  But warmed with that unchanging flame
  Behold the outward moving frame,
  Its living marbles jointed strong
  With glistening band and silvery thong,
  And linked to reason's guiding reins
  By myriad rings in trembling chains,
  Each graven with the threaded zone
  Which claims it as the master's own.

  See how yon beam of seeming white
  Is braided out of seven-hued light,
  Yet in those lucid gloves no ray
  By any chance shall break astray.
  Hark how the rolling surge of sound,
  Arches and spirals circling round,
  Wakes the hushed spirit through thine ear
  With music it is heaven to hear.

  Then mark the cloven sphere that holds
  All thoughts in its mysterious folds,
  That feels sensation's faintest thrill
  And flashes for the sovereign will;
  Think on the stormy world that dwells
  Locked in its dim and clustering cells!
  The lightning gleams of power it sheds
  Along its hollow glassy threads!

  O Father! grant thy love divine
  To make these mystic temples thine!
  When wasting age and wearying strife
  Have sapped the leaning walls of life,
  When darkness gathers over all,
  And the last tottering pillars fall,
  Take the poor dust thy mercy warms
  And mould it into heavenly forms!

       *       *       *       *       *


_Library of Old Authors.--Works of John Marston_. London: John Russell
Smith. 1856-7.

Mr. Halliwell, at the close of his Preface to the Works of Marston,
(Vol. I. p. xxii.,) says, "The dramas now collected together are
reprinted absolutely from the early editions, which were placed in the
hands of our printers, who thus had the advantage of following them
without the intervention of a transcriber. They are given as nearly as
possible in their original state, the only modernizations attempted
consisting in the alternations of the letters _i_ and _j_, and _u_ and
_v_, the retention of which" (does Mr. Halliwell mean the letters or the
"alternations"?) "would have answered no useful purpose, while it would
have unnecessarily perplexed the modern reader."

This not very clear; but as Mr. Halliwell is a member of several learned
foreign societies, and especially of the Royal _Irish_ Academy, perhaps
it would he unfair to demand that he should write clear English. As one
of Mr. Smith's editors, it was to be expected that he should not write
it idiomatically. Some malign constellation (Taurus, perhaps, whose
infaust aspect may be supposed to preside over the makers of bulls and
blunders) seems to have been in conjunction with heavy Saturn when the
Library was projected. At the top of the same page from which we have
made our quotation, Mr. Halliwell speaks of "conveying a favorable
impression _on_ modern readers." It was surely to no such phrase as this
that Ensign Pistol alluded when he said, "_Convey_ the _wise_ it call."

A literal reprint of an old author may be of value in two ways: the
orthography may in certain cases indicate the ancient pronunciation, or
it may put us on a scent which shall lead us to the burrow of a word
among the roots of language. But in order to this, it surely is not
needful to undertake the reproduction of all the original errors of the
press; and even were it so, the proofs of carelessness in the editorial
department are so glaring, that we are left in doubt, after all, if we
may congratulate ourselves on possessing all these sacred blunders
of the Elizabethan typesetters in their integrity and without any
debasement of modern alloy. If it be gratifying to know that there lived
stupid men before our contemporary Agamemnons in that kind, yet we
demand absolute accuracy in the report of the _phenomena_ in order to
arrive at anything like safe statistics. For instance, we find (Vol. I.
p. 89) "ACTUS SECUNDUS, SCENA PRIMUS," and (Vol. III. p. 174) "_exit
ambo_," and we are interested to know that in a London printing-house,
two centuries and a half ago, there was a philanthropist who wished to
simplify the study of the Latin language by reducing all the nouns to
one gender and all the verbs to one number. Had his emancipated theories
of grammar prevailed, how much easier would that part of boys which
cherubs want have found the school-room benches! How would birchen bark,
as an educational tonic, have fallen in repute! How white would have
been the (now black-and-blue) memories of Dr. Busby and so many other
educational _lictors_, who, with their bundles of rods, heralded not
alone the consuls, but all other Roman antiquities to us! We dare not,
however, indulge in the grateful vision, since there are circumstances
which lead us to infer that Mr. Halliwell himself (member though he be
of so many learned societies) has those vague notions of the speech of
ancient Rome which are apt to prevail in regions which count not the
_betula_ in their _Flora_. On page xv. of his Preface, he makes
Drummond say that Ben Jonson "was dilated" (_delated_,--Gifford gives it
in English, _accused_) "to the king by Sir James Murray,"--Ben, whose
corpulent person stood in so little need of that malicious increment!

What is Mr. Halliwell's conception of editorial duty? As we read along,
and the once fair complexion of the margin grew more and more pimply
with pencil-marks, like that of a bad proof-sheet, we began to think
that he was acting on the principle of every man his own washerwoman,
--that he was making blunders of set purpose, (as teachers of languages
do in their exercises,) in order that we might correct them for
ourselves, and so fit us in time to be editors also, and members of
various learned societies, even as Mr. Halliwell himself is. We fancied,
that, magnanimously waving aside the laurel with which a grateful
posterity crowned General Wade, he wished us "to see these roads
_before_ they were made," and develope our intellectual muscles in
getting over them. But no; Mr. Halliwell has appended notes to his
edition, and among them are some which correct misprints, and therefore
seem to imply that he considers that service as belonging properly to
the editorial function. We are obliged, then, to give up our theory that
his intention was to make every reader an editor, and to suppose that he
wished rather to show how disgracefully a book might be edited and yet
receive the commendation of professional critics who read with the ends
of their fingers. If this were his intention, Marston himself never
published so biting a satire.

Let us look at a few of the intricate passages, to help us through
which Mr. Halliwell lends us the light of his editorial lantern. In the
Induction to "What you Will" occurs the striking and unusual phrase,
"Now out up-pont," and Mr. Halliwell favors us with the following note:
"Page 221, line 10. _Up-pont_.--That is, upon't." Again in the same play
we find--

  "Let twattling fame cheatd others rest,
  I um no dish for rumors feast."

Of course, it should read,--

  "Let twattling [twaddling] Fame cheate others' rest,
  I am no dish for Rumor's feast."

Mr. Halliwell comes to our assistance thus: "Page 244, line 21, [22
it should be,] _I um_,--a printer's error for _I am." Dignus vindice
nodus_! Five lines above, we have "whole" for "who'll," and four lines
below, "helmeth" for "whelmeth"; but Mr. Halliwell vouchsafes no note.
In the "Fawn" we read, "Wise _neads_ use few words," and the editor says
in a note, "a misprint for _heads_"! Kind Mr. Halliwell!

Having given a few examples of our "Editor's" corrections, we proceed to
quote a passage or two which, it is to be presumed, he thought perfectly

  "A man can skarce put on a tuckt-up cap,
  A button'd frizado sute, skarce eate good meate,
  _Anchoves, caviare_, but hee's satyred
  And term'd phantasticall. By the muddy spawne
  Of slymie neughtes, when troth, phantasticknesse--
  That which the naturall sophysters tearme
  _Phantusia incomplexa_--is a function
  Even of the bright immortal part of man.
  It is the common passe, the sacred dore,
  Unto the prive chamber of the soule;
  That bar'd, nought passeth past the baser court.
  Of outward scence by it th' inamorate
  Most lively thinkes he sees the absent beauties
  Of his lov'd mistres."--Vol. I. p. 241.

In this case, also, the true readings are clear enough:--

  "And termed fantastical by the muddy spawn
  Of slimy newts";


  ----"past the baser court
  Of outward sense";--

but, if anything was to be explained, why are we here deserted by our
_fida compagna_?

Again, (Vol. II. pp. 55-56,) we read, "This Granuffo is a right wise
good lord, a man of excellent discourse, and never speakes his signes to
me, and men of profound reach instruct aboundantly; hee begges suites
with signes, gives thanks with signes," etc.

This Granuffo is qualified among the "Interlocutors" as "a silent lord,"
and what fun there is in the character (which, it must be confessed, is
rather of a lenten kind) consists in his genius for saying nothing.
It is plain enough that the passage should read, "a man of excellent
discourse, and never speaks; his signs to me and men of profound reach
instruct abundantly," etc.

In both the passages we have quoted, it is not difficult for the reader
to set the text right. But if not difficult for the reader, it should
certainly not have been so for the editor, who should have done what
Broome was said to have done for Pope in his Homer,--"gone before and
swept the way." An edition of an English author ought to be intelligible
to English readers, and, if the editor do not make it so, he wrongs the
old poet, for two centuries lapt in lead, to whose works he undertakes
to play the gentleman-usher. A play written in our own tongue should not
be as tough to us as Aeschylus to a ten-years' graduate, nor do we wish
to be reduced to the level of a chimpanzee, and forced to gnaw our way
through a thick shell of misprints and mispointings only to find (as is
generally the case with Marston) a rancid kernel of meaning after all.
But even Marston sometimes deviates into poetry, as a man who wrote in
that age could hardly help doing, and one of the few instances of it
is in a speech of _Erichtho_, in the first scene of the fourth act of
"Sophonisba," (Vol. I. p. 197,) which Mr. Halliwell presents to us in
this shape:--

  ----"hard by the reverent (!) ruines
  Of a once glorious temple rear'd to Jove
  Whose very rubbish....
  ....yet beares
  A deathlesse majesty, though now quite rac'd, [razed,]
  Hurl'd down by wrath and lust of impious kings,
  So that where holy Flamins [Flamens] wont to sing
  Sweet hymnes to Heaven, there the daw and crow,
  The ill-voyc'd raven, and still chattering pye,
  Send out ungratefull sounds and loathsome filth;
  Where statues and Joves acts were vively limbs,

       *       *       *       *       *

  Where tombs and beautious urnes of well dead men
  Stood in assured rest," etc.

The verse and a half in Italics are worthy of Chapman; but why did not
Mr. Halliwell, who explains _up-pont_ and _I um_, change "Joves acts
were vively limbs" to "Jove's acts were lively limned," which was
unquestionably what Marston wrote?

In the "Scourge of Villanie," (Vol. III. p. 252,) there is a passage
which has a modern application in America, though happily archaic in
England, which Mr. Halliwell suffers to stand thus:--

  "Once Albion lived in such a cruel age
  Than man did hold by servile vilenage:
  Poore brats were slaves of bondmen that were borne,
  And marted, sold: but that rude law is torne
  And disannuld, as too too inhumane."

This should read--

  "_Man_ man did hold in servile villanage;
  Poor brats were slaves (of bondmen that were born)";

and we hope that some American poet will one day be able to write in the
past tense similar verses of the barbarity of his forefathers.

We will give one more scrap of Mr. Halliwell's text:--

    "Yfaith, why then, caprichious mirth,
  Skip, light moriscoes, in our frolick blond,
  Flagg'd veines, sweete, plump with fresh-infused joyes!"

which Marston, doubtless, wrote thus:--

    "I'faith, why then, capricious Mirth,
  Skip light moriscoes in our frolic blood!
  Flagged veins, swell plump with fresh-infused joys!"

We have quoted only a few examples from among the scores that we had
marked, and against such a style of "editing" we invoke the shade of
Marston himself. In the Preface to the Second Edition of the "Fawn,"
he says, "Reader, know I have perused this coppy, _to make some
satisfaction for the first faulty impression; yet so urgent hath been my
business that some errors have styll passed, which thy discretion may

Literally, to be sure, Mr. Halliwell has availed himself of the
permission of the poet, in leaving all emendation to the reader; but
certainly he has been false to the spirit of it in his self-assumed
office of editor. The notes to explain _up-pont_ and _I um_ give us a
kind of standard of the highest intelligence which Mr. Halliwell dares
to take for granted in the ordinary reader. Supposing this _nousometer_
of his to be a centigrade, in what hitherto unconceived depths of cold
obstruction can he find his zero-point of entire idiocy? The expansive
force of average wits cannot be reckoned upon, as we see, to drive them
up as far as the temperate degree of misprints in one syllable, and
those, too, in their native tongue. _A fortiori_, then, Mr. Halliwell is
bound to lend us the aid of his great learning wherever his author has
introduced foreign words and the old printers have made _pie_ of them.
In a single case he has accepted his responsibility as dragoman, and the
amount of his success is not such as to give us any poignant regret that
he has everywhere else left us to our own devices. On p. 119, Vol. II.,
_Francischina_, a Dutchwoman, exclaims, "O, mine aderliver love." Here
is Mr. Halliwell's note. "_Aderliver_.--This is the speaker's error for
_alder-liever_, the best beloved by all." Certainly not "the _speaker's_
error," for Marston was no such fool as intentionally to make a
Dutchwoman blunder in her own language. But is it an error for
_alder-liever?_ No, but for _alderliefster_. Mr. Halliwell might have
found it in many an old Dutch song. For example, No. 96 of Hoffmann von
Fallersleben's "Niederländische Volkslieder" begins thus:--

  "Mijn hert altijt heeft verlanghen
  Naer u, die _alderliefste_ mijn."

But does the word mean "best beloved by all"? No such thing, of course;
but "best-beloved of all,"--that is, by the speaker.

In "Antonio and Mellida" (Vol. I. pp. 50-51) occur some Italian verses,
and here we hoped to fare better; for Mr. Halliwell (as we learn from
the title-page of his Dictionary) is a member of the "_Reale Academia
di Firenze_." This is the _Accademia della Crusca_, founded for the
conservation of the Italian language in its purity, and it is rather
a fatal symptom that Mr. Halliwell should indulge in the heresy of
spelling _Accademia_ with only one _c_. But let us see what our Della
Cruscan's notions of conserving are. Here is a specimen:--

  "Bassiammi, coglier l'aura odorata
  Che in sua neggia in quello dolce labra.
  Dammi pimpero del tuo gradit' amore."

It is clear enough that the first and third verses ought to read,

  "Lasciami coglier,--Dammi l'impero,"

though we confess that we could make nothing of _in sua neggia_ till
an Italian friend suggested _ha sua seggia_. But a Della Cruscan
academician might at least have corrected by his dictionary the spelling
of _labra_.

We think that we have sustained our indictment of Mr. Halliwell's text
with ample proof. The title of the book should have been, "The Works
of John Marston, containing all the Misprints of the Original Copies,
together with a few added for the First Time in this Edition, the whole
carefully let alone by James Orchard Halliwell, F.R.S., F.S.A." It
occurs to us that Mr. Halliwell may be also a Fellow of the Geological
Society, and may have caught from its members the enthusiasm which leads
him to attach so extraordinary a value to every goose-track of the
Elizabethan formation. It is bad enough to be, as Marston was, one of
those middling poets whom neither gods nor men nor columns (Horace had
never seen a newspaper) tolerate; but, really, even they do not deserve
the frightful retribution of being reprinted by a Halliwell.

We have said that we could not feel even the dubious satisfaction of
knowing that the blunders of the old copies had been faithfully followed
in the reprinting. We see reason for doubting whether Mr. Halliwell ever
read the proof-sheets. In his own notes we have found several mistakes.
For instance, he refers to p. 159 when he means p. 153; he cites "I,
but her _life_," instead of "_lip_"; and he makes Spenser speak of "old
Pithonus." Marston is not an author of enough importance to make it
desirable that we should be put in possession of all the corrupted
readings of his text, were such a thing possible even with the most
minute painstaking, and Mr. Halliwell's edition loses its only claim to
value the moment a doubt is cast upon the accuracy of its inaccuracies.
It is a matter of special import to us (whose means of access to
originals are exceedingly limited) that the English editors of our old
authors should be faithful and trustworthy, and we have singled out Mr.
Halliwell's Marston for particular animadversion only because we think
it on the whole the worst edition we ever saw of any author.

Having exposed the condition in which our editor has left the text, we
proceed to test his competency in another respect, by examining some of
the emendations and explanations of doubtful passages which he proposes.
These are very few; but had they been even fewer, they had been too

Among the _dramatis personae_ of the "Fawn," as we said before, occurs
"Granuffo, _a silent lord_." He speaks only once during the play, and
that in the last scene. In Act I., Scene 2, _Gonzago_ says, speaking to

               "Now, sure, thou are a man
  Of a most learned _scilence_, and one whose words
  Have bin most pretious to me."

This seems quite plain, but Mr. Halliwell annotates
thus:--"_Scilence_.--Query, _science?_ The common reading, _silence_,
may, however, be what is intended." That the spelling should have
troubled Mr. Halliwell is remarkable; for elsewhere we find "god-boy"
for "good-bye," "seace" for "cease," "bodies" for "boddice," "pollice"
for "policy," "pitittying" for "pitying," "scence" for "sense,"
"Misenzius" for "Mezentius," "Ferazes" for "Ferrarese,"--and plenty
beside, equally odd. That he should have doubted the meaning is no less
strange; for on page 41 of the same play we read, "My Lord Granuffo, you
may likewise stay, for I know _you'l say nothing_,"--on pp. 55-56, "This
Granuffo is a right wise good lord, _a man of excellent discourse and
never speaks_,"--and on p. 94, we find the following dialogue:--

"_Gon._ My Lord Granuffo, this Fawne is an excellent fellow.

"_Don._ Silence.

"_Gon._ _I warrant you for my lord here._"

In the same play (p. 44) are these lines.--

            "I apt for love?
  Let lazy idlenes, fild full of wine
  Heated with meates, high fedde with lustfull ease
  Goe dote on culler [color]. As for me, why, death a sence,
  I court the ladie?"

This is Mr. Halliwell's note:--"_Death a sence_.--'Earth a sense,' ed.
1633. Mr. Dilke suggests:--'For me, why, earth's as sensible.' The
original is not necessarily corrupt. It may mean,--why, you might as
well think Death was a sense, one of the senses. See a like phrase at
p. 77." What help we should get by thinking Death one of the senses, it
would demand another Oedipus to unriddle. Mr. Halliwell can astonish us
no longer, but we are surprised at Mr. Dilke, the very competent editor
of the "Old English Plays," 1815. From him we might have hoped for
better things. "Death o' sense!" is an exclamation. Throughout these
volumes we find _a_ for _o_',--as, "a clock" for "o'clock," "a the side"
for "o' the side."

A similar exclamation is to be found in three other places in the same
play, where the sense is obvious. Mr. Halliwell refers to one of them
on p. 77,--"Death a man! is she delivered!" The others are,--"Death a
justice! are we in Normandy?" (p. 98); and "Death a discretion! if I
should prove a foole now," or, as given by Mr. Halliwell, "Death, a
discretion!" Now let us apply Mr. Halliwell's explanation. "Death a
man!" you might as well think Death was a man, that is, one of the
men!--or a discretion, that is, one of the discretions!--or a justice,
that is, one of the quorum! We trust Mr. Halliwell may never have the
editing of Bob Acres's imprecations. "Odd's triggers!" he would say,
"that is, as odd as, or as strange as, triggers."

Vol. III., p. 77,--"the vote-killing mandrake." Mr. Halliwell's note
is, "_vote-killing_.--'Voice-killing,' ed. 1613. It may well he doubted
whether either be the correct reading." He then gives a familiar
citation from Browne's "Vulgar Errors." "Vote-killing" may be a mere
misprint for "note-killing," but "voice-killing" is certainly the better
reading. Either, however, makes sense. Although Sir Thomas Browne does
not allude to the deadly property of the mandrake's shriek, yet Mr.
Halliwell, who has edited Shakspeare, might have remembered the

  "Would curses kill, _as doth the mandrake's groan_,"
  (2d Part Henry VI., Act III. Scene 2.)

and the notes thereon in the _variorum_ edition. In Jacob Grimm's
"Deutsche Mythologie," (Vol. II. p. 1154,) under the word _Alraun_, may
be found a full account of the superstitions concerning the mandrake.
"When it is dug up, it groans and shrieks so dreadfully that the digger
will surely die. One must, therefore, before sunrise on a Friday, having
first stopped one's ears with wax or cotton-wool, take with him an
entirely black dog without a white hair on him, make the sign of the
cross three times over the _alraun_, and dig about it till the root
holds only by thin fibres. Then tie these by a string to the tail of the
dog, show him a piece of bread, and run away as fast as possible. The
dog runs eagerly after the bread, pulls up the root, and falls stricken
dead by its groan of pain."

These, we believe, are the only instances in which Mr. Halliwell has
ventured to give any opinion upon the text, except as to a palpable
misprint, here and there. Two of these we have already cited. There is
one other,--"p. 46, line 10. _Iuconstant_.--An error for _inconstant_."
Wherever there is a real difficulty, he leaves us in the lurch. For
example, in "What you Will," he prints without comment,--

  "Ha! he mount Chirall on the wings of
  fame!" (Vol. I. p. 239,)

which should be "mount cheval," as it is given in Mr. Dilke's edition
(Old English Plays, Vol. II. p. 222). We cite this, not as the worst,
but the shortest, example at hand.

Some of Mr. Halliwell's notes are useful and interesting,--as that
on "keeling the pot," and some others,--but a great part are utterly
useless. He thinks it necessary, for instance, to explain that "_to
speak pure foole_, is in sense equivalent to 'I will speak like a pure
fool,'"--that "belkt up" means "belched up,"--"aprecocks," "apricots."
He has notes also upon "meal-mouthed," "luxuriousnesse," "termagant,"
"fico," "estro," "a nest of goblets," which indicate either that the
"general reader" is a less intelligent person in England than in
America, or that Mr. Halliwell's standard of scholarship is very low.
We ourselves, from our limited reading, can supply him with a reference
which will explain the allusion to the "Scotch barnacle" much
better than his citations from Sir John Maundeville and Giraldus
Cambrensis,--namely, note 8, on page 179 of a Treatise on Worms, by Dr.
Ramesey, court physician to Charles II.

Next month we shall examine Mr. Hazlitt's edition of Webster.

_Waverley Novels_. Household Edition. Boston: Ticknor & Fields. 16mo.

This beautiful edition of Scott's Novels will be completed in
forty-eight volumes. Thirty are already published, and the remaining
eighteen will be issued at the rate of two volumes a month. As this
edition, in the union of elegance of mechanical execution with cheapness
of price, is the best which has yet been published in the United States,
and reflects great credit on the taste and enterprise of the publishers,
its merits should be universally known. The paper is white, the type new
and clear, the illustrations excellent, the volumes of convenient size,
the notes placed at the foot of the page, and the text enriched with the
author's latest corrections. It is called the "Household Edition";
and we certainly think it would be a greater adornment, and should be
considered a more indispensable necessity, than numerous articles of
expensive furniture, which, in too many households, take the place of
such books.

The success of this edition, which has been as great as that of most new
novels, is but another illustration of the permanence of Scott's hold on
the general imagination, resulting from the instinctive sagacity with
which he perceived and met its wants. The generation of readers for
which he wrote has mostly passed away; new fashions in fiction have
risen, had their day, and disappeared; he has been subjected to much
acute and profound criticism of a disparaging kind; and at present
he has formidable rivals in a number of novelists, both eminent and
popular;--yet his fame has quietly and steadily widened with time, the
"reading public" of our day is as much his public as the reading public
of his own, and there has been no period since he commenced writing when
there were not more persons familiar with his novels than with those of
any other author. Some novelists are more highly estimated by certain
classes of minds, but no other comprehends in his popularity so many
classes, and few bear so well that hardest of tests, re-perusal. Many
novels stimulate us more, and while we are reading them we think they
are superior to Scott's; but we miss, in the general impression they
leave on the mind, that peculiar charm which, in Scott, calls us back,
after a few years, to his pages, to revive the recollection of scenes
and characters which may be fading away from our memories. We doubt,
also, if any other novelist has, in a like degree, the power of
instantaneously withdrawing so wide a variety of readers from the
perplexities and discomforts of actual existence, and making them for
the time denizens of a new world. He has stimulating elements enough,
and he exhibits masterly art in the wise economy with which he uses
them; but he still stimulates only to invigorate; and when he enlivens
jaded minds, it is rather by infusing fresh life than by applying fierce
excitements, and there is consequently no reaction of weariness and
disgust. He appeases, satisfies, and enchants, rather than stings and
inflames. The interest he rouses is not of that absorbing nature which
exhausts from its very intensity, but is of that genial kind which
continuously holds the pleased attention while the story is in progress,
and remains in the mind as a delightful memory after the story is
finished. It may also be said of his characters, that, if some other
novelists have exhibited a finer and firmer power in delineating higher
or rarer types of humanity, Scott is still unapproached in this, that he
has succeeded in domesticating his creations in the general heart and
brain, and thus obtained the endorsement of human nature as evidence of
their genuineness. His characters are the friends and acquaintances of
everybody,--quoted, referred to, gossipped about, discussed, criticized,
as though they were actual beings. He, as an individual, is almost lost
sight of in the imaginary world his genius has peopled; and most of
his readers have a more vivid sense of the reality of Dominie Sampson,
Jennie Deans, or any other of his characterizations, than they have of
himself. And the reason is obvious. They know Dominie Sampson through
Scott; they know Scott only through Lockhart. Still, it is certain that
the nature of Scott, that essential nature which no biography can give,
underlies, animates, disposes, and permeates all the natures he has
delineated. It is this, which, in the last analysis, is found to be the
source of his universal popularity, and which, without analysis, is felt
as a continual charm by all his readers, whether they live in palaces or
cottages. His is a nature which is welcomed everywhere, because it is at
home everywhere. The mere power and variety of his imagination cannot
account for his influence; for the same power and variety might have
been directed by a discontented and misanthropic spirit, or have obeyed
the impulses of selfish and sensual passions, and thus conveyed a bitter
or impure view of human nature and human life. It is, then, the man
in the imagination, the cheerful, healthy, vigorous, sympathetic,
good-natured, and broad-natured Walter Scott himself, who, modestly
hidden, as he seems to be, behind the characters and scenes he
represents, really streams through them the peculiar quality of life
which makes their abiding charm. He has been accepted by humanity,
because he is so heartily humane,--humane, not merely as regards man in
the abstract, but as regards man in the concrete.

We have spoken of the number of his readers, and of his capacity to
interest all classes of people; but we suppose, that, in our day, when
everybody knows how to read without always knowing what to read, even
Scott has failed to reach a multitude of persons abundantly capable of
receiving pleasure from his writings, but who, in their ignorance of
him, are content to devour such frightful trash in the shape of novels
as they accidentally light upon in a leisure hour. One advantage of such
an edition of his works as that which has occasioned these remarks is,
that it tends to awaken attention anew to his merits, to spread his fame
among the generation of readers now growing up, and to place him in
the public view fairly abreast of unworthy but clamorous claimants for
public regard, as inferior to him in the power to impart pleasure as
they are inferior to him in literary excellence. That portion of the
public who read bad novels cannot be reached by criticism; but if they
could only be reached by Scott, they would quickly discover and resent
the swindle of which they have so long been the victims.

_A Dictionary of Medical Science_, etc. By ROBLEY DUNGLISON, M.D., LL.D.
Revised and very greatly enlarged.

It does not fall within our province to enter into a minute examination
of a professional work like the one before us. As a Medical Dictionary
is a book, however, which every general reader will find convenient at
times, and as we have long employed this particular dictionary with
great satisfaction, we do not hesitate to devote a few sentences to its

We remember when it was first published in 1833, meagre, as compared
with its present affluence of information. A few years later a second
edition was honorably noticed in the "British and Foreign Medical
Review." At that time it was only half the size of Hooper's well-known
Medical Dictionary, but by its steady growth in successive editions it
has reached that obesity which is tolerable in books we consult, but
hardly in such as we read. The labor expended in preparing the work
must have been immense, and, unlike most of our stereotyped medical
literature, it has increased by true interstitial growth, instead of
by mere accretion, or of remaining essentially stationary--with the
exception of the title-page.

We can confidently recommend this work as a most ample and convenient
book of reference upon Anatomy, Physiology, Climate, and other subjects
likely to be occasionally interesting to the general reader, as well as
upon all practical matters connected with the art of healing.

In the present state of education and intelligence, he must be a dull
person who does not frequently find a question arising on some point
connected with this range of studies. The student will find in this
dictionary an enormous collection of synonymes in various languages,
brief accounts of almost everything medical ever heard of, and full
notices of many of the more important subjects treated,--such as
Climate, Diet, Falsification of Drugs, Feigned Diseases, Muscles,
Poisons, and many others.

Here and there we notice blemishes, as must be expected in so huge
a collection of knowledge. Thus, _Bronchlemmitis_ is not _Polypus
bronchialis_, but _Croup_.--The accent of _laryngeal_ and _pharyngeal_
is incorrectly placed on the third syllable. In this wilderness of words
we look in vain for the New York provincialism "Sprue." The work has
a right to some scores, perhaps hundreds, of such errors, without
forfeiting its character. If the Elzevirs could not print the "Corpus
Juris Civilis" without a false heading to a chapter, we may excuse a
dictionary-maker and his printer for an occasional slip. But it is a
most useful book, and scholars will find it immensely convenient.

_Scenes of Clerical Life_. By GEORGE ELIOT. Originally published in
"Blackwood's Magazine." New York: Harper & Brothers. 1858.

Fiction represents the character of the age to which it belongs, not
merely by actual delineations of its times, like those of "Tom Jones"
and "The Newcomer," but also in an indirect, though scarcely less
positive manner, by its exhibition of the influence of the times upon
its own form and general direction, whatever the scene or period it may
have chosen for itself. The story of "Hypatia" is laid in Alexandria
almost two thousand years ago, but the book reflects the crudities of
modern English thought; and even Mr. Thackeray, the greatest
living master of costume, succeeds in making his "Esmond" only a
joint-production of the Addisonian age and our own. Thus the novels of
the last few years exhibit very clearly the spirit that characterizes
the period of regard for men and women as men and women, without
reference to rank, beauty, fortune, or privilege. Novelists recognize
that Nature is a better romance-maker than the fancy, and the public is
learning that men and women are better than heroes and heroines, not
only to live with, but also to read of. Now and then, therefore, we get
a novel, like these "Scenes of Clerical Life," in which the fictitious
element is securely based upon a broad groundwork of actual truth, truth
as well in detail as in general.

It is not often, however, even yet, that we find a writer wholly
unembarrassed by and in revolt against the old theory of the necessity
of perfection in some one at least of the characters of his story.
"Neither Luther nor John Bunyan," says the author of this book, "would
have satisfied the modern demand for an ideal hero, who believes nothing
but what is true, feels nothing but what is excellent, and does nothing
but what is graceful."

Sometimes, indeed, a daring romance-writer ventures, during the earlier
chapters of his story, to represent a heroine without beauty and without
wealth, or a hero with some mortal blemish. But after a time his
resolution fails;--each new chapter gives a new charm to the ordinary
face; the eyes grow "liquid" and "lustrous," always having been "large";
the nose, "naturally delicate," exhibits its "fine-cut lines"; the mouth
acquires an indescribable expression of loveliness; and the reader's
hoped-for Fright is transformed by Folly or Miss Pickering into a
commonplace, tiresome, _novelesque_ Beauty. Even Miss Bronté relented
toward Jane Eyre; and weaker novelists are continually repeating,
but with the omission of the moral, the story of the "Ugly Duck."
Unquestionably, there is the excuse to be made for this great error,
that it betrays the seeking after an Ideal. Dangerous word! The ideal
standard of excellence is, to be sure, fortunately changing, and the
unreal ideal will soon be confined to the second-rate writers for
second-rate readers. But all the great novelists of the two last
generations indulged themselves and their readers in these unrealities.
It is vastly easier to invent a consistent character than to represent
an inconsistent one;--a hero is easier to make (so all historians have
found) than a man.

Suppose, however, novelists could be placed in a society made up of
their favorite characters,--forced into real, lifelike intercourse with
them;--Richardson, for instance, with his Harriet Byron or Clarissa,
attended by Sir Charles; Miss Burney with Lord Orville and Evelina;
Miss Edgeworth with Caroline Percy, and that marvellous hero, Count
Altenburg; Scott with the automatons that he called Waverley and Flora
McIvor. Suppose they were brought together to share the comforts (cold
comforts they would be) of life, to pass days together, to meet every
morning at breakfast; with what a ludicrous sense of relief, at the
close of this purgatorial period, would not the unhappy novelists
have fled from these deserted heroes and heroines, and the precious
proprieties of their romance, to the very driest and mustiest of human
bores,--gratefully rejoicing that the world was not filled with such
creatures as they themselves had set before it as _ideals_!

To copy Nature faithfully and heartily is certainly not less needful
when stories are presented in words than when they are told on canvas or
in marble. In the "Scenes from Clerical Life" we have a happy example of
such copying. The three stories embraced under this title are written
vigorously, with a just appreciation of the romance of reality, and with
honest adherence to truth of representation in the sombre as well as the
brighter portions of life. It demands not only a large intellect, but a
large heart, to gain such a candid and inclusive appreciation of life
and character as they display. The greater part of each story reads like
a reminiscence of real life, and the personages introduced show little
sign of being "rubbed down" or "touched up and varnished" for effect.
The narrative is easy and direct, full of humor and pathos; and the
descriptions of simple life in a country village are often charming from
their freshness, vivacity, and sweetness. More than this, these stories
give proof of that wide range of experience which does not so much
depend on an extended or varied acquaintance with the world, as upon an
intelligent and comprehensive sympathy, which makes each new person with
whom one is connected a new illustration of the unsolved problems of
life and a new link in the unending chain of human development.

The book is one that deserves a more elegant form than that which the
Messrs. Harper have given it in their reprint.

_Twin Roses: A Narrative._ By ANNA CORA RITCHIE, Author of
"Autobiography of an Actress," "Mimic Life," etc. Boston: Ticknor &
Fields. 16mo.

This volume belongs to a series of narratives intended to illustrate
Mrs. Ritchie's experiences of theatrical life, and especially to do
justice to the many admirable people who have adopted the stage as
a profession. Though it has many defects, in respect to plot and
characterization, it seems to us the most charming in style and
beautiful in sentiment of Mrs. Ritchie's works. The two sisters, the
"twin roses," are, we believe, drawn from life; but the author's own
imagination has enveloped them in an atmosphere of romantic sweetness,
and their qualities are fondly exaggerated into something like
unreality. They seem to have been first idolized and then idealized, but
never realized. Still, the most beautiful and tender passages of the
whole book are those in which they are lovingly portrayed. The scenes
in the theatre are generally excellent. The perils, pains, pleasures,
failures, and triumphs of the actor's life are well described. The
defect, which especially mars the latter portion of the volume, is the
absence of any artistic reason for the numerous descriptions of scenery
which are introduced. The tourist and the novelist do not happily
combine. Still, the sentiment of the book is so pure, fresh, and
artless, its moral tone so high, its style so rich and melodious, and
its purpose so charitable and good, that the reader is kept in pleased
attention to the end, and lays it down with regret.

       *       *       *       *       *


In our review of Parton's Life of Burr, published in the March number,
the following passage occurs, as a quotation from that work:--"Hamilton
probably implanted a dislike for Burr in Washington's breast."

Upon this the author of the biography has had the effrontery to bring
against us a charge of _forgery_. He affirms that neither the sentence
above quoted nor any resembling it can be found in his book.

Mr. Parton, speaking of Washington's refusal to nominate Burr to the
French mission, (p. 197,) speaks of the President's dislike for him;
and, endeavoring to account for it, says: "Reflecting upon this
circumstance, the idea will occur to the individual long immersed in the
reading of that period, _that this invincible dislike of Colonel Burr
was perhaps implanted, certainly nourished, in the mind of General
Washington by his useful friend and adherent, Alexander Hamilton."_

We do not wonder that Mr. Parton should have been annoyed by so damaging
a criticism of his book, but we can account for his forgetfulness only
by supposing that he has been so long "immersed in the reading of
that period" as to have arrived nearly at the drowning-point of

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 01, No. 07, May, 1858" ***

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