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Title: The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 02, No. 09, July, 1858
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 02, No. 09, July, 1858" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

NUMBER 9, JULY, 1858***


THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY.

A MAGAZINE OF LITERATURE, ART, AND POLITICS.

VOL. II.--JULY, 1858.--NO. IX.



THE CATACOMBS OF ROME.
[Concluded.]

--fessoque Sacrandum
Supponato capiti lapidem, Curistoque quiescam.
PAULINUS OF NOLL

Et factus est in pace locus ejus et halitatio in Sion.
Ps. LXXV. 2

V.

Rome is preëminently the city of monuments and inscriptions, and the
lapidary style is the one most familiar to her. The Republic, the Empire,
the Papacy, the Heathens, and the Christians have written their record
upon marble. But gravestones are proverbially dull reading, and
inscriptions are often as cold as the stone upon which they are engraved.

The long gallery of the Vatican, through which one passes to enter the
famous library, and which leads to the collection of statues, is lined on
one side with heathen inscriptions, of miscellaneous character, on the
other with Christian inscriptions, derived chiefly from the catacombs, but
arranged with little order. The comparison thus exhibited to the eye is an
impressive one. The contrast of one class with the other is visible even
in external characteristics. The old Roman lines are cut with precision
and evenness; the letters are well formed, the words are rightly spelt,
the construction of the sentences is grammatical. But the Christian
inscriptions bear for the most part the marks of ignorance, poverty, and
want of skill. Their lines are uneven, the letters of various sizes, the
words ill-spelt, the syntax often incorrect. Not seldom a mixture of Greek
and Latin in the same sentence betrays the corrupt speech of the lower
classes, and the Latin itself is that of the common people. But defects of
style and faults of engraving are insufficient to hide the feeling that
underlies them.

Besides this great collection of the Vatican, there is another collection
now being formed in the _loggia_ of the Lateran Palace, in immediate
connection with the Christian Museum. Arranged as the inscriptions will
here be in historic sequence and with careful classification, it will be
chiefly to this collection that the student of Christian antiquity will
hereafter resort. It in in the charge of the Cavaliere de Rossi, who is
engaged in editing the Christian inscriptions of the first six centuries,
and whose extraordinary learning and marvellous sagacity in deciphering
and determining the slightest remains of ancient stone-cutting give him
unexampled fitness for the work. Of these inscriptions, about eleven
thousand are now known, and of late some forty or fifty have been added
each year to the number previously recorded. But a very small proportion
of the eleven thousand remain _in situ_ in the catacombs, and besides the
great collections of the Vatican and the Lateran, there are many smaller
ones in Rome and in other Italian cities, and many inscriptions originally
found in the subterranean cemeteries are now scattered in the porticos or
on the pavements of churches in Rome, Ravenna, Milan, and elsewhere. From
the first period of the desecration of the catacombs, the engraved tablets
that had closed the graves were almost as much an object of the greed of
pious or superstitious marauders as the more immediate relics of the
saints. Hence came their dispersion through Italy, and hence, too, it has
happened that many very important and interesting inscriptions belonging
to Rome are now found scattered through the Continent.

It has been, indeed, sometimes the custom of the Roman Church to enhance
the value of a gift of relics by adding to it the gift of the inscription
on the grave from which they were taken. A curious instance of this kind,
connected with the making of a very popular saint, occurred not many years
since. In the year 1802 a grave was found in the Cemetery of St.
Priscilla, by which were the remains of a glass vase that had held blood,
the indication of the burial-place of a martyr. The grave was closed by
three tiles, on which were the following words painted in red letters:
LVMENA PAXTE CVMFL. There were also rudely painted on the tiles two
anchors, three darts, a torch, and a palm-branch. The bones found within
the grave, together with the tiles bearing the inscription, were placed in
the Treasury of Relics at the Lateran.

On the return of Pius VII., one of the deputation of Neapolitan clergy
sent to congratulate him sought and received from the Pope these relics
and the tiles as a gift for his church. The inscription had been read by
placing the first tile after the two others, thus,--PAX TECUM FILUMENA,
_Peace be with thee, Filumena_; and Filumena was adopted as a new saint in
the long list of those to whom the Roman Church has given this title. It
was supposed, that, in the haste of closing the grave, the tiles had been
thus misplaced.

Very soon after the gift, a priest, who desired not to be named _on
account of his great humility_, had a vision at noonday, in which the
beautiful virgin with the beautiful name appeared to him and revealed to
him that she had suffered death rather than yield her chastity to the will
of the Emperor, who desired to make her his wife. Thereupon a young
artist, whose name is also suppressed, likewise had a vision of St.
Filomena, who told him that the emperor was Diocletian; but as history
stands somewhat opposed to this statement, it has been suggested that the
artist mistook the name, and that the Saint said Maximian. However this
may be, the day of her martyrdom was fixed on the 10th of August, 303. Her
relics were carried to Naples with great reverence; they were inclosed,
after the Neapolitan fashion, in a wooden doll of the size of life,
dressed in a white satin skirt and a red tunic, with a garland of flowers
on its head, and a lily and a dart in its hand. This doll, with the red-
lettered tiles, was soon transferred to its place in the church of
Mugnano, a small town not far from Naples. Many miracles were wrought on
the way, and many have since been wrought in the church itself. The fame
of the virgin spread through Italy, and chapels were dedicated to her
honor in many distant churches; from Italy it reached Germany and France,
and it has even crossed the Atlantic to America. Thus a new saint, a new
story, and a new exhibition of credulity had their rise not long ago from
a grave and three words in the catacombs.

One of the first differences which are obvious, in comparing the Christian
with the heathen mortuary inscriptions, is the introduction in the former
of some new words, expressive of the new ideas that prevailed among them.
Thus, in place of the old formula which had been in most common use upon
gravestones, D.M., or, in Greek, [Greek: TH.K.], standing for _Dis
Manibus_, or [Greek: _Theois karachthoniois_], a dedication of the stone
to the gods of death, we find constantly the words _In pace_. The exact
meaning of these words varies on different inscriptions, but their general
significance is simple and clear. When standing alone, they seem to mean
that the dead rests in the peace of God; sometimes they are preceded by
_Requiescat_, "May he rest in peace"; sometimes there is the affirmation,
_Dormit in pace_, "He sleeps in peace"; sometimes a person is said
_recessisse in pace_, "to have departed in peace." Still other forms are
found, as, for instance, _Vivas in pace_, "Live in peace," or _Suscipiatur
in pace_, "May he be received into peace,"--all being only variations of
the expression of the Psalmist's trust, "I will lay me down in peace and
sleep, for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety." It is a curious
fact, however, that on some of the Christian tablets the same letters
which were used by the heathens have been found. One inscription exists
beginning with the words _Dis Manibus_, and ending with the words _in
pace_. But there is no need of finding a difficulty in this fact, or of
seeking far for an explanation of it. As we have before remarked, in
speaking of works of Art, the presence of some heathen imagery and ideas
in the multitude of the paintings and inscriptions in the catacombs is not
so strange as the comparatively entire absence of them. Many professing
Christians must have had during the early ages but an imperfect conception
of the truth, and can have separated themselves only partially from their
previous opinions, and from the conceptions that prevailed around them in
the world. To some the letters of the heathen gravestones, and the words
which they stood for, probably appeared little more than a form expressive
of the fact of death, and, with the imperfect understanding natural to
uneducated minds, they used them with little thought of their absolute
significance.[1]

[Footnote 1: It is probable that most of the gravestones upon which this
heathen formula is found are not of an earlier date than the middle of the
fourth century. At this time Christianity became the formal religion of
many who were still heathen in character and thought, and cared little
about the expression of a faith which they had adopted more from the
influence of external motives than from principle or conviction.]

Another difference in words which is very noticeable, running through the
inscriptions, is that of _depositus_, used by the Christians to signify
the _laying away_ in the grave, in place of the heathen words _situs,
positus, sepultus, conditus_. The very name of _coemeterium_, adopted by
the Christians for their burial-places, a name unknown to the ancient
Romans, bore a reference to the great doctrine of the Resurrection. Their
burial-ground was a _cemetery_, that is, a _sleeping-place_; they regarded
the dead as put there to await the awakening; the body was _depositus_,
that is, _intrusted to_ the grave, while the heathen was _situs_ or
_sepultus, interred_ or _buried_,--the words implying a final and
definitive position. And as the Christian _dormit_ or _quiescit, sleeps_
or _rests_ in death, so the heathen is described as _abreptus_, or
_defunctus, snatched away_ or _departed_ from life.

Again, the contrast between the inscriptions is marked, and in a sadder
way, by the difference of the expressions of mourning and grief. No one
who has read many of the ancient gravestones but remembers the bitter
words that are often found on them,--words of indignation against the
gods, of weariness of life, of despair and unconsoled melancholy. Here is
one out of many:--

  PROCOPE MANVS LEBO CONTRA
  DEVM QVI ME INNOCENTEM SVS
  TVLIT QVAE VIXI ANNOS XX.
  POS. PROCLVS.

  I, Procope, who lived twenty years, lift up
  my hands against God, who took me away innocent.
  Proclus set up this.

But among the Christian inscriptions of the first centuries there is not
one of this sort. Most of them contain no reference to grief; they are the
very short and simple words of love, remembrance, and faith,--as in the
following from the Lateran:--

  ADEODATE DIGNAE ET MERITAE VIRGINI
  ETQVIESCE HIC IN PACE IVBENTE XPO EJUS

  To Adeodata, a worthy and deserving Virgin,
  and rests here in peace, her Christ commanding.

On a few the word _dolens_ is found, simply telling of grief. On one to
the memory of a sweetest daughter the word _irreparable_ is used, _Filiae
dulcissimae inreparabili_. Another is, "To Dalmatius, sweetest son, whom
his _unhappy_ father was not permitted to enjoy for even seven years."
Another inscription, in which something of the feeling that was unchecked
among the heathens finds expression in Christian words, is this: "Sweet
soul. To the incomparable child, who lived seventeen years, and
_undeserving_ [of death] gave up life in the peace of the Lord." Neither
the name of the child nor of the parents is on the stone, and the word
_immeritus_, which is used here, and which is common in heathen use, is
found, we believe, on only one other Christian grave. One inscription,
which has been interpreted as being an expression of unresigned sorrow, is
open to a very different signification. It is this:--

  INNOCENTISSISSIMÆ ETATIS
  DVLCISSIMO FILIO
  JOVIANO QVI VIXIT ANN· VII
  ET MENSES VI NON MERENTES
  THEOCTISTVS ET THALLVSA PARENTES

  To their sweetest boy Jovian, of the most
  innocent age, who lived seven years and six
  months, his undeserving [or unlamenting] parents
  Theoctistus and Thallusa.

Here, without forcing the meaning, _non merentes_ might be supposed to
refer to the parents' not esteeming themselves worthy  to be left in
possession of such a treasure; but the probability is that _merentes_ is
only a misspelling of _maerentes_ for otherwise _immerentes_ would have
been the natural word.

But it is thus that the Christian inscriptions must be sifted, to find
expressions at variance with their usual tenor, their general composure
and trust. The simplicity and brevity of the greater number of them are,
indeed, striking evidence of the condition of feeling among those who set
them upon the graves. Their recollections of the dead feared no fading,
and Christ, whose coming was so near at hand, would know and reunite his
own. Continually we read only a name with _in pace_, without date, age, or
title, but often with some symbol of love or faith hastily carved or
painted on the stone or tiles. Such inscriptions as the following are
common:--

  FELICISSIMVS DVLCIS,--GAVDENTIA IN PACE,
  --SEVERA IN DEO VIVAS,--

or, with a little more fulness of expression,--

  DVLCISSIMO FILIO ENDELECIO
  BENEMERENTI QVI VIXIT
  ANNOS II MENSE VNV
  DIES XX IN PACE

  To the sweetest son Endelechius, the well-
  deserving, who lived two years, one month,
  twenty days. In peace.

The word _benemerenti_ is of constant recurrence. It is used both of the
young and the old; and it seems to have been employed, with comprehensive
meaning, as an expression of affectionate and grateful remembrance.

Here is another short and beautiful epitaph. The two words with which it
begins are often found.

  ANIMA DVLCIS AVFENIA VIRGO
  BENEDICTA QVE VIXIT ANN: XXX
  DORMIT IN PACE

  Sweet Soul. The Blessed Virgin Aufenia,
  who lived thirty years. She sleeps in peace.

But the force and tenderness of such epitaphs as these is hardly to be
recognized in single examples. There is a cumulative pathos in them, as
one reads, one after another, such as these that follow:--

  ANGELICE BENE IN PACE

  To Angelica well in peace.

  CVRRENTIO SERVO DEI DEP. D. XVI. KAL
  NOVEM.

  To Currentius, the servant of God, laid in
  the grave on the sixteenth of the Kalends of
  November.

  MAXIMINVS QVI VIXIT ANNOS XXIII
  AMICVS OMNIVM

  Maximin, who lived twenty-three years, the
  friend of all.

  SEPTIMVS MARCIANE
  IN PACE QUE BICSIT MECV
  ANNOS XVII. DORMIT IN PACE

  Septimus to Marciana in peace. Who lived
  with me seventeen years. She sleeps in peace.

  GAVDENTIA
  PAVSAT DVLCIS
  SPIRITVS ANNORVM II
  MENSORVM TRES.

  Gaudentia rests. Sweet spirit of two years
  and three months.

Here is a gravestone with the single word VIATOR; here one that tells only
that Mary placed it for her daughter; here one that tells of the light of
the house,--[Greek: To phos thaes Oikias].

Nor is it only in these domestic and intimate inscriptions that the
habitual temper and feeling of the Christians is shown, but even still
more in those that were placed over the graves of such members of the
household of faith as had made public profession of their belief, and
shared in the sufferings of their Lord. There is no parade of words on the
gravestones of the martyrs. Their death needed no other record than the
little jar of blood placed in the mortar, and the fewest words were enough
where this was present. Here is an inscription in the rudest letters from
a martyr's grave:--

  SABATIVS BENEMERENTI QVI VIXIT ANNOS XL

  To the well-deserving Sabatias, who lived
  forty years.

And here another:--

  PROSPERO INNOCENTI ANIMAE IN PACE.

  To Prosperus, innocent soul, in peace.

And here a third, to a child who had died as one of the Innocents:--

  MIRAE INNOCENTIAE ANIMA DULCIS AEMILEANVS
  QVI VIXIT ANNO VNO, MENS. VIII D. XXVIII
  DORMIT IN PACE

  Aemilian, sweet soul of marvellous innocence,
  who lived one year, eight months, twenty-eight
  days. He sleeps in peace.

At this grave was found the vase of blood, and on the gravestone was the
figure of a dove.

Another inscription, which preserves the name of one of those who suffered
in the most severe persecution to which the ancient Church was exposed,
and which, if genuine, is, so far as known, the only monument of the kind,
is marked by the same simplicity of style:--

  LANNVS XPI MA
  RTIR HC*[Hic?] REQVIESC
  IT SVR [E-P-S] DIOCLITI ANO PASSVS

  Lannus Martyr of Christ here rests. He
  suffered under Diocletian.

The three letters EPS have been interpreted as standing for the words _et
posteris suis_, and as meaning that the grave was also for his successors.
Not yet, then, had future saints begun to sanctify their graves, and to
claim the exclusive possession of them.

But there is another point of contrast between the inscriptions of the un-
Christianized and the Christian Romans, which illustrates forcibly the
difference in the regard which they paid to the dead. To the one the dead
were still of this world, and the greatness of life, the distinctions of
class, the titles of honor still clung to them; to the other the past life
was as nothing to that which had now begun. The heathen epitaphs are
loaded with titles of honor, and with the names of the offices which the
dead had borne, and, like the modern Christian (?) epitaphs whose style
has been borrowed from them, the vanity of this world holds its place
above the grave. But among the early Christian inscriptions of Rome
nothing of this kind is known. Scarcely a title of rank or a name of
office is to be found among them. A military title, or the name of priest
or deacon, or of some other officer in the Church, now and then is met
with; but even these, for the most part, would seem to belong to the
fourth century, and never contain any expression of boastfulness or
flattery.

  FL. OLIVS PATERNVS
  CENTVRIO CHOR. X VRB.
  QVI VIXIT AH XXVII
  IN PACE

  Flavius Olius Paternus, Centurion of the
  Tenth Urban Cohort, who lived twenty-seven
  years. In peace.

It is true, no doubt, that among the first Christians there were very few
of the rich and great. The words of St. Paul to the Corinthians were as
true of the Romans as of those to whom they were specially addressed: "For
ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh,
not many mighty, not many noble are called." Still there is evidence
enough that even in the first two centuries some of the mighty and some of
the noble at Rome were among those called, but that evidence is not to be
gathered from the gravestones of the catacombs. We have seen, in a former
article, that even the grave of one of the early bishops,--the highest
officer of the Church,--and one who had borne witness to the truth in his
death, was marked by the words,

  CORNELIVS MARTYR
  EP.

  The Martyr Cornelius, Bishop.

Compare this with the epitaphs of the later popes, as they are found on
their monuments in St. Peter's,--"flattering, false insculptions on a
tomb, and in men's hearts reproach,"--epitaphs overweighted with
superlatives, ridiculous, were it not for their impiety, and full of the
lies and vanities of man in the very house of God.

With this absence of boastfulness and of titles of rank on the early
Christian graves two other characteristics of the inscriptions are closely
connected, which bear even yet more intimate and expressive relation to
the change wrought by Christianity in the very centre of the heathen
world.

"One cannot study a dozen monuments of pagan Rome," says Mr. Northcote, in
his little volume on the catacombs, "without reading something of _servus_
or _libertus, libertis libertabusque posterisque eorum_; and I believe the
proportion in which they are found is about three out of every four. Yet,
in a number of Christian inscriptions exceeding eleven thousand, and all
belonging to the first six centuries of our era, scarcely six have been
found containing any allusion whatever--and even two or three of these are
doubtful--to this fundamental division of ancient Roman society.

"No one, we think, will be rash enough to maintain, either that this
omission is the result of mere accident, or that no individual slave or
freedman was ever buried in the catacombs. Rather, these two cognate
facts, the absence from ancient Christian epitaphs of all titles of rank
and honor on the one hand, or of disgrace and servitude on the other, can
only be adequately explained by an appeal to the religion of those who
made them. The children of the primitive Church did not record upon their
monuments titles of earthly dignity, because they knew that with the God
whom they served 'there was no respect of persons'; neither did they care
to mention the fact of their bondage, or of their deliverance from
bondage, to some earthly master, because they thought only of that higher
and more perfect liberty wherewith Christ had set them free; remembering
that 'he that was called, being a bondman, was yet the freeman of the
Lord, and likewise he that was called, being free, was still the bondman
of Christ.'

"And this conclusion is still further confirmed by another remarkable fact
which should be mentioned, namely, that there are not wanting in the
catacombs numerous examples of another class of persons, sometimes ranked
among slaves, but the mention of whose servitude, such as it was, served
rather to record an act of Christian charity than any social degradation;
I allude to the alumni, or foundlings, as they may be called. The laws of
pagan Rome assigned these victims of their parents' crimes or poverty to
be the absolute property of any one who would take charge of them. As
nothing, however, but compassion could move a man to do this, children
thus acquired were not called _servi_, as though they were slaves who had
been bought with money, nor _vernae_, as though they had been the children
of slaves born in the house, but _alumni_, a name simply implying that
they had been brought up (_ab alendo_) by their owners. Now it is a very
singular fact, that there are actually more instances of _alumni_ among
the sepulchral inscriptions of Christians than among the infinitely more
numerous inscriptions of pagans, showing clearly that this was an act of
charity to which the early Christians were much addicted; and the
_alumni_, when their foster-parents died, very properly and naturally
recorded upon their tombs this act of charity, to which they were
themselves so deeply indebted."

So far Mr. Northcote. It is still further to be noted, as an expression of
the Christian temper, as displayed in this kind of charity, that it never
appears in the inscriptions as furnishing a claim for praise, or as being
regarded as a peculiar merit. There is no departure from the usual
simplicity of the gravestones in those of this class.

 [Greek:
  PETROS
  THREPTOS
  RAUKUTA
  TOS EN THEO]

  Peter, sweetest foster-child, in God.

And a dove is engraved at either side of
this short epitaph.

  VITALIANO ALVMNO KARO
  EVTROPIVS FECIT.

  Eutropius made this for the dear foster-child
  Vitalian.

  ANTONIVS DISCOLIVS FILIVS ET BIBIVS
  FELLICISSIMVS ALVMNVS VALERIE CRESTENI
  MATRI BIDVE ANORVM XVIII INTET SANCTOS

  Antonius Discolius her son, and Bibius Felicissimus
  her foster-child, to Valeria Crestina
  their mother, a widow for eighteen years.
  [Her grave is] among the holy.[2]

[Footnote 2: This inscription is not of earlier date than the fourth
century, as is shown by the words, _Inter sancios_,--referring, as we
heretofore stated, to the grave being made near that of some person
esteemed a saint.]

These inscriptions lead us by a natural transition to such as contain some
reference to the habits of life or to the domestic occupations and
feelings of the early Christians. Unfortunately for the gratification of
the desire to learn of these things, this class of inscriptions is far
from numerous,--and the common conciseness is rarely, in the first
centuries, amplified by details. But here is one that tells a little story
in itself:--

               DOMNINAE
INNOCENTISSINAE ET DVLCISSIMAE COIVGI
  QVAE VIXIT ANN XVI M. IIII ET FVIT
 IMARITATA ANN. DVOBVS M. IIII D. VIIII
  CVM QVA SON LICVIT FVISSE PROPTER
       CAVSAS PEREGRINATIONIS
           NISI MENEIE VI
QVO TEMPORE VT EGO SENSI ET EXHBVI
            AMOREM MEVM
   NVLLI SV ALII SIC DILEXERVNT
       DEPOSIT XV KAL. IVN.

  To Domnina, my most innocent and sweetest
  wife; who lived sixteen years and four
  months, and was married two years, four
  months, and nine days; with whom, on account
  of my journeys, I was permitted to be
  only six months; in which time, as I felt, so
  I showed my love. No others have so loved
  one another. Placed in the grave the 15th
  of the Kalends of June.

Who was this husband whose far-off journeys had so separated him from his
lately married wife? Who were they who so loved as no others had loved?
The tombstone gives only the name of Domnina. But in naming her, and in
the expression of her husband's love, it gives evidence, which is
confirmed by many other tokens in the catacombs, of the change introduced
by Christianity in the position of women, and in the regard paid to them.
Marriage was invested with a sanctity which redeemed it from sensuality,
and Christianity became the means of uniting man and woman in the bonds of
an immortal love.

Here is an inscription which, spite of the rudeness of its style,
preserves the pleasant memory of a Roman child:--

  ISPIRITO SANTO BONO
  FLORENTIO QVI VIXIT ANIS XIII
  QVAM SI FILIVM SVVM ET COTDEVS
  MATER FILIO BENEMERETI FECERVNT.

  To the good and holy spirit Florentius, who
  lived thirteen years, Coritus, his master, who
  loved him more than if he were his own son,
  and Cotdeus, his mother, have made this for
  her well-deserving son.[3]

[Footnote 3: Compare an inscription from a heathen tomb:--

  C. JVLIVS MAXIMVS
  ANN. II. M. V.

  ATROX O FORTVNA TRVCI QVAE FVNERR GAVDES
  QVID MIHI TAM SVBITO MAXIMVS ERIPITVR
  QVI MODO JVCVNDVS GREMIO SVPERESSE SOLEBAT
  HIC LAPIS TN TVMVLO NVNC JACET ECCE MATER

  C. Julius Maximus,
  Two years, five months old.

  Harsh Fortune, that in cruel death finds't joy,
  Why is my Maximus thus sudden reft,
  So late the pleasant burden of my breast?
  Now in the grave this stone lies: lo, his mother!]

And Coritus, his master, and Cotdeus, his mother, might have rejoiced in
knowing that their poor, rough tablet would keep the memory of her boy
alive for so many centuries; and that long after they had gone to the
grave, the good spirit of Florentius should still, through these few
words, remain to work good upon the earth.--Note in this inscription (as
in many others) the Italianizing of the old Latin,--the _ispirito_, and
the _santo_; note also the mother's strange name, reminding one of Puritan
appellations,--Cotdeus being the abbreviation of _Quod vult Deus_, "What
God wills."[4]

[Footnote 4: Other names of this kind were _Deogratias_, _Habetdeum_, and
_Adeodatus_.]

Here is an inscription set up by a husband to his wife, Dignitas, who was
a woman of great goodness and entire purity of life:--

  QUE SINE LESIONE ANIMI MEI VIXI MECVM
  ANNOS XV FILIOS AVTEM PROCREAVIT VII
  EX QVIBVS SECV ABET AD DOMINVM IIII

  Who, without ever wounding my soul, lived
  with me for fifteen years, and bore seven
  children, four of whom she has with her in
  the Lord.

We have already referred to the inscriptions which bear the name of some
officer of the early Church; but there is still another class, which
exhibits in clear letters others of the designations and customs familiar
to the first Christians. Thus, those who had not yet been baptized and
received into the fold, but were being instructed in Christian doctrine
for that end, were called _catechumens_; those who were recently baptized
were called _neophytes_; and baptism itself appears sometimes to have
been designated by the word _illuminatio_. Of the use of these names the
inscriptions give not infrequent examples. It was the custom also among
the Christians to afford support to the poor and to the widows of their
body. Thus we read such inscriptions as the following:--

  RIGINE VENEMEREMTI FILIA SVA FECIT
  VENERIGINE MATRI VIDVAE QVE SE
  DIT VIDVA ANNOS LX ET ECLESA
  VIXIT ANNOS LXXX MESIS V
  DIES XXVI

  Her daughter Reneregina made this for her
  well-deserving mother Regina, a widow, who
  sat a widow sixty years, and never burdened
  the church, the wife of one husband, who lived
  eighty years, five months, twenty-six days.

The words of this inscription recall to mind those of St. Paul, in his
First Epistle to Timothy, (v. 3-16,) and especially the verse, "If any man
or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not
the church be charged."

Some of the inscriptions preserve a record of the occupation or trade of
the dead, sometimes in words, more often by the representation of the
implements of labor. Here, for instance, is one which seems like the
advertisement of a surviving partner:--

  DE BIANOBA
  POLLECLA QVE ORDEV BENDET DE
  BIANOBA

  From New Street. Pollecla, who sold barley
  on New Street.

Others often bear a figure which refers to the name of the deceased, an
_armoirie parlante_ as it were, which might be read by those too ignorant
to read the letters on the stone. Thus, a lion is scratched on the grave
of a man named Leo; a little pig on the grave of the little child
Porcella, who had lived not quite four years; on the tomb of Dracontius is
a dragon; and by the side of the following charming inscription is found
the figure of a ship:--

  NABIRA IN PACE ANIMA DULCIS
  QVI BIXIT ANOS XVI M V
  ANIMA MELEIEA
  TITVLV FACTV
  APARENTES SIGNVM NABE

  Navira in peace. Sweet soul, who lived sixteen
  years, five months. Soul honey-sweet.
  This inscription made by her parents. The
  sign a ship.

The figures that are most frequent upon the sepulchral slabs are, however,
not such as bear relation to a name or profession, but the commonly
adopted symbols of the faith, similar in design and character to those
exhibited in the paintings of the catacombs. The Good Shepherd is thus
often rudely represented; the figure of Jonah is naturally, from its
reference to the Resurrection, also frequently found; and the figure of a
man or woman with arms outstretched, in the attitude of prayer, occurs on
many of the sepulchral slabs. The anchor, the palm, the crown, and the
dove, as being simpler in character and more easily represented, are still
more frequently found. The varying use of symbols at different periods has
been one of the means which have assisted in determining approximate dates
for the inscriptions upon which they are met with. It is a matter of
importance, in many instances, to fix a date to an inscription. Historical
and theological controversies hang on such trifles. Most of the early
gravestones bear no date; and it was not till the fourth century, that,
with many other changes, the custom of carving a date upon them became
general. The century to which an inscription belongs may generally be
determined with some confidence, either by the style of expression and the
nature of the language, or by the engraved character, or some other
external indications. Among these latter are the symbols. It has, for
instance, been recently satisfactorily proved by the Cavaliere de Rossi
that the use of the emblem of the fish in the catacombs extended only to
the fourth century, so that the monuments upon which it is found may, with
scarcely an exception, be referred to the preceding period. As this emblem
went out of use, owing perhaps to the fact that the Christians were no
longer forced to seek concealment for their name and profession, the
famous monogram of Christ, [Symbol] the hieroglyphic, not only of his
name, but of his cross, succeeded to it, and came, indeed, into far more
general use than that which the fish had ever attained. The monogram is
hardly to be found before the time of Constantine, and, as it is very
frequently met with in the inscriptions from the catacombs, it affords an
easy means, in the absence of a more specific date, for determining a
period earlier than which any special inscription bearing it cannot have
originated. Its use spread rapidly during the fourth century. It "became,"
says Gibbon, with one of his amusing sneers, "extremely fashionable in the
Christian world." The story of the vision of Constantine was connected
with it, and the Labarum displayed its form in the front of the imperial
army. It was thus not merely the emblem of Christ, but that also of the
conversion of the Emperor and of the fatal victory of the Church.

It is a remarkable fact, and one which none of the recent Romanist
authorities attempt to controvert, that the undoubted earlier inscriptions
afford no evidence of any of the peculiar doctrines of the Roman Church.
There is no reference to the doctrine of the Trinity to be found among
them; nothing is to be derived from them in support of the worship of the
Virgin; her name even is not met with on any monument of the first three
centuries; and none of the inscriptions of this period give any sign of
the prevalence of the worship of saints. There is no support of the claim
of the Roman Church to supremacy, and no reference to the claim of the
Popes to be the Vicars of Christ. As the third century advances to its
close, we find the simple and crude beginning of that change in Christian
faith which developed afterward into the broad idea of the intercessory
power of the saints. Among the earlier inscriptions prayers to God or to
Christ are sometimes met with, generally in short exclamatory expressions
concerning the dead. Thus we find at first such words as these:--

  AMERIMNVS
  RVFINAE COIV
  GI CARISSIME
  BENEMEREN
  TI SPIRITVM
  TVVM DEVS
  REFRIGERET

  Amerimnus to his dearest wife Rufina well-
  deserving. May God refresh thy spirit!

And, in still further development,--

  [Greek: AUR. AIANOS PAPHLAGON THEOU
  DOULOS PISTOS
  EKOIMNON EN EIPNIN MINSON
  AUTOU
  O THEOS EIS TOUS AIONAS]

  Aurelius Aelianus, a Paphlagonian, faithful
  servant of God. He sleeps in peace. Remember
  him, O God, forever!

Again, two sons ask for their mother,--

  DOMINE NE QVANDO
  ADVMBRETVR SPIRITVS
  VENERES

  O Lord, let not the spirit of Venus be shadowed
  at any time!

From such petitions as these we come by a natural transition to such as
are addressed to the dead themselves, as being members of the same
communion with the living, and uniting in prayers with those they had left
on earth and for their sake.

  VIBAS IN PACE ET PETE PRO NOBIS

  Mayst thou live in peace and ask for us!

Or, as in another instance,--

  PETE PRO PARENTES TVOS
  MATRONATA MATRONA
  QVE VIXIT AN. I. DI. LII.

  Pray for thy parents, Matronata Matrona!
  Who lived one year, fifty-two days.

And as we have seen how in the fourth century the desire arose of being
buried near the graves of those reputed holy, so by a similar process we
find this simple and affectionate petition to the dead passing into a
prayer for the dead to those under whose protection it was hoped that they
might be. In the multitude of epitaphs, however, these form but a small
number. Here is one that begins with a heathen formula:--

  SOMNO HETERNALI
  AVRELIVS GEMELLVS QVI BIXIT AN--
  ET MESES VIII DIES XVIII MATER FILIO
  CARISSIMO BENAEMERENTI FECIT IN PA--
  [C]ONMANDO BASSILA INNOCENTIA GEMELLI

  In Eternal Sleep. Aurelius Gemellus, who
  lived --- years, and eight months, eighteen
  days. His mother made this for her dearest
  well-deserving son in peace. I commend to
  Basilla the innocence of Gemellus.

Basilla was one of the famous martyrs of the time of Valerian and
Gallienus.

Here again is another inscription of a curious character, as interposing a
saint between the dead and his Saviour. The monogram marks its date.

  RVTA OMNIBVS SVBDITA ET ATFABI
  LIS BIBET IN NOMINE PETRI
  IN PACE

  Ruta, subject and affable to all, shall live in
  the name of Peter, in the peace of Christ.

But it would seem from other inscriptions as if the new practice of
calling upon the saints were not adopted without protest. Thus we read, in
contrast to the last epitaph, this simple one:--

  ZOSIME VIVAS IN NOMINE XTI

  O Zosimus, mayst thou live in the name of Christ!

And again, in the strongest and most direct words:--

  SOLVS DEVS ANIMAM TVAM
  DEFENDAD ALEXANDRE

  May God alone protect thy spirit, Alexander!

One more inscription and we have done; it well closes the long list:--

  QVI LEGERIT VIVAT IN CHRISTO

  Whoever shall read this, may he live in Christ!

As the fourth century advanced, the character of the inscriptions
underwent great change. They become less simple; they exhibit less faith,
and more worldliness; superlatives abound in them; and the want of feeling
displays itself in the abundance of words.

We end here our examinations of the testimony of the catacombs regarding
the doctrine, the faith, and the lives of the Christians of Rome in the
first three centuries. The evidence is harmonious and complete. It leaves
no room for skepticism or doubt. There are no contradictions in it. From
every point of view, theologic, historic, artistic, the results coincide
and afford mutual support. The construction of the catacombs, the works of
painting found within them, the inscriptions on the graves, all unite in
bearing witness to the simplicity of the faith, the purity of the
doctrine, the strength of the feeling, the change in the lives of the vast
mass of the members of the early church of Christ. A light had come into
the world, and the dark passages of the underground cemeteries were
illuminated by it, and manifest its brightness. Wherever it reached, the
world was humanized and purified. To the merely outward eye it might at
first have seemed faint and dim, but "the kingdom of God cometh not with
observation."



THREE OF US.


Such a spring day as it was!--the sky all one mild blue, hazy on the
hills, warm with sunshine overhead; a soft south-wind, expressive, and
full of new impulses, blowing up from the sea, and spreading the news of
life all over our brown pastures and leaf-strewn woods. The crocuses in
Friend Allis's garden-bed shot up cups of gold and sapphire from the dark
mould; slight long buds nestled under the yellow-green leafage of the
violet-patch; white and sturdy points bristled on the corner that in May
was thick with lilies-of-the-valley, crisp, cool, and fragrant; and in a
knotty old apricot-tree two bluebirds and a robin did heralds' duty,
singing of summer's procession to come; and we made ready to receive it
both in our hearts and garments.

Josephine Boyle, Letty Allis, and I, Sarah Anderson, three cousins as we
were, sat at the long window of Friend Allis's parlor, pretending to sew,
really talking. Mr. Stepel, a German artist, had just left us; and a
little trait of Miss Josephine's, that had occurred during his call,
brought out this observation from Cousin Letty:--

"Jo, how could thee let down thy hair so before that man?"

Jo laughed. "Thee is a little innocent, Letty, with your pretty dialect!
Why did I let my hair down? For Mr. Stepel to see it, of course."

"That is very evident," interposed I; "but Letty is not so innocent or so
wise as to have done wondering at your caprices, Jo; expound, if you
please, for her edification."

"I do not pretend to be wise or simple, Sarah; but I didn't think Cousin
Josephine had so much vanity."

"You certainly shall have a preacher-bonnet, Letty. How do you know it was
vanity, my dear? I saw you show Mr. Stepel your embroidery with the
serenest satisfaction; now you made your crewel cherries, and I didn't
make my hair; which was vain?"

Letty was astounded. "Thee has a gift of speech, certainly, Jo."

"I have a gift of honesty, you mean. My hair is very handsome, and I knew
Mr. Stepel would admire it with real pleasure, for it is a rare color. I
took down those curls with quite as simple an intention as you brought him
that little picture of Cole's to see."

Josephine was right,--partly, at least. Her hair was perfect; its tint the
exact hue of a new chestnut-skin, with golden lights, and shadows of deep
brown; not a tinge of red libelled it as auburn; and the light broke on
its glittering waves as it does on the sea, tipping the undulations with
sunshine, and scattering rays of gold through the long, loose curls, and
across the curve of the massive coil, that seemed almost too heavy for her
proud and delicate head to bear. Mr. Stepel was excusably enthusiastic
about its beauty, and Jo as cool as if it had been a wig. Sometimes I
thought this peculiar hair was an expression of her own peculiar
character.

Letty said truly that Jo had a gift of speech; and she, having said her
say about the hair, dismissed the matter, with no uneasy recurring to it,
and took up a book from the table, declaring she was tired of her seam;--
she always was tired of sewing! Presently she laughed.

"What is it, Jo?" said I.

"Why, it is 'Jane Eyre,' with Letty Allis's name on the blank leaf. That
is what I call an anachronism, spiritually. What do you think about the
book, Letty?" said she, turning her lithe figure round in the great chair
toward the little Quakeress, whose pretty red head and apple-blossom of a
face bloomed out of her gray attire and prim collar with a certain
fascinating contrast.

"I think it has a very good moral tendency, Cousin Jo."

The clear, hazel eyes flashed a most amused comment at me.

"Well, what do you call the moral, Letty?"

"Why,--I should think,--I do not quite know that the moral is stated,
Josephine,--but I think thee will allow it was a great triumph of
principle for Jane Eyre to leave Mr. Rochester when she discovered that he
was married."

Jo flung herself back impatiently in the chair, and began an harangue.

"That is a true world's judgment! And you, you innocent little Quaker
girl! think it is the height of virtue not to elope with a married man,
who has entirely and deliberately deceived you, and adds to the wrong of
deceit the insult of proposing an elopement! Triumph of principle! I
should call it the result of common decency, rather,--a thing that the
instinct of any woman would compel her to do. My only wonder is how Jane
Eyre could continue to love him."

"My dear young friend," said I, rather grimly, "when a woman loves a man,
it is apt, I regret to say, to become a fact, not a theory; and facts are
stubborn things, you know. It is not easy to set aside a real affection."

"I know that, ma'am," retorted Jo, in a slightly sarcastic tone; "it is a
painful truth; still, I do think a deliberate deceit practised on me by
any man would decapitate any love I had for him, quite inevitably."

"So it might, in your case," replied I; "for you never will love a man,
only your idea of one. You will go on enjoying your mighty theories and
dreams till suddenly the juice of that 'little western flower' drips on
your eyelids, and then I shall have the pleasure of seeing you caress 'the
fair large ears' of some donkey, and hang rapturously upon its bray, till
you perhaps discover that he has pretended, on your account solely, to
like roses, when he has a natural proclivity to thistles; and then,
pitiable child! you will discover what you have been caressing, and--I
spare you conclusions; only, for my part, I pity the animal! Now Jane Eyre
was a highly practical person; she knew the man she loved was only a man,
and rather a bad specimen at that; she was properly indignant at this
further development of his nature, but reflecting in cool blood,
afterward, that it was only his nature, and finding it proper and legal to
marry him, she did so, to the great satisfaction of herself and the
public. _You_ would have made a new ideal of St. John Rivers, who was
infinitely the best material of the two, and possibly gone on to your
dying day in the belief that his cold and hard soul was only the adamant
of the seraph, encouraged in that belief by his real and high principle,--
a thing that went for sounding brass with that worldly-wise little
philosopher, Jane, because it did not act more practically on his inborn
traits."

"Bah!" said Josephine, "when did you turn gypsy, Sally? You ought to sell
_dukkeripen_, and make your fortune. Why don't you unfold Letty's fate?"

"No," said I, laughing. "Don't you know that the afflatus always exhausts
the priestess? You may tell Letty's fortune, or mine, if you will; but my
power is gone."

"I can tell yours easily, O Sibyl!" replied she. "You will never marry,
neither for real nor ideal. You should have fallen in love in the orthodox
way, when you were seventeen. You are adaptive enough to have moulded
yourself into any nature that you loved, and constant enough to have clung
to it through good and evil. You would have been a model wife, and a
blessed mother. But now--you are too old, my dear; you have seen too
much; you have not hardened yourself, but you have learned to see too
keenly into other people. You don't respect men, 'except exceptions'; and
you have seen so much matrimony that is harsh and unlovable, that you
dread it; and yet--Don't look at me that way, Sarah! I shall cry!--My
dear! my darling! I did not mean to hurt you.--I am a perfect fool!--Do
please look at me with your old sweet eyes again!--How could I!"----

"Look at Letty," said I, succeeding at last in a laugh. And really Letty
was comical to look at; she was regarding Josephine and me with her eyes
wide open like two blue larkspur flowers, her little red lips apart, and
her whole pretty surface face quite full of astonishment.

"Wasn't that a nice little tableau, Letty?" said Josephine, with
preternatural coolness. "You looked so sleepy, I thought I'd wake you up
with a bit of a scene from 'Lara Aboukir, the Pirate Chief'; you know we
have a great deal of private theatricals at Baltimore; you should see me
in that play as Flashmoria, the Bandit's Bride."

Letty rubbed her left eye a little, as if to see whether she was sleepy or
not, and looked grave; for me, the laugh came easily enough now. Jo saw
she had not quite succeeded, so she turned the current another way.

"Shall I tell your fortune now, Letty? Are you quite waked up?" said she.

"No, thee needn't, Cousin Jo; thee don't tell very good ones, I think."

"No, Letty, she shall not vex your head with nonsense. I think your fate
is patent; you will grow on a little longer like a pink china-aster, safe
in the garden, and in due time marry some good Friend,--Thomas Dugdale,
very possibly,--and live a tranquil life here in Slepington till you
arrive at a preacher-bonnet, and speak in meeting, as dear Aunt Allis did
before you."

Letty turned pale with rage. I did not think her blonde temperament held
such passion.

"I won't! I won't! I never will!" she cried out. "I hate Thomas Dugdale,
Sarah! Thee ought to know better about me! thee knows I cannot endure him,
the old thing!"

This climax was too much for Jo. With raised brows and a round mouth, she
had been on the point of whistling ever since Letty began; it was an old,
naughty trick of hers; but now she laughed outright.

"No sort of inspiration left, Sally! I must patch up Letty's fate myself.
Flatter not yourself that she is going to be a good girl and marry in
meeting; not she! If there's a wild, scatter-brained, handsome,
dissipated, godless youth in all Slepington, it is on him that testy
little heart will fix,--and think him not only a hero, but a prodigy of
genius. Friend Allis will break her heart over Letty; but I'd bet you a
pack of gloves, that in three years you'll see that juvenile Quakeress in
a scarlet satin hat and feather, with a blue shawl, and green dress, on
the arm of a fast young man with black hair, and a cigar in his mouth."

"Why! where _did_ thee ever see him, Josey?" exclaimed Letty, now rosy
with quick blushes.

The question was irresistible. Jo and I burst into a peal of laughter that
woke Friend Allis from her nap, and, bringing her into the parlor, forced
us to recover our gravity; and presently Jo and I took leave.

Letty was an orphan, and lived with her cousin, Friend Allis. I, too, was
alone; but I kept a tiny house in Slepington, part of which I rented, and
Jo was visiting me.

As we walked home, along the quiet street overhung with willows and
sycamores, I said to her, "Jo, how came you to know Letty's secret?"

"My dear, I did not know it any more than you; but I drew the inference of
her tastes from her character. She is excitable,--even passionate; but her
formal training has allowed no scope for either trait, and suppression has
but concentrated them. She really pines for some excitement;--what, then,
could be more natural than that her fancy should light upon some person
utterly diverse from what she is used to see? That is simple enough. I hit
upon the black hair on the same principle, 'like in difference.' The cigar
seemed wonderful to the half-frightened, all-amazed child; but who ever
sees a fast young man without a cigar?"

"I am afraid it is Henry Malden," said I, meditatively; "he is all you
describe, but he is also radically bad; besides, having been in the
Mexican war, he will have the prestige of a hero to Letty. How can the
poor girl be undeceived before it is quite too late?"

"What do you want to undeceive her for, Sally? Do you suppose that will
prevent her marrying Mr. Malden?"

"I should think so, most certainly!"

"Not in the least. If you want Letty to marry him, just judiciously oppose
it. Go to her, and say you come as a friend to tell her Mr. Malden's
faults, and the result will be, she will hate you, and be deeper in love
with him than ever."

"You don't give her credit for common sense, Jo."

"Just as much as any girl of her age has in love. Did you ever know a
woman who gave up a man she loved because she was warned against him?--or
even if she knew his character well, herself? I don't know but there are
women who could do it, from sheer religious principle. I believe you
might, Sarah. It would be a hard struggle, and wear you to a shadow in
mind and body; but you have a conscience, and, for a woman with a heart as
soft as pudding, the most thoroughly rigid streak of duty in you; none of
which Letty has to depend on. No; if you want to save her, take her away
from Slepington; take her to Saratoga, to Newport, to Washington; turn her
small head with gayety: she is pretty enough to have a dozen lovers at any
watering-place; it is only propinquity that favors Mr. Malden here."

"I can't do that, Josephine. I have not the means, and Miss Allis would
not have the will, even if she believed in your prescription."

"Then Letty must stay here and bide her time. You believe in a special
Providence, Sarah, don't you?"

"Yes, of course I do."

"Then cannot you leave her to that care? Circumstances do not work for
you. Perhaps it is best that she should marry him, suffer, live, love, and
be refined by fire."

My heart sunk at the prospect of these possibilities. Josephine put her
arm round me. "Sally," said she, in her softest tone, "I grieved you,
dear, this afternoon. I did not mean to. I grieved myself most. Please
forgive me!"

"I haven't anything to forgive, Jo," said I. "What you said to me was
true, painfully true,--and, being so, for a moment pained me. I should
have been much happier to be married, I know; but now I daren't think of
it. I have lost a great deal. I have

 "--'lost _my_ place,
  _My_ sweet, safe corner by the household fire,
  Behind the heads of children';

"and yet I do not know that I have not gained a little. It is something,
Jo, to know that I am not in the power of a bad, or even an ill-tempered
man. I can sit by my fire and know that no one will come home to fret at
me,--that I shall encounter no cold looks, no sneers, no bursts of anger,
no snarl of stinginess, no contempt of my opinion and advice. I know that
now men treat me with respect and attention, such as their wives rarely,
if ever, receive from them. Sensitive and fastidious as I am, I do not
know whether my gain is not, to me, greater than my loss. I know it ought
not to be so,--that it argues a vicious, an unchristian, almost an
uncivilized state of society; but that does not affect the facts."

"You frighten me, Sarah. I cannot believe this is always true of men and
their wives."

"Neither is it. Some men are good and kind and gentle, gentle-men, even in
their families; and every woman believes the man she is to marry is that
exception. Jo,--bend your ear down closer,--I thought once I knew such a
man,--and,--dear,--I loved him."

"My darling!--but, Sarah, why"--

"Because, as you said, Josey, I was too old; I had seen too much; I would
not give way to an impulse. I bent my soul to know him; I rang the metal
on more than one stone, and every time it rang false. I knew, if I married
him, I should live and die a wretched woman. Was it not better to live
alone?"

"But, Sarah,--if he loved you?"

"He did not,--not enough to hurt himself; he could not love anything so
much better than his ease as to suffer, Josey: he was safe. He thought, or
said, he loved me; but he was mistaken."

"Safe, indeed! He ought to have been shot!"

"Hush, dear!"

There was a long pause. It was as when you lift a wreck from the tranquil
sea and let it fall again to the depths, useless to wave or shore; the
black and ghastly hulk is covered; it is seen no more; but the water
palpitates with circling rings, trembles above the grave, dashes quick and
apprehensive billows upon the sand, and is long in regaining its quiet
surface.

"I wonder if there ever was a perfect man," said Jo, at length, drawing a
deep sigh.

"You an American girl, Jo, and don't think at once of Washington?"

"My dear, I am bored to death with Washington _à l'Américain_. A man!--
how dare you call him a man?--don't you know he is a myth, an abstraction,
a plaster-of-Paris cast? Did you ever hear any human trait of his noticed?
Weren't you brought up to regard him as a species of special seraph, a
sublime and stainless figure, inseparable from a grand manner and a
scroll? Did you ever dare suppose he ate, or drank, or kissed his wife?
You started then at the idea: I saw you!"

"You are absurd, Jo. It is true that he is exactly, among us, what
demigods were to the Greeks,--only less human than they. But when I once
get my neck out of the school-yoke, I do not start at such suggestions as
yours; I believe he did comport himself as a man of like passions with
others, and was as far from being a hero to his _valet-de-chambre_ as
anybody."

By this time we were at home, and Jo flung her parasol on the bench in the
porch, and sat down beside it with a gesture of weariness and disgust
mingled.

"Why will you, of all people, Sarah, quote that tinkling, superficial
trash of a proverb, so palpably French, when the true reason why a man is
not a hero to his lackey is only because he is seen with a lackey's eyes,
--the sight of a low, convention-ridden, narrow, uneducated mind, unable
to take a broad enough view to see that a man is a hero because he is a
man, because he overleaps the level of his life, and is greater than his
race, being one of them? If he were of the heroic race, what virtue in
being heroic? it is the assertion of his trivial life that makes his
speciality evident,--the shadow that throws out the bas-relief. We chatter
endlessly about the immense good of Washington's example: I believe its
good would be more than doubled, could we be made, nationally, to see him
as a human being, living on 'human nature's daily food,' having mortal and
natural wants, tastes, and infirmities, but building with and over all, by
the help of God and a good will, the noble and lofty edifice of a patriot
manhood, a pure life of duty and devotion, sublime for its very strength
and simpleness, heroic because manly and human."

The day had waned, and the sunset lit Josephine's excited eyes with fire:
she was not beautiful, but now, if ever, beauty visited her with a
transient caress. She looked up and met my eyes fixed on her.

"What is it, Sally?--what do I look like?"

"Very pretty, just now, Jo; your eyes are bright and your cheek flushed:
the sunshine suits you. I admire you tonight."

"I am glad," said she, naively. "I often wish to be pretty."

"A waste wish, Jo!--and yet I have entertained it myself."

"It's not so much matter for you, Sarah; for people love you. And besides,
you have a certain kind of beauty: your eyes are beautiful,--rather too
sad, perhaps, but fine in shape and tint; and you have a good head, and a
delicately outlined face. Moreover, you are picturesque: people look at
you, and then look again,--and, any way, love you, don't they?"

"People are very good to me, Jo."

"Oh, yes! we all know that people as a mass are kindly, considerate, and
unselfish; that they are given to loving and admiring disagreeable and
ugly people; in short, that the millennium has come. Sally, my dear, you
are a small hypocrite,--or else--But I think we won't establish a mutual-
admiration society to-night, as there are only two of us; besides, I am
hungry: let us have tea."

The next day, Josephine left me. As we walked together toward the landing
of the steamer, Letty Allis emerged from a green lane to say good-bye, and
down its vista I discerned the handsome, lazy person of Henry Malden, but
I did not inform Letty of my discovery.

A year passed away,--to me with the old monotonous routine; full of work,
not wanting in solace; barren, indeed, of household enjoyments and
vicissitudes; solitary, sometimes desolate, yet peaceful even in monotony.
But this new spring had not come with such serene neglect to the other two
of us three. Against advice, remonstrance, and entreaty from her good
friends, Letty Allis had married Henry Malden, and, in attire more
tasteful, but quite as far from Quakerism as Josephine had predicted,
beamed upon the inhabitants of Slepington from the bow-window, or open
door, of a cottage very _ornée_ indeed; while the odor of a tolerable
cigar served as Mr. Malden's exponent, wherever he abode. And to Josephine
had come a loss no annual resurrection should repair: her mother was dead;
she, too, was orphaned,--for she had never known her father; her only
sister was married far away; and I kept an old promise in going to her for
a year's stay at least.

Aunt Boyle's property had consisted chiefly in large cotton mills owned by
herself and her twin brother,--who, dying before her, left her all his own
share in them. These mills were on a noisy little river in the western
part of Massachusetts,--in a valley, narrow, but picturesque, and so far
above the level of the sea that the air was keen and pure as among
mountains. Mrs. Boyle had removed here from Baltimore, a few years before
her own death, that she might be with her brother through his long and
fatal illness; and, finding her health improved by change of air, had
occupied his house ever since, until one of those typhoid fevers that
infest such river-gorges at certain seasons of the year entered the
village about the mills, when, in visiting the sick, she took the epidemic
herself and died. Josephine still retained the house endeared to her by
sad and glad recollections; and it was there I found her, when, after
renting the whole of my little tenement at Slepington, I betook myself to
Valley Mills at her request.

The cottage where she lived was capacious enough for her wants, and though
plain, even to an air of superciliousness, without, was most luxurious
within,--made to use and live in; for Mr. Brown, her uncle, was an
Englishman, and had never arrived at that height of Transatlantic _ton_
which consists in shrouding and darkening all the pleasant rooms in the
house, and skulking through life in the basement and attic. Sunshine,
cushions, and flowers were Mr. Brown's personal tastes; and plenty of
these characterized the cottage. A green terrace between hill and river
spread out before the door for lawn and garden, and a tiny conservatory
abutted upon the brink of the terrace slope, from a bay-window in the
library, that opened sidewise into this winter-garden.

I found Jo more changed than I had expected: this last year of country
life had given strength and elasticity to the tall and slender figure; a
steady rose of health burned on either cheek; and sorrow had subdued and
calmed her quick spirits.

I was at home directly, and a sweeter summer never glowed and blushed over
earth than that which installed me in the Nook Cottage. Out of doors the
whole country was beautiful, and attainable; within, I had continual
resources in my usual work and in Jo's society: for she was one of those
persons who never are uninteresting, never fatiguing; a certain salient
charm pervaded her conversation, and a simplicity quite original startled
you continually in her manner and ways. I liked to watch her about the
house; dainty and fastidious in the extreme about some things, utterly
careless about others, you never knew where or when either trait would
show itself next. She was scrupulous as to the serving of meals, for
instance,--almost to a fault; no carelessness, no slight neglect, was
admitted here, and always on the spotless damask laid with quaint china
stood a tapered vase of white Venice glass, with one, or two, or three
blossoms, sometimes a cluster of leaves, the spray of a wild vine, or the
tasselled branch of a larch-tree jewelled with rose-red cones, arranged
therein with an artist's taste and skill: but perhaps, while she sharply
rebuked the maid for a dim spot on her chocolate-pitcher or a grain of
sugar spilt on the salver, her white India shawl lay trailed over the
divan half upon the floor, and her gloves fluttered on the doorstep till
the wind carried them off to find her parasol hanging in the honeysuckle
boughs.

But, happily, it is not one's duty to make other people uncomfortable by
perpetually tinkering at that trait in them which most offends our own
nature; and I thought it more for my good and hers to learn patience
myself than undertake to beat her into order; the result of which was
peace and good-will that vindicated my wisdom to myself; and I found her,
faults and all, sufficiently fascinating and lovable.

A year passed away serenely; and when spring came again, Josephine refused
to let me leave her. Our life was quiet enough, but, with such beautiful
Nature, and plenty to do, we were not lonely,--less so because Jo's hands
were as open as her heart, and to her all the sick and poor looked, not
only for help, but for the rarer consolations of living sympathy and
counsel. Her shrewd common sense, her practical capacity, her kindly,
cheerful face, her power of appreciating a position of want and perplexity
and seeing the best way out of it, and, above all, her deep and fervent
religious feeling, made her an invaluable friend to just that class who
most needed her.

In the course of this spring we gained an addition to our society, in the
person of Mr. Waring, the son of the gentleman who had bought the mills at
Mrs. Boyle's death, but who had hitherto conducted them by an overseer. He
had recently bought a little island in the middle of the river, just below
the dam, and proposed erecting a new mill upon it; but as the Tunxis (the
Indian name of our river) was liable to rapid and destructive freshets,
the mill required a deep and secure foundation and a lower story of stone.

This implied some skilful engineering, and Mr. Arthur Waring, having
studied this subject fully abroad, came on from Boston, and took up his
abode in Valley Mills village. Of course, we being his only hope of
society in the place, he made our acquaintance early. I rather liked him;
his manner was good, his perceptions acute, his tastes refined, and he had
a certain strength of will that gave force to a character otherwise
common-place. Josephine liked him at once; she laid his shyness and
_brusquerie_, which were only the expression of a dominant self-
consciousness, to genuine modesty. He was depressed and moody, because he
was bored for want of acquaintance, and missed the adulation and caresses
that he received at home as an only child; but Jo's swift imagination
painted this as the trait of a reflective and melancholy nature disgusted
with the world, and pitied him accordingly; a mild way of misanthropic
speech, that is apt to infest young men, added to this delusion; and, with
all the energy of her sweet, earnest disposition, Josephine undertook his
education,--undertook to teach him faith and hope and charity, to set
right his wayward soul, to renovate his bitter opinions, to make him a
better and a happier man.

It is a well-known fact in the philosophy of the human mind, that it is
apt to gain more by imparting than by receiving; and since philosophy,
where it becomes fact, does not mercifully adjust its results to
circumstance, but rushes on in implacable grooves, and clears its own
track of whatever lies thereon by the summary process of crushing it to
dust, it did not pause now for the pure intentions and tender heart which,
in teaching another love to men, taught herself love to a man, and learnt
far better than her pupil.

Mr. Waring was but a man; he did not love Josephine,--he admired her; he
loved nothing but himself, his quiet, his pleasure; and while she
ministered to either, he regarded her with a species of affection that put
on the mask of a diviner passion and used its language. A thousand little
things showed the man fully to me, a cool spectator; but she who needed
most the discerning eye regarded this gay bubble as if it had been a
jewel.

Perhaps I blame him too severely, for it was against the very heart of my
heart that he sinned; possibly I do not allow for the temptation it was to
a young man, quite alone in a country village, without resources, and
accustomed to the flattery and caresses of a devoted mother, to find
himself agreeable in the eyes of a noble and lovable woman. Possibly, in
his place, a better man might have sought her society, drawn her out of
her reserve for his own delectation, confided in her, worked upon her
pity, claimed her care, played on her simplicity and ignorance of the
world, crept into her heart and won its strength of emotion and its
generous affection,--in short, made love to her, without saying so,
honestly and openly. Yet there are some men who would not have done it;
and even yet, while I try to regard Arthur Waring with Christian charity,
I feel that I cannot trust him, that I do not respect him,--that, if I
dared despise anything God has made, my first contempt would light on him.

In the autumn, while all this was going on, I received a painful and
wretched letter from Letty Malden, begging me to come to her. I could not
resist such an appeal; and one of Josephine's little nieces having come to
spend the winter with her, I hurried to Slepington,--not, I am sure, in
the least regretted by Mr. Waring, who had begun to look at me with uneasy
and sometimes defiant eyes.

I found a miserable household here. Mr. Malden had in no way reformed.
When did marriage ever reform a bad man? On the contrary, he was more
dissipated than ever; and whenever he came home, the welcome that waited
for him was one little calculated to make home pleasant; for Letty's quick
temper blazed up in reproach and reviling that drew out worse
recrimination; and even the little, wailing, feeble baby, that filled
Letty's arms and consoled her in his absence, was only further cause of
strife between her and her husband. Often, as I came down the street and
saw the pretty outside of the cottage, waving with creepers, and hedged
about with thorns, whose gay berries decked it as if for a festival, I
thought of what a good old preacher among the Friends once said to me:
"Sarah, thee will live to find shows are often seems; thee sees many a
quiet house, with gay windows, that is hell inside."

I soon found that I must stay all winter at Slepington. I had a hard task
before me,--to try and teach Letty that she had no right to neglect her
own duties because her husband ignored his. But six months of continual
dropping seemed to wear a tiny channel of perception; and my presence, as
well as the efforts we made together to preserve order, if not serenity,
in the house, restored a certain dim hope to Letty's mind, and I began to
see that the "purification by fire" was doing its work, in slow pain, but
to a sure end.

Selfish as it was, I cannot say that I felt sorry to return to Jo, who
wrote for me in April, urging me to come as soon as I could, for Mr.
Waring had fallen from the mill-wall and broken his leg, and the workmen,
in their confusion, had carried him to her house, and she wanted me to
help her. I learned, on reaching Valley Mills, that the new building on
the island had not been completed far enough to resist a heavy freshet,
that had swept away part of the first story, where the mortar was not yet
hardened; and it was in traversing these wet stones to ascertain the
extent of the damage that Mr. Waring had slipped, and, unable to recover
his footing, fallen on a heap of stones and received his injury.

My first question to Josephine was, "Where is Mr. Waring's mother?"

"He would not send for her, Sally," said she, "because she is not well,
and he feared to startle her."

"H'm!" said I, very curtly.

Josephine looked at me with innocent, grave eyes,--dear, simple child!--
and yet, for anybody but herself she would have been sufficiently
discerning. This love seemed to have remodelled her nature, to have taken
from her all the serpent's wisdom, to have destroyed her common sense, and
distorted her view of everything in which Arthur Waring was concerned. She
had certainly got on very fast in my absence. I had returned too late.

I had little to do with the care of the invalid; that devolved on Jo; my
offers of service were kindly received, but always declined. Nobody could
read to him so well as Miss Boyle. Nobody else understood his moods, his
humors, his whims; she knew his tastes with ominous exactness. It was she
who arranged his meals on the salver with such care and grace, nay, even
cooked them at times; for Jo believed, like a rational woman, that
intellect and cultivation increase one's capacity for every office,--that
a woman of intelligence should be able to excel an ignorant servant in
every household duty, by just so much as she excels her in mind. In fact,
this was a pleasant life to two persons, but harassing enough for me. Had
I been confident of Arthur Waring's integrity, I should have regarded him
with friendly and cordial interest; but I had every reason to distrust
him. I perceived he had so far insinuated himself into Jo's confidence,
that his whole artillery of expressive looks, broken sentences, even
caresses, were received by her with entire good faith; but when I asked
her seriously if I was to regard Mr. Waring as her lover, she burst into
indignant denial, colored scarlet, and was half inclined to be angry with
me,--though a certain tremulous key, into which her usually sweet and
steady voice broke while she declared he had never spoken to her of love,
it was only friendship, witnessed against her that she was apprehensive,
sad, perhaps visited with a tinge of that causeless shame which even in a
pure and good woman conventionality constrains, when she has loved a man
before he says in plain English, "I love you," though every act and look
and tone of his may have carried that significance unmistakably for years.
Thank God, there is a day of sure judgment coming, when conventions and
shields of usage will save no man from the due vengeance of truth upon
falsehood, justice upon smooth and plausible duplicity!

In due time Mr. Waring recovered. If there was any change in his manner to
Jo, it was too slight to be seen, though it was felt, and was, after all,
the carelessness of a person certain of his foothold in her good graces,
rather than the evident withdrawal of attention,--which I could have
pardoned even then, had it been the result of honest regret for past
carelessness, and stern resolution to repair that past. Whatever it was,
Jo perceived that her ideal man was become a real man; but, with a
tenacity of nature, for which in my fate-telling I had not given her
credit, she was as constant to the substance as she had been to the dream;
and while she lost both health and spirits in the contemplation of Arthur
Waring's fitful and heedless manner toward her, and was evidently pained
by the discovery of his selfish and politic traits,--to call them by no
harsher name,--it was inexpressibly touching to hear the excuses she made
for him, to see the all-shielding love with which she veiled his faults,
and kept him as a mother would keep her graceless, yet dearest child from
animadversion and reproach.

In the mean time I heard often from Letty,--no good news of her husband,
but that her child grew more and more a comfort, that her friends were
very kind, and always in a tiny postscript some such phrase as this: "I
try to be patient, Sarah," or "I don't scold Harry so much as I did,
dear." I hoped for Letty, for she persevered.

That summer we saw less than ever of Mr. Waring; he was very busy at the
mill in order that it might be far enough advanced to resist the
inevitable spring freshets; and besides, we were absent from the Valley
some weeks, endeavoring to recruit Jo's failing health at the sea-side.
But this was a vain endeavor; that which sapped the springs of her life
was past outward cure. She inherited her father's delicate and unreliable
constitution, and a nervous organization, whose worst disease is ever the
preying of doubt, anxiety, or regret. As winter drew on, she grew no
better; a dim, dreamy abstraction brooded over her. She said to me often,
with a vague alarm, "Sally, how far off you seem! Do come nearer!" She
ceased to talk when we were alone, her step grew languid, her eye deeper,
--and its bright expression, when you roused her, was longer in shooting
back into the clouded sphere than ever before. She sat for hours by the
window, her lovely head resting on its casement, looking out, always out
and away, beyond the hills, into the deep spaces of blue air, past cloud
and vapor, to the stars. Sudden noises startled her to an extreme degree;
a quick step flushed her cheek with fire and fluttered her breath. How I
longed for spring! I hoped all from the delicate ministrations of Nature;
though the physician we called gave me no hope of her final recovery. Mr.
Waring himself seemed struck with her aspect, and many little signs of
friendly interest came from him. As often as he could, he returned to his
old haunts; and while the pleasure of his presence and the excitement of
his undisguised anxiety wrought on her, Jo became almost her old self for
the moment, gay, cheerful, blooming,--alas! with the bloom of feverishness
and vain hope.

So spring drew near. The mill was nearly finished. One day in March a warm
south-wind "quieted the earth" after a long rain, the river began to stir,
its mail of ice to crack and heave under the sun's rays. I persuaded Jo to
take a little drive, and once in the carriage the air reanimated her; she
rested against me and talked more than I had known her for weeks.

"What a lovely day!" said she; "how balmy the air is! there is such an
expression of rest without despair, such calm expectation! I always think
of heaven such days, Sally!--they are like the long sob with which a child
finishes weeping. Only to think of never more knowing tears!--that is life
indeed!"

A keen pang pierced me at the vibration of her voice as she spoke. I
thought to soothe her a little, and said, "Heaven can be no more than
love, Jo, and we have a great deal of that on earth."

"Do we?" answered she, in a tone of grief just tipped with irony,--and
then went on: "I believe you love me, Sally. I would trust you with--my
heart, if need were. I think you love me better than any one on earth
does."

"I love you enough, dear," said I; more words would have choked me in the
utterance.

Soon we turned homeward.

"Tell John to drive down by the river," said Josephine,--"I want to see
the new mill."

"But you cannot see it from the road, Jo; the hemlocks stand between."

"Never mind, Sally; I shall just walk through them; don't deny me! I want
to see it all again; and perhaps the arbutus is in bloom."

"Not yet, Jo."

"I can get some buds, then; I want to have some just once."

We left the carriage, and on my arm Jo strolled through the little thicket
of hemlock-trees, green and fragrant. She seemed unusually strong. I began
to hope. After much searching, we found the budded flowers; she loved most
of all wild blossoms; no scent breathed from the closed petals; they were
not yet kissed by the odor-giving south-wind into life and expression; but
Jo looked at them with sad, far-reaching eyes. I think she silently said
good-bye to them.

Presently we came out on the steep bank of the river, directly opposite
the mill. A heavy timber was thrown across from the shore to the island,
on which the workmen from the west side had passed and repassed; it was
firm enough for its purpose, but now, wet with the morning's rain, and
high above the grinding ice, it seemed a hazardous bridge. As we stood
looking over at the new mill, listening to the slight stir within it,
apparently the setting to rights by some lingering workman of such odds
and ends as remain after finishing the great whole of such a building,
suddenly the cool wind, which had shifted to the north, brought on its
waft a most portentous roar. We stood still to listen. Nearer and nearer
it swelled, crashing and hissing as it approached. Josephine grasped my
arm with convulsive energy, and at that instant we perceived Mr. Waring's
plaid cap pass an open casement. She turned upon me like a wild creature
driven to bay. I looked up-stream;--the ice had gathered in one high
barrier mixed with flood-wood and timber, and, bearing above all the
uprooted trunk of a huge sycamore, was coming down upon the dam like a
battering-ram. Jo gasped. "The river is broken up and Arthur is on the
island," said she, in a fearfully suppressed tone, and, swifter than I
could think or guess her meaning, she had reached the timber, she was on
it,--and with light, untrembling steps half across, when both she and I
simultaneously caught sight of Mr. Waring running for dear life to the
other and stronger bridge. Jo turned to come back; but the excitement was
past that had sustained her; she trembled, she tottered. I ran to meet and
aid her. Just then the roots of the great sycamore thundered against the
dam; the already heavily pressed structure gave way; with the freed roar
of a hurricane, the barrier, the dam, the foot-bridge swept down toward
us. She had all but reached the end of the timber,--I stood there to grasp
her hand,--when the old tree, whirled down by the torrent, struck the
other end of the beam and threw Josephine forward to the bank, dashing her
throbbing, panting breast, with all the force of her fall, against the
hard ground. I lifted her in my arms. She was white with pain. Presently
she opened her eyes and looked up, a flush of rapture glowed all over her
face, and then the awful mist of death, gray and rigid, veiled it. Her
head dropped on my shoulder; a sharp cry and a rush of scarlet blood
passed her lips together; the head lay more heavily,--she was dead. But
Arthur Waring never knew how or for what she died!

Five years have passed since that day. Still I live at Nook Cottage; but
not alone. Of us three, Josephine is in heaven. Letty is still troubled
upon earth; her husband tests her patience and her temper every hour, but
both temper and patience are in good training; and if ever Henry Malden is
reclaimed, as I begin to see reasons to hope he will be, he will owe it to
the continual example and gentle goodness of his wife, who has grown from
a petulant, thoughtless girl into a lovely, unselfish, religious woman, a
devoted mother and wife, "refined by fire." For me, the last,--whenever
now I say, as I used to say, "Three of us," I mean a new three,--Paul,
baby, and me; for Jo was not a prophet. Four years ago, while my heart-
ache for her was fresh and torturing, a new pastor came to the little
village church of Valley Mills. Mr. Lyman was very good; I have seen other
men with as fine natural traits, but I have never seen a man or woman so
entirely good. He came to me to console me; for he, too, had just lost a
sister, and in listening to his story I for a moment forgot my own, as he
meant I should. But I did not love him,--no, not till I discovered, months
afterward, that he suffered incessantly from ill-health, and was all alone
in the world. I was too much a woman to resist such a plea. I pitied him;
I tried to take care of him; and when he asked me if I liked the office of
sick-nurse, I told him I liked it well enough to wish it were for life;
and now, when he wants to light my eyes out of that dreamy expression that
tells him I am re-living the past, and thinking of the dead, he tells me,
for the sake of the flash that follows, that I offered myself to him!
Perhaps I did. But he is well now; the air of the Tunxis hills, and the
rest of a quiet life, partly, I hope, good care also, have restored to him
his lost health. And I am what Jo said I should have been,--a blessed
mother, as well as a happy wife. The baby that lies across my lap has
traits that endear her to me doubly,--traits of each of us three cousins:
Josephine's hair on her little nestling head, Letty's apple-blossom
complexion, and my eyes, except that they are serene when they are not
smiling. I ask only of the love that has given me all this unexpected joy,
that my little Jo may have one better trait,--her father's heart; a
stronger, tenderer, and purer heart than belonged to any one among "Three
of us!"



WHAT A WRETCHED WOMAN SAID TO ME.


All the broad East was laced with tender rings
  Of widening light; the Daybreak shone afar;
Deep in the hollow, 'twixt her fiery wings,
  Fluttered the morning star.

A cloud, that through the time of darkness went
  With wanton winds, now, heavy-hearted, came
And fell upon the sunshine, penitent,
  And burning up with shame.

The grass was wet with dew; the sheep-fields lay
  Lapping together far as eye could see;
And the great harvest hung the golden way
  Of Nature's charity.

My house was full of comfort; I was propped
  With life's delights, all sweet as they could be,
When at my door a wretched woman stopped,
  And, weeping, said to me,--

"Its rose-root in youth's seasonable hours
  Love in thy bosom set, so blest wert thou;
Hence all the pretty little red-mouthed flowers
  That climb and kiss thee now!

"_I_ loved, but _I_ must stifle Nature's cries
  With old dry blood, else perish, I was told;
Hence the young light shrunk up within my eyes,
  And left them blank and bold.

"I take my deeds, all, bad as they have been,--
  The way was dark, the awful pitfall bare;--
In my weak hands, up through the fires of sin,
  I hold them for my prayer."

"The thick, tough husk of evil grows about
  Each soul that lives," I mused, "but doth it kill?
When the tree rots, the imprisoned wedge falls out,
  Rusted, but iron still.

"Shall He who to the daisy has access,
  Reaching it down its little lamp of dew
To light it up through earth, do any less,
  Last and best work, for you?"



SONGS OF THE SEA.


Not Dibdin's; not Barry Cornwall's; not Tom Campbell's; not any of the
"Pirate's Serenades" and "I'm afloats!" which appear in the music-shop-
windows, illustrated by lithographic vignettes of impossible ships in
impracticable positions. These are sung by landsmen yachting in still
waters and in sight of green fields, by romantic young ladies in
comfortable and unmoving drawing-rooms to the tinkling of Chickering's
pianos. What are the songs the sailor sings to the accompaniment of the
thrilling shrouds, the booming double-bass of the hollow topsails, and the
multitudinous chorus of Ocean? What does the coaster, in his brief walk
"three steps and overboard," hum to himself, as he tramps up and down his
little deck through the swathing mists of a Bank fog? What sings the cook
at the galley-fire in doleful unison with the bubble of his coppers?
Surely not songs that exult in the life of the sea. Certainly not, my
amateur friend, anything that breathes of mastery over the elements. The
sea is a real thing to him. He never is familiar with it, or thinks of it
or speaks of it as his slave. It is "a steed that knows his rider," and,
like many another steed which the men of the forecastle have mounted,
knows that it can throw its rider at pleasure, and the riders know it too.
Now and then a sailor will utter some fierce imprecation upon wind or sea,
but it is in the impotence of despair, and not in the conscious, boastful
mastery which the land-songs attribute to him. What, then, does the sailor
sing?--and does he sing at all?

Certainly the sailor sings. Did you ever walk through Ann Street, Boston,
or haunt the purlieus of the Fulton Market? and when there did you never
espy a huckster's board covered with little slips of printed paper of the
size and shape of the bills-of-fare at the Commonwealth Hotel? They are
printed on much coarser paper, and are by no means as typographically
exact as the aforesaid _carte_, or as this page of the "Atlantic Monthly,"
but they are what the sailor sings. I know they are there, for I once
spent a long summer's day in the former place, searching those files for a
copy of the delightful ballad sung (or attempted to be sung) by Dick
Fletcher in Scott's "Pirate,"--the ballad beginning

  "It was a ship, and a ship of fame,
  Launched off the stocks, bound for the main."

I did not find my ballad, and to this day remain in ignorance of what fate
befell the "hundred and fifty brisk young men" therein commemorated. But I
found what the sailor does sing. It was a miscellaneous collection of
sentimental songs, the worn-out rags of the stage and the parlor, or
ditties of highwaymen, or ballad narratives of young women who ran away
from a rich "parient" with "silvier and gold" to follow the sea. The truth
of the story was generally established by the expedient of putting the
damsel's name in the last verse,--delicately suppressing all but the
initial and final letters. The only sea-songs that I remember were other
ballads descriptive of piracies, of murders by cruel captains, and of
mutinies, with a sprinkling of sea-fights dating from the last war with
England.

The point of remark is, that all of these depend for their interest upon a
human association. Not one of them professes any concern with the sea or
ships for their own sake. The sea is a sad, solemn reality, the theatre
upon which the seaman acts his life's tragedy. It has no more of
enchantment to him than the "magic fairy palace" of the ballet has to a
scene-shifter.

But other songs the sailor sings. The Mediterranean sailor is popularly
supposed to chant snatches of opera over his fishing-nets; but, after all,
his is only a larger sort of lake, with water of a questionable saltness.
It can furnish dangerous enough storms upon occasion, and, far worse than
storms, the terrible white-squall which lies ambushed under sunny skies,
and leaps unawares upon the doomed vessel. But the Mediterranean is not
the deep sea, nor has it produced the best and boldest navigators.
Therefore, although we still seek the sources of our maritime law amid the
rock-poised huts (once palaces) of Amalfi, we must go elsewhere for our
true sea-songs.

The sailor does not lack for singing. He sings at certain parts of his
work;--indeed, he must sing, if he would work. On vessels of war, the drum
and fife or boatswain's whistle furnish the necessary movement-regulator.
There, where the strength of one or two hundred men can be applied to one
and the same effort, the labor is not intermittent, but continuous. The
men form on either side of the rope to be hauled, and walk away with it
like firemen marching with their engine. When the headmost pair bring up
at the stern or bow, they part, and the two streams flow back to the
starting-point, outside the following files. Thus in this perpetual
"follow-my-leader" way the work is done, with more precision and
steadiness than in the merchant-service. Merchant-men are invariably
manned with the least possible number, and often go to sea shorthanded,
even according to the parsimonious calculations of their owners. The only
way the heavier work can be done at all is by each man doing his utmost at
the same moment. This is regulated by the song. And here is the true
singing of the deep sea. It is not recreation; it is an essential part of
the work. It mastheads the topsail-yards, on making sail; it starts the
anchor from the domestic or foreign mud; it "rides down the main tack with
a will"; it breaks out and takes on board cargo; it keeps the pumps (the
ship's,--not the sailor's) going. A good voice and a new and stirring
chorus are worth an extra man. And there is plenty of need of both.

I remember well one black night in the mid-Atlantic, when we were beating
up against a stiff breeze, coming on deck near midnight, just as the ship
was put about. When a ship is tacking, the tacks and sheets (ropes which
confine the clews or lower corners of the sails) are let run, in order
that the yards may be swung round to meet the altered position of the
ship. They must then be hauled taut again, and belayed, or secured, in
order to keep the sails in their place and to prevent them from shaking.
When the ship's head comes up in the wind, the sail is for a moment or two
edgewise to it, and then is the nice moment, as soon as the head-sails
fairly fill, when the main-yard and the yards above it can be swung
readily, and the tacks and sheets hauled in. If the crew are too few in
number, or too slow at their work, and the sails get fairly filled on the
new tack, it is a fatiguing piece of work enough to "board" the tacks and
sheets, as it is called. You are pulling at one end of the rope, but the
gale is tugging at the other. The advantages of lungs are all against you,
and perhaps the only thing to be done is to put the helm down a little,
and set the sails shaking again before they can be trimmed properly.--It
was just at such a time that I came on deck, as above mentioned. Being
near eight bells, the watch on deck had been not over spry; and the
consequence was that our big main-course was slatting and flying out
overhead with a might that shook the ship from stem to stern. The flaps of
the mad canvas were like successive thumps of a giant's fist upon a mighty
drum. The sheets were jerking at the belaying-pins, the blocks rattling in
sharp snappings like castanets. You could hear the hiss and seething of
the sea alongside, and see it flash by in sudden white patches of
phosphorescent foam, while all overhead was black with the flying scud.
The English second-mate was stamping with vexation, and, with all his
ills misplaced, storming at the men:--"'An'somely the weather main-
brace,--'an'somely, I tell you!--'Alf a dozen of you clap on to the main
sheet here,--down with 'im!--D'y'see 'ere's hall like a midshipman's
bag,--heverythink huppermost and nothing 'andy.--'Aul 'im in, Hi say!"
--But the sail wouldn't come, though. All the most forcible expressions of
the Commination-Service were liberally bestowed on the watch. "Give us
the song, men!" sang out the mate, at last,--"pull with a will!
--together, men!--haltogether now!"--And then a cracked, melancholy voice
struck up this chant:

  "Oh, the bowline, bully bully bowline,
  Oh, the bowline, bowline, HAUL!"

At the last word every man threw his whole strength into the pull,--all
singing it in chorus, with a quick, explosive sound. And so, jump by jump,
the sheet was at last hauled taut.--I dare say this will seem very much
spun out to a seafarer, but landsmen like to hear of the sea and its ways;
and as more landsmen than seamen, probably, read the "Atlantic Monthly," I
have told them of one genuine sea-song, and its time and place.

Then there are pumping-songs. "The dismal sound of the pumps is heard,"
says Mr. Webster's Plymouth-Rock Oration; but being a part of the daily
morning duty of a well-disciplined merchant-vessel,--just a few minutes'
spell to keep the vessel free and cargo unharmed by bilge-water,--it is
not a dismal sound at all, but rather a lively one. It was a favorite
amusement with us passengers on board the ---- to go forward about
pumping-time to the break of the deck and listen. Any quick tune to which
you might work a fire-engine will serve for the music, and the words were
varied with every fancy. "Pay me the money down," was one favorite chorus,
and the verse ran thus:--

  _Solo._ Your money, young man, is no object to me.

  _Chorus._ Pay me the money down!

  _Solo._ Half a crown's no great amount.

  _Chorus._ Pay me the money down!

  _Solo and Chorus. (Bis)_ Money down, money down, pay me the money down!

Not much sense in all this, but it served to man and move the brakes
merrily. Then there were other choruses, which were heard from time to
time,--"And the young gals goes a-weepin',"--"O long storm, storm along
stormy"; but the favorite tune was "Money down," at least with our crew.
They were not an avaricious set, either; for their parting ceremony, on
embarking, was to pitch the last half-dollars of their advance on to the
wharf, to be scrambled for by the land-sharks. But "Money down" was the
standing chorus. I once heard, though not on board that ship, the lively
chorus of "Off she goes, and off she must go,"--

  "Highland day and off she goes,
  Off she goes with a flying fore-topsail,
  Highland day and off she goes."

It is one of the most spirited things imaginable, when well sung, and,
when applied to the topsail-halyards, brings the yards up in grand style.

These are some of the working-songs of the sea. They are not chosen for
their sense, but for their sound. They must contain good mouth-filling
words, with the vowels in the right place, and the rhythmic ictus at
proper distances for chest and hand to keep true time. And this is why the
seaman beats the wind in a trial of strength. The wind may whistle, but it
cannot sing. The sailor does not whistle, on shipboard at least, but does
sing.

Besides the working-day songs, there are others for the forecastle and
dog-watches, which have been already described. But they are seldom of the
parlor pattern. I remember one lovely moonlight evening, off the Irish
coast, when our ship was slipping along before a light westerly air,--just
enough of it for everything to draw, and the ship as steady as Ailsa Crag,
so that everybody got on deck, even the chronically sea-sick passengers of
the steerage. There was a boy on board, a steerage passenger, who had been
back and forth several times on this Liverpool line of packets. He was set
to singing, and his sweet, clear voice rang out with song after song,--
almost all of them sad ones. At last one of the crew called on him for a
song which he made some demur at singing. I remember the refrain well (for
he _did_ sing it at last); it ran thus:--

  "My crew are tried, my bark's my pride,
I'm the Pirate of the Isles."

It was no rose-water piracy that the boy sang of; it was the genuine
pirate of the Isle of Pines,--the gentleman who before the days of
California and steamers was the terror of the Spanish Main. He was
depicted as falling in deadly combat with a naval cruiser, after many
desperate deeds. What was most striking to us of the cabin was, that the
sympathy of the song, and evidently of the hearers, was all on the side of
the defier of law and order. There was no nonsense in it about "islands on
the face of the deep where the winds never blow and the skies never weep,"
which to the parlor pirate are the indications of a capital station for
wood and water, and for spending his honeymoon. It was downright cutting
of throats and scuttling of ships that our youngster sang of, and the grim
faces looked and listened approvingly, as you might fancy Ulysses's
veterans hearkening to a tale of Troy.

There is another class of songs, half of the sea, half of the shore, which
the fishermen and coasters croon in their lonely watches. Such is the
rhyme of "Uncle Peleg," or "Pillick," as it is pronounced,--probably an
historical ballad concerning some departed worthy of the Folger family of
Nantucket. It begins--

  "Old Uncle Pillick he built him a boat
    On the ba-a-ck side of Nantucket P'int;
  He rolled up his trowsers and set her afloat
  From the ba-a-ck side of Nantucket P'int."

Like "Christabel," this remains a fragment. Not so the legend of "Captain
Cottington," (or Coddington,) which perhaps is still traditionally known
to the young gentlemen at Harvard. It is marked by a bold and ingenious
metrical novelty.

  "Captain Cottington he went to sea,
  Captain Cottington he went to sea,
  Captain Cottington he went to sea-e-e,
  Captain Cottington he went to sea."

The third verse of the next stanza announces that he didn't go to sea in a
schoo-oo-ooner,--of the next that he went to sea in a bri-i-ig,--and so
on. We learn that he got wrecked on the "Ba-ha-ha-hamys," that he swam
ashore with the papers in his hat, and, I believe, entered his protest at
the nearest "Counsel's" (_Anglicé_. Consul's) dwelling.

For the amateur of genuine ballad verse, here is a field quite as fertile
as that which was reaped by Scott and Ritson amid the border peels and
farmhouses of Liddesdale. It is not unlikely that some treasures may thus
be brought to light. The genuine expression of popular feeling is always
forcible, not seldom poetic. And at any rate, these wild bits of verse are
redolent of the freshness of the sea-breeze, the damps of the clinging
fog, the strange odors of the caboose-cookery, of the curing of cod, and
of many another "ancient and fish-like smell." Who will tell us of these
songs, not indeed of the deep sea, but of soundings? What were the stanzas
which Luckie Mucklebackit sang along the Portanferry Sands? What is the
dredging-song which the oyster "come of a gentle kind" is said to love?

These random thoughts may serve to indicate to the true seeker new and
unworked mines of rhythmic ore. We are crying continually, that we have no
national literature, that we are a nation of imitators and plagiarists.
Why will not some one take the trouble to learn what we have? This does
not mean that amateurs should endeavor to write such ballad fragments and
popular songs,--because that cannot be done; such things grow,--they are
not made. If the sea wants songs, it will have them. It is only suggested
here that we look about us and ascertain of what lyric blessings we may
now be the unconscious possessors. Can it be that oars have risen and
fallen, sails flapped, waves broken in thunder upon our shores in vain?
that no whistle of the winds, or moan of the storm-foreboding seas has
waked a responsive chord in the heart of pilot or fisherman? If we are so
poor, let us know our poverty.

And now to bring these desultory remarks to a practical conclusion. I have
written these seemingly trifling fragments with a serious purpose. It is
to show that the seaman has little or no art or part in the poetry of the
seas. I have put down facts, have given what experience I have had of some
of the idiosyncrasies of the forecastle. The poetry of the sea has been
written on shore and by landsmen. Falconer's "Shipwreck" is a clever
nautical tract, written in verse,--or if it be anything more, it is but
the solitary exception which proves and enforces the rule. Midshipmen have
written ambitious verses about the sea; but by the time the young
gentlemen were promoted to the ward-room they have dropped the habit or
found other themes for their stanzas. In truth, the stern manliness of his
calling forbids the seaman to write poetry. He acts it. His is a
profession which leaves no room for any assumed feeling or for any
reflective tendencies. His instincts are developed, rather than his
reason. He has no time to speculate. He must be prepared to lay his hand
on the right rope, let the night be the darkest that ever came down upon
the waves. He obeys orders, heedless of consequences; he issues commands
amid the uproar and tumult of pressing emergencies. There is no chance for
quackery in his work. The wind and the wave are infallible tests of all
his knots and splices. He cannot cheat them. The gale and the lee-shore
are not pictures, but fierce realities, with which he has to grapple for
life or death. The soldier and the fireman may pass for heroes upon an
assumed stock of courage; but the seaman must be a brave man in his
calling, or Nature steps in and brands him coward. Therefore he cares
little about the romance of his duties. If you would win his interest and
regard, it must be on the side of his personal and human sensibilities.
Cut off during his whole active life from any but the most partial
sympathy with his kind, he yearns for the life of the shore, its social
pleasures and its friendly greetings. Captains, whose vessels have been
made hells-afloat by their tyranny, have found abundant testimony in the
courts of law to their gentle and humane deportment on land. Therefore,
when you would address seamen effectively, either in acts or words, let it
be by no shallow mimicry of what you fancy to be their life afloat. It
will be at best but "shop" to them, and we all know how distasteful that
is in the mouth of a stranger to our pursuits. They laugh at your clumsy
imitations, or are puzzled by your strange misconceptions. It is painful
to see the forlorn attempts which are made to raise the condition of this
noble race of men, to read the sad nonsense that is perpetrated for their
benefit. If you wish really to benefit them, it must be by raising their
characters as men; and to do this, you must address them as such,
irrespectively of the technicalities of their calling.



THE KINLOCH ESTATE, AND HOW IT WAS SETTLED.


CHAPTER I.

"Mildred, my daughter, I am faint. Run and get me a glass of cordial from
the buffet."

The girl looked at her father as he sat in his bamboo chair on the piazza,
his pipe just let fall on the floor, and his face covered with a deadly
pallor. She ran for the cordial, and poured it out with a trembling hand.

"Shan't I go for the doctor, father?" she asked.

"No, my dear, the spasm will pass off presently." But his face grew more
ashy pale, and his jaw drooped.

"Dear father," said the frightened girl, "what shall I do for you? Oh,
dear, if mother were only at home, or Hugh, to run for the doctor!"

"Mildred, my daughter," he gasped with difficulty, "the blacksmith,--send
for Ralph Hardwick,--quick! In the ebony cabinet, middle drawer, you will
find----Oh! oh!--God bless you, my daughter!--God bless"----

The angels, only, heard the conclusion of the sentence; for the speaker,
Walter Kinloch, was dead, summoned to the invisible world without a
warning and with hardly a struggle.

But Mildred thought he had fainted, and, raising the window, called loudly
for Lucy Ransom, the only female domestic then in the house.

Lucy, frightened out of her wits at the sudden call, came rushing to the
piazza, flat-iron in hand, and stood riveted to the spot where she first
saw the features on which the awful shadow of death had settled.

"Rub his hands, Lucy!" said Mildred. "Run for some water! Get me the
smelling-salts!"

Lucy attempted to obey all three orders at once, and therefore did
nothing.

Mildred held the unresisting hand. "It is warm," she said. "But the
pulse,--I can't find it."

"Deary, no," said Lucy, "you won't find it."

"Why, you don't mean"----

"Yes, Mildred, he's dead!" And she let fall her flat-iron, and covered her
face with her apron.

But Mildred kept chafing her father's temples and hands,--calling
piteously, in hopes to get an answer from the motionless lips. Then she
sank down at his feet, and clasped his knees in an agony of grief.

A carriage stopped at the door, and a hasty step came up the walk.

"Lucy Ransom," said Mrs. Kinloch, (for it was she, just returned from her
drive,) "Lucy Ransom, what are you blubbering about? Here on the piazza,
and with your flat-iron! What is the matter?"

"Matter enough!" said Lucy. "See!--see Mr."----But the sobs were too
frequent. She became choked, and fell into an hysterical paroxysm.

By this time Mrs. Kinloch had stepped upon the piazza, and saw the
drooping head, the dangling arms, and the changed face of her husband.
"Dead! dead!" she exclaimed. "My God! what has happened? Mildred, who was
with him? Was the doctor sent for? or Squire Clamp? or Mr. Rook? What did
he say to you, dear?" And she tried to lift up the sobbing child, who
still clung to the stiffening knees where she had so often climbed for a
kiss.

"Oh, mother! _is_ he dead?--no life left?"

"Calm yourself, my dear child," said Mrs. Kinloch. "Tell me, did he say
anything?"

Mildred replied, "He was faint, and before I could give him the cordial he
asked for he was almost gone. 'The blacksmith,' he said, 'send for Ralph
Hardwick'; then he said something of the ebony cabinet, but could not
speak the words which were on his lips." She could say no more, but gave
way to uncontrollable tears and sobs.

By this time, Mrs. Kinloch's son, Hugh Branning, who had been to the
stable with the horse and carriage, came whistling through the yard, and
cutting off weeds or twigs along the path with sharp cuts of his whip.

"Which way is the wind now?" said he, as he approached; "the governor
asleep, Mildred crying, and you scolding, mother?" In a moment, however,
the sight of the ghastly face transfixed the thoughtless youth, as it had
done his mother; and, dropping his whip, he stood silent, awe-struck, in
the presence of the dead.

"Hugh," said Mrs. Kinloch, speaking in a very quiet tone, "go and tell
Squire Clamp to come over here."

In a few minutes the dead body was carried into the house by George, the
Asiatic servant, aided by a villager who happened to pass by. Squire
Clamp, the lawyer of the town, came and had a conference with Mrs. Kinloch
respecting the funeral. Neighbors came to offer sympathy, and aid, if need
should be. Then the house was put in order, and crape hung on the door-
handle. The family were alone with their dead.

On the village green the boys were playing a grand game of "round ball,"
for it was a half-holiday. The clear, silvery tones of the bell were
heard, and we stopped to listen. Was it a fire? No, the ringing was not
vehement enough. A meeting of the church? In a moment we should know. As
the bell ceased, we looked up to the white taper spire to catch the next
sound. One stroke. It was a death, then,--and of a man. We listened for
the age tolled from the belfry. Fifty-five. Who had departed? The sexton
crossed the green on his way to the shop to make the coffin, and informed
us. Our bats and balls had lost their interest for us; we did not even ask
our tally-man, who cut notches for us on a stick, how the game stood. For
Squire Walter Kinloch was the most considerable man in our village of
Innisfield. Without being highly educated, he was a man of reading and
intelligence. In early life he had amassed a fortune in the China trade,
and with it he had brought back a deeply bronzed complexion, a scar from
the creese of a Malay pirate, and the easy manners which travel always
gives to observant and sensible men. But his rather stately carriage
produced no envy or ill-will among his humbler neighbors, for his
superiority was never questioned. Men bowed to him with honest good-will,
and boys, who had been flogged at school for confounding Congo and
Coromandel, and putting Borneo in the Bight of Benin, made an awkward
obeisance and stared wonderingly, as they met the man who had actually
sailed round the world, and had, in his own person, illustrated the
experiment of walking with his head downwards among the antipodes. His
house had no rival in the country round, and his garden was considered a
miracle of art, having, in popular belief, all the fruits, flowers, and
shrubs that had been known from the days of Solomon to those of Linnaeus.
Prodigious stories were told of his hoard of gold, and some of the less
enlightened thought that even the outlandish ornaments of the balustrade
over the portico were carven silver. Curious vases adorned the hall and
side-board; and numberless quaint trinkets, whose use the villagers could
not even imagine, gave to the richly-furnished rooms an air of Oriental
magnificence. Tropical birds sang or chattered in cages, and a learned but
lawless parrot talked, swore, or made mischief, as he chose. The tawny
servant George, brought by Mr. Kinloch from one of the islands of the
Pacific, completed his claims upon the admiration of the untravelled.

He was just ready to enjoy the evening of life, when the night of death
closed upon him with tropic suddenness. He left one child only, his
daughter Mildred, then just turned of eighteen; and as Mrs. Kinloch had
only one son to claim her affection, the motherless girl would seem to be
well provided for. Mildred was sweet-tempered, and her step-mother had
hitherto been discreet and kind.

The funeral was over, and the townspeople recovered from the shock which
the sudden death had caused. Administration was granted to the widow
conjointly with Squire Clamp, the lawyer, and the latter was appointed
guardian for Mildred during her minority.

Squire Clamp was an ill-favored man, heavy-browed and bald, and with a
look which, in a person of less consequence, would have been called "hang-
dog,"--owing partly, no doubt, to the tribulation he had suffered from his
vixen spouse, whose tongue was now happily silenced. He was the town's
only lawyer, (a fortunate circumstance,) so that he could frequently
manage to receive fees for advice from both parties in a controversy. He
made all the wills, deeds, and contracts, and settled all the estates he
could get hold of. But no such prize as the Kinloch property had ever
before come into his hands.

If Squire Clamp's reputation for shrewdness had belonged to an irreligious
man, it would have been of questionable character; but as he was a zealous
member of the church, he was protected from assaults upon his integrity.
If there were suspicions, they were kept close, not bruited abroad.

He was now an almost daily visitor at the widow Kinloch's. What was the
intricate business that required the constant attention of a legal
adviser? The settlement of the estate, so far as the world knew, was an
easy matter. The property consisted of the dwelling-house, a small tract
of land near the village, a manufactory at the dam, by the side of Ralph
Hardwick's blacksmith's shop, and money, plate, furniture, and stocks.
There were no debts. There was but one child, and, after the assignment of
the widow's dower, the estate was Mildred's. Nothing, therefore, could be
simpler for the administrators. The girl trusted to the good faith of her
stepmother and the justice of the lawyer, who now stood to her in the
place of a father. She was an orphan, and her innocence and childlike
dependence would doubtless be a sufficient spur to the consciences of her
protectors. So the girl thought, if she thought at all,--and so all
charitable people were bound to think.

How wearily the days passed during the month after the funeral! The shadow
of death seemed to darken everything. Doors creaked dismally when they
were opened. The room where the body had been laid seemed to have grown a
century older than the other parts of the once bright and cheerful house,
--its atmosphere was so stagnant and full of mould. The family spoke only
in suppressed tones; their countenances were as sad as their garments. All
this was terrible to the impressible, imaginative, and naturally buoyant
temper of Mildred. It was like dwelling in a tomb, and her heart cried out
for very loneliness. She must do something to take her mind out of the
sunless vault,--she must resume her relations with the dwellers in the
upper air. All at once she thought of her father's last words,--of Ralph
Hardwick, and the ebony cabinet. It was in the next room. She opened the
door, half expecting to see some bodiless presence in the silent space.
She could hear her own heart beat between the tickings of the great Dutch
clock, as she stepped across the floor. How still was everything! The air
tingled in her ears as though now disturbed for the first time.

She opened the cabinet, which was not locked, and pulled out the middle
drawer. She found nothing but a dried rose-bud and a lock of sunny hair
wrapped in a piece of yellowed paper. Was it her mother's hair? As
Mildred remembered her mother, the color of her hair was dark, not golden.
Still it might have been cut in youth, before its hue had deepened. And
what a world of mystery, of feeling, of associations there was in that
scentless and withered rose-bud! What fair hand had first plucked it? What
pledge did it carry? Was the subtile aroma of love ever blended with its
fragrance? Had her father borne it with him in his wanderings? The secret
was in his coffin. The struggling lips could not utter it before they were
stiffened into marble. Yet she could not believe that these relics were
the sole things to which he had referred. There must have been something
that more nearly concerned her,--something in which the blacksmith or his
nephew was interested.


CHAPTER II.

In order to show the position of Mrs. Kinloch and her son in our story, it
will be necessary to make the reader acquainted with some previous
occurrences.

Six years before this date, Mrs. Kinloch was the Widow Branning. Her
husband's small estate had melted like a snow-bank in the liquidation of
his debts. She had only one child, Hugh, to support; but in a country town
there is generally little that a woman can do to earn a livelihood; and
she might often have suffered from want, if the neighbors had not relieved
her. If she left her house for any errand, (locks were but seldom used in
Innisfield,) she would often on her return find a leg of mutton, a basket
of apples or potatoes, or a sack of flour, conveyed there by some unknown
hands. In winter nights she would hear the voices of Ralph Hardwick, the
village blacksmith, and his boys, as they drew sled-loads of wood, ready
cut and split, to keep up her kitchen fire. Other friends ploughed and
planted her garden, and performed numberless kind offices. But, though
aided in this way by charity, Mrs. Branning never lost her self-respect
nor her standing in the neighborhood.

Everybody knew that she was poor, and she knew that everybody knew it; yet
so long as she was not in absolute want, and the poor-house, that bugbear
of honest poverty, was yet far distant, she managed to keep a cheerful
heart, and visited her neighbors on terms of entire equality.

At this period Walter Kinloch's wife died, leaving an only child. During
her sickness, Mrs. Branning had been sent for to act as nurse and
temporary house-keeper, and, at the urgent request of the widower,
remained for a time after the funeral. Weeks passed, and her house was
still tenantless. Mildred had become so much attached to the motherly
widow and her son, that she would not allow the servants to do anything
for her. So, without any definite agreement, their relations continued.
By-and-by the village gossips began to query and surmise. At the sewing-
society the matter was fully discussed.

Mrs. Greenfield, the doctor's wife, admitted that it would be an excellent
match, "jest a child apiece, both on 'em well brought up, used to good
company, and all that; but, land's sakes! he, with his mint o' money,
a'n't a-goin' to marry a poor widder that ha'n't got nothin' but her
husband's pictur' and her boy,--not he!"

Others insinuated that Mrs. Branning knew what she was about when she went
to Squire Kinloch's, and his wife was 'most gone with consumption.
"'Twasn't a mite strange that little Mildred took to her so kindly; plenty
of women could find ways to please a child, if so be they could have such
a chance to please themselves."

The general opinion seemed to be that Mrs. Branning would marry the
Squire, if she could get him; but that as to his intentions, the matter
was quite doubtful. Nevertheless, after being talked about for a year, the
parties were duly published, married, and settled down into the quiet
routine of country life.

Doubtless the accident of daily contact was the secret of the match. Had
Mrs. Branning been living in her own poorly-furnished house, Mr. Kinloch
would hardly have thought of going to seek her. But as mistress of his
establishment she had an opportunity to display her house-wifely
qualities, as well as to practise those nameless arts by which almost any
clever woman knows how to render herself agreeable.

The first favorable impression deepened, until the widower came to believe
that the whole parish did not contain so proper a person to be the
successor of Mrs. Kinloch, as his housekeeper. Their union, though
childless, was as happy as common; there was nothing of the romance of a
first attachment,--little of the tenderness that springs from fresh
sensibilities, for she at least was of a matter-of-fact turn. But there
was a constant and hearty good feeling, resulting from mutual kindness and
deference.

If the step-mother made any difference in her treatment of the two
children, it was in favor of the gentle Mildred. And though the Squire
naturally felt more affection for his motherless daughter, yet he was
proud of his step-son, gave him the advantages of the best schools, and
afterwards sent him for a year to college. But the lad's spirits were too
buoyant for the sober notions of the Faculty. He was king in the
gymnasium, and was minutely learned in the natural history and botany of
the neighborhood; at least, he knew all the haunts of birds, rabbits, and
squirrels, as well as the choicest orchards of fruit.

After repeated admonitions without effect, a letter was addressed to his
stepfather by vote at a Faculty-meeting. A damsel at service in the
President's house overheard the discussion, and found means to warn the
young delinquent of his danger; for she, as well as most people who came
within the sphere of his attraction, felt kindly toward him.

The stage-coach that conveyed the next morning's mail to Innisfield
carried Hugh Branning as a passenger. Alighting at the post-office, he
took out the letter superscribed in the well-known hand of the President,
pocketed it, and returned by the next stage to college. This prank only
moved the Squire to mirth, when he heard of it. He knew that Hugh was a
lad of spirit,--that in scholarship he was by no means a dunce; and as
long as there was no positive tendency to vice, he thought but lightly of
his boyish peccadilloes. But it was impossible for such irregularities to
continue, and after a while Mr. Kinloch yielded to his step-son's request
and took him home.

Next year it was thought best that the young man should go to sea, and a
midshipman's commission was procured for him. Now, for the second time,
after an absence of three years, Hugh was at home in all the dignity of
navy blue, anchor buttons, glazed cap, and sword.


CHAPTER III.

"I have brought you the statement of the property, Mrs. Kinloch," said Mr.
Clamp. "It is merely a legal form, embracing the items which you gave to
me; it must be returned at the next Probate term."

Mrs. Kinloch took the paper and glanced over it.

"This statement must be sworn to, Mrs. Kinloch."

"By you?"

"We are joined in the administration, and both must swear to it."

There was a pause. Mrs. Kinloch, resting her hands on her knee, tossed the
hem of her dress with her foot, as though meditating.

"I shall of course readily make oath to the schedule," he continued,--"at
least, after you have done so; for I have no personal knowledge of the
effects of the deceased."

His manner was decorous, but he regarded her keenly. She changed the
subject.

"People seem to think I have a mint in the house; and _such_ bills as come
in! Sawin, the cabinet-maker, has sent his to-day, as soon as my husband
is fairly under ground: forty dollars for a cherry coffin, which he made
in one day. Cleaver, the butcher, too, has sent a bill running back for
five years or more. Now I _know_ that Mr. Kinloch never had an ounce of
meat from him that he didn't pay for. If they all go on in this way, I
sha'n't have a cent left. Everybody tries to cheat the widow"----

"And orphan," interposed Mr. Clamp.

She looked at him quietly; but he was imperturbable.

"We must begin to collect what is due," she continued.

"Did you refer to the notes from Ploughman?" asked Mr. Clamp. "He is
perfectly good; and he will pay the interest till we want to use the
money."

"I wasn't thinking of Ploughman," she replied, "but of Mark Davenport,
Uncle Ralph Hardwick's nephew. They say he is a teacher in one of the
fashionable schools in New York,--and he must be able to pay, if he's ever
going to."

"Well, when he comes on here, I will present the notes."

"But I don't intend to wait till he comes; can't you send the demands to a
lawyer where he is?"

"Certainly, if you wish it; but that course will necessarily be attended
with some expense."

"I choose to have it done," said Mrs. Kinloch, decisively. "Mildred, who
has always been foolishly partial to the young upstart, insists that her
father intended to give up the notes to Mark, and she thinks that was what
he wanted to send for Uncle Ralph about, just before he died. I don't
believe it, and I don't intend to fling away _my_ money upon such folks."

"You are quite right, ma'am," said the lawyer. "The inconsiderate
generosity of school-children would be a poor basis for the transactions
of business."

"And besides," continued Mrs. Kinloch, "I want the young man to remember
the blacksmith's shop that he came from, and get over his ridiculous
notion of looking up to our family."

"Oh ho!" said Mr. Clamp, "that is it? Well, you are a sagacious woman,"--
looking at her with unfeigned admiration.

"I _can_ see through a millstone, when there is a hole in it," said Mrs.
Kinloch. "And I mean to stop this nonsense."

"To be sure,--it would be a very unequal match in every way. Besides, I'm
told that he isn't well-grounded in doctrine. He even goes to Brooklyn to
hear Torchlight preach." And Mr. Clamp rolled up his eyes, interlocking
his fingers, as he was wont when at church-meeting he rose to exhort.

"I don't pretend to be a judge of doctrine, further than the catechism
goes," said the widow; "but Mr. Rook says that Torchlight is a dangerous
man, and will lead the churches off into infidelity."

"Yes, Mrs. Kinloch, the free-thinking of this age is the fruitful parent
of all evil,--of Mormonism, Unitarianism, Spiritualism, and of all those
forms of error which seek to overthrow"----

There was a crash in the china-closet. Mrs. Kinloch went to the door, and
leading out Lucy Ransom, the maid, by the ear, exclaimed, "You hussy, what
were you there for? I'll teach you to be listening about in closets,"
(giving the ear a fresh tweak,) "you eavesdropper!"

"Quit!" cried Lucy. "I didn't mean to listen. I was there rubbin' the
silver 'fore you come. Then I didn't wanter come out, for I was afeard."

"What made the smash, then?" demanded Mrs. Kinloch.

"I was settin' things on the top shelf, and the chair tipped over."

"Don't make it worse by fibbing! If that was so, how came the chair to tip
the way it did? You were trying to peep over the door. Go to the kitchen!"

Lucy went out with fallen plumes. Mr. Clamp took his hat to go also.

"Don't go till I get you the notes," said Mrs. Kinloch.

As she brought them, he said, "I will send these by the next mail, with
instructions to collect."

While his hand was on the latch, she spoke again:--

"Mr. Clamp, did you ever look over the deed of the land we own about the
dam where the mill stands?"

"No, ma'am, I have never seen it."

"I wish you would have the land surveyed according to this title," she
said. "Quite privately, you know. Just have the line run, and let me know
about it. Perhaps it will be as well to send over to Riverbank and get
Gunter to do it; he will keep quiet about it."

Mr. Clamp stood still a moment. Here was a woman whom he was expecting to
lead like a child, but who on the other hand had fairly bridled and
saddled _him_, so that he was driven he knew not whither.

"Why do you propose this, may I ask, Mrs. Kinloch?"

"Oh, I have heard," she replied, carelessly, "that there was some error in
the surveys. Mr. Kinloch often talked of having it corrected, but, like
most men, put it off. Now, as we may sell the property, we shall want to
know what we have got."

"Certainly, Mrs. Kinloch, I will follow your prudent suggestions,"--adding
to himself, as he walked away, "I shall have to be tolerably shrewd to get
ahead of that woman. I wonder what she is driving at."


CHAPTER IV.

Ralph Hardwick was the village blacksmith. His shop stood on the bank of
the river, not far from the dam. The great wheel below the flume rolled
all day, throwing over its burden of diamond drops, and tilting the
ponderous hammer with a monotonous clatter. What a palace of wonders to
the boys was that grim and sooty shop!--the roar of the fires, as they
were fed by the laboring bellows; the sound of water, rushing, gurgling,
or musically dropping, heard in the pauses; the fiery shower of sparkles
that flew when the trip-hammer fell; and the soft and glowing mass held by
the smith's tongs with firm grasp, and turning to some form of use under
his practised eye! How proud were the young amateur blacksmiths when the
kind-hearted owner of the shop gave them liberty to heat and pound a bit
of nail-rod, to mend a skate or a sled-runner, or sharpen a pronged fish-
spear! Still happier were they, when, at night, with his sons and nephew,
they were allowed to huddle on the forge, sitting on the bottoms of old
buckets or boxes, and watching the fire, from the paly blue border of
flame in the edge of the damp charcoal, to the reddening, glowing column
that shot with an arrowy stream of sparks up the wide-throated chimney.
How the dark rafters and nail-pierced roof grew ruddy as the white-hot
ploughshare or iron bar was drawn from the fire!--what alternations of
light and shadow! No painter ever drew figure in such relief as the
blacksmith presented in that wonderful light, with his glistening face,
his tense muscles, and his upraised arm.

Alas! the hammer is still; the wheel dashes no more the glittering spray;
the fire has died out in the forge; the blacksmith's long day's work is
done!

He settled in Innisfield when it was but a district attached to a
neighboring town. There were but three or four houses in the now somewhat
populous village. He came on foot, driving his cow; his wife following in
the wagon, with their little stock of household goods,--not forgetting his
hammer, more potent than Prospero's wand. The minister, the doctor, and
Squire Kinloch, who constituted the aristocracy, yielded precedence in
date to Ralph Hardwick, Knight of the Ancient Order of the Anvil.

So he toiled, faithful to his calling. By day the din of his hammer rarely
ceased, and by night the flame and sparks from his chimney were a Pharos
to all travellers approaching the town. Children were born to him, for
which he blessed God, and worked the harder. He attained a moderate
prosperity, secure from want, but still dependent upon labor for bread. At
length his wife died; he wept like a true and faithful husband as he was,
and thenceforth was both mother and father to his babes.

During all his life he kept Sunday with religious scrupulousness, and with
his family went to the house of worship in all weathers. From the very
first he had been leader of the choir, and had given the pitch with a fork
hammered and tuned by his own hands. With a clear and sympathetic voice,
he had such an instinctive taste and power of expression, that his song of
penitence or praise was far more devotional than the labored efforts of
many more highly cultivated singers. Music and poetry flowed smoothly and
naturally from his lips, but in uttering the common prose of daily life
his organs were rebellious. The truth must be spoken,--he stammered badly,
incurably. Whether it was owing to the attempt to overcome his impediment
by making his speech musical, or to the cadences of his hammer beating
time while his brain was shaping its airy fancies, his thoughts ran
naturally in verse.

Do not smile at the thought of Vulcan's callused fingers touching the
chords of the lyre to delicate music. The sun shone as lovingly upon the
swart face of the blacksmith in his shop-door, as upon the scholar at his
library-window. "Poetry was an angel in his breast," making his heart glad
with her heavenly presence; he did not "make her his drudge, his maid-of-
all-work," as professional verse-makers do.

Mr. Hardwick's younger sister was married to a hard-working, stern,
puritanical man named Davenport, (not her first love,) who removed to a
Western State when it was almost a wilderness, cleared for himself a farm,
and built a log-house. The toil and privations of frontier life soon
wrought their natural effects upon Mrs. Davenport's delicate constitution.
She fell into a rapid decline and died. Her husband was seized with a
fever the summer after, and died also, leaving two children, Mark and
Anna. The blacksmith had six motherless children of his own; but he set
out for the West, and brought the orphans home with him. He thenceforth
treated them like his own offspring, manifesting a woman's tenderness as
well as a father's care for them.

Mark was a comely lad, with the yellow curling hair, the clear blue eyes,
and the marked symmetry of features that belonged to his uncle. He had an
inborn love of reading and study; he was first in his class at every
winter's school, and had devoured all the books within his reach. Then he
borrowed an old copy of Adam's Latin Grammar from Dr. Greenfield, and
committed the rules to memory without a teacher. That was his introduction
to the classics.

But Mr. Hardwick believed in the duty and excellence of work, and Mark, as
well as his cousins, was trained to make himself useful. So the Grammar
was studied and Virgil read at chance intervals, when a storm interrupted
out-door work, or while waiting at the upper mill for a grist, or of
nights at the shop by the light of the forge fire. The paradigms were
committed to memory with an anvil accompaniment; and long after, he never
could scan a line of Homer, especially the oft-repeated

[Greek: Tou d'au | Taelema | chos pep | numenos | antion | aeuda],

without hearing the ringing blows of his uncle's hammer keeping tune to
the verse.

At sixteen years of age he was ready to enter college, though he had
received little aid in his studies, except when some schoolmaster who was
versed in the humanities chanced to be hired for the winter. But his uncle
was not able to support him at any respectable university, and the lad's
prospects for such an education as he desired seemed to be none of the
best.

At this point an incident occurred which changed the course of our hero's
life, and as it will serve to explain how he came to give his notes to Mr.
Kinloch, on which the administrators are about to bring suit, it should
properly be related here.

Mark Davenport was at work on a farm a short distance from the village. He
hoped to enter college the following autumn, and he knew no means to
obtain money for a portion of his outfit except by the labor of his hands.
He could get twenty dollars a month for the summer season. Sixty, or
possibly seventy dollars!--what ideas of opulence were suggested by the
sound of those words!

It was a damp, drizzly day; there was not a settled rain, yet it was too
wet to work in the corn. Mark was therefore busy in picking loose stones
from the surface of a field cultivated the year before, and now "seeded
down" for grass. A portion of the field bordered on a pond, and the alders
upon its margin formed a dense green palisade, over which might be seen
the gray surface of the water freckled by the tiny drops of rain. Low
clouds trailed their gauzy robes over the top of Mount Quobbin, and flecks
of mist swept across the blue sides of the loftier Mount Elizabeth.

"What a perfect day for fishing!" thought Mark. "If I had my tackle here,
and a frog's leg or a shiner, I would soon have a pickerel out from
under those lilypads."

But he kept at work, and, having his basket full of stones, carried them
to the pond and plumped them in. A growl of anger came up from behind the
bushes.

"What the Devil do you mean, you lubber, throwing stones over here to
scare away the fish?"

The bushes parted at the same time, showing Hugh Branning sitting in the
end of his boat, and apparently just ready to fling out his line.

"If I had known you were there fishing," said Mark, "I shouldn't have
thrown the stones into the water. But," he continued, while every fibre
tingled with indignation, "I will have you to know that I am not to be
talked to in that way by you or anybody else."

"I would like to know how you are going to help yourself," said Hugh,
stepping ashore and advancing.

"You will find out, Mr. Insolence, if you don't leave this field. You
a'n't on the quarter-deck yet, bullying a tar with his hat off."

"Bless me! how the young Vulcan talks!"

"I have talked all I am going to. Now get into your boat and be off!"

"I don't propose to be in a hurry," said Hugh, with provoking coolness,
standing with his arms a-kimbo.

The remembrance of Hugh's usual patronizing airs, together with his
insulting language, was too much for Mark's impetuous temper. He was in a
delirium of rage, and he rushed upon his antagonist. Hugh stood warily
upon the defensive, and parried Mark's blows with admirable skill; he had
not the muscle nor the endurance of the young blacksmith, but he had
considerable skill in boxing, and was perfectly cool; and though Mark
finally succeeded in grappling and hurling to the ground his lithe and
resolute foe, it was not until he had been pretty severely pommelled
himself, especially in his face. Mark set his knee on the breast of his
adversary and waited to hear "Enough." Hugh ground his teeth, but there
was no escape; no feint nor sudden movement could reverse their positions;
and, out of breath, he gave up in sullen despair.

"Let me up," he said, at length. Mark arose, and being by this time
thoroughly sobered, he walked off without a word and picked up his basket.

Hugh, on the other hand, was more and more angry every minute. The
indignity he had suffered was not to be tamely submitted to. He got into
the boat and took his oar; he looked back and saw Mark commencing work
again; the temptation was too strong. He picked up one of the largest of
the stones that Mark had emptied into the shallow margin of the pond; he
threw it with all his force, and hurriedly pushed off from shore without
stopping to ascertain the extent of the mischief he had done. He knew that
the stone did not miss, for he saw Mark fall heavily to the ground, and
that was enough. The injury was serious. Mark was carried to the farm-
house and was confined to his bed for six weeks with a brain fever, being
delirious for the greater part of the time. Hugh Branning found the town
quite uncomfortable; the eyes of all the people he met seemed to scorch
him. He was bold and self-reliant; but no man can stand up singly against
the indignation of a whole community. He went on a visit to Boston, and
not long after, to the exceeding grief of his mother, entered the navy.

When Mark was recovering, Mr. Rook,
the clergyman, called and offered to aid him in his college course, if he
would agree to study for the ministry. But the young man declined the
proposal, because he thought himself unfitted for the sacred calling.

"No," he added, with a smile, "I'm not made for an evangelist; not much
like the beloved disciple at all events, but rather like peppery Peter,--
ready, if provoked, to whisk off an ignoble ear."

Mr. Rook returned home sorrowful; and at the next meeting of the sewing-
circle the unfortunate Mark received a full share of attention; for the
offer of aid came partly from this society. When this matter had been the
talk of the village for a day or two, Squire Kinloch made some errand to
the house where Mark was. What passed between them the young man did not
choose to relate, but he showed his Uncle Hardwick the Squire's check for
two hundred and fifty dollars, and told him he should receive a similar
sum each year until he finished his collegiate course.

The promise was kept; the yearly supply was furnished; and Mark graduated
with honor, having given notes amounting to a thousand dollars. With
cheerful alacrity he commenced teaching in a popular seminary, intending
to pay his debts before studying a profession.


CHAPTER V.

It was Saturday night, and Mr. Hardwick was closing his shop. A customer
was just leaving, his horse's feet newly rasped and white, and a sack of
harrow-teeth thrown across his back. The boys, James and Milton, had been
putting a load of charcoal under cover, for the wind was southerly and
there were signs of rain. Of course they had become black enough with
coal-dust,--not a streak of light was visible, except around their eyes.
They were capering about and contemplating each other's face with
uproarious delight, while the blacksmith, though internally chuckling at
their antics, preserved a decent gravity, and prepared to go to his house.
He drew a bucket of water, and bared his muscular arms, then, after
washing them, soused his curly hair and begrimed face, and came out
wonderfully brightened by the operation. The boys continued their sports,
racing, wrestling, and putting on grotesque grimaces.

Charlotte, the youngest child, now came to the shop to say that supper was
ready.

"C-come, boys, you've ha-had play enough," said Mr. Hardwick. "J-James,
put Ch-Charlotte down. M-M-Milton, it's close on to S-Sabba'day. Now w-
wash yourselves."

Just as the merriment was highest, Charlotte standing on James's
shoulders, and Milton chasing them, while the blacksmith was looking on,--
his honest face glistening with soap and good-humor,--Mildred Kinloch
passed by on her way home from a walk by the river. She looked towards the
shop-door and bowed to Mr. Hardwick.

"G-good evenin', M-Miss Mildred," said he; "I'm g-glad to see you lookin'
so ch-cheerful."

The tone was hearty, and with a dash of chivalrous sentiment rarely heard
in a smithy. His look of half-parental, half-admiring fondness was
touching to see.

"Oh, Uncle Ralph," she replied, "I am never melancholy when I see you. You
have all the cheerfulness of this spring day in your face."

"Y-yes, I hev to stay here in the old shop; b-but I hear the b-birds in
the mornin', and all day I f-feel as ef I was out under the b-blue sky,
an' rejoicin' with all livin' creaturs in the sun and the s-sweet air of
heaven."

"I envy you your happy frame; everything has some form or hue of beauty
for you. I must have you read to me again. I never take up Milton without
thinking of you."

"I c-couldn't wish to be remembered in any p-pleasanter way."

"Well, good evening. I must hurry home, for it grows damp here by the
 mill-race. Tell Lizzy and Anna to come and see me. We are quite lonesome
now."

"P-p'raps Mark'll come with 'em."

"Mark? Is he here? When did he come?"

"H-he'll be here t-to-night."

"You surprise me!"

"'Tis rather s-sudden. He wrote y-yes-terday 't he'd g-got to come on
urgent b-business."

"Urgent business?" she repeated, thoughtfully. "I wonder if Squire
Clamp"----

The blacksmith nodded, with a gesture towards his children, as though he
would not have them hear.

"Yes," he added, in a low tone, "I g-guess that is it."

"I must go home," said Mildred, hurriedly.

"Well, G-God bless you, my daughter! D-don't forgit your old sooty friend.
And ef ever y-you want the help of a s-stout hand, or of an old gray head,
don't fail to come to the ber-blacksmith's shop."

"Thank you, Uncle Ralph! thank you with all my heart! Good-night!"

She walked lightly up the hill towards the principal street. But she had
not gone half a dozen yards before a hand grasped her arm. She turned with
a start.

"Mark Davenport!" she exclaimed, "Is it you? How you frightened me!"

"Yes, Mildred, it is Mark, your old friend" (with a meaning emphasis). "I
couldn't resist the temptation of giving you a little surprise."

"But when did you come to town?"

"I have just reached here from the station at Riverbank. I went to the
house first, and was just going to see Uncle at the shop, when I caught
sight of you."

Mark drew her arm within his own, and noticed, not without pleasure, how
she yet trembled with agitation.

"I am very glad to see you," said Mildred; "but isn't your coming sudden?"

"Yes, I had some news from home yesterday which determined me to come, and
I started this morning."

"Quick and impetuous as ever!"

"Yes, I don't deliberate long."

There was a pause.

"I wish you had only been here to see father before he died."

"I wish I might have seen him."

"I am sure _he_ would never have desired to put you to any trouble."

"I suppose he would not have _troubled_ me, though I never expected to do
less than repay him the money he was so good as to lend me; but I don't
think he would have been so abrupt and peremptory as Squire Clamp."

"Why, what has he done?"

"This is what he has done. A lawyer's clerk, as I supposed him to be,
called upon me yesterday morning with a statement of the debt and
interest, and made a formal demand of payment. I had only about half the
amount in bank, and therefore could not meet it. Then the clerk appeared
in his true character as a sheriff's officer, drew out his papers, and
served a writ upon me, besides a trustee process on the principal of the
school, so as to attach whatever might be due to me."

"Oh, Mark, were you treated so?"

"Just so,--entrapped like a wild animal. To be sure, it was a legal
process, but one designed only for extreme cases, and which no gentleman
ever puts in force against another."

"I don't know what this can mean. Squire Clamp is cruel enough, I know;
but mother, surely, would never approve such conduct."

"After all, the mortification is the principal thing; for, with what I
have, and what Uncle can raise for me, I can pay the debt. I have said too
much already, Mildred. I don't want to put any of my burdens on your
little shoulders. In fact, I am quite ashamed of having spoken on the
subject at all; but I have so little concealment, that it popped out
before I thought twice."

They were approaching the house, both silent, neither seeming to be bold
enough to touch the tenderer chords that thrilled in unison.

"Mildred," said Mark, "I don't know how much is meant by this suit. I
don't know that I shall be able to see you again, unless it be casually,
in the street, as to-night, (blessed accident!)--but remember, that,
whatever may happen, I am always the same that I have been to you."

Here his voice failed him. With such a crowd of memories,--of hopes and
desires yet unsatisfied,--with the crushing burden of debt and poverty,--
he could not command himself to say what his heart, nevertheless, ached in
retaining. Here he was, with the opportunity for which during all his
boyhood he had scarcely dared to hope, and yet he was dumb. They were at
the gate, under the dense shade of the maples.

"Good-night, dear Mildred!" said Mark.

He took her hand, which was fluttering as by electrical influence, and
raised it tenderly to his lips.

"Good-night," he said again.

She did not speak, but grasped his hand with fervor. He walked away slowly
towards his uncle's house, but often stopped and looked back at the
slender figure whose outlines he could barely see in the gateway under the
trees. Then, as he lost sight of her, he remembered with shame the selfish
prominence he had given to his own troubles. He was ashamed, too, of the
cowardice which had kept him from uttering the words which had trembled on
his lips. But in a moment the thought of the future checked that regret.
Gloomy as his own lot might be, he could bear it; but he had no right to
involve another's happiness. Thus he alternated between pride and
abasement, hope and dejection, as many a lover has done before and since.


CHAPTER VI.

Sunday was a great day in Innisfield; for there, as in all Puritan
communities, religion was the central and engrossing idea. As the bell
rang for service, every ear in town heard it, and all who were not sick or
kept at home by the care of young children turned their steps towards the
house of God. The idea that there could be any choice between going to
hear preaching and remaining at home was so preposterous, that it never
entered into the minds of any but the openly wicked. Whatever might be
their inclinations, few had the hardihood to absent themselves from
meeting, still less to ride out for pleasure, or to stroll through the
woods or upon the bank of the river. A steady succession of vehicles--
"thorough-braced" wagons, a few more stylish carriages with elliptic
springs, and here and there an ancient chaise--tended from all quarters to
the meeting-house. The horses, from the veteran of twenty years' service
down to the untrimmed and half-trained colt, knew what the proprieties of
the day required. They trotted soberly, with faces as sedate as their
drivers', and never stopped to look in the fence-corners as they passed
along, to see what they could find to be frightened at. Nor would they
often disturb worship by neighing, unless they became impatient at the
length of the sermon.

Mr. Hardwick and his family, as we have before mentioned, went regularly
to meeting; Lizzy and Mark sat with him in the singers' seats, the others
in a pew below. The only guardian of the house on Sundays was a large
ungainly cur, named Caesar. The habits of this dog deserve a brief
mention. On all ordinary occasions he followed his master or others of the
family, seeming to take a human delight in their company. Whenever it was
desirable to have him remain at home, nothing short of tying him would
answer the purpose. After a time he came to know the signs of preparation,
and would skulk. Upon setting out, Mr. Hardwick would tell one of the boys
to catch Caesar so that he should not follow, but he was not to be found;
and in the course of ten minutes he would be trotting after his master as
composedly as if nothing had ever happened to interrupt their friendly
relations. It was impossible to resist such persevering affection, and at
length Mr. Hardwick gave up the contest, and allowed Caesar to travel when
and where he chose. But on Sunday he sat on the front-door step, erect
upon his haunches, with one ear dropping forward, and the other upright
like the point of a starched shirt-collar; and though on week-days he was
fond of paying the usual courtesies to his canine acquaintances, and (if
the truth must be told) of barking at strange horses occasionally, yet
nothing could induce him either to follow any of the family, or accost a
dog, or chase after foreign vehicles, on the day of rest. Once only he
forgot what was due to his character, and gave a few yelps in holy time.
But James, with a glance at his father, who was stoutly orthodox, averred
that Caesar's conduct was justifiable, inasmuch as the man he barked at
was one of a band of new-light fanatics who worshipped in the school-
house, and the horse, moreover, was not shod at a respectable place, but
at a tinker's shop in the verge of the township. A dog with such powers of
discrimination certainly merits a place in this true history.

The services of Sunday were finished. Those who, with dill and caraway,
had vainly struggled against drowsiness, had waked up with a jerk at the
benediction, and moved with their neighbors along the aisles, a slow and
sluggish stream. The nearest friends passed out side by side with meekly
composed faces, and without greeting each other until they reached the
vestibule. So slow and solemn was the progress out of church, that merry
James Hardwick averred that he saw Deacon Stone, a short fat man, actually
dozing, his eyes softly shutting and opening like a hen's, as he was borne
along by the crowd. The Deacon had been known to sleep while he stood up
in his pew during prayer, but perhaps James's story was rather apocryphal.

Mark Davenport, of course, had been the object of considerable attention
during the day, and at the meeting-house-door numbers of his old
acquaintances gathered round him. No one was more cordial in manner than
Squire Clamp. His face was wrinkled into what were meant for smiles, and
his voice was even smoother and more insinuating than usual. It was only
by a strong effort that Mark gulped down his rising indignation, and
replied civilly.

Sunday in Innisfield ended at sunset, though labor was not resumed until
the next day; but neighbors called upon each other in the twilight, and
talked over the sermons of the day, and the affairs of the church and
parish. That evening, while Mr. Hardwick's family were sitting around the
table reading, a long growl was heard from Caesar at the door, followed by
an emphatic "Get out!" The growls grew fiercer, and James went to the door
to see what was the matter. Squire Clamp was the luckless man. The dog had
seized his coat-tail, and had pulled it forward, so that he stood face to
face with the Squire, who was vainly trying to free himself by poking at
his adversary with a great baggy umbrella. James sent away the dog with a
reprimand, but laughed as he followed the angry man into the house. He
always cited this afterwards as a new proof of the sagacity of the grim
and uncompromising Caesar.

"S-sorry you've had such a t-time with the dog," said Mr. Hardwick; "he
don't g-ginerally bark at pup-people."

"Oh, no matter," said the Squire, contemplating the measure of damage in
the skirt of his coat. "A good, sound sermon Mr. Rook gave us to-day. The
doctrines of the decrees and sovereignty, and the eternal destruction of
the impenitent, were strongly set forth."

"Y-yes, I sp-spose so. I d-don't profit so m-much by that inst-struction,
however. I th-think more of the e-every-day religion he u-usually
preaches."--Mr. Hardwick trotted one foot with a leg crossed and with an
air which showed to his children and to Mark plainly enough how impatient
he was of the Squire's beginning so far away from what he came to say.

"Why, you don't doubt these fundamental points?" asked Mr. Clamp.

"No, I don't d-doubt, n-nor I don't th-think much about 'em; they're t-too
deep for me, and I ler-let 'em alone. We shall all un-know about these
things in God's goo-good time. I th-think more about keepin' peace among
n-neighbors, bein' kuh-kindly to the poor, h-helpin' on the cause of
eddication, and d-doin' ginerally as I would be done by."--Mr. Hardwick's
emphasis could not be mistaken, and Squire Clamp was a little uneasy.

"Oh, yes, Mr. Hardwick," he replied, "all the town knows of your practical
religion." Then turning to Mark, he said, blandly, "So you came home
yesterday. How long do you propose to stay?"

The young man never had the best control of his temper, and it was now
rapidly coming up to the boiling-point. "Mr. Clamp," said he, "if you had
asked a pickerel the same question, he would probably tell you that you
knew best how and when he came on shore, and that for himself he expected
to get back into water as soon as he got the hook out of his jaws."

"I am sorry to see this warmth," said Mr. Clamp; "I trust you have not
been put to any trouble."

"Really," said Mark, bitterly, "you have done your best to ruin me in the
place where I earn my living, but 'trust I have not been put to any
trouble'! Your sympathy is as deep as your sincerity."

"Mark," said Mr. Hardwick, "you're sa-sayin' more than is necess-ssary."

"Indeed, he is quite unjust," rejoined the lawyer. "I saw an alteration in
his manner to-day, and for that reason I came here. I prefer to keep the
friendship of all men, especially of those of my townsmen and brethren in
the church whose piety and talents I so highly respect."

"S-sartinly, th-that's right. I don't like to look around, wh-when I take
the ker-cup at the Sacrament, and see any man that I've wronged; an' I
don't f-feel comf'table nuther to see anybody der-drinkin' from the same
cup that I think has tried to w-wrong me or mine."

"You can save yourself that anxiety about Mr. Clamp, Uncle," said Mark.
"He is not so much concerned about our Christian fellowship as he is about
his fees. He couldn't live here, if he didn't manage to keep on both sides
of every little quarrel in town. Having done me what mischief he could, he
wants now to salve the wound over."

"My young friend, what is the reason of this heat?" asked Mr. Clamp,
mildly.

"I don't care to talk further," Mark retorted. "I might as well explain
the pathology of flesh bruises to a donkey who had maliciously kicked me."

Mr. Clamp wiped his bald head, on which the perspiration was beginning to
gather. His stock of pious commonplaces was exhausted, and he saw no
prospect of calming Mark's rage, or of making any deep impression on the
blacksmith. He therefore rose to depart. "Good evening," said he. "I pray
you may become more reasonable, and less disposed to judge harshly of your
friend and brother."

Mark turned his back on him. Mr. Hardwick civilly bade him good-night.
Lizzy and Anna, who had retreated during the war of words, came back, and
the circle round the table was renewed.

"Yer-you'll see one thing," said Mr. Hardwick. "He'll b-bring you, and
p'r'aps me, too, afore the church for this talk."

"The sooner, the better," said Mark.

"I d'no," said Mr. Hardwick. "Ef we must live in f-fellowship, a der-
diffi-culty in church isn't per-pleasant. But 'tis uncomf'table for
straight wood to be ker-corded up with such ker-crooked sticks as him."

[To be continued.]



A PERILOUS BIVOUAC.


It is a pleasant June morning out on the Beauport slopes; the breeze comes
laden with perfume from shady Mount Lilac; and it is good to bask here in
the meadows and look out upon the grand panorama of Quebec, with its
beautiful bay sweeping in bold segments of shoreline to the mouth of the
River St Charles. The king-bird, too lazy to give chase to his proper
quarry, the wavering butterfly, sways to and fro upon a tall weed; and
there, at the bend of the brook, sits an old kingfisher on a dead branch,
gorged with his morning meal, and regardless of his reflected image in the
still pool beneath. The _goguelu_[1] rises suddenly up from his tuft of
grass, and, having sung a few staves of his gurgling song, drops down
again like a cricket-ball and is no more seen. Smooth-plumaged wax-wings
are pruning their feathers in the tamarac-trees; and high up over the
waters of the bay sails a long-winged fish-hawk, taking an extended and
generally liberal view of sundry important matters connected with the
fishery question.

[Footnote 1: This name is given by the French Canadians to the bobolink or
rice bunting. It is an old, I believe an obsolete, French word, and means
"braggart."]

Many a year has gone by since I last looked upon this picture, and then it
was a winter scene; for it was near the end of March, which is winter
enough in this region, and the blue water of the bay there was flagged
over with a rough white pavement of crisp snow. I think I see it now,
faintly ruled with two lines of _sapins_, or young fir saplings,--one
marking out the winter road to the Island of Orleans, and the other that
from Quebec to Montmorency; and this memory recalls to me how it fell upon
a certain day, the incidents of which are expanding upon my mind like
those dissolving views that come up out of the dark, I set up a camp-fire
just where that wood-barge nods drowsily at anchor, about a mile this side
of the town. It was a sort of bivouac a man is not likely to forget in a
hurry; not that it makes much of a story, after all,--but a trifling
scratch will sometimes leave its mark on a man for life. I was quartered
in Quebec then; didn't go much into society, though, because I devoted
much of my young energies to shooting and fishing, which were worth any
expenditure of energy in those days. And so I restricted my evening rounds
of duty to one or two houses which were conducted on the always-at-home
principle, walking in and hanging up my wide-awake when it suited me, and
staying away when it didn't,--which was about the oftener.

In the winter of eighteen hundred and no matter what, I got three months'
leave of absence, with the intention of devoting a great portion of it to
a long-planned expedition, an invasion of the wild mountain-region lying
north of Quebec, towards the head-waters of the Saguenay,--a district
seldom disturbed by the presence of civilized man, but abandoned to the
semi-barbarous hunter and trapper, and frequented much by that prince of
roving bucks, the shy but stately caribou. I need not go into the details
of my two-months' hunt. It was like any other expedition of the sort,
about which so much information has already been given to the world in the
pleasant narratives of the wandering family of MacNimrod. I succeeded in
procuring many hairy and horned trophies of trap and rifle, as well as in
converting myself from some semblance of respectability into the veriest
looking cannibal that ever breakfasted on an underdone enemy. The return
from the chase furnished the little adventure I have alluded to,--a very
small adventure, but deeply impressed upon a memory now a good deal cut up
with tracks and traces of strange beasts of accidents, quaint "vestiges of
creation," ineffaceably stamped upon what poor Andrew Romer used to call
the "old red sandstone," in playful allusion to what his friends well knew
was a heart of hearts.

The snow lay heavy in the woods, wet and heavy with the breath of coming
spring, as I tramped out of them one March morning, and found myself on
the queen's highway, within short rifle-shot of the rushing Montmorency,
whose roar had reached us through the forest an hour or two before. In the
early days of our hunt I had been so lucky as to run down and kill a large
moose, whose antlered head was a valuable trophy; and so I confided it to
the especial charge of my faithful follower, Zachary Hiver, a _brulé_ or
half-breed of the Chippewa nation, who had hunted buffaloes with me on the
plains of the Saskatchewan and gaffed my salmon in the swift waters of the
Mingan and Escoumains. I had promised him powder and lead enough to
maintain his rifle for the probable remainder of his earthly hunting-
career, if he succeeded in safely conveying to Quebec the hide and horns
of the mammoth stag of the forest. These he had concealed, accordingly, in
a safe hiding-place, or _cache_, to be touched at on our return; and now
as he emerged from the dark pine copse, with his ropy locks tasselling his
flat skull, and a tattered blanket-coat fluttering in ribbons from his
brown and brawny chest, his interest in the venture appeared in the
careful manner in which he drew after him a long, slender _tobaugan_,
heavily packed with the hard-won proceeds of trap and gun. Foremost among
these were displayed the broad antlers of the moose of my affections,
whose skin served as a tarpaulin for the remainder of the baggage, round
which it was snugly tucked in with thongs of kindred material.

We halted on a broad ledge of rock by the western verge of the bay of the
Falls, glad of an opportunity of enjoying my independence to the last,
unfettered by the conventionalities for which I was beginning to be imbued
with a savage contempt. Here we set up a primitive kitchen-range, and,
having feasted upon cutlets of the caribou, scientifically treated by a
skewer process with which Zach was familiar, we lounged like "lazy
shepherds" in the sun, and the eye of the Indian flashed as I produced
from the folds of my sash a leather-covered flask which did not look as if
it was meant to contain water. During the weeks of the chase I had been
very careful to conceal this treasure from Zach, knowing how helpless an
Indian becomes under the influence of the "fire-water"; and as I had had a
pull at it myself only two or three times, under circumstances of unusual
adversity and hardship, there still remained in it a very respectable
allowance for two, from which I subtracted a liberal measure, handing over
the balance to Zach, who gulped down the _skiltiwauboh_ with a fiendish
grin and a subsequent inhuman grunt. As I lit my pipe after this
satisfactory arrangement, the roar of the mighty Montmorency, whirling
down its turbulent perpendicular flood behind a half-drawn curtain of
green and azure ice, sounded like exquisite music to my ears, and I looked
towards Quebec and blinked at its fire-flashing tin spires and house-tops
burning through the coppery morning fog, until my mind's eye became
telescopic, and my thoughts, unsentimental though I be, reverted to
civilized society and its _agréments_, and particularly to a certain
steep-roofed cottage situated on a suburban road, in the boudoirs of which
I liked to imagine one pined for my return. If memory has its pleasures,
has it not also its glimpses of regret?--and who can say that the former
compensate for the latter? Even now I see her as she used to step out on
the veranda,--the lithe Indian girl, rivalling the choicest "desert-
flower" of Arabia in the rich darkness of her eyes and hair, and in the
warm mantling of her golden-ripe complexion,--unutterably graceful in the
thorough-bred ease of her elastic movements,--Zosime MacGillivray, perfect
type and model of the style and beauty of the _brulée_. She was the only
child of a retired trader of the old North-West Fur Company and his Indian
wife; had been partly educated in England; possessed rather more than the
then average Colonial allowance of accomplishments; and was, altogether,
so much in harmony with my roving forest-inclinations, that I sometimes
thought, half seriously, how pleasant and respectable it would be to have
one such at the head of one's camp-equipage, and how much nicer a
companion she would be on a hunt than that disreputable old scoundrel,
Zach Hiver.

"Pack the _tobaugan_, Zach! The sun will come out strong by and by, and
the longer we tarry here, the heavier the snow will be for our stretch to
the Citadel. Up, there! _lève-toi, cochon!_" shouted I, in the elegant
terms of address which experience had taught me were the only ones that
had any effect upon the stolid sensibilities of the half-breed,--at the
same time administering to him a kick that produced a _thud_ and a grunt,
as if actually bestowed on the unclean quadruped to which I had just
likened him. The ragamuffin was very slow this time in getting the traps
together on the _tobaugan_, and, if I had not attended to the matter
myself, the moose trophy, at least, would in all probability have been
left to perish, and would never have pointed a moral and adorned a tale,
as it now does, in its exalted position among the reminiscences of things
past. At length we got under way, and, as a walk over the open plain
offered a pleasing variety to a man who had been feeling his way so long
through the dim old woods, I determined to descend from the ridge of
Beauport, and proceed over the snow-covered surface of the bay, in a
bird's-eye line, to our point of destination. Winding down the almost
perpendicular declivity, sometimes sliding down on our snow-shoes, with
the _tobaugan_ running before us, "on its own hook," at a fearful pace,
and sometimes obliged to descend, hand under hand, by the tangled roots
and shrubs, we soon found ourselves on the great white winter-prairie of
the grand St. Lawrence, upon which I strode forward with renewed energy,
steering my course, like the primitive steeple-chasers of my boyhood's
home, upon the highest church-tower looming up from the heterogeneous
huddle of motley houses that just showed their gable-tops over the low
ring of mist which mingled with the smoke of the Lower Town.

After a progress of about five miles, I found I had very materially
widened the distance between myself and Zach, who, encumbered by the
baggage, and by the spring snow which each moment accumulated in wet heavy
cakes upon his snow-shoes, was now a good mile in my rear. This I was
surprised at, as he generally outwalked me, even when carrying on his back
a heavy load, with perhaps a canoe on his head, cocked-hat fashion, as he
was often obliged to do in our fishing-excursions to the northern lakes.
It now occurred to me, however, that I had incautiously left the brandy-
flask in his charge, and when he came up with me I gathered from his fishy
eye, and the thick dribblings of his macaronic gibberish,--which was
compounded of sundry Indian dialects and French-Canadian _patois_,
coarsely ground up with bits of broken English,--that the modern Circe,
who changes men into beasts, had wrought her spells upon him; a
circumstance at which I was terribly annoyed, as foreboding an ignominious
entry into the city by back-lane and sally-port, instead of my long-
anticipated triumphal progress up St. Louis Street, bearded in splendor,
bristling with knife and rifle, and followed by my wild Indian _coureur-
des-bois_, drawing my antlered trophies after him upon the _tobaugan_ as
upon a festival car.

"Kaween nishishin! kaw-ween!" howled the big monster, in his mixed-pickle
macaronio,--"je me sens saisi du mal-aux-raquettes, je ne pouvons plus.
Why you go so dam fast, when hot sun he make snow for tire, eh? Sacr-r-ré
raquettes! il me semble qu'ils se grossissent de plus en plus à chaque
démarche. Stop for smoke, eh?--v'là! good place for camp away there,
kitchee hogeemaus endaut, big chief's house may-be!" grinned he, as he
indicated with Indian instinct and a wavering finger a structure of some
kind that peered through the fog at a short distance on our left.

We were now within about a mile of Quebec. The Indian's intoxication had
increased to a ludicrous extent, so that to have ventured into the town
with him must have resulted in a reckless exposure of myself to the just
obloquy and derision of the public; while, on the other hand, if I left
him alone upon the wide world of ice, and dragged the _tobaugan_ to town
myself, the unfortunate _brulé_ must inevitably have stepped into some
treacherous snow-drift or air-hole, and thus miserably perished. So I made
up my mind for a camp on the ice; and, diverging from our course in the
direction pointed out by the Indian, we soon arrived at the object
indicated by him, which proved to be a stout framework about twelve feet
square, constructed of good heavy timber solidly covered with deal
boarding, and conveying indubitable evidence, to my thinking, of the
remains of one of the _cabanes_ or shanties commonly erected on the ice by
those engaged in the "tommy-cod" fishery,--portable structures, so fitted
together as to admit of being put up and removed piecemeal, to suit the
convenience of their proprietors. I blessed mentally the careless
individual who had thus unconsciously provided for our especial shelter;
and as the wind had now suddenly arisen sharp from the west, driving the
fog before it with clouds of fine drifting snow, I was glad to get under
the lee of the providential wall, in the hospitable shelter of which,
before two minutes had elapsed, "Stephano, my drunken butler," was snoring
away like a phalanx of bullfrogs, with his head bolstered up somehow
between the great moose-horns, and his brawny limbs rolled carelessly in
the warm but somewhat unsavory skin of the dead monarch of the forest. I
gloried in his calm repose; for the day was yet young, and I flattered
myself that a three-hours' snooze would restore his muddled intellects to
their normal mediocrity of useful instinct, and that I might still achieve
my triumphal entry into the city,--a procession I had been so much in the
habit of picturing to myself over the nocturnal camp-fire, that it had
become a sort of nightmare with me. Indeed, I had idealized it roughly in
my pocket-book, intending to transfer the sketches, for elaboration on
canvas, to Tankerville, the regimental Landseer, whose menagerie of living
models, consisting of two bears, one calf-moose, one _loup-cervier_, three
bloated raccoons, and a bald eagle, formed at once the terror and delight
of the rising generation of the barracks.

Having got up a small fire with the assistance of the chips and scraps of
wood that were plentifully scattered around, I placed my snow-shoes one on
top of the other, and sat down on them,--a sort of preparatory step in my
transition to civilization, for they had somewhat the effect of a cane-
bottomed chair minus the legs and without a back. Then I filled my short
black pipe from the seal-skin tobacco-pouch, the contents of which had so
often assuaged my troubled spirit when I brooded over griefs which _then_
were immature, if not imaginary. It was a very pleasant smoke, I
recollect,--so pleasant, that I rather congratulated myself upon my
position; the only drawback to it being that I was shut out from a view of
the town, as the wind and drift rendered it indispensable for comfort in
smoking that I should keep strictly to leeward of my bulwark. Tobacco is
notoriously a promoter of reflection; there must be something essentially
retrospective in the nature of the weed. I retired upon the days of my
boyhood, my legs and feet becoming clairvoyant of the corduroys and
highlows of that happy period of my existence, as the revolving curls of
pale smoke exhibited to me, with marvellous fidelity, many quaint
successive _tableaux_ of the old familiar scenes of home,--sentimental,
some of them,--comic, others,--like the domestic incidents revealed with
exaggerations on the hazy field of a magic-lantern. I thought of my poor
mother, and of the excellent parting advice she gave me,--but more
particularly of the night-caps with strings, which she extracted such a
solemn promise from me to wear carefully every night in all climates, and
which, on the second evening of my sojourn in barracks, were so
unceremoniously reduced to ashes in a noisy _auto-da-fé_. These
retrospective pictures were succeeded by others of more modern date,
coming round in a progressive series, until I had painted myself up to
within a few weeks of my present position, the foreground of my existence.
Then I remembered promises made by me of contributions to a certain
album,--further contributions,--for I had already furnished several pages
of it with food for mind and eye in the form of melancholy verses and
"funny" sketches, with brief dramatic dialogues beneath the latter, to
elucidate the "story." I particularly recollected having volunteered a
translation or imitation of a pretty song in Ruy Blas; and as the fit was
upon me, I produced my pocketbook, to commit to paper a version of it
which I had mentally devised. The leaves of my book were all filled,
however; some with memoranda,--a sort of savage diary it was,--some with
sketches of scenes in the wilderness: there was not a corner vacant.
Turning towards the planking of my bulwark, I perceived that it was
smoothly planed and clean, and to work on it I went, pencil in hand. First
I wrote "Zosime MacGillivray," in several different styles of chirography,
flourished and plain, and even in old text. Then I sketched out a rough
design for an ornamental heading, with a wreath of flowers encircling the
words "To Zozzy," and beneath this work of Art I inscribed the effort of
my muse, which ran thus:--

  Fields and forests rejoice
    In their silver-toned throng;
  _I_ hear but the voice
    Of the bird in thy song!

  In April's glad shower
    Flash petals and leaves,
  Less bright than the flower
    Round thy heart that weaves!

  Stars waken, stars slumber,
    Stars wink in the sky,
  Bright numberless number;
    But none like thine eye!

  For bird-song and flower
    And star from above
  Combine in thy bower;
    Their union is love!

My mind being considerably relieved by this gush of sentiment, I felt
myself entitled to unbend a little, and, turning my attention to artistic
pursuits, principally of a humorous character, I developed successively
many long-pent-up imaginings in the way of severe studies of sundry
garrison notables. There was "Bendigo" Phillips, with boxing-gloves
fearfully brandished, appearing in the attitude in which he polished off
young Thurlow of the R.A., under the pretence of giving him a lesson in
the noble art of self-defence, but in reality to revenge himself upon him
for an ill-timed interference in a certain _affaire du coeur_. The agony
of young Thurlow, pretending to look pleased, was depicted by a very
successful stroke of Art. To the extreme right you might have beheld
Vegetable Warren, the staff-surgeon, slightly exaggerated in the semblance
of a South-Down wether nibbling at a gigantic Swedish turnip. Written
lampoons of the fiercest character accompanied the illustrations. But my
boldest effort was an atrocious and libellous cartoon of the commandant of
the garrison, popularly known as "Old Wabbles,"--I believe from the
preternatural manner in which his wide Esquimaux boots vacillated about
his long, lean shanks. This _chef d'oeuvre_ was executed upon a rather
large scale, and I imparted considerable force and breadth to the design
by "coaling in" the shadows with a charred stick. Then calling color to my
aid, as far as my limited means admitted, I scraped from the edges of the
moose-hide a portion of the red-streaked fat, and, having impasted
therewith the bacchanalian nose of my subject, I stepped back a few paces
to contemplate the effect. So ludicrous was the resemblance, that I
laughed outright in the pride of my success,--a transient hilarity, nipped
suddenly in the bud by the loud boom of a cannon, accompanied rather than
followed by a rushing sound a few feet above my head, and a thundering
bump and splutter upon the ice some thirty or forty yards beyond me, as
the heavy shot skipped and ricochetted away with receding bounds to its
vanishing-point somewhere in the neighborhood of the Island of Orleans.
Two strides to the front, and a glance at the broad, black ring emblazoned
on the hitherto disregarded face of my bulwark, and the truth flashed upon
my staggering senses.

I was encamped in the lee of the bran-new artillery target, and they were
just commencing practice, on this fine bright afternoon, by pitching
thirty-two-pound shot into and about it, at intervals--as I pretty well
knew--of distressingly uncertain duration. With frantic strength I grasped
the Indian by the neck, and, plunging madly through the snow, dragged him
after me a few paces in the direction of our former track; but, hampered
as he was by the moose-trappings, the weight was too much for me, and I
dropped him, instinctively continuing to run with breathless speed, until,
having gained a considerable distance away from any probable line of fire,
I flung myself down upon the snow, and was somewhat startled at finding
Zach very close upon my tracks, tearing along on all fours with a vague
sense of danger of some kind, and looking, in his strange envelope, like
an infuriated bull-moose in the act of charging a hunter. A shot struck
the corner of the target just as we got away from it, slightly splintering
it, so as to give the bewildered Indian a pleasant practical lesson in the
science of gunnery and fortification.

Two minutes elapsed,--three minutes,--five minutes,--not another shot; but
it might commence again at any moment, and I stood at a respectful
distance from the danger, uncertain what course to pursue for the recovery
of my traps, all of which, rifle, snow-shoes, and _tobaugan_ loaded with
spoils, lay in pledge with the two-faced friend whose treacherous shelter
had no longer any charm for me, when I beheld several sleighs approaching
us from the town at a fearful pace, in the foremost of which, when within
range of rifle, I recognized Old Wabbles, the commandant.

"Who the Devil are you?" shouted he, as he drove right at us. "Two
Indians, ha!--somebody said it was _one_ Indian with a moose after him, a
man and a moose. Where's Thurlow?--_he_ had the telescope, and asserted
there was a man running round the target and a moose after him. I don't
see the moose." Zach had dropped the hide and horns from his "recreant
limbs," and was seated solemnly upon the snow, in all the majesty of his
native dirt.

"By Jove, it's Kennedy!" cried Tankerville, whose artistical eye detected
me through my hirsute and fluttering disguise. "What a picturesque
object!--I congratulate you, old fellow!--easiest and pleasantest way in
the world of making a living!--lose no time about it, but send in your
papers at once!--continue assiduously to neglect your person, and you're
worth a guinea an hour for the rest of your prime, as a living model on
the full pay of the Academies!"

I was soon bewildered by a torrent of inquiries from all sides: as to how
I came behind the target,--what success I had had in the woods,--how many
miles I had come to-day,--whether I had got the martin-skin I had promised
to this one, and the silver fox I undertook to trap for that,--when,
suddenly, a diversion was created by a roar from Phillips, who had
proceeded to inspect my spoils behind the target, and now stood looking at
my portrait-gallery of living celebrities, his great chest heaving with
laughter; and before I could satisfy my inquiring friends, the whole crowd
had rushed pell-mell to the exhibition.

"Caught, by all that's lovely!" shouted Phillips, repeating my verses at
the top of his voice,--

  "The bird-song and flower
    And star from above
  Combine in thy bower;
    Their union is love!"

"Ritoorala loorala loorala loo, ritoorala loorala loorala loo!" chorused
everybody, as he sang the last verse to the vulgar melody of 'Tatter Jack
Welch,' knocking the poetry out of my constitution at once and forever,
like the ashes out of a pipe. "Hooray for Miss Mac! Who should have
thought it, Darby?"--That was _my_ pet name in the regiment.

"How like!--how very like!--That's Warren there, nibbling the turnip. And
there's Thurlow,--ha! ha! ha! how good! And that--that--that's me, by
Jingo!--he he! he! he!--not so good that, somehow,--neck too long by half
a foot. But the Colonel!--only look at his boots!--He must'n't see this,
though, by Jove!--Choke the Colonel off, boys!--take him round to the
front!--do something!" whispered good-natured Symonds, anxious to keep me
clear of the scrape.

But it was too late. The last objects that met my view were the ghastly
legs of the Commandant, as he strode through the circle in front of my
Art-exhibition. I saw no more. A soldier is but a mortal man. Rushing to
the nearest cariole,--it was the Commandant's,--I leaped into it, and,
lashing the horse furiously towards the town, never pulled rein until I
got up to my long-deserted quarters in the Citadel. There I barricaded
myself into my own room, directing my servant to proceed to the target
for my scattered property. I had still a month's leave of absence before
me, availing myself of which, I started next morning for New York,
subsequently obtained an extension of leave, sailed for England, and
there negotiating an exchange from a regiment whose facings no longer
suited my taste for colors, I soon found myself gazetted into a less
objectionable one lying at Corfu.

I have never seen Tankerville's famous picture of my triumphal entry into
Quebec.



I.--NOVEMBER.


The dead leaves their rich mosaics,
  Of olive and gold and brown,
Had laid on the rain-wet pavements,
  Through all the embowered town.

They were washed by the Autumn tempest,
  They were trod by hurrying feet,
And the maids came out with their besoms
  And swept them into the street,

To be crushed and lost forever
  'Neath the wheels, in the black mire lost,--
The Summer's precious darlings,
  She nurtured at such cost!

O words that have fallen from me!
  O golden thoughts and true!
Must I see in the leaves a symbol
  Of the fate which awaiteth you?


II.--APRIL.

Again has come the Spring-time,
  With the crocus's golden bloom,
With the smell of the fresh-turned earth-mould,
  And the violet's perfume.

O gardener! tell me the secret
  Of thy flowers so rare and sweet!--
--"I have only enriched my garden
  With the black mire from the street."



THE GAUCHO.


What _is_ a Gaucho?

That is precisely what I am going to tell you.

Take my hand, if you please. Shod with the shoes of swiftness, we have
annihilated space and time. We are standing in the centre of a boundless
plain. Look north and south and east and west: for five hundred miles
beyond the limit of your vision, the scarcely undulating level stretches
on either hand. Miles, leagues, away from us, the green of the torrid
grass is melting into a misty dun; still further miles, and the misty dun
has faded to a shadowy blue; more miles, it rounds at last away into the
sky. A hundred miles behind us lies the nearest village; two hundred in
another direction will bring you to the nearest town. The swiftest horse
may gallop for a day and night unswervingly, and still not reach a
dwelling-place of man. We are placed in the midst of a vast, unpeopled
circle, whose radii measure a thousand miles.

But see! a cloud arises in the South. Swiftly it rolls towards us; behind
it there is tumult and alarm. The ground trembles at its approach; the air
is shaken by the bellowing that it covers. Quick! let us stand aside! for,
as the haze is lifted, we can see the hurrying forms of a thousand cattle,
speeding with lowered horns and fiery eyes across the plain. Fortunately,
they do not observe our presence; were it otherwise, we should be trampled
or gored to death in the twinkling of an eye. Onward they rush; at last
the hindmost animals have passed; and see, behind them all there scours a
man!

He glances at us, as he rushes by, and determines to give us a specimen of
his only art. Shaking his long, wild locks, as he rises in the stirrup and
presses his horse to its maddest gallop, he snatches from his saddle-bow
the loop of a coil of rope, whirls it in his right hand for an instant,
then hurls it, singing through the air, a distance of fifty paces. A jerk
and a strain,--a bellow and a convulsive leap,--his lasso is fast around
the horns of a bull in the galloping herd. The horseman flashes a
murderous knife from his belt, winds himself up to the plunging beast,
severs at one swoop the tendon of its hind leg, and buries the point of
his weapon in the victim's spinal marrow. It falls dead. The man, my
friend, is a Gaucho; and we are standing on the Pampas of the Argentine
Republic.

Let us examine this dexterous wielder of the knife and cord. _He, Juan de
Dios!_ Come hither, O Centaur of the boundless cattle-plains! We will not
ask you to dismount,--for that you never do, we know, except to eat and
sleep, or when your horse falls dead, or tumbles into a _bizcachero_; but
we want to have a look at your savage self, and the appurtenances
thereunto belonging.

And first, you say, the meaning of his name. The title, Gaucho, is applied
to the descendants of the early Spanish colonists, whose homes are on the
Pampa, instead of in the town,--to the rich _estanciero_, or owner of
square leagues of cattle, in common with the savage herdsman whom he
employs,--to Generals and Dictators, as well as to the most ragged Pampa-
Cossack in their pay. Our language is incapable of expressing the idea
conveyed by this term; and the Western qualification "backwoodsman" is
perhaps the nearest approach to a synonyme that we can attain.

The head of our swarthy friend is covered with a species of Neapolitan
cap, (let me confess, in a parenthesis, that my ideas of such head-
coverings are derived from the costume of graceful Signor Brignoli in
"Masaniello,") which was once, in all probability, of scarlet hue, but now
almost rivals in color the jet-black locks which it confines. His face--
well, we will pass that over, and, on our return to civilized life, will
refer the curious inquirer for a fac-simile to the first best painting of
Salvator, there to select at pleasure the most ferocious bandit
countenance that he can find. And now the remainder of his person. He
wears an open jacket of dirt-crusted serge, covered in front with a
gorgeous eruption of plated buttons, and a waistcoat of the same material,
adorned with equal profuseness, and showing at the neck a substratum of
dubious crimson, supposed to be a flannel shirt. So far, you may say,
there is nothing suspicious or very outlandish about his rig; but
_turpiter desinit formosus superne_,--there is something highly remarkable
_á continuacion_. Do you see that blanket which is drawn tightly up, fore
and aft, toward his waist, and, there confined by means of a belt which
his _querida_ has richly ornamented for him, falls over in uneven folds
like an abbreviated kilt? That is the famous _chiripá_, or Gaucho
petticoat, which, like the _bracae_ of the Northern barbarians some
nineteen hundred years ago, distinguishes him from the inhabitants of
civilized communities. Below the _chiripá_, his limbs are cased in
_calzoncillos_, stout cotton drawers or pantalets, which terminate in a
fringe (you should see the elaborate worsted-work that adorns the hem of
his gala-pair) an inch or two above the ankle. His feet are thrust into a
pair of _botas de potro_, or colt's-foot boots, manufactured from the hide
of a colt's fore-leg, which he strips off whole, chafes in his hand until
it becomes pliable and soft, sews up at the lower extremity,--and puts on,
the best riding-boot that the habitable world can show. Add a monstrous
spur to each heel of this _chaussure_, and you will have fully equipped
the worthy Juan de Dios for active service.--But stay! his accoutrements!
We must not forget that Birmingham-made butcher-knife, which, for a dozen
years, has never been for a moment beyond his reach; nor the coiling
lasso, and the _bolas_, or balls of iron, fastened at each end of a thong
of hide, which he can hurl a distance of sixty feet, and inextricably
entangle around the legs of beast or man; nor the _recado_, or saddle, his
only seat by day, and his pillow when he throws himself upon the ground to
sleep under the canopy of heaven. Neither must we omit the _mate_ gourd
which dangles at his waist, in readiness to receive its infusion of
_yerba_, or Paraguay tea, which he sucks through that tin tube, called
_bombilla_, and looking for all the world like the broken spout of an oil-
can with a couple of pieces of nutmeg-grater soldered on, as strainers, at
the lower end; nor the string of sapless _charque_ beef, nor the pouchful
of villanous tobacco, nor the paper for manufacturing it into
_cigarritos_, nor the cow's-horn filled with tinder, and the flint and
steel attached. Thus mounted, clothed, and equipped, he is ready for a
gallop of a thousand leagues.

He is a strange individual, this Gaucho Juan. Born in a hut built of mud
and maize-stalks somewhere on the superficies of these limitless plains,
he differs little, in the first two years of his existence, from peasant
babies all the world over; but so soon as he can walk, he becomes an
equestrian. By the time he is four years old there is scarcely a colt in
all the Argentine that he will not fearlessly mount; at six, he whirls a
miniature lasso around the horns of every goat or ram he meets. In those
important years when our American youth are shyly beginning to claim the
title of young men, and are spending anxious hours before the mirror in
contemplation of the slowly-coming down upon their lip, young Juan (who
never saw a dozen printed books, and perhaps has only _heard_ of looking-
glasses) is galloping, like a portion of the beast he rides, over a
thousand miles of prairie, lassoing cattle, ostriches, and guanacos,
fighting single-handed with the jaguar, or lying stiff and stark behind
the heels of some plunging colt that he has too carelessly bestrid.

At twenty-one he is in his glory. Then we must look for him in the
_pulperías_, the bar-rooms of the Pampas, whither he repairs on Sundays
and _fiestas_, to get drunk on _aguardiente_ or on Paraguay rum. There you
may see him seated, listening open-mouthed to the _cantor_, or Gaucho
troubadour, as he sings the marvellous deeds of some desert hero,
persecuted, unfortunately, by the myrmidons of justice for the numerous
_misfortunes_ (_Anglicé_, murders) upon his head,--or narrates in
impassioned strain, to the accompaniment of his guitar, the circumstances
of one in which he has borne a part himself,--or chants the frightful end
of the Gaucho Attila, Quiroga, and the punishment that overtook his
murderer, the daring Santos Perez. When the song is over, the cards are
dealt. Seated upon a dried bull's-hide, each man with his unsheathed knife
placed ostentatiously at his side, the jolly Gauchos commence their game.
Suddenly Manuel exclaims, that Pedro or Estanislao or Antonio is playing
false. Down fly the cards; up flash the blades; a ring is formed. Manuel,
to tell the truth, has accused his friend Pedro only for the sake of a
little sport; he has never _marked_ a man yet, and thinks it high time
that that honor were attained. So the sparks fly from the flashing blades,
and Pedro's nose has got another gash in it, and Manuel is bleeding in a
dozen places, but he will not give in just yet. Unfortunate Gaucho! Pedro
the next moment slips in a sticky pool of his own blood, and Manuel's
knife is buried in his heart! "He is killed! Manuel has had a misfortune!"
exclaim the ring; "fly, Manuel, fly!" In another minute, and just as the
_vigilantes_ are throwing themselves upon their horses to pursue him, he
has galloped out of sight.

Twenty miles from the _pulpería_ he draws rein, dismounts, wipes his
bloody knife on the grass, and slices off a collop of _charque_, which he
munches composedly for his supper. Very likely this _misfortune_ will make
him a _Gaucho malo_. The _Gaucho malo_ is an outlaw, at home only in the
desert, intangible as the wind, sanguinary, remorseless, swift. His
brethren of the _estancia_ pronounce his name occasionally, but in lowered
tones, and with a mixture of terror and respect; he is looked up to by
them as a sort of higher being. His home is a movable point upon an area
of twenty thousand square miles; his horse, the finest steed that he can
find upon the Pampas between Buenos Ayres and the Andes, between the Gran
Chaco and Cape Horn; his food, the first beef that he captures with his
lasso; his dainties, the tongues of cows which he kills, and abandons,
when he has stripped them of his favorite titbit, to the birds of prey.
Sometimes he dashes into a village, drinks a gourdful of _aguardiente_
with the admiring guests at the _pulpería_, and spurs away again into
obscurity, until at length the increasing number of his _desgracias_
tempts the mounted emissaries of justice to pursue him, in the hope of
extra reward. If suddenly beset by seven or eight of these desert police,
the _Gaucho malo_ slashes right and left with his redoubted knife,--kills
one, maims another, wounds them all. Perhaps he reaches his horse and is
off and away amid a shower of harmless balls;--or he is taken; in which
case, all that remains, the day after, of the _Gaucho malo_, is a lump of
soulless clay.

Then there is the guide, or _vaqueano_. This man, as one who knows him
well informs us, is a grave and reserved Gaucho, who knows by heart the
peculiarities of twenty thousand leagues of mountain, wood, and plain! He
is the only _map_ that an Argentinian general takes with him in a
campaign; and the _vaqueano_ is never absent from his side. No plan is
formed without his concurrence. The army's fate, the success of a battle,
the conquest of a province, is entirely dependent upon his integrity and
skill; and, strange to say, there is scarcely an instance on record of
treachery on the part of a _vaqueano_. He meets a pathway which crosses
the road upon which he is travelling, and he can tell you the exact
distance of the remote watering-place to which it leads; if he meet with a
thousand similar pathways in a journey of five hundred miles, it will
still be the same. He can point out the fords of a hundred rivers; he can
guide you in safety through a hundred trackless woods. Stand with him at
midnight on the Pampa,--let the track be lost,--no moon or stars; the
_vaqueano_ quietly dismounts, examines the foliage of the trees, if any
are near, and if there are none, plucks from the ground a handful of
roots, chews them, smells and tastes the soil, and tells
you that so many hours' travel due north or south will bring you to your
destination. Do not doubt him; he is infallible.

A mere _vaqueano_ was General Rivera of Uruguay,--but he knew every tree,
every hillock, every dell, in a region extending over more than 70,000
square miles! Without his aid, Brazil would have been powerless in the
Banda Oriental; without his aid, the Argentinians would never have
triumphed over Brazil. As a smuggler in 1804, as a custom-house officer a
few years later, as a patriot, a freebooter, a Brazilian general, an
Argentinian commander, as President of Uruguay against Lavalleja, as an
outlaw against General Oribe, and finally against Rosas, allied with
Oribe, as champion of the Banda Oriental del Uruguay, Rivera had certainly
ample opportunities for perfecting himself in that study of which he was
the ardent devotee.

Cooper has told us how and by what signs, in years that have forever
faded, the Huron tracked his flying foe through the forests of the North;
we read of Cuban bloodhounds, and of their frightful baying on the scent
of the wretched maroon; we know how the Bedouin follows his tribe over
pathless sands;--and yet all these are bunglers, in comparison with the
_Gaucho rastreador_!

In the interior of the Argentine every Gaucho is a trailer or
_rastreador_. On those vast feeding-grounds of a million cattle, whose
tracks intersect each other in every direction, the herdsman can
distinguish with unerring accuracy the footprints of his own peculiar
charge. When an animal is missing from the herd, he throws himself upon
his horse, gallops to the spot where he remembers having seen it last,
gazes for a moment upon the trampled soil, and then shoots off for miles
across the waste. Every now and then he halts, surveys the trail, and
again speeds onward in pursuit. At last he reaches the limits of another
_estancia_, and the pasturage of a stranger herd. His eagle eye singles
out at a glance the estray; rising in his stirrup, he whirls the lasso for
a moment above his head, launches it through the air, and coolly drags the
recalcitrant beast away on the homeward trail. He is nothing but a common,
comparatively unskilled, _rastreador_.

The official trailer is of another stamp. Like his kinsman, the
_vaqueano_, he is a personage well convinced of his own importance; grave,
reserved, taciturn, whose word is law. Such a one was the famous Calébar,
the dreaded thief-taker of the Pampas, the Vidocq of Buenos Ayres. This
man during more than forty years exercised his profession in the Republic,
and a few years since was living, at an advanced age, not far from Buenos
Ayres. There appeared to be concentrated in him the acuteness and keen
perceptions of all the brethren of his craft; it was impossible to deceive
him; no one whose trail he had once beheld could hope to escape discovery.
An adventurous vagabond once entered his house, during his temporary
absence on a journey to Buenos Ayres, and purloined his best saddle. When
the robbery was discovered, his wife covered the robber's trail with a
kneading-trough. Two months later Calébar returned, and was shown the
almost obliterated footprint. Months rolled by; the saddle was apparently
forgotten; but a year and a half later, as the _rastreador_ was again at
Buenos Ayres, a footprint in the street attracted his notice. He followed
the trail; passed from street to street and from _plaza_ to _plaza_, and
finally entering a house in the suburbs, laid his hand upon the begrimed
and worn-out saddle which had once been his own _montura de fiesta_!

In 1830, a prisoner, awaiting the death-penalty, effected his escape from
jail. Calébar, with a detachment of soldiers, was put upon the scent.
Expecting this, and knowing that the gallows lay behind him, the fugitive
had adopted every expedient for baffling his pursuers: he had walked long
distances upon tiptoe; had scrambled along walls; had walked backwards,
crawled, doubled, leaped; but all in vain! Calébar's blood was up; his
reputation was at stake; to fail now would be an indelible disgrace. If
now and then he found himself at fault, he as often recovered the trail,
until the bank of a water-course was reached, to which the flying criminal
had taken. The trail was lost; the soldiers would have turned back; but
Calébar had no such thought. He patiently followed the course of the
_acequia_ for a few rods, and suddenly halting, said to his companions,
"Here is the spot at which he left the canal; there is no trail,--not a
footprint,--but do you see those drops of water upon the grass?" With this
slight clue they were led towards a vineyard. Calébar examined it at every
side, and bade the soldiers enter, saying, "He is there!" The men obeyed
him, but shortly reported that no living being was within the walls. "He
is there!" quietly reiterated Calébar; and, in fact, a second more
thorough examination resulted in the capture of the trembling fugitive,
who was executed on the following day.--There can be no doubt regarding
the literal exactness of this anecdote.

At another time, we are told, a party of political prisoners, incarcerated
by General Rosas, had contrived a plan of escape, in which they were to be
aided by friends outside. When all was ready, one of the party suddenly
exclaimed,--

"But Calébar! you forget him!"

"Calébar!" echoed his friends; "true, it is useless to escape while he can
pursue us!"

Nor was any flight attempted until the dreaded trailer had been bribed to
fall ill for a few days, when the prisoners succeeded in making good their
escape.

He who would learn more of Calébar and his brother-trailers, let him
procure a copy of the little work that now lies before us,[1] in the shape
of a tattered duo-decimo, which has come to us across the Andes and around
Cape Horn, from the most secluded corner of the Argentine Confederation.
Badly printed and barbarously bound, this "Life of Juan Facundo Quiroga"
is nevertheless replete with the evidence of genius, and bears the stamp
of a generously-cultivated mind. Its author, indeed, the poet-patriot-
philosopher, Don Domingo F. Sarmiento, may be called the Lamartine of
South America, whose eventful career may some day invite us to an
examination. Suffice it now to say, that he was expelled by Rosas in 1840
from Buenos Ayres, and that he took his way to Chile, with the intention
in that hospitable republic of devoting his pen to the service of his
oppressed country. At the baths of Zonda he wrote with charcoal, under a
delineation of the national arms: _On ne tue point les idées_! which
inscription, having been reported to the Gaucho chieftain, a committee was
appointed to decipher and translate it. When the wording of the
significant hint was conveyed to Rosas, he exclaimed,--"Well, what does it
mean?" The answer was conveyed to him in 1852; and the sentence serves as
epigraph to the present life of his associate and victim, Facundo Quiroga.

[Footnote 1: _Vida de Juan Facundo Quiroga_, etc., por Domingo F.
Sarmiento. Santiago, 1845.]

In this extraordinary character we see the quintessence of that desert-
life some types of which we have endeavored to delineate. As one who,
rising from the lowest station to heights of uncontrolled power, as a
representative of a class of rulers unfortunately too common in the
republics that descend from Spain, and as a remarkable instance of brutal
force and barbaric stubbornness triumphing over reason, science,
education, and, in a word, civilization, he is admirably portrayed by Sr.
Sarmiento. Ours be the task to condense into a few pages the story of his
life and death.

The Argentine province of La Rioja embraces vast tracts of sandy desert.
Destitute of rivers, bare of trees, it is only by means of artificial and
scanty irrigation that the peasant can cultivate a narrow strip of land.
Inclosed by these arid wastes lies, nevertheless, a fertile region
entitled the Plains, which, in despite of its name, is broken by ridges of
hills, and supports a luxuriant vegetation with pastures trodden by
unnumbered herds. The character of the people is Oriental; their
appearance actually recalls, as we are told, that of the ancient dwellers
about Jerusalem; their very customs have rather an Arabic than a Spanish
tinge.

Somewhere upon these _Llanos_, and toward the close of the eighteenth
century, Don Prudencio Quiroga, as a well-to-do _estanciero_ or grazier,
was gladdened (doubtless) by the birth of a lusty son. He called him Juan
Facundo. For the first few years of his existence, we may safely believe,
the future general was scarcely distinguishable from a common baby.
Obstinate he doubtless was, and fierce and cruel in his tiny way; were his
mother still alive, the good woman could doubtless tell us of many a
bitter moment spent in lamenting her infant's waywardness; but we hear
nothing of him until the year 1799, when he was sent to San Juan, a town
then celebrated for its schools and learning, to acquire the rudiments of
knowledge. At the age of eleven the boy already manifested the character
of the future man. Solitary, disdainful, rebellious, his intercourse with
his schoolfellows was limited to the interchange of blows, his only
amusement lay in the annoyance of those with whom he was brought in
contact. He is already a perfect Gaucho; can wield the lasso, and the
_bolas_, and the knife; is a fearless _ginete_, a consummate horseman. One
day at school, the master, irritated beyond endurance, exhibits a new rod,
bought expressly, so he says, "for flogging Facundo." When the boy is
called up to recite, he blunders, stammers, hesitates, on purpose. Down
comes the rod; with a vigorous kick Facundo upsets the pedagogue's rickety
throne, and takes to his heels. After a three-days' search, he is
discovered secreted in a vineyard outside the town.

This little incident, of so trifling import at the time, was remembered
in after years as an early indication of the ferocious and uncontrollable
_caudillo's_ character. But it was soon eclipsed by the reckless deeds
that followed each other in quick succession between his fifteenth and
twentieth years. He speedily became notorious in the little town for his
wild moroseness, for his savage ferocity when excited, for his inordinate
love of cards. Gaming, a passion with many, was a necessary of life to
him; it was the only pursuit to which he was ever constant; it gave rise
to the quarrel in which, while yet a schoolboy, he for the first time
spilt blood.

By and by we lose sight of the student of San Juan. He has absolutely
_sunk_ out of sight. Yet, if we peer into filthy _pulperías_ here and
there between San Luis and San Juan, we may catch a glimpse of a shaggy,
swarthy savage, gambling, gambling as if for life; and we may also hear of
more than one affray in which his dagger has "come home richer than it
went." A little later, the son of wealthy Don Prudencio has become--not a
common laborer--but a comrade of common laborers. He chooses the most
toilsome, the most unintellectual, but, at the same time, the most
remunerative handicraft,--that of the _tapiador_, or builder of mud
walls. At San Juan, in the orchard of the Godoys,--at Fiambalá, in La
Rioja, in the city of Mendoza,--they will show you walls which the hands
of General Facundo Quiroga, _Comandante de Campaña_, etc., etc., put
together. Wherever he works, he is noted for the ascendency which he
maintains over the other peons. They are entirely subject to his will;
they do nothing without his advice; he is worth, say his employers, a
dozen overseers. Ah, he is yet to rule on a larger scale!

Did these people ever think,--as they watched the sombre, stubborn Gaucho
sweating over a _tapia_, subjecting a drove of peons to his authority, or,
stretched upon a hide, growing ferocious as the luck went against him at
cards,--that here was one of those forces which mould or overturn the
world? Could it ever have occurred to the Godoys of San Juan, to the
worthy municipality of Mendoza, that this scowling savage was yet to place
his heel upon their prostrate forms, and most thoroughly to exhibit,
through weary, sanguinary years, the reality of that tremendous saying,--
"The State? _I_ am the State!"?

Doubtless no. Little as the comrades of Maximin imagined that the
truculent Goth was yet to wear the blood-stained purple, little as the
clients of Robespierre dreamed of the vortex toward which he was being
insensibly hurried by the stream of years, did the men, whose names are
thrown out from their obscurity by the glare of his misdeeds, conceive
that their fortunes, their lives, all things but their souls, were shortly
to depend upon the capricious breath of this servant who so quietly pounds
away upon their mud inclosures.

He does not long, however, remain the companion of peons. Eighteen hundred
and ten has come, bringing with it liberty, and bloodshed, and universal
discord. The sun of May beams down upon a desolated land. For the mild,
although repressive viceregal sway is substituted that of a swarm of
military chieftains, who, fighting as patriots against Liniers and his
ill-fated troops, as rivals with each other, or as _montanero_-freebooters
against all combined, swept the plains with their harrying lancers from
the seacoast to the base of the Cordillera.

In this period of anarchy we catch another glimpse of Juan Facundo. He has
worked his way down to Buenos Ayres, nine hundred miles from home, and
enlists in the regiment of _Arribeños_, raised by his countryman, General
Ocampo, to take part in the liberation of Chile. But even the
infinitesimal degree of discipline to which his fellow-soldiers had been
reduced was too much for his wild spirit; already he feels that command,
and not obedience, is his birthright; there is soon a vacancy in the
ranks.

With three companions Quiroga took to the desert. He was followed and
overtaken by an armed detachment, or _partida_; summoned to surrender; the
odds are overpowering. But this man bids defiance to the world; he is yet,
in this very region, to rout well-appointed and disciplined armies with a
handful of men; and he engages the _partida_. A sanguinary conflict is the
result, in which Quiroga, slaying four or five of his assailants, comes
off victorious, and pursues his journey in the teeth of other bands which
are ordered to arrest him. He reaches his native plains, and, after a
flying visit to his parents, we again lose sight of the _Gaucho malo_.
Blurred rumors of his actions have, indeed, been preserved; accounts of
brutality toward his gray-haired father, of burnings of the dwelling in
which he first saw the light, of endless gaming, and plentiful shedding of
blood; but we hear nothing positive concerning him until the year 1818.
Somewhere in that year he determines to join the band of freebooters under
Ramirez, which was then devastating the eastern provinces. And here--O
deep designs of Fate!--the very means intended to check his mad career
serve only to accelerate its development. Dupuis, governor of San Luis,
through which province he is passing on his way to join Ramirez, arrests
the _Gaucho malo_, and throws him into the common jail, there to rot or
starve as Fortune may direct.

But she had other things in store for him. A number of Spanish officers,
captured by San Martin in Chile, were confined within the same walls.
Goaded to the energy of despair by their sufferings, and convinced that
after all they could die no more than once, the Spaniards rose one day,
broke open the doors of their prison, and proceeded to that part of the
building where the common malefactors, and among them Juan Facundo, were
confined. No sooner was Facundo set at liberty, than he snatched the bolt
of the prison-gate, from the very hand which had just withdrawn it to set
him free, crushed the Spaniard's skull with the heavy iron, and swung it
right and left, until, according to his own statement, made at a later
date, no less than fourteen corpses were stiffening on the ground. His
example incited his companions to aid him in subduing the revolt of their
fellow-prisoners; and, as a reward for "loyal and heroic conduct," he was
restored to his privileges as a citizen.

Thus, in the energetic language of his biographer, was his name ennobled,
and cleansed, but with _blood_, from the stains that defiled it.
Persecuted no longer, nay, even caressed by the government, he returned to
his native plains, to stalk with added haughtiness and new titles to
esteem among his brother Gauchos of La Rioja.

Having in this manner taken a rapid survey of the most salient points in
his private career up to the year 1820, we may pause for a moment, before
studying his public life, to glance at the condition of his native country
in the first decade of its independence. The partial separation from
Spain, which was effected on the 25th May, 1810, was followed by a long
and bloody struggle, in all the southern provinces, between the royal
forces and the adherents of the Provisional Junta. Such framework of
government as had been in existence was practically annihilated, and the
various provinces of the late Viceroyalty of Buenos Ayres fell a prey to
the military chieftains who could attract around them the largest number
of Gaucho cavalry,--while civilization, commerce, and every peaceful art,
declined at a rapid rate. No alteration in this state of affairs was
effected by the final Declaration of Independence, made at Tucuman, July
9, 1816; and in 1820, Buenos Ayres, the seat of the government which
claimed to be supreme, was seized by a confederacy of the provincial
chiefs, who secured, by the destruction of the Directorial Government,
complete and unchallenged independence for themselves. During this
anarchical period, the famous Artigas was harrying the Banda Oriental;
Rosas and Lopez were preparing for their blood-stained careers; Bustos,
Ibarra, and a host of other _caudillos_, ruled the interior provinces; and
Juan Facundo Quiroga was raised to irresponsible power.

In his native province of La Rioja the mastery had for many years been
disputed by two powerful houses, the Ocampos and the Dávilas, both
descended from noble families in Spain. In the year 1820 the former were
triumphant, and possessed all the authority then wielded in the province.
From them Facundo received the appointment of Sergeant-Major of Militia,
with the powers of _Comandante de Campaña_, or District Commandant.

In any other country the nomination to such a post of a man rendered
notorious by his contempt for authority, who already boasted of no less
than thirty murders, and who had voluntarily placed himself in the lowest
ranks of society, would be a thing absolutely incredible; but the Ocampos
probably felt the insecurity of their authority, and were sufficiently
sagacious to attempt, at least, to render that man a useful adherent or
ally, who might, if allured by their foes, prove a terrible weapon against
them. But they found in Quiroga no submissive servant. So openly did he
disregard the injunctions of his superiors, that a corps of the principal
officers in the army entreated their general, Ocampo, to seize upon and
execute the rebellious Gaucho, but failed in inducing him to adopt their
advice. It was not long before he had occasion to repent his leniency, or
his weakness.

A mutiny having occurred among some troops at San Juan, a detachment was
sent against them, and with it Quiroga and his horsemen. The mutineers
proved victorious, and, headed by their ringleaders, Aldao and Corro,
continued their line of march towards the North. While Ocampo with his
beaten troops fell back to wait for reinforcements, Quiroga pursued the
retreating victors, harassed their rear, clogged their every movement, and
proved so formidable to the enemy, that Aldao, abandoning his companion,
made an arrangement with the government of La Rioja, by which he was to be
allowed free passage into San Luis, whither Quiroga was ordered to conduct
him. He joined Aldao.

And here, close upon the summit of the steep he has so easily ascended, we
cannot help pausing for an instant to reflect upon the singular
manifestation of _destiny_ in his life. History acquaints us with no
similar character who displayed so little forethought with such
astonishing results. He premeditated nothing, unless now and then a
murder. He took no trouble to form a plan of government, yet his authority
was unquestioned during many years in Mendoza, Córdova, and San Juan. Even
his most monstrous acts of perfidy appear to have been committed on the
spur of the moment, with less calculation than he gave to a game at cards.
Thrown upon the world with brutal passions scarcely controlled by a
particle of reason, whirled hither and thither in a general and fearful
cataclysm, he shows us preëminently the wonderful designs of Providence
carried into effect, as it were, by a succession of blind and sudden
impulses. In a community of established order the gallows would have put a
speedy check upon his misdeeds; in the Argentine Confederation of 1820 he
was gradually lifted, by an ever-rising tide of blood, to the eminence of
lawless power.

Only for a while, however; for the stream did not cease to rise. The flood
that had elevated him alone disregarded his commands. For a few moments he
might maintain his footing upon the fearful peak; and then--

But as yet he is only _Comandante de Campaña_, escorting the rebel Aldao
into San Luis. He took no pains to conceal his discontent with the
government of Ocampo, nor was Aldao slow in noticing or availing himself
of his disaffection. He offered Quiroga a hundred men, if he chose to
overturn the government and seize upon La Rioja. Quiroga eagerly accepted,
marched upon the city, took it by surprise, threw the Ocampos and their
subordinates into prison, and sent them confessors, with the order to
prepare for death. The remainder of Aldao's force was subsequently induced
to join his cause, and, on the intercession of some of its leaders, the
incarcerated Ocampos were suffered to escape with their lives.

Their banished enemy, Don Nicolas Dávila, was called from Tucuman to the
nominal governorship of La Rioja, while Quiroga retained, with his old
title, the actual rule of the province. But Dávila was not long content
with this mere semblance of authority. During the temporary absence of
Quiroga, he concerted with Araya, one of the men of Aldao, a plan for the
capture of their master. Quiroga heard of it,--he heard of everything,--
and his answer was the assassination of Captain Araya! Summoned by the
government which he himself had created to answer the accusation of
instigated murder, he advanced upon the Dávilas with his Llanista
horsemen. Miguel and Nicolas Dávila hastily assembled a body of troops,
and prepared for a final struggle. While the two armies were in presence
of each other, a commissioner from Mendoza endeavored to effect a
peaceable arrangement between their chiefs. Passing from one camp to the
other with propositions and conditions, he inspired the soldiers of the
Dávilas with a fatal security. Quiroga, falling suddenly upon them in the
midst of the negotiations, routed them with ease, and slew their general,
who, with a small body of devoted followers, made a fierce onslaught upon
him personally, and succeeded in inflicting upon him a severe wound before
he was shot down. Thenceforth,--from the year 1823,--Quiroga was despot
of La Rioja.

His government was simple enough. His two engrossing objects--if objects,
indeed, he may be said to have possessed--were extortion and the
uprooting of the last vestiges of civilization and law; his instruments,
the dagger and the lash; his amusement, the torture of unwitting
offenders; his serious occupation, the shuffling of cards. For gambling
the man had an insatiable thirst; he played once for forty hours without
intermission; it was death to refuse a game with him; no one might cease
playing without his express commands; no one durst win the stakes; and as
a consequence, he accumulated at cards in a few years almost all the
coined money then existing in the province.[2] Not content with this
source of revenue, he became a farmer of the _diezmo_ or tithes,
appropriated to himself the _mostrenco_ or unbranded cattle, by which
means he speedily became proprietor of many thousand head, even
established a monopoly of beef in his own favor,--and woe to the luckless
fool who should dare to infringe upon the terrible barbarian's
prerogative!

[Footnote 2: Thus the Monagas, the late rulers of Venezuela, are accused
of denuding their country of specie in order to accumulate a vast treasure
abroad in expectation of a rainy day.]

What was the state of society, it will undoubtedly be inquired, in which
the defeat of a handful of men could result in such a despotism? We have
already glanced at the people of La Rioja,--at their dreamy, Oriental
character, at their pastoral pursuits. A community of herdsmen, scattered
over an extensive territory, and deprived at one blow of the two great
families to whom they had been accustomed to look up, with infantine
submission, as their God-appointed chiefs,--these were not the men to
stand up, unprompted by a single master-mind, to rid themselves of one
whose oppression was, after all, only a new form of the treatment to
which, for an entire generation, they had been subjected. La Rioja and San
Juan were the only two provinces in which Quiroga's heavy hand was felt
continuously; in the others he ruled rather by influence than in person;
and the Gauchos, as a matter of course, were enthusiastic for a man who
exalted the peasant at the expense of the citizen, whose exactions were
actually burdensome only to the wealthy, and who permitted every license
to his followers, with the single exception of disobedience to himself.

He was not without--it is impossible that he should have lacked--some of
those instinctive and personal attributes with which almost every savage
chieftain who has maintained so extraordinary an ascendency over his
fellows has been endowed. Sarmiento tells us that he was tall, immensely
powerful, a famous _ginete_ or horseman, a more adroit wielder of the
lasso and the _bolas_ than even his rival, Rosas, capable of great
endurance, and abstinent from intoxicating drinks.

His eye and voice were dreaded more by his soldiers than the lances of
their antagonists. He could wring a Gaucho's secret from his breast; it
was useless to attempt a subterfuge before him. Some article, we are told,
was once stolen from a company of his troops, and every effort for its
recovery proved fruitless. It was reported to Quiroga. He paraded the men,
and, having procured a number of sticks, exactly equal in length, gave to
each man one, proclaiming that the soldier whose stick should be found
longer than the others next morning had been the thief. Next morning he
again drew up his troops. The sticks were mustered by Quiroga himself. Not
one had grown since the previous day; but there was one which was shorter
than the rest. With a terrible roar, Quiroga seized the trembling Gaucho
to whom the stick belonged. "Thou art the thief!" he exclaimed. It was so;
the fellow had cut off a portion of the wood, hoping thus to escape
detection by its growth![3]--

[Footnote 3: Since the above was written, we have heard of the adoption of
an expedient identical with that of Quiroga, under similar circumstances,
and with the same result. The detector was, however, an English seaman,
now captain of a well-known steam-vessel, who forming part of a crew one
of whom had lost a sum of money, broke off ten twigs of equal length from
a broom, and distributed them among his shipmates, with the same
observation as was used by the Argentine chief. Two hours later he
examined them, and found that the negro steward had _shortened_ his
allotted twig. The money was restored.--The coincidence is instructive.]

Another time, one of his soldiers had been robbed of some trappings, and
no trace of the thief could be discovered. Quiroga ordered the detachment
to file past him, one by one. He stood, himself, with folded arms and
terrible eyes, perusing each man as he passed. At length he darted
forward, pounced upon one of the soldiers, and shouted, "Where is the
_montura_?" "In yonder thicket!" stammered out the self-convicted thief.
"Four musketeers this way!" and the commander was not out of sight before
the wretched Gaucho was a corpse. In these instinctive qualities, so awful
to untutored minds, lay the secret of the power of Quiroga,--and of how
many others of the world's most famous names!

Already in 1825 he was recognized as a lawful authority by the government
of Buenos Ayres, and invited to take part in a Congress of Generals at
that city. At the same time, however, he received a military errand. The
Province of Tucuman having been seized by a young Buenos Ayrean officer,
Colonel Madrid, Quiroga was requested to march against the successful
upstart, and to restore the cause of law and order,--an undertaking
scarcely congruous with his own antecedents. The chief of La Rioja,
however, eagerly accepted the mission, marched with a small force into
Tucuman, routed Madrid, (and this literally, for his army ran away,
leaving the Colonel to charge Quiroga's force alone, which he did,
escaping by a miracle with his life,) and returned to La Rioja and San
Juan. Into the latter town he made a triumphal entry, through streets
lined on both sides with the principal inhabitants, whom he passed by in
disdainful silence, and who humbly followed the Gaucho tyrant to his
quarters in a clover-field, where he allowed them to stand in anxious
humiliation while he conversed at length with an old negress whom he
seated by his side. Not ten years had elapsed since these very men might
have beheld him pounding _tapias_ on this spot!

We do not propose following the blood-stained career of Juan Facundo
through all its windings and episodes of cruelty and blood. Suffice it to
say, that, with the title of _Comandante de Campaña_, he retained in La
Rioja every fraction of actual power,--nominating, nevertheless, a shadowy
governor, who, if he attempted any independent action, was instantly
deposed. His influence gradually extended over the neighboring provinces;
thrice he encountered and defeated Madrid; while at home he gambled,
levied contributions, bastinadoed, and added largely to his army. He
excelled his contemporary, Francia, in the art of inspiring terror; he
only fell short of Rosas in the results. A wry look might at any time call
down upon a luckless child a hundred lashes. He once split the skull of
his own illegitimate son for some trifling act of disobedience. A lady,
who once said to him, while he was in a bad humor, _Adios, mi General_,
was publicly flogged. A young girl, who would not yield to his wishes, he
threw down upon the floor, and kicked her with his heavy boots until she
lay in a pool of blood. Truly, a ruler after the Russian sort!

Dorrego, meanwhile, was at the head of affairs at Buenos Ayres. Opposed to
the "Unitarianism" of Lavalle and Paz, who would have made of their
country, not a republic "one and indivisible," but a confederation after
the model in the North, Dorrego was chiefly anxious to consolidate his
power in the maritime state of Buenos Ayres, leaving the interior
provinces to their own devices, and to the tender mercies of Lopez,
Quiroga, Bustos, with a dozen other Gaucho chiefs. Rosas, the incarnation
of the spirit which was then distracting the entire Confederation, was
made Commandant General by Dorrego, who, however, frequently threatened to
shoot "the insolent boor," but who, unfortunately for his country, never
fulfilled the threat. As for himself, he, indeed, met with that fate at
the hands of Lavalle, who landed with an army from the opposite coast of
Uruguay, defeated Dorrego and Rosas in a pitched battle at the gates of
Buenos Ayres, and entered the city in triumph a few hours later.

With the ascendency of Lavalle came the inauguration--and, alas! only the
inauguration--of a new system. Paz, one of the few Argentinians who really
deserved the name of General that they bore, was sent to Córdova, with
eight hundred veterans of his old command. He defeated Bustos, the tyrant
of Córdova, took possession of the city, (one of the most important
strategic points upon the Pampas,) and restored that confidence and
security to which its inhabitants had so long been strangers. This action
was at the same time a challenge to Quiroga in his neighboring domain. It
was a warning that right was beginning to assert its supremacy over might;
nor was the hero of La Rioja slow to understand it. Collecting a band of
four thousand Gaucho lancers, he marched upon Córdova with the assurance
of an easy victory. The _boleado_ General! The idea of _his_ opposing the
Tiger of the Plains!

What followed this movement is a matter of general history. The battle of
the Tablada has had European, and therefore American, celebrity. It is
known to those who think of Chacabuco and Maipú, of Navarro and Monte
Caseros, only as of spots upon the map; let it, therefore, suffice to say
that Quiroga was beaten decisively, unmistakably, terribly. The serried
veterans of Paz, schooled in the Brazilian wars, stood grimly to the death
before the fiery onslaught of Quiroga; in vain did his horsemen shatter
themselves against the Unitarian General's scanty squares; the tactics of
civilized warfare proved for the first time successful on these plains
against wild ferocity and a larger force; Quiroga was driven back at
length with fearful slaughter, with the loss of arms, ammunition,
reputation, and of seventeen hundred men. He returned to La Rioja, with
the disorganized remnant of his band, marking his path with blood and the
infliction of atrocious chastisements. Even in adversity he is terrible
and is obeyed.

For nearly two years he divided his time between the provinces of San
Juan, Tucuman, and La Rioja, engaged in the prosecution of his designs,
chief among which was the destruction of Paz, who remained at Córdova,
intending to act only on the defensive. At length, in 1830, he considered
himself sufficiently strong for an attack on his recent conqueror. Paz was
unwilling to shed blood a second time; he offered advantageous terms to
Quiroga; but the boastful Gaucho, full of confidence in his savage
lancers, refused to negotiate, and marched against his skilful but
unpresuming antagonist. Paz secretly evacuated Córdova, and, moving
westward, hazarded a feat which is alone sufficient to establish his
character as the best tactician of the New World,--San Martin alone,
perhaps, excepted. Splitting his little army into a dozen brigades, he
occupied the entire mountain-range behind the town, operated, with scarce
five thousand men, upon a front of two hundred miles in extent, held in
his own unwavering grasp the reins which controlled the movements of every
division, and gradually inclosed, as in a net, the forces of Quiroga and
Villafañe. In vain they struggled and blindly sought an exit; every door
was closed; until, finally, after a campaign of fifteen days, the
narrowing battalions of Paz surrounded, engaged, and utterly defeated at
Oncativo the bewildered army on whose success Quiroga had staked his all.

The Gaucho himself again escaped. After seven years of dictatorial power,
he is once more reduced to the level upon which we saw him standing in
1818, a vagabond at Buenos Ayres, although from that level he may raise
his head a trifle higher.

And here we might conclude, having seen his rocket-like ascent, and the
swiftly-falling night of his career,--having seen him a laborer, a
deserter, a General, a Dictator, a fugitive; but much remains to be
narrated. Passing over, with the barest mention, his temporary return to
power, which he accomplished by one of those lightning-like expeditions
that even among Gaucho horsemen rendered him conspicuous, let us hasten on
to the great dramatic crisis of his history; and taking no notice of the
five years of marching and countermarching, scheming, fighting, and
negotiating, that intervened between his defeat at the Laguna Larga and
1835, draw to a close our hasty sketch.

In that year, after taking part in a disorderly and fruitless expedition
planned by Rosas to secure the southern frontier against Indian attacks,
he suddenly made his appearance at Buenos Ayres, with a body of armed
satellites, who inspired the newly-seated Dictator--the famous Juan Manuel
de Rosas, who has been already so often mentioned in these pages--with
vivid apprehensions. Rosas, Quiroga, Lopez--the Triumvirate of La Plata--
were bound together, it is true, by a potent tie,--by the strongest,
indeed,--that of self-interest; but as each of the three, and especially
Rosas, was in continual dread lest that consideration in his colleagues
should clash with his own intentions, the presence of Quiroga at Buenos
 Ayres was far from satisfactory to the remaining two. His influence over
half a dozen of the despotic governors in the interior was still immense;
the Pampa was his own, after all his defeats; and it was shrewdly
suspected that his indifference to power in La Rioja, and his mysterious
visit to the maritime capital, were indications of a design to seize upon
the government of Buenos Ayres itself. Nor were the actions of Quiroga
suited to remove these apprehensions. The sanguinary despot of the
interior bloomed in the Buenos Ayrean _cafés_ into a profound admirer of
Rivadavia, Lavalle, and Paz, his ancient Unitarian enemies; Buenos Ayres,
the Confederation, he loudly proclaimed, must have a Constitution;
conciliation must supplant the iron-heeled tyranny under which the people
had groaned so long; the very jaguar of the Pampa, said the Porteño wits,
--not yet wholly muzzled by the dread _Mazorca_, or Club, of Rosas,--was
to be stripped of his claws, and made to live on _matagusano_ twigs and
thistles! _Redeunt Saturnia regna!_ The reign of blood, according to
Quiroga, its chief evangelist, was approaching its termination.

In order to form a conception of the effect produced by these
transactions, we must imagine Pelissier or Walewski entertaining, twenty-
three years later, the _cercles_ at Paris with discourses from the beauty
of the last _régime_, with eulogies of Lamartine, and apotheoses of Louis
Blanc; sneering at Espinasse, and eulogizing Cavaignac; vowing that France
can be governed only under a liberal constitution, and paying a visit to
his Majesty, the Elect of December, with a rough-and-tumble suite of
Republican bravos. Assuredly, were such a thing possible in Paris, the
gentlemen in question would very shortly be reviling English hospitality
under its protecting aegis, if not dying of fever at Cayenne. Nor could
Rosas, who was at that time far less firmly seated on his throne than is
at present the man who wields the destinies of France, endure so powerful
a rival in his vicinity. But how to get rid of him? Assassination, by
which a minor offender was so speedily put out of the way, could not
safely be attempted with a man who yet retained a singular mastery over
the minds of thousands of brutal and strong-armed horsemen; a false step
would result in inevitable destruction; and many anxious days were spent
by the gloomy tyrant ere he could decide upon a plan for disposing of his
inconvenient friend.

In the midst of this perplexity intelligence was received of a
disagreement between the governments of Salta, Tucuman, and Santiago,
provinces of the interior, which threatened to expand into warlike
proceedings. Rosas sent for Quiroga. No one but the hero of La Rioja, he
insinuated, had sufficient influence to bring about a settlement of these
disputes; no one but he had power to prevent a war; would he not,
therefore, hasten to Tucuman, and obviate so dire a calamity? Quiroga
hesitated, refused, consented, wavered, and again declined the task. With
a vacillation to which he had hitherto been a stranger, he remained for
many days undecided; a suspicion of deceit appears to have presented
itself to his mind; but at length he resolved to accept the commission.
His hesitation, meanwhile, had completed his ruin; it had given time for
the maturing of deadly plans.

In midsummer, 1835, (December 18th,) the Gaucho chieftain commenced his
fateful journey. As he entered the carriage which was to be his home for
many days, and bade farewell to the adherents who were assembled to
witness his departure, he turned toward the city with a wild expression
and words that were remembered afterwards. _Si salgo bien_, he said, _te
volevré á ver; si no, adios para siempre!_ "If I succeed, I shall see thee
again; if not, farewell forever!" Was it a presentiment of the truth which
came upon him, like that which clouded the great mind of the first
Napoleon as he left the Tuileries when the Hundred Days were running out?

One hour before his departure, a mounted messenger had been dispatched
from Buenos Ayres in the same direction as that he was about to follow;
and the city was scarcely out of sight when Quiroga manifested the most
feverish anxiety to overtake this man. His travelling companions were his
secretary, Dr. Ortiz, and a young man of his acquaintance, bound for
Córdova, to whom he had given a seat in his vehicle. The postilions were
incessantly admonished to make haste. At a shallow stream which they
forded, in the mud of which the wheels became imbedded, resisting every
effort for their release, Quiroga actually hooked the postmaster of the
district, who had hastened to the spot, to the carriage, and made him join
his exertions to those of the horses until the vehicle was extricated,
when he sped onward with fearful velocity, asking at every post-station,
"When did the _chasquí_ from Buenos Ayres pass? An hour ago! Forward,
then!" and the carriage swept onward, on unceasingly, across the lonely
Pampa,--racing, as it afterwards proved, with Death.

At last, Córdova, nearly six hundred miles from his starting-point, was
reached, just one hour after the arrival of the hunted courier. Quiroga
was besought by the cringing magistracy to spend the night in their city.
His only answer was, "Give me horses!" and two hours before midnight he
rolled out of Córdova, having _beaten_ in the grisly race.

Beaten, inasmuch as he was yet alive. For Córdova was ringing with the
details of his intended assassination. Such and such men were to have done
the deed; at such a shop the pistol had been bought; at such a spot it was
to have been fired;--but the marvellous swiftness of the intended victim
had ruined all.

Meanwhile, Quiroga sped onward more at ease toward Tucuman. Arrived there,
he speedily arranged the matters in dispute, and was entreated by the
governors of that province and of Santiago to accept of an escort on his
return; he was besought to avoid Córdova, to avoid Buenos Ayres; he was
counselled to throw off the mask of subservience, and to rally his
numerous adherents in La Rioja and San Juan;--but remonstrance and advice
were alike thrown away upon him. In vain was the most circumstantial
account of the preparations for his murder sent by friends from Córdova;
he appeared as foolhardy now in February as in December he had been panic-
stricken. "To Córdova!" he shouted, as he entered his _galera_; and for
Córdova the postilions steered.

At the little post-hut of Ojos del Agua, in the State of Córdova, Quiroga,
with his secretary, Ortiz, halted one night on the homeward journey.
Shortly before reaching the place, a young man had mysteriously stopped
the carriage, and had warned its hurrying inmates that at a spot called
Barranca Yaco a _partida_, headed by one Santos Perez, was awaiting the
arrival of Quiroga. There the massacre was to take place. The youth, who
had formerly experienced kindness at the hands of Ortiz, begged him to
avoid the danger. The unhappy secretary was rendered almost insane with
terror, but his master sternly rebuked his fears.--"The man is not yet
born," he said, "who shall slay Facundo Quiroga! At a word from me these
fellows will put themselves at my command, and form my escort into
Córdova!"

The night at Ojos del Agua was passed sleeplessly enough by the unhappy
Ortiz, but Quiroga was not to be persuaded into ordinary precautions.
Confident in his mastery over the minds of men, he set out unguarded, on
the 18th of February, at break of day. The party consisted of the
chieftain and his trembling secretary, a negro servant on horseback, two
postilions,--one of them a mere lad,--and a couple of couriers who were
travelling in the same direction.

Who that has been on the Pampas but can picture to himself this party as
it left the little mud-hut on the plain? The cumbrous, oscillating
_galera_, with its shaggy, straggling four-in-hand,--the caracoling Gaucho
couriers,--the negro pricking on behind,--the tall grass rolling out on
every side,--the muddy pool that forms the watering-place for beasts and
men scattered over a hundred miles of brookless plain,--the great sun
streaming up from the herbage just in front, awakening the voices of a
million insects and the carols of unnumbered birds in the thickets here
and there! Look long, Quiroga, on that rising sun! listen to the well-
known melody that welcomes his approach! gaze once more upon the rolling
Pampa! look again upon those flying hills! Thou who hast said, "There is
no life but this life," who didst "believe in nothing," shalt know these
things no more! five minutes hence thy statecraft will be over, thy long
apprenticeship will have expired! thou shalt be standing--where thou mayst
learn the secret that the wisest man of all the bookworms thou despisest
will never know alive!

Barranca Yaco is reached. The warning was well founded. A crack is heard,
--there is a puff of smoke,--and two musket-balls pass each other in the
carriage, yet without inflicting injury on its occupants. From either side
the road, however, the _partida_ dashes forth. In a moment the horses are
disabled, the postilions, the negro, and the couriers cut down. Ortiz
trembles more violently than ever; Quiroga rises above himself. Looking
from the carriage while the butchery is going on, he addresses the
murderers with a few unfaltering words. There is glamour in his speech;
the ensanguined assassins hesitate,--another instant, only one moment
more, and they will be on their knees before him; but Santos Perez, who
was at one side, comes up, raises his piece,--and the body of Juan Fecundo
Quiroga falls in a soulless heap with a bullet in the brain! Ortiz was
immediately hacked to pieces; and the tragedy of Córdova is at an end.

Such were the life, misdeeds, and death of the Terror of the Pampas.
Having in the most rapid and imperfect manner sketched the career of this
extraordinary Fortune's-child, his rise from the most abject condition to
unbridled power, his ferocious rule, and his almost heroic end, we may
surely exclaim, that "nothing in his life became him like the leaving of
it," and, presenting this bare _résumé_ of facts as a mere outline, a mere
pen-and-ink sketch of the terrible chieftain, refer the curious student to
the impassioned narrative whence our facts are mainly derived.

It may be well to add, that Santos Perez, who was actively pursued by the
government of Buenos Ayres, which itself had instigated him to the
commission of the crime, was finally, after many hairbreadth escapes,
betrayed by his mistress to the agents of Rosas, and suffered death at
Buenos Ayres with savage fortitude. The Lord have mercy on his soul!



MADEMOISELLE'S CAMPAIGNS.


THE SCENE AND THE ACTORS.

The heroine of our tale is one so famous in history that her proper name
never appears in it. The seeming paradox is the soberest fact. To us
Americans, glory lies in the abundant display of one's personal
appellation in the newspapers. Our heroine lived in the most gossiping of
all ages, herself its greatest gossip; yet her own name, patronymic or
baptismal, never was talked about. It was not that she sank that name
beneath high-sounding titles; she only elevated the most commonplace of
all titles till she monopolized it, and it monopolized her. Anne Marie
Louise d'Orléans, Souveraine de Dombes, Princesse Dauphine d'Auvergne,
Duchesse de Montpensier, is forgotten, or rather was never remembered; but
the great name of MADEMOISELLE, _La Grande Mademoiselle_, gleams like a
golden thread shot through and through that gorgeous tapestry of crimson
and purple which records for us the age of Louis Quatorze.

In May of the year 1627, while the Queen and Princess of England lived in
weary exile at Paris,--while the slow tide of events was drawing their
husband and father to his scaffold,--while Sir John Eliot was awaiting in
the Tower of London the summoning of the Third Parliament,--while the
troops of Buckingham lay dying, without an enemy, upon the Isle of Rhé,--
while the Council of Plymouth were selling their title to the lands of
Massachusetts Bay,--at the very crisis of the terrible siege of Rochelle,
and perhaps during the very hour when the Three Guardsmen of Dumas held
that famous bastion against an army, the heroine of our story was born.
And she, like the Three Guardsmen, waited till twenty years after for a
career.

The twenty years are over. Richelieu is dead. The strongest will that ever
ruled France has passed away; and the poor, broken King has hunted his
last badger at St. Germain, and meekly followed his master to the grave,
as he had always followed him. Louis XIII., called Louis Le Juste, not
from the predominance of that particular virtue (or any other) in his
character, but simply because he happened to be born under the
constellation of the Scales, has died like a Frenchman, in peace with all
the world except his wife. That beautiful and queenly wife, Anne of
Austria, (Spaniard though she was,)--no longer the wild and passionate
girl who fascinated Buckingham and embroiled two kingdoms,--has hastened
within four days to defy all the dying imprecations of her husband, by
reversing every plan and every appointment he has made. The little prince
has already shown all the Grand Monarque in his childish "Je suis Louis
Quatorze," and has been carried in his bib to hold his first parliament.
That parliament, heroic as its English contemporary, though less
successful, has reached the point of revolution at last. Civil war is
impending. Condé, at twenty-one the greatest general in Europe, after
changing sides a hundred times in a week, is fixed at last. Turenne is
arrayed against him. The young, the brave, the beautiful cluster around
them. The performers are drawn up in line,--the curtain rises,--the play
is "The Wars of the Fronde,"--and into that brilliant arena, like some
fair circus equestrian, gay, spangled, and daring, rides Mademoiselle.

Almost all French historians, from Voltaire to Cousin, (St. Aulaire being
the chief exception,) speak lightly of the Wars of the Fronde. "La Fronde
n'est pas sérieuse." Of course it was not. If it had been serious, it
would not have been French. Of course, French insurrections, like French
despotisms, have always been tempered by epigrams; of course, the people
went out to the conflicts in ribbons and feathers; of course, over every
battle there pelted down a shower of satire, like the rain at the Eglinton
tournament. More than two hundred pamphlets rattled on the head of Condé
alone, and the collection of _Mazarinades_, preserved by the Cardinal
himself, fills sixty-nine volumes in quarto. From every field the first
crop was glory, the second a _bon-mot_. When the dagger of De Retz fell
from his breast-pocket, it was "our good archbishop's breviary"; and when
his famous Corinthian troop was defeated in battle, it was "the First
Epistle to the Corinthians." While, across the Channel, Charles Stuart was
listening to his doom, Paris was gay in the midst of dangers, Madame de
Longueville was receiving her gallants in mimic court at the Hôtel de
Ville, De Retz was wearing his sword-belt over his archbishop's gown, the
little hunchback Conti was generalissimo, and the starving people were
pillaging Mazarin's library, in joke, "to find something to gnaw upon."
Outside the walls, the maids-of-honor were quarrelling over the straw beds
which annihilated all the romance of martyrdom, and Condé, with five
thousand men, was besieging five hundred thousand. No matter, they all
laughed through it, and through every succeeding turn of the kaleidoscope;
and the "Anything may happen in France," with which La Rochefoucauld
jumped amicably into the carriage of his mortal enemy, was not only the
first and best of his maxims, but the key-note of French history for all
coming time.

But behind all this sport, as in all the annals of the nation, were
mysteries and terrors and crimes. It was the age of cabalistic ciphers,
like that of De Retz, of which Guy Joli dreamed the solution; of
inexplicable secrets, like the Man in the Iron Mask, whereof no solution
was ever dreamed; of poisons, like that diamond-dust which in six hours
transformed the fresh beauty of the Princess Royal into foul decay; of
dungeons, like that cell at Vincennes which Madame de Rambouillet
pronounced to be "worth its weight in arsenic." War or peace hung on the
color of a ball-dress, and Madame de Chevreuse knew which party was coming
uppermost, by observing whether the binding of Madame de Hautefort's
prayer-book was red or green. Perhaps it was all a little theatrical, but
the performers were all Rachels.

And behind the crimes and the frivolities stood the Parliaments, calm and
undaunted, with leaders, like Molé and Talon, who needed nothing but
success to make their names as grand in history as those of Pym and
Hampden. Among the Brienne Papers in the British Museum there is a
collection of the manifestoes and proclamations of that time, and they are
earnest, eloquent, and powerful, from beginning to end. Lord Mahon alone
among historians, so far as our knowledge goes, has done fit and full
justice to the French parliaments, those assemblies which refused
admission to the foreign armies which the nobles would gladly have
summoned in,--but fed and protected the banished princesses of England,
when the court party had left those descendants of the Bourbons to die of
cold and hunger in the palace of their ancestors. And we have the
testimony of Henrietta Maria herself, the only person who had seen both
revolutions near at hand, that "the troubles in England never appeared so
formidable in their early days, nor were the leaders of the revolutionary
party so ardent or so united." The character of the agitation was no more
to be judged by its jokes and epigrams, than the gloomy glory of the
English Puritans by the grotesque names of their saints, or the stern
resolution of the Dutch burghers by their guilds of rhetoric and
symbolical melodrama.

But popular power was not yet developed in France, as it was in England;
all social order was unsettled and changing, and well Mazarin knew it. He
knew the pieces with which he played his game of chess: the king
powerless, the queen mighty, the bishops unable to take a single
straightforward move, and the knights going naturally zigzag; but a host
of plebeian pawns, every one fit for a possible royalty, and therefore to
be used shrewdly, or else annihilated as soon as practicable. True, the
game would not last forever; but after him the deluge.

Our age has forgotten even the meaning of the word Fronde; but here also
the French and Flemish histories run parallel, and the Frondeurs, like the
Gueux, were children of a sarcasm. The Counsellor Bachaumont one day
ridiculed insurrectionists, as resembling the boys who played with slings
(_frondes_) about the streets of Paris, but scattered at the first glimpse
of a policeman. The phrase organized the party. Next morning all fashions
were _à la fronde_,--hats, gloves, fans, bread, and ballads; and it cost
six years of civil war to pay for the Counsellor's facetiousness.

That which was, after all, the most remarkable characteristic of these
wars might be guessed from this fact about the fashions. The Fronde was
preëminently "the War of the Ladies." Educated far beyond the Englishwomen
of their time, they took a controlling share, sometimes ignoble, as often
noble, always powerful, in the affairs of the time. It was not merely a
courtly gallantry which flattered them with a hollow importance. De Retz,
in his Memoirs, compares the women of his age with Elizabeth of England. A
Spanish ambassador once congratulated Mazarin on obtaining temporary
repose. "You are mistaken," he replied, "there is no repose in France, for
I have always women to contend with. In Spain, women have only love-
affairs to employ them; but here we have three who are capable of
governing or overthrowing great kingdoms: the Duchess de Longueville, the
Princess Palatine, and the Duchess de Chevreuse." And there were others as
great as these; and the women who for years outwitted Mazarin and
outgeneralled Condé are deserving of a stronger praise than they have yet
obtained, even from the classic and courtly Cousin.

What men of that age eclipsed or equalled the address and daring of those
delicate and highborn women? What a romance was their ordinary existence!
The Princess Palatine gave refuge to Mme. de Longueville when that alone
saved her from sharing the imprisonment of her brothers Condé and Conti,--
then fled for her own life, by night, with Rochefoucauld. Mme. de
Longueville herself, pursued afterwards by the royal troops, wished to
embark in a little boat, on a dangerous shore, during a midnight storm so
wild that not a fisherman could at first be found to venture forth; the
beautiful fugitive threatened and implored till they consented; the sailor
who bore her in his arms to the boat let her fall amid the furious surges;
she was dragged senseless to the shore again, and, on the instant of
reviving, demanded to repeat the experiment; but as they utterly refused,
she rode inland beneath the tempest, and travelled for fourteen nights
before she could find another place of embarkation.

Madame de Chevreuse rode with one attendant from Paris to Madrid, fleeing
from Richelieu, remaining day and night on her horse, attracting perilous
admiration by the womanly loveliness which no male attire could obscure.
From Spain she went to England, organizing there the French exiles into a
strength which frightened Richelieu; thence to Holland, to conspire nearer
home; back to Paris, on the minister's death, to form the faction of the
Importants; and when the Duke of Beaufort was imprisoned, Mazarin said,
"Of what use to cut off the arms while the head remains?" Ten years from
her first perilous escape, she made a second, dashed through La Vendée,
embarked at St. Malo for Dunkirk, was captured by the fleet of the
Parliament, was released by the Governor of the Isle of Wight, unable to
imprison so beautiful a butterfly, reached her port at last, and in a few
weeks was intriguing at Liège again.

The Duchess de Bouillon, Turenne's sister, purer than those we have named,
but not less daring or determined, after charming the whole population of
Paris by her rebel beauty at the Hôtel de Ville, escaped from her sudden
incarceration by walking through the midst of her guards at dusk,
crouching in the shadow of her little daughter, and afterwards allowed
herself to be recaptured, rather than desert that child's sick-bed.

Then there was Clémence de Maille, purest and noblest of all, niece of
Richelieu and hapless wife of the cruel ingrate Condé, his equal in daring
and his superior in every other high quality. Married a child still
playing with her dolls, and sent at once to a convent to learn to read and
write, she became a woman the instant her husband became a captive; while
he watered his pinks in the garden at Vincennes, she went through France
and raised an army for his relief. Her means were as noble as her ends.
She would not surrender the humblest of her friends to an enemy, or suffer
the massacre of her worst enemy by a friend. She threw herself between the
fire of two hostile parties at Bordeaux, and, while men were falling each
side of her, compelled them to peace. Her deeds rang through Europe. When
she sailed from Bordeaux for Paris at last, thirty thousand people
assembled to bid her farewell. She was loved and admired by all the world,
except that husband for whom she dared so much,--and the Archbishop of
Taen. The respectable Archbishop complained, that "this lady did not prove
that she had been authorized by her husband, an essential provision,
without which no woman can act in law." And Condé himself, whose heart,
physically twice as large as other men's, was spiritually imperceptible,
repaid this stainless nobleness by years of persecution, and bequeathed
her, as a life-long prisoner, to his dastard son.

Then, on the royal side, there was Anne of Austria, sufficient unto
herself, Queen Regent, and every inch a queen, (before all but Mazarin,)--
from the moment when the mob of Paris filed through the chamber of the
boy-king, in his pretended sleep, and the motionless and stately mother
held back the crimson draperies, with the same lovely arm which had waved
perilous farewells to Buckingham,--to the day when the news of the fatal
battle of Gien came to her in her dressing-room, and "she remained
undisturbed before the mirror, not neglecting the arrangement of a single
curl."

In short, every woman who took part in the Ladies' War became heroic,--
from Marguerite of Lorraine, who snatched the pen from her weak husband's
hand and gave De Retz the order for the first insurrection, down to the
wife of the commandant of the Porte St. Roche, who, springing from her bed
to obey that order, made the drums beat to arms and secured the barrier;
and fitly, amid adventurous days like these, opened the career of
Mademoiselle.


II.

THE FIRST CAMPAIGN.

Grandchild of Henri Quatre, niece of Louis XIII., cousin of Louis XIV.,
first princess of the blood, and with the largest income in the nation,
(500,000 livres,) to support these dignities, Mademoiselle was certainly
born in the purple. Her autobiography admits us to very gorgeous company;
the stream of her personal recollections is a perfect Pactolus. There is
almost a surfeit of royalty in it; every card is a court-card, and all her
counters are counts. "I wore at this festival all the crown-jewels of
France, and also those of the Queen of England." "A far greater
establishment was assigned to me than any _fille de France_ had ever had,
not excepting any of my aunts, the Queens of England and of Spain, and the
Duchess of Savoy." "The Queen, my grandmother, gave me as a governess the
same lady who had been governess to the late King." Pageant or funeral, it
is the same thing. "In the midst of these festivities we heard of the
death of the King of Spain; whereat the Queens were greatly afflicted, and
we all went into mourning." Thus, throughout, her Memoirs glitter like the
coat with which the splendid Buckingham astonished the cheaper chivalry of
France: they drop diamonds.

But for any personal career Mademoiselle found at first no opportunity, in
the earlier years of the Fronde. A gay, fearless, flattered girl, she
simply shared the fortunes of the court; laughed at the
festivals in the palace, laughed at the ominous insurrections in the
streets; laughed when the people cheered her, their pet princess; and when
the royal party fled from Paris, she adroitly secured for herself the best
straw-bed at St. Germain, and laughed louder than ever. She despised the
courtiers who flattered her; secretly admired her young cousin Condé, whom
she affected to despise; danced when the court danced, and ran away when
it mourned. She made all manner of fun of her English lover, the future
Charles II., whom she alone of all the world found bashful; and in general
she wasted the golden hours with much excellent fooling. Nor would she,
perhaps, ever have found herself a heroine, but that her respectable
father was a poltroon.

Lord Mahon ventures to assert, that Gaston, Duke of Orléans, was "the most
cowardly prince of whom history makes mention." A strong expression, but
perhaps safe. Holding the most powerful position in the nation, he never
came upon the scene but to commit some new act of ingenious pusillanimity;
while, by some extraordinary chance, every woman of his immediate kindred
was a natural heroine, and became more heroic through disgust at him. His
wife was Marguerite of Lorraine, who originated the first Fronde
insurrection; his daughter turned the scale of the second. But,
personally, he not only had not the courage to act, but he had not the
courage to abstain from acting; he could no more keep out of parties than
in them; but was always busy, waging war in spite of Mars, and negotiating
in spite of Minerva.

And when the second war of the Fronde broke out, it was in spite of
himself that he gave his name and his daughter to the popular cause. When
the fate of the two nations hung trembling in the balance, the royal army
under Turenne advancing on Paris, and almost arrived at the city of
Orléans, and that city likely to take the side of the strongest,--then
Mademoiselle's hour had come. All her sympathies were more and more
inclining to the side of Condé and the people. Orléans was her own
hereditary city. Her father, as was his custom in great emergencies,
declared that he was very ill and must go to bed immediately; but it was
as easy for her to be strong as it was for him to be weak; so she wrung
from him a reluctant plenipotentiary power; she might go herself and try
what her influence could do. And so she rode forth from Paris, one fine
morning, March 27, 1652,--rode with a few attendants, half in enthusiasm,
half in levity, aiming to become a second Joan of Arc, secure the city,
and save the nation. "I felt perfectly delighted," says the young girl,
"at having to play so extraordinary a part."

The people of Paris had heard of her mission, and cheered her as she went.
The officers of the army, with an escort of five hundred men, met her half
way from Paris. Most of them evidently knew her calibre, were delighted to
see her, and installed her at once over a regular council of war. She
entered into the position with her natural promptness. A certain grave M.
de Rohan undertook to tutor her privately, and met his match. In the
public deliberation, there were some differences of opinion. All agreed
that the army should not pass beyond the Loire: this was Gaston's
suggestion, and nevertheless a good one. Beyond this all was left to
Mademoiselle. Mademoiselle intended to go straight to Orléans. "But the
royal army had reached there already." Mademoiselle did not believe it.
"The citizens would not admit her." Mademoiselle would see about that.
Presently the city government of Orléans sent her a letter, in great
dismay, particularly requesting her to keep her distance. Mademoiselle
immediately ordered her coach, and set out for the city. "I was naturally
resolute," she naïvely remarks.

Her siege of Orléans is perhaps the most remarkable on record. She was
right in one thing; the royal army had not arrived: but it might appear at
any moment; so the magistrates quietly shut all their gates, and waited to
see what would happen.

Mademoiselle happened. It was eleven in the morning when she reached the
Porte Bannière, and she sat three hours in her state carriage without
seeing a person. With amusing politeness, the governor of the city at last
sent her some confectionery,--agreeing with John Keats, who held that
young women were beings fitter to be presented with sugar-plums than with
one's time. But he took care to explain that the bonbons were not
official, and did not recognize her authority. So she quietly ate them,
and then decided to take a walk outside the walls. Her council of war
opposed this step, as they did every other; but she coolly said (as the
event proved) that the enthusiasm of the populace would carry the city for
her, if she could only get at them.

So she set out on her walk. Her two beautiful ladies-of-honor, the
Countesses de Fiesque and de Frontenac, went with her; a few attendants
behind. She came to a gate. The people were all gathered inside the
ramparts. "Let me in," demanded the imperious young lady. The astonished
citizens looked at each other and said nothing. She walked on,--the crowd
inside keeping pace with her. She reached another gate. The enthusiasm was
increased. The captain of the guard formed his troops in line and saluted
her. "Open the gate," she again insisted. The poor captain made signs that
he had not the keys. "Break it down, then," coolly suggested the daughter
of the House of Orléans; to which his only reply was a profusion of
profound bows, and the lady walked on.

Those were the days of astrology, and at this moment it occurred to our
Mademoiselle, that the chief astrologer of Paris had predicted success to
all her undertakings, from the noon of this very day until the noon
following. She had never had the slightest faith in the mystic science,
but she turned to her attendant ladies, and remarked that the matter was
settled; she should get in. On went the three, until they reached the bank
of the river, and saw, opposite, the gates which opened on the quay. The
Orléans boatmen came flocking round her, a hardy race, who feared neither
queen nor Mazarin. They would break down any gate she chose. She selected
one, got into a boat, and sending back her terrified male attendants, that
they might have no responsibility in the case, she was rowed to the other
side. Her new allies were already at work, and she climbed from the boat
upon the quay by a high ladder, of which several rounds were broken away.
They worked more and more enthusiastically, though the gate was built to
stand a siege, and stoutly resisted this one. Courage is magnetic; every
moment increased the popular enthusiasm, as these highborn ladies stood
alone among the boatmen; the crowd inside joined in the attack upon the
gate; the guard looked on; the city government remained irresolute at the
Hôtel de Ville, fairly beleaguered and stormed by one princess and two
maids-of-honor.

A crash, and the mighty timbers of the Porte Brûlée yield in the centre.
Aided by the strong and exceedingly soiled hands of her new friends, our
elegant Mademoiselle is lifted, pulled, pushed, and tugged between the
vast iron bars which fortify the gate; and in this fashion, torn,
splashed, and dishevelled generally, she makes entrance into her city. The
guard, promptly adhering to the winning side, present arms to the heroine.
The people fill the air with their applauses; they place her in a large,
wooden chair, and bear her in triumph through the streets. "Everybody came
to kiss my hands, while I was dying with laughter to find myself in so odd
a situation."

Presently our volatile lady told them that she had learned how to walk,
and begged to be put down; then she waited for her countesses, who arrived
bespattered with mud. The drums beat before her, as she set forth again,
and the city government, yielding to the feminine conqueror, came to do
her homage. She carelessly assured them of her clemency. She "had no doubt
that they would soon have opened the gates, but she was naturally of a
very impatient disposition, and could not wait." Moreover, she kindly
suggested, neither party could now find fault with them; and as for the
future, she would save them all trouble, and govern the city herself,--
which she accordingly did.

By confession of all historians, she alone saved the city for the Fronde,
and, for the moment, secured that party the ascendency in the nation. Next
day the advance-guard of the royal forces appeared,--a day too late.
Mademoiselle made a speech (the first in her life) to the city government;
then went forth to her own small army, by this time drawn near, and held
another council. The next day she received a letter from her father,
(whose health was now decidedly restored,) declaring that she had "saved
Orléans and secured Paris, and shown yet more judgment than courage." The
next day Condé came up with his forces, compared his fair cousin to
Gustavus Adolphus, and wrote to her that "her exploit was such as she only
could have performed, and was of the greatest importance."

Mademoiselle staid a little longer at Orléans, while the armies lay
watching each other, or fighting the battle of Bléneau, of which Condé
wrote her an official bulletin, as being generalissimo. She amused herself
easily, went to mass, played at bowls, received the magistrates, stopped
couriers to laugh over their letters, reviewed the troops, signed
passports, held councils, and did many things "for which she should have
thought herself quite unfitted, if she had not found she did them very
well." The enthusiasm she had inspired kept itself unabated, for she
really deserved it. She was everywhere recognized as head of affairs; the
officers of the army drank her health on their knees, when she dined with
them, while the trumpets sounded and the cannons roared; Condé, when
absent, left instructions to his officers, "Obey the commands of
Mademoiselle, as my own"; and her father addressed a despatch from Paris
to her ladies of honor, as Field-Marshals in her army: "À Mesdames les
Comtesses Maréchales de Camp dans l'Armée de ma Fille contre le Mazarin."


III.

CAMPAIGN THE SECOND.

Mademoiselle went back to Paris. Half the population met her outside the
walls; she kept up the heroine, by compulsion, and for a few weeks held
her court as Queen of France. If the Fronde had held its position, she
might very probably have held hers. Condé, being unable to marry her
himself, on account of the continued existence of his invalid wife, (which
he sincerely regretted,) had a fixed design of marrying her to the young
King. Queen Henrietta Maria cordially greeted her, lamented more than ever
her rejection of the "bashful" Charles II., and compared her to the
original Maid of Orléans,--an ominous compliment from an English source.

The royal army drew near; on July 1, 1652, Mademoiselle heard their drums
beating outside. "I shall not stay at home to-day," she said to her
attendants, at two in the morning; "I feel convinced that I shall be
called to do some unforeseen act, as I was at Orléans." And she was not
far wrong. The battle of the Porte St. Antoine was at hand.

Condé and Turenne! The two greatest names in the history of European wars,
until a greater eclipsed them both. Condé, a prophecy of Napoleon, a
general by instinct, incapable of defeat, insatiable of glory, throwing
his marshal's baton within the lines of the enemy, and following it;
passionate, false, unscrupulous, mean. Turenne, the precursor of
Wellington rather, simple, honest, truthful, humble, eating off his iron
camp-equipage to the end of life. If it be true, as the ancients said,
that an army of stags led by a lion is more formidable than an army of
lions led by a stag, then the presence of two such heroes would have given
lustre to the most trivial conflict. But that fight was not trivial upon
which hung the possession of Paris and the fate of France; and between
these two great soldiers it was our Mademoiselle who was again to hold the
balance, and to decide the day.

The battle raged furiously outside the city. Frenchman fought against
Frenchman, and nothing distinguished the two armies except a wisp of straw
in the hat, on the one side, and a piece of paper on the other. The people
of the metropolis, fearing equally the Prince and the King, had shut the
gates against all but the wounded and the dying. The Parliament was
awaiting the result of the battle, before taking sides. The Queen was on
her knees in the Carmelite Chapel. De Retz was shut up in his palace, and
Gaston of Orléans in his,--the latter, as usual, slightly indisposed; and
Mademoiselle, passing anxiously through the streets, met nobleman after
nobleman of her acquaintance, borne with ghastly wounds to his residence.
She knew that the numbers were unequal; she knew that her friends must be
losing ground. She rushed back to her father, and implored him to go forth
in person, rally the citizens, and relieve Condé. It was quite impossible;
he was so exceedingly feeble; he could not walk a hundred yards. "Then,
Sir," said the indignant Princess, "I advise you to go immediately to bed.
The world had better believe that you cannot do your duty, than that you
will not."

Time passed on, each moment registered in blood. Mademoiselle went and
came; still the same sad procession of dead and dying; still the same mad
conflict, Frenchman against Frenchman, in the three great avenues of the
Faubourg St. Antoine. She watched it from the city walls till she could
bear it no longer. One final, desperate appeal, and her dastard father
consented, not to act himself, but again to appoint her his substitute.
Armed with the highest authority, she hastened to the Hôtel de Ville,
where the Parliament was in irresolute session. The citizens thronged
round her, as she went, imploring her to become their leader. She reached
the scene, exhibited her credentials, and breathlessly issued demands
which would have made Gaston's hair stand on end.

"I desire three things," announced Mademoiselle: "first, that the citizens
shall be called to arms."

"It is done," answered the obsequious officials.

"Next," she resolutely went on, "that two thousand men shall be sent to
relieve the troops of the Prince."

They pledged themselves to this also.

"Finally," said the daring lady, conscious of the mine she was springing,
and reserving the one essential point till the last, "that the army of
Condé shall be allowed free passage into the city."

The officials, headed by the Maréchal de l'Hôpital, at once exhibited the
most extreme courtesy of demeanor, and begged leave to assure her Highness
that under no conceivable circumstances could this request be granted.

She let loose upon them all the royal anger of the House of Bourbon. She
remembered the sights she had just seen; she thought of Rochefoucauld,
with his eye shot out and his white garments stained with blood,--of
Guitant shot through the body,--of Roche-Giffard, whom she pitied, "though
a Protestant." Condé might, at that moment, be sharing their fate; all
depended on her; and so Conrart declares, in his Memoirs, that
"Mademoiselle said some strange things to these gentlemen": as, for
instance, that her attendants should throw them out of the window; that
she would pluck off the Marshal's beard; that he should die by no hand but
her's, and the like. When it came to this, the Maréchal de l'Hôpital
stroked his chin with a sense of insecurity, and called the council away
to deliberate; "during which time," says the softened Princess, "leaning
on a window which looked on the St. Esprit, where they were saying mass, I
offered up my prayers to God." At last they came back, and assented to
every one of her propositions.

In a moment she was in the streets again. The first person she met was
Vallon, terribly wounded. "We are lost!" he said. "You are saved!" she
cried, proudly. "I command to-day in Paris, as I commanded in Orléans."
"Vous me rendez la vie," said the reanimated soldier, who had been with
her in her first campaign. On she went, meeting at every step men wounded
in the head, in the body, in the limbs,--on horseback, on foot, on planks,
on barrows,--besides the bodies of the slain. She reached the windows
beside the Porte St. Antoine, and Condé met her there; he rode up, covered
with blood and dust, his scabbard lost, his sword in hand. Before she
could speak, that soul of fire uttered, for the only recorded time in his
career, the word _Despair_: "Ma cousine, vous voyez un homme au
désespoir,"--and burst into tears. But her news instantly revived him, and
his army with him. "Mademoiselle is at the gate," the soldiers cried; and,
with this certainty of a place of refuge, they could do all things. In
this famous fight, five thousand men defended themselves against twelve
thousand, for eight hours. "Did you see Condé himself?" they asked
Turenne, after it was over. "I saw not one, but a dozen Condés," was the
answer; "he was in every place at once."

But there was one danger more for Condé, one opportunity more for
Mademoiselle, that day. Climbing the neighboring towers of the Bastille,
she watched the royal party on the heights of Charonne, and saw fresh
cavalry and artillery detached to aid the army of Turenne. The odds were
already enormous, and there was but one course left for her. She was
mistress of Paris, and therefore mistress of the Bastille. She sent for
the governor of the fortress, and showed him the advancing troops. "Turn
the cannon under your charge, Sir, upon the royal army." Without waiting
to heed the consternation she left behind her, Mademoiselle returned to
the gate. The troops had heard of the advancing reinforcements, and were
drooping again; when, suddenly, the cannon of the Bastille, those Spanish
cannon; flamed out their powerful succor, the royal army halted and
retreated, and the day was won.

The Queen and the Cardinal, watching from Charonne, saw their victims
escape them. But the cannon-shots bewildered them all. "It was probably a
salute to Mademoiselle," suggested some comforting adviser. "No," said the
experienced Maréchal de Villeroi, "if Mademoiselle had a hand in it, the
salute was for us." At this, Mazarin comprehended the whole proceeding,
and coldly consoled himself with a _bon-mot_ that became historic. "Elle a
tué son mari," he said,--meaning that her dreams of matrimony with the
young king must now be ended. No matter; the battle of the Porte St.
Antoine was ended also.

There have been many narratives of that battle, including Napoleon's; they
are hard to reconcile, and our heroine's own is by no means the clearest;
but all essentially agree in the part they ascribe to her. One brief
appendix to the campaign, and her short career of heroism fades into the
light of common day.

Yet a third time did Fortune, showering upon one maiden so many
opportunities at once, summon her to arm herself with her father's
authority, that she might go in his stead into that terrible riot which,
two days after, tarnished the glories of Condé, and by its reaction
overthrew the party of the Fronde ere long. None but Mademoiselle dared to
take the part of that doomed minority in the city government, which, for
resisting her own demands, were to be terribly punished on that fourth-of-
July night. "A conspiracy so base," said the generous Talon, "never
stained the soil of France." By deliberate premeditation, an assault was
made by five hundred disguised soldiers on the Parliament assembled in the
Hôtel de Ville; the tumult spread; the night rang with a civil conflict
more terrible than that of the day. Condé and Gaston were vainly summoned;
the one cared not, the other dared not. Mademoiselle again took her place
in her carriage and drove forth amid the terrors of the night. The sudden
conflict had passed its cruel climax, but she rode through streets
slippery with blood; she was stopped at every corner. Once a man laid his
arm on the window, and asked if Condé was within the carriage. She
answered "No," and he retreated, the flambeaux gleaming on a weapon
beneath his cloak. Through these interruptions, she did not reach the
half-burned and smoking Hôtel de Ville till most of its inmates had left
it; the few remaining she aided to conceal, and emerged again amid the
lingering, yawning crowd, who cheered her with, "God bless Mademoiselle!
all she does is well done."

At four o'clock that morning she went to rest, weary with these days and
nights of responsibility. Sleep soundly, Mademoiselle, you will be
troubled with such no longer. An ignominious peace is at hand; and though
peace, too, has her victories, yours is not a nature grand enough to grasp
them. Last to yield, last to be forgiven, there will yet be little in your
future career to justify the distrust of despots, or to recall the young
heroine of Orléans and St Antoine.


IV.

THE CONCLUSION.

Like a river which loses itself, by infinite subdivision, in the sands, so
the wars of the Fronde disappeared in petty intrigues at last. As the
fighting ended and manoeuvring became the game, of course Mazarin came
uppermost,--Mazarin, that super-Italian, finessing and fascinating, so
deadly sweet, _l'homme plus agréable du monde_, as Madame de Motteville
and Bussy-Rabutin call him,--flattering that he might win, avaricious that
he might be magnificent, winning kings by jewelry and princesses by
lapdogs,--too cowardly for any avoidable collision,--too cool and
economical in his hatred to waste an antagonist by killing him, but always
luring and cajoling him into an unwilling tool,--too serenely careless of
popular emotion even to hate the mob of Paris, any more than a surgeon
hates his own lancet when it cuts him; he only changes his grasp and holds
it more cautiously. Mazarin ruled. And the King was soon joking over the
fight at the Porte St. Antoine, with Condé and Mademoiselle; the Queen at
the same time affectionately assuring our heroine, that, if she could have
got at her on that day, she would certainly have strangled her, but that,
since it was past, she would love her as ever,--as ever; while
Mademoiselle, not to be outdone, lies like a Frenchwoman, and assures the
Queen that really she did not mean to be so naughty, but "she was with
those who induced her to act against her sense of duty!"

The day of civil war was over. The daring heroines and voluptuous blonde
beauties of the Frondeur party must seek excitement elsewhere. Some looked
for it in literature; for the female education of France in that age was
far higher than England could show. The intellectual glory of the reign of
the Grand Monarque began in its women. Marie de Médicis had imported the
Italian grace and wit,--Anne of Austria the Spanish courtesy and romance;
the Hôtel de Rambouillet had united the two, and introduced the _genre
précieux_, or stately style, which was superb in its origin, and dwindled
to absurdity in the hands of Mlle. de Scudéry and her valets, before
Molière smiled it away forever. And now that the wars were done, literary
society came up again. Madame de Sablé exhausted the wit and the cookery
of the age in her fascinating entertainments,--_pâtés_ and Pascal,
Rochefoucauld and _ragoûts_,--Mme. de Brégy's Epictetus, Mme. de Choisy's
salads,--confectionery, marmalade, elixirs, Des Cartes, Arnould,
Calvinism, and the barometer. Mme. de Sablé had a sentimental theory that
no woman should eat at the same table with a lover, but she liked to see
her lovers eat, and Mademoiselle, in her obsolete novel of the "Princesse
de Paphlagonie," gently satirizes this passion of her friend. And
Mademoiselle herself finally eclipsed the Sablé by her own entertainments
at her palace of the Luxembourg, where she offered no dish but one of
gossip, serving up herself and friends in a course of "Portraits" so
appetizing that it became the fashion for ten years, and reached
perfection at last in the famous "Characters" of La Bruyère.

Other heroines went into convents, joined the Carmelites, or those nuns of
Port-Royal of whom the Archbishop of Paris said that they lived in the
purity of angels and the pride of devils. Thither went Madame de Sablé
herself, finally,--"the late Madame," as the dashing young abbés called
her when she renounced the world. Thither she drew the beautiful
Longueville also, and Heaven smiled on one repentance that seemed sincere.
There they found peace in the home of Angélique Arnould and Jacqueline
Pascal. And thence those heroic women came forth again, when religious war
threatened to take the place of civil: again they put to shame their more
timid male companions, and by their labors Jesuit and Jansenist found
peace.

But not such was to be the career of our Mademoiselle, who, at twenty, had
tried the part of devotee for one week and renounced it forever. No doubt,
at thirty-five, she "began to understand that it is part of the duty of a
Christian to attend High Mass on Sundays and holy days"; and her
description of the deathbed of Anne of Austria is a most extraordinary
jumble of the next world and this. But thus much of devotion was to her
only a part of the proprieties of life, and before the altar of those
proprieties she served, for the rest of her existence, with exemplary
zeal. At forty, she was still the wealthiest unmarried princess in Europe;
fastidious in toilette, stainless in reputation, not lovely in temper,
rigid in etiquette, learned in precedence, an oracle in court traditions,
a terror to the young maids-of-honor, and always quarrelling with her own
sisters, younger, fairer, poorer than herself. Her mind and will were as
active as in her girlhood, but they ground chaff instead of wheat. Whether
her sisters should dine at the Queen's table, when she never had; who
should be her trainbearer at the royal marriage; whether the royal Spanish
father-in-law, on the same occasion, should or should not salute the
Queen-mother; who, on any given occasion, should have a _tabouret_, who a
_pliant_, who a chair, who an arm-chair; who should enter the King's
_ruelle_, or her own, or pass out by the private stairway; how she should
arrange the duchesses at state-funerals: these were the things which tried
Mademoiselle's soul, and these fill the later volumes of that
autobiography whose earlier record was all a battle and a march. From
Condé's "Obey Mademoiselle's orders as my own," we come down to this: "For
my part, I had been worrying myself all day; having been told that the new
Queen would not salute me on the lips, and that the King had decided to
sustain her in this position. I therefore spoke to Monsieur the Cardinal
on the subject, bringing forward as an important precedent in my favor,
that the Queen-mother had always kissed the princesses of the blood"; and
so on through many pages. Thus lapsed her youth of frolics into an old age
of cards.

It is a slight compensation, that this very pettiness makes her chronicles
of the age very vivid in details. How she revels in the silver brocades,
the violet-colored velvet robes, the crimson velvet carpets, the purple
damask curtains fringed with gold and silver, the embroidered _fleurs de
lis_, the wedding-caskets, the cordons of diamonds, the clusters of
emeralds _en poires_ with diamonds, and the Isabelle-colored linen,
whereby hangs a tale! She still kept up her youthful habit of avoiding the
sick-rooms of her kindred, but how magnificently she mourned them when
they died! Her brief, genuine, but quite unexpected sorrow for her father
was speedily assuaged by the opportunity it gave her to introduce the
fashion of gray mourning, instead of black; it had previously, it seems,
been worn by widows only. Servants and horses were all put in deep black,
however, and "the court observed that I was very _magnifique_ in all my
arrangements." On the other hand, be it recorded, that our Mademoiselle,
chivalrous royalist to the last, was the only person at the French court
who refused to wear mourning for the usurper Cromwell!

But, if thus addicted to funeral pageants, it is needless to say that
weddings occupied their full proportion of her thoughts. Her schemes for
matrimony fill the larger portion of her history, and are, like all the
rest, a diamond necklace of great names. In the boudoir, as in the field,
her campaigns were superb, but she was cheated of the results. Her picture
should have been painted, like that of Justice, with sword and scales,--
the one for foes, the other for lovers. She spent her life in weighing
them,--monarch against monarch, a king in hand against an emperor in the
bush. We have it on her own authority, which, in such matters, was
unsurpassable, that she was "the best match in Europe, except the Infanta
of Spain." Not a marriageable prince in Christendom, therefore, can hover
near the French court, but this middle-aged sensitive-plant prepares to
close her leaves and be coy. The procession of her wooers files before our
wondering eyes, and each the likeness of a kingly crown has on: Louis
himself, her bright possibility of twenty years, till he takes her at her
own estimate and prefers the Infanta,--Monsieur, his younger brother,
Philip IV. of Spain, Charles II. of England, the Emperor of Germany, the
Archduke Leopold of Austria,--prospective king of Holland,--the King of
Portugal, the Prince of Denmark, the Elector of Bavaria, the Duke of
Savoy, Condé's son, and Condé himself. For the last of these alone she
seems to have felt any real affection. Their tie was more than cousinly;
the same heroic blood of the early Bourbons was in them, they were trained
by the same precocious successes, only six years apart in age, and
beginning with that hearty mutual aversion which is so often the parent of
love, in impulsive natures like theirs. Their flirtation was platonic, but
chronic; and whenever poor, heroic, desolate Clémence de Maille was sicker
than usual, these cousins were walking side by side in the Tuileries
gardens, and dreaming, almost in silence, of what might be, while Mazarin
shuddered at the thought of mating two such eagles together.--So passed
her life, and at last, like many a matchmaking lady, she baffled all the
gossips, and left them all in laughter when her choice was made.

The tale stands embalmed forever in the famous letter of Madame de Sévigné
to her cousin, M. de Coulanges, written on Monday, December 15, 1670. It
can never be translated too often, so we will risk it again.

"I have now to announce to you the most astonishing circumstance, the most
surprising, most marvellous, most triumphant, most bewildering, most
unheard-of, most singular, most extraordinary, most incredible, most
unexpected, most grand, most trivial, most rare, most common, most
notorious, most secret, (till to-day,) most brilliant, most desirable;
indeed, a thing to which past ages afford but one parallel, and that a
poor one; a thing which we can scarcely believe at Paris; how can it be
believed at Lyons? a thing which excites the compassion of all the world,
and the delight of Madame de Rohan and Madame de Hauterive; a thing which
is to be done on Sunday, when those who see it will hardly believe their
eyes; a thing which will be done on Sunday, and which might perhaps be
impossible on Monday: I cannot possibly announce it; guess it; I give you
three guesses; try now. If you will not, I must tell you. M. de Lauzun
marries on Sunday, at the Louvre,--whom now? I give you three guesses,--
six,--a hundred. Madame de Coulanges says, 'It is not hard to guess; it is
Madame de la Vallière.' Not at all, Madame! 'Mlle. de Retz?' Not a bit;
you are a mere provincial. 'How absurd!' you say; 'it is Mlle. Colbert.'
Not that, either. 'Then, of course, it is Mlle. de Créqui.' Not right yet.
Must I tell you, then? Listen! he marries on Sunday, at the Louvre, by his
Majesty's permission, Mademoiselle,--Mademoiselle de,--Mademoiselle (will
you guess again?)--he marries MADEMOISELLE,--La Grande Mademoiselle,--
Mademoiselle, daughter of the late Monsieur,--Mademoiselle, grand-
daughter of Henri Quatre,--Mademoiselle d'Eu,--Mademoiselle de Dombes,--
Mademoiselle de Montpensier,--Mademoiselle d'Orléans,--Mademoiselle, the
King's own cousin,--Mademoiselle, destined for the throne,--Mademoiselle,
the only fit match in France for Monsieur [the King's brother];--there's
a piece of information for you! If you shriek,--if you are beside
yourself,--if you say it is a hoax, false, mere gossip, stuff, and
nonsense,--if, finally, you say hard things about us, we do not complain;
we took the news in the same way. Adieu; the letters by this post will
show you whether we have told the truth."

Poor Mademoiselle! Madame de Sévigné was right in one thing,--if it were
not done promptly, it might prove impracticable. Like Ralph Roister
Doister, she should ha' been married o' Sunday. Duly the contract was
signed, by which Lauzun took the name of M. de Montpensier and the largest
fortune in the kingdom, surrendered without reservation, all, all to him;
but Mazarin had bribed the notary to four hours' delay, and during that
time the King was brought to change his mind, to revoke his consent, and
to contradict the letters he had written to foreign courts, formally
announcing the nuptials of the first princess of the blood. In reading the
Memoirs of Mademoiselle, one forgets all the absurdity of all her long
amatory angling for the handsome young guardsman, in pity for her deep
despair. When she went to remonstrate with the King, the two royal cousins
fell on their knees, embraced, "and thus we remained for near three
quarters of an hour, not a word being spoken during the whole time, but
both drowned in tears." Reviving, she told the King, with her usual
frankness, that he was "like apes who caress children and suffocate them";
and this high-minded monarch soon proceeded to justify her remark by
ordering her lover to the Castle of Pignerol, to prevent a private
marriage,--which had probably taken place already. Ten years passed,
before the labors and wealth of this constant and untiring wife could
obtain her husband's release; and when he was discharged at last, he came
out a changed, soured, selfish, ungrateful man. "Just Heaven," she had
exclaimed in her youth, "would not bestow such a woman as myself upon a
man who was unworthy of her." But perhaps Heaven was juster than she
thought. They soon parted again forever, and he went to England, there to
atone for these inglorious earlier days by one deed of heroic loyalty
which it is not ours to tell.

And then unrolled the gorgeous tapestry of the maturer reign of the Grand
Monarque,--that sovereign whom his priests in their liturgy styled "the
chief work of the Divine hands," and of whom Mazarin said, more honestly,
that there was material enough in him for four kings and one honest man.
The "Moi-même" of his boyish resolution became the "L'état, c'est moi" of
his maturer egotism; Spain yielded to France the mastery of the land, as
she had already yielded to Holland and England the sea; Turenne fell at
Sassbach, Condé sheathed his sword at Chantilly; Bossuet and Bourdaloue,
preaching the funeral sermons of these heroes, praised their glories, and
forgot, as preachers will, their sins; Vatel committed suicide because his
Majesty had not fish enough for breakfast; the Princess Palatine died in a
convent, and the Princess Condé in a prison; the fair Sévigné chose the
better part, and the fairer Montespan the worse; the lovely La Vallière
walked through sin to saintliness, and poor Marie de Mancini through
saintliness to sin; Voiture and Benserade and Corneille passed away, and
Racine and Molière reigned in their stead; and Mademoiselle, who had won
the first campaigns of her life and lost all the rest, died a weary old
woman at sixty-seven.

Thus wrecked and wasted, her opportunity past, her career a
disappointment, she leaves us only the passing glimpse of what she was,
and the hazy possibility of what she might have been. Perhaps the defect
was, after all, in herself; perhaps the soil was not deep enough to
produce anything but a few stray heroisms, bright and transitory;--perhaps
otherwise. What fascinates us in her is simply her daring, that inborn
fire of the blood to which danger is its own exceeding great reward; a
quality which always kindles enthusiasm, and justly,--but which is a thing
of temperament, not necessarily joined with any other great qualities, and
worthless when it stands alone--But she had other resources,--weapons, at
least, if not qualities; she had birth, wealth, ambition, decision, pride,
perseverance, ingenuity; beauty not slight, though not equalling the
superb Longuevilles and Chevreuses of the age; great personal magnetism,
more than average cultivation for that period, and unsullied chastity. Who
can say what these things might have ended in, under other circumstances?
We have seen how Mazarin, who read all hearts but the saintly, dreaded the
conjunction of herself and Condé; it is scarcely possible to doubt that it
would have placed a new line of Bourbons on the throne. Had she married
Louis XIV., she might not have controlled that steadier will, but there
would have been two Grand Monarques instead of one; had she accepted
Charles II. of England, she might have only increased his despotic
tendencies, but she would easily have disposed of the Duchess of
Portsmouth; had she won Ferdinand III., Germany might have suffered less
by the Peace of Westphalia; had she chosen Alphonso Henry, the House of
Braganza would again have been upheld by a woman's hand. But she did none
of these things, and her only epitaph is that dreary might-have-been.

Nay, not the only one,--for one visible record of her, at least, the soil
of France cherishes among its chiefest treasures. When the Paris
butterflies flutter for a summer day to the decaying watering-place of
Dieppe, some American wanderer, who flutters with them, may cast perchance
a longing eye to where the hamlet of Eu stands amid its verdant meadows,
two miles away, still lovely as when the Archbishop Laurent chose it out
of all the world for his "place of eternal rest," six centuries ago. But
it is not for its memories of priestly tombs and miracles that the summer
visitor seeks it now, nor because the _savant_ loves its ancient sea-
margin or its Roman remains; nor is it because the little Bresle winds
gracefully through its soft bed, beneath forests green in the sunshine,
glorious in the gloom; it is not for the memories of Rollo and William the
Conqueror, which fill with visionary shapes, grander than the living, the
corridors of its half-desolate château. It is because these storied walls,
often ruined, often rebuilt, still shelter a gallery of historic portraits
such as the world cannot equal; there is not a Bourbon king, nor a Bourbon
battle, nor one great name among the courtier contemporaries of Bourbons,
that is not represented there; the "Hall of the Guises" contains kindred
faces, from all the realms of Christendom; the "Salon des Rois" holds Joan
of Arc, sculptured in marble by the hand of a princess; in the drawing-
room, Père la Chaise and Marion de l'Orme are side by side, and the
angelic beauty of Agnes Sorel floods the great hall with light, like a
sunbeam; and in this priceless treasure-house, worth more to France than
almost fair Normandy itself, this gallery of glory, first arranged at
Choisy, then transferred hither to console the solitude of a weeping
woman, the wanderer finds the only remaining memorial of La Grande
Mademoiselle.



THE SWAN-SONG OF PARSON AVERY.
1635.


When the reaper's task was ended, and the summer wearing late,
Parson Avery sailed from Newbury with his wife and children eight,
Dropping down the river harbor in the shallop Watch and Wait.

Pleasantly lay the clearings in the mellow summer-morn,
And the newly-planted orchards dropping their fruits first-born,
And the homesteads like brown islands amidst a sea of corn.

Broad meadows reaching seaward the tided creeks between,
And hills rolled, wave-like, inland, with oaks and walnuts green:
A fairer home, a goodlier land, his eye had never seen.

Yet away sailed Parson Avery, away where duty led,
And the voice of God seemed calling, to break the living bread
To the souls of fishers starving on the rocks of Marblehead!

All day they sailed: at nightfall the pleasant land-breeze died,
The blackening sky at midnight its starry lights denied,
And, far and low, the thunder of tempest prophesied.

Blotted out was all the coast-line, gone were rock and wood and sand;
Grimly anxious stood the helmsman with the tiller in his hand,
And questioned of the darkness what was sea and what was land.

And the preacher heard his dear ones, nestled round him, weeping sore:
"Never heed, my little children! Christ is walking on before
To the pleasant land of Heaven, where the sea shall be no more!"

All at once the great cloud parted, like a curtain drawn aside,
To let down the torch of lightning on the terror far and wide;
And the thunder and the whirlwind together smote the tide.

There was wailing in the shallop, woman's wail and man's despair,
A crash of breaking timbers on the rocks so sharp and bare,
And through it all the murmur of Father Avery's prayer.

From the struggle in the darkness with the wild waves and the blast,
On a rock, where every billow broke above him as it passed,
Alone of all his household the man of God was cast.

There a comrade heard him praying in the pause of wave and wind:
"All my own have gone before me, and I linger just behind;
Not for life I ask, but only for the rest thy ransomed find!

"In this night of death I challenge the promise of thy Word!
Let me see the great salvation of which mine ears have heard!
Let me pass from hence forgiven, through the grace of Christ, our Lord!

"In the baptism of these waters wash white my every sin,
And let me follow up to Thee my household and my kin!
Open the sea-gate of thy Heaven and let me enter in!"

The ear of God was open to his servant's last request;
As the strong wave swept him downward the sweet prayer upward pressed,
And the soul of Father Avery went with it to his rest.

There was wailing on the mainland from the rocks of Marblehead,
In the stricken church of Newbury the notes for prayer were read,
And long by board and hearthstone the living mourned the dead.

And still the fishers out-bound, or scudding from the squall,
With grave and reverent faces the ancient tale recall,
When they see the white waves breaking on the "Rock of Avery's Fall!"



THE DENSLOW PALACE.


It is the privilege of authors and artists to see and to describe; to "see
clearly and describe vividly" gives the pass on all state occasions. It is
the "cap of darkness" and the _talaria_, and wafts them whither they will.
The doors of boudoirs and senate-chambers open quickly, and close after
them,--excluding the talentless and staring rabble. I, who am one of the
humblest of the seers,--a universal admirer of all things beautiful and
great,--from the commonwealths of Plato and Solon, severally, expulsed, as
poet without music or politic, and a follower of the great,--I, from my
dormitory, or nest, of twelve feet square, can, at an hour's notice, or
less, enter palaces, and bear away, unchecked and unquestioned, those
_imagines_ of Des Cartes which emanate or are thrown off from all forms,--
and this, not in imagination, but in the flesh.

Whether it was the "tone of society" which pervaded my "Florentine
letters," or my noted description of the boudoir of Egeria Mentale, I
could not just now determine; but these, and other humble efforts of mine,
made me known in palaces as a painter of beauty and magnificence; and I
have been in demand, to do for wealth what wealth cannot do for itself,--
namely, make it live a little, or, at least, spread as far, in fame, as
the rings of a stone-plash on a great pond.

I enjoy friendships and regards which would satisfy the most fastidious.
Are not the Denslows enormously rich? Is not Dalton a sovereign of
elegance? It was I who gave the fame of these qualities to the world, in
true colors, not flattered. And _they_ know it, and love me. Honoria
Denslow is the most beautiful and truly charming woman of society. It was
I who first said it; and she is my friend, and loves me. I defy poverty;
the wealth of all the senses is mine, without effort. I desire not to be
one of those who mingle as principals and sufferers; for they are less
causes than effects. As the Florentine in the Inferno saw the souls of
unfortunate lovers borne upon a whirlwind, so have I seen all things fair
and precious,--outpourings of wealth,--all the talents,--all the offerings
of duty and devotion,--angelic graces of person and of soul,--borne and
swept violently around on the circular gale. Wealth is only an enlargement
of the material boundary, and leaves the spirit free to dash to and fro,
and exhaust itself in vain efforts.--But I am philosophizing,--oddly
enough,--when I should describe.

An exquisite little note from Honoria, sent at the last moment, asking me
to be present that evening at a "select" party, which was to open the "new
house,"--the little palace of the Denslows,--lay beside me on the table.
It was within thirty minutes of nine o'clock, the hour I had fixed for
going. A howling winter out of doors, a clear fire glowing in my little
grate. My arm-chair, a magnificent present from Honoria, shaming the
wooden fixtures of the poor room, invited to meditation, and perhaps the
composition of some delicate periods. They formed slowly. Time, it is
said, devours all things; but imagination, in turn, devours time,--and,
indeed, swallowed my half-hour at a gulp. The neighboring church-clock
tolled nine. I was belated, and hurried away.

It was a _reunion_ of only three hundred invitations, selected by my
friend Dalton, the intimate and adviser of Honoria. So happy were their
combinations, scarce a dozen were absent or declined.

At eleven, the guests began to assemble. Introductions were almost
needless. Each person was a recognized member of "society." One-half of
the number were women,--many of them young, beautiful, accomplished,--
heiresses, "charming widows," poetesses of real celebrity, and, rarer
still, of good repute,--wives of millionnaires, flashing in satin and
diamonds. The men, on their side, were of all professions and arts, and of
every grade of celebrity, from senator to merchant,--each distinguished by
some personal attribute or talent; and in all was the gift, so rare, of
manners and conversation. It was a company of undoubted gentlemen, as
truly entitled to respect and admiration as if they stood about a throne.
They were the untitled nobility of Nature, wealth, and genius.

As I stood looking, with placid admiration, from a recess, upon a
brilliant _tableau_ of beautiful women and celebrated men that had
accidentally arranged itself before me, Dalton touched my arm.

"I have seen," said he, "aristocratic and republican _réunions_ of the
purest mode in Paris, the court and the banker's circle of London,
_conversazioni_ at Rome and Florence. Every face in this room is
intelligent, and nearly all either beautiful, remarkable, or commanding.
 Observe those five women standing with Denslow and Adonaïs,--grandeur,
sweetness, grace, form, purity; each has an attribute. It is a rare
assemblage of superior human beings. The world cannot surpass it. And, by
the by, the rooms are superb."

They were, indeed, magnificent: two grand suites, on either side a central
hall of Gothic structure, in white marble, with light, aërial staircases
and gilded balconies. Each suite was a separate miracle: the height, the
breadth, the columnal divisions; the wonderful delicacy of the arches,
upon which rested ceilings frescoed with incomparable art. In one
compartment the arches and caryatides were of black marble; in another, of
snowy Parian; in a third, of wood, exquisitely carved, and joined like one
piece, as if it were a natural growth; vines rising at the bases of the
walls, and spreading under the roof. There was no forced consistency.
Forms suitable only for the support of heavy masses of masonry, or for the
solemn effects of church interiors, were not here introduced. From
straight window-cornices of dark wood, slenderly gilt, but richly carved,
fell cataracts of gleaming satin, softened in effect with laces of rare
appreciation.

The frescoes and panel-work were a study by themselves, uniting the
classic and modern styles in allegorical subjects. The paintings, selected
by the taste of Dalton, to overpower the darkness of the rooms by
intensity of color, were incorporated with the walls. There were but few
mirrors. At the end of each suite, one, of fabulous size, without frame,
made to appear, by a cunning arrangement of dark draperies, like a
transparent portion of the wall itself, extended the magnificence of the
apartments.

Not a flame nor a jet was anywhere visible. Tinted vases, pendent, or
resting upon pedestals, distributed harmonies and thoughts of light rather
than light itself; and yet all was visible, effulgent. The columns which
separated the apartments seemed to be composed of masses of richly-colored
flames, compelled, by some ingenious alchemy, to assume the form and
office of columns.

In New York, _par excellence_ the city of private gorgeousness and
_petite_ magnificence, nothing had yet been seen equal to the rooms of the
glorious Denslow Palace. Even Dalton, the most capricious and critical of
men, whose nice vision had absorbed the elegancies of European taste,
pronounced them superb. The upholstery and ornamentation were composed
under the direction of celebrated artists. Palmer was consulted on the
marbles. Page (at Rome) advised the cartoons for the frescoes, and gave
laws for the colors and disposition of the draperies. The paintings,
panelled in the walls, were modern, triumphs of the art and genius of the
New World.

Until the hour for dancing, prolonged melodies of themes modulated in the
happiest moments of the great composers floated in the perfumed air from a
company of unseen musicians, while the guests moved through the vast
apartments, charmed or exalted by their splendor, or conversed in groups,
every voice subdued and intelligent.

At midnight began the modish music of the dance, and groups of beautiful
girls moved like the atoms of Chladni on the vibrating crystal, with their
partners, to the sound of harps and violins, in pleasing figures or
inebriating spirals.

When supper was served, the ivory fronts of a cabinet of gems divided
itself in the centre,--the two halves revolving upon silver hinges,--and
discovered a hall of great height and dimensions, walled with crimson
damask, supporting pictures of all the masters of modern art. The dome-
like roof of this hall was of marble variously colored, and the floor
tessellated and mosaicked in grotesque and graceful figures of Vesuvian
lavas and painted porcelain.

The tables, couches, chairs, and _vis-a-vis_ in this hall were of plain
pattern and neutral dead colors, not to overpower or fade the pictures on
the walls, or the gold and Parian service of the cedar tables.

But the chief beauty of this unequalled supper-room was an immense bronze
candelabrum, which rose in the centre from a column of black marble. It
was the figure of an Italian elm, slender and of thin foliage, embraced,
almost enveloped, in a vine, which reached out and supported itself in
hanging from all the branches; the twigs bearing fruit, not of grapes, but
of a hundred little spheres of crimson, violet, and golden light, whose
combination produced a soft atmosphere of no certain color.

Neither Honoria, Dalton, nor myself remained long in the gallery. We
retired with a select few, and were served in an antechamber, separated
from the grand reception-room by an arch, through which, by putting aside
a silk curtain, Honoria could see, at a distance, any that entered, as
they passed in from the hall.

My own position was such that I could look over her shoulder and see as
she saw. _Vis-a-vis_ with her, and consequently with myself, was Adonaïs,
a celebrated author, and person of the _beau monde_. On his left, Dalton,
always mysteriously elegant and dangerously witty. Denslow and Jeffrey
Lethal, the critic, completed our circle. The conversation was easy,
animated, personal.

"You are fortunate in having a woman of taste to manage your
entertainments," said Lethal, in answer to a remark of Denslow's,--"but in
bringing these people together she has made a sad blunder."

"And what may that be?" inquired Dalton, mildly.

"Your guests are too well behaved, too fine, and on their guard; there are
no butts, no palpable fools or vulgarians; and, worse, there are many
distinguished, but no one great man,--no social or intellectual sovereign
of the occasion."

Honoria looked inquiringly at Lethal. "Pray, Mr. Lethal, tell me who he
is? I thought there was no such person in America," she added, with a look
of reproachful inquiry at Dalton and myself, as if we should have found
this sovereign and suggested him.

"You are right, my dear queen; Lethal is joking," responded Dalton; "we
are a democracy, and have only a queen of"----

"Water ices," interrupted Lethal; "but, as for the king you seek, as
democracies finally come to that,"----

"Good Heavens!" exclaimed Honoria, raising the curtain, "it must be he
that is coming in."

Honoria frowned slightly, rose, and advanced to meet a new-comer, who had
entered unannounced, and was advancing alone. Dalton followed to support
her. I observed their movements,--Lethal and Adonaïs using my face as a
mirror of what was passing beyond the curtain.

The masses of level light from the columns on the left seemed to envelope
the stranger, who came toward us from the entrance, as if he had divined
the presence of Honoria in the alcove.

He was about the middle height, Napoleonic in form and bearing, with
features of marble paleness, firm, and sharply defined. His hair and
magnificent Asiatic beard were jetty black, curling, and naturally
disposed. Under his dark and solid brows gleamed large eyes of abysmal
blackness and intensity.

"Is it Lord N----?" whispered Lethal, moved from his habitual coldness by
the astonishment which he read in my face.

"Senator D----, perhaps," suggested Denslow, whose ideas, like his person,
aspired to the senatorial.

"Dumas," hinted Adonaïs, an admirer of French literature. "I heard he was
expected."

"No," I answered, "but certainly in appearance the most noticeable man
living. Let us go out and be introduced."

"Perhaps," said Lethal, "it is the d----."

All rose instantly at the idea, and we went forward, urged by irresistible
curiosity.

As we drew near the stranger, who was conversing with Honoria and Dalton,
a shudder went through me. It was a thrill of the universal Boswell; I
seemed to feel the presence of "the most aristocratic man of the age."

Honoria introduced me. "My Lord Duke, allow me to present my friend, Mr.
De Vere; Mr. De Vere, the Duke of Rosecouleur."

Was I, then, face to face with, nay, touching the hand of a highness,--and
that highness the monarch of the _ton_? And is this a ducal hand, white as
the albescent down of the eider-duck, which presses mine with a tender
touch, so haughty and so delicately graduated to my standing as "friend"
of the exquisite Honoria? It was too much; I could have wept; my senses
rather failed.

Dalton fell short of himself; for, though his head stooped to none, unless
conventionally, the sudden and unaccountable presence of the Duke of
Rosecouleur annoyed and perplexed him. His own sovereignty was threatened.

Lethal stiffened himself to the ordeal of an introduction; the affair
seemed to exasperate him. Denslow alone, of the men, was in his element.
Pompous and soft, he "cottoned" to the grandeur with the instinct of a
born satellite, and his eyes grew brighter, his body more shining and
rotund, his back more concave. His _bon-vivant_ tones, jolly and
conventional, sounded a pure barytone to the clear soprano of Honoria, in
the harmony of an obsequious welcome.

The Duke of Rosecouleur glanced around him approvingly upon the
apartments. I believed that he had never seen anything more beautiful than
the _petite_ palace of Honoria, or more ravishing than herself. He said
little, in a low voice, and always to one person at a time. His answers
and remarks were simple and well-turned.

Dalton allowed the others to move on, and by a slight sign drew me to him.

"It is unexpected," he said, in a thoughtful manner, looking me full in
the eyes.

"You knew the Duke of Rosecouleur in Europe?"

"At Paris, yes,--and in Italy he was a travel friend; but we heard lately
that he had retired upon his estates in England; and certainly, he is the
last person we looked for here."

"Unannounced."

"That is a part of the singularity."

"His name was not in the published list of arrivals; but he may have left
England incognito. Is a mistake possible?"

"No! there is but one such man in Europe;--a handsomer or a richer does
not live."

"An eye of wonderful depth."

"Hands exquisite."

"Feet, ditto."

"And his dress and manner."

"Unapproachable!"

"Not a shadow of pretence;--the essence of good-breeding founded upon
extensive knowledge, and a thorough sense of position and its advantages;
--in fact, the Napoleon of the parlor."

"But, Dalton," said I, nervously, "no one attends him."

"No,--I thought so at first; but do you see that Mephistophelean figure,
in black, who follows the Duke a few paces behind, and is introduced to no
one?"

"Yes. A singular creature, truly!--how thin he is!"

"That shadow that follows his Highness is, in fact, the famous valet, Rêve
de Noir,--the prince of servants. The Duke goes nowhere without this man
as a shadow. He asserts that Rêve de Noir has no soul; and I believe him.
The face is that of a demon. It is a separate creation, equally wonderful
with the master, but not human. He was condensed out of the atmosphere of
the great world."

As we were speaking, we observed a crowd of distinguished persons
gathered about and following his Highness, as he moved. He spoke now to
one; now to another. Honoria, fascinated, her beauty every instant
becoming more radiant, just leaned, with the lightest pressure, upon the
Duke's arm. They were promenading through the rooms. The music, soft and
low, continued, but the groups of dancers broke up, the loiterers in the
gallery came in, and as the sun draws his fifty, perhaps his hundreds of
planets, circling around and near him, this noble luminary centred in
himself the attention of all. If they could not speak with him, they could
at least speak of him. If they could not touch his hand, they could pass
before him and give one glance at his eyes. The less aristocratic were
even satisfied for the moment with watching the singular being, Rêve de
Noir,--who caught no one's eye, seemed to see no one but his master,--and
yet was not here nor there, nor in any place,--never in the way, a thing
of air, and not tangible, but only black.

At a signal, he would advance and present to his master a perfume, a laced
handkerchief, a rose of rubies, a diamond clasp; of many with whom he
spoke the liberal Duke begged the acceptance of some little token, as an
earnest of his esteem. After interchanging a few words with Jeffrey
Lethal,--who dared not utter a sarcasm, though he chafed visibly under the
restraint,--the Duke's tasteful generosity suggested a seal ring, with an
intaglio head of Swift cut in opal, the mineral emblem of wit, which dulls
in the sunlight of fortune, and recovers its fiery points in the shade of
adversity;--Rêve de Noir, with a movement so slight, 'twas like the
flitting of a bat, placed the seal in the hand of the Duke, who, with a
charming and irresistible grace, compelled Lethal to receive it.

To Denslow, Honoria, Dalton, and myself he offered nothing.--Strange?--Not
at all. Was he not the guest, and had not I been presented to him by
Honoria as her "friend?"--a word of pregnant meaning to a Duke of
Rosecouleur!

To Adonaïs he gave _a lock of hair_ of the great novelist, Dumas, in a
locket of yellow tourmaline,--a stone usually black. Lethal smiled at
this. He felt relieved.

"The Duke," thought he, "must be a humorist."

From my coarse way of describing this, you would suppose that it was a
farcical exhibition of vulgar extravagance, and the Duke a madman or an
impostor; but the effect was different. It was done with grace, and, in
the midst of so much else, it attracted only that side regard, at
intervals, which is sure to surprise and excite awe.

Honoria had almost ceased to converse with us. It was painful to her to
talk with any person. She followed the Duke with her eyes. When, by some
delicate allusion or attention, he let her perceive that she was in his
thoughts, a mantling color overspread her features, and then gave way to
paleness, and a manner which attracted universal remark. It was then
Honoria abdicated that throne of conventional purity which hitherto she
had held undisputed. Women who were plain in her presence outshone
Honoria, by meeting this ducal apparition, that called itself
Rosecouleur,--and which might have been, for aught they knew, a fume of
the Infernal, shaped to deceive us all,--with calm and haughty propriety.

The sensation did not subside. The music of the waltz invited a renewal of
that intoxicating whirl which isolates friends and lovers, in whispering
and sighing pairs, in the midst of a great assemblage. All the world
looked on, when Honoria Denslow placed her hand upon the shoulder of the
Duke of Rosecouleur, and the noble and beautiful forms began silently and
smoothly turning, with a dream-like motion. Soon she lifted her lovely
eyes and steadied their rays upon his. She leaned wholly upon his arm, and
the gloved hands completed the magnetic circle. At the close of the first
waltz, she rested a moment, leaning upon his shoulder, and his hand still
held hers,--a liberty often assumed and permitted, but not to the nobles
and the monarchs of society. She fell farther, and her ideal beauty faded
into a sensuous.

Honoria was lost. Dalton saw it. We retired together to a room apart. He
was dispirited; called for and drank rapidly a bottle of Champagne;--it
was insufficient.

"De Vere," said he, "affairs go badly."

"Explain."

"This cursed thing that people call a duke--it kills me."

"I saw."

"Of course you did;--the world saw; the servants saw. Honoria has fallen
to-night. I shall transfer my allegiance."

"And Denslow?"

"A born sycophant;--he thinks it natural that his wife should love a duke,
and a duke love his wife."

"So would you, if you were any other than you are."

"Faugh! it is human nature."

"Not so; would you not as soon strangle this Rosecouleur for making love
to your wife in public, as you would another man?"

"Rather."

"Pooh! I give you up. If you had
 simply said, 'Yes,' it would have satisfied me."

Dalton seemed perplexed. He called a servant and sent him with an order
for Nalson, the usher, to come instantly to him.

Nalson appeared, with his white gloves and mahogany face.

"Nalson, you were a servant of the Duke in England?"

"Yes, Sir."

"Is the person now in the rooms the Duke of Rosecouleur?"

"I have not seen him, Sir."

"Go immediately, study the man well,--do you hear?--and come to me. Let no
one know your purpose."

Nalson disappeared.

I was alarmed. If "the Duke" should prove to be an impostor, we were
indeed ruined.

In five minutes,--an hour, it seemed,--Nalson stood before us.

"Is it he?" said Dalton, looking fixedly upon the face of the usher.

No reply.

"Speak the truth; you need not be afraid."

"I cannot tell, Sir."

"Nonsense! go and look again."

"It is of no use, Mr. Dalton; you, who are as well acquainted with the
personal appearance of his Highness as I am, you have been deceived,--if I
have."

"Nalson, do you believe that this person is an impostor?" said Dalton,
pointing at myself.

"Who? Mr. De Vere, Sir?"

"If, then, you know at sight that this gentleman is my friend Mr. De Vere,
why do you hesitate about the other?"

"But the imitation is perfect. And there is Rêve de Noir."

"Yes, did Rêve de Noir recognize you?"

"I have not caught his eye. You know, Sir, that this Rêve is not, and
never was, like other men; he is a devil. One knows, and one does not know
him."

"Were you at the door when the Duke entered?"

"I think not; at least--I cannot tell. When I first saw him, he was in the
room, speaking with Madam Denslow."

"Nalson, you have done wrong; no one should have entered unannounced. Send
the doorkeeper to me."

The doorkeeper came; a gigantic negro, magnificently attired.

"Jupiter, you were at the door when the Duke of Rosecouleur entered?"

"Yes, Sir."

"Did the Duke and his man come in a carriage?"

"Yes, Sir,--a hack."

"You may go. They are not devils," said Dalton, musingly, "or they would
not have come in a carriage."

"You seem to have studied the spiritual mode of locomotion," said I.

Dalton frowned. "This is serious, De Vere."

"What mean you?"

"I mean that Denslow is a bankrupt."

"Explain yourself."

"You know what an influence he carries in political circles. The G----rs,
the S----es, and their kind, have more talent, but Denslow enjoys the
secret of popularity."

"Well, I know it."

"In the middle counties, where he owns vast estates, and has been liberal
to debtors and tenants, he carries great favor; both parties respect him
for his ignorance and pomposity, which they mistake for simplicity and
power, as usual. The estates are mortgaged three deep, and will not hold
out a year. The shares of the Millionnaire's Hotel and the Poor Man's Bank
in the B----y are worthless. Denslow's railroad schemes have absorbed the
capital of those concerns."

"But he had three millions."

"Nominally. This palace has actually sunk his income."

"Madness!"

"Wisdom, if you will listen."

"I am all attention."

"The use of money is to create and hold power. Denslow was certain of the
popular and county votes; he needed only the aristocratic support, and the
A---- people would have made him Senator."

"Fool, why was he not satisfied with his money?"

"Do you call the farmer fool, because he is not satisfied with the soil,
but wishes to grow wheat thereon? Money is the soil of power. For much
less than a million one may gratify the senses; great fortunes are not for
sensual luxuries, but for those of the soul. To the facts, then. The
advent of this mysterious duke,--whom I doubt,--hailed by Denslow and
Honoria as a piece of wonderful good-fortune, has already shaken him and
ruined the _prestige_ of his wife. They are mad and blind."

"Tell me, in plain prose, the _how_ and the _why_."

"De Vere, you are dull. There are three hundred people in the rooms of the
Denslow Palace; these people are the 'aristocracy.' They control the
sentiments of the 'better class.' Opinion, like dress, descends from them.
They no longer respect Denslow, and their women have seen the weakness of
Honoria."

"Yes, but Denslow still has 'the people.'"

"That is not enough. I have calculated the chances, and mustered all our
available force. We shall have no support among the 'better class,' since
we are disgraced with the 'millionnaires.'"

At this moment Denslow came in.

"Ah! Dalton,--like you! I have been looking for you to show the pictures.
Devil a thing I know about them. The Duke wondered at your absence."

"Where is Honoria?"

"Ill, ill,--fainted. The house is new; smell of new wood and mortar;
deused disagreeable in Honoria. If it had not been for the Duke, she would
have fallen. That's a monstrous clever fellow, that Rosecouleur. Admires
Honoria vastly. Come,--the pictures."

"Mr. John Vanbrugen Denslow, you are an ass!"

The large, smooth, florid millionnaire, dreaming only of senatorial
honors, the shouts of the multitude, and the adoration of a party press,
cowered like a dog under the lash of the "man of society."

"Rather rough,--ha, De Vere? What have _I_ done? Am I an ass because I
know nothing of pictures? Come, Dalton, you are harsh with your old
friend."

"Denslow, I have told you a thousand times never to concede position."

"Yes, but this is a duke, man,--a prince!"

"This from you? By Jove, De Vere, I wish you and I could live a hundred
years, to see a republican aristocrat. We are still mere provincials,"
added Dalton, with a sigh.

Denslow perspired with mortification.

"You use me badly,--I tell you, Dalton, this Rosecouleur is a devil.
Condescend to him! be haughty and--what do you call it?--urbane to him! I
defy _you_ to do it, with all your impudence. Why, his valet, that shadow
that glides after him, is too much for me. Try him yourself, man."

"Who, the valet?"

"No, the master,--though I might have said the valet."

"Did I yield in Paris?"

"No, but you were of the embassy, and--and--_no one really knew us_, you
know."

Dalton pressed his lips hard together.

"Come," said he, "De Vere, let us try a fall with this Titan of the
carpet."

Denslow hastened back to the Duke. I followed Dalton; but as for me, bah!
I am a cipher.

The room in which we were adjoined Honoria's boudoir, from which a secret
passage led down by a spiral to a panel behind hangings; raising these,
one could enter the drawing-room unobserved. Dalton paused midway in the
secret passage, and through a loop or narrow window concealed by
architectural ornaments, and which overlooked the great drawing-rooms,
made a reconnaissance of the field.

Nights of Venice! what a scene was there! The vine-branch chandeliers,
crystal-fruited, which depended from the slender ribs of the ceiling, cast
a rosy dawn of light, deepening the green and crimson of draperies and
carpets, making an air like sunrise in the bowers of a forest. Form and
order were everywhere visible, though unobtrusive. Arch beyond arch, to
fourth apartments, lessening in dimension, with increase of wealth;--
groups of beautiful women, on either hand, seated or half reclined; the
pure or rich hues of their robes blending imperceptibly, or in gorgeous
contrasts, with the soft outlines and colors of their supports; a banquet
for the eyes and the mind; the perfect work of art and culture;--gliding
about and among these, or, with others, springing and revolving in that
monarch of all measures, which blends luxury and purity, until it is
either the one or the other, moved the men.

"That is my work," exclaimed Dalton, unconsciously.

"Not _all_, I think."

"I mean the combinations,--the effect. But see! Honoria will again accept
the Duke's invitation. He is coming to her. Let us prevent it."

He slipped away; and I, remaining at my post of observation, saw him, an
instant later, passing quickly across the floor among the dancers, toward
Honoria. The Duke of Rosecouleur arrived at the same instant before her.
She smiled sorrowfully upon Dalton, and held out her hand in a languid
manner toward the Duke, and again they floated away upon the eddies of the
music. I followed them with eyes fixed in admiration. It was a vision of
the orgies of Olympus,--Zeus and Aphrodite circling to a theme of Chronos.

Had Honoria tasted of the Indian drug, the weed of paradise? Her eyes,
fixed upon the Duke's, shone like molten sapphires. A tress of chestnut
hair, escaping from the diamond coronet, sprang lovingly forward and
twined itself over her white shoulder and still fairer bosom. Tints like
flitting clouds, Titianic, the mystery and despair of art, disclosed to
the intelligent eye the feeling that mastered her spirit and her sense.
Admirable beauty! Unrivalled, unhappy! The Phidian idol of gold and ivory,
into which a demon had entered, overthrown, and the worshippers gazing on
it with a scorn unmixed with pity!

The sullen animal rage of battle is nothing to the livor, the burning
hatred of the drawing-room. Dalton, defeated, cast a glance of deadly
hostility on the Duke. Nor was it lost. While the waltz continued, for ten
minutes, he stood motionless. Fearing some untoward event, I came down and
took my place near him.

The Duke led Honoria to a sofa. But for his arm she would again have
fallen. Dalton had recovered his courage and natural haughtiness. The tone
of his voice, rich, tender, and delicately expressive, did not change.

"Honoria, you sent for _me_; and the Duke wishes to see the pictures. The
air of the gallery will relieve your faintness."

He offered his arm, which she, rising mechanically, accepted. A deep blush
crimsoned her features, at the allusion to her weakness. Several of the
guests moved after us, as we passed into the gallery. The Duke's shadow,
Rêve de Noir, following last, closed the ivory doors. We passed through
the gallery,--where pyramids of sunny fruits, in baskets of fine
porcelain, stood relieved by gold and silver services for wine and coffee,
disposed on the tables,--and thence entered another and smaller room,
devoid of ornament, but the crimson tapestried walls were covered with
works or copies of the great masters of Italy.

Opposite the entrance there was a picture of a woman seated on a throne,
behind which stood a demon whispering in her ear and pointing to a
handsome youth in the circle of the courtiers. The design and color were
in the style of Correggio. Denslow stood close behind me. In advance were
Honoria, Dalton, and the Duke, whose conversation was addressed
alternately to her and Dalton. The lights of the gallery burst forth in
their full refulgence as we approached the picture.

The glorious harmony of its colors,--the force of the shadows, which
seemed to be converging in the rays of a single unseen source of light,--
the unity of sentiment, which drew all the groups together, in the idea;--
I had seen all this before, but with the eyes of supercilious criticism.
Now the picture smote us with awe.

"I have the original of this excellent work," said the Duke, "in my house
at A----, but your copy is nearly as good."

The remark, intended for Honoria, reached the pride of her companion, who
blandly replied,--

"Your Highness's exquisite judgment is for once at fault. The piece is
original. It was purchased from a well-known collection in Italy, where
there are none others of the school."

Honoria was gazing upon the picture, as I was, in silent astonishment.

"If this," said she, "is a copy, what must have been the genuine work? Did
you never before notice the likeness between the queen, in that picture,
and myself?" she asked, addressing Dalton.

The remark excited general attention. Every one murmured, "The likeness is
perfect."

"And the demon behind the queen," said Denslow, insipidly, "resembles your
Highness's valet."

There was another exclamation. No sooner was it observed, than the
likeness to Rêve de Noir seemed to be even more perfect.

The Duke made a sign.

Rêve de Noir placed himself near the canvas. His profile was the
counterpart of that in the painting. He seemed to have stepped out of it.

"It was I," said the Duke, in a gentle voice, and with a smile which just
disclosed the ivory line under the black moustache, "who caused this
picture to be copied and altered. The beauty of the Hon. Mrs. Denslow,
whom it was my highest pleasure to know, seemed to me to surpass that of
the queen of my original. I first, with great secrecy, unknown to your
wife," continued the Duke, turning to Denslow, "procured a portrait from
the life by memory, which was afterwards transferred to this canvas. The
resemblance to my attendant is, I confess, remarkable and inexplicable."

"But will you tell us by what accident this copy happened to be in Italy?"
asked Dalton.

"You will remember," replied the Duke, coldly, "that at Paris, noticing
your expressions of admiration for the picture, which you had seen in my
English gallery, I gave you a history of its purchase at Bologna by
myself. I sent my artist to Bologna, with orders to place the copy in the
gallery and to introduce the portrait of the lady; it was a freak of
fancy; I meant it for a surprise; as I felt sure, that, if you saw the
picture, you would secure it.

"It seems to me," replied Dalton, "that the _onus_ of proof rests with
your Highness."

The Duke made a signal to Rêve de Noir, who again stepped up to the
canvas, and, with a short knife or stiletto, removed a small portion of
the outer layer of paint, disclosing a very ancient ground of some other
and inferior work, over which the copy seemed to have been painted. The
proof was unanswerable.

"Good copies," remarked the Duke, "are often better than originals."

He offered his arm to Honoria, and they walked through the gallery,--he
entertaining her, and those near him, with comments upon other works. The
crowd followed them, as they moved on or returned, as a cloud of gnats
follow up and down, and to and fro, a branch tossing in the wind.

"Beaten at every point," I said, mentally, looking on the pale features of
the defeated Dalton.

"Yes," he replied, seeing the remark in my face; "but there is yet time. I
am satisfied this is the man with whom we travelled; none other could have
devised such a plan, or carried it out. He must have fallen in love with
Honoria at that time; and simply to see her is the object of his visit to
America. He is a connoisseur in pictures as in women; but he must not be
allowed to ruin us by his arrogant assumptions."

"Excepting his manner and extraordinary personal advantages, I find
nothing in him to awe or astonish."

"His wealth is incalculable; he is used to victories; and that manner
which you affect to slight,--that is everything. 'Tis power, success,
victory. This man of millions, this prince, does not talk; he has but
little use for words. It is manner, and not words, that achieves social
and amatory conquests."

"Bah! You are like the politicians, who mistake accidents for principles.
But even you are talking, while this pernicious foreigner is acting. See!
they have left the gallery, and the crowd of fools is following them. You
cannot stem such a tide of folly."

"I deny that they are fools. Why does that sallow wretch, Lethal, follow
them? Or that enamelled person, Adonaïs? They are at a serpent-charming,
and Honoria is the bird-of-paradise. They watch with delight, and sketch
as they observe, the struggles of the poor bird. The others are
indifferent or curious, envious or amused. It is only Denslow who is
capped and antlered, and the shafts aimed at his foolish brow glance and
wound us."

We were left alone in the gallery. Dalton paced back and forth, in his
slow, erect, and graceful manner; there was no hurry or agitation.

"How quickly," said he, as his moist eyes met mine, "how like a dream,
this glorious vision, this beautiful work, will fade and be forgotten!
Nevertheless, I made it," he added, musingly. "It was I who moulded and
expanded the sluggish millions."

"You will still be what you are, Dalton,--an artist, more than a man of
society. You work with a soft and perishable material."

"A distinction without a difference. Every _man_ is a politician, but only
every artist is a gentleman."

"Denslow, then, is ruined."

"Yes and no;--there is nothing in him to ruin. It is I who am the
sufferer."

"And Honoria?"

"It was I who formed her manners, and guided her perceptions of the
beautiful. It was I who married her to a mass of money, De Vere."

"Did you never love Honoria?"

He laughed.

"Loved? Yes; as Praxiteles may have loved the clay he moulded,--for its
smoothness and ductility under the hand."

"The day has not come for such men as you, Dalton."

"Come, and gone, and coming. It has come in dream-land. Let us follow your
fools."

The larger gallery was crowded. The pyramids of glowing fruit had
disappeared; there was a confused murmur of pairs and parties, chatting
and taking wine. The master of the house, his wife, and guest were nowhere
to be seen. Lethal and Adonaïs stood apart, conversing. As we approached
them unobserved, Dalton checked me. "Hear what these people are saying,"
said he.

"My opinion is," said Lethal, holding out his crooked forefinger like a
claw, "that this _soi-disant_ duke--what the deuse is his name?"

"Rosecouleur," interposed Adonaïs, in a tone of society.

"Right,--Couleur de Rose is an impostor,--an impostor, a sharper.
Everything tends that way. What an utter sell it would be!"

"You were with us at the picture scene?" murmured Adonaïs.

"Yes. Dalton looked wretchedly cut up, when that devil of a valet, who
must be an accomplice, scraped the new paint off. The picture must have
been got up in New York by Dalton and the Denslows."

"Perhaps the Duke, too, was got up in New York, on the same principle,"
suggested Adonaïs. "Such things are possible. Society is intrinsically
rotten, you know, and Dalton"----

"Is a fellow of considerable talent," sneered Lethal,--"but has enemies,
who may have planned a duke."

Adonaïs coughed in his cravat, and hinted,--"How would it do to call him
'Barnum Dalton'?"

Adonaïs appeared shocked at himself, and swallowed a minim of wine to
cleanse his vocal apparatus from the stain of so coarse an illustration.

"Do you hear those creatures?" whispered Dalton. "They are arranging
scandalous paragraphs for the 'Illustration.'"

A moment after, he was gone. I spoke to Lethal and Adonaïs.

"Gentlemen, you are in error about the picture and the Duke; they are as
they now appear;--the one, an excellent copy, purchased as an original,--
no uncommon mistake; the other, a genuine highness. How does he strike
you?"

Lethal cast his eyes around to see who listened.

"The person," said he, "who is announced here to-night as an English duke
seemed to me, of all men I could select, least like one."

"Pray, what is your ideal of an English duke, Mr. Lethal?" asked Adonaïs,
with the air of a connoisseur, sure of himself, but hating to offend.

"A plain, solid person, well dressed, but simple; mutton-chop whiskers;
and the manners of a--a----"

"Bear!" said a soft female voice.

"Precisely,--the manners of a bear; a kind of gentlemanly bear, perhaps,--
but still, ursine and heavy; while this person, who seems to have walked
out of ----- or a novel, affects me, by his ways and appearance, like a--
a--h'm"----

"Gambler!" said the same female voice, in a conclusive tone.

There was a general soft laugh. Everybody was pleased. All admired, hated,
and envied the Duke. It was settled beyond a doubt that he was an
impostor,--and that the Denslows were either grossly taken in, or were
"selling" their friends. In either case, it was shocking and delightful.

"The fun of the thing," continued Lethal, raising his voice a little, "is,
that the painter who got up the old picture must have been as much an
admirer of the Hon. Mrs. Denslow as--his--Highness; for, in touching in
the queen, he has unconsciously made it a portrait."

The blow was final. I moved away, grieved and mortified to the soul,
cursing the intrusion of the mysterious personage whose insolent
superiority had overthrown the hopes of my friends.

At the door of the gallery I met G----, the painter, just returned from
London. I drew him with me into the inner gallery, to make a thorough
examination of the picture. I called his attention to the wonderful
resemblance of the queen to Honoria. He did not see it; we looked
together, and I began to think that it might have been a delusion. I told
the Duke's story of the picture to G----. He examined the canvas, tested
the layers of color, and pronounced the work genuine and of immense value.
We looked again and again at the queen's head, viewing it in every light.
The resemblance to Honoria had disappeared; nor was the demon any longer a
figure of the Duke's valet.

"One would think," said G----, laughing, "that you had been mesmerized. If
you have been so deceived in a picture, may you not be equally cheated in
a man? I am loath to offend; but, indeed, the person whom you call
Rosecouleur cannot be the Duke of that title, whom I saw in England. I had
leave to copy a picture in his gallery. He was often present. His manners
were mild and unassuming,--not at all like those of this man, to whom, I
acknowledge, the personal resemblance is surprising. I am afraid our good
friends, the Denslows, and Mr. Dalton,--whom I esteem for their patronage
of art,--have been taken in by an adventurer."

"But the valet, Rêve de Noir?"

"The Duke had a valet of that name who attended him, and who may, for
aught I know, have resembled this one; but probability is against
concurrent resemblances. There is also an original of the picture in the
Duke's gallery; in fact, the artist, as was not unusual in those days,
painted two pictures of the same subject. Both, then, are genuine."

Returning my cordial thanks to the good painter for his timely
explanation, I hastened to find Dalton. Drawing him from the midst of a
group whom he was entertaining, I communicated G----'s account of the two
pictures, and his suspicions in regard to the Duke.

His perplexity was great. "Worse and worse, De Vere! To be ruined by a
common adventurer is more disgraceful even than the other misfortune.
Besides, our guests are leaving us. At least a hundred of them have gone
away with the first impression, and the whole city will have it. The
journal reporters have been here. Denslow's principal creditors were among
the guests to-night; they went away soon, just after the affair with the
picture; to-morrow will be our dark day. If it had not been for this demon
of a duke and his familiar, whoever they are, all would have gone well.
Now we are distrusted, and they will crush us. Let us fall facing the
enemy. Within an hour I will have the truth about the Duke. Did I ever
tell you what a price Denslow paid for that picture?"

"No, I do not wish to hear."

"You are right. Come with me."

The novel disrespect excited by the scandal of Honoria and the picture
seemed to have inspired the two hundred people who remained with a
cheerful ease. Eating, drinking excessively of Denslow's costly wines,
dancing to music which grew livelier and more boisterous as the musicians
imbibed more of the inspiriting juice, and, catching scraps of the
scandal, threw out significant airs, the company of young persons,
deserted by their scandalized seniors, had converted the magnificent suite
of drawing-rooms into a carnival theatre. Parties of three and four were
junketing in corners; laughing servants rushed to and fro as in a _café_;
the lounges were occupied by reclining beauties or languid fops
overpowered with wine, about whom lovely young women, flushed with
Champagne and mischief, were coquetting and frolicking.

"I warrant you, these people know it is our last night," said Dalton; "and
see what a use they make of us! Denslow's rich wines poured away like
water; everything soiled, smeared, and overturned; our entertainment, at
first stately and gracious as a queen's drawing-room, ending, with the
loss of _prestige_, in the riot of a _bal masqué_. So fades ambition! But
to this duke."

Denslow, who had passed into the polite stage of inebriation, evident to
close observers, had arranged a little exclusive circle, which included
three women of fashionable reputation, his wife, the Duke, Jeffrey Lethal,
and Adonaïs. Rêve de Noir officiated as attendant. The _fauteuils_ and
couches were disposed around a pearl table, on which were liquors, coffee,
wines, and a few delicacies for Honoria, who had not supped. They were in
the purple recess adjoining the third drawing-room. Adonaïs talked with
the Duke about Italy; Lethal criticized; while Honoria, in the full
splendor of her beauty, outshining and overpowering, dropped here and
there a few musical words, like service-notes, to harmonize.

There is no beauty like the newly-enamored. Dalton seemed to forget
himself, as he contemplated her, for a moment. Spaces had been left for
us; the valet placed chairs.

"Dalton," cried Lethal, "you are in time to decide a question of deep
interest;--your friend, De Vere, will assist you. His Highness has given
preference to the women of America over those of Italy. Adonaïs, the
exquisite and mild, settles his neck-tie against the Duke, and objects in
that bland but firm manner which is his. I am the Duke's bottle-holder;
Denslow and wife accept that function for the chivalrous Adonaïs."

"I am of the Duke's party," replied Dalton, in his most agreeable manner.
"To be in the daily converse and view of the most beautiful women in
America, as I have been for years, is a privilege in the cultivation of a
pure taste. I saw nothing in Italy, except on canvas, comparable with what
I see at this moment. The Duke is right; but in commending his judgment, I
attribute to him also sagacity. Beauty is like language; its use is to
conceal. One may, under rose-colored commendations, a fine manner, and a
flowing style, conceal, as Nature does with personal advantages in men,
the gross tastes and vulgar cunning of a charlatan."

Dalton, in saying this, with a manner free from suspicion or excitement,
fixed his eyes upon the Duke's.

"You seem to have no faith in either men or women," responded the rich
barytone voice of his Highness, the dark upper lip disclosing, as before,
the row of square, sharp, ivory teeth.

"Little, very little," responded Dalton, with a sigh. "Your Highness will
understand me,--or if not now, presently."

Lethal trod upon Adonaïs's foot; I saw him do it. Adonaïs exchanged
glances with a brilliant hawk-faced lady who sat opposite. The lady smiled
and touched her companion. Honoria, who saw everything, opened her
magnificent eyes to their full extent. Denslow was oblivious.

"In fact," continued Dalton, perceiving the electric flash he had excited,
"skepticism is a disease of my intellect. Perhaps the most noticeable and
palpable fact of the moment is the presence and identity of the Duke who
is opposite to me; and yet, doubting as I sometimes do my own existence,
is it not natural, that, philosophically speaking, the presence and
identity of your Highness are at moments a subject of philosophical
doubt?"

"In cases of this kind," replied the Duke, "we rest upon circumstantial
evidence."

So saying, he drew from his finger a ring and handed it to Dalton, who
went to the light and examined it closely, and passed it to me. It was a
minute cameo, no larger than a grain of wheat, in a ring of plain gold; a
rare and beautiful work of microscopic art.

"I seem to remember presenting the Duke of Rosecouleur with a similar
ring, in Italy," said Dalton, resuming his seat; "but the coincidence does
not resolve my philosophic doubt, excited by the affair of the picture. We
all supposed that we saw a portrait of the Hon. Mrs. Denslow in yon
picture; and we seemed to discover, under the management of your valet,
that Denslow's picture, a genuine duplicate of the original by the author,
was a modern copy. Since your Highness quitted the gallery, those
delusions have ceased. The picture appears now to be genuine. The
likeness to Mrs. Denslow has vanished."

An exclamation of surprise from all present, except the Duke, followed
this announcement.

"And so," continued Dalton, "it may be with this ring, which now seems to
be the one I gave the Duke at Rome, but to-morrow may be different."

As he spoke, Dalton gave back the ring to the Duke, who received it with
his usual grace.

"Who knows," said Lethal, with a deceptive innocence of manner, "whether
aristocracy itself be not founded in mesmerical deceptions?"

"I think, Lethal," observed Adonaïs, "you push the matter. It would be
impossible, for instance, even for his Highness, to make Honoria Denslow
appear ugly."

We all looked at Honoria, to whom the Duke leaned over and said,--

"Would you be willing for a moment to lose that exquisite beauty?"

"For my sake, Honoria," said Dalton, "refuse him."

The request, so simply made, was rewarded by a ravishing smile.

"Edward, do you know that you have not spoken a kind word to me to-night,
until now?"

Their eyes met, and I saw that Dalton trembled with a deep emotion. "I
will save you yet," he murmured.

A tall, black hound, of the slender breed, rose up near Honoria, and,
placing his fore-paws upon the edge of the pearl table, turned and licked
her face and eyes.

It was the vision of a moment. The dog sprang upon the sofa by the Duke's
side, growling and snapping.

"Rêve de Noir," cried Lethal and Adonaïs, "drive the dog away!"

The valet had disappeared.

"I have no fear of him, gentlemen," said the Duke, patting the head of the
hound; "he is a faithful servant, and has a faculty of reading thoughts.
Go bring my servant, Demon," said the Duke.

The hound sprang away with a great bound, and in an instant Rêve de Noir
was standing behind us. The dog did not appear again.

Honoria looked bewildered. "Of what dog were you speaking, Edward?"

"The hound that licked your face."

"You are joking. I saw no hound."

"See, gentlemen," exclaimed Lethal, "his Highness shows us tricks. He is a
wizard."

The three women gave little shrieks,--half pleasure, half terror.

Denslow, who had fallen back in his chair asleep, awoke and rubbed his
eyes.

"What is all this, Honoria?"

"That his Highness is a wizard," she said, with a forced laugh, glancing
at Dalton.

"Will his Highness do us the honor to lay aside the mask, and appear in
his true colors?" said Dalton, returning Honoria's glance with an
encouraging look.

"Gentlemen," said the Duke, haughtily, "I am your guest, and by
hospitality protected from insult."

"Insult, most noble Duke!" exclaimed Lethal, with a sneer,--"impossible,
under the roof of our friend, the Honorable Walter Denslow, in the small
hours of the night, and in the presence of the finest women in the world.
Dalton, pray, reassure his Highness!"

"Edward! Edward!" murmured Honoria, "have a care,--even if it be as you
think."

Dalton remained bland and collected.

"Pardon, my Lord, the effect of a little wine, and of those wonderful
fantasies you have shown us. Your dog, your servant, and yourself interest
us equally; the picture, the ring,--all are wonderful. In supposing that
you had assumed a mask, and one so noble, I was led into an error by these
miracles, expecting no less than a translation of yourself into the person
of some famous wonder-worker. It is, you know, a day of miracles, and even
kings have their salaried seers, and take counsel of the spiritual world.
More!--let us have more!"

The circle were amazed; the spirit of superstitious curiosity seized upon
them.

"Rêve de Noir," said the Duke, "a carafe, and less light."

The candelabra became dim. The Duke took the carafe of water from the
valet, and, standing up, poured it upon the air; it broke into flames,
which mounted and floated away, singly or in little crowds. Still the Duke
poured, and dashing up the water with his hand, by and by the ceiling was
illuminated with a thousand miniature tongues of violet-colored fire. We
clapped our hands, and applauded,--"Beautiful I marvellous! wonderful,
Duke!--your Highness is the only magician,"--when, on a sudden, the flames
disappeared and the lights rose again.

"The world is weary of skepticism," remarked Lethal; "there is no
chemistry for that. It is the true magic, doubtless,--recovered from
antiquity by his Highness. Are the wonders exhausted?"

The Duke smiled again. He stretched out his hand toward Honoria, and she
slept. It was the work of an instant.

"I have seen that before," said Dalton.

"Not as we see it," responded his Highness. "Rêve de Noir, less light!"
The room was dark in a moment. Over the head of Honoria appeared a cloud,
at first black, and soon in this a nucleus of light, which expanded and
shaped itself into an image and took the form of the sleeper, nude and
spiritual, a belt of rosy mist enveloping and concealing all but a head
and bust of ravishing beauty. The vision gazed with languid and beseeching
eyes upon Dalton, and a sigh seemed to heave the bosom. In scarce a
breathing-time, it was gone. Honoria waked, unconscious of what had
passed.

Deep terror and amazement fell upon us all.

"I have seen enough," said Dalton, rising slowly, and drawing a small
riding-whip, "to know now that this person is no duke, but either a
charlatan or a devil. In either case, since he has intruded here, to
desecrate and degrade, I find it proper to apply a magic more material."

At the word, all rose exclaiming,--"For God's sake, Dalton!" He pressed
forward and laid his hand upon the Duke. A cry burst from Rêve de Noir
which rent our very souls; and a flash followed, unspeakably bright, which
revealed the demoniacal features of the Duke, who sat motionless,
regarding Dalton's uplifted arm. A darkness followed, profound and
palpable. I listened in terror. There was no sound. Were we transformed?
Silence, darkness, still. I closed my eyes, and opened them again. A pale,
cold light became slowly perceptible, stealing through a crevice, and
revealing the walls and ceiling of my narrow room. The dream still
oppressed me. I went to the window, and let in reality with the morning
light. Yet, for days after, the images of the real Honoria and Dalton, my
friends, remained separated from the creatures of the vision; and the
Denslow Palace of dreamland, the pictures, the revelry, and the magic of
the Demon Duke haunted my memory, and kept with them all their visionary
splendors and regrets.



MYRTLE FLOWERS


Since Love within my heart made nest,
  With the fond trust of brooding bird,
  I find no all-embracing word
To say how deeply I am blest.

Though wintry clouds are in the air
  And the dead leaves unburied lie,
  Nor open is the violet's eye,
I see new beauty everywhere.

I walk beneath the naked trees,
  Where wild streams shiver as they pass,
  Yet in the sere and sighing grass
I hear a murmur as of bees,--

The bees that in love's morning rise
  From tender eyes and lips to drain,
  In ecstasies of blissful pain,
The sweets that bloomed in Paradise.

There twines a joy with every care
  That springs within this sacred ground;
  But, oh! to give what I have found
Doth thrill me with divine despair.

If distant, thou dost rise a star
  Whose beams are with my being wrought,
  And curvest all my teeming thought
With sweet attractions from afar.

As a winged ship, in calmest hour,
  Still moves upon the mighty sea
  To some deep ocean melody,
I feel thy spirit and thy power.



CHESUNCOOK

[Continued]


How far men go for the material of their houses! The inhabitants of the
most civilized cities, in all ages, send into far, primitive forests,
beyond the bounds of their civilization, where the moose and bear and
savage dwell, for their pine-boards for ordinary use. And, on the other
hand, the savage soon receives from cities iron arrow-points, hatchets,
and guns to point his savageness with.

The solid and well-defined fir-tops, like sharp and regular spear-heads,
black against the sky, gave a peculiar, dark, and sombre look to the
forest. The spruce-tops have a similar, but more ragged outline,--their
shafts also merely feathered below. The firs were somewhat oftener regular
and dense pyramids. I was struck by this universal spiring upward of the
forest evergreens. The tendency is to slender, spiring tops, while they
are narrower below. Not only the spruce and fir, but even the arbor-vitae
and white pine, unlike the soft, spreading second-growth, of which I saw
none, all spire upwards, lifting a dense spear-head of cones to the light
and air, at any rate, while their branches straggle after as they may; as
Indians lift the ball over the heads of the crowd in their desperate game.
In this they resemble grasses, as also palms somewhat. The hemlock is
commonly a tent-like pyramid from the ground to its summit.

After passing through some long rips and by a large island, we reached an
interesting part of the river called the Pine-Stream Dead-Water, about six
miles below Ragmuff, where the river expanded to thirty rods in width and
had many islands in it, with elms and canoe-birches, now yellowing, along
the shore, and we got our first sight of Katadn.

Here, about two o'clock, we turned up a small branch three or four rods
wide, which comes in on the right from the south, called Pine Stream, to
look for moose signs. We had gone but a few rods before we saw very recent
signs along the water's edge, the mud lifted up by their feet being quite
fresh, and Joe declared that they had gone along there but a short time
before. We soon reached a small meadow on the east side, at an angle in
the stream, which was for the most part densely covered with alders. As we
were advancing along the edge of this, rather more quietly than usual,
perhaps, on account of the freshness of the signs,--the design being to
camp up this stream, if it promised well,--I heard a slight crackling of
twigs deep in the alders, and turned Joe's attention to it; whereupon he
began to push the canoe back rapidly; and we had receded thus half a dozen
rods, when we suddenly spied two moose standing just on the edge of the
open part of the meadow which we had passed, not more than six or seven
rods distant, looking round the alders at us. They made me think of great
frightened rabbits, with their long ears and half-inquisitive, half-
frightened looks; the true denizens of the forest, (I saw at once,)
filling a vacuum which now first I discovered had not been filled for me,
--_moose-_men, _wood-eaters_, the word is said to mean,--clad in a sort of
Vermont gray, or homespun. Our Nimrod, owing to the retrograde movement,
was now the farthest from the game; but being warned of its neighborhood,
he hastily stood up, and, while we ducked, fired over our heads one barrel
at the foremost, which alone he saw, though he did not know what kind of
creature it was; whereupon this one dashed across the meadow and up a high
bank on the north-east, so rapidly as to leave but an indistinct
impression of its outlines on my mind. At the same instant, the other, a
young one, but as tall as a horse, leaped out into the stream, in full
sight, and there stood cowering for a moment, or rather its
disproportionate lowness behind gave it that appearance, and uttering two
or three trumpeting squeaks. I have an indistinct recollection of seeing
the old one pause an instant on the top of the bank in the woods, look
toward its shivering young, and then dash away again. The second barrel
was levelled at the calf, and when we expected to see it drop in the
water, after a little hesitation, it, too, got out of the water, and
dashed up the hill, though in a somewhat different direction. All this was
the work of a few seconds, and our hunter, having never seen a moose
before, did not know but they were deer, for they stood partly in the
water, nor whether he had fired at the same one twice or not. From the
style in which they went off, and the fact that he was not used to
standing up and firing from a canoe, I judged that we should not see
anything more of them. The Indian said that they were a cow and her calf,
--a yearling, or perhaps two years old, for they accompany their dams so
long; but, for my part, I had not noticed much difference in their size.
It was but two or three rods across the meadow to the foot of the bank,
which, like all the world thereabouts, was densely wooded; but I was
surprised to notice, that, as soon as the moose had passed behind the veil
of the woods, there was no sound of foot-steps to be heard from the soft,
damp moss which carpets that forest, and long before we landed, perfect
silence reigned. Joe said, "If you wound 'em moose, me sure get 'em."

We all landed at once. My companion reloaded; the Indian fastened his
birch, threw off his hat, adjusted his waistband, seized the hatchet, and
set out. He told me afterward, casually, that before we landed he had seen
a drop of blood on the bank, when it was two or three rods off. He
proceeded rapidly up the bank and through the woods, with a peculiar,
elastic, noiseless, and stealthy tread, looking to right and left on the
ground, and stepping in the faint tracks of the wounded moose, now and
then pointing in silence to a single drop of blood on the handsome,
shining leaves of the Clintonia Borealis, which, on every side, covered
the ground, or to a dry fern-stem freshly broken, all the while chewing
some leaf or else the spruce gum. I followed, watching his motions more
than the trail of the moose. After following the trail about forty rods in
a pretty direct course, stepping over fallen trees and winding between
standing ones, he at length lost it, for there were many other moose-
tracks there, and, returning once more to the last bloodstain, traced it a
little way and lost it again, and, too soon, I thought, for a good hunter,
gave it up entirely. He traced a few steps, also, the tracks of the calf;
but, seeing no blood, soon relinquished the search.

I observed, while he was tracking the moose, a certain reticence or
moderation in him. He did not communicate several observations of interest
which he made, as a white man would have done, though they may have leaked
out afterward. At another time, when we heard a slight crackling of twigs
and he landed to reconnoitre, he stepped lightly and gracefully, stealing
through the bushes with the least possible noise, in a way in which no
white man does,--as it were, finding a place for his foot each time.

About half an hour after seeing the moose, we pursued our voyage up Pine
Stream, and soon, coming to a part which was very shoal and also rapid, we
took out the baggage, and proceeded to carry it round, while Joe got up
with the canoe alone. We were just completing our portage and I was
absorbed in the plants, admiring the leaves of the aster macrophyllus, ten
inches wide, and plucking the seeds of the great round-leaved orchis, when
Joe exclaimed from the stream that he had killed a moose. He had found the
cow-moose lying dead, but quite warm, in the middle of the stream, which
was so shallow that it rested on the bottom, with hardly a third of its
body above water. It was about an hour after it was shot, and it was
swollen with water. It had run about a hundred rods and sought the stream
again, cutting off a slight bend. No doubt, a better hunter would have
tracked it to this spot at once. I was surprised at its great size, horse-
like, but Joe said it was not a large cow-moose. My companion went in
search of the calf again. I took hold of the ears of the moose, while Joe
pushed his canoe down stream toward a favorable shore, and so we made out,
though with some difficulty, its long nose frequently sticking in the
bottom, to drag it into still shallower water. It was a brownish black, or
perhaps a dark iron-gray, on the back and sides, but lighter beneath and
in front. I took the cord which served for the canoe's painter, and with
Joe's assistance measured it carefully, the greatest distances first,
making a knot each time. The painter being wanted, I reduced these
measures that night with equal care to lengths and fractions of my
umbrella, beginning with the smallest measures, and untying the knots as I
proceeded; and when we arrived at Chesuncook the next day, finding a two-
foot rule there, I reduced the last to feet and inches; and, moreover, I
made myself a two-foot rule of a thin and narrow strip of black ash which
would fold up conveniently to six inches. All this pains I took because I
did not wish to be obliged to say merely that the moose was very large. Of
the various dimensions which I obtained I will mention only two. The
distance from the tips of the hoofs of the fore-feet, stretched out, to
the top of the back between the shoulders, was seven feet and five inches.
I can hardly believe my own measure, for this is about two feet greater
than the height of a tall horse. The extreme length was eight feet and two
inches. Another cow-moose, which I have since measured in those woods with
a tape, was just six feet from the tip of the hoof to the shoulders, and
eight feet long as she lay.

When afterward I asked an Indian at the carry how much taller the male
was, he answered, "Eighteen inches," and made me observe the height of a
cross-stake over the fire, more than four feet from the ground, to give
me some idea of the depth of his chest. Another Indian, at Oldtown, told
me that they were nine feet high to the top of the back, and that one
which he tried weighed eight hundred pounds. The length of the spinal
projections between the shoulders is very great. A white hunter, who was
the best authority among hunters that I could have, told me that the male
was _not_ eighteen inches taller than the female; yet he agreed that he
was sometimes nine feet high to the top of the back, and weighed a
thousand pounds. Only the male has horns, and they rise two feet or more
above the shoulders,--spreading three or four, and sometimes six feet,--
which would make him in all, sometimes, eleven feet high! According to
this calculation, the moose is as tall, though it may not be as large, as
the great Irish elk, Megaceros Hibernicus, of a former period, of which
Mantell says that it "very far exceeded in magnitude any living species,
the skeleton" being "upward of ten feet high from the ground to the
highest point of the antlers." Joe said, that, though the moose shed the
whole horn annually, each new horn has an additional prong; but I have
noticed that they sometimes have more prongs on one side than on the
other. I was struck with the delicacy and tenderness of the hoofs, which
divide very far up, and the one half could be pressed very much behind the
other, thus probably making the animal surer-footed on the uneven ground
and slippery moss-covered logs of the primitive forest. They were very
unlike the stiff and battered feet of our horses and oxen. The bare, horny
part of the fore-foot was just six inches long, and the two portions could
be separated four inches at the extremities.

The moose is singularly grotesque and awkward to look at. Why should it
stand so high at the shoulders? Why have so long a head? Why have no tail
to speak of? for in my examination I overlooked it entirely. Naturalists
say it is an inch and a half long. It reminded me at once of the
camelopard, high before and low behind,--and no wonder, for, like it, it
is fitted to browse on trees. The upper lip projected two inches beyond
the lower for this purpose. This was the kind of man that was at home
there; for, as near as I can learn, that has never been the residence, but
rather the hunting-ground of the Indian. The moose will perhaps one day
become extinct; but how naturally then, when it exists only as a fossil
relic, and unseen as that, may the poet or sculptor invent a fabulous
animal with similar branching and leafy horns,--a sort of fucus or lichen
in bone,--to be the inhabitant of such a forest as this!

Here, just at the head of the murmuring rapids, Joe now proceeded to skin
the moose with a pocket-knife, while I looked on; and a tragical business
it was,--to see that still warm and palpitating body pierced with a
knife, to see the warm milk stream from the rent udder, and the ghastly
naked red carcass appearing from within its seemly robe, which was made to
hide it. The ball had passed through the shoulder-blade diagonally and
lodged under the skin on the opposite side, and was partially flattened.
My companion keeps it to show to his grandchildren. He has the shanks of
another moose which he has since shot, skinned and stuffed, ready to be
made into boots by putting in a thick leather sole. Joe said, if a moose
stood fronting you, you must not fire, but advance toward him, for he will
turn slowly and give you a fair shot. In the bed of this narrow, wild, and
rocky stream, between two lofty walls of spruce and firs, a mere cleft in
the forest which the stream had made, this work went on. At length Joe had
stripped off the hide and dragged it trailing to the shore, declaring that
it weighed a hundred pounds, though probably fifty would have been nearer
the truth. He cut off a large mass of the meat to carry along, and
another, together with the tongue and nose, he put with the hide on the
shore to lie there all night, or till we returned. I was surprised that he
thought of leaving this meat thus exposed by the side of the carcass, as
the simplest course, not fearing that any creature would touch it; but
nothing did. This could hardly have happened on the bank of one of our
rivers in the eastern part of Massachusetts; but I suspect that fewer
small wild animals are prowling there than with us. Twice, however, in
this excursion I had a glimpse of a species of large mouse.

This stream was so withdrawn, and the moose-tracks were so fresh, that my
companions, still bent on hunting, concluded to go farther up it and camp,
and then hunt up or down at night. Half a mile above this, at a place
where I saw the aster puniceus and the beaked hazel, as we paddled along,
Joe, hearing a slight rustling amid the alders, and seeing something black
about two rods off, jumped up and whispered, "Bear!" but before the hunter
had discharged his piece, he corrected himself to "Beaver!"--"Hedgehog!"
The bullet killed a large hedgehog, more than two feet and eight inches
long. The quills were rayed out and flattened on the hinder part of its
back, even as if it had lain on that part, but were erect and long between
this and the tail. Their points, closely examined, were seen to be finely
bearded or barbed, and shaped like an awl, that is, a little concave, to
give the barbs effect. After about a mile of still water, we prepared our
camp on the right side, just at the foot of a considerable fall. Little
chopping was done that night, for fear of scaring the moose. We had moose-
meat fried for supper. It tasted like tender beef, with perhaps more
flavor,--sometimes like veal.

After supper, the moon having risen, we proceeded to hunt a mile up this
stream, first "carrying" about the falls. We made a picturesque sight,
wending single-file along the shore, climbing over rocks and logs,--Joe,
who brought up the rear, twirling his canoe in his hands as if it were a
feather, in places where it was difficult to get along without a burden.

We launched the canoe again from the ledge over which the stream fell, but
after half a mile of still water, suitable for hunting, it became rapid
again, and we were compelled to make our way along the shore, while Joe
endeavored to get up in the birch alone, though it was still very
difficult for him to pick his way amid the rocks in the night. We on the
shore found the worst of walking, a perfect chaos of fallen and drifted
trees, and of bushes projecting far over the water, and now and then we
made our way across the mouth of a small tributary on a kind of net-work
of alders. So we went tumbling on in the dark, being on the shady side,
effectually scaring all the moose and bears that might be thereabouts. At
length we came to a standstill, and Joe went forward to reconnoitre; but
he reported that it was still a continuous rapid as far as he went, or
half a mile, with no prospect of improvement, as if it were coming down
from a mountain. So we turned about, hunting back to the camp through the
still water. It was a splendid moonlight night, and I, getting sleepy as
it grew late,--for I had nothing to do,--found it difficult to realize
where I was. This stream was much more unfrequented than the main one,
lumbering operations being no longer carried on in this quarter. It was
only three or four rods wide, but the firs and spruce through which it
trickled seemed yet taller by contrast. Being in this dreamy state, which
the moonlight enhanced, I did not clearly discern the shore, but seemed,
most of the time, to be floating through ornamental grounds,--for I
associated the fir-tops with such scenes;--very high up some Broadway, and
beneath or between their tops, I thought I saw an endless succession of
porticos and columns, cornices and façades, verandas and churches. I did
not merely fancy this, but in my drowsy state such was the illusion. I
fairly lost myself in sleep several times, still dreaming of that
architecture and the nobility that dwelt behind and might issue from it;
but all at once I would be aroused and brought back to a sense of my
actual position by the sound of Joe's birch horn in the midst of all this
silence calling the moose, _ugh, ugh, oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo_, and I prepared
to hear a furious moose come rushing and crashing through the forest, and
see him burst out on to the little strip of meadow by our side.

But, on more accounts than one, I had had enough of moose-hunting. I had
not come to the woods for this purpose, nor had I foreseen it, though I
had been willing to learn how the Indian manoeuvred; but one moose killed
was as good, if not as bad, as a dozen. The afternoon's tragedy, and my
share in it, as it affected the innocence, destroyed the pleasure of my
adventure. It is true, I came as near as is possible to come to being a
hunter and miss it, myself; and as it is, I think that I could spend a
year in the woods, fishing and hunting, just enough to sustain myself,
with satisfaction. This would be next to living like a philosopher on the
fruits of the earth which you had raised, which also attracts me. But this
hunting of the moose merely for the satisfaction of killing him,--not even
for the sake of his hide,--without making any extraordinary exertion or
running any risk yourself, is too much like going out by night to some
wood-side pasture and shooting your neighbor's horses. These are God's own
horses, poor, timid creatures, that will run fast enough as soon as they
smell you, though they _are_ nine feet high. Joe told us of some hunters
who a year or two before had shot down several oxen by night, somewhere in
the Maine woods, mistaking them for moose. And so might any of the
hunters; and what is the difference in the sport, but the name? In the
former case, having killed one of God's and _your own_ oxen, you strip off
its hide,--because that is the common trophy, and, moreover, you have
heard that it may be sold for moccasins,--cut a steak from its haunches,
and leave the huge carcass to smell to heaven for you. It is no better, at
least, than to assist at a slaughter-house.

This afternoon's experience suggested to me how base or coarse are the
motives which commonly carry men into the wilderness. The explorers and
lumberers generally are all hirelings, paid so much a day for their labor,
and as such they have no more love for wild nature than wood-sawyers have
for forests. Other white men and Indians who come here are for the most
part hunters, whose object is to slay as many moose and other wild animals
as possible. But, pray, could not one spend some weeks or years in the
solitude of this vast wilderness with other employments than these,--
employments perfectly sweet and innocent and ennobling? For one that comes
with a pencil to sketch or sing, a thousand come with an axe or rifle.
What a coarse and imperfect use Indians and hunters make of Nature! No
wonder that their race is so soon exterminated. I already, and for weeks
afterward, felt my nature the coarser for this part of my woodland
experience, and was reminded that our life should be lived as tenderly and
daintily as one would pluck a flower.

With these thoughts, when we reached our camping-ground, I decided to
leave my companions to continue moose-hunting down the stream, while I
prepared the camp, though they requested me not to chop much nor make a
large fire, for fear I should scare their game. In the midst of the damp
fir-wood, high on the mossy bank, about nine o'clock of this bright
moonlight night, I kindled a fire, when they were gone, and, sitting on
the fir-twigs, within sound of the falls, examined by its light the
botanical specimens which I had collected that afternoon, and wrote down
some of the reflections which I have here expanded; or I walked along the
shore and gazed up the stream, where the whole space above the falls was
filled with mellow light. As I sat before the fire on my fir-twig seat,
without walls above or around me, I remembered how far on every hand that
wilderness stretched, before you came to cleared or cultivated fields, and
wondered if any bear or moose was watching the light of my fire; for
Nature looked sternly upon me on account of the murder of the moose.

Strange that so few ever come to the woods to see how the pine lives and
grows and spires, lifting its evergreen arms to the light,--to see its
perfect success; but most are content to behold it in the shape of many
broad boards brought to market, and deem that its true success! But the
pine is no more lumber than man is, and to be made into boards and houses
is no more its true and highest use than the truest use of a man is to be
cut down and made into manure. There is a higher law affecting our
relation to pines as well as to men. A pine cut down, a dead pine, is no
more a pine than a dead human carcass is a man. Can he who has discovered
only some of the values of whalebone and whale oil be said to have
discovered the true use of the whale? Can he who slays the elephant for
his ivory be said to have "seen the elephant"? These are petty and
accidental uses; just as if a stronger race were to kill us in order to
make buttons and flageolets of our bones; for everything may serve a lower
as well as a higher use. Every creature is better alive than dead, men and
moose and pine-trees, and he who understands it aright will rather
preserve its life than destroy it.

Is it the lumberman, then, who is the friend and lover of the pine, stands
nearest to it, and understands its nature best? Is it the tanner who has
barked it, or he who has boxed it for turpentine, whom posterity will
fable to have been changed into a pine at last? No! no! it is the poet; he
it is who makes the truest use of the pine,--who does not fondle it with
an axe, nor tickle it with a saw, nor stroke it with a plane,--who knows
whether its heart is false without cutting into it,--who has not bought
the stumpage of the township on which it stands. All the pines shudder and
heave a sigh when _that_ man steps on the forest floor. No, it is the
poet, who loves them as his own shadow in the air, and lets them stand. I
have been into the lumber-yard, and the carpenter's shop, and the tannery,
and the lampblack-factory, and the turpentine clearing; but when at length
I saw the tops of the pines waving and reflecting the light at a distance
high over all the rest of the forest, I realized that the former were not
the highest use of the pine. It is not their bones or hide or tallow that
I love most. It is the living spirit of the tree, not its spirit of
turpentine, with which I sympathize, and which heals my cuts.

Ere long, the hunters returned, not having seen a moose, but, in
consequence of my suggestions, bringing a quarter of the dead one, which,
with ourselves, made quite a load for the canoe.

After breakfasting on moose-meat, we returned down Pine Stream on our way
to Chesuncook Lake, which was about five miles distant. We could see the
red carcass of the moose lying in Pine Stream when nearly half a mile off.
Just below the mouth of this stream were the most considerable rapids
between the two lakes, called Pine-Stream Falls, where were large flat
rocks washed smooth, and at this time you could easily wade across above
them. Joe ran down alone while we walked over the portage, my companion
collecting spruce gum for his friends at home, and I looking for flowers.
Near the lake, which we were approaching with as much expectation as if it
had been a university,--for it is not often that the stream of our life
opens into such expansions,--were islands, and a low and meadowy shore
with scattered trees, birches, white and yellow, slanted over the water,
and maples,--many of the white birches killed, apparently by inundations.
There was considerable native grass; and even a few cattle--whose
movements we heard, though we did not see them, mistaking them at first
for moose--were pastured there.

On entering the lake, where the stream runs southeasterly, and for some
time before, we had a view of the mountains about Katadn,
(_Katahdinauquoh_ one says they are called,) like a cluster of blue fungi
of rank growth, apparently twenty-five or thirty miles distant, in a
southeast direction, their summits concealed by clouds. Joe called some of
them the _Souadneunk_ mountains. This is the name of a stream there, which
another Indian told us meant "Running between mountains." Though some
lower summits were afterward uncovered, we got no more complete view of
Katadn while we were in the woods. The clearing to which we were bound was
on the right of the mouth of the river, and was reached by going round a
low point, where the water was shallow to a great distance from the shore.
Chesuncook Lake extends northwest and southeast, and is called eighteen
miles long and three wide, without an island. We had entered the northwest
corner of it, and when near the shore could see only part way down it. The
principal mountains visible from the land here were those already
mentioned, between southeast and east, and a few summits a little west of
north, but generally the north and northwest horizon about the St. John
and the British boundary was comparatively level.

Ansell Smith's, the oldest and principal clearing about this lake,
appeared to be quite a harbor for _bateaux_ and canoes; seven or eight of
the former were lying about, and there was a small scow for hay, and a
capstan on a platform, now high and dry, ready to be floated and anchored
to tow rafts with. It was a very primitive kind of harbor, where boats
were drawn up amid the stumps,--such a one, methought, as the Argo might
have been launched in. There were five other huts with small clearings on
the opposite side of the lake, all at this end and visible from this
point. One of the Smiths told me that it was so far cleared that they came
here to live and built the present house four years before, though the
family had been here but a few months.

I was interested to see how a pioneer lived on this side of the country.
His life is in some respects more adventurous than that of his brother in
the West; for he contends with winter as well as the wilderness, and there
is a greater interval of time at least between him and the army which is
to follow. Here immigration is a tide which may ebb when it has swept away
the pines; there it is not a tide, but an inundation, and roads and other
improvements come steadily rushing after.

As we approached the log-house, a dozen rods from the lake, and
considerably elevated above it, the projecting ends of the logs lapping
over each other irregularly several feet at the corners gave it a very
rich and picturesque look, far removed from the meanness of weather-
boards. It was a very spacious, low building, about eighty feet long, with
many large apartments. The walls were well clayed between the logs, which
were large and round, except on the upper and under sides, and as visible
inside as out, successive bulging cheeks gradually lessening upwards and
tuned to each other with the axe, like Pandean pipes. Probably the musical
forest-gods had not yet cast them aside; they never do till they are split
or the bark is gone. It was a style of architecture not described by
Vitruvius, I suspect, though possibly hinted at in the biography of
Orpheus; none of your frilled or fluted columns, which have cut such a
false swell, and support nothing but a gable end and their builder's
pretensions,--that is, with the multitude; and as for "ornamentation," one
of those words with a dead tail which architects very properly use to
describe their flourishes, there were the lichens and mosses and fringes
of bark, which nobody troubled himself about. We certainly leave the
handsomest paint and clapboards behind in the woods, when we strip off the
bark and poison ourselves with white-lead in the towns. We get but half
the spoils of the forest. For beauty, give me trees with the fur on. This
house was designed and constructed with the freedom of stroke of a
forester's axe, without other compass and square than Nature uses.
Wherever the logs were cut off by a window or door, that is, were not kept
in place by alternate overlapping, they were held one upon another by very
large pins driven in diagonally on each side, where branches might have
been, and then cut off so close up and down as not to project beyond the
bulge of the log, as if the logs clasped each other in their arms. These
logs were posts, studs, boards, clapboards, laths, plaster, and nails, all
in one. Where the citizen uses a mere sliver or board, the pioneer uses
the whole trunk of a tree. The house had large stone chimneys, and was
roofed with spruce-bark. The windows were imported, all but the casings.
One end was a regular logger's camp, for the boarders, with the usual fir
floor and log benches. Thus this house was but a slight departure from the
hollow tree, which the bear still inhabits,--being a hollow made with
trees piled up, with a coating of bark like its original.

The cellar was a separate building, like an ice-house, and it answered for
a refrigerator at this season, our moose-meat being kept there. It was a
potato-hole with a permanent roof. Each structure and institution here was
so primitive that you could at once refer it to its source; but our
buildings commonly suggest neither their origin nor their purpose. There
was a large, and what farmers would call handsome, barn, part of whose
boards had been sawed by a whip-saw; and the saw-pit, with its great pile
of dust, remained before the house. The long split shingles on a portion
of the barn were laid a foot to the weather, suggesting what kind of
weather they have there. Grant's barn at Caribou Lake was said to be still
larger, the biggest ox-nest in the woods, fifty feet by a hundred. Think
of a monster barn in that primitive forest lifting its gray back above the
tree-tops! Man makes very much such a nest for his domestic animals, of
withered grass and fodder, as the squirrels and many other wild creatures
do for themselves.

There was also a blacksmith's shop, where plainly a good deal of work was
done. The oxen and horses used in lumbering operations were shod, and all
the iron-work of sleds, etc., was repaired or made here. I saw them load a
_bateau_ at the Moosehead carry, the next Tuesday, with about thirteen
hundred weight of bar iron for this shop. This reminded me how primitive
and honorable a trade was Vulcan's. I do not hear that there was any
carpenter or tailor among the gods. The smith seems to have preceded these
and every other mechanic at Chesuncook as well as on Olympus, and his
family is the most widely dispersed, whether he be christened John or
Ansell.

Smith owned two miles down the lake by half a mile in width. There were
about one hundred acres cleared here. He cut seventy tons of English hay
this year on this ground, and twenty more on another clearing, and he uses
it all himself in lumbering operations. The barn was crowded with pressed
hay and a machine to press it. There was a large garden full of roots,
turnips, beets, carrots, potatoes, etc., all of great size. They said that
they were worth as much here as in New York. I suggested some currants for
sauce, especially as they had no apple-trees set out, and showed how
easily they could be obtained.

There was the usual long-handled axe of the primitive woods by the door,
three and a half feet long,--for my new black-ash rule was in constant
use,--and a large, shaggy dog, whose nose, report said, was full of
porcupine quills. I can testify that he looked very sober. This is the
usual fortune of pioneer dogs, for they have to face the brunt of the
battle for their race, and act the part of Arnold Winkelried without
intending it. If he should invite one of his town friends up this way,
suggesting moose-meat and unlimited freedom, the latter might pertinently
inquire, "What is that sticking in your nose?" When a generation or two
have used up all the enemies' darts, their successors lead a comparatively
easy life. We owe to our fathers analogous blessings. Many old people
receive pensions for no other reason, it seems to me, but as a
compensation for having lived a long time ago. No doubt, our town dogs
still talk, in a snuffling way, about the days that tried dogs' noses. How
they got a cat up there I do not know, for they are as shy as my aunt
about entering a canoe. I wondered that she did not run up a tree on the
way; but perhaps she was bewildered by the very crowd of opportunities.

Twenty or thirty lumberers, Yankee and Canadian, were coming and going,--
Aleck among the rest,--and from time to time an Indian touched here. In
the winter there are sometimes a hundred men lodged here at once. The most
interesting piece of news that circulated among them appeared to be, that
four horses belonging to Smith, worth seven hundred dollars, had passed by
further into the woods a week before.

The white-pine-tree was at the bottom or further end of all this. It is a
war against the pines, the only real Aroostook or Penobscot war. I have no
doubt that they lived pretty much the same sort of life in the Homeric
age, for men have always thought more of eating than of fighting; then, as
now, their minds ran chiefly on the "hot bread and sweet cakes"; and the
fur and lumber trade is an old story to Asia and Europe. I doubt if men
ever made a trade of heroism. In the days of Achilles, even, they
delighted in big barns, and perchance in pressed hay, and he who possessed
the most valuable team was the best fellow.

We had designed to go on at evening up the Caucomgomoc, whose mouth was a
mile or two distant, to the lake of the same name, about ten miles off;
but some Indians of Joe's acquaintance, who were making canoes on the
Caucomgomoc, came over from that side, and gave so poor an account of the
moose-hunting, so many had been killed there lately, that my companions
concluded not to go there. Joe spent this Sunday and the night with his
acquaintances. The lumberers told me that there were many moose
hereabouts, but no caribou or deer. A man from Oldtown had killed ten or
twelve moose, within a year, so near the house that they heard all his
guns. His name may have been Hercules, for aught I know, though I should
rather have expected to hear the rattling of his club; but, no doubt, he
keeps pace with the improvements of the age, and uses a Sharpe's rifle
now; probably he gets all his armor made and repaired at Smith's shop. One
moose had been killed and another shot at within sight of the house within
two years. I do not know whether Smith has yet got a poet to look after
the cattle, which, on account of the early breaking up of the ice, are
compelled to summer in the woods, but I would suggest this office to such
of my acquaintances as love to write verses and go a-gunning.

After a dinner, at which apple-sauce was the greatest luxury to me, but
our moose-meat was oftenest called for by the lumberers, I walked across
the clearing into the forest, southward, returning along the shore. For my
dessert, I helped myself to a large slice of the Chesuncook woods, and
took a hearty draught of its waters with all my senses. The woods were as
fresh and full of vegetable life as a lichen in wet weather, and contained
many interesting plants; but unless they are of white pine, they are
treated with as little respect here as a mildew, and in the other case
they are only the more quickly cut down. The shore was of coarse, flat,
slate rocks, often in slabs, with the surf beating on it. The rocks and
bleached drift-logs, extending some way into the shaggy woods, showed a
rise and fall of six or eight feet, caused partly by the dam at the
outlet. They said that in winter the snow was three feet deep on a level
here, and sometimes four or five,--that the ice on the lake was two feet
thick, clear, and four feet, including the snow-ice. Ice had already
formed in vessels.

We lodged here this Sunday night in a comfortable bed-room, apparently the
best one; and all that I noticed unusual in the night--for I still kept
taking notes, like a spy in the camp--was the creaking of the thin split
boards, when any of our neighbors stirred.

Such were the first rude beginnings of a town. They spoke of the
practicability of a winter-road to the Moosehead carry, which would not
cost much, and would connect them with steam and staging and all the busy
world. I almost doubted if the lake would be there,--the self-same lake,--
preserve its form and identity, when the shores should be cleared and
settled; as if these lakes and streams which explorers report never
awaited the advent of the citizen.

The sight of one of these frontier-houses, built of these great logs,
whose inhabitants have unflinchingly maintained their ground many summers
and winters in the wilderness, reminds me of famous forts, like
Ticonderoga, or Crown Point, which have sustained memorable sieges. They
are especially winter-quarters, and at this season this one had a
partially deserted look, as if the siege were raised a little, the snow-
banks being melted from before it, and its garrison accordingly reduced. I
think of their daily food as rations,--it is called "supplies"; a Bible
and a great coat are munitions of war, and a single man seen about the
premises is a sentinel on duty. You expect that he will require the
countersign, and will perchance take you for Ethan Allen, come to demand
the surrender of his fort in the name of the Continental Congress. It is a
sort of ranger service. Arnold's expedition is a daily experience with
these settlers. They can prove that they were out at almost any time; and
I think that all the first generation of them deserve a pension more than
any that went to the Mexican war.

[To be continued.]



THE AUTOCRAT OF THE BREAKFAST-TABLE.

EVERY MAN HIS OWN BOSWELL.

_Aquí está encerrada el alma del licenciado
Pedro Garcias_.


If I should ever make a little book out of these papers, which I hope you
are not getting tired of, I suppose I ought to save the above sentence for
a motto on the title-page. But I want it now, and must use it. I need not
say to you that the words are Spanish, nor that they are to be found in
the short Introduction to "Gil Blas," nor that they mean, "Here lies
buried the soul of the licentiate Pedro Garcias."

I warned all young people off the premises when I began my notes referring
to old age. I must be equally fair with old people now. They are earnestly
requested to leave this paper to young persons from the age of twelve to
that of four-score years and ten, at which latter period of life I am sure
that I shall have at least one youthful reader. You know well enough what
I mean by youth and age;--something in the soul, which has no more to do
with the color of the hair than the vein of gold in a rock has to do with
the grass a thousand feet above it.

I am growing bolder as I write. I think it requires not only youth, but
genius, to read this paper. I don't mean to imply that it required any
whatsoever to talk what I have here written down. It did demand a certain
amount of memory, and such command of the English tongue as is given by a
common school education. So much I do claim. But here I have related, at
length, a string of trivialities. You must have the imagination of a poet
to transfigure them. These little colored patches are stains upon the
windows of a human soul; stand on the outside, they are but dull and
meaningless spots of color; seen from within, they are glorified shapes
with empurpled wings and sunbright aureoles.

My hand trembles when I offer you this. Many times I have come bearing
flowers such as my garden grew; but now I offer you this poor, brown,
homely growth, you may cast it away as worthless. And yet--and yet--it is
something better than flowers; it is a _seed-capsule_. Many a gardener
will cut you a bouquet of his choicest blossoms for small fee, but he does
not love to let the seeds of his rarest varieties go out of his own hands.

It is by little things that we know ourselves; a soul would very probably
mistake itself for another, when once disembodied, were it not for
individual experiences that differed from those of others only in details
seemingly trifling. All of us have been thirsty thousands of times, and
felt, with Pindar, that water was the best of things. I alone, as I think,
of all mankind, remember one particular pailful of water, flavored with
the white-pine of which the pail was made, and the brown mug out of which
one Edmund, a red-faced and curly-haired boy, was averred to have bitten a
fragment in his haste to drink; it being then high summer, and little
full-blooded boys feeling very warm and porous in the low-"studded"
school-room where Dame Prentiss, dead and gone, ruled over young children,
many of whom are old ghosts now, and have known Abraham for twenty or
thirty years of our mortal time.

Thirst belongs to humanity, everywhere, in all ages; but that white-pine
pail and that brown mug belong to me in particular; and just so of my
special relationships with other things and with my race. One could never
remember himself in eternity by the mere fact of having loved or hated any
more than by that of having thirsted; love and hate have no more
individuality in them than single waves in the ocean;--but the accidents
or trivial marks which distinguished those whom we loved or hated make
their memory our own forever, and with it that of our own personality
also.

Therefore, my aged friend of five-and-twenty, or thereabouts, pause at the
threshold of this particular record, and ask yourself seriously whether
you are fit to read such revelations as are to follow. For observe, you
have here no splendid array of petals such as poets offer you,--nothing
but a dry shell, containing, if you will get out what is in it, a few
small seeds of poems. You may laugh at them, if you like. I shall never
tell you what I think of you for so doing. But if you can read into the
heart of these things, in the light of other memories as slight, yet as
dear to your soul, then you are neither more nor less than a POET, and can
afford to write no more verses during the rest of your natural life,--
which abstinence I take to be one of the surest marks of your meriting the
divine name I have just bestowed upon you.

[May I beg of you who have begun this paper, nobly trusting to your own
imagination and sensibilities to give it the significance which it does
not lay claim to without your kind assistance,--may I beg of you, I say,
to pay particular attention to the _brackets_ which enclose certain
paragraphs? I want my "asides," you see, to whisper loud to you who read
my notes, and sometimes I talk a page or two to you without pretending
that I said a word of it to our boarders. You will find a very long
"aside" to you almost as soon as you begin to read. And so, dear young
friend, fall to at once, taking such things as I have provided for you;
and if you turn them, by the aid of your powerful imagination, into a fair
banquet, why, then, peace be with you, and a summer by the still waters of
some quiet river, or by some yellow beach, where, as my friend, the
Professor, says, you can sit with Nature's wrist in your hand and count
her ocean-pulses.]

I should like to make a few intimate revelations relating especially to my
early life, if I thought you would like to hear them.

[The schoolmistress turned a little in
her chair, and sat with her face directed partly towards me.--Half-
mourning now;--purple ribbon. That breastpin she wears has _gray_ hair in
it; her mother's, no doubt;--I remember our landlady's daughter telling
me, soon after the school-mistress came to board with us, that she had
lately "buried a payrent." That's what made her look so pale,--kept the
poor sick thing alive with her own blood. Ah! long illness is the real
vampyrism; think of living a year or two after one is dead, by sucking the
life-blood out of a frail young creature at one's bedside!--Well, souls
grow white, as well as cheeks, in these holy duties; one that goes in a
nurse may come out an angel.--God bless all good women!--to their soft
hands and pitying hearts we must all come at last!----The schoolmistress
has a better color than when she came.---- ---- Too late!----"It might
have been."----Amen!

----How many thoughts go to a dozen heart-beats, sometimes! There was no
long pause after my remark addressed to the company, but in that time I
had the train of ideas and feelings I have just given flash through my
consciousness sudden and sharp as the crooked red streak that springs out
of its black sheath like the creese of a Malay in his death-rage, and
stabs the earth right and left in its blind rage.

I don't deny that there was a pang in it,--yes, a stab; but there was a
prayer, too,--the "Amen" belonged to that.--Also, a vision of a four-story
brick house, nicely furnished,--I actually saw many specific articles,--
curtains, sofas, tables, and others, and could draw the patterns of them
at this moment,--a brick house, I say, looking out on the water, with a
fair parlor, and books and busts and pots of flowers and bird-cages, all
complete; and at the window, looking on the water, two of us.--"Male and
female created He them."--These two were standing at the window, when a
little boy that was playing near them looked up at me with such a look
that I---- ----poured out a glass of water, drank it all down, and then
continued.]

I said I should like to tell you some things, such as people commonly
never tell, about my early recollections. Should you like to hear them?

Should we _like_ to hear them?--said the schoolmistress;--no, but we
should _love_ to.

[The voice was a sweet one, naturally, and had something very pleasant in
its tone, just then.--The four-story brick house, which had gone out like
a transparency when the light behind it is quenched, glimmered again for a
moment; parlor, books, busts, flower-pots, bird-cages, all complete,--and
the figures as before.]

We are waiting with eagerness, Sir,--said the divinity-student.

[The transparency went out as if a flash of black lightning had struck
it.]

If you want to hear my confessions, the next thing--I said--is to know
whether I can trust you with them. It is only fair to say that there are a
great many people in the world that laugh at such things. _I_ think they
are fools, but perhaps you don't all agree with me.

Here are children of tender age talked to as if they were capable of
understanding Calvin's "Institutes," and nobody has honesty or sense
enough to tell the plain truth about the little wretches: that they are as
superstitious as naked savages, and such miserable spiritual cowards--that
is, if they have any imagination--that they will believe anything which is
taught them, and a great deal more which they teach themselves.

I was born and bred, as I have told you twenty times, among books and
those who knew what was in books. I was carefully instructed in things
temporal and spiritual. But up to a considerable maturity of childhood I
believed Raphael and Michel Angelo to have been super-human beings. The
central doctrine of the prevalent religious faith of Christendom was
utterly confused and neutralized in my mind for years by one of those too
common stories of actual life, which I overheard repeated in a whisper.--
Why did I not ask? you will say.--You don't remember the rosy pudency of
sensitive children. The first instinctive movement of the little creatures
is to make a _cache_, and bury in it beliefs, doubts, dreams, hopes, and
terrors. I am uncovering one of these _caches_. Do you think I was
necessarily a greater fool and coward than another?

I was afraid of ships. Why, I could never tell. The masts looked
frightfully tall,--but they were not so tall as the steeple of our old
yellow meeting-house. At any rate, I used to hide my eyes from the sloops
and schooners that were wont to lie at the end of the bridge, and I
confess that traces of this undefined terror lasted very long.--One other
source of alarm had a still more fearful significance. There was a great
wooden HAND,--a glove-maker's sign, which used to swing and creak in the
blast, as it hung from a pillar before a certain shop a mile or two
outside of the city. Oh, the dreadful hand! Always hanging there ready to
catch up a little boy, who would come home to supper no more, nor yet to
bed,--whose porringer would be laid away empty thenceforth, and his half-
worn shoes wait until his small brother grew to fit them.

As for all manner of superstitious observances, I used once to think I
must have been peculiar in having such a list of them, but I now believe
that half the children of the same age go through the same experiences. No
Roman soothsayer ever had such a catalogue of _omens_ as I found in the
Sibylline leaves of my childhood. That trick of throwing a stone at a tree
and attaching some mighty issue to hitting or missing, which you will find
mentioned in one or more biographies, I well remember. Stepping on or over
certain particular things or spots--Dr. Johnson's especial weakness--I got
the habit of at a very early age.--I won't swear that I have not some
tendency to these not wise practices even at this present date. [How many
of you that read these notes can say the same thing!]

With these follies mingled sweet delusions, which I loved so well I would
not outgrow them, even when it required a voluntary effort to put a
momentary trust in them. Here is one which I cannot help telling you.

The firing of the great guns at the Navy-yard is easily heard at the place
where I was born and lived. "There is a ship of war come in," they used to
say, when they heard them. Of course, I supposed that such vessels came in
unexpectedly, after indefinite years of absence,--suddenly as falling
stones; and that the great guns roared in their astonishment and delight
at the sight of the old warship splitting the bay with her cutwater. Now,
the sloop-of-war the Wasp, Captain Blakely, after gloriously capturing the
Reindeer and the Avon, had disappeared from the face of the ocean, and was
supposed to be lost. But there was no proof of it, and, of course, for a
time, hopes were entertained that she might be heard from. Long after the
last real chance had utterly vanished, I pleased myself with the fond
illusion that somewhere on the waste of waters she was still floating, and
there were _years_ during which I never heard the sound of the great guns
booming inland from the Navy-yard without saying to myself, "The Wasp has
come!" and almost thinking I could see her, as she rolled in, crumpling
the water before her, weather-beaten, barnacled, with shattered spars and
threadbare canvas, welcomed by the shouts and tears of thousands. This was
one of those dreams that I nursed and never told. Let me make a clean
breast of it now, and say, that, so late as to have outgrown childhood,
perhaps to have got far on towards manhood, when the roar of the cannon
has struck suddenly on my ear, I have started with a thrill of vague
expectation and tremulous delight, and the long-unspoken words have
articulated themselves in the mind's dumb whisper, _The Wasp has come!_

----Yes, children believe plenty of queer things. I suppose all of you
have had the pocket-book fever when you were little?--What do I mean? Why,
ripping up old pocket-books in the firm belief that bank-bills to an
immense amount were hidden in them.--So, too, you must all remember some
splendid unfulfilled promise of somebody or other, which fed you with
hopes perhaps for years, and which left a blank in your life which nothing
has ever filled up.--O.T. quitted our household carrying with him the
passionate regrets of the more youthful members. He was an ingenious
youngster; wrote wonderful copies, and carved the two initials given above
with great skill on all available surfaces. I thought, by the way, they
were all gone; but the other day I found them on a certain door which I
will show you some time. How it surprised me to find them so near the
ground! I had thought the boy of no trivial dimensions. Well, O.T. when he
went, made a solemn promise to two of us. I was to have a ship, and the
other a mar_tin_-house (last syllable pronounced as in the word _tin_).
Neither ever came; but, oh, how many and many a time I have stolen to the
corner,--the cars pass close by it at this time,--and looked up that long
avenue, thinking that he must be coming now, almost sure, as I turned to
look northward, that there he would be, trudging toward me, the ship in
one hand and the mar_tin_-house in the other!

[You must not suppose that all I am going to say, as well as all I have
said, was told to the whole company. The young fellow whom they call John
was in the yard, sitting on a barrel and smoking a cheroot, the fumes of
which came in, not ungrateful, through the open window. The divinity-
student disappeared in the midst of our talk. The poor relation in black
bombazine, who looked and moved as if all her articulations were elbow-
joints, had gone off to her chamber, after waiting with a look of soul-
subduing decorum at the foot of the stairs until one of the male sort had
passed her and ascended into the upper regions. This is a famous point of
etiquette in our boarding-house; in fact, between ourselves, they make
such an awful fuss about it, that I, for one, had a great deal rather have
them simple enough not to think of such matters at all. Our land-lady's
daughter said, the other evening, that she was going to "retire"; where-
upon the young fellow called John took up a lamp and insisted on lighting
her to the foot of the staircase. Nothing would induce her to pass by him,
until the schoolmistress, saying in good plain English that it was her
bed-time, walked straight by them both, not seeming to trouble herself
about either of them.

I have been led away from what I meant the portion included in these
brackets to inform my readers about. I say, then, most of the boarders had
left the table about the time when I began telling some of these secrets
of mine, all of them, in fact, but the old gentleman opposite and the
schoolmistress. I understand why a young woman should like to hear these
homely but genuine experiences of early life, which are, as I have said,
the little brown seeds of what may yet grow to be poems with leaves of
azure and gold; but when the old gentleman pushed up his chair nearer to
me, and slanted round his best ear, and once, when I was speaking of some
trifling, tender reminiscence, drew a long breath, with such a tremor in
it that a little more and it would have been a sob, why, then I felt there
must be something of nature in them which redeemed their seeming
insignificance. Tell me, man or woman with whom I am whispering, have you
not a small store of recollections, such as these I am uncovering, buried
beneath the dead leaves of many summers, perhaps under the unmelting snows
of fast-returning winters,--a few such recollections, which, if you
should write them all out, would be swept into some careless editor's
drawer, and might cost a scanty half-hour's lazy reading to his
subscribers,--and yet, if Death should cheat you of them, you would not
know yourself in eternity?]

----I made three acquaintances at a
very early period of life, my introduction to whom was never forgotten.
The first unequivocal act of wrong that has left its trace in my memory
was this: it was refusing a small favor asked of me,--nothing more than
telling what had happened at school one morning. No matter who asked it;
but there were circumstances which saddened and awed me. I had no heart to
speak;--I faltered some miserable, perhaps petulant excuse, stole away,
and the first battle of life was lost. What remorse followed I need not
tell. Then and there; to the best of my knowledge, I first consciously
took Sin by the hand and turned my back on Duty. Time has led me to look
upon my offence more leniently; I do not believe it or any other childish
wrong is infinite, as some have pretended, but infinitely finite. Yet, oh
if I had but won that battle!

The great Destroyer, whose awful shadow it was that had silenced me, came
near me,--but never, so as to be distinctly seen and remembered, during my
tender years. There flits dimly before me the image of a little girl,
whose name even I have forgotten, a schoolmate, whom we missed one day,
and were told that she had died. But what death was I never had any very
distinct idea, until one day I climbed the low stone wall of the old
burial-ground and mingled with a group that were looking into a very deep,
long, narrow hole, dug down through the green sod, down through the brown
loam, down through the yellow gravel, and there at the bottom was an
oblong red box, and a still, sharp, white face of a young man seen through
an opening at one end of it. When the lid was closed, and the gravel and
stones rattled down pell-mell, and the woman in black, who was crying and
wringing her hands, went off with the other mourners, and left him, then I
felt that I had seen Death, and should never forget him.

One other acquaintance I made at an earlier period of life than the habit
of romancers authorizes.--Love, of course.--She was a famous beauty
afterwards.--I am satisfied that many children rehearse their parts in the
drama of life before they have shed all their milk-teeth.--I think I won't
tell the story of the golden blonde.--I suppose everybody has had his
childish fancies; but sometimes they are passionate impulses, which
anticipate all the tremulous emotions belonging to a later period. Most
children remember seeing and adoring an angel before they were a dozen
years old.

[The old gentleman had left his chair opposite and taken a seat by the
schoolmistress and myself, a little way from the table.--It's true, it's
true,--said the old gentleman.--He took hold of a steel watch-chain, which
carried a large, square gold key at one end and was supposed to have some
kind of timekeeper at the other. With some trouble he dragged up an
ancient-looking, thick, silver, bull's-eye watch. He looked at it for a
moment,--hesitated,--touched the inner corner of his right eye with the
pulp of his middle finger,--looked at the face of the watch,--said it was
getting into the forenoon,--then opened the watch and handed me the loose
outside case without a word.--The watch-paper had been pink once, and had
a faint tinge still, as if all its tender life had not yet quite faded
out. Two little birds, a flower, and, in small school-girl letters, a
date,--17...--no matter.--Before I was thirteen years old,--said the old
gentleman.--I don't know what was in that young schoolmistress's head, nor
why she should have done it; but she took out the watch-paper and put it
softly to her lips, as if she were kissing the poor thing that made it so
long ago. The old gentleman took the watch-paper carefully from her,
replaced it, turned away and walked out, holding the watch in his hand. I
saw him pass the window a moment after with that foolish white hat on his
head; he couldn't have been thinking what he was about when he put it on.
So the schoolmistress and I were left alone. I drew my chair a shade
nearer to her, and continued.]

And since I am talking of early recollections, I don't know why I
shouldn't mention some others that still cling to me,--not that you will
attach any very particular meaning to these same images so full of
significance to me, but that you will find something parallel to them in
your own memory. You remember, perhaps, what I said one day about smells.
There were certain _sounds_ also which had a mysterious suggestiveness to
me,--not so intense, perhaps, as that connected with the other sense, but
yet peculiar, and never to be forgotten.

The first was the creaking of the wood-sleds, bringing their loads of oak
and walnut from the country, as the slow-swinging oxen trailed them along
over the complaining snow, in the cold, brown light of early morning.
Lying in bed and listening to their dreary music had a pleasure in it akin
to that which Lucretius describes in witnessing a ship toiling through the
waves while we sit at ease on shore, or that which Byron speaks of as to
be enjoyed in looking on at a battle by one "who hath no friend, no
brother there."

There was another sound, in itself so sweet, and so connected with one of
those simple and curious superstitions of childhood of which I have
spoken, that I can never cease to cherish a sad sort of love for it.--Let
me tell the superstitious fancy first. The Puritan "Sabbath," as everybody
knows, began at "sundown" on Saturday evening. To such observance of it I
was born and bred. As the large, round disk of day declined, a stillness,
a solemnity, a somewhat melancholy hush came over us all. It was time for
work to cease, and for playthings to be put away. The world of active life
passed into the shadow of an eclipse, not to emerge until the sun should
sink again beneath the horizon.

It was in this stillness of the world without and of the soul within that
the pulsating lullaby of the evening crickets used to make itself most
distinctly heard,--so that I well remember I used to think that the
purring of these little creatures, which mingled with the batrachian hymns
from the neighboring swamp, was peculiar to Saturday evenings. I don't
know that anything could give a clearer idea of the quieting and subduing
effect of the old habit of observance of what was considered holy time,
than this strange, childish fancy.

Yes, and there was still another sound which mingled its solemn cadences
with the waking and sleeping dreams of my boyhood. It was heard only at
times,--a deep, muffled roar, which rose and fell, not loud, but vast,--a
whistling boy would have drowned it for his next neighbor, but it must
have been heard over the space of a hundred square miles. I used to wonder
what this might be. Could it be the roar of the thousand wheels and the
ten thousand footsteps jarring and tramping along the stones of the
neighboring city? That would be continuous; but this, as I have said, rose
and fell in regular rhythm. I remember being told, and I suppose this to
have been the true solution, that it was the sound of the waves, after a
high wind, breaking on the long beaches many miles distant. I should
really like to know whether any observing people living ten miles, more or
less, inland from long beaches,--in such a town, for instance, as
Cantabridge, in the eastern part of the Territory of the Massachusetts,--
have ever observed any such sound, and whether it was rightly accounted
for as above.

Mingling with these inarticulate sounds in the low murmur of memory, are
the echoes of certain voices I have heard at rare intervals. I grieve to
say it, but our people, I think, have not generally agreeable voices. The
marrowy organisms, with skins that shed water like the backs of ducks,
with smooth surfaces neatly padded beneath, and velvet linings to their
singing-pipes, are not so common among us as that other pattern of
humanity with angular outlines and plane surfaces, arid integuments, hair
like the fibrous covering of a cocoa-nut in gloss and suppleness as well
as color, and voices at once thin and strenuous,--acidulous enough to
produce effervescence with alkalis, and stridulous enough to sing duets
with the katydids. I think our conversational soprano, as sometimes
overheard in the cars, arising from a group of young persons, who may have
taken the train at one of our great industrial centres, for instance,--
young persons of the female sex, we will say, who have bustled in full-
dressed, engaged in loud strident speech, and who, after free discussion,
have fixed on two or more double seats, which having secured, they proceed
to eat apples and hand round daguerreotypes,--I say, I think the
conversational soprano, heard under these circumstances, would not be
among the allurements the old Enemy would put in requisition, were he
getting up a new temptation of St. Anthony.

There are sweet voices among us, we all know, and voices not musical, it
may be, to those who hear them for the first time, yet sweeter to us than
any we shall hear until we listen to some warbling angel in the overture
to that eternity of blissful harmonies we hope to enjoy.--But why should I
tell lies? If my friends love me, it is because I try to tell the truth. I
never heard but two voices in my life that frightened me by their
sweetness.

----Frightened you?--said the school-mistress.--Yes, frightened me. They
made me feel as if there might be constituted a creature with such a chord
in her voice to some string in another's soul, that, if she but spoke, he
would leave all and follow her, though it were into the jaws of Erebus.
Our only chance to keep our wits is, that there are so few natural chords
between others' voices and this string in our souls, and that those which
at first may have jarred a little by and by come into harmony with it.--
But I tell you this is no fiction. You may call the story of Ulysses and
the Sirens a fable, but what will you say to Mario and the poor lady who
followed him?

----Whose were those two voices that bewitched me so?--They both belonged
to German women. One was a chambermaid, not otherwise fascinating. The key
of my room at a certain great hotel was missing, and this Teutonic maiden
was summoned to give information respecting it. The simple soul was
evidently not long from her mother-land, and spoke with sweet uncertainty
of dialect. But to hear her wonder and lament and suggest, with soft,
liquid inflexions, and low, sad murmurs, in tones as full of serious
tenderness for the fate of the lost key as if it had been a child
that had strayed from its mother, was so winning, that, had her features
and figure been as delicious as her accents,--if she had looked like the
marble Clytie, for instance,--why, all I can say is----

[The schoolmistress opened her eyes so wide, that I stopped short.]

I was only going to say that I should have drowned myself. For Lake Erie
was close by, and it is so much better to accept asphyxia, which takes
only three minutes by the watch, than a _mésalliance_, that lasts fifty
years to begin with, and then passes along down the line of descent,
(breaking out in all manner of boorish manifestations of feature and
manner, which, if men were only as short-lived as horses, could be readily
traced back through the square-roots and the cube-roots of the family
stem, on which you have hung the armorial bearings of the De Champignons
or the De la Morues, until one came to beings that ate with knives and
said "Haow?") that no person of right feeling could have hesitated for a
single moment.

The second of the ravishing voices I have heard was, as I have said, that
of another German woman.--I suppose I shall ruin myself by saying that
such a voice could not have come from any Americanized human being.

----What was there in it?--said the schoolmistress,--and, upon my word,
her tones were so very musical, that I almost wished I had said three
voices instead of two, and not made the unpatriotic remark above
reported.--Oh, I said, it had so much _woman_ in it,--_muliebrity_, as
well as _femineity_;--no self-assertion, such as free suffrage introduces
into every word and movement; large, vigorous nature, running back to
those huge-limbed Germans of Tacitus, but subdued by the reverential
training and tuned by the kindly culture of fifty generations. Sharp
business habits, a lean soil, independence, enterprise, and east winds,
are not the best things for the larynx. Still, you hear noble voices among
us,--I have known families famous for them,--but ask the first person you
meet a question, and ten to one there is a hard, sharp, metallic, matter-
of-business clink in the accents of the answer, that produces the effect
of one of those bells which small trades-people connect with their shop-
doors, and which spring upon your ear with such vivacity, as you enter,
that your first impulse is to retire at once from the precincts.

----Ah, but I must not forget that dear little child I saw and heard in a
French hospital. Between two and three years old. Fell out of her chair
and snapped both thigh-bones. Lying in bed, patient, gentle. Rough
students round her, some in white aprons, looking fearfully business-like;
but the child placid, perfectly still. I spoke to her, and the blessed
little creature answered me in a voice of such heavenly sweetness, with
that reedy thrill in it which you have heard in the thrush's even-song,
that I hear it at this moment, while I am writing, so many, many years
afterwards.--_C'est tout comme un serin_, said the French student at my
side.

These are the voices which struck the key-note of my conceptions as to
what the sounds we are to hear in heaven will be, if we shall enter
through one of the twelve gates of pearl. There must be other things
besides aërolites that wander from their own spheres to ours; and when we
speak of celestial sweetness or beauty, we may be nearer the literal truth
than we dream. If mankind generally are the shipwrecked survivors of some
pre-Adamitic cataclysm, set adrift in these little open boats of humanity
to make one more trial to reach the shore,--as some grave theologians have
maintained,--if, in plain English, men are the ghosts of dead devils who
have "died into life," (to borrow an expression from Keats,) and walk the
earth in a suit of living rags that lasts three or four score summers,--
why, there must have been a few good spirits sent to keep them company,
and these sweet voices I speak of must belong to them.

----I wish you could once hear my sister's voice,--said the
schoolmistress.

If it is like yours, it must be a pleasant one,--said I.

I never thought mine was anything,--said the schoolmistress.

How should you know?--said I.--People never hear their own voices,--any
more than they see their own faces. There is not even a looking-glass for
the voice. Of course, there is something audible to us when we speak; but
that something is not our own voice as it is known to all our
acquaintances. I think, if an image spoke to us in our own tones, we
should not know them in the least.--How pleasant it would be, if in
another state of being we could have shapes like our former selves for
playthings,--we standing outside or inside of them, as we liked, and they
being to us just what we used to be to others!

----I wonder if there will be nothing like what we call "play," after our
earthly toys are broken,--said the schoolmistress.

Hush,--said I,--what will the divinity-student say?

[I thought she was hit, that time;--but the shot must have gone over her,
or on one side of her; she did not flinch.]

Oh,--said the schoolmistress,--he must look out for my sister's heresies;
I am afraid he will be too busy with them to take care of mine.

Do you mean to say,--said I,--that it is _your sister_ whom that
student----

[The young fellow commonly known as John, who had been sitting on the
barrel, smoking, jumped off just then, kicked over the barrel, gave it a
push with his foot that set it rolling, and stuck his saucy-looking face
in at the window so as to cut my question off in the middle; and the
schoolmistress leaving the room a few minutes afterwards, I did not have a
chance to finish it.

The young fellow came in and sat down in a chair, putting his heels on the
top of another.

Pooty girl,--said he.

A fine young lady,--I replied.

Keeps a fust-rate school, according to accounts,--said he,--teaches all
sorts of things,--Latin and Italian and music. Folks rich once,--smashed
up. She went right ahead as smart as if she'd been born to work. That's
the kind o' girl I go for. I'd marry her, only two or three other girls
would drown themselves, if I did.

I think the above is the longest speech of this young fellow's which I
have put on record. I do not like to change his peculiar expressions, for
this is one of those cases in which the style is the man, as M. de Buffon
says. The fact is, the young fellow is a good-hearted creature enough,
only too fond of his jokes,--and if it were not for those heat-lightning
winks on one side of his face, I should not mind his fun much.]

[Some days after this, when the company were together again, I talked a
little.]

----I don't think I have a genuine hatred for anybody. I am well aware
that I differ herein from the sturdy English moralist and the stout
American tragedian. I don't deny that I hate _the sight_ of certain
people; but the qualities which make me tend to hate the man himself are
such as I am so much disposed to pity, that, except under immediate
aggravation, I feel kindly enough to the worst of them. It is such a sad
thing to be born a sneaking fellow, so much worse than to inherit a hump-
back or a couple of club-feet, that I sometimes feel as if we ought to
love the crippled souls, if I may use this expression, with a certain
tenderness which we need not waste on noble natures. One who is born with
such congenital incapacity that nothing can make a gentleman of him is
entitled, not to our wrath, but to our profoundest sympathy. But as we
cannot help hating the sight of these people, just as we do that of
physical deformities, we gradually eliminate them from our society,--we
love them, but open the window and let them go. By the time decent people
reach middle age they have weeded their circle pretty well of these
unfortunates, unless they have a taste for such animals; in which case, no
matter what their position may be, there is something, you may be sure, in
their natures akin to that of their wretched parasites.

----The divinity-student wished to know what I thought of affinities, as
well as of antipathies; did I believe in love at first sight?

Sir,--said I,--all men love all women. That is the _primâ-facie_ aspect of
the case. The Court of Nature assumes the law to be, that all men do so;
and the individual man is bound to show cause why he does not love any
particular woman. A man, says one of my old black-letter law-books, may
show divers good reasons, as thus; He hath not seen the person named in
the indictment; she is of tender age, or the reverse of that; she hath
certain personal disqualifications,--as, for instance, she is a
blackamoor, or hath an ill-favored countenance; or, his capacity of loving
being limited, his affections are engrossed by a previous comer; and so of
other conditions. Not the less is it true that he is bound by duty and
inclined by nature to love each and every woman. Therefore it is that each
woman virtually summons every man to show cause why he doth not love her.
This is not by written document, or direct speech, for the most part, but
by certain signs of silk, gold, and other materials, which say to all
men,--Look on me and love, as in duty bound. Then the man pleadeth his
special incapacity, whatsoever that may be,--as, for instance,
impecuniosity, or that he hath one or many wives in his household, or that
he is of mean figure, or small capacity; of which reasons it may be noted,
that the first is, according to late decisions, of chiefest authority.--So
far the old law-book. But there is a note from an older authority, saying
that every woman doth also love each and every man, except there be some
good reason to the contrary; and a very observing friend of mine, a young
unmarried clergyman, tells me, that, so far as his experience goes, he has
reason to think the ancient author had fact to justify his statement.

I'll tell you how it is with the pictures of women we fall in love with at
first sight.

----We a'n't talking about pictures,--said the landlady's daughter,--
we're talking about women.

I understood that we were speaking of love at sight,--I remarked, mildly.
--Now, as all a man knows about a woman whom he looks at is just what a
picture as big as a copper, or a "nickel," rather, at the bottom of his
eye can teach him, I think I am right in saying we are talking about the
pictures of women.--Well, now, the reason why a man is not desperately in
love with ten thousand women at once is just that which prevents all our
portraits being distinctly seen upon that wall. They all _are_ painted
there by reflection from our faces, but because _all_ of them are painted
on each spot, and each on the same surface, and many other objects at the
same time, no one is seen as a picture. But darken a chamber and let a
single pencil of rays in through a key-hole, then you have a picture on
the wall. We never fall in love with a woman in distinction from women,
until we can get an image of her through a pin-hole; and then we can see
nothing else, and nobody but ourselves can see the image in our mental
camera-obscura.

----My friend, the Poet, tells me he has to leave town whenever the
anniversaries come round.

What's the difficulty?--Why, they all want him to get up and make
speeches, or songs, or toasts; which is just the very thing he doesn't
want to do. He is an old story, he says, and hates to show on these
occasions. But they tease him, and coax him, and can't do without him, and
feel all over his poor weak head until they get their fingers on the
_fontanelle_, (the Professor will tell you what this means,--he says the
one at the top of the head always remains open in poets,) until, by gentle
pressure on that soft pulsating spot, they stupefy him to the point of
acquiescence.

There are times, though, he says, when it is a pleasure, before going to
some agreeable meeting, to rush out into one's garden and clutch up a
handful of what grows there,--weeds and violets together,--not cutting
them off, but pulling them up by the roots with the brown earth they grow
in sticking to them. That's his idea of a post-prandial performance. Look
here, now. These verses I am going to read you, he tells me, were pulled
up by the roots just in that way, the other day.--Beautiful entertainment,
--names there on the plates that flow from all English-speaking tongues as
familiarly as _and_ or _the_; entertainers known wherever good poetry and
fair title-pages are held in esteem; guest a kind-hearted, modest, genial,
hopeful poet, who sings to the hearts of his countrymen, the British
people, the songs of good cheer which the better days to come, as all
honest souls trust and believe, will turn into the prose of common life.
My friend, the Poet, says you must not read such a string of verses too
literally. If he trimmed it nicely below, you wouldn't see the roots, he
says, and he likes to keep them, and a little of the soil clinging to
them.

This is the farewell my friend, the Poet, read to his and our friend, the
Poet:--


A GOOD TIME GOING!

Brave singer of the coming time,
  Sweet minstrel of the joyous present,
Crowned with the noblest wreath of rhyme,
  The holly-leaf of Ayrshire's peasant,
Good-bye! Good-bye!--Our hearts and hands,
  Our lips in honest Saxon phrases,
Cry, God be with him, till he stands
  His feet among the English daisies!

'Tis here we part;--for other eyes
  The busy deck, the fluttering streamer,
The dripping arms that plunge and rise,
  The waves in foam, the ship in tremor,
The kerchiefs waving from the pier,
  The cloudy pillar gliding o'er him,
The deep blue desert, lone and drear,
  With heaven above and home before him!

His home!--the Western giant smiles,
  And twirls the spotty globe to find it;--
This little speck the British Isles?
  'Tis but a freckle,--never mind it!--
He laughs, and all his prairies roll,
  Each gurgling cataract roars and chuckles,
And ridges stretched from pole to pole
  Heave till they crack their iron knuckles!

But Memory blushes at the sneer,
  And Honor turns with frown defiant,
And Freedom, leaning on her spear,
  Laughs louder than the laughing giant:--
"An islet is a world," she said,
  "When glory with its dust has blended,
And Britain keeps her noble dead
  Till earth and seas and skies are rended!"

Beneath each swinging forest-bough
  Some arm as stout in death reposes,--
From wave-washed foot to heaven-kissed brow
  Her valor's life-blood runs in roses;
Nay, let our brothers of the West
  Write smiling in their florid pages,
One-half her soil has walked the rest
  In poets, heroes, martyrs, sages!

Hugged in the clinging billow's clasp,
  From sea-weed fringe to mountain heather,
The British oak with rooted grasp
  Her slender handful holds together;--
With cliffs of white and bowers of green,
  And Ocean narrowing to caress her,
And hills and threaded streams between,--
  Our little mother isle, God bless her!

In earth's broad temple where we stand,
  Fanned by the eastern gales that brought us,
We hold the missal in our hand,
  Bright with the lines our Mother taught us;
Where'er its blazoned page betrays
  The glistening links of gilded fetters,
Behold, the half-turned leaf displays
  Her rubric stained in crimson letters!

Enough! To speed a parting friend
  'Tis vain alike to speak and listen;--
Yet stay,--these feeble accents blend
  With rays of light from eyes that glisten.
Good-bye! once more,--and kindly tell
  In words of peace the young world's story,--
And say, besides,--we love too well
  Our mother's soil, our fathers' glory!


When my friend, the Professor, found that my friend, the Poet, had been
coming out in this full-blown style, he got a little excited, as you may
have seen a canary, sometimes, when another strikes up. The Professor says
he knows he can lecture, and thinks he can write verses. At any rate, he
has often tried, and now he was determined to try again. So when some
professional friends of his called him up, one day, after a feast of
reason and a regular "freshet" of soul which had lasted two or three
hours, he read them these verses. He introduced them with a few remarks,
he told me, of which the only one he remembered was this: that he had
rather write a single line which one among them should think worth
remembering than set them all laughing with a string of epigrams. It was
all right, I don't doubt; at any rate, that was his fancy then, and
perhaps another time he may be obstinately hilarious; however, it may be
that he is growing graver, for time is a fact so long as clocks and
watches continue to go, and a cat can't be a kitten always, as the old
gentleman opposite said the other day.

You must listen to this seriously, for I think the Professor was very much
in earnest when he wrote it.


THE TWO ARMIES.

As Life's unending column pours,
  Two marshalled hosts are seen,--
Two armies on the trampled shores
  That Death flows black between.

One marches to the drum-beat's roll,
  The wide-mouthed clarion's bray,
And bears upon a crimson scroll,
  "Our glory is to slay."

One moves in silence by the stream,
  With sad, yet watchful eyes,
Calm as the patient planet's gleam
  That walks the clouded skies.

Along its front no sabres shine,
  No blood-red pennons wave;
Its banner bears the single line,
  "Our duty is to save."

For those no death-bed's lingering shade;
  At Honor's trumpet-call,
With knitted brow and lifted blade
  In Glory's arms they fall.

For these no clashing falchions bright,
  No stirring battle-cry;
The bloodless stabber calls by night,--
  Each answers, "Here am I!"

For those the sculptor's laurelled bust,
  The builder's marble piles,
The anthems pealing o'er their dust
  Through long cathedral aisles.

For these the blossom-sprinkled turf
  That floods the lonely graves,
When Spring rolls in her sea-green surf
  In flowery-foaming waves.

Two paths lead upward from below,
  And angels wait above,
Who count each burning life-drop's flow,
  Each falling tear of Love.

Though from the Hero's bleeding breast
  Her pulses Freedom drew,
Though the white lilies in her crest
  Sprang from that scarlet dew,--

While Valor's haughty champions wait
  Till all their scars are shown,
Love walks unchallenged through the gate
  To sit beside the Throne!



THE AMERICAN TRACT SOCIETY.


There was no apologue more popular in the Middle Ages than that of the
hermit, who, musing on the wickedness and tyranny of those whom the
inscrutable wisdom of Providence had intrusted with the government of the
world, fell asleep and awoke to find himself the very monarch whose abject
life and capricious violence had furnished the subject of his moralizing.
Endowed with irresponsible power, tempted by passions whose existence in
himself he had never suspected, and betrayed by the political necessities
of his position, he became gradually guilty of all the crimes and the
luxury which had seemed so hideous to him in his hermitage over a dish of
water-cresses.

The American Tract Society from small beginnings has risen to be the
dispenser of a yearly revenue of nearly half a million. It has become a
great establishment, with a traditional policy, with the distrust of
change and the dislike of disturbing questions (especially of such
as would lessen its revenues) natural to great establishments. It had been
poor and weak; it has become rich and powerful. The hermit has become
king.

If the pious men who founded the American Tract Society had been told that
within forty years they would be watchful of their publications, lest, by
inadvertence, anything disrespectful might be spoken of the African Slave-
trade,--that they would consider it an ample equivalent for compulsory
dumbness on the vices of Slavery, that their colporteurs could awaken the
minds of Southern brethren to the horrors of St. Bartholomew,--that they
would hold their peace about the body of Cuffee dancing to the music of
the cart-whip, provided only they could save the soul of Sambo alive by
presenting him a pamphlet, which he could not read, on the depravity of
the double-shuffle,--that they would consent to be fellow-members in the
Tract Society with him who sold their fellow-members in Christ on the
auction-block, if he agreed with them in condemning Transubstantiation,
(and it would not be difficult for a gentleman who ignored the real
presence of God in his brother man to deny it in the sacramental wafer,)--
if those excellent men had been told this, they would have shrunk in
horror, and exclaimed, "Are thy servants dogs, that they should do these
things?"

Yet this is precisely the present position of the Society.

There are two ways of evading the responsibility of such inconsistency.
The first is by an appeal to the Society's Constitution, and by claiming
to interpret it strictly in accordance with the rules of law as applied to
contracts, whether between individuals or States. The second is by denying
that Slavery is opposed to the genius of Christianity, and that any moral
wrongs are the necessary results of it. We will not be so unjust to the
Society as to suppose that any of its members would rely on this latter
plea, and shall therefore confine ourselves to a brief consideration of
the other.

In order that the same rules of interpretation should be considered
applicable to the Constitution of the Society and to that of the United
States, we must attribute to the former a solemnity and importance which
involve a palpable absurdity. To claim for it the verbal accuracy and the
legal wariness of a mere contract is equally at war with common sense and
the facts of the case; and even were it not so, the party to a bond who
should attempt to escape its ethical obligation by a legal quibble of
construction would be put in Coventry by all honest men. In point of fact,
the Constitution was simply the minutes of an agreement among certain
gentlemen, to define the limits within which they would accept trust-
funds, and the objects for which they should expend them.

But if we accept the alternative offered by the advocates of strict
construction, we shall not find that their case is strengthened. Claiming
that where the meaning of an instrument is doubtful, it should be
interpreted according to the contemporary understanding of its framers,
they argue that it would be absurd to suppose that gentlemen from the
Southern States would have united to form a society that included in its
objects any discussion of the moral duties arising from the institution of
Slavery. Admitting the first part of their proposition, we deny the
conclusion they seek to draw from it. They are guilty of a glaring
anachronism in assuming the same opinions and prejudices to have existed
in 1825 which are undoubtedly influential in 1858. The Antislavery
agitation did not begin until 1831, and the debates in the Virginia
Convention prove conclusively that six years after the foundation of the
Tract Society, the leading men in that State, men whose minds had been
trained and whose characters had been tempered in that school of action
and experience which was open to all during the heroic period of our
history, had not yet suffered such distortion of the intellect through
passion, and such deadening of the conscience through interest, as would
have prevented their discussing either the moral or the political aspects
of Slavery, and precluded them from uniting in any effort to make the
relation between master and slave less demoralizing to the one and less
imbruting to the other.

Again, it is claimed that the words of the Constitution are conclusive,
and that the declaration that the publications of the Society shall be
such as are "satisfactory to all Evangelical Christians" forbids by
implication the issuing of any tract which could possibly offend the
brethren in Slave States. The Society, it is argued, can publish only on
topics about which all Evangelical Christians are agreed, and must,
therefore, avoid everything in which the question of politics is involved.
But what are the facts about matters other than Slavery? Tracts have been
issued and circulated in which Dancing is condemned as sinful; are all
Evangelical Christians agreed about this? On the Temperance question;
against Catholicism;--have these topics never entered into our politics?
The simple truth is, that Slavery is the only subject about which the
Publishing Committee have felt Constitutional scruples. Till this question
arose, they were like me in perfect health, never suspecting that they had
any constitution at all; but now, like hypochondriacs, they feel it in
every pore, at the least breath from the eastward.

If a strict construction of the words "all Evangelical Christians" be
insisted on, we are at a loss to see where the Committee could draw the
dividing line between what might be offensive and what allowable. The
Society publish tracts in which the study of the Scriptures is enforced
and their denial to the laity by Romanists assailed. But throughout the
South it is criminal to teach a slave to read; throughout the South, no
book could be distributed among the servile population more incendiary
than the Bible, if they could only read it. Will not our Southern brethren
take alarm? The Society is reduced to the dilemma of either denying that
the African has a soul to be saved, or of consenting to the terrible
mockery of assuring him that the way of life is to be found only by
searching a book which he is forbidden to open.

If we carry out this doctrine of strict construction to its legitimate
results, we shall find that it involves a logical absurdity. What is the
number of men whose outraged sensibilities may claim the suppression of a
tract? Is the _taboo_ of a thousand valid? Of a hundred? Of ten? Or are
tracts to be distributed only to those who will find their doctrine
agreeable, and are the Society's colporteurs to be instructed that a
Temperance essay is the proper thing for a total-abstinent infidel, and a
sermon on the Atonement for a distilling deacon? If the aim of the Society
be only to convert men from sins they have no mind to, and to convince
them of errors to which they have no temptation, they might as well be
spending their money to persuade schoolmasters that two and two make four,
or mathematicians that there cannot be two obtuse angles in a triangle. If
this be their notion of the way in which the gospel is to be preached, we
do not wonder that they have found it necessary to print a tract upon the
impropriety of sleeping in church.

But the Society are concluded by their own action; for in 1857 they
unanimously adopted the following resolution: "That those moral duties
which grow out of the existence of Slavery, as well as those moral evils
and vices which it is known to promote, and which are condemned in
Scripture, and so much deplored by Evangelical Christians, undoubtedly do
fall within the province of this Society, and can and ought to be
discussed in a fraternal and Christian spirit." The Society saw clearly
that it was impossible to draw a Mason and Dixon's line in the world of
ethics, to divide Duty by a parallel of latitude. The only line which
Christ drew is that which parts the sheep from the goats, that great
horizon-line of the moral nature of man which is the boundary between
light and darkness. The Society, by yielding (as they have done in 1858)
to what are pleasantly called the "objections" of the South, (objections
of so forcible a nature that we are told the colporteurs were "forced to
flee,") virtually exclude the black man, if born to the southward of a
certain arbitrary line, from the operation of God's providence, and
thereby do as great a wrong to the Creator as the Episcopal Church did to
the artist when they published Ary Scheffer's _Christus Consolator_ with
the figure of the slave left out.

The Society is not asked to disseminate antislavery doctrines, but simply
to be even-handed between master and slave, and, since they have
recommended Sambo and Toney to be obedient to Mr. Legree, to remind him in
turn that he also has duties toward the bodies and souls of his bondmen.
But we are told that the time has not yet arrived, that at present the
ears of our Southern brethren are closed against all appeals, that God in
his good time will turn their hearts, and that then, and not till then,
will be the fitting occasion to do something in the premises. But if the
Society is to await this golden opportunity with such exemplary patience
in one case, why not in all? If it is to decline any attempt at converting
the sinner till after God has converted him, will there be any special
necessity for a tract society at all? Will it not be a little
presumptuous, as well as superfluous, to undertake the doing over again of
what He has already done? We fear that the studies of Blackstone, upon
which the gentlemen who argue thus have entered in order to fit themselves
for the legal and constitutional argument of the question, have confused
their minds, and that they are misled by some fancied analogy between a
tract and an action of trover, and conceive that the one, like the other,
cannot be employed till after an actual conversion has taken place.

The resolutions reported by the Special Committee at the annual meeting of
1857, drawn up with great caution and with a sincere desire to make whole
the breach in the Society, have had the usual fate of all attempts to
reconcile incompatibilities by compromise. They express confidence in the
Publishing Committee, and at the same time impliedly condemn them by
recommending them to do precisely what they had all along scrupulously
avoided doing. The result was just what might have been expected. Both
parties among the Northern members of the Society, those who approved the
former action of the Publishing Committee, and those who approved the new
policy recommended in the resolutions, those who favored silence and those
who favored speech on the subject of Slavery, claimed the victory, while
the Southern brethren, as usual, refused to be satisfied with anything
short of unconditional submission. The word Compromise, as far as Slavery
is concerned, has always been of fatal augury. The concessions of the
South have been like the "With all my worldly goods I thee endow" of a
bankrupt bridegroom, who thereby generously bestows all his debts upon his
wife, and as a small return for his magnanimity consents to accept all her
personal and a life estate in all her real property. The South is willing
that the Tract Society should expend its money to convince the slave that
he has a soul to be saved so far as he is obedient to his master, but not
to persuade the master that he has a soul to undergo a very different
process so far as he is unmerciful to his slave.

We Americans are very fond of this glue of compromise. Like so many quack
cements, it is advertised to make the mended parts of the vessel stronger
than those which have never been broken, but, like them, it will not stand
hot water,--and as the question of Slavery is sure to plunge all who
approach it, even with the best intentions, into that fatal element, the
patched-up brotherhood, which but yesterday was warranted to be better
than new, falls once more into a heap of incoherent fragments. The last
trial of the virtues of the Patent Redintegrator by the Special Committee
of the Tract Society has ended like all the rest, and as all attempts to
buy peace at too dear a rate must end. Peace is an excellent thing, but
principle and pluck are better; and the man who sacrifices them to gain it
finds at last that he has crouched under the Caudine yoke to purchase only
a contemptuous toleration that leaves him at war with his own self-respect
and the invincible forces of his higher nature.

But the peace which Christ promised to his followers was not of this
world; the good gift he brought them was not peace, but a sword. It was no
sword of territorial conquest, but that flaming blade of conscience and
self-conviction which lightened between our first parents and their lost
Eden,--that sword of the Spirit that searcheth all things,--which severs
one by one the ties of passion, of interest, of self-pride, that bind the
soul to earth,--whose implacable edge may divide a man from family, from
friends, from whatever is nearest and dearest,--and which hovers before
him like the air-drawn dagger of Macbeth, beckoning him, not to crime, but
to the legitimate royalties of self-denial and self-sacrifice, to the
freedom which is won only by surrender of the will. Christianity has never
been concession, never peace; it is continual aggression; one province of
wrong conquered, its pioneers are already in the heart of another. The
mile-stones of its onward march down the ages have not been monuments of
material power, but the blackened stakes of martyrs, trophies of
individual fidelity to conviction. For it is the only religion which is
superior to all endowment, to all authority,--which has a bishopric and a
cathedral wherever a single human soul has surrendered itself to God. That
very spirit of doubt, inquiry, and fanaticism for private judgment, with
which Romanists reproach Protestantism, is its stamp and token of
authenticity,--the seal of Christ, and not of the Fisherman.

We do not wonder at the division which has taken place in the Tract
Society, nor do we regret it. The ideal life of a Christian is possible to
very few, but we naturally look for a nearer approach to it in those who
associate together to disseminate the doctrines which they believe to be
its formative essentials, and there is nothing which the enemies of
religion seize on so gladly as any inconsistency between the conduct and
the professions of such persons. Though utterly indifferent to the wrongs
of the slave, the scoffer would not fail to remark upon the hollowness of
a Christianity which was horror-stricken at a dance or a Sunday-drive,
while it was blandly silent about the separation of families, the putting
asunder whom God had joined, the selling Christian girls for Christian
harems, and the thousand horrors of a system which can lessen the agonies
it inflicts only by debasing the minds and souls of the race on whom it
inflicts them. Is your Christianity, then, he would say, a respecter of
persons, and does it condone the sin because the sinner can contribute to
your coffers? Was there ever a Simony like this,--that does not sell, but
withholds, the gift of God for a price?

The world naturally holds the Society to a stricter accountability than it
would insist upon in ordinary cases. Were they only a club of gentlemen
associated for their own amusement, it would be very natural and proper
that they should exclude all questions which would introduce controversy,
and that, however individually interested in certain reforms, they should
not force them upon others who would consider them a bore. But a society
of professing Christians, united for the express purpose of carrying both
the theory and the practice of the New Testament into every household in
the land, has voluntarily subjected itself to a graver responsibility, and
renounced all title to fall back upon any reserved right of personal
comfort or convenience.

We say, then, that we are glad to see this division in the Tract Society,
--not glad because of the division, but because it has sprung from an
earnest effort to relieve the Society of a reproach which was not only
impairing its usefulness, but doing an injury to the cause of truth and
sincerity everywhere. We have no desire to impugn the motives of those who
consider themselves conservative members of the Society; we believe them
to be honest in their convictions, or their want of them; but we think
they have mistaken notions as to what conservatism is, and that they are
wrong in supposing it to consist in refusing to wipe away the film on
their spectacle-glasses which prevents their seeing the handwriting on the
wall, or in conserving reverently the barnacles on their ship's bottom and
the dry-rot in its knees. We yield to none of them in reverence for the
Past; it is there only that the imagination can find repose and seclusion;
there dwells that silent majority whose experience guides our action and
whose wisdom shapes our thought in spite of ourselves;--but it is not
length of days that can make evil reverend, nor persistence in
inconsistency that can give it the power or the claim of orderly
precedent. Wrong, though its title-deeds go back to the days of Sodom, is
by nature a thing of yesterday,--while the right, of which we became
conscious but an hour ago, is more ancient than the stars, and of the
essence of Heaven. If it were proposed to establish Slavery to-morrow,
should we have more patience with its patriarchal argument than with the
parallel claim of Mormonism? That Slavery is old is but its greater
condemnation; that we have tolerated it so long, the strongest plea for
our doing so no longer. There is one institution to which we owe our first
allegiance, one that is more sacred and venerable than any other,--the
soul and conscience of Man.

What claim has Slavery to immunity from discussion? We are told that
discussion is dangerous. Dangerous to what? Truth invites it, courts the
point of the Ithuriel-spear, whose touch can but reveal more clearly the
grace and grandeur of her angelic proportions. The advocates of Slavery
have taken refuge in the last covert of desperate sophism, and affirm that
their institution is of Divine ordination, that its bases are laid in the
nature of man. Is anything, then, of God's contriving endangered by
inquiry? Was it the system of the universe, or the monks, that trembled at
the telescope of Galileo? Did the circulation of the firmament stop in
terror because Newton laid his daring finger on its pulse? But it is idle
to discuss a proposition so monstrous. There is no right of sanctuary for
a crime against humanity, and they who drag an unclean thing to the horns
of the altar bring it to vengeance and not to safety.

Even granting that Slavery were all that its apologists assume it to be,
and that the relation of master and slave were of God's appointing, would
not its abuses be just the thing which it was the duty of Christian men to
protest against, and, as far as might be, to root out? Would our courts
feel themselves debarred from interfering to rescue a daughter from a
parent who wished to make merchandise of her purity, or a wife from a
husband who was brutal to her, by the plea that parental authority and
marriage were of Divine ordinance? Would a police-justice discharge a
drunkard who pleaded the patriarchal precedent of Noah? or would he not
rather give him another month in the House of Correction for his
impudence?

The Antislavery question is not one which the Tract Society can exclude by
triumphant majorities, nor put to shame by a comparison of
respectabilities. Mixed though it has been with politics, it is in no
sense political, and springing naturally from the principles of that
religion which traces its human pedigree to a manger, and whose first
apostles were twelve poor men against the whole world, it can dispense
with numbers and earthly respect. The clergyman may ignore it in the
pulpit, but it confronts him in his study; the church-member, who has
suppressed it in parish-meeting, opens it with the pages of his Testament;
the merchant, who has shut it out of his house and his heart, finds it
lying in wait for him, a gaunt fugitive, in the hold of his ship; the
lawyer, who has declared that it is no concern of his, finds it thrust
upon him in the brief of the slave-hunter; the historian, who had
cautiously evaded it, stumbles over it at Bunker Hill. And why? Because it
is not political, but moral,--because it is not local, but national,
--because it is not a test of party, but of individual honesty and honor.
The wrong which we allow our nation to perpetrate we cannot localize,
if we would; we cannot hem it within the limits of Washington or Kansas;
sooner or later, it will force itself into the conscience and sit by the
hearthstone of every citizen.

It is not partisanship, it is not fanaticism, that has forced this matter
of Anti-slavery upon the American people; it is the spirit of
Christianity, which appeals from prejudices and predilections to the moral
consciousness of the individual man; that spirit elastic as air,
penetrative as heat, invulnerable as sunshine, against which creed after
creed and institution after institution have measured their strength and
been confounded; that restless spirit which refuses to crystallize in any
sect or form, but persists, a Divinely-commissioned radical and
reconstructor, in trying every generation with a new dilemma between case
and interest on the one hand, and duty on the other. Shall it be said that
its kingdom is not of this world? In one sense, and that the highest, it
certainly is not; but just as certainly Christ never intended those words
to be used as a subterfuge by which to escape our responsibilities in the
life of business and politics. Let the cross, the sword, and the arena
answer, whether the world, that then was, so understood its first
preachers and apostles. Caesar and Flamen both instinctively dreaded it,
not because it aimed at riches or power, but because it strove to conquer
that other world in the moral nature of mankind, where it could establish
a throne against which wealth and force would be weak and contemptible. No
human device has ever prevailed against it, no array of majorities or
respectabilities; but neither Caesar nor Flamen ever conceived a scheme so
cunningly adapted to neutralize its power as that graceful compromise
which accepts it with the lip and denies it in the life, which marries it
at the altar and divorces it at the church-door.



NOTE TO THE CATACOMBS OF ROME.


In our first article on the Roman Catacombs we expressed the belief that
"a year was now hardly likely to pass without the discovery" of new
burial-places of the early Christians,--the fresh interest in Christian
archaeology leading to fresh explorations in the hollow soil of the
Campagna. A letter to us from Rome, of the 2lst of April, confirms the
justness of this expectation. We quote from it the following interesting
passage:--

"The excavations on the Via Appia Nuova, which I mentioned in a former
letter, prove very interesting, and have already resulted in most
important discoveries. The spot is at the second milestone outside of the
gate of St. John Lateran. The field is on the left of the road going
towards Albano, and in it are several brick tombs of beautiful fine work,
now or formerly used as dwellings or barns. You and I crossed the very
field on a certain New Year's Day, and lingered to admire the almost
unrivalled view of the Campagna, the mountains, and Rome, which it
affords.

"The first discovery was an ancient basilica, satisfactorily ascertained
to be the one dedicated to St. Stephen, built by Santa Demetria,--the
first nun,--at the instigation of the pope, St. Leo the Great. [A.D. 440-
461.] Sig. Fortunati, who made the discovery and directs the excavations,
told me at great length how he was led to the investigation; but as he has
published this and much more in a pamphlet, which I shall send to you, I
will not repeat it here.

"Twenty-two columns have been found, many of rare and beautiful marble,
one of _verde antico_, most superb, others of _breccia_ and of _cipollino
marino_, said to be rare, and certainly very beautiful. Forty bases and
over thirty capitals of various styles have also been found, as well as
architectural ornaments without number, many of them carved with Greek or
Roman crosses. The rare and superb fragments of marble show that there
must have been costly and beautiful linings and finish. There are also
numerous inscriptions of great interest, which connect this church with
illustrious families and famous martyrs.

"Subsequently, portions of villas were found, with ruined baths, and
mosaics and frescoes, with various pieces of sculpture, some perfect and
of most excellent style. There is also a sarcophagus with bas-relief of a
Bacchic procession, remarkably fine. The government has bought all for the
Museum, and intends spending a large sum in building a basilica over the
remains of the old one, in honor of St. Stephen.

"But the most remarkable discovery is an old Roman tomb, by far the finest
I have seen in its preservation and perfection. It is about eighteen feet
square, has been lined and paved with white marble, some of which still
remains. The lofty ceiling is covered with bas-reliefs in stucco, of
charming grace and spirit, representing various mythological subjects, in
square compartments united by light and elegant arabesques. They are
really of wonderful merit, and so perfectly preserved, so fresh, that they
seem as if done last year. A massive marble doorway, beautifully corniced,
gives entrance to this superb chamber, in which were found three huge
sarcophagi, containing the bones of nine bodies;--which bones are left to
lie exposed, because the bones of pagans! These sarcophagi are of splendid
workmanship, but, unhappily, broken by former barbarians. Present
barbarians (said to be Inglesi and Americani) have stolen two skulls, and
pick up everything not closely watched. Opposite to this chamber is
another, smaller and more modest in adornment, and by the side of this
descend two flights of steps in perfect repair. Many vases of colored
glass and two very handsome rings were found at the foot of these steps.
This tomb is supposed to be of about 160 of our era.

"These stairways descend from the ancient Via Latina, which has been
excavated for some distance, and is found with wide sidewalks of stone
(lava) similar to the sidewalks in Pompeii. The narrow carriage-way is
deeply rutted, which makes one think that the old Romans had hard bumps to
contend with.

"Another tomb with perfect stairway has been discovered, but it is much
more plain. Foundations of villas, and baths with leaden pipes in great
quantity, have been exposed. I hear to-day that the government has ordered
the excavation of a mile and a half of the old Via Latina in this
neighborhood, and much interesting discovery is anticipated."

We will only add to our correspondent's account the fact that the Basilica
of St. Stephen had been sought for in vain previously to this discovery by
Signor Fortunati. The great explorer, Bosio, failed to find it, and
Aringhi, writing just two hundred years ago, says, "Formerly upon the Via
Latina stood the church erected with great pains in honor of the most
blessed Stephen, the first martyr, by Demetria, a woman of pristine piety;
of which the Bibliothecarius, in his account of Pope Leo the First, thus
makes mention: 'In these days, Demetria, the handmaid of God, made the
Basilica of St. Stephen on the Latin Way, at the third mile-stone, on her
estate:... which afterward, being decayed and near to ruin through the
long course of years, was restored by Pope Leo the Third.' Of this most
noble church, which was one of the chief monuments of the Christian
religion, as well as an ornament of the city of Rome, no vestige at this
day remains."

It is remarkable that a church restored so late as the time of Leo III.
[A.D. 795-816] should have been so lost without being utterly destroyed,
and so buried under the slowly-accumulating soil of the Campagna, that the
very tradition of the existence of its remains should have disappeared,
and its discovery have been the result of scientific archæeological
investigation.

The disappearance and the forgetting of the Church of St. Alexander were
less remarkable, because of its far greater distance from the city, and
its comparative inconspicuousness and poverty. Scarcely a more striking
proof exists of the misery and lowness of Rome during many generations in
the Dark Ages than that she should thus have forgotten the very sites of
the churches which had stood around her walls, the outpost citadels of her
faith.



LITERARY NOTICES.


_The Aquarium: An Unveiling of the Wonders of the Deep Sea_. By P.H.
GOSSE. Second Edition, revised and enlarged. With Illustrations. London:
1866.

_The Common Objects of the Seashore; including Hints for an Aquarium_. By
the REV. J.G. WOOD. With Illustrations. London: Routledge & Co. 1857.

We trust that many of our readers, stimulated by the account of an
Aquarium which was given in our number for February, are proposing to set
one up for themselves.

Let no one who has been to Barnum's Museum, to look at what the naming
advertisement elegantly and grammatically terms "an aquaria," fancy that
he has seen the beauty of the real aquarium. The sea will not show its
treasures in a quarter of an hour, or be made a sight of for a quarter of
a dollar. An aquarium is not to be exhausted in a day, but, if favorably
placed where it may have sufficient direct sunshine, and well stocked with
various creatures, day after day developes within it new beauties and
unexpected sights. It becomes like a secret cave in the ocean, where the
processes of Nature go on in wonderful and silent progression, and the coy
sea displays its rarer beauties of life, of color, and of form before the
watching eyes. Look at it on some clear day, when the sun is bright, and
see the broad leaves of ulva, their vivid green sparkling with the
brilliant bubbles of oxygen which float up to the surface like the bubbles
of Champagne; see the glades of the pink coralline, or the purple Iceland-
moss covered with its plum-like down, in the midst of which the
transparent bodies of the shrimps or the yellow or banded shells of the
sea-snails are lying half hid. See on the brown rock, whose surface is
covered with the softest growth, the white anemone stretching its crown of
delicate tentacles to the light; or the long winding case of the serpula,
from the end of which appear the purple, brown, or yellow feathers that
decorate the head of its timid occupant. Or watch the scallop with his
turquoise eyes; or the comic crabs, or the minnows playing through the
water, in and out of the recesses of the rocks or the thickets of the
seaweed. There is no end of the pleasant sights. And day after day the
creatures will grow more tame, the serpula will not dart back into his
case when you approach, nor the pecten close his beautiful shell as your
shadow passes over it. Moreover, the habits of the creatures grow more
entertaining as you become familiar with them, and even the dull oyster
begins at last to show some signs of individual character.

And it is easy to have all this away from the seashore. The best tanks, so
far as we know, that are made in this country, are those of Mr. C.E.
Hammett, of Newport, Rhode Island. But the tank is of little importance,
if one cannot get the water, the seaweed, and the stock; and therefore Mr.
Hammett undertakes to supply these also. He will send, not the water
itself, but the salts obtained by evaporation from the quantity of water
necessary for each aquarium. These are to be dissolved in clear spring-
water, (previously boiled, to insure its containing no injurious living
matter,) and then the aquarium, having first had a bed of cleanly-washed
sand put upon its bottom for about an inch or an inch and a half in depth,
and this in turn covered with a thin layer of small pebbles,--though these
last are not essential,--is to be filled with it. Then the seaweed, which
is sent so packed as to preserve its freshness, is to be put in. It will
be attached to small bits of rock, and these should be supported by or
laid upon other pieces of stone, so raised as to secure a free passage for
the water about them, and so afford places of retreat for the animals. The
stock will be sent, if it is to go to any distance, in jars, and anemones,
crabs, shell-fish of various kinds, and many other creatures, will be
found among it. The seaweed should be a day or two in the tank before the
creatures are put into it.

And now, having got the aquarium in order, comes the point how to keep it
in order,--how to keep the creatures alive, and how to prevent the water
from growing cloudy and thick. The main rule is to secure sunlight,--hot
enough to raise the water to a temperature above that of the outer air,--
to remove all dirt and floating scum, and to furnish the tank on every
cloudy day with a supply of air and with motion by means of a syringe. The
creatures should never be fed in warm weather with any animal substance,
its decay being certain to corrupt the water. A little meal or a few
crumbs of bread may now and then be given; but even this is not necessary;
for Nature furnishes all the food that is needed, in the spores thrown off
by the seaweed, in the seaweed itself, whose growth is generally
sufficiently rapid to make up for the ravages committed upon it, and in
the host of infusoria constantly produced in the water. If any of the
creatures die, their bodies should be immediately removed,--though
sometimes the omnivorous crabs will do this work rapidly enough. As the
water evaporates, it should be filled up to its original level with fresh
spring-water,--the salts in it undergoing no diminution by evaporation.
If, suddenly, the water should grow thick, it should be taken from the
tank, a portion at a time, and filtered back into it slowly through
pounded charcoal, the process being repeated till the purity seems to be
returning, and at the same time the rocks and seaweed should be removed
and carefully washed in fresh water. If, however, the water should by any
ill chance grow tainted and emit a bad odor, nothing can be done to
restore it, and, unless it is at once changed, the creatures will die. To
meet such an emergency, which is of rare occurrence, it is well to have a
double quantity of the salts sent with the tank to secure a new supply of
water. But we have known aquariums that have kept in order for more than
a year with no change of the water, a supply of spring-water being put in
from time to time as we have directed; and at this moment, as we write,
there is an aquarium at our side which has been in active operation for
six months, and the water is as clear as it was the day it was put in. If,
spite of everything, the seawater fail, then try a fresh-water aquarium.
Use your tank for the pond instead of the ocean; and in the spotted newt,
the tortoise, the tadpole, the caddis-worm, and the thousand other
inhabitants of our inland ponds and brooks, with the weeds among which
they live, you will find as much entertainment as in watching the wonders
of the great sea.

A camel's-hair brush, a bent spoon on a long handle, a sponge tied to a
stick, and one or two other instruments which use will suggest, are all
that are needed for keeping the sides of the tank free from growth or
removing obnoxious substances from its bottom.

If, on receiving the animals, any of them should appear exhausted by the
journey, they may sometimes be revived by aerating the water in which they
are by means of a syringe. It should always be remembered, that, though
living in the water, they need a constant supply of air. And it would be
well, in getting an aquarium, to have the tank and the seaweeds sent a few
days in advance of the stock, so that on the arrival of the creatures they
may be at once transferred to their new abode.

There are no American books upon the subject, and, in the present want of
them, the two whose names are given above are the best that can be
obtained. Mr. Gosse's is expensive, costing between four and five dollars.
"The Common Objects of the Seashore," to be got for a quarter of a dollar,
contains much accurate, unpretending, and pleasant information.


_The American Drawing-Book: a Manual for the Amateur, and a Basis of Study
for the Professional Artist_. Especially adapted to the Use of Public and
Private Schools, as well as Home Instruction. By J.G. CHAPMAN, N.A. New
York: J.S. Redfield. 4to. pp. 304.

Drawing-books, in general, deserve to be put into the same category with
the numerous languages "without a master" which have deluded so many
impatient aspirants to knowledge by royal (and cheap) roads. A drawing-
book, at its very best, is only a partial and lame substitute for a
teacher, giving instruction empirically; so that, be it ever so correct in
principle, it must lack adaptation to the momentary and most pressing
wants of the pupil and to his particular frame of mind; it is too
Procrustean to be of any ultimate use to anybody, except in comparatively
unimportant matters. It is well enough for those who need only amusement
in their drawing, and whose highest idea of Art is copying prints and
pictures; but for those who want assistance from Art in order to the
better understanding of Nature, no man, be he ever so wise, can, by the
drawing-book plan, do much to smooth the way of study.

All that another mind could do for us by way of teaching Art would be to
save us time,--first, by its experience, in anticipating our failures;
second, by its trained accuracy, to correct our errors of expression more
promptly than our afterthought would do it,--and to systematize our
perceptions for us by showing us the relative and comparative importance
of truths in Nature. In the first two respects, which are merely
practical, the drawing-book, if judiciously prepared, might do somewhat to
assist us; but in the last and most important, only the experienced and
thoughtful artist, standing with us before Nature, can give us further
insight into her system of expression. A good picture may do a little, but
it is Nature's own face we need to study, and that neither book nor
picture can very deeply interpret for our proper and peculiar perception.

In the practical part, again, the drawing-book can give us no real
assistance in regard to color. And thus the efficacy of it is reduced to
the communication of methods of drawing in white and black. This Chapman's
book does to the best purpose possible under the circumstances, in what is
technically termed the right-line system of drawing,--that is, the
reduction of all forms to their approximate geometrical figures in order
to facilitate the measurements of the eye. Thus, it is easier by far to
determine the proportion which exists between the sides of a triangle
formed by the lines connecting the three principal points in any figure
than any curvilinear connections whatever. The application of the
rectilinear system consists in the use, as a basis of the drawing, of such
a series of triangles as shall at once show the exact relation of the
points of definition or expression to each other; but the successful
application of this depends much on the assistance of the trained eye and
hand of a master watching every step we make.

When we leave this section of the "American Drawing-Book," we leave all
that is of practical value to the young artist. The prescription of any
particular mode of execution is always injurious, (if in any degree
effective,) for the reason that the student must not think of execution at
all, but simply what the form is which he wants to draw, and how he can
draw it most plainly and promptly. Decision of execution should always be
the result of complete knowledge of the thing to be drawn; if from any
other source, it will assuredly be only heedless scrawling, bad in
proportion as it is energetic and decided.

The chapter on Perspective is full and well illustrated, and useful to
architectural or mechanical draughtsmen, may-be, but little so to artists.
There are, indeed, no laws of perspective which the careful draughtsman
from Nature need ever apply, for his eye will show him the tendency of
lines and the relative magnitude of bodies quicker than he can find them
by the application of the rules of perspective,--and with much better
result, since all application of science _directly_ to artistic work
endangers its poetic character, and almost invariably gives rise to a
hardness and formalism the reverse of artistic, leading the artist to
depend on what he knows ought to be rather than on what he really sees, a
tendency more to be deprecated than any want of correctness in drawing.

The book contains chapters on artistic processes and technical matters
generally, making it a useful hand-book to amateurs; but all that is
really valuable to a young student of Art might be compressed into a very
few pages of this ponderous book. To follow its prescriptions _seriatim_
would be to him a serious loss of time and heart.


_The New American Cyclopaedia_. A Popular Dictionary of General Knowledge,
Edited by GEORGE RIPLEY and CHAS. A. DANA. Vol. II. New York: D. Appleton
& Co. 8vo.

We have spoken so fully of the purpose and general character of this work,
in noticing the first volume, that it is hardly necessary for us to speak
at length of the second. In a rapid glance at its contents, it appears
fully to bear out the promise of the first. We have noticed a few
omissions, and some mistakes of judgment. It is, perhaps, impossible to
preserve the gradation of reputations in such a work; but a zoologist must
be puzzled when he sees Von Baer, the great embryologist, who made a
classification of animals, founded on their development, which
substantially agrees with that of Cuvier, founded on their structure,
occupy about one tenth of the space devoted to Peter T. Barnum; however,
we suppose, that, as Barnum created new animals, he is a more wonderful
personage than Von Baer, who simply classified old ones. These occasional
omissions and disturbances of the scale of reputations are, however, more
than offset by the new information the editors have been able to
incorporate into most of their biographies of the living, and not a few of
those of the dead. Many persons who were mere names to the majority of the
public are here, for the first time, recognized as men engaged in living
lives as well as in writing books. Some of these biographies must have
been obtained at the expense of much time and correspondence. Samuel
Bayley, the author of "Essays on the Formation of Opinions," is one of
these well-known names but unknown men; but in the present volume he has
been compelled to come out of his mysterious seclusion, and present to the
public those credentials of dates and incidents which prove him to be a
positive existence on the planet.

The papers on Arboriculture, Architecture, Arctic Discovery, Armor, Army,
Asia, Atlantic Ocean, Australia, Balance of Power, Bank, and Barometer,
are excellent examples of compact and connected statement of facts and
principles. The biographies of Aristotle, Aristophanes, Augustine,
Ariosto, and Arnold, and the long article on Athens, are among the most
striking and admirable papers in the volume. As the purpose of the work is
to supply a Cyclopaedia for popular use, it is inevitable that students of
special sciences or subjects should be occasionally disappointed at the
comparatively meagre treatment of their respective departments of
knowledge. In regard to the articles in the present volume, it may be said
that such subjects as Astronomy and the Association of Ideas should have
occupied more space, even if the wants of the ordinary reader were alone
consulted. But still, when we consider the vast range and variety of
topics included in this volume, and the fact that it comprehends a dozen
subjects which a dozen octavos devoted to each would not exhaust, we are
compelled to award praise to the editors for contriving to compress into
so small a space an amount of information so great.





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