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Title: The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 02, No. 13, November, 1858
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 02, No. 13, November, 1858" ***

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Though our country can boast of no Watt, Brindley, Smeaton, Rennie,
Telford, Brunel, Stephenson, or Fairbairn, and lacks such
experimenters as Tredgold, Barlow, Hodgkinson, and Clark, yet we
have our Evans and Fulton, our Whistler, Latrobe, Roebling, Haupt,
Ellet, Adams, and Morris,--engineers who yield to none in
professional skill, and whose work will bear comparison with the
best of that of Great Britain or the Continent; and if America does
not show a Thames Tunnel, a Conway or Menai Tubular Bridge, or a
monster steamer, yet she has a railroad-bridge of eight hundred feet
clear span, hung two hundred and fifty feet above one of the wildest
rivers in the world,--locomotive engines climbing the Alleghanies at
an ascent of five hundred feet per mile,--and twenty-five thousand
miles of railroad, employing upwards of five thousand locomotives
and eighty thousand cars, costing over a thousand millions of dollars,
and transporting annually one hundred and thirty millions of
passengers and thirty million tons of freight,--and all this in a
manner peculiarly adapted to our country, both financially and

In England the amount of money bears a high proportion to the amount
of territory; in America the reverse is the case; and the engineers
of the two countries quickly recognized the fact: for we find our
railroads costing from thirty thousand to forty thousand dollars per
mile,--while in England, to surmount much easier natural obstacles,
the cost varies from seventy-five to one hundred thousand dollars
per mile.

The cost of railroad transport will probably never be so low as
carriage by water,--that is, natural water-communication; because
the river or ocean is given to man complete and ready for use,
needing no repairs, and with no interest to pay upon construction
capital. Indeed, it is just beginning to be seen all over the
country that the public have both expected and received too much
accommodation from the companies. Men are perfectly willing to pay
five dollars for riding a hundred miles in a stage-coach; but give
them a nicely warmed, ventilated, cushioned, and furnished car, and
carry them four or five times faster, with double the comfort, and
they expect to pay only half-price,--as a friend of the writer once
remarked, "Why, of course we ought not to pay so much when we a'n't
half so long going,"--as if, when they paid their fare, they not
only bargained for transport from one place to another, but for the
luxury of sitting in a crowded coach a certain number of hours. It
would be hard to show a satisfactory basis for such an establishment
of tolls. We need not wonder at the unprofitableness of many of our
roads when we consider that the relative cost of transport is,--

  By Stage, one cent,
  By Railroad, two and seven-twelfths;

and the relative charge,--

  By Stage, five cents,
  By Railroad, three cents;

and the comparative profit, as five less one to three less two and
seven-twelfths, or as _four_ to _five-twelfths_, or as _nine and
six-tenths to one_.

America has, it is true, a grander system of natural
water-communication than any other land except Brazil; but, for all
that, there is really but a small part of the area, either of the
Alleghany coal and iron fields, or of the granaries of the
Mississippi valley, reached even by our matchless rivers. A certain
strip or band of country, bordering the water-courses, is served by
them both as regards export and import; just as much is served
wherever we build a railroad. In fact, whenever we lay a road across
a State, whether it connects the West directly with the East, or
only with some central commercial point in the West, just so often
do we open to market a band of country as long as the road, and
thirty, forty, or fifty miles wide,--the width depending very much
upon the cost of transport over such road; and as the charge is much
less upon a railroad than upon a common road, the distance from the
road from which produce may be brought is much greater with the
former than with the latter. The actual determination of the width
of the band is a simple problem, when the commercial nature of the
country is known.

The people of the great valley have not been slow, where Nature has
denied them the natural, to make for themselves artificial rivers of
iron. These railroads are more completely adapted to the physical
character of the Western States than would be any other mode of
communication. The work of construction is oftentimes very light,
little more being necessary for a railway across the prairies of the
West (generally) than a couple of ditches twenty or thirty feet apart,
the material taken therefrom being thrown into the intermediate space,
thus forming the surface which supports the crossties, the sills or
sleepers, and the rails. Indeed, the double operation of ditching
and embanking is in some cases performed by a single machine,
(a nondescript affair, in appearance half-way between a
threshing-machine and a hundred-and-twenty-pound field-piece,) drawn
by six, eight, or ten pairs of oxen.

It is even probable that in a great many cases the common road would
cost more than the railway in the great central basin of America; as
the rich alluvial soil, when wet in spring or fall, is almost
impassable, and lack of stone and timber prevents the construction
of artificial roads.

The influence of the railroad upon the Western farm-lands is quickly
seen by the following figures, extracted from a lately published
work on railroad construction.

_Table showing the Effect of Railroad Transport upon the Value of
Grain in the Market of Chicago, Illinois_.

                       WHEAT                        CORN
              Carried by    Carried by    Carried by    Carried by
               railroad        wagon       railroad       wagon

  At market     $49.50         49.50         25.60        25.60
  Carried 10 m.  49.25         48.00         24.25        23.26
     do.  50 m.  48.75         42.00         24.00        17.25
     do. 100 m.  48.00         34.50         23.25         9.75
     do. 150 m.  47.25         27.00         22.50         2.25
     do. 200 m.  46.50         19.50         21.75         0.00
     do. 300 m.  45.00          4.50         20.25         0.00
     do. 330 m.  44.55          0.00         19.80         0.00

Thus a ton of corn carried two hundred miles costs by wagon
transport more than it brings at market,--while, moved by
railroad, it is worth $21.75. Also wheat will not bear wagon
transport of 330 miles,--while, moved that distance by railroad
it is worth $44.55 per ton.

The social effect of railroads is seen and felt by those who live in
the neighborhood of large cities. The unhealthy density of
population is prevented, by enabling men to live five, ten, or
fifteen miles away from the city and yet do business therein. The
extent of this diffusion is as the square of the speed of transport.
To illustrate. If a person walks four miles an hour, and is allowed
one hour for passing from his home to his place of business, he can
live four miles from his work; the area, therefore, which may be
lived in is the circle of which the radius is four miles, the
diameter eight miles, and the area 501/4 square miles. If by horse he
can go eight miles an hour, the diameter of the circle becomes
sixteen miles, and the area 201 square miles. Finally, if by
railroad he goes thirty miles an hour, the diameter becomes sixty
miles, and the area 2,827 square miles.

In the case of railroads, as of other labor-saving (and
labor-producing) contrivances, the innovation has been loudly decried;
but though it does render some classes of labor useless, and throw
out of employment some persons, it creates new labor for more than
the old, and gives much more than it takes away.

Twenty years of experience show that the diminished cost of
transport by railroad invariably augments the amount of commerce
transacted, and in a much larger ratio than the reduction of cost. It
is estimated by Dr. Lardner that three hundred thousand horses,
working daily in stages, would be required to perform the
passenger-traffic alone which took place in England during the year

Regarding the safety of railroad-travelling, though the papers teem
with awful calamities from collisions and other causes, yet so great
is the number of persons who use the new mode of transport, that
travelling by railroad is really about one hundred times safer than
by stage. The mortality upon English roads was for one year observed:
--one person killed for each sixty-five million transported; in
America, for the same time, one in forty-one million.

If we should try to reason from the rate of past railway-growth as
to what the future is to be, we should soon be lost in figures. Thus,
in the United States,--

  In 1829  there were       3  miles.
  In 1830                  41  miles.
  In 1840                2167  miles.
  In 1850                7355  miles.
  In 1856              23,242  miles.

Thus from 1830 to 1840, the rate is as 2167/41 or 53 nearly; from
1840 to 1850, 7355/2167, or 3 nearly; and from 1850 to 1856, 23242/
7355 or 3 nearly; and from 1850 to 1860 we may suppose the rate will
be about 4. The rate is probably now at its permanent maximum,
taking the whole country together,--the increase in New England
having nearly ceased, while west of the Mississippi it has not
reached its average.

Among the larger and more important roads and connected systems in
our country may be named the New York and Erie Railroad,--connecting
the city of New York with Lake Erie at Dunkirk, (and, by the road's
diverging from its western terminus, with "all places West and South,"
as the bills say,)--crossing the Shawangunk Mountains through the
valley of the Neversink, up the Delaware, down the Susquehanna, and
through the rich West of the Empire State.

The Pennsylvania Central Road: from Philadelphia through Lancaster
to Harrisburg, on the Susquehanna, up the Juniata and down the
western slope of the Alleghanies, through rock-cut galleries and
over numberless bridges, reaching at last the bluffs where smoky
Pittsburg sees the Ohio start on its noble course.

The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad: from Baltimore, in Maryland, to
Wheeling and Parkersburg, on the Ohio;--crossing the lowlands to the
Washington Junction, thence up the Patapsco, down the Monocacy, to
the Potomac; up to Harper's Ferry, where the Potomac and the
Shenandoah chafe the rocky base of the romantic little town perched
high above; winding up the North Branch to Cumberland,--the terminus
of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, and of the great national turnpike
to the West, for which Wills' Creek opened so grand a gate at the
narrows,--to Piedmont the foot and Altamont the summit, through
Savage Valley and Crabtree Gorge, across the glades, from which the
water flows east to the Chesapeake Bay and west to the Gulf of Mexico;
down Saltlick Creek, and up the slopes of Cheat River and Laurel Hill,
till rivers dwindle to creeks, creeks to rills, and rills lose
themselves on the flanks of mountains which bar the passage of
everything except the railroad; thence, through tunnels of rock and
tunnels of iron, descending Tygart's Valley to the Monongahela, and
thence through a varied but less rugged country to Moundsville,
twelve miles below Wheeling, on the Ohio River.

These are our three great roads where engineering skill has
triumphed over natural obstacles. We have another class of great
lines to which the obstacles were not so much mechanical as financial,
--the physical difficulties being quite secondary. Such are the
trunk lines from the East to the West,--through Buffalo, Erie, and
Cleveland, to Toledo and Detroit, and from Detroit to Chicago, Rock
Island, Burlington, Quincy, and St. Louis; from Pittsburg, Wheeling,
and Parkersburg, on the Ohio, to Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati,
Indianapolis, Louisville, and St. Louis; and from Cleveland, through
Columbus, to Cincinnati, and from Cincinnati to the Northwest.

In progress also may be noticed roads running west from St. Louis,
Hannibal, and Burlington, on the Mississippi, all tending towards
some point in Kansas, from which the great Pacific Road, the
crowning effort of American railway-engineering, may be supposed to
take its departure for California and Oregon.

The chief point of difference between the English and the American
engineer is, that the former defies all opposition from river and
mountain, maintains his line straight and level, fights Nature at
every point, cares neither for height nor depth, rock nor torrent,
builds his matchless roads through the snowy woods of Canada or over
the sandy plains of Egypt with as much unconcern as among the
pleasant fields of Hertford or Surrey, and spans with equal ease the
Thames, the Severn, the St. Lawrence, and the Nile. The words
"fail," "impossible," "can't be done," he knows not; and when all
other means of finding a firm base whereon to build his bridges and
viaducts fail, he puts in a foundation of golden guineas and silver
dollars, which always gives success.

On the other hand, the American engineer, always respectful (though
none the less determined) in the presence of natural obstacles to
his progress, bows politely to the opposing mountain-range, and,
bowing, passes around the base, saying, as he looks back, "You see,
friend, we need have no hard feelings,--the world is large enough
for thee and me." To the broad-sweeping river he gently hints,
"Nearer your source you are not so big, and, as I turned out for the
mountain, why should I not for the river?" till mountain and river,
alike aghast at the bold pigmy, look in silent wonder at the
thundering train which shoulders aside granite hills and tramples
rivers beneath its feet. But if Nature corners him between rocks
heavenward piled on the one hand and roaring torrents on the other,
whether to pass is required a bridge or a tunnel, we find either or
both designed and built in a manner which cannot be bettered. He is
well aware that the directors like rather to see short columns of
figures on their treasurer's books than to read records of great
mechanical triumphs in their engineer's reports.

Of the whole expense of building a railroad, where the country is to
any considerable degree broken, the reduction of the natural surface
to the required form for the road, that is, the earthwork, or,
otherwise, the excavation and embankment, amounts to from thirty to
seventy per cent. of the whole cost. Here, then, is certainly an
important element on which the engineer is to show his ability; let
us look a little at it, even at the risk of being dry.

It is by no means necessary to reduce the natural surface of the
country to a level or horizontal line; if it were so, there would be
an end to all railroads, except on some of the Western prairies.
This was not, however, at first known; indeed, those who were second
to understand the matter denied the possibility of moving a
locomotive even on a level by applying power to the wheels, because,
it was said, the wheels would slip round on the smooth iron rail and
the engine remain at rest. But lo! when the experiment was tried, it
was found that the wheel not only had sufficient bite or adhesion
upon the rail to prevent slipping and give a forward motion to the
engine, but that a number of cars might be attached and also moved.

This point gained, the objectors advanced a step, but again came to
a stand, and said, "If you can move a train on a level, that is all,
--you can't go up hill." But trial proved that easy inclines (called
grades) could be surmounted,--say, rising ten feet for each mile in

The objectors take another step, but again put down their heavy
square-toed foot, and say, "There! aren't you satisfied? you can go
over grades of twenty feet per mile, but no more,--so don't try."
And here English engineers stop,--twenty feet being considered a
pretty stiff grade. Meanwhile, the American engineers Whistler and
Latrobe, the one dealing with the Berkshire mountains in
Massachusetts, the other with the Alleghanies in Virginia, find that
not only are grades of ten and of twenty feet admissible, but, where
Nature requires it, inclines of forty, sixty, eighty, and even one
hundred feet per mile,--it being only remembered, the while, that
just as the steepness of the grade is augmented, the power must be
increased. This discovery, when properly used, is of immense
advantage; but in the hands of those who do not understand the nice
relation which exists between the mechanical and the financial
elements of the question, as governed by the speed and weight of
trains, and by the funds at the company's disposal, is very liable
to be a great injury to the prospects of a road, or even its ruin.

It was urged at one time, that the best road would have the grades
undulating from one end to the other,--so that the momentum acquired
in one descent would carry the train almost over the succeeding
ascent; and that very little steam-power would be needed. This idea
would have place, at least to a certain extent, if the whole
momentum was allowed to accumulate during the descent; but even
supposing there would be no danger from acquiring so great a speed,
a mechanical difficulty was brought to light at once, namely, that
the resistance of the atmosphere to the motion of the train
increased nearly, if not quite, as the square of the speed; so that
after the train on the descent acquired a certain speed, a regular
motion was obtained by the balance of momentum and resistance,
--whence a fall great enough to produce this regular speed would be
advantageous, but no more. On the other hand, the extra power
required to draw the train up the grades much overbalances the gain
by gravity in going down.

Here, then, we have the two extremes: first, spending more money
than the expected traffic will warrant, to cut down hills and fill
up valleys; and second, introducing grades so steep that the amount
of traffic does not authorize the use of engines heavy enough to
work them.

The direction of the traffic, to a certain extent, determines the
rate and direction of the inclines. Thus, the Reading Railroad, from
Philadelphia up the Schuylkill to Reading, and thence to Pottsville,
is employed entirely in the transport of coal from the Lehigh
coal-fields to tide-water in Philadelphia; and it is a very
economically operated road, considering the large amount of ascent
encountered, because the load goes down hill, and the weight of the
train is limited only by the number of empty cars that the engine
can take back.

This adoption of steep inclines may be considered as an American
idea entirely, and to it many of our large roads owe their success.
The Western Railroad of Massachusetts ascends from Springfield to
Pittsfield, for a part of the way, at 83 feet per mile. The New York
and Erie Railroad has grades of 60 feet per mile. The Baltimore and
Ohio climbs the Alleghanies on inclines of 116 feet per mile. The
Virginia Central Road crosses the Blue Ridge by grades of 250 and
295 feet per mile; and the ridge through which the Kingwood Tunnel
is bored, upon the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, was surmounted
temporarily by grades of 500 feet per mile, up which each single car
was drawn by a powerful locomotive.

Another element, of which American engineers have freely availed
themselves, is curvature. More power is required to draw a train of
cars around a curved track than upon a straight line. In England the
radius of curvature is limited to half a mile, or thereabouts. The
English railway-carriage is placed on three axles, all of which are
fixed to the body of the vehicle; the passage of curves, of even a
large diameter, is thus attended by considerable wear and strain;
but in America, the cars, which are much longer than those upon
English roads, are placed upon a pintle or pin at each end, which
pin is borne upon the centre of a four-wheeled truck,--by which
arrangement the wheels may conform to the line of the rails, while
the body of the car is unaffected. This simple contrivance permits
the use of curves which would otherwise be entirely impracticable.
Thus we find curves of one thousand feet radius upon our roads, over
which the trains are run at very considerable speed; while in one
remarkable instance (on the Virginia Central Railroad, before named)
we find the extreme minimum of 234 feet. Such a track does not admit
of high speeds, and its very use implies the existence of natural
obstacles which prevent the acquirement of great velocities.

In fine, the use which the engineer makes of grades and curves, when
the physical nature of the country and the nature and amount of the
traffic expected are known, may be taken as a pretty sure index of
his real professional standing, and sometimes as an index of the
moral man; as when, for example, he steepens his grades to suit the
contractor's ideas of mechanics,--in other words, to save work.

Not less in the construction of bridges and viaducts, than in the
preparation of the road-bed proper, does the American engineering
faculty display itself. Timber, of the best quality, may be found in
almost every part of the country, and nowhere in the world has the
design and building of wooden bridges been carried to such
perfection and such extent as in the United States. We speak here of
structures built by such engineers as Haupt, Adams, and Latrobe,
--and not of those works, wretched alike in design and execution,
which so often become the cause of what are called terrible
catastrophes and lamentable accidents, but which are, in reality,
the just criticisms of natural mechanical laws upon the ignorance of
pretended engineers.

Among the finest specimens of timberwork in America are the Cascade
Bridge upon the New York and Erie Railroad, designed and built by
Mr. Adams, consisting of one immense timber-arch, having natural
abutments in the rocky shores of the creek;--the second edition of
the bridges generally upon the same road, by Mr. McCallum, which
replaced those originally built during the construction of the road,
--these hardly needing to be taken down by other exertion than their
own;--the bridges from one end to the other of the Pennsylvania
Central Road, by Mr. Haupt;--the Baltimore and Ohio "arch-brace"
bridges, by Mr. Latrobe;--and the Genessee "high bridge," (not a
bridge, by the way, but a trestle,) near Portageville, by Mr. Seymour,
which is eight hundred feet long, and carries the road two hundred
and thirty feet above the river, having wooden trestles (post and
brickwork) one hundred and ninety feet high, seventy-five feet wide
at base, and twenty-five feet at top, and carrying above all a
bridge fourteen feet high; containing the timber of two hundred and
fifty acres of land, and sixty tons of iron bolts, costing only
$140,000, and built in the short time of eighteen months. This
structure, if replaced by an earth embankment, would cost half a
million of dollars, and could not be built in less than five years
by the ordinary mode of proceeding.[2]

Further, the interest, for so long a time, on the large amount of
money required to build the embankment, at the high rate of railroad
interest, would nearly, if not quite, suffice to build the wooden

Again, our wooden bridges of the average span cost about thirty-five
dollars per lineal foot. Let us compare this with the cost of iron
bridges, on the English tubular plan, the spans being the same, and
the piers, therefore, left out of the comparison.

Suppose that a road has in all one mile in length of bridges. Making
due allowance for the difference in value of labor in England and
America, the cost per lineal foot of the iron tubular bridges could
not be less (for the average span of 150 feet) than three hundred

  5280 feet by $35 is $184,800.00
  5280 feet by 300 is $1,584,000.00
  The six per cent. interest on the first is $11,088.00
  The six per cent. interest on the second is $95,040.00
  And the difference is $83,952.00

or nearly enough to rebuild the wooden bridges once in two years;
and ten years is the shortest time that a good wooden bridge should

The reader may wonder why such structures as the bridge over the
Susquehanna at Columbia, which consists of twenty-nine arches, each
two hundred feet span, the whole water-way being a mile long, and
many other bridges spanning large rivers, and having an imposing
appearance, are not referred to in this place. The reason is this:
_large_ bridges are by no means always _great_ bridges; nor do
they require, as some seem to think, skill proportioned to their
length. There are many structures of this kind in America, of twenty,
twenty-five, or thirty spans, where the same mechanical blunders are
repeated over and over again in each span; so that the longer they
are and the more they cost, the worse they are. It does not follow,
because newspapers say, "magnificent bridge," "two million feet of
timber," "eighty or one hundred tons of iron," "cost half a million,"
that there is any merit about either the bridge or its builder; as
one span is, so is the whole; and a bridge fifty feet long, and
costing only a few hundreds, may show more engineering skill than
the largest and most costly viaducts in America. Few bridges require
more knowledge of mechanics and of materials than Mr. Haupt's little
"trussed girders" on the Pennsylvania Central Road,--consisting of a
single piece of timber, trussed with a single rod, under each rail
of the track.

Again, as regards American iron bridges, the same result is
found to a great extent. Thus, Mr. Roebling's Niagara Railroad
Suspension-Bridge cost four hundred thousand dollars, while a
boiler-plate iron bridge upon the tubular system would cost for the
same span about four million dollars, even if it were practicable to
raise a tubular bridge in one piece over Niagara River at the site
of the Suspension Bridge. Strength and durability, _with the utmost
economy_, seem to have been attained by Mr. Wendel Bollman,
superintendent of the road-department of the Baltimore and Ohio
Railroad,--the minute details of construction being so skilfully
arranged, that changes of temperature, oftentimes so fatal to
bridges of metal, have no hurtful effect whatever. And here, again,
is seen the distinctive American feature of adaptation or
accommodation, even in the smallest detail. Mr. Bollman does not get
savage and say, "Messieurs Heat and Cold, I can get iron enough out
of the Alleghanies to resist all the power you can bring against me!"
--but only observes, "Go on, Heat and Cold! I am not going to deal
directly with you, but indirectly, by means of an agent which will
render harmless your most violent efforts!"--or, in other words, he
interposes a short link of iron between the principal members of his
bridge, which absorbs entirely all undue strains.

It is not to be supposed from what has preceded, that the American
engineer does not know how to spend money, because he gets along
with so little, and accomplishes so much; when occasion requires, he
is lavish of his dollars, and sees no longer expense, but only the
object to be accomplished. Witness, for example, the Kingwood Tunnel,
on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, where for a great distance the
lining or protecting arching inside is of heavy ribs of cast iron,
--making the cost of that mile of road embracing the tunnel about a
million of dollars. Nor will the traveller who observes the
construction of the New York and Erie Railroad up the Delaware Valley,
of the Pennsylvania Central down the west slopes of the Alleghanies,
or of the Baltimore and Ohio down the slopes of Cheat River, think
for a moment that the American engineer grudges money where it is
really needed.

Stone bridges so rarely occur upon the roads of America, that they
hardly need remark. The Starucca Viaduct, by Mr. Adams, upon the New
York and Erie Railroad, and the viaduct over the Patapsco, near the
junction of the Washington branch with the main stem of the
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, show that our engineers are not at all
behind those of Europe in this branch of engineering. From the civil
let us pass to the mechanical department of railroad engineering.
This latter embraces all the machinery, both fixed and rolling;
locomotives and cars coming under the latter,--and the shop-machines,
lathes, planers, and boring-machines, forging, cutting, punching,
rolling, and shearing engines, pumps and pumping-engines for the
water-stations, turn-tables, and the like, under the former. Of this
branch, little, except the design and working of the locomotive power,
needs to be mentioned as affecting the prosperity of the road.
Machine-shops, engine-houses, and such apparatus, differ but
slightly upon different roads; but the form and dimensions of the
locomotive engines should depend upon the nature of the traffic, and
upon the physical character of the road, and that most intimately,
--so much, indeed, that the adjustment of the grades and curvatures
must determine the power, form, and whole construction of the engine.
This is a fact but little appreciated by the managers of our roads;
when the engineer has completed the road-bed proper, including the
bridging and masonry, he is considered as done with; and as the
succeeding superintendent of machinery is not at that time generally
appointed, the duty of obtaining the necessary locomotive power
devolves upon the president or contractor, or some other person who
knows nothing whatever of the requirements of the road; and as he
generally goes to some particular friend, perhaps even an associate,
he of course takes such a pattern of engine as the latter builds,
--and the consequence is that not one out of fifty of our roads has
steam-power in any way adapted to the duty it is called upon to

There is no nicer problem connected with the establishment of a
railroad, than, having given the grades, the nature of the traffic,
and the fuel to be used, to obtain therefrom by pure mechanical and
chemical laws the dimensions complete for the locomotives which
shall effect the transport of trains in the most economical manner;
and there is no problem that, until quite lately, has been more
totally neglected.[3]

Of the whole cost of working a railroad about one third is
chargeable to the locomotive department; from which it is plain that
the most proper adaptation is well worth the careful attention of the
engineer. Though it is generally considered that the proper person
to select the locomotive power can be none other than a practical
machinist, and though he would doubtless select the best workmanship,
yet, if not acquainted with the general principles of locomotion, and
aware of the character of the road and of the expected traffic, and
able to judge, (not by so-called experience, but by real knowledge,)
he may get machinery totally unfit for the work required of it.
Indeed, American civil engineers ought to qualify themselves to
equip the roads they build; for none others are so well acquainted
with the road as those who from a thorough knowledge of the matter
have established the grades and the curvatures.

The difference between adaptation and non-adaptation will plainly be
seen by the comparison below. The railway from Boston to Albany may
be divided into four sections, of which the several lengths and
corresponding maximum grades are as tabulated.

                              Length in miles.   Steepest grade
  Boston to Worcester,                44                30
  Worcester to Springfield,           541/2               50
  Springfield to Pittsfield,          52                83
  Pittsfield to Albany,               431/2               45

A load of five hundred tons upon a grade of thirty feet per mile
requires of the locomotive a drawing-power of 11,500 lbs.

  Upon a 50 feet grade 15,500 lbs.
  Upon an 83 feet grade 22,500 lbs.
  Upon a 45 feet grade 14,500 lbs.

Now, if the engines are all alike, (as they are very nearly,) and
each is able to exert a drawing-power of five thousand pounds to
move a load of five hundred tons from Boston to Albany, we need as

  B. to W.--11500/5000 or 2 engines.
  W. to S.--15500/5000 or 3 engines.
  S. to P.--22500/5000 or 5 engines.
  P. to A.--14500/5000 or 3 engines.

From which the whole number of miles run by engines for one whole
trip would be,--

  B. to W. 44   miles by 2 engines, or  88
  W. to S. 541/2  miles by 3 engines, or 1631/2
  S. to P. 52   miles by 5 engines, or 260
  P. to A. 491/2  miles by 3 engines, or 1481/2
                          And the sum, 660

Now suppose, that, by making the engines for the several divisions
strong in proportion to the resistance encountered upon these
divisions, one engine only is employed upon each; our mileage becomes,

  B. to W. 44   by 1 or 44
  W. to S. 541/2  by 1 or 541/2
  S. to P. 52   by 1 or 52
  P. to A. 49   by 1 or 491/2
          And the sum, 200 miles.

And the saving of miles run is therefore 660 less 200, or 460; and if
500 tons pass over the road daily, the annual saving of mileage
becomes 460 by 313, or 143,980, or 70 per cent. of the whole. The
actual cost for freight-locomotives per ton, per mile run, during
the year ending Sept. 30, 1855, was 384/1000 of a cent; and the above
143,980 miles saved, multiplied by this fraction, amounts to
$55,288 per annum. The actual expense of working the power will not
of course show the whole 70 per cent. of saving, as heavy and strong
engines cost more at first, and cost more to operate, than lighter
ones; but the figures show the effect of correct adaptation. If we
call the saving 50 per cent. only of the mileage, we have then
(as the locomotive power consumes 30/100 of the whole cost of
operating) 50/100 of 30/100, or 15/100, of the whole cost of working
the road, and this by simply knowing how to adapt the machinery to
the requirement.

So very slight are the points of difference between a good and a bad
engine, that they often escape the eye of those whose business it is
to deal with such works. It is not the brass and steel and bright
metal and elaborate painting that make the really good and
serviceable engine,--but the length, breadth, and depth of its
furnace, the knowledge of proportion shown in its design, and the
mechanical skill exhibited in the fitting of its parts. The
apparently complex portions are really very simple in action, while
the apparently simple parts are those where the greatest knowledge
is required. Any man of ordinary mechanical acquirements can design
and arrange the general form,--the whole mass of cranks, pistons,
connecting-rods, pumps, and the various levers for working the engine;
but to find the correct dimensions of the inner parts of the boiler,
and of the valve-gearing, by which the movements of the steam are
governed, requires a very considerable knowledge of the chemistry of
combustion, of practical geometry, and of the physical properties of
steam. So nice, indeed, is the valve-adjustment of the locomotive,
as depending upon the work it has to do, whether fast or slow, light
or heavy, that a single eighth of an inch too much or too little
will so affect its power as to entirely unfit it for doing its duty
with any degree of economy.

When a single man takes the general charge of five hundred miles of
railroad, upon which the annual pay-roll is a million of dollars,
and which employs over two hundred locomotives and three thousand
cars, earning five million dollars a year,--a road which cost
thirty-three million, has five miles in length of bridges, and over
four hundred buildings,--it is plain that the system of operation
must be somewhat elaborate. And so it is. Indeed, so complete is the
organization and management of _employées_ upon the New York and
Erie Railroad, that the General Superintendent at his office can at
any moment tell within a mile where each car or engine is, what it
is doing, the contents of the car, the consignor and consignee, the
time at which it arrives and leaves each station, (the _actual_ time,
not the time when it _should_ arrive,) and is thus able to correct
all errors almost at the moment of commission, and in reality to
completely control the road.

The great regulator upon long lines of railroad is the electric
telegraph, which connects all parts of the road, and enables one
person to keep, as it were, his eye on the whole road at once.

A single-track railroad, says Mr. McCallum, may be rendered more
safe and efficient by a proper use of the telegraph than a
double-track railroad without,--as the double-tracks commonly
obviate collisions which occur between trains moving in _opposite_
directions, whilst the telegraph may be used effectually in
preventing them between trains moving either in _opposite_
directions or in the _same_ direction; and it is a well-established
fact, deduced from the history of railroads both in Europe and in
this country, that collisions from trains moving in the _same_
direction have proved by far the most fatal and disastrous, and
should be the most carefully guarded against.

From the admirable report of Mr. McCallum, above referred to, we take
the following:--Collisions between fast and slow trains moving in
the same direction are prevented by the following rule: 'The
conductor of a slow train will report himself to the Superintendent
of Division immediately on arrival at a station where, by the
time-table, he should be overtaken by a faster train; and he shall
not leave that station until the fast train passes, without special
orders from the Superintendent of Division.' A slow train, under
such circumstances, may, at the discretion of the Division
Superintendent, be directed to proceed; he, being fully apprised of
the position of the delayed train, can readily form an opinion as to
the propriety of doing so; and thus, while the delayed train is
permitted to run without regard to the slow one, the latter can be
kept entirely out of its way.

"The passing-place for trains is fixed and determined, with orders
positive and defined that neither shall proceed beyond that point
until after the arrival of the other; whereas, in the absence of the
telegraph, conductors are governed by general rules, and their
individual understanding of the same,--which rules are generally to
the effect, that, in case of detention, the train arriving first at
the regular passing-place shall, after waiting a few moments,
_proceed cautiously_ (expecting to meet the other train, which is
generally running as much faster, to make up lost time, as the
cautious train is slower) until they have met and passed; the one
failing to reach the half-way point between stations being required
to back,--a dangerous expedient always,--an example of which
operation was furnished at the disaster on the Camden and Amboy
Railroad near Burlington; the delayed train further being subjected
to the same rule in regard to all other trains of the same class it
may meet, thus pursuing its hazardous and uncertain progress during
the entire trip."

The following table shows the rate and direction of subordination
for a first-class railroad:--

  General Superintendent.

    Superintendent  Roadmaster.                 Section men.
      of road.      Roadmaster.                 Section men.
                    Roadmaster.                 Section men.

                   Foreman of machine-shop.     Machinists.
                   Foreman of blacksmith's shop Blacksmiths.
   Superintendent  Foreman of carpenter's shop. Carpenters.
   of Machinery.   Foreman of paint-shop        Painters.
                   Engineers (not on trains).   Firemen.
                   Car-masters.                 Oilers and cleaners.

                   Conductors.                  Engineers (on trains).
    General passenger-agent. Mail agents.
                    Station agents.             Hackmen.
                    Express agents.
                    Conductors.                 Brakemen.
                                                Engineers (on trains).

   General freight-agent.  Station agents.
                    Weighers and gaugers.
                    Yard masters.

   Supply agent.    Clerks and teamsters furnishing supplies.
   Fuel agent.      All men employed about wood-sheds.

All subordinates should be accountable to and directed by _their
immediate superiors only_. Each officer must have authority, with
the approval of the general superintendent, to appoint all _employees_
for whose acts he is responsible, and to dismiss any one, when, in
his judgment, the interests of the company demand it.

Fast travelling is one of the most dangerous as well as one of the
most expensive luxuries connected with the railroad system. Few
companies in America have any idea what their express-trains cost
them. Indeed, the proper means of obtaining quick transport are not
at all understood. It is not by forcing the train at an excessively
high speed, but by reducing the number of stops. A train running
four hundred miles, and stopping once in fifty minutes,--each stop,
including coming to rest and starting, being five minutes,--to pass
over the whole distance in eight hours, must run fifty-five miles
per hour; stopping once in twenty minutes, sixty-three miles per hour;
and stopping once in ten minutes, eighty-six miles per hour.

The proportions in which the working expenses are distributed under
the several heads are nearly as follows:--

  Management         7
  Road-repairs      16
  Locomotives       35
  Cars              38
  Sundries           4
  In all           100

And the percentage of increase due to fast travelling, to be applied
to the several items of expense, with the resulting increase in
total expense, this:--

  Management        7  increased by     0  per cent.  is  0.0
  Road-repairs     16        do.       27       do.       4.3
  Locomotives      35        do.       30       do.      10.5
  Cars             38        do.       10       do.       3.8
  Sundries          4        do.        0       do.       0.0
                  ____                                   ____
                  100         And the whole increase     18.6

The causes of accident beyond the control of passengers are,--

  Collision by opposition,
  Collision by overtaking,
  Derailment by switches misplaced,
  Derailment by obstacles on the track,
  Breakage of machinery,
  Failure of bridges,

Those causes which are aggravated by fast travelling are the first,
second, fifth, and sixth. The effects of all are worse at high than
at low velocities.

The proportion of accidents due to each of these causes, taken at
random from one hundred cases on English roads, (American reports do
not detail such information with accuracy,) were,--

  Collision             56     56
  Breakage of machinery 18     18
  Failure of road       14     14

  Misplaced switches            5
  Obstacles on rails            6
  Boiler explosions             1
                        __    ___
                        88    100

Eighty-eight per cent. being from those causes which are aggravated
by increase of speed; and if we suppose the amount of aggravation to
augment as the speed, the danger of travelling is eighty-eight per
cent. greater by a fast than by a slow train.

These are the direct evils of high speeds; there are also indirect
evils, which are full as bad.

All trains in motion at the same time, within a certain distance of
the express, must be kept waiting, with steam up, or driven at extra
velocities to keep out of the way.

Where the time-table is so arranged as to call for speed nearly
equal to the full capacity of the engine, it is very obvious that
the risks of failure in "making time" must be much greater than at
reduced rates; and when they do occur, the efforts made to gain the
time must be correspondingly greater and uncertain. A single example
will be sufficient to show this.

A train, whose prescribed rate of speed is thirty miles per hour,
having lost five minutes of time, and being required to gain it in
order to meet and pass an opposing train at a station ten miles
distant, must necessarily increase its speed to forty miles per hour;
and a train, whose prescribed rate of speed is forty miles per hour,
under similar circumstances, must increase its speed to sixty miles
per hour. In the former case it would probably be accomplished,
whilst in the latter it would more probably result in failure,--or,
if successful, it would be so at fearful risk of accident.

However true it may be that many of our large roads are well, some
of them admirably, managed, it is none the less a fact that the
greater portion are directed in a manner far from satisfactory,--many,
indeed, being subjected to the combined influence of ignorance and

Many people wonder at the bad financial state of the American
railroads; the wonder is, to those who understand the way in which
they are managed, that they should be worth anything at all. It is
useless to disguise the fact, says a writer in one of our
railroad-papers, that the great body of our railroad-directors are
entirely unfit for their position. They are, personally, a very
respectable class of men, (Schuylerisms and Tuckermanisms excepted,)
--men who, after having passed through their active business-lives
successfully, and after retirement, are, in the minds of some,
eminently fitted to adorn a director's chair. Never was there a
greater mistake. What is wanted for a railway-director is an active,
clear-headed man, who has not outlived his term of activity. We want
railway-directors who know how to reduce the operating-expenses per
mile, and not men who oppose their bigoted ignorance to everything
like change or improvement, who can see no difference between science
and abstract ideas. It would seem that the only question to be asked
with regard to the fitness of a man for being a director is--Is he
rich and respectable? If he has these qualities, and is pretty
stupid withal, he is in a fair line for election. We tell our
railway-readers, that, if they desire to make their property valuable,
and rescue it from becoming a byword and a reproach, they have got
to elect men of an entirely different stamp,--men of practical
experience, in the best sense of the term, who have intelligence
enough to know and apply all those vital reforms upon which depends
the future success of their undertakings,--the men of the workshop,
the track, and the locomotive. And we shall yet see the more
intelligent of them taking the place, at the directors' board, of
the retired merchants, physicians, and other respectable gentlemen,
who now lend only the names of their respectability to perpetuate a
system of folly that has reduced our railroad-management below
contempt. As at present constituted, our boards are a very showy,
but very useless piece of mechanism. The members attend at meetings
when they feel just like it, and sign their names to documents and
statements which have been prepared for them by others, without much
knowledge of what the contents are; their other duties consisting
chiefly in riding over their own and connecting roads, free of charge.

Why should railway-directors work for nothing for the stockholders?
Ah, Messrs. Stockholders, you little know in reality how fat a
salary your directors make to themselves, by nice little commissions,
by patronizing their favorite builders of locomotives and cars, and
by buying the thousand and one patents that are so urgently
recommended! Do you carry your broken watch to a blacksmith or to a
stone-mason to be mended? Neither, we think. Why, then, do you leave
the management of a work which engineers, machinists, carpenters,
masons, and men of almost every trade, have spent time and care upon
to build, to the respectable merchant, lawyer, or banker, who thinks
the best road that which has the softest cushions and the most
comfortable seats on which to ride?

Railroad-building, remarks a late writer, (Mr. Whiton,) may be
divided into three periods,--the first, the _introductory_, in which
roads were a sort of experimental enterprise, where the men who
labored expected to be paid for their time or money, and were
willing to wait a reasonable time for the expected profit. Second,
the _speculative_ period, when men were possessed with an unhealthy
desire for fortune-making, and, not content to wait the natural
harvest of the seed sown, departed from the sound and honest
principles of construction and management; trying, at first, by all
sorts of pretence and misrepresentation, to conceal, and last by
legislation to counterbalance, the results of their ignorance and of
their insane desires. Railroads were compared, as an investment, to
banks; and it was even supposed that the more they cost the more
they would divide; and tunnels, rock-cuts, and viaducts were then as
much sought after as they are now avoided. Shrewd and intelligent
business-men, who had made for themselves fortunes, embraced these
ridiculous opinions, and seemed at once, upon taking hold of
railroad-enterprises, to lose whatever of common sense they before
might have possessed; and even at the present day these same men
have not the manly honesty to acknowledge their errors, but endeavor
to cover them up with greater.--The third period is that of _reaction_,
which embraces the present time. To a person unacquainted with the
management of railroads, to see a body of men, no one of whom has
ever before had anything to do with mechanical operations, assembled
to decide upon the relative merits of the different plans of bridges
or of locomotives or cars, upon the best means of reducing the
working-expenses of a machine of whose component parts they have not
the slightest idea, of the most complicated and elaborate piece of
mechanism that men have ever designed, might at first seem absurd;
but custom has made it right. It is generally supposed that the
moment a man, be he lawyer, doctor, or merchant, is chosen director
in a railroad enterprise, immediately he becomes possessed of all
knowledge of mechanics, finance, and commerce; but, judging from past
experience, it appears in reality that he leaves behind at such time
whatever common sense he perchance possessed before; otherwise why
does he not follow the same correct business-rules, when managing
the property of others, as when he accumulated his own? A man who
should show as much carelessness and ignorance, when operating for
himself, as railway-directors do when operating for others, would be
considered as a fit subject for an insane asylum.

When railroads are built where they are needed, at the time they are
wanted, in a country able to support them, by permanent investors,
and not by speculators, and are well made by good engineers, and
well managed by competent men, whose interest is really connected
with the success of the enterprise, then they will pay, and be
railroads indeed. But so long as money is obtained on false pretences,
to be played for by State and Wall Street gamblers on the one hand,
and ravenous contractors on the other hand, they will be what they
are,--worthless monuments of extravagance and folly.

"Experience keeps a dear school," says poor Richard, "but fools will
learn in no other."

Let not the reader think for a single moment that we have no
appreciation of the labors of a De Witt Clinton, or of a Livingston,
--that we at all underrate the services of the Eastern capitalists
who render available the public-land grants of the West, whether to
build ship-canals or railroads. We have the highest respect for that
talent without which our Western lands would still be left to the
buffalo and the deer, and the gold and silver of Europe would remain
on the other side of the Atlantic. These capitalists are the
mainsprings of the system; but we should no more apply their energy
and skill to the detailed operation of so mechanical a structure as
a railroad, than we should attach the mainspring of a watch to the
hands directly, without the intermediate connecting chains and wheels.

Not less incompetent for the construction of railways, than are the
directors for the management of the completed roads, are at least
one half of the so-called engineers in America. Obliged to complete
no course of education, to pass no examination, they are at once let
loose upon the country whenever they feel like it, to build what go
by the names of railroads and bridges, but are in reality traps in
which to lose both life and money. Indeed, any man (in the United
States) who has carried a rod or chain is called an engineer; while
the correct definition is, a man who has, first, a thorough knowledge
of mechanics, mathematics, and chemistry,--second, the knowledge
necessary for applying these sciences to the arts,--and last, the
knowledge requisite to the correct adaptation of such arts to the
wants of man, but more than all, that experience which is got only
from continual practice. We have such a class of engineers, and to
them we owe what of fame we have in the engineering world. Second,
comes another grade, men who, commencing as subordinates, without
any preparatory knowledge, but with natural genius, and an intuitive
knowledge of mechanics, need only to have their ideas generalized to
see the bearing of their special knowledge upon the whole, in order
to rank high in the profession. Third, a class who lack both natural
and acquired knowledge, and whose only recommendation is that they
are always for sale to the highest bidder, whether he be president,
director, or contractor; sometimes working nominally for the company,
but really for the contractor,--or in some cases, so debased is this
class of persons, for both contractor and company openly. Of late
years this prostitution of mongrel engineers has had place to an
alarming extent. Let us hope that the old professional pride, and,
better still, a love of truth and honesty for their own sake, may
yet triumph, and place real engineers high above the dead level to
which ignorance and pretence and venality have degraded the

[Footnote 1: _Handbook of Railroad Construction_, for the Use of
American Engineers. By GEORGE L. VOSE, Civil Engineer. Boston and
Cambridge: James Munroe & Company. 1857.

_Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Reports_, from 1830 to 1850. BENJAMIN
H. LATROBE, Chief Engineer.

_Railways and their Management_, being a Pamphlet written by JAMES
M. WHITON, ESQ., late of the Boston, Concord, and Montreal Railroad.

_Report of the President, Treasurer, and General Superintendent of
the New York and Erie Railroad Company to the Stockholders_. March,

_Final Report of_ JOHN A. ROEBLING, _Civil Engineer on the Niagara
Railway Suspension-Bridge_, May, 1855.]

[Footnote 2: Lest these statements should sound extravagant, the
reader will please reckon up the amounts for himself. A bank
twenty-five feet wide on top, eight hundred feet long, and two
hundred and thirty feet high, would contain two million cubic yards
of earth; which, at twenty-five cents per yard, would cost half a
million of dollars, exclusive of a culvert to pass the river, of
sixty, eighty, or one hundred feet span and seven hundred feet long.
Twenty trains per day, of thirty cars each, one car holding two yards,
would be twelve hundred yards per day; two million, divided by
twelve hundred, gives 1,666 days.]

[Footnote 3: The most careless observer has doubtless noticed that
the front part of a locomotive rests upon the centre of a track,
having four small wheels; the back and middle part, he will also
remember, is borne upon large spoke wheels,--which are connected
with the machinery; upon the size of these last depend the power and
speed of the engine. The larger the wheels, the less the power, and
the higher the velocity which may be got; again, the wheel remaining
of the same size, by enlarging the dimensions of the cylinders the
power is increased; and the wheels and cylinders remaining the same,
by enlarging the boiler we can make stronger steam and thus increase
the power. There may be seen upon the road from Boston to
Springfield engines with wheels nearly seven feet in diameter, used
for drawing light express-trains; while upon the roads ascending the
Alleghanies may be seen wheels of only three and a half feet diameter,
which are employed in drawing trains up the steep grades. Increase
of steepness of grades acts upon the locomotive in the same manner
as increase of actual load; as upon a level the natural tendency of
the engine is to stand still, while on an incline the tendency is to
roll backwards down-hill.]

       *       *       *       *       *



The girl whose suggestion had brought about this change in her
father's household, introducing anxiety and tears and pain where
these were almost strangers, was not exceeding joyous in view of what
she had done. But she was resolved and calm. It was everything to her,
that night when she lay down to rest, to know that the same roof
that covered her was also spread above the prisoner, and all the
joys of youth passed into forgetfulness as she thought and vowed to
herself concerning the future.

It seemed, perhaps, a state of things involving no consequences,
this sympathy that Elizabeth had shared with the gardener Sandy,
when the prisoner's eyes gazed on them from his window, or turned
towards them while he walked in the garden; but Sandy said to himself,
when she told him that they were to have Laval's place in the prison,
"_It took her_!"--neither did it seem incredible to him when she
assured him that the new house was like home. He honestly believed
that with the child--child he considered her--all things were

What he had lacked and missed so long that the restoration had a
charm of novelty about it, added to its own excellency, was now the
prisoner's portion. Good manners, kind and courteous voices, greeted
eyes and ears once more. As in the days of Joan Laval, a woman was
now sometimes in attendance on the prisoner. But in not one
particular did Pauline Montier resemble Joan Laval. She called
herself a soldier's wife, and was exact and brave accordingly. She
was thoughtful of her husband's charge, and when she paused in her
efforts for his comfort and content, it was because she had
exhausted the means within her reach, but not her wit in devising.

The effect was soon manifest. The prisoner received this care and
sympathy as he might have received the ministration of angels. The
attendance was almost entirely confined to Montier and his wife, but
now and then Elizabeth also could serve him. She served him with her
heart, with unobtrusive zeal that was exhaustless as the zeal of love.
Unobserved, she watched, as well as waited on him; and oh, how
jealous and impatient of time and authority did she become! Her pity
knew no limit; it beamed from her eyes, spoke through her voice, was
unceasing in activity. He was to her a romance terrible and sweet, a
romance that had more abundant fascination than the world could show

She went up to his room one morning, carrying his breakfast. Her
father had been ordered to the barracks, and her mother was not well;
the service therefore fell upon her.

The prisoner did not seem to heed her when she entered; at least, he
gave no sign, until she approached him, and even then was not the
first to speak. Going to the window, her eyes followed his to the
garden below.

"It looks well this morning," she said, pleasantly.

"Yes,--but I have seen prettier," he answered.

"Where?" she asked, so quickly that Manuel almost smiled as he
looked at her before he answered. He knew why she spoke thus, and
was not offended by the compassion of her sympathy.

"In my own home, Elizabeth," he answered.

"Aren't you _ever_ going back to it, Sir?" she asked, hurriedly.

He did not reply.

"Won't you ever see it again?" she persisted.

"Banishment,--a prisoner for life," said he, for the first time
explaining to any person his dread sentence.

Elizabeth Montier quietly pondered the words thus spoken.

"If you had your freedom," said she, "would you go back to your own
country?--Your breakfast is cooling, Sir."

Manuel looked at her,--she bore his scrutiny with composure,--then
he came to the table, sat down, and broke his bread, before he
answered this bold speaking.

"Yes," said he, at length. "An honorable man is bound to keep his
honor clean. Mine has been blackened by some false accusation. I owe
it to all who ever believed in me to clear it, if I can."

"And besides, your home is there."


"Oh, if you would only tell me about it! I don't want to know for
anybody else,--only for you. Did you leave many behind, that--that
loved you, Mr. Manuel?"

"Yes," said the prisoner,--but he said no more.

This answer was sufficient; with it Elizabeth walked away from the
table where he sat, and took her stand by the window. By-and-by she
said, speaking low, but with firm accent,--

"I am sorry I asked you anything about it; but I will never speak of
it again. I heard it was for religion; but I know you could not hurt
the Truth. They said you fought against the Church. Then I believe
the Church was wrong. I am not afraid to say it. I want you to
understand. Of course I cannot do anything for you; only I was so in
hopes that I could! You must not be angry with me, Sir, for hoping

The integrity of nature that spoke in these words came to the
hearer's heart with wondrous power and freshness. He looked at
Elizabeth; she was gazing full on him, and lofty was the bearing of
the girl; she had set her own fears and all danger and suspicion at
defiance in these words. Partly he saw and understood, and he

"I am not angry. You surprised me. I know you are not curious on
your own account. But you can do nothing for me. I did fight against
the Church, but not any Church that you know. I fought against an
intolerant organization, boundless superstition, shameful idolatry,
because it was making a slave and a criminal of the world.--You can
do nothing for me."


"No, dear child, nothing."

"Is it because you think I am a child that you say so?" asked
Elizabeth. "I am not a child. I knew you must be innocent. I will do
anything for you that any one can do. Try me."

The prisoner looked again at the pleader. Truly, she was not a child.
It is not in childhood to be nerved by such courage and such longing
as were in her speech, as that speech was endorsed by her bearing.
His thought toward her seemed to change in this look.

"Can you write, Elizabeth?" asked he.

"I can write," she answered, proudly, standing forward like a young
brave eager for orders. "I can write. My father taught me."

"You might write"--

"A letter?" she asked, breathless.

"Yes." He paused and considered, then continued,--"You might write
to--you might write to my friend, and tell her about the garden,
and how I am now allowed to walk in it,--and about your father and
your mother,--about yourself, too; anything that will make this
place seem pleasant to her. You know the pleasant side of Foray,
--give her that."

"Yes. Is she your mother?"


"Your sister, Sir?"

"No, Elizabeth. She and I were to have been married."

"Oh, Sir,--and you in Foray,--in a prison,--so far away!"

"Wide apart as death could put us. And shall I let you write to her?
Yes! we will triumph over this death and this grave!"

"By me!--yes,--I will tell her,--it shall surely be by me," said
Elizabeth, in a low voice.

"Then tell her;--you will be able, I know, to think of a great deal
that is comforting. I should not remember it, I'm afraid, if I could
write the letter. Tell her what fine music I have. You can say
something, too, about the garden, as I said. You can speak of the
view from this window. See! it is very fine. You can tell her--yes,
you can tell her now, that I am well, Elizabeth."

"Oh, Sir, can I tell her you are well?"

"Yes,--yes,--say so. Besides, it is true. But you must add that I
have no hope now of our meeting in this world. She can bear it, for
she is strong, like you. She, too, is a soldier's daughter. If you
will say those things, I will tell you her name. That shall be our
secret." In this speech his tone was altogether that of one who
takes the place of a comforter.

"Yes," said Elizabeth, calm and attentive. It was quite impossible
that she should so mistake as to allow the knowledge that was
quickening her perception into pain to appear.

"You must tell her about yourself," said he, again.

"What shall I say? There is nothing about myself to tell, Mr. Manuel."

"Is there not? That would be strange. Tell her what music you like
best to hear your father play. She will understand you by that. Tell
her anything,--she will not call it a trifle. What if she answers
you in the same mood? Should we call it foolish, if she told us her
thoughts, and the events that take place daily in her quiet life?
You can tell her what songs you love to sing. And if she does not
know them, she will learn them, Elizabeth. Tell her how much it
comforts me to hear you sing. Tell her, that, if she has prayed some
light might shine on me from Heaven, her prayer is answered. For it
is true. You serve me like an angel, and I see it all. Tell her she
must love you for my sake,--though there is no need to tell her.--Do
you see?"

"I see."

"Tell her I remember"--There he faltered; he could say no more.

"Yes," said Elizabeth, "I will,--I will tell her everything,
Mr. Manuel,--everything that it would comfort her to hear."

She had written letters now and then. Great pride Montier and
Pauline took in their daughter's skilful use of pen and ink, and
pencil,--for Elizabeth could sketch as well as write. There was
nothing new or strange, therefore, in her addressing this
conversation to a spirit. But, also, there was nothing easy in this
task, though she had the mighty theme of faithful love to dwell upon,
and love's wondrous inspiration to enlighten her labor.

The description to be given of island scenery was such as she had
given more than once, in writing to her distant, unknown relatives.
She need vary only slightly from what she had written before, when
she gave report of her own daily life. She was always eloquent when
talking about the flowers or her father's music.

But this she had undertaken was not a repetition of what she had
done before. With painful anxiety she scrutinized her words, her
thoughts, her feelings. The work was a labor of love; the loving best
know what anguish their labor sometimes costs them. The pain of this
letter was not fairly understood by her who endured it,--it could
not be shared.

Why was she so cautious? why in her caution lurked so much of fear?
Perhaps she might have answered, if questioned by one she trusted,
that further intrusion of herself than should serve as a veil for
the really important information she had to convey would be cruel
intrusion. But there was a very different reason; it had to do with
the sudden revelation made to herself when her father wept at the
prisoner's hard fate,--a revelation that terrified her, and
influenced every succeeding movement; it had to do with the
illumination that came when Manuel told her the sad secret of his
heart,--with that moment when she stood up stronger in love than in
fear, stronger in devotion than in pride, strong for self-sacrifice,
like one who bears a charmed life pierced to the heart, and never so
capable as then.

More than once did Elizabeth rewrite that letter. More than once in
the progress to its completion did she break away from the strange
task, that had evidence of strangeness or of labor, to seek in the
garden, or with her needle, or in the society of father or mother,
deliverance from the trouble that disturbed her. In the toils of
many an argument with her heart and conscience was she caught; but
even through her doubting of the work she had engaged to perform,
she persevered in its continuance, till the letter was ready for

It was surely right to aid, and comfort by such aid, one so
unfortunate as this prisoner; yet her parents must not be implicated
by such transaction. Therefore they must be kept in ignorance, that,
if blame fell anywhere, it might not fall on them. So she satisfied
her conscience;--love will not calculate coldly. But it was less
easy to satisfy her heart.

She had lived but sixteen years; she looked to her youth as to a
protector, while it rebuked her. She leaned upon it, while daily she
took to herself the part of womanhood, its duties and its dignity.
He had called her a child; she called herself a child. She was
careful to let this estimate of herself appear in that letter; and
in what she undertook she was entirely successful; Madeline
Desperiers would be sure to read it as the letter of a child.

When all was done Elizabeth repeated to Manuel the substance of this
letter. He praised it. Jealous scrutiny would find it difficult to
lay its finger on a passage, and condemn the writer for evading the
law concerning the prisoner. When she signed and sealed the letter,
addressed it, and carried it away with her to mail, he was satisfied;
his praise was sweet to the girl who had earned it.

No sooner was this work off her hands than another engaged her. With
a purpose prompted may-be by her angel, certainly by no human word,
and unshared by any human intelligence, Elizabeth began to make a
sketch of the island as seen from Manuel's prison-window. She made
the sketch from memory, correcting it by observation when occasion
called her to the prisoner's room.

At length she brought the sheet of paper, on which this sketch was
drawn, to Manuel, and laid it before him. She did this without any
accompanying word of explanation. In the foreground was the garden,
stretching up the slope of the hill towards the top, where the
fort-wall began; beyond, fort, barracks, settlement,--and still
beyond, the sea. The island of Foray, as thus represented, appeared
like many other views on paper, very pleasing and attractive. Nature
is not responsible for sin and suffering, that she should veil her
glory wherever these may choose to pitch their tent.

The prisoner took the drawing from the table where she had laid it,
and scanned it closely.

"You have left out my house," said he.

"There was no room for it," she answered.

"True!" He understood her. "Do you know whom this is for, Mr. Manuel?

"Whom is it for, Elizabeth?"

"For Madeline; is it a pretty view?"

"Really for her, Elizabeth?"

"Surely. Her eyes shall look on the same view as yours."

"The fort, flag, sea-wall, burial-ground, ocean, barracks, garden;
--it is well done.--Now I will tell you of the place where it will
find her."

He paused a moment ere he began that description. He looked at the
quiet figure of the child for whom he dared recall the past. She
stood with folded hands, so fair, so young, the sight was a
refreshment, and a strange assurance always, to his weary eyes and
weary heart. Never did she look so lovely to him as now when he was
about to speak again to her of his life's love for another.

"It was once a magnificent estate," he began.

"Oh, is she a grand lady?" broke from Elizabeth.

"Yes, a grand lady. You speak well," replied Manuel, with a smile.
"The estate was once ten times as large as this island. Towns and
villages are built over the land now, but the old house stands as it
has stood through ten generations. There she lives. If she stands by
the library-window today, she can see the church built by her
great-grandfather, and the little town of Desperiers, which had in
his day a population of tenantry. She can see the ponds and the park,
and a garden where there are hothouses, and graperies, and
conservatories, and winding walks where you might walk all day and
find something new to surprise and delight you at every turn. There
is a tower that commands a view of fifty miles in one direction. The
old house is full of treasure. She is mistress of all,--the only
representative of a long line of noble men and beautiful women who
have dispensed magnificent hospitality there. The last time I saw her,
Elizabeth, she was standing in the library, a woman so beautiful and
so strong you would not have thought that trouble could approach her.
It came through me. I opened those ancient gates for the black train,
--I, who loved no mortal as I loved her! But I lost her in my fight
for Truth. Shall I complain? Her heart was with mine in that struggle.
Cannot Truth comfort her?"

"She is not lost to you. Sir,--you are not lost to her," cried
Elizabeth, in a voice as strong as breaks sometimes through dying

"I know," said he, more gently. His thought was not the same as hers;
he was taking refuge in that future which remains to the loving when
this life wholly fails in hope.

"You shall go back to that old place, Sir! You shall--you two--shall
forget all this!"

The prisoner smiled to hear her,--a sad smile, yet a sweet smile too.
He did not despise the comfort she would give him, nor resent her
presumptuous speech.

"As when I dream sometimes," said he, gently,--"or in some pleasant
vision. Yes, that is true, Elizabeth. I have been back, and I shall
go again."

Vehemently now she broke forth. It was love defying the whole
universe, if the whole universe opposed itself to the sovereign
rights of love, the divine strength and the divine courage of love.
--"You shall go on board some vessel, a passenger; you shall see
with your own eyes; your hands shall be free to gather the sweetest
rose that--ever blossomed in the world for you. Mr. Manuel, do not
look so doubting,--do not smile so! Am I not in earnest? Do you not
hear me? As God lives, and as I live, I will do what I promise. Why,
what do you think I am here for?"

Wondering, doubting if he heard aright, Manuel looked at Elizabeth.
The painful, kindly smile, the incredulity, had disappeared from his
face; the power and confidence of her words seemed to persuade him
that at least she purposed seriously and was not uttering mere wishes.
It might be the enthusiasm and generosity of a child that inspired
her speech, but its determination and gravity of utterance demanded
at least a respectful hearing.

"What do you mean, Elizabeth?" he asked.

"I mean that I will go home and explain, and you shall be set free."

He shook his head. "There is nothing to be explained," said he.
"I am not here by mistake. I am very clearly guilty, if there is
guilt in doing what I am accused of. The hearts of those who
condemned me must be changed, and their eyes opened, or I shall
never be set free."

"God chooses humble agents," she said, humbly. "David slew Goliath,
and he was but a lad. He will open the way for me, and by me change
the hearts of those who condemned, and by me open their eyes.
Therefore I shall go,--I shall surely go. Ah, Mr. Manuel, give me
the picture! It is all that you shall have of the island of Foray,
please Almighty God, when these doors are all open for you, and your
hands are free, Sir, and we tell you to come, for the vessel is

She went out from the room while these words took solemn possession
of the place. She locked the door behind her;--no requirement of law
was to be neglected or withstood; she made him a prisoner whom she
would set free;--and from this interview she went away, not to
solitude, and the formation of secret plans, but, as became the
daughter of Adolphus and Pauline Montier, she went quietly, with that
repose of manner which distinguished her through almost every event,
back to her mother's chamber.

There stood Adolphus Montier, drummer to the regiment, jailer to the
prisoner, father of Elizabeth,--loving man, whichever way you looked
at him. He had his French horn in his hands, and was about to raise
it to his lips; in a moment more a blast would have rung through the
house, for Adolphus was in one of his tempestuously happy moods.

But his daughter's entrance arrested his purpose. Say, rather, the
expression of her face performed that feat. He saw, likewise, the
paper which she carried, the pencilled sketch,--and he followed her
with his eyes when she crossed the room and placed it on the mantel
under the engraving of the city of Fatherland. This act took the
parents to the fireplace, for discussion and criticism of their
daughter's work, and of the two homes now brought into contrasted

"But you have left out the prison," was the comment of Adolphus.

"I am glad of that," said Pauline.

"But it is part of the island."

"It ought to be left out, though," maintained his wife.

"Where would you keep _him_, then?" asked Adolphus, a broad smile
spreading over his face. He knew well enough what the answer would be.

"I'd set him adrift," was Pauline's reply, spoken without the least
pretence of caution.

"Hush!" said her husband; but that was because he was the jailer. He
laughed outright close on this admonition, and asked Elizabeth if
she expected him to make a frame for this picture to hang opposite

"No," she answered, "I am going to take it with me."

"Where now?" asked the parents in one breath.

"Oh, home,--Chalons."

This reply seemed to merit some consideration, by the way the eyes
of Adolphus and Pauline regarded their child. They did not
understand her;--her meaning was deeper than her utterance.

"To Chalons?" repeated Adolphus, quietly.

"Home?" said Pauline;--it was almost the sweetest word she knew,
almost the easiest of utterance.

"You have promised me a hundred times that I should go. Did you mean
it? May I go? You wish me to see the old place and the old people.
But the old place is changing, and the old people are dying. Soon,
if I go to Chalons, it will not be your Chalons I shall see."

Dumb with wonder, Adolphus and Pauline looked at one another. To be
sure, they had done their best in order to excite in the breast of
Elizabeth such love of country as was worthy of their child, and
such curiosity about locality as would constrain her to cherish some
reverent regard for the place of their birth, the home of their
youthful love; but _never_ had they imagined the possibility of her
projecting a pilgrimage in that direction, except under their
guidance. They could hardly imagine it now. Often they had talked
over every step of that journey they would one day make together;
the progress was as familiar to Elizabeth as it could be made by the
description of another; but that they had succeeded in so awaking
the feeling of their child, that she should seriously propose making
the pilgrimage alone, passed their comprehension.

"You know," said Adolphus, with a shrug, "your father is an officer,
and he cannot now leave his post. Are you going to take your mother
along with you?"

He said these words at a venture, not certain of his ground. He was
not kept in suspense long.

"My mother must not leave you," answered Elizabeth, greatly agitated,
and yet speaking strongly, as one whose will exceeded her emotion.

"Then you go alone?" asked Adolphus, shortly. He could not
understand her, and was thoroughly vexed that he could not;
mysteries were not for him. "What is the matter? is it the prison?
Wife!" he turned to Pauline, but, as he looked at her, his
perplexity seemed to increase, as did his impatience also.

Wife and daughter evidently were not in league against him; she, the
mother of his child, shared his anxiety and doubt. Tears were in her
eyes, and he had only been impatient!--she had passed so quickly to
an apprehension that was grievous, Adolphus stood the image of dismay.
Those three, so entirely one, seemed to have been thrust apart by a
resistless evil Fate who had some malignant purpose to serve.

Not now for the first time did Pauline see that the young face
before her was pale, and grave with a gravity once unknown to it. It
might be, that, for the first time, she was asking herself outright
if this prison-life was to serve Elizabeth as it had served the wife
of Laval,--but not for the first time was she now visited by a
foreboding that pointed to this fear.

"It is the prison," said she.

"Elizabeth, is it so? Is this house going to be the death of you?"
asked Montier, abruptly,--referring the point with stern authority,
to the last person who would be likely to acknowledge the danger of
which he spoke.

"If you think _so_, papa and mamma, I must give up the voyage, just
to prove that you are mistaken," answered she.

"Look at her, Adolphus!" said Pauline; "remember what she was a year
ago! She's not the same now. I can see it. Strange if I could not!
Young people are different from old. I thought this place would
never seem like home to me, but I found out my mistake."

"I knew you would," said Adolphus, quickly.

"Of course it is the place for me, on the prisoner's account. I hate
the prison just the same, though. But if I was mistaken, so was
Elizabeth. She thought it would seem like home to her;--it never has;
it never will. But I do not think there is a chance of our being
kept here long by poor Mr. Manuel. Adolphus, I am for Elizabeth's
going home."

"Colonel Farel and his lady are getting ready to go in the next
vessel," said Adolphus, as if in a sleep, or as though his power of
speech opposed and defied him in its activity,--so bewildered did he
look at his wife and daughter.

"Oh, then, may I go? It is only out and back. I will not be long away.
Then we shall all go some day together, and never, never return."

"That is my wish," said Pauline; "isn't it yours, Adolphus?"

"Yes!" And this answer was given by a man who was neither asleep nor
bewildered, but by one who had put himself out of sight, and was
thinking only of others.

Adolphus had not been as blind as Pauline must have supposed him when
she bade him remember what their daughter was a year ago. He, too,
had seen that the bloom was fading from her face, and by many a
device he had striven to divert the gravity, descending upon her,
from taking possession of her. Pauline's words revived every fear,
every anxiety he had felt for their child. Generous as impetuous, he
saw now only one thing to be done, one result to be accomplished.
Elizabeth must sail in the next vessel, and he was not the man to
know another quiet moment till that vessel hove in sight. That was
his way; why hesitate a twelvemonth, when a moment sufficed for a
decision, and the good and happiness of others were concerned in the
deciding? And it was not merely his way, as has been made
sufficiently apparent,--it was his wife's way, and his daughter's.

Yet fain would Pauline have entered now upon a discussion of what
remained to be done; she could have gone on from this point at which
they suddenly found themselves standing so wistfully; she would have
made, in advance, every needful preparation and arrangement for
Elizabeth, up to the time of her return. But Adolphus was in no mood
for this. He must go and see Colonel Farel, he said, by way of excuse,
--and he must see the doctor. It would have been a dangerous
experiment, had Pauline persisted in the endeavor to discover how
much he could endure. Montier felt that he was not fit for family
deliberation now, and wisely made his escape from it.

"I know," said Pauline, when she and her child were left together,
"I know why it is the best thing in the world for you to go on this
voyage,--but--I do not know how you came by the sudden wish to go,
--or if it is sudden, Elizabeth."

No demand,--no confidence required,--not a request, even, to enter
into any secret counsel with her child. But that child saw the
relation in which she stood to the loving woman by her side, whose
eyes were gazing into her eyes, whose love was seeking to fathom her
heart, and she answered humbly, and with confidence,--

"I am going to your old home, my mother,--and to see if it is true
that Manuel is to die here in this abhorred prison. It is my secret,
--it is my errand. I trust you, for you love me; oh, love me, my
mother, and trust me! I dare not live, I cannot endure my freedom,
while he is wearing out his life in a prison. Am I ill? Has it worn
me to see him, this year past, dying by inches? I am glad of it,--I
am proud of it! Now I will see if there is any pity or justice among

Pauline Montier was confounded by this outbreak. She had expected no
such word as this she heard. It terrified her, for she was a loving
woman, and she thought she heard in the voice of her daughter the
voice of a woman who loved,--the impassioned, daring voice of one
whom love incited to action such as sober reason never would attempt.
She repented already the words she had spoken to her husband. She
had no power then, could not prevail then, or the misgivings which
sent Adolphus weeping into the wood, and not in search of doctor or
colonel, would have drawn him back to her side, and against their
love and their authority this girl had not prevailed. A question
trembled on her lips. But how should she ask it of her child? She
could not ask it of her child,--but as woman of woman. The simplest
and the shortest speech was best; and far away were curiosity and

"Elizabeth, do you love this prisoner?"

The answer did not linger.

"He is dying,--a noble man perishing unrighteously! Oh, my mother, in
that land there is a lady waiting to know why the arm of the Lord so
long delays! He shall not die a prisoner! She loves him,--_he loves
her_. I will give them to each other. Only keep him alive till I come."

"My child!"

"Why do you weep?"--but Elizabeth, so speaking, bowed to the floor
by her mother's side, and wept with her, and the tender arms
maternal clasped her close; and the girl did not see when her
mother's eyes looked upward, nor did she hear when her mother's
voice said, with a saint's entreaty, and a lover's faith, "O Saviour!"

That night Elizabeth went for the tray which her father had left in
the prisoner's room when he carried him his supper. No danger that
Adolphus would stand to gossip now with any man, for a moment. His
heart was sore at the prospect of his daughter's departure, at the
prospect of actual separation, every feature of which state of being
he distinctly anticipated; and yet he would have scorned himself,
had he thrown in the way anything like the shadow of an impediment
to her departure from Foray. So far from that, he was already doing
everything, in act and thought, by which that going might be made
more certain and immediate.

Elizabeth found the prisoner sitting before his untasted supper. She
went up the room at a rapid pace.

"Strength does not come of fasting," said she, as she glanced at the

"Appetite does not come of torpor," was the reply, spoken almost as
quickly; he seemed to be echoing her tone. She looked at him
surprised; so much energy of speech she had not expected of him, and
never before had heard.

"I must wait for the tray," said she; and she took her usual stand
by the window. "Eat something to please my mother,--she will be so

At this he took his spoon and tasted the porridge, which had grown
cold in the dish before him.

Now, as she stood there waiting, a curious state of mind was that
through which Elizabeth passed. When he answered her greeting, it
was with less apparent weariness, less exhibition of sad
indifference to all things, than usual,--with some animation, indeed;
not at all as one speaks who is dead to every hope. And with this
utterance, which on any other day would have lightened the burden
Elizabeth bore, a new darkening of the spirit of heaviness seemed to
fall upon her. She knew that by her he must have come to--whatever
hopefulness he had; and she would give him freedom that she might
see his face no more!

"There is no crucifixion without pain." It is never with a light
heart that man or woman attends his or her own immolation. There is
awful terror in the triumphs of the divine human nature. If, indeed,
_Suttee_ is noiseless, superstition and force have stifled the
voice of the widow.

And therefore the words which Elizabeth only by an effort restrained,
as she crossed the prison-threshold, could come from her now by
effort only. If she had found him drooping, despairing, utterly cast
down,--no hinderance then to a full utterance of the heroic purpose
which death alone could dampen or defeat! But now some strength
seemed in himself--and liberty would give him to others, of whom he
could not think as quietly as he could think of her. Could she, then,
better afford to weep than to rejoice with him?

Before he had pushed away the table and its contents, before time
constrained her to speak, she said,--

"I promised you something, Mr. Manuel. You remember what. I may go
tomorrow. So tell me,--how shall I serve you best? Tell me now;
something may happen; and I wish my work to be clear."

The prisoner started from the table at these words. He hastily
approached the quiet speaker, his face brightened not more by hope
than by wondering admiration.

"What do you mean?--tomorrow? I am waiting, Elizabeth."

"Colonel Farel and his lady are going home. He has leave of absence.
I have spoken to my father and mother. I have told my mother
everything. She knows that I am going to visit your relations as
well as hers. Tell me how I shall find them. Tell me what I must do.
You shall have freedom, if woman can ask or man can give it."

She had advanced a single step towards him, in thus speaking. She
stood now with hands folded, quiet, waiting his answer.

"Noble girl!" he began; then he paused. Full of reverence was his

"Do not praise,--direct me," she said, hurriedly. "I know what I
shall say. But to whom shall I say it?--Yes, I will find her whom
you love. I will carry balm across the sea to heal her breaking heart.
_I_ will join together whom,"--here for an instant she hesitated,
then began again,--"whom God has joined, whom man dared separate.
Direct me, Sir."

And there she stood, waiting. Who sighing beholds her? No
pusillanimity there; but on the very heights of danger, which none
other than the bravest could have gained, dauntless and safe, let her
stand and fight her battle. So strong, yet so defenceless, so
conspicuous for purpose and position there, the arrows rain upon her,
--yet not one is poisoned to the power of hurting her sacred life.
Listen, Elizabeth, while he speaks of _her_! Deeply can his voice
grave every word of direction; not one wilt thou lose! Chosen of the
few from among the many called, go, woman to love, and hero to endure,
--yea, if thou must, as gentle and dauntless martyr, to die before
the stronghold thou wouldst summon to surrender!

Later in the day the prisoner heard Elizabeth singing, as not rarely
he heard her,--for, knowing that the sound of her voice was pleasant
to him, and that its cheerfulness cheered him, she had the habit of
frequenting with her songs that part of the house in which his room
was. The prisoner heard her singing later in the day, and thanked
her for the grace, but did not catch the words whose sound swept
past him. It was an ancient hymn she sang,--one that she often sang;
and that she sang it this day of all days, I copy here the first

  "Sing, my tongue, the glorious battle,
    With completed victory rife,
  And above the Cross's trophy
    Tell the triumph of the strife,
  How the world's Redeemer conquered
    _By surrendering of his life_."

       *       *       *       *       *

The Drummer's Daughter has crossed the sea,--has landed on the
shores of Fatherland. She has even parted from her fellow-voyagers
at the station whence the coach shall take her on to Chalons, that
venerable town and well-beloved, where the lives whence her own
sprung were born and blended. She is in the land of wonders, of
meadows, vineyards, gardens, lakes, and rivers, and of cattle
feeding on a thousand hills,--among the graves of millions of men,
among the works of heroes and of martyrs, in the land of mighty towns,
of palaces, of masters, and of slaves, where a great king is
building the great palace which shall witness, centuries hence, the
dire humiliation of his race.

Of all the crowds and companies that hurry to and fro from one end
of the land to the other, Elizabeth seeks only two persons. It is
not to her father's native town that she is drawn by the superior
attraction. She passes Chalons in the moonlight. When the coach
stops at the inn-door for a change of horses, she keeps her place,
--she acts not with the quicker beating of her heart. She looks about
her as they drive through the silent streets,--out on the moonlit
landscape when they have passed the borders of the town; she sees
the church-towers, and the old buildings, and the river whose
windings she has heard described so often by the voices that once
talked of love all along its borders. Chalons is dear to her; she
looks back with tearful longing when the driver hurries on his
horses as they pass into the open country. But she has no right to
wait on her own pleasure,--to verify her parents' calculations when
they talk together, by the fireside in Foray, of her journeying
through Fatherland.

No,--each sunrise appoints him one more day of imprisonment and exile!
Every sunset leaves him to one more night of cruel dreams which
morning shall deride! And while this can be said, what has Chalons,
or any other spot on earth, that it should lure her into rest?

The higher powers sometimes convey their messages and do their work
after a prosaic fashion. It was no uncommon thing for a young girl
in neat raiment to stand waiting admittance before the door of the
Château Desperiers. Hospitality was called upon in those days not so
often, perhaps, as benevolence; and for its charity the chateau had
a reputation far and wide; the expectation of the poor perished only
in fruition there.

Into the library of this ancient mansion Elizabeth Montier was
ushered by the old gray servant. There she might wait the return of
his mistress; at what hour the return should be anticipated he could
not undertake to say. His counsel to the stranger was, that she had
better return at a later hour; but when Elizabeth said it was
impossible, that she had come from a great distance to see the lady
of the place, and must await her return _there_, he led her without
further parley to the library, and left her.

And from its lofty windows, at her leisure, she might now look down
upon the prospect Prisoner Manuel had described. When she crossed
the threshold of that room, she knew where she was; left alone, she
looked around her. There he once had stood; there he had parted from
Madeline Desperiers; from that last interview he had gone forth to
long captivity! She stood by the lofty, narrow windows, to see what
he had seen when standing before them,--that town the ancient
Desperiers laid out for his tenants in the ancient days,--the church,
the pond, the park,--the garden, so vast, and so astonishing for
beauty, the gazer scarce believed her eyes. And she remembered beds
of flowers under a prison-wall, and who that day looked on them.

He had said that the mistress of this grand domain was a soldier's
daughter. He had said that she was a grand lady. A soldier's
daughter had come here to hold an interview with her! A drummer's
daughter, a girl from out the barracks and the prison of Foray, was
here!--A strange light, so strange that it seemed not natural, broke
from these reflections of Elizabeth, and illuminated the library. It
fell on the great bookcases that were filled from floor to ceiling
with books which cost a fortune, on the great easy-chairs black with
age, on picture and on bust, on the old writing-stand, the more
modern centre-table piled with newspapers and pamphlets, on the
curious clock that told the hours with a "silverey voice." It fell,
too, on a portrait that did not often greet the gaze even of such as
found access into that room,--a portrait of him for whose sake she
was here, having compassed land and sea.

When she first saw the picture, she was sitting in one of the chairs
beside the table,--her eyes had taken cognizance of everything but
that,--and of that became aware so strangely that she could not at
first persuade herself of the nature of the mystery that took such
hold of her and possessed her so wholly. A proud and glorious vision,
it rose up before her, emerging from the shadows of the alcove where
it stood. This was not Manuel, not the wan prisoner of Foray,--but
her heart needed none to tell her it was the hero who had loved the
lady of this château in the splendor of his manhood. She saw it, and
saw nothing more,--the prescience of her soul was satisfied. As he
was, she beheld him now;--was it safe for her to sit there gazing at
that likeness?

The old servant, who now and then walked up and down the hall,
perceiving that the stranger was sitting quiet, with her eyes
generally in one direction, was satisfied that she should prove so
patient with this long delay in his mistress's return. He knew not
what occupied her eyes or thoughts,--fancied, may-be, that she was
numbering the books of the library, or engaged in some equally
diverting occupation.

At last came Madeline.

Learning from the servant in the hall that a young person waited her
return, and had waited half the day, with a patience that was
evidently proof against time, the lady proceeded at once to the

Elizabeth, who heard the arrival, and the approach, arose and stood,
waiting the meeting. In her hand she held a paper scroll, the
drawing of Foray, which she had brought to aid her in this interview.

It was, indeed, a royal person upon whom the eyes of the Drummer's
Daughter fell,--a person whose dignity and grace held at a distance
even those whom they attracted. Nothing short of reverence could
have dictated the movement of any noble mind that had to do with her.
She was the Sister of Mercy, whom the whole country round about knew
for the most righteous Desperiers of them all. The noble line was
ending nobly in her pure and lofty and most gracious womanhood. She
was the star of society, if the "sweet influences" might only be
bound,--no comet, no fiery splendor of intellect or passion, but a
pure light that would still shine through all paling, and enter with
its own distinct ray into the last absorption.

She approached to meet her guest with a kind and frank expression of
regret that she should have been kept waiting so long.

Beholding her, remembering him, strong even through her sense of
impotence, Elizabeth unrolled the pencilling of Foray. The moment
during which she was thus occupied passed in silence; then she
looked up and spoke, with the coldness in which her embarrassment and
emotion sought disguise.

"I came here with a message,--on an errand," said she; "and I have
come so far, that, finding myself really in this house, I did not
like to leave it again till I had seen the lady I sought. I knew
that it would give you pain, if you could know the whole."

"Tell me the whole," was the reply, spoken with evident and
encouraging approval of the stranger's mode of address; and the lady
sat down in the great chair on one side of the table. "Be seated;
tell me your wish."

"It is to serve you," said Elizabeth, a little proudly. "I have not
come to ask favor for myself or mine. I came across the sea for you
and him."

She spoke now with vehemence, and as she spoke glanced at the
portrait in the alcove. Quickly the eyes of Madeline Desperiers
followed hers. How had this stranger managed to discover what was so
securely hidden from the observation of ordinary eyes? She did not
even suspect the light which had illumined that dim recess, and made
it brighter to the gazer than the bright garden even.

"This is Foray," said Elizabeth, exposing now the token that would
instantly make all plain and equal between them. "I should have sent
it to you, Madam, when I wrote; but there was more to be done,--and
so I came. I am Elizabeth Montier. I am a soldier's daughter; so, he
said, are you."

The lady's answer was not at first by speech. She arose, swiftly as
light moves she moved, and brought her guest up to the window of the
shadowy room. Well she scanned the face of Elizabeth.

"Truth," she murmured. "It was you that wrote. You are Truth. You
speak it. Blessings on you! Blessings descend upon you from all the
saints and heroes who have moved and suffered here! Do you come from
him,--Stephen Cordier?"

How proudly and how tenderly she spoke that name! To hear her soothed
the heart of Elizabeth Montier,--soothed her, and made her strong.

"Is that his name?" she asked, pointing to the portrait. "We call
him Manuel." She paused a moment, but not for an answer. Before
Madeline could speak, she went on,--

"If you can hear me, I will tell you of him, and why I am here."

"Tell me all. I can bear to hear anything that you can endure to tell.
You are his friend. I claim you for mine, too. You came to find me.

This was the utterance of a calm self-knowledge. By what she had
endured, the woman knew what she could yet endure.

Without pause Elizabeth now spoke. Without interruption the lady
listened,--listened while this young stranger told the life of the
past months, in which he was concerned,--of the garden where she
worked and he walked,--of her father, the musician,--of their old
home near the barracks, and the new home in the prison,--of the day
when he first told her of his country and his love,--how for him she
had written the letter, repeating oftentimes in the narration the
very words he had used,--of his gestures, his looks;--she was
thoughtful of all.

How strangely intelligent in all her communication! Ah, if it was
eager love that hearkened, it was thoughtful love that spoke!

The story, as she told it, was brief; but the voice never faltered
in telling the tale, and the eyes of Elizabeth, with constant
scrutiny, were upon her listener. She was satisfied, when, having
said all, she paused, and had now no further fear for her own
heart's integrity or of the listener's constancy.

A long silence followed her speech. At length said Mlle. Desperiers,--

"I see it all. You are God's messenger from that other world. I have
believed too little. You are truer and wiser than I. Lead me, dear
child! Shall we go to Foray? I will sail with you tomorrow, if you
say so. Better a prison, with him, than all this freedom, so alone."

"He must be set free, first," said Elizabeth. The manner of her
speaking, her look as well as her tone, might almost have been taken
for a rebuke. Madeline might pardon that.

"I have said so," she answered, mildly. "I have tried to move heaven
and earth. I was but a feeble woman. Still it is a consolation to
know that I have done everything my wit or my love could devise, and
not stopped at what looked like extravagance or indelicacy. What
further, Elizabeth? The man who is now in power, and through whom
alone the king can be reached, will grant him liberty"--

"_He will_?"

"At a price that would take away its value from him."

"What is that price?"

"My life. He wants me for his wife,--a purchase, you perceive."

Elizabeth Montier did not heed the scorn and bitterness of these
words, as Mlle. Desperiers spoke them. The blood in her veins seemed
turning to fire,--it swept through her body and brain like the flood
of a volcano,--and she thought, she who knew the prisoner's life,
and all that captivity was to him,--

"Coward and selfish, that will not instantly give up her life for his!"

A very dismal satisfaction, that the woman he loved best should so
prove unworthy of him! The horror of that satisfaction, its
humiliation and its pain, sufficiently attested to the poor girl who
endured it that her soul's integrity remained secure. As if for a
personal conflict with an enemy, she started to her feet.

"It must not be!" she exclaimed.

And, far from suspecting to whom the words were addressed, to what
the speaker closed her eyes, rebuking her pure heart, the lady

"Then, unless he outlives this tyranny of power, he will die a
prisoner, Elizabeth. I will go with you to him. I can die with him.
God, certainly, does not require me to stay here longer, for He has
sent you to me."

"He has sent me for _him!_" exclaimed Elizabeth. "I am here to make
him free." She did not add, "If I were you, my life for his!" but
again, in spite of her, she thought it, and a terrible strength of
pride possessed her at that moment.

"Speak on," was the eager, tremulous response. "You are here to set
him free, God knows; but at least I believe wholly in you. What will
you do, Elizabeth?"

"Go to the officer tomorrow. Tell him everything that is to be told.
If he is human"--

"That is what I doubt. He knows what petitions I presented and caused
to be presented to his predecessor."


"I?--who but I? Do you think I have been idle, or that I have left
anything undone that I could think to do? Child, the sun has never
risen on me since I saw him last! They say I am dead to the world.
But they who say it know not how terribly true their words are.
Shall I tell _you_ how many times, when the weary days have come to
an end, I have said, in the morning I would make that loathsome
bargain with General Saterges, and in the morning God's grace, as I
believe, has alone prevented me? Do you think that it is because I
love myself better than him, that I have not bought his freedom at
this price? It is because I know him,--because I am sure that
liberty at such price would be worthless to him. I cannot torture
him with the belief that I am unfaithful, nor suffer him to look on
me as a sacrifice. We can endure what God allows. Trust me. You have
done so bravely, you are yourself so true, believe in me. I am
really no coward. I am not a selfish woman."

"Forgive me," said Elizabeth, most humbly. Her pride had left her
defenceless in its flight. If there was not now the true, brave,
generous woman to lift and proclaim herself from the humiliation of
her mistake, alas for her!

The woman was there,--ready and true,--was there. Humbled, yet
resolute, she spoke,--and in her speaking was the triumph of a
spirit that should never again surrender its stronghold of peace.

"You must direct me, Madam. Show me how I shall find this minister.
I will speak then as God's servants spoke of old,--trusting in Him.
If the man will not hear me, then I will conduct you to Foray. You
shall see Mr. Manuel. You can live--with us. My mother's heart is
kind, and my father is a soldier; we shall all love to serve you.
Let us take courage! They cannot prevent us here. You could endure
exile for him?"

"Exile? Ah, how do you shame me! All these years I might have"--

"No," said Elizabeth, hurriedly. "Never till now. You could not. The
way was not open till this day. Love, too must have its servants. I
am yours and his. I trust in God. In His time he has opened His own

By Mlle. Desperiers's management, Elizabeth without difficulty
obtained audience, the next day, of the chief ministerial power of
the realm.

I shall attempt no pictorial description of that interview. The men
of authority know best how often women come into their presence,
burdened with prayers for the pardon of those who have justly, or
unjustly, fallen under the displeasure of the powers that be. From
high station and low Love draws its noblest and most courageous
witnesses, and the ears of the officials are not always deaf.

The case of Stephen Cordier was of sufficient importance to come
under discussion before the governing power as often as that power
underwent a change in person or policy. Twice petitions in his
behalf had been presented,--once by the lady of Château Desperiers
in person,--petitions that were in themselves the proudest praise
of him, the greatest honor that could be conferred upon him. They
had fallen powerless to the ground.

The old man, statesman and soldier, now holding office, had, before
he came to this position, knowing the interest and the kind of
interest taken by Madeline Desperiers in the petitions presented,
volunteered his name to the last document, mentioning, though with
due deference to the fashion of the world, the price at which it was
to be procured,--her hand. His name had just the weight that would
have made the other more honorable names successful in their pleading.
What sort of success was to be expected, now that he occupied the
passage to royalty? Elizabeth Montier crossed the threshold of the
apartment where the old warrior and statesman sat amongst books and
papers, without dismay ruling by pen and voice, as confident in
himself, when he took up these weapons, as in the former time of
sword and powder.

His practice was to receive all petitioners,--all should have
audience. But he made short work of business. Never were affairs
dispatched with more celerity, seldom with less conscience. At a
glance his keen eye read, to his own satisfaction, the state of
every case,--and he came to his own conclusions. His requirement was,
that the petitioner should be self-possessed and brief,--which
requisition, hinted by the doorkeeper, and reiterated by the General
himself, had not always precisely the effect intended.

The fault was not in Mlle. Desperiers that she had proved so
unsuccessful in her petitions, as has been made sufficiently clear.
General Saterges had found in Stephen Cordier a powerful antagonist
in action. He had moved to power through the very paths which Stephen
Cordier had attempted to lay waste. He upheld the faith against
which Cordier had preached a crusade. The old warrior regarded the
young thinker as a personal enemy. It was hardly probable that he
would very energetically strive to procure the reversal of a hard
sentence in behalf of such a man.

As Adolphus Montier's daughter came into his presence, she had not
the bearing common to such as appeared there with intent to plead
for the life or liberty of those they loved. A sense of the
sacredness of her mission was upon her. She had cried to God, and
she believed that He had heard her. Where do the possibilities of
such faith end? "Time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and of Barak,
and of Samson, and of Jephthah, of David also, and of Samuel, and of
the prophets; who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought
righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of
weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight
the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life
again; and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that
they might obtain a better resurrection; and others had trial of
cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover, of bonds and
imprisonment; they were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted,
were slain with the sword; they wandered about in sheep-skins and
goat-skins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented. _And these all,
having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise_."

She had considered well what she would do and say, and did not forget
and was not confounded when she stood before the old man, knowing
her time had come. Calm and strong, because so bent on accomplishing
her purpose, and so conscious of her past secret weakness, of her
suspicion and cruel judgment, as if she would here atone for it, she
took stern vengeance of herself.

General Saterges recognized at one glance the evidences of a strong
and determined spirit. When she had crossed the room and stood
before him, he requested her to be seated,--and it was the first
time that he had made such request of such visitor.

Declining the civility, Elizabeth stood, and told her errand. She
had come across the ocean, she said, to plead the cause of a poor
prisoner who was dying under sentence of the law. She paused a moment,
having made this statement, and was answered by a nod. Prisoners
often died without reprieve, he seemed to be aware. This cold
civility warmed the petitioner's speech. Her mother would have been
satisfied, Madeline Desperiers would have been overwhelmed with grief
and horror, to have heard this young girl's testimony in regard to
prison-life. The old man, as he listened, sighed unconsciously,
--for not every nerve in him was strung to cruelty. To one of his
restless career what image of life more dreadful could have been
presented than was in this testimony? To be shut away from human
society so many years, patient, resigned, receiving the few comforts
yet allowed him!--to live on, pure in spirit, lofty in thought,
hoping still in God and man! The old warrior in self-defence,
because she brought the case too vividly, the life too forcibly
before him, broke through the words she was speaking, interrupting

"Who is this person?" he asked.

"Stephen Cordier," was the answer. Without hesitation, even proudly,
she spoke it. She had compelled him to ask the name!

"And who are you?" he asked; and if he felt displeasure, as if his
sympathy, of which he was so chary, had been stolen from him, he did
not allow it to appear.

"Elizabeth Montier," she replied.

"That is no answer. What is a name, if it conveys no meaning to my

"I am the daughter of Adolphus and Pauline Montier. My father is a
drummer in the military band of Foray. He is also present keeper of
the prison where Stephen Cordier is confined."

"Very well. Does he know your errand here?"

"He does not. He let me come to this country,--it is his native land,
and my mother's,--he let me come because in his heart he has always
loved his country, and he has never been able to return. We were to
have come back together. But there was an opportunity for me. I
dared not wait. So I am here,--and for nothing, Sir, but this man's

Those last words she spoke seemed to quicken the thought of General
Saterges. He drew himself up still more erect in his chair. His eyes
were on Elizabeth with the will to scan her heart of hearts. He spoke,

"What is this man to you?"

She paused a moment. And she, too, had a thought. She could play a
game for life. She looked at the old man, hesitated, answered,--

"He is everything."

"Just let me understand you," and he looked upon her as if _he_
might touch her secret. "Do you love Cordier?"

"I love him," she answered, with exceeding dignity, evident

"Do I understand you?" he said again,--"what are you to him?"

"Everything," she again replied, with perfect confidence and faith.
Was she not liberty and the joy of life to him? If liberty and joy
were ever to be his portion, they must come through her. So she
believed, and thus answered.

"Does he love you?"


"You speak with great assurance. I know the man better, I'm afraid."
Then his voice and manner changed. "He is sentenced. Justice passed
that sentence;--to reverse it were the work of imbecility. Speak no
more. It is not in man to grant what you ask."

He was trying her in her last stronghold,--proving her in her last

"Is this your answer?" she asked. And indeed, after what had just
passed between them, it did seem incredible.

The old man bowed. He seemed now impassible. He was stern, and hard
as rock. He believed that he had wellnigh been deceived,--and
deception practised successfully on him would have disgraced him in
his own eyes forever. He believed, what he would not trust his lips
to utter, that this applicant was Madeline Desperiers's agent. When
he bowed and did not answer, a fear came down upon Elizabeth that
almost took away her power of speech; that it did not quite deprive
her of that power rendered it so much the more terrible for the
anguish of its emphasis.

"Do women kneel to you when they ask the pardon of those they love?"
said she, with a paling face. "What shall I do to move you? What
have I not done? I trusted, that, having come so far, on such an
errand, it must be that God was my leader. Am I mistaken? Or dare
you withstand God? Tell me,--you are an old man,--have you no pity?
Have you never had a sorrow? Can you not see that I never could have
come here to plead for a bad man's life? Must I go back to see him

"Madam, you are standing where I cannot come to argue with you. Pity
and justice have their respective duties to perform. Oftentimes pity
may be exercised, and the claims of justice waived; in the case of
the man you plead for, it is simply impossible."

He had risen in displeasure to pronounce these final words. When that
word "impossible" smote her as a sword, he touched a spring in the
table, a bell sounded, Elizabeth went forth,--the audience was over.

She went not with tears, but self-possessed, imperious in mien,
strong in despair. Coming into the presence of Madeline Desperiers,
it was not needful that she should speak to make known the result of
her audience.

"Have you learned when the vessel sails?" was her first question. It
was her reply to the lady's glance,--a glance for which there were
no attendant words in all the language.

"Tomorrow, Elizabeth."

"Are you ready?"

"I will be."

"Then I will give you to him. I promised that, too. I can fulfill that,
at least. You must not think the prison-walls too dreary. My mother"--

"I understand, Elizabeth."

And they sailed on the morrow. No delay for wandering among the
meadows of the pleasant town, for gossip with the men and women who
were in childhood playmates of her father and her mother; no
strolling along lovely river-banks. Chalons had nothing for Elizabeth;
only one green nook of all the world had anything for her,--an
island in the sea,--a prison on that island,--and there work to do
worthy of Gabriel.

But--wonder of wonders!

Paul and Silas sang songs in their prison, and the jailer heard them;
then there came an earthquake.

Who was he that found his cell-doors opened suddenly, and a
messenger from out the courts of heaven there to guide his steps?

History is full of marvellous records; I add this to those. The
eleventh hour goes always freighted with the weightiest events.

On board the vessel that carried Elizabeth and her charge back to
Foray went a messenger commissioned of the king. He took from court
to prison the partial pardon of Cordier. Liberty, but banishment
henceforth. Stephen Cordier should be constrained to faithfulness
towards his new love. Doomed to perpetual exile, he should be
tempted by no late loyalty to Madeline Desperiers. The new acts of
his drama should have nought to do with her. Justice forever!

Rascal that he was, according to the word of General Saterges, it
was rascality which the General could pardon. He had gained many a
victory in desperate strife,--now one other, the last and most
complete: the kingdom's fairest star to shine among his honors! The
proclamation of Stephen Cordier's pardon would instantly make broad
the way to Château Desperiers. She came of a proud race, and he
reckoned on her pride.

Let us not glory in that old man's defeat,--for he died ere his
enemy received, through Elizabeth Montier, life, and the joy of life.
Let us not call him by an evil name to whom the nation gave so fine
a funeral,--but rather pause to listen to the music that comes forth
in royal glory from the harmonious world of Adolphus,--and turn to
look with loving reverence, not with doubt or wonder, and surely not
with pity, on the serene face of Her Grace, the Drummer's Daughter.


  What have I yet to do?
    Day weareth on,--
  Flowers, that, opening new,
  Smiled through the morning's dew,
    Droop in the sun.

  'Neath the noon's scorching glare
    Fainting I stand;
  Still is the sultry air,
  Silentness everywhere
    Through the hot land.

  Yet must I labor still,
    All the day through,--
  Striving with earnest will
  Patient my place to fill,
    My work to do.

  Long though my task may be,
    Cometh the end.
  God 'tis that helpeth me,
  His is the work, and He
    New strength will lend.

  He will direct my feet,
    Strengthen my hand,
  Give me my portion meet;--
  Firm in his promise sweet
    Trusting I'll stand.

  Up, then, to work again!
    God's word is given
  That none shall sow in vain,
  But find his ripened grain
    Garnered in heaven.

  Longer the shadows fall,--
    Night cometh on;
  Low voices softly call,
  "Come, here is rest for all!
    Labor is done!"




The "Faëry Queen" of Edmund Spenser is before us,--a vast and
glittering mausoleum, in which the purpose of the constructor has
long been entombed, we fear without hope of a happy resurrection.
Nevertheless, into this splendid ruin, hieroglyphed with the most
brilliant images the modern mind has yet conceived, we are about to
dig,--not with the impious desire of dragging forth the intellectual
tenant, now in the fourth century of its everlasting repose, but,
haply, to discover in the outer chambers and passages of the pyramid
some relics of the individual architect, his family and mode of life.
In fact, we are anxious to make the acquaintance of Mistress Spenser
and introduce her to the American public. A slight sketch of the
poet's life, up to the period of his marriage, may afford us some
clue to the quarter from which he selected his bride; we shall
therefore give what is known of him in the fewest possible words.

Edmund Spenser, by family, was English, and by birth a cockney. In
his "Prothalamion" he thus pleads guilty to the chime of Bow-bells
in his infant ear:--

  "At length they all to merrie London came,
  To merrie London, my most kindly nurse,
  That to me gave this life's first native source;
  Though from another place I take my name
  And house of ancient fame."

At what time of his life he became connected with Ireland is very
uncertain; it was probably early. At or about the time of Sir Henry
Sidney's vice-royalty, or in the interval between that and the
lieutenancy of Lord Grey De Wilton, there was a "Mr. Spenser"
actively and confidentially employed by the Irish government; and
that this may have been the poet is, from collateral circumstances,
far from improbable. Spenser was the friend and _protégé_ of Sir
Philip Sidney, (son of the before-named Sir Henry,) and of his uncle,
the Earl of Leicester. Lord Grey De Wilton was by marriage connected
with both, and lived with them on terms of the closest intimacy,
social, literary, and political. In choosing an officer, then, for
so important a post as that of secretary, whom would the one select
or the others more confidently recommend than a young man of genius,
known to all the parties, and who already had some knowledge and
experience of Irish affairs? Be this as it may, we know that in 1580,
Spenser, then in his twenty-seventh year, accompanied Lord Grey De
Wilton into Ireland as secretary; and that he had been there before,
in some official capacity not undistinguished, is evidenced by the
fact, that the Lord Justice, previously to his arrival, speaks of
him as "having many ways deserved some consideration from her Majesty."

We do not care to inquire into the peculiar services for which he
was so speedily favored with a large grant of lands forfeited by the
Desmonds. Such official transactions, we fear, would reflect little
credit on the poet; no doubt he was a good man--according to the
morality of his age; and if he did suggest the poisoning of a few
thousand human beings of all ages and both sexes, (some go so far as
to allege that his fervid imagination contemplated the utter
extermination of the race,) he merely acted up to the opinions
prevalent in the time and polished court of "Good Queen Bess." The
beings were "mere Irishry,"--a stumbling-block in the path of British
civilization, and therefore to be removed, _per fas et nefas_.

Spenser took up his residence on the forfeit lands in Cork; there
married, and reared a family which inherited his estate; that he
subsequently died in England was as mere a casualty as that by which
Swift was born in Ireland. Certain it is that the greater and the
better portion of his works in prose and verse was composed during
his residence in the land of his adoption. Thus, in the sonnets
appended to the "Faëry Queen," the poem on which his celebrity rests,
he addresses this Earl of Ormond:--

  "Receive, most noble lord, a single taste
  Of the wilde fruit which savage soyle hath bred;
  Which, beeing through long wars left almost waste,
  With brutish barbarisme is overspred."

Again, addressing himself to his patron, Lord Grey, he says,--

  "Rude rimes, the which a rustick nurse did weave
  In savage soyle, far from Parnasso Mount."

Several other of the finest productions of his brain owe their birth
to the "savage soyle" of Ireland; his descriptions of the country,
his dialogue on Irish affairs, his "Amoretti" and "Colin Clout's come
home again," belong confessedly to this category.

Having discovered thus much about the poet, we now strike out in a
new direction in search of his better half. Upon this point,
unfortunately, there hangs a mist,--not impenetrable, as we conceive,
but yet impenetrated,--a secret to which the given clue has been
neglected, and which remains to the present day the opprobrium of a
careless biography. The fact and the date of his marriage in Ireland
are obtained from his own writings; but, further than that her name
was Elizabeth,--a fact recorded by himself,--the lady of his choice
remains unknown, her maiden name and family. Mere trifles these, to
be sure,--but interesting in an antiquarian point of view,--and
valuable, perhaps, should the inquiry hereafter lead some more than
usually acute bookworm into the real mystery and meaning, the main
drift of that inexplicable "Faëry Queen."

One difficulty in the matter is, that Edmund appears to have been a
"susceptible subject." He was twice attacked with the tender malady,
and records, in glowing numbers, his passion for two mistresses. One
he calls _Rosalinde_, and celebrates in the "Shepherd's Calendar";
the other, _Elizabeth_, to whom he was undoubtedly married, is the
theme of admiration in his "Amoretti." Rosalinde was his early love;
Elizabeth, the passion of his maturer years. When six-and-twenty,
hopeless of Rosalinde, he wound up his philomel complainings of
her cruelty by a formal commission to his friend Gabriel Harvey
(_Hobbinoll_) to declare his suit at an end:--

  "Adieu, good Hobbinoll, that was so true;
  Tell Rosalinde her Colin bids adieu."

It took him fourteen years--surely a sufficient time!--to recover
from this disappointment; for he is in his forty-first year, when,
in his Sixtieth Sonnet, he represents himself as having been then
one year enamored of Elizabeth:--

  "So since the winged god his planet cleare
  Began in me to move, one yeare is spent;
  The which doth longer unto me appears
  Than all those fourty which my life outwent."

That Rosalinde was not, as has been somewhat rashly conjectured, the
poetic name of Elizabeth, is conclusively established by a poem
written between 1591 and 1595, in which he speaks of some
insurmountable barrier between them, why "her he might not love."
[1] The wife he loved, and the mistress between whose love and him
there existed such a barrier, could not have been the same person,
it is evident. But who this fair and false Rosalinde was, though
known to many of his contemporaries, has become a mystery. That she
was a real personage is placed beyond cavil by "E.K.," the
ostensible editor of the "Shepherd's Calendar"; and he has given us
a clue to her name, if we have but the wit to follow it. Now
"E.K." we more than shrewdly suspect to have been either Spenser
himself, or his friend Gabriel Harvey, or both together. Two more
egregious self-laudators are not to be found in the range of English
literature: Spenser loses no opportunity of puffing "Colin Clout";
and Harvey was openly charged by Thomas Nash with having forged
commendatory epistles and sonnets in his own praise, under the name
of _Thorius_ etc. "E.K.," therefore, must be considered as pretty
high authority; and what says "E.K."? Why, this: "Rosalinde is also
a feigned name, which, being well ordered, will bewray the verie
name of his love and mistresse." By "well ordering" the "feigned name"
E.K. undoubtedly means disposing or arranging the letters of which
it is composed in some form of anagram or metagram,--a species of
wit much cultivated by the most celebrated poets of the time, Spenser
included, and not deemed beneath the dignity of the learned Camden to

A few examples of this "alchemy of wit," as Camden calls it, will
reconcile our modern notions of the [Greek: to trepon] with the
puerile ingenuity thought graceful, at that unripe period of our
literature, by some of the most accomplished writers and readers of
the day. Let us take an extravagant instance. Sir Philip Sidney,
having abridged his own name into _Phil. Sid._, anagrammatized it
into _Philisides_. Refining still further, he translated _Sid_.,
the abridgment of _sidus_, into [Greek: astron], and, retaining
the _Phil_., as derived from [Greek: philos], he constructed
for himself another pseudonym and adopted the poetical name of
_Astrophil_. Feeling, moreover, that the Lady Rich, celebrated
in his sonnets, was the loadstar of his affections, he designates her,
in conformity with his own assumed name, _Stella_. Christopher Marlow's
name is transmuted into _Wormal_, and the royal Elizabetha is
frequently addressed as _Ah-te-basile!_ Doctor Thomas Lodge,
author of "Rosalinde; or Euphues, his Golden Legacy," (which
Shakspeare dramatized into "As you like it,") has anagrammatized his
own name into _Golde_,--and that of Dering into _Ringde_. The author
of "Dolarney's Primrose" was a Doctor _Raynolde_. John Hind, in his
"Eliosto Libidinoso," transmutes his own name into _Dinchin_ Matthew
Roydon becomes _Donroy_. And Shakspeare, even, does not scruple to
alchemize the Resolute John, or John Florio, into the pedantic
_Holofernes_ of "Love's Labor's Lost." A thousand such fantastic
instances of "trifling with the letter" might be quoted; and even so
late as the reign of Queen Anne we find this foolish wit indulged.
The cynical Swift[2] stoops to change Miss Waring into _Varina_;
Esther (_quasi_ Aster, a star) Johnson is known as _Stella_; Essy
Van-homrigh figures as _Vanessa_; while Cadenus, by an easy change
of syllables, is resolved into _Decanus_, or the Dean himself
_in propriâ personâ_ and canonicals.

In the "Shepherd's Calendar," the very poem in which Spenser's
unknown mistress figures as Rosalinde, the poet has alchemized
Grindal, Archbishop of Canterbury, into _Algrind_, and made Ellmor,
Bishop of London, _Morell_, (it is to be hoped he was so before,) by
merely transposing the letters. What wonder, then, if, complying
with an art so general and convenient, he should be found contriving,
in the case of both his mistresses at once, to reveal his passion
and conceal the name of his enslaver from the public gaze?

The prolific hint of "E.K." set the commentators at work,--but
hitherto without success. The author of the life prefixed to
Church's edition conjectures Rose Linde,--forsooth, because it
appears from Fuller's "Worthies," that in the reign of Henry the
Sixth--only eight reigns too early for the birth of our rural
beauty--there was one John Linde, a resident in the County of Kent!
Not satisfied with this conjecture, Malone suggests that she may
have been an Eliza Horden--the _z_ changed, according to Camden's
rules, into _s_, and the aspirate sunk. Malone's foundation for this
theory is, that one Thomas Horden was a contemporary of John Linde,
aforesaid, and resided in the same county! Both these conjectures
are absurd and unsupported by any collateral evidence. To have given
them the remotest air of probability, the critics should have proved
some acquaintance or connection between the parties respectively,
--some courtship, or contiguity of residence, which might have
brought the young people within the ordinary sphere of attraction.
Wrong as they were in their conclusions, the search of these
commentators was in the right direction. The anagram, "well-ordered,"
will undoubtedly bewray the secret. Let us try if we may not follow
it with better success.

_Rosalinde_ reads, anagrammatically, into Rose Daniel; for,
according to Camden, "a letter may be doubled, or rejected, or
contrariwise, if the sense fall aptly"; we thus get rid of the
redundant _e_, and have a perfect anagram. Now Spenser had an
intimate and beloved friend and brother-poet, named Samuel Daniel,
author of many tragedies and comedies, an eight-canto poem called
"The Civil Wars of England," "A Vision of Twelve Goddesses," a prose
history of England, and "Musa," a defence of rhyme. Spenser alludes
to his poetic genius with high praise in his "Colin Clout." This
Daniel had a sister named Rose, who was married in due time to a
friend of her brother's,--not, indeed, to Spenser, but to a scholar,
whose eccentricities have left such durable tracks behind them, that
we can trace his mark through many passages of Spenser's love
complaints, otherwise unintelligible. The supposition that Rose
Daniel was Rosalinde satisfies every requisite, and presents a
solution of the mystery; the anagram is perfect; the poet's
acquaintance with the brother naturally threw him into contact with
the sister; while the circumstance of her marriage with another
justifies the complaint of infidelity, and accounts for the
"insurmountable barrier," that is, a living husband. Daniel was the
early _protégé_ of the Pembroke family, as was Spenser of the house
of Leicester. The youthful poets must often have met in the company
of their mutual friend, Sir Philip Sidney,--for the Countess of
Pembroke was the "Sidney's sister, Pembroke's mother," celebrated by
Ben Jonson, and consequently niece, as Sir Philip was nephew, of
Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. Rose and Edmund were thus thrown
together under circumstances every way favorable to the development
of love in a breast so susceptible as that of the "passionate

Other circumstances in the life of Rose Daniel correspond so
strikingly with those attributed to Rosalinde, as strongly to
corroborate the foregone conclusion.

Rosalinde, after having given encouragement to her enamored shepherd,
faithlessly and finally deserted him in favor of a rival. This is
evident throughout the "Shepherd's Calendar." The First Eclogue
reveals his passion:--

  "I love thilk lass, (alas! why do I love?)
  And am forlorne, (alas! why am I lorn?)
  She deigns not my good will, but doth reprove,
  And of my rural music holdeth scorn."

Her scorn, however, may have meant no more than the natural coyness
of a maiden whom the learned Upton somewhat drolly designates as
"a skittish female." [3] Indeed, Spenser must have thought so himself,
and with reason, for she continues to receive his presents,
"the kids, the cracknels, and the early fruit," sent through his
friend Hobbinoll (Gabriel Harvey).

We hear of no alteration of his circumstances until we reach the
Sixth Eclogue, in which the progress and utter disappointment of his
suit are distinctly and bitterly complained of. "This eclogue," says
the editorial "E.K.," "is wholly vowed to the complaining of Colin's
ill-success in love. For being (as is aforesaid) enamoured of a
country lass, Rosalinde, and having (as it seemeth) found place in
her heart, he lamenteth to his dear friend Hobbinoll that he is now
forsaken unfaithfully, and in his stead _Menalcas_, another shepherd,
received disloyally: and this is the whole argument of the eclogue."
In fact, she broke her plighted vow to Colin Clout, transferred her
heart to Menalcas, and let her hand accompany it.

Now, from this and the preceding circumstances, the inference
appears inevitable that, at or about the time of the composition of
this Sixth Eclogue, the Rosalinde therein celebrated was married, or
engaged to be married, to the person denounced as Menalcas.

Whether the ante-nuptial course of Rose Daniel corresponded with the
faithlessness ascribed to Rosalinda we confess we have no
documentary evidence to show: but this much is certain, that Rose
was married to an intimate friend of her brother's; and, from the
characteristics recorded of him by Spenser, we shall presently prove
that that friend, the husband of Rosalinde, is no other than the
treacherous rival denounced as Menalcas in the "Shepherd's Calendar."
Who, then, is Menalcas?

Amongst the distinguished friends of Samuel Daniel was a man of much
celebrity in his day,--the redoubted, or, as he chose to call himself,
the "Resolute" John Florio (Shakspeare's _Holofernes_). This
gentleman, an Italian by descent, was born in London in the same year
with Spenser, and was a class-fellow with Daniel at Oxford. He was
the author of many works, well received by the public,--as his
"First Fruits," "Second Fruits," "Garden of Recreation," and so forth;
also, of an excellent Italian and English dictionary, styled
"A World of Words,"--the basis of all Anglo-Italian dictionaries
since published. He was a good French scholar, as is proved by his
translation of Montaigne; and wrote some verses, highly prized by
Elizabeth and her successor, James I. Indeed, his general learning
and accomplishments recommended him to both courts; and, on the
accession of James, he was appointed classical tutor to Prince Henry,
and reader of French and Italian to the Royal Consort, Anne of
Denmark; he was also a Gentleman of the Privy Chamber, and Clerk of
the Closet to his Majesty; and, finally, it was chiefly through his
influence that Samuel Daniel was appointed Gentleman Extraordinary
and Groom of the Privy Chamber to Queen Anne.

Long prior to this prosperous estate, however, his skill as a
linguist had recommended him to the patronage and intimacy of many
of the chief nobility of Elizabeth's court; and at an early period
of his life, we find him engaged, as was his friend Daniel, as tutor
to some of the most illustrious families,--such as Pembroke, Dudley,
Essex, Southampton, etc.; [4] all which, together with his friendship
for Daniel, must needs have brought him into the acquaintance of
Edmund Spenser, the friend of Sidney and his relatives. He was also
on the most friendly terms with Gabriel Harvey, and a warm admirer
(as his works attest) of the genius of Daniel. We have thus gathered
our _dramatis personae_, the parties most essentially interested in
Spenser's unlucky passion, into one familiar group.

Of Rose Daniel's marriage with the "Resolute John Florio" there is
no manner of question. It is recorded by Anthony á Wood in his
"Athenæ Oxonienses," acknowledged by Samuel Daniel in the
commendatory verses prefixed to Florio's "World of Words," and she is
affectionately remembered in Florio's will as his "beloved wife, Rose."
[5] Thus, if not Spenser's Rosalinde, she was undoubtedly a
Rosalinde to John Florio.

We shall now proceed to gather some further particles of evidence,
to add their cumulative weight to the mass of slender probabilities
with which we are endeavoring to sustain our conjectures.

Spenser's Rosalinde had at least a smattering of the Italian. Samuel
Daniel was an Italian scholar; for his whole system of versification
is founded on that model. Spenser, too, was well acquainted with
the language; for, long before any English version of Tasso's
"Gerusalemme" had appeared, he had translated many passages which
occur in the "Faëry Queen" from that poem, and--without any public
acknowledgment that we can find trace of--appropriated them to
himself.[6] What more natural than that Rose should have shared her
brother's pleasant study, and, in company with him and Spenser,
accepted the tuition of John Florio?

The identity of Florio's wife and Rosalinde may be fairly inferred
from some circumstances consequent upon the lady's marriage, and
otherwise connected with her fortunes, which appear to be shadowed
forth with great acrimony in the "Faëry Queen," where the Rosalinde
of the "Shepherd's Calendar" appears before us again under the
assumed name of _Mirabella_. Lest the ascription of these
circumstances to particular parties may be imputed to prejudice or
prepossession for a favorite theory, we shall state them on the
authority of commentators and biographers who never even dreamed of
the view of the case we are now endeavoring to establish.

The learned Upton, in his preface to the "Faëry Queen," was led to
observe the striking coincidence, the absolute similarity of
character, between Spenser's Rosalinde and his Mirabella. "If the
'Faëry Queen,'" quoth he, "is a moral allegory with historical
allusions to our poet's times, one might be apt to think, that, in a
poem written on so extensive a plan, the cruel Rosalinde would be in
some way or other typically introduced; and methinks I see her
plainly characterized in Mirabella. Perhaps, too, her expressions
were the same that are given to Mirabella,--'the _free lady_,' 'she
was born free,'" etc.[7]

"We are now come," says Mr. G.L. Craik, by far the most acute and
sagacious of all the commentators on Spenser, "to a very remarkable
passage. Having thus disposed of Turpin, the poet suddenly addresses
his readers, saying,--

  'But turn we back now to that _lady free_
  Whom late we left riding upon an ass
  Led by a _carle and fool_ which by her side did pass.'

"This is the 'fair maiden clad in mourning weed,' who, it may be
remembered, was met, as related at the beginning of the preceding
canto, by Timias and Serena. There, however, she was represented as
attended only by a _fool_. What makes this episode especially
interesting is the conjecture that has been thrown out, and which
seems intrinsically probable, that the 'lady' is Spenser's own
Rosalinde, by whom he had been, jilted, or at least rejected, more
than a quarter of a century before. His unforgetting resentment is
supposed to have taken this revenge."

So far with Mr. Upton and Mr. Craik we heartily concur as to the
identity of Rosalinde and Mirabella; and feel confident that a
perusal and comparison of the episode of Mirabella with the whole
story of Rosalinde will leave every candid and intelligent reader no
choice but to come to the same conclusion: We shall now collate the
attributes assigned in common to those two impersonations in their
maiden state, and note the correspondence.

Both are of humble birth,--Rosalinde being described in the
"Shepherd's Calendar" as "the widow's daughter of the glen"; her low
origin and present exalted position are frequently alluded to,--her
beauty, her haughtiness, and love of liberty. Mirabella is thus
described in Book VI. "Faëry Queen," Canto vii:--

  "She was a lady of great dignity,
  And lifted up to honorable place;
  Famous through all the land of Faërie:
  Though of mean parentage and kindred base,
  Yet decked with wondrous gifts of Nature's grace."

  "But she thereof grew proud and insolent,
  And scorned them all that lore unto her meant."

  "She was born free, not bound to any wight."

Of Rosalinde we hear in "Colin Clout" that her ambition is

  "So high in thought as she herself in place."

And that she

  "Loatheth each lowly thing with lofty eye."

Her beauty, too, is dwelt upon as a "thing celestial,"--her humble
family alluded to,--the boasted freedom of her heart; and upon
Rosalinde and Mirabella an affectation of the demigoddessship, which
turned their heads, is equally charged. In all essential
characteristics they are "twin cherries growing on one stalk."

Of Rose Daniel's life so little is known, particularly during her
unmarried years, that we are unable to fasten upon her the unamiable
qualities of the allegorical beauties we assume to be her
representatives; but if we can identify her married fortune with
theirs,--then, in addition to the congruities already mentioned, we
can have no hesitation in imputing to _her_ the disposition which
brought down upon _them_, so bitterly and relentlessly, the poetic
justice of the disappointed shepherd. We may thus dispose of them in

Mirabella's lot was severe. She was married (if we rightly interpret
the language of the allegory) to a "_fool_,"--that is to say, to a
very absurd and ridiculous person, under whose conduct she was
exposed to the "whips and scorns," the disdain and bitter retaliation,
natural to the union of a beautiful and accomplished, though vain
and haughty woman, with a very eccentric, irritable, and bombastic

Rosalinde was married--with no better fate, we fear--to the vain and
treacherous Menalcas.

And Rose Daniel became the wife of the "Resolute John Florio."

We shall commence with the substantial characters, and see how their
histories fall in with the fortunes attributed to the allegorical.
Rose Daniel's husband, maugre his celebrity and places of dignity
and profit, was beset with tempers and oddities which exposed him,
more perhaps than any man of his time, to the ridicule of
contemporary wits and poets. He was, at least in his literary career,
jealous, envious, irritable, vain, pedantic and bombastical,
petulant and quarrelsome,--ever on the watch for an affront, and
always in the attitude of a fretful porcupine with a quill pointed in
every direction against real or supposititious enemies. In such a
state of mental alarm and physical vaporing did he live, that he
seems to have proclaimed a promiscuous war against all gainsayers,--
that is, the literary world; and for the better assurance to them of
his indomitable valor, and to himself of indemnity from disturbance,
he adopted a formidable prefix to his name; and to "any bill, warrant,
quittance, or obligation," to every address, prelude, preface,
[8] introduction, or farewell, accompanying any of his numerous works,
he subscribed himself the Resolute,--"Resolute John Florio."

Conduct so absurd, coupled with some personal defects, and a
character so petulantly vainglorious, exposed the "Resolute" to the
bitter sarcasm of contemporary writers. Accordingly we find him
through life encompassed by a host of tormentors, and presenting his
_chevaux-de-frise_ of quills against them at all and every point.
In the Epistle Dedicatory to the second edition of his Dictionary,
we find him engaged _morsu et unguibus_ with a swarm of literary
hornets, against whom he inveighs as "sea-dogs,--land-critics,
--monsters of men, if not beasts rather than men,--whose teeth are
cannibals',--their tongues adders' forks,--their lips asps' poison,
--their eyes basilisks',--their breath the breath of a grave,--their
words like swords of Turks, which strive which shall dive deepest
into the Christian lying before them." Of a verity we may say that
John Florio was sadly exercised when he penned this pungent paragraph.
He then falls foul of the players, who--to use the technical phrase
of the day--"staged" him with no small success. "With this common
cry of curs" in general, and with _one poet_ and _one piece_ of said
poet's handiwork in particular, he enters into mortal combat with
such vehement individuality as enables us at a glance to detect the
offence and the offender. He says, "Let Aristophanes and his
comedians make plays and scour their mouths on Socrates, these very
mouths they make to vilify shall be the means to amplify his virtues,"
etc. "And here," says Doctor Warburton, "Shakspeare is so clearly
marked out as not to be mistaken." This opinion is fortified by the
concurrence of Farmer, Steevens, Reid, Malone, Knight, Collier, and
Hunter; and, from the additional lights thrown upon this subject by
their combined intelligence, no doubt seems to exist that Holofernes,
the pedantic schoolmaster in "Love's Labor's Lost," had his
prototype in John Florio, the Resolute.

"Florio," according to Farmer, "gave the first affront by asserting
that 'the plays they play in England are neither right comedies nor
tragedies, but representations of histories without any decorum.'"
We know that Shakspeare must, of his own personal knowledge of the
man, have been qualified to paint his character; for while the great
dramatist was the early and intimate friend of the Earl of
Southampton, the petulant lexicographer boasts of having for years
been domesticated in the pay and patronage of that munificent patron
of letters. Warburton thinks "it was from the ferocity of his temper,
that Shakspeare chose for him the name which Rabelais gives to his
pedant of Thubal Holoferne." Were the matter worth arguing, we
should say, it was rather from the proclivity with which (according
to Camden's rules) the abbreviated Latin name Johnes Florio or
Floreo falls into Holofernes. Rabelais and anagrammatism may divide
the slender glory of the product between them.

But neither Shakspeare's satire nor Florio's absurdities are
comprehended within this single character. Subsequent examination
of the text of "Love's Labor's Lost" has enabled the critics to
satisfy themselves that the part of _Don Adnano de Armado_, the
"phantastical courtier," was devised to exhibit another phase in
the character of the Resolute Italian. In Holofernes we have the
pedantic tutor; in Don Adriano a lively picture of a ridiculous
lover and pompous retainer of the court.

By a fine dramatic touch, Shakspeare has made each describe the other,
in such a way that the portrait might stand for the speaker himself,
and thus establishes a dual-identity. Thus, Armado, describing
Holofernes, says, "That's all one, my fair, sweet, honey monarch;
for I protest the schoolmaster is exceeding fantastical,--too, too
vain,--too, too vain; but we will put it, as they say, to _fortuna
della guerra_";--whilst Holofernes, not behind his counterpart in
self-esteem, sees in the other the defects which he cannot detect in
himself. "_Novi hominem tanquam te_" quoth he;--"his humor is lofty;
his discourse peremptory; his tongue filed; his eye ambitious; his
gait majestical; and his general behavior vain, ridiculous, and
thrasonical. He is too picked, too spruce, too affected, too odd, as
it were; too peregrinate, as I may call it; he draweth out the
thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument. I
abhor such fanatical phantasms," etc.

Should further proof be needed that Florio, Holofernes, and Armado
form a dramatic trinity in unity, we can find it in the personal
appearance of the Italian. There was something amiss with the
_face_ of the Resolute, which could not escape the observation of
his friends, much less his enemies. A friend and former pupil of his
own,--Sir Wm. Cornwallis, speaking in high praise of Florio's
translation of Montaigne, observes,--"It is done by a fellow less
beholding to Nature for his fortune than to wit; yet lesser for his
_face_ than his fortune. The truth is, he looks more like a good
fellow than a wise man; and yet he is wise beyond either his fortune
or education." [9] It is certain, then, that, behaving like a fool in
some things, he looked very like a fool in others.

Is it not a remarkable coincidence, that both his supposed dramatic
counterparts have the same peculiarity? When Armado tells the
'country lass' he is wooing, that he will 'tell her wonders,' she
exclaims,--'skittish female' that she is,--'What, with that _face_?'
And when Holofernes, nettled with the ridicule showered on his
abortive impersonation of Judas Maccabaeus, says, 'I will not be put
out of countenance,'--Byron replies, 'Because thou hast no face.'
The indignant pedant justifies, and, pointing to his physiognomy,
inquires, 'What is this?' Whereupon the waggish courtiers proceed to
define it: it is 'a cittern-head,' 'the head of a bodkin,' 'a
death's-face in a ring,' 'the face of an old Roman coin, scarce seen,'
and so forth.

The satire here embodied is of a nature too personal to be
considered the mere work of a riotous fancy. It is a trait
individualizing and particularising the person at whom the more
general satire is aimed; and, coupled with the infirmities of the
victim's moral nature, it fastens upon poor Florio identity with
"the brace of coxcombs." Such satire may be censured as ungenerous;
we cannot help that,--_litera scripta manet_,--and we cannot rail
the seal from the bond. Such attacks were the general, if not
universal, practice of the age in which Shakspeare flourished; and we
have no right to blame him for not being as far in advance of his age,
morally, as he was intellectually. A notorious instance of a
personal attack under various characters in one play is to be found
in Ben Jonson's "Bartholomew Fair," wherein he boasts of having,
under the characters of Lanthorn, Leatherhead, the Puppet-showman,
and Adam Overdo, satirized the celebrated Inigo Jones,--

  "By all his titles and whole style at once
  Of tireman, montebank, and Justice Jones."

It was probably to confront and outface "Aristophanes and his
comedians," and to "abrogate the scurrility" of the "sea-dogs" and
"land-critics," that our Resolute lexicographer prefixed to the
Enlarged Edition of his Dictionary and to his translation of
Montaigne, his portrait or effigies, engraved by Hole. This portrait
would, to a person unapprised of any peculiarity in the original,
present apparently little or nothing to justify the remark of
Cornwallis. But making due allowance for the address, if not the
flattery, of a skilful painter, it were hardly possible for the
observer, aware of the blemish, not to detect in the short and
close-curled fell of hair, the wild, staring eyes, the contour of
the visage,--which, expanding from the narrow and wrinkled forehead
into cheek-bones of more than Scottish amplitude, suddenly contracts
to a pointed chin, rendered still more acute by a short, peaked beard,
--not to detect in this lozenge-shaped visnomy and its air, at once
haggard and grotesque, traits that not only bear out the remark of
his pupil, but the raillery also of the court wits in Shakespeare's
dramatic satire.

Whatever happiness Rose Daniel may have had in the domestic virtues
of her lord, his relations with the world, his temper, eccentricities,
and personal appearance could have given her little. That he was an
attached and affectionate husband his last will and testament gives
touching _post-mortem_ evidence.

Let us return to the fortunes of the faithless Rosalinde. It appears
she married Menalcas,--the treacherous friend and rival of the
"passionate shepherd." Who, then, was Menalcas? or why was this name
specially selected by our poet to designate the man he disliked?

The pastoral name Menalcas is obviously and pointedly enough adopted
from the Eclogues of Virgil; in which, by comparing the fifteenth
line of the second with the sixty-sixth of the third, we shall find
he was the rival who (to use the expression of Spenser) "by treachery
did underfong" the affections of the beautiful Alexis from his
enamored master. In this respect the name would well fit Florio, who,
from his intimacy with the Daniels and their friends, could not but
have known the passion of the poet, and the encouragement at one
time given him by his fickle mistress.

Again, there was at this time prevalent a French conceit,--"imported,"
as Camden tells us, "from Calais, and so well liked by the English,
although most ridiculous, that, learned or unlearned, he was nobody
that could not hammer out of his name an invention by this wit-craft,
and _picture_ it accordingly. Whereupon," he adds, "who did not
busy his braine to hammer his devise out of this forge?" [10] This
wit-craft was the _rebus_.

Florio's rebus or device, then, was a Flower. We have specimens of
his fondness for this nomenclative punning subscribed to his portrait:

  "Floret adhue, et adhue florebit: floreat ultra
    Florius hae specie floridus,--optat amans."

And it was with evident allusion to this conceit that he named his
several works his "First Fruits," "Second Fruits," "Garden of
Recreation," and so forth. Spenser did not miss the occasion of
reducing this figurative flower to a worthless weed:--

  "Go tell the las her flower hath wox a weed."

In the preceding stanza we find this weed distinctly identified as

  "And thou, Menalcas! that by treachery
  Didst underfong my lass to wax so light."

Another reason for dubbing Florio _Menalcas_ may be found in the
character and qualities ascribed to the treacherous shepherd by
Virgil. He was not without talent, for in one of the Eclogues he
bears his part in the poetical contention with credit; but he was
unfaithful and fraudulent in his amours, envious, quarrelsome,
scurrilous, and a braggart; and his _face_ was remarkable for its
dark, Italian hue,--"_quamvis ille fuscus_," etc. Compared with the
undoubted character of John Florio, as already exhibited, that of
Menalcas so corresponds as to justify its appropriation to the rival
of Spenser.

There is a further peculiarity in the name itself, which renders its
application to John Florio at once pointed and pregnant with the
happiest ridicule. Florio rejoiced in the absurd prefix of Resolute.
Now Menalcas is a compound of two Greek words ([Greek: menos] and
[Greek: ulkm]) fully expressive of this idea, and frequently used
together in the sense of RESOLUTION by the best classical authorities,
--thus, "[Greek: menos d'ulkmd te lathpsmat]." [11] Again, in Liddell
and Scott's Greek-English Lexicon [Greek: menos] in composition is
said to "bear always a collateral notion of _resolve_ and firmness."
And here we have the very _notion_ expressed by the very word we
want. Menalcas is the appropriate and expressive _nom de guerre_ of
the "Resolute."

Every unprejudiced reader will admit, that in emblem, name, character;
and appearance, John Florio and Menalcas are allegorically identical;
and it follows, as a consequence, that Rosalinde, married to the
same person as Rose Daniel, is one and the same with her
anagrammatic synonyme,--and that her sorrows and joys, arising out
of the conduct of her husband, must have had the same conditions.

Having identified Rosalinde with Rose Daniel, it may be thought that
nothing further of interest with respect to either party remains,
which could lead us into further detail;--but Spenser himself having
chosen, under another personification, to follow the married life of
this lady, and revenge himself upon the treachery of her husband, we
should lose an opportunity both of interpreting his works and of
forming a correct estimate of his character, if we neglected to
pursue with him the fortunes of Mirabella. Like her type and
prototype, we find that she has to suffer those mortifications which
a good wife cannot but experience on witnessing the scorn, disdain,
and enmity which follow the perversity of a wayward husband. Such,
at least, we understand to be the meaning of those allegorical
passages in which, as a punishment for her cruelty and pride, she is
committed by the legal decree of Cupid to the custody and conduct of
Scorn and Disdain. We meet with her for the first time as:

     "a fair maiden clad in mourning WEED,
  Upon a mangy JADE unmeetly set,
  And a leud fool her leading thorough dry and wet."

Again she is:

                           "riding upon an ass
  Led by a carle and fool which by her side did pass."

These companions treat her with great contempt and cruelty; the
Carle abuses her:

  "With all the evil terms and cruel mean
  That he could make; and eke that angry fool,
  Which followed her with cursed hands uncleane
  Whipping her horse, did with his smarting-tool
  Oft whip her dainty self, and much augment her dool."

All this, of course, is to be understood allegorically. The _Carle_
and _Fool_--the former named Disdain, the latter Scorn--are
doubtless (as in the case of Holofernes and Armado) the double
representatives of the same person. By the ass on which she rides is
signified, we suppose, the ridiculous position to which marriage has
reduced her haughty beauty; the taunts and scourges are,
metaphorically, the wounds of injured self-respect.

The Carle himself is extravagantly and most "Resolutely" painted as
a monster in nature,--stern, terrible, fearing no living wight,--his
looks dreadful,--his eyes fiery, and rolling from left to right in
search of "foeman worthy of his steel"; he strides with the
stateliness of a crane, and, at every step, rises on tiptoe; his
dress and aspect resemble those of the Moors of Malabar, and remind
us forcibly of the swarthy Menalcas. Indeed, if we compare this
serio-comic exaggeration of the Carle with the purely comic picture
of Don Armado given by Holofernes, we shall see at a glance that
both depict the same object of ridicule.

That Mirabella is linked in wedlock to this angry Fool is nowhere
more clearly depicted than in the passage where Prince Arthur,
having come to her rescue, is preparing to put her tormentor to death,
until his sword is arrested by the shrieks and entreaties of the
unhappy lady that his life may be spared for her sake:--

  "Stay, stay, Sir Knight! for love of God abstain
  From that unwares you weetlesse do intend!
  Slay not that carle, though worthy to be slain;
  For more on him doth than himself depend:
  My life will by his death have lamentable end."

This is the language of a virtuous wife, whom neither the
absurdities of a vainglorious husband, nor "the whips and scorns of
the time," to which his conduct necessarily exposes her, can detach
from her duties and affections.

Assuming, then, that the circumstances of this allegory identify
Mirabella with Rosalinde, and Rosalinde with Rose Daniel, and, in
like manner, the Fool and Carle with Menalcas and John Florio, have
we not here a thrice-told tale, agreeing so completely in all
essential particulars as to leave no room for doubt of its original
application to the early love-adventures in which the poet was
disappointed? And these points settled, though intrinsically of
trivial value, become of the highest interest, as strong
corroboration of the personal import of all the allegorical
characters introduced into the works of Spenser. Thus, in the
"Shepherd's Calendar," the confidant of the lover is Hobbinoll, or
Gabriel Harvey; and in the "Faëry Queen," the adventurers who come
to Mirabella's relief are Prince Arthur, Sir Timias, and Serena, the
well-known allegorical impersonations of Spenser's special friends,
the Earl of Leicester, Sir Walter Raleigh, and Elizabeth Throckmorton,
to whom Sir Walter was married. Are not these considerations, added
to the several circumstances and coincidences already detailed,
conclusive of the personal and domestic nature of the history
conveyed in both the poetical vehicles? And do they not amount to a
moral demonstration, that, in assigning the character and adventures
of Mirabella and Rosalinde to the sister of Samuel Daniel, the wife
of John Florio, we have given no unfaithful account of the first
fickle mistress of Edmund Spenser?--We shall next ascertain the
name and history of his wife from the internal evidence left behind
him in his works.


The second passion of our poet, having had birth

  "In savage soyle, far from Parnasso Mount,"

is more barren of literary gossip and adventure, and may, therefore,
we trust, be compressed into narrow limits.

The chief evidence on which we shall have to rely in this case must
be of a similar nature with the former;--not that we shall have to
interpret allegories, but the true reading of an anagram; for we may
set out on our pursuit, assured, that, according to the poetical
alchemy of his age, Spenser did not fail to screen his second
_innamorata_ under the same "quintessential cloud of wit" as his
first; and that we shall find in his homage some _sobriquet_,
"the right ordering of which" (as in the former case) "will bewray
the verie name of his love and mistresse."

On this point, however, his biographies and biographers have
hitherto preserved absolute silence. They tell us he was married,
and had several children by his wife; but, of the name, the rank, or
the country of the lady they confess their ignorance. Todd informs us,
that he "married a person of very inferior rank to himself,"--
"a country lass";--and he quotes the "Faëry Queen" to prove his

  "For, certes, she was but a country lass."

It is true, those words occur in the passage cited by the
commentator from the "Faëry Queen"; most probably they refer to the
person in dispute. But she was no more "a country lass," in the
ordinary acceptation of the phrase, than was Spenser himself (Clerk
of the Council of Munster) "a shepherd's boy." Had Mr. Todd
consulted that portion of our poet's works especially devoted to
record this passion, its progress and issue, he would have found she
was a "lady," whose rank was rather "disparaged" than otherwise by
"sorting" with Edmund Spenser, albeit his blood was noble:--

  "To all those happy blessings which you have
    With plenteous hand by Heaven upon you thrown,
  This one disparagement they to you gave,
    That you your love lent to so mean a one."
                        _Amoretti_. Sonnet lxvi.

Spenser devoted two entire poems expressly to this passion,--to wit,
the "Amoretti," describing its vicissitudes, and the "Epithalamion,
or Marriage Song," in which he celebrates its consummation. There
are many allusions to it also in the "Faëry Queen" and "Colin
Clout's come home again"; and from these sources we propose to
supply the name, the lineage, and residence of the happy fair.

She was, undoubtedly, a person of rank and blood, residing in the
poet's vicinage, and is so described in many of the Sonnets. She is
constantly addressed as "a lady," enjoying the respect and the
elegancies, if not the luxuries, of her condition,--well-educated,
accomplished in the arts of design and embroidery,--at whose
father's house the poet was no infrequent visitor. Her residence, or
that of her family, could not have been far from Kilcolman Castle;
and was seated, most probably, on the banks of the Mulla, (Spenser's
favorite stream,) a tributary of the Blackwater, which empties into
the sea at Youghal. For she is seen for the first time in the "Faëry
Queen" as the love of Colin Clout, (Spenser,) dancing among the Nymphs
and Graces,--herself a fourth Grace,--on a mountain-top, the description
of which exactly corresponds with all his other descriptions of his
beloved Mole,--a mountain which nearly overhangs his castle; [12] and,
undoubtedly, the bridesmaids and companions who attended her at the
hymeneal altar were the "Nymphs of Mulla," and,

      "of the rivers, of the forest green,
  And of the sea that neighbours to her near,"--

a localization which would fix her family mansion somewhere between
Kilcolman Castle and the prosperous seaport town of Youghal,--but
somewhat nearer to the former. This limits our inquiries within the
narrow range of the lands bordering the Mulla waters.

But our poet, we believe, did not stop with these ambiguous
indications of her birthplace and family; he had promised her to
immortalize the triumph of his passion, and to leave to all
posterity a monument of the "rare wonderment" of the lady's beauty.
[13] He had gone farther; and, in three several sonnets,[14] vowed
to eternize her name--"your glorious name in golden monument"--after
his own fashion, and to the best of his abilities. We have no right,
then, to doubt that he fulfilled his promise; and if we can fix upon
any distinctive appellation or epithet addressed to her, common to
the several poems which professedly reveal his passion, and solvable
into the name of a person whose residence and circumstances
correspond with those ascribed to the lady by her worshipper, may we
not most reasonably conclude that we have at length discovered the
long-lost secret?

To begin with the beginning,--the "Amoretti." Here she is an _Angel_,
in all moods and tenses, the "leaves," "lines," and "rhymes" are
taught, that, "when they behold that _Angel's_ blessed look," they
shall "seek her to please alone." [15] In a subsequent sonnet, she is

     "_Angel_ come to lead frail minds to rest
  In chaste desires, on heavenly beauty bound." [16]

Again, the poet denies that

  "The glorious portrait of that _Angel's_ face"

can be expressed by any art, by pen or pencil. [17]

Again, she is

  "Of the brood of _Angels_ heavenly born." [18]

And yet again, she is

   "Divine and born of heavenly seed." [19]

Once more we are bid

  "Go visit her in her chaste bower of rest,
  Accompanied with _Angel-like_ delights." [20]

Turn we next to the "Epithalamion." And here the same cuckoo-note is
repeated _usque ad nauseam_. We are told, that, to look upon her,

          "we should ween
  Some _Angel_ she had been." [21]

Even her bridesmaids (her sisters, probably) are thought to be
_Angels_, and, addressing them, the bridegroom says,

  "Sing, ye sweet _Angels_, Alleluya sing!" [22]

Finally, in "Colin Clout's come home again," the poet very
dexterously evades the royal anger of Elizabeth, sure to be aroused
by the preference of any beauty to her own. To deceive the Queen,--to
whom, in gratitude for past favors, and, mayhap, with a lively
appreciation of others yet to come, he is offering up homage,--he
describes her Majesty by the very same imagery he had elsewhere
employed to depict his lady-love; and ostensibly applies to the
royal Elizabeth the amatory terms which are covertly meant for an
Elizabeth of his own,--between whom and her royal type he either saw
or affected to see a personal resemblance. Here we find her placed
by the poet:

  "Amongst the seats of _Angels_ heavenly wrought,
  Much like an _Angel_ in all form and fashion."

The metaphoric 'Angel' of enamored swains is at once so trite and
obvious, that both the invention and vocabulary of the lover who
abides by it so perpetually must have been poor and narrow beyond
anything we can conceive of Spenser's fecundity of language and
imagery, if we sit down content to imagine that no more is meant by
its recurrence than meets the eye. We are satisfied that this title
or simile--call it what you will--is the key-word of the mystery;
and we must now look around the neighborhood of the Mulla for a
family-surname out of which this "Angel" can be extracted by the
"alchemy of wit."

On consulting the "Great Records of Munster," Vol. VI., we find a
family residing in the neighborhood of Kilcolman Castle whose name
and circumstances correspond exactly with all the requirements of
our Angel-ic theory. The Nagles were a very ancient and respectable
family, whose principal seats were in the northern parts of the
County of Cork and the adjoining borders of the County of Waterford.
There seem to have been two races of them, distinguished by the
color of their hair into the Red Nagles and the Black Nagles; and of
the former, the lord or chieftain of the tribe resided at Moneanymmy,
an ancient preceptory of the Knights of St. John, beautifully seated
on the banks of the Mulla, where it disembogues its tribute into the
Blackwater, on its passage to Cappoquin and Youghal, and at a
convenient distance from Spenser's Kilcolman. Elizabeth Nagle
belonging to the _Red_ branch of the family, we shall find no
difficulty in accounting for her alleged resemblance to Queen

The proprietor of Moneanymmy, strictly contemporaneous with Spenser,
was John Nagle, whose son, David, died in the city of Dublin in 1637.
It is therefore but fair to suppose that in 1593 (the year of
Spenser's marriage) this David might have had a sister of
marriageable age; for he himself, by his marriage with Ellen Roche
of Ballyhowly, had a daughter, Ellen, who in due time was married to
Sylvanus, the eldest son of Edmund Spenser. If our supposition be
correct, therefore, Ellen and Sylvanus were linked by the double
bond of cousinhood and matrimony.

Unfortunately for our Spenserian inquiry, however, the full and
regular pedigree of these Nagles commences only with David, whose
marriage and the issue thereof are recorded at large in Irish books
of heraldry; whereas the preceding generations, to a remote antiquity,
are merely notified by the bare names of the son and heir as they
succeeded to the inheritance.

John Nagle may have had a daughter marriageable at the time of
Spenser's marriage; and she may have married the poet,--and did, we
are convinced,--even though her family belonged to the Romish
persuasion, and the bridegroom to the Protestant Church.

To this untoward circumstance--the difference in religion--there is
curious reference made in a remarkable passage of the "Amoretti,"
which seems not only to indicate the name of her family, but to
screen the poet himself from the penalties denounced against
Protestants who intermarried with Roman Catholics. In the
Sixty-first Sonnet, the lady is said to be:

                         "divinely wrought,
  And of the _brood of Angels_ heavenly born;
  And with the _crew of blessed Saints_ upbrought,
  Each of which did her with their gifts adorn."

Here we have distinctly her _birth_ and _education_, each assigned
to a different source. She is of the "brood" or family of
anagrammatic "Angels,"--otherwise, Nagles; but has been "upbrought,"
or instructed, by persons whom Spenser denominates "Saints," or
Orthodox Protestants; for Spenser was by party and profession a
Puritan; and the Puritans were "Saints,"--to such as chose to accept
their own account of the matter.

But there may be a yet deeper meaning, an anagrammatic
appropriateness, in this phrase, "crew of blessed Saints." The
Nagles of Moneanymmy had intermarried frequently with the St. Legers
of Doneraile; and thus such a close intimacy was established between
the families as to warrant the supposition that a child of the one
house might have been reared amongst the members of the other.
Elizabeth Spenser (born Nagle) may not unlikely have been educated
by the Puritan St. Legers. The name St. Leger, as Camden remarks, is
a compound name, derived from the German _Leodigar_ or _Leger_,
signifying "the Gatherer of the People." Verstigan also gives it the
same translation, as originating from _Leod_, _Lud_, or _Luyd_, which,
he says, means "folk or people." [23] Therefore St. Leger seems to
signify a folk, a gathering, a legion or "crew" of saints, a holy
crowd or crew,--which may have been the quibble extorted by
Spenser's "alchemy of wit" from the "upbringing" of Elizabeth Nagle,
his wife. He calls her with marked emphasis his "sweet _Saint_," his
"sovereign _Saint_"; and in the "Epithalamion" the temple-gates are
called on to:

  "Receive this _Saint_ with honors due."

In praying to the gods for a large posterity, he places his request
on the ground,

  "That from the earth (which may they long possess
  With lasting happiness!)
  Up to your haughty palaces may mount
  Of blessed _Saints_ for to increase the count."

There is yet another solution, beside the anagrammatic one, for the
name of "Angel" so sedulously applied by the poet to his beloved.
The Nagle family, according to heraldry, were divided into three
branches, distinguished by peculiarities of surname. The Southern
branch signed themselves "Nagle,"--the Meath or Midland branch,
"Nangle,"--while the Connaught or Western shoot rejoiced in the more
euphonious cognomen of _Costello_! Let the heralds account for these
variations; we take them as we find them. The letter N, as we are
informed, according to the genius of the Irish tongue, is nothing
more than a prefix, set, _euphoniæ gratiâ_, before the radical name
itself, when commencing with a vowel. Thus, the N'Angles of Ireland
were the Angles whose heroic deeds are duly recorded in the lists of
the battle of Hastings. They went over to Ireland with Strongbow;
one branch assumed (can the heralds tell us why?) the name of
Costello;--another became N'Angles, and the Southern shoot dwarfed
down their heavenly origin into prosaic Nagle. The well-known
punning exclamation of Pope Gregory, on observing the fairness and
beauty of some English children,--"Non Angli, sed Angeli forent, si
essent Christiani,"--may have set the fervid brain of Spenser on fire,
and suggested the divine origin of her he loved. Between Elizabeth
de Angelis--the pun of Gregory--and Elizabeth de Angulo--the latter
being the derivation of heralds and lawyers--what poet could
hesitate a moment?

Our task is done. We think we have established our case. By anagram,
Elizabeth Nagle makes a perfect _Angel_; by heraldry and a
pontifical pun, the N'Angles of the County of Meath are _Angels_ in
indefeasible succession; Elizabeth belonged to the Red branch of her
family, and therefore must have resembled the royal Elizabeth; she
was brought up among the "crew of Saints" in the St. Leger family;
and, finally, her place of residence corresponds with that depicted
by the "passionate shepherd" as the home of his second mistress. We
think we have satisfied all the requirements of reasonable conviction,
and confidently await the verdict of that select few who may feel
interest in this purely literary investigation.

Guided by the rules of anagram here laid down and illustrated, some
future commentator, more deeply versed in the history and scandal of
the Elizabethan era, may be able to identify real personages with
all the fantastic characters introduced in the "Faëry Queen."

[Footnote 1: See _Colin Clout's come home again_.]
[Footnote 2:  _Vide_ Scott's _Life_.]
[Footnote 3: Upton's _Faëry Queen_, Vol. I. xiv.]
[Footnote 4: See Wood's _Athenæ Oxonienses_.]
[Footnote 5: See Hunter's _New illustrations of Shakspeare_,
  Vol. II. p. 280.]
[Footnote 6: Book II. Canto vi. etc.--See Black's _Life
     of Tasso_, Vol. II. p. 150.]
[Footnote 7: Upton, Vol. I. p. 14.--_Faëry Queen_, Book
     VI. Canto vi. st. 10, 17.]
[Footnote 8: _Vide_ that to Queen Anne.]
[Footnote 9: Cornwallis's _Essays_, p. 99.]
[Footnote 10: Camden's Remains, folio, 1614, p.164.]
[Footnote 11: _Iliad_, Z. 265.]
[Footnote 12: _Faëry Queen_, Book VI. Canto x.]
[Footnote 13: Sonnet lxix.]
[Footnote 14: Sonnets lxxiii, lxxv, and lxxxii.]
[Footnote 15: Sonnet i.]
[Footnote 16: Sonnet viii.]
[Footnote 17: Sonnet xvii.]
[Footnote 18: Sonnet lxi.]
[Footnote 19: Sonnet lxxix.]
[Footnote 20: Sonnet lxxxiii.]
[Footnote 21: Stanza 9.]
[Footnote 22: Stanza 13.]
[Footnote 23: Verstigan's _Restitution of Decayed Intelligence_,
     p. 226.]



A year had passed since Maddy's flitting. The skimped delaine was
sadly rusty,--Miss Wimple very poor. The profits of the Hendrik
Athenæum and Circulating Library accrued in slow and slender pittances.
A package of envelopes now and then, a few lead pencils, a box of
steel pens, a slate pencil to a school-boy, were all its sales.
Almost the last regular customer had seceded to the "Hendrik Book
Bazaar and Periodical Emporium,"--a pert rival, that, with
multifarious new-fangled tricks of attractiveness, flashed its
plate-glass eyes and turned up its gilded nose at Miss Wimple from
the other side of the way.

But Miss Wimple's proud and honorable fund for the relief of the
shop, by no means fell off. As she had anticipated, her expert and
nimble needle was in steady demand by all the folks of Hendrik who
had fine sewing to give out. Her earnings from this source were
considerable; and, severely stinting herself in the very necessaries
of life by a strained ingenuity of economy, to which the skimped
delaine--turned and altered to the utter exhaustion of the cleverest
dressmaker's invention, and magically rejuvenated, as though again
and again dipped in the fountain of perpetual youth--bore conclusive
testimony, she bravely reinforced her fund from time to time.

Miss Wimple's repasts were neither frequent nor sumptuous; "all the
delicacies of the season" hardly found their way to her table; and
in her bleak little nest, for it was now winter, a thin and scanty
shawl but coldly did the office of a blanket.

But Miss Wimple partook of her tea and dry toast with a cheerful
heart, and shivered in her nest with illustrious patience,--regaled
by satisfied honor, and warmed by the smiles of courage and of hope.

Between Simon and herself negotiations rested where we left them last;
only there was now a heartier welcome for him when he came, and
often a sparkling smile, that seemed to say, he had waited well, and
not in vain, she hoped,--a smile that, to the eye of his healthy
spirit, was an earnest of the rose-star's reappearance; it was only
behind the rusty skimped delaine, as behind a cloud. His visits were
not so rare as before, nor always "upon business"; he lingered
sometimes, and sometimes had _his_ way.

One night, Simon was outrageously rebellious; he had cheated Sally
of half an hour, and spent it in rank mutiny; he compared the
rose-star to the remotest of the asteroids, as seen through Lord
Rosse's telescope, and instituted facetious comparisons between
Miss Wimple's honorable fund and the national debt of England. It
was near closing-time; Miss Wimple said, "Now, Simon, _will_ you go?"
--she had said that three times already. Some one entered. O, ho!
Miss Wimple snatched away her hand:--"Now go, or never come again!"
Simon glanced at the visitor,--a woman,--a stranger evidently, and
poor,--a beggar, most likely, or one of those Wandering Jews of
womankind, who, homeless, goalless, hopeless, tramp, tramp, tramp,
unresting, till they die. She had almost burst in, quite startling
Miss Wimple; but now she stood by the glass case, with averted face,
and shabby shawl drawn suspiciously about her, and waited to be
noticed, peering, meanwhile, through the little window into the dark

"Good-night, little Sally!" said Simon; "put up your bars, and so
put up my bars. Now there's a fine speech for you!--if my name were
Philip Withers, you'd call it poetry."

The strange woman actually stamped with her foot twice, and moved a step
nearer to the window. Miss Wimple took it for a gesture of impatience,
and at once arose to accost her. Simon eyed her curiously, and somewhat
suspiciously, as he passed; but, taking her attire for his clue, he
thought he recognized one of a class with whom Miss Wimple was
accustomed to cope successfully; so he took his leave unconcerned.

Miss Wimple approached the stranger. "What will you have?" she asked.
But the woman only followed Simon with her eyes, not heeding the

"Do you hear me?" repeated she; "I say, what will you have, Madam?"

By that time, Simon had disappeared among the distant shadows of the
street. The woman turned suddenly and confronted Miss Wimple.

"Look at me," she said.

Miss Wimple looked, and saw a pale and haggard, almost fierce, face,
that had once been fair,--one that she might, she fancied, have met
somewhere before.

"You seem to have suffered,--to suffer now. What can I do for you?"

"Look at me!"

"I see; you are very wretched, and you were not always as you are now.
You are cold; are you hungry also? I, too, am very poor; but I will
do all I can. I will warm you and give you food."

The woman walked to where the bright camphene lamp hung, and stood
under it.

"Now look at me, Miss Wimple."

"I have looked enough; desperation on a young woman's face is not a
pleasant sight to see. If you have a secret, best keep it. I have to
deal only with your weariness, your hunger, and your half-frozen
limbs. If I can do nothing for those, you must go.--Merciful Heaven!
Miss Madeline Splurge!"

"Yes!--Now hide me, quick, or some one will be coming; and warm me,
and feed me, or I shall surely die on your hands."

Not another word said Miss Wimple,--asked no question, uttered no
exclamation of surprise; but straightway ran and closed the windows,
put up the bars, adjusted the shutters in the glass door, and
screwed them down. Next she took Madeline's hand and led her up the
narrow staircase to the nest, seated her in the little Yankee
rocking-chair, and wrapped her in the scanty, faded shawl that
served for a coverlet. Then she ran quickly down into the cellar, and,
with a hammer, broke in pieces an old packing-box;--it was a brave
achievement for her tender hands. Back to the nest again with the
sticks;--Madeline slept in the chair, poor heart!

Miss Wimple made a fire in her little stove, and when some water was
hot, she roused her guest with a kiss. Silently, languidly, and with
closed eyes, Madeline yielded herself to the kind offices of her
gentle nurse, who bathed her face and neck, her hands and feet, and
dressed her hair; and when that was done, she placed a pillow under
the wanderer's head, and, with another kiss, dismissed her to sleep

Then she prepared tea and toast, and, running down to the street,
returned quickly with some fresh eggs and a morsel of golden butter,
wherefrom she prepared a toothsome supper, the fragrance of which
presently aroused the famished sufferer, so that she opened her
eyes feebly, and smiled, and kissed Miss Wimple's hand when she
came to draw her nearer to the table. Then Madeline ate,--not
heartily, but enough to comfort her; and very soon her head fell
back upon the pillow, and she would have slept in the chair again,
holding Miss Wimple's hand. But Miss Wimple arose and took the sheets
from the cot, and, having warmed them by the fire, made up the bed
afresh,--a most smooth, sweet, and comfortable nest; and, raising
Madeline in her arms, supporting her still sleeping head upon her
shoulder, she very tenderly and skilfully removed her garments, all
coarse and torn, soiled and damp, and clad her afresh in pure
night-clothes of her own. But first--for Madeline began to shiver,
and her teeth had chattered slightly--Miss Wimple untied her own
warm petticoat of quilted silk, that for comfort and for decency
had been her best friend through the hard winter,--wherefore it
was most dearly prized and ingeniously saved,--and put it upon
Madeline, whom then she led, almost carrying her, as one may lead a
worn-out and already slumbering child, to the nest, and laid her
gently there, drawing the covering snugly about her, and spreading
the faithful shawl over all. And all the while, not a word had been
spoken by either;--with one, it was the silence of pious carefulness,
--with the other, of newly-found safety and perfect rest. Then
Miss Wimple placed the lamp on the floor behind the door, fed the
stove with fresh sticks, and with her feet on the little iron hearth,
and her head resting on her knees, thought there all night.

All night poor Madeline's slumber was broken by incoherent mutterings,
convulsive starts, and, more than once, a fearful cry; and when the
day dawned, she suddenly sat erect, stared wildly about her, and
raved. A fierce, though brief, fever had seized her; she was
delirious, and knew not where she was. When Miss Wimple would have
soothed her, tenderly caressing, and promising her a sister's
kindness and protection,--a home safely guarded from intrusion,--
Madeline assailed her savagely, bidding her be off, with her smooth
treachery, her pretty lies.

"'Sister!'--devil! Do I not know what a hell your 'home' is?--and as
for 'safety,' shall I seek that among snakes? Oh, I am sick of all
of you!--have I not told you so a hundred times?--sick with the
contempt I feel for you, and weary of your stupid tricks."

"Madeline," said Miss Wimple, "look at me! Here,--touch my face, my
dress! Do you not know me now? Do you not see that I am not your
mother, nor Josephine, nor Adelaide, but only Sally Wimple, little
Miss Wimple, of the bookstore? What harm could I do you?--how could
I offend or hurt you? Look me in the eyes, I say, and know me, and
be calm. See! this is my chamber,--this is my bed; below is the
little shop,--the Athenæum, you remember. We are alone in the house;
there is no one to hear or see. You came to me,--did you not?--over
the long, weary road, through the darkness and the bitter cold, for
warmth and food, for rest and safety; and I have hidden you away,
and watched by you. Look around you,--look through that window; do
you not know those trees, the mulberries by the Athenæum?--they are
bare now; but you have seen them so before, a dozen winters. Look at
this face,--look at this dress,--look at this dress!--Ah! now you
know all about it,--'little Miss Wimple,' of course; and this shall
be your home, and you are safe here."

When Miss Wimple began to speak, she stood somewhat off from the bed;
for Madeline, with a gesture full of hate, and close-set lips that
looked dangerous, had thrust her back. But as she proceeded with her
calm and clear appeal, Madeline was arrested, in the very movement
of springing from the bed, in an attitude "worth a painter's eye,"
half-sitting, half-reclining, supported by her right arm, which,
rigidly extended, was planted pillar-like in the bed,--with her left
hand tossing aside the bed-clothes,--her knees drawn up, as for the
instant of stepping out upon the floor,--her right shoulder, bare,
round, and white, thrust from the night-dress, which in the
restlessness of her distraction had burst its chaste fastenings,
bestowing a chance glimpse of a most proud and beauteous bosom,--a
glimpse but dimly caught through the thick brown meshes of her
dishevelled hair. So, now, with impatient eyes and eager lips, she
rested and listened. And when Miss Wimple said,--"I have hidden you
away and watched by you," the fierce look was softened to one of
pitiful reflection and recollection; and at the words, "Look at this
dress! Ah! now you know all about it,--'little Miss Wimple,' of
course!" she sat up and stretched forth her arms beseechingly,
and in a moment was sobbing helplessly on Sally's neck.

A little while Miss Wimple, still and thoughtful, held her so, that
her soul's bitterness might pour itself out in wholesome tears; then
she gently stroked the tangled brown hair, and said,--"Sit close
beside me now, and lean upon my bosom, and tell me all,--where you
have been, and how you have fared, and what you would have me do."

With a brave effort, Madeline controlled herself, and replied, firmly,
though with averted face,

"You remember, dear Miss Wimple, our last interview. I insulted you

Miss Wimple made no sign. Madeline blushed,--brow, neck, and bosom,

"And then I told you that I believed in you as I believed in little
else, in this world or the next; and I said, that, if in my hour of
shame and outcasting, I could implore the help of any human being, I
would come to you before all others. I have come. You thought me
raving then, and pitied me, because you did not understand.
Presently you will understand, and you will still pity me,--but with
a difference.

"I fled away that very night, you recollect,--fled from my
self-contempt, from the sickening scorn I felt for them,--for

There was agony in the effort with which she uttered that last word.
She named no names, but, with a sort of desperation, raised her head
and looked Miss Wimple in the face; in the quick, sensitive glances
they interchanged at that moment the omission was supplied.

"Though my flight was premeditated, I took with me no clothes save
those I wore; but I had concealed on my person every jewel and
trinket I possessed. With these,--for I readily converted them into
money,--I purchased a safe asylum in an obscure but decent family,
whose poverty did not afford them the indulgence of a scrupulous
fastidiousness or impertinent curiosity; it was enough for their
straitened conscience that I had the manners and the purse of a lady,
--they asked no questions which might cost them a profitable boarder,
the only one they could accommodate in their poor way. I had no fear
that any hue-and-cry would be raised for me; I had left behind me
two who would prevent that,--in that, my worst foes were my best
friends. If I had any relatives who cared for me enough to pursue me,
I rejoiced in at least one sister on whose cunning, if not good sense,
I could rely, to convince them of the futility of such efforts,--one
_friend_ whose fears would be ingenious and busy to put the
best-laid chase at fault.

"So I lay concealed and safe till the time came when I had to
purchase pity, help, and precious secrecy. My discreet hosts could
furnish those extras; but they were poor, and such luxuries are
expensive in New York;--it was not long before my last dollar was
gone. I had been ill,--_ill_, Miss Wimple,--and every way crippled;
I could not, if the work had offered itself to me, have earned more
then. My last trinket was gone; I had pawned whatever I could spare
from the hard exigencies of living; for I am no coward,--I did not
wish to die,--I had challenged my fate, and would meet it. I had
even changed with the women of the house the silk dress I wore, and
my fine linen, for the mean rags you cleansed me of last night,
--that they might pay themselves so; and when all was expended, and
the last trick tried that pride, honor, and modesty could wink at, I
came away in the night, leaving no unsettled scores behind me. But I
saw my own resources sinking fast; I knew I must presently be debtor
to some one for protection, aid, and counsel. I remembered you,--and
that I had said I could beg of none but you; therefore I am here.

"And now, Miss Wimple,"--and as she spoke, Madeline arose, and,
standing before her companion, said her say slowly, proudly, with
head erect and unflinching eyes,--"I told you I believed in you, as
I believed in nothing then, on earth or in heaven,--as I believe
only in God's mercy now. I will prove that that was no merely pretty
phrase, meant cunningly to cheat you of your forgiveness for a
coarse insult. Since I saw you last, I have been--a mother; I have
brought forth a child in shame and sin and blasphemous defiance,
--and God has been merciful to it and to me, and has taken it unto
Himself. I think you also will be merciful; you will help me to save
myself from the pit that yawns just now at my feet; you will help me
to prove it false, that a woman who has strayed off so far in her
wilful way may not, if she be strong and truly proud, retrace her
steps, to fall in at last--though last of all the stragglers--with
the happy procession of honored women,--of women who have done the
best they could, and borne their burden bravely."

Miss Wimple sat on the side of the bed, her chin resting on her
clasped hands, her gaze fixed vacantly on the floor,--"Poor baby!
Dead,--thank God!" was all she said.

"Miss Wimple," said Madeline, "I have addressed myself to your heart,
rather than to your understanding, your education. I had no right to
do so. If my presence is, in your opinion, an outrage to your house,
I am ready to go now. I can face the street, the town; no one will
dare to stop me, if any were inclined."

"Be seated, Miss Splurge,--you are very welcome here. My
appreciation of the difference between your education and mine is as
kind as you could wish. This is a question of hearts,--and our hearts
have been always right, I hope; we are as woman to woman, and the
womanly part of either of us may still be trusted. Be seated,--I
have a word to say for myself"; and, as she spoke, Miss Wimple went
to her little bureau, and, unlocking a drawer, drew from it a
miniature rosewood cabinet; unlocking that, again, she took
something out, which, as she returned to resume her seat beside
Madeline, was hidden in her hand.

"Miss Splurge," said Miss Wimple, "the night on which you
disappeared so strangely from this place, I had been visiting a sick
friend on the other side of the river, and returned home at a late
hour,--that is, about nine o'clock, perhaps. As I entered the
covered bridge, I heard the voices of a lady and a gentleman in
excited conversation."

Madeline became deadly pale; but she did not speak, uttered no
exclamation,--only a slight movement of her eyebrows expressed
eagerness, as she turned more attentively to Miss Wimple, who
proceeded as though unconscious of any trace of emotion in her

"The voice of the gentleman was familiar to me; the lady's I did not,
at first, recognize,--something had changed its quality. Supposing
themselves alone,--for it was plain they had not heard me approach
and enter the bridge,--they were incautious; their words reached me
distinctly. I might have retraced my steps and waited till they had
gone; but the moon was shining brightly, and the night was very still,
--in a pause of their conversation they might have heard or seen me;
I chose to _spare_ them that. So I fell back into a corner, where the
shadows were deepest, and remained quite quiet until they went away.
I have told you that I heard their words; but I did not understand
them then;--now, I do."

Madeline bowed her head. Miss Wimple seemed not to observe that, but
continued in the same quiet, even tone:--

"When they had gone, I found, lying in the moonlight near the

Miss Wimple held out the little pocket-book. Madeline started, made
a quick movement, as though to snatch the book, but checked herself
with an effort, and said, with stern composure,--


"Well," said Miss Wimple, "there it is, and it is yours. It contains
a card, for the safety of which you were once concerned. It has
remained as safe, from that hour to this,--not only from my curiosity,
but that of all others, be they friends or foes of yours,--as though
you had kept it hidden in your bosom, and defended it with your
teeth and nails; _on my honor_!"

In these last words, and only then, Miss Wimple showed that she
could remember an insult, and avenge it--in her own way. She dropped
the pocket-book into the lap of Madeline, who, without a word, placed
it in her bosom.

"And now, my poor Madeline," said Miss Wimple, "we will speak no
more of these things. I beg you to understand me clearly,"--and
Miss Wimple suddenly altered her tone,--"we must not recur to this
subject. You will remain with me until we shall have decided what is
best for us to do. You are quite safe in this house; that you were
ever here need not be known hereafter, unless your honor or your
happiness should require that we divulge it. I must go now and open
the shop; and when I return to you, we will speak, if you please,
of other things."

"_But Miss Wimple's Hoop,--will you never come to that? Or is it
your intention to 'omit the part of Hamlet by particular request_?'"

Slowly and fairly,--we come to it now.


When the neat and modest little mistress of the Hendrik Athenæum and
Circulating Library descended to open the shop and take down the bars,
all her sense of delicacy was shocked, and she was brought to shame;
for her meek skirts, missing the generous support of the quilted
silk petticoat, clung about her mortified extremities in thin and
limp dejection. It was plain to Miss Wimple that she looked
poverty-stricken,--an aspect most dreadful to the poor, and upon
which the brothers and sisters of penury who by hook or by crook
contrive to keep up appearances for the nonce have no mercy.
"Today," she thought, "callers will delight me not, nor customers
neither." But Miss Wimple was in a peculiarly provoking predicament,
and for such there is ever a malignant star;--callers and customers
dropped in, one after another, all day, as they had rarely come
before,--as though, indeed, her most spiteful enemy had got wind of
the petticoat affair, and sent them to plague her.

That day, Miss Wimple had recourse to as much painfully ingenious
dodging behind the low counters as though she had a cloven foot to
hide. When evening came, she could have sat down--if she had been
any other plagued woman in the world but Sally Wimple--and had a
good cry. It was bitter weather, and she had shivered much;--she did
not mind that; but to look poverty-stricken! No, she did not cry
_outside_, but it was a narrow escape. In her trouble, her eyes
wandered around the shop beseechingly; and lo! she beheld in the
window a timely hooped skirt,--a daring speculation wherein she had
lately invested, in consideration of the growing importance of her
millinery department; and straightway Miss Wimple went and took the
hoop, and offered it up for a pride-offering in the stead of her
delicacy, that was so dear to her. It was a thing of touching
artlessness to do; only so cunning-simple a soul as Sally Wimple
could ever have thought of it. She sat up late that night, engaged
in compromising with her prejudices, by drawing out the whalebones,
one by one, from the "Alboni," shaving them down with a piece of
glass, very thin, and tucking them,--until all their loud defiance
was subdued, and for Miss Wimple's Hoop it might be tenderly
deprecated that it was nothing to speak of, "such a _leetle_ one."

The sacrifice was made, and, let us hope, not merely figuratively
accepted by Him to whom _prejudices_ may arise today an offering
not less honored than was the blood of rams in the hour when Abraham
laid his first-born on an altar in the thicket of Jehovah-jireh.

If any challenge the probabilities of this incident, and cavil at
the chance that Miss Wimple's necessity could, under any
circumstances, bring forth such an invention, I hope I have only to
remind them that that brave angel had become straitened to a point
whereat she had neither material from which to erect another quilted
petticoat, nor the means of procuring it, even if she could spare the
time necessary to the making of one,--which she could not, being now
closely occupied between the engagements of her hired needle and the
newly-found cares that Charity had imposed upon her.

But, however the probabilities may appear, Miss Wimple's Hoop was a
shaved-whalebone fact; and the quilted petticoat would never have
been missed, but for the officious scrutiny of the eyes, and the
provoking prating of the tongues, of a sophisticated few who
marvelled greatly at the pliancy and the "perfect set" of Miss Wimple's
Alboni,--"and that demure little prig, too! who'd have thought it?"

As for Simon Blount, he was quick to perceive the new experience to
which the skimped delaine had been introduced, and at first it
disturbed and embarrassed him; but his light, elastic temper soon
recovered its careless buoyancy, with a sly smile at what he
considered an oddity, newly discovered, in the character of his
prim sweetheart. "Oh! it's all right, of course," he thought;
"Sally knows what she's about; but it's very funny!"

And so, if this strange disturbing of the established order of
"things" in the kingdom of Wimple had rested with the exaltation of
the Hoop, that body politic would presently have been reduced to
tranquillity, no doubt, and the all-agogness of Hendrik would have
come quietly to nought, like any other popular flutter following
upon a new thing under the sun. But in a romantic cause the
conscientiousness of Miss Wimple, for all her seeming matter-of-fact,
took on a quality of chivalry; and she displayed a Quixotism most
tiltfully disposed toward any windmill of conventional proprieties
that might plant itself in the way by which her beauteous and
distressed damsel was to escape. So, before all the decencies of
Hendrik had recovered from the shock of the Hoop, she threw them
into a new and worse "conniption" by an even more daring innovation
upon their good, easy notions of her; for the next thing she did
was--a basque and flounces. Thus it happened:--

Madeline had become quite another Madeline,--say a Magdalen, rather,
--under the gentle discipline of her admirable angel. Her wonted
distraction had subsided into a pensive sadness, which manifested
itself in many a grateful, graceful tenderness toward that glorifier
of the skimped delaine. She had observed the Hoop at once, and
greeted it with a solitary smile, accepting it for a happy sign and
a token; for she had recognized Simon Blount when she turned into
the shop, that night, out of the darkness and the cold, and, with
the alert intelligence of a woman, even so self-absorbed as she was
then, had construed his gallant "good-night." She thought she
understood Miss Wimple's Hoop, because she had not discovered the
poetry in Miss Wimple's quilted petticoat. They had not spoken of
those things again. Delicacy was the law for those two; and to do
their best, and thankfully, bravely, accept the first deliverance
Heaven might send them, was their religion. Like two Micawbers of
Faith, Hope, and Charity, they waited for something to "turn up."

Miss Wimple invested a daily three-cent piece in a New York paper,
and diligently conned the "Wants" before the Marriages and Deaths,
--extraordinary woman! An "opening" had but to show itself, and
Miss Wimple was ready to fling her character into the breach for the
benefit of her Magdalen. Strong-minded woman!

At last it came. A gentleman who had recently lost his wife wanted a
house-keeper and governess for his two little girls,--the offices to
be united in the person of "a lady by birth, education, and
associations"; to such a liberal salary would be given; and in case
she should be in straitened circumstances, a reasonable advance
would be made, "to enable the lady to assume at once the position of
a respected member of his family." The very place!

Now what did that dashing Miss Wimple-Quixote--of such is the Kingdom
of Heaven!--but sit down and pour her enormous little heart out in a
letter to a person she had never seen or heard of,--telling him
everything but names and localities, and appealing, with an
inspiration, to his divine spark. There is no doubt that, "for that
occasion only," Providence sent an advertiser to the "Tribune" to
justify the large faith of Pity in skimped delaine; for the word of
Hope and Love that Miss Wimple let fall, unstudied, from the heart,
fell upon a genial mind, and lo!--

  "It raised a sister from the dust,
     It saved a soul from death!"

The gentleman--the nobleman!--thanked his unknown correspondent,
whose hand he would esteem it an honor to touch, for the opportunity
she had afforded him to do good in a graceful way. Mrs. Morris
(Miss Wimple had written: "Let us know this poor lady as 'Mrs. Morris,'
a childless widow") should be most welcome to his house; she need
never be aware that the sad passages of her history had come to his
knowledge, and by all over whom he exercised authority or influence
her _sorrows_ should be reverenced. He took the liberty to inclose a
check, which Mrs. Morris would have the goodness to regard as a small
advance on her salary; she would make whatever preparation she might
deem necessary, at her perfect leisure; he would be happy to see her
as soon as it should be quite agreeable to her to come. Once more,
with all his heart, he thanked the admirable lady who had in so
remarkable a manner distinguished him by her noble impulse of
confidence. It would be his dearest duty hereafter to deserve it.
And he gave his address: "Lawrence Osgood, Fourteenth St., New York."

It was evident that the "necessary preparations" for Madeline's
appearance in this new _rôle_ could not be made in Hendrik. Miss Wimple
was distressingly sensitive for the safety of her _protégée_ from
scandalous discovery. Even she herself could not expend any
considerable portion of Mr. Osgood's advance without arousing
surmise and provoking dangerous prying. Besides, how should she get
the money for the check?--to whom dare she confess herself in
possession of it? Of course, _there_ was a conclusive impossibility.
Nevertheless, something must be done at once to put Madeline at
least in travelling trim; for the things of which--to use her own
sensitive expression--Miss Wimple had "cleansed" her when she came
were out of the question. It was as true of this poor young lady in
her trunkless plight, as of any dishevelled Marius in crinoline, who
sits down and weeps among the brand-new ruins of a Carthage of satin,
lawns, and laces, that she had Nothing to Wear. So Miss Wimple,
encouraged by the happy success of the Hoop stratagem, forthwith
began to cast about her; and for the present Mr. Osgood's letter and
the check were hushed up in her bosom.

Now Miss Wimple and Madeline Splurge were examples of how much our
views of a person's character have to do with our notions of his or
her stature or carriage. All Hendrik spoke of the demure heroine of
the skimped delaine as "_Little_ Miss Wimple"; and Madeline, though
the youngest of the sisters, was universally known as "Miss Splurge,"
--as it were, awfully. Yet Miss Wimple and Madeline were almost
exactly "of a size," by any measurement, and Miss Wimple's clothes
were a sweet fit for Madeline; the petticoat experiment had
discovered that. So the skimped delaine, Miss Wimple thought, must
be promoted to the proud person of the handsome Madeline, and
something must be found to take its place.

Now, among store of respectable family-rubbish, scrupulously saved
by half a graveyard-full of female relations,--for the women-folk of
the Wimples had been ever noted for their thrift,--a certain quaint
garment had come down to Sally from her great-grandmother. It was a
black "silken wonder," wherewith, no doubt, that traditionally dear,
delightful creature was wont to astonish the streets, in the days of
her vanity and frivolous vexation of spirit.

A generous expanse of cape pertained to it, and it was cut much
shorter behind than before, in order to display to advantage the
pert red heels whereon that antique Wimple aforetime exalted herself.
"With some trifling alterations," said Miss Wimple to herself,
"this will do nicely for me; and my delaine--which is not so very bad,
after all--a little cleaning will do wonders for it--will look
sweetly appropriate on the Widow Morris, while her outfit is making
in New York."

So Miss Wimple let down the dress behind, by piecing it in the back
just below the waist; and from the generous cape she made a basque
to hide the alteration; and some stains, like iron-mould, on the
skirt, she covered with three flounces, made of some fine crape that
was left from her mother's funeral.

"_But, by your leave, where was this 'silken wonder' when your
unhandy heroine was casting about her for a substitute for the
quilted petticoat_?"

Anywhere but in her mind. Of the _round-aboutness_ of her directness
you have had examples enough already; nothing could be more romantic
than her simplest realities, and that which would seem most
out-of-the-way to another woman was often "handiest" to her. So,
when you ask me, Why did not Sally Wimple sooner think of her
great-grandmother's dress? my easiest answer is, Because she _was_
Sally Wimple.

When Miss Wimple first put on the new dress, in Madeline's presence,
Madeline smiled again, for she thought she understood; and Miss Wimple
smiled also, for she knew no one could understand.

Then Miss Wimple broke the news to Madeline, by telling her that
"an old friend of her father's," a wealthy Mr. Osgood, of New York,
was in want of a governess for his two daughters, and had written
to her on the subject;--(a not very improbable story; for Madeline
could not but be aware that in the conscientious and proud little
bookseller was the making of a very respectable "Jane Eyre," under
favorable circumstances;)--whereupon she had taken the liberty to
recommend a clever and accomplished friend of her own, one Mrs. Morris,
a widow,--"of course, that's you, Madeline,"--and Mr. Osgood had
accordingly done her the honor to offer the place to Mrs. Morris,
and, "with characteristic consideration and delicacy," had inclosed
a check, by way of an advance on her salary, which would be liberal,
to defray the expense of an outfit,--"and there it was." His writing
to her, Miss Wimple said, was a circumstance as strange as it was
fortunate; for, in fact, she had, personally, but a very slight
acquaintance with him, and was "quite sure she should not recognize
him, if she were to see him now";--as for his little girls, she had
never seen them, nor even heard their names. But Mr. Osgood's
character was of the very highest, and she rejoiced that Madeline
would have so honorable, influential, and generous a protector, who
had given his word that she should be received and entertained with
the consideration due to a superior and esteemed friend.

[Never mind Miss Wimple's white lies, my dear; there is no danger
that they will be found filling the blank place in the Recording
Angel's book, left where his tear blotted out My Uncle Toby's oath.
And in a purely worldly point of view, too, those touching offerings
to Mercy were safe enough; for when Miss Wimple promised Madeline
that she would find Mr. Osgood "a singularly discreet person, who
would be sure not to annoy her with impertinent curiosity," it was
not said by way of a hint;--she well knew, that, from the moment the
proud and jealous Madeline departed across the threshold of the
Hendrik Athenæum and Circulating Library, she would set a close and
solemn seal upon her heart and upon her lips, and the "old familiar
faces" and places would be to her as the things that Memory is a
silent widow for. Nevertheless, in writing to Mr. Osgood, to
acknowledge the receipt of the check, and to thank him, that cunning
Miss Wimple took the precaution to put him in possession of as much
of _her_ personality as would serve his purpose in case of accident,
and provide for the chance of a shock to his suspicious and vigilant

Madeline received Miss Wimple's extraordinary good news with the
silence of one bewildered. Nor even when she had come fully to
appreciate all the beauty and the joy of it, did she give audible
expression to her gratitude; she was too proud--or rather say, too
religious--to subject the divine emotion to the vulgar ordeal of
words; she only kissed Miss Wimple's hands, and mutely laid them on
her bosom.

Then Miss Wimple arrayed her _protégée_ in the skimped delaine, for
which the "trifling alterations" and the "little cleaning" _had_
done wonders,--and Madeline was, as it were, "clothed on with
chastity." And Miss Wimple was jubilant over the charming effect,
and "went on" in a manner surprising to behold. First she kissed
Madeline, and then she kissed the dress; and she told Madeline, in a
small torrent of triumph, what a tremendous fellow of a skimped
delaine it was,--how cheap, and how _dear_ it was,--what remarkable
powers of endurance it had displayed, and with what force and
versatility of character it had adapted itself to every new
alteration or trimming,--and how she was so used to its ways, and
it to hers, that she was almost ready to believe it could "get on
her by itself,"--and how she felt sure it was expressly
manufactured to do good in the world,--until she had so glorified
the lowly skimped delaine, that Madeline began to feel in it like a
queen, whose benignant star has forever exalted her above the vulgar
sensation of having Nothing to Wear.

Now Madeline was quite ready to depart on her pilgrimage of penitence.
But almost at the parting hour a circumstance occurred which
grievously alarmed Miss Wimple, and so roused the devil whereof
Madeline had been but just now possessed, that it stirred within her.


The "nest" looked out upon the street by two front windows, that were
immediately over the sign of the Hendrik Athenæum and Circulating
Library. There was also a small side-window, affording a view of a
bit of yard, quite private, and pleasant in its season, with an oval
patch of grass, some hollyhocks, a grape-vine trained over a pretty
structure of lattice to form a sort of summer-house, and a martin-box,
in a decidedly original church-pattern, mounted on a tall, white pole.
Of course the scene was cheerless and unsightly now; lumpy brown
patches of earth showed through the unequally melting snow, where the
grass-plot should have been; a few naked and ugly sticks were all
the promise of the hollyhocks' yellow glory; the bare grape-vine
showed on the dingy lattice like a tangled mesh of weather-stained
ropes; and "there were no birds in last year's nest" to make the
martin-box look social.

This little window was Madeline's chosen seat; and hither she brought,
sometimes a book, but more frequently a portion of Miss Wimple's
work from the millinery department, and wholesomely employed her mind,
skilfully her fingers. Here she could look out upon the earth and sky,
and enjoy, unspied, the sympathy of their desolation,--never daring
to think of all the maddening memories that lay under the front
windows: those she had never once approached, never even turned her
eyes towards; Miss Wimple had observed that.

But on the day of the installation of the basque and the flounces,
and the promotion of the skimped delaine, late in the afternoon,
the twilight (falling, as Madeline sat at the side-window, gazing
vacantly down upon the forlornness of the little yard, and Miss Wimple
stood at the front window, gazing as abstractedly down upon the hard,
pitiless coldness of the street),--the thoughts of both intent on the
_must_ of their parting on the morrow, and the _how_ of Madeline's
going,--suddenly Madeline left her safe seat, and came and leaned upon
Miss Wimple's shoulder, looking over it into the street. Only a
minute, half a minute, but--surely the Enemy tempted her!--too long;
for ere Miss Wimple, quick as she was to take the alarm, could turn
and lead her away, Madeline's vigilant, fierce glance had caught
sight of him, (alack! Philip Withers!) and, ashen-pale, with parted
lips and suspended breath, and wide, blazing eyes, she stood, rooted
there, and stared at him. But Miss Wimple dragged her away just in
time,--no, he had not seen her,--and for a brief space the two women
stood together, near the bed, in the corner farthest from the window;
and Miss Wimple held Madeline's face close down upon her own shoulder,
and pressed her hand commandingly, and whispered, "Hush!"

So they stood in silence,--no cry, no word, escaped. And when,
presently, Madeline, with a long heart-heaved sigh, raised her head
and looked Miss Wimple in the face, there was blood on her lips. And
blood was on Miss Wimple's dress. Yea! the basqued and flounced
disguise was raggedly rent at the shoulder.

Then Madeline went and lay down upon the bed, and turned her face to
the wall,--and there was no noise. And Miss Wimple covered the blood
and the rents on her shoulder with her mother's lace cape,--the
familiar companion of the skimped delaine,--and went down into the

When Miss Wimple, having put up the bars, ascended to the nest to
join Madeline in the little cot,--Madeline slept quietly enough; but
a trace of blood, with all its sad story, was on her lips, and a
lingering frown of pain on her brow. Very carefully, not to disturb
her, Miss Wimple lay down by her side, but not to sleep;--her
thoughts were anxiously busy with the morrow.

In the morning, when Miss Wimple awoke, her eyes met the eyes of
Madeline, no longer fierce and wild, but full of patience and tender
gratitude. The brave Magdalen, leaning on her elbow in the bed, had
been watching Miss Wimple as she slept, her poor heart fairly
oppressed with its thankfulness to God, and to his saving minister.
When, Miss Wimple opened her eyes, Madeline bent over her and kissed
her on the forehead, and Miss Wimple smiled. Then both arose and put
on their garments,--Madeline the skimped delaine, and Miss Wimple
the flounces. Oh! the grotesque pathos of that exchange!--and
Madeline did not remark with what haste, and a certain awkward
bashfulness, Miss Wimple retired to a far corner and covered her
shoulders with the lace cape.

All that day the two women were very still;--the approaching hour of
parting was not adverted to between them, but the low tone in which
they spake of other and lesser things showed that it was first of
all in their thoughts and on their hearts. To the latest moment they
merely _understood each other_. The cars went from the branch
station at ten o'clock. It was nine when Miss Wimple released from
its old-fashioned bandbox--as naturally as if it had been all along
agreed upon between them, and not, as was truly the case, utterly
forgotten until then--her well-saved and but little used bonnet of
black straw, and put it on Madeline's head, kissing her, as a mother
does her child, as she tied the bow under her chin; and she took
from the bed the faithful shawl, and drew it snugly, tenderly,
around Madeline's shoulders,--Madeline only blushing; to resist, to
remonstrate, she well knew, had been in vain. There had been some
exchanging of characters, you perceive, no less than of costumes.

"And now where shall we put those?" asked Miss Wimple, holding in
her hand Mr. Osgood's check, and a trifle of ready money for the
immediate needs of the journey.

Madeline replied by silently drawing from her bosom the little
pocket-book, and handing it to her friend, who opened it in a
matter-of-course way that was full of delicacy; and--no doubt
accidentally, and innocently, as to any trick of pretty sentiment--
deposited the check and the bank-note beside that card.

And now it was time to part. Miss Wimple took up the dim chamber-lamp,
and led Madeline down the stairs,--both silent, calm: those were not
crying women. As they entered the shop, Miss Wimple immediately set
down the lamp on the nearest end of the counter, and went with
Madeline straight to the door, whither its slender ray hardly reached,
and where the blood-spots and the rents on her shoulder might not be
noticed,--or, at least, not clearly defined. Then, with a
business-like "Ah! I had forgotten,"--admirably feigned,--she hastily
removed the shawl from Madeline's shoulders, and the lace cape from
her own; and she put the lace cape on Madeline, and covered it with
the shawl. This time Madeline shrank, and would have forbidden the
charitable surprise; but Miss Wimple moved as though to open the door,
and said,--

"Madeline, in mind, and heart, and soul, do you feel ready?"


"Then go!--Believe in God and yourself, and do the best you can."

And Madeline said,--

"And you, also, must believe in me, and pray for me; be patient with
me, and wait. If the time should ever come when I can comfort you,
with God's help I will hasten to you, wherever you may be."

And they kissed each other, and both said, "God bless you!"

So Madeline departed quickly, and presently was lost in the shadows
beyond the shop-lamps.

[Next morning, when Sally Wimple went to take down the bars, her
neighbors were astonished; for it was already reported and believed
that she had been seen going from the Athenæum to the ten o'clock
train the night before.]

Then Miss Wimple closed the door and went back to her room, where she
sat down on the bed and had a good cry, which was a great comfort.
When, after that, she arose, and, standing before the glass to
undress herself, perceived the blood-stains and the rents, she
straightway went and brought her work-basket, and, seating herself
under the dim lamp, without fear or hesitation cut down the dress,
_low-neck_--There!--Then she lay down in the bed and slept sweetly,
with a smile on her face.

Ah! cunning, artless Sally Wimple! No wonder the dashing directness
of your character had ever by your neighbors been mistaken for
simplicity. The thing which was easiest for you to do was ever the
hardest thing for you to bear. In the morning, this new Godiva of
Hendrik--not less to be honored than she of Coventry, in all she
underwent and overcame--descended to her shop, "clothed on with
chastity"; and then her dreadful trial began. I claim for her even
more merit than the pure heart of the world has accorded to her
namesake who:

                 "took the tax away,
  And built herself an everlasting name,"

by as much as her task was harder, herself more helpless, and her
reward less. Like her of Coventry,

    "left alone, the passions of her mind,
  As winds from all the compass shift and blow,
  Made war upon each other for an hour,
  Till Pity won."

She said to the World,--"If this woman pay your tax, she dies."

And the World mocked,--"You would not let your little finger ache
for such as this!"

"But I would die," said she,--"and more,--I will bear your mocking
and your hisses!"

"Oh! ay, ay, ay! you talk!" said the World.

But we have seen already. She had no herald to send forth and
"bid him cry, with sound of trumpet, all the hard condition." No
palfrey awaited her, "wrapt in purple, blazoned with armorial gold."
For her, indeed,

  "The little wide-mouthed heads upon the spout,
  Had cunning eyes to see..."

       "...the blind walls
  Were full of chinks and holes; and, overhead,
  Fantastic gables stared."

She had her low churls, her Peeping Toms,--"compact of thankless
earth," who bored moral auger-holes in fear, and spied. Her nudeness
was more complete than hers of Coventry, by as much as ridicule is
more ruthless than coarse curiosity.

Not merely the delicacy of her "inmost bower," but all the
protection of her forlornness, she exposed naked to the town, to
take that tax away; and when it was removed, she could not hope to
build herself "an everlasting name." Ah, no! Godiva of Hendrik may
not live in any "city's ancient legend." This poor story must be all
her monument; let us lay the cap-stone, then.

       *       *       *       *       *

All the angers of scorn in Hendrik were pointed at Miss Wimple; all
the sharp tongues of Hendrik hissed at her; and her good name fell
at once into the portion of the vilest weeds. Simon Blount saw and
heard, and his soul was sorely troubled. Like all _true_ love, loyal
and vigilant, his love for Sally was clear-sighted and sagacious.
Infatuation is either gross passion or pretence,--the flash and
bogus jewelry of the heart; but true love, though its eyes may ache
with the seeing, sees ever sharply. All beautiful examples teach
that the blindness of Love is not a parable, but an imposture; and
Simon saw that Sally was in a false position,--false to herself and
to him; for she denied him that confidence which he had a right to
share, sharing, as he did, all the scandal and the scorn; and in that,
she was unconsciously unjust. She denied herself the aid and comfort
of his tender counsel and his approbation, the protection of his
understanding and believing, when for him to understand and believe
was for her to be safe and bold. For even the pride of Sally Wimple,
overdone, could become arrogance; even her disinterestedness,
intemperately indulged in, could take on the form of selfishness.

Simon went to Sally, and said: "Tell me what all this means." But
Sally, weak now in her very strength, said: "Nothing! Let my ways be
my own ways still; I alone am answerable for them. Is 'believing and
waiting' so hard to do? I did not send for you."

Then Simon conceived a tremendous _coup de coeur_, a daring one
enough, as women go,--women of such stuff as the Sally Wimples of
this world are made of. He said, "I will try the old trick, the
foolish old trick that I always despised, but which must have
something sound in it, after all, since it has served the turn,
through all time, of people in my predicament." So Simon went over
(not with his heart,--trust him!--but with his legs) to Adelaide
Splurge. Miss Wimple, never guessing, saw him go, and made no sign,
though her heart fairly cracked: "He will return one day," she
thought; "if it be too late then, so much the better for him, perhaps."

Of Adelaide, the town had begun, some time since, to say, that she
had tired of Philip Withers,--that she did not appreciate him, could
not understand him,--he was too deep for her. Foolish town! She had
only found him out, and learned to hate him as fiercely as she
despised him unutterably. She had truly loved the man, and her shrewd
heart had played the detective for his Madeline secret.

For such a Fouché a slighter clue would have sufficed to lead to the
conviction of so besotted a traitor, than many an incautious hint of
his, and many a tale-telling vaunt of his irresistible egotism,
afforded her; for, like all the weak wretches of his sort, there was
not a more bungling lout, to try the patience of a clever man, than
Philip Withers, when his game lay between his safety and his vanity.

To Adelaide's hand Simon Blount came timely and well-trained. At once
she set him on Withers, as one would hie on a good dog at a thief;
and it was not long before she had the pleasure of seeing the chase
brought to the ground.

Withers had heard of a graceful neck, and white, dimpled shoulders,
at the Athenæum; so accomplished a connoisseur as he must not let
them pass unappreciated. So he hastened to discharge his duty to
æsthetic society by honoring them with his admiration and exalting
patronage. On any transparent pretext,--the more transparent the
better, he thought, for the proprietress of the white shoulders and
the bewitching shape, who "no doubt understood,"--he dropped in
often at the little bookstore, to begin with a "how-do?" and
conclude with an "_au revoir_,"--the ineffable puppy! upon whose
vicious vanity the cold, still, statuesque scorn of Miss Wimple was
grandly lost. At last, at the Splurge house one evening, in the
presence of Adelaide and Simon, he was betrayed by his egotism into
boasting, by insinuation, of certain successes at the Circulating
Library most damaging to Miss Wimple's reputation for understanding
and good taste; he was "in her books," he said.

An accordant glance passed between Adelaide and Simon. When Withers
retired, Simon followed him, and under Adelaide's window, and under
her eyes, he boxed the ears of Philip, the Debonair. After that,
Mr. Withers was discreeter.

But Miss Wimple's trial was not yet at its worst. The low-necked
dress had been as unseasonable as the substitution of the hooped
skirt for the quilted petticoat was imprudent. Before Madeline had
been gone a week, she contracted, as was to be feared, a heavy cold,
which within a month assumed a chronic bronchial form, attended with
alarming symptoms. The extreme dejection of spirits, consequent upon
her persecuted loneliness, had predisposed her to disease in the
first place, and aggravated its character when it came.

At last she fell dangerously ill, and with the closing of the
shop--for she could hire no one to attend in it--came poverty in its
most dreadful form. But for the charity of her kind physician, who
sent a servant-girl, a mere child, to nurse her, and daily kept her
supplied with proper nourishment from his own house, she would, so
it seemed to her, have died of neglect and starvation. Yet better,
she thought, to depart even so, than linger on, when such lingering
taxed the patience and the faith beyond the loftiest examples of
religion. Miss Wimple was too stout-hearted to cry for death, though
she felt, that, having lived with heroism, she could at least die
with presence of mind. She waited, with a composure that had a
strange quality of pride.

In her New York home, Mrs. Morris, the governess, was as happy as
she dared to feel. In Mr. Osgood's family she had found all things
as Miss Wimple had promised. Treated with studious deference and
consideration, not unmixed with affection, she enjoyed for her
secret thoughts the most privileged privacy. Her brave gratitude was
superior to the distress a weaker woman might have suffered from the
necessity of making Mr. Osgood unreservedly acquainted with her story,
in order to enlist his aid to procure tidings of Miss Wimple, whose
safety, health, and happiness were now far dearer to her than her own.

She did tell him all, and had reason to thank God for the courage
that made it a possible, even an easy, thing for her to do. Her
truly noble benefactor and protector, receiving her communication as
if he then heard it for the first time, assured her that in thus
confiding in the freedom of his mind, and in his honor, she had set
up a new and stronger claim to his interest and friendly care. She
had but enlarged his obligation to his until then unknown
correspondent for having given his children, to whom their governess
had already truly endeared herself, so admirable a teacher, so
precious a friend.

["But why," you will ask, "did not Madeline write to Miss Wimple?"
Because that provident angel had, without explanation, exacted from
her a promise that she would in no case write _first_. In truth,
Miss Wimple foresaw her own various suffering, and sought to spare
Madeline some cruel pangs, and herself the hard trial of disingenuous

And Mr. Osgood would have started at once for Hendrik, where he was
not personally known to any one, to procure tidings of Miss Wimple
and allay the anxiety of Mrs. Morris, had Madeline not found, that
very day, her name in the _Herald's_ list of letters waiting to be
called for in the New York Post-Office. That letter was, indeed, for
Madeline, and its contents were as follows:--

"To Miss MADELINE SPLURGE,--Miss Wimple, of Hendrik, is very ill, and
poor, and friendless. It has been suggested to the writer of this
that you can help her. If you can, and will, there is no time to lose.

The "friend" was Simon Blount. Ever since the Athenæum was closed,
he had hung anxiously about the place, frequently dropping in upon
the neighbors to ask--quite by-the-byishly, and by chance, it seemed
to them--after the health of Miss Wimple; and sometimes he waylaid
the little servant, as she passed to and fro between the bookstore
and the doctor's residence, and plied her with questions. On such
occasions he was sure to make the little maid the depository of certain
silver secrets, which forthwith she revealed to Miss Wimple in the
shape of whole basketfuls of comfortable stuff, "from the Doctor."
Adelaide had given the hint for this letter. Calling at the Athenæum
one day, about a fortnight after Madeline's departure, her quick eye
caught sight of a bit of paper lying on the counter, whereon was
freshly written, "Madeline Splurge." Miss Wimple had been entering
some trifling charge in the course of her small book-keeping, and,
still dallying with the pen, a passing thought, less idle than
anxious, had traced the name. On that slight foundation Adelaide had
built a happy guess, though Simon knew it not,--and though he
accepted her suggestion, it amazed him.

Let us lift the curtain now, on the last, an extraordinary, _tableau_.
In the Wimple nest a strange company are met at the bidding of
Madeline Splurge, who couches a flashing lance for the life and the
honor of her benefactress.

Proudly, condescendingly, haughtily superior to the least sparing of
herself,--as one who stooped at the bidding of Duty,--she had told
her story, from first to last, omitting nothing; with head erect,
pale lips, and flashing eyes,--with a passing flush, perhaps, at the
more shameful passages, but with no faltering, no dodging, no
self-excusing, no beseeching,--scornfully when she spoke of home, and
the beginning of the end,--redly, hatefully, wickedly dangerous,
when Philip Withers came on the scene,--with tremulous lips and the
low tones of Gratitude's most moving eloquence for the story of
Miss Wimple and her sublimely simple sacrifice,--modestly and with
grateful deference, at the mention of Mr. Osgood and his rare

Then, taking from her bosom a small morocco pocket-book, and from
the pocket-book a card, she said,--

"And now to toss that _thing_ to the geese of Hendrik! Read that,
slowly, distinctly, that all may hear!"--and she placed the card in
Simon's hand, who ran his eye over it for a moment, then stood up,
and read:--

"MADELINE,--For God's sake be merciful, be reasonable! I will comply
with your hardest terms,--I will share all I possess with you,
[Adelaide smiled,]--I will even marry you after a time; but do not,
I implore you, in your recklessness, involve me in your unnecessary
ruin; do not fling me under the playful feet of that ingenious shrew
Adelaide. Meet me at the bridge tonight, in memory of our dear old


When Simon had read the card, he let it fall on the floor, with a
gesture of disgust, and, without looking at Withers, who slunk,
pitifully wilted, into a corner, returned to his place on a low stool,
where he resumed his former attitude, holding the hand of Sally
Wimple, who now, with closed eyes, reclined on Madeline's bosom,
--that bosom that was, for her weariness, the type of the complete
rest that crowns and blesses a brave struggle,--of that
all-for-the-best-ness that comes of the heart's clearings-up. Only
Adelaide broke the silence; with her gaze fixed full on Withers, and
a triumphant sneer crowning her happy lips, she uttered one word by
way of chorus,--"Joseph!"

At that word a faint flush flitted athwart the cheeks of Madeline,
and she moved as if uneasy; but she did not speak again, nor turn
her eyes to any face but Miss Wimple's.

Josephine Splurge was there; but, perceiving no opening that she
could fill to advantage with a delightful quotation, and having no
pickle at hand whereto she might give all her mind, she supported a
graceful silence with back hair and an attitude.

Mrs. Splurge was there,--and that was all. Not clearly understanding what
she was called upon to say or do under the circumstances, nor prepared
to take the responsibility of saying or doing anything without being
called upon, she said and did nothing at all. Mrs. Splurge, who had had
some experience in that wise, had never been of so little consequence

Near the head of the bed, his looks directed toward Miss Wimple with
an expression of benevolent solicitude, sat a gentleman of middle age,
rather handsome, his hair inclined to gray, his attire fine, but
studiously simple.

"Mrs. Morris," he said, "may I be permitted to speak a word here?"

"Surely, Mr. Osgood."

"Then, ladies and gentlemen, since doubtless we understand each
other by this time, I think it advisable that we retire, and leave
Miss Wimple to much-needed repose."

All arose and passed out, Mrs. Splurge leading the way, Mr. Osgood
holding the door. Last of all, and with a pitiful shyness, as if
dodging some fresh discomfiture and exposure, came Philip Withers.

"The door is at your service, Sir," said Mr. Osgood, as he passed;
"to be sure, the window were more appropriate for your passage; but
to attach importance to your existence by suddenly endangering it is
an honor I am not prepared to pay you."

Madeline remained with Miss Wimple.

Now Miss Wimple is Simon Blount's wife, and they live with his mother.
The debt of the Athenæum is paid.

Adelaide abides at the Splurge house,--a reserved, bitter,
forbidding woman.

Mrs. Splurge still lives; but that is of as little consequence as

I assert it for an astonishing fact,--Philip Withers married
Josephine! Truly, the ways of Providence are as just as they are
inscrutable. The meanness of Withers, mated to the selfish, helpless,
peevish stupidity of Josephine, made an ingenious retribution.

When I was at the opera, a few nights since, I saw in a private box
a benevolent-looking gentleman of middle age, evidently well-born
and accustomed to wealth. He was accompanied by a lady in elegant
mourning,--a lady of decided beauty and distinguished appearance.

Miss Flora McFlimsey was there:--"That," said she, "is Mrs. Morris,
of Fourteenth Street,--a mysterious governess in the family of
Mr. Osgood; and the gentleman is Mr. Osgood."


  What dost thou here, pale chemist, with thy brow
  Knotted with pains of thought, nigh hump-backed o'er
  Thy alembics and thy stills? These garden-flowers,
  Whose perfumes spice the balmy summer-air,
  Teach us as well as thee. Thou dost condense
  Healthy aromas into poison-drops,
  Narcotic drugs of dangerous strength and power,--
  And wines of paradise to thee become
  Intoxicating essences of hell.
  Cold crystallizer of the warm heaven's gold!
  Thou rigorous analyst! thou subtile brain!
  Gathering thought's sunshine to a focus heat
  That blinds and burns and maddens! What, my friend!
  Are we, then, salamanders? Do we live
  A charmèd life? Do gases feed like air?
  Pray you, pack up your crucibles and go!
  Your statements are too awfully abstract;
  Your logic strikes too near our warm tap-roots:
  We shall breathe freer in our natural air
  Of common sense. What are your gallipots
  And Latin labels to this fresh bouquet?--
  Friend, 'tis a pure June morning. Ask the bees,
  The butterflies, the birds, the little girls.
  We are after flowers. You are after--what?
  Aconite, hellebore, pulsatilla, rheum.
  Take them and go! and take your burning lens!
  We dare not bask in the sun's genial beams
  Drawn to that spear-like point. Truth comes and goes,
  Life-giving in diffusion. Nature flows, extends,
  And veils us with herself,--herself God's veil.
  But you persist in opening your bladders,
  And the three gases that compose the air
  You bid us take a breath of, one by one.
  For Mother Nature you should have respect:
  She does not like these teasings and these jokes.
  Philosopher you seem; you'd state all fair;
  You would go deep and broad. You're right; but then
  Forget not there's an outer to your inner,--
  A whole that binds your parts,--a truth for man
  As well as chemist,--and your lecture-room,
  With magic vials and quaint essences
  And odors strange, may teach your students less
  Than this June morning, with the sun and flowers.


The biography before us is so voluminous that it can hardly maintain
the popularity to which its subject entitles it. He must be a bold
man, and to some degree forgetful of the brevity of life, who, for
any ordinary purpose of information or amusement, undertakes to read
these huge octavos. True, the theme is somewhat extended;
Jefferson's life was a protracted and busy one; he took a leading
part in complicated transactions, and promulgated doctrines which
cannot be summarily discussed. But the author's prolixity has not
grown out of the extent of his theme alone. He is both diffuse and
digressive. He introduces much irrelevant matter, and tells
everything in a round-about-way. By a judicious exercise of the arts
of elimination and compression, we think that all which illustrates
the subject might have been comprised in one volume much smaller
than the smallest of these.

But Mr. Randall's most serious fault arises from his desire to be
thought a fine writer. Without making long extracts, it is
impossible to give any conception of the absurdities into which this
childish ambition has led him. The tropes and metaphors, the tawdry
tinsel, the common tricks of feeble rhetoricians are reproduced here
as if they were the highest results of rhetorical art. The display is
often amusing. Thus, in describing Mrs. John Adams, Mr. Randall says:
"Her lofty lineaments carried a trace of the Puritan severity. They
were those of the helmed Minerva, and not of the cestus-girdled Venus."
We do not mention this in order to justify a strain of captious
criticism, but to ask Mr. Randall, in all seriousness, how it was
possible for him to associate a staid and sensible New England
matron with Venus and Minerva? What would he say of a writer who
should gravely tell us that Washington's features were those of the
cloud-compelling Jupiter, not of Mars, slayer of men,--and that
Franklin's countenance resembled that of the wily Ulysses, not that
of the far-ruling Agamemnon? We might fill this paper with passages
like the one we have quoted. What is the use of this kind of writing?
It does not convey any meaning; there is no beauty in it; it
increases the size and price of books; it corrupts the taste of the
young, is offensive to persons of good sense, and mortifying to
those who take pride in the literary reputation of their country. It
is the bane of our literature. Many of our prose-writers constantly
put language upon paper the use of which in ordinary life would be
received by a court as evidence of insanity. If they do so for
display, they take the readiest course to defeat their purpose. There
is nothing so fascinating as simplicity and earnestness. A writer
who has an object, and goes right on to accomplish it, will compel
the attention of his readers. But it seems, that in art, as well as
in morals and politics, the plainest truths are the last to be

We make these strictures with reluctance. This biography, in many
respects, is valuable, and Mr. Randall might easily have made it
interesting. He had a subject worthy of any pen, and an abundance of
new material. He does not lack skill. His unstudied passages, though
never elegant, are well enough. He is industrious. Though we must
dissent from some of his conclusions, he is entitled to the praise
of being accurate, and is free from prejudice,--except that amiable
prejudice which has been well called the _lues Boswelliana_.[1]
His delineations of famous personages, though marked by the faults of
which we have spoken, show quite unusual perception of character. He
has a thorough appreciation of Jefferson's noblest characteristics,
and an honorable sympathy with the philosophy of which Jefferson was
a teacher.

[Footnote 1: _The Life of Thomas Jefferson_. By HENRY S. RANDALL, LL.
D. In three volumes. New York: Derby & Jackson. 1858.]

With resources and qualifications like these, he might have produced
a biography which the country would have received with gratitude,
and which would have conferred an enviable reputation upon him; as
it is, through his neglect of a few wholesome rules which he must
have learned when a school-boy, the years of labor he has spent over
this book will go for nothing, and the hopes he has built upon it
will be disappointed.

There is much conflict of opinion as to the character of Jefferson,
and the value of his services. We doubt whether there is another
person in our history, as to whom there still exists so strong a
feeling of dislike on the one hand, and of admiration on the other.
By some he is regarded as a theorist and a demagogue, who, for
selfish purposes, opposed the purest patriots, and disseminated
doctrines which will pervert our institutions and destroy our social
fabric; by others he is revered as the philosopher who first
asserted the rights of man, and the statesman who first defined the
functions of our government and demonstrated the principles upon
which it should he administered. His detractors and admirers both
bear witness to the extent and permanency of his influence. He saw
all the phases of our national life. He assisted in the struggle for
liberty, and in the contest which gave form to that liberty,--while
it was his happy fortune to inaugurate the system by which, with
occasional deviations, the republic, for more than fifty years, has
been governed. He heard the discussion of the Stamp Act, and the
debate on the admission of Missouri. He shared in the dispute which
the establishment of the Constitution produced, and lived to witness
the outbreak of the quarrel which now threatens the existence of the
Constitution. His influence was felt through the whole of this long
period. Nor was it confined to affairs alone. He took part in all
the intellectual action of his countrymen. He was an adept in science,
an ingenious mechanic, and a contributor to literature. He stimulated
adventure, and was the judicious patron of architecture and the fine
arts. More than any man of his day, to the labors of a practical
statesman he brought a mind disciplined by a liberal philosophy; and
he adorned the most exalted stations with the graceful fame of
learning and polite accomplishments. It is impossible for us to
touch every point of his great career. It is difficult to dwell upon
a single point without being seduced into a discussion too extended
for these pages. We may, however, be permitted, in a rapid manner,
to present Mr. Jefferson in some of those relations which seem to us
to throw the strongest light upon his character and teachings.

Peter Jefferson, the father of Thomas, was a notable man. His
parents were poor, and in early life he went into the backwoods of
Virginia as a surveyor. He is described as a person of great stature
and strength. His mind was equally robust. He was a natural
mathematician, and was remarkable for hardihood and perseverance.
His temper was equable, but his passions were strong and his anger
terrible. In youth his education had been neglected; but, by the
wise employment of his leisure, he obtained considerable reputation
for learning throughout the rude region where he lived. This huge
man, with gigantic strength and fierce passions, is said to have
been endowed with tender sympathies, and to have had a scholar's love
for Shakspeare and Addison.

Social distinctions were strictly observed at that day, but Peter
Jefferson broke through them and married a daughter of the Randolph

Thomas, the third child and oldest son of this marriage, was born at
Shadwell, his father's estate, on the 2d of April, 1743. The
characteristics of the sire descended to the son, the physical
attributes in milder, and the intellectual in more active forms.
Like many men of his class, Peter Jefferson had perhaps an undue
sense of the obstacles he had encountered through lack of education,
and was careful to provide for that of his children. As soon as
possible, Thomas was sent to school, and when nine years old, under
the tuition of a Scottish clergyman, he was introduced to the study
of Latin, Greek, and French. His father died when he was fourteen
years old, leaving a considerable estate, and particular directions
that Thomas should receive a thorough classical training. The
executor had some doubt as to whether it would be prudent to send
the lad to college in obedience to the paternal request; whereupon
Thomas addressed him in a little argument, which is a curious
exhibition of the proclivities of his mind. In the mathematical
manner which afterwards became common with him, he urged that at
home he would lose one fourth of his time on account of the company
which was attracted by his presence, and that entertaining so many
guests would be a heavier charge upon the estate than the expense of
his residence at Williamsburg.

The young disputant prevailed, and, in 1760, he was sent to William
and Mary College. He remained there two years. His acquirements,
during this time, though probably not so great as Mr. Randall would
have us believe, must have been large. He had equal aptitude for the
classics and mathematics. In the latter his proficiency was
remarkable, and he always retained his taste for it. Though never a
critical classical scholar, he could read Latin with ease. He was
conversant with French, and had some familiarity with Greek. In
later life he studied Anglo-Saxon and Italian. But Jefferson
terminated his collegiate course with a possession far more valuable
than all the learning he could gather in the narrow curriculum of a
colonial college; study had excited in him that eager thirst for
knowledge which is an appetite of the mind almost as unconquerable
as the appetites of the body.

After leaving college, he remained at Williamsburg, and entered the
office of Mr. Wyeth, a leader at the Virginia bar. Williamsburg was
the capital and the centre of the most refined society of the
province. Francis Fauquier was governor. He was an Englishman, of
distinguished family, who had lost a large property in a single
night's play, and had taken the appointment to Virginia to repair
his fortunes. To some of the vices and most of the accomplishments
of a man of the world he added fine talents and many solid
attainments. He was, withal, a skilful musician and a fascinating
conversationist. Mr. Wyeth, and Dr. Small, professor of mathematics
at the college, were in the habit of dining with the governor at
stated times, for the purpose of conversation. Jefferson, though not
yet twenty years old, was admitted to these parties. Fauquier
organized a musical society, and Jefferson, who played upon the
violin, belonged to this likewise. In these associations, the young
student acquired the easy courtesy and conversational art which
afterwards greatly contributed to his success, and distinguished him
even among the gentlemen of Paris.

His life, between twenty and thirty, was judiciously employed. A
closer student could hardly have been found at Edinburgh or
Heidelberg. He pursued his profession persistently, and, in addition,
made incursions into the fields of _belles-lettres_ and political
and physical science. He early conceived a prejudice against
metaphysical speculation, which was never removed. We cannot believe
that his partiality for romance was much greater. He undoubtedly had
that appreciation of the value of this department of letters which
every man of sense has, and included it within the circle of his
reading because it contains much desirable knowledge. The severest
criticism which can be made upon his taste for poetry is conveyed by
the statement, that, when young, he admired Ossian, and, when old,
admired Moore.

His summers were spent at Shadwell. The responsible charge of a
large estate rested upon him, and he introduced into his affairs and
studies the extraordinary system which, through life, he carried
into all matters, great or small. He commenced keeping a garden-book,
which, with interruptions caused by absence, was continued until he
was eighty-one years old. It contains memoranda of vegetable phenomena,
and statements of all kinds of information, in any way affecting the
economy of horticulture. He likewise kept a farm-book. His accounts
were noted, without the loss of a day, through his entire life, and
every item of personal expense was separately stated. We often find
entries like these: "11 d. paid to the barber,"--"4 d. for whetting
penknife,"--and "1s. put in the church-box." On the 4th of July, 1776,
we find:--"pd. Sparhawk, for a thermometer, £3 15s.--pd. for 7 prs.
women's gloves, 27s.--gave, in charity, 1s. 6d." His meteorological
register informs us, that, at 6 o'clock, A.M., of the same
memorable day, the mercury stood 68° above; at noon, at 76°; and at 9,
P.M., at 73-1/2°. Entries were regularly made in this register,
three times a day. Separate books were kept for special accounts,
like the expenses of the Presidential mansion. In addition, he made
minute records of observation in natural history, and a curious
"Statement of the Vegetable Market of Washington, during a Period of
Eight Years, wherein the Earliest and Latest Appearance of each
Article, within the whole Eight Years, is noted." This table mentions
_thirty-seven_ different articles, and was compiled during his
Presidency. He made a collection of the vocabularies of fifty Indian
languages, and two collocations of those passages in the New
Testament which contain the doctrines of Jesus. One of these,
entitled, "The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth," is an octavo
volume, with a complete index. The texts are written out in Greek,
Latin, French, and English, and placed in parallel columns.

Mr. Randall makes a long argument to defend Jefferson from the common
imputation, that a man who was so fond of detail could not have had
much capacity for higher effort. It was hardly worth while to expose
a delusion which is so apparent, especially in the case of Jefferson.
Men are often seen with great aptitude for the accumulation of facts,
and none for the comprehension of principles. Such men, though never
great, are always useful. But the most useless and unfortunate
organization is that quite common one, where a speculative mind is
found which has not sufficient energy to lay hold of details. These
philosophers, as the foolish call them, are the ingenious contrivers
of the impracticable reforms, the crazy enterprises, and the
numberless panaceas for all human ills, which are constantly urged
upon the public, and which, under the name of progress, are the most
serious obstacles to progress. Both faculties are necessary to one
who undertakes high and useful action. Mr. Jefferson was a
philosopher because he was a constant and accurate observer; he was
correct in his generalizations because he was so in matters of detail.

His career at the bar was short. The acquisition of a science like
the law was an easy task for a mind so ingenious and active as his.
He had no talent as an advocate, but was at once successful in the
more retired and not less difficult departments of the profession.
During seven years' practice, his income averaged three thousand
dollars a year;--a large sum then, and no mean reward at the present

When twenty-nine years old, he married Mrs. Martha Skelton, a young
and childless widow, of great beauty. In relation to this affair
a pleasant anecdote is told. Mr. Jefferson had a number of rivals.
Two of these gentlemen met, one evening, in the drawing-room of
Mrs. Skelton's house. While waiting for her to enter, they heard her
singing in an adjoining room, and Jefferson playing an accompaniment
upon the violin. There was something in the burden of the air, and
in the expression with which the performers rendered it, which
conveyed unpleasant suggestions; and the two suitors, after
listening awhile, departed without seeing the lady. The inevitable
account-book mentions the sums paid to the clergyman, fiddlers, and
servants, on the occasion of the marriage.

His wife's fortune, as he informs us, doubled his own, and placed
him in a position of pecuniary independence. He soon abandoned his
profession, and thenceforward his career was a public one. He
entered political life at the time when it first became evident that
a war with England must occur, and threw himself into the extreme
party. He was admirably fitted for success in a legislative body.
His talents were deliberative, rather than executive. He had no power
in debate, but he possessed qualities which we believe are more
uniformly influential in a public assemblage,--tact, industry, a
conciliatory disposition, and systematic habits of thought. He was
always familiar with the details of legislation. The majority of the
members of a legislature can seldom know much about its business.
Those questions which excite popular attention and become party
tests are inquired into; but most matters attract no attention and
are not party tests. Only a few men of great industry and rare
powers are familiar with these. In the British House of Commons, it
is said, there are not more than thirty or forty such members. In
either branch of our Congress the proportion is no larger. It is a
great power to know that which others find it necessary to know; and
if to this information one adds good judgment and a persuasive
intellect, his influence will be almost unbounded. Young as he was,
no one could approach Jefferson without seeing that he had read and
thought much. While most of his comrades in Virginia had been
wasting their youth in horse-racing and cock-fighting, he had been an
enthusiastic student of books and Nature. Upon all subjects likely
to excite inquiry his knowledge was full and precise, and his
opinions those of a sagacious and philosophic mind. His manners were
attractive; he never engaged in dispute; he expressed himself freely
to those who sought his society for information or an intelligent
comparison of opinion; but his lips were closed in the presence of a
disputant. The patience with which he listened to others, and the
modest candor with which he expressed himself, usually disarmed the
contentions; when they did not, he went no farther. If his views
were false, he did not wish them to prevail; if they were true, he
felt certain that sooner or later they would prevail. A temperament
like this might have placed a less firm man under the imputation of
disingenuousness; but such an imputation could not rest upon him. No
one was in doubt as to his opinions. He generally anticipated inquiry,
and selected his ground before others saw that action would be
necessary. There were capable lawyers and men of wide experience in
our Revolutionary legislatures, but there was no one whose influence
was more powerful and felt upon a greater variety of subjects than
that of Jefferson.

He might, however, have possessed all of these characteristics, and
enjoyed the consideration among his fellow-legislators which they
confer, without being well known to the public, if he had not united
to them the ability to write elegant and forcible English. The
circumstances of the time made literary talents unusually valuable.
The daily press has driven the essayist out of the political field.
But for several generations elaborate disquisitions upon politics
had been usual in England; in this regard pamphlets then occupied
the place of our newspapers. Bolingbroke, Swift, Johnson, and Burke,
all the serious and some of the gay writers, acquired repute by this
kind of effort. Neither were the speeches of leading men circulated
then as at present. At the time of the Revolution, an oration never
reached those who did not hear it. This gave a great advantage to
the writer. The pamphlets of Otis and Thomas Paine were read by
multitudes who never heard a word of the eloquence of Henry and Adams.
A high standard of taste had been created, and success in political
dissertation was difficult, but, when obtained, it was of
proportionate value, and the source of wide and permanent influence.
Jefferson found a function requiring much the same talents with that
of the pamphleteer, but possessing some advantages over it. The only
means which the Continental Congress and the colonial legislatures
had of communicating with their constituents and the mother country
was by formal addresses. These documents were arguments upon public
questions, possessing the force which an argument always has when it
is the expression of great numbers of minds. An audience was certain.
At home they were sure to be read, and in England they attracted the
attention of every one connected with affairs. Jefferson's literary
talents were soon discovered. One successful performance in the
Virginia House of Delegates established a reputation which the
Declaration of Independence has made immortal.

In every point of view, Jefferson is entitled to a high place in
American literature. As a mere rhetorician, he has few equals; as a
political writer, not more than two or three. An adherence to
logical forms and the use of mathematical illustrations are his most
noticeable faults. But they are not found in his more elaborate
performances. He has the supreme merit of perfect clearness,
naturalness, and grace of expression. Though never eloquent, he
sometimes rises to an earnest and dignified declamation. Not
infrequently he has achieved the highest success, and clothed
valuable thought in language so appropriate, that the phrases have
passed into the national vocabulary and become popular catchwords.
His first inaugural address contains more of those expressions which
are daily heard in our political discussions than any other American
composition. There has been some speculation as to how it was
possible for a gentleman, with no other discipline than that afforded
by a colonial establishment, to obtain a mastery over so difficult
an art. There is little reason for surprise. Jefferson's training
had been good; he was familiar with the best models; above all,
Nature had given him the qualities which, with the requisite
knowledge, insure literary success,--good sense, good taste, and an
ear sensitive to the melody of prose.

We do not propose to follow Jefferson throughout his political career.
As to his Revolutionary services there is little difference of
opinion. His course during the administrations of Washington and
Adams has given occasion to most of the criticism which he has
encountered. We will direct our attention chiefly to that period of
his life. He appeared then as the leader of a party which was intent
upon carrying certain principles into operation, and for a
comprehension of his conduct an examination of those principles is

Mr. Randall would have done a good service, if he had made a brief
analysis of Jefferson's political system. It affords a fine theme
and is much needed, because Jefferson himself left no systematic
exposition of his doctrines. They must be sought for through a large
number of state papers and a voluminous correspondence. Like all
public men, he has been misrepresented both by opponents and
adherents. There is a vague impression abroad that he enunciated
certain liberal theories, that he was an ardent philanthropist, and
that his opinions were those which have prevailed among the modern
French philosophers; but the boundaries of his system do not seem to
be well defined in the public mind. His theory of politics may, with
sufficient accuracy, be said to be embraced in the following
propositions:--First. All men are politically equal. Second. A
representative government upon the basis of universal suffrage is
the direct result of that equality, and the surest means of
preserving it. Third. The sphere of government is limited, and its
action must be confined to that sphere.

The first proposition is contained in the statement which occurs in
the Declaration of Independence, "that all men are created equal."
This remark has been severely criticized, and we think there has
been much confusion as to its meaning. Jefferson could not have
intended to say that all men are equal in the sense of being alike.
Such an assertion would be absurd. Undoubtedly he recognized, as
every one must, the infinite diversity and disparity of intellectual
and physical qualities. He was speaking of man in his social relations,
and in the same sentence he qualified the general assertion by
particularizing the respects as to which the quality exists,--saying,
that men "are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights;
that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
The equality of which he spoke does not consist in equal endowments,
but in equal rights,--in the right of each man to the enjoyment of his
individual gifts, whatever they may be.

The proposition, that a representative government upon the basis of
universal suffrage is the direct result of man's equality and the
surest means of preserving it, opens a wide field for discussion,
into which we will not enter. It is not peculiar to Jefferson. We
must, however, remark, that he did not hold the extreme opinions
upon this subject which have been attributed to him. He thought that
popular institutions could be established, and the elective
franchise safely made universal, only in an intelligent and virtuous
community. In France he advised La Fayette and Barnave to be
contented with a constitutional monarchy. When the South American
States rebelled, and Clay and many other statesmen were enraptured
with the prospect of a Continent of Republics, Jefferson declared
that they were not prepared for republican governments, and could not
maintain them. At the same time, he was very far from thinking, as
some of our modern writers do, that men can become fit for freedom
by remaining slaves.

The third proposition, that the sphere of government is limited and
its action should be confined to that sphere, is the one to the
illustration of which Mr. Jefferson specially devoted himself. Upon
his services in this respect rest his claims to consideration as a
political philosopher.

It has been the custom to think that the government was the only
source of honor; it is still looked upon as the source of the
highest honor. By barbarians the monarch is deified. In many
civilized countries of our own time kings are said to rule by
special favor of the Deity; no one stands erect, no loud word is
spoken in their presence; and, indeed, everywhere they are
approached with a reverence so great that more could hardly be shown
to God himself. This homage is not given on account of eminent
personal attributes. These persons are well understood to be often
mean in mind and meaner in morals. The same feeling is shown towards
other high officials. To be in the public service is eagerly coveted;
such employment attracts the finest minds, and is most munificently
rewarded. It is so in this country. We are accustomed to confer upon
official characters honors which we would refuse to a Shakspeare or
a Newton. Yet it is well known, that, while the comprehension and
elucidation of the great laws which govern society are a labor which
will task the strength of the strongest, in ordinary times affairs
may be, and generally are, quite acceptably administered by men of
no marked intellectual superiority. It is not necessary to say that
the sentiment must be wrong which leads us to such strange errors,
--which obliterates the broadest distinctions, and persuades us to
give to feebleness and vice rewards which should be given to genius
and virtue alone.

For the wisest purposes, the Creator has planted within us an
instinctive disposition to revere the illustrious of our kind. To
win that admiration is the most powerful incentive to action,--it is
the ardent desire of passionate natures. The sweet incense of
popular applause is more delicious than wine to the senses of man.
Deservedly obtained, it heals every wound, and soothes all pain; nay,
the mere hope of it will steel him against every danger, and sustain
him amidst disease, penury, neglect, and oppression. To bestow this
reverence is a pleasure hardly less exquisite. While we commune with
the intellects and contemplate the virtues of the great, some portion
of their exceeding light descends upon us, their aspiring spirits
enter our breasts and raise us to higher levels. But to yield our
homage to those who do not deserve it is to pervert a pure and noble
instinct. We cannot worship the degraded, except by sinking to lower
depths of degradation.

When one considers that the admitted functions of government have
been almost without limit, this mistaken sentiment is not to be
wondered at. Why should not they who are able to provide for every
want of the body or soul be revered as Superior beings? Governments
have established creeds, and set bounds to science; they have been
the censors of literature, and held men in slavery; they have told
the citizen how many meals to eat, how many prayers to say, how to
wear his beard, and in what manner to educate his children; there is
no action so trivial, no concern so important, nor any sentiment so
secret, that the governing power has not interfered with and sought
to control it. This system has invariably failed; constantly coming
in contact with each man's sense of individuality, it has been the
prolific source of revolutions, despotisms, the ruin of states, the
extirpation of races,--and in its mildest forms, where life has been
preserved, everything which makes life desirable has been destroyed.
In most countries this system still exists to a great degree, nor is
there any country whence it is entirely eradicated.

Seeing the constant and uniform occurrence of these evils, Mr.
Jefferson was led to believe that they were not caused by a
remediable imperfection in the existing system, but by radical
defects. He concluded that they were produced by an attempt on the
part of government to do what it could not,--that the power of
government was limited by absolute and inherent laws, like those
which limit the strength of man,--and that there were certain
functions belonging to government, in going beyond which it not only
failed of its purpose, but did positive harm. In this view, the
definition of these functions becomes a task of great difficulty and
involves the whole science of politics. We cannot follow his entire
line of argument, and without detail there is danger that our
statement will not be sufficiently qualified. His general theory,
however, is simple, and is drawn from his first proposition as to
the equal rights of man. He held that the object of society is the
preservation of these great rights. Since experience teaches us, that,
however incompetent we may be to decide upon the interests of others,
we are able to regulate our own, this social purpose will be best
accomplished by leaving to each one all the liberty consistent with
the general safety. Security, being the only common object, should
be the sole duty of the common agent. The government being confined
to the performance of this negative duty, it must not exercise its
power except when necessary. The inquiry, Is it necessary? not, Is
it advantageous? is the test to be applied to every measure. The
rigid application of this rule excludes the state from any
interference with commerce and industry,--from all matters of
religion and opinion,--and limits its financial operations to
providing in the most direct manner for its own support. But it is
to be noticed, that it is consistent with this scheme, and indeed
the fruit of it, that, in the sphere which it does occupy, the
government should be absolute.

Mr. Jefferson formed the governmental machinery in strict accordance
with this principle. As many measures are necessary for one portion
of a community and not for another, he insisted that local affairs
should be placed in the hands of local authorities. The integrity of
his system depends not only upon the limitation of the governing
power, in a general sense, but as well upon the division and
dispersion of it.

The principal exception which Jefferson made was in respect of
education. But, according to his view, this can hardly be regarded
as an exception. The general safety depends so directly upon that
recognition of mutual rights which is not to be found except among
intelligent men, that he advised the establishment, not only of
common schools, but likewise of colleges and schools of Art.

To those who objected, that this system would limit the action and
decrease the splendor of a nation, Jefferson replied, that its
effects were quite the reverse. In proportion as a government
assumes the duties which ought to be performed by the citizen, it
acts as a check upon individual and national development. Under a
despotism, culture must be confined to a few, nor can there be much
variety of effort and production. Under a government which is
confined to its proper field, the talents of each man may be freely
used, and he will not be forced into relations for which he is
unsuited. The absurd prejudice, that public employment is the most
honorable, will pass away. The man of letters and the man of science,
the poet, the artist, and the inventor, the financier, the navigator,
the merchant, every one who performs beneficial service and displays
great qualities, will be rewarded. Every one who is conscious that
he possesses such qualities will be stimulated to strive for that
reward. This universal action will give birth to all the things which
adorn a state. Social disturbances will excite investigation, and
evils which governments have never been able to reach may be removed.
Competition will make the accumulation of large estates difficult,
property will be equalized, but no motive to effort destroyed.
Science will be encouraged. Every day will add to the number of
those contrivances which facilitate labor, increase production,
lessen distance, and raise man from the degradation of an existence
wholly occupied with providing for his physical wants. Under these
elastic laws, religion, philanthropy, art, learning, the social
amenities, the domestic influences, all humanizing agents, will have
opportunity and work harmoniously for the advancement of the race.

It will be seen that Mr. Jefferson's political system was that which,
in the language of the modern schools, is called individual theory.
It has been said, that it is based upon too favorable an estimate of
human character, and that he obtained it from the French philosophers.

It seems to us that the reproach of Utopian opinions may more justly
be thrown upon his opponents. The latter do not escape the evil from
which they fly. They proceed upon the belief that man is unfit for
self-government; but since every government is one of men, if he
cannot control himself, how shall he rule over others? Whatever may
be said about the superiority of men of genius, it is certain that
there never has existed an intellect capable of providing for all the
minute and varying necessities of each individual among many millions.
The history of legislation shows that the best-disciplined minds
find it difficult to devise a single statute affecting a single
interest which will be precise in its terms and equal in its
operation. These railers at the majority of their kind seem to expect
in the minority a greater than human perfection. Mr. Jefferson
proceeded upon a mere moderate estimate of the abilities, and a more
just appreciation of the weakness of men. It is _because_ we are
easily led astray and blinded by passion, that he thought us unfit
to govern others, and that we should limit our efforts to
self-government. His confidence in man was no greater than that
which is the foundation of Christianity. The whole Christian scheme
is one of the broadest democracy. The most important truths are
there submitted to the general judgment and conscience of mankind,
with no other recommendation than their value and the force of the
evidence by which they are attested. Can it be said that we are not
fit to decide upon a tax, yet are fit to decide our fate for all the
mysterious future? If Jefferson was an enthusiast, every clergyman
who calls his bearers to repentance must be mad. He did have confidence
in his fellows,--he did believe that we are not helpless slaves of sin,
that the evils which afflict us are not inevitable,--and that we have
power to lead lives of justice and virtue. Who will accuse him because
of this confidence?

The charge of French principles originated in a political contest.
It was true in the narrow application which it had at first, but
false in that which was afterwards given to it. There is a marked
distinction between him and the politicians of France. Rousseau,
perhaps the ablest, certainly the most popular, of those who
preceded the Revolution, is an example. The _Contrat Social_
constantly carries the idea, that the government is the seat of all
power and the source of all national action. No suggestion is made,
that there are individual functions with which the state cannot
interfere to advantage. The same opinions prevailed among the
Encyclopedists and Economists, they were announced by the Gironde
and the Mountain, and practically carried out by Robespierre and
Barras. The Girondists made cautious approaches towards federalism,
but one looks in vain through the speeches of Vergniaud for an
intimation of individualism. The modern _doctrinaires_ have retained
the same principles. Legitimists, Imperialists, Republicans,
Socialists, and Communists are all in favor of a centralized and
unlimited government. The last two classes wish to exercise the
governing power upon the minutest details of life,--to establish
public baths, shops, theatres, dwellings, to control the amusements
and direct the occupations of the citizen, and to divide his social
status by law. Comte himself, whose general system might be expected
to lead him to a different conclusion, outdoes them all, and proposes
to prescribe creeds, establish fasts, feasts, and forms of worship,
and even to name those who shall receive divine honors. There is no
trace here of that scrupulous regard for personal independence and
that invincible distrust of governmental action which characterized
Jefferson. It is true, he and the Gallic writers agreed upon certain
fundamental propositions; but they were peculiar neither to him nor
them. Some of the same principles were announced by Locke and
Beccaria, by Hobbes, who maintained the omnipotence of the state,
and by Grotius, who insisted upon the divine right of kings. To
agree with another upon certain matters does not make one his
disciple. No one mistakes the doctrines of Paul for those of Mohammed,
because both taught the immortality of the soul. To confound
Jefferson with Rousseau or Condorcet is about as reasonable as to
confound Luther with Loyola, or Ricardo with Jeremy Bentham.

Although we deny that Jefferson was indebted to France for his
political system, it cannot be claimed that he was the author of it.
He himself used to assert, that the scheme of a limited and
decentralized government was produced by the events which caused the
settlement of the country and the subsequent union of the colonies.
The emigration to America was stimulated by the great Protestant and
Catholic dispute which occupied Europe nearly two centuries, and
during which time the original thirteen colonies were founded. The
sentiment of religious freedom was the active principle of all the
alliances, wars, intrigues, and adventures of that stormy period.
The rights of conscience were maintained, in defiance of the rack and
the stake. They were stubbornly asserted in regard to the smallest
matters. Lines of separation, so fine as hardly to be perceptible,
were defended to the last. The Catholic was not more irreconcilably
opposed to the Protestant, than the Lutheran to the Quaker, or the
Puritan to the Baptist. Men who differed merely about the meaning of
a single passage of Scripture thought each other unfit to sit at the
same table. The immigrants were exiles. By the conditions under
which they acted, as being from the defeated party, and as being
among those whom defeat did not subdue, they must have had the
enthusiasm of their time in its most earnest form. Each man came
here intent upon his right to worship God in his own way. _That_ he
could never forget. It had been impressed upon him by everything which
can affect the understanding or touch the heart of man,--by the memory
of success and defeat,--by his own sufferings and the martyrdom of
his brethren,--by Bunyan's fable and by Milton's song.

But they did not lack bigotry. They were as ready to persecute those
who differed with them here as they had been at home. The last and
greatest social truth, that the surest way of protecting our own
liberties is by respecting those of others, was forced upon the
colonists. So general had been the stimulants to emigration, that
every European sect and party was represented in America. Hither
came Calvinists and Lutherans, Cavaliers and Roundheads, Conformists
and Non-Conformists, the precise Quaker and the elegant Huguenot,
those who fled from the tyranny of Louis and those who fled from the
tyranny of Charles, worshippers of the Virgin and men who believed
that to kneel before a crucifix was as idolatrous as to kneel before
the seven-headed idols of Hindostan. These sects and parties were so
equally balanced that toleration became a necessity. Seeing that
they could not oppress, men were led to think oppression wrong, and
toleration was exalted to a virtue. The theocratic spirit which
prevailed at first passed away, and the great principle was
established that governments have nothing to do with religion. It
does not require much penetration to discover that a government
which has unlimited power over the person and property of the
citizen will not long respect the scruples of his conscience.
Religious liberty gave birth to political freedom. The separation of
the settlements from each other, even in the same establishment, made
local provisions necessary for defence, and for the transaction of
local business, and led to the division of the government.

When united action was necessary, the colonies did not attempt to
reconcile their differences; they made a union for those purposes
which were common to all. The general principles which were asserted
during the Revolution were logical necessities of that event. It was
a rebellion against an unjust exercise of power. Why unjust? For no
other reason than because the Americans had an equal right with
Englishmen to govern themselves. But that right must be one which
was common to all men. The rebels knew this. They did not follow
Burke through his labored argument to prove that the measures of the
British ministry were inexpedient. They could not defend their
conduct before the world upon the narrow ground of a violation of the
relations between a dependency and its mother country. Those
relations were not understood, and such a defence would not have
been listened to. They appealed at once to the laws of God, and for
their justification addressed those universal human instincts which
give us our ideas of national and individual freedom. The
declaration that men are created equal excited no surprise _then_.
They believed it without a thought that it had entered the mind of a
fantastic recluse in the retirement of _l'Hermitage_, and, in
obedience to that belief, they severed the ties of tradition and
kindred, exposed their homes and the lives of those whose lives were
dearer to them than their own to the rage of civil war, and placed
all they hoped for and everything they loved upon the perilous
hazard of the sword.

At such a time Jefferson was led to the pursuit of politics. He was
not in the situation of one who, in disgust at the misery which
surrounds him, retires to his study, and, from the impulses of a
kind heart, the dreams of poets, and the speculations of philosophers,
fashions a society in which there is neither envy, anger, ambition,
nor avarice, but where, amid Arcadian joys, all men live in peace
and happiness. He was compelled to think because he had need to act,
--to make real laws for real societies. To do this, he did not
meditate upon human frailty and perfectibility; he did not attempt
to frame institutions carefully graduated to suit the dissimilar
dispositions, faculties, and desires of men. In the spirit with
which he had observed the phenomena of Nature in order to discover
the laws which produced them, he inspected the social phenomena of
his country to learn the laws by which it might be governed. He
studied the processes by which a few hamlets, hastily built upon a
savage shore, had grown into powerful communities,--by which the
heirs to centuries of bitter recollections had been made to forget
the jealousies of race, the enmities of party, the bad hatred of sect,
and united into one brotherhood for the accomplishment of a common
and noble purpose. He took man as he found him, and believed he could
govern himself because he had done so. He endeavored to give
symmetry to the system which was already established. It is not
strange that in this way he arrived at rules of policy, and assisted
to put in operation a government, more perfectly adapted to our wants,
more nicely adjusted to our strength and our weakness, giving freer
opportunity to individual effort, and more firmly establishing
national prosperity, better able to resist sedition or foreign
assault, than any which painful toil has created, or the imaginations
of the benevolent conceived, from the days of Plato to those of

In our next number we shall allude to certain questions, raised by
Mr. Randall's book, connected with the early politics of the country;
and we shall likewise undertake the more pleasing task of describing
the domestic life and the character of Jefferson.

       *       *       *       *       *


Rügen is a small island, and its chief town is named Rügen also.
They are both part of Prussia, as they were in 1807, when Prussia
and France were at war. At that time Herr Grosshet was burgomaster,
and a very important burgomaster, it should be understood,--taking
in proof thereof Herr Grosshet's own opinion on the subject.
According to the same high authority the burgomaster was also
wondrously sharp; and the consequence of the burgomaster's sharpness
was, that an amount of smuggling went on in the town which was
simply audacious. None knew better than the burgomaster that the
smuggling was audacious; scarcely a shopkeeper he knew, but laughed
to his nose; but his dignity was so great, and he had made the
central authority believe so strongly in him, that he could not lay
a complaint; and the consequence of _that_ was, that, though the
townspeople laughed at their mayor, they would not have parted with
him on any account. Not a soul in the town but knew of the smuggling,
--not a soul who, publicly, was in the least aware of that illegality.

Bertha, as she was commonly called, did not positively belong to the
town, but she had lived in it for sixteen years,--at the beginning
of which time a very great commotion was created by her discovery,
at the age of three, sitting staring on the sea-beach.

She was adopted by the town generally; for there were kind hearts in
it,--as most towns have, for that matter; but she was specially
adopted by Frau Klass, who took her home and straightway reared her,
under the name of Bertha,--for the reason that she had once had a
daughter with that name. The new Bertha in time met with a proposal
from a flaxen-haired young sailor named Daniel, who left Rügen the
next day with a considerably lightened heart. When the foundling had
reached nineteen, three things had happened:--Dan had been away three
years, and the town had given him up forever; Bertha's mother was
no more; and Bertha rather found it her duty to submit to be married
to the most odious of his sex, Jodoque by name,--a man who was detested
by no one more heartily than by Bertha herself.

I say Bertha found it her duty to be married, and thus:--Frau Klass
called Jodoque her nephew, and tried to justify a testament in
Bertha's favor by suggesting to her the compensation to her nephew
of marrying him. Thus Frau Klass tried to follow both her inclination
and her duty, and died serenely at a great age,--assuring Bertha
with her last breath that Daniel must be dead, and that Jodoque was
an admirable youth, when known, and not at all poor.

So Bertha came into possession of a little farm and a little house.
_She_ tried to reconcile duty with inclination by suggesting to
Jodoque the propriety of waiting; and he _had_ waited, till he began
to question the probability of his ever entering upon the tenancy of
his late aunt's farm.

But Bertha at last yielded a consent; and the entire town, ever
bearing in mind its universal parentage of Bertha, determined to go
to great lengths of rejoicing on the wedding-day; and the burgomaster,
a fool and a good man, was certainly not indifferent.

I have said France and Prussia were at war at this time; and, indeed,
there were a score of young French prisoners at the fort,--or rather,
nineteen, for one got away the very day before that mentioned as
Bertha's wedding-day. Two hours after his escape he was kissing the
hand of Bertha herself, who had promised him her protection, and
hidden him in Frau Klass's own dark room.

Bertha had served the young Frenchman--who shall be called Max--with
his breakfast, and was sitting in her porch, wondering about a good
many things, when Herr Jodoque arrived. She was thinking how she
should get the prisoner away,--what would be said of her, if found
out,--how decidedly odious Jodoque was,--how handsome the Frenchman
was,--and how she thought he was better-looking even than Daniel,
the sailor who had been away three years.

So Herr Jodoque came up to the door of the little cottage, bringing
with him a basket. Jodoque believed in the burgomaster as a grand man,
and though nobody knew better than Jodoque that he was not very
clever, he rather tried in manner to imitate the important mayor.

It is, and was, the custom in Rügen for the bridegroom to make a
present, in a fancy basket, to the bride; and that the town might
not talk, Jodoque brought _his_ bride a basket, though it was not
particularly large, nor was it particularly heavy.

Here is an inventory of its contents, which, with itself, Jodoque
laid down with considerable effect:--_Imprimis_,--one piece of cloth,
on the use of which Jodoque gave an essay. _Item_,--three cards of
knitting-wool, for mittens. _Item_ and _finis_,--one white rabbit,
the skin of which, Jodoque suggested, would make him a cap.

"Good!" said Bertha;--"Jodoque," she added.

"My angel!"

"You know Madame Kurrig's?"

"At the very other end of the town?"

"Go there!"

"Go there, angel?--why?"

"The silver teapot"--

"_My_ sil--my aunt's silver teapot?"

"Just so,--Madame Kurrig"--

"Has got it?--I go!--My aunt's silver teapot!"

He ran down the little road towards the silver teapot,--for, indeed,
Madame Kurrig did not bear a superior character,--but he had not
proceeded far when he came upon the burgomaster, who was in great
tribulation. Only nineteen prisoners were at the fort, and the
governor had sent down a rather imperative message to the mayor,
who, replying that his loyal town could not conceal a fugitive,
met with such an answer as he had never received before in all his
life. It is a deplorable fact that he and the town were recommended
to go to a place, a visit to which the burgomaster at least hoped he
should not be compelled to make.

The burgomaster was in the habit of asking people's opinions and
never listening to their answers, and he now asked Jodoque what he
was to do. Jodoque suggesting that the mayor could not want advice,
the mayor admitted there was something in that,--but still a word
was a word. Things, in fact, were in a pretty state, for the
burgomaster, now he had to do with the escape of a French prisoner.
And this was the case. The French were off the town, and at that
time the French had the luck to be generally sure in the matter of
victory. Now if the French took the town, and learned that the
burgomaster had taken a Frenchman, (for the burgomaster felt sure he
could recover the runaway, if he chose,) the burgomaster would
perform that _pas seul_ upon the ambient air which is far from a
pleasant feat; while if the French did _not_ take the town, and it
was brought home to him that he had neglected the duties of his
office, he would lose the position of burgomaster and be a degraded

Jodoque sadly wanted to reach Madame Kurrig's, but the burgomaster
sadly wanted help,--though he would not confess it openly;--so he
hooked himself on to Jodoque and uttered this sentence,--"And this
detested smuggler, too!"--The effect of which was, that Jodoque
became utterly pale and trembled violently. This behavior the
burgomaster attributed to his own proper presence, and asked himself,
--Could he survive degradation? No, better the tight-rope performance!
So he made up his mind to recapture the missing Frenchman.

He, meantime, being a blithe, courageous young midshipman, was gayly
chattering with his protectress. There he was laughing at her
good-naturedly as she trembled for his sake, and chattering broken
German as best he could. Wealth is a good thing, and health a better;
but surely high spirited hope is worth more than the philosopher's

"No, Mademoiselle,--I could bear the dark room no longer. Better an
hour in the light of your blue eyes than an age in that dark room!"

"Still--nevertheless--it is dangerous to leave the room. The

"Cannot see all the way here from the town; besides, if he could,
your presence would dazzle him, and I should be safe."

"So you can trust your secret with me,--a woman?"

"I would trust it with two women,--three,--for with every disclosure
there would be a fear the less that I should be found. You cannot
comprehend that,--now consider."

"La! I cannot."

"How good you are! How would they punish you, if they learned the

"Oh, a good heart--I do think I have a good heart--don't weigh this
way and that when there is a good action to be done."

"And done for the sake of a poor stranger."

"Stranger? Nonsense! I meet you,--you are in misfortune; therefore we
are old friends. And an old friend may surely lend a room to her old

"And your name?"

"They call me Bertha."

"And you are single?"

"If you ask me that question an hour hence, I shall say, 'No.'"

"No!--the only harsh word you have used."

"Why harsh?"

"Well, shut up in a dark room, you have your thoughts to yourself;
and you think, and think, and think again; and you always think of
the same thing; and then--then you wake up, and there's an end to
your dream."

"And how do you know I have not dreamt?--The clothes I got for you
fit you well; you look a German. Ah, you make a grimace!"

"So, you are going to be married."

"In one hour--less five minutes."

"Ah! which way am I to go?"

"Straight back into the house."

"Nonsense!--I should compromise you."

"The house is mine; surely I may do as I like with it."

"And when may I reach the coast?"

"When the night reaches us."

"Good!--and--and good-bye!"

"Well,--yes,--good-bye, I suppose,--and--and promise me one thing?"

"I do promise."

"Don't look at him."

"Him! Whom?"

"My husband--who is coming."

"He is so handsome?"

"Oh, magnificent! Good-bye! good-bye!"

Here he ran back into the dark room, while Bertha, who was a spoilt
child, if the truth may be told, pulled moodily at one of the two
long, black plaits of hair she wore. And it must be set down, sad as
it is, that, seeing Jodoque coming up the road to claim her,
accompanied by a sailorly-looking personage, she went in and shut
the door with a deal of vigor.

The sailorly-looking personage was young, broad-chested, handsome,
and had not been in that part of Prussia for some six years. Jodoque,
prompted to sudden hospitality, had offered the sailorly personage a
seat at his marriage dinner-table, and he, with a great laugh,
accepted the invitation. He strolled leisurely on by the side of the
bridegroom, until he heard the bride's name, when behold the effect
produced! For he started back, and at first showed signs of choking
his informant. However, after an awkward stare, he moved on again.

They soon came up to the door, and Jodoque was wondering why his
bride did not open it wide to him, when a bright, stout little woman,
dressed out in her best, came tripping through the garden-gate,
through which the two had just passed. This little woman's name was
Doome;--nobody knew why she was called Doome, but everybody called
her Doome, all over the little town.

"Good morning, gentlemen! God preserve you, Jodoque! Good morning,
Bertha!"--for here the door opened.

As she opened and appeared at the door, the sailor looked hard at her;
but she did not start as she returned his look. _He_ thought all
women were alike and forgot; but if this broad-chested sailor could
have seen his own blue jacket of six years before, perhaps it would
have been a good argument to induce him to pardon Bertha's

"Good day, Miss!" said he, and brushed his cap from his head.

The same explanation touching the sailor's presence was then given
to Bertha that I have given to you,--given as the whole party were
welcomed into the plain little house by its very far from plain

"Do you remember faces, Mistress?" said the sailor to Doome.

"Yes, friend sailor."

"Do you remember them for six years?"

"La! no woman can remember for six years," said Doome.

"I think _you_ could, Mistress," said the sailor.

And thereupon the stout little Doome blushed and curtsied.

Meanwhile the bride was thinking of the young Frenchman, and how she
could keep her secret, with half the town at the house and about it,
as there would be in another half-hour. She thought more of the
young stranger every moment, and especially when she gazed upon her
future,--which seemed to grow more disagreeable each time she
looked at it.

The young sailor, keeping his eyes away from Bertha,--who set to work
drawing a huge mug of beer, in which piece of hospitality Jodoque
hoveringly helped her,--and addressing himself to Doome, said,--
"Do you know, I was nearly snapped up by a shark some months ago?"

With a sympathetic shudder the little woman replied, "The shark was
doubly cruel--who could--who could take out of the world so--so fine
a young man!"

"Ah! I wish he had!"

"Wish he had?"

"Yes,--his teeth wouldn't have been half so sharp as the teeth
biting away at my heart now!"


"Have you ever had a lover?"

Here the little woman laughed outright. A lover! She could have
honestly answered, "Yes," if the handsome sailor had asked her if
she had had several score. _A_ lover, indeed!

"Ah! well, suppose you only had one, when you were a poor girl, and
he left you, what then?"

"Oh, I'd kill him first, and cry myself dead afterwards."

"Well, _my_ sweetheart has gone from me."

"What! what!--given _you_ up for _any one_?"

"Yes, and--and--I don't think he's my master,--unless it's in dollars."

"Ah!--And who saved you from the shark?"

"A young French officer,--bless him! He harpooned my sealy friend,
and found a friend for life,--though it a'n't much a poor
sailor-fellow can do for an officer. And, though we're at war with
the French, I'd be hanged sooner than fire at his ship."

Here Bertha, assisted by Jodoque, set the big jug down upon the
table with a bang. And here, too, something fell down in a
neighboring room,--precisely as though a person, journeying in a dark
chamber, had upset a heavy wooden chair. The noise sent Doome right
into the sailor's arms, and also sent Jodoque right behind Bertha,
who turned pale.

"There's some one in the room," said Jodoque.

"No, no!" said Bertha--"'tis poor aunt's room; no one goes there.
It's only the rats,--that's all,--only the rats."

For a stranger, the sailor showed a great deal of curiosity; for he
turned very red, and said, "Suppose you look and see."

"Oh, no, no! Never mind. 'Tis only rats. No one ever goes into that
room. My dear, dear guardian died in that room."

"Yes, Mistress," said the sailor, "but rats don't throw down chairs
and tables."

"No, surely no!" said Jodoque.

"And if the house were mine," said the sailor, suiting the action to
the word, "why, I'd go up to the door like this,--and I'd put my
hand on the latch, and click it should go,--and--"

Bertha ran up to the door too, laid her hand upon the sailor's arm,
and drew him away, as he quite willingly let her. Indeed, he
trembled and looked pleadingly at her, as she touched him; and he
murmured to himself, "Six years make a good deal of change."

"You, a guest, have no right to touch that door."

"If I were your husband, I should have."

"Surely,--but you are not."

"Yes, but this honest man here is as good as your husband."


"No?" said the other three; and Jodoque, but for presence of mind,
might have overthrown the big jug of beer.

"No,--for, truly, I'm not going to marry Jodoque."

"Not going to marry me?"

"Not going to marry him?--Why, as sure as you call me Doome, there
are the townsfolk, and the musicians, and the good father, and the
burgomaster, all with their faces already turned this way, I would
wager these new ribbons of mine!"

"Let them all come!"

"To send them back again?"

"No, to witness my marriage."

"And who's the bridegroom?"

"Somebody all of you have forgotten."

"No," said Doome, "I never forget a soul."

"Do you remember the poor sailor-boy Daniel?"

"I never saw him," said Doome. "No, friend sailor, you need not
squeeze my hand,--I never did see him."

"Well, he has grown a man, and has come home."

"Then," said Jodoque, "I suppose _I_ may go home."

"Come home?--where _is_ he?--Still, my sailor friend, I can't tell
why you should tremble."

"Yes, he has come home; and if he will have me, I will marry him."

"And he'll have a good wife, Bertha," said the sailor, and he made a
movement as though about to run to the girl; but little Doome, too
impulsive to think about the Fräulein Grundei, enthusiastically
clasped the arms of her friend's eulogizer.

"Yes,--marry him!--and at this moment he is in that room! And now any
one of you may open the door."

"Open the door?--I'll smash the door!" said the sailor, roughly
pushing the girl away from him. "So, Daniel is there, is he? Well,
let him come!"

He ran up to the door, threw it open, and there, standing just within,
was the young French prisoner of war.

"Good morning, all!" he said.

"You are Daniel, are you?" said the sailor, drawing the other
forward to the light. "You are Daniel, are you?"

He dragged him near the window and looked quickly at him. Then he
turned pale himself, and wrung his hand.

"Yes!" said he, "yes!--it _is_ Daniel himself,--the very Daniel!"

"Ah! so much the better!" said Doome.

"Daniel? the _very_ Daniel?" said Bertha, faintly, and turned paler

"I know you, comrade," said the sailor, aside,--"I know you. You are
the French officer who has escaped, but I'm down in your log for a
lump of gratitude; and so, you are Daniel. When a fellow saves you
from a shark, perhaps you'll be as willing to give him your name."

"And why am I to take your name?"

"To give it to Bertha, there!"

"Give it to Bertha?"

"Yes! Sign the contract, which the burgomaster has in his pocket;
sign it as Daniel;--'tis your only chance. And when you are gone, I
have paid my debt. And don't let us cross each other again. You gave
me my life, but that is no reason you should rob me of my wife!"

"Rob you of your wife?"

"Yes, of Bertha, who loved me six years ago!"

"Why, she has barely known me six hours!"

"True, but she loves you six times as much as she does the memory of

"But I do not care for her, beyond gratitude for sheltering me from

"Oh, she has enough love for two of you!"

"Well, to me, one wife or another,--and she is a nice girl,--and,
friend Daniel, where shall we go?"


"My wife and I," said the other, laughing

"You, comrade? I will manage for you; but your wife will stop here."

"Stop here?"

"Why, you don't suppose I can give up the good girl I have loved for
the six years I've been rolling over the seas! 'Tis true, she
doesn't remember me, and thinks me dead; but when she learns the
truth, all the old love will come back; and she will like me none
the less for aiding you. The burgomaster, who shall be in the plot,
shall marry you to _my wife_,--and when you are gone, God speed you!
The burgomaster will set all that right, as he can; and Bertha and I
will often talk, in our seaside cot, of the French officer that we

Here Doome interrupted the dialogue; for she could not conquer her
curiosity farther. So she came up, and complimented the French
officer (who was to be called Daniel) on his marriage. "To be sure,
he had almost forgotten German; for, as Bertha said, he had left
home almost before he could speak like a man, and had been in the
French service,--and so there it was! No doubt, now he had come back
to Germany, he would soon learn German again, and speak it like a
native;--eh, friend sailor?" "What, little one? I didn't hear you."

The "little one," not dissatisfied at that term, flounced round, and
then gave a little scream,--for all the neighbors, with the
burgomaster at their head, were approaching the little house. When
they arrived, and the change of husbands was announced, not a
neighbor but framed a little mental history,--and, indeed, Jodoque
cut rather a ridiculous figure. As for the burgomaster,--who knew the
real Daniel, having discoursed with him about the French fleet
riding off the island, that very morning,--his dignity prevented him
from suddenly spoiling matters. Before he could sufficiently recover
himself from the blow which his dignity had received, Daniel came up
to him and said these two words,--"Your neck!"

"What do you mean, young man?"

"Suppose the French took Rügen?"

"Well, suppose they did?"

"And suppose you had caused the recapture of a French officer?"

"I haven't the least idea that I have caused a recapture; but
suppose so?"

"Well, and if he was hung, and if the French took the place, you'd
be hung too."

"What do you mean, young man?"

"That man over there is the French officer who has escaped."

"Good gracious me!"

"Yes, and you must suppose him to be me. Marry him to Bertha, and
help him to escape to the French fleet."

"No!--on the faith of a burgomaster, no!--on the word of a German, no!"

"But your neck?"

"I don't care. The French may not take the place."

"And the French may. Who'll be the wiser, burgomaster?"

"My conscience, young sailor."

"And you'll save a man."

"Oh, dear! dear! dear!"

"Here! the best table for the burgomaster! The handsomest chair for
the burgomaster! Make a good pen for the burgomaster!"

"Oh, dear! dear! dear!"

The burgomaster then, in the homely German fashion, asked the usual
questions, filled up the marriage-contract, and then handed the pen
to the bride. She trembled rather as she put her name to the paper,
but not so much as the young sailor.

As for the Frenchman, he hesitated before he put his name down,--and
when he had done so, he flung the pen away, as though he had done
wrong. One hour after that, these two young people were married in
the village church.

The little village festivities which followed need not be dwelt upon;
but imagine the summer-evening come, and Daniel and the French
officer stealing down to the rocky beach. The young sailor showed a
deal of doubtful feeling as he saw the tearful energy with which
little Bertha parted with her make-believe husband; and when little
Doome, who had been let into all the secrets, except the one that
Daniel kept to himself--namely, that he was Daniel,--when little
Doome crept up to condole with him on the hard case of the
newly-married pair, it must be said that he pushed her away quite

Soon the two men reached the shore. Daniel instinctively went to a
little cove where he knew of old a boat would be,--and as darkness
came on, the plashing of a couple of oars sounded near the little
cove where the boat had been.

"Mind, comrade, I have paid my debt! You may be taken, and you run
your chance; though if you get to your ship, you know, one gun,
_as you promised your wife_, fired eastward."

"All right, Daniel. You will like me as well as ever, Daniel, in a
few days."

"No, comrade, there's a woman between us."

So the French officer went on his venturesome pull of a couple of
miles to the French fleet, and the sailor returned to the little
cottage, where were sitting Bertha and Doome. The latter, for his
cleverness and perhaps good looks, had begun to consider the sailor
as worth far more than those sixty youths who had caused her to laugh
when he referred to only one of them. But it is a deplorable fact,
that, while Doome welcomed Daniel back with a great deal of heartiness,
Fräulein Bertha rather looked upon him as cruel; for what need was
there that her husband should have gone? He could have hidden till the
French took the place, and then he would have been free. For love
conflicts with patriotism woefully, and, though nobody could be more
grateful than Bertha for the good service Daniel had done her, yet
somehow she could not be over-pleased with him. She thanked him,
however, very warmly; but it was Doome who set the chair for him,
and Doome who got the beer for him, and Doome who proposed the sailor's
solace of a pipe. As the pipe was lit by that young woman, Bertha got
up to leave the room.

"Where are you going, Bertha?"

"Into the garden. My head aches."

And she went out.

"I think, Doome,--they call you Doome, don't they? and a tidy name,
too,--I think, Doome, Bertha doesn't like pipes."

"_I_ think the smell of a pipe delicious."

"And what do you think of this pipe?"

"Oh! _I_ think it a beautiful pipe!"

"Hum,--so you've lots of lovers?"

"Well,--I have a few."

"Ah!--do _they_ smoke?"

"Yes,--some of them."

"You queer little Doome!--Are any of them rich?"

"Oh, I don't care a bit for money!"

"And what are they?--farmers?"

"I shouldn't like to marry a farmer."

"I suppose Bertha has sat down. I don't hear her step."

"No,--I shouldn't like to marry a farmer,--farmers are such quiet

"Don't you marry a sailor!"

"Law, sailor-friend, (_I_ don't know your name,) why?"

"Why? Because, if he went away for six years, you would forget him;
and that's what Fritz says."

"No, Mr. Fritz, I should _not_ forget him,--but I should not let him
go away for six years."

"But suppose the king ordered him?"

"Then the king don't deserve to have a wife."

"And yet he has."

"So much the worse!"

"Bertha must have sat down."

"You know I don't think I care for one of my lovers. I think I could
give them all up,--yes, every one,--if I met with anybody that I
could love."

"Yes, and then suppose he didn't care for you?"

As Doome had never considered the probability of any such situation,
its suggestion rather startled her. She held her tongue, while
Daniel puffed gravely.

Soon Bertha came slowly into the room. "I think he ought to have got
there by this time; don't you, Sir?"

"He's named Fritz, Bertha,--call him Fritz."

"Don't you think he ought to be there by this time, Mr. Fritz?"

"Surely, Mistress! You will soon hear the cannon;--'tis not more
than two miles, and he left the shore a good hour ago."

So she went up to the window.

"I suppose, Mistress, if he did not come back for six years, you
would forget him,--wouldn't you?"

She was so lost in thought, that she didn't answer; so Doome took
the answer upon herself. "You are very hard upon us women, Fritz,--Mr.
Fritz. No, of course she would not forget him; no wife ever forgets
her husband. Why, do you think I should forget you, Fritz,--Mr.
Fritz,--if you were my husband, and if you went away for six years?"

"There are women and women, Doome, Fräulein Doome,"--


At this moment the sound of a cannon-shot swept over the little
cottage, and Daniel, running to the window, and putting his hand out
to feel the breeze, declared that it was fired east-ward.

Now Bertha was at the window, and, as the sailor spoke, he looked
into her face. She quickly put her arm round his neck in the German
fashion, kissed him gratefully, and said, "You good, good man!"

He kissed her in turn, and looked eagerly at her,--but she didn't
recognize him, though he kissed her in precisely the manner of six
years ago.

He sat down again, and again smoked,--and as, in the most heroic
poem, people eat and drink, and as Anne Boleyn would have thought it
hard to starve while her trial was going on, surely, as this is only
the chronicle of people such as you may meet any day, and not at all
heroic, it may not be wrong to state, that plain-spoken, every-day,
love-making little Doome got supper ready.

Bertha had saved a prisoner, Daniel had assisted, and little Doome
rather liked Daniel, yet nobody ate much; and when Daniel (at the
suggestion of Doome) was furnished with a mattress and blanket on
the floor, he did not make use of it, but sat smoking,--smoking for
hours after the two women had gone off to Bertha's room.

But when the tobacco-pouch was empty, and the pipe was cold, the
sailor fell asleep in his chair; and though he had done a good act
the preceding day, he did not sleep well, but sighed heavily as he
slumbered on.

And now it was that Jodoque, the Discomfited, again came upon the
stage. Having been laughed at by every soul in the village, that
poor bachelor went to his lonely house, took a small mug of
consolatory weak beer, felt convinced that all women were deceivers,
vowed that from that time forth he would think no more of matrimony,
and went to bed in the dark,--prompted thereto by the power of
economy in candles. He had fallen asleep, and slept soundly, when
thrift prompted him to remember that one piece of cloth, several
balls of wool, and one white rabbit,--his property,--were at that
moment at the deceiver Bertha's. Why should he, the deceived, make
the married pair happy, with one piece of cloth, several balls of
wool, and a white rabbit? And Jodoque woke up to the terrible truth
in a cold sweat. The articles in question were at the deceiver
Bertha's. At the first break of day he would go and demand his
property. Being unable to sleep through the remainder of the dark
hours, he presented but a disreputable appearance when he clapped to
the little door of his house.

It was barely light, and it was not an overpowering distance for
Jodoque to walk from his house to Bertha's. He knew the household
would not be up, but he determined to sit down before it,--besiege
it, in fact,--and carry off the cloth, the wool, and the white rabbit,
when the enemy should first be moving.

And this is what he saw, as he came up to the cottage:--A young
officer in the French uniform was getting in at Bertha's
kitchen-window. Jodoque seized the idea, as though it were the white
rabbit,--this was the French officer who had escaped yesterday,
endeavoring to hide himself in Bertha's house.

Jodoque did not instantly rush forward to re-arrest this prisoner;
but it struck him there must be a reward for the recapture; so,
determining upon taking the prisoner and the basket at one fell swoop,
he tore away to the burgomaster's to inform him of the discovery. He
reached the official residence, and drew the pompous little
burgomaster to his bedroom-window in a moment. The burgomaster was
rather scandalized that such a respectable man as Jodoque should be
out at such an hour; but when he heard the information, he grew
considerably cold, and rather wished the French fleet would
successfully challenge the place at once, and relieve him of his
admirable chance of the halter.

Was ever burgomaster in such a fix? He wished his ardent longing for
that position had been strangled at his birth. No,--he had saved his
neck from the French, he thought to himself, by conniving at the escape
of a French officer the day previous, and now his neck was in danger
for having very properly tried to save it on that previous day.

But action, action! Whatever came of it, he must appear a patriotic
burgomaster; so he took his night-cap off, and, in spite of the
energetic remonstrances of the burgomaster's lady, was soon down in
the street, surrounded by half a dozen men, and making for Bertha's
eventful little mansion--

Within which was passing a terrible scene.

The fact is, that, when the false Daniel arrived at the fleet and
reported himself, he found that he had escaped with only part of
himself, and rather wanted the rest; and as at that time the French
navy was allowed a liberty which it has not now, the young officer
laid a statement of the whole case before his commander. That daring
personage thus recommended:--A French boat to start away for shore
with this young officer, and several more in her; that it should
touch near Bertha's house; that Bertha should receive the merest hint,
and then take passage for the French fleet herself.

The French officer, attended by half-a-dozen more youths, came back
to the shore, and, just as day was peeping, came up to the little
right-hand window; and as no one answered his tap, he raised the
sash and jumped lightly in.

This Jodoque saw and reported to the burgomaster; but he could not
tell the remainder.

For Daniel, waked by the tapping on the window-pane, saw who it was,
and believing that he had come to steal his wife from him, he
clenched his fists, and, as the slim young man jumped down into the
room, crushed him almost dead in his strong arms.

"Not a word, or I'll stifle you!"

"Daniel! Daniel!"

"Not a word,--and don't Daniel me, you thief!"


"Don't speak loud."

"How thief?"

"You would steal my wife from me."

"How your wife?"

"Why, Bertha;--she promised to marry me six long years ago, and she
would have married me, if _you_ had not come and stolen her heart."

"Why, you yourself gave her to me!"

"Ah! I owed you a debt I had to pay. 'Tis paid now. I thought you
gone, and the marriage knocked on the head; but now, you've come back,
and won't go again!"

"But, Daniel"--

"Don't Daniel _me_, I say, and don't speak loud; at least, _she_
sha'n't see you taken off. Lie quiet for her sake, and show your
love for her that way."

"And so you'll give me up, old friend, whose life _I_ saved?"

"Saved!--you saved it once, and I saved yours. You took away my hope
when you robbed me of my wife;--now I give you a like return."

"And you yourself, Daniel, who harbored me yesterday"--

"That's nothing to you.--Lie still till some one passes."

For the strong sailor had tipped the officer on to the mattress.
There he lay,--not from want of courage, but because he did not know
what to do.

The sailor felt for his pipe, but he remembered that all the tobacco
was smoked up; so he set the pipe down again and bit his nails.

He had not waited a quarter of an hour when a voice said,--"This way,
Herr Burgomaster!--this way!"

The sailor and his prisoner both started to their feet; and the
burgomaster, coming to the open window, lost the last faint hopes he
had had that this said French officer might not, after all, be the
French officer at whose escape he, the respected burgomaster and
butcher, had assisted.

"Mr. Burgomaster, here is a French prisoner,--and I hand him to you
as the fit personage to place him in the hands of the commander."

Thus spoke Daniel, and, as he spoke, Bertha appeared at the door of
her room, and with her Doome, who hearing this little speech, all her
liking for the sailor vanished on the instant. She was ready to
utterly exterminate him, and more than ready to cry, which she did,

As this is only a little comedy, and by no means tragical, we pass
over the next scene, and simply state, that Bertha, before all those
neighbors, forgot everybody but her husband,--if he may be called so,
--and the church had said so; that Daniel felt great remorse at what
he had done; that he told Doome again that he wished the shark had
finished him; that Doome didn't or wouldn't hear, for her idol was
broken,--and so was Doome's heart, nearly.

The authorities took away the prisoner, and left Bertha and Doome
wretched and alone. As for Daniel, he went out wandering by himself,
--for he rather felt ashamed to look upon anybody.

At this time, a little boat with a white flag at its prow put off
from the French fleet, and bravely approached the bristling fort of
Rügen. Nearer and nearer it comes,--nearer and nearer; and in half an
hour there is great cheering over the island of Rügen, for peace
between Prussia and France is declared.

'Tis true, the peace did not last very long; but it lasted long
enough to save the French officer. He was set at liberty at once,
and an hour afterwards Daniel could look people in the face again,
--all except Doome, who would not cease to be incensed.

"But then," said Daniel, "you know I'd been waiting six years."

"How?" exclaimed Bertha.

"Yes, Bertha,--I'm the real Daniel. Look here!"--and half a little
silver cross came forward.

"And you didn't say it when you came!--and you actually gave her to
him!--and you saved his life!--and oh! you, you CAPTAIN of a man!"

Thus Doome spoke and was comforted.

And Bertha went up to her old sweetheart and kissed him, saying, she
thought she knew of a better wife for him than she could ever have
made,--for, now that Ernest (the French officer) had suffered so
much for her sake, she had no right to leave him. And, indeed, they
were re-married that day.

It was after Bertha had said she knew of a better wife for him, that
Daniel looked at Doome, who, picking up that pipe of his, handed it
to him.

"Will you take care of it, Doome?"

"Save when you want it."

"Oh! I mean to come with it."

"'Tis the handsomest pipe in all Germany,--and--and I won't part
with it till I part with you."

Hence, you see, there were two marriages that morning. Doome parted
with the pipe a good deal,--for Daniel loved the sea as heartily as
he had loved Bertha and grew to love Doome, who assured him many
times that she was a far better wife for him than Bertha would have
made. Whereupon Daniel would kiss her,--so you can draw your own
conclusion as to his motive. For my part, I say first love is only
heart-love,--and you see the heart is not so wise as the head.

By the time the long war was over,--with Waterloo for the last act,
--Ernest had made not a little money; so he and Bertha--now a grand
lady--came to Rügen. Ernest learned German, perfectly, from his own
children and Doome's, and turned his sword into a ploughshare.

As for Daniel,--he gave up the sea and took a wine-shop.

Those four people are now still alive; and if Bertha and Daniel did
not marry, their children have,--though it was rather lowering to
those grand young ladies and gentlemen, Bertha's children.

Those four, when they meet and clapper their friendly old tongues,
can hardly believe that once upon a time they were all at sixes and
sevens,--and that Ernest himself was once in that very place a
Prisoner of War.


  Once more the temple-gates lie open wide:
    Onward, once more,
  Advance the Faithful, mounting like a tide
    That climbs the shore.

  What seek they? Blank the altars stand today,
    As tombstones bare:
  Christ of his raiment was despoiled; and they
    His livery wear.

  Today the puissant and the proud have heard
    The "mandate new":[1]
  That which He did, their Master and their Lord,
    They also do.

  Today the mitred foreheads, and the crowned,
    In meekness bend:
  New tasks today the sceptred hands have found;
    The poor they tend.

  Today those feet which tread in lowliest ways,
    Yet follow Christ,
  Are by the secular lords of power and praise
    Both washed and kissed.

  Hail, ordinance sage of hoar antiquity,
    Which She retains,
  That Church who teaches man how meek should be
    The head that reigns!

[Footnote 1: _Mandatum Novum_:--hence the name of "Maundy Thursday."]

       *       *       *       *       *


The Romans had a military machine, called a _balista_, a sort of
vast crossbow, which discharged huge stones. It is said, that, when
the first one was exhibited, an athlete exclaimed, "Farewell
henceforth to all courage!" Montaigne relates, that the old knights,
in his youth, were accustomed to deplore the introduction of
fencing-schools, from a similar apprehension. Pacific King James
predicted, but with rejoicing, the same result from iron armor.
"It was an excellent thing," he said,--"one could get no harm in it,
nor do any." And, similarly, there exists an opinion now, that the
combined powers of gunpowder and peace are banishing physical courage,
and the need of it, from the world.

Peace is good, but this result of it would be sad indeed. Life is
sweet, but it would not be sweet enough without the occasional relish
of peril and the luxury of daring deeds. Amid the changes of time,
the monotony of events, and the injustice of mankind, there is always
accessible to the poorest this one draught of enjoyment,--danger.
"In boyhood," said the Norwegian enthusiast, Ole Bull, "I loved to be
far out on the ocean in my little boat, for it was dangerous, and in
danger one draws near to God." Perhaps every man sometimes feels this
longing, has his moment of ardor, when he would fain leave politics
and personalities, even endearments and successes, behind, and would
exchange the best year of his life for one hour at Balaklava with
the "Six Hundred." It is the bounding of the Berserker blood in us,
--the murmuring echo of the old death-song of Regnar Lodbrog, as he
lay amid vipers in his dungeon:--"What is the fate of a brave man,
but to fall amid the foremost? He who is never wounded has a weary

This makes the fascination of war, which is in itself, of course,
brutal and disgusting. Dr. Johnson says, truly, that the naval and
military professions have the dignity of danger, since mankind
reverence those who have overcome fear, which is so general a
weakness. The error usually lies in exaggerating the difference, in
this respect, between war and peace. Madame de Sévigné writes to her
cousin, Bussy-Rabutin, after a campaign, "I cannot understand how
one can expose himself a thousand times, as you have done, and not
be killed a thousand times also." To which the Count answers, that
she overrates the danger; a soldier may often make several campaigns
without drawing a sword, and be in a battle without seeing an enemy,
--as, for example, where one is in the second line, or rear guard,
and the first line decides the contest. He finally quotes Turenne,
and Maurice, Prince of Orange, to the same effect, that a military
life is less perilous than civilians suppose.

It is, therefore, a foolish delusion to suppose, that, as the world
grows more pacific, the demand for physical courage passes away. It
is only that its applications become nobler. In barbarous ages, men
fight against men and animals, and need, like Achilles, to be fed on
the marrow of wild beasts. As time elapses, the savage animals are
extirpated, the savage men are civilized; but Nature, acting through
science, commerce, society, is still creating new exigencies of peril,
and evoking new types of courage to meet them. Grace Darling at her
oars, Kane in his open boat, Stephenson testing his safety-lamp in
the terrible pit,--what were the trophies of Miltiades to these? The
ancient Agamemnon faced no danger so memorable as that ocean-storm
which beset his modern namesake, bearing across the waters a more
priceless treasure than Helen, pride of Greece. And, indeed, setting
aside these sublimities of purpose, and looking simply at the
quantity and quality of peril, it is doubtful whether any tale of
the sea-kings thrills the blood more worthily than the plain
newspaper narrative of Captain Thomas Bailey, in the Newburyport
schooner, "Atlas," beating out of the Gut of Canso, in a gale of wind,
with his crew of two men and a boy, up to their waists in the water.

It is easy to test the matter. Let any one, who believes that the
day of daring is past, beg or buy a ride on the locomotive of the
earliest express-train, some cold winter-morning. One wave of the
conductor's hand, and the live engine springs snorting beneath you,
as no Arab steed ever rushed over the desert. It is not like being
bound to an arrow, for that motion would be smoother; it is not like
being hurled upon an ocean crest, for that would be slower. You are
rushing onward, and you are powerless; that is all. The frosty air
gives such a brittle and slippery look to the two iron lines which
lie between you and destruction, that you appreciate the Mohammedan
fable of the Bridge Herat, thinner than a hair, sharper than a
scimitar, which stretches over hell and leads to paradise. Nothing
has passed over that perilous track for many hours; the cliffs may
have fallen and buried it, the frail bridges may have sunk beneath it,
or diabolical malice put obstructions on it, no matter how trivial,
equally fatal to you; each curving embankment may hide unknown horrors,
from which, though all others escape, you, on the engine, cannot;
and yet, still the surging locomotive bounds onward, beneath your
mad career. You draw a long breath, as you dismount at last, a hundred
miles away, as if you had been riding with Mazeppa or Brunechilde,
and yet escaped alive. And there, by your side, stands the quiet,
grimy engineer, turning already to his tobacco and his newspaper,
and unconscious, while he reads of the charge at Balaklava, that
his life is Balaklava every day.

Physical courage is not, therefore, a thing to be so easily set aside.
Nor is it, as our reformers appear sometimes to assume, a mere
corollary from moral courage, and, ultimately, to be merged in that.
Moral courage is rare enough, no doubt,--probably the rarer quality
of the two, as it is the nobler; but they are things diverse, and
not necessarily united. There have been men, and still are such,
leaders of their age in moral courage, and yet physically timid. This
is not as it should be. God placed man at the head of the visible
universe, and if he is to be thrown from his control, daunted by a
bullet, or a wild horse, or a flash of lightning, or a lee shore,
then man is dishonored, and the order of the universe deranged. No
matter what the occasion of the terror is, a mouse or a martyrdom,
fear dethrones us. "He that lives in fear of death," said Cæsar,
"at every moment feels its tortures. I will die but once."

Having claimed thus much, we can still readily admit that we cannot
yet estimate the precise effect upon physical courage of a state of
permanent national peace, since indeed we are not yet within sight
of that desirable consummation. Meanwhile, let us attempt some
slight sketch and classification of the different types of physical
courage, as already existing, among which are to be enumerated the
spontaneous courage of the blood,--the courage of habit,--magnetic
or transmitted courage,--and the courage inspired by self-devotion.

There is a certain innate fire of the blood, which does not dare
perils for the sake of principle, nor grow indifferent to them from
familiarity, nor confront them under support of a stronger will,--but
loves them for their own sake, without reference to any ulterior
object. There is no special merit in it, for it is a matter of
temperament. Yet it often conceals itself under the finer names of
self-devotion and high purpose,--as George Borrow convinced himself
that he was actuated by evangelical zeal to spread the Bible in Spain,
though one sees, through every line of his narrative, that it was
chiefly the adventure which allured him, and that he would as
willingly have distributed the Koran in London, had it been equally
contraband. No surplices, no libraries, no counting-house desks can
eradicate this natural instinct. Achilles, disguised among the
maidens, was detected by the wily Ulysses, because he chose arms,
not jewels, from the travelling merchant's stores. In the most
placid life, a man may pant for danger; and we know quiet,
unobtrusive men who have confessed to us that they never step into a
railroad-car without the secret hope of a collision.

This is the courage of heroic races, as Highlanders, Circassians,
Montenegrins, Afghans, and those Arabs among whom Urquhart finely
said that peace could not be purchased by victory. Where destined to
appear at all, it is likely to be developed in extreme youth, which
explains such instances as the _gamins de Paris_, and that of Sir
Cloudesley Shovel, who in boyhood conveyed a dispatch during a naval
engagement, swimming through double lines of fire. Indeed, among
heroic races, young soldiers are preferable for daring; such, at
least, is the testimony of the highest authorities, as Ney and
Wellington. "I have found," said the Duke, "that raw troops, however
inferior to the old ones in manoeuvring, may be superior to them in
downright hard fighting with the enemy. At Waterloo, the young ensigns
and lieutenants, who had never before seen an enemy, rushed to meet
death, as if they were playing at cricket."

But though youth is good for an onset, it needs habit and discipline
to give steadiness. A boy will risk his life where a veteran will be
too circumspect to follow him; but to perform a difficult manoeuvre
in face of an enemy requires Sicinius with forty-five scars on his
breast. "The very apprehension of a wound," said Seneca, "startles a
man when he first bears arms; but an old soldier bleeds boldly, for
he knows that a man may lose blood and yet win the day." Before the
battle of Preston Pans, Mr. Ker of Graden, "an experienced officer,"
mounted on a gray pony, coolly reconnoitred all the difficult ground
between the two armies, crossed it in several directions,
deliberately alighted more than once to lead his horse through gaps
made for that purpose in the stone walls,--under a constant shower
of musket-balls. He finally returned unhurt to Charles Edward, and
dissuaded him from crossing. Undoubtedly, any raw Highlander in the
army would have incurred the same risk, with or without a sufficient
object; but not one of them would have brought back so clear a report,
--if, indeed, he had brought himself back.

The most common evidence of this dependence of many persons' courage
on habit is in the comparative timidity of brave men against novel
dangers,--as of sailors on horseback, and mountaineers at sea. Nay,
the same effect is sometimes produced merely by different forms of
danger within the same sphere. Sea-captains often attach an
exaggerated sense of peril to small boats; Condé confessed himself a
coward in a street-fight; and William the Conqueror is said to have
trembled exceedingly (_rehementer tremens_) during the disturbance
which interrupted his coronation. It was probably from the same cause,
that Mrs. Inchbald, the most fearless of actresses, was once
entirely overcome by timidity on assuming a character in a masquerade.

On a larger scale, the mere want of habitual exposure to danger will
often cause a whole population to be charged with greater cowardice
than really belongs to them. Thus, after the coronation of the
Chevalier, in the Scottish insurrection of 1745, although the
populace of Edinburgh crowded around him, kissing his very garments
when he walked abroad, yet scarcely a man could be enlisted, in view
of the certainty of an approaching battle with General Cope. And
before this, when the Highlanders were marching on the city, out of a
volunteer corps of four hundred raised to meet them, all but
forty-five deserted before the gate was passed.[1] Yet there is no
reason to doubt that these frightened citizens, after having once
stood fire, might have been as brave as the average. It was a saying
in Kansas, that the New England men needed to be shot at once or
twice, after which they became the bravest of the brave.

This habitual courage mingles itself, doubtless, with the third
species, the magnetic, or transmitted. No mental philosopher has yet
done justice to the wondrous power of leadership, the "art Napoleon."
The ancients stated it best in their proverb, that an army of stags
led by a lion is more formidable than an army of lions led by a
stag. It was for this reason that the Greeks used to send to Sparta,
not for soldiers, but for a general. When Crillon, _l'homme sans peur_,
defended Quilleboeuf with a handful of men against Marshal Villars,
the latter represented to him, that it was madness to resist such
superiority of numbers, to which the answer was simply,--"_Crillon
est dedans, et Villars est dehors_." The event proved that the hero
inside was stronger than the army outside.

Every one knows that there is a certain magnetic power in courage,
apart from all physical strength. In a family of lone women, there is
usually some one whose presence is held to confer safety on the house;
she may be a delicate invalid, but she is not afraid. The same
quality explains the difference in the demeanor of different
companies of men and women, in great emergencies of danger. Read one
narrative of shipwreck, and human nature seems all sublime; read
another, and, under circumstances equally desperate, it appears base,
selfish, grovelling. The difference lies simply in the influence of
a few leading spirits. Ordinarily, as is the captain, so are the
officers, so are the passengers, so are the sailors. Bonaparte said,
that at the beginning of almost every battle there was a moment when
the bravest troops were liable to sudden panic; let the personal
control of the general once lead them past that, and the field was
half won.

The courage of self-devotion, lastly, is the faculty evoked by
special exigencies, in persons who have before given no peculiar
evidence of courage. It belongs especially to the race of martyrs
and enthusiasts, whose personal terrors vanish in the greatness of
the object, so that Joan of Arc, listening to the songs of the angels,
does not feel the flames. This, indeed, is the accustomed form in
which woman's courage proclaims itself at last, unsuspected until
the crisis comes. This has given us the deeds of Flora Macdonald,
Jane Lane, and the Countess of Derby; the rescue of Lord Nithisdale
by his wife, and that planned for Montrose by Lady Margaret Durham;
the heroism of Catherine Douglas, thrusting her arm within the
stanchions of the doorway to protect James I. of Scotland, till his
murderers shattered the frail barrier; and that sublimest narrative
of woman's devotion, Gertrude Van der Wart at her husband's execution.
It is possible that all these women may have been timid and shrinking,
before the hour of trial; and every emergency, in peace or war,
brings out some such instances. At the close of the troubles of 1856,
in Kansas, a traveller chanced to be visiting a lady in Lawrence, who,
in opening her work-basket, accidentally let fall a small pistol. She
smiled and blushed, and presently acknowledged, that, when she had
first pulled the trigger experimentally, six months before, she had
shut her eyes and screamed, although there was only a percussion-cap
to explode. Yet it afterwards appeared that she was one of the few
women who remained in their houses, to protect them by their presence,
when the town was entered by the Missourians,--and also one of the
still smaller number who brought their rifles to aid their husbands
in the redoubt, when two hundred were all that could be rallied
against three thousand, in September of that eventful year. Thus
easily is the transition effected!

This is the courage, also, of Africans, as manifested among ourselves,
--the courage created by desperate emergencies. Suppled by long
slavery, softened by mixture of blood, the black man seems to pass
at one bound, as women do, from cowering pusillanimity to the topmost
height of daring. The giddy laugh vanishes, the idle chatter is
hushed, and the buffoon becomes a hero. Nothing in history surpasses
the bravery of the Maroons of Surinam, as described by Stedman, or
of those of Jamaica, as delineated by Dallas. Agents of the
"Underground Railroad" report that the incidents which daily come to
their knowledge are beyond all Greek, all Roman fame. These men and
women, who have tested their courage in the lonely swamp against the
alligator and the bloodhound, who have starved on prairies, hidden
in holds, clung to locomotives, ridden hundreds of miles cramped in
boxes, head downward, equally near to death if discovered or deserted,
--and who have then, after enduring all this, gone voluntarily back
to risk it over again, for the sake of wife or child,--what are we
pale faces, that we should claim a rival capacity with theirs for
heroic deeds? What matter, if none, below the throne of God, can now
identify that nameless negro in the Tennessee iron-works, who, during
the last insurrection, said "he knew all about the plot, but would
die before he would tell? He _received seven hundred and fifty
lashes and died_." Yet where, amid the mausoleums of the world,
is there carved an epitaph like that?

The courage of blood, of habit, or of imitation is not necessarily a
very exalted thing. But the courage of self-devotion cannot be
otherwise than noble, however wasted on fanaticism or delusion. It
enters the domain of conscience. Yet, although the sublimest, it is
not necessarily the most undaunted form of courage. It is vain to
measure merit by martyrdom, without reference to the temperament,
the occasion, and the aim. There is no passion in the mind of man so
weak, said Lord Bacon, but it mates and masters the fear of death.
Sinner, as well as saint, may be guillotined or lynched, and endure
it well. A red Indian or a Chinese robber will dare the stake as
composedly as an early Christian or an abolitionist. One of the
bravest of all death-scenes was the execution of Simon, Lord Lovat,
who was unquestionably one of the greatest scoundrels that ever
burdened the earth. We must look deeper. The test of a man is not in
the amount of his endurance, but in its motive; does he love the
right, he may die in glory on a bed of down; is he false and base,
these things thrust discord into his hymn of dying anguish, and no
crown of thorns can sanctify his drooping head. Physical courage is,
after all, but a secondary quality, and needs a sublime motive to
make it thoroughly sublime.

Among all these different forms of courage it is almost equally true
that it is the hardest of all qualities to predict or identify, in
an individual case, before the actual trial. Many a man has been
unable to discover, till the critical moment, whether he himself
possessed it or not. It is often denied to the healthy and strong,
and given to the weak. The pugilist may be a poltroon, and the
bookworm a hero. We have seen the most purely ideal philosopher in
this country face the black muzzles of a dozen loaded revolvers with
his usual serene composure. And on the other hand, we have known a
black-bearded backwoodsman, whose mere voice and presence would
quell any riot among the lumberers,--yet this man, nicknamed by his
_employees_ "the black devil," confessed himself to be in secret
the most timid of lambs.

One reason of this difficulty of estimate lies in the fact, that
courage and cowardice often complicate themselves with other
qualifies, and so show false colors. For instance, the presence or
absence of modesty may disguise the genuine character. The
unpretending are not always timid, nor always brave. The boaster is
not always, but only commonly, a coward. Were it otherwise, how
could we explain the existence of courage in Frenchmen or Indians?
Barking dogs sometimes bite, as many a small boy, too trustful of the
proverb, has found to his cost. "If that be a friend of yours," says
Brantême's brave Spanish Cavalier, "pray for his soul, for he has
quarrelled with me." Indeed, the Gascons, whose name is identified
with boasting, (gasconade,) were always among the bravest races in

Again, the mere quality of caution is often mistaken for cowardice,
while heedlessness passes for daring. A late eminent American
sculptor, a man of undoubted courage, is said to have always taken
the rear car in a railroad train. Such a spirit of prudence, where
well-directed, is to be viewed with respect. We ought not to
reverence the blind recklessness which sits on the safety-valve
during a steamboat-race, but the cool composure which neither
underrates a danger nor shrinks from it. The best encomium is that
of Malcolm M'Leod upon Charles Edward:--"He was the most cautious man,
not to be a coward, and the bravest man, not to be rash, that I ever
saw"; or that of Charles VII. of France upon Pierre d'Aubusson:--"Never
did I see united so much fire and so much wisdom."

Still again, men vary as to the form of danger which tests them most
severely. The Irish are undoubtedly a brave nation, but their
courage is apt to vanish in presence of sickness. They are not,
however, alone in this, if we may judge from the newspaper statements,
that, after the recent quarantine riots in New York, a small-pox
patient lay all day untended in the Park, because no one dared to go
near him. It is said of Dr. Johnson, that he was a hero against pain,
but a coward against death. Probably the contrary emotion is quite
as common. To a believer in immortality, death, even when premature,
can scarcely be regarded as an unmitigated evil, but pain enforces
its own recognition. We can hardly agree with the frightened recruit
in the farce, who thinks "Victory or Death" a forbidding war-cry,
but "Victory or Wooden Legs" a more appetizing alternative.

Beside these complications, there are those arising from the share
which conscience has in the matter. "Thrice is he armed that hath
his quarrel just," and the most resolute courage will sometimes
quail in a bad cause, and even die in its armor, like Bois-Guilbert.
It was generally admitted, on both sides, in Kansas, that the
"Border Ruffians" seldom dared face an equal number; yet nobody
asserted that these men were intrinsically deficient in daring; it
was only conscience which made cowards of them all.

But it is, after all, the faculty of imagination which, more than
all else, confuses the phenomena of courage and cowardice. A very
imaginative child is almost sure to be reproached with timidity,
while mere stolidity takes rank as courage. The bravest boy may
sometimes be most afraid of the dark, or of ghosts, or of the great
mysteries of storms and the sea. Even the mighty Charlemagne
shuddered when the professed enchanter brought before him the vast
forms of Dietrich and his Northern companions, on horseback. We once
saw a party of boys tested by an alarm which appealed solely to the
imagination. The only one among them who stood the test was the most
cowardly of the group, who escaped the contagion through sheer lack
of this faculty. Any imaginative person can occasionally test this
on himself by sleeping in a large lonely house, or by bathing alone
in some solitary place by the great ocean; there comes a thrill
which is not born of terror, and the mere presence of a child breaks
the spell,--though it would only enhance the actual danger, if danger
there were.

This explains the effect of darkness on danger. "Let Ajax perish in
the face of day." Who has not shuddered over the description of
that Arkansas duel, fought by two naked combatants, with pistol and
bowie-knife, in a dark room? One thrills to think of those first
few moments of breathless, sightless, hopeless, hushed expectation,
--then the confused encounter, the slippery floor, the invisible,
ghastly terrors of that horrible chamber. Many a man would shrink
from that, who would march coolly up to the cannon's mouth by

It is probably this mingling of imaginative excitement which makes
the approach of peril often more terrible than its actual contact.
"A true knight," said Sir Philip Sidney, "is fuller of gay bravery
in the midst than at the beginning of danger." The boy Condé was
reproached with trembling, in his first campaign. "My body trembles,"
said the hero, "with the actions my soul meditates." And it is said
of Charles V., that he often trembled when arming for battle, but in
the conflict was as cool as if it were impossible for an emperor to
be killed.

These stray glimpses into the autobiography of heroism are of
inestimable value, and they are scanty at best. It is said of Turenne,
that he was once asked by M. de Lamoignon, at the dinner-table of
the latter, if his courage was never shaken at the commencement of a
battle? "Yes," said Turenne, "I sometimes undergo great nervous
excitement; but there are in the army a great multitude of subaltern
officers and soldiers who experience none whatever." This goes to
illustrate the same point.

To give to any form of courage an available or working value, it is
essential that it have two qualities, promptness and persistency.
What Napoleon called "two-o'clock-in-the-morning courage" is rare.
It requires great enthusiasm or great discipline to be proof against
a surprise. It is said that Suwarrow, even in peace, always slept
fully armed, boots and all. "When I was lazy," he said, "and wanted
to enjoy a comfortable sleep, I usually took off one spur." In
regard to persistency, history is full of instances of unexpected
reverses and eleventh-hour triumphs. The battle of Marengo was
considered hopeless, for the first half of the day, and a retreat was
generally expected, on the part of the French; when Desaix,
consulted by Bonaparte, looked at his watch and said,--"The battle
is completely lost, but it is only two o'clock, and we shall have
time to gain another." He then made his famous and fatal
cavalry-charge, and won the field. It was from a noble appreciation
of this quality of persistency, that, when the battle of Cannæ was
lost, and Hannibal was measuring by bushels the rings of the fallen
Roman knights, the Senate of Rome voted thanks to the defeated
general, Consul Terentius Varro, for not having despaired of the

Thus armed at all points, incapable of being either surprised or
exhausted, courage achieves results which seem miraculous. It is an
element of inspiration, something superadded and incalculable, when
all the other forces are exhausted. When we consider how really
formidable becomes the humblest of quadrupeds, cat or rat, when it
grows mad and desperate and throws all personal fear behind, it is
clear that there must be a reserved power in human daring which
defies computation and equalizes the most fearful odds. Take one man,
mad with excitement or intoxication, place him with his back to the
wall, a knife in his hand, and the fire of utter frenzy in his
eyes,--and who, among the thousand bystanders, dares make the first
attempt to disarm him? Desperate courage makes one a majority. Baron
Trenck nearly escaped from the fortress of Glatz at noonday,
snatching a sword from an officer, passing all the sentinels with a
sudden rush, and almost effecting his retreat to the mountains;
"which incident will prove," he says, "that adventurous and even
rash daring will render the most improbable undertakings successful,
and that desperate attempts may often make a general more fortunate
and famous than the wisest and best-concerted plans."

It is this miraculous quality which helps to explain the
extraordinary victories of history: as where the army of Lucullus at
Tigranocerta slew one hundred thousand barbarians with the loss of
only a hundred men,--or where Cortés conquered Mexico with six
hundred foot and sixteen horse. The astounding narratives in the
chivalry romances, where the historian risks his Palmerin or Amadis
as readily against twenty giants as one, secure of bringing him
safely through,--or the corresponding modern marvels of Alexandre
Dumas,--seem scarcely exaggerations of actual events. A Portuguese,
at the siege of Goa, inserted a burning match in a cask of gunpowder,
then grasped it in his arms, and, crying to his companions,
"Stand aside, I bear my own and many men's lives," threw it among
the enemy, of whom a hundred were killed by the explosion, the bearer
being left unhurt. John Haring, on a Flemish dyke, held a thousand
men at bay, saved his army, and finally escaped uninjured. And the
motto of Bayard, _Vires agrainis unus habet_, was given him after
singly defending a bridge against two hundred Spaniards. Such men
appear to bear charmed lives, and to be identical with the laws of
Fate. "What a soldier, what a Roman, was thy father, my young bride!
How could they who never saw him have discoursed so rightly upon

From popular want of faith in these infinite resources of daring, it
is a common thing for persons of eminent courage to be stigmatized
as rash. This has been strikingly the case, for instance, in modern
times, with the Marquis of Wellesley and Sir Charles Napier. When the
Duke of Wellington was in the Peninsula in 1810, the City of London
addressed the throne, protesting against the bestowal of "honorable
distinctions upon a general who had thus far exhibited, with equal
rashness and ostentation, nothing but an useless valor."

But if bravery is liable to exist in excess, on the one side, it is
a comfort to think that it is capable of cultivation, where deficient.
There may be a few persons born absolutely without the power of
courage, as without the susceptibility to music,--but very few; and,
no doubt, the elements of daring, like those of musical perception,
can be developed in almost all. Once rouse the enthusiasm of the will,
and courage can be systematically disciplined. Emerson's maxim gives
the best regimen: "Always do what you are afraid to do." If your lot
is laid amid scenes of peace, then carry the maxim into the arts of
peace. Are you afraid to swim that river? then swim it. Are you
afraid to leap that fence? then leap it. Do you shrink from the
dizzy height of yonder magnificent pine? then climb it, and
"throw down the top," as they do in the forests of Maine. Goethe
cured himself of dizziness by ascending the lofty stagings of the
Frankfort carpenters. Nothing is insignificant that is great enough
to alarm you. If you cannot think of a grizzly bear without a shudder,
then it is almost worth your while to travel to the Rocky Mountains
in order to encounter the reality. It is said that Van Amburgh
attributed all his power over animals to the similar rule given him
by his mother in his boyhood: "If anything frightens you, walk up
and face it." Applying this maxim boldly, he soon satisfied himself
that man possessed a natural power of control over all animals, if
he dared to exercise it. He said that every animal divined by
unerring instinct the existence of fear in his ruler, and a moment's
indecision might cost one's life. On being asked, what he should do,
if he found himself in the desert, face to face with a lion, he
answered, "If I wished for certain death, I should turn and run away."

Physical courage may be educated; but it must be trained for its own
sake. We say again, it must not be left to moral courage to include
it, for the two faculties have different elements,--and what God has
joined, human inconsistency may put asunder. The disjunction is easy
to explain. Many men, when committed on the right side of any
question, get credit for a "moral courage," which is, in their case,
only an intense egotism, isolating them from all demand for human
sympathy. In the best cause, they prefer to belong to a party
conveniently small, and, on the slightest indications of popular
approbation, begin to suspect themselves of compromise. The abstract
martyrdom of unpopularity is therefore clear gain to them; but when
it comes to the rack and the thumbscrew, the revolver and the
bowie-knife, the same habitual egotism makes them cowards. These men
are annoying in themselves, and still worse because they throw
discredit on the noble and unselfish reformers with whom they are
identified in position. But even among this higher class there are
differences of temperament, and it costs one man an effort to face
the brute argument of the slung-shot, while another's fortitude is
not seriously tested till it comes to facing the newspaper editors.

We have given but a few aspects of a rich and endless theme, and
have depicted these more by examples than analysis, mindful of the
saying of Sidney, that Alexander received more bravery of mind by
the example of Achilles than by hearing the definition of fortitude.
If we have seemed to draw illustrations too profusely from the
records of battles, it is to be remembered, that, even if war be not
the best nurse of heroisms, it is their best historian. The chase,
for instance, though perhaps as prolific in deeds of daring as the
camp, has found few Cummings and Gerards for annalists, and the more
trivial aim of the pursuit diminishes the permanence of its records.
The sublime fortitude of hospitals, the bravery shown in infected
cities, the fearlessness of firemen and of sailors, these belong to
those times of peace which have as yet few historians. But we have
sought to exhibit the deep foundations and instincts of courage, and
it matters little whence the illustrations come. Doubtless, for every
great deed ever narrated, there were a hundred greater ones untold;
and the noblest valor of the world may sleep unrecorded, like the
heroes before Homer.

But there are things which, once written, the world does not
willingly let die; embalmed in enthusiasm, borne down on the
unconquerable instincts of childhood, they become imperishable and
eternal. We need not travel to visit the graves of the heroes: they
are become a part of the common air; their line is gone out to all
generations. Shakspeares are but their servants; no change of time
or degradation of circumstance can debar us from their lesson. The
fascination which every one finds in the simplest narrative of
daring is the sufficient testimony to its priceless and permanent
worth. Human existence finds its range expanded, when Demosthenes
describes Philip of Macedon, his enemy: "I saw this Philip, with
whom we disputed for empire. I saw him, though covered with wounds,
his eye struck out, his collar-bone broken, maimed in his hands,
maimed in his feet, still resolutely rush into the midst of dangers,
ready to deliver up to Fortune any part of his body she might require,
provided he might live honorably and gloriously with the rest."
Would it not be shameful, that war should leave us such memories as
these, and peace bequeathe us only money and repose? True, "peace
hath her victories, no less renowned than war." No less! but they
should be infinitely greater. _Esto miles pacificus_, "Be the
soldier of peace," was the priestly benediction of mediaeval knights;
and the aspirations of humaner ages should lead us into heroisms such
as Plutarch never portrayed, and even Bayard and Sidney only
prophesied, but died without the sight of.

[Footnote 1: It is worth mentioning, that among the deserters was
one valorous writing-master, who had previously prepared a
breastplate of two quires of his-own foolscap, inscribing thereon,
in his best penmanship,--"This is the body of J.M.; pray, give it
Christian burial."]

       *       *       *       *       *


  Much have I spoken of the faded leaf;
    Long have I listened to the wailing wind,
  And watched it ploughing through the heavy clouds;
    For autumn charms my melancholy mind.

  When autumn comes, the poets sing a dirge:
    The year must perish; all the flowers are dead;
  The sheaves are gathered; and the mottled quail
    Runs in the stubble, but the lark has fled!

  Still, autumn ushers in the Christmas cheer,
    The holly-berries and the ivy-tree:
  They weave a chaplet for the Old Year's heir;
    These waiting mourners do not sing for me!

  I find sweet peace in depths of autumn woods,
    Where grow the ragged ferns and roughened moss;
  The naked, silent trees have taught me this,--
    The loss of beauty is not always loss!


_By the Special Reporter of the "Oceanic Miscellany"_.

The door was opened by a stout, red-armed lump of a woman, who, in
reply to my question, said her name was Bridget, but Biddy they
calls her mostly. There was a rickety hat-stand in the entry, upon
which, by the side of a schoolboy's cap, there hung a broad-brimmed
white hat, somewhat fatigued by use, but looking gentle and kindly,
as I have often noticed good old gentlemen's hats do, after they
have worn them for a time. The door of the dining-room was standing
wide open, and I went in. A long table, covered with an oil-cloth,
ran up and down the length of the room, and yellow wooden chairs were
ranged about it. She showed me where the Gentleman used to sit, and,
at the last part of the time, the Schoolmistress next to him. The
chairs were like the rest, but it was odd enough to notice that they
stood close together, touching each other, while all the rest were
straggling and separate. I observed that peculiar atmospheric flavor
which has been described by Mr. Balzac, (the French story-teller who
borrows so many things from some of our American loading writers,)
under the name of _odeur de pension_. It is, as one may say, an
olfactory perspective of an endless vista of departed breakfasts,
dinners, and suppers. It is similar, if not identical, in all
temperate climates; a kind of neutral tint, which forms the
perpetual background upon which the banquet of today strikes out
its keener but more transitory aroma. I don't think it necessary to
go into any further particulars, because this atmospheric character
has the effect of making the dining-rooms of all boarding-houses
seem very much alike; and the accident of a hair-cloth sofa, cold,
shiny, slippery, prickly,--or a veneered sideboard, with a scale off
here and there, and a knob or two missing,--or a portrait, with one
hand half under its coat, the other resting on a pious-looking book,
--these accidents, and such as these, make no great difference.

The landlady soon presented herself, and I followed her into the
parlor, which was a decent apartment, with a smart centre-table, on
which lay an accordion, a recent number of the "Pactolian," a
gilt-edged, illustrated book or two, and a copy of the works of that
distinguished native author, to whom I feel very spiteful, on
account of his having, some years ago, attacked _a near friend of
mine_, and whom, on Christian principles, I do not mention,--though
I have noticed, that, where there is an accordion on the table, his
books are apt to be lying near it.

The landlady was a "wilted," (not exactly withered,) sad-eyed woman,
of the thin-blooded sort, but firm-fibred, and sharpened and made
shrewd by her calling, so that the look with which she ran me over,
in the light of a possible boarder, was so searching, that I was
half put down by it. I informed her of my errand, which was to make
some inquiries concerning two former boarders of hers, in whom a
portion of the public had expressed some interest, and of whom I
should be glad to know certain personal details,--as to their habits,
appearance, and so on. Any information she might furnish would be
looked upon in the light of a literary contribution to the pages of
the "Oceanic Miscellany," and be compensated with the well-known
liberality of the publishers of that spirited, enterprising, and
very popular periodical.

Up to this point, the landlady's countenance had kept that worried,
watchful look, which poor women, who have to fight the world
single-handed, sooner or later grow into. But now her features
relaxed a little. The blow which had crushed her life had shattered
her smile, and, as the web of shivered expression shot off its rays
across her features, I fancied that Grief had written her face all
over with 'Ws', to mark her as one of his forlorn flock of Widows.

The report here given is partly from the conversation held with the
landlady at that time, and partly from written notes which she
furnished me; for, finding that she was to be a contributor to the
"Oceanic Miscellany," and that in that capacity she would be
entitled to the ample compensation offered by the liberal
proprietors of that admirably conducted periodical,--which we are
pleased to learn has been growing in general favor, and which, the
public may be assured, no pains will be spared to render superior in
every respect,--I say, finding that she was to be handsomely
remunerated, she entered into the subject with great zeal, both
verbally and by letter. The reader will see that I sometimes follow
her orthography, and sometimes her pronunciation, as I may have
taken it from writing or from speech.


There is two vacant places at my table, which I should be pleased to
fill with two gentlemen, or with a gentleman and his wife, or any
respectable people, be they merried or single. It is about the
gentleman and the lady that used to set in them places, that
inquiries is bein' made. Some has wrote, and some has spoke, and a
good many folks, that was unbeknown to me, has come in and wanted to
see the place where they used to set, and some days it's been
nothin' but ring, ring, ring, from mornin' till night.

Folks will be curious about them that has wrote in the papers.
There's my daughter couldn't be easy no way till she'd got a profeel
of one of them authors, to hang up right over the head of her bed.
That's the gentleman that writes stories in the papers, some in the
same way this gentleman did, I expect, that inquiries is made about.

I'm a poor woman, that tries to get an honest livin', and works hard
enough for it;--lost my husband, and buried five children, and have
two livin' ones to support. It's a great loss to me, losin' them two
boarders; and if there's anything in them papers he left in that
desk that will fetch anything at any of the shops where they buy
such things, I'm sure I wish you'd ask the printer to step round
here and stop in and see what any of 'em is worth. I'll let you have
one or two of 'em, and then you can see whether you don't know
anybody that would take the lot. I suppose you'll put what I tell you
into shape, for, like as not, I sha'n't write it out nor talk jest
as folks that make books do.

This gentleman warn't no great of a gentleman to look at. Being of a
very moderate dimension,--five foot five _he_ said, but five foot
four more likely, and I've heerd him say he didn't weigh much over a
hundred and twenty pound. He was light-complected rather than
darksome, and was one of them smooth-faced people that keep their
baird and wiskers cut close, jest as if they'd be very troublesome
if they let 'em grow,--instead of layin' out their face in grass, as
my poor husband that's dead and gone used to say. He was a
well-behaved gentleman at table, only talked a good deal, and pretty
loud sometimes, and had a way of turnin' up his nose when he didn't
like what folks said, that one of my boarders, who is a very smart
young man, said he couldn't stand, no how, and used to make faces
and poke fun at him whenever he see him do it.

He never said a word aginst any vittles that was set before him, but
I mistrusted that he was more partickerlar in his eatin' than he
wanted folks to know of, for I've know'd him make believe to eat,
and leave the vittles on his plate when he didn't seem to fancy 'em;
but he was very careful never to hurt my feelin's, and I don't
belief he'd have spoke, if he had found a tadpole in a dish of
chowder. But nothin' could hurry him when he was about his vittles.
Many's the time I've seen that gentleman keepin' two or three of 'em
settin' round the breakfast-table after the rest had swallered their
meal, and the things was cleared off, and Bridget was a-waitin' to
get the cloth away,--and there that little man would set, with a
tumbler of sugar and water,--what he used to call O Sukray,
--a-talkin' and a-talkin',--and sometimes he would laugh, and
sometimes the tears would come into his eyes,--which was a kind of
grayish blue eyes,--and there he'd set and set, and my boy Benjamin
Franklin hangin' round and gettin' late for school and wantin' an
excuse, and an old gentleman that's one of my boarders a-listenin'
as if he wa'n't no older than my Benj. Franklin, and that
schoolmistress settin' jest as if she'd been bewitched, and you
might stick pins into her without her hollerin'. He was a master
hand to talk when he got a-goin'. But he never would have no
disputes nor long argerments at my table, and I liked him all the
better for that; for I had a boarder once that never let nothin' go
by without disputin' of it, till nobody knowed what he believed and
what he didn't believe, only they was pretty sure he didn't believe
the side he was a-disputin' for, and some of 'em said, that, if you
wanted him to go any partickerlar way, you must do with him just as
folks do that drive--well, them obstinate creeturs that squeal so,--
for I don't like to name such creeturs in connexion with a gentleman
that paid his board regular, and was a very smart man, and knowed a
great deal, only his knowledge all laid crosswise, as one of 'em
used to say, after t'other one had shet him up till his mouth wa'n't
of no more use to him than if it had been a hole in the back of his
head. This wa'n't no sech gentleman. One of my boarders used to say
that he always said exactly what he was a mind to, and stuck his
idees out jest like them that sells pears outside their shop-winders,
--some is three cents, some is two cents, and some is only one cent,
and if you don't like, you needn't buy, but them's the articles and
them's the prices, and if you want 'em, take 'em, and if you don't,
go about your business, and don't stand mellerin' of 'em with your
thumbs all day till you've sp'ilt 'em for other folks.

He was a man that loved to stick round home as much as any cat you
ever see in your life. He used to say he'd as lief have a tooth
pulled as go away anywheres. Always got sick, he said, when he went
away, and never sick when he didn't. Pretty nigh killed himself goin'
about lecterin' two or three winters,--talkin' in cold country
lyceums,--as he used to say,--goin' home to cold parlors and bein'
treated to cold apples and cold water, and then goin' up into a cold
bed in a cold chamber, and comin' home next mornin' with a cold in
his head as bad as the horse-distemper. Then he'd look kind of sorry
for havin' said it, and tell how kind some of the good women was to
him,--how one spread an edder-down comforter for him, and another
fixed up somethin' hot for him after the lecter, and another one said,
--"There now, you smoke that cigar of yours after the lecter, jest
as if you was at home,"--and if they'd all been like that, he'd have
gone on lectering forever, but, as it was, he had got pooty nigh
enough of it, and preferred a nateral death to puttin' himself out
of the world by such violent means as lecterin'.

He used to say that he was always good company enough, if he wasn't
froze to death, and if he wasn't pinned in a corner so't he couldn't
clear out when he'd got as much as he wanted. But he was a dreadful
uneven creetur in his talk, and I've heerd a smart young man that's
one of my boarders say, he believed he had a lid to the top of his
head, and took his brains out and left 'em up-stairs sometimes when
he come down in the mornin'.--About his ways, he was spry and quick
and impatient, and, except in a good company,--he used to say,--where
he could get away at any minute, he didn't like to set still very
long to once, but wanted to be off walkin', or rowin' round
in one of them queer boats of his, and he was the solitariest
creetur in his goin's about (except when he could get that
schoolmistress to trail round with him) that ever you see in your
life. He used to say that usin' two eyes and two legs at once, and
keepin' one tongue a-goin', too, was too sharp practice for him; so
he had a way of dodgin' round all sorts of odd streets, I've heerd
say, where he wouldn't meet people that would stick to him.

It didn't take much to please him. Sometimes it would be a big book
he'd lug home, and sometimes it would be a mikerscope, and sometimes
it would be a dreadful old-lookin' fiddle that he'd picked up
somewhere, and kept a-screechin' on, sayin' all the while that it
was jest as smooth as a flute. Then ag'in I'd hear him laughin' out
all alone, and I'd go up and find him readin' some verses that he'd
been makin'. But jest as like as not I'd go in another time, and
find him cryin',--but he'd wipe his eyes and try not to show it,
--and it was all nothin' but some more verses he'd been a-writin'.
I've heerd him say that it was put down in one of them ancient books,
that a man must cry, himself, if he wants to make other folks cry;
but, says he, you can't make 'em neither laugh nor cry, if you don't
try on them feelin's yourself before you send your work to the

He was a temperate man, and always encouraged temperance by drinkin'
jest what he was a mind to, and that was generally water. You
couldn't scare him with names, though. I remember a young minister
that's go'n' to be, that boards at my house, askin' once what was
the safest strong drink for them that had to take somethin' for the
stomach's sake and thine awful infirmities. _Aqua fortis_, says he,
--because you know that'll eat your insides out, if you get it too
strong, and so you always mind how much you take. Next to that, says
he, rum's the safest for a wise man, and small beer for a fool.

I never mistrusted anything about him and that schoolmistress till I
heerd they was keepin' company and was go'n' to be merried. But I
might have knowed it well enough by his smartin' himself up the way
he did, and partin' the hair on the back of his head, and gettin' a
blue coat with brass buttons, and wearin' them dreadful tight little
French boots that used to stand outside his door to be blacked, and
stickin' round schoolma'am, and follerin' of her with his eyes; but
then he was always fond of ladies, and used to sing with my daughter,
and wrote his name out in a blank book she keeps,--them that has
daughters of their own will keep their eyes on 'em,--and I've often
heerd him say he was fond of music and picters,--and she worked a
beautiful pattern for a chair of his once, that he seemed to set a
good deal by; but I ha'n't no fault to find, and there is them that
my daughter likes and them that likes her.

As to schoolma'am, I ha'n't a word to say that a'n't favorable, and
don't harbor no unkind feelin' to her, and never knowed them that did.
When she first come to board at my house, I hadn't any idee she'd
live long. She was all dressed in black; and her face looked so
delicate, I expected before six months was over to see a plate of
glass over it, and a Bible and a bunch of flowers layin' on the lid
of the--well, I don't like to talk about it; for when she first come,
and said her mother was dead, and she was alone in the world, except
one sister out West, and unlocked her trunk and showed me her things,
and took out her little purse and showed me her money, and said that
was all the property she had in the world but her courage and her
education, and would I take her and keep her till she could get some
scholars,--I couldn't say not one word, but jest went up to her and
kissed her and bu'st out a-cryin' so as I never cried since I buried
the last of my five children that lays in the buryin'-ground with
their father, and a place for one more grown person betwixt him and
the shortest of them five graves, where my baby is waitin' for its

[The landlady stopped here and shed a few still tears, such as poor
women who have been wrung out almost dry by fierce griefs lose calmly,
without sobs or hysteric convulsions, when they show the scar of a
healed sorrow.]

--The schoolma'am had jest been killin' herself for a year and a
half with waitin' and tendin' and watchin' with that sick mother
that was dead now and she was in mournin' for. _She_ didn't say so,
but I got the story out of her, and then I knowed why she looked so
dreadful pale and poor. By-and-by she begun to get some scholars,
and then she would come home sometimes so weak and faint that I was
afraid she would drop. One day I handed her a bottle of camphire to
smell of, and she took a smell of it, and I thought she'd have
fainted right away.--Oh, says she, when she come to, I've breathed
that smell for a whole year and more, and it kills me to breathe it

The fust thing that ever I see pass between the gentleman inquiries
is made about, and her, was on occasion of his makin' some very
searchin' remarks about griefs, sech as loss of friends and so on. I
see her fix her eye steady on him, and then she kind of trembled and
turned white, and the next thing I knew was she was all of a heap on
the floor. I remember he looked into her face then and seemed to be
seized as if it was with a start or spasm-like,--but I thought nothin'
more of it, supposin' it was because he felt so bad at makin' her
faint away.

Some has asked me what kind of a young woman she was to look at. Well,
folks differ as to what is likely and what is homely. I've seen them
that was as pretty as picters in my eyes: cheeks jest as rosy as
they could be, and hair all shiny and curly, and little mouths with
lips as red as sealin'-wax, and yet one of my boarders that had a
great name for makin' marble figgers would say such kind of good
looks warn't of no account. I knowed a young lady once that a man
drownded himself because she wouldn't marry him, and she might have
had her pick of a dozen, but I didn't call her anything great in the
way of looks.

All I can say is, that, whether she was pretty or not, she looked
like a young woman that knowed what was true and that loved what was
good, and she had about as clear an eye and about as pleasant a
smile as any man ought to want for every-day company. I've seen a
good many young ladies that could talk faster than she could; but if
you'd seen her or heerd her when our boardin'-house caught afire, or
when there was anything to be done besides speech-makin', I guess
you'd like to have stood still and looked on, jest to see that young
woman's way of goin' to work.--Dark, rather than light; and slim,
but strong in the arms,--perhaps from liftin' that old mother about;
for I've seen her heavin' one end of a big heavy chest round that I
shouldn't have thought of touchin',--and yet her hands was little
and white.--Dressed very plain, but neat, and wore her hair smooth. I
used to wonder sometimes she didn't wear some kind of ornaments,
bein' a likely young woman, and havin' her way to make in the world,
and seein' my daughter wearin' jewelry, which sets her off so much,
every day. She never would,--nothin' but a breastpin with her
mother's hair in it, and sometimes one little black cross. That made
me think she was a Roman Catholic, especially when she got a picter
of the Virgin Mary and hung it up in her room; so I asked her, and
she shook her head and said these very words,--that she never saw a
church-door so narrow she couldn't go in through it, nor so wide
that all the Creator's goodness and glory could enter it; and then
she dropped her eyes and went to work on a flannel petticoat she was
makin',--which I knowed, but she didn't tell me, was for a poor old

I've said enough about them two boarders, but I believe it's all true.
Their places is vacant, and I should be very glad to fill 'em with
two gentlemen, or with a gentleman and his wife, or any respectable
people, be they merried or single.

I've heerd some talk about a friend of that gentleman's comin' to
take his place.

That's the gentleman that he calls "the Professor," and I'm sure I
hope there is sech a man; only all I can say is, I never see him,
and none of my boarders ever see him, and that smart young man that
I was speakin' of says he don't believe there's no sech person as him,
nor that other one that he called "the Poet." I don't much care
whether folks professes or makes poems, if they makes themselves
agreeable and pays their board regular. I'm a poor woman, that tries
to get an honest livin', and works hard enough for it; lost my
husband, and buried five children.... ....

Excuse me, dear Madam, I said,--looking at my watch,--but you spoke
of certain papers which your boarder left, and which you were ready
to dispose of for the pages of the "Oceanic Miscellany."

The landlady's face splintered again into the wreck of the broken
dimples of better days.--She should be much obleeged, if I would
look at them, she said,--and went up stairs and got a small desk
containing loose papers. I looked them hastily over, and selected
one of the shortest pieces, handed the landlady a check which
astonished her, and send the following poem as an appendix to my
report. If I should find others adapted to the pages of the spirited
periodical which has done so much to develop and satisfy the
intellectual appetite of the American public, and to extend the name
of its enterprising publishers throughout the reading world, I shall
present them in future numbers of the "Oceanic Miscellany."



  Do you know the Old Man of the Sea, of the Sea?
  Have you met with that dreadful old man?
  If you haven't been caught, you will be, you will be;
  For catch you he must and he can.

  He doesn't hold on by your throat, by your throat,
  As of old in the terrible tale;
  But he grapples you tight by the coat, by the coat,
  Till its buttons and button-holes fail.

  There's the charm of a snake in his eye, in his eye,
  And a polypus-grip in his hands;
  You cannot go back, nor get by, nor get by,
  If you look at the spot where he stands.

  Oh, you're grabbed! See his claw on your sleeve, on your sleeve!
  It is Sinbad's Old Man of the Sea!
  You're a Christian, no doubt you believe, you believe;--
  You're a martyr, whatever you be!

  --Is the breakfast-hour past? They must wait, they must wait,
  While the coffee boils sullenly down,
  While the Johnny-cake burns on the grate, on the grate,
  And the toast is done frightfully brown.

  --Yes, your dinner will keep; let it cool, let it cool.
  And Madam may worry and fret,
  And children half-starved go to school, go to school;--
  He can't think of sparing you yet.

  --Hark! the bell for the train! "Come along! Come along!
  For there isn't a second to lose."
  "ALL ABOARD!" (He holds on.) "Fsht! ding-dong! Fsht! ding-dong!"--
  You can follow on foot, if you choose.

  --There's a maid with a cheek like a peach, like a peach,
  That is waiting for you in the church;--
  But he clings to your side like a leech, like a leech,
  And you leave your lost bride in the lurch.

  --There's a babe in a fit,--hurry quick! hurry quick!
  To the doctor's as fast as you can!
  The baby is off, while you stick, while you stick,
  In the grip of the dreadful Old Man!

  --I have looked on the face of the Bore, of the Bore;
  The voice of the Simple I know;
  I have welcomed the Flat at my door, at my door;
  I have sat by the side of the Slow;

  I have walked like a lamb by the friend, by the friend,
  That stuck to my skirts like a burr;
  I have borne the stale talk without end, without end,
  Of the sitter whom nothing could stir:

  But my hamstrings grow loose, and I shake and I shake,
    At the sight of the dreadful Old Man;
  Yea, I quiver and quake, and I take, and I take,
    To my legs with what vigor I can!

  Oh, the dreadful Old Man of the Sea, of the Sea!
    He's come back like the Wandering Jew!
  He has had his cold claw upon me, upon me,--
    And be sure that he'll have it on you!

       *       *       *       *       *



22,728 Five Hundred and Fifty-First St., New York, May 1, 1858.

Dear Don Bobus,--Pardon my abruptness. _In medias res_ is the rule,
you know, _formose puer_, my excellent old boy! Bring out the Saint
Peray, if there be a bottle of that flavorous and flavous tipple in
your extensive cellars,--which I doubt, since you never had more
than a single flask thereof, presented to you by a returned traveller,
who bought it, to my certain knowledge, of a mixer in Congress Street,
in Boston. We drank it, O ale-knight, _sub teg. pat. fag._ more
than five years ago, of a summer evening, in dear old Cambridge, then
undisfigured by the New Chapel. That it did not kill us as dead as
Stilpo of Megara (_vide_ Seneca _de Const_. for a notice of that
foolish old Stoic) was entirely owing to my abstinence and your
naturally strong constitution; for I remember that you bolted nearly
the whole of it. You proved yourself to be a Mithridates of white
lead; while I--but I say no more. I could quote you an appropriate
passage from the tippler of Teos, and in the original Greek, if I
had not long ago pawned my copy of Anacreon (Barnes, 12 mo. Cantab.
1721) to a fellow in Cornhill, who sold it on the very next day to
a total-abstinence tutor. Episodically I may say, that the purchaser
read it to such purpose, that within a week he rose to the honor of
sleeping in the station-house, from which keep he was rescued by a
tearful friend, who sent him to the country, solitude, and

"It is useless," says the Staggerite, "for a sober man to knock at
the door of the Muses." It may also be useless for a sober man to
try to write letters to "The New York Scorpion." In your perilous
and unhappy situation you must be a rule unto yourself. But remember,
O Bobus, the saying of Montaigne, that "apoplexy will knock down
Socrates as well as a porter." You are not exactly Socrates; but
your best friends have remarked that you are getting to be
exceedingly stout. Stick to your cups, but forbear, as Milton says,
"to interpose them oft." _In medio tutissimus_,--Half a noggin is
better than no wine. For the sake of the dear old times, spare me the
pain of seeing you a reformed inebriate or a Martha Washington!

Between Drunken Barnaby and Neal Dow there is, I trust, a position
which a gentleman may occupy. Because I have a touch of Charles
Surface in my constitution, I need not make a Toodles of myself. So
bring out the smallest canakin and let it clink softly,--for I have
news to tell you.

I remember, Bob, my boy, once upon a certain Fourth of July,--I
leave the particular Fourth as indefinite as Mr. Webster's "_some_
Fourth" upon which we were to go to war with England,--while there was
a tintinnabulation of the bells, and an ear-splitting tantivy of brass
bands, and an explosion of squibs, which, properly engineered, would
have prostrated the great Chinese Wall, or the Porcelain Tower itself,
--in short, a noise loud enough to make a Revolutionary patriot turn
with joy in his coffin,--that I left my Pottery, after dutifully
listening to Mrs. Potter's performance of twenty-eight brilliant
variations, _pour le piano_, on "Yankee Doodle," by H. Hertz,
(_Op_. 22,378,)--and sought the punches and patriotism, the
joy and the juleps of the Wagonero Cottage. I found you, Bobus,
as cool as if Fahrenheit and Reaumur were not bursting around you.
Well do I remember the patriarchal appearance which you presented,
seated in your own garden, (I think you took the prize for pompions
at the county exhibition soon after,) under your own wide-spreading
elm-tree, reading for facts in one of those confounded cigars, with
which, being proof against them yourself, you were in the habit of
poisoning your friends. Solitary and alone, you would have reminded
me of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,--three distinguished heads of families
rolled into one,--but, surrounded as you were by the fruits of a happy
union, the triple comparison was not to be resisted. Notwithstanding
your hearty welcome, I was a little dispirited,--for I had come from a
childless home. God had taken my sole little lamb,--and many miles
away, with none to care for the flowers which in the first winter of
our bereavement we had scattered upon her rounded grave, she who was
the light of our eyes was sleeping. And while we were thus stricken
and lonesome and desolate, your quiver was full and running over. I do
not mind saying now, that I envied you, as I distributed the squibs,
rockets, and other pyrotechnical fodder which I had brought in my
pocket for your flock. I gulped it all down, however, with a pretty
good grace, and went to my dinner like a philosopher. Do you not
remember that I was particularly brilliant upon that occasion, and that
I told my best story only three times in the course of the evening?
I flatter myself that I know how to conceal my feelings,--although
I punished your claret cruelly, and was sick after it.

I have a notion, dear Don, that I am not writing very coherently,
as you, whether _pransus_ or _impransus_, almost always do. Under
agitating circumstances you are cool, and I verily think that you
would have reported the earthquake at Lisbon without missing one
squashed _hidalgo_, one drop of the blue blood spilt, one convent
unroofed, or one convent belle damaged. Your report would have been
minutely circumstantial enough to have found favor with Samuel Johnson,
LL.D., who for so long a time refused to believe in the Portuguese
convulsion. But we are not all fit by nature to put about butter-tubs
in July. I plead guilty to an excitable temperament. The Bowery youth
here speak of a kind of perspiration which, metaphorically, they
designate as "a cast-iron sweat." This for the last twelve hours has been
my own agonizing style of exudation. And, moreover, the startling event
of which I am to write has (to borrow again from the sage Montaigne)
created in me "so many chimeras and fantastic monsters, one upon another,
without design or order, that, the better at leisure to contemplate their
strangeness and absurdity, I have begun to commit them to writing,
hoping in time to make them ashamed of themselves." The novelty of
my position causes me to shamble and shuffle, now to pause painfully,
and then to dance like a droll. I go out from the presence of my
household, that I may vent myself by private absurdities and
exclusive antics, I retire into remote corners, that I may grin
fearfully, unseen of Mistress Gamp and my small servant. I am
possessed by a shouting devil, who is continually prompting me to
give the "hip-hip-hurrah!" under circumstances which might split
apex and base of several of my most important arteries,--which
might bring on apoplexy, epilepsy, suffusion of the brain, or
hernia,--which might cause death,--yes, Sir,--death of the mother,
father, and child.

--Really, good friends, I ask your pardon! I do not know what I have
done. Did I collar you, Dr. Slop? Send in your bill tomorrow! Did I
smash the instruments beyond repair? And should you say now,--just
speaking off-hand,--that two hundred and fifty dollars would be
money enough to repair them? Of course, I can commit highway robbery,
if it be absolutely necessary. My dear Mrs. Gamp, I fully appreciate
the propriety of your suggestions. You want one quart of gin;--I
comprehend. Shall it be your Hollands, your Aromatic Scheidam, your
Nantz, or our own proud Columbian article? You want one quart of rum,
_potus e saccharo confectus!_ You want one quart of brandy. You
want one gallon of wine. You want a dozen of brown-stout. You
want the patent vulcanized India-rubber pump. You want anise,--
_pimpinella anisum_;--I comprehend. You want castor-oil,--a very
fine medicine indeed,--I tasted it myself when a boy. You want
magnesia. You want the patent Vesuvian night-lamp. Madam, that
volcanic utensil shall be forthcoming.

Do I rave, Don Bob? Has reason caught the royal trick of the century,
and left her throne? Let me be calm, as becometh one suddenly
swelled into ancestral proportions! This small lump of red clay
shall inherit my name, and my estate, which I now seriously purpose
to acquire. For her will I labor. For her I will gorge "The Clarion"
with leading articles. For her I will write the long dreamed-of poem
in twenty-four parts. For her I will besiege the private dens of my
friends the booksellers. Dear, helpless little atomy! infinitesimal
object of love! bud, germ, seed, blossom, tidbit, morsel, mannikin,
tomtit, abbreviation, concentration, quintessence! tiny _multum in
parvo!_ charming diamond edition! thou small, red possibility!
weeping promise of glad days to come! For thee will I put the world
under contribution! For thee will I master 'pathy and 'logy and
'nomy and 'sophy! All was and is for thee! For thee sages have
written; for thee science has toiled; for thee looms are clanking,
ships are sailing, and strong men laboring! Thou art born to a
fortune better than one of gold! I am but thy servant, to bring all
treasures and lay them at thy feet! Be remorseless, exacting, greedy
of our love and our lore! Come, young queen, into thy queendom! All
is thine!

Bobus, my friend, you undoubtedly think that I am beside myself. You
are a tough, knotty old tree, and I have only one tender shoot. You
may sneer, or you may pity,--I care not one baubee for your praise
or your blame. I shall take my own course. I feel my responsibility,
Sir! I shall not come to you for advice! I shall pursue the path of
duty, Sir!--Come to you, forsooth! What could you give? A lot of
rubbish from Confucius, with a farrago of useless knowledge anent
the breeching and birching of babies in Japan. I shall seek original
sources of information. What do you know, for instance, of lactation
and the act of sucking, Sir? I have been, like a good Christian, to
my Paley already. Hear the Archdeacon of Carlisle! "The teeth are
formed within the gums, and there they stop; the fact being, that
their farther advance to maturity would not only be useless to the
new-born animal, but extremely in its way; as it is evident that the
act of _sucking_, by which it is for some time to be nourished, will
be performed with more ease, both to the nurse and to the infant,
whilst the inside of the mouth and edges of the gums are smooth and
soft, than if set with hard-pointed bones. By the time they are
wanted, the teeth are ready." Now, dear Don, is not that an
interesting piece of information? You are not a mother, and probably
you never will be one; but can you imagine anything more unpleasant
to the maternal sensibilities than a child born with teeth? Mentally
and prophetically unpleasant, as suggestive of the amiable Duke of
Gloser, who came into the world grinning at dentists; physically
unpleasant, in respect of bites, and the impossibility of emulating
the complying conduct of Osric the water-fly, whose early politeness
was vouched for by the Lord Hamlet. Bethink you, moreover, Don, of a
wailing infant, full furnished with two rows of teeth--and nothing
to masticate! whereas he must have been more cruel than the
"parient" of the Dinah celebrated in song as the young lady who did
not marry Mr. Villikins, that does not have something ready for them
to do by the time the molars and bicuspids appear. I know the perils
of dentition. But have we not the whole family of carminatives? Did
the immortal Godfrey live and die in vain? Did not a kind Providence
vouchsafe to us a Daffy? Are there not corals? Are there not
India-rubber rings? And is there not the infinite tenderness and
pity which we learn for the small, wailing sufferer, as, during the
night which is not stilly, while the smouldering wick paints you, an
immense, peripatetic _silhouette_, upon the wall, you pace to and
fro the haunted chamber, and sing the song your mother sang while
you were yet a child? What a noble privilege of martyrdom! What but
parental love, deathless and irresistible, could tempt you thus,
in drapery more classical than comfortable, to brave all dangers,
to aggravate your rheumatism, to defy that celebrated god,
Tirednature'ssweetrestorer, and to take your snatches of sleep
_à pied_, a kind of fatherly walking Stewart, as if you were doing
your thousand miles in a thousand hours for a thousand dollars, and
were sure of winning the money? Believe me, my friend, the world has
many such martyrs, unknown, obscure, suffering men, whose names Rumor
never blows through her miserable conch-shell,--and I am one of them.
As Bully Bertram says, in Maturin's pimento play,--"I am a wretch,
and proud of wretchedness." A child, the offspring of your own loins,
is something worth watching for. Such a father is your true Tapley;
--there _is_ some credit in coming out jolly under such circumstances.
The unnatural parent, as those warning cries break the silence, may
counterfeit Death's counterfeit, and may even be guilty of the
surpassing iniquity of simulating a snore. _Nunquam dormio_; I am
like "The Sun" newspaper,--sleepless, tireless, disturbed, but
imperturbable. I meet my fate, and find the pang a pleasant one. And
so may I ever be, through all febrile, cutaneous, and flatulent
vicissitudes,--careful of chicken-pox, mild with mumps and measles,
unwearied during the weaning, growing tenderer with each succeeding
rash, kinder with every cold, gentler with every grief, and
sweeter-tempered with every sorrow sent to afflict my little woman!
'Tis a rough world. We must acclimate her considerately.

Of the matter of education I also have what are called "views." I
may be peculiar. School-committee-men who spell Jerusalem with a G,
drill-sergeants who believe in black-boards and visible numerators,
statistical fellows who judge of the future fate of the republic by
the average attendance at the "Primaries," may not agree with me in
my idea of bending the twig. I do believe, that, if Dame Nature
herself should apply for a school, some of these wise Dogberries
would report her "unqualyfide." I will not murder my pretty pet.
So she be gentle, kindly, and loving, what care I if at sixteen
years of age she cannot paint the baptism of John upon velvet,
does not know a word of that accursed French language, breaks
down in the "forward and back" of a cotillon, and cannot with
spider fingers spin upon the piano the swiftest Tarantelle of
Chopin.--[Illustration: musical note] = 2558 Metronome? We will
find something better and braver than all that, my little Alice!
Confound your Italianos!--the birds shall be the music-masters of
my tiny dame. Moonrise, and sunset, and the autumnal woods shall teach
her tint and tone. The flowers are older than the school-botanies;--
she shall give them pet names at her own sweet will. We will not go
to big folios to find out the big Latin names of the butterflies;
but be sure, pet, they and you shall be better acquainted. And
long before you have acquired that most profitless of all arts,
the art of reading, we will go very deeply into ancient English
literature. There is the story of the enterprising mouse, who,
at one o'clock precisely, ran down the clock to the cabalistic tune
of "Dickory, dickory, dock." There are the bold bowl-mariners of
Gotham. There is "the man of our town," who was unwise enough to
destroy the organs of sight by jumping into a bramble-bush, and who
came triumphantly out of the experiment, and "scratched them in again,"
by boldly jumping into another bush,--the oldest discoverer on
record of the doctrine that _similia similibus curantur_. There are
Jack and Gill, who, not living in the days of the Cochituate, went
up the hill for water, and who, in descending, met with cerebral
injuries. There are the dietetic difficulties of Mr. and Mrs. Sprat,
with the happy solution of a problem at one time threatening the
domestic peace of this amiable pair. Be sure, little woman, we will
find merry morsels in the silly-wise book! And there will be other
silly-wise books. Cinderella shall again lose her slipper, and marry
the prince; the wolf shall again eat little Red Ridinghood; and the
small eyes grow big at the adventures of Sinbad, the gallant tar.
Will not this be better, Don Bob, than pistil and stamen and radicle?
--than wearing out BBB lead pencils in drawing tumble-down castles,
rickety cottages, and dumpling-shaped trees?--than acquiring a
language which has no literature fit for a girl to read?--than
mistressing the absurd modern piano music?--than taking diplomas
from institutes, which most certainly do not express all that young
women learn in those venerable seats of learning? We will not put
stays upon our pet until we are obliged to do so. Birdie shall abide
in the paternal nest, and sing the old home-songs, and walk in the
old home-ways, until she has a nice new nest of her own.

Do I dote, Don Bob? Is there a smirk, a villanous, unfeeling,
disagreeable, cynical sneer, lurking under your confounded moustache?
I know you of old, you miserable, mocking Mephistopheles!--you
sneerer, you scoffer, you misbeliever! No more of that, or I will
travel three hundred miles expressly to break your head. Take a
glass of claret, Bob, and be true to your better nature; for I
suppose you have a better nature packed away somewhere, if one could
but get at it. Those who have no children may laugh, but as a
_paterfamilias_ you should be ashamed to do so. And after all, this
is a pretty serious business. As I sit here and dream and hope and
pray, and try to compute the infinite responsibility which has come
with this infinite joy, I am very humble, and I murmur, "Who is
sufficient? who is sufficient?" And if you will look at the
right-hand corner of this page, you will find a great splashy blot.
Lachrymal, Bob, upon my word! 'Tis time to write "Yours, &c."
Moreover, I am needed for some duty in the nursery. Pleasant dreams!
Health and happiness to Senora Wagonero, and all the little
doubleyous. With assurances, &c., I remain, &c., &c.,


P.S.--Could you tell me the precise age at which Japanese children
begin to learn the use of globes?

P.P.S.--Do Spanish nurses use Daffy? Is there any truth in the
statement of Don Lopez Cervantes Murillo, that Columbus was
"brought up by hand"?

P.P.P.S.--Could you give me the aggregate weight of all the children
born in the Island of Formosa, from 1692 to the present time, with
the proportion of the sexes, and the average annual mortality, and
any other perfectly useless information respecting that island?

   P. P.


  Naushon, September 22d, 1858.

    Behold--not him we knew!
  This was the prison which his soul looked through,
    Tender, and brave, and true.

    His voice no more is heard;
  And his dead name--that dear familiar word--
    Lies on our lips unstirred.

    He spake with poet's tongue;
  Living, for him the minstrel's lyre was strung:
    He shall not die unsung!

    Grief tried his love, and pain;
  And the long bondage of his martyr-chain
    Vexed his sweet soul,--in vain!

    It felt life's surges break,
  As, girt with stormy seas, his island lake,
    Smiling while tempests wake.

    How can we sorrow more?
  Grieve not for him whose heart had gone before
    To that untrodden shore!

    Lo, through its leafy screen,
  A gleam of sunlight on a ring of green,
    Untrodden, half unseen!

    Here let his body rest,
  Where the calm shadows that his soul loved best
    May slide above his breast.

    Smooth his uncurtained bed;
  And if some natural tears are softly shed,
    It is not for the dead.

    Fold the green turf aright
  For the long hours before the morning's light,
    And say the last Good Night!

    And plant a clear white stone
  Close by those mounds which hold his loved, his own,--
    Lonely, but not alone.

    Here let him sleeping lie,
  Till Heaven's bright watchers slumber in the sky,
    And Death himself shall die!


Mr. Caleb Cushing,--"the Ajax of the Union," as he has lately been
styled,--for what reason we know not, unless that Ajax is chiefly
known to the public as a personage very much in want of light,--Mr.
Caleb Cushing has received an invitation to dine in South Carolina.
This extraordinary event, while it amply accounts for the appearance
of the comet, must also be held to answer for the publication by
Mr. Cushing of a letter almost as long, if not quite so transparent,
as the comet's tail. Craytonville is the name of the happy village,
already famous as "the place of the nativity" of Mr. Speaker Orr,
and hereafter to be a shrine of pilgrimage, as the spot where
Mr. Cushing might have gone through the beautiful natural processes
of mastication and deglutition, had he chosen. We use this elegant
Latinism in deference to Mr. Ex-Commissioner Cushing; for, as he
evidently deemed "birth-place" too simple a word for such a complex
character as Mr. Orr, we could not think of coupling his own name
with so common a proceeding as eating his dinner. It may be
sectionalism in us,--but, at the risk of dissolving the Union, we
will not yield to any Southern man a larger share of the dictionary
(unless it be Webster's) than we give to a gentleman who was born at
--we beg pardon, the place of whose nativity was--Newburyport.

Mr. Cushing has distinguished himself lately as the preacher-up of a
crusade against modern philanthropy; and we do not wonder at it, if
the offer of a dinner be so rare as to demand in acknowledgment a
letter three columns long. Or perhaps he considered the offer itself
as an instance of that insane benevolence which he reprobates, and
accordingly punished it with an epistle the reading of which would
delay the consummation of the edacious treason till all the meats
were cold and the more impatient conspirators driven from the table.
Or were those who had invited him _negrophilists_, (to use
Mr. Cushing's favorite word,) and therefore deserving of such
retribution? Not at all; they were all _leucophilists_, as
sincere and warm-hearted as himself. Or perhaps this letter
expresses Mr. Cushing's notion of what a proper answer to a
dinner-invitation should be. We have no "Complete Letter-Writer"
at hand, and consequently cannot compare it with any classic models;
but, if we remember rightly, that useful book is not in as many
volumes as the Catalogue of the British Museum is to be, and
the examples there given must necessarily be denied so sea-serpentine
a voluminousness. We suspect that the style is original with the
Ex-Brigadier-Attorney-General, but, while we allow it the merit of
novelty, we think there are some grave objections to its universal
adoption. It would be a great check on hospitality; for, by parity
of reason, the invitation should be as tedious as the reply, and a
treaty of dinner would take nearly as much time as a treaty of peace.
This would be a great damage to the butchers, whose interests
(to borrow a bit of political economy from Mr. Cushing's letter) are
complementary to those of the dinner-giver and the diner. Again, it
would be fatal to all conversation, supposing the dinner at last to
take place; for the Amphitryon, on the one hand, has already
exploited everything he knows and does not know, from Sanconiathon,
Manetho, and Berosus, to Dr. Hickok,--and the guests--but the
thought of their united efforts is too appalling. In short, (if we
may use that term in connection with such a subject,) we cannot
believe, and certainly do not hope, that Mr. Cushing's system will
ever become popular. Even if it should, we think that an improvement
upon it might be suggested. We subjoin a form of invitation and
answer, which any of our readers are at liberty to use, if they
should ever need them.

_Punkinopolis_, 28th Sept., 1858.

My dear N. N.,

I send, by the bearer, the Correspondence of Horace Walpole and
Burke's "Letters on a Regicide Peace" which are, probably, as
entertaining and eloquent as anything I could write. I send also
Cicero "De Amicitia," Brillat-Savarin's "Physiologie du Gout" the
Works of Athenæus, and the "Banquet" of Plato. If, after a perusal
of these works, you are not convinced that I entertain the most
friendly feelings towards you, and that I wish you to dine with me
on this day twelvemonth, I do not know what further arguments to

Yours faithfully,

&c. &c.

Baldeagleville, Feb. 10, 1859.

My dear &c. &c.,

The wagon, which accompanies this, will bring you a copy of the
"Encyclopaedia Britannica." The reading of this choice morçeau of
contemporary literature will suggest to you nearly all I have to say
in reply to your interesting communication of the 28th September
last. By reading, in succession, the articles Confucius,
Fortification, Sandwich Islands, and Æsthetics, you will form some
notion of the mingled emotions with which I remain:

Yours truly,


P. S. The amount of time required for mastering the Greek language,
in order thoroughly to enjoy some passages of your charming note,
alone prevents me from sending so full an answer as I should wish.

In these days, when everybody's correspondence is published as soon
as he is dead,--or during his life, if he is unfortunate enough to
be the Director of an Observatory, and there is a chance of injuring
him by the breach of confidence,--we cannot help thinking that the
forms we have given above are not only more compendious, but safer,
than Mr. Cushing's. If his method should come into vogue, posterity
would be deprived of the letters of this generation for nearly a
century by the time necessary to print them, and then, allowing for
the imperious intervals of sleep, would hardly contrive to get
through them in less than a couple of centuries more. We leave to
those who have read Mr. Cushing's reply to the Craytonville
invitation the painful task of estimating the loss to the world from
such a contingency. Meanwhile, the perplexing question arises,--If
such be the warrior-statesman's measure of gratitude for a dinner,
what would be his scale for a breakfast or a dish of tea? Cæsar
announced a victory in three words; but in this respect he was very
inferior to Mr. Cushing, whose style is much more copious, and who
shows as remarkable talents in the command of language as the other
general did in the command of troops.

On first reading Mr. Cushing's letter, its obscurity puzzled us not
a little. There are passages in it that would have pleased Lycophron
himself, who wished he might be hanged if anybody could understand
his poem. Dilution was to be expected in a production whose author
had to make three columns out of "Thank you, can't come." Even a
person overrunning with the milk of human kindness, as Mr. Cushing,
on so remarkable an occasion, undoubtedly was, might be pardoned for
adopting the shift of dealers in the dearer vaccine article, and
reinforcing his stores from a friendly pump. The expansiveness of
the heart would naturally communicate itself to the diction. But,
on the other hand, repeated experiments failed to detect even the
most watery flavor of conviviality in the composition. The epistles
of Jacob Behmen himself are not farther removed from any
contamination with the delights of sense. Was this, then, a mere
Baratarian banquet, a feast of reason, to which Mr. Cushing had
been invited? Or did he intend to pay an indirect tribute of respect
to his ancestry by sending what would produce all the hilarious effect
of one of those interminable Puritan graces before meat? No, the
dinner was a real dinner,--the well-known hospitality of South Carolina
toward Massachusetts ambassadors forbids any other supposition,--and
Mr. Cushing's letter itself, however dark in some particulars, is
clear enough in renouncing every principle and practice of the founders
of New England. We must find, therefore, some other reason why the
Ex-Commander of the Palmetto Regiment, when the Carolinians ask the
pleasure of his society, gives them instead the agreeable relaxation
of a sermon,--an example which, we trust, will not prove infectious
among the clergy.

It occurred to us suddenly that the next Democratic National
Convention is to assemble in Charleston. It is not, therefore, too
early to send in sealed proposals for the Presidency; and if this
letter is Mr. Cushing's bid, we must do him the justice to say that
we think nobody will be found to go lower. We doubt if it will avail
him much; but the precedent of Northern politicians going South for
wool and coming back shorn is so long established, that a lawyer like
himself will hardly venture to take exception to it. Like his great
namesake, the son of Jephunneh, he may bring back a gigantic bunch
of grapes from this land of large promise and small fulfilment, but
we fear they will be of the variety which sets the teeth on edge,
and fills the belly with that east wind which might have been had
cheaper at home.

If, nevertheless, Mr. Cushing is desirous of being a candidate, it
is worth while to consider what would be the principles on which he
would administer the government, and what are his claims to the
confidence of the public. We are beginning to discover that the
personal character of the President has a great deal to do with the
conduct of the almost irresponsible executive head of the Republic.
What, then, have been Mr. Cushing's political antecedents, and what
is his present creed?

There are many points of resemblance between his character and
career and those of the present Chancellor of the English Exchequer.
Belonging to a part of the country whose opinions are to all intents
and purposes politically proscribed, he has gone over to a party
whose whole policy has tended to harass the commerce, to cripple the
manufactures, and to outrage the moral sense of New England, and has
won advancement and prominence in that party by his talents,
contriving at the same time to make his origin a service rather than
a detriment. Like Mr. Disraeli, he has been consistent only in
devotion to success. Like him, accomplished, handsome, plucky,
industrious, and dangerous, if unconvincing, in debate, he brings to
bear on every question the immediate force of personal courage and
readiness, but none of that force drawn from persistent principle,
whose defeats are tutorings for victory. With a quick eye for the
weak point of an enemy, and a knack of so draping commonplaces with
rhetoric that they shall have the momentary air of profound
generalizations, he is also, like him, more cunning in expedients
than capable of far-seeing policy. Adroit in creating and fostering
prejudice, acute in drawing metaphysical distinctions which shall
make wrong seem right by showing that it is less wrong than it
appeared, he is unable to see that public opinion is never moulded
by metaphysics, and that, with the people, instinct is as surely
permanent as prejudice is transitory. Like Mr. Disraeli, versatile,
he is liable to forget that what men admire as a grace in the
intellect they condemn as a defect in the character and conduct.
Gifted, like him, with various talents, he has one which overshadows
all the rest,--the faculty of inspiring a universal want of
confidence. As a popular leader, the advantage which daring would
have given him is more than counterpoised by an acuteness and
refinement of mind which have no sympathy with the mass of men, and
which they in turn are likely to distrust from imperfect
comprehension. Ill-adapted for the rough-and-tumble contests of a
Democracy, he is admirably fitted to be the minister or the head of
an oligarchical Republic. We wish all our Northern Representatives
had the boldness and the abilities, we hope none of them will be
seduced by the example, of Mr. Cushing.

He is one of those able men whose imputed is even greater than their
real mental capacity; because the standard of ordinary men is success,
--and success, of a certain kind, is assured to those mixed
characters which combine the virtue of courage with the vice of
unscrupulousness. An ambitious man, like Louis Napoleon, for example,
who sets out with those two best gifts of worldly fortune, a lace
with nothing but brass and a pocket with nothing but copper in it,
has a brilliant, if a short, career before him, and will be sure to
gain the character of ability; for if ambition but find selfishness
to work upon, it has that leverage which Archimedes wished for. But
time makes sad havoc with this false greatness, with this reputation
which passes for fame, and this adroitness which passes for wisdom,
with merely acute minds. When Plausibility and Truth divided the
world between them, the one chose To-day and the other To-morrow.

To enable us to construct a theory of Mr. Cushing's present position,
we have two recent productions in print,--his Fourth of July Oration
at New York, and his Letter to the Craytonville Committee. But he
has seen too many aspirants for the Presidency contrive to drown
themselves in their inkstands, and is far too shrewd a man, to
elaborate any documentary evidence of his opinions. If we arrive at
them, it must be by a process of induction, and by gathering what
evidence we can from other sources. Mr. Cushing knows very well that
the multitude have nothing but a secondary office in the making of
Presidents, and addresses to them only his words, while the
initiated alone know what meaning to put on them. If, for example,
when he says _servant_ he means _slave_, when he says _Negrophilist_
he means _Republican_, and when he says _false philanthropy_ he
means _the fairest instincts of the human heart_, we have a right to
suspect that there is also an esoteric significance in the phrases,
_Loyalty to the Union_, _Nationality_, and _Conservatism_.

Had a constituent of Mr. Cushing, in the Essex North District, taken
a nap of twenty years,--(and if he had invited his Representative to
dinner, and got such an answer as the Craytonville letter, the
supposition is not extravagant,)--what would have been his amazement,
on waking, to find his Member of Congress haranguing an assembly of
Original Democrats in Tammany Hall! Caius Marcius addressing the
Volscian council of war would occur to him as the only historic
parallel for such a rhetorical phenomenon. The one was an ideal, as
the other is a commonplace example of the ludicrous contradictions
in which men may be involved, who find in personal motives the
justification of public conduct. That the chairman of the meeting
should have had in his pocket a letter from the candidate of the
Buffalo Convention, and that Mr. John Van Buren should have sat upon
the platform, while the orator charged the leaders of the Republican
Party with interested motives, were merely two of those incidental
circumstances by which Fact always vindicates her claim to be more
satiric than Fiction. But when Mr. Cushing speaks with exultation of
the past and with confidence of the future of the Original
Democratic Party, we can think of nothing like it but Charles II.
taking the Solemn League and Covenant, with an unctuous allusion to
the persecutions WE Covenanters have undergone, and the triumphs of
vital piety to which WE look forward.

Mr. Cushing claims that the Democratic Party has originated and
carried through every measure that has become a part of the settled
policy of the government. This is not very remarkable, if we
consider that the party has been in power during by far the
greater part of our national existence, and that under our system
the administration is practically a dictatorship for four years.
Mr. Everett long ago pointed out the advantage we should gain by
having a responsible ministry. As it is, the representative branch
of our government is practically a nullity. What with his immense
patronage, the progress of events, and the chance of luring the
opposing party into by-questions, the Presidential Micawber of the
moment is almost sure that something will turn up to extricate him
from the consequences of his own incompetency or dishonesty. The only
check upon this system is the chance that the temerity engendered by
irresponsible power may lead the executive to measures which, as in
the case of Kansas, shall open the eyes of thinking men to the real
designs and objects of those in office. An opposition is necessarily
transitory in its nature, if it be not founded on some principle
which, reaching below the shifting sands of politics, rests upon the
primary rock of morals and conscience. In such a principle only is
found the nucleus of a party which the adverse patronage of a
corrupt executive can but strengthen by attracting from it its baser
elements. Such an opposition the Democratic Party seems lately to
have devoted all its policy to build up, and now, confronted with it,
can find no remedy but in the abolishment of morals and conscience

The Democratic Party, like the distinguished ancestor of Jonathan
Wild, has been impartially on both sides of every question of
domestic policy which has arisen since it came into political
existence. It has been _pro_ and _con_ in regard to a Navy, a
National Bank, Internal Improvements, Protection, Hard Money, and
Missouri Compromise. Its leading doctrine was State Rights; its whole
course of action, culminating in the Dred Scott decision, has been
in the direction of Centralization. During all these changes, it has
contrived to have the Constitution always on its side by the simple
application of Swift's axiom, "Orthodoxy is _my_ doxy, Heterodoxy is
_thy_ doxy," though it has had as many doxies as Cowley. Sometimes
it has even had two at once, as in refusing to the iron of
Pennsylvania the protection it gave to the sugar of Louisiana.
Pennsylvania avenged herself by the fatal gift of Mr. Buchanan.
There is one exception to the amiable impartiality of the party,--it
has been always and energetically pro-slavery. In this respect
Mr. Cushing has the advantage of it, for he has been on both sides
of the Slavery question also. It must be granted, however, that his
lapse into _Negrophilism_ was but a momentary weakness, and that
without it the Whig Party would have lost the advantage of his
character, and the lesson of his desertion, in Congress. He is said
to be master of several tongues, and it is therefore quite natural
that he should have held a different language at different times on
many different questions.

A creed so various that it seemed to be, not one, but every creed's
epitome, could not fail to be strangely attractive to a mind so
versatile as that of Mr. Cushing; yet we cannot deny to his
conversion some remarkable features which give it a peculiar interest.
In some respects his case offers a pleasing contrast to that of the
Rev. John Newton; for, as the latter was converted from slave-trading
to Christianity, so Mr. Cushing (whatever he may have renounced)
seems to have embraced something very like the principles which the
friend of Cowper abandoned,--another example of the beautiful
compensations by which the balance of Nature is preserved. And his
conversion was sudden enough to have pleased even Jonathan Edwards
himself. Up to the ripe age of forty-two he had been joined to his
idols. It is a proverb, that he who is a fool at forty will be a
fool at fourscore; yet Mr. Cushing, who is certainly no fool, had
been blind to the beauties of Original Democracy for a year or two
beyond that alliterative era. The Whigs had just succeeded in
electing their candidates, and it seemed as if nothing short of an
almost Providential interposition could save him. That interposition
came in the death of General Harrison, which took away the last earthly
hope of Whig advancement. It was what the jockeys call "a very near
thing." But for that,--it is a sad thought,--Mr. Cushing might have been
on our side now. This was the _gratia operans_. Mr. Tyler, who
succeeded to the Presidency, had Democratic proclivities; this was
the _gratia coöperans_; and finally we see the _gratia perficiens_
in the appointment of our catechumen to the Chinese Commissionership.
From the Central Flowery Kingdom he returned a full-blown Original
Democrat. In 1853, Mr. Pierce, finding himself elected President
for no other reason apparently than that he had failed to distinguish
himself in the Mexican War, appointed Mr. Cushing his Attorney
General on the same benevolent principle,--consoling him for having
to sheathe a bloodless sword by giving him a chance to draw the more
dangerous Opinion.

We have alluded only to such facts in Mr. Cushing's history as are
fresh in the remembrance of our readers; and it would not have been
worth our while to allude even to these, if he had not seen fit to
speak of the leading men of the Republican Party as "dangerous,
because they have _no fixed principle, no stable convictions, no
samples of consistency to control their acts_; because their _only
creed is what has been called the duty of success_; and because
their success--the successful accomplishment of a sectional
organization of the government on the ruins of its nationality--
would be the _de facto_ dissolution of the Union." In his Letter he
says also, that "it is a fact humiliating to confess that the cant
of negroism still has vogue as one of the minor instruments of
demagoguy in Northern States." The coolness of such charges, coming
from Mr. Cushing, is below the freezing-point of quicksilver. Shall
we take lessons in fixedness of principle from the Whig-Antislavery
Member from Federalist Essex?--in stable convictions from the
Tyler-Commissioner to China?--in consistency from the Democratic
Attorney-General?--in an amalgam of all three from the Coalition
Judge? Shall we find a more pointed warning of the worthlessness of
success in the words than in the example of the orator? Since Reynard
the Fox donned a friar's hood, and, with the feathers still sticking
in his whiskers, preached against the damnable heresy of hen-stealing,
there has been nothing like this!

In China, they set great store by porcelain that has been often
broken and mended again with silver wire, prizing it more highly
than that which is sound and fresh from the hands of the potter.
There is a kind of political character of the same description,
--hollow-ware, not generally porcelain, indeed,--cracked in every
direction, but deftly bound together with silver strips of preferment,
till it is consistent enough to serve all the need of its possessor
in receiving large messes of the public pottage. How the Chinese
would have admired Mr. Tyler's Commissioner, if they had known the
exquisite perfection of _crackle_ displayed in his political career!
To be sure, the Chinese are our antipodes.

The imputation of inconsistency is one to which every sound
politician and every honest thinker must sooner or later subject
himself. Fools and dead men are the only people who never change
their opinions or their course of action. The course of great
statesmen resembles that of navigable rivers, avoiding immovable
obstacles with noble bends of concession, seeking the broad levels
of opinion on which men soonest settle and longest dwell, following
and marking the almost imperceptible slope of national tendency, yet
forever recruited from sources nearer heaven, from summits where the
gathered purity of ages lies encamped, and sometimes bursting open
paths of progress and civilisation through what seem the eternal
barriers of both. It is a loyalty to great ends, an anchored cling
to solid principles, which knows how to swing with the tide, but not
to be carried away by it, that we demand in public men,--and not
persistence in prejudice, sameness of policy, or stolid antagonism
to the inevitable. But we demand also that they shall not too lightly
accept Wrong instead of Right, as inevitable; and there is a kind of
change that is suspicious because it is sudden,--and detrimental to
the character in proportion as it is of advantage to the man; and the
judgment of mankind allows a well-founded distinction between an
alteration of policy compelled by events, and an abandonment of
professed principles tainted with any suspicion of self-interest. We
hold that a Representative is a trustee for those who elected him,
--that his political apostasy only so far deserves the name of
conversion as it is a conversion of what was not his to his own use
and benefit; and we have a right to be impatient of instruction in
duty from those whom the hope of promotion could nerve to make the
irrevocable leap from a defeated party to a triumphant one, and who
can serve either side, if so they only serve themselves. It is this
kind of freedom from prejudice that has brought down our politics to
the gambling level of the stock-market; it is this kind of unlucky
success, and the readiness of the multitude to forgive and even to
applaud it, that justify the old sarcasm, _Patibulum inter et
statuam quàm leve discrimen!_

It is not for inconsistencies of policy in matters of indifference
that we should blame a mart or a party, but for making questions of
honor and morals matters of indifference. Inconsistency is to be
settled, not by seeming discrepancies between the action of one day
and that of the next, but by the experience which enables us to
judge of motives and impulses. Time, which reconciles apparent
contradictions, impeaches real ones, and shows a malicious satirical
turn, in forcing men into positions where they must break their own
necks in attempting to face both ways. Nor is it for inconsistency
that we condemn the Democratic Party. There are no trade-winds for
the Ship of State, unless it be navigated by higher principles than
any the political meteorologists have yet discovered. But there have
been mysterious movements, of late, which raise a violent
presumption that our Democratic captain and officers are altering
the rig and adapting the hold of the vessel to suit the demands of a
traffic condemned by the whole civilized world. They are painting
out the old name, letter by letter, and putting "Conservative" in its
stead. They seem to fancy there is such a thing as a slave-trade-wind,
and are attempting to beat up against what they profess to believe a
local current and a gust of popular delusion. We think they are
destined to find that they are striving against the invincible drift
of Humanity and the elemental breath of God. It is an ominous
_consistency_ with which we charge the Democratic Party.

Mr. Cushing affirms, that the Republicans have no argument but the
"cry of _Slavepower!_"--which is as eloquent a one as the old
Roman's _Delenda est Carthago_, to those who know how many years of
bitter experience, how many memories of danger and forebodings of
aggression, are compressed in it. But he is mistaken; Democratic
administrations have been busy in supplying arguments, and we
complain rather of their abundance than their paucity. The repeal of
the Missouri Compromise, the Kansas policy, which even office-holders
who had gulped their own professions found too nauseous to swallow,
and the Dred Scott decision,--if these be not arguments, then
history is no teacher, and events have no logic.

Mr. Cushing adroitly evades the real matter in issue, and assumes
that it is a mere question of the relative amount of federal office
secured by the North and the South respectively. This may be a very
natural view of the case in a man whose map of nationality would
seem to be bounded North by a seat in Congress, East by a Chinese
Embassy, West by an Attorney-Generalship, and South by the vague
line of future contingency; but it hardly solves the difficulty.
With characteristic pluck he takes the wolf by the ears. The charge
being, that the power of the Slave States has been gaining a steady
preponderance over that of the Free States by means of the federal
administration, he answers it by saying that he has made it a
subject of "philosophic study," and has found that Massachusetts has
had a "pretty fair run of the power of the Union,"--whatever that
may be. The phrase is unfortunate, for it reminds one too much of
the handsome competence with which a father once claimed to have
endowed his son in giving him the run of the streets since he was
able to go alone. But let us test Mr. Cushing's logic by an
equivalent proposition. He is executor, we will suppose, of an
estate to be divided among sixteen heirs; he pays A his portion, and
claims a discharge in full. What would not Mr. Buchanan give for a
receipt by which office-seekers could be so cheaply satisfied!

"Philosophic study," to be sure! It may be easy for gentlemen, the
chief part of whose productive industry has been the holding of
office or the preparing of their convictions for the receipt of more,
to be philosophic; but it is not so easy for Massachusetts to be
satisfied, when she sees only those of her children so rewarded who
misrepresent her long-cherished principles, who oppose the spread of
her institutions, who mock at her sense of right and her hereditary
love of freedom, and are willing to accept place as an equivalent
for the loss of her confidence. The question, Who is in office? may
be of primary importance to Mr. Cushing, but is of little
consequence to the Free States. What concerns them is, How and in
what interest are the offices administered? If to the detriment of
free institutions, then all the worse that sons of theirs can be
found to do that part of the work which involves (as affairs are now
tending) something very like personal dishonor. It is no matter of
pride to us that the South has never been able to produce a sailor
skilful enough and bold enough to take command of a slaver.

Mr. Cushing affects to see in the history of the Slavery Agitation
nothing but a series of injuries inflicted by the North on the South.
He charges "some of the Northern States" with acts of aggression
upon the South "which would have been just cause of war as between
foreign governments." He prudently forbears to name any. Does he mean,
that persons have been found in some of those States unnational
enough, un-Original-Democratic enough, to give a cup of water to a
hunted Christian woman, or to harbor an outcast Christian man,
without first submitting their hair to a microscopic examination?
Does he mean, that we have said hard things of our Southern brethren?
Grose's "Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue" is open to them
as well as to us, and the Richmond "South" is surely not in the
habit of sprinkling the Northern subjects of its animadversion with
rose-water. No,--what Mr. Cushing means is this,--that there are men
at the North who will not surrender the principles they have
inherited from three revolutions because they are threatened with a
fourth that will never come,--who do not consider it an adequate
success in our experiment of self-government that we can produce
such types of nationality as reckon the value of their country by
the amount of salary she pays,--who will not believe that there is
no higher kind of patriotism than complicity in every violent
measure of an administration which redeems only its pledges to a
faction of Southern disunionists,--who will not admit that
slave-holding is the only important branch of national industry,
because the profession of that dogma enables unscrupulous men to
enter the public service poor and to leave it rich. Has any citizen
of a Southern State ever failed to obtain justice (that is to say,
in the language of Original Democracy, his _nigger_) in a Northern
court? Has Massachusetts ever mobbed an envoy or brutally assaulted
a Senator of South Carolina? Has any Northern State ever nullified
an article of the Federal Constitution, as every seaboard
Slave-State has always done in respect to the colored citizens of
the North? When a man's allowing himself to be kicked comes to be
reckoned an outrage on the kicker, then Mr. Cushing's notion of what
constitutes a "just cause of war" will deserve as much consideration
as Mr. G.T. Curtis's theory that hustling a deputy-marshal is
"levying" it. We can remember when the confirmation of an ambassador
to England (where the eminent fitness of the nomination was
universally conceded) was opposed by several Southern Senators on
the ground that he had expressed an interest in the success of West
India emancipation. If Original Democrats have their way, it will
not be long before it is made constructive treason to have read that
chapter of the Acts of the Apostles which relates the misguided
philanthropy of Philip in endeavoring to convert an Ethiopian into
anything but a chattel.

We are inclined to think that a too amiable willingness to be kicked
has been generally considered "just cause of war as between foreign
governments,"--especially on the part of the stronger of the two.
History seems to show this,--and also, that the sooner a nation gets
over its eccentric partiality for this kind of appeal to its
reasoning faculty, the more likely it is to avoid the risks of war.
At any rate, the forbearance of the South has been such, that, in
spite of the great temptation, she has hitherto refrained from
sending her fleets and armies northward, and we are glad to find
that Mr. Cushing is inclined to take a cheerful view of the
permanency of our institutions. He tells us, it is true, in one place,
that the success of the Republican Party would be "the _de facto_
dissolution of the Union"; but in a moment of calmer reflection he
assures us that there are thirty million Americans who stand ready
"to devour and swallow up" the "handful of negrophilist Union-haters."
We have great faith in the capacity of the American people, yet we
somewhat doubt whether any one of them could swallow up what he had
already devoured, unless, indeed, he performed that feat which has
hitherto been the opprobrium of Jack-puddings, and jumped down his
own throat afterwards. However, a man of Mr. Cushing's warmth of
nature might well find himself carried beyond the regions of
ordinary rhetoric in contemplating so beautiful and affecting a
vision, and it is enough that we have the consolation of knowing
that he either spoke with a disregard of the census, which we cannot
believe possible in one so remarkable for accuracy of statement, or
that he acquits every man, woman, and child in the country of any
hostility to the Union. It is cheering to have this matter set
finally at rest by so eminent an authority, and we are particularly
glad that the necessity for so painful an experiment in swallowing
is a great way off; for, though a "handful" would not go far among so
many, yet, if its components be as unpleasant as Mr. Cushing
represents them, it would certainly give a colic to every patriot
who got a bite. After so generous an exculpation of the American
people from any desire to pull their own house about their ears, we
are left to conclude that the only real danger to be apprehended, in
case of a Republican success, is a _de facto_ and _de jure_
dissolution of that union between certain placemen and their places
which has lasted so long that they have come to look on it as
something Constitutional. When that day is likely to arrive, we
shall see such samples of consistency, and such instances of stable
conviction, in finding out on which side of their bread the butter
lies, as cannot fail to gratify even Mr. Cushing himself.

But we must not congratulate ourselves too soon. In the interval
between the fifth of July, when his oration was delivered, and the
seventh of August, which is the date of the Craytonville letter,
Mr. Cushing seems to have reviewed his opinion on the state of the
Union. There is more cause for alarm than appeared on the surface;
but this time it is not because we have fallen out of love with the
South, but that we have become desperately enamored of negroes.
Nurses will have to scare their refractory charges with another
bugaboo; for the majority of Massachusetts infants would jump at the
chance of being carried off by the once terrible Ugly Black Man. Our
great danger is from _Negrophilism_; though Mr. Cushing seems
consoled by the fact, that it is a danger to Massachusetts, and not
to South Carolina. We think Mr. Cushing may calm his disinterested
apprehensions. We believe the disease is not so deep-seated as he
imagines; and as we see no reason to fear the immediate catastrophe
of the Millennium from any excess of benevolence on the part of
Mr. Cushing and his party toward white men, (whose cause he
professes to espouse,) we are inclined to look forward with
composure to any results that are likely to follow from sporadic
cases of sympathy with black ones. There is no reason for turning
alarmist. In spite of these highly-colored forebodings, it will be a
great while before our colored fellow-citizens, or fellow-denizens,
(or whatever the Dred Scott decision has turned them into,) will
leave mourning-cards in Beacon Street, or rear mulatto-hued houses
on that avenue which it is proposed to build from the Public Garden
into the sunset.

It is adroit in Mr. Cushing thus to shift the front of his defence,
but it is dreadfully illogical. It is very convenient to make it
appear that this is a quarrel of races; for, in such a case, a
scruple of prejudice will go farther than a hundredweight of argument.
In assuming to be the champion of the downtrodden whites against the
domineering blacks, Mr. Cushing enlists on his side the sympathy and
admiration which are sure to follow the advocate of the weak and the
defenceless. He comes home to New England, finds his own color
proscribed, and at once takes the part of _amicus curiæ_ for the
weak against the strong in the forum of Humanity. We do not wonder,
that a gentleman, who has devoted so much ingenuity, so much time
and talent, to making black appear white, should at last deaden the
nicety of his sense for the distinction between the two, and thus
reverse the relation of the two colors; but we do wonder, that, in
choosing Race as a convenient catchword, he should not see that he
is yielding a dangerous vantage-ground to the Native American Party,
whose principles he seems so pointedly to condemn. We say _seems_,
--for he is carefully indefinite in his specifications, and hedges
his opinions with a thicket of ambiguous phrases, which renders it
hard to get at them, and leaves opportunity for future evasion. If a
war of race be justifiable in White against Black, why not in
so-called Anglo-Saxons against Kelts? The one is as foolish and as
wicked as the other, and the only just method of solution is the
honest old fair field and no favor, under which every race and every
individual man will assume the place destined to him in the order of
Providence. We have a great distrust of ethnological assumptions; for
there is, as yet, no sufficient basis of observed fact for
legitimate induction, and the blood in the theorist's own veins is
almost sure to press upon the brain and disturb accurate vision, or
his preconceptions to render it impossible. Gervinus reads the whole
history of Europe in the two words, _Teutonic_ and _Romanic_;
Wordsworth believed that only his family could see a mountain;
Dr. Prichard, led astray by a mistaken philanthropy, believed color
to be a matter of climate; and Dr. Nott considers that the outline
shown by a single African hair on transverse section is reason
enough for the oppression of a race. If the black man be radically
inferior to the white, or radically different from him, the folly of
white-washing him will soon appear. But, on the other hand, if his
natural relation to the white man be that of slave to master, our
Southern brethren have wasted a great deal of time in prohibitory and
obscurantist legislation; they might as well have been passing acts
to prevent the moon from running away, or to make the Pleiades know
their place.

It will be a blessed day for the world when men are as willing to
help each other as they are to assist Providence. The "London
Cotton-Plant," a journal established to sustain the interests of
Slavery in the Old World, is almost overpowered with acute distress
for the Order of Creation, and offers its sustaining shoulder to the
System of the Universe. "Fear nothing," it seems to say, "glorious
structure of the Divine Architect! Giddings shall not touch you, nor
shall Seward lay his sacrilegious hand on you!" "Who are ye?"
murmurs the Voice, "that would reedit the works of the Almighty?"
"Sublime, but misguided object of our compassion, we prefer to
remain in the modest seclusion of namelessness, but we are published
at Red-Lion Court, Fleet Street, and are sold for one shilling!" To
judge from Mr. Cushing's letter, he has studied this organ of the
sympathizers with the Pre-established Harmonies,--certainly there is
a singular coincidence in the sentiments of both, so far as we can
make them out. Both call themselves conservative, both are
anti-philanthropists, both claim that public opinion is tending in
the direction of their views, both affirm that their cause is that
of the white man, and both appear to mean by white man the same
thing,--the owner of a slave.

But is not Mr. Cushing's anxiety misdirected, and wilfully so, in
seeking the material for its forebodings of danger to the Union in
the Free States? The only avowed disunionists of the North are the
radical Abolitionists, whose position is the logical result of their
admitting that under the Constitution it is impossible to touch
Slavery where it exists, and who, therefore, seek in a dissolution
of the federal compact an escape from complicity with what they
believe an evil and a wrong,--with what, till within the last twenty
years, was conceded to be such by the South itself. If Mr. Cushing
be so great an admirer of stability in conviction, he might have
found in these men the subject of something other than vituperation.
There are men among them who might have won the foremost places of
political advancement, could they have sacrificed their principles
to their ambition, could they believe that public honors would heal
as well as hide the wounds of self-respect. It is the South that
advocates disunion, from sectional motives, and adds the spice of
treason. The "London Cotton-Plant" says,--

  "If she [the South] is denied 'equality'
  within the Union, she can have 'independence'
  out of it. Already in European cabinets
  the possibility of this contingency is
  contemplated. We but perform a public duty
  when we tell Mr. Douglas that _there is in
  Europe more than one power able and willing
  and prepared to take the Cotton States of America,
  and with them the other 'Slave'-States,
  so-called by free-negroists, under their protection,
  as valuable and desirable allies_ ... And
  more, _he can say by authority that she [the
  South] has active and successful agents in every
  part of Europe preparing the way for equal existence,
  commercially as well as politically, so
  long as the Union exists, or the active support of
  powerful allies, if driven as a last resort to appeal
  to the civilized world against tyranny and
  oppression_." [1]

But what does the "Cotton-Plant" understand by "equality"? Nothing
less than the reopening of the slave-trade. Speaking of the chance
that the captured slaves of the "Echo" would be sent back to
Africa, and resenting such a procedure as "a brand upon our
section and upon our social condition," it affirms that:

  "This labor-question of the South does
  not depend upon such miserable clap-trap
  as Kansas or the Fugitive Slave Law. It
  rests upon a full, open, and deliberate recognition
  of the rights of the Southern people;
  and the Senator from Illinois, _by moving the
  abrogation of the so-called slave-trade treaty
  with England, allowing the South to supply herself
  with labor as she may see fit, would give,
  indeed, unquestioned assurance of his disposition
  and courage to follow the principle of the
  white-basis to its logical and constitutional consequence_."

It declares that the sending home of the Africans would be "a
practical reversal of the Dred Scott decision," and adds,--"We have
no fear that our people _will long remain passive under such an
accumulating weight of inequality._" [2]

Is not this explicit enough? and does not the "white-basis"
sufficiently explain what is meant by the systematic depreciation of
the colored race in Mr. Cushing's letter?

The Democratic Party is the party of "Progress." What is the
direction of that progress likely to be? What is the lesson of the
past? Hitherto this party has been the ally and the tool, not of the
moderate, but of the extreme propagandas of the South. The
Carolinians with their Scotch blood received also a strong infusion
of Scotch logic. They felt that their system was inconsistent with
the immortal assertion of Jefferson in the Declaration of
Independence, and with the principles of the Revolution,--that its
extension was a direct reversal of the creed and the policy of the
men by whom our frame of government was established. They accepted
the alternative, and assumed the aggressive. The principles of the
Revolution must be crushed out, the traditions of the Fathers of the
Republic repudiated,--and that, too, by means of the party calling
itself Democratic, through which alone the South could control the
policy of the government.

Accordingly, a reaction was put in motion and steadily pressed,
precisely similar in kind to that organized by Louis Napoleon
against the principles of the French Revolution, and supported by
precisely the same warnings of the danger of civil commotion, and by
appeals to the timidity of Property and the cupidity of Trade. The
party which had so long vaunted the derivation of its fundamental
truth from the Law of Nature was compelled to make it a part of its
creed that there was nothing higher than an ordinance of man. The
party of State-Rights was forced to proclaim that a decision of the
Supreme Court was sovereign over all the rights of the States. The
party whose leading dogma it is, that all power proceeds from and
resides in the people, that all government rests on the consent of
the governed, was driven into refusing to submit a constitution to
the people whose destiny was to be decided by it. And all this has
been done, not for the security of Slavery where it exists, but to
serve the truculent purposes of its indefinite extension. To
acquiesce in the honesty and justice of such a course of policy as
the last few years have shown, to assist in inaugurating a future
that shall accord with it, is nationality and conservatism! No
wonder Mr. Cushing is charmed with the consistency of his new allies.
Do they propose to steal Cuba?--they are the party who would extend
the area of Freedom. Do they make Slavery a matter of federal concern
by means of the Supreme Court?--they are the party who maintain that
it is an affair of local law. Do they disfranchise a race?--they are
the party of equal rights. And the whole wretched imbroglio of creed
which is the condemnation of their action, and of action, which is
the death of their creed, is dubbed Nationality. If sectionalism be
the reverse of all this, we confess that we prefer sectionalism. It
is a nationality which has no Northern half, a conservatism which
abolishes all our heroic traditions.

If the Democratic Party has been urged to such extreme measures and
such motley self-stultification by the pressure of the South, if
every downward step has been only the more likely to be taken
because it seemed impossible six months before, what are we not to
look for, now that its leaders are emboldened by success, and its
lieutenants are eager for more plunder at the easy price of more
perfidy? Already, as we have seen, the reopening of the slave-trade
is demanded; already fresh enactments are called for, expressly to
render it in future impossible for the people of a Territory to
loosen the grip of Slavery, as those of Kansas have done. And to
prepare the way for this, we are forced to hear continual homilies
on the supremacy of law, on what are called "legal conscience" and
"legal morality,"--phrases which sound well, but cover nothing more
than the absurd fallacy, that everything is legal which can by any
hocus-pocus be got enacted. The doctrine, that there is no higher
law than the written statute, is but one of the symptoms of the
steady drift of our leading politicians toward materialism, toward
a faith which makes the products of man's industry of more value
than man himself, and finds the god of this lower world in the
law of demand and supply. "Cotton is King!" say such reasoners as
Mr. Cushing;--"Conscience is King!" said such actors as the Puritans.
To have a moral sense may be very unwise, very visionary, very
unphilosophic; but most men are foolish enough to have one, and the
enforcing of any law which wounds it is sure to arouse a resistance
thoroughly pervading their whole being and lasting as life itself.
The carrying away of a single fugitive[3] gave the Republicans a
tenure of power in Massachusetts, as firm, and likely to be as
enduring, as that of the Whigs was once. The propagandists of
Slavery overreached themselves when they compelled the people of the
North to be their accomplices. The higher law is not a thing men
argue about, but act upon. People who admit the right of property a
thousand miles off go back to first principles when the property
comes to their door in the upright form of man and appeals for
sympathy with a human voice.

Mr. Cushing represents Massachusetts to be a Babel of _isms_, so
many square miles of Bedlam, from Boston Corner to Provincetown. Is
this intended as a depreciation of our free institutions, by showing
the results to which they inevitably lead? Has a Rarey for vicious
hobbies been a _desideratum_ so long, and has such a benefactor of
his species found his avatar at last in Mr. Cushing? He tells us,
however, that the delusion of _Negrophilism_, that is, Republicanism,
is on the wane, and is destined to speedy extinction. The very
extravagancies he speaks of as so rife and so rampant are to us
evidence of the contrary. They prove the depth to which the
religious instincts of the Northern people have been stirred upon
the question of Slavery. Such extravagancies have accompanied every
great moral movement of mankind. The Reformation, the great Puritan
Rebellion, the French Revolution, brought them forth in swarms. A
profound historical thinker, Gervinus, remarks, that the political
enthusiasm of a nation is slow to warm and swift to cool, but that
its moral enthusiasm is quickly stirred and long in subsiding.
Thinking men will ask themselves whether the _isms_ Mr. Cushing
enumerates be not the external symptoms of such an enthusiasm,--and
whether it be wise, under the names of "Nationality" and "Conservatism,"
to urge aggressions to the point where it becomes the right and the
duty of men to consider the terrible necessity of a change in their
system of government; whether it be unpatriotic to resist the
extension of a system which makes the mass of the population an
element of danger and weakness in the body politic, as its advocates
admit by their scheme for a foreign protectorate of their proposed
independent organization,--a system which renders public education
impossible, exhausts the soil, necessitates sparseness of population,
and demoralizes the governing classes.[4]

The ethical aspects of Slavery are not and cannot be the subject of
consideration with any party which proposes to act under the
Constitution of the United States. Nor are they called upon to
consider its ethnological aspect. Their concern with it is confined
to the domain of politics, and they are not called to the discussion
of abstract principles, but of practical measures. The question,
even in its political aspect, is one which goes to the very
foundation of our theories and our institutions. It is simply,
--Shall the course of the Republic be so directed as to subserve the
interests of aristocracy or of democracy? Shall our Territories be
occupied by lord and serf, or by intelligent freemen?--by laborers
who are owned, or by men who own themselves? The Republican Party
has no need of appealing to prejudice or passion. In this case,
there is a meaning in the phrase, Manifest Destiny. America is to be
the land of the workers, the country where, of all others, the
intelligent brain and skilled hand of the mechanic, and the patient
labor of those who till their own fields, are to stand them in
greatest stead. We are to inaugurate and carry on the new system
which makes Man of more value than Property, which will one day put
the living value of industry above the dead value of capital. Our
republic was not born under Cancer, to go backward. Perhaps we do
not like the prospect? Perhaps we love the picturesque charm with
which novelists and poets have invested the old feudal order of
things? That is not the question. This New World of ours is to be
the world of great workers and small estates. The freemen whose
capital is their two hands must inevitably become hostile to a system
clumsy and barbarous like that of Slavery, which only carries to its
last result the pitiless logic of selfishness, sure at last to
subject the toil of the many to the irresponsible power of the few.

It may temporarily avail the Party of Slavery-Extension to announce
itself as the party of the white man, of the sacredness of property,
and the obligation of law; it may draw to their ranks a few
well-meaning persons, whose easy circumstances make them uneasy,--a
few leaders of defunct parties, with a general capacity for
misdirection and nobody to misdirect; but it will avail the
Republican Party more to claim and to prove that it is the party of
Man, no matter what his color or creed or race,--of the sacredness of
that property which every human being has in himself,--and of the
obligation of that law which outlives legislatures and statute-books,
and is the only real security of all law. The cry of "Conservatism"
may be efficacious for a season; but time will make plainer and
plainer the distinction between the false conservatism which for its
own benefit would keep things as they are, which smooths imminent
ruin delusively over, as Niagara is smoothest on the edge of the
abyss, and that true conservatism which works upon things as they are,
to prepare them for what they must be,--recognizes the necessity of
change, to forestall revolution with healthy development,--and
believes that there is no real antagonism between Old and New, but
only a factitious one, the result of man's obstinacy or self-seeking.

[Footnote 1: London Cotton-Plant, 21st August, 1858.]

[Footnote 2: _Ibid_. 18th September. 1858.]

[Footnote 3: It is a coincidence that the recapture of runaways
did more than anything else to abolish villanage in England.]

[Footnote 4: See COBB _on Slavery_, (Philadelphia: T. & J.W.
Johnson & Co., 1858,) where these admissions are made. (Introd. pp.
218-220.) This work, written by Mr. Thomas R. R. Cobb, of Georgia, is,
considering the natural prepossessions of the author, singularly calm
and candid. We commend it to our readers, as bringing together a
great deal of information, and still more as showing the remarkable
change which has come over the Southern mind, even among moderate men,
on the subject of Slavery. We shall take a future occasion to notice
it more fully.]


_Brief Expositions of Rational Medicine; To which is prefixed The
Paradise of Doctors, a Fable_. By JACOB BIGELOW, M.D., Late
President of the Massachusetts Medical Society, Physician of the
Massachusetts General Hospital, etc. Boston: Phillips, Sampson, and
Company, 13, Winter Street. 1858.

Two doctrines, each containing a fraction of truth, have lain
soaking in the mind of our free-and-easy community so long, that
what strength they had is well-nigh got out of them.

Doctrine the first is, that a man who has devoted himself to a
particular calling is to be considered necessarily ignorant thereof,
--and that certain babes and sucklings in that particular branch of
knowledge, and all others, are to be accepted as the true oracles
with regard to its mysteries. Doctrine the second is, that every new
theory accepted by any number of persons has some important truth at
the bottom of it.

The first of these doctrines has its real meaning. It is true that
there may be a common feeling of justice in the minds of ignorant
people which shall override the decisions of a learned Chief Justice.
It is true that a man may brutalize himself by a contemplation of
theological cruelties, until decent parents are ashamed to have
their children listen to his libels on the Father of All. It is true
that a physician may become such a drug-peddling routinist, that
sensible mothers see through him, and know enough to throw his trash
out of the window as soon as he turns his back.

The second doctrine has its real meaning. Until men turn into beasts,
they must have some arguments addressed to their reason before they
will believe, and still more before they will act. Spiritualism has
its significance, as an appeal from the gross materialism and
heathen ideas of another life so commonly entertained. Mormonism has
its logic, as an appeal from the enforced celibacy of one sex, and to
the Oriental Abrahamic instincts of the other. Homoeopathy has its
fraction of sanity, as a protest against that odious tendency of
physicians to give nauseous stuff to people because they are ailing,
which sickened the pages of old pharmacopoeias with powders of
earthworms and _album Græcum_, and even now makes illness terrible
where it reigns unrebuked.

Swallow these two paragraphs of concession as the infusion drawn
from those two doctrines laid down at starting, and throw away the
effete axioms as fit only for old women to coddle and drench
themselves withal. Having done this, the reader is ready for the
book the title of which we have prefixed.

DR. BIGELOW'S name is a guaranty that it shall contain many thoughts
in not over-many words. It is a pledge that we shall be emancipated
from all narrow technicalities and officinal idols, while following
his guidance. As a man of rare sagacity and wide range of knowledge,
a man of science before he became a leading practitioner in the
highest range of his profession, a philosopher whom his fellows have
thought worthy to preside over their deliberations, a physician whom
his brethren have honored with their highest office, though no man
among them ever assailed the pleasing and profitable delusions of
his craft so sharply,--he may well be listened to, even though he
has given his life to the subject on which he writes.

As this little book is neither (to speak in pharmaceutic phrase) the
water, nor the spirit, but the very _essential oil_, of the author's
thoughts on the matters of which he treats, it is only by a
destructive analysis we can resolve it into its elements. We shall
only touch upon its contents, and recommend the book itself to all
who have ever known sickness, or expect ever to know it, or to have
a friend liable to it.

"The Paradise of Doctors" is a pleasant bait to those wary readers
who will bite at the bare hook of quackery, but must be tempted
before they will venture into a book of medicine which has not lying
as its staple material.

Then comes a consideration of the five methods of treating
disease now most prevalent in civilized countries; namely,
  1. The Artificial.
  2. The Expectant.
  3. The Homoeopathic.
  4. The Exclusive.
  5. The Rational.

Perfect candor, perfect clearness, the good-nature of a successful
man above all petty jealousies, the style of a scholar who has
hardly an equal among us in his profession and few equals out of it,
the honesty which belongs to science, and the acuteness which is
conferred by practice mark this brief essay. It follows in the same
course of thought as the admirable "Discourse on Self-limited
Diseases," the delivery of which many years ago marked the
commencement of a new epoch in the movement of the medical mind
among us. An hour's reading given to this new lesson of wisdom will
turn many a self-willed, proud-hearted medical skeptic into a humble
and consistent patient of the regular profession.

_Thoughts on Matter and Force: or Marvels that encompass us_:
comprising Suggestions illustrative of the Theory of the Universe.
By THOMAS EWBANK. New York: D. Appleton & Co. London: Trübner & Co.

The human longing for the Infinite is as strong now as it was when
the first _ology_, aiming to grasp it, conceived its first myth, and
comprehended something so far below what humanity itself now is or
knows, that we use it, along with the more recent productions of
Mrs. Goose, to amuse children. This persistent trait in human nature
is truly noble, however fruitless. But it is not altogether fruitless.
Though the intellectual world has really come no nearer the object
of its search, it has advanced far beyond its starting-point, and
made valuable progress, which a lower motive could never have
prompted. The wisest of mean men, as he was the meanest of wise ones,
did very well to check the metaphysical modes and tendencies of
human study, and advise the previous comprehension of facts within
reach. This worldly wisdom has already made us all wonderfully rich
in the chariots and horses of thought. The consequence is, we now
rush forth into the infinite in various directions, and, from
inconceivable distances of time and space, bring home marvels that
are truly sublime.

Mr. Ewbank's "Suggestions" are of this sort, though the turn-out
with which he has been exploring the boundless is not, perhaps,
quite up to the latest improvements in the Baconian carriage-factory,
There can be no doubt of the boldness with which his really modest
and unpretending little book grapples with the largest of all
subjects, whatever we may think of its success. Postulating, for the
purpose of his cosmogony, two, and only two, absolute entities,
--matter and spirit,--Mr. Ewbank makes force a property or attribute
of the former, which the latter can only direct or make use of, not
originate. He does not admit that spirit can overcome the inertia of
matter. Whatever inertia may be, it is superable or destructible only
by the force or motion of matter itself,--matter being incapable of
rest. "Instead of matter being innately inert," says Mr. Ewbank,
"as many think, motion is its natural condition." How the spiritual
direction--or shall we call it _bossing_?--of motion or force
(which only, according to Mr. Ewbank, produces results) applies
itself,--what is its _point d'appui_, its mode of modifying, its
why of causing,--he does not attempt to explain to us. He recognizes
the universal gravitating or contractile force, from which, as
successive sequences, proceed heat and expansion; but he does not
suggest that spirit has any more to do with the first than with any
succeeding term in the series. It exerts no force, moves nothing;
yet spirit produces all the results. "No regular or useful form,"
says our author, "can be produced by unbridled force. Intelligence
must be present." So it is the business of the spirit to bridle force,
--or matter's motion,--mount the restless steed, and ride to a
purpose! Shall we ever see the bits of that bridle?

On the subject of material form, we find the following passage, which,
while, perhaps, the most original in the book, is to us the least

"However multiplied interior actions may be, the universe, as a whole,
must have a _common movement_, or none. One division cannot, in
relation to the rest, stand still, lag behind, fly off, or diverge
from its place, without destroying all unity. The earth is full of
motions; but they do not interfere with her general and uniform
motion. So it is with the universal orb: its rotation is, we believe,
fundamental,--the basis of all other movements, without which there
could be none other.

"In everything, there is virtue in FORM; and we surmise that vastly
more depends on the configuration and movement of matter as _one mass_,
than has been suspected. As perfect a whole as any of its parts,
must not the universe have a definable outline or shape,--one to
which nothing amorphous can possibly belong? What is its figure? It
can hardly be a cube, cylinder, or prism of any kind; indeed, we
might as reasonably suppose it a three-sided figure as one bounded
at all by straight lines. No one extending in one direction more
than in another could have met the exigencies of creation; and that
the universe is a sphere may also be inferred from fluid matter
naturally assuming that form,--perhaps because its elements have it.
Had atoms been bounded by plane surfaces, so, we may suppose, had
worlds, drops of water, and soap-bubbles.

"The universe is spherical, then, because its molecules are: and it
moves, because they are incapable of rest."

Does this mean that the totality of matter is finite?--that it can
be viewed, spiritually, from the outside,--even from such a distance
as to appear infinitely small? If so, can there be infinite power,
either material or spiritual? If the universe is spherical because
its molecules are, can the molecules compose any other than the
spherical form? Do we gain much by reasoning from an assumption
below the ken of the microscope to a conclusion above that of the

Mr. Ewbank, however, does not often indulge in a logical stride so
long or on such shaky footing as this. Through more or less
cloudiness of expression, he gives us many striking and satisfactory
views, looking towards a complete synthesis of the glorious system
of things to which we belong, makes out the universe as habitable
and cheerful as it is wide, and leaves us admiring its good more
than marvelling at its evil. He maintains that all solar and
planetary bodies have a central, vital heat, produced and maintained
by the same cause,--to wit, the gravitating or condensing force; its
intensity being as the mass. In the sun, the mass is so great, that,
in spite of its inferior density, more and intenser heat is
generated by condensation than in any or all of the planets. If the
whole orb is not incandescent, there is such intense heat in its
central portion as to generate gases, which, being thrown up through
its atmosphere, to a height at least as great as the whole diameter
of our globe, condense there again with an ineffably brilliant
combustion. The solid crust of the sun, he thinks, may be
comparatively cool,--as cool, perhaps, as our tropical climates,--by
the favor of cloud-curtains, which operate as screens, and reflect
off into space the heat of the combustion overhead. He might have
given more reasons than he has for this conclusion. Whether our
terrestrial aurora-borealis is caused by the combustion of gases that
have been generated by internal heat or not, we know that the
combustion of gas in the upper regions of our atmosphere would not
warm the surface of the earth much more than it would that of the
moon. It is easy enough to make out, from facts which our terrene
science has revealed to us, how the sun may be a perpetual fountain
of light, heat, and force to its most distant planets, without
having itself any superabundance of either of these emanations for
its own domestic consumption. The solar population may have no more
sunshine than we do, and may have even that mitigated with the
luxury of ice-creams, if not with that of arctic explorations and
polar bears. Whether they have as good opportunities as we for
astronomical observations is a little doubtful; but their
thermological studies must flourish abundantly, to say nothing of
their advantages in pyrotechnics.

_A Text-Book of Vegetable and Animal Physiology, designed for the
Use of Schools, Seminaries, and Colleges in the United States_. By
HENRY GOADBY, M.D., Professor of Vegetable and Animal Physiology
and Entomology in the State Agricultural College of Michigan, Fellow
of the Linnaean Society of London, etc., etc. Embellished with
upwards of four hundred and fifty Illustrations. New York: D.
Appleton and Company, 346 and 348, Broadway. 1858.

The name of Mr. Goadby is embalmed in a preservative solution
invented by him and known as Goadby's Fluid. Those who have visited
the Royal College of Surgeons in London tell us of very exquisite
anatomical preparations made by him while employed as Minute
Dissector to that institution. We are grateful to Mr. Goadby for
consecrating his narrow but sure immortality and his excellent
mechanical talent to the service of the New World and especially of
the State of Michigan.

It does not follow from this that Mr. Goadby has written a good book
on Animal and Vegetable Physiology, nor that he could write such a
book. Starting with this proposition, we are candid rather than
sanguine as we open the volume. We find that it is not in any true
sense a treatise upon Physiology, but chiefly upon the Minute
Anatomy of Animals and Vegetables, with some incidental physiological

On closer examination, we find it to be the work of a microscopist,
and not that of a physiologist or a scholar. Its merits are
principally its illustrations, many of which are from original
dissections, some of which are very good diagrams, others ordinary,
and some--such as the view of the human brain and spinal chord on
page 282--wretched. The colored figures are washed with dull tints
in a very shabby and negligent way. The text is mainly an account of
the objects illustrated in the figures, and will prove interesting to
the working microscopist as explaining the observations of a skilful
dissector. As a "Text-Book of Physiology for Schools and Colleges,"
it is of course without value.

English microscopists, if we might judge by this work and that of
Mr. Hassall, are not remarkable for scholarship. The showy and in
some respects valuable work of the latter gentleman was disgraced by
constant repetitions of gross blunders in spelling. Mr. Goadby is
not much above his countryman in literary acquirements, if we may
judge by his treatment of the names of Schwann and Lieberkuhn, whom
he repeatedly calls Schawn and Leiberkuhn, and by the indignity
which he offers to the itch-insect by naming it _Aearus Scabiæi_. It
is not necessary to give further examples; but, if the general
statement be disputed, we are prepared to speckle the book with
corrections until it looks like a sign-board with a charge of small
shot in it.

Nothing that we have said must be considered as detracting from
Mr. Goadby's proper merits as an industrious and skilful specialist,
who is more able with his microscope than with his pen, and more at
home with the latter in telling us what he has seen than in writing
a general treatise on so vast a subject as Physiology.

_Lettres de Silvio Pellico_, recueillies et mises en ordre, par
M. GUILLAUME STEFANI. Traduites et précédées d'une Introduction, par
M. ANTOINE DE LATOUR. Paris: 1857. pp. liii, 493. 8 vo.

Silvio Pellico is one of the most touching ghosts that glide through
the chambers of the memory. Even the rod of the pedagogue and the
imprisonment of the school-room (for it has been the misfortune of
"Le mie Prigioni" to be doomed to serve as a "class-book" to
beginners in modern languages) have proved unable to diminish the
sympathy felt for the Spielberg prisoner.

This volume will increase his pure fame. It will be read with
painful interest. It will do more for Italian independence
than all the ravings of revolutionary manifestoes and all the
poignard-strokes of political assassins which can be written or given
from now till doomsday. No one can read it without a swelling heart
and a tear-filled eye, for it discloses involuntarily and indirectly
the unspeakable unhappiness of Italy. Here are the sad accounts of
some loved friend or admired countryman snatched away to prison, or
hurried into exile, for a letter written, or a visit paid, or an
intemperate speech uttered; while no preparation is made for the
long departure, and papers, even the most familiar and prized, are
seized and never restored. Another page presents the exile's
struggles for daily bread, his privations, his longings for the
Italian sun and sky and soil, for the native land; another, the
earnest prayer from jail-walls for the Bible, for books upon our
Saviour's sufferings (nothing less than voices from heaven can
breathe comfort in Austrian dungeons!) Then the moving letters
written from one prisoner's family to another's (yesterday
unacquainted, to-day near kinsmen in the bonds of sorrow) to sustain
each other in the common afflictions, craving with avidity the least
intelligence from the living tombs of tyranny, sharing with generous
alacrity all their tidings. How musically endearing Italian
diminutives fall upon the ear employed in this office! Here we have
Pellico's own letters to his parents to calm their natural grief,
filled with pious concealment of his own mental and bodily torment,
with encouragements to hope an early pardon, and to turn their eyes
to Religion, which never yet refused consolation to the afflicted.
We have never read a more distressing letter than he wrote to his
family, when, at last pardoned, he was once more free. Seven years
had passed away since he heard from them; he knew not if one still
lived to welcome him home,--if his kindred had forgotten, or
execrated him as one who had dragged their common parents sorrowing
and gray-haired down to the grave. Has the world among all its
manifold sorrows any sorrow like unto this?

The late M. de Lamennais was wont to speak with contempt of Silvio
Pellico, as being a weak, spiritless craven, who accepted with
resignation when he should have plotted to end the thraldom of his
country. Yet what can a man do, when the classes above him and those
below him, when noble and priest and peasant, live contented in the
silence of despotism, (calling it peace,) without one thought of
other days, without one sentiment of pride in the deeds of their
illustrious forefathers? What is a Christian's duty, when his country
is bled and plundered and ground down to the dust under the iron
heel of military despotism, when the political fabric of his native
land is crumbling, and his countrymen are listless, selfish, sensual,
unpatriotic, not unhappy so long as their bellies are filled and
their backs covered? Shall he lift his streaming eyes to heaven with
the resigned ejaculation, "Father, not my will, but thine, be done"?
--or shall he, in holy despair, throw his life away on Austrian
bayonets? Terrible problem!

_The Household Book of Poetry_. Collected and edited by CHARLES A.
DANA. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1858. pp. 798.

This book contains extracts from upwards of three hundred authors of
all periods and countries. It is made more complete by the addition
of some of the most famous Latin hymns and canticles of the Church.
The different pieces are classified upon a judicious system. It is
handsomely printed, and not cumbrous in form. What can we say more
in its praise? Only this,--that, after giving it a pretty thorough
examination, we are satisfied that it is the best collection in the
language. Individual tastes and idiosyncrasies will, of course, find
some wants to lament, and some superfluities to condemn. A book
containing so much from living writers will excite jealousies; and
the writers themselves will, in some cases, be dissatisfied with the
selections made from their works. But what the general reader asks
is only, whether the compiler has shown skill in suiting the general
taste, as well as judgment in directing it. We think this collection
the most catholic and impartial we have ever seen. That is the
highest praise we can bestow, and it implies that the editor has
attained the success most difficult as well as essential in such an

_Curiosities of Literature_. By ISAAC DISRAELI. 4 vols. Boston:
William Veazie. 1858.

Possessing this book, Robinson Crusoe might have enjoyed all the
pleasures of what Dr. Johnson called "browsing in a library," and
that a large and choice one. It contains in itself all the elements
of a liberal education in out-of-the-way-ness.

Everybody knows and likes this _Museum Absconditum_, as Sir Thomas
Browne would have called it,--and we take particular pleasure in
being able to recommend to our readers so beautiful an edition of it.
It is in all respects equal to the handsomest kind of English
printing, and has the added merit of being cheap. It is from the
press of Houghton & Company, which has done so much to raise the
standard of American printing. If Mr. Houghton go on as he has begun,
his name will deserve a place with those of Elzevir, Baskerville,
Foulis, and others of his craft, who have done good books the
justice of a mechanical that matches their intellectual workmanship.

       *       *       *       *       *

We have not space in this number to give Mr. White's Shakspeare the
welcome it deserves. We have examined it with some care, and can
speak with decision of its very great merits. It is characterized
by taste, industry, and conscientiousness. We believe it to be,
in all essential respects, the best--it is certainly the most
beautiful--edition of Shakspeare. This is also from the press of
Houghton & Company.

       *       *       *       *       *

We notice with pleasure among recent literary announcements those of
a History of France, by Parke Godwin, Esq., and of New England, by
Dr. J.G. Palfrey. Both are _desiderata_, and the reputation of the
authors is such as to warrant the highest anticipations.

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