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Title: The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 03, No. 18, April, 1859
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 03, No. 18, April, 1859" ***

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If we can believe an eminent authority, in which we are disposed to
place great trust, the oldest contest that has divided society is that
which has so long been waged between the House of HAVE and the House of
WANT. It began before the bramble was chosen king of the trees, and it
has outlasted the cedars of Lebanon. We find it going on when Herodotus
wrote his History, and the historians of the nineteenth century will
have to continue writing of the actions of the parties to it. There
seems never to have been a time when it was not old, or a race that
was not engaged in it, from the Tartars, who cook their meat by
making saddle-cloths of it, to the Sybarites, impatient of crumpled
rose-leaves. Spartan oligarchs and Athenian democrats, Roman patricians
and Roman plebeians, Venetian senators and Florentine _ciompi_, Norman
nobles and Saxon serfs, Russian boyars and Turkish spahis, Spanish
hidalgos and Aztec soldiers, Carolina slaveholders and New England
farmers,--these and a hundred other races or orders have all been
parties to the great, the universal struggle which has for its object
the acquisition of property, the providing of a shield against the
ever-threatening fiend which we call WANT. Property once obtained, the
possessor's next aim is to keep it. The very fact, that the mode of
acquisition may have been wrong, and subversive of property-rights, if
suffered to be imitated, naturally makes its possessor suspicious and
cruel. He fears that the measure he has meted to others may be meted to
him again. Hence severe laws, the monopoly of political power and of
political offices by property-holders, the domination of conquering
races, and the practice of attributing to all reformers designs against
property and its owners, though the changes they recommend may really be
of a nature calculated to make the tenure of property more secure than
ever. Even the charge of irreligion has not been found more effective
against the advocates of improvement or change than that of
Agrarianism,--by which is meant hostility to existing property
institutions, and a determination, if possible, to subvert them. Of the
two, the charge of Agrarianism is the more serious, as it implies the
other. A man may be irreligious, and yet a great stickler for property,
because a great owner of it,--or because he is by nature stanchly
conservative, and his infidelity merely a matter of logic. But if there
be any reason for charging a man with Agrarianism, though it be never so
unreasonable a reason, his infidelity is taken for granted, and it would
be labor lost to attempt to show the contrary. Nor is this conclusion so
altogether irrational as it appears at the first sight. Religion is
an ordinance of God, and so is property; and if a man be suspected of
hostility to the latter, why should he not be held positively guilty
towards the former? Every man is religious, though but few men govern
their lives according to religious precepts; but every man not only
loves property and desires to possess it, but allows considerations
growing out of its rights to have a weight on his mind far more grave,
far more productive of positive results, than religion has on the common
person. If there be such a thing as an Agrarian on earth, he would fight
bravely for his land, though it should be of no greater extent than
would suffice him for a grave, according to the strictest measurement
of the potter's field. Would every honest believer do as much for his

But what is Agrarianism, and who are Agrarians? Though the words are
used as glibly as the luring party-terms of the passing year, it is no
very easy matter to define them. Indeed, it is by no means an easy thing
to affix a precise and definite meaning to any political terms, living
or dead. Let the reader endeavor to give a clear and intelligible
definition of Whig and Tory, Democrat and Republican, Guelph and
Ghibelline, Cordelier and Jacobin, and he will soon find that he has a
task before him calculated to test his powers very severely. How much
more difficult, then, must it be to give the meaning of words that are
never used save in a reproachful sense, which originated in political
battles that were fought nearly two thousand years ago, and in a state
of society having small resemblance to anything that has ever been known
to Christendom! With some few exceptions, party-names continue to have
their champions long after the parties they belonged to are as dead
as the Jacobites. Many Americans would not hesitate to defend the
Federalists, or to eulogize the Federal party, though Federalism long
ago ceased even to cast a shadow. The prostitution of the Democratic
name has lessened in but a slight degree the charm that has attached to
it ever since Jefferson's sweeping reëlection had the effect of coupling
withit the charming idea of success. But who can be expected to say a
word for Agrarian? One might as well look to find a sane man ready to
do battle for the Jacobin, which is all but a convertible term for
Agrarian, though in its proper sense the latter word is of exactly the
opposite meaning to the former. Under the term Agrarians is included,
in common usage, all that class of men who exhibit a desire to remove
social ills by a resort to means which are considered irregular and
dangerous by the great majority of mankind. Of late years we have heard
much of Socialists, Communists, Fourierites, and so forth; but the word
Agrarians comprehends all these, and is often made to include men who
have no more idea of engaging in social reforms than they have of
pilgrimizing to the Fountains of the Nile. It is a not uncommon thing
for our political parties to charge one another with Agrarianism; and if
they used the term in its proper sense, it would be found that they had
both been occasionally right, for Agrarian laws have been supported by
all American parties, and will continue to be so supported, we presume,
so long as we shall have a public domain; but in its reproachful
sense Agrarianism can never be charged against any one of the party
organizations which have been known in the United States. A quarter of
a century ago, one of the cleverest of those English tourists who then
used to contrive to go through--or, rather, over--the Republic, seeing
but little, and not understanding that little, proclaimed to his
countrymen, who had not then recovered from the agitation consequent on
the Reform contest, that there existed here a regular Agrarian party,
forming "the _extrême gauche_ of the Worky Parliament," and which
"boldly advocated the introduction of an AGRARIAN LAW, and a periodical
division of property." He represented these men as only following out
the principles of their less violent neighbors, and as eloquently
dilating "on the justice and propriety of every individual being equally
supplied with food and clothing,--on the monstrous iniquity of one man
riding in his carriage while another walks on foot, [there would have
been more reason in the complaint, had the gigless individual objected
to walking on his head,] and after his drive discussing a bottle of
Champagne, while many of his neighbors are shamefully compelled to be
content with the pure element. Only equalize property, they say, and
neither would drink Champagne or water, but both would have brandy, a
consummation worthy of centuries of struggle to attain." He had the
sense to declare that all this was nonsense, but added, that the
Agrarians, though not so numerous or so widely diffused as to create
immediate alarm, were numerous in New York, where their influence was
strongly felt in the civic elections. Elsewhere he predicted the coming
of a "panic" time, when workingmen would be thrown out of employment,
while possessed of the whole political power of the state, with no
military force to maintain civil order and protect property; "and to
what quarter," he mournfully asked, "I shall be glad to know, is the
rich man to look for security, either of person or fortune?"

Twenty-five years have elapsed since Mr. Hamilton put forth this
alarming question, and some recent events have brought it to men's
minds, who had laughed at it in the year of grace 1833. We have seen
Agrarian movements in New York, demonstrations of "Workies," but nothing
was said by those engaged in them of that great leveller, brandy, though
its properties are probably better known to them than those of water.
They have been dignified with the name of "bread riots," and the great
English journal that exercises a sort of censorship over governments and
nations has gravely complimented us on the national progress we have
made, as evidenced in the existence here of a starving population! One
hardly knows whether to fret or to smile over so provoking a specimen of
congratulation. Certainly, if a nation cannot grow old without bringing
the producing classes to beggary, the best thing that could happen to
it would be to die young, like men loved of the gods, according to the
ancient idea. Whether such is the inevitable course of national life or
not, we are confident that what took place a few months ago in New York
had nothing to do with Agrarianism in reality,--using the word after
the manner of the alarmists. It belonged to the ordinary bald humbug of
American politics. It so happened that one of those "crises" which come
to pass occasionally in all business communities occurred at precisely
the time when a desperate political adventurer was making desperate
efforts to save himself from that destruction to which he had been
doomed by all good men in the city that he had misgoverned. What more
natural than that he should seek to avail himself of the distress of the
people? The trick is an old one,--as old as political contention itself.
Was it not Napoleon who attributed revolutions to the belly?--and he
knew something of the matter. The "bread riots" were neither more nor
less than "political demonstrations," got up for the purpose of aiding
Mr. Wood, and did not originate in any hostility to property on the part
of the people. It is not improbable that some of those who were engaged
in them were really anxious to obtain work,--were moved by fear of
starvation; but such was not the case with the leaders, who were
"well-dressed, gentlemanly men," according to an eye-witness, with
excellent cigars in their mouths to create a thirst that Champagne alone
could cure. The _juste milieu_ of brandy, so favored in 1832, if we can
believe Mr. Hamilton, was not thought of in 1857. A quarter of a
century had made a change in the popular taste. Perhaps the temperance
reformation had had something to do with it. The whole thing was as
complete a farce as ever was seen at an American or an English election,
and those who were engaged in it are now sincerely ashamed of their
failure. If foreigners will have it that it was an outbreak of
Agrarianism, the first in a series of outrages against property, so
be it. Let them live in the enjoyment of the delusion. Nations, like
individuals, seem to find pleasure in the belief that others are as
miserable as themselves.

Of that feeling which is known as Agrarianism we believe there is far
less in the United States now than there was at the time when Mr.
Hamilton was here, and for a few years after that time. From about
the year 1829 to 1841, there was in our politics a large infusion of
Socialism. We then had parties, or factions, based on the distinctions
that exist in the social state, and those organizations had considerable
influence in our elections. The Workingmen's party was a powerful body
in several Northern States, and, to an observer who was not familiar
with our condition, it well might wear the appearance of an Agrarian
body. No intelligent American, however, fell into such an error. It
was evident to the native observer, that the Workingmen's party, while
aiming at certain reforms which it deemed necessary for the welfare of
the laboring classes, had no felonious purposes in view to the prejudice
of property,--and this for the plain reason, that most workingmen were
property-owners themselves. Few of them had much, but still fewer had
nothing, and the aggregate of their possessions was immense. They would
have been the greatest losers, had there been a social convulsion, for
they would have lost everything. Then they were intelligent men in the
ordinary affairs of life, and knew that the occurrence of any such
convulsion would, first of all, cut off, not only their means of
acquisition, but the very sources of their livelihood. Industry wilts
under revolutionary movement, as vegetation under the sirocco, and they
bring to the multitude anything but a realization of Utopian dreams. In
the long run, there has rarely been a revolution which has not worked
beneficially for the mass of mankind; but the earliest effects of every
revolution are to them bad, and eminently so. It is to this fact that we
must look for an explanation of the slowness with which the masses move
against any existing order of things, even when they are well aware
that it treats them with singular injustice. For nothing can be better
established than that no revolution was ever the work of the body of the
people,--of the majority. Revolutions are made by minorities, by orders,
by classes, by individuals, but never by the people. The people may be
dragged into them, but they never take the initiative even in those
movements which are called popular, and which are supposed to have only
popular ends in view. That very portion of mankind who are most feared
by timid men of property are those who are the last to act in any of the
great games which mark the onward course of the world. Complain they do,
and often bitterly, of the inequalities of society, but action is not
their strong point.

The American observer of 1829-41 would have seen, too, in the
Workingmen's party, and in other similar organizations, only sections of
the Democratic party. They were the light troops of the grand army of
Democracy, the _velites_ who skirmished in front of the legions. They
never controlled the Democratic party; but it is undeniable that they
did color its policy, and give a certain tone to its sentiment, at a
very important period of American history. The success of President
Jackson, in that political contest which is known as "the Bank War," was
entirely owing to the support which he received from the workingmen of
some two or three States; and it is quite probable that the shrewd men
who then managed the Democratic party were induced to enter upon that
war by their knowledge of the exalted condition of political opinion in
those States. For their own purposes, they turned to account sentiments
that might have worked dangerously, if they had not been directed
against the Bank. One effect of this was, that the Democratic party was
compelled to make use of more popular language, which caused it to lose
some of its influential members, who were easily alarmed by words,
though they had borne philosophically with violent things. For five
years after the veto of the Bank Bill, in 1832, the Democratic party
was essentially radical in its tone, without doing much of a radical
character. In 1837, the monetary troubles came to a head, and then it
was seen how little reliance could be placed on men who were supposed to
be attached to extreme popular opinions. It was in the very States which
were thought to abound with radicals that the Democracy lost ground, and
the way was prepared for their entire overthrow in the memorable year
1840. That year saw American politics debauched, and from that time
we find no radical element in any of our parties. The contest was
so intense, that the two parties swallowed and digested all lesser
factions. Since then, a variety of causes have combined to prevent the
development of what is termed Agrarianism. The struggle of the Democracy
to regain power; the Mexican war, and the extension of our dominion,
consequent on that war, bringing up again, in full force, the slavery
question; and the discovery of gold in California, which led myriads
of energetic men to a remote quarter of the nation;--these are the
principal causes of the freedom of our later party-struggles from
radical theories. From radical practices we have always been free, and
it is improbable that our country will know them for generations.

The origin of the word Agrarianism, as an obnoxious political term, is
somewhat curious. It is one of the items of our inheritance from the
Romans, to whom we owe so much, both of good and evil, in politics and
in law.

The Agrarian contests of that people were among the most interesting
incidents in their wonderful career, and are full of instruction,
though, until recently, their true character was not understood; and
their explanation affords a capital warning against the effects of
partisan literature. The common belief was,--perhaps we should say
is,--that the supporters of the Agrarian laws were, to use a modern
term, _destructives_; that they aimed at formal divisions of all landed
property, if not of all property, among the whole body of the Roman
people. Nothing can be more unfounded than this view of the subject,
which is precisely the reverse of the truth. No Roman, whose name
is associated with Agrarian laws, ever thought of touching private
property, or of meddling with it, illegally, in any way. Neither Spurius
Cassius, nor Licinius Stolo, nor the Gracchi, nor any other Roman whose
name is identified with the Agrarian legislation of his country, was
a destructive, or leveller. Quite the contrary; they were all
conservatives,--using that word in its best sense,--and the friends of
property. The lands to which their laws applied, or were intended to
apply, were public lands, answering, in some sense, to those which are
owned by the United States. When Spurius Cassius, a quarter of a century
after that revolution which is known as the expulsion of the Tarquins,
proposed a division of a portion of the public land among the poor
commons, he did no more than had often been done by the Roman kings,
with good effect, and with strict legality. Much of the public land was
_occupied_ by wealthy men, as tenants of the state; and some of these
his law would have ousted from profitable spots, while the rest were to
be forced to pay their rents, which they had done very irregularly or
not at all. The operation of all Agrarian laws like that of Cassius was,
undoubtedly, a matter well to be considered; for, after a man has long
occupied a piece of land, he regards it as an act of injustice to be
peremptorily removed therefrom, and he ought to have, at least, the
privilege of buying it, if its possession be necessary to his support.
This feeling must have been the stronger in the bosom of the Roman
occupant in proportion to his poverty, but to legal possession he could
make no claim. The position he held was that of tenant at will to the
state, and he could be legally ejected at any moment. But it was not
from poor occupants of the public domain, whose number was necessarily
small, that opposition was experienced. It came from the rich, who had
all but monopolized the use of that domain; and, in the time of Spurius
Cassius, it was complicated with that quarrel of _caste_ which we
denominate the contest between the Patricians and the Plebeians.
Property and political power were both involved in the dispute. The
Patricians knew that the success of Cassius would make against them in
two ways:--it would strengthen the Plebeians, by lifting them out of the
degradation consequent on poverty, and so render them more dangerous
antagonists in political warfare; and it would render the Patricians
less able to contend with aspiring foes, by taking from them one of the
sources of their wealth. Cassius failed, and was executed, having been
tried and condemned by the Patricians, who then alone constituted the
Roman people.

More than a century after the failure of Cassius, the Agrarian question
was again brought before the Roman nation, on a large scale. This was
the time when the famous Licinian rogations, by the adoption of which
a civil revolution was effected in Rome, were brought forward. They
provided for the passage of an Agrarian law, for an equitable settlement
of debts, and that thereafter one of the two Consuls should always be
a Plebeian. It is something to be especially noted, that C. Licinius
Stolo, the man from whom these laws take their name, was not a needy
political adventurer, but a very wealthy man, his possessions being
mainly in land; and that he belonged to a _gens_ (the Licinii) who were
noted in after days for their immense wealth, among them being that
Crassus whose avarice became proverbial, and whose surname was _Dives_,
or _the Rich_. The Licinian Agrarian law provided, that no one should
_possess_ more than five hundred jugers of the public land, (_ager
publicus_,) that the state should resume lands that had been illegally
seized by individuals, that a rent should be paid by the occupants of
the public domain, that only freemen should be employed on that domain,
and that every Plebeian should receive seven jugers of the public land
in absolute property, to be taken from those lands which the state was
to resume from Patricians who _possessed_ (that is to say, who occupied)
more than five hundred jugers. Such were the main provisions of the law,
which did not touch private property of any kind. The state was merely
to assert its undisputed legal right over the public domain, and the
Plebeians became landholders, which was the best thing that could happen
to the republic, and which was what was aimed at in every community of
antiquity. Even the partial observance of this law was the cause of the
supremacy of Rome being established over the finest portions of the
ancient world. Had Licinius failed, Rome would have gone down in her
contest with the Samnites, and the latter people would have become
masters of Italy. As it was, his success created the Roman people; and
from the time of that success must be dated the formation of the Roman
constitution as it was recognized and acted on during the best period of
the Republic. True, the Agrarian law was but one of three measures which
he carried through in the face of all the opposition the Patricians
could make; but the other laws were of a kindred character, and they all
worked together for good. It was the triumph of the Plebeians for the
benefit of all. The revolution then effected was strictly conservative
in its nature, and whatever of internal evil Rome afterwards experienced
was owing, not to the adoption of the Licinian law, but to the
departure by the state from the practice under it which it was intended
permanently to establish.

The last great Agrarian contest which the Romans had was that which
takes its name from the Gracchi, and which began at the commencement of
the fourth generation before the birth of Christ. On the part of the
reformers, it was as strictly legal a movement as ever was known. Not
a single acre of private land was threatened by them; and whoever pays
attention to the details of their measures cannot fail to be struck with
the great concessions they were ready to make to their opponents,--the
men who had literally stolen the public property, and who pretended to
hold it as of right. Perhaps it was too late for any such reform as that
contemplated by the Gracchi to succeed, the condition of Rome then being
in no important respect like what it had been in the time of Licinius
Stolo; but one of the most interesting chapters in the history of things
which might have been is that which relates to the possible effect of
the Sempronian legislation. Had that legislation been fairly tried,
Roman history, and therefore human history, must have taken an entirely
different course, with an effect on the fortunes of every man born since
that time. Whether that effect would have been good or bad, who shall
say? But one thing is certain, and that is, that the Gracchi and their
supporters were not the enemies of property, and that their measures
were not intended to interfere with the private estate of any citizen of
the Roman Republic.

Such was the Agrarianism, and such were the Agrarian laws and the
Agrarian contests of Rome, which were so long misunderstood; and through
that misunderstanding has the word Agrarian, so proper in itself,
been made to furnish one of the most reproachful terms that violent
politicians have ever used when seeking to bespatter their foes. It will
be seen that the word has been applied in "the clean contrary way" to
that in which it should have been applied, and that, strictly speaking,
an Agrarian is a conservative, a man who asks for justice,--not a
destructive, who, in his desire to advance his own selfish ends or those
of his class, would trample on law and order alike. It is only within
the last seventy years that the world has been made to comprehend that
it had for fifty generations been guilty of gross injustice to some of
the purest men of antiquity; and it is not more than thirty years since
the labors of Niebuhr made the truth generally known,--if it can,
indeed, be said to be so known even now. The Gracchi long passed for a
couple of demagogues, who were engaged in seditious practices, and who
were so very anxious to propitiate "the forum populace" that they were
employed in perfecting plans for the division of all landed property
amongst its members, when they were cut off by a display of vigor on the
part of the government. "The Sedition of the Gracchi" was for ages one
of the common titles for a chapter in the history of Republican Rome;
yet it did not escape the observation of one writer of no great
learning, who published before Heyne's attention was drawn to the
subject, that, if there were sedition in the affair, it was quite as
much the sedition of the Senate against the Gracchi as it was the
sedition of the Gracchi against the Senate.[A]

[Footnote A: We have taken for granted the soundness of the views of
Niebuhr on the Roman Agrarian contests and laws, that eminent scholar
having followed in the track of Heyne with distinguished success; but
it must be allowed that in some respects his positions have been not
unsuccessfully assailed. Those who would follow up the subject are
recommended to study Ihne's _Researches into the History of the Roman
Constitution_, in which some of Niebuhr's views are energetically
combated. The main points, however, that the Agrarian laws were not
directed against private property, or aimed at placing all men on a
social equality, may be considered as established. Yet it must in candor
be admitted that the general subject is still involved in doubts, the
German commentators having thrown as much fog about some portions of the
Roman Constitution as they have thrown light upon other portions of it.]

The feeling that was allowed to have such sway in Rome, and the triumph
of which was followed with such important consequences, has often
manifested itself in modern times, in the course of great political
struggles, and has proved a powerful disturbing cause on several
occasions. One of these occasions has fallen under the observation of
the existing generation, and some remarks on it may not be out of place.

The French Revolution of 1848 was followed by an alarm on the part of
men of property, or of those whose profits depended on the integrity of
property being respected, which produced grave effects, the end whereof
is not yet. That revolution was the consequence of a movement as
purely political as the world ever saw. There was discontent with the
government of M. Guizot, which extended to the royal family, and in
which the _bourgeoisie_ largely shared, the very class upon the support
of which the House of Orleans was accustomed to rely. Had the government
yielded a little on some political points, and made some changes in the
administration, Louis Philippe might have been living at the Tuileries
at this very moment, or sleeping at St. Denis. But, insanely obstinate,
under dominion of the venerable delusion that obstinacy is firmness, the
King fell, and with him fell, not merely his own dynasty, but the whole
system of government which France had known for a generation, and
under which she was, painfully and slowly, yet with apparent sureness,
becoming a constitutional state. A warm political contest was converted
into a revolution scarcely less complete than that of 1789, and far more
sweeping than that of 1830. Perhaps there would have been little to
regret in this, had it not been, that, instead of devoting their
talents to the establishing of a stable republican government, several
distinguished Frenchmen, whom we never can think capable of believing
the nonsense they uttered, began to labor to bring about a sort of
social Arcadia, in which all men were to be made happy, and which was to
be based on contempt for political economy and defiance of common
sense. Property, with its usual sensitiveness, took the alarm, and the
Parisians soon had one another by the throat. How well founded was
this alarm, it would be difficult to say. Most likely it was grossly
exaggerated, and had no facts of importance to go upon. That among the
disciples of M. Louis Blanc there were gentlemen who had no respect for
other men's property, because they had no property of their own, it is
quite safe to believe; but that they had any fixed ideas about seizing
property, or of providing labor at high wages for workmen, it would be
impossible to believe, even if Albert, _ouvrier_, that most mythical
of revolutionists, were to make solemn affidavit of it on the works of
Aurora Dudevant. Some vague ideas about relieving the wants of the poor,
Louis Blanc and his associates had, just as all men have them who have
heads to see and hearts to feel the existence of social evils. Had they
obtained possession of the French government, immediately after Louis
Philippe, to use his own words, had played the part of Charles X., they
would have failed utterly, as Lamartine and his friends failed, and much
sooner too. Lamartine failed as a statesman,--he lacked that power
to govern which far less able men than he have exhibited under
circumstances even more trying than those into which he so unguardedly
plunged,--and Louis Blanc would have been no more successful than the
poet. The failure of the "Reds" would have been the more complete,
if they had had an opportunity to attempt the realization of the
Socialistic theories attributed to them, but which few of their number
could ever have entertained. They sought political power for the usual
purposes; but as they stood in the way of several other parties, those
parties united to crush them, which was done in "the Days of June." It
is easy to give a fallen enemy a bad name, and the conquered party on
that occasion were stigmatized as the enemies of everything that men
hold dear, particular emphasis being laid on their enmity to property,
which men hold dearer than all other things combined. The belief seems
to have been all but universal throughout Europe, and to have been
shared by many Americans, that the party which was conquered in the
streets of Paris by Cavaignac was really an organization against
property, which it meant to steal, and so afford a lively illustration
of the doctrine attributed to it, that property is theft. To this
belief, absurd as it was, must we look for the whole course of European
history during the last ten years. The restoration of the Napoleonic
dynasty in France, the restoration of the Papacy by French soldiers, the
reëstablishment of Austrian ascendency over Italy, and the invasion of
Hungary by the Russians,--these and other important events that have
happened under our eyes, and which have enabled us to see history in the
making on a large scale, all are directly traceable to the alarm which
property experienced immediately after the class of property-holders had
allowed the Revolution of February to take place, and to sweep away that
dynasty in which their principles stood incarnate. The French imperial
throne is in an especial manner the result of that alarm. When
General Cavaignac had succeeded in conquering the "Reds," a military
dictatorship followed his victory as a matter of course, and it remained
with him to settle the future of France. The principles of his family
led him to sympathize with the "oppressed nationalities" which were
then struggling in so many places for freedom; and had he interfered
decidedly in behalf of the Italians and Hungarians, he would have
changed the fate of Europe. He would have become the hero of the great
_political_ movement which his country had inaugurated, and his sword
would have outweighed the batons of Radetzky and Paskevitsch. Both
principle and selfishness pointed to such intervention, and there can be
no doubt that the Republican Dictator seriously thought of it. But the
peculiarities of his position forbade his following the path that was
pointed out to him. As the champion of property, as the chief of the
coalesced parties which had triumphed over "the enemies of property" in
the streets and lanes of "the capital of civilization," he was required
to concentrate his energies on domestic matters. Yet further: all men in
other countries who were contending with governments were looked upon by
the property party in France as the enemies of order, as Agrarians, who
were seeking the destruction of society, and therefore were not worthy
of either the assistance or the sympathy of France; so that the son of
the old Conventionist of '93 was forced, by the views of the men of whom
he so strangely found himself the chief, to become in effect the ally of
the Austrian Kaiser and the Russian Czar. The Italians, who were seeking
only to get rid of "barbarian" rule, and the Hungarians, who were
contending for the preservation of a polity as old as the English
Constitution against the destructives of the imperial court, were held
up to the world as men desirous in their zeal for revolution to overturn
all existing institutions! Aristocrats with pedigrees that shamed those
of the Bourbon and the Romanoff were spoken of in language that might
possibly have been applicable to the lazzaroni of Naples, that lazzaroni
being on the side of the "law and order" classes. As General Cavaignac
did nothing to win the affections of the French people, as he was the
mere agent of men rendered fierce by fear, it cannot be regarded as
strange, that, when the Presidential election took place, he found
himself nowhere in the race with Louis Napoleon. He was deserted even by
a large portion of the men whose work he had done so well, but who
saw in the new candidate for their favor one who could become a more
powerful protector of property than the African general,--one who had a
name of weight, not merely with the army, but with that multitudinous
peasant class from which the French army is mainly conscribed, and
which, containing numerous small property-holders, is fanatically
attached to the name of Napoleon. Thus the cry of "Property in danger"
ended, in 1851, in the restoration of open despotism, which every
sensible observer of French affairs expected after Louis Napoleon was
made President, his Presidency being looked upon only as a pinch-beck
imitation of the Consulate of 1799-1804. This is the ordinary course
of events in old countries: revolution, fears of Agrarianism, and
the rushing into the jaws of the lion in order to be saved from the
devouring designs of a ghost.

Those who recollect the political literature of the years that passed
between the Revolution of February and the commencement of those
disputes which eventuated in the Russian War must blush for humanity.
Writers of every class set themselves about the work of exterminating
Agrarianism in France. Grave arguments, pathetic appeals, and lively
ridicule were all made use of to drive off enemies of whose coming upon
Europe there was no more danger than of a return of the Teutones and the
Cimbri. Had the arguments and adjurations of the clever men who waged
war on the Agrarians been addressed to the dust of the Teutones
whom Marius exterminated in Provence, they could not have been more
completely thrown away than they were. Some of these men, however, were
less distinguished for cleverness than for malignity, and shrieked for
blood and the display of brute force in terms that would have done
dishonor even to a St. Bartholomew assassin or anti-Albigensian
crusader. Monsieur Romieu held up _Le Spectre Rouge_ to the eyes of a
generation incapable, from fright, of distinguishing between a scarecrow
and the Apollo. The Red Spectre haunted him, and the people for whom he
wrote, as relentlessly as the Gray Spectre came upon the chiefs of Ivor.
He saw in the working classes--those men who asked then, as in modern
times they have only asked, "leave to toil"--millions of creatures
"regimented by hatred," and ready to throw themselves upon society. In
the past he saw nothing so much to be admired as the Feudal System, it
was so very summary and trenchant in its modes of dealing with masses
of men so unreasonable as to grumble when they were starving. In the
present, all that he could reverence was the cannonarchy of Russia,
which he invoked to restore to France that golden age in which Crécy and
Poictiers were fought, and when the Jacquerie illustrated the attachment
of the serf to the seigneur. How this invoker of Cossacks and cannon
from the Don and the Neva "to regulate the questions of our age" on the
Seine and the Marne would have stared, could the curtain that hides the
future have been drawn for a moment, to allow him to see a quarter of a
million of French, English, and Italian soldiers on the shores of the
Euxine, and eight hundred Western cannon raining that "hell-fire" upon
the august city of Catherine under which it became a heap of ruins! Yet
the man was undoubtedly sincere, as political fools almost invariably
are. He had faith in nothing but armies and forts, but his faith in
them was of the firmest. He despised the Bourbons and the _bourgeoisie_
alike, and would be satisfied with nothing short of a national chief
as irresponsible as Tamerlane; and if he should be as truculent as
Tamerlane, it was not difficult to see that M. Romieu would like him all
the better for it. Your true fanatic loves blood, and is provokingly
ingenious in showing how necessary it is that you should submit calmly
to have your throat cut for the good of society. M. Marat was a logician
of this sort, and M. Romieu is, after all, only a pale imitator of the
cracked horse-leech; but as he wrote in the interest of "order," and for
the preservation of property, we rarely hear of his thirst for blood.
Had he been a disciple of Marat, his words would have been quoted
annually in every abode of civilized men from Sacramento to Astrachan,
as evidence of the desire of popular leaders to lap blood.

What has become of M. Romieu, and how he took Louis Napoleon's energetic
measures for laying the Red Ghost in the blood of aristocrats as well as
of democrats, we know not. He ought to have been charmed with the _coup
d'état_; for the man who conceived and executed that measure for his
own benefit professed to act only for the benefit of society, the
maintenance of the rights of property being kept by him especially in
view. He, too, charged his enemies, or those whom he thought endowed
with the desire and the ability to resist him, with Agrarianism; and
such Agrarians as Thiers and Cavaignac were seized in their beds, and
imprisoned,--to prevent their running away with the Great Book of
France, one is at liberty to suppose. There was something shockingly
ludicrous in charging the hero and victor of the Days of June with
designs against property; but the charge may have led Cavaignac to have
doubts whether he had not himself been a little too ready to believe
the charge of Agrarianism when preferred against a large number of the
people of France, whom he had treated with grape-shot by way of teaching
them respect for the rights of property. There is nothing like bringing
injustice home to a man to open his eyes to its evil nature. Of all
public men of our generation who have signally failed, Cavaignac must
be held the most unfortunate; for his intentions were excellent, and he
died just as circumstances were about to afford him an opportunity to
retrieve his fame. His last days must have been the reverse of agreeable
in their retrospect; for it must constantly have been forced upon his
mind that he had been made the chief instrument in the work of fastening
upon the country he loved the most odious of the many despotic
governments it has known,--a government that confesses its inability to
stand against the "paper shot" of journalists, and which has shackled
the press after the fashion of Austrian and Russian dynasties; and all
this had taken place, as he must have seen in his retirement, as the
consequence of his having mistaken the voice of a party for the voice
of France. The lesson is one that ought to go home to the hearts of all
public men, and to those of American statesmen in particular, some
of the ablest of whom are now engaged in doing the behests of an
oligarchical faction in the name of the interests of property.

       *       *       *       *       *




A slow and weary walk had Mr. Lindsay from the station to his house. It
was after sunset, dark and cold, as he turned in at the gate. The house
was dimly lighted, and no one save the Newfoundland dog came to greet
him at the door. He did not hear his daughter singing as she was
accustomed at evening. There were no pleasant voices, no light and
cheerful steps in the rooms. All was silence. The ill news had preceded
him. His wife without a word fell on his bosom and wept. Clara kept her
seat, trying in vain, while her lip quivered and her eyes dimmed, to fix
her attention upon the magazine she had held rather than read. At length
Mr. Lindsay led his wife to the sofa and sat beside her, holding
her hand with a tenderness that was as soothing as it was uncommon.
Prosperity had not hardened his heart, but business had preoccupied it;
though his manner had been kind, his family had rarely seen in him any
evidence of feeling.

Misfortune had now brought back the rule of his better nature, and the
routine life he had led was at an end.

"My dear wife, what I have most dreaded in this crash is the pain, the
anxiety, and the possible discomfort it would bring to you and to Clara.
For myself I care nothing. It is a hard trial, but I shall conform to
our altered circumstances cheerfully."

"And so shall we, father," said Clara. "We shall be happy with you

"One thing, I am sure, you can never lose," said Mrs. Lindsay,--"and
that is an honorable name."

"I have tried to do my duty. I gave up only when I found I must. But my
duty is not yet done."

"Why, father?"

"My creditors have claims which I regard as sacred, and which must be
paid, ultimately, at whatever sacrifice."

"Won't the property at the store be enough when you can sell it?" asked
Mrs. Lindsay. "You have spoken of the quantity of goods you had on

"I can't say, my dear. It depends upon how much time I have. If I could
have effected sales, I should have been safe."

"If they have the goods, won't they be satisfied?" asked Clara.

"You don't understand, my daughter, that all I have is at their command.
If the property does not liquidate the debts, then the house, the
carriage and horses, the furniture, the"----

The possible surrender of all that had made life pleasant to his family
was not to be considered without emotion, and Mr. Lindsay found himself
unable to finish the sentence.

"Dear father!" exclaimed Clara, seizing and kissing his hand, as she sat
down at his feet,--"you are just and noble. We could not be selfish or
complaining when we think of you. Let everything go. I love the dear old
house, the garden that has been your pride, the books and pictures; but
we shall be nearer together--shan't we, papa?--in a cottage. If they do
sell my piano, I can still sing to you; nobody can take that pleasure
from us."

"Bless you, my daughter! I feel relieved,--almost happy. Your cheerful
heart has given me new courage. Perhaps we shall not have to make the
sacrifices I dread. Whatever happens, my darling, your piano shall be
kept. I will sell my watch first. Your music will be twice as dear in
our days of adversity."

"Yes, papa,--if we keep the piano, I can give lessons."

"You give lessons? Nonsense! But get up, pussy; here, sit on my knee."

He fondled her like a child, and they all smiled through their
tears,--heavenly smiles! blissful tears! full of a feeling of which the
heart in prosperous days has no conception!

"One thing has happened to-day," said Mr. Lindsay, "that I shall never
forget,--an action so generous and self-forgetful that it makes one
think better of mankind. I remember hearing a preacher say that no
family knew all their capabilities of love until death had taken one of
their number,--not their love for the dead, but their deeper affection
for each other after the loss. I suppose every calamity brings its
compensations in developing noble traits of character; and it is almost
an offset to failure itself to have such an overflowing feeling as
this,--to know that there are so many sympathizing hearts. But what I
was going to speak of was the conduct of my clerk, Monroe. He is a fine
fellow,--rather more given to pictures and books and music than is good
for a business man; but with a clear head, a man's energy, and a woman's
heart. He has a widowed mother, whom he supports. I never knew he had
any property till to-day. It seems his father left ten thousand dollars.
He knew that my situation was desperate, and yet he offered me his all.
It would only have put off the day of failure; but I was selfish enough
to be willing to take it. He had deposited the securities for the amount
with Sandford, who first borrowed money in the street by pledging them,
and then failed to-day. Monroe has lost his all; but his intention was
as noble as if he had saved me. I shall never forget it; and as long as
I have a dollar he shall share it."

"What a noble fellow!" said Mrs. Lindsay. "How pleasant to think that in
this terrible scramble for life there are some who have not lost their
humanity, nor trampled down their finer feelings!"

"I couldn't but contrast this kindness on the part of a clerk, for whom
I have never done anything beyond paying him his well-earned salary,
with the conduct of Mr. Bullion. I gave him my indorsement repeatedly,
and assisted him in procuring loans, when he was not so rich as he is
now. I know he has resources, ready money,--money that he does not need
for any outstanding debts, but which he must keep for speculation. But
he refused to do anything. 'Couldn't,' he said, 'really; times were
hard; everybody wanted to borrow; couldn't lend to everybody; hadn't the
funds; much as he could do to stand up himself.' There was no sincerity
in his look. I saw his soul skulking away behind his subterfuges like a
spider in the depths of his flimsy web. He seems to thrive, however, in
the midst of general ruin. I've no doubt he lives like a vulture, on the
dead and dying."

"Is Mr. Bullion that short man, father, with the cold eyes and gruff
voice, and the queer eyebrow which he seems to poke at people?"

"Yes, my daughter, that is the man."

"Well, I'm sure, he is coarse, disagreeable, hard-hearted. I'm glad you
are not under obligations to him."

"My only regret is that I had the mortification of being refused. I wish
I had never asked him. I can't think of his look and tone without a pang
of shame, or wounded pride, if you choose to call it so, harder to
bear than a blow in the face. I had a claim upon his gratitude, but he
remembers a favor no more than a wolf does the mutton he ate a year
ago.--But enough of business. The bitterness has passed since we have
talked together. Let us be cheerful. Come, Clara, sing some of those
sweet old ballads!"

From her infancy until now in her twentieth year, Clara had been
constantly with her father,--but she had never known him before.


Early next morning the officer in charge of Mr. Sandford's house was
relieved by a brother constable. Number Two was a much more civil person
in speech and manner than Number One; in fact, he speedily made himself
so agreeable to the housemaid that she brought him a cup of coffee, and
looked admiringly while he swallowed it. By the time Mrs. Sandford and
Marcia came down to breakfast, he had established an intimacy with Biddy
that was quite charming to look upon. One would have thought he was an
old friend of the household,--a favored crony; such an easy, familiar
air he assumed. He accosted the ladies with great gallantry,--assured
them that they were looking finely,--hoped they had passed a pleasant
night, and that Number One had given them no unnecessary inconvenience.
Marcia met him with a haughty stare which nobody but a woman of fashion
can assume. Turning to Mrs. Sandford, she exclaimed,--

"Who is this fellow?"

Number Two hastened to answer for himself:--

"My name, Ma'am, is Scarum, Harum Scarum some of the young lawyers call
me. Ha!" (_A single laugh, staccato_.)

"Well, Mr. Scarum, you can keep your compliments for those who
appreciate them. Come, Lydia, let us go down to breakfast. The presuming
fool!" she exclaimed, as she passed through the hall,--"he's worse
than the other. One can put up with a coarse man, if he minds his own
business; but an impudent, self-satisfied fellow must be made to know
his place."

"High-strung filly! ha!" (_Sforzando_.)

"May have to speak to common folks, yet,--eh, Miss Bridget?"

But farther conversation was interrupted for the time. Bridget was
summoned by the bell to the dining-room, and gallant Number Two was left
alone in the parlor. Meanwhile he surveyed the room as minutely as if
it had been a museum,--trying the rocking-chair, examining pictures,
snapping vases with his unpared nails, opening costly books, smelling of
scent-bottles, scanning the anti-Macassars and the Berlin-wool mats. At
last he opened the piano, and, in a lamentably halting style, played,
"Then you'll remember me," using only a forefinger in the performance.
He sang at the same time in a suppressed tone, while he cast agonizing
looks at an imaginary obdurate female, supposed to be on the sofa,
occasionally glancing with admiration in the mirror at the intensely
pathetic look his features wore.

Marcia, meanwhile, had borne the noise as long as she could; so Biddy
was dispatched to ask the singer if he would not _please_ to do his
practising at some other time.

"Practising, indeed!" exclaimed Number Two, indignantly, upon receiving
the message. "There are people who think I can sing. These women,
likely, a'n't cultivated enough to appreciate the 'way-up music. They're
about up to that hand-organ stuff of Sig-ner Róssyni, likely. They
can't understand Balfy; they a'n't up to it. What do _you_ think, Miss
Bridget? Nice figger, that of yours." (_Sotto voce_.) "None of the
tall, spindlin', wasp-waisted, race-horse style about you, like that"
(pointing down-stairs). "A good plump woman for me! and a woman with an
ear, too! Now _you_ know what good singin' is. I led the choir down to
Jorumville 'bove six months b'fore I come down here and went into the
law. But _she_ thinks I was practising! Ha!" (_Sempre staccato_.)

"La! did ye?" said the admiring Biddy.

Tinkle, tinkle, again. Biddy was now summoned to call Charles, and see
if he would breakfast. Number Two made another tour of the room, with
new discoveries. While absorbed in this pleasing employment, the two
women passed upstairs. Marcia could not restrain herself, as she saw him
with her favorite bird-of-paradise fan.

"Don't spoil those feathers, you meddlesome creature!"

"Beg your pardon, Ma'am" (with an elaborate bow). "Merely admirin' the
colors. Pretty sort of a thing, this 'ere! 'Most too light and fuzzy for
a duster, a'n't it? Feathers ben dyed, most likely? Willin' to 'bleege
the fair, however, especially one so handsome." (Rubbing it on his
coat-sleeve.) "Guess't a'n't got dirty any."

Charles, meanwhile, had risen and dressed, and came out when Bridget
knocked; a spectacle, indeed,--a walking sermon on the perils that may
follow what are termed "good times." His face would have been pale,
except that his nose, which was as puffy as an _omelette soufflée_, and
his left eye with a drooping lid sustained by a livid crescent, gave it
a rubicund expression. His knees were shaky, his pulse feeble, his head
top-heavy. He declined assistance rather sulkily, and descended holding
by the stair-rail and stepping gingerly. Number Two, in spite of his
genial, unruffled temper, could not repress his surprise, as the
apparition passed the parlor-door.

"A rum customer! Ha!" (_Con anima_.)

Before the repentant owner of the puffy nose and purple eyelid had
finished his solitary breakfast, Mr. Sandford came home. He had obtained
bail and was at large. Looking hastily into the parlor, he saw
a stranger, with his hat jauntily on one side, seated in the
damask-covered chair, with his feet on an embroidered ottoman, turning
over a bound collection of sea-mosses, and Marcia's guitar lying across
his lap. He was dumb with astonishment. Polite Number Two did not leave
him to burst in ignorance.

"All right. Mr. Sandford, I suppose. An 'tachment put on, and I'm
keeper. Sorry to disturb a family. But somebody has to. Can I do anything
to obleege you?"

"Yes, by laying down that book which you are spoiling. And you may take
your greasy boots off that worsted-work, and put the stopper into that
Bohemian-glass bottle."

"Beg your pardon, Sir. Didn't intend to make trouble. Boots has to be
greased, you know, else they crack all out, an' don't last no time; mine
do. This 'ere Cologne is nice, to be sure. I jest poured out a bit on my

"Cologne! It's attar of roses; and you've spilled more than your neck is
worth,--taking yourself at your own valuation."

"Why, you don't say this is high-cost? It does smell good, though, ha!"

As he started to go up-stairs, Mr. Sandford saw the linen carpet-cover
spattered with frequent drops of blood. He called aloud to his sister,--

"Marcia! are you there? alive? What's the meaning of this blood? Who has
been murdered? Or is this turned into a butcher's shop?"

Marcia and her sister-in-law descended, and hurriedly explained the
mystery. While they were standing at the head of the stairs, Charles
made his appearance, and received such congratulations from his brother
as might be expected. He vouchsafed no word of reply, but went into
the room where he had slept to get some article he had left. A sudden
thought struck Mr. Sandford. He followed Charles into the room, and in a
moment after returned,--but so changed! Imagine Captain Absolute at
the duelling-ground turned in a twinkling into Bob Acres, Lucy Bertram
putting on the frenzied look of Meg Merrilies, or the even-tempered
Gratiano metamorphosed into the horror-stricken, despairing Shylock
at the moment he hears his sentence, and you have some notion of the
expression which Sandford's face wore. His eyes were fixed like baleful
lights in a haggard, corpse-like countenance. His hair was disordered.
He clutched his cravat as though suffocating. His voice was gone; he
whispered feebly, like one of Ossian's ghosts,--

"Gone! gone! Who has it? Marcia! Lydia! Charles! Who's got it? Quick!
The money! Gone?"

He rushed into the room again, deaf to any reply. He got upon his hands
and knees, looked under the bed, the wardrobe, the dressing-table, the
chairs, muttering all the while with a voice like a dying man's. He rose
up, staggering, and seized Marcia by the arm, who trembled with terror
at his ferocity.

"The money! Give me the money! You've got it! You know you have! Give it
to me! Give"--

"Pray, be calm," said Mrs. Sandford; "you shall know all about it."

"I don't want to know," he almost screamed; "I want the money, the

Then dropping his voice to a lower key, and with a tone which was meant
to be wheedling, he turned to his sister-in-law:--

"You've got it, then? How you frightened me! Come, dear sister! don't
trifle with me. I'm poor, very poor, and the little sum seems large.
Give it to me. Let me see that it is safe. _Dear_ sister!"

"I haven't it," said Mrs. Sandford, "But compose yourself. You shall
know about it."

He cried audibly, like a sickly child.

"It isn't gone? No, you play upon my fears. Where is the pocket-book?"

"How are you ever going to know, if you won't hear?" asked Marcia. "I
wouldn't be so unmanly as to whine so even about a million."

"No, you think money is as plenty as buttons. Wait till you
starve,--starve,--till you beg on a street-crossing."

"Listen," said Mrs. Sandford.

"Do, and stop your groaning like a madman," said Marcia, consolingly.
"When Charles met with his mishap and fell senseless, we asked the
officer to carry him up-stairs. Rather than go up another flight, we had
him taken into your chamber. Your dressing-case lay on the table, in
the middle of the room, away from its usual place by the mirror. The
officer at once seized and opened it. You had carelessly left your money
in it. He was evidently informed of the fact that you had money, and was
directed to attach it. He counted the package before me, and then put it
into his pocket."

During this recital, Mr. Sandford's breath came quick and his eyes
opened wider. His muscles all at once seemed charged with electricity.
He dashed down-stairs, half-a-dozen steps at a time, and pounced upon
unlucky Number Two, who, with the captivated Biddy, was leaning at the
parlor-door, listening to the conversation above. Seizing the officer by
the throat, Sandford shouted huskily,--

"Robber! thief! Give up that money! How dare you? Give it up, I say!"

Number Two could not answer, for his windpipe was mortally squeezed
under the iron grip of his adversary; therefore, as the only reply he
could make, he commenced the manual exercise right and left, and with
such effect, that Sandford loosened his hold and staggered back.

"There! I guess you've got enough on't. What ye talkin' about money? I
a'n't got any of your money."

Meanwhile, Mrs. Sandford, who had followed the infuriated man, though
necessarily at some distance, came and grasped his arm.

"The man who seized the money is gone," she said. "This is the one who
takes his place."

Sandford was speechless,--but not long. While hope remained, he had
whined, begged, cried, implored. Now that he was baffled, discomfited,
ruined, his rage broke out. The placid gentleman, whose glossy garb and
quiet air a day before made such a picture of content, would hardly
be recognized in this furious, gesticulating lunatic, whose oaths and
objurgations came belching forth like sulphurous flames. It was on his
gentle sister-in-law that the weight of his wrath fell. She tried to
pacify him, until she became actually alarmed for her safety, and turned
to fly.

"Go!" he exclaimed. "You've done enough. You've ruined me. Pack off!
You've beggared me. Now look out for yourself! Don't let me see your
face again!"

Trembling and tearful, Mrs. Sandford went to her room to gather
her wardrobe. She had not intended to remain a burden upon her
brother-in-law. Now she must go at once. Even if he were to repent of
his blind rage and ask her forgiveness, she felt that there was an
impassable gulf between them.

During the confusion that followed, Number Two, feeling hungry, went
down with Biddy to lunch.

"It's about the last ov it here, Sirr," said the girl, "an' we may as
well ate what is good and drink something betther than cold wather."

So saying, the best the house afforded was set out;--wines of rare
vintages were uncorked, and glasses hob-a-nobbed.

Mr. Sandford, exhausted with his delirium, went to his room, and there
languidly paced the floor back and forth, without cessation, like a
caged white bear in midsummer. Charles crawled up to his own bed. Marcia
remained in the parlor, her busy brain turning over the unusual events
of the day, and wondering what loop-hole of escape from their present
difficulties could be found.


The door-bell rang. Biddy, occupied with her pleasing duties as hostess,
and flushed with drinking crusty old Port and "Lafitte 1844," did not
hear. Some sudden impulse or vague prescience moved Marcia to open the
door herself. It was Greenleaf. Notwithstanding the untoward state of
affairs, she could not deny herself the pleasure of meeting him, and
ushered him into the parlor, then fortunately vacant.

A cooler observer would have noticed something peculiar in his carriage
as he crossed the hall,--an unnatural pallor, a sharpness in the angles
of his mouth, a quicker respiration, and a look of mingled firmness and
sorrow in his eyes. A stranger might have thought him in a state of
chronic nervous irritability or mild insanity. And truly, a sensitive
man, perplexed between conflicting duties, spurred by conscience, yet
wanting in courage to do its bidding, presents a pitiable spectacle; it
is a position of sharp suspense which no mind can hold long;--relief
must come, in heartbreak or darkness, if in no other way.

When Greenleaf parted from Marcia, the morning before, he intended to
wait a week at least before telling her of his changed feelings. He did
not know what a burden he had undertaken to carry; he staggered under
it, like the pilgrim in Bunyan's immortal story. Besides, after he had
once come to a determination, he was impatient to see Alice and implore
her forgiveness. Minutes were days while he waited. To pass a week in
this way was not to be thought of, unless by means of ether or mesmerism
he could fly from himself and find peace in oblivion.

"My dear George," Marcia began, "it is so kind of you to come with your
sympathy! We are dreadfully cast down. What is to be done I don't know."

"You surprise me! What has happened? I have scarcely been out of my
studio since I last saw you."

"But it's in all the papers!"

"I haven't seen a paper."

"What I told you yesterday has come to pass. Henry has failed; so
has the Vortex,--and Mr. Fayerweather, the President,--and Mr.
Stearine,--and everybody else, I believe. We shall probably leave the
house and take lodgings."

Every word was a pang to Greenleaf. Again his heart, full of sympathy
for the woman's distress, whispered, "Wait! don't wound the stricken
deer!" But he hugged his resolve and steeled himself against pity.

"I am truly sorry to hear of your brother's misfortunes. But with his
talents and reputation, and with his troops of friends in business
circles as well as in the various charitable societies, it cannot be
that he will long be depressed. He will work his way back to his old
position, or even a higher one."

Marcia shook her head doubtfully. She had not heard the rumors affecting
her brother's integrity, but she saw that his manly resolution was gone,
that he was vascillating, broken-spirited, and needed but little more
trouble to make him imbecile.

"I was thinking of a case of conscience, as I came here," said
Greenleaf. "It was, How far a promise is binding, when it involves a
lasting and irretrievable wrong in its fulfilment."

Marcia looked at him in dumb astonishment. He continued:--

"Suppose that you were to find, by-and-by, that your affections had
cooled towards me,--that you discovered incompatabilities of taste and
temper,--that you felt sure a true union of souls was impossible,--that
marriage would be only a mockery?"

"Dear George, how you frighten me! Why do you ask such dreadful
questions in such a solemn way? You know I love you, heart and soul."

"But consider the question as an abstract one. I ask you only to suppose
the case. Should you thrust conscience into the cellar, stifle its
outcries, and give your consent to a profanation of holy wedlock?"

"I can't suppose the case. And I don't see the use of torturing one's
self with imaginary evils. The real troubles of life are quite enough to

"I know such a case. I know a man who has to decide it. It is not a
light matter for any man, and his is a soul as sensitive as God ever
made. He was betrothed to a woman every way worthy; he loved her
sincerely. His chief fault, and a serious one it is, came from his
susceptibility to fresh impressions. The pleasure of the present had
more power over him than any recollections of the past. The influence of
the living woman at his side was greater, for the moment, than that of
any absent love. In an evil hour, he committed himself to another. She
was, doubtless, formed to inspire his passion and to return it. But he
was not free, and had no right to linger on forbidden ground. For weeks,
nay, months, he lived this false and wicked life, of a different mind
every day, and lacking the courage to meet the difficulty. At last he
became sure that his love belonged where his faith was due,--that, if he
would not live a wretched hypocrite, he must humble himself to confess
his criminal weakness, and return to his first engagement."

He paused; he might well do so. Marcia, with some difficulty, was able
to say, through her chattering teeth,--

"You seem to take a deep interest in this weak-minded person."

"I do,--the deepest. I am the man."

She rose to her feet, and, looking scornfully down upon him,

"Then you acknowledge yourself a villain!--not from premeditation, which
would give your baseness some dignity, but a weakly fool, so tossed
about by Fate that he is made a villain without either desire or

"You may overwhelm me with reproaches; I am prepared for them; I deserve
them. But God only knows through what a season of torture I have passed
to come to this determination."

"A very ingenious story, Mr. Greenleaf! Do you suppose that the world
will believe it, the day after our losses? Do you expect me to believe
it, even?"

"I told you that I had not heard of the failure. I am in the habit of
being believed."

"For instance, when you vowed that you loved me, and me only!"

"You may spare your taunts. But, to show you how mercenary I am, let me
assure you that the woman to whom my word is pledged, and to whom I must
return, is without any property or expectations."

"Very well, Sir," said Marcia, rubbing her hands, in the endeavor to
conceal her agitation; "we need not waste words. After what you have
told me, I could only despise such a whiffler,--a scrap of refuse iron
at the mercy of any magnet,--a miller dashing into every fight. A lover
so helpless must needs have some new passional attraction--that is the
phrase, I believe--with every changing moon. The man I love should be
made of different stuff." She drew her figure up proudly, and her lips
curled like a beautiful fiend's. "He should bury the disgraceful secret,
if he had it, in his heart, and carry it to his grave. He would not cry
out like a boy with a cut finger."

"Precisely, Miss Sandford. And for that reason you would be no mate for
me. My wife must have no skeletons in her closet."

"Men generally claim the monopoly of those agreeable toys, I believe."

"Love is impossible where there are concealments. A secret is like a
worm in the heart of an apple, and nothing but rottenness and corruption

"Fortunately, you harbor none. You have turned your heart inside out,
like a peddler's pack,--and a gratifying display it made! I am more than

"The tone you have adopted is a warning to me to stop. I wish to bandy
no epithets, or reproaches. I came sorrowfully to tell you what I have
told. I had no fault to impute to you. But I must confess that this
morning you have shown yourself capable of thoughts and feelings I never
suspected, and I shall leave you with a far lighter heart than I came."

"You expected to see me at your feet, imploring your love and striving
to melt you by tears,--did you? It would have been a pleasing
triumph,--one that your sex prizes, I believe; but you have not been
gratified. I know what is due to myself, and I do not stoop. But there
may be ways to punish the betrayer of confidence," she said, with a
heaving bosom and distended nostrils. "I have a brother; and even if he
is forgetful, I shall not forget."

"I am obliged to you for putting me on my guard. I wished to part
otherwise. Be it so, since you will."

He turned to leave the room. Swift as lightning, she ran to the front
door and braced herself against it, at the same time calling loudly to
her brother. Mr. Sandford came to the top of the stairs and listened
with apparent apathy, while the maddened woman poured out her rage. He
stood a moment like one in a dream, and then slowly came down.

"There is your cane," said Marcia, fiercely, pointing to the

"I give you fair warning," said Greenleaf, calmly, "that you will never
strike more than one blow. No man shall assault me but at the risk of
his life."

"What is the need of this fury?" asked Mr. Sandford. "I don't want
to quarrel with a pauper. You are well rid of him. If you were to be
married, you'd only have the pleasure of going to Deer Island for your
bridal trip."

"Then you will see me insulted without lifting a finger? Coward! Broken
down like a weed for the loss of a little money! I should be ashamed to
have a beard, if I had such a timid soul!"

"I trust, Miss Sandford," said Greenleaf, "you do not wish to prolong
this scene. Let me pass."

"Oh, yes,--you can go; can't he, brother?"

She opened the door, looking scornfully from the one to the other.

At that moment Mrs. Sandford came down, bringing a satchel, and asked
Greenleaf to walk with her until she could get a carriage. He cheerfully
promised his aid, and took the satchel. Her eyes were sadly beautiful,
and still humid from recent tears; and her face wore a touching look of
resignation. She did not speak to Mr. Sandford, who stood scowling at
her; but, taking Marcia's hand, she said,--

"Good bye, sister! I never thought to leave you in this way. I hope we
shall never see a darker hour. I shall send for my trunks presently.
Good bye!"

"Good bye!" replied Marcia, mechanically. "You have a brave gallant! See
to it that he is not compelled by Destiny to make love to you on the

Greenleaf, with his companion, descended the steps to the street, making
no reply to this amiable God-speed.

Marcia shut the door, and with her brother returned to the parlor. At
the head of the stairs that led to the dining-room stood Number Two and
Biddy, who in stupid wonder had witnessed the scenes just described.

"Bridget," exclaimed the enraged mistress, "what are you staring at?
Come here! Pah! you have been drinking! You, too, you creature!"

Number Two bowed with maudlin politeness.

"You-do-m'injustice, Ma'am. On'y a smallsup, a littlesup,

"Bridget, do you pack up your baggage and be off! Rioting and feasting
in the time of our trouble! Ungrateful hussy!"

"I'll do that same, Miss Marshy; but me waages, if ye plaze, Miss."

"Get your wages, if you can. You've broken more crockery and glass, and
wasted more wines and preserves, than you ever earned."

"That's always the way, Miss, I've noticed, when missuses was o' mind to
get claar of payin' the honest dues. But me brother"--

"Be off to your brother! But first go and cool your head under the

Muttering and whining, the disconsolate Biddy crept up to the attic for
her scanty wardrobe.

"Here, fellow!" said Marcia to Number Two, whose foolish smiles at any
other time would have been ludicrous,--"go into the kitchen and get

He obeyed like a spaniel.

"Now, Henry," said Marcia, rather more composed, "let us do something at
once. It's plain that we can't live here for the house will be stripped;
and in our circumstances we would not stay, if we could. That fellow is
so far stupefied that we can save what we can carry away. If you have
any spirit left, help me pack our clothes and such things as can be put
into our trunks. Come! are you dreaming?"

He started up and followed her like a child. With superhuman energy,
she ransacked the house and gathered the most valuable articles. Plate,
linen, dresses, Parian ware, books, furs, and jewelry were packed,
as securely as the time allowed. A carriage and a baggage-wagon were
ordered, and in an incredibly short period they were ready to start.

"We have forgotten Charles," said Mr. Sandford.

"True enough," said Marcia. "Go and call him; he is too handsome to be
spared from our party just now. Tell him to bring his clothes."

The penitent came down, reluctantly; his nose was still puffy, and the
crescent under his eye rather more livid; muffled and cloaked, he
was led to the carriage. Mr. Sandford then remembered the cherished
parchment certificates and votes of thanks,--his title-deeds to

"Leave them," said his sister, contemptuously. "What are they good for?
A few commonplace autographs in tarnished gilt frames."

Bridget, meanwhile, went off, threatening all sorts of reprisals on the
part of her brother, who "wouldn't see her imposed upon by the likes of
thim, not he!" From the kitchen, at intervals, came up doleful snatches
of "Then you'll remember me," interrupted by hiccoughs, and with
involuntary variations and cadenzas that would have driven "Balfy" mad.

All was ready and they drove off. The house wherein had lived a
Benefactor of Mankind was deserted.


Greenleaf found a carriage for Mrs. Sandford, and accompanied her to a
private boarding-house, where she took lodgings; he then sent the driver
back for her trunks, and, having seen her comfortably provided for,
returned to his own rooms,--but not to remain there. He desired only to
leave a message on his door, explaining his absence. In less than an
hour he was in the railway-train, on his way to Innisfield.

To the musing or drowsy traveller by rail how space and time are
annihilated! He is barely conscious of progress, only when the brakeman
with measured tone shouts the name of the station; he looks up from his
paper or rouses from his doze, looks out at the cheerless prospect, and
then settles himself for another thirty miles. Time passes as unobserved
as the meadows or bushy pastures that flit by the jarring window at
his ear. But with Greenleaf, the reader will believe, the case was far
different. He had never noticed before how slowly the locomotives really
moved. At each station where wood and water were to be taken, it seemed
to him the delay was interminable. His eager desire shot along the track
like electricity; and when at last he reached the place where he was to
leave the train, he had gone through a year of ordinary hopes and fears.
He mounted the stage-box and took his seat beside the buffalo-clad,
coarse-bearded, and grim driver. The road lay through a hilly country,
with many romantic views on either hand. It was late in the season to
see the full glories of autumn; but the trees were not yet bare, and in
many places the contrasts of color were exquisite. For once the driver
found his match; he had a passenger as taciturn as himself. For the
first few miles not a word was spoken, saving a few brief threats to the
horses; but at last Jehu could hold out no longer; his reputation was
in danger, if he allowed any one to be more silent than himself, and he
cautiously commenced a skirmish.

"From Boston?"

A nod was the only reply.

"Belong about here?"

"No," with a shake of the head.

"Ben up here afore, though, I guess?"


"Thought I remembered. Year or so ago?"


"Had a great white cotton umbrill, a box like a shoe-kit, and suthin'
like a pair o' clo'es-frames?"

Greenleaf could but smile at the description of his easel and artist's
outfit; still he contented himself with a brief assent.

"Keeps tight as the bark to a white-oak," muttered Jehu to himself.
"Guess I'll try him on t'other side, seein' he's so offish."

Then aloud,--

"Knowed Square Lee, I b'lieve?"

"Yes," thundered Greenleaf, looking furiously at the questioner.

The glance frightened Jehu's soul from the red-curtained windows, where
it had been peeping out, back to its hiding-place, wherever that might

"Well, yer needn't bite a feller's head off," muttered he, in the same
undertone as before. "And if ye want to keep to yerself, shet up yer
darned oyster-shell, and see how much you make by it. Not more'n four
and sixpence, I guess. Maybe you'll come back 'bout's wise as ye come."

Thenceforward, Buffalo-coat was grim; his admonitions to the horses were
a trifle more emphatic; once he whistled a fragment of a minor stave,
but spoke not a word till the coach reached the tavern-door.

"You can drive to Mr. Lee's house," said Greenleaf.

"Want to go where he is?" replied Jehu, with a sardonic grin. "Wal, I'm
goin' past the meetin'us, and I'll set ye down at the graveyard."

"What do you mean?" asked Greenleaf, between anger and terror, at this
brutal jest.

"Why, he's dead, you know, and ben layin' up there on the side-hill a

"Take me to the house, nevertheless."

"Lee's house? 'Siah Stebbins, the lame shoemaker, he's jest moved
into't. Miss Stebbins, she can't 'commodate ye, most likely; got too
many children; a'n't over an' above neat, nuther."

"Where is Miss Lee,--Alice,--his daughter?"

"Wal, can't say;--gone off, I b'lieve."

"She has relatives here, has she not?"

"Guess not; never heerd of any."

With a heavy heart, Greenleaf alighted at the tavern. Mr. Lee _dead_!
Alice left alone without friends, and now gone! The thought stunned,
overpowered him. While he had been treading the paths of dalliance,
forgetful of his obligations, the poor girl had passed through the great
trial of her life, the loss of her only parent and protector,--had met
the awful hour alone. Hardly conscious of what he did, he went to the
churchyard and sought for a new-made grave. The whole scene was pictured
to his imagination with startling vividness. He saw the fond father on
his death-bed, leaving the orphan to the kindness of strangers to his
blood,--the daughter weeping, disconsolate, the solitary mourner at the
funeral,--the desolate house,--the well-meant, but painful sympathy of
the villagers. He, meanwhile, who should have cheered and sustained her,
was afar off, neglectful, recreant to his vows. Could he ever forgive
himself? What would he not give for one word from the dumb lips, for one
look from the eyes now closed forever?

But regrets were useless; his first duty was to the living; he must
hasten to find Alice. But how, where? It occurred to him that the
village lawyer was probably administrator of the estate, and could tell
him where Alice was. He went, therefore, to the lawyer's office. It was
shut, and a placard informed him that Mr. Blank was attending court
at the county-seat. The lawyer's housekeeper said that "Alice was to
Boston, with some relation or other,--a Mr. Monroe, she believed his
name was, but couldn't say for sartin. The Square could tell; but
he--wouldn't be back for three or four days."

Leaving his card, with a request that Mr. Blank would communicate to him
Alice's address, Greenleaf hired a conveyance to the railway. He could
not remain in Innisfield an hour; it was a tomb, and the air stifled
him. On his way, he had ample opportunity to consider what a slender cue
he had to find the girl; for he thought of the long column of Monroes in
the "Directory"; and, besides, he did not feel sure that the housekeeper
had correctly remembered the name, even.

We leave the repentant lover to follow on the track of Alice, assured
that he will receive sufficient punishment for his folly in the remorse
and anxiety he must feel.

It is quite time that our neglected heroine should appear upon the
stage. Gentle Alice, orphaned, deserted, lonely; it is not from any
distrust as to her talents, her manners, or her figure, that she
has been made to wait so long for the callboy. The curtain rises. A
fair-haired girl of medium height, light of frame, with a face in whose
sad beauty is blended the least perceptible trace of womanly resolution.
She has borne the heaviest sorrow; for when she followed her father to
the grave she buried the last object of her love. The long, inexcusable
silence of Greenleaf had been explained to her; she now believed him
faithless, and had (not without a pang) striven to uproot his memory
from her heart. Courageous, but with more than the delicacy of her sex,
strong only in innocence and great-heartedness, mature in character and
feeling, but with fresh and tender sensibility, she appeals to all manly
and womanly sympathy.

When the last ties that bound her to her native village were broken, she
accepted the hearty invitation of her cousin, Walter Monroe, and went
with him to Boston. The house at once became a home to her. Mrs.
Monroe received her as though she had been a daughter. Such a pretty,
motherless child,--so loving, so sincere! How could the kind woman
repress the impulse to fold her to her bosom? Not even her anxiety to
retain undivided possession of her son's heart restrained her. So Alice
lived, quiet, affectionate, but undemonstrative, as was natural after
the trials she had passed. Insensibly she became "the angel in the
house"; mother and son felt drawn to her by an irresistible attraction.
By every delicate kindness, by attention to every wish and whim, by
glances full of admiration and tenderness, both showed the power which
her beauty and goodness exerted. And, truly, she was worthy of the
homage. The younger men who saw her were set aflame at once, or sighed
afar in despair; while the elderly felt an unaccountable desire to pat
her golden head, pinch her softly-rounded cheek, and call her such
pet-names as their fatherly character and gray hair allowed.

Fate had not yet done its worst; there were other troubles in store for
the orphan. She knew little of her kinsman's circumstances, but supposed
him to be at least beyond the reach of want. But not many days passed
before the failure of Sandford deprived him of his little patrimony, and
the suspension of Mr. Lindsay left him without employment. That evening,
when Walter came home, she unwillingly heard the conversation between
him and his mother in an adjoining room; and then she knew that her
kind friends were destitute. Her resolution was at once formed. With
as cheerful an air as she could assume, she took her place at the
tea-table, and in the conversation afterwards strove to hide her
desolate heart-sickness. On going to her room, she packed her simple
wardrobe, not without many tears, and then, with only indifferent
success, tried to compose her scattered senses in sleep.

Next morning she strove to appear calm and cheerful, but a close
scrutiny might have detected the effort,--a deeper sorrow, perhaps,
about the heavy eyelids, and certainly a firmer pressure of the
sometimes tremulous lips. But Walter was too much occupied with the
conflict of his own feelings to observe her closely. While his mother
was engaged in her housewifely duties, he took Alice's hand, and for
the first time spoke of his losses, but expressed himself confident of
obtaining a new situation, and begged her to dismiss any apprehensions
from her mind. She turned her face that he might not see the springing
tears. He went on:--

"The sharpest pang I feel, Alice, is in the thought, that, with the loss
of my little fortune, and with my present gloomy prospects, I cannot say
to you what I would,--I cannot tell you what is nearest my heart. Since
you came here, our sombre house has grown bright. As I have looked at
you, I have dared to promise myself a happiness which before I had never
conceived possible."

He hesitated.

"Don't, dear Walter! I beg of you, don't venture upon that subject!"

"Why? is it painful to you?"

"Inexpressibly! You are generous and good. I love and honor you as my
cousin, my friend, my protector. Do not think of a nearer relationship."

Walter stood irresolute.

"Some other time, dear Alice," he faltered out. "I don't wish to pain
you, and I have no courage to-day."

"Let me be frank, Cousin Walter. Under other circumstances, I would
not anticipate the words I saw trembling on your lips. But even if the
memory of my poor father were not so fresh, I could not hear you."
She hid her face as she went on. "I have received a wound from the
faithlessness of one lover which never will heal. I could not repay your
love. I have no heart to give you."

Thus far she had controlled her feelings, when, kissing his hand with
sudden fervor, she burst into tears, and hastily left the room.

She waited till Walter went out; then she wrote a brief note and placed
it on the library-table at his favorite corner, and, after bidding Mrs.
Monroe good morning, went out as though for a walk. Frequently she
looked back with tearful eyes at the home she felt constrained to leave;
but gathering her strength, she turned away and plunged into the current
that set down Washington Street.

Brave Heart! alone in a great city, whose people were too much engrossed
with their own distresses and apprehensions to give heed to the
sufferings of others! Alone among strangers, she must seek a home and
the means of support. Who would receive an unknown, friendless girl? Who,
in the terrible palsy of trade, would furnish her employment?


There was naturally great surprise when Walter Monroe returned home to
dinner and Alice was found to be missing. It was evident that it was
not an accidental detention, for her trunk had been sent for an hour
previous, and the messenger either could not or would not give any
information as to her whereabouts. Mrs. Monroe was excessively
agitated,--her faculties lost in a maze, like one beholding an accident
without power of thought or motion. To Walter it was a heavy blow; he
feared that his own advances had been the occasion of her leaving the
house, and he reproached himself bitterly for his headlong folly. Their
dinner was a sad and cheerless meal; the mother feeling all a woman's
solicitude for a friendless girl; the son filled with a tumult of
sorrow, remorse, love, and pity.

"Poor Alice!" said Mrs. Monroe; "perhaps she has found no home."

"Don't, mother! The thought of her in the streets, or among suspicious
strangers, or vulgar people, is dreadful. We must leave no means untried
to find her. Did she leave no word, no note?"

"No,--none that I know of."

"Have you looked?"

She shook her head. Walter left his untasted food, and hastily looked in
the hall, then in the parlor, and at last in the library. There was the
note in her own delicate hand.


"Don't be offended. I cannot eat the bread of idleness now that your
fortune is gone and your salary stopped. If I need your assistance, you
will hear from me. Comfort your mother, and believe that I shall be
happier earning my own living. We shall meet in better times. God bless
you both for your kindness to one who had no claim upon you!


"The dear creature!" said Mrs. Monroe, taking the note and kissing it.

"Why did you let her trunk go, mother? You might have detained the man
who came for it, and sent for me. I would have followed him to the ends
of the earth."

"I don't know, my son. I was confused. I hardly knew what happened. I
shook so that I sat down, and Bridget must have got it."

Tears ran down her cheeks, and her hands trembled so that her fork

"Never mind, dear mother. Pray, be calm. I did not wish to disturb you."

There was a ring at the door. A gentleman wished to see Mr. Monroe.
Rising from the table, he went into the parlor.

"Mr. Monroe," began the stranger, in an agitated manner, "do you know
anything of a young lady named Lee,--Alice Lee?"

"Yes," replied Monroe, with equal excitement, "I know her well. What of
her? Where is she? Have you found her?"

"Found her?" said the other, with surprise. "Is she not here?"

"No,--she left this morning."

"And left no word where she was going?"


"Let me beg of you not to trifle with me. Did she not hear my voice, my
step, and attempt to excuse herself through you?"

"Sir!" exclaimed Walter.

"I beg pardon. I have been in search of her for two days. I could not
believe she had eluded me just at the last. I do not wish to doubt your

"And who may you be, Sir, to take such an interest in the lady?"

"I can satisfy you fully. My name is Greenleaf."

"The painter?"

"Yes. You must have heard her speak of me."

"Never, to my recollection."

"Have you known her long?"

"She is my cousin. It is only recently that she came here, and her
acquaintances of a year ago might naturally have been passed over."

"You seem surprised at her leaving you so abruptly. You will join me in
making search for her?"

"I shall search for her, myself, as long as there is hope."

"Let me confess," said Greenleaf, "that I have the strongest reasons for
my haste. She is betrothed to me."

"Since you have honored me with your confidence, I will return it, so
far as to tell you what I heard from her this morning. I think I
can remember the precise words:--'I have received a wound from the
faithlessness of one lover, which never will heal.' If you are the
person, I hope the information will be as agreeable to you as her
absence and ill-judging independence are to me. I wish you good

"Then she has heard!" said Greenleaf, soliloquizing. "I am justly
punished." Then aloud. "I shall not take offence at your severity of
tone. I have but one thought now. Good morning!"

He left the house, like one in a dream. Alice, homeless in the
streets this bitter day,--seeking for a home in poverty-stricken
boarding-houses,--asking for work from tailors or milliners,--exposed
to jeers, coarse compliments, and even to utter want!--the thought was
agony. The sorrows of a whole life were concentrated in this one hour.
He walked on, frantically, peering under every bonnet as he passed,
looking wistfully in at the shop-windows, expecting every moment to
encounter her sad, reproachful face.

Walter had been somewhat ill for several days, and the accumulation of
misfortunes now pressed upon him heavily. He did not tell his mother
of the strange interview, but sat down moodily by the grate, in the
library. He was utterly perplexed where in the city to search for Alice;
and with his mental depression came a bodily infirmity and nervousness
that made him incapable of effort. An hour passed in gloomy
reverie,--drifting without aim upon a shoreless ocean, under a sullen
sky,--when he was roused by the entrance of Easelmann.

"In the dumps? I declare, Monroe, I shouldn't have thought it of you."

"I am really ill, my friend."

"Pooh! Don't let your troubles make you believe that. Cheer up. You'll
find employment presently, and you'll be surprised to find how well you

"I hope I shall be able to make the experiment."

"Well, suppose you walk out with me. There is a tailor I want you to

"A tailor? I can't sew or use shears, either."

"No,--nor sit cross-legged; I know that. But this tailor is no common
Snip. He is a man of ideas and character. He has something to propose to

"Indeed! I am much obliged to you. To-morrow I will go with you; but,
really, I feel too feeble to-day," said Monroe, languidly.

"Well, as you please; to-morrow it shall be. How is your mother?"

"Quite well, I thank you."

"And the pretty cousin, likewise, I hope?"

"She was quite well this morning."

"Isn't she at home?"

"No,--she has gone out."

"Confound you, Monroe! you have never let me have a glimpse of her.
Now I am not a dangerous person; quite harmless, in fact; received
trustfully by matrons with grown-up daughters. You needn't hide her."

"I don't know. Some young ladies are quite apt to be fascinated by
elderly gentlemen who know the world and still take an interest in

"Yes,--a filial sort of interest, a grand-daughterly reverence and
respect. The sight of gray hair is a wonderful antidote to any tenderer

"I am very sorry not to oblige you; but the truth is, that Cousin Alice,
hearing of my losses, has left the house abruptly, to earn her own
living, and we do not know where she has gone."

"The independent little minx! Now I rather like that. There's the proper
spirit. She'll take good care of herself; I haven't a doubt."

"But it is a most mortifying step to us. It is a reflection upon our
hospitality. I would have worked my fingers off for her."

"No doubt. But she will merely turn hers into nutmeg-graters, by
pricking them with her needle, and save you from making stumps of
your own. Oh, never fear,--we shall find her presently. I'll make
a description of her, and leave it with all the slop-shop fellows.
'Strayed or stolen: A young lady answering to the name of Alice; five
feet and no inches; dressed in black; pale, blue-eyed, smiles when
properly spoken to; of no use to any person but the owner. One thousand
dollars reward, and no questions asked.' Isn't that it? It won't be
necessary to add, that the disconsolate advertiser is breaking his heart
on account of her absence."

"My dear Easelmann, I know your kindly heart; but I cannot be rallied
out of this depression. I have only the interest of a cousin, a
friend, a protector, in the girl; but her going away, after my other
misfortunes, has plunged me into an abyss. I can't be cheerful."

"One word more, my dear fellow, and I go. You know I threatened to bore
you every day; but I sha'n't continue the terebrations long at a time.
You told me about the way your notes were disposed of. Now they are
yours, beyond question, and you can recover them from the holder; he has
no lien upon them whatever, for Sandford was not authorized to pledge
them. It's only a spoiling of the Egyptians to fleece a broker."

"Perhaps the notes themselves are worthless, or will be. Nearly
everybody has failed; the rest will go shortly."

"I see you are incurable; the melancholy fit must have its course, I
suppose. But don't hang yourself with your handkerchief, nor drown
yourself in your wash-basin. Good bye!"

On his way down Washington Street, Easelmann met his friend Greenleaf,
whom he had not seen before for many days.

"Whither, ancient mariner? That haggard face and glittering eye of yours
might hold the most resolute passer-by."

"You, Easelmann! I am glad to see you. I am in trouble."

"No doubt; enthusiastic people always are. You fretted your nurse
and your mother, your schoolmaster, your mistress, and, most of all,
yourself. A sharp sword cuts its own scabbard."

"She is gone,--left me without a word."

"Who, the Sandford woman? I always told you she would."

"No,--I left her, though not so soon as I should."

"A fine story! She jilted you."

"No,--on my honor. I'll tell you about it some other time. But Alice, my
betrothed, I have lost her forever."

"Melancholy Orpheus, how? Did you look over your shoulder, and did she
vanish into smoke?"

"It is her father who has gone over the Styx. She is in life; but she
has heard of my flirtation"--

"And served you right by leaving you. Now you will quit capering in a
lady's chamber, and go to work, a sadder and a wiser man."

"Not till I have found her. You may think me a trifler, Easelmann; but
every nerve I have is quivering with agony at the thought of the pain I
have caused her."

"Whew-w-w." said Easelmann. "Found her? Then she's eloped too! I just
left a disconsolate lover mourning over a runaway mistress. It seems to
be epidemic. There is a stampede of unhappy females. We must compress
the feet of the next generation, after the wise custom of China, so that
they can't get away."

"Whom have you seen?"

"Mr. Monroe, an acquaintance of mine."

"The same. The lady, it seems, is his cousin,--and is, or was, my

"And you two brave men give up, foiled by a country-girl of twenty, or

"How is one to find her?"

"What is the advantage of brains to a man who doesn't use them?
Consider; she will look for employment. She won't try to teach, it would
be useless. She is not strong enough for hard labor. She is too modest
and reserved to take a place in a shop behind a counter, where she would
be sure to be discovered. She will, therefore, be found in the employ
of some milliner, tailor, or bookbinder. How easy to go through those

"You give me new courage. I will get a trades-directory and begin at

"To-morrow, my friend. She hasn't got a place yet, probably."

"So much the better. I shall save her the necessity."

"Go, then," said Easelmann. "You'll be happier, I suppose, to be running
your legs off, if it is to no purpose. A lover with a new impulse is
like a rocket when the fuse is lighted; he must needs go off with a
rush, or ignobly fizz out."

"Farewell, for to-day. I'll see you to-morrow," said Greenleaf, already
some paces off.

[To be continued.]


  Oh, let me not die young!
  Full-hearted, yet without a tongue,--
  Thy green earth stretched before my feet, untrod,--
  Thy blue sky bending over,
  As her most tender lover,
  With infinite meaning in its starry eyes,
  Full of thy silent majesty, O God!
  And wild, weird whispers from the solemn deep
  Of the Great Sea ascending, with the sweep
  Of the Wind-angel's wings across the skies,
  Burdened with hints of awful memories,
  Whose half-guessed grandeur thrills us till we weep!--
  I love thy marvellous world too well--
  Its sunny nooks of hill and dell,
  Its majesty of mountains, and the swell
  Of volumed waters--for my heart to yearn
  Away from the deep truth which veils its splendor
  In beauty there less dazzling, but more tender.
  With grave delight I turn
  To all its glories, from the tiniest bloom
  Whose hour-long life just sweetens its own tomb
  As with funereal spices,
  To the far stars which burn
  And blossom in fire through their vast periods,--
  Borne in thy palm,
  Like the pale lotus in the hand of Isis,
  When throned white, and calm,
  In solemn conclave of the mythic gods.

  Oh, let me not die young,
  A brother unclaimed among
  The countless millions of thy happy flock,
  Whose deepest joy is to obey,
  Whereby they feel the measured sway
  Of thy life in them, their own living part,
  Whether in centuried pulses of the rock
  By slow disintegration
  Ascending to its higher,
  Or the quick fluttering of the Storm-god's heart,--
  An instant's palpitation
  Through all its arteries of fire!
  One common blood runs down life's myriad veins,
  From Archangelic Hierarchs who float
  Broad-winged in the God-glory, to the mote
  That trembles with a braided dance
  In the warm sunset's vivid glance;
  And one great Heart that boundless flow sustains!
  In all the creatures of thy hand divine

  Thy love-light is a living guest,
  Whether a petal's palm confine
  Its glitter to a lily's breast,
  Or in unbounded space a starry line
  Stretches, till flagging Thought must droop her wing to rest.

  Oh, let me not die young,
  A powerless child among
  The ancient grandeurs of thy awful world!
  I catch some fragment of the mighty song
  Which, ere to darkness hurled,
  My elder brothers in the eternal throng
  Have caught before,--
  Faint murmurs of the surge,
  The deep, surrounding, everlasting roar
  Of a life-ocean without port or shore,--
  Ere I depart, compelled to urge
  My fragile bark with trembling from the verge
  Of this Earth-island, into that Unknown,
  Where worlds, like souls forlorn, go wandering alone!

  Oh, let me not die young,
  With all that song unsung,
  A swift and voiceless fugitive,
  From darkness coming and in darkness lost,
  Before thy solemn Pentecost,
  Dawning within the soul, shall give
  The burning utterance of its flaming tongue,--
  The boon whereby to other souls we live!
  Thy worlds are flashing with immortal splendor,
  For human speech on heights of human song
  Faintly to render,
  And pour back along
  Its mountain grandeur, the accumulate rain
  Of star-light, dream-light, thoughts of joy and pain,
  Of love, hate, right and wrong,
  In floods of utterance sublime and strong,
  In dewy effluence beautiful and tender.

  The kindred darknesses
  Of caverned earth and fathomless thought,
  Of Life and Death, and their twin mysteries,
  Before and After, on my spirit press
  Tempting and awful, with high promise fraught,
  And guardian terrors, whose out-flashing swords
  Beleaguer Paradise and the holy Tree
  Sciential. Step by step the way is fought
  That leads from Darkness, through her miscreant hordes,
  Back to the heavens of wise, and true, and free:
  Minerva's Gorgon, Ammon's cyclic Asp,
  And the fierce flame-sword of the Cherubim,
  That flashed like hate across the pallid gasp
  Of exiled Eve and Adam, flare, and glare,
  And hiss venenate, round the steps of him
  Who thirsts for heavenly Wisdom, if he dare
  Climb to her bosom, or with artless grasp
  Pluck the sweet fruits that hang around him, ripe and fair.

  Oh! glorious Youth
  Is the true age of prophecy, when Truth
  Stands bared in beauty, and the young blood boils
  To hurl us in her arms, before the blur
  Of time makes dim her rounded form,
  Or the cold blood recoils
  From the polluted swarm
  Of armed Chimeras that environ her.
  But worthy Age to ripened fruit shall bring
  The glorious blooming of its hopeful spring,
  And pile the garners of immortal Truth
  With sheaves of golden grain,
  To sow the world again,
  And fill the eager wants of the New Age's youth.

  A thousand flashes of uncertain light
  Cleave the thick darkness, driving far athwart
  The up-piled glooms, as lightnings plough their bright
  Fire-furrows through the barren cloud
  They sow with thunders. Thought on burning thought
  Shatters the doubts and terrors which have bowed
  Weak hearts on weaker leaning in a crowd
  Self-crushing and self-fettering; gleams are caught
  From some far centre set by God to keep
  His brave world spinning, or some drifting isle
  Of swift wildfire shot out by the wide sweep
  Of wings demoniac,
  Far winnowing and black,
  Our cheated souls to 'wilder and beguile.
  Only the years, the imperturbable,
  Impassionate years, can sheave the scattered rays
  Into one sun, these mingled arrows tell
  Each to its quiver, the divine and fell,
  And life's lone meteors to their centre trace.

  O Father, let me not die young!
  Earth's beauty asks a heart and tongue
  To give true love and praises to her worth;
  Her sins and judgment-sufferings call
  For fearless martyrs to redeem thy Earth
  From her disastrous fall.
  For though her summer hills and vales might seem
  The fair creation of a poet's dream,--
  Ay, of the Highest Poet,
  Whose wordless rhythms are chanted by the gyres
  Of constellate star-choirs,

  That with deep melody flow and overflow it,--
  The sweet Earth,--very sweet, despite
  The rank grave-smell forever drifting in
  Among the odors from her censers white
  Of wave-swung lilies and of wind-swung roses,--
  The Earth sad-sweet is deeply attaint with sin!
  The pure air, which incloses
  Her and her starry kin,
  Still shudders with the unspent palpitating
  Of a great Curse, that to its utmost shore
  Thrills with a deadly shiver
  Which has not ceased to quiver
  Down all the ages, nathless the strong beating
  Of Angel-wings, and the defiant roar
  Of Earth's Titanic thunders.

  Fair and sad,
  In sin and beauty, our beloved Earth
  Has need of all her sons to make her glad;
  Has need of martyrs to re-fire the hearth
  Of her quenched altars,--of heroic men
  With Freedom's sword, or Truth's supernal pen,
  To shape the worn-out mould of nobleness again.
  And she has need of Poets who can string
  Their harps with steel to catch the lightning's fire,
  And pour her thunders from the clanging wire,
  To cheer the hero, mingling with his cheer,
  Arouse the laggard in the battle's rear,
  Daunt the stern wicked, and from discord wring
  Prevailing harmony, while the humblest soul
  Who keeps the tune the warder angels sing
  In golden choirs above,
  And only wears, for crown and aureole,
  The glow-worm light of lowliest human love,
  Shall fill with low, sweet undertones the chasms
  Of silence, 'twixt the booming thunder-spasms.
  And Earth has need of Prophets fiery-lipped
  And deep-souled, to announce the glorious dooms
  Writ on the silent heavens in starry script,
  And flashing fitfully from her shuddering tombs,--
  Commissioned Angels of the new-born Faith,
  To teach the immortality of Good,
  The soul's God-likeness, Sin's coeval death,
  And Man's indissoluble Brotherhood.

  Yet never an age, when God has need of him,
  Shall want its Man, predestined by that need,
  To pour his life in fiery word or deed,--
  The strong Archangel of the Elohim!
  Earth's hollow want is prophet of his coming:
  In the low murmur of her famished cry,
  And heavy sobs breathed up despairingly,
  Ye hear the near invisible humming
  Of his wide wings that fan the lurid sky
  Into cool ripples of new life and hope,
  While far in its dissolving ether ope
  Deeps beyond deeps, of sapphire calm, to cheer
  With Sabbath gleams the troubled Now and Here.

  Father! thy will be done,
  Holy and righteous One!
  Though the reluctant years
  May never crown my throbbing brows with white,
  Nor round my shoulders turn the golden light
  Of my thick locks to wisdom's royal ermine:
  Yet by the solitary tears,
  Deeper than joy or sorrow,--by the thrill,
  Higher than hope or terror, whose quick germen,
  In those hot tears to sudden vigor sprung,
  Sheds, even now, the fruits of graver age,--
  By the long wrestle in which inward ill
  Fell like a trampled viper to the ground.
  By all that lifts me o'er my outward peers
  To that supernal stage
  Where soul dissolves the bonds by Nature bound,--
  Fall when I may, by pale disease unstrung,
  Or by the hand of fratricidal rage,
  I cannot now die young!

       *       *       *       *       *


My first visit to Turin dates as far back as 1831. We are so personal,
that our impressions of things depend less on their intrinsic worth
than on such or such extrinsic circumstance which may affect our mental
vision at the moment. I suppose mine was affected by the mist and rain
which graced the capital of Piedmont on the morning of my arrival there.
Another incident, microscopic, and almost too ludicrous to mention,
had no less its weight in the scale of prepossession. I was tired and
hungry, and, while the _diligence_ was being unloaded, I entered a
_caffé_ close by, and called for some buttered toast. My hair (I had
plenty at that time) stood on end at the answer I received. There was no
buttered toast to be had, the waiter said. "It was not the custom." I
confess I augured ill of a city from whose _caffés_, unlike all others
throughout Italy, such a staple of breakfast was banished.

I am fond of buttered toast, I own. If it is a weakness, I candidly
plead guilty. My mother--bless her soul!--brought me up in the faith of
buttered toast. I had breakfasted upon it all my life. I could conceive
of no breakfast without it. Hence the shock I felt. "Not the custom!"
Why not, I wondered. A problem of no easy solution, I can tell you! It
has been haunting me for the last seven-and-twenty years. If I had a
thousand dollars,--a bold supposition for one of the brotherhood of the
pen,--I would even now found a prize, and adjudge that sum to the best
memoir on this question:--"Why is buttered toast excluded from the
_caffés_ of Turin?" It is not from lack of proper materials,--for heaps
of butter and mountains of rolls are to be seen on every side; it is not
from lack of taste,--for the people which has invented the _grisini_,
and delights in the white truffle, shows too keen a sense of what is
dainty not to exclude the charge of want of taste.

"Pray, what are the _grisini?_ what is the white truffle?" asks the
inquisitive reader.--The _grisini_ are bread idealized, bread under the
form of walking-sticks a third of a little finger in diameter, and from
which every the least particle of crumb has been carefully eliminated.
It is light, easy of digestion, cracks without effort under your teeth,
and melts in your mouth. It is savory eaten alone, excellent with your
viands, capital sopped in wine. A good Turinese would rather have no
dinner at all than sit down to one without a good-sized bundle of these
torrified reeds on his right or left. Beware of the spurious imitations
of this inimitable mixture of flour, which you will light on in some
_passages_ in Paris! They possess nothing of the _grisini_ but the name.

"I have it!" I fancy I hear some imaginative reader exclaim at this
place. "The passion for the _grisini_ accounts most naturally for the
want of buttered toast in Turin. Don't you see that it is replaced by
the _grisini?_"

A mistake, a profound mistake. _Grisini_ are _never_ served with your
coffee or chocolate. Try again.

The white truffle,--white, mark you, and not to be confounded with its
black, hard, knotty, poor cousin of Périgord,--well, the white truffle
is--the white truffle. There are things which admit of no definition. It
would only spoil them. Define the Sun, if you dare. "Look at it," would
be your answer to the indiscreet questioner. And so I say to you,--Taste
it, the white truffle. Not that you will relish it, on a first or second
trial. No. It requires a sort of initiation. Ambrosia, depend upon it,
would prove unpalatable, at first, to organs degraded by coarse mortal
food. It has,--the white truffle, I mean, not the ambrosia, which I have
never tasted,--it has a shadow of a shade of mitigated garlic flavor,
which demands time and a certain training of the gustatory apparatus, to
be fully appreciated. Try again, and it will grow upon you,--again
and again, and you will go crazy after the white truffle. I have seen
persons, who had once turned up their noses at it, declare themselves
capable of any crime to get at it. Nature gave it to Piedmont, "_e poi
ruppe la stampa_." Gold you may find in different places, and under
different latitudes;--the white truffle is an exclusive growth of

To return. If it is not the want of proper materials, or of taste to use
them, what can be the cause of the unjust ostracism against buttered

A Genoese friend of mine accounts for it on the same principle on which
another friend of mine, a Polish refugee in London, accounted for the
difference, nay, in many points, the direct opposition, between English
and French habits of life,--that is to say, on the principle of national
antagonism. Why does the English Parliament hold its sittings at night?
my Polish friend would ask. The reason is obvious. _Because_, the French
Parliament sits in broad day, when it sits at all. Why is winter the
season of _villeggiatura_ in England? _Because_ in France it is summer
and autumn. Why are beards and moustaches tabooed in Great Britain?
_Because_ it is common to wear them in France. Why are new pipes
preferred in England for smoking? _Because_ in France the older and more
_culottée_ a pipe, the more welcome it is. And so on, _ad infinitum_.

Arguing on the same principle, my Genoese friend avers that buttered
toast is proscribed at Turin _because_ it is so justly popular in Genoa.
The Genoese, in fact, excel in the preparation of that dainty article.
They have, for the purpose, delicious little rolls, which they cut in
two and suit to all tastes and whims. The upper or under crust, soft or
hard, deep brown or light brown, with much or little butter, with cold
or hot butter, with butter visible or invisible:--be as capricious in
your orders as you like, and never fear tiring the waiter. Proteus
himself never took so many shapes.

There is some speciousness in my Genoese friend's argument. The
_Superba_, naturally enough, cannot forget that she was first and is
now second. Turin, on her side, does not intend to have her official
supremacy disputed. No wonder that the two noble cities should look at
each other rather surlily, and stick to their own individuality. "Hence
it is," concludes my friend, "that the comparatively easy Apennines have
proved to this day an impassable barrier to the buttered toast on one
side, and to the _grisini_ on the other."

"But not so to the white truffle," I put in, triumphantly. "The Genoese
have adopted that; and honor to them for having done so! What do you say
to this, eh?"

My friend scratched his head in quest of a new argument. We will leave
him to his embarrassment, and have done with this string of digressions.

I was saying, that my first visit to Turin dated as far back as 1831. On
that journey I had a singular travelling-companion, a beautiful fish,
a John Dory, carefully wrapped up, and neatly laid in a wicker-basket,
like a babe in its cradle. The officers of the _octroi_, who examined my
basket, complimented me on my choice,--nay, grew so enthusiastic about
my John Dory, that, if I remember right, they let it pass duty-free.
The mistress of the house, at whose table it was served, paid it a
well-deserved tribute of admiration, but lamented the unskilfulness of
the hand which had cleaned it: "How stupid to cut it to the very throat!
See what a gap!" I laughed in my sleeve and held my tongue. It was a
frightful gap, to be sure,--but not bigger than was necessary to admit
of an oilskin-covered parcel, a pound at least in weight, a parcel full
to the brim of treasonable matter, revolutionary pamphlets, regulations
of secret societies, and what not. My John Dory was a horse of Troy in
miniature. But Turin stood this one better than Troy the other.

Turin was, or seemed to me, gloomy and chilly at that time, though the
season was mild, and the sky had cleared up. Jesuits, carabineers, and
spies lorded it; distrust was the order of the day. People went about
their business, exchanged a hasty and well-timed _sciaô_, (_schiavo_,)
and gave up all genial intercourse. Far keener than the breath of
neighboring snow-capped Mount Cenis, the breath of despotism froze alike
tongues and souls. How could buttered toast, emblem of softness, thrive
in so hard a temperature? I left as soon as I could, and with a feeling
of relief akin to joy.

I was in no haste to revisit Turin, nor, had I been, would circumstances
have permitted my doing so. The fish had a tail for me as well as for
many others, and a very long tail too. Most of the years intervening
between 1831 and 1848 I had to spend abroad,--out of Italy, I mean. Time
enough for reflection. Plenty of worry and anxiety, and difficulties of
many a kind. Rough handling from the powers that were, cold indifference
from the masses. A flow of gentle sympathy, now and then, from a kindred
heart or two,--God bless them!--a live spring in a desert. A hard
apprenticeship,--still, useful in many ways, to develop the sense
of realities, to teach one to do without a host of things deemed
indispensable before to keep the soul in tune. I declare, for my part,
I don't regret those long years of erratic life. I bless them, on the
contrary; for they opened my eyes to the worth of my country. The right
point of view to take in physical or moral beauty, in its fulness, is
only at a distance.

The great convulsion of '48 flung wide the gates of Italy to the
wanderer, and I returned to Turin. I had left it at freezing-point,
and I found it at white-heat. Half Europe revolutionized,--France a
republic, Vienna in a blaze, Hungary in arms, Radetzky driven out of
Milan, a Piedmontese army in Lombardy,--there was more than enough to
turn the heads of the Seven Sages of Greece. No wonder ours were turned.
Serve a splendid banquet and pour out generous wine to a shipwrecked
crew who have long been starving, and ten to one they will overfeed
themselves and get drunk and quarrel. We did both, alas!--and those who
are drunk and quarrel are likely to be overpowered by those who keep
sober and united. We were divided about the sauce with which the hare
should be dressed, and, in the heat of argument, lost sight of this
little fact, that a hare, to be dressed at all, must first be caught.
The first reverses overtook us thus occupied. They did not sober us;
quite the contrary; we fell to doing what Manzoni's capons did.

By-the-by, since that revered name comes under my pen, I may as well
state, what every one will be glad to hear, that the author of the
"Promessi Sposi" has perfectly recovered from his late illness. It
cannot be but that the wail of a nation has reached even across the
Atlantic, without the aid of an electric cable. He looks strong and
healthy, and likely to be long spared to the love and veneration of his
country. I have this on the authority of a witness _de visu et auditu_,
a friend of his and mine, who visited the great man, not a fortnight
ago, in his retreat of Brusuglio, near Milan.

To leave the author for his book. Do you recollect Renzo tying four fat
capons by the legs, and carrying them, with their heads hanging down, to
Signor Azzeccagarbugli,--and the capons, in that awkward predicament,
finding no better occupation than to peck at each other? "As is too
often the case with companions in misfortune," observes the author, in
his quiet, humoristic way. We were just as wise. Instead of saying, _Mea
culpa_, we began to recriminate, and find fault with everything and
everybody. It was the fault of the Ministers, of the _Camarilla_, of the
army, of the big epaulets, of the King. Dynastic interest, of course,
was not forgotten in the indictment.

Dynastic interest, forsooth! So long as it combines and makes but one
with the interest of the nation, I should like to know where is the
great harm of it. As if kings alone were defiled with that pitch! As
if we had not, each and all of us, low and high, rich and poor, our
dynastic interest, and were not eager enough in its pursuit! As if
anybody scrupled at or were found fault with for pushing on his sons,
enlarging his business, rounding his estate, in the view of transmitting
it, thus improved, to his kindred and heirs!

But who thought of such things under the smart of defeat? I do not
intend, by this _post-facto_ grumbling, to give myself credit for having
been wiser than others. By no means. I played my part in the chorus of
fault-finders, and cried out as loud as anybody. The upshot was what
might have been expected. Independence went to the dogs--for a while.
Liberty, thank God, remained in this little corner, at least,--liberty,
the great lever for those who use it wisely. I know of nations, far more
experienced than we are in political matters, and whose programme in
1848 was far less complicated than ours, who cannot say as much for

The times were unpropitious to the buttered-toast question, and it
had quite slipped out of my mind. I have never traced the string of
associations which reminded me of it, on one certain morning. Once more
I made bold to ask if I could have buttered toast. "Impossible," said
the waiter, curtly. I was piqued. "How impossible?" said I. "Erase that
word from your Dictionary, if you are to drive the Austrians from Italy.
Take a roll, cut it in halves, have it toasted, and serve hot with
butter." Long was the manipulation, and the result but indifferent,--the
toast hard and cold, the butter far from fresh; but it was a step in
advance, and I chuckled over it. For a short time, alas! Mine was the
fate of all reformers. Routine stood in my way. The waiters fled at my
approach, and vied with each other as to who should _not_ serve me. I
gave up the attempt in disgust. Shortly after, I left Turin,--without
joy this time, but also without regret.

Ten years have elapsed, and here I am again, on my third visit. The
journey from Genoa to Turin took, ten years ago, twenty-four hours by
_diligence_. Now it is accomplished in four by railway. To say that this
accelerated ratio of travelling represents but fairly the average of
progress realized in almost all directions, within this space of
time, is no mere form of speech. To whatever side I turn, my eyes are
agreeably surprised by material signs of improvement. From what but
yesterday was waste land, where linen was spread to dry, steam-engines
raise their shrill cry, and a double terminus sends forth and receives,
in its turn, merchandise, passengers, and ideas. At the gate of the
city, so to say, a gigantic work, the piercing of Mount Cenis, is
actually going on. Where I left, literally left, cows browsing in peace,
two new quarters have risen, as if by magic,--that of Portanuova,
aristocratic and rich, and that of San Salvario, less showy, but not
less comfortable. A third is in contemplation; nay, already begun,--to
be raised on the spot where once stood the citadel, (and prison for
political offenders,) of sinister memory, now levelled with the ground.
I take this last as a capital novelty. Another, more significant still,
is the Protestant Temple, which stares me in the face,--a poor work of
Art, if you will, but no less the embodiment of one of the most precious
conquests, religious freedom. I would fain not grow emphatic,--but when
I contrast the present with the past, when I recollect, for instance,
how the Jews were formerly treated, and see them now in Parliament, I
cannot help warming up a little. Monuments to Balbo, the stanch patriot
and nervous biographer of Dante,--to General Bava, the conqueror at
Goito,--to Pepe, the heroic defender of Venice, grace the public walks.
One to Gioberti, the eminent philosopher, is in course of preparation.
If these are not signs of radically changed times, and changed for the
better, I don't know what are.

Nor is the moral less improved than the material physiognomy of the
city. I see a thriving, orderly community,--no trace of antagonism, but
a free, good-natured intercourse between all classes, and a general
look of ease and contentment. Of course, there are poor in Turin, as
everywhere else,--except Japan, if we may credit travellers; but nowhere
are my eyes saddened by the spectacle of that abject destitution which
blunts, nay, destroys, the sense of self-respect. The operatives,
especially,--what are here called the _braccianti_,--this salt of all
cities, this nursery of the army and navy, this inexhaustible source of
production and riches, impress me by their appearance of comfort and
good-humor. It gladdens one's heart to watch them, as they walk arm in
arm of an evening, singing in chorus, or fill the pits of the cheaper
theatres, or sit down at fashionable _caffés_ in their jackets, with a
self-confidence and freedom of manner pleasant to behold. The play of
free institutions is not counteracted here, thank God, by the despotism
of conventionalities. No shadow of frigid respectability hangs over
people's actions and freezes spontaneousness.

But this is all on the surface; let us go deeper, if we can, and have a
peep at the workings beneath. I knock for information on this head at
the mind and heart of all sorts of people. I note down the answers of
the Minister and of the Deputy, as well as those of the waiter who
serves my coffee and of the man who blacks my shoes, and here is what
I find,--a growing sense of the benefits of liberty, a deep-rooted
attachment to the _Rè galantuomo_, (the King, honest man,) a juster
appreciation of the difficulties which beset the national enterprise,
(the freeing of Italy from Austria,) and an honest confidence of
overcoming them with God's help. This last feeling, I am glad to say,
is, as it ought to be, general in the army. This is what I find in the
bulk. There is no lack of dissenters, who regret the past, and take a
gloomy view of the future. I describe no Utopia. Unanimity is no flower
of this earth.

This improved state of things and feelings, within so short a period of
time, reflects equal credit on the people which benefits by it and on
the men who have lately presided over its destinies. Among these last it
were invidious not to mention, with well-deserved praise, the active and
accomplished statesman who introduced free trade, caused Piedmont to
take its share in the Crimean War, and last, not least, by a bold and
skilful move, brought the Italian question before the Congress of Paris.

During the summer of 1848, I rented a couple of rooms in the Via dell'
Arcivescovado. There often fell upon my ear, wafted across the court
from the windows opposite mine, a loud and regular declamation. I
fancied it was a preacher learning by heart his sermon, or an actor his
part. I was told one day that it was Count Cavour, the owner of the
house, who, as a prelude to his parliamentary career, was addressing an
imaginary assembly. The fact struck me the more, as the Count was not a
member of Parliament at the time. He was elected a Deputy and took his
seat not long after. I was present at his _début_. It was not brilliant.
Count Cavour was not born an orator; his delivery was far from fluent.
He had many things to say, and wanted to say them all at once. The sense
of the House was not favorable to the new member,--that of the public
galleries still less so. No man was less spoiled by popularity than he.
I have no other reason for mentioning these particulars than to put in
relief the strength of will and the perseverance which one so situated
must have brought to bear, in order to conquer his own deficiencies and
the popular prejudice, and attain, against wind and tide, the high place
he holds in the estimation of Parliament and of the country. That Count
Cavour has made himself, if not properly an orator, in the high sense of
the word, a nervous, fluent, and most agreeable speaker, is sufficiently
attested by the untiring attention with which his speeches, occupying
sometimes two whole sittings, are listened to in both Houses. He never
puts them in writing, and seldom, if ever, makes use of notes.

Life is substantial in Turin, and on a broad, homely scale. By which you
are not to understand, either that the male portion of the inhabitants
feast on whole oxen, like Homer's heroes, or that, the fair sex are
draped in tunics of homespun wool, like the Roman matrons of old. They
are not so primitive as that. You may have at any restaurant a smaller
morsel than an ox or even an ox's shoulder; and as to ladies' finery,
there is no _article de Paris_, no indispensable inutility, no
crinoline, hoop, or cage, of impossible materials, shape, and
dimensions, which you may not find under the Portici, or in Vianuova,
a facility of which the Turinese beauties give themselves the benefit
rather freely. What I meant to say, when I spoke of life on a broad,
homely scale, was simply this:--that in Turin, generally speaking, the
great art of putting the appearance in the place of the substance, and
juggling the principal under the accessories, has yet to be learned. If
you ask for a room, a dinner, a bath, they take you in good earnest,
and supply you with the genuine article. When I put up at the _Hôtel de
Londres_, from which I am writing, I had to run no gantlet between a
double line of solemn-looking, white-cravated waiters; yet I have only
to ring my bell, to be attended to with promptitude, with zeal, nay,
_con amore_. My kind hostess, Signora Viarengo, does not wear a triple
or quadruple row of flounces, but looks after my wardrobe when I am out,
and, if anything wants mending, has it mended. The room which I occupy
is not furnished in a dashing style, nor has it a _parquet ciré_, but it
is on the first floor, and thrice as large and lofty and half as dear as
that I had at Meurice's on the _quatrième_; and a Titan might stretch
himself down at ease on the bed in which I sleep. The dining-room of the
hotel is not glittering with gilt stucco and chandeliers; but the dinner
served to me there (and served at any hour) is copious and first-rate,--
four dishes of _entremets_, butter, _salame_, celery, radishes, to whet
the appetite,--a soup,--a first course of three dishes, two of meat, one
of vegetables,--a second of three dishes, one of them a roasted fowl,
--salad, a sweet dish,--a mountain of Parmesan, or Gorgonzola, with
peaches, pears, and grapes, for dessert. Gargantua would cry for mercy.
For all this, and a bottle of wine, I pay three francs. For the bath
establishment, close by, I lack the satisfaction, it is true, of seeing
my revered image reproduced _ad infinitum_, by a vista of mirrors; but I
have a bathing-tub like a lake, and linen enough to dry a hippopotamus.
If I go to the theatre, (there are five open at this season, November,
without reckoning three or four minor ones: Italian opera at the
Nazionale and the Carignano; Italian play at the Gerbino and the
Alfieri; French _vaudeville_ at the d'Angennes,)--if I go to the
theatre, the relative obscurity of the house, I own, allows me to enjoy
but imperfectly the display of fine toilets and ivory shoulders; but the
concentration of light on the stage enhances the scenic effect, and is
on the side of Art. At least, they think so here, and like it so. It is
the custom.

This takes me back some twenty-seven years, to the waiter's answer, _à
propos_ of buttered toast, "It is not the custom," and recalls to me
that important question. Well, even that has not remained stationary in
the general movement. Not that buttered toast has received its great or
even small letters of naturalization. But you have only to ask for it,
and it will be served without demur. So far the neck of routine is
broken. What next? We shall find out on our fourth visit, if God grants
us life. Meanwhile I feel that Turin will be regretted this time.

       *       *       *       *       *


From the lounge where Fred Shaw was lying, he could easily look out of
the low window into Senter Place, and at the usually "uninterrupted view
across the street." Just now it was interrupted so fully with a driving
snow-storm, that the houses opposite were scarcely visible. The wind
tossed the great flakes up and across and whirled them in circles, as if
loath to let them go at all to the ground. There was something lively
and merry in it, too, as if the flakes themselves were joyful and
dancing in the abundance of their life,--as if they and the wind had a
life of their own, as well as poor stupid mortals, that cowered under
cover, and shut themselves away from the broad, free air. How foolish
it is, to be sure! Here comes one now, turning into the place,--well
covered, a fur tippet about his face,--slapping his arms on his chest,
--a defiant smile on his brown face, and a look of expectancy in his
eyes. Yes! there they are at the window,--wife and children! The smile
melts into a broad laugh, as the snow-flakes dash madly at his eyes and
nose. There they are,--rosy, well, and warm! From the warmest corner of
his heart comes up a quick throb that takes away his breath;--he runs up
the steps,--the door opens,--one, two, three little faces,--it shuts.
The snow-flakes gallop on again, madly, joyfully.

Behind the man who ran up the steps, a girl of eighteen walked swiftly
and firmly over the drifting heaps on the sidewalk. Her eyes glanced
upward at the sky. There are four immense clouds, of a very light gray,
with silver edges, trying to meet over a speck of blue. They tumble and
clamber, and press all for the same point; but whether the wind is too
variable for them to gather in one mass, or for whatever meteorological
reason, she does not guess, but she is attracted to the sky and gazes at
it as she walks rapidly on.

Fred recognizes the blue eyes and glowing face, as they go past the
window. It is only Sister Minnie. Not coming here, after all! No. And
the clouds could not overcome and hide the blue sky. It shone out
serenely and hopefully, like Minnie's own encouraging spirit. She
breasts the storm gallantly. If she can only get round the corner into
C-- Street! But here all the tempest seems collected to battle with
her--She wraps herself a little closer, and holds her breath. A few
steps more,--she turns round,--places her back full at the driving
storm,--and draws a long breath. Now for it! The flakes stop suddenly,
as if awed by the quiet determination in the young face. They fall to
the ground, stilly. The blue sky looks out, the sun shimmers white for
five minutes. Minnie walks rapidly, runs up the steps,--rings, and takes
into the house with her a full, fresh life, that vibrates from cellar to
attic in harmonious energy.

The afternoon wanes. Fred has dined. He takes his meerschaum from the
teapoy by his side and examines it critically. How for the color? Is it
just the right shade to stop? No. A very little darker. This is growing
quite beautiful. Almost like an agate. Which of those six is the
prettiest, after all? He thinks a seventh, which he remembers lying
on Little's mantel-piece, outdoes the whole. That of Little's was not
carved, nor silver-mounted even, and yet connoisseurs pronounced it
worth a hundred and fifty dollars. Not one of these is worth ten. He
smokes again, and looks at the cannel coal as it leaps into flame. The
room is very still; not a footfall can be heard in the house;--partly
because the doors are hung with a view to silence and the floors thickly
carpeted, and partly because there are only two servants in-doors, and
those men. The cook cannot speak English, and Fred's own man, a jewel in
his way, is taciturn to a fault. If Fred would be honest with himself,
he would acknowledge that the third-hand chatter of anybody's kitchen
would often be a delightful relief to his solitude. But then how could
he follow up his system of self-culture? That and society are quite
incompatible things. However, he yawns fearfully.

But what then? Has the man no mind, no cultivation, no taste? Things do
not indicate any such want. The walls of the room in which he is
just now lounging have their crimson and gold almost covered with
pictures,--copies of rare Murillos and Raphaels, and an original head of
a boy, by Greuze, with the lips as fresh as they were a hundred years
ago. An exquisite "Dying Stork," in bronze, stands on a bracket below
Sassoferrato's sweetest Madonna, and Retzsch's "Hamlet" lies open on a
side-table. The three Canovian Graces stand in a corner opposite him,
and he glances at the pedestal which stands ready to receive "Eve at the
Fountain." The pedestal has been there two weeks already, waiting for
the "Oxford" to arrive with its many precious Art-burdens. It stands
near the window; it will be a good light for it. Fred wishes, for the
hundredth time, that it would come along. There are books, surely? Oh,
yes, one side of the room is a complete bookcase,--tasteful, inside and

The small room which opens into this luxurious sitting-room has a high
north window, and near it stands Fred's easel, with a half-finished head
on a canvas. Already it has changed its aspect twenty times. Sometimes
it is a Nymph, sometimes a Naiad, sometimes Undine. Once, he dashed all
the green of the wood-nymph's forest, with one stroke, into green water,
intending to put in Undine, with a boat. He has not fulfilled his
intention; but he works on, with the luxurious abandonment of genius to
its spell, be it what it may. He does not care what it ends in. One
of Fred's theories is, that the imagination, by constant and intense
exercise, may so project the image it conceives, as to make it the
subject of ocular contemplation and imitation. Why not? All objects of
sight are painted on a flat surface, and it is by experience, comparison,
nay, in some measure by the will, that we get our ideas of their shape
and distance. Poor Blake's insane painting of imaginary heads, which he
saw three or six feet from him, was the only true and rational method
of painting at all. Think of your thought,--intensify it,--create
it,--create it perfectly,--define it carefully,--group it gracefully,
--color it exquisitely,--project it, by an intense effort of the will,
into the space before you. There it stands. Now paint it.

He is fond of dwelling on this theory; and as nobody takes the trouble
to contradict him, he has come to believe it truth, through hearing it
often repeated. He has explained it to Minnie more than twenty times,
and says he is almost ready to paint. Not quite. He must lie on the sofa
a year, perhaps two years longer, before he will be able to satisfy
himself. But then, what is a year, two, ten years, in an eternity of

The conception being completely projected from the brain in a visible
form, what remains but the mechanical imitation of it? Anybody can do
that. The thing is the conception. In vain Minnie suggests the vulgar
notion of acquiring facility by drawing and copying things in general.

"Entirely unnecessary, Minnie. What! is not genius before rules? Why
should I imitate Titian's tints, when I can copy my own fancies? When I
get my ideal perfected, you will soon see it real. I can copy it in
half an hour. If it is in me, it will come out of me, like Curran's

"But," says Minnie, doubtfully, looking at the easel where the golden
curls and heavenly eyes of an angel are obscured by the russet-brown of
a beginning wood-nymph, "why don't you keep to one idea, Fred?"

"Oh, because I choose to be fancy-free. I will not have my imagination
trammelled. Let it wander at its own sweet will. You will see, Minnie,
by-and-by. Now, here I have been getting up a head,--not painting it,
you know. Sometimes I can almost see the eyes. But they elude me,--I
haven't quite command of them yet. But I shall get it,--I shall get it

Minnie remembers the same things said to her ever since she was a child.
Fred used to tell it all over to her then. He was so much older than she
was,--fourteen years,--that she was quite flattered by being thought
worthy to listen to his theories of all sorts. However, since she had
come to think for herself, one by one all these theories had faded out
of her mind and seemed like last year's clouds. She had discovered that
it was useless to controvert them, and generally listened with some
pretence of patience. The last time she had said, at the first pause,--

"Now, Fred, I must go. But I want you to contribute a little, if you
will, to my poor's library, and if you will, a little, too, to poor

"Little Sister Minnie," answered Fred, curtly, "don't annoy me. If you
enjoy digging out beggar-women, and adorning them with all sorts of
comforts and pleasures, do it. I don't ask you not to. Will you give me
the same privilege of following my own pleasure?"

"But, Fred!" said Minnie, astonished, "only last week, what did you do
for poor Sophia? More than I could in a year,--two, three years! For
you know I have only my thirty dollars quarterly for everything, and
sometimes I have so little to give!"

"Why do you give, then, dear Minnie?" said Fred, languidly smiling.

"Oh, if you ask that, why did you give, last Monday? You gave--let me
see--fifty-four dollars; every cent you had in your purse. Oh,
the things I bought for her with it! Paid rent, bought medicine,
blankets,--oh, so many needed comforts! Now, why did _you_ give?" said
Minnie, with a triumphant smile,--"for now I have him," she thought.

"To save myself pain,--that's all."

Minnie looked puzzled.

"Nothing else, I do assure you. No very great virtue in that. The fact
was, I was bored, and, to tell the truth, somewhat shocked, by your
'poor Sophia's' ailments, which I came upon so inopportunely,--and I
was glad to empty my pockets to get rid of the uncomfortable feeling."

"Well, then, save yourself pain again, Fred,--for I assure you she
suffers constantly for want of simple alleviations, which a small sum of
money would afford her. Oh, she needs so many things, and everything is
so dear! And she has so many helpless children, and no husband, and so
bowed with rheumatism"--

"Minnie! excuse me for interrupting you; but can you find nothing but
rheumatism to talk about? It is of all subjects the least tasteful to

"My dear Fred!" And there Minnie stopped. She was both hurt and puzzled.

Fred laughed. His good-humor returned at the sight of her mystified
face, and the opportunity of explaining some of his theories of morals.

"In the first place, Minnie, what do we live for?"

Minnie had not thought. She was only eighteen, and had acted.

"Well, I dare say you have never considered the subject. I have, a great
deal. You see, Minnie, we are born to pursue happiness. You allow that."

"Yes,--I suppose so," said Minnie.

"Well, then, if I look at the wrong thing, and call it happiness, it is
my mistake, and I only shall pay for it. You find your happiness in an
active life and works of mercy. Very well, do so. You devote a certain
part of your income, small as it is, to that sort of pleasure. I devote
mine to my pleasures. They are different from yours. You might call them
selfish. What then? So are yours. I don't say you are not modest and
humble, and all that; but you do enjoy your old women, and your fussy
charity-schools. Very well. That is all I do with my drawing, my
lounging, my smoking, my reading. And I think, Minnie," added Fred,
laughing, "I have the added grace of humility; for I am far from making
a merit of my sort of life."

"No,--it would be difficult to make a merit of it," said Minnie.

That was clear enough. Fred loved to have her for an auditor. So long as
she could not see over him, he was as good as infinite to her.

"In the first place, Minnie, you must allow, it is a duty to surround
ourselves with the beautiful in all things. It conduces to the highest
self-culture; and self-culture is our first duty."

"Is it? Surely, it cannot be! Oh, you mean we ought rather to attend to
our own faults than those of others?"

"I mean as I say. Self-culture is our first duty, both moral and
intellectual. I might add, also, that to take care of Number One is a
dictate of common prudence. You allow that? Well. First, then, the body
cared for, all right. Then the morals,--attend to your own, and let
other people's alone. Then, thirdly, your intellect. Now, then, it
becomes a positive duty, 'the duty that lies nearest to me,' to
cultivate that. And to do that, Minnie, I am obliged to draw on myself
to my very last dollar. To refine the taste by familiarity with the
highest objects of taste, to appreciate Art, to develop the intellect,
to bring one's self to conceive and grasp the Universal, the Beautiful,
to raise one's self in the scale of created things by creative fancies
imitating the Highest,--ah! in fact, Minnie, self-culture becomes a
duty,--indeed, our first duty."

Something in Minnie's face--it was not a smile--made Fred turn the
subject a little.

"Now, really, if every one would take care of one, and that one himself,
don't you see there would be no more want or suffering in this weary
world? no more need of blankets or dispensaries? Each is happy,
comfortable, and self-cultured in his proportion. A universal harmony
prevails. Like the planets, self-revolving, and moving, each in his
chosen orbit, they shout and sing for joy. How much better this than
to be eccentrically darting off in search of somebody's tears to wipe,
somebody's wounds to bandage,--who, indeed, would have neither wounds
nor grief, if they would follow my simple rule!"

Minnie laughed a little at her brother's grave sophistry, but had no
wish to contest the point with him.

"It is no merit in me, but, as you say, rather self-indulgence, to be
looking up and relieving destitute cases. But it would be merit in you,
if you don't like it; and you might have all that, and none of the

Her bright face glowed; and Fred liked to look at her when she was
excited; the coloring beat Titian's, he thought.

"You don't know how painful to me it is to hold out empty hands to so
many sufferers"--

But now Minnie's face looked so sorrowful that there was nothing
specially beautiful in the coloring, and Fred said, impatiently,--

"You bore me, Minnie. I am waiting to take my afternoon nap."

And he turned positively over towards the wall.

The sight of Minnie, swiftly walking through the driving storm to-day,
brought up to Fred's memory all the talk they had had in that very room,
he lying in the same place, a fortnight ago. Since that day he had not
seen Minnie, except casually; and, indeed, she seemed very busy and
very happy, if one might judge by her lighted face and her laden arm.
Something keener than philosophy, subtiler than Epicurus, pricked Fred,
as Minnie vanished into the cloud of snowflakes.


He glanced around the apartment. It was still luxurious; but "custom had
staled the infinite variety" of its ornament and furnishing. Already he
was dissatisfied with this and that. Where to place a new bas-relief
that had struck him at Cotton's the day before, and which he had
purchased on the spot, without considering that there was no room for
it in the library? There it leaned against the wall,--not so big as the
Vicar's family-picture, but quite as much in the way.

"The room looks loaded. I ought to have a gallery for these things. I
wonder if I couldn't buy Carter's house, and push a gallery through from
the top of my stairway."

He touched the bell, and lay down again.

Martin entered softly, let down the crimson curtains, so as to exclude
the vanishing light, and stirred the crimson cannel into a newer

"This weather frets my nerves, Martin. My face aches. Give me the bottle
of chloroform in my chamber."

He inhaled the subtile fluid two or three times, and handed it back to
Martin. It made no difference, he said. He would try to sleep. So Martin
went out on tiptoe and closed the door.

The chloroform probably did relieve him, for he thought no more of the
uneasiness in his face; but he was not only not at all sleepy, but
every sense seemed wide awake,--wide awake to its utmost capacity of
perception. It was as if a misty veil were suddenly removed from before
his eyes, and he saw, what indeed had always been there, but what in his
abstraction or inattention he had never before noticed. For instance, he
noticed at once that Martin had not quite closed the curtains, but had
left an inch or two open, and the window open besides. The air, however,
had grown soft, and the wind must have gone down, for it did not stir
the drapery. He looked again, to be certain he was right. Yes,--there
was an inch clear, where the wind might come in, if it liked. Martin was
growing blind or stupid. However, he did not so much think that. On the
whole, it was more likely that his own senses were sharpening.
That would be a good thing, though,--to be wiser and sharper and
clearer-sighted than all the rest of the world! He would like that
advantage. And why might he not have it? Already he perceived a marked
difference from his usual sensuous condition. It was unnatural,
preternatural,--and yet, a state which could be produced at will. It
was easily done. Just homoeopathy, in fact. A little sniff, a minute
dose, and he could see and hear with a miraculous clearness; but people
would take a dozen, and then they grew stupid.

He looked again around the room. Was it fancy, now? Perhaps it was. It
was not likely the Madonna was winking in a heretic's parlor. Besides,
it was the same sort of no-motion he had watched many a time in the
twilight, when the door seemed to swing backward and forward in the
dusky air, following the dilation and contraction of his own eyes. He
tried it now on the Madonna. He opened his eyes as widely as possible,
and the drooping lids of the picture evidently half-raised themselves
from the dark, soft orbs. He nearly closed his own, and hers bent again
in serenest contemplation.

He looked at the bronze figure of the "Dying Stork," which was placed
below the picture, and started to see that it moved also, and with a
strange, unnatural, galvanic sort of movement, like the "animated oat,"
which moves when placed on the hand after being warmed a moment in the
mouth. The legs sprung against the reeds and flags, in the same way.

Lastly, he looked at the bas-relief which stood near, leaning against
the wall. It was very, very strange. Had the old fable of Pygmalion a
truth in it, then? And could the same genius that created also give life
and warmth to its productions? Beneath the marble he could see the soft,
living pulse, distinctly; and the wind that blew over the mountains,
beyond the river, ruffled the waves about the tiny boat. Even the star
above the child's head sparkled in the depths of the sky.

Fred was delighted. "It is enchantment!" he said. But no,--it was one
of those miracles that have not yet become commonplace. The poetic life
that his perceptions were now able to enjoy, in inanimate nature, would
be such a perpetual gratification to his taste,--such an incentive to
explorations and discoveries! He could not felicitate himself enough.

"A thousand times better than the microscope," said he to himself
again. "Atoms are annoying and disgusting to look at, with their
incomprehensible and frightful minuteness, and their horrible celerity.
One does not like to think that everything is composed of myriads, be
they ever so beautiful,--which they are not, that ever I could see, but
chiefly all head or a wriggling tail. Bah! This is much better. Hark! I
can hear the waves dash,--the hope-song of the child,--and the breeze
moving against the delicate sails!

"How delightful it will be to travel, with this new-found faculty!
Whenever I choose, I can have the talking bird, the singing tree, and
the laughing water! I always thought those peeps into irrational nature
the chief charm of the Arabian tales. How little did I dream of ever
being able to read with my own eyes the riddle of the world! By-the-way,
let me look at my Graces, and see if they, too, are conscious forms of

He turned to the group. Alas! even the Graces were not proof against the
ordeal of constant society. Perhaps, if he had reflected, he would
not have expected it. In truth, it was surprising to see how many
disagreeable sentiments they all three contrived to express, without
untwining their arms, or loosening their fond and graceful hold on each
other. A slight elevation of the eyebrow, a curve of the lovely mouth,
or a shrug from the Parian shoulders,--how expressive,--how surprising!
But Fred need not have been surprised; they never set up for Faith,
Hope, and Charity. What he most wondered at was that they still looked
so lovely, when they were clearly full of all pagan naughtiness. They
might as well have been women.

Fred pondered on this for some time. Then, it seemed, everything had
a latent life in it. He had suspected as much. "There is always a
something," said he, "in what we make, not only beyond what we intend
to make, but different from it. We study a long time the powers of
position,--in chess, for example;--how much is produced by one move
that we did not anticipate, and perhaps cannot ascertain,--certainly not
prevent! How many times we are wittier than we meant to be,--striking
out, by our unconscious blow, thoughts related to the one we utter, but
far more brilliant,--and ourselves becoming conscious of the very good
thing we have said only by its effect on the company! So it is, I fancy,
with all our mental movements. The brain acts independently of the will
in sleep. Why not, in a great measure, when awake? Probably, as all
Nature has a movement of its own, so all Art may be made to have, by
the infusion and absorption of so much of the creative energy of the
artist,--hidden to the common eye, but palpitating to the instructed
touch, throbbing or sparkling to the instructed eye. Yes, it must be
so. The south-wind sighs a thousand times more mournfully through the
keyhole than Thalberg can make it do on the piano. What music there was
in those stones the man brought round, the other day, and played on with
a stick! And now, the sound here from the gas-tube, how wailing, how
sorrowful!--now, how triumphant!"

Fred was so delighted with watching the gas-burner, and listening to the
wild music which floated through it, that he did not at first observe
that the wind had risen and was blowing almost a gale. Presently, in his
speculations as to the cause of such a sudden flood of melody, he hit on
the possibility of a current of air.

"But, then, how comes the air to be so full of music? Never mind,--I'll
put the window down."

However, just as he was putting it down, a snow-flake, one of a hundred,
all pressing for the same point, flew past him, and alighted on the
green velvet tabouret.

It was nothing,--only a snow-flake,--and another time, Fred would have
thought nothing of it. But in the novel awakening of his faculties, even
a snow-flake had a new interest. With intense eagerness he watched the
movement of the little thing,--and yet, feeling that he might be on
forbidden ground, he had the presence of mind to seem not to see or
hear. If inanimate Nature were once to suspect his new insight, what a
bustle there would be! He almost closed his eyes, and lay still, where
he could watch and yet seem asleep. His prudence and caution were well

The snow-flake was, as he suspected, as much alive as the wind; and that
was singing, shouting, dying away in ecstasies, at this very moment.

He glanced at her. Lithe, sparkling, graceful, she gathered her soft
drapery about her, and stood poised delicately on one foot, while she
looked around the apartment in which she found herself. Fred could see
that she was moulded more beautifully than the Graces,--by so much more
as Nature is fairer than all Art,--and that she had an inward pure
coldness, beside which Diana's was only stone. Yet it was not
indifference, like that of the wild huntress,--not an incapacity to
feel, but only that her time had not come; when it should, she would
melt as well as another. Now she stood still and calm. She did not
once look at him. She had seen human beings before,--plenty of them.
Something else attracted her,--thrilled her, evidently; for the
faintest rose-color suffused her beautiful form; she changed her
attitude, and bent forward her graceful head.

Something about "warming his hands by thinking on the frosty Caucasus"
passed through Fred's mind, and some law of association impelled him to
look at the fire. It was queer enough, that, as many times as he had
looked at that fire by the hour together, he had never before noticed
its shape or expression. Only last night, he had watched it, dancing and
flickering just as it did now, and never once suspected the truth!

Mailed figures! Yes, plenty of them,--golden-helmeted and sworded like
the seraphim! A glorious band, gathering, twining, shooting past each
other,--jousting, tilting,--with blazing banners, and a field broader
than that of the "Cloth of Gold"; for this reached to and mingled with
the clouds--yea, tinted them with flame-color and roses,--and garlanded
the earth with crimson blossoms that nestled among her forests on the
far-off horizon. What a wide field, indeed! And how far might these
blazes and flames go, when once they set out? To the stars, perhaps.
Fred did not see what should stop them. The atmosphere might, possibly.
He must study that out.

Meanwhile how strangely far he could see! What a power it was! What a
new interest it gave to Nature! Nature, he must confess, had always
seemed rather flat to him, on the whole. He had always liked
the imitations better than the original,--pictures better than
people,--busts better than philosophers. But now the case is altered. He
has got what his friend Norris calls "glorification-spectacles." Now he
can have perpetual amusement. Why, it is vastly better than Asmodeus
peeping in at the tops of houses. By the same token, snow-flakes are
more interesting than humanity.

Speaking of snow-flakes, what does he see, but that she is evidently
yielding to the soft enchantment of the nearest flame-god,--drawn
thither by resistless affinity, and melting, in his burning arms, to
the most delicate vapor! Snow-flake no more, yet not absorbed nor lost!
Rather taking her true place, transported from the earth-tempests to a
warmer and higher sphere of action.

That might be, but not yet. In their new vaporous condition, in which
both had lost some of their prominent qualities, they had acquired new
relations, perhaps new duties. At all events, they did not at once
ascend to their kindred ether,--but swam, glided, floated, above
and around, and finally separated. Watching them keenly, Fred could
distinctly see that the sometime snow-flake left her sphere and came
gradually towards himself. As the vaporous shape floated nearer, it also
grew larger, so that, although Fred could not have said certainly that
the size was human, it relieved him from the impression of any fairy
or elf or sprite. No, it was nothing of that sort. It was just the
gentlest, calmest, serenest face and form in the world,--with the same
look of pure sweetness he had noticed on her first entrance,--with a
peculiar surprised look in her wide-open eyes, that he had seen but in
one human face. As well tell the truth,--the face, expression, and all,
were as like Annie Peyton's, as her portrait, drawn in water-colors,
could possibly have been.

The shape sat down by him,--her vaporous garment still folding softly
around her, and her clear, open eyes fixed on him. There was no need of
speech, for he read her face as if written by Heaven's own hand; and the
coarse and selfish philosophy which had sufficed partially to stun and
confuse Minnie fled at the presence of the spirit. Not a word still from
the calm, sweet face. It looked on him with pity and surprise. Then all
the ideas and convictions that throng on the mind warped, but not lost,
pressed on him. He hid his face in the sofa-cushions.

His presence of mind returned as a new thought struck him. It was an
ocular delusion, surely. He sprang up, took three or four turns across
the room, rubbed his eyes smartly, and took his seat again. For a moment
he would not look towards the chair. When at last he did look, the airy,
soft form was still there, looking steadily into his eyes.

"What an idea!" exclaimed he, impatiently. "I might put my hands through
it, like the flame of a candle. It is nothing but vapor. What is it made
of? Nothing but a snow-flake and the gas from cannel coal. I saw it,
myself, melting and falling together into this beautiful shape. But then
it is only a shape. It is not a body. Oh, but then it may be a soul! Who
knows what souls are made of? Snow-flakes and vapor, perhaps. Who knows

He looked about the room. Everything was in its natural and usual place.
The fire burned merrily; the wind swept fitfully without, and all
was quiet within. A very uncomfortable feeling, of mingled awe and
curiosity, took possession of him. He did not quite like to look at the
shape. He thought,--

"Can this be the spiritual body that St. Paul says is to supersede the
natural one? If this is indeed, the soul of Annie Peyton,--why, she
knows, somehow, what is in mine. And, by Jove! I can see her soul now,
too, without any trouble! She can't hide her real feelings now from me,
any more than I can my character from her. There's some good in it,

With some effort, he raised his eyes,--very respectfully, indeed;
for though he was only about to look at a soul, he was full as much
overpowered as if it had been the body. His eyes fell.

"If I dared to look! But she knows how I feel. I suppose she sees me
now,--shivering from head to foot like a----Somehow, I can't look her
in the eyes. However, this won't do!" And he looked quickly and timidly
into the now smiling face.

He need not have been so timid. If a soul could discern evil, it could,
also, good; and this spirit was quick to see the last. Without a
word,--but when were words necessary to souls?--with only a glance, she
expressed so much love and pity for him, that Fred was ashamed to look
her in the face. "Oh! if she could really see him," he thought, "would
she look so?" Perhaps so. For the Intelligence that sees the evil
can clearest of all see the mitigations, the causes, and the sore
temptations; and the fruit of the widest knowledge is the widest love.

Something like this passed from the soul that sat opposite Fred into his
awakening and sensitive consciousness:--

"You have never tasted the pleasures of useful activity," the sweet face
said. "Come with me, and we will look together, and see what good may
come, and also what enjoyment, from it."

Now it was, for the first time, that Fred fully understood his position.
It came like a gleam of light on his puzzled intellect, and made that
quite clear which had before been so mystical and cloudy, that he had
been ready to rub his eyes, and to doubt, almost, the evidence of his
senses. He remembered his old and a thousand times repeated theory of
"projected images." Here it was. Instead of a fancy, a thought, here was
the whole of Annie Peyton's soul (which, to be sure, had often enough
occupied his mind) projected from his own, perhaps, so as to be a
subject of contemplation to his bodily eyes. Or, what was more likely,
the soul itself of Annie Peyton might have left her body for a time in
a dream. It was among the possibilities, though he had never before
believed it to be. But then, again, how could his soul go off on an
exploring tour with Annie's? His soul was safe in his body, and that,
namely, the body, lying on the sofa,--the room close, the window down.
Just then, he glanced toward the window, and remembered that he had not
fastened it at all. There was room enough for a soul to pass easily. But
then, again, how was his soul to pass,--to get out, in the first place,
of his body? Easily enough. The concentrated effort of will, which could
give shape to a fancy, and place it outside the eye, could, by sustained
action, separate all the perceptive powers from the senses,--in short,
the spirit from its envelope.

"To know, to perceive, to suffer, to rejoice, do not require skin and
bones. The heart weeps while the eye is dry; the lips smile while the
heart is breaking. One might have a conventional soul,--to keep house,
as it were, and do all the honors of society, while the real one went
abroad to regions of truth and beauty, and bathed in living waters!"

While Fred continued so to think and speculate, and also to separate,
and, as it were, classify his ideas, he was pleased to perceive,
that, without any very strong volition on his part, but only from the
analytical processes of his reason, that portion of his mind which
perceived and enjoyed the truth of things became condensed and separated
from the conventional, the factitious, and the merely sensual. The
qualities, or states, or whatever the metaphysician calls them, fell
off him, as garments do in a dream, and left himself, his very self,
separate, and a little distant, from his body. He perceived this rather
than saw it. He knew it, but could not assert it. The body, with its
bodily wants and limitations, leaned on the couch, half slumberously;
while the mind, himself, full of vague aspirations, keen intellectual
hunger, and overlaid with error, obstinacy, and the thick crust of
self-contemplation, which stifles all true progress,--these assimilated
qualities made himself, what he felt he was, not an attractive object to
himself more than to anybody else. All his perceptions pointed inward,
and cramped and narrowed his existence. He felt very, very small.

"This is strange," he reasoned, "that I should have such a sense of
contraction! I crowd on myself, as it were. My thoughts hit me, press
me, instead of elevating me. I cannot see why; for the habit of looking
up to no goodness or intelligence but the Supreme must surely be a good
one, and self-education and development the noblest process for a human

He said this in a mechanical sort of way, as if it were a lesson he
remembered at school. But it made no impression on him, and did not
relieve his difficulty. He knew it, somehow, to be false, and felt
it falling off as he spoke, as if it were the last remnant of gauzy

Fred had never been fond of church-going, nor was he much given to
reading the Holy Scriptures. Indeed, he rather affected the style of the
Latter-Day Saints, who look for a better and nobler Messiah than came in
the Son of Mary. But just now, fifty texts of Scripture, which he must
have learned long ago at his mother's knee, came crowding upon his

"Though I have all gifts, and have not charity, I am nothing."

"He that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he."

"He that loveth not his brother, whom he hath seen, how can he love God,
whom he hath not seen?"

"Little children, love one another."

"Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ."

And so on,--interminably. In a helpless, vague way, he looked at the
shadow by his side.

"You like pictures, and paint them," said she, speaking for the first
time;--and the voice was precisely the tone he had recognized in the
music of the wind; he had thought then it was like hers;--"look with me
at these two."

They were, indeed, magnificent pictures. They reached from floor to
ceiling. Fred was artist enough to enjoy fully the wide sweep of sky and
land,--the mountains in the distance, and the firmament studded with
stars. A figure wandered up and down the space, sometimes to the tops
of the mountains, sometimes to the clefts of the rocks. When he saw the
stars, he calculated their distances;--when he saw the moon, he weighed
her, and guessed about the atmosphere on the other side;--when the gold
and diamonds shone in the clefts of the rocks, he gathered and analyzed
them. The Leviathan he studied and classed. He groped and reached
constantly, and, having gathered, looked at his gatherings,
dissatisfied. He was ever searching out knowledge. Meanwhile, a gnat put
him in a passion, and unleavened bread destroyed his peace. Though he
might sleep on rose-leaves, as he could not command the wind, they came
often to double under him, and annoy him with bad dreams.

"When shall I be a disembodied spirit, and no longer subject to the
petty annoyances that belong to the flesh?" cried he, fretfully. "My
knowledge, too, is a moth,--only vexing me by a sense of the limitations
of my condition. If I could grasp Nature,--if I could handle the
stars,--if I could wake the thunder,--if I could summon the cloud! That
would be worth something,--to send the comets on their errands! But what
avails it, to know that they go?--how far from me when they start, and
how many millions of miles before they turn to come back? If I could
move only one of these subtile energies that mock me while I look them
in the face!"

The philosopher dozed. A storm came on, and swept over all creation.
When he awoke, it was clearing away, and one side of the heavens was
heaped with gold-lined clouds, and the darkness of the other spanned
with the seven-hued bow. He looked admiringly at the clouds and
critically at the rainbow, and added to his memorandum-book.

"What use?" said he, mournfully; "delicate dew, and refracted light!"

He continued to ponder and murmur, to explore, to ascertain, to grumble.
He had rheumatic pains, for the elements had no mercy on him; he rubbed
himself as he was able, and added to his stores of knowledge. He was
very, very learned. When he reached a shelter, he lay down. If no human
love welcomed him, and no gentle lip soothed him, he had self-culture,
especially in the sciences.

All this Fred knew as soon as he looked at him.

"If he were wise, he would not stop at knowledge, which is, of course,
unsatisfactory,--but dive beyond, as I have done, into the essence of
things," said Fred to himself. "If he could pierce through the veil that
covers all things, he would find amusement enough to last a lifetime. In
vegetable life, the jealousies and passions of flowers,--in the quiet
eventfulness of the mineral kingdom, to see forms of living beauty in
crystals,--finally, in all the under-mechanism of creation, what a
fund of enjoyment and instruction! I think I should never cease to be
delighted and entertained."

Fred glanced from the picture to the fireplace. The shovel and tongs
were just laughing at him; and though they composed their countenances
immediately, he had caught the expression, and was excessively annoyed.
Philosophy at length came to his aid, especially as the poker expressed
only profound deference, preserving a martial attitude and immovable
features. After all, why should he care for a pair of tongs? One must
cultivate phlegm, if one is a philosopher; and a shovel, after all, is
not so bad as a pretty woman. He heard the cool wind distinctly blowing
across the mountains in the picture, and saw the stars coming out again.
Then Fred knew he had been looking at a diorama, and that the exhibition
was over.

He heard a hearty laugh at a little distance, and perceived that the
picture, which at first had seemed to spread out over the whole wall,
was really divided into two parts, something like an exhibition he
remembered of dissolving views. This was delightful. The first picture
faded out into gloom, and gave place to a bright, cheerful room in the
third story of a house in the city. There were only two rooms,--this,
and a small anteroom. The furniture was simple, even poor. Through the
window the snow was seen falling, and the blaze flickered, in cheerful
contrast, on the hearth. A woman, neither young nor pretty, stood with
an astonished expression, and an elderly man laughed loudly, and sat
down before the fire.

"What in the world shall I do?" said the woman.

"Do, my dear?--why, bring me my dressing-gown"; said he, laughing again
so cheerily, that it was contagious; and as she brought the coarse
wadded garment he asked for, she laughed too.

"A pretty kettle of fish!" said she.

"Yes! Now what shall we do? Not a dollar in our pockets!"

"Nor a coat to your back!" broke in the woman.

Then they both laughed again, loudly and heartily.

Fred remembered now what they were laughing at. The man was a minister,
well known in Boston, and the woman was his wife. He had just come in,
running through the storm, and almost out of breath.

"Wife! my coat! Don't you see I am in my shirt-sleeves? I've got a
snow-bank on my back!"

"Why! where in the world--what have you done with your coat?"

"Oh! that I am almost ashamed to tell you; it seems such a parading sort
o' thing to do in the streets! But you may depend, I didn't stand at the
corners long, to be seen of men, in this driving storm! Fact was, wife,
I just took it off of my back, and gave it to poor old M'Carty;--he'd
nothing on but rags, and was fairly shaking with the cold. I knew I'd
another to home,--and what does a man want of two coats? One's enough
for anybody. Besides, didn't our Lord particularly tell his disciples
not to have but one? Say, now, wife!"

The wife looked blank and embarrassed.

"Well, wife! what now?"

"Only"----and she paused again.

"Only what? Out with it! You think it was silly! But, wife, you'd 'a'
done the same thing;--you couldn't 'a' helped it, nohow. Providence
seemed to 'a' cast him in my way o' purpose. I tell you, wife, it was as
plain-spoken as it could be,--'Be ye warmed!' Why, you'd 'a' done the
same thing, wife!"

"My goodness! I _have_ done it, husband! A man and his wife and three
little children came along, not half an hour ago, looking so miserable
and cold, that, as I thought, as you say, you had one coat, and that
was all you really needed, I just out with the other, and put it on the
man's back. The thankfullest creature you ever saw!"

And here the man had broken into the hearty laugh Fred heard.

When the man put on his dressing-gown, which was comfortable for the
fireside, the wife renewed her question. He answered with a bright

"The Son of Man, my dear we know, had not where to lay his head; but
then he always trusted in God. God never fails his children. Thanks to
Him!" added he, reverently, and raising loving eyes to heaven, as if he
really spoke to somebody there,--"Thanks to Him! there's bountiful hands
and tender hearts, a plenty of 'em, in the city of Boston. I've only got
to strike, and the waters 'll flow out! yes,--rivers of water!"

The wife looked down, and said, meditatively, "It makes me think what
our dear Saviour said to poor Peter,--'O thou of little faith, wherefore
didst thou doubt?'"

The man answered in a clear, joyful tone, "Oh, you won't doubt more'n
half a minute to time, wife!--and I won't doubt at all!"

With that, the two aged Christians struck up a sweet Wesleyan melody;
and that, too, was in the same soft minor key that Fred had heard
singing through the gas-burner. They finished the little hymn, and
the woman scraped some corn from a cob into the corn-popper. In a few
minutes, she had filled a large bowl with the parched corn.

"I declare, they look like them hyacinths in the window,--don't they?
What a lovely white color!"

"I think, wife," answered the man, as he took a handful of the kernels
and looked at them, "this corn is a good deal like human nature. When
we're all shut up in ourselves, we're poor creatures;--but touch us with
the live coals of the Holy Spirit, and we turn out something refreshing.
Fact is, wife, we're good for nothing, till we're turned inside out."

The picture faded. It was a very homely one.

Fred turned to the soul by his side, but she was no longer visible.

"Escaped, somehow! I wonder, now, how?"

But he had scarcely spoken, when he saw, by a slight movement of the
door, that she must have gone out that way. It was just closing. With a
tremendous effort of will, he tried to follow her, but in vain. He
had been so much in the habit of looking after himself only, that his
untrained faculties refused to obey him. As a last resource, he sank
passively towards the form which still lay prone on the couch. How he
was again to join soul and body he could not guess. But, apparently,
there was no difficulty. The spirit which had called him out of himself,
for a little while, had departed, and, with her, both the power and the
desire of separation. He joined his sensuous existence with ease and
pleasure, and with no perceptible lapse of consciousness. No sooner had
he obtained the use of his tongue, than he made an inarticulate noise.
The door, which had been all that time swinging, opened again, and the
velvet-footed Martin appeared.

"Who went out, Martin?"

"Out of here, Sir? No one, Sir."

"Who opened the door, then?--What's that in your hand?"

"The chloroform, Sir, you just handed me."

"Just handed you?"

"Yes, Sir;--you gave it back to me not a quarter of a minute ago."

"Have I been asleep, Martin?"

"I should judge not, Sir. You didn't take more than two sniffs at the
bottle. I just had time to go to the door when you spoke to me."

"Martin,--is the window close?"

"Perfectly close, Sir."

"You may go."

       *       *       *       *       *


[Footnote A: _History of New England during the Stuart Dynasty._ By John
Gorham Palfrey. Vol. I. Boston: Little, Brown, & Co. 1858. 8vo. pp. 638.

_History of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations._ By
Samuel Greene Arnold & Co. 1859. 8vo. pp. 574.]

The London "Times," in its comments upon a recent desponding utterance
of foreboding for our republic, by President Buchanan, in his Fort
Duquesne Letter, affirms that the horizon of England is clearing while
our own is darkening. Mr. Bright, true to the omen of his name, thinks
better of our country. He seizes upon all fit occasions, as in his late
speech at Manchester, to hold up to his countrymen the opposite view,
so far at least as concerns our republic. He loves to recommend to
his constituents American notions and institutions. Perhaps it may be
allowed,--though this is hardly to be affirmed, if any decisive argument
depends upon it,--that the peculiar institutions, political and social,
of the two nations, have been on trial long enough, side by side,
through the same race of men and in the pursuit of the same interests,
to enable a wise discerner to strike the balance between them, in
respect to their efficiency and their security as intrusted with the
welfare and destiny of millions. If we can learn to look at the
large experiment in that light, all that helps to put the real issue
intelligently before us will be of equal interest to us, from whichever
side of the water it may present itself. For ourselves, we believe that
the best security against despair for our country is a knowledge of its
history. If the study of our annals does not train up patriots among us,
we must consent to lose our heritage. We are glad to be assured that our
historians do not intend to allow the republic to decay before they have
written out in full the tale of its life. Their records, well digested,
may prove to be the pledges of its vigor and permanence.

There are those in the land, who, for reasons suggested by President
Buchanan, and for others, of darker omen, to which he makes no
reference, do despair, or greatly fear. What with an honest hate of some
public iniquities among us,--the tolerance and strengthening of which
many of our politicians regard as the vital conditions of our national
existence,--and a dread of the excesses incident to our large liberty,
it is not strange that some of our own citizens should accord in
sentiment with the London "Times." Probably the same proportion of
persons may be now living among the native population of our national
soil, appeared at the era of the Revolution, preferring English
institutions to our own, and predicting that her government will outlast
our own. Discussions raised upon the present aspect of affairs in either
country will not settle the issue thus opened. A real knowledge of our
own institutions and a reasonable confidence in their permanence are
to be found only in an intelligent and very intimate acquaintance with
their growth and development. In our histories are to be found the
materials of our prophecies.

We welcome, therefore, with infinite satisfaction, the two admirable
volumes whose titles we have set down. For reasons which will appear
before we conclude our remarks upon them, we find it convenient to unite
their titles and to write about them together; but for distinctness of
subject and marked individuality in the mode of treatment, no two books
can stand more widely apart. Abilities and culture and aptitudes of the
very highest order have been brought to the composition of each of
them. An exhaustive use of abundant materials, and a most conscientious
fidelity in digesting them into high-toned philosophical narrations, are
marked features of both the volumes, and we will not venture upon the
ungracious office of instituting comparisons, in these respects, between
their authors. We must make a slight report of the story of each of
them, and of the method and spirit in which it is told, and then
confront them for mutual cross-examination.

Our historians have learned to write their books with full as much
reference to their being read abroad as at home. The problem with which
they first have to deal, therefore, is, how to make the men and the
incidents and the cardinal points of our annals look as large to
foreigners as they do to us. Many of our town-histories are written in
the tone and style of Mr. Poole's "Little Pedlington,"--the epithet
_Little_ being suppressed in the title, but obtruded on every page. The
intensity and emphasis of our historic strain appear to foreigners to be
disproportionate to the subject-matter of the story. Mr. Punch always
represents a Yankee as larger than his garments. His trousers never
cover his ankles; his cuffs stop far short of his wrists; his long neck
extends beyond the reach of even his capacious collar; and the bone in
him lacks amplitude of muscle. But Mr. Punch, with all his wisdom, does
not fully understand the composition of a Yankee, as the greatest common
multiple of a Teuton, Dane, Norman, Frank, Kelt, and Englishman. Dr.
Palfrey's volume will largely conciliate our cousins beyond the water
to our own conceit of our annals, because, more distinctly and cogently
than any previous record in pamphlet or folio, it identifies the springs
and purposes of our heroic age with an era and a type of men which
English historians now exalt on their own noblest pages.

Dr. Palfrey has had precisely that natural endowment, training,
experience, mental discipline, and intercourse with the world in public
and private relations, to furnish him with the best qualifications for
the work to which he has devoted the autumn of an eminently useful and
honored life. The sinewy fibre of his theme is religion. And he is a
religious man of the highest pattern, deeply skilled in its scholarly
lore, erudite in its Scriptural and controversial elements, and
practised in the sagacity which it imparts for understanding and
interpreting human nature. Religion enters into the subject-matter of
his narrative, not so much in its philosophical bearings as in its
civico-ecclesiastical and institutional relations; where it becomes the
spine of the social fabric, traversed and perforated with the nervous
life-chords for all the members of the organism. His education has
been that of the highest ideal of New England,--through books and men,
through professional duties and public services, bringing him into
relations with youth, with men and women, and with the forms and the
routine work of civil and political administrations. He has at his
command the language of devotion, the rhetoric and logic of philosophy,
and the technicalities of jurisprudence. To his personal friends, and
they are very many in every walk of life, it is a matter of grateful
recognition that he escaped from a political arena whose conflicts were
not congenial with his delicacy of taste or of conscience, in season to
give the vigor of his best years to the composition of a work which will
spread his fame to other lands and identify it forever with what is of
most reverent and honored remembrance on his native soil.

The historian's work, when done after the best pattern, involves a duty
to his readers and a privilege for himself. To them he is bound to
present all the essential facts, authenticated, illustrated, and
carefully disposed in their natural relations. For himself, having done
this, he is at liberty to construct his own theory, to follow his own
philosophy, and to pronounce judicial decisions. The highest exaction to
be made of an historian, and the loftiest function which he could claim
to exercise, are expressed in these two conditions. The noble privilege
and opportunity secured in the latter condition are the only adequate
reward for the drudgery of the labor required in the former. It would
be foolish to raise a question whether it be more essential for an
historian to be faithful in his narration or to be wise in his comments.
Only the statement we have made will serve to remind us how essential
the philosophy of human nature is to throw life into a record of old

The two books in our hands, where their specific themes are identical,
substantially accord in their relation of facts,--allowing for a few
exceptional cases,--but they differ widely in their philosophy. Very
much of the fresh interest which both of them will create in their
respective subjects will be found in the collisions of their philosophy.

Dr. Palfrey had a favorable opportunity for undertaking to write anew
the history of New England. Those who have yet to acquaint themselves
with that history say there was no occasion for this reiterated labor.
If such persons will merely read over his notes, without wasting any of
their precious time upon his text, they will discover their mistake.
There are in those notes matters new even to adepts. All the recent
materials which have been lavishly contributed from public and private
stores by public and private researches amount in sum and in importance
to an actual necessity for their digest and incorporation into a new
history. Dr. Palfrey has used these with a most patient fidelity, and
his references to them and his extracts from them convey to his readers
the results of an amount of labor which the most grateful of them will
not be likely to overestimate. While he speaks to us in his text, he
allows those whom we most wish to hear to speak to us in his rich and
well-chosen excerpts from a mountain-heap of authorities.

The Dedication of the volume to Dr. Sparks has in it a rare felicity,
which is to be referred to two facts: first, that the writer had some
peculiarly touching and grateful things to say; and, second, that
he knew how to say them in language fitted to the sentiment. In his
Preface, he announces his purpose with its plan, refers us to his
authorities and sources, and recognizes his obligations to individual
friends. Some of the choicest matters in his Notes are the results of
his own personal research in England.

The limit which he sets for himself will carry forward his History to
the time of the English Revolution, thus embracing our annals during the
vitality of our first Charter. That Charter, its origin, transfer, and
subsequent service as the basis of government, the reiterated efforts
to wrest it, and the persistent resolution to hold it, give to it a
symbolic significance which warrants the dating of an epoch by it. Dr.
Palfrey regards our local political existence as commencing from the
hour in which that document, with its official representatives, reached
these shores. We have seen criticisms disputing this position, but, as
we think, not even plausible, still less effective to discredit it. We
must have an incident, besides a _punctum temporis_, for our start in
government; and where could we find a better one than that on which the
whole subsequent course and character of the government depended? We
go, then, for the old Charter, and for the setting up of a jurisdiction
under it here. It was an admirable and every way convenient document;
good for securing rights, impotent as impairing liberties. It comforted
the "Magistrates" to have it to fall back upon, when its provisions
harmonized with their purposes; nor did they allow themselves to be
embarrassed by it, when it appeared that some of their purposes were
not fully provided for in it. That Charter got wonderfully aired and
invigorated on its ocean-passage. The salt water agreed with its
constitution. In a single instance, at least, it falsified the old
maxim,--_Coeium, nun animum, mutant, qui trans mare currunt_. That was
a marvellous piece of parchment. So far as Massachusetts was concerned,
the Declaration of Independence was interlined upon it in sympathetic

We hardly know of fifty octavo pages anywhere in which so much
investigation and labor condense their results so intelligibly into such
useful information as in each of the first two chapters of this volume.
The first is devoted to the Physical Geography of the Peninsula of
New England, its Natural History, and its Aborigines; the second is a
summary sketch of the Early Voyages and Explorations. In this we find
the most discriminating view which we have ever seen of the marvellous
adventures of John Smith,--so happily and suggestively described as the
"fugitive slave" who was "the founder of Virginia." The notes on the
credibility and authenticity of the narrations connected with his name
are admirable. In reading these two chapters, one must muse upon
the wilderness trampings and the ocean perils of the keen-set and
all-enduring men who furnished the material for these high-seasoned

"Puritanism in England" is, of course, the author's starting-point. Here
he finds his men and their principles. A partial reformation is the most
mischievous influence that can work in society. It unsettles, but is not
willing to rebuild, even when it can learn how to do so. Reaction and
excess are the Scylla and Charybdis of its perils. Compromise is the
very essence of a partial reformation; and compromise in matters of
moral and religious concern, where it is not folly, is crime. Where any
party has been in earnest in a strife, there is no honest end at which
it can rest till it reaches the goal of righteousness. The active
element of Puritanism was the persistency of a religious party in
pursuing a purpose which was yielded up, at a point short of its full
attainment, by another branch of the party, which up to that point had
made common cause with them. To speak plainly, the English Puritans
regarded their former prelatical and conformist associates as traitors
to a holy cause. They had engaged together in good faith in the work of
reformation. They had suffered together. When the time came for triumph,
a schism divided them; and the more zealous smarted from wounds
inflicted by the lukewarm. It appeared that the Prelatists had been
looking to ends of state policy, while the Puritans kept religion in
view. The Conformists thought their ends were reached when Roman prelacy
was set aside, and certain local ecclesiastical changes had been
effected; but the real Puritans wanted to get and to establish the
essential Gospel.

Dr. Palfrey tells this story concisely, but emphatically. He takes two
stages of the Puritan development in England, from which to deduce
respectively the emigration to Plymouth and to Massachusetts Bay.
Stopping at intervals to make intelligible the perplexities connected
with the patents and charters, his narrative is thenceforward
continuous, admitting new threads to be woven into it as the pattern
and the fabric both become richer. For the first time we have the full
connection presented in solid history between the Scrooby Church and
Plymouth Colony. And the tracing is beautifully done. An artist may find
his paintings in these pages. Our poets may here find themes which will
be the more tempting and rewarding, the more closely they are held
to severe historic verity. They will find, that, after all, the most
promising materials for the imagination to deal with are facts. The
residence of the exiles in Holland, their debates and arrangements with
respect to a more distant remove, the ocean passage, the first forlorn
experiences during two winters at Plymouth, are vividly presented. The
paragraph, on page 182, beginning, "A visitor to Plymouth," gives us
a picture better than that which hangs in the Pilgrim Hall. If the
sternest foe of the Pilgrims across the water could have looked upon
the exiles in their winter dreariness, hungry, wasted, dying, cowering
beneath the accumulation of their woes, he might have regarded the scene
as presenting but a reasonable retribution upon a stolid obstinacy in
the most direful and needless self-inflictions. "Why could they not have
been content to cling to the comforts of Old England, and to restrain
their wilfulness of spirit?" The question is answered now differently
from what it would have been then. We have used one wrong word about
those exiles, in speaking of them as _cowering_ under their woes. They
did not _cower_, but _breasted _them.

After another most pregnant and exhaustive episode on Puritan politics
in England, Dr. Palfrey brings in that thread of his story on which is
strung the fortune of Massachusetts. It is here that Englishmen will
find explained some of our vaunting views of the importance of our
annals. Dr. Palfrey, in this and in other chapters, traces with skill
and exactness the course of public measures and events in England,
through kingly tyrannies and popular resistance, which ended by
harmonizing the institutions of the mother country for a little while
with those which had sprung up in this wilderness. He soon comes upon
ticklish matters, but his touch and hold are firm, because he feels sure
that he is dealing with men who understood themselves, and who were
at least resolute and honest, to whatever degree they may have erred.
Probably, like many of us who are aware that we could not possibly have
lived comfortably with our ancestors, he feels all the more bound on
that account to set their memory in the light of their noblest and least
selfish ends. He is stout and unflinching in his championship of those
ancestors: he sees in their experiment a lofty ideal; he vindicates
their policy in the measures for realizing it; nor does he withhold
apologetic or vindicatory words where "unmeet persons" among the whites
or Indians stood in the way of it.

Henceforward Dr. Palfrey has to follow out each thread of his story
by itself, as by-and-by he will have to gather them into one cord. He
traces the developments of months and years in the original settlements,
and pursues them as they lead him to new territory in the Northeast
and the Southwest, into Maine, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Another
episode on the opening of the Civil War at home, which invited a large
return of the exiles, and a record of the original confederacy of the
New England Colonies, bring us to the present close of his labors. May
they be speedily continued! and may we enjoy the reality, as we now do
the promise of them!

We turn now to Mr. Arnold's book. The field which it traverses is
narrower as regards space, but its spirit is large and generous, and its
subject-matter is of the loftiest significance. If the writer does not
indulge us with many disquisitions, it is not from lack of ability.
Wherever, as in his moralizings upon King Philip's War, and in his
incidental comments upon the peculiarities and temper of his prominent
men, he allows us to meet his own mind, he is uniformly wise and
interesting. He stands by Rhode Island as does Dr. Palfrey by
Massachusetts; and seeing that for a far longer period than the two
books run on together the two Colonies were at strife, we are glad to
have before us both the ways in which the story may be told. There are
various sharp judgments on Massachusetts men and principles in the Rhode
Island book. The argument is in good hands on either side.

Mr. Arnold begins with the first occupation of Rhode Island by white
men, and conducts his narrative to the close of the century. His
research has been faithful. His style is chaste, forcible, and often
picturesque. He has seen the world widely, and he knows human nature.
He understands very well what a place of honor and what a well-proved
assurance of safety distinctive Rhode Island principles have attained.
The issue, having been found so triumphant, has dignified to the
historian the early, humble, and bewildering steps and processes through
which it was reached. The narrative on his pages is the most distracting
one ever written in the annals of civilized men. Every conceivable
element of strife, discord, agitation, alarm, dissension, and bitterness
is to be found in it,--redeemed only by a prevailing integrity,
right-mindedness, and right-heartedness in all the leading spirits. Each
man in each of the towns composing the original elements of the Colony
was a whole "democratie" in himself, and generally a "fierce" one.
Disputed boundaries with both the other Colonies, and an especial and
continuous feud with Massachusetts,--unruly spirits, bent upon working
out all manner of impracticable theories,--the oddest and most original,
as well as the most obstinate and indomitable dreamers and enthusiasts,
furnished some daily nutriment to dissension with their neighbors or
among themselves. Men of mark, like Roger Williams, Samuel Gorton,
Governor Arnold, and William Harris, appear equally competent for
fomenting strife of a sort to threaten every essential element of civil
society, and for averting all permanent harm while putting on trial the
most revolutionary theories. On page 337, Mr. Arnold has a note most
characteristic of a large portion of his whole theme, as covering both
his men and their measures. Many of the documents, of an official
character, written by citizens, towns, or rulers in Rhode Island, were
of such a sort in language and matter, that the town of Warwick did not
think them fit for the public records, and so enjoined that the clerk
should keep them in a file by themselves. This was known as "the
Impertinent File," and, more profanely, but not less appropriately,
as "the Damned File." A certain "perditious letter," written by Roger
Williams himself, serves as the nucleus of this deposit; and we read of
another of the documents as being as "full of uncivil language as if it
had been indited in hell."

Mr. Arnold picks his way through all these dissensions, and finds a full
reward in the nobleness of the men and the principles with which he has
in the main to deal. His only abatement of praise to Roger Williams
is on account of his bitter feud with William Harris. He repels,
as slanderous, the imputations founded on alleged interpolations
restricting religious liberty in the code, and cast at Roger Williams
for undue severity to Quakers and for favoring Indian slavery.
Randolph's visit, Andros's administration, the suspension and resumption
of the Charter, bring him out into broader matters, which he treats with
frankness and skill.

The more histories we have from the pens of competent writers, even
though they go over the same ground, the more lively and interesting
will the pages be. We need not fear that like fidelity and ability in
the use of the same materials by different writers will reduce our
modern histories to a dead level of uniform narration. None but those
well-skilled in our annals are aware what scope they afford, not only
for special pleas, but also for honest diversity of judgment, in viewing
and pronouncing upon many test-points vital to the theme. Indeed, when
the historic vein shall have been exhausted, it will be found that there
is more than a score of special and contested points, in each of our
first two centuries, admirably suited for monographs. We have but to
compare a few pages in each of the two excellent works now in our hands,
to see how men of the highest ability, of rigid candor, and scrupulous
fidelity in the use of the same materials, while spreading the same
facts before their readers, may tell different tales, varying to
the whole extent of the diversity in their respective judgments and
moralizings. We can easily illustrate this assertion from the pages
before us. Though Dr. Palfrey stops more than a half-century short of
the date to which Mr. Arnold carries us, the former indicates exactly
how and where he will be at issue with the latter, even to the end of
the story common to both of them. So strong and clear is Dr. Palfrey's
avowal of fealty to the honorable and unsullied fame of the founders of
Massachusetts, that he will not be likely, on any later page, to qualify
what he has already written. It happens, too, that the points in which
any two of our historians would be most disposed to part in judgment lie
within the space and the years common to both these writers. We can but
indicate, in a very brief way, some of the more salient divergences
between them, and we must preface the specification by acknowledging
again the high integrity of both.

Dr. Palfrey writes, unmistakably, as a man proud of his Massachusetts
lineage. He honors the men whose enterprise, constancy, persistency,
and wise skill in laying foundations have, in his view, approved their
methods and justified them, even where they are most exposed to a severe
judgment. He wishes to tell their story as they would wish to have it
told. They stand by his side as he reads their records, and supply him
with a running comment as to meaning and intention. Thus he is helped to
put their own construction on their own deeds,--to set their acts in the
light of their motives, to give them credit for all the good that was in
their purposes, and to ascribe their mistakes and errors to a limitation
of their views, or to well-founded apprehensions of evil which they had
reason to dread. Under such pilotage, the passengers, at least, would
be safe, when their ship fell upon a place where two seas met. Now
Massachusetts and Rhode Island were in stiff hostility during the period
here chronicled. The founder of Rhode Island and nearly all of its
leading spirits had been "spewed out of the Bay Colony,"--and the
institutions which the Rhode Islanders set up, or rather, their seeming
purpose to do without any _institutions_, constituted a standing
grievance to the rigid disciplinarians of Massachusetts. Indeed, we have
to look to the relations of annoyance, jealousy, and open strife, which
arose between the two Colonies in the ten years following 1636, for
the real explanation of the severity visited upon the Quakers in
Massachusetts in the five years following 1656. These early Quakers,
when not the veritable persons, were the ghosts of the old troublers of
"the Lord's people in the Bay." Gorton, Randall Holden, Mrs. Dyer, and
other "exorbitant persons," who had been found "unmeet to abide in this
jurisdiction," could not be got rid of once for all.

Mr. Arnold glories in the early reproach of Rhode Island. He finds its
title to honor above every other spot on earth in the phenomena which
made it so hateful to Massachusetts. In every issue raised between it
and the Bay Colony from the very first, and in every element of its
strife, he stands stoutly forth as its champion, and casts scornful
reflections, though not in a scornful spirit. Wherever our two
historians have the same point under treatment, we discern this
antagonism between them,--never in a single case manifesting itself in
an offensive or bitter way, but tending greatly to give a brisk and
quickening vigor to their pages. Arnold claims that a perfectly
democratical government and entire religious freedom are "exclusively
Rhode Island doctrines, and to her belongs the credit of them both." He
might afford to give Massachusetts the appreciable honor of having been
the indirect means of opening those large visions to the eyes of men
who certainly were a most uncomfortable set of citizens while under
pupilage. Mr. Bancroft had previously written thus:--"Had the territory
of Rhode Island corresponded to the importance and singularity of the
principles of its early existence, the world would have been filled with
wonder at the phenomena of its history."[B] It was only because the
State was no larger that it was a safe field for the first trial of such
principles. And it has often proved, that, the larger the principle,
the more circumscribed must needs be the field within which it is first
tested. It was well that the first experiments on the capabilities of
steam were tried by the nose of a tea-kettle. Seeing that most of the
early settlers of Rhode Island had very little property, and scarce
anything of what Christendom had previously been in the habit of
regarding as religion, the territory was the most fitting place for the
trial of revolutionary principles. Mr. Arnold says, very curtly, but
very truly,--"No form of civil government then existing could tolerate
her democracy, and even Christian charity denied her faith." (p. 280.)
The wonder of the world, however, would have been more curiously engaged
in watching what legislation for religion could possibly have devised
for a community made up of all sorts of consciences. The little State
deserves the honor claimed for her. But had she any alternative course?

[Footnote B: BANCROFT'S _History of the United States._ I. 380.]

Mr. Arnold, we think, defines with more sharp and guarded accuracy
than does Dr. Palfrey the ruling aim and motive of the founders of
Massachusetts. An historian of Massachusetts, knowing beforehand through
what a course of unflinching and resolute consistency with their first
principles he is to follow her early legislators, has reason to limit
their aim and motive at the start, that he may not assume for them more
than he can make good. Especially if he intend to palliate, and, still
more, to justify, some of the severer and more oppressive elements of
their policy, he will find it wise to qualify their purpose within the
same limitations which they themselves set for it. Dr. Palfrey parts
with an advantage of which he afterwards has need to avail himself, when
he states the motive of the exiles too broadly, as a search for a place
in which to exercise liberty of conscience. He speaks of these exiles
as recognizing in "religious freedom a good of such vast worth as to be
protected by the possessor, not only for himself, but for the myriads
living and to be born, of whom he assumes to be the pioneer and the
champion." (p. 301.) This large and unqualified claim might be advanced
for the founders of Rhode Island, but it cannot be set up for the
founders of Massachusetts. Whoever asserts it for the latter commits
himself most unnecessarily to an awkward and ineffective defence of them
in a long series of restrictive and severe measures against "religious
freedom," beginning with the case of the Brownes at Salem, and including
acts of general legislation as well as of continuous ecclesiastical and
judicial proceeding. Winthrop tells us that the aim of his brotherhood
was "to enjoy the ordinances of Christ in their purity here." The
General Court repeatedly signified its desire to have a draft of laws
prepared which might be "agreeable to the word of God." Now either
of these statements of the ruling purpose of the colonists, as then
universally understood and interpreted, was inconsistent with what we
now understand by "freedom in religion," or "liberty of conscience."
What were regarded as "the pure ordinances of Christ" could not have
been set up here, nor could such laws as were then considered as
"agreeable to the word of God" have been enacted here, without impairing
individual freedom in matters of religion. Indeed, it was the very
attempt to realize these objects which occasioned every interference
with perfect liberty of conscience. The fathers of Massachusetts avowed
their purpose to be, not the opening of an asylum for all kinds of
consciences, but the establishment of a Christian commonwealth. Their
consistency can be vindicated by following out their own idea, but not
by assigning to them a larger one.

Mr. Arnold, as we have said, is more sharply guarded in his statement of
the aim of the founders of the Bay Colony in this respect; and it is
all the more remarkable that he does not give them the benefit of the
recognized limitation. He defines for them a restricted object, but he
judges them by a standard before which they never measured themselves,
and then condemns them for short-comings. He tells us distinctly that
the motives of the exiles "were certainly not those assigned them by
Charles I., 'the freedom of liberty of conscience'" (p. 10); that
"they looked for a home in the New World where they might erect an
establishment in accordance with their peculiar theological views. 'They
sought a faith's pure shrine,' based on what they held to be a purer
system of worship, and a discipline more in unison with their notions
of a church. Here they proceeded to organize a state, whose civil code
followed close on the track of the Mosaic Law, and whose ecclesiastical
polity, like that of the Jews, and of all those [Christian governments?]
then existing, was identified with the civil power. They thus secured,
what was denied them in England, the right to pursue their own form of
religion without molestation, and in this the object of their exile was
attained." (p. 11.) And again, Mr. Arnold says,--"They founded a colony
for their own faith, without any idea of tolerating others." (p. 44.) All
this is admirably said. It is precisely what the exiles would wish might
be said of them in all the histories of them; for it is what they said
of themselves, in defining their own object; it was, further, what they
felt in their hearts to be their object, more intensely than they could
give it utterance. But the object is at once seen to be limited within
the fearful license of religious freedom. The Scriptural and legislative
fetters on such liberty were too repressive not to amount to an
essential qualification of it. "The Simple Cobbler of Agawam," Ward of
Ipswich, made a clean breast for himself and his contemporaries, when he
numbered among the "foure things which my heart hath naturally detested:
Tolerations of diverse Religions, or of one Religion in segregant
shapes. He that willingly assents to this, if he examines his heart by
daylight, his conscience will tell him he is either an Atheist, or
an Heretigal, or an Hypocrite, or at best a captive to some lust.
Poly-piety is the greatest impiety in the world." With such frank
avowals on the part of those who had borne so much in the attempt to
make themselves comfortable in their exile to these hard regions, that
they might here try to work out their harder problem, it is a great deal
too severe a standard for judging their acts which is set up for them in
the fancied principle of religious liberty. We wonder that Mr. Arnold
withholds from them the benefit of his and their own clear limitation of
the principle,--a limitation so severe, as, in fact, to constitute quite
another principle. Was it at all strange, then, that they should deal
resolutely with Roger Williams, on account of "the firmness with which,
upon every occasion, he maintained the doctrine, that the civil power
has no control over the religious opinions of men."? (p. 41.) It was for
no other purpose than to engage the civil power for a pure religion that
they were dwelling in poor huts on these ocean headlands, and sustaining
their lives upon muscles gathered on the shore after the receding of the

Dr. Palfrey and Mr. Arnold hold and utter quite opposite judgments about
the treatment of Roger Williams by Massachusetts. The latter, having
stated more definitely than the former the limited aim of our colonists,
which was utterly inconsistent with toleration in religion and with
laxity in civil matters, nevertheless considers the men of Massachusetts
unjustifiable in their course toward the founder of Rhode Island. Dr.
Palfrey, on weaker grounds than those allowed by Mr. Arnold, thinks
their most stringent proceedings perfectly defensible. He regards Mr.
Williams as an intruder, whose opinions, behavior, and influence were
perilous alike to the civil and the religious peace of the colonists;
and he holds the colonists as not chargeable with any breach of the
laws of justice or of mercy in sending out of their jurisdiction, into
another patch of the same wilderness, a man all whose phenomena were of
the most uncomfortable and irritating character. We confess that our
reading and thinking identify our judgment on this matter with that
of our own historian. There can be no question but that Roger
Williams--whether he was thirty-two years old, as Mr. Arnold thinks,
or, as Dr. Palfrey judges, in his twenty-fifth year, when he landed
here--was, in what we must call his youth, seeing that he lived to an
advanced age, a heady and contentious theorizer. Our fathers could not
try more than one theory at a time; and the theory they were bent upon
testing naturally preceded, in the series of the world's progressive
experiments, the more generous, but, at the same time, more dangerous
one which he advanced; and their theory had a right to an earlier and
a full trial, as lying in the way of a safe advance towards his bolder
Utopianism. The mild Bradford and the yet milder Brewster were glad when
Plymouth was rid of him. His first manifestation of himself, on
his arrival here, requires to be invested with the halo of a later
admiration, before it can be made to consist with the heralding of
an apostle of the generous principles of toleration and charity in
religion. Winthrop had recorded for us his refusal "to join with the
congregation at Boston." This had been understood as referring to an
unwillingness on the part of Williams to enter into communion with the
church. But from a letter of his which has come to light within the
year, it seems that he had been invited, previously to the arrival
of Cotton, to become teacher of the church. And on account of what
constraint of soul-liberty did he decline the office? Because the
members of that church "would not make a public declaration of their
repentance for having communion with the churches of England, while they
lived there"! The good man lived to grow milder and more tolerant of the
whims and prejudices and convictions of his fellow-men, through a
free indulgence of his own. And, what is more remarkable, he found it
necessary to apply, in restraint of others, several of the measures
against which he had protested when brought to bear upon himself. He
came to discover that there was mischief in "such an infinite liberty of
conscience" as was claimed by his own followers. The erratic Gorton was
to him precisely what the legislators of Massachusetts had feared that
he himself would prove to be to them. He publicly declared himself in
favor of "a due and moderate restraint and punishing" of some of
the oddities of the Quakers. In less than ten years after he had so
frightened Massachusetts by questioning the validity of an English
charter to jurisdiction here, he went to England on a successful errand
to obtain just such a document for himself and his friends.

Our two historians, with all the facts before them, honestly stated too,
but diversely interpreted, stand in open antagonism of judgment about
the proceedings of Massachusetts against the Antinomians. That bitter
strife--_Dux foemina facti_--was in continuation of the issue opened by
Roger Williams, though it turned upon new elements. Here, again, Mr.
Arnold stands stoutly for the partisans of Mrs. Hutchinson, who moved
towards the new home in the Narragensett country. He sees in the strife,
mainly, a contest of a purely theological character, leading on to a
development of democratical ideas, (p. 66.) Dr. Palfrey insists that
it would be unjust to allege that the Antinomians were dealt with for
holding "distasteful opinions on dark questions of theology," and
affirms that they were put down as wild and alarming agents of an
"immediate anarchy." (pp. 489, 491.) In this matter, also, our own
judgment goes with our own historian. And the very best confirmation
that it could have is found in the fact, that the prime movers in the
most threatening stage of that dire conflict afterwards made ample
confession of their heat, their folly, and their outrages,--approving
the stern proceedings under which they had suffered. Wheelwright,
especially, in whose advocacy the cause of his sister-in-law first
assumed so threatening an aspect, most humbly avowed his sin and

One more very curious illustration of the divergence of judgment in our
two new historians may be instanced. They have both written, as became
them, quite brilliantly and vigorously, about the aborigines of the
soil. But how marvellously they differ! Dr. Palfrey discredits the
romance of Indian character and life. His mind dwells upon the squalor
and wretchedness of their existence, the shiftlessness and incapacity
of their natural development, their improvidence, their beastliness and
forlorn debasement; and he is wholly skeptical about the savage virtues
of constancy, magnanimity, and wild-wood dignity. He sighs over them
another requiem, toned in the deep sympathy of a true Christian heart;
but he does not lament in their sad method of decay the loss of any
element of manhood or of the higher ingredients of humanity. But Mr.
Arnold pitches his requiem to a different strain. He reproduces and
refines the romance which Dr. Palfrey would dispel. He exalts the Indian
character; gathers comforts and joys and pleasing fashionings around
their life; enlarges the sphere of their being, and asserts in them
capacity to fill it. The wigwam of Massasoit is elegantly described by
Mr. Arnold as "his seat at Mount Hope," (p. 23,)--and pungently, by
Dr. Palfrey, as "his sty," in whose comfortless shelter, Winslow and
Hopkins, of Plymouth, on their visit to the chief, had "a distressing
experience of the poverty and filth of Indian hospitality." (pp. 183,
184.) Arnold tells us, the Indians "were ignorant of Revelation, yet
here was Plato's great problem of the Immortality of the Soul solved
in the American wilderness, and believed by all the aborigines of the
West." (p. 78.) But Palfrey, knowing nothing of what his contemporary
was writing, had already put into print this sentence:--"The New England
savage was not the person to have discovered what the vast reach of
thought of Plato and Cicero could not attain." (p. 49.)

Here are strange variances of judgment. But how much more of interest
and activity lives in the mind, both of writers and readers, when
history is written with such divergent philosophies and comments! Nobly,
in both cases before us, have the writers done their work, and heartily
do we render our tribute to them.


  My soul to-day
  Is far away,
  Sailing the Vesuvian Bay;
  My wingèd boat,
  A bird afloat,
  Swims round the purple peaks remote:--

  Round purple peaks
  It sails, and seeks
  Blue inlets and their crystal creeks,
  Where high rocks throw,
  Through deeps below,
  A duplicated golden glow.

  Far, vague, and dim,
  The mountains swim;
  While on Vesuvius' misty brim,
  With outstretched hands,
  The gray smoke stands
  O'erlooking the volcanic lands.

  Here Ischia smiles
  O'er liquid miles;
  And yonder, bluest of the isles,
  Calm Capri waits,
  Her sapphire gates
  Beguiling to her bright estates.

  I heed not, if
  My rippling skiff
  Float swift or slow from cliff to cliff;--
  With dreamful eyes
  My spirit lies
  Under the walls of Paradise.

  Under the walls
  Where swells and falls
  The Bay's deep breast at intervals,
  At peace I lie,
  Blown softly by,
  A cloud upon this liquid sky.

  The day, so mild,
  Is Heaven's own child,
  With Earth and Ocean reconciled;--
  The airs I feel
  Around me steal
  Are murmuring to the murmuring keel.

  Over the rail
  My hand I trail
  Within the shadow of the sail,
  A joy intense,
  The cooling sense
  Glides down my drowsy indolence.

  With dreamful eyes
  My spirit lies
  Where Summer sings and never dies,--
  O'erveiled with vines,
  She glows and shines
  Among her future oil and wines.

  Her children, hid
  The cliffs amid,
  Are gambolling with the gambolling kid;
  Or down the walls,
  With tipsy calls,
  Laugh on the rocks like waterfalls.

  The fisher's child,
  With tresses wild,
  Unto the smooth, bright sand beguiled,
  With glowing lips
  Sings as she skips,
  Or gazes at the far-off ships.

  Yon deep bark goes
  Where Traffic blows,
  From lands of sun to lands of snows;--
  This happier one,
  Its course is run
  From lands of snow to lands of sun.

  Oh, happy ship,
  To rise and dip,
  With the blue crystal at your lip!
  Oh, happy crew,
  My heart with you
  Sails, and sails, and sings anew!

  No more, no more
  The worldly shore
  Upbraids me with its loud uproar!
  With dreamful eyes
  My spirit lies
  Under the walls of Paradise!



It was on the 6th of December, 1856, that I landed with my family at
Civita Vecchia, on my return for the third time to Rome. Before we could
make all our arrangements, it was too late to think of journeying that
day towards the dear old city; but the following morning we set forth in
a rumbling, yellow post-coach, with three horses, and a shabby, gaudy
postilion,--the wheels clattering, the bells on the horses' necks
jingling, the cock's-plumes on their heads nodding, and a half-dozen
sturdy beggar-brats running at our side and singing a dismal chorus of
"_Dateci qualche cosa_." Two or three half-baiocchi, however, bought
them off, and we had the road to ourselves. The day was charming, the
sky cloudless, the air tender and with that delicious odor of the South
which so soothingly intoxicates the senses. The sea, accompanying us for
half our way, gleamed and shook out its breaking surf along the shore;
and the rolling slopes of the Campagna, flattered by sunlight, stretched
all around us,--here desert and sparkling with tall skeleton grasses
and the dry canes' tufted feathers, and here covered with low, shrubby
trees, that, crowding darkly together, climbed the higher hills. On
tongues of land, jutting out into the sea, stood at intervals lonely
watch-towers, gray with age, and at their feet shallow and impotent
waves gnashed into foam around the black, jagged teeth of half-sunken
rocks along the shore. Here and there the broken arches of a Roman
bridge, nearly buried in the lush growth of weeds, shrubs, and flowers,
or the ruins of some old villa, the home of the owl, snake, and lizard,
showed where Ancient Rome journeyed and lived. At intervals, heavy
carts, drawn by the superb gray oxen of the Campagna, creaked slowly
by, the _contadino_ sitting athwart the tongue; or some light wine
_carrettino_ came ringing along, the driver fast asleep under its tall,
triangular cover, with his fierce little dog beside him, and his horse
adorned with bright rosettes and feathers. Sometimes long lines of mules
or horses, tied one to another's tail, plodded on in dusty procession,
laden with sacks;--sometimes droves of oxen, or _poledri_, conducted
by a sturdy driver in heavy leathern leggings, and armed with a
long, pointed pole, stopped our way for a moment. In the fields, the
_pecoraro_, in shaggy sheep-skin breeches, the very type of the mythic
Pan, leaned against his staff, half-asleep, and tended his woolly
flock,--or the _contadino_ drove through dark furrows the old plough of
Virgil's time, that figures in the vignettes to the "Georgics," dragged
tediously along by four white oxen, yoked abreast. There, too, were
herds of long-haired goats, rearing mid the bushes and showing their
beards over them, or following the shepherd to their fold, as the
shadows began to lengthen,--or rude and screaming wains, tugged by
uncouth buffaloes, with low heads and knotted knees, bred among the
malaria-stricken marshes.

Half-way to Rome we changed horses at Palo,--a little grim settlement,
composed of a post-house, inn, stables, a line of straggling
fishermen's-huts, and a desolate old fortress, flanked by four towers.
This fortress, which once belonged to the Odescalchi family, but is now
the property of the Roman government, looks like the very spot for
a tragedy, as it stands there rotting in the pestilential air, and
garrisoned by a few stray old soldiers, whose dreary, broken-down
appearance is quite in keeping with the place. Palo itself is the site
of the city of Alsium, founded by the Pelasgi, in the dim gloom of
antiquity, long before the Etruscans landed on this shore. It was
subsequently occupied by the Etruscans, and afterwards became a favorite
resort of the Roman nobility, who built there the splendid villas of
Antoninus, Porcina, Pompeius, and others. Of the Pelasgic and Etruscan
town not a vestige remains; but the ruined foundations of Roman villas
are still to be seen along the shore. No longer are to be found there
the feasts described by Fronto,[A] of "fatted oysters, savory apples,
pastry, confectionery, and generous wines in faultless transparent
goblets,"--nor would it now be called "a voluptuous seaside retreat";
but good lobsters are still abundant there, and one can get a greasy
beefsteak, black bread, an ill-cooked chicken, and sour wine, at only
about twice their market value. The situation is lovely, with the sea
washing in along the rounded rim of the coast, close up to the door of
the inn; and on a sunny day, when the white wings of feluccas may be
seen gleaming far off on the blue Mediterranean, and the fishermen are
drawing their nets close into shore, it seems as if it might really be
made "a voluptuous seaside retreat," but for the desolating malaria
which renders it dangerous to rest there for a single night.

[Footnote A: _De Feriis Alsensibus_, Epist. III. See Dennis's _Etruscan
Antiquities_, Vol. I.]

Here, of course, we stopped as short a time as possible; and then,
bidding adieu to the sea, struck inland over the Campagna to Rome. The
country now grows wild, desolate, and lonely; but it has a special charm
of its own, which they who are only hurrying on to Rome, and to whom it
is an obstruction and a tediousness, cannot, of course, perceive. It
is dreary, weird, ghostly,--the home of the winds; but its silence,
sadness, and solitude are both soothing and impressive. After miles and
miles up and down, at last, from the crest of a hill up which we slowly
toiled with our lumbering carriage and reeking horses, we saw the dome
of St. Peter's towering above the city, which as yet was buried out of
sight. It was but a glimpse, and was soon lost. The postilion covered
the worn-out lace of his shabby livery with a heavy cloak, which he
flung over his shoulder to keep out the dampening air, gave a series of
wild flourishes with his whip, broke into guttural explosions of voice
to urge along his horses, and on we went full-gallop. The road grew more
and more populated as we approached the city. Carriages were out for a
drive, or to meet friends on their way from Civita Vecchia; and on
foot was many a little company of Romans, laughing and talking. At the
_osterías_ were groups seated under _frasche_, or before the door,
drinking _fogliette_ of wine and watching the passers-by. At last,
toward sundown, we stopped at the Porta Cavalleggieri, where, thanks to
our _lascia passare_, we were detained but a minute,--and then we were
in Rome. Over us hung the great bulging dome of St. Peter's, golden
with the last rays of sunset. The pillars of the gigantic colonnade
of Bernini, as we jolted along, "seemed to be marching by," in broad
platoons. The fountains piled their flexile columns of spray and waved
them to and fro. The great bell clanged from the belfry. Groups wandered
forth in the great Piazza. The old Egyptian obelisk in the centre
pointed its lean finger to the sky. We were in Rome! This one moment of
surprised sensation is worth the journey from Civita Vecchia. Entered by
no other gate, is Rome so suddenly and completely possessed. Nowhere is
the contrast so instantaneous and vivid as here, between the silent,
desolate Campagna and the splendor of St. Peter's, between the burrows
of primitive Christianity and the gorgeousness of ecclesiastical Rome.

After leaving the Piazza, we get a glimpse of Hadrian's Mole, and of the
rusty Tiber, as it hurries, "_retortis littore Etrusco violenter undis_"
as of old, under the statued bridge of St. Angelo,--and then we plunge
into long, damp, narrow, dirty streets. Yet--shall I confess it?--they
had a charm for me. Twilight was deepening into dark as we passed
through them. Confused cries and loud Italian voices sounded about me.
Children were screaming,--men howling their wares for sale. Bells were
ringing everywhere. Priests, soldiers, _contadini_, and beggars thronged
along. The _Trasteverini_ were going home, with their jackets hanging
over one shoulder. Women, in their rough woollen gowns, stood in the
doorways bare-headed, or looked out from windows and balconies, their
black hair shining under the lanterns. Lights were twinkling in the
little cavernous shops, and under the Madonna-shrines far within them. A
funeral procession, with its black banners, gilt with a death's-head
and cross-bones, was passing by, its wavering candles borne by the
_confraternità_, who marched carelessly along, shrouded from head to
foot in white, with only two holes for the eyes to glare through.

It was dirty, but it was Rome; and to any one who has long lived in Rome
even its very dirt has a charm which the neatness of no other place ever
had. All depends, of course, on what we call dirt. No one would defend
the condition of some of the streets or some of the habits of the
people. But the soil and stain which many call dirt I call color, and
the cleanliness of Amsterdam would ruin Rome for the artist. Thrift and
exceeding cleanness are sadly at war with the picturesque. To whatever
the hand of man builds the hand of Time adds a grace, and nothing is
so prosaic as the rawly new. Fancy for a moment the difference for
the worse, if all the grim, browned, rotted walls of Rome, with their
peeling mortar, their thousand daubs of varying grays and yellows, their
jutting brickwork and patched stonework, from whose intervals the cement
has crumbled off, their waving weeds and grasses and flowers, now
sparsely fringing their top, now thickly protruding from their sides, or
clinging and making a home in the clefts and crevices of decay, were to
be smoothed to a complete level, and whitewashed over into one uniform
and monotonous tint. What a gain in cleanliness! what a loss in beauty!
One old wall like this I remember on the road from Grotta Ferrata to
Frascati, which was to my eyes a constant delight. One day the owner
took it into his head to whitewash it all over,--to clean it, as some
would say. I look upon that man as little better than a Vandal in
taste,--one from whom "knowledge at one entrance was quite shut out."
Take another modern instance: substitute for the tiled roofs of Rome,
now so gray, tumbled, and picturesque with their myriad lichens, the
cold, clean slate of New York, or the glittering zinc of Paris,--should
we gain or lose? The Rue de Rivoli is long, white, and uniform,--all new
and all clean; but there is no more harmony and melody in it than in the
"damnable iteration" of a single note; and even Time will be puzzled
to make it picturesque, or half as interesting as those old houses
displaced in the back streets for its building, which had sprouted up
here and there, according to the various whims of the various builders.
Those were taken down because they were dirty, narrow, unsightly. These
are thought elegant and clean. Clean they certainly are; and they have
one other merit,--that of being as monotonously regular as the military
despotism they represent. But I prefer individuality, freedom, and
variety, for my own part. The narrow, uneven, huddled Corso, with here
a noble palace, and there a quaint passage, or archway, or shop,--the
buildings now high, now low, but all barnacled over with balconies,--is
far more interesting than the unmeaning uniformity of the Rue de Rivoli.
So, too, there are those among us who have the bad taste to think it a
desecration in Louis Napoleon to have scraped the stained and venerable
old Nôtre Dame into cleanliness. The Romantic will not consort with the
Monotonous,--Nature is not neat,--Poetry is not formal,--and Rome is not

These thoughts, or ghosts of thoughts, flitted through my mind, as the
carriage was passing along the narrow, dirty streets, and brought with
them after-trains of reflection. There may be, I thought, among the
thousands of travellers that annually winter at Rome, some to whom the
common out-door pictures of modern Roman life would have a charm as
special as the galleries and antiquities, and to whom a sketch of many
things, which wise and serious travellers have passed by as unworthy
their notice, might be interesting. Every ruin has had its score of
_immortelles_ hung upon it. The soil has been almost overworked by
antiquarians and scholars, to whom the modern flower was nothing, but
the antique brick a prize. Poets and sentimentalists have described to
death what the antiquaries have left;--some have done their work so
well that nothing remains to be done after them. Everybody has an
herbarium of dried flowers from all the celebrated sites, and a
table made from bits of marble collected in the ruined villas. Every
Englishman carries a Murray for information and a Byron for sentiment,
and finds out by them what he is to know and feel at every step.
Pictures and statues have been staled by copy and description, until
everything is stereotyped, from the Dying Gladiator, with his "young
barbarians all at play," and all that, down to the Beatrice Cenci, the
Madame Tonson of the shops, that haunts one everywhere with her white
turban and red eyes. All the public and private life and history of the
ancient Romans, from Romulus to Constantine and Julian the Apostle, (as
he is sometimes called,) is properly well known. But the common life
of the modern Romans, the games, customs, habits of the people,
the everyday of To-day, has been only touched upon here and
there,--sometimes with spirit and accuracy, as by Charles McFarlane,
sometimes with great grace, as by Hans Christian Andersen, and sometimes
with great ignorance, as by Miss Waldie. This is the subject, however,
which has specially interested me, and a life of several years in Rome
has enabled me to observe many things which do not strike the hurried
traveller, and to correct many false notions in regard to the people
and place. To a stranger, a first impression is apt to be a false
impression; and it constantly happens to me to hear my own countrymen
work out the falsest conclusions from the slightest premises, and
settle the character and deserts of the Italians, all of whom they mass
together in a lump, after they have been just long enough on the soil to
travel from Civita Vecchia to Rome under the charge of a courier, when
they know just enough of the language to ask for a coachman when they
want a spoon, and when they have made the respectable acquaintance,
beside their courier, of a few porters, a few beggars, a few
shopkeepers, and the _padrone_ of the apartment they hire.

No one lives long in Rome without loving it; and I must, in the
beginning, confess myself to be in the same category. Those who shall
read these slender papers, without agreeing to the kindly opinions
often expressed, must account for it by remembering that "Love lends a
precious seeing to the eye." My aim is far from ambitious. I shall not
be erudite, but I hope I shall not be dull. These little sketches may
remind some of happy days spent under the Roman sky, and, by directing
the attention of others to what they have overlooked, may open a door
to a new pleasure. _Chi sa?_ The plainest Ranz des Vaches may sometimes
please when the fifth symphony of Beethoven would be a bore.



Whoever has passed the month of December in Rome will remember to
have been awakened from his morning-dreams by the gay notes of the
_pifferari_ playing in the streets below, before the shrines of the
Madonna and Bambino,--and the strains of one set of performers will
scarcely have ceased, before the distant notes of another set of
pilgrims will be heard to continue the well-known _novena_. The
_pifferari_ are generally _contadini_ of the Abruzzi Mountains, who, at
the season of Advent, leave their home to make a pilgrimage to Rome,--
stopping before all the wayside shrines, as they journey along, to pay
their glad music of welcome to the Virgin, and the coming Messiah. Their
song is called a _novena_, from its being sung for nine consecutive
days,--first, for nine days previous to the Festa of the Madonna,
which occurs on the 8th of December, and afterwards for the nine days
preceding Christmas. The same words and music serve, however, for both
celebrations. The _pifferari_ always go in couples, one playing on the
_zampogna_, or bagpipe, the bass and treble accompaniment, and the other
on the _piffero_, or pastoral pipe, which carries the air; and for the
month before Christmas the sound of their instruments resounds through
the streets of Rome, wherever there is a shrine,--whether at the corners
of the streets, in the depths of the shops, down little lanes, in the
centre of the Corso, in the interior courts of the palaces, or on the
stairways of private houses.

Their costume is extremely picturesque. On their heads they wear conical
felt hats adorned with a frayed peacock's feather, or a faded band of
red cords and tassels,--their bodies are clad in red waistcoats, blue
jackets, and small-clothes of skin or yellowish homespun cloth,--skin
sandals are bound to their feet with cords that interlace each other up
the leg as far as the knee,--and over all is worn a long brown or blue
cloak with a short cape, buckled closely round the neck. Sometimes, but
rarely, this cloak is of a deep red with a scalloped cape. As they stand
before the pictures of the Madonna, their hats placed on the ground
before them, and their thick, black, dishevelled hair covering their
sunburnt brows, blowing away on their instruments or pausing to sing
their _novena_, they form a picture which every artist desires to paint.
Their dress is common to nearly all the peasantry of the Abruzzi, and,
worn and tattered as it often is, it has a richness and harmony of tint
which no new clothes could ever have, and for which the costumes of the
shops and regular models offer a poor substitute. It is the old story
again. The new and clean is not so paintable, not so picturesque, as the
tarnished and soiled. The worn blue of the cloak is softened by the dull
gray of the threads beneath,--patches of various colors are often let
into the jacket or breeches,--the hat is lustreless from age, and rusty
as an old wall,--and the first vivid red of the waistcoat is toned by
constant use to a purely pictorial hue. Besides, the true _pifferaro_
wears his costume as if it belonged to him and had always been worn by
him,--so that it has none of that got-up look which spoils everything.
From the sandals and corded leggings, which, in the Neapolitan dialect,
are termed _cioce_, the _pifferari_ are often called _ciociari_.

Their Christmas pilgrimages are by no means prompted by purely religious
motives, though, undoubtedly, such considerations have some weight with
them, the common peasantry being a religiously inclined people, and
often making pilgrimages simply from a sense of duty and propriety. But
in these wanderings to Rome, their principal object is to earn a little
money to support them during the winter months, when their "occupation
is gone." As they are hired in Rome by the owners of the various houses
adorned with a Madonna-shrine (of which there are over fifteen hundred
in the city) to play before them at the rate of a paul or so for each
full _novena_, and as they can easily play before thirty or forty a day,
they often return, if their luck is good, with a tolerable little sum
in their pockets. Besides this, they often stand as models, if they are
good-looking fellows, and thus add to their store; and then again, the
_forestieri_ (for, as the ancient Romans called strangers _barbari_,
so their descendants call them _foresters_, wood-men, wild-men)
occasionally drop _baiocchi_ and pauls into their hats, still further to
increase it.

Sometimes it is a father and son who play together, but oftener two old
friends who make the pilgrimage in pairs. This morning, as I was
going out for a walk round the walls, two admirable specimens of the
_pifferari_ were performing the _novena_ before a shrine at the corner
of the street. The player of the _zampogna_ was an old man, with a sad,
but very amiable face, who droned out the bass and treble in a most
earnest and deprecatory manner. He looked as if he had stood still,
tending his sheep, nearly all his life, until the peace and quiet of
Nature had sunk into his being, or, if you will, until he had become
assimilated to the animals he tended. The other, who played the
_piffero_, was a man of middle age, stout, vigorous, with a forest of
tangled black hair, and dark quick eyes that were fixed steadily on the
Virgin, while he blew and vexed the little brown pipe with rapid runs
and nervous _fioriture_, until great drops of sweat dripped from its
round open mouth. Sometimes, when he could not play fast enough to
satisfy his eagerness, he ran his finger up and down the vents.
Then, suddenly lowering his instrument, he would scream, in a strong
peasant-voice, verse after verse of the _novena_, to the accompaniment
of the _zampogna_. One was like a slow old Italian _vettura_ all
lumbered with luggage and held back by its drag; the other panting and
nervous at his work as an American locomotive, and as constantly running
off the rails. Both, however, were very earnest at their occupation. As
they stood there playing, a little group gathered round. A scamp of a
boy left his sport to come and beat time with a stick on the stone step
before them; several children clustered near; and two or three women,
with rosy infants in their arms, also paused to listen and sympathize.
At last the playing ceased. The _pifferari_ took up their hats and
looked smilingly round at us.

"Where do you come from?" I asked.

"_Eh!_" said the _piffero_, showing all his teeth, and shrugging his
shoulders good-naturedly, while the other echoed the pantomime.

"_Dal Regno_"--for so the Abruzzi peasants call the kingdom of Naples.

"And do you come every year?"

"_Sì, Signore. Lui_" (indicating his friend) "_ed io_" (pointing to
himself) "_siam' compagni per trenta tre anni. E siam' venut' a Roma per
far la noven' ogn' anno."[B]

[Footnote B: "He and I have been companions for thirty-three years, and
every year we have come to Rome to play the _novena_."]

To this the old _zampogna_ bent his head on one side, and said,
assentingly,--"_Eh! per trenta tre anni._"--

And, "_Ecco_," continued the _piffero_, bursting in before the
_zampogna_ could go on, and pointing to two stalwart youths of about
twenty-two or-three years of age, who at this moment came up the
street with their instruments,--"These are our two sons. He is
mine,"--indicating one with his reversed thumb; "and that other is
his,"--jerking his head towards his companion. "And they, too, are going
to play in company, as we do."

"For thirty-three years more, let us hope," said I.

"_Eh! speriamo_," (Let us hope so,) was the answer of the _piffero_, as
he showed all his teeth in the broadest of smiles. Then, with a motion
of his hand, he set both the young men going, he himself joining in,
straining out his cheeks, blowing all the breath of his body into the
little pipe, and running up and down the vents with a sliding finger,
until finally he brought up against a high, shrill note, to which he
gave the full force of his lungs, and, after holding it in loud blast
for a moment, startled us by breaking off, without gradation, into
a silence as sudden as if the music had snapped short off, like a

On further conversation with my _ciociari_, I found that they came
yearly from Sora, a town in the Abruzzi, about one hundred miles from
Rome, making the journey on foot, and picking up by the way whatever
trifle of copper they could. In this manner they travelled the whole
distance in five days, living upon onions, lettuce, oil, and black
bread. They were now singing the second _novena_ for _Natale_, and, if
one could judge from their manner and conversation, were quite content
with what they had earned. I invited them up into my room, and there
in the pleasantest way they stunned us with the noise of both their
instruments, to the great delight of the children and the astonishment
of the servants, for whom these common things had worn out their charm
by constant repetition. At my request, they repeated the words of the
_novena_ they had been singing, and I took them down from their lips.
After eliminating the wonderful _m-ms_ of the Neapolitan dialect, in
which all the words lay imbedded like shells in the sand, and supplying
some of the curious elisions with which those Abruzzi Procrusteans
recklessly cut away the polysyllables, so as to bring them within the
rythmic compass, they ran thus:--

  "Verginella figlia di Sant' Anna,
  Nella ventre portasti il buon Gesù.
  Si parturisti sotto la capanna,
  E dov' mangiav'no lo bue e 1' asinello.

  "Quel Angelo gridava: 'Venite, Santi!
  'Chè andato Gesù dentro la capanna,
  Ma guardate Vergine beata,
  Che in ciel in terra sia nostr' avvocata!

  "San Giuseppe andava in compagnia,
  Si trovò al partorir di Maria.
  La notte di natale è notte santa--
  Lo Padre e 1' Figliolo e lo Spirito Santo.
  'Sta la ragione che abbiamo cantato;
  Sia a Gesù bambino rappresentata."

The sudden introduction of "_Quel Angelo_" in this song reminds us of a
similar felicity in the romantic ballad of "Lord Bateman," where we are
surprised to learn that "_this Turk_," to whom no allusion had been
previously made, "has one lovely daughter."

The air to which this is sung is very simple and sweet, though
monotonous. Between the verses and at the close, a curious little
_ritornello_ is played.

The wanderings of the _pifferari_ are by no means confined to the Roman
States. Sometimes they stray "as far away as Paris is," and, wandering
about in that gay capital, like children at a fair, play in the streets
for chance _sous_, or stand as models to artists, who, having once been
to Rome, hear with a longing Rome-sickness the old characteristic sounds
of the _piffero_ and _zampogna_. Two of them I remember to have heard
thus, as I was at work in my studio in Paris; and so vividly did they
recall the old Roman time, that I called them in for a chat.

Wonderful was their speech. In the few months of their wandering, they
had put into their Neapolitan dough various plums of French words,
which, pronounced in their odd way, "suffered a change into something
peculiarly rich and strange." One of them told me that his wife had just
written to him by the hand of a _scrivano_, lamenting his absence, and
praying him to send her his portrait. He had accordingly sent her a
photograph in half-length. Some time afterwards she acknowledged the
receipt of it, but indignantly remonstrated with him for sending her a
picture "_che pareva guardando per la fenestra_" (which seemed to be
looking out of the window,) as she oddly characterized a half-length,
and praying to have his legs also in the next portrait. This same
fellow, with his dull, amiable face, played the role of a ferocious
wounded brigand dragged into concealment by his wife, in the studio of
a friend next door; but, despite the savagery and danger of his
counterfeited position, he was sure to be overpowered by sleep before he
had been in it more than five minutes,--and if the artist's eye left him
for a moment, he never failed to change his attitude for one more fitted
to his own somnolent propensities than for the picture.

The _pifferari_ are by no means the only street-musicians in Rome,
though they take the city by storm at Christmas. Every day under my
window comes a band of four or five, who play airs and concerted pieces
from the operas,--and a precious work they make of it sometimes! Not
only do the instruments go very badly together, but the parts they play
are not arranged for them. A violone grunts out a low accompaniment to a
vinegar-sharp violin which saws out the air, while a trumpet blares in
at intervals to endeavor to unite the two, and a flute does what it
can, but not what it would. Sometimes, instead of a violone, a hoarse
trombone, with a violent cold in the head, snorts out the bass
impatiently, gets ludicrously uncontrollable and boastful at times, and
is always so choleric, that, instead of waiting for the _cadenzas_ to
finish, it bursts in, knocks them over as by a blow on the head, roars
away on false intervals, and overwhelms every other voice with its
own noisy vociferation. The harmonic arrangements are very odd. Each
instrument seems to consider itself ill-treated when reduced to an
accompaniment or bass, and is constantly endeavoring, however unfitted
for it, to get possession of the air,--the melody being, for all
Italians, the principal object. The violin, however, weak of voice as
it is, always carries the day, and the other instruments steal
discontentedly back to their secondary places, the snuffy old violone
keeping up a constant growl at its ill luck, and the trombone now and
then leaping out like a tiger on its prey.

Far better and more characteristic are the ballad-singers, who generally
go in couples,--an old man, dim of sight, perhaps blind, who plays the
violin, and his wife or daughter, who has a guitar, tamborello, or at
times a mandolin. Sometimes a little girl accompanies them, sings
with them, and carries round a tin box, or the tamborello, to collect
_baiocchi_. They sing long ballads to popular melodies, some of
which are very pretty and gay, and for a _baiocco_ they sell a sheet
containing the printed words of the song. Sometimes it is in the form of
a dialogue,--either a love-making, a quarrel, a reconciliation, or a
leave-taking,--each singer taking an alternate verse. Sometimes it is a
story with a chorus, or a religious conversation-ballad, or a story of a
saint, or from the Bible. Those drawn from the Bible are generally
very curious paraphrases of the original simple text, turned into the
simplest and commonest idioms of the people;--one of them may be found
in the Appendix to Goethe's "Italienische Reise." These Roman ballads
and popular songs, so far as I am able to learn, have never been
collected. Many of them do not exist in print, and are only traditional
and caught from mouth to mouth. This is particularly the case with those
in the Romanesque dialect, which are replete with the peculiar wit
and spirit of the country. But the memory of man is too perilous a
repository for such interesting material; and it is greatly to be wished
that some clever Italian, who is fitted for the task, would interest
himself to collect them and give them a permanent place in the
literature of his language.

But to return to our ballad-singers, whom we have left in the middle of
their song, and who are now finishing. A crowd has gathered round them,
as usual; out of the windows and from the balconies lean the occupants
of the houses near by, and the _baiocchi_ thrown by them ring on the
pavement below. With rather Stentorian voices they have been singing a
dialogue which is most elaborately entitled a "Canzonetta Nuova, sopra
un marinaro che da l' addio alla sua promessa sposa mentre egli deve
partire per la via di Levante. Sdegno, pace, e matrimonio dilli medesimi
con intercalare sull' aria moderna. Rime di Francesco Calzaroni." I give
my _baiocco_ and receive in return a smiling "Grazie" and a copy of the
song, which is adorned by a wood-cut of a ship in full sail.

Here is another, of a moral character, containing the sad history of
Frederic the Gambler, who, to judge from the wood-cut accompanying the
Canzonetta, must have been a ferocious fellow. He stands with his legs
wide apart, in half-armor, a great sash tied over his shoulder and
swinging round his legs, an immense sword at his side, and a great
hat with two ostrich-feathers on his head, looking the very type of a
"swashing blade."

The singers of longer ballads carry about with them sometimes a series
of rudely-executed illustrations of different incidents in the story,
painted in distemper and pasted on a large pasteboard frame, which is
hung against a wall or on a stand planted behind the singer in the
ground. These he pauses now and then in his song to explain to the
audience, and they are sure to draw a crowd.

As summer comes on and the evenings grow warm, begin the street
serenades,--sometimes like that of Lindoro in the opening of the
"Barbiere di Sevilla," but generally with only one voice, accompanied by
a guitar and a mandolin. These serenades are, for the most part, given
by a lover or friend to his _innamorata_, and the words are expressive
of the tender passion; but there are also _serenate di gelosia_, or
satirical serenades, when the most impertinent and stinging verses are
sung. Long before arriving, the serenaders may be heard marching up the
street to the thrum of their instruments. They then place themselves
before the windows of the fair one, and, surrounded by a group of men
and boys, make proclamation of their love in loud and often violent
tones. It seems sometimes as if they considered the best method of
expressing the intensity of their passion was by the volume of their
voice. Certainly, in these cases, the light of love is not hidden under
a bushel. Among the Trasteverini, particularly, these serenades are
common. Some of them are very clever in their improvisations and
imitations of different dialects, particularly of the Neapolitan, in
which there are so many charming songs. Their skill in improvisation,
however, is not generally displayed in their serenades, but in the
_osterias_, during the evenings of the _festas_ in summer. There it is
that their quickness and epigrammatic turn of expression are best seen.
Two disputants will, when in good-humor and warmed with wine, string off
verse after verse at each other's expense, full of point and fun,--the
guitar burring along in the intervals, and a chorus of laughter saluting
every good hit.

In many of the back streets and squares of the city, fountains jet out
of lions' heads into great oblong stone cisterns, often sufficiently
large to accommodate some thirty washerwomen at once. Here the common
people resort to wash their clothes, and with great laughter and
merriment amuse themselves while at their work by improvising verses,
sometimes with rhyme, sometimes without, at the expense of each other,
or perhaps of the passerby,--particularly if he happen to be a gaping
_forestiere_, to whom their language is unintelligible. They stand on
an elevated stone step, so as to bring the cistern about mid-height of
their body, and on the rough inclined level of its rim they slash and
roll the clothes, or, opening them, flaunt them into the water, or
gather them together, lifting their arms high above their heads, and
always treating them with a violence which nothing but the coarsest
material can resist. The air to which they chant their couplets is
almost always a Campagna melody. Sharp attacks are given and as sharp
_répliques_ received, in exceeding good-humor; and when there is little
wit, there is sure to be much laughter. The salt is oftentimes pretty
coarse, but it serves its purpose.

A remarkable trait among the Italians is the good-nature with which
they take personal jokes, and their callousness to ridicule of personal
defects. Jests which would provoke a blow from an Anglo-Saxon, or wound
and rankle in the memory for life, are here taken in good part. A
cripple often joins in the laugh at his own deformity; and the rough
carelessness with which such personal misfortunes are alluded to is
amazing to us of a more sensitive organization. I well remember the
extreme difficulty I once had in breaking an Italian servant of the
habit of announcing an acquaintance, whose foreign name he could not
pronounce, and who had the misfortune to be humpbacked, as "_quel
gobbo_" (that hunchback). He could not understand why he should not call
him a _gobbo_, if he was a _gobbo_; and in spite of all I could do, he
would often open the door and say, "_Signore, quel gobbo desidera farle
una visita_," (that hunchback wishes to make you a visit,) when "_quel
gobbo_" was right on his heels. The Italians are also singularly free
from that intense self-consciousness which runs in our English
blood, and is the root of shyness, awkwardness, and affectation.
Unconsciousness is the secret of grace, freedom, and simplicity. We
never forget ourselves. The Italians always forget themselves. They are
sometimes proud, very seldom vain, and never affected. The converse
peculiarity follows, of course. Having no self-consciousness, they are
as little sensitive to their defects as vain of their charms. The models
who come to the studios, and who have been selected for their beauty,
despite the silent flattery incident to their very profession, and
the lavish praise they constantly hear expressed, are always simple,
natural, and unaffected. If you tell them they are very beautiful, they
say, _"Ma che?"_ deprecatorily, or perhaps admit the fact. But they are
better pleased to have their dress admired than their faces. Of the
former they are vain, of the latter they are not. For the most part, I
think they rather wonder what it is we admire in them and think worthy
of perpetuating in stone or color. The other day I was so much struck
with the ear of a model, from whom I was working, that I said to
her,--"You have, without exception, the most beautiful ear I ever saw."
She laughed somewhat derisively, and said, _"Ma che?"_--"It does not
seem to give you any pleasure," I continued, "to know that you have a
very handsome ear."--_"Che mi importa,"_ answered she, _"se sia bello o
brutto? È sempre lo stesso, brutto o bello, bello o brutto. Ecco!"_[C]
--"You don't care, then, whether you are handsome or ugly?"--_"Eh! cosa
a me m'importa,--se sono brutto o bello non so,--a me è lo stesso."_
This was all I could get from her.

[Footnote C: "What do I care whether it is handsome or ugly? It's all
the same to me,--ugly or handsome,--handsome or ugly. There!"]

But to return to our washerwomen. In every country-town a large
washing-cistern is always provided by the authorities for public use,
and, at all hours of the day, the picturesque figures of the peasants
of every age, from the old hag, whose skin is like a brown and crumpled
palimpsest, (where Anacreontic verses are overwritten by a dull, monkish
sermon,) to the round, dark-eyed girl, with broad, straight back and
shining hair, may be seen gathered around it,--their heads protected
from the sun by their folded _tovaglia_, their skirts knotted up behind,
and their waists embraced by stiff, red _busti_. Their work is always
enlivened by song,--and when their clothes are all washed, the basket
is lifted to the head, and home they march, stalwart and majestic, like
Roman caryatides. The sharp Italian sun shining on their dark faces and
vivid costumes, or flashing into the fountain, and basking on the gray,
weed-covered walls, makes a picture which is often enchanting in its
color. At the Emissary by Albano, where the waters from the lake are
emptied into a huge cistern through the old conduit built by the ancient
Romans to sink the level of the lake, I have watched by the hour
together these strange pictorial groups, as they sang and thrashed
the clothes they were engaged in washing; while over them, in the
foreground, the great gray tower and granary, once a castle, lifted
itself in strong light and shade against the peerless blue sky, while
rolling hills beyond, covered with the pale green foliage of rounded
olives, formed the characteristic background. Sometimes a _contadino_,
mounted on the crupper of his donkey, would pause in the sun to chat
awhile with the women. The children, meanwhile, sprawled and played upon
the grass, and the song and chat at the fountain would not unfrequently
be interrupted by a shrill scream from one of the mothers, to stop a
quarrel, or to silence a cry which showed the stoutness of their little

The cobblers of Rome are also a gay and singing set. They do not
imprison themselves in a dark cage of a shop, but sit _"sub Jove"_ where
they may enjoy the life of the street and all the "skyey influences."
Their benches are generally placed near the _portone_ of some palace, so
that they may draw them under shelter when it rains. Here all day they
sit and draw their waxed-ends and sing,--a row of battered-looking boots
and shoes ranged along on the ground beside them, and waiting for their
turn, being their only stock in trade.

They commonly have enough to do, and, as they pay nothing for shop-rent,
every _baiocco_ they get is nearly clear profit. They are generally as
poor as Job's cat; but they are far happier than the proprietor of that
interesting animal. Figaro is a high ideal of this class, and about as
much like them as Raffaello's angels are like Jeames Yellowplush. What
the cobblers and Figaro have in common is song and a love of scandal.
One admirable specimen of this class sits at the corner of the Via
Felice and Capo le Case, with his bench backed against the gray wall. He
is an oldish man, with a long, gray beard and a quizzical face,--a sort
of Hans Sachs, who turns all his life into verse and song. When he comes
out in the morning, he chants a domestic idyl, in which he narrates in
verse the events of his household, and the differences and agreements of
himself and his wife, whom I take to be a pure invention. This over, he
changes into song everything and every person that passes before him.
Nothing that is odd, fantastic, or absurd escapes him, or fails to be
chronicled and sarcastically commented on in his verse. So he sits all
day long, his mind like a kaleidoscope, changing all the odd bits of
character which chance may show him into rhythmic forms, and chirps and
sings as perpetually as the cricket. Friends he has without number, who
stop before his bench, from which he administers poetical justice to
all persons, to have a long chat, or sometimes to bring him a friendly
token; and from the dark interior of his drawer he often brings forth an
orange, or a bunch of grapes, or handful of chestnuts, supplied by them,
as a dessert for the thick cabbage-soup which he eats at _mezzo giorno_.

In the busiest street of Rome, the pure Campagna song may often be heard
from the throat of some _contadino_, as he slowly rumbles along in his
loaded wine-cart,--the little dog at his side barking a sympathetic
chorus. This song is rude enough, and seems in measure founded upon the
Church chant. It is in the minor key, and consists ordinarily of two
phrases, ending in a screaming monotone, prolonged until the breath of
the singer fails, and often running down at the close into a blurred
chromatic. No sooner is one strain ended than it is suddenly taken up
again in the _prestissimo_ time and "slowed" down to the same dismal
conclusion. Heard near, it is deafening and disagreeable. But when
refined by distance, it has a sad and pleasant effect, and seems to
belong to the place,--the long wail at the close being the very type
of the melancholy stretches of the Campagna. In the same way I have
frequently thought that the _Jodeln_ of the Swiss was an imitation of
the echo of the mountains, each note repeated first in octave, or fifth,
and then in its third below. The Campagna song is to be heard not only
in the Campagna, but everywhere in the country,--in the vineyards,
in the grain-fields, in mountain and valley, from companies working
together, and from solitary _contadini_,--wherever the influence and
sentiment of the Roman Campagna is felt. The moment we get into Tuscany,
on the one side, or over into Naples, on the other, it begins to be
lost. It was only the other day, at nightfall, that I was sauntering
out on the desolate Campagna towards Civita Vecchia. The shadows were
deepening and the mists beginning to creep whitely along the deep
hollows. Everything was dreary and melancholy enough. As I paused to
listen to the solitude, I heard the grind of a distant invisible cart,
and the sound of a distant voice singing. Slowly the cart came up over
the crest of the hill, a dark spot against the twilight sky, and mounted
on the top of a load of brushwood sat a _contadino_, who was singing to
himself these words,--not very consolatory, perhaps, but so completely
in harmony with the scene and the time that they struck me forcibly:--

  "E, bella, tu non piangera-a-a-i,
  Sul giorno ch'io saro mor-or-or-to-o-o-o-o-o."[D]

[Footnote D:

  "And, dearest, you will never weep for me-e-e-e,
  The day when I shall be no mo-o-o-ore."]

Whether this constant habit of song among the Southern people, while at
their work, indicates happiness and content, I will not undertake to
say; but it is pleasanter in effect than the sad silence in which we
Anglo-Saxons perform our tasks,--and it seems to show a less harassed
and anxious spirit. But I feel quite sure that these people are more
easily pleased, contented with less, less morose, and less envious of
the ranks above them, than we are. They give little thought to the
differences of caste, have little ambition to make fortunes or rise out
of their condition, and are satisfied with the commonest fare, if they
can get enough of it. The demon of dissatisfaction never harries them.
When you speak to them, they answer with a smile which is nowhere
else to be found. The nation is old, but the people are children
in disposition. Their character is like their climate, generally
sunny,--subject to violent occasional storms, but never growling life
away in an uncomfortable drizzle of discontent. They live upon Nature,
--sympathize with it and love it,--are susceptible to the least touch
of beauty,--are ardent, if not enduring, in their affectations,--and,
unless provoked and irritated, are very peaceful and amiable. The flaw
in their nature is jealousy, and it is a great flaw. Their want of truth
is the result of their education. We who are of the more active and busy
nations despise them for not having that irritated discontent which
urges us forward to change our condition; and we think our ambition
better than their supineness. But there is good in both. We do
more,--they enjoy more; we make violent efforts to be happy,--invent,
create, labor, to arrive at that quiet enjoyment which they own without
struggle, and which our anxious strife unfits us to enjoy when the means
for it are obtained. The general, popular idea, that an Italian is
quarrelsome, and ill-tempered, and that the best are only bandits in
disguise, is quite a mistake; and when studied as they exist out of the
track of travel, where they are often debased and denaturalized, they
will be found to be simple, kind-hearted, and generous.


Yes, my dear Dolorosus, I commiserate you. I regard your case, perhaps,
with even sadder emotions than that excellent family-physician who has
been sounding its depths these four years with a golden plummet, and
has never yet touched bottom. From those generous confidences which, in
common with most of your personal acquaintances, I daily share, I
am satisfied that no description can do justice to your physical
disintegration, unless it be the wreck of matter and the crush of worlds
with which Mr. Addison winds up Cato's Soliloquy. So far as I can
ascertain, there is not an organ of your internal structure which is
in its right place, at present, or which could perform any particular
service, if it were there. In the extensive library of medical almanacs
and circulars which I find daily deposited by travelling agents at my
front door, among all the agonizing vignettes of diseases which adorn
their covers, and which Irish Bridget daily studies with inexperienced
enjoyment in the front entry, there is no case which seems to afford a
parallel to yours. I found it stated in one of these works, the other
day, that there is iron enough in the blood of twenty-four men to make
a broadsword; but I am satisfied that it would be impossible to extract
enough from the veins of yourself and your whole family to construct a
crochet-needle for your eldest daughter. And I am quite confident,
that, if all the four hundred muscles of your present body were twisted
together by a rope-maker, they would not furnish that patient young
laborer with a needleful of thread.

You are undoubtedly, as you claim, a martyr to Dyspepsia; or if you
prefer any other technical name for your disease or diseases, I will
acquiesce in any, except, perhaps, the word "Neurology," which I must
regard as foreign to etymological science, if not to medical. Your case,
you think, is hard. I should think it would be. Yet I am impressed by
it, I must admit, as was our adopted fellow-citizen by the contemplation
of Niagara. He, you remember, when pressed to admire the eternal plunge
of the falling water, could only inquire, with serene acquiescence in
natural laws, "And what's to hinder?" I confess myself moved to similar
reflections by your disease and its history. My dear Dolorosus, can
you acquaint me with any reason, in the heavens above or on the earth
beneath, why you should _not_ have dyspepsia?

My thoughts involuntarily wander back to that golden period, five years
ago, when I spent one night and day beneath your hospitable roof. I
arrived, I remember, late in the evening. The bed-room to which you
kindly conducted me, after a light but wholesome supper of doughnuts and
cheese, was pleasing in respect to furniture, but questionable in regard
to physiology. The house was not more than twenty years old, and the
chamber must therefore have been aired within that distance of time, but
not, I should have judged, more recently. Perhaps its close, oppressive
atmosphere could not have been analyzed into as many separate odors
as Coleridge distinguished in Cologne,--but I could easily identify
aromatic vinegar, damp straw, lemons, and dyed silk gowns. And, as each
of the windows was carefully nailed down, there were no obvious means of
obtaining fresh air, save that ventilator said to be used by an eminent
lady in railway-cars,--the human elbow. The lower bed was of straw, the
upper of feathers, whose extreme heat kept me awake for a portion of the
night, and whose abundant fluffy exhalations suggested incipient asthma
during another portion. On rising from these rather unrefreshing
slumbers, I performed my morning ablutions with the aid of some
three teacupsful of dusty water,--for the pitcher probably held that
quantity,--availing myself, also, of something which hung over an
elegant towel-horse, and which, though I at first took it for a child's
handkerchief, proved on inspection to be "Chamber Towel, No. 1."

I remember, as I entered the breakfast-room, a vague steam as of frying
sausages, which, creeping in from the neighboring kitchen, obscured
in some degree the six white faces of your wife and children. The
breakfast-table was amply covered, for you were always what is termed
by judicious housewives "a good provider." I remember how the beefsteak
(for the sausages were especially destined for your two youngest
Dolorosi, who were just recovering from the measles, and needed
something light and palatable) vanished in large rectangular masses
within your throat, drawn downward in a maelstrom of coffee;--only
that the original whirlpool is, I believe, now proved to have been
imaginary;--"that cup was a fiction, but this is reality." The
resources of the house also afforded certain very hot biscuits or
breadcakes, in a high state of saleratus;--indeed, it must have been
from association with these, that certain yellow streaks in Mr. Ruskin's
drawing of the rock, at the Athenaeum, awakened in me such an immediate
sense of indigestion;--also fried potatoes, baked beans, mince-pie, and
pickles. The children partook of these dainties largely, but without
undue waste of time. They lingered at table precisely eight minutes,
before setting out for school; though we, absorbed in conversation,
remained at least ten;--after which we instantly hastened to your
counting-room, where you, without a moment's delay, absorbed yourself in
your ledger, while I flirted languidly with the "Daily Advertiser."

You bent over your desk the whole morning, occasionally having
anxious consultations with certain sickly men whom I supposed to be
superannuated bookkeepers, in impoverished circumstances, and rather
pallid from the want of nutritious food. One of them, dressed in rusty
black, with a flabby white neckcloth, I took for an ex-clergyman; he was
absorbed in the last number of the "Independent," though I observed, at
length, that he was only studying the list of failures, a department to
which, as it struck me, he himself peculiarly appertained. All of these,
I afterwards ascertained from your office-boy, were eminent capitalists;
something had gone wrong in the market,--not in the meat-market, as I
should have supposed from their appearance, but in the money-market. I
believe that there was some sudden fall in the price of indigo. I know
you looked exceedingly blue as we walked home to dinner.

Dinner was ready the instant we opened the front door. I expected as
much; I knew the pale, speechless woman who sat at the head of your
table would make sure of punctuality, if she died for it. We took our
seats without a word. The party was smaller than at breakfast. Two of
the children had staid at school, having their luncheon-baskets well
filled from the cold remains of breakfast. Your eldest girl, Angelina,
aged ten, one of those premature little grown women who have learned
from the cradle that man is born to eat pastry and woman to make it,
postponed her small repast till an indefinite future, and sat meekly
ready to attend upon our wants. Nathaniel, a thin boy of eight,
also partook but slightly, having impaired his appetite, his mother
suspected, by a copious luncheon of cold baked beans and vinegar, on
his return from school. The two youngest (twins) had relapsed to their
couches soon after breakfast, in consequence of excess of sausage.

You were quite agreeable in conversation, I remember, after the first
onset of appetite was checked. You gave me your whole theory of the
indigo crisis, with minute details, statistical and geographical, of
the financial condition and supposed present location of your principal
absconding debtors. This served for what is called, at public dinners,
the intellectual feast; while the carnal appetite was satisfied with
fried pork, ditto roasted, strong coffee, turnips, potatoes, and a good
deal of gravy. For dessert, (at which point Nathaniel regained his
appetite,) we had mince-pie, apple-pie, and lemon-pie, the latter being
a structure of a two-story description, an additional staging of crust
being somehow inserted between upper and under. We lingered long at that
noon meal,--fifteen minutes, at the very least; for you hospitably said
that you did not have these little social festivals very often,--owing
to frequent illness in the family, and other causes,--and mast make the
most of it.

I did not see much of you during that afternoon; it was a magnificent
day, and I said, that, being a visitor, I would look about and see the
new buildings. The truth was, I felt a sneaking desire to witness the
match-game on the Common, between the Union Base-Ball Club, No. 1, of
Ward Eleven, and the Excelsiors of Smithville. I remember that you
looked a little dissatisfied, when I came into the counting-room, and
rather shook your head over my narrative (perhaps too impassioned) of
the events of the game. "Those young fellows," said you, "may not _all_
be shiftless, dissipated characters, _yet_,--but see what it comes
to! They a'n't content with wasting their time,--they kill it, Sir,
actually kill it!" When I thought of the manly figures and handsome,
eager faces of my friends of the "Union" and the "Excelsior,"--the
Excelsiors won by ten tallies, I should say, the return match to come
off at Smithville the next month,--and then looked at the meagre form
and wan countenance of their critic, I thought to myself, "Dolorosus, my
boy, you are killing something besides Time, if you only knew it."

However, indigo had risen again, and your spirits also. As we walked
home, you gave me a precise exhibit of your income and expenditures for
the last five years, and a prospective sketch of the same for the next
ten; winding up with an incidental delineation of the importance, to a
man of business, of a good pew in some respectable place of worship. We
found Mrs. D., as usual, ready at the table; we partook of pound-cake
(or pound-and-a-half, I should say) and sundry hot cups of a very
Cisatlantic beverage, called by the Chinese epithet of tea,--and went,
immediately after, to a prayer-meeting. The church or chapel was much
crowded, and there was a certain something in the atmosphere which
seemed to disqualify my faculties from comprehending a single word that
was spoken. It certainly was not that the ventilators were closed, for
there were none. The minister occasionally requested that the windows
might be let down a little, and the deacons invariably closed them again
when he looked the other way. At intervals, females were carried out, in
a motionless condition,--not, as it appeared, from conviction of sin,
but from faintness. You sat, absorbed in thought, with your eyes closed,
and seemed not to observe them. I remember that you were very much
shocked when I suggested that the breath of an average sinner exhausted
atmospheric air at the rate of a hogshead an hour, and asked you
how much allowance the laws of the universe made for the lungs of
church-members? I do not recall your precise words, but I remember that
I finally found it expedient, as I was to leave for home in the early
train, to spend that night at the neighboring hotel, where I indulged,
on an excellent mattress, in a slumber so profound, that it seemed
next morning as if I ought, as Dick Swiveller suggested to the single
gentleman, to pay for a double-bedded room.

Well, that is all over now. You have given up business, from ill health,
and exhibit a ripe old age, possibly a little over-ripe, at thirty-five.
Your dreams of the forthcoming ten years have not been exactly
fulfilled; you have not precisely retired on a competency, because the
competency retired from you. Indeed, the suddenness with which your
physician compelled you to close up your business left it closed rather
imperfectly, so that most of the profits are found to have leaked out.
You are economizing rather strictly, just now, in respect to everything
but doctors' bills. The maternal Dolorosa is boarding somewhere in the
country, where the children certainly will not have more indigestible
food than they had at home, and may get less of it in quantity,--to
say nothing of more air and exercise to aid digestion. They are not,
however, in perfect condition. The twins are just getting up from
scarlet fever; Nathaniel has been advised to leave school for a time;
and something is thought to be the matter with Angelina's back.
Meanwhile, you are haunting water-cures, experimenting on life-pills,
holding private conferences with medical electricians, and thinking of a
trip to the Bermudas.

You are learning, through all this, the sagest maxims of resignation,
and trying to apply them. "Life is hard, but short," you say;
"Providence is inscrutable; we must submit to its mysterious decrees."
Would it not be better, my dear Dolorosus, to say instead, "Life is
noble and immortal; God is good; we must obey his plain laws, or accept
the beneficent penalties"? The rise and fall of health are no more
accidental than the rise and fall of indigo; and it is the duty of those
concerned in either commodity to keep their eyes open, and learn the
business intelligently. Of the three proverbial _desiderata_, it is as
easy to be healthy as to be wealthy, and much easier than to be wise,
except so far as health and wisdom mean the same thing. After health,
indeed, the other necessaries of life are very simple, and easily
obtained;--with moderate desires, regular employment, a loving home,
correct theology, the right politics, and a year's subscription to the
"Atlantic Monthly," I have no doubt that life, in this planet, may be as
happy as in any other of the solar system, not excepting Neptune and the
fifty-five asteroids.

You are possibly aware, my dear Dolorosus,--for I remember that you
were destined by your parents for the physician of your native
seaside village, until you found a more congenial avocation in curing
mackerel,--that the ancient medals represented the goddess Hygeia with a
serpent three times as large as that carried by Aesculapius, to denote
the superiority of hygiene to medicine, prevention to cure. To seek
health as you are now seeking it, regarding every new physician as if he
were Pandora, and carried hope at the bottom of his medicine-chest, is
really rather unpromising. This perpetual self-inspection of yours,
registering your pulse thrice a day, as if it were a thermometer and
you an observer for the Smithsonian,--these long consultations with
the other patients in the dreary parlor of the infirmary, the morning
devoted to debates on the nervous system, the afternoon to meditations
on the stomach, and the evening to soliloquies on the spine,--will do
you no good. The more you know, under these circumstances, the worse
it will be for you. You will become like Boerhaave's hypochondriacal
student, who, after every lecture, believed himself to be the victim of
the particular disease just expounded. We may even think too much about
_health_,--and certainly too much about _illness_. I solemnly believe
that the very best thing that could be done for you at this moment,
you unfortunate individual, would be to buy you a saddle-horse and a
revolver, and start you tomorrow for the Rocky Mountains, with distinct
instructions to treat any man as a Border Ruffian who should venture to
allude to the subject of disease in your presence.

But I cannot venture to hope that you will do anything so reasonable.
The fascinations of your present life are too overwhelming; when an
invalid once begins to enjoy the contemplation of his own woes, as you
appear to do, it is all over with him. Besides, you urge, and perhaps
justly, that your case has already gone too far, for so rough a tonic.
What, then, can I do for you? Medicine I cannot offer; for even your
respectable family-physician occasionally hints that you need something
different from that. I suspect that all rational advice for you may be
summed up in one prescription: Reverse instantly all the habits of your
previous physical existence, and there may be some chance for you. But,
perhaps, I had better enter more into detail.

Do not think that I am going to recur to the painful themes of doughnuts
and diet. I fear my hints, already given, on those subjects, may wound
the sensitive nature of Mrs. D., who suffers now such utter martyrdom
from your condition that I cannot bring myself to heap further coals
of fire on her head, even though the coals be taken from her own very
ineffectual cooking-stove. Let me dwell rather on points where you
have exclusive jurisdiction, and can live wisely or foolishly, at your

It does not depend on you, perhaps, whether you shall eat bread or
saleratus, meat or sole-leather; but it certainly does depend upon
yourself whether you shall wash yourself daily. I do not wish to be
personal, but I verily believe, O companion of my childhood! that,
until you began to dabble in Hydropathy, you had not bestowed a sincere
ablution upon your entire person since the epoch when, twenty years ago,
we took our last plunge together, off Titcomb's wharf, in our native
village. That in your well-furnished house there are no hydraulic
privileges beyond pint water-pitchers, I know from anxious personal
inspection. I know that you have spent an occasional week at the
sea-shore during the summer, and that many people prefer to do up their
cleanliness for the year during these excursions; indeed, you yourself
have mentioned to me, at such times, with some enthusiasm, your daily
sea-bath. But I have been privately assured, by the other boarders, that
the bath in question always consisted of putting on a neat bathing-dress
and sitting awhile on a rock among the sea-weed, like an insane merman,
with the highest waves submerging only your knees, while the younger
Dolorosi splashed and gambolled in safe shallows behind you. Even that
is better than nothing, but--Soul of Mohammed!--is that called bathing?
Verily, we are, as the Turks declare, a nation of "dirty Franks," if
this be the accepted definition.

Can it be possible that you really hold with the once-celebrated Mr.
Walker, "The Original," as he was deservedly called, who maintained,
that, by a correct diet, the system became self-purifying, through an
active exhalation which repelled impurity,--so that, while walking on
dusty roads, his feet, and even his stockings, remained free from dust?
"By way of experiment, I did not wash my face for a week; nor did any
one see, nor I feel, the difference." My deluded friend, it is a fatal
error. Mr. Walker, the Original, may have been inwardly a saint and a
sage, but it is impossible that his familiar society could have been
desirable, even to fools or sinners. Rather recall, from your early
explorations in Lemprière's Dictionary, how Medea renewed the youth of
Pelias by simply cutting him to pieces and boiling him; whereon my Lord
Bacon justly remarks, that "there may be some boiling required in the
matter, but the cutting to pieces is not needful." If you find that the
water-cure agrees with your constitution, I rejoice in it; I should
think it would; but, I implore you, do not leave it all behind you when
you leave the institution. When you return to your family, use your very
first dollars for buying a sponge and a tin-hat, for each member of the
household; and bring up the five children to lead decent lives.

Then, again, consider the fact that our lungs were created to consume
oxygen. I suppose that never in your life, Dolorosus, did those
breathing organs of yours inhale more than one half the quantity of air
that they were intended to take in,--to say nothing of its quality. Yet
one would think, that, in the present high prices of other food, you
would make the most of the only thing you can put into your mouth
gratis. Here is Nature constantly urging on us an unexceptionable
atmosphere forty miles high,--for if a pressure of fourteen pounds to
the square inch is not to be called urging, what is?--and yet we not
only neglect, but resist the favor. Our children commonly learn to spell
much better than they ever learn to breathe, because much more attention
is paid to the former department of culture. Indeed, the materials are
better provided; spelling-books are abundant; but we scarcely allow them
time, in the intervals of school, to seek fresh air out of doors, and
we sedulously exclude it from our houses and school-rooms. Is it
not possible to impress upon your mind the changes which "modern
improvements" are bringing upon us? In times past, if a gentleman
finished the evening with a quiet cigar in his parlor, (a practice I
deprecate, and introduce only for purposes of scientific illustration,)
not a trace of it ever lingered to annoy his wife at the
breakfast-table; showing that the draft up the open chimney had wholly
disposed of it, the entire atmosphere of the room being changed during
the night. Now, on the other hand, every whiff lingers persistently
beside the domestic altar, and betrays to the youngest child, next
day, the parental weakness. For the sake of family example, Dolorosus,
correct this state of things, and put in a ventilator. Our natures will
not adapt themselves to this abstinence from fresh air, until Providence
shall fit us up with new bodies, having no lungs in them. Did you ever
hear of Dr. Lyne, the eccentric Irish physician? Dr. Lyne held that no
house was wholesome, unless a dog could get in under every door and a
bird fly out at every window. He even went so far as to build his house
with the usual number of windows, and no glass in the sashes; he lived
in that house for fifty years, reared a large family there, and no death
ever occurred in it. He himself died away from home, of small-pox, at
eighty; his son immediately glazed all the windows of the house, and
several of the family died within the first year of the alteration. The
story sounds apocryphal, I own, though I did not get it from Sir Jonah
Barrington, but somewhere in the scarcely less amusing pages of Sir John
Sinclair. I will not advise you, my unfortunate sufferer, to break every
pane of glass in your domicile, though I have no doubt that Nathaniel
and his boy-companions would enter with enthusiasm into the process; I
am not fond of extremes; but you certainly might go so far as to take
the nails out of my bed-room windows, and yet keep a good deal this side
the Lyne.

I hardly dare go on to speak of exercise, lest I should share the
reproach of that ancient rhetorician who,--as related by Plutarch, in
his Aphorisms,--after delivering an oration in praise of Hercules, was
startled by the satirical inquiry from his audience, whether any one
had ever dispraised Hercules. As with Hercules, so with the physical
activity he represents,--no one dispraises, if few practise it. Even
the disagreement of doctors has brought out but little skepticism on
this point. Cardan, it is true, in his treatise, "Plantae cur Animalibus
diuturniores," maintained that trees lived longer than men because
they never stirred from their places. Exercise, he held, increases
transpiration; transpiration shortens life; to live long, then, we need
only remain perfectly still. Lord Bacon fell in with this fancy, and
advised "oily unctions," to prevent perspiration. Maupertuis went
farther, and proposed to keep the body covered with pitch for this
purpose: conceive, Dolorosus, of spending threescore years and ten in
a garment of tar, without even the ornament of feathers, sitting
tranquilly in our chairs, waiting for longevity! In more recent times,
I can remember only Dr. Darwin as an advocate of sedentary living. He
attempted to show its advantages by the healthy longevity attained by
quiet old ladies in country-towns. But this is questioned by his critic,
Dr. Beddoes, who admits the longevity, but denies the healthiness;
he maintains that the old ladies are taking some new medicine every
day,--at least, if they have a physician who understands his business.

Now I will not maintain, with Frederick the Great, that all our systems
of education are wrong, because they aim to make men students or clerks,
whereas the mere shape of the body shows (so thought King Frederick)
that we are primarily designed for postilions, and should spend most of
our lives on horseback. But it is very certain that all the physical
universe takes the side of health and activity, wooing us forth into
Nature, imploring us hourly, and in unsuspected ways, to receive her
blessed breath into body and soul, and share in her eternal youth. For
this are summer and winter, seedtime and harvest, given; for this do
violet and bloodroot come, and gentian and witch-hazel go; for this do
changing sunsets make yon path between the pines a gateway into heaven;
for this does day shut us down within the loneliness of its dome of
light, and night, lifting it, make us free of the vast fellowship of
stars; for this do pale meteors wander nightly, soft as wind-blown
blossoms, down the air; for this do silent snows transform the winter
woods to feathery things, that seem too light to linger, and yet too
vast to take their flight; for this does the eternal ocean follow its
queen with patient footsteps round earth's human shores; for this does
all the fair creation answer to every dream or mood of man, so that we
receive but what we give;--all is offered to us, to call us from our
books and our trade, and summon us into Nature's health and joy. To
study, with the artist, the least of her beauties,--to explore, with the
man of science, the smallest of her wonders,--or even simply to wander
among her exhaustless resources, like a child, needing no interest
unborrowed from the eye,--this feeds body and brain and heart and soul

But I see that your attention is wandering a little, Dolorosus, and
perhaps I ought not to be surprised. I think I hear you respond,
impatiently, in general terms, that you are not "sentimental." I admit
it; never within my memory did you err on that side. You also hint that
you never _did_ care much about weeds or bugs. The phrases are not
scientific, but the opinion is intelligible. Perhaps my ardor has
carried me too fast for my audience. While it would be a pleasure, no
doubt, to see you transformed into an artist or a _savant_, yet that is
scarcely to be expected, and, if attained, might not be quite enough.
The studies of the naturalist, exclusively pursued, may tend to make a
man too conscious and critical,--patronizing Nature, instead of enjoying
her. He may even grow morbidly sensitive, like Buffon, who became so
impressed with the delicacy and mystery of the human organization, that
he was afraid to stoop even to pick up his own pen, when dropped, but
called a servant to restore it. The artist, also, becomes often narrowed
and petty, and regards the universe as a sort of factory, arranged to
turn out "good bits of color" for him. Something is needed to make us
more free and unconscious, in our out-door lives, than these too wise
individuals; and that something is best to be found in athletic sports.
It was a genuine impulse which led Sir Humphrey Davy to care more for
fishing than even for chemistry, and made Byron prouder of his swimming
than of "Childe Harold," and induced Sir Robert Walpole always to open
his gamekeeper's letters first, and his diplomatic correspondence
afterwards. Athletic sports are "boyish," are they? Then they are
precisely what we want. We Americans certainly do not have much boyhood
under the age of twenty, and we must take it afterwards or not at all.

Who can describe the unspeakable refreshment for an overworked brain,
of laying aside all cares, and surrendering one's self to simple bodily
activity? Laying them aside! I retract the expression; they slip off
unnoticed. You cannot embark care in your wherry; there is no room for
the odious freight. Care refuses to sit behind the horseman, despite the
Latin sentence; you leave it among your garments when you plunge into
the river, it rolls away from the rolling cricket-ball, the first whirl
in the gymnasium disposes of it, and you are left free, as boys and
birds are free. If athletic amusements did nothing for the body, they
would still be medicine for the soul. Nay, it is Plato who says
that exercise will almost cure a guilty conscience,--and can we be
indifferent to this, my fellow-sinner?

Why will you persist in urging that you "cannot afford" these
indulgences, as you call them? They are not indulgences,--they are
necessaries. Charge them, in your private account-book, under the heads
of food and clothing, and as a substitute for your present enormous
items under the head of medicine. O mistaken economist! can you afford
the cessation of labor and the ceaseless drugging and douching of your
last few years? Did not all your large experience in the retail-business
teach you the comparative value of the ounce of prevention and the pound
of cure? Are not fresh air and cold water to be had cheap? and is not
good bread less costly than cake and pies? Is not the gymnasium a more
economical institution than the hospital? and is not a pair of skates a
good investment, if it aids you to elude the grasp of the apothecary? Is
the cow Pepsin, on the whole, a more frugal hobby to ride than a good
saddle-horse? Besides, if you insist upon pecuniary economy, do begin
by economizing on the exercise which you pay others for taking in your
stead,--on the corn and pears which you buy in the market, instead of
removing to a suburban house and raising them yourself,--and in the
reluctant silver you pay the Irishman who splits your wood. Or if,
suddenly reversing your line of argument, you plead that this would
impoverish the Irishman, you can at least treat him as you do the
organ-grinder, and pay him an extra fee to go on to your next neighbor.

Dolorosus, there is something very noble, if you could but discover it,
in a perfect human body. In spite of all our bemoaning, the physical
structure of man displays its due power and beauty when we consent to
give it a fair chance. On the cheek of every healthy child that plays in
the street, though clouded by all the dirt that ever incrusted a young
O'Brien or M'Cafferty, there is a glory of color such as no artist ever
painted. I can take you to-morrow into a circus or a gymnasium, and show
you limbs and attitudes which are worth more study than the Apollo or
the Antinous, because they are life, not marble. How noble were Horatio
Greenough's meditations, in presence of the despised circus-rider! "I
worship, when I see this brittle form borne at full speed on the back
of a fiery horse, yet dancing as on the quiet ground, and smiling in
conscious safety."

I admit that this view, like every other, may be carried to excess.
We can hardly expect to correct our past neglect of bodily training,
without falling into reactions and extremes, in the process. There is
our friend Jones, for instance, "the Englishman," as the boys on the
Common call him, from his cheery portliness of aspect. He is the man who
insisted on keeping the telegraph-office open until 2, A.M., to hear
whether Morrissey or the Benicia Boy won the prize-fight. I cannot say
much for his personal conformity to his own theories at present, for he
is growing rather too stout; but he likes vicarious exercise, and is
doing something for the next generation, even if he does make the club
laugh, sometimes, by advancing theories of training which the lower
circumference of his own waistcoat does not seem to justify. But
Charley, his eldest, can ride, shoot, and speak the truth, like an
ancient Persian; he is the best boxer in college, and is now known to
have gone to Canada _incog._, during the vacation, under the immediate
supervision of Morris, the teacher of sparring, to see that same fight.
It is true that the youth blushes, now, whenever that trip is alluded
to; and when he was cross-questioned by his pet sister Kate, (Kate
Coventry she delights to be called,) as to whether it wasn't "splendid,"
he hastily told her that she didn't know what she was talking about,
(which was undoubtedly true,)--and that he wished he didn't, either. The
truth is, that Charley, with his honest, boyish face, must have been
singularly out of place among that brutal circle; and there is little
doubt that he retired from the company before the set-to was fairly
begun, and that respectable old Morris went with him. But, at any rate,
they are a noble-looking family, and well brought up. Charley, with all
his pugilism, stands fair for a part at Commencement, they say; and
if you could have seen little Kate teaching her big cousin to skate
backwards, at Jamaica Pond, last February, it would have reminded you
of the pretty scene of the little cadet attitudinising before the great
Formes, in "Figaro." The whole family incline in the same direction;
even Laura, the elder sister,--who is attending a course of lectures on
Hygiene, and just at present sits motionless for half an hour before
every meal for her stomach's sake, and again a whole hour afterwards for
her often (imaginary) infirmities,--even Laura is a perfect Hebe in
health and bloom, and saved herself and her little sister when the boat
upset, last summer, at Dove Harbor,--while the two young men who were
with them had much ado to secure their own elegant persons, without
rendering much aid to the girls. And when I think, Dolorosus, of this
splendid animal vigor of the race of Jones, and then call to mind the
melancholy countenances of your forlorn little offspring, I really think
that it would, on the whole, be unsafe to trust you with that revolver;
you might be tempted to damage yourself or somebody else with it, before
departing for the Rocky Mountains.

Do not think me heartless for what I say, or assume, that, because I
happen to be healthy myself, I have no mercy for ill-health in others.
There are invalids who are objects of sympathy indeed, guiltless heirs
of ancestral disease, or victims of parental folly or sin,--those whose
lives are early blighted by maladies that seem as causeless as they are
cureless,--or those with whom the world has dealt so cruelly that all
their delicate nature is like sweet bells jangled,--or those whose
powers of life are all exhausted by unnoticed labors and unseen
cares,--or those prematurely old with duties and dangers, heroes of
thought and action, whose very names evoke the passion and the pride of
a hundred thousand hearts. There is a tottering feebleness of old age,
also, nobler than any prime of strength; we all know aged men who are
floating on, in stately serenity, towards their last harbor, like
Turner's Old Téméraire, with quiet tides around them, and the blessed
sunset bathing in loveliness all their dying day. Let human love do its
gracious work upon all these; let angelic hands of women wait upon
their lightest needs, and every voice of salutation be tuned to such a
sweetness as if it whispered beside a dying mother's bed.

But you, Dolorosus,--you, to whom God gave youth and health, and who
might have kept them, the one long and the other perchance always, but
who never loved them, nor reverenced them, nor cherished them, only
coined them into money till they were all gone, and even the ill-gotten
treasure fell from your debilitated hands,--you, who shunned the
sunshine as if it were sin, and called all innocent recreation time
wasted,--you, who staid under ground in your goldmine, like the
sightless fishes of the Mammoth Cave, till you were as blind and
unjoyous as they,--what plea have you to make, what shelter to claim,
except that charity which suffereth long and is kind? We will strive
not to withhold it; while there is life, there is hope. At forty, it is
said, every man is a fool or a physician. We will wait and see which
vocation you select as your own, for the broken remnant of your days.

       *       *       *       *       *




In the mean while Congress had assembled. The agitation on the subject
of Slavery, far from being suppressed, or even overshadowed, burned more
fiercely than ever before. The Pro-slavery faction in Kansas, stimulated
by the constant support of the National Administration, was engaged in a
final effort to maintain a supremacy over the affairs of that Territory
which the current of immigration from the Free States had been steadily
undermining. Against the will of nine-tenths of the population, it had
framed, with a show of technical legality, a Constitution intended to
perpetuate Slavery, which the Administration indorsed and presented to
Congress with an urgent recommendation for the admission under it
of Kansas as a State. In the commotion which these events excited
throughout the country, the transient gleam of importance which had
attached to the Mormon War was almost extinguished. The people of the
States no longer felt a much more vital interest in news from that
remote region than in tidings from the rebellion in India or of the wars
in China. Their attention, sympathies, and curiosity--were all fastened
upon the action of Congress with respect to Kansas,--for therein, it was
believed, were contained the germs of the political combinations for
the Presidential election of 1860. The same listlessness with regard to
affairs in Utah pervaded the Cabinet. All its _prestige_ was staked on
the result of the impending struggle in the House of Representatives
over the Lecompton Constitution, and its energies were abstracted from
every other subject, to be concentrated upon that alone.

Just at this time, Mr. Thomas L. Kane, of Pennsylvania,--son of the late
Judge of the United States District Court for that State, and brother of
the late Dr. Kane, the Arctic explorer,--solicited the Administration
for employment as a mediator between the Mormons and the Federal
Government. Mr. Kane was one of the few persons of education and social
standing who were well acquainted with Mormon history. He had visited
them at Winter Quarters, in Iowa, during their exodus from Nauvoo, in
the capacity of a commissioner to enlist the Mormon battalion which
served in the Mexican War. During an illness which attacked him there,
he was treated with an unremitting kindness, for which his gratitude
has been proportionate. Belonging to a family whose members have
been distinguished by strong traits of individuality, not to say
eccentricity, from that moment forward he displayed a practical interest
in the welfare of the sect. It is said that he became a convert to the
religious doctrines of Mormonism. Whether this be true at all, and,
if so, to what extent, it would he profitless at the present time to
inquire. For the purposes of this narrative, it is sufficient to assert
only, what is unchallenged, that he was a sincere admirer of the Mormons
as a people, and for a long series of years had defended them from
every reproach with a zeal which many of his friends thought inordinate.

Its experience in Kansas had familiarized the Cabinet with the use of
secret agents; but, nevertheless, the proposition of Mr. Kane was coldly
received. After a brief correspondence, he started for California, in
no capacity a representative of the government, if he himself is to be
believed, but bearing letters from Mr. Buchanan indorsing his character
as a gentleman, and exhorting Federal officials to render him such
courtesies as were within their power. Having arrived at San Francisco,
he journeyed southward to the lately abandoned Mormon settlement of
San Bernardino, near Los Angeles, travelling under the assumed name of
Osborne, and proclaiming his business to be the collection of specimens
for an entomological society in Philadelphia. There his real name and
purpose were detected, but he succeeded in obtaining transportation to
Salt Lake City, where he arrived on the 25th of February, 1858, and was
greeted by Young and Kimball, and the rest of the Mormon magnates, as an
old and cherished friend.

In the Annual Message of the President to Congress, his disposition to
make every other issue subordinate to that of admitting Kansas under the
Lecompton Constitution was manifest; and it influenced the tone of those
paragraphs which treated of affairs in Utah. Notwithstanding the fact
that the Mormons had committed every act of warfare against the United
States short of taking life, Mr. Buchanan qualified his language
concerning their conduct, stating, that, "unless Brigham Young should
retrace his steps, the Territory of Utah will be in a state of open
rebellion," but declining to accept the logical inference from his own
expression, that the rebellion was at the time open and manifest. He
recommended no further legislation concerning the matter than that four
regiments should be added to the army, to supply the place of those
which had been withdrawn from service in the East.

It was evident that the purpose for which he had originally planned the
expedition had failed. Forced, after all, no less by inclination than by
circumstances, into such a revival of Slavery agitation as he had never
contemplated during the interval between his election and inauguration,
the Utah War only incumbered his administration, promoting neither its
policy nor its prosperity. However it might result, it would not in the
least advance his interests; and it became his opinion, that, the sooner
it was quieted, the better for the welfare of the Democratic party,
which would be held responsible by the country for all mistakes in its
management. "After us the deluge," seemed to be adopted as the motto of
the entire policy of the Administration.

The only movement in Congress concerning Utah, before the New Year, was
the introduction into the House of Representatives, by Mr. Warren of
Arkansas, of a badly-worded resolution, prefaced by a worse-worded
preamble, looking to the expulsion from the floor of Mr. Bernhisel,
the Mormon delegate from the Territory. A lively discussion ensued
concerning the question of privilege under which Mr. Warren claimed the
right to introduce the resolution,--and when it was ruled in order, much
hesitation was evinced about adopting it, some members fearing that it
would establish a dangerous precedent for emergencies that might arise
in the future history of the country. The tone of debate showed that
there was little difference of opinion in the House concerning Utah
affairs,--the unanimity, however, being due in great part to ignorance
and indifference. The issue of Slavery in Kansas was absorbing. Mr.
Warren's resolution was referred to the Committee on Territories, and
slumbered upon their table through the whole session. The only other
movement in Congress, which deserves mention in this connection, was
the introduction, towards the close of January, by Senator Wilson of
Massachusetts, of a joint resolution authorizing the appointment of
commissioners to examine into the Mormon difficulties, "with a view to
their adjustment." This was referred by the Senate to the Committee on
Military Affairs, and was never heard of again.

The recommendation of the President for an increase of the army secured
favorable consideration from committees of both Houses, and the
discussion which ensued, upon the bills reported for that purpose, was
filled with allusions to the Utah question. Mr. Thompson of New York,
and Mr. Boyce of South Carolina, both made elaborate speeches on the
subject; but neither of them proposed any scheme for its solution. Such
a scheme, however, was suggested by Mr. Blair of Missouri, who advised
a reorganization of the Territorial government, in order to vest the
legislative power in the Governor and the Judges, for which a precedent
existed in the instance of the old Northwestern Territory; but no action
was had upon this suggestion. Through the entire debate, Mr. Bernhisel
remained silent. During the winter, the President conferred upon Colonel
Johnston the brevet rank of Brigadier-General, believing that the
uniform discretion he had manifested entitled him to promotion; and the
nomination was confirmed by the Senate.

While such were the transactions in Congress, the Mormons, in December,
had organized a government like that under which they had hitherto
subsisted. Their legislature--the same which had been elected under the
Organic Act of the Territory--met at Salt Lake City on the second Monday
of that month, in the hall of the Council House, and organized by the
choice of Heber C. Kimball as President of the Council and John Taylor
as Speaker of the House. Brigham Young retained the title and authority
of Governor, and addressed to the legislature the customary annual
message, reviewing the condition of the Territory. This document
was prepared in reality by Taylor, and was worded with considerable
ingenuity. Not the slightest allusion was made to the declarations of
independence that had been reiterated throughout the summer and autumn,
but the relations of Utah to the United States were discussed as those
of a Territory to the Union. The President was himself charged with
treason in his action towards the Mormons, the Governor and Judges whom
he had appointed were reviled as depraved and abandoned men, and the
army was again proclaimed a mob,--while Utah was lauded as the "most
loyal Territory known since the days of the Revolution." The theory of
Squatter-Sovereignty was the basis of the argument, and Mr. Buchanan was
accused, and with some reason, of inconsistency in his application of
that doctrine.

In response to this message, the legislature passed a series of
resolutions, pledging itself to sustain "His Excellency Governor Young"
in every act he might perform or dictate "for the protection of the
lives, peace, and prosperity of the people of the Territory,"--asserting
that the President had incurred the "contempt and decided opposition
of all good men," on account of the "act of usurped authority and
oppression" of which he was guilty, in "forcing profane, drunken,
and otherwise corrupt officials upon Utah at the point of the
bayonet,"--expressing a determination to "continue to resist any attempt
on the part of the Administration to bring the people into a state of
vassalage by appointing, contrary to the Constitution, officers whom the
people have neither voice nor vote in electing,"--avowing the purpose
not to suffer "any persons appointed to office for Utah by the
Administration either to qualify for, or assume, or discharge, within
the limits of the Territory, the functions of the offices to which they
have been appointed; so long as the Territory is menaced by an invading
army,"--and declaring that the people of Utah would have their voice in
the selection of their officers. These were sweet-scented blossoms to
blow so early on the tree of Squatter-Sovereignty, at that time scarcely
four years old!

The only acts of the legislature were one disorganizing the County
of Green River, in which the army was encamped, and attaching it for
legislative and judicial purposes to Great Salt Lake County; another
divesting the Governor of power to license the manufacture of ardent
spirits, and conferring that authority upon the President of the Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints; and several others in pursuance
of the system of granting away large tracts of public domain to private
persons, in direct contravention of a clause in the Organic Act of the
Territory, which provides that "no law shall be passed interfering with
the primary disposal of the soil." To these acts Brigham Young attached
his signature as Governor, and affixed the Territorial seal.

A Memorial to Congress was adopted also, which was transmitted to
Washington, and received there and laid before the two Houses on the
16th of March. This document charged that the action of the National
Government towards Utah was based upon the statements of "lying
officials and anonymous letter-writers"; it rehearsed the history of the
Mormons,--their persecutions in Missouri and Illinois,--and declared
that the object of the Utah expedition was to inflict similar outrages.
"Give us our constitutional rights," it said; "they are all we ask; and
them we have a right to expect. For them we contend, and feel justified
in so doing. We claim that we should have the privilege, as we have the
constitutional right, to choose our own rulers and make our own laws
without let or hindrance." Although this Memorial was nothing more than
an infuriated tirade, it was honored in both Houses by reference to the
Committees on Territories, from which it received all the consideration
it deserved.

Indifferent and inactive as this review shows Congress and the President
to have been concerning Utah, a similar apathy was impossible in the War
Department. Not only the welfare, but the lives even, of the troops at
Fort Bridger, depended on its action. Transactions of such magnitude
had not been incumbent on its bureaus since the Mexican War. The chief
anxiety of General Johnston was for the transmission of supplies from
the East as early as possible in the spring. The contractors for their
transportation during the year 1857 had wintered several trains at Fort
Laramie, together with oxen and teamsters. The General entertained a
fear that so great a proportion of their stock might perish during the
winter as to cripple their advance until fresh animals could be obtained
from the States. Combined with this fear was an apprehension for the
safety of Captain Marcy. A prisoner, whom the Mormons had captured in
October on Ham's Fork, escaped from Salt Lake City at the close of
December, and brought news to Camp Scott that they intended to fit out
an expedition to intercept the command and stampede the herds with which
that officer would move from New Mexico. The dispatches in which these
anxieties were communicated to General Scott, together with suggestions
for their relief, were intrusted in midwinter to a small party for
conveyance to the States. The journey taught them what must have been
the sufferings of the expedition which Captain Marcy led to Taos.
Reduced at one time to buffalo-tallow and coffee for sustenance, there
was not a day during the transit across the mountains when any stronger
barrier than the lives of a few half-starved mules interposed between
them and death by famine. All along the route lay memorials of the march
of the army, and especially of Colonel Cooke's battalion,--a trail of
skeletons a thousand miles in length, gnawed bare by the wolves and
bleaching in the snow, visible at every undulation in the drifts.

But before the arrival of these dispatches at New York, the arrangements
of the War Department to forward supplies to Utah had been completed.
The representations of the contractors' agents with regard to the
condition of the cattle at Fort Laramie were received without question,
and Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel Hoffmann, of the Sixth Infantry, was
dispatched to that post to superintend the advance of the trains.
Additional contracts, of an unprecedented character, were entered into
for furnishing and transporting all the supplies which would be needed
during the year 1858, both for the troops already in the Territory
and for the reinforcements which were ordered to concentrate at Fort
Leavenworth and march to Utah as soon as the roads should be passable.
These reinforcements were about three thousand strong, comprising
the First Cavalry, the Sixth and Seventh Infantry, and two
artillery-batteries. The trains necessary for so large a force, in
addition to that at Fort Bridger, it was estimated would comprise at
least forty-five hundred wagons, requiring more than fifty thousand
oxen, four thousand mules, and five thousand teamsters, wagon-masters,
and other _employés_. To the shame of the Administration, these gigantic
contracts, involving an amount of more than six million dollars,
were distributed with a view to influence votes in the House of
Representatives upon the Lecompton Bill. Some of the lesser ones, such
as those for furnishing mules, dragoon-horses, and forage, were granted
arbitrarily to relatives or friends of members who were wavering upon
that question. The principal contract, that for the transportation of
all the supplies, involving, for the year 1858, the amount of four
millions and a half, was granted, without advertisement or subdivision,
to a firm in Western Missouri, whose members had distinguished
themselves in the effort to make Kansas a Slave State, and now
contributed liberally to defray the election-expenses of the Democratic

It was said to have been contemplated, for a while, during the winter,
to operate against the Mormons from California, and to send General
Scott to San Francisco to direct arrangements for the purpose; but the
project, if ever seriously entertained, was soon abandoned, it being
evident that for the speedy subjugation of Utah the Missouri frontier
furnished the only practicable base-line of operations.

At Camp Scott, the winter dragged along wearily. Between November and
March only two mails arrived there, and the great monetary crisis in the
United States was unknown till months after it had subsided. The Mormons
were constantly in possession of later intelligence from the States
than the army; for, by a strange inconsistency, their mails to and from
California were not interfered with. A brigade-guard was mounted daily
at the camp larger than that of the whole American army on the eve
of the battles before Mexico, and scouting parties were continually
dispatched to scour the country in a circuit of thirty miles around
Fort Bridger; for there was constant apprehension of an attempt by the
Mormons to stampede the herds on Henry's Fork, if not to attack the
regiment which guarded them. No tidings arrived from Captain Marcy, and
a most painful apprehension prevailed as to his fate. At the close of
January, Dr. Hurt, the Indian Agent, after consultation with General
Johnston, started from the camp, accompanied only by four Pah-Utahs, and
crossed the Uinta Mountains, through snow drifted twenty feet deep, to
the villages of the tribe of Uinta-Utahs, on the river of the same name.
It was his intention, in case of need, to employ these Indians to
warn Captain Marcy of danger and afford him relief. It proved to be
unnecessary to do so, and Dr. Hurt returned in April; but the hardships
he endured in the undertaking resulted in an illness which threatened
his life for weeks. On the 13th of March, an express had come in from
New Mexico, bringing news of the safe arrival of Captain Marcy at Taos
on the 22d of January. The sufferings of his whole party from cold and
hunger had been severe. Their provisions failed them, and they had
recourse to mule-meat. Many of the men were badly frost-bitten, but only
one perished on the journey.

On the previous evening,--March 12th,--the monotony of the camp had been
unexpectedly disturbed by the arrival, from the direction of Salt Lake
City, of a horseman completely exhausted by fatigue and cold, who proved
to be no other than Mr. Kane, whose mission to the Mormons by way of
California was at that time totally unknown to the army. The next
morning he introduced himself to the Governor, was received as his
guest, and remained in conference with him throughout the day. What was
the character of their communication is unknown, except by inference
from its results. When presented to Judge Eckels, on the following day,
Mr. Kane exhibited to him the letters he bore from the President, and
other letters, also, from Brigham Young, accrediting him as a negotiator
in the existing difficulties. To General Johnston he showed nothing; nor
did the Governor, to the knowledge of the camp, acquaint either that
officer or any other person with the purport of his business. It was
evident to everybody, however, that the Mormon leaders, conscious of
their inability to resist the force by which they would be assailed so
soon as the snow should melt upon the mountains, were engaged in an
effort, of which Mr. Kane was the agent, to secure through the Governor,
if possible, indemnity for their past offences, in consideration of
acknowledgment of his authority.

The domestic condition of the people of the Valley confirmed the belief
that this was the purpose of Mr. Kane's mission. Dependent as they had
always been, since their settlement in Utah, upon Eastern merchants
for an annual supply of groceries, dry goods, wearing-apparel of all
descriptions, and every article of luxury, their stock of some of even
the necessaries of life--such as coffee, tea, sugar, tobacco, calicoes,
boots and shoes, stationery--was at this time nearly exhausted. Many of
the poorer families were actually half naked, and, to supply them with
covering, an ecclesiastical mandate had been issued, directing all
persons who had spare clothing of any description to deposit it at the
tithing-office in Salt Lake City, to be there exchanged for grain and
cattle with those who were in need.

At the commencement of the rebellion, the Mormon settlements in Southern
California had been broken up, and all the missionaries of the Church
were summoned to return from foreign lands. The influx of population
from these sources, though slight, yet increased the destitution. Almost
all the people, too, had been withdrawn from productive employments
throughout the autumn and winter. Although the number of militia kept
under arms, after the formation of the camp at Fort Bridger, probably at
no time reached fifteen hundred, while in October and November it had
exceeded three thousand, still the fever of excitement which raged
through the community distracted its members from any hearty labor.
Great quantities of winter-wheat, to be sure, had been sown, and the
fields were prepared for cultivation during the coming summer; but no
public improvements were prosecuted, and everybody was prepared for such
an exodus as had been predicted to Captain Van Vliet.

The complete subserviency of the people to the hierarchy was never more
strikingly manifest than in a financial scheme which Brigham Young
devised at this time. Among the Mormons there had always been a quantity
of gold coin in circulation, much exceeding, in proportion to their
number, the amount circulating in any other portion of America. This was
owing to the fact, that the Church had unconstitutionally arrogated to
itself the prerogative of coining and regulating the value of money. The
Mormon battalion which had been enlisted at Winter Quarters in Iowa was
disbanded in California at the close of the Mexican War, and most of its
members went to the gold-diggings. The treasures they there accumulated
were conveyed to Utah, where the Church established a mint and coined
gold pieces of $2.50, $5, $10, and $20. The device on the obverse was
two hands clasped in one of the grips of the Endowment; on the reverse,
a figure from the Book of Mormon, with the motto, "Holiness to the
Lord." The intrinsic value of these coins being more than ten per
cent less than their denominations, they were all retained within the
Territory. Young now prevailed upon his people to surrender whatever
gold and silver they possessed, amounting to several hundred thousand
dollars, and accept in return the notes of a banking association of
which he himself was president and one of his numerous sons-in-law
cashier. These notes were redeemable, in amounts of not less than one
hundred dollars, in live stock, the appraisement of the value of which
rested with the officers of the association. So absolute was the
degradation and ignorance of the population, that they submitted to this
extortion without a murmur.

Mr. Kane had remained in Salt Lake City eight days before starting
towards Fort Bridger,--a period quite long enough for a trusted friend
of the Mormon leaders to ascertain the extremities to which the people
were reduced. To secure the safety of those leaders who were under
indictment for treason, there was no choice except between flight and
inducing the Federal authorities to temporize. Both he and they were
conscious that the advance of the army could not be successfully
resisted, when the snow should cease to bar its way. In case of the
flight of the leaders, or of a general exodus of the population, only
two courses lay open to them,--northward toward the British Possessions,
southward toward the provinces of Upper Mexico.

The first two days of Mr. Kane's sojourn in camp satisfied him of the
cooperation of Governor Cumming in a plan for temporizing, as well as of
the impossibility of enlisting General Johnston or Judge Eckels in any
such scheme. An imaginary affront, to which he believed himself at this
time to have been subjected by the General, led him into a course of
action which, had it been followed out, might have terminated his
mission abruptly. Considering the fact that he was within the
guard-lines of a military encampment, in a country where a state of
warfare existed, it was perhaps too great forbearance on the part of the
General not to have required to be informed of his business, since
he himself volunteered no explanation. An invitation to dinner being
dispatched to him from head-quarters,--and such an invitation was no
slight compliment in a camp where the rations were so abridged,--the
orderly to whom it was intrusted for delivery, whether maliciously or
not it does not appear, pretended to have mistaken his directions, and
proceeded to place him under arrest. The mistake, when discovered, was
of course immediately rectified; but Mr. Kane became so excited in
consequence, that, with the assent of the Governor, he indited a
challenge to the General, and applied to a gentleman from Virginia to
act as his second. Having received a decided rebuff in that quarter, he
was induced to abandon the design by the interposition of Judge Eckels,
who became acquainted with what was passing, and informed the Governor
that he had ordered the United States Marshal to arrest all the parties
concerned, in case another step should be taken in the affair. It was
not till some time afterwards that these transactions came to the
knowledge of General Johnston.

Mr. Kane remained with the Governor until April, absenting himself once,
however, for a day, in order to hold a secret interview with a party of
Mormons who had come into the vicinity of the camp. Notwithstanding his
presence, no precaution to protect the herds was neglected, nor was the
guard-duty at all relaxed. On the 18th of March, although a furious
snow-storm raged all day long, the encampment was moved down Black's
Fork to the immediate neighborhood of Fort Bridger,--a spot less
sheltered, but far more secure from attack. On the 3d of April, an event
occurred for which everybody was prepared. The Governor announced to
General Johnston his intention to proceed to Salt Lake City in company
with Mr. Kane; and on the 5th, they started upon the journey.

The District Court commenced its spring term at Fort Bridger the same
day. In his charge to the grand jury, Judge Eckels was explicit on the
subject of polygamy, instructing them substantially as follows: That
among the Territorial statutes there was no act legalizing polygamy, nor
any act affixing a definite punishment to that practice as such; that,
consequently, whether the old Spanish law or the Common Law constituted
the basis of jurisprudence in the Territory, the definition of marriage
recognized by both was to be received there, which limited that
institution to the union of one man with one woman, and also the
definition of adultery common to both, by which that crime consisted in
the cohabitation of either the man or the woman with a third party; that
among the Territorial statutes there was an act affixing a definite
punishment to adultery, and accordingly that it was the duty of the
grand jury to inquire whether that act had been infringed by parties
liable to their inquisition.[A] No indictment, however, was returned for
the offence; neither were any proceedings had upon the indictments for
treason. The business of the court was restricted to such crimes as
larceny, and assault and battery, among the heterogeneous mass of

[Footnote A: As this charge has become of great importance in the
affairs of the Territory, we subjoin the precise language of that
portion of it which refers to polygamy:--

"It cannot be concealed, gentlemen, that certain domestic arrangements
exist in this Territory destructive of the peace, good order, and morals
of society,--arrangements at variance with those of all enlightened and
Christian communities in the world; and sapping as they do the very
foundation of all virtue, honesty, and morality, it is an imperative
duty falling upon you as grand jurors diligently to inquire into this
evil and make every effort to check its growth. It is well known that
all of the inhabited portion of this Territory was acquired by treaty
from Mexico. By the law of Mexico polygamy was prohibited in this
country, and the municipal law in this respect remained unaltered by its
cession to the United States. Has it been altered since we acquired it?
After a most diligent search and inquiry, I have not been able to find
that any such change has been made: and presuming that this law remains
unchanged by legislation, all marriages after the first are by this law
illegal and void. If you are then satisfied that such is the fact, your
next duty is to inquire by what law in force in this Territory are
such practices punishable. There is no law in this Territory punishing
polygamy, but there is one, however, for the punishment of adultery;
and all illegal intercourse between the sexes, if either party have a
husband or wife living at the time, is adulterous and punishable by
indictment. No consequences in which a large proportion of this people
may be involved in consequence of this criminal practice will deter you
from a fearless discharge of your duty. It is yours to find the facts
and to return indictments, without fear, favor, affection, reward,
or any hope thereof. The law was made to punish the lawless and
disobedient, and society is entitled to the salutary effects of its

At the distance of a few miles from Fort Bridger, the Governor and Mr.
Kane were received by a Mormon guard. At various points on their journey
squads of militia were encountered, and in Echo Cañon there was a
command of several hundred. The Big Mountain, which the road crosses
twenty miles from Salt Lake City, was covered so deep with snow, that
the party was obliged to follow the cañons of the Weber River into the
Valley. Upon arriving at the city, on the 12th of April, the Governor
was installed in the house of a Mr. Staines, one of the adopted sons
of Brigham Young, and was soon after waited upon by Young himself, in
company with numerous ecclesiastical dignitaries. The Territorial seal
was tendered to him, and he was recognized to his full satisfaction
in his official capacity. He remained more than three weeks. Except
fugitive statements in newspapers, the only connected account of
his proceedings is from his own pen, and consists of two official
letters,--one addressed to General Johnston, under date of April 15th,
the other to the Secretary of State at Washington, dated May 2d. The
former merely announces his arrival, reception, and recognition,
transmits charges against Dr. Hurt, of having excited the Uinta Indians
to acts of hostility against the Mormons, and suggests that he should
desire a detachment of the army to be dispatched to chastise that
tribe, but a requisition for that purpose was made neither then nor
subsequently. The letter to Secretary Cass states that his time was
devoted to examining the public property of the United States which was
in the city,--the records of the courts, the Territorial library, the
maps and minutes of the Surveyor General,--and exculpates the Mormons, in
great part, from the charge of having injured or embezzled it.

During his stay, information was communicated to him, that there was a
number of persons who were desirous of leaving the Territory, but
unable to do so, considering themselves restrained of their liberty.
Accordingly, on the following Sunday, he caused notice to be given from
the platform in the Tabernacle, that he assumed the protection of all
such persons, and desired them to communicate to him their names
and residences. During the ensuing week, nearly two hundred persons
registered themselves in the manner he proposed, and a greater number
would undoubtedly have been glad to follow their example, but were
deterred by the surveillance to which they were subjected by certain
functionaries of the Church before being admitted to his presence. Those
who were registered were organized into trains, with the little movable
property they possessed, and dispatched towards Fort Bridger. They
arrived there in the course of May,--as motley, ragged, and destitute a
crowd as ever descended from the deck of an Irish emigrant-ship at New
York or Boston. The only garments which some possessed were made of the
canvas of their wagon-covers.

Many were on foot. For provisions, they had nothing except flour and
some fresh meat. It is a fact creditable to humanity, that private
soldiers, by the score, shared their own abridged rations and scanty
stock of clothing with these poor wretches, and in less than a day after
their arrival they were provided with much to make them comfortable.

On that same Sunday, the Governor made a speech to the congregation,
being introduced by Brigham Young. He reviewed the relations of the
Mormons to the Federal government; assumed that General Johnston and the
army were under his control; pledged his word that they should not
be stationed in immediate contact with the settlements; and gave
assurances, also, that no military _posse_ should be employed to arrest
a Mormon until every other means had been tried and had failed. At
the close, he invited any of their number to respond. Various persons
immediately addressed the audience in almost frantic speeches,
concerning the murder of Joseph and Hiram Smith at Carthage, the
persecution of the Saints in Missouri and Illinois, the services
rendered by the Mormon Battalion to an ungrateful country during the
Mexican War, the toils and perils of the migration to Utah, and the
character of the Federal officers who had been sent to rule the
Territory. Personal insults were heaped upon the Governor, and a scene
of the wildest confusion was the result, which was quieted with great
difficulty by Young himself. It was manifest that the mass of the
people, overconfident of their capacity to resist the troops, were not
fully prepared for the capitulation the leaders were willing to make to
save their own necks from the halter; and, at a second meeting during
the afternoon, Young yielded somewhat to the popular clamor.

All this while, a movement of a most extraordinary character was being
carried on, which had commenced before the Governor entered the Valley.
The people of the northern settlements, along the base of the Wahsatch
Mountains, including Salt Lake City, were deserting their homes,
abandoning houses, crops, and their heavier furniture, and migrating
southward. Long wagon-trains were sweeping through the city every day,
accompanied by hundreds of families, and droves of horses and cattle.
A fair estimate of the entire Mormon population of Utah is about
forty-five thousand. Of this number, ten thousand is the proportion of
the towns north of Salt Lake City, and upward of fifteen thousand that
of the city itself and the settlements in its immediate neighborhood.
Considerably more than half the people of the Territory, therefore,
shared in this emigration. What was its object and what its destination
are still mysteries; but it was probably directed toward the
mountain-ranges in the southwestern portion of the Great Basin, of the
topography of which region--hitherto unvisited by Federal explorers--the
Mormons undoubtedly possess accurate information. At any rate, it was
initiated and conducted under the direction of the Church, and Young and
Kimball were among the first to lead the way. Commencing late in March,
it continued until June, and before the beginning of May more than
thirty-five thousand people were concentrated on the western shore of
Lake Utah, chiefly in the neighborhood of Provo, fifty miles south of
Salt Lake City. Such a scene of squalid misery, such a spectacle of want
and distress, was never before witnessed in America. More than half
this multitude could not be accommodated in the towns, and lodged in
board-shanties, wigwams, mud-huts, log-cabins, bowers of willow-branches
covered with wagon-sheets, and even in holes dug into the hill-sides.
The most common quarters, however, were made by removing a wagon-body
from its wheels, placing it upon the ground, and erecting in front of
it a bower of cedars. It is needless to dwell on the exasperation which
animated all who submitted to these sacrifices. In the history of the
Albigenses hunted through Languedoc, or of the Jews writhing under the
Spanish Inquisition, a record of similar bitterness of feeling may be
found, but its parallel does not exist outside the annals of religious

Governor Cumming returned to Fort Bridger during the second week in
May, still accompanied by Mr. Kane, and also by a party of Mormons
who intended to escort the latter to Missouri. Upon his arrival, he
addressed a letter to General Johnston, stating, officially, that the
people of Utah had acknowledged his authority, and that the roads
between the camp and Salt Lake City were free for the transit of mails
and passengers, the Mormon forces having withdrawn from the cañons, and
none of the Territorial militia remaining under arms except with his
consent and approbation. A day or two later, Mr. Kane bade him farewell
and started toward the States, his mission having been completed.

It may be well to pause here and estimate its precise results. It had
secured delay. The herds on Henry's Fork had thriven better than was
expected, and toward the close of April the number of mules in working
condition was sufficient to have dragged a train of two hundred wagons.
The dragoon-horses which survived could have been assigned to the
artillery-batteries, and the regiment have served as infantry. With this
equipment, slight though it may appear, a rapid movement upon the Valley
was possible; and whatever may have been the opinion during the previous
autumn, it was the universal opinion in the spring that the force at
Camp Scott could have routed any body of militia that might have opposed
its advance, although, perhaps, it was not sufficient to subjugate the
Territory, in case the Mormons should flee to the mountains. Provisions,
also, were running low in the camp. The ration of flour had been further
reduced. All the cattle had been slaughtered, and there was every
prospect of recourse to mule-meat before the first of June. Everything,
therefore, favored the plan of an early march toward the city; and it
is certain that it would have been commenced without awaiting
reinforcements from the States, had not the Governor's scheme for
pacification intervened. Distrustful of its expediency or propriety
though General Johnston might have been, he deemed it his duty to await
its result. Neither he nor the Governor being supreme in the direction
of affairs, it was the duty of each to defer so far as might be to the
action of the other.

In the next place, Mr. Kane's interposition had produced an
irreconcilable difference of opinion between the civil and the military
authority. This is evident from what has already been stated, and there
is no need to confirm the fact by argument. The Governor returned to
Fort Bridger in May, believing the Mormons to be an injured people,
whose cause was in the main just. But his position was full of
difficulties. He had been recognized in his official character, it is
true; but he was conscious that every Mormon acknowledged a political
influence superior to his own, which was directing the emigration
southward, and leaving him Governor of empty villages and deserted
fields. The only hope he entertained of checking this exodus was by
quashing the indictments for treason which had been found against the
Mormon leaders, and by insuring them against contact with the troops.
The first he was powerless to effect; it was a matter beyond his
control,--solely within the cognizance of the courts. The second he
had assumed to be within his power, and had so assured the Mormons; but
there he was at variance with General Johnston, who denied his claim to
absolute authority over the movements of the army.

Unknown, however, to the parties who were agitating these perplexing
questions, a superior power had already intervened and solved
the difficulty. On the 6th of April, the President had signed a
Proclamation, at Washington, rehearsing to the people of Utah Territory,
at considerable length, their past offences, and particularly those
which immediately preceded and followed the outbreak of the rebellion,
and declaring them traitors; but, "in order to save the effusion of
blood, and to avoid the indiscriminate punishment of a whole people
for crimes of which it is not probable that all are equally guilty,"
offering "a free and full pardon to all who will submit themselves to
the authority of the Federal Government." This document was intrusted
to two Commissioners for conveyance to the Territory;--one of them, Mr.
L.W. Powell, lately Governor, and at the time Senator-elect, of the
State of Kentucky; the other, Major Ben M'Culloch, of Texas, who had
served with distinction in Mexico. In their appointment, Mr. Buchanan
imitated the example of President Washington, who designated a similar
commission to convey his proclamation to the whiskey-insurgents in

The reinforcements and supply-trains for the army were at this time
concentrating at Fort Leavenworth, Major-General Persifer F. Smith was
assigned to the command-in-chief, and it was intended that the whole
force, after concentration in Utah, should be divided into two brigades,
one to be commanded by General Harney, the other by General Johnston.
Leaving the columns preparing to advance over the Plains, the
Commissioners started from the Fort on the 25th of April. On the same
day, Lieutenant-Colonel Hoffmann advanced from Fort Laramie with several
companies of infantry and cavalry, escorting the supply-trains which
were parked there through the winter, and on the speedy arrival of which
at Camp Scott the subsistence of General Johnston's command depended,
unless it should force its way into the Valley. On the 1st of May, he
had reached La Bonté, a tributary of the North Platte, fifty miles from
the Fort. There he encountered the severest storm that had occurred in
that region for many years. The snow fell breast-deep, and was followed
by a pelting rain which killed his mules by scores. He was forced to
remain stationary more than a week, and when he renewed the march the
trains were clogged by mud foot-deep.

The Commissioners reached Camp Scott on the 29th of May. The President's
Proclamation had been received the day before. With the exception of a
few persons who were prepared for such a document by reflection on Mr.
Kane's mission, everybody was astonished at its purport. It seemed
incredible that a lenity should have been extended to the Mormon rebels
which was refused to the Free-State men in Kansas, who were once
indicted for treason and sedition,--and equally incredible that all the
advantages for the solution of the Utah problem which had been gained by
the rising of the Mormons in arms should be thrown away. There was none
of the bloodthirsty excitement in the camp which was reported in the
States to have prevailed there, but there was a feeling of infinite
chagrin, a consciousness that the expedition was only a pawn on Mr.
Buchanan's political chess-board; and reproaches against his folly were
as frequent as they were vehement. Had he excepted from the amnesty the
Mormon leaders, who alone had been indicted, the Proclamation might have
been considered an act of judicious clemency; for that exception would
have accomplished every object that could be desired. As it was, it
annihilated all that had been gained by the enormous expenditures and
the toils and sufferings of the past year, and it sentenced the army to
an indefinite term of imprisonment in an American Siberia. For the sake
of ridding the Administration of immediate trouble, it turned the Church
leaders loose again upon the community, purged of all offence, and
postponed to a future day a terrible issue, the ultimate avoidance of
which is impossible. "After us the deluge," was still the motto of the
President and his Cabinet.

At the camp the Commissioners remained only three days, which they
employed in obtaining accurate information concerning the transactions
of the last three months; for when they started from Missouri, no news
of the result of Mr. Kane's mission had reached the frontier.

On the 2d of June, they started for the Valley, intending to summon the
leading Mormons to an interview, and receive their formal acceptance of
the terms of the Proclamation,--of which, of course, there could be no
doubt. They were accompanied by the postmaster of Salt Lake City, with
the mails for the Mormons, which had been detained at the camp since the
commencement of the rebellion. The Governor and the Superintendent of
Indian Affairs followed them the next day. The rest of the Federal
officers refused to join the party, or to make any movement based on a
supposed capitulation of the Mormons, until their submission should be
perfected. There were many circumstances attending the departure of
the Governor which showed that he was doubtful of the stability of the
positions he had been led by Mr. Kane to assume. He expressed himself
distrustful of the cooperation of the Commissioners in his plan for
pacifying the Territory; and he protested vehemently against allowing
persons to accompany the party in order to report for the press the
proceedings at the expected conferences. Every day made it more and more
evident that he had committed himself to the Mormons farther than he
cared to acknowledge.

Before the Commissioners left the camp, they urged General Johnston not
to delay the advance of the army one moment beyond the time when he
should be ready and desire to march. On the 8th of June, Captain Marcy
arrived at the Fort with a herd of nearly fifteen hundred mules and
horses, and an escort of five companies of infantry and mounted
riflemen. He left the village of Rayado, on the Canadian River, in
New Mexico, on the 17th of March, and, instead of retracing the route
pursued on his winter journey, which had led him near the sources of
Grand River, one of the great forks of the Colorado, he returned along
the eastern base of the Rocky Mountain range past Long's and Pike's
Peaks. When he had reached Fontaine-qui-bouille Creek, an express
overtook him from General Garland, who commanded the Department of New
Mexico, enjoining him to halt and await reinforcements. There he camped
more than three weeks. Renewing his progress, he was overtaken, on
the 29th of April, by the same snowstorm which was so disastrous to
Lieutenant-Colonel Hoffmann on La Bonté. It was accompanied by a furious
wind, the force of which there was nothing to break. Snow fell to the
depth of three feet, and, at the very height of the storm, a part of the
mule herd stampeded and ran fifty miles before the wind, for shelter.
When the march was resumed, after an interval of several days, hundreds
of antelopes were found frozen and buried in the drifts,--a circumstance
almost unparalleled among the mountains. With this exception, nothing
occurred to obstruct the march. Captain Marcy brought with him specimens
of sand from many of the tributaries of the South Platte, which were
found, on analysis, to contain particles of gold; and within two months
after he gathered them, the same discovery, confirmed by others,
originated the emigration to that region, the progress of which now
promises the speedy birth of another Free State in the very heart of the
continent. On the 9th and 10th, Colonel Hoffmann reached the camp with
all his supply-trains; and on the following day, General Johnston issued
the welcome order to prepare for the march to Salt Lake City. A strong
detachment of infantry and artillery was detailed to garrison Fort

On the 13th of June, the long camp was broken up, and the army moved
forward in three columns on the route through the cañons. Although the
season was so far advanced, snow had fallen at the Fort only three days
before. The streams were swollen and turbulent with spring floods,
and difficulty was anticipated in crossing the Bear and Weber Rivers.
Material for bridging had, therefore, been prepared, and accompanied the
first column. Southwest of the Fort, at the distance of four or five
miles, a singular _butte_, the top of which is as level as the floor of
a ball-room, rises to the height of eight hundred feet above the valley
of Black's Fork, and commands a view of the entire broad plateau between
the Wind River and the Uinta and Wahsatch Ranges. Little parties of
horsemen could be seen spurring up the gullies on its almost precipitous
sides, to witness from its summit the departure of the army. The scene
was in the highest degree picturesque. Almost at their feet lay the
camp, the few tents which remained unstruck glittering like bright dots
on the wing of an insect, the whitewashed wall of the Fort reflecting
the sunshine, while stacks of turf chimneys, lodge-poles, and rubbish
marked the spots where the encampment had been abandoned. The whole
valley was in commotion. Along the strips of road were winding clumsy
baggage-trains; the regiment of dragoons was trailing in advance; the
gleam of the musket-barrels of the infantry was visible on all sides;
and every puff of the breeze that blew over the bluff was freighted with
the rumble of artillery-carriages and caissons. Here and there were
groups of half-naked Indians galloping to and fro, with fluttering
blankets, gazing at the show with the curiosity and delight of children.

The traveller who terminates his westward journey at Fort Bridger has
entered only the portal of the Rocky Mountains. Along the interval
between there and the Valley of the Great Lake, there is a panorama of
mountain-scenery that cannot be surpassed in the Tyrol. For miles and
miles in the gorges, at the season of the year when they were traversed
by the army, the road winds through thickets of alders and willows and
hawthorn-bushes, whose branches interlace and hang so low, under their
load of leaves and blossoms, as to sweep the backs of horsemen. Through
the interstices of the foliage, the sandstone cliffs that bound the
cañons are seen surrounded by flocks of twittering birds which build
their nests in the crevices of the rock. The ridges which the road
surmounts between cañon and cañon are covered with fields of luxuriant
grass and flowers, in the midst of which patches of snow still linger.
From them, in the clear noon sunshine, the broken line of the Wahsatch
and Uinta Ranges is visible along the horizon; but through the morning
and evening haze, only the tracery of their white crests can be
discerned. The valleys of the Bear and Weber Rivers are peculiarly
beautiful, the latter almost realizing the dream of the Valley of
Rasselas. Corrugated and snow-capped ridges slope backward from the
spectator, on whichever side he turns, until he wonders how and where
the swift river, rushing under its canopy of rustling cotton-woods,
finds a pathway through them.

It was into scenery like this that the troops advanced, speculating,
along each day's march, upon what obstacles they would have encountered,
had they attempted to reach the Valley during the winter. On the 14th,
an express from the Commissioners arrived at the camp on Bear River,
announcing that no resistance would be made by the Mormons, who pledged
themselves to submit to Federal authority. It was suggested, at the same
time, to General Johnston, that they apprehended ill-treatment from the
army, which might feel an exasperation natural after the privations to
which it had been subjected during the winter. To reassure them,
the General immediately issued and forwarded to Salt Lake City a
proclamation, informing them that no one should be "molested in his
person or rights, or in the peaceful pursuit of his avocations." On
the same day, Governor Cumming issued a proclamation announcing the
"restoration of peace to the Territory."

The Commissioners had reached the city on the 7th. They were received
there by the Mormon officers who commanded the few companies of militia
which constituted the garrison, and were conducted to a restaurant,
where meals were provided for them, but no lodgings; and accordingly
they slept in their ambulances. The place was deserted by everybody
except the garrison and a few individuals who were busily removing their
property. Besides these, the only beings visible in the streets were
here and there groups of half-naked Indian boys paddling in the gutters.
Almost the only sound audible was the gurgling of the City Creek.
Through the chinks of the heavy wooden portal of the Temple square,
workmen were to be seen engaged in demolishing the roofs of the
buildings within the inclosure. Over the windows of all the houses
boards were nailed; the doors were locked; the gates closed; and in many
of the gardens, crops of weeds were beginning to choke the flower-beds.
From some of the houses of the more enthusiastic Saints all the
wood-work was removed, leaving nothing standing except the bare _adobe_
walls, while a few had been burned to the ground. In front of the
tithing-office, a train of wagons was loading with grain for removal to

The Governor arrived on the 8th, and was conducted at once to the
quarters he had occupied on his previous visit. The next day, he,
together with the Commissioners, held an interview with the two
messengers who had been sent up from Provo by Brigham Young. They
returned to Lake Utah that same night, and on the 10th, about noon,
Young, Kimball, and Wells, together with the Twelve Apostles, and twenty
or thirty Bishops, High Priests, and Elders, embracing almost all the
influential characters in the Church, rode into the city. Brigham's
mansion was thrown open and the party dined there. They called
afterwards in a body upon the Governor and the Commissioners, and made
arrangements for a conference on the following day.

The President's pardon had reached the Mormon settlements along Lake
Utah on the 6th, and the manner in which it was received by the populace
showed that they were not satisfied with the position of their
leaders. It was read from the steps of the tithing-offices, and at the
street-corners, to crowds who denounced in the fiercest language the
recital of facts set forth in its preamble. The excitement, which had
been steadily fostered by Young and Kimball ever since the commencement
of the rebellion, had amounted to a frenzy which no authority less
potent than such a hierarchy as theirs could possibly have controlled.
Nevertheless, the morning Brigham rode into Salt Lake City, the
capitulation had been preordained.

The conferences lasted through the 11th and 12th, the inflexibility of
the Commissioners securing decency of language from the Mormons, if not
decency of demeanor. All the participants, including Young himself,
expressed their sentiments in turn. The opening speech was made by one
of the Apostles, named Erastus Snow, who forgot for the moment that he
was not addressing a congregation of his brethren on a Sunday morning,
and indulged in a strain of obscene and profane remark which was checked
at once by Senator Powell. Some of the speakers broke into savage
tirades like those with which Governor Cumming was once greeted in the
Tabernacle; but these were checked by Young. There were two subjects on
which the Mormon leaders were particularly anxious, all fear of their
own trial for treason being removed. They dreaded that the army should
be quartered upon their settlements, and that the policy inaugurated
by Judge Eckels in his recent charge to the grand jury at Fort Bridger
should be pursued against polygamy. No assurances were given by the
Commissioners upon either of these subjects. They limited their action
to tendering the President's pardon, and exhorting the Mormons to accept
it. Outside the conferences, however, without the knowledge of the
Commissioners, assurances were given on both these subjects by the
Governor and the Superintendent of Indian Affairs, which proved
satisfactory to Brigham Young. The exact nature of their pledges will,
perhaps, never be disclosed; but from subsequent confessions volunteered
by the Superintendent, who appears to have acted as a tool of the
Governor through the whole affair, it seems probable that they promised
explicitly to exert their influence to quarter the army in Cache Valley,
nearly a hundred miles north of Salt Lake City, and also to procure the
removal of Judge Eckels. The news of the issue of the order for the
advance of the army reached the city on the 12th, and accelerated the
result of the conferences, which concluded that evening with a pledge on
the part of Young and his associates to submit unconditionally to
the Federal authority. During the next few days, the Commissioners,
accompanied by the Governor, travelled southward, and addressed large
audiences at Provo and Lehi, specially exhorting the people to return to
their homes in the northern settlements, assuring them that the troubles
were ended, and that they need fear no molestation of person or

Whether all these proceedings--which were legitimate results of Mr.
Buchanan's policy--were consistent with the honor of the country, the
public can judge for themselves. The Commissioners certainly conducted
themselves with dignity and credit; but it is doubtful whether they ever
would have accepted their appointment, had they anticipated the nature
of the duties they would be required to perform.

The army moved slowly forward during the progress of these negotiations.
In Echo Cañon, it had an opportunity to inspect the bugbear of the
previous autumn,--the Mormon fortifications. As the cañon--which is more
than twenty miles long--approaches the Weber River, it dwindles in
width from five or six hundred yards to as many feet. Its northern side
becomes a perfect wall of rock, which rises perpendicularly to the
height of several hundred feet above the road. The southern side retains
the character of a steep mountain-slope covered with grass and stunted
bushes. Echo Creek, a narrow streamlet, with its dense fringe of
willows, fills the whole bottom between the road and the bluffs. The
first indication of approach to the fortifications was the sight of
piles of stones heaped into walls four or five feet high, pierced with
loopholes, and visible on every projecting point of the cliffs along the
northern side, from most of which a pebble could be snapped down upon
the road. Just beyond, after turning a bend in the cañon, all the
willows along the creek had been cut away, and through the cleared space
a ditch five or six feet wide and ten feet deep was dug across the
bottom. The dirt thrown from it was packed so as to form an embankment,
on which logs were so arranged that it would answer for a breastwork,
behind which riflemen could be posted under cover. At intervals of about
a hundred yards were two similar lines of ditch and breastwork, by the
first of which the road was forced to skirt the very base of a cliff
which had probably been mined. The other line was constructed just above
the mouths of two narrow gorges which enter the cañon, nearly opposite
one another, from the north and south. By the aid of these dams the
cañon might possibly have been overflowed for half a mile to the depth
of several feet, but the water would have accumulated slowly on account
of the insignificant size of the creek. Several dirt walls stretched
also across the gorges, commanding the whole of the fortifications
below. This whole system of defences possessed as little strength as
merit. It served only to confirm the impression, which by this time had
become general, that the capacity of the Mormons to resist the army had
been greatly overrated, and that a vigorous effort to penetrate to the
Valley early in the spring would inevitably have succeeded.

For nearly a mile beyond the two gorges, a chain of low hills, over
which the road runs, extends below the loftier summits on the southern
side of the cañon. The northern side becomes, in consequence, a deep
glen, as the cliffs which form its wall rise abruptly from the level of
the creek. This glen is filled with bushes, and in it, thus protected
from the wind, the Mormon militia had their winter-quarters. The huts
they occupied had been constructed by digging circular holes in the
ground, over which were piled boughs in the same manner as the poles of
an Indian lodge. Around these boughs willow-twigs were plaited, and the
entire hut was finally thatched with straw, grass, or bark. Many of
them had chimneys built of sod and stones, like those which had been
improvised at Camp Scott. An open spot, a few hundred feet below the
beginning of the glen, was the site of the head-quarters of the command.
Here the huts were built around a square, in the centre of which was
planted a tall pine flag-pole. The scenery at this point is exceedingly
picturesque. Out of a tangle of willows, alders, hawthorn, and wild
cherry-trees spring the bold sandstone cliffs, in every crevice of which
cedars and fir-trees cling to the jagged points of rock. On the other
side of the cañon a sheet of rich verdure, all summer long, rolls up
the mountain to its very summit. Down the glen ripples the little creek
underneath an arch of fragrant shrubs twined with the slender tendrils
of wild hop-vines. The whole number of huts was about one hundred and
fifty, and they could accommodate, on an average, fifteen men apiece.

The troops did not emerge from Emigration Cañon into the Salt Lake
Valley until the morning of the 26th. In the mean while, thirty or forty
civilians had reached the city from the camp, and were quartered, like
the Commissioners, in their own vehicles. The Mormons favored no one,
except the Governor and his intimate associates, with any species of
accommodation. Their demeanor was in every respect like that of a
conquered people toward foreign invaders. During the week preceding the
26th, two or three hundred of those on Lake Utah received permission
to go up to the city, and they alone, of the whole Mormon community,
witnessed the ingress of the army.

It was one of the most extraordinary scenes that have occurred in
American history. All day long, from dawn till after sunset, the troops
and trains poured through the city, the utter silence of the streets
being broken only by the music of the military bands, the monotonous
tramp of the regiments, and the rattle of the baggage-wagons. Early in
the morning, the Mormon guard had forced all their fellow-religionists
into the houses, and ordered them not to make their appearance during
the day. The numerous flags, which had been flying from staffs on the
public buildings during the previous week, were all struck. The only
visible groups of spectators were on the corners near Brigham Young's
residence, and consisted almost entirely of Gentile civilians. The
stillness was so profound, that, during the intervals between the
passage of the columns, the monotonous gurgle of the city-creek struck
on every ear. The Commissioners rode with the General's staff. The
troops crossed the Jordan and encamped two miles from the city on a
dusty meadow by the river-bank.

The orders under which General Johnston was acting directed him to
establish not more than three military posts within the Territory. One
of these was already fixed at Fort Bridger, and the question where the
others should be located was now no less important to the Mormons
than to the army. The secret of the success of Mormonism is its
exclusiveness, and of this fact the leaders of the sect are fully aware.
Accordingly, they now put forth most strenuous efforts to secure the
removal of the troops to as great a distance as possible from their
settlements. But, wholly without regard to any understanding which they
might have had with the Governor, General Johnston, after a careful
_reconnaissance_, selected Cedar Valley, on the western rim of Lake
Utah, separated from it only by a range of bluffs,--about equidistant
from Salt Lake City and Provo,--for his permanent camp. The army moved
southward from the city on the 29th, but so slowly that it did not reach
the Valley till the 6th of July. Not a field was encroached upon, not a
house molested, not a person harmed or insulted, by troops that had been
so harassed and vituperated by a people now entirely at their mercy. By
their strict subordination they entitled themselves to the respect of
the country as well as to the gratitude of the Mormons.

[To be continued.]


  Along the frozen lake she comes
  In linking crescents, light and fleet;
  The ice-imprisoned Undine hums
  A welcome to her little feet.

  I see the jaunty hat, the plume
  Swerve bird-like in the joyous gale,--
  The cheeks lit up to burning bloom,
  The young eyes sparkling through the veil.

  The quick breath parts her laughing lips,
  The white neck shines through tossing curls;
  Her vesture gently sways and dips,
  As on she speeds in shell-like whorls.

  Men stop and smile to see her go;
  They gaze, they smile in pleased surprise;
  They ask her name; they long to show
  Some silent friendship in their eyes.

  She glances not; she passes on;
  Her steely footfall quicker rings;
  She guesses not the benison
  Which follows her on noiseless wings.

  Smooth be her ways, secure her tread
  Along the devious lines of life,
  From grace to grace successive led,
  A noble maiden, nobler wife!



I don't know whether our literary or professional people are more
amiable than they are in other places, but certainly quarrelling is out
of fashion among them. This could never be, if they were in the habit of
secret anonymous puffing of each other. That is the kind of underground
machinery, which manufactures false reputations and genuine hatreds. On
the other hand, I should like to know if we are not at liberty to have
a good time together, and say the pleasantest things we can think of to
each other, when any of us reaches his thirtieth or fortieth or fiftieth
or eightieth birthday.

We don't have "scenes," I warrant you, on these occasions. No "surprise"
parties! You understand these, of course. In the rural districts, where
scenic tragedy and melodrama cannot be had, as in the city, at the
expense of a quarter and a white pocket-handkerchief, emotional
excitement has to be sought in the dramas of real life. Christenings,
weddings, and funerals, especially the latter, are the main dependence;
but babies, brides, and deceased citizens cannot be had at a day's
notice. Now, then, for a surprise-party!

A bag of flour, a barrel of potatoes, some strings of onions, a basket
of apples, a big cake and many little cakes, a jug of lemonade, a purse
stuffed with bills of the more modest denominations, may, perhaps,
do well enough for the properties in one of these private theatrical
exhibitions. The minister of the parish, a tender-hearted, quiet,
hard-working man, living on a small salary, with many children,
sometimes pinched to feed and clothe them, praying fervently every day
to be blest in his "basket and store," but sometimes fearing he asks
amiss, to judge by the small returns, has the first _rôle_,--not,
however, by his own choice, but forced upon him. The minister's wife, a
sharp-eyed, unsentimental body, is first lady; the remaining parts by
the rest of the family. If they only had a play-bill, it would run









_The Rev. Mr. Overcome_, by the Clergyman of this Parish.

_Mrs. Overcome_, by his estimable lady.

_Masters Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John Overcome_.

_Misses Dorcas, Tabitha, Rachel, and Hannah Overcome_, by their
interesting children.

_Peggy_, by the female help.

The poor man is really grateful;--it is a most welcome and unexpected
relief. He tries to express his thanks,--his voice falters,--he
chokes,--and bursts into tears. _That_ is the great effect of the
evening. The sharp-sighted lady cries a little with one eye, and counts
the strings of onions, and the rest of the things, with the other. The
children stand ready for a spring at the apples. The female help weeps
after the noisy fashion of untutored handmaids.

Now this is all very well as charity, but do let the kind visitors
remember they get their money's worth. If you pay a quarter for _dry
crying_, done by a second-rate actor, how much ought you to pay for real
hot, wet tears, out of the honest eyes of a gentleman who is not acting,
but sobbing in earnest?

All I meant to say, when I began, was, that this was _not_ a
surprise-party where I read these few lines that follow:--

  We will not speak of years to-night;
  For what have years to bring,
  But larger floods of love and light
  And sweeter songs to sing?

  We will not drown in wordy praise
  The kindly thoughts that rise;
  If friendship owns one tender phrase,
  He reads it in our eyes.

  We need not waste our schoolboy art
  To gild this notch of time;
  Forgive me, if my wayward heart
  Has throbbed in artless rhyme.

  Enough for him the silent grasp
  That knits us hand in hand,
  And he the bracelet's radiant clasp
  That locks our circling band.

  Strength to his hours of manly toil!
  Peace to his starlit dreams!
  Who loves alike the furrowed soil,
  The music-haunted streams!

  Sweet smiles to keep forever bright
  The sunshine on his lips,
  And faith, that sees the ring of light
  Round Nature's last eclipse!

----One of our boarders has been talking in such strong language that I
am almost afraid to report it. However, as he seems to be really honest
and is so very sincere in his local prejudices, I don't believe anybody
will be very angry with him.

It is here, Sir! right here!--said the little deformed gentleman,--in
this old new city of Boston,--this remote provincial corner of a
provincial nation, that the Battle of the Standard is fighting, and was
fighting before we were born, and will be fighting when we are dead
and gone,--please God! The _battle_ goes on everywhere throughout
civilization; but here, here, here! is the broad white flag flying which
proclaims, first of all, peace and good-will to men, and, next to
that, the absolute, unconditional spiritual liberty of each individual
immortal soul! The three-hilled city against the seven-hilled-city! That
is it, Sir,--nothing less than that; and if you know what that means, I
don't think you'll ask for anything more. I swear to you, Sir, I believe
that these two centres of civilization are just exactly the two points
that close the circuit in the battery of our planetary intelligence! And
I believe there are spiritual eyes looking out from Uranus and unseen
Neptune,--ay, Sir, from the systems of Sirius and Arcturus and
Aldebaran, and as far as that faint stain of sprinkled worlds confluent
in the distance that we call the nebula of Orion,--looking on, Sir, with
what organs I know not, to see which are going to melt in that fiery
fusion, the accidents and hindrances of humanity or man himself,
Sir,--the stupendous abortion, the illustrious failure that he is,
if the three-hilled city does not ride down and trample out the
seven-hilled city!

----Steam's up!--said the young man John, so called, in a low
tone.--Three hundred and sixty-five tons to the square inch. Let him
blow her off, or he'll bu'st his b'iler.

The divinity-student took it calmly, only whispering that he thought
there was a little confusion of images between a galvanic battery and a
charge of cavalry.

But the Koh-i-noor--the gentleman, you remember, with a very large
_diamond_ in his shirt-front--laughed his scornful laugh, and made as if
to speak.

Sail in, Metropolis!--said that same young man John, by name. And then,
in a lower tone, not meaning to be heard,--Now, then, Ma'am Allen!

But he _was_ heard,--and the Koh-i-noor's face turned so white with
rage, that his blue-black moustache and beard looked fearful, seen
against it. He grinned with wrath, and caught at a tumbler, as if
he would have thrown it or its contents at the speaker. The young
Marylander fixed his clear, steady eye upon him, and laid his hand on
his arm, carelessly almost, but the Jewel found it was held so that he
could not move it. It was of no use. The youth was his master in muscle,
and in that deadly Indian hug in which men wrestle with their eyes;
--over in five seconds, but breaks one of their two backs, and is good
for three-score years and ten;--one trial enough,--settles the whole
matter,--just as when two feathered songsters of the barnyard, game and
dunghill, come together,--after a jump or two at each other, and a few
sharp kicks, there is the end of it; and it is, _Après vous, Monsieur_,
in all the social relations with the beaten party for all the rest of
his days.

I cannot philosophically account for the Koh-i-noor's wrath. For though
a cosmetic is sold, bearing the name of the lady to whom reference
was made by the young person John, yet, as it is publicly asserted in
respectable prints that this cosmetic is _not a dye_, I see no reason
why he should have felt offended by any suggestion that he was indebted
to it or its authoress. I have no doubt that there are certain
exceptional complexions to which the purple tinge, above alluded to, is
natural. Nature is fertile in variety. I saw an albiness in London once,
for six-pence, (including the inspection of a stuffed boa-constrictor,)
who looked as if she had been boiled in milk. A young Hottentot of my
acquaintance had his hair all in little pellets of the size of marrowfat
peas. One of my own classmates has undergone a singular change of late
years,--his hair losing its original tint, and getting a remarkable
discolored look; and another has ceased to cultivate any hair at all
over the vertex or crown of the head. So I am perfectly willing to
believe that the purple-black of the Koh-i-noor's moustache and whiskers
is constitutional and not pigmentary. But I can't think why he got so

The intelligent reader will understand that all this pantomime of the
threatened onslaught and its suppression passed so quickly that it was
all over by the time the other end of the table found out there was a
disturbance; just as a man chopping wood half a mile off may be seen
resting on his axe at the instant you hear the last blow he struck. So
you will please to observe that the Little Gentleman was not interrupted
during the time implied by these _ex-post-facto_ remarks of mine, but
for some ten or fifteen seconds only.

He did not seem to mind the interruption at all, for he started again.
The "Sir" of his harangue was no doubt addressed to myself more than
anybody else, but he often uses it in discourse as if he were talking
with some imaginary opponent.

----America, Sir,--he exclaimed,--is the only place where man is

He straightened himself up, as he spoke, standing on the top round of
his high chair, I suppose, and so presented the larger part of his
little figure to the view of the boarders.

It was next to impossible to keep from laughing. The commentary was so
strange an illustration of the text!

I thought it was time to put in a word; for I have lived in foreign
parts, and am more or less cosmopolitan.

I doubt if we have more practical freedom in America than they have in
England,--I said.--An Englishman thinks as he likes in religion and
politics. Mr. Martineau speculates as freely as ever Dr. Channing did,
and Mr. Bright is as independent as Mr. Seward.

Sir,--said he,--it isn't what a man thinks or says, but when and where
and to whom he thinks and says it. A man with a flint and steel striking
sparks over a wet blanket is one thing, and striking them over a
tinder-box is another. The free Englishman is born under protest; he
lives and dies under protest,--a tolerated, but not a welcome fact. Is
not _free-thinker_ a term of reproach in England? The same idea in
the soul of an Englishman who struggled up to it and still holds it
_antagonistically_, and in the soul of an American to whom it is
congenital and spontaneous, and often unrecognized, except as an element
blended with _all_ his thoughts, a natural movement, like the drawing of
his breath or the beating of his heart, is a very different thing. You
may teach a quadruped to walk on his hind legs, but he is always wanting
to be on all-fours. Nothing that can be taught a growing youth is like
the atmospheric knowledge he breathes from his infancy upwards. The
American baby sucks in freedom with the milk of the breast at which he

----That's a good joke,--said the young fellow John,--considerin' it
commonly belongs to a female Paddy.

I thought--I will not be certain--that Little Boston winked, as if he
had been hit somewhere,--as I have no doubt Dr. Darwin did when the
_wooden-spoon_ suggestion upset his theory about why, etc. If he winked,
however, he did not dodge.

A lively comment!--he said.--But Rome, in her great founder, sucked the
blood of empire out of the dugs of a brute, Sir! The Milesian wet-nurse
is only a convenient vessel through which the American infant gets the
life-blood of this virgin soil, Sir, that is making man over again, on
the sunset pattern! You don't think what we are doing and going to
do here. Why, Sir, while commentators are bothering themselves with
interpretation of prophecies, _we have got_ the new heavens and the new
earth over us and under us! Was there ever anything in Italy, I should
like to know, like a Boston sunset?

----This time there was a laugh, and the little man himself almost

Yes,--Boston sunsets;--perhaps they're as good in some other places,
but I know 'em best here. Anyhow, the American skies are different from
anything they see in the Old World. Yes, and the rocks are different,
and the soil is different, and everything that comes out of the soil,
from grass up to Indians, is different. And now that the provisional
races are dying out----

----What do you mean by the _provisional_ races, Sir?--said the
divinity-student, interrupting him.

Why, the aboriginal bipeds, to be sure,--he answered,--the red-crayon
sketch of humanity laid on the canvas before the colors for the real
manhood were ready.

I hope they will come to something yet,--said the divinity-student.

Irreclaimable, Sir,--irreclaimable!--said the little
gentleman.--Cheaper to breed white men than domesticate a nation of red
ones. When you can get the bitter out of the partridge's thigh, you
can make an enlightened commonwealth of Indians. A provisional race,
Sir,--nothing more. Exhaled carbonic acid for the use of vegetation,
kept down the bears and catamounts, enjoyed themselves in scalping and
being scalped, and then passed away or are passing away, according to
the programme.

Well, Sir, these races dying out, the white man has to acclimate
himself. It takes him a good while; but he will come all right
by-and-by, Sir,--as sound as a woodchuck,--as sound as a musquash!

A new nursery, Sir, with Lake Superior and Huron and all the rest of
'em for wash-basins! A new race, and a whole new world for the new-born
human soul to work in! And Boston is the brain of it, and has been any
time these hundred years! That's all I claim for Boston,--that it is the
thinking centre of the continent, and therefore of the planet.

----And the grand emporium of modesty,--said the divinity-student, a
little mischievously.

Oh, don't talk to me of modesty!--answered Little Boston,--I'm past
that! There isn't a thing that was ever said or done in Boston, from
pitching the tea overboard to the last ecclesiastical lie it tore into
tatters and flung into the dock, that wasn't thought very indelicate by
some fool or tyrant or bigot, and all the entrails of commercial
and spiritual conservatism are twisted into colics as often as this
revolutionary brain of ours has a fit of thinking come over it.--No,
Sir,--show me any other place that is, or was since the megalosaurus
has died out, where wealth and social influence are so fairly divided
between the stationary and the progressive classes! Show me any
other place where every other drawing-room is not a chamber of the
Inquisition, with papas and mammas for inquisitors,--and the cold
shoulder, instead of the "dry pan and the gradual fire," the punishment
of "heresy"!

----We think Baltimore is a pretty civilized kind of a village,--said
the young Marylander, good-naturedly.--But I suppose you can't
forgive it for always keeping a little ahead of Boston in point of
numbers,--tell the truth now. Are we not the centre of something?

Ah, indeed, to be sure you are. You are the gastronomic metropolis
of the Union. Why don't you put a canvas-back duck on the top of the
Washington column? Why don't you get that lady off from Battle Monument
and plant a terrapin in her place? Why will you ask for other glories
when you have soft crabs? No, Sir,--you live too well to think as hard
as we do in Boston. Logic comes to us with the salt-fish of Cape Ann;
rhetoric is born of the beans of Beverly; but _you_--if you open your
mouths to speak, Nature stops them with a fat oyster, or offers a slice
of the breast of your divine bird, and silences all your aspirations.

And what of Philadelphia?--said the Marylander.

Oh, Philadelphia?--Waterworks,--killed by the Croton and Cochituate;--
Ben Franklin,--borrowed from Boston;--David Rittenhouse,--made an
orrery;--Benjamin Rush,--made a medical system:--both interesting to
antiquarians;--great Red-river raft of medical students,--spontaneous
generation of professors to match;--more widely known through the
Moyamensing hose-company, and the Wistar parties;--for geological
section of social strata, go to _The Club_.--Good place to live
in,--first-rate market,--tip-top peaches.--What do we know about
Philadelphia, except that the engine-companies are always shooting each

And what do you say to New York?--asked the Koh-i-noor?

A great city, Sir,--replied Little Boston,--a very opulent, splendid
city. A point of transit of much that is remarkable, and of permanence
for much that is respectable. A great money-centre. San Francisco with
the mines above-ground,--and some of 'em under the sidewalks. I have
seen next to nothing _grandiose_, out of New York, in all our cities. It
makes 'em all look paltry and petty. Has many elements of civilization.
May stop where Venice did, though, for aught we know.--The order of its
development is just this:--Wealth; architecture; upholstery; painting;
sculpture. Printing, as a mechanical art,--just as Nicholas Jenson
and the Aldi, who were scholars too, made Venice renowned for it.
Journalism, which is the accident of business and crowded populations,
in great perfection. Venice got as far as Titian and Paul Veronese
and Tintoretto,--great colorists, mark you, magnificent on the
flesh-and-blood side of Art,--but look over to Florence and see who lie
in Santa Croce, and ask out of whose loins Dante sprung!

Oh, yes, to be sure, Venice built her Ducal Palace, and her Church of
St. Mark, and her Casa d' Oro, and the rest of her golden houses; and
Venice had great pictures and good music; and Venice had a Golden Book,
in which all the large tax-payers had their names written;--but all
that did not make Venice the brain of Italy.

I tell you what, Sir,--with all these magnificent appliances of
civilization, it is time we began to hear something from the _jeunesse
dorée_ whose names are on the Golden Book of our sumptuous,
splendid, marble-palaced Venice,--something in the higher walks of
literature,--something in the councils of the nation. Plenty of Art, I
grant you, Sir; now, then, for vast libraries, and for mighty scholars
and thinkers and statesmen,--five for every Boston one, as the
population is to ours,--_ten_ to one more properly, in virtue of
centralizing attraction as _the_ alleged metropolis,--and not call our
people provincials, and have to come begging to us to write the lives of
Hendrik Hudson and Gouverneur Morris!

----The little gentleman was on his hobby, exalting his own city at the
expense of every other place. I don't suppose he had been in either of
the cities he had been talking about. I was just going to say something
to sober him down, if I could, when the young Marylander spoke up.

Come, now,--he said,--what's the use of these comparisons? Didn't I
hear this gentleman saying, the other day, that every American owns all
America? If you have really got more brains in Boston than other folks,
as you seem to think, who hates you for it, except a pack of scribbling
fools? If I like Broadway better than Washington Street, what then? I
own them both, as much as anybody owns either. I am an American,--and
wherever I look up and see the stars and stripes overhead, that is home
to me!

He spoke, and looked up as if he heard the emblazoned folds crackling
over him in the breeze. We all looked up involuntarily, as if we should
see the national flag by so doing. The sight of the dingy ceiling and
the gas-fixture depending therefrom dispelled the illusion.

Bravo! bravo!--said the venerable gentleman on the other side of the
table.--Those are the sentiments of Washington's Farewell Address.
Nothing better than that since the last chapter in Revelations.
Five-and-forty years ago there used to be Washington societies, and
little boys used to walk in processions, each little boy having a copy
of the Address, bound in red, hung round his neck by a ribbon. Why don't
they now? Why don't they now? I saw enough of hating each other in the
old Federal times; now let's love each other, I say,--let's love each
other, and not try to make it out that there isn't any place fit to live
in except the one we happen to be born in.

It dwarfs the mind, I think,--said I,--to feed it on any localism. The
full stature of manhood is shrivelled----

The color burst up into my cheeks. What was I saying,--I, who would not
for the world have pained our unfortunate little boarder by an allusion?

I will go,--he said,--and made a movement with his left arm to let
himself down from his high chair.

No,--no,--he doesn't mean it,--you must not go,--said a kind voice next
him; and a soft, white hand was laid upon his arm.

Iris, my dear!--exclaimed another voice, as of a female, in accents that
might be considered a strong atmospheric solution of duty with very
little flavor of grace.

She did not move for this address, and there was a _tableau_ that lasted
some seconds. For the young girl, in the glory of half-blown womanhood,
and the dwarf, the cripple, the misshapen little creature covered with
Nature's insults, looked straight into each other's eyes.

Perhaps no handsome young woman had ever looked at him so in his life.
Certainly the young girl never had looked into eyes that reached
into her soul as these did. It was not that they were in themselves
supernaturally bright,--but there was the sad fire in them that flames
up from the soul of one who looks on the beauty of woman without hope,
but, alas! not without emotion. To him it seemed as if those amber gates
had been translucent as the brown water of a mountain-brook, and through
them he had seen dimly into a virgin wilderness, only waiting for the
sunrise of a great passion for all its buds to blow and all its bowers
to ring with melody.

That is my image, of course,--not his. It was not a simile that was
in his mind, or is in anybody's at such a moment,--it was a pang of
wordless passion, and then a silent, inward moan.

A lady's wish,--he said, with a certain gallantry of manner,--makes
slaves of us all.--And Nature, who is kind to all her children, and
never leaves the smallest and saddest of all her human failures without
one little comfit of self-love at the bottom of his poor ragged
pocket,--Nature suggested to him that he had turned his sentence well;
and he fell into a reverie, in which the old thoughts that were always
hovering just outside the doors guarded by Common Sense, and watching
for a chance to squeeze in, knowing perfectly well they would be
ignominiously kicked out again as soon as Common Sense saw them, flocked
in pellmell,--misty, fragmentary, vague, half-ashamed of themselves, but
still shouldering up against his inner consciousness till it warmed with
their contact:--John Wilkes's--the ugliest man's in England--saying,
that with half-an-hour's start he would cut out the handsomest man
in all the land in any woman's good graces; Cadenus--old and
savage--leading captive Stella and Vanessa; and then the stray line of
a ballad,--"And a winning tongue had he,"--as much as to say, it isn't
looks, after all, but cunning words, that win our Eves over,--just as
of old, when it was the worst-looking brute of the lot that got our
grandmother to listen to his stuff, and so did the mischief.

Ah, dear me! We rehearse the part of Hercules with his club, subjugating
man and woman in our fancy, the first by the weight of it, and the
second by our handling of it,--we rehearse it, I say, by our own
hearth-stones, with the _cold_ poker as our club, and the exercise is
easy. But when we come to real life, the poker is _in the fire_, and,
ten to one, if we would grasp it, we find it too hot to hold;--lucky for
us, if it is not white-hot, and we do not have to leave the skin of our
hands sticking to it when we fling it down or drop it with a loud or
silent cry!

--I am frightened when I find into what a labyrinth of human character
and feeling I am winding. I meant to tell my thoughts, and to throw in
a few studies of manner and costume as they pictured themselves for
me from day to day. Chance has thrown together at the table with me a
number of persons who are worth studying, and I mean not only to look
on them, but, if I can, through them. You can get any man's or woman's
secret, whose sphere is circumscribed by your own, if you will only look
patiently on them long enough. Nature is always applying her reagents
to character, if you will take the pains to watch her. Our studies
of character, to change the image, are very much like the surveyor's
triangulation of a geographical province. We get a base-line in
organization, always; then we get an angle by sighting some distant
object to which the passions or aspirations of the subject of our
observation are tending; then another:--and so we construct our first
triangle. Once fix a man's ideals, and for the most part the rest is
easy. _A_ wants to die worth half a million. Good. _B_ (female) wants to
catch him,--and outlive him. All right. Minor details at our leisure.

What is it, of all your experiences, of all your thoughts, of all your
misdoings, that lies at the very bottom of the great heap of acts of
consciousness which make up your past life? What should you most dislike
to tell your nearest friend?--Be so good as to pause for a brief space,
and shut the pamphlet you hold with your fingers between the pages.--Oh,
that is it!

What a confessional I have been sitting at, with the inward ear of my
soul open, as the multitudinous whisper of my involuntary confidants
came back to me like the reduplicated echo of a cry among the craggy

At the house of a friend where I once passed the night was one of those
stately upright cabinet-desks and cases of drawers which were not rare
in prosperous families during the last century. It had held the clothes
and the books and the papers of generation after generation. The hands
that opened its drawers had grown withered, shrivelled, and at last been
folded in death. The children that played with the lower handles had got
tall enough to open the desk,--to reach the upper shelves behind the
folding-doors,--grown bent after a while,--and then followed those who
had gone before, and left the old cabinet to be ransacked by a new

A boy of ten or twelve was looking at it a few years ago, and, being a
quick-witted fellow, saw that all the space was not accounted for by the
smaller drawers in the part beneath the lid of the desk. Prying about
with busy eyes and fingers, he at length came upon a spring, on pressing
which, a hidden drawer flew from its hiding-place. It had never been
opened but by the maker. The mahogany shavings and dust were lying in it
as when the artisan closed it,--and when I saw it, it was as fresh as if
that day finished.

Is there not one little drawer in your soul, my sweet reader, which no
hand but yours has ever opened, and which none that have known you seem
to have suspected? What does it hold?--A sin?--I hope not.

What a strange thing an old dead sin laid away in a secret drawer of the
soul is! Must it some time or other be moistened with tears, until it
comes to life again and begins to stir in our consciousness,--as the dry
wheel-animalcule, looking like a grain of dust, becomes alive, if it is
wet with a drop of water?

Or is it a passion? There are plenty of withered men and women walking
about the streets who have the secret drawer in their hearts, which,
if it were opened, would show as fresh as it was when they were in the
flush of youth and its first trembling emotions. What it held will,
perhaps, never be known, until they are dead and gone, and some curious
eye lights on an old yellow letter with the fossil footprints of the
extinct passion trodden thick all over it.

There is not a boarder at our table, I firmly believe, excepting the
young girl, who has not a story of the heart to tell, if one could only
get the secret drawer open. Even this arid female, whose armor of black
bombazine looks stronger against the shafts of love than any cuirass of
triple brass, has had her sentimental history, if I am not mistaken. I
will tell you my reason for suspecting it.

Like many other old women, she shows a great nervousness and
restlessness whenever I venture to express any opinion upon a class of
subjects which can hardly be said to belong to any man or set of men
as their strictly private property,--not even to the clergy, or the
newspapers commonly called "religious." Now, although it would be a
great luxury to me to obtain my opinions by contract, ready-made, from a
professional man, and although I have a constitutional kindly feeling
to all sorts of good people which would make me happy to agree with all
their beliefs, if that were possible, still I must have an idea, now and
then, as to the meaning of life; and though the only condition of peace
in this world is to have no ideas, or, at least, not to express them,
with reference to such subjects, I can't afford to pay quite so much as
that even for peace.

I find that there is a very prevalent opinion among the dwellers on the
shores of Sir Isaac Newton's Ocean of Truth, that _salt fish_, which
have been taken from it a good while ago, split open, cured and dried,
are the only proper and allowable food for reasonable people. I
maintain, on the other hand, that there are a number of live fish still
swimming in it, and that every one of us has a right to see if he cannot
catch some of them. Sometimes I please myself with the idea that I have
landed an actual living fish, small, perhaps, but with rosy gills and
silvery scales. Then I find the consumers of nothing but the salted and
dried article insist that it is poisonous, simply because it is alive,
and cry out to people not to touch it. I have not found, however, that
people mind them much.

The poor boarder in bombazine is my dynamometer. I try every
questionable proposition on her. If she winces, I must be prepared for
an outcry from the other old women. I frightened her, the other day, by
saying that _faith, as an intellectual state, was self-reliance_, which,
if you have a metaphysical turn, you will find is not so much of a
paradox as it sounds at first. So she sent me a book to read which was
to cure me of that error. It was an old book, and looked as if it had
not been opened for a long time. What should drop out of it, one day,
but a small heart-shaped paper, containing a lock of that straight,
coarse, brown hair which sets off the sharp faces of so many
thin-flanked, large-handed bumpkins? I read upon the paper the name
"Hiram."--Love! love! love!--everywhere! everywhere!--under diamonds and
Attleboro' "jewelry,"--lifting the marrowy camel's-hair, and rustling
even the black bombazine!--No, no,--I think she never was pretty, but
she was young once, and wore bright ginghams, and, perhaps, gay merinos.
We shall find that the poor little crooked man has been in love, or is
in love, or will be in love before we have done with him, for aught that
I know!

Romance! Was there ever a boarding-house in the world where the
seemingly prosaic table had not a living fresco for its background,
where you could see, if you had eyes, the smoke and fire of some
upheaving sentiment, or the dreary craters of smouldering or burnt-out
passions? You look on the black bombazine and high-necked decorum of
your neighbor, and no more think of the real life that underlies this
despoiled and dismantled womanhood than you think of a stone trilobite
as having once been full of the juices and the nervous thrills of
throbbing and self-conscious being. There is a wild creature under that
long yellow pin which serves as brooch for the bombazine cuirass,--a
wild creature, which I venture to say would leap in his cage, if
I should stir him, quiet as you think him. A heart which has been
domesticated by matrimony and maternity is as tranquil as a tame
bulfinch; but a wild heart which has never been fairly broken in
flutters fiercely long after you think time has tamed it down,--like
that purple finch I had the other day, which could not be approached
without such palpitations and frantic flings against the bars of his
cage, that I had to send him back and get a little orthodox canary
which had learned to be quiet and never mind the wires or his keeper's
handling. I will tell you my wicked, but involuntary experiment on the
wild heart under the faded bombazine.

Was there ever a person in the room with you, marked by any special
weakness or peculiarity, with whom you could be two hours and not touch
the infirm spot? I confess the most frightful tendency to do just this
thing. If a man has a brogue, I am sure to catch myself imitating it.
If another is lame, I follow him, or, worse than that, go before him,
limping. I could never meet an Irish gentleman--if it had been the Duke
of Wellington himself--without stumbling upon the word "Paddy,"--which I
use rarely in my common talk.

I have been worried to know whether this was owing to some innate
depravity of disposition on my part, some malignant torturing instinct,
which, under different circumstances, might have made a Fijian
anthropophagus of me, or to some law of thought for which I was not
answerable. It is, I am convinced, a kind of physical fact like
_endosmosis_, with which some of you are acquainted. A thin film of
politeness separates the unspoken and unspeakable current of thought
from the stream of conversation. After a time one begins to soak through
and mingle with the other.

We were talking about names, one day. Was there ever anything,--I
said,--like the Yankee for inventing the most uncouth, pretentious,
detestable appellations,--inventing or finding them,--since the time of
Praise-God Barebones? I heard a country-boy once talking of another whom
he called _Elpit_, as I understood him. _Elbridge_ is common enough, but
this sounded oddly. It seems the boy was christened _Lord Pitt_,--and
called, for convenience, as above. I have heard a charming little girl,
belonging to an intelligent family in the country, called _Anges_
invariably; doubtless intended for Agnes. Names are cheap. How can a
man name an innocent new-born child, that never did him any harm,
_Hiram_?--The poor relation, or whatever she is, in bombazine, turned
toward me, but I was stupid, and went on.--To think of a man going
through life saddled with such an abominable name as that!--The poor
relation grew very uneasy.--I continued; for I never thought of all this
till afterwards.--I knew one young fellow, a good many years ago, by the
name of Hiram--

--What's got into you, Cousin,--said our landlady,--to look so?--There!
you've upset your teacup!

It suddenly occurred to me what I had been doing, and I saw the poor
woman had her hand at her throat; she was half-choking with the
"hysteric ball,"--a very odd symptom, as you know, which nervous women
often complain of. What business had I to be trying experiments on this
forlorn old soul? I had a great deal better be watching that young girl.

Ah, the young girl! I am sure that she can hide nothing from me. Her
skin is so transparent that one can almost count her heart-beats by the
flushes they send into her cheeks. She does not seem to be shy, either.
I think she does not know enough of danger to be timid. She seems to
me like one of those birds that travellers tell of, found in remote,
uninhabited islands, who, having never received any wrong at the hand
of man, show no alarm at and hardly any particular consciousness of his

The first thing will be to see how she and our little deformed gentleman
get along together; for, as I have told you, they sit side by side. The
next thing will be to keep an eye on the duenna,--the "Model" and
so forth, as the white-neckcloth called her. The intention of that
estimable lady is, I understand, to launch her and leave her. I suppose
there is no help for it, and I don't doubt this young lady knows how to
take care of herself, but I do not like to see young girls turned loose
in boarding-houses. Look here now! There is that jewel of his race, whom
I have called for convenience the Koh-i-noor, (you understand it
is quite out of the question for me to use the family names of our
boarders, unless I want to get into trouble,)--I say, the gentleman with
the _diamond_ is looking very often and very intently, it seems to me,
down toward the farther corner of the table, where sits our amber-eyed
blonde. The landlady's daughter does not look pleased, it seems to me,
at this, nor at those other attentions which the gentleman referred to
has, as I have learned, pressed upon the newly-arrived young person. The
landlady made a communication to me, within a few days after the arrival
of Miss Iris, which I will repeat to the best of my remembrance.

He, (the person I have been speaking of,)--she said,--seemed to
be kinder hankerin' round after that young woman. It had hurt her
daughter's feelin's a good deal, that the gentleman she was a-keepin'
company with should be offerin' tickets and tryin' to send presents to
them that he'd never know'd till just a little spell ago,--and he as
good as merried, so far as solemn promises went, to as respectable a
young lady, if she did say so, as any there was round, whosomever they
might be.

Tickets! presents!--said I.--What tickets, what presents has he had the
impertinence to be offering to that young lady?

Tickets to the Museum,--said the landlady.--There is them that's glad
enough to go to the Museum, when tickets is given 'em; but some of 'em
ha'n't had a ticket sence Cenderilla was played,--and now he must be
offerin' 'em to this ridiculous young paintress, or whatever she is,
that's come to make more mischief than her board's worth. But it a'n't
her fault,--said the landlady, relenting;--and that aunt of hers, or
whatever she is, served him right enough.

Why, what did she do?

Do? Why, she took it up in the tongs and dropped it out o' window.

Dropped? dropped what?--I said.

Why, the _soap_,--said the landlady.

It appeared that the Koh-i-noor, to ingratiate himself, had sent an
elegant package of perfumed soap, directed to Miss Iris, as a delicate
expression of a lively sentiment of admiration, and that, after having
met with the unfortunate treatment referred to, it was picked up by
Master Benjamin Franklin, who appropriated it, rejoicing, and indulged
in most unheard-of and inordinate ablutions in consequence, so that his
hands were a frequent subject of maternal congratulation, and he smelt
like a civet-cat for weeks after his great acquisition.

After watching daily for a time, I think I can see clearly into the
relation which is growing up between the little gentleman and the young
lady. She shows a tenderness to him that I can't help being interested
in. If he was her crippled child, instead of being more than old enough
to be her father, she could not treat him more kindly. The landlady's
daughter said, the other day, she believed that girl was settin' her cap
for Little Boston.

Some of them young folks is very artful,--said her mother,--and there is
them that would merry Lazarus, if he'd only picked up crumbs enough.
I don't think, though, this is one of that sort; she's kinder
child-like,--said the landlady,--and maybe never had any dolls to play
with; for they say her folks was poor before Ma'am undertook to see to
her teachin' and board her and clothe her.

I could not help overhearing this conversation. "Board her and clothe
her!"--speaking of such a young creature! Oh, dear!--Yes,--she must
be fed,--just like Bridget, maid-of-all-work at this establishment.
Somebody must pay for it. Somebody has a right to watch her and see how
much it takes to "keep" her, and growl at her, if she has too good an
appetite. Somebody has a right to keep an eye on her and take care that
she does not dress too prettily. No mother to see her own youth over
again in those fresh features and rising reliefs of half-sculptured
womanhood, and, seeing its loveliness, forget her lessons of
neutral-tinted propriety, and open the cases that hold her own ornaments
to find her a necklace or a bracelet or a pair of earrings,--those
golden lamps that light up the deep, shadowy dimples on the cheeks of
young beauties,--swinging in a semi-barbaric splendor that carries the
wild fancy to Abyssinian queens and musky Odalisques! I don't believe
any woman has utterly given up the great firm of Mundus & Co., so long
as she wears earrings.

I think Iris loves to hear the little gentleman talk. She smiles
sometimes at his vehement statements, but never laughs at him. When he
speaks to her, she keeps her eye always steadily upon him. This may be
only natural good-breeding, so to speak, but it is worth noticing.
I have often observed that vulgar persons, and public audiences of
inferior collective intelligence, have this in common: the least thing
draws off their minds, when you are speaking to them. I love this
young creature's rapt attention to her diminutive neighbor while he is

He is evidently pleased with it. For a day or two after she came, he was
silent and seemed nervous and excited. Now he is fond of getting the
talk into his own hands, and is obviously conscious that he has at least
one interested listener. Once or twice I have seen marks of special
attention to personal adornment,--a ruffled shirt-bosom, one day, and a
diamond pin in it,--not so _very_ large as the Koh-i-noor's, but more
lustrous. I mentioned the death's-head ring he wears on his right hand.
I was attracted by a very handsome red stone, a ruby or carbuncle or
something of the sort, to notice his left hand, the other day. It is a
handsome hand, and confirms my suspicion that the cast mentioned was
taken from his arm. After all, this is just what I should expect. It is
not very uncommon to see the upper limbs, or one of them, running away
with the whole strength, and, therefore, with the whole beauty, which we
should never have noticed, if it had been divided equally between all
four extremities. If it is so, of course he is proud of his one strong
and beautiful arm; that is human nature. But he does not make himself
ridiculous, at any rate, as people who have any one showy point are apt
to do,--especially dentists with handsome teeth, who always smile back
to their last molars.

Sitting, as he does, next to the young girl, and next but one to the
calm lady who has her in charge, he cannot help seeing their relations
to each other.

That is an admirable woman, Sir,--he said to me one day, as we sat alone
at the table after breakfast,--an admirable woman, Sir,--and I hate her.

Of course, I begged an explanation.

An admirable woman, Sir, because she does good things, and even kind
things,--takes care of this--this--young lady--we have here, talks like
a sensible person, and always looks as if she was doing her duty with
all her might. I hate her because her voice sounds as if it never
trembled, and her eyes look as if she never knew what it was to cry.
Besides, she looks at me, Sir, stares at me, as if she wanted to get
an image of me for some gallery in her brain,--and we don't love to be
looked at in this way, we that have--I hate her,--I hate her,--her eyes
kill me,--it is like being stabbed with icicles to be looked at so,--the
sooner she goes home, the better. I don't want a woman to weigh me in
a balance; there are men enough for that sort of work. The judicial
character isn't captivating in females, Sir. A woman fascinates a man
quite as often by what she overlooks as by what she sees. Love prefers
twilight to daylight; and a man doesn't think much of, nor care much
for, a woman outside of his household, unless he can couple the idea
of love, past, present, or future, with her. I don't believe the Devil
cares half so much for the services of a sinner as he does for those of
one of these folks that are always doing virtuous acts in a way to make
them unpleasing.--That young girl wants a tender nature to cherish her
and give her a chance to put out her leaves,--sunshine, and not east

He was silent,--and sat looking at his handsome left hand with the red
stone ring upon it.--Is he going to fall in love with Iris?

Here are some lines I read to the boarders the other day:--


  Ah, here it is! the sliding rail
  That marks the old remembered spot,--
  The gap that struck our schoolboy trail,--
  The crooked path across the lot.

  It left the road by school and church,
  A pencilled shadow, nothing more,
  That parted from the silver birch
  And ended at the farmhouse door.

  No line or compass traced its plan;
  With frequent bends to left or right,
  In aimless, wayward curves it ran,
  But always kept the door in sight.

  The gabled porch, with woodbine green,--
  The broken millstone at the sill,--
  Though many a rood might stretch between,
  The truant child could see them still.

  No rocks across the pathway lie,--
  No fallen trunk is o'er it thrown,--
  And yet it winds, we know not why,
  And turns as if for tree or stone.

  Perhaps some lover trod the way
  With shaking knees and leaping heart,--
  And so it often runs astray
  With sinuous sweep or sudden start.

  Or one, perchance, with clouded brain
  From some unholy banquet reeled,--
  And since, our devious steps maintain
  His track across the trodden field.

  Nay, deem not thus,--no earth-born will
  Could ever trace a faultless line;
  Our truest steps are human still,--
  To walk unswerving were divine!

  Truants from love, we dream of wrath;--
  Oh, rather let us trust the more!
  Through all the wanderings of the path,
  We still can see our Father's door!





The Doctor went immediately to his study and put on his best coat and
his wig, and, surmounting them by his cocked hat, walked manfully out of
the house, with his gold-headed cane in his hand.

"There he goes!" said Mrs. Scudder, looking regretfully after him. "He
is such a good man! but he has not the least idea how to get along in
the world. He never thinks of anything but what is true; he hasn't a
particle of management about him."

"Seems to me," said Mary, "that is like an Apostle. You know, mother,
St. Paul says, 'In simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly
wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the

"To be sure,--that is just the Doctor," said Mrs. Scudder; "that's
as like him as if it had been written for him. But that kind of way,
somehow, don't seem to do in our times; it won't answer with Simeon
Brown,----I know the man. I know just as well, now, how it will all seem
to him, and what will be the upshot of this talk, if the Doctor goes
there! It won't do any good; if it would, I would be willing. I feel as
much desire to have this horrid trade in slaves stopped as anybody; your
father, I'm sure, said enough about it in his time; but then I know it's
no use trying. Just as if Simeon Brown, when he is making his hundreds
of thousands in it, is going to be persuaded to give it up! He won't,
--he'll only turn against the Doctor, and won't pay his part of the
salary, and will use his influence to get up a party against him, and
our church will be broken up and the Doctor driven away,--that's all
that will come of it; and all the good that he is doing now to these
poor negroes will be overthrown,--and they never did have so good a
friend. If he would stay here and work gradually, and get his System of
Theology printed,--and Simeon Brown would help at that,--and only drop
words in season here and there, till people are brought along with him,
why, by-and-by something might be done; but now, it's just the most
imprudent thing a man could undertake."

"But, mother, if it really is a sin to trade in slaves and hold them, I
don't see how he can help himself. I quite agree with him. I don't see
how he came to let it go so long as he has."

"Well," said Mrs. Scudder, "if worst comes to worst, and he will do it,
I, for one, shall stand by him to the last."

"And I, for another," said Mary.

"I would like him to talk with Cousin Zebedee about it," said Mrs.
Scudder. "When we are up there this afternoon, we will introduce the
conversation. He is a good, sound man, and the Doctor thinks much of
him, and perhaps he may shed some light upon this matter."

Meanwhile the Doctor was making the best of his way, in the strength of
his purpose to test the orthodoxy of Simeon Brown.

Honest old granite boulder that he was, no sooner did he perceive a
truth than he rolled after it with all the massive gravitation of his
being, inconsiderate as to what might lie in his way;--from which it is
to be inferred, that, with all his intellect and goodness, he would have
been a very clumsy and troublesome inmate of the modern American Church.
How many societies, boards, colleges, and other good institutions,
have reason to congratulate themselves that he has long been among the

With him logic was everything, and to perceive a truth and not act in
logical sequence from it a thing so incredible, that he had not yet
enlarged his capacity to take it in as a possibility. That a man should
refuse to hear truth, he could understand. In fact, he had good reason
to think the majority of his townsmen had no leisure to give to that
purpose. That men hearing truth should dispute it and argue stoutly
against it, he could also understand; but that a man could admit a truth
and not admit the plain practice resulting from it was to him a thing
incomprehensible. Therefore, spite of Mrs. Katy Scudder's discouraging
observations, our good Doctor walked stoutly and with a trusting heart.

At the moment when the Doctor, with a silent uplifting of his soul to
his invisible Sovereign, passed out of his study, on this errand, where
was the disciple whom he went to seek?

In a small, dirty room, down by the wharf, the windows veiled by cobwebs
and dingy with the accumulated dust of ages, he sat in a greasy,
leathern chair by a rickety office-table, on which was a great pewter
inkstand, an account-book, and divers papers tied with red tape.

Opposite to him was seated a square-built individual,--a man of about
forty, whose round head, shaggy eyebrows, small, keen eyes, broad chest,
and heavy muscles showed a preponderance of the animal and brutal over
the intellectual and spiritual. This was Mr. Scroggs, the agent of a
rice-plantation, who had come on, bringing an order for a new relay of
negroes to supply the deficit occasioned by fever, dysentery, and other
causes, in their last year's stock.

"The fact is," said Simeon, "this last ship-load wasn't as good a one as
usual; we lost more than a third of it, so we can't afford to put them a
penny lower."

"Ay," said the other,--"but then there are so many women!"

"Well," said Simeon, "women a'n't so strong, perhaps, to start
with,--but then they stan' it out, perhaps, in the long run, better.
They're more patient;--some of these men, the Mandingoes, particularly,
are pretty troublesome to manage. We lost a splendid fellow, coming
over, on this very voyage. Let 'em on deck for air, and this fellow
managed to get himself loose and fought like a dragon. He settled one
of our men with his fist, and another with a marlinespike that he
caught,--and, in fact, they had to shoot him down. You'll have his wife;
there's his son, too,--fine fellow, fifteen year old by his teeth."

"What! that lame one?"

"Oh, he a'n't lame!--it's nothing but the cramps from stowing. You know,
of course, they are more or less stiff. He's as sound as a nut."

"Don't much like to buy relations, on account of their hatching up
mischief together," said Mr. Scroggs.

"Oh, that's all humbug! You must keep 'em from coming together, anyway.
It's about as broad as 'tis long. There'll be wives and husbands and
children among 'em before long, start 'em as you will. And then this
woman will work better for having the boy; she's kinder set on him; she
jabbers lots of lingo to him, day and night."

"Too much, I doubt," said the overseer, with a shrug.

"Well, well--I'll tell you," said Simeon, rising. "I've got a few
errands up-town, and you just step over with Matlock and look over
the stock;--just set aside any that you want, and when I see 'em all
together, I'll tell you just what you shall have 'em for. I'll be back
in an hour or two."

And so saying, Simeon Brown called an underling from an adjoining room,
and, committing his customer to his care, took his way up-town, in a
serene frame of mind, like a man who comes from the calm performance of

Just as he came upon the street where was situated his own large and
somewhat pretentious mansion, the tall figure of the Doctor loomed in
sight, sailing majestically down upon him, making a signal to attract
his attention.

"Good morning, Doctor," said Simeon.

"Good morning, Mr. Brown," said the Doctor. "I was looking for you. I
did not quite finish the subject we were talking about at Mrs. Scudder's
table last night. I thought I should like to go on with it a little."

"With all my heart, Doctor," said Simeon, not a little flattered. "Turn
right in. Mrs. Brown will be about her house-business, and we will have
the keeping-room all to ourselves. Come right in."

The "keeping-room" of Mr. Simeon Brown's house was an intermediate
apartment between the ineffable glories of the front-parlor and that
court of the gentiles, the kitchen; for the presence of a large train
of negro servants made the latter apartment an altogether different
institution from the throne-room of Mrs. Katy Scudder.

This keeping-room was a low-studded apartment, finished with the heavy
oaken beams of the wall left full in sight, boarded over and painted.
Two windows looked out on the street, and another into a sort of
court-yard, where three black wenches, each with a broom, pretended to
be sweeping, but were, in fact, chattering and laughing, like so many

On one side of the room stood a heavy mahogany sideboard, covered with
decanters, labelled Gin, Brandy, Rum, etc.,--for Simeon was held to be
a provider of none but the best, in his housekeeping. Heavy mahogany
chairs, with crewel coverings, stood sentry about the room; and the
fireplace was flanked by two broad arm-chairs, covered with stamped

On ushering the Doctor into this apartment, Simeon courteously led him
to the sideboard.

"We mus'n't make our discussions too _dry_, Doctor," he said. "What will
you take?"

"Thank you, Sir," said the Doctor, with a wave of his hand,--"nothing
this morning."

And depositing his cocked hat in a chair, he settled himself into one of
the leathern easy-chairs, and, dropping his hands upon his knees, looked
fixedly before him, like a man who is studying how to enter upon an
inwardly absorbing subject.

"Well, Doctor," said Simeon, seating himself opposite, sipping
comfortably at a glass of rum-and-water, "our views appear to be making
a noise in the world. Everything is preparing for your volumes; and
when they appear, the battle of New Divinity, I think, may fairly be
considered as won."

Let us consider, that, though a woman may forget her first-born, yet a
man cannot forget his own system of theology,--because therein, if he be
a true man, is the very elixir and essence of all that is valuable and
hopeful to the universe; and considering this, let us appreciate the
settled purpose of our friend, whom even this tempting bait did not
swerve from the end which he had in view.

"Mr. Brown," he said, "all our theology is as a drop in the ocean of
God's majesty, to whose glory we must be ready to make any and every

"Certainly," said Mr. Brown, not exactly comprehending the turn the
Doctor's thoughts were taking.

"And the glory of God consisteth in the happiness of all his rational
universe, each in his proportion, according to his separate amount of
being; so that, when we devote ourselves to God's glory, it is the same
as saying that we devote ourselves to the highest happiness of his
created universe."

"That's clear, Sir," said Simeon, rubbing his hands, and taking out his
watch to see the time.

The Doctor hitherto had spoken in a laborious manner, like a man who is
slowly lifting a heavy bucket of thought out of an internal well.

"I am glad to find your mind so clear on this all-important point, Mr.
Brown,--the more so as I feel that we must immediately proceed to apply
our principles, at whatever sacrifice of worldly goods; and I trust,
Sir, that you are one who at the call of your Master would not hesitate
even to lay down all your worldly possessions for the greater good of
the universe."

"I trust so, Sir," said Simeon, rather uneasily, and without the most
distant idea what could be coming next in the mind of his reverend

"Did it never occur to you, my friend," said the Doctor, "that the
enslaving of the African race is a clear violation of the great law
which commands us to love our neighbor as ourselves,--and a dishonor
upon the Christian religion, more particularly in us Americans, whom the
Lord hath so marvellously protected, in our recent struggle for our own

Simeon started at the first words of this address, much as if some one
had dashed a bucket of water on his head, and after that rose uneasily,
walking the room and playing with the seals of his watch.

"I--I never regarded it in this light," he said.

"Possibly not, my friend," said the Doctor,--"so much doth established
custom blind the minds of the best of men. But since I have given more
particular attention to the case of the poor negroes here in Newport,
the thought has more and more labored in my mind,--more especially as
our own struggles for liberty have turned my attention to the rights
which every human creature hath before God,--so that I find much in
my former blindness and the comparative dumbness I have heretofore
maintained on this subject wherewith to reproach myself; for, though I
have borne somewhat of a testimony, I have not given it that force which
so important a subject required. I am humbled before God for my neglect,
and resolved now, by His grace, to leave no stone unturned till this
iniquity be purged away from our Zion."

"Well, Doctor," said Simeon, "you are certainly touching on a very dark
and difficult subject, and one in which it is hard to find out the path
of duty. Perhaps it will be well to bear it in mind, and by looking at
it prayerfully some light may arise. There are such great obstacles in
the way, that I do not see at present what can be done; do you, Doctor?"

"I intend to preach on the subject next Sunday, and hereafter devote
my best energies in the most public way to this great work," said the

"You, Doctor?--and now, immediately? Why, it appears to me you cannot
do it. You are the most unfit man possible. Whosever duty it may be, it
does not seem to me to be yours. You already have more on your shoulders
than you can carry; you are hardly able to keep your ground now, with
all the odium of this new theology upon you. Such an effort would break
up your church,--destroy the chance you have to do good here,--prevent
the publication of your system."

"If it's nobody's system but mine, the world won't lose much, if it
never be published; but if it be God's system, nothing can hinder its
appearing. Besides, Mr. Brown, I ought not to be one man alone. I count
on your help. I hold it as a special providence, Mr. Brown, that in our
own church an opportunity will be given to testify to the reality of
disinterested benevolence. How glorious the opportunity for a man to
come out and testify by sacrificing his worldly living and business! If
you, Mr. Brown, will at once, at whatever sacrifice, quit all connection
with this detestable and diabolical slave-trade, you will exhibit a
spectacle over which angels will rejoice, and which will strengthen and
encourage me to preach and write and testify."

Mr. Simeon Brown's usual demeanor was that of the most leathery
imperturbability. In calm theological reasoning, he could demonstrate,
in the dryest tone, that, if the eternal torment of six bodies and
souls were absolutely the necessary means for preserving the eternal
blessedness of thirty-six, benevolence would require us to rejoice in
it, not in itself considered, but in view of greater good. And when he
spoke, not a nerve quivered; the great mysterious sorrow with which the
creation groaneth and travaileth, the sorrow from which angels veil
their faces, never had touched one vibrating chord either of body
or soul; and he laid down the obligations of man to unconditional
submission in a style which would have affected a person of delicate
sensibility much like being mentally sawn in sunder. Benevolence,
when Simeon Brown spoke of it, seemed the grimmest and unloveliest of
Gorgons; for his mind seemed to resemble those fountains which petrify
everything that falls into them. But the hardest-shelled animals have a
vital and sensitive part, though only so large as the point of a needle;
and the Doctor's innocent proposition to Simeon, to abandon his whole
worldly estate for his principles, touched this spot.

When benevolence required but the acquiescence in certain possible
things which might be supposed to happen to his soul, which, after all,
he was comfortably certain never would happen, or the acquiescence in
certain supposititious sacrifices for the good of that most intangible
of all abstractions, Being in general, it was a dry, calm subject. But
when it concerned the immediate giving-up of his slave-ships and a
transfer of business, attended with all that confusion and loss which he
foresaw at a glance, then he _felt_, and felt too much to see clearly.
His swarthy face flushed, his little blue eye kindled, he walked up to
the Doctor and began speaking in the short, energetic sentences of a man
thoroughly awake to what he is talking about.

"Doctor, you're too fast. You are not a practical man, Doctor. You are
good in your pulpit;--nobody better. Your theology is clear;--nobody can
argue better. But come to practical matters, why, business has its laws,
Doctor. Ministers are the most unfit men in the world to talk on such
subjects; it's departing from their sphere; they talk about what they
don't understand. Besides, you take too much for granted. I'm not sure
that this trade is an evil. I want to be convinced of it. I'm sure it's
a favor to these poor creatures to bring them to a Christian land. They
are a thousand times better off. Here they can hear the gospel and have
some chance of salvation."

"If we want to get the gospel to the Africans," said the Doctor,
"why not send whole ship-loads of missionaries to them, and carry
civilization and the arts and Christianity to Africa, instead of
stirring up wars, tempting them to ravage each other's territories, that
we may get the booty? Think of the numbers killed in the wars,--of all
that die on the passage! Is there any need of killing ninety-nine men to
give the hundredth one the gospel, when we could give the gospel to them
all? Ah, Mr. Brown, what if all the money spent in fitting out ships to
bring the poor negroes here, so prejudiced against Christianity that
they regard it with fear and aversion, had been spent in sending it to
them, Africa would have been covered with towns and villages, rejoicing
in civilization and Christianity!"

"Doctor, you are a dreamer," replied Simeon, "an unpractical man. Your
situation prevents your knowing anything of real life."

"Amen! the Lord be praised therefor!" said the Doctor, with a slowly
increasing flush mounting to his cheek, showing the burning brand of a
smouldering fire of indignation.

"Now let me just talk common-sense, Doctor,--which has its time and
place, just as much as theology;--and if you have the most theology, I
flatter myself I have the most common-sense; a business-man must have
it. Now just look at your situation,--how you stand. You've got a most
important work to do. In order to do it, you must keep your pulpit, you
must keep our church together. We are few and weak. We are a minority.
Now there's not an influential man in your society that don't either
hold slaves or engage in the trade; and if you open upon this subject as
you are going to do, you'll just divide and destroy the church. All men
are not like you;--men are men, and will be, till they are thoroughly
sanctified, which never happens in this life,--and there will be an
instant and most unfavorable agitation. Minds will be turned off from
the discussion of the great saving doctrines of the gospel to a side
issue. You will be turned out,--and you know, Doctor, you are not
appreciated as you ought to be, and it won't be easy for you to get a
new settlement; and then subscriptions will all drop off from your book,
and you won't be able to get that out; and all this good will be lost to
the world, just for want of common-sense."

"There is a kind of wisdom in what you say, Mr. Brown," replied the
Doctor, naïvely; "but I fear much that it is the wisdom spoken in James,
iii. 15, which 'descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual,
devilish.' You avoid the very point of the argument, which is, Is this a
sin against God? That it is, I am solemnly convinced; and shall I 'use
lightness? or the things that I purpose do I purpose according to the
flesh, that with me there should be yea, yea, and nay, nay?' No, Mr.
Brown, immediate repentance, unconditional submission, these are what I
must preach as long as God gives me a pulpit to stand in, whether men
will hear or whether they will forbear."

"Well, Doctor," said Simeon, shortly, "you can do as you like; but I
give you fair warning, that I, for one, shall stop my subscription, and
go to Dr. Stiles's church."

"Mr. Brown," said the Doctor, solemnly, rising, and drawing his tall
figure to its full height, while a vivid light gleamed from his blue
eye, "as to that, you can do as you like; but I think it my duty, as
your pastor, to warn you that I have perceived, in my conversation
with you this morning, such a want of true spiritual illumination and
discernment as leads me to believe that you are yet in the flesh,
blinded by that 'carnal mind' which 'is not subject to the law of God,
neither indeed can be.' I much fear you have no part nor lot in this
matter, and that you have need, seriously, to set yourself to search
into the foundations of your hope; for you may be like him of whom it is
written, (Isaiah, xliv. 20,) 'He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath
turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not
a lie in my right hand?'"

The Doctor delivered this address to his man of influence with the
calmness of an ambassador charged with a message from a sovereign,
for which he is no otherwise responsible than to speak it in the most
intelligible manner; and then, taking up his hat and cane, he bade him
good morning, leaving Simeon Brown in a tumult of excitement which no
previous theological discussion had ever raised in him.



The hens cackled drowsily in the barnyard of the white Marvyn-house;
in the blue June-afternoon sky sported great sailing islands of cloud,
whose white, glistening heads looked in and out through the green
apertures of maple and blossoming apple-boughs; the shadows of the trees
had already turned eastward, when the one-horse wagon of Mrs. Katy
Scudder appeared at the door, where Mrs. Marvyn stood, with a pleased,
quiet welcome in her soft, brown eyes. Mrs. Scudder herself drove,
sitting on a seat in front,--while the Doctor, apparelled in the
most faultless style, with white wrist-ruffles, plaited shirt-bosom,
immaculate wig, and well-brushed coat, sat by Mary's side, serenely
unconscious how many feminine cares had gone to his getting-up. He
did not know of the privy consultations, the sewings, stitchings, and
starchings, the ironings, the brushings, the foldings and unfoldings and
timely arrangements, that gave such dignity and respectability to his
outer man, any more than the serene moon rising tranquilly behind a
purple mountain-top troubles her calm head with treatises on astronomy;
it is enough for her to shine,--she thinks not how or why.

There is a vast amount of latent gratitude to women lying undeveloped in
the hearts of men, which would come out plentifully, if they only knew
what they did for them. The Doctor was so used to being well dressed,
that he never asked why. That his wig always sat straight and even
around his ample forehead, not facetiously poked to one side, nor
assuming rakish airs, unsuited to clerical dignity, was entirely owing
to Mrs. Katy Scudder. That his best broadcloth coat was not illustrated
with shreds and patches, fluff and dust, and hanging in ungainly
folds, was owing to the same. That his long silk stockings never had a
treacherous stitch allowed to break out into a long running ladder was
due to her watchfulness; and that he wore spotless ruffles on his wrists
or at his bosom was her doing also. The Doctor little thought, while he,
in common with good ministers generally, gently traduced the Scriptural
Martha and insisted on the duty of heavenly abstractedness, how much of
his own leisure for spiritual contemplation was due to the Martha-like
talents of his hostess. But then, the good soul had it in him to be
grateful, and would have been unboundedly so, if he had known his
indebtedness,--as, we trust, most of our magnanimous masters would be.

Mr. Zebedee Marvyn was quietly sitting in the front summer parlor,
listening to the story of two of his brother church-members, between
whom some difficulty had arisen in the settling of accounts: Jim
Bigelow, a small, dry, dapper little individual, known as general jobber
and factotum, and Abram Griswold, a stolid, wealthy, well-to-do farmer.
And the fragments of conversation we catch are not uninteresting, as
showing Mr. Zebedee's habits of thought and mode of treating those who
came to him for advice.

"I could 'ave got along better, if he'd 'a' paid me regular every
night," said the squeaky voice of little Jim;--"but he was allers
puttin' me off till it come even change, he said."

"Well, 'ta'n't always handy," replied the other; "one doesn't like to
break into a five-pound note for nothing; and I like to let it run till
it comes even change."

"But, brother," said Mr. Zebedee, turning over the great Bible that lay
on the mahogany stand in the corner, "we must go to the law and to the
testimony,"--and, turning over the leaves, he read from Deuteronomy,

"Thou shalt not oppress an hired servant that is poor and needy, whether
he be of thy brethren or of thy strangers that are in thy land within
thy gates. At his day thou shalt give him his hire, neither shall the
sun go down upon it; for he is poor, and setteth his heart upon it: lest
he cry against thee unto the Lord, and it be sin unto thee."

"You see what the Bible has to say on the matter," he said.

"Well, now, Deacon, I rather think you've got me in a tight place," said
Mr. Griswold, rising; and turning confusedly round, he saw the placid
figure of the Doctor, who had entered the room unobserved in the midst
of the conversation, and was staring with that look of calm, dreamy
abstraction which often led people to suppose that he heard and saw
nothing of what was going forward.

All rose reverently; and while Mr. Zebedee was shaking hands with the
Doctor, and welcoming him to his house, the other two silently withdrew,
making respectful obeisance.

Mrs. Marvyn had drawn Mary's hand gently under her arm and taken her to
her own sleeping-room, as it was her general habit to do, that she might
show her the last book she had been reading, and pour into her ear the
thoughts that had been kindled up by it.

Mrs. Scudder, after carefully brushing every speck of dust from the
Doctor's coat and seeing him seated in an armchair by the open window,
took out a long stocking of blue-mixed yarn which she was knitting for
his winter wear, and, pinning her knitting-sheath on her side, was soon
trotting her needles contentedly in front of him.

The ill-success of the Doctor's morning attempt at enforcing his
theology in practice rather depressed his spirits. There was a noble
innocence of nature in him which looked at hypocrisy with a puzzled and
incredulous astonishment. How a man _could_ do so and be so was to him
a problem at which his thoughts vainly labored. Not that he was in the
least discouraged or hesitating in regard to his own course. When he
had made up his mind to perform a duty, the question of success no more
entered his thoughts than those of the granite boulder to which we have
before compared him. When the time came for him to roll, he did roll
with the whole force of his being;--where he was to land was not his

Mildly and placidly he sat with his hands resting on his knees, while
Mr. Zebedee and Mrs. Scudder compared notes respecting the relative
prospects of corn, flax, and buckwheat, and thence passed to the doings
of Congress and the last proclamation of General Washington, pausing
once in a while, if, peradventure, the Doctor might take up the
conversation. Still he sat dreamily eyeing the flies as they fizzed down
the panes of the half-open window.

"I think," said Mr. Zebedee, "the prospects of the Federal party were
never brighter."

The Doctor was a stanch Federalist, and generally warmed to this
allurement; but it did not serve this time.

Suddenly drawing himself up, a light came into his blue eyes, and he
said to Mr. Marvyn,--

"I'm thinking, Deacon, if it is wrong to keep back the wages of a
servant till after the going down of the sun, what those are to do who
keep them back all their lives."

There was a way the Doctor had of hearing and seeing when he looked
as if his soul were afar off, and bringing suddenly into present
conversation some fragment of the past on which he had been leisurely
hammering in the quiet chambers of his brain, which was sometimes quite

This allusion to a passage of Scripture which Mr. Marvyn was reading
when he came in, and which nobody supposed he had attended to, startled
Mrs. Scudder, who thought, mentally, "Now for it!" and laid down her
knitting-work, and eyed her cousin anxiously. Mrs. Marvyn and Mary, who
had glided in and joined the circle, looked interested; and a slight
flush rose and overspread the thin cheeks of Mr. Marvyn, and his
blue eyes deepened a moment with a thoughtful shadow, as he looked
inquiringly at the Doctor, who proceeded:--

"My mind labors with this subject of the enslaving of the Africans, Mr.
Marvyn. We have just been declaring to the world that all men are born
with an inalienable right to liberty. We have fought for it, and the
Lord of Hosts has been with us; and can we stand before Him with our
foot upon our brother's neck?"

A generous, upright nature is always more sensitive to blame than
another,--sensitive in proportion to the amount of its reverence
for good,--and Mr. Marvyn's face flushed, his eye kindled, and his
compressed respiration showed how deeply the subject moved him. Mrs.
Marvyn's eyes turned on him an anxious look of inquiry. He answered,
however, calmly:--

"Doctor, I have thought of the subject, myself. Mrs. Marvyn has lately
been reading a pamphlet of Mr. Thomas Clarkson's on the slave-trade,
and she was saying to me only last night, that she did not see but the
argument extended equally to holding slaves. One thing, I confess,
stumbles me:--Was there not an express permission given to Israel to buy
and hold slaves of old?"

"Doubtless," said the Doctor; "but many permissions were given to them
which were local and temporary; for if we hold them to apply to the
human race, the Turks might quote the Bible for making slaves of us,
if they could,--and the Algerines have the Scripture all on their
side,--and our own blacks, at some future time, if they can get the
power, might justify themselves in making slaves of us."

"I assure you, Sir," said Mr. Marvyn, "if I speak, it is not to excuse
myself. But I am quite sure my servants do not desire liberty, and would
not take it, if it were offered."

"Call them in and try it," said the Doctor. "If they refuse, it is their
own matter."

There was a gentle movement in the group at the directness of this
personal application; but Mr. Marvyn replied, calmly,--

"Cato is up at the eight-acre lot, but you may call in Candace. My dear,
call Candace, and let the Doctor put the question to her."

Candace was at this moment sitting before the ample fireplace in the
kitchen, with two iron kettles before her, nestled each in its bed of
hickory coals, which gleamed out from their white ashes like sleepy, red
eyes, opening and shutting. In one was coffee, which she was burning,
stirring vigorously with a pudding-stick,--and in the other, puffy
dough-nuts, in shapes of rings, hearts, and marvellous twists, which
Candace had such a special proclivity for making, that Mrs. Marvyn's
table and closets never knew an intermission of their presence.

"Candace, the Doctor wishes to see you," said Mrs. Marvyn.

"Bress his heart!" said Candace, looking up, perplexed. "Wants to see
me, does he? Can't nobody hab me till dis yer coffee's done; a minnit's
a minnit in coffee;--but I'll be in dereckly," she added, in a
patronizing tone. "Missis, you jes' go 'long in, an' I'll be dar

A few moments after, Candace joined the group in the sitting-room,
having hastily tied a clean, white apron over her blue linsey
working-dress, and donned the brilliant Madras which James had lately
given her, and which she had a barbaric fashion of arranging so as to
give to her head the air of a gigantic butterfly. She sunk a dutiful
curtsy, and stood twirling her thumbs, while the Doctor surveyed her

"Candace," said he, "do you think it right that the black race should be
slaves to the white?"

The face and air of Candace presented a curious picture at this moment;
a sort of rude sense of delicacy embarrassed her, and she turned a
deprecating look, first on Mrs. Marvyn and then on her master.

"Don't mind us, Candace," said Mrs. Marvyn; "tell the Doctor the exact

Candace stood still a moment, and the spectators saw a deeper shadow
roll over her sable face, like a cloud over a dark pool of water, and
her immense person heaved with her labored breathing.

"Ef I must speak, I must," she said. "No,--I neber did tink 'twas right.
When Gineral Washington was here, I hearn 'em read de Declaration ob
Independence and Bill o' Rights; an' I tole Cato den, says I, 'Ef dat
ar' true, you an' I are as free as anybody.' It stands to reason. Why,
look at me,--I a'n't a critter. I's neider huffs nor horns. I's a
reasonable bein',--a woman,--as much a woman as anybody," she said,
holding up her head with an air as majestic as a palm-tree;--"an'
Cato,--he's a man, born free an' equal, ef dar's any truth in what you
read,--dat's all."

"But, Candace, you've always been contented and happy with us, have you
not?" said Mr. Marvyn.

"Yes, Mass'r,--I ha'n't got nuffin to complain ob in dat matter. I
couldn't hab no better friends 'n you an' Missis."

"Would you like your liberty, if you could get it, though?" said Mr.
Marvyn, "Answer me honestly."

"Why, to be sure I should! Who wouldn't? Mind ye," she said, earnestly
raising her black, heavy hand, "'ta'n't dat I want to go off, or want to
shirk work; but I want to _feel free_. Dem dat isn't free has nuffin to
gib to nobody;--dey can't show what dey would do."

"Well, Candace, from this day you are free," said Mr. Marvyn, solemnly.

Candace covered her face with both her fat hands, and shook and
trembled, and, finally, throwing her apron over her head, made a
desperate rush for the door, and threw herself down in the kitchen in a
perfect tropical torrent of tears and sobs.

"You see," said the Doctor, "what freedom is to every human creature.
The blessing of the Lord will be on this deed, Mr. Marvyn. 'The steps of
a just man are ordered by the Lord, and he delighteth in his way.'"

At this moment, Candace reappeared at the door, her butterfly turban
somewhat deranged with the violence of her prostration, giving a
whimsical air to her portly person.

"I want ye all to know," she said, with a clearing-up snuff, "dat it's
my will an' pleasure to go right on doin' my work jes' de same; an',
Missis, please, I'll allers put three eggs in de crullers, now; an' I
won't turn de wash-basin down in de sink, but hang it jam-up on de
nail; an' I won't pick up chips in a milkpan, ef I'm in ever so big a
hurry;--I'll do eberyting jes' as ye tells me. Now you try me an' see ef
I won't!"

Candace here alluded to some of the little private wilfulnesses which
she had always obstinately cherished as reserved rights, in pursuing
domestic matters with her mistress.

"I intend," said Mr. Marvyn, "to make the same offer to your husband,
when he returns from work to-night."

"Laus, Mass'r,--why, Cato he'll do jes' as I do,--dere a'n't no kind o'
need o' askin' him. 'Course he will."

A smile passed round the circle, because between Candace and her husband
there existed one of those whimsical contrasts which one sometimes sees
in married life. Cato was a small-built, thin, softly-spoken negro,
addicted to a gentle chronic cough; and, though a faithful and skilful
servant, seemed, in relation to his better half, much like a hill of
potatoes under a spreading apple-tree. Candace held to him with a
vehement and patronizing fondness, so devoid of conjugal reverence as to
excite the comments of her friends.

"You must remember, Candace," said a good deacon to her one day, when
she was ordering him about at a catechizing, "you ought to give honor to
your husband; the wife is the weaker vessel."

"_I_ de weaker vessel?" said Candace, looking down from the tower of her
ample corpulence on the small, quiet man whom she had been fledging with
the ample folds of a worsted comforter, out of which his little head
and shining bead-eyes looked, much like a blackbird in a nest,--"_I_ de
weaker vessel? Umph!"

A whole-woman's-rights' convention could not have expressed more in a
day than was given in that single look and word. Candace considered
a husband as a thing to be taken care of,--a rather inconsequent and
somewhat troublesome species of pet, to be humored, nursed, fed,
clothed, and guided in the way that he was to go,--an animal that was
always losing off buttons, catching colds, wearing his best coat every
day, and getting on his Sunday hat in a surreptitious manner for
week-day occasions; but she often condescended to express it as her
opinion that he was a blessing, and that she didn't know what she should
do, if it wasn't for Cato. In fact, he seemed to supply her that which
we are told is the great want in woman's situation,--an object in
life. She sometimes was heard expressing herself very energetically in
disapprobation of the conduct of one of her sable friends, named Jinny
Stiles, who, after being presented with her own freedom, worked several
years to buy that of her husband, but became afterwards so disgusted
with her acquisition that she declared she would "neber buy anoder

"Now Jinny don't know what she's talkin' about," she would say. "S'pose
he does cough and keep her awake nights, and take a little too much
sometimes, a'n't he better'n no husband at all? A body wouldn't seem to
hab nuffin to lib for, ef dey hadn't an ole man to look arter. Men
is nate'lly foolish about some tings,--but dey's good deal better'n

And Candace, after this condescending remark, would lift off with one
hand a brass kettle in which poor Cato might have been drowned, and fly
across the kitchen with it as if it were a feather.

[To be continued.]


_The Works of Francis Bacon_, Baron of Verulam, Viscount St. Alban, and
Lord High Chancellor of England. Collected and edited by James Spedding,
M.A., of Trinity College, Cambridge; Robert Leslie Ellis, M.A.,
late Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge; and Douglas Denon Heath,
Barrister-at-Law, late Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. Vols.
I.-VI. London: Longman & Co. 1858.

"For my name and memory," said Bacon in his will, "I leave it to men's
charitable speeches, and to foreign nations, and to the next ages."
Scarcely was he dead when the first portion of this legacy received some
part of its fulfilment in the touching and often quoted words of Ben
Jonson:--"My conceit of his person was never increased toward him by his
place or honors; but I have and do reverence him for the greatness that
was only proper to himself, in that he seemed to me ever, by his work,
one of the greatest men and most worthy of admiration that had been
in many ages. In his adversity, I ever prayed that God would give him
strength; for greatness he could not want. Neither could I condole in
a word or syllable for him, as knowing no accident could do harm to
virtue, but rather help to make it manifest." But it may fairly be
doubted whether "the next ages" have done fitly by his memory, spite of
the honor that has been indiscriminately lavished upon his name as a
philosopher, and the mass of praise, for the most part ignorant, beneath
which his works have been buried. The world of readers has been content
to take Bacon's greatness upon trust, or to form such imperfect idea of
it as was to be got from acquaintance with his "Essays," the only one
of his works which has ever attained popularity. Even more thorough
students have, for the most part, satisfied themselves with a general
view of Bacon's philosophy, dwelling on disconnected passages of ample
thought or aphoristic wisdom, and rarely attempting to gain an insight
into the real character of his system. Indeed, "the system of Lord
Bacon" became a sort of cabalistic phrase. It meant anything and
everything. It was like the English Constitution, venerable in authority
and prescription, interpreted in contradictory methods, and never
precisely defined. Few men undertook to study it with a zeal like that
of Homer and his friend Lord Webb Seymour, when, in days of enthusiasm,
they read and re-read the "De Augmentis" and the "Novum Organum," and
Homer planned to do what Dr. Whewell seems to suppose he has done, bring
Bacon up to the present time, by writing a work upon the basis of his,
which should furnish a complete review of modern knowledge. Still, it
has been part of an English birthright to hold Bacon as the restorer of
the sciences, the inventor or at least the re-inventor of the inductive
method, and the father of all discovery since his time. These notions
have been held firmly, while more special ones concerning his system and
himself have been, for the most part, vague or unformed.

In great part, this fact is the result of the condition in which Lord
Bacon left his works, the manner of their composition, and their
intrinsic defects. He did not publish them in any systematic order,
but printed one after another, as it was written, or as extraneous
circumstances might induce. Nor did he leave his system complete in any
one treatise. His mind discursive, his imagination easily fired, he
seized subject after subject and discussed each in a separate treatise,
all with more or less reference to a general plan, but not embodied in
any consecutive and harmonious development. The growth of his ideas, the
changes of his views, as his life advanced, are manifest in the want of
connection, as well as in the connection, of these various fragments.
Dr. Rawley, his chaplain, says,--and it is a marvellous illustration of
Bacon's diligence and desire for perfection,--"I myself have seen, at
the least, twelve copies of the 'Instauration,' revised year by year,
one after another, and every year altered and amended in the frame

Such, then, being the state of Bacon's works at his death, much was left
to the judgment of his editors, and, unfortunately, the labor of editing
his books has, up to the present time, fallen into hands wanting in
competence and discretion. It has consequently been a task of special
difficulty to get from the ill-arranged mass of Bacon's writings a
satisfactory view of the essential elements of his philosophy and a just
knowledge of his final opinions.

But the reproach of non-fulfilment of the trust committed to them will
rest upon "the next ages" no longer; for the edition which is now in
course of publication amply redeems the faults of those that have
preceded it, and is such a one as Bacon himself might have approved. In
the second book of the "Advancement of Learning," in recounting "the
works or acts of merit toward learning," he includes among them "new
editions of authors, with more correct impressions, more faithful
translations, more profitable glosses, more diligent annotations, and
the like." In each of these respects the edition before us deserves the
highest praise. The editors have engaged in their task as in a labor of
love. It is the result of many years of study, and it exhibits the fruit
of unwearied care, great learning, and excellent judgment. So far as
it has advanced, it does the highest honor to English scholarship, and
takes its place as one of the most remarkable editions in existence of
any author whose works stand in need of editorial care. The plan upon
which it is arranged is as follows. Bacon's works are divided into three
broad classes:--first, the Philosophical; secondly, the Professional;
thirdly, the Literary and Occasional. Each of these classes was
undertaken by a separate editor. Mr. Robert Leslie Ellis engaged upon
the Philosophical Works, and had advanced far in his task when he was
suddenly compelled to relinquish it some years since by illness which
completely disabled him for labor. What he had already accomplished is
so well done as to excite sincere regret that he was unable to carry his
work forward. But this regret is diminished by the ability with which
Mr. James Spedding, who had taken charge of the Literary and Occasional
Works, has supplied Mr. Ellis's place in the completion of the editing
of the Philosophical. The burden of the edition has fallen upon his
shoulders, and the chief credit for its excellence is due to him. Up to
the present time, the publication of the Philosophical Works is complete
in five volumes, and the first volume of the Literary Works has just
appeared. The separate treatises contained in the completed portion are
distributed into three parts,--"whereby," says Mr. Spedding, "all those
writings which were either published or intended for publication by
Bacon himself as parts of the Great Instauration are (for the first
time, I believe) exhibited separately, and distinguished as well from
the independent and collateral pieces which did not form part of the
main scheme, as from those which, though originally designed for it,
were afterwards superseded and abandoned." Each piece is accompanied
with a preface, both critical and historical, and with notes. It is
in these prefaces that a great part of the value of the new edition
consists; for they are in themselves treatises of elucidation and
illustration of Bacon's opinions, and of investigation concerning the
changes they underwent from time to time. They are written with great
clearness and ability, and, taken together, present such a view of
Bacon's philosophy as is to be found nowhere else, and amply answers the
requirements of students, however exacting.

Far too much credit has been attributed to Bacon, in popular estimation,
as the author of a system upon which the modern progress of science is
based.[A] Whatever his system may have been, it is certain that it has
had little direct influence upon the advance of knowledge. But, perhaps,
too little credit has been given to Bacon as a man whose breadth and
power of thought and amplitude of soul enabled a spirit that has at once
stimulated its progress and elevated its disciples. That Bacon believed
himself to have invented a system wholly new admits of no doubt; but it
is doubtful whether he ever definitely arranged this system in his own
mind. And it is a curious and interesting fact, and one illustrative, at
least, of the imperfection of Bacon's exposition of his own method, that
Mr. Ellis and Mr. Spedding, the two most conscientious investigators of
Bacon's thought, should have arrived at different conclusions in regard
to the distinctive peculiarities of the Baconian philosophy. Mr.
Spedding, in his very interesting preface to the "Parasceve," suggests,
since his own and Mr. Ellis's conclusions, though different, do not
appear irreconcilable, "whether there be not room for a third solution,
more complete than either, as including both." Both he and Mr. Ellis
set out from the position, that "the philosophy which Bacon meant to
announce was in some way essentially different, not only from any that
had been before, but from any that has been since,"--a position very
much opposed to the popular opinion. "The triumph of his [Bacon's]
principles of scientific investigation," said, not long since, a writer
in the "Quarterly Review," whose words may be taken as representative of
the common ideas on the matter, "has made it unnecessary to revert to
the reasoning by which they were established."[B] But the truth seems
to be, that the merits of Bacon belong, as Mr. Ellis well says, "to the
spirit rather than to the positive precepts of his philosophy." Nor does
it appear that Bacon himself, although he indulged the highest hopes and
felt the securest confidence in the results of his perfected system,
supposed that he had given to it that perfection which was required. In
the "De Augmentis Scientiarum," published in 1623, two years and a half
before his death, he says: "I am preparing and laboring with all my
might to make the mind of man, by help of art, a match for the nature
of things, (_ut mens per artem fiat rebus par_,) to discover an art of
Indication and Direction, whereby all other arts, with their axioms
and works, may be detected and brought to light. For I have, with good
reason, set this down as wanting." (Lib. v. c. 2.) Bacon regarded his
method, not only as one wholly new, but also of universal application,
and leading to absolute certainty. Doubt was to be excluded from its
results. By its means, all the knowledge of which men were capable was
to be attained surely and in a comparatively brief space of time. Such a
conviction, extravagant as it may seem, is expressed in many passages.
In the Preface to his "Parasceve," published in 1620, in the same volume
with the "Novum Organum," he says, that he is about to describe a
Natural and Experimental History, which, if it be once provided, (and
he assumes, that, "etiam vivis nobis," it may be provided,) "paucorum
annorum opus futuram esse inquitionem naturae et scientiarum omnium."
Again, in the Protemium of the "Novum Organum": "There was but one
course left, to commence a total reconstruction of sciences, arts, and
all human knowledge, raised upon the proper foundations." And in the
Dedication to the same work, he says, with characteristic confidence,
"Equidem Organum praebui,"--"I have provided the Instrument."

[Footnote A: The tendency of scientific thought had been, for a
considerable period before the time of Bacon, turned in the direction
which he, perhaps, did more than any other single investigator to
follow out and confirm. Leonardo da Vinci, the completest and most
comprehensive genius of Modern Italy, had anticipated, by more than a
century, several of the prominent features of the Baconian system. Too
little of Leonardo's scientific writings has been published to furnish
material for a satisfactory determination of their importance in
promoting the advance of knowledge,--but the coincidence of thought,
in some passages of his writings, with that in some of Bacon's weighty
sentences, is remarkable. "I shall treat of this subject," he says, in
a passage published by Venturi, "but I shall first set forth certain
experiments; it being my principle to cite experience first, and then to
demonstrate why bodies are constrained to act in such or such a manner.
This is the method to be observed in investigating phenomena of Nature.
It is true that Nature begins with the reason and ends with experience;
but no matter; the opposite way is to be taken. We must, as I have said,
begin with experience, and by means of this discover the reason."

Compare with this the two following passages from the "Novum
Organum,"--the first being taken from the Ninety-ninth Axiom of the
First Book. "Then only will there be good ground of hope for the further
advance of knowledge, when there shall be received and gathered together
into natural history a variety of experiments, which are of no use in
themselves, but to discover causes and axioms."--The next passage is
the Twenty-sixth Axiom of the same Book;--"The conclusions of human
reason, as ordinarily applied in matter of nature, I call, for the
sake of distinction, _Anticipations of Nature_ (as a thing rash or
premature). That reason which is elicited from facts by a just and
methodical process I call _Interpretation of Nature_."

The first and famous axiom of the "Novum Organum" contains the phrase
which Bacon constantly repeats,--"man being the interpreter of Nature."
Leonardo uses the same expression,--"li omini inventori e interpreti
tra la natura e gli omini." In another admirable passage of rebuke of
the boastful and empty followers of old teachers, Leonardo says: "Though
I might not cite authors as well as they, I shall cite a much greater
and worthier thing, in citing experience, the teacher of their teachers"
(_Maestra di loro maestri_). "And as for the overmuch credit," says
Bacon, "that hath been given unto authors in sciences, in making them
dictators that their words should stand, and not counsellors to give
advice, the damage is infinite that sciences have received thereby."

Similar parallelisms of thought are to be found in some of Galileo's
sentences, when brought into comparison with Lord Bacon.]

[Footnote B: Article on Whately's Edition of Bacon's Essays. September,

The cause of Bacon's error in this regard, an error in spite of which
his philosophical works still remain the crowded repositories of true
wisdom, seems to have arisen, in considerable part, from a defect of
imagination. Knowledge is to be viewed in two aspects: one, that of its
relation to the finite capacities of the human mind; the other, its
relation to the infinity of Nature, that is, to the infinity of the
subjects of knowledge. Bacon regarded it chiefly from the first point of
view,--and, so far as we are aware, there is nowhere in his works any
recognition of the fact, that each advance in knowledge only opens new
and previously unknown regions of what is yet to be known. He supposed
that by his process Nature could be simplified to her few primary
elements, and that from these all other knowledge was to be deduced.
But, although her laws and elementary forms may be few, their
mollifications, as affecting knowledge and consequently human power and
interests, are unlimited. Moreover, in supposing that the discovery of
Nature could be made certain, and that, by a proper collection of facts,
the intellects of men might be brought upon a level of capacity for
discovery,--that is, that the process of discovery could be reduced to
a simple process of correct reasoning upon established facts,--Bacon
omitted to take into account the essential part which the imagination
plays in all discovery.

No discovery, properly so called, is the pure result of observation and
induction. Maury takes the accumulated observations of fifty years,
deduces from them the existence of certain prevailing winds and
currents, and states the fact. It is not properly a discovery, although
a collection of similar facts may lead to the knowledge of a general
law. Newton sees an apple fall; his imagination, with one of the vastest
leaps that human imagination ever made, connects its fall with the
motion of the planets, and makes an immortal discovery. James Watt said,
"Nature has her blind side." True, but it is only the instinct of the
imagination that discovers where the blind side lies. The tops of
kettles had been dancing ever since kettles were first hung over fires,
but no one caught the blind side of the fact till a Scotch boy saw it as
he sat dreaming at his aunt's fireside.

But if Bacon's imagination was imperfect in some directions, it
possessed in others a vision of the largest scope. No man ever saw more
clearly or vindicated more nobly the dignity of knowledge, the capacity
of the human mind, and the glory of God in the works of His hand. The
impulse which he gave to thought is still gathering force, and many of
the recommendations earnestly pressed in his works upon the attention
of men are only now beginning to receive their recognition and
accomplishment. When he sent a copy of the "Novum Organum" to Sir Henry
Wotton, Wotton, in his letter of thanks, said, "Your Lordship hath done
a great and everlasting benefit to the children of Nature, and to Nature
herself in her utmost extent of latitude,"--and his eulogium had more
truth than is common in contemporary compliments.

Great as a student of physical nature, Bacon was a master in the
knowledge of human nature. Pope only chose the epithet which all the
world had applied, when he wrote of the

  "Words that _wise_ Bacon or grave Raleigh spake."

And nowhere is his wisdom more apparent than in the book of his
"Essays." The sixth volume of the edition before us contains, beside
the "Essays," the "History of King Henry VII.," with other fragmentary
histories, and the "De Sapienda Veterum," with a translation, which,
like the translations of the principal philosophical works in previous
volumes, is executed with admirable spirit and appropriateness.

All these works give the same evidence of editorial ability and skill
as those in the division of Philosophy. Mr. Spedding's Preface to the
"Henry VII." is not only an interesting essay in itself, but an able and
satisfactory vindication of Bacon's general historic accuracy. Bacon's
view of the true office of history is very different from the theory
which has lately prevailed to a considerable extent, and it would be
well, perhaps, were its wisdom more considered. "It is the true office
of history," he says, (_Advancement of Learning_, Book II.,) "to
represent the events themselves, together with the counsels; and to
leave the observations and conclusions thereupon to the liberty and
faculty of every man's judgment." And to this he adds, with much pith,
in the "De Augmentis," II. 9,--"Licet enim Historia quaeque prudentior
politicis praeceptis et monitis veluti impregnata sit, tamen scriptor
ipse sibi obstetricari non debet." Bacon wrote history according to his
own rule, and proved its value by the practical exemplification which he
gave of it. There are few better pieces of historic narrative in English
than this "History of Henry VII."

Special thanks are due to Mr. Spedding for having reprinted, in full,
the first three editions of the "Essays,"--the three that were published
by Bacon himself. The first appeared in 1597, and contained but ten
essays; the second in 1612, when Bacon was in the height of prosperity,
and contained thirty-eight; the third appeared in 1625, after his
downfall, less than a year before his death, and contained fifty-eight
essays. The three thus afford, as well by the successive additions of
new essays as by the alterations which are made in the earlier, a most
interesting exhibition of the direction of Bacon's thought at different
periods of his life, and the changes in his style. The comparison is one
of very great interest, but more space is required to develop it than
we have for the present at command. One fact only may be noted in
passing,--that the essay on Adversity, which contains that most
memorable and noble sentence, "Prosperity is the blessing of the Old
Testament, Adversity is the blessing of the New," is one of those
added in the last edition, after Bacon himself had experienced all the
bitterness of adversity.

Mr. Spedding proposes, in the forthcoming volumes of the Occasional
Works of Lord Bacon, to connect his speeches and letters with an
explanatory narrative,--thus presenting, he says, "a biography the most
copious, the most minute, and, by the very necessity of the case, the
fairest that I can produce." He promises "new matter which is neither
little nor unimportant; but," he adds, "more important than the new
matter is the new aspect which (if I may judge of other minds by my own)
will be imparted to the old matter by this manner of setting it forth."
We await this part of Mr. Spedding's work with especial interest, for
in it will unquestionably be afforded, for the first time, the means of
forming a correct judgment of Bacon's character, and just conclusions
concerning those public actions of his which have hitherto stood in
perplexing contradiction to his avowed principles, to the nobility of
his views, to his religious professions, to the reverential love with
which he was regarded by those who knew him best. It is not to be hoped
that his life can be redeemed from stain; but it may be hoped that a
true presentation of the grounds and bearings of his actions may relieve
him from the name of "meanest of mankind," and may show that his faults
were rather those of his time than of his nature. We shall keep our
readers informed of the progress of this invaluable edition, which
should lead to the more faithful and general study of the works of him
whom "all that were great and good loved and honored."

_A New History of the Conquest of Mexico._ In which Las Casas'
Denunciations of the Popular Historians of that War are fully
vindicated. By ROBERT ANDERSON WILSON, Counsellor at Law; Author of
"Mexico and its Religion," etc. Philadelphia: James Challen & Son.
Boston: Crosby, Nichols, & Co.

Before touching on the subject-matter of this book, we have something to
say respecting the spirit in which it appears to have been written, the
style of its execution, and the manner in which it has been introduced
to the world. As it is avowedly an attempt to refute the positions taken
up by Mr. Prescott in his "History of the Conquest of Mexico," and to
destroy the established reputation of that work, we are naturally led
into a comparison between the two writers, that extends beyond the
theories and ideas which they have respectively adopted and maintained.
We cannot but remember, (and such remembrances awaken now other feelings
besides mere respect and admiration,) that, when Prescott was entering
upon his literary career, he labored in silence and retirement; that,
in the prosecution of his researches, in the gradual formation of his
views, and in the preparation of his work, he spared no labor and made
no account of time; that, devoting himself to his chosen pursuit with
the ardor of a scholar and a searcher after truth, he felt a modest
self-reliance, and a just confidence in the utility of his labors,
without anticipating the reward of a wide-spread fame; that he was
prompt to acknowledge every service, or offer of service, which had been
made to him, and communicated to the public not only his information,
but the sources from which it had been derived; that, where he rejected
the conclusions of other writers, he treated those from whom he differed
with the utmost courtesy and candor; and that, when his task was
completed, he left it to the free judgment of the world, without
soliciting approbation or courting any man's applause.

This is not the course which Mr. Robert Anderson Wilson has thought fit
to take. An accidental visit to Mexico, for which he appears to
consider himself entitled to no slight commendation, led him into some
speculations on the origin and civilization of the Aztec race. Without
waiting to inform himself of the ideas entertained on these subjects
by other men, he hastened to put forth his own crude notions in a
work entitled "Mexico and its Religion," and twice reprinted by its
enterprising publishers, with titles varied to suit what was supposed to
be the popular taste. Still entertaining an aversion to laborious study,
(for which, indeed, his previous education, as well as precarious
health, appears to have disqualified him,) he announced his purpose
to write a History of the Conquest of Mexico "from the American
stand-point," and issued what he himself called "a clap-trap
advertisement," for the purpose of enlisting the sympathies of a class
in whom hatred of Romanism preponderates over knowledge and judgment. He
had made some progress in his "History," when he found that the ideas
which he had supposed to be original in his own brain were old and
trite. Being thus precluded from claiming for himself the merits of a
discoverer, he has shown an eagerness, every way praiseworthy, to place
the laurel on the brow to which he supposes it rightfully belongs.
Accordingly, he presents to the world, as his master and pioneer, that
renowned authority on the antiquities of New Spain, the Hon. Lewis Cass,
who, it appears, had published an essay on the subject in the "North
American Review." While his work was passing through the press, Mr.
Wilson wrote what he styles a "Chapter Preliminary," but what we suppose
would have been styled by persons who affect the native idiom when
writing their own language, a "Preliminary Chapter." This "Chapter
Preliminary" he printed and circulated, in advance of the publication
of his book; and though it contains not a single fact in support of
his theory, nor even any clear statement of the theory itself, he was
rewarded, as he expected, with _puffs preliminary_ from a portion of the
press, prompt to recognize the merit of a gentleman who had something
to sell, and consequently something to be advertised. The "advance
notices,"--so he calls them,--thus obtained, are made part of his book,
and may there be read alike by discerning and undiscerning readers. With
equal ingenuity he has prefixed to it a title-page, the grammar of which
is questionable and the punctuation vile, but in which he has contrived
to represent his opinions as identical with those of Las Casas, the
great historian of the Spanish Conquests in America, although, in truth,
this identity of opinion is purely imaginary, being founded on his mere
conjectures in regard to the contents of a work of Las Casas, which, as
he bitterly complains, has been withheld from the world. Then, with his
two supporters, Las Casas on the one side, and Lewis Casas--we beg his
pardon, we mean Lewis Cass--on the other, Mr. Wilson comes before the
public, making first a bow "preliminary" to "Colonel and Mrs. Powell,"
"my dear Uncle," and "my dear Aunt," in a Dedication that reminds us
of a certain form of invitations which our readers may sometimes have
received: "Miss Smith presents her compliments to Mr. Brown, and _I_
hope _you_ will do me the favor to take tea with me to-morrow evening."

But we have omitted to make mention of the letters "preliminary" which
he has printed with the "advance notices." He indulges in frequent
sneers at the "weight of authority" to which Mr. Prescott was accustomed
to attach some importance in the discussion of a doubtful point.
Nevertheless, in his extreme eagerness to obtain for his own opinions
the sanction of an authoritative name, he publishes, as "Mr. Prescott's
estimate of his researches," a letter which he had received from that
gentleman, and, quite incapable of appreciating its quiet irony,
evidently supposes that the historian of the Conquest of Mexico was
prepared to retire from the field of his triumphs at the first blast of
his assailant's trumpet. Next comes a letter from a gentleman whom Mr.
Wilson calls "_Rousseau_ St. Hilaire, author of 'The History of Spain,'
&c., and Professor _of the_ Faculty of Letters in the University of
Paris." This, we suppose, is the same gentleman who is elsewhere
mentioned in the book as Rousseau _de_ St. Hilaire, and as _Rosseau_ St.
Hilaire. Now we might take issue with Mr. Wilson as to the existence of
his correspondent. It would be easy to prove that no person bearing the
name is connected with the University of Paris. Adopting the same line
of argument by which our author endeavors to convert the old Spanish
chronicler, Bernal Diaz, into a myth, we might contend that the
Sorbonne--the college to which M. St. Hilaire is represented as
belonging--has been almost as famous for its efforts to suppress
truth and the free utterance of opinion as the Spanish Inquisition
itself,--that it would not hesitate at any little invention or disguise
for the furtherance of its objects,--and hence, that the professor in
question is in all probability a "myth," a mere "Rousseau's Dream," or
rather, a "Wilson's Dream of Rousseau." But we disdain to have recourse
to such evasions. We admit that there is in the University of Paris
a professor "agrégé à la faculté des lettres," who bears the name of
_Rosseeuw_ St. Hilaire; we admit Mr. Wilson's incapacity to decipher
foreign names or words, even when they stand before him in the clearest
print,--an incapacity of which his book affords numerous examples,--and
that this incapacity, and not any mental hallucination, has been the
cause of the blunder which we have corrected. But we must add that he
does evidently labor under an hallucination when he calls this letter
of M. St. Hilaire a "flattering notice." He has been misled by his
inability to comprehend the employment of courteous language between
persons who differ from each other in matters of opinion. With the
accustomed suavity of a Frenchman and a gentleman, M. St. Hilaire
declines entering into a discussion with Mr. Wilson, and leaves him to
"settle this difference with his learned fellow-citizen," Mr. Prescott,
mildly intimating at the same time that he will probably have "his hands

Something more remains to be said of the use which our author has made
of the learned professor of the Sorbonne. One page of his book Mr.
Wilson devotes to "Acknowledgments." These are few, but ponderous.
"Acknowledgments are made" to the Hon. Lewis Cass, for having
written--without any ulterior view, we imagine, to Mr. Wilson's
advantage--the before-mentioned article in the "North American Review";
to the late Mr. Gallatin, for the publication--also, we suspect, without
any foresight of the tremendous uses to which it was to be turned--of a
paper on the Mexican dialects; to "Aaron Erickson, Esq., of Rochester,
N.Y., for the advantages he has afforded us in the prosecution of our
arduous investigations"; to "Major Robert Wilson, now at Fort Riley,
Kanzas," for no particular reason expressed; and to "M. _Rousseau
de_ St. Hilaire, both for the flattering notice he has taken of our
preliminary work" (why not, "work preliminary?") "on Mexico, and for the
advantages derived from his writings." In regard to the "advantages"
here mentioned, we are going to relieve Mr. Wilson's mind. His
obligations to M. St. Hilaire are really far lighter than he supposes.
It is true that he has picked most of the little information he
possesses in regard to Spanish history out of the professor's work, and
has strewed his pages with copious extracts from this recondite source.
But, in making his acknowledgments, he might have gone still farther
back. M. St. Hilaire is a laborious and enthusiastic scholar.

He has found time, in the midst of his professional duties, to write
a really meritorious work on the history of Spain. But he had not the
time, perhaps not the opportunity, for making a thorough examination of
the original authorities. He was therefore obliged to take for his guide
a modern author, who had made this history the peculiar field of his
researches. The guide whom he selected, and he could have made no better
choice, was William Hickling Prescott. So necessary was it for his
purpose that the latter should precede him in a pathway so obscure,
that he postponed the composition of a portion of his work until the
publication of the first two volumes of the "History of Philip the
Second," then in preparation, should supply him with the requisite
light. His indebtedness to Mr. Prescott was frankly and fully
acknowledged both in public and in private. In letters which now lie
before us, he says, "I am working hard on 'Philip the Second,' and
blessing at the same time the learned pioneer who has traced for me so
easy a road through this confused and difficult period of history." "It
is a piece of good-fortune which I cannot too highly appreciate, that
your studies should have been directed to the most difficult portion of
Spanish history, from which you have thus removed for me all the thorns.
The conscientiousness and the thoroughness of your researches, the
perfect trustworthiness of your conclusions, and the lofty calmness of
your judgments, are the precious supports on which I lean; and I have
now, for the reign of Philip the Second, a guide whom I shall be ever
proud and happy to follow, _as I have before followed him through the
reigns of the Catholic Kings and the Conquests of Mexico and Peru_."
That these expressions are no exaggeration of the facts of the case
might be easily established by a comparison of the "Histoire d'Espagne"
with the writings of the American historian. The passages in the former
work cited by Mr. Wilson would form a portion of the proof; and thus, in
following M. St. Hilaire, he has in fact been indirectly and ignorantly
availing himself of labors which he affects to speak of with contempt.

But directly and knowingly, as we shall hereafter show, he has availed
himself of Mr. Prescott's labors to an extent which demanded the most
ample "acknowledgment." No such acknowledgment is made. But we beg to
ask Mr. Wilson whether there were not other reasons why he should have
spoken of this eminent writer, if not with deference, at least with
respect. He himself informs us that "the most kindly relations"
existed between them. If we are not misinformed, Mr. Wilson opened
the correspondence by modestly requesting the loan of Mr. Prescott's
collection of works relating to Mexican history, for the purpose of
enabling him to write a refutation of the latter's History of the
Conquest. That the replies which he received were courteous and kindly,
we need hardly say. He was informed, that, although the constant use
made of the collection by its possessor for the correction of his
own work must prevent a full compliance with this request, yet any
particular books which he might designate should be sent to him, and, if
he were disposed to make a visit to Boston, the fullest opportunities
should be granted him for the prosecution of his researches. This
invitation Mr. Wilson did not think fit to accept. Books which were got
in readiness for transmission to him he failed to send for. He had,
in the mean time, discovered that "the American stand-point" did not
require any examination of "authorities." We regret that it should also
have rendered superfluous an acquaintance with the customs of civilized
society. The tone in which he speaks of his distinguished predecessor
is sometimes amusing from the conceit which it displays, sometimes
disgusting from its impudence and coarseness. He concedes Mr. Prescott's
good faith in the use of his materials. It was only his ignorance and
want of the proper qualifications that prevented him from using them
aright. "His non-acquaintance with Indian character is much to be
regretted." Mr. Wilson himself enjoys, as he tells us, the inestimable
advantage of being the son of an adopted member of the Iroquois tribe.
Nay, "his ancestors, for several generations, dwelt near the Indian
agency at Cherry Valley, on Wilson's Patent, _though in Cooperstown
village was he born_." We perceive the author's fondness for the
inverted style in composition,--acquired, perhaps, in the course of his
long study of Aboriginal oratory. Even without such proofs, and without
his own assertion of the fact, it would not have been difficult, we
think, to conjecture his familiarity with the forms of speech common
among barbarous nations.

But it is not merely through "his non-acquaintance with Indian
character" that Mr. Prescott was at fault. He was also, it appears, in a
hopeless state of ignorance in regard to the political institutions of
Spain. He knew nothing of the Spanish censorship, and its restrictions
upon the freedom of the press. "He showed his faith," writes Mr. Wilson,
"by the expenditure of a fortune at the commencement of his enterprise,
in the purchase of books and MSS. relating to 'America of the
Spaniards.'" This last phrase is marked as quoted, but we believe it to
be the author's own. "These were the materials out of which he framed
his _two_ histories of the _two_ aboriginal empires, Mexico and Peru. At
the time these works were written _he could not have had the remotest
idea of the circumstances under which his Spanish authorities had been
produced_, or of the external pressure that gave them their peculiar
form and character. _He could hardly understand_ that peculiar
organization of Spanish society through which one set of opinions might
be uniformly expressed in public, while the intellectual classes in
secret entertain entirely opposite ones. He acted throughout in the most
perfect good faith; and if, on a subsequent scrutiny, his authorities
have proved to be the fabulous creations of Spanish-Arabian fancy, he
is not in fault." (p. 104.)--We, also, desire to deal in "perfect good
faith" with our readers, who will naturally inquire what new light has
been thrown on the "peculiar organization of Spanish society," and on
the conditions which limit the expression of opinions in Spain, since
Mr. Prescott made those subjects his especial study. We have looked
carefully through Mr. Wilson's book in the hope of being enabled to
answer this inquiry; but we have found nothing but partial and incorrect
statements of facts with which the public is already familiar,--nothing
that had escaped the notice of Prescott himself,--nothing that Mr.
Ticknor, in his "History of Spanish Literature," had omitted to state,
and that had not been fully discussed between these two distinguished
men during an intercourse that had originated not only in the warmest
personal friendship, but in the similarity of their studies and
pursuits. On this, as on every other topic of which he treats, Mr.
Wilson is reckless and arrogant in assertion; but on this, as on every
other topic, he makes no show of proofs.

His compliment to Prescott's "good faith" seems, after all, to have
been premature. In other parts of his book we find remarks that seem in
conflict with this admission. He makes several severe strictures on Mr.
Prescott's omission to give due credit to General Cass for his valuable
contribution to Aztec history. "Mr. Prescott nowhere refers to the
subject, as we think he ought to have done." (p. 30.) "The ink was
hardly dry on the leaves of the North American Quarterly which contained
the exposure of these fictions, when another contributor to the same
periodical, Mr. Prescott, began his history, founded on authors already
_denounced as fabulous by so high an authority as the Hon. Lewis Cass_!"
Think of the unparalleled audacity of the author of the "History of
Ferdinand and Isabella" in actually exercising his own judgment with
regard to the credibility of the Spanish chroniclers, after so high an
authority had pronounced against them! However, we are not yet prepared
to abandon our own belief in Mr. Prescott's "good faith." We really
believe that he was guilty of no intentional disrespect towards the Hon.
Lewis Cass. It is possible that he may never have seen the article in
question. Contributors to periodicals are sometimes sadly neglectful of
the most brilliant performances of their _confrères_. We doubt whether
the "Autocrat" has ever read with proper attention any of our own
modest, but not, we hope, inelegant effusions.

Mr. Wilson is not without a suspicion that the world may be slow to
surrender its confidence in the veracity and accuracy of a writer
whose works have already stood the test of many a severe and critical
examination. When this idea breaks upon his mind, he manages to lash
himself into a state of considerable excitement. He foresees the
difficulty of convincing "those who take an array of great names for
the foundation of their belief, and those who judge a work only by the
elegance with which its periods are strung together. And, besides these
two,"--meaning, we presume, not two men, but two classes of men,--"we
have to encounter also the opposition of _savans_--men who live and
judge the outside world through the medium of books alone. These hold as
of no account, all but Greece and Rome," [the proof-reader is requested
not to disturb Mr. Wilson's punctuation,] "and receive no idea of
antiquity that does not come through them. For any, then, too wise to
learn or too thoughtless to inquire, this chapter is not designed....
Many there are," [how many, we wonder,] "who have dealt in Spanish
romances, supposing them to be history; and these are slow to abandon
their delusions. At enormous expense they have gathered volumes of
authorities; will they readily admit them to be cheats and counterfeits?
They grudge the time too they have spent in their perusal; and are loth,
as well they may be, to lose it. But individual loss and injury _is_"
[the proof-reader will please not to interfere with Mr. Wilson's
grammar] "perhaps inevitable in the search after truth. Men cannot
be held down to the theories of barbarism. These must give way to
knowledge, _or the intelligent, as in Roman Catholic countries, be
driven to infidelity."_ [The printer may venture to italicize the
closing prediction, as we wish to bring it under the particular notice
of school-committees and superintendents of education, who will see
the fearful responsibility they incur by placing copies of Prescott's
Histories, bound in sheep, in their school-libraries.]

But we interrupt the flow of our author's bile by these irrelevant
remarks. Let him have a full hearing: "Before closing this chapter, the
status of our literature suggests an apology is necessary, for having
opened it in conformity with the, now neglected, rules of history--that
we should try and snatch something from the wreck of antiquity." [We
cheerfully offer a reward of one copy of the present number of the
"Atlantic" to any person who will parse the last sentence, explain the
punctuation of it, and interpret its meaning.] "In other countries, the
standard of history has been steadily rising for centuries; but with
us, it has been so lowered, as to sink every other qualification in the
single one of turning faultless periods; and a gentleman possessing
this, has been adjudged fully capable of purging the annals of Spain and
her quondam colonies, from the mass of modern fable and forgery which
now disfigure them. Incapable of submitting Cortez' statement to
the test, he assumes it to be true, even in those parts where it is
impossible. Unable to detect the counterfeit in Diaz--he pronounces him
the 'child of nature,' but does not on the testimony of this natural
child reject the still more monstrous falsifier, _Gomora_; but adopts
them both, according to the custom of novelists; and not the slightest
objection is raised. Then descending lower and still lower; disregarding
alike the warning of Lord Bacon 'a credulous man is a deceiver,' and
of Tacitus _fingunt simul creduntque_--he rakes up even a devotee,
Boturini, and makes him also an historic authority, without overtaxing
public credulity; though this wretch, as we have seen, out-Munchausens
Pietro himself, and as he may have surpassed every other man in Spain in
drawing the long bow, was justly selected for historiographer, at a time
when death was the penalty for possessing a book not licensed by the
Inquisition. Thus are discarded and disgusting impostures brought up
from the literary cesspools of Spain to form for us the history of
events that, transpired on this continent hardly more than three hundred
years ago!" (pp. 263, 264.) Instead of noticing the blunders and
absurdities with which this paragraph is filled, we shall simply call
attention to the remarkable good taste displayed in its allusions to
a person with whom the writer, as he boasts, had maintained "the most
kindly relations," from whom, as we have seen, he had received friendly
offers of aid, and to whom, but a short time before the occurrence of
that event which has so lately thrown the whole nation into mourning, he
had been indebted, by his own admission, for the warmest encouragement
in the prosecution of his inquiries.

But, though Prescott is the principal object of Mr. Wilson's assaults,
he does not fall, for he has not stood, alone. With the single exception
of the Hon. Lewis Cass, every modern writer who has investigated the
history and former condition of Spanish America, either with the help of
books or of personal observation of the present state of that part
of our continent, shares the same fate. Robertson, Dupaix, Stephens,
Humboldt, are all objects of Mr. Wilson's vituperation or contempt. To
say that Alexander von Humboldt is probably the most learned man in
Europe, and that Robert A. Wilson is undoubtedly one of the most
ignorant men in America, would give but a slight notion of the
contrast between them. Humboldt is not merely a man of science and a
philosopher,--titles which the adopted Iroquois regards with natural
scorn,--he has been also a great traveller, and knows almost every
part of Spanish America from personal examination. Yet his claims to be
considered as an authority on questions which no other living man is
so competent to decide are disposed of by his shallow and conceited
opponent in a single brief paragraph, which ends with a statement that
"the only defect in his work is, that he started from false premises,
_and of course his conclusions amount to nothing_."

Robertson, however, is the especial butt of Mr. Wilson's unwieldy
sarcasms. Robertson, he tells us, was the "principal of the University
High School of Edinburgh,"--an institution of which we do not
remember ever to have heard before. He is especially indignant that
"Robertson--_a Presbyterian minister!_" (the Italics and note of
admiration are Mr. Wilson's own) should have dared even to attempt to
write a history of America. As Roman Catholics are also forbidden to
venture on this ground, we should be glad to know the particular sect or
sects to whose use it is to be appropriated. A principal cause of our
author's spite against Dr. Robertson appears to have been a statement
made by the latter, that the Iroquois are cannibals. This allegation
evidently touches a sensitive point. It is indignantly denied by the
adopted member of the tribe. The Iroquois, he says, like other Indians,
never eat human flesh, unless driven to it by hunger. He turns the
tables (on which this ill-omened repast is spread) against the worthy
Doctor. He charges him (falsely, however) with having represented
Charles the Fifth as "a pattern of abstinence," when he was in fact one
of the greatest of royal _gourmands_. On this point he is willing for
once to accept even the authority of Mr. Prescott, who, he says, has
upset Robertson's reputation as an historian by means of "the _Samanca_

Mr. Wilson so often returns to these "Samanca" papers, and appears to
labor under so many delusions in regard to them, that, hopeless as the
attempt may seem, we cannot help trying to let a little daylight into
his mind. "Mr. Prescott," he writes, "having obtained copies of the most
important _Simanca_" [the reader must not be surprised at these little
variations of orthography] "papers of Ximenes' collection, supposes them
a new discovery, of great value. _Doubtless they are;_" [then there
could be no great harm in supposing it;] "his agents did not fail to
represent them to him in the most exalted terms, to enhance the value of
their services according to the Spanish custom." Now we can assure Mr.
Wilson that Mr. Prescott had not in his possession a copy of a single
document placed in the Archives of Simancas (for so an excusable
partiality for custom, and not any want of respect for our author,
obliges us to spell this name) by Cardinal Ximenes. He will also, we
trust, be glad to learn, that, for the documents relating to the Emperor
Charles the Fifth which Mr. Prescott did receive from Simancas, he paid
not a _real_ beyond the established charge of the official copyists,--a
charge which is the same in all cases, whatever may be the value of
the originals,--the task of examining the collection and selecting the
letters suitable for the purpose having been a labor of love on the part
of the distinguished scholar by whom it was undertaken.

Mr. Wilson is animated by a fervent hatred against Cardinal Ximenes,--or
"Jimines," as he sometimes calls him. He terms him "a monster," and "a
wretch," and is especially indignant at his having "founded the Samanca
collection of papers." "Any one," he adds, "who will carefully examine
them will see that hardly a single paper has been put into this
collection that does not, in some way, reflect glory on the church, or
show the royal approval of the Inquisition." We cannot undertake to say
what discoveries might be made by a person who should carefully examine
the collection of papers at Simancas. A scholar on whom the antediluvian
length of life necessary for such a labor had been bestowed might also
be endowed with commensurate powers of intellect that might lead to the
most astonishing results. Our own knowledge of the collection is limited
to a very small portion of its contents,--a mere drop in the enormous
bucket. We have been under the impression that explorers who had spent
long periods of time in the examination,--Lembke or Gachard, for
example,--had sunk their shafts but a little way into that great mine.
At all events, we feel particularly certain that Mr. Wilson never in his
life saw a single manuscript, or a single copy of a manuscript, from the
Archives of Simancas.

"The monk Strada," our author goes on to inform us, "must have consulted
them" [the "Samanca papers"] "in the composition of his history of the
Low Country Wars, though he does not call the papers by that name."
[We should hope not.] "The _Glanville_ papers are not alone his
authorities." With regard to the "Glanville papers," we cannot speak
positively, never having seen them, or even heard of them. If an
allusion is intended to the "State Papers of Cardinal _Granvelle_," we
admit that these were not Strada's _only_ authorities; in fact, they
were not his authorities at all; he never had the opportunity of
consulting them. "Robertson's convent life of Charles V.," Mr. Wilson
continues, "is almost literally taken from Strada." Now, if Strada
followed the "Samanca papers," and Robertson has followed Strada, how
is it that these same papers have been the groundwork for a complete
refutation of Robertson? Surely, when brought to light, they ought,
on the contrary, to have confirmed his statements. The truth is, that
Strada, who had access to no other manuscripts than those in possession
of the Farnese family, never saw the "Samanca papers"; and Robertson,
far from following Strada exclusively, relied much more on the authority
of Sandoval and other Spanish writers.

But our readers will naturally inquire what these matters have to do
with the Aztec civilization and the Conquest of Mexico. So far as we
know, nothing at all. We have merely followed our Iroquois foe, and
kept perseveringly upon his track in the jungle to which he has taken.
Whatever course he may take, we are determined to follow him. He shall
not elude us. Through all the windings of his eccentric route, through
pathless forests, across rugged sierras, along the sides of nameless
streams, we shall pursue his trail. On the summit of the great
_teocalli_ of Mexico, dedicated to the fearful deity, _Huitzilopotchli_,
he shall be offered up as a sacrifice, according to the awful customs
in which he affects to disbelieve. We are compelled, indeed, by want of
space, to grant him a respite for a month. Our present notice must be
regarded only as a parboiling "preliminary." At the end of that time,
with all due form and ceremony, we promise that the solemn rite shall be

Bunsen's _Gott in der Geschichte_. (God in History.) Zweite Theil.
(Second Part.) Leipzig. 1858.

There is, probably, no philosophical author at the present day in
Germany whose works are welcomed by so wide a circle of readers in
America as those of Chevalier Bunsen. Though often more theoretical than
exact in scholarship, and allowing his historical instincts to take the
place of scientific conclusions, he not unfrequently anticipates thus
the laborious efforts of scholars, while his peculiar _suggestiveness_
of thought and his scope of view interest extremely the common student,
and lend a charm to his works such as no other writer in the same
field possesses. He has the art of making other men work for him, and,
perhaps, has thus been tempted to write too much for his own fame.

The great service for which posterity will thank Chevalier Bunsen
is, that, in an age of bigotry and of skepticism, he has especially
represented the union of Philosophy and Christianity, and has shown that
the freest historical criticism and the most open recognition of the
moral principle through all faiths and races are harmonious with the
most devout belief in the divine manifestation of Christ. This book,
"God in History," is written from his most advanced and religious
stand-point, and seems to us the best fruit, thus far, of his studies.
It is compact, consistent, and not marred by his usual defect,--a
certain mysticism or indefiniteness of thought,--but is clear and
philosophical to the close. It is not to be looked upon as a complete
philosophical history, but rather as a suggestive and introductory
treatise on that grandest of all themes, the Progress of the Instinct of
God through Human History. His own definition of his subject is, that
it is a history of the "Consciousness of God in Mankind"; but, as he
unfolds his idea, it is evidently not always the consciousness, but the
unconscious instinct of God, whose progress he is describing.

The first part of the present volume--the Third Book--is occupied with a
brief, but exceedingly instructive investigation of the development of
this instinct in the Aryans of Persia and of India; and in this inquiry
the two prominent historical figures are Zoroaster and Buddha, or, as
our author might have named them, the Moses and the Luther of the
early Aryan religions,--the one the Lawgiver and the Founder of a pure
monotheism in the place of a slavish belief in elementary powers, and
the other the great Reformer of a corrupted faith in behalf of an
oppressed people.

The illustrations which Bunsen gives of these two wonderful expressions
of the instinct of God in the remote past, the religions of Zoroaster
and Buddha, are exceedingly fresh and original. They are contained
mostly in sacrificial and festal hymns and songs which have not hitherto
been much known, even to scholars.

As an introduction to and historical preparation for these two great
forms of belief, he describes also the instinct of Deity as it had
developed itself among the Turanians, the Chinese, and the Egyptians.

The period embraced in the Third Book is about 2500 years, from the
supposed epoch of Zoroaster (3000 B.C.) to that of Buddha (541 B.C.).

The Fourth Book treats of the instinct of God among the Greeks and
Romans, "from the singer of the Iliad (900 B.C.) down to the Baruch of
the Roman world, the prophet of the downfall of the Aryan Ante-Christian
civilization,--Tacitus." This God-consciousness is found first in
the Grecian feeling of the Commonwealth,--the idea of a common good
surpassing a personal good; then in the conception of the Epic, which
assumes a political as well as a physical Kosmos, or order; then in the
grand moral ideas lying at the basis of the Mythology,--the myths, for
instance, of Prometheus, and the picture of Nemesis and the Fates. Next,
the deep sense of God speaks out in Grecian Tragedy and the great works
of Grecian Art; and in the highest degree, in the Philosophy which
culminated in Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.

The Roman expression of these profound instincts is placed by Bunsen far
below the Grecian. It is manifested especially in their idea of Law, and
even in the doubts and despair of their leading thinkers in the time of
the Emperors.

The closing portion of the volume terminates the history of the progress
of the idea of God before Christianity, among the Aryan races, by a
description of the religious instincts of the Teutonic tribes. In their
respect for woman and for marriage, in their political commonwealths,
in their worship of one God, and their belief in a moral Kosmos, Bunsen
beholds the expression of the Divine idea within them, preparing for the
more full development which is to come through the ideas and spirit
of Christianity. The book closes fitly with the grand prophecy of the
Völuspa in the Scandinavian Edda.

We regret that want of space should prevent us from giving extracts from
this most eloquent and philosophic work. Its glory is, that, breaking
through the formulae of creeds and the external signs of religious
faith, it has the courage to listen to the voice of God all along the
devious course of human history,--hearing that mysterious tone, not
alone in the chants of the Hebrews or the confessions of the Christians,
but in every smallest utterance of _truth_, every syllable of unselfish
patriotism, every groan of offended conscience, every myth springing
from the moral sense, every song, every speech which would exalt the
True, the Beautiful, and the Good over the selfish and false and base.
In Bunsen's philosophy, these, even more than all outward confession and
ceremonial, are the true expression of the workings of the Divine Spirit
in Human History.


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