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Title: The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 03, No. 20, June, 1859
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 03, No. 20, June, 1859" ***

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20, JUNE, 1859***



VOL. III.--JUNE, 1859.--NO. XX.


  "Yet must I not give Nature all; thy Art,
  My gentle SHAKSPEARE, must enjoy a part.
  For though the poet's matter Nature be,
  His Art doth give the fashion."--Ben Jonson.

Whoever would learn to think naturally, clearly, logically, and to
express himself intelligibly and earnestly, let him give his days and
nights to WILLIAM SHAKSPEARE. His ear will thus accustom itself to forms
of phrase whose only mannerism is occasioned by the fulness of thought
and the directness of expression; and he will not easily, through the
habits which either his understanding or his ear will acquire, fall into
the fluent cadences of that sort of writing in which words are used
without discrimination of their nice meanings,--where the sentences are
only a smoothly-undulating current of common phrases, in which it takes
a page to say weakly what should be said forcibly in a few periods.

These are somewhat novel arguments for the study of one whom all the
world has so long reverenced as "the great poet of Nature." But they may
properly serve to introduce a consideration of the sense in which
that phrase should be understood,--an attempt, in short, to look
into Shakspeare's modes of creation, and define his relations, as an
_artist_, with Nature.

We shall perhaps be excused the suggestion, that a poet cannot be
natural in the same sense that a fool may be; he cannot be _a_
natural,--since, if he is, he is not a poet. For to be a poet implies
the ability to use ideas and forms of speech artistically, as well as to
have an eye in a fine frenzy rolling. This is a distinction which all
who write on poets or poetry should forever seek to keep clear by new
illustrations. The poet has poetic powers that are born with him; but he
must also have a power over language, skill in arrangement, a thousand,
yes, a myriad, of powers which he was born with only the ability to
acquire, and to use after their acquirement. In ranking Shakspeare the
great poet of Nature, it is meant that he had the purpose and the power
to think what was natural, and to select and follow it,--that, among his
thick-coming fancies, he could perceive what was too fine, what tinged
with personal vanity, what incongruous, unsuitable, feeble, strained, in
short, unnatural, and reject it. His vision was so strong that he saw
his characters and identified himself with them, yet preserving his cool
judgment above them, and subjecting all he felt through them to its
test, and developing it through this artificial process of writing. This
vision and high state of being he could assume and keep up and work out
through days and weeks, foreseeing the end from the beginning, retaining
himself, and determining long before how many acts his work should be,
what should be its plot, what the order of its scenes, what personages
he would introduce, and where the main passions of the work should be
developed. His fancy, which enabled him to see the stage and all its
characters,--almost to _be_ them,--was so under the control of his
imagination, that it did not, through any interruptions while he was at
his labor, beguile him with caprices. The _gradation_ or action of his
work, opens and grows under his creative hand; twenty or more characters
appear, (in some plays nearly forty, as in "Antony and Cleopatra" and
the "First Part of Henry the Sixth,") who are all distinguished, who
are all more or less necessary to the plot or the underplots, and who
preserve throughout an identity that is life itself; all this is done,
and the imagined state, the great power by which this evolution of
characters and scene and story be carried on, is always under the
control of the poet's will, and the direction of his taste or critical
judgment. He chooses to set his imagination upon a piece of work, he
selects his plot, conceives the action, the variety of characters, and
all their doings; as he goes on reflecting upon them, his imagination
warms, and excites his fancy; he sees and identifies himself with his
characters, lives a secondary life in his work, as one may in a dream
which he directs and yet believes in; his whole soul becomes more active
under this fervor of the imagination, the fancy, and all the powers of
suggestion,--yet, still, the presiding judgment remains calm above all,
guiding the whole; and above or behind that, the will which elects to do
all this, perchance for a very simple purpose,--namely, for filthy lucre,
the purchase-money of an estate in Stratford.

To say that he "followed Nature" is to mean that he permits his thoughts
to flow out in the order in which thoughts naturally come,--that he
makes his characters think as we all fancy we should think under the
circumstances in which he places them,--that it is the truth of his
thoughts which first impresses us. It is in this respect that he is
so universal; and it is by his universality that his naturalness is
confirmed. Not all his finer strokes of genius, but the general scope
and progress of his mind, are within the path all other minds travel;
his mind _answers_ to all other men's minds, and hence is like the voice
of Nature, which, apart from particular association, addresses all
alike. The cataracts, the mountains, the sea, the landscapes, the
changes of season and weather have each the same general meaning to
all mankind. So it is with Shakspeare, both in the conception and
development of his characters, and in the play of his reflections and
fancies. All the world recognizes his sanity, and the health and beauty
of his genius.

Not all the world, either. Nature's poet fares no better than Nature
herself. Half the world is out of the pale of knowledge; a good part
of the rest are stunted by cant in its Protean shapes, or by inherited
narrowness and prejudice, and innumerable soul-cankers. They neither
know nor think of Nature or Poetry. Just as there are hundreds in all
great cities who never leave their accustomed streets winter or summer,
until finally they lose all curiosity, and cease to feel the yearnings
of that love which all are born with for the sight of the land and
sea,--the dear face of our common mother. Or the creatures who compose
the numerical majority of the world are rather like the children of some
noble lady stolen away by gypsies, and taught to steal and cheat and
beg, and practised in low arts, till they utterly forget the lawns
whereon they once played; and if their mother ever discovers them, their
natures are so subdued that they neither recognize her nor wish to go
with her.

Without fearing that Shakspeare can ever lose his empire while the
language lasts, it is humiliating to be obliged to acknowledge one
great cause that is operating to keep him from thousands of our young
countrymen and women, namely, the wide-spread _mediocrity_ that is
created and sustained by the universal diffusion of our so-called
cheap literature;--dear enough it will prove by and by!--But this is
needlessly digressing.

The very act of writing implies an art not born with the poet. This
process of forming letters and words with a pen is not natural, nor
will the poetic frenzy inspire us with the art to go through it. In
conceiving the language of passion, the _natural_ impulse is to imitate
the passion in gesture; there is something artificial in sitting quietly
at a table and hollaing, "Mortimer!" through a quill. If Hotspur's
language is in the highest degree natural, it is because the poet felt
the character, and words suggested themselves to him which he chose and
wrote down. The act of choice might have been almost spontaneous with
the feeling of the character and the situation, yet it was there,--the
conscious judgment was present; and if the poet wrote the first words
that came, (as no doubt he usually did,) it was because he was satisfied
with them at the time; there was no paroxysm of poetic inspiration,--the
workings of his mind were sane. His fertility was such that he was not
obliged to pause and compare every expression with all others he could
think of as appropriate;--judgment may decide swiftly and without
comparison, especially when it is supervising the suggestions of a vivid
fancy, and still be judgment, or taste, if we choose to call it by that
name. We know by the result whether it was present. The poet rapt into
unconsciousness would soon betray himself. Under the power of the
imagination, all his faculties waken to a higher life; his fancies are
more vivid and clear; all the suggestions that come to him are more
apt and congruous; and his faculties of selection, his perceptions of
fitness, beauty, and appropriateness of relation are more keen and
watchful. No lapse in what he writes at such times indicates aught
like dreaming or madness, or any condition of mind incompatible with
soundness and health,--with that perfect sanity in which all the mental
powers move in order and harmony under the control of the rightful
sovereign, Reason.

These observations are not intended to bear, except remotely, upon the
question, Which is the true Dramatic Art, the romantic or the ancient?
We shall not venture into that land of drought, where dry minds forever
wander. We can admit both schools. In fact, even the countrymen of
Racine have long since admitted both,--speculatively, at least,--though
practically their temperament will always confine them to artificial
models. We may consider the question as set at rest in these words of M.
Guizot:--"Everything which men acknowledge as beautiful in Art owes its
effect to certain combinations, of which our reason can always detect
the secret when our emotions have attested its power. The science--or
the employment of these combinations--constitutes what we call Art.
Shakspeare had his own. We must detect it in his works, and examine the
means he employs and the results he aims at." Although we should be
far from admitting so general a definition of Art as this, yet it is
sufficient as an answer to the admirers of the purely classic school.

But it has become necessary in this "spasmodic" day to vindicate
our great poet from the supposition of having written in a state of
somnambulism,--to show that he was even an _artist_, without reference
to schools. The scope of our observations is to exhibit him in that
light; we wish to insist that he was a man of forethought,--that, though
possessing creative genius, he did not dive recklessly into the sea of
his fancy without knowing its depth, and ready to grasp every pebble for
a pearl-shell; we wish to show that he was not what has been called, in
the cant of a class who mistake lawlessness for liberty, an "earnest
creature,"--that he was not "fancy's child" in any other sense than as
having in his power a beautifully suggestive fancy, and that he "warbled
his native wood-notes wild" in no other meaning than as Milton warbled
his organ-notes,--namely, through the exercise of conscious Art, of Art
that displayed itself not only in the broad outlines of his works, but
in their every character and shade of color. With this purpose we
have urged that he was "natural" from taste and choice,--artistically
natural. To illustrate the point, let us consider his Art alone in a few

We will suppose, preliminarily, however, that we are largely interested
in the Globe Theatre, and that, in order to keep it up and continue to
draw good houses, we must write a new piece,--that, last salary-day,
we fell short, and were obliged to borrow twenty pounds of my Lord
Southampton to pay our actors. Something must be done. We look into our
old books and endeavor to find a plot out of ancient story, in the same
manner that Sir Hugh Evans would hunt for a text for a sermon. At length
one occurs that pleases our fancy; we revolve it over and over in our
mind,--and at last, after some days' thought, elaborate from it the plot
of a play,--"TIMON OF ATHENS,"--which plot we make a memorandum of,
lest we should forget it. Meantime, we are busy at the theatre with
rehearsals, changes of performance, bill-printing, and a hundred
thousand similar matters that must be each day disposed of. But we keep
our newly-thought-of play in mind at odd intervals, good things occur to
us as we are walking in the street, and we begin to long to be at it.
The opening scenes we have quite clearly in our eye, and we almost know
the whole; or it may be, _vice versa_, that we work out the last scenes
first; at all events, we have them hewn out in the rough, so that we
work the first with an intention of making them conform to a something
which is to succeed; and we are so sure of our course that we have no
dread of the something after,--nothing to puzzle the will, or make us
think too precisely on the event. Such is the condition of mind in which
we finally begin our labor. Some Wednesday afternoon in a holiday-week,
when the theatres are closed, we find ourselves sitting at a desk before
a sea-coal fire in a quaintly panelled rush-strewn chamber, the pen in
our hand, nibbed with a "Rogers's" pen-knife, [A] and the blank page
beneath it.

[Footnote A: "A Shefeld thwitel bare he in his hose."--CHAUCER. _The
Reve's Tale._]

We desire the reader to close his eyes for a moment and endeavor to
fancy himself in the position of William Shakspeare about to write a
piece,--the play abovenamed. This may be attempted without presumption.
We wish to recall and make real the fact that our idol was a man,
subject to the usual circumstances of men living in his time, and to
those which affect all men at all times,--that he had the same round of
day and night to pass through, the same common household accidents which
render "no man a hero to his valet." The world was as real to him as it
is to us. The dreamy past, of two hundred and fifty years since, was to
him the present of one of the most stirring periods in history, when
wonders were born quite as frequently as they are now.

And having persuaded the reader to place himself in Shakspeare's
position, we will make one more very slight request, which is, that he
will occupy another chair in the same chamber and fancy that he sees the
immortal dramatist begin a work,--still keeping himself so far in his
position that he can observe the workings of his mind as he writes.

Shakspeare has fixed upon a name for his piece, and he writes it,--he
that the players told Ben Jonson "never blotted a line." It is the


He will have it in five acts, as the best form; and he has fixed upon
his _dramatis personae_, at least the principal of them, for he names
them on the margin as he writes. He uses twelve in the first scene, some
of whom he has no occasion for but to bring forward the character of his
hero; but they are all individualized while he employs them. The scene
he has fixed upon; this is present to his mind's eye; and as he cannot
afterwards alter it without making his characters talk incongruously and
being compelled to rewrite the whole, he writes it down thus:--


SCENE I.--_A Hall in Timon's House._

Now he has reflected that his first object is to interest his audience
in the action and passion of the piece,--at the very outset, if
possible, to catch their fancies and draw them into the mimic life of
the play,--to beguile and attract them without their knowing it. He has
reflected upon this, we say,--for see how artfully he opens the scene,
and how soon the empty stage is peopled with life! He chooses to begin
by having two persons enter from opposite wings, whose qualities are
known at once to the reader of the play, but not to an audience. The
stage-direction informs us:--

[_Enter Poet, Painter, Jeweller, Merchant, and others, at several

We shall see how at the same time they introduce and unfold their own
characters and awaken an interest in the main action. In writing, we
are obliged to name them. They do not all enter quite at once. At first

  _Poet._ Good day, Sir.
  _Painter._ I am glad to see you well.
  _Poet._ I have not seen you long; how goes the world?
  _Painter._ It wears, Sir, as it grows.

This shows them to be acquaintances.--While the next reply is made, in
which the Poet begins to talk in character even before the audience know
him, two others enter from the same side, as having just met, and others
in the background.

  _Poet._ Ay, that's well known:--
  But what particular rarity? what strange,
  That manifold record not matches? See,

And we fancy him waving his hand in an enthusiastic manner,--

  Magic of bounty! all these spirits thy power
  Hath conjured to attend.

Which manner is only a high-flowing habit, for he adds in the same
breath, dropping his figure suddenly,--

                       I know the merchant.
  _Painter._ I know them both; t'other's a jeweller.

It is certainly natural that painters should know jewellers,--and,
perhaps, that poets should be able to recognize merchants, though the
converse might not hold. We now know who the next speakers are, and soon
distinguish them.

  _Merchant._ Oh, 'tis a worthy lord!
  _Jeweller._ Nay, that's most fixed.
  _Merchant._ A most incomparable man; breathed as it were
  To an untirable and continuate goodness:
  He passes.
  _Jeweller._ I have a jewel here.

The Jeweller being known, the Merchant is; and, it will be noticed that
the first speaks in a cautious manner.

  _Merchant._ Oh, pray, let's see it! For the lord Timon, Sir?
  _Jeweller._ If he will touch the estimate; but, for that----

We begin to suspect who is the "magic of bounty" and the "incomparable
man," and also to have an idea that all these people have come to his
house to see him.--While the Merchant examines the jewel, the first who
spoke, the high-flown individual, is pacing and talking to himself near
the one he met:--

  _Poet. When we for recompense have praised the vile,
  It stains the glory in that happy verse
  Which aptly sings the good._

Perhaps he is thinking of himself. The Merchant and Jeweller do not hear
him;--they stand in twos at opposite sides of the stage.

  _Merchant_. 'Tis a good form.
                  [_Looking at the jewel._

He observes only that the stone is well cut; but the Jeweller adds,--

  _Jeweller_. And rich: here is a water, look you.

While they are interested in this and move backward, the two others come
nearer the front.

  _Painter_. You are rapt, Sir, in some work, some dedication
  To the great lord.

This is said, of course, with reference to the other's recent soliloquy.
And now we are going to know them.

  _Poet_. A thing slipped idly from me.
  Our poesy is as a gum, which oozes
  From whence 'tis nourished. The fire i' the flint
  Shows not till it be struck; our gentle flame
  Provokes itself, and like the current files
  Each bound it chafes.--What have you there?

We perceive that he is a poet, and a rather rhetorical than sincere one.
He has the art, but, as we shall see, not the heart.

  _Painter_. A picture, Sir.--And when comes your book forth?

  _Poet_. Upon the heels of my presentment, Sir--
  Let's see your piece.
  _Painter_. 'Tis a good piece.

We know that the Poet has come to make his presentment. The Painter,
the more modest of the two, wishes his work to be admired, but is
apprehensive, and would forestall the Poet's judgment. He means, it is a
"tolerable" piece.

  _Poet_. So 'tis: this comes off well and excellent.

  _Painter_. Indifferent.

  _Poet_. Admirable. How this grace
  Speaks his own standing! What a mental power
  This eye shoots forth! How big imagination
  Moves in this lip! To the dumbness of the gesture
  One might interpret.

He, at all events, means to flatter the Painter,--or he is so habituated
to ecstasies that he cannot speak without going into one. But with what
Shakspearean nicety of discrimination! The "grace that speaks his own
standing," the "power of the eye," the "imagination of the lip," are all
true; and so is the natural impulse, in one of so fertile a brain as a
poet from whom verse "oozes" to "interpret to the dumb gesture,"--to
invent an appropriate speech for the figure (Timon, of course) to be
uttering. And all this is but to preoccupy our minds with a conception
of the lord Timon!

  _Painter_. It is a pretty mocking of the life.
  Here's a touch; is't good?

  _Poet_. I'll say of it
  It tutors Nature: artificial strife
  Lives in these touches livelier than life.

He has thought of too fine a phrase; but it is in character with all his

    [_Enter certain Senators, and pass over._

  _Painter_. How this lord's followed!

  _Poet_. The senators of Athens: happy men!

This informs us who they are that pass over. The Poet also keeps up the
Ercles vein; while the Painter's eye is caught.

  _Painter_. Look, more!

  _Poet_. You see this confluence, this great flood of visitors.

  I have, in this rough work, shaped out a man
  Whom this beneath world doth embrace and hug
  With amplest entertainment: my free drift
  Halts not particularly, but moves itself
  In a wide sea of wax: no levelled malice
  Infects one comma in the course I hold:
  But flies an eagle flight, bold, and forth on,
  Leaving no tract behind.

This flight of rhetoric is intended to produce a sort of musical effect,
in preparing us by its lofty sound for readily apprehending the lord
Timon with "amplest entertainment." The same is true of all that
follows. The Poet and Painter do but sound a lordly note of preparation,
and move the curtain that is to be lifted before a scene of profusion.
Call it by what name we please, it surely was not accident or
unconscious inspiration,--a rapture or frenzy,--which led Shakspeare to
open this play in this manner. If we remember the old use of choruses,
which was to lift up and excite the fancy, we may well believe that he
intended this flourishing Poet to act as a chorus,--to be a "mighty
whiffler," going before, elevating "the flat unraised spirits" of his
auditory, and working on their "imaginary forces." He is a rhetorical
character, designed to rouse the attention of the house by the pomp
of his language, and to set their fancies in motion by his broad
conceptions. How well he does it! No wonder the Painter is a little
confused as he listens to him.

  _Painter_. How shall I understand you?

  _Poet_. I'll unbolt to you.

  You see how all conditions, how all minds,
  (As well of glib and slippery creatures, as
  Of grave and austere quality,) tender down
  Their services to Lord Timon; his large fortune,
  Upon his good and gracious nature hanging,
  Subdues and properties to his love and tendance
  All sorts of hearts; yea, from the glass-faced flatterer
  To Apemantus, that few things loves better
  Than to abhor himself; even he drops down
  The knee before him, and returns in peace,
  Most rich in Timon's nod.

There was almost a necessity that the spectator should be made
acquainted with the character of Timon before his appearance; for his
profuseness could be illustrated, after being known, better than it
could make itself known in dialogue and action in which he should bear a
part. And of the hundreds of English plays opening with an explanation
or narrative of foregone matters, there is none where the formality is
concealed by a more ingenious artifice than is used in this scene. The
spectator is fore-possessed with Timon's character, and (in the outline
the Poet is proceeding to give) with a suspicion that he is going to see
him ruined in the course of the piece; and this is accomplished in
the description of a panegyric, incidentally, briefly, picturesquely,
artfully, with an art that tutors Nature, and which so well conceals
itself that it can scarcely be perceived except in this our microscopic
analysis. Here also we have Apemantus introduced beforehand. And with
all this, the Painter and Poet speak minutely and broadly in character;
the one sees scenes, the other plans an action (which is just what his
own creator had done) and talks in poetic language. It is no more
than the text warrants to remark that the next observation, primarily
intended to break the poet's speech, was also intended to be the natural
thought and words of a

  _Painter_. I saw them speak together.

  _Poet_. Sir, I have upon a high and pleasant hill
  Feigned Fortune to be throned: the base of
  the mount
  Is ranked with all deserts, all kinds of natures
  That labor on the bosom of this sphere
  To propagate their states; amongst them all,
  Whose eyes are on this sovereign lady fixed,
  One do I personate of Lord Timon's frame,
  Whom Fortune with her ivory hand wafts to her;
  Whose present grace to present slaves and servants
  Translates his rivals.

  _Painter_. 'Tis conceived to scope.
  This throne, this Fortune, and this hill, methinks,
  With one man beckoned from the rest below,
  Bowing his head against the steepy mount
  To climb his happiness, would be well expressed
  In our condition.

  _Poet_. Nay, Sir, but hear me on.

The artifice is to secure the attention of the spectator. The
interruptions give naturalness and force to the narrative; and the
questions and entreaties, though addressed to each other by the
personages on the stage, have their effect in the front. The same
artifice is employed in the most obvious manner where Prospero (Tempest,
Act i. Sc. 2) narrates his and her previous history to Miranda. The Poet

  All those which were his fellows but of late
  (Some better than his value) on the moment
  Follow his strides, his lobbies fill with tendance,
  Rain sacrificial whisperings in his ear,
  Make sacred even his stirrup, and through him
  Drink the free air.

  _Painter_. Ay, marry, what of these?

The Poet has half deserted his figure, and is losing himself in a new
description, from which the Painter impatiently recalls him. The text
is so artificially natural that it will bear the nicest natural

  _Poet_. When Fortune, in her shift and
  change of mood,
  Spurns down her late beloved, all his dependants,
  Which labored after him to the mountain's
  Even on their knees and hands, let him slip
  Not one accompanying his declining foot.

  _Painter_. 'Tis common:
  A thousand moral paintings I can show
  That shall demonstrate these quick blows of
  More pregnantly than words. Yet you do
  To show Lord Timon that mean eyes have
  The foot above the head.

  [_Trumpets sound. Enter Timon, attended; the
  servant of Ventidius talking with him_.

Thus far (and it is of no consequence if we have once or twice forgotten
it while pursuing our analysis) we have fancied ourselves present,
seeing Shakspeare write this, and looking into his mind. But although
divining his intentions, we have not made him intend any more than his
words show that he did intend. Let us presently fancy, that, before
introducing his principal character, he here turns back to see if he has
brought in everything that is necessary. It would have been easier to
plan this scene after the rest of the play had been done,--and, as
already remarked, it may have been so written; but when the whole
coheres, the artistic purpose is more or less evident in every part; and
the order in which each was put upon paper is of as little consequence
as the place or time or date or the state of the weather. Wordsworth has
been particular enough to let it be known, where he composed the last
verse of a poem first. With some artists the writing is a mere copying
from memory of what is completely elaborated in the whole or in long
passages: Milton wrote thus, through a habit made necessary by his
blindness; and so Mozart, whose incessant labors trained his genius in
the paths of musical learning, or brought learning to be its slave, till
his first conceptions were often beyond the reach of elaboration, and
remained so clear in his own mind that he could venture to perform
in public concertos to which he had written only the orchestral or
accessory parts. Other artists work _seriatim_; some can work only when
the pen is in their hands; and the blotted page speaks eloquently
enough of the artistic processes of mind to which their most passionate
passages are subjected before they come to the reader's eye. Think of
the fac-simile of Byron's handwriting in "Childe Harold"! It shows a
soul rapt almost beyond the power of writing. But the blots and erasures
were not made by a "fine frenzy"; _they_ speak no less eloquently for an
artistic taste and skill excited and alert, and able to guide the frenzy
and give it a contagious power through the forms of verse,--this
taste and this skill and control being the very elements by which his
expressions become an echo of the poet's soul,--pleasing, or, in the
uncultivated, helping to form, a like taste in the hearer, and exciting
a like imagined condition of feeling and poetic vision.

Yet if it were made a question, to be decided from internal evidence,
whether the scene here analyzed was written before or after the rest of
the piece, a strong argument for its being written before might be found
in the peculiar impression it leaves upon the fancy. Let us suppose we
follow the author while he runs it over, which he does quite rapidly,
since there are no blotted lines, but only here and there a comma to
be inserted. He designed to open his tragedy. He finds he has set a
scene,--in his mind's eye the entrance-hall to an Athenian house, which
he thinks he has presently intimated plainly enough to be Timon's house.
Here he has brought forward four actors and made them speak as just
meeting; they come by twos from different ways, and the first two
immediately make it known that the other two are a merchant and
jeweller, and almost immediately that they themselves are, one a
painter, the other a poet. They have all brought gifts or goods for
the lord Timon. The Athenian Senators pass over, and, as becomes
their dignity, are at once received in an inner hall,--the first four
remaining on the stage. All is so far clear. He has also, by the
dialogue of the Painter and Poet, made in itself taking to the attention
through the picture and the flighty recitation, suggested and interested
us incidentally in the character of Timon, and conveyed a vague
misgiving of misfortune to come to him. And there is withal a swelling
pomp, three parts rhetorical and one part genuinely poetical, in the
Poet's style, which gives a tone, and prepares the fancy to enter
readily into the spirit of the tragedy. This effect the author wished to
produce; he felt that the piece required it; he was so preoccupied with
the Timon he conceived that he sets to work with a Timon-rich hue of
fancy and feeling; to this note he pitches himself, and begins his
measured march "bold and forth on." What he has assumed to feel he
wishes spectators to feel; and he leaves his style to be colored by his
feeling, because he knows that such is the way to make them feel it. And
we do feel it, and know also that we are made thus to feel through an
art which we can perceive and admire. On the whole, this introduction
opens upon the tragedy with just such a display of high-sounding
phrases, such a fine appropriateness, such a vague presentiment, and
such a rapid, yet artful, rising from indifference to interest, that it
seems easiest to suppose the author to be writing while his conceptions
of what is to follow are freshest and as yet unwrought out. We cannot
ask him; even while we have overlooked him in his labor, his form has
faded, and we are again in this dull every-day Present.

We have seen him take up his pen and begin a tragedy; or, to drop the
fancy, we have made it real to ourselves in what manner Shakspeare's
writing evidences that he wrought as an _artist_,--one who has an idea
in his mind of an effect he desires to produce, and elaborates it with
careful skill, not in a trance or ecstasy, but "in clear dream and
solemn vision." The subtile tone of feeling to be struck is as much a
matter of art as the action or argument to be opened. And it is no less
proper to judge (as we have done) of the presence of art by its result
in this respect than in respect to what relates to the form or story.
An introduction is before us, a dramatic scene, in which characters are
brought forward and a dialogue is given, apparently concerning a picture
and poem that have been made, but having a more important reference to a
character yet to be unfolded. Along with this there is also expressed,
in the person of a professed panegyrist, a certain lofty and free
opinion of his own work, in a confident declamatory style of

  "Sir, I have upon a high and pleasant hill
  Feigned Fortune to be throned," etc.,--

that is levelled with exquisite tact just on the verge of bombast. This
is not done to make the hearer care for the thing described, which is
never heard of after, but to give a hint of Timon and what is to befall
him, and to create a _melodic effect_ upon the hearer's sense which
shall put him in a state to yield readily to the illusion of the piece.

It is not possible to conceive Shakspeare reviewing his lines and
thinking to himself, "That is well done; my genius has not deserted me;
I could not have written anything more to my liking, if I had set about
it deliberately!" But it is easy to see him running it over with a
sensation of "This will serve; my poet will open their eyes and ears;
and now for the hall and banquet scene."

The sense of fitness and relation operates among thoughts and feelings
as well as among fancies, and its results cannot be mistaken for
accident. Ariel and his harpies could not interrupt a scene with a more
discordant action than the phase of feeling or the poetic atmosphere
pervading it would be interrupted by, if a cloud of distraction came
across the poet and the faculties of his mind rioted out of his control.
For he not only feels, but sees his feeling; he takes it up as an object
and holds it before him,--a feeling to be conveyed. Just as a sculptor
holds in his mind a form and models it out of clay, undiverted by other
forms thronging into his vision, or by the accidental forms that the
plastic substance takes upon itself in the course of his work, till it
stands forth the image of his ideal,--so the poet works out his states
of poetic feeling. He grasps and holds and sustains them amidst the
multiplicity of upflying thoughts and thick-coming fancies;--no matter
how subtile or how aspiring they may be, he fastens them in the chamber
of his imagination until his distant purpose is accomplished, and he has
found a language for them which the world will understand. And this is
where Shakspeare's art is so noble,--in that he conquers the entire
universe of thought, sentiment, feeling, and passion,--goes into the
whole and takes up and portrays characters the most extreme and diverse,
passions the most wild, sentiment the most refined, feelings the most
delicate,--and does this by an art in which he must make his characters
appear real and we looking on, though he cannot use, to develop his
dramas, a hundred-thousandth part of the words that would be used in
real life,--that is, in Nature. He also always approaches us upon the
level of our common sense and experience, and never requires us to yield
it,--never breaks in or jars upon our judgment, or shocks or alarms any
natural sensibility. After enlarging our souls with the stir of whatever
can move us through poetry, he leaves us where he found us, refreshed by
new thoughts, new scenes, and new knowledge of ourselves and our kind,
more capable, and, if we choose to be so, more wise. His art is so great
that we almost forget its presence,--almost forget that the Macbeth and
Othello we have seen and heard were Shakspeare's, and that he MADE them;
we can scarce conceive how he could feign as if felt, and retain and
reproduce such a play of emotions and passions from the position of
spectator, his own soul remaining, with its sovereign reason, and all
its powers natural and acquired, far, far above all its creations,--a
spirit alone before its Maker.

The opening of "Timon" was selected on account of its artful preparation
for and relation to what it precedes. It shows the forethought and skill
of its author in the construction or opening out of his play, both
in respect to the story and the feeling; yet even here, in this
half-declamatory prologue, the poet's dramatic art is also evident. His
poet and painter are living men, and not mere utterers of so many words.
Was this from intuition?--or because he found it easy to make them
what he conceived them, and felt that it would add to the life of his
introduction, though he should scarcely bring them forward afterwards?
No doubt the mind's eye helps the mind in character-drawing, and that
appropriate language springs almost uncalled to the pen, especially of
a practised writer for the stage. But is his scene a dream which he can
direct, and which, though he knows it all proceeds from himself, yet
seems to keep just in advance of him,--his fancy shooting ahead and
astonishing him with novelties in dialogue and situation? There are
those who have experienced this condition in sickness, and who have
amused themselves with listening to a fancied conversation having
reference to subjects of their own choosing, yet in which they did not
seem to themselves to control the cause of the dialogue or originate the
particular things said, until they could actually hear the voices rising
from an indistinct whisper to plain speech. I knew an instance, (which
at least is not related in the very curious work of M. Boismont on the
"Natural History of Hallucinations,") where an invalid, recovering
from illness, could hear for half a night the debates and doings of an
imaginary association in the next chamber, the absurdity of which often
made him laugh so that he could with difficulty keep quiet enough to
listen; while occasionally extracts would be read from books written in
a style whose precision and eloquence excited his admiration, or whose
affecting solemnity moved him deeply, though he knew perfectly well that
the whole came from his own brain. This he could either cause or permit,
and could in an instant change the subject of the conversation or
command it into silence. He would sometimes throw his pillow against the
wall and say, "Be still! I'll hear no more till daybreak!" And this has
taken place when he was in calm health in mind, and, except weakness, in
body, and broad awake. What was singular, the voices would cease at his
bidding, and in one instance (which might have startled him, had he not
known how common it is for persons to wake at an hour they fix) they
awoke him at the time appointed. Their language would bear the ordinary
tests of sanity, and was like that we see in daily newspapers; but the
various knowledge brought in, the complicated scenes gone through, made
the whole resemble intricate concerted music, from the imperfect study
of which possibly came the power to fabricate them. That they were owing
to some physical cause was shown by their keeping a sort of cadence with
the pulse, and in the fact, that, though not disagreeable, they were
wearisome; especially as they always appeared to be got up with some
remote reference to the private faults and virtues of that tedious
individual who is always forcing his acquaintance upon us, avoid him
however we may,--one's self.

Shall we suppose that Shakspeare wrote in such an _opium dream_ as this?
Did his "wood-notes wild" come from him as tunes do from a barrel-organ,
where it is necessary only to set the machine and disturb the bowels of
it by turning? Was it sufficient for him to fore-plan the plots of his
plays, the story, acts, scenes, persons,--the general rough idea, or
argument,--and then to sit at his table, and, by some process analogous
to mesmeric manipulations, put himself into a condition in which his
_genius_ should elaborate and shape what he, by the aid of his poetic
taste and all other faculties, had been able to rough-hew? How far did
his consciousness desert him?--only partially, as in the instance just
given, so that he marvelled, while he wrote, at his own fertility,
power, and truth?--or wholly, as in a Pythonic inspiration, so that the
frenzy filled him to his fingers' ends, and he wrote, he knew not what,
until he re-read it in his ordinary state? In fine, was he the mere
conduit of a divinity within him?--or was he in his very self, in the
nobility and true greatness of his being and the infinitude of his
faculties, a living fountain,--he, he alone, in as plain and common a
sense as we mean when we say "a man," the divinity?

These are "questions not to be asked," or, at least, argued, any
more than the question, Whether the blessed sun of heaven shall eat
blackberries. The quality of Shakspeare's writing renders it impossible
to suppose that it was produced in any other state than one where all
the perceptions that make good sense, and not only good, but most
excellent sense, were present and alert. Howsoever "apprehensive, quick,
forgetive, full of nimble, fiery, and delectable shapes" his brain
may be, it never gambols from the superintendence of his reason and
understanding. In truth, it is the perfectness of the control, the
conscious assurance of soundness in himself, which leaves him so free
that the control is to so many eyes invisible; they perceive nothing but
luxuriant ease in the midst of intricate complexities of passion and
character, and they think he could have followed the path he took only
by a sort of necessity which they call Nature,--that he wrote himself
quite into his works, bodily, just as he was, every thought that came
and went, and every expression that flew to his pen,--leaving out only a
few for shortness. They are so thoroughly beguiled by the very quality
they do not see, that they are like spectators who mistake the scene on
the stage for reality; they cannot fancy that a man put it all there,
and that it is by the artistic and poetic power of him, this man, who is
now standing behind or at the wing, and counting the money in the house,
that they are beguiled of their tears or thrown into such ecstasies of

It exalts, and not degrades, the memory of Shakspeare to think of him in
this manner, as a man: for he _was_ a man; he had eyes, hands, organs,
dimensions, and so forth, the same that a Jew hath; a good many people
saw him alive. Had we lived in London between 1580 and 1610, we might
have seen him,--a man who came from his Maker's hand endowed with the
noblest powers and the most godlike reason,--who had the greatest
natural ability to become a great dramatic poet,--the native genius and
the aptness to acquire the art, and who did acquire the highest art
of his age, and went on far beyond it, exhibiting new ingenuities and
resources, and a breadth that has never been equalled, and which admits
at once and harmonizes the deepest tragedy and the broadest farce, and,
in language, the loftiest flights of measured rhetoric along with
the closest imitation of common talk;--and all this he _so used_, so
elaborated through it the poetic creations of his mind, in such glorious
union and perfection of high purpose and art and reach of soul, that he
was the greatest and most universal poet the world has known.

Rowe observes, in regard to Shakspeare,--"Art had so little and
Nature so large a share in what he did, that, for aught I know, the
performances of his youth, as they were the most vigorous, and had the
most fire and strength of imagination in them, were the best. I
would not be thought by this to mean that his fancy was so loose and
extravagant as to be independent on the rule and government of judgment;
but that what he thought was commonly so great, so justly and rightly
conceived in itself, that it wanted little or no correction, and was
immediately approved by an impartial judgment at the first sight."

The last sentence is true; but Mr. Rowe really means to say that he was
as great an artist as natural poet,--that his _creative_ and _executive_
powers wrought in almost perfect spontaneity and harmony,--the work
of the _making_ part of him being generally at once approved by the
_shaping_ part, and each and both being admirable. When a man creates
an Othello, feigns his story and his passion, assumes to be him and to
observe him at the same time, figures him so exactly that all the
world may realize him also, brings in Desdemona and Iago and the rest,
everything kept in propriety and with the minutest perfection of detail,
which does most, Art or Nature? How shall we distinguish? Where does one
leave off and the other begin? The truth of the passion, that is Nature;
but can we not perceive that the Art goes along with it? Do we not at
once acknowledge the Art when we say, "How natural!"? In such as Iago,
for example, it would seem as if the least reflective spectator must
derive a little critical satisfaction,--if he can only bring himself to
fancy that Iago is not alive, but that the great master painted him and
wrote every word he utters. As we read his words, can we not see how
boldly he is drawn, and how highly colored? There he is, right in the
foreground, prominent, strong, a most miraculous villain. Did Nature put
the words into his mouth, or Art? The question involves a consideration
of how far natural it is for men to make Iagos, and to make them
speaking naturally. Though it be natural, it is not common; and if its
naturalness is what must be most insisted on, it may be conceded, and we
may say, with Polixenes, "The Art itself is Nature."

There is a strong rapture that always attends the full exercise of our
highest faculties. The whole spirit is raised and quickened into a
secondary life. This was felt by Shakspeare,--felt, and at the same
time controlled and guided with the same strictness over all thoughts,
feelings, passions, fancies, that thronged his mind at such moments, as
he had over those in his dull every-day hours. When we are writing, how
difficult it is to avoid pleasing our own vanity! how hard not to step
aside a little, now and then, for a brilliant thought or a poetic fancy,
or any of the thousand illusions that throng upon us! Even for the sake
of a well-sounding phrase we are often tempted to turn. The language of
passion,--how hard it is to feign, to write it! how harder than all, to
keep the tone, serious, or whatever it may be, with which we begin, so
that no expressions occur to break it,--lapses of thought or speech,
that are like sudden stumbles or uneasy jolts! And if this is so in
ordinarily elevated prose, how much more must it be so in high dramatic
poetry, where the poet rides on the whirlwind and tempest of passion and
"directs the storm." There must go to the conception and execution of
this sort of work a resolved mind, strong fancies, thoughts high and
deep, in fine, a multitude of powers, all under the grand creative,
sustaining imagination. When completed, the work stands forth to all
time, a great work of Art, and bulwark of all that is high against all
that is low. It is a great poetic work, the work of a maker who gives
form and direction to the minds of men.

In a certain sense, it is not an extravagance to say that all who are
now living and speak English have views of life and Nature modified by
the influence of Shakspeare. We see the world through his eyes; he has
taught us how to think; the freedom of soul, the strong sense, the
grasp of thought,--above all, the honor, the faith, the love,--who has
imparted such noble ideas of these things as he? Not any one, though
there were giants in those days as well as he. Hence he has grown to
seem even more "natural" than he did in his own day, his judges being
mediately or immediately educated by him. The works are admired, but the
nobleness of soul in him that made them is not perceived, and his genius
and power are degraded into a blind faculty by unthinking minds, and by
vain ones that flatter themselves they have discovered the royal road to
poetry. What they seem to require for poetry is the flash of thought
or fancy that starts the sympathetic thrill,--the little jots,--the
striking, often-quoted lines or "gems." The rest is merely introduced to
build up a piece; these are the "pure Nature," and all that.

And it is not to be denied that they are pure Nature; for they are true
to Nature, and are spontaneous, beautiful, exquisite, deserving to be
called gems, and even diamonds.

       "The sweet South,
  That breathes upon a bank of violets,
  Stealing and giving odor":--

thousands of such lines we keep in our memories' choicest cells; yet
they are but the exterior adornments of a great work of Art. They are
the delightful finishes and lesser beauties which the great work admits,
and, indeed, is never without, but which are not to be classed among its
essentials. Their beauty and fitness are not those of the grand columns
of the temple; they are the sculptures upon the frieze, the caryatides,
or the graceful interlacings of vines. They catch the fancy of those
whose field of vision is not large enough to take in the whole, and
upon whom all excellences that are not little are lost. Beautiful in
themselves, their own beauty is frequently all that is seen; the beauty
of their propriety, the grace and charm with which they come in, are
overlooked. Many people will have it that nothing is poetry or poetic
but these gems of poetry; and because the apparent spontaneousness of
them is what makes them so striking, these admirers are unwilling to see
that it is through an art that they are brought in so beautifully in
their spontaneousness and give such finish to larger effects. And
we have no end of writers who are forever trying to imitate them,
forgetting that the essence of their beauty is in their coming unsought
and in their proper places as unexpected felicities and fine touches
growing out of and contributing to some higher purpose. They are natural
in this way:--when the poet is engaged upon his work, these delicate
fancies and choice expressions throng into his mind; he instantly, by
his Art-sense, accepts some, and rejects more; and those he accepts are
such as he wants for his ulterior purpose, which will not admit the
appearance of art; hence he will have none that do not grow out of his
feeling and harmonize with it. All this passes in an instant, and the
apt simile or the happy epithet is created,--an immortal beauty, both in
itself and as it occurs in its place. It was put there by an art;
the poet knew that the way to make expressions come is to assume the
feeling; he knew that he

  "But in a fiction, in a dream of passion,
  Could force his soul so to his own conceit"

that his whole function would suit with expressions to his conceit.
He then withdrew his judgment from within, and cheated his fancy into
supposing he had given her the rein, letting the feigned state be as
real to him as it could, and writing from that primarily,--humoring
Nature by his art in leaving her to do what she alone could do. So that
the very gems we admire as natural are the offspring of Nature creating
under Art. To make streaked gillyflowers, we marry a gentler scion to
the wildest stock, and Nature does the rest. So in poetry, we cannot
get at the finest excellences by seeking for them directly, but we put
Nature in the way to suggest them. We do not strive to think whether
"the mobled queen" is good; we do not let our vanity keep such a
strict look-out upon Nature; she will not desert us, if we follow her
modes,--which we must do with all the art and fine tact we can acquire
and command, not only in order to gain the minute beauties, but to
compass the great whole.

The analogies that might be drawn from music would much assist in making
all this clear, if they could be used with a chance of being understood.
But, unfortunately, the ability to comprehend a great work, as a whole,
is even rarer in music than in poetry. The little taking bits of melody
are all that is thought of or perceived; the great _epos_ or rhapsody,
the form and meaning of the entire composition,--which is a work of Art
in no other sense than a poem is one, except that it uses, instead of
speech, musical forms, of greater variety and symmetry,--are not at all
understood. Nor is the subtile and irresistible coherence in successions
of clear sunny melody, in which Mozart so abounds, in any great degree
understood, even by some who call themselves artists. They think only
of the sudden flashes, the happinesses, and, if such a word may be used
once only, the smartnesses,--like children who care for nothing in their
cake but the frosting and the plums. But in continuing the study of the
art with such notions of its expression, the relish for it soon cloys,
the mind ceases to advance, the enthusiasm deadens, progress becomes
hopeless, and the little gained is soon lost; whereas, if the student is
familiarized with the most perfect forms of the art, and led on by them,
both by committing a few of them to memory, and by fully understanding
their structure, it will soon be evident that an intellectual study of
music, pursued with a true love of it, can, more than any other study,
strengthen the imaginative faculty.

The forms of poetry have only the rhythmic analogy, as forms, to those
of music; but in their foundation in the same Nature, and in their
manner of development, there is a closer resemblance. Both in music and
poetry, the older artists regarded with most strictness the carrying
through of the whole; they cared little for the taking tunes or the
striking passages; they looked with eyes single to their ultimate
purposes. Shakspeare came, and accomplished at once, for dramatic art,
what the fathers of modern music began for their art nearly a century
later. He made the strict form yield to and take new shape from natural
feeling. This feeling, whose expression is the musical element of
poetry, he brought up to its proper relation with all the other
qualities. Look at the terrific bombast which preceded him,--the mighty
efforts of mighty men to draw music or the power of sound into their
art; Hieronymo is like some portentous convulsion of Nature,--the
upheaval of a new geological era. The writers felt that there must be
style suited to passion, and that they must attain it,--but how? By
artificial pomp?--or by yielding with artful reserve to the natural
eloquence of passion?

Shakspeare has answered the question for all time; and he uses both,
each in its proper place. Nothing, even in music, ever showed an art
growing out of a nicer sensibility in sound than his variety and
appropriateness in style. For an art it is, and we cannot make a
definition of that word which shall include other forms of art and not
include it. If the passion and the feeling make the style, it is the
poet's art that leaves them free to do it; he superintends; he feigns
that which he leaves to make; he shares his art with "great creating
Nature." All is unreal; all comes out of him; and all that has to do
with the form and expression of his products is, of course, included
in the manifest when his ship of fancy gets its clearance at the
custom-house of his judgment. The style he assumes cannot but be present
to his consciousness in the progress of a long drama. He must perceive,
as he writes, if he has the common penetration of humanity, that the
flow and cadence of his "Henry the Eighth" are not like those of his
"Midsummer Night's Dream"; and he must preserve his tone, with, at
times, direct art, not leaving everything to the feeling. That he does
so is as evident as if he had chosen a form of verse more remote
from the language of Nature and obliged himself to conform to its
requirements. The terrible cursing of Margaret in "Richard III.," for
example, is not the remorseless, hollow monotony of it, while it so
heightens the passion, as evident to Shakspeare as to us; or had he no
ear for verse, and just let his words sound on as they would, looking
only at the meaning, and counting his iambics on his fingers,--not too
carefully either? If the last supposition is to be insisted on, we must
confine our notions of his perceptions and powers within very ordinary
bounds, and make dramatic art as unpoetic as the art of brickmaking.

The beauty of Shakspeare's art is in its comprehensiveness. It takes in
every quality of excellence. It looks at the great whole, and admits
the little charms and graces. It includes constructiveness in story,
character-drawing, picturesqueness, musicalness, naturalness,--in fine,
whatever art may combine with poetry or the soul of poetry admit in art.
To the young and unobservant, and all who are unable to consider the
poet's writing, as we have in this article endeavoured to study a single
passage of it, _from his position_, the art is not apparent; the mimic
scene is reality, or some supernatural inspiration or schoolboy-like
enthusiasm has produced the work. But there are others, created with
different faculties, who begin to perceive the art almost as soon as
they feel its power, and who love to study it and to live in the spirit
of poetry that breathes through it; these come gradually to think of the
man, as well as of his works,--to feel more and more the influence upon
them of his greatness and beauty of soul, and, as years pass by, to find
consolation and repose in the loftiness of his wisdom.

       *       *       *       *       *



Young Mien-yaun had for two years been the shining centre of the
aristocratic circles of Pekin. Around him revolved the social system.
He was the vitalizing element in fashionable life,--the radiant sun,
diffusing conventional warmth of tone and brilliancy of polish. He
created modes. He regulated reputations.

His smile or his frown determined the worldly fate of thousands. His
ready assurance gave him preeminence with one sex, and his beauty made
him the admiration of the other. When he talked, Mandarins listened;
when he walked, maidens' eyes glistened. He was, in short, the
rage,--and he knew it, and meant to remain so. He was a wonderful
student, and understood politics like a second Confucius. With the
literature of all ages, from the Shee-king, written four thousand
years ago, down to the latest achievements of the modern poets, he was
intimately acquainted. His accomplishments were rich and varied, and his
Tartar descent endowed him with a spirit and animation that enabled him
to exhibit them to every advantage. He sang like a veritable Orpheus,
and sensitive women had been known to faint under the excitement of his
Moo-lee-wha, or national song. He even danced,--a most rare faculty in
Pekin, as in all China,--but this was frowned upon, as immoral, by his
family. Comely indeed he was, especially on state occasions, when he
appeared in all the radiance of rosy health, overflowing spirits, and
the richest crapes and satins,--decorated with the high order of the
peacock's feather, the red button, and numberless glittering ornaments
of ivory and lapis-lazuli. Beloved or envied by all the men, and with
all the women dying for him, he was fully able to appreciate the
comforts of existence. Considering the homage universally accorded him,
he was as little of a dandy as could reasonably be expected.

His family connections were very exalted. All his relatives belonged to
the Tse,--the learned and governing class. His father had been one of
the Tootche-yuen, a censor of the highest board, and was still a member
of the council of ministerial Mandarins. His uncle was a personal noble,
a prince, higher in rank than the best of the Mandarins, and directed
the deliberations of the Ping-pu, the Council of War. Thus his station
gave him access to all the best society. His career was a path of roses.
He never knew a sorrow. All were friendly to him, even the jealous,
because it was the fashion. The doors of the mighty opened at his
approach, and the smiles of the noble greeted him. He lived in an
atmosphere of adulation, and yet resisted the more intoxicating
influences of his dangerous elevation. Young as he was, he had
penetrated the social surface, and, marking its many uncertainties,
had laid out for himself a system of diplomacy which he believed best
calculated to fortify him in his agreeable position of master of modes
and dictator of fashionable public opinion.

The course he adopted was thoroughly effective. His sway was never
disputed for a moment. He knew his personal charms, and determined to
enhance their value by displaying them sparingly. Accordingly, he began
by refusing forty-nine out of every fifty public invitations,--his
former habit having been to refuse but one in five. He appeared on the
promenade only twice in three weeks, but on these occasions he always
artfully contrived to throw the community into the wildest excitement.
One day, he appeared arrayed from head to foot in yellow Nankin, a
color always considered a special abomination in Pekin, but which was
nevertheless instantly adopted by all the gallants about town,--a
proceeding which caused so much scandal that an imperial edict had to
be issued, forbidding the practice in future. Another time, he came out
with an unparalleled twist to his tail, the construction of which had
occupied his mind for some days, and which occasioned the death by
suicide of three over-ambitious youths who found themselves unable to
survive the mortification of an unsuccessful attempt to imitate it.
Again, to the infinite horror of the Mandarins, he paraded himself one
afternoon with decacuminated finger-nails, and came very near producing
a riot by his unwillingness to permit them to grow again, besides
calling forth another imperial decree, threatening ignominious death to
all nobles throughout the empire who should encourage the practice.
All these eccentricities served only to add to the consequence of the
multipotent Mien-yaun. Then again, he was gifted with a bewitching
smile; but he steadily refrained from making any use of it oftener than
once a month, at which times the enthusiasm of his adherents knew no
bounds, and it might have been supposed that all Pekin had administered
unto itself a mild preparation of laughing-gas, so universal were the
grimaces. On very rare and distinguished occasions, Mien-yaun permitted
himself to be persuaded to sing; but as ladies sometimes swooned under
his melodious influence, the natural goodness of his heart prevented him
from frequent indulgence in the exercise of this accomplishment.

It may naturally be supposed that the popular and fascinating young
Chinese nobleman was the devoted object of much matrimonial speculation.
Managing mammas and aspiring daughters gave the whole of their minds to
him. To look forward to the possible hope of sharing through life his
fortunes and his fame was the continual employment of many a high-born
damsel. And they the more readily and unreservedly indulged these
fancies, as nothing in the laws of China could prevent Mien-yaun from
taking as many wives as he chose, provided he could support them all,
and supply all their natural wants. But our hero knew his value. He was
fully conscious that a member of the Tse, a son of an ex-censor of the
highest board, a nephew of a personal noble and the Secretary of War,
and, above all, the brightest ornament of aristocratic society, was by
no means the sort of person to throw himself lightly away upon any woman
or any set of women. He preferred to wait.

His family had high hopes of him. He was largely gifted with filial
piety, which is everything in China. Politics, religion, literature,
government, all rest upon the broad principle of filial piety. Being
very filially pious, of course Mien-yaun was eminent in all these varied
accomplishments. Consequently his family had a right to have high hopes
of him. The great statesman, Kei-ying,--who has very recently terminated
a life of devoted patriotism and heroic virtues by a sublime death on
the scaffold,--undertook his instruction in Chinese politics. One lesson
completed his education. "Lie, cheat, steal, and honor your parents,"
were the elementary principles which Kei-ying inculcated. The readiness
with which Mien-yaun mastered them inspired his tutor with a lively
confidence in the young man's future greatness. He was pronounced a
rising character. His popularity increased. His name was in everybody's
mouth. He shunned society more sedulously than ever, and assumed new and
loftier airs. He was seized with fits of ambition, each of which lasted
a day, and then gave place to some new aspiration. First, he would be a
poet; but, after a few hours' labor, he declared the exertion of hunting
up rhymes too great an exertion. Next, he would be a moral philosopher,
and commenced a work, to be completed in sixty volumes, on the Whole
Duty of Chinamen; but he never got beyond the elementary principles he
had imbibed from Kei-ying. Again, he would become a great painter; but,
having in an unguarded moment permitted the claims of perspective to be
recognized, he was discouraged from this attempt by a deputation of the
first artists of the empire, who waited upon him, and with great respect
laid before him the appalling effects that would inevitably follow any
public recognition of perspective in painting. Finally, he renounced
all ambition but that of ruling his fellow-creatures with a rod more
tyrannical than that of political authority, and more respected than the
sceptre of government itself.


Satiated with success, Mien-yaun at length became weary of the ceaseless
round of flattering triumphs, and began to lament that no higher step on
the social staircase remained for him to achieve. Alas that discontent
should so soon follow the realization of our brightest hopes! What, in
this world, is enough? More than we have! Mien-yaun felt all the pangs
of anxious aspiration, without knowing how to alleviate them. He was
only conscious of a deep desolation, for which none of the elementary
principles he had learned from Kei-ying afforded the slightest
consolation. He now avoided publicity from inclination, rather than from
any systematic plan of action. He dressed mostly in blue, a sufficient
sign of a perturbed spirit. He discarded the peacock's feather, as
an idle vanity, and always came forth among the world arrayed in
ultramarine gowns and cerulean petticoats. His stockings, especially,
were of the deepest, darkest, and most beautiful blue. The world of
fashion saw, and was amazed; but in less than, a week all Pekin had the
blues. Annoyed at what a few months before he would have delighted in as
another convincing proof of his influential position, Mien-yaun fled
the city, and sought relief in a cruise up and down the Peiho, in his
private junk. As he neared the Gulf of Pe-tche-lee, the sea-breeze
brought calm to his troubled spirit and imparted renewed vigor to his
wearied mind. A degree of resolution, to which he had heretofore been
a stranger, possessed him. His courage returned. He would go back to
Pekin. He would renounce those vain pursuits in which he had passed his
unworthy life. Henceforth he would strive for nobler aims. Something
great and wonderful he certainly would accomplish,--the exact nature of
which, however, he did not pause to consider.

As he reëntered the city, he was obliged to pass through that quarter
which is inhabited by the Kung,--the working and manufacturing classes.
His attention was suddenly arrested by feminine cries of distress; and,
turning a corner, he came upon a domestic scene so common in China
that it would hardly have attracted his notice but for a peculiar
circumstance. A matron, well advanced in years, was violently beating
a young and beautiful girl with a bit of bamboo; and the peculiar
circumstance that enforced Mien-yaun's interest was, that, as the maiden
turned her fair face towards him, she smiled through her tears and
telegraphed him a fragrant kiss, by means of her fair fingers. Naturally
astounded, he paused, and gazed upon the pair. The younger female was
the loveliest maid he had ever looked upon. She had the smallest eyes in
the world, the most tempting, large, full, pouting lips, the blackest
and most abundant hair, exquisitely plaited, and feet no bigger than her
little finger. As these are the four characteristics of female beauty
dearest to a Chinaman's heart, it is no wonder that Mien-yaun thought
her a paragon. The old woman, on the contrary, was hideously ugly. Her
teeth were gone, and her eyes sought the comforting assistance of an
ill-fitting pair of crystal spectacles. She had no hair, and her feet
might have supported an elephant. As he rested his eyes wistfully upon
them, the young woman discharged a second rapturous salute. His heart
beat with singular turbulence, and he approached.

"What has the child done?" he asked.

Now the law of China is, that parents shall not be restrained from
beating and abusing their children as often and as soundly as is
convenient. The great principle of filial piety knows no reciprocity.
Should a child occasionally be killed, the payment of a small fine will
satisfy the accommodating spirit of the authorities. The ill-favored
mother was not, therefore, in any way bound to answer this somewhat
abrupt question; but, observing the appearance of high gentility, and
touched by the engaging manner of the interrogator, she answered, that
her appetite had of late been uncertain, and that she was endeavoring to
restore it by a little wholesome exercise.

So reasonable an explanation admitted of no reply; and Mien-yaun was
about to resume his way with a sigh, when the young lady insinuated a
third osculatory hint, more penetrating than either of the others,
and bestowed on him, besides, a most ravishing smile. He fluttered
internally, but succeeded in preserving his outward immobility. He
entered into conversation with the elderly female, observing that it was
a fine day, and that it promised to continue so, although destiny was
impenetrable, and clouds might overshadow the radiant face of Nature at
any unexpected moment. To these and other equally profound and original
remarks the old woman graciously assented, and finally invited the young
gentleman to partake of a cup of scau-tcheou. Now scau-tcheou, which is
the most ardent of Chinese spirits, was Mien-yaun's abomination; but he
concealed his disgust, and quietly observed that he should prefer a cup
of tea.

The old woman was delighted, and ran off to prepare the desired
refreshment, so that Mien-yaun was at length rewarded by the opportunity
of a few private words with the daughter.

"Tell me, Miss," said he,--"why did the sweetest of lips perform their
most delicate office when the brightest of eyes first turned upon me?"

The young lady, confused and blushing, answered, that the brilliancy of
the jewel which Mien-yaun wore in his hat had dazzled her vision, and
that she mistook him for an intimate friend of her youth,--that was all.

He knew this was a lie; but as lying was in exact accordance with the
elementary principles laid down by the learned Kei-ying, he was rather
pleased by it. Moreover, it was a very pretty lie, worthy of so pretty a
girl; and Mien-yaun, whose wits were fast leaving him, removed the jewel
from his hat, and begged the maiden to accept it. She, declaring that
she never could think of such a thing, deposited it in her bosom.
Evidently the twain were on the brink of love; a gentle push only was
needed to submerge them.

Mien-yaun speedily learned that his fair friend's name was Ching-ki-pin;
that she was the daughter of a wealthy manufacturer, named Tching-whang,
who owned extensive porcelain-factories at the North, and was besides a
considerable tobacco-planter; that her father was very kind to her,
but that the old woman, who was not her own mother, treated her very
cruelly; that her father married this ancient virago for her wealth, and
now repented the rash step, but found it impossible to retrace it, as
the law of China allows no divorces excepting when the wife has parents
living to receive and shelter her; and the obnoxious woman being nearly
a hundred years old herself, this was out of the question. When he
had learned so much, they were interrupted by the reappearance of the
Antique, who brought with her the cup of tea, most carefully prepared.
In deep abstraction, Mien-yaun seized it, and, instead of drinking the
boiling beverage, poured it upon the old woman's back, scalding her to
such a degree that her shrieks resounded through the neighborhood. Then
dropping the cup upon the ground, he put his heel into it, and, with a
burning glance of love at Ching-ki-pin, strode, melancholy, away.


All that night, Mien-yaun's heart was troubled. The tranquillizing
finger of Sleep never touched his eyelids. At earliest dawn he arose,
and devoted some hours to the consideration of his costume. Never before
had he murmured at his wardrobe; now everything seemed unworthy of
the magnitude of the occasion. Finally, after many doubts and inward
struggles, and much bewilderment and desperation, the thing was done. He
issued forth in a blaze of splendor, preceded by two servants bearing
rare and costly presents. His raiment was a masterpiece of artistic
effect. He wore furs from Russia, and cotton from Bombay; his breast
sparkled with various orders of nobility; his slippers glistened with
gems; his hat was surmounted with the waving feather of the peacock.
Turning neither to the right nor to the left, he made his way to the
residence of Tching-whang. At the portal he paused, and sent in before
him his card,--a sheet of bright red paper,--with a list of the presents
he designed to offer the family whose acquaintance he desired to

As he had expected, his reception was most cordial. Though his person
was unknown, the magic of his name was not unfelt, even in the regions
of the Kung. A prince of the peacock's feather was no common visitor to
the home of a plebeian manufacturer; and when that prince was found
to be in addition the leader of the fashions and the idol of the
aristocracy, the marvel assumed a miraculous character. The guest was
ushered in with many low obeisances. How the too gay Ching-ki-pin
regretted those unlucky telegraphic kisses! What would he think of her?
She, too, had passed a most unquiet night, but had been able to relieve
her feelings to some extent at the sewing-circle, which had met at
her home, and at which she poured into the eager ears of her young
companions rapturous accounts of the beauty, elegance, dignity, and
tenderness of the enchanting stranger, and displayed before their
dazzled eyes the lustrous jewel he had presented to her. Having excited
a great deal of envy and jealousy, she was able to rest more in peace
than would otherwise have been possible. But she had never dreamed of
the real rank of her admirer. It came upon her like a lightning-flash,
and almost reduced her to a condition of temporary distraction. As for
the mother-in-law, she would infallibly have gone off into hysterics,
but for the pain in her back, which the barbers--who are also the
physicians in China--had not been able to allay. But the sight of a
peacock's feather under her roof was better than balm to her tortured
spine. Tching-whang lost his presence of mind altogether, and violated
the common decencies of life by receiving his visitor with his hat
off, and taking the proffered presents with one hand,--the other being
occupied in pulling his ear, to assure himself he was not dreaming.

Mien-yaun spoke. His voice fell like soft music on the ears of his
hosts, and went straight to the innermost core of Ching-ki-pin's heart.
He had come, he said, to give utterance to his deep grief at the mishap
of yesterday, the recollection of which had harrowed his soul. The
thought of that venerable blistered back had taken away his repose, and
seriously interfered with his appetite. At the same time he could not
forget his own great loss, occasioned by the unlucky spilling of the
precious cup. He was sure, that Madam, in the kindness of her heart,
would overlook his fault, and consent to bestow on him another cheering,
but not inebriating draught.

The Antique was overcome by so much condescension. She could not say
a word. Tching-whang, too, remained paralyzed. But the beauteous
Ching-ki-pin, who had recovered her composure, answered with the
sweetest air imaginable, and succeeded in winding another amorous chain
around the already sufficiently-enslaved heart of her lover.

Presently the ice of constraint was broken, and the Antique, having once
put her foot in it, plunged off into conversation with remarkable vigor.
She entertained Mien-yaun with a detailed account of her family trials,
so interminable, that, with all his politeness, the young noble could
not avoid gaping desperately. Tching-whang, observing his visitor's
strait, interposed.

"What the women have lost in their feet, they have added to their
tongues," said he, quoting a Chinese proverb of great popularity.

As the Antique persisted, her husband gently reminded her that excessive
talkativeness is an allowed ground for divorce in China, and, by
suggesting the idea that she might possibly become the dismembered
fragment of a shattered union, at length succeeded in shaming her into

This Tching-whang was a fine old fellow. He was not a bit fashionable,
and Mien-yaun liked him the better for it. He had been educated by the
bamboo, and not by masters in the arts of courtesy. But he was a shrewd,
cunning, jolly old Chinaman, and was evidently perfectly familiar with
the elementary principles according to Kei-ying. After an animated
discussion of some ten minutes, it would have been difficult to
determine which of the two gentlemen was most deeply imbued with a sense
of the righteousness of the elementary principles.

After a proper time had elapsed, Mien-yaun was permitted the luxury of
a private chat with his charmer. What sighs, what smiles, what pleasing
tremors, what soft murmurings, what pressings of the hand and throbbings
of the heart were there! The Antique, who watched the course of
proceedings through a contiguous keyhole, subsequently declared that she
had never in all her life witnessed so affecting a spectacle, and she
was prevented from giving way to her excessive agitation only by
the thought that the interruption might seriously endanger her
daughter-in-law's prospects. The lovers, unconscious of scrutiny, made
great progress. Some doubt appeared at one time to exist as to which
had first experienced the budding passion which had now blossomed so
profusely; but in due time it was settled that both had suffered love at
precisely the same moment, and that the first gleam of the other's eye
had kindled the flame in the bosom of each.

Towards evening, the Antique came in with a cup of tea worthy to excite
a poet's inspiration,--and poets in China have sung the delights of tea,
and written odes to teacups, too, before now. Mien-yaun sipped it with
an air of high-breeding that neither Ching-ki-pin nor her respectable
mother-in-law had ever seen before. Soon after, the enamored couple
parted, with many fond protestations of faith, avowed and betrothed

Mien-yaun went home in an amatory ecstasy, and immediately exploded four
bunches of crackers and blazed a Bengal light, as a slight token of his
infinite happiness.


All Pekin was in an uproar. That is to say, the three thousand eminent
individuals who composed the aristocracy had nearly lost their wits.
The million and a half of common people were, of course, of no account.
Mien-yaun had given out that he was about to be married; but to whom,
or to how many, remained a mystery. No further intelligence passed his
lips. Consequently, in less than twenty-four hours there were four
hundred and fifty persons who knew the lady's name, as many more who had
conversed with her upon the subject, twice as many who knew the day on
which the ceremony was to take place, at least one thousand who had been
invited to assist, and an infinitely greater number who simply shook
their heads. In two days the names of some hundreds of young and comely
damsels were popularly accepted as the chosen future partner of the
glass of fashion and the mould of form. Fifty different days and hours
were fixed as the appointed time. All the most noted bonzes in Pekin
were in turn declared to be the fortunate sacred instrument by which
the union was to be effected. In the course of a week, public feeling
reached such a height that business was neglected and property declined
in value. A panic was feared. Mien-yaun shut himself up, and did not
stir abroad for a month, lest he should be tracked, and his secret
discovered. He contrived, however, to maintain a constant correspondence
with the light of his soul.

He was a little disturbed to find that his much revered father, the
ex-censor of the highest board, took no notice of what was going on, and
never alluded to the subject in any manner. Mien-yaun was too deeply
impressed with a sense of filial obligation to intrude his humble
affairs upon the old gentleman's

[Transcriber's note: Page missing in original.]

There were lanterns--without number, and of the largest size; there were
the richest and most luxurious couches disposed about for the general
comfort; there were consultations of cooks, headed by a professor from
Ning-po, a city famed throughout China for its culinary perfection, with
a view to producing an unrivalled gastronomic sensation; there were
tailors who tortured their inventive brains to realize the ideal raiment
which Mien-yaun desired to appear in. The panic ceased as suddenly as it
had arisen. A little while ago, and there was a surplus of supply and no
demand; now, the demand far exceeded the supply. Artists in apparel were
driven frantic. In three days the entire fashionable world of Pekin had
to be new clad, and well clad, for the great occasion. One tailor,
in despair at his inability to execute more than the tenth of his
commissions, went and drowned himself in the Peiho River, a proceeding
which did not at all diminish the public distress. The loss of the
tailor was nothing, to be sure, but his death was a fatal blow to the
hopes of at least a hundred of the first families. As for the women,
they were beside themselves, and knew not which way to turn. It was
evident that nothing had occurred within a half-century to create
anything like the excitement that existed. Mien-yaun's prospects of
eternal potency never seemed so cheering.

All this time, our hero's father, the ex-censor of the highest board,
preserved a profound silence.


The three days passed so rapidly, that even Mien-yaun's anxiety, great
as it was, could hardly keep pace with the swift hours. The morning
of the New Year came. For the first time in his life, the dictator of
fashion lost his mind. His head whirled like a tee-to-tum, and his
pulses beat sharp and irregular as the detonations of a bundle of
crackers. He was obliged to resign himself to fate and his valet, and
felt compelled to have recourse to many cups of tea to calm his fevered
senses. At length it became necessary for him to descend to the gardens.
Nerving himself by a powerful effort, he advanced among his guests.

What a gorgeous array of rank and beauty was there! The customary calls
of the New Year had been forgotten. Curiosity had alike infected all,
and the traditionary commemoration of two thousand years was for the
first time neglected. Why this tremor at our hero's heart? Was he not
lord of all that he surveyed? Reigned he not yet with undisputed sway?
Or was it that, an undefined presentiment of dire misfortune had settled
upon him? He strove to banish his melancholy, but with slight success.

His troubled air did not escape the scrutinizing eyes of the company.
The women whispered; the men shook their heads. But all greeted him with
enthusiasm, and asked after his bride with eagerness.

A crash of gongs was heard. The gates of a pavilion flew open, and the
beauteous Ching-ki-pin stepped forth, glowing with loveliness and hope.
As she stood an instant timidly on the portal, she seemed almost a
divinity,--at least, Mien-yaun thought so. Her sweet face was surmounted
by a heavy coronet of black hair, plaited to perfection, and glistening
with gum. Her little eyes beamed lovingly on her betrothed, and a flush
of expectancy overspread her countenance. Her costume was in the best
Chinese taste. An embroidered tunic of silk fell from her neck almost to
her ankles, and just temptingly revealed the spangled trowsers and the
richly jewelled slippers. A murmur of admiration diffused itself around.
Then followed many anxious inquiries. Who was she? Whence came she? To
whom belonged she? Her face was strange to all that high-born throng. In
a minute, however, her father appeared, bearing on his arm the Antique,
who looked more hideous than ever. A flash of intelligence quivered
through the multitude. Many of the nobility purchased their porcelain
and tobacco of Tching-whang, and recognized him immediately. It is
astonishing how like lightning unpleasant facts do fly. In less than two
minutes, every soul in the gardens knew that Mien-yaun, the noble, the
princely, the loftily-descended, the genteel, was going to marry a
tradesman's daughter.

Now that the great secret was out, everybody had thought so. Some had
been sure of it. Others had told you so. It was the most natural thing
in the world. Where there was so much mystery, there must, of necessity,
be some peculiar reason for it. A great many had always thought him a
little crazy. In fact, the whole tide of public sentiment instantly
turned. Mien-yaun, without knowing it, was dethroned. Upstarts, who
that morning had trembled at his frown, and had very properly deemed
themselves unworthy to braid his tail, now swept by him with swaggering
insolence, as if to compensate in their new-found freedom for the years
of social enslavement they had been subjected to. Leers and shrugs and
spiteful whispers circulated extensively. But the enraptured Mien-yaun,
blind to everything except his own overwhelming happiness, saw and heard
them not.

Little time was afforded for these private expressions of amiable
feeling. The grand repast was declared ready, and the importance of this
announcement overweighed, for a short period, the claims of scandal and
ill-nature. The company quickly found their way to the tables, which, as
the "Pekin Gazette" of the next morning said, in describing the _fête_,
"literally groaned beneath the weight of the delicacies with which they
were loaded." The consultations of the Ning-po cook and his confederates
had produced great results. The guests seated themselves, and delicately
tasted the slices of goose and shell-fish, and the pickled berries, and
prawns, and preserves, which always compose the prefatory course of a
Chinese dinner of high degree. Then porcelain plates and spoons of the
finest quality, and ivory chopsticks tipped with pearl, were distributed
about, and the birds'-nest soup was brought on. After a sufficient
indulgence in this luxury, came sea-slugs, and shark stews, and crab
salad, all served with rich and gelatinous sauces, and cooked to a
charm. Ducks' tongues and deers' tendons, from Tartary, succeeded, with
stewed fruits and mucilaginous gravy. Every known and some unknown
luxuries were lavishly provided. The Ning-po cook had invented a
new dish expressly for the occasion,--"Baked ice _à la_
Ching-ki-pin,"--which was highly esteemed. The ice was enveloped in a
crust of fine pastry, and introduced into the oven; the paste being
baked before the ice--thus protected from the heat--had melted, the
astonished visitors had the satisfaction of biting through a burning
crust, and instantly cooling their palates with the grateful contents.
The Chinese never cook except on substantial principles; and it was the
principle of contrast which regulated this sublime _chef-d'oeuvre_ of
the Ning-po artist.

Of course, the rarest beverages were not wanting. A good dinner without
good wine is nought. Useless each without the other. Those whose fancy
rested upon medicated _liqueurs_ found them in every variety. Those who
placed a higher value upon plain light wines had no reason to complain
of the supply set before them. Those whose unconquerable instinct
impelled them to the more invigorating sam-shu had only to make known
their natural desires. As the feast progressed, and the spirits of
the company rose, the charms of music were added to the delights of
appetite. A band of singsong girls gently beat their tom-toms, and
carolled in soft and soothing strains. As they finished, a general
desire to hear Mien-yaun was expressed. Willing, indeed, he was, and,
after seven protestations that he could not think upon it, each fainter
than the other, he suffered himself to be prevailed over, and, casting
a fond look upon his betrothed, he rose, and sang the following verses
from the Shee-king,--a collection of odes four thousand years old, and,
consequently, of indisputable beauty:--

  "The peach-tree, how graceful! how fair!
    How blooming, how pleasant its leaves!
  Such is a bride when she enters to share
  The home of her bridegroom, and every care
    Her family from her receives."[A]

[Footnote A: The following is Sir William Jones's less literal and more
poetic paraphrase of the same selection:--

  "Gay child of Spring, the garden's queen,
    Yon peach-tree charms the roving sight;
  Its fragrant leaves how richly green!
    Its blossoms how divinely bright!

  "So softly smiles the blooming bride
    By love and conscious virtue led
  O'er her new mansion to preside,
    And placid joys around her spread."]


The festivities were at their height, the sam-shu was spreading its
benign influences over the guests, the deep delight of satiated appetite
possessed their bosoms, when the entrance of a stern and fat old
gentleman arrested universal attention. It was the respected father of
Mien-yaun, the ex-censor of the highest board, and Councillor of the
Empire. The company rose to greet him; but he, with gracious suavity,
begged them not to discompose themselves. Approaching that part of the
table occupied by the bridal party, he laid his hand upon his heart, and
assured Tching-whang that he was unable to express the joy he felt at
seeing him and his family.

Mien-yaun's father was a perfect master of the elementary principles.

Turning then to his son, he pleasantly requested him to excuse himself
to the assemblage, and follow him for a few minutes to a private

As soon as they were alone, the adipose ex-censor of the highest board
said:--"My son, have you thought of wedding this maiden?"

"Nothing shall divert me from that purpose, O my father," confidently
answered Mien-yaun.

"Nothing but my displeasure," said the ex-censor of the highest board.
"You will not marry her."

Mien-yaun was thunderstruck. When he had said that nothing should
awe him from the career of his humor, he had never contemplated the
appalling contingency of the interposition of paternal authority. He
wept, he prayed, he raved, he gnashed his teeth, he tore out as much of
his hair as was consistent with appearances. He went through all the
various manifestations of despair, but without producing the slightest
effect upon the inexorable ex-censor of the highest board. That worthy
official briefly explained his objections to a union between his son,
the pride and joy of the Tse, and a daughter of one of the Kung, and
then, taking the grief-stricken lover by the hand, he led him back to
the gardens.

"Good friends," said he, "my son has just conveyed to me his lively
appreciation of the folly he was about to commit. He renounces all
connection with the black-haired daughter of the Kung, whom he now
wishes a very good evening."

And the ex-censor of the highest board gravely and gracefully bowed the
family of Tching-whang out of the premises. The moment they crossed the
threshold, Mien-yaun and Ching-ki-pin went into a simultaneous fit.


Mien-yaun now abandoned himself to grief. He laid away the peacock's
feather on a lofty shelf, and took to cotton breeches. Mien-yaun in
cotton breeches! What stronger confirmation could be needed of his utter
desolation? As he kept himself strictly secluded, he knew nothing of
the storm of ridicule that was sweeping his once illustrious name
disgracefully through the city. He knew not that a popular but
unscrupulous novelist had caught up the sad story and wrought it into
three thrilling volumes,--nor that an enterprising dramatist had
constructed a closely-written play in five acts, founded on the event,
and called "The Judgment of Taoli, or Vanity Rebuked," which had been
prepared, rehearsed, and put upon the stage by the second night after
the occurrence. He would gladly have abdicated the throne of fashion;
he cared nothing for that;--but it was well that he was spared the
humiliation of seeing his Ching-ki-pin's name held up to public scorn;
that would have destroyed the feeble remains of intellect which yet
inhabited his bewildered brain.

Occasionally he would address the most piteous entreaties to his
cruel parent, but always unavailingly. He had not the spirit to show
resentment, even if the elementary principles would have permitted
it. The reaction of his life had come. This first great sorrow had
completely overwhelmed him, and, like most young persons in the agony of
a primal disappointment, he believed that the world had now no charms
for him, and that in future his existence would be little better than
a long sad bore. He looked back upon his career of gaudy magnificence
without regret, and felt like a _blasé_ butterfly, who would gladly
return to the sober obscurity of the chrysalis. He found that wealth and
station, though they might command the admiration of the world, could
not insure him happiness; and he thought how readily he would resign all
the gifts and glories which Fortune had showered on him for the joyous
hope, could he dare to indulge it, of a cottage on the banks of the
Grand Canal, with his darling Ching-ki-pin at his side.

Thus passed away some months. At last, one day, he ventured forth, in
hope of meeting some former friend, in whose confiding ear he might
whisper his many sorrows. He had not proceeded twenty paces before a
group of young gallants, who in earlier days had been the humblest
of his satellites, brushed rudely by him, without acknowledging his
courteous salutation. Thinking that anguish might have changed his
features beyond recognition, he walked on, and soon met one with whom
his intimacy had been unlimited. He paused, and accosted him.

The other stared coldly upon him, said he had a faint remembrance of
Mien-yaun, but Mien-yaun was _passé_ now, since that affair with old
Tching-whang's daughter, and he must really be excused from entering
into conversation with any one so excessively behind the fashionable

Mien-yaun seized the offender by the tail, whirled him violently to the
ground, and strode haughtily back to his home, whence he could not be
persuaded to stir, until after the occurrence of a very remarkable


When Mien-yaun had pined nearly half away, and was considering within
himself whether it was expedient to commence upon the other half, word
was brought to him, one day, that his father, whom he had not seen for
some weeks, had met with an accident. Further inquiry revealed the fact,
that the worthy ex-censor of the highest board had so far forgotten
himself as to sneeze in the presence of the Emperor; and as nothing in
the elementary principles could be found to justify so gross a breach
of etiquette, the ex-censor's head had been struck off by the public
executioner, and his property, which was immense, had been confiscated
to the state. Some of Mien-yaun's friends, who had sedulously shunned
him for six months, lost no time in hastening to him with the agreeable
intelligence that he was an orphan and a pauper. After kicking them out
of doors, he sat down and pondered upon the matter.

On the whole, he saw no great cause for grief. The Chinese law, which
is strict in the enforcement of all duties of a son to a living parent,
does not compel excessive lamentation for the dead. Mien-yaun could not
but perceive that the only obstacle to his union with Ching-ki-pin was
now removed. The sudden flood of joy which this thought gave rise
to came very near upsetting him again, and he had to resort to an
opium-pipe to quiet his nerves. He attended personally to the ceremonies
of interring the decollated deceased, and then shut himself up for a
week, to settle his mind.

At the expiration of this time, he started out, one early morning, alone
and in humble garb, to seek his lost love. He threaded the familiar
streets, and, with heart beating high in delightful expectation, he
stood before the door of Tching-whang's mansion. He entered, and found
the Antique alone.

Then followed a woful scene. The Antique began by informing him that
Mien-yaun rich and famous, and Mien-yaun poor and in disgrace, were two
very different persons. She went on to show that things were not now as
they used to be,--that, though her daughter-in-law had permitted his
addresses when he was in prosperity, she could not think of listening to
them under the present circumstances. _Pei_ was one thing, and _pin_ was
another. She concluded by recommending him, as he seemed in distress, to
take a dose of gin-seng and go to bed. After which she opened the door,
and gently eliminated him.


Deeper than ever plummet sounded was Mien-yaun's wretchedness now.
Desperation took possession of him. Nothing prevented him from severing
his carotid artery but the recollection that only the vulgar thus
disposed of themselves. He thought of poison, whose sale was present
death in Pekin, according to established law. Suicide by poison being a
forbidden luxury, it recommended itself nimbly unto Mien-yaun's senses.
He did remember an apothecary whose poverty, if not his will, would
consent to let him have a dram of poison. He was about acting on this
inspiration, when a message was brought to him from Tching-whang, that,
at his daughter's most earnest prayer, one solitary interview would be
permitted the lovers.

Like an arrow, Mien-yaun flew to the arms of Ching-ki-pin. She was,
then, true to him. She told him so; she swore it. Hope revived. He
thought no longer of the apothecary. Since Ching-ki-pin was faithful, he
asked no higher bliss.

A hundred plans were discussed, and all declared ineffectual to
accomplish their union. Still they suggested impracticabilities.

"Let us run away," said Mien-yaun.

"Think of my feet," said Ching-ki-pin, reproachfully;--"am I a Hong-Kong
woman, that I should run?"

It is only in Hong-Kong that the Chinese women permit their feet to

Mien-yaun was full of heroic resolutions. Hitherto, besides being born
great, he had had greatness thrust upon him. Now he would achieve
greatness. He would secure not only wealth, but also a more enduring
fame than he had before enjoyed. He saw many avenues to eminence opening
before him. He would establish a periodical devoted to pictorial
civilization. If civilization did not bring it success, he would
illustrate great crimes and deadly horrors, in the highest style of Art,
and thus command the attention of the world. Or he would establish a
rival theatre. Two playhouses already existed in Pekin, each controlled
by men of high integrity, great tact, and undenied claims to public
support. He would overturn all that. He would start without capital,
sink immense sums, pay nobody, ruin his company, and retire in triumph.
Or he would become a successful politician, which was easier than
all, for nothing was needed in this career but strong lungs and a
cyclopaedia. Many other methods of achieving renown did he rehearse, all
of which seemed feasible.

Ching-ki-pin, too, thought she might do something to acquire wealth. She
painted beautifully, with no sign of perspective to mar her artistic
productions. She warbled like a nightingale. She understood botany
better than the great Chin-nong, who discovered in one day no less than
seventy poisonous plants, and their seventy antidotes. Could she not
give lessons to select classes of young ladies in all these several
accomplishments? She was dying to do something to help defeat the
machinations of their evil Quei-shin, the mother-in-law.

Finally, without coming to any particular conclusion, and after
interchanging eternal vows, they parted much comforted, and looking
forward to a brighter future.


Mien-yaun went to his home,--no longer the splendid mansion of his early
days, but a poor cottage, in an obscure quarter of the city. As he threw
himself upon a bench, a sharp bright thought flashed across his mind.
His brain expanded with a sudden poetic ecstasy. He seized upon a fresh
white sheet, and quickly covered it with the mute symbols of his fancy.
Another sheet, and yet another. Faster than his hand could record them,
the burning thoughts crowded upon him. No hesitation now, as in his
former efforts to effect his rhymes. Experience had taught him how to
think, and much suffering had filled his bosom with emotions that longed
to be expressed. Still he wrote on. Towards midnight he kicked off his
shoes, and wrote on, throwing the pages over his shoulder as fast as
they were finished. Morning dawned, and found him still at his task. He
continued writing with desperate haste until noon, and then flung away
his last sheet; his poem was done.

He rose, and moistened his lips with a cup of fragrant Hyson, which,
according to the great Kian-lung, who was both a poet and an emperor,
and therefore undoubted authority on all subjects, drives away all the
five causes of disquietude which come to trouble us. Then he walked up
and down his narrow apartment many times, carefully avoiding the piles
of eloquence that lay scattered around. Then he sat down, and, gathering
up the disordered pages, resigned himself to the dire necessity--that
curse of authorship--of revising and correcting his verses. By
nightfall, this, too, was completed.

In the morning, he ran to the nearest publisher. His poem was
enthusiastically accepted. In a week, it was issued anonymously,
although the author's name was universally known the same day.

As Mien-yaun himself was afterwards accustomed to say,--after six months
of ignominious obscurity, he awoke one morning and found himself famous!

In two days the first edition was exhausted, and a second, with
illustrations, was called for. In two more, it became necessary to issue
a third, with a biography of the author, in which it was shown that
Mien-yaun was the worst-abused individual in the world, and that Pekin
had forever dishonored itself by ill-treating the greatest genius that
city had ever produced. In the fourth edition, which speedily followed,
the poet's portrait appeared.

It was soon found that Mien-yaun's poem was a versified narration of his
own experiences. There was the romantic youth, the beautiful maiden, the
obdurate papa, the villanous mother-in-law, and the shabby public. This
discovery augmented its popularity, and ten editions were disposed of in
a month.

At length the Emperor was induced to read it. He underwent a new
sensation, and, in the exuberance of his delight, summoned the author
to a grand feast. When the Antique heard of this, she swallowed her
chopsticks in a fit of rage and spite, and died of suffocation.
Mien-yaun was then satisfied. He went to the dinner. The noble and the
mighty again lavished their attentions upon him, but he turned from them
with disgust. He saw through the flimsy tissue of flattery they would
fain cast over his eyes. The most appetizing delicacies were set before
him, but, like a true poet, he refused to take anything but biscuits and
soda-water. As neither of these articles had been provided, he consented
to regale himself with a single duck's tongue. In short, he behaved so
singularly, and gave himself so many airs, that everybody present, from
the Emperor to the cook, was ready to bow down and worship him.

At the close of the repast, the Emperor begged to be informed in what
way he could be permitted to testify his appreciation of the towering
talents of his gifted subject.

"Son of Heaven," answered Mien-yaun, "grant me only the hand in marriage
of my beauteous Ching-ki-pin. No other ambition have I."

The Emperor was provoked at the modesty of the demand. In truth, he
would have been glad to see the young poet united to one of his own
daughters. But his imperial word was pledged,--and as Mien-yaun willed
it, so it was.


Their home is a little cottage on the bank of the Peiho; finery never
enters it, and neatness never leaves it. The singing of birds, the
rustling of the breeze, the murmuring of the waters are the only sounds
that they hear. Their windows will shut, and their door open,--but
to wise men only; the wicked shun it. Truth dwells in their hearts,
innocence guides their actions. Glory has no more charms for them than
wealth, and all the pleasures of the world cost them not a single wish.
The enjoyment of ease and solitude is their chief concern. Leisure
surrounds them, and discord shuns them. They contemplate the heavens and
are fortified. They look on the earth and are comforted. They remain in
the world without being of it. One day leads on another, and one year is
followed by another; the last will conduct them safe to their eternal
rest, and they will have lived for one another.[B]

[Footnote B: The concluding lines are from a modern Chinese poem.]

       *       *       *       *       *


  Oh, hark to the brown thrush! hear how he sings!
    How he pours the dear pain of his gladness!
  What a gush! and from out what golden springs!
    What a rage of how sweet madness!

  And golden the buttercup blooms by the way,
    A song of the joyous ground;
  While the melody rained from yonder spray
    Is a blossom in fields of sound.

  How glisten the eyes of the happy leaves!
    How whispers each blade, "I am blest!"
  Rosy heaven his lips to flowered earth gives,
    With the costliest bliss of his breast.

  Pour, pour of the wine of thy heart, O Nature,
    By cups of field and of sky,
  By the brimming soul of every creature!--
    Joy-mad, dear Mother, am I!

  Tongues, tongues for my joy, for my joy! more tongues!--
    Oh, thanks to the thrush on the tree,
  To the sky, and to all earth's blooms and songs!
    They utter the heart in me.




As we have said, there were some official mysteries connected with the
arrival of our steamer in Nassau; but these did not compare with the
visitations experienced in Havana. As soon as we had dropped anchor, a
swarm of dark creatures came on board, with gloomy brows, mulish noses,
and suspicious eyes. This application of Spanish flies proves irritating
to the good-natured captain, and uncomfortable to all of us. All
possible documents are produced for their satisfaction,--bill of lading,
bill of health, and so on. Still they persevere in tormenting the whole
ship's crew, and regard us, when we pass, with all the hatred of race in
their rayless eyes. "Is it a crime," we are disposed to ask, "to have
a fair Saxon skin, blue eyes, and red blood?" Truly, one would seem to
think so; and the first glance at this historical race makes clear to us
the Inquisition, the Conquest of Granada, and the ancient butcheries of
Alva and Pizarro.

As Havana is an unco uncertain place for accommodations, we do not go on
shore, the first night, but, standing close beside the bulwarks, feel a
benevolent pleasure in seeing our late companions swallowed and carried
off like tidbits by the voracious boatmen below, who squabble first for
them and then with them, and so gradually disappear in the darkness. On
board the "Karnak" harmony reigns serene. The custom-house wretches are
gone, and we are, on the whole, glad we did not murder them. Our little
party enjoys tea and bread-and-butter together for the last time. After
so many mutual experiences of good and evil, the catguts about our tough
old hearts are loosened, and discourse the pleasant music of Friendship.
An hour later, I creep up to the higher deck, to have a look-out
forward, where the sailors are playing leap-frog and dancing
fore-and-afters. I have a genuine love of such common sights, and am
quite absorbed by the good fun before me, when a solemn voice sounds at
my left, and, looking round, I perceive Can Grande, who has come up to
explain to me the philosophy of the sailor's dances, and to unfold his
theory of amusements, as far as the narrow area of one little brain
(mine, not his) will permit. His monologue, and its interruptions, ran
very much as follows:--

_I_.--This is a pleasant sight, isn't it?

_Can Grande_.--It has a certain interest, as exhibiting the inborn ideal
tendency of the human race;--no tribe of people so wretched, so poor, or
so infamous as to dispense with amusement, in some form or other.

_Voice from below_.--Play up, Cook! That's but a slow jig ye're fluting
away at.

_Can Grande_.--I went once to the Five Points of New York, with a
police-officer and two philanthropists;--our object was to investigate
that lowest phase of social existence.----

Bang, whang, go the wrestlers below, with loud shouts and laughter. I
give them one eye and ear,--Can Grande has me by the other.

_Can Grande_.--I went into one of their miserable dance-saloons. I saw
there the vilest of men and the vilest of women, meeting with the worst
intentions; but even for this they had the fiddle, music and dancing.
Without this little crowning of something higher, their degradation
would have been intolerable to themselves and to each other.----

Here the man who gave the back in leap-frog suddenly went down in the
middle of the leap, bringing with him the other, who, rolling on the
deck, caught the traitor by the hair, and pommelled him to his heart's
content. I ventured to laugh, and exclaim, "Did you see that?"

_Can Grande_.--Yes; that is very common.--At that dance of death, every
wretched woman had such poor adornment as her circumstances allowed,--a
collar, a tawdry ribbon, a glaring false jewel, her very rags disposed
with the greater decency of the finer sex,--a little effort at beauty, a
sense of it. The good God puts it there;--He does not allow the poorest,
the lowest of his human children the thoughtless indifference of

And there was the beautiful tropical sky above, starry, soft, and
velvet-deep,--the placid waters all around, and at my side the man who
is to speak no more in public, but whose words in private have still the
old thrill, the old power to shake the heart and bring the good thoughts
uppermost. I put my hand in his, and we descended the companionway
together and left the foolish sailors to their play.

But now, on the after-deck, the captain, much entreated, and in no wise
unwilling, takes down his violin, and with pleasant touch gives us the
dear old airs, "Home, Sweet Home," "Annie Laurie," and so on, and we
accompany him with voices toned down by the quiet of the scene around.
He plays, too, with a musing look, the merry tune to which his little
daughter dances, in the English dancing-school, hundreds of leagues
away. Good-night, at last, and make the most of it. Coolness and quiet
on the water to-night, and heat and mosquitoes, howling of dogs and
chattering of negroes tomorrow night, in Havana.

The next morning allowed us to accomplish our transit to the desired
land of Havana. We pass the custom-house, where an official in a cage,
with eyes of most oily sweetness, and tongue, no doubt, to match,
pockets our gold, and imparts in return a governmental permission to
inhabit the Island of Cuba for the space of one calendar month. We go
trailing through the market, where we buy peeled oranges, and through
the streets, where we eat them, seen and recognized afar as Yankees by
our hats, bonnets, and other features. We stop at the Café Dominica, and
refresh with coffee and buttered rolls, for we have still a drive of
three miles to accomplish before breakfast. All the hotels in Havana are
full, and more than full. Woolcut, of the Cerro, three miles from the
gates, is the only landlord who will take us in; so he seizes us fairly
by the neck, bundles us into an omnibus, swears that his hotel is but
two miles distant, smiles archly when we find the two miles long, brings
us where he wants to have us, the Spaniards in the omnibus puffing and
staring at the ladies all the way. Finally, we arrive at his hotel, glad
to be somewhere, but hot, tired, hungry, and not in raptures with our
first experience of tropical life.

It must be confessed that our long-tried energies fall somewhat flat on
the quiet of Woolcut's. We look round, and behold one long room with
marble floor, with two large doors, not windows, opening in front upon
the piazza and the street, and other openings into a large court behind,
surrounded by small, dark bedrooms. The large room is furnished with two
dilapidated cane sofas, a few chairs, a small table, and three or four
indifferent prints, which we have ample time to study. For company, we
see a stray New York or Philadelphia family, a superannuated Mexican who
smiles and bows to everybody, and some dozen of those undistinguishable
individuals whom we class together as Yankees, and who, taking the map
from Maine to Georgia, might as well come from one place as another, the
Southerner being as like the Northerner as a dried pea is to a green
pea. The ladies begin to hang their heads, and question a little:--"What
are we to do here? and where is the perfectly delightful Havana you told
us of?" Answer:--"There is nothing whatever to do here, at this hour
of the day, but to undress and go to sleep;--the heat will not let you
stir, the glare will not let you write or read. Go to bed; dinner is at
four; and after that, we will make an effort to find the Havana of the
poetical and Gan Eden people, praying Heaven it may not have its only
existence in their brains."

Still, the pretty ones do not brighten; they walk up and down, eyeing
askance the quiet boarders who look so contented over their children and
worsted-work, and wondering in what part of the world they have taken
the precaution to leave their souls. Unpacking is then begun, with
rather a flinging of the things about, interspersed with little peppery
hints as to discomfort and dulness, and dejected stage-sighs, intended
for hearing. But this cannot go on,--the thermometer is at 78 degrees
in the shade,--an intense and contagious stillness reigns through the
house,--some good genius waves a bunch of poppies near those little
fretful faces, for which a frown is rather heavy artillery. The balmy
breath of sleep blows off the lightly-traced furrows, and, after a
dreamy hour or two, all is bright, smooth, and freshly dressed, as a
husband could wish it. The dinner proves not intolerable, and after it
we sit on the piazza. A refreshing breeze springs up, and presently the
tide of the afternoon drive sets in from the city. The _volantes_ dash
by, with silver-studded harnesses, and postilions black and booted;
within sit the pretty Señoritas, in twos and threes. They are attired
mostly in muslins, with bare necks and arms; bonnets they know
not,--their heads are dressed with flowers, or with jewelled pins. Their
faces are whitened, we know, with powder, but in the distance the effect
is pleasing. Their dark eyes are vigilant; they know a lover when they
see him. But there is no twilight in these parts, and the curtain of the
dark falls upon the scene as suddenly as the screen of the theatre upon
the _dénouement_ of the tragedy. Then comes a cup of truly infernal tea,
the mastication of a stale roll, with butter, also stale,--then,
more sitting on the piazza,--then, retirement, and a wild hunt after
mosquitoes,--and so ends the first day at Woolcut's, on the Cerro.


"Shall I not take mine ease in mine inn?" Yes, truly, if you can get it,
Jack Falstaff; but it is one thing to pay for comfort, and another thing
to have it. You certainly pay for it, in Havana; for the $3 or $3.50
_per diem_, which is your simplest hotel-charge there, should, in any
civilized part of the world, give you a creditable apartment, clean
linen, and all reasonable diet. What it does give, the travelling public
may like to learn.

Can Grande has left Woolcut's. The first dinner did not please him,--the
cup of tea, with only bread, exasperated,--and the second breakfast,
greasy, peppery, and incongruous, finished his disgust; so he asked for
his bill, packed his trunk, called the hotel detestable, and went.

Now he was right enough in this; the house is detestable;--but as all
houses of entertainment throughout the country are about equally so,
it is scarcely fair to complain of one. I shall not fear to be more
inclusive in my statement, and to affirm that in no part of the world
does one get so little comfort for so much money as on the Island of
Cuba. To wit: an early cup of black coffee, oftenest very bad; bread not
to be had without an extra sputtering of Spanish, and darkening of the
countenance;--to wit, a breakfast between nine and ten, invariably
consisting of fish, rice, beefsteak, fried plantains, salt cod with
tomatoes, stewed tripe and onions, indifferent claret, and an after-cup
of coffee or green tea;--to wit, a dinner at three or four, of which
the inventory varieth not,--to wit, a plate of soup, roast beef, tough
turkeys and chickens, tolerable ham, nameless stews, cajota, plantains,
salad, sweet potatoes; and for dessert, a spoonful each of West India
preserve,--invariably the kind you do not like,--oranges, bananas, and
another cup of coffee;--to wit, tea of the sort already described;--to
wit, attendance and non-attendance of negro and half-breed waiters, who
mostly speak no English, and neither know nor care what you want;--to
wit, a room whose windows, reaching from floor to ceiling, inclose no
glass, and are defended from the public by iron rails, and from the
outer air, at desire, by clumsy wooden shutters, which are closed only
when it rains;--to wit, a bed with a mosquito-netting;--to wit, a towel
and a pint of water, for all ablutions. This is the sum of your comforts
as to quantity; but as to their quality, experience alone can enlighten

Taking pity on my exile at the Cerro, Can Grande and his party invite
me to come and spend a day at their hotel, of higher reputation, and
situated in the centre of things. I go;--the breakfast, to my surprise,
is just like Woolcut's; the dinner _idem_, but rather harder to get;
preserves for tea, and two towels daily, instead of one, seem to
constitute the chief advantages of this establishment. Domestic linens,
too, are fairer than elsewhere; but when you have got your ideas of
cleanliness down to the Cuban standard, a shade or two either way makes
no material difference.

Can Grande comes and goes; for stay in the hotel, behind those
prison-gratings, he cannot. He goes to the market and comes back, goes
to the Jesuit College and comes back, goes to the banker's and gets
money. In his encounters with the sun he is like a prize-fighter coming
up to time. Every round finds him weaker and weaker, still his pluck is
first-rate, and he goes at it again. It is not until three, P.M., that
he wrings out his dripping pocket-handkerchief, slouches his hat over
his brows, and gives in as dead-beat.

They of the lovely sex, meanwhile, undergo, with what patience they may,
an Oriental imprisonment. In the public street they must on no account
set foot. The Creole and Spanish women are born and bred to this, and
the hardiest American or English woman will scarcely venture out a
second time without the severe escort of husband or brother. These
relatives are, accordingly, in great demand. In the thrifty North, man
is considered an incumbrance from breakfast to dinner,--and the sooner
he is fed and got out of the way in the morning, the better the work
of the household goes on. If the master of the house return at an
unseasonable hour, he is held to an excuse, and must prove a headache,
or other suitable indisposition. In Havana, on the contrary, the
American woman suddenly becomes very fond of her husband:--"he must not
leave her at home alone; where does he go? she will go with him; when
will he come back? remember, now, she will expect him." The secret of
all this is, that she cannot go out without him. The other angel of
deliverance is the _volante_, with its tireless horses and _calesero_,
who seems fitted and screwed to the saddle, which he never leaves. He
does not even turn his head for orders. His senses are in the back of
his head, or wherever his mistress pleases. "_José, calle de la muralla,
esquina á los oficios_,"--and the black machine moves on, without look,
word, or sign of intelligence. In New York, your Irish coachman grins
approval of your order; and even an English flunkey may touch his hat
and say, "Yes, Mum." But in the Cuban negro of service, dumbness is the
complement of darkness;--you speak, and the patient right hand pulls the
strap that leads the off horse, while the other gathers up the reins of
the nigh, and the horses, their tails tightly braided and deprived of
all movement, seem as mechanical as the driver. Happy are the ladies
at the hotel who have a perpetual _volante_ at their service! for they
dress in their best clothes three times a day, and do not soil them by
contact with the dusty street. They drive before breakfast, and shop
before dinner, and after dinner go to flirt their fans and refresh their
robes on the Paseo, where the fashions drive. At twilight, they stop at
friendly doors and pay visits, or at the entrance of the _café_, where
ices are brought out to them. At eight o'clock they go to the Plaza, and
hear the band play, sitting in the _volante_; and at ten they come home,
without fatigue, having all day taken excellent care of number one,
beyond which their arithmetic does not extend. "I and my _volante_" is
like Cardinal Wolsey's "_Ego et Rex meus_."

As for those who have no _volantes_, modesty becomes them, and quietness
of dress and demeanor. They get a little walk before breakfast, and stay
at home all day, or ride in an omnibus, which is perhaps worse;--they
pay a visit now and then in a hired carriage, the bargain being made
with difficulty;--they look a good deal through the bars of the
windows, and remember the free North, and would, perhaps, envy the
_volante_-commanding women, did not dreadful Moses forbid.

One alleviation of the tedium of hotel-life in the city is the almost
daily visit of the young man from the dry-goods' shop, who brings
samples of lawns, misses' linen dresses, piña handkerchiefs, and fans of
all prices, from two to seventy-five dollars. The ladies cluster like
bees around these flowery goods, and, after some hours of bargaining,
disputing, and purchasing, the vendor pockets the golden honey, and
marches off. As dress-makers in Havana are scarce, dear, and bad, our
fair friends at the hotel make up these dresses mostly themselves, and
astonish their little world every day by appearing in new attire. "How
extravagant!" you say. They reply, "Oh! it cost nothing for the making;
I made it myself." But we remember to have heard somewhere that "Time
is Money." At four in the afternoon, a negress visits in turn
every bedroom, sweeps out the mosquitoes from the curtains with a
feather-brush, and lets down the mosquito-net, which she tucks in around
the bed. After this, do not meddle with your bed until it is time to get
into it; then put the light away, open the net cautiously, enter with a
dexterous swing, and close up immediately, leaving no smallest opening
to help them after. In this mosquito-net you live, move, and have your
being until morning; and should you venture to pull it aside, even for
an hour, you will appall your friends, next morning, with a face which
suggests the early stages of small-pox, or the spotted fever.

The valuable information I have now communicated is the sum of what I
learned in that one day at Mrs. Almy's; and though our party speedily
removed thither, I doubt whether I shall be able to add to it anything
of importance.


One is apt to arrive in Havana with a heart elated by the prospect of
such kindnesses and hospitalities as are poetically supposed to be
the perquisite of travellers. You count over your letters as so many
treasures; you regard the unknown houses you pass as places of deposit
for the new acquaintances and delightful friendships which await you.
In England, say you, each of these letters would represent a pleasant
family-mansion thrown open to your view,--a social breakfast,--a dinner
of London wits,--a box at the opera,--or the visit of a lord, whose
perfect carriage and livery astonish the quiet street in which you
lodge, and whose good taste and good manners should, one thinks, prove
contagious, at once soothing and shaming the fretful Yankee conceit. But
your Cuban letters, like fairy money, soon turn to withered leaves in
your possession, and, having delivered two or three of them, you employ
the others more advantageously, as shaving-paper, or for the lighting of
cigars, or any other useful purpose.

Your banker, of course, stands first upon the list,--and to him
accordingly, with a beaming countenance, you present yourself. For him
you have a special letter of recommendation, and, however others may
fail, you consider him as sure as the trump of the deal at whist.
But why, alas, should people, who have gone through the necessary
disappointments of life, prepare for themselves others, which may be
avoided? Listen and learn. At the first visit, your banker is tolerably
glad to see you,--he discounts your modest letter of credit, and pockets
his two and a half _per cent._ with the best grace imaginable. If he
wishes to be very civil, he offers you a seat, offers you a cigar, and
mumbles in an indistinct tone that he will be happy to serve you in any
way. You call again and again, keeping yourself before his favorable
remembrance,--always the same seat, the same cigar, the same desire to
serve you, carefully repressed, and prevented from breaking out into any
overt demonstration of good-will. At last, emboldened by the brilliant
accounts of former tourists and the successes of your friends, you
suggest that you would like to see a plantation,--you only ask for
one,--would he give you a letter, etc., etc.? He assumes an abstracted
air, wonders if he knows anybody who has a plantation,--the fact being
that he scarcely knows any one who has not one. Finally, he will
try,--call again, and he will let you know. You call again,--"Next
week," he says. You call after that interval,--"Next week," again, is
all you get. Now, if you are a thoroughbred man, you can afford to
quarrel with your banker; so you say, "Next week,--why not next
year?"--make a very decided snatch at your hat, and wish him a very long
"good-morning." But if you are a snob, and afraid, you take his neglect
quietly enough, and will boast, when you go home, of his polite
attentions to yourself and family, when on the Island of Cuba.

_Our Consul_ is the next post in the weary journey of your hopes, and
to him, with such assurance as you have left, you now betake yourself.
Touching him personally I have nothing to say. I will only remark, in
general, that the traveller who can find, in any part of the world, an
American Consul not disabled from all service by ill-health, want of
means, ignorance of foreign languages, or unpleasant relations with the
representatives of foreign powers,--that traveller, we say, should go in
search of the sea-serpent, and the passage of the North Pole, for he
has proved himself able to find what, to every one but him, is

But who, setting these aside, is to show you any attention? Who will
lift you from the wayside, and set you upon his own horse, or in his
own _volante_, pouring oil and wine upon your wounded feelings? Ah! the
breed of the good Samaritan is never allowed to become extinct in this
world, where so much is left for it to do.

A kind and hospitable American family, long resident in Havana, takes us
up at last. They call upon us, and we lift up our heads a little; they
take us out in their carriage, and we step in with a little familiar
flounce, intended to show that we are used to such things; finally, they
invite us to a friendly cup of tea,--all the hotel knows it,--we have
tarried at home in the shade long enough. Now, people have begun to find
us out,--_we are going out to tea!_

How pleasant the tea-table was! how good the tea! how more than good
the bread-and-butter and plum-cake! how quaint the house of Spanish
construction, all open to the air, adorned with flowers like a temple,
fresh and fragrant, and with no weary upholstery to sit heavy on
the sight! how genial and prolonged the talk! how reluctant the
separation!--imagine it, ye who sing the songs of home in a strange
land. And ye who cannot imagine, forego the pleasure, for I shall tell
you no more about it. I will not, I, give names, to make good-natured
people regret the hospitality they have afforded. If they have
entertained unawares angels and correspondents of the press, (I use the
two terms as synonymous,) they shall not be made aware of it by the
sacrifice of their domestic privacy. All celebrated people do this, and
that we do it not answers for our obscurity.

The cup of tea proves the precursor of many kind services and pleasant
hours. Our new friends assist us to a deal of sight-seeing, and
introduce us to cathedral, college, and garden. We walk out with them
at sunrise and at sunset, and sit under the stately trees, and think it
almost strange to be at home with people of our own race and our own way
of thinking, so far from the home-surroundings. For the gardens, they
may chiefly be described as triumphs of Nature over Art,--our New
England horticulture being, on the contrary, the triumph of Art over
Nature, after a hard-fought battle. Here, the avenues of palm and cocoa
are magnificent, and the flowers new to us, and very brilliant. But
pruning and weeding out are hard tasks for Creole natures, with only
negroes to help them. There is for the most part a great overgrowth
and overrunning of the least desirable elements, a general air of
slovenliness and unthrift; in all artificial arrangements decay seems
imminent, and the want of idea in the laying out of grounds is a
striking feature. In Italian villas, the feeling of the Beautiful, which
has produced a race of artists, is everywhere manifest,--everywhere are
beautiful forms and picturesque effects. Even the ruins of Rome seem to
be held together by this fine bond. No stone dares to drop, no arch to
moulder, but with an exquisite and touching grace. And the weeds, oh!
the weeds that hung their little pennon on the Coliseum, how graciously
do they float, as if they said,--"Breathe softly, lest this crumbling
vision of the Past go down before the rude touch of the modern world!"
And so, one treads lightly, and speaks in hushed accents; lest, in the
brilliant Southern noon, one should wake the sleeping heart of Rome to
the agony of her slow extinction.

But what is all this? We are dreaming of Rome,--and this is Cuba, where
the spirit of Art has never been, and where it could not pass without
sweeping out from houses, churches, gardens, and brains, such trash as
has rarely been seen and endured elsewhere. They show us, for example,
some mutilated statues in the ruins of what is called the Bishop's
Garden. Why, the elements did a righteous work, when they effaced the
outlines of these coarse and trivial shapes, unworthy even the poor
marble on which they were imposed. Turning from these, however, we
find lovely things enough to rebuke this savage mood of criticism. The
palm-trees are unapproachable in beauty,--they stand in rows like Ionic
columns, straight, strong, and regular, with their plumed capitals. They
talk solemnly of the Pyramids and the Desert, whose legends have been
whispered to them by the winds that cross the ocean, freighted with the
thoughts of God. Then, these huge white lilies, deep as goblets, which
one drinks fragrance from, and never exhausts,--these thousand unknown
jewels of the tropic. Here is a large tank, whose waters are covered
with the leaves and flowers of beautiful aquatic plants, whose Latin
names are of no possible consequence to anybody. Here, in the very heart
of the garden, is a rustic lodge, curtained with trailing vines. Birds
in cages are hung about it, and a sweet voice, singing within, tells us
that the lodge is the cage of a more costly bird. We stop to listen,
and the branches of the trees seem to droop more closely about us, the
twilight lays its cool, soft touch upon our heated foreheads, and we
whisper,--"Peace to his soul!" as we leave the precincts of the Bishop's


A hundred years and upwards have elapsed since Fielding and Smollett,
the fathers and chiefs of the modern school of English novel-writing,
fairly established their claims to the dignified eminence they have ever
since continued to enjoy; and the passage of time serves but to confirm
them in their merited honors. Their pictures of life and manners are no
longer, it is true, so familiar as in their own days to the great mass
of readers; but this is an incident that scarce any author can hope to
avert. The changes of habits and customs, and the succession of writers
who in their turn essay to hold the mirror up to Nature, must always
produce such a result. But while the mind of man is capable of enjoying
the most fortunate combinations of genius and fancy, the most faithful
expositions of the springs of action, the most ludicrous and the most
pathetic representations of human conduct, the writings of Fielding and
Smollett will be read and their memories kept green. Undeterred by those
coarsenesses of language and occasional grossnesses of detail (which
were often less their own fault than that of the age) that frequently
disfigure the pages of "Amelia" and "Roderick Random," men will always
be found to yield their whole attention to the story, and to recognize
in every line the touches of the master's hand.

Were any needed, stronger proof of the truth of this proposition could
not be given than is afforded by the zeal with which the greatest
novelists since their day have turned aside to contemplate and to
chronicle the career of this immortal pair, whose names, notwithstanding
the dissimilarity of genius and style, seem destined to be as eternally
coupled together as those of the twin sons of Leda. To the rescue
from oblivion of their personal histories, a host of biographers have
appeared, scattered over the whole period that has elapsed since their
deaths to the present time. The first life that appeared of Tobias
George Smollett came from the hands of his friend and companion, the
celebrated Dr. Moore, himself a novel-writer of no mean fame. To him
succeeded Anderson; who in turn was followed by Sir Walter Scott, the
fruits of whose unrivalled capacity for obtaining information are before
the world in the form of a most delightful memoir. So that when
Roscoe, at a later date, took up the same theme, he found that the
investigations of his predecessors had left him little more to do than
to make selections or abridgments, and to arrange what new matter he
had come into possession of. One would have thought that with all these
labors the public appetite should have been satisfied,--that everything
apt to be heard with interest of and about Smollett had been said. So
far from this being the case, however, it was but a few years ago, that,
as we all recollect, the brilliant pen of Thackeray was brought to bear
on the same subject, and the great humorist of this generation employed
his talents worthily in illustrating the genius of a past age.
"'Humphrey Clinker,'" says he, "is, I do believe, the most laughable
story that has ever been written since the goodly art of novel-writing
began." This is strong praise, though but of a single book; yet it falls
short of the general estimate that Walter Scott formed of the capacity
of our author. "We readily grant to Smollett," he says, "an equal rank
with his great rival, Fielding, while we place both far above any of
their successors in the same line of fictitious composition."

After the testimonies we have cited, it would be useless to seek other
approbation of Smollett's merits.

  "From higher judgment-seats make no appeal
  To lower."

Yet, with all his imaginative power and humorous perception, it cannot
be gainsaid that there was a great lack of delicacy in the composition
of his mind,--a deficiency which, even in his own days, gave just
offence to readers of the best taste, and which he himself was sometimes
so candid as to acknowledge and to correct. Its existence is too often
a sufficient cause to deter any but minds of a certain masculine vigor
from the perusal of such a work as "Roderick Random"; and yet this work
was an especial favorite with the most refined portion of the public in
the latter half of the last century. Burke delighted in it, and would
no doubt often read from it aloud to the circle of guests of both sexes
that gathered about him at Beaconsfield; and Elia makes his imaginary
aunt refer to the pleasure with which in her younger days she had read
the story of that unfortunate young nobleman whose adventures make such
a figure in "Peregrine Pickle." So great is the change in the habit of
thought and expression in less than half a century, that we believe
there is not in all America a gentleman who would now venture to read
either of these works aloud to a fireside group. Smollett's Muse was
free enough herself; in all conscience;--

  "High-kirtled was she,
  As she gaed o'er the lea";--

but in "Peregrine Pickle," beside the natural incidents, there are two
long episodes foisted upon the story, neither of which has any lawful
connection with the matter in hand, and one of which, indelicate and
indecent in the extreme, does not appear to have even been of his
own composition. Reference is here made to the "Memoirs of a Lady of
Quality," and to the passages respecting young Annesley; and since
biographers do not seem to have touched especially on the manner of
their introduction into the novel, we will give a word or two to this

John Taylor, in the Records of his Life, states that the memoirs of Lady
Vane, as they appear in "Peregrine Pickle," were actually written by
an Irish gentleman of wealth, a Mr. Denis McKerchier, who at the time
entertained relations with that abandoned, shameless woman; so that, if,
as was probably the case, she paid Smollett a sum of money to procure
their incorporation in his pages, there could have been no other motive
to actuate her conduct than a desire to blazon her own fall or to
mortify the feelings of her husband. The latter is the more likely
alternative, if we are to believe that Lord Vane himself stooped to
employ Dr. Hill to prepare a history of Lady Frail, by way of retorting
the affront he had received. This Mr. McKerchier in season broke with
her Ladyship, and refused her admission to his dying bedside; but, in
the mean time, his Memoirs had gone out to the world, and had greatly
conduced to the popularity and sale of Smollett's novel. He was also the
patron of Annesley, that unfortunate young nobleman whose romantic
life has furnished Godwin and Scott with a foundation for their most
highly-wrought novels; and it was, we may judge, from his own lips that
Smollett received the narrative of his _protégé_'s adventures. Whatever
we may think, however, of the introduction of scenes that were of
sufficient importance to suggest such books as "Cloudesley" and "Guy
Mannering," there can be but one opinion as to the bad taste which
governed Smollett, when he consented to overload "Peregrine Pickle"
with Lady Vane's memoirs; and if lucre were indeed at the bottom of the
business, it assumes a yet graver aspect.

But the business of this article is not to dwell upon matters that are
already in print, and to which the general reader can have easy access.
To such as are desirous of obtaining a full account of the life and
genius of Smollett, prepared with all the aids that are to be derived
from a thorough knowledge of the question, we would suggest the perusal
of an exceedingly well-written article in the London Quarterly Review
for January, 1858; and we will here heartily express a regret that the
unpublished materials which have found a place in this magazine could
not have been in the hands of the author of that paper. It is certain he
would have made a good use of them. As it is, however, they will perhaps
possess an additional interest to the public from the fact that they
have never before seen the light.

It is something, says Washington Irving, to have seen the dust of
Shakspeare. It is assuredly not less true that one can hardly examine
without a peculiar emotion the private letters of such a man as
Smollett. A strange sensation accompanies the unfolding of the faded
sheets, that have hardly been disturbed during the greater part of a
century. And as one at least of the documents in question is of an
almost autobiographical character, its tattered folds at once assume a
value to the literary student far beyond the usual scope of an inedited

The first letter to which we shall call attention was written by
Smollett in 1763. It was in reply to one from Richard Smith, Esq., of
Burlington, New Jersey, by whose family it has been carefully preserved,
together with a copy of the letter which called it forth. Mr. Smith was
a highly respectable man, and in later years, when the Revolution broke
out, a delegate from his Province to the first and second Continental
Congress. He had written to Smollett, expressing his hopes that the
King had gratified with a pension the author of "Peregrine Pickle" and
"Roderick Random," and asking under what circumstances these books were
composed, and whether they contained any traces of his correspondent's
real adventures. He adverts to a report that, in the case of "Sir
Launcelot Greaves," Smollett had merely lent his name to "a mercenary
bookseller." "The Voyages which go under your name Mr. Rivington (whom
I consulted on the matter) tells me are only nominally your's, or, at
least, were chiefly collected by understrappers. Mr. Rivington also
gives me such an account of the shortness of time in which you wrote
the History, as is hardly credible." A list of Smollett's genuine
publications is also requested.

The Mr. Rivington referred to in the foregoing extract was probably the
well-known New York bookseller, whose press was so obnoxious to the
Whigs a few years later. To the letter itself Smollett thus replied:--


"Sir,--I am favoured with your's of the 26th of February, and cannot
but be pleased to find myself, as a writer, so high in your esteem. The
curiosity you express, with regard to the particulars of my life and
the variety of situations in which I may have been, cannot be gratified
within the compass of a letter. Besides, there are some particulars of
my life which it would ill become me to relate. The only similitude
between the circumstances of my own fortune and those I have attributed
to Roderick Random consists in my being born of a reputable family in
Scotland, in my being bred a surgeon, and having served as a surgeon's
mate on board a man-of-war during the expedition to Carthagena. The low
situations in which I have exhibited Roderick I never experienced in my
own person. I married very young, a native of Jamaica, a young lady well
known and universally respected under the name of Miss Nancy Lassells,
and by her I enjoy a comfortable, tho' moderate estate in that island. I
practised surgery in London, after having improved myself by travelling
in France and other foreign countries, till the year 1749, when I took
my degree of Doctor in Medicine, and have lived ever since in Chelsea (I
hope) with credit and reputation.

"No man knows better than Mr. Rivington what time I employed in writing
the four first volumes of the History of England; and, indeed, the short
period in which that work was finished appears almost incredible to
myself, when I recollect that I turned over and consulted above three
hundred volumes in the course of my labour. Mr. Rivington likewise
knows that I spent the best part of a year in revising, correcting, and
improving the quarto edition; which is now going to press, and will be
continued in the same size to the late Peace. Whatever reputation I may
have got by this work has been dearly purchased by the loss of health,
which I am of opinion I shall never retrieve. I am now going to the
South of France, in order to try the effects of that climate; and very
probably I shall never return. I am much obliged to you for the hope you
express that I have obtained some provision from his Majesty; but the
truth is, I have neither pension nor place, nor am I of that disposition
which can stoop to solicit either. I have always piqued myself upon my
Independancy, and I trust in God I shall preserve it to my dying day.

"Exclusive of some small detached performances that have been published
occasionally in papers and magazines, the following is a genuine list of
my productions. Roderick Random. The Regicide, a Tragedy. A translation
of Gil Blas. A translation of Don Quixotte. An Essay upon the external
use of water. Peregrine Pickle. Ferdinand Count Fathom. Great part of
the Critical Review. A very small part of a Compendium of Voyages. The
complete History of England, and Continuation. A small part of the
Modern Universal History. Some pieces in the British Magazine,
comprehending the whole of Sir Launcelot Greaves. A small part of the
translation of Voltaire's Works, including all the notes, historical and
critical, to be found in that translation.

"I am much mortified to find it is believed in America that I have lent
my name to Booksellers: that is a species of prostitution of which I am
altogether incapable. I had engaged with Mr. Rivington, and made some
progress in a work exhibiting the present state of the world; which work
I shall finish, if I recover my health. If you should see Mr. Rivington,
please give my kindest compliments to him. Tell him I wish him all
manner of happiness, tho' I have little to expect for my own share;
having lost my only child, a fine girl of fifteen, whose death has
overwhelmed myself and my wife with unutterable sorrow.

"I have now complied with your request, and beg, in my turn, you will
commend me to all my friends in America. I have endeavoured more than
once to do the Colonies some service; and am, Sir, your very humble


"London, May 8, 1763."

       *       *       *       *       *

The foregoing letter, though by no means confidential, must possess
considerable value to any future biographer of the writer. It very
clearly shows the light in which Smollett was willing to be viewed by
the public. It explains the share he took in more than one literary
enterprise, and establishes his paternity of the translation of "Gil
Blas," which has been questioned by Scott and ignored by other critics.
The travels in France, which, according to the letter, could not have
been posterior to 1749, seem unknown even to the Quarterly Reviewer; but
it is possible that here Smollett's memory may have played him false,
and that he confounded 1749 with the following year, when, as is well
known, he visited that kingdom. The reference to his own share in
furnishing the original for the story of "Roderick Random" is curious;
nevertheless it can no longer be doubted that very many of the persons
and scenes of that work, as well as of "Peregrine Pickle," were drawn,
with more or less exaggeration, from his actual experience of men and
manners. And the despondency with which he contemplates his shattered
health and the prospect of finding a grave in a foreign land explains
completely the governing motives that produced, in the concluding pages
of the history of the reign of George II., so calm and impartial a
testimony to the various worth of his literary compeers that it almost
assumes the tone of the voice of posterity. This is the suggestion of
the article in the "Quarterly Review," and the language of the letter
confirms it. Despairing of ever again returning to his accustomed
avocations, and with a frame shattered by sickness and grief, he passes
from the field of busy life to a distant land, where he thinks to leave
his bones; but ere he bids a last farewell to his own soil, he passes in
review the names of those with whom he has for years been on relations
of amity or of ill-will, in his own profession, and, while he makes
their respective merits, so far as in him lies, a part of the history of
their country, he seems to breathe the parting formula of the gladiator
of old,--_Moriturus vos saluto_.

In the first of the ensuing letters an amusing commentary will be found
on Smollett's assertion, that his independent spirit would not stoop to
solicit either place or pension. The papers of which it forms one appear
to have been selected from the private correspondence of Dr. Smollett,
and are preserved among the MSS. of the Library Company of Philadelphia,
to which they were presented by Dr. Benjamin Rush, one of the signers of
the Declaration of Independence, who may have obtained them in Scotland.
Like the letter to Mr. Smith, we are satisfied that these are authentic
documents, and shall deal with them as such here. Lord Shelburne (better
known by his after-acquired title of Marquis of Lansdowne) was the
identical minister whom Pitt, twenty years later, so highly eulogized
for "that capacity of conferring good offices on those he prefers," and
for "his attention to the claims of merit," of which we could wish to
know that Smollett had reaped some benefit. The place sought for was
probably a consulate on the Mediterranean, which would have enabled our
author to look forward with some assurance of faith to longer and easier
years. The Duchess of Hamilton, to whom his Lordship writes, and by whom
his letter seems to have been transmitted to its object, was apparently
the beautiful Elizabeth Gunning, dowager Duchess of Hamilton, but
married, at the date of the letter, to the Duke of Argyle. Having
an English peerage of Hamilton in her own right, it is probable she
preferred to continue her former title.


"_Holt Street, Tuesday._

"Madam,--I am honour'd with your Grace's letter, inclosing one from
Doctor Smollett. It is above a year since I was applied to by Doctor
Smollett, thro' a person I wish'd extremely to oblige; but there were
and still subsist some applications for the same office, of a nature
which it will be impossible to get over in favour of Mr. Smollett, which
makes it impossible for me to give him the least hopes of it. I could
not immediately recollect what had pass'd upon that subject, else I
should have had the honour to answer your Grace's letter sooner. I am
with great truth and respect your Grace's most obedient and most humble


       *       *       *       *       *

The letter bears no month nor year, but is indorsed, apparently by
Smollett himself, as of 1762,--that is, in the year previous to his
expressed aversion to solicitations for place. Yet if there was a man in
England entitled to ask for and to receive some provision by his country
for his broken health and narrow fortunes, that man was Smollett. It is
perhaps a trifling thing to notice, but it may be observed that Lord
Shelburne's communication does not bear any marks of frequent perusal.
The silver sand with which the fresh lines were besprinkled still clings
to the fading ink, furnishing perhaps the only example remaining of the
use of that article. Rousseau, we remember, mentions such sand as the
proper material to be resorted to by one who would be very particular
in his correspondence,--"_employant pour cela le plus beau papier doré,
séchant l'écriture avec de la poudre d'azur et d'argent_"; and Moore
repeats the precept in the example of M. le Colonel Calicot, according
to the text of Miss Biddy, in the "Fudge Family in Paris":--

  "Upon paper gilt-edged, without blot or erasure
  Then sanded it over with silver and azure."

Among the remaining letters in this collection we find some from John
Gray, "teacher of mathematics in Cupar of Fife,"--some from Dr. John
Armstrong, the author of "The Art of Health,"--and one from George
Colman the elder. In 1761, Gray writes to Smollett, thanking him for
kind notices in the "Critical Review," and asking his influence in
regard to certain theories concerning the longitude, of which Gray was
the inventor. In 1770, Colman thus writes:--


"Dear Sir,--I have some idea that Mr. Hamilton about two years ago told
me he should soon receive a piece from you, which he meant, at your
desire, to put into my hands; but since that time I have neither seen
nor heard of the piece.

"I hope you enjoy your health abroad, and shall be glad of every
opportunity to convince you that I am most heartily and sincerely, dear
Sir, your, &c.,


"London, 28 Sept. 1770."

       *       *       *       *       *

The piece referred to here by Colman (who was at this period, we
believe, the manager of the Haymarket Theatre) may possibly have been
a farce that was brought out fifteen years later on the Covent-Garden
stage, with the title of "The Israelites, or the Pampered Nabob." Its
merits and its success are said by Scott to have been but slight, and
the proof of its having been written by Smollett very doubtful; so that
it was never printed, and was soon forgotten.

At this time, (1770,) it must be remembered, Smollett was established at
Leghorn, where a milder climate and sunnier skies tended to promote,
we fancy, a serener condition of mind than he had known for years. In
leaving England, he left behind him some friends, but many enemies. In
his literary career, as he himself had not been over-merciful, so he
was in return not always tenderly handled. As a sample of the invective
which was occasionally poured forth on him, we will quote some lines
from "The Race," a dull imitation of "The Dunciad," ascribed to one
Cuthbert Shaw, and published in 1766. Although reprinted in "Dilly's
Repository," (1790,) it has long ago been very properly forgotten, and
is now utterly worthless save for purposes of illustration. The Hamilton
referred to is the same person to whom Colman makes allusion; he was
indeed Smollett's _fidus Achaies._

  "--Next Smollet came. What author dare resist
  Historian, critic, bard, and novelist?
  'To reach thy temple, honoured Fame,' he cried,
  'Where, where's an avenue I have not tried?
  But since the glorious present of to-day
  Is meant to grace alone the poet's lay,
  My claim I wave to every art beside,
  And rest my plea upon the Regicide.
         *       *       *       *       *
  But if, to crown the labours of my Muse,
  Thou, inauspicious, should'st the wreath refuse,
  Whoe'er attempts it in this scribbling age
  Shall feel the Scottish pow'rs of Crilic rage.
  Thus spurn'd, thus disappointed of my aim,
  I'll stand a bugbear in the road to Fame,
  Each future author's infant hopes undo,
  And blast the budding honours of his brow.'
    He said,--and, grown with future vengeance big,
  Grimly he shook his scientific wig.
    To clinch the cause, and fuel add to fire,
  Behind came Hamilton, his trusty squire:
  Awhile _he_ paus'd, revolving the disgrace,
  And gath'ring all the honours of his face;
  Then rais'd his head, and, turning to the crowd,
  Burst into bellowing, terrible and loud:--
    'Hear my resolve; and first by--I swear,
  By Smollet, and his gods, whoe'er shall date
  With him this day for glorious fame to vie,
  Sous'd in the bottom of the ditch shall lie;
  And know, the world no other shall confess,
  While I have crab-tree, life, or letter-press.'
    Scar'd at the menace, _authors_ fearful grew,
  Poor Virtue trembled, and e'en Vice look'd blue."

It is unnecessary to pursue this vapid composition to its most lame and
impotent conclusion; it is sufficient to cite it as a specimen-brick of
the hostility which many literary characters entertained against the
author of "Roderick Random." Despite his own birthplace being north of
the Tweed, many Scots were aggrieved at the incidental ridicule with
which characters from "the land o' cakes" are sometimes treated in that
and other works from the same hand; and the picture of Lismahago in
"Humphrey Clinker" is said to have still more violently inflamed their
ire. It is to this feeling on the part of his countrymen that Charles
Lamb alludes, in his essay upon "Imperfect Sympathies." "Speak of
Smollett as a great genius," he says, "and they [the Scots] will retort
upon Hume's History compared with _his_ continuation of it. What if the
historian had continued 'Humphrey Clinker'?" In fact, there were a good
many North Britons, a century ago, who seem to have felt, on the subject
of English censure or ridicule, pretty much as some of our own people do
to-day. No matter how well-founded the objection may be, or how justly
a local habit may be satirized, our sensitiveness is wounded and our
indignation aroused. That the portrait in Lismahago's case was not
altogether overcharged may be deduced from a passage in one of Walter
Scott's letters, in which he likens the behavior and appearance of one
of his oldest and most approved friends to that of the gallant Obadiah
in a similar critical moment. "The noble Captain Ferguson was married on
Monday last. I was present at the bridal, and I assure you the like
hath not been seen since the days of Lismahago. Like his prototype, the
Captain advanced in a jaunty military step, with a kind of leer on
his face that seemed to quiz the whole matter." That the sketch was a
portrait, though doubtless disguised to such an extent as rendered its
introduction permissible, is very probable; and as it is beyond question
one of the masterpieces of English fiction, a few lines may well be
given to the point. With great justice the Quarterly Reviewer pronounces
the character of Lismahago in no whit inferior to that of Scott's Dugald
Dalgetty; and who would not go out of his way to trace any circumstance
in the history of such a conception as that of the valiant Laird of
Drumthwacket, the service-seeking Rittmaster of Swedish Black Dragoons?

Scott himself tells us that he recollected "a good and gallant officer"
who was said to have been the prototype of Lismahago, though probably
the opinion had its origin in "the striking resemblance which he bore in
externals to the doughty Captain." Sir Walter names no name; but there
is a tradition that a certain Major Robert Stobo was the real original
from which the picture was drawn. Stobo may fairly be said to fulfil the
necessary requisites for this theory. That he was as great an oddity as
ever lived is abundantly testified by his own "Memorial," written about
1760, and printed at Pittsburg in 1854, from a copy of the MS. in the
British Museum. At the breaking out of the Seven-Years' War, he was in
Virginia, seeking his fortune under the patronage of his countryman,
Dinwiddie, and thus obtained a captaincy in the expedition which
Washington, in 1754, led to the Great Meadows. On the fall of Fort
Necessity, he was one of the hostages surrendered by Washington to the
enemy; and thus, and by his subsequent doings at Fort Du Quesne and in
Canada, he has linked his name with some interesting passages of our
national history.[A] That he was known to Smollett in after life appears
by a letter from David Hume to the latter, in which his "strange
adventures" are alluded to; and there is considerable resemblance
between these, as narrated by Stobo himself, and those assigned by
the novelist to Lismahago. And, bearing in mind the ineffable
self-complacency with which Stobo always dwells on himself and his
belongings, the description of his person given in the "Memorial"
coincides very well with that of the figure which the novelist makes to
descend in the yard of the Durham inn. One circumstance further may be
noted. We are told of "the noble and sonorous names" which Miss Tabitha
Bramble so much admired: "that Obadiah was an adventitious appellation,
derived from his great-grandfather, who had been one of the original
Covenanters; but Lismahago was the family surname, taken from a place
in Scotland, so called." Now we are not very well versed in Scottish
topography; but we well recollect, that in Dean Swift's "Memoirs of
Captain John Creichton," who was a noted Cavalier in the reigns of
Charles II., James II., and William III., and had borne an active part
in the persecution of "the puir hill-folk," there is mention made of the
name of Stobo. The Captain dwells with no little satisfaction upon the
manner in which, after he had been so thoroughly outwitted by Mass David
Williamson,--the Covenanting minister, who played Achilles among the
women at my Lady Cherrytree's,--he succeeded in circumventing and taking
prisoner "a notorious rebel, one Adam Stobow, a farmer in Fife near
Culross." And later in the same book occurs a very characteristic
passage:--"_Having drunk hard one night_, I dreamed that I had found
Captain David Steele, a notorious rebel, in one of the five farmers'
houses on a mountain in the shire of Clydesdale and parish of Lismahago,
within eight miles of Hamilton, a place I was well acquainted with."
Lest the marvellous fulfilment of Creichton's dream should induce other
seekers to have resort to a like self-preparation, we will merely add,
that the village of Hamilton is hard by the castle of the Duke of that
name, to whose family we have already seen Smollett was under some
obligations, and that it is described in the same pages with Lismahago.
It is not improbable, therefore, that, being at Hamilton, the novelist's
attention may have been attracted to "Creichton's Memoirs," which treat
of the adjacent districts, and that the mention of Stobo's name therein
may have suggested to his mind its connection with Lismahago. Certainly
there was no antecedent work to "Humphrey Clinker," in which, as we may
believe, either of these names finds a place, save this of Creichton;
and as, throughout the whole series of letters, Smollett does not
profess to avoid the introduction of actual persons and events, often
even with no pretence of disguise, we need not hesitate to think that
he would make no difficulty of turning the eccentricities of a half-pay
officer to some useful account.

[Footnote A: Some amusing particulars concerning Stobo may be found also
in the _Journal of Lieut. Simon Stevens:_ Boston 1760.--EDS. ATLANTIC.]

But we have wandered too far away from the business of his
correspondence. The next letter that we shall examine is one from John
Gray, dated at Florence, Nov. 15th, 1770, to Smollett, at Leghorn. It
abounds in details of the writer's attempts at the translation of a
French play for the English stage, on which he desires a judgment; and
cites verses from several of the songs it contains,--one of them being
that so familiar to American ears thirty years since, when Lafayette was
making his last tour through this country:--

  "Où peut on être mieux
  Qu'au sein de sa famille?"

Gray had been at Leghorn, on his way to Rome; and now amuses his
correspondent with the inconveniences of his journey under the auspices
of a tippling companion, with his notions about Pisa and Italy in
general, and with particulars of public intelligence from home, some
of which relate to Smollett's old antagonist, Admiral Knowles.--"I
despaired of executing Mrs. Smollett's commission," he says, "for there
was no ultramarine to be found in the shops; but I at length procured a
little from Mr. Patch, which I have sent along with the patterns in
Mrs. Varrien's letter, hoping that the word _Mostre_ on the back of the
letter will serve for a passport to all. The ultramarine costs nothing;
therefore, if it arrives safe, the commission is finished."

We next have a couple of letters from Dr. Armstrong; which, on account
of his ancient and enduring friendship for Smollett, and of the
similarity in their careers, may be given at large. Armstrong was a
wrongheaded, righthearted man,--a surgeon in the army, we believe,--and
a worshipper of Apollo, as well in his proper person as in that of
Esculapius. In these, and in the varied uses to which he turned his pen,
the reader will see a similarity to the story of his brother Scot. That
he was occasionally splenetic in his disposition is very manifest.
His quarrel with Wilkes, with whom he had been on terms of intimate
friendship, finds a parallel in Smollett's own history. The first
letter is without date; but the reference to the publication of his
"Miscellanies" fixes it as of 1770, and at London.


"My dear Doctor,--I reproach myself;--but it is as insignificant as
embarrassing to explain some things;--so much for that. As to my
confidence in your stamina, I can see no reason to flinch from it; but I
wish you would avoid all unwholesome accidents as much as possible.

"I am quite serious about my visit to you next autumn. My scheme is now
to pass my June or July at Paris; from thence to set out for Italy,
either over the Alps or by sea from Marseilles. I don't expect the
company of my widow lumber, or any other that may be too fat and
indolent for such an excursion; and hope to pick up some agreeable
companion without being at the expense of advertising.

"You feel exactly as I do on the subject of State Politicks. But from
some late glimpses it is still to be hoped that some _Patriots_ may be
disappointed in their favourite views of involving their country in
confusion and destruction. As to the K. Bench patriot, it is hard to say
from what motive he published a letter of your's asking some trifling
favour of him on behalf of somebody for whom _the Cham of Literature_,
Mr. Johnson, had interested himself. I have within this month published
what I call my Miscellanies. Tho' I admitted my operator to an equal
share of profit and loss, the publication has been managed in such
a manner as if there had been a combination to suppress it:
notwithstanding which, it makes its way very tolerably at least. But I
have heard to-day that somebody is to give me a good trimming very soon.

"All friends remember you very kindly, and our little club at the Q.
Arms never fail to devote a bumper to you, except when they are in the
humour of drinking none but scoundrels. I send my best compliments to
Mrs. Smollett and two other ladies, and beg you'll write me as soon
as suits you: and with black ink. I am always, my dear Doctor, most
affectionately yours,--


       *       *       *       *       *

The letter to Wilkes had been written many years before, to obtain his
assistance in procuring the release of Johnson's black servant, who had
been impressed. It was couched in free terms respecting Dr. Johnson, and
was probably now given by Wilkes to the press in the hope that it might
do its author harm with the _Cham_, or at least cause the latter some

Armstrong's next letter finds him arrived in Italy, and on the eve of
repairing to his friend at Leghorn.


"_Rome, 2nd June_, 1770.

"Dear Doctor,--I arrived here last Thursday night, and since that have
already seen all the most celebrated wonders of Rome. But I am most
generally disappointed in these matters; partly, I suppose, from my
expectations being too high. But what I have seen has been in such a
hurry as to make it a fatigue: besides, I have strolled about amongst
them neither in very good humour nor very good health.

"I have delayed writing till I could lay before you the plan of my
future operations for a few weeks. I propose to post it to Naples about
the middle of next week, along with a Colonel of our Country, who seems
to be a very good-natured man. After remaining a week or ten days there,
I shall return hither, and, after having visited Tivoli and Frascati,
set out for Leghorn, if possible, in some vessel from Civita Vecchia;
for I hate the lodgings upon the road in this country. I don't expect to
be happy till I see Leghorn; and if I find my Friend in such health as I
wish him, or even hope for him, I shall not be disappointed in the chief
pleasure I proposed to myself in my visit to Italy. As you talked of a
ramble somewhere towards the South of France, I shall be extremely happy
to attend you.

"I wrote to my brother from Genoa, and desired him to direct his answer
to your care at Pisa. If it comes, please direct it, with your own
letter, for which I shall long violently look, care of Mr. Francis
Barazzi at Rome. I am, with my best compliments to Mrs. Smollett and the
rest of the ladies, &c.,


       *       *       *       *       *

There is no reason to suppose that Armstrong found anything in the
condition of his friend to fulfil the anxious wishes of his letter. In
the following year, Smollett died, leaving to his widow little beyond
the empty consolations of his great fame. From her very narrow purse she
supplied the means of erecting the stone that marks the spot where he
lies; and the pen of his companion, whose letter we have just given,
furnished an appropriate inscription. The niggardly hands of government
remained as firmly closed against the relief of Mrs. Smollett as they
had been in answer to her husband's own application for himself; an
application which must have cost a severe struggle to his proud spirit,
and of which his most intimate literary friends were probably never
aware. He sought favors for others, says Dr. Moore; but "for himself
he never made an application to any great man in his life!" He was not
intemperate, nor yet was he extravagant, but by nature hospitable and of
a cheerful temperament; his housekeeping was never niggardly, so long as
he could employ his pen. Thus his genius was too often degraded to the
hackney-tasks of booksellers; while a small portion of those pensions
which were so lavishly bestowed upon ministerial dependants and placemen
would have enabled him to turn his mind to its congenial pursuits, and
probably to still further elevate the literary civilization of his
country. But if there be satisfaction in the thought that a neglect
similar to that which befell so bright a genius as his could no longer
occur in England, there is food likewise for reflection in the change
that has come over the position in which men of letters lived in those
days towards the public, and even towards each other. Let any one read
the account of the ten or a dozen authors whom Smollett describes
himself, in "Humphrey Clinker," as entertaining at dinner on
Sundays,--that being the only day upon which they could pass through the
streets without being seized by bailiffs for debt. Each character is
drawn with a distinctive minuteness that leaves us no room to doubt its
possessing a living original; yet how disgusting to suppose that such
a crew were really to be seen at the board of a brother writer! and in
what bad taste does their host describe and ridicule their squalor! That
such things were in those times cannot be doubted. Even in this century,
in the golden days of book-making, we are told how Constable and
how Ballantyne, the great publisher and the great printer of
Edinburgh,--"His Czarish Majesty," and "the Dey of All-jeers," as Scott
would call them,--delighted at their Sunday dinners to practise the
same exercises as those which Smollett relates,--how they would bring
together for their diversion Constable's "poor authors," and start
his literary drudges on an after-dinner foot-race for a new pair of
breeches, and the like! While it cannot justify the indifference with
which Shelburne treated his request, we cannot but perceive that
Smollett's contemptuous ridicule of his unfortunate or incapable
Grub-Street friends must rob him of much of the sympathy which would
otherwise accompany the ministerial neglect with which the claims of
literature were visited in his person.

       *       *       *       *       *


  "Hast thou loved the wood-rose, and left it on its stalk?"

  Beech-trees, stretching their arms, rugged, yet beautiful,
  Here shade meadow and brook; here the gay bobolink,
  High poised over his mate, pours out his melody.
  Here, too, under the hill, blooms the wild violet;
  Damp nooks hide, near the brook, bellworts that modestly,
  Pale-faced, hanging their heads, droop there in silence; while
  South winds, noiseless and soft, bring us the odor of
  Birch twigs mingled with fresh buds of the hickory.

  Hard by, clinging to rocks, nods the red columbine;
  Close hid, under the leaves, nestle anemones,--
  White-robed, airy and frail, tender and delicate.

  Ye who, wandering here, seeking the beautiful,
  Stoop down, thinking to pluck one of these favorites,
  Take heed! Nymphs may avenge. List to a prodigy;--
  One moon scarcely has waned since I here witnessed it.

  One moon scarcely has waned, since, on a holiday,
  I came, careless and gay, into this paradise,--
  Found here, wrapped in their cloaks made of a leaf, little
  White flowers, pure as the snow, modest and innocent,--
  Stooped down, eagerly plucked one of the fairest, when
  Forth rushed, fresh from the stem broken thus wickedly,
  Blood!--tears, red, as of blood!--shed through my selfishness!


  [Greek: Polla ta deina, konden
  anthropon deinoteron pelei ...
  periphradaes anaer!]

SOPH. _Ant_. 822 [322] et seq.

"Many things are wonderful," says the Greek poet, "but nought more
wonderful than man, all-inventive man!" And surely, among many wonders
wrought out by human endeavor, there are few of higher interest than
that splendid system of mathematical science, the growth of so many
slow-revolving ages and toiling hands, still incomplete, destined to
remain so forever perhaps, but to-day embracing within its wide circuit
many marvellous trophies wrung from Nature in closest contest. There
are strange depths, doubtless, in the human soul,--recesses where the
universal sunlight of reason fails us altogether; into which if we
would enter, it must be humbly and trustfully, laying our right hands
reverentially in God's, that he may lead us. There are faculties
reaching farther than all reason, and utterances of higher import than
hers, problems, too, in the solution of which we shall derive very
little aid from any mere mathematical considerations. Those who think
differently should read once more, and more attentively, the sad history
of frantic folly and limitless license, written down forever under the
date, September, 1792, boastfully proclaimed to the world as the New
Era, the year 1 of the Age of Reason. Perhaps the number of those
who would to-day follow Momoro's pretty wife with loud adulation and
Bacchanalian rejoicings to the insulted Church of Nôtre Dame, thus
publicly disowning the God of the Universe and discarding the sweetest
of all hopes, the hope of immortality and eternal youth after the
weariness of age, would be found to be very small. This was indeed a new
version of the old story of Godiva, wherein implacable, inhuman hate
sadly enough took the place of the sweet Christian charity of that dear
lady. Let us recognize its deep significance, and acknowledge that many
things of very great importance lie beyond the utmost limits of human

But let us not forget, meanwhile, that within its own sphere this same
Human Reason is an apt conjuror, marshalling and deftly controlling the
powers of the earth and air to a degree wonderful and full of interest.
And nowhere have all its possibilities so fully found expression in vast
attainment as in those studies preëminently called the mathematics, as
embracing all [Greek: mathaesis], all sound learning. Casting about for
some sure anchorage, drifting hither and thither over changeful seas
of phenomena, a large body of men, deep, clear thinkers withal, some
twenty-four centuries since, fancied that they had found _all_ truth
in the fixed, eternal relations of number and quantity. Hence that
wide-spread Pythagorean philosophy, with its spheral harmonics and
esoteric mysteries, uniting in one brotherhood for many years men of
thought and action,--dare we say, our inferiors? Why allude to the old
fable of the dwarf upon the giant's shoulders? Let us have a tender
care for the sensitive nature of this ultimate Nineteenth Century, and
refrain. They were not so far wrong either, those old philosophers; they
saw clearly a part of the boundless expanse of Truth,--and somewhat
prematurely, as we believe, pronounced it the true Land's End, stoutly
asserting that beyond lay only barren seas of uncertain conjecture.

But mark what followed! Presently, under their hands, fair and clear of
outline as a Grecian temple, grew up the science of Geometry. Perfect
for all time, and as incapable of change or improvement as the
Parthenon, appear the Elements of Euclid, whose voice comes floating
down through the ages, in that one significant rejoinder,--"_Non est
regia ad mathematicam via_." It is the reply of the mathematician,
quiet-eyed and thoughtful, to the first Ptolemy, inquiring if there were
not some less difficult path to the mysteries. But the Greek Geometry
was in no wise confined to the elements. Before Euclid, Plato is said to
have written over the entrance to his garden,--"Let no one enter, who is
unacquainted with geometry,"--and had himself unveiled the geometrical
analysis, exhibiting the whole strength and weakness of the instrument,
and applying it successfully in the discussion of the properties of
the Conic Sections. Various were the discoveries, and various the
discoverers also, all now at rest, like Archimedes, the greatest of them
all, in his Sicilian tomb, overgrown with brambles and forgotten, found
only by careful research of that liberal-minded Cicero, and recognized
only by the sphere and circumscribed cylinder thereon engraved by the
dead mathematician's direction.

Meanwhile, let us turn elsewhere, to that singular people whose name
alone is suggestive of all the passion, all the deep repose of the
East. Very unlike the Greeks we shall find these Arabs, a nation
intellectually, as physically, characterized by adroitness rather than
endurance, by free, careless grace rather than perfect, well-ordered
symmetry. Called forth from centuries of proud repose, not unadorned by
noble studies and by poesy, they swept like wildfire, under Mohammed and
his successors, over Palestine, Syria, Persia, Egypt, and before the
expiration of the Seventh Century occupied Sicily and the North of
Africa. Spain soon fell into their hands;--only that seven-days' battle
of Tours, resplendent with many brilliant feats of arms, resonant with
shoutings, and weightier with fate than those dusty combatants knew,
saved France. Then until the last year of the Eleventh Century,
almost four hundred years, the Caliphs ruled the Spanish Peninsula.
Architecture, music, astrology, chemistry, medicine,--all these arts,
were theirs; the grace of the Alhambra endures; deep and permanent are
the traces left by these Saracens upon European civilization. During
all this time they were never idle. Continually they seized upon the
thoughts of others, gathering them in from every quarter, translating
the Greek mathematical works, borrowing the Indian arithmetic and system
of notation, which we in turn call Arabic, filling the world with wild
astrological fantasies. Nay, the "good Haroun Al Raschid," familiar to
us all as the genial-hearted sovereign of the World of Faëry, is said to
have sent from Bagdad, in the year 807 or thereabout, a royal present
to Charlemagne, a very singular clock, which marked the hours by the
sonorous fall of heavy balls into an iron vase. At noon, appeared
simultaneously, at twelve open doors, twelve knights in armor, retiring
one after another, as the hour struck. The time-piece then had
superseded the sun-dial and hour-glass: the mechanical arts had
attained no slight degree of perfection. But passing over all ingenious
mechanism, making no mention here of astronomical discoveries, some of
them surprising enough, it is especially for the Algebraic analysis that
we must thank the Moors. A strange fascination, doubtless, these crafty
men found in the cabalistic characters and hidden processes of reasoning
peculiar to this science. So they established it on a firm basis,
solving equations of no inconsiderable difficulty, (of the fourth
degree, it is said,) and enriched our arithmetic with various rules
derived from this source, Single and Double Position among others.
Trigonometry became a distinct branch of study with them; and then, as
suddenly as they had appeared, they passed away. The Moorish cavalier
had no longer a place in the history of the coming days; the sage had
done his duty and departed, leaving among his mysterious manuscripts,
bristling with uncouth and, as the many believed, unholy signs, the
elements of truth mingled with much error,--error which in the advancing
centuries fell off as easily as the husk from ripe corn. Whether the
present civilization of Spain is an advance upon that of the Moors might
in many respects become a matter of much doubt.

Long lethargy and intellectual inanition brooded over Christian Europe.
The darkness of the Middle Ages reached its midnight, and slowly the
dawn arose,--musical with the chirping of innumerable trouvères and
minnesingers. As early as the Tenth Century, Gerbert, afterwards Pope
Sylvester II., had passed into Spain and brought thence arithmetic,
astronomy, and geometry; and five hundred years after, led by the old
tradition of Moorish skill, Camille Leonard of Pisa sailed away over the
sea into the distant East, and brought back the forgotten algebra and
trigonometry,--a rich lading, better than gold-dust or many negroes.
Then, in that Fifteenth Century, and in the Sixteenth, followed much
that is of interest, not to be mentioned here. Copernicus, Galileo,
Kepler,--we must pass on, only indicating these names of men whose lives
have something of romance in them, so much are they tinged with the
characteristics of an age just passing away forever, played out and
ended. The invention of printing, the restoration of classical learning,
the discovery of America, the Reformation, followed each other in
splendid succession, and the Seventeenth Century dawned upon the world.

The Seventeenth Century!--forever remarkable alike for intellectual and
physical activity, the age of Louis XIV. in France, the revolutionary
period of English history, say, rather, the Cromwellian period,
indelibly written down in German remembrance by that Thirty-Years'
War,--these are only the external manifestations of that prodigious
activity which prevailed in every direction. Meanwhile the two sciences
of algebra and geometry, thus far single, each depending on its own
resources, neither in consequence fully developed, as nothing of human
or divine origin can be alone, were united, in the very beginning of
this epoch, by Descartes. This philosopher first applied the algebraic
analysis to the solution of geometrical problems; and in this brilliant
discovery lay the germ of a sudden growth of interest in the pure
mathematics. The breadth and facility of these solutions added a new
charm to the investigation of curves; and passing lightly by the Conic
Sections, the mathematicians of that day busied themselves in finding
the areas, solids of revolution, tangents, etc., of all imaginable
curves,--some of them remarkable enough. Such is the cycloid, first
conceived by Galileo, and a stumbling-block and cause of contention
among geometers long after he had left it, together with his system
of the universe, undetermined. Descartes, Roberval, Pascal, became
successively challengers or challenged respecting some new property of
this curve. Thereupon followed the epicycloids, curves which--as the
cycloid is generated by a point upon the circumference of a circle
rolled along a straight line--are generated by a similar point when the
path of the circle becomes any curve whatever. Caustic curves, spirals
without number, succeeded, of which but one shall claim our notice,--the
logarithmic spiral, first fully discussed by James Bernouilli. This
curve possesses the property of reproducing itself in a variety of
curious and interesting ways; for which reason Bernouilli wished it
inscribed upon his tomb, with the motto,--_Eadem mutata resurgo_. Shall
we wisely shake our heads at all this, as unavailing? Can we not see the
hand of Providence, all through history, leading men wiselier than
they knew? If not, may it not be possible that we have read the wrong
book,--the Universal Gazetteer, perhaps, instead of the true History?
When Plato and Plato's followers wrought out the theory of those Conic
Sections, do we imagine that they saw the great truth, now evident, that
every whirling planet in the silent spaces, yes, and every falling body
on this earth, describes one of these same curves which furnished to
those Athenian philosophers what you, my practical friend, stigmatize as
idle amusement? Comfort yourself, my friend: there was many a Callicles
then who believed that he could better bestow his time upon the politics
of the state, neglecting these vain speculations, which to-day are found
to be not quite unprofitable, after all, you perceive.

And so in the instance which suggested these reflections, all this eager
study of unmeaning curves (if there be anything in the starry universe
quite unmeaning) was leading gradually, but directly, to the discovery
of the most wonderful of all mathematical instruments, the Calculus
preëminently. In the quadrature of curves, the method of exhaustions was
most ancient,--whereby similar circumscribed and inscribed polygons, by
continually increasing the number of their sides, were made to approach
the curve until the space contained between them was _exhausted_, or
reduced to an inappreciable quantity. The sides of the polygons, it was
evident, must then be infinitely small. Yet the polygons and curves
were always regarded as distinct lines, differing inappreciably, but
different. The careful study of the period to which we refer led to
a new discovery, that every curve may be considered as composed of
infinitely small straight lines. For, by the definition which assigns to
a point position _without_ extension, there can be no tangency of points
without coincidence. In the circumference of the circle, then, no two
of the points equidistant from the centre can touch each other; and the
circumference must be made up of infinite all rectilineal sides joining
these points.

A clear conception of this fact led almost immediately to the Method of
Tangents of Fermat and Barrow; and this again is the stepping-stone to
the Differential Calculus,--itself a particular application of that
instrument. Dr. Barrow regarded the tangent as merely the prolongation
of any one of these infinitely small sides, and demonstrated the
relations of these sides to the curve and its ordinates. His work,
entitled "Lectiones Geometricae," appeared in 1669. To his high
abilities was united a simplicity of character almost sublime. "_Tu,
autem, Domine, quantus es geometra_!" was written on the title-page of
his Apollonius; and in the last hour he expressed his joy, that now, in
the bosom of God, he should arrive at the solution of many problems of
the highest interest, without pain or weariness. The comment of the
French historian conveys a sly sarcasm on the Encyclopedists:--"_On voit
au reste, par-là, que Barrow étoit un pauvre philosophe; car il croiroit
en l'immortalité de l'âme, et une Divinité, autre que la nature

[Footnote A: MONTUCLA. _Hist. des Math_. Part iv. liv. 1.]

The Italian Cavalleri had, before this, published his "Geometry of
Indivisibles," and fully established his theory in the "Exercitationes
Mathematicae," which appeared in 1647. Led to these considerations by
various problems of unusual difficulty proposed by the great Kepler,
who appears to have introduced infinitely great and infinitely small
quantities into mathematical calculations for the first time, in a tract
on the measure of solids, Cavalleri enounced the principle, that all
lines are composed of an infinite number of points, all surfaces of
an infinite number of lines, and all solids of an infinite number of
surfaces. What this statement lacks in strict accuracy is abundantly
made up in its conciseness; and when some discussion arose thereupon,
it appeared that the absurdity was only seeming, and that the author
himself clearly enough understood by these apparently harsh terms,
infinitely small sides, areas, and sections. Establishing the relation
between these elements and their primitives, the way lay open to the
Integral Calculus. The greatest geometers of the day, Pascal, Roberval,
and others, unhesitatingly adopted this method, and employed it in the
abstruse researches which engaged their attention.

And now, when but the magic touch of genius was wanting to unite and
harmonize these scattered elements, came Newton. Early recognized by Dr.
Barrow, that truly great and good man resigned the Mathematical Chair at
Cambridge in his favor. Twenty-seven years of age, he entered upon his
duties, having been in possession of the Calculus of Fluxions since
1666, three years previously. Why speak of all his other discoveries,
known to the whole world? _Animi vi propè divinâ, planetarum motus,
figuras, cometarum semitas, Oceanique aestus, suâ Mathesi lucem
praeferente, primus demonstravit. Radiorum lucis dissimilitudines,
colorumque inde nascentium proprietates, quas nemo suspicatus est,
pervestigavit_. So stands the record in Westminster Abbey; and in many
a dusty alcove stands the "Principia," a prouder monument perhaps, more
enduring than brass or crumbling stone. And yet, with rare modesty, such
as might be considered again and again with singular advantage by many
another, this great man hesitated to publish to the world his rich
discoveries, wishing rather to wait for maturity and perfection. The
solicitation of Dr. Barrow, however, prevailed upon him to send forth,
about this time, the "Analysis of Equations containing an Infinite
Number of Terms,"--a work which proves, incontestably, that he was in
possession of the Calculus, though nowhere explaining its principles.

This delay occasioned the bitter quarrel between Newton and Leibnitz,--a
quarrel exaggerated by narrow-minded partisans, and in truth not very
creditable, in all its ramifications, to either party. Newton, in the
course of a scientific correspondence with Leibnitz, published in 1712,
by the Royal Society, under the title, "Commercium Epistolicum
de Analysi promotâ," not only communicated very many remarkable
discoveries, but added, that he was in possession of the inverse problem
of the tangents, and that he employed two methods which he did
not choose to make public, for which reason he concealed them by
anagrammatical transposition, so effectual as completely to
extinguish the faint glimmer of light which shone through his scanty
explanation.[B] The reference is obviously to what was afterwards known
as the Method of Fluxions and Fluents. This method he derived from the
consideration of the laws of motion uniformly varied, like the motion of
the extreme point of the ordinate of any curve whatever. The name which
he gave to his method is derived from the idea of motion connected with
its origin.

[Footnote B: This logograph Newton afterwards rendered as follows: "Una
methodus consistit in extractione fluentis quantitatis ex aequatione
simul involvente; altera tantùm in assumptione seriei pro quantitate
incognitâ ex quâ ceterae commodè derivari possunt, et in collatione
terminonim homologorum aequationis resultantis ad eruendos terminos
seriei assumptae."]

Leibnitz, reflecting upon these statements on the part of Newton,
arrived by a somewhat different path at the Differential and Integral
Calculus, reasoning, however, concerning infinitely great and infinitely
small quantities in general, viewing the problem algebraically instead
of geometrically,--and immediately imparted the result of his studies to
the English mathematician. In the Preface to the _first_ edition of
the "Principia," Newton says, "It is ten years since, being in
correspondence with M. Leibnitz, and having instructed him that I was
in possession of a method of determining tangents and solving questions
involving _maxima_ and _minima_, a method which included irrational
expressions, and having concealed it by transposing the letters,
he replied to me that he had discovered a similar method, which he
communicated, differing from mine only in the terms and signs, as
well as in the generation of the quantities." This would seem to be
sufficient to set at rest any conceivable controversy, establishing an
equal claim to originality, conceding priority of discovery to Newton.
Thus far all had been open and honorable. The petty complaint, that,
while Leibnitz freely imparted his discoveries to Newton, the latter
churlishly concealed his own, would deserve to be considered, if it were
obligatory upon every man of genius to unfold immediately to the world
the results of his labor. As there may be many reasons for a different
course, which we can never know, perhaps could never hope to appreciate,
if we did know them, let us pass on, merely recalling the example of
Galileo. When the first faint glimpses of the rings of Saturn floated
hazily in the field of his imperfect telescope, he was misled into the
belief that three large bodies composed the then most distant light of
the system,--a conclusion which, in 1610, he communicated to Kepler in
the following logograph:--


It is not strange that the riddle was unread. The old problem, Given the
Greek alphabet, to find an Iliad, differs from this rather in degree
than in kind. The sentence disentangled runs thus:--


And yet we have never heard that Kepler, or, in fact, Leibnitz himself,
felt aggrieved by such a course.

But Leibnitz made his discovery public, neglecting to give Newton _any_
credit whatever; and so it happened that various patriotic Englishmen
raised the cry of plagiarism. Keil, in the "Philosophical Transactions"
for 1708, declared that he had published the Method of Fluxions, only
changing the name and notation. Much debate and angry discussion
followed; and, alas for human weakness! Newton himself, in a later
edition of the "Principia," struck out the generous recognition of
genius recorded above, and joined in terming Leibnitz an impostor,
--while the latter maintained that Newton had not fathomed the more
abstruse depths of the new Calculus. The "Commercium Epistolicum" was
published, giving rise to new contentions; and only death, which ends
all things, ended the dispute. Leibnitz died in 1716.

The Calculus at first found its chief supporters on the Continent. James
and John Bernouilli, Varignon, author of the "Theory of Variations," and
the Marquis de l'Hôpital, were the first to appreciate it; but soon it
attracted the attention of the scientific world to such a degree that
the frivolous populace of Paris had even a well-known song with the
burden, "_Des infiniment petits_." Neither were opponents wanting.
Wrong-headed men and thick-headed men are unfortunately too numerous
in all times and places. One Nieuwentiit, a dweller in intellectual
fogbanks, who had distinguished himself by proving the existence of
the Deity in one of his works, made about this time what he doubtless
considered a second discovery. He found a flaw in the reasoning of
Leibnitz, namely, that _he_ (Nieuwentiit) could not conceive of
quantities infinitely small! A certain Chever also performed sundry
singular mathematical feats, such as squaring the circle, a problem
which he reduced to the single question, _Construere mundum divinae
menti analogum_, and showing that the parabola, the only conic section
squared by ancient or modern geometers, could never be quadrated, to the
eternal discomfiture and discredit of the shade of Archimedes. Leibnitz
used every means in his power to engage these worthy adversaries in
a contest concerning his Calculus, but unfortunately failed. Bishop
Berkeley, too, author of the "Essay on Tar-Water," devout disbeliever in
the material universe, could not resist the Quixotic inclination to run
a tilt against a science which promised so much aid in unveiling those
starry splendors which he with strenuous asseveration denied. He
published, in 1754, "The Minute Philosopher," and soon after, "The
Analyst, or the Discourse of a Mathematician," showing that the
Mathematics are opposed to religion, and cultivate an incredulous
spirit,--such as would never for a moment listen, let us hope, to any
theory which proclaims this green earth and all the universe "such stuff
as dreams are made of," even though the doctrine be ecclesiastically
sustained and backed with abundant wealth of learning. Numerous were the
defenders, called out rather by the acknowledged metaphysical ability of
Bishop Berkeley than by any transcendent merit in these two tracts; and
among others came Maclaurin.

Taylor's Theorem, based upon that first published by Maclaurin, is the
foundation of the Calculus by La Grange, differing from the methods of
Leibnitz and Newton in the manner of deriving the auxiliaries employed,
proceeding upon analytical considerations throughout. Of his "Théorie
des Fonctions," and that noblest achievement of the pure reason, the
"Mécanique Analytique," we do not propose to speak, nor of the later
developments of the Calculus, so largely due to his genius and labors.
These are mysteries, known only to the initiated, yet capable of raising
their thoughts in as sublime emotion as arose from the view of the
elder, forgotten mysteries, which Cicero deemed the very source and
beginning of true life.

We have seen how, and through whose toil, this mightiest instrument of
human thought has reached its present perfection. Now, its vast powers
fully recognized, it has become interwoven with all Natural Philosophy.
On its sure basis rests that majestic structure, the "Mécanique Céleste"
of La Place. Its demonstration supports with undoubted proof many
doctrines of the great Newton. Discovery has succeeded discovery; but
its powers have never yet been fully tested. "It is that field of
mathematical investigation," says Davies, "where genius may exert its
highest powers and find its surest rewards." Looking back through the
long course of events leading to such a magnificent result, looking up
to that choral dance of wandering planets, all whose courses and seasons
are marked down for us in the yearly almanac, can we not find in these
manifestations something on the whole quite wonderful, worthy of very
deep thankfulness, heartfelt humility withal, and far-reaching hope?

In an age of many-colored absurdity, when extremes meet and
contradictions harmonize,--when men of gross, material aims give
implicit confidence to the wildest ravings of the supernatural, and
pure-minded men embrace French theories of social organization,--when
crowds of dullards all aflame with unexpected imagination assemble in
ascension-robes to await the apocalyptic trump, and Asiatic polygamy
spreads unmolested along our Western rivers,--when the prediction is
accomplished, "Old men dream dreams and young men see visions," and the
most practical of the ages bids fair to glide ghostly into history as
the most superstitious,--it is well, it can but be well, to contemplate
reverently that Reason, which Coleridge, after Leighton, calls "an
influence from the Glory of the Almighty." In the contemplation of the
spirit of man (not your _animula_, by any means!) there is earnest of
immortality which needs not that one rise from the dead to confirm it.
In view of the Foresight which guides men, we may trust that all this
tumultuous sense of inadequacy in present institutions, this blind
notion of wrong, far enough from intelligent correction, is, after all,
better than sluggish inaction.




The suspension of specie payments brought instant relief to all really
solvent mercantile houses; since those who had valuable assets of any
kind could now obtain discounts sufficient to enable them to meet their
liabilities. Among those who were at once relieved was the house of
Lindsay and Company; they resumed payment and recommenced business.

Mr. Lindsay lost no time in finding his clerk Monroe, and reinstated him
with an increased salary. Great was the sorrow in the ragged school at
the loss of the teacher; and it was with some regret that he abandoned
the place. He felt no especial vocation to the career of a missionary;
but his duties had become less irksome than at the beginning, if not
absolutely pleasant. His own position, however, was such that he could
not afford to continue in his self-denying occupation. Easelmann was one
of the first to congratulate him upon his improved prospects.

"Don't you feel sorry, my dear fellow? Now you get upon your treadmill
of business, and you must keep going, or break your legs. Think, too,
of the jolly little rascals you have left! The beggars are the only
aristocracy we have,--the only people who enjoy their _dolce far
niente_. Look on the Common: who are there amusing themselves on a fine
day, unless it be your Duke Do-nothing, Earl Out-at-elbows, Duchess
Draggle-tail, and others of that happy class? Meanwhile your Lawrences,
Eliots, and the 'Merchant Princes' (a satirical dog that invented the
title!) are going about with sharpened faces, looking as though they
weren't sure of a dinner. Oh, business is a great matter, to be sure!
but the idlers, artists, poets, and other lazzaroni, are the only people
that enjoy life."

Monroe smiled, and only replied,--

"Think of my mother! I must do something besides enjoying life, as you
call it: I must earn the means of making it enjoyable."

"You were always a good boy," replied his friend, benignantly. "So go to
work; but don't forget to walk out of town now and then; in which case,
I hope you won't disdain the company of _one_ of the idlers."

       *       *       *       *       *

The "mother" was full of joy; her melancholy nervousness almost wholly
forsook her. She looked proudly upon her "dear boy," thinking him the
best, most considerate, faithful, and affectionate of sons,--as he was.

Walter, after listening to her benedictions, told her he had an
invitation from Mr. Lindsay to dine the next day, and begged her to go
with him; but the habit of inaction, the dread of bustle and motion,
were too strong to be overcome. She could not be persuaded to leave

"But go, by all means, Walter," she added. "It will be pleasant to be
on such terms with your employer. I must keep watch of you, though, now
that Alice is gone. Are there young ladies at the house?"

"Why, mother, how jealous you are! Do you think I go about falling
in love with all the young ladies I see? Mr. Lindsay has a beautiful
daughter; but do you think a poor clerk is likely to be regarded as
'eligible' by a family accustomed to wealth and luxury?"

The mother looked as though she thought her son a match for the richest
and proudest; she said nothing, but patted his head as though he were
still only a boy.

"Speaking of Alice, mother, I am very much concerned about her. Now that
I am reëstablished, I shall make every exertion to find her and bring
her home to live with us. Mr. Greenleaf, I know, is looking for her;
very little good it will do him, if he finds her."

"But we shall hear from him, I presume?"

"I think so. He is intimate with my friend Mr. Easelmann.--But, mother,
I have some more good news. I shall get our property back. Lawyers say
that Mr. Tonsor will be obliged to give up the notes, and look to the
estate of Sandford for the money he lent. And the notes, fortunately,
are as valuable as ever, in spite of all the multitude of failures; one
name, at least, on each note is good."

"Everything comes back, like Job's prosperity. This repays us for all
our anxiety."

"If Alice had not run away!"

"But we shall have her again,--poor motherless child!"

So with mutual gratulations they passed the evening. My readers who now
enjoy a mother's love, or look back with affectionate reverence to such
scenes in the past, will pardon these apparently unimportant portions
of the story. Sooner or later all will learn that no worldly success
whatever, no friendships, not even the absorbing love of wife and
children, can afford a pleasure so full, so serene, as the sacred
feeling which rises at the recollection of a mother's self-sacrificing

Very commonplace, no doubt,--but still worth an occasional thought. As
for those who demand that natural and simple feelings shall be ignored,
and that every chapter shall record something not less startling than
murder or treason, are there not already means for gratifying their
tastes? Do not the "Torpedo" and the "Blessing of the Boudoir" give
enough of these delicate condiments with the intellectual viands they
furnish? Let old-fashioned people enjoy their plain dishes in peace.


The reader may be quite sure that Greenleaf lost no time in presenting
himself at Easelmann's studio on the morning after his last interview.

"On hand early, I see," said the elder. "And how fresh you look! The
blood comes dancing into your face; you are radiant with expectation."

"You mummy, what do you suppose I am made of, if the thought of meeting
Alice should not quicken my blood a little?"

"If it were my case, I think my cheeks would tingle from another cause."

"Now you need not try to frighten me. I will see her first. I don't
believe she has forgotten me."

"Nor I; but forgetting is one thing, and forgiving is another. Besides,
we haven't seen her yet."

"I haven't, I know; but I'll wager you have."

"Well, my Hotspur, I sha'n't entice her away from you."

"Let us go," said Greenleaf.

"Presently; I must finish this pipe first; it lasts thirty-six minutes,
and I have smoked only--let me see--twenty-eight."

"Well, puff away; but you'll burn up my patience with your tobacco,
unless you are ready soon."

"Don't hurry. You'll get to your stool of repentance quite soon enough.
Have you heard the news? The banks have suspended,--ditto Fletcher, a
banker's clerk.

"What do you mean?"

"Plain enough. The banks suspend paying specie because they haven't any
to redeem their bills; and Fletcher, because he has neither specie nor

"Fletcher suspended?"

"Yes, _sus. per coll._, as the Newgate records have it,--hung himself
with his handkerchief,--an article he might have put to better use."

And Easelmann blew a vigorous blast with his, as he laid down the pipe.

"You understand, choking is disagreeable,--painful, in fact,--and, if
indulged in long enough, is apt to produce unpleasant effects. Remember,
I once warned you against it."

"This matter of suicide is horrible. Couldn't it have been prevented?"

"Yes, if Fletcher could have got hold of Bullion."

"Coin would have done as well, I suppose."

"Now haven't I been successful in diverting your attention? You have
actually punned. Don't you know Mr. Bullion, the capitalist?"

"I have good reason to remember him, though I don't know him myself. My
father was once connected with him in business, and not at all to his
own advantage."

"I never heard you speak of your father before; in fact, I never knew
you had one."

"It was not necessary to speak of him; he has been dead many years."

"And left you nothing to remember him by. Now a man with an estate has a
perpetual reminder."

"So has the son of a famous man; and people are continually depreciating
him, comparing his little bud of promise with the ripe fruitage of the
ancestral tree. I prefer to acquire my own fortune and my own fame. My
father did his part by giving me being and educating me.--But come; your
pipe is out; you draw like a pump, without puffing even a nebula of

"I suppose I must yield. First a lavation; this Virginian incense
is more agreeable to devout worshippers like you and me than to the
uninitiated. There," (wiping the water from his moustaches,) "now I
am qualified to meet that queenly rose, Mrs. Sandford, or even that
delicate spring violet of yours,--if we should find the nook where she

"You are the most tantalizing fellow! How provokingly cool you are, to
stand dallying as though you were going on the most indifferent errand!
And all the while to remind me of what I have lost. Come, you look
sufficiently fascinating; your gray moustache has the proper artistic
curl; your hair is carelessly-well-arranged."

"So the boy can't wait for due preparation. There, I believe I am

Arrived at the house where Mrs. Sandford boarded, they were ushered into
the reception-room; but Easelmann, bidding his friend wait, followed the
servant upstairs. Waiting is never an agreeable employment. The courtier
in the ante-chamber before the expected audience, the office-seeker at
the end of a cue in the Presidential mansion, the beau lounging in the
drawing-room while the idol of his soul is in her chamber busy with the
thousand little arts that are to complete her charms,--none of these
find that time speeds. To Greenleaf the delay was full of torture; he
paced the room, looked at the pictures without seeing anything, looked
out of the window, turned over the gift-books on the table, counted the
squares in the carpet, and finally sat down in utter despair. At length
Easelmann returned. Greenleaf started up.

"Where is she? Have you seen her? Why doesn't she come down? And why, in
the name of goodness, have you kept me waiting in this outrageous way?"

"I don't know.--I have not--I can't tell you.--And because I couldn't
help it.--Never say, after this, I don't answer all your questions."

"Now, what is the use of all this mystery?"

"Softly, my friend; and let us not make a mess of it. Mrs. Sandford
advises us to walk out awhile."

"I am obliged to her and to you for your well-meant caution, but I don't
intend to go out until I have seen Alice,--if she will see me."

"But consider."

"I have considered, and am determined to see her; I can't endure this

"But Alice bore it much longer. Be advised; Mrs. Sandford wants to
prepare the way for you."

"I thank you; but I don't mean to have any stratagem acted for my
benefit. I will trust the decision to her: if she loves me, all will be
well; if her just resentment has uprooted her love, the sooner I know it
the better."

While they were engaged in this mutual expostulation, Alice,
all-unconscious of the impending situation in the drama, was busy in her
own room,--for Mrs. Sandford had not yet decided how to break the news
to her,--and having an errand that led her to the street, she put on her
cloak and hat and tripped lightly down-stairs. Naturally she went into
the drawing-room, to make sure, by the mirror, that her ribbons were
neatly adjusted. As she entered, fastening her cloak, and humming some
simple air meanwhile, she started back at the sight of strangers,
and was rapidly retreating, when a voice that she had not forgotten
exclaimed, "Great Heavens, there she is now! Alice! Alice! stop! I beg
of you!"

Greenleaf at the same time bounded to the door, and, seizing her hand,
drew her, bewildered, faint, and fluttering, back into the room.

He turned almost fiercely to his companion:--

"This is your policy, is it, to send her off?--or, more probably, to
amuse me and not send for her at all?"

"Ask the lady,--ask Mrs. Sandford," replied Easelmann. "I have not sent
her off; and you ought to know by this time that I am incapable of
playing false to any man."

Alice, erect, but very pale, maintained her composure as well as she
could, though the timid lips trembled a little, and blinding clouds rose
before her eyes. She withdrew her hand from Greenleaf's grasp, and asked
the meaning of this unusual conduct. Greenleaf's good sense came to the
rescue seasonably.

"Alice,--Miss Lee,--allow me to introduce my friend Mr. Easelmann. We
came here to see you, and were waiting for that purpose; but it seems
you were not told of it."

Easelmann bowed, saying, "No, Miss Lee; I saw Mrs. Sandford, who thought
it best to speak to you first herself."

"I am happy to meet you, Mr. Easelmann," said Alice. "I was just going
out, however, as you see, and I must ask you to excuse me this morning."

Greenleaf saw with a pang how silently, but effectually, he was disposed
of; a downright rebuff would not have been so humiliating. But he was
not to be deterred from his purpose, and he went on:

"Pardon me, if I seem to overstep the bounds of courtesy; but I cannot
let you go in this way, Alice,--for so I must call you. Stay and hear
me. Now that I see you, I must speak. God only knows with what anxiety I
have sought you for the last month."

She tried to answer, but could not command her speech. Seeing her
increasing agitation, Easelmann led her to a seat, and then, in a
gentler tone than he often used, said,--

"I will leave the room, if you please, Miss Lee; this is an interview I
did not desire to witness."

"No," she exclaimed, "do not go. I have nothing to say that you should
not hear; and I hope Mr. Greenleaf will spare me the pain of going over
a history which is better forgotten."

"It can never be forgotten," interposed Greenleaf; "and, in spite of
your protest, I must say what I can--and that is little enough--to
exculpate myself, and then throw myself upon your charity for

Alice remained silent; but it was a silence that gave no encouragement
to Greenleaf. He advanced still nearer, looking at her with a tender
earnestness, as though his very soul were in the glance. She covered her
face with her hands.

"Alice," he said, "you know what that name once meant to me. I cannot
speak it now without a feeling beyond utterance."

Easelmann, meanwhile, quietly sidled towards the door, and, saying that
he was going back to see Mrs. Sandford, abruptly left the room.

Greenleaf went on,--"I know my conduct was utterly inexcusable; but I
declare, by my hope of heaven, I never _loved_ any woman but you. I was
fascinated, ensnared, captivated by the senses only; now that illusion
is past, and I turn to you."

"My illusion is past also; you turn too late. Can you make me forget
those months of neglect?"

The tone was tender, but mournful. How he wished that her answer had
been fuller of rebuke! He could hope to overcome her anger far more
easily than this settled sorrow.

"I know I can never atone for the wrong; there are injuries that are
irreparable, wounds that leave ineffaceable scars. I can never undo what
I have done; would to Heaven I could! You may never forget this period
of suffering; but that is past now; it is not to be lived over again. Go
back rather to the brighter days before it; think of them, and then look
down the future;--may I dare say it?--the future, perhaps, will make us
both forget my insane wanderings and your undeserved pains."

"But love must have faith to lean upon. While I loved you, I rested on
absolute trust. I would have believed you against all the world. I would
have been glad to share your lot, even in poverty and obscurity. I did
not love you for your art nor your fame. You wavered; you forgot me. I
don't know what it was that tempted you, but it was enough; it drew
you away from me; and as long as you preferred another, or could be
satisfied with any other woman's love, you lost all claim to mine."

Greenleaf could not but feel the force of this direct, womanly logic: in
its clear light how pitiful were the excuses he had framed for himself!
He felt sure that many, even of the best of men, might have erred in the
same way; but this was an argument which would have much more weight
with his own sex than with women. Men know their own frailties, and
are therefore charitable; women consider inconstancy to be the one
unpardonable sin, and are inexorable.

He came still nearer, vainly hoping to see some indication of relenting;
but the pale face was as firm as it was sad.

"I said before, Alice, that I do not attempt to defend my faithlessness,
hardly to extenuate it; and I do not at all wonder at your altered
temper towards me. It was a cruel blow I gave you. But my life shall
show you the sincerity of my repentance."

She shook her head as she answered,--

"When you left me, the last spark of love went out. It is hard to kindle
anew the dead embers. No,--when I found that you _could_ be untrue, all
was over,--past, present, and future."

"But consider," he said, still more earnestly, "what remains for you or
me. You will have the memory of this great sorrow, and I the unending
remorse. I can never love another woman while you live, and you--may I
say it?--will never love again as you have loved. Is it not for your
own happiness, as it is most assuredly for mine, that you overlook the
fault, receive me again, and trust to the lasting effect of the bitter
lesson I have learned? Forgive me, if I seem too bold,--if the desire to
atone for the past makes me sue for pardon with unbecoming zeal. If I
were less urgent, it would be because I was not sensible of the wrong,
and careless about reparation."

She was silent; contending passions strove for mastery. She had not
forgotten him, then! He took courage and came yet nearer.

"Will you give me your hand? Alice, will you?"

He reached his own towards her.

"No,--pardon me,--I must not. It is not well to decide by impulse,--to
be swayed by a thrill. When my heart tells me to give you my hand, it
shall be yours. I don't wish to be charmed out of my calmer judgment.
Your presence, your fiery words, and your will, are sufficiently

"My dear Alice, I have been guilty of _one_ folly, a serious one, but
you don't believe I am incapable of constancy henceforth. Remember you
were away; time hung heavily on my hands; my good nature made me accept
invitations which brought me into daily contact with a woman who of all
others was most dangerous to a man of ardent temperament. The friendship
which began without a thought of a nearer relation grew into an intimacy
which I was not far-sighted enough to check. In your own words, I was
magnetized, thoroughly; and when, at last, in a scene of imminent
danger, I rashly said some things that should not have been spoken, I
found myself committed irrevocably. It is not too much to say that the
lady was looking for the opportunity which fate and my own stupidity
gave her. But the spell did not last. Your face was constantly before me
like an accusing angel. I waited only until the lady recovered from
a dangerous illness to tell her that I did not love her, and that my
heart, as well as my faith, was yours. I went at once to see you, and
found your father dead, yourself homeless. And from that hour I have
done nothing but search for you. Is it in vain?--I can say no more.
Perhaps I have said too much. But I implore you, Alice, by the memory of
our love as it was once, by all your hope of the future, to forgive me,
and not to make my whole life as miserable as the last few months have
been to you."

It was the last word; he felt that he had nothing further to urge. He
bent over her chair, seized her hand and pressed it passionately to
his lips, watching with the intensest eagerness the effect of his
appeal.--There was a rustle of silk behind him, an incoming of perfumes,
a light footstep. He started, as did Alice, and beheld--Miss Marcia
Sandford! She was tastefully dressed, as usual, and she bore
herself with superb composure. In coming from the sunlight into the
semi-translucent gloom which pervades modern drawing-rooms, people are
not easily recognized, and the lady swept majestically across the floor,
and took a seat, without a sign of consciousness, near the couple whose
conversation she had interrupted.

Not so Greenleaf; it was the most dangerous dilemma in which he had ever
been placed, and he was thoroughly at a loss to know how to extricate
himself. Would that he could telegraph to Easelmann to come down, so
that he could effect a decent retreat, and not leave the field in the
sole possession of the enemy. The silence was becoming embarrassing. He
was about to make some excuse for departure, when the lioness fixed
her eyes upon him,--her glance sparkling with malicious joy. A servant
entered to say that Mrs. Sandford was engaged for a few minutes, and
that she wished to know the name of her visitor.

"Miss Sandford," she replied, "and please tell her I will wait."

Alice remembered the name, and now shared fully in Greenleaf's
embarrassment. She watched him, therefore, keenly, while the lady

"Oh, Mr. Greenleaf, is it you? Why didn't you speak? It is not worth
while to keep a memory of the old disappointment. Let bygones be
bygones. Besides, I see you know the remedy for heartbreak; if you can't
succeed where you would, you must try elsewhere. And you seemed to be
getting on very well when I came in."

"Miss Sandford," he retorted, indignantly, "there is as little need of
your ironical condolence as of your ungenerous insinuations."

"What an impatient fellow! and so sensitive, too! The wound is not
healed, then. Pray introduce me to the Zerlina in our little opera. As I
know you so well, I can give her some excellent counsel about managing
you.--Ah, you wince! I am indiscreet, I fear; I have betrayed a secret;
the Zerlina is perhaps still in her rustic seclusion, and this is
only--Well, you must submit to your destiny, I suppose. How many are
there since? Let me see,--six weeks,--time for three flirtations of the
most intensely crimson hue."

Alice rose to her feet, with a glow of resentment on her hitherto pale
face. And Greenleaf, feeling that courtesy was now wholly unnecessary,

"Miss Sandford, you have said quite as much as was proper for a young
girl to hear: your own cheeks, I presume, are proof against any
indelicate surprise. Let me ask you to stop, before"--

"Before what, Sir? And what is this high-and-mighty innocence about?
To be sure, one does not like to be exposed,--that is, the wolf
doesn't,--though the lamb shouldn't be angry. A pretty lamb it is, too."

Alice gradually drew away from Greenleaf's side, turning her glances
from one to the other of the combatants. She had never seen such
confidence, such readiness of invective, joined with such apparent
sincerity and ease of manner; and the evident effect of the attack upon
Greenleaf puzzled her not a little; in this brief colloquy there were
opened new fields for dark conjecture. The woman's words had been barbed
arrows in her ears.

Greenleaf's perplexity increased momently. He dared not go away now;
and he knew not how, in Miss Sandford's presence, to counteract the
impression she might make. If he could get rid of her or shut her
wickedly-beautiful mouth, he might answer all she had so artfully thrown
out. But as Alice had not given any token of returning affection, he
could not presume upon his good standing with her and remain silent.
Growing desperate, he ventured once more.

"Miss Sandford, I know very well the depth of your hate towards me, as
well as your capacity for misrepresentation. If you desire to have
the history of our intimacy dragged to the light, I, for my part, am
willing. But don't think your sex will screen you, if you continue the
calumnies you have begun.--You, Alice, must judge between us. And in
almost every point, Mrs. Sandford, your friend and her sister-in-law,
will be able to support my statements."

The servant returned to say that "Mrs. Sandford must be excused."

Greenleaf turned upon the adversary with a triumphant glance.

"A palpable trick," she exclaimed. "You gave the servant a signal: you
were unwilling to have us confronted. You have filled her ears with
scandal about me."

"Not a word; she can hear a plenty about you in any circle where you are
known, without coming to me. And so far from giving any signal, I should
be rejoiced to show Alice how easily an honest woman's testimony will
put your monstrous effrontery to shame."

Alice here interposed,--her resolute spirit manifest in spite of her
trembling voice,--

"I have heard this too long already; I don't wish to be the subject of
this lady's jests, and I don't desire her advice. Your quarrel does not
concern me,--at least, not so deeply that I wish to have it repeated in
my presence. Mr. Greenleaf, let me bid you good-morning."

She moved away with a simple dignity, bowing with marked coolness to the
former rival.

"Stay, Alice," said Greenleaf. "Let me not be thrust aside in this way.
Miss Sandford, now that she has done what mischief she can, will go away
and enjoy the triumph. I beg of you, stay and let me set myself right."

Miss Sandford laughed heartily,--a laugh that made Greenleaf shiver.

"Not to-day, Mr. Greenleaf," she answered. "I have need of rest and
reflection. I am not used to scenes like this, and my brain is in a

The first flush of excitement was over, and it was with difficulty that
she found her way through the hall.  Easelmann was coming down, and saw
her hesitating step and her tremulous grasp upon the rail; he sprang
down four steps at a time, caught her before she fell, and carried her
in his arms like a child up to Mrs. Sandford's room.

Greenleaf was so completely absorbed by the danger of losing the last
hold upon Alice, that he forgot his most excusable anger against the
vindictive woman who still lingered, enjoying her victory. He sank into
a chair, buried his face in his hands, and for some time neither looked
up nor replied to her taunts.

"Come, now," said she, "don't take it so hard. Is my handsome
sister-in-law obdurate? Never mind; don't be desolate; other women will
be kind,--for you are just the man to attract sentimental damsels. Cheer
up! you will find a new affinity before night, I haven't a doubt."

Roused at length, Greenleaf stood up before the mocking fiend, so
radiant in her evil smiles, and said,--

"You enemy of all that is good, what brought you here? Keep in your own
sphere, if there is one for you in this world."

"I came to see my sister, as you know. It was a most unexpected pleasure
to meet you. I came to tell her that brother Henry has either run away
or killed himself, it doesn't matter which."

"Pray, follow him. I assure you we shall mourn your absence as bitterly
as you do his."

"Well, good-bye," she said, still laughing in the same terrible tone.
"Better luck next time."

The door closed upon her, and Greenleaf drew a long breath--with a sense
of infinite relief.

"Come," said Easelmann, entering a moment later,--"come, let us go. We
have done quite enough for one day. You wouldn't take my advice, and a
pretty mess you have made of it."


When the remains of John Fletcher were borne to the grave, the memory
of his faults was buried with him. "Poor fellow!" was the general
ejaculation in State Street,--at once his _requiescat_ and epitaph. But
the great wheels of business moved on; Bulls and Bears kept up their
ever-renewing conflicts and their secret machinations; new gladiators
stepped into the ring; new crowds waited the turn of the wheel of
Fortune; and new Fletchers were ready to sacrifice themselves, if need
were, for the Bullions of the exchange. Who believes in the efficacy of
"lessons"? What public execution ever deterred the murderer from his
design? What spectacle of drunkenness ever restrained the youthful
debauchee? What accession, however notable, to the ranks of "the
unfortunate" ever made the fascinated woman pause in her first steps
toward ruin?

No,--human nature remains the same; and the erring ones, predestined to
sin by their own unrestrained passions, wait only for the overmastering
circumstances to yield and fall. When any of these solemn warnings are
held up to the yet callow sinner, what does he propose to do? To stop
and repent? No,--to be a little more careful and not be caught.

Not that precepts and examples are useless. All together go to make up
the moral government of the world,--pervading like the atmosphere, and
like it resting with uniform pressure upon the earth. Crime and folly
will always have their exemplars, but retribution furnishes the
restraining influence that keeps evil down to its average. As locks and
bolts are made for honest men, not for thieves, so the moral law and its
penalties are for those who have never openly sinned.

If Mr. Bullion had been ten times the Shylock he was, he could not have
disregarded the last injunction of Fletcher. The turn in the market
enabled him to make advantageous sales of his stocks, and in less than
a week he resumed payment. The first thing he did was to pay over to
trustees the notes he had given Fletcher, thereby securing the widow at
least a decent support. He also sent Danforth & Co. the ten thousand
dollars for which their clerk had paid such a terrible forfeiture.
After discharging all his obligations, there was still an ample margin
left,--a large fortune, in fact. Mr. Bullion could now retire with
comfort,--could look forward to many years; so he flattered himself.
His will was made, his children provided for; and some unsettled
accounts, not remembered by any save himself and the recording angel,
were adjusted as well as the lapse of time would allow. So he thought of
purchasing a country-house for the next season, and of giving the rest
of his days to the enjoyment of life.

But it was not so to be. A swift and sudden stroke smote him down. In
the dead of night, and alone, he met the angel for whose summons all of
us are waiting, and went his way without a struggle. The morning sun,
as its rays shot in between the blinds, lighted the seamed and careworn
face of an old man, resting as in a serene, dreamless sleep.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. Tonsor found, on consulting the best legal authorities, that he
could not maintain his claim upon the notes he had received of Sandford;
and, rather than subject himself to the expense of a lawsuit in which he
was certain to be beaten, he relinquished them to Monroe, and filed his
claim for the money against Sandford's estate. Ten _per cent._ was the
amount of the dividend he received; the remainder was charged to Profit
and Loss,--Experience being duly credited with the same amount.

       *       *       *       *       *

It was with the greatest difficulty that the judicious Easelmann
prevented his friend from making a second visit in the evening of the
same day. Greenleaf had come to a full conviction, in his own mind, that
his difference with Alice ought to be settled, and he could not conceive
that it might take time to bring her to the same conclusion. Some people
adapt themselves to circumstances instantly; the aversion of one hour
becomes the delight of the next; but those who are guided by reasoning,
especially where there is a shade of resentment,--who are fortified by
pride of opinion, and by the idea of consistent self-respect,--such
persons are slow to change a settled conviction; the course of feeling
is too powerful and too constant to be arrested and turned backward.
Easelmann thought--and perhaps rightly--that Alice needed only time to
become accustomed to the new view of the case; and he believed that any
precipitation might be fatal to his friend's hopes.

"Give her the opportunity to think about it," he said; "if she loves
you, depend upon it, the wind will change with her. Due east to-day,
according to all you have told me; and the violets won't blossom till
the sun comes out of the sullen gray cloud and the south wind breathes
on them.--The very contact with a lover, you see, makes me poetical."

"But her thoughts may take another direction. Who can tell what
impression that malicious vixen has made upon her?"

"Alice, I fancy, is a sensible young woman; and Miss Sandford, in her
rage, must have shown her hand too freely. To be sure, Alice might
wonder how you could ever have been captivated; but she could not blame
you for getting out of reach of such a Tartar. Besides, the exemplary
widow is your friend, you know, and I'll warrant that she will set the
matter right. Marcia won't trouble you again; such a mischance couldn't
happen twice. You are as safe as the sailor who put his head into the
hole where a cannon-shot had just come through. Lightning doesn't strike
the same tree twice in one shower."

Greenleaf was at length persuaded to wait and let events take their
course. If he remained inactive, however, Easelmann did not; from Mrs.
Sandford he heard daily the progress of affairs, and at length intimated
to his friend that it might be judicious to call again.

Once more Greenleaf was seated in the drawing-room of the
boarding-house. At every distant footstep his heart beat almost audibly;
and when at last the breezy rustle of a woman's robes came in from the
hall, he thought, as many a man has, before and since,--

"She is coming, my life, my fate!"

She entered, not with the welcoming smile he would have liked to see,
nor with the forbidding cloud of sadness which veiled her face a few
days before. But how lovely! Time had given fulness and perfection to
her beauty, while the effect of the trials she had undergone was seen
only in the look of womanly dignity and self-control she had acquired.
It was the freshness of girlhood joined to the grace of maturity.

Nothing is more inscrutable than the working of the human will; argument
does not reach it, nor does persuasion overcome it. It holds out against
reason, against interest, against passion; no sufficient motive can be
found with which to control it. On the other hand, it sometimes stoops
in a way that defies prediction; pride is vanquished or disarmed,
resentment melts away like frost, and the resolution that at first
seemed firm as the everlasting rock proves to be no barrier. Nor is this
uncertainty confined to the sex at whose foibles the satirists have been
wont to let fly their arrows.

Feeling is deeper than thought; and as the earthquake lifts the mountain
with all the weight of its rocky strata and of the piled-up edifices
that crown its top, so there comes a time when the emotional nature
rises up and overthrows the carefully wrought structures of the
intellect, and asserts its original and supreme mastery over the soul of

Alice felt sure that every trace of her love for Greenleaf had
disappeared. She looked in her heart and saw there only the memory of
neglect and unfaithfulness. If love existed, it was as fire lurks in
ashes, unrecognized. She had conversed freely with Mrs. Sandford, and
learned that Greenleaf's version of the story was the correct one. Still
the original treason remained without apology; and she had determined
to express her regret for what had happened, to assure him of her
friendship, but to forbid any hope of reëstablishing their former
relations. With this intention, she bade him good-morning and quietly
took a seat.

"I did not think that so many days would pass before I should see you;
but now that you have had time to reflect, I hope your feelings have
softened towards me."

"You mistake, if you suppose that giving me time for reflection has
produced any such change."

"Then, pray, forget the past altogether."

"I cannot forget."

"If your memory must be busy, pray, go back to the pleasanter days of
our acquaintance."

"I remember the days you speak of; I shall never forget them; but it is
a happiness that is dead and buried."

"Love will make it live again."

"It is hard to recognize love when it comes like Lazarus from the tomb."

"Still we don't read that the friends of Lazarus were displeased with
his return and wished him back to his grave-clothes."

"You can turn the comparison as you choose; but it is not necessary that
an illustration should be perfect in every respect; if one catches a
gleam of resemblance, it is enough."

The perfect command of her faculties, and the deliberate way in which
she sustained her part in the conversation, thus far, were sufficiently
disheartening to Greenleaf. He longed to change the tone, but feared to
lose all by any rapid advance. He answered deprecatingly,--"But all this
intellectual fencing, my dear Alice, is useless. Love is not a spark
to be struck out by the collision of arguments; I shall in vain try to
_reason_ you into affection for me. I have already said all I can say by
way of apology for what I have done. If there yet lingers any particle
of regard for me in your heart, I would fain revive it. If it is your
pride that withstands me, I pray you consider whether it is well to make
us both unhappy in order to maintain so poor a triumph. I am already
conquered, and throw myself upon your generosity."

"You would put me in the wrong, then, and ascribe my refusal to an
ungenerous pride? Is it generous in you to do so? Have you the right to
place such a construction upon my conduct? I appeal to you in return.
Remember, it is you who are responsible for this painful interview. I
never sought you to cover you with reproaches. You force me to say what
I would gladly leave in silence."

"Forgive me, Alice, if I wrong you; but my heart clings to you and will
not be repulsed. I would fain believe, that, beneath all your natural
resentment, there yet survives some portion of the love you once bore
to me. If it were the first time I had ever approached you, a sense of
delicacy, to say nothing of my own self-respect, would have prevented
my importuning you in this way. But my fault has given me warrant to
be bold, and if you finally cast me off,--but that is what I won't
anticipate; I can't give you up. You once loved me,--and am I not the

"No, not the same; or, rather, you have proved to be not what I

"You persist in fixing your attention upon one dark spot. Do you
remember this miniature? It has never been out of my bosom, and there
has never been but one day in which I might not loyally carry it there.
At that time, when I opened it, your eyes looked out at me with a tender
reproach, and I was instantly recalled to myself. It was only the
illusion of a moment, through which I had passed. Whatever may happen, I
have one consolation: this dear image will remind me of the love I once
possessed. I shall fold to my bosom the Alice that once was mine, and
strive to forget our estrangement."

Alice was sensibly touched by this appeal, and much more by the tone in
which it was made. In the momentary pause, Greenleaf raised his eyes and
saw the struggle in her face. He rose, came nearer, and quietly took a
seat on the sofa beside her.

"I heard you distinctly where you sat," she said, making an effort to
keep down the tumult within, and shrinking, perhaps, from the influence
of his presence.

"I wished to hear you, dear Alice, and therefore came nearer. Tell me,
are you not mistaken? You have not forgotten me: you do love me yet. Let
your heart speak; if you imprison it and force the dissembling lips to
deny me, the dear traitor will make signals: it looks out of your eyes

He seized and imprisoned her hand, and still watched the current of
feeling in her face.

"I thought myself strong enough for this," she said, tremblingly, "but I
am not. I meant only to say that we would part----friends, but that we
must part. It is not so easy to be calm, when you distract me so."

"Alice, you only deceive yourself; you love me. You have covered
the spring in your heart with snow, but the fountain still flows

Her tears could be kept back no longer; they fell not like November
rain, but rather like those sudden showers of spring from passing
clouds, while the blue sky still looks down, and rainbow smiles
transfigure the landscape.

His heart gave a mighty throb as those softly humid eyes were turned
upon him. He drew her, half consenting, still nearer. She hesitated, but
not long.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Hard a-port!" shouts the master; and the helmsman, with firm hand,
holds down the wheel. Slowly the ship veers; the sails flutter and back,
the yards are swung; waves strive to head the bow off, but the rudder is
held with iron grasp; now comes the wind, the shaking sails fill with
the sudden rush, and the ship bounds on her new course over the heaving

Shall I fill out the comparison? Not for you, elders, who have seen the
struggle of "tacking ship," and have felt the ecstatic swell of delight
when it was accomplished! Not for the younger, who must learn for
themselves the seamanship that is to carry them safely over the
mysterious ocean on whose shore they have lingered and gazed and wished!

The conversation that followed it would be vain to report, even if
it were possible; for the force of ejaculations depends so much
on _tone_,--which our types do not know how to convey; and their
punctuation-marks, I fear, were such as are not in use in any
well-regulated printing-office. In due time it came to an end; and when
Greenleaf took his unwilling departure, having repeatedly said good-bye,
with the usual confirmation, he could no more remember what had been
said in that miraculous hour than a bee flying home from a garden could
tell you about the separate blossoms from which he (the Sybarite!) had
gathered his freight of flower-dust.

One thing only he heard which the wisely incurious reader will care
to know. Alice had met her cousin, Walter Monroe, the day before, had
received a proper scolding for her absurd independence, and, after a
frank settlement of the heart-question which came up on the day of her
flight, had promised at once to return to his house,--where, for the
brief remainder of our story, she is to be found. Let us wish her
joy,--and the kind, motherly aunt, also.

Greenleaf went directly to Easelmann's room, opened the door, and spread
his arms.

"Have you a strawberry-mark?" he shouted.


"Then you are my long-lost brother! Come to my arms!"

Easelmann laughed long and loudly.

"Forgive my nonsense, Easelmann. I know I am beside myself and ready for
any extravagance,--I am so full of joy. I feared, in coming along the
street, that I should break out into singing, or fall to dancing, like
the Scriptural hills."

"Then you have succeeded, and the girl is yours! I forgive your stupid
old joke. You can say and do just what you like. You have a right to
be jolly, and to make a prodigious fool of yourself, if you want to. I
should like to have heard you. You were very poetical, quoted Tennyson,
fell on your knees, and perhaps blubbered a little. You _are_
sentimental, you know."

"I am happy, I know, and I don't care whether you think me sentimental
or not."

"Well, I wish you joy anyhow. Let us make a night of it. 'It is our
royal pleasure to be'--imagine the rest of the line. 'Now is the winter
of our discontent.' 'My bosom's lord sits lightly on his throne.' Come,
let us make ready, and we'll talk till

  "'Night's candles are burnt out, and jocund day
  Stands tiptoe on the misty'--

misty steeple of Park-Street Church,--since we haven't any misty
mountaintops in the neighborhood."

"One would think _you_ the happy man."

"I am; your enthusiasm is so contagious that I am back in my twenties

"Why do you take your pleasure vicariously? There is Mrs. Sandford, the
charming woman; I love her, because"--

"No, Sir, not her,--one is enough."

"Then why not love her yourself? We'll make a double-barrelled shot of
it,--two couples brought down by one parson."

"Very ingenious, and economical, too; but I think not. It is too late. I
was brought up in the country, and I don't think it good policy to begin
agricultural operations in the fall of the year; my spring has past. But
is the day fixed? When are you to be the truly happy man?"

"No,--the day is not fixed," said Greenleaf, thoughtfully. "You see,
I was so bent upon the settlement of the difficulty, that I had not
considered the practical bearing of the matter. I am too poor to marry,
and I am heartsick at the prospect of waiting"--

"With the chance of another rupture."

"No,--we shall not quarrel again. But I shall go to work. I'll inundate
the town with pictures; if I can't sell them myself, I will have Jews to
peddle them for me."

"Hear the mercenary man! No,--go to work in earnest, but put your life
into your pictures. If you can keep up your present glow, you will be
warmer than Cuyp, dreamier than Claude, more imaginative than Millais."

"But the desperate long interval!"

"I don't know about that. I quite like the philosophy of Mr. Micawber,
and strenuously believe in something turning up."

"What is that?" asked Greenleaf, noticing a letter on his friend's
table. "It seems to be addressed to me."

"Yes,--I met a lawyer to-day, who asked me if I knew one George
Greenleaf. As I did, he gave me the letter. Some dun, probably, or
threat of a suit. I wouldn't open it. Don't!"

"You only make me curious. I shall open it. To-day I can defy a dun even
from--What, what's this? Bullion dead?--left in his will a bequest--forty
thousand--to _me_?"

Easelmann looked over his friend's shoulder with well-simulated

"Sure enough; there it is, in black and white.--What do you think of

"I think," said Greenleaf, with manly tears in his eyes, "that you are
the artfullest, craftiest, hugger-muggering, dear old rascal that ever
lived. Now let me embrace you in good earnest. Oh, Easelmann, this is
too much! Here is Alice--mine! Here is Europe, that I have looked at as
I would heaven, beyond reach in this life! _Now_ we will go to work; and
let Cuyp, Claude, and the rest of them, look out for their laurels!"

"Softly, my boy; you squeeze like a cider-press. But how came the old
miser to give you this?"

"My father was his partner; he was thought to be worth a handsome sum
while he lived,--but at his death, though Bullion and another junior
went on with the business, there was nothing left for us. My mother died
poor. I am the only child living. This, I suppose, is the return for the
property that Bullion wrongfully detained,--with compound interest, too,
I should say. Let us not speak ill of the dead. He has made restitution
and squared the books; I hope the correction has been made above."

"How lucky for you that Bullion was your banker! Suppose you had grown
up with the expectation of having this money, what would you have
been good for? You would have run all to patent-leather boots, silky
moustaches, and black-tan terriers. Your struggles have developed your
muscles, metaphorically speaking, and made a man of you."

"Two sides to that question. It is true, luxury might have spoiled me,
for I am accessible to such influences; but, on the other hand, I should
have escaped some painful things. No one who has not been poor can
understand me, can know the wounds which a sensitive man must receive as
he is working his way up in the world,--wounds that leave lasting scars,
too. I am conscious of certain feelings, most discreditable, if I were
to avow them, which have been cultivated in me, and which will probably
cling to me all my days. What I have gained in hardiness I have
gained as the smith gains his strength, at the expense of symmetry,
sensibility, and grace."

"Nonsense, you mimosa! Don't curl up your leaves before you are

"But if I am a sensitive-plant, as you say, I can't help it; if I were a
burdock, I might."

"You'll get over that. By-the-by, you may as well tell Alice. I know
you will be uneasy; go, go,--but come back soon. It is jolly that she
accepted you poor; if the report had got abroad, you might have thought
she was influenced by golden reasons."

"That's because you don't know her, my cynical friend. She is incapable
of mercenary motives."

  "'What female heart can gold despise?
  What cat's averse to fish?'"

"Well, for an hour, good-bye. Have a good fire and the pipes ready."

"Yes, truly,--and a magnum, if my closet is not empty. The king will
drink to Hamlet."

       *       *       *       *       *

Little more remains to be told. After the long period of probation, it
was not deemed necessary that the nuptials should be deferred beyond
the time necessary to make due preparation. In a month the wedding took
place at Mr. Monroe's house, Mr. Easelmann giving away the bride. I do
not say that the bachelor felt no twinges when he saw among the guests
the lovely Mrs. Sandford in her becoming white robes; in fact, he
"thought seriously," as all such people do while there remains even the
recollection of youth--but his habits were too fixed. He saw and sighed,
and that was all. However, he is on the right side of----forty, we will
call it, and there is hope for him. We may find him in some adventure
yet; if so, the reader shall assuredly know it.

In the spring, Greenleaf with his wife went abroad and took up their
residence in Rome.

"What pictures has he painted?" did you ask?

Really, Madam, a great many; but I have not the least idea of letting
you come at the name of my hero in this way. You have seen them both
here and in New York, and you thought them the productions of a rising
man,--as they are.

       *       *       *       *       *

Our friend Monroe is now a partner in the house of Lindsay & Co. He
makes frequent visits to the villa at Brookline, and is always welcome.
Mr. Lindsay considers him a most sensible and worthy young man, and his
daughter Clara has implicit confidence in his judgment of literature as
well as in his taste for pictures. One fine day last summer, Mrs. Monroe
was prevailed upon, after some weeks of solicitation, to get into a
carriage and take a drive with her son. "She's a nice girl," said the
mother, fervently, on their return; "and if you _must_ marry anybody, I
don't think you can do better." Walter's smile showed that he thought
so too, although the alternative was hardly so painful as she seemed to
consider it,--from which we infer that his relations with the senior
partner of the house have become, or will be, still more intimate.

Mrs. Sandford has left Boston and gone to live with her relatives some
fifty miles distant;--the place Mr. Easelmann can tell, as he has had
occasion to send her a few letters.

The personages of our drama are all dismissed; the curtain begins to
fall; but a voice is heard, "What became of the Bulls and Bears?" What
became of Mars and Minerva after the siege of Troy? Men die; but the
deities, infernal as well as celestial, live on. Fortunes may rise like
Satan's _chef d'oeuvre_ of architecture, may be transported from city to
city like the palace of Aladdin, or may sink into salt-water lots as did
the Cities of the Plain; success may wait upon commerce and the arts,
or desolation may cover the land; still, surviving all change, and
profiting alike by prosperity and by calamity, the secret, unfathomable
agents in all human enterprises will remain the BULLS AND BEARS.

       *       *       *       *       *


  Go not to Thebes. The Sphinx is there;
  And thou shalt see her beauty rare,
  And thee the sorcery of her smile
  To read her riddle shall beguile.

  Oh! woe to those who fail to read!
  And woe to him who shall succeed!
  For he who fails the truth to show
  The terror of her wrath shall know:

  But should'st thou find her mystery,
  Not less is Death assured to thee;
  For she shall cease, and thou shalt sigh
  That she no longer is, and die.


  "Thousands were there, in darker fame that dwell,
  Whose deeds some nobler poem shall adorn;
  And though to me unknown, they sure fought well,
  Whom Rupert led, and who were British-born."



THE MARCH. JUNE 17, 1643.

Last night the Canary wine flashed in the red Venice glasses on the
oaken tables of the hall; loud voices shouted and laughed till the
clustered hawk-bells jingled from the rafters, and the chaplain's fiddle
throbbed responsive from the wall; while the coupled stag-hounds fawned
unnoticed, and the watchful falcon whistled to himself unheard. In the
carved chairs lounged groups of revellers, dressed in scarlet, dressed
in purple, dressed in white and gold, gay with satins and ribbons,
gorgeous with glittering chains and jewelled swords: stern, manly faces,
that had been singed with powder in the Palatinate; brutal, swarthy
faces, knowing all that sack and sin could teach them; beautiful, boyish
faces, fresh from ancestral homes and high-born mothers; grave, sad
faces,--sad for undoubted tyranny, grave against the greater wrong of
disloyalty. Some were in council, some were in strife, many were in
liquor; the parson was there with useless gravity, and the jester with
superfluous folly; and in the outer hall men more plebeian drained the
brown October from pewter cans, which were beaten flat, next moment, in
hammering the loud drinking-chorus on the wall; while the clink of the
armorer still went on, repairing the old head-pieces and breastplates
which had hung untouched since the Wars of the Roses; and in the
doorway the wild Welsh recruits crouched with their scythes and their
cudgels, and muttered in their uncouth dialect, now a prayer to God; and
now a curse for their enemy.

But to-day the inner hall is empty, the stag-hounds leap in the doorway,
the chaplain prays, the maidens cluster in the windows, beneath the soft
beauty of the June afternoon. The streets of Oxford resound with many
hoofs; armed troopers are gathering beside chapel and quadrangle,
gateway and tower; the trumpeter waves his gold and crimson trappings,
and blows, "To the Standard,"--for the great flag is borne to the
front, and Rupert and his men are mustering for a night of danger
beneath that banner of "Tender and True."

With beat of drum, with clatter of hoof, and rattle of spur and
scabbard, tramping across old Magdalen Bridge, cantering down the
hill-sides, crashing through the beech-woods, echoing through the chalky
hollows, ride leisurely the gay Cavaliers. Some in new scarfs and
feathers, worthy of the "show-troop,"--others with torn laces, broken
helmets, and guilty red smears on their buff doublets;--some eager for
their first skirmish,--others weak and silent, still bandaged from the
last one;--discharging now a rattle of contemptuous shot at some closed
Puritan house, grim and stern as its master,--firing anon as noisy a
salute, as they pass some mansion where a high-born beauty dwells,--on
they ride. Leaving the towers of Oxford behind them, keeping the ancient
Roman highway, passing by the low, strong, many-gabled farmhouses, with
rustic beauties smiling at the windows and wiser fathers scowling at
the doors,--on they ride. To the Royalists, these troopers are "Prince
Robert and the hope of the nation";--to the Puritans, they are only
"Prince Robber and his company of rake-shames."

Riding great Flanders horses, a flagon swung on one side of the large
padded saddle, and a haversack on the other,--booted to the thigh,
and girded with the leathern bandoleer, supporting cartridge-box and
basket-hilted sword, they are a picturesque and a motley troop. Some
wear the embroidered buffcoat over the coat of mail, others beneath
it,--neither having yet learned that the buffcoat alone is sabre-proof
and bullet-proof also. Scantily furnished with basinet or breastplate,
pot, haqueton, cuirass, pouldron, taslets, vambraces, or cuisses,--each
with the best piece of iron he could secure when the ancestral armory
was ransacked,--they yet care little for the deficit, remembering, that,
when they first rode down the enemy at Worcester, there was not a piece
of armor on their side, while the Puritans were armed to a man. There
are a thousand horsemen under Percy and O'Neal, armed with swords,
pole-axes, and petronels; this includes Rupert's own lifeguard of chosen
men. Lord Wentworth, with Innis and Washington, leads three hundred and
fifty dragoons,--dragoons of the old model, intended to fight either
on foot or on horseback, whence the name they bear, and the emblematic
dragon which adorns their carbines. The advanced guard, or "forlorn
hope," of a hundred horse and fifty dragoons, is commanded by Will
Legge, Rupert's life-long friend and correspondent; and Herbert Lunsford
leads the infantry, "the inhuman cannibal foot," as the Puritan journals
call them. There are five hundred of these, in lightest marching order,
and carrying either pike or arquebuse,--this last being a matchlock
musket with an iron rest to support it, and a lance combined, to resist
cavalry,--the whole being called "Swine (Swedish) feathers,"--a weapon
so clumsy, that the Cavaliers say a Puritan needs two years' practice to
discharge one without winking. And over all these float flags of every
hue and purport, from the blue and gold with its loyal "_Ut rex, sit
rex_" to the ominous crimson, flaming with a lurid furnace and the
terrible motto, "_Quasi ignis conflatoris_."

And foremost rides Prince Rupert, darling of fortune and of war, with
his beautiful and thoughtful face of twenty-three, stern and bronzed
already, yet beardless and dimpled, his dark and passionate eyes, his
long love-locks drooping over costly embroidery, his graceful scarlet
cloak, his white-plumed hat, and his tall and stately form, which,
almost alone in the army, has not yet known a wound. His high-born
beauty is preserved to us forever on the canvas of Vandyck, and as the
Italians have named the artist "Il Pittore Cavalieresco," so will
this subject of his skill remain forever the ideal of Il Cavaliere
Pittoresco. And as he now rides at the head of this brilliant array, his
beautiful white dog bounds onward joyously beside him, that quadruped
renowned in the pamphlets of the time, whose snowy skin has been stained
by many a blood-drop in the desperate forays of his master, but who has
thus far escaped so safely that the Puritans believe him a familiar
spirit, and try to destroy him "by poyson and extempore prayer, which
yet hurt him no more than the plague plaster did Mr. Pym." Failing in
this, they pronounce the pretty creature to be "a divell, not a very
downright divell, but some Lapland ladye, once by nature a handsome
white ladye, now by art a handsome white dogge."

The Civil War is begun. The King has made his desperate attempt to
arrest the five members of Parliament, and been checkmated by Lucy
Carlisle. So the fatal standard was reared, ten months ago, on that
dismal day at Nottingham,--the King's arms, quartered with a bloody
hand pointing to the crown, and the red battle-flag above;--blown down
disastrously at night, replaced sadly in the morning, to wave while the
Cavaliers rallied, slowly, beneath its folds. During those long months,
the King's fortunes have had constant and increasing success,--a success
always greatest when Rupert has been nearest. And now this night-march
is made to avenge a late attack, of unaccustomed audacity, from Essex,
and to redeem the threat of Rupert to pass in one night through the
whole country held by the enemy, and beat up the most distant quarters
of the Roundheads.



It is no easy thing to paint, with any accurate shadings, this opening
period of the English Revolution. Looking habitually, as we do, at the
maturer condition of the two great parties, we do not remember how
gradual was their formation. The characters of Cavalier and Roundhead
were not more the cause than the consequence of civil strife. There is
no such chemical solvent as war; where it finds a mingling of two
alien elements, it leaves them permanently severed. At the opening
of hostilities, the two parties were scarcely distinguishable, in
externals, from each other. Arms, costume, features, phrases, manners,
were as yet common to both sides. On the battlefield, spies could pass
undetected from one army to the other. At Edgehill, Chalgrove, and
even Naseby, men and standards were captured and rescued, through the
impossibility of distinguishing between the forces. An orange scarf, or
a piece of white paper, was the most reliable designation. True, there
was nothing in the Parliamentary army so gorgeous as Sir John Suckling's
troop in Scotland, with their white doublets and scarlet hats and
plumes; but that bright company substituted the white feather for the
red one, in 1639, and rallied no more. Yet even the Puritans came to
battle in attire which would have seemed preposterously gaudy to the
plain men of our own Revolution. The London regiment of Hollis wore
red, in imitation of the royal colors, adopted to make wounds less
conspicuous. Lord Say's regiment wore blue, in imitation of the
Covenanters, who took it from Numbers, xv. 38; Hampden's men wore green;
Lord Brooke's purple; Colonel Ballard's gray. Even the hair afforded far
less distinction than we imagine, since there is scarcely a portrait of
a leading Parliamentarian which has not a display of tresses such as
would now appear the extreme of foppery; and when the remains of Hampden
himself were disinterred within twenty-five years, the body was at first
taken for a woman's, from the exceeding length and beauty of the hair.

But every year of warfare brought a change. On the King's side, the
raiment grew more gorgeous amid misfortunes; on the Parliament's, it
became sadder with every success. The Royalists took up feathers and
oaths, in proportion as the Puritans laid them down; and as the tresses
of the Cavaliers waved more luxuriantly, the hair of the Roundheads
was more scrupulously shorn. And the same instinctive exaggeration was
constantly extending into manners and morals also. Both sides became
ostentatious; the one made the most of its dissoluteness, and the other
of its decorum. The reproachful names applied derisively to the two
parties became fixed distinctions. The word "Roundhead" was first used
early in 1642, though whether it originated with Henrietta Maria or with
David Hyde is disputed. And Charles, in his speech before the battle of
Edgehill, in October of the same year, mentioned the name "Cavalier" as
one bestowed "in a reproachful sense," and one "which our enemies have
striven to make odious."

And all social as well as moral prejudices gradually identified
themselves with this party division. As time passed on, all that was
high-born in England gravitated more and more to the royal side, while
the popular cause enlisted the Londoners, the yeomanry, and those
country-gentlemen whom Mrs. Hutchinson styled the "worsted-stocking
members." The Puritans gradually found themselves excluded from the
manorial halls, and the Cavaliers (a more inconvenient privation)
from the blacksmiths' shops. Languishing at first under aristocratic
leadership, the cause of the Parliament first became strong when the
Self-denying Ordinance abolished all that weakness. Thus the very
sincerity of the civil conflict drew the lines deeper; had the battles
been fought by mercenaries, like the contemporary Continental wars,
there would have grown up a less hearty mutual antipathy, but a far more
terrible demoralization. As it was, the character of the war was, on the
whole, a humane one; few towns were sacked or destroyed, the harvests
were bounteous and freely gathered, and the population increased during
the whole period. But the best civil war is fearfully injurious. In this
case, virtues and vices were found on both sides; and it was only the
gradual preponderance which finally stamped on each party its own
historic reputation. The Cavaliers confessed to "the vices of men,--love
of wine and women"; but they charged upon their opponents "the vices of
devils,--hypocrisy and spiritual pride." Accordingly, the two verdicts
have been recorded in the most delicate of all registers,--language. For
the Cavaliers added to the English vocabulary the word _plunder_, and
the Puritans the word _cant_.

Yet it is certain that at the outset neither of these peculiarities was
monopolized by either party. In abundant instances, the sins changed
places,--Cavaliers canted, and Puritans plundered. That is, if by cant
we understand the exaggerated use of Scripture language which originated
with the reverend gentleman of that name, it was an offence in which
both sides participated. Clarendon, reviewing the Presbyterian
discourses, quoted text against text with infinite relish. Old Judge
Jenkins, could he have persuaded the "House of Rimmon," as he called
Parliament, to hang him, would have swung the Bible triumphantly to his
neck by a ribbon, to show the unscriptural character of their doings.
Charles himself, in one of his early addresses to his army, denounced
the opposing party as "Brownists, Anabaptists, and Atheists," and in
his address to the city of London pleaded in favor of his own "godly,
learned, and painfull preachers." Every royal regiment had its chaplain,
including in the service such men as Pearson and Jeremy Taylor, and
they had prayers before battle, as regularly and seriously as their
opponents. "After solemn prayers at the head of every division, I led my
part away," wrote the virtuous Sir Bevill Grenvill to his wife, after
the battle of Bradock. Rupert, in like manner, had prayers before every
division at Marston Moor. To be sure, we cannot always vouch for the
quality of these prayers, when the chaplain happened to be out of the
way and the colonel was his substitute. "O Lord," petitioned stout Sir
Jacob Astley, at Edgehill, "thou knowest how busy I must be this day; if
I forget thee, do not thou forget me!"--after which, he rose up, crying,
"March on, boys!"

And as the Puritans had not the monopoly of prayer, so the Cavaliers did
not monopolize plunder. Of course, when civil war is once begun, such
laxity is mere matter of self-defence. If the Royalists unhorsed the
Roundheads, the latter must horse themselves again, as best they could.
If Goring "uncattled" the neighborhood of London, Major Medhope must
be ordered to "uncattle" the neighborhood of Oxford. Very possibly
individual animals were identified with the right side or the wrong
side, to be spared or confiscated in consequence;--as in modern Kansas,
during a similar condition of things, one might hear men talk of a
pro-slavery colt, or an anti-slavery cow. And the precedent being
established, each party could use the smallest excesses of the other
side to palliate the greatest of its own. No use for the King to hang
two of Rupert's men for stealing, when their commander could urge in
extenuation the plunder of the house of Lady Lucas, and the indignities
offered by the Roundheads to the Countess of Rivers. Why spare the
churches as sanctuaries for the enemy, when rumor accused that enemy
(right or wrong) of hunting cats in those same churches with hounds, or
baptizing dogs and pigs in ridicule of the consecrated altars? Setting
aside these charges as questionable, we cannot so easily dispose of
the facts which rest on actual Puritan testimony. If, even after the
Self-denying Ordinance, the "Perfect Occurrences" repeatedly report
soldiers of the Puritan army, as cashiered for drunkenness, rudeness to
women, pilfering, and defrauding innkeepers, it is inevitable to infer
that in earlier and less stringent times they did the same undetected or
unpunished. When Mrs. Hutchinson describes a portion of the soldiers on
her own side as "licentious, ungovernable wretches,"--when Sir Samuel
Luke, in his letters, depicts the glee with which his men plunder
the pockets of the slain,--when poor John Wolstenholme writes to
head-quarters that his own compatriots have seized all his hay and
horses, "so that his wife cannot serve God with the congregation but
in frosty weather,"--when Vicars in "Jehovah Jireh" exults over the
horrible maiming and butchery wrought by the troopers upon the officers'
wives and female camp-followers at Naseby,--it is useless to attribute
exaggeration to the other side. In civil war, even the humanest, there
is seldom much opening for exaggeration,--the actual horrors being
usually quite as vivid as any imaginations of the sufferers, especially
when, as in this case, the spiritual instructors preach, on the one
side, from "Curse ye Meroz," and, on the other side, from "Cursed be he
that keepeth back his sword from blood."

We mention these things, not because they are deliberately denied by
anybody, but because they are apt to be overlooked by those who take
their facts at secondhand. All this does not show that the Puritans had,
even at the outset, worse men or a cause no better; it simply shows
that war demoralizes, and that right-thinking men may easily, under its
influence, slide into rather reprehensible practices. At a later period
the evil worked its own cure, among the Puritans, and the army of
Cromwell was a moral triumph almost incredible; but at the time of which
we write, the distinction was but lightly drawn. It would be easy to go
farther and show that among the leading Parliamentary statesmen there
were gay and witty debauchees,--that Harry Marten deserved the epithet
with which Cromwell saluted him,--that Pym succeeded to the regards of
Stafford's bewitching mistress,--that Warwick was truly, as Clarendon
describes him, a profuse and generous profligate, tolerated by the
Puritans for the sake of his earldom and his bounty, at a time when
bounty was convenient and peers scarce. But it is hardly worth while
farther to demonstrate the simple and intelligible fact, that there were
faults on both sides. Neither war nor any other social phenomenon can
divide infallibly the sheep from the goats, or collect all the saints
under one set of staff-officers and all the sinners under another.

But, on the other hand, the strength of both sides, at this early day,
was in a class of serious and devoted men, who took up the sword so
sadly, in view of civil strife, that victory seemed to them almost as
terrible as defeat. In some, the scale of loyalty slightly inclined,
and they held with the King; in others, the scale of liberty, and they
served the Parliament; in both cases, with the same noble regrets at
first, merging gradually into bitter alienation afterwards. "If there
could be an expedient found to solve the punctilio of honor, I would not
be hero an hour," wrote Lord Robert Spencer to his wife, from the
camp of the Cavaliers. Sir Edmund Verney, the King's standard-bearer,
disapproved of the royal cause, and adhered to it only because he "had
eaten the King's bread." Lord Falkland, Charles's Secretary of State,
"sitting among his friends, often, after a deep silence and frequent
sighs, would, with a shriek and sad accent, ingeminate the words, Peace!
Peace!" and would prophesy for himself that death which soon came. And
these words show close approximation to the positions of men honored
among the Puritans, as when Sir William Waller wrote from his camp to
his chivalrous opponent, Sir Ralph Hopton,--"The great God, who is
the searcher of my heart, knows with what reluctance I go upon this

As time passed on, the hostility between the two parties exceeded all
bounds of courteous intercourse. The social distinction was constantly
widening, and so was the religious antagonism. Waller could be allowed
to joke with Goring and sentimentalize with Hopton,--for Waller was a
gentleman, though a rebel; but it was a different thing when the Puritan
gentlemen were seen to be gradually superseded by Puritan clowns.
Strafford had early complained of "your Prynnes, Pims, and Bens, with
the rest of that generation of odd names and natures." But what were
these to the later brood, whose plebeian quality Mr. Buckle has so
laboriously explored,--Goffe the grocer and Whalley the tailor, Pride
the drayman and Venner the cooper, culminating at last in Noll Cromwell
the brewer? The formidable force of these upstarts only embittered
the aversion. If odious when vanquished, what must they have been as
victors? For if it be disagreeable to find a foeman unworthy of your
steel, it is much more unpleasant when your steel turns out unworthy of
the foeman; and if sad-colored Puritan raiment looked absurd upon the
persons of fugitives, it must have been very particularly unbecoming
when worn by conquerors.

And the growing division was constantly aggravated by very acid satire.
The Court, it must be remembered, was more than half French in its
general character and tone, and every Frenchman of that day habitually
sneered at every Englishman as dull and inelegant. The dazzling wit that
flashed for both sides in the French civil wars flashed for one only in
the English; the Puritans had no comforts of that kind, save in some
caustic repartee from Harry Marten, or some fearless sarcasm from Lucy
Carlisle. But the Cavaliers softened labor and sweetened care with their
little jokes. It was rather consoling to cover some ignominious retreat
with a new epigram on Cromwell's red nose, that irresistible member
which kindled in its day as much wit as Bardolph's,--to hail it as "Nose
Immortal," a beacon, a glow-worm, a bird of prey,--to make it stand as a
personification of the rebel cause, till even the stately Montrose asked
newcomers from England, "How is Oliver's nose?" It was very entertaining
to christen the Solemn League and Covenant "the constellation on the
back of Aries," because most of the signers could only make their marks
on the little bits of sheepskin circulated for that purpose. It was
quite lively to rebaptize Rundway Down as Run-away-down, after a royal
victory, and to remark how Hazlerig's regiment of "lobsters" turned to
crabs, on that occasion, and crawled backwards. But all these pleasant
follies became whips to scourge them, at last,--shifting suddenly into
very grim earnest when the Royalists themselves took to running away,
with truculent saints, in steeple-hats, behind them.

Oxford was the stronghold of the Cavaliers, in these times, as that
of the Puritans was London. The Court itself (though here we are
anticipating a little) was transferred to the academic city. Thither
came Henrietta Maria, with what the pamphleteers called "her
Rattle-headed Parliament of Ladies," the beautiful Duchess of Richmond,
the merry Mrs. Kirke, and brave Kate D'Aubigny. In Merton College the
Queen resided; at Oriel the Privy Council was held; at Christ Church
the King and Rupert were quartered; and at All Souls Jeremy Taylor was
writing his beautiful meditations, in the intervals of war. In the New
College quadrangle, the students were drilled to arms "in the eye of
Doctor Pink," while Mars and Venus kept undisturbed their ancient reign,
although transferred to the sacred precincts of Magdalen. And amidst the
passion and the pomp, the narrow streets would suddenly ring with the
trumpet of some foam-covered scout, bringing tidings of perilous
deeds outside; while some traitorous spy was being hanged, drawn, and
quartered in some other part of the city, for betraying the secrets of
the Court. And forth from the outskirts of Oxford rides Rupert on the
day we are to describe, and we must still protract our pause a little
longer to speak of him.

Prince Rupert, Prince Robert, or Prince Robber,--for by all these names
was he known,--was the one formidable military leader on the royal side.
He was not a statesman, for he was hardly yet a mature man; he was
not, in the grandest sense, a hero, yet he had no quality that was not
heroic. Chivalrous, brilliant, honest, generous,--neither dissolute, nor
bigoted, nor cruel,--he was still a Royalist for the love of royalty,
and a soldier for the love of war, and in civil strife there can hardly
be a more dangerous character. Through all the blunt periods of his
military or civil proclamations, we see the proud, careless boy,
fighting for fighting sake, and always finding his own side the right
one. He could not have much charity for the most generous opponents; he
certainly had none at all for those who (as he said) printed malicious
and lying pamphlets against him "almost every morning," in which he
found himself saluted as a "nest of perfidious vipers," "a night-flying
dragon prince," "a flapdragon," "a caterpillar," "a spider," and "a

He was the King's own nephew,--great-grandson of William the Silent, and
son of that Elizabeth Stuart from whom all the modern royal family of
England descends. His sister was the renowned Princess Palatine, the
one favorite pupil of Descartes, and the chosen friend of Leibnitz,
Malebranche, and William Penn. From early childhood he was trained to
war; we find him at fourteen pronounced by his tutors fit to command
an army,--at fifteen, bearing away the palm in one of the last of the
tournaments,--at sixteen, fighting beside the young Turenne in the Low
Countries,--at nineteen, heading the advanced guard in the army of the
Prince of Orange,--and at twenty-three, appearing in England, the day
before the Royal Standard was reared, and the day after the King lost
Coventry, because Wilmot, not Rupert, was commander of the horse.
This training made him a general,--not, as many have supposed, a mere
cavalry-captain;--he was one of the few men who have shown great
military powers on both land and sea; he was a man of energy unbounded,
industry inexhaustible, and the most comprehensive and systematic
forethought. It was not merely, that, as Warwick said, "he put that
spirit into the King's army that all men seemed resolved,"--not merely,
that, always charging at the head of his troops, he was never wounded,
and that, seeing more service than any of his compeers, he outlived them
all. But even in these early years, before he was generalissimo, the
Parliament deliberately declared the whole war to be "managed by his
skill, labor, and industry," and his was the only name habitually
printed in capitals in the Puritan newspapers. He had to create soldiers
by enthusiasm, and feed them by stratagem,--to toil for a king
who feared him, and against a queen who hated him,--to take vast
responsibilities alone,--accused of negligence, if he failed, reproached
with license, if he succeeded. Against him he had the wealth of London,
intrusted to men who were great diplomatists, though new to power, and
great soldiers, though they had never seen a battle-field till middle
life; on his side he had only unmanageable lords and penniless
gentlemen, who gained victories by daring, and then wasted them by
license. His troops had no tents, no wagons, no military stores; they
used those of the enemy. Clarendon says, that the King's cause labored
under an incurable disease of want of money, and that the only cure for
starvation was a victory. To say, therefore, that Rupert's men never
starved is to say that they always conquered,--which, at this early
period, was true.

He was the best shot in the army, and the best tennis-player among the
courtiers, and Pepys calls him "the boldest attacker in England for
personal courage." Seemingly without reverence or religion, he yet
ascribed his defeats to Satan, and, at the close of a letter about a
marauding expedition, requested his friend Will Legge to pray for him.
Versed in all the courtly society of the age, chosen interpreter for the
wooing of young Prince Charles and La Grande Mademoiselle, and mourning
in purple, with the royal family, for Marie de Médicis, he could yet
mingle in any conceivable company and assume any part. He penetrated the
opposing camp at Dunsmore Heath as an apple-seller, and the hostile town
of Warwick as a dealer in cabbage-nets, and the pamphleteers were never
weary of describing his disguises. He was charged with all manner of
offences, even to slaying children with cannibal intent, and only very
carelessly disavowed such soft impeachments. But no man could deny that
he was perfectly true to his word; he never forgot one whom he had
promised to protect, and, if he had promised to strip a man's goods, he
did it to the uttermost farthing. And so must his pledge of vengeance
be redeemed to-night; and so, riding eastward, with the dying sunlight
behind him and the quiet Chiltern hills before, through air softened by
the gathering coolness of these midsummer eves, beside clover fields,
and hedges of wild roses, and ponds white with closing water-lilies, and
pastures sprinkled with meadow-sweet, like foam,--he muses only of the
clash of sword and the sharp rattle of shot, and all the passionate joys
of the coming charge.



The long and picturesque array winds onward, crossing Chiselhampton
Bridge, (not to be re-crossed so easily,) avoiding Thame with its church
and abbey, where Lord-General Essex himself is quartered, unconscious of
their march; and the Cavaliers are soon riding beneath the bases of
the wooded hills towards Postcombe. Near Tetsworth, the enemy's first
outpost, they halt till evening; the horsemen dismount, the flagon and
the foraging-bag are opened, the black-jack and the manchet go round,
healths are drunk to successes past and glories future, to "Queen Mary's
eyes," and to "Prince Rupert's dog." A few hours bring darkness; they
move on eastward through the lanes, avoiding, when possible, the Roman
highways; they are sometimes fired upon by a picket, but make no return,
for they are hurrying past the main quarters of the enemy. In the
silence of the summer night, they stealthily ride miles and miles
through a hostile country, the renegade Urry guiding them. At early
dawn, they see, through the misty air, the low hamlet of Postcombe,
where the "beating up of the enemy's quarters" is to begin. A hurried
word of command; the infantry halt; the cavalry close, and sweep down
like night-hawks upon the sleeping village,--safe, one would have
supposed it, with the whole Parliamentary army lying between it and
Oxford, to protect from danger. Yet the small party of Puritan troopers
awake in their quarters with Rupert at the door; it is well for
them that they happen to be picked men, and have promptness, if not
vigilance; forming hastily, they secure a retreat westward through the
narrow street, leaving but few prisoners behind them. As hastily the
prisoners are swept away with the stealthy troop, who have other work
before them; and before half the startled villagers have opened their
lattices the skirmish is over. Long before they can send a messenger up,
over the hills, to sound the alarm-bells of Stoken Church, the swift
gallop of the Cavaliers has reached Chinnor, two miles away, and the
goal of their foray. The compact, strongly-built village is surrounded.
They form a parallel line behind the houses, on each side, leaping
fences and ditches to their posts. They break down the iron chains
stretched nightly across each end of the street, and line it from end to
end. Rupert, Will Legge, and the "forlorn hope," dismounting, rush in
upon the quarters, sparing those alone who surrender.

In five minutes the town is up. The awakened troopers fight as
desperately as their assailants, some on foot, some on horseback. More
and more of Rupert's men rush in; they fight through the straggling
street of the village, from the sign of the Ram at one end to that of
the Crown at the other, and then back again. The citizens join against
the invaders, the 'prentices rush from their attics, hasty barricades
of carts and harrows are formed in the streets, long musket-barrels are
thrust from the windows, dark groups cluster on the roofs, and stones
begin to rattle on the heads below, together with phrases more galling
than stones, hurled down by women, "cursed dogs," "devilish Cavaliers,"
"Papist traitors." In return, the intruders shoot at the windows
indiscriminately, storm the doors, fire the houses; they grow more
furious, and spare nothing; some towns-people retreat within the
church-doors; the doors are beaten in; women barricade them with
wool-packs, and fight over them with muskets, barrel to barrel. Outside,
the troopers ride round and round the town, seizing or slaying all who
escape; within, desperate men still aim from their windows, though the
houses each side are in flames. Melting lead pours down from the blazing
roofs, while the drum still beats and the flag still goes on. It is
struck down presently; tied to a broken pike-staff, it rises again,
while a chaos of armor and plumes, black and orange, blue and red, torn
laces and tossing feathers, powder-stains and blood-stains, fills the
dewy morning with terror, and opens the June Sunday with sin.

Threescore and more of the towns-people are slain, sixscore are led
away at the horses' sides, bound with ropes, to be handed over to
the infantry for keeping. Some of these prisoners, even of the armed
troopers, are so ignorant and unwarlike as yet, that they know not the
meaning of the word "quarter," refusing it when offered, and imploring
"mercy" instead. Others are little children, for whom a heavy ransom
shall yet be paid. Others, cheaper prisoners, are ransomed on the spot.
Some plunder has also been taken, but the soldiers look longingly on
the larger wealth that must be left behind, in the hurry of
retreat,--treasures that, otherwise, no trooper of Rupert's would have
spared: scarlet cloth, bedding, saddles, cutlery, ironware, hats, shoes,
hops for beer, and books to sell to the Oxford scholars. But the daring
which has given them victory now makes their danger;--they have been
nearly twelve hours in the saddle and have fought two actions; they have
twenty-five miles to ride, with the whole force of the enemy in their
path; they came unseen in the darkness, they must return by daylight and
with the alarm already given; Stoken Church-bell has been pealing for
hours, the troop from Postcombe has fallen back on Tetsworth, and
everywhere in the distance videttes are hurrying from post to post.

The perilous retreat begins. Ranks are closed; they ride silently; many
a man leads a second horse beside him, and one bears in triumph the
great captured Puritan standard, with its five buff Bibles on a black
ground. They choose their course more carefully than ever, seek the
by-lanes, and swim the rivers with their swords between their teeth. At
one point, in their hushed progress, they hear the sound of rattling
wagons. There is a treasure-train within their reach, worth twenty-one
thousand pounds, and destined for the Parliamentary camp, but the thick
woods of the Chilterns have sheltered it from pursuit, and they have
not a moment to waste; they are riding for their lives. Already the
gathering parties of Roundheads are closing upon them, nearer and
nearer, as they approach the most perilous point of the wild expedition,
their only return-path across the Cherwell, Chiselhampton Bridge. Percy
and O'Neal with difficulty hold the assailants in check; the case grows
desperate at last, and Rupert stands at bay on Chalgrove Field.

It is Sunday morning, June 18th, 1643. The early church-bells are
ringing over all Oxfordshire,--dying away in the soft air, among the
sunny English hills, while Englishmen are drawing near each other with
hatred in their hearts,--dying away, as on that other Sunday, eight
months ago, when Baxter, preaching near Edgehill, heard the sounds of
battle, and disturbed the rest of his saints by exclaiming, "To the
fight!" But here there are no warrior-preachers, no bishops praying in
surplices on the one side, no dark-robed divines preaching on horseback
on the other, no king in glittering armor, no Tutor Harvey in peaceful
meditation beneath a hedge, pondering on the circulation of the blood,
with hotter blood flowing so near him; all these were to be seen at
Edgehill, but not here. This smaller skirmish rather turns our thoughts
to Cisatlantic associations; its date suggests Bunker's Hill,--and its
circumstances, Lexington. For this, also, is a marauding party, with a
Percy among its officers, brought to a stand by a half-armed and angry

Rupert sends his infantry forward, to secure the bridge, and a
sufficient body of dragoons to line the mile-and-a-half of road
between,--the remainder of the troops being drawn up at the entrance of
a corn-field, several hundred acres in extent, and lying between the
villages and the hills. The Puritans take a long circuit, endeavoring to
get to windward of their formidable enemy,--a point judged as important,
during the seventeenth century, in a land fight as in a naval
engagement. They have with them some light field-pieces, artillery
being the only point of superiority they yet claim; but these are not
basilisks, nor falconets, nor culverins, (_colubri_, _couleuvres_,) nor
drakes, (_dracones_,) nor warning-pieces,--they are the leathern guns
of Gustavus Adolphus, made of light cast-iron and bound with ropes and
leather. The Roundhead dragoons, dismounted, line a hedge near the
Cavaliers, and plant their "swine-feathers"; under cover of their fire
the horse advance in line, matches burning. As they advance, one or two
dash forward, at risk of their lives, flinging off the orange scarfs
which alone distinguish them, in token that they desert to the royal
cause. Prince Rupert falls back into the lane a little, to lead the
other forces into his ambush of dragoons. These tactics do not come
naturally to him, however; nor does he like the practice of the time,
that two bodies of cavalry should ride up within pistol-shot of each
other, and exchange a volley before they charge. He rather anticipates,
in his style of operations, the famous order of Frederick the Great:
"The King hereby forbids all officers of cavalry, on pain of being broke
with ignominy, ever to allow themselves to be attacked in any action by
the enemy; but the Prussians must always attack them." Accordingly he
restrains himself for a little while, chafing beneath the delay, and
then, a soldier or two being suddenly struck down by the fire, he
exclaims, "Yea! this insolency is not to be endured." The moment is

"God and Queen Mary!" shouts Rupert; "Charge!" In one instant that mass
of motionless statues becomes a flood of lava; down in one terrible
sweep it comes, silence behind it and despair before; no one notices the
beauty of that brilliant chivalrous array,--all else is merged in the
fury of the wild gallop; spurs are deep, reins free, blades grasped,
heads bent; the excited horse feels the heel no more than he feels the
hand; the uneven ground breaks their ranks,--no matter, they feel that
they can ride down the world: Rupert first clears the hedge,--he is
always first,--then comes the captain of his lifeguard, then the
whole troop "jumble after them," in a spectator's piquant phrase. The
dismounted Puritan dragoons break from the hedges and scatter for their
lives, but the cavalry "bear the charge better than they have done since
Worcester,"--that is, now they stand it an instant, then they did not
stand it at all; the Prince takes them in flank and breaks them in
pieces at the first encounter,--the very wind of the charge shatters
them. Horse and foot, carbines and petronels, swords and pole-axes, are
mingled in one struggling mass. Rupert and his men seem refreshed, not
exhausted, by the weary night,--they seem incapable of fatigue; they
spike the guns as they cut down the gunners, and, if any escape, it
is because many in both armies wear the same red scarfs. One Puritan,
surrounded by the enemy, shows such desperate daring that Rupert bids
release him at last, and sends afterwards to Essex to ask his name.
One Cavalier bends, with a wild oath, to search the pockets of a slain
enemy;--it is his own brother. O'Neal slays a standard-bearer, and thus
restores to his company the right to bear a flag, a right they lost at
Hopton Heath; Legge is taken prisoner and escapes; Urry proves himself
no coward, though a renegade, and is trusted to bear to Oxford the news
of the victory, being raised to knighthood in return.

For a victory of course it is. Nothing in England can yet resist these
high-born, dissolute, reckless Cavaliers of Rupert's. "I have seen them
running up walls twenty feet high," said the engineer consulted by the
frightened citizens of Dorchester: "these defences of yours may possibly
keep them out half an hour." Darlings of triumphant aristocracy, they
are destined to meet with no foe that can match them, until they recoil
at last before the plebeian pikes of the London train-bands. Nor can
even Rupert's men claim to monopolize the courage of the King's party.
The brilliant "show-troop" of Lord Bernard Stuart, comprising the young
nobles having no separate command,--a troop which could afford to
indulge in all the gorgeousness of dress, since their united incomes,
Clarendon declares, would have exceeded those of the whole Puritan
Parliament,--led, by their own desire, the triumphant charge at
Edgehill, and threescore of their bodies were found piled on the spot
where the Royal Standard was captured and rescued. Not less faithful
were the Marquis of Newcastle's "Lambs," who took their name from the
white woollen clothing which they refused to have dyed, saying that
their hearts' blood would dye it soon enough; and so it did: only thirty
survived the battle of Marston Moor, and the bodies of the rest were
found in the field, ranked regularly, side by side, in death as in life.

But here at Chalgrove Field no such fortitude of endurance is needed;
the enemy are scattered, and, as Rupert's Cavaliers are dashing on, in
their accustomed headlong pursuit, a small, but fresh force of Puritan
cavalry appears behind the hedges and charges on them from the
right,--two troops, hastily gathered, and in various garb. They are
headed by a man in middle life and of noble aspect: once seen, he cannot
easily be forgotten; but seen he will never be again, and, for the last
time, Rupert and Hampden meet face to face.

The foremost representative men of their respective parties, they
scarcely remember, perhaps, that there are ties and coincidences in
their lives. At the marriage of Rupert's mother, the student Hampden was
chosen to write the Oxford epithalamium, exulting in the prediction of
some noble offspring to follow such a union. Rupert is about to be made
General-in-chief of the Cavaliers; Hampden is looked to by all as the
future General-in-chief of the Puritans. Rupert is the nephew of the
King,--Hampden the cousin of Cromwell; and as the former is believed
to be aiming at the Crown, so the latter is the only possible rival of
Cromwell for the Protectorate,--"the eyes of all being fixed upon him as
their _pater patriae_." But in all the greater qualities of manhood, how
far must Hampden be placed above the magnificent and gifted Rupert! In
a congress of natural noblemen--for such do the men of the Commonwealth
appear--he must rank foremost. It is difficult to avoid exaggeration in
speaking of these men,--men whose deeds vindicate their words, and whose
words are unsurpassed by Greek or Roman fame,--men whom even Hume can
only criticize for a "mysterious jargon" which most of them did not use,
and for a "vulgar hypocrisy" which few of them practised. Let us not
underrate the self-forgetting loyalty of the Royalists,--the Duke of
Newcastle laying at the King's feet seven hundred thousand pounds,
and the Marquis of Worcester a million; but the sublimer poverty and
abstinence of the Parliamentary party deserve a yet loftier meed,--Vane
surrendering an office of thirty thousand pounds a year to promote
public economy,--Hutchinson refusing a peerage and a fortune as a bribe
to hold Nottingham Castle a little while for the King,--Eliot and Pym
bequeathing their families to the nation's justice, having spent their
all for the good cause. And rising to yet higher attributes, as they
pass before us in the brilliant paragraphs of the courtly Clarendon, or
the juster modern estimates of Forster, it seems like a procession of
born sovereigns; while the more pungent epithets of contemporary wit
only familiarize, but do not mar, the fame of Cromwell, (Cleaveland's
"Caesar in a Clown,")--"William the Conqueror" Waller,--"young Harry"
Vane,--"fiery Tom" Fairfax,--and "King Pym." But among all these there
is no peer of Hampden, of him who came not from courts or camps, but
from the tranquil study of his Davila, from that thoughtful retirement
which was for him, as for his model, Coligny, the school of all noble
virtues,--came to find himself at once a statesman and a soldier,
receiving from his contemporary, Clarendon, no affectionate critic, the
triple crown of historic praise, as being "the most able, resolute, and
popular person in the kingdom." Who can tell how changed the destiny of
England, had the Earl of Bedford's first compromise with the country
party succeeded, and Hampden become the tutor of Prince Charles,--or
could this fight at Chalgrove Field issue differently, and Hampden
survive to be general instead of Essex, and Protector in place of

But that may not be. Had Hampden's earlier counsels prevailed, Rupert
never would have ventured on his night foray; had his next suggestions
been followed, Rupert never would have returned from it. Those
failing, Hampden has come, gladly followed by Gunter and his dragoons,
outstripping the tardy Essex, to dare all and die. In vain does Gunter
perish beside his flag; in vain does Crosse, his horse being killed
under him, spring in the midst of battle on another; in vain does "that
great-spirited little Sir Samuel Luke" (the original of Hudibras) get
thrice captured and thrice escape. For Hampden, the hope of the nation,
is fatally shot through the shoulder with two carbine-balls, in the
first charge; the whole troop sees it with dismay; Essex comes up, as
usual, too late, and the fight at Chalgrove Field is lost.

We must leave this picture, painted in the fading colors of a far-off
time. Let us leave the noble Hampden, weak and almost fainting, riding
calmly from the field, and wandering away over his own Chiltern meadows,
that he loves so well,--leave him, drooping over his saddle, directing
his horse first towards his father-in-law's house at Pyrton, where once
he wedded his youthful bride, then turning towards Thame, and mustering
his last strength to leap his tired steed across its boundary brook. A
few days of laborious weakness, spent in letter-writing to urge upon
Parliament something of that military energy which, if earlier adopted,
might have saved his life,--and we see a last, funereal procession
winding beneath the Chiltern hills, and singing the 90th Psalm as the
mourners approach the tomb of the Hampdens, and the 43d as they return.
And well may the "Weekly Intelligencer" say of him, (June 27, 1643,)
that "the memory of this deceased Colonel is such that in no age to
come but it will more and more be had in honor and esteem; a man so
religious, and of that prudence, judgment, temper, valor, and integrity,
that he hath left few his like behind him."

And we must leave Rupert to his career of romantic daring, to be made
President of Wales and Generalissimo of the army,--to rescue with
unequalled energy Newark and York and the besieged heroine of Lathom
House,--to fight through Newbury and Marston Moor and Naseby, and many a
lesser field,--to surrender Bristol and be acquitted by court-martial,
but hopelessly condemned by the King;--then to leave the kingdom,
refusing a passport, and fighting his perilous way to the seaside;--then
to wander over the world for years, astonishing Dutchmen by his
seamanship, Austrians by his soldiership, Spaniards and Portuguese by
his buccaneering powers, and Frenchmen by his gold and diamonds and
birds and monkeys and "richly-liveried Blackamoors";--then to reorganize
the navy of England, exchanging characters with his fellow-commander,
Monk, whom the ocean makes rash, as it makes Rupert prudent;--leave him
to use nobly his declining years, in studious toils in Windsor Castle,
the fulfilment of Milton's dream, outwatching the Bear with thrice-great
Hermes, surrounded by strange old arms and instruments, and maps of
voyages, and plans of battles, and the abstruse library which the
"Harleian Miscellany" still records;--leave him to hunt and play at
tennis, serve in the Hudson's Bay Company and the Board of Trade;--leave
him to experiment in alchemy and astrology, in hydraulics, metallurgy,
gunpowder, perspective, quadrants, mezzotint, fish-hooks, and
revolvers;--leave him to look from his solitary turret over hills and
fields, now peaceful, but each the scene of some wild and warlike memory
for him;--leave him to die a calm and honored death at sixty-three,
outliving every companion of his early days. The busy world, which has
no time to remember many, forgets him and remembers only the slain and
defeated Hampden. The brilliant renown of the Prince was like the glass
toys which record his ingenuity and preserve his name; the hammer and
the anvil can scarcely mar them, yet a slight pressure of the finger,
in the fatal spot, will burst them into glittering showers of dust. The
full force of those iron times beat ineffectual upon Rupert;--Death
touched him, and that shining fame sparkled and was shattered forever.

       *       *       *       *       *


  Ah! my beautiful violets,
     Stirring under the sod,
  Feeling, in all your being,
     The breath of the spirit of God
  Thrilling your delicate pulses,
     Warming your life-blood anew,--
  Struggle up into the Spring-light;
     I'm watching and waiting for you.

  Stretch up your white arms towards me,
     Climb and never despair;
  Come! the blue sky is above you,
     Sunlight and soft warm air.
  Shake off the sleep from your eyelids,
     Work in the darkness awhile,
  Trust in the light that's above you,
     Win your way up to its smile.

  Ah! do you know how the May-flowers,
     Down on the shore of the lake.
  Are whispering, one to another,
     All in the silence, "Awake!"
  Blushing from under the pine-leaves,
     Soon they will greet me anew,--
  But still, oh, my beautiful violets,
     I'll be watching and longing for you.


Democritus of Abdera, commonly known as the Laughing Philosopher,
probably because he did not consider the study of truth inconsistent
with a cheerful countenance, believed and taught that all bodies were
continually throwing off certain images like themselves, which subtile
emanations, striking on our bodily organs, gave rise to our sensations.
Epicurus borrowed the idea from him, and incorporated it into the famous
system, of which Lucretius has given us the most popular version. Those
who are curious on the matter will find the poet's description at the
beginning of his fourth book. Forms, effigies, membranes, or _films_,
are the nearest representatives of the terms applied to these
effluences. They are perpetually shed from the surfaces of solids, as
bark is shed by trees. _Cortex_ is, indeed, one of the names applied to
them by Lucretius.

These evanescent films may be seen in one of their aspects in any clear,
calm sheet of water, in a mirror, in the eye of an animal by one who
looks at it in front, but better still by the consciousness behind the
eye in the ordinary act of vision. They must be packed like the leaves
of a closed book; for suppose a mirror to give an image of an object a
mile off, it will give one at every point less than a mile, though this
were subdivided into a million parts. Yet the images will not be the
same; for the one taken a mile off will be very small, at half a mile as
large again, at a hundred feet fifty times as large, and so on, as long
as the mirror can contain the image.

Under the action of light, then, a body makes its superficial aspect
potentially present at a distance, becoming appreciable as a shadow or
as a picture. But remove the cause,--the body itself,--and the effect is
removed. The man beholdeth himself in the glass and goeth his way, and
straightway both the mirror and the mirrored forget what manner of man
he was. These visible films or membranous _exuviae_ of objects, which
the old philosophers talked about, have no real existence, separable
from their illuminated source, and perish instantly when it is

If a man had handed a metallic speculum to Democritus of Abdera, and
told him to look at his face in it while his heart was beating thirty
or forty times, promising that one of the films his face was shedding
should stick there, so that neither he, nor it, nor anybody should
forget what manner of man he was, the Laughing Philosopher would
probably have vindicated his claim to his title by an explosion that
would have astonished the speaker.

This is just what the Daguerreotype has done. It has fixed the most
fleeting of our illusions, that which the apostle and the philosopher
and the poet have alike used as the type of instability and unreality.
The photograph has completed the triumph, by making a sheet of paper
reflect images like a mirror and hold them as a picture.

This triumph of human ingenuity is the most audacious, remote,
improbable, incredible,--the one that would seem least likely to be
regained, if all traces of it were lost, of all the discoveries man has
made. It has become such an everyday matter with us, that we forget its
miraculous nature, as we forget that of the sun itself, to which we owe
the creations of our new art. Yet in all the prophecies of dreaming
enthusiasts, in all the random guesses of the future conquests over
matter, we do not remember any prediction of such an inconceivable
wonder, as our neighbor round the corner, or the proprietor of the small
house on wheels, standing on the village common, will furnish any of us
for the most painfully slender remuneration. No Century of Inventions
includes this among its possibilities. Nothing but the vision of a
Laputan, who passed his days in extracting sunbeams out of cucumbers,
could have reached such a height of delirium as to rave about the time
when a man should paint his miniature by looking at a blank tablet, and
a multitudinous wilderness of forest foliage or an endless Babel of
roofs and spires stamp itself, in a moment, so faithfully and so
minutely, that one may creep over the surface of the picture with his
microscope and find every leaf perfect, or read the letters of distant
signs, and see what was the play at the "Variétés" or the "Victoria,"
on the evening of the day when it was taken, just as he would sweep the
real view with a spy-glass to explore all that it contains.

Some years ago, we sent a page or two to one of the magazines,--the
"Knickerbocker," if we remember aright,--in which the story was told
from the "Arabian Nights," of the three kings' sons, who each wished to
obtain the hand of a lovely princess, and received for answer, that he
who brought home the most wonderful object should obtain the lady's hand
as his reward. Our readers, doubtless, remember the original tale, with
the flying carpet, the tube which showed what a distant friend was
doing by looking into it, and the apple which gave relief to the
most desperate sufferings only by inhalation of its fragrance. The
railroad-car, the telegraph, and the apple-flavored chloroform could and
do realize, every day,--as was stated in the passage referred to, with
a certain rhetorical amplitude not doubtfully suggestive of the
lecture-room,--all that was fabled to have been done by the carpet, the
tube, and the fruit of the Arabian story.

All these inventions force themselves upon us to the full extent of
their significance. It is therefore hardly necessary to waste any
considerable amount of rhetoric upon wonders that are so thoroughly
appreciated. When human art says to each one of us, I will give you
ears that can hear a whisper in New Orleans, and legs that can walk six
hundred miles in a day, and if, in consequence of any defect of rail
or carriage, you should be so injured that your own very insignificant
walking members must be taken off, I can make the surgeon's visit a
pleasant dream for you, on awaking from which you will ask when he
is coming to do that which he has done already,--what is the use of
poetical or rhetorical amplification? But this other invention of _the
mirror with a memory_, and especially that application of it which has
given us the wonders of the stereoscope, is not so easily, completely,
universally recognized in all the immensity of its applications and
suggestions. The stereoscope, and the pictures it gives, are, however,
common enough to be in the hands of many of our readers; and as many of
those who are not acquainted with it must before long become as familiar
with it as they are now with friction-matches, we feel sure that a few
pages relating to it will not be unacceptable.

Our readers may like to know the outlines of the process of making
daguerreotypes and photographs, as just furnished us by Mr. Whipple, one
of the most successful operators in this country. We omit many of those
details which are everything to the practical artist, but nothing to
the general reader. We must premise, that certain substances undergo
chemical alterations, when exposed to the light, which produce a change
of color. Some of the compounds of silver possess this faculty to a
remarkable degree,--as the common indelible marking-ink, (a solution of
nitrate of silver,) which soon darkens in the light, shows us every day.
This is only one of the innumerable illustrations of the varied effects
of light on color. A living plant owes its brilliant hues to the
sunshine; but a dead one, or the tints extracted from it, will fade
in the same rays which clothe the tulip in crimson and gold,--as our
lady-readers who have rich curtains in their drawing-rooms know full
well. The sun, then, is a master of _chiaroscuro_, and, if he has a
living petal for his pallet, is the first of colorists.--Let us walk
into his studio, and examine some of his painting machinery.

       *       *       *       *       *

1. THE DAGUERREOTYPE.--A silver-plated sheet of copper is resilvered by
electro-plating, and perfectly polished. It is then exposed in a glass
box to the vapor of iodine until its surface turns to a golden yellow.
Then it is exposed in another box to the fumes of the bromide of lime
until it becomes of a blood-red tint. Then it is exposed once more, for
a few seconds, to the vapor of iodine. The plate is now sensitive to
light, and is of course kept from it, until, having been placed in the
darkened camera, the screen is withdrawn and the camera-picture falls
upon it. In strong light, and with the best instruments, _three
seconds'_ exposure is enough,--but the time varies with circumstances.
The plate is now withdrawn and exposed to the vapor of mercury at 212°.
Where the daylight was strongest, the sensitive coating of the plate has
undergone such a chemical change, that the mercury penetrates readily to
the silver, producing a minute white granular deposit upon it, like
a very thin fall of snow, drifted by the wind. The strong lights are
little heaps of these granules, the middle lights thinner sheets of
them; the shades are formed by the dark silver itself, thinly sprinkled
only, as the earth shows with a few scattered snow-flakes on its
surface. The precise chemical nature of these granules we care less
for than their palpable presence, which may be perfectly made out by a
microscope magnifying fifty diameters or even less.

The picture thus formed would soon fade under the action of light, in
consequence of further changes in the chemical elements of the film
of which it consists. Some of these elements are therefore removed by
washing it with a solution of hyposulphite of soda, after which it is
rinsed with pure water. It is now permanent in the light, but a touch
wipes off the picture as it does the bloom from a plum. To fix it, a
solution of hyposulphite of soda containing chloride of gold is poured
on the plate while this is held over a spirit-lamp. It is then again
rinsed with pure water, and is ready for its frame.

2. THE PHOTOGRAPH.--Just as we must have a mould before we can make a
cast, we must get a _negative_ or reversed picture on glass before we
can get our positive or natural picture. The first thing, then, is to
lay a sensitive coating on a piece of glass,--crown-glass, which has a
natural surface, being preferable to plate-glass. _Collodion_, which is
a solution of gun-cotton in alcohol and ether, mingled with a solution
of iodide and bromide of potassium, is used to form a thin coating over
the glass. Before the plate is dry, it is dipped into a solution of
nitrate of silver, where it remains from one to three or four minutes.
Here, then, we have essentially the same chemical elements that we
have seen employed in the daguerreotype,--namely, iodine, bromine, and
silver; and by their mutual reactions in the last process we have formed
the sensitive iodide and bromide of silver. The glass is now placed,
still wet, in the camera, and there remains from three seconds to one
or two minutes, according to circumstances. It is then washed with a
solution of sulphate of iron. Every light spot in the camera-picture
becomes dark on the sensitive coating of the glass-plate. But where the
shadows or dark parts of the camera-picture fall, the sensitive coating
is less darkened, or not at all, if the shadows are very deep, and
so these shadows of the camera-picture become the lights of the
glass-picture, as the lights become the shadows. Again, the picture is
reversed, just as in every camera-obscura where the image is received on
a screen direct from the lens. Thus the glass plate has the right part
of the object on the left side of its picture, and the left part on its
right side; its light is darkness, and its darkness is light. Everything
is just as wrong as it can be, except that the relations of each wrong
to the other wrongs are like the relations of the corresponding rights
to each other in the original natural image. This is a _negative_

Extremes meet. Every given point of the picture is as far from truth as
a lie can be. But in travelling away from the pattern it has gone round
a complete circle, and is at once as remote from Nature and as near it
as possible.--"How far is it to Taunton?" said a countryman, who was
walking exactly the wrong way to reach that commercial and piscatory
centre.--"'Bäout twenty-five thäousan' mild,"--said the boy he
asked,--"'f y' go 'z y' 'r' goin' näow, 'n' 'bäout häaf a mild 'f y' turn
right räoun' 'n' go t'other way."

The negative picture being formed, it is washed with a solution of
hyposulphite of soda, to remove the soluble principles which are liable
to decomposition, and then coated with shellac varnish to protect it.

This _negative_ is now to give birth to a _positive_,--this mass of
contradictions to assert its hidden truth in a perfect harmonious
affirmation of the realities of Nature. Behold the process!

A sheet of the best linen paper is dipped in salt water and suffered to
dry. Then a solution of nitrate of silver is poured over it and it is
dried in a dark place. This paper is now sensitive; it has a conscience,
and is afraid of daylight. Press it against the glass negative and lay
them in the sun, the glass uppermost, leaving them so for from three to
ten minutes. The paper, having the picture formed on it, is then washed
with the solution of hyposulphite of soda, rinsed in pure water, soaked
again in a solution of hyposulphite of soda, to which, however, the
chloride of gold has been added, and again rinsed. It is then sized or

Out of the perverse and totally depraved negative,--where it might
almost seem as if some magic and diabolic power had wrenched all things
from their proprieties, where the light of the eye was darkness, and the
deepest blackness was gilded with the brightest glare,--is to come the
true end of all this series of operations, a copy of Nature in all her
sweet gradations and harmonies and contrasts.

We owe the suggestion to a great wit, who overflowed our small
intellectual home-lot with a rushing freshet of fertilizing talk
the other day,--one of our friends, who quarries thought on his
own premises, but does not care to build his blocks into books and
essays,--that perhaps this world is only the _negative_ of that better
one in which lights will be turned to shadows and shadows into light,
but all harmonized, so that we shall see why these ugly patches, these
misplaced gleams and blots, were wrought into the temporary arrangements
of our planetary life.

For, lo! when the sensitive paper is laid in the sun under the negative
glass, every dark spot on the glass arrests a sunbeam, and so the spot
of the paper lying beneath remains unchanged; but every light space of
the negative lets the sunlight through, and the sensitive paper
beneath confesses its weakness, and betrays it by growing dark just in
proportion to the glare that strikes upon it. So, too, we have only
to turn the glass before laying it on the paper, and we bring all the
natural relations of the object delineated back again,--its right to the
right of the picture, its left to the picture's left.

On examining the glass negative by transmitted light with a power of a
hundred diameters, we observe minute granules, whether crystalline or
not we cannot say, very similar to those described in the account of
the daguerreotype. But now their effect is reversed. Being opaque, they
darken the glass wherever they are accumulated, just as the snow darkens
our skylights. Where these particles are drifted, therefore, we have our
shadows, and where they are thinly scattered, our lights. On examining
the paper photographs, we have found no distinct granules, but diffused
stains of deeper or lighter shades.

Such is the sun-picture, in the form in which we now most commonly meet
it,--for the daguerreotype, perfect and cheap as it is, and admirably
adapted for miniatures, has almost disappeared from the field of
landscape, still life, architecture, and _genre_ painting, to make room
for the photograph. Mr. Whipple tells us that even now he takes a much
greater number of miniature portraits on metal than on paper; and yet,
except occasionally a statue, it is rare to see anything besides
a portrait shown in a daguerreotype. But the greatest number of
sun-pictures we see are the photographs which are intended to be looked
at with the aid of the instrument we are next to describe, and to the
stimulus of which the recent vast extension of photographic copies of
Nature and Art is mainly owing.

3. THE STEREOSCOPE.--This instrument was invented by Professor
Wheatstone, and first described by him in 1838. It was only a year after
this that M. Daguerre made known his discovery in Paris; and almost
at the same time Mr. Fox Talbot sent his communication to the Royal
Society, giving an account of his method of obtaining pictures on paper
by the action of light. Iodine was discovered in 1811, bromine in 1826,
chloroform in 1831, gun-cotton, from which collodion is made, in 1846,
the electro-plating process about the same time with photography; "all
things, great and small, working together to produce what seemed at
first as delightful, but as fabulous, as Aladdin's ring, which is now as
little suggestive of surprise as our daily bread."

A stereoscope is an instrument which makes surfaces look solid. All
pictures in which perspective and light and shade are properly managed,
have more or less of the effect of solidity; but by this instrument that
effect is so heightened as to produce an appearance of reality which
cheats the senses with its seeming truth.

There is good reason to believe that the appreciation of solidity by the
eye is purely a matter of education. The famous case of a young man who
underwent the operation of couching for cataract, related by Cheselden,
and a similar one reported in the Appendix to Müller's Physiology, go to
prove that everything is seen only as a superficial extension, until
the other senses have taught the eye to recognize _depth_, or the third
dimension, which gives solidity, by converging outlines, distribution
of light and shade, change of size, and of the texture of surfaces.
Cheselden's patient thought "all objects whatever touched his eyes, as
what he felt did his skin." The patient whose case is reported by Müller
could not tell the form of a cube held obliquely before his eye from
that of a flat piece of pasteboard presenting the same outline. Each of
these patients saw only with one eye,--the other being destroyed, in one
case, and not restored to sight until long after the first, in the
other case. In two months' time Cheselden's patient had learned to
know solids; in fact, he argued so logically from light and shade and
perspective that he felt of pictures, expecting to find reliefs and
depressions, and was surprised to discover that they were flat surfaces.
If these patients had suddenly recovered the sight of _both_ eyes,
they would probably have learned to recognize solids more easily and

We can commonly tell whether an object is solid, readily enough with one
eye, but still better with two eyes, and sometimes _only_ by using both.
If we look at a square piece of ivory with one eye alone, we cannot tell
whether it is a scale of veneer, or the side of a cube, or the base of
a pyramid, or the end of a prism. But if we now open the other eye, we
shall see one or more of its sides, if it have any, and then know it to
be a solid, and what kind of a solid.

We see something with the second eye which we did not see with the
first; in other words, the two eyes see different pictures of the same
thing, for the obvious reason that they look from points two or three
inches apart. By means of these two different views of an object, the
mind, as it were, _feels round it_ and gets an idea of its solidity. We
clasp an object with our eyes, as with our arms, or with our hands, or
with our thumb and finger, and then we know it to be something more than
a surface. This, of course, is an illustration of the fact, rather than
an explanation of its mechanism.

Though, as we have seen, the two eyes look on two different pictures, we
perceive but one picture. The two have run together and become blended
in a third, which shows us everything we see in each. But, in order that
they should so run together, both the eye and the brain must be in a
natural state. Push one eye a little inward with the forefinger, and the
image is doubled, or at least confused. Only certain parts of the two
retinae work harmoniously together, and you have disturbed their natural
relations. Again, take two or three glasses more than temperance
permits, and you see double; the eyes are right enough, probably, but
the brain is in trouble, and does not report their telegraphic messages
correctly. These exceptions illustrate the every-day truth, that, when
we are in right condition, our two eyes see two somewhat different
pictures, which our perception combines to form one picture,
representing objects in all their dimensions, and not merely as

Now, if we can get two artificial pictures of any given object, one as
we should see it with the right eye, the other as we should see it with
the left eye, and then, looking at the right picture, and that only,
with the right eye, and at the left picture, and that only, with the
left eye, contrive some way of making these pictures run together as we
have seen our two views of a natural object do, we shall get the sense
of solidity that natural objects give us. The arrangement which effects
it will be a _stereoscope_, according to our definition of that
instrument. How shall we attain these two ends?

1. An artist can draw an object as he sees it, looking at it only with
his right eye. Then he can draw a second view of the same object as he
sees it with his left eye. It will not be hard to draw a cube or an
octahedron in this way; indeed, the first stereoscopic figures were
pairs of outlines, right and left, of solid bodies, thus drawn. But the
minute details of a portrait, a group, or a landscape, all so nearly
alike to the two eyes, yet not identical in each picture of our natural
double view, would defy any human skill to reproduce them exactly.
And just here comes in the photograph to meet the difficulty. A first
picture of an object is taken,--then the instrument is moved a couple
of inches or a little more, the distance between the human eyes, and a
second picture is taken. Better than this, two pictures are taken at
once in a double camera.

We were just now stereographed, ourselves, at a moment's warning, as
if we were fugitives from justice. A skeleton shape, of about a man's
height, its head covered with a black veil, glided across the floor,
faced us, lifted its veil, and took a preliminary look. When we had
grown sufficiently rigid in our attitude of studied ease, and got
our umbrella into a position of thoughtful carelessness, and put our
features with much effort into an unconstrained aspect of cheerfulness
tempered with dignity, of manly firmness blended with womanly
sensibility, of courtesy, as much as to imply,--"You honor me, Sir,"
toned or sized, as one may say, with something of the self-assertion of
a human soul which reflects proudly, "I am superior to all this,"--when,
I say, we were all right, the spectral Mokanna dropped his long veil,
and his waiting-slave put a sensitive tablet under its folds. The veil
was then again lifted, and the two great glassy eyes stared at us once
more for some thirty seconds. The veil then dropped again; but in the
mean time, the shrouded sorcerer had stolen our double image; we were
immortal. Posterity might thenceforth inspect us, (if not otherwise
engaged,) not as a surface only, but in all our dimensions as an
undisputed _solid_ man of Boston.

2. We have now obtained the double-eyed or twin pictures, or
STEREOGRAPH, if we may coin a name. But the pictures are two, and we
want to slide them into each other, so to speak, as in natural vision,
that we may see them as one. How shall we make one picture out of two,
the corresponding parts of which are separated by a distance of two or
three inches?

We can do this in two ways. First, by _squinting_ as we look at them.
But this is tedious, painful, and to some impossible, or at least very
difficult. We shall find it much easier to look through a couple of
glasses that _squint for us_. If at the same time they _magnify_ the
two pictures, we gain just so much in the distinctness of the picture,
which, if the figures on the slide are small, is a great advantage. One
of the easiest ways of accomplishing this double purpose is to cut a
convex lens through the middle, grind the curves of the two halves
down to straight lines, and join them by their thin edges. This is a
_squinting magnifier_, and if arranged so that with its right half we
see the right picture on the slide, and with its left half the left
picture, it squints them both inward so that they run together and form
a single picture.

Such are the stereoscope and the photograph, by the aid of which _form_
is henceforth to make itself seen through the world of intelligence, as
thought has long made itself heard by means of the art of printing. The
_morphotype_, or form-print, must hereafter take its place by the side
of the _logotype_, or word-print. The _stereograph_, as we have called
the double picture designed for the stereoscope, is to be the card of
introduction to make all mankind acquaintances.

The first effect of looking at a good photograph through the stereoscope
is a surprise such as no painting ever produced. The mind feels its way
into the very depths of the picture. The scraggy branches of a tree in
the foreground run out at us as if they would scratch our eyes out. The
elbow of a figure stands forth so as to make us almost uncomfortable.
Then there is such a frightful amount of detail, that we have the same
sense of infinite complexity which Nature gives us. A painter shows us
masses; the stereoscopic figure spares us nothing,--all must be there,
every stick, straw, scratch, as faithfully as the dome of St. Peter's,
or the summit of Mont Blanc, or the ever-moving stillness of Niagara.
The sun is no respecter of persons or of things.

This is one infinite charm of the photographic delineation.
Theoretically, a perfect photograph is absolutely inexhaustible. In a
picture you can find nothing which the artist has not seen before you;
but in a perfect photograph there will be as many beauties lurking,
unobserved, as there are flowers that blush unseen in forests and
meadows. It is a mistake to suppose one knows a stereoscopic picture
when he has studied it a hundred times by the aid of the best of our
common instruments. Do we know all that there is in a landscape
by looking out at it from our parlor-windows? In one of the glass
stereoscopic views of Table Rock, two figures, so minute as to be
mere objects of comparison with the surrounding vastness, may be seen
standing side by side. Look at the two faces with a strong magnifier,
and you could identify their owners, if you met them in a court of law.

Many persons suppose that they are looking on _miniatures_ of the
objects represented, when they see them in the stereoscope. They will be
surprised to be told that they see most objects as large as they appear
in Nature. A few simple experiments will show how what we see in
ordinary vision is modified in our perceptions by what we think we see.
We made a sham stereoscope, the other day, with no glasses, and an
opening in the place where the pictures belong, about the size of one of
the common stereoscopic pictures. Through this we got a very ample view
of the town of Cambridge, including Mount Auburn and the Colleges, in a
single field of vision. We do not recognize how minute distant objects
really look to us, without something to bring the fact home to our
conceptions. A man does not deceive us as to his real size when we see
him at the distance of the length of Cambridge Bridge. But hold a common
black pin before the eyes at the distance of distinct vision, and
one-twentieth of its length, nearest the point, is enough to cover him
so that he cannot be seen. The head of the same pin will cover one of
the Cambridge horse-cars at the same distance, and conceal the tower of
Mount Auburn, as seen from Boston.

We are near enough to an edifice to see it well, when we can easily
read an inscription upon it. The stereoscopic views of the arches
of Constantine and of Titus give not only every letter of the old
inscriptions, but render the grain of the stone itself. On the pediment
of the Pantheon may be read, not only the words traced by Agrippa, but a
rough inscription above it, scratched or hacked into the stone by some
wanton hand during an insurrectionary tumult.

This distinctness of the lesser details of a building or a landscape
often gives us incidental truths which interest us more than the central
object of the picture. Here is Alloway Kirk, in the churchyard of which
you may read a real story by the side of the ruin that tells of more
romantic fiction. There stands the stone "Erected by James Russell,
seedsman, Ayr, in memory of his children,"--three little boys, James,
and Thomas, and John, all snatched away from him in the space of three
successive summer-days, and lying under the matted grass in the shadow
of the old witch-haunted walls. It was Burns's Alloway Kirk we paid
for, and we find we have bought a share in the griefs of James Russell,
seedsman; for is not the stone that tells this blinding sorrow of real
life the true centre of the picture, and not the roofless pile which
reminds us of an idle legend?

We have often found these incidental glimpses of life and death running
away with us from the main object the picture was meant to delineate.
The more evidently accidental their introduction, the more trivial they
are in themselves, the more they take hold of the imagination. It is
common to find an object in one of the twin pictures which we miss in
the other; the person or the vehicle having moved in the interval of
taking the two photographs. There is before us a view of the Pool of
David at Hebron, in which a shadowy figure appears at the water's edge,
in the right-hand farther corner of the right-hand picture only. This
muffled shape stealing silently into the solemn scene has already
written a hundred biographies in our imagination. In the lovely glass
stereograph of the Lake of Brienz, on the left-hand side, a vaguely
hinted female figure stands by the margin of the fair water; on the
other side of the picture she is not seen. This is life; we seem to see
her come and go. All the longings, passions, experiences, possibilities
of womanhood animate that gliding shadow which has flitted through our
consciousness, nameless, dateless, featureless, yet more profoundly
real than the sharpest of portraits traced by a human hand. Here is
the Fountain of the Ogre, at Berne. In the right picture two women are
chatting, with arms akimbo, over its basin; before the plate for the
left picture is got ready, "one shall be taken and the other left";
look! on the left side there is but one woman, and you may see the blur
where the other is melting into thin air as she fades forever from your

Oh, infinite volumes of poems that I treasure in this small library of
glass and pasteboard! I creep over the vast features of Rameses, on the
face of his rock-hewn Nubian temple; I scale the huge mountain-crystal
that calls itself the Pyramid of Cheops. I pace the length of the three
Titanic stones of the wall of Baalbee,--mightiest masses of quarried
rock that man has lifted into the air; and then I dive into some mass
of foliage with my microscope, and trace the veinings of a leaf so
delicately wrought in the painting not made with hands, that I can
almost see its down and the green aphis that sucks its juices. I
look into the eyes of the caged tiger, and on the scaly train of the
crocodile, stretched on the sands of the river that has mirrored a
hundred dynasties. I stroll through Rhenish vineyards, I sit under Roman
arches, I walk the streets of once buried cities, I look into the chasms
of Alpine glaciers, and on the rush of wasteful cataracts. I pass, in
a moment, from the banks of the Charles to the ford of the Jordan, and
leave my outward frame in the arm-chair at my table, while in spirit I
am looking down upon Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives.

"Give me the full tide of life at Charing Cross," said Dr. Johnson. Here
is Charing Cross, but without the full tide of life. A perpetual stream
of figures leaves no definite shapes upon the picture. But on one side
of this stereoscopic doublet a little London "gent" is leaning pensively
against a post; on the other side he is seen sitting at the foot of the
next post;--what is the matter with the little "gent"?

The very things which an artist would leave out, or render imperfectly,
the photograph takes infinite care with, and so makes its illusions
perfect. What is the picture of a drum without the marks on its head
where the beating of the sticks has darkened the parchment? In three
pictures of the Ann Hathaway Cottage, before us,--the most perfect,
perhaps, of all the paper stereographs we have seen,--the door at the
farther end of the cottage is open, and we see the marks left by the
rubbing of hands and shoulders as the good people came through the
entry, or leaned against it, or felt for the latch. It is not impossible
that scales from the epidermis of the trembling hand of Ann Hathaway's
young suitor, Will Shakspeare, are still adherent about the old latch
and door, and that they contribute to the stains we see in our picture.

Among the accidents of life, as delineated in the stereograph, there is
one that rarely fails in any extended view which shows us the details of
streets and buildings. There may be neither man nor beast nor vehicle to
be seen. You may be looking down on a place in such a way that none of
the ordinary marks of its being actually inhabited show themselves. But
in the rawest Western settlement and the oldest Eastern city, in
the midst of the shanties at Pike's Peak and stretching across the
court-yards as you look into them from above the clay-plastered roofs of
Damascus, wherever man lives with any of the decencies of civilization,
you will find the _clothes-line_. It may be a fence, (in Ireland,)--it
may be a tree, (if the Irish license is still allowed us,)--but
clothes-drying, or a place to dry clothes on, the stereoscopic
photograph insists on finding, wherever it gives us a group of houses.
This is the city of Berne. How it brings the people who sleep under that
roof before us to see their sheets drying on that fence! and how real it
makes the men in that house to look at their shirts hanging, arms down,
from yonder line!

The reader will, perhaps, thank us for a few hints as to the choice
of stereoscopes and stereoscopic pictures. The only way to be sure of
getting a good instrument is to try a number of them, but it may be well
to know which are worth trying. Those made with achromatic glasses may
be as much better as they are dearer, but we have not been able to
satisfy ourselves of the fact. We do not commonly find any trouble from
chromatic aberration (or false color in the image). It is an excellent
thing to have the glasses adjust by pulling out and pushing in, either
by the hand, or, more conveniently, by a screw. The large instruments,
holding twenty-five slides, are best adapted to the use of those who
wish to show their views often to friends; the owner is a little apt
to get tired of the unvarying round in which they present themselves.
Perhaps we relish them more for having a little trouble in placing them,
as we do nuts that we crack better than those we buy cracked. In optical
effect, there is not much difference between them and the best ordinary
instruments. We employ one stereoscope with adjusting glasses for the
hand, and another common one upon a broad rosewood stand. The stand may
be added to any instrument, and is a great convenience.

Some will have none but glass stereoscopic pictures; paper ones are not
good enough for them. Wisdom dwells not with such. It is true that
there is a brilliancy in a glass picture, with a flood of light pouring
through it, which no paper one, with the light necessarily falling _on_
it, can approach. But this brilliancy fatigues the eye much more than
the quiet reflected light of the paper stereograph. Twenty-five glass
slides, well inspected in a strong light, are _good_ for one headache,
if a person is disposed to that trouble.

Again, a good paper photograph is infinitely better than a bad glass
one. We have a glass stereograph of Bethlehem, which looks as if the
ground were covered with snow,--and paper ones of Jerusalem colored and
uncolored, much superior to it both in effect and detail. The Oriental
pictures, we think, are apt to have this white, patchy look; possibly we
do not get the best in this country.

A good view on glass or paper is, as a rule, best uncolored. But some
of the American views of Niagara on glass are greatly improved by being
colored; the water being rendered vastly more suggestive of the reality
by the deep green tinge. _Per contra_, we have seen some American views
so carelessly colored that they were all the worse for having been
meddled with. The views of the Hathaway Cottage, before referred to, are
not only admirable in themselves, but some of them are admirably colored
also. Few glass stereographs compare with them as real representatives
of Nature.

In choosing stereoscopic pictures, beware of investing largely in
_groups_. The owner soon gets tired to death of them. Two or three
of the most striking among them are worth having, but mostly they
detestable,--vulgar repetitions of vulgar models, shamming grace,
gentility, and emotion, by the aid of costumes, attitudes, expressions,
and accessories worthy only of a Thespian society of candle-snuffers. In
buying brides under veils, and such figures, look at the lady's _hands_.
You will very probably find the young countess is a maid-of-all-work.
The presence of a human figure adds greatly to the interest of all
architectural views, by giving us a standard of size, and should often
decide our choice out of a variety of such pictures. No view pleases the
eye which has glaring patches in it,--a perfectly white-looking river,
for instance,--or trees and shrubs in full leaf, but looking as if they
were covered with snow,--or glaring roads, or frosted-looking stones and
pebbles. As for composition in landscape, each person must consult his
own taste. All have agreed in admiring many of the Irish views, as those
about the Lakes of Killarney, for instance, which are beautiful alike in
general effect and in nicety of detail. The glass views on the Rhine,
and of the Pyrenees in Spain, are of consummate beauty. As a specimen of
the most perfect, in its truth and union of harmony and contrast, the
view of the Circus of Gavarni, with the female figure on horseback in
the front ground, is not surpassed by any we remember to have seen.

       *       *       *       *       *

What is to come of the stereoscope and the photograph we are almost
afraid to guess, lest we should seem extravagant. But, premising that we
are to give a _colored_ stereoscopic mental view of their prospects,
we will venture on a few glimpses at a conceivable, if not a possible

_Form is henceforth divorced from matter._ In fact, matter as a visible
object is of no great use any longer, except as the mould on which form
is shaped. Give us a few negatives of a thing worth seeing, taken from
different points of view, and that is all we want of it. Pull it down or
burn it up, if you please. We must, perhaps, sacrifice some luxury in
the loss of color; but form and light, and shade are the great things,
and even color can be added, and perhaps by and by may be got direct
from Nature.

There is only one Coliseum or Pantheon; but how many millions of
potential negatives have they shed,--representatives of billions of
pictures,--since they were erected! Matter in large masses must always
be fixed and dear; form is cheap and transportable. We have got the
fruit of creation now, and need not trouble ourselves with the core.
Every conceivable object of Nature and Art will soon scale off its
surface for us. Men will hunt all curious, beautiful, grand objects, as
they hunt the cattle in South America, for their _skins_, and leave the
carcasses as of little worth.

The consequence of this will soon be such an enormous collection
of forms that they will have to be classified and arranged in vast
libraries, as books are now. The time will come when a man who wishes
to see any object, natural or artificial, will go to the Imperial,
National, or City Stereographic Library and call for its skin or form,
as he would for a book at any common library. We do now distinctly
propose the creation of a comprehensive and systematic stereographic
library, where all men can find the special forms they particularly
desire to see as artists, or as scholars, or as mechanics, or in any
other capacity. Already a workman has been travelling about the country
with stereographic views of furniture, showing his employer's patterns
in this way, and taking orders for them. This is a mere hint of what is
coming before long.

Again, we must have special stereographic collections, just as we have
professional and other special libraries. And as a means of facilitating
the formation of public and private stereographic collections, there
must be arranged a comprehensive system of exchanges, so that there may
grow up something like a universal currency of these bank-notes, or
promises to pay in solid substance, which the sun has engraved for the
great Bank of Nature.

To render comparison of similar objects, or of any that we may wish to
see side by side, easy, there should be a stereographic _metre_ or
fixed standard of focal length for the camera lens, to furnish by its
multiples or fractions, if necessary, the scale of distances, and the
standard of power in the stereoscope-lens. In this way the eye can
make the most rapid and exact comparisons. If the "great elm" and the
Cowthorpe oak, if the State-House and St. Peter's, were taken on the
same scale, and looked at with the same magnifying power, we should
compare them without the possibility of being misled by those
partialities which might tend to make us overrate the indigenous
vegetable and the dome of our native Michel Angelo.

The next European war will send us stereographs of battles. It is
asserted that a bursting shell can be photographed. The time is perhaps
at hand when a flash of light, as sudden and brief as that of the
lightning which shows a whirling wheel standing stock still, shall
preserve the very instant of the shock of contact of the mighty armies
that are even now gathering. The lightning from heaven does actually
photograph natural objects on the bodies of those it has just
blasted,--so we are told by many witnesses. The lightning of clashing
sabres and bayonets may be forced to stereotype itself in a stillness
as complete as that of the tumbling tide of Niagara as we see it

We should be led on too far, if we developed our belief as to the
transformations to be wrought by this greatest of human triumphs over
earthly conditions, the divorce of form and substance. Let our readers
fill out a blank check on the future as they like,--we give our
indorsement to their imaginations beforehand. We are looking into
stereoscopes as pretty toys, and wondering over the photograph as a
charming novelty; but before another generation has passed away, it will
be recognized that a new epoch in the history of human progress dates
from the time when He who

  ----never but in uncreated light
  Dwelt from eternity--

took a pencil of fire from the hand of the "angel standing in the sun,"
and placed it in the hands of a mortal.




At the period of which we are speaking, no name in the New Republic was
associated with ideas of more brilliant promise, and invested with a
greater _prestige_ of popularity and success, than that of Colonel Aaron

Sprung of a line distinguished for intellectual ability, the grandson of
a man whose genius has swayed New England from that day to this, the son
of parents eminent in their day for influential and popular talents, he
united in himself the quickest perceptions and keenest delicacy of
fibre with the most diamond hardness and unflinching steadiness of
purpose;--apt, subtle, adroit, dazzling, no man in his time ever began
life with fairer chances of success and fame.

His name, as it fell on the ear of our heroine, carried with it the
suggestion of all this; and when, with his peculiarly engaging smile, he
offered his arm, she felt a little of the flutter natural to a modest
young person unexpectedly honored with the notice of one of the great
ones of the earth, whom it is seldom the lot of humble individuals to
know, except by distant report.

But, although Mary was a blushing and sensitive person, she was not
what is commonly called a diffident girl;--her nerves had that healthy,
steady poise which gave her presence of mind in the most unwonted

The first few sentences addressed to her by her new companion were in a
tone and style altogether different from any in which she had ever been
approached,--different from the dashing frankness of her sailor lover,
and from the rustic gallantry of her other admirers.

That indescribable mixture of ease and deference, guided by refined
tact, which shows the practised, high-bred man of the world, made
its impression on her immediately, as the breeze on the chords of a
wind-harp. She felt herself pleasantly swayed and breathed upon;--it was
as if an atmosphere were around her in which she felt a perfect ease and
freedom, an assurance that her lightest word might launch forth safely,
as a tiny boat, on the smooth, glassy mirror of her listener's pleased

"I came to Newport only on a visit of business," he said, after a few
moments of introductory conversation. "I was not prepared for its many

"Newport has a great deal of beautiful scenery," said Mary.

"I have heard that it was celebrated for the beauty of its scenery, and
of its ladies," he answered; "but," he added, with a quick flash of his
dark eye, "I never realized the fact before."

The glance of the eye pointed and limited the compliment, and, at the
same time, there was a wary shrewdness in it;--he was measuring how deep
his shaft had sunk, as he always instinctively measured the person he
talked with.

Mary had been told of her beauty since her childhood, notwithstanding
her mother had essayed all that transparent, respectable hoaxing by
which discreet mothers endeavor to blind their daughters to the real
facts of such cases; but, in her own calm, balanced mind, she had
accepted what she was so often told, as a quiet verity; and therefore
she neither fluttered nor blushed on this occasion, but regarded her
auditor with a pleased attention, as one who was saying obliging things.

"Cool!" he thought to himself,--"hum!--a little rustic belle, I
suppose,--well aware of her own value;--rather piquant, on my word!"

"Shall we walk in the garden?" he said,--"the evening is so beautiful."

They passed out of the door and began promenading the long walk. At the
bottom of the alley he stopped, and, turning, looked up the vista of box
ending in the brilliantly-lighted rooms, where gentlemen, with powdered
heads, lace ruffles, and glittering knee-buckles, were handing ladies in
stiff brocades, whose towering heads were shaded by ostrich-feathers and
sparkling with gems.

"Quite court-like, on my word!" he said. "Tell me, do you often have
such brilliant entertainments as this?"

"I suppose they do," said Mary. "I never was at one before, but I
sometimes hear of them."

"And _you_ do not attend?" said the gentleman, with an accent which made
the inquiry a marked compliment.

"No, I do not," said Mary; "these people generally do not visit us."

"What a pity," he said, "that their parties should want such an
ornament! But," he added, "this night must make them aware of their
oversight;--if you are not always in society after this, it will surely
not be for want of solicitation."

"You are very kind to think so," replied Mary; "but even if it were
to be so, I should not see my way clear to be often in such scenes as

Her companion looked at her with a glance a little doubtful and amused,
and said, "And pray, why not? if the inquiry be not too presumptuous."

"Because," said Mary, "I should be afraid they would take too much time
and thought, and lead me to forget the great object of life."

The simple gravity with which this was said, as if quite assured of the
sympathy of her auditor, appeared to give him a secret amusement. His
bright, dark eyes danced, as if he suppressed some quick repartee; but,
drooping his long lashes deferentially, he said, in gentle tones, "I
should like to know what so beautiful a young lady considers the great
object of life."

Mary answered reverentially, in those words then familiar from infancy
to every Puritan child, "To glorify God, and enjoy Him forever."

"_Really?_" he said, looking straight into her eyes with that
penetrating glance with which he was accustomed to take the gauge of
every one with whom he conversed.

"Is it _not_?" said Mary, looking back, calm and firm, into the
sparkling, restless depths of his eyes.

At that moment, two souls, going with the whole force of their being in
opposite directions, looked out of their windows at each other with a
fixed and earnest recognition.

Burr was practised in every art of gallantry,--he had made womankind
a study,--he never saw a beautiful face and form without a sort of
restless desire to experiment upon it and try his power over the
interior inhabitant; but, just at this moment, something streamed into
his soul from those blue, earnest eyes, which brought back to his mind
what pious people had so often told him of his mother, the beautiful
and early-sainted Esther Burr. He was one of those persons who
systematically managed and played upon himself and others, as a skilful
musician, on an instrument. Yet one secret of his fascination was the
_naïveté_ with which, at certain moments, he would abandon himself to
some little impulse of a nature originally sensitive and tender. Had the
strain of feeling which now awoke in him come over him elsewhere, he
would have shut down some spring in his mind, and excluded it in a
moment; but, talking with a beautiful creature whom he wished to please,
he gave way at once to the emotion:--real tears stood in his fine eyes,
and he raised Mary's hand to his lips, and kissed it, saying--

"Thank you, my beautiful child, for so good a thought. It is truly a
noble sentiment, though practicable only to those gifted with angelic

"Oh, I trust not," said Mary, earnestly touched and wrought upon, more
than she herself knew, by the beautiful eyes, the modulated voice, the
charm of manner, which seemed to enfold her like an Italian summer.

Burr sighed,--a real sigh of his better nature, but passed out with all
the more freedom that he felt it would interest his fair companion, who,
for the time being, was the one woman of the world to him.

"Pure and artless souls like yours," he said, "cannot measure the
temptations of those who are called to the real battle of life in a
world like this. How many nobler aspirations fall withered in the fierce
heat and struggle of the conflict!"

He was saying then what he really felt, often bitterly felt,--but
_using_ this real feeling advisedly, and with skilful tact, for the
purpose of the hour.

What was this purpose? To win the regard, the esteem, the tenderness of
a religious, exalted nature shrined in a beautiful form,--to gain and
hold ascendency. It was a life-long habit,--one of those forms of
refined self-indulgence which he pursued, thoughtless and reckless of
consequences. He had found now the key-note of the character; it was a
beautiful instrument, and he was well pleased to play on it.

"I think, Sir," said Mary, modestly, "that you forget the great
provision made for our weakness."

"How?" he said.

"They that _wait on the Lord_ shall renew their strength," she replied,

He looked at her, as she spoke these words, with a pleased, artistic
perception of the contrast between her worldly attire and the simple,
religious earnestness of her words.

"She is entrancing!" he thought to himself,--"so altogether fresh and

"My sweet saint," he said, "such as you are the appointed guardians of
us coarser beings. The prayers of souls given up to worldliness and
ambition effect little. You must intercede for us. I am very orthodox,
you see," he added, with that subtle smile which sometimes irradiated
his features. "I am fully aware of all that your reverend doctor tells
you of the worthlessness of unregenerate doings; and so, when I see
angels walking below, I try to secure 'a friend at court.'"

He saw that Mary looked embarrassed and pained at this banter, and
therefore added, with a delicate shading of earnestness,--

"In truth, my fair young friend, I hope you _will_ sometimes pray for
me. I am sure, if I have any chance of good, it will come in such a

"Indeed I will," said Mary, fervently,--her little heart full, tears
in her eyes, her breath coming quick,--and she added, with a deepening
color, "I am sure, Mr. Burr, that there should be a covenant blessing
for you, if for any one, for you are the son of a holy ancestry."

"_Eh, bien, mon ami, qu'est ce que tu fais ici_?" said a gay voice
behind a clump of box; and immediately there started out, like a French
picture from its frame, a dark-eyed figure, dressed like a Marquise of
Louis XIV.'s time, with powdered hair, sparkling with diamonds.

"_Rien que m'amuser_," he replied, with ready presence of mind, in the
same tone, and then added,--"Permit me, Madame, to present to you a
charming specimen of our genuine New England flowers. Miss Scudder,
I have the honor to present you to the acquaintance of Madame de

"I am very happy," said the lady, with that sweet, lisping accentuation
of English which well became her lovely mouth. "Miss Scudder, I hope, is
very well."

Mary replied in the affirmative,--her eyes resting the while with
pleased admiration on the graceful, animated face and diamond-bright
eyes which seemed looking her through.

"_Monsieur la trouve bien séduisante apparemment_" said the stranger,
in a low, rapid voice, to the gentleman, in a manner which showed a
mingling of pique and admiration.

"_Petite jalouse! rassure-toi_," he replied, with a look and manner into
which, with that mobile force which was peculiar to him, he threw the
most tender and passionate devotion. "_Ne suis-je pas à toi tout à
fait_?"--and as he spoke, he offered her his other arm. "Allow me to be
an unworthy link between the beauty of France and America."

The lady swept a proud curtsy backward, bridled her beautiful neck, and
signed for them to pass her. "I am waiting here for a friend," she said.

"Whatever is your will is mine," replied Burr, bowing with proud
humility, and passing on with Mary to the supper-room.

Here the company were fast assembling, in that high tide of good-humor
which generally sets in at this crisis of the evening.

The scene, in truth, was a specimen of a range of society which in those
times could have been assembled nowhere else but in Newport. There stood
Dr. H. in the tranquil majesty of his lordly form, and by his side, the
alert, compact figure of his contemporary and theological opponent, Dr.
Stiles, who, animated by the social spirit of the hour, was dispensing
courtesies to right and left with the debonair grace of the trained
gentleman of the old school. Near by, and engaging from time to time in
conversation with them, stood a Jewish Rabbin, whose olive complexion,
keen eye, and flowing beard gave a picturesque and foreign grace to the
scene. Colonel Burr, one of the most brilliant and distinguished men of
the New Republic, and Colonel de Frontignac, who had won for himself
laurels in the corps of La Fayette, during the recent revolutionary
struggle, with his brilliant, accomplished wife, were all unexpected and
distinguished additions to the circle.

Burr gently cleared the way for his fair companion, and, purposely
placing her where the full light of the wax chandeliers set off her
beauty to the best advantage, devoted himself to her with a subserviency
as deferential as if she had been a goddess.

For all that, he was not unobservant, when, a few moments after, Madame
de Frontignac was led in, on the arm of a Senator, with whom she was
presently in full flirtation.

He observed, with a quiet, furtive smile, that, while she rattled and
fanned herself, and listened with apparent attention to the flatteries
addressed to her, she darted every now and then a glance keen as a steel
blade towards him and his companion. He was perfectly adroit in playing
off one woman against another, and it struck him with a pleasant sense
of oddity, how perfectly unconscious his sweet and saintly neighbor was
of the position in which she was supposed to stand by her rival; and
poor Mary, all this while, in her simplicity, really thought that she
had seen traces of what she would have called the "strivings of the
spirit" in his soul. Alas! that a phrase weighed down with such
mysterious truth and meaning should ever come to fall on the ear as mere
empty cant!

With Mary it was a living form,--as were all her words; for in nothing
was the Puritan education more marked than in the earnest _reality_ and
truthfulness which it gave to language; and even now, as she stands by
his side, her large blue eye is occasionally fixed in dreamy reverie as
she thinks what a triumph of Divine grace it would be, if these inward
movings of her companion's mind _should_ lead him, as all the pious of
New England hoped, to follow in the footsteps of President Edwards, and
forms wishes that she could see him some time when she could talk to him

She was too humble and too modest fully to accept the delicious flattery
which he had breathed, in implying that her hand had had power to unseal
the fountains of good in his soul; but still it thrilled through all the
sensitive strings of her nature a tremulous flutter of suggestion.

She had read instances of striking and wonderful conversions from words
dropped by children and women,--and suppose some such thing should
happen to her! and that this so charming and distinguished and powerful
being should be called into the fold of Christ's Church by her means!
No! it was too much to be hoped,--but the very possibility was

When, after supper, Mrs. Scudder and the Doctor made their adieus,
Burr's devotion was still unabated. With an enchanting mixture
of reverence and fatherly protection, he waited on her to the
last,--shawled her with delicate care, and handed her into the small,
one-horse wagon,--as if it had been the coach of a duchess.

"I have pleasant recollections connected with this kind of
establishment," he said, as, after looking carefully at the harness,
he passed the reins into Mrs. Scudder's hands. "It reminds me of
school-days and old times. I hope your horse is quite safe, Madam."

"Oh, yes," said Mrs. Scudder, "I perfectly understand him."

"Pardon the suggestion," he replied;--"what is there that a New England
matron does _not_ understand? Doctor, I must call by-and-by and have
a little talk with you,--my theology, you know, needs a little

"We should all be happy to see you, Colonel Burr," said Mrs. Scudder;
"we live in a very plain way, it is true,"--

"But can always find place for a friend,--that, I trust, is what you
meant to say," he replied, bowing, with his own peculiar grace, as the
carriage drove off.

"Really, a most charming person is this Colonel Burr," said Mrs.

"He seems a very frank, ingenuous young person," said the Doctor; "one
cannot but mourn that the son of such gracious parents should be left to
wander into infidelity."

"Oh, he is not an infidel," said Mary; "he is far from it, though I
think his mind is a little darkened on some points."

"Ah," said the Doctor, "have you had any special religious conversation
with him?"

"A little," said Mary, blushing; "and it seems to me that his mind is
perplexed somewhat in regard to the doings of the unregenerate,--I fear
that it has rather proved a stumbling-block in his way; but he showed so
much feeling!--I could really see the tears in his eyes!"

"His mother was a most godly woman, Mary," said the Doctor. "She was
called from her youth, and her beautiful person became a temple for the
indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Aaron Burr is a child of many prayers,
and therefore there is hope that he may yet be effectually called. He
studied awhile with Bellamy," he added, musingly, "and I have often
doubted whether Bellamy took just the right course with him."

"I hope he _will_ call and talk with you," said Mary, earnestly; "what
a blessing to the world, if such talents as his could become wholly

"Not many wise, not many mighty, not many noble are called," said the
Doctor; "yet if it would please the Lord to employ my instrumentality
and prayers, how much should I rejoice! I was struck," he added,
"to-night, when I saw those Jews present, with the thought that it was,
as it were, a type of that last ingathering, when both Jew and Gentile
shall sit down lovingly together to the gospel feast. It is only by
passing over and forgetting these present years, when so few are called
and the gospel makes such slow progress, and looking unto that
glorious time, that I find comfort. If the Lord but use me as a dumb
stepping-stone to that heavenly Jerusalem, I shall be content."

Thus they talked while the wagon jogged soberly homeward, and the
frogs and the turtles and the distant ripple of the sea made a drowsy,
mingling concert in the summer-evening air.

Meanwhile Colonel Burr had returned to the lighted rooms, and it was not
long before his quick eye espied Madame de Frontignac standing pensively
in a window-recess, half hid by the curtain. He stole softly up behind
her and whispered something in her ear.

In a moment she turned on him a face glowing--with anger, and drew back
haughtily; but Burr remarked the glitter of tears, not quite dried even
by the angry flush of her eyes.

"In what have I had the misfortune to offend?" he said, crossing his
arms upon his breast. "I stand at the bar, and plead, Not guilty."

He spoke in French, and she replied in the same smooth accents,--

"It was not for her to dispute Monsieur's right to amuse himself."

Burr drew nearer, and spoke in those persuasive, pleading tones which he
had ever at command, and in that language whose very structure in its
delicate _tutoiment_ gives such opportunity for gliding on through shade
after shade of intimacy and tenderness, till gradually the haughty fire
of the eyes was quenched in tears, and, in the sudden revulsion of a
strong, impulsive nature, she said what she called words of friendship,
but which carried with them all the warmth of that sacred fire which is
given to woman to light and warm the temple of home, and which sears and
scars when kindled for any other shrine.

And yet this woman was the wife of his friend and associate!

Colonel de Frontignac was a grave and dignified man of forty-five.
Virginie de Frontignac had been given him to wife when but eighteen,--a
beautiful, generous, impulsive, wilful girl. She had accepted him
gladly, for very substantial reasons. First, that she might come out of
the convent where she was kept for the very purpose of educating her in
ignorance of the world she was to live in. Second, that she might wear
velvet, lace, cashmere, and jewels. Third, that she might be a Madame,
free to go and come, ride, walk, and talk, without surveillance.
Fourth,--and consequent upon this,--that she might go into company and
have admirers and adorers.

She supposed, of course, that she loved her husband;--whom else should
she love? He was the only man, except her father and brothers, that she
had ever known; and in the fortnight that preceded their marriage did he
not send her the most splendid _bons-bons_ every day, with bouquets of
every pattern that ever taxed the brain of a Parisian _artiste_?--was
not the _corbeille de mariage_ a wonder and an envy to all her
acquaintance?--and after marriage had she not found him always a steady,
indulgent friend, easy to be coaxed as any grave papa?

On his part, Monsieur de Frontignac cherished his young wife as a
beautiful, though somewhat absurd little pet, and amused himself with
her frolics and gambols, as the gravest person often will with those of
a kitten.

It was not until she knew Aaron Burr that poor Virginie de Frontignac
came to that great awakening of her being which teaches woman what
she is, and transforms her from a careless child to a deep-hearted,
thinking, suffering human being.

For the first time, in his society she became aware of the charm of a
polished and cultivated mind, able with exquisite tact to adapt itself
to hers, to draw forth her inquiries, to excite her tastes, to stimulate
her observation. A new world awoke around her,--the world of literature
and taste, of art and of sentiment; she felt, somehow, as if she had
gained the growth of years in a few months. She felt within herself the
stirring of dim aspiration, the uprising of a new power of self-devotion
and self-sacrifice, a trance of hero-worship, a cloud of high ideal
images,--the lighting up, in short, of all that God has laid, ready to
be enkindled, in a woman's nature, when the time comes to sanctify her
as the pure priestess of a domestic temple. But, alas! it was kindled
by one who did it only for an experiment, because he felt an artistic
pleasure in the beautiful light and heat, and cared not, though it
burned a soul away.

Burr was one of those men willing to play with any charming woman the
game of those navigators who give to simple natives glass beads and
feathers in return for gold and diamonds,--to accept from a woman her
heart's blood in return for such odds and ends and clippings as he can
afford her from the serious ambition of life.

Look in with us one moment, now that the party is over, and the busy
hum of voices and blaze of lights has died down to midnight silence and
darkness; we make you clairvoyant, and you may look through the walls of
this stately old mansion, still known as that where Rochambeau held his
head-quarters, into this room, where two wax candles are burning on a
toilette table, before an old-fashioned mirror. The slumberous folds
of the curtains are drawn with stately gloom around a high bed, where
Colonel de Frontignac has been for many hours quietly asleep; but
opposite, resting with one elbow on the toilette table, her long black
hair hanging down over her night-dress, and the brush lying listlessly
in her hand, sits Virginie, looking fixedly into the dreamy depths of
the mirror.

Scarcely twenty yet, all unwarned of the world of power and passion that
lay slumbering in her girl's heart, led in the meshes of custom and
society to utter vows and take responsibilities of whose nature she was
no more apprised than is a slumbering babe, and now at last fully awake,
feeling the whole power of that mysterious and awful force which we call
love, yet shuddering to call it by its name, but by its light beginning
to understand all she is capable of, and all that marriage should have
been to her! She struggles feebly and confusedly with her fate, still
clinging to the name of duty, and baptizing as friendship this strange
new feeling which makes her tremble through all her being. How can she
dream of danger in such a feeling, when it seems to her the awakening
of all that is highest and noblest within her? She remembers when she
thought of nothing beyond an opera-ticket or a new dress; and now she
feels that there might be to her a friend for whose sake she would try
to be noble and great and good,--for whom all self-denial, all high
endeavor, all difficult virtue would become possible,--who would be to
her life, inspiration, order, beauty.

She sees him as woman always sees the man she loves,--noble, great, and
good;--for when did a loving woman ever believe a man otherwise?--too
noble, too great, too high, too good, she thinks, for her,--poor,
trivial, ignorant coquette,--poor, childish, trifling Virginie! Has he
not commanded armies? she thinks,--is he not eloquent in the senate?
and yet, what interest he has taken in her, a poor, unformed, ignorant
creature!--she never tried to improve herself till since she knew him.
And he is so considerate, too,--so respectful, so thoughtful and kind,
so manly and honorable, and has such a tender friendship for her, such
a brotherly and fatherly solicitude! and yet, if she is haughty or
imperious or severe, how humbled and grieved he looks! How strange that
she could have power over such a man!

It is one of the saddest truths of this sad mystery of life, that woman
is, often, never so much an angel as just the moment before she falls
into an unsounded depth of perdition. And what shall we say of the man
who leads her on as an experiment,--who amuses himself with taking
woman after woman up these dazzling, delusive heights, knowing, as he
certainly must, where they lead?

We have been told, in extenuation of the course of Aaron Burr, that he
was not a man of gross passions or of coarse indulgence, but, in the
most consummate and refined sense, _a man of gallantry_. This, then, is
the descriptive name which polite society has invented for the man who
does this thing!

Of old, it was thought that one who administered poison in the
sacramental bread and wine had touched the very height of impious
sacrilege; but this crime is white, by the side of his who poisons
God's eternal sacrament of love and destroys a woman's soul through her
noblest and purest affections.

We have given you the after-view of most of the actors of our little
scene to-night, and therefore it is but fair that you should have a peep
over the Colonel's shoulder, as he sums up the evening in a letter to a

"MY DEAR ----

"As to the business, it gets on rather slowly. L---- and S---- are away,
and the coalition cannot be formed without them; they set out a week ago
from Philadelphia, and are yet on the road.

"Meanwhile, we have some providential alleviations,--as, for example,
a wedding-party to-night, at the Wilcoxes', which was really quite an
affair. I saw the prettiest little Puritan there that I have set eyes on
for many a day. I really couldn't help getting up a flirtation with her,
although it was much like flirting with a small copy of the 'Assembly's
Catechism,'--of which last I had enough years ago, Heaven knows.

"But, really, such a _naïve_, earnest little saint, who has such real
deadly belief, and opens such pitying blue eyes on one, is quite a
stimulating novelty. I got myself well scolded by the fair Madame, (as
angels scold,) and had to plead like a lawyer to make my peace;--after
all, that woman really enchains me. Don't shake your head wisely,--'
What's going to be the end of it?' I'm sure I don't know; we'll see,
when the time comes.

"Meanwhile, push the business ahead with all your might. I shall not be
idle. D---- must canvass the Senate thoroughly. I wish I could be in two
places at once,--I would do it myself. _Au revoir_.

"Ever yours,



"And now, Mary," said Mrs. Scudder, at five o'clock the next morning,
"to-day, you know, is the Doctor's fast; so we won't get any regular
dinner, and it will be a good time to do up all our little odd jobs.
Miss Prissy promised to come in for two or three hours this morning, to
alter the waist of that black silk; and I shouldn't be surprised if we
should get it all done and ready to wear by Sunday."

We will remark, by way of explanation to a part of this conversation,
that our Doctor, who was a specimen of life in earnest, made a practice,
through the greater part of his pulpit course, of spending every
Saturday as a day of fasting and retirement, in preparation for the
duties of the Sabbath.

Accordingly, the early breakfast things were no sooner disposed of than
Miss Prissy's quick footsteps might have been heard pattering in the

"Well, Miss Scudder, how do you do this morning? and how do you do,
Mary? Well, if you a'n't the beaters! up just as early as ever, and
everything cleared away! I was telling Miss Wilcox there didn't ever
seem to be anything done in Miss Scudder's kitchen, and I did verily
believe you made your beds before you got up in the morning.

"Well, well, wasn't that a party last night?" she said, as she sat down
with the black silk and prepared her ripping-knife.--"I must rip this
myself, Miss Scudder; for there's a great deal in ripping silk so as not
to let anybody know where it has been sewed.--You didn't know that I was
at the party, did you? Well, I was. You see, I thought I'd just step
round there, to see about that money to get the Doctor's shirt with, and
there I found Miss Wilcox with so many things on her mind, and says she,
'Miss Prissy, you don't know how much it would help me if I had somebody
like you just to look after things a little here.' And says I, 'Miss
Wilcox, you just go right to your room and dress, and don't you give
yourself one minute's thought about anything, and you see if I don't
have everything just right.' And so, there I was, in for it; and I just
staid through, and it was well I did,--for Dinah, she wouldn't have put
near enough egg into the coffee, if it hadn't been for me; why, I just
went and beat up four eggs with my own hands and stirred 'em into the

"Well,--but, really, wasn't I behind the door, and didn't I peep into
the supper-room? I saw who was a-waitin' on Miss Mary. Well, they do say
he's the handsomest, most fascinating man. Why, they say all the ladies
in Philadelphia are in a perfect quarrel about him; and I heard he said
he hadn't seen such a beauty he didn't remember when."

"We all know that beauty is of small consequence," said Mrs. Scudder. "I
hope Mary has been brought up to feel that."

"Oh, of course," said Miss Prissy, "it's just like a fading flower; all
is to be good and useful,--and that's what she is. I told 'em that her
beauty was the least part of her; though I must say, that dress did fit
like a biscuit,--if 'twas my own fitting.

"But, Miss Scudder, what do you think I heard 'em saying about the good

"I'm sure I don't know," said Mrs. Scudder; "I only know they couldn't
say anything bad."

"Well, not bad exactly," said Miss Prissy,--"but they say he's getting
such strange notions in his head. Why, I heard some of 'em say, he's
going to come out and preach against the slave-trade; and I'm sure I
don't know what Newport folks will do, if that's wicked. There a'n't
hardly any money here that's made any other way; and I hope the Doctor
a'n't a-going to do anything of that sort."

"I believe he is," said Mrs. Scudder; "he thinks it's a great sin, that
ought to be rebuked;--and I think so too," she added, bracing herself
resolutely; "that was Mr. Scudder's opinion when I first married him,
and it's mine."

"Oh,--ah,--yes,--well,--if it's a sin, of course," said Miss Prissy;
"but then--dear me!--it don't seem as if it could be. Why, just think
how many great houses are living on it;--why, there's General Wilcox
himself, and he's a very nice man; and then there's Major Seaforth; why,
I could count you off a dozen,--all our very first people. Why, Doctor
Stiles doesn't think so, and I'm sure he's a good Christian. Doctor
Stiles thinks it's a dispensation for giving the light of the gospel
to the Africans. Why, now I'm sure, when I was a-workin' at Deacon
Stebbins', I stopped over Sunday once 'cause Miss Stebbins she was
weakly,--'twas when she was getting up, after Samuel was born,--no, on
the whole, I believe it was Nehemiah,--but, any way, I remember I staid
there, and I remember, as plain as if 'twas yesterday, just after
breakfast, how a man went driving by in a chaise, and the Deacon he went
out and stopped him ('cause you know he was justice of the peace) for
travelling on the Lord's day, and who should it be but Tom Seaforth?--he
told the Deacon his father had got a ship-load of negroes just come
in,--and the Deacon he just let him go; 'cause I remember he said that
was a plain work of necessity and mercy.[A] Well, now who would 'a'
thought it? I believe the Doctor is better than most folks, but then the
best people may be mistaken, you know."

[Footnote A: A fact.]

"The Doctor has made up his mind that it's his duty," said Mrs. Scudder.
"I'm afraid it will make him very unpopular; but I, for one, shall stand
by him."

"Oh, certainly, Miss Scudder, you are doing just right exactly. Well,
there's one comfort, he'll have a great crowd to hear him preach;
'cause, as I was going round through the entries last night, I heard 'em
talking about it,--and Colonel Burr said he should be there, and so did
the General, and so did Mr. What's-his-name there, that Senator from
Philadelphia. I tell you, you'll have a full house."

It was to be confessed that Mrs. Scudder's heart rather sunk than
otherwise at this announcement; and those who have felt what it is to
stand almost alone in the right, in the face of all the first families
of their acquaintance, may perhaps find some compassion for her,--since,
after all, truth is invisible, but "first families" are very evident.
First families are often very agreeable, undeniably respectable,
fearfully virtuous, and it takes great faith to resist an evil principle
which incarnates itself in the suavities of their breeding and
amiability; and therefore it was that Mrs. Scudder felt her heart heavy
within her, and could with a very good grace have joined in the Doctor's
Saturday fast.

As for the Doctor, he sat the while tranquil in his study, with his
great Bible and his Concordance open before him, culling, with that
patient assiduity for which he was remarkable, all the terrible texts
which that very unceremonious and old-fashioned book rains down so
unsparingly on the sin of oppressing the weak.

First families, whether in Newport or elsewhere, were as invisible to
him as they were to Moses during the forty days that he spent with God
on the mount; he was merely thinking of his message,--thinking only how
he should shape it, so as not to leave one word of it unsaid,--not even
imagining in the least what the result of it was to be. He was but a
voice, but an instrument,--the passive instrument through which an
almighty will was to reveal itself; and the sublime fatalism of his
faith made him as dead to all human considerations as if he had been a
portion of the immutable laws of Nature herself.

So, the next morning, although all his friends trembled for him when he
rose in the pulpit, he never thought of trembling for himself; he had
come in the covered way of silence from the secret place of the Most
High, and felt himself still abiding under the shadow of the Almighty.
It was alike to him, whether the house was full or empty,--whoever were
decreed to hear the message would be there; whether they would hear or
forbear was already settled in the counsels of a mightier will than
his,--he had the simple duty of utterance.

The ruinous old meeting-house was never so radiant with station and
gentility as on that morning. A June sun shone brightly; the sea
sparkled with a thousand little eyes; the birds sang all along the
way; and all the notables turned out to hear the Doctor. Mrs. Scudder
received into her pew, with dignified politeness, Colonel Burr and
Colonel and Madame de Frontignac. General Wilcox and his portly dame,
Major Seaforth, and we know not what of Vernons and De Wolfs, and other
grand old names, were represented there; stiff silks rustled, Chinese
fans fluttered, and the last court fashions stood revealed in bonnets.

Everybody was looking fresh and amiable,--a charming and respectable set
of sinners, come to hear what the Doctor would find to tell them about
their transgressions.

Mrs. Scudder was calculating consequences; and, shutting her eyes on the
too evident world about her, prayed that the Lord would overrule all for
good. The Doctor prayed that he might have grace to speak the truth,
and the whole truth. We have yet on record, in his published works, the
great argument of that day, through which he moved with that calm appeal
to the reason which made his results always so weighty.

"If these things be true," he said, after a condensed statement of the
facts of the case, "then the following terrible consequences, which may
well make all shudder and tremble who realize them, force themselves
upon us, namely: that all who have had any hand in this iniquitous
business, whether directly or indirectly, or have used their influence
to promote it, or have consented to it, or even connived at it, or have
not opposed it by all proper exertions of which they are capable,--all
these are, in a greater or less degree, chargeable with the injuries and
miseries which millions have suffered and are suffering, and are guilty
of the blood of millions who have lost their lives by this traffic in
the human species. Not only the merchants who have been engaged in this
trade, and the captains who have been tempted by the love of money to
engage in this cruel work, and the slave-holders of every description,
are guilty of shedding rivers of blood, but all the legislatures who
have authorized, encouraged, or even neglected to suppress it to the
utmost of their power, and all the individuals in private stations who
have in any way aided in this business, consented to it, or have not
opposed it to the utmost of their ability, have a share in this guilt.

"This trade in the human species has been the first wheel of commerce in
Newport, on which every other movement in business has chiefly depended;
this town has been built up, and flourished in times past, at the
expense of the blood, the liberty, and the happiness of the poor
Africans; and the inhabitants have lived on this, and by it have gotten
most of their wealth and riches. If a bitter woe is pronounced on him
'that buildeth his house by unrighteousness and his chambers by wrong,'
Jer. xxii. 13,--to him 'that buildeth a town with blood, and stablisheth
a city by iniquity,' Hab. ii. 12,--to 'the bloody city,' Ezek. xxiv.
6,--what a heavy, dreadful woe hangs over the heads of all those
whose hands are defiled by the blood of the Africans, especially the
inhabitants of this State and this town, who have had a distinguished
share in this unrighteous and bloody commerce!"

He went over the recent history of the country, expatiated on the
national declaration so lately made, that all men are born equally free
and independent and have natural and inalienable rights to liberty, and
asked with what face a nation declaring such things could continue to
hold thousands of their fellowmen in abject slavery. He pointed out
signs of national disaster which foreboded the wrath of Heaven,--the
increase of public and private debts, the spirit of murmuring and
jealousy of rulers among the people, divisions and contentions and
bitter party alienations, the jealous irritation of England constantly
endeavoring to hamper our trade, the Indians making war on the
frontiers, the Algerines taking captive our ships and making slaves
of our citizens,--all evident tokens of the displeasure and impending
judgment of an offended Justice.

The sermon rolled over the heads of the gay audience, deep and dark as a
thunder-cloud, which in a few moments changes a summer sky into heaviest
gloom. Gradually an expression of intense interest and deep concern
spread over the listeners; it was the magnetism of a strong mind, which
held them for a time under the shadow of his own awful sense of God's
almighty justice.

It is said that a little child once described his appearance in the
pulpit by saying, "I saw God there, and I was afraid."

Something of the same effect was produced on his audience now; and it
was not till after sermon, prayer, and benediction were all over, that
the respectables of Newport began gradually to unstiffen themselves
from the spell, and to look into each other's eyes for comfort, and to
reassure themselves that after all they were the first families, and
going on the way the world had always gone, and that the Doctor, of
course, was a radical and a fanatic.

When the audience streamed out, crowding the broad aisle, Mary descended
from the singers, and stood with her psalm-book in hand, waiting at the
door to be joined by her mother and the Doctor. She overheard many
hard words from people who, an evening or two before, had smiled so
graciously upon them. It was therefore with no little determination of
manner that she advanced and took the Doctor's arm, as if anxious to
associate herself with his well-earned unpopularity,--and just at
this moment she caught the eye and smile of Colonel Burr, as he bowed
gracefully, yet not without a suggestion of something sarcastic in his

[To be continued.]



You don't look so dreadful poor in the face as you did a while back.
Bloated some, I expect.

This was the cheerful and encouraging remark with which the Poor
Relation greeted the divinity-student one morning.

Of course every good man considers it a great sacrifice on his part to
continue living in this transitory, unsatisfactory, and particularly
unpleasant world. This is so much a matter of course, that I was
surprised to see the divinity-student change color. He took a look at a
small and uncertain-minded glass which hung slanting forward over the
chapped sideboard. The image it returned to him had the color of a very
young pea somewhat over-boiled. The scenery of a long tragic drama
flashed through his mind as the lightning-express-train _whishes_ by a
station: the gradual dismantling process of disease; friends looking on,
sympathetic, but secretly chuckling over their own stomachs of iron and
lungs of caoutchouc; nurses attentive, but calculating their crop, and
thinking how soon it will be ripe, so that they can go to your neighbor,
who is good for a year or so longer; doctors assiduous, but giving
themselves a mental shake, as they go out of your door, that throws
off your particular grief as a duck sheds a rain-drop from his oily
feathers; undertakers solemn, but happy; then the great subsoil
cultivator, who plants, but never looks for fruit in his garden; then
the stone-cutter, who finds the lie that has been waiting for you on a
slab ever since the birds or beasts made their tracks on the new red
sandstone; then the grass and the dandelions and the buttercups,--Earth
saying to the mortal body, with her sweet symbolism, "You have scarred
my bosom, but you are forgiven"; then a glimpse of the soul as a
floating consciousness without very definite form or place, but dimly
conceived of as an upright column of vapor or mist several times larger
than life-size, so far as it could be said to have any size at all,
wandering about and living a thin and half-awake life for want of good
old-fashioned solid _matter_ to come down upon with foot and fist,--in
fact, having neither foot nor fist, nor conveniences for taking the
sitting posture.

And yet the divinity-student was a good Christian, and those heathen
images which remind one of the childlike fancies of the dying Adrian
were only the efforts of his imagination to give shape to the formless
and position to the placeless. Neither did his thoughts spread
themselves out and link themselves as I have displayed them. They came
confusedly into his mind like a heap of broken mosaics,--sometimes a
part of the picture complete in itself, sometimes connected fragments,
and sometimes only single severed stones.

They did not diffuse a light of celestial joy over his countenance. On
the contrary, the Poor Relation's remark turned him pale, as I have
said; and when the terrible wrinkled and jaundiced looking-glass turned
him green in addition, and he saw himself in it, it seemed to him as
if it were all settled, and his book of life were to be shut not yet
half-read, and go back to the dust of the under-ground archives. He
coughed a mild short cough, as if to point the direction in which his
downward path was tending. It was an honest little cough enough, so far
as appearances went. But coughs are ungrateful things. You find one out
in the cold, take it up and nurse it and make everything of it, dress it
up warm, give it all sorts of balsams and other food it likes, and carry
it round in your bosom as if it were a miniature lapdog. And by-and-by
its little bark grows sharp and savage, and--confound the thing!--you
find it is a wolf's whelp that you have got there, and he is gnawing in
the breast where he has been nestling so long.--The Poor Relation said
that somebody's surrup was good for folks that were gettin' into a
bad way. The landlady had heard of desperate cases cured by

Whiskey's the fellah,--said the young man John.--Make it into punch,
cold at dinner-time 'n' hot at bed-time. I'll come up 'n' show you how
to mix it. Haven't any of you seen the wonderful fat man exhibitin' down
in Hanover Street?

Master Benjamin Franklin rushed into the dialogue with a breezy
exclamation, that he had seen a great picter outside of the place where
the fat man was exhibitin'. Tried to get in at half-price, but the man
at the door looked at his teeth and said he was more'n ten year old.

It isn't two years,--said the young man John,--since that fat fellah
was exhibitin' here as the Livin' Skeleton. Whiskey--that's what did
it,--real Burbon's the stuff. Hot water, sugar, 'n' jest a little
shavin' of lemon-skin in it,--_skin_, mind you, none o' your juice; take
it off thin,--shape of one of them flat curls the factory-girls wear on
the sides of their foreheads.

But I am a teetotaller,--said the divinity-student, in a subdued
tone;--not noticing the enormous length of the bow-string the young
fellow had just drawn.

He took up his hat and went out.

I think you have worried that young man more than you meant,--I said.--I
don't believe he will jump off of one of the bridges, for he has too
much principle; but I mean to follow him and see where he goes, for he
looks as if his mind were made up to something.

I followed him at a reasonable distance. He walked doggedly along,
looking neither to the right nor the left, turned into State Street, and
made for a well-known Life-Insurance Office. Luckily, the doctor was
there and overhauled him on the spot. There was nothing the matter with
him, he said, and he could have his life insured as a sound one. He came
out in good spirits, and told me this soon after.

This led me to make some remarks the next morning on the manners of
well-bred and ill-bred people.

I began,--The whole essence of true gentle-breeding (one does not
like to say gentility) lies in the wish and the art to be agreeable.
Good-breeding is _surface-Christianity_. Every look, movement, tone,
expression, subject of discourse, that may give pain to another is
habitually excluded from conversational intercourse. This is the reason
why rich people are apt to be so much more agreeable than others.

--I thought you were a great champion of equality,--said the discreet
and severe lady who had accompanied our young friend, the Latin Tutor's

I go politically for _e_quality,--I said,--and socially for _the_

Who are the "quality,"--said the Model, etc.,--in a community like ours?

I confess I find this question a little difficult to answer,--I
said.--Nothing is better known than the distinction of social ranks
which exists in every community, and nothing is harder to define. The
great gentlemen and ladies of a place are its real lords and masters and
mistresses; they are the _quality_, whether in a monarchy or a republic;
mayors and governors and generals and senators and ex-presidents are
nothing to them. How well we know this, and how seldom it finds a
distinct expression! Now I tell you truly, I believe in man as man, and
I disbelieve in all distinctions except such as follow the natural lines
of cleavage in a society which has crystallized according to its own
true laws. But the essence of equality is to be able to say the truth;
and there is nothing more curious than these truths relating to the
stratification of society.

Of all the facts in this world that do not take hold of immortality,
there is not one so intensely real, permanent, and engrossing as this of
social position,--as you see by the circumstance that the core of all
the great social orders the world has seen has been, and is still, for
the most part, a privileged class of gentlemen and ladies arranged in a
regular scale of precedence among themselves, but superior as a body to
all else.

Nothing but an ideal Christian equality, which we have been getting
farther away from since the days of the Primitive Church, can
prevent this subdivision of society into classes from taking place
everywhere,--in the great centres of our republic as much as in
old European monarchies. Only there position is more absolutely
hereditary,--here it is more completely elective.

--Where is the election held? and what are the qualifications? and who
are the electors?--said the Model.

Nobody ever sees when the vote is taken; there never is a formal vote.
The women settle it mostly; and they know wonderfully well what is
presentable, and what can't stand the blaze of the chandeliers and the
critical eye and ear of people trained to know a staring shade in a
ribbon, a false light in a jewel, an ill-bred tone, an angular movement,
everything that betrays a coarse fibre and cheap training. As a general
thing, you do not get elegance short of two or three removes from the
soil, out of which our best blood doubtless comes,--quite as good, no
doubt, as if it came from those old prize-fighters with iron pots on
their heads, to whom some great people are so fond of tracing their
descent through a line of small artisans and petty shopkeepers whose
veins have held base fluid enough to fill the Cloaca Maxima!

Does not money go everywhere?--said the Model.

Almost. And with good reason. For though there are numerous exceptions,
rich people are, as I said, commonly altogether the most agreeable
companions. The influence of a fine house, graceful furniture, good
libraries, well-ordered tables, trim servants, and, above all, a
position so secure that one becomes unconscious of it, gives a harmony
and refinement to the character and manners which we feel, even if
we cannot explain their charm. Yet we can get at the reason of it by
thinking a little.

All these appliances are to shield the sensibility from disagreeable
contacts, and to soothe it by varied natural and artificial influences.
In this way the mind, the taste, the feelings, grow delicate, just as
the hands grow white and soft when saved from toil and incased in soft
gloves. The whole nature becomes subdued into suavity. I confess I like
the quality-ladies better than the common kind even of literary ones.
They haven't read the last book, perhaps, but they attend better to you
when you are talking to them. If they are never learned, they make up
for it in tact and elegance. Besides, I think, on the whole, there is
less self-assertion in diamonds than in dogmas. I don't know where
you will find a sweeter portrait of humility than in Esther, the poor
play-girl of King Ahasuerus; yet Esther put on her royal apparel when
she went before her lord. I have no doubt she was a more gracious and
agreeable person than Deborah, who judged the people and wrote the story
of Sisera. The wisest woman you talk with is ignorant of something that
you know, but an elegant woman never forgets her elegance.

Dowdyism is clearly an expression of imperfect vitality. The highest
fashion is intensely alive,--not alive necessarily to the truest and
best things, but with its blood tingling, as it were, in all its
extremities and to the farthest point of its surface, so that the
feather in its bonnet is as fresh as the crest of a fighting-cock, and
the rosette on its slipper as clean-cut and _pimpant_ (pronounce it
English fashion,--it is a good word) as a dahlia. As a general rule,
that society where flattery is acted is much more agreeable than that
where it is spoken. Don't you see why? Attention and deference don't
require you to make fine speeches expressing your sense of unworthiness
(lies) and returning all the compliments paid you. This is one reason.

--A woman of sense ought to be above flattering any man,--said the

[_My reflection._ Oh! oh! no wonder you didn't get married. Served you
right.] _My remark._ Surely, Madam,--if you mean by flattery telling
people boldly to their faces that they are this or that, which they are
not. But a woman who does not carry a halo of good feeling and desire
to make everybody contented about with her wherever she goes,--an
atmosphere of grace, mercy, and peace, of at least six feet radius,
which wraps every human being upon whom she voluntarily bestows her
presence, and so flatters him with the comfortable thought that she
is rather glad he is alive than otherwise, isn't worth the trouble of
talking to, _as a woman_; she may do well enough to hold discussions

--I don't think the Model exactly liked this. She said,--a little
spitefully, I thought,--that a sensible man might stand a little praise,
but would of course soon get sick of it, if he were in the habit of
getting much.

Oh, yes,--I replied,--just as men get sick of tobacco. It is notorious
how apt they are to get tired of that vegetable.

--That's so!--said the young fellow John.--I've got tired of my cigars
and burnt 'em all up.

I am heartily glad to hear it,--said the Model.--I wish they were all
disposed of in the same way.

So do I,--said the young fellow John.

Can't you get your friends to unite with you in committing those odious
instruments of debauchery to the flames in which you have consumed your

I wish I could,--said the young fellow John.

It would be a noble sacrifice,--said the Model,--and every American
woman would be grateful to you. Let us burn them all in a heap out in
the yard.

That a'n't my way,--said the young fellow John;--I burn 'em one 't'
time,--little end in my mouth and big end outside.

--I watched for the effect of this sudden change of programme, when it
should reach the calm stillness of the Model's interior apprehension,
as a boy watches for the splash of a stone which he has dropped into a
well. But before it had fairly reached the water, poor Iris, who had
followed the conversation with a certain interest until it turned this
sharp corner, (for she seems rather to fancy the young fellow John,)
laughed out such a clear, loud laugh, that it started us all off, as the
locust-cry of some full-throated soprano drags a multitudinous chorus
after it. It was plain that some dam or other had broken in the soul of
this young girl, and she was squaring up old scores of laughter, out of
which she had been cheated, with a grand flood of merriment that
swept all before it. So we had a great laugh all round, in which the
Model--who, if she had as many virtues as there are spokes to a wheel,
all compacted with a personality as round and complete as its tire, yet
wanted that one little addition of grace, which seems so small, and
is as important as the linchpin in trundling over the rough ways of
life--had not the tact to join. She seemed to be "stuffy" about it, as
the young fellow John said. In fact, I was afraid the joke would have
cost us both our new lady-boarders. It had no effect, however, except,
perhaps, to hasten the departure of the elder of the two, who could, on
the whole, be spared.

--I had meant to make this note of our conversation a text for a few
axioms on the matter of breeding. But it so happened, that, exactly at
this point of my record, a very distinguished philosopher, whom several
of our boarders and myself go to hear, and whom no doubt many of my
readers follow habitually, treated this matter of _manners_. Up to this
point, if I have been so fortunate as to coincide with him in opinion,
and so unfortunate as to try to express what he has more felicitously
said, nobody is to blame; for what has been given thus far was all
written before the lecture was delivered. But what shall I do now? He
told us it was childish to lay down rules for deportment,--but he could
not help laying down a few.

Thus,--_Nothing so vulgar as to be in a hurry._--True, but hard of
application. People with short legs step quickly, because legs are
pendulums, and swing more times in a minute the shorter they are.
Generally a natural rhythm runs through the whole organization: quick
pulse, fast breathing, hasty speech, rapid trains of thought, excitable
temper. _Stillness_ of person and steadiness of features are signal
marks of good-breeding. Vulgar persons can't sit still, or, at least,
they must work their limbs--or features.

_Talking of one's own ails and grievances._--Bad enough, but not so bad
as insulting the person you talk with by remarking on his ill-looks, or
appearing to notice any of his personal peculiarities.

_Apologizing._--A very desperate habit,--one that is rarely cured.
Apology is only egotism wrong side out. Nine times out of ten, the first
thing a man's companion knows of his shortcoming is from his apology. It
is mighty presumptuous on your part to suppose your small failures of so
much consequence that you must make a talk about them.

Good dressing, quiet ways, low tones of voice, lips that can wait, and
eyes that do not wander,--shyness of personalities, except in certain
intimate communions,--to be _light in hand_ in conversation, to have
ideas, but to be able to make talk, if necessary, without them,--to
belong to the company you are in, and not to yourself,--to have nothing
in your dress or furniture so fine that you cannot afford to spoil it
and get another like it, yet to preserve the harmonies throughout your
person and dwelling: I should say that this was a fair capital of
manners to begin with.

Under bad manners, as under graver faults, lies very commonly an
overestimate of our special individuality, as distinguished from our
generic humanity. It is just here that the very highest society asserts
its superior breeding. Among truly elegant people of the highest _ton_,
you will find more real equality in social intercourse than in a country
village. As nuns drop their birth-names and become Sister Margaret and
Sister Mary, so high-bred people drop their personal distinctions
and become brothers and sisters of conversational charity. Nor are
fashionable people without their heroism. I believe there are men that
have shown as much self-devotion in carrying a lone wall-flower down to
the supper-table as ever saint or martyr in the act that has canonized
his name. There are Florence Nightingales of the ballroom, whom nothing
can hold back from their errands of mercy. They find out the red-handed,
gloveless undergraduate of bucolic antecedents, as he squirms in his
corner, and distil their soft words upon him like dew upon the green
herb. They reach even the poor relation, whose dreary apparition saddens
the perfumed atmosphere of the sumptuous drawing-room. I have known one
of these angels ask, _of her own accord_, that a desolate middle-aged
man, whom nobody seemed to know, should be presented to her by the
hostess. He wore no shirt-collar,--he had on black gloves,--and was
flourishing a red bandanna handkerchief! Match me this, ye proud
children of poverty, who boast of your paltry sacrifices for each other!
Virtue in humble life! What is that to the glorious self-renunciation
of a martyr in pearls and diamonds? As I saw this noble woman bending
gracefully before the social mendicant,--the white billows of her beauty
heaving under the foam of the traitorous laces that half revealed
them,--I should have wept with sympathetic emotion, but that tears,
except as a private demonstration, are an ill-disguised expression of
self-consciousness and vanity, which is inadmissible in good society.

I have sometimes thought, with a pang, of the position in which
political chance or contrivance might hereafter place some one of
our fellow-citizens. It has happened hitherto, so far as my limited
knowledge goes, that the President of the United States has always been
what might be called in general terms a gentleman. But what if at some
future time the choice of the people should fall upon one on whom that
lofty title could not, by any stretch of charity, be bestowed? This may
happen,--how soon the future only knows. Think of this miserable man
of coming political possibilities,--an unpresentable boor, sucked into
office by one of those eddies in the flow of popular sentiment which
carry straws and chips into the public harbor, while the prostrate
trunks of the monarchs of the forest hurry down on the senseless stream
to the gulf of political oblivion! Think of him, I say, and of the
concentrated gaze of good society through its thousand eyes, all
confluent, as it were, in one great burning-glass of ice that shrivels
its wretched object in fiery torture, itself cold as the glacier of an
unsunned cavern! No,--there will be angels of good-breeding then as now,
to shield the victim of free institutions from himself and from his
torturers. I can fancy a lovely woman playfully withdrawing the knife
which he would abuse by making it an instrument for the conveyance
of food,--or, failing in this kind artifice, sacrificing herself by
imitating his use of that implement; how much harder than to plunge it
into her bosom, like Lucretia! I can see her studying his provincial
dialect until she becomes the Champollion of New England or Western or
Southern barbarisms. She has learned that _häow_ means _what_; that
_thinkin'_ is the same thing as _thinking_; or she has found out the
meaning of that extraordinary monosyllable, which no single-tongued
phonographer can make legible, prevailing on the banks of the Hudson and
at its embouchure, and elsewhere,--what they say when they think they
say _first_, (_fe-eest,--fe_ as in the French _le_),--or that _cheer_
means _chair_,--or that _urritation_ means _irritation_,--and so of
other enormities. Nothing surprises her. The highest breeding, you know,
comes round to the Indian standard,--to take everything coolly,--_nil
admirari_,--if you happen to be learned and like the Roman phrase for
the same thing.

If you like the company of people that stare at you from head to foot to
see if there is a hole in your coat, or if you have not grown a little
older, or if your eyes are not yellow with jaundice, or if your
complexion is not a little faded, and so on, and then convey the fact
to you, in the style in which the Poor Relation addressed the
divinity-student,--go with them as much as you like. I hate the sight
of the wretches. Don't for mercy's sake think I hate _them_; the
distinction is one my friend or I drew long ago. No matter where you
find such people; they are clowns. The rich woman who looks and talks in
this way is not half so much a lady as her Irish servant, whose pretty
"saving your presence," when she has to say something which offends
her natural sense of good manners, has a hint in it of the breeding of
courts, and the blood of old Milesian kings, which very likely runs in
her veins,--thinned by two hundred years of potato, which, being an
underground fruit, tends to drag down the generations that are made
of it to the earth from which it came, and, filling their veins with
starch, turn them into a kind of human vegetable.

I say, if you like such people, go with them. But I am going to make a
practical application of the example at the beginning of this particular
record, which some young people who are going to choose professional
advisers by-and-by may remember and thank me for. If you are making
choice of a physician, be sure you get one, if possible, with a cheerful
and serene countenance. A physician is not--at least, ought not to
be--an executioner; and a sentence of death on his face is as bad as a
warrant for execution signed by the Governor. As a general rule, no man
has a right to tell another by word or look that he is going to die. It
may be necessary in some extreme cases; but as a rule, it is the last
extreme of impertinence which one human being can offer to another. "You
have killed me," said a patient once to a physician who had rashly told
him he was incurable. He ought to have lived six months, but he was dead
in six weeks. If we will only let Nature and the God of Nature alone,
persons will commonly learn their condition as early as they ought to
know it, and not be cheated out of their natural birthright of hope of
recovery, which is intended to accompany sick people as long as life is
comfortable, and is graciously replaced by the hope of heaven, or at
least of rest, when life has become a burden which the bearer is ready
to let fall.

Underbred people tease their sick and dying friends to death. The chance
of a gentleman or lady with a given mortal ailment to live a certain
time is as good again as that of the common sort of coarse people. As
you go down the social scale, you reach a point at length where the
common talk in sick rooms is of churchyards and sepulchres, and a kind
of perpetual vivisection is forever carried on, upon the person of the
miserable sufferer.

And so, in choosing your clergyman, other things being equal, prefer the
one of a wholesome and cheerful habit of mind and body. If you can get
along with people who carry a certificate in their faces that their
goodness is so great as to make them very miserable, your children
cannot. And whatever offends one of these little ones cannot be right in
the eyes of Him who loved them so well.

After all, as _you_ are a gentleman or a lady, you will probably select
gentlemen for your bodily and spiritual advisers, and then all will be

This repetition of the above words,--_gentleman and lady_,--which could
not be conveniently avoided, reminds me how much use is made of them by
those who ought to know what they mean. Thus, at a marriage ceremony,
once, of two very excellent persons who had been at service, instead
of, Do you take this man, etc.? and, Do you take this woman? how do you
think the officiating clergyman put the questions? It was, Do you, MISS
So and So, take this GENTLEMAN? and, Do you, MR. This or That, take
this LADY?! What would any English duchess, ay, or the Queen of England
herself, have thought, if the Archbishop of Canterbury had called her
and her bridegroom anything but plain woman and man at such a time?

I don't doubt the Poor Relation thought it was all very fine, if she
happened to have been in the church; but if the worthy man who uttered
these monstrous words--monstrous in such a connection--had known the
ludicrous surprise, the convulsion of inward disgust and contempt, that
seized upon many of the persons who were present,--had guessed what a
sudden flash of light it threw on the Dutch gilding, the pinchbeck,
the shabby, perking pretension belonging to certain social layers,--so
inherent in their whole mode of being, that the holiest offices of
religion cannot exclude its impertinences,--the good man would have
given his marriage-fee twice over to recall that superb and full-blown
vulgarism. Any persons whom it could please have no better notion of
what the words referred to signify than of the meaning of _apsides_ and

MAN! Sir! WOMAN! Sir! Gentility is a fine thing, not to be undervalued,
as I have been trying to explain; but humanity comes before that.

  "When Adam delved and Eve span,
  Where was then the gentleman?"

The beauty of that plainness of speech and manners which comes from the
finest training is not to be understood by those whose _habitat_ is
below a certain level. Just as the exquisite sea-anemones and all the
graceful ocean-flowers die out at some fathoms below the surface, the
elegances and suavities of life die out one by one as we sink through
the social scale. Fortunately, the virtues are more tenacious of life,
and last pretty well until we get down to the mud of absolute pauperism,
where they do not flourish greatly.

--I had almost forgotten about our boarders. As the Model of all the
Virtues is about to leave us, I find myself wondering what is the reason
we are not all very sorry. Surely we all like good persons. She is a
good person. Therefore we like her.--Only we don't.

This brief syllogism, and its briefer negative, involving the principle
which some English conveyancer borrowed from a French wit and embodied
in the lines by which _Dr. Fell_ is made unamiably immortal,--this
syllogism, I say, is one that most persons have had occasion to
construct and demolish, respecting somebody or other, as I have done for
the Model. "Pious and painefull." Why has that excellent old phrase gone
out of use? Simply because these good _painefull_ or painstaking persons
proved to be such nuisances in the long run, that the word "painefull"
came, before people thought of it, to mean _paingiving_ instead of

--So, the old fellah's off to-morrah,--said the young man John.

Old fellow?--said I,--whom do you mean?

Why, the chap that came with our little beauty,--the old boy in

--Now that means something,--said I to myself.--These rough young
rascals very often hit the nail on the head, if they do strike with
their eyes shut. A real woman does a great many things without knowing
why she does them; but these pattern machines mix up their intellects
with everything they do, just like men. They can't help it, no doubt;
but we can't help getting sick of them, either. Intellect is to a
woman's nature what her watch-spring skirt is to her dress; it ought
to underlie her silks and embroideries, but not to show itself too
staringly on the outside.--You don't know, perhaps, but I will tell
you;--the brain is the palest of all the internal organs, and the heart
the reddest. Whatever comes from the brain carries the hue of the place
it came from, and whatever comes from the heart carries the heat and
color of its birthplace.

The young man John did not hear my _soliloque_, of course, but sent
up one more bubble from our sinking conversation, in the form of a
statement, that she was at liberty to go to a personage who receives no
visits, as is commonly supposed, from virtuous people.

Why, I ask again, (of my reader,) should a person who never did anybody
any wrong, but, on the contrary, is an estimable and intelligent, nay,
a particularly enlightened and exemplary member of society, fail to
inspire interest, love, and devotion? Because of the _reversed current_
in the flow of thought and emotion. The red heart sends all its
instincts up to the white brain to be analyzed, chilled, blanched, and
so become pure reason, which is just exactly what we do not want of
woman as woman. The current should run the other way. The nice, calm,
cold thought, which in women shapes itself so rapidly that they hardly
know it as thought, should always travel to the lips _viâ_ the heart. It
does so in those women whom all love and admire. It travels the wrong
way in the Model. That is the reason why the Little Gentleman said, "I
hate her, I hate her." That is the reason why the young man John called
her the "old fellah," and banished her to the company of the great
Unpresentable. That is the reason why I, the Professor, am picking her
to pieces with scalpel and forceps. That is the reason why the young
girl whom she has befriended repays her kindness with gratitude and
respect, rather than with the devotion and passionate fondness which lie
sleeping beneath the calmness of her amber eyes. I can see her, as she
sits between this estimable and most correct of personages and the
misshapen, crotchety, often violent and explosive little man on the
other side of her, leaning and swaying towards him as she speaks, and
looking into his sad eyes as if she found some fountain in them at which
her soul could quiet its thirst.

Women like the Model are a natural product of a chilly climate and high
culture. It is not

  "The frolic wind that breathes the spring,
  Zephyr with Aurora playing,"

when the two meet

  ----"on beds of violets blue,
  And fresh-blown roses washed in dew,"

that claim such women as their offspring. It is rather the east wind, as
it blows out of the fogs of Newfoundland, and clasps a clear-eyed wintry
noon on the chill bridal couch of a New England ice-quarry.--Don't throw
up your cap now, and hurrah as if this were giving up everything, and
turning against the best growth of our latitudes,--the daughters of the
soil. The brain-women never interest us like the heart-women; white
roses please less than red. But our Northern seasons have a narrow green
streak of spring, as well as a broad white zone of winter,--they have
a glowing band of summer and a golden stripe of autumn in their
many-colored wardrobe; and women are born to us that wear all these hues
of earth and heaven in their souls. Our ice-eyed brain-women are really
admirable, if we only ask of them just what they can give, and no more.
Only compare them, talking or writing, with one of those babbling,
chattering dolls, of warmer latitudes, who do not know enough even to
keep out of print, and who are interesting to us only as specimens of
_arrest of development_ for our psychological cabinets.

Good-bye, Model of all the Virtues! We can spare you now. A little clear
perfection, undiluted with human weakness, goes a great way. Go! be
useful, be honorable and honored, be just, be charitable, talk pure
reason, and help to disenchant the world by the light of an achromatic
understanding. Good-bye! Where is my Béranger? I must read "Frétillon."

Fair play for all. But don't claim incompatible qualities for anybody.
Justice is a very rare virtue in our community. Everything that public
sentiment cares about is put into a Papin's digester, and boiled under
high pressure till all is turned into one homogeneous pulp, and the very
bones give up their jelly. What are all the strongest epithets of our
dictionary to us now? The critics and politicians, and especially
the philanthropists, have chewed them, till they are mere wads of
syllable-fibre, without a suggestion of their old pungency and power.

Justice! A good man respects the rights even of brute matter and
arbitrary symbols. If he writes the same word twice in succession, by
accident, he always erases the one that stands _second_; has not the
first-comer the prior right? This act of abstract justice, which I trust
many of my readers, like myself, have often performed, is a curious
anti-illustration, by the way, of the absolute wickedness of human
dispositions. Why doesn't a man always strike out the _first_ of the two
words, to gratify his diabolical love of _in_justice?

So, I say, we owe a genuine, substantial tribute of respect to these
filtered intellects which have left their womanhood on the strainer.
They are so clear that it is a pleasure at times to look at the world of
thought through them. But the rose and purple tints of richer natures
they cannot give us, and it is not just to them to ask it.

Fashionable society gets at these rich natures very often in a way one
would hardly at first think of. It loves vitality above all things,
sometimes disguised by affected languor, always well kept under by the
laws of good-breeding,--but still it loves abundant life, opulent and
showy organizations,--the spherical rather than the plane trigonometry
of female architecture,--plenty of red blood, flashing eyes, tropical
voices, and forms that bear the splendors of dress without growing pale
beneath their lustre. Among these you will find the most delicious women
you will ever meet,--women whom dress and flattery and the round of city
gayeties cannot spoil,--talking with whom, you forget their diamonds
and laces,--and around whom all the nice details of elegance, which
the cold-blooded beauty next them is scanning so nicely, blend in one
harmonious whole, too perfect to be disturbed by the petulant sparkle of
a jewel, or the yellow glare of a bangle, or the gay toss of a feather.

There are many things that I, personally, love better than fashion or
wealth. Not to speak of those highest objects of our love and loyalty,
I think I love ease and independence better than the golden slavery of
perpetual _matinées_ and _soirées_, or the pleasures of accumulation.

But fashion and wealth are two very solemn realities, which the
frivolous class of moralists have talked a great deal of silly stuff
about. Fashion is only the attempt to realize Art in living forms and
social intercourse. What business has a man who knows nothing about the
beautiful, and cannot pronounce the word _view_, to talk about fashion
to a set of people who, if one of the quality left a card at their
doors, would contrive to keep it on the very top of their heap of the
names of their two-story acquaintances, till it was as yellow as the
Codex Vaticanus?

Wealth, too,--what an endless repetition of the same foolish
trivialities about it! Take the single fact of its alleged uncertain
tenure and transitory character. In old times, when men were all the
time fighting and robbing each other,--in those tropical countries where
the Sabeans and the Chaldeans stole all a man's cattle and camels, and
there were frightful tornadoes and rains of fire from heaven, it was
true enough that riches took wings to themselves not unfrequently in a
very unexpected way. But, with common prudence in investments, it is not
so now. In fact, there is nothing earthly that lasts so well, on the
whole, as money. A man's learning dies with him; even his virtues fade
out of remembrance; but the dividends on the stocks he bequeathes to his
children live and keep his memory green.

I do not think there is much courage or originality in giving utterance
to truths that everybody knows, but which get overlaid by conventional
trumpery. The only distinction which it is necessary to point out to
feeble-minded folk is this: that, in asserting the breadth and depth of
that significance which gives to fashion and fortune their tremendous
power, we do not indorse the extravagances which often disgrace the one,
nor the meanness which often degrades the other.

A remark which seems to contradict a universally current opinion is not
generally to be taken "neat," but watered with the ideas of common-sense
and commonplace people. So, if any of my young friends should be tempted
to waste their substance on white kids and "all-rounds," or to insist
on becoming millionnaires at once, by anything I have said, I will give
them references to some of the class referred to, well known to the
public as literary diluents, who will weaken any truth so that there is
not an old woman in the land who cannot take it with perfect impunity.

I am afraid some of the blessed saints in diamonds will think I mean to
flatter them. I hope not;--if I do, set it down as a weakness. But there
is so much foolish talk about wealth and fashion, (which, of course,
draw a good many heartless and essentially vulgar people into the glare
of their candelabra, but which have a real respectability and meaning,
if we will only look at them stereoscopically, with both eyes instead of
one,) that I thought it a duty to speak a few words for them. Why can't
somebody give us a list of things that everybody thinks and nobody says,
and another list of things that everybody says and nobody thinks?

Lest my parish should suppose we have forgotten graver matters in these
lesser topics, I beg them to drop these trifles and read the following
lesson for the day.


       Behold the rocky wall
       That down its sloping sides
  Pours the swift rain-drops, blending, as they fall,
       In rushing river-tides!

       Yon stream, whose sources run
       Turned by a pebble's edge,
  Is Athabasca, rolling toward the sun
       Through the cleft mountain-ledge.

       The slender rill had strayed,
       But for the slanting stone,
  To evening's ocean, with the tangled braid
       Of foam-flecked Oregon.

       So from the heights of Will
       Life's parting stream descends,
  And, as a moment turns its slender rill,
       Each widening torrent bends,--

       From the same cradle's side,
       From the same mother's knee,--
  One to long darkness and the frozen tide,
       One to the Peaceful Sea!

       *       *       *       *       *


_Sixty Years' Gleanings from Life's Harvest._ A Genuine Autobiography.
By JOHN BROWN, Proprietor of the University Billiard-Rooms, Cambridge.
New York: Appleton & Company. 1859.

We are all familiar with that John Brown whom the minstrel has
immortalized as being the possessor of a diminutive youth of the
aboriginal American race, who, in the course of the ditty, is multiplied
from "one little Injun" into "ten little Injuns," and who, in a
succeeding stanza, by an ingenious amphisbaenic process, is again
reduced to the singular number. As far as we are aware, the author of
this "genuine autobiography" claims no relationship with the famous
owner of tender redskins. The multiplicity of adventures of which he
has been the hero demands for him, however, the same notice that a
multiplicity of "Injuns" has insured to his illustrious namesake.

We have always had a pet theory, that a plain and minute narrative
of any ordinary man's life, stated with simplicity and without any
reference to dramatic effect or the elegances of composition, would
possess an immediate interest for the public. We cannot know too much
about men. No man's life is so uneventful as to be incapable of amusing
and instructing. The same event is never the same to more than one
person; no two see it from the same point of view. And as we want to
know more of men than of incidents, every one's record of trifles
is useful. A book written by a Cornish miner, whose life passes in
subterranean monotony, sparing none of the petty and ever-recurring
details that make up his routined existence, would, if set down in the
baldest language, be a valuable contribution to literature. But we
rarely, if ever, find a man sufficiently free from vanity and the demon
of composition to tell us plainly what has happened to him. The moment
the working-man gets a pen into his hand, he is, as it were, possessed.
He is no longer himself. He has not the courage to come out naked
and show himself in all his grime and strength. The instant that he
conceives the idea of putting himself on paper he borrows somebody
else's clothes, and, instead of a free, manly figure, we have a wretched
scarecrow in a coat too small or too large for him,--generally the
latter. For it is a curious fact, that the more uneducated a man
is,--in which condition his ordinary language must of necessity be
proportionately idiomatic,--the greater pains he takes, when he has
formed the resolution of composing, to be splendid and expansive in his
style. He racks his brains until he rummages out imperfect memories of
the turgid paragraphs of cheap newspapers and novels which he has
some time or other read, and forthwith struts off with all the finest
feathers in the dictionary rustling about him.

Mr. John Brown, the hero of the Autobiography before us, is no exception
to this unhappy rule. The son of a butcher, he became in boyhood a
sheep-driver, was then apprenticed to a shoemaker, got into trouble and
a prison, enlisted as a soldier, deserted, turned strolling player,
shipped on board a man-of-war, tried again to desert, was flogged at the
gratings, beheld Napoleon on board the Bellerophon, was discharged from
the navy, consorted with thieves and prize-fighters, appeared on the
London stage with success, married and starved, became the pet of the
Cambridge students, whom he assisted in amateur theatricals, started a
stage-coach line to London and failed, set up a billiard-room, got into
innumerable street-fights and always came off conqueror, was elected
town-councillor of Cambridge and made a fortune, which it is to be hoped
he is now enjoying.

Here was material for a book. From the glimpses of his _personnel_ which
we occasionally catch through all Mr. Brown's splendid writing, we
should say that he was a man of a strong, hearty nature, full of
indomitable energy, and possessed with a truly Saxon predilection for
the use of his fists. The number of physical contests in which he was
chief actor renders his volume almost epical in character. Invulnerable
as Achilles and quarrelsome as Hector, he strides over the bodies of
innumerable foes. If some of his friends, the Seniors, at Cambridge,
would only put his adventures into Greek verse, he might descend to
posterity in sounding hexameters with the sons of Telamon and Thetis.

The plain narrative portions of Mr. Brown's volume possess much real
interest. His adventures with the strolling players, the insight he
gives us into the life of a journeyman shoemaker, and his reminiscences
of his friends, the Jew old-clothes-men, the pick-pockets, and the
prize-fighters, are so many steaks cut warm from the living world, and
are good, substantial food for thought. But he seldom forgets himself
long, and is natural only by fits and starts. After he has been striding
along for a short time with a free, manly gait, he suddenly bethinks
himself that he is writing a book. The malign influences of Cambridge
University begin to work upon him. The loose stride is contracted; the
swing of the vigorous shoulders is restrained, and, instead of an honest
fellow tramping sturdily after his own fashion through the paths of
literature, we are treated to an imitation of Dr. Johnson, done by an
illiterate butcher's son. We are afraid that the Cantabs have been at
the bottom of John Brown's fine writing. How valuable, for instance, are
the following philosophical reflections upon Napoleon, which John Brown
makes when he beholds the dethroned Emperor standing sadly upon the poop
of the Bellerophon!

"Here, then," remarks John, "had ended his dream of universal conquest;
here he lay prostrate at the foot of the altar," (we are informed a few
lines before this that he had taken his stand on the poop,) "on which he
sacrificed, not hecatombs, but pyramids, of human victims." (Beautiful
antithesis!) "As his ambition was boundless, posterity will not weep at
his fall. But that he insinuated himself into the hearts of a generous
people is too true; they worshipped him as a demi-god, until," etc.
Farther on, we learn the startling intelligence, that "for a time his
adopted country was enriched by the spoils and plunder of other lands."
(Did Alison know this?) "He formed the bulk of the population into an
organized banditti, and led them forth in martial pomp to do the unholy
work of bloodshed and robbery.... All the independent states of Europe
leagued together to put down this infamous system of national plunder."
(Russia among the rest of the independent states, we suppose.)... "Had
he been desirous of establishing just principles on earth, and crushing
despotism, the sympathies of the entire human race would have been
enlisted on his side." Certainly, John. Two and two make four, and
things that are equal to the same are equal to each other.

After having in a street-fight pommelled an unhappy Cambridge student
into jelly, and reduced him to a state which he picturesquely describes
as resembling that of "a dog in a coal-box," he picks him up and
philosophically informs him that "all the different styles of fence were
invented and established for man's protection, not for his destruction.
Besides," he adds, with much profundity, "the laws thereto appertaining
are based on certain strict principles of honor, which you have
unquestionably violated in this case. Now, take my advice, never again
engage in fight without having some just cause of quarrel. Thus, at
least, you will always come off with credit, if not with victory." And
having delivered himself of this stupendous moral lesson, Dr. Samuel
Johnson Mendoza John Brown puts on his hat (he surely ought to have
had a full-bottomed wig under it) and walks off, leaving his opponent
doubtless more like a dog in a coal-box than ever. He sees Dr.
Abernethy, and rises into this inspired strain: "To me, who have ever
held genius and talent in veneration, as being

  "'Olympus-high above all earthly things,'

the sight of this plain, unostentatious man afforded more pleasurable
feelings than could all the gilded pomp beneath the sun." One can fancy,
if John had communicated this reflection to the Doctor, what would have
been the reply of that suave practitioner. He goes to low dance-houses,
and the interesting result of his reflections on what he beheld there
is, "that vice, however gilded over, is still a hideous monster; in
which conviction, I resigned myself to that power that 'must delight in
virtue.'" When he speaks of his billiard-pupils, he loftily denominates
them "hundreds of the best gentlemen-players scattered over the earth's
surface," from which we draw the pleasing inference that none of John
Brown's scholars are addicted to subterranean billiards.

In spite of these rags of old college-gowns, in which John so funnily
arrays himself on occasions, his book is worth reading. If it has not
the muscular, unaffected morality of his namesake's unsurpassable
"School-Days at Rugby," it is at least the production of an honest,
hearty Englishman, and teaches an excellent lesson on the value of pluck
and perseverance.

_Colton's Illustrated Cabinet Atlas and Descriptive Geography._ Maps by
G.W. COLTON. Text by R.S. FISHER. New YORK: J.H. Colton & Co. 4to. pp.

This work meets an acknowledged want; it combines in one convenient
volume most of the desirable features of the larger atlases, being full
enough in detail for all ordinary purposes, without being cumbersome and
costly. It is prefaced by a clear and well-digested statement of the
laws of Physical Geography, "based," as the publishers say, "upon the
excellent treatise on the same subject found in the Atlas of Milner and
Petermann, recently published in London." The maps are one hundred and
sixteen in number, admirably engraved, and, what especially enhances
their value, they are draughted on easily-convertible scales,--one inch
always representing ten, twenty-five, fifty, one hundred, or other
number of miles readily comparable. They include the results of the
latest explorations of travellers, and the newest settlements made by
the English and Americans.

The descriptions are full and accurate, and the statistics of
population, trade, public and private institutions, etc., are convenient
for reference. This department is illustrated by over six hundred

This Atlas may, therefore, fairly claim rank as a Cyclopaedia of
Geography, and for the household and school it is one of the most useful
publications of our time. The attention now everywhere excited by
proposed or impending changes in the boundary-lines of European States,
by the inroads of Western civilization in the East, by the settlement of
the Pacific Islands, and by the growth of empire on the western coast of
our own country, renders the publication of a compendious work like this
very timely.

_Poems._ By OWEN MEREDITH. The Wanderer and Clytemnestra. Boston:
Ticknor & Fields. 18mo.

The author of these poems is Robert Bulwer Lytton, the son of the
eminent novelist. Though still very young, he has reached the honor of
being arrayed in Ticknor and Fields's "blue and gold," the paradisiacal
condition of contemporary poets; and his works occupy, in words, though
not in matter, as much space as Tennyson's. The volume includes all the
poems which Lytton has published up to the present time. The general
characteristics of his Muse are fluency, fancy, melody, and sensibility.
The diligent reader will detect, throughout the volume, the traces of
the author's sympathy with other poets, especially Tennyson, and,
amid all the opulence of expression and intensity of feeling, will be
sensible of the lack of decided original genius and character. There is
evidence of intellect and imagination, but they are at present tossed
somewhat wildly about in a tumult of sensations and passions, and have
not yet mastered their instruments. But the poems, as they are the
product of a young man, so they possess all the attractions which allure
young readers. It would not be surprising, if they obtained a popularity
equal to those of Alexander Smith; for they give even more musical
utterance to the loves, hopes, exultations, regrets, and despairs of
youth, and indicate the same hot blood. They are also characterized by
similar vagueness of thought and vividness of fancy, in those passages
where sensibility turns theorist and philosophizes on its gratified or
battled sensations,--while they generally evince wider culture, larger
superficial experience of life, a more controlling sense of the
beautiful, and an equal facility of self-abandonment to the passion of
the moment.

Leaving out those poems which are repetitions or imitations, a thin
volume might be made containing some striking examples of original
perception and original experience. Among these the charming little
piece entitled "Madame La Marquise" would hold a prominent place. After
making, however, all deductions from the pretensions of the volume, it
may be said, that the father, at the same age, did not indicate so much
talent as the son.

_Symbols of the Capital; or Civilization in New York._ By A.D. MAYO.

This is a clear and forcibly written exposition of the tendencies of
American society, as surveyed from the point of view of an earnest,
practical, and dispassionate reformer. The essays on Town and Country
Life, those on Education, Art, and Religion, the Forces of Free Labor,
and the Gold Dollar, exhibit equal independence of thought and extent
of information. In the essay on the Position of Woman in America, a
difficult theme is discussed with candor and sagacity. We have rarely
seen a volume to which the conscientious adversaries of the reforms of
the day could go for a more lucid statement of the opinions they oppose;
and it is admirably calculated to effect the purpose the author had in
view, namely, "to aid the young men and women of our land in their
attempt to realize a character that shall justify our professions of
republicanism, and to establish a civilization which, in becoming
national, shall illustrate every principle of a pure Christianity."

_The Avenger, a Narrative; and other Papers._ By THOMAS DE QUINCEY,
Author of "Confessions of an Opium-Eater," etc. Boston: Ticknor &
Fields. 16mo.

This is the twenty-first volume of De Quincey's miscellaneous writings,
collected by the indefatigable American editor, Mr. James T. Fields.
It contains "The Avenger," a powerful story of wrong and revenge;
"Additions to the Confessions of an Opium-Eater"; "Supplementary Note
on the Essenes," in which the theory of the original paper is supported
against objections by some new arguments; a long paper on "China,"
published in 1857, and full of information in regard to that empire; and
"Traditions of the Rabbins," one of the most exquisite papers in the
list of the author's writings.

_The Life of George Herbert. _By GEORGE L. DUYCKINCK. New York: 1858.
pp. 197.

We have too long neglected to do our share in bringing this delightful
little book to the notice of the lovers of holy George Herbert,
among whom we may safely reckon a large number of the readers of the
"Atlantic." It is based on the life by Izaak Walton, but contains much
new matter, either out of Walton's reach or beyond the range of his
sympathy. Notices are given of Nicholas Ferrar and other friends
of Herbert. There is a very agreeable sketch of Bemerton and its
neighborhood, as it now is, and the neat illustrations are of the kind
that really illustrate. The Brothers Duyckinck are well known for their
unpretentious and valuable labors in the cause of good letters and
American literary history, and this is precisely such a book as we
should expect from the taste, scholarship, and purity of mind which
distinguish both of them. It is much the best account of Herbert with
which we are acquainted.

_Lectures on Metaphysics._ By SIR WILLIAM HAMILTON, BART., Professor of
Logic and Metaphysics in the University of Edinburgh. Edited by the
Rev. Henry Longueville Mansel, B.D., Oxford, and John Veitch, M.A.,
Edinburgh. Boston: Gould & Lincoln. 8vo.

Few persons, with any pretensions to a knowledge of the metaphysicians
of the century, are unacquainted with Sir William Hamilton. His articles
in the "Edinburgh Review" on Cousin and Dr. Brown, and his Dissertations
on Reid, are the most important contributions to philosophy made in
Great Britain for many years. The present volume contains his Course
of Lectures, forty-six in number, which he delivered as Professor
of Metaphysics; and being intended for young students, they are, as
compared with his other works, more comprehensible without being less
comprehensive. The most conclusive proof of the excellence of these
Lectures is to be found in their influence on the successive classes of
students before whom they were pronounced. The universal testimony of
the young men who were fortunate enough to listen to Hamilton has been,
that his teaching not only inspired them with an enthusiasm for the
science, and gave them clear ideas and accurate information, but
directly aided them in the discipline of their minds. Some of his
students became, later in life, champions of his system; others became
its opponents; but opponents as well as champions warmly professed their
obligations to their instructor, and dated their interest in philosophy
from the period when they were brought by these Lectures within the
contagious sphere of his powerful intellect. So numerous were these
testimonials, that they gradually roused public curiosity to see
and read what was so effective as spoken. That curiosity has now an
opportunity of being gratified, and we do not doubt that these Lectures
will have a greater popularity than usually attends philosophical
publications. The American publishers deserve thanks for the cheap,
compact, and elegant form of their reprint.

We have no space to present here an exposition of Hamilton's system, or
to discuss any of its leading principles. We can merely allude to some
characteristics of his mode of thinking and writing which make his
Lectures of especial value to those who propose to begin the study of
metaphysics, or whose knowledge of the science is superficial. Hamilton
has the immense advantage of being a scholar in that large sense which
implies the exercise, not merely of attention and memory, but of every
faculty of the mind, in the acquisition and arrangement of knowledge.
His erudition is great, but it is also critical and interpretative. He
knows intimately every philosophical writer from the dawn of speculation
to the last German thinker, including the somewhat neglected Schoolmen
of the Middle Ages; and in this volume, every important question that
arises is historically as well as analytically treated, and the names
are given of the thinkers on both sides. In the course of one or two
sentences, he often places the reader in a position to view a principle,
not only in itself, but in relation to the controversies which have
raged round it for two thousand years. Hamilton's erudition is
also displayed in the quotations with which his pages are
sprinkled,--fragrant sentences, which came originally from the
imagination or character of the writers he quotes, and which relieve his
own abstract propositions and reasonings with concrete beauty or truth.
Most of these quotations will be novel even to advanced students.

Hamilton is also admirable in statement. Confusion, vacillation,
obscurity, uncertainty, are as foreign to his style as to his mind. He
is almost rigid in his precision. Every word has its meaning, and
every idea its stern, sure, decisive statement. His masterly powers
of analysis, of reasoning, of generalization, are always adequately
exhibited by a corresponding mastery of expression. The study of such a
volume as the present is itself an education in statement and logic; and
that it will be studied by thousands, in the colleges and out of the
colleges of the country, we cannot but hope.

_Allibone's Dictionary of Authors._ Philadelphia: Childs & Peterson,
1858. Vol. I. pp. 1005.

Leigh Hunt, in one of his Essays, speaks of the wishful thrill with
which, in looking over an index, he wondered if ever his name would
appear under the letter H in the reversed order (Hunt, Leigh) peculiar
to that useful and too much neglected field of literary achievement. In
Mr. Allibone's Dictionary he would see his wish more than satisfied; for
if he turn up "Hunt, Leigh," he will find a reference to "Hunt, James
Henry Leigh," and under that head a list of his works, more complete,
perhaps, than he himself could easily have drawn up.

In glancing along the leaves of a collection like this, one's heart is
touched with something of the same vague pathos that dims the eye in a
graveyard. What a necrology of notability! How many a controversialist
who made a great stir in his day, how many a once rising genius, how
many a withering satirist, lies here shrunk all away to the tombstone
immortality of a name and date! Think of the aspirations, the dreams,
the hopes, the toil, the confidence (of himself and wife) in an
impartial and generous posterity;--and then read "Smith J.(ohn?)
1713-1784(?). The Vision of Immortality, an Epic Poem in Twelve Books,
1740, 4to. _See Lowndes._" The time of his own death less certain than
that of his poem, which we may fix pretty safely in 1740,--and the only
posterity that took any interest in him the indefatigable Lowndes! Well,
even a bibliographic indemnity for contemporary neglect, to have so
much as your title-page read after it is a century old, and to enjoy a
posthumous public of one, is better than nothing.

A volume like Mr. Allibone's--so largely a hospital for incurable
forgottenhoods--is better than any course of philosophy to the young
author. Let him reckon how many of the ten thousand or so names here
recorded he has ever heard of before, let him make this myriad the
denominator of a fraction to which the dozen perennial fames shall
be the numerator, and he will find that his dividend of a chance at
escaping speedy extinction is not worth making himself unhappy about.
Should some statistician make such a book the basis for constructing the
tables of a fame-insurance company, the rates at which alone policies
could be safely issued would put them beyond the reach of all except
those who did not need them. After all, perhaps, the next best thing to
being famous or infamous is to be utterly forgotten; for that, at least,
is to accomplish a decisive result by living. To hang on the perilous
edge of immortality by the nails, liable at any moment to drop into the
waters of Oblivion, is at best a questionable beatitude.

But if a dictionary of this kind give rise to some melancholy
reflections, it is not without suggestions of a more soothing character.
We are reminded by it of the tender-heartedness of Chaucer, who, in the
"House of Fame," after speaking of Orpheus and Arion, (Mr. Tyrwhitt
calls him Orion,) and Cheiron and Glasgerion, has a kind word for the
lesser minstrels that play on pipes made of straw,--

    "Such as have the little herd-groomes
    That keepen beastes in the broomes."

This is the true Valhalla of Mediocrity, the _libra d'oro_ of the
_onymi-anonymi_, of the never-named authors who exist only in
name,--Parson Adams would be here, had he found a printer for his
sermons, Mr. Primrose for his tracts on Monogamy,--and not merely
such _nominum umbroe_ of the past, but that still stranger class of
ancient-moderns, preterite-presents, dead (and something more) as
authors, but still to be met with in the flesh as solid men and
brethren,--privileged, alas, to outstay cockcrow when they drop in of an
evening to give you their views on the aims and tendencies of periodical
literature. Will it be nothing, if we should be untimely snatched
away from our present sphere of usefulness, to those shadowy [Greek:
pleiones] who lived too soon to enjoy their monthly dip in the
ATLANTIC,--will it be nothing, we say, that our orphaned Papyrorcetes,
junior, will be able to read the name of his lamented parent on the
nine-hundredth page of Allibone,--occupying, at least, an entire line,
and therefore (as we gather from a hasty calculation) sure forever of
1/360,000th of the attention of whoever reads the book through? This
is a handy and inexpensive substitute for the _imagines_ of the Roman
nobles; for those were inconvenient to pack on a change of lodgings,
liable to melt in warm weather,--even the elder Brutus himself might
soften in August,--and not readily salable, unless to a _novus homo_ who
wished to buy a set of ancestors ready-made, as some of our enthusiastic
genealogists are said to order a family-tree from the heraldic
nursery-man skilled to graft a slip of Scroggins on a stock of De Vere
or Montmorenci. Contemporary glory is comparatively dear; it is sold by
the column,--for columns have got over their Horatian antipathies; but
the bibliographer will thank you for the name of any man that has ever
printed a book, nay, his gratitude will glow in exact proportion to the
obscurity of the author, and one may thus confer perpetuity at
least (which is a kind of Tithonus-immortality) upon some respected
progenitor, or assure it to himself, with little trouble and at the cost
of a postage-stamp.

The benignity of Providence is nowhere more strongly marked than in its
compensations; and what can be more beautiful than the arrangement by
which the same harmless disinterestedness of matter and style that once
made an author the favorite of trunk-makers and grocers should, by
thus leading to the quiet absorption of his works, make them sure of
commemoration by Brunet or Lowndes and of commanding famine-prices under
the hammer? Fame, like electricity, is thus positive and negative; and
if a writer must be Somebody to make himself of permanent interest to
the world at large, he must not less be Nobody--like Junius--to have his
namelessness embalmed by Mons. Guérard. Take comfort, therefore, all ye
who either make paper invaluable or worthless by the addition of your
autograph! for your dice (as the Abbé Galiani said of Nature's) are
always loaded, and you may make your book the heir of Memory in two
ways,--by contriving to get the fire of genius into it, or to get it
into the fire by the hands of the hangman. Milton's "Areopagitica" is an
example of one method, and the "Philostratus" of Blount (who pillaged
the "Areopagitica") of the other. And yet, again, how perverse is human
nature! how more perverse is literary taste! There is a large class
of men madly desirous to read cuneiform and runic inscriptions simply
because of their unreadableness, adding to our compulsory stock of
knowledge about the royal Smiths and Joneses of to-day much conjectural
and conflicting information concerning their royal prototypes of an
antiquity unknown, and, as we fondly hoped, unknowable. Were there only
a compensatory arrangement for this also in another class who should be
driven by a like irresistible instinct to unreadable books, the heart
of the political economist would be gladdened at seeing the substantial
rewards of authorship so much more equally distributed by means of a
demand adapted to the always abundant supply.

We should like Mr. Allibone's book better, if it were more exclusively a
dictionary of names, facts, editions, and dates, and allowed less
space (or none at all) to opinions. The contemporaneous judgments of
individual critics upon writers of original power are commonly of little
value, and are absolutely worthless when an author's fame has struck its
roots down into the kindly soil of national or European appreciation,
when his work has won that "perfect witness of all-judging Jove" which
cannot be begged or bought. When the criticism is anonymous, (as are
many of those cited by Mr. Allibone,) it has not even the reflected
interest, as a measure of the critic himself, which we find sometimes
in the incapacity of a strong nature to appreciate a great one, as in
Johnson's opinion of Milton, for instance,--or of a delicate mind to
comprehend an imaginative one, as in Addison's of Bunyan. In the article
"Carlyle," for example, (by the way, John A. Carlyle is omitted,) we
should have been better content, if Mr. Allibone (instead of letting us
know what "Blackwood's Magazine" thinks of a writer who, whatever his
faults of style, has probably influenced the thought of his generation
more than any other man) had given us the date of the first publication
of "Cromwell's Letters and Speeches," and had mentioned that the
original collection of the "Miscellanies" was made in America. (This
last we have since found alluded to under "De Quincey.") Sometimes the
editor himself intrudes remarks which are quite out of keeping with the
character of such a work. We will give an instance which caught our
eye in turning over the leaves. After giving the title of "The Rare
Trauailes" of Job Hortop, Mr. Allibone adds, "We trust that in the
home-relation of his 'Rare Trauails among wilde and sauage people' the
_raconteur_ did not yield to the temptation of 'pulling the long bow,'
for the purpose of increasing the amazement of his wondering auditors."
Now if Mr. Allibone knew nothing about Hortop, he should have said
nothing. If the edition of 1591 was inaccessible to him, he could have
found out what kind of a story-teller our ancient mariner was in the
third volume of Hakluyt. We resent this slur upon Job the more because
he happens to be a favorite of ours, and saw no more wonders than
travellers of that day had the happy gift of seeing. We remember he got
sight of a very fine merman in the neighborhood of the Bermudas; but
then stout Sir John Hawkins was as lucky.

The two criticisms we have made touch, one of them the plan of the work,
and the other its manner. We have one more to make, which, perhaps,
should properly have come under the former of these two heads;--it
is that Mr. Allibone allows a disproportionate space to the smaller
celebrities of the day in comparison with those of the past. In such
an undertaking, the amount of interest which the general public may be
supposed to take in comparatively local notabilities should, it seems to
us, be measured on a scale whose degrees are generations.

Mr. Allibone's good-nature has misled him in some cases to the allowance
of manifest disproportions. Twice as much room, for instance, is allowed
to Mr. Dallas as to Emerson. Mr. Dallas has been Vice-President of the
United States; Emerson is one of the few masters of the English tongue,
and both by teaching and practical example has done more to make the
life of the scholar beautiful, and the career of the man of letters a
reproof to all low aims and an inspiration to all high ones, than any
other man in America.

What we have said has been predicated upon the general impression left
on our minds after dipping into the book here and there almost at
random. But on opening it again, we find so much that is interesting,
even in those articles which are most expansive and gossiping, that we
are almost inclined to draw our pen through what we have written in the
way of objection, and merely express our gratitude to Mr. Allibone for
what he has done. We have been led to speak of what we consider the
defects, or rather the redundancies, of the "Dictionary," because we
believe, that, if less bulky, it would be more certain of the
wide distribution it so highly deserves. It is a shrewd saying of
Vauvenargues, that it is "_un grand signe de médiocrité de louer
toujours modérément_," and we have no desire to expose the "Atlantic" to
a charge so fatal by showing ourselves cold to the uncommon merits of
Mr. Allibone's achievement. The book is rather entitled to be called an
Encyclopaedia than a Dictionary. As the work of a single man, it is one
of the wonders of literary industry. The amount of labor implied in it
is enormous, and its general accuracy, considering the immense number
and variety of particulars, remarkable. A kindly and impartial spirit
makes itself felt everywhere,--by no means an easy or inconsiderable
merit. We have already had occasion several times to test its practical
value by use, and can recommend it from actual experiment. Every man
who ever owned an English book, or ever means to own one, will find
something here to his purpose.

That a volume so comprehensive in its scope and so multitudinous in its
details should be wholly without errors and omissions is impossible; and
we trust that any of our readers who detect such will discharge a part
of the obligation they are under to Mr. Allibone by communicating them
to him for the benefit of a second edition.

1. _Trübner's Bibliographical Guide to American Literature._ London:
TRÜBNER & CO. 1859. pp. cxlix., 554. 8vo.

2. _Index to the Catalogue of a Portion of the Public Library of the
City of Boston._ 1858. pp. 204.

Next to knowledge itself, perhaps the best thing is to know where to
find it. To make an index that shall combine completeness, succinctness,
and clearness,--how much intelligence this demands is proved by the
number of failures. Mr. Trübner's volume contains, 1st, some valuable
bibliographical prolegomena by the editor himself; 2d, an historical
sketch of American literature, which is not very well done by Mr. Moran,
and would have been admirably done by Mr. Duyckinck; 3d, a full and very
interesting account of American libraries by Mr. Edwards; and 4th, a
classed list of books written and published in the United States during
the last forty years, arranged in thirty-one appropriate departments,
with a supplementary thirty-second of _Addenda_. In some instances,--as
in giving tables of the proceedings of learned societies,--the period
embraced is nearly a century. A general alphabetical index completes
the volume. The several heads are, Bibliography, Collections, Theology,
Jurisprudence, Medicine and Surgery, Natural History (in five
subdivisions), Chemistry and Pharmacy, Natural Philosophy, Mathematics
and Astronomy, Philosophy, Education (in three subdivisions), Modern
Languages, Philology, American Antiquities, Indians and Languages,
History (in three subdivisions), Geography, Useful Arts, Military
Science, Naval Science, Rural and Domestic Economy, Politics, Commerce,
Belles Lettres, Fine Arts, Music, Freemasonry, Mormonism, Spiritualism,
Guide Books, Maps and Atlases, Periodicals. This list is enough to show
the great value of the "Guide" to students and collectors. The volume
will serve to give both Americans and Europeans a juster notion of the
range and tendency, as well as amount, of literary activity in the
United States. As the work of a cultivated and intelligent foreigner, it
has all the more claim to our acknowledgment, and also to our indulgence
where we discover omissions or inaccuracies.

The second volume whose title stands at the head of our article would
demand no special notice from us, were it not for the admirable manner
in which it is executed and the judgment evinced in the selection of the
books which it catalogues. The Boston Library may well be congratulated
on having at its head a gentleman so experienced and competent as
Professor Jewett. He has hitherto distinguished himself in a department
of literature in which little notoriety is to be won, his labors
in which, however, are appreciated by the few whose quiet suffrage
outvalues the noisy applause of the moment. His little work on the
"Construction of Library Catalogues" is a truly valuable contribution to
letters, rendering, as it does, the work of classification more easy,
and increasing the chances of our getting good general directories to
the books already in our libraries, without which the number of volumes
we gather is only an increase of incumbrance. It is a great detriment to
sound and exhaustive scholarship, that the books for students to read
should be left to chance; and we owe a great deal more than we are apt
to acknowledge to men who, like Mr. Jewett, enable us to find out the
books that will really help us. Dr. Johnson, to be sure, commends the
habit of "browsing" in libraries; and this will do very well for those
whose memory clinches, like the tentacula of zoöphytes, around every
particle of nourishment that comes within its reach. But the habit tends
rather to make ready talkers than thorough scholars; and he who is left
to his chances in a collection of books grasps like a child in the
"grab-bag" at a fair, and gets, in nine cases out of ten, precisely what
he does not want.

We think that a great mistake is made in the multiplying of libraries
in the same neighborhood, unless for some specialty, such as Natural
History or the like. It is sad to think of the money thus wasted in
duplicates and triplicates. Rivalry in such cases is detrimental rather
than advantageous to the interests of scholarship. Instead of one good
library, we get three poor ones; and so, instead of twenty men of real
learning, we are vexed with a score of sciolists, who are so through
no fault of their own. We hope that the movement now on foot, to give
something like adequacy to the University Library at Cambridge, will
receive the aid it deserves, not only from graduates of the College, but
from all persons interested in the literary advancement of the country.
So there be one really good library in the United States, it matters
little where it is, for students will find it,--and they should at least
be spared the necessity of going abroad in order to master any branch of

A great library is of incalculable benefit to any community. It saves
infinite waste of time to the thinker by enabling him to know what has
already been thought. It is of greater advantage (and that advantage is
of a higher kind) than any seminary of learning, for it supplies the
climate and atmosphere, without which good seed is sown in vain. It is
not merely that books are the "precious life-blood of master-spirits,"
and to be prized for what they contain, but they are still more useful
for what they prevent. The more a man knows, the less will he be apt to
think he knows, the less rash will he be in conclusion, and the less
hasty in utterance. It is of great consequence to the minds of most
men how they _begin_ to think, and many an intellect has been lamed
irretrievably for steady and lofty flight by toppling out into the
helpless void of opinion with wings yet callow. The gross and carnal
hallucinations of what is called "Spiritualism"--the weakest-kneed of
all whimsies that have come upon the parish from the days of the augurs
down to our own--would be disenchanted at once in a neighborhood
familiar with Del Rio, Wierus, Bodin, Scot, Glanvil, Webster, Casaubon,
and the Mathers. Good books are the enemies of delusion, the most
effectual extinguishers of self-conceit. Impersonal, dispassionate,
self-possessed, they reason without temper, and remain forever of the
same mind without obstinacy. The man who has the freedom of a great
library lengthens his own life without the weariness of living; he may
include all past generations in his experience without risk of senility;
not yet fifty, he may have made himself the contemporary of "the
world's gray fathers"; and with no advantages of birth or person, he may
have been admitted to the selectest society of all times and lands.

We live in the hope of seeing, if not a great library somewhere on this
continent, at least the foundations of such a one, laid broad enough and
deep enough to change hope into a not too remote certainty. Hitherto
America has erected but one statue in commemoration of a scholar, and we
cannot help wishing that the money that has been wasted in setting up
in effigy one or two departed celebrities we could mention had been
appropriated to a means of culture which, perhaps more than any other,
would be likely to give us men worthy of bronze or marble, but above the
necessity of them for memory.

       *       *       *       *       *


The Poetical Works of William Motherwell; with a Memoir of his Life.
Fourth Edition, greatly Enlarged. Boston. Ticknor & Fields. 32mo. pp.
308. 75 cts.

The Avenger, a Narrative; and other Papers. By Thomas De Quincey.
Boston. Ticknor & Fields. 16mo. pp. 327. 75 cts.

Life of William Pitt. By Lord Macaulay. Preceded by the Life of the Earl
of Chatham. New York. Delisser & Proctor. 32mo. pp. 227. 50 cts.

Shakspeare's Legal Acquirements Considered. By John Lord Campbell,
LL.D., F.R.S.E. In a Letter to J. Payne Collier, Esq., F.S.A. New York.
D. Appleton & Co. 12mo. pp. 146. 75 cts.

The Pillar of Fire; or, Israel in Bondage. By Rev. J.H. Ingraham, Author
of "The Prince of the House of David." New York. Pudney & Russell. 12mo.
pp. 600. $1.25.

The Life of North American Insects. By B. Jaeger, Assisted by H.E.
Preston, M.D. With Numerous Illustrations from Specimens in the Cabinet
of the Author. New York. Harper & Brothers. 12mo. pp. 319. $1.25.

Life of Frederick the Great. By Macaulay. New York. Delisser & Proctor.
32mo. pp. 277. 50 cts.

Lectures on Metaphysics and Logic. By Sir William Hamilton, Bart. Edited
by the Rev. Henry Longueville Mansel, B.D., Oxford, and John Veitch,
M.A., Edinburgh. 2 vols. Vol. I. Metaphysics. Boston. Gould & Lincoln.
8vo. pp. 718. $3.00.

India and the Indian Mutiny. Comprising the Complete History of
Hindostan, from the Earliest Times to the Present Day; with Full
Particulars of the Recent Mutiny in India. By Henry Frederick Malcolm.
Illustrated with Numerous Engravings. Philadelphia. J.W. Bradley. 12mo.
pp. 426. $1.25.

Frank Elliott; or, Walks in the Desert. By James Challen. Philadelphia.
J. Challen & Son. 12mo. pp. 349. $1.00.

Border War. A Tale of Disunion. By J.B. Jones, Author of "Wild Western
Scenes." New York. Rudd & Carleton. 12mo. pp. 502. $1.25.

Mothers and Infants, Nurses and Nursing. A Translation from the French
of a Treatise on Nursing, Weaning, and the General Treatment of Young
Children. By Dr. A.L. Donné. Boston. Phillips, Sampson, & Co. 12mo. pp.
303. $1.00.

Poems and Ballads of Goethe. Translated by W. Edmonstoune Aytoun,
D.C.L., and Theodore Martin. New York. Delisser & Proctor. 12mo. pp.
240. 75 cts.

On the Probable Fall of the Value of Gold; the Commercial and Social
Consequences which may Ensue, and the Measures which it Invites. By
Michel Chevalier. Translated from the French, with a Preface by Richard
Cobden, Esq. New York. D. Appleton & Co. 12mo. pp. 217. $1.25.

A Treatise on Theism and on the Modern Skeptical Theories. By Francis
Wheaton. Philadelphia. J.B. Lippincott & Co. 12mo. pp. 395. $1.25.

The Precious Stones of the Heavenly Foundation; with Illustrations
Selected in Prose and Verse. By Augusta Browne Garrett. New York.
Sheldon & Co. 12mo. pp. 328. $1.00.

The Convalescent. By N. Parker Willis. New York. Charles Scribner. 12mo.
pp. 456. $1.25.

Plan of the Creation; or, Other Worlds, and who Inhabit them. By Rev.
C.L. Hequembourg. Boston. Phillips, Sampson, & Co. 12mo. pp. 391. $1.25.

Five Essays. By John Kearsley Mitchell, M.D. Edited by S. Weir Mitchell,
M.D. Philadelphia. J.B. Lippincott & Co. 12mo. pp. 371. $1.25.

Hope Marshall; or, Government and its Offices. By William N.O. Lasselle.
Washington. H. Lasselle. 12mo. pp. 326. $1.00.

Sermons Preached and Revised by the Rev. C.H. Spurgeon. Fifth Series.
New York. Sheldon & Co. 12mo. pp. 454. $1.00.

Hours with my Pupils; or, Educational Addresses, etc. The Young Lady's
Guide and Parents' and Teachers' Assistant. By Mrs. Lincoln Phelps. New
York. C. Scribner. 12mo. $1.25.

"Love me Little, Love me Long." By Charles Reade. New York. Harper &
Brothers. 12mo. pp. 435. 75 cts.

The Christian Law of Amusement. By James Leonard Corning, Pastor of the
Westminster Presbyterian Church. Buffalo, N.Y. Phinney & Co. 16mo. pp.
162. 50 cts.

Scenes and Adventures in the Army; or, Romance of Military Life. By P.
St. G. Cooke, Colonel Second Dragoons, U.S.A. Philadelphia. Lindsay &
Blakiston. 12mo. pp. 432. $1.00.

Infant Salvation In its Relation to Infant Depravity, Infant
Regeneration, and Infant Baptism. By J.H. Bomberger. Philadelphia.
Lindsay & Blakiston. 16mo. pp. 192. 50 cts.

Popular Geology. A Series of Lectures read before the Philosophical
Institution of Edinburgh; with Descriptive Sketches from a Geologist's
Portfolio. By Hugh Miller. With an Introductory _Résumé_, of the
Progress of Geological Science within the last Two Years, by Mrs.
Miller. Boston. Gould & Lincoln. 12mo. pp. 423. $1.25.

Poems of Owen Meredith. The Wanderer and Clytemnestra. Boston. Ticknor &
Fields. 32mo. pp. 514. 75 cts.

Memoir of Theophilus Parsons, Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial
Court of Massachusetts; with Notices of Some of his Contemporaries. By
his Son, Theophilus Parsons. Boston. Ticknor & Fields. 12mo. pp. 476.

The Life of James Watt; with Selections from his Correspondence. By
James Patrick Muirhead, M.A. Illustrated with Wood-Cuts. New York. D.
Appleton & Co. 12mo. pp. 424. $1.25.

The Spy. A Tale of the Neutral Ground. By J. Fenimore Cooper.
Illustrated from Drawings by F.O.C. Barley. New York. W.A. Townsend &
Co. crown 8vo. pp. 463. $1.50.

Internal Relations of the Cities, Towns, Villages, Counties, and States
of the Union; or, the Municipalist. A highly Useful Book for Voters,
Tax-Payers, Statesmen, Politicians, and Families. Second Edition. New
York. Ross & Tousey, etc., and Wm. Radde. 12mo. pp. 302. $1.00.

Farm Drainage. The Principles, Processes, and Effects of Draining Land,
etc., etc. Including Tables of Rain-Fall, etc., and more than One
Hundred Illustrations. By Henry F. French. New York. A.O. Moore & Co.
12mo. pp. 381. $1.00.

The Jealous Husband. A Story of the Heart. By Annette Marie Maillard.
Philadelphia. T.B. Peterson & Brothers. 12mo. pp. 375. $1.25.

A Practical Treatise on the Hive and Honey-Bee. By L.L. Langstroth. With
an Introduction by Rev. Robert Baird, D.D. Third Edition. Revised, with
Illustrations. New York. A.O. Moore & Co. 12mo. pp. 405. $1.25.

From Wall Street to Cashmere. A Journal of Five Years in Asia, Africa,
and Europe; comprising Visits, during 1851-2-3-4-5-6, to the Danemona
Iron-Mines, etc., etc. By John B. Ireland. With nearly One Hundred
Illustrations from Sketches made on the Spot, by the Author. New York.
S.A. Rollo. 8vo. pp. 526. $3.50.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 03, No. 20, June, 1859" ***

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