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Title: The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 06, No. 34, August, 1860
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 06, No. 34, August, 1860" ***

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AUGUST, 1860***


THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY.

A MAGAZINE OF LITERATURE, ART, AND POLITICS.

VOL. VI.--AUGUST, 1860.--NO. XXXIV.



THE CARNIVAL OF THE ROMANTIC.


Whither went the nine old Muses, daughters of Jupiter and the Goddess
of Memory, after their seats on Helicon, Parnassus, and Olympus were
barbarized? Not far away. They hovered like witches around the seething
caldron of early Christian Europe, in which, "with bubble, bubble, toil
and trouble," a new civilization was forming, mindful of the brilliant
lineage of their worshippers, from Homer to Boethius, looking upon the
vexed and beclouded Nature, and expecting the time when Humanity should
gird itself anew with the beauty of ideas and institutions. They were
sorrowful, but not in despair; for they knew that the children of men
were strong with recuperative power.

The ear of Fancy, not long since, heard the hoofs of winged Pegasus
striking the clouds. The long-idle Muses, it seemed, had become again
interested in human efforts, and were paying a flying visit to the
haunts of modern genius from the Hellespont to the Mississippi.
They lingered in sunny Provence, and in the dark forest-land of the
Minnesingers. In the great capitals, as Rome, Berlin, Paris, London,--in
smaller capitals, as Florence, Weimar, and Boston,--in many a village
which had a charm for them, as Stratford-on-Avon, Ferney, and Concord
in Massachusetts,--in the homes of wonderful suffering, as Ferrara and
Haworth.--on many enchanted waters, as the Guadalquivir, the Rhine,
the Tweed, the Hudson, Windermere, and Leman,--in many a monastic nook
whence had issued a chronicle or history, in many a wild birthplace of a
poem or romance, around many an old castle and stately ruin, in many a
decayed seat of revelry and joyous repartee,--through the long list
of the nurseries of genius and the laboratories of art, they wandered
pensive and strangely affected. At length they rested from their journey
to hold a council on modern literature. The long results of Christian
time were unrolled before them as in a chart. They beheld the dawn of a
new historic day, marked by songs of fantastic tenderness, and unwieldy,
long, and jointless romances and poems, like the monsters which played
in the unfinished universe before the creation of man. The Muses smiled
with a look more of complaisance than approval, as they reviewed the
army of Troubadours and Minnesingers and the crowd of romancers who
followed in their train. They decided that the joyous array of early
mediæval literature was full of promise, though something of its tone
and temper was past the comprehension of pagan goddesses. The legends of
saints and pictures of martyrdoms were especially mysterious to them,
and they regarded them raptly, not smilingly, and bowed their heads.
Anon their eyes rested on an Italian city, where uprose, as if in
interstellar space, an erect figure, with a piercing eye, pleasant as
Plato's voice. His countenance was fixed upon the empyrean, and a more
than Minerva-like form hovered above him, interpreting the Christian
universe; and as he wrote what she dictated, the verses of his poem were
musical even to the Muses. Dante, Beatrice, and the "Divine Comedy,"
with a Gothic church as a make-weight, were balanced in Muses' minds in
comparison with the "Iliad" and the age of Pericles; and again they put
on the rapt look of mystery, but a smile also, and their admiration
and applause were more and more. To England they soon turned, and
contemplated the round, many-colored globe of Shakspeare's works. As
playful swallows sometimes dart round and round a lithe and wondering
wingless animal, so they, admiringly and timidly, attracted, yet
hesitating, delighting in his alertness, but not quite understanding it,
flitted like a troubled and beautiful flock around the great magician of
modern civilization. Their glance became lighter and less intent, as if
they were nearer to knowledge, the pain of perplexity disappeared like a
shadow from their countenances, their plaudits were more unreserved, and
it seemed likely that the high desert of Shakspeare would win for our
new literature a favorable recognition from the aristocratic goddesses
of antiquity. Knowing that Jove had made perfection unattainable by
mortals, they yet found in the chart before them epics, dramas, lyrics,
histories, and philosophies that were no unworthy companions to the
creations of classical genius, and they were jubilant in the triumphs
of a period in which they had been rather ignorantly and ironically
worshipped. Their sitting was long, and their review thorough, yet they
found but one department of modern literature which was regarded with a
distrust that grew to an aversion. The romances, the tales, the stories,
the novels were contemned more and more, from the first of them to the
last. Nothing like them had been known among the glories of Hellenic
literary art, and no Muse now stood forth to be their defender and
patron. Calliope declared that they were not epical, Euterpe and Erato
that they were not lyrical, Melpomene and Thalia that they were neither
tragical nor comical, Clio that they were not historical, Urania that
they were not sublime in conception, Polymnia that they had no stately
or simple charm in execution, and Terpsichore, who had joined with
Melpomene in admiring the opera, found nothing in the novel which she
could own and bless. Fleeting passages, remote and slight fragments,
were pleasing to them all, like the oases of a Sahara, or the sites of
high civilization on the earth; but the whole world of novels seemed to
them a chaos undisciplined by art and unformed to beauty. The gates of
the halls where the classics live in immortal youth were beginning to
close against the voluminous prose romances that have sprung from modern
thought, when the deliberations of the Muses were suddenly interrupted.
They had disturbed the divine elements of modern society. Forth from all
the recesses of the air came troops of Gothic elves, trolls, fairies,
sprites, and all the other romantic beings which had inspired the modern
mind to novel-writing,--marching or gambolling, pride in their port,
defiance in their eye, mischief in their purpose,--and began so vigorous
an attack upon their classic visitors and critics, that the latter were
glad to betake themselves to the mighty-winged Pegasus, who rapidly bore
them in retreat to the present home of the _Dii Majores_, that point of
the empyrean directly above Olympus.

And well, indeed, might the Muses wonder at the rise of the novel and
its vast developments, for the classic literature presents no similar
works. One of Plato's dialogues or Aesop's fables is as near an approach
to a prose romance as antiquity in its golden eras can offer. The few
productions of the kind which appeared during the decline of literature
in the early Christian centuries, as the "Golden Ass" of Apuleius and
the "Æthiopica" of Heliodorus, were freaks of Nature, an odd growth
rather than a distinct species, and are also to be contrasted rather
than compared with the later novel. Such as they are, moreover, they
were produced under Christian as much as classic influences. The
æsthetic Hellenes admitted into their literature nothing so composite,
so likely to be crude, as the romance. Their styles of art were all
pure, their taste delighted in simplicity and unity, and they strictly
forbade a medley, alike in architecture, sculpture, and letters. The
history of their development opens with an epic yet unsurpassed, and
their literary creations have been adopted to be the humanities of
Christian universities. A writer has recently proposed to account for
their success in the arts from the circumstance that the features of
Nature around them were small,--that their hornet-shaped peninsula was
cut by mountains and inlets of the sea into minute portions, which the
mind could easily compass, the foot measure, and the hand improve,--that
therefore every hillock and fountain, every forest and by-way was
peopled with mythological characters and made significant with
traditions, and the cities were adorned with architectural and
sculptured masterpieces. Greece thus, like England in our own time,
presented the character of a highly wrought piece of ground,--England
being the more completely developed for material uses, and Greece being
the more heavily freighted with legends of ideal meaning. Small-featured
and large-minded Greece is thus set in contrast with Asia, where the
mind and body were equally palsied in the effort to overcome immense
plains and interminable mountain-chains. But whatever the reason,
whether geographical or ethnological, it is certain that the people of
Greece were endowed with a transcendent genius for art, which embraced
all departments of life as by an instinct. Every divinity was made a
plain figure to the mind, every mystery was symbolized in some positive
beautiful myth, and every conception of whatever object became
statuesque and clear. This artistic character was possible to them from
the comparatively limited range of pagan imagination; their thought
rarely dwelt in those regions where reason loves to ask the aid
of mysticism, and all remote ideas, like all remote nations, were
indiscriminately regarded by them as barbarous. But guarded by the
bounds of their civilization, as by the circumfluent ocean-stream of
their olden tradition, they were prompted in all their movements by the
spirit of beauty, and philosophers have accounted them the very people
whose ideas were adequately and harmoniously represented in sensible
forms,--unlike the nations of the Orient, where mind is overawed by
preponderating matter, and unlike the nations of Christendom, where the
current spiritual meanings reach far into the shadowy realm of mystery
and transcend the power of material expression.

Thus art was the main category of the Greeks, the absolute form which
embraced all their finite forms. It moulded their literature, as it did
their sculpture, architecture, and the action of their gymnasts and
orators. They therefore delighted only in the highest orders and purest
specimens of literature, refused to retain in remembrance any of the
unsuccessful attempts at poetry which may be supposed to have preceded
Homer, and gave their homage only to masterpieces in the dignified
styles of the epic, the drama, the lyric, the history, or the
philosophical discussion. Equal to the highest creations, they refused
to tolerate anything lower; and they knew not the novel, because their
poetical notions were never left in a nebulous, prosaic state, but were
always developed into poetry.

Another reason, doubtless, was the wonderful activity of the Greek mind,
finding its amusement and relaxation in the forum, theatre, gymnasium,
or even the barber's shop, in constant mutual contact, in learning
wisdom and news by word of mouth. The long stories which they may
have told to each other, as an outlet for their natural vitality, as
extemporaneous exercises of curiosity and wit and fancy, did not creep
into their literature, which included only more mature and elaborate
attempts.

The modern novel was born of Christianity and feudalism. It is the child
of contemplation,--of that sort of luxurious intellectual mood which has
always distinguished the Oriental character, and was first Europeanized
in the twilight of the mediæval period. The fallen Roman Empire was
broken into countless fragments, which became feudal baronies. The heads
of the newly organized society were lordly occupants of castles, who in
time of peace had little to do. They were isolated from their neighbors
by acres, forests, and a stately etiquette, if not actual hostility.
There was no open-air theatre in the vicinity, no forum alive with
gossip and harangues, no public games, not even a loquacious barber's
shop. During the intervals between public or private wars,--when the
Turks were unmolested, the crescent and the dragon left in harmless
composure, and no Christians were in mortal turmoil with each other,--it
is little wonder that restless knights went forth from their loneliness
errant in quest of adventures. What was there to occupy life in those
barricaded stone-towers?

It was then that the domestic passion, love, rose into dignity. Homage
to woman assumed the potency of an idea, chivalry arose, and its truth,
honor, and obeisance were the first social responses from mankind to
Christianity. The castle was the emblem and central figure of the time:
it was the seat of power, the arena of manners, the nursery of love, and
the goal of gallantry; and around it hovered the shadows of religion,
loyalty, heroism. Domestic events, the private castellar life, were thus
exalted; but they could hardly suffice to engross and satisfy the spirit
of a warrior and crusader. A new diversion and excitement were demanded,
and soon, in response to the call, minstrels began to roam from castle
to castle, from court to court, telling long stories of heroism and
singing light songs of love. A spark from the Saracenic schools and
poets of Spain may have flitted into Provence to kindle the elements
of modern literature into its first development, the songs of the
Troubadours. Almost contemporary were the lays of the Minnesingers in
Germany and the romances of the Trouvères in Northern France. Beneath
the brooding spirit of a new civilization signs of life had at length
appeared, and Europe became vocal in every part with fantastic poems,
lyrical in the South, epical in the North. They were wildly exuberant
products, because severe art was unknown, but simple, _naïve_, and gay,
and suited to the taste of a time when the classics were regarded as
superstitiously as the heavens. Love and heroism, which somehow are the
leading themes of literature in all ages, now assumed the chivalric type
in the light hands of the earliest modern poets.

Yet these songs and metrical romances were most inadequate
representatives of the undeveloped principles which lay at the root of
Christian civilization. Even Hellenic genius might here have been at
fault, for it was a far harder task to give harmonious and complete
expression to the tendencies of a new religion and the germs of new
systems, than to frame into beauty the pagan clear-cut conceptions. The
Christian mind awoke under a fascination, and, for a time, could
only ejaculate its meanings in fragments, or hint them in vast
disproportions, could only sing snatches of new tunes. Its first signs
were gasps, rather than clear-toned notes, after the long perturbations
and preparations of history. The North and the South, the East and the
West had been mingled together; the heated and heaving mass had been
tempered by the leaven of Christianity:--and had all this been done
only to produce an octo-syllabic metre in praise of fantastic and semi-
barbaric sentiments and exploits? Had there been such commotions of the
universe only for a song? Surely these first creations of art, these
first attempts at literature, these first carvings of a rude spiritual
intensity, were only such as the Greeks may have forgotten any quantity
of before Homer came, their first glory and their oldest reminiscence.

One reason, perhaps, why mediæval literature assumed so light and
unartistic a form was, that by necessity it could not be full-orbed.
Religion could not enter into it as a plastic element, but was fixed, a
veiled, external figure, radiating indeed color and fragrance, but
not making one of the struggling, independent vitals of the heart.
Literature could play about this figure, but could not grasp it, and
take it in among the materials to be fashioned. The Church, through
its clergy, held jealous command of divine knowledge, beneath divine
guidance, and left no developments of it possible to the lay mind, which
culminated in minstrels and romancers. The Greeks, on the contrary,
whose religion was an apotheosis of the earth, framed upwards and only
by fiction of fancy handed downwards, derived all their theology from
the poets. Prophecy and taste were combined in Homer,--Isaiah and the
king's jester in Pindar. The care of the highest, not less than the
lowest departments of thought, fell upon the creative author, and
a happy suggestion became a new article in the Hellenic creed. His
composition thus bore the burden and was hallowed by the sanctity
of piety, the key to every human perfect thing. But the Provençal
celebrators of love and chivalry had no such dignity in their task. The
solemnities of thought and life were cared for and hedged about by the
Church as its own peculiar treasure, and to them there remained only the
lighter office of amusing. The age was eminently religious, but the poet
could not aid in erecting and adorning its temples. Every fair work of
art must have a central idea; but the proper principle of unity for
all grand artistic efforts not being within the reach of authors, it
followed that their productions were not symmetrical, did not have an
even outline nor cosmical meaning, did not consist of balanced parts,
were poorly framed and articulated, and were charming only by their
flavor, and not by their form. The cultured intellect will not seriously
work short of a final principle; and if a materialized religion, an
ecclesiastical structure, be firmly planted on the earth by the same
hand that established the universe and tapestried it with morning and
evening, and if its gates and archways, its altar, columns, and courts
be given in trust to chosen stewards as a divine priesthood, then the
highest problem of being is not a human problem, and the mind of the
laity has nothing more important to do than to play with the flowers of
gallant love and heroism. Such was the feeling, perhaps the unconscious
reasoning, of the founders of modern literature, as they began their
labors in the alcoves of that church architecture which covered
Christendom, embracing and symbolically expressing all its ideas
and institutes. Therefore some vice of imperfection, a character of
frivolity, or an artificially serious treatment of lightsome subjects
marked all the literature of the time, which resembled that grotesque
and unaccountable mathematical figure that has its centre outside of
itself.

Modern literature thus had its origin in romantic metrical pieces,
which, in the next stage, were transformed into prose novels. Two
circumstances contributed to this change,--a change which could not have
been anticipated; for the Trouvère _fabliaux_ and _romans_ promised only
epics, and the Troubadour _chansons_ and _tensons_ promised only lyrics
and dramas. But the mind was now obliged to traverse the unbeaten paths
of the Christian universe; it was overwhelmed by the extent of its
range, the richness and delicacy of its materials; it could with
difficulty poise itself amid the indefinite heights and depths which
encompassed it, and with greater difficulty could wield the magician's
rod which should sway the driving elements into artistic reconstruction.
This mental inadequacy alone would not have created the novel, but would
only have made lyrics and epics rare, the works of superior minds. The
second and cooperating circumstance was the prevalence of the Christian
and feudal habit of contemplation, which made constant literature a
necessity. Nothing less than eternal new romances could save the lords,
the ladies, and the dependents from _ennui_. But to supply these in a
style of proper and antique dignity was beyond the power of the poets.
In the wild forests of the mind they could rarely capture a mature idea,
and they were as yet unpractised artists. Yet contemplative leisure
called eagerly for constant titbits of romance to tickle the palate and
furnish a diversion, while the genius of Christian poetry was yet in
infantile weakness. The dilemma lasted but a moment, and was solved by
an heroic effort of the poets to do, not what they would, but what they
could. Yielding to practical necessities, they renounced the traditions
of the classical past, which now seemed to belong to another hemisphere,
abandoned the attempt to realize pure forms, postponed high art; melody
gave way to prose, the romance degenerated into the novel, and prose
fiction, which erst had flitted only between the tongue and ear,
entered, a straggling and reeling constellation, into the firmament of
literature. Hence the novel is the child of human impotency and despair.
The race thereby, with merriment and jubilee, confessed its inability
to fulfil at once its Christian destiny as completely as the Greeks
had fulfilled their pagan possibilities. Purity of art was left to
the future, to Providence, or to great geniuses, but the novel became
popular.

Thus the modern novel had its genesis not merely in a contemplative
mood, but in contemplation which was forced by the impetuous temper of
the times to fail of ever reaching the dignity of thoughtfulness. It
was the immature product of an immature mental state; and richly as
sometimes it was endowed by every human faculty, by imagination, wit,
taste, or even profound thought, it yet never reached the goal of
thought, never solved a problem, and, in its highest examples, professed
only to reveal, but not to guide, the reigning manners and customs.
Rarely did its materials pass through the fiery furnace whence art
issues; it was a work of unfaithful intellect, prompted by ideas which
never culminated and were never realized; and it did not rise much above
the "stuffs" of life, as distinguished from the organic creations of the
mind. A many-limbed and shambling creature, which was not made a
spirit by the power of an idea, it fluttered amid all the culture of a
people,--amid the ideas and modes of the state, the church, the family,
the world of society,--like a bungler among paint-pots; but the paints
still remained paints on the canvas, instead of being blended and
transfigured into a thing of beauty. It was the organ of society, but
not of the essential truths which vitalize society, and its incidents
did not rise much above the significance of accidents.

What the novel was in knightly days, that it has continued to be. There
is a mysterious practical potency in precedent. All ideas and institutes
seem to grow in the direction of their first steps, as if from germs.
Thus, the doctrines of the Church fathers are still peculiarly
authoritative in theology, and the immemorial traditions of the common
law are still binding in civil life. Man seems to be an experimental
far more than a freely rational animal; for a fact in the past exerts
a greater influence in determining future action than any new idea. A
revolution must strike deep to eradicate the presumption in favor of
ages. Learned men are now trying to read the hieroglyphics of the East,
the records of an unknown history. Perhaps the result of their labors
will temper the next period in the course of the world more than all our
thinkers. Destiny seems to travel in the harness of precedents.

Thus, in obedience to the law of precedent, the mild gambols, the
_naïve_ superficiality, the child-like irresponsibility for thinking,
which were the characteristics of the first European novels, have
generally distinguished the unnumbered and unclassified broods of them
which have abounded in subsequent literature. Designed chiefly to amuse,
to divert for a moment rather than to present an admirable work of art,
to interest rather than to instruct and elevate, the modern romance has
in general excused itself from thorough elaboration. Instead of being
a chastened and symmetrical product of the whole organic mind, it has
mainly been inspired by the imagination, which has been called the fool
in the family of the faculties, and wrought out by the assistance of
memory, which mechanically links the mad suggestions of its partner
with temporal events. It is in literature something like what a feast
presided over by the king's jester and steward would have been in
mediaeval social life. Let any novel be finished, let all the resources
of the mind be conscientiously expended on it, let it become a thorough
intellectual creation, and, instead of remaining a novel, it would
assume the dignity of an epic, lyric, drama, philosophy, or history. Its
nebulae would be resolved into stars.

Has, then, the mild and favorite blossom, the _fabula romanensis_, which
was so abundant in the Middle Ages, which has grown so luxuriantly
and given so general delight in modern times,--has it no place in
the natural history of literature? Shall it be mentioned only as an
uncompleted something else,--as an abortive effort of thought,--as
a crude _mélange_ of elements that have not been purified and fused
together in the focus of the mind? And were the Muses right in refusing
to admit it into their sacred realm of art?

An affirmative answer can hardly be true; for an absurdity appears in
the reduction that it would cause in the quantity of our veritable
literature, and in the condemnation that it would pass on the tastes of
many most intelligent writers and readers. Yet a comparison of the novel
with the classical and pure forms of literature will show its unlikeness
to them in design, dignity, and essential quality.

It was a favorite thesis of Fielding, often repeated by his successors,
that the novel is a sort of comic epopee. Yet the romantic and the epic
styles have nothing in common, except that both are narrative. The epic,
the rare and lofty cypress of literature, is the story of a nation and a
civilization; the novel, of a neighborhood and a generation. A thousand
years culminate in the former; it sums up the burden and purpose of
a long historical period; and its characters are prominent types in
universal history and in highest thought. But the novel is the child
of a day; it is the organ of manners and phases, not of principles and
passions; it does not see the phenomena of earth in heavenly or logical
relations, does not transform life into art, and is a panorama, but not
a picture. So long as man and heroism and strife endure, shall Achilles,
Godfrey, Satan, and Mephistopheles be types; for they are artistic
expressions of essential and historical realities. But though the beck
of curiosity lead us through the labyrinthine plot of a novel, long as
Gibbon's way through the Dark Ages, yet, when we have finished it, the
bubble collapses, the little heavens which had been framed about us roll
away, and most rarely does a character remain poetically significant in
the mind.

A contrast of any page of an epic with one of a romance will show
their essential unlikeness. Note, for instance, the beginning of the
"Gerusalemme Liberata." The first stanza presents "the illustrious
captain who warred for Heaven and saved the sepulchre of Christ,--the
many deeds which he wrought by arms and by wisdom,--his great toil, and
his glorious achievement. Hell opposed him, the mingled populations
of Asia and Africa leagued against him,--but all in vain, for Heaven
smiled, and guided the wandering bands beneath his sacred ensigns." Such
are the splendid elements of the poem, outlining in a stanza the finest
type, objects, and scenery of mediaeval heroism. The second stanza
invokes the Muse,--"Not thou whose brow was wreathed with the unenduring
bays of Helicon, but thou who in angelic choirs hast a golden crown set
with immortal stars,--do thou breathe celestial ardor into the poet's
heart!" Then follows an allusion to a profound matter of temper and
experience. He prays that "the Muse will pardon, if sometimes he adorn
his page with other charms than her own; for thus, perhaps, he may
win the world to his higher meanings, shrouding severe truths in soft
verses. As the rim of the bitter cup is sweetened which is extended to
the sick child, so may he, by beauties not quite Christian, attract
mankind to read his whole poem to their health." Such is the stately
soaring of the epical Muse, the Muse of ideal history. Scholars find
Greece completely prefigured in Homer, and the time may come when Dante
and Tasso shall be the leading authorities for the history of the Middle
Ages, and Milton for that of the ages of Protestantism.

In such comparison novels are insignificant and imbecile. Though, like
"Contarini Fleming," they may begin with a magnificent paragraph, and
fine passages be scattered through the volumes, they are yet rarely
stories of ideas as well as persons, rarely succeed in involving events
of more than temporary interest, and rarely, perhaps, should be called
great mental products.

Not less strikingly does the difference between the epic and the novel
appear in their different uses. The one is the inspiration of great
historical action, the other of listless repose. The statesman, in the
moment of debate, and in the dignity of conscious power, finds sympathy
and encouragement in a passage of his favorite epic. Its grand types
are ever in fellowship with high thoughts. The novel is for the lighter
moment after the deed is done, when he is no longer brunting Fate, but
reclining idly, and reflecting humorously or malignly on this life. The
epic is closely and strongly framed, like the gladiator about to strike
a blow: the novel is relaxed and at careless ease, like the club-man
after lighting his pipe. The latter does not bear the burden of severe
responsibility, but is a thing of holidays and reactions. Still, as of
old, it answers to the contemplative castellar cry,--"Hail, romancer!
come and divert me,--make me merry! I wish to be occupied, but not
employed,--to muse passively, not actively. Therefore, hail! tell me
a story,--sing me a song! If I were now in the van of an army and
civilization, higher thoughts would engross me. But I am unstrung, and
wish to be fanned, not helmeted."

It has sometimes been claimed that the romantic style is essentially
lyrical. But though the idea from which many novels start was perhaps
the proper germ for one or more lyrics, it never attains in romance
a pure and unincumbered development. We may illustrate the different
intellectual creations founded on a common conception by imagining how
one of Wordsworth's lyrical fancies might have been developed in three
volumes of romance instead of three stanzas of poetry.

  "She dwelt among the untrodden ways,
  Beside the springs of Dove,
  A maid whom there were none to praise,
  And very few to love."

The first line, romantically treated, would include description,
soliloquy, and narrative, to show that in solitude the maiden had
habits, duties, something to think about and be interested in. The
accidental approach of some cosmopolitan visitor would give occasion to
illustrate dramatically the contrast between life in retirement and in
society. Some novelists also would inflict, either by direct lecture
or by conversation of the actors, very admirable reflections on the
comparative advantages of the two conditions. The second line would
perhaps suggest only geographical lore and descriptions of scenery,
though historical episodes might be added. The third line would
involve a minute description of dress, complexion, stature, and wild
gracefulness. In a psychological investigation it would come out what
strange and simple notions she entertained of the great world, and what
charming qualities of unsophisticated character belonged to her as she
merrily or pensively went through her accustomed tasks. The fourth line,
in which love is the text, would swell into mammoth proportions. New
characters would be especially necessary in this culminating part of the
story; and though they should be "very few," they would long occupy the
novelist with their diverse excellencies or villanies, their rivalries
and strategies. It is probable that the complete development of the
stanza _à la romance_ would give a circumstantial history of the maiden
from her birth, with glimpses more or less clear of all the remarkable
people who dwelt near or occasionally visited the springs of Dove. Thus
the same conception would become a stanza or a volume, according as its
treatment were lyrical or romantic.

It need hardly be shown that the novel is not a drama, not a history,
nor fable, nor any sort of philosophical treatise. It may have
sentences, paragraphs, or perhaps chapters, in every style and of the
highest excellence, as a shapeless architectural pile may rejoice in
some exquisite features or ornaments; but combined passages, though they
were the collected charms of literature, do not make a work of art. The
styles are mixed,--a certain sign, according to Lessing, of corruption
of taste. Novels present the anomaly of being fiction, but not
poetry,--of being fruits of imagination, but of imagination improvising
its creations from local and temporal things, instead of speaking from
a sublime stand-point and linking series of facts with processions of
ideas. Sources of history, guides of philosophical retrospection, they
may come some time to be; yet one cannot check a feeling of pity for
the future historian who, in searching the "Pickwick Papers"
for antiquities, finds himself bothered and confused by all the
undisciplined witches of Mr. Dickens's imagination.

If the novel be thus excluded from all the classical orders of
literature, a trembling question is suggested, whether it may not be
nevertheless a legitimate work of art. Though it be a _mélange_ of
styles, a story told, in literature what the story-teller is in
society, yet why should it not have the honor among readers which
the story-teller in all ages has had among listeners? Though by
its escutcheon it assume a place among the amusing rather than the
instructive class of books, why should not its nobility be recognized?

The answer is found in the essential nature of art, in the almost
eternal distinction between life and thought, between actual and ideal
realities. Unity amid diversity is the type of intellectual beauty and
the law of the universe; to comprehend it is the goal of science, and
to reproduce it in human works is the aim of art. Yet how hard it is to
find the central and essential idea in a world of apparent accidents and
delusions! to chase the real and divine thing as it plays among cheats
and semblances! Hence the difficulty of thorough thought, of faithful
intellectual performance, of artistic creation. To the thoughtless man
life is merely the rough and monotonous exterior of the cameo-stone; but
the artist sees through its strata, discerns its layers of many colors,
and from its surface to its vital centre works them all together into
varied beauty. To live is common; but art belongs only to the finest
minds and the best moments. Life is a burden of present multitudinous
phenomena; but art has the simple unity of perfect science, and is
a goal and aspiration. Life comes by birth, art by thought, and the
travail that produces art is ofttimes the severer. The fashions of life
are bubbles on the surface, and pass away with the season; but the
creations of art belong to the depths of the spiritual world, where they
shine like stars and systems in the physical universe.

Story-telling is the most charming of occupations, and, whatever its
relation to literary art, it is one of the graces of the art of life.
Old as the race, it has always been in fashion on the earth, the delight
of every clime from the Orient to the Occident, and of every age from
childhood to second childhood. We live in such a concatenation of
things,--our hopes, fears, loves, hates, struggles, sympathies, defeats,
and triumphs make such a medley, with a sort of divine fascination about
it,--that we are always interested to hear how anybody has borne himself
through whatever varieties of fortune. At the basis of every other
character which can be assumed by man lie the conceiver and the teller
of stories; story-telling is the _primá facie_ quality of an intelligent
and sociable being leading a life full of events in a universe full
of phenomena. The child believes the wonders of romance by a right
instinct; narratives of love and peril and achievement come home to the
spirit of the youth; and the mystical, wonder-expecting eye of childhood
returns to old age. The humor, wit, piety, and pathos of every age
abound in the written stories of its people and children.

Yet between the vocal story and the story in literature there is an
immense difference, like that between talking and writing, between life
and art. The qualities which in the story-teller make even frivolity
weighty and dulness significant--the play of the eye, the lips, the
countenance, the voice, the whole sympathetic expression of the
person--are wanting to the novel; it has passed from the realm of life
to that of art; it loses the charm which personal relations give even
to trifles; it must have the charm which the mind can lend only to its
cherished offspring.

Considered as a thing of literature, no other sort of book admits of
such variety of topics, style, and treatment as the novel. As diverse
in talent and quality as the story-teller himself,--now harlequin, now
gossip, now threnodist,--with weird ghostliness, moping melancholy,
uncouth laughter, or gentle serious smile,--now relating the story, with
childlike interest in it, now with a good heart and now with a bad heart
ridiculing mankind, now allegorical with rich meanings, now freighting
the little story-cricket that creeps along from page to page with
immense loads of science, history, politics, ethics, religion,
criticism, and prophecy,--always regarded with kindness, always welcomed
in idleness, always presenting in a simple way some spectacle of
merriment or grief, as changeful as the seasons or the fashions,--with
all its odd characteristics, the novel is remarkably popular, and not
lightly to be esteemed as an element in our social and mental culture.

There is probably no other class of books, with literary pretensions,
that contain so little thinking, in proportion to their quantity of
matter, as novels. They can scarcely be called organic productions, for
they may be written and published in sections, like one of the lowest
classes of animals, which have no organization, but live equally well in
parts, and run off in opposite directions when cut in halves. Thoughts
and books, like living creatures, have their grades, and it is only
those which stand lowest in respect of intellectuality that admit of
fractional existence. A finished work of the mind is so delicately
adjusted and closely related, part to part, that a fracture would be
fatal. Conceive of Phidias sending off from his studio at Athens his
statue of Jupiter Olympius in monthly numbers,--despatching now the
feet, now the legs, now the trunk, in successive pieces, now the
shoulders, and at last crowning the whole with a head!

The composition of novels must be reckoned, in design at least, one of
the fine arts, but in fact they belong rather to periodical than to
immortal literature. They do not submit to severity of treatment, abide
by no critical laws, but are the gypsies and Bohemians of literature,
bringing all the savagery of wild genius into the _salons_ of taste.
Though tolerated, admired, and found to be interesting, they do not
belong to the system of things, play no substantial part in the serious
business of life, but, as the world moves on, give place to their
successors, not having developed any principle, presented any picture,
or stated any fact, in a way to suggest ideas more than social
phenomena. They are not permanent, therefore, because finally only
ideas, and not facts, are generally remembered; the past is known to us
more, and exclusively as it becomes remote, by the conceptions of poets
and philosophic historians, the myriads of events which occupied a
generation being forgotten, and all the pith and meaning of them being
transmitted in a stanza or a chapter. Poetry never grows old, and
whatsoever masterpieces of thought always win the admiration of the
enlightened; but many a novel that has been the lion of a season passes
at once away, never more to be heard of here. With few exceptions, the
splendid popularity that greets the best novels fades away in time
slowly or rapidly. A half-century is a fatal trial for the majority; few
are revived, and almost none are read, after a century; will anybody
but the most curious antiquary be interested in them after one or
two thousand years? Without delaying to give the full rationale of
exceptions which vex this like every other general remark, it may
be added briefly that fairy stories are in their nature fantastic
mythological poems, most proper to the heroic age of childhood, that
historical romances may be in essence and dignity fantastic histories or
epics, and that, from whatever point of view, Cervantes remains hardly
less admirable than Ariosto, or the "Bride of Lammermoor" than the "Lay
of the Last Minstrel."

In the mental as in the physical world, art, diamonds and gems come by
long elaboration. A thoughtless man may write perennially, while the
result of silent meditation and a long tortured soul may be expressed
in a minute. The work of the former is akin to conversation, one of the
fugitive pleasures of a day; that of the latter will, perchance, be a
star in the firmament of the mind. Eugène Sue and Béranger both wished
to communicate their reflections on society. The former dissipated his
energies in the _salons_, was wise and amusing over wine, exchanged
learning and jests, studied the drawing-room as if it were the
macrocosm, returned to his chamber, put on kid gloves, and from the odds
and ends of his dishevelled wits wrote at a gallop, without ever looking
back, his "Mystères de Paris." The latter lived in an attic year after
year, contemplated with cheerful anxiety the volatile world of France
and the perplexed life of man, and elaborated word by word, with
innumerable revisions, his short songs, which are gems of poetry,
charming at once the ear and the heart. Novels are perhaps too easily
written to be of lasting value. An unpremeditated word, in which the
thoughts of years are exploded, may be one of the most admirable of
intellectual phenomena, but an unpremeditated volume can only be a
demonstration of human weakness.

The argument thus far has been in favor of the Muses. Hellenic taste and
the principles of high art ratify the condemnation passed on the novel
by the aesthetic goddesses. A wider view, however, will annul the
sentence, giving in its stead a warning and a lesson. If the prose
romance be not Hellenic, it is nevertheless humane, and has been in
honor almost universally throughout the Orient and the Occident. Its
absence from the classical literature was a marvel and exception, a
phenomenon of the clearest-minded and most active of races, who thought,
but did not contemplate,--whose ideal world consisted only of simple,
but stately legends of bright-limbed gods and heroes. A felicitous
production of high art, also, is among the rarest of exceptions, and
will be till the Millennium. Myriads of comparative failures follow in
the suite of a masterpiece. We have, therefore, judged the novel by an
impracticable standard, by a comparison with the highest aims rather
than the usual attainments of other branches of literary art. Human
weakness makes poetry, philosophy, and history imperfect in execution,
though they aspire to absolute beauty and truth; human weakness
suggested the novel, which is imperfect in design, written as an
amusement and relief, in despair of sounding the universe. A novel is in
its nature and as a matter of necessity an artistic failure; it
pretends to nothing higher; but under the slack laws which govern its
composition, multitudes of fine and suggestive characters, incidents,
and sayings may be smuggled into it, contrary to all the usages and
rules of civilized literature. Hence the secret of its popularity,
that it is the organ of average as distinguished from highest thought.
Science and art are the goals of destiny, but rarely is there a
thinker or writer who has an eye single to them. It is an heroic,
self-sacrificing, and small platoon which in every age brunts Fate, and,
fighting on the shadowy frontier, makes conquests from the realm of
darkness. Their ideas are passed back from hand to hand, and become
known in fragments and potent as tendencies among the mass of the race,
who live in the circle of the attained and travel in the routine of
ages. The novelist is one of the number who half comprehend them, and
borrows them from all quarters to introduce into the rich _mélange_ of
his work. To solve a social problem, to reproduce an historical age or
character, or to develop the truth and poetry latent in any event, is
difficult, and not many will either lead or follow a severe attempt;
but the novelist will merrily chronicle his story and link with it in a
thousand ways some salient reminiscences of life and thought.

What, then, is the highest excellence that the novel can attain? It is
the carnival of literary art. It deals sympathetically and humorously,
not philosophically and strictly, with the panorama and the principles
of life. A transcript, but not a transfiguration of Nature, it assumes a
thousand forms, surpassing all other books in the immense latitude left
to the writer, in the wild variety of things which it may touch, but
need not grasp. Its elements are the forests, the cities, and the seven
ages of man,--characters and fortunes how diversified! All species
of thinkers and actors, of ideas and passions, all the labyrinthine
complications and scenery of existence, may be illustrated in persons or
introduced by-the-by; into whatever colors make up the phantasmagoria
of collective humanity the novelist may dip his brush, in painting
his moving picture. Yet problems need not be fully appreciated, nor
characters or actions profoundly understood. It must be an engrossing
story, but the theme and treatment are as lawless as the conversation of
an evening party. The mind plays through all the realm of its knowledge
and experience, and sheds sparks from all the torches of thought, as
scenes and topics succeed each other. The pure forms of literature may
be reminiscences present to the imagination, the germs of new truths and
social arrangements may occupy the reason; but the novelist is neither
practical, nor philosophical, nor artistic; he is simply in a dream; and
pictures of the world and fragments of old ideas pass before him, as the
sacred meanings of religion flitted about the populace in a grotesque
mediæval festival of the Church. Conceive the stars dropped from their
place in the apparent heavens, and playing at shuttlecock with each
other and with boys, and having a heyday of careless joyousness here
below, instead of remaining in sublime dignity to guide and inspire men
who look up to them by night! Even such are the epic, the lyric, the
drama, the history, and the philosophy, as collected together in the
revelries of the novel. To state the degree of excellence possible to
a style as perverse as it is entertaining, to measure the wisdom of
essential folly, is difficult; and yet it may be said that the strength
of the novel is in its lawlessness, which leaves the author of genius
free to introduce his creations just as they occur to him, and the
author of talent free to range through all books and all time and
reproduce brilliant sayings and odd characters,--which, with no other
connecting thread than a story, freaks like a spirit through every
shade of feeling and region of thought, from the domestic hearth to the
ultimate bounds of speculative inquiry,--and which, by its daring
and careless combinations of incongruous elements, exhibits a free
embodiment in prose of the peculiar genius of the romantic.

And some philosophers have styled romance the special glory of
Christianity. It is certainly the characteristic of critical as
distinguished from organic periods,--of the mind acting mystically in
a savage and unknown universe, rather than of the mind that has reduced
the heavens and earth to its arts and sciences. The novel, therefore,
as the wildest organ of romance, is most appropriate to a time of great
intellectual agitation, when intellectual men are but half-conscious of
the tendencies that are setting about them, and consequently cease to
propose to themselves final goals, do not attempt scrupulous art, but
play jubilantly with current facts. Hence, perhaps, its popularity since
the first conflicts of the Protestant Reformation, and especially since
the great French Revolution, when amid new inventions and new ideas
mankind has contemplatively looked for the coming events, the new
historical eras, which were casting their shadows before.

When, some time, Christian art shall become classical, and Christian
ideas be developed by superior men as fairly as the Hellenic conceptions
were, the novel may either assume to itself some peculiar excellency, or
may cease to hold the comparative rank in literature which it enjoys at
present. Then the numberless prose romances which occupy the present
generation of readers will, perhaps, be collected in some immense
_corpus_, like the Byzantine historians, will be reckoned among the
curiosities of literature, and will at least have the merit of making
the study of antiquities easy and interesting. There is an old
couplet,--

  Of all those arts in which the wise excel,
  Nature's chief masterpiece is writing well.

At a time when extemporaneous composition and thoughtless reading are
much in fashion, it will not be amiss to invoke profounder studies, and
slower, but more useful and permanent results. Let it be remembered that
even the Divine Mind first called into being the chaos of creation, and
then in seven days reviewed and elaborated it into a beautiful order.

       *       *       *       *       *



A LEGEND OF MARYLAND.

"AN OWRE TRUE TALE."

[Concluded.]


CHAPTER VII.

THE OLD CITY.


Let me now once more shift the scene. In the summer of 1684, the
peaceful little port of St. Mary's was visited by a phenomenon of rare
occurrence in those days. A ship of war of the smaller class, with the
Cross of St. George sparkling on her broad flag, came gliding to an
anchorage abreast the town. The fort of St. Inigoes gave the customary
salute, which I have reason to believe was not returned. Not long after
this, a bluff, swaggering, vulgar captain came on shore. He made no
visit of respect or business to any member of the Council. He gave no
report of his character or the purpose of his visit, but strolled to the
tavern,--I suppose to that kept by Mr. Cordea, who, in addition to his
calling of keeper of the ordinary, was the most approved shoemaker of
the city,--and here regaled himself with a potation of strong waters.
It is likely that he then repaired to Mr. Blakiston's, the King's
Collector,--a bitter and relentless enemy of the Lord Proprietary,--and
there may have met Kenelm Chiseldine, John Coode, Colonel Jowles, and
others noted for their hatred of the Calvert family, and in such company
as this indulged himself in deriding Lord Baltimore and his government,
During his stay in the port, his men came on shore, and, imitating their
captain's unamiable temper, roamed in squads about the town and its
neighborhood, conducting themselves in a noisy, hectoring manner towards
the inhabitants, disturbing the repose of the quiet burghers, and
shocking their ears with ribald abuse of the authorities. These
roystering sailors--I mention it as a point of historical interest--had
even the audacity to break into Alderman Garret Van Swearingen's garden,
and to pluck up and carry away his cabbages and other vegetables,
and--according to the testimony of Mr. Cordea, whose indignation was the
more intense from his veneration for the Alderman, and from the fact
that he made his Worship's shoes--they would have killed one of his
Worship's sheep, if his (Cordea's) man had not prevented them; and
after this, as if on purpose more keenly to lacerate his feelings, they
brought these cabbages to Cordea's house, and there boiled them before
his eyes,--he being sick and not able to drive them away.

After a few days spent in this manner, the swaggering captain--whose
name, it was soon bruited about, was Thomas Allen, of his Majesty's
Navy--went on board of his ketch,--or brig, as we should call it,--the
Quaker, weighed anchor, and set sail towards the Potomac, and thence
stood down the Bay upon the coast of Virginia. Every now and then, after
his departure, there came reports to the Council of insults offered by
Captain Allen to the skippers of sundry Bay craft and other peaceful
traders on the Chesapeake; these insults consisting generally in
wantonly compelling them to heave to and submit to his search, in
vexatiously detaining them, overhauling their papers, and offending
them with coarse vituperation of themselves, as well as of the Lord
Proprietary and his Council.

About a month later the Quaker was observed to enter the Patuxent River,
and cast anchor just inside of the entrance, near the Calvert County
shore, and opposite Christopher Rousby's house at Drum Point. This
was--says my chronicle--on Thursday, the 30th of October, in this year
1684. As yet Captain Allen had not condescended to make any report of
his arrival in the Province to any officer of the Proprietary.

On Sunday morning, the 2d of November, the city was thrown into a
state of violent ebullition--like a little red-hot tea-kettle--by the
circulation of a rumor that got wind about the hour the burghers were
preparing to go to church. It was brought from Patuxent late in the
previous night, and was now whispered from one neighbor to another, and
soon came to boil with an extraordinary volume of steam. Stripping it
of the exaggeration natural to such an excitement, the rumor was
substantially this: That Colonel Talbot, hearing of the arrival of
Captain Allen in the Patuxent on Thursday, and getting no message or
report from him, set off on Friday morning, in an angry state of mind,
and rode over to Patuxent, determined to give the unmannerly captain a
lesson upon his duty. That as soon as he reached Mattapony House,
he took his boat and went on board the ketch. That there he found
Christopher Rousby, the King's Collector, cronying with Captain Allen,
and upholding him in his disrespect to the government. That Colonel
Talbot was very sharp upon Rousby, not liking him for old grudges, and
more moved against him now; and that he spoke his mind both to Captain
Allen and Christopher Rousby, and so got into a high quarrel with them.
That when he had said all he desired to say to them, he made a move to
leave the ketch in his boat, intending to return to Mattapony House; but
they who were in the cabin prevented him, and would not let him go. That
thereupon the quarrel broke out afresh, and became more bitter; and it
being now in the night, and all in a great heat of passion, the parties
having already come from words to blows, Talbot drew his skean, or
dagger, and stabbed Rousby to the heart. That nothing was known on
shore of the affray till Saturday evening, when the body was brought to
Rousby's house; after which it became known to the neighborhood; and one
of the men of Major Sewall's plantation, which adjoined Rousby's, having
thus heard of it, set out and rode that night over to St. Mary's with
the news, which he gave to the Major before midnight. It was added, that
Colonel Talbot was now detained on board of the ketch, as a prisoner, by
Captain Allen.

This was the amount of the dreadful story over which the gossips of St.
Mary's were shaking their wise heads and discoursing on "crowner's quest
law" that Sunday morning.

As soon as Major Sewall received these unhappy midnight tidings, he went
instantly to his colleague, Colonel Darnall, and communicated them to
him; and they, being warm friends of Talbot's, were very anxious to get
him out of the custody of this Captain Allen. They therefore, on Sunday
morning, issued a writ directed to Roger Brooke, the sheriff of Calvert
County, commanding him to arrest the prisoner and bring him before
the Council. Their next move was to ride over--the same morning--to
Patuxent, taking with them Mr. Robert Carvil, and John Llewellin, their
secretary. Upon reaching the river, all four went on board the ketch
to learn the particulars of the quarrel. These particulars are not
preserved in the record; and we have nothing better than our conjectures
as to what they disclosed. We know nothing specific of the cause or
character of the quarrel. The visitors found Talbot loaded with irons,
and Captain Allen in a brutal state of exasperation, swearing that he
would not surrender his prisoner to the authorities of the Province, but
would carry him to Virginia and deliver him to the government there, to
be dealt with as Lord Effingham should direct. He was grossly insulting
to the two members of the Council who had come on this inquiry; and
after they had left his vessel, in the pinnace, to return to the shore,
he affected to believe that they had some concealed force lying in wait
to seize the pinnace and its crew, and so ordered them back on board,
but after a short detention thought better of it, and suffered them
again to depart.

The contumacy of the captain, and the declaration of his purpose to
carry away Talbot out of the jurisdiction of the Province within which
the crime was committed, and to deliver him to the Governor of Virginia,
was a grave assault upon the dignity of the government and a gross
contempt of the public authorities, which required the notice of the
Council. A meeting of this body was therefore held on the Patuxent,
at Rich Neck, on the morning of the 4th of November. I find that five
members were present on that occasion. Besides Colonel Darnall and Major
Sewall, there were Counsellor Tailler and Colonels Digges and Burgess.
Here the matter was debated and ended in a feeble resolve,--that, if
this Captain Allen should persist in his contumacy and take Talbot to
Virginia, the Council should immediately demand of Lord Effingham
his redelivery into this Province. Alas, they could only scold! This
resolution was all they could oppose to the bullying captain and the
guns of the troublesome little Quaker.

Allen, after hectoring awhile in this fashion, and raising the wrath of
the Colonels of the Council until they were red in the cheeks, defiantly
took his departure, carrying with him his prisoner, in spite of the
vehement indignation of the liegemen of the Province.

We may imagine the valorous anger of our little metropolis at this
act or crime of lese-majesty. I can see the group of angry burghers,
collected on the porch of Cordea's tavern, in a fume as they listen to
Master John Llewellin's account of what had taken place,--Llewellin
himself as peppery as his namesake when he made Ancient Pistol eat
his leek; and I fancy I can hear Alderman Van Swearingen's choleric
explosion against Lord Effingham, supposing his Lordship should presume
to slight the order of the Council in respect to Talbot's return.

But these fervors were too violent to last. Christopher Rousby was duly
deposited under the greensward upon the margin of Harper's Creek, where
I found him safe, if not sound, more than a hundred and fifty years
afterwards. The metropolis gradually ceased to boil, and slowly fell
to its usual temperature of repose, and no more disturbed itself with
thoughts of the terrible captain. Talbot, upon being transferred to the
dominion of Virginia, was confined in the jail of Gloucester County, in
the old town of Gloucester, on the northern bank of York River.

The Council now opened their correspondence with Lord Effingham,
demanding the surrender of their late colleague. On their part, it was
marked by a deferential respect, which, it is evident, they did not
feel, and which seems to denote a timid conviction of the favor of
Virginia and the disgrace of Maryland in the personal feelings of the
King. It is manifest they were afraid of giving offence to the lordly
governor of the neighboring Province. On the part of Lord Effingham, the
correspondence is cavalier, arrogant, and peremptory.

The Council write deploringly to his Lordship. They "pray"--as they
phrase it--"in humble, civil, and obliging terms, to have the prisoner
safely returned to this government." They add,--"Your Excellency's great
wisdom, prudence, and integrity, as well as neighborly affection and
kindness for this Province, manifested and expressed, will, we doubt
not, spare us the labor of straining for arguments to move your
Excellency's consideration to this our so just and reasonable demand."
Poor Colonel Darnall, Poor Colonel Digges, and the rest of you Colonels
and Majors,--to write such whining hypocrisy as this! George Talbot
would not have written to Lord Effingham in such phrase, if one of you
had been unlawfully transported to his prison and Talbot were your
pleader!

The nobleman to whom this servile language was addressed was a hateful
despot, who stands marked in the history of Virginia for his oppressive
administration, his arrogance, and his faithlessness.

To give this beseeching letter more significance and the flattery it
contained more point, it was committed to the charge of two gentlemen
who were commissioned to deliver it in person to his Lordship. These
were Mr. Clement Hill and Mr. Anthony Underwood.

Effingham's answer was cool, short, and admonitory. The essence of it
is in these words:--"We do not think it warrantable to comply with your
desires, but shall detain Talbot prisoner until his Majesty's particular
commands be known therein." A postscript is added of this import:--"I
recommend to your consideration, that you take care, as far as in you
lies, that, in the matter of the Customs, his Majesty receive no further
detriment by this unfortunate accident."

One almost rejoices to read such an answer to the fulsome language which
drew it out. This correspondence runs through several such epistles. The
Council complain of the rudeness and coarse behavior of Captain Allen,
and particularly of his traducing Lord Baltimore's government and
attempting to excite the people against it. Lord Effingham professes to
disbelieve such charges against "an officer who has so long served his
King with fidelity, and who could not but know what was due to his
superiors."

Occasionally this same faithful officer, Captain Allen himself,
reappears upon the stage. We catch him at a gentleman's house in
Virginia, boasting over his cups--for he seems to have paid habitual
tribute to a bowl of punch--that he will break up the government of
Maryland, and annex this poor little Province of ours to Virginia: a
fact worth notice just now, as it makes it clear that annexation is not
the new idea of the Nineteenth Century, but lived in very muddy brains
a long time ago. I now quit this correspondence to look after a bit of
romance in a secret adventure.


CHAPTER VIII.

A PLOT.


We must return to the Manor of New Connaught upon the Elk River.

There we shall find a sorrowful household. The Lord of the Manor is in
captivity; his people are dejected with a presentiment that they are to
see him no more; his wife is lamenting with her children, and counting
the weary days of his imprisonment.

  "His hounds they all run masterless,
  His hawks they flee from tree to tree."

Everything in the hospitable woodland home is changed. November,
December, January had passed by since Talbot was lodged in the
Gloucester prison, and still no hope dawned upon the afflicted lady. The
forest around her bowled with the rush of the winter wind, but neither
the wilderness nor the winter was so desolate as her own heart. The fate
of her husband was in the hands of his enemies. She trembled at the
thought of his being forced to a trial for his life in Virginia, where
he would be deprived of that friendly sympathy so necessary even to the
vindication of innocence, and where he ran the risk of being condemned
without defence, upon the testimony of exasperated opponents.

But she was a strong-hearted and resolute woman, and would not despair.
She had many friends around her,--friends devoted to her husband and
herself. Amongst these was Phelim Murray, a cornet of cavalry under the
command of Talbot,--a brave, reckless, true-hearted comrade, who had
often shared the hospitality, the adventurous service, and the sports of
his commander.

To Murray I attribute the planning of the enterprise I am now about
to relate. He had determined to rescue his chief from his prison in
Virginia. His scheme required the coöperation of Mrs. Talbot and one of
her youngest children,--the pet boy, perhaps, of the family, some two
or three years old,--I imagine, the special favorite of the father. The
adventure was a bold one, involving many hardships and perils. Towards
the end of January, the lady, accompanied by her boy with his nurse, and
attended by two Irish men-servants, repaired to St. Mary's, where she
was doubtless received as a guest in the mansion of the Proprietary, now
the residence of young Benedict Leonard and those of the family who had
not accompanied Lord Baltimore to England.

Whilst Mrs. Talbot tarried here, the Cornet was busy in his
preparations. He had brought the Colonel's shallop from Elk River to the
Patuxent, and was here concerting a plan to put the little vessel under
the command of some ostensible owner who might appear in the character
of its master to any over-curious or inopportune questioner. He had
found a man exactly to his hand in a certain Roger Skreene, whose name
might almost be thought to be adopted for the occasion and to express
the part he had to act. He was what we may call the sloop's husband, but
was bound to do whatever Murray commanded, to ask no questions, and
to be profoundly ignorant of the real objects of the expedition.
This pliant auxiliary had, like many thrifty--or more probably
thriftless--persons of that time, a double occupation. He was amphibious
in his habits, and lived equally on land and water. At home he was a
tailor, and abroad a seaman, frequently plying his craft as a skipper
on the Bay, and sufficiently known in the latter vocation to render his
present employment a matter to excite no suspicious remark. It will
be perceived in the course of his present adventure that he was quite
innocent of any avowed complicity in the design which he was assisting.

Murray had a stout companion with him, a good friend to Talbot, probably
one of the familiar frequenters of the Manor House of New Connaught,--a
bold fellow, with a hand and a heart both ready for any perilous
service. He may have been a comrade of the Cornet's in his troop. His
name was Hugh Riley,--a name that has been traditionally connected with
dare-devil exploits ever since the days of Dermot McMorrogh. There have
been, I believe, but few hard fights in the world, to which Irishmen
have had anything to say, without a Hugh Riley somewhere in the thickest
part of them.

The preparations being now complete, Murray anchored his shallop near a
convenient landing,--perhaps within the Mattapony Creek.

In the dead of winter, about the 30th of January, 1685, Mrs. Talbot,
with her servants, her child, and nurse, set forth from the Proprietary
residence in St. Mary's, to journey over to the Patuxent,--a cold, bleak
ride of fifteen miles. The party were all on horseback: the young boy,
perhaps, wrapped in thick coverings, nestling in the arms of one of the
men: Mrs. Talbot braving the sharp wind in hood and cloak, and warmed
by her own warm heart, which beat with a courageous pulse against the
fierce blasts that swept and roared across her path. Such a cavalcade,
of course, could not depart from St. Mary's without observation at any
season; but at this time of the year so unusual a sight drew every
inhabitant to the windows, and set in motion a current of gossip that
bore away all other topics from every fireside. The gentlemen of the
Council, too, doubtless had frequent conference with the unhappy wife of
their colleague, during her sojourn in the Government House, and perhaps
secretly counselled with her on her adventure. Whatever outward or
seeming pretext may have been adopted for this movement, we can hardly
suppose that many friends of the Proprietary were ignorant of its
object. We have, indeed, evidence that the enemies of the Proprietary
charged the Council with a direct connivance in the scheme of Talbot's
escape, and made it a subject of complaint against Lord Baltimore that
he afterwards approved of it.

Upon her arrival at the Patuxent, Mrs. Talbot went immediately on board
of the sloop, with her attendants. There she found the friendly cornet
and his comrade, Hugh Riley, on the alert to distinguish their loyalty
in her cause. The amphibious Master Skreene was now at the head of a
picked crew,--the whole party consisting of five stout men, with the
lady, her child, and nurse. All the men but Skreene were sons of the
Emerald Isle,--of a race whose historical boast is the faithfulness of
their devotion to a friend in need and their chivalrous courtesy to
woman, but still more their generous and gallant championship of woman
in distress. On this occasion this national sentiment was enhanced when
it was called into exercise in behalf of the sorrowful lady of the chief
of their border settlements.

They set sail from the Patuxent on Saturday, the 31st of January. On
Wednesday, the fifth day afterwards, they landed on the southern bank of
the Rappahannock, at the house of Mr. Ralph Wormeley, near the mouth of
the river. This long voyage of five days over so short a distance would
seem to indicate that they departed from the common track of navigation
to avoid notice.

The next morning Mr. Wormeley furnished them horses and a servant, and
Mrs. Talbot, with the nurse and child, under the conduct of Cornet
Murray, set out for Gloucester,--a distance of some twenty miles. The
day following,--that is, on Friday,--the servant returned with the
horses, having left the party behind. Saturday passed and part of
Sunday, when, in the evening, Mrs. Talbot and the Cornet reappeared at
Mr. Wormeley's. The child and nurse had been left behind; and this was
accounted for by Mrs. Talbot's saying she had left the child with his
father, to remain with him until she should return to Virginia. I infer
that the child was introduced into this adventure to give some seeming
to the visit which might lull suspicion and procure easier access to the
prisoner; and the leaving of him in Gloucester proves that Mrs. Talbot
had friends, and probably confederates there, to whose care he was
committed.

As soon as the party had left the shallop, upon their first arrival at
Mr. Wormeley's, the wily Master Skreene discovered that he had business
at a landing farther up the river; and thither he straightway took his
vessel,--Wormeley's being altogether too suspicious a place for him to
frequent. And now, when Mrs. Talbot had returned to Wormeley's, Roger's
business above, of course, was finished, and he dropped down again
opposite the house on Monday evening; and the next morning took the
Cornet and the lady on board. Having done this, he drew out into the
river. This brings us to Tuesday, the 10th of February.

As soon as Mrs. Talbot was once more embarked in the shallop, Murray and
Riley (I give Master Skreene's own account of the facts, as I find it in
his testimony subsequently taken before the Council) made a pretext to
go on shore, taking one of the men with them. They were going to look
for a cousin of this man,--so they told Skreene,--and besides that,
intended to go to a tavern to buy a bottle of rum: all of which Skreene
gives the Council to understand he verily believed to be the real object
of their visit.

The truth was, that, as soon as Murray and Riley and their companion had
reached the shore, they mounted on horseback and galloped away in the
direction of Gloucester prison. From the moment they disappeared on this
gallop until their return, we have no account of what they did. Roger
Skreene's testimony before the Council is virtuously silent on this
point.

After this party was gone, Mrs. Talbot herself took command, and, with a
view to more privacy, ordered Roger to anchor near the opposite shore of
the river, taking advantage of the concealment afforded by a small inlet
on the northern side. Skreene says he did this at her request, because
she expressed a wish to taste some of the oysters from that side of the
river, which he, with his usual facility, believed to be the only reason
for getting into this unobserved harbor; and, merely to gratify this
wish, he did as she desired.

The day went by slowly to the lady on the water. Cold February, a little
sloop, and the bleak roadstead at the mouth of the Rappahannock brought
but few comforts to the anxious wife, who sat muffled upon that unstable
deck, watching the opposite shore, whilst the ceaseless plash of the
waves breaking upon her ear numbered the minutes that marked the weary
hours, and the hours that marked the still more weary day. She watched
for the party who had galloped into the sombre pine-forest that
sheltered the road leading to Gloucester, and for the arrival of that
cousin of whom Murray spoke to Master Skreene.

But if the time dragged heavily with her, it flew with the Cornet and
his companions. We cannot tell when the twenty miles to Gloucester were
thrown behind them, but we know that the whole forty miles of going and
coming were accomplished by sunrise the next morning. For the deposition
tells us that Roger Skreene had become very impatient at the absence of
his passengers,--at least, so he swears to the Council; and he began to
think, just after the sun was up, that, as they had not returned, they
must have got into a revel at the tavern, and forgotten themselves;
which careless demeanor of theirs made him think of recrossing the river
and of going ashore to beat them up; when, lo! all of a sudden, he spied
a boat coming round the point within which he lay. And here arises a
pleasant little dramatic scene, of some interest to our story.

Mrs. Talbot had been up at the dawn, and watched upon the deck,
straining her sight, until she could see no more for tears; and at
length, unable to endure her emotion longer, had withdrawn to the cabin.
Presently Skreene came hurrying down to tell her that the boat was
coming,--and, what surprised him, there were _four_ persons in it. "Who
is this fourth man?" he asked her,--with his habitual simplicity, "and
how are we to get him back to the shore again?"--a very natural question
for Roger to ask, after all that had passed in his presence! Mrs. Talbot
sprang to her feet,--her eyes sparkling, as she exclaimed, with a cheery
voice, "Oh, his cousin has come!"--and immediately ran upon the deck
to await the approaching party. There were pleasant smiling faces all
around, as the four men came over the sloop's side; and although the
testimony is silent as to the fact, there might have been some little
kissing on the occasion. The new-comer was in a rough dress, and had the
exterior of a servant; and our skipper says in his testimony, that "Mrs.
Talbot spoke to him in the Irish language": very volubly, I have no
doubt, and that much was said that was never translated. When they
came to a pause in this conversation, she told Skreene, by way of
interpretation, "he need not be uneasy about the stranger's going on
shore, nor delay any longer, as this person had made up his mind to go
with them to Maryland."

So the boat was made fast, the anchor was weighed, the sails were set,
and the little sloop bent to the breeze and kissed the wave, as she
rounded the headland and stood up the Bay, with Colonel George Talbot
encircling with his arm his faithful wife, and with the gallant Cornet
Murray sitting at his side.

They had now an additional reason for caution against search. So Murray
ordered the skipper to shape his course over to the eastern shore, and
to keep in between the islands and the main. This is a broad circuit
outside of their course; but Roger is promised a reward by Mrs. Talbot,
to compensate him for his loss of time; and the skipper is very willing.
They had fetched a compass, as the Scripture phrase is, to the shore of
Dorset County, and steered inside of Hooper's Island, into the month of
Hungary River. Here it was part of the scheme to dismiss the faithful
Roger from further service. With this view they landed on the island and
went to Mr. Hooper's house, where they procured a supply of provisions,
and immediately afterwards reembarked,--having clean forgotten Roger,
until they were once more under full sail up the Bay, and too far
advanced to turn back!

The deserted skipper bore his disappointment like a Christian; and being
asked, on Hungary River, by a friend who met him there, and who gave his
testimony before the Council, "What brought him there?" he replied, "He
had been left on the island by Madam Talbot." And to another, "Where
Madam Talbot was?" he answered, "She had gone up the Bay to her own
house." Then, to a third question, "How he expected his pay?" he said,
"He was to have it of Colonel Darnall and Major Sewall; and that Madam
Talbot had promised him a hogshead of tobacco extra, for putting ashore
at Hooper's Island." The last question was, "What news of Talbot?" and
Roger's answer, "He had not been within twenty miles of him; neither did
he know anything about the Colonel" !! But, on further discourse, he let
fall, that "he knew the Colonel never would come to a trial,"--"that
_he_ knew this; but neither man, woman, nor child should know it, but
those who knew it already."

So Colonel George Talbot is out of the hands of the proud Lord
Effingham, and up the Bay with his wife and friends; and is buffeting
the wintry head-winds in a long voyage to the Elk River, which, in due
time, he reaches in safety.


CHAPTER IX.

TROUBLES IN COUNCIL.


Let us now turn back to see what is doing at St. Mary's.

On the 17th of February comes to the Council a letter from Lord
Effingham. It has the superscription, "These, with the greatest care and
speed." It is dated on the 11th of February from Poropotanck, an Indian
point on the York River above Gloucester, and memorable as being in the
neighborhood of the spot where, some sixty years before these events,
Pocahontas saved the life of that mirror of chivalry, Captain John
Smith.

The letter brings information "that last night [the 10th of February]
Colonel Talbot escaped out of prison,"--a subsequent letter says, "by
the corruption of his guard,"--and it is full of admonition, which has
very much the tone of command, urging all strenuous efforts to recapture
him, and particularly recommending a proclamation of "hue and cry."

And now, for a month, there is a great parade in Maryland of
proclamation, and hue and cry, and orders to sheriffs and county
colonels to keep a sharp look-out everywhere for Talbot. But no person
in the Province seems to be anxious to catch him, except Mr. Nehemiah
Blakiston, the Collector, and a few others, who seem to have been
ministering to Lord Effingham's spleen against the Council for not
capturing him. His Lordship writes several letters of complaint at the
delay and ill success of this pursuit, and some of them in no measured
terms of courtesy. "I admire," he says in one of these, "at any slow
proceedings in service wherein his Majesty is so concerned, and hope you
will take off all occasions of future trouble, both unto me and you,
of this nature, by manifesting yourselves zealous for his Majesty's
service." They answer, that all imaginable care for the apprehending
of Talbot has been taken by issuing proclamations, etc.,--but all have
proved ineffectual, because Talbot upon all occasions flies and
takes refuge "in the remotest parts of the woods and deserts of this
Province."

At this point we get some traces of Talbot. There is a deposition of
Robert Kemble of Cecil County, and some other papers, that give us a few
particulars by which I am enabled to construct my narrative.

Colonel Talbot got to his own house about the middle of
February,--nearly at the same time at which the news of his escape
reached St. Mary's. He there lay warily watching the coming hue and cry
for his apprehension. He collected his friends, armed them, and set them
at watch and ward, at all his outposts. He had a disguise provided, in
which he occasionally ventured abroad. Kemble met him, on the 19th of
February, at George Oldfield's, on Elk River; and although the Colonel
was disguised in a flaxen wig, and in other ways, Kemble says he knew
him by hearing him cough in the night, in a room adjoining that in which
Kemble slept. Whilst this witness was at Oldfield's, "Talbot's shallop,"
he says, "was busking and turning before Oldfield's landing for several
hours." The roads leading towards Talbot's house were all guarded by his
friends, and he had a report made to him of every vessel that arrived in
the river. By way of more permanent concealment, until the storm should
blow over, he had made preparations to build himself a cabin, somewhere
in the woods out of the range of the thoroughfares of the district. When
driven by a pressing emergency which required more than ordinary care
to prevent his apprehension, he betook himself to the cave on the
Susquehanna, where, most probably, with a friend or two,--Cornet Murray
I hope was one of them,--he lay perdu for a few days at a time, and
then ventured back to speak a word of comfort and encouragement to the
faithful wife who kept guard at home.

In this disturbed and anxious alternation of concealment and flight
Talbot passed the winter, until about the 25th of April, when, probably
upon advice of friends, he voluntarily surrendered himself to the
Council at St. Mary's, and was committed for trial in the provincial
Court. The fact of the surrender was communicated to Lord Effingham by
the Council, with a request that he would send the witnesses to Maryland
to appear at his trial. Hereupon arose another correspondence with his
Lordship, which is worthy of a moment's notice. Lord Effingham has lost
nothing of his arrogance. He says, on the 12th of May, 1685, "I am so
far from answering your desires, that I do hereby demand Colonel Talbot
as my prisoner, in the King of England's name, and that you do forthwith
convey him into Virginia. And to this my demand I expect your ready
performance and compliance, upon your allegiance to his Majesty."

I am happy to read the answer to this insolent letter, in which it will
be seen that the spirit of Maryland was waked up on the occasion to its
proper voice.--It is necessary to say, by way of explanation to one
point in this answer, that the Governor of Virginia had received the
news of the accession and proclamation of James the Second, and had not
communicated it to the Council in Maryland. The Council give an answer
at their leisure, having waited till the 1st of June, when they write
to his Lordship, protesting against Virginia's exercising any
superintendence over Maryland, and peremptorily refusing to deliver
Talbot. They tell him "that we are desirous and conclude to await his
Majesty's resolution, [in regard to the prisoner,] which we question not
will be agreeable to his Lordship's Charter, and, consequently, contrary
to your expectations. In the mean time we cannot but resent in some
measure, for we are willing to let you see that we observe, the small
notice you seem to take of this Government, (contrary to that amicable
correspondence so often promised, and expected by us,) in not holding us
worthy to be advised of his Majesty's being proclaimed, without which,
certainly, we have not been enabled to do our duty in that particular.
Such advice would have been gratefully received by your Excellency's
humble servants." Thanks, Colonels Darnall and Digges and you other
Colonels and Majors, for this plain outspeaking of the old Maryland
heart against the arrogance of the "Right Honorable Lord Howard, Baron
of Effingham, Captain General and Chief Governor of his Majesty's Colony
of Virginia," as he styles himself! I am glad to see this change of
tone, since that first letter of obsequious submission.

Perhaps this change of tone may have had some connection with the recent
change on the throne, in which the accession of a Catholic monarch may
have given new courage to Maryland, and abated somewhat the confidence
of Virginia. If so, it was but a transitory hope, born to a sad
disappointment.

The documents afford but little more information.

Lord Baltimore, being in London, appears to have interceded with the
King for some favor to Talbot, and writes to the Council on the third
of July, "that it formerly was and still is the King's pleasure, that
Talbot shall be brought over, in the Quaker Ketch, to England, to
receive his trial there; and that, in order thereto, his Majesty had
sent his commands to the Governor of Virginia to deliver him to
Captain Allen, commander of said ketch, who is to bring him over." The
Proprietary therefore directs his Council to send the prisoner to the
Governor of Virginia, "to the end that his Majesty's pleasure may be
fulfilled."

This letter was received on the 7th of October, 1685, and Talbot was
accordingly sent, under the charge of Gilbert Clarke and a proper guard,
to Lord Effingham, who gives Clarke a regular business receipt, as if
he had brought him a hogshead of tobacco, and appends to it a short
apologetic explanation of his previous rudeness, which we may receive as
another proof of his distrust of the favor of the new monarch. "I had
not been so urgent," he says, "had I not had advices from England, last
April, of the measures that were taken there concerning him."

After this my chronicle is silent. We have no further tidings of Talbot.
The only hint for a conjecture is the marginal note of "The Landholder's
Assistant," got from Chalmers: "He was, I believe," says the note,
"tried and convicted, and finally pardoned by James the Second." This is
probably enough. For I suppose him to have been of the same family with
that Earl of Tyrconnel equally distinguished for his influence with
James the Second as for his infamous life and character, who held at
this period unbounded sway at the English Court. I hope, for the honor
of our hero, that he preserved no family-likeness to that false-hearted,
brutal, and violent favorite, who is made immortal in Macaulay's pages
as Lying Dick Talbot. Through his intercession his kinsman may have been
pardoned, or even never brought to trial.


CHAPTER X.

CONCLUSION.


This is the end of my story. But, like all stories, it requires that
some satisfaction should be given to the reader in regard to the
dramatic proprieties. We have our several heroes to dispose of. Phelim
Murray and Hugh Riley, who had both been arrested by the Council to
satisfy public opinion as to their complicity in the plot for the
escape, were both honorably discharged,--I suppose being found entirely
innocent! Roger Skreene swore himself black and blue, as the phrase is,
that he had not the least suspicion of the business in which he was
engaged; and so he was acquitted! I am also glad to be able to say that
our gallant Cornet Murray, in the winding-up of this business, was
promoted by the Council to a captaincy of cavalry, and put in command of
Christiana Fort and its neighborhood, to keep that formidable Quaker,
William Penn, at a respectful distance. It would gratify me still more,
if I could find warrant to add, that the Cornet enjoyed himself, and
married the lady of his choice, with whom he has, unknown to us, been
violently in love during these adventures, and that they lived happily
together for many years. I hope this was so,--although the chronicle
does not allow one to affirm it,--it being but a proper conclusion to
such a romance as I have plucked out of our history.

And so I have traced the tradition of the Cave to the end. What I have
been able to certify furnishes the means of a shrewd estimate of the
average amount of truth which popular traditions generally contain.
There is always a fact at the bottom, lying under a superstructure of
fiction,--truth enough to make the pursuit worth following. Talbot did
not live in the Cave, but fled there occasionally for concealment. He
had no hawks with him, but bred them in his own mews on the Elk River.
The birds seen in after times were some of this stock, and not the
solitary pair they were supposed to be. I dare say an expert naturalist
would find many specimens of the same breed now in that region. But let
us not be too critical on the tradition, which has led us into a quest
through which I have been able to supply what I hope will be found to be
a pleasant insight into that little world of action and passion,--with
its people, its pursuits, and its gossips,--that, more than one hundred
and seventy years ago, inhabited the beautiful banks of St. Mary's
River, and wove the web of our early Maryland history.


POSTSCRIPT.


I have another link in the chain of Talbot's history, furnished me by a
friend in Virginia. It comes since I have completed my narrative, and
very accurately confirms the conjecture of Chalmers, quoted in the note
of "The Landholder's Assistant." "As for Colonel Talbot, he was conveyed
for trial to Virginia, from whence he made his escape, and, after being
retaken, and, _I believe_, tried and convicted, was finally pardoned by
King James II." This is an extract from the note. It is now ascertained
that Talbot was not taken to England for trial, as Lord Baltimore, in
his letter of the 6th of July, 1685, affirmed it was the King's pleasure
he should be; but that he was tried and convicted in Virginia on the 22d
of April, 1686, and, on the 26th of the same month, reprieved by order
of the King; after which we may presume he received a full pardon, and
perhaps was taken to England in obedience to the royal command, to await
it there. The conviction and reprieve are recorded in a folio of the
State Records of Virginia at Richmond, on a mutilated and scarcely
legible sheet,--a copy of which I present to my reader with all its
obliterations and broken syllables and sad gashes in the text, for his
own deciphering. The MS. is in keeping with the whole story, and may be
looked upon as its appropriate emblem. The story has been brought to
light by chance, and has been rendered intelligible by close study and
interpretation of fragmentary and widely separated facts, capable of
being read only by one conversant with the text of human affairs, and
who has the patience to grope through the trackless intervals of time,
and the skill to supply the lost words and syllables of history by
careful collation with those which are spared. How faithfully this
accidentally found MS. typifies such a labor, the reader may judge from
the literal copy of it I now offer to his perusal.

[Transcriber's note: Gaps in the text below are signified with an
asterisk.]

  By his Excellency

  Whereas his most Sacred Majesty has been Graciously pleased
  by his Royall Com'ands to Direct and Com'and Me ffrancis
  Lord Howard of Effingham his Maj'ties Lieut and Gov'r. Gen'll.
  of Virginia that if George Talbott Esq'r. upon his Tryall should
  be found Guilty of Killing M'r Christopher Rowsby, that Execution
  should be suspended untill his Majesties pleasure should
  be further signified unto Me; And forasmuch as the sd George
  Talbott was Indicted upon the Statute of Stabbing and hath
  Received a full and Legall Tryall in open Court on y'e Twentieth
  and One and Twentieth dayes of this Instant Aprill, before his
  Majesties Justices of Oyer and Terminer, and found Guilty of y'e
  aforesaid fact and condemned for the Same, I, therefore, *ffrancis
  Lord Howard, Baron of *ffingham, his Majesties Lieu't and Gov'r.
  Gen'll. Of Virginia, by Virtue of *aj'ties Royall Com'ands
  to Me given there * doe hereby Suspend *tion of the
  Sentence of death * his Maj'ties Justices
  * Terminer on the * till his Majesties
  *erein be * nor any
  * fail as yo* uttmost
  * and for y'r soe doing this sh*

  Given under my and * Seale

  the 26th dayof Apri*

  EFFINGHAM

  To his Majesties Justices
  of Oyer and Terminer.

  Recordatur E Chillon Gen'l Car*

  [Endorsed]

  Talbott's Repreif
  from L'd Howard
  1686 for Killing Ch'r. Rousby
  Examined Sept. 24th
  26th Aprill 1686
  Sentence of
  ag'* Col Ta
  Suspended
  Aprill 26* 1*86



PRINCE ADEB.


  In Sana, oh, in Sana, God, the Lord,
  Was very kind and merciful to me!
  Forth from the Desert in my rags I came,
  Weary and sore of foot. I saw the spires
  And swelling bubbles of the golden domes
  Rise through the trees of Sana, and my heart
  Grew great within me with the strength of God;
  And I cried out, "Now shall I right myself,--
  I, Adeb the Despised,--for God is just!"
  There he who wronged my father dwelt in peace,--
  My warlike father, who, when gray hairs crept
  Around his forehead, as on Lebanon
  The whitening snows of winter, was betrayed
  To the sly Imam, and his tented wealth
  Swept from him, 'twixt the roosting of the cock
  And his first crowing,--in a single night:
  And I, poor Adeb, sole of all my race,
  Smeared with my father's and my kinsmen's blood,
  Fled through the Desert, till one day a tribe
  Of hungry Bedouins found me in the sand,
  Half mad with famine, and they took me up,
  And made a slave of me,--of me, a prince!
  All was fulfilled at last. I fled from them,
  In rags and sorrow. Nothing but my heart,
  Like a strong swimmer, bore me up against
  The howling sea of my adversity.
  At length o'er Sana, in the act to swoop,
  I stood like a young eagle on a crag.
  The traveller passed me with suspicious fear:
  I asked for nothing; I was not a thief.
  The lean dogs snuffed around me: my lank bones,
  Fed on the berries and the crusted pools,
  Were a scant morsel. Once, a brown-skinned girl
  Called me a little from the common path,
  And gave me figs and barley in a bag.
  I paid her with a kiss, with nothing more,
  And she looked glad; for I was beautiful,
  And virgin as a fountain, and as cold.
  I stretched her bounty, pecking, like a bird,
  Her figs and barley, till my strength returned.
  So when rich Sana lay beneath my eyes,
  My foot was as the leopard's, and my hand
  As heavy as the lion's brandished paw;
  And underneath my burnished skin the veins
  And stretching muscles played, at every step,
  In wondrous motion. I was very strong.
  I looked upon my body, as a bird
  That bills his feathers ere he takes to flight,--
  I, watching over Sana. Then I prayed;
  And on a soft stone, wetted in the brook,
  Ground my long knife; and then I prayed again.
  God heard my voice, preparing all for me,
  As, softly stepping down the hills,
  I saw the Imam's summer-palace all ablaze
  In the last flash of sunset. Every fount
  Was spouting fire, and all the orange-trees
  Bore blazing coals, and from the marble walls
  And gilded spires and columns, strangely wrought,
  Glared the red light, until my eyes were pained
  With the fierce splendor. Till the night grew thick,
  I lay within the bushes, next the door,
  Still as a serpent, as invisible.
  The guard hung round the portal. Man by man
  They dropped away, save one lone sentinel,
  And on his eyes God's finger lightly fell;
  He slept half standing. Like a summer wind
  That threads the grove, yet never turns a leaf,
  I stole from shadow unto shadow forth;
  Crossed all the marble court-yard, swung the door,
  Like a soft gust, a little way ajar,--
  My body's narrow width, no more,--and stood
  Beneath the cresset in the painted hall.
  I marvelled at the riches of my foe;
  I marvelled at God's ways with wicked men.
  Then I reached forth, and took God's waiting hand:
  And so He led me over mossy floors,
  Flowered with the silken summer of Shirar,
  Straight to the Imam's chamber. At the door
  Stretched a brawn eunuch, blacker than my eyes:
  His woolly head lay like the Kaba-stone
  In Mecca's mosque, as silent and as huge.
  I stepped across it, with my pointed knife
  Just missing a full vein along his neck,
  And, pushing by the curtains, there I was,--
  I, Adeb the Despised,--upon the spot
  That, next to heaven, I longed for most of all.
  I could have shouted for the joy in me.
  Fierce pangs and flashes of bewildering light
  Leaped through my brain and danced before my eyes.
  So loud my heart beat that I feared its sound
  Would wake the sleeper; and the bubbling blood
  Choked in my throat, till, weaker than a child,
  I reeled against a column, and there hung
  In a blind stupor. Then I prayed again;
  And, sense by sense, I was made whole once more.
  I touched myself; I was the same; I knew
  Myself to be lone Adeb, young and strong,
  With nothing but a stride of empty air
  Between me and God's justice. In a sleep,
  Thick with the fumes of the accursed grape,
  Sprawled the false Imam. On his shaggy breast,
  Like a white lily heaving on the tide
  Of some foul stream, the fairest woman slept
  These roving eyes have ever looked upon.
  Almost a child, her bosom barely showed
  The change beyond her girlhood. All her charms
  Were budding, but half opened; for I saw
  Not only beauty wondrous in itself,
  But possibility of more to be
  In the full process of her blooming days.
  I gazed upon her, and my heart grew soft,
  As a parched pasture with the dew of heaven.
  While thus I gazed, she smiled, and slowly raised
  The long curve of her lashes; and we looked
  Each upon each in wonder, not alarm,--
  Not eye to eye, but soul to soul, we held
  Each other for a moment. All her life
  Seemed centred in the circle of her eyes.
  She stirred no limb; her long-drawn, equal breath
  Swelled out and ebbed away beneath her breast,
  In calm unbroken. Not a sign of fear
  Touched the faint color on her oval cheek,
  Or pinched the arches of her tender mouth.
  She took me for a vision, and she lay
  With her sleep's smile unaltered, as in doubt
  Whether real life had stolen into her dreams,
  Or dreaming stretched into her outer life.
  I was not graceless to a woman's eyes.
  The girls of Damar paused to see me pass,
  I walking in my rags, yet beautiful.
  One maiden said, "He has a prince's air!"
  I am a prince; the air was all my own.
  So thought the lily on the Imam's breast;
  And lightly as a summer mist, that lifts
  Before the morning, so she floated up,
  Without a sound or rustle of a robe,
  From her coarse pillow, and before me stood
  With asking eyes. The Imam never moved.
  A stride and blow were all my need, and they
  Were wholly in my power. I took her hand,
  I held a warning finger to my lips,
  And whispered in her small expectant ear,
  "Adeb, the son of Akem!" She replied
  In a low murmur, whose bewildering sound
  Almost lulled wakeful me to sleep, and sealed
  The sleeper's lids in tenfold slumber, "Prince,
  Lord of the Imam's life and of my heart,
  Take all thou seest,--it is thy right, I know,--
  But spare the Imam for thy own soul's sake!"
  Then I arrayed me in a robe of state,
  Shining with gold and jewels; and I bound
  In my long turban gems that might have bought
  The lands 'twixt Babelmandeb and Sahan.
  I girt about me, with a blazing belt,
  A scimitar o'er which the sweating smiths
  In far Damascus hammered for long years,
  Whose hilt and scabbard shot a trembling light
  From diamonds and rubies. And she smiled,
  As piece by piece I put the treasures on,
  To see me look so fair,--in pride she smiled.
  I hung long purses at my side. I scooped,
  From off a table, figs and dates and rice,
  And bound them to my girdle in a sack.
  Then over all I flung a snowy cloak,
  And beckoned to the maiden. So she stole
  Forth like my shadow, past the sleeping wolf
  Who wronged my father, o'er the woolly head
  Of the swart eunuch, down the painted court,
  And by the sentinel who standing slept.
  Strongly against the portal, through my rags,--
  My old, base rags,--and through the maiden's veil,
  I pressed my knife,--upon the wooden hilt
  Was "Adeb, son of Akem," carved by me
  In my long slavehood,--as a passing sign
  To wait the Imam's waking. Shadows cast
  From two high-sailing clouds upon the sand
  Passed not more noiseless than we two, as one,
  Glided beneath the moonlight, till I smelt
  The fragrance of the stables. As I slid
  The wide doors open, with a sudden bound
  Uprose the startled horses; but they stood
  Still as the man who in a foreign land
  Hears his strange language, when my Desert call,
  As low and plaintive as the nested dove's,
  Fell on their listening ears. From stall to stall,
  Feeling the horses with my groping hands,
  I crept in darkness; and at length I came
  Upon two sister mares, whose rounded sides,
  Fine muzzles, and small heads, and pointed ears,
  And foreheads spreading 'twixt their eyelids wide,
  Long slender tails, thin manes, and coats of silk,
  Told me, that, of the hundred steeds there stalled,
  My hand was on the treasures. O'er and o'er
  I felt their long joints, and down their legs
  To the cool hoofs;--no blemish anywhere:
  These I led forth and saddled. Upon one
  I set the lily, gathered now for me,--
  My own, henceforth, forever. So we rode
  Across the grass, beside the stony path,
  Until we gained the highway that is lost,
  Leading from Sana, in the eastern sands:
  When, with a cry that both the Desert-born
  Knew without hint from whip or goading spur,
  We dashed into a gallop. Far behind
  In sparks and smoke the dusty highway rose;
  And ever on the maiden's face I saw,
  When the moon flashed upon it, the strange smile
  It wore on waking. Once I kissed her mouth,
  When she grew weary, and her strength returned.
  All through the night we scoured between the hills:
  The moon went down behind us, and the stars
  Dropped after her; but long before I saw
  A planet blazing straight against our eyes,
  The road had softened, and the shadowy hills
  Had flattened out, and I could hear the hiss
  Of sand spurned backward by the flying mares.--
  Glory to God! I was at home again!
  The sun rose on us; far and near I saw
  The level Desert; sky met sand all round.
  We paused at midday by a palm-crowned well,
  And ate and slumbered. Somewhat, too, was said:
  The words have slipped my memory. That same eve
  We rode sedately through a Hamoum camp,--
  I, Adeb, prince amongst them, and my bride.
  And ever since amongst them I have ridden,
  A head and shoulders taller than the best;
  And ever since my days have been of gold,
  My nights have been of silver.--God is just!

       *       *       *       *       *



ELEUSINIA.[a]

[Footnote a: See Number XXIII., September, 1859.]


THE SAVIOURS OF GREECE.

Life, in its central idea, is an entire and eternal solitude. Yet each
individual nature so repeats--and is itself repeated in--every other,
that there is insured the possibility both of a world-revelation in the
soul, and of a self-incarnation in the world; so that every man's life,
like Agrippa's mirror, reflects the universe, and the universe is made
the embodiment of his life,--is made to beat with a human pulse.

We do all, therefore,--Hindu, Egyptian, Greek, or Saxon,--claim kinship
both with the earth and the heavens: with the sense of sorrow we kneel
upon the earth, with the sense of hope we look into the heavens.

The two Presences of the Eleusinia,--the earthly Demeter,[b] the
embodiment of human sorrow, and the heavenly Dionysus,[c] the
incarnation of human hope,--these are the two Great Presences of the
Universe; about whom, as separate centres,--the one of measureless
wanderings, the other of triumphant rest,--we marshal, both in the
interpretations of Reason and in the constructions of our Imagination,
all that is visible or that is invisible,--whatsoever is palpable in
sense or possible in idea, in the world which is or the world to come.
Incarnations of the life within us, in its two developments of Sorrow
and Hope,--they are also the centres through which this life develops
itself in the world: it is through them that all things have their
genesis from the human heart, and through them, therefore, that all
things are unveiled to us.

[Footnote b: Demeter is [Greek Gae-mhaetaer], Mother Earth.]

[Footnote c: The same as Iacchus and the Latin Bacchus.]

But these Two Presences have their highest interest and significance as
_foci_ of the religious development of the race: and inasmuch as all
growth is ultimately a religious one, it is in this phase that their
organic connections with life are widest and most profound. As such they
appear in the Eleusinia; and in all mythology they furnish the only
possible key for the interpretation of its mystic symbolism, its
hieroglyphic records, and its ill-defined traditions.

Accordingly we find that all mythology naturally and inevitably
flows about these centres into two distinct developments, which are
indicated,--

1. In Nature; inasmuch as they are first made manifest through symbols
which point to the two great forces, the _active_ and the _passive_,
which are concerned in all natural processes (_sol et terra subjacens
soli_); and,

2. In the primitive belief among all nations, that men are the offspring
of the earth and the heavens,--and in the worship equally prevalent of
the sun, the personal Presence of the heavens, as Saviour Lord, and of
the earth as sorrowing Lady and Mother.

Why the earth, in this primitive symbolism and worship, was represented
as the Sorrowing One, and the sun as Saviour, is evident at a glance.
It was the bosom of the earth which was shaken with storm and rent with
earthquake. She was the Mother, and hers was the travail of all birth;
in sorrow she forever gathered to herself her Fate-conquered children;
her sorrowful countenance she veiled in thick mists, and, year after
year, shrouded herself in wintry desolation: while he was the Eternal
Father, the Revealer of all things, he drove away the darkness, and in
his presence the mist became an invisible exhalation; and, as out of
darkness and death, he called into birth the flowers and the numberless
forests,--even as he himself was every morning born anew out of
darkness,--so he called the children of the earth to a glorious rising
in his light. Everything of the earth was inert, weighing heavily upon
the sense and the heart, only waiting its transfiguration and exaltation
through his power, until it should rise into the heavens; which was the
type of his translation to himself of his grief-oppressed children.

Under these symbols our Lord and Lady have been worshipped by an
overwhelming majority of the human race. They swayed the ancient world,
from the Indians by the Ganges, and the Tartar tribes, to the Britons
and Laplanders of Northwestern Europe,--having their representatives in
every system of faith,--in the Hindu _Isi and Isana_, the Egyptian _Isis
and Osiris_, the Assyrian _Venus and Adonis_, the _Demeter and Dionysus_
of Greece, the Roman _Ceres and Bacchus_, and the _Disa and Frey_ of
Scandinavia,--in connection with most, if not all, of whom there existed
festivals corresponding, in respect of their meaning and use, with the
Grecian Eleusinia.

Moreover, the various divinities of any one mythology--for example, the
Greek--were at first only representatives of partial attributes or
incidental functions of these Two Presences. Thus, Jove was the power of
the heavens, which, of course, centred in the sun; Apollo is admitted
to have been only another name for the sun; Æsculapius represents his
healing virtues; Hercules his saving strength; and Prometheus, who gave
fire to men, as Vulcan, the god of fire, was probably connected with
Eastern fire-worship, and so in the end with the worship of the sun.
Some of the goddesses come under the same category,--such as Juno,
sister and wife of Jove, who shared with him his aerial dynasty; as also
Diana, who was only the reflection of Apollo,[d] as the moon of the sun,
carrying his power on into the night, and exercising among women the
functions which he exercised among men. The representatives of our Lady,
on the other hand, are such as the ancient Rhea,--Latona, with her dark
and starry veil,--Tethys, the world-nurse,--and the Artemis of the East,
or Syrian Mother; to say nothing of Oreads, Dryads, and Nereids, that
without number peopled the mountains, the forests, and the sea.

[Footnote d: This connection of Diana with Apollo has led some to the
hasty inference, that the sun and moon--not the sun and earth--were the
primitive centres of mythological symbolism. But it is plain that the
sun and moon, as _active _forces referable to a single centre, stood
over against the earth as _passive._]

The confusion of ancient mythology did not so much regard its subjective
elements as its external development, and even here is easily accounted
for by the mingling of tribes and nations, hitherto isolated in their
growth,--but who, as they came together, in their mutual recognition of
a common faith under different names and rites, must inevitably have
introduced disorder into the external symbolism. But even out of this
confusion we shall find the whole Pantheon organized about two
central shrines,--those of the _Mater Dolorosa_ and the _Dominus
Salvator_,--which are represented also in Christendom, though detached
from natural symbols, in the connection of Christianity with the worship
of the Virgin.

The Eleusinia, collecting together, as it did, all the prominent
elements of mythology, furnishes, in its dramatic evolution through
Demeter and Dionysus, the highest and most complete representation of
ancient faith in both of its developments. In a former paper, we have
endeavored to give this drama its deepest interpretation by pointing to
the human heart as the central source of all its movements. We shall now
ask our readers to follow us out into these movements themselves,--that,
as before we saw how the world is centred in each human soul, we may now
see how each soul develops itself in the world; for thither it is that
the ever-widening cycles of the Eleusinian epos will inevitably lead us.

And first as an epos of sorrow: though centring in the earthly Demeter,
yet its movement does not limit itself by the remembrance of _her_ nine
days' search; but, in the torch-light procession of the fifth night,
widens indefinitely and mysteriously in the darkness, until it has
inclosed all hearts within the circuit of its tumultuous flight. Thus,
by some secret sympathy with her movements, are gathered together
about the central Achtheia all the _Matres Dolorosoe,_--our Ladies of
Sorrow;--for, like her, they were all wanderers.

They were so by necessity. All unrest involves loss, and thus leads to
search. It matters not if the search be unsuccessful; though the gadfly
sting as sharply the next moment as it did the last, still so must
continue her wanderings. Therefore that Jew, whose mythic fate it is to
wait forever upon the earth, the victim of an everlasting sorrow, is
also an everlasting wanderer. All suffering necessitates movement,--and
when the suffering is intense, the movement passes over into flight.

Therefore it is that the epos of suffering requires not merely time for
its accomplishment, but also space. Ulysses, the "much-suffering," is
also the "much-wandering."

Thus our Lady in the Eleusinian procession of search represents the
restless search of all her children.

Migrations and colonizations, ancient or modern,--what were they but
flights from some phase of suffering,--name it as we may,--poverty,
oppression, or slavery? It was the same suffering Io who brought
civilization to the banks of the Nile.

Thus, from the very beginnings of history or human tradition, out of
the severities of Scythian deserts there has been an endless series of
flights,--nomadic invasions of tribes impelled by no merely barbarian
impulse, but by some deep sense of suffering, flying from their Northern
wastes to the happy gardens of the South. In no other way can you
account for these movements. If you attribute them to ferocity, what
was it that engendered and nourished _that_? Call them the results of
a Divine Providence, seeking by a fresher current of life to revive
systems of civilization which through long ages of luxury have come to
frailty,--still it was through this severity of discipline alone that
Providence accomplished its end. Besides, these nomads were fully
conscious of their bitter lot; and those who fled not in space fled at
least in their dreams,--waiting for death at last to introduce them to
inexhaustible hunting-grounds in their happy Elysium.

The very mention of Rome suggests the same continually repeated series
of antecedent tragedy and consequent wandering,--pointing backward to
the fabled siege of Troy and the flight of Aeneas,--"_profugus_"
from Asia to Italy,--and forward to the quick-coming footsteps of the
Northern _profugi_, who were eager, even this side the grave, to enter
the Valhalla of their dreams.

It is said that the Phoenician cities sent out colonies from a desire of
gain, and because they were crowded at home. It is said, too, that,
in search of gold, thousands upon thousands went to El Dorado, to
California, and Australia; but who does not know that the greater part
of these thousands left their homes for reasons which, if fully exposed,
would reveal a tragedy in view of which gold appears a glittering
mockery?

The great movement of the race westward is but an extension of this
epic flight. Thus, the Pilgrim Fathers of New England,--the grandest
_profugi_ of all time,--or even the bold adventurers of Spain, would
have been moved only by intense suffering, in some form, to exchange
their homes for a wilderness.

The world is full of these wanderings, under various pretences of gain,
adventure, or curiosity, hiding the real impulse of flight. So with the
strong-flowing current in the streets of a great city; for how else
shall we interpret this intricate net-work of human feature and
movement,--this flux of life toward some troubled centre, and then its
reflux toward some uncertain and undefined circumference?

And as Nature is the mirror of human life, so at the source of those
vast movements by which she buries in oblivion her own works and the
works of man there is hidden the type of human suffering, both for the
race and the individual. And hence it is, that, over against the eternal
solitude within us, there ever waits without us a second solitude, into
which, sooner or later, we pass with restless flight,--a solitude
vast, shadowy, and unfamiliar in its outline, but inevitable in its
reality,--haunting, bewildering, overshadowing us!

       *       *       *       *       *

"Who is it that shall interpret this intricate evolution of human
footsteps, in its meaning of sorrow?--who is it that shall give us
rest?" Such is the half-conscious prayer of all these fugitives,--of
our Lady and all her children. This it is which gives meaning to the
torch-light procession on the fifth night of the Festival; but to-morrow
it shall find an answer in the Saviour Dionysus, who shall change the
flight of search into the pomp of triumph.

       *       *       *       *       *

But let us pause a moment. It is Palm Sunday! We are not, indeed, in
Syria, the land of palms. Yet, even here,--lost in some far-reaching
avenue of pines, where one could hardly walk upon a summer Sunday
without such sense of joy as would move him to tears,--even here all the
movements of the earth and the heavens hint of most jubilant triumph.
Thus, the green grass rises above the dead grass at our feet; the
leaf-buds new-born upon the tree, like lotos-buds springing up from
Ethiopian marble, give token of resurrection; the trees themselves tower
heavenward; and in victorious ascension the clouds unite in the vast
procession, dissolving in exhalation at the "gates of the sun"; while
from unnumbered choirs arise songs of exultant victory from the hearts
of men to the throne of God!

But whither, in divine remembrance,--whither is it that upon this Sunday
of all Sundays the thoughts of Christendom point? Back through eighteen
hundred years to the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, followed
by the children crying, "Hosanna in the highest heavens!" Of this it is
that the processions of Nature, in the resurrections of birth and the
aërial ascension of clouds,--of this that the upward processions of our
thoughts are commemorative!

Thus was the sixth day of the Eleusinia,--when the ivy-crowned Dionysus
was borne in triumph through the mystic entrance of Eleusis, and from
the Eleusinian plains, as from our choirs to-day, ascended the jubilant
Hosannas of the countless multitude;--this was the Palm Sunday of
Greece.

Close upon the chariot-wheels of the Saviour Dionysus followed, in
the faith of Greece, Aesculapius and Hercules: the former the Divine
Physician, whose very name was healing, and who had power over death,
as the child of the Sun; and the latter, who by his saving strength
delivered the earth from its Augean impurities, and, arrayed in
celestial panoply, subdued the monsters of the earth, and at last,
descending to Hades, slew the three-headed Cerberus and took away from
men much of the fear of death. Such was the train of the Eleusinian
Dionysus. If Demeter was the wanderer, he was the conqueror and centre
of all triumph.

And this reminds us of his Indian conquest. What did it mean? Admit that
it may have been only the fabulous march in triumph of some forgotten
king of mortal birth to the farthest limits of the East. Still the fact
of its association with Dionysus stands as evidence of the connection of
human faith with human victory. Let it be that Dionysus himself was only
the apotheosis of victorious humanity. In strict logic this is more than
probable. Yet why apotheosize conquerors at all? Why exalt all heroes to
the rank of gods?

The reason is, that men are unwilling to draw a limited meaning from any
human act. How could they, then, connecting, as they did, all victory
with hope,--how could they fall short of the most exalted hope, of the
most excellent victory; especially in instances like the one now under
our notice, where the material circumstances of the conquest as well
as of the conqueror's life have passed out of remembrance; when for
generations men have dwelt upon the dim tradition in their thoughts, and
it has had time to grow into its fullest significance,--even finding
an elaborate expression in sacred writings, in symbolic ritual, and
monumental entablature? Osiris, who subjected men to his reign of peace,
was also held to be the Preserver of their souls. Even Caesar, had he
lived two thousand years before, might have been worshipped as Saviour.
All extended power, measured by duration in time or vast areas of space,
becomes an incarnate Presence in the world, which awes to the dust
all who resist it, and exalts with its own glory all who trust in it.
Achtheia mourns all failures; and here it is that the human touches the
earth. But they who conquer, these are our Saviours; they shall follow
in the train of Dionysus; they shall lift us to the heavens, and
sanctify in our remembrance the Sunday of Palms!

But Dionysus not only looks back with triumphant remembrance to ancient
conquest, but has his victories in the present, also, and in the great
Hereafter. For triumph was connected with all Dionysiac symbols, hints
of which are preserved to us in representations found upon ancient
vases: such, for instance, as the figure of Victory surmounting the
heads of the ivy-crowned Bacchantes in their mystic orgies; or the
winged serpents which bear the chariot of the victor-god,--as if in
this connection even the reptiles, whose very name (_serpentes_) is
a synonyme for what creeps, are to be made the ministrants of his
conquering flight. The tombs of the ancients from Egypt to Etruria are
full of these symbols. Many of them have become dim as to their meaning
by oblivious time; but enough is evident to indicate the prominence
of hope in ancient faith. This appears in the very multiplicity of
Dionysiac symbols as compared with any other class. Thus, out of
sixty-six vases at Polignano, all but one or two were found to be
Dionysiac in their symbolism. And this instance stands for many others.
The _character_ of the scenes represented indicates the same prominence
of hope, sometimes as connected with the relations of life,--as, for
example, the representation, found upon a sepulchral cone, of a husband
and wife uniting with each other in prayer to the Sun. Frequent
inscriptions--such as those in which the deceased is carefully committed
to Osiris, the Egyptian Dionysus--point in the same direction; as
also the genii who presided over the embalmed dead, a belief in whose
existence surely indicated a hopeful trust in some divine care which
would not leave them even in the grave. Statues of Osiris are found
among the ruins of palaces and temples; but it was in the monuments
associated with death that they dwelt most upon his name and expressed
their faith in most frequent incarnation and inscription.

The epic movement of Eleusinian triumph was in its range as unlimited
as the movement of sorrow. Each found expression in sculptured
monument,--the one hinting of flight into darkness, and the other of
resurrection into light; each in its cycle inclosed the world; each
widened into the invisible; as the wail of Achtheia reached the heart of
Hades, so the paean of Dionysus was lost in the heavens.

       *       *       *       *       *

But in what manner did this Dionysus make his _avatar_ in the world? For
he must needs have first touched the earth as human child, ere he could
be worshipped as Divine Saviour. Latona must leave the heavens and come
to Delos ere she can give birth to Apollo; for, in order to slay the
serpent, the child must himself be earth-born,--indeed, according to one
representation, he slew the Python out of his mother's arms. Neither the
serpent of Genesis nor the dragon of Revelation can be conquered save
by the seed of the woman. From this necessity of his earthly birth,
the connection of the Saviour-Child with the _Mater Dolorosa_ becomes
universal,--finding its counterpart in the Assyrian Venus with babe in
arm, in Isis suckling the child Horus, and even in the Scandinavian Disa
at Upsal accompanied by an infant. It is from swaddling-clothes, as the
nursling of our Lady, and out of the sorrowful discipline of earth, that
the child grows to be the Saviour, both for our Lady and for all her
children.

Hence, according to the tradition, Dionysus was born of Semele of the
royal house at Thebes; and Jove was his father. A little before his time
of birth,--so the story goes,--Jove visited Semele, at her own rash
request, in all the majesty of his presence, with thunderings and
lightnings, so that the bower of the virgin mother was laid in ruins,
and she herself, unable to stand before the revealed god, was consumed
as by fire. But Jove out of her ashes perfected the birth of his son;
whence he was called the Child of Fire, ([Greek: puripais],)--which
epithet, as well as this part of the fable, probably points to his
connection with the Oriental symbolism of fire in the worship of the
Sun.

And it is worth while, in connection with this, to notice the gradations
by which in the ancient mind everything ascended from the gross material
to a refined spirituality. As in Nature there was forever going on a
subtilizing process, so that

  "from the root
  Springs lighter the green stalk, from thence the leaves
  More aëry, last the bright consummate flower
  Spirits odorous breathes,"--

and as, in their philosophy, from the earth, as the principle of Nature,
they ascended through the more subtile elements of water, air, and fire,
to a spiritual conception of the universe; so, as regards their
faith, its highest incarnation was through the symbolism of fire, as
representative of that central Power under whose influence all things
arose through endless grades of exaltation to Himself,--so that the
earthly rose into the heavenly, and all that was human became divine.

The enthusiasm of victory and exaltation in the worship of Dionysus
tended of course to connect with him whatsoever was joyous and jubilant
in life. He was the god of all joy. Hence the fable which makes him the
author and giver of wine to men. Wherever he goes, he is surrounded by
the clustering vine and ivy, hinting of his summer glory and of his
kingly crown. Thus, the line of his conquests leads through the richest
fields of Southern Asia,--through the incense-breathing Arabia, across
the Euphrates and the Tigris, and through the flowery vales of Cashmere
to the Indian garden of the world: and as from sea to sea he establishes
his reign by bloodless victories, he is attended by Fauns and Satyrs and
the jovial Pan; wine and honey are his gifts; and all the earth is glad
in his gracious presence. Hence he was ever associated with Oriental
luxuriance, and was worshipped even among the Greeks with a large
infusion of Oriental extravagance, though tempered by the more subdued
mood of the West.

But that depth of Grecian genius, which made it possible for Greece
alone of all ancient nations to develop tragedy to anything like
perfection, insured also even in the most impassioned life the most
profound solemnity. Into the praises of Apollo, joyous as they
were,--where, to the exultant anthem was joined the evolution of the
dance beneath the vaulted sky, as if in his very presence,--for the sun
was his shechinah,--there enters an element of solemnity, which, in
certain connections, is almost overwhelming: as, for instance, in the
first book of the "Iliad,"--where, after the pestilence which has sent
up an endless series of funeral pyres,--after the strife of heroes
and the return of Chryseïs to her father, the priest of the angry
Apollo,--after the feast and the libation from the wine-crowned cups,
there follow the _apotropoea_, and the Grecian youths unite in the
song and the dance, which last, both the joyous paean and the tread of
exultant feet, until the setting sun. I know of nothing which to
an equal degree suggests this element of solemnity, that is almost
awe-inspiring from its depth, short of the jubilant procession of
saints, in the Apocalypse, with palms in their hands.

This element is also evident in the worship of Dionysus,--so that the
inspiration of joy must not be taken for the frenzy of intoxication,
though the symbol of the vine has often led to just this
misapprehension. Besides, Dionysus must not be too closely identified
with the Bacchanalian orgies, which were only a perversion of rites
which retained their original purity in the Eleusinia: and this latter
institution, it must be remembered, was from the first under the control
of the state,--and that state at the time the most refined on the face
of the earth.

Surely, it is not more difficult to give a pure and spiritual
significance to a vintage-festival or to the symbolic wine-cup of
Dionysus, than in the rhapsodies of a Persian or Hindu poet to symbolize
the attraction between the Divine Goodness and the human soul by the
loves of Laili and Majnum, or of Crishna and Radha,--to say nothing of
the exalted symbolism attached to the love of Solomon for his Egyptian
princess, and sanctioned by the most delicate taste.

Indeed, is it not true that whatsoever is most sensuous in connection
with human joy, and at the same time pure, is the very flower of life,
and therefore the most consummate revelation of holiness? Nothing in
Nature is so intensely solemn as her summer, in its infinite fulness of
growth and the unmeasured altitude of its heavens. And within the range
of human associations which shall we select as revealing the most
profound solemnity? Surely not the sight of the funeral train, nor of
the urn crowned with cypress,--of nothing which is associated with death
or weakness in any shape;--but the sight of gayest festivals, or the
paraphernalia of palace-halls,--the vision of some youthful maiden of
transcendent beauty crowned with an orange-wreath, within hearing of
marriage-bells and the whisperings of holy love,--or the aspirations of
the dance and the endless breathings of triumphant music. These are they
which come up most prominently in remembrance,--even as the whole race,
in its remembrances, instinctively looks back to the Orient,--to some
Homeric island of the morning, where are the palaces, the choral dances,
and the risings of the sun.[e] And as Memory has the power to purify the
past of all material grossness, Faith has the same power as regards the
present Hence, the closest connection of religious faith with the
most joyous festivals, with a finely moulded Venus or Apollo, with an
Ephesian temple or a splendid cathedral, or the sweetest symphonies of
music, does not mar, but reveals its natural beauty and strength.

[Footnote e: _Odyssey_, xii., 4.]

But most certainly the Greeks gave a profound spiritual meaning to the
Eleusinia, as also to the mystic connection of Demeter with Dionysus.
She gave them bread: but they never forgot that she gave them the bread
of life. "She gave us," says the ancient Isocrates, "two gifts that are
the most excellent: fruits, that we might not live like beasts; and that
initiation, those who have part in which have sweeter hope,--both as
regards the close of life, and for all eternity." So Dionysus gave them
wine, not only to lighten the cares of life, but as a token, moreover,
of efficient deliverance from the fear of death, and of the higher joy
which he would give them in some happier world. And thus it is, that,
from the earliest times and in all the world, bread and wine have been
symbols of sacramental significance.

Human life so elevates all things with its exaltation and clothes them
with its glory, that nothing vain, nothing trifling, can be found within
its range. He who opposes himself to a single fact thus of necessity
opposes himself to the whole onward and upward current, and must fall.
We have heard of Thor, who with his magic mallet and his two celestial
comrades went to Jötunheim in quest of adventures: and we remember the
goblet which he could not exhaust because of its mysterious connection
with the inexhaustible Sea; the race with Hugi, which in the end proved
to be a race with Thought; and the wrestle with the old nurse Elli, who
was no other than Time herself, and therefore irresistible. So do we all
get us mallets ingeniously forged by the dark elves;--we try a race with
human thought, and look vainly to come out ahead; we laugh at things
because they are old, but with which we struggle to no purpose; and the
cup which we confidently put to our lips has no bottom;--in fact, the
great world of Jötunheim has grown for so long a time and so widely that
it is quite too much for us,--and its tall people, though we come down
upon them, like Thor and his companions, from celestial heights, are too
stout for our mallet.

Nothing human is so insignificant, but that, if you will give it time
and room, it will become irresistible. The plays of men become their
dramas; their holidays change to holy days. The representations, through
which, under various names, they have repeated to themselves the glory
and the tragedy of their life,--old festivals once celebrated in Egypt
far back beyond the dimmest myths of human remembrance,--the mystic
drama of the Eleusinia, which we have been considering in its
overwhelming sorrow developed in hurried flight, and its lofty
hope through triumphal pomp and the significant symbolism of
resurrection,--the epos and the epic rhapsodies,--the circus and
the amphitheatre,--and even the impetuous song and dance of painted
savages,--all these, which at first we may pass by with a glance, have
for our deeper search a meaning which we can never wholly exhaust. Let
it be that they have grown from feeble beginnings, they have grown to
gigantic dimensions; and not their infantile proportions, but their
fullest growth is to be taken as the measure of their strength,--if,
indeed, it be not wholly immeasurable.

Upon some day, seemingly by chance, but really having its antecedent
in the remotest antiquity, a company of men participate in some simple
act,--of sacrifice, it may be, or of amusement. Now that act will be
reiterated.

  "Quod semel dictum est stabilisque rerum
  Terminus servet."

The subtile law of repetition, as regards the human will, is as sure
in Determination as it is in Consciousness. Habit is as inevitable as
Memory; and as nothing can be forgotten, but, when once known, is
known forever,--so nothing is done but will be done again. Lethe and
Annihilation are only myths upon the earth, which men, though suspicious
of their eternal falsehood, name to themselves in moments of despair
and fearful apprehension. The poppy has only a fabled virtue; but, like
Persephone, we have all tasted of the pomegranate, and must ever to
Hades and back again; for while death and oblivion only seem to be,
remembrances and resurrections there must be, and without end. Therefore
this before-mentioned act of sacrifice or amusement will be reiterated
at given intervals; about it, as a centre, will be gathered all the
associations of intense interest in human life; and the names connected
with its origin--once human names upon the earth--will pass upon the
stars, so that the _nomina_ shall have changed to _numina_, and be
taken upon the lips with religious awe. So it was with these old
festivals,--so with all the representations of human life in stone or
upon the canvas, in the fairy-tale, the romance, and the poem; at every
successive repetition, at every fresh resurrection, is evolved by human
faith and sympathy a deeper significance, until they become the
centres of national thought and feeling, and men believe in them as in
revelations from heaven; and even the oracles themselves, in respect of
their inherent meaning, as also of their origin and authority, rise
by the same ascending series of repeated birth,--like that at Delphi,
which, at first attributed to the Earth, then to Themis, daughter of
Earth and Heaven, was at last connected with the Sun and constituted one
of the richest gems in Apollo's diadem of light.

In the end we shall find that the whole world organizes about its centre
of Faith. Thus, under three different religious systems, Jerusalem,
Delphi, and Mecca were held to be each in its turn the _omphalos_ or
navel of the world. It follows inevitably that the _main_ movement of
the world must always be joyous and hopeful. By reason of this joy it is
that every religious system has its feast; and the sixth day--the day
of Iacchus--is the great day of the festival. The inscription which
rises above every other is "To the Saviour Gods."

We must look at history as a succession of triumphs from the beginning;
and each trophy that is erected outdoes in its magnificence all that
were ever erected before it. Nothing has suffered defeat, except as it
has run counter to the main movement of conquest. No system of faith,
therefore, can by any possibility pass away. Involved it may be in some
fuller system; its _material_ bases may be modified; its central source
become more central in the human heart, and so stronger in the world and
more immediate in its connection with the eternal; but the life itself
of the system must live forever and grow forever.

Still it is true that in the widest growth there is the largest
liability to weakness. "Thus it is," says Fouqué, "with poor, though
richly endowed man. All lies within his power so long as action is at
rest within him; nothing is in his power the moment action has displayed
itself, even by the lifting-up of a finger on the immeasurable world."
In the very extent of the empire of an Alexander, a Cæsar, or a
Tamerlane, rests the possibility of its rapid dissolution. At the
giddiest altitude of triumph it is that the brain grows dizziest
and there is revealed the deepest chasm of possible defeat; and the
conqueror,

  "Having his ear full of his airy fame,"

is just then most likely to fall like Herod from his aërial pomp to the
very dust. This consciousness, revealing at the highest moment of joy
its utmost frailty, led the ancients to suspect the presence of some Ate
or Nemesis in all human triumphs. We all remember the king who threw his
signet-ring into the sea, that he might in his too happy fortunes avert
this suspected presence; we remember, too, the apprehension of the
Chorus in the "Seven against Thebes," looking forward from the noontide
prosperity of the Theban king to some coming catastrophe.

But it is not without us that this Nemesis waits; she is but another
name for the fearful possibility which lurks in every human will, of
treachery to itself. And as solemnity rises to its acme in the most
sensuous manifestation of the glory of life,--so in all that most
fascinates and bewilders, at the very crisis of victorious exaltation,
at the very height of joyous sensibility, does this mysterious power
of temptation reveal her subtlest treachery; and sometimes in a single
moment does she change the golden-filleted Horæ, that are our ministers,
into frightful furies, which drive us back again from triumph into
flight.

What was it, then, which saved the Eleusinia from this defeat,--which
kept the movement of the Dionysiac procession from the ruin inevitably
consequent upon all intemperate joy? It was the presence of our Lady,
the sorrowing Achtheia, who was the inseparable companion of the joyous
conqueror,--who subdued the joy of victory, and preserved the strength
and holy purity of the great Festival. Demeter was thus necessary to
Dionysus,--as Dionysus to Demeter; and if in remembrance of him the
sepulchral walls were covered with scenes associated with festivity,--in
remembrance of her there must needs be a skeleton at every feast.

How inseparably connected in human thought is sorrow with all permanent
hope is indicated in the penances which men have imposed upon
themselves, from the earliest Gymnosophists of India, and the Stylitæ of
Syria, down to the monastic orders of the Romish Church in later times.
This is the meaning of the old Indian fable which made two of the
_Rishis_ or penitents to have risen by the discipline of sorrow from
some low caste,--it may be, from very Pariahs,--first to the rank of
Brahmins, and at last to the stars. The first initiation in which we
veil our eyes, losing all, is essential to our fresher birth, by
which in the second initiation all things are unveiled to us as our
inheritance: indeed, it is only through that which veils that anything
is ever revealed or possessed.

Through the same gate we pass both to glory and to tragic suffering,
each of which heightens and measures the other; and it is only so that
we can understand the function of sorrow in the Providence of God, or
interpret the sudden calamities which sometimes overwhelm human hopes at
their highest aspiration,--which from the most serene and cloudless sky
evoke storms which leave not even a wreck from their vast ruin.

Nor merely is sorrow efficient in those who hope, but in even a higher
sense does it attach to the character of Saviour. Apollo is, therefore,
fabled to have been an exile from heaven and a servant of Admetus;
indeed, Danaüs, in "The Suppliants" of Æschylus, appeals to Apollo for
protection on this very plea, addressing him as "the Holy One, and
an exiled God from heaven." Thus Hercules was compelled to serve
Eurystheus; and his twelve labors were typed in the twelve signs of the
zodiac. Æsculapius and Prometheus both suffered excruciating tortures
and death for the good of men. And Dionysus--himself the centre of all
joy--was persecuted by the Queen of Heaven and compelled to wander in
the world. Thus he wandered through Egypt, finding no abiding-place, and
finally, as the story runs, came to the Phrygian Cybele, that he might
know in their deepest meaning--even by the initiation of sorrow--the
mysteries of the Great Mother. And, very significantly, it is from this
same initiation that _His_ wanderings have their end and his world-wide
conquest its beginning; as if only thus could be realized the
possibility both of triumph for himself and of hope for his followers.
For these wanderers can find rest only in a _suffering_ Saviour, by the
vision of whose deeper Passion they lose their sense of grief,--as Io on
Caucasus in sight of the transfixed Prometheus, and the Madonna at the
Cross.

It is worthy of more attention than we can give it here, yet we cannot
pass over in silence the fact, so important in this relation, that
Grecian Tragedy, in all its wonderful development under the three great
masters, was directly associated, and in its ruder beginnings completely
identified, with the worship of Dionysus. And this confirms our previous
hint, that the same element which made tragedy possible for Greece must
also be sought for in the development of its faith. There are those who
decry Grecian faith,--at the same time that they laud the Grecian drama
to the skies: but to the Greeks themselves, who certainly knew more than
we do as regards either, the drama was only an outgrowth of their faith,
and derived thence its highest significance. Thus the mystic symbolism
of the dramatic Choruses, taken out of its religious connections,
becomes an insoluble enigma; and naturally enough; for its first use
was in religious worship,--though afterwards it became associated with
traditionary and historic events. Besides, it was supposed that the
tragedians wrote under a divine inspiration; and the subjects and
representations which they embodied were for the most part susceptible
of a deep spiritual interpretation. Indeed, upon a careful examination,
we shall find that very many of the dramas directly suggest the two
Eleusinian movements, representing first the flight of suppliants--as
of the Heraclidae, the daughters of Danaüs, and of Oedipus and
Antigone--from persecution to the shrine of some Saviour Deity,--and
finally a deliverance effected through sacrifice or divine
interposition. Examples of this are so numerous that we have no space
for a minute consideration.

But certainly it is plain that the Eleusinia, as being more central,
more purely spiritual, must in the thought of Greece have risen high
above the drama. The very dress in which the _mystae_ were initiated was
preserved as most sacred or deposited in the temple. Or if we insist
upon measuring their appreciation of the Festival by the more palpable
standard of numbers,--the temple at Eleusis, by the account of Strabo,
was capable of holding even in its mystic cell more persons than the
theatre. To be sure, the celebration was only once in five years,--but
it was all the more sacred from this very infrequency. Nothing in all
Greece--and that is saying very much--could compare with it in its depth
of divine mystery. If anything could, it would have been the drama; but
no wailings were ever heard from beneath the masks of the stage like the
wailings of Achtheia,--no jubilant song of the Chorus ever rose like the
paean of Dionysiac triumph.

       *       *       *       *       *

Thus was the name of Dionysus connected with the palace and the temple,
with the sepulchral court of death and the dramatic representations of
life,--and everywhere associated with our Lady.

Sometimes, indeed, she seems to overshadow and hide him from our vision.
Thus was it when the Eumenides in their final triumph swept the stage,
and victory seemed all in the hands of invisible Powers, with no
human participant: even as throughout the Homeric epos there runs an
undercurrent of unutterable sadness; because, while to the Gods there
ever remains a sure seat upon Olympus, unshaken by the winds, untouched
by rain or snow, crowned with a cloudless radiance,--yet upon man
come vanity, sorrow, and strife; like the leaves of the forest he
flourisheth, and then passeth away to the "weak heads of the dead,"
([Greek: nekuon amenaena karaena],) conquered by purple Death and strong
Fate.

To the eye of sense, and in the circumscribed movements of this world,
the desolation seems complete and the defeat final. But the snows of
winter are necessary to the blossoms of spring,--the waste of death to
the resurrection of life; and from the vastest of all desolations does
our Lady lead her children in the loftiest of all flights,--even from
all sorrow and solitude,--from the wastes of earth and the desolation of
Æons, to ineffable joy in her Saviour Lord.

       *       *       *       *       *



VICTOR AND JACQUELINE.

I.


Jacqueline Gabrie and Elsie Méril could not occupy one room, and remain,
either of them, indifferent to so much as might be manifested of the
other's inmost life. They could not emigrate together, peasants from
Domrémy,--Jacqueline so strong, Elsie so fair,--could not labor in the
same harvest-fields, children of old neighbors, without each being
concerned in the welfare and affected by the circumstances of the other.

It was near ten o'clock, one evening, when Elsie Méril ran up the
common stairway, and entered the room in the fourth story where she and
Jacqueline lodged.

Victor Le Roy, student from Picardy, occupied the room next theirs, and
was startled from his slumber by the voices of the girls. Elsie was
fresh from the theatre, from the first play she had ever witnessed; she
came home excited and delighted, ready to repeat and recite, as long as
Jacqueline would listen.

And here was Jacqueline.

Early in the evening Elsie had sought her friend with a good deal of
anxiety. A fellow-lodger and field-laborer had invited her to see the
play,--and Jacqueline was far down the street, nursing old Antonine
Duprè. To seek her, thus occupied, on such an errand, Elsie had the good
taste, and the selfishness, to refrain from doing.

Therefore, after a little deliberation, she had gone to the theatre, and
there forgot her hard day-labor in the wonders of the stage,--forgot
Jacqueline, and Antonine, and every care and duty. It was hard for her,
when all was ended, to come back to compunction and explanation, yet to
this she had come back.

Neither of the girls was thinking of the student, their neighbor; but
he was not only wakened by their voices, he amused himself by comparing
them and their utterances with his preconceived notions of the girls.
They might not have recognized him in the street, though they had often
passed him on the stairs; but he certainly could have distinguished the
pretty face of Elsie, or the strange face of Jacqueline, wherever he
might meet them.

Elsie ran on with her story, not careful to inquire into the mood of
Jacqueline,--suspicious of that mood, no doubt,--but at last, made
breathless by her haste and agitation, she paused, looked anxiously at
Jacqueline, and finally said,--

"You think I ought not to have gone?"

"Oh, no,--it gave you pleasure."

A pause followed. It was broken at length by Elsie, exclaiming, in a
voice changed from its former speaking,--

"Jacqueline Gabrie, you are homesick! horribly homesick, Jacqueline!"

"You do not ask for Antonine: yet you know I went to spend the day with
her," said Jacqueline, very gravely.

"How is Antonine Duprè?" asked Elsie.

"She is dead. I have told you a good many times that she must die. Now,
she is dead."

"Dead?" repeated Elsie.

"You care as much as if a candle had gone out," said Jacqueline.

"She was as much to me as I to her," was the quick answer. "She never
liked me. She did not like my mother before me. When you told her my
name, the day we saw her first, I knew what she thought. So let that go.
If I could have done her good, though, I would, Jacqueline."

"She has everything she needs,--a great deal more than we have. She is
very happy, Elsie."

"Am not I? Are not you, in spite of your dreadful look? Your look is
more terrible than the lady's in the play, just before she killed
herself. Is that because Antonine is so well off?"

"I wish that I could be where she is," sighed Jacqueline.

"You? You are tired, Jacqueline. You look ill. You will not be fit for
to-morrow. Come to bed. It is late."

As Jacqueline made no reply to this suggestion, Elsie began to reflect
upon her words, and to consider wherefore and to whom she had spoken.
Not quite satisfied with herself could she have been, for at length she
said in quite another manner,--

"You always said, till now, you wished that you might live a hundred
years. But it was not because you were afraid to die, you said so,
Jacqueline."

"I don't know," was the answer,--sadly spoken, "Don't remind me of
things I have said. I seem to have lost myself."

The voice and the words were effectual, if they were intended as an
appeal to Elsie. Fain would she now exclude the stage and the play from
her thoughts,--fain think and feel with Jacqueline, as it had long been
her habit to do.

Jacqueline, however, was not eager to speak. And Elsie must draw yet
nearer to her, and make her nearness felt, ere she could hope to receive
the thought of her friend. By-and-by these words were uttered, solemn,
slow, and dirge-like:--

"Antonine died just after sundown. I was alone with her. She did not
think that she would die so soon. I did not. In the morning, John
Leclerc came in to inquire how she spent the night. He prayed with her.
And a hymn,--he read a hymn that she seemed to know, for all day she was
humming it over. I can say some of the lines."

"Say them, Jacqueline," said the softened voice of Elsie.

Slowly, and as one recalls that of which he is uncertain, Jacqueline
repeated what I copy more entire:--

  "In the midst of life, behold,
  Death hath girt us round!
  Whom for help, then, shall we pray?
  Where shall grace be found?
  In thee, O Lord, alone!
  We rue the evil we have done,
  That thy wrath on us hath drawn.
  Holy Lord and God!
  Strong and holy God!
  Merciful and holy Saviour!
  Eternal God!
  Sink us not beneath
  Bitter pains of endless death!
  Kyrie, eleison!"

"Then he went away," she continued. "But he did not think it was the
last time he should speak to Antonine. In the afternoon I thought I saw
a change, and I wanted to go for somebody. But she said, 'Stay with me.
I want nothing.' So I sat by her bed. At last she said, 'Come, Lord
Jesus! come quickly!' and she started up in her bed, as if she saw
him coming. And as if he were coming nearer, she smiled. That was the
last,--without a struggle, or as much as a groan."

"No priest there?" asked Elsie.

"No. When I spoke to her about it, she said her priest was Jesus Christ
the Righteous,--and there was no other,--the High-Priest. She gave me
her Bible. See how it has been used! 'Search the Scriptures,' she said.
She told me I was able to learn the truth. 'I loved your mother,' she
said; 'that is the reason I am so anxious you should know. It is by
my spirit, said the Lord. Ask for that spirit,' she said. 'He is more
willing to give than earthly parents are to give good gifts to their
children.' She said these things, Elsie. If they are true, they must be
better worth believing than all the riches of the world are worth the
having."

The interest manifested by the student in this conversation had been on
the increase since Jacqueline began to speak of Antonine Duprè. It was
not, at this point of the conversation, waning.

"Your mother would not have agreed with Antonine," said Elsie, as if
there were weight in the argument;--for such a girl as Jacqueline could
not speak earnestly in the hearing of a girl like Elsie without result,
and the result was at this time resistance.

"She believed what she was taught in Domrémy," answered Jacqueline, "She
believed in Absolution, Extreme Unction, in the need of another priest
than Jesus Christ,--a representative they call it." She spoke slowly, as
if interrogating each point of her speech.

"I believe as they believed before us," answered Elsie, coldly.

"We have learned many things since we came to Meaux," answered
Jacqueline, with a patient gentleness, that indicated the perplexity
and doubt with which the generous spirit was departing from the old
dominion. She was indeed departing, with that reverence for the past
which is not incompatible with the highest hope for the future. "Our
Joan came from Domrémy, where she must crown the king," she continued.
"We have much to learn."

"She lost her life," said Elsie, with vehemence.

"Yes, she did lose her life," Jacqueline quietly acquiesced.

"If she had known what must happen, would she have come?"

"Yes, she would have come."

"How late it is!" said Elsie, as if in sleep were certain rest from
these vexatious thoughts.

Victor Le Roy was by this time lost in his own reflections. These girls
had supplied an all-sufficient theme; whether they slept or wakened was
no affair of his. He had somewhat to argue for himself about extreme
unction, priestly intervention, confession, absolution,--something to
say to himself about Leclerc, and the departed Antonine.

Late into the night he sat thinking of the marvel of Domrémy and
of Antonine Duprè, of Picardy and of Meaux, of priests and of the
High-Priest. Brave and aspiring, Victor Le Roy could not think of
these things, involved in the names of things above specified, as more
calculating, prudent spirits might have done. It was his business, as a
student, to ascertain what powers were working in the world. All true
characters, of past time or present, must be weighed and measured by
him. Result was what he aimed at.

Jacqueline's words had not given him new thoughts, but unawares they did
summon him to his appointed labor. He looked to find the truth. He must
stand to do his work. He must haste to make his choice. Enthusiastic,
chivalrous, and strong, he was seeking the divine right, night and
day,--and to ascertain that, as it seemed, he had come from Picardy to
Meaux.

Elsie Méril went to bed, as she had invited Jacqueline to do; to sleep,
to dream, she went,--and to smile, in her dreaming, on the world that
smiled on her.

Jacqueline sat by the window; leaned from the window, and prayed; her
own prayer she prayed, as Antonine had said she must, if she would
discover what she needed, and obtain an answer.

She thought of the dead,--her own. She pondered on the future. She
recalled some lines of the hymn Antonine had repeated, and she
wished--oh, how she wished!--that, while the woman lived, and could
reason and speak, she had told her about the letter she had received
from the priest of Domrémy. Many a time it had been on her lips to tell,
but she failed in courage to bring her poor affairs into that chamber
and disturb that dying hour. Now she wished that she had done it. Now
she felt that speech had been the merest act of justice to herself.

But there was Leclerc, the wool-comber, and his mother; she might rely
on them for the instruction she needed.

Old Antonine's faith had made a deep impression on the strong-hearted
and deep-thinking girl; as also had the prayers of John
Leclerc,--especially that last prayer offered for Antonine. It seemed to
authenticate, by its strong, unfaltering utterance, the poor old woman's
evidence. "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, to-day, and forever,"
were strong words that seemed about to take possession of the heart of
Jacqueline.

Therefore, while Elsie slept, she prayed,--looking farther than the
city-streets, and darkness,--looking farther than the shining stars.
What she sought, poor girl, stood in her silent chamber, stood in her
waiting heart. But she knew Him not, and her ear was heavy; she did not
hear the voice, that she should answer Him, "Rabboni!"


II.


A fortnight from this night, after the harvesters had left the fields of
M. Flaval, Jacqueline was lingering in the twilight.

The instant the day's work was done, the laborers set out for Meaux,
Their haste suggested some unusual cause.

John Leclerc, wool-comber, had received that day his sentence. Report of
the sentence had spread among the reapers in the field and all along the
vineyards of the hill-sides. Not a little stir was occasioned by this
sentence: three days of whipping through the public streets, to conclude
with branding on the forehead. For this Leclerc, it seemed, had
profanely and audaciously declared that a man might in his own behalf
deal with the invisible God, by the mediation of Christ, the sole
Mediator between God and man. Viewed in the light of his offence, his
punishment certainly was of the mildest. Tidings of his sentence were
received with various emotion: by some as though they were maddened
with new wine; others wept openly; many more were pained at heart; some
brutally rejoiced; some were incredulous.

But now they were all on their way to Meaux; the fields were quite
deserted. Urged by one desire, to ascertain the facts of the trial,
and the time when the sentence would be executed, the laborers were
returning to the town.

Without demonstration of any emotion, Jacqueline Gabrie, quiet,
silent, walked along the river-bank, until she came to the clump of
chestnut-trees, whose shadow fell across the stream. Many a time,
through the hot, dreadful day, her eyes turned wistfully to this place.
In the morning Elsie Méril had promised Jacqueline that at twilight they
would read together here the leaves the poor old mother of Leclerc gave
Jacqueline last night: when they had read them, they would walk home by
starlight together. But now the time had come, and Jacqueline was alone.
Elsie had returned to town with other young harvesters.

"Very well," said Jacqueline, when Elsie told her she must go. It was
not, indeed, inexplicable that she should prefer the many voices to the
one,--excitement and company, rather than quiet, dangerous thinking.

But, thus left alone, the face of Jacqueline expressed both sorrow and
indignation. She would exact nothing of Elsie; but latterly how often
had she expected of her companion more than she gave or could give!

Of course the young girl was equal to others in pity and surprise; but
there were people in the world beside the wool-comber and his mother.
Nothing of vast import was suggested by his sentence to her mind. She
did not see that spiritual freedom was threatened with destruction. If
she heard the danger questioned, she could not apprehend it. Though she
had listened to the preaching of Leclerc and had been moved by it, her
sense of truth and of justice was not so acute as to lead her willingly
to incur a risk in the maintaining of the same.

She would not look into Antonine's Bible, which Jacqueline had read so
much during the last fortnight. She was not the girl to torment herself
about her soul, when the Church would save it for her by mere compliance
with a few easy regulations.

More and more was Elsie disappointing Jacqueline. Day by day these girls
were developing in ways which bade fair to separate them in the end.
When now they had most need of each other, their estrangement was
becoming more apparent and decided. The peasant-dress of Elsie would not
content her always, Jacqueline said sadly to herself.

Jacqueline's tracts, indeed, promised poorly as entertainment for an
hour of rest;--rest gained by hours of toil. The confusion of tongues
and the excitement of the city pleased Elsie better. So she went along
the road to Meaux, and was not talking, neither thinking, all the way,
of the wrongs of John Leclerc, and the sorrows of his mother,--neither
meditating constantly, and with deep-seated purpose, "I will not let
thee go, except thou bless me!"--neither on this problem, agitated then
in so many earnest minds, "What shall a man give in exchange for his
soul?"

Thus Jacqueline sat alone and thought that she would read by herself the
tracts Leclerc had found it good to study. But unopened she held the
little printed scroll, while she watched the home-returning birds, whose
nests were in the mighty branches of the chestnut-trees.

She needed the repose more than the teaching, even; for all day the
sun had fallen heavily on the harvesters,--and toiling with a troubled
heart, under a burning sun, will leave the laborer not in the best
condition for such work as Jacqueline believed she had to do.

But she had promised the old woman she would read these tracts, and this
was her only time, for they must be returned that night: others were
waiting for them with an eagerness and longing of which, haply,
tract-dispensers see little now. Still she delayed in opening them. The
news of Leclerc's sentence had filled her with dismay.

Did she dread to read the truth,--"the truth of Jesus Christ," as
his mother styled it? The frightful image of the bleeding, lacerated
wool-comber would come between her and the book in which that faith was
written for maintaining which this man must suffer. Strange contrast
between the heavy gloom and terror of her thoughts and the peaceful
"river flowing on"! How tranquil were the fields that spread beyond
her sight! But there is no rest or joy in Nature to the agitated and
foreboding spirit. Must we not have conquered the world, if we serenely
enter into Nature's rest?

Fain would Jacqueline have turned her face and steps in another
direction that night than toward the road that led to Meaux: to the
village on the border of the Vosges,--to the ancient Domrémy. Once her
home was there; but Jacqueline had passed forth from the old, humble,
true defences: for herself must live and die.

Domrémy had a home for her no more. The priest, on whom she had relied
when all failed her, was still there, it is true; and once she had
thought, that, while he lived, she was not fatherless, not homeless: but
his authority had ceased to be paternal, and she trusted him no longer.

She had two graves in the old village, and among the living a few faces
she never could forget. But on this earth she had no home.

Musing on these dreary facts, and on the bleeding, branded image of
Leclerc, as her imagination rendered him back to his friends, his
fearful trial over, a vision more familiar to her childhood than her
youth opened to Jacqueline.

There was one who used to wander through the woods that bordered the
mountains in whose shadow stood Domrémy,--one whose works had glorified
her name in the England and the France that made a martyr of her. Jeanne
d'Arc had ventured all things for the truth's sake: was she, who also
came forth from that village, by any power commissioned?

Jacqueline laid the tracts on the grass. Over them she placed a stone.
She bowed her head. She hid her face. She saw no more the river, trees,
or home-returning birds; heard not the rush of water or of wind,--nor,
even now, the hurry and the shout; that possibly to-morrow would follow
the poor wool-comber through the streets of Meaux,--and on the third day
they would brand him!

She remembered an old cottage in the shadow of the forest-covered
mountains. She remembered one who died there suddenly, and without
remedy,--her father, unabsolved and unanointed, dying in fear and
torment, in a moment when none anticipated death. She remembered a
strong-hearted woman who seemed to die with him,--who died to all the
interests of this life, and was buried by her husband ere a twelvemonth
had passed,--her mother, who was buried by her father's side.

Burdened with a solemn care they left their child. The priest of
Domrémy, and none beside him, knew the weight of this burden. How had he
helped her bear it? since it is the _business_ of the shepherd to look
after the younglings of the flock. Her hard earnings paid him for
the prayers he offered for the deliverance of her father from his
purgatorial woes. Burdened with a dire debt of filial love, the priest
had let her depart from Domrémy; his influence followed her as an
oppression and a care,--a degradation also.

Her life of labor was a slavish life. All she did, and all she left
undone, she looked at with sad-hearted reference to the great object of
her life. Far away she put all allurement to tempting, youthful joy.
What had she to do with merriment and jollity, while a sin remained
unexpiated, or a moment of her father's suffering and sorrow could be
anticipated?

How, probably, would these new doctrines, held fast by some through
persecution and danger, these doctrines which brought liberty to light,
be received by one so fast a prisoner of Hope as she? She had pledged
herself, with solemn vows had promised, to complete the work her mother
left unfinished when she died.

Some of the laborers in the field, Elsie among them, had hoped, they
said, that the wool-comber would retract from his dangerous position.
Recalling their words, Jacqueline asked herself would she choose to have
him retract? She reminded herself of the only martyr whose memory she
loved, the glorious girl from Domrémy, and a lofty and stern spirit
seemed to rouse within her as she answered that question. She believed
that John had found and taught the truth; and was Truth to be sacrificed
to Power that hated it? Not by a suicidal act, at least.

She took the tracts, so judging, from underneath the stone, wistfully
looked them over, and, as she did so, recalled these words: "You cannot
buy your pardon of a priest; he has no power to sell it; he cannot even
give it. Ask of God, who giveth to all men liberally, upbraiding not.
'If ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how
much more shall your Heavenly Father give his Holy Spirit to them that
ask him!'"

She could never forget these words. She could never forget the
preacher's look when he used them; nor the solemnity of the assenting
faith, as attested by the countenances of those around her in that
"upper room."

But her father! What would this faith do for the departed?

Yet again she dared to pray,--here in this solitude, to ask for that
Holy Spirit, the Enlightener. And it was truly with trembling, in
the face of all presentiments of what the gift might possibly, must
certainly, import to her. But what was she, that she could withstand
God, or His gift, for any fear of the result that might attend the
giving of the gift?

Divinely she seemed to be inspired with that courageous thought. She
rose up, as if to follow the laborers who had already gone to Meaux. But
she had not passed out from the shadow of the great trees when another
shadow fell along her path.


III.


It was Victor Le Roy who was so close at hand. He recognized Jacqueline;
for, as he came down the road, now and then he caught a glimpse of her
red peasant-dress. And he accepted his persuasion as it had been an
assurance; for he believed that on such a night no other girl would
linger alone near the place of her day's labor. Moreover, while passing
the group of harvesters, he had observed that she was not among them.

The acquaintance of these young persons was but slight; yet it was of
such a character as must needs increase. Within the last fortnight they
had met repeatedly in the room of Leclerc's mother. On the last night of
her son's preaching they had together listened to his words. The young
student with manly aspirations, ambitious, courageous, inquiring, and
the peasant girl who toiled in fields and vineyards, were on the same
day hearkening to the call, "Ho, every one that thirsteth!" with the
consciousness that the call was meant for them.

When Victor Le Roy saw that Jacqueline perceived and recognized him, he
also observed the tracts in her hand and the trouble in her countenance,
and he wondered in his heart whether she could be ignorant of what had
passed that day at Meaux, and if it could be possible that her manifest
disturbance arose from any perplexity or disquietude independent of the
sentence that had been passed on John Leclerc. His first words brought
an answer that satisfied his doubt.

"She has chosen that good part which shall not be taken from her," said
he, as he came near. "The country is so fair, could no one of them all
except Jacqueline see that? Were they all drawn away by the bloody
fascination of Meaux? even Elsie?"

"It was the news that hurried her home with the rest," answered she,
almost pleased at this disturbance of the solitude.

"Did that keep you here, Jacqueline?" he asked. "It sent me out of the
city. The dust choked me. Every face looked like a devil's. To-morrow
night, to-morrow night, the harvesters will hurry all the faster.
Terrible curiosity! And if they find traces of his blood along the
streets, there will be enough to talk about through the rest of the
harvesting. Jacqueline, if the river could be poured through those
streets, the sacred blood could never be washed out. 'Tis not the
indignity, nor the cruelty, I think of most, but the barbarous, wild
sin. Shall a man's truest liberty be taken from him, as though, indeed,
he were not a man of God, but the spiritual subject of his fellows? If
that is their plan, they may light the fires,--there are many who will
not shrink from sealing their faith with their blood."

These words, spoken with vehemence, were the first free utterance
Victor Le Roy had given to his feelings all day. All day they had been
concentrating, and now came from him fiery and fast.

It was time for him to know in whom and in what he believed.

Greatly moved by his words, Jacqueline said, giving him the tracts,--

"I came from Domrémy, I am free. No one can be hurt by what befalls me.
I want to know the truth. I am not afraid. Did John Leclerc never give
way for a moment? Is he really to be whipped through the streets, and on
the third day to be branded? Will he not retract?"

"Never!" was the answer,--spoken not without a shudder. "He did not
flinch through all the trial, Jacqueline. And his old mother says,
'Blessed be Jesus Christ and his witnesses!'"

"I came from Domrémy," seemed to be in the girl's thought again; for
her eyes flashed when she looked at Victor Le Roy, as though she could
believe the heavens would open for the enlightening of such believers.

"She gave me those to read," said she, pointing to the tracts she had
given him.

"And have you been reading them here by yourself?"

"No. Elsie and I were to have read them together; but I fell to
thinking."

"You mean to wait for her, then?"

"I was afraid I should not make the right sense of them."

"Sit down, Jacqueline, and let me read aloud. I have read them before.
And I understand them better than Elsie does, or ever will."

"I am afraid that is true, Sir. If you read, I will listen."

But he did not, with this permission, begin instantly.

"You came from Domrémy, Jacqueline," said he. "I came from Picardy. My
home was within a stone's throw of the castle where Jeanne d'Arc was a
prisoner before they carried her to Rouen. I have often walked about
that castle and tried to think how it must have been with her when they
left her there a prisoner. God knows, perhaps we shall all have an
opportunity of knowing, how she felt when a prisoner of Truth. Like a
fly in a spider's net she was, poor girl! Only nineteen! She had lived
a life that was worth the living, Jacqueline. She knew she was about
to meet the fate her heart must have foretold. Girls do not run such a
course and then die quietly in their beds. They are attended to their
rest by grim sentinels, and they light fagots for them. I have read the
story many a time, when I could look at the window of the very room
where she was a prisoner. It was strange to think of her witnessing the
crowning of the King, with the conviction that her work ended there and
then,--of the women who brought their children to touch her garments or
her hands, to let her smile on them, or speak to them, or maybe kiss
them. And the soldiers deemed their swords were stronger when they had
but touched hers. And they knelt down to kiss her standard, that white
standard, so often victorious! I have read many a time of that glorious
day at Rheims."

"And she said, _that_ day,' Oh, why can I not die here?'" said
Jacqueline, with a low voice.

"And when the Archbishop asked her," continued Victor, "'Where do you,
then, expect to die?' she answered, 'I know not. I shall die where God
pleases. I have done what the Lord my God commanded me; and I wish that
He would now send me to keep my sheep with my mother and sister.'"

"Because she loved Domrémy, and her work was done," said Jacqueline,
sadly. "And so many hated her! But her mother would be sure to love.
Jeanne would never see an evil eye in Domrémy, and no one would lie in
wait to kill her in the Vosges woods."

"It was such as you, Jacqueline, who believed in her, and comforted her.
And to every one that consoled her Christ will surely say, 'Ye blessed
of my Father, ye did it unto me!' Yes, to be sure, there were too many
who stood ready to kill her in all France,--besides those who were
afraid of her, and fought against our armies. Even when they were taking
her to see the Dauphin, the guard would have drowned her, and lied about
it, but they were restrained. It is something to have been born in
Domrémy,--to have grown up in the very place where she used to play, a
happy little girl. You have seen that fountain, and heard the bells she
loved so much. It was good for you, I know."

"Her prayers were everywhere," Jacqueline replied. "Everywhere she heard
the voices that called her to come and deliver France. But her father
did not believe in her. He persecuted Jeanne."

"A man's foes are of his own household," said Victor. "You see the same
thing now. It is the very family of Christ--yes! so they dare call
it--who are going to tear and rend Leclerc to-morrow for believing the
words of Christ. A hundred judges settled that Jeanne should be burned;
and for believing such words as are in these books"--

"Read me those words," said Jacqueline.

So they turned from speaking of Joan and her work, to contemplate
another style of heroism, and to question their own hearts.

Jacqueline Gabrie had lived through eighteen years of hardship and
exposure. She was strong, contented, resolute. Left to herself, she
would probably have suffered no disturbance of her creed,--would have
lived and died conforming to the letter of its law. But thrown under
the influence of those who did agitate the subject, she was brave and
clear-headed. She listened now, while, according to her wish, her
neighbor read,--listened with clear intelligence, intent on the truth.
That, or any truth, accepted, she would hardly shrink from whatever it
involved. This was the reason why she had really feared to ask the Holy
Ghost's enlightenment! So well she understood herself! Truth was truth,
and, if received, to be abided by. She could not hold it loosely. She
could not trifle with it. She was born in Domrémy. She had played under
the Fairy Oak. She knew the woods where Joan wandered when she sought
her saintly solitude. The fact was acting on her as an inspiration,
when Domrémy became a memory, when she labored far away from the wooded
Vosges and the meadows of Lorraine.

She listened to the reading, as girls do not always listen when they sit
in the presence of a reader such as young Le Roy.

And let it here be understood--that the conclusion bring no sorrow, and
no sense of wrong to those who turn these pages, thinking to find the
climax dear to half-fledged imagination, incapable from inexperience of
any deeper truth, (I render them all homage!)--this story is not told
for any sake but truth's.

This Jacqueline did listen to this Victor, thinking actually of the
words he read. She looked at him really to ascertain whether her
apprehension of these things was all the same as his. She questioned
him, with the simple desire to learn what he could tell her. Her hands
were very hard, so constant had been her dealing with the rough facts of
this life; but the hard hand was firm in its clasp, and ready with its
helpfulness. Her eyes were open, and very clear of dreams. There was
room in them for tenderness as well as truth. Her voice was not the
sweetest of all voices in this world; but it had the quality that would
make it prized by others when heart and flesh were failing; for it would
be strong to speak then with cheerful faith and an unfaltering courage.

Jacqueline sat there under the chestnut-trees, upon the river-bank,
strong-hearted, high-hearted, a brave, generous woman. What if her days
were toilsome? What if her peasant-dress was not the finest woven in the
looms of Paris or of Meaux? Her prayers were brief, her toil was long,
her sleep was sound,--her virtue firm as the everlasting mountains.
Jacqueline, I have singled you from among hordes and tribes and legions
upon legions of women, one among ten thousand, altogether lovely,--not
for dalliance, not for idleness, not for dancing, which is well; not for
song, which is better; not for beauty, which, perhaps, is best; not for
grace, or power, or passion. There is an attribute of God which is more
to His universe than all evidence of power. It is His truth. Jacqueline,
it is for this your name shall shine upon my page.

And, manifestly, it is by virtue of this quality that her reader is
moved and attracted at this hour of twilight on the river-bank.

Her intelligence is so quick! her apprehension so direct! her
conclusions so true! He intended to aid her; but Mazurier himself had
never uttered comments so entirely to the purpose as did this young
girl, speaking from heart and brain. Better fortune, apparently, could
not have befallen him than was his in this reading; for with every
sentence almost came her comment, clear, earnest, to the point.

He had need of such a friend as Jacqueline seemed able to prove herself.
His nearest living relative was an uncle, who had sent the ambitious and
capable young student to Meaux; for he gave great promise, and was worth
an experiment, the old man thought,--and was strong to be thrown out
into the world, where he might ascertain the power of self-reliance. He
had need of friends, and, of all friends, one like Jacqueline.

From the silence and retirement of his home in Picardy he had come
to Meaux,--the town that was so astir, busy, thoroughly alive!
Inexperienced in worldly ways he came. His face was beautiful with its
refinement and power of expression. His eyes were full of eloquence;
so also was his voice. When he came from Picardy to Meaux, his old
neighbors prophesied for him. He knew their prophecies, and purposed to
fulfil them. He ceased from dreaming, when he came to Meaux. He was not
dreaming, when he looked on Jacqueline. He was aware of what he read,
and how she listened, under those chestnut-trees.

The burden of the tracts he read to Jacqueline was salvation by faith,
not of works,--an iconoclastic doctrine, that was to sweep away
the great mass of Romish superstition, invalidating Papal power.
Image-worship, shrine-frequenting sacrifices, indulgences, were esteemed
and proved less than nothing worth in the work of salvation.

"Did you understand John, when he said that the priests deceived us and
were full of robberies, and talked about the masses for the dead, and
said the only good of them was to put money into the Church?" asked
Jacqueline.

"I believe it," he replied, with spirit.

"That the masses are worth nothing?" she asked,--far from concealing
that the thought disturbed her.

"What can they be worth, if a man has lived a bad life?"

"_That_ my father did _not!_" she exclaimed.

"If a man is a bad man, why, then he is. He has gone where he must be
judged. The Scripture says, As a tree falls, it must lie."

"My father was a good man, Victor. But he died of a sudden, and there
was no time."

"No time for what, Jacqueline? No time for him to turn about, and be a
bad man in the end?"

"No time for confession and absolution. He died praying God to forgive
him all his sins. I heard him. I wondered, Victor, for I never thought
of his committing sins. And my mother mourned for him as a good wife
should not mourn for a bad husband."

"Then what is your trouble, Jacqueline?"

"Do you know why I came here to Meaux? I came to get money,--to earn it.
I should be paid more money here than I got for any work at home, they
said: that was the reason. When I had earned so much,--it was a large
sum, but I knew I should get it, and the priest encouraged me to think
I should,--he said that my heart's desire would be accomplished. And I
could earn the money before winter is over, I think. But now, if"----

"Throw it into the Seine, when you get it, rather than pay it to the
liar for selling your father out of a place he was never in! He is safe,
believe me, if he was the good man you say. Do not disturb yourself,
Jacqueline."

"He never harmed a soul. And we loved him that way a bad man could not
be loved."

As Jacqueline said this, a smile more sad than joyful passed over her
face, and disappeared.

"He rests in peace," said Victor Le Roy.

"It is what I must believe. But what if there should be a mistake about
it? It was all I was working for."

"Think for yourself, Jacqueline. No matter what Leclerc thinks or I
think. Can you suppose that Jesus Christ requires any such thing as this
of you, that you should make a slave of yourself for the expiation of
your father? It is a monstrous thought. Doubt not it was love that
took him away so quickly. And love can care for him. Long before this,
doubtless, he has heard the words, 'Come, ye blessed of my father!' And
what is required of you, do you ask? You shall be merciful to them that
live; and trust Him that He will care for those who have gone beyond
your reach. Is it so? Do I understand you? You have been thinking to
_buy_ this good _gift_ of God, eternal life for your father, when of
course you could have nothing to do with it. You have been imposed upon,
and robbed all this while, and this is the amount of it."

"Well, do not speak so. If what you say is true,--and I think it may
be,--what is past is past."

"But won't you see what an infernal lie has been practised on you, and
all the rest of us who had any conscience or heart in us, all this
while? There _is_ no purgatory; and it is nonsense to think, that, if
there were, money could buy a man out of it. Jesus Christ is the one
sole atonement for sin. And by faith in Him shall a man save his soul
alive. That is the only way. If I lose my soul, and am gone, the rest
is between me and God. Do you see it _should_ be so, and must be so,
Jacqueline?"

"He was a good man," said Jacqueline.

She did not find it quite easy to make nothing of all this matter, which
had been the main-spring of her effort since her father died. She could
not in one instant drop from her calculations that on which she had
heretofore based all her activity. She had labored so long, so hard, to
buy the rest and peace and heavenly blessedness of the father she loved,
it was hardly to be expected that at once she would choose to see that
in that rest and peace and blessedness, she, as a producing power, had
no part whatever.

As she more than hinted, the purpose of her life seemed to be taken from
her. She could not perceive that fact without some consternation; could
not instantly connect it with another, which should enable her to look
around her with the deliberation of a liberated spirit, choosing her new
work. And in this she was acted upon by more than the fear arising from
the influences of her old belief. Of course she should have been, and
yet she was not, able to drop instantly and forever from recollection
the constant sacrifices she had made, the deprivation she had endured,
with heroic persistence,--the putting far away every personal
indulgence whose price had a market value. Her father was not the only
person concerned in this work; the priest; herself. She had believed
in the pastor of Domrémy. Yet he had deceived her. Else he was
self-deceived; and what if the blind should strive to lead the blind?
_Could_ she accept the new faith, the great freedom, with perfect
rejoicing?

Victor Le Roy seemed to have some suspicion of what was passing in
her thoughts. He did not need to watch her changeful face in order to
understand them.

"I advise you to still think of this," said he. "Recall your father's
life, and then ask yourself if it is likely that He who is Love requires
the sacrifice of your youth and your strength before your father shall
receive from Him what He has promised to give to all who trust in Him.
Take God at his word, and you will be obliged to give up all this
priest-trash."


IV.


Victor Le Roy spoke these words quietly, as if aware that he might
safely leave them, as well as any other true words, to the just sense of
Jacqueline.

She was none the happier for them when she returned that night to the
little city room, the poor lodging whose high window overlooked both
town and country, city streets and harvest-fields, and the river flowing
on beyond the borders of the town,--no happier through many a moment of
thinking, until, as it were by an instant illumination, she began to
see the truth of the matter, as some might wonder she did not instantly
perceive it, if they could omit from observation this leading fact, that
the orphan girl was Jacqueline Gabrie, child of the Church, and not
a wise and generous person, who had never been in bondage to
superstitions.

For a long time after her return to her lodging she was alone. Elsie was
in the street with the rest of the town, talking, as all were talking,
of the sight that Meaux should see to-morrow.

Besides Jacqueline, there was hardly another person in this great
building, six stories high, every room of which had usually a tenant at
this hour. She sat by her window, and looked at the dusky town, over
which the moon was rising. But her thoughts were far away; over many a
league they wandered.

Once more she stood on the playground of her toilsome childhood. She
recalled many a year of sacrificing drudgery, which now she could not
name such,--for another reason than that which had heretofore prevented
her from calling it a sacrifice. She remembered these years of wrong and
of extortion,--they received their proper name now,--years whose mirth
and leisure she had quietly foregone, but during which she had borne a
burden that saddened youth, while it also dignified it,--a burden which
had made her heart's natural cheerfulness the subject of self-reproach,
and her maiden dreams and wishes matter for tears, for shame, for
confession, for prayer.

Now Victor Le Roy's words came to her very strangely; powerfully they
moved her. She believed them in this solitude, where at leisure she
could meditate upon them. A vision more fair and blessed than she had
ever imagined rose before her. There was no suffering in it, and no
sorrow; it was full of peace. Already, in the heaven to which she had
hoped her toil would give him at length admission, her father had found
his home. There was a glory in his rest not reflected from her filial
love, but from the all-availing love of Christ.

Then--delay the rigor of your judgment!--she began,--yes, she, this
Jacqueline, began to count the cost of what she had done. She was not a
sordid soul, she had not a miserly nature. Before she had gone far in
that strange computation, she paused abruptly, with a crimsoned face,
and not with tearless eyes. Counting the cost! Estimating the sacrifice!
Had, then, her purpose been less holy because excited by falsehood and
sustained through delusion? Was she less loving and less true, because
deceived? And was she to lament that Christ, the one and only Priest,
rather than another instrumentality, was the deliverer of her beloved
from the power of death?

No ritual was remembered, and no formula consulted, when she cried
out,--"It is so! and I thank Thee! Only give me now, my Jesus, a
purpose as holy as that Thou hast taken away!"

But she had not come into her chamber to spend a solitary evening there.
Turning away from the window, she bestowed a little care upon her
person, smoothed away the traces of her day's labor, and after all was
done she lingered yet longer. She was going out, evidently. Whither? To
visit the mother of John Leclerc. She must carry back the tracts the
good woman had lent her. Their contents had firm lodgement in her
memory.

Others might run to and fro in the streets, and talk about the corners,
and prognosticate with passion, and defy, in the way of cowardice, where
safety rather than the truth is well assured. If one woman could console
another, Jacqueline wished that she might console Leclerc's mother. And
if any words of wisdom could drop from the poor old woman's lips while
her soul was in this strait, Jacqueline desired to hear those words.

Down the many flights of stairs she went across the court, and then
along the street, to the house where the wool-comber lived.

A brief pause followed her knock for admittance. She repeated it. Then
was heard a sound from within,--a step crossing the floor. The door
opened, and there stood the mother of Leclerc, ready to face any danger,
the very Fiend himself.

But when she saw that it was Jacqueline, only Jacqueline,--an angel, as
one might say, and not a devil,--the terrible look passed from her face;
she opened the door wide.

"Come in, child! come in!"

So Jacqueline went into the room where John had worked and thought,
reasoned, argued, prayed.

This is the home of the man because of whom many are this night offended
in the city of Meaux. This is the place whence issued the power that has
set the tongues to talking, and the minds to thinking, and the hearts to
hoping, and the authorities to avenging.

A grain of mustard-seed is the kingdom of heaven in a figure; the
wandering winds a symbol of the Pentecostal power: a dove did signify
the descent of God to man. This poor chamber, so pent in, and so lowly,
so obscure, has its significance. Here has a life been lived; and not
the least does it import, that walls are rough and the ceiling low.

But the life of John Leclerc was not to be limited. A power has stood
here which by its freedom has set at defiance the customary calculation
of the worldly-wise. In high places and in low the people are this night
disturbed because of him who has dared to lift his voice in the freedom
of the speech of God. In drawing-rooms odorous with luxury the man's
name has mention, and the vulgarity of his liberated speech and
courageous faith is a theme to move the wonder and excite the
reprobation of hearts whose languid beating keeps up their show of life,
--to what sufficient purpose expect me not to tell. His voice is loud
and harsh to echo through these music-loving halls; it rends and tears,
with almost savage strength, the dainty silences.

But busier tongues are elsewhere more vehement in speech; larger
hearts beat faster indignation; grief and vulgarest curiosity are all
manifesting themselves after their several necessity. In solitary places
heroes pray throughout the night, wrestling like Jacob, agonizing like
Saul, and with some of them the angel left his blessing; for some the
golden harp was struck that soothed their souls to peace. Angels of
heaven had work to do that night. Angels of heaven and hell did prove
themselves that night in Meaux: night of unrest and sleeplessness, or of
cruel dreaming; night of bloody visions, tortured by the apprehension
of a lacerated body driven through the city streets, and of the hooting
shouts of Devildom; night haunted by a gory image,--the defiled temple
of the Holy Ghost.

Did the prospect of torture keep _him_ wakeful? Could the man bear the
disgrace, the derision, shouting, agony? Was there nothing in this
thought, that as a witness of Jesus Christ he was to appear next day,
that should soothe him even unto slumber? Upon the silence of his
guarded chamber let none but ministering angels break. Sacred to him,
and to Him who watched the hours of the night, let the night go!

But here--his mother, Jacqueline with her--we may linger with these.


V.


When the old woman saw that it was Jacqueline Gabrie who stood waiting
admittance, she opened the door wider, as I said; and the dark solemnity
of her countenance seemed to be, by so much as a single ray, enlivened
for an instant.

She at once perceived the tracts which Jacqueline had brought. Aware of
this, the girl said,--

"I stayed to hear them read, after I heard that for the sake of the
truth in them"--she hesitated--"this city will invite God's wrath
to-morrow."

And she gave the papers to the old woman, who took them in silence.

By-and-by she asked,--

"Are you just home, Jacqueline?"

"Since sunset,--though it was nearly dark when I came in,"--she
answered. "Victor Le Roy was down by the riverbank, and he read them for
me."

"He wanted to get out of town, maybe. You would surely have thought it
was a holiday, Jacqueline, if you could have seen the people. Anything
for a show: but some of them might well lament. Did you want to know the
truth he pays so dear for teaching? But you have heard it, my child."

"We all heard what he must pay for it, in the fields at noon. Yes,
mother, I wanted to know."

"But if you shall believe it, Jacqueline, it may lead you into danger,
into sad straits," said the old woman, looking at the young girl with
earnest pity in her eyes.

She loved this girl, and shuddered at the thought of exposing her to
danger.

Jacqueline had nursed her neighbor, Antonine, and more than once, after
a hard day's labor, which must be followed by another, she had sat with
her through the night; and she could pay this service only with love,
and the best gift of her love was to instruct her in the truth. John and
she had proved their grateful interest in her fortunes by giving her
that which might expose her to danger, persecution, and they could not
foresee to what extremity of evil.

And now the old woman felt constrained to say this to her, even for her
love's sake,--"It may lead you into danger."

"But if truth is dangerous, shall I choose to be safe?" answered
Jacqueline, with stately courage.

"It _is_ truth. It _will_ support him. Blessed be Jesus Christ and His
witnesses! To-night, and to-morrow, and the third day, our Jesus will
sustain him. They think John will retract. They do not know my son. They
do not know how he has waited, prayed, and studied to learn the truth,
and how dear it is to him. No, Jacqueline, they do not. But when they
prove him, they will know. And if he is willing to witness, shall I
not be glad? The people will understand him better afterward,--and the
priests, maybe. 'I can do all things,' said he, 'Christ strengthening
me'; and that was said long ago, by one who was proved. Where shall you
be, Jacqueline?"

"Oh," groaned Jacqueline, "I shall be in the fields at work, away from
these cruel people, and the noise and the sight. But, mother, where
shall you be?"

"With the people, child. With him, if I live. Yes, he is my son; and
I have never been ashamed of the brave boy. I will not be ashamed
to-morrow. I will follow John; and when they bind him, I will let him
see his mother's eyes are on him,--blessing him, my child!--Hark! how
they talk through the streets!--Jacqueline, he was never a coward. He
is strong, too. They will not kill him, and they cannot make him dumb.
He will hold the truth the faster for all they do to him. Jesus Christ
on his side, do you think he will fear the city, or all Paris, or all
France? He does not know what it is to be afraid. And when God opened
his eyes to the truth of his gospel, which the priests had hid, he meant
that John should work for it,--for he is a working-man, whatever he sets
about."

So this old woman tried, and not without success, to comfort herself,
and sustain her tender, proud, maternal heart. The dire extremity into
which she and her son had fallen did not crush her; few were the tears
that fell from her eyes as she recalled for Jacqueline the years of her
son's boyhood,--told her of his courage, as in various ways it had made
itself manifest: how he had always been fearless in danger,--a
conqueror of pain,--seemingly regardless of comfort,--fond of
contemplation,--contented with his humble state,--kindly, affectionate,
generous, but easily stirred to wrath by injustice, when manifested by
the strong toward the weak,--or by cruelty, or by falsehood.

Many an anecdote of his career might she relate; for his character,
under the pressure of this trial, which was as searching and severe a
test of her faith as of his, seemed to illustrate itself in manifold
heroic ways, all now of the highest significance. With more majesty and
grandeur his character arose before her; for now in all the past, as she
surveyed it, she beheld a living power, a capability, and a necessity of
new and grand significance, and her heart reverenced the spirit she had
nursed into being.

Removed to the distance of a prison from her sight, separated from
her love by bolts and bars, and the wrath of tyranny and close-banded
bigotry, he became a power, a hero, who moved her, as she recalled
his sentence, and prophesied the morrow, to a feeling tears could not
explain.

They passed the night together, the young woman and the old. In the
morning Jacqueline must go into the field again. She was in haste to go.
Leaving a kiss on the old woman's cheek, she was about to steal away in
silence; but as she laid her hand upon the latch, a thought arrested
her, and she did not open the door, but went back and sat beside the
window, and watched the mother of Leclerc through the sleep that must be
brief. It was not in her heart to go away and leave those eyes to waken
upon solitude. She must see a helpful hand and hopeful face, and, if it
might be, hear a cheerful human voice, in the dawning of that day.

She had not long to wait, and the time she may have lost in waiting
Jacqueline did not count or reckon, when she heard her name spoken, and
could answer, "What wilt thou? here am I."

Not in vain had she lingered. What were wages, more or less, that they
should be mentioned, thought of, when she might give and receive here
what the world gives not, and never has to give,--and what a mortal
cannot buy, the treasure being priceless? Through the quiet of that
morning hour, soothing words, and strong, she felt and knew to speak;
and when at last she hurried away from the city to the fields, she was
stronger than of nature, able to bear witness to the faith that speaks
from the bewilderment of its distresses, "Though He slay me, yet will I
trust in Him."

Not alone had her young, frank, loving eyes enlivened the dreary morning
to the heart of Leclerc's mother. Grace for grace had she received. And
words of the hymn that were always on John's lips had found echo
from his mother's memory this morning: they lodged in the heart of
Jacqueline. She went away repeating,--

  "In the midst of death, the jaws
  Of hell against us gape.
  Who from peril dire as this
  Openeth us escape?
  'Tis thou, O Lord, alone!
  Our bitter suffering and our sin
  Pity from thy mercy win,
  Holy Lord and God!
  Strong and holy God!
  Merciful and holy Saviour!
  Eternal God!
  Let us not despair
  For the fire that burneth there!
  Kyrie, eleison!"

Jacqueline met Elsie on her way to the fields. But the girls had
not much to say to each other that morning in their walk. Elsie was
manifestly conscious of some great constraint; she might have reported
to her friend what she had heard in the streets last night, but she
felt herself prevented from such communication,--seemed to be intent
principally on one thing: she would not commit herself in any direction.
She was looking with suspicion upon Jacqueline. Whatever became of her
soul, her body she would save alive. She was waking to this world's
enjoyment with vision alert, senses keen. Martyrdom in any degree was
without attraction to her, and in Truth she saw no beauty that she
should desire it. It was a root out of dry ground indeed, that gave no
promise of spreading into goodly shelter and entrancing beauty.

As to Jacqueline, she was absorbed in her heroic and exalted thoughts.
Her heart had almost failed her when she said farewell to John's mother;
tearfully she had hurried on her way. One vast cloud hung between her
and heaven; darkly rolled the river; every face seemed to bear witness
to the tragedy that day should witness.

Not the least of her affliction was the consciousness of the distance
increasing between herself and Elsie Méril. She knew that Elsie was
rejoicing that she had in no way endangered herself yet; and sure was
she that in no way would Elsie invite the fury of avenging tyranny and
reckless superstition.

Jacqueline asked her no questions,--spoke few words to her,--was
absorbed in her own thoughts. But she was kindly in her manner, and
in such words as she spoke. So Elsie perceived two things,--that she
should not lose her friend, neither was in danger of being seized by the
heretical mania. It was her way of drawing inferences. Certain that
she had not lost her friend, because Jacqueline did not look away, and
refuse to recognize her; congratulating herself that she was not the
object of suspicion, either justly or unjustly, among the dreadful
priests.

But that friend whose steady eye had balanced Elsie was already sick at
heart, for she knew that never more must she rely upon this girl who
came with her from Domrémy.

As they crossed the bridge, lingering thereon a moment, the river seemed
to moan in its flowing toward Meaux. The day's light was sombre; the
birds' songs had no joyous sound,--plaintive was their chirping; it
saddened the heart to hear the wind,--it was a wind that seemed to take
the buoyancy and freshness out of every living thing, an ugly southeast
wind. They went on together,--to the wheat-fields together;--it was to
be day of minutes to poor Jacqueline.

To be away from Meaux bodily was, it appeared, only that the imagination
might have freer exercise. Yes,--now the people must be moving through
the streets; shopmen were not so intent on profits this day as they were
on other days. The priests were thinking with vengeful hate of the wrong
to themselves which should be met and conquered that day. The people
should be swiftly brought into order again! John in his prison was
preparing, as all without the prison were.

The crowd was gathering fast. He would soon be led forth. The shameful
march was forming. Now the brutal hand of Power was lifted with
scourges. The bravest man in Meaux was driven through the streets,--she
saw with what a visage,--she knew with what a heart. Her heart was awed
with thinking thereupon. A bloody mist seemed to fall upon the environs
of Meaux; through that red horror she could not penetrate; it shrouded
and it held poor Jacqueline.

Of the faith that would sustain him she began once more to inquire. It
is not by a bound that mortals ever clear the heights of God. Step by
step they scale the eminences, toiling through the heavenly atmosphere.
Only around the summit shines the eternal sun.

So she must now recall the words that Victor Le Roy read for her last
night; and the words he spoke from out his heart,--these also. And
she did not fear now, as yesterday, to ask for light. Let the light
dawn,--oh, let it shine on her!

The mother of Leclerc had uttered mysterious words which Jacqueline took
for truth; the light was joyful and blessed, and of all things to be
desired, though it smote the life from one like lightning. She waited
alone with faith, watching till it should come,--left alone with this
beam glimmering like a moth through darkness!--for thus was a believer,
or one who resolved on believing, left in that day, when he turned from
the machinery of the Church, and stood alone, searching for God without
the aid of priestly intervention.


VI.


There was something awful in such loneliness.

Jacqueline knew little of it until now, as she walked toward the fields,
by the side of Elsie Méril.

She saw how she had depended on the priest of Domrémy, as he had been
the lawgiver and the leader of her life. A spiritual life, to be
sustained only by the invisible spirit, to be lived by faith, not in
man, but in God, without intervention of saint or angel or Blessed
Virgin,--was the world's life liberated by such freedom?

By faith, and not by sight, the just must live. Would He bow his heavens
and come down to dwell with the contrite and the humble?

Wondrous strange it seemed,--incomprehensible,--more than she could
manage or control. There are prisoners whose pardon proves the world too
large for them: they find no rest until their prison-door is opened for
them again.

Of this class was Elsie,--not Jacqueline. Elsie was afraid of
freedom,--not equal to it,--unable to deal with it; satisfied with being
a child, with being a slave, when it came to be a question whether she
should accept and use her highest privilege and dignity. At this hour,
and among all persuasions, you will find that Elsie does not stand
alone. Little children there are, long as the world shall stand,--though
not precisely such as we think of when we remember, "Of such is the
kingdom of heaven."

It was enough for Elsie--it is enough for multitudes through all the
reformations--that she had an earthly defence, even such as she relied
on without trouble. She lived in the hour. She had never toiled to
deliver her darling from the lions,--to redeem a soul from purgatory.
She eased her conscience, when it was troubled, by such shallow
discovery of herself as she deemed confession. She loved dancing,
and all other amusements,--hated solitude, knew not the meaning of
self-abnegation. And let her dance and enjoy herself!--some service
to the body is rendered thereby. She might do greatly worse, and
is incapable of doing greatly better. Will you stint the idiots of
comfort,--or rather build them decent habitations, and even vex yourself
to feed and clothe them, in reverent confidence that the Future shall
surely take them up and bless them, unstop their ears, open their eyes,
give speech to them and absolute deliverance?

There are others beside Elsie who congratulate themselves on
non-committal,--they covet not the advanced and dangerous positions.
Honorable, but dangerous positions! The head might be taken off, do you
not see? And could all eternity compensate for the loss of time? Ah, the
body might be mutilated,--the liberty restrained: as if, indeed, a
man's freedom were not eternally established, when his enemies, howling
around, must at least crucify him! as if a divine voice were not ever
heard through the raging of the people, saying, "Come up higher!"

But a fern-leaf cannot grow into a mighty hemlock-tree. From the ashes
of a sparrow the phoenix shall not rise. You will not to all eternity,
by any artificial means, nor by a miracle, bring forth an eagle from a
mollusk.

There was not a sadder heart in all those fields of Meaux than the heart
of Jacqueline Gabrie. There was not a stronger heart. Not a hand
labored more diligently. Under the broad-brimmed peasant-hat was a sad
countenance,--under the peasant-dress a heavily burdened spirit. Silent,
all day, she labored. She was alone at noon under the river-bordered
trees, eating her coarse fare without zest, but with a conscience,--to
sustain the body that was born to toil. But in the maelström of doubt
and anxiety was she tossed and whirled, and she cared not for her life.
To be rid of it, now for the first time, she felt might be a blessing.
What purpose, indeed, had she? She turned her thought from this
question, but it would not let her alone. Again and yet again she turned
to meet it, and thus would surely have at length its satisfying answer.

John Leclerc might pass through this ordeal, as from the first she
had expected of him. But she listened to the speech of many of her
fellow-laborers. Some prophecies which had a sound incredible escaped
them. She did not credit them, but they tormented her. They contended
with one another. John, some foretold, would certainly retract. One day
of public whipping would suffice. When the blood began to flow, he would
see his duty clearer! The men were prophesying from the depths and the
abundance of their self-consciousness. Others speculated on the final
result of the executed sentence. They believed that the "obstinacy" and
courage of the man would provoke his judges, and the executors of his
sentence,--that with rigor they would execute it,--and that, led on
by passion, and provoked by such as would side with the victim, the
sentence would terminate in his destruction. Sooner or later, nothing
but his life would be found ultimately to satisfy his enemies.

It might be so, thought Jacqueline Gabrie. What then? what then?--she
thought. There was inspiration to the girl in that cruel prophecy. Her
lifework was not ended. If Christ was the One Ransom, and it did truly
fall on Him, and not on her, to care for those beloved, departed from
this life, her work was still for love.

John Leclerc disabled or dead, who should care then for his aged mother?
Who should minister to him? Who, indeed, but Jacqueline?

Living or dying, she said to herself, with grand enthusiasm,--living or
dying, let him do the Master's pleasure! She also was here to serve that
Master; and while in spiritual things he fed the hungry, clothed the
naked, gave the cup of living water, visited the imprisoned, and the
sick of sin, she would bind herself to minister to him and his old
mother in temporal things; so should he live above all cares save those
of heavenly love. She could support them all by her diligence, and in
this there would be joy.

She thought this through her toil; and the thought was its own reward.
It strengthened her like an angel,--strengthened heart and faith. She
labored as no other peasant-woman did that day,--like a beast of burden,
unresisting, patient,--like a holy saint, so peaceful and assured, so
conscious of the present very God!

[To be continued.]

       *       *       *       *       *



MIDSUMMER.


  Around this lovely valley rise
  The purple hills of Paradise.
  Oh, softly on yon banks of haze
  Her rosy face the Summer lays!
  Becalmed along the azure sky,
  The argosies of cloudland lie,
  Whose shores, with many a shining rift,
  Far off their pearl-white peaks uplift.

  Through all the long midsummer-day
  The meadow-sides are sweet with hay.
  I seek the coolest sheltered seat
  Just where the field and forest meet,--
  Where grow the pine-trees tall and bland,
  The ancient oaks austere and grand,
  And fringy roots and pebbles fret
  The ripples of the rivulet.

  I watch, the mowers as they go
  Through the tall grass, a white-sleeved row;
  With even stroke their scythes they swing,
  In tune their merry whetstones ring;
  Behind the nimble youngsters run
  And toss the thick swaths in the sun;
  The cattle graze; while, warm and still,
  Slopes the broad pasture, basks the hill,
  And bright, when summer breezes break,
  The green wheat crinkles like a lake.

  The butterfly and humble-bee
  Come to the pleasant woods with me;
  Quickly before me runs the quail,
  The chickens skulk behind the rail,
  High up the lone wood-pigeon sits,
  And the woodpecker pecks and flits.
  Sweet woodland music sinks and swells,
  The brooklet rings its tinkling bells,
  The swarming insects drone and hum,
  The partridge beats his throbbing drum.
  The squirrel leaps among the boughs,
  And chatters in his leafy house.
  The oriole flashes by; and, look!
  Into the mirror of the brook,
  Where the vain blue-bird trims his coat,
  Two tiny feathers fall and float.

  As silently, as tenderly,
  The down of peace descends on me.
  Oh, this is peace! I have no need
  Of friend to talk, of book to read:
  A dear Companion here abides;
  Close to my thrilling heart He hides;
  The holy silence is His Voice:
  I lie and listen, and rejoice.



TOBACCO.


"Tobacco, divine, rare, superexcellent tobacco, which goes far beyond all
the panaceas, potable gold, and philosopher's stones, a sovereign remedy
to all diseases! a good vomit, I confess, a virtuous herb, if it be well
qualified, opportunely taken, and medicinally used. But as it is commonly
abused by most men, which take it as tinkers do ale, 'tis a plague, a
mischief, a violent purger of goods, lauds, health: hellish, devilish, and
damned tobacco, the ruin and overthrow of body and soul!"--BURTON. _Anatomy
of Melancholy_.

A delicate subject? Very true; and one which must be handled as tenderly
as _biscuit de Sèvres_, or Venetian glass. Whichever side of the
question we may assume, as the most popular, or the most right, the
feelings of so large and respectable a minority are to be consulted,
that it behooves the critic or reviewer to move cautiously, and,
imitating the actions of a certain feline household reformer, to show
only the _patte de velours_.

The omniscient Burton seems to have reached the pith of the matter. The
two hostile sections of his proposition, though written so long since,
would very well fit the smoker and the reformer of to-day. That portion
of the world which is enough advanced to advocate reforms is entirely
divided against itself on the subject of Tobacco. Immense interests,
economical, social, and, as some conceive, moral, are arrayed on either
side. The reformers have hitherto had the better of it in point of
argument, and have pushed the attack with most vigor, yet with but
trifling results. Smokers and chewers, _et id omne genus_, mollified
by their habits, or laboring under guilty consciences, have made but a
feeble defence. Nor in all this is there anything new. It is as old as
the knowledge of the "weed" among thinking men,--in other words, about
three centuries. The English adventurers under Drake and Raleigh and
Hawkins, and the multitude of minor Protestant "filibusters" who
followed in their train, had no sooner imported the habit of smoking
tobacco, among the other outlandish customs which they brought home from
the new Indies and the Spanish Main, than the higher powers rebuked
the practice, which novelty and its own fascinations were rendering so
fashionable, in language more forcible than elegant. The philippic of
King James is so apposite that we may be pardoned for transcribing one
oft-quoted sentence:--"But herein is not only a great vanity, but a
great contempt of God's good gifts, that the sweetness of man's breath,
being a good gift of God, should be wilfully corrupted by this stinking
smoke.... A custom loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmfull
to the brain, dangerous to the lungs, and in the black stinking fume
thereof neerest resembling the horrible Stygian smoake of the pit that
is bottomless."[a]

[Footnote a: _Counterblast to Tobacco_.]

The Popes Urban VIII. and Innocent XII. fulminated edicts of
excommunication against all who used tobacco in any form; from which we
may conclude that the new habit was spreading rapidly over Christendom.
And not only the successors of St. Peter, but those also of the Prophet,
denounced the practice, the Sultan Amurath IV. making it punishable with
death. The Viziers of Turkey spitted the noses of smokers with their own
pipes; the more considerate Shah of Persia cut them entirely off. The
knout greeted in Russia the first indulgence, and death followed the
second offence. In some of the Swiss cantons smoking was considered a
crime second only to adultery. Modern republics are not quite so severe.

It is not to be supposed that in England the royal pamphlet had its
desired effect. For we find that James laid many rigid sumptuary
restrictions upon the practice which he abominated, based chiefly upon
the extravagance it occasioned,--the expenses of some smokers being
estimated at several hundred pounds a year. The King, however, had the
sagacity to secure a preëmption-right as early as 1620.

Yet how could the practice but have increased, when, as Malcolm relates
the tradition, such men as Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Hugh Middleton
sat smoking at their doors?--for "the public manner in which it was
exhibited, and the aromatic flavor inhaled by the passengers, exclusive
of the singularity of the circumstance and the eminence of the parties,"
could hardly have failed to favor its dissemination.

The silver-tongued Joshua Sylvester hoped to aid the royal cause by
writing a poem entitled, "Tobacco battered, and the pipes shattered,
(about their ears who idly idolize so base and barbarous a weed, or at
least-wise overlove so loathsome a vanity,) by a volley of holy shot
thundered from Mount Helicon." If the smoothness of the verses equalled
the euphony of the title, this must have proved a moving appeal.

Stow contents himself with calling tobacco "a stinking weed, so much
abused to God's dishonor."

Burton exhausts the subject in a single paragraph. Ben Jonson, though
a jolly good fellow, was opposed to the habit of smoking. But Spenser
mentions "divine tobacco." Walton's "Piscator" indulges in a pipe at
breakfast, and "Venator" has his tobacco brought from London to insure
its purity. Sweet Izaak could have selected no more soothing minister
than the pipe to the "contemplative man's recreation."

As the new sedative gains in esteem, we find Francis Quarles, in his
"Emblems," treating it in this serio-comic vein:--

  "Flint-hearted Stoics, you whose marble eyes
  Contemn a wrinkle, and whose souls despise
  To follow Nature's too affected fashion,
  Or travel in the regent walk of passion,--
  Whose rigid hearts disdain to shrink at
  fears,
  Or play at fast-and-loose with smiles and
  tears,--
  Come, burst your spleens with laughter to
  behold
  A new-found vanity, which days of old
  Ne'er knew,--a vanity that has beset
  The world, and made more slaves than Mahomet,--
  That has condemned us to the servile yoke
  Of slavery, and made us slaves to smoke,
  But stay! why tax I thus our modern
  times
  For new-born follies and for new-born
  crimes?
  Are we sole guilty, and the first age free?
  No: they were smoked and slaved as well
  as we.
  What's sweet-lipped honor's blast, but
  smoke? what's treasure,
  But very smoke? and what's more smoke
  than pleasure?"

Brand gives us the whole matter in a nutshell, in the following quaint
epigram, entitled "A Tobacconist," taken from an old collection:--

  "All dainty meats I do defy
  Which feed men fat as swine;
  He is a frugal man, indeed,
  That on a leaf can dine.

  "He needs no napkin for his hands
  His fingers' ends to wipe,
  That keeps his kitchen in a box,
  And roast meat in a pipe."

And so on, the singers of succeeding years, _usque ad nauseam_,--a
loathing equalled only by that of the earlier writers for the plant, now
so lauded.

Tobacco-worship seems to us to culminate in the following stanza from a
German song:--

  "Tabak ist mein Leben,
  Dem hab' ich mich ergeben, ergeben;
  Tabak ist meine Lust.
  Und eh' ich ihn sollt' lassen,
  Viel lieber wollt' ich hassen,
  Ja, hassen selbst eines Mädchens Kuss."

As it is with your sex, my dear Madam, that this question of Tobacco is
to be mainly argued,--for, to your honor be it spoken, you have always
been of the reformatory party,--let us hope, that, provided you have
not read or translated the last verse, you have recovered your natural
amiability, ruffled perhaps by this odious subject, and are prepared
to believe us when we tell you that these opposite opinions cannot be
wholly reconciled, and to follow us patiently while we attempt to show
that a certain gentleman, introduced to your maternal ancestor at a very
remote period of the world's history, is not so black as he is sometimes
painted. Let us keep good-natured, at least, in this discussion; for we
propose to settle it without taking off the gloves, as we intimated in
the opening paragraph. Your patience will be much needed for the sad
army of facts and figures which is to follow. Therefore it is but just
that you should speak now, after these long sentences.

Your George will never smoke? Excuse me. _When_ he will smoke depends
upon the precocity of his individual generation; and that increases in
a direct ratio with time itself, in this country. Thus, to state the
matter in an approximate inverse arithmetical progression, and dating
the birth of "young America" about the year 1825,--previously to which
reigned the dark ages of oldfogydom, so called,--we find as follows:
--From 1825 to 1835, young gentlemen learned to smoke when from 25 to 20
years of age; from 1835 to 1845, young _gents_, ditto, ditto, from 20 to
15 years; 1845 to 1855, from 15 to 10; 1855 to 1865, 10 to 5; 1865 to
1875, 5 to 0; and, if we continue, 1875 to 1885, zero to minus: but
really the question is becoming too nebulous. _Corollary_. In about ten
years, the youth of the United States will smoke contemporaneously with
the infant Burmese, who, we are credibly informed, begin the habit
_aet_. 3, or as soon as they have cut enough teeth to hold a cigar.

Therefore, we will say, Madam, at some indefinite period of his
childhood or youth,--for we would not be so impolite as to infer your
age by asking that of your son,--the _susdit_ George will come home
late from play some afternoon, languid, pale, and disinclined for tea.
He will indignantly repel the accusation of feeling ill, and there will
lurk about his person an indescribable odor of stale cinnamon, which
you will be at a loss to account for, but which his elder brother will
recognize as the natural result of smoking "cinnamon cigars," wherewith
certain wicked tobacconists of this city tempt curious youth. If you
follow him to his chamber, you will probably discover more damning
evidence of his guilt.

We will draw the curtain over the scene of the Spartan mother--we hope
you belong to that nearly extinct class--which is to follow. Let us
suppose all differences settled, the habit ostensibly given up, and your
darling, grown more honest or more artful,--the result is the same to
your blissful ignorance,--studiously pursuing his way until he enters
college. Some fine day you drive over to the neighboring university,
and, entering his room unannounced, you find him coloring his first
(factitious) meerschaum!--also a sad deficiency in his wardrobe of
half-worn clothes. _C'est une pipe qui coûte cher à culotter_, the
college meerschaum,--and in more ways than one, according to the
"Autocrat":--"I do not advise you, young man, to consecrate the flower
of your life to painting the bowl of a pipe," _et seq_. More bold,
the Sophomore will smoke openly at home; and by the end of the third
vacation, it is one of those unyielding _faits accomplis_ against which
reformers, household or peripatetic, beat their heads in vain.

Perhaps your husband smokes? If so, at what period of the twenty-four
hours have you invariably found Mr. ---- most lenient to your little
pecuniary peccadilloes? Is he not always most good-natured when his
cigar is about one-third consumed, the ash evenly burnt and adherent,
and not fallen into his shirt-bosom? Depend upon it, tobacco is a great
soother of domestic differences.

Let us, then, look an existing, firmly rooted evil--if you will call it
so--in the face, and see if it is quite so bad as it is represented. It
is too wide-spread to be sneered away,--for we might almost say that
smokers were the rule, and non-smokers the exception, among all
civilized men, Charles Kingsley supports us here:--"'Man a cooking
animal,' my dear Doctor Johnson? Pooh! man is a _smoking_ animal.
There is his _ergon_, his 'differential energy,' as the Aristotelians
say,--his true distinction from the orangoutang. Ponder it well."

_Query_.--What did the old Roman do without a cigar? How idle through
the day? How survive his interminable _post-coenal_ potations?--The
thought is not our own. It occurs somewhere in De Quincey, we believe.
It is one of those self-evident propositions you wonder had not occurred
to you before.--What an accessory of luxury the pipe would have been
to him who passed the livelong day under the mosaic arches of the
_Thermoe_! The _strigiles_ would have vanished before the meerschaum,
had that magic clay then been known. How completely would the _hookah_
and the _narghileh_ have harmonized with the _crater, cyathi_, and
tripods of the _triclinium_ in that portraiture of the "Decadence of
Rome" which hangs in the Luxembourg Gallery! Poor fellows! they managed
to exist without them.

Though pipes are found carved on very old sculptures in China, and the
habit of smoking was long since extensively followed there, according
to Pallas, and although certain species of the tobacco-plant, as the
_Nicotiana rustica_, would appear to be indigenous to the country, yet
we have the best reason to conclude that America, if not the exclusive
home of the herb, was the birthplace of its use by man. The first great
explorer of the West found the sensuous natives of Hispaniola rolling up
and smoking tobacco-leaves with the same persistent indolence that
we recognize in the Cuban of the present day. Rough Cortés saw with
surprise the luxurious Aztec composing himself for the _siesta_ in the
middle of the day as invariably as his fellow Dons in Castile. But he
was amazed that the barbarians had discovered in tobacco a sedative
to promote their reveries and compose them to sleep, of which the
_hidalgos_ were as yet ignorant, but which they were soon to appropriate
with avidity, and to use with equal zest. Humboldt says that it had been
cultivated by the people of Orinoco from time immemorial, and was smoked
all over America at the time of the Spanish Conquest,--also that it was
first discovered by Europeans in Yucatan, in 1520, and was there called
_Petum_. Tobacco, according to the same authority, was taken from the
word _tabac_, the name of an instrument used in the preparation of the
herb.

Though Columbus and his immediate followers doubtless brought home
specimens of tobacco among the other spoils of the New World, Jean
Nicot, ambassador to Portugal from Francis II., first sent the seeds
to France, where they were cultivated and used about the year 1560. In
honor of its sponsor, Botany has named the plant _Nicotiana tabacum_,
and Chemistry distinguished as _Nicotin_ its active alkaloid. Sir
Francis Drake first brought tobacco to England about 1586. It owed
the greater part of its early popularity, however, to the praise and
practice of Raleigh: his high standing and character would have sufficed
to introduce still more novel customs. The weed once inhaled, the habit
once acquired, its seductions would not allow it to be easily laid
aside; and we accordingly find that royal satire, public odium, and
ruinous cost were alike inadequate to restrain its rapidly increasing
consumption. Somewhere about the year 1600 or 1601 tobacco was carried
to the East, and introduced among the Turks and Persians,--it is not
known by whom: the devotion of modern Mussulmans might reasonably
ascribe it to Allah himself. It seems almost incredible that the
Oriental type of life and character could have existed without tobacco.
The pipe seems as inseparable as the Koran from the follower of Mahomet.

Barely three centuries ago, then, the first seeds of the _Nicotiana
tabacum_ germinated in European soil: now, who shall count the harvests?
Less than three centuries ago, Raleigh attracted a crowd by sitting
smoking at his door: now, the humblest bog-trotter of Ireland must
be poor indeed who cannot own or borrow a pipe. A little more than a
century and a half ago, the import into Great Britain was only one
hundred and twenty thousand pounds, and part of that was reëxported:
now, the imports reach thirty million pounds, and furnish to government
a revenue of twenty millions of dollars,--being an annual tax of three
shillings four pence on every soul in the United Kingdom. Nor is the
case of England an exceptional one. The tobacco-zone girdles the globe.
From the equator, through fifty degrees of latitude, it grows and is
consumed on every continent. On every sea it is carried and used by the
mariners of every nation. Its incense rises in every clime, as from one
vast altar dedicated to its worship,--before which ancient holocausts,
the smoke of burnt-offerings in the old Jewish rites, the censers of the
Church, and the joss-sticks of the East, must "pale their ineffectual
fires." All classes, all ages, in all climates, and in some countries
both sexes, use tobacco to dispel heat, to resist cold, to soothe
to reverie, or to arouse the brain, according to their national
habitations, peculiarities, or habits.

This is not the language of hyperbole. With a partial exception in favor
of the hop, tobacco is the _sole recognized narcotic_ of civilization.
Opium and hemp, if indulged in, are concealed, by the Western nations:
public opinion, public morality, are at war with them. Not so with
tobacco, which the majority of civilized men use, and the minority
rather deprecate than denounce. We shall avail ourselves of some
statistics and computations, which we find ready-calculated, at various
sources, to support these assertions. The following are the amounts of
tobacco consumed _per head_ in various countries:--

"In Great Britain, 17 ounces per head; in France, 18 1/2
ounces,--three-eighths of this quantity being used in the form of snuff;
in Denmark, 70 ounces (4 1/2 lbs.) per head; and in Belgium, 73 1/2
ounces per head;--in New South Wales, where there are no duties, by
official returns, 14 pounds per head." We doubt if these quantities
much exceed the European average, particularly of Germany and Turkey in
Europe. "In some of the States of North America the proportion is much
larger, while among Eastern nations, where there are no duties, it is
believed to be greater still."

The average for the whole human race of one thousand millions has been
reasonably set at seventy ounces per head; which gives a total produce
and consumption of tobacco of two millions of tons, or 4,480,000,000 of
pounds! "At eight hundred pounds an acre, this would require five and
a half million acres of rich land to be kept constantly under
tobacco-cultivation."

"The whole amount of wheat consumed by the inhabitants of Great Britain
weighs only four and one-third million tons." The reader can draw his
own inferences.

The United States are among the largest producers of tobacco, furnishing
one-twentieth of the estimated production of the whole world. According
to the last census, we raised in 1850 about two hundred million pounds.
All the States, with five exceptions,--and two of these are Utah and
Minnesota,--shared, in various degrees, in the growth of this great
staple. Confining our attention to those which raised a million of
pounds and upwards, we find Connecticut and Indiana cited at one million
each; Ohio and North Carolina, at ten to twelve millions; Missouri,
Tennessee, and Maryland, from seventeen to twenty-one millions; Kentucky
and Virginia, about fifty-six million pounds.

Of this gross two hundred million pounds, we export one hundred and
twenty-two millions, leaving about seventy-eight millions for home
consumption.

Not satisfied with the quality of this modest amount, we import also,
from Cuba, Turkey, Germany, etc., about four million pounds, in Havana
and Manila cigars and Turkish and German manufactured smoking-tobacco.
Thus we increase the total of our consumption to eighty-two million
pounds, which gives about three pounds eight ounces to every inhabitant
of the United States, against seventeen ounces in England, and eighteen
ounces in France. From 1840 to 1850, the consumption in the United
States, per head, increased from two pounds and half an ounce to three
pounds eight ounces. Here, we buy our tobacco at a fair profit to the
producer. In most of the countries of Europe it is either subject to
a high tax, or made a government monopoly, both as regards its
cultivation, and its manufacture and sale. France consumes about
forty-one million pounds, and the imperial exchequer is thereby enriched
eighty-six million francs _per annum_. Not only is the poor man thus
obliged to pay an excessive price, but the tobacco furnished him is of
a much inferior quality to ours. "_Petit-caporal_" smoking-tobacco, the
delight of the middling classes of Paris, hardly suits an American's
taste. In Italy more than one _pubblicano_ has enriched himself and
bought nobility by farming the public revenues from tobacco and salt. In
Austria the cigars are detestable, though Hungary grows good tobacco,
and its Turkish border furnishes some of the meerschaum clay. German
smoking-tobaccoes are favorites with students here, but owe their
excellence to their mode of manufacture.

Tobacco, according to some authorities, holds the next place to salt,
as the article most universally and largely used by man,--we mean,
of course, apart from cereals and meats. It is unquestionably the
widest-used narcotic. Opium takes the second rank, and hemp the third;
but the opium--and hashish-eaters usually add the free smoking of
tobacco to their other indulgences.

From these great columns of consumption we may logically deduce two
prime points for our argument.

1st. That an article so widely used must possess some peculiar quality
producing _a desirable effect_.

2d. That an article so widely used cannot produce _any marked
deleterious effect_.

For it must meet some instinctive craving of the human being,--as bread
and salt meet his absolute needs,--to be so widely sought after and
consumed. Fashion does not rule this habit, but it is equally grateful
to the savage and the sage. And it cannot be so ruinous to body and mind
as some reformers assert; otherwise, in the natural progress of causes
and effects, whole nations must have already been extinguished under
its use. Many mighty nations have used it for centuries, and show no
aggregated deterioration from its employment. Individual exceptions
exist in every community. They arise either from idiosyncrasy or from
excess, and they have no weight in the argument.

Now, what are these qualities and these effects? We can best answer the
first part of the question by a quotation.

"In ministering fully to his natural wants and cravings, man passes
through three successive stages.

"First, the necessities of his material nature are provided for. Beef
and bread represent the means by which, in every country, this end is
attained. And among the numerous forms of animal and vegetable food a
wonderful similarity of chemical composition prevails.

"Second, he seeks to assuage the cares of his mind, and to banish
uneasy reflections. Fermented liquors are the agents by which this is
effected." [They are variously produced by every people, and the active
principle is in all the same, namely, Alcohol.]

"Third, he desires to multiply his enjoyments, intellectual and animal,
and for the time to exalt them. This he attains by the aid of narcotics.
And of these narcotics, again, it is remarkable that almost every
country or tribe has its own, either aboriginal or imported; so that
the universal instinct of the race has led, somehow or other, to the
universal supply of this want or craving also."

These narcotics are Opium, Hemp, the Betel, Coca, Thorn-Apple, Siberian
Fungus, Hops, Lettuce, Tobacco. The active principles vary in each, thus
differing from foods and stimulants. Our business is now to inquire into
the chemical constituents of tobacco.

The leaves of this plant owe their properties to certain invariable
active principles, which chemistry has enabled us to separate from those
ingredients which are either inert or common to it and other forms of
vegetation. They are two in number,--a volatile alkali, and a volatile
oil, called _nicotin_ and _nicotianin_, respectively. A third powerful
constituent is developed by combustion, which is named the _empyreumatic
oil_.

Starch, gum, albumen, resin, lignin, extractive, and organic acids exist
in tobacco, as they do, in varying proportions, in other plants. But
the herb under consideration contains a relatively larger proportion of
inorganic salts, as those of lime, potassa, and ammonia,--and especially
of highly nitrogenized substances; which explains why tobacco is
so exhausting a crop to the soil, and why ashes are among its best
fertilizers.

The organic base, _nicotin_, (or _nicotia_, as some chemists prefer to
call it,) exists in tobacco combined with an acid in excess, and in this
state is not volatile. As obtained by distillation with caustic soda,
and afterwards treated with sulphuric acid, etc., it is a colorless
fluid, volatilizable, inflammable, of little smell when cold, but of an
exceedingly acrid, burning taste, and alkaline. Nicotia contains a much
larger proportion of nitrogen than most of the other organic alkalies.
In its action on the animal system it is one of the most virulent
poisons known. It exists in varying, though small proportion, in all
species of tobacco. Those called mild, and most esteemed, seem to
contain the least. Thus, according to Orfila, Havana tobacco yields two
per cent of the alkaloid, and Virginia nearly seven per cent. In the
rankest varieties it rarely exceeds eight parts to the hundred. The
same toxicologist says that it has the remarkable property of resisting
decomposition in the decaying tissues of the body, and he detected it in
the bodies of animals destroyed by it, several months after their death.
In this particular it resembles arsenic.

_Nicotianin_, or the volatile oil, is probably the odorous principle of
tobacco. According to some, it does not exist in the fresh leaves, but
is generated in the drying process. When obtained by distillation, a
pound of leaves will yield only two grains; it is therefore in a much
smaller proportion than the alkaloid, forming only one half of one per
cent. It is a fatty substance, having the odor of tobacco-smoke, and
a bitter taste. Applied to the nose, it occasions sneezing, and taken
internally, giddiness and nausea. It is therefore one of the active
constituents of tobacco, though to a much less degree than nicotin
itself. For while Hermstadt swallowed a grain of nicotianin with
impunity, the vapor of pure nicotin is so irritating that it is
difficult to breathe in a room in which a single drop has been
evaporated.

When distilled in a retort, at a temperature above that of boiling
water, or burned, as we burn it in a pipe, tobacco affords its third
poison, the _empyreumatic oil_. This is acrid, of a dark brown
color, and having a smell as of an old pipe, in the pores of which,
particularly of meerschaum clay, it may be found. It is also narcotic
and very poisonous, one drop killing reptiles, as if by an electric
shock: in this mode of action it is like prussic acid. But this
empyreumatic oil consists of two substances; for, if it be washed with
acetic acid, it loses its poisonous quality. It contains, therefore, a
harmless oil, and a poisonous alkaline substance, which the acetic acid
combines with and removes. It has been shown to contain the alkaloid
nicotia, and this is probably its only active component.

Assuming, therefore, that nicotianin, from its feebler action and small
amount, is not a very efficient principle in producing the narcotic
effects of tobacco, and that the empyreumatic oil consists only of fatty
matters holding the alkali in solution, we are forced to believe that
the only constituent worthy of much attention, as the very soul and
essence of the plant, is the organic base, nicotin, or nicotia.

It is probable that the tobacco-chewer, by putting fifty grains of the
"Solace," "Honey-Dew," or "Cavendish" into his mouth for the purpose
of mastication, introduces at the same time from one to four grains of
nicotin with it, according to the quality of the tobacco he uses. It
is _not_ probable that anything like this amount is absorbed into the
system. Nature protects itself by salivation. It is possible, that, in
smoking one hundred grains of tobacco, there _may_ be drawn into
the mouth two grains or more of the same poison; "for, as nicotin
volatilizes at a temperature below that of burning tobacco, it is
constantly present in the smoke." It is not probable that here, again,
so much is absorbed.

But we will return to this question of the relative effects of chewing,
cigar- and pipe-smoking, and snuff-taking, presently. For we suppose
that the anxious mother, if she has followed us so far, is by this time
in considerable alarm at this wholesale poisoning.

Poisons are to be judged by their effects; for this is the only means we
have of knowing them to be such. And if a poison is in common use, we
must embrace all the results of such use in a perfect generalization
before we can decide impartially. We do not hesitate to eat peaches,
though we know they owe much of their peculiar flavor to prussic acid.
It is but fair to apply an equally large generalization to tobacco.
Chemistry can concentrate the sapid and odorous elements of the peach
and the bitter almond into a transparent fluid, of which the smell
shall be vertiginous and the taste death. But chemistry is often
misunderstood, in two ways: in the one case, by the incredulity of total
ignorance; in the other, by the overcredulity of imperfect knowledge.
That poor woman who murdered her husband by arsenic not long since
was an instance of the first. She laughed to scorn the idea that the
chemists could discover anything in the ejected contents of the stomach
of her victim, which she voluntarily left in their way. She could not
conceive that the scattered crystals of the fatal powder might be
gathered into a metallic mirror, the first glance at which would reflect
her guilt.

They who gape, horror-struck, at the endless revelations of chemistry,
without giving reason time to act, err in the second manner. Led away by
the brilliant hues and wonderful transformations of the laboratory,
they forget the size of the world outside, in which these changes are
enacted, and the quiet way in which Nature works. The breath of chlorine
is deadly, but we daily eat it in safety, wrapped in its poison-proof
envelope of sodium, as common salt. Carbonic acid is among the gases
most hostile to man, but he drinks it in soda-water or Champagne with
impunity. So we cannot explain how a poison will act, if introduced
into the body in the diluted form in which Nature offers it, and there
subjected to the complicated chemico-vital processes which constitute
life.

In the alembic of the chemist we may learn analysis, and from it infer,
but not imitate, save in a few instances, the synthesis of Nature.
Changes in the arrangement of atoms, without one particle altered that
we can discover, may make all the difference between starch and sugar.
By an obscure change, which we call fermentation, these may become
alcohol, the great stimulant of the world. By subtracting one atom of
water from its elements we change this to ether, the new-found _lethe_
of pain. As from the inexhaustible bottle of the magician, the chemist
can furnish us from the same two elements air or aquafortis. We may be
pardoned these familiar examples to prove that we must not judge of
things by their palpable qualities, when concentrated or in the gross.
That fiery demon, nitric acid, is hid, harmless in its imperceptible
subdivision, in the dew on every flower.

From all this we conclude that the evil effects of tobacco are to be
determined by their proved _physiological_ effects; and also that we
must aid our decision by a survey of its general asserted effects. In
treating of these effects, we shall speak, first, of what is known;
second, of what its opponents assert; and, third, of what we claim as
the results of its use.

What is absolutely known is very little. We see occasional instances of
declining health; we learn that the sufferers smoke or chew, and we are
very apt to ascribe all their maladies to tobacco. So far as we are
aware, the most notorious organic lesion which has been supposed due to
this practice is a peculiar form of cancer of the lip, where the pipe,
and particularly the clay pipe, has pressed upon the part. But more
ample statistics have disproved this theory.

We have as yet become acquainted with no satisfactory series of
experiments upon tobacco analogous to those which have been made of some
articles of food.

The opponents of tobacco, upon whom we consider the burden of proof to
rest, in the absence of any marked ill effects palpable in so large a
consumption of the herb, are thus reduced to generalities.

Tobacco is said to produce derangement of the digestion, and of the
regular, steady action of the nervous system. These effects must be in a
measure connected; but one distinct effect of tobacco is claimed, upon
the secretions of the mouth, with which it comes into direct contact.
It is said to cause a waste and a deterioration of the saliva. Let us
examine this first.

The waste of saliva in young smokers and in immoderate chewers we admit.
The amount secreted by a healthy man has been variously estimated at
from one and a half to three pounds _per diem_. And it certainly seems
as if the whole of this was to be found upon the vile floors of
cars, hotels, and steamboats. The quantity secreted varies much with
circumstances; but experiments prove the _quality_ to be not affected by
the amount.

To show how the deterioration of this fluid may affect digestion, we
must inquire into its normal physiological constitution and uses. Its
uses are of two kinds: to moisten the food, and to convert starch into
sugar. The larger glands fulfil the former; the smaller, mostly, the
latter office. Almost any substance held in the mouth provokes the flow
of saliva by mechanical irritation. Mental causes influence it; for the
thought of food will "make the mouth water," as well as its presence
within the lips. No one who has tried to eat unmoistened food, when
thirsty, will dispute its uses as a solvent. Tobacco seems to be a
direct stimulant to the salivary apparatus. Habit blunts this effect
only to a limited extent. The old smoker has usually some increase of
this secretion, although he does not expectorate. But if he does not
waste this product, he swallows it, it is said, in a state unfit to
promote digestion. The saliva owes its peculiarity to one of its
components, called _ptyalin_. And this element possesses the remarkable
power of converting starch into sugar, which is the first step in its
digestion. Though many azotized substances in a state of decomposition
exert a similar agency, yet it is possessed by _ptyalin_ in a much
greater degree. The gastric juice has probably no action on farinaceous
substances. And it has been proved by experiments, that food moistened
with water digests more slowly than when mixed with the saliva.

More than this, the conversion of starch into sugar has been shown to
be positively retarded in the stomach by the acidity of the gastric
secretions. Only after the azotized food has been somewhat disintegrated
by the action of the gastric juice, and the fluids again rendered
alkaline by the presence of saliva, swallowed in small quantities for
a considerable time after eating, does the saccharifying process go on
with normal rapidity and vigor.

Now starch is the great element, in all farinaceous articles, which
is adapted to supply us with calorifacient food. "In its original
condition, either raw or when broken up by boiling, it does not appear
that starch is capable of being absorbed by the alimentary canal. By its
conversion into sugar it can alone become a useful aliment." This is
effected almost instantaneously by the saliva in the mouth, and at a
slower rate in the stomach.

Obviously, then, if the use of tobacco interferes with the normal action
of the saliva, and if the digestion of starch ends in the stomach, here
is the strong point in the argument of the opponents of tobacco. We
should wonder at the discrepancy between physiology and facts, theory
and the evidence of our senses and daily experience among the world
of smokers, and be ready to renounce either science or "the weed."
Fortunately for our peace of mind and for our respect for physiology,
the first point of the proposition is not satisfactorily proved, and the
second is untrue. We are not certain that nicotin ruins ptyalin; we are
certain that the functions of other organs are vicarious of those of the
salivary glands.

We say that it is not satisfactorily proved that tobacco impairs the
sugar-making function of the saliva. At least, we have never seen the
proof from recorded experiments. Such may exist, but we have met only
with loose assertions to this effect, of a similar nature to
those hygienic _dicta_ which we find bandied about in the
would-be-physiological popular journals, which are so plentiful in
this country, and which may be styled the "yellow-cover" literature of
science.

We acknowledge this to be the weak point in our armor, and are open to
further light. Yet more, for the sake of hypothesis, we will assume it
proved. What follows? Are we to get no more sugar while we smoke? By no
means. Hard by the stomach lies the _pancreas_, an organ so similar in
structure to the salivary glands, that even so minute an observer as
Kölliker does not think it requisite to give it a separate description.
Its secretion, which is poured into the second stomach, contains a
ferment analogous to that of the saliva, and amounts probably to about
seven ounces a day. The food, on leaving the stomach, is next subjected
to its influence, together with that of the bile. It helps digest fatty
matters by its emulsive powers; it has been more recently supposed to
form a sort of _peptone_ with nitrogenized articles also; but, what is
more to our purpose, it turns starch into sugar even more quickly than
the saliva itself. And even if the reformers were to beat us from this
stronghold, by proving that tobacco impaired the saccharifying power of
this organ also, we should still find the mixed fluids supplied by the
smaller, but very numerous glands of the intestines, sufficient to
accomplish the requisite modification of starch, though more slowly and
to a less degree.

We come now to the second count in the indictment,--that tobacco
injuriously affects the nervous system, and through it the digestion.
The accusation is here more vague and indefinite, and the answer also
is less susceptible of proof. Both sides must avail themselves of
circumstantial, rather than direct evidence.

That digestion is in direct dependence upon the nervous system, and that
even transitory or emotional states of the latter affect the former,
there can be no doubt. It is so familiar a fact, that instances need
hardly be cited to prove it. Hence we are told, that tobacco, by
deranging the one, disorders the other,--that nervousness, or morbid
irritability of the nerves, palpitations and tremulousness, are soon
followed by emaciation and dyspepsia, or more or less inability to
digest.

We conceive Prout, an eminent authority, to be near the truth, when he
says of tobacco, "The strong and healthy suffer comparatively little,
while the weak and predisposed to disease fall victims to its poisonous
operation." The hod-carrier traversing the walls of lofty buildings, and
the sailor swinging on the yard-arm, are not subject to nervousness,
though they smoke and chew; nor are they prone to dyspepsia, unless from
excesses of another kind.

It has not been shown that tobacco either hastens or delays the
metamorphosis of tissue,--that it drains the system by waste, or clogs
it by retarding the natural excretions. We must turn, then, to its
direct influence upon the nervous system to convince ourselves of its
ill effects, if such exist.

Nor has it been proved that the nervous influence is affected in such
a way as directly to impair the innervation of the organic functions,
which derive their chief impulse to action from the scattered ganglia of
the sympathetic system. Opium, the most powerful narcotic, benumbs the
brain into sleep; produces a corresponding reaction, on awakening;
shuts up the secretions, except that of the skin, and thus deranges the
alimentary functions. The decriers of tobacco will, we conceive, be
unable to show that it produces such effects.

The reformers are reduced, then, to the vague generality, that smoking
and chewing "affect the nerves."

Students, men of sedentary, professional habits, persons of a very
nervous temperament, or those subject to much excitement in business
and politics, sometimes show debility and languor, or agitation and
nervousness, while they smoke and chew. Are there no other causes at
work, sufficient in themselves to produce these effects? Are want of
exercise, want of air, want of rest, and want of inherited vigor to be
eliminated from the estimate, while tobacco is made the scape-goat of
all their troubles?

Climate, and the various influences affecting any race which has
migrated after a stationary residence of generations to a new country
extending under different parallels of latitude, have been reasonably
accused of rendering us a nervous people. It is not so reasonable to
charge one habit with being the sole cause of this, although we should
be more prudent in not following it to excess. The larger consumption
of tobacco here is due both to the cheapness of the product and to
the wealth of the consumer. But it does not follow that we are more
subjected to its narcotic influences because we use the best varieties
of the weed. On the contrary, the poor and rank tobaccoes, grown under a
northern sky, are the richest in nicotin.

But it will be better to continue the argument about its effects upon
the nervous system in connection with the assertions of the reformers.
The following is a list, by no means complete, of these asserted ill
effects from its use.

Tobacco is said to cause softening of the brain,--dimness of
vision,--("the Germans smoke; the Germans are a _spectacled_ nation!"
_post hoc, ergo propter hoc?_ the laborious intellectual habits of this
people, and their trying "text," are considered of no account,)--cancer
of the stomach,--disease of the liver,--dyspepsia,--enfeebled
nutrition, and consequent emaciation,--dryness of the mouth,--"the
clergyman's sore-throat" and loss of voice,--irritability of the nervous
system,--tremulousness,--palpitation and paralysis,--and, among the
moral ills, loss of energy, idleness, drunkenness. A fearful catalogue,
which would dedicate the _tabatière_ to Pandora, were it true.

Hygienic reformers are usually unequalled in imaginary horrors, except
by the charlatans who vend panaceas.

We have no reasons for believing that tobacco causes softening of the
brain equal in plausibility to those which ascribe it to prolonged and
excessive mental effort. The statistics of disease prove cancers of
other organs to be twice as frequent, among females, as cancer of the
stomach is among males; and an eminent etiologist places narcotics
among the least proved causes of this disease. A hot climate, abuse
of alcohol, a sedentary life, and sluggish digestion happen, rather
curiously, to be very frequent concomitants, if not causes, of disease
of the liver. Dyspepsia haunts both sexes, and, we venture to assert,
though we cannot bring figures to prove it, is as frequent among those
who do not use tobacco as among those who do. We are ready to concede
that excessive chewing and smoking, particularly if accompanied by large
expectoration, may impair nutrition and cause emaciation: that the mass
of mankind eat and digest and live, as well as use "the weed," is proof
that its moderate employment is not ordinarily followed by this result.
Dryness of the mouth follows expectoration as a matter of course; but
the salivation excited in an old smoker by tobacco is very moderate, and
not succeeded by thirst, unless the smoke be inhaled too rapidly and at
too high a temperature.

We come next to a very tender point with reformers, the laryngeal cough
and failing voice of the reverend clergy. The later generations of
ministers of this vicinity, as a body, have abandoned tobacco, and yet
the evil has not diminished. An eminent divine of our acquaintance,
who does not smoke daily, always finds a cigar relieve a trifling
bronchitis, to which he is occasionally subject The curious will find in
the "Medical Journal" of this city, for 1839, that quite as much can be
said on one side as on the other of this subject.

The minor, rarely the graver affections of the nervous system, do follow
the use of tobacco in excess. We admit this willingly; but we deny these
effects to its moderate use by persons of ordinary health and of no
peculiar idiosyncrasy. Numerous cases of paralysis among tobacco-takers
in France were traced to the lead in which the preparation was
enveloped.

We pass next to what we claim as the effects of _moderate_
tobacco-using, and will take first the evidence of the toxicologists.
Both Pereira and Christison agree that "no well-ascertained ill effects
have been shown to result from the habitual practice of smoking." Beck,
a modern authority, says, "Common observation settles the question, that
the moderate and daily use of tobacco _does not_ prove injurious. This
is a general rule": and he adds, that exceptions necessarily exist, etc.

The repugnance and nausea which greet the smoker, in his first attempts
to use tobacco, are not a stronger argument against it than the fact
that the system so soon becomes habituated to these effects is a proof
of its essential innocuousness.

Certainly the love of tobacco is not an instinctive appetite, like that
for nitrogen and carbon in the form of food. Man was not born with a
cigar in his mouth, and it is not certain that the _Nicotiana tabacum_
flourished in the Garden of Eden. But history proves the existence of
an instinct among all races--call it depraved, if you will, the fact
remains--leading them to employ narcotics. And narcotics all nations
have sought and found. We venture to affirm that tobacco is harmless as
any. The betel and the hop can alone compare with it in this respect;
and the hop is not a narcotic which satisfies alone; others are used
with it. Opium and Indian hemp are not to be mentioned in comparison;
while coca, in excess, is much more hurtful.

Tobacco may more properly be called a sedative than a narcotic. Opium,
the type of the latter class, is in its primary action excitant, but
secondarily narcotic. The opium-eaters are familiar with this, and
learn by experience to regulate the dose so as to prolong the first and
shorten the second effects, as much as possible.

Tobacco, on the other hand, is primarily sedative and relaxing. A high
authority says of its physiological action:--

"First, That its greater and first effect is to assuage and allay and
soothe the system in general.

"Second, That its lesser and second, or after effect, is to excite and
invigorate, and at the same time give steadiness and fixity to the
powers of thought."

Either of these effects will predominate, we conceive, according to
the intellectual state and capacity of the individual, as well as in
accordance with the amount used.

The dreamy Oriental is sunk into deeper reverie under the influence of
tobacco, and his happiness while smoking seems to consist in thinking of
nothing. The studious German, on the contrary, "thinks and dreams,
and dreams and thinks, alternately; but while his body is soothed and
stilled, his mind is ever awake."

This latter description resembles, to compare small things with great,
the effects of opium, as detailed by De Quincey.

"In habitual smokers," says Pereira, "the practice, when moderately
indulged, produces that remarkably soothing and tranquillizing effect on
the mind which has caused it to be so much admired and adopted by all
classes of society."

The pleasure derived from tobacco is very hard to define, since it is
negative rather than positive, and to be estimated more by what it
prevents than by what it produces. It relieves the little vexations and
cares of life, soothes the harassed mind, and promotes quiet reflection.
This it does most of all when used sparingly and after labor. But
if incessantly consumed, it keeps up a constant, but mild cerebral
exhilaration. The mind acts more promptly and more continuously under
its use. We think any tobacco-consumer will bear us out in this
definition of its varying effects.

After a full meal, if it does not help, it at least hides digestion.
"It settles one's dinner," as the saying is, and gives that feeling of
quiet, luxurious _bien-aise_ which would probably exist naturally in
a state of primeval health. It promotes, with most persons, the
peristaltic movements of the alimentary passages by its relaxing
properties.

Smoking is eminently social, and favors domestic habits. And in this
way, we contend, it prevents drinking, rather than leads to it. Many
still associate the cigar with the bar-room. This notion should have
become obsolete ere this, for it has an extremely limited foundation in
fact. Bachelors and would-be-manly boys are not the only consumers of
tobacco, though they are the best patrons of the bar. The poor man's
pipe retains him by his own fireside, as well as softens his domestic
asperities.

Excess in tobacco, like excess in any other material good meant for
moderate use, is followed by evil effects, more or less quickly,
according to the constitution and temperament of the abuser. The
lymphatic and obese can smoke more than the sanguine and nervous, with
impunity. How much constitutes excess varies with each individual.
Manufacturers of tobacco do not appear to suffer. Christison states, as
the result of the researches of MM. Parent-Duchatelet and D'Arcet among
four thousand workmen in the tobacco-manufactories of France, that they
found no evidence of its being unwholesome. Moderate tobacco-users
attain longevity equal to that of any other class in the community.

We will cite only the following brief statistics from an old physician
of a neighboring town. In looking over the list of the oldest men, dead
or alive, within his circle of acquaintance, he finds a total of 67 men,
from 73 to 93 years of age. Their average age is 78 and a fraction. Of
these 67, 54 were smokers or chewers; 9 only, non-consumers of tobacco;
and 4 were doubtful, or not ascertained. About nine-elevenths smoked or
chewed. The compiler quaintly adds, "How much longer these men might
have lived without tobacco, it is impossible to determine."

The tobacco-leaf is consumed by man usually in three ways: by smoking,
snuffing, or chewing. The first is the most common; the last is the most
disagreeable.

Tobacco is smoked in the East Indies, China, and Siam; in Turkey and
Persia; over Europe generally; and in North and South America. Cigars
are preferred in the East and West Indies, Spain, England, and America.
China, Turkey, Persia, and Germany worship the pipe. In Europe the pipe
is patronized on account of its cheapness. Turks and Persians use the
mildest forms of pipe-smoking, choosing pipes with long, flexible stems,
and having the smoke cooled and purified by passing through water. The
Germans prefer the porous meerschaum,--the Canadians, the common clay.
Women smoke habitually in China, the East and West Indies, and to a less
extent in South America, Spain, and France.

We have no fears that any reasoning of ours would induce the other
sex to use tobacco. The ladies set too just a value on the precious
commodity of their charms for that. There is little danger that they
would do anything which might render them disagreeable. The practice of
snuff-taking is about the only form they patronize, and that to a slight
extent.

France is the home of snuff. A large proportion of all the tobacco
consumed there is used in this form. The practice prevails to a large
extent also in Iceland and Scotland. The Icelander uses a small horn,
like a powder-horn, to hold his snuff. Inserting the smaller end into
the nostril, he elevates the other, and thus conveys the pungent powder
directly to the part. The more delicate Highlander carries the snuff to
his nose on a little shovel. This can be surpassed only by the habit
of "dipping," peculiar to some women of the United States, and whose
details will not bear description.

Chewing prevails _par excellence_ in our own country, and among the
sailors of most nations,--to some extent also in Switzerland, Iceland,
and among the Northern races. It is the safest and most convenient form
at sea.

By smoking, each of the three active ingredients of tobacco is rendered
capable of absorption. The empyreumatic oil is produced by combustion.
The pipe retains this and a portion of the nicotin in its pores. The
cigar, alone, conveys all the essential elements into the system.

Liebig once asserted that cigar-smoking was prejudicial from the
amount of gaseous carbon inhaled. We cannot believe this. The heat of
cigar-smoke may have some influence on the teeth; and, on the whole, the
long pipe, with a porous bowl, is probably the best way of using tobacco
in a state of ignition.

By repeated fermentations in preparing snuff, much of the nicotin is
evaporated and lost. Yet snuff-takers impair the sense of smell, and
ruin the voice, by clogging up the passages with the finer particles of
the powder. The functions of the labyrinthine caverns of the nose and
forehead, and of the delicate osseous laminae which constitute the
sounding-boards of vocalization, are thus destroyed.

Chewing is the most constant, as it is the nastiest habit. The old
chewer, safe in the blunted irritability of the salivary glands, can
continue his practice all night, if he be so infatuated, without
inconvenience. In masticating tobacco, nicotin and nicotianin are rolled
about in the mouth with the quid, but are not probably so quickly
absorbed as when in the gaseous state. Yet chewers are the greatest
spitters, and have a characteristic drooping of the angle of the lower
lip, which points to loss of power in the _leavator_ muscles.

Latakia, Shiraz, Manila, Cuba, Virginia, and Maryland produce the most
valuable tobaccoes. Though peculiar soils and dressings may impart
a greater aroma and richness to the plant, by the variations in the
quantity of nicotianin, as compared with the other organic elements, yet
we are inclined to think that the diminished proportion of nicotin in
the best varieties in the cause of their superior flavor to the rank
Northern tobaccoes, and that it is mainly because they are milder that
they are most esteemed. So, too, the cigar improves with age, because
a certain amount of nicotin evaporates and escapes. Taste in cigars
varies, however, from the Austrian government article, a very rank
"long-nine," with a straw running through the centre to improve its
suction, to the Cuban _cigarrito_, whose ethereal proportions three
whiffs will exhaust.

The manufacture of smoking-tobaccoes is as much and art in Germany as
getting up a fancy brand of cigars is here; and the medical philosopher
of that country will gravely debate whether "Kanaster" or "Varinas" be
best suited for certain forms of convalescence; tobacco being almost
as indispensable as gruel, in returning health. We think the
light pipe-smoker will find a combination of German and Turkish
smoking-tobaccoes a happy thought. The old smoker may secure the best
union of delicacy and strength in the Virginia "natural leaf."

Among the eight or ten species of the tobacco-plant now recognized by
botanists, the _Nicotiana tabacum_ and the _Nicotiana rustica_ hold the
chief place. Numerous varieties of each of these, however, are named and
exist.

We condense from De Bow's "Industrial Resources of the South and West" a
brief account of tobacco-culture in this country. "The tobacco is best
sown from the 10th to the 20th of March, and a rich loam is the most
favorable soil. The plants are dressed with a mixture of ashes, plaster,
soot, salt, sulphur, soil, and manure." After they are transplanted,
we are told that "the soil best adapted to the growth of tobacco is a
light, friable one, or what is commonly called a sandy loam; not too
flat, but rolling, undulating land." Long processes of hand-weeding must
be gone through, and equal parts of plaster and ashes are put on each
plant. "Worms are the worst enemy," and can be effectually destroyed
only by hand. "When the plant begins to yellow, it is time to put it
away; and it is cut off close to the ground." After wilting a little on
the ground, it is dried on sticks, by one of the three processes called
"pegging, spearing, and splitting." "When dry, the leaves are stripped
off and tied in bundles of one fifth or sixth of a pound each. It is
sorted into three or four qualities, as Yellow, Bright, Dull, etc."
Next it is "bulked," or put into bundles, and these again dried, and
afterwards "conditioned," and packed in hogsheads weighing from six
hundred to a thousand pounds each.

It would be too long to detail the processes of cigar- and snuff-making,
the latter of which is quite complicated.

We were happy to learn from the fearful work of Hassall on "Food and
its Adulterations," that tobacco was one of the articles least tampered
with; and particularly that there was no opium in cheroots, but nothing
more harmful than hay and paper. He ascribes this immunity mainly to
the vigilance of the excisemen. But we have recently seen a work on
the adulteration of tobacco, whose microscopic plates brought back our
former misgivings. Molasses is a very common agent used to give color
and render it toothsome. Various vegetable leaves, as the rhubarb,
beech, walnut, and mullein, as well as the less delectable bran, yellow
ochre, and hellebore, in snuff, are also sometimes used to defraud.
Saltpetre is often sprinkled on, in making cigars, to improve their
burning.

The Indians mixed tobacco in their pipes with fragrant herbs. Cascarilla
bark is a favorite with some smokers; it is a simple aromatic and
tonic, but, when smoked, is said sometimes to occasion vertigo and
intoxication.

We have before observed that tobacco is a very exhausting crop to the
soil. The worn-out tobacco-plantations of the South are sufficient
practical proof of this, while it is also readily explained by
chemistry. The leaves of tobacco are among the richest in incombustible
ash, yielding, when burned, from 19 to 28 _per cent_. of inorganic
substance. This forms the abundant ashes of tobacco-pipes and of cigars.
All this has been derived from the soil where it was raised, and it is
of a nature very necessary to vegetation, and not very abundant in the
most fertile lands. "Every ton of dried tobacco-leaves carries off from
four to five hundred-weight of this mineral matter,--as much as is
contained in fourteen tons of the grain of wheat." It follows
that scientific agriculture can alone restore this waste to the
tobacco-plantation.

There is one other aspect of this great subject, which is almost
peculiar to New England, the home of reform. Certain Puritanical
pessimists have argued that the use of tobacco is immoral. There are
few, except our own sober people, who would admit this question at
all. We would treat this prejudice with the respect due to all sincere
reforms. And we have attempted to show, that, since all races have used
and will use narcotics, we had better yield a little, lest more be
taken, and concede them tobacco, which is more harmless than many that
are largely consumed. We have proved to our own satisfaction, and we
hope to theirs, that tobacco _in moderation_ neither affects the health
nor shortens life; that it does not create an appetite for stimulants,
but rather supplies their place; and that it favors sociality and
domestic habits more than the reverse.

If the formation of any habit be objected to, we reply, that this is
a natural tendency of man, that things become less prejudicial by
repetition, and that a high hygienic authority advises us "to be regular
even in our vices."

As we began in a light, we close in a more sober vein, apologists for
tobacco, rather than strongly advocating either side. On one point we
are sure that we shall agree with the ladies, and that is in a sincere
denunciation of the habit of smoking at a tender age. And although, in
accordance with the tendency of the times, the school-boy whom we caught
attached to a "long-nine" would consistently reply, _"Civis Americanus
sum_!" we shall persist in claiming the censorship of age over those on
whose chins the callow down of adolescence is yet ungrown.

       *       *       *       *       *



SHAKSPEARE DONE INTO FRENCH.


In the first place, it really was an immense success, and Shylock, or
Sheeloque, as they dubbed him, was called before the curtain seven
times, and in most appropriate humility nearly laid his nose on his
insteps as he bowed, and quite showed his spine.

It certainly was like Shakspeare in this, that it had five acts; but
when I have made that concession, and admitted that Sheeloque was
_Le Juif de Venise_, I think I have named all the cardinal points of
similarity in the "Merchant of Venice" and "Le Juif" of that same
unwholesome place. To be sure, there is a suspicion of _le devin
Williams_, as they will call him, continually cropping out; but a
conscientious man would not swear to one line of it, and I do not
think Shakspeare would be justified in suing the French author for
compensation under the National Copyright-Act. I speak of Shakspeare as
existing, because it is my belief he does, in a manner so to speak.

I have intimated that "Le Juif" has five acts; but I have not yet
committed myself to the assertion that he was in seven _tableaux_, and
possessed a prologue.

It is now my pleasing duty to force you through the five acts, and the
one prologue, and the seven _tableaux_,--every one of them.

This prologue is divided as to the theatre into two parts: to left,
Sheeloque's domestic interior,--to right, a practicable canal. In the
very first line out crops Shylock's love of good bargains; and I
give the reader my word, the little Frenchmen saw that this was
characteristic, and applauded vehemently. _"Bon_," said I,--"if they
applaud the first line, what will they do with the last act?"

It need not be said that Shylock dabbles in those bills which Venetian
swells of the fifteenth century, in common with those of a later age
and more western land, will manipulate, in spite of all the political
economy from Confucius down to Mr. Mill; and in this particular instance
and prologue the names of the improvidents are Leone and Ubaldo, neither
of which, if my memory serve me, is Shakspearian. These gentlemen
considerably shake my traditional respect for sixteenth-century
Venetian _Aristos_, for they insult that Jew till I wonder where a count
and a duke have learnt such language: but they serve a purpose; they
trot Shylock out, so to speak, and give our author an opportunity
of doing his best with A 1. Shylock's great speech. Here is the
apostrophe:--

"But yesterday--no later past than yesterday--thou didst bid thy
mistress call at me from her balcony; thy servants by thy will did cast
mud on me, and thy hounds sped snapping after me,'"--whereby we may infer
they went hunting in Venice, in the fifteenth century. It must have been
rather dangerous running. Nor could the Venetian nobles of that good old
time have been very proper; for Leone and Ubaldo justify themselves by
saying they were drunk.

It is after this pretty excuse that Shylock has a soliloquy as long as
his beard,--and I hear really loud opposition to this didacticism in the
pit; but, however, this slow work soon meets compensation in violent
action. Shylock won't renew, and the nobles get indignant; so they
propose to pay Shylock with more kicks than halfpence. Here the action
begins; for Shylock protests he will bite a bit out of them; and though
one of these long-sleeved swells warns him that all threats by Jews
against Christians are an imprisonment manner, Shylock rashly prepares
for a defence. Away fly the lords after Shylock, over go the chairs,
down goes the table, and I suppose Shylock _does_ hit "one of them"; for
the two lords go off quite triumphantly, with the intimation that he
will be in prison in one hour from that.

Then the Jew calls for--Sarah; and this same comes in on tiptoe, for
fear of waking the baby. This Shylock _fils_ Sarah proceeds to describe
as equally beautiful with Abel and Moses, which seems to give Shylock
_père_ great comfort,--though I am bound to admit the lowly whispered
doubt on the part of a pit-neighbor of mine as to Sarah's capability of
judging in the matter.

Shylock is preparing for prison, it seems, and one little necessity is a
prayer for said son. Sarah comes in with a response, Shylock leaves
off praying "immediate," to tell Sarah she is no vulgar servant, which
assurance is received in the tearful manner. And here it comes a
little faint whiff of the real play. In leaving home, Shylock's French
plagiarizes the Jew's speech to Jessica, even down to the doubt the Jew
has about leaving his house at all.

There has been no necessity for stating that Sara supposes herself the
widow of a libel on his sex, a man unspeakable; and the moment I hear he
is, or was, a man of crime unspeakable, I know he will turn up. Shylock
having gone away,--I do not know where,--up comes a gondola to the
front-door, and, of course, in walks Sarah's husband. "Good evening,
Ma'am," says he. "God of Israel!" says she. And then such an explanation
as this infamous husband gives! He puts in, that he is a pirate; that
his captain, whom he describes as a _Vénus en corsaire_, has lost a
son, and wants another; hence speaker, name Arnheim, wants that little
Israelite who is so much like Abel and Moses at one and the same moment:
though how Arnheim should know of that little creation, or how he should
know him to be also like the lost infantile pirate as well as Abel and
Moses, does not sufficiently appear,--as, indeed, my neighbor, who is
suggestive of a Greek Chorus in a blue blouse, discovers in half a dozen
disparaging syllables.

Of course, when the supposed widow hears this, her cries ought to wake
up all hearing Venice, but not one Venetian comes to her aid; and though
she uses her two hands enough for twenty, she has not got her way when
thoroughly breathed.

"Sarah," says that energetic woman's husband, "Sarah, don't be a fool!"

Then I know the baby is coming: there never yet was a French prologue
without a baby,--it seems a French unity; sometimes there are two
babies, who always get mixed up. But to our business.

Out comes the baby, (they never scream,) and--alas that for effect he
should thus commit himself!--Arnheim rips Sarah up, and down she goes as
dead as the Queen of Sheba.

Then comes a really fine scene. Shylock enters, learns all; in come
soldiers for Shylock, and, of course, accuse him of the murder;
whereupon Shylock shows on the blade a cross. "Doth a Jew wear a knife
with a cross on it?" says he. "Go to!--'tis a Christian murder."

To this the soldier-head has nothing to say; so he hurries Shylock off
to prison, and down comes the curtain.

"Hum!" says the Greek Chorus,--"it might be worse."


ACT I.


It is clear there must be lady characters, or I am quite sure the Greek
Chorus would find fault wofully,--and the only one we have had, Sarah,
to wit, can't decently appear again, except in the spiritual form. Well,
there is the original Portia,--alas for that clever, virtuous, and
noble lady!--how is she fallen in the French!--she is noble-looking and
clever,--but the third quality, oh, dear me! This disreputable is named
Imperia, and the real Bassanio becomes one Honorius, who is, as he
should be, the bosom friend of one Andronic, which is Antonio, I would
have you know. I have thought over it two minutes, and have come to the
conclusion that the less I say about Imperia the better, and I know the
Anglo-Saxon would not agree with Imperia,--but, as the Frenchman does,
I offer you one, or part of one of Imperia's songs, as bought by me for
two disgraceful _sous_.

  "Déjà l'aube rayonne et luit,
  La nuit
  Finit;
  Maîtresse,
  L'heure enchanteresse
  Passe et fuit...
  A ton arrêt je dois me rendre.
  Sort jaloux! (_bis._)
  Hâtons-nous,
  Il faut descendre
  Sans réveiller son vieil époux!..."

Well,--what do you think of it? Now I will not mention her again,--I
will refer to her, when I shall have vexatious occasion, as "that
woman." And, indeed, "that woman" and Honorius set us up in
comprehension of matters progressing. It seems that quite twenty years
have passed since Sarah's soul slid through a knife-gash; that Honorius
and Andronic, who have come from Smyrna, (why?) are almost brothers;
that Honorius is good in this fact only, that he knows he is really bad;
and that Andronic is the richest and most moral man in Venice,--though
why, under those circumstances, he should be friendly with such a rip as
Honorius, Honorius does not inform us.

I shall pass over the next scenes, and come to that in which all the
creditors of all the lords are brought on to the stage in a state which
calls for the interference of the Doge: they are all drunk,--except
Shylock. This scene really is a startler. Shylock, now dashed with
gray, and nearly double, comes up to "that woman" and calls her sister;
whereupon she demanding that explanation which I and the Greek Chorus
simultaneously want, Shylock states that _he_ is Usury and _she_ Luxury,
"and they have one father."

"Queer old man!!!" says "that woman."

Here follow dice, in which the Jew is requested to join, all of which
naturally brings about a discussion on the rate of usage, which that
dog Andronic is bringing down, and a further statement that _that_
imprisonment lasted two years. Then comes a _coup d'théâtre_: Shylock
reminds everybody that a just Doge reigns now, (nor can I help pointing
out the Frenchman's ingenuity here: in the _play_, the Doge must be
just, or where would the pound of flesh be?--while, if the Doge of the
_prologue_ were just, Shylock would not have been committed for two
years,--ergo, kill No. 1. Doge, install No. 2.)--Shylock reminds
everybody that a just Doge reigns. Shylock has it all his own way, and
Honorius is arrested before the very eyes of "that woman." Then comes
the necessary _Deus ex machina_ in the shape of Andronic, who pays
everybody everything, saves his friend, and play proceeds. Andronic
reproaches Jew touching his greed, whereon the Jew offers this not
profound remark,--"I am--what I am,"--and goes on counting his money.

Oh, if you only knew the secret!

This cash payment winds up the act.


ACT II.


Decidedly, the beginning of Act Second proves Andronic is no fool, for
he advises Honorius to flee that creature,--and what better advice in
those matters is there than that of retreating? Decidedly, too,
the virtuous Doge is worth having,--really a Middle-Age electric
telegraph,--for he gives all about him such a dose of news as in this
day would sell every penny-paper printed: and such bad news!--Venice
down everywhere, and a loan wanted. Here comes a fine scene for
Andronic, (for, after all, the lords have "hitched out" of the proposed
loan, whereby I take it they are not such fools as people take them to
be,)--Andronic declares, that, if he were rich enough, the Doge should
not ask for money, but ships are but frail and his have gone to pieces.
Here, you see, comes another faint whiff of the real original play.

Then, clearly, the Doge can only apply to the Jews. Enter Shylock _à
propos_. The next scene is so awful to the Greek Chorus, who may be of a
business turn, that I am charitable enough not to reproduce it here;
but the percentage the Jew wants for the loan seems to be quite a
multiplication-table of tangible securities, and I only wonder the Doge
does not order him into the Adriatic. Amongst other demands, the Jew
procures all the Dogic jewels,--and then he wants all the jewels of the
Doge's daughter; indeed, Shylock becomes a most unreasonable party.

No sooner does he speak of the daughter, Ginevra by name, than in she
comes, jewel-casket in hand,--which leads the cynical Greek Chorus to
suppose that Mademoiselle is either _clairvoyante_ or prefers going
about with a box. The way in which that best of her sex offers up the
jewels on the patriotic shrine is really worthy of the applause bestowed
on the act; but when that pig of a Jew is not satisfied, when he insists
upon the diamond necklace Ginevra wears, as another preliminary to the
loan, people in the theatre quite shake with indignation.

Now the jewel has been the pattern young lady's mother's; and here comes
an opening for that appeal to the filial love of Frenchmen which is
never touched in vain. It is really a great and noble trait in the
French character, that filial love, not too questionable to be
demonstrative,--'tis a sure dramatist's French card, that appeal to the
love of mothers and fathers by their children.

Having procured the weight of this chain, which has caused Shylock the
loss of many friends in the house who have been inclined to like him
consequent upon the loss of that Abel-Moses-photograph,--Shylock departs
with this information, that he will bring the money to-morrow: which
assertion proves Shylock to be a strong man, if a hundred thousand marks
are as heavy as I take them to be.

Upon what little things do dramas, in common with lives, turn!
That necklace is the brilliant groundwork of the rest of the plot.
Why--why--why--WHY didn't Shakspeare think of the necklace?

And as I always must tell love-affairs as soon as I hear of them,--for,
as a rule, I live in country towns,--I may at once state that Ginevra
loved Andronic, and latter loved former, and they would not tell each
other, and the Doge knew nothing about it.

Yes, decidedly, the necklace is the first character in "Le Juif de
Venise." You see, Ginevra loved the necklace, and Andronic loved
Ginevra; so he is forced to procure that charming necklace for her,
_coûte qui coûte_, and so he goes to Shylock for it. And here you will
see its value: Shylock will sell it only for a large sum. Andronic,
seeing his losses, hasn't the money,--but will have;--glorious opening
for the clause about the pound of flesh! Signed, sealed, and delivered.
How superior is Andronic to Antonio, the old ----! This latter pawns his
breast for a friend only: the great Andronic risks the flesh about _his_
heart for sacred love. Io Venus!

Yet, nevertheless, notwithstanding, it is the opinion of the Greek
Chorus that Andronic is a _joli_ fool,--which choral remark I hear
with pain, as reflecting upon unhesitating love, and especially as the
remarker has been eminently touched at the abduction.


ACT IV.


As for the Fourth Act,--it is very tender and terrible.

I need not say that the tenderness arises through the necklace,--and
indeed, for that matter, so also does the terror. Touching the first, of
course it is the discovery by Ginevra of the return of those maternal
diamonds,--which are handed to her by a _femme-de-chambre_, who has
had them from Andronic's _valet-de-chambre_, who is in love with the
_femme-de-chambre_, who reciprocates, etc., etc., etc.

But touching the terrible,--"that woman" hears of the necklace, and
sends Honorius for it to Shylock. Bad job!--gone! Well, then, Honorius
falls out with his old friend Andronic because latter will not yield up
the necklace. Honorius demands to know who has it. Andronic will not
name Ginevra's name before "that woman" and all the lofty lords, and
then there's a grand scene.

In the first place, it seems that in Shylock's Venetian time, the
Venetian lords, when obliging Venice with a riot, called upon Venetians
to put out their lights, and this the lords now do, (we are on the
piazza,) and out go all the lights as though turned off at one main.

Then there is such a scrimmage! Honorius lunges at Andronic; this latter
disarms former; then latter comes to his senses, flies over to his old
friend, and all the Venetian brawlers are put to flight.

Then Honorius says,--and pray, pray, mark what Honorius says, or you
will _never_ comprehend Act V.,--then Honorius says, taking Andronic's
previous advice about flying, "I will go away, _and fight the Adriatic
pirates_." Now, pray, don't forget that. I quite distress myself in
praying you not to forget that,--to wit,--"_Honorius goes away to fight
the Adriatic pirates._"

Oh, if you only knew the big secret!


ACT V.


This, of course, is the knifing act.

Seated is Shylock before an hour-glass, and trying to count the grains
of sand as they glide through.

Oh, if you only knew the big secret!

You remember that in that original play Antonio's ships are lost merely.
Bah! we manage better in this matter: the ships come home, but they are
empty,--emptied by the pirates; though why those Adriaticians did not
confiscate the ships is even beyond the Greek Chorus, who says, "They
were very polite."

At last all the sand is at rest.

Crack,--as punctual as a postman comes Andronic; and as the Venetians
are revolting against the flesh business, about which they seem to know
every particular, Andronic brings a guard of the just Doge's soldiers
to keep the populace quiet while the business goes on;--all of which
behavior on the merchant's part my friend the Chorus pronounces to be
stupid and suicidal.

Then comes such a scene!--Andronic calling for Ginevra, and the Jew
calling for his own.

Breast bared.

Then thus the Jew:--

"Feeble strength of my old body, be centred in this eye and this arm!
Thou, my son, receive this sacrifice, and tremble with joy in thy
unknown tomb!"

Knife raised.

Oh, if you only knew the big secret!

And I _do_ hope you have not forgotten that Honorius went away to fight
the Adriatic pirates.

For, if you have forgotten that fact, you will not comprehend Honorius's
rushing in at this moment from the Adriatic pirates.

Yes,--but why did he go amongst them?

The big secret, in fact. If Honorius had not gone, why, I suppose
Shylock would have had his pound of man.

As it is, Honorius and his paper--which latter has also come from the
pirates--do the business.

Why, the whole thing turns on the paper. How lucky it was Honorius went
amongst the pirates!

Honorius has vanquished the chief of the pirates,--who was named
Arnheim,--and that disreputable widower, just before his last breath,
gave Honorius the said paper,--though why, it is not clear. And--and
this paper shows that ANDRONIC IS THAT SON STOLEN AWAY FROM SARAH,
DECEASED, AND SHYLOCK,--THAT SON, NOT ONLY THE IMAGE OF ABEL, BUT OF
MOSES, TOO.

Great thunderbolts!

Then, very naturally, (in a play,) in come all the characters, and
follows, I am constrained to say, a very well-conceived scene,--'tis
another appeal to filial love. The Jew would own his son, but he
remembers that it would injure the son, and so he keeps silent. I
declare, there is something eminently beautiful in the idea of making
the Jew yield his wealth up to Andronic, and saying he will wander from
Venice,--his staff his only wealth. And when, as he stoops to kiss his
son's hand, Ginevra (who of course has come on with the rest) makes a
gesture as though she feared treachery, the few words put into the Jew's
mouth are full of pathos and poetry.

And so down comes the curtain,--the piece meeting with the full approval
of Chorus, who applauded till I thought he would snap his hands off at
the wrists.

"A very moral play," said a stout gentleman behind me,--who had done
little else all night but break into the fiercest of apples and
pears,--"a very moral play,"--meaning thereby, probably, that it was
very moral that a Jew's child should remain a Christian.

Now there were some good points in that play; but, oh, thou M. Ferdinand
Dugué, thou,--why didst thou challenge comparison with a man who wrote
for all theatres for all times?

       *       *       *       *       *



THE POET'S SINGING.


  In heat and in cold, in sunshine and rain,
  Bewailing its loss and boasting its gain,
  Blessing its pleasure and cursing its pain,
  The hurrying world goes up and down:
  Every avenue and street
  Of city and town
  Are veins that throb with the restless beat
  Of the eager multitude's trampling feet.
  Men wrangle together to get and hold
  A sceptre of power or a crock of gold;
  Blaspheming God's name with the breath He gave,
  And plotting revenge on the brink of the grave!
  And Fashion's followers, flitting after,
  O'ertake and pass the funeral train,
  Thoughtlessly scattering jests and laughter,
  Like sharp, quick showers of hail and rain,
  To beat on the hearts that are bleeding with pain!
  And many who stare at the close-shut hearse
  Envy the dead within,--or, worse,
  Turn away with a keener zest
  To grapple and revel and sin with the rest!
  While far apart in a bower of green,
  Unheeded, unseen,
  A warbling bird on the topmost bough
  Merrily pipes to the Poet below,
  Asking an answer as gay, I trow!
  But he hears the surging waves without,--
  The heartless jeer, and the wild, wild shout:
  The ceaseless clamor, the cruel strife
  Make the Poet weary of life;
  And tears of pity and tears of pain
  Ebb and flow in every strain,
  As he soothes his heart with singing.

  The tide of humanity rolleth on;
  And 'mid faces miserly, haggard, and wan,
  Between the hypocrite's and the knave's,
  The hapless idiot's and the slave's,
  Sweet children smile in their nurses' arms,
  And clap their hands in innocent glee;
  While, unrebuked by the heavenly charms
  That beam in the eyes of infancy,
  Oaths still blacken the lips of men,
  And startle the ears of womanhood!
  On either hand
  The churches stand,
  Forgotten by those who yesterday
  Went thronging thither to praise and pray,
  And take of the Holy Body and Blood!
  Their week-day creed is the law of Might;
  Self is their idol, and Gain their right:
  Though, now and then,
  God sees some faithful disciples still
  Breasting the current to do His will.
  The little bird on the topmost bough
  Merrily pipes to the Poet below,
  Asking an answer as gay, I trow!
  But he hears the surging waves without,--
  The atheist's scoff and the infidel's doubt,
  The Pharisee's cant and the sweet saint's prayer,
  And the piercing cry for rest from care;
  And tears of pity and tears of pain
  Ebb and flow in every strain,
  As he praises God with singing.



A JOURNEY IN SICILY.


CHAPTER I.

PALERMO.


In the latter part of April, 1856, four travellers, one of whom was the
present writer, left the Vittoria Hotel at Naples, and at two, P.M.,
embarked on board the Calabrese steamer, pledged to leave for Palermo
precisely at that hour. As, however, our faith in the company's
protestations was by no means so implicit as had been our obedience to
their orders, it was with no feeling of surprise that we discovered by
many infallible signs that the hour of departure was yet far off. True,
the funnel sent up its thick cloud; the steward in dirty shirt-sleeves
stood firm in the gangway, energetically demanding from the
baggage-laden traveller the company's voucher for the fare, without
which he may vainly hope to leave the gangway ladder; the decks were
crowded in every part with lumber, live and dead. But all these symptoms
had to be increased many fold in their intensity before we could hope to
get under way; and a single glance at the listless countenances of the
bare-legged, bare-armed, red-capped crowd who adhered like polypi to
the rough foundation-stones of the mole sufficed to show that the
performance they had come to witness would not soon commence. Our berths
once visited, we cast about for some quiet position wherein to while
away the intervening time. The top of the deck-house offered as pleasant
a prospect as could be hoped for, and thither we mounted.

The whole available portion of the deck, poop included, was in
possession of a crowd of youngsters, many mere boys, from the Abruzzi,
destined to exchange their rags and emptiness for the gay uniform and
good rations of King Ferdinand's soldiery. In point of physical comfort,
their gain must be immense; and very bad must be that government
which, despite of these advantages, has forced upon the soldier's mind
discontent and disaffection. No doubt, the spectacle of the Swiss
regiments doubly paid, and (on Sundays at least) trebly intoxicated,
has something to do with this ill feeling. The raggedness of this troop
could be paralleled only by that of the immortal regiment with whom
their leader declined to march through Coventry, and was probably even
more quaint and fantastic in its character. Chief in singularity were
their hats, if hat be the proper designation of the volcanic-looking
gray cone which adhered to the head by some inscrutable dynamic law, and
seemed rather fitted for carrying out the stratagem of shoeing a troop
of horse with felt than for protecting a human skull. A triple row
of scalloped black velvet not unfrequently bore testimony to the
indomitable love of the nation for ornament; and the same decoration
might be found on their garments, whose complicated patchwork reminded
us of the humble original from which has sprung our brilliant Harlequin.
Shortly our attention was solicited by a pantomimic Roscius, some ten or
twelve years old, who, having climbed over the taffrail and cleared a
stage of some four feet square, dramatized all practicable scenes, and
many apparently impracticable, for he made nothing of presenting two or
three personages in rapid interchange. Words were needless, and would
have been useless, as the unloading of railway bars by a brawny
Northumbrian and his crew drowned all articulate sounds.

Notwithstanding these varied amusements, we were not sorry to see
arrive, first, a gray general, obviously the Triton of our minnows, and
close behind him the health and police officers of the government, to
whose paternal solicitude for our mental and bodily health was to be
ascribed our long delay in port. These beneficent influences, incarnated
in the form of two portly gentlemen in velvet waistcoats,--an Italian
wears a velvet waistcoat, if he can get one, far into the hot
months,--began their work of summoning by name each individual from the
private to the general, then the passengers, then the crew, and finally,
much to our relief, reëmbarked in the boat, and left us free to pursue
our voyage.

We soon left behind the ominous cone of Vesuvius, reported by the best
judges to be at present in so unsound a state that nothing can prevent
its early fall; sunset left us near the grand precipices of Anacapri,
and morning found us with Ustica on our beam, and the semicircle of
mountains which enchase the gem of Palermo gradually unfolding their
beauties. By ten, A.M., we were in harbor and pulling shorewards to
subject ourselves to the scrutiny of custom-house and police. Our
passports duly conned over, the functionary, with a sour glance at our
valanced faces, inquired if we had letters for any one in the island.
Never before had such a question been asked me, nor ever before could I
have given other than an humble negative. But the kindness of a friend
had luckily provided me with a formidable shield, and a reply, given
with well-assumed ease, that I had letters from the English Ambassador
for the Viceroy, smoothed the grim feature, and released us from the
dread tribunal. The custom-house gave no trouble, and we reëmbarked to
cross about half a mile of water which separated us from the city gate.
Here, however, we were destined to experience the influence of the sunny
clime: our two stout boatmen persisted in setting their sail, under the
utterly false pretence that there was some wind blowing, and fully half
an hour elapsed ere we set foot ashore.

This gave me ample time to recall the different aspect of Palermo when
first I saw it, in 1849. I had accompanied the noble squadron, English
and French, which carried to the Sicilian government the _ultimatum_
of the King of Naples. The scenes of that troubled time passed vividly
before me: the mutual salutes of the Admirals; the honors paid by
each separately to the flag of Sicily, that flag which we had come to
strike,--for such we all knew must be the effect of our withdrawal. I
recollected the manly courtesy with which the Sicilians received us,
their earnest assurances that they did not confound our involuntary
errand with our personal feelings; and how, when a wild Greek
mountaineer from the Piano de' Greci, unable to comprehend the
intricacies of politics, and stupidly imagining that those who were
not for him were against him, had insulted one of our officers, the
bystanders had interposed so honorably and so swiftly that even the hot
blood of our fiery Cymrian had neither time nor excuse to rise to the
boiling-point. I recalled the scene in the Parliament House, when the
replies to the King's message, which had been sent by each chief town,
were read by the Speaker: the grave indignation of some,--the somewhat
bombastic protestations of others,--the question put of submission or
war,--the shout of "_Guerra! guerra!_" ringing too loud, methought, to
be good metal; the "_Suoni la tromba_" at that night's theatre,--the
digging at the fortifications,--women carrying huge stones,--men more
willing to shout for them than to do their own share,--Capuchin friars
digging with the best,--finally, the wild dance of men, women, cowled
and bearded monks, all together, brandishing their spades and shovels in
cadence to the military band. With this came to me the mild smile and
doubtful shake of the head of the good Admiral Baudin, and his prophetic
remark,--"I have seen much fighting in various parts of the world; and
if these men mean to fight, I cannot comprehend them."

While this mental diorama was unrolling, even Sicilian laziness had time
to reach the shore; and passing by a rough mass of rocks, where our
second cutter had once run too close for comfort, and the Friedland's
launch had upset and lost two men, we at length landed close to the city
gate. A custom-house officer pounced on us for a fee, notwithstanding
our examination on first landing, and ("_uno avulso, non deficit aureus
alter_,") at the city gate, not thirty yards distant, a third repeated
the demand, equivalent to "Your money or your keys." A capital breakfast
at the Trinacria hotel was the fitting conclusion to these oft-recorded
troubles, and the gratifying news that the Viceroy had just left the
island for Naples obviated the necessity of a formal visit, and left us
free to enjoy the notabilities of Palermo.

The plan of this beautiful city is very simple, being a tolerably
accurate square, surrounded by walls, of which the northern face skirts
the sea, and the southern faces the head of the lovely valley in which
the city stands,--the Golden Shell. Two perfectly straight streets,
intersecting in a small, but highly ornamented _piazza_, traverse
the city. The Toledo, or Via Cassaro,--for it bears both these
designations,--runs from the sea to the Monreale gate, close to which is
the Royal Palace, and the Cathedral square opens from this street. The
Via Macqueda contains few buildings of interest except the University.
Between the wall and the sea runs the magnificent Marina, a more
beautiful promenade than even the Villa Reale of Naples, having on the
right the low but picturesque headland of Bagaria, while on the left
rise the all but perpendicular rocks of Monte Pellegrino, once the
impregnable mountain-throne of Hamilcar Barcas, and later the spot where
in a rude cavern, now sheeted with marble and jasper, "from all the
youth of Sicily, Saint Rosalie retired to God." The handicraftsmen of
Palermo still occupy almost exclusively the streets named after their
trades,--an indication of immobility rarely to be met with nowadays,
though Rome displays it in a minor degree.

We first visited the University Museum. Numerous pictures, far beyond
the ordinary degree of badness, occupy the upper rooms, where the only
object of interest is a very fine and well-preserved bronze of Hercules
and the Pompeian Fawn, half life-size. But far beyond all else in
artistic importance are the _metopes_ from Selinuntium, which, though
much damaged, show marks of high excellence. They are of clearly
different dates, though all very archaic. The oldest represent Perseus
cutting off the Gorgon's head, and Hercules killing two thieves. Perseus
has the calm, sleepy look of a Hindoo god,--while Gorgon's head, with
goggle eyes and protruding tongue, resembles a Mexican idol. Hercules
and the thieves have more of an Egyptian character. The material of
these bas-reliefs is coarse limestone; and in the _metopes_ on the
opposite wall, which are clearly of later date, recourse has been had to
a curious method of obtaining delicacy in the female forms: the faces,
hands, and feet, which alone are visible from among the drapery, are
formed of fine marble. An Actæon torn by his dogs is much corroded by
sea air, but displays great nobleness of attitude. The vigor in the left
arm, which has throttled one of the dogs, can hardly be surpassed. A
portion of the _cella_, of one of the temples has been removed hither,
and its brilliant polychromy is sufficient to decide the argument as to
the existence of the practice, if, indeed, that point be yet in doubt.
But it seems that the non-colorists have relinquished the parallel of
architecture, which, be it observed, they formerly defended obstinately,
and have now intrenched themselves in the citadel of sculpture,
intending to hold it against all evidence. The only other object of much
interest was a Pompeian fresco, representing two actors, whose attitudes
and masks are so strikingly adapted to express the first scene of the
"Heautontimorumenos," between Menalcas and Chremes, that it seems
scarcely doubtful that this is actually the subject of the painting.

Near the upper end of the Toledo the Cathedral is situated, not very
favorably for effect, as only the eastern side is sufficiently free from
buildings. It is a noble pile: Northern power and piety expressed by
the agency of Southern and Arabic workmen, and somewhat affected by the
nationality of the artificer.

The stones are fretted and carved more elaborately than those of any
French or English cathedral, but entirely in arabesques and diapering of
low relief, so that the spectator misses with regret the solemn rows of
saints and patriarchs that enrich the portals of our Gothic minsters.
These, however, are reflections of a subsequent date, and did not
interfere to mar the pleasure with which we sat in front of the southern
door, beneath the two lofty arches, which, springing from the entrance
tower, span the street high above our heads. For some time we sat,
unwilling to change and it might be impair our sensations by passing
inwards. Our reluctance was but too well founded: the whole interior has
been modernized in detestable Renaissance style, and in place of highest
honor, above the central doorway, sits in tight-buttoned uniform a
fitting idol for so ugly a shrine, the double-chinned effigy of the
reigning monarch. We turned for comfort to a chapel on the right, where
in four sarcophagi of porphyry are deposited the remains of the Northern
sovereigns. The bones of Roger repose in a plain oblong chest with a
steep ridged roof, and the other three coffins, though somewhat more
elaborate, are yet simple and massive, as befits their destined use. The
inscription, on that of Constantia is touching, as it tells that she
was "the last of the great race of Northmen,"--the good old bad Latin
"Northmannorum" giving the proper title, which we have injudiciously
softened into Norman.

In a small _piazza_ near the intersection of the main streets is a
Dominican church, whose black and white inlaid marbles are amazing in
their elaborateness, astounding in their preposterously bad taste. They
transcend description, and can be faintly imagined only by such as
know a huge marble nightmare of waves and clouds in the south aisle
of Westminster Abbey. This church contains one good painting of a
triumphant experiment conducted by some Dominican friars in the presence
of sundry Ulemas and Muftis: a Koran and Bible have been thrown into a
blazing fire, and the result is as satisfactory as that of Hercules's
death-grapple with the Nemean lion. To be sure, lions and Turks are
not painters. The Martorana church is rich in gold-grounded mosaics,
resembling Saint Mark's at Venice. One represents the coronation of
Roger Guiscard by the Saviour: very curious, as showing at how early a
date the invaders laid claim to the Right Divine. The inscription is
also noteworthy: _Rogerius Rex_, in the Latin tongue, but the Greek
characters, thus: [Greek: ROGERIOS RAEX].[a] The Renaissance has invaded
this church too, and flowery inlaid marbles with gilded scroll balconies
(it is a nuns' church) mingle with the bold discs and oblong panels of
porphyry and green serpentine. In the nave of the small church sat in
comfortable arm-chairs two monks, one black, one white, leaning their
ears to gilded grates and receiving the confessions of the sisterhood.
The paschal candlestick stood in front of the high altar,--Ascension-Day
not being past; but here, as in other Sicilian churches, it assumes the
form of a seven-branched tree, generally of bronze bedecked with gold.
These same nuns' balconies are not confined to the interior of churches,
but form a distinct and picturesque feature in the long line of the
Toledo. Projecting in a bold curve whose undersurface is gaily painted
in arabesque, their thick bars and narrow openings nevertheless leave a
gloomy impression on the mind, while they add to the Oriental character
of the city. A somewhat unsuccessful effort to identify the church whose
bell gave signal for the Sicilian Vespers closed our day's labor. The
spot is clearly defined and easily recognizable, and a small church, now
shut up, occupies the site. So far, so good; but the cloister which is
distinctly mentioned cannot now be found, nor is it easy to perceive
where it could have stood. Perhaps some change in the neighboring harbor
may have swept it away.

[Footnote a: The _e_ in _Rex_ is here rendered by the Greek eta,--a
proof that the pronunciation of that letter was similar to that of our
long _a_, and not like our double _ee_; although the modern Greeks
support the latter pronunciation.]

_23d April_. To those who take interest in the efforts of that age when
Christianity, devoid at once of artistic knowledge and of mechanical,
strove from among the material and moral wreck of Paganism to create for
herself a school of Art which should, despite of all short-comings, be
the exponent of those high feelings which inspired her mind, the Royal
Chapel of Palermo offers a delightful object of study. Less massive than
the gloomily grand basilicas of Rome and Ravenna, surpassed in single
features by other churches, as, for instance, the Cathedral of Salerno,
it contains, nevertheless, such perfect specimens of Christian Art in
its various phases, that this one small building seems a hand-book in
itself. The floor and walls are covered with excellently preserved and
highly polished Alexandrine mosaic, flowing in varied convolutions of
green and gold and red round the broad crimson and gray shields, whose
circular forms recall the mighty monolith columns of porphyry and
granite which yielded such noble spoils. The honey-combed pendentines of
the ceiling must be due to Arab workmen; their like may yet be found in
Cairo or the Alhambra; while below the narrow windows, and extending
downwards to the marble panelling, runs a grand series of gold-grounded
mosaics, their subjects taken from the Old and New Testaments. But
far older than even these are the colossal grim circles of saints and
apostles who cling to the roof of the choir, and yield in size only to
the awful figures of the Saviour, the Virgin, and Saint Paul, enthroned
in the _apsides_ of the nave and aisles. The _ambones_, though not
so large as those of Salerno, are very gorgeous; and the paschal
candlestick, here at all events in its usual shape, is of deeply-carved
marble, and displays an incongruous assemblage of youths, maidens,
beasts, birds, and bishops, hanging each from other like a curtain of
swarming bees.

Service, which had been going on in the choir when we arrived, had now
ceased; but from the crypt below arose a chant so harsh, vibratory,
and void of solemnity, that we were irresistibly reminded of the
subterranean chorus of demons in "Robert le Diable." Two of us ventured
below and discovered the chapter, all robed in purple, sitting round a
pall with a presumable coffin underneath. Little of reverence did they
show,--it is true, the death was not recent, the service being merely
commemorative, as we afterwards learned,--and as the procession shortly
afterwards emerged and proceeded down the chapel, the unwashed,
unshaven, and sensual countenances of some of highest rank among them
gave small reason to believe that they could feel much reverence on any
subject whatever.

The Palace itself is as tedious as any other palace: the Pompeian room
follows the Louis Quinze, and is in turn followed by the Chinese, till,
for our comfort, we emerged into one large square hall, whose stiff
mosaics of archers killing stags, peacocks feeding at the foot of
willow-pattern trees, date from the time of Roger. Another wearisome
series of rooms succeeded, which we were bound to traverse in search of
a bronze ram of old Greek workmanship, brought from Syracuse. The work
is very good and well-preserved; in fact, no part is injured, save the
tail and a hind leg, whose loss the _custode_ ascribed to the villains
of the late revolution. He even charged them with the destruction of
another similar statue melted into bullets, if we may believe his
incredible tale. A pavilion over the Monreale gate commands a view right
down the Toledo to the sea.

The drive to Monreale is a continued ascent along the skirts of a
limestone rock, whose precipices are thickly planted at every foothold
with olive, Indian fig, and aloe. The valley, as it spread below our
gaze, appeared one huge carpet of heavy-fruited orange-trees, save where
at times a rent in the web left visible the bluish blades of wheat, or
the intense green of a flax-plantation.

Monreale is a mere country-town, containing no object of interest, save
the Cathedral. This is a noble basilica, grandly proportioned, the nave
and aisles of which are separated by monolith pillars, mostly of gray
granite, and some few of cipollino and other marbles, the spoils, no
doubt, of the ancient Panormus. Above the cornice the walls are entirely
sheeted with golden mosaics, representing, as usual, Scripture history.
The series which begins, like the speech of the Intendant in "Les
Plaideurs," "_Avant la creation du monde_" complies with the wish of
(the judge?) by going on to the Deluge, in a train of singularly meagre
figures, most haggard of whom is Cain, here represented (as in the Campo
Santo of Pisa) receiving his death accidentally from the hand of Lamech.
In the passage of the beasts to the Ark, Noah coaxes the lion on board,
and in the next compartment the patriarch shoves the king of beasts down
the plank in a most ludicrous fashion. The mosaics of the New Testament
are less archaic, though still very old, too old to be infected by the
tricks of later Romanism,--such, for instance, as introducing the Virgin
among the receivers of the mysterious gift of tongues. Saint Paul, both
here and at the Royal Chapel, appears under the earlier type adopted
whether by fancy or tradition to represent that saint,--that is, a
short, strong figure, with the head large, and almost devoid of hair,
except at the sides, and one dark lock in the centre of the massive
forehead. Over the western door-way is a mosaic of the Virgin with the
following leonine and loyal distich beneath it:--

  "Sponsa suae prolis, O Stella puerpera Solis,
  Pro cunctis ora, sed plus pro rege labora!"

There is an ample square cloister, with twenty-seven pairs of columns on
each side, once richly decorated in mosaics like those of San Giovanni
Laterano and San Paolo at Rome, but even more dilapidated than either
of these latter. Indeed, so entirely non-existent is the mosaic, the
twisted and channelled columns showing nothing but places "where the
pasty is not," that the more probable solution may be that want of funds
or of devotion has left the work unfinished. On the capital of one
column may be seen the figure of William the Good, who founded the
Cathedral in 1170. He bears in his arms a model of the building, which
here appears with circular-headed windows instead of the lanceolated
Gothic now existing.

In, perhaps, the very loveliest of the many lovely sites around Palermo
stands the small Moorish building of La Ziza. Moorish it may be called;
for the main feature of the edifice, a hall with a fountain trickling
along a channel in the pavements, is clearly due to the Saracens. These,
however, had availed themselves of Roman columns to support their
fretted ceilings, once gorgeous in color, but now desecrated with
whitewash. The Norman invaders have added their never-failing gold
mosaic,--while the Spaniard, after painting sundry scenes from Ovid's
"Metamorphoses" in a dreadfully barocco style, calls upon the world,
in those magniloquent phrases which somehow belong as of right to your
mighty Don, to admire the exquisite commingling of modern art with
antique beauty, to which his _fiat_ has given birth.

Somewhat of Spain, perhaps, might also be traced in an incident,
promisingly romantic, but coming to a most lame and impotent conclusion,
which occurred this afternoon to one of our party. While busily
sketching, in the Martorana church, the previously mentioned mosaic of
Roger's coronation, a hand protruded from the gilded lattice above,
and a small scroll was dropped, not precisely at the feet, but in the
neighborhood of the amazed artist. Sharp eyes, however, must be at work;
for, ere he could appropriate this mysterious waif on Love's manor, a
side-door opened, and an attendant in the very unpoetical garb of a
carpenter bore off the prize. It maybe presumed that the next confessor
who occupied an arm-chair in the church would have somewhat of novelty
to enliven what some priests have stated to be the most wearisome of the
work, namely, the hearing of confessions in a nunnery.

This evening was passed in the house of the British Consul, who, in
amusing recognition of our nationalities, comprising, as they did,
both branches of the Anglo-Saxon race, treated us to Lemann's
captain's-biscuit and Boston crackers. Notwithstanding the interesting
conversation of our host, who had not allowed a residence of many years
in a mind-rusting city to impair his love of literature, a love dating
from the time when Praed edited the "Etonian," and Metius Tarpa
contributed to the "College Magazine," we were obliged to leave early.
Our arrangements for a very early start next morning were completed, and
a thirty miles' ride lay before us.

To save further allusion to them, it may be as well to describe these
arrangements, which were made for us by Signor Ragusa, landlord of the
Trinacria hotel. A guide, Giuseppe Agnello by name, took upon himself
the whole responsibility of our board, lodging, and travelling, at a
fixed rate of forty-two (?) _carlini_ a head,--which sum, including his
_buonamano_ and return voyage from Syracuse or Messina, amounted to
about twenty francs each _per diem_. For this sum he furnished us with
good mules, a hearty breakfast at daybreak, cold meat and hard eggs at
noon, and a plentiful dinner or supper, call it which you choose, on
arriving at our night's quarters. Agnello himself was cook, and proved
a very tolerable one. This is essential; for Spanish custom prevails
in the inns, whose host considers his duty accomplished when he has
provided ample stabling for the mules and dubious bedding for his biped
guests.

[To be continued.]

       *       *       *       *       *


THE PROFESSOR'S STORY.


CHAPTER XV.

PHYSIOLOGICAL.


If Master Bernard felt a natural gratitude to his young pupil for saving
him from an imminent peril, he was in a state of infinite perplexity
to know why he should have needed such aid. He, an active, muscular,
courageous, adventurous young fellow, with a stick in his hand, ready to
hold down the Old Serpent himself, if he had come in his way, to stand
still, staring into those two eyes, until they came up close to him,
and the strange, terrible sound seemed to freeze him stiff where he
stood,--what was the meaning of it? Again, what was the influence this
girl had exerted, under which the venomous creature had collapsed in
such a sudden way? Whether he had been awake or dreaming he did not feel
quite sure. He knew he had gone up The Mountain, at any rate; he knew he
had come down The Mountain with the girl walking just before him;--there
was no forgetting her figure, as she walked on in silence, her braided
locks falling a little, for want of the lost hair-pin, perhaps, and
looking like a wreathing coil of--Shame on such fancies!--to wrong that
supreme crowning gift of abounding Nature, a rush of shining black hair,
that, shaken loose, would cloud her all round, like Godiva, from brow to
instep! He was sure he had sat down before the fissure or cave. He was
sure that he was led softly away from the place, and that it was Elsie
who had led him. There was the hair-pin to show that so far it was not a
dream. But between these recollections came a strange confusion; and the
more the master thought, the more he was perplexed to know whether she
had waked him, sleeping, as he sat on the stone, from some frightful
dream, such as may come in a very brief slumber, or whether she had
bewitched him into a trance with those strange eyes of hers, or whether
it was all true, and he must solve its problem as he best might.

There was another recollection connected with this mountain adventure.
As they approached the mansion-house, they met a young man, whom Mr.
Bernard remembered having seen once at least before, and whom he had
heard of as a cousin of the young girl. As Cousin Richard Venner, the
person in question, passed them, he took the measure, so to speak, of
Mr. Bernard, with a look so piercing, so exhausting, so practised, so
profoundly suspicious, that the young master felt in an instant that he
had an enemy in this handsome youth,--an enemy, too, who was like to be
subtle and dangerous.

Mr. Bernard had made up his mind, that, come what might, enemy or no
enemy, live or die, he would solve the mystery of Elsie Venner, sooner
or later. He was not a man to be frightened out of his resolution by a
scowl, or a stiletto, or any unknown means of mischief, of which a whole
armory was hinted at in that passing look Dick Venner had given him.
Indeed, like most adventurous young persons, he found a kind of charm
in feeling that there might be some dangers in the way of his
investigations. Some rumors which had reached him about the supposed
suitor of Elsie Venner, who was thought to be a desperate kind of
fellow, and whom some believed to be an unscrupulous adventurer, added
a curious, romantic kind of interest to the course of physiological and
psychological inquiries he was about instituting.

The afternoon on The Mountain was still uppermost in his mind. Of course
he knew the common stories about fascination. He had once been himself
an eyewitness of the charming of a small bird by one of our common
harmless serpents. Whether a human being could be reached by this
subtile agency, he had been skeptical, notwithstanding the mysterious
relation generally felt to exist between man and this creature, "cursed
above all cattle and above every beast of the field,"--a relation which
some interpret as the fruit of the curse, and others hold to be so
instinctive that this animal has been for that reason adopted as the
natural symbol of evil. There was another solution, however, supplied
him by his professional reading. The curious work of Mr. Braid of
Manchester had made him familiar with the phenomena of a state allied to
that produced by animal magnetism, and called by that writer by the name
of _hypnotism_. He found, by referring to his note-book, the statement
was, that, by fixing the eyes on a _bright object_ so placed as _to
produce a strain_ upon the eyes and eyelids, and to maintain _a steady
fixed stare_, there comes on in a few seconds a very singular condition,
characterized by _muscular rigidity_ and _inability to move_, with a
strange _exaltation of most of the senses_, and _generally_ a closure of
the eyelids,--this condition being followed by _torpor_.

Now this statement of Mr. Braid's, well known to the scientific world,
and the truth of which had been confirmed by Mr. Bernard in certain
experiments he had instituted, as it has been by many other
experimenters, went far to explain the strange impressions, of which,
waking or dreaming, he had certainly been the subject. His nervous
system had been in a high state of exaltation at the time. He remembered
how the little noises that made rings of sound in the silence of the
woods, like pebbles dropped in still waters, had reached his inner
consciousness. He remembered that singular sensation in the roots of the
hair, when he came on the traces of the girl's presence, reminding him
of a line in a certain poem which he had read lately with a new and
peculiar interest. He even recalled a curious evidence of exalted
sensibility and irritability, in the twitching of the minute muscles of
the internal ear at every unexpected sound, producing an odd little
snap in the middle of the head, that proved to him he was getting very
nervous.

The next thing was to find out whether it were possible that the
venomous creature's eyes should have served the purpose of Mr. Braid's
"bright object" held very close to the person experimented on, or
whether they had any special power which could be made the subject of
exact observation.

For this purpose Mr. Bernard considered it necessary to get a live
_crotalus_ or two into his possession, if this were possible. On
inquiry, he found that there was a certain family living far up the
mountain-side, not a mile from the ledge, the members of which were said
to have taken these creatures occasionally, and not to be in any danger,
or at least in any fear, of being injured by them. He applied to these
people, and offered a reward sufficient to set them at work to capture
some of these animals, if such a thing were possible.

A few days after this, a dark, gypsy-looking woman presented herself at
his door. She held up her apron as if it contained something precious in
the bag she made with it.

"Y'wanted some rattlers," said the woman. "Here they be."

She opened her apron and showed a coil of rattlesnakes lying very
peaceably in its fold. They lifted their heads up, as if they wanted to
see what was going on, but showed no sign of anger.

"Are you crazy?" said Mr. Bernard. "You're dead in an hour, if one of
those creatures strikes you!"

He drew back a little, as he spoke; it might be simple disgust; it might
be fear; it might be what we call antipathy, which is different from
either, and which will sometimes show itself in paleness, and even
faintness, produced by objects perfectly harmless and not in themselves
offensive to any sense.

"Lord bless you," said the woman, "rattlers never touches our folks. I'd
jest 'z lieves handle them creaturs as so many striped snakes."

So saying, she put their heads down with her hand, and packed them
together in her apron as if they had been bits of cart-rope.

Mr. Bernard had never heard of the power, or, at least, the belief in
the possession of a power by certain persons, which enables them to
handle these frightful reptiles with perfect impunity. The fact,
however, is well known to others, and more especially to a very
distinguished Professor in one of the leading institutions of the great
city of the land, whose experiences in the neighborhood of Graylock, as
he will doubtless inform the curious, were very much like those of the
young master.

Mr. Bernard had a wired cage ready for his formidable captives, and
studied their habits and expression with a strange sort of interest.
What did the Creator mean to signify, when he made such shapes of
horror, and, as if he had doubly cursed this envenomed wretch, had set
a mark upon him and sent him forth, the Cain of the brotherhood of
serpents? It was a very curious fact that the first train of thoughts
Mr. Bernard's small menagerie suggested to him was the grave, though
somewhat worn, subject of the origin of evil. There is now to be seen in
a tall glass jar, in the Museum of Comparative Anatomy at Cantabridge
in the territory of the Massachusetts, a huge _crotalus_, of a species
which grows to more frightful dimensions than our own, under the hotter
skies of South America. Look at it, ye who would know what is the
tolerance, the freedom from prejudice, which can suffer such an
incarnation of all that is devilish to lie unharmed in the cradle of
Nature! Learn, too, that there are many things in this world which we
are warned to shun, and are even suffered to slay, if need be, but which
we must not hate, unless we would hate what God loves and cares for.

Whatever fascination the creature might exercise in his native haunts,
Mr. Bernard found himself not in the least nervous or affected in any
way while looking at his caged reptiles. When their cage was shaken,
they would lift their heads and spring their rattles; but the sound was
by no means so formidable to listen to as when it reverberated among
the chasms of the echoing rocks. The expression of the creatures was
watchful, still, grave, passionless, fate-like, suggesting a cold
malignity that seemed to be waiting for its opportunity. Their awful,
deep-cut mouths were sternly closed over the long hollow fangs that
rested their roots against the swollen poison-bag, where the venom had
been boarding up ever since the last stroke had emptied it. They never
winked, for ophidians have no movable eyelids, but kept up that awful
fixed stare which made the two _unwinking_ gladiators the survivors of
twenty pairs matched by one of the Roman Emperors, as Pliny tells us, in
his "Natural History." But their eyes did not flash, as he had expected
to see them. They were of a pale-golden or straw color, horrible to look
into, with their stony calmness, their pitiless indifference, hardly
enlivened by the almost imperceptible vertical slit of the pupil,
through which Death seemed to be looking out like the archer behind the
long narrow loop-hole in a blank turret-wall. Possibly their pupils
might open wide enough in the dark hole of the rock to let the glare
of the back part of the eye show, as we often see it in cats and other
animals. On the whole, the caged reptiles, horrid as they were, were yet
very different from his recollections of what he had seen or dreamed
he saw at the cavern. These looked dangerous enough, but yet quiet. A
treacherous stillness, however,--as the unfortunate New York physician
found, when he put his foot out to wake up the torpid creature, and
instantly the fang flashed through his boot, carrying the poison into
his blood, and death with it.

Mr. Bernard kept these strange creatures, and watched all their habits
with a natural curiosity. In any collection of animals the venomous
beasts are looked at with the greatest interest, just as the greatest
villains are most run after by the unknown public. Nobody troubles
himself for a common striped snake or a petty thief, but a _cobra_ or a
wife-killer is a centre of attraction to all eyes. These captives did
very little to earn their living; but, on the other hand, their living
was not expensive, their diet being nothing but air, _au nature_. Months
and months these creatures will live and seem to thrive well enough,
as any showman who has them in his menagerie will testify, though they
never touch anything to eat or drink.

In the mean time Mr. Bernard had become very curious about a class of
subjects not treated of in any detail in those text-books accessible in
most country-towns, to the exclusion of the more special treatises, and
especially the rare and ancient works found on the shelves of the larger
city-libraries. He was on a visit to old Dr. Kittredge one day, having
been asked by him to call in for a few moments as soon as convenient.
The Doctor smiled good-humoredly when he asked him if he had an
extensive collection of medical works.

"Why, no," said the old Doctor, "I haven't got a great many printed
books; and what I have I don't read quite as often as I might, I'm
afraid. I read and studied in the time of it, when I was in the midst of
the young men who were all at work with their books; but it's a mighty
hard matter, when you go off alone into the country, to keep up with
all that's going on in the Societies and the Colleges. I'll tell you,
though, Mr. Langdon, when a man that's once started right lives among
sick folks for five-and-thirty years, as I've done, if he hasn't got a
library of five-and-thirty volumes bound up in his head at the end of
that time, he'd better stop driving round and sell his horse and sulky.
I know the better part of the families within a dozen miles' ride. I
know the families that have a way of living through everything, and I
know the other set that have the trick of dying without any kind of
reason for it. I know the years when the fevers and dysenteries are in
earnest, and when they're only making believe. I know the folks that
think they're dying as soon as they're sick, and the folks that never
find out they're sick till they're dead. I don't want to undervalue your
science, Mr. Langdon. There are things I never learned, because they
came in after my day, and I am very glad to send my patients to those
that do know them, when I am at fault; but I know these people about
here, fathers and mothers, and children and grandchildren, so as all the
science in the world can't know them, without it takes time about it,
and sees them grow up and grow old, and how the wear and tear of life
comes to them. You can't tell a horse by driving him once, Mr. Langdon,
nor a patient by talking half an hour with him."

"Do you know much about the Venner family?" said Mr. Bernard, in a
natural way enough, the Doctor's talk having suggested the question.

The Doctor lifted his head with his accustomed movement, so as to
command the young man through his spectacles.

"I know all the families of this place and its neighborhood," he
answered.

"We have the young lady studying with us at the Institute," said Mr.
Bernard.

"I know it," the Doctor answered. "Is she a good scholar?"

All this time the Doctor's eyes were fixed steadily on Mr. Bernard,
looking through the glasses.

"She is a good scholar enough, but I don't know what to make of her.
Sometimes I think she is a little out of her head. Her father, I
believe, is sensible enough;--what sort of a woman was her mother,
Doctor?--I suppose, of course, you remember all about her?"

"Yes, I knew her mother. She was a very lovely young woman."--The Doctor
put his hand to his forehead and drew a long breath.--"What is there you
notice out of the way about Elsie Venner?"

"A good many things," the master answered. "She shuns all the other
girls. She is getting a strange influence over my fellow-teacher, a
young lady,--you know Miss Helen Darley, perhaps? I am afraid this girl
will kill her. I never saw or heard of anything like it, in prose at
least;--do you remember much of Coleridge's Poems, Doctor?"

The good old Doctor had to plead a negative.

"Well, no matter. Elsie would have been burned for a witch in old times.
I have seen the girl look at Miss Darley when she had not the least idea
of it, and all at once I would see her grow pale and moist, and sigh,
and move round uneasily, and turn towards Elsie, and perhaps get up and
go to her, or else have slight spasmodic movements that looked like
hysterics;--do you believe in the evil eye, Doctor?"

"Mr. Langdon," the Doctor said, solemnly, "there are strange things
about Elsie Venner,--very strange things. This was what I wanted to
speak to you about. Let me advise you all to be very patient with the
girl, but also very careful. Her love is not to be desired, and"--he
whispered softly--"her hate is to be dreaded. Do you think she has any
special fancy for anybody else in the school besides Miss Darley?"

Mr. Bernard could not stand the old Doctor's spectacled eyes without
betraying a little of the feeling natural to a young man to whom a home
question involving a possible sentiment is put suddenly.

"I have suspected," he said,--"I have had a kind of feeling--that
she--Well, come, Doctor,--I don't know that there's any use in
disguising the matter,--I have thought Elsie Venner had rather a fancy
for somebody else,--I mean myself."

There was something so becoming in the blush with which the young man
made this confession, and so manly, too, in the tone with which he
spoke, so remote from any shallow vanity, such as young men who are
incapable of love are apt to feel, when some loose tendril of a woman's
fancy which a chance wind has blown against them twines about them
for the want of anything better, that the old Doctor looked at him
admiringly, and could not help thinking that it was no wonder any young
girl should be pleased with him.

"You are a man of nerve, Mr. Langdon?" said the Doctor.

"I thought so till very lately," he replied. "I am not easily
frightened, but I don't know but I might be bewitched or magnetized, or
whatever it is when one is tied up and cannot move. I think I can find
nerve enough, however, if there is any special use you want to put it
to."

"Let me ask you one more question, Mr. Langdon. Do you find yourself
disposed to take a special interest in Elsie,--to fall in love with her,
in a word? Pardon me, for I do not ask from curiosity, but a much more
serious motive."

"Elsie interests me," said the young man, "interests me strangely. She
has a wild flavor in her character which is wholly different from that
of any human creature I ever saw. She has marks of genius,--poetic or
dramatic,--I hardly know which. She read a passage from Keats's 'Lamia'
the other day, in the school-room, in such a way that I declare to you I
thought some of the girls would faint or go into fits. Miss Darley got
up and left the room, trembling all over. Then I pity her, she is so
lonely. The girls are afraid of her, and she seems to have either a
dislike or a fear of them. They have all sorts of painful stories about
her. They give her a name that no human creature ought to bear. They say
she hides a mark on her neck by always wearing a necklace. She is very
graceful, you know, and they will have it that she can twist herself
into all sorts of shapes, or tie herself in a knot, if she wants to.
There is not one of them that will look her in the eyes. I pity the poor
girl; but, Doctor, I do not love her. I would risk my life for her, if
it would do her any good, but it would be in cold blood. If her hand
touches mine, it is not a thrill of passion I feel running through me,
but a very different emotion. Oh, Doctor! there must be something in
that creature's blood that has killed the humanity in her. God only
knows the mystery that has blighted such a soul in so beautiful a body!
No, Doctor, I do not love the girl."

"Mr. Langdon," said the Doctor, "you are young, and I am old. Let me
talk to you with an old man's privilege, as an adviser. You have come to
this country-town without suspicion, and you are moving in the midst of
perils. There is a mystery which I must not tell you now; but I may warn
you. Keep your eyes open and your heart shut. If, through pitying that
girl, you ever come to love her, you are lost. If you deal carelessly
with her, beware! This is not all. There are other eyes on you beside
Elsie Venner's.--Do you go armed?"

"I do!" said Mr. Bernard,--and he 'put his hands up' in the shape of
fists, in such a way as to show that he was master of the natural
weapons at any rate.

The Doctor could not help smiling. But his face fell in an instant.

"You may want something more than those tools to work with. Come with me
into my sanctum."

The Doctor led Mr. Bernard into a small room opening out of the study.
It was a place such as anybody but a medical man would shiver to enter.
There was the usual tall box with its bleached rattling tenant; there
were jars in rows where "interesting cases" outlived the grief of widows
and heirs in alcoholic immortality,--for your "preparation-jar" is the
true "_monumentum aere perennius_"; there were various semipossibilities
of minute dimensions and unpromising developments; there were shining
instruments of evil aspect, and grim plates on the walls, and on one
shelf by itself, accursed and apart, coiled in a long cylinder of
spirit, a huge _crotalus_, rough-scaled, flat-headed, variegated with
dull bands, one of which partially encircled the neck like a collar,--an
awful wretch to look upon, with murder written all over him in horrid
hieroglyphics. Mr. Bernard's look was riveted on this creature,--not
fascinated certainly, for its eyes looked like white beads, being
clouded by the action of the spirits in which it had been long
kept,--but fixed by some indefinite sense of the renewal of a previous
impression;--everybody knows the feeling, with its suggestion of some
past state of existence. There was a scrap of paper on the jar with
something written on it. He was reaching up to read it when the Doctor
touched him lightly.

"Look here, Mr. Langdon!" he said, with a certain vivacity of manner, as
if wishing to call away his attention,--"this is my armory."

The Doctor threw open the door of a small cabinet, where were disposed
in artistic patterns various weapons of offence and defence,--for he was
a virtuoso in his way, and by the side of the implements of the art of
healing had pleased himself with displaying a collection of those other
instruments, the use of which renders them necessary.

"See which of these weapons you would like best to carry about you,"
said the Doctor.

Mr. Bernard laughed, and looked at the Doctor as if he half doubted
whether he was in earnest.

"This looks dangerous enough," he said,--"for the man that carries it,
at least."

He took down one of the prohibited Spanish daggers or knives which a
traveller may occasionally get hold of and smuggle out of the country.
The blade was broad, trowel-like, but the point drawn out several
inches, so as to look like a skewer.

"This must be a jealous bull-fighter's weapon," he said, and put it back
in its place.

Then he took down an ancient-looking broad-bladed dagger, with a complex
aspect about it, as if it had some kind of mechanism connected with it.

"Take care!" said the Doctor; "there is a trick to that dagger."

He took it and touched a spring. The dagger split suddenly into three
blades, as when one separates the forefinger and the ring-finger from
the middle one. The outside blades were sharp on their outer edge. The
stab was to be made with the dagger shut, then the spring touched and
the split blades withdrawn.

Mr. Bernard replaced it, saying, that it would have served for side-arm
to old Suwarrow, who told his men to work their bayonets back and
forward when they pinned a Turk, but to wriggle them about in the wound
when they stabbed a Frenchman.

"Here," said the Doctor, "this is the thing you want."

He took down a much more modern and familiar implement,--a small,
beautifully finished revolver.

"I want you to carry this," he said; "and more than that, I want you to
practise with it often, as for amusement, but so that it may be seen and
understood that you are apt to have a pistol about you. Pistol-shooting
is pleasant sport enough, and there is no reason why you should not
practise it like other young fellows. And now," the Doctor said, "I have
one other weapon to give you."

He took a small piece of parchment and shook a white powder into it from
one of his medicine-jars. The jar was marked with the name of a mineral
salt, of a nature to have been serviceable in case of sudden illness in
the time of the Borgias. The Doctor folded the parchment carefully and
marked the Latin name of the powder upon it.

"Here," he said, handing it to Mr. Bernard,--"you see what it is, and
you know what service it can render. Keep these two protectors about
your person day and night; they will not harm you, and you may want one
or the other or both before you think of it."

Mr. Bernard thought it was very odd, and not very old-gentleman like,
to be fitting him out for treason, stratagem, and spoils, in this way.
There was no harm, however, in carrying a doctor's powder in his pocket,
or in amusing himself with shooting at a mark, as he had often done
before. If the old gentleman had these fancies, it was as well to humor
him. So he thanked old Doctor Kittredge, and shook his hand warmly as he
left him.

"The fellow's hand did not tremble, nor his color change," the Doctor
said, as he watched him walking away. "He is one of the right sort."


CHAPTER XVI.

EPISTOLARY.


_Mr. Langdon to the Professor._

MY DEAR PROFESSOR,--

You were kind enough to promise me that you would assist me in any
professional or scientific investigations in which I might become
engaged. I have of late become deeply interested in a class of subjects
which present peculiar difficulty, and I must exercise the privilege of
questioning you on some points upon which I desire information I cannot
otherwise obtain. I would not trouble you, if I could find any person or
books competent to enlighten me on some of these singular matters which
have so excited me. The leading doctor here is a shrewd, sensible man,
but not versed in the curiosities of medical literature.

I proceed, with your leave, to ask a considerable number of
questions,--hoping to get answers to some of them, at least.

Is there any evidence that human beings can be infected or wrought
upon by poisons, or otherwise, so that they shall manifest any of
the peculiarities belonging to beings of a lower nature? Can such
peculiarities be transmitted by inheritance? Is there anything to
countenance the stories, long and widely current, about the "evil eye"?
or is it a mere fancy that such a power belongs to any human being? Have
you any personal experience as to the power of fascination said to be
exercised by certain animals? What can you make of those circumstantial
statements we have seen in the papers of children forming mysterious
friendships with ophidians of different species, sharing their food with
them, and seeming to be under some subtile influence exercised by those
creatures? Have you read, critically, Coleridge's poem of "Christabel,"
and Keats's "Lamia"? If so, can you understand them, or find any
physiological foundation for the story of either?

There is another set of questions of a different nature I should like to
ask, but it is hardly fair to put so many on a single sheet. There
is one, however, you must answer. Do you think there may be
predispositions, inherited or ingrafted, but at any rate constitutional,
which shall take out certain apparently voluntary determinations
from the control of the will, and leave them as free from moral
responsibility as the instincts of the lower animals? Do you not think
there may be a _crime_ which is not a _sin_?

Pardon me, my dear Sir, for troubling you with such a list of notes of
interrogation. There are some _very strange_ things going on here in
this place, country-town as it is. Country-life is apt to be dull; but
when it once gets going, it beats the city hollow, because it gives its
whole mind to what it is about. These rural sinners make terrible work
with the middle of the Decalogue, when they get started. However, I hope
I shall live through my year's school-keeping without catastrophes,
though there are queer doings about me which puzzle me and might scare
some people. If anything _should_ happen, you will be one of the first
to hear of it, no doubt. But I trust not to help out the editors of the
"Rockland Weekly Universe" with an obituary of the late lamented, who
signed himself in life

Your friend and pupil,

BERNARD C. LANGDON.


_The Professor to Mr. Langdon._

MY DEAR MR. LANGDON,--

I do not wonder that you find no answer from your country friends to the
curious questions you put. They belong to that middle region between
science and poetry which sensible men, as they are called, are very shy
of meddling with. Some people think that truth and gold are always to be
washed for; but the wiser sort are of opinion, that, unless there are so
many grains to the peck of sand or nonsense respectively, it does not
pay to wash for either, as long as one can find anything else to do. I
don't doubt there is some truth in the phenomena of animal magnetism,
for instance; but when you ask me to cradle for it, I tell you that
the hysteric girls cheat so, and the professionals are such a set of
pickpockets, that I can do something better than hunt for the grains of
truth among their tricks and lies. Do you remember what I used to say in
my lectures?--or were you asleep just then, or cutting your initials on
the rail? (You see I can ask questions, my young friend.) _Leverage_ is
everything,--was what I used to say;--don't begin to pry till you have
got the long arm on your side.

To please you, and satisfy your doubts as far as possible, I have looked
into the old books,--into Schenckius and Turner and Kenelm Digby and the
rest, where I have found plenty of curious stories which you must take
for what they are worth.

Your first question I can answer in the affirmative upon pretty good
authority. Mizaldus tells, in his "Memorabilia," the well-known story
of the girl fed on poisons, who was sent by the king of the Indies
to Alexander the Great. "When Aristotle saw her eyes _sparkling and
snapping like those of serpents_, he said, 'Look out for yourself,
Alexander! this is a dangerous companion for you!'"--and sure enough,
the young lady proved to be a very unsafe person to her friends.
Cardanus gets a story from Avicenna, of a certain man bit by a serpent,
who recovered of his bite, the snake dying therefrom. This man
afterwards had a daughter whom no venomous serpent could harm, though
_she had a fatal power over them_.

I suppose you may remember the statements of old authors about
_lycanthropy_, the disease in which men took on the nature and aspect of
wolves. Aëtius and Paulus, both men of authority, describe it. Altomaris
gives a horrid case; and Fincelius mentions one occurring as late as
1541, the subject of which was captured, still _insisting that he was a
wolf_, only that the hair of his hide was turned in! _Versipelles_, it
may be remembered, was the Latin name for these "were-wolves."

As for the cases where rabid persons have barked and bit like dogs,
there are plenty of such on record.

More singular, or at least more rare, is the account given by Andreas
Baccius, of a man who was struck in the hand by a cock, with his beak,
and who died on the third day thereafter, looking for all the world
_like a fighting-cock_, to the great horror of the spectators.

As to impressions transmitted _at a very early period of existence_,
every one knows the story of King James's fear of a naked sword and the
way it is accounted for. Sir Kenelm Digby says,--"I remember when he
dubbed me Knight, in the ceremony of putting the point of a naked sword
upon my shoulder, he could not endure to look upon it, but turned his
face another way, insomuch, that, in lieu of touching my shoulder, he
had almost thrust the point into my eyes, had not the Duke of Buckingham
guided his hand aright." It is he, too, who tells the story of the
_mulberry mark_ upon the neck of a certain lady of high condition, which
"every year, in mulberry season, did swell, grow big, and itch." And
Gaffarel mentions the case of a girl born with the figure of a _fish_ on
one of her limbs, of which the wonder was, that, when the girl did eat
fish, this mark put her to sensible pain. But there is no end to cases
of this kind, and I could give some of recent date, if necessary,
lending a certain plausibility at least to the doctrine of transmitted
impressions.

I never saw a distinct case of _evil eye_, though I have seen eyes so
bad that they might produce strange effects on very sensitive natures.
But the belief in it under various names, fascination, _jettatura_,
etc., is so permanent and universal, from Egypt to Italy, and from the
days of Solomon to those of Ferdinand of Naples, that there must be some
_peculiarity_, to say the least, on which the opinion is based. There is
very strong evidence that some such power is exercised by certain of the
lower animals. Thus, it is stated on good authority that "almost every
animal becomes panic-struck at the sight of the _rattlesnake_, and seems
at once deprived of the power of motion, or the exercise of its usual
instinct of self-preservation." Other serpents seem to share this power
of fascination, as the _Cobra_ and the _Bucephalus Capensis_. Some think
that it is nothing but fright; others attribute it to the

  "strange powers that lie
  Within the magic circle of the eye,"--

as Churchill said, speaking of Garrick.

You ask me about those mysterious and frightful intimacies between
children and serpents of which so many instances have been recorded. I
am sure I cannot tell what to make of them. I have seen several such
accounts in recent papers, but here is one published in the seventeenth
century which is as striking as any of the more modern ones:--

"Mr. _Herbert Jones_ of _Monmouth_, when he was a little Boy, was used
to eat his Milk in a Garden in the Morning, and was no sooner there, but
a large Snake always came, and eat out of the Dish with him, and did so
for a considerable time, till one Morning, he striking the Snake on the
Head, it hissed at him. Upon which he told his Mother that the Baby (for
so he call'd it) cry'd _Hiss_ at him. His Mother had it kill'd, which
occasioned him a great _Fit of Sickness_, and 'twas thought would have
dy'd, but did recover."

There was likewise one "_William Writtle_, condemned at _Maidston
Assizes_ for a double murder, told a Minister that was with him after he
was condemned, that his mother told him, that when he was a Child, there
crept always to him a Snake, wherever she laid him. Sometimes she would
convey him up Stairs, and leave him never so little, she should be sure
to find a Snake in the Cradle with him, but never perceived it did him
any harm."

One of the most striking alleged facts connected with the mysterious
relation existing between the serpent and the human species is the
influence which the poison of the _Crotalus_, taken internally, seemed
to produce over the _moral faculties_, in the experiments instituted by
Dr. Hering at Surinam. There is something frightful in the disposition
of certain ophidians, as the whip-snake, which darts at the eyes of
cattle without any apparent provocation or other motive. It is natural
enough that the evil principle should have been represented in the form
of a serpent, but it is strange to think of introducing it into a human
being like cow-pox by vaccination.

You know all about the _Psylli_, or ancient serpent-tamers, I suppose.
Savary gives an account of the modern serpent-tamers in his "Letters on
Egypt." These modern jugglers are in the habit of making the venomous
_Naja_ counterfeit death, lying out straight and stiff, _changing it
into a rod_, as the ancient magicians did with their serpents, (probably
the same animal,) in the time of Moses.

I am afraid I cannot throw much light on "Christabel" or "Lamia" by any
criticism I can offer. Geraldine, in the former, seems to be simply
a malignant witch-woman, with the _evil eye_, but with no absolute
ophidian relationship. Lamia is a serpent transformed by magic into
a woman. The idea of both is mythological, and not in any sense
physiological. Some women unquestionably suggest the image of serpents;
men rarely or never. I have been struck, like many others, with the
ophidian head and eye of the famous Rachel.

Your question about inherited predispositions, as limiting the sphere of
the will, and, consequently, of moral accountability, opens a very wide
range of speculation. I can give you only a brief abstract of my own
opinions on this delicate and difficult subject. Crime and sin, being
the _preserves_ of two great organized interests, have been guarded
against all reforming poachers with as great jealousy as the Royal
Forests. It is so easy to hang a troublesome fellow! It is so much
simpler to consign a soul to perdition, or gay masses, for money, to
save it, than to take the blame on ourselves for letting it grow up in
neglect and run to ruin for want of humanizing influences! They hung
poor, crazy Bellingham for shooting Mr. Perceval. The ordinary of
Newgate preached to women who were to swing at Tyburn for a petty theft
as if they were worse than other people,--just as though he would not
have been a pickpocket or shoplifter, himself, if he had been born in
a den of thieves and bred up to steal or starve! The English law never
began to get hold of the idea that a crime was not necessarily a sin,
till Hadfield, who thought he was the Saviour of mankind, was tried for
shooting at George the Third;--lucky for him that he did not hit his
Majesty!

It is very singular that we recognize all the bodily defects that unfit
a man for military service, and all the intellectual ones that limit his
range of thought, but always talk at him as if all his moral powers were
perfect I suppose we must punish evil-doers as we extirpate vermin; but
I don't know that we have any more right to judge them than we have to
judge rats and mice, which are just as good as cats and weasels, though
we think it necessary to treat them as criminals.

The limitations of human responsibility have never been properly
studied, unless it be by the phrenologists. You know from my lectures
that I consider phrenology, as taught, a pseudo-science, and not a
branch of positive knowledge; but, for all that, we owe it an immense
debt. It has melted the world's conscience in its crucible and cast it
in a new mould, with features less like those of Moloch and more like
those of humanity. If it has failed to demonstrate its system of special
correspondences, it has proved that there are fixed relations between
organization and mind and character. It has brought out that great
doctrine of moral insanity, which has done more to make men charitable
and soften legal and theological barbarism than any one doctrine that I
can think of since the message of peace and good-will to men.

Automatic action in the moral world; the _reflex movement_ which _seems_
to be self-determination, and has been hanged and howled at as such
(metaphorically) for nobody knows how many centuries: until somebody
shall study this as Marshall Hall has studied reflex nervous action in
the bodily system, I would not give much for men's judgments of each
other's characters. Shut up the robber and the defaulter, we must. But
what if your oldest boy had been stolen from his cradle and bred in a
North-Street cellar? What if you are drinking a little too much wine and
smoking a little too much tobacco, and your son takes after you, and so
your poor grandson's brain being a little injured in physical texture,
he loses the fine moral sense on which you pride yourself, and doesn't
see the difference between signing another man's name to a draft and his
own?

I suppose the study of automatic action in the moral world (you see what
I mean through the apparent contradiction of terms) may be a dangerous
one in the view of many people. It is liable to abuse, no doubt.
People are always glad to get hold of anything which limits their
responsibility. But remember that our moral estimates come down to us
from ancestors who hanged children for stealing forty shillings' worth,
and sent their souls to perdition for the sin of being born,--who
punished the unfortunate families of suicides, and in their eagerness
for justice executed one innocent person every three years, on the
average, as Sir James Mackintosh tells us.

I do not know in what shape the practical question may present itself to
you; but I will tell you my rule in life, and I think you will find it
a good one. _Treat bad men exactly as if they were insane_. They are
_in-sane_, out of health, morally. Reason, which is food to sound minds,
is not tolerated, still less assimilated, unless administered with the
greatest caution; perhaps, not at all. Avoid collision with them, as far
as you honorably can; keep your temper, if you can,--for one angry man
is as good as another; restrain them from injury, promptly, completely,
and with the least possible injury, just as in the case of maniacs,--and
when you have got rid of them, or got them tied hand and foot so that
they can do no mischief, sit down and contemplate them charitably,
remembering that nine-tenths of their perversity comes from outside
influences, drunken ancestors, abuse in childhood, bad company, from
which you have happily been preserved, and for some of which you, as a
member of society, may be fractionally responsible. I think also that
there are _special influences_ which _work in the blood like ferments_,
and I have a suspicion that some of those curious old stories I cited
may have more recent parallels. Have you ever met with any cases which
admitted of a solution like that which I have mentioned?

Yours very truly,

       *       *       *       *       *

_Bernard Langdon to Philip Staples._

MY DEAR PHILIP,--

I have been for some months established in this place, turning the
main crank of the machinery for the manufactory of accomplishments
superintended by, or rather worked to the profit of, a certain Mr. Silas
Peckham. He is a poor wretch, with a little thin fishy blood in his
body, lean and flat, long-armed and large-handed, thick-jointed
and thin-muscled,--you know those unwholesome, weak-eyed, half-fed
creatures, that look not fit to be round among live folks, and yet not
quite dead enough to bury. If you ever hear of my being in court to
answer to a charge of assault and battery, you may guess that I have
been giving him a thrashing to settle off old scores; for he is a
tyrant, and has come pretty near killing his principal lady-assistant
with overworking her and keeping her out of all decent privileges.

Helen Darley is this lady's name,--twenty-two or -three years old,
I should think,--a very sweet, pale woman,--daughter of the usual
country-clergyman,--thrown on her own resources from an early age, and
the rest: a common story, but an uncommon person,--very. All conscience
and sensibility, I should say,--a cruel worker,--no kind of regard for
herself,--seems as fragile and supple as a young willow-shoot, but try
her and you find she has the spring in her of a steel crossbow. I am
glad I happened to come to this place, if it were only for her sake. I
have saved that girl's life; I am as sure of it as if I had pulled her
out of the fire or water.

Of course I'm in love with her, you say,--we always love those whom
we have benefited: "saved her life,--her love was the reward of his
devotion," etc., etc., as in a regular set novel. In love, Philip? Well,
about that,--I love Helen Darley--very much: there is hardly anybody I
love so well. What a noble creature she is! One of those that just go
right on, do their own work and everybody else's, killing themselves
inch by inch without ever thinking about it,--singing and dancing
at their toil when they begin, worn and saddened after a while, but
pressing steadily on, tottering by-and-by, and catching at the rail by
the wayside to help them lift one foot before the other, and at last
falling, face down, arms stretched forward----

Philip, my boy, do you know I am the sort of man that locks his door
sometimes and cries his heart out of his eyes,--that can sob like a
woman and not be ashamed of it? I come of fighting-blood on my mother's
side, you know; I think I could be savage on occasion. But I am
tender,--more and more tender as I come into my fulness of manhood. I
don't like to strike a man, (laugh, if you like,--I know I hit hard
when I do strike,)--but what I can't stand is the sight of these poor,
patient, toiling women, that never find out in this life how good they
are, and never know what it is to be told they are angels while they
still wear the pleasing incumbrances of humanity. I don't know what to
make of these cases. To think that a woman is never to be a woman again,
whatever she may come to as an unsexed angel,--and that she should die
unloved! Why does not somebody come and carry off this noble woman,
waiting here all ready to make a man happy? Philip, do you know the
pathos there is in the eyes of unsought women, oppressed with the burden
of an inner life unshared? I can see into them now as I could not in
those earlier days. I sometimes think their pupils dilate on purpose to
let my consciousness glide through them; indeed, I dread them, I come so
close to the nerve of the soul itself in these momentary intimacies. You
used to tell me I was a Turk,--that my heart was full of pigeon-holes,
with accommodations inside for a whole flock of doves. I don't know but
I am still as Youngish as ever in my ways,--Brigham-Youngish, I mean;
at any rate, I always want to give a little love to all the poor things
that cannot have a whole man to themselves. If they would only be
contented with a little!

Here now are two girls in this school where I am teaching. One of them,
Rosa M., is not more than sixteen years old, I think they say; but
Nature has forced her into a tropical luxuriance of beauty, as if it
were July with her, instead of May. I suppose it is all natural enough
that this girl should like a young man's attention, even if he were a
grave schoolmaster; but the eloquence of this young thing's look
is unmistakable,--and yet she does not know the language it is
talking,--they none of them do; and there is where a good many poor
creatures of our good-for-nothing sex are mistaken. There is no danger
of my being rash, but I think this girl will cost somebody his life yet.
She is one of those women men make a quarrel about and fight to the
death for,--the old feral instinct, you know.

Pray, don't think I am lost in conceit, but there is another girl here
that I begin to think looks with a certain kindness on me. Her name is
Elsie V., and she is the only daughter and heiress of an old family in
this place. She is a portentous and mysterious creature. If I should
tell you all I know and half of what I fancy about her, you would
tell me to get my life insured at once. Yet she is the most painfully
interesting being,--so handsome! so lonely!--for she has no friends
among the girls, and sits apart from them,--with black hair like the
flow of a mountain-brook after a thaw, with a low-browed, scowling
beauty of face, and such eyes as were never seen before, I really
believe, in any human creature.

Philip, I don't know what to say about this Elsie. There is a mystery
around her I have not fathomed. I have conjectures about her which
I could not utter to any living soul. I dare not even hint the
possibilities which have suggested themselves to me. This I will
say,--that I do take the most intense interest in this young person, an
interest much more like pity than love in its common sense. If what I
guess at is true, of all the tragedies of existence I ever knew this is
the saddest, and yet so full of meaning! Do not ask me any questions,--I
have said more than I meant to already; but I am involved in strange
doubts and perplexities,--in dangers too, very possibly,--and it is a
relief just to speak ever so guardedly of them to an early and faithful
friend.

Yours ever, BERNARD.

P. S. I remember you had a copy of Fortunius Licetus "De Monstris" among
your old books. Can't you lend it to me for a while? I am curious, and
it will amuse me.



ANNO DOMINI, 1860.


  My youth is past!--this morn I stand,
  With manhood's signet of command,
  Firm-planted on life's middle-land!

  Behind, the scene recedes afar,
  Where cloudy mists and vapors mar
  The lustre of my morning-star.

  I mark the courses of my days,
  Inwound through many a doubtful maze,--
  To marvel at those devious ways!

  They lead through hills and levels lone,
  Green fields, and woodlands overgrown,
  And where deep waters pulse and moan;--

  By ruined tower, by darksome dell,
  The home of night-birds fierce and fell,
  Wherein strange shapes of Horror dwell;--

  Out to the blessed sunshine free,
  The breezy moors of liberty,
  And skies outpouring harmony;--

  By palace-wall, by haunted tomb,
  Through bright and dark, through joy and gloom:
  My life hath known both blight and bloom.

  And now, as from some mountain-height,
  Backward I strain my eager sight,
  Till all the landscape melts in night;--

  Then, whispering to my Heart, "Be bold!"
  I turn from years whose "tale is told,"
  To greet the Future's dawn of gold:

  High hopes and nobler labors wait
  Beyond that Future's opening gate,--
  Brave deeds which hold the seeds of Fate.

  Thy strength, O Lord, shall fire my blood,
  Shall nerve my soul, make wise my mood,
  And win me to the pure and good!

  Or if, O Father, thou shouldst say,
  "Dark Angel, close his mortal day!"
  And smite me on my vanward way,--

  Grant that in armor firm and strong,
  Whilst pealing still Life's battle-song,
  And struggling, manful, 'gainst the wrong,

  Thy soldier, who would fight to win
  No crown of dross, no bays of sin,
  May fall amidst the foremost din

  Of Truth's grand conflict, blest by Thee,--
  And even though Death should conquer, see
  How false, how brief his victory!

       *       *       *       *       *



DARWIN ON THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES.

[Continued.]


"I can entertain no doubt, after the most deliberate study and
dispassionate judgment of which I am capable, that the view which most
naturalists entertain, and which I formerly entertained,--namely, that
each species has been independently created,--is erroneous. I am fully
convinced that species are not immutable; but that those belonging to
what are called the same genera are lineal descendants of some other
and generally extinct species, in the same manner as the acknowledged
varieties of any one species are the descendants of that species.
Furthermore, I am convinced that Natural Selection has been the main,
but not exclusive means of modification."

This is the kernel of the new theory, the Darwinian creed, as recited
at the close of the introduction to the remarkable book under
consideration. The questions, "What will he do with it?" and "How far
will he carry it?" the author answers at the close of the volume: "I
cannot doubt that the theory of descent with modification embraces all
the members of the same class." Furthermore, "I believe that all animals
have descended from at most only four or five progenitors, and plants
from an equal or lesser number." Seeing that analogy as strongly
suggests a further step in the same direction, while he protests that
"analogy may be a deceitful guide," yet he follows its inexorable
leading to the inference that "probably all the organic beings which
have ever lived on this earth have descended from some one primordial
form, into which life was first breathed."[a]

In the first extract we have the thin end of the wedge driven a little
way; in the last, the wedge is driven home.

We have already (in the preceding number) sketched some of the reasons
suggestive of such a theory of derivation of species,--reasons which
give it plausibility, and even no small probability, as applied to our
actual world and to changes occurring since the latest tertiary period.
We are well pleased at this moment to find that the conclusions we were
arriving at in this respect are sustained by the very high authority and
impartial judgment of Pictet, the Swiss palaeontologist. In his review
of Darwin's book,[b]--much the fairest and most admirable opposing one
that has yet appeared,--he freely accepts that _ensemble_ of natural
operations which Darwin impersonates under the now familiar name of
Natural Selection, allows that the exposition throughout the first
chapters seems "_à la fois prudent et fort_" and is disposed to accept
the whole argument in its foundations, that is, so far as it relates
to what is now going on, or has taken place in the present geological
period,--which period he carries back through the diluvial epoch to the
borders of the tertiary.[c] Pictet accordingly admits that the theory
will very well account for the origination by divergence of nearly
related species, whether within the present period or in remoter
geological times: a very natural view for him to take; since he
appears to have reached and published, several years ago, the pregnant
conclusion, that there most probably was some material connection
between the closely related species of two successive faunas, and that
the numerous close species, whose limits are so difficult to determine,
were not all created distinct and independent. But while accepting, or
ready to accept, the basis of Darwin's theory, and all its legitimate
direct inferences, he rejects the ultimate conclusions, brings some
weighty arguments to bear against them, and is evidently convinced that
he can draw a clear line between the sound inferences, which he favors,
and the unsound or unwarranted theoretical deductions, which he rejects.
We hope he can.

[Footnote a: P. 484, Engl. ed. In the new American edition, (_Vide_
Supplement, pp. 431, 432,) the principal analogies which suggest the
extreme view are referred to, and the remark is appended,--"But this
inference is chiefly grounded on analogy, and it is immaterial whether
or not it be accepted. The case is different with the members of each
great class, as the Vertebrata or Articulata; for here we have in the
laws of homology, embryology, etc., some distinct evidence that all have
descended from a single primordial parent."]

[Footnote b: In _Bibliothèque Universelle de Genève_, Mars, 1860.]

[Footnote c: This we learn from his very interesting article, _De
la Question de l'Homme Fossile_, in the same (March) number of the
_Bibliothèque Universelle_.]

This raises the question, Why does Darwin press his theory to these
extreme conclusions? Why do all hypotheses of derivation converge so
inevitably to one ultimate point? Having already considered some of the
reasons which suggest or support the theory at its outset,--which may
carry it as far as such sound and experienced naturalists as Pictet
allow that it may be true,--perhaps as far as Darwin himself unfolds
it in the introductory proposition cited at the beginning of this
article,--we may now inquire after the motives which impel the theorist
so much farther. Here proofs, in the proper sense of the word, are not
to be had. We are beyond the region of demonstration, and have duly
probabilities to consider. What are these probabilities? What work
will this hypothesis do to establish a claim to be adopted in its
completeness? Why should a theory which may plausibly enough account for
the _diversification_ of the species of each special type or genus,
be expanded into a general system for the _origination_ or successive
diversification of all species, and all special types or forms, from
four or five remote primordial forms, or perhaps from one? We accept the
theory of gravitation because it explains all the facts we know, and
bears all the tests that we can put it to. We incline to accept the
nebular hypothesis, for similar reasons; not because it is proved,--thus
far it is wholly incapable of proof,--but because it is a natural
theoretical deduction from accepted physical laws, is thoroughly
congruous with the facts, and because its assumption serves to connect
and harmonize these into one probable and consistent whole. Can the
derivative hypothesis be maintained and carried out into a system on
similar grounds? If so, however unproved, it would appear to be a
tenable hypothesis, which is all that its author ought now to claim.
Such hypotheses as from the conditions of the case can neither be proved
nor disproved by direct evidence or experiment are to be tested only
indirectly, and therefore imperfectly, by trying their power to
harmonize the known facts, and to account for what is otherwise
unaccountable. So the question comes to this:

What will an hypothesis of the derivation of species explain which the
opposing view leaves unexplained?

Questions these which ought to be entertained before we take up the
arguments which have been advanced against this theory. We can only
glance at some of the considerations which Darwin adduces, or will be
sure to adduce in the future and fuller exposition which is promised.
To display them in such wise as to indoctrinate the unscientific reader
would require a volume. Merely to refer to them in the most general
terms would suffice for those familiar with scientific matters, but
would scarcely enlighten those who are not. Wherefore let these trust
the impartial Pictet, who freely admits, that, "in the absence of
sufficient direct proofs to justify the possibility of his hypothesis,
Mr. Darwin relies upon indirect proofs, the bearing of which is real and
incontestable"; who concedes that "his theory accords very well with the
great facts of comparative anatomy and zoölogy,--comes in admirably to
explain unity of composition of organisms, also to explain rudimentary
and representative organs, and the natural series of genera and
species,--equally corresponds with many palaeontological data,--agrees
well with the specific resemblances which exist between two successive
faunas, with the parallelism which is sometimes observed between the
series of palaeontological succession and of embryonal development,"
etc.; and finally, although he does not accept the theory in these
results, he allows that "it appears to offer the best means of
explaining the manner in which organized beings were produced in epochs
anterior to our own."

What more than this could be said for such an hypothesis? Here,
probably, is its charm, and its strong hold upon the speculative mind.
Unproven though it be, and cumbered _primâ facie_ with cumulative
improbabilities as it proceeds, yet it singularly accords with great
classes of facts otherwise insulated and enigmatic, and explains many
things which are thus far utterly inexplicable upon any other scientific
assumption.

We have said (p. 116) that Darwin's hypothesis is the natural complement
to Lyell's uniformitarian theory in physical geology. It is for the
organic world what that popular view is for the inorganic; and the
accepters of the latter stand in a position from which to regard the
former in the most favorable light. Wherefore the rumor that the
cautious Lyell himself has adopted the Darwinian hypothesis need not
surprise us. The two views are made for each other, and, like the two
counterpart pictures for the stereoscope, when brought together, combine
into one apparently solid whole.

If we allow, with Pictet, that Darwin's theory will very well serve for
all that concerns the present epoch of the world's history,--an epoch
which this renowned palaeontologist regards as including the diluvial or
quaternary period,--then Darwin's first and foremost need in his onward
course is a practicable road from this into and through the tertiary
period, the intervening region between the comparatively near and the
far remote past. Here Lyell's doctrine paves the way, by showing that in
the physical geology there is no general or absolute break between the
two, probably no greater between the latest tertiary and the quaternary
period than between the latter and the present time. So far, the
Lyellian view is, we suppose, generally concurred in. Now as to the
organic world, it is largely admitted that numerous tertiary species
have continued down into the quaternary, and many of them to the present
time. A goodly percentage of the earlier and nearly half of the later
tertiary mollusca, according to Des Hayes, Lyell, and, if we mistake
not, Bronn, still live. This identification, however, is now questioned
by a naturalist of the very highest authority. But, in its bearings on
the new theory, the point here turns not upon absolute identity so
much as upon close resemblance. For those who, with Agassiz, doubt the
specific identity in any of these cases, and those who say, with Pictet,
that "the later tertiary deposits contain in general the _débris_ of
species _very nearly related_ to those which still exist, belonging to
the same genera, but specifically different," may also agree with Pictet
that the nearly related species of successive faunas must or may have
had "a material connection." Now the only material connection that
we have an idea of in such a case is a genealogical one. And the
supposition of a genealogical connection is surely not unnatural in such
cases,--is demonstrably the natural one as respects all those tertiary
species which experienced naturalists have pronounced to be identical
with existing ones, but which others now deem distinct. For to identify
the two is the same thing as to conclude the one to be the ancestors of
the other. No doubt there are differences between the tertiary and
the present individuals, differences equally noted by both classes of
naturalists, but differently estimated. By the one these are deemed
quite compatible, by the other incompatible, with community of origin.
But who can tell us what amount of difference is compatible with
community of origin? This is the very question at issue, and one to be
settled by observation alone. Who would have thought that the peach and
the nectarine came from one stock? But, this being proved, is it now
very improbable that both were derived from the almond, or from some
common amygdaline progenitor? Who would have thought that the cabbage,
cauliflower, broccoli, kale, and kohlrabi are derivatives of one
species, and rape or colza, turnip, and probably rutabaga, of another
species? And who that is convinced of this can long undoubtingly hold
the original distinctness of turnips from cabbages as an article of
faith? On scientific grounds may not a primordial cabbage or rape be
assumed as the ancestor of all the cabbage races, on much the same
ground that we assume a common ancestry for the diversified human races?
If all our breeds of cattle came from one stock, why not this stock from
the auroch, which has had all the time between the diluvial and the
historic periods in which to set off a variation perhaps no greater than
the difference between some sorts of cattle?

That considerable differences are often discernible between tertiary
individuals and their supposed descendants of the present day affords
no argument against Darwin's theory, as has been rashly thought, but is
decidedly in its favor. If the identification were so perfect that no
more differences were observable between the tertiary and the recent
shells than between various individuals of either, then Darwin's
opponents, who argue the immutability of species from the ibises and
cats preserved by the ancient Egyptians being just like those of the
present day, could triumphantly add a few hundred thousand years more to
the length of the experiment and to the force of their argument. As the
facts stand, it appears, that, while some tertiary forms are essentially
undistinguishable from existing ones, others are the same with a
difference, which is judged not to be specific or aboriginal, and yet
others show somewhat greater differences, such as are scientifically
expressed by calling them marked varieties, or else doubtful species;
while others, differing a little more, are confidently termed distinct,
but nearly related species. Now is not all this a question of degree,
of mere gradation of difference? Is it at all likely that these several
gradations came to be established in two totally different ways,--some
of them (though naturalists can't agree which) through natural
variation, or other secondary cause, and some by original creation,
without secondary cause? We have seen that the judicious Pictet answers
such questions as Darwin would have him do, in affirming, that, in all
probability, the nearly related species of two successive faunas were
materially connected, and that contemporaneous species, similarly
resembling each other, were not all created so, but have become so. This
is equivalent to saying that species (using the term as all naturalists
do and must continue to employ the word) have only a relative, not an
absolute fixity; that differences fully equivalent to what are held to
be specific may arise in the course of time, so that one species may at
length be naturally replaced by another species a good deal like it, or
may be diversified through variation or otherwise into two, three, or
more species, or forms as different as species. This concedes all that
Darwin has a right to ask, all that he can directly infer from evidence.
We must add that it affords a _locus standi_, more or less tenable, for
inferring more.

Here another geological consideration comes in to help on this
inference. The species of the later tertiary period for the most part
not only resembled those of our days, many of them so closely as to
suggest an absolute continuity, but, also occupied in general the same
regions that their relatives occupy now. The same may be said, though
less specially, of the earlier tertiary and of the later secondary; but
there is less and less localization of forms as we recede, yet some
localization even in palæozoic times. While in the secondary period one
is struck with the similarity of forms and the identity of many of the
species which flourished apparently at the same time in all or in the
most widely separated parts of the world, in the tertiary epoch, on the
contrary, along with the increasing specialization of climates and
their approximation to the present state, we find abundant evidence
of increasing localization of orders, genera, and species; and
this localization strikingly accords with the present geographical
distribution of the same groups of species. Where the imputed
forefathers lived, their relatives and supposed descendants now
flourish. All the actual classes of the animal and vegetable kingdoms
were represented in the tertiary faunas and floras, and in nearly the
same proportions and the same diversities as at present. The faunas of
what is now Europe, Asia, America, and Australia differed from
each other much as they now differ: in fact,--according to Adolphe
Brongniart, whose statements we here condense,[a]--the inhabitants of
these different regions appear for the most part to have acquired,
before the close of the tertiary period, the characters which
essentially distinguish their existing faunas. The eastern continent
had then, as now, its great pachyderms, elephants, rhinoceros, and
hippopotamus; South America its armadillos, sloths, and ant-eaters;
Australia a crowd of marsupials; and the very strange birds of New
Zealand had predecessors of similar strangeness. Everywhere the same
geographical distribution as now, with a difference in the particular
area, as respects the northern portion of the continents, answering to a
warmer climate then than ours, such as allowed species of hippopotamus,
rhinoceros, and elephant to range even to the regions now inhabited
by the reindeer and the musk-ox, and with the serious disturbing
intervention of the glacial period within a comparatively recent time.
Let it be noted, also, that those tertiary species which have continued
with little change down to our days are the marine animals of the
lower grades, especially mollusca. Their low organization, moderate
sensibility, and the simple conditions of an existence in a medium
like the ocean, not subject to great variation and incapable of sudden
change, may well account for their continuance; while, on the other
hand, the more intense, however gradual, climatic vicissitudes on land,
which have driven all tropical and sub-tropical forms out of the higher
latitudes and assigned to them their actual limits, would be almost sure
to extinguish such huge and unwieldy animals as mastodons, mammoths, and
the like, whose power of enduring altered circumstances must have been
small.

[Footnote a: In _Comptes Rendus, Acad. des Sciences_, Févr. 2, 1857.]

This general replacement of the tertiary species of a country by
others so much like them is a noteworthy fact. The hypothesis of the
independent creation of all species, irrespective of their antecedents,
leaves this fact just as mysterious as is creation itself; that of
derivation undertakes to account for it. Whether it satisfactorily does
so or not, it must be allowed that the facts well accord with that
assumption.

The same may be said of another conclusion, namely, that the geological
succession of animals and plants appears to correspond in a general
way with their relative standing or rank in a natural system of
classification. It seems clear, that, though no one of the _grand types_
of the animal kingdom can be traced back farther than the rest, yet the
lower _classes_ long preceded the higher; that there has been on the
whole a steady progression within each class and order; and that the
highest plants and animals have appeared only in relatively modern
times. It is only, however, in a broad sense that this generalization
is now thought to hold good. It encounters many apparent exceptions and
sundry real ones. So far as the rule holds, all is as it should be upon
an hypothesis of derivation.

The rule has its exceptions. But, curiously enough, the most striking
class of exceptions, if such they be, seems to us even more favorable to
the doctrine of derivation than is the general rule of a pure and simple
ascending gradation. We refer to what Agassiz calls prophetic and
synthetic types; for which the former name may suffice, as the
difference between the two is evanescent.

"It has been noticed," writes our great zoölogist, "that certain types,
which are frequently prominent among the representatives of past ages,
combine in their structure peculiarities which at later periods are only
observed separately in different, distinct types. Sauroid fishes before
reptiles, Pterodactyles before birds, Ichthyosauri before dolphins, etc.
There are entire families, of nearly every class of animals, which
in the state of their perfect development exemplify such prophetic
relations.... The sauroid fishes of the past geological ages are an
example of this kind. These fishes, which preceded the appearance of
reptiles, present a combination of ichthyic and reptilian characters not
to be found in the true members of this class, which form its bulk at
present. The Pterodactyles, which preceded the class of birds, and the
Ichthyosauri, which preceded the Cetaeca, are other examples of such
prophetic types."[a]

[Footnote a: Agassiz, _Contributions: Essay on Classification_, p.
117, where, we may be permitted to note, the word "Crustacea" is by a
typographical error printed in place of _Cetacea_.]

Now these reptile-like fishes, of which gar-pikes are the living
representatives, though of earlier appearance, are admittedly of higher
rank than common fishes. They dominated until reptiles appeared, when
they mostly gave place to--or, as the derivationists will insist, were
resolved by divergent variation and natural selection into--common
fishes, destitute of reptilian characters, and saurian reptiles, the
intermediate grades, which, according to a familiar piscine saying,
are "neither fish, flesh, nor good red-herring," being eliminated and
extinguished by natural consequence of the struggle for existence which
Darwin so aptly portrays. And so, perhaps, of the other prophetic types.
Here type and antitype correspond. If these are true prophecies, we need
not wonder that some who read them in Agassiz's book will read their
fulfilment in Darwin's.

Note also, in tins connection, that, along with a wonderful persistence
of type, with change of species, genera, orders, etc., from formation to
formation, no species and no higher group which has once unequivocally
died out ever afterwards reappears. Why is this, but that the link of
generation has been sundered? Why, on the hypothesis of independent
originations, were not failing species re-created, either identically or
with a difference, in regions eminently adapted to their well-being? To
take a striking case. That no part of the world now offers more suitable
conditions for wild horses and cattle than the Pampas and other plains
of South America is shown by the facility with which they have there run
wild and enormously multiplied, since introduced from the Old World not
long ago. There was no wild American stock. Yet in the times of the
Mastodon and Megatherium, at the dawn of the present period, wild
horses and cattle--the former certainly very much like the existing
horse--roamed over those plains in abundance. On the principle of
original and direct created adaptation of species to climate and other
conditions, why were these types not reproduced, when, after the colder
intervening era, those regions became again eminently adapted to such
animals? Why, but because, by their complete extinction in South
America, the line of descent was here utterly broken? Upon the ordinary
hypothesis, there is no scientific explanation possible of this series
of facts, and of many others like them. Upon the new hypothesis, "the
succession of the same types of structure within the same areas during
the later geological periods ceases to be mysterious, and is simply
explained by inheritance." Their cessation is failure of issue.

Along with these considerations the fact (alluded to on p. 114) should
be remembered, that, as a general thing, related species of the present
age are geographically associated. The larger part of the plants, and
still more of the animals, of each separate country are peculiar to
it; and, as most species now flourish over the graves of their by-gone
relatives of former ages, so they now dwell among or accessibly near
their kindred species.

Here also comes in that general "parallelism between the order of
succession of animals and plants in geological times, and the gradation
among their living representatives" from low to highly organized,
from simple and general to complex and specialized forms; also "the
parallelism between the order of succession of animals in geological
times--and the changes their living representatives undergo during their
embryological growth,"--as if the world were one prolonged gestation.
Modern science has much insisted on this parallelism, and to a certain
extent is allowed to have made it out. All these things, which conspire
to prove that the ancient and the recent forms of life "are somehow
intimately connected together in one grand system," equally conspire to
suggest that the connection is one similar or analogous to generation.
Surely no naturalist can be blamed for entering somewhat confidently
upon a field of speculative inquiry which here opens so invitingly; nor
need former premature endeavors and failures utterly dishearten him.

All these things, it may naturally be said, go to explain the order, not
the mode, of the incoming of species. But they all do tend to bring out
the generalization expressed by Mr. Wallace in the formula, that "every
species has come into existence coincident both in time and space with
preëxisting closely allied species." Not, however, that this is proved
even of existing species as a matter of general fact. It is obviously
impossible to _prove_ anything of the kind. But we must concede that the
known facts strongly suggest such an inference. And since species are
only congeries of individuals, and every individual came into existence
in consequence of preëxisting individuals of the same sort, so leading
up to the individuals with which the species began, and since the only
material sequence we know of among plants and animals is that from
parent to progeny, the presumption becomes exceedingly strong that
the connection of the incoming with the preëxisting species is a
genealogical one.

Here, however, all depends upon the probability that Mr. Wallace's
inference is really true. Certainly it is not yet generally accepted;
but a strong current is setting towards its acceptance.

So long as universal cataclysms were in vogue, and all life upon the
earth was thought to have been suddenly destroyed and renewed many times
in succession, such a view could not be thought of. So the equivalent
view maintained by Agassiz, and formerly, we believe, by D'Orbigny,
that, irrespectively of general and sudden catastrophes, or any known
adequate physical cause, there has been a total depopulation at the
close of each geological period or formation, say forty or fifty times,
or more, followed by as many independent great acts of creation, at
which alone have species been originated, and at each of which a
vegetable and an animal kingdom were produced entire and complete,
full-fledged, as flourishing, as wide-spread and populous, as varied and
mutually adapted from the beginning as ever afterwards,--such a view, of
course, supersedes all material connection between successive species,
and removes even the association and geographical range of species
entirely out of the domain of physical causes and of natural science.
This is the extreme opposite of Wallace's and Darwin's view, and is
quite as hypothetical. The nearly universal opinion, if we rightly
gather it, manifestly is, that the replacement of the species of
successive formations was not complete and simultaneous, but partial
and successive; and that along the course of each epoch some species
probably were introduced, and some, doubtless, became extinct. If all
since the tertiary belongs to our present epoch, this is certainly true
of it: if to two or more epochs, then the hypothesis of a total change
is not true of them.

Geology makes huge demands upon time; and we regret to find that it has
exhausted ours,--that what we meant for the briefest and most general
sketch of some geological considerations in favor of Darwin's hypothesis
has so extended as to leave no room for considering "the great facts of
comparative anatomy and zoölogy" with which Darwin's theory "very well
accords," nor for indicating how "it admirably serves for explaining the
unity of composition of all organisms, the existence of representative
and rudimentary organs, and the natural series which genera and species
compose." Suffice it to say that these are the real strongholds of the
new system on its theoretical side; that it goes far towards explaining
both the physiological and the structural gradations and relations
between the two kingdoms, and the arrangement of all their forms in
groups subordinate to groups, all within a few great types; that it
reads the riddle of abortive organs and of morphological conformity, of
which no other theory has ever offered a scientific explanation, and
supplies a ground for harmonizing the two fundamental ideas which
naturalists and philosophers conceive to have ruled the organic world,
though they could not reconcile them, namely: Adaptation to Purpose and
the Conditions of Existence, and Unity of Type. To reconcile these two
undeniable principles is a capital problem in the philosophy of natural
history; and the hypothesis which consistently does so thereby secures a
great advantage.

We all know that the arm and hand of a monkey, the foreleg and foot of
a dog and of a horse, the wing of a bat, and the fin of a porpoise are
fundamentally identical; that the long neck of the giraffe has the same
and no more bones than the short one of the elephant; that the eggs of
Surinam frogs hatch into tadpoles with as good tails for swimming as any
of their kindred, although as tadpoles they never enter the water; that
the Guinea-pig is furnished with incisor teeth which it never uses,
as it sheds them before birth; that embryos of mammals and birds
have branchial slits and arteries running in loops, in imitation or
reminiscence of the arrangement which is permanent in fishes; and that
thousands of animals and plants have rudimentary organs which, at least
in numerous cases, are wholly useless to their possessors, etc., etc.
Upon a derivative theory this morphological conformity is explained by
community of descent; and it has not been explained in any other way.

Naturalists are constantly speaking of "related species," of
the "affinity" of a genus or other group, and of "family
resemblance,"--vaguely conscious that these terms of kinship are
something more than mere metaphors, but unaware of the grounds of their
aptness. Mr. Darwin assures them that they have been talking derivative
doctrine all their lives without knowing it.

If it is difficult and in some cases practically impossible to fix the
limits of species, it is still more so to fix those of genera; and those
of tribes and families are still less susceptible of exact natural
circumscription. Intermediate forms occur, connecting one group with
another in a manner sadly perplexing to systematists, except to those
who have ceased to expect absolute limitations in Nature. All this
blending could hardly fail to suggest a former material connection among
allied forms, such as that which an hypothesis of derivation demands.

Here it would not be amiss to consider the general principle of
gradation throughout organic Nature,--a principle which answers in a
general way to the law of continuity in the inorganic world, or
rather is so analogous to it that both may fairly be expressed by
the Leibnitzian axiom, _Natura non agit saltatim_. As an axiom or
philosophical principle, used to test modal laws or hypotheses, this in
strictness belongs only to physics. In the investigation of Nature at
large, at least in the organic world, nobody would undertake to apply
this principle as a test of the validity of any theory or supposed law.
But naturalists of enlarged views will not fail to infer the principle
from the phenomena they investigate,--to perceive that the rule holds,
under due qualifications and altered forms, throughout the realm of
Nature; although we do not suppose that Nature in the organic world
makes no distinct steps, but only short and serial steps,--not
infinitely fine gradations, but no long leaps, or few of them.

To glance at a few illustrations out of many that present themselves. It
would be thought that the distinction between the two organic kingdoms
was broad and absolute. Plants and animals belong to two very different
categories, fulfil opposite offices, and, as to the mass of them, are
so unlike that the difficulty of the ordinary observer would be to find
points of comparison. Without entering into details, which would fill an
article, we may safely say that the difficulty with the naturalist is
all the other way,--that all these broad differences vanish one by one
as we approach the lower confines of the two kingdoms, and that no
_absolute_ distinction whatever is now known between them. It is quite
possible that the same organism may be both vegetable and animal, or may
be first the one and then the other. If some organisms may be said to be
at first vegetables and then animals, others, like the spores and other
reproductive bodies of many of the lower Algae, may equally claim to
have first a characteristically animal, and then an unequivocally
vegetable existence. Nor is the gradation purely restricted to these
simple organisms. It appears in general functions, as in that of
reproduction, which is reducible to the same formula in both kingdoms,
while it exhibits close approximations in the lower forms; also in a
common or similar ground of sensibility in the lowest forms of both,
a common faculty of effecting movements tending to a determinate end,
traces of which pervade the vegetable kingdom,--while on the other hand,
this indefinable principle, this vegetable _animula vagula, blandula_,
graduates into the higher sensitiveness of the lower class of animals.
Nor need we hesitate to recognize the fine gradations from simple
sensitiveness and volition to the higher instinctive and other psychical
manifestations of the higher brute animals. The gradation is undoubted,
however we may explain it. Again, propagation is of one mode in the
higher animals, of two in all plants; but vegetative propagation, by
budding or offshoots, extends through the lower grades of animals. In
both kingdoms there may be separation of the offshoots, or indifference
in this respect, or continued and organic union with the parent stock;
and this either with essential independence of the offshoots, or with
a subordination of these to a common whole, or finally with such
subordination and amalgamation, along with specialization of function,
that the same parts, which in other cases can be regarded only as
progeny, in these become only members of an individual.

This leads to the question of individuality, a subject quite too large
and too recondite for present discussion. The conclusion of the whole
matter, however, is, that individuality--that very ground of _being_ as
distinguished from _thing_--is not attained in Nature at one leap. If
anywhere truly exemplified in plants, it is only in the lowest and
simplest, where the being is a structural unit, a single cell,
memberless and organless, though organic,--the same thing as those cells
of which all the more complex plants are built up, and with which every
plant and (structurally) every animal began its development. In the
ascending gradation of the vegetable kingdom individuality is, so to
say, striven after, but never attained; in the lower animals it is
striven after with greater, though incomplete success; it is realized
only in animals of so high a rank that vegetative multiplication or
offshoots are out of the question, where all parts are strictly
members and nothing else, and all subordinated to a common nervous
centre,--fully realized, perhaps, only in a conscious person.

So, also, the broad distinction between reproduction by seeds or ova and
propagation by buds, though perfect in some of the lowest forms of life,
becomes evanescent in others; and even the most absolute law we know in
the physiology of genuine reproduction, that of sexual co-operation,
has its exceptions in both kingdoms in parthenogenesis, to which in the
vegetable kingdom a most curious series of gradations leads. In plants,
likewise, a long and most finely graduated series of transitions leads
from bisexual to unisexual blossoms; and so in various other respects.
Everywhere we may perceive that Nature secures her ends, and makes her
distinctions on the whole manifest and real, but everywhere without
abrupt breaks. We need not wonder, therefore, that gradations between
species and varieties should occur; the more so, since genera, tribes,
and other groups into which the naturalist collocates species are
far from being always absolutely limited in Nature, though they are
necessarily represented to be so in systems. From the necessity of the
case, the classifications of the naturalist abruptly define where Nature
more or less blends. Our systems are nothing, if not definite. They
are intended to express differences, and perhaps some of the coarser
gradations. But this evinces, not their perfection, but their
imperfection. Even the best of them are to the system of Nature what
consecutive patches of the seven colors are to the rainbow.

Now the principle of gradation throughout organic Nature may, of
course, be interpreted upon other assumptions than those of Darwin's
hypothesis,--certainly upon quite other than those of materialistic
philosophy, with which we ourselves have no sympathy. Still we conceive
it not only possible, but probable, that this gradation, as it has its
natural ground, may yet have its scientific explanation. In any case,
there is no need to deny that the general facts correspond well with an
hypothesis like Darwin's, which is built upon fine gradations.

We have contemplated quite long enough the general presumptions in
favor of an hypothesis of the derivation of species. We cannot forget,
however, while for the moment we overlook, the formidable difficulties
which all hypotheses of this class have to encounter, and the serious
implications which they seem to involve. We feel, moreover, that
Darwin's particular hypothesis is exposed to some special objections. It
requires no small strength of nerve steadily to conceive not only of
the variation, but of the formation of the organs of an animal through
cumulative variation and natural selection. Think of such an organ as
the eye, that most perfect of optical instruments, as so produced in the
lower animals and perfected in the higher! A friend of ours, who accepts
the new doctrine, confesses that for a long while a cold chill came over
him whenever he thought of the eye. He has at length got over that stage
of the complaint, and is now in the fever of belief, perchance to be
succeeded by the sweating stage, during which sundry peccant humors may
be eliminated from the system.

For ourselves, we dread the chill, and have some misgiving about the
consequences of the reaction. We find ourselves in the "singular
position" acknowledged by Pictet,--that is, confronted with a theory
which, although it can really explain much, seems inadequate to the
heavy task it so boldly assumes, but which, nevertheless, appears better
fitted than any other that has been broached to explain, if it be
possible to explain, somewhat of the manner in which organized beings
may have arisen and succeeded each other. In this dilemma we might take
advantage of Mr. Darwin's candid admission, that he by no means expects
to convince old and experienced people, whose minds are stocked with a
multitude of facts all viewed during a long course of years from the old
point of view. This is nearly our case. So, owning no call to a larger
faith than is expected of us, but not prepared to pronounce the whole
hypothesis untenable, under such construction as we should put upon it,
we naturally sought to attain a settled conviction through a perusal
of several proffered refutations of the theory. At least, this course
seemed to offer the readiest way of bringing to a head the various
objections to which the theory is exposed. On several accounts some
of these opposed reviews specially invite examination. We propose,
accordingly, to conclude our task with an article upon "Darwin and his
Reviewers."

       *       *       *       *       *


REVIEWS AND LITERARY NOTICES.


_Modern Painters_. By J. RUSKIN. Vol. V. Smith, Elder, & Co. London.

The completion of a work of the importance of the "Modern Painters,"
which has occupied in its production the thought and a large portion of
the labor of fourteen years, is an event of more interest than it often
falls to the lot of a book to excite; but when, as in this case, the
result shows the development of an individual taste and critical ability
entirely without peer in the history of art-letters, the value of the
whole work is immensely enhanced by the time which its publication
covers.

The first volume of "Modern Painters" was, as everybody will remember,
one of the sensation-books of the time, and fell upon the public opinion
of the day like a thunderbolt from the clear sky. Denying, and in many
instances overthrowing, the received canons of criticism, and defying
all the accepted authorities in it, the author excited the liveliest
astonishment and the bitterest hostility of the professional critics in
general, and at once divided the world of art, so far as his influence
reached, into two parts: the one embracing most of the reverent and
conservative minds, and by far the larger; the other, most of the
enthusiastic, the radical, and earnest; but this, small in numbers
at first, was increased, and still increases, by the force of those
qualities of enthusiasm and earnestness, until now, in England, it
embraces nearly all of the true and living art of our time. But that
volume, professedly treating art with reference to its superficial
attributes and for a special purpose, the redemption of a great and
revered artist from unjust disparagement and undeserved neglect,
touched in scarcely the least degree the vital questions of taste or
art-production. It had no considerations of sentiment or discussion of
principles to offer: it dealt with facts, and touched the simple truths
of Nature with an enthusiastic fire and lucidness which were proof
positive of the knowledge and feeling of the author; and the public,
either conversant with those facts or capable of being satisfied of
them without much thought, abandoned itself to the fascination of his
eloquence and acquiesced in his teachings, or arrayed itself in utter
hostility to him and his new ideas.

The second volume was more abstruse and deeper in feeling, and
comparatively few of Mr. Ruskin's followers through the first cared
to get entangled in the metaphysical mazes of the second, and it is
generally neglected, although containing some of the deepest and most
satisfactory studies on the fundamental principles of art and taste
which have ever been printed.

The third and fourth volumes, coming up again nearer the surface, made
an application of the principles investigated to the material for art
which Nature furnishes; and here again the author found in part his
audience diminished among those who had at first been carried away by
his enthusiasm or silenced and convinced by his unhesitating dogmatism.
A partial reaction took place, owing not only to the change in the tone
of the "Modern Painters," but to the springing up of a new school of
painting, the consequence, mainly and legitimately, of the teachings of
the work,--the pre-Raphaelite,--which, at once attacked virulently and
immeasurably by the old school of critics, and defended as earnestly by
Mr. Ruskin, became the subject of the war which was still waged between
him and them. Turner in the meanwhile had passed away and was admitted
to apotheosis, the malignant critics of yesterday becoming the ignorant
adulators of to-day: _his_ position was conceded, but the hostility to
Ruskin was sustained with unabated bitterness on the new field. He
was demolished anew, and proved, many useless times over and over, an
ignorant pretender; the public in the meanwhile, even his opponents,
taking up in turn his _protégés_, as he pointed them out to their
notice. The effect of his criticisms in enhancing the value of the works
they approved would be incredible, if one did not know how glad an
English public is to be led. As a single instance,--a drawing which was
sold from one of the water-color exhibitions at fifty guineas, sold
again, after Ruskin's notice, at two hundred and fifty; and in the lists
of pictures sold or to be sold at auction, one sees constantly, "Noticed
by Mr. Ruskin," "Approved by Mr. Ruskin," appended to the title.

The third volume, being devoted to the correction of the ideas of Style
and the Ideal, to Finish, and a review of the Past Landscape-Painting,
recurs to Turner in its closing chapter, "On his Teachers"; the fourth
was given to Mountain _Beauty_, following the parallel of the first,
which treated of the _Truth_ of Mountains, and bearing as its burden of
moral the expression of that Ideal by Turner; and the fifth now comes to
conclude the investigations on the Ideal by chapters: first, on "Leaf
Beauty," an exceedingly interesting investigation of the development
of the forms of trees and plants as concerned with the laws of beauty;
second, "Cloud Beauty"; and then of the "Ideas of Relation," in which
the author comes finally to the demonstration of the right of Turner to
his position amongst the thinking and poetic painters.

From the first division, "Leaf Beauty," we must make one extract.
The author has been speaking of the, influence of the Pine on Swiss
character.

"But the point which I desire the reader to note is, that the character
of the scene which, if any, appears to have been impressive to the
inhabitant is not that which we ourselves feel when we enter the
district. It was not from their lakes, nor their cliffs, nor their
glaciers, though these were all peculiarly their possession, that the
three venerable cantons or states received their name. They were not
called the States of the Rock, nor the States of the Lake, but the
States of the _Forest_. And the one of the three which contains the most
touching record of the spiritual power of Swiss religion, in the name of
the convent of the 'Hill of Angels,' has for its own none but the sweet,
childish name of 'Under the Woods.'

"And, indeed, you may pass under them, if, leaving the most sacred spot
in Swiss history, the Meadow of the Three Fountains, you bid the boatman
row southward a little way by the Bay of Uri. Steepest there, on its
western side, the walls of its rocks ascend to heaven. Far in the blue
of evening, like a great cathedral-pavement, lies the lake in its
darkness; and you may hear the whisper of innumerable falling waters
return from the hollows of the cliff like the voices of a multitude
praying under their breath. From time to time, the beat of a wave, slow
lifted, where the rocks lean over the black depth, dies heavily as the
last note of a requiem. Opposite, green with steep grass and set with
châlet villages, the Tron Alp rises in one solemn glow of pastoral light
and peace; and above, against the clouds of twilight, ghostly on the
gray precipice, stand, myriad by myriad, the shadowy armies of the
Unterwalden pine.

"I have seen that it is possible for the stranger to pass through this
great chapel, with its font of waters, and mountain pillars, and vaults
of cloud, without being touched by one noble thought or stirred by any
sacred passion; but for those who received from its waves the baptism
of their youth, and learned beneath its rocks the fidelity of their
manhood, and watched amidst its clouds the likeness of the dream of
life, with the eyes of age,--for these I will not believe that the
mountain-shrine was built or the calm of its forest-shadows guarded by
their God in vain."

But perhaps that conclusion of Ruskin's, in the new volume, which will
most interest his earnest readers, is that the Venetian school is _the
only religious school that has ever existed_. So much has Ruskin's
development seemed to contradict itself, that one is scarcely surprised
at one conclusion being apparently opposed to the former one; but a
change so great as this, from Giotto, Perugino, and Cima, to Tintoret,
Titian, and Veronese, as the religious ideals, will, indeed, amaze all
who read it. Yet this is but the logical consequence of his progression
hitherto. If he commenced with a belief that asceticism was religion, he
would recognize Perugino and Giotto as the true religious artists; but
if, as seems to be the case, he has learned at last that religion is a
thing of daily life, mingling in all that we do, caring for body as well
as soul, sense as well as spirit, and that a complete man must be a
man who _lives_ in every sense of the word, then the Venetians, as the
painters of the truth of life in _all_ its joy and sorrow, are the true
painters, and the only ones whose art was inhabited by a religion worth
following.

It is interesting to follow what are called Ruskin's contradictions and
see how perfectly they represent the whole system of artistic truth, as
seen from the different points of a young artist's or student's growth
up to mature and ripened judgment; so that there is no stage of artistic
development which has not some form of truth particularly adapted to it,
in the "Modern Painters." If it be urged that the book should have been
written only from the point of final development, it can only be said
that no true book will ever he so written, for no man can ever be
certain of his having attained final truth. "Modern Painters" has
value in this very showing of the critical development, which to an
intelligent student is greater than that a complete and infallible guide
could have.

The chapter on Invention is full of the most delightful artistic truth,
and shows completely, by copious illustrations, how well Turner deserved
the rank Ruskin gives him amongst great composers. The analyses of the
compositions of Turner are most curious and interesting, but, of course,
depend on the accompanying plates. Some most valuable mental philosophy
bearing on the production of art-works concludes Part VIII., which
is devoted to "Invention Formal," of which we quote the concluding
paragraphs:--

"Until the feelings can give strength enough to the will to enable it
to conquer them, they are not strong enough. If you cannot leave your
picture at any moment, cannot turn from it and go on with another while
the color is drying, cannot work at any part of it you choose with equal
contentment, you have not firm enough grasp of it.

"It follows, also, that no vain or selfish person can possibly paint,
in the noble sense of the word. Vanity and selfishness are troublous,
eager, anxious, petulant: painting can only be done in calm of mind.
Resolution is not enough to secure this; it must be secured by
disposition as well. You may resolve to think of your picture only; but,
if you have been fretted before beginning, no manly or clear grasp of
it will be possible for you. No forced calm is calm enough: only honest
calm, natural calm. You might as well try by external pressure to smooth
a lake till it could reflect the sky, as by violence of effort to secure
the peace through which only you can reach imagination. That peace must
come in its own time, as the waters settle themselves into clearness as
well as quietness: you can no more filter your mind into purity than you
can compress it into calmness; you must keep it pure, if you would have
it pure; and throw no stones into it, if you would have it quiet. Great
courage and self-command may to a certain extent give power of painting
without the true calmness underneath, but never of doing first-rate
work. There is sufficient evidence of this in even what we know of great
men, though of the greatest we nearly always know the least (and that
necessarily; they being very silent, and not much given to setting
themselves forth to questioners,--apt to be contemptuously reserved no
less than unselfishly). But in such writings and sayings as we possess
of theirs we may trace a quite curious gentleness and serene courtesy.
Rubens's letters are almost ludicrous in their unhurried politeness.
Reynolds, swiftest of painters, was gentlest of companions; so also
Velasquez, Titian, and Veronese.

"It is gratuitous to add that no shallow or petty person can paint. Mere
cleverness or special gift never made an artist. It is only perfectness
of mind, unity, depth, decision, the highest qualities, in fine, of the
intellect, which will form the imagination.

"And, lastly, no false person can paint. A person false at heart may,
when it suits his purposes, seize a stray truth here or there; but the
relations of truth, its perfectness, that which makes it wholesome
truth, he can never perceive. As wholeness and wholesomeness go
together, so also sight with sincerity; it is only the constant desire
of and submissiveness to truth, which can measure its strange angles
and mark its infinite aspects, and fit them and knit them into sacred
invention.

"Sacred I call it deliberately; for it is thus in the most accurate
senses, humble as well as helpful,--meek in its receiving as magnificent
in its disposing; the name it bears being rightly given even to
invention formal, not because it forms, but because it finds. For you
cannot find a lie; you must make it for yourself. False things may be
imagined, and false things composed; but only truth can be invented."

One of those cardinal doctrines by which we may learn the bearings of a
writer's system of truth is that of Ruskin's of the intimate connection
between landscape art and humanity.

"Fragrant tissue of flowers, golden circlet of clouds, are only fair
when they meet the fondness of human thoughts and glorify human visions
of heaven.

"It is the leaning on this truth which more than any other has been the
distinctive character of all my own past work. And in closing a series
of art-studies, prolonged during so many years, it may be perhaps
permitted me to point out this specialty,--the rather that it has been,
of all their characters, the one most denied. I constantly see that the
same thing takes place in the estimation formed by the modern public of
the work of almost any true person, living or dead. It is not needful
to state here the causes of such error; but the fact is indeed so, that
precisely the distinctive root and leading force of any true man's work
and way are the things denied him.

"And in these books of mine, their distinctive character, as essays on
art, is their bringing everything to a root in human passion or human
hope. Arising first not in any desire to explain the principles of art,
but in the endeavor to defend an individual painter from injustice, they
have been colored throughout, nay, continually altered in shape, and
even warped and broken, by digressions respecting social questions,
which had for me an interest tenfold greater than the work I had been
forced into undertaking. Every principle of painting which I have
stated is traced to some vital or spiritual fact; and in my works on
architecture the preference accorded finally to one school over another
is founded on a comparison of their influences on the life of the
workman,--a question by all other writers on the subject of architecture
wholly forgotten or despised.

"The essential connection of the power of landscape with human emotion
is not less certain because in many impressive pictures the link is
slight or local. That the connection should exist at a single point is
all that we need.... That difference, and more, exists between the power
of Nature through which humanity is seen, and her power in the desert.
Desert,--whether of leaf or sand,--true desertness, is not in the want
of leaves, but of life. Where humanity is not and was not, the best
natural beauty is more than vain. It is even terrible; not as the
dress cast aside from the body, but as an embroidered shroud hiding a
skeleton."

The volume, as a whole, will be found less dogmatic, calmer, more
convincing, and more directly applicable to artistic judgment, than any
of the others. There is the same love of mysticism and undermeanings,
but freighted with deeper and more central truths: a charming conclusion
to a fourteen-years' diary of such study of Art and Nature, so severe,
so unremitting, as never critic gave before.


_Syntax of the Moods and Tenses of the Greek Verb._ By W.W. GOODWIN,
Ph.D. Cambridge: Sever and Francis.

Grammarians had once a simple way of disposing of the subject on which
Professor Goodwin has given us this elaborate treatise of three hundred
pages.

In the Greek Grammar of the Messieurs de Port Royal, which Gibbon
praises so highly in his charming autobiography, and which has passed
through several editions in England within the present century, we
are taught, that, "though the moods [in Greek] are not to be rejected
entirely, yet their signification is sometimes so very arbitrary, that
they are put for one another through all tenses." Lancelot himself
seems to have had a glimmering of the essential incredibility of this
statement; for, though he attempts to substantiate it by citing from
Greek authors a number of passages in which the Greek idiom happens to
differ from the Latin,--passages, however, which Mr. Goodwin would have
been glad to use, had they fallen in his way, to illustrate the regular
constructions of the language,--he feels it necessary to appeal to
the authority of the learned Budæus, the greatest of the early Greek
scholars. Strange as it seems that really accomplished Greek scholars
should have charged Plato and Demosthenes, speaking the most perfect of
tongues, with arbitrary interchanges of moods and tenses, yet the same
views continued to be presented in grammatical works down to the close
of the last century. The transition to the new school of grammarians was
made in 1792, by the publication of a Greek Grammar by Philip Buttmann,
which, in the greatly improved form which it afterwards received from
his hands, is familiar to all Greek scholars. In our frequent boasts of
the great strides that knowledge has taken in the present century, we
commonly have in mind the physical sciences; but we doubt whether in any
department of physical science the manuals in use seventy-five years
ago are so utterly inferior to those of the present day as are, for
instance, the remarks of Viger, and his commentators before Hermann, on
the syntax of the Greek verb, to the philosophical treatment of the same
points by Professor Goodwin.

This work is entitled, we think, to rank with the best grammars of the
Greek language that have appeared in German or English, in all the
points that constitute grammatical excellence; while its monographic
character justified and required an exhaustive treatment of its
particular topic, not to be found even in the huge grammars of Matthiæ
and Kühner. Indeed, not the least of its merits is this, that, in
addition to the excellent matter which is original with Professor
Goodwin, it furnishes to the student, American or English,--for we hope
to see its merits recognized on the other side of the Atlantic,--a
digest, as it were, of all that is most valuable on the subject of the
syntax of the Greek verb in the best German grammars, from Buttmann
to Madvig, enhanced, too, in value by being recast and worked into a
homogeneous system by an acute scholar and experienced teacher. One
excellence of the book we would by no means pass over, an excellence
which we are sure will be particularly appreciated by all who have used
translations of German grammars,--the precision both of thought and
expression by which it is characterized, which releases the student from
the labor of constructing the meaning of a rule from the data of the
appended examples. Not that Mr. Goodwin is chary of examples; on the
contrary, one of the most attractive and not least profitable features
of the book is the copiousness and freshness of the illustrative
quotations from Greek authors. These are as welcome as the brightness of
newly minted coin to the eye which, in consulting grammar after grammar,
has been condemned to meet under corresponding rules always the same
examples, till they begin to produce that effect upon the nerves which
all have experienced at the mention of the deadly upas-tree, or the
imminence of the dissolution of the Union.

We must not omit to speak of the typographical merit of the work,--and
especially of what constitutes the first and the last merit of books of
this class, the excellent table of contents, and the indexes, Greek and
English, which leave nothing to be desired in the way of facility of
reference, except, perhaps, an index to the quotations.


_The Law of the Territories_. Philadelphia: C. Sherman & Son.

The author of the two able essays contained in this volume will be
remembered by many of our readers under his assumed name of "Cecil."
The second, as he himself tells us, on "Popular Sovereignty in the
Territories," was published, as one of a series of essays on Southern
politics, in the Philadelphia _North American and United States
Gazette_. The first, we believe, has never been published before.

Our author, whom we may designate, without violating any confidence, as
Mr. George Sidney Fisher, devotes an elaborate preface, which is itself
a third essay, to discussing the invasion of Virginia by John Brown and
the Southern threats of secession, drawing from the foray of Harper's
Ferry a conclusion very different from that of the disunionists. In his
own words,--

  "Disunion is a word of fear. Is it not
  strange that it should have been as yet pronounced
  only by the South? The danger of
  insurrection and servile war belongs to the
  nature of slavery. It is, perhaps, not too much
  to assert that the safety and tranquillity of
  Southern society depend on the fact that the
  Northern people are close at hand to aid in
  case of need,--that the power of the General
  Government is ever ready for the same purpose.
  Four millions of barbarians, growing
  with tropical vigor, and soon to be eight millions,
  with tropical passions boiling in their
  blood, endowed with native courage, with
  sinews strong by toil, and stimulated by the
  hope of liberty and unbounded license, are
  not to be trifled with. Take away from them
  the idea of an irresistible power in the North,
  ready at any moment to be invoked by their
  masters, or let them expect in the North, not
  enemies, but friends and supporters, which
  even now they are told every day by these
  masters they may expect,--and how soon
  might a flame be lighted which no power in
  the South could extinguish!"

Mr. Fisher treats of the "Law of the Territories" in two essays,--the
first considering more particularly "The Territories and the
Constitution," the second, "Popular Sovereignty in the Territories." The
first commences with a quotation so happy that it has all the effect of
original wit:--

  "The wily and witty Talleyrand was once
  asked the meaning of the word 'non-intervention,'
  so often used in European diplomacy.
  'It is a word,' he replied, 'metaphysical and
  political, not accurately defined, but which
  means--much the same thing as intervention!'
  The same word has been frequently
  employed, of late years, in our politics, with
  the same difference between its professed
  and its practical signification. It was introduced
  for the first time in reference to the
  government of the Territories, when it became
  an object for the South to gain Kansas as a
  Slave State. Two obstacles were to be overcome.
  One was the Missouri Compromise,
  which was a solemn compact between North
  and South to settle a disturbing and dangerous
  question; the other was a possible majority
  in Congress, that, it was feared, might prohibit
  slavery in the new Territory. Southern
  politicians had at the time control of the government;
  and they got rid of both difficulties
  by repealing the Missouri Compromise in the
  Kansas and Nebraska Bill. By necessary implication,
  arising from the relation of the Territories
  to the rest of the nation, by the language
  of the Constitution, and by the uniform
  construction of it and practice under it from
  the earliest period of our history, the Territories
  had been subjected to the absolute control
  of the General Government. By the Kansas
  and Nebraska Bill they were withdrawn
  from that control. The principle of Popular
  Sovereignty, it was said, applied to them as
  well as to the States; and this bill declared
  that the people of the Territories should be
  perfectly free to choose their own domestic
  institutions and regulate their own affairs in
  their own way."

The means employed to carry out this plan and the ultimate failure of
the plan itself are sketched with a boldness and vigor that our limits,
much to our regret, forbid our reproducing. Mr. Fisher, however, fails
to notice the wretched plea put forth by the Democratic managers,
in favor of the recognition by Congress of the Lecompton
Constitution,--that it had been officially authenticated. All might be
wrong, but the official record pronounced it right; and behind that
record Congress had no authority to go. And this plea was advanced in
the face of overwhelming evidence tending to show that the officials,
for whose record so inviolable a sanctity was claimed, were appointed
for the express purpose of falsifying that record! If confirmation be
wanted, we need go no farther than the fate of Robert J. Walker, who was
eager to make Kansas a Slave State, but was so false to every principle
of Democratic integrity as to confine himself to legitimate means to
bring about that result,--a remissness for which he was promptly removed
by President Buchanan! Mr. Fisher pertinently says,--

"Two great facts were plainly visible through the flimsy web of attorney
logic and quibbling technicality, not very ingeniously woven to conceal
them. One of these facts was, that the people of Kansas were heartily
and almost unanimously averse to slavery; the other was, that the
Government was trying by every means in its power to impose slavery upon
them."

After describing the contemptuous rejection by the people of Kansas of
the pro-slavery constitution, Mr. Fisher proceeds with an analysis of
the Kansas-Nebraska fraud, so clear and so masterly that we must again
quote his own language, with an occasional condensation or omission.

"It was clear, therefore, that the principle of Popular Sovereignty,
introduced by the Kansas and Nebraska Bill, a principle before unknown
to the law and practice of our government, would not suit the South.
It appeared too probable that not only the people to inhabit all the
territory north of 36° 30', but also much territory south of it, would,
like the people of Kansas, reject slavery, if left to regulate their
domestic institutions in their own way. What, then, were Southern
politicians to do? Invoke the ancient and long exercised, but now denied
and derided power of Congress over the Territories? This might prove a
dangerous weapon in the hands of possible future Northern majorities. It
was obviously necessary to withdraw slavery alike from the control of
Congress and of the people of a Territory. Some ingenuity was required
for this. The doctrine that the Constitution extends to the Territories
(a doctrine broached before by Mr. Calhoun, but always defeated on the
ground that the Constitution, by its language and the practice under it,
was made for States only, and that the Territories were subject to the
supreme control of Congress,--a control frequently exercised, not only
independently of the Constitution, but in a manner incompatible with it)
was introduced, with other innovations, into the Kansas and Nebraska
Bill. The Dred Scott decision of the Supreme Court followed, by which
the Constitution recognizes slavery as a national institution. It
recognizes slaves as mere property, differing in no respect from other
merchandise. The Territories belong to the nation. Every citizen has
equal rights to them and in them. Why, therefore, may not a Southern
man, as well as a Northern man, go into them with his _property_? What
right has Congress to place the South under an ignominious bar of
restriction? The Constitution declares that slaves are property; that
all the States and the people have equal rights. The Territories belong
to all. Therefore, under the Constitution, they should be enjoyed by
all.

"By this ingenious logic the Kansas and Nebraska Bill is made to
contradict itself. It first declares that the Constitution extends to
the Territories; in other words, slavery exists there by force of the
Constitution, without reference to the will of the people. It then says
that the people of the Territories shall be 'perfectly free to form and
regulate their domestic institutions in their own way.'

"The contradictions, duplicity, and absurdity of the law are obvious at
once. The first sentence announces a change in the settled principles
and policy of the Government; else why declare that the Constitution
'_shall_' extend to Nebraska, if it already extended there? Then comes
the repeal of the Missouri Compromise. The reason given for this is,
that it is inconsistent with the non-intervention by Congress with
slavery, recognized in the Compromise of 1850. But that law declares
positively that Congress does not intervene, _because it is
'inexpedient'_ to do so; and gives the reason why it is inexpedient. The
_power_ of Congress _was asserted_ by Mr. Clay, who made the law, and
the terms of it were chosen for the very purpose of preventing any
inference being drawn from it against that power.

"It is remarkable, too, that the Bill, whilst declaring the _perfect_
freedom of the Territories, should still have left them subject to the
power of the President, who, as before, is permitted to appoint their
Governor, Judges, and Marshals, officers who are his agents, and without
whose sanction the acts of the Territorial Legislature can neither
become laws, nor be construed and applied, nor executed. So that the
will of the people may be defeated, should it happen to be opposed to
the will of the President: as was seen in the case of Kansas.

"Why," Mr. Fisher asks, "is the anomalous monster of Popular Sovereignty
to be introduced with reference to slavery? Is it because slaves are
'mere property'? Why, then, not subject all property, land included, to
popular control? Is it because the subject of slavery is an exciting
topic, a theme for dangerous agitation, to be checked only by placing
the subject beyond the power of Congress? The answer is, that Congress
cannot abdicate its power on the ground of expediency. If it may give up
one power, it may give up all. Nor can Congress delegate its power for
the same reason. Trust power, from its very nature, cannot be delegated.
To break down great principles, to set aside ancient usage, to abandon
legal authority, in order to appease the contests of parties, is too
great a sacrifice. No true peace can come of it; only suppressed and
adjourned war."

The natural inference from the extracts we have given would be that Mr.
Fisher was a member of the Republican party. But such is not the fact:
Mr. Fisher rests his hope upon a party "yet to be organized." "The
extreme Northern, or Free-soil, or Abolition party is only less guilty
than the extreme Southern and Democratic party." Which? Does Mr. Fisher
mean that "Northern," "Free-soil," and "Abolition" are synonymous terms?
And does any or do all of them mean the Republican party? Or, finally,
does Mr. Fisher shrink from the conclusions presented by his logic, and
is his vaguely convenient linking together of different words intended
to leave his position gracefully doubtful? And in that case, do the
Baltimore nominations, with their innocent unconsciousness, supply his
political needs? It is not easy to answer these questions. We begin now
upon the views of a Pennsylvania Oppositionist; and quicksilver defied
not more utterly the skill of Raymond Lullius than the doctrines of the
Philadelphia school perplex the inquiries of sharply defined New England
minds. The rudimentary state of Republican principles may nowhere else
be so clearly seen as in Pennsylvania. Four years of the Democratic
administration of her "favorite son" have done much to make her less
favored sons into good Republicans; but the State needs another
Democratic President. Mr. Fisher appears to much more advantage in
pulling down than in building up. We have hitherto seen only the keen,
fearless dissector of fraud and hypocrisy; we are now to contemplate a
circumspect alarmist, who dreads to call things by their right names
for fear of unpleasant consequences. He is such a master of English,
so judicious in the use of middle terms,--so shrewd a fencer
altogether,--that even his timidity cannot make him other than a
formidable opponent.

Mr. Fisher, believing that slavery receives ample protection from a fair
interpretation of the Constitution, holds that

"Congress has plenary power over the Territories, often exercised on
this subject of slavery. It may be said that Congress has on various
occasions prohibited slavery in the Territories. True; but with the
consent and coöperation of the Southern States. The people of all the
States have equal right in the Territories. To exclude the people of the
Slave States, therefore, _without their consent_, would be unequal and
opposed to the spirit of the Constitution."

Certainly it would. Who proposes to do it? No living man, woman, or
child. It is worth noticing, by the way, that the Republican party is
not committed to the doctrine of carrying out the principle of the
Wilmot Proviso. But supposing it were, Mr. Fisher's argument has
no force or direction, unless he can establish his suppressed
premise,--that the exclusion of slavery from the Territories is the
exclusion of "the people of the Slave States" from the Territories.
And to make that good, all Mr. Fisher's skill and ingenuity will
be required. Why so many Northern politicians should have weakly
surrendered this point is a mystery. Because the slaveholders (who are
not, Mr. Fisher, "the people of the Slave States," by any means, but a
small portion of them) are at home a privileged aristocracy, have they
any claim to the same position abroad? If so, on what does it rest? The
laws of the Southern States? They are now beyond their jurisdiction. The
common law? To that wise and beneficent law slavery is a thing unknown.
The Constitution? It is silent. There is no exclusion of the Southerners
even proposed. Let them come: but when they claim to carry with them
the right to hold a certain class of men as property because they
are recognized as property by certain local regulations elsewhere
prevailing, they must not complain, if such a claim be disallowed. The
Southerner's complaint, that he is accustomed to the institution of
slavery, is fairly met by the Northerner's retort, that he is accustomed
to the institution of freedom.

Now, which voice shall prevail? Neither party has any more right than
the other; and neither party has any right at all. The Territories are
in a state of wardship; and Congress is to decide as it thinks best for
their welfare, present and future; and if Congress thinks that a nation
prospers with free institutions and droops under slavery, then let
Congress admit the Territory as a Free State. True, there is some
inconvenience to the slave-holder; but from so abnormal a relation as
slavery some inconvenience must result. When admitted to be a necessary
evil, it is barely tolerable; when boastingly proclaimed to be a
sovereign good, it is fairly intolerable. And it is both criminal and
foolish to try to make good all the evils inseparable from slavery by
systematic injustice to other interests.

  "Slavery has changed. When Southern
  men consented to its prohibition, they hoped
  and believed that the time would come when
  it could be abolished altogether. They have
  as much right to these as to their former opinions,
  and to have them represented in the
  Government."

Here Mr. Fisher hints at, rather than fully states, the grand retort of
the Southerners,--"Our fathers, you say, were opposed to slavery: very
good; but we are not: why should we be bound by their opinions?" A mere
misapprehension of the force of the argument. The Southerner of 1860 is
_not_ bound by the opinions of Madison and Jefferson; but the North
may fairly adduce the opinions of those men, who were framers of the
Constitution, not as binding upon their descendants, but as serving to
explain the meaning of disputed provisions in that Constitution. The
Constitution binds us all, North and South: then recurs the question,
What is the meaning of its provisions? and _then_ the contemporaneous
opinions of its framers come legitimately into play as an argument.

Of the Missouri Compromise Mr. Fisher says,--

  "It may be said that this law was a violation
  of the equal rights of the Southern people,
  by excluding them from a large portion
  of the national domain. The answer is, not
  merely that this was done with their consent,
  their representatives having approved the law,
  but that the law did recognize their rights,
  by dividing between them and the Northern
  people all the territory then possessed by the
  Government."

We are surprised that upon his own presentation of the case this simple
question does not occur to Mr. Fisher: Supposing the South and the North
to have had equal and conflicting rights in the national domain, and
supposing that there was need of some arbiter, and remembering that
Congress undertook the duties of arbiter and decided that the
division under the Missouri Compromise gave each section its rightful
share,--then, with what propriety can the South, after occupying its own
share, call for a portion in the share allotted to the North?

The second essay, on "Popular Sovereignty in the Territories," presents
comparatively few salient points. A very spirited and just history of
the working of the Administration schemes in Kansas, a restating of
some of the arguments against the Kansas-Nebraska Act set forth in the
preceding essay, and a remonstrance against the headstrong course of
Southern politicians are its most noticeable features.

  "The Union, the Constitution, and the
  friendship of the North: these are the pillars
  on which rest the peace, the safety, the
  independence of the South. The extraordinary
  thing is, that for some years past the South
  has been, and now is, sedulously employed in
  undermining this triple foundation of its power
  and safety. Its extravagant pretensions,
  its excesses, its crimes, are rapidly cooling
  the friendship of the North,--converting it,
  indeed, into positive enmity. Its leading politicians
  are ever plotting and threatening disunion.
  disunion will he proffered to them from the North, not
  as a vague and passionate threat, but as a positive
  and well-considered plan, backed by a
  force of public opinion which nothing can resist.
  Ere long, the South is likely to be left
  with no other defence than the Union it has
  weakened and the Constitution it has mutilated
  and defaced.

  "The makers of the Kansas and Nebraska
  law were clumsy workmen. They forgot to
  provide for the case of an anti-slavery President.
  They will, perhaps, learn wisdom by
  experience.

  "'To wilful men
  The injuries that they themselves procure
  Must be their schoolmasters.'

  "Those who framed the Constitution and laid
  the foundation of this Union understood their
  business better. That Constitution was intended
  to protect the South, and has protected
  it. Southern politicians cannot improve
  it. For their own sakes they had better
  let it alone."

We have given enough to show that in discussing Mr. Fisher we are
dealing with two different men. The field is now clear for the great
political contest of 1860. Mr. Fisher may have allied himself before
this with the Republicans, or may look to have his anticipations
fulfilled by that third party who are as unconscious of wrong as
powerless to rectify it, "the world-forgetting, by the world forgot." We
wish him well through his troubles.


_A Dictionary of English Etymology._ By HENSLEIGH WEDGWOOD, M. A. Late
Fellow of Chr. Coll. Cam. Vol. I. (A-D.) London: Trübner and Co., 60
Paternoster Row. 1859. pp. xxiv., 507.

There is nothing more dangerously fascinating than etymologies. To the
uninitiated the victim seems to have eaten of "insane _roots_ that take
the reason prisoner"; while the illuminate too often looks upon the
stems and flowers of language, the highest achievements of thought and
poesy, as mere handles by which to pull up the grimy tubers that lie at
the base of articulate expression, shapeless knobs of speech, sacred to
him as the potato to the Irishman.

The sarcasms of Swift were not without justification; for crazier
analogies than that between Andromache and Andrew Mackay have been
gravely insisted on by persons who, like the author of "Amilec,"
believed that the true secret of philosophizing _est celui de rêver
heureusement_. It is only within a few years that etymological
investigations have been limited by anything; like scientific precision,
or that profound study, patient thought, and severity of method
have asserted in this, as in other departments of knowledge, their
superiority to point-blank guessing and the bewitching generalization
conjured out of a couple or so of assumed facts, which, even if they
turn out to be singly true, are no more nearly related than Hecate and
green cheese.

We do not object to that milder form of philology of which the works
of Dean Trench offer the readiest and most pleasing example, and which
confines itself to the mere study of words, to the changes of form and
meaning they have undergone and the forgotten moral that lurks in them.
But the interest of Dr. Trench and others like him sticks fast in words,
it is almost wholly an aesthetic interest, and does not pretend to
concern itself with the deeper problems of language, its origin, its
comparative anatomy, its bearing upon the prehistoric condition of
mankind and the relations of races, and its claim to a place among the
natural sciences as an essential element in any attempt to reconstruct
the broken and scattered annals of our planet. It would not be just to
find fault with Dr. Trench's books for lacking a scientific treatment
to which they make no pretension, but they may fairly be charged with
smelling a little too much of the shop. There is a faint odor of the
sermon-case about every page, and we learn to dread, sometimes to skip,
the inevitable homily, as we do the moral at the end of an Æsopic fable.
We enter our protest, not against Dr. Trench in particular, for his
books have other and higher claims to our regard, but because we find
that his example is catching, the more so as verbal morality is much
cheaper than linguistic science. If there be anything which the study of
words should teach, it is their value.

There are two theories as to the origin of language, which, for
shortness, may be defined as the poetic and the matter-of-fact. The
former (of which M. Ernest Renan is one of the most eloquent advocates)
supposes a primitive race or races endowed with faculties of cognition
and expression so perfect and so intimately responsive one to the
other, that the name of a thing came into being coincidently with the
perception of it. Verbal inflections and other grammatical forms came
into use gradually to meet the necessities of social commerce between
man and man, and were at some later epoch reduced to logical system by
constructive minds. If we understand him rightly, while not excluding
the influence of _onomatopeia_, (or physical imitation,) he would attach
a far greater importance to metaphysical causes. He says admirably
well, "La liaison du sens et du mot n'est jamais _nécessaire_, jamais
_arbitraire_; toujours elle est _motivée_." His theory amounts to this:
that the fresh perfection of the senses and the mental faculties made
the primitive man a poet.

The other theory seeks the origin of language in certain imitative
radicals out of which it has analogically and metaphorically developed
itself. This system has at least the merits of clearness and simplicity,
and of being to a certain extent capable of demonstration. Its
limitation in this last respect will depend upon that mental
constitution which divides men naturally into Platonists and
Aristotelians. It has never before received so thorough an exposition
or been tested by so wide a range of application as in Mr. Wedgwood's
volume, nor could it well be more fortunate in its advocate. Mr.
Wedgwood is thorough, scrupulous, and fair-minded.

It will be observed that neither theory brings any aid to the attempt
of Professor Max Müller and others to demonstrate etymologically the
original unity of the human race. Mr. Wedgwood leaves this question
aside, as irrelevant to his purpose. M. Renan combats it at considerable
length. The logical consequence of admitting either theory would be that
the problem was simply indemonstrable.

At first sight, so imaginative a scheme as that of M. Renan is
singularly alluring; for, even when qualified by the sentence we have
quoted, we may attach such a meaning to the word _motivée_ as to find in
words the natural bodies of which the Platonic ideas are the soul and
spirit. We find in it a correlative illustration of that notion not
uncommon among primitive poets, and revived by the Cabalists, that
whoever knew the Word of a thing was master of the thing itself, and an
easy way of accounting for the innate fitness and necessity, the fore
ordination, which stamps the phrases of real poets. If, on the other
hand, we accept Mr. Wedgwood's system, we must consider speech, as
the theologians of the Middle Ages assumed of matter, to be only
_potentiated_ with life and soul, and shall find the phenomenon of
poetry as wonderful, if less mysterious, when we regard the fineness of
organization requisite to a perception of the remote analogies of sense
and thought, and the power, as of Solomon's seal, which can compel the
unwilling genius back into the leaden void which language becomes when
used as most men use it.

There is a large class of words which every body admits to be imitative
of sounds,--such, for example, as _bang, splash, crack_,--and Mr.
Wedgwood undertakes to show that their number and that of their
derivative applications is much larger than is ordinarily supposed. He
confines himself almost wholly to European languages, but not always to
the particular class of etymologies which it is his main object to trace
out. Some of his explanations of words, not based upon any real or
assumed radical, but showing their gradual passage toward their present
forms and meanings, are among the most valuable parts of the book.
As striking proofs of this, we refer our readers to Mr. Wedgwood's
treatment of the words _abide, abie, allow, danger, and denizen_. When
he differs from other authorities, it is never inconsiderately or
without examination. Now and then we think his derivations are
far-fetched, when simpler ones were lying near his hand. He makes the
Italian _balcone_ come from the Persian _båia khaneh_, an upper chamber.
An upper chamber over a gate in the Persian caravanserais is still
called by that name, according to Rich. (p. 97.) Yet under the
word _balk_ we find, "A hayloft is provincially termed the _balks_,
(Halliwell,) because situated among the rafters. Hence also, probably,
the Ital. _balco_, or _pulcoy_ a scaffold; a loftlike erection supported
upon beams." As a _balcone_ is not an upper chamber, nor a chamber over
a gate, but is precisely "a loftlike erection supported upon beams," it
seems more reasonable to suppose it an augmentative formed in the usual
way from _balco_. Mr. Wedgwood's derivation of barbican from _bala
khaneh_ seems to us more happy. (Ducange refers the word to an Eastern
source.) He would also derive the Fr. _ébaucher_ from _balk_, though we
have a correlative form, _sbozzare_, in Italian, (old Sp. _esbozar_,
Port, _esboyar_, Diez,) with precisely the same meaning, and from a
root _bozzo_, which is related to a very different class of words from
_balk_. So bewitched is Mr. Wedgwood with this word _balk_, that he
prefers to derive the Ital. _valicam, varcare_, from it rather than from
the Latin _varicare_. We should think a deduction from the latter to the
English _walk_ altogether as probable. Mr. Wedgwood also inclines to
seek the origin of _acquaint_ in the Germ, _kund_, though we have all
the intermediate steps between it and the Mid. Lat. _adcognitare_.
Again, under _daunt_ he says, "Probably not directly from Lat. _domare_,
but from the Teutonic form _damp_, which is essentially the same word."
It may be plain that the Fr. _dompter_ (whence _daunt_) is not directly
from _domare_, but not so plain, as it seems to us, that it is not
directly from the frequentative form domitare.--"_Decoy_. Properly
_duck-coy_, as pronounced by those who are familiar with the thing
itself. '_Decoys_, vulgarly _duck-coys_.'--Sketch of the Fens, in
Gardener's Chron. 1849. Du. _koye_, cavea, septum, locus in quo
greges stabulantur.--Kil. _Kooi, konw, kevi_, a cage; _vogel-kooi_, a
bird-cage, decoy, apparatus for entrapping waterfowl. Prov. E. _Coy_,
a decoy for ducks, a coop for lobsters.--Forby. The name was probably
imported with the thing itself from Holland to the fens." (p. 447.)
_Duck-coy_, we cannot help thinking, is an instance of a corruption like
_bag o' nails_ from _bacchanals_, for the sake of giving meaning to a
word not understood. Decoys were and are used for other birds as well as
ducks, and _vogel-kooi_ in Dutch applies to all birds, (answering to our
trap-cage,) the special apparatus for ducks being an _eende-kooi_. The
French _coi_ adverbialized by the prefix _de_, and meaning quietly,
slyly, as a hunter who uses decoys must demean himself, would seem
a more likely original.--_Andiron_ Mr. Wedgwood derives from Flem.
_wend-ijser_, turn-irons, because the spit rested upon them. But the
original meaning seems to have no reference to the spit. The French
_landier_ is plainly a corruption of the Mid. Lat. _anderia_, by the
absorption of the article (_l'andier_). This gives us an earlier form
_andier_, and the augmentative _andieron_ would be our word.--_Baggage_.
We cannot think Mr. Wedgwood's derivation of this word from _bague_ an
improvement on that of Ducange from _baga_, area.--_Coarse_ Mr. Wedgwood
considers identical with _course_,--that is, of course, ordinary. He
finds a confirmation of this in the old spelling. Old spelling is seldom
a safe guide, though we wonder that the archaic form _boorly_ did not
seem to him a sufficient authority for the common derivation of _burly_.
If _coarse_ be not another form of _gross_, (Fr. _gros_, _grosse_,)
then there is no connection between _corn_ and _granum_, or _horse_ and
_ross_.--"_Cullion_. It. _Coglione_, a cullion, a fool, a scoundrel,
properly a dupe. See Cully. It. _cogionare_, to deceive, to make a dupe
of.... In the Venet. _coglionare_ becomes _cogionare_, as _vogia_ for
_voglia_.... Hence E. to _cozen_, as It. _fregio_, frieze; _cugino_,
cousin; _prigione_, prison." (p. 387.) Under _cully_, to which Mr.
Wedgwood refers, he gives another etymology of _coglione_, and, we
think, a wrong one. _Coglionare_ is itself a derivative form from
_coglione_, and the radical meaning is to be sought in _cogliere_, to
gather, to take in, to pluck. Hence a _coglione_ is a sharper, one who
takes in, plucks. _Cully_ and _gull_ (one who is taken in) must be
referred to the same source. Mr. Wedgwood's derivation of _cozen_ is
ingenious, and perhaps accounts for the doubtful Germ, _kosen_, unless
that word itself be the original.--"_To chaff_, in vulgar language to
rally one, to chatter or talk lightly. From a representation of the
inarticulate sounds made by different kinds of animals uttering rapidly
repeated cries. Du. _keffen_, to yap, to bark, also to prattle, chatter,
tattle. Halma," etc. We think it demonstrable that _chaff_ is only a
variety of _chafe_, from Fr. _écauffer_, retaining the broader sound of
the _a_ from the older form _chaufe_. So _gaby_, which Mr. Wedgwood (p.
84) would connect with _gäwisch_, (Fr. _gauche_,) is derived immediately
from O. Fr. _gabé_, (a laughing-stock, a butt,) the participial form of
_gaber_, to make fun of, which would lead us to a very different root.
(See the _Fabliaux, passim_.)--_Cress_. "Perhaps," says Mr. Wedgwood,
(p. 398,) "from the crunching sound of eating the crisp, green herb."
This is one of the instances in which he is lured from the plain path by
the Nixy _Onomatopoeia_. The analogy between _cress_ and _grass_ flies
in one's eyes; and, perhaps, the more probable derivation of the latter
is from the root meaning to grow, rather than from that meaning to eat,
unless, indeed, the two be originally identical. The A. S. forms
_coers_ and _goers_ are almost identical. The Fr. _cresson_, from It.
_crescione_, which Mr. Wedgwood cites, points in the direction of
_crescere_; and the O. Fr. _cressonage_, implying a verb _cressoner_,
means the right of _grazing_.--Under _dock_ Mr. Wedgwood would seem
(he does not make himself quite clear) to refer It. _doccia_ to a root
analogous with _dyke_ and _ditch_. He cites Prov. _doga_, which he
translates by _bank_. Raynouard has only "_dogua_, douve, creux,
cavité," and refers to It. _doga_. The primary meaning seems rather
the hollow than the bank, though this would matter little, as the same
transference of meaning may have taken place as in _dyke_ and _ditch_,
But when Mr. Wedgwood gives mill-_dam_ as the first meaning of the word
_doccia_, his wish seems to have stood godfather. Diez establishes the
derivation of _doccia_ from _ductus_; and certainly the sense of
a channel to lead (_ducere_) water in any desired direction is
satisfactory. The derivative signification of _doccia_ (a gouge, a tool
to make channels with) coincides. Moreover, we have the masculine form
_doccio_, answering exactly to the Sp. _ducho_ in _aguaducho_, the _o_
for _u_, as in _doge_ for _duce_, from the same root _ducere_. Another
instance of Mr. Wedgwood's preferring the bird in the bush is to be
found in his refusing to consider _dout_, to extinguish, (_do out_,) as
analogous to _don, _doff_, and _dup_. He would rather connect it with
_tödten, tuer_. He cites as allied words Bohemian _dusyti_, to choke, to
extinguish; Polish _dusic_, to choke, stifle, quell; and so arrives at
the English slang phrase, "_dowse_ the glim." As we find several other
German words in thieves' English, we have little doubt that _dowse_ is
nothing more than _thu' aus_, do (thou) out, which would bring us back
to our starting-point.

We have picked out a few instances in which we think Mr. Wedgwood
demonstrably mistaken, because they show the temptation which is ever
lying in wait to lead the theoretical etymologist astray. Mr. Wedgwood
sometimes seems to reverse the natural order of things, and to reason
backward from the simple to the more complex. He does not always respect
the boundaries of legitimate deduction. On the other hand, his case
becomes very strong where he finds relations of thought as well as of
sound between whole classes of words in different languages. But it is
very difficult to say how long ago instinctive imitation ceased and
other elements are to be admitted as operative. We see words continually
coming into vogue whose apparent etymologies, if all historical data of
their origin were lost, would inevitably mislead. If we did not know,
for example, the occasion which added the word _chouse_ to the English
language, we have little doubt that the twofold analogy of form and
meaning would have led etymologists to the German _kosen_, (with the
very common softening of the _k_ to _ch_,) and that the derivation would
have been perfectly satisfactory to most minds.--_Tantrums_ would look
like a word of popular coinage, and yet we find a respectable Old High
German verb _tantarôn_, delirare, (Graff, V. 437,) which may perhaps
help us to make out the etymology of _dander_, in our vulgar expression
of "getting one's dander up," which is equivalent to flying into a
passion.--_Jog_, in the sense of _going_, (to _jog_ along,) has a vulgar
look. Richardson derives it from the same root with the other _jog_,
which means to shake, ("A. S. _sceac-an_, to _shake_, or _shock_, or
_shog_.") _Shog_ has nothing whatever to do with shaking, unless when
Nym says to Pistol, "Will you _shog_ off?" he may be said to have shaken
him off. When the Tinker in Beaumont and Fletcher's "Coxcomb" says,
"Come, prithee, let's _shog_ off," what possible allusion to shaking is
there, except, perhaps, to "shaking stumps"? The first _jog_ and _shog_
are identical in meaning and derivation, and may be traced, by whosoever
chooses, to the Gothic _tiuhan_, (Germ, _ziehen_,) and are therefore
near of kin to our _tug_. _Togs_ and _toggery_ belong here also. (The
connecting link may be seen in the preterite form _zog_.) The other
_jog_ probably comes to us immediately from the French _choquer_; and
its frequentative _joggle_ answers to the German _schutkeln_, It.
_cioccolare_. Whether they are all remotely from the same radical is
another question. We only cited it as a monosyllabic word, having
the air of being formed by the imitative process, while its original
_tiuhan_ makes quite another impression.--Had the word _ramose_ been a
word of English slang-origin, (and it might easily have been imported,
like so many more foreign phrases, by sailors,) we have as little doubt
that a derivation of it from the Spanish _vamos_ would have failed to
convince the majority of etymologists. This word is a good example of
the way in which the people (and it is always the people, never the
scholars, who succeed in adding to the spoken language) proceed in
naturalizing a foreign term. The accent has gone over to the last
syllable, in accordance with English usage in verbs of two syllables;
and though the sharp sound of the _s_ has been thus far retained, it is
doubtful how long it will maintain itself against a fancied analogy
with the grave sound of the same letter in such words as _inclose_ and
_suppose_.--We should incline to think the slang verb _to mosey_ a mere
variety of form, and that its derivation from a certain absconding
Mr. Moses (who broke the law of his great namesake through a blind
admiration of his example in spoiling the Egyptians) was only a new
instance of that tendency to mythologize which is as strong as ever
among the uneducated. _Post, ergo propter_, is good people's-logic; and
if an antecedent be wanting, it will not be long before one is invented.

If we once admit the principle of _onomatopoeia_, the difficulty remains
of drawing the line which shall define the territory within which those
capable of judging would limit its operation. Its boundary would be
a movable one, like that of our own Confederacy. Some students, from
natural fineness of ear, would be quicker to recognize resemblances of
sound; others would trace family likeness in spite of every disguise;
others, whose exquisiteness of perception was mental, would find the
scent in faint analogies of meaning, where the ordinary brain would be
wholly at fault. In the original genesis of language, also, we should
infer the influence of the same idiosyncrasies. We were struck with this
the other day in a story we heard of a little boy, who, during a violent
thunder-storm, asked his father what that was out there,--all the while
winking rapidly to explain his meaning. Had his vocabulary been more
complete, he would have asked what that _winking_ out there was. The
impression made upon him by the lightning was not the ordinary one of
brightness, (as in _blitz_, (?) _éclair_, _fulmen_, _flash_,) but of
the rapid alternations of light and dark. Had he been obliged to make
a language for himself, like the two unfortunate children on whom King
Psarnmetichus made his linguistic experiment, he would have christened
the phenomenon accordingly.

Mr. Wedgwood has by no means carried out his theory fully even in
reference to the words contained in his first volume, nor does the
volume itself nearly exhaust the vocabulary of the letters it includes
(A to D). Sometimes, where we should have expected him to apply his
system, he refrains, whether from caution or oversight it is not easy
to discover. The word _cow_, which is commonly referred to an imitative
radical, he is provokingly reserved about; and under _chew_ he hints
at no relation between the name of the action and that of the capital
ruminant animal.[a] Even where he has derived a word from an imitative
radical, he sometimes fails to carry the process on to some other where
it would seem equally applicable, sometimes pushes it too far. For
instance, "_Crag_. 1. The neck, the throat.--Jam. Du. _kraeghe_, the
throat; Pol. _kark_, the nape, crag, neck; Bohem. _krk_, the neck; Icel.
_krage_, Dan. _krave_, the collar of a coat. The origin is an imitation
of the noise made by clearing the throat. Bohem. _krkati_, to belch,
_krcati_, to vomit; Pol. _krzakaé_, to hem, to hawk. The same root gives
rise to the Fr. _cracher_, to spit, and It. _recere_, to vomit; E.
_reach_, to strain in vomiting; Icel. _hraki_, spittle; A. S. _hrara_,
cough, phlegm, the throat, jaws; G. _rachen_, the jaws." (As _crag_
is not an English word, all this should have come under the head of
_craw_.) "_Crag_. 2. A rock. Gael. _creag_, a rock; W. _careg_, a stone;
_caregos_, pebbles." We do not see why the rattling sound of stones
should not give them a claim to the same pedigree,--the name being
afterwards transferred to the larger mass, the reverse of which we see
in the popular _rock_ for _stone_. Nay, as Mr. Wedgwood (_sub voce
draff_, p. 482) assumes _rac_ (more properly _rk_) as the root, it would
answer equally well for _rock_ also. Indeed, as the chief occupation
of crags, and their only amusement, in mountainous regions, is to pelt
unwary passengers and hunters of scenery with their _débris_, we might
have _creag, quasi caregos faciens sive dejiciens, sicut rupes a
rumpere_. Indeed, there is an analogous Sanscrit root, meaning _break,
crack_. But though Mr. Wedgwood lets off this coughing, hawking,
spitting, and otherwise unpleasant old patriarch _Rac_ so easily in
the case of the foundling _Crag_, he has by no means done with him.
Stretched on the unfilial instrument of torture that bears his name, he
is made to confess the paternity of _draff_, and _dregs_, and _dross_,
and so many other uncleanly brats, that we feel as if he ought to be
nailed by the ear to the other side of the same post on which Mr.
Carlyle has pilloried August _der starke_ forever. But we honestly
believe the old fellow to be belied, and that he is as guiltless of them
as of that weak-witted Hebrew _Raca_ who looks so much like him in the
face.

[Footnote a: An etymology of this kind would have been particularly
interesting in the hands of so learned and acute a man as Mr. Wedgwood.
It would have afforded him a capital example of the fact that
considerable differences in the form and sound of words meaning the same
thing prove nothing against the onomatopoeic theory, but merely that the
same sound represents a different thing to different ears. L. _Boare,
mugire_, E. _moo_; F. _beugler_, E. _bellow_; G. _leuen_, L. _lugere_,
E. _low_, are all attempts at the same sound, or, which would not affect
the question, variations of an original radical _gô_ or _gu_. For a
full discussion of the matter, admirable for its thorough learning, see
Pictet, _Les Origines Indo-Européennes_, Vol. I. Section 86.]

In the case of _crag_, Mr. Wedgwood argues from a sound whose frequency
and marked character (and colds must have been frequent when the
fig-tree was the only draper) gave a name to the organ producing it.
We can easily imagine it. One of these early pagans comes home of an
evening, heated from the chase, and squats himself on the damp clay
floor of a country-seat imperfectly guarded against draughts. The next
morning he says to his helpmeet, "Mrs. Barbar, I have a dreadful cold
in my--_hrac_! _hrac_!" Here he is interrupted by a violent fit of
coughing, and resorts to semeiology by pointing to his throat. Similar
incidents carrying apprehension (as Lord Macaulay would say) to the
breezy interiors of a thousand shanties on the same fatal morning, the
domestic circle would know no name so expressive as _hrac_ for that
fatal tube through which man, ingenious in illegitimate perversion,
daily compels the innocent breath to discharge a plumbeous hail of
rhetoric.

But seriously, we think Mr. Wedgwood's derivation of _crag_ (or rather,
that which he adopts, for it has had other advocates) a very probable
one, at least for more northern tribes. There is no reason why men
should have escaped the same law of nomenclature which gave names to the
_cuckoo_ and the _pavo_.[a] But when he approaches _draff_, he gets upon
thinner ice. Where a metaphorical appropriateness is plainly wanting to
one etymology and another as plainly supplies it, other considerations
being equal, probability may fairly turn the scale in favor of the
latter. Mr. Wedgwood is here dealing with a sound translated to another
meaning by an intellectual process of analogy; and no one knows better
than he--for his book shows everywhere the fair-mindedness of a thorough
scholar--the extreme difficulty of convincing other minds in such
matters. He seems to have been unconsciously influenced in this case by
a desire to give more support to a very ingenious etymology of the word
_dream_. His process of reasoning may be briefly stated thus: _draff_
and _dregs_ are refuse, they are things thrown away, sometimes (as in
German _dreck_, sordes) they are even disgustful; and as there is no
expression of contempt and disgust so strong as spitting, the sound
_rac_ transferred itself by a natural association of ideas from the act
to the object of it. He cites Du. _drabbe_, Dan. _drav_, Ger. _träbern_,
Icel. _dregg_, Prov. _draco_, Ger., Du. _dreck_, O. F. _drache,
drêche_, (and he might have added E. _trash_,) E. _dross_, all with
nearly the same meaning. We have selected such as would show the
different forms of the word. To the same radical Mr. Wedgwood refers G.
_trüjen_, _betrügen_, and this would carry with it our English _trick_
(Prov. _tric_, in Diez, Fr. _triche_). In our opinion he is wrong,
doubly wrong, inasmuch as we think he has confounded two widely
different roots. He has taken his O. Fr. forms from Roquefort (Gloss.
Rom. I. 411,) but has omitted one of his definitions, _coque qui
enveloope le grain_, that is, the husk, or hull. Mr. Wedgwood might
perhaps found an argument on this in support of our old friend _Rac_ and
his relation to huskiness; but it seems to us one of those trifles, the
turned leaf, or broken twig, that put one on the right trail. We
accept Mr. Wedgwood's derivative signification of _refuse, worthless,
contemptible_, and ask if all these terms do not apply equally well to
the chaff of the threshing-floor? It is more satisfactory to us, then,
to attribute a part of the words given above to the Gothic _dragan_,
(L. _trahere_, G. _tragen_,) to drag, to draw, and a part to Goth.
_thriskan_, to thresh. The conjecture of Diez, (cited by Diefenbach,)
that the Italian _trescare_ (to stamp with the feet, to dance) should
be referred to the same root, is confirmed by the ancient practice of
threshing grain by treading it out with cattle. We might, indeed, refer
all to one root, by deriving _dross_ (a provincial form of which is
_drass_) through the O. Fr. _drache_, (as in O. Fr. _treche_, Fr.
_tresse_, E. _tress_,) but we have A. S. _dresten_, which is better
accounted for by _therscan_. The other forms, such as _drabbe_, _dregg_,
and _dragan_, the _b_ and _v_ being analogous to E. _draggle, drabble,
draught, draft_, all equally from _dragan_. We have a suspicion that
_dragon_ is to be referred to the same root. Mr. Wedgwood follows
Richardson, who follows Vossius in a fanciful etymology from the Greek
[Greek: derkomai = blepein] to see. Sharpness of sight, it is true, was
attributed to the mythologized reptile, but the primitive _draco_ was
nothing but a large serpent, supposed to be the boa. This sense must
accordingly be comparatively modern. The eagle is the universal type of
keenness of vision. The reptile's way of moving himself without legs is
his most striking peculiarity; and if we derive _dragon_ from the root
meaning to drag, to draw, (because he draws himself along,) we find it
analogous to _serpent_, _reptile_, _snake_.[b] The relation between
[Greek: trechein] and _dragan_ may be seen in G. _ziehen_, meaning both
to draw and to go. Mr. Wedgwood says that he finds it hard to conceive
any relation between the notion of _treachery_, _betrayal_, (_trügen_,
_betrügen_,) and that of drawing. It would seem that to _draw_ into
an ambush, the _drawing_ of a fowler's net, and the more sublimated
_drawing_ a man on to his destruction, supplied analogies enough. The
contempt we feel for treachery (for it is only in this metaphysical way
that Mr. Wedgwood can connect the word with his radical _rac_[c]) is a
purely subsidiary, derivative, and comparatively modern notion. Many,
perhaps most, kinds of treachery were looked upon as praiseworthy in
early times, and are still so regarded among savages. Does Mr. Wedgwood
believe that Romulus lost caste by the way in which he made so many
respectable Sabines fathers-in-law against their will, or that the wise
Odysseus was a perfectly admirable gentleman in our sense of the word?
Even in the sixteenth century, in the then most civilized country of the
world, the grave irony with which Macchiavelli commends the frightful
treacheries of Cæsar Borgia would have had no point, if he had not taken
it for granted that almost all who read his treatise would suppose him
to be in earnest. In the same way _dregs_ is explained simply as the
sediment left after _drawing off_ liquids. _Dredge_ also is certainly,
in one of its meanings, a derivative of _dragan_; so, too, _trick_ in
whist, and perhaps _trudge_. Indeed, all the words above-cited are more
like each other than Fr. _toit_ and E. _deck_, both from one root, or
the Neapol. _sciù_ and the Lat. _flos_, from which it is corrupted.

[Footnote a: The German _pfau_ retains the imitative sound which the
English _pea_-cock has lost, and of which our system of pronunciation
robs the Latin.]

[Footnote b: And to _worm_, (another word for _dragon_,) if, as has been
conjectured, there be any radical affinity between that and _schwärmen_,
whose primitive sense of crawl or creep is seen in the _swarming_ of
bees, and _swarming_ up a tree.]

[Footnote c: That is, unless he takes the _rag_ in _dragan_ to be the
same thing, which he might support with several plausible analogies,
such as E. _rake_, It. _recare_, etc.]

But the same subtilty of mind, which sometimes seduces Mr. Wedgwood into
making distinctions without a difference and preferring an impalpable
relation of idea to a plain derivative affinity, is of great advantage
to him when the problem is to construct an etymology by following the
gossamer clews that lead from sensual images to the metaphorical and
tropical adaptations of them to the demands of fancy and thought. The
nice optics that see what is not to be seen have passed into a sarcastic
proverb; yet those are precisely the eyes that are in the heads and
brains of all who accomplish much, whether in science, poetry, or
philosophy. With the kind of etymologies we are speaking of, it is
practically useful to have the German gift of summoning a thing up from
the depths of one's inward consciousness. It is when Mr. Wedgwood would
reverse the order of Nature, and proceed from the tropical to the direct
and simple, that we are at issue with him. For it is not philosophers
who make language, though they often unmake it.

Mr. Wedgwood's most successful application of his system may be found,
as we think, under the words, _dim_, _dumb_, _deaf_, and _death_. He
might have confirmed the relation between dumbness and darkness from the
acutest metaphysician among poets, in Dante's _ove il sol tace_. We have
not left ourselves room enough to illustrate Mr. Wedgwood's handling of
these etymologies by extracts; we must refer our readers to the book
itself. Apart from its value as suggesting thought, or quickening our
perception of shades of meaning, and so freshening our feeling of the
intimate harmony of sense and spirit in language, and of the thousand
ways in which the soul assumes the material world into her own heaven
and transfigures it there, the volume will be found practically the most
thorough contribution yet made to English etymology. We are glad to hear
that we are to have an American edition of it under the able supervision
of Mr. Marsh. Etymology becomes of practical importance, when, as the
newspapers inform us, two members of a New York club have been fighting
a duel because one of them doubted whether Garry Baldy were of Irish
descent. Any student of language could have told them that Garibaldi is
only the plural form (common in Italian family names) of Garibaldo, the
Teutonic Heribald, whose meaning, appropriate enough in this case, would
be nearly equivalent to Bold Leader.



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June 4, 1860. Boston. Thayer & Eldredge. 8vo. paper, pp. 118. 25 cts.





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