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Title: The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 06, No. 36, October, 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. 36, October, 1860" ***

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We left Carlisle at a little past eleven, and within the half-hour
were at Gretna Green. Thence we rushed onward into Scotland through a
flat and dreary tract of country, consisting mainly of desert and bog,
where probably the moss-troopers were accustomed to take refuge after
their raids into England. Anon, however, the hills hove themselves up
to view, occasionally attaining a height which might almost be called
mountainous. In about two hours we reached Dumfries, and alighted at
the station there.

Chill as the Scottish summer is reputed to be, we found it an awfully
hot day, not a whit less so than the day before; but we sturdily
adventured through the burning sunshine up into the town, inquiring
our way to the residence of Burns. The street leading from the station
is called Shakspeare Street; and at its farther extremity we read
"Burns Street" on a corner house,--the avenue thus designated having
been formerly known as "Mill Hole Brae." It is a vile lane, paved with
small, hard stones from side to side, and bordered by cottages or mean
houses of white-washed stone, joining one to another along the whole
length of the street. With not a tree, of course, or a blade of grass
between the paving-stones, the narrow lane was as hot as Tophet, and
reeked with a genuine Scotch odor, being infested with unwashed
children, and altogether in a state of chronic filth; although some
women seemed to be hopelessly scrubbing the thresholds of their
wretched dwellings. I never saw an outskirt of a town less fit for a
poet's residence, or in which it would be more miserable for any man
of cleanly predilections to spend his days.

We asked for Burns's dwelling; and a woman pointed across the street
to a two-story house, built of stone, and white-washed, like its
neighbors, but perhaps of a little more respectable aspect than most
of them, though I hesitate in saying so. It was not a separate
structure, but under the same continuous roof with the next. There was
an inscription on the door, bearing no reference to Burns, but
indicating that the house was now occupied by a ragged or industrial
school. On knocking, we were instantly admitted by a servant-girl, who
smiled intelligently when we told our errand, and showed us into a low
and very plain parlor, not more than twelve or fifteen feet square.

A young woman, who seemed to be a teacher in the school, soon
appeared, and told us that this had been Burns's usual sitting-room,
and that he had written many of his songs here.

She then led us up a narrow staircase into a little bed-chamber over
the parlor. Connecting with it, there is a very small room, or
windowed closet, which Burns used as a study; and the bedchamber
itself was the one where he slept in his latter life-time, and in
which he died at last. Altogether, it is an exceedingly unsuitable
place for a pastoral and rural poet to live or die in,--even more
unsatisfactory than Shakspeare's house, which has a certain homely
picturesqueness that contrasts favorably with the suburban sordidness
of the abode before us. The narrow lane, the paving-stones, and the
contiguity of wretched hovels are depressing to remember; and the
steam of them (such is our human weakness) might almost make the
poet's memory less fragrant.

As already observed, it was an intolerably hot day. After leaving the
house, we found our way into the principal street of the town, which,
it may be fair to say, is of very different aspect from the wretched
outskirt above described. Entering a hotel, (in which, as a Dumfries
guide-book assured us, Prince Charles Edward had once spent a night,)
we rested and refreshed ourselves, and then set forth in quest of the
mausoleum of Burns.

Coming to St. Michael's Church, we saw a man digging a grave; and,
scrambling out of the hole, he let us into the churchyard, which was
crowded full of monuments. Their general shape and construction are
peculiar to Scotland, being a perpendicular tablet of marble or other
stone, within a frame-work of the same material, somewhat resembling
the frame of a looking-glass; and, all over the churchyard, these
sepulchral memorials rise to the height of ten, fifteen, or twenty
feet, forming quite an imposing collection of monuments, but inscribed
with names of small general significance. It was easy, indeed, to
ascertain the rank of those who slept below; for in Scotland it is the
custom to put the occupation of the buried personage (as "Skinner,"
"Shoemaker," "Flesher") on his tombstone. As another peculiarity,
wives are buried under their maiden names, instead of their husbands;
thus giving a disagreeable impression that the married pair have
bidden each other an eternal farewell on the edge of the grave.

There was a footpath through this crowded churchyard, sufficiently
well-worn to guide us to the grave of Burns; but a woman followed
behind us, who, it appeared, kept the key of the mausoleum, and was
privileged to show it to strangers. The monument is a sort of Grecian
temple, with pilasters and a dome, covering a space of about twenty
feet square. It was formerly open to all the inclemencies of the
Scotch atmosphere, but is now protected and shut in by large squares
of rough glass, each pane being of the size of one whole side of the
structure. The woman unlocked the door, and admitted us into the
interior. Inlaid into the floor of the mausoleum is the gravestone of
Burns,--the very same that was laid over his grave by Jean Armour,
before this monument was built. Stuck against the surrounding wall is
a marble statue of Burns at the plough, with the Genius of Caledonia
summoning the ploughman to turn poet. Methought it was not a very
successful piece of work; for the plough was better sculptured than
the man, and the man, though heavy and cloddish, was more effective
than the goddess. Our guide informed us that an old man of ninety, who
knew Burns, certifies, this statue to be very like the original.

The bones of the poet, and of Jean Armour, and of some of their
children, lie in the vault over which we stood. Our guide (who was
intelligent, in her own plain way, and very agreeable to talk withal)
said that the vault was opened about three weeks ago, on occasion of
the burial of the eldest son of Burns. The poet's bones were
disturbed, and the dry skull, once so brimming over with powerful
thought and bright and tender fantasies, was taken away, and kept for
several days by a Dumfries doctor. It has since been deposited in a
new leaden coffin, and restored to the vault. We learned that there is
a surviving daughter of Burns's eldest son, and daughters likewise of
the two younger sons,--and, besides these, an illegitimate posterity
by the eldest son, who appears to have been of disreputable life in
his younger days. He inherited his father's failings, with some faint
shadow, I have also understood, of the great qualities which have made
the world tender of his father's vices and weaknesses.

We listened readily enough to this paltry gossip, but found that it
robbed the poet's memory of some of the reverence that was its due.
Indeed, this talk over his grave had very much the same tendency and
effect as the home-scene of his life, which we had been visiting just
previously. Beholding his poor, mean dwelling and its surroundings,
and picturing his outward life and earthly manifestations from these,
one does not so much wonder that the people of that day should have
failed to recognize all that was admirable and immortal in a
disreputable, drunken, shabbily clothed, and shabbily housed man,
consorting with associates of damaged character, and, as his only
ostensible occupation, gauging the whiskey which he too often tasted.
Siding with Burns, as we needs must, in his plea against the world,
let us try to do the world a little justice too. It is far easier to
know and honor a poet when his fame has taken shape in the
spotlessness of marble than when the actual man comes staggering
before you, besmeared with the sordid stains of his daily life. For my
part, I chiefly wonder that his recognition dawned so brightly while
he was still living. There must have been something very grand in his
immediate presence, some strangely impressive characteristic in his
natural behavior, to have caused him to seem like a demigod so soon.

As we went back through the churchyard, we saw a spot where nearly
four hundred inhabitants of Dumfries were buried during the cholera
year; and also some curious old monuments, with raised letters, the
inscriptions on which were not sufficiently legible to induce us to
puzzle them out; but, I believe, they mark the resting-places of old
Covenanters, some of whom were killed by Claverhouse and his

St. Michael's Church is of red freestone, and was built about a
hundred years ago, on an old Catholic foundation. Our guide admitted
us into it, and showed us, in the porch, a very pretty little marble
figure of a child asleep, with a drapery over the lower part, from
beneath which appeared its two baby feet. It was truly a sweet little
statue; and the woman told us that it represented a child of the
sculptor, and that the baby (here still in its marble infancy) had
died more than twenty-six years ago. "Many ladies," she said,
"especially such as had ever lost a child, had shed tears over it." It
was very pleasant to think of the sculptor bestowing the best of his
genius and art to re-create his tender child in stone, and to make the
representation as soft and sweet as the original; but the conclusion
of the story has something that jars with our awakened sensibilities.
A gentleman from London had seen the statue, and was so much delighted
with it that he bought it of the father-artist, after it had lain
above a quarter of a century in the church-porch. So this was not the
real, tender image that came out of the father's heart; he had sold
that truest one for a hundred guineas, and sculptured this mere copy
to replace it. The first figure was entirely naked in its earthly and
spiritual innocence. The copy, as I have said above, has a drapery
over the lower limbs. But, after all, if we come to the truth of the
matter, the sleeping baby may be as fitly reposited in the
drawing-room of a connoisseur as in a cold and dreary church-porch.

We went into the church, and found it very plain and naked, without
altar-decorations, and having its floor quite covered with unsightly
wooden pews. The woman led us to a pew cornering on one of the
side-aisles, and, telling us that it used to be Burns's family-pew,
showed us his seat, which is in the corner by the aisle. It is so
situated, that a sturdy pillar hid him from the pulpit, and from the
minister's eye; "for Robin was no great friends with the ministers,"
said she. This touch--his seat behind the pillar, and Burns himself
nodding in sermon-time, or keenly observant of profane things--brought
him before us to the life. In the corner seat of the next pew, right
before Burns, and not more than two feet off, sat the young lady on
whom the poet saw that unmentionable parasite which he has
immortalized in song. We were ungenerous enough to ask the lady's
name, but the good woman could not tell it. This was the last thing
which we saw in Dumfries worthy of record; and it ought to be noted
that our guide refused some money which my companion offered her,
because I had already paid her what she deemed sufficient.

At the railway-station we spent more than a weary hour, waiting for
the train, which at last came up, and took us to Mauchline. We got
into an omnibus, the only conveyance to be had, and drove about a mile
to the village, where we established ourselves at the Loudoun Hotel,
one of the veriest country-inns which we have found in Great Britain.
The town of Mauchline, a place more redolent of Burns than almost any
other, consists of a street or two of contiguous cottages, mostly
white-washed, and with thatched roofs. It has nothing sylvan or rural
in the immediate village, and is as ugly a place as mortal man could
contrive to make, or to render uglier through a succession of untidy
generations. The fashion of paving the village-street, and patching
one shabby house on the gable-end of another, quite shuts out all
verdure and pleasantness; but, I presume, we are not likely to see a
more genuine old Scotch village, such as they used to be in Burns's
time, and long before, than this of Mauchline. The church stands about
midway up the street, and is built of red freestone, very simple in
its architecture, with a square tower and pinnacles. In this sacred
edifice, and its churchyard, was the scene of one of Burns's most
characteristic productions,--"The Holy Fair."

Almost directly opposite its gate, across the village-street, stands
Posie Nansie's inn, where the "Jolly Beggars" congregated. The latter
is a two-story, redstone, thatched house, looking old, but by no means
venerable, like a drunken patriarch. It has small, old-fashioned
windows, and may well have stood for centuries,--though, seventy or
eighty years ago, when Burns was conversant with it, I should fancy it
might have been something better than a beggars' alehouse. The whole
town of Mauchline looks rusty and time-worn,--even the newer houses,
of which there are several, being shadowed and darkened by the general
aspect of the place. When we arrived, all the wretched little
dwellings seemed to have belched forth their inhabitants into the warm
summer evening; everybody was chatting with everybody, on the most
familiar terms; the bare-legged children gambolled or quarrelled
uproariously, and came freely, moreover, and looked into the window of
our parlor. When we ventured out, we were followed by the gaze of the
whole town: people standing in their door-ways, old women popping
their heads from the chamber-windows, and stalwart men--idle on
Saturday at e'en, after their week's hard labor--clustering at the
street-corners, merely to stare at our unpretending selves. Except in
some remote little town of Italy, (where, besides, the inhabitants had
the intelligible stimulus of beggary,) I have never been honored with
nearly such an amount of public notice.

The next forenoon my companion put me to shame by attending church,
after vainly exhorting me to do the like; and, it being Sacrament
Sunday, and my poor friend being wedged into the farther end of a
closely filled pew, he was forced to stay through the preaching of
four several sermons, and came back perfectly exhausted and desperate.
He was somewhat consoled, however, on finding that he had witnessed a
spectacle of Scotch manners identical with that of Burns's "Holy
Fair," on the very spot where the poet located that immortal
description. By way of further conformance to the customs of the
country, we ordered a sheep's head and the broth, and did penance
accordingly; and at five o'clock we took a fly, and set out for
Burns's farm of Moss Giel.

Moss Giel is not more than a mile from Mauchline, and the road extends
over a high ridge of land, with a view of far hills and green slopes
on either side. Just before we reached the farm, the driver stopped to
point out a hawthorn, growing by the way-side, which he said was
Burns's "Lousie Thorn"; and I devoutly plucked a branch, although I
have really forgotten where or how this illustrious shrub has been
celebrated. We then turned into a rude gateway, and almost immediately
came to the farm-house of Moss Giel, standing some fifty yards removed
from the high-road, behind a tall hedge of hawthorn, and considerably
overshadowed by trees. The house is a whitewashed stone cottage, like
thousands of others in England and Scotland, with a thatched roof, on
which grass and weeds have intruded a picturesque, though alien
growth. There is a door and one window in front, besides another
little window that peeps out among the thatch. Close by the cottage,
and extending back at right angles from it, so as to inclose the
farm-yard, are two other buildings of the same size, shape, and
general appearance as the house: any one of the three looks just as
fit for a human habitation as the two others, and all three look still
more suitable for donkey-stables and pig-sties. As we drove into the
farm-yard, bounded on three sides by these three hovels, a large dog
began to bark at us; and some women and children made their
appearance, but seemed to demur about admitting us, because the master
and mistress were very religious people, and had not yet come back
from the Sacrament at Mauchline.

However, it would not do to be turned back from the very threshold of
Robert Burns; and as the women seemed to be merely straggling
visitors, and nobody, at all events, had a right to send us away, we
went into the back-door, and, turning to the right, entered a kitchen.
It showed a deplorable lack of housewifely neatness, and in it there
were three or four children, one of whom, a girl eight or nine years
old, held a baby in her arms. She proved to be the daughter of the
people of the house, and gave us what leave she could to look about
us. Thence we stepped across the narrow mid-passage of the cottage
into the only other apartment below-stairs, a sitting-room, where we
found a young man eating bread and cheese. He informed us that he did
not live there, and had only called in to refresh himself on his way
home from church. This room, like the kitchen, was a noticeably poor
one, and, besides being all that the cottage had to show for a parlor,
it was a sleeping-apartment, having two beds, which might be curtained
off, on occasion. The young man allowed us liberty (so far as in him
lay) to go upstairs. Up we crept, accordingly; and a few steps brought
us to the top of the staircase, over the kitchen, where we found the
wretchedest little sleeping-chamber in the world, with a sloping roof
under the thatch, and two beds spread upon the bare floor. This, most
probably, was Burns's chamber; or, perhaps, it may have been that of
his mother's servant-maid; and, in either case, this rude floor, at
one time or another, must have creaked beneath the poet's midnight
tread. On the opposite side of the passage was the door of another
attic-chamber, opening which, I saw a considerable number of cheeses
on the floor.

The whole house was pervaded with a frowzy smell, and also a
dunghill-odor, and it is not easy to understand how the atmosphere of
such a dwelling can be any more agreeable or salubrious morally than
it appeared to be physically. No virgin, surely, could keep a holy awe
about her while stowed higgledy-piggledy with coarse-natured rustics
into this narrowness and filth. Such a habitation is calculated to
make beasts of men and women; and it indicates a degree of barbarism
which I did not imagine to exist in Scotland, that a tiller of broad
fields, like the farmer of Mauchline, should have his abode in a
pig-sty. It is sad to think of anybody--not to say a poet, but any
human being--sleeping, eating, thinking, praying, and spending all his
home-life in this miserable hovel; but, methinks, I never in the least
knew how to estimate the miracle of Burns's genius, nor his heroic
merit for being no worse man, until I thus learned the squalid
hindrances amid which he developed himself. Space, a free atmosphere,
and cleanliness have a vast deal to do with the possibilities of human

The biographers talk of the farm of Moss Giel as being damp and
unwholesome; but I do not see why, outside of the cottage-walls, it
should possess so evil a reputation. It occupies a high, broad ridge,
enjoying, surely, whatever benefit can come of a breezy site, and
sloping far downward before any marshy soil is reached. The high
hedge, and the trees that stand beside the cottage, give it a pleasant
aspect enough to one who does not know the grimy secrets of the
interior; and the summer afternoon was now so bright that I shall
remember the scene with a great deal of sunshine over it.

Leaving the cottage, we drove through a field, which the driver told
us was that in which Burns turned up the mouse's nest. It is the
inclosure nearest to the cottage, and seems now to be a pasture, and a
rather remarkably unfertile one. A little farther on, the ground was
whitened with an immense number of daisies,--daisies, daisies,
everywhere; and in answer to my inquiry, the driver said that this was
the field where Burns ran his ploughshare over the daisy. If so, the
soil seems to have been consecrated to daisies by the song which he
bestowed on that first immortal one. I alighted, and plucked a whole
handful of these "wee, modest, crimson-tipped flowers," which will be
precious to many friends in our own country as coming from Burns's
farm, and being of the same race and lineage as that daisy which he
turned into an amaranthine flower while seeming to destroy it.

From Moss Giel we drove through a variety of pleasant scenes, some of
which were familiar to us by their connection with Burns. We skirted,
too, along a portion of the estate of Auchinleck, which still belongs
to the Boswell family,--the present possessor being Sir James Boswell,
[Sir James Boswell is now dead.] a grandson of Johnson's friend, and
son of the Sir Alexander who was killed in a duel. Our driver spoke of
Sir James as a kind, free-hearted man, but addicted to horse-races and
similar pastimes, and a little too familiar with the wine-cup; so that
poor Bozzy's booziness would appear to have become hereditary in his
ancient line. There is no male heir to the estate of Auchinleck. The
portion of the lands which we saw is covered with wood and much
undermined with rabbit-warrens; nor, though the territory extends over
a large number of acres, is the income very considerable.

By-and-by we came to the spot where Burns saw Miss Alexander, the Lass
of Ballochmyle. It was on a bridge, which (or, more probably, a bridge
that has succeeded to the old one, and is made of iron) crosses from
bank to bank, high in air, over a deep gorge of the road; so that the
young lady may have appeared to Burns like a creature between earth
and sky, and compounded chiefly of celestial elements. But, in honest
truth, the great charm of a woman, in Burns's eyes, was always her
womanhood, and not the angelic mixture which other poets find in her.

Our driver pointed out the course taken by the Lass of Ballochmyle,
through the shrubbery, to a rock on the banks of the Lugar, where it
seems to be the tradition that Burns accosted her. The song implies no
such interview. Lovers, of whatever condition, high or low, could
desire no lovelier scene in which to breathe their vows: the river
flowing over its pebbly bed, sometimes gleaming into the sunshine,
sometimes hidden deep in verdure, and here and there eddying at the
foot of high and precipitous cliffs. This beautiful estate of
Ballochmyle is still held by the family of Alexanders, to whom Burns's
song has given renown on cheaper terms than any other set of people
ever attained it. How slight the tenure seems! A young lady happened
to walk out, one summer afternoon, and crossed the path of a
neighboring farmer, who celebrated the little incident in four or five
warm, rude,--at least, not refined, though rather ambitious,--and
somewhat ploughman-like verses. Burns has written hundreds of better
things; but henceforth, for centuries, that maiden has free admittance
into the dream-land of Beautiful Women, and she and all her race are
famous! I should like to know the present head of the family, and
ascertain what value, if any, they put upon the celebrity thus won.

We passed through Catrine, known hereabouts as "the clean village of
Scotland." Certainly, as regards the point indicated, it has greatly
the advantage of Mauchline, whither we now returned without seeing
anything else worth writing about.

There was a rain-storm during the night, and, in the morning, the
rusty, old, sloping street of Mauchline was glistening with wet, while
frequent showers came spattering down. The intense heat of many days
past was exchanged for a chilly atmosphere, much more suitable to a
stranger's idea of what Scotch temperature ought to be. We found,
after breakfast, that the first train northward had already gone by,
and that we must wait till nearly two o'clock for the next. I merely
ventured out once, during the forenoon, and took a brief walk through
the village, in which I have left little to describe. Its chief
business appears to be the manufacture of snuff-boxes. There are
perhaps five or six shops, or more, including those licensed to sell
only tea and tobacco; the best of them have the characteristics of
village-stores in the United States, dealing in a small way with an
extensive variety of articles. I peeped into the open gateway of the
churchyard, and saw that the ground was absolutely stuffed with dead
people, and the surface crowded with gravestones, both perpendicular
and horizontal. All Burns's old Mauchline acquaintance are doubtless
there, and the Armours among them, except Bonny Jean, who sleeps by
her poet's side. The family is now extinct in Mauchline.

Arriving at the railway-station, we found a tall, elderly, comely
gentleman walking to and fro and waiting for the train. He proved to
be a Mr. Alexander,--it may fairly be presumed the Alexander of
Ballochmyle, a blood-relation of the lovely lass. Wonderful efficacy
of a poet's verse, that could shed a glory from Long Ago on this old
gentleman's white hair! These Alexanders, by-the-by, are not an old
family on the Ballochmyle estate; the father of the lass having made a
fortune in trade, and established himself as the first landed
proprietor of his name in these parts. The original family was named

Our ride to Ayr presented nothing very remarkable; and, indeed, a
cloudy and rainy day takes the varnish off the scenery, and causes a
woful diminution in the beauty and impressiveness of everything we
see. Much of our way lay along a flat, sandy level, in a southerly
direction. We reached Ayr in the midst of hopeless rain, and drove to
the King's Arms Hotel. In the intervals of showers I took peeps at the
town, which appeared to have many modern or modern-fronted edifices;
although there are likewise tall, gray, gabled, and quaint-looking
houses in the by-streets, here and there, betokening an ancient place.
The town lies on both sides of the Ayr, which is here broad and
stately, and bordered with dwellings that look from their windows
directly down into the passing tide.

I crossed the river by a modern and handsome stone bridge, and
recrossed it, at no great distance, by a venerable structure of four
gray arches, which must have bestridden the stream ever since the
early days of Scottish history. These are the "Two Briggs of Ayr,"
whose midnight conversation was overheard by Burns, while other
auditors were aware only of the rush and rumble of the wintry stream
among the arches. The ancient bridge is steep and narrow, and paved
like a street, and defended by a parapet of red freestone, except at
the two ends, where some mean old shops allow scanty room for the
pathway to creep between. Nothing else impressed me hereabouts, unless
I mention, that, during the rain, the women and girls went about the
streets of Ayr barefooted to save their shoes.

The next morning wore a lowering aspect, as if it felt itself destined
to be one of many consecutive days of storm. After a good Scotch
breakfast, however, of fresh herrings and eggs, we took a fly, and
started at a little past ten for the banks of the Doon. On our way, at
about two miles from Ayr, we drew up at a road-side cottage, on which
was an inscription to the effect that Robert Burns was born within its
walls. It is now a public-house; and, of course, we alighted and
entered its little sitting-room, which, as we at present see it, is a
neat apartment, with the modern improvement of a ceiling. The walls
are much over-scribbled with names of visitors, and the wooden door of
a cupboard in the wainscot, as well as all the other wood-work of the
room, is cut and carved with initial letters. So, likewise, are two
tables, which, having received a coat of varnish over the
inscriptions, form really curious and interesting articles of
furniture. I have never (though I do not personally adopt this mode of
illustrating my humble name) felt inclined to ridicule the natural
impulse of most people thus to record themselves at the shrines of
poets and heroes.

On a panel, let into the wall in a corner of the room, is a portrait
of Burns, copied from the original picture by Nasmyth. The floor of
this apartment is of boards, which are probably a recent substitute
for the ordinary flag-stones of a peasant's cottage. There is but one
other room pertaining to the genuine birthplace of Robert Burns: it is
the kitchen, into which we now went. It has a floor of flag-stones,
even ruder than those of Shakspeare's house,--though, perhaps, not so
strangely cracked and broken as the latter, over which the hoof of
Satan himself might seem to have been trampling. A new window has been
opened through the wall, towards the road; but on the opposite side is
the little original window, of only four small panes, through which
came the first daylight that shone upon the Scottish poet. At the side
of the room, opposite the fireplace, is a recess, containing a bed,
which can be hidden by curtains. In that humble nook, of all places in
the world, Providence was pleased to deposit the germ of the richest
human life which mankind then had within its circumference.

These two rooms, as I have said, make up the whole sum and substance
of Burns's birthplace: for there were no chambers, nor even attics;
and the thatched roof formed the only ceiling of kitchen and
sitting-room, the height of which was that of the whole house. The
cottage, however, is attached to another edifice of the same size and
description, as these little habitations often are; and, moreover, a
splendid addition has been made to it, since the poet's renown began
to draw visitors to the way-side ale-house. The old woman of the house
led us through an entry, and showed a vaulted hall, of no vast
dimensions, to be sure, but marvellously large and splendid as
compared with what might be anticipated from the outward aspect of the
cottage. It contained a bust of Burns, and was hung round with
pictures and engravings, principally illustrative of his life and
poems. In this part of the house, too, there is a parlor, fragrant
with tobacco-smoke; and, no doubt, many a noggin of whiskey is here
quaffed to the memory of the bard, who professed to draw so much of
his inspiration from that potent liquor.

We bought some engravings of Kirk Alloway, the Bridge of Doon, and the
Monument, and gave the old woman a fee besides, and took our leave. A
very short drive farther brought us within sight of the monument, and
to the hotel, situated close by the entrance of the ornamental grounds
within which the former is inclosed. We rang the bell at the gate of
the inclosure, but were forced to wait a considerable time; because
the old man, the regular superintendent of the spot, had gone to
assist at the laying of the corner-stone of a new kirk. He appeared
anon, and admitted us, but immediately hurried away to be present at
the concluding ceremonies, leaving us locked up with Burns.

The inclosure around the monument is beautifully laid out as an
ornamental garden, and abundantly provided with rare flowers and
shrubbery, all tended with loving care. The monument stands on an
elevated site, and consists of a massive basement-story, three-sided,
above which rises a light and elegant Grecian temple,--a mere dome,
supported on Corinthian pillars, and open to all the winds. The
edifice is beautiful in itself; though I know not what peculiar
appropriateness it may have, as the memorial of a Scottish rural poet.

The door of the basement-story stood open; and, entering, we saw a
bust of Burns in a niche, looking keener, more refined, but not so
warm and whole-souled as his pictures usually do. I think the likeness
cannot be good. In the centre of the room stood a glass case, in which
were reposited the two volumes of the little Pocket-Bible that Burns
gave to Highland Mary, when they pledged their troth to one another.
It is poorly printed, on coarse paper. A verse of Scripture, referring
to the solemnity and awfulness of vows, is written within the cover of
each volume, in the poet's own hand; and fastened to one of the covers
is a lock of Highland Mary's golden hair. This Bible had been carried
to America by one of her relatives, but was sent back to be fitly
treasured here.

There is a staircase within the monument, by which we ascended to the
top, and had a view of both Briggs of Doon; the scene of Tam
O'Shanter's misadventure being close at hand. Descending, we wandered
through the inclosed garden, and came to a little building in a
corner, on entering which, we found the two statues of Tam and Sutor
Wat,--ponderous stone-work enough, yet permeated in a remarkable
degree with living warmth and jovial hilarity. From this part of the
garden, too, we again beheld the old Brigg of Doon, over which Tam
galloped in such imminent and awful peril. It is a beautiful object in
the landscape, with one high, graceful arch, ivy-grown, and shadowed
all over and around with foliage.

When we had waited a good while, the old gardener came, telling us
that he had heard an excellent prayer at laying the corner-stone of
the new kirk. He now gave us some roses and sweetbrier, and let us out
from his pleasant garden. We immediately hastened to Kirk Alloway,
which is within two or three minutes' walk of the monument. A few
steps ascend from the road-side, through a gate, into the old
graveyard, in the midst of which stands the kirk. The edifice is
wholly roofless, but the side-walls and gable-ends are quite entire,
though portions of them are evidently modern restorations. Never was
there a plainer little church, or one with smaller architectural
pretension; no New England meeting-house has more simplicity in its
very self, though poetry and fun have clambered and clustered so
wildly over Kirk Alloway that it is difficult to see it as it actually
exists. By-the-by, I do not understand why Satan and an assembly of
witches should hold their revels within a consecrated precinct; but
the weird scene has so established itself in the world's imaginative
faith that it must be accepted as an authentic incident, in spite of
rule and reason to the contrary. Possibly, some carnal minister, some
priest of pious aspect and hidden infidelity, had dispelled the
consecration of the holy edifice by his pretence of prayer, and thus
made it the resort of unhappy ghosts and sorcerers and devils.

The interior of the kirk, even now, is applied to quite as impertinent
a purpose as when Satan and the witches used it as a dancing-hall; for
it is divided in the midst by a wall of stone-masonry, and each
compartment has been converted into a family burial-place. The name on
one of the monuments is Crawfurd; the other bore no inscription. It is
impossible not to feel that these good people, whoever they may be,
had no business to thrust their prosaic bones into a spot that belongs
to the world, and where their presence jars with the emotions, be they
sad or gay, which the pilgrim brings thither. They shut us out from
our own precincts, too,--from that inalienable possession which Burns
bestowed in free gift upon mankind, by taking it from the actual earth
and annexing it to the domain of imagination. And here these wretched
squatters have lain down to their long sleep, after barring each of
the two doorways of the kirk with an iron grate! May their rest be
troubled, till they rise and let us in!

Kirk Alloway is inconceivably small, considering how large a space it
fills in our imagination before we see it. I paced its length, outside
of the wall, and found it only seventeen of my paces, and not more
than ten of them in breadth. There seem to have been but very few
windows, all of which, if I rightly remember, are now blocked up with
mason-work of stone. One mullioned window, tall and narrow, in the
eastern gable, might have been seen by Tam O'Shanter, blazing with
devilish light, as he approached along the road from Ayr; and there is
a small and square one, on the side nearest the road, into which he
might have peered, as he sat on horseback. Indeed, I could easily have
looked through it, standing on the ground, had not the opening been
walled up. There is an odd kind of belfry at the peak of one of the
gables, with the small bell still hanging in it. And this is all that
I remember of Kirk Alloway, except that the stones of its material are
gray and irregular.

The road from Ayr passes Alloway Kirk, and crosses the Doon by a
modern bridge, without swerving much from a straight line. To reach
the old bridge, it appears to have made a bend, shortly after passing
the kirk, and then to have turned sharply towards the river. The new
bridge is within a minute's walk of the monument; and we went thither,
and leaned over its parapet to admire the beautiful Doon, flowing
wildly and sweetly between its deep and wooded banks. I never saw a
lovelier scene; although this might have been even lovelier, if a
kindly sun had shone upon it. The ivy-grown, ancient bridge, with its
high arch, through which we had a picture of the river and the green
banks beyond, was absolutely the most picturesque object, in a quiet
and gentle way, that ever blessed my eyes. Bonny Doon, with its wooded
banks, and the boughs dipping into the water! The memory of them, at
this moment, affects me like the song of birds, and Burns crooning
some verses, simple and wild, in accordance with their native melody.

It was impossible to depart without crossing the very bridge of Tam's
adventure; so we went thither, over a now disused portion of the road,
and, standing on the centre of the arch, gathered some ivy-leaves from
that sacred spot. This done, we returned as speedily as might be to
Ayr, whence, taking the rail, we soon beheld Ailsa Craig rising like a
pyramid out of the sea. Drawing nearer to Glasgow, Ben Lomond hove in
sight, with a dome-like summit, supported by a shoulder on each side.
But a man is better than a mountain; and we had been holding
intercourse, if not with the reality, at least with the stalwart ghost
of one, amid the scenes where he lived and sung. We shall appreciate
him better as a poet, hereafter; for there is no writer whose life, as
a man, has so much to do with his fame, and throws such a necessary
light upon whatever he has produced. Henceforth, there will be a
personal warmth for us in everything that he wrote; and, like his
countrymen, we shall know him in a kind of personal way, as if we had
shaken hands with him, and felt the thrill of his actual voice.

       *       *       *       *       *


At an angle of the palace which Pius VI., (Braschi,) with paternal
liberality, built for the residence of his family, before the French
Revolution put an end to such beneficence, stands the famous statue of
Pasquin, giving its name to the square upon which it looks. It is
little more now than a mere trunk of marble, bearing the marks of
blows and long hard usage. But even in this mutilated condition it
shows traces of excellent workmanship and of pristine beauty. The
connoisseurs in sculpture praise it,[1] and the antiquaries have
embittered their ignorance in regard to it by discussions as to
whether it was a statue of Hercules, of Alexander the Great, or of
Menelaus bearing the body of Patroclus. Disabled and maimed as it is,
it is thus only the more fitting type of the Roman people, of which it
has been so long the acknowledged mouthpiece; and the epigrams and
satires which have made its name famous have gained an additional
point and a sharper sting from the patent resemblance in the condition
of their professed author to that of those for whom he spoke.

It is said to have been about the beginning of the sixteenth century
that the statue was discovered and dug up near the place where it now
stands, and the earliest account of it seems to be that given by
Castelvetro, in 1553, in his discourse upon a _canzone_ by Annibal
Caro. He says, that Antonio Tibaldeo of Ferrara, a venerable and
lettered man, relates concerning this statue, that there used to be in
Rome a tailor, very skilful in his trade, by the name of Pasquin, who
had a shop which was much frequented by prelates, courtiers, and other
people, so that he employed a great number of workmen, who, like
worthless fellows, spent their time in speaking ill of one person or
another, sparing no one, and finding opportunity for jests in
observing those who came to the shop. This custom became so notorious
that the very persons who were hit by these sharp speeches joined in
the laugh at them, and felt no resentment; so that, if any one wished
to say a hard thing of another, he did it under cover of the person of
Master Pasquin, pretending that he had heard it said at his shop,--at
which pretence every one laughed, and no one bore a grudge. But,
Master Pasquin dying, it happened, that, in improving the street, this
broken statue, which lay half imbedded in the ground, serving as a
stepping-stone for passengers, was taken up and set at the side of the
shop. Making use of this good chance, satirical people began to say
that Master Pasquin had come back. The custom soon arose of attaching
to the statue bits of writing; and as it had been allowed to the
tailor to say everything, so by means of the statue any one might
publish what he would not have ventured to speak.[2]

Thus did Hercules or Alexander change his name for that of Pasquin,
and soon became almost as well known throughout Europe under his new
designation as under his old. If the statue were not dug up, as is
said, until the sixteenth century, its fame spread rapidly; for,
before Luther had made himself feared at Rome, Pasquin was already
well known as the satirist of the vices of Pope and Cardinals, and as
a bold enemy of the abuses of the Church.

But the history of Pasquin is not a mere story of Roman jests, nor is
its interest such alone as may arise from an amusing, though neglected
series of literary anecdotes. In the dearth of material for the
popular history of modern Rome, it is of value as affording
indications of the turn of feeling and the opinions of the Romans, and
of the regard in which they held their rulers. The free speech, which
was prohibited and dangerous to the living subjects of the temporal
power of the Popes, was a privilege which, in spite of prohibition,
Pasquin insisted upon exercising. Whatever precautions might be taken,
whatever penalties imposed, means were always found, when occasion
arose, to affix to the battered marble papers bearing stinging
epigrams or satirical verses, which, once read, fastened themselves in
the memory, and spread quickly by repetition. He could not be
silenced. "Great sums," said he one day, in an epigram addressed to
Paul III., who was Pope from 1534 to 1549, "great sums were formerly
given to poets for singing: how much will you give me, O Paul, to be

  "Ut canerent data multa olim sunt vatibus aera:
  Ut taceam, quantum tu mihi, Paule, dabis?"

In his life of Adrian VI., the successor of Leo X., Paulus Jovius, not
indeed the most trustworthy of authorities, tells a story which, if
not true, might well be so. He says, that the Pope, being vexed at the
free speech of Pasquin, proposed to have him thrown into the Tiber,
thinking thus to stop his tongue; but the Spanish legate dissuaded
him, by suggesting, with grave Spanish wisdom, that all the frogs of
the river, becoming infected with his spirit, would adopt his style of
speech and croak only pasquinades. The contemptibleness of the
assailant made him the more dreaded. Did not the very reeds tell the
fatal secret about King Midas?

Pasquin was by no means the only figure in Rome who gave expression to
thoughts and feelings which it would have been dangerous to the living
subjects of the ecclesiastical rule to utter aloud. His most
distinguished companion was Marforio, a colossal statue of an ocean or
river god, which was discovered in the sixteenth century near the
forum of Mars, from which he derived his name. Toward the end of the
same century, he was placed in the lower court of the Palazzo de'
Conservatori, on the Capitol, and here he has since remained.
Dialogues were often carried on between him and his friend Pasquin,
and a share in their conversation was sometimes taken by the Facchino,
or so called Porter of the Palazzo Piombino. In his "Roma Nova,"
published in 1660, Sprenger says that Pasquin was assigned to the
nobles, Marforio to the citizens, and the Facchino to the common
people. But besides these there were the Abate Luigi of the Palazzo
Valle,--Madama Lucrezia, who still sits behind the Venetian palace
near the Church of St. Mark,--the Baboon, from which the Via Babbuino
takes its name,--and the marble portrait of Scanderbeg, the great
enemy of the Turks, on the _façade_ of the house which he at one time
occupied in Rome. Each of these personages now and then issued an
epigram or took part in the satirical talk of his companions. Such a
number of cold and secure censors is not surprising in a city like
Rome, where the checks upon open speech are so many, and where priests
and spies exercise so close a scrutiny over the thoughts and words of
men. Oppression begets hypocrisy, and a tyrant adds to the faults of
his subjects the vices of cowardice and secrecy. Caustic Forsyth,
speaking of the Romans, begins with the bitter remark, that "the
national character is the most ruined thing at Rome"; and in the same
section he adds, "Their humor is naturally caustic; but they lampoon,
as they stab, only in the dark. The danger attending open attacks
forces them to confine their satire within epigram; and thus
pasquinade is but the offspring of hypocrisy, the only resource of
wits who are obliged to be grave on so many absurdities in religion,
and respectful to so many upstarts in purple." Thus if the Romans
lampoon only in the dark, the fault is to be charged against their
rulers rather than themselves. The talent for sarcastic epigram is
hereditary with the people. The pointed style of Martial was handed
down through successive generations. The epigram in his hands was no
longer a mere inscription, an idyl, or an elegy; it had lost its
ancient grace, but it took on a new energy, and it set the model,
which the later Romans knew well how to copy, of satire condensed into
wit, in lines each of whose words had a sting.

The first true Pasquinades--that is, the first of the epigrams which
were affixed to Pasquin, and hence derived their name--are perhaps
those which belong to the reign of Leo X. We at least have found no
earlier ones of undoubted genuineness; but satires similar to those of
Pasquin, and possibly originating with him, as they now go under the
general name of Pasquinades, were published against the Popes who
preceded Leo. The infamous Alexander VI., the Pope who has made his
name synonymous with the worst infamies that disgrace mankind, was not
spared the attacks of the subjects whom he and his children, not
unworthy of such a father, degraded and abused. Two lines could say

  "Sextus Tarquinius, Sextus Nero, Sextus et iste:
     Semper sub Sextis perdita Roma fuit."

"Sextus Tarquinius, Sextus Nero, this also a Sextus" (Alexander
Sextus, that is, Alexander the Sixth): "always under the Sextuses has
Rome been ruined." And as if this were not enough, another distich
struck with more directness at the vices of the Pope:--

  "Vendit Alexander claves, altaria, Christum:
     Emerat ille prius, vendere jure potest."

"Alexander sells the keys, the altars, Christ. He bought them first,
and has good right to sell."[3]

Alexander had gained his election by bribes which he did not pay, and
promises which he did not keep; and Guicciardini tells in a few words
what use he made of his holy office, declaring, that, "with his
immoderate ambition and poisoned infidelity, together with all the
horrible examples of cruelty, luxury and monstrous covetousness,
selling without distinction both holy things and profane things, he
infected the whole world."[4]

In 1503, after a pontificate of eleven years, Alexander died. Rome
rejoiced. Peace, which for a long time had been banished from her
borders, returned, and she enjoyed for a few days unwonted freedom
from alarm and trouble. Her happiness found expression in verse:--

  "Dic unde, Alecto, pax haec effulsit, et unde
     Tam subito reticent proelia? Sextus obit."

  "Say whence, Alecto, has this peace
  shone forth? wherefore so suddenly has
  the noise of battle ceased? Alexander
  is dead."

The rule of Borgia's successor, Pius III., lasting only twenty-seven
days, afforded little opportunity to the play of indignant wit; but
the nine years' reign of Julius II., which followed, was a period
whose troubled history is recorded in the numerous epigrams and
satires to which it gave birth. The impulsive and passionate vigor of
the character of Julius, the various fortunes of his rash enterprises,
the troubles which his stormy and rapacious career brought to the
Papal city, are all more or less minutely told. The Pope began his
reign with warlike enterprises, and as soon as he could gather
sufficient force he set out to recover from the Venetians territory of
which they had possession, and which he claimed as the property of the
Papal state. It was said, that, in leading his troops out of Rome, he
threw into the Tiber, with characteristic impetuosity, the keys of
Peter, and, drawing his sword from its sheath, declared that
henceforth he would trust to the sword of Paul. The story was too good
to be lost, and it gave point to many epigrams, of which, perhaps, the
one preserved by Bayle is the best:--

  "Cum Petri nihil efficiant ad proelia claves,
     Auxilio Pauli forsitan ensis erit."

  "Since the keys of Peter profit not for
  battle, perchance, with the aid of Paul,
  the sword will answer."[5]

Julius was the first of the Popes of recent times to allow his beard
to grow, and Raphael's noble portrait of him shows what dignity it
gave to his strongly marked face. The beard was also regarded
traditionally as having belonged to Saint Paul. "For me," the Pope was
represented as saying, "for me the beard of Paul, the sword of Paul,
all things of Paul: that key-bearer, Peter, is no way to my liking."

  "Huc barbam Pauli, gladium Pauli, omnia Pauli:
     Claviger ille nihil ad mea vota Petrus."

But the most savage epigram against Julius was one that recalled the
name of the great Roman, which the Pope was supposed to have adopted
in emulation of that of Alexander, borne by his predecessor:--

  "Julius est Romae. Quid abest? Date, numina, Brutum.
     Nam quoties Romae est Julius, illa perit."

  "Julius is at Rome. What is wanting?
  Ye gods, give us a Brutus! For
  when Julius is at Rome, the city is lost."

Pasquin became a recognized institution, as we have said, under Leo
X., and was taken under the protection of the Roman people.[6] His
popularity was such as to lead to consequences of which he himself
complained. He was made the vehicle of the effusions of worthless
versifiers, and he was forced to cry out, "Woe is me! even the copyist
fixes his verses upon me, and every one bestows on me his silly

The application of these verses was alike appropriate to the life of
the Pope, or to the reigns of Alexander VI., Julius II., and the one
just beginning.

  "Me miserum! Copista etiam mihi carmina figit;
  Et tribuit nugas jam mihi quisque suas."

He seems to have been successful in putting a stop to this injurious
treatment; for not long after he declared, with a sarcasm directed
against the prominent qualities of his fellow-citizens, "There is no
better man at Rome than I. I seek nothing from any one. I am not
wordy. I sit here and am silent."

  "Non homo me melior Rome est. Ego nil peto ab ullo.
  Non sum verbosus. Hic sedeo et taceo."

It had become the custom, upon occasions of public festivity, to adorn
Pasquin with suits of garments, and with paint, forcing him to assume
from time to time different characters according to the fancy of his
protectors. Sometimes he appeared as Neptune, sometimes as Chance or
Fate, as Apollo or Bacchus. Thus, in the year 1515, he became Orpheus,
and, while adorned with the _plectrum_ and the lyre of the poet,
Marforio addressed a distich to him in his new character, which hints
at the popular appreciation of the Pope. The year 1515 was that of the
descent of Francis I, into Italy, and of the bloody battle of
Marignano. "In the midst of war and slaughter and the sound of
trumpets," said Marforio, "you sing and strike your lyre: this is to
understand the temper of your Lord."

  "Inter bella, tubas, caedes, canis ipse, lyramque
  Percutis. Hoc sapere est ingenium Domini."[7]

But the character of most of those pasquinades which belong to the
pontificate of Leo is so coarse as to render them unfit for
reproduction. A general licentiousness pervaded Rome, and the vices of
the Pope and the higher clergy, veiled, but not hidden, under the
displays of sensual magnificence and the pretended refinements of
degraded art, were readily imitated by a people taught to follow and
obey the teachings of their ecclesiastical rulers. Corruption of every
sort was common. Virtue and vice, profane and sacred things, were
alike for sale. The Pope made money by the sale of cardinalates and
traffic in indulgences. "Give me gifts, ye spectators," begged
Pasquin; "bring me not verses: divine Money alone rules the ethereal

  "Dona date, astantes; versus ne reddite: sola
  Imperat aethereis alma Moneta deis."

Leo's fondness for buffoons, with whom he mercilessly amused himself
by tormenting them and exciting them to make themselves ridiculous, is
recorded in a question put to Pasquin on one of his changes of figure.
"Why have you not asked, O Pasquil, to be made a buffoon? for at Rome
everything is now permitted to the buffoons."

  "Cur non te fingi scurram, Pasquille, rogâsti?
  Cum Romae scurris omnia jam liceant."

Leo died in 1521. His death was sudden, and not without suspicion of
poison. It was said that the last offices of the Church were not
performed for the dying man, and an epigram sharply embodied the
report. "Do you ask why at his last hour Leo could not take the sacred
things? He had sold them."

  "Sacra sub extremâ, si forte requiritis, horâ
  Cur Leo non potuit sumere: Vendiderat."

The spirit of Luther had penetrated through the walls of Rome; and
though all tongues but those of statues might be silenced, eyes were
not blinded, nor could ears be made deaf. Nowhere was the need of
reform so felt as at Rome, but nowhere was there so little hope for
it; for the people stood in equal need of it with the Church, whose
ministers had corrupted them, and whose rulers tyrannized over them.
"Farewell, Rome!" said Pasquin.

  "Roma, vale! Satis est vidisse. Revertar
  Quum leno, meretrix, scurra, cinaedus ero."

When Leo's short-lived successor, the gloomy Fleming, Adrian VI., who
was the author of the proposal to destroy Pasquin, despatched his
nuncio to the diet of Nuremberg to oppose the progress of Luther, he
told him in his instructions to "avow frankly that God has permitted
this schism and this persecution on account of the sins of men, and,
above all, of those of the priests and the prelates of the Church."
Pasquin could not have improved on these words. And when, twenty
months after his elevation to the papacy, this hard old man died, the
inscription--which he ordered to be put upon his tomb was in words fit
to disarm the satirist:--"Here lies Adrian VI., who esteemed nothing
in his life more unhappy than that he had been called to rule":
"_Adrianus VI. hîc situs est, qui nil sibi infelicius in vitâ quam
quod imperaret duxit."

During the pontificate of Clement VII., Rome suffered under calamities
too terrible and too depressing to admit of the frequent display of
the humor or the satire of Pasquin. The siege and sack of the city by
the army of the Constable de Bourbon wrought too much misery to be set
in verse or to be sharpened in epigram. One shrewd jest of this time
has, indeed, been preserved. Clement was for months a prisoner in the
Castle of Sant' Angelo, unable to stir abroad. "_Papa non potest
errare_" said Pasquin, or one of his friends, with a play on the
double meaning of the last word, and a scoff at Papal pretension: "The
Pope cannot err": he is too well guarded to stray. But when the Pope
died in 1534, Pasquin did not spare his memory. He had lately changed
his physician, and taken one named Matteo Curzio or Curtius; and when
his death took place, not without suspicion of malpractice, the
satisfaction of the people was expressed by the appearance of a
portrait of this new doctor, with the inscription, in words borrowed
from the Vulgate, "_Ecce agnus Dei, ecce qui tollit peccata mundi!_"
"Curtius has killed Clement," said Pasquin. "Curtius, who has secured
the public health, should be rewarded."

  "Curtis occidit Clementem. Curtius auro
  Donandus, per quem publica parta salus."

Nor was this all. Pasquin declared, that, on occasion of Clement's
death, a bitter strife arose between Pluto and Saint Peter as to which
should receive the Pope:--

  "Noluit hunc coelum, noluit hunc barathrum."

The Saint has no place for him, and the ruler of the lower regions
fears the disturbance that he will make in hell. The quarrel is cut
short by the arrival of Clement himself upon the spot, who, finding no
entrance into heaven, declares that he will force himself into hell:--

  "Tartara tentemus, facilis descensus Averni."

The fifteen years of the pontificate of Clement's successor, Paul
III.,--years, for the most part, of quiet and prosperity at
Rome,--afforded ample opportunities for the display of Pasquin's
spirit. The personal character of the Pope, the exactions which he
laid upon the Romans for the profit of his favorites and his family,
and his unblushing nepotism were the subjects of frequent satire. The
Farnese palace, built in great part with stone taken from the
Colosseum, is a standing monument of the justice of Pasquin's rebukes,
the sharpness of which is concentrated in a single telling epigram.
"Let us pray for Pope Paul," said Pasquin, "for zeal for his house is
consuming him":--

  "Oremus pro Papâ Paulo, quia zelus
  Domus suae comedit illum."

At another time Marforio addressed a letter to Pasquin, in which he
tells him of the Pope's reply to an angel who had been sent to him
with the message, "Feed my sheep" "Charity begins at home," had been
the answer of the Pope. And when the Roman people had prayed Paul to
have pity on his people, Paul had replied, "It is not right to take
the children's bread and give it to dogs."

But Pasquin was now to be brought into greater notoriety than ever. In
spite of the efforts of the successors of Adrian, the Reformation had
rapidly advanced, and the Reformers, scorning no weapons that might
serve their cause, determined to turn the wit of Pasquin to their
account. In the year 1544, a little, but thick, volume appeared, with
the title, "Pasquillorum Tomi duo." It bore no name of editor or
printer, and professed to be published at Eleutheropolis, the City of
Freedom, or, as it might be rendered in a free translation, the City
of _Luther_. Its 637 pages were filled with satire; it was not merely
a collection of Pasquin's sayings, but it contained epigrams and
dialogues derived from other sources as well. The book was of a kind
to be popular, as well as to excite the bitterest aversion of the
adherents of the Roman Church. It long since became a volume of
excessive rarity, most of the copies having been destroyed by zealous
Romanists. The famous scholar, Daniel Heinsius, within a century after
its publication, believed that a copy which he purchased, at a cost of
a hundred ducats, was the only one remaining in the world, and he
inscribed the following lines upon one of its blank pages:--

  "Roma meos fratres igni dedit. Unica Phoenix
  Vivo, aureis venio centum Heinsio."

  "Rome gave my brothers to the fire.
  A solitary Phoenix, I survive, and at cost
  of a hundred gold pieces I come to Heinsius."

But Heinslus was mistaken in supposing his copy to be unique; and
bibliographers of later date, while marking the rarity of the book,
have recorded its existence in various libraries. At this moment two
copies are lying before us, probably the only copies in America.[8]

The editor of this publication was the Piedmontese scholar and
Reformer, Coelius Secundus Curio. His early life had been eventful,
and he had experienced the tender mercies of the Roman Church. He had
been persecuted, his property had been seized, he himself compelled to
fly, on account of his liberal views. He had been in the prisons of
the Inquisition, from which he had escaped only by a successful and
ingenious stratagem. At length, wearied with contention, he took up
his abode in Protestant Switzerland, where he passed in quiet the
latter years of his useful and honored life.[9] It was while here that
he compiled this book, and sent it as a missile into the camp of his
opponents, the enemies of freedom of thought and of the right of
private judgment. From this time Pasquin's fame became universal. The
words _pasquil_ or _pasquinade_ were adopted info almost every
European tongue, and soon embraced in their widening signification all
sorts of satiric epigrams. A great part of the volume published by
Curio is made up, indeed, of attacks on the Roman Church which have no
connection with Pasquin as their author. The style and the subject of
many of them betray a German origin; and some of the longer pieces so
closely resemble, in point, in humor, and in expression, the
celebrated "Epistolae Obscurorum Virorum," that there can be little
doubt that Ulrich von Hutten, or some one of his coadjutors in that
clever satire on the monks and clergy, had a hand in their

But, leaving the pasquinades of other people, let us come back to the
sayings of Pasquin himself. No one has surpassed him in his own way,
and his store of epigrams, illustrating life and manners at Rome, is
abundant. The pontificate of Sixtus V., from 1585 to 1590, was full of
material for his wit. The only man in Rome who did not tremble under
the rod with which this hard old monk ruled his people and the Church
was the free-spoken marble jester. The very morning after the election
of Sixtus, Pasquin appeared with a plate of toothpicks, and to the
question of Marforio, what he was doing with them, he replied, "I am
taking them to Alexandrino, Medicis, and Rusticucci," the three
cardinals who had been most active in securing the Papacy for the new
Pope. The point of the joke was plain to the Romans: it meant that his
adherents, instead of gaining anything by their efforts, had been
deceived, and would have nothing to do now but to pick their teeth at

Leti, in his entertaining and gossipping life of this most merciless
of Popes, tells a story of another pasquinade, which exhibits the
temper of Sixtus. One morning Pasquin appeared clothed in a very dirty
shirt, and, upon being asked by Marforio, why he wore such foul linen,
replied, he could get no other, for the Pope had made his washerwoman
a princess,--meaning thereby the Pope's sister, Donna Camilla, who had
formerly been a laundress, but was now established with a fortune and
a palace. "This stinging piece of raillery was carried directly to his
Holiness, who ordered a strict search to be made for the author, but
to no purpose. Upon which he stuck up printed papers in all the public
places of the city, promising, upon the word of a Pope, to give the
author of the pasquinade a thousand pistoles and his life, provided he
would discover himself, but threatened to hang him, if he was found
out by any one else, and offered the thousand pistoles to the
informer." Upon this the author was simple enough to make confession
and to demand the money. Sixtus paid him the sum, and then, saying
that he had indeed promised him his life, but not freedom from
punishment, ordered his hands to be cut off, and his tongue to be
bored, "to prevent him from being so witty for the future." This act,
says Leti, "filled every one with terror and amazement." And well
might such a piece of Oriental barbarity excite the horror of the
Romans.[11] Pasquin, however, was not alarmed, and a few days
afterward he appeared holding a wet shirt to dry in the sun. It was a
Sunday morning, and Marforio, naturally surprised at such a violation
of the day, asked him why he could not wait till Monday before drying
it Pasquin answered, that there was no time to lose; for, if he waited
till to-morrow to dry his shirt, he might have to pay for the
sunshine;--hinting at the heavy taxes which Sixtus had laid upon the
necessaries of life, and from which the sunshine itself might not long
be exempt.

It was near about this time that a caricature was circulated in Rome,
representing Sixtus as King Stork and the Romans as frogs vainly
attempting to escape from his devouring beak. _Merito haec patimur_,
"We suffer deservedly," was the legend of the picture, and the moral
it conveyed was a true one. Rome was in such a state as to require the
harshest applications, and the despotic severity of Sixtus did much to
restore decency and security to life. He left the Romans in a far
better condition than he found them; and it would have been well for
Rome, if among his successors there had been more to follow his
example in repressing vice and violence,--in a word, had there been
more King Storks and fewer King Logs.

The most poetic of pasquinades, and one in which wit rises into
imagination, belongs to the pontificate of Urban VIII. (1623-1644.)
This Pope issued a bull excommunicating all persons who took snuff in
the churches of Seville; whereupon Pasquin quoted the following verse
from Job (xiii. 25):--"_Contra folium_ _quod vento rapitur ostendis
potentiam tuam? et stipulam siccam persequeris?_"

This is a very model of satire in its kind, and of a higher kind than
the pasquil, which Coleridge quotes as an example of wit, upon the
Pope who had employed a committee to rip up the errors of his

"Some one placed a pair of spurs on the statue of St. Peter, and a
label from the opposite statue of St. Paul.

"_St. Paul_. Whither, then, are you bound?

"_St. Peter_. I apprehend danger here;--they'll soon call me in
question for denying my Master.

"_St. Paul_. Nay, then, I had better be off, too; for they'll question
me for having persecuted the Christians before my conversion."[12]

In his distinction between the wit of thoughts, of words, and of
images, Coleridge asserts that the first belongs eminently to the
Italians. Such broad assertions are always open to exceptions, and
Pasquin shows that the Romans at least are not less clever in the wit
of words than in that of thoughts. Take, for example, the jest on
Innocent X. which Howel reports in one of his entertaining letters.
This Pope, who, says the candid historian, Mosheim, "to a profound
ignorance of all those things which it was necessary for a Christian
bishop to know, joined the most shameless indolence and the most
notorious profligacy," abandoned his person, his dignity, and his
government to the disposal of Donna Olympia Maldachini, the widow of
his brother. The portrait of the Pope may be seen in the Doria Gallery
at Rome; for it is still esteemed an honor by the noble family to
which the gallery belongs to be able to trace a relationship to a
Pope, even though so vile a one as Innocent "_Magis amat papa Olympiam
quam Olympum_" said Pasquin; and the pun still clings to the memory of
him whom his authorized biographer calls "_religiosissimo nelle cose
divine e prudentissimo nelle umane."_ But superlatives often have a
value in inverse ratio to their intention. There is a curious story
told by the Catholic historian, Novaes, that, after the death of
Innocent, which took place in 1655, no one could be found willing to
assume the charge of burying him. Word was sent to Donna Olympia that
she should provide a coffin for the corpse; but she replied that she
was only a poor widow. Of the cardinals he had made, of the relations
he had enriched, none was to be found who had charity enough to treat
his remains with decency. His body was taken to a room where some
masons were at work, and one of them out of compassion put a tallow
candle at its head, while another, fearing lest the mice, of which
there were many in the apartment, might disturb the corpse, secured a
person to watch it through the night. At length one of the officers of
the court procured a cheap coffin, and one of the canons of Saint
Peter's gave five crowns to pay the expenses of the burial.[13] A
moralist might comment on this story, and might compare it with
another which is told in a life of Innocent, written during the reign
of his successor, and published with approval at Rome. In this we are
told that at the time of his death a marvellous prodigy was observed;
for that, when his corpse was borne on a bier from Monte Cavallo to
the Vatican, at the moment of a violent storm of wind and rain, not a
drop of water fell upon it, but the bier remained perfectly dry, and
the torches with which it was accompanied were none of them
extinguished. What wonder, that, after this, it is added, "that his
memory is venerated in many places at Rome"?[14] Of all the
troublesome race of panegyrists, the Roman variety is the most
ingenious and the least to be trusted.

When Bishop Burnet was travelling in Italy, in the year 1686, the
doctrines of the Spanish priest Molinos, the founder of the famous
sect of Quietists, had lately become the object of attack of the
Jesuits and of suspicion at the Papal Court. His system of mystical
divinity is still of interest from its connection with the lives of
Fénelon and Madame Guyon, if not from its intrinsic character. Like
most other mystical doctrines, his teachings seem to have been open to
the charge, that, while professedly based on the highest spirituality,
they had a direct tendency to encourage sensuality in its most
dangerous form. Molinos was at first much favored at Rome and by the
Pope himself; but at the time of Burnet's journey he was in the
custody of the Holy Office, while his books were undergoing the
examination which finally led to the formal condemnation of
sixty-eight propositions contained in them, to the renunciation of
these propositions by their author, and to his being sentenced to
perpetual imprisonment Burnet relates that it happened "in one week
that one man had been condemned to the galleys for somewhat he had
said, another had been hanged for somewhat he had writ, and Molinos
was clapt in prison, whose doctrine consisted chiefly in this, that
men ought to bring their minds to a state of inward quietness. The
Pasquinade upon all this was, "_Si parliamo, in galere; si scrivemmo,
impiccati; si stiamo in quiete, all' Sant Uffizio. Eh! che bisogna
fare?_" "If we speak, the galleys; if we write, the gallows; if we
stay quiet, the Inquisition. Eh! what must we do, then?"

With the changes of times and the succession of Popes, new material
was constantly afforded to Pasquin for the exercise of his peculiar
talent. Each generation gave him fresh subject for laughter or for
rebuke. Men quickly passed away, but folly and vice remained. "Do you
wonder," said Pasquin, once, in his early days, referring to his
changes of character, "do you wonder why Rome yearly changes me to a
new figure? It is because of the shifting manners of the city, and the
falling back of men. He who would be pious must depart from Rome."

  "Praeteriens, forsan miraris, turba, quotannis
  Cur me Roma novam mutet in effigiem.
  Hoc urbis mores varios, hominumque recessus
  Indicat: ergo abeat qui cupit esse pius."

During the eighteenth century Italy did not abound in poets or wits,
and Master Pasquin seems to have shared in the dulness of the times.
Toward its end, however, when Pius VI. was building the palace under
the corner of which the statue was to find shelter, the marble
representative of the tailor watched his proceedings with sharp
observation. Long ago he had rebuked the nepotism of the Popes, but
Pius had forgotten his epigrams. "Cerberus," he had said, "had three
mouths with which he barked; but you have three, or even four, which
bark not, but devour."

  "Tres habuit fauces, et terno Cerberus ore
  Latratus intra Tartara nigra dabat.
  Et tibi plena fame tria sunt vel quatuor ora
  Quae nulli latrant, quemque sed illa vorant."

Every one who has been in Rome remembers how often, on the repairs of
ancient monuments, and on the pedestals of statues or busts, are to be
seen the words, "_Munificentiâ Pii Sexti_" thrusting themselves into
notice, and occupying the place which should be filled with some
nobler inscription. The bad taste and impertinence of this epigraph
are often enhanced by the slightness of the work or the gift which it
commemorates. During a season of dearth at Rome, in the time of Pius,
when the bakers had reduced the size of their loaves, Pasquin took the
opportunity to satirize the selfishness and vanity of the Pope, by
exhibiting one of these diminished loaves bearing the familiar words,
"_Munificentiâ Pii VI._"

The French Revolution, the Napoleonic occupation of Rome, the
brilliant essays of liberalism of Pius IX., the Republic, the siege of
Rome, the reactionary government of late years, have alike supplied
matter for Master Pasquin, which he has shaped according to the
fashion of the times. He still pursues his ancient avocation. _Res acu
tetigit._ But the point of the needle is not the means by which the
rents in the garment of Rome are to be mended,--much less by which her
wounds are to be cauterized and healed. The sharp satiric tongue may
prick her moral sense into restlessness, but the Roman spirit is not
thus to be roused to action. Still Pasquin deserves credit for his
efforts; and while other liberty is denied, the Romans may be glad
that there is a single voice that cannot be silenced, and a single
censor who is not to be corrupted.

[Footnote 1: Bernini, being asked what was the most beautiful statue
in Rome, replied, "That of Pasquin." This reply the sensible Milizia
taxes with affectation,--saying, that, although an artist may discover
in the work some marks of good design, it is now too maimed to pass
for a beautiful statue. Possibly Bernini was thinking of his own works
in comparison with it.]

[Footnote 2: Andreas Schott,--who published an Itinerary of Italy
about the beginning of the seventeenth century, copies this account,
and adds,--"At present this custom is prohibited under the heaviest

[Footnote 3: Mrs. Piozzi, in her amusing _Journey through Italy_, ii.
113, quotes these verses and gives a translation of them which shows
that she quite mistook their point. In spite of her quoting Latin,
Greek, and even on occasion Hebrew, her scholarship was not very
accurate or deep.]

[Footnote 4: The Historie of Guicciardin, reduced into English by
Geffray Fenton. 1579. p. 308. Another epigram of barbarous bitterness
against Alexander refers, if we understand it aright, to one of the
gloomiest events of his pontificate, the murder of his son Giovanni,
Duca di Gandia, by his other son, Caesar Borgia. Giovanni was killed
at night, and his body was thrown into the Tiber, from which it was
recovered the next morning.

  Piscatorem hominum ne te non, Sexte, putemus,
     Piscaris natum retibus ecce tuum."

  "Lest we should not fancy you, O Sextus,
  a fisher of men, you fish for your own son
  with nets."]

[Footnote 5: Vasari relates, that Michel Angelo, when he was making
the bronze statue of Julius, at Bologna, having asked the Pope if he
should put a book in his left hand,--"No," replied the fiery old man,
"put a sword in it, for I know not letters": "_Mettivi una spada, che
io non so lettere._"]

[Footnote 6: At the beginning of his pontificate, upon occasion of
Leo's taking possession of the Lateran with a solemn procession, an
arch of triumph was erected at the bridge of Sant' Angelo, which bore
an inscription worthy of the tailor's successor:--

  "Olim habuit Cypria sua tempera, tempora Mavors
     Olim habuit, sua nunc tempora Pallas habet."

  "Venus once had her time, Mars also has
  had his, but now Minerva rules."]

[Footnote 7: In Murray's _Handbook for Rome_, a book for the most part
of great accuracy, there is a curious blunder in the account of
Pasquin. It is said, that, "on the election of Pope Leo X., in 1440,
the following satirical acrostic appeared, to mark the date
MCCCCXL:--'_Multi caeci cardinales creaverunt caecum decimum (X)
Leonem:_ 'Many blind cardinals have created a tenth blind Lion.'" Now
in 1440 Leo was not born, and no Pope was chosen in that year. Leo was
not made Pope till 1513, and the acrostic has apparently nothing to do
with the date of his accession to the pontificate.]

[Footnote 8: One of those copies was formerly in the Royal Library at
Munich, and sold as a duplicate. The other has the bookplate of the
Baron de Warenghien. Colonel Stanley's copy sold for £11 lls. The book
was printed at Basle, by Jean Oporin. See Clément, _Bibl. Cur. Hist,
et Crit._, vii. 371. See also, for an account of it, Salleugre, _M.m.
de Litt._, ii. 6, 203; and Schelhorn, _Amoen. Lit._, iii. 151.]

[Footnote 9: An entertaining and curious account of Curio and his
family is to be found in a commemorative oration delivered in 1570
before the Academy of Basle by Stupanus, and printed by Schelhorn in
_Amoen. Lit._, Tom. xiv.]

[Footnote 10: In two or three of the dialogues Hutten is introduced as
one of the speakers; and several of the poetic epigrams are ascribed
to him by name.]

[Footnote 11: In Luther's _Table-Talk_, he says, "Whoso in Rome is
heard to speak one word against the Pope received either a
Strappecordo or is punished with death, for his name is _Noli me
tangere._" Pasquin himself has hardly said a shrewder saying than
this. _Noli me tangere_ is the name under which Pius IX. pleads
against the diminution of his temporal power, while he threatens his
opponents with the Strappecorde.]

[Footnote 12: _Lectures upon Shakespeare and other Dramatists_, ii.

[Footnote 13: Novaes, x. 56. Artaud de Montor, _Hist. des Pont. Rom._,
v. 523.]

[Footnote 14: _Vita d' Innocenzio X._, dal Cav. Ant. Bagatta.]

       *       *       *       *       *


  My ear is full of summer sounds,
   With summer sights my languid eye;
  Beyond the dusty village bounds
  I loiter in my daily rounds,
   And in the noon-time shadows lie.

  The wild bee winds his drowsy horn,
   The bird swings on the ripened wheat,
  The long, green lances of the corn
  Are tilting in the winds of morn,
   The locust shrills his song of heat.

  Another sound my spirit hears,
   A deeper sound that drowns them all,--
  A voice of pleading choked with tears,
  The call of human hopes and fears,
   The Macedonian cry to Paul!

  The storm-bell rings, the trumpet blows;
   I know the word and countersign;
  Wherever Freedom's vanguard goes,
  Where stand or fall her friends or foes,
   I know the place that should be mine.

  Shamed be the hands that idly fold,
   And lips that woo the reed's accord,
  When laggard Time the hour has tolled
  For true with false and new with old
   To fight the battles of the Lord!

  O brothers! blest by partial Fate
   With power to match the will and deed,
  To him your summons comes too late,
  Who sinks beneath his armor's weight,
   And has no answer but God-speed!

       *       *       *       *       *


The origin of species, like all origination, like the institution of
any other natural state or order, is beyond our immediate ken. We see
or may learn how things go on; we can only frame hypotheses as to how
they began.

Two hypotheses divide the scientific world, very unequally, upon the
origin of the existing diversity of the plants and animals which
surround us. One assumes that the actual kinds are primordial; the
other, that they are derivative. One, that all kinds originated
supernaturally and directly as such, and have continued unchanged in
the order of Nature; the other, that the present kinds appeared in
some sort of genealogical connection with other and earlier kinds,
that they became what they now are in the course of time and in the
order of Nature.

Or, bringing in the word _species_, which is well defined as "the
perennial succession of individuals," commonly of very like
individuals,--as a close corporation of individuals perpetuated by
generation, instead of election,--and reducing the question to
mathematical simplicity of statement: species are lines of individuals
coming down from the past and running on to the future,--lines
receding, therefore, from our view in either direction. Within our
limited view they appear to be parallel lines, as a general thing
neither approaching to nor diverging from each other. The first
hypothesis assumes that they were parallel from the unknown beginning
and will be to the unknown end. The second hypothesis assumes that the
apparent parallelism is not real and complete, at least aboriginally,
but approximate or temporary; that we should find the lines convergent
in the past, if we could trace them far enough; that some of them, if
produced back, would fall into certain fragments of lines, which have
left traces in the past, lying not exactly in the same direction, and
these farther back into others to which they are equally unparallel.
It will also claim that the present lines, whether on the whole really
or only approximately parallel, sometimes fork or send off branches on
one side or the other, producing new lines, (varieties,) which run for
a while, and for aught we know indefinitely, when not interfered with,
near and approximately parallel to the parent line. This claim it can
establish; and it may also show that these close subsidiary lines may
branch or vary again, and that those branches or varieties which are
best adapted to the existing conditions may be continued, while others
stop or die out. And so we may have the basis of a real _theory_ of
the _diversification_ of species; and here, indeed, there is a real,
though a narrow, established ground to build upon. But, as systems of
organic Nature, both are equally _hypotheses_, are suppositions of
what there is no proof of from experience, assumed in order to account
for the observed phenomena, and supported by such indirect evidence as
can be had. Even when the upholders of the former and more popular
system mix up revelation with scientific discussion,--which we decline
to do,--they by no means thereby render their view other than
hypothetical. Agreeing that plants and animals were produced by
Omnipotent fiat does not exclude the idea of natural order and what we
call secondary causes. The record of the fiat--"Let the earth bring
forth grass, the herb yielding seed," etc., "and it was so"; "let the
earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle and
creeping thing and beast of the earth after his kind, and it was
so"--seems even to imply them. Agreeing that they were formed of "the
dust of the ground" and of thin air only leads to the conclusion that
the pristine individuals were corporeally constituted like existing
individuals, produced through natural agencies. To agree that they
were created "after their kinds" determines nothing as to what were
the original kinds, nor in what mode, during what time, and in what
connections it pleased the Almighty to introduce the first individuals
of each sort upon the earth. Scientifically considered, the two
opposing doctrines are equally hypothetical.

The two views very unequally divide the scientific world; so that
believers in "the divine right of majorities" need not hesitate which
side to take, at least for the present. Up to a time within the memory
of a generation still on the stage, two hypotheses about the nature of
light very unequally divided the scientific world. But the small
minority has already prevailed: the emission theory has gone out; the
undulatory or wave theory, after some fluctuation, has reached high
tide, and is now the pervading, the fully established system. There
was an intervening time during which most physicists held their
opinions in suspense.

The adoption of the undulatory theory of light called for the
extension of the same theory to heat, electricity, and magnetism, and
this promptly suggested the hypothesis of a correlation, material
connection, and transmutability of heat, light, electricity,
magnetism, etc.; which hypothesis the physicists held in absolute
suspense until very lately, but are now generally adopting. If not
already established as a system, it promises soon to become so. At
least, it is generally received as a tenable and probably true

Parallel to this, however less cogent the reasons, Darwin and others,
having shown it likely that some varieties of plants or animals have
diverged in time into cognate species, or into forms as different as
species, are led to infer that all species of a genus may have thus
diverged from a common stock, and thence to suppose a higher community
of origin in ages still farther back, and so on. Following the safe
example of the physicists, and acknowledging the fact of the
diversification of a once homogeneous species into varieties, we may
receive the theory of the evolution of these into species, even while
for the present we hold the hypothesis of a further evolution in cool
suspense or in grave suspicion. In respect to very many questions a
wise man's mind rests long in a state neither of belief nor of
unbelief. But your intellectually short-sighted people are apt to be
preternaturally clear-sighted, and to find their way very plain to
positive conclusions upon one side or the other of every mooted

In fact, most people, and some philosophers, refuse to hold questions
in abeyance, however incompetent they may be to decide them. And,
curiously enough, the more difficult, recondite, and perplexing the
questions or hypotheses are, such, for instance, as those about
organic Nature, the more impatient they are of suspense. Sometimes,
and evidently in the present case, this impatience grows out of a fear
that a new hypothesis may endanger cherished and most important
beliefs. Impatience under such circumstances is not unnatural, though
perhaps needless, and, if so, unwise.

To us the present revival of the derivative hypothesis, in a more
winning shape than it ever before had, was not unexpected. We wonder
that any thoughtful observer of the course of investigation and of
speculation in science should not have foreseen it, and have learned
at length to take its inevitable coming patiently; the more so as in
Darwin's treatise it comes in a purely scientific form, addressed only
to scientific men. The notoriety and wide popular perusal of this
treatise appear to have astonished the author even more than the book
itself has astonished the reading world. Coming, as the new
presentation does, from a naturalist of acknowledged character and
ability, and marked by a conscientiousness and candor which have not
always been reciprocated, we have thought it simply right to set forth
the doctrine as fairly and as favorably as we could. There are plenty
to decry it, and the whole theory is widely exposed to attack. For the
arguments on the other side we may look to the numerous adverse
publications which Darwin's volume has already called out, and
especially to those reviews which propose directly to refute it.
Taking various lines and reflecting very diverse modes of thought,
these hostile critics may be expected to concentrate and enforce the
principal objections which can be brought to bear against the
derivative hypothesis in general, and Darwin's new exposition of it in

Upon the opposing side of the question we have read with attention, 1.
an article in the "North American Review" for April last; 2. one in
the "Christian Examiner," Boston, for May; 3. M. Pictet's article in
the "Bibliothèque Universelle," which we have already made
considerable use of, which seems throughout most able and correct, and
which in tone and fairness is admirably in contrast with, 4. the
article in the "Edinburgh Review" for May, attributed--although
against a large amount of internal presumptive evidence--to the most
distinguished British comparative anatomist; 5. an article in the
"North British Review" for May; 6. finally, Professor Agassiz has
afforded an early opportunity to peruse the criticisms he makes in the
forthcoming third volume of his great work by a publication of them in
advance in the "American Journal of Science" for July.

In our survey of the lively discussion which has been raised, it
matters little how our own particular opinions may incline. But we may
confess to an impression, thus far, that the doctrine of the permanent
and complete immutability of species has not been established, and may
fairly be doubted. We believe that species vary, and that "Natural
Selection" works; but we suspect that its operation, like every
analogous natural operation, may be limited by something else. Just as
every species by its natural rate of reproduction would soon fill any
country it could live in, but does not, being checked by some other
species or some other condition,--so it may be surmised that Variation
and Natural Selection have their Struggle and consequent Check, or are
limited by something inherent in the constitution of organic beings.
We are disposed to rank the derivative hypothesis in its fulness with
the nebular hypothesis, and to regard both as allowable, as not
unlikely to prove tenable in spite of some strong objections, but as
not therefore demonstrably true. Those, if any there be, who regard
the derivative hypothesis as satisfactorily proved must have loose
notions as to what proof is. Those who imagine it can be easily
refuted and cast aside must, we think, have imperfect or very
prejudiced conceptions of the facts concerned and of the questions at

We are not disposed nor prepared to take sides for or against the new
hypothesis, and so, perhaps, occupy a good position from which to
watch the discussion, and criticize those objections which are
seemingly inconclusive. On surveying the arguments urged by those who
have undertaken to demolish the theory, we have been most impressed
with a sense of their great inequality. Some strike us as excellent
and perhaps unanswerable; some, as incongruous with other views of the
same writers; others, when carried out, as incompatible with general
experience or general beliefs, and therefore as proving too much;
still others, as proving nothing at all: so that, on the whole, the
effect is rather confusing and disappointing. We certainly expected a
stronger adverse case than any which the thorough-going opposers of
Darwin appear to have made out. Wherefore, if it be found that the new
hypothesis has grown upon our favor as we proceeded, this must be
attributed not so much to the force of the arguments of the book
itself as to the want of force of several of those by which it has
been assailed. Darwin's arguments we might resist or adjourn; but some
of the refutations of it give us more concern than the book itself

These remarks apply mainly to the philosophical and theological
objections which have been elaborately urged, almost exclusively by
the American reviewers. The "North British" reviewer, indeed, roundly
denounces the book as atheistical, but evidently deems the case too
clear for argument. The Edinburgh reviewer, on the contrary, scouts
all such objections,--as well he may, since he records his belief in
"a continuous creative operation," "a constantly operating secondary
creational law," through which species are successively produced; and
he emits faint, but not indistinct, glimmerings of a transmutation
theory of his own;[1] so that he is equally exposed to all the
philosophical objections advanced by Agassiz, and to most of those
urged by the other American critics, against Darwin himself.

Proposing now to criticize the critics, so far as to see what their
most general and comprehensive objections amount to, we must needs
begin with the American reviewers, and with their arguments adduced to
prove that a derivative hypothesis _ought not to be true_, or is not
possible, philosophical, or theistic.

It must not be forgotten that on former occasions very confident
judgments have been pronounced by very competent persons, which have
not been finally ratified. Of the two great minds of the seventeenth
century, Newton and Leibnitz, both profoundly religious as well as
philosophical, one produced the theory of gravitation, the other
objected to that theory that it was subversive of natural religion.
The nebular hypothesis--a natural consequence of the theory of
gravitation and of the subsequent progress of physical and
astronomical discovery--has been denounced as atheistical even down to
our own day. But it is now largely adopted by the most theistical
natural philosophers as a tenable and perhaps sufficient hypothesis,
and where not accepted is no longer objected to, so far as we know, on
philosophical or religious grounds.

The gist of the philosophical objections urged by the two Boston
reviewers against an hypothesis of the derivation of species--or at
least against Darwin's particular hypothesis--is, that it is
incompatible with the idea of any manifestation of design in the
universe, that it denies final causes. A serious objection this, and
one that demands very serious attention.

The proposition, that things and events in Nature were not designed to
be so, if logically carried out, is doubtless tantamount to atheism.
Yet most people believe that some were designed and others were not,
although they fall into a hopeless maze whenever they undertake to
define their position. So we should not like to stigmatize as
atheistically disposed a person who regards certain things and events
as being what they are through designed laws, (whatever that
expression means,) but as not themselves specially ordained, or who,
in another connection, believes in general, but not in particular
Providence. We could sadly puzzle him with questions; but in return he
might equally puzzle us. Then, to deny that anything was specially
designed to be what it is is one proposition; while to deny that the
Designer supernaturally or immediately made it so is another: though
the reviewers appear not to recognize the distinction.

Also, "scornfully to repudiate" or to "sneer at the idea of any
manifestation of design in the material universe"[2] is one thing;
while to consider, and perhaps to exaggerate, the difficulties which
attend the practical application of the doctrine of final causes to
certain instances is quite another thing: yet the Boston reviewers, we
regret to say, have not been duly regardful of the difference.
Whatever be thought of Darwin's doctrine, we are surprised that he
should be charged with scorning or sneering at the opinions of others,
upon such a subject. Perhaps Darwin's view is incompatible with final
causes;--we will consider that question presently;--but as to the
"Examiner's" charge, that he "sneers at the idea of any manifestation
of design in the material universe," though we are confident that no
misrepresentation was intended, we are equally confident that it is
not at all warranted by the two passages cited in support of it. Here
are the passages:--

"If green woodpeckers alone had existed, or we did not know that there
were many black and pied kinds, I dare say that we should have thought
that the green color was a beautiful adaptation to hide this
tree-frequenting bird from its enemies."

"If our reason leads us to admire with enthusiasm a multitude of
inimitable contrivances in Nature, this same reason tells us, though
we may easily err on both sides, that some contrivances are less
perfect. Can we consider the sting of the wasp or of the bee as
perfect, which, when used against many attacking animals, cannot be
withdrawn, owing to the backward serratures, and so inevitably causes
the death of the insect by tearing out its viscera?"

If the sneer here escapes ordinary vision in the detached extracts,
(one of them wanting the end of the sentence,) it is, if possible,
more imperceptible when read with the context. Moreover, this perusal
inclines us to think that the "Examiner" has misapprehended the
particular argument or object, as well as the spirit, of the author in
these passages. The whole reads more naturally as a caution against
the inconsiderate use of final causes in science, and an illustration
of some of the manifold errors and absurdities which their hasty
assumption is apt to involve,--considerations probably analogous to
those which induced Lord Bacon rather disrespectfully to style final
causes "sterile virgins." So, if any one, it is here Bacon that
"sitteth in the seat of the scornful." As to Darwin, in the section
from which the extracts were made, he is considering a subsidiary
question, and trying to obviate a particular difficulty, but, we
suppose, wholly unconscious of denying "any manifestation of design in
the material universe." He concludes the first sentence:--

   ----"and consequently that it was a character of importance, and
   might have been acquired through natural selection; as it is, I
   have no doubt that the color is due to some quite distinct cause,
   probably to sexual selection."

After an illustration from the vegetable creation, Darwin adds:--

  "The naked skin on the head of a vulture is generally looked at as a
  _direct_ adaptation for wallowing in putridity; _and so it may be_,
  or it may possibly be due to the direct action of putrid matter; but
  we should be very cautious in drawing any such inference, when we
  see that the skin on the head of the clean-feeding male turkey is
  likewise naked. The sutures in the skulls of young mammals have been
  advanced as a beautiful adaptation for aiding parturition, and no
  doubt they facilitate or may be indispensable for this act; but as
  sutures occur in the skulls of young birds and reptiles, which have
  only to escape from a broken egg, we may infer that this structure
  has arisen from the laws of growth, and has been taken advantage
  of in the parturition of the higher animals."

All this, simply taken, is beyond cavil, unless the attempt to explain
scientifically how any designed result is accomplished savors of

In the other place, Darwin is contemplating the patent fact, that
"perfection here below" is relative, not absolute,--and illustrating
this by the circumstance, that European animals, and especially
plants, are now proving to be better adapted for New Zealand than many
of the indigenous ones,--that "the correction for the aberration of
light is said, on high authority, not to be quite perfect even in that
most perfect organ, the eye." And then follows the second extract of
the reviewer. But what is the position of the reviewer upon his own
interpretation of these passages? If he insists that green woodpeckers
were specifically created so in order that they might be less liable
to capture, must he not equally hold that the black and pied ones were
specifically made of these colors in order that they might be more
liable to be caught? And would an explanation of the mode in which
those woodpeckers came to be green, however complete, convince him
that the color was undesigned?

As to the other illustration, is the reviewer so complete an optimist
as to insist that the arrangement and the weapon are wholly perfect
(_quoad_ the insect) the normal use of which often causes the animal
fatally to injure or to disembowel itself? Either way it seems to us
that the argument here, as well as the insect, performs _hari-kari_.

The "Examiner" adds:--"We should in like manner object to the word
_favorable_, as implying that some species are placed by the Creator
under _unfavorable_ circumstances, at least under such as might be
advantageously modified." But are not many individuals and some races
of men placed by the Creator "under unfavorable circumstances, at
least under such as might be advantageously modified"? Surely these
reviewers must be living in an ideal world, surrounded by "the
faultless monsters which _our_ world ne'er saw," in some elysium where
imperfection and distress were never heard of! Such arguments resemble
some which we often hear against the Bible, holding that book
responsible as if it originated certain facts on the shady side of
human nature or the apparently darker lines of Providential dealing,
though the facts are facts of common observation and have to be
confronted upon any theory.

The "North American" reviewer also has a world of his own,--just such
a one as an idealizing philosopher would be apt to devise,--that is,
full of sharp and absolute distinctions: such, for instance, as the
"absolute invariableness of instinct"; an absolute want of
intelligence in any brute animal; and a complete monopoly of instinct
by the brute animals, so that this "instinct is a great matter" for
them only, since it sharply and perfectly distinguishes this portion
of organic Nature from the vegetable kingdom on the one hand and from
man on the other: most convenient views for argumentative purposes,
but we suppose not borne out in fact.

In their scientific objections the two reviewers take somewhat
different lines; but their philosophical and theological arguments
strikingly coincide. They agree in emphatically asserting that
Darwin's hypothesis of the origination of species through variation
and natural selection "repudiates the whole doctrine of final causes,"
and "all indication of design or purpose in the organic world,"--"is
neither more nor less than a formal denial of any agency beyond that
of a blind chance in the developing or perfecting of the organs or
instincts of created beings." "It is in vain that the apologists of
this hypothesis might say that it merely attributes a different mode
and time to the Divine agency,--that all the qualities subsequently
appearing in their descendants must have been implanted, and remained
latent in the original pair." Such a view, the Examiner declares, "is
nowhere stated in this book, and would be, we are sure, disclaimed by
the author." We should like to be informed of the grounds of this
sureness. The marked rejection of spontaneous generation,--the
statement of a belief that all animals have descended from four or
five progenitors, and plants from an equal or lesser number, or,
perhaps, if constrained to it by analogy, "from some one primordial
form into which life was first breathed."--coupled with the
expression, "To my mind it accords better with what we know of the
laws impressed on matter by the Creator, that the production and
extinction of the past and present inhabitants of the world should
have been due to secondary causes," than "that each species has been
independently created,"--those and similar expressions lead us to
suppose that the author probably does accept the kind of view which
the "Examiner" is sure he would disclaim. At least, we see nothing in
his scientific theory to hinder his adoption of Lord Bacon's
Confession of Faith in this regard,--"that, notwithstanding God hath
rested and ceased from creating, [in the sense of supernatural
origination,] yet, nevertheless, He doth accomplish and fulfil His
divine will in all things, great and small, singular and general, as
fully and exactly by providence as He could by miracle and new
creation, though His working be not immediate and direct, but by
compass; not violating Nature, which is His own law upon the

However that may be, it is undeniable that Mr. Darwin has purposely
been silent upon the philosophical and theological applications of his
theory. This reticence, under the circumstances, argues design, and
raises inquiry as to the final cause or reason why. Here, as in higher
instances, confident as we are that there is a final cause, we must
not be overconfident that we can infer the particular or true one.
Perhaps the author is more familiar with natural-historical than with
philosophical inquiries, and, not having decided which particular
theory about efficient cause is best founded, he meanwhile argues the
scientific questions concerned--all that relates to secondary
causes--upon purely scientific grounds, as he must do in any case.
Perhaps, confident, as he evidently is, that his view will finally be
adopted, he may enjoy a sort of satisfaction in hearing it denounced
as sheer atheism by the inconsiderate, and afterwards, when it takes
its place with the nebular hypothesis and the like, see this judgment
reversed, as we suppose it would be in such event.

Whatever Mr. Darwin's philosophy may be, or whether he has any, is a
matter of no consequence at all, compared with the important
questions, whether a theory to account for the origination and
diversification of animal and vegetable forms through the operation of
secondary causes does or does not exclude design; and whether the
establishment by adequate evidence of Darwin's particular theory of
diversification through variation and natural selection would
essentially alter the present scientific and philosophical grounds for
theistic views of Nature. The unqualified affirmative judgment
rendered by the two Boston reviewers--evidently able and practised
reasoners--"must give us pause." We hesitate to advance our
conclusions in opposition to theirs. But, after full and serious
consideration, we are constrained to say, that, in our opinion, the
adoption of a derivative hypothesis, and of Darwin's particular
hypothesis, if we understand it, would leave the doctrines of final
causes, utility, and special design just where they were before. We do
not pretend that the subject is not environed with difficulties. Every
view is so environed; and every shifting of the view is likely, if it
removes some difficulties, to bring others into prominence. But we
cannot perceive that Darwin's theory brings in any new kind of
scientific difficulty, that is, any with which philosophical
naturalists were not already familiar.

Since natural science deals only with secondary or natural causes, the
scientific terms of a theory of derivation of species--no less than of
a theory of dynamics--must needs be the same to the theist as to the
atheist. The difference appears only when the inquiry is carried up to
the question of primary cause--a question which belongs to philosophy.
Wherefore, Darwin's reticence about efficient cause does not disturb
us. He considers only the scientific questions. As already stated, we
think that a theistic view of Nature is implied in his book, and we
must charitably refrain from suggesting the contrary until the
contrary is logically deduced from his positions. If, however, he
anywhere maintains that the natural causes through which species are
diversified operate without an ordaining and directing intelligence,
and that the orderly arrangements and admirable adaptations we see all
around us are fortuitous or blind, undesigned results,--that the eye,
though it came to see, was not designed for seeing, nor the hand for
handling,--then, we suppose, he is justly chargeable with denying, and
very needlessly denying, all design in organic Nature; otherwise we
suppose not. Why, if Darwin's well-known passage about the
eye[3]--equivocal or unfortunate though some of the language be--does
not imply ordaining and directing intelligence, then he refutes his
own theory as effectually as any of his opponents are likely to do. He

  "May we not believe that"--under variation proceeding long enough,
  generation multiplying the better variations times enough, and
  natural selection securing the improvements--"a living optical
  instrument might be thus formed as superior to one of glass as the
  works of the Creator are to those of man?"

This must mean one of two things: either that the living instrument
was made and perfected under (which is the same thing as by) an
intelligent First Cause, or that it was not. If it was, then theism is
asserted; and as to the mode of operation, how do we know, and why
must we believe, that, fitting precedent forms being in existence, a
living instrument (so different from a lifeless manufacture) would be
originated and perfected in any other way, or that this is not the
fitting way? If it means that it was not, if he so misuses words that
by the Creator he intends an unintelligent power, undirected force, or
necessity, then he has put his case so as to invite disbelief in it.
For then blind forces have produced not only manifest adaptations of
means to specific ends,--which is absurd enough,--but better adjusted
and more perfect instruments or machines than intellect (that is,
human intellect) can contrive and human skill execute,--which no sane
person will believe.

On the other hand, if Darwin even admits--we will not say adopts--the
theistic view, he may save himself much needless trouble in the
endeavor to account for the absence of every sort of intermediate
form. Those in the line between one species and another supposed to be
derived from it he may be bound to provide; but as to "an infinite
number of other varieties not intermediate, gross, rude, and
purposeless, the unmeaning creations of an unconscious cause," born
only to perish, which a relentless reviewer has imposed upon his
theory,--rightly enough upon the atheistic alternative,--the theistic
view rids him at once of this "scum of creation." For, as species do
not now vary at all times and places and in all directions, nor
produce crude, vague, imperfect, and useless forms, there is no reason
for supposing that they ever did. Good-for-nothing monstrosities,
failures of purpose rather than purposeless, indeed sometimes occur;
but these are just as anomalous and unlikely upon Darwin's theory as
upon any other. For his particular theory is based, and even
over-strictly insists, upon the most universal of physiological laws,
namely, that successive generations shall differ only slightly, if at
all, from their parents; and this effectively excludes crude and
impotent forms. Wherefore, if we believe that the species were
designed, and that natural propagation was designed, how can we say
that the actual varieties of the species were not equally designed?
Have we not similar grounds for inferring design in the supposed
varieties of a species, that we have in the case of the supposed
species of a genus? When a naturalist comes to regard as three
closely-related species what he before took to be so many varieties of
one species, how has he thereby strengthened our conviction that the
three forms were designed to have the differences which they actually
exhibit? Wherefore, so long as gradated, orderly, and adapted forms in
Nature argue design, and at least while the physical cause of
variation is utterly unknown and mysterious, we should advise Mr.
Darwin to assume, in the philosophy of his hypothesis, that variation
has been led along certain beneficial lines. Streams flowing over a
sloping plain by gravitation (here the counterpart of natural
selection) may have worn their actual channels as they flowed; yet
their particular courses may have been assigned; and where we see them
forming definite and useful lines of irrigation, after a manner
unaccountable on the laws of gravitation and dynamics, we should
believe that the distribution was designed.

To insist, therefore, that the new hypothesis of the derivative origin
of the actual species is incompatible with final causes and design is
to take a position which we must consider philosophically untenable.
We must also regard it as unwise or dangerous, in the present state
and present prospects of physical and physiological science. We should
expect the philosophical atheist or skeptic to take this ground; also,
until better informed, the unlearned and unphilosophical believer; but
we should think that the thoughtful theistic philosopher would take
the other side. Not to do so seems to concede that only supernatural
events can be shown to be designed, which no theist can admit,--seems
also to misconceive the scope and meaning of all ordinary arguments
for design in Nature. This misconception is shared both by the
reviewers and the reviewed. At least, Mr. Darwin uses expressions
which seem to imply that the natural forms which surround us, because
they have a history or natural sequence, could have been only
generally, but not particularly designed,--a view at once superficial
and contradictory; whereas his true line should be, that his
hypothesis concerns the order and not the cause, the _how_ and not the
_why_ of the phenomena, and so leaves the question of design just
where it was before.

To illustrate this first from the theist's point of view. Transfer the
question for a moment from the origination of species to the
origination of individuals, which occurs, as we say, naturally.
Because natural, that is, "stated, fixed, or settled," is it any the
less designed on that account? We acknowledge that God is our
maker,--not merely the originator of the race, but _our_ maker as
individuals,--and none the less so because it pleased Him to make us
in the way of ordinary generation. If any of us were born unlike our
parents and grandparents, in a slight degree, or in whatever degree,
would the case be altered in this regard? The whole argument in
natural theology proceeds upon the ground that the inference for a
final cause of the structure of the hand and of the valves in the
veins is just as valid now, in individuals produced through natural
generation, as it would have been in the case of the first man,
supernaturally created. Why not, then, just as good even on the
supposition of the descent of men from Chimpanzees and Gorillas, since
those animals possess these same contrivances? Or, to take a more
supposable case: If the argument from structure to design is
convincing when drawn from a particular animal, say a Newfoundland
dog, and is not weakened by the knowledge that this dog came from
similar parents, would it be at all weakened, if, in tracing his
genealogy, it were ascertained that he was a remote descendant of the
mastiff or some other breed, or that both these and other breeds came
(as is suspected) from some wolf? If not, how is the argument for
design in the structure of our particular dog affected by the
supposition that his wolfish progenitor came from a post-tertiary
wolf, perhaps less unlike an existing one than the dog in question is
from some other of the numerous existing races of dogs, and that this
post-tertiary came from an equally or more different tertiary wolf?
And if the argument from structure to design is not invalidated by our
present knowledge that our individual dog was developed from a single
organic cell, how is it invalidated by the supposition of an analogous
natural descent, through a long line of connected forms, from such a
cell, or from some simple animal, existing ages before there were any
dogs? Again, suppose we have two well-known and very decidedly
different animals or plants, A and D, both presenting, in their
structure and in their adaptations to the conditions of existence, as
valid and clear evidence of design as any animal or plant ever
presented: suppose we have now discovered two intermediate species, B
and C, which make up a series with equable differences from A to D. Is
the proof of design or final cause in A and D, whatever it amounted
to, at all weakened by the discovered intermediate forms? Rather does
not the proof extend to the intermediate species, and go to show that
all four were equally designed? Suppose, now, the number of
intermediate forms to be much increased, and therefore the gradations
to be closer yet, as close as those between the various sorts of dogs,
or races of men, or of horned cattle: would the evidence of design, as
shown in the structure of any of the members of the series, be any
weaker than it was in the case of A and D? Whoever contends that it
would be should likewise maintain that the origination of individuals
by generation is incompatible with design, and so take a consistent
atheistical view of Nature. Perhaps we might all have confidently
thought so, antecedently to experience of the fact of reproduction.
Let our experience teach us wisdom.

These illustrations make it clear that the evidence of design from
structure and adaptation is furnished complete by the individual
animal or plant itself, and that our knowledge or our ignorance of the
history of its formation or mode of production adds nothing to it and
takes nothing away. We infer design from certain arrangements and
results; and we have no other way of ascertaining it. Testimony,
unless infallible, cannot prove it, and is out of the question here.
Testimony is not the appropriate proof of design: adaptation to
purpose is. Some arrangements in Nature appear to be contrivances, but
may leave us in doubt. Many others, of which the eye and the hand are
notable examples, compel belief with a force not appreciably short of
demonstration. Clearly to settle that these must have been designed
goes far towards proving that other organs and other seemingly less
explicit adaptations in Nature must also have been designed, and
clinches our belief, from manifold considerations, that all Nature is
a preconcerted arrangement, a manifested design. A strange
contradiction would it be to insist that the shape and markings of
certain rude pieces of flint, lately found in drift deposits, prove
design, but that nicer and thousand-fold more complex adaptations to
use in animals and vegetables do not _a fortiori_ argue design.

We could not affirm that the arguments for design in Nature are
conclusive to all minds. But we may insist, upon grounds already
intimated, that whatever they were good for before Darwin's book
appeared, they are good for now. To our minds the argument from design
always appeared conclusive of the being and continued operation of an
intelligent First Cause, the Ordainer of Nature; and we do not see
that the grounds of such belief would be disturbed or shifted by the
adoption of Darwin's hypothesis. We are not blind to the philosophical
difficulties which the thorough-going implication of design in Nature
has to encounter, nor is it our vocation to obviate them. It suffices
us to know that they are not new nor peculiar difficulties,--that, as
Darwin's theory and our reasonings upon it did not raise these
perturbing spirits, they are not bound to lay them. Meanwhile, that
the doctrine of design encounters the very same difficulties in the
material that it does in the moral world is just what ought to be

So the issue between the skeptic and the theist is only the old one,
long ago argued out,--namely, whether organic Nature is a result of
design or of chance. Variation and natural selection open no third
alternative; they concern only the question, How the results, whether
fortuitous or designed, may have been brought about. Organic Nature
abounds with unmistakable and irresistible indications of design, and,
being a connected and consistent system, this evidence carried the
implication of design throughout the whole. On the other hand, chance
carries no probabilities with it, can never be developed into a
consistent system; but, when applied to the explanation of orderly or
beneficial results, heaps up improbabilities at every step beyond all
computation. To us, a fortuitous Cosmos is simply inconceivable. The
alternative is a designed Cosmos.

It is very easy to assume, that, because events in Nature are in one
sense accidental, and the operative forces which bring them to pass
are themselves blind and unintelligent, (all forces are,) therefore
they are undirected, or that he who describes these events as the
results of such forces thereby assumes that they are undirected. This
is the assumption of the Boston reviewers, and of Mr. Agassiz, who
insists that the only alternative to the doctrine, that all organized
beings were supernaturally created as they are, is, that they have
arisen _spontaneously_ through the _omnipotence of matter_.[4]

As to all this, nothing is easier than to bring out in the conclusion
what you introduce in the premises. If you import atheism into your
conception of variation and natural selection, you can readily exhibit
it in the result. If you do not put it in, perhaps there need be none
to come out. While the mechanician is considering a steamboat or
locomotive engine as a material organism, and contemplating the fuel,
water, and steam, the source of the mechanical forces and how they
operate, he may not have occasion to mention the engineer. But, the
orderly and special results accomplished, the _why_ the movement is in
this or that particular direction, etc., are inexplicable without him.
If Mr. Darwin believes that the events which he supposes to have
occurred and the results we behold were undirected and undesigned, or
if the physicist believes that the natural forces to which he refers
phenomena are uncaused and undirected, no argument is needed to show
that such belief is atheism. But the admission of the phenomena and of
these natural processes and forces does not necessitate any such
belief, nor even render it one whit less improbable than before.

Surely, too, the accidental element may play its part in Nature
without negativing design in the theist's view. He believes that the
earth's surface has been very gradually prepared for man and the
existing animal races, that vegetable matter has through a long series
of generations imparted fertility to the soil in order that it may
support its present occupants, that even beds of coal have been stored
up for man's benefit. Yet what is more accidental, and more simply the
consequence of physical agencies, than the accumulation of vegetable
matter in a peat-bog, and its transformation into coal? No scientific
person at this day doubts that our solar system is a progressive
development, whether in his conception he begins with molten masses,
or aëriform or nebulous masses, or with a fluid revolving mass of vast
extent, from which the specific existing worlds have been developed
one by one. What theist doubts that the actual results of the
development in the inorganic worlds are not merely compatible with
design, but are in the truest sense designed results? Not Mr. Agassiz,
certainly, who adopts a remarkable illustration of design directly
founded on the nebular hypothesis, drawing from the position and times
of revolution of the worlds so originated "direct evidence that the
physical world has been ordained in conformity with laws which obtain
also among living beings." But the reader of the interesting
exposition [5] will notice that the designed result has been brought
to pass through what, speaking after the manner of men, might be
called a chapter of accidents. A natural corollary of this
demonstration would seem to be, that a material connection between a
series of created things--such as the development of one of them from
another, or of all from a common stock--is highly compatible with
their intellectual connection, namely, with their being designed and
directed by one mind. Yet, upon some ground, which is not explained,
and which we are unable to conjecture, Mr. Agassiz concludes to the
contrary in the organic kingdoms, and insists, that, because the
members of such a series have an intellectual connection, "they cannot
be the result of a material differentiation of the objects
themselves,"[6] that is, they cannot have had a genealogical
connection. But is there not as much intellectual connection between
successive generations of any species as there is between the several
species of a genus or the several genera of an order? As the
intellectual connection here is realized through the material
connection, why may it not be so in the case of species and genera? On
all sides, therefore, the implication seems to be quite the other way.

Returning to the accidental element, it is evident that the strongest
point against the compatibility of Darwin's hypothesis with design in
Nature is made when natural selection is referred to as picking out
those variations which are improvements from a vast number which are
not improvements, but perhaps the contrary, and therefore useless or
purposeless, and born to perish. But even here the difficulty is not
peculiar; for Nature abounds with analogous instances. Some of our
race are useless, or worse, as regards the improvement of mankind; yet
the race may be designed to improve, and may be actually improving.
The whole animate life of a country depends absolutely upon the
vegetation; the vegetation upon the rain. The moisture is furnished by
the ocean, is raised by the sun's heat from the ocean's surface, and
is wafted inland by the winds. But what multitudes of rain-drops fall
back into the ocean, are as much without a final cause as the
incipient varieties which come to nothing! Does it, therefore, follow
that the rains which are bestowed upon the soil with such rule and
average regularity were not designed to support vegetable and animal
life? Consider, likewise, the vast proportion of seeds and pollen, of
ova and young,--a thousand or more to one,--which come to nothing, and
are therefore purposeless in the same sense, and only in the same
sense, as are Darwin's unimproved and unused slight variations. The
world is full of such cases; and these must answer the argument,--for
we cannot, except by thus showing that it proves too much.

Finally, it is worth noticing, that, though natural selection is
scientifically explicable, variation is not. Thus far the cause of
variation, or the reason why the offspring is sometimes unlike the
parents, is just as mysterious as the reason why it is generally like
the parents. It is now as inexplicable as any other origination; and
if ever explained, the explanation will only carry up the sequence of
secondary causes one step farther, and bring us in face of a somewhat
different problem, which will have the same element of mystery that
the problem of variation has now. Circumstances may preserve or may
destroy the variations; man may use or direct them; but selection,
whether artificial or natural, no more originates them than man
originates the power which turns a wheel, when he dams a stream and
lets the water fall upon it. The origination of this power is a
question about efficient cause. The tendency of science in respect to
this obviously is not towards the omnipotence of matter, as some
suppose, but towards the omnipotence of spirit.

So the real question we come to is as to the way in which we are to
conceive intelligent and efficient cause to be exerted, and upon what
exerted. Are we bound to suppose efficient cause in all cases exerted
upon nothing to evoke something into existence,--and this thousands of
times repeated, when a slight change in the details would make all the
difference between successive species? Why may not the new species, or
some of them, be designed diversifications of the old?

There are, perhaps, only three views of efficient cause which may
claim to be both philosophical and theistic.

1. The view of its exertion at the beginning of time, endowing matter
and created things with forces which do the work and produce the

2. This same view, with the theory of insulated interpositions, or
occasional direct action, engrafted upon it,--the view that events and
operations in general go on in virtue simply of forces communicated at
the first, but that now and then, and only now and then, the Deity
puts his hand directly to the work.

3. The theory of the immediate, orderly, and constant, however
infinitely diversified, action of the intelligent efficient Cause.

It must be allowed, that, while the third is preëminently the
Christian view, all three are philosophically compatible with design
in Nature. The second is probably the popular conception. Perhaps most
thoughtful people oscillate from the middle view towards the first or
the third,--adopting the first on some occasions, the third on others.
Those philosophers who like and expect to settle all mooted questions
will take one or the other extreme. The "Examiner" inclines towards,
the "North American" reviewer fully adopts, the third view, to the
logical extent of maintaining that "_the origin of an individual_, as
well as the origin of a species or a genus, can be explained only by
the _direct_ action of an intelligent creative cause." This is the
line for Mr. Darwin to take; for it at once and completely relieves
his scientific theory from every theological objection which his
reviewers have urged against it.

At present we suspect that our author prefers the first conception,
though he might contend that his hypothesis is compatible with either
of the three. That it is also compatible with an atheistic or
pantheistic conception of the universe is an objection which, being
shared by all physical science, and some ethical or moral, cannot
specially be urged against Darwin's system. As he rejects spontaneous
generation, and admits of intervention at the beginning of organic
life, and probably in more than one instance, he is not wholly
excluded from adopting the middle view, although the interventions he
would allow are few and far back. Yet one interposition admits the
principle as well as more. Interposition presupposes particular
necessity or reason for it, and raises the question, When and how
often it may have been necessary. It would be the natural supposition,
if we had only one set of species to account for, or if the successive
inhabitants of the earth had no other connections or resemblances than
those which adaptation to similar conditions might explain. But if
this explanation of organic Nature requires one to "believe, that, at
innumerable periods in the earth's history, certain elemental atoms
have been commanded suddenly to flash into living tissues," and when
the results are seen to be all orderly, according to a few types, we
cannot wonder that such interventions should at length be considered,
not as interpositions or interferences, but rather as "exertions so
frequent and beneficent that we come to regard them as the ordinary
action of Him who laid the foundations of the earth, and without whom
not a sparrow falleth to the ground."[7]

What does the difference between Mr. Darwin and his reviewer now
amount to? If we say that according to one view the origination of
species is _natural_, according to the other _miraculous_, Mr. Darwin
agrees that "what is natural as much requires and presupposes an
intelligent mind to render it so,--that is, to effect it continually
or at stated times,--as what is supernatural does to effect it for
once."[8] He merely inquires into the form of the miracle, may remind
us that all recorded miracles (except the primal creation of matter)
were transformations or actions in and upon natural things, and will
ask how many times and how frequently may the origination of
successive species be repeated before the supernatural merges in the

In short, Darwin maintains that the origination of a species, no less
than that of an individual, is natural. The reviewer, that the natural
origination of an individual, no less than the origination of a
species, requires and presupposes Divine power. _A fortiori_, then,
the origination of a variety requires and presupposes Divine power.
And so between the scientific hypothesis of the one and the
philosophical conception of the other no contrariety remains. "A
proper view of the nature of causation.... places the vital doctrine
of the being and the providence of a God on ground that can never be
shaken."[9] A true and worthy conclusion, and a sufficient answer to
the denunciations and arguments of the rest of the article, so far as
philosophy and natural theology are concerned. If a writer must needs
use his own favorite dogma as a weapon with which to give _coup de
grace_ to a pernicious theory, he should be careful to seize it by the
handle, and not by the blade.

We can barely glance at a subsidiary philosophical objection of the
"North American" reviewer, which the "Examiner" also raises, though
less explicitly. Like all geologists, Mr. Darwin draws upon time in
the most unlimited manner. He is not peculiar in this regard. Mr.
Agassiz tells us that the conviction is "now universal among
well-informed naturalists, that this globe has been in existence for
innumerable ages, and that the length of time elapsed since it first
became inhabited cannot be counted in years." Pictet, that the
imagination refuses to calculate the immense number of years and of
ages during which the faunas of thirty or more epochs have succeeded
one another, and developed their long succession of generations. Now
the reviewer declares that such indefinite succession of ages is
"virtually infinite," "lacks no characteristic of eternity except its
name,"--at least, that "the difference between such a conception and
that of the strictly infinite, if any, is not appreciable." But
infinity belongs to metaphysics. Therefore, he concludes, Darwin
supports his theory, not by scientific, but by metaphysical evidence;
his theory is "essentially and completely metaphysical in character,
resting altogether upon that idea of 'the infinite' which the human
mind can neither put aside nor comprehend."[10] And so a theory which
will be generally objected to as much too physical is transposed by a
single syllogism to metaphysics.

Well, physical geology must go with it: for, even on the soberest
view, it demands an indefinitely long time antecedent to the
introduction of organic life upon our earth. _A fortiori_ is physical
astronomy a branch of metaphysics, demanding, as it does, still larger
"instalments of infinity," as the reviewer calls them, both as to time
and number. Moreover, far the greater part of physical inquiries now
relate to molecular actions, which, a distinguished natural
philosopher informs us, "we have to regard as the results of an
infinite number of infinitely small material particles, acting on each
other at infinitely small distances,"--a triad of infinites,--and so
_physics_ becomes the most _metaphysical_ of sciences.

Verily, on this view,

  "Thinking is but an idle waste of thought,
  And nought is everything, and everything is

The leading objection of Mr. Agassiz is likewise of a philosophical
character. It is, that species exist only "as categories of
thought,"--that, having no material existence, they can have had no
material variation, and no material community of origin. Here the
predication is of species in the subjective sense, while the inference
is applied to them in the objective sense. Reduced to plain terms, the
argument seems to be: Species are ideas; therefore the objects from
which the idea is derived cannot vary or blend, cannot have had a
genealogical connection.

The common view of species is, that, although they are
generalizations, yet they have a direct objective ground in Nature,
which genera, orders, etc., have not. According to the succinct
definition of Jussieu,--and that of Linnaeus is identical in
meaning,--a species is the perennial succession of similar individuals
in continued generations. The species is the chain of which the
individuals are the links. The sum of the genealogically connected
similar individuals constitutes the species, which thus has an
actuality and ground of distinction not shared by genera and other
groups which were not supposed to be genealogically connected. How a
derivative hypothesis would modify this view, in assigning to species
only a temporary fixity, is obvious. Yet, if naturalists adopt this
hypothesis, they will still retain Jussieu's definition, which leaves
untouched the question as to how and when the "perennial successions"
were established. The practical question will only be, How much
difference between two sets of individuals entitles them to rank under
distinct species; and that is the practical question now, on whatever
theory. The theoretical question is--as stated at the beginning of
this long article--whether these specific lines were always as
distinct as now.

Mr. Agassiz has "lost no opportunity of urging the idea, that, while
species have no material existence, they yet exist as categories of
thought in the same way [and only in the same way] as genera,
families, orders, classes," etc. He "has taken the ground, that all
the natural divisions in the animal kingdom are primarily distinct,
founded upon different categories of characters, and that all exist in
the same way, that is, as categories of thought, embodied in
individual living forms. I have attempted to show that branches in the
animal kingdom are founded upon different plans of structure, and for
that very reason have embraced from the beginning representatives
between which there could be no community of origin; that classes are
founded upon different modes of execution of these plans, and
therefore they also embrace representatives which could have no
community of origin; that orders represent the different degrees of
complication in the mode of execution of each class, and therefore
embrace representatives which could not have a community of origin any
more than the members of different classes or branches; that families
are founded upon different patterns of form, and embrace
representatives equally independent in their origin; that genera are
founded upon ultimate peculiarities of structure, embracing
representatives which, from the very nature of their peculiarities,
could have no community of origin; and that, finally, species are
based upon relations and proportions that exclude, as much as all the
preceding distinctions, the idea of a common descent.

"As the community of characters among the beings belonging to these
different categories arises from the intellectual connection which
shows them to be categories of thought, they cannot be the result of a
gradual material differentiation of the objects themselves. The
argument on which these views are founded may be summed up in the
following few words: Species, genera, families, etc., exist as
thoughts, individuals as facts."[11]

An ingenious dilemma caps the argument:--

"It seems to me that there is much confusion of ideas in the general
statement of the variability of species so often repeated lately. If
species do not exist at all, as the supporters of the transmutation
theory maintain, how can they vary? and if individuals alone exist,
how can the differences which may be observed among them prove the
variability of species?"

Now we imagine that Mr. Darwin need not be dangerously gored by either
horn of this curious dilemma. Although we ourselves cherish
old-fashioned prejudices in favor of the probable permanence, and
therefore of a more stable objective ground of species, yet we
agree--and Mr. Darwin will agree fully with Mr. Agassiz--that species,
and he will add varieties, "exist as categories of thought," that is,
as cognizable distinctions,--which is all that we can make of the
phrase here, whatever it may mean in the Aristotelian metaphysics.
Admitting that species are only categories of thought, and not facts
or things, how does this prevent the individuals, which are material
things, from having varied in the course of time, so as to exemplify
the present almost innumerable categories of thought, or embodiments
of Divine thoughts in material forms, or--viewed on the human side--in
forms marked with such orderly and graduated resemblances and
differences as to suggest to our minds the idea of species, genera,
orders, etc., and to our reason the inference of a Divine original? We
have no clear idea how Mr. Agassiz intends to answer this question, in
saying that branches are founded upon different plans of structure,
classes upon different modes of execution of these plans, orders on
different degrees of complication in the mode of execution, families
upon different patterns of form, genera upon ultimate peculiarities of
structure, and species upon relations and proportions. That is, we do
not perceive how these several "categories of thought" exclude the
possibility or the probability that the individuals which manifest or
suggest the thoughts had an ultimate community of origin. Moreover,
Mr. Darwin would insinuate that the particular philosophy of
classification upon which this whole argument reposes is as purely
hypothetical and as little accepted as his own doctrine. If both are
pure hypotheses, it is hardly fair or satisfactory to extinguish the
one by the other. If there is no real contradiction between them,
there is no use in making the attempt.

As to the dilemma propounded, suppose we try it upon that category of
thought which we call _chair_. This is a genus, comprising the common
chair, (_Sella vulgaris_,) the arm or easy chair, (_S. cathedra_,) the
rocking chair, (_S. oscillans_,) widely distributed in the United
States, and some others,--each of which has _sported_, as the
gardeners say, into many varieties. But now, as the genus and the
_species_ have no material existence, how can they vary? If
individuals alone exist, how can the differences which may be observed
among them prove the variability of the species? To which we reply by
asking, Which does the question refer to, the category of thought, or
the individual embodiment? If the former, then we would remark that
our categories of thought vary from time to time in the readiest
manner. And, although the Divine thoughts are eternal, yet they are
manifested in time and succession, and by their manifestation only can
we know them, how imperfectly! Allowing that what has no material
existence can have had no material connection and no material
variation, we should yet infer that what had intellectual existence
and connection might have intellectual variation; and, turning to the
individuals which represent the species, we do not see how all this
shows that they may not vary. Observation shows us that they do.
Wherefore, taught by fact that successive individuals do vary, we
safely infer that the idea or intention must have varied, and that
this variation of the individual representatives proves the
variability of the species, whether subjectively or objectively

Each species or sort of chair, as we have said, has its varieties, and
one species shades off by gradations into another. And--note it
well--these numerous and successively slight variations and
gradations, far from suggesting an accidental origin to chairs and to
their forms, are very proofs of design.

Again, _edifice_ is a generic category of thought. Egyptian, Grecian,
Byzantine, and Gothic buildings are well-marked species, of which each
individual building of the sort is a material embodiment. Now the
question is, whether these categories of thought may not have been
evolved, one from another, in succession, or from some primal, less
specialized, edificial category. What better evidence for such
hypothesis could we have than the variations and grades which connect
one of these species with another? We might extend the parallel, and
get some good illustrations of natural selection from the history of
architecture, the probable origin of the different styles, and their
adaptation to different climates and conditions. Two qualifying
considerations are noticeable. One, that houses do not propagate, so
as to produce continuing lines of each sort and variety; but this is
of small moment on Agassiz's view, he holding that genealogical
connection is not of the essence of species at all. The other, that
the formation and development of the ideas upon which human works
proceed is gradual; or, as the same great naturalist well states it,
"while human thought is consecutive, Divine thought is simultaneous."
But we have no right to affirm this of Divine action.

We must close here. We meant to review some of the more general
scientific objections which we thought not altogether tenable. But,
after all, we are not so anxious just now to know whether the new
theory is well founded on facts as whether it would be harmless, if it
were. Besides, we feel quite unable to answer some of these
objections, and it is pleasanter to take up those which one thinks he

Among the unanswerable, perhaps the weightiest of the objections, is
that of the absence, in geological deposits, of vestiges of the
intermediate forms which the theory requires to have existed. Here all
that Mr. Darwin can do is to insist upon the extreme imperfection of
the geological record and the uncertainty of negative evidence. But,
withal, he allows the force of the objection almost as much as his
opponents urge it,--so much so, indeed, that two of his English
critics turn the concession unfairly upon him, and charge him with
actually basing his hypothesis upon these and similar
difficulties,--as if he held it because of the difficulties, and not
in spite of them;--a handsome return for his candor!

As to this imperfection of the geological record, perhaps we should
get a fair and intelligible illustration of it by imagining the
existing animals and plants of New England, with all their remains and
products since the arrival of the Mayflower, to be annihilated; and
that, in the coming time, the geologists of a new colony, dropped by
the New Zealand fleet on its way to explore the ruins of London,
undertake, after fifty years of examination, to reconstruct in a
catalogue the flora and fauna of our day, that is, from the close of
the glacial period to the present time. With all the advantages of a
surface exploration, what a beggarly account it must be! How many of
the land animals and plants which are enumerated in the Massachusetts
official reports would it be likely to contain?

Another unanswerable question asked by the Boston reviewers is, Why,
when structure and instinct or habit vary,--as they must have varied,
on Darwin's hypothesis,--they vary together and harmoniously, instead
of vaguely. We cannot tell, because we cannot tell why either should
vary at all. Yet, as they both do vary in successive generations,--as
is seen under domestication,--and are correlated, we can only adduce
the fact. Darwin may be precluded from this answer, but we may say
that they vary together because designed to do so. A reviewer says
that the chance of their varying together is inconceivably small; yet,
if they do not, the variant individuals must perish. Then it is well
that it is not left to chance. As to the fact: before we were born,
nourishment and the equivalent to respiration took place in a certain
way. But the moment we were ushered into this breathing world, our
actions promptly conformed, both as to respiration and nourishment, to
the before unused structure and to the new surroundings.

"Now," says the "Examiner," "suppose, for instance, the gills of an
aquatic animal converted into lungs, while instinct still compelled a
continuance under water, would not drowning ensue?" No doubt.
But--simply contemplating the facts, instead of theorizing--we notice
that young frogs do not keep their heads under water after ceasing to
be tadpoles. The instinct promptly changes with the structure, without
supernatural interposition,--just as Darwin would have it, if the
development of a variety or incipient species, though rare, were as
natural as a metamorphosis.

"Or if a quadruped, not yet furnished with wings, were suddenly
inspired with the instinct of a bird, and precipitated itself from a
cliff, would not the descent be hazardously rapid?" Doubtless the
animal would be no better supported than the objection. Darwin makes
very little indeed of voluntary efforts as a cause of change, and even
poor Lamarck need not be caricatured. He never supposed that an
elephant would take such a notion into his wise head, or that a
squirrel would begin with other than short and easy leaps; but might
not the length of the leap be increased by practice?

The "North American" reviewer's position, that the higher brute
animals have comparatively little instinct and no intelligence, is a
heavy blow and great discouragement to dogs, horses, elephants, and
monkeys. Stripped of their all, and left to shift for themselves as
they can in this hard world, their pursuit and seeming attainment of
knowledge under such peculiar difficulties is interesting to
contemplate. However, we are not so sure as is the critic that
instinct regularly increases downward and decreases upward in the
scale of being. Now that the case of the bee is reduced to moderate
proportions,[12] we know of nothing in instinct surpassing that of an
animal so high as a bird, the Talegal, the male of which plumes
himself upon making a hot-bed in which to hatch his partner's
eggs,--which he tends and regulates the heat of about as carefully and
skilfully as the unplumed biped does an eccaleobion.[13] As to the
real intelligence of the higher brutes, it has been ably defended by a
far more competent observer, Mr. Agassiz, to whose conclusions we
yield a general assent, although we cannot quite place the best of
dogs "in that respect upon a level with a considerable portion of poor
humanity," nor indulge the hope, or, indeed, the desire, of a renewed
acquaintance with the whole animal kingdom in a future life.[14]

The assertion, that acquired habitudes or instincts, and acquired
structures, are not heritable, any breeder or good observer can

That "the human mind has become what it is out of a developed
instinct"[15] is a statement which Mr. Darwin nowhere makes, and, we
presume, would not accept. As to his having us believe that individual
animals acquire their instincts gradually,[16] this statement must
have been penned in inadvertence both of the very definition of
instinct, and of everything we know of in Mr. Darwin's book.

It has been attempted to destroy the very foundation of Darwin's
hypothesis by denying that there are any wild varieties, to speak of,
for natural selection to operate upon. We cannot gravely sit down to
prove that wild varieties abound. We should think it just as necessary
to prove that snow falls in winter. That variation among plants cannot
be largely due to hybridism, and that their variation in Nature is not
essentially different from much that occurs in domestication, we could
show, if our space permitted.

As to the sterility of hybrids, that can no longer be insisted upon as
absolutely true, nor be practically used as a test between species and
varieties, unless we allow that hares and rabbits are of one species.
That it subserves a purpose in keeping species apart, and was so
designed, we do not doubt. But the critics fail to perceive that this
sterility proves nothing against the derivative origin of the actual
species; for it may as well have been intended to keep separate those
forms which have reached a certain amount of divergence as those which
were always thus distinct.

The argument for the permanence of species, drawn from the identity
with those now living of cats, birds, and other animals, preserved in
Egyptian catacombs, was good enough as used by Cuvier against St.
Hilaire, that is, against the supposition that time brings about a
gradual alteration of whole species; but it goes for little against
Darwin, unless it be proved that species never vary, or that the
perpetuation of a variety necessitates the extinction of the parent
breed. For Darwin clearly maintains--what the facts warrant--that the
mass of a species remains fixed so long as it exists at all, though it
may set off a variety now and then. The variety may finally supersede
the parent form, but it may coexist with it; yet it does not in the
least hinder the unvaried stock from continuing true to the breed,
unless it crosses with it. The common law of inheritance may be
expected to keep both the original and the variety mainly true as long
as they last, and none the less so because they have given rise to
occasional varieties. The tailless Manx cats, like the fox in the
fable, have not induced the normal breeds to dispense with their
tails, nor have the Dorkings (apparently known to Pliny) affected the
permanence of the common sort of fowl.

As to the objection, that the lower forms of life ought, on Darwin's
theory, to have been long ago improved out of existence, replaced by
higher forms, the objectors forget what a vacuum that would leave
below, and what a vast field there is to which a simple organization
is best adapted, and where an advance would be no improvement, but the
contrary. To accumulate the greatest amount of being upon a given
space, and to provide as much enjoyment of life as can be under the
conditions, seems to be aimed at, and this is effected by

Finally, we advise nobody to accept Darwin's, or any other derivative
theory, as true. The time has not come for that, and perhaps never
will. We also advise against a similar credulity on the other side, in
a blind faith that species--that the manifold sorts and forms of
existing animals and vegetables--"have no secondary cause." The
contrary is already not unlikely, and we suppose will hereafter become
more and more probable. But we are confident, that, if a derivative
hypothesis ever is established, it will be so on a solid theistic

Meanwhile an inevitable and legitimate hypothesis is on trial,--an
hypothesis thus far not untenable,--a trial just now very useful to
science, and, we conclude, not harmful to religion, unless injudicious
assailants temporarily make it so.

One good effect is already manifest: its enabling the advocates of the
hypothesis of a multiplicity of human species to perceive the double
insecurity of their ground. When the races of men are admitted to be
of one species, the corollary, that they are of one origin, may be
expected to follow. Those who allow them to be of one species must
admit an actual diversification into strongly marked and persistent
varieties, and so admit the basis of fact upon which the Darwinian
hypothesis is built; while those, on the other hand, who recognize a
diversity of human species, will hardly be able to maintain that such
species were primordial and supernatural in the common sense of the

The English mind is prone to positivism and kindred forms of
materialistic philosophy, and we must expect the derivative theory to
be taken up in that interest. We have no predilection for that school,
but the contrary. If we had, we might have looked complacently upon a
line of criticism which would indirectly, but effectively, play into
the hands of positivists and materialistic atheists generally. The
wiser and stronger ground to take is, that the derivative hypothesis
leaves the argument for design, and therefore for a Designer, as valid
as it ever was;--that to do any work by an instrument must require,
and therefore presuppose, the exertion rather of more than of less
power than to do it directly;--that whoever would be a consistent
theist should believe that Design in the natural world is coextensive
with Providence, and hold fully to the one as he does to the other, in
spite of the wholly similar and apparently insuperable difficulties
which the mind encounters whenever it endeavors to develop the idea
into a complete system, either in the material and organic, or in the
moral world. It is enough, in the way of obviating objections, to show
that the philosophical difficulties of the one are the same, and only
the same, as of the other.

[Footnote 1: Whatever it may be, it is not "the homoeopathic form of
the transmutative hypothesis," as Darwin's is said to be, (p. 252,
Amer. reprint,) so happily that the prescription is repeated in the
second (p. 259) and third (p. 271) dilutions, no doubt, on Hahnemann's
famous principle, with an increase of potency at each dilution.
Probably the supposed transmutation is _per saltus_. "Homoeopathic
doses of transmutation," indeed! Well, if we really must swallow
transmutation in some form or other, as this reviewer intimates, we
might prefer the mild homoeopathic doses of Darwin's formula to the
allopathic bolus which the Edinburgh general practitioner appears to
be compounding.]

[Footnote 2: Vide _North American Review_, for April, 1860, p. 475,
and _Christian Examiner_, for May, p. 457.]

[Footnote 3: Page 188, English ed.]

[Footnote 4: In _American Journal of Science_, July, 1860, pp. 148,

[Footnote 5: In _Contributions to the Nat. Hist. of U. S._, Vol. i.
pp. 128, 129.]

[Footnote 6: _Contr. Nat. Hist. U.S._, Vol. i. p. 130; and _Amer.
Journal of Science_, July, 1860, p. 143.]

[Footnote 7: _North American Review_, for April, 1860, p. 506.]

[Footnote 8: _Vide_ mottoes to the second edition of Darwin's work.]

[Footnote 9: _North American Review_, l.c. p. 504.]

[Footnote 10: _North American Review_, l.c. p. 487, _et passim._]

[Footnote 11: _In American Journal of Science_, July, 1860, p. 143.]

[Footnote 12: _Vide_ article by Mr. C. Wright, in the _Mathematical
Monthly_ for May last.]

[Footnote 13: Vide _Edinburgh Review_ for January, 1860, article on
"Acclimatization," etc.]

[Footnote 14: _Contributions; Essay on Classification_, etc., Vol. i.
pp. 60-66.]

[Footnote 15: _North Amer. Review_, April, 1860, p. 475.]

[Footnote 16: _Amer. Journal of Science_, July, 1860, p. 146.]

       *       *       *       *       *




Among green New England hills stood an ancient house, many-gabled,
mossy-roofed, and quaintly built, but picturesque and pleasant to the
eye; for a brook ran babbling through the orchard that encompassed it
about, a garden-plot stretched upward to the whispering birches on the
slope, and patriarchal elms stood sentinel upon the lawn, as they had
stood almost a century ago, when the Revolution rolled that way and
found them young.

One summer morning, when the air was full of country sounds, of mowers
in the meadow, blackbirds by the brook, and the low of kine upon the
hill-side, the old house wore its cheeriest aspect, and a certain
humble history began.


"Yes, Di."

And a head, brown-locked, blue-eyed, soft-featured, looked in at the
open door in answer to the call.

"Just bring me the third volume of 'Wilhelm Meister,'--there's a dear.
It's hardly worth while to rouse such a restless ghost as I, when I'm
once fairly laid."

As she spoke, Di pushed up her black braids, thumped the pillow of the
couch where she was lying, and with eager eyes went down the last page
of her book.


"Yes, Laura," replied the girl, coming back with the third volume for
the literary cormorant, who took it with a nod, still too intent upon
the "Confessions of a Fair Saint" to remember the failings of a
certain plain sinner.

"Don't forget the Italian cream for dinner. I depend upon it; for it's
the only thing fit for me this hot weather."

And Laura, the cool blonde, disposed the folds of her white gown more
gracefully about her, and touched up the eyebrow of the Minerva she
was drawing.

"Little daughter!"

"Yes, father."

"Let me have plenty of clean collars in my bag, for I must go at
three; and some of you bring me a glass of cider in about an hour;--I
shall be in the lower garden."

The old man went away into his imaginary paradise, and Nan into that
domestic purgatory on a summer day,--the kitchen. There were vines
about the windows, sunshine on the floor, and order everywhere; but it
was haunted by a cooking-stove, that family altar whence such varied
incense rises to appease the appetite of household gods, before which
such dire incantations are pronounced to ease the wrath and woe of the
priestess of the fire, and about which often linger saddest memories
of wasted temper, time, and toil.

Nan was tired, having risen with the birds,--hurried, having many
cares those happy little housewives never know,--and disappointed in a
hope that hourly "dwindled, peaked, and pined." She was too young to
make the anxious lines upon her forehead seem at home there, too
patient to be burdened with the labor others should have shared, too
light of heart to be pent up when earth and sky were keeping a blithe
holiday. But she was one of that meek sisterhood who, thinking humbly
of themselves, believe they are honored by being spent in the service
of less conscientious souls, whose careless thanks seem quite reward

To and fro she went, silent and diligent, giving the grace of
willingness to every humble or distasteful task the day had brought
her; but some malignant sprite seemed to have taken possession of her
kingdom, for rebellion broke out everywhere. The kettles would boil
over most obstreperously,--the mutton refused to cook with the meek
alacrity to be expected from the nature of a sheep,--the stove, with
unnecessary warmth of temper, would glow like a fiery furnace,--the
irons would scorch,--the linens would dry,--and spirits would fail,
though patience never.

Nan tugged on, growing hotter and wearier, more hurried and more
hopeless, till at last the crisis came; for in one fell moment she
tore her gown, burnt her hand, and smutched the collar she was
preparing to finish in the most unexceptionable style. Then, if she
had been a nervous woman, she would have scolded; being a gentle girl,
she only "lifted up her voice and wept."

"Behold, she watereth her linen with salt tears, and bewaileth herself
because of much tribulation. But, lo! help cometh from afar: a strong
man bringeth lettuce wherewith to stay her, plucketh berries to
comfort her withal, and clasheth cymbals that she may dance for joy."

The voice came from the porch, and, with her hope fulfilled, Nan
looked up to greet John Lord, the house-friend, who stood there with a
basket on his arm; and as she saw his honest eyes, kind lips, and
helpful hands, the girl thought this plain young man the comeliest,
most welcome sight she had beheld that day.

"How good of you, to come through all this heat, and not to laugh at
my despair!" she said, looking up like a grateful child, as she led
him in.

"I only obeyed orders, Nan; for a certain dear old lady had a motherly
presentiment that you had got into a domestic whirlpool, and sent me
as a sort of life-preserver. So I took the basket of consolation, and
came to fold my feet upon the carpet of contentment in the tent of

As he spoke, John gave his own gift in his mother's name, and bestowed
himself in the wide window-seat, where morning-glories nodded at him,
and the old butternut sent pleasant shadows dancing to and fro.

His advent, like that of Orpheus in Hades, seemed to soothe all
unpropitious powers with a sudden spell. The fire began to slacken,
the kettles began to lull, the meat began to cook, the irons began to
cool, the clothes began to behave, the spirits began to rise, and the
collar was finished off with most triumphant success. John watched the
change, and, though a lord of creation, abased himself to take
compassion on the weaker vessel, and was seized with a great desire to
lighten the homely tasks that tried her strength of body and soul. He
took a comprehensive glance about the room; then, extracting a dish
from the closet, proceeded to imbrue his hands in the strawberries'

"Oh, John, you needn't do that; I shall have time when I've turned the
meat, made the pudding, and done these things. See, I'm getting on
finely now;--you're a judge of such matters; isn't that nice?"

As she spoke, Nan offered the polished absurdity for inspection with
innocent pride.

"Oh that I were a collar, to sit upon that hand!" sighed
John,--adding, argumentatively, "As to the berry question, I might
answer it with a gem from Dr. Watts, relative to 'Satan' and 'idle
hands,' but will merely say, that, as a matter of public safety, you'd
better leave me alone; for such is the destructiveness of my nature,
that I shall certainly eat something hurtful, break something
valuable, or sit upon something crushable, unless you let me
concentrate my energies by knocking off these young fellows' hats, and
preparing them for their doom."

Looking at the matter in a charitable light, Nan consented, and went
cheerfully on with her work, wondering how she could have thought
ironing an infliction, and been so ungrateful for the blessings of her

"Where's Sally?" asked John, looking vainly for the energetic
functionary who usually pervaded that region like a domestic
police-woman, a terror to cats, dogs, and men.

"She has gone to her cousin's funeral, and won't be back till Monday.
There seems to be a great fatality among her relations; for one dies,
or comes to grief in some way, about once a month. But I don't blame
poor Sally for wanting to get away from this place now and then. I
think I could find it in my heart to murder an imaginary friend or
two, if I had to stay here long."

And Nan laughed so blithely, it was a pleasure to hear her.

"Where's Di?" asked John, seized with a most unmasculine curiosity all
at once.

"She is in Germany with 'Wilhelm Meister'; but, though 'lost to sight,
to memory dear'; for I was just thinking, as I did her things, how
clever she is to like all kinds of books that I don't understand at
all, and to write things that make me cry with pride and delight. Yes,
she's a talented dear, though she hardly knows a needle from a
crowbar, and will make herself one great blot some of these days, when
the 'divine afflatus' descends upon her, I'm afraid."

And Nan rubbed away with sisterly zeal at Di's forlorn hose and inky

"Where is Laura?" proceeded the inquisitor.

"Well, I might say that _she_ was in Italy; for she is copying some
fine thing of Raphael's, or Michel Angelo's, or some great creature's
or other; and she looks so picturesque in her pretty gown, sitting
before her easel, that it's really a sight to behold, and I've peeped
two or three times to see how she gets on."

And Nan bestirred herself to prepare the dish wherewith her
picturesque sister desired to prolong her artistic existence.

"Where is your father?" John asked again, checking off each answer
with a nod and a little frown.

"He is down in the garden, deep in some plan about melons, the
beginning of which seems to consist in stamping the first proposition
in Euclid all over the bed, and then poking a few seeds into the
middle of each. Why, bless the dear man! I forgot it was time for the
cider. Wouldn't you like to take it to him, John? He'd love to consult
you; and the lane is so cool, it does one's heart good to look at it."

John glanced from the steamy kitchen to the shadowy path, and answered
with a sudden assumption of immense industry,--

"I couldn't possibly go, Nan,--I've so much on my hands. You'll have
to do it yourself. 'Mr. Robert of Lincoln' has something for your
private ear; and the lane is so cool, it will do one's heart good to
see you in it. Give my regards to your father, and, in the words of
'Little Mabel's' mother, with slight variations,--

  'Tell the dear old body
    This day I cannot run,
  For the pots are boiling over
    And the mutton isn't done.'"

"I will; but please, John, go in to the girls and be comfortable; for
I don't like to leave you here," said Nan.

"You insinuate that I should pick at the pudding or invade the cream,
do you? Ungrateful girl, leave me!" And, with melodramatic sternness,
John extinguished her in his broad-brimmed hat, and offered the glass
like a poisoned goblet.

Nan took it, and went smiling away. But the lane might have been the
Desert of Sahara, for all she knew of it; and she would have passed
her father as unconcernedly as if he had been an apple-tree, had he
not called out,--

"Stand and deliver, little woman!"

She obeyed the venerable highway-man, and followed him to and fro,
listening to his plans and directions with a mute attention that quite
won his heart.

"That hop-pole is really an ornament now, Nan; this sage-bed needs
weeding,--that's good work for you girls; and, now I think of it,
you'd better water the lettuce in the cool of the evening, after I'm

To all of which remarks Nan gave her assent; though the hop-pole took
the likeness of a tall figure she had seen in the porch, the sage-bed,
curiously enough, suggested a strawberry ditto, the lettuce vividly
reminded her of certain vegetable productions a basket had brought,
and the bob-o-link only sung in his cheeriest voice, "Go home, go
home! he is there!"

She found John--he having made a freemason of himself, by assuming her
little apron--meditating over the partially spread table, lost in
amaze at its desolate appearance; one half its proper paraphernalia
having been forgotten, and the other half put on awry. Nan laughed
till the tears ran over her cheeks, and John was gratified at the
efficacy of his treatment; for her face had brought a whole harvest of
sunshine from the garden, and all her cares seemed to have been lost
in the windings of the lane.

"Nan, are you in hysterics?" cried Di, appearing, book in hand. "John,
you absurd man, what are you doing?"

"I'm helpin' the maid of all work, please marm." And John dropped a
curtsy with his limited apron.

Di looked ruffled, for the merry words were a covert reproach; and
with her usual energy of manner and freedom of speech she tossed
"Wilhelm" out of the window, exclaiming, irefully,--

"That's always the way; I'm never where I ought to be, and never think
of anything till it's too late; but it's all Goethe's fault. What does
he write books full of smart 'Phillinas' and interesting 'Meisters'
for? How can I be expected to remember that Sally's away, and people
must eat, when I'm hearing the 'Harper' and little 'Mignon'? John, how
dare you come here and do my work, instead of shaking me and telling
me to do it myself? Take that toasted child away, and fan her like a
Chinese mandarin, while I dish up this dreadful dinner."

John and Nan fled like chaff before the wind, while Di, full of
remorseful zeal, charged at the kettles, and wrenched off the
potatoes' jackets, as if she were revengefully pulling her own hair.
Laura had a vague intention of going to assist; but, getting lost
among the lights and shadows of Minerva's helmet, forgot to appear
till dinner had been evoked from chaos and peace was restored.

At three o'clock, Di performed the coronation-ceremony with her
father's best hat; Laura re-tied his old-fashioned neck-cloth, and
arranged his white locks with an eye to saintly effect; Nan appeared
with a beautifully written sermon, and suspicious ink-stains on the
fingers that slipped it into his pocket; John attached himself to the
bag; and the patriarch was escorted to the door of his tent with the
triumphal procession which usually attended his out-goings and
in-comings. Having kissed the female portion of his tribe, he ascended
the venerable chariot, which received him with audible lamentation, as
its rheumatic joints swayed to and fro.

"Good-bye, my dears! I shall be back early on Monday morning; so take
care of yourselves, and be sure you all go and hear Mr. Emerboy preach
to-morrow. My regards to your mother, John. Come, Solon!"

But Solon merely cocked one ear, and remained a fixed fact; for long
experience had induced the philosophic beast to take for his motto the
Yankee maxim, "Be sure you're right, then go ahead!" He knew things
were not right; therefore he did not go ahead.

"Oh, by-the-way, girls, don't forget to pay Tommy Mullein for bringing
up the cow: he expects it to-night. And, Di, don't sit up till
daylight, nor let Laura stay out in the dew. Now, I believe, I'm off.
Come, Solon!"

But Solon only cocked the other ear, gently agitated his mortified
tail, as premonitory symptoms of departure, and never stirred a hoof,
being well aware that it always took three "comes" to make a "go."

"Bless me! I've forgotten my spectacles. They are probably shut up in
that volume of Herbert on my table. Very awkward to find myself
without them ten miles away. Thank you, John. Don't neglect to water
the lettuce, Nan, and don't overwork yourself, my little 'Martha.'

At this juncture, Solon suddenly went off, like "Mrs. Gamp," in a sort
of walking swoon, apparently deaf and blind to all mundane matters,
except the refreshments awaiting him ten miles away; and the benign
old pastor disappeared, humming "Hebron" to the creaking accompaniment
of the bulgy chaise.

Laura retired to take her _siesta_; Nan made a small _carbonaro_ of
herself by sharpening her sister's crayons, and Di, as a sort of
penance for past sins, tried her patience over a piece of knitting, in
which she soon originated a somewhat remarkable pattern, by dropping
every third stitch, and seaming _ad libitum_. If John had been a
gentlemanly creature, with refined tastes, he would have elevated his
feet and made a nuisance of himself by indulging in a "weed"; but
being only an uncultivated youth, with a rustic regard for pure air
and womankind in general, he kept his head uppermost, and talked like
a man, instead of smoking like a chimney.

"It will probably be six months before I sit here again, tangling your
threads and maltreating your needles, Nan. How glad you must feel to
hear it!" he said, looking up from a thoughtful examination of the
hard-working little citizens of the Industrial Community settled in
Nan's work-basket.

"No, I'm very sorry; for I like to see you coming and going as you
used to, years ago, and I miss you very much when you are gone, John,"
answered truthful Nan, whittling away in a sadly wasteful manner, as
her thoughts flew back to the happy times when a little lad rode a
little lass in the big wheelbarrow, and never spilt his load,--when
two brown heads bobbed daily side by side to school, and the favorite
play was "Babes in the Wood," with Di for a somewhat peckish robin to
cover the small martyrs with any vegetable substance that lay at hand.
Nan sighed, as she thought of these things, and John regarded the
battered thimble on his fingertip with increased benignity of aspect
as he heard the sound.

"When are you going to make your fortune, John, and get out of that
disagreeable hardware concern?" demanded Di, pausing after an exciting
"round," and looking almost as much exhausted as if it had been a
veritable pugilistic encounter.

"I intend to make it by plunging still deeper into 'that disagreeable
hardware concern'; for, next year, if the world keeps rolling, and
John Lord is alive, he will become a partner, and then--and then"----

The color sprang up into the young man's cheek, his eyes looked out
with a sudden shine, and his hand seemed involuntarily to close, as if
he saw and seized some invisible delight.

"What will happen then, John?" asked Nan, with a wondering glance.

"I'll tell you in a year, Nan,--wait till then." And John's strong
hand unclosed, as if the desired good were not to be his yet.

Di looked at him, with a knitting-needle stuck into her hair, saying,
like a sarcastic unicorn,--

"I really thought you had a soul above pots and kettles, but I see you
haven't; and I beg your pardon for the injustice I have done you."

Not a whit disturbed, John smiled, as if at some mighty pleasant fancy
of his own, as he replied,--

"Thank you, Di; and as a further proof of the utter depravity of my
nature, let me tell you that I have the greatest possible respect for
those articles of ironmongery. Some of the happiest hours of my life
have been spent in their society; some of my pleasantest associations
are connected with them; some of my best lessons have come to me from
among them; and when my fortune is made, I intend to show my gratitude
by taking three flat-irons rampant for my coat of arms."

Nan laughed merrily, as she looked at the burns on her hand; but Di
elevated the most prominent feature of her brown countenance, and
sighed despondingly,--

"Dear, dear, what a disappointing world this is! I no sooner build a
nice castle in Spain, and settle a smart young knight therein, than
down it comes about my ears; and the ungrateful youth, who might fight
dragons, if he chose, insists on quenching his energies in a saucepan,
and making a Saint Lawrence of himself by wasting his life on a series
of gridirons. Ah, if _I_ were only a man, I would do something better
than that, and prove that heroes are not all dead yet. But, instead of
that, I'm only a woman, and must sit rasping my temper with
absurdities like this." And Di wrestled with her knitting as if it
were Fate, and she were paying off the grudge she owed it.

John leaned toward her, saying, with a look that made his plain face

"Di, my father began the world as I begin it, and left it the richer
for the useful years he spent here,--as I hope I may leave it some
half-century hence. His memory makes that dingy shop a pleasant place
to me; for there he made an honest name, led an honest life, and
bequeathed to me his reverence for honest work. That is a sort of
hardware, Di, that no rust can corrupt, and which will always prove a
better fortune than any your knights can achieve with sword and
shield. I think I am not quite a clod, or quite without some
aspirations above money-getting; for I sincerely desire that courage
which makes daily life heroic by self-denial and cheerfulness of
heart; I am eager to conquer my own rebellious nature, and earn the
confidence of innocent and upright souls; I have a great ambition to
become as good a man and leave as green a memory behind me as old John

Di winked violently, and seamed five times in perfect silence; but
quiet Nan had the gift of knowing when to speak, and by a timely word
saved her sister from a thunder-shower and her stocking from

"John, have you seen Philip since you wrote about your last meeting
with him?"

The question was for John, but the soothing tone was for Di, who
gratefully accepted it, and perked up again--with speed.

"Yes; and I meant to have told you about it," answered John, plunging
into the subject at once. "I saw him a few days before I came home,
and found him more disconsolate than ever,--'just ready to go to the
Devil,' as he forcibly expressed himself. I consoled the poor lad as
well as I could, telling him his wisest plan was to defer his proposed
expedition, and go on as steadily as he had begun,--thereby proving
the injustice of your father's prediction concerning his want of
perseverance, and the sincerity of his affection. I told him the
change in Laura's health and spirits was silently working in his
favor, and that a few more months of persistent endeavor would conquer
your father's prejudice against him, and make him a stronger man for
the trial and the pain. I read him bits about Laura from your own and
Di's letters, and he went away at last as patient as Jacob, ready to
serve another 'seven years' for his beloved Rachel."

"God bless you for it, John!" cried a fervent voice; and, looking up,
they saw the cold, listless Laura transformed into a tender girl, all
aglow with love and longing, as she dropped her mask, and showed a
living countenance eloquent with the first passion and softened by the
first grief of her life.

John rose involuntarily in the presence of an innocent nature whose
sorrow needed no interpreter to him. The girl read sympathy in his
brotherly regard, and found comfort in the friendly voice that asked,
half playfully, half seriously,--

"Shall I tell him that he is not forgotten, even for an Apollo? that
Laura the artist has not conquered Laura the woman? and predict that
the good daughter will yet prove the happy wife?"

With a gesture full of energy, Laura tore her Minerva from top to
bottom, while two great tears rolled down the cheeks grown wan with
hope deferred.

"Tell him I believe all things, hope all things, and that I never can

Nan went to her and held her fast, leaving the prints of two loving,
but grimy hands upon her shoulders; Di looked on approvingly, for,
though rather stony-hearted regarding the cause, she fully appreciated
the effect; and John, turning to the window, received the
commendations of a robin swaying on an elm-bough with sunshine on its
ruddy breast.

The clock struck five, and John declared that he must go; for, being
an old-fashioned soul, he fancied that his mother had a better right
to his last hour than any younger woman in the land,--always
remembering that "she was a widow, and he her only son."

Nan ran away to wash her hands, and came back with the appearance of
one who had washed her face also: and so she had; but there was a
difference in the water.

"Play I'm your father, girls, and remember it will be six months
before 'that John' will trouble you again."

With which preface the young man kissed his former playfellows as
heartily as the boy had been wont to do, when stern parents banished
him to distant schools, and three little maids bemoaned his fate. But
times were changed now; for Di grew alarmingly rigid during the
ceremony; Laura received the salute like a grateful queen; and Nan
returned it with heart and eyes and tender lips, making such an
improvement on the childish fashion of the thing, that John was moved
to support his paternal character by softly echoing her father's
words,--"Take care of yourself, my little 'Martha.'"

Then they all streamed after him along the garden-path, with the
endless messages and warnings girls are so prone to give; and the
young man, with a great softness at his heart, went away, as many
another John has gone, feeling better for the companionship of
innocent maidenhood, and stronger to wrestle with temptation, to wait
and hope and work.

"Let's throw a shoe after him for luck, as dear old 'Mrs. Gummage' did
after 'David' and the 'willin' Barkis!' Quick, Nan! you always have
old shoes on; toss one, and shout, 'Good luck!'" cried Di, with one of
her eccentric inspirations.

Nan tore off her shoe, and threw it far along the dusty road, with a
sudden longing to become that auspicious article of apparel, that the
omen might not fail.

Looking backward from the hill-top, John answered the meek shout
cheerily, and took in the group with a lingering glance: Laura in the
shadow of the elms, Di perched on the fence, and Nan leaning far over
the gate with her hand above her eyes and the sunshine touching her
brown hair with gold. He waved his hat and turned away; but the music
seemed to die out of the blackbird's song, and in all the summer
landscape his eye saw nothing but the little figure at the gate.

"Bless and save us! here's a flock of people coming; my hair is in a
toss, and Nan's without her shoe; run! fly, girls! or the Philistines
will be upon us!" cried Di, tumbling off her perch in sudden alarm.

Three agitated young ladies, with flying draperies and countenances of
mingled mirth and dismay, might have been seen precipitating
themselves into a respectable mansion with unbecoming haste; but the
squirrels were the only witnesses of this "vision of sudden flight,"
and, being used to ground-and-lofty tumbling, didn't mind it.

When the pedestrians passed, the door was decorously closed, and no
one visible but a young man, who snatched something out of the road,
and marched away again, whistling with more vigor of tone than
accuracy of tune, "Only that, and nothing more."

       *       *       *       *       *


Summer ripened into autumn, and something fairer than

  "Sweet-peas and mignonette
  In Annie's garden grew."

Her nature was the counterpart of the hill-side grove, where as a
child she had read her fairy tales, and now as a woman turned the
first pages of a more wondrous legend still. Lifted above the
many-gabled roof, yet not cut off from the echo of human speech, the
little grove seemed a green sanctuary, fringed about with violets, and
full of summer melody and bloom. Gentle creatures haunted it, and
there was none to make afraid; wood-pigeons cooed and crickets chirped
their shrill roundelays, anemones and lady-ferns looked up from the
moss that kissed the wanderer's feet. Warm airs were all afloat, full
of vernal odors for the grateful sense, silvery birches shimmered like
spirits of the wood, larches gave their green tassels to the wind, and
pines made airy music sweet and solemn, as they stood looking
heavenward through veils of summer sunshine or shrouds of wintry snow.
Nan never felt alone now in this charmed wood; for when she came into
its precincts, once so full of solitude, all things seemed to wear one
shape, familiar eyes looked at her from the violets in the grass,
familiar words sounded in the whisper of the leaves, and she grew
conscious that an unseen influence filled the air with new delights,
and touched earth and sky with a beauty never seen before. Slowly
these May-flowers budded in her maiden heart, rosily they bloomed, and
silently they waited till some lover of such lowly herbs should catch
their fresh aroma, should brush away the fallen leaves, and lift them
to the sun.

Though the eldest of the three, she had long been overtopped by the
more aspiring maids. But though she meekly yielded the reins of
government, whenever they chose to drive, they were soon restored to
her again; for Di fell into literature, and Laura into love. Thus
engrossed, these two forgot many duties which even blue-stockings and
_innamoratas_ are expected to perform, and slowly all the homely
humdrum cares that housewives know became Nan's daily life, and she
accepted it without a thought of discontent. Noiseless and cheerful as
the sunshine, she went to and fro, doing the tasks that mothers do,
but without a mother's sweet reward, holding fast the numberless
slight threads that bind a household tenderly together, and making
each day a beautiful success.

Di, being tired of running, riding, climbing, and boating, decided at
last to let her body rest and put her equally active mind through what
classical collegians term "a course of sprouts." Having undertaken to
read and know _everything_, she devoted herself to the task with great
energy, going from Sue to Swedenborg with perfect impartiality, and
having different authors as children have sundry distempers, being
fractious while they lasted, but all the better for them when once
over. Carlyle appeared like scarlet-fever, and raged violently for a
time; for, being anything but a "passive bucket," Di became prophetic
with Mahomet, belligerent with Cromwell, and made the French
Revolution a veritable Reign of Terror to her family. Goethe and
Schiller alternated like fever and ague; Mephistopheles became her
hero, Joan of Arc her model, and she turned her black eyes red over
Egmont and Wallenstein. A mild attack of Emerson followed, during
which she was lost in a fog, and her sisters rejoiced inwardly when
she emerged informing them that

  "The Sphinx was drowsy,
  Her wings were furled."

Poor Di was floundering slowly to her proper place; but she splashed
up a good deal of foam by getting out of her depth, and rather
exhausted herself by trying to drink the ocean dry.

Laura, after the "midsummer night's dream" that often comes to girls
of seventeen, woke up to find that youth and love were no match for
age and common sense. Philip had been flying about the world like a
thistle-down for five-and-twenty years, generous-hearted, frank, and
kind, but with never an idea of the serious side of life in his
handsome head. Great, therefore, were the wrath and dismay of the
enamored thistle-down, when the father of his love mildly objected to
seeing her begin the world in a balloon with a very tender but very
inexperienced aeronaut for a guide.

"Laura is too young to 'play house' yet, and you are too unstable to
assume the part of lord and master, Philip. Go and prove that you have
prudence, patience, energy, and enterprise, and I will give you my
girl,--but not before. I must seem cruel, that I may be truly kind;
believe this, and let a little pain lead you to great happiness, or
show you where you would have made a bitter blunder."

The lovers listened, owned the truth of the old man's words, bewailed
their fate, and--yielded,--Laura for love of her father, Philip for
love of her. He went away to build a firm foundation for his castle in
the air, and Laura retired into an invisible convent, where she cast
off the world, and regarded her sympathizing sisters through a grate
of superior knowledge and unsharable grief. Like a devout nun, she
worshipped "St. Philip," and firmly believed in his miraculous powers.
She fancied that her woes set her apart from common cares, and slowly
fell into a dreamy state, professing no interest in any mundane
matter, but the art that first attracted Philip. Crayons,
bread-crusts, and gray paper became glorified in Laura's eyes; and her
one pleasure was to sit pale and still before her easel, day after
day, filling her portfolios with the faces he had once admired. Her
sisters observed that every Bacchus, Piping Faun, or Dying Gladiator
bore some likeness to a comely countenance that heathen god or hero
never owned; and seeing this, they privately rejoiced that she had
found such solace for her grief.

Mrs. Lord's keen eye had read a certain newly written page in her
son's heart,--his first chapter of that romance, begun in Paradise,
whose interest never flags, whose beauty never fades, whose end can
never come till Love lies dead. With womanly skill she divined the
secret, with motherly discretion she counselled patience, and her son
accepted her advice, feeling, that, like many a healthful herb, its
worth lay in its bitterness.

"Love like a man, John, not like a boy, and learn to know yourself
before you take a woman's happiness into your keeping. You and Nan
have known each other all your lives; yet, till this last visit, you
never thought you loved her more than any other childish friend. It is
too soon to say the words so often spoken hastily,--so hard to be
recalled. Go back to your work, dear, for another year; think of Nan
in the light of this new hope; compare her with comelier, gayer girls;
and by absence prove the truth of your belief. Then, if distance only
makes her dearer, if time only strengthens your affection, and no
doubt of your own worthiness disturbs you, come back and offer her
what any woman should be glad to take,--my boy's true heart."

John smiled at the motherly pride of her words, but answered with a
wistful look.

"It seems very long to wait, mother. If I could just ask her for a
word of hope, I could be very patient then."

"Ah, my dear, better bear one year of impatience now than a lifetime
of regret hereafter. Nan is happy; why disturb her by a word which
will bring the tender cares and troubles that come soon enough to such
conscientious creatures as herself? If she loves you, time will prove
it; therefore let the new affection spring and ripen as your early
friendship has done, and it will be all the stronger for a summer's
growth. Philip was rash, and has to bear his trial now, and Laura
shares it with him. Be more generous, John; make _your_ trial, bear
_your_ doubts alone, and give Nan the happiness without the pain.
Promise me this, dear,--promise me to hope and wait."

The young man's eye kindled, and in his heart there rose a better
chivalry, a truer valor, than any Di's knights had ever known.

"I'll try, mother," was all he said; but she was satisfied, for John
seldom tried in vain.

"Oh, girls, how splendid you are! It does my heart good to see my
handsome sisters in their best array," cried Nan, one mild October
night, as she put the last touches to certain airy raiment fashioned
by her own skilful hands, and then fell back to survey the grand

Di and Laura were preparing to assist at an "event of the season," and
Nan, with her own locks fallen on her shoulders, for want of sundry
combs promoted to her sisters' heads, and her dress in unwonted
disorder, for lack of the many pins extracted in exciting crises of
the toilet, hovered like an affectionate bee about two very full-blown

"Laura looks like a cool Undine, with the ivy-wreaths in her shining
hair; and Di has illuminated herself to such an extent with those
scarlet leaves, that I don't know what great creature she resembles
most," said Nan, beaming with sisterly admiration.

"Like Juno, Zenobia, and Cleopatra simmered into one, with a touch of
Xantippe by way of spice. But, to my eye, the finest woman of the
three is the dishevelled young person embracing the bed-post; for she
stays at home herself, and gives her time and taste to making homely
people fine,--which is a waste of good material, and an imposition on
the public."

As Di spoke, both the fashion-plates looked affectionately at the
gray-gowned figure; but, being works of art, they were obliged to nip
their feelings in the bud, and reserve their caresses till they
returned to common life.

"Put on your bonnet, and we'll leave you at Mrs. Lord's on our way. It
will do you good, Nan; and perhaps there may be news from John," added
Di, as she bore down upon the door like a man-of-war under full sail.

"Or from Philip," sighed Laura, with a wistful look.

Whereupon Nan persuaded herself that her strong inclination to sit
down was owing to want of exercise, and the heaviness of her eyelids a
freak of imagination; so, speedily smoothing her ruffled plumage, she
ran down to tell her father of the new arrangement.

"Go, my dear, by all means. I shall be writing; and you will be
lonely, if you stay. But I must see my girls; for I caught glimpses of
certain surprising phantoms flitting by the door."

Nan led the way, and the two pyramids revolved before him with the
rigidity of lay-figures, much to the good man's edification; for with
his fatherly pleasure there was mingled much mild wonderment at the
amplitude of array.

"Yes, I see my geese are really swans, though there is such a cloud
between us that I feel a long way off, and hardly know them. But this
little daughter is always available, always my 'cricket on the

As he spoke, her father drew Nan closer, kissed her tranquil face, and
smiled content.

"Well, if ever I see picters, I see 'em now, and I declare to goodness
it's as interestin' as play-actin', every bit. Miss Di, with all them
boughs in her head, looks like the Queen of Sheby, when she went
a-visitin' What's-his-name; and if Miss Laura a'n't as sweet as a
lally-barster figger, I should like to know what is."

In her enthusiasm, Sally gambolled about the girls, flourishing her
milk-pan like a modern Miriam about to sound her timbrel for excess of

Laughing merrily, the two Mont Blancs bestowed themselves in the
family ark, Nan hopped up beside Patrick, and Solon, roused from his
lawful slumbers, morosely trundled them away. But, looking backward
with a last "Good night!" Nan saw her father still standing at the
door with smiling countenance, and the moonlight falling like a
benediction on his silver hair.

"Betsey shall go up the hill with you, my dear, and here's a basket of
eggs for your father. Give him my love, and be sure you let me know
the next time he is poorly," Mrs. Lord said, when her guest rose to
depart, after an hour of pleasant chat.

But Nan never got the gift; for, to her great dismay, her hostess
dropped the basket with a crash, and flew across the room to meet a
tall shape pausing in the shadow of the door. There was no need to ask
who the new-comer was; for, even in his mother's arms, John looked
over her shoulder with an eager nod to Nan, who stood among the ruins
with never a sign of weariness in her face, nor the memory of a care
at her heart,--for they all went out when John came in.

"Now tell us how and why and when you came. Take off your coat, my
dear! And here are the old slippers. Why didn't you let us know you
were coming so soon? How have you been? and what makes you so late
to-night? Betsey, you needn't put on your bonnet. And--oh, my dear
boy, _have_ you been to supper yet?"

Mrs. Lord was a quiet soul, and her flood of questions was purred
softly in her son's ear; for, being a woman, she _must_ talk, and,
being a mother, _must_ pet the one delight of her life, and make a
little festival when the lord of the manor came home. A whole drove of
fatted calves were metaphorically killed, and a banquet appeared with

John was not one of those romantic heroes who can go through three
volumes of hairbreadth escapes without the faintest hint of that
blessed institution, dinner; therefore, like "Lady Leatherbridge," he
"partook copiously of everything," while the two women beamed over
each mouthful with an interest that enhanced its flavor, and urged
upon him cold meat and cheese, pickles and pie, as if dyspepsia and
nightmare were among the lost arts.

Then he opened his budget of news and fed _them_.

"I was coming next month, according to custom; but Philip fell upon
and so tempted me, that I was driven to sacrifice myself to the cause
of friendship, and up we came to-night. He would not let me come here
till we had seen your father, Nan; for the poor lad was pining for
Laura, and hoped his good behavior for the past year would satisfy his
judge and secure his recall. We had a fine talk with your father; and,
upon my life, Phil seemed to have received the gift of tongues, for he
made a most eloquent plea, which I've stored away for future use, I
assure you. The dear old gentleman was very kind, told Phil he was
satisfied with the success of his probation, that he should see Laura
when he liked, and, if all went well, should receive his reward in the
spring. It must be a delightful sensation to know you have made a
fellow-creature as happy as those words made Phil to-night."

John paused, and looked musingly at the matronly tea-pot, as if he saw
a wondrous future in its shine.

Nan twinkled off the drops that rose at the thought of Laura's joy,
and said, with grateful warmth,--

"You say nothing of your own share in the making of that happiness,
John; but we know it, for Philip has told Laura in his letters all
that you have been to him, and I am sure there was other eloquence
beside his own before father granted all you say he has. Oh, John, I
thank you very much for this!"

Mrs. Lord beamed a whole midsummer of delight upon her son, as she saw
the pleasure these words gave him, though he answered simply,--

"I only tried to be a brother to him, Nan; for he has been most kind
to me. Yes, I said my little say to-night, and gave my testimony in
behalf of the prisoner at the bar, a most merciful judge pronounced
his sentence, and he rushed straight to Mrs. Leigh's to tell Laura the
blissful news. Just imagine the scene when he appears, and how Di will
open her wicked eyes and enjoy the spectacle of the dishevelled lover,
the bride-elect's tears, the stir, and the romance of the thing.
She'll cry over it to-night, and caricature it to-morrow."

And John led the laugh at the picture he had conjured up, to turn the
thoughts of Di's dangerous sister from himself.

At ten Nan retired into the depths of her old bonnet with a far
different face from the one she brought out of it, and John, resuming
his hat, mounted guard.

"Don't stay late, remember, John!" And in Mrs. Lord's voice there was
a warning tone that her son interpreted aright.

"I'll not forget, mother."

And he kept his word; for though Philip's happiness floated temptingly
before him, and the little figure at his side had never seemed so
dear, he ignored the bland winds, the tender night, and set a seal
upon his lips, thinking manfully within himself, "I see many signs of
promise in her happy face; but I will wait and hope a little longer
for her sake."

"Where is father, Sally?" asked Nan, as that functionary appeared,
blinking owlishly, but utterly repudiating the idea of sleep.

"He went down the garding, miss, when the gentlemen cleared, bein' a
little flustered by the goin's on. Shall I fetch him in?" asked Sally,
as irreverently as if her master were a bag of meal.

"No, we will go ourselves." And slowly the two paced down the
leaf-strewn walk.

Fields of yellow grain were waving on the hill-side, and sere
corn-blades rustled in the wind, from the orchard came the scent of
ripening fruit, and all the garden-plots lay ready to yield up their
humble offerings to their master's hand. But in the silence of the
night a greater Reaper had passed by, gathering in the harvest of a
righteous life, and leaving only tender memories for the gleaners who
had come so late.

The old man sat in the shadow of the tree his own hands planted; its
fruitful boughs shone ruddily, and its leaves still whispered the low
lullaby that hushed him to his rest.

"How fast he sleeps! Poor father! I should have come before and made
it pleasant for him."

As she spoke, Nan lifted up the head bent down upon his breast, and
kissed his pallid cheek.

"Oh, John, this is not sleep!"

"Yes, dear, the happiest he will ever know."

For a moment the shadows flickered over three white faces and the
silence deepened solemnly. Then John reverently bore the pale shape
in, and Nan dropped down beside it, saying, with a rain of grateful

"He kissed me when I went, and said a last 'good night!'"

For an hour steps went to and fro about her, many voices whispered
near her, and skilful hands touched the beloved clay she held so fast;
but one by one the busy feet passed out, one by one the voices died
away, and human skill proved vain. Then Mrs. Lord drew the orphan to
the shelter of her arms, soothing her with the mute solace of that
motherly embrace.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Nan, Nan! here's Philip! come and see!"

The happy call reëchoed through the house, and Nan sprang up as if her
time for grief were past.

"I must tell them. Oh, my poor girls, how will they bear it?--they
have known so little sorrow!"

But there was no need for her to speak; other lips had spared her the
hard task. For, as she stirred to meet them, a sharp cry rent the air,
steps rang upon the stairs, and two wild-eyed creatures came into the
hush of that familiar room, for the first time meeting with no welcome
from their father's voice.

With one impulse, Di and Laura fled to Nan, and the sisters clung
together in a silent embrace, far more eloquent than words. John took
his mother by the hand, and led her from the room, closing the door
upon the sacredness of grief.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Yes, we are poorer than we thought; but when everything is settled,
we shall get on very well. We can let a part of this great house, and
live quietly together until spring; then Laura will be married, and Di
can go on their travels with them, as Philip wishes her to do. We
shall be cared for; so never fear for us, John."

Nan said this, as her friend parted from her a week later, after the
saddest holiday he had ever known.

"And what becomes of you, Nan?" he asked, watching the patient eyes
that smiled when others would have wept.

"I shall stay in the dear old house; for no other place would seem
like home to me. I shall find some little child to love and care for,
and be quite happy till the girls come back and want me."

John nodded wisely, as he listened, and went away prophesying within

"She shall find something more than a child to love; and, God willing,
shall be very happy till the girls come home and--cannot have her."

Nan's plan was carried into effect. Slowly the divided waters closed
again, and the three fell back into their old life. But the touch of
sorrow drew them closer; and, though invisible, a beloved presence
still moved among them, a familiar voice still spoke to them in the
silence of their softened hearts. Thus the soil was made ready, and in
the depth of winter the good seed was sown, was watered with many
tears, and soon sprang up green with the promise of a harvest for
their after years.

Di and Laura consoled themselves with their favorite employments,
unconscious that Nan was growing paler, thinner, and more silent, as
the weeks went by, till one day she dropped quietly before them, and
it suddenly became manifest that she was utterly worn out with many
cares and the secret suffering of a tender heart bereft of the
paternal love which had been its strength and stay.

"I'm only tired, dear girls. Don't be troubled, for I shall be up
to-morrow," she said cheerily, as she looked into the anxious faces
bending over her.

But the weariness was of many months' growth, and it was weeks before
that "tomorrow" came.

Laura installed herself as nurse, and her devotion was repaid
four-fold; for, sitting at her sister's bedside, she learned a finer
art than that she had left. Her eye grew clear to see the beauty of a
self-denying life, and in the depths of Nan's meek nature she found
the strong, sweet virtues that made her what she was.

Then remembering that these womanly attributes were a bride's best
dowry, Laura gave herself to their attainment, that she might become
to another household the blessing Nan had been to her own; and turning
from the worship of the goddess Beauty, she gave her hand to that
humbler and more human teacher, Duty,--learning her lessons with a
willing heart, for Philip's sake.

Di corked her inkstand, locked her bookcase, and went at housework as
if it were a five-barred gate; of course she missed the leap, but
scrambled bravely through, and appeared much sobered by the exercise.
Sally had departed to sit under a vine and fig-tree of her own, so Di
had undisputed sway; but if dish-pans and dusters had tongues, direful
would have been the history of that crusade against frost and fire,
indolence and inexperience. But they were dumb, and Di scorned to
complain, though her struggles were pathetic to behold, and her
sisters went through a series of messes equal to a course of "Prince
Benreddin's" peppery tarts. Reality turned Romance out of doors; for,
unlike her favorite heroines in satin and tears, or helmet and shield,
Di met her fate in a big checked apron and dust-cap, wonderful to see;
yet she wielded her broom as stoutly as "Moll Pitcher" shouldered her
gun, and marched to her daily martyrdom in the kitchen with as heroic
a heart as the "Maid of Orleans" took to her stake.

Mind won the victory over matter in the end, and Di was better all her
days for the tribulations and the triumphs of that time; for she
drowned her idle fancies in her wash-tub, made burnt-offerings of
selfishness and pride, and learned the worth of self-denial, as she
sang with happy voice among the pots and kettles of her conquered

Nan thought of John, and in the stillness of her sleepless nights
prayed Heaven to keep him safe, and make her worthy to receive and
strong enough to bear the blessedness or pain of love.

Snow fell without, and keen winds howled among the leafless elms, but
"herbs of grace" were blooming beautifully in the sunshine of sincere
endeavor, and this dreariest season proved the most fruitful of the
year; for love taught Laura, labor chastened Di, and patience fitted
Nan for the blessing of her life.

Nature, that stillest, yet most diligent of housewives, began at last
that "spring-cleaning" which she makes so pleasant that none find the
heart to grumble as they do when other matrons set their premises
a-dust. Her handmaids, wind and rain and sun, swept, washed, and
garnished busily, green carpets were unrolled, apple-boughs were hung
with draperies of bloom, and dandelions, pet nurslings of the year,
came out to play upon the sward.

From the South returned that opera troupe whose manager is never in
despair, whose tenor never sulks, whose prima donna never fails, and
in the orchard _bonâ fide_ matinées were held, to which buttercups and
clovers crowded in their prettiest spring hats, and verdant young
blades twinkled their dewy lorgnettes, as they bowed and made way for
the floral belles.

May was bidding June good-morrow, and the roses were just dreaming
that it was almost time to wake, when John came again into the quiet
room which now seemed the Eden that contained his Eve. Of course there
was a jubilee; but something seemed to have befallen the whole group,
for never had they all appeared in such odd frames of mind. John was
restless, and wore an excited look, most unlike his usual serenity of

Nan the cheerful had fallen into a well of silence and was not to be
extracted by any hydraulic power, though she smiled like the June sky
over her head. Di's peculiarities were out in full force, and she
looked as if she would go off like a torpedo, at a touch; but through
all her moods there was a half-triumphant, half-remorseful expression
in the glance she fixed on John. And Laura, once so silent, now sang
like a blackbird, as she flitted to and fro; but her fitful song was
always, "Philip, my king."

John felt that there had come a change upon the three, and silently
divined whose unconscious influence had wrought the miracle. The
embargo was off his tongue, and he was in a fever to ask that question
which brings a flutter to the stoutest heart; but though the "man" had
come, the "hour" had not. So, by way of steadying his nerves, he paced
the room, pausing often to take notes of his companions, and each
pause seemed to increase his wonder and content.

He looked at Nan. She was in her usual place, the rigid little chair
she loved, because it once was large enough to hold a curly-headed
playmate and herself. The old work-basket was at her side, and the
battered thimble busily at work; but her lips wore a smile they had
never worn before, the color of the unblown roses touched her cheek,
and her downcast eyes were full of light.

He looked at Di. The inevitable book was on her knee, but its leaves
were uncut; the strong-minded knob of hair still asserted its
supremacy aloft upon her head, and the triangular jacket still adorned
her shoulders in defiance of all fashions, past, present, or to come;
but the expression of her brown countenance had grown softer, her
tongue had found a curb, and in her hand lay a card with "Potts,
Kettel, & Co." inscribed thereon, which she regarded with never a
scornful word for the "Co."

He looked at Laura. She was before her easel, as of old; but the pale
nun had given place to a blooming girl, who sang at her work, which
was no prim Pallas, but a Clytie turning her human face to meet the

"John, what are you thinking of?"

He stirred as if Di's voice had disturbed his fancy at some pleasant
pastime, but answered with his usual sincerity,--

"I was thinking of a certain dear old fairy tale called 'Cinderella.'"

"Oh!" said Di; and her "Oh" was a most impressive monosyllable. "I see
the meaning of your smile now; and though the application of the story
is not very complimentary to all parties concerned, it is very just
and very true."

She paused a moment, then went on with softened voice and earnest

"You think I am a blind and selfish creature. So I am, but not so
blind and selfish as I have been; for many tears have cleared my eyes,
and much sincere regret has made me humbler than I was. I have found a
better book than any father's library can give me, and I have read it
with a love and admiration that grew stronger as I turned the leaves.
Henceforth I take it for my guide and gospel, and, looking back upon
the selfish and neglectful past, can only say, Heaven bless your dear
heart, Nan!"

Laura echoed Di's last words; for, with eyes as full of tenderness,
she looked down upon the sister she had lately learned to know,
saying, warmly,--

"Yes, 'Heaven bless your dear heart, Nan!' I never can forget all you
have been to me; and when I am far away with Philip, there will always
be one countenance more beautiful to me than any pictured face I may
discover, there will be one place more dear to me than Rome. The face
will be yours, Nan,--always so patient, always so serene; and the
dearer place will be this home of ours, which you have made so
pleasant to me all these years by kindnesses as numberless and
noiseless as the drops of dew."

"Dear girls, what have I ever done, that you should love me so?" cried
Nan, with happy wonderment, as the tall heads, black and golden, bent
to meet the lowly brown one, and her sisters' mute lips answered her.

Then Laura looked up, saying, playfully,--

"Here are the good and wicked sisters;--where shall we find the

"There!" cried Di, pointing to John; and then her secret went off like
a rocket; for, with her old impetuosity, she said,--

"I have found you out, John, and am ashamed to look you in the face,
remembering the past. Girls, you know, when father died, John sent us
money, which he said Mr. Owen had long owed us and had paid at last?
It was a kind lie, John, and a generous thing to do; for we needed it,
but never would have taken it as a gift. I know you meant that we
should never find this out; but yesterday I met Mr. Owen returning
from the West, and when I thanked him for a piece of justice we had
not expected of him, he gruffly told me he had never paid the debt,
never meant to pay it, for it was outlawed, and we could not claim a
farthing. John, I have laughed at you, thought you stupid, treated you
unkindly; but I know you now, and never shall forget the lesson you
have taught me. I am proud as Lucifer, but I ask you to forgive me,
and I seal my real repentance so--and so."

With tragic countenance, Di rushed across the room, threw both arms
about the astonished young man's neck and dropped an energetic kiss
upon his cheek. There was a momentary silence; for Di finely
illustrated her strong-minded theories by crying like the weakest of
her sex. Laura, with "the ruling passion strong in death," still tried
to draw, but broke her pet crayon, and endowed her Clytie with a
supplementary orb, owing to the dimness of her own. And Nan sat with
drooping eyes, that shone upon her work, thinking with tender pride,--

"They know him now, and love him for his generous heart."

Di spoke first, rallying to her colors, though a little daunted by her
loss of self-control.

"Don't laugh, John,--I couldn't help it; and don't think I'm not
sincere, for I am,--I am; and I will prove it by growing good enough
to be your friend. That debt must all be paid, and I shall do it; for
I'll turn my books and pen to some account, and write stories full of
dear old souls like you and Nan; and some one, I know, will like and
buy them, though they are not 'works of Shakspeare.' I've thought of
this before, have felt I had the power in me; _now_ I have the motive,
and _now_ I'll do it."

If Di had proposed to translate the Koran, or build a new Saint
Paul's, there would have been many chances of success; for, once
moved, her will, like a battering-ram, would knock down the obstacles
her wits could not surmount. John believed in her most heartily, and
showed it, as he answered, looking into her resolute face,--

"I know you will, and yet make us very proud of our 'Chaos,' Di. Let
the money lie, and when you have made a fortune, I'll claim it with
enormous interest; but, believe me, I feel already doubly repaid by
the esteem so generously confessed, so cordially bestowed, and can
only say, as we used to years ago,--'Now let's forgive and so

But proud Di would not let him add to her obligation, even by
returning her impetuous salute; she slipped away, and, shaking off the
last drops, answered with a curious mixture of old freedom and new

"No more sentiment, please, John.
We know each other now; and when I find a friend, I never let him go.
We have smoked the pipe of peace; so let us go back to our wigwams and
bury the feud. Where were we when I lost my head? and what were we
talking about?"

"Cinderella and the Prince."

As he spoke, John's eye kindled, and, turning, he looked down at Nan,
who sat diligently ornamenting with microscopic stitches a great patch
going on, the wrong side out.

"Yes,--so we were; and now taking pussy for the godmother, the
characters of the story are well personated,--all but the slipper,"
said Di, laughing, as she thought of the many times they had played it
together years ago.

A sudden movement stirred John's frame, a sudden purpose shone in his
countenance, and a sudden change befell his voice, as he said,
producing from some hiding-place a little worn-out shoe,--

"I can supply the slipper;--who will try it first?"

Di's black eyes opened wide, as they fell on the familiar object; then
her romance-loving nature saw the whole plot of that drama which needs
but two to act it. A great delight flushed up into her face, as she
promptly took her cue, saying,--

"No need for us to try it, Laura; for it wouldn't fit us, if our feet
were as small as Chinese dolls';--our parts are played out; therefore
'Exeunt wicked sisters to the music of the wedding-bells.'" And
pouncing upon the dismayed artist, she swept her out and closed the
door with a triumphant bang.

John went to Nan, and, dropping on his knee as reverently as the
herald of the fairy tale, he asked, still smiling, but with lips grown

"Will Cinderella try the little shoe, and--if it fits--go with the

But Nan only covered up her face, weeping happy tears, while all the
weary work strayed down upon the floor, as if it knew her holiday had

John drew the hidden face still closer, and while she listened to his
eager words, Nan heard the beating of the strong man's heart, and knew
it spoke the truth.

"Nan, I promised mother to be silent till I was sure I loved you
wholly,--sure that the knowledge would give no pain when I should tell
it, as I am trying to tell it now. This little shoe has been my
comforter through this long year, and I have kept it as other lovers
keep their fairer favors. It has been a talisman more eloquent to me
than flower or ring; for, when I saw how worn it was, I always thought
of the willing feet that came and went for others' comfort all day
long; when I saw the little bow you tied, I always thought of the
hands so diligent in serving any one who knew a want or felt a pain;
and when I recalled the gentle creature who had worn it last, I always
saw her patient, tender, and devout,--and tried to grow more worthy of
her, that I might one day dare to ask if she would walk beside me all
my life and be my 'angel in the house.' Will you, dear? Believe me,
you shall never know a weariness or grief I have the power to shield
you from."

Then Nan, as simple in her love as in her life, laid her arms about
his neck, her happy face against his own, and answered softly,--

"Oh, John, I never can be sad or tired any more!"

       *       *       *       *       *


  A poet came singing along the vale,--
    "Ah, well-a-day for the dear old days!
  They come no more as they did of yore
    By the flowing river of Aise."

  He piped through the meadow, he piped through the grove,--
    "Ah, well-a-day for the good old days!
  They have all gone by, and I sit and sigh
    By the flowing river of Aise.

  "Knights and ladies and shields and swords,--
    Ah, well-a-day for the grand old days!
  Castles and moats, and the bright steel coats,
    By the flowing river of Aise.

  "The lances are shivered, the helmets rust,--
    Ah, well-a-day for the stern old days!
  And the clarion's blast has rung its last,
    By the flowing river of Aise.

  "And the warriors that swept to glory and death,--
    Ah, well-a-day for the brave old days!
  They have fought and gone, and I sit here alone
    By the flowing river of Aise.

  "The strength of limb and the mettle of heart,--
    Ah, well-a-day for the strong old days!
  They have withered away, mere butterflies' play,
    By the flowing river of Aise.

  "The queens of beauty, whose smile was life,--
    Ah, well-a-day for the rare old days!
  With love and despair in their golden hair,
    By the flowing river of Aise.

  "They have flitted away from hall and bower,--
    Ah, well-a-day for the rich old days!
  Like the sun they shone, like the sun they have gone,
    By the flowing river of Aise.

  "And buried beneath the pall of the past,--
    Ah, well-a-day for the proud old days!
  Lie valor and worth and the beauty of earth,
    By the flowing river of Aise.

  "And I sit and sigh by the idle stream,--
    Ah, well-a-day for the bright old days!
  For nothing remains for the poet's strains
    But the flowing river of Aise."

  Then a voice rang out from the oak overhead,--
    "Why well-a-day for the old, old days?
  The world is the same, if the bard has an aim,
    By the flowing river of Aise.

  "There's beauty and love and truth and power,--
    Cease well-a-day for the old, old days!
  The humblest home is worth Greece and Rome,
    By the flowing river of Aise.

  "There are themes enough for the poet's strains,--
    Leave well-a-day for the quaint old days!
  Take thine eyes from the ground, look up and around
    From the flowing river of Aise.

  "To-day is as grand as the centuries past,--
    Leave well-a-day for the famed old days!
  There are battles to fight, there are troths to plight,
    By the flowing river of Aise.

  "There are hearts as true to love, to strive,--
    No well-a-day for the dark old days!
  Go put into type the age that is ripe
    By the flowing river of Aise."

  Then the merry Poet piped down the vale,--
    "Farewell, farewell to the dead old days!
  By day and by night there's music and light
    By the flowing river of Aise."

       *       *       *       *       *



Torbay, finely described in a recent novel by the Rev. R.T.S. Lowell,
is an arm of the sea, a short strong arm with a slim hand and finger,
reaching into the rocky land and touching the water-falls and rapids
of a pretty brook. Here is a little village, with Romish and
Protestant steeples, and the dwellings of fishermen, with the
universal appendages of fishing-houses, boats, and "flakes." One
seldom looks upon a hamlet so picturesque and wild. The rocks slope
steeply down to the wonderfully clear water. Thousands of poles
support half-acres of the spruce-bough shelf, beneath which is a dark,
cool region, crossed with foot-paths, and not unfrequently sprinkled
and washed by the surf,--a most kindly office on the part of the sea,
you will allow, when once you have scented the fish-offal perpetually
dropping from the evergreen fish-house above. These little buildings
on the flakes are conspicuous features, and look as fresh and wild as
if they had just wandered away from the woodlands.

There they stand, on the edge of the lofty pole-shelf, or upon the
extreme end of that part of it which runs off frequently over the
water like a wharf, an assemblage of huts and halls, bowers and
arbors, a curious huddle made of poles and sweet-smelling branches and
sheets of birch-bark. A kind of evening haunts these rooms of spruce
at noonday, while at night a hanging lamp, like those we see in old
pictures of crypts and dungeons, is to the stranger only a kind of
buoy by which he is to steer his way through the darkness. To come off
then without pitching headlong, and soiling your hands and coat, is
the merest chance. Strange! one is continually allured into these
piscatory bowers whenever he comes near them. In spite of the chilly,
salt air, and the repulsive smells about the tables where they dress
the fish, I have a fancy for these queer structures. Their front door
opens upon the sea, and their steps are a mammoth ladder, leading down
to the swells and the boats. There is a charm also about fine fishes,
fresh from the net and the hook,--the salmon, for example, whose pink
and yellow flesh has given a name to one of the most delicate hues of
Art or Nature.


But where was the iceberg? We were not a little disappointed when all
Torbay was before us, and nothing but dark water to be seen. To our
surprise, no one had ever seen or heard of it. It must lie off Flat
Rock Harbor, a little bay below, to the north. We agreed with the
supposition that the berg must lie below, and made speedy preparations
to pursue, by securing the only boat to be had in the village,--a
substantial fishing-barge, laden rather heavily in the stern with at
least a cord of cod-seine, but manned by six stalwart men, a motive
power, as it turned out, none too large for the occasion. We embarked
at the foot of a fish-house ladder, being carefully handed down by the
kind-hearted men, and took our seats forward on the little bow-deck.
All ready, they pulled away at their long, ponderous oars with the
skill and deliberation of lifelong practice, and we moved out upon the
broad, glassy swells of the bay towards the open sea, not indeed with
the rapidity of a Yankee club-boat, but with a most agreeable
steadiness, and a speed happily fitted for a review of the shores,
which, under the afternoon sun, were made brilliant with lights and

We were presently met by a breeze, which increased the swell, and made
it easier to fail in close under the northern shore, a line of
stupendous precipices, to which the ocean goes deep home. The ride
beneath these mighty cliffs was by far the finest boat-ride of my
life. While they do not equal the rocks of the Saguenay, yet, with all
their appendages of extent, structure, complexion, and adjacent sea,
they are sufficiently lofty to produce an almost appalling sense of
sublimity. The surges lave them at a great height, sliding from angle
to angle, and fretting into foam as they slip obliquely along the face
of the vast walls. They descend as deeply as two hundred feet, and
rise perpendicularly two, three, and four hundred feet from the water.
Their stratifications are up and down, and of different shades of
light and dark, a ribbed and striped appearance that increases the
effect of height, and gives variety and spirit to the surface. At one
point, where the rocks advance from the main front, and form a kind of
headland, the strata, six and eight feet thick, assume the form of a
pyramid,--from a broad base of a hundred yards or more running up to
meet in a point. The heart of this vast cone has partly fallen out,
and left the resemblance of an enormous tent with cavernous recesses
and halls, in which the shades of evening were already lurking, and
the surf was sounding mournfully. Occasionally it was musical, pealing
forth like the low tones of a great organ with awful solemnity. Now
and then, the gloomy silence of a minute was broken by the crash of a
billow far within, when the reverberations were like the slamming of
great doors.

After passing this grand specimen of the architecture of the sea,
there appeared long rocky reaches like Egyptian temples,--old, dead
cliffs of yellowish gray, checked off by lines and seams into squares,
and having the resemblance, where they have fallen out into the ocean,
of doors and windows opening in upon the fresher stone. Presently we
came to a break, where there were grassy slopes and crags
intermingled, and a flock of goats skipping about, or ruminating in
the warm sunshine. A knot of kids--the reckless little creatures--were
sporting along the edge of a precipice in a manner almost painful to
witness. The pleasure of leaping from point to point, where a single
misstep would have dropped them hundreds of feet, seemed to be in
proportion to the danger. The sight of some women, who were after the
goats, reminded the boatmen of an accident which occurred here only a
few days before: a lad playing about the steep fell into the sea, and
was drowned.

We were now close upon the point just behind which we expected to
behold the iceberg. The surf was sweeping the black reef that flanked
the small cape, in the finest style,--a beautiful dance of breakers of
dazzling white and green. As every stroke of the oars shot us forward,
and enlarged our view of the field in which the ice was reposing, our
hearts fairly throbbed with an excitement of expectation. "There it
is!" one exclaimed. An instant revealed the mistake. It was only the
next headland in a fog, which unwelcome mist was now coming down upon
us from the broad waters, and covering the very tract where the berg
was expected to be seen. Farther and farther out the long, strong
sweep of the great oars carried us, until the depth of the bay between
us and the next headland was in full view. It may appear almost too
trifling a matter over which to have had any feeling worth mentioning
or remembering, but I shall not soon forget the disappointment, when
from the deck of our barge, as it rose and sank on the large swells,
we stood up and looked around and saw, that, if the iceberg, over
which our very hearts had been beating with delight for twenty-four
hours, was anywhere, it was somewhere in the depths of that untoward
fog. It might as well have been in the depths of the ocean.

While the pale cloud slept there, there was nothing left for us but to
wait patiently where we were, or retreat. We chose the latter. C. gave
the word to pull for the settlement at the head of the little bay just
mentioned, and so they rounded the breakers on the reef, and we turned
away for the second time, when the game was fairly ours. Even the
hardy fishermen, no lovers of "islands-of-ice," as they call them,
felt for us, as they read in our looks the disappointment, not to say
a little vexation. While on our passage in, we filled a half-hour with
questions and discussions about that iceberg.

"We certainly saw it yesterday evening; and a soldier of Signal Hill
told us that it had been close in at Torbay for several days. And you,
my man there, say that you had a glimpse of it last evening. How
happens it to be away just now? Where do you think it is?"

"Indeed, Sir, he must be out in the fog, a mile or over. De'il a bit
can a man look after a thing in a fog, more nor into a snow-bank.
Maybe, Sir, he's foundered; or he might be gone off to sea,
altogether, as they sometimes do."

"Well, this is rather remarkable. Huge as these bergs are, they escape
very easily under their old cover. No sooner do we think we have them,
than they are gone. No jackal was ever more faithful to his lion, no
pilot-fish to his shark, than the fog to its berg. We will run in
yonder and inquire about it. We may get the exact bearing, and reach
it yet, even in the fog."


The wind and sea being in our favor, we soon reached a fishery-ladder,
which we now knew very well how to climb, and wound our "dim and
perilous way" through the evergreen labyrinth of fish bowers, emerging
on the solid rock, and taking the path to the fisherman's house. Here
lives and works and wears himself out William Waterland, a
deep-voiced, broad-chested, round-shouldered man, dressed, not in
cloth of gold, but of oil, with the foxy remnant of a last winter's
fur cap clinging to his large, bony head, a little in the style of a
piece of turf to a stone. You seldom look into a more kindly, patient
face, or into an eye that more directly lets up the light out of a
large, warm heart. His countenance is one sober shadow of honest
brown, occasionally lighted by a true and guileless smile. William
Waterland has seen the "island-of-ice." "It lies off there, two miles
or more, grounded on a bank, in forty fathoms water."

It was nearly six o'clock; and yet, as there were signs of the fog
clearing away, we thought it prudent to wait. A dull, long hour passed
by, and still the sun was high in the northwest. That heavy cod-seine,
a hundred fathoms long, sank the stern of our barge rather deeply, and
made it row heavily. For all that, there was time enough yet, if we
could only use it. The fog still came in masses from the sea, sweeping
across the promontory between us and Torbay, and fading into air
nearly as soon as it was over the land. In the mean time, we sat upon
the rocks, upon the wood-pile, stood around and talked, looked out
into the endless mist, looked at the fishermen's houses, their
children, their fowls and dogs. A couple of young women, that might
have been teachers of the village school, had there been a school,
belles of the place, rather neatly dressed, and with hair nicely
combed, tripped shyly by, each with an arm about the other's waist,
and very merry until abreast of us, when they were as silent and
downcast as if they had been passing by their sovereign queen or the
Great Mogul. Their curiosity and timidity combined were quite amusing.
We speculated upon the astonishment that would have seized upon their
simple, innocent hearts, had they beheld, instead of us, a bevy of our
city fashionables in full bloom.

At length we accepted an invitation to walk into the house, and sat,
not under the good man's roof, but under his chimney, a species of
large funnel, into which nearly one end of the house resolved itself.
Here we sat upon some box-like benches before a wood fire, and warmed
ourselves, chatting with the family. While we were making ourselves
comfortable and agreeable, we made the novel and rather funny
discovery of a hen sitting on her nest just under the bench, with her
red comb at our fingers' ends. A large griddle hung suspended in the
more smoky regions of the chimney, ready to be lowered for the baking
of cakes or frying fish. Having tarred my hand, the fisherman's wife,
kind woman, insisted upon washing it herself. After rubbing it with a
little grease, she first scratched it with her finger-nail, and then
finished with soap and water and a good wiping with a coarse towel. I
begged that she would spare herself the trouble, and allow me to help
myself. But it was no trouble at all for her, and the greatest
pleasure. And what should I know about washing off tar? They were
members of the Church of England, and seemed pleased when they found
that I was a clergyman of the Episcopal Church. They had a pastor who
visited them and others in the village occasionally, and held divine
service on Sunday at Torbay, where they attended, going in boats in
summer, and over the hills on snow-shoes in the winter. The woman told
me, in an undertone, that the family relations were not all agreed in
their religious faith, and that they could not stop there any longer,
but had gone to "America," which they liked much better. It was a hard
country, any way, no matter whether one were Protestant or Papist.
Three months were all their summer, and nearly all their time for
getting ready for the long, cold winter. To be sure, they had codfish
and potatoes, flour and butter, tea and sugar; but then it took a deal
of hard work to make ends meet. The winter was not as cold as we
thought, perhaps; but then it was so long and snowy! The snow lay
five, six, and seven feet deep. Wood was a great trouble. There was a
plenty of it, but they could not keep cattle or horses to draw it
home. Dogs were their only teams, and they could fetch but small loads
at a time. In the mean while, a chubby little boy, with cheeks like a
red apple, had ventured from behind his young mother, where he had
kept dodging as she moved about the house, and edged himself up near
enough to be patted on the head, and rewarded for his little liberties
with a half-dime.


The sunshine was now streaming in at a bit of a window, and I went out
to see what prospect of success. C., who had left some little time
before, was nowhere to be seen. The fog seemed to be in sufficient
motion to disclose the berg down some of the avenues of clear air that
were opened occasionally. They all ended, however, with fog instead of
ice. I made it convenient to walk to the boat, and pocket a few cakes,
brought along as a kind of scattering lunch. C. was descried, at
length, climbing the broad, rocky ridge, the eastern point of which we
had doubled on our passage from Torbay. Making haste up the crags by a
short cut, I joined him on the verge of the promontory pretty well
heated and out of breath. The effort was richly rewarded. The mist was
dispersing in the sunny air around us; the ocean was clearing off; the
surge was breaking with a pleasant sound below. At the foot of the
precipice were four or five whales, from thirty to fifty feet in
length, apparently. We could have tossed a pebble upon them. At times
abreast, and then in single file, or disorderly, round and round they
went, now rising with a puff followed by a wisp of vapor, then
plunging into the deep again. There was something in their large
movements very imposing, and yet very graceless. There seemed to be no
muscular effort, no exertion of any force from within, and no more
flexibility in their motions than if they had been built of timber.
They appeared to move very much as a wooden whale might be supposed to
move down a mighty rapid, roiling and plunging and borne along
irresistibly by the current. As they rose, we could see their mouths
occasionally, and the lighter colors of the skin below. As they went
under, their huge, black tails, great winged things not unlike the
screw-wheel of a propeller, tipped up above the waves. Now and then
one would give the water a good round slap, the noise of which smote
sharply upon the ear, like the crack of a pistol in an alley. It was a
novel sight to watch them in their play, or labor, rather; for they
were feeding upon the caplin, pretty little fishes that swarm along
these shores at this particular season. We could track them beneath
the surface about as well as upon it. In the sunshine, and in contrast
with the fog, the sea was a very dark blue or deep purple. Above the
whales the water was green, a darker green as they descended, a
lighter green as they came up. Large oval spots of changeable green
water, moving silently and shadow-like along, in strong contrast with
the surrounding dark, marked the places where the monsters were
gliding below. When their broad, blackish backs were above the waves,
there was frequently a ring or ruffle of snowy surf, formed by the
breaking of the swell around the edges of the fish. The review of
whales, the only review we had witnessed in Her Majesty's dominions,
was, on the whole, an imposing spectacle. We turned from it to witness
another of a more brilliant character.

To the north and east, the ocean, dark and sparkling, was, by the
magic action of the wind, entirely clear of fog; and there, about two
miles distant, stood revealed the iceberg in all its cold and solitary
glory. It was of a greenish white, and of the Greek-temple form,
seeming to be over a hundred feet high. We gazed some minutes with
silent delight on the splendid and impressive object, and then
hastened down to the boat, and pulled away with all speed to reach it,
if possible, before the fog should cover it again, and in time for C.
to paint it. The moderation of the oarsmen and the slowness of our
progress were quite provoking. I watched the sun, the distant fog, the
wind and waves, the increasing motion of the boat, and the seemingly
retreating berg. A good half-hour's toil had carried us into broad
waters, and yet, to all appearance, very little nearer. The wind was
freshening from the south, the sea was rising, thin mists, a species
of scout from the main body of the fog lying off in the east, were
scudding across our track. James Goss, our captain, threw out a hint
of a little difficulty in getting back. But Yankee energy was
indomitable. C. quietly arranged his painting--apparatus, and I,
wrapped in my cloak more snugly, crept out forward on the little deck,
a sort of look-out. To be honest, I began to wish ourselves on our way
back, as the black, angry-looking swells chased us up, and flung the
foam upon the bow and stern. All at once, whole squadrons of fog swept
up, and swamped the whole of us, boat and berg, in their thin, white
obscurity. For a moment we thought ourselves foiled again. But still
the word was, "On!" And on they pulled, the hard-handed fishermen, now
flushed and moist with rowing. Again the ice was visible, but dimly,
in his misty drapery. There was no time to be lost. Now, or not at
all. And so C. began. For half an hour, pausing occasionally for
passing flocks of fog, he plied the brush with a rapidity not usual,
and under disadvantages that would have mastered a less experienced
hand. We were getting close down upon the berg, and in fearfully rough
water. In their curiosity to catch glimpses of the advancing sketch,
the men pulled with little regularity, and trimmed the boat very
badly. We were rolling frightfully to a landsman. C. begged of them to
keep their seats, and hold the barge just there as near as possible.
To amuse them, I passed an opera-glass around among them, with which
they examined the iceberg and the coast. They turned out to be
excellent good fellows, and entered into the spirit of the thing in a
way that pleased us. I am sure they would have held on willingly till
dark, if C. had only said the word, so much interest did they feel in
the attempt to paint the "island-of-ice." The hope was to linger about
it until sunset, for its colors, lights, and shadows. That, however,
was suddenly extinguished. Heavy fog came on, and we retreated, not
with the satisfaction of a conquest, nor with the disappointment of a
defeat, but cheered with the hope of complete success, perhaps the
next day, when C. thought that we could return upon our game in a
little steamer, and so secure it beyond the possibility of escape. The
seine was hauled from the stern to the centre of the barge, and the
men pulled away for Torbay, a long six miles, rough and chilly. For my
part, I was trembling with cold, and found it necessary to lend a hand
at the oars, an exercise which soon made the weather feel several
degrees warmer, and rendered me quite comfortable. After a little the
wind lulled, the fog dispersed again, and the iceberg seemed to
contemplate our slow departure with complacent serenity. We regretted
that the hour forbade a return. It would have been pleasant to play
around that Parthenon of the sea in the twilight. The best that was
left us was to look back and watch the effects of light, which were
wonderfully fine, and had the charm of entire novelty. The last view
was the very finest. All the east front was a most tender blue; the
fissures on the southern face, from which we were rowing directly
away, were glittering green; the western front glowed in the yellow
sunlight; around were the dark waters, and above one of the most
beautiful of skies.

We fell under the land presently, and passed near the northern cape of
Flat-Rock Bay, a grand headland of red sandstone, a vast and dome-like
pile, fleeced at the summit with green turf and shrubs of fir. The
sun, at last, was really setting. There was the old magnificence of
the king of day,--airy deeps of ineffable blue and pearl, stained with
scarlets and crimsons, and striped with living gold. A blaze of white
light, deepening into the richest orange, crowned the distant ridge
behind which the sun was vanishing. A vapory splendor, rose-color and
purple, was dissolving in the atmosphere; and every wave of the ocean,
a dark violet, nearly black, was "a flash of golden fire." Bathed with
this almost supernatural glory, the headland, in itself richly
complexioned with red, brown, and green, was at once a spectacle of
singular grandeur and solemnity. I have no remembrance of more
brilliant effects of light and color. The view filled us with emotions
of delight. We shot from beneath the great cliff into Flat-Rock Bay,
rounding, at length, the breakers and the cape into the smoother
waters of Torbay. As the oars dipped regularly into the polished
swells, reflecting the heavens and the wonderful shores, all lapsed
into silence. In the gloom of evening the rocks assumed an unusual
height and sublimity. Gliding quietly below them, we were saluted
every now and then by the billows thundering in some adjacent cavern.
The song of the sea in its old halls rung out in a style quite
unearthly. The slamming of the mighty doors seemed far off in the
chambers of the cliff, and the echoes trembled themselves away,
muffled into stillness by the stupendous masses.

Thus ended our first real hunting of an iceberg. When we landed, we
were thoroughly chilled. Our man was waiting with his wagon, and so
was a little supper in a house near by, which we enjoyed with an
appetite that assumed several phases of keenness as we proceeded.
There was a tower of cold roast beef, flanked by bread and butter and
bowls of hot tea. The whole was carried silently, without remark, at
the point of knife and fork. We were a forlorn-hope of two, and fell
to, winning the victory in the very breach. We drove back over the
fine gravel road at a round trot, watching the last edge of day in the
northwest and north, where it no sooner fades than it buds again to
bloom into morning. We lived the new iceberg-experience all over
again, and planned for the morrow. The stars gradually came out of the
cool, clear heavens, until they filled them with their sparkling
multitudes. For every star we seemed to have a lively and pleasurable
thought, which came out and ran among our talk, a thread of light.
When we looked at the hour, as we sat fresh and wakeful, warming at
our English inn in St. John's, it was after midnight.

       *       *       *       *       *


  "Sir Launcelot! ther thou lyest; thou were never matched of none
  earthly knights hands; thou were the truest freende to thy lover
  that ever bestrood horse; and thou were the kindest man that ever
  strooke with sword; and thou were the sternest knight to thy mortall
  foe that ever put spere in the rest." _La Morte d'Arthur._

In the year 1828 there was a young man of eighteen at work upon a farm
in Lexington, performing bodily labor to the extent of twenty hours in
a day sometimes, and that for several days together, and at other
times studying intensely when work was less pressing. Thirty years
after, that same man sat in the richest private library in Boston,
working habitually from twelve to seventeen hours a day in severer
toil. The interval was crowded with labors, with acquisitions, with
reproaches, with victories, with honors; and he who experienced all
this died exhausted at the end of it, less than fifty years old, but
looking seventy. That man was Theodore Parker.

The time is far distant when out of a hundred different statements of
contemporaries some calm biographer will extract sufficient materials
for a true picture of the man; and meanwhile all that each can do is
to give fearlessly his own honest impressions, and so tempt others to
give theirs. Of the multitude of different photographers, each
perchance may catch some one trait without which the whole portraiture
would have remained incomplete; and the time to secure this is now,
while his features are fresh in our minds. It is a daring effort, but
it needs to be made.

Yet Theodore Parker was so strong and self-sufficing upon his own
ground, he needed so little from any other, while giving so freely to
all, that one would hardly venture to add anything to the
autobiographies he has left, but for the high example he set of
fearlessness in dealing with the dead. There may be some whose fame is
so ill-established, that one shrinks from speaking of them precisely
as one saw them; but this man's place is secure, and that friend best
praises him who paints him just as he seemed. To depict him as he
_was_ must be the work of many men, and no single observer, however
intimate, need attempt it.

The first thing that strikes an observer, in listening to the words of
public and private feeling elicited by his departure, is the
predominance in them all of the sentiment of love. His services, his
speculations, his contests, his copious eloquence, his many languages,
these come in as secondary things, but the predominant testimony is
emotional. Men mourn the friend even more than the warrior. No fragile
and lovely girl, fading untimely into heaven, was ever more
passionately beloved than this white-haired and world-weary man. As he
sat in his library, during his lifetime, he was not only the awakener
of a thousand intellects, but the centre of a thousand hearts;--he
furnished the natural home for every foreign refugee, every hunted
slave, every stray thinker, every vexed and sorrowing woman. And never
was there one of these who went away uncomforted, and from every part
of this broad nation their scattered hands now fling roses upon his

This immense debt of gratitude was not bought by any mere isolated
acts of virtue; indeed, it never is so bought; love never is won but
by a nobleness which, pervades the life. In the midst of his greatest
cares there never was a moment when he was not all too generous of his
time, his wisdom, and his money. Borne down by the accumulation of
labors, grudging, as a student grudges, the precious hour that once
lost can never be won back, he yet was always holding himself at the
call of some poor criminal, at the Police Office, or some sick girl in
a suburban town, not of his recognized parish perhaps, but longing for
the ministry of the only preacher who had touched her soul. Not a mere
wholesale reformer, he wore out his life by retailing its great
influences to the poorest comer. Not generous in money only,--though
the readiness of his beneficence in that direction had few equals,--he
always hastened past that minor bestowal to ask if there were not some
other added gift possible, some personal service or correspondence,
some life-blood, in short, to be lavished in some other form, to eke
out the already liberal donation of dollars.

There is an impression that he was unforgiving. Unforgetting he
certainly was; for he had no power of forgetfulness, whether for good
or evil. He had none of that convenient oblivion which in softer
natures covers sin and saintliness with one common, careless pall. So
long as a man persisted in a wrong attitude before God or man, there
was no day so laborious or exhausting, no night so long or drowsy, but
Theodore Parker's unsleeping memory stood on guard full-armed, ready
to do battle at a moment's warning. This is generally known; but what
may not be known so widely is, that, the moment the adversary lowered
his spear, were it for only an inch or an instant, that moment
Theodore Parker's weapons were down and his arms open. Make but the
slightest concession, give him but the least excuse to love you, and
never was there seen such promptness in forgiving. His friends found
it sometimes harder to justify his mildness than his severity. I
confess that I, with others, have often felt inclined to criticize a
certain caustic tone of his, in private talk, when the name of an
offender was alluded to; but I have also felt almost indignant at his
lenient good-nature to that very person, let him once show the
smallest symptom of contrition, or seek, even in the clumsiest way, or
for the most selfish purpose, to disarm his generous antagonist. His
forgiveness in such cases was more exuberant than his wrath had ever

It is inevitable, in describing him, to characterize his life first by
its quantity. He belonged to the true race of the giants of learning;
he took in knowledge at every pore, and his desires were insatiable.
Not, perhaps, precocious in boyhood,--for it is not precocity to begin
Latin at ten and Greek at eleven, to enter the Freshman class at
twenty and the professional school at twenty-three,--he was equalled
by few students in the tremendous rate at which he pursued every
study, when once begun. With strong body and great constitutional
industry, always acquiring and never forgetting, he was doubtless at
the time of his death the most variously learned of living Americans,
as well as one of the most prolific of orators and writers.

Why did Theodore Parker die? He died prematurely worn out through this
enormous activity,--a warning, as well as an example. To all appeals
for moderation, during the latter years of his life, he had but one
answer,--that he had six generations of long-lived farmers behind him,
and had their strength to draw upon. All his physical habits, except
in this respect, were unexceptionable: he was abstemious in diet, but
not ascetic, kept no unwholesome hours, tried no dangerous
experiments, committed no excesses. But there is no man who can
habitually study from twelve to seventeen hours a day (his friend Mr.
Clarke contracts it to "from six to twelve," but I have Mr. Parker's
own statement of the fact) without ultimate self-destruction. Nor was
this the practice during his period of health alone, but it was pushed
to the last moment: he continued in the pulpit long after a withdrawal
was peremptorily prescribed for him; and when forbidden to leave home
for lecturing, during the winter of 1858, he straightway prepared the
most laborious literary works of his life, for delivery as lectures in
the Fraternity Course at Boston.

He worked thus, not from ambition, nor altogether from principle, but
from an immense craving for mental labor, which had become second
nature to him. His great omnivorous, hungry intellect must have
constant food,--new languages, new statistics, new historical
investigations, new scientific discoveries, new systems of Scriptural
exegesis. He did not for a day in the year nor an hour in the day make
rest a matter of principle, nor did he ever indulge in it as a
pleasure, for he knew no enjoyment so great as labor. Wordsworth's
"wise passiveness" was utterly foreign to his nature. Had he been a
mere student, this had been less destructive. But to take the standard
of study of a German Professor, and superadd to that the separate
exhaustions of a Sunday-preacher, a lyceum-lecturer, a radical leader,
and a practical philanthropist, was simply to apply half a dozen
distinct suicides to the abbreviation of a single life. And, as his
younger companions long since assured him, the tendency of his career
was not only to kill himself, but them; for each assumed that he must
at least attempt what Theodore Parker accomplished.

It is very certain that his career was much shortened by these
enormous labors, and it is not certain that its value was increased in
a sufficient ratio to compensate for that evil. He justified his
incessant winter-lecturing by the fact that the whole country was his
parish, though this was not an adequate excuse. But what right had he
to deprive himself even of the accustomed summer respite of ordinary
preachers, and waste the golden July hours in studying Sclavonic
dialects? No doubt his work in the world was greatly aided both by the
fact and the fame of learning, and, as he himself somewhat
disdainfully said, the knowledge of Greek and Hebrew was "a
convenience" in theological discussions; but, after all, his popular
power did not mainly depend on his mastery of twenty languages, but of
one. Theodore Parker's learning was undoubtedly a valuable possession
to the community, but it was not worth the price of Theodore Parker's

"Strive constantly to concentrate yourself," said the laborious
Goethe, "never dissipate your powers; incessant activity, of whatever
kind, leads finally to bankruptcy." But Theodore Parker's whole
endeavor was to multiply his channels, and he exhausted his life in
the effort to do all men's work. He was a hard man to relieve, to
help, or to cooperate with. Thus, the "Massachusetts Quarterly Review"
began with quite a promising corps of contributors; but when it
appeared that its editor, if left alone, would willingly undertake all
the articles,--science, history, literature, everything,--of course
the others yielded to inertia and dropped away. So, some years later,
when some of us met at his room to consult on a cheap series of
popular theological works, he himself was so rich in his own private
plans that all the rest were impoverished; nothing could be named but
he had been planning just that for years, and should by-and-by get
leisure for it, and there really was not enough left to call out the
energies of any one else. Not from any petty egotism, but simply from
inordinate activity, he stood ready to take all the parts.

In the same way he distanced everybody; every companion-scholar found
soon that it was impossible to keep pace with one who was always
accumulating and losing nothing. Most students find it necessary to be
constantly forgetting some things to make room for later arrivals; but
the peculiarity of his memory was that he let nothing go. I have more
than once heard him give a minute analysis of the contents of some
dull book read twenty years before, and have afterwards found the
statement correct and exhaustive. His great library,--the only private
library I have ever seen which reminded one of the Astor,--although
latterly collected more for public than personal uses, was one which
no other man in the nation, probably, had sufficient bibliographical
knowledge single-handed to select, and we have very few men capable of
fully appreciating its scholarly value, as it stands. It seems as if
its possessor, putting all his practical and popular side into his
eloquence and action, had indemnified himself by investing all his
scholarship in a library of which less than a quarter of the books
were in the English language.

All unusual learning, however, brings with it the suspicion of
superficiality; and in this country, where, as Mr. Parker himself
said, "every one gets a mouthful of education, but scarce one a full
meal,"--where every one who makes a Latin quotation is styled "a ripe
scholar,"--it is sometimes difficult to distinguish the true from the
counterfeit. It is, however, possible to apply some tests. I remember,
for instance, that one of the few undoubted classical scholars, in the
old-fashioned sense, whom New England has seen,--the late John Glen
King of Salem,--while speaking with very limited respect of the
acquirements of Rufus Choate in this direction, and with utter
contempt of those of Daniel Webster, always became enthusiastic on
coming to Theodore Parker. "He is the only man," said Mr. King more
than once to the writer, "with whom I can sit down and seriously
discuss a disputed reading and find him familiar with all that has
been written upon it." Yet Greek and Latin were only the preliminaries
of Mr. Parker's scholarship.

I know, for one,--and there are many who will bear the same
testimony,--that I never went to Mr. Parker to talk over a subject
which I had just made a speciality, without finding that on that
particular matter he happened to know, without any special
investigation, more than I did. This extended beyond books, sometimes
stretching into things where his questioner's opportunities of
knowledge had seemed considerably greater,--as, for instance, in
points connected with the habits of our native animals and the
phenomena of out-door Nature. Such were his wonderful quickness and
his infallible memory, that glimpses of these things did for him the
work of years. But, of course, it was in the world of books that this
wonderful superiority was chiefly seen, and the following example may
serve as one of the most striking among many.

It happened to me, some years since, in the course of some historical
inquiries, to wish for fuller information in regard to the barbarous
feudal codes of the Middle Ages,--as the Salic, Burgundian, and
Ripuarian,--before the time of Charlemagne. The common historians,
even Hallam, gave no very satisfactory information and referred to no
very available books; and supposing it to be a matter of which every
well-read lawyer would at least know something, I asked help of the
most scholarly member of that profession within my reach. He regretted
his inability to give me any aid, but referred me to a friend of his,
who was soon to visit him, a young man, who was already eminent for
legal learning. The friend soon arrived, but owned, with some regret,
that he had paid no attention to that particular subject, and did not
even know what books to refer to; but he would at least ascertain what
they were, and let me know. (N.B. I have never heard from him since.)
Stimulated by ill-success, I aimed higher, and struck at the Supreme
Bench of a certain State, breaking in on the mighty repose of His
Honor with the name of Charlemagne. "Charlemagne?" responded my lord
judge, rubbing his burly brow,--"Charlemagne lived, I think, in the
sixth century?" Dismayed, I retreated, with little further inquiry;
and sure of one man, at least, to whom law meant also history and
literature, I took refuge with Charles Sumner. That accomplished
scholar, himself for once at fault, could only frankly advise me to do
at last what I ought to have done at first,--to apply to Theodore
Parker. I did so. "Go," replied he instantly, "to alcove twenty-four,
shelf one hundred and thirteen, of the College Library at Cambridge,
and you will find the information you need in a thick quarto, bound in
vellum, and lettered 'Potgiesser de Statu Servorum.'" I straightway
sent for Potgiesser, and found my fortune made, it was one of those
patient old German treatises which cost the labor of one man's life to
compile and another's to exhaust, and I had no reason to suppose that
any reader had disturbed its repose until that unwearied industry had
explored the library.

Amid such multiplicity of details he must sometimes have made
mistakes, and with his great quickness of apprehension he sometimes
formed hasty conclusions. But no one has a right to say that his great
acquirements were bought by any habitual sacrifice of thoroughness. To
say that they sometimes impaired the quality of his thought would
undoubtedly be more just; and this is a serious charge to bring.
Learning is not accumulation, but assimilation; every man's real
acquirements must pass into his own organization, and undue or hasty
nutrition does no good. The most priceless knowledge is not worth the
smallest impairing of the quality of the thinking. The scholar cannot
afford, any more than the farmer, to lavish his strength in clearing
more land than he can cultivate; and Theodore Parker was compelled by
the natural limits of time and strength to let vast tracts lie fallow,
and to miss something of the natural resources of the soil. One
sometimes wished that he had studied less and dreamed more,--for less
encyclopedic information, and more of his own rich brain.

But it was in popularizing thought and knowledge that his great and
wonderful power lay. Not an original thinker, in the same sense with
Emerson, he yet translated for tens of thousands that which Emerson
spoke to hundreds only. No matter who had been heard on any subject,
the great mass of intelligent, "progressive" New-England thinkers
waited to hear the thing summed up by Theodore Parker. This popular
interest went far beyond the circle of his avowed sympathizers; he
might be a heretic, but nobody could deny that he was a marksman. No
matter how well others seemed to have hit the target, his shot was the
triumphant one, at last. Thinkers might find no new thought in the new
discourse, leaders of action no new plan, yet, after all that had been
said and done, his was the statement that told upon the community. He
knew this power of his, and had analyzed some of the methods by which
he attained it, though, after all, the best part was an unconscious
and magnetic faculty. But he early learned, so he once told me, that
the New-England people dearly love two things,--a philosophical
arrangement, and a plenty of statistics. To these, therefore, he
treated them thoroughly; in some of his "Ten Sermons" the demand made
upon the systematizing power of his audience was really formidable;
and I have always remembered a certain lecture of his on the
Anglo-Saxons as the most wonderful instance that ever came within my
knowledge of the adaptation of solid learning to the popular
intellect. Nearly two hours of almost unadorned fact,--for there was
far less than usual of relief and illustration,--and yet the
lyceum-audience listened to it as if an angel sang to them. So perfect
was his sense of purpose and of power, so clear and lucid was his
delivery, with such wonderful composure did he lay out, section by
section, his historical chart, that he grasped his hearers as
absolutely as he grasped his subject: one was compelled to believe
that he might read the people the Sanscrit Lexicon, and they would
listen with ever fresh delight. Without grace or beauty or melody, his
mere elocution was sufficient to produce effects which melody and
grace and beauty might have sighed for in vain. And I always felt that
he well described his own eloquence while describing Luther's, in one
of the most admirably moulded sentences he ever achieved,--"The homely
force of Luther, who, in the language of the farm, the shop, the boat,
the street, or the nursery, told the high truths that reason or
religion taught, and took possession of his audience by a storm of
speech, then poured upon them all the riches of his brave plebeian
soul, baptizing every head anew,--a man who with the people seemed
more mob than they, and with kings the most imperial man."

Another key to his strong hold upon the popular mind was to be found
in his thorough Americanism of training and sympathy. Surcharged with
European learning, he yet remained at heart the Lexington
farmer's-boy, and his whole atmosphere was indigenous, not exotic. Not
haunted by any of the distrust and over-criticism which are apt to
effeminate the American scholar, he plunged deep into the current of
hearty national life around him, loved it, trusted it, believed in it;
and the combination of this vital faith with such tremendous criticism
of public and private sins formed an irresistible power. He could
condemn without crushing,--denounce mankind, yet save it from despair.
Thus his pulpit became one of the great forces of the nation, like the
New York "Tribune." His printed volumes had but a limited circulation,
owing to a defective system of publication, which his friends tried in
vain to correct; but the circulation of his pamphlet-discourses was
very great; he issued them faster and faster, latterly often in pairs,
and they instantly spread far and wide. Accordingly he found his
listeners everywhere; he could not go so far West but his abundant
fame had preceded him; his lecture-room in the remotest places was
crowded, and his hotel-chamber also, until late at night. Probably
there was no private man in the nation, except, perhaps, Beecher and
Greeley, whom personal strangers were so eager to see; while from a
transatlantic direction he was sought by visitors to whom the two
other names were utterly unknown. Learned men from the continent of
Europe always found their way, first or last, to Exeter Place; and it
is said that Thackeray, on his voyage to this country, declared that
the thing in America which he most desired was to hear Theodore Parker

Indeed, his conversational power was so wonderful that no one could go
away from a first interview without astonishment and delight. There
are those among us, it may be, more brilliant in anecdote or repartee,
more eloquent, more profoundly suggestive; but for the outpouring of
vast floods of various and delightful information, I believe that he
could have had no Anglo-Saxon rival, except Macaulay. And in Mr.
Parker's case, at least, there was no alloy of conversational
arrogance or impatience of opposition. He monopolized, not because he
was ever unwilling to hear others, but because they did not care to
hear themselves when he was by. The subject made no difference; he
could talk on anything. I was once with him in the society of an
intelligent Quaker farmer, when the conversation fell on agriculture:
the farmer held his own ably for a time; but long after he was drained
dry, our wonderful companion still flowed on exhaustless, with
accounts of Nova Scotia ploughing and Tennessee hoeing, and all things
rural, ancient and modern, good and bad, till it seemed as if the one
amusing and interesting theme in the universe were the farm. But it
soon proved that this was only one among his thousand departments, and
his hearers felt, as was said of old Fuller, as if he had served his
time at every trade in town.

But it must now be owned that these astonishing results were bought by
some intellectual sacrifices which his nearer friends do not all
recognize, but which posterity will mourn. Such a rate of speed is
incompatible with the finest literary execution. A delicate literary
ear he might have had, perhaps, but he very seldom stopped to
cultivate or even indulge it. This neglect was not produced by his
frequent habit of extemporaneous speech alone; for it is a singular
fact, that Wendell Phillips, who rarely writes a line, yet contrives
to give to his hastiest efforts the air of elaborate preparation,
while Theodore Parker's most scholarly performances were still
stump-speeches. Vigorous, rich, brilliant, copious, they yet seldom
afford a sentence which falls in perfect cadence upon the ear; under a
show of regular method, they are loose and diffuse, and often have the
qualities which he himself attributed to the style of John Quincy
Adams,--"disorderly, ill-compacted, and homely to a fault." He said of
Dr. Channing,--"Diffuseness is the old Adam of the pulpit. There are
always two ways of hitting the mark,--one with a single bullet, the
other with a shower of small shot: Dr. Channing chose the latter, as
most of our pulpit orators have done." Theodore Parker chose it also.

Perhaps Nature and necessity chose it for him. If not his temperament,
at least the circumstances of his position, cut him off from all high
literary finish. He created the congregation at the Music Hall, and
that congregation, in turn, moulded his whole life. For that great
stage his eloquence became inevitably a kind of brilliant
scene-painting,--large, fresh, profuse, rapid, showy;--masses of light
and shade, wonderful effects, but farewell forever to all finer
touches and delicate gradations! No man can write for posterity, while
hastily snatching a half-day from a week's lecturing, during which to
prepare a telling Sunday harangue for three thousand people. In the
perpetual rush and hurry of his life, he had no time to select, to
discriminate, to omit anything, or to mature anything. He had the
opportunities, the provocatives, and the drawbacks which make the work
and mar the fame of the professional journalist. His intellectual
existence, after he left the quiet of West Roxbury, was from hand to
mouth. Needing above all men to concentrate himself, he was compelled
by his whole position to lead a profuse and miscellaneous life.

All popular orators must necessarily repeat themselves,--preachers
chiefly among orators, and Theodore Parker chiefly among preachers.
The mere frequency of production makes this inevitable,--a fact which
always makes every finely organized intellect, first or last, grow
weary of the pulpit. But in his case there were other compulsions.
Every Sunday a quarter part of his vast congregation consisted of
persons who had never, or scarcely ever, heard him before, and who
might never hear him again. Not one of those visitors must go away,
therefore, without hearing the great preacher define his position on
every point,--not theology alone, but all current events and permanent
principles, the Presidential nomination or message, the laws of trade,
the laws of Congress, woman's rights, woman's costume, Boston
slave-kidnappers, and Dr. Banbaby,--he must put it all in. His ample
discourse must be like an Oriental poem, which begins with the
creation of the universe, and includes all subsequent facts
incidentally. It is astonishing to look over his published sermons and
addresses, and see under how many different names the same stirring
speech has been reprinted;--new illustrations, new statistics, and all
remoulded with such freshness that the hearer had no suspicions, nor
the speaker either,--and yet the same essential thing. Sunday
discourse, lyceum lecture, convention speech, it made no difference,
he must cover all the points every time. No matter what theme might be
announced, the people got the whole latitude and longitude of Theodore
Parker, and that was precisely what they wanted. He broke down the
traditional non-committalism of the lecture-room, and oxygenated all
the lyceums of the land. He thus multiplied his audience very greatly,
while perhaps losing to some degree the power of close logic and of
addressing a specific statement to a special point. Yet it seemed as
if he could easily leave the lancet to others, grant him only the
hammer and the forge.

Ah, but the long centuries, where the reading of books is concerned,
set aside all considerations of quantity, of popularity, of immediate
influence, and sternly test by quality alone,--judge each author by
his most golden sentence, and let all else go. The deeds make the man,
but it is the style which makes or dooms the writer. History, which
always sends great men in groups, gave us Emerson by whom to test the
intellectual qualities of Parker. They cooperated in their work from
the beginning, in much the same mutual relation as now; in looking
back over the rich volumes of the "Dial," the reader now passes by the
contributions of Parker to glean every sentence of Emerson's, but we
have the latter's authority for the fact that it was the former's
articles which originally sold the numbers. Intellectually, the two
men form the complement to each other; it is Parker who reaches the
mass of the people, but it is probable that all his writings put
together have not had so profound an influence on the intellectual
leaders of the nation as the single address of Emerson at Divinity

And it is difficult not to notice, in that essay in which Theodore
Parker ventured on higher intellectual ground, perhaps, than anywhere
else in his writings,--his critique on Emerson in the "Massachusetts
Quarterly,"--the indications of this mental disparity. It is in many
respects a noble essay, full of fine moral appreciations, bravely
generous, admirable in the loyalty of spirit shown towards a superior
mind, and all warm with a personal friendship which could find no
superior. But so far as literary execution is concerned, the beautiful
sentences of Emerson stand out like fragments of carved marble from
the rough plaster in which they are imbedded. Nor this alone; but, on
drawing near the vestibule of the author's finest thoughts, the critic
almost always stops, unable quite to enter their sphere. Subtile
beauties puzzle him; the titles of the poems, for instance, giving by
delicate allusion the key-note of each,--as "Astraea," "Mithridates,"
"Hamatreya," and "Étienne de la Boéce,"--seem to him the work of "mere
caprice"; he pronounces the poem of "Monadnoc" "poor and weak"; he
condemns and satirizes the "Wood-notes," and thinks that a pine-tree
which should talk like Mr. Emerson's ought to be cut down and cast
into the sea.

The same want of fine discrimination was usually visible in his
delineations of great men in public life. Immense in accumulation of
details, terrible in the justice which held the balance, they yet left
one with the feeling, that, after all, the delicate main-springs of
character had been missed. Broad contrasts, heaps of good and evil,
almost exaggerated praises, pungent satire, catalogues of sins that
seemed pages from some Recording Angel's book,--these were his mighty
methods; but for the subtilest analysis, the deepest insight into the
mysteries of character, one must look elsewhere. It was still
scene-painting, not portraiture; and the same thing which overwhelmed
with wonder, when heard in the Music Hall, produced a slight sense of
insufficiency, when read in print. It was certainly very great in its
way, but not in quite the highest way; it was preliminary work, not
final; it was Parker's Webster, not Emerson's Swedenborg or Napoleon.

The same thing was often manifested in his criticisms on current
events. The broad truths were stated without fear or favor, the finer
points passed over, and the special trait of the particular phase
sometimes missed. His sermons on the last revivals, for instance, had
an enormous circulation, and told with great force upon those who had
not been swept into the movement, and even upon some who had been. The
difficulty was that they were just such discourses as he would have
preached in the time of Edwards and the "Great Awakening"; and the
point which many thought the one astonishing feature of the new
excitement, its almost entire omission of the "terrors of the Lord,"
the far gentler and more winning type of religion which it displayed,
and from which it confessedly drew much of its power, this was
entirely ignored in Mr. Parker's sermons. He was too hard at work in
combating the evangelical theology to recognize its altered phases.
Forging lightning-rods against the tempest, he did not see that the
height of the storm had passed by.

These are legitimate criticisms to make on Theodore Parker, for he was
large enough to merit them. It is only the loftiest trees of which it
occurs to us to remark that they do not touch the sky, and a man must
comprise a great deal before we complain of him for not comprising
everything. But though the closest scrutiny may sometimes find cases
where he failed to see the most subtile and precious truth, it will
never discover one where, seeing, he failed to proclaim it, or,
proclaiming, failed to give it force and power. He lived his life much
as he walked the streets of Boston,--not quite gracefully, nor yet
statelily, but with quick, strong, solid step, with sagacious eyes
wide open, and thrusting his broad shoulders a little forward, as if
butting away the throng of evil deeds around him, and scattering whole
atmospheres of unwholesome cloud. Wherever he went, there went a
glance of sleepless vigilance, an unforgetting memory, a tongue that
never faltered, and an arm that never quailed. Not primarily an
administrative nor yet a military mind, he yet exerted a positive
control over the whole community around him, by sheer mental and moral
strength. He mowed down harvests of evil as in his youth he mowed the
grass, and all his hours of study were but whetting the scythe.

And for this great work it was not essential that the blade should
have a razor's edge. Grant that Parker was not also Emerson; no
matter, he was Parker. If ever a man seemed sent into the world to
find a certain position, and found it, he was that man. Occupying a
unique sphere of activity, he filled it with such a wealth of success,
that there is now no one in the nation whom it would not seem an
absurdity to nominate for his place. It takes many instruments to
complete the orchestra, but the tones of this organ the Music Hall
shall never hear again.

One feels, since he is gone, that he made his great qualities seem so
natural and inevitable, we forgot that all did not share them. We
forgot the scholar's proverbial reproach of timidity and selfishness,
in watching him. While he lived, it seemed a matter of course that the
greatest acquirements and the heartiest self-devotion should go
together. Can we keep our strength, without the tonic of his example?
How petty it now seems to ask for any fine-drawn subtilties of poet or
seer in him who gave his life to the cause of the humblest! Life
speaks the loudest. We do not ask what Luther said or wrote, but only
what he did; and the name of Theodore Parker will not only long
outlive his books, but will last far beyond the special occasions out
of which he moulded his grand career.

       *       *       *       *       *



_Io triumphe!_ Lo, thy certain art,
My crafty sire, releases us at length!
False Minos now may knit his baffled brows,
And in the labyrinth by thee devised
His brutish horns in angry search may toss
The Minotaur,--but thou and I are free!
See where it lies, one dark spot on the breast
Of plains far-shining in the long-lost day,
Thy glory and our prison! Either hand
Crete, with her hoary mountains, olive-clad
In twinkling silver, 'twixt the vineyard rows,
Divides the glimmering seas. On Ida's top
The sun, discovering first an earthly throne,
Sits down in splendor: lucent vapors rise
From folded glens among the awaking hills,
Expand their hovering films, and touch, and spread
In airy planes beneath us, hearths of air
Whereon the morning burns her hundred fires.


Take thou thy way between the cloud and wave,
O Daedalus, my father, steering forth
To friendly Samos, or the Carian shore!
But me the spaces of the upper heaven
Attract, the height, the freedom, and the joy.
For now, from that dark treachery escaped,
And tasting power which was the lust of youth,
Whene'er the white blades of the sea-gull's wings
Flashed round the headland, or the barbéd files
Of cranes returning clanged across the sky,
No half-way flight, no errand incomplete
I purpose. Not, as once in dreams, with pain
I mount, with fear and huge exertion hold
Myself a moment, ere the sickening fall
Breaks in the shock of waking. Launched, at last,
Uplift on powerful wings, I veer and float
Past sunlit isles of cloud, that dot with light
The boundless archipelago of sky.
I fan the airy silence till it starts
In rustling whispers, swallowed up as soon;
I warm the chilly ether with my breath;
I with the beating of my heart make glad
The desert blue. Have I not raised myself
Unto this height, and shall I cease to soar?
The curious eagles wheel about my path:
With sharp and questioning eyes they stare at me,
With harsh, impatient screams they menace me,
Who, with these vans of cunning workmanship
Broad-spread, adventure on their high domain,--
Now mine, as well. Henceforth, ye clamorous birds,
I claim the azure empire of the air!
Henceforth I breast the current of the morn,
Between her crimson shores: a star, henceforth,
Upon the crawling dwellers of the earth
My forehead shines. The steam of sacred blood,
The smoke of burning flesh on altars laid,
Fumes of the temple-wine, and sprinkled myrrh,
Shall reach my palate ere they reach the Gods.


Nay, am not I a God? What other wing,
If not a God's, could in the rounded sky
Hang thus in solitary poise? What need,
Ye proud Immortals, that my balanced plumes
Should grow, like yonder eagle's, from the nest?
It may be, ere my crafty father's line
Sprang from Erectheus, some artificer,
Who found you roaming wingless on the hills,
Naked, asserting godship in the dearth
Of loftier claimants, fashioned you the same.
Thence did you seize Olympus; thence your pride
Compelled the race of men, your slaves, to tear
The temple from the mountain's marble womb,
To carve you shapes more beautiful than they,
To sate your idle nostrils with the reek
Of gums and spices, heaped on jewelled gold.


Lo, where Hyperion, through the glowing air
Approaching, drives! Fresh from his banquet-meats,
Flushed with Olympian nectar, angrily
He guides his fourfold span of furious steeds,
Convoyed by that bold Hour whose ardent torch
Burns up the dew, toward the narrow beach,
This long, projecting spit of cloudy gold
Whereon I wait to greet him when he comes.
Think not I fear thine anger: this day, thou,
Lord of the silver bow, shalt bring a guest
To sit in presence of the equal Gods
In your high hall: wheel but thy chariot near,
That I may mount beside thee!
                             ----What is this?
I hear the crackling hiss of singéd plumes!
The stench of burning feathers stifles me!
My loins are stung with drops of molten wax!--
Ai! ai! my ruined vans!--I fall! I die!

       *       *       *       *       *

Ere the blue noon o'erspanned the bluer strait
Which parts Icaria from Samos, fell,
Amid the silent wonder of the air,
Fell with a shock that startled the still wave,
A shrivelled wreck of crisp, entangled plumes,
A head whence eagles' beaks had plucked the eyes,
And clots of wax, black limbs by eagles torn
In falling: and a circling eagle screamed
Around that floating horror of the sea
Derision, and above Hyperion shone.

       *       *       *       *       *


I confess to knowledge of a large book bearing the above title,--a
title which is no less appropriate for this brief, disrupted
biographical memorandum. That I have a right to act as I have done, in
adopting it, will presently appear,--as well as that the honored name
thus appropriated by me refers neither io the dictionary nor the
_filibustero_, both of which articles appear to have been superseded
by newer and better things.

At the first flush, Fur would seem to be rather a sultry subject to
open either a store or a story with, in these glowing days of a justly
incensed thermometer.

And yet there is a fine bracing mountain-air to be drawn from the
material, as with a spigot, if you will only favor your mind with a
digression from the tangible article to the wild-rose associations in
which it is enveloped.

Think of the high, wind-swept ridges, among the clefts of which are
the only homesteads of the hardy pioneers by whose agency alone one
kind of luxury is kept up to the standard demand for it in the great
cities. It might not be so likely a place to get fancy drinks in as
Broome Street, certainly, we must admit, as we picture to ourselves
some brushy ravine in which the trapper has his irons cunningly set
out for the betrayal of the stone-marten and the glossy-backed
"fisher-cat,"--but the breeze in it is quite as wholesome as a
brandy-smash. The whirr of the sage-hen's wing, as she rises from the
fragrant thicket, brings a flavor with it fresher far than that of the
mint-julep. It is cheaper than the latter compound, too, and much more
conducive to health. Continuing to indulge our fancy in cool images
connected with fur and its finders, we shall see what contrasts will
arise. The blue shadow of a cottonwood-tree stretching over a
mountain-spring. By the edge of the sparkling water sits, embroidering
buckskin, a red-legged squaw, keeper of the wigwam to the ragged
mountain-man who set the traps that caught the martens which furnished
the tails that mark so gracefully the number of skins of which the
rich banker's wife's _fichu-russe_ is composed. Here is a striking
contrast, in which extremes meet,--not the martens' tails, but the two
men's wives, the banker's and the trapper's, brought into antithetical
relation by the simple circumstance of a _fichu-russe_, the material
of which was worn in some ravine of the wilderness, mayhap not a
twelvemonth since, by a creature faster even than a banker's wife.
Great is the hereafter of the marten-cat, whose skin may be looked
upon as the soul by which the animal is destined to attain a sort of
modified immortality in the Elysian abodes of Wealth and Fashion,--the
place where good martens go!

The men through whose intervention eventual felicity is thus secured
to the fur-creature are as much a race in themselves as the Gypsies.
No genuine type of them ever approaches nearer to the confines of
civilization than a frontier settlement beckons him. Old Adams, the
bear-tutor, might have been of this type once, but he is adulterated
with sawdust and gas-light now, with city cookery and spurious
groceries. Many men of French Canadian origin are to be found trading
and trapping in the Far West; although, taken in the aggregate, there
are no people less given to stirring enterprise than these colonial
descendants of the Gaul. The only direction, almost, in which they
exhibit any expansive tendency is in the border trade and general
adventure business, in which figure the names of many of them
conspicuously and with honor. The Chouteaus are of that stock; and of
that stock came the late Major Aubry, renowned among the guides and
trappers of the southwestern wilderness; and if J.C. Fremont is not a
French Canadian by birth, the strong efforts made about the time of
the last Presidential election to establish him as one had at least
the effect of determining his Canadian descent.

Pierre La Marche was a Franco-Canadian of the spread-eagle kind
referred to. Departing widely from the conservative prejudices of his
race, his wandering propensities took him away, at an early age, from
the primitive colonial village in which he first saw the light of day.
He was but fourteen years old when he left his peaceful and thoroughly
whitewashed home on the banks of the St. François, in company with a
knot of Canadian _voyageurs_, whose principles tended towards the Red
River of the North. Leaving this convoy at Fond-du-Lac, he pushed his
way on to the Mississippi, alone and friendless, and, falling in with
a party of trappers at St. Louis, accompanied them when they returned
to the mountain "gulches" in which their business lay.

After six years of trapper and trader life, but little trace of the
simple young Canadian _habitant_ was left in Pierre La Marche. He
spoke mountain English and French _patois_ with equal fluency. There
was a decision of character about him that commanded the respect of
his comrades. When the other trappers went to St. Louis, they used to
drink and gamble away their hard-won dollars, few of these men caring
for anything beyond the indulgence of immediate fancies. But Pierre
was ambitious, and thought that money might be made subservient to his
aspirations in a better way than speculating with it upon "bluff" or
squandering it upon deteriorating drinks.

About this time of his life, Pierre began to think that the fact of
his being "only a French Canadian" was likely to be a bar to his
advancement. He despised himself greatly for one thing, indeed,--that
his name was La Marche, and not Walker,--which patronymic he made out
to be the nearest Anglo-Saxon equivalent for his French one. He
adopted it,--calling himself Peter Walker,--and had an adventure out
of it, to begin with.

While trading furs at St. Louis, on one occasion, he offered a remnant
of his stock to a dealer with whom he was not acquainted. They had an
argument as to prices. The dealer, a man of hasty temper, asked him
his name.

"Walker," was the reply.

When La Marche arose from the distant corner into which he was
projected in company with the bundle of furs levelled at his head,
revenge was his natural sentiment. Drawing his heavy knife from its
sheath, he flung it away: the temptation to use it might have been too
much for him. Small in stature, but remarkable for muscular strength,
and for inventive resource in the "rough-and-tumble" fight, La Marche
clenched with the burly store-keeper, who was getting the worst of it,
when some of his _employés_ interfered. This led to a general
engagement. Several of La Marche's companions now rushed in, and in
five minutes their opponents gave out, succumbent to superior wind and

Next morning, when the trappers took their way out of St. Louis, La
Marche was a leader among them for life. But the reason of the
store-keeper's rage was for many years a mystery to him. He knew not
the enormity of "Walker," as an exponent of disparagement; he simply
thought it a nicer name than La Marche, while it fully embodied the
sentiment of that name. He adopted it, then, as I said before, and
went on towards posterity as Peter Walker.

I heard many strange anecdotes of Peter Walker at the residence of a
retired _voyageur_, who used to sing him Homerically to his chosen
friends. These _voyageurs_ are professional canoe-men; adventurers
extending, sparsely, from the waters of French Canada to those of
Oregon,--and sometimes back. Honest old Quatreaux! I mentioned his
"residence" just now, and the term is truly grandiloquent in its
application. The residence of old Quatreaux was a log _cabane_, about
twenty feet square. Planks, laid loosely upon the cross-ties of the
rafters, formed the up-stairs of the building: up-ladder would be a
term more in accordance with facts; for it was by an appliance of that
kind that the younger and more active of the sixteen members composing
the old _voyageur's_ family removed themselves from view when they
retired for the night. A partition, extending half-way across the
ground-floor, screened off the state or principal bed from outside
gaze; at least, it was exposed to view only from points rendered
rather inaccessible by tubs, with which these Canadian families are
generally provided to excess. This apartment was strictly assigned to
me, as a visitor; and although I firmly declined the honor,--chiefly
with reference to certain large and very hard fleas I knew of in its
dormitory arrangements,--it was kept religiously vacant, in case my
heart should relent towards it, and the family in general slept
huddled together on the outer floor, without manifest classification:
the two old people; son and wife; daughter and husband; children; the
extraordinary little hunch-backed and one-eyed girl, whom nobody would
marry, but everybody liked; dogs. I used to stretch myself on a
buffalo-robe before the wood-fire, in company with a faithful spaniel,
who was as wakeful on these occasions as if he suspected that the
low-bred curs of the establishment might pick his pockets.

Quatreaux's _cabane_ was situated on the edge of an extensive tract of
marsh,--lagoon would be a more descriptive word for it, perhaps,--a
splashy, ditch-divided district, extending along the borders of a lake
for miles. Snipe-shooting was my motive there; and dull work it was in
those dark, Novembry, October days, with "the low rain falling" half
the time, and the yellow leaves all the time, and no snipe. But
whether we poled our log canoe up to some stunted old willow-tree that
sat low in the horizontal marsh, and took shelter under it to smoke
our pipes, or whether we mollified the privation of snipe in the
_cabane_ at night with mellow rum and tobacco brought by me, still was
Walker the old _voyageur's_ favorite theme.

Old Quatreaux spoke English perfectly well, although his conservatism
as a Canadian induced him to prefer his mother tongue as a vehicle for
general conversation. But I remarked that his anecdotes of Walker were
always related in English, and on these occasions, therefore, for my
benefit alone: for but little of the Anglo-Saxon tongue appeared to be
known to, or at least used by, any member of his numerous family.
Indeed, I can recall but two words of that language which I could
positively aver to have heard in colloquial use among them,--_poodare_
and _schotte_. And why should the old _voyageur_ have thus reserved
his experiences from those who were near and dear to him? Simply
because most of his adventures with Walker were not of the strictly
mild character becoming a family-man. But it was all the same to these
good people; and when I laughed, they all took up the idea and laughed
their best,--the little hunch-backed girl generally going off into a
kind of epilepsy by herself, over in the darkest corner of the room,
among the tubs.

When divested of the strange Western expletives and imprecations with
which the old man used to spice his reminiscences, some of them are
enough. I remember one, telling how Peter Walker "raised the wind" on
a particular occasion, when he got short of money on his way to some
distant trading-post, in a district strange to him. It is before me,
in short-hand, on the pages of an old, old pocket-book, and I will
tell it with some slight improvements on the narrator's style, such as
suppressing his unnecessary combinations of the curse.

Mounted on a two-hundred-dollar buffalo-horse, for which he would not
have taken double that amount, Peter Walker found himself, one
afternoon, near the end of a long day's ride. He had but little
baggage with him, that little consisting entirely of a bowie-knife and
holster-pistols,--for the revolver was a scarce piece of furniture
then and there. Of money he was entirely destitute, having expended
his last dollar upon the purchase of his noble steed, and of the
festive suit of clothes with which he calculated upon astonishing
people who resided outside the limits of civilization. The pantaloon
division of that suit was particularly superb, consisting principally
of a stripe by which the outer seam of each leg was made conducive to
harmony of outline. He was about three days' journey from the
trading-post to which he was bound. The country was a frontier one,
sparsely provided with inns.

The sun was framed in a low notch of the horizon, as he approached a
border-hostelry, on the gable of which "Cat's Bluff Hotel" was painted
in letters quite disproportioned in size to the city of Cat's Bluff,
which consisted of the house in question, neither more nor less. In
that house Peter Walker decided upon sojourning luxuriously for that
night, at least, if he had to draw a check upon his holsters for it.

Having stabled his horse, then, and seen him supplied with such
provender as the place afforded, he looked about the hotel, which he
found to be an institution of very considerable pretensions. It seemed
to have a good deal of its own way, in fact, being the only house of
entertainment for many miles upon a great south-western thoroughfare,
from which branched off the trail to be taken by him tomorrow,--a
trail which led only to the trading-post or fort already mentioned.

The deportment of the landlord was gracious, as he went about
whistling "Wait for the wagon," and jingling with gold chains and
heavy jewelry. Still more exhilarating was the prosperous confidence
of the bar-keeper, who took in, while Walker was determining a drink,
not less than a dozen quarter-dollars, from blue-shirted, bearded,
thirsty men with rifles, who came along in a large covered wagon of
western tendency, in which they immediately departed with haste, late
as it was, as if bound to drive into the sun before he went down
behind the far-off edge. Walker used to say, jocularly, that he
supposed this must have been the wagon for which the landlord
whistled, and which came to his call.

Everything denoted that there was abundance of money in that favored
place. Even small boys who came in and called for cigars and drinks
made a reckless display of coin as they paid for them, and then drove
off in their wagons,--for they all had wagons, and were all intent
upon driving rapidly in then toward the west.

But, as night fell, travel went down with the declining day; and
Walker felt himself alone in the world,--a man without a dollar.
Nevertheless, he called for good cheer, which was placed before him on
a liberal scale: for landlords thereabouts were accustomed to provide
for appetites acquired on the plains, and their supply was obliged to
be both large and ready for the chance comers who were always dropping
in, and upon whom their custom depended. So he ate and drank; and
having appeased hunger and thirst, he went into the bar, and opened
conversation with the landlord by offering him one of his own cigars,
a bunch of which he got from the bar-keeper, whom he particularly
requested not to forget to include them in his bill, when the time for
his departure brought with it the disagreeable necessity of being
served with that document.

Western landlords, in general, are not remarkable for the reserve with
which they treat their guests. This particular landlord was less so
than most others. He was especially inquisitive with regard to
Walker's exquisite pantaloons, the like of which had never been seen
in that part of the country before. His happiness was evidently
incomplete in the privation of a similar pair.

"Them pants all wool, now?" asked he, as he viewed them with various
inclinations of head, like a connoisseur examining a picture.

"All except the stripes," replied Walker;--"stripes is wool and cotton
mixed; gives 'em a finer grain, you see, and catches the eye."

The landlord respected Walker at once. Perhaps he might be an Eastern
dry-goods merchant, come along for the purpose of making arrangements
to inundate the border-territory with stuffs for exquisite pantaloons.
He proceeded with his interrogatories. He laid himself out to extract
from Walker all manner of information as to his origin, occupation,
and prospects, which gave the latter an excellent opportunity of
glorifying himself inferentially, while he affected mystery and
reticence with regard to his mission "out West." At last the landlord
set him down for an agent come on to open the sluices for a great tide
of foreign emigration into the territory,--an event to which he
himself had been looking for a long time, and the prospect of which
had guided him to the spot where he had established his hotel, which
he now looked upon as the centre from which a great city was destined
immediately to radiate. And the landlord retired to his bed to
meditate upon immense speculations in town-lots, and, when sleep came
upon him, to dream that he had successfully arranged them through the
medium of an angel with a speaking-trumpet, whose manifest wardrobe
consisted of a pair of fancy pantaloons with stripes on the seams and
side-pockets, exactly like Walker's.

Walker, too, retired to rest, but not to sleep, for his mind was
occupied in turning over means whereby to obtain some of the real
capital with which people here seemed to be superabundantly provided.
He had speculations to carry out, and money was the indispensable
element. Had he only been able to read the landlord's thoughts, he
might have turned quietly over and slept; for so held was that
person's mind by the idea that his ultimate success was to be achieved
through the medium of his unknown guest, that he would without
hesitation have lent him double the sum necessary for his financial

There was a disturbance some time about the middle of the night.
People came along in wagons, as usual, waking up the bar-keeper, whose
dreams perpetually ran upon that kind of trouble. Walker, who was wide
awake, gathered from the conversation below that the travellers had
only halted for drinks, and would immediately resume their way
westward with all speed. He arose and looked out at the open window,
which was about fifteen feet from the ground. Something white loomed
up through the darkness: it was the awning of one of the wagons, which
stood just under the window, to the sill of which it reached within a
few feet. Walker, brought up in the rough-and-ready school, had lain
down to rest with his trousers on. A sudden inspiration now seized
him: he slipped them rapidly off, and dropped them silently on to the
roof of the wagon, which soon after moved on with the others, and
disappeared into the night. This done, he opened softly the door of
the room, and, leaving it ajar, returned to bed and slept.

Morning was well advanced when Walker arose, and began operations by
moving the furniture about in an excited manner, to attract the
attention of those in the bar below, and convey an idea of search.
Presently he went to the door of the room, and, uttering an Indian
howl, by way of securing immediate attendance, cried out,--

"Hullo, below! where's my pants?--bar-keeper, fetch along my
pants!--landlord, I don't want to be troublesome, but just take off
them pants, if you happen to have mistook 'em for your own, and oblige
the right owner with a look at 'em, will you?"

Puzzled at this address, which was couched in much stronger
language--according to old Quatreaux's version of it--than I should
like to commit to paper, the landlord and bar-keeper at once proceeded
to Walker's room, where they found him sitting, expectantly, on the
side of the bed, with his horse-pistols gathered together beside him.
Of course, they denied all knowledge of his pantaloons,--didn't steal
nobody's pants in that house, nor nothin'.

Walker looked sternly at them, and, playing with one of his pistols,
exclaimed, with the usual redundants,--

"You lie!--you've stole my pants between you; you've found out what
they were worth by this time, I guess; but I'll have 'em back, and
that in a hurry, or else my name a'n't Walker,--Peter Walker."

He added his Christian name, because a reminiscence of the mystery
belonging to his patronymic by itself flashed upon him.

Now the name of Pete Walker was potent along the frontier, because of
his influence with the wild mountain-men, who did reckless deeds on
his account, unknown to him and otherwise. Another vision than that of
last night overcame the landlord,--a vision of Lynch and ashes.

"So you're Pete Walker, be you?" asked he, in a tone of mingled
respect and admiration, slightly tremulous with fear. "How do you do,
Mr. Walker?--how do you find yourself this morning, Sir?"

"I didn't come here to find myself," retorted Walker, fiercely. "I
found my door open, though, when I woke up,--but I couldn't find my
pants. You must get 'em, or pay for 'em, and that right away."

"Them cusses that passed through here last night!" exclaimed the
landlord. "I guess the pants is gone on the sundown trail, stripes and

Walker thought it was quite probable that they had; but they were
stolen from that house, and the house must pay for them.

Lynch and ashes again blazed before the landlord's eyes.

"How much might the pants be worth, now, at cost price?" asked he.
"All wool, you say, only the stripes; but, as they was nearly all
stripes, you needn't holler much about the wool, I reckon. How much,

"Two hundred and ten dollars," replied Walker, with impressive

"Thunder!" exclaimed the landlord. "I thought they might be
fancy-priced, sure-ly, but that's awful!"

"Ten dollars, cash price, for the pants," proceeded Walker, "and two
hundred for that exact amount in gold stitched up in the waistband of

"The Devil has got 'em, anyhow!" said the landlord,--"for I saw a
queer critter, in my sleep, flying about with 'em on. Wings looks
kinder awful along o' pants with stripes. There'll be no luck round
till they're paid for, I guess. Couldn't you take my best checkers for
'em, now, with fifty dollars quilted into the waistband,--s-a-ay?"

"My name's Walker,--Peter Walker," was the reply.

The landlord was no match for that name, so disagreeably redolent of
Lynch and ashes. Thorough search was made upon the premises, and to
some distance around, in the wild hope that the missing trousers might
have walked off spontaneously, and lain down somewhere to sleep; but,
of course, nothing came of the investigation, although Walker assisted
at it with his usual energy. All compromise was rejected by him, and
it was not yet noon when he rode proudly away from the lone hostelry,
in the landlord's best checkers, for which he kindly allowed him five
dollars, receiving from him the balance, two hundred and five dollars,
in gold.

I forget now what Walker did with that money, although Quatreaux knew
exactly, and told me all about it. Suffice it to say that he made a
grand _coup_ with it, in the purchase of a mill-privilege, or claim,
or something of the kind. Less than a year after the events narrated,
he again rode up to the lone hostelry, which was not so lonely now,
however; for houses were growing up around it, and it took boarders
and rang a dinner-bell, and maintained a landlady as well as a
landlord, besides. The landlord was astonished when Walker counted out
to him two hundred and five dollars in gold,--surprised when to that
was added a round sum for interest,--ecstatic, on being presented with
a brand-new pair of pantaloons, of the same pattern as the expensive
ones formerly so admired by him. But his features collapsed, and for
some time wore an expression of imbecility, when he learned the
details of the adventure, and found out that "some things"--landlords,
for example--"can be done as well as others."

It was with little reminiscences like the one just narrated that old
Quatreaux used to wile away the time, as we threaded the intricate
ditches of the marsh in his canoe, so hedged in by the tall reeds that
our horizon was within paddle's length of us. With that presumptive
_clairvoyance_ which appears to be an essential property of the French
_raconteur_, he did not confine himself to external fact in his
narratives, but always professed to report minutely the thoughts that
flashed through the mind of such and such a person, on the particular
occasion referred to. He was a master of dialects,--Yankee,
Pennsylvanian Dutch, and Irish.

"Where did you get your English, old man?" I asked him, as we scudded
across the lake in our canoe, with a small sail up, one red October

"In Pennsylvania," replied he. "I went there on my own hook, when I
was about twelve year old, and worked in an oil-mill for four year."

"In an oil-mill? Perhaps that accounts for the glibness with which
language slips off your tongue."

"'Guess it do," said the old _voyageur_, with ready assent.

We nearly got foul of a raft coming down the lake, manned with a
rugged set of half-breeds, who had a cask of whiskey on board, and
were very drunk and boisterous.

"Ugly customers to deal with, those _brûlés_," remarked I, when we had
got clear away from them.

"Some on 'em is," replied the old _voyageur_. "Did you notice the one
with the queer eye,--him in the Scotch cap and _shupac_ moccasons?"

I _had_ noticed him, and an ill-looking thief he was. One of his eyes,
either from natural deformity or the effect of hostile operation, was
dragged down from its proper parallel, and planted in a remote socket
near the corner of his mouth, whence it glared and winked with
super-natural ferocity.

"That's Rupe Falardeau," continued my companion. "His father, old
Rupe, got his eye taken down in a deck-fight with a Mississippi
boatman; and this boy was born with the same mark,--only the eye's
lower down still. If that's to go on in the family, I guess there'll
be a Falardeau with his eye in his knee, some time."

In the deck-fight in which old Rupe got his ugly mark Pete Walker had
a hand; and the part he took in it, as related to me by old Quatreaux,
who was also present, affords a good example of the tact and coolness
which gave him such mastery over the wild spirits among whom he worked
out his destiny.

Walker was coming down a lumbering-river--I forget the name of it--on
board a small tug-steamboat, in which he had an interest. He had gone
into other speculations beside furs, by this time, and had contracts
in two or three places for supplying remote stations with salt pork,
tea, and other staple provisions of the lumbering-craft.

Stopping to wood at the mouth of a creek, a gang of raftsmen came on
board,--half-breed Canadians of fierce and demoralized aspect,--men of
great muscular strength, and armed heavily with axes and
butcher-knives. The gang was led by Rupe Falardeau, a dangerous man,
whether drunk or sober, and one whose antecedents were recorded in
blood. These men had been drinking, and were very noisy and intrusive,
and presently a row arose between them and some of the boat-hands.
Fisticuffs and kicks were first exchanged, but without any great loss
of blood. Knives were then drawn and nourished, and matters were
beginning to assume a serious aspect, when Walker made his appearance
forward of the paddle-box, pointing a heavy pistol right at the head
of the ringleader.

"Rupe!" shouted he, in a voice that attracted immediate attention,
"drop that knife, or else I shoot!"

The crowd parted for a moment, and Rupe, standing alone near the bows,
wheeled round with a yell, and glared fiercely at the speaker.

"Drop that knife!" repeated Walker.--"One, two, _three_!--I'll give
you a last chance, and when I say _three_ again, I shoot, by thunder!"

The last word had not rolled away, when the gleaming knife flashed
from the hand of Rupe, glanced close by Walker's ear, and sped
quivering into the paddle-box, just behind his head.

"Good for you, Rupe!" exclaimed Walker, lowering his pistol, with a
pleasant smile,--"good for you!--but, _sacré bapteme_! how dead I'd
have shot you, if you hadn't dropped that knife!"

The forbearance of Walker put an end to the row. Rupe, disarmed at
once by the loss of his knife and the coolness of Walker, was seized
by a couple of the deck-hands, and might have been secured without
injury to his beauty, had not a Mississippi boatman, who owed him an
old grudge, struck him on the face with a heavy iron hook, lacerating
and disfiguring him hideously for life.

"But why didn't Walker shoot Falardeau, old man?" asked I of the
_voyageur_, wishing to learn something of the etiquette of life and
death among these peculiar people, who appear to be so reckless of the
former and fearless of the latter.

"Ah!" replied he, "Rupe was too valuable to be shot down for missing a
man with a knife. Such a canoe-steersman as Rupe never was known
before or since: he knew every rock in every rapid from the Ottawa to
the Columbia."

Some time after this I again fell in with young Rupe, under
circumstances indicating that his life was not considered quite so
valuable as that of the old gentleman from whom he inherited his
frightful aspect.

In company with a friend, one day, I was beating about for wild-fowl
in a marshy river, down which small rafts or "cribs" of timber were
worked by half-breeds and Canadians.

About dark we came to a small, flat island in the marsh, where we
found an Iroquois camp, in which we proposed to pass the night, as we
had no camping-equipage in our skiff. The men were absent, hunting,
and there was nobody in charge of the wigwam but an ugly, undersized
squaw, with her two ugly, undersized children.

We were much fatigued, and agreed to sleep by watches, knowing the
sort of people we had to deal with. It was my watch, when voices were
heard as of men landing and pulling up a canoe or boat. Presently
three men came into the wigwam, railing-men, dressed in gray Canada
homespun and heavy Scotch bonnets. The light of the fire outside
flashed on their faces, as they stooped to enter the elm-bark tent,
and in the foremost I recognized the hideous Rupe Falardeau, Junior.
This man carried in his hand a small tin pail full of whiskey. He was
very drunk and dangerous, and greatly disgusted at the absence of the
Iroquois men, with whom he had evidently laid himself out for a
roaring debauch.

I woke up my companion, and a judicious display of our
double-barrelled guns kept the three scoundrels in check. They
insisted on our tasting some of their barbarous liquor, however, and
horrible stuff it was,--distiller's "high-wines," strongly dashed with
vitriol or something worse. No wonder that men become fiends incarnate
on such "fire-water" as that!

By-and-by they slept,--two of them outside, by the fire,--Falardeau
inside the wigwam, the repose of which was broken by the hollow rattle
of his drunken breath.

In the dead of the night something clutched me by the arm. It was the
ugly squaw, who forced a greasy butcher-knife into my hand, pointing
towards where the raftsman lay, and whispering to me in
English,--"Stick heem! stick heem!--nobody never know. He kill my
brother long time ago with this old knife. Kill heem! kill heem now!"

I did not avail myself of the opportunity thus afforded me for the
improvement of river society: nay, worse, I connived at the further
career of the redoubtable Rupert Falardeau, Junior; for, on leaving in
the morning, I roused him with repeated kicks, thus saving him for
that time, probably, from the Damoclesian blade of the _vengeresse_.

_L'été de Saint Martin_!--how blue and yellow it is in the marshes in
those days! It is the name given by the French Canadians to the Indian
Summer,--the Summer of St. Martin, whose anniversary-day falls upon
the eleventh of November; though the brief latter-day tranquillity
called after him arrives, generally, some two or three weeks earlier.
Looking lakeward from the sedgy nook in which we are waiting for the
coming of the wood-ducks, the low line of water, blue and calm, is
broken at intervals by the rise of the distant _masquallongé_, as he
plays for a moment on the surface. But the channels that separate the
flat, alluvial islets are yellow, their sluggish waters being bedded
heavily down with the broad leaves of the wintering basswood-trees,
which, in some places, touch branch-tips across the narrow straits.
The muskrat's hut is thatched with the wet, dead leaves,--no thanks to
_him_; and there is a mat of them before his door,--a heavy, yellow
mat, on which are scattered the azure shells of the fresh-water clams
to be found so often upon the premises of this builder. Does he sup on
them, or are they only the cups and saucers of his vegeto-aquarian
_ménage_? Blue and yellow all,--the sky and the sedge-rows, the calm
lake and the canoe, the plashing basswood-leaves and the oval, azure

Also Marance, the _voyageur's_ buxom young daughter, who came with us,
today, commissioned to cull herbs of wondrous properties among the
vine-tangled thickets of the islands. Blue and yellow. Eyes blue as
the azure shells; hair flashing out golden gleams, like that of
Pyrrha, when she braided hers so featly for the coming of some
ambrosial boy.

"I must marry you, Marance," said I, jocularly, to the damsel, as I
jumped her out of the canoe,--"I shall marry you when we get back."

It is good to live in a marsh. No fast boarding-house women there,
lurking for the unwary; no breaches of promise; "no nothing" in the
old-man-trap line. Abjure fast boarding-houses, you silly old
bachelors, and go to grass in a marsh!

Marance laughed merrily, as she tripped away; then, turning, she

"But what if I never get back? I may lose myself in these lonely
places, and never be heard of again."

"Oh, in that case," replied I, hard driven for a compliment, "in that
case, I must wait until Gilette"--a younger sister--"grows up. She
will be exactly like you: I must only wait for Gilette."

"You remind me of Pete Walker," said the old man, as we shot away up
the channel, our canoe ripping up the matted surface like the cue of a
novice, when he runs a fatal reef along the sere and yellow cloth of
some billiard-table erewhile in verdure clad. "You are as bad as Pete
Walker, who thought one sister must be as good as another, because
they looked so much alike."

And then, as we loitered about in the bays, the old man told me the
story of Walker's honeymoon, which was a sad and a short one. This is
the story.

Near that wild rapid of the Columbia River known as the "Dalles,"
there was, years ago, a Jesuit mission, established in a small fort,
built, like that at Nez-Percés, of mud. The labors of the holy men
composing the mission involved no inconsiderable amount of danger,
devoted as they were to the hopeless task of reforming such sinners as
the Sioux, the Blackfeet, the Gros-Ventres, the Flat-Heads, the
Assiniboines, the Nez-Percés, and a few other such.

Some of these missionaries had sojourned for a long time with a branch
of the Blackfoot tribe, among whom they found two young white girls,
remarkable for their exact resemblance to each other, and therefore
supposed to be twins. I say _supposed_, because of their origin there
was no trace. All that was known about them was, that they were the
sole survivors of a train of emigrants, attacked and murdered by the
Nez-Percés, who, actuated by one of those whims characteristic of the
red men, spared the lives of the two children, and adopted them into
the tribe. Subsequently, in a skirmish with the Blackfeet, they fell
into the hands of the latter, among whom they had lived for some time,
when they were ransomed by the missionaries, at the price of certain
trading-privileges negotiated by the latter for the tribe.

When adopted by the Jesuits, the children had lost all remembrance of
their parentage; nor had they any names except the Indian ones
bestowed upon them by their captors. The good fathers christened them,
however, arranging them alphabetically, by the names of Alixe and
Bloyse, and confiding them to the especial charge of the wife of a
trader connected with the station, who had no family of her own. They
were fair-haired children, probably of German or Norwegian origin, and
had grown up to be robust young women of seventeen, when Walker saw
them for the first time, as he stopped at the Dalles on his way from
Fort Nez-Percés about one hundred and twenty-five miles higher up the

Walker, whose business detained him for some time at the mission,
decided upon marrying one of the fair-haired sisters,--he did not much
care which, they were so singularly alike. Alixe happened to be the
one, however, to whom he tendered a share in his fortunes, which she
accepted in the random manner of one to whom it was of but little
consequence whether she said "Yes" or "No." Bloyse would have followed
him, and him only, to the end of all; but he never knew it at the
right time, though the women of the fort could have told him.

It was late one afternoon when he was married to Alixe, in the chapel
of the mission. That was the night of the massacre. Two hours after
the wedding, the Blackfeet, combined with some allied tribe, came down
like wolves upon the fort. There was treachery, somewhere, and they
got in. In the thick of the fight, and when all seemed hopeless,
Walker shot down a tall Indian who was dragging his bride away to
where the horses of the tribe were picketed. In a second he had leaped
upon a horse, and, holding the young girl before him, galloped away in
the direction of a stream running into the Columbia,--a stream of
fierce torrents, navigable only at one place, and that by
flat-bottomed boats or scows, in which passengers warped themselves
across by a grass rope stretched from bank to bank. Once over this
river, he could easily reach a friendly camp, where he and his bride
would have been in safety.

The moon had risen when he reached the ferry. Turning the horse
adrift, he lifted the young woman into the scow, and began to warp
rapidly across by the rope with one hand, while he supported his
fainting companion close to him with the other. Suddenly, a sharp
click sounded from the opposite bank: the rope gave way, and Walker
and his companion were precipitated violently into the water, the boat
shooting far away from beneath their feet. It ran a strong current
there, culminating in a furious rapid not two hundred yards lower
down. Retaining his grasp of the young woman, Walker fought bravely
against the stream, down which he felt they were sweeping, faster and
faster, until a violent concussion deprived him, for a moment, of
consciousness. When he came to himself, he was still swimming, but his
companion was gone. The current had driven them forcibly against a
rock, throwing her from his grasp. The wild rapid was just below them.
She was never heard of again; but Walker managed to reach the shore,
where he must have lain long in an exhausted condition, for it was
daylight when he awoke to any recollection of what had happened.

The ferry-rope had been cut, as he afterwards discovered, by an
Indian, in whose brother's removal by hanging he had been
instrumental, and who had been watching him, day and night, for the
purpose of wreaking a bitter vengeance.

Returning to reconnoitre, with some of his friends, Walker found the
mission a heap of ruins,--blackened walls, charred rafters, and
unrecognizable human remains.

Long afterwards, he learned that his bride was again living among the
Blackfeet;--for it was Bloyse, and not Alixe, with whom he had
galloped away to the fatal ferry, in the confusion of that terrible
night. It was poor Bloyse who went away from his arms down those
crushing rapids. It was Alixe, his bride, who shot back the bolts for
the entrance of the Blackfeet. She was secretly betrothed in the
tribe, and it was her betrothed whom Walker shot down as he was
rushing away in triumph with his supposed _fiancée_ of the pale-faces.
She married another Indian of the tribe, however; for she was a savage
woman at heart, and could live among savages only.

"Sisters may be as like as two walnuts, to look at," said the old
_voyageur_, when he had finished his narration. "Take any two walnuts
from a heap, at random, though, and, like as not, you'll find one on
'em all heart and the other all hollow."

"True," replied I; "but these be wild adventures for one whose boyhood
was passed in a peaceful and thoroughly whitewashed home on the banks
of the St. François."

"'Guess they be," said the old _voyageur_.

       *       *       *       *       *


The families of Gales and Seaton are, in their origin, the one Scotch,
the other English. The Seatons are of that historic race, a daughter
of which (the fair and faithful Catherine) is the heroine of one of
Sir Walter Scott's romances. It was to be supposed that they whose
lineage looked to such an instance of devoted personal affection for
the ancient line would not slacken in their loyalty when fresh
calamities fell upon the Stuarts and again upset their throne.
Accordingly, the Seatons appear to have clung to the cause of their
exiled king with fidelity. Henry Seaton seems to have made himself
especially obnoxious to the new monarch, by taking part in those
Jacobite schemes of rebellion which were so long kept on foot by the
lieges and gentlemen of Scotland; so that, when, towards the close of
the seventeenth century, the cause he loved grew desperate, and
Scotland itself anything but safe for a large body of her most gallant
men, he was forced, like all others that scorned to submit, to fly
beyond the seas. Doing so, it was natural that he should choose to
take refuge in a Britain beyond the ocean, where a brotherly welcome
among his kindred awaited the political prescript. It is probable,
however, that a special sympathy towards that region which, by its
former fidelity to the Stuarts, had earned from them the royal
quartering of its arms and the title of "The Ancient Dominion,"
directed his final choice. At any rate, it was to Virginia that he
came,--settling there, as a planter, first in the county of
Gloucester, and afterwards in that of King William. From one of his
descendants in a right line sprang (by intermarriage with a lady of
English family, the Winstons) William Winston Seaton, the editor,
whose mother connected him with a second Scotch family, the
Henrys,--the mother of Patrick Henry being a Winston. These last had
come, some three generations before, from the old seat of that family
in its knightly times, Winston Hall, in Yorkshire, and had settled in
the county of Hanover, where good estates gave them rank among the
gentry; while commanding stature, the gift of an equally remarkable
personal beauty, a very winning address, good parts, high character,
and the frequent possession among them of a fine natural eloquence,
gave them as a race an equal influence over the body of the people. In
William (popularly called Langaloo) and his sister Sarah, the mother
of Patrick Henry, these hereditary qualities seem to have been
particularly striking; so that, in their day, it seemed a sort of
received opinion that it was from the maternal side that the great
orator derived his extraordinary powers.

The Galeses are of much more recent naturalization amongst us,--later
by just about a century than that of the Seatons, but alike in its
causes. For they, too, were driven hither by governmental resentment.
Their founder, (as he may be called,) the elder Joseph Gales, was one
of those rare men who at times spring up from the body of the people,
and by mere unassisted merit, apart from all adventitious advantages,
make their way to a just distinction. Perhaps no better idea of him
can be given than by likening him to one, less happy in his death,
whom Science is now everywhere lamenting,--the late admirable Hugh
Miller. A different career, rather than an inferior character, made
Joseph Gales less conspicuous. He was born in 1761, at Eckington, near
the English town of Sheffield. The condition of his family was above
dependence, but not frugality.

Be education what else it may, there is one sort which never fails to
work well: namely, that which a strong capacity, when denied the usual
artificial helps, shapes out to its own advantage. Such, with little
and poor assistance, became that of Joseph Gales, obtained
progressively, as best it could be, in the short intervals which the
body can allow to be stolen between labor and necessary rest.

Now the writer is thoroughly convinced, that, after this boy had
worked hard all the day long, he never would have sat down to study
half the night through, if it had not been a pleasure to him. In
short, no sort of toil went hard with him. For he was a fine, manly
youngster, cheerful and stalwart, one who never slunk from what he had
set about, nor turned his back except upon what was dishonest. He
wrought lightsomely, and even lustily, at his coarser pursuits; for,
in that sturdy household, to work had long been held a duty.

Thus improving himself, at odd hours, until he was fit for the
vocation of a printer, and looked upon by the village as a genius, our
youth went to Manchester, and applied himself to that art, not only
for itself, but as the surest means of further knowledge. Of course he
became a master in the craft. At length, returning to his own town to
exercise it, he grew, by his industry and good conduct, into a
condition to exercise it on his own account, and set up a
newspaper,--"The Sheffield Register."

Born of the people, it was natural that Joseph Gales should in his
journal side with the Reformers; and he did so: but with that
unvarying moderation which his good sense and probity of purpose
taught him, and which he ever after through life preserved. He kept
within the right limits of whatever doctrine he embraced, and held a
measure in all his political principles,--knowing that the best, in
common with the worst, tend, by a law of all party, to exaggeration
and extremes. Beyond this temperateness of mind nothing could move
him. Thus guarded, by a rare equity of the understanding, from excess
as to measures, he was equally guarded by a charity and a gentleness
of heart the most exhaustless. In a word, it may safely be said of
him, that, amidst all the heats of faction, he never fell into
violence,--amidst all the asperities of public life, never stooped to
personalities,--and in all that he wrote, left scarcely an unwise and
not a single dishonest sentence behind him.

Such qualities, though not the most forward to set themselves forth to
the public attention, should surely bring success to an editor. The
well-judging were soon pleased with the plain good sense, the general
intelligence, the modesty, and the invariable rectitude of the young
man. Their suffrage gained, that of the rest began to follow. For, in
truth, there are few things of which the light is less to be hid than
that of a good newspaper. "The Register," by degrees, won a general
esteem, and began to prosper. And as, according to the discovery of
Malthus, Prosperity is fond of pairing, it soon happened that our
printer went to falling in love. Naturally again, being a printer, he,
from a regard for the eternal fitness of things, fell in love with an

This was Miss Winifred Marshall, a young lady of the town of Newark,
who to an agreeable person, good connections, and advantages of
education, joined a literary talent that had already won no little
approval. She wrote verse, and published several novels of the
"Minerva Press" order, (such as "Lady Emma Melcombe and her Family,"
"Matilda Berkley," etc.,) of which only the names survive.

Despite the poetic adage about the course of true love, that of Joseph
Gales ran smooth: Miss Marshall accepted his suit and they were
married. Never were husband and wife better mated. They lived together
most happily and long,--she dying, at an advanced age, only two years
before him. Meantime, she had, from the first, brought him some
marriage-portion beyond that which the Muses are wont to give with
their daughters,--namely, laurels and bays; and she bore him three
sons and five daughters, near half of whom the parents survived. Three
(Joseph the younger, Winifred, and Sarah, now Mrs. Seaton) were born
in England; a fourth, at the town of Altona, (near Hamburg,) from
which she was named; and the rest in America.

To resume this story in the order of events. Mr. Gales went on with
his journal, and when it had grown quite flourishing, he added to his
printing-office the inviting appendage of a book-store, which also
flourished. In the progress of both, it became necessary that he
should employ a clerk. Among the applicants brought to him by an
advertisement of what he needed, there presented himself an unfriended
youth, with whose intelligence, modesty, and other signs of the future
man within, he was so pleased that he at once took him into his
employment,--at first, merely to keep his accounts,--but, by degrees,
for superior things,--until, progressively, he (the youth) matured
into his assistant editor, his dearest friend, and finally his
successor in the journal. That youth was James Montgomery, the poet.

On the 10th of April, 1786, Mrs. Gales gave birth, at Eckington, their
rural home, to her first child, Joseph, the present chief of the
"Intelligencer." [Mr. Gales has since died.] Happy at home, the young
mother could as delightedly look without. The business of her husband
throve apace; nor less the general regard and esteem in which he was
personally held. He grew continually in the confidence and affection
of his fellow-citizens; endearing himself especially, by his sober
counsels and his quiet charities, to all that industrious class who
knew him as one of their own, and could look up without reluctance to
a superiority which was only the unpretending one of goodness and
sense. Over them, without seeking it, he gradually obtained an
extraordinary ascendancy, of which the following is a single instance.
Upon some occasion of wages or want among the working-people of
Sheffield, a great popular commotion had burst out, attended by a huge
mob and riot, which the magistracy strove in vain to appease or quell.
When all else had failed, Mr. Gales bethought him of trying what he
could do. Driven into the thick of the crowd, in an open carriage, he
suddenly appeared amongst the rioters, and, by a few plain words of
remonstrance, convinced them that they could only hurt themselves by
overturning the laws, that they should seek other modes of redress,
and meantime had all better go home. They agreed to do so,--but with
the condition annexed, that they should first see him home. Whereupon,
loosening the horses from the carriage, they drew him, with loud
acclamations, back to his house.

Such were his prospects and position for some seven years after his
marriage, when, of a sudden, without any fault of his own, he was made
answerable for a fact that rendered it necessary for him to flee
beyond the realm of Great Britain.

As a friend to Reform, he had, in his journal, at first supported
Pitt's ministry, which had set out on the same principle, but which,
when the revolutionary movement in France threatened to overthrow all
government, abandoned all Reform, as a thing not then safe to set
about. From this change of views Mr. Gales dissented, and still
advocated Reform. So, again, as to the French Revolution, not yet
arrived at the atrocities which it speedily reached,--he saw no need
of making war upon it. In its outset, he had, along with Fox and other
Liberals, applauded it; for it then professed little but what Liberals
wished to see brought about in England. He still thought it good for
France, though not for his own country. Thus, moderate as he was, he
was counted in the Opposition and jealously watched.

It was in the autumn of 1792, while he was gone upon a journey of
business, that a King's-messenger, bearing a Secretary-of-State's
warrant for the seizure of Mr. Gales's person, presented himself at
his house. For this proceeding against him the following facts had
given occasion. In his office was employed a printer named Richard
Davison,--a very quick, capable, useful man, and therefore much
trusted,--but a little wild, withal, at once with French principles
and religion, with conventicles, and those seditious clubs that were
then secretly organized all over the island. This person corresponded
with a central club in London, and had been rash enough to write them,
just then, an insurrectionary letter, setting forth revolutionary
plans, the numbers, the means they could command, the supplies of
arms, etc., that they were forming. This sage epistle was betrayed
into the hands of the Government. The discreet Dick they might very
well have hanged; but that was not worth while. From his connection
with the "Register," they supposed him to be only the agent and cover
for a deeper man,--its proprietor; and at the latter only, therefore,
had they struck. Nothing saved him from the blow, except the casual
fact of his absence in another country, and their being ignorant of
the route he had taken. This his friends alone knew, and where to
reach him. They did so, at once, by a courier secretly despatched; and
he, on learning what awaited him at home, instead of trusting to his
innocence, chose rather to trust the seas; and, making his way to the
coast, took the only good security for his freedom, by putting the
German Ocean between him and pursuit. He sailed for Amsterdam, where
arriving, he thence made his way to Hamburg, at which city he had
decided that his family should join him. To England he could return
only at the cost of a prosecution; and though this would, of
necessity, end in an acquittal, it was almost sure to be preceded by
imprisonment, while, together, they would half-ruin him. It was plain,
then, that he must at once do what he had long intended to do, go to

Accordingly, he gave directions to his family to come to him, and to
Montgomery that he should dispose of all his effects and settle up all
his affairs. These offices that devoted friend performed most
faithfully; remitting him the proceeds. The newspaper he himself
bought and continued, under the name of the "Sheffield Iris." Still
retaining his affection for the family, he passed into the household
of what was left of them, and supplied to the three sisters of the
elder Joseph Gales the place of a brother, and, wifeless and
childless, lived on to a very advanced age, content with their society
alone. The last of these dames died only a few months ago.

At Hamburg, whence they were to take ship for the United States, the
family were detained all the winter by the delicate health of Mrs.
Gales. This delay her husband put to profit, by mastering two things
likely to be needful to him,--the German tongue and the art of
short-hand. In the spring, they sailed for Philadelphia. Arrived
there, he sought and at once obtained employment as a printer. It was
soon perceived, not only that he was an admirable workman, but every
way a man of unusual merit, and able to turn his hand to almost
anything. By-and-by, reporters of Congressional debates being few and
very indifferent, his employer, Claypole, said to him,--"You seem able
to do everything that is wanted: pray, could you not do these
Congressional Reports for us better than this drunken Callender, who
gives us so much trouble?" Mr. Gales replied, with his usual modesty,
that he did not know what he could do, but that he would try.

The next day, he attended the sitting of Congress, and brought away,
in time for the compositors, a faithful transcript of such speeches as
had been made. Appearing in the next morning's paper, it of course
greatly astonished everybody. It seemed a new era in such things. They
had heard of the like in Parliament, but had scarcely credited it.
Claypole himself was the most astonished of all. Seizing a copy, he
ran around the town, showing it to all he met, and still hardly
comprehending the wonder which he himself had instigated. It need
hardly be said that here was something far more profitable for Mr.
Gales than type-setting.

But to apply this skill, possessed by none else, to the exclusive
advantage of a journal of his own was yet more inviting; and the
opportunity soon offering itself, he became the purchaser of the
"Independent Gazetteer," a paper already established. This he
conducted with success until the year 1799, making both reputation and
many friends. Among the warmest of these were some of the North
Carolina members, and especially that one whose name has ever since
stood as a sort of proverb of honesty, Nathaniel Macon. By the
representations of these friends, he was led to believe that their new
State capital, Raleigh, where there was only a very decrepit specimen
of journalism, would afford him at once a surer competence and a
happier life than Philadelphia. Coming to this conclusion, he disposed
of his newspaper and printing-office, and removed to Raleigh, where he
at once established the "Register." Of his late paper, the
"Gazetteer," we shall soon follow the fortunes to Washington, where it
became the "Intelligencer": meantime, we must finish what is left to
tell of his own.

At Raleigh he arrived under auspices which gave him not only a
reputation, but friends, to set out with. Both he soon confirmed and
augmented. By the constant merit of his journal, its sober sense, its
moderation, and its integrity, he won and invariably maintained the
confidence of all on that side of politics with which he concurred,
(the old Republican,) and scarcely less conciliated the respect of his
opponents. He quickly obtained, for his skill, and not merely as a
partisan reward, the public printing of his State, and retained it
until, reaching the ordinary limit of human life, he withdrew from the
press. In the just and kindly old commonwealth which he so long
served, it would have been hard for any party, no matter how much in
the ascendant, to move anything for his injury. For the love and
esteem which he had the faculty of attracting from the first deepened,
as he advanced in age, into an absolute reverence the most general for
his character and person; and the good North State honored and
cherished no son of her own loins more than she did Joseph Gales. In
Raleigh, there was no figure that, as it passed, was greeted so much
by the signs of a peculiar veneration as that great, stalwart one of
his, looking so plain and unaffected, yet with a sort of nobleness in
its very simplicity, a gentleness in its strength, an inborn goodness
and courtesy in all its roughness of frame,--his countenance mild and
calm, yet commanding, thoughtful, yet pleasant and betokening a bosom
that no low thought had ever entered. You had in him, indeed, the
highest image of that stanch old order from which he was sprung, and
might have said, "Here's the soul of a baron in the body of a
peasant." For he really looked, when well examined, like all the
virtues done in roughcast.

With him the age of necessary and of well-merited repose had now come;
and judging that he could attain it only by quitting that habitual
scene of business where it would still solicit him, he transferred his
newspaper, his printing-office, and the bookstore which he had made
their adjunct in Raleigh, as in Sheffield, to his third son, Weston;
and removed to Washington, in order to pass the close of his days near
two of the dearest of his children,--his son Joseph and his daughter
Mrs. Seaton,--from whom he had been separated the most.

In renouncing all individual aims, Mr. Gales fell not into a mere life
of meditation, but sought its future pleasures in the adoption of a
scheme of benevolence, to the calm prosecution of which he might
dedicate his declining powers, so long as his advanced age should
permit. A worthy object for such efforts he recognized in the plan of
African colonization, and of its affairs he accepted and almost to his
death sustained the management in chief; achieving not less, by his
admirable judgment, the warm approval and thanks of that wide-spread
association, than, by the most amiable virtues of private life,
winning in Washington, as he had done everywhere else, from all that
approached him, a singular degree of deference and affection.

But the close of this long career of honor and of usefulness was now
at hand. In 1839, he lost the wife whose tenderness had cheered the
labors and whose gay intelligence had brightened the leisure of his
existence. She had lived the delight of that intimate society to which
she had confined faculties that would have adorned any circle
whatever; and she died lamented in proportion by it, and by the only
others to whom she was much known,--the poor. Her husband survived her
but two years,--expiring at his son's house in Raleigh, where he was
on a visit, in April, 1841, at the age of eighty. He died as calm as a
child, in the placid faith of a true Christian.

Still telling his story in the order of dates, the writer would now
turn to the younger Joseph Gales. As we have seen, he arrived in this
country when seven years old, and went to Raleigh about six years
afterwards. There he was placed in a school, where he made excellent
progress,--profiting by the recollection of his earlier lessons,
received from that best of all elementary teachers, a mother of
well-cultivated mind. His boyhood, as usual, prefigured the mature
man: it was diligent in study, hilarious at play; his mind bent upon
solid things, not the showy. For all good, just, generous, and kindly
things he had the warmest impulse and the truest perceptions. Quick to
learn and to feel, he was slow only of resentment. Never was man born
with more of those lacteals of the heart which secrete the milk of
human kindness. Of the classic tongues, he can be said to have learnt
only the Latin: the Greek was then little taught in any part of our
country. For the Positive Sciences he had much inclination; since it
is told, among other things, that he constructed instruments for
himself, such as an electrical machine, with the performances of which
he much amazed the people of Raleigh. Meantime he was forming at home,
under the good guidance there, a solid knowledge of all those fine old
authors whose works make the undegenerate literature of our language
and then constituted what they called Polite Letters. With these went
hand in hand, at that time, in the academies of the South, a profane
amusement of the taste. In short, our sinful youth were fond of
stage-plays, and even wickedly enacted them, instead of resorting to
singing-schools. Joseph Gales the younger had his boyish emulation of
Roscius and Garrick, and performed "top parts" in a diversity of those
sad comedies and merry tragedies which boys are apt to make, when they
get into buskins. But it must be said, that, as a theatric star, he
presently waxed dim before a very handsome youth, a little his senior,
who just then had entered his father's office. He was not only a
printer, but had already been twice an editor,--last, in the late
North Carolina capital, Halifax,--previously, in the great town of
Petersburg,--and was bred in what seemed to Raleigh a mighty city,
Richmond; in addition to all which strong points of reputation, he
came of an F.F.V., and had been taught by the celebrated Ogilvie, of
whom more anon. He was familiar with theatres, and had not only seen,
but even criticized the great actors. He outshone his very
brother-in-law and colleague that was to be. For this young gentleman
was William Seaton.

Meantime, Joseph, too, had learnt the paternal art,--how well will
appear from a single fact. About this time, his father's office was
destroyed by fire, and with it the unfinished printing of the
Legislative Journals and Acts of the year. Time did not allow waiting
for new material from Philadelphia. Just in this strait, he that had
of old been so inauspicious, Dick Davison, came once more into
play,--but, this time, not as a marplot. He, strange to say, was at
hand and helpful. For, after his political exploit, abandoning England
in disgust at the consequences of his Gunpowder Plot, he, too, had not
only come to America, but had chanced to set up his "type-stick" in
the neighboring town of Warrenton, where, having flourished, he was
now the master of a printing-office and the conductor of a newspaper.
Thither, then, young Joseph was despatched, "copy" in hand.
Richard--really a worthy man, after all--gladly atoned for his ancient
hurtfulness, by lending his type and presses; and, falling to work
with great vigor, our young Faust, with his own hands, put into type
and printed off the needful edition of the Laws.

He had also, by this time, as an important instrument of his intended
profession, attained the art of stenography. When, soon after, he
began to employ it, he rapidly became an excellent reporter; and
eventually, when he had grown thoroughly versed in public affairs,
confessedly the best reporter that we ever had.

He was now well-prepared to join in the manly strife of business or
politics. His father chose, therefore, at once to commit him to
himself. He judged him mature enough in principles, strong enough in
sense; and feared lest, by being kept too long under guidance and the
easy life of home, he should fall into inertness. He first sent him to
Philadelphia, therefore, to serve as a workman with Birch and Small;
after which, he made for him an engagement on the "National
Intelligencer," as a reporter, and sent him to Washington, in October,

To that place, changing its name to the one just mentioned, the
father's former paper, "The Gazetteer," had been transferred by his
old associate, Samuel Harrison Smith. Its first issue there
(tri-weekly) was on the 31st of October, 1800, under the double title
of "The National Intelligencer and Washington Advertiser." The latter
half of the title seems to have been dropped in 1810, when its present
senior came, for a time, into its sole proprietorship.

More than twice the age of any other journal now extant there,--for
the "Globe" came some thirty, the "Union" some forty-five years
later,--the "Intelligencer" has long stood, in every worthy sense, the
patriarch of our metropolitan press. It has witnessed the rise and
fall around it of full a hundred competitors,--many of them declared
enemies; not a few, what was more dangerous far, professed friends.
Yet, in the face of all enmity and of such friendship, it has ever
held on its calm way, never deserting the public cause,--as little
extreme in its opposition as in its support of those in power; so that
its foes never forgot it, when they prevailed, but its friends
repeatedly. To estimate the value of its influence, during its long
career, would be impossible,--so much of right has it brought about,
so much of wrong defeated.

Though it came hither with our Congress, a newspaper had once before
been set up here,--either upon the expectation created by the laying
of certain corner-stones, in 1792, that the Government would fix
itself at this spot, or through an odd local faith in the dreams of
some ancient visionary dwelling hard by, who had, many years before,
foretold this as the destined site of a great imperial city, a second
Rome, and so had bestowed upon Goose Creek the name of Tiber, long
before this was Washington. The founder of this Pre-Adamite journal
was Mr. Benjamin Moore; its name, "The Washington Gazette"; its issue,
semi-weekly; its annual price, four dollars; and the two leading
principles which, in that day of the infancy of political "platforms,"
his salutatory announced, were, first, "to obtain a living for
himself," and, secondly, "to amuse and inform his fellow-mortals." How
long this day-star of our journalism shone, before night again
swallowed up the premature dawn, cannot now be stated. It must have
been published at what was then expected to be our city, but is our
penitentiary, Greenleaf's Point.

To the "Intelligencer" young Mr. Gales brought such vigor, such
talent, and such skill in every department, that within two years, in
1809, he was admitted by Mr. Smith into partnership; within less than
a year from which date, that gentleman, grown weary of the laborious
life of the press, was content to withdraw and leave him sole
proprietor, editor, and reporter. An enormous worker, however, it
mattered little to him what tasks were to be assumed: he could
multiply himself among them, and suffice for all.

In thus assuming the undivided charge of the paper, the young editor
thought it becoming to set forth one main principle, that has, beyond
a question, been admirably the guide of his public life: he said to
his readers,--"It is the dearest right, and ought to be cherished as
the proudest prerogative of a freeman, to be guided by the unbiassed
convictions of his own judgment. This right it is my firm purpose to
maintain, and to preserve inviolate the independence of the print now
committed into my hands." Never was pledge more universally made or
more rarely kept than this.

It was towards the close of Mr. Jefferson's Presidency that Mr. Gales
had entered the office of the "Intelligencer"; and it was during Mr.
Madison's first year that he became joint-editor of that paper. Of
these Administrations it had been the supporter,--only following, in
that regard, the transmitted politics of its original, the
"Gazetteer," derived from the elder Mr. Gales. Bred in these, the son
had learnt them of his sire, just as he had adopted his religion or
his morals. Sprung from one who had been persecuted in England as a
Republican, it was natural that the son should love the faith for
which an honored parent had suffered.

The high qualities and the strong abilities of the young editor did
not fail to strike the discerning eye of President Madison, who
speedily gave him his affection and confidence. To that Administration
the "Intelligencer" stood in the most intimate and faithful
relations,--sustaining its policy as a necessity, where it might not
have been a choice. During the entire course of the war, the
"Intelligencer" sustained most vigorously all the measures needful for
carrying it on with efficiency; and it did equally good service in
reanimating, whenever it had slackened at any disaster, the drooping
spirit of our people. Nor did its editors, when there were two, stop
at these proofs of sincerity, nor slink, when danger drew near, from
that hazard of their own persons to which they had stirred up the
country. When invasion came, they at once took to arms, as volunteer
common-soldiers, went to meet the enemy, and remained in the field
until he had fallen back to the coast. And during the invasion of
Washington, moreover, their establishment was attacked and partially
destroyed, through an unmanly spirit of revenge on the part of the
British forces. In October, 1812, proposing to himself the change of
his paper into a daily one, as was accordingly brought about on the
first of January ensuing, Mr. Gales invited Mr. Seaton, who had by
this time become his brother-in-law, to come and join him. He did so;
and the early tie of youthful friendship, which had grown between them
at Raleigh, and which the new relation had drawn still closer,
gradually matured into that more than friendship or brotherhood, that
oneness and identity of all purposes, opinions, and interests which
has ever since existed between them, without a moment's interruption,
and has long been, to those who understood it, a rare spectacle of
that concord and affection so seldom witnessed, and could never have
come about except between men of singular virtues.

The same year that brought Gales and Seaton together as partners in
business witnessed an alliance of a more interesting character; for it
was in 1813 that Mr. Gales married the accomplished daughter of
Theodorick Lee, younger brother of that brilliant soldier of the
Revolution, the "Legionary Harry."

But, at this natural point, the writer must go back for a while, in
order to bring down the story of William Seaton to where, uniting with
his associate's, the two thus flow on in a single stream.

He was born January 11th, 1785, on the paternal estate in King William
County, Virginia, one of a family of four sons and three daughters. At
the good old mansion passed his childhood. There, too, according to
what was then the wont in Virginia, he trod the first steps of
learning, under the guidance of a domestic tutor, a decayed gentleman,
old and bedridden; for the only part left him of a genteel inheritance
was the gout. But when it became necessary to send his riper progeny
abroad, for more advanced studies, Mr. Seaton very justly bethought
him of going along with them; and so betook himself, with his whole
family, to Richmond, where he was the possessor of houses enough to
afford him a good habitation and a genteel income. Here, then, along
with his brothers and sisters, William was taught, through an
ascending series of schools, until, at last, he arrived at what was
the wonder of that day,--the academy of Ogilvie, the Scotchman. He, be
it noted, had an earldom, (that of Finlater,) which slept while its
heir was playing pedagogue in America: a strange mixture of the
ancient rhapsodist with the modern strolling actor, of the lord with
him who lives by his wits. Scot as he was, he was better fitted to
teach anything rather than common sense. The writer must not give the
idea, however, that there was in Lord Ogilvie anything but
eccentricity to derogate from the honors of either his lineage or his
learning. A very solid teacher he was not. A great enthusiast by
nature, and a master of the whole art of discoursing finely of even
those things which he knew not well, he dazzled much, pleased greatly,
and obtained a high reputation; so that, if he did not regularly
inform or discipline the minds of his pupils, he probably made them,
to an unusual degree, amends on another side: he infused into them, by
the glitter of his accomplishments, a high admiration for learning and
for letters. Certainly, the number of his scholars that arrived at
distinction was remarkable; and this is, of course, a fact conclusive
of great merit of some sort as a teacher, where, as in his case, the
pupils were not many. Without pausing to mention others of them who
arrived at honor, it may be well enough to refer to Winfield Scott,
William Campbell Preston, B. Watkins Leigh, William S. Archer, and
William C. Rives.

The writer does not know if it had ever been designed that young
Seaton should proceed from Ogilvie's classes to the more systematic
courses of a college. Possibly not. Even among the wealthy, at that
time, home-education was often employed. The children of both sexes
were committed to the care of private tutors, usually young Scotchmen,
the graduates of Glasgow, Edinburgh, or Aberdeen, sent over to the
planter, upon order, along with his yearly supply of goods, by his
merchant abroad. Or else the sons were sent to select private schools,
like that of Ogilvie, set up by men of such abilities and scholarship
as were supposed capable of performing the whole work of institutions.

At any rate, our youth, without further preparation, at about the age
of eighteen, entered earnestly upon the duties of life. He fell at
once into his vocation,--impelled to it, no doubt, by the ambition for
letters and public affairs which the lessons of Ogilvie usually
produced. Party ran high. Virginia politics, flushed with recent
success, had added to the usual passions of the contest those of

Into the novelties of the day our student accordingly plunged, in
common with nearly all others of a like age and condition. He became,
in short, a politician. Though talent of every other sort abounded,
that of writing promptly and pleasingly did not. Young Seaton was
found to possess this, and therefore soon obtained leave to exercise
it as assistant-editor of one of the Richmond journals. He had already
made himself acquainted with the art of printing, in an office where
he became the companion and friend of the late Thomas Ritchie, and it
is more than probable that many of his youthful "editorials" were "set
up" by his own hands. Attaining by degrees a youthful reputation, he
received an invitation to take the sole charge of a respectable paper
in Petersburg, "The Republican," the editor and proprietor of which,
Mr. Thomas Field, was about to leave the country for some months.
Acquitting himself here with great approval, he won an invitation to a
still better position,--that of the proprietary editorship of the
"North Carolina Journal," published at Halifax, the former capital of
that State, and the only newspaper there. He accepted the offer, and
became the master of his own independent journal. Of its being so he
proceeded at once to give his patrons a somewhat decisive token. They
were chiefly Federalists; it was a region strongly Federal; and the
gazette itself had always maintained the purest Federalism: but he
forthwith changed its politics to Republican.

There can be no doubt that he who made a change so manly conducted his
paper with spirit. Yet he must have done it also with that wise and
winning moderation and fairness which have since distinguished him and
his associate. William Seaton could never have fallen into anything of
the temper or the taste, the morals or the manners, which are now so
widely the shame of the American press; he could never have written in
the ill spirit of mere party, so as to wound or even offend the good
men of an opposite way of thinking. The inference is a sure one from
his character, and is confirmed by what we know to have happened
during his editorial career among the Federalists of Halifax. Instead
of his paper's losing ground under the circumstances just mentioned,
it really gained so largely and won so much the esteem of both sides,
that, when he desired to dispose of it, in order to seek a higher
theatre, he easily sold the property for double what it had cost him.

It was now that he made his way to Raleigh, the new State-capital, and
became connected with the "Register." Nor was it long before this
connection was drawn yet closer by his happy marriage with the lady
whose virtues and accomplishments have so long been the modest, yet
shining ornament and charm of his household and of the society of
Washington. After this union, he continued his previous relationship
with the "Register," until, as already mentioned, he came to the
metropolis to join all his fortunes with those of his brother-in-law.
From this point, of course, their stories, like their lives, become
united, and merge, with a rare concord, into one. They have had no
bickerings, no misunderstanding, no difference of view which a
consultation did not at once reconcile; they have never known a
division of interests; from their common coffer each has always drawn
whatever he chose; and, down to this day, there has never been a
settlement of accounts between them. What facts could better attest
not merely a singular harmony of character, but an admirable
conformity of virtues?

The history of the "Intelligencer" has, as to all its leading
particulars, been for fifty years spread before thousands of readers,
in its continuous diary. To re-chronicle any part of what is so well
known would be idle in the extreme. Of the editors personally, their
lives, since they became mature and settled, have presented few events
such as are not common to all men,--little of vicissitude, beyond that
of pockets now full and now empty,--nothing but a steady performance
of duty, an exertion, whenever necessary, of high ability, and the
gradual accumulation through these of a deeply felt esteem among all
the best and wisest of the land. Amidst the many popular passions with
which nearly all have, in our country, run wild, they have maintained
a perpetual and sage moderation; amidst incessant variations of
doctrine, they have preserved a memory and a conscience; in the
frequent fluctuations of power, they have steadily checked the
alternate excesses of both parties; and they have never given to
either a factious opposition or a merely partisan support. Of their
journal it may be said, that there has, in all our times, shone no
such continual light on public affairs, there has stood no such sure
defence of whatever was needful to be upheld. Tempering the heats of
both sides,--re-nationalizing all spirit of section,--combating our
propensity to lawlessness at home and aggression abroad,--spreading
constantly on each question of the day a mass of sound
information,--the venerable editors have been, all the while, a power
and a safety in the land, no matter who were the rulers. Neither party
could have spared an opposition so just or a support so well-measured.
Thus it cannot be deemed an American exaggeration to declare the
opinion as to the influence of the "Intelligencer" over our public
counsels, that its value is not easily to be overrated.

Never, meantime, was authority wielded with less assumption. The
"Intelligencer" could not, of course, help being aware of the weight
which its opinions always carried among the thinking; but it has never
betrayed any consciousness of its influence, unless in a ceaseless
care to deserve respect. Its modesty and candor, its fairness and
courtesy have been invariable; nor less so, its observance of that
decorum and those charities which constitute the very grace of all
public life.

From the time of their coming together, down to the year 1820, Gales
and Seaton were the exclusive reporters, as well as editors, of their
journal,--one of them devoting himself to the Senate, and the other to
the House of Representatives. Generally speaking, they published only
running reports,--on special occasions, however, giving the speeches
and proceedings entire. In those days they had seats of honor assigned
to them directly by the side of the presiding officers, and over the
snuff-box, in a quiet and familiar manner, the topics of the day were
often discussed. To the privileges they then enjoyed, but more
especially to their sagacity and industry, are we now indebted, as a
country, for their "Register of Debates," which, with the
"Intelligencer," has become a most important part of our national
history. As in their journal nearly all the most eminent of American
statesmen have discussed the affairs of the country, so have they been
the direct means of preserving many of the speeches which are now the
acknowledged ornaments of our political literature. Had it not been
for Mr. Gales, the great intellectual combat between Hayne and
Webster, for example, would have passed into a vague tradition,
perhaps. The original notes of Mr. Webster's speech, now in Mr.
Gales's library, form a volume of several hundred pages, and, having
been corrected and interlined by the statesman's own hand, present a
treasure that might be envied. At the period just alluded to, Mr.
Gales had given up the practice of reporting any speeches, and it was
a mere accident that led him to pay Mr. Webster the compliment in
question. That it was appreciated was proved by many reciprocal acts
of kindness and the long and happy intimacy that existed between the
two gentlemen, ending only with the life of the statesman. It was Mr.
Webster's opinion, that the abilities of Mr. Gales were of the highest
order; and yet the writer has heard of one instance in which even the
editor could not get along without a helping hand. Mr. Gales had for
some days been engaged upon the Grand Jury, and, with his head full of
technicalities, entered upon the duty of preparing a certain
editorial. In doing this, he unconsciously employed a number of legal
phrases; and when about half through, found it necessary to come to a
halt. At this juncture, he dropped a note to Mr. Webster, transmitting
the unfinished article and explaining his difficulty. Mr. Webster took
it in hand, finished it to the satisfaction of Mr. Gales, and it was
published as editorial.

But the writer is trespassing upon private ground, and it is with
great reluctance that he refrains from recording a long list of
incidents which have come to his knowledge, calculated to illustrate
the manifold virtues of his distinguished friends. That they are
universally respected and beloved by those who know them,--that their
opinions on public matters have been solicited by Secretaries of State
and even by Presidents opposed to them in politics,--that their
journal has done more than any other in the country to promote a
healthy tone in polite literature,--that their home-life has been made
happy by the influences of refinement and taste,--and that they have
given away to the poor money enough almost to build a city, and to the
unfortunate spoken kind words enough to fill a library, are all
assertions which none can truthfully deny. If, therefore, to look back
upon a long life not _uselessly spent_ is what will give us peace at
last, then will the evening of their days be all that they could
desire; and their "silver hairs," the most appropriate crown of true

  "Will purchase them a good opinion,
  And buy men's voices to commend their deeds."

       *       *       *       *       *



  An hour agone, and prostrate Nature lay,
  Like some sore-smitten creature, nigh to death,
  With feverish, pallid lips, with laboring breath,
  And languid eyeballs darkening to the day;
  A burning noontide ruled with merciless sway
  Earth, wave, and air; the ghastly-stretching heath,
  The sullen trees, the fainting flowers beneath,
  Drooped hopeless, shrivelling in the torrid ray:
  When, sudden, like a cheerful trumpet blown
  Far off by rescuing spirits, rose the wind,
  Urging great hosts of clouds; the thunder's tone
  Swells into wrath, the rainy cataracts fall,--
  But pausing soon, behold creation shrined
  In a new birth, God's covenant clasping all!

       *       *       *       *       *




There was nobody, then, to counsel poor Elsie, except her father, who
had learned to let her have her own way so as not to disturb such
relations as they had together, and the old black woman, who had a
real, though limited influence over the girl. Perhaps she did not need
counsel. To look upon her, one might well suppose that she was
competent to defend herself against any enemy she was like to have.
That glittering, piercing eye was not to be softened by a few smooth
words spoken in low tones, charged with the common sentiments which
win their way to maidens' hearts. That round, lithe, sinuous figure
was as full of dangerous life as ever lay under the slender flanks and
clean-shaped limbs of a panther.

There were particular times when Elsie was in such a mood that it must
have been a bold person who would have intruded upon her with reproof
or counsel. "This is one of her days," old Sophy would say quietly to
her father, and he would, as far as possible, leave her to herself.
These days were more frequent, as old Sophy's keen, concentrated
watchfulness had taught her, at certain periods of the year. It was in
the heats of summer that they were most common and most strongly
characterized. In winter, on the other hand, she was less excitable,
and even at times heavy and as if chilled and dulled in her
sensibilities. It was a strange, paroxysmal kind of life that belonged
to her. It seemed to come and go with the sunlight. All winter long
she would be comparatively quiet, easy to manage, listless, slow in
her motions; her eye would lose something of its strange lustre; and
the old nurse would feel so little anxiety, that her whole expression
and aspect would show the change, and people would say to her, "Why,
Sophy, how young you're looking!"

As the spring came on, Elsie would leave the fireside, have her
tiger-skin spread in the empty southern chamber next the wall, and lie
there basking for whole hours in the sunshine. As the season warmed,
the light would kindle afresh in her eyes, and the old woman's sleep
would grow restless again,--for she knew, that, so long as the glitter
was fierce in the girl's eyes, there was no trusting her impulses or

At last, when the veins of the summer were hot and swollen, and the
juices of all the poison-plants and the blood of all the creatures
that feed upon them had grown thick and strong,--about the time when
the second mowing was in hand, and the brown, wet-faced men were
following up the scythes as they chased the falling waves of grass,
(falling as the waves fall on sickle-curved beaches; the foam-flowers
dropping as the grass-flowers drop,--with sharp semivowel consonantal
sounds,--_frsh_,--for that is the way the sea talks, and leaves all
pure vowel-sounds for the winds to breathe over it, and all mutes to
the unyielding earth,)--about this time of over-ripe midsummer, the
life of Elsie seemed fullest of its malign and restless instincts.
This was the period of the year when the Rockland people were most
cautious of wandering in the leafier coverts which skirted the base of
The Mountain, and the farmers liked to wear thick, long boots,
whenever they went into the bushes. But Elsie was never so much given
to roaming over The Mountain as at this season; and as she had grown
more absolute and uncontrollable, she was as like to take the night as
the day for her rambles.

At this season, too, all her peculiar tastes in dress and ornament
came out in a more striking way than at other times. She was never so
superb as then, and never so threatening in her scowling beauty. The
barred skirts she always fancied showed sharply beneath her diaphanous
muslins; the diamonds often glittered on her breast as if for her own
pleasure rather than to dazzle others; the asp-like bracelet hardly
left her arm. Without some necklace she was never seen,--either the
golden cord she wore at the great party, or a chain of mosaics, or
simply a ring of golden scales. Some said that Elsie always slept in a
necklace, and that when she died she was to be buried in one. It was a
fancy of hers,--but many thought there was a reason for it.

Nobody watched Elsie with a more searching eye than her cousin, Dick
Venner. He had kept more out of her way of late, it is true, but there
was not a movement she made which he did not carefully observe just so
far as he could without exciting her suspicion. It was plain enough to
him that the road to fortune was before him, and that the first thing
was to marry Elsie. What course he should take with her, or with
others interested, after marrying her, need not be decided in a hurry.

He had now done all he could expect to do at present in the way of
conciliating the other members of the household. The girl's father
tolerated him, if he did not even like him. Whether he suspected his
project or not Dick did not feel sure; but it was something to have
got a foot-hold in the house, and to have overcome any prepossession
against him which his uncle might have entertained. To be a good
listener and a bad billiard-player was not a very great sacrifice to
effect this object. Then old Sophy could hardly help feeling
well-disposed towards him, after the gifts he had bestowed on her and
the court he had paid her. These were the only persons on the place of
much importance to gain over. The people employed about the house and
farmlands had little to do with Elsie, except to obey her without
questioning her commands.

Mr. Richard began to think of reopening his second parallel. But he
had lost something of the coolness with which he had begun his system
of operations. The more he had reflected upon the matter, the more he
had convinced himself that this was his one great chance in life. If
he suffered this girl to escape him, such an opportunity could hardly,
in the nature of things, present itself a second time. Only one life
between Elsie and her fortune,--and lives are so uncertain! The girl
might not suit him as a wife. Possibly. Time enough to find out after
he had got her. In short, he must have the property, and Elsie Venner,
as she was to go with it,--and then, if he found it convenient and
agreeable to lead a virtuous life, he would settle down and raise
children and vegetables; but if he found it inconvenient and
disagreeable, so much the worse for those that made it so. Like many
other persons, he was not principled against virtue, provided virtue
were a better investment than its opposite; but he knew that there
might be contingencies in which the property would be better without
its incumbrances, and he contemplated this conceivable problem in the
light of all its possible solutions.

One thing Mr. Richard could not conceal from himself: Elsie had some
new cause of indifference, at least, if not of aversion to him. With
the acuteness which persons who make a sole business of their own
interest gain by practice, so that fortune-hunters are often shrewd
where real lovers are terribly simple, he fixed at once on the young
man up at the school where the girl had been going of late, as
probably at the bottom of it.

"Cousin Elsie in love!" so he communed with himself upon his lonely
pillow. "In love with a Yankee schoolmaster! What else can it be? Let
him look out for himself! He'll stand but a bad chance between us.
What makes you think she's in love with him? Met her walking with him.
Don't like her looks and ways;--she's thinking about _something_,
anyhow. Where does she get those books she is reading so often? Not
out of our library, that's certain. If I could have ten minutes' peep
into her chamber now, I would find out where she got them, and what
mischief she was up to."

At that instant, as if some tributary demon had heard his wish, a
shape which could be none but Elsie's flitted through a gleam of
moonlight into the shadow of the the trees. She was setting out on one
of her midnight rambles.

Dick felt his heart stir in its place, and presently his cheeks
flushed with the old longing for an adventure. It was not much to
invade a young girl's deserted chamber, but it would amuse a wakeful
hour, and tell him some little matters he wanted to know. The chamber
he slept in was over the room which Elsie chiefly occupied at this
season. There was no great risk of his being seen or heard, if he
ventured down-stairs to her apartment.

Mr. Richard Venner, in the pursuit of his interesting project, arose
and lighted a lamp. He wrapped himself in a dressing-gown and thrust
his feet into a pair of cloth slippers. He stole carefully down the
stair, and arrived safely at the door of Elsie's room. The young lady
had taken the natural precaution to leave it fastened, carrying the
key with her, no doubt,--unless, indeed, she had got out by the
window, which was not far from the ground. Dick could get in at this
window easily enough, but he did not like the idea of leaving his
footprints in the flower-bed just under it. He returned to his own
chamber, and held a council of war with himself.

He put his head out of his own window and looked at that beneath. It
was open. He then went to one of his trunks, wich he unlocked, and
began carefully removing its contents. What these were we need not
stop to mention,--only remarking that there were dresses of various
patterns, which might afford an agreeable series of changes, and in
certain contingencies prove eminently useful. After removing a few of
these, he thrust his hand to the very bottom of the remaining pile and
drew out a coiled strip of leather many yards in length, ending in a
noose,--a tough, well-seasoned _lasso_, looking as if it had seen
service and was none the worse for it. He uncoiled a few yards of this
and fastened it to the knob of a door. Then he threw the loose end out
of the window so that it should hang by the open casement of Elsie's
room. By this he let himself down opposite her window, and with a
slight effort swung himself inside the room. He lighted a match, found
a candle, and, having lighted that, looked curiously about him, as
Clodius might have done when he smuggled himself in among the Vestals.

Elsie's room was almost as peculiar as her dress and ornaments. It was
a kind of museum of objects, such as the woods are full of to those
who have eyes to see them, but many of them such as only few could
hope to reach, even if they knew where to look for them. Crows' nests,
which are never found but in the tall trees, commonly enough in the
forks of ancient hemlocks, eggs of rare birds, which must have taken a
quick eye and hard climb to find and get hold of, mosses and ferns of
unusual aspect, and quaint monstrosities of vegetable growth, such as
Nature delights in, showed that Elsie had her tastes and fancies like
any naturalist or poet.

Nature, when left to her own freaks in the forest, is grotesque and
fanciful to the verge of license, and beyond it. The foliage of trees
does not always require clipping to make it look like an image of
life. From those windows at Canoe Meadow, among the mountains, we
could see all summer long a lion rampant, a Shanghai chicken, and
General Jackson on horse-back, done by Nature in green leaves, each
with a single tree. But to Nature's tricks with boughs and roots and
smaller vegetable growths there is no end. Her fancy is infinite, and
her humor not always refined. There is a perpetual reminiscence of
animal life in her rude caricatures, which sometimes actually reach
the point of imitating the complete human figure, as in that
extraordinary specimen which nobody will believe to be genuine, except
the men of science, and of which the discreet reader may have a
glimpse by application in the proper quarter.

Elsie had gathered so many of these sculpture-like monstrosities, that
one might have thought she had robbed old Sophy's grandfather of his
fetishes. They helped to give her room a kind of enchanted look, as if
a witch had her home in it. Over the fireplace was a long, staff-like
branch, strangled in the spiral coils of one of those vines which
strain the smaller trees in their clinging embraces, sinking into the
bark until the parasite becomes almost identified with its support.
With these sylvan curiosities were blended objects of art, some of
them not less singular, but others showing a love for the beautiful in
form and color, such as a girl of fine organization and nice culture
might naturally be expected to feel and to indulge, in adorning her

All these objects, pictures, bronzes, vases, and the rest, did not
detain Mr. Richard Venner very long, whatever may have been his
sensibilities to art. He was more curious about books and papers. A
copy of Keats lay on the table. He opened it and read the name of
_Bernard C. Langdon_ on the blank leaf. An envelope was on the table
with Elsie's name written in a similar hand; but the envelope was
empty, and he could not find the note it contained. Her desk was
locked, and it would not be safe to tamper with it. He had seen
enough; the girl received books and notes from this fellow up at the
school,--this usher, this Yankee quill-driver;--_he_ was aspiring to
become the lord of the Dudley domain, then, was he?

Elsie had been reasonably careful. She had locked up her papers,
whatever they might be. There was little else that promised to reward
his curiosity, but he cast his eye on everything. There was a
clasp-Bible among her books. Dick wondered if she ever unclasped it.
There was a book of hymns; it had her name in it, and looked as if it
might have been often read;--what the _diablo_ had Elsie to do with

Mr. Richard Venner was in an observing and analytical state of mind,
it will be noticed, or he might perhaps have been touched with the
innocent betrayals of the poor girl's chamber. Had she, after all,
some human tenderness in her heart? That was not the way he put the
question,--but whether she would take seriously to this schoolmaster,
and if she did, what would be the neatest and surest and quickest way
of putting a stop to all that nonsense. All this, however, he could
think over more safely in his own quarters. So he stole softly to the
window, and, catching the end of the leathern thong, regained his own
chamber and drew in the lasso.

It needs only a little jealousy to set a man on who is doubtful in
love or wooing, or to make him take hold of his courting in earnest.
As soon as Dick had satisfied himself that the young schoolmaster was
his rival in Elsie's good graces, his whole thoughts concentrated
themselves more than ever on accomplishing his great design of
securing her for himself. There was no time to be lost. He must come
into closer relations with her, so as to withdraw her thoughts from
this fellow, and to find out more exactly what was the state of her
affections, if she had any. So he began to court her company again, to
propose riding with her, to sing to her, to join her whenever she was
strolling about the grounds, to make himself agreeable, according to
the ordinary understanding of that phrase, in every way which seemed
to promise a chance for succeeding in that amiable effort.

The girl treated him more capriciously than ever. She would be sullen
and silent, or she would draw back fiercely at some harmless word or
gesture, or she would look at him with her eyes narrowed in such a
strange way and with such a wicked light in them that Dick swore to
himself they were too much for him, and would leave her for the
moment. Yet she tolerated him, almost as a matter of necessity, and
sometimes seemed to take a kind of pleasure in trying her power upon
him. This he soon found out, and humored her in the fancy that she
could exercise a kind of fascination over him,--though there were
times in which he actually felt an influence he could not understand,
an effect of some peculiar expression about her, perhaps, but still
centring in those diamond eyes of hers which it made one feel so
curiously to look into.

Whether Elsie saw into his object or not was more than he could tell.
His idea was, after having conciliated the good-will of all about her
as far as possible, to make himself first a habit and then a necessity
with the girl,--not to spring any trap of a declaration upon her until
tolerance had grown into such a degree of inclination as her nature
was like to admit. He had succeeded in the first part of his plan. He
was at liberty to prolong his visit at his own pleasure. This was not
strange; these three persons, Dudley Venner, his daughter, and his
nephew, represented all that remained of an old and honorable family.
Had Elsie been like other girls, her father might have been less
willing to entertain a young fellow like Dick as an inmate; but he had
long outgrown all the slighter apprehensions which he might have had
in common with all parents, and followed rather than led the imperious
instincts of his daughter. It was not a question of sentiment, but of
life and death, or more than that,--some dark ending, perhaps, which
would close the history of his race with disaster and evil report upon
the lips of all coming generations.

As to the thought of his nephew's making love to his daughter, it had
almost passed from his mind. He had been so long in the habit of
looking at Elsie as outside of all common influences and exceptional
in the law of her nature, that it was difficult for him to think of
her as a girl to be fallen in love with. Many persons are surprised,
when others court their female relatives; they know them as good young
or old women enough,--aunts, sisters, nieces, daughters, whatever they
may be,--but never think of anybody's falling in love with them, any
more than of their being struck by lightning.

But in this case there were special reasons, in addition to the common
family delusion,--reasons which seemed to make it impossible that she
should attract a suitor. Who would _dare_ to marry Elsie? No, let her
have the pleasure, if it was one, at any rate the wholesome
excitement, of companionship; it might save her from lapsing into
melancholy or a worse form of madness. Dudley Venner had a kind of
superstition, too, that, if Elsie could only outlive three
septenaries, twenty-one years, so that, according to the prevalent
idea, her whole frame would have been thrice made over, counting from
her birth, she would revert to the natural standard of health of mind
and feelings from which she had been so long perverted. The thought of
any other motive than love being sufficient to induce Richard to
become her suitor had not occurred to him. He had married early, at
that happy period when interested motives are least apt to influence
the choice; and his single idea of marriage was, that it was the union
of persons naturally drawn towards each other by some mutual
attraction. Very simple, perhaps; but he had lived lonely for many
years since his wife's death, and judged the hearts of others, most of
all of his brother's son, by his own. He had often thought whether, in
case of Elsie's dying or being necessarily doomed to seclusion, he
might not adopt this nephew and make him his heir; but it had not
occurred to him that Richard might wish to become his son-in-law for
the sake of his property.

It is very easy to criticize other people's modes of dealing with
their children. Outside observers see results; parents see processes.
They notice the trivial movements and accents which betray the blood
of this or that ancestor; they can detect the irrepressible movement
of hereditary impulse in looks and acts which mean nothing to the
common observer. To be a parent is almost to be a fatalist. This boy
sits with legs crossed, just as his uncle used to whom he never saw;
his grandfathers both died before he was born, but he has the movement
of the eyebrows which we remember in one of them, and the gusty temper
of the other.

These are things parents can see, and which they must take account of
in education, but which few except parents can be expected to really
understand. Here and there a sagacious person, old, or of middle age,
who has _triangulated_ a race, that is, taken three or more
observations from the several standing-places of three different
generations, can tell pretty nearly the range of possibilities and the
limitations of a child, actual or potential, of a given stock,--errors
excepted always, because children of the same stock are not bred just
alike, because the traits of some less known ancestor are liable to
break out at any time, and because each human being has, after all, a
small fraction of individuality about him which gives him a flavor, so
that he is distinguishable from others by his friends or in a court of
justice, and which occasionally makes a genius or a saint or a
criminal of him. It is well that young persons cannot read these fatal
oracles of Nature. Blind impulse is her highest wisdom, after all. We
make our great jump, and then she takes the bandage off our eyes. That
is the way the broad sea-level of average is maintained, and the
physiological democracy is enabled to fight against the principle of
selection which would disinherit all the weaker children. The
magnificent constituency of mediocrities of which the world is made
up,--the people without biographies, whose lives have made a clear
solution in the fluid menstruum of time, instead of being precipitated
in the opaque sediment of history----

But this is a narrative, and not a disquisition.



There were not wanting people who accused Dudley Venner of weakness
and bad judgment in his treatment of his daughter. Some were of
opinion that the great mistake was in not "breaking her will" when she
was a little child. There was nothing the matter with her, they said,
but that she had been spoiled by indulgence. If _they_ had had the
charge of her, they'd have brought her down. She'd got the upperhand
of her father now; but if he'd only taken hold of her in season! There
are people who think that everything may be done, if the doer, be he
educator or physician, be only called "in season." No doubt,--but _in
season_ would often be a hundred or two years before the child was
born; and people never send so early as that.

The father of Elsie Venner knew his duties and his difficulties too
well to trouble himself about anything others might think or say. So
soon as he found that he could not govern his child, he gave his life
up to following her and protecting her as far as he could. It was a
stern and terrible trial for a man of acute sensibility, and not
without force of intellect and will, and the manly ambition for
himself and his family-name which belonged to his endowments and his
position. Passive endurance is the hardest trial to persons of such a

What made it still more a long martyrdom was the necessity for bearing
his cross in utter loneliness. He could not tell his griefs. He could
not talk of them even with those who knew their secret spring. His
minister had the unsympathetic nature which is common in the meaner
sort of devotees,--persons who mistake spiritual selfishness for
sanctity, and grab at the infinite prize of the great Future and
Elsewhere with the egotism they excommunicate in its hardly more
odious forms of avarice and self-indulgence. How could he speak with
the old physician and the old black woman about a sorrow and a terror
which but to name was to strike dumb the lips of Consolation?

In the dawn of his manhood he had found that second consciousness for
which young men and young women go about looking into each other's
faces, with their sweet, artless aim playing in every feature, and
making them beautiful to each other, as to all of us. He had found his
other self early, before he had grown weary in the search and wasted
his freshness in vain longings: the lot of many, perhaps we may say of
most, who infringe the patent of our social order by intruding
themselves into a life already upon half-allowance of the necessary
luxuries of existence. The life he had led for a brief space was not
only beautiful in outward circumstance, as old Sophy had described it
to the Reverend Doctor. It was that delicious process of the tuning of
two souls to each other, string by string, not without little
half-pleasing discords now and then when some chord in one or the
other proves to be over-strained or over-lax, but always approaching
nearer and nearer to harmony, until they become at last as two
instruments with a single voice. Something more than a year of this
blissful doubled consciousness had passed over him when he found
himself once more alone,--alone, save for the little diamond-eyed
child lying in the old woman's arms, with the coral necklace round her
throat and the rattle in her hand.

He would not die by his own act. It was not the way in his family.
There may have been other, perhaps better reasons, but this was
enough; he did not come of suicidal stock. He must live for this
child's sake, at any rate; and yet,--oh, yet, who could tell with what
thoughts he looked upon her? Sometimes her little features would look
placid, and something like a smile would steal over them; then all his
tender feelings would rush up into his eyes, and he would put his arms
out to take her from the old woman,--but all at once her eyes would
narrow and she would throw her head back; and a shudder would seize
him as he stooped over his child,--he could not look upon her,--he
could not touch his lips to her cheek; nay, there would sometimes come
into his soul such frightful suggestions that he would hurry from the
room lest the hinted thought should become a momentary madness and he
should lift his hand against the helpless infant which owed him life.

In those miserable days he used to wander all over The Mountain in his
restless endeavor to seek some relief for inward suffering in outward
action. He had no thought of throwing himself from the summit of any
of the broken cliffs, but he clambered over them recklessly, as having
no particular care for his life. Sometimes he would go into the
accursed district where the venomous reptiles were always to be
dreaded, and court their worst haunts, and kill all he could come near
with a kind of blind fury that was strange in a person of his gentle

One overhanging cliff was a favorite haunt of his. It frowned upon his
home beneath in a very menacing way; he noticed slight seams and
fissures that looked ominous;--what would happen, if it broke off some
time or other and came crashing down on the fields and roofs below? He
thought of such a possible catastrophe with a singular indifference,
in fact with a feeling almost like pleasure. It would be such a swift
and thorough solution of this great problem of life he was working out
in ever-recurring daily anguish! The remote possibility of such a
catastrophe had frightened some timid dwellers beneath The Mountain to
other places of residence; here the danger was most imminent, and yet
he loved to dwell upon the chances of its occurrence. Danger is often
the best _counter-irritant_ in cases of mental suffering; he found a
solace in careless exposure of his life, and learned to endure the
trials of each day better by dwelling in imagination on the
possibility that it might be the last for him and the home that was

Time, the great consoler, helped these influences, and he gradually
fell into more easy and less dangerous habits of life. He ceased from
his more perilous rambles. He thought less of the danger from the
great overhanging rocks and forests; they had hung there for
centuries; it was not very likely they would crash or slide in his
time. He became accustomed to all Elsie's strange looks and ways. Old
Sophy dressed her with ruffles round her neck, and hunted up the red
coral branch with silver bells which the little toothless Dudleys had
bitten upon for a hundred years. By an infinite effort, her father
forced himself to become the companion of this child, for whom he had
such a mingled feeling, but whose presence was always a trial to him
and often a terror.

At a cost which no human being could estimate, he had done his duty,
and in some degree reaped his reward. Elsie grew up with a kind of
filial feeling for him, such as her nature was capable of. She never
would obey him; that was not to be looked for. Commands, threats,
punishments, were out of the question with her; the mere physical
effects of crossing her will betrayed themselves in such changes of
expression and color that it would have been senseless to attempt to
govern her in any such way. Leaving her mainly to herself, she could
be to some extent indirectly influenced,--not otherwise. She called
her father "Dudley," as if he had been her brother. She ordered
everybody and would be ordered by none.

Who could know all these things, except the few people of the
household? What wonder, therefore, that ignorant and shallow persons
laid the blame on her father of those peculiarities which were freely
talked about,--of those darker tendencies which were hinted of in
whispers? To all this talk, so far as it reached him, he was supremely
indifferent, not only with the indifference which all gentlemen feel
to the gossip of their inferiors, but with a charitable calmness which
did not wonder or blame. He knew that his position was not simply a
difficult, but an impossible one, and schooled himself to bear his
destiny as well as he might and report himself only at Headquarters.

He had grown gentle under this discipline. His hair was just beginning
to be touched with silver, and his expression was that of habitual
sadness and anxiety. He had no counsellor, as we have seen, to turn
to, who did not know either too much or too little. He had no heart to
rest upon and into which he might unburden himself of the secrets and
the sorrows that were aching in his own breast. Yet he had not allowed
himself to run to waste in the long time since he was left alone to
his trials and fears. He had resisted the seductions which always
beset solitary men with restless brains overwrought by depressing
agencies. He disguised no misery to himself with the lying delusion of
wine. He sought no sleep from narcotics, though he lay with throbbing,
wide-open eyeballs through all the weary hours of the night.

It was understood between Dudley Venner and old Doctor Kittredge that
Elsie was a subject of occasional medical observation, on account of
certain mental peculiarities which might end in a permanent affection
of her reason. Beyond this nothing was said, whatever may have been in
the mind of either. But Dudley Venner had studied Elsie's case in the
light of all the books he could find which might do anything towards
explaining it. As in all cases where men meddle with medical science
for a special purpose, having no previous acquaintance with it, his
imagination found what it wanted in the books he read, and adjusted it
to the facts before him. So it was he came to cherish those two
fancies before alluded to: that the ominous birthmark she had carried
from infancy might fade and become obliterated, and that the age of
complete maturity might be signalized by an entire change in her
physical and mental state. He held these vague hopes as all of us
nurse our only half-believed illusions. Not for the world would he
have questioned his sagacious old medical friend as to the probability
or possibility of their being true. We are very shy of asking
questions of those who know enough to destroy with one word the hopes
we live on.

In this life of comparative seclusion to which the father had doomed
himself for the sake of his child, he had found time for large and
varied reading. The learned Judge Thornton confessed himself surprised
at the extent of Dudley Venner's information. Doctor Kittredge found
that he was in advance of him in the knowledge of recent physiological
discoveries. He had taken pains to become acquainted with agricultural
chemistry; and the neighboring farmers owed him some useful hints
about the management of their land. He renewed his old acquaintance
with the classic authors. He loved to warm his pulses with Homer and
calm them down with Horace. He received all manner of new books and
periodicals, and gradually gained an interest in the events of the
passing time. Yet he remained almost a hermit, not absolutely refusing
to see his neighbors, nor ever churlish towards them, but on the other
hand not cultivating any intimate relations with them.

He had retired from the world a young man, little more than a youth,
indeed, with sentiments and aspirations all of them suddenly
extinguished. The first had bequeathed him a single huge sorrow, the
second a single trying duty. In due time the anguish had lost
something of its poignancy, the light of earlier and happier memories
had begun to struggle with and to soften its thick darkness, and even
that duty which he had confronted with such an effort had become an
endurable habit.

At a period of life when many have been living on the capital of their
acquired knowledge and their youthful stock of sensibilities until
their intellects are really shallower and their hearts emptier than
they were at twenty, Dudley Venner was stronger in thought and
tenderer in soul than in the first freshness of his youth, when he
counted but half his present years. He was now on the verge of that
decade which marks the decline of men who have ceased growing in
knowledge and strength: from forty to fifty a man must move upward, or
the natural falling off in the vigor of life will carry him rapidly
downward. At the entrance of this decade his inward nature was richer
and deeper than in any earlier period of his life. If he could only be
summoned to action, he was capable of noble service. If his sympathies
could only find an outlet, he was never so capable of love as now; for
his natural affections had been gathering in the course of all these
years, and the traces of that ineffaceable calamity of his life were
softened and partially hidden by new growths of thought and feeling,
as the wreck left by a mountain-slide is covered over by the gentle
intrusion of the soft-stemmed herbs which will prepare it for the
stronger vegetation that will bring it once more into harmony with the
peaceful slopes around it.

Perhaps Dudley Venner had not gained so much in worldly wisdom as if
he had been more in society and less in his study. The indulgence with
which he treated his nephew was, no doubt, imprudent. A man more in
the habit of dealing with men would have been more guarded with a
person with Dick's questionable story and unquestionable physiognomy.
But he was singularly unsuspicious, and his natural kindness was an
additional motive to the wish for introducing some variety into the
routine of Elsie's life.

If Dudley Venner did not know just what he wanted at this period of
his life, there were a great many people in the town of Rockland who
thought they did know. He had been a widower long enough,--nigh twenty
year, wa'n't it? He'd been aout to Spraowles's party,--there wa'n't
anything to hender him why he shouldn't stir raound l'k other folks.
What was the reason he didn't go abaout to taown-meetin's, 'n'
Sahbath-meetin's, 'n' lyceums, 'n' school-'xaminations, 'n'
s'prise-parties, 'n' funerals,--and other entertainments where the
still-faced two-story folks were in the habit of looking round to see
if any of the mansion-house gentry were present?--Fac' was, he was
livin' too lonesome daown there at the mansion-haouse. Why shouldn't
he make up to the Jedge's daughter? She was genteel enough for him
and--let's see, haow old was she? Seven-'n'-twenty,--no,
six-'n'-twenty,--Born the same year we buried aour little Anny Marí.

There was no possible objection to this arrangement, if the parties
interested had seen fit to make it or even to think of it. But
"Portia," as some of the mansion-house people called her, did not
happen to awaken the elective affinities of the lonely widower. He met
her once in a while, and said to himself that she was a good specimen
of the grand style of woman; and then the image came back to him of a
woman not quite so large, not quite so imperial in her port, not quite
so incisive in her speech, not quite so judicial in her opinions, but
with two or three more joints in her frame and two or three soft
inflections in her voice which for some absurd reason or other drew
him to her side and so bewitched him that he told her half his secrets
and looked into her eyes all that, he could not tell, in less time
than it would have taken him to discuss the champion paper of the last
Quarterly with the admirable "Portia." _Heu, quanta minus!_ How much
more was that lost image to him than all it left on earth!

The study of love is very much like that of meteorology. We know that
just about so much rain will fall in a season; but on what particular
day it will shower is more than we can tell. We know that just about
so much love will be made every year in a given population; but who
will rain his young affections upon the heart of whom is not known
except to the astrologers and fortune-tellers. And why rain falls as
it does, and why love is made just as it is, are equally puzzling

The woman a man loves is always his own daughter, far more his
daughter than the female children born to him by the common law of
life. It is not the outside woman, who takes his name, that he loves:
before her image has reached the centre of his consciousness, it has
passed through fifty many-layered nerve-strainers, been churned over
by ten thousand pulse-beats, and reacted upon by millions of lateral
impulses which bandy it about through the mental spaces as a
reflection is sent back and forward in a saloon lined with mirrors.
With this altered image of the woman before him his preëxisting ideal
becomes blended. The object of his love is half the offspring of her
legal parents and half of her lover's brain. The difference between
the real and the ideal objects of love must not exceed a fixed
maximum. The heart's vision cannot unite them stereoscopically into a
single image, if the divergence passes certain limits. A formidable
analogy, much in the nature of a proof, with very serious
consequences, which moralists and match-makers would do well to
remember! Double vision with the eyes of the heart is a dangerous
physiological state, and may lead to missteps and serious falls.

Whether Dudley Venner would ever find a breathing image near enough to
his ideal one, to fill the desolate chamber of his heart, or not, was
very doubtful. Some gracious and gentle woman, whose influence would
steal upon him as the first low words of prayer after that interval of
silent mental supplication known to one of our simpler forms of public
worship, gliding into his consciousness without hurting its old
griefs, herself knowing the chastening of sorrow, and subdued into
sweet acquiescence with the Divine will,--some such woman as this, if
Heaven should send him such, might call him back to the world of
happiness, from which he seemed forever exiled. He could never again
be the young lover who walked through the garden-alleys all red with
roses in the old dead and buried June of long ago. He could never
forget the bride of his youth, whose image, growing phantom-like with
the lapse of years, hovered over him like a dream while waking and
like a reality in dreams. But if it might be in God's good providence
that this desolate life should come under the influence of human
affections once more, what an ecstasy of renewed existence was in
store for him! His life had not all been buried under that narrow
ridge of turf with the white stone at its head. It seemed so for a
while; but it was not and could not and ought not to be so. His first
passion had been a true and pure one; there was no spot or stain upon
it. With all his grief there blended no cruel recollection of any word
or look he would have wished to forget. All those little differences,
such as young married people with any individual flavor in their
characters must have, if they are tolerably mated, had only added to
the music of existence, as the lesser discords admitted into some
perfect symphony, fitly resolved, add richness and strength to the
whole harmonious movement. It was a deep wound that Fate, had
inflicted on him; nay, it seemed like a mortal one; but the weapon was
clean, and its edge was smooth. Such wounds must heal with time in
healthy natures, whatever a false sentiment may say, by the wise and
beneficent law of our being. The recollection of a deep and true
affection, is rather a divine nourishment for a life to grow strong
upon than a poison to destroy it.

Dudley Venner's habitual sadness could not be laid wholly to his early
bereavement. It was partly the result of the long struggle between
natural affection and duty, on one side, and the involuntary
tendencies these had to overcome, on the other,--between hope and
fear, so long in conflict that despair itself would have been like an
anodyne, and he would have slept upon some final catastrophe with the
heavy sleep of a bankrupt after his failure is proclaimed. Alas! some
new affection might perhaps rekindle the fires of youth in his heart;
but what power could calm that haggard terror of the parent which rose
with every morning's sun and watched with every evening star,--what
power save alone that of him who comes bearing the inverted torch, and
leaving after him only the ashes printed with his footsteps?

      *       *       *       *       *


While all of us have been watching, with that admiring sympathy which
never fails to wait on courage and magnanimity, the career of the new
Timoleon in Sicily,--while we have been reckoning, with an interest
scarcely less than in some affair of personal concern, the chances and
changes that bear with furtherance or hindrance upon the fortune of
united Italy, we are approaching, with a quietness and composure which
more than anything else mark the essential difference between our own
form of democracy and any other yet known in history, a crisis in our
domestic policy more momentous than any that has arisen since we
became a nation. Indeed, considering the vital consequences for good
or evil that will follow from the popular decision in November, we
might be tempted to regard the remarkable moderation which has thus
far characterized the Presidential canvass as a guilty indifference to
the duty implied in the privilege of suffrage, or a stolid
unconsciousness of the result which may depend upon its exercise in
this particular election, did we not believe that it arose chiefly
from the general persuasion that the success of the Republican party
was a foregone conclusion.

In a society like ours, where every man may transmute his private
thought into history and destiny by dropping it into the ballot-box, a
peculiar responsibility rests upon the individual. Nothing can absolve
us from doing our best to look at all public questions as citizens,
and therefore in some sort as administrators and rulers. For, though
during its term of office the government be practically as independent
of the popular will as that of Russia, yet every fourth year the
people are called upon to pronounce upon the conduct of their affairs.
Theoretically, at least, to give democracy any standing-ground for an
argument with despotism or oligarchy, a majority of the men composing
it should be statesmen and thinkers. It is a proverb, that to turn a
radical into a conservative there needs only to put him into office,
because then the license of speculation or sentiment is limited by a
sense of responsibility,--then for the first time he becomes capable
of that comparative view which sees principles and measures, not in
the narrow abstract, but in the full breadth of their relations to
each other and to political consequences. The theory of democracy
presupposes something of these results of official position in the
individual voter, since in exercising his right he becomes for the
moment an integral part of the governing power.

How very far practice is from any likeness to theory a week's
experience of our politics suffices to convince us. The very
government itself seems an organized scramble, and Congress a boys'
debating-club, with the disadvantage of being reported. As our
party-creeds are commonly represented less by ideas than by persons,
(who are assumed, without too close a scrutiny, to be the exponents of
certain ideas,) our politics become personal and narrow to a degree
never paralleled, unless in ancient Athens or mediaeval Florence. Our
Congress debates and our newspapers discuss, sometimes for day after
day, not questions of national interest, not what is wise and right,
but what the Honorable Lafayette Skreemer said on the stump, or bad
whiskey said for him, half a dozen years ago. If that personage,
outraged in all the finer sensibilities of our common nature, by
failing to get the contract for supplying the District Court-House at
Skreemeropolisville City with revolvers, was led to disparage the
union of these States, it is seized on as proof conclusive that the
party to which he belongs are so many Cat_a_lines,--for Congress is
unanimous only in misspelling the name of that oft-invoked
conspirator. The next Presidential Election looms always in advance,
so that we seem never to have an actual Chief Magistrate, but a
prospective one, looking to the chances of reëlection, and mingling in
all the dirty intrigues of provincial politics with an unhappy talent
for making them dirtier. The cheating mirage of the White House lures
our public men away from present duties and obligations; and if
matters go on as they have gone, we shall need a Committee of Congress
to count the spoons in the public plate-closet, whenever a President
goes out of office,--with a policeman to watch every member of the
Committee. We are kept normally in that most unprofitable of
predicaments, a state of transition, and politicians measure their
words and deeds by a standard of immediate and temporary
expediency,--an expediency not as concerning the nation, but which, if
more than merely personal, is no wider than the interests of party.

Is all this a result of the failure of democratic institutions? Rather
of the fact that those institutions have never yet had a fair trial,
and that for the last thirty years an abnormal element has been acting
adversely with continually increasing strength. Whatever be the effect
of slavery upon the States where it exists, there can be no doubt that
its moral influence upon the North has been most disastrous. It has
compelled our politicians into that first fatal compromise with their
moral instincts and hereditary principles which makes all consequent
ones easy; it has accustomed us to makeshifts instead of
statesmanship, to subterfuge instead of policy, to party-platforms for
opinions, and to a defiance of the public sentiment of the civilized
world for patriotism. We have been asked to admit, first, that it was
a necessary evil; then that it was a good both to master and slave;
then that it was the corner-stone of free institutions; then that it
was a system divinely instituted under the Old Law and sanctioned
under the New. With a representation, three-fifths of it based on the
assumption that negroes are men, the South turns upon us and insists
on our acknowledging that they are things. After compelling her
Northern allies to pronounce the "free and equal" clause of the
preamble to the Declaration of Independence (because it stood in the
way of enslaving men) a manifest absurdity, she has declared, through
the Supreme Court of the United States, that negroes are not men in
the ordinary meaning of the word. To eat dirt is bad enough, but to
find that we have eaten more than was necessary may chance to give us
an indigestion. The slaveholding interest has gone on step by step,
forcing concession after concession, till it needs but little to
secure it forever in the political supremacy of the country. Yield to
its latest demand,--let it mould the evil destiny of the
Territories,--and the thing is done past recall. The next Presidential
Election is to say _Yes_ or _No_.

But we should not regard the mere question of political preponderancy
as of vital consequence, did it not involve a continually increasing
moral degradation on the part of the Nonslaveholding States,--for Free
States they could not be called much longer. Sordid and materialistic
views of the true value and objects of society and government are
professed more and more openly by the leaders of popular outcry, if it
cannot be called public opinion. That side of human nature which it
has been the object of all lawgivers and moralists to repress and
subjugate is flattered and caressed; whatever is profitable is right;
and already the slave-trade, as yielding a greater return on the
capital invested than any other traffic, is lauded as the highest
achievement of human reason and justice. Mr. Hammond has proclaimed
the accession of King Cotton, but he seems to have forgotten that
history is not without examples of kings who have lost their crowns
through the folly and false security of their ministers. It is quite
true that there is a large class of reasoners who would weigh all
questions of right and wrong in the balance of trade; but--we cannot
bring ourselves to believe that it is a wise political economy which
makes cotton by unmaking men, or a far-seeing statesmanship which
looks on an immediate money-profit as a safe equivalent for a beggared
public sentiment. We think Mr. Hammond even a little premature in
proclaiming the new Pretender. The election of November may prove a
Culloden. Whatever its result, it is to settle, for many years to
come, the question whether the American idea is to govern this
continent, whether the Occidental or the Oriental theory of society is
to mould our future, whether we are to recede from principles which
eighteen Christian centuries have been slowly establishing at the cost
of so many saintly lives at the stake and so many heroic ones on the
scaffold and the battle-field, in favor of some fancied assimilation
to the household arrangements of Abraham, of which all that can be
said with certainty is that they did not add to his domestic

We believe that this election is a turning-point in our history; for,
although there are four candidates, there are really, as everybody
knows, but two parties, and a single question that divides them. The
supporters of Messrs. Bell and Everett have adopted as their platform
the Constitution, the Union, and the enforcement of the Laws. This may
be very convenient, but it is surely not very explicit. The cardinal
question on which the whole policy of the country is to turn--a
question, too, which this very election must decide in one way or the
other--is the interpretation to be put upon certain clauses of the
Constitution. All the other parties equally assert their loyalty to
that instrument. Indeed, it is quite the fashion. The removers of all
the ancient landmarks of our policy, the violators of thrice-pledged
faith, the planners of new treachery to established compromise, all
take refuge in the Constitution,--

  "Like thieves that in a hemp-plot lie,
  Secure against the hue and cry."

In the same way the first Bonaparte renewed his profession of faith in
the Revolution at every convenient opportunity; and the second follows
the precedent of his uncle, though the uninitiated fail to see any
logical sequence from 1789 to 1815 or 1860. If Mr. Bell loves the
Constitution, Mr. Breckinridge is equally fond; that Egeria of our
statesmen could be "happy with either, were t'other dear charmer
away." Mr. Douglas confides the secret of his passion to the
unloquacious clams of Rhode Island, and the chief complaint made
against Mr. Lincoln by his opponents is that he is _too_

Meanwhile the only point in which voters are interested is,--What do
they mean by the Constitution? Mr. Breckinridge means the superiority
of a certain exceptional species of property over all others, nay,
over man himself. Mr. Douglas, with a different formula for expressing
it, means practically the same thing. Both of them mean that Labor has
no rights which Capital is bound to respect,--that there is no higher
law than human interest and cupidity. Both of them represent not
merely the narrow principles of a section, but the still narrower and
more selfish ones of a caste. Both of them, to be sure, have
convenient phrases to be juggled with before election, and which mean
one thing or another, or neither one thing nor another, as a
particular exigency may seem to require; but since both claim the
regular Democratic nomination, we have little difficulty in divining
what their course would be after the fourth of March, if they should
chance to be elected. We know too well what regular Democracy is, to
like either of the two faces which each shows by turns under the same
hood. Everybody remembers Baron Grimm's story of the Parisian showman,
who in 1789 exhibited the _royal_ Bengal tiger under the new character
of _national_, as more in harmony with the changed order of things.
Could the animal have lived till 1848, he would probably have found
himself offered to the discriminating public as the _democratic_ and
_social_ ornament of the jungle. The Pro-slavery party of this country
seeks the popular favor under even more frequent and incongruous
_aliases_; it is now _national_, now _conservative_, now
_constitutional_; here it represents Squatter-Sovereignty, and there
the power of Congress over the Territories; but, under whatever name,
its nature remains unchanged, and its instincts are none the less
predatory and destructive. Mr. Lincoln's position is set forth with
sufficient precision in the platform adopted by the Chicago
Convention; but what are we to make of Messrs. Bell and Everett? Heirs
of the stock in trade of two defunct parties, the Whig and
Know-Nothing, do they hope to resuscitate them? or are they only like
the inconsolable widows of Père la Chaise, who, with an eye to former
customers, make use of the late Andsoforth's gravestone to advertise
that they still carry on the business at the old stand? Mr. Everett,
in his letter accepting the nomination, gave us only a string of
reasons why he should not have accepted it at all; and Mr. Bell
preserves a silence singularly at variance with his patronymic. The
only public demonstration of principle that we have seen is an
emblematic bell drawn upon a wagon by a single horse, with a man to
lead him, and a boy to make a nuisance of the tinkling symbol as it
moves along. Are all the figures in this melancholy procession equally
emblematic? If so, which of the two candidates is typified in the
unfortunate who leads the horse?--for we believe the only hope of the
party is to get one of them elected by some hocus-pocus in the House
of Representatives. The little boy, we suppose, is intended to
represent the party, which promises to be so conveniently small that
there will be an office for every member of it, if its candidate
should win. Did not the bell convey a plain allusion to the leading
name on the ticket, we should conceive it an excellent type of the
hollowness of those fears for the safety of the Union, in case of Mr.
Lincoln's election, whose changes are so loudly rung,--its noise
having once or twice given rise to false alarms of fire, till people
found out what it really was. Whatever profound moral it be intended
to convey, we find in it a similitude that is not without significance
as regards the professed creed of the party. The industrious youth who
operates upon it has evidently some notion of the measured and regular
motion that befits the tongues of well-disciplined and conservative
bells. He does his best to make theory and practice coincide; but with
every jolt on the road an involuntary variation is produced, and the
sonorous pulsation becomes rapid or slow accordingly. We have observed
that the Constitution was liable to similar derangements, and we very
much doubt whether Mr. Bell himself (since, after all, the
Constitution would practically be nothing else than his interpretation
of it) would keep the same measured tones that are so easy on the
smooth path of candidacy, when it came to conducting the car of State
over some of the rough places in the highway of Manifest Destiny, and
some of those passages in our politics which, after the fashion of new
countries, are rather _corduroy_ in character.

But, fortunately, we are not left wholly in the dark as to the aims of
the self-styled Constitutional party. One of its most distinguished
members, Governor Hunt of New York, has given us to understand that
its prime object is the defeat at all hazards of the Republican
candidate. To achieve so desirable an end, its leaders are ready to
coalesce, here with the Douglas, and there with the Breckinridge
faction of that very Democratic party of whose violations of the
Constitution, corruption, and dangerous limberness of principle they
have been the lifelong denouncers. In point of fact, then, it is
perfectly plain that we have only two parties in the field: those who
favor the extension of slavery, and those who oppose it,--in other
words, a Destructive and a Conservative party.

We know very well that the partisans of Mr. Bell, Mr. Douglas, and Mr.
Breckinridge all equally claim the title of conservative: and the fact
is a very curious one, well worthy the consideration of those foreign
critics who argue that the inevitable tendency of democracy is to
compel larger and larger concessions to a certain assumed communistic
propensity and hostility to the rights of property on the part of the
working classes. But the truth is, that revolutionary ideas are
promoted, not by any unthinking hostility to the _rights_ of property,
but by a well-founded jealousy of its usurpations; and it is
Privilege, and not Property, that is perplexed with fear of change.
The conservative effect of ownership operates with as much force on
the man with a hundred dollars in an old stocking as on his neighbor
with a million in the funds. During the Roman Revolution of '48, the
beggars who had funded their gains were among the stanchest
reactionaries, and left Rome with the nobility. No question of the
abstract right of property has ever entered directly into our
politics, or ever will,--the point at issue being, whether a certain
exceptional kind of property, already privileged beyond all others,
shall be entitled to still further privileges at the expense of every
other kind. The extension of slavery over new territory means just
this,--that this one kind of property, not recognized as such by the
Constitution, or it would never have been allowed to enter into the
basis of representation, shall control the foreign and domestic policy
of the Republic.

A great deal is said, to be sure, about the rights of the South; but
has any such right been infringed? When a man invests money in any
species of property, he assumes the risks to which it is liable. If he
buy a house, it may be burned; if a ship, it may be wrecked; if a
horse or an ox, it may die. Now the disadvantage of the Southern kind
of property is,--how shall we say it so as not to violate our
Constitutional obligations?--that it is exceptional. When it leaves
Virginia, it is a thing; when it arrives in Boston, it becomes a man,
speaks human language, appeals to the justice of the same God whom we
all acknowledge, weeps at the memory of wife and children left
behind,--in short, hath the same organs and dimensions that a
Christian hath, and is not distinguishable from ordinary Christians,
except, perhaps, by a simpler and more earnest faith. There are people
at the North who believe, that, beside _meum_ and _tuum_, there is
also such a thing as _suum_,--who are old-fashioned enough, or weak
enough, to have their feelings touched by these things, to think that
human nature is older and more sacred than any claim of property
whatever, and that it has rights at least as much to be respected as
any hypothetical one of our Southern brethren. This, no doubt, makes
it harder to recover a fugitive chattel; but the existence of human
nature in a man here and there is surely one of those accidents to be
counted on at least as often as fire, shipwreck, or the
cattle-disease; and the man who chooses to put his money into these
images of his Maker cut in ebony should be content to take the
incident risks along with the advantages. We should be very sorry to
deem this risk capable of diminution; for we think that the claims of
a common manhood upon us should be at least as strong as those of
Freemasonry, and that those whom the law of man turns away should find
in the larger charity of the law of God and Nature a readier welcome
and surer sanctuary. We shall continue to think the negro a man, and
on Southern evidence, too, as long as he is counted in the population
represented on the floor of Congress,--for three-fifths of perfect
manhood would be a high average even among white men; as long as he is
hanged or worse, as an example and terror to others,--for we do not
punish one animal for the moral improvement of the rest; as long as he
is considered capable of religious instruction,--for we fancy the
gorillas would make short work with a missionary; as long as there are
fears of insurrection,--for we never heard of a combined effort at
revolt in a menagerie. Accordingly, we do not see how the particular
right of whose infringement we hear so much is to be made safer by the
election of Mr. Bell, Mr. Breckinridge, or Mr. Douglas,--there being
quite as little chance that any of them would abolish human nature as
that Mr. Lincoln would abolish slavery. The same generous instinct
that leads some among us to sympathize with the sorrows of the
bereaved master will always, we fear, influence others to take part
with the rescued man.

But if our Constitutional Obligations, as we like to call our
constitutional timidity or indifference, teach us that a particular
divinity hedges the Domestic Institution, they do not require us to
forget that we have institutions of our own, worth maintaining and
extending, and not without a certain sacredness, whether we regard the
traditions of the fathers or the faith of the children. It is high
time that we should hear something of the rights of the Free States,
and of the duties consequent upon them. We also have our prejudices to
be respected, our theory of civilization, of what constitutes the
safety of a state and insures its prosperity, to be applied wherever
there is soil enough for a human being to stand on and thank God for
making him a man. Is conservatism applicable only to property, and not
to justice, freedom, and public honor? Does it mean merely drifting
with the current of evil times and pernicious counsels, and carefully
nursing the ills we have, that they may, as their nature it is, grow

To be told that we ought not to agitate the question of Slavery, when
it is that which is forever agitating us, is like telling a man with
the fever and ague on him to stop shaking and he will be cured. The
discussion of Slavery is said to be dangerous, but dangerous to what?
The manufacturers of the Free States constitute a more numerous class
than the slaveholders of the South: suppose they should claim an equal
sanctity for the Protective System. Discussion is the very life of
free institutions, the fruitful mother of all political and moral
enlightenment, and yet the question of all questions must be tabooed.
The Swiss guide enjoins silence in the region of avalanches, lest the
mere vibration of the voice should dislodge the ruin clinging by frail
roots of snow. But where is our avalanche to fall? It is to overwhelm
the Union, we are told. The real danger to the Union will come when
the encroachments of the Slave-Power and the concessions of the
Trade-Power shall have made it a burden instead of a blessing. The
real avalanche to be dreaded, are we to expect it from the
ever-gathering mass of ignorant brute force, with the irresponsibility
of animals and the passions of men, which is one of the fatal
necessities of slavery, or from the gradually increasing consciousness
of the non-slaveholding population of the Slave States of the true
cause of their material impoverishment and political inferiority? From
one or the other source its ruinous forces will be fed, but in either
event it is not the Union that will be imperilled, but the privileged
Order who on every occasion of a thwarted whim have menaced its
disruption, and who will then find in it their only safety.

We believe that the "irrepressible conflict"--for we accept Mr.
Seward's much-denounced phrase in all the breadth of meaning he ever
meant to give it--is to take place in the South itself; because the
Slave-System is one of those fearful blunders in political economy
which are sure, sooner or later, to work their own retribution. The
inevitable tendency of slavery is to concentrate in a few hands the
soil, the capital, and the power of the countries where it exists, to
reduce the non-slaveholding class to a continually lower and lower
level of property, intelligence, and enterprise,--their increase in
numbers adding much to the economical hardship of their position and
nothing to their political weight in the community. There is no
home-encouragement of varied agriculture,--for the wants of a slave
population are few in number and limited in kind; none of inland
trade, for that is developed only by communities where education
induces refinement, where facility of communication stimulates
invention and variety of enterprise, where newspapers make every man's
improvement in tools, machinery, or culture of the soil an incitement
to all, and bring all the thinkers of the world to teach in the cheap
university of the people. We do not, of course, mean to say that
slaveholding states may not and do not produce fine men; but they
fail, by the inherent vice of their constitution and its attendant
consequences, to create enlightened, powerful, and advancing
communities of men, which is the true object of all political
organizations, and which is essential to the prolonged existence of
all those whose life and spirit are derived directly from the people.
Every man who has dispassionately endeavored to enlighten himself in
the matter cannot but see, that, for the many, the course of things in
slaveholding states is substantially what we have described, a
downward one, more or less rapid, in civilization and in all those
results of material prosperity which in a free country show themselves
in the general advancement for the good of all and give a real meaning
to the word Commonwealth. No matter how enormous the wealth centred in
the hands of a few, it has no longer the conservative force or the
beneficent influence which it exerts when equably distributed,--even
loses more of both where a system of absenteeism prevails so largely
as in the South. In such communities the seeds of an "irrepressible
conflict" are purely, if slowly, ripening, and signs are daily
multiplying that the true peril to their social organization is looked
for, less in a revolt of the owned labor than in an insurrection of
intelligence in the labor that owns itself and finds itself none the
richer for it. To multiply such communities is to multiply weakness.

The election in November turns on the single and simple question,
Whether we shall consent to the indefinite multiplication of them; and
the only party which stands plainly and unequivocally pledged against
such a policy, nay, which is not either openly or impliedly in favor
of it, is the Republican party. We are of those who at first regretted
that another candidate was not nominated at Chicago; but we confess
that we have ceased to regret it, for the magnanimity of Mr. Seward
since the result of the Convention was known has been a greater
ornament to him and a greater honor to his party than his election to
the Presidency would have been. We should have been pleased with Mr.
Seward's nomination, for the very reason we have seen assigned for
passing him by,--that he represented the most advanced doctrines of
his party. He, more than any other man, combined in himself the
moralist's oppugnancy to Slavery as a fact, the thinker's resentment
of it as a theory, and the statist's distrust of it as a policy,--thus
summing up the three efficient causes that have chiefly aroused and
concentrated the antagonism of the Free States. Not a brilliant man,
he has that best gift of Nature, which brilliant men commonly lack, of
being always able to do his best; and the very misrepresentation of
his opinions which was resorted to in order to neutralize the effect
of his speeches in the Senate and elsewhere was the best testimony to
their power. Safe from the prevailing epidemic of Congressional
eloquence as if he had been inoculated for it early in his career, he
addresses himself to the reason, and what he says sticks. It was
assumed that his nomination would have embittered the contest and
tainted the Republican creed with radicalism; but we doubt it. We
cannot think that a party gains by not hitting its hardest, or by
sugaring its opinions. Republicanism is not a conspiracy to obtain
office under false pretences. It has a definite aim, an earnest
purpose, and the unflinching tenacity of profound conviction. It was
not called into being by a desire to reform the pecuniary corruptions
of the party now in power. Mr. Bell or Mr. Breckinridge would do that,
for no one doubts their honor or their honesty. It is not unanimous
about the Tariff, about State-Rights, about many other questions of
policy. What unites the Republicans is a common faith in the early
principles and practice of the Republic, a common persuasion that
slavery, as it cannot but be the natural foe of the one, has been the
chief debaser of the other, and a common resolve to resist its
encroachments everywhen and everywhere. They see no reason to fear
that the Constitution, which has shown such pliant tenacity under the
warps and twistings of a forty-years' proslavery pressure, should be
in danger of breaking, if bent backward again gently to its original
rectitude of fibre. "All forms of human government," says Machiavelli,
"have, like men, their natural term, and those only are long-lived
which possess in themselves the power of returning to the principles
on which they were originally founded." It is in a moral aversion to
slavery as a great wrong that the chief strength of the Republican
party lies. They believe as everybody believed sixty years ago; and we
are sorry to see what appears to be an inclination in some quarters to
blink this aspect of the case, lest the party be charged with want of
conservatism, or, what is worse, with abolitionism. It is and will be
charged with all kinds of dreadful things, whatever it does, and it
has nothing to fear from an upright and downright declaration of its
faith. One part of the grateful work it has to do is to deliver us
from the curse of perpetual concession for the sake of a peace that
never comes, and which, if it came, would not be peace, but
submission,--from that torpor and imbecility of faith in God and man
which have stolen the respectable name of Conservatism. A question
which cuts so deep as the one which now divides the country cannot be
debated, much less settled, without excitement. Such excitement is
healthy, and is a sign that the ill humors of the body politic are
coming to the surface, where they are comparatively harmless. It is
the tendency of all creeds, opinions, and political dogmas that have
once defined themselves in institutions to become inoperative. The
vital and formative principle, which was active during the process of
crystallization into sects, or schools of thought, or governments,
ceases to act; and what was once a living emanation of the Eternal
Mind, organically operative in history, becomes the dead formula on
men's lips and the dry topic of the annalist. It has been our good
fortune that a question has been thrust upon us which has forced us to
reconsider the primal principles of government, which has appealed to
conscience as well as reason, and, by bringing the theories of the
Declaration of Independence to the test of experience in our thought
and life and action, has realized a tradition of the memory into a
conviction of the understanding and the soul. It will not do for the
Republicans to confine themselves to the mere political argument, for
the matter then becomes one of expediency, with two defensible sides
to it; they must go deeper, to the radical question of Right and
Wrong, or they surrender the chief advantage of their position. What
Spinoza says of laws is equally true of party-platforms,--that those
are strong which appeal to reason, but those are impregnable which
compel the assent both of reason and the common affections of mankind.

No man pretends that under the Constitution there is any possibility
of interference with the domestic relations of the individual States;
no party has ever remotely hinted at any such interference; but what
the Republicans affirm is, that in every contingency where the
Constitution can be construed in favor of freedom, it ought to be and
shall be so construed. It is idle to talk of sectionalism,
abolitionism, and hostility to the laws. The principles of liberty and
humanity cannot, by virtue of their very nature, be sectional, any
more than light and heat. Prevention is not abolition, and unjust laws
are the only serious enemies that Law ever had. With history before
us, it is no treason to question the infallibility of a court; for
courts are never wiser or more venerable than the men composing them,
and a decision that reverses precedent cannot arrogate to itself any
immunity from reversal. Truth is the only unrepealable thing.

We are gravely requested to have no opinion, or, having one, to
suppress it, on the one topic that has occupied caucuses, newspapers,
Presidents' messages, and Congress, for the last dozen years, lest we
endanger the safety of the Union. The true danger to popular forms of
government begins when public opinion ceases because the people are
incompetent or unwilling to think. In a democracy it is the duty of
every citizen to think; but unless the thinking result in a definite
opinion, and the opinion lead to considerate action, they are nothing.
If the people are assumed to be incapable of forming a judgment for
themselves, the men whose position enables them to guide the public
mind ought certainly to make good their want of intelligence. But on
this great question, the wise solution of which, we are every day
assured, is essential to the permanence of the Union, Mr. Bell has no
opinion at all, Mr. Douglas says it is of no consequence which opinion
prevails, and Mr. Breckinridge tells us vaguely that "all sections
have an equal right in the common Territories." The parties which
support these candidates, however, all agree in affirming that the
election of its special favorite is the one thing that can give back
peace to the distracted country. The distracted country will continue
to take care of itself, as it has done hitherto, and the only question
that needs an answer is, What policy will secure the most prosperous
future to the helpless Territories, which our decision is to make or
mar for all coming time? What will save the country from a Senate and
Supreme Court where freedom shall be forever at a disadvantage?

There is always a fallacy in the argument of the opponents of the
Republican party. They affirm that all the States and all the citizens
of the States ought to have equal rights in the Territories.
Undoubtedly. But the difficulty is that they cannot. The slaveholder
moves into a new Territory with his _institution_, and from that
moment the free white settler is virtually excluded. _His_
institutions he cannot take with him; they refuse to root themselves
in soil that is cultivated by slave-labor. Speech is no longer free;
the post-office is Austrianized; the mere fact of Northern birth may
be enough to hang him. Even now in Texas, settlers from the Free
States are being driven out and murdered for pretended complicity in a
plot the evidence for the existence of which has been obtained by
means without a parallel since the trial of the Salem witches, and the
stories about which are as absurd and contradictory as the confessions
of Goodwife Corey. Kansas was saved, it is true; but it was the
experience of Kansas that disgusted the South with Mr. Douglas's
panacea of "Squatter Sovereignty."

The claim of _equal_ rights in the Territories is a specious fallacy.
Concede the demand of the slavery-extensionists, and you give up every
inch of territory to slavery, to the absolute exclusion of freedom.
For what they ask (however they may disguise it) is simply this,--that
their _local law_ be made the law of the land, and coextensive with
the limits of the General Government. The Constitution acknowledges no
unqualified or interminable right of property in the labor of another;
and the plausible assertion, that "that is property which the law
makes property," (confounding a law existing anywhere with the law
which is binding everywhere,) can deceive only those who have either
never read the Constitution or are ignorant of the opinions and
intentions of those who framed it. It is true only of the States where
slavery already exists; and it is because the propagandists of slavery
are well aware of this, that they are so anxious to establish by
positive enactment the seemingly moderate title to a right of
existence for their institution in the Territories,--a title which
they do not possess, and the possession of which would give them the
oyster and the Free States the shells. Laws accordingly are asked for
to protect Southern property in the Territories,--that is, to protect
the inhabitants from deciding for themselves what their frame of
government shall be. Such laws will be passed, and the fairest portion
of our national domain irrevocably closed to free labor, if the
Non-Slave-holding States fail to do their duty in the present crisis.

But will the election of Mr. Lincoln endanger the Union? It is not a
little remarkable, that, as the prospect of his success increases, the
menaces of secession grow fainter and less frequent. Mr. W.L. Yancey,
to be sure, threatens to secede; but the country can get along without
him, and we wish him a prosperous career in foreign parts. But
Governor Wise no longer proposes to seize the Treasury at
Washington,--perhaps because Mr. Buchanan has left so little in it.
The old Mumbo-Jumbo is occasionally paraded at the North, but, however
many old women may be frightened, the pulse of the stock-market
remains provokingly calm. General Cushing, infringing the patent-right
of the late Mr. James the novelist, has seen a solitary horseman on
the edge of the horizon. The exegesis of the vision has been various,
some thinking that it means a Military Despot--though in that case the
force of cavalry would seem to be inadequate,--and others the Pony
Express. If it had been one rider on two horses, the application would
have been more general and less obscure. In fact, the old cry of
Disunion has lost its terrors, if it ever had any, at the North. The
South itself seems to have become alarmed at its own scarecrow, and
speakers there are beginning to assure their hearers that the election
of Mr. Lincoln will do them no harm. We entirely agree with them, for
it will save them from themselves.

To believe any organized attempt by the Republican party to disturb
the existing internal policy of the Southern States possible
presupposes a manifest absurdity. Before anything of the kind could
take place, the country must be in a state of forcible revolution. But
there is no premonitory symptom of any such convulsion, unless we
except Mr. Yancey, and that gentleman's throwing a solitary somerset
will hardly turn the continent head over heels. The administration of
Mr. Lincoln will be conservative, because no government is ever
intentionally otherwise, and because power never knowingly undermines
the foundation on which it rests. All that the Free States demand is
that influence in the councils of the nation to which they are justly
entitled by their population, wealth, and intelligence. That these
elements of prosperity have increased more rapidly among them than in
communities otherwise organized, with greater advantages of soil,
climate, and mineral productions, is certainly no argument that they
are incapable of the duties of efficient and prudent administration,
however strong a one it may be for their endeavoring to secure for the
Territories the single superiority that has made them what they are.
The object of the Republican party is not the abolition of African
slavery, but the utter extirpation of dogmas which are the logical
sequence of the attempts to establish its righteousness and wisdom,
and which would serve equally well to justify the enslavement of every
white man unable to protect himself. They believe that slavery is a
wrong morally, a mistake politically, and a misfortune practically,
wherever it exists; that it has nullified our influence abroad and
forced us to compromise with our better instincts at home; that it has
perverted our government from its legitimate objects, weakened the
respect for the laws by making them the tools of its purposes, and
sapped the faith of men in any higher political morality than interest
or any better statesmanship than chicane. They mean in every lawful
way to hem it within its present limits.

We are persuaded that the election of Mr. Lincoln will do more than
anything else to appease the excitement of the country. He has proved
both his ability and his integrity; he has had experience enough in
public affairs to make him a statesman, and not enough to make him a
politician. That he has not had more will be no objection to him in
the eyes of those who have seen the administration of the experienced
public functionary whose term of office is just drawing to a close. He
represents a party who know that true policy is gradual in its
advances, that it is conditional and not absolute, that it must deal
with facts and not with sentiments, but who know also that it is wiser
to stamp out evil in the spark than to wait till there is no help but
in fighting fire with fire. They are the only conservative party,
because they are the only one based on an enduring principle, the only
one that is not willing to pawn tomorrow for the means to gamble with
today. They have no hostility to the South, but a determined one to
doctrines of whose ruinous tendency every day more and more convinces

The encroachments of Slavery upon our national policy have been like
those of a glacier in a Swiss valley. Inch by inch, the huge dragon
with his glittering scales and crests of ice coils itself onward, an
anachronism of summer, the relic of a bygone world where such monsters
swarmed. But it has its limit, the kindlier forces of Nature work
against it, and the silent arrows of the sun are still, as of old,
fatal to the frosty Python. Geology tells us that such enormous
devastators once covered the face of the earth, but the benignant
sunlight of heaven touched them, and they faded silently, leaving no
trace but here and there the scratches of their talons, and the gnawed
boulders scattered where they made their lair. We have entire faith in
the benignant influence of Truth, the sunlight of the moral world, and
believe that slavery, like other worn-out systems, will melt gradually
before it. "All the earth cries out upon Truth, and the heaven
blesseth it; ill works shake and tremble at it, and with it is no
unrighteous thing."

       *       *       *       *       *


_History of Flemish Literature_. By OCTAVE DELEPIERRE, LL. D. 8vo.
London. John Murray. 1860.

"When I write in Danish," says Oehlenschläger, "I write for only six
hundred persons." And so, in view of this somewhat exaggerated
statement, he himself translated his best works into the more favored
and more widely spread Germanic idiom. It requires a certain amount of
courage in an author to write in his own native tongue only, when he
knows that he thereby limits the number of his readers. We see in our
own days, among the Sclavonic races, men whose writings breathe the
most ardent patriotism, whose labors and researches are all
concentrated within the sphere of their nationality, publishing, not
in their own Polish, Czechish, or Serbian, but in German or French.

The history of language shows us a two-fold tendency,--one of
divergence from some common stem, followed by one of concentration, of
unity, in the literature. Thus, in France, the _Langue d'Oïl_
superseded the richer and more melodious Provençal; in Spain the
Castilian predominated; while for several centuries it has been the
steady tendency of the High-German to become the language of letters
and of the upper classes among the various Teutonic races. Since the
Bible-translation of Luther, this central dialect has not only become
the medium in which poet and philosopher, historian and critic address
the nation, but it may be said to have entirely superseded the
Northern and Southern forms. Whatever local or linguistic interest may
be manifested for the works of Groth in the Ditmarsch _Platt-Deutsch_,
or for the sweet Alemannic songs of Hebel, the centralizing tongue is
that in which Schiller and Goethe wrote.

The allied Danish and Dutch have escaped this ingulfing process. The
former, instead of retreating, seeks in the present to enlarge its
circuit; and great are the complaints in Schleswig-Holstein of the
arbitrary and despotic imposition of Danish on a State of the German
Confederation. The present government of Holland has not remained
inactive. Much has been done to encourage men of letters and
counteract the Gallic influences which prevailed in the early part of
the century.

But the Flemings speaking nearly the same language as their Protestant
neighbors, where is their literature now? The language itself, in
which are handed down to us some of the masterpieces of the Middle
Ages, as "Reynard the Fox" and "Gudrun," is disregarded, even
discountenanced, by Government. It is with a feeling of sadness that
we read the annals of a literature which met so many obstacles to its
progress. Despised by foreign rulers, thrust back by the Spanish
policy of the Duke of Alva, its authors exiled and seeking refuge in
other lands, its very existence has been a constant battling against
the inroads of more powerful neighbors.

Surely, "if words be made of breath, and breath of life," there is
nothing a nation can hold more dear than its own tongue. Its laws, its
rulers, may change, its privileges and charters be wrenched from it,
but that remains as an heirloom, the first gift to the child, the last
and dearest treasure of the man. Perhaps nowhere more than in Flanders
do we meet with a systematic oppression of a vernacular idiom. From
the days of the contests with France, through the long Spanish
troubles and dominion, the military occupation of the country by the
troops of Louis XIV., the Austrian rule, the levelling tendency of the
French Revolution, and the present aping of French manners by the
higher powers of the land,--through all this there has been but one
long, continuous struggle, and the ultimate result is now too plain.

We find the Flemish spoken by nearly two-thirds of the inhabitants of
Belgium, divided from the Walloon or _Rouchi-Fran ais_ by a line of
demarcation running from the Meuse through Liege and Waterloo, and
ending in France, between Calais and Dunkirk. It differs in no
material points from the Dutch, being essentially the same, if we
except slight differences in spelling, as _ae_ for _aa_, _ue_ for
_uu_, _y_ for _ij_. Both should bear but one common name, the
Netherlandish. That differences should be sought can be accounted for
only by the petty feeling of jealousy that exists between the
neighboring states, their literary productions varying in grammatical
construction scarcely more than the writings of English and American

Mr. Octave Delepierre, who since 1830 has published some ten or twelve
monographs relating to the antiquities and history of Flanders, has
presented the English public during the course of the present year
with a history of Flemish literature. With an evident predilection for
authors south of the Meuse, Mr. Delepierre has nevertheless given us
the first clear and connected account we possess of the history of
letters in the Netherlands. Without careful or minute critical
research, he has shown little that is new, nor has he sought to clear
one point that was obscure. His work is pleasant reading, interspersed
with occasional translations, though scarcely answering the requisites
of literary history in the nineteenth century. Having followed the
older work of Snellaert [_Histoire de la Littérature Flamande_.
Bruxelles. 1654.], in the latter half of the volume, page for page, he
has not even mentioned by name the authors of the last quarter of a

Let us glance at that portion of literature more particularly
belonging to Flanders and Brabant.

The first expressions of the Germanic mind, the song of "Hildebrand,"
"Gudrun," the "Nibelungen," have been handed down to us in a form
which shows their origin to have been Netherlandish. The first part of
"Gudrun" is evidently so; and we find, as well in many of the older
poems of chivalry, as "Charles and Elegast," "Floris and
Blanchefloer," as in the national epos, intrinsic proofs that the
unknown authors were from the regions of the Lower Rhine. These elder
remnants, however, can scarcely be claimed by any one of the Teutonic
races, as they are the common property of all; for we find the hero
Siegfried in the Scandinavian Saga, as well as in the more southern
tradition. Mr. Delepierre has translated the following song, almost
Homeric in its form, which belongs to this early period, when
Christianity had not obliterated the memories of barbarous days:--

  "The Lord Halewyn knew a song: all those
  who heard it were attracted towards him.

  "It was once heard by the daughter of the
  King, who was so beloved by her parents.

  "She stood before her father: 'O father,
  may I go to the Lord Halewyn?'

  "'Oh, no, my child, no! They who go to
  him never come back again.'

  "She stood before her mother: 'O mother,
  may I go to the Lord Halewyn?'

  "'Oh, no, my child, no! They who go to
  him never come back again.'

  "She stood before her sister: 'O sister, may
  I go to the Lord Halewyn?'

  "'Oh, no, sister, no! They who go to him
  never come back again.'

  "She stood before her brother: 'O brother,
  may I go to the Lord Halewyn?'

  "'Little care I where thou goest, provided
  thou preservest thine honor and thy crown.

  "She goes up into her chamber; she clothes
  herself in her best garments.

  "What does she put on first? A shift finer
  than silk.

  "What does she gird round her lovely
  waist? Strong bands of gold.

  "What does she put upon her scarlet petticoat?
  On every seam a golden button.

  "What does she set on her beautiful fair
  hair? A massive golden crown.

  "What does she put upon her kirtle? On
  every seam a pearl.

  "She goes into her father's stable, and takes
  out his best charger. She mounts him proudly,
  and so, laughing and singing, rides through
  the forest. When she reaches the middle of
  the forest, she meets the Lord Halewyn.

  "'Hail!' said he, approaching her, 'hail,
  beautiful virgin, with eyes so black and brilliant!'

  "They proceed together, chatting as they go.

  "They arrive at a field in which stands a
  gallows. The bodies of several women hang
  from it.

  "The Lord Halewyn says to her: 'As you
  are the loveliest of all virgins, say, how will
  you die? The time is come.'

  "'It is well: as I may choose, I choose the

  "'But, first of all, take off your tunic; for
  the blood of a virgin gushes out so far, that it
  might reach you, and I should be sorry.'

  "But before he had divested himself of his
  tunic, his head rolled off and lay at his feet:
  his lips still murmured these words:

  "'Go down there into that corn-field, and blow
  the horn, so that my friends may hear it.'

  "'Into that corn-field I shall not go, neither
  shall I blow the horn. I do not follow the counsel
  of a murderer.'

  "'Go, then, down under the gallows, and
  gather the balm which you shall find there,
  and spread it over my bloody throat.'

  "'Under the gallows I shall not go; on your
  bloody throat I shall spread no balm. I do
  not follow the counsel of a murderer.'

  "She took up the head by the hair, and
  washed it at a clear fountain.

  "She mounted her charger proudly, and,
  laughing and singing, she rode through the

  "When she reached the middle of the forest,
  she met the mother of Halewyn. 'Beautiful
  virgin, have you not seen my son?'

  "'Your son, the Lord Halewyn, is gone
  hunting: you will never see him again.

  "'Your son, the Lord Halewyn, is dead. I
  have his head in my apron, which is red with
  his blood.'

  "And when she arrived at her father's gate,
  she blew the horn like a man.

  "And when her father saw her, he rejoiced
  at her return.

  "He celebrated it by a feast, and the head
  of Halewyn was placed on the table."

Flemish writers claim as entirely their own that epic of the people,
"Reynard the Fox." Their right to it was long contested; nor has
anything been done since the labors of Willems, who, in opposition to
the opinion of William Grimm, settles the authorship of the "Reinaert
de Vos" on Utenhove, a priest of Aerdenburg. It seems natural to
suppose that this most popular of Middle-Age productions should have
originated in the very region which later gave to the world a school
of painting that incarnated on canvas the phases of animal life,
taking its delight and best inspirations in the burlesque side of
human passions.

In its first period, Flemish literature found some encouragement from
its princes. John I. of Brabant fostered it, and even took, himself,
the title of Flemish Troubadour. Under Guy of Dampierre, who neither
in heart nor mind was sympathetic with the people he ruled, we find
Maerlant, still revered by his country; his name is ever coupled with
the epithet of Father of Flemish Poets. Didactic rather than poetical,
his influence was great in breaking down the barriers which separated
the people from the higher classes, by adapting to their own
home-idiom the best productions of the age. About this period we find
prevalent those Northern singers corresponding to the _Trouvères_,
_Troubadours_, and _Jongleurs_. They are in Flanders the _Spreker_,
_Segger_, and _Vinder_, who, when travelling through the country, took
the name of _Gezel_, received in town or village, court or hamlet, as
the wandering minstrel of the South. The golden age when sovereigns
doffed their royal robes to lay them on the shoulders of some
sweet-singing poet, as the old chronicles tell us, was of short
duration in the North, if ever the _Sproken_ or erotic poems may be
said to have brought their authors into such favor. On the other hand,
we find some of the wanderers arrested for theft and other crimes.

Little light has been thrown on their first ante-historical attempts.
Until the late labors of German philologers, little had been done to
clear up the confusion resting on this period of literary history. As
yet the field has scarcely been explored beyond the regions not
immediately connected with the literature of Germany. We have long
historical poems of little interest, arranged without
order,--interminable productions of thousands and ten thousands of
lines of uncertain date, didactic and encyclopedia-like, besides
unmistakable remnants of a Netherlandish theatre.

The battle of Roosebeke, where the second Artevelde and his companions
succumbed to superior numbers, was the last great enterprise of the
Flemings against the French. Half a century earlier, a strong league
had been formed against these powerful neighbors. In the interior, the
country was divided into factions,--the partisans and enemies of
France. Prominent were the _Clauwaerts_ and the _Leliarts_, from the
lion's claw and the _fleur-de-lis_ which they respectively wore on
their badges. The country, which has ever been one of the
battle-fields of Europe, was abandoned to all the horrors of civil
war. The Duke of Brabant was childless. The Count of Flanders gave his
daughter, his only legitimate child, in marriage to the Duke of
Burgundy; and the provinces soon came into the hands of those
ambitious and restless enemies of the Court of France. It may easily
be imagined that these events were not without their influence on a
language deteriorated on the one hand by constant contact with a
Romanic idiom, and in Holland by the transmission of the sovereign
crown to the House of Avesnes.

The "Chambers of Rhetoric," an institution peculiar to the Low
Countries, reached their highest point of prosperity under the
Burgundian rule. The wandering life of poets and authors had nearly
ceased. The _Gezellen_, settled in towns, and moved by the prevalent
spirit which prompted men of one calling to unite into bodies,
naturally fell into corporations analogous to the Guilds. Without
attaching any very definite or clear idea to the term Rhetoric which
they employed, these associations exerted great influence upon the
whole literature of the Netherlands. Many would date their origin as
far back as the early part of the twelfth century. In Alost, the
Catherinists claimed to have existed as early as 1107, on the mere
strength of their motto, AMOR VINCIT. At any rate, we are left
entirely to conjecture with regard to the first beginnings of these
literary guilds, which seem in many respects an imitation of the
poetical societies of Provence. Every poet of note was a participant
in them. In Flanders there was scarcely a town or village that did not
possess its Chamber. Brabant, Holland, Zealand soon followed in the
movement. One of the principal, the Fountain of Ghent, seems to have
exercised a certain supremacy over the other confraternities of art.

The proceedings of these companies, protected at first by princes,
were carried on with great magnificence. They were in constant
communication with each other throughout the country. Their _facteurs_
or poets composed songs and theatrical pieces, which were performed by
the members. They had a long array of officers, with princely names;
and none was complete without a jester. Their larger assemblies were
accompanied with long festivities, the solemn entry into a town or
village being styled _Landjuweel_ (Landjewel). The nobility mingled in
them, incited by the example of Henry IV. of Brabant or
Philippe-le-Bel. The wealth of the Netherlands was displayed on these
solemnities, and the citizens rivalled their monarchs in magnificence.
The burghers of Ghent and Bruges and Antwerp shone, on these
occasions, in the gaudy pomp of princely patricians. All were invited
to take part and dispute the prizes awarded by fair hands.

It can scarcely be expected that these guilds, composed in many cases
of mechanics, should give rise to works of the highest order of merit.
Their dramatic representations were rather gorgeous than tasteful,
their attempts at wit little better than buffoonery, their humor mere
personal vituperation. Yet even in matters of taste they are not much
inferior to the then more pretentious academies of other lands. It was
an age of long religious dramas, of tortured rhymes and impossible
metres, when strange and new versification imported from France found
favor among a people whose silks and linens and rich tapestries were
destined to reach a wider circulation than all the poetical effusions
of their guilds, the "Lily," the "Violet," and the "Jesus with the
Balsam Flower."

It was Philip the Fair who, wishing to centralize the scattered
efforts of these societies, established at Malines, in 1493, a
sovereign chamber, of which he appointed his chaplain, Pierre Aelters,
_sovereign prince_. With an admixture of religion, in accordance with
the spirit of the Middle Ages, the sacred number was fifteen. There
were fifteen members. Fifteen young girls were to form part of it, in
honor of the fifteen joys of Mary. Fifteen youths were instructed in
the art of rhetoric, and the assemblies were held fifteen times a
year. Charles V. was the last chief of this assembly, which had
previously been removed to Ghent. In 1577 it greeted the arrival of
the Prince of Orange, but this was its last sign of vitality.

The Chambers of Rhetoric reached their climax in a time of
fermentation. The impatience, the feeling of uneasiness and restraint,
is felt in the drama of these days, which was wholly under the control
of the Chambers. The stage, that "mirror of the times," is often the
first manifestation of the unquiet heaving and subsequent up-bubbling
in the fluid compost of the mass that constitutes a nation. When
freely developed, it is the pulse-beat of the people. And so,
throughout the Netherlands, at the end of the fifteenth century and
the beginning of the sixteenth, we find the allegorical drama giving
way to more definite and direct personations. Those cold
representations of vices and virtues, of vice in its nakedness, such
as to render the reading, when not absolutely tedious, distasteful, to
say the least, to our modern ideas,--all such aimless productions were
giving way to the conscious expression of satire. Diatribes against
prevalent abuses, personal invectives scarcely veiled, were fast
becoming the order of the day. It is no wonder, then, that the guilds,
which had found favor formerly, should gradually be crushed, in
proportion as the rulers sought to check the spirit of reform. Among
the authors of this period may be mentioned Everaert and Machet. The
_refrain_ was much cultivated, and not, like the drama, for the
expression of dissatisfaction. Anna Byns, an oracle with the Catholic
party, wrote when the language was in its most degenerate state, under
Margaret of Austria. She was styled the Sappho of Brabant, though her
poems are all religious. They were translated into Latin, and were
read as masterpieces till the middle of the last century.

A taste for religious writing prevailed in the Netherlands throughout
the sixteenth century. William van Zuylen van Nyevelt first published
a collection of the Psalms of David. These, in imitation of the French
Calvinists, were sung to the most popular melodies. Zuylen found many
imitators. The Catholic party composed songs in opposition to the
Reformers; and we have psalms and songs by Utenhove, the painters Luc
de Heere and Van Mander, by Van Haecht and Fruytiers. A long list of
obscure names, if we except those of Marnix and Houwaert, is mentioned
as belonging to this period,--their works mostly didactic or
controversial. Houwaert, a Catholic, one of the avowed friends and
partisans of the Prince of Orange, courted the Muses in the hottest
days of civil strife. He published a poem, in sixteen cantos, entitled
"The Gardens of the Virgins," tending to show the dangers to which the
fair sex is exposed, and condemning as unreal all love not centred in
God. With a remarkable fertility of composition he possesses an
uncommon smoothness of versification, combined with a power, so
successful in his age, of illustration from history or romance, from
the sacred writings or the legendary lore of the people. The work was
received in those days of trouble with unbounded enthusiasm. Brabant
was thought to have given birth to a new Homer. His praises resounded
in verse and song, and the young girls of Brussels crowned him with

The government of the Duke of Alva, and the succeeding years of
revolution, were a period of desolation for Flanders. The Guilds of
Rhetoric were dispersed; town after town was depopulated; Ghent, the
loved city of Charles V., lost six thousand families; Leyden,
Amsterdam, Haerlem, Gouda, afforded refuge to the emigrants. The
golden age of literary activity is about to dawn in the Dutch
republic. In the other provinces the national language is more and
more neglected. It gives umbrage to the foreign chiefs who act as
sovereigns. With it they identify all the opposition that has
prevailed against them. Archduke Albert carries his condescension no
farther than to address in High-German such of his subjects as can
speak only Flemish. His Walloons he treats with no more civility,
answering them but in Spanish or Latin. Ymmeloot, lord of Steenbrugge,
a native of Ypres, endeavors in 1614 to stem the current of opposition
and reawaken a love for letters. He suggests many reforms in the
versification, and gives the example. He is followed by many, and
Ypres becomes for a time a centre of versifiers. But the spirit of
originality has flown, and the literature of Holland is enriched with
the name of many a Fleming who preferred exile to the new rule.

In 1618, the General Synod of Dordrecht decreed that a new translation
of the Bible should be undertaken. Two Flemings, Baudaert and Walaeus,
and two Dutchmen, Bogerman and Hommius, completed it. Like the work of
Luther, this tended in a great measure to fix the language, preventing
the preponderance of one dialect over the other.

Foreign imitation begins to prevail in Flanders. Frederic de Conincq
constructs dramas on the models of Lope de Vega, with the necessary
quota of nocturnal visits, abductions, dagger-thrusts, and bravado. An
action entirely Spanish is conducted in the veriest _patois_ of
Antwerp. Ogier follows in his footsteps, introducing upon the stage
the coarsest language. He represents vice in its most revolting forms.
His theory, as he himself explains it, is, that "it is necessary to
represent vice on the stage, as the Romans formerly on certain days
intoxicated their slaves and showed them to their children, in order
that they might at an early age become inspired with a disgust for
debauchery." Yet his comedies enjoyed the highest favor, and have been
pronounced by native critics among the most remarkable and meritorious
productions of the epoch. They are ever distinguished by vivacity,
truth, and fidelity, in depicting the many-sided life of the people.
He seems to have been a literary Ostade or Teniers, with less of
ingenuousness and good-nature in the portraiture.

In the mean time the French language continues to gain ground every
day. In Brussels, native authors seek in vain to oppose the
encroachments of the "Fransquillon," as Godin first styles them; but,
save the feeble productions of Van der Borcht, the Jesuit Poirtiers,
and the Dominican Vloers, we find but translations and imitations.
Moons versifies some hundreds of fables. A half-sentimental, sickly
style, consisting only of praises, of self-abnegation, of pious
ejaculations, prevails. It is the worst of reactions;--the country,
after its first outburst, had sunk into quietude, the lethargy of

Holland, on the other hand, is active and doing. Its poets and
historians are at work, the precursors of Bilderdyk and Tollens, the
poet of the people. Bruges, in the eighteenth century, produces two
writers of merit,--Smidts and Labare. In French Flanders, De Swaen
adapts from Corneille, and publishes original dramas. Many songs are
composed both in the northern and southern provinces, mostly of a
religious character. Philologers seek to revive the neglected idiom
with little success. But the century is blank of great names. The
Academy of Sciences and Belles-Lettres, established at Brussels by
Maria Theresa, was composed of members totally unacquainted with the
Flemish. It took no notice of the language beyond publishing a few
prize-memoirs in its annals. The German barons who ruled cared little
for their own tongue: how should they have manifested interest in that
of their Belgian subjects? The subsequent French domination was no
improvement. On the 13th of June, 1803, it was decreed by the
Republic,--"In a year, reckoning from the publication of this present
ordinance, the public acts, in the departments once called Belgium,
... in those on the left bank of the Rhine, ... where the custom of
drawing up acts in the language of those countries may have been
preserved, are henceforth to be written in French." The Bonaparte rule
was not of a nature to restore former privileges. In spite of the
feeble remonstrances that were urged against such arbitrary measures,
an imperial decree of 1812 enjoined that all Flemish papers should
appear with a French translation.

Under the rule of King William, vigorous measures were employed to
reinstate the native idiom. At first warmly seconded, Government soon
met with an unaccountable opposition even from its subjects. The Dutch
was combated by those connected with education. It was ridiculed by
the Walloon population. Since the independence of Belgium, the
_mouvement flamand_ has been felt more than once by the would-be
French rulers. In 1841, a Congress was held in Ghent, where all the
members of the Government spoke in Flemish; energetic protests were
addressed to the Chamber of Representatives, all with little avail. At
present, though the language is nominally on a par with French, it
meets with little encouragement. The philological labors of Willems
entitle him to a place among the greatest of the present century; he
was until his death the leader of the intellectual movement of his

Of later authors, we may mention the laureate Ledeganck, Henri
Conscience, whose works have now been translated into English, French,
German, Danish, and Swedish, Renier Snieders, Van Duyse, Dantzenberg.
Modern literature seems to have taken a new flight; it is animated by
the purest love of country, by an ardent desire in its authors to
revive the use of their native tongue. The tendency is rather
Germanic. At the Singers' Festival, held in Ghent a short time ago,
the songs sung breathed a spirit of union and love for the sister
languages. As a fair sample, we may quote the following:--

  "Welaen, Germaen en Belg tezaem ten stryd
    Voor vryheid, tael en vaderland!
  De vaen van't duïtsch en vlaemsche zangverbond
    Prael op't gentsch eeregoud!
  Wy willen vry zyn, als de adelaer
    Die stout op eigen wieken dryft,
  Voor wien er slechts een koestring is, de zon.
    Alom waer der Germanen tael
  Zich heft en bloeid en't volk,
    Daer is ons vaderland!"

       *       *       *       *       *

_The Glaciers of the Alps_. Being a Narrative of Excursions and
Ascents, an Account of the Origin and Phenomena of Glaciers, and an
Exposition of the Physical Principles to which they are related. By
JOHN TYNDALL, F.R.S., etc., etc. With Illustrations. London: John
Murray. 1860. pp. xx., 444.

Our readers are probably aware that the question of the causes of
glacier formation and motion, cool as the subject may seem in itself,
has demonstrated the existence of a great deal of latent heat among
scientific men. In England, the so-called _viscous_ theory of
Professor J.D. Forbes held for a long while undisputed possession of
the field. According to him, "a glacier is an imperfect fluid, or
viscous body, which is urged down slopes of a certain inclination by
the mutual pressure of its parts." With that impartial
superciliousness to all foreign achievement which not seldom
characterizes the British mind, the credit of all the results of
observation and experiment on the glaciers was attributed to Professor
Forbes, who seems to have accepted it with delightful complacency. But
presently doubt, then unbelief, and at last downright opposition began
to show themselves. The leader of the revolt was Professor Tyndall,
whose book is now before us. The controversy has begotten no little
bitterness of feeling; but none is shown in Mr. Tyndall's volume,
which is throughout written in the truest spirit of science,--with the
earnest frankness that becomes a seeker of truth, and the dignity that
befits a lover of it.

Not content with any theoretic antagonism to the Forbes explanation of
the phenomena, Mr. Tyndall devoted all the leisure of several years to
an examination of them on the spot. At the risk of his life, he
verified the previous observations of others and made new ones
himself. At home, he made experiments upon the nature of ice,
especially upon its capacity for regulation and the effect of pressure
upon it. He satisfied himself that snow may be changed to ice by
pressure, that crumbled ice may in like manner be restored to its
original condition, and that solid ice may be forced to take any form
desired. Under proper conditions, lamination may be produced by the
same means. The result of his investigations is, that the glacier is a
solid body, and that _pressure_ answers all the requirements of the
glacier-problem, and is the only thing that will.

The book is one of uncommon interest, and discusses many topics beside
the glaciers, though nothing that is not in some way related to them.
Mr. Tyndall does justice to former investigators,--especially to M.
Rendu, who, though imperfectly supplied with demonstrated facts,
theorized the phenomena with the happiest inspiration,--and to
Agassiz, of whose important observations, establishing for the first
time the fact of more rapid motion in the middle of the glacier,
Professor Forbes had appropriated the credit. The style is remarkably
agreeable, in description vivid, and in its scientific parts clear.
Indeed, we do not know whether we have enjoyed the narrative or the
science the most. Professor Tyndall has the uncommon gift of being
able to write science so that the unscientific can understand it,
without descending to the low level of science made easy. The Royal
Institution may well congratulate itself on having in him a man every
way qualified to succeed Faraday, whenever (and may it be long first!)
his chair is vacant.

       *       *       *       *       *



It seems an odd turn in the kaleidoscope of Fortune that associates a
Prime Minister of the Sandwich Islands--where the only pictorial Art
is a kind of illumination laboriously executed by the natives on each
other's skins, thus forming a free peripatetic gallery--with a
collection of pictures by early Italian masters. It is certainly a
striking illustration of American multifariousness. From the dawning
civilization of Hawaii Mr. Jarves withdraws to Italy, where culture
has passed far beyond its noon, and finds himself equally at home in
both. From Italy he has returned to America with by far the most
important contribution to historical Art that has ever reached us. It
is not easy to overestimate its value, whether intrinsically, or as an
aid to intelligent and refining study. We can hardly expect, it is
true, ever to form such collections of Art in this country as would
save our students the necessity of visiting Europe. This, indeed,
would be hardly desirable; since a great deal of the refining and
enlightening influence of foreign travel and observation is not
received directly from the special objects that may have drawn us
abroad, but incidentally and unexpectedly, by being brought into
contact with strange systems of government and new forms of thought.
But what we might have is such a collection as would enable those of
us who cannot travel to enjoy some of the highest aesthetic advantages
of travel, and would send our students to the galleries of the Old
World already in a condition to appreciate and profit by them. Mr.
Jarves's pictures afford the opportunity for an excellent beginning in
such an undertaking.

Mr. Jarves's object has been to form a gallery that should exhibit the
origin, progress, and culmination of Italian Art from the thirteenth
to the seventeenth century, in such chronological order as should show
the sequence and affiliation of the various schools and the various
motive and inspiration that were operative in them. To quote his own
language, Mr. Jarves began his undertaking with no "expectation of
acquiring masterpieces, or many, if any, of those specimens upon which
the reputation of the great masters is based. These are in the main
either fixtures in their native localities or permanently absorbed
into the great galleries of Europe; and America may scarcely hope ever
to possess such. He did propose, however, to get together a collection
which should _fairly_ represent the varied qualities of the masters
themselves, and the phases of inspiration, religious, aesthetic, or
naturalistic, by which they were actuated. And he claims now to have
succeeded in this to an extent which in the outset he did not dare to
hope, and to have secured for the collection the approving verdict of
European taste and connoisseurship in the recognition of it as a
_valuable historical gallery of original paintings of the epochs and
schools they claim to represent_.

"In putting forward this claim, he does it in full view of the
character of the criticism and doubts such an assumption naturally
begets. The public are right in doubting; and they should not be
convinced except upon sound evidence. Therefore, while he
unhesitatingly claims for the collection the foregoing character, he
expects and invites from the public the fullest measure of impartial
and intelligent criticism.

"The object of the collection is a nucleus for an American Gallery, to
be established in the most fitting place and upon a broad basis,
sufficient to gratify and improve every variety of taste and to
advance the aesthetic culture of the people.

"With this aim, he has declined repeated overtures pecuniarily
advantageous to divert it in whole or part to other purposes; and in
bringing it to America at his own risk and expense, it is solely to
test the disposition of the public to second such a project. If it
meet their approbation, the means best adapted for the purpose are to
be maturely considered; but if otherwise, it is his intention to
return the gallery to Europe.

"It is a simple question, whether, after having had the opportunity of
becoming acquainted with the collection and his object in making it,
the American public will sustain perfect this humble beginning of a
Public Gallery of Art, or abandon the formation of one to future
chances, when the difficulties will be much greater and the
opportunities for success much fewer. It must be considered, that, at
this moment, while genuine works of Art are growing more and more
difficult to be procured, the rivalry of public and private collectors
is rapidly increasing. It is true that the existing great galleries
come into the market only for pictures specially wanted to fill some
important gap in their series, for which they pay prices that would
startle our public economists. America will have to undergo the
competition, even if she now enters this field, of several important
foreign galleries in the process of formation, among which are those
of Manchester, with a subscribed capital, _as a beginning_, of
£100,000; of the Association of St. Petersburg, for the same purpose,
under the patronage of the Imperial Family; and of one even in

Mr. Jarves's collection is not confined by any means to what may be
called the _curiosities_ of Art. It contains one hundred and
twenty-five pictures; and, rich as it is in works that mark the
successive stages of development in Italian painting, it possesses
also specimens of its later and most perfect productions. Examples of
the pure Byzantine bring us to those of the Greco-Italian school, and
these to the early Italian, represented (in its Umbrian branch) by
Cimabue, by Giotto and his followers, the Gaddi, Cavallini, Giottino,
Orgagna, and others; while of the Sienese we have Duccio, Simone di
Martino, and Lorenzetti, with more of less note. Of the Ascetics we
have, among others, Frà Angelico, Castagno, and Giovanni di Paolo. The
Realists are ushered in by Masolino, Masaccio, Filippo Lippi, and go
on in an unbroken series through Botticelli, Filippino Lippi, and
Cosimo Roselli, to Domenico Ghirlandajo, Leonardo, Raffaello, and a
design of Michel Angelo, painted by one of his pupils. Nor does the
succession end here; Andrea del Sarto, R. Ghirlandajo, Vasari,
Bronzino, Pontormo, and others, follow. Of the Religionists, there are
Lorenzo di Credi, Frà Bartolommeo, Perugino, and their scholars. The
progress of landscape, history, and anatomical drawing may be traced
in Paolo Uccello, Dello Delli, Piero di Cosimo, Pinturicchio, the
Pollajuoli, and Luca Signorelli. Here also is Gentile da Fabriano.
Venice gives us G. Bellini, M. Basaiti, Giorgione, and Paul Veronese.
And of the later Sienese, there are Sodoma, Matteo da Siena, and
Beccafumi. The list includes, also, Domenichino, Sebastian del Piombo,
Guido, Salvator Rosa, Holbein, Rubens, and Lo Spagna.

The names we have cited will be enough to show those familiar with the
subject the scope of the collection and its value as a consecutive
series, embracing a period which few galleries in any country cover so
completely, since few have been gathered on any historical plan.

The chief question, of course, is as to the authenticity of the
pictures. This cannot be decided till they are exhibited and Mr.
Jarves's proofs are before the public. It is mainly to be decided on
internal evidence, and it is on such evidence that a great part of the
very early pictures in foreign collections have been labelled with the
names of particular artists. The weight of such evidence is to be
determined by the judgment of experts, and we are informed that Mr.
Jarves has a mass of testimony from those best qualified to decide in
such cases,--among it that of Sir Charles Eastlake, M. Rio, and the
directors of the two great public galleries of Florence. After all,
however, this appears to us a matter of secondary consequence. If the
pictures are genuine productions of the periods they are intended to
illustrate, if they are good specimens of their several schools of
Art, the special names of the artists who may have painted them are a
matter of less concern. The money-value of the collection might be
lessened without affecting its worth in other more considerable
respects, as an illustration of the rise and progress of the most
important school of modern Art.

Every year it becomes more difficult to obtain pictures of the class
of which Mr. Jarves's collection is mainly composed. The directors of
European galleries have become alive to their value, and are sparing
no effort to fill the _lacuna_ left by the more strictly _virtuoso_
taste of a former generation. As far as the general public is
concerned, such pictures must, no doubt, create the taste by which
they will be appreciated. The style of the more archaic ones among
them may be easily ridiculed, and the cry of Pre-Raphaelitism may be
turned against them; but we should not forget that these earlier
efforts, however they might fail in grace of treatment and ease of
expression, are sincere and genuine products of their time, and very
different in spirit and character from the productions of the modern
school, which aims to reproduce a phase of Art when the thought and
faith that animated it are gone past recall.

Mr. Jarves is desirous that the gallery should remain in his native
city of Boston, and to that end is willing to part with it on very
generous terms. We cannot but hope that there will be taste and public
spirit enough to realize his design. By the side of the Museum of
Natural History under the charge of Agassiz, we should like to see one
of Art that would supply another great want in our culture. The Jarves
Collection gives the opportunity for a most successful beginning, and
we trust it will not be allowed to follow the Ninevite Marbles.

       *       *       *       *        *



Rosa; or the Parisian Girl. From the French of Madame de Pressensé. By
Mrs. J.C. Fletcher. New York. Harper & Brothers. 18mo. pp. 371. 60

The Sunny South; or the Southerner at Home. Embracing Five Years'
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Chapters on Wives. By Mrs. Ellis, Author Of "Mothers of Great Men."
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The Political Text-Book for 1860. Comprising a Brief View of
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