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Title: The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 06, No. 38, December, 1860
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 06, No. 38, December, 1860" ***

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38, DECEMBER, 1860***





Speak of the relations between the United States and the Barbary
Regencies at the beginning of the century, and most of our countrymen
will understand the War with Tripoli. Ask them about that Yankee crusade
against the Infidel, and you will find their knowledge of it limited to
Preble's attack. On this bright spot in the story the American mind is
fixed, regardless of the dish we were made to eat for five-and-twenty
years. There is also current a vague notion, which sometimes takes the
shape of an assertion, that we were the first nation who refused to pay
tribute to the Moorish pirates, and thus, established a now principle in
the maritime law of the Mediterranean. This, also, is a patriotic
delusion. The money question between the President and the Pacha was
simply one of amount. Our chief was willing to pay anything in reason;
but Tripolitan prices were too high, and could not be submitted to.

The burning of the Philadelphia and the bombardment of Tripoli are much
too fine a subject for rhetorical pyrotechnics to have escaped lecturers
and orators of the Fourth-of-July school. We have all heard, time and
again, how Preble, Decatur, Trippe, and Somers cannonaded, sabred, and
blew up these pirates. We have seen, in perorations glowing with pink
fire, the Genius of America, in full naval uniform, sword in hand,
standing upon a quarter-deck, his foot upon the neck of a turbaned Turk,
while over all waves the flag of Freedom.

The Moorish sketch is probably different. In it, Brother Jonathan must
appear with his liberty-cap in one hand and a bag of dollars in the
other, bowing humbly before a well-whiskered Mussulman, whose shawl is
stuck full of poniards and pistols. The smooth-faced unbeliever begs
that his little ships may be permitted to sail up and down this coast
unmolested, and promises to give these and other dollars, if his
Highness, the Pacha, will only command his men to keep the peace on the
high-seas. This picture is not so generally exhibited here; but it is
quite as correct as the other, and as true to the period.

The year after Preble's recall, another New-England man, William Eaton,
led an army of nine Americans from Egypt to Derne, the easternmost
province of Tripoli,--a march of five hundred miles over the Desert. He
took the capital town by storm, and would have conquered the whole
Regency, if he had been supplied with men and money from our fleet.
"Certainly," says Pascal Paoli Peek, a non-commissioned officer of
marines, one of the nine, "certainly it was one of the most
extraordinary expeditions ever set on foot." Whoever reads the story
will be of the same opinion as this marine with the wonderful name.
Never was the war carried into Africa with a force so small and with
completer success. Yet Eaton has not had the luck of fame. He was nearly
forgotten, in spite of a well-written Life by President Felton, in
Sparks's Collection, until a short time since; when he was placed before
the public in a somewhat melodramatic attitude, by an article in a New
York pictorial monthly. It is not easy to explain this neglect. We know
that our Temple of Fame is a small building as yet, and that it has a
great many inhabitants,--so many, indeed, that worthy heroes may easily
be overlooked by visitors who do not consult the catalogue. But a man
who has added a brilliant page to the _Gesta Dei per Novanglos_ deserves
a conspicuous niche. A brief sketch of his doings in Africa will give a
good view of the position of the United States in Barbary, in the first
years of the Republic.

Sixty years ago, civilized Europe not only tolerated the robbery, the
murder, and the carrying into captivity of her own people, but actually
recognized this triple atrocity as a privilege inherent to certain
persons of Turkish descent and Mahometan religion inhabiting the
northern coast of Africa. England or France might have put them down by
a word long before; but, as the corsairs chiefly ravaged the defenceless
coasts of Sardinia, Sicily, and Naples, the two great powers had no
particular interest in crushing them. And there was always some jealous
calculation of advantage, some pitiful project of turning them to future
account, which prevented decisive action on the part of either nation.
Then the wars which followed the French Revolution kept Europe busy at
home and gave the Barbary sailors the opportunity of following their
calling for a few years longer with impunity. The English, with large
fleets and naval stations in the Mediterranean, had nothing to fear from
them, and were, probably, not much displeased with the contributions
levied upon the commerce of other nations. Barbary piracy was a
protective tax in favor of British bottoms. French merchantmen kept at
home. Spain, Sweden, Denmark, and Holland tried to outbid one another
for the favor of the Dey, Bey, and Pacha, and were robbed and enslaved
whenever it suited the interests of their Highnesses. The Portuguese
kept out of the Mediterranean, and protected their coast by guarding the
Straits of Gibraltar.

Not long before the French Revolution, a new flag in their waters had
attracted the greedy eyes of the Barbarians. When they learned that it
belonged to a nation thousands of miles away, once a colony of England,
but now no longer under her protection, they blessed Allah and the
Prophet for sending these fish to their nets; and many Americans were
made to taste the delights of the Patriarchal Institution in the
dockyards of Algiers. As soon as the Federal Government was fairly
established, Washington recommended to Congress to build a fleet for the
protection of citizens in the Mediterranean. But the young nation needed
at first all its strength to keep itself upright at home; and the
opposition party professed a theory, that it would be safer and cheaper
for the United States to give up ships altogether, and to get other
people to carry for them. Consequently the plan of negotiating was
resorted to. Agents were sent to Algiers to ransom the captives and to
obtain a treaty by presents and the payment of a fixed tribute. Such a
treaty was made in the summer of 1796. In March of the succeeding year,
the Dey showed so much ill-temper at the backwardness of our payments,
that Joel Barlow, the American Commissioner, thought it necessary to
soothe his Highness by the promise of a frigate to be built and equipped
in the United States. Thus, with Christian meekness, we furnished the
Mussulman with a rod for our own backs. These arrangements cost the
United States about a million of dollars, all expenses included.

Having pacified Algiers, Mr. Barlow turned his attention to Tunis.
Instead of visiting the Bey in person, he appointed a European merchant,
named Famin, residing in Tunis, agent to negotiate a treaty for the
United States. Of Famin Mr. Barlow knew nothing, but considered his
French birth and the recommendation of the French Consul for Algiers
sufficient proofs of his qualifications. Besides attending to his own
trade, Monsieur Famin was in the habit of doing a little business for
the Bey, and took care to make the treaty conform to the wishes of his
powerful partner. The United States were to pay for the friendship and
forbearance of Tunis one hundred and seven thousand dollars in money,
jewels, and naval stores. Tunisian cargoes were to be admitted into
American ports on payment of three per cent; the same duty to be levied
at Tunis on American shipments. If the Bey saluted an American
man-of-war, he was to receive a barrel of powder for every gun fired.
And he reserved the right of taking any American ship that might be in
his harbor into his service to carry despatches or a cargo to any port
in the Mediterranean.

When the treaty reached the United States, the Senate refused to ratify
it. President Adams appointed Eaton, formerly a captain in the army,
Consul for Tunis, with directions to present objections to the articles
on the tariff, salutes, and impressment of vessels. Mr. Cathcart, Consul
for Tripoli, was joined with him in the commission. They sailed in the
United States brig Sophia, in December, 1798, and convoyed the ship Hero
laden with naval stores, an armed brig, and two armed schooners. These
vessels they delivered to the Dey of Algiers "for arrearages of
stipulation and present dues." The offerings of his Transatlantic
tributaries were pleasing to the Dey. He admitted the Consuls to an
audience. After their shoes had been taken en off at the door of the
presence-chamber, they were allowed to advance and kiss his hand. This
ceremony over, the Sophia sailed for Tunis.

Here the envoys found a more difficult task before them. The Bey had
heard of the ships and cargoes left at Algiers, and asked at once, Where
were all the good things promised to him by Famin? The Consuls presented
President Adam's letter of polite excuses, addressed to the Prince of
Tunis, "the well-guarded city, the abode of felicity." The Bey read it,
and repeated his question,--"Why has the Prince of America not sent the
hundred and seven thousand dollars?" The Consuls endeavored to explain
the dependence of their Bey on his Grand Council, the Senate, which
august body objected to certain stipulations in Famin's treaty. If his
Highness of Tunis would consent to strike out or modify these articles,
the Senate would ratify the treaty, and the President would send the
money as soon as possible. But the Bey was not to be talked over; he
refused to be led away from the main question,--"Where are the money,
the regalia, the naval stores?" He could take but one view of the case:
he had been trifled with; the Prince of America was not in earnest.

Monsieur Famin, who found himself turned out of office by the
Commissioners, lost no opportunity of insinuating that American promises
were insincere, and any expectations built upon them likely to
prove delusive.

After some weeks spent in stormy negotiations, this modification of the
articles was agreed upon. The duty might be three or three hundred per
cent., if the Consuls wished it, but it should be reciprocal. The Bey
refused to give up the powder: fifteen barrels of powder, he said, might
get him a prize worth a hundred thousand dollars; but salutes were not
to be fired, unless demanded by the Consul on the part of the United
States. The Bey also persisted in his intention of pressing American
vessels into his service; but he waived this claim in the case of
national ships, and promised not to take merchantmen, if he could
possibly do without them.

Convinced that no better terms could be obtained, Cathcart sailed for
Tripoli, to encounter fresh troubles, leaving Eaton alone to bear the
greediness and insolence of Tunis. The Bey and his staff were legitimate
descendants of the two daughters of the horse-leech; their daily cry
was, "Give! give!" The Bey told Eaton to get him a frigate like the one
built for the Algerines.

"You will find I am as much to be feared as they. Your good faith I do
not doubt," he added, with a sneer, "but your presents have been

"But your Highness, only a short time since, received fifty thousand
dollars from the United States."

"Yes, but fifty thousand dollars are nothing, and you have since altered
the treaty; a new present is necessary; this is the custom."

"Certainly," chorused the staff; "and it is also customary to make
presents to the Prime Minister and to the Secretary every time the
articles are changed, and also upon the arrival of a new Consul."

To carry out this doctrine, the Admiral sent for a gold-headed cane, a
gold watch, and twelve pieces of cloth. The Prime Minister wanted a
double-barreled gun and a gold chain. The Aga of the Port said he would
be satisfied with some thing in the jewelry-line, simple, but rich.
Officials of low rank came in person to ask for coffee and sugar. Even
his Highness condescended to levy small contributions. Hearing that
Eaton had a Grecian mirror in his house, he requested that it might be
sent to decorate the cabin of his yacht.

As month after month passed, and no tribute-ship arrived, the Bey's
threats grew louder and more frequent. At last he gave orders to fit out
his cruisers. Eaton sent letters of warning to the Consuls at Leghorn
and Gibraltar, and prepared to strike his flag. At the last moment the
Hero sailed into port, laden with naval stores such as never before had
been seen in Tunis. The Bey was softened. "It is well," he said; "this
looks a Lotte more like truth; but the guns, the powder, and the jewels
are not on board."

A letter from Secretary Pickering instructed Eaton to try to divert the
Bey's mind from the jewels; but if that were impossible, to order them
in England, where they could be bought more cheaply; and to excuse the
delay by saying "that the President felt a confidence, that, on further
reflection upon all circumstances in relation to the United States, the
Bey would relinquish this claim, and therefore did not give orders to
provide the present." As the jewels had been repeatedly promised by the
United States, this weak attempt to avoid giving them was quite
consistent with the shabby national position we had taken In the
Mediterranean. It met with the success it deserved. The Bey was much too
shrewd a fellow, especially in the matter of presents, to be imposed
upon by any such Yankee pretences. The jewels were ordered in London,
and, as compensation for this new delay, the demand for a frigate was
renewed. After nearly two years of anxiety, Eaton could write home that
the prospects of peace were good.

His despatches had not passed the Straits when the Pacha of Tripoli sent
for Consul Cathcart, and swore by "Allah and the head of his son," that,
unless the President would give him two hundred and fifty thousand
dollars for a new treaty, and an annual subsidy of twenty thousand, he
would declare war against the United States.

These two years of petty humiliations had exasperated Eaton's bold and
fiery temper. He found some relief in horse-whipping Monsieur Famin, who
had been unceasing in his quiet annoyances, and in writing to the
Government at home despatches of a most undiplomatic warmth and
earnestness. From the first, he had advised the use of force. "If you
would have a free commerce in those seas, you must defend it. It is
useless to buy a peace. The more you give, the more the Turks will ask
for. Tribute is considered an evidence of your weakness; and contempt
stimulates cupidity. _Qui se fait brebis, le loup le mange_. What are
you afraid of? The naval strength of the Regencies amounts to nothing.
If, instead of sending a sloop with presents to Tunis, you will consign
to me a transport with a thousand trusty marines, well officered, under
convoy of a forty-four-gun frigate, I pledge myself to surprise Porto
Farina and destroy the Bey's arsenal. As to Tripoli, two frigates and
four gun-boats would bring the Pacha to terms. But if you yield to his
new demands, you must make provision to pay Tunis double the amount, and
Algiers in proportion. Then, consider how shameful is your position, if
you submit. 'Tributary to the pitiful sand-bank of Tripoli?' says the
world; and the answer is affirmative, without a blush. Habit reconciles
mankind to everything, even humiliation, and custom veils disgrace. But
what would the world say, if Rhode Island should arm two old
merchantmen, put an Irish renegade into one and a Methodist preacher in
another, and send them to demand a tribute of the Grand Seignior? The
idea is ridiculous; but it is exactly as consistent as that Tripoli
should say to the American nation,--'Give me tribute, or tremble under
the chastisement of my navy!'"

This was sharp language for a Consul to hold to a Secretary of State;
but it was as meekly borne as the other indignities which came
from Barbary.

An occurrence in Algiers completes the picture of "Americans in the
Mediterranean" in the year 1800. In October, the United States ship
Washington, Captain Bainbridge, lay in that port, about to sail for
home. The Dey sent for Consul O'Brien, and laid this alternative before
him: either the Washington should take the Algerine Ambassador to
Constantinople, or he, the Dey, would no longer hold to his friendship
with the United States. O'Brien expostulated warmly, but in vain. He
thought it his duty to submit. The Ambassador, his suite, amounting to
two hundred persons, their luggage and stores, horses, sheep, and horned
cattle, and their presents to the Sultan, of lions, tigers, and
antelopes, were sent on board. The Algerine flag was hoisted at the
main, saluted with seven guns, and the United States ship Washington
weighed anchor for Constantinople.

Eaton's rage boiled over when he heard of this freak of the Dey. He
wrote to O'Brien,--"I frankly own, I would have lost the peace, and been
myself impaled, rather than have yielded this concession. Will nothing
rouse my country?"[1]

When the news reached America, Mr. Jefferson was President. He was not
roused. He regretted the affair; but hoped that time, and a more correct
estimate of interest, would produce justice in the Dey's mind; and he
seemed to believe that the majesty of pure reason, more potent than the
music of Orpheus,

     "Dictas ob hoc lenire tigres, rabidosque

would soften piratical Turks. Mr. Madison's despatch to O'Brien on the
subject is written in this spirit. "The sending to Constantinople the
national ship-of-war, the George Washington, by force, under the
Algerine flag, and for such a purpose, has deeply affected the
sensibility, not only of the President, but of the people of the United
States. Whatever temporary effects it may have had favorable to our
interest, the indignity is of so serious a nature, _that it is not
impossible that it may be deemed necessary, on a fit occasion, to revive
the question._ Viewing it in this light, the President wishes that
nothing may be said or done by you that may unnecessarily preclude the
competent authority from animadverting on that transaction in any way
that a vindication of the national honor may be thought to prescribe."

Times have changed since then, and our national spirit with them. The
Secretary's Quaker-like protest offers a ludicrous contrast to the
wolf-to-lamb swagger of our modern diplomacy. What faithful Democrat of
1801 would have believed that the day would come of the Kostza affair,
of the African right-of-search quarrel, the Greytown bombardment, and
the seizure of Miramon's steamers?

It is clear that our President and people were in no danger of being led
into acts of undue violence by "deeply affected sensibility" or the
"vindication of the national honor," when a violent blow aimed by the
Pacha of Tripoli at their Mediterranean trade roused them to a show of
self-defence. Early in May he declared war against the United States,
although Consul Cathcart offered him ten thousand dollars to leave the
American flag-staff up for a short time longer. Even then, if Mr.
Jefferson could have consulted no one but himself, not a ship would have
sailed from these shores. But the merchants were too powerful for him;
they insisted upon protection in the Mediterranean. A squadron of three
frigates and a sloop under Commodore Dale was fitted out and despatched
to Gibraltar; and the nations of the earth were duly notified by our
diplomatic agents of our intentions, that they might not be alarmed by
this armada.

In June of this year a fire broke out in the palace at Tunis, and fifty
thousand stand of arms were destroyed. The Bey sent for Eaton; he had
apportioned his loss among his friends, and it fell to the United States
to furnish ten thousand stand without delay.

"It is only the other day," said Eaton, "that you asked for eighty
twenty-four pounders. At this rate, when are our payments to have
an end?"

"Never," was the answer. "The claims we make are such as we receive from
all friendly nations, every two or three years; and you, like other
Christians, will be obliged to conform to it."

Eaton refused to state the claim to his Government. The Bey said, Very
well, he would write himself; and threatened to turn Eaton out of
the Regency.

At this juncture Commodore Dale arrived at Gibraltar. The Bey paid us
the compliment of believing that he had not been sent so far for
nothing, and allowed Eaton a few months' respite.

Now was the time to give the Turks their lesson; but Dale's hands were
tied by his orders. Mr. Jefferson's heart was not in violent methods of
dealing with his fellow-men in Barbary. He thought our objects might be
accomplished by a display of force better and more cheaply than by
active measures. A dislike of naval war and of public expenditure[2]
made his constitutional conscience, always tender, very sensitive on
this question of a cruise against Tripoli. Fearful lest our young
sailors should go too far, he instructed the Commodore not to overstep
the strict line of defence. Hence, when Sterret, in the Enterprise,
captured a Tripolitan schooner, after a brisk engagement, he disarmed
and dismantled her, and left her, with the survivors of her crew on
board, to make the best of their way home again. Laymen must have found
it difficult, even in 1801, to discover the principle of this delicate
distinction between killing and taking prisoners; but it was "according
to orders." Commodore Dale returned home at the end of the year, having
gathered few African laurels; Commodore Morris came out the next season
with a larger fleet, and gathered none at all.

There is no better established rule, in commencing hostilities, public
or private, than this: If you strike at all, strike with all your might.
Half-measures not only irritate, they encourage. When the Bey of Tunis
perceived that Dale did little and Morris less, he thought he had
measured exactly the strength of the United States navy, and had no
reason to feel afraid of it. His wants again became clamorous, and his
tone menacing. The jewels arrived from England in the Constellation, but
did not mollify him.

"Now," said he, "I must have a thirty-six-gun frigate, like the one you
sent to the Dey of Algiers."

Eaton protested that there was no frigate in the treaty, and that we
would fight rather than yield to such extortion.

The Prime Minister blew a cloud from his pipe. "We find it all puff; we
see how you carry on the war with Tripoli."

"But are you not ashamed to make this demand, when you have just
received these valuable jewels?"

"Not at all. We expected the full payment of peace stipulations in a
year. You came out with nothing, and three years have elapsed since you
settled the treaty. We have waited all this time, but you have made us
no consideration for this forbearance. Nor have we as yet received any
evidence of the veritable friendship of the Prince of America,
notwithstanding the repeated intimations we have given him that such an
expression of his sincerity would be agreeable to us. His Excellency, my
master, is a man of great forbearance; but he knows what steps to take
with nations who exhaust his patience with illusive expressions of

Eaton answered, angrily, that the Bey might write himself to the
President, if he wanted a frigate. For his part, he would never transmit
so outrageous a demand. "Then," retorted the Bey, "I will send you home,
and the letter with you."

The letter was composed by the dragoman and forwarded to the United
States, but Eaton was allowed to remain.

Disgusted with the shameful position of our affairs in the
Mediterranean, Eaton requested Mr. Madison to recall him, unless more
active operations against the enemy should be resolved upon. "I can no
longer talk of resistance and coercion," he wrote, "without exciting a
grimace of contempt and ridicule ... The operations of our squadron this
season have done less than the last to aid my efforts. Government may as
well send out Quaker meeting-houses to float about this sea as frigates
with ------ in command ... If further concessions are to be made here, I
desire I may not be the medium through whom they shall be presented. Our
presents show the Bey our wealth and our weakness and stimulate his
avarice to new demands."

The display of latent force by the United States fleet, from which our
Government had expected so much, increased the insolence of the Bey of
Tunis to such a point that Eaton was obliged to withdraw from his post,
and a new war seemed inevitable. The Americans had declared Tripoli
blockaded; but, as their ships were seldom on the coast, little
attention was paid to them. It happened, however, that a Tunisian
vessel, bound for Tripoli, was captured when attempting to enter the
harbor, and declared a prize. Shortly after, Commodore Morris anchored
off Tunis and landed to visit the Consul. The Bey, who held the correct
doctrine on the subject of paper blockades, pronounced the seizure
illegal and demanded restitution. During his stay on shore, the
Commodore had several interviews with the Bey's commercial agent in
relation to this prize question. The behavior of that official was so
offensive that the Commodore determined to go on board his ship without
making the usual farewell visit at Court. As he was stepping into his
boat from the mole, he was arrested by the commercial agent for a debt
of twenty-two thousand dollars, borrowed by Eaton to assist Hamet
Caramanli in his expedition against Tripoli. Eaton remonstrated
indignantly. He alone was responsible for the debt; he had given
abundant security, and was willing to pay handsomely for further
forbearance. In vain; the agent would take nothing but the money. Eaton
hurried to the palace to ask the Bey if this arrest was by his order.
The Bey declined to answer or to interfere. There was no help for it;
the Commodore was caught. To obtain permission to embark, he was obliged
to get the money from the French Consul-General, and to promise
restitution of the captured vessel and cargo. As soon as he was at
liberty, the Commodore, accompanied by Eaton, went to the palace to
protest against this breach of national hospitality and insult to the
flag. Eaton's remarks were so distasteful to the Bey that he ordered him
again to quit his court,--this time peremptorily,--adding, that the
United States must send him a Consul "with a disposition more congenial
to Barbary interests."

Eaton arrived in Boston on the 5th of May, 1803. The same season Preble
sailed into the Mediterranean, with the Constitution, "a bunch of pine
boards," as she was then called in derision, poorly fitted out, and
half-manned; and with three other vessels in no better condition. But
here, at last, was a captain whom no cautious or hesitating instructions
could prevent from doing the work set before him to the best of his
ability. Sword in hand, he maintained the principle of "Death before
tribute," so often and so unmeaningly toasted at home; and it was not
his fault, if he did not establish it. At all events, he restored the
credit of our flag in the Mediterranean.

When the news reached home of the burning of the Philadelphia, of the
attack of the fireships, and of the bombardment of Tripoli, the blood of
the nation was up. Arch-democratic scruples as to the expediency,
economy, or constitutionality of public armed ships were thenceforth
utterly disregarded. Since then, it has never been a question whether
the United States should have a navy or not. To Preble fairly belongs
the credit of establishing it upon a permanent footing, and of heading
the roll of daring and skilful officers the memory of whose gallantry
pervades the service and renders it more effective than its ships
and its guns.

The Administration yielded to the popular feeling, and attempted to
claim for themselves the credit of these feats of arms, which they had
neither expected nor desired. A new fleet was fitted out, comprising our
whole navy except five ships. Here again the cloven foot became visible.
Preble, who had proved himself a captain of whom any nation might be
proud, was superseded by Commodore Barron, on a question of seniority
etiquette, which might have been easily settled, had the Government so
wished it.

Eaton had spent a year at home, urging upon the authorities, whenever
the settlement of his accounts took him to Washington, more effective
measures against Tripoli,--and particularly an alliance with Hamet
Caramanli, the Ex-Pacha, who had been driven from his throne by his
brother Jusuf, a much more able man. In spite of his bitter flings at
their do-nothing policy, the Administration sent him out in the fleet,
commissioned as General Agent for the Barbary Regencies, with the
understanding that he was to join Hamet and assist him in an attack upon
Derne. His instructions were vague and verbal; he had not even a letter
to our proposed ally. Eaton was aware of his precarious position; but
the hazardous adventure suited his enterprising spirit, and he
determined to proceed in it. "If successful, for the public,--if
unsuccessful, for myself," he wrote to a friend, quoting from his
classical reminiscences; "but any personal risk," he added, with a
rhetorical flourish, "is better than the humiliation of treating with a
wretched pirate for the ransom of men who are the rightful heirs
of freedom."

He sailed in the John Adams, in June, 1804. The President, Congress,
Essex, and Constellation were in company. On the 5th of September the
fleet anchored at Malta. In a few weeks the plan of the expedition was
settled, and the necessary arrangements made, with the consent and under
the supervision of Barron. Eaton then went on board the United States
brig Argus, Captain Isaac Hull, detached specially on this service by
the Commodore, and sailed for Alexandria, to hunt up Hamet and to
replace him upon a throne.

On the 8th of December, Eaton and his little party, Lieutenant Blake,
Midshipmen Mann and Danielson, of the navy, and Lieutenant O'Bannon of
the marines, arrived in Cairo. Here they learned that Hamet had taken
service with the rebel Mamlouk Beys and was in command of an Arab force
in Upper Egypt. A letter from Preble to Sir Alexander Ball insured the
Americans the hearty good wishes of the English. They were lodged in the
English house, and passed for United States naval officers on a
pleasure-trip. In this character they were presented to the Viceroy by
Dr. Mendrici, his physician, who had known Eaton intimately in Tunis,
and was much interested in this enterprise. The recommendation of the
Doctor obtained a private audience for Eaton. He laid his plans frankly
before his Highness, who listened favorably, assured him of his
approval, and ordered couriers to be sent to Hamet, bearing a letter of
amnesty and permission to depart from Egypt.

The messengers returned with an answer. The Ex-Pacha was unwilling to
trust himself within the grasp of the Viceroy; he preferred a meeting at
a place near Lake Fayoum, (Maeris,) on the borders of the Desert, about
one hundred and ninety miles from the coast. Regardless of the danger of
travelling in this region of robbery and civil war, Eaton set off at
once, accompanied by Blake, Mann, and a small escort. After a ride of
seventy miles, they fell in with a detachment of Turkish cavalry, who
arrested them for English spies. This accident they owed to the zeal of
the French Consul, M. Drouette, who, having heard that they were on good
terms with the English, thought it the duty of a French official to
throw obstacles in their way. Luckily the Turkish commandant proved to
be a reasonable man. He listened to their story and sent off a courier
to bring Hamet to them. The Pacha soon arrived. He expressed an entire
willingness to be reinstated upon his throne by the Americans, and to do
what he could for himself with his followers and friendly Arab tribes in
the province of Derne. In case of success, he offered brilliant
advantages to the United States. A convention was drawn up in this
sense, signed by him as legitimate Pacha of Tripoli, and by Eaton, as
agent for the United States.

The original plan was to proceed to Derne in the Argus; but the Turkish
Governor of Alexandria refused to permit so large a force to embark at
that port; and Hamet himself showed a strong disinclination to venture
within the walls of the enemy. The only course left was to march over
the Desert. Eaton adopted it with his usual vigor. The Pacha and his men
were directed to encamp at the English cut, between Aboukir Bay and Lake
Mareotis. Provisions were bought, men enlisted, camels hired, and a few
Arabs collected together by large promises and small gifts. The party,
complete, consisted of the Americans already mentioned, Farquhar, an
Englishman, Pascal Paoli Peck, whose name we take pleasure in writing
again, with six men of his corps, twenty-five artillery-men of all
nations, principally Levanters, and thirty-eight Greeks. The followers
of the Pacha, hired Arabs, camel-drivers, servants, and vagabonds, made
up their number to about four hundred.

On the 8th of March, 1805, Eaton advanced into the Desert westward,
towards the famous land of Cyrene, like Aryandes the Persian, and Amrou,
general of the Caliph Omar. The little army marched along slowly, "on
sands and shores and desert wildernesses," past ruins of huge
buildings,--relics of three civilizations that had died out,--mostly
mere stones to Eaton, whose mind was too preoccupied by his wild
enterprise to speculate much on what others had done there before him.
Want of water, scarcity of provisions, the lazy dilatoriness of the
Arabs, who had never heard of the American axiom, "Time is money," gave
him enough to think of. But worse than these were the daily outbreaks of
the ill-feeling which always exists between Mussulman and Christian. The
Arabs would not believe that Christians could be true friends to
Mussulmans. They were not satisfied with Eaton's explanations of the
similarity between the doctrines of Islam and of American, but tried
again and again to make him repeat the soul-saving formula, "_Allah
Allah Mohammed ben Allah_", and thus at once prove his sincerity and
escape hell. The Pacha himself, an irresolute, weak man, could not quite
understand why these infidels should have come from beyond the seas to
place him upon a throne. A suspicion lurked in his heart that their real
object was to deliver him to his brother as the price of a peace, and
any occurrence out of the daily routine of the march brought this
unpleasant fancy uppermost in his thoughts. On one point the Mahometan
mind of every class dwelt alway,--"How could Allah permit these dogs,
who followed the religion of the Devil, to possess such admirable
riches?" The Arabs tried hard to obtain a share of them. They yelped
about the Americans for money, food, arms, and powder. Even the brass
buttons of the infidels excited their cupidity.

Eaton's patience, remarkable in a man of his irascible temper, many
promises, and a few threats, kept the Crescent and the Cross moving on
together in comparative peace until the 8th of April. On that day and
outbreak of ill-temper occurred so violent that the two parties nearly
came to blows. Turks were drawn up on one side, headed by
Hamet,--Americans on the other, with the Greeks and Levanters. Swords
were brandished and muskets pointed, and much abuse discharged. Nothing
but the good sense of one of the Pacha's officers and Eaton's cool
determination prevented the expedition from destroying itself on
the spot.

Peace was at last restored, and kept until the 15th, when the army
reached the Gulf of Bomba. In this bay, known to the ancients as the
Gulf of Plataea, it is said that the Greeks landed who founded the
colony of Cyrene. Eaton had written to Captain Hull to meet him here
with the Argus, and, relying upon her stores, had made this the place of
fulfilment of many promises. Unfortunately, no Argus was to be seen. Sea
and shore were as silent and deserted as when Battus the Dorian first
saw the port from his penteconters, six hundred years or more before
Christ. A violent tumult arose. The Arabs reproached the Americans
bitterly for the imposture, and declared their intention of deserting
the cause immediately. Luckily, before these wild allies had departed, a
sail appeared upon the horizon; they were persuaded to wait a short time
longer. It was the Argus. Hull had seen the smoke of their fires and
stood in. He anchored before dark; provisions were sent on shore; and
plenty in the camp restored quiet and discipline.

On the 23d they resumed their march, and on the 25th, at two in the
afternoon, encamped upon a hill overlooking the town of Derne. Deserters
came in with the information that two-thirds of the inhabitants were in
favor of Hamet; but that Hassan Bey, the Governor, with eight hundred
fighting-men, was determined to defend the place; Jusuf had sent fifteen
hundred men to his assistance, who were within three days' march.
Hamet's Arabs seized upon this opportunity to be alarmed. It became
necessary to promise the chiefs two thousand dollars before they would
consent to take courage again.

Eaton reconnoitred the town. He ascertained that a ten-inch howitzer on
the terrace of the Governor's house was all he had to fear in the way of
artillery. There were eight nine-pounders mounted on a bastion looking
seaward, but useless against a land-attack. Breastworks had been thrown
up, and the walls of houses loopholed for musketry.

The next day, Eaton summoned Hassan to surrender the place to his
legitimate sovereign, and offered to secure him his present position in
case of immediate submission.. The flag was sent back with the answer,
"My head or yours!" and the Bey followed up this Oriental message by
offering six thousand dollars for Eaton's head, and double the sum, if
he were brought in alive.

At six o'clock on the morning of the 27th, the Argus, Nautilus, and
Hornet stood in, and, anchoring within a hundred yards of the battery,
silenced it in three-quarters of an hour. At the same time the town was
attacked on one side by Hamet, and on the other by the Americans. A hot
fire of musketry was kept up by the garrison. The Greek artillery-men
shot away the rammer of their only field-piece, after a few discharges,
rendering the gun useless. Finding that a number of his small party were
falling, Eaton ordered a charge, and led it. Dashing through a volley of
bullets, the Christians took the battery in flank, carried it, planted
the American flag, and turned the guns upon the town. Hamet soon cut his
way to the Bey's palace, and drove him to sanctuary to escape being
taken prisoner. After a lively engagement of two hours and a half, the
allies had complete possession of the town. Fourteen of the Christians
had been killed or wounded, three of them American marines. Eaton
himself received a musket-ball in his wrist.

The Ex-Pacha had scarcely established himself in his new conquest before
Jusuf's army appeared upon the hills near the town. Hassan Bey succeeded
in escaping from sanctuary, and took the command. After several
fruitless attempts to buy over the rebel Arabs, the Bey, on the 13th of
May, made a sudden attack upon the quarter of the town held by Hamet's
forces, and drove all before him as far as the Governor's house; but a
few volleys from the nine-pounders sent him and his troops back at full
speed. Hamet's cavalry pursued, and cut down a great many of them. This
severe lesson made the Bey cautious. Henceforward he kept his men in the
hills, and contented himself with occasional skirmishing-parties.

After this affair numerous Arabs of rank came over, and things looked
well for the cause of the legitimate Pacha. Eaton already fancied
himself marching into Tripoli under the American flag, and releasing
with his own hands the crew of the Philadelphia. He wrote to Barron of
his success, and asked for supplies of provisions, money, and men. A few
more dollars, a detachment of marines, and the fight was won. His answer
was a letter from the Commodore, informing him, "that the reigning Pacha
of Tripoli has lately made overtures of peace, which the Consul-General,
Colonel Lear, has determined to meet, viewing the present moment
propitious to such a step." With the letter came another from Lear,
ordering Eaton to evacuate Derne. Eaton sent back an indignant
remonstrance, and continued to hold the town. But on the 11th of June
the Constellation came in, bringing the news of the conclusion of peace,
and of the release of the captives, upon payment of sixty thousand
dollars. Colonel Lear wrote, that, by an article of the treaty, Hamet's
wife and children would be restored to him, on condition of his leaving
the Regency. No other provision was made for him.

When the Ex-Pacha (Ex for the third time) heard that thenceforth he
must depend upon his own resources, he requested that he might be taken
off in the Constellation, as his life would not be safe when his
adherents discovered that his American friends had betrayed him, Eaton
took every precaution to keep the embarkation a secret, and succeeded in
getting all his men safely on board the frigate. He then, the last of
the party, stepped into a small boat, and had just time to save his
distance, when the shore was crowded with the shrieking Arabs. Finding
the Christians out of their reach, they fell upon their tents and
horses, and swept away everything of value.

It was a rapid change of scene. Six hours before, the little American
party held Derne triumphantly against all comers from Jusuf's dominions,
and Hamet had prospects of a kingdom. Now he was a beggar, on his way to
Malta, to subsist there for a time on a small allowance from the United
States. Even his wife and children were not to be restored to him; for,
in a secret stipulation with the Pacha, Lear had waived for four years
the execution of that article of the treaty. The poor fellow had been
taken up as a convenience, and was dropped when no longer wanted. But he
was only an African Turk, and, although not black, was probably dark
enough in complexion to weaken his claims upon the good feeling and the
good faith of the United States.

Eaton arrived at home in November of the same year,[3] disgusted with
the officers, civil and naval, who had cut short his successful
campaign, and had disregarded, as of no importance, the engagements he
had contracted with his Turkish ally. His report to the Secretary of the
Navy expressed in the most direct language his opinion of the treaty and
his contempt for the reasons assigned by Lear and Barron for their
sudden action. The enthusiastic welcome he received from his countrymen
encouraged his dissatisfaction. The American people decreed him a
triumph after their fashion,--public dinners, addresses of
congratulation, the title of Hero of Derne. He had shown just the
qualities mankind admire,--boldness, tenacity, and dashing courage. Few
could be found who did not regret that Preble had not been there to help
him onward to Tripoli and to a peace without payments. And as Eaton was
not the man to carry on a war, even of words, without throwing his whole
soul into the conflict, he proclaimed to all hearers that the Government
was guilty of duplicity and meanness, and that Lear was a compound of
envy, treachery, and ignorance.

But this violence of language recoiled upon himself,--

     "And so much injured more his side,
     The stronger arguments he applied."

The Administration steadily upheld Lear; and good Democrats, who saw
every measure refracted through the dense medium of party-spirit, of
course defended their leaders, and took fire at Eaton's overbearing
manner and insulting intolerance of their opinions. Thus, although the
general sentiment of the country was strongly in his favor, at
Washington he made many enemies. A resolution was introduced into the
House of Representatives to present him with a medal, or with a sword;
it was violently opposed by John Randolph and others, postponed from
time to time, and never passed. Eaton received neither promotion, nor
pecuniary compensation, nor an empty vote of thanks. He had even great
delay and difficulty in obtaining the settlement of his accounts[4] and
the repayment of the money advanced by him.

Disappointment, debt, and hard drinking soon brought Eaton's life to a
close. He died in obscurity in 1811. Among his papers was found a list
of officers who composed a Court Martial held in Ohio by General St.
Clair in 1793. As time passed, he had noted in the margin of the paper
the fate of each man. All were either "Dead" or "Damned by brandy." His
friends might have completed the melancholy roll by writing under his
name the same epitaph.

However wrong Eaton may have been in manners and in morals, he seems to
have been right in complaining of the treatment he received from the
Administration. The organs of the Government asserted that Eaton had
exceeded his instructions, and had undertaken projects the end of which
could not be foreseen,--that the Administration had never authorized
any specific engagement with Hamet, an inefficient person, and not at
all the man he was supposed to be,--and that the alliance with him was
much too expensive and dangerous to justify its further prosecution.
Unfortunately for this view of the case, the dealings of the United
States with Hamet dated back to the beginning of the war with Tripoli. A
diversion in his favor was no new project, but had been considered for
more than three years. Eaton and Cathcart had recommended it in 1801,
and Government approved of the plan. In 1802, when Jusuf Pacha offered
Hamet the Beyship of Benghazi and Derne, to break up these negotiations,
the United States Consuls promised him Jusuf's throne, if he would
refuse the offer, and threatened, if he accepted it, to treat him as an
enemy, and to send a frigate to prevent him from landing at Derne.
Later, when the Bey of Tunis showed some inclination to surrender Hamet
to his brother, the Consuls furnished him with the means of escape to
Malta. In 1803, he crossed over to Derne in an English brig, hoping to
receive assistance from the American fleet; but Commodore Morris left
him to his own resources; he was unable to hold his ground, and fled to
Egypt. All this was so well known at home, that members of the
Opposition in Congress jokingly accused the Administration of
undertaking to decide constitutional questions for the people
of Tripoli.

Before the news of this flight into Egypt reached the United States,
Eaton had been instructed by the President to take command of an
expedition on the coast of Barbary in connection with Hamet. It had been
determined to furnish a few pieces of field-artillery, a thousand stand
of arms, and forty thousand dollars as a loan to the Pretender. But when
the President heard of Hamet's reverses, he withheld the supplies, and
sent Eaton out as "General Agent for the several Barbary States,"
without special instructions. The Secretary of the Navy wrote at the
same time to Commodore Barron:--"With respect to the Ex-Bashaw of
Tripoli, we have no objection to your availing yourself of his
cooperation with you against Tripoli, if you shall, upon a full view of
the subject, after your arrival upon the station, consider his
cooperation expedient. The subject is committed entirely to your
discretion. In such an event, you will, it is believed, find Mr. Eaton
extremely useful to you."

After Commodore Barron had reached his station, he did consider the
"coöperation" expedient; and ordered Hull in the Argus to Alexandria
with Eaton in search of Hamet, "the legitimate sovereign of the
reigning Bashaw of Tripoli." If Eaton succeeded in finding the Pacha,
Hull was to carry him and his suite to Derne, "or such other place as
may be determined the most proper for coöperating with the naval force
under my command against the common enemy ... You may assure the Bashaw
of the support of my squadron at Benghazi or Derne, and that I will take
the most effectual measures with the forces under my command for
cooperating with him against the usurper his brother, and for
reëstablishing him in the Regency of Tripoli. Arrangements to this
effect with him are confided to the discretion with which Mr. Eaton is
vested by the Government."

It would seem from these extracts that Eaton derived full authority from
Barron to act in this matter, independently of his commission as
"General Agent." We do not perceive that he exceeded a reasonable
discretion in the "arrangements" made with Hamet. After so many
disappointments, the refugee could not be expected to leave a
comfortable situation and to risk his head without some definite
agreement as to the future; and the convention made with him by Eaton
did not go beyond what Hamet had a right to demand, or the instructions
of the Commodore,--even in Article II., which was afterward particularly
objected to by the Government. It ran thus:--

"The Government of the United States shall use their utmost exertions,
so far as comports with their own honor and interest, their subsisting
treaties, and the acknowledged law of nations, to reëstablish the said
Hamet Bashaw in the possession of his sovereignty of Tripoli against the
pretensions of Joseph Bashaw," etc.

We should add, that Hamet, to satisfy himself of the truth of Eaton's
representations, sent one of his followers to Barron, who confirmed the
treaty; and that the Commodore, when he received Eaton's despatch,
announcing his departure from Aboukir, wrote back a warm approval of his
energy, and notified him that the Argus and the Nautilus would be sent
immediately to Bomba with the necessary stores and seven thousand
dollars in money. Barron added,--"You may depend upon the most active
and vigorous support from the squadron, as soon as the season and our
arrangements will permit us to appear in force before the
enemy's walls."

So much for Eaton's authority to pledge the faith of the United States.
As to the question of expense: the whole cost of the expedition, up to
the evacuation of Derne, was thirty-nine thousand dollars. Eaton
asserted, and we see no reason to doubt his accuracy, that thirty
thousand more would have carried the American flag triumphantly into
Tripoli. Lear paid sixty thousand for peace.

Hamet was set on shore at Syracuse with thirty followers. Two hundred
dollars a month were allowed him for the support of himself and of them,
until particular directions should be received from the United States
concerning him. He wrote more than once to the President for relief,
resting his claims upon Eaton's convention and the letter of the
Secretary of State read to him by Consul Cathcart in 1802. In this
letter, the Secretary declared, that, in case of the failure of the
combined attack upon Derne, it would be proper for our Government "to
restore him to the situation from, which he was drawn, or to make some
other convenient arrangement that may be more eligible to him." Hamet
asked that at least the President would restore to him his wife and
family, according to the treaty, and send them all back to Egypt. "I
cannot suppose," he wrote, "that the engagements of an American agent
would be disputed by his Government, ... or that a gentleman has pledged
towards me the honor of his country on purpose to deceive me."

Eaton presented these petitions to the President and to the public, and
insisted so warmly upon the harsh treatment his ally had received from
the United States, that two thousand four hundred dollars were sent to
him in 1806, and again, in 1807, Davis, Consul for Tripoli, was directed
to insist upon the release of the wife and children. They were delivered
up by Jusuf in 1807, and taken to Syracuse in an American sloop-of-war.
Here ended the relations of the United States with Hamet Caramanli.[5]

Throughout this whole African chapter, the darling economy of the
Administration was a penny-wise policy which resulted in the usual
failure. Already in 1802, Mr. Gallatin reported that two millions and a
half, in round numbers, had been paid in tribute and presents. The
expense of fitting out the four squadrons is estimated by Mr. Sabine at
three millions and a half. The tribute extorted after 1802 and the cost
of keeping the ships in the Mediterranean amount at the lowest estimate
to two millions more. Most of this large sum might have been saved by
giving an adequate force and full powers to Commodore Dale, who had
served under Paul Jones, and knew how to manage such matters.

Unluckily for their fame, the Administration was equally parsimonious in
national spirit and pluck, and did their utmost to protect themselves
against the extravagance of such reckless fellows as Preble, Decatur,
and Eaton. In the spring of 1803, while Preble was fitting out his
squadron, Mr. Simpson, Consul at Tangier, was instructed to buy the
good-will of the Emperor of Morocco. He disobeyed his instructions, and
the Emperor withdrew his demands when he saw the American ships. About
the same time, the Secretary of State wrote to Consul Cathcart in
relation to Tripoli:--

"It is thought best that you should not be tied down to a refusal of
presents, whether to be included in the peace, or to be made from time
to time during its continuance,--especially as in the latter case the
title to the presents will be a motive to its continuance,--to admit
that the Bashaw shall receive in the first instance, including the
consular present, the sum of $20,000, and at the rate afterwards of
$8,000 or $10,000 a year ... The presents, whatever the amount or
purpose of them, (except the consular present, which, as usual, may
consist of jewelry, cloth, etc.,) must be made in money and not in
stores, to be biennial rather than annual; _and the arrangement of the
presents is to form no part of the public treaty, if a private promise
and understanding can be substituted._"

After notifying Cathcart of his appointment to Tunis, the Secretary
directs him to evade the thirty-six-gun frigate, and to offer the Bey
ten thousand dollars a year for peace, to be arranged in the same
underhand way.

Tripoli refused the money; it was not enough. The Bey of Tunis rejected
both the offer and the Consul. He wrote to Mr. Jefferson that he
considered some of Cathcart's expressions insulting, and that he
insisted upon the thirty-six-gun frigate. Mr. Jefferson answered on the
27th of January, 1804, after he knew of the insult to Morris and of the
expulsion of Eaton. Beginning with watery generalities about "mutual
friendships and the interests arising out of them," he regretted that
there should be any misconception of his motives on the part of the Bey.
"Such being our regard for you, it is with peculiar concern I learn from
your letter that Mr. Cathcart, whom I had chosen from a confidence in
his integrity, experience, and good dispositions, has so conducted
himself as to incur your displeasure. In doing this, be assured he has
gone against the letter and spirit of his instructions, which were, that
his deportment should be such as to make known my esteem and respect for
your character both personal and public, and to cultivate your
friendship by all the attentions and services he could render.... In
selecting another character to take the place of Mr. Cathcart, I shall
take care to fix on one who, I hope, will better fulfil the duties of
respect and esteem for you, and who, in so doing only, will be the
faithful representative and organ of our earnest desire that the peace
and friendship so happily subsisting between the two countries may be
firm and permanent."

Most people will agree with Eaton, that "the spirit which dictated this
answer betrays more the inspiration of Carter's Mountain[6] than of
Bunker Hill."

Lear, who was appointed Consul-General in 1803, was authorized by his
instructions to pay twenty thousand dollars down and ten thousand a year
for peace, and a sum not to exceed five hundred dollars a man
for ransom.

When Barron's squadron anchored at Malta, Consul O'Brien came on board
to say that he had offered, by authority, eight thousand dollars a year
to Tunis, instead of the frigate, and one hundred and ten thousand to
Tripoli for peace and the ransom of the crew of the Philadelphia, and
that both propositions had been rejected.

Finally, after fitting out this fourth squadron, at an expense of one
million five hundred and seventy thousand dollars, and with Eaton in
possession of Derne, the Administration paid sixty thousand dollars for
peace and ransom, when Preble, ten months previously, could have
obtained both for one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Thus they
spent two millions to save ninety thousand, and left the principle of
tribute precisely where it was before.

What makes this business still more remarkable is, that the
Administration knew from the reports of our consuls and from the
experience of our captains that the force of the pirates was
insignificant, and that they were wretched sailors and poor shots.
Sterret took a Tripolitan cruiser of fourteen guns after an engagement
of thirty minutes; he killed or wounded fifty of her crew, and did not
lose a man, nor suffer any material damage in his hull or rigging. There
was no one killed on the American side when Decatur burned the
Philadelphia. The Constitution was under the fire of the Tripolitan
batteries for two hours without losing a man, and was equally fortunate
when she ran in a second time and lay within musket-shot of the mole,
exposed to the fire of the enemy for three-quarters of an hour. These
Tripolitan batteries mounted one hundred and fifteen guns. Three years
later, Captain Ichabod Sheffield, of the schooner Mary Ann, furnished in
person an example of the superiority of the Yankee over the Turk. Consul
Lear had just given forty-eight thousand dollars to the Dey of Algiers,
in full payment of tribute "up to date." Nevertheless, the Mary Ann, of
and from New York to Leghorn, was seized in the Straits of Gibraltar by
an Algerine corsair. A prize-crew of nine Turks was sent on board; the
captain, two men, and a boy left in her to do the work; she was ordered
to Algiers; and the pirate sailed away. Having no instructions from
Washington, Sheffield and his men determined to strike a blow for
liberty, and fixed upon their plan. Algiers was in sight, when Sheffield
hurled the "grains" overboard, and cried that he had struck a fish. Four
Turks, who were on deck, ran to the side to look over. Instantly the
Americans threw three of them into the sea. The others, hearing the
noise, hurried upon deck. In a hand-to-hand fight which followed two
more were killed with handspikes, and the remaining four were
overpowered and sent adrift in a small boat. Sheffield made his way,
rejoicing, to Naples. When the Dey heard how his subjects had been
handled, he threatened to put Lear in irons and to declare war. It cost
the United States sixteen thousand dollars to appease his wrath.

The cruise of the Americans against Tripoli differed little, except in
the inferiority of their force, from numerous attacks made by European
nations upon the Regencies. Venice, England, France, had repeatedly
chastised the pirates in times past. In 1799, the Portuguese, with one
seventy-four-gun ship, took two Tripolitan cruisers, and forced the
Pacha to pay them eleven thousand dollars. In 1801, not long before our
expedition, the French Admiral Gaunthomme over-hauled two Tunisian
corsairs in chase of some Neapolitan vessels. He threw all their guns
overboard, and bade them beware how they provoked the wrath of the First
Consul by plundering his allies. But all of them left, as we did, the
principle of piracy or payments as they found it. At last this evil was
treated in a manner more creditable to civilization. In 1812, the
Algerines captured an American vessel, and made slaves of the crew.
After the peace with England, in 1815, Decatur, in the Guerrière, sailed
into the Mediterranean, and captured off Cape de Gat, in twenty-five
minutes, an Algerine frigate of forty-six guns and four hundred men. On
board the Guerrière, four were wounded, and no one killed. Two days
later, off Cape Palos, he took a brig of twenty-two guns and one hundred
and eighty men. He then sailed into the harbor of Algiers with his
prizes, and offered peace, which was accepted. The Dey released the
American prisoners, relinquished all claims to tribute in future, and
promised never again to enslave an American. Decatur, on our part,
surrendered his prizes, and agreed to consular presents,--a mitigated
form of tribute, similar in principle, but, at least, with another name.
From Algiers he went to Tunis, and demanded satisfaction of that Regency
for having permitted a British man-of-war to retake in their port two
prizes to Americans in the late war with England. The Bey submitted, and
paid forty-six thousand dollars. He next appeared before Tripoli, where
he compelled the Pacha to pay twenty-six thousand dollars, and to
surrender ten captives, as an indemnity for some breaches of
international law. In fifty-four days he brought all Barbary to
submission. It is true, that, the next spring, the Dey of Algiers
declared this treaty null, and fell back upon the time-honored system of
annual tribute. But it was too late. Before it became necessary for
Decatur to pay him another visit, Lord Exmouth avenged the massacre of
the Neapolitan fishermen at Bona by completely destroying the fleet and
forts of Algiers, in a bombardment of seven hours. Christian prisoners
of every nation were liberated in all the Regencies, and the
slave-system, as applied to white men, finally abolished.

Preble, Eaton, and Decatur are our three distinguished African officers.
As Barron's squadron did not fire a shot into Tripoli, indeed never
showed itself before that port, to Eaton alone belongs the credit of
bringing the Pacha to terms which the American Commissioner was willing
to accept. The attack upon Derne was the feat of arms of the fourth
year, and finished the war.

Ours is not a new reading of the earlier relations of the United States
with the Barbary powers. The story can be found in the Collection of
State Papers, and more easily in the excellent little books of Messrs.
Sabine and Felton. But a "popular version" despises documents. Under
the pressure of melodrama, history will drift into Napoleon's "fable
agreed upon"; and if it be true, as Emerson says, that "no anchor, no
cable, no fence, avail to keep a fact a fact," it is not at all likely
that a paper in a monthly magazine will do it.

       *       *       *       *       *


I have always worked in the carpet-factories. My father and mother
worked there before me and my sisters, as long as they lived. My sisters
died first;--the one, I think, out of deep sorrow; the other from
too much joy.

My older sister worked hard, knew nothing else but work, never thought
of anything else, nor found any joy in work, scarcely in the earnings
that came from it. Perhaps she pined for want of more air, shut up in
the rooms all day, not caring to find it in walking or in the fields, or
even in books. Household-work awaited her daily after the factory-work,
and a dark, strange religion oppressed and did not sustain her, Sundays.
So we scarcely wondered when she died. It seemed, indeed, as if she had
died long ago,--as if the life had silently passed away from her,
leaving behind a working body that was glad at last to find a rest it
had never known before.

My other sister was far different. Very much younger, not even a shadow
of the death that had gone before weighed heavily upon her. Everybody
loved her, and her warm, flashing spirit that came out in her sunny
smile. She died in a season of joy, in the first flush of summer. She
died, as the June flowers died, after their happy summer-day of life.

At last I was left alone, to plod the same way, every night and
morning,--out with the sunrise from the skirts of the town, over the
bridge across the stream that fell into our great river which has worked
for us so long, to the tall, grim factory-building where my work awaited
me, and home again at night. I lived on in the house we all of us had
lived in. At first it was alone in the wood. But the town crept out to
meet it, and soon but little woodland was left around it. "Gloomy
Robert" they called me, as I walked back and forth upon the same track,
seldom lifting my head to greet friend or stranger. Though I walked over
well-known ground, my thoughts were wandering in strange romances. My
evening-readings furnished the land I lived in,--seldom this Western
home, but the East, from Homer's time to the days of Haroun Alraschid. I
was so faithful at my work that my responsibilities were each year
increased; and though my brain lived in dreams, I had sufficient use of
it for my little needs each day. I never forgot to answer the wants of
the greedy machines while I was within sound of them; but away from them
I forgot all external sight and sound. I can remember in my boyhood once
I was waked from my reveries. I was walking beneath a high stone-wall,
with my eyes and head bent down as usual, when I was roused by a shower
of rose-buds that fell over my shoulders and folded arms. I heard
laughter, and looked up to see a childish face with sunny, golden curls
tumbling over it; and a surprised voice cried out, "Gloomy Robert is
looking up!" The picture of the face hung in my memory long after, with
the sound of the happy voice, as though it came out of another world.
But it remained only a picture, and I never asked myself whether that
sunny face ever made any home happy, nor did I ever listen for that
voice again from behind the high stone-wall.

Many years of my life passed away. There were changes in the factories.
The machines grew more like human beings, and we men could act more like
machines. There were fewer of us needed; but I still held my place, and
my steadiness gave me a position.

One day, in the end of May, I was walking early in the morning towards
the factories, as usual, when suddenly there fell across my path a
glowing beam of sunshine that lighted up the grass before me. I stopped
to see how the green blades danced in its light, how the sunshine fell
down the sloping, bank across the stream below. Whirring insects seemed
to be suddenly born in its beam. The stream flowed more gayly, the
flowers on its brim were richer in color. A voice startled me. It was
only that of one of my fellow-workmen, as he shouted, "Look at Gloomy
Robert!--there's a sunbeam in his way, and he stumbles over it!" It was
really so. I had stumbled over a beam of sunlight. I had never observed
the sunshine before. Now, what life it gave, as it gleamed under the
trees! I kept on my way, but the thought of it followed me all up the
weary stairs into the high room where the great machines were standing
silently. Suddenly, after my work began, through a high narrow window
poured a strip of sunshine. It fell across the colored threads which
were weaving diligently their work. This day the work was of an
unusually artistic nature. We have our own artists in the mills, artists
who must work under severe limitations. Within a certain space their
fancy revels, and then its lines are suddenly cut short. Nature scatters
her flowers as she pleases over the field, does not measure her groups
to see that they stand symmetrically, nor count her several daisies that
they may be sure to repeat themselves in regular order. But our artist
must fit his stems to certain angles so that their lines may be
continuous, constantly repeating themselves, the same group recurring,
yet in a hidden monotony.

My pattern of to-day had always pleased me, for we had woven many yards
of it before,--the machines and I. There were rich green leaves and
flowers, gay flowers that shone in light and hid themselves in shade,
and I had always admired their grace and coloring. To-day they had
seemed to me cold and dusky. All my ideas that I had gained from
conventional carpet-flowers, which, woven almost beneath my hand, had
seemed to rival Nature's, all these ideas had been suddenly swept away.
My eyes had opened upon real flowers waving in real sunshine; and my
head grew heavy at the sound of the clanking machine weaving out yards
of unsunned flowers. If only that sunshine, I thought, would light up
these green leaves, put a glow on these brilliant flowers, instead of
this poor coloring which tries to look like sunshine, we might rival
Nature. But the moment I was so thinking, the rays of sunlight I have
spoken of fell on the gay threads. They seemed, before my eyes, to seize
upon the poor yellow fibres which were trying to imitate their own glow,
and, winding themselves round them, I saw the shuttle gather these rays
of sunlight into the meshes of its work. I was to stand there till noon.
So, long before I left, the gleam of sunshine had left the narrow window
and was hidden from the rest of the long room by the gray stone-walls of
another building which rose up outside. But as long as they lingered
over the machine that I was watching, I saw, as though human fingers
were placing them there, rays of sunlight woven in among the green
leaves and brilliant flowers.

After that gleam had gone, my work grew dark and dreary, and, for the
first time, my walls seemed to me like prison-walls. I longed for the
end of my day's work, and rejoiced that the sun had not yet set when I
was free again. I was free to go out across the meadows, up the hills,
to catch the last rays of sunset. Then coming home, I stooped to pick
the flowers which grew by the wayside in the waning light.

All that June which followed, I passed my leisure hours and leisure days
in the open air, in the woods. I chased the sunshine from the fields in
under the deep trees, where it only flickered through the leaves. I
hunted for flowers, too, beginning with the gay ones which shone with
color. I wondered how it was they could drink in so much of the sun's
glow. Then I fell to studying all the science of color and all the
theories which are woven about it. I plunged into books of chemistry,
to try to find out how it was that certain flowers should choose certain
colors out from the full beam of light. After the long days, I sat late
into the night, studying all that books could tell me. I collected
prisms, and tried, in scattering the rays, to learn the properties of
each several pencil of light. I grew very wise and learned, but never
came nearer the secret I was searching for,--why it was that the Violet,
lying so near the Dandelion, should choose and find such a different
dress to wear. It was not the rarer flowers that I brought home, at
first. My hands were filled with Dandelions and Buttercups. The
Saint-John's-Wort delighted me, and even the gaudy Sunflower. I trained
the vines which had been drooping round our old house,--the gray
time-worn house; the "natural-colored house," the neighbors called it. I
thought of the blind boy who fancied the sound of the trumpet must be
scarlet, as I trained up the brilliant scarlet trumpet-flower which my
sister had planted long ago.

So the summer passed away. My companions and neighbors did not wonder
much, that, after studying so many books, I should begin to study
flowers and botany. And November came. My occupation was not yet taken
away, for Golden-Rod and the Asters gleamed along the dusty roadside,
and still underneath the Maples there lay a sunny glow from the yellow
leaves not yet withered beneath them.

One day I received a summons from our overseer, Mr. Clarkson, to visit
him in the evening. I went, a little disturbed, lest he might have some
complaint to make of the engrossing nature of my present occupations.
This I was almost led to believe, from the way in which he began to
speak to me. His perorations, to be sure, were apt to be far wide of his
subject; and this time, as usual, I could allow him two or three
minutes' talk before it became necessary for me to give him my

At last it came out. I was wanted to go up to Boston about a marvellous
piece of carpet which had appeared from our mills. It had lain in the
warehouse some time, had at last been taken to Boston, and a large
portion of it had been sold, the pattern being a favorite one. But
suddenly there had been a change. In opening one of the rolls and
spreading it broadly in the show-room of Messrs. Gobelin's warehouse, it
had appeared the most wonderful carpet that ever was known. A real
sunlight gleamed over the leaves and flowers, seeming to flicker and
dance among them as on a broad meadow. It shed a radiance which paled
the light that struggled down between the brick walls through the high
windows. It had been subject of such wonder that Messrs. Gobelin had
been obliged to ask a high price of admission for the many that flocked
to see it. They had eagerly examined the other rolls of carpeting, in
the hope of finding a repetition of the wonder, and were inclined at one
time to believe that this magical effect was owing to a new method of
lighting their apartments. But it was only in this beautiful pattern and
through a certain portion of it that this wonderful appearance was
shown. Some weeks ago they had sent to our agent to ask if he knew the
origin of this wonderful tapestry. He had consulted with the designer of
the pattern, who had first claimed the discovery of the combination of
colors by which such an effect was produced, but he could not account
for its not appearing throughout the whole work. My master had then
examined some of the workmen, and learned, in the midst of his
inquiries, what had been my late occupations and studies.

"If," he continued, "I had been inclined to apply any of my discoveries
to the work which I superintended, he was willing, and his partners were
willing, to forgive any interference of that sort, of mine, in affairs
which were strictly their own, as long as the discoveries seemed of so
astonishing a nature."

I am not able to give all our conversation. I could only say to my
employer, that this was no act of mine, though I felt very sure that
the sunshine which astonished them in Messrs. Gobelin's carpet-store was
the very sunbeam that shone through the window of the factory on the
27th of May, that summer. When he asked me what chemical preparation
could insure a repetition of the same wonderful effect, I could only
say, that, if sunlight were let in upon all the machines, through all
the windows of the establishment, a similar effect might be produced. He
stared at me. Our large and substantial mill was overshadowed by the
high stone-walls of the rival company. It had taken a large amount of
capital to raise our own walls; it would take a still larger to induce
our neighbors to remove theirs. So we parted,--my employer evidently
thinking that I was keeping something behind, waiting to make my profit
on a discovery so interesting to him. He called me back to tell me,
that, after working so long under his employ, he hoped I should never be
induced by higher wages or other proffers to leave for any rival

I was not left long in quiet. I received a summons to Boston. Mr.
Stuart, the millionnaire, had bought the wonderful carpet at an immense
price. He had visited our agent himself, had invited the designer to
dinner, and now would not be satisfied until I had made him a visit
in Boston.

I went to his house. I passed up through broad stairways, and over
carpets such as I had never trod nor woven. I should have liked to
linger and satisfy my eyes with looking at the walls decorated with
paintings, and at the statuary, which seemed to beckon to me like moving
figures. But I passed on to the room where Mr. Stuart and his friends
awaited me. Here the first thing that struck me was the glowing carpet
across which I must tread. It was lying in an oval saloon, which had
been built, they told me, for the carpet itself. The light was admitted
only from the ceiling, which was so decorated that no clear sunlight
could penetrate it; but down below the sunbeams lay flickering in the
meadow of leaves, and shed a warm glow over the whole room.

But my eyes directly took in many things besides the flowery ground
beneath me. At one end of the room stood a colossal bust of Juno,
smiling grandly and imperturbably, as if she were looking out from the
great far-away past. I think this would have held my looks and my
attention completely, but that Mr. Stuart must introduce me to his
friends. So I turned my glance away; but it was drawn directly towards a
picture which hung before me,--a face that drove away all recollection
of the colossal goddess. The golden hair was parted over a broad brow;
from the gentle, dreamy eyes there came a soft, penetrating glance, and
a vagueness as of fancy rested over the whole face. I scarcely heard a
word that was spoken to me as I looked upon this new charm, and I could
hardly find answers for the questions that surrounded me.

But I was again roused from my dreamy wonderment by a real form that
floated in and sent away all visions of imagination. "My daughter," said
Mr. Stuart, and I looked up into the same dreamy eyes which had been
winning me in the picture. But these looked far beyond me, over me,
perhaps, or through me,--I could scarcely say which,--and the mouth
below them bent into a welcoming smile. While she greeted the other
guests, I had an opportunity to watch the stately grace of Mr. Stuart's
daughter, who played the part of hostess as one long accustomed to it.

"A queen!" I had exclaimed to myself, as she entered the room, "and my

The gentlemen to whom I had been introduced had been summoned earlier,
as in a learned committee, discussing the properties of the new
discovery. After the entrance of the ladies, I was requested to lead
Miss Stuart to dinner, and sat by her side through the clanging of
dishes and a similar clangor of the table-talk of tongues.

"Speaking of light," said the Professor, turning to me, "why cannot you
bring, by your unknown chemical ways, some real sunlight into our rooms,
in preference to this metallic gas-light?"

I turned to the windows, before which the servant had just drawn the
heavy, curtains still closer, to shut out the gleams of a glowing sunset
which had ventured to penetrate between its folds.

"I see your answer," said Miss Stuart. "You wonder, as I do, why a
little piece of artificial sunlight should astonish us so much more than
the cheap sunlight of every day which the children play in on
the Common."

"I think your method, Mr. Desmond," said the Chemist, "must be some
power you have found of concentrating all the rays of a pencil of light,
disposing in some way of their heating power. I should like to know if
this is a fluid agent or some solid substance."

"I should like to see," interrupted another gentleman, "the anvil where
Mr. Desmond forges his beams. Could not we get up a party, Miss Stuart,
an evening-party, to see a little bit of sunlight struck out,--on a
moonshiny night, too?"

"In my lectures on chemistry," began Mr. Jasper. He was interrupted by
Mr. Stuart.

"You will have to write your lectures over again. Mr. Desmond has
introduced such new ideas upon chemistry that he will give you a chance
for a new course."

"You forget," said the Chemist, "that the laws of science are the same
and immutable. My lectures, having once been written, are written. I
only see that Mr. Desmond has developed theories which I have myself
laid down. As our friend the Artist will tell us, sunlight is sunlight,
wherever you find it, whether you catch it on a carpet or on a
lady's face."

"But I am quite ashamed," said Miss Stuart, "that we ladies so seldom
have the sunlight on our faces. I think we might agree to Mr. Green's
proposal to go out somewhere and see where the sunbeams really are made.
We shut them out with our curtains, and turn night into a
make-believe day."

"But the sun is so trying!" put in Miss Lester. "Just think how much
more becoming candle-light is! There is not one of my dresses which
would stand a broad sunbeam."

"I see," said Mr. Stuart, "that, when Mr. Desmond has perfected his
studies, we shall be able to roof over the whole of Boston with our
woven sunlight by day and gas-light by night, quite independent of fogs
and uncertain east-winds."

So much of the dinner-conversation dwelt upon what was supposed to be
interesting to me, and a part of my profession. It was laggingly done;
for presently the talk fell into an easier flow,--a wonder about Mrs.
This, and speculation concerning Mr. That. Mr. Blank had gone to Europe
with half his family, and some of them knew why he had taken the four
elder children, and others wondered why he had left the rest behind. I
was talked into a sort of spasmodic interest about a certain Maria, who
was at the ball the night before, but could not be at the dinner to-day.
In an effort to show me why she would be especially charming to me, her
personal appearance, the style of her conversation and dress, her manner
of life, all were pulled to pieces, and discussed, dissected, and
classified, in the same way as I would handle one of the Composite.

Miss Stuart spoke but little. She fluttered gayly over the livelier
conversation, but seemed glad to fall back into a sort of wearied
repose, where she appeared to be living in a higher atmosphere than the
rest of us. This air of repose the others seemed to be trying to reach,
when they got no farther than dulness; and some of the gentlemen, I
thought, made too great efforts in their attempts to appear bored.
Especially one of them exerted himself greatly to gape so often in the
face of a lady with whom he was striving to keep up an appearance of
conversation, that the exertion itself must have wearied him.

After the ladies had left, the Chemist seated himself by me, that he
might, as he openly said, get out of me the secret of my sunshine. The
more I disowned the sunshine, the more he felt sure that I possessed
some secret clue to it. I need not say, that, in all my talk with these
gentlemen, I had constantly tried to show that I could claim no
influence in setting the sun's rays among the green carpeted leaves.

I was urged to stay many days in Boston, was treated kindly, and invited
here and there. I grew to feel almost at home at Mr. Stuart's. He was
pleased to wonder at the education which I had given myself, as he
called it. I sat many long mornings in Miss Stuart's drawing-room, and
she had the power of making me talk of many things which had always been
hidden even from myself. It was hardly a sympathy with me which seemed
to unlock my inner thoughts; it was as though she had already looked
through them, and that I must needs bring them out for her use. That
same glance which I have already spoken of, which seemed to pass over
and through me, invited me to say in words what I felt she was beginning
to read with her eyes. We went together, the day before I was to leave
town, to the Gallery of Paintings.

As we watched a fine landscape by Kensett, a stream of sunshine rested a
moment on the canvas, giving motion and color, as it were, to the
pictured sunlight.

Miss Stuart turned to me.

"Why will you not imprison sunlight in that way, Mr. Desmond? That would
be artistic."

"You forget," I said, "if I could put the real sunlight into such a
picture, it would no longer be mine; I should be a borrower, not a
creator of light; I should be no more of an artist than I am now."

"You will always refuse to acknowledge it," she said; "but you can never
persuade me that you have not the power to create a sunbeam. An
imprisoned sunbeam! The idea is absurd."

"It is because the idea is so absurd," I said, "that, if I felt the
power were mine to imprison sunbeams, I should hardly care to repeat the
effort. The sunshine rests upon the grass, freely we say, but in truth
under some law that prevents its penetrating farther. A sunbeam existing
in the absence of the sun is, of course, an absurdity. Yet they are
there, the sunbeams of last spring, in your oval room, as I saw them one
day in May."

"Which convinces me," said Miss Stuart, "that you are an artist. That is
not real sunshine. You have created it. You are born for an artist-life.
Do not go back to your drudgery."

"Daily work," I answered, "must become mechanical work, if we perform it
in a servile way. A lawyer is perhaps inspired, when he is engaged in a
cause on which he thinks his reputation hangs; but, day by day, when he
goes down to the work that brings him his daily bread, he is quite as
likely to call it his drudgery as I my daily toil."

She left her seat and walked with me towards a painting which hung not
far from us. It represented sunset upon the water. "The tender-curving
lines of creamy spray" were gathering up the beach; the light was
glistening across the waves; and shadows and light almost seemed to move
over the canvas.

"There," said Miss Stuart, "is what I call work that is worthy. I know
there was inspiration in every touch of the brush. I know there was
happy life in the life that inspired that painting. It is worth while to
live and to show that one has been living in that way."

"But I think," said I, "that the artist even of that picture laid aside
his brush heavily, when he sighed to himself that he must call it
finished. I believe that in all the days that it lay upon his easel he
went to it many times with weariness, because there was monotony in the
work,--because the work that he had laid out for himself in his fancy
was far above what he could execute with his fingers. The days of
drudgery hung heavily on the days of inspiration; and it was only when
he carried his heart into the most monotonous part of his work that he
found any inspiration in it, that he could feel he had accomplished
anything."  We turned suddenly away into a room where we had not been
before. I could not notice the pictures that covered the walls for the
sake of one to which Miss Stuart led the way. After looking upon that,
there could be no thought of finding out any other. It possessed the
whole room. The inspiration which uplifted the eyes fell over the whole
painting. We looked at it silently, and it was not till we had left the
building that Miss Stuart said,--

"We have seen there something which takes away all thought of artist or
style of painting or work. I have never been able to ask myself what is
the color of the eyes of that Madonna, or of her flowing hair, or the
tone of the drapery. I see only an expression that inspires the whole
figure, gives motion to the hands, life to the eyes, thought to the
lips, and soul to the whole being."

"The whole inspiration, the whole work," I said, "is far above us. It is
quite above me. No, I am not an artist; my fingers do not tingle for the
brush. This is an inspiration I cannot reach; it floats above me. It
moves and touches me, but shows me my own powerlessness."

I left Boston. I went back to winter, to my old home, to my every-day's
work. My work was not monotonous; or if one tone did often recur in it,
I built upon it, out of my heart and life, full chords of music. The
vision of Margaret Stuart came before my eyes in the midst of all
mechanical labor, in all the hours of leisure, in all the dreams of
night. My life, indeed, grew more varied than ever; for I found myself
more at ease with those around me, finding more happiness than I had
ever found before in my intercourse with others. I found more of myself
in them, more sympathy in their joy or sorrow, myself more of an equal
with those around me.

The winter months passed quickly away. Mr. Clarkson frequently showed
his disappointment because the mills no longer produced the wonder of
last year. For me, it had almost passed out of my thoughts. It seemed
but a part of the baser fabric of that vision where Margaret Stuart
reigned supreme. I saw no way to help him; but more and more, daily,
rejoiced in the outer sunshine of the world, in the fresh, glowing
spring, in the flowers of May. So I was surprised again, when, near the
close of May, after a week of stormy weather, the sunlight broke through
the window where it had shone the year before. It hung a moment on the
threads of work,--then, seeming to spurn them, fell upon the ground.

We were weaving, alas! a strange "arabesque pattern," as it was called,
with no special form,--so it seemed to my eyes,--bringing in gorgeous
colors, but set in no shape which Nature ever produced, either above the
earth or in metals or crystals hid far beneath. How I reproached myself,
on Mr. Clarkson's account, that I had not interceded, just for this one
day of sunshine, for some pattern that Nature might be willing to
acknowledge! But the hour was past, I knew it certainly, when the next
day the sun was clouded, and for many days we did not see its
face again.

So the time passed away. Another summer came along, and another glowing
autumn, and that winter I did not go to Boston. Mr. Clarkson let me fall
back again into my commonplace existence. I was no longer more than one
of the common workmen. Perhaps, indeed, he looked upon, me with a
feeling of disappointment, as though a suddenly discovered diamond had
turned to charcoal in his hands. Sometimes he consulted me upon chemical
matters, finding I knew what the books held, but evidently feeling a
little disturbed that I never brought out any hidden knowledge.

This second winter seemed more lonely to me. The star that had shone
upon me seemed farther away than ever. I could see it still. It was
hopelessly distant. My Juno! For a little while I could imagine she was
thinking of me, that my little name might be associated in her memory
with what we had talked of, what we had seen together, with some of the
high things which I knew must never leave her thoughts. But this
glimmering memory of me I knew must have faded away as her life went on,
varied as it was with change of faces, sounds of music, and whirl of
excitement. Then, too, I never heard her name mentioned. She was out of
my circle, as far away from my sphere as the heroines of those old
romances that I had read so long ago; but more life-like, more warm,
more sunny was her influence still. It uplifted my work, and crowned my
leisure with joy. I blessed the happy sunshine of that 27th of May,
which in a strange way had been the clue that led to my knowledge
of her.

The longest winter-months melt away at last into spring, and so did
these. May came with her promises and blights of promise. Recalling,
this time, how sunshine would come with the latter end of May through
the dark walls, I begged of Mr. Clarkson that a favorite pattern of mine
might be put upon the looms. Its design was imagined by one of my
companions in my later walks. He was an artist of the mills, and had
been trying to bring within the rigid lines that were required some of
the grace and freedom of Nature. He had scattered here some water-lilies
among broad green leaves. My admiration for Nature, alas! had grown only
after severe cultivation among the strange forms which we carpet-makers
indulge in with a sort of mimicry of Nature. So I cannot be a fair judge
of this, even as a work of art. I see sometimes tapestries in a meadow
studded with buttercups, and I fancy patterns for carpets when I see a
leaf casting its shadow upon a stone. So I may be forgiven for saying
that these water-lilies were dear to me as seeming like Nature, as they
were lying upon their green leaves.

Mr. Clarkson granted my request, and for a few days, this pattern was
woven by the machine. These trial-days I was excited from my usual
calmness. The first day the sunshine did not reach the narrow window.
The second day we had heavy storm and rain. But the third day, not far
from the expected hour, the sunshine burst through the little space. It
fell upon my golden threads; it seemed directly to embrace them
joyously, to encircle them closely. The sunlight seemed to incorporate
itself with the woolly fibre, to conceal itself among the work where the
shuttle chose to hide it. I fancied a sort of laughing joy, a clatter
and dash in the machinery itself, as though there were a happy time,
where was usually only a monotonous whirl. I could scarcely contain
myself till noon.

When I left my room, I found, on inquiry, that Mr. Clarkson was not in
the building, and was to be away all day. I went out into the air for a
free breath, and looked up into the glowing sky, yet was glad to go back
again to my machines, which I fancied would greet me with an unwonted
joy. But, as I passed towards the stairway, I glanced into one of the
lower rooms, where some of the clerks were writing. I fancied Mr.
Clarkson might be there. There were women employed in this room, and
suddenly one who was writing at a desk attracted my attention. I did not
see her face; but the impression that her figure gave me haunted me as I
passed on. Some one passing me saw my disturbed look.

"What have you seen? a ghost?" he asked.

"Who is writing in that room? Can you tell me?" I said.

"You know them all," was his answer, "except the new-comer, Miss Stuart.
Have not you heard the talk of her history,--how the father has failed
and died and all that, and how the daughter is glad enough to get work
under Mr. Clarkson's patronage?"

The bell was ringing that called me, and I could not listen to more. My
brain was whirling uncertainly, and I doubted if I ought to believe my
ears. I went back to my work more dazed and bewildered than ever in my
youthful days. I forgot the wonder of the morning. It was quite
outshone by the wonder of the afternoon. I longed for my hour of
release. I longed for a time for thought,--to learn whether what had
been told me could be true. When the time came, I hastened down-stairs;
but I found the door of the office closed. Its occupants had all gone. I
hastened through the village, turned back again, and on the bridge over
the little stream met Margaret Stuart. She was the same. It made no
difference what were her surroundings, she was the same; there was the
same wonderful glance, the same smile of repose. It made no difference
where or how I met her, she ruled me still. She greeted me with the same
air and manner as in her old home when I saw her first.

She told me afterwards of the changes and misfortunes of the past year,
of her desire for independence, and how she found she was little able to
uphold it herself.

"Some of my friends," she said, "were very anxious I should teach
singing,--I had such a delicious voice, which had been so well
cultivated. I could sing Italian opera-songs and the like. But I found I
could only sing the songs that pleased me, and it was doubtful whether
they would happen to suit the taste or the voice of those I should try
to teach. For, I must confess it, I have never cultivated my voice
except for my own pleasure, and never for the sake of the art. I did try
to teach music a little while, and, oh, it was hopeless! I remembered
some of our old talks about drudgery, and thought it had been a happy
thing for me, if I had ever learned how to drudge over anything. What I
mean is, I have never learned how to go through a monotonous duty, how
to give it an inspiration which would make it possible or endurable. It
would have been easier to summon up all my struggling for the sake of
one great act of duty. I did not know how to scatter it over work day
after day the same. Worse than all, in spite of all my education, I did
not know enough of music to teach it."

She went on, not merely this evening, but afterwards, to tell me of the
different efforts she had made to earn a living for herself with the
help of kind friends.

"At last," she said, "I bethought me of my handwriting, of the 'elegant'
notes which used to receive such praise; and when I met Mr. Clarkson one
day in Boston, I asked him what price he would pay me for it. I will
tell you that he was very kind, very thoughtful for me. He fancied the
work he had to offer would be distasteful to me; but he has made it as
agreeable, as easy to be performed, as can be done. My aunt was willing
to come here with me. She has just enough to live upon herself, and we
are likely to live comfortably together here. So I am trying that sort
of work you praised so much when you were with me; and I shall be glad,
if you can go on and show me what inspiration can bring into it."

So day after day I saw her, and evening after evening we renewed the old
talks. The summer passed on, and the early morning found her daily at
her work, every day pursuing an unaccustomed labor. Her spirit seemed
more happy and joyous than ever. She seemed far more at home than in the
midst of crowded streets and gay, brilliant rooms. Her expression was
more earnest and spiritual than ever,--her life, I thought, gayer
and happier.

So I thought till one evening, when we had walked far away down the
little stream that led out of the town. We stopped to look into its
waters, while she leaned against the trunk of a tree overshadowed it. We
watched the light and shade that nickered below, the shadow of the
clover-leaves, of the long reeds that hung almost across the stream. The
quiet was enhanced by the busy motion below, the bustle of little animal
life, the skimming of the water-insects, the tender rustling of the
leaves, and the gentle murmuring of the stream itself. Then I looked at
her, from the golden hair upon her head down to its shadow in the brook
below. I saw her hands folded over each other, and, suddenly, they
looked to me very thin and white and very weary. I looked at her again,
and her whole posture was one of languor and weariness,--the languor of
the body, not a weariness of the soul. There was a happy smile on the
lips, and a gleam of happiness from under the half-closed eyes. But, oh,
so tired and faint did the slender body look that I almost feared to see
the happier spirit leave it, as though it were incumbered by something
which could not follow it.

"Margaret!" I exclaimed. "You are wearing yourself away. You were never
made for such labor. You cannot learn this sort of toil. You are of the
sunshine, to play above the dusty earth, to gladden the dreary places.
Look at my hands, that are large for work,--at my heavy shoulders,
fitted to bear the yoke. Let me work for us both, and you shall still be
the inspiration of my work, and the sunshine that makes it gold. The
work we talked of is drudgery for you; you cannot bear it."

I think she would not agree to what I said about her work. She "had
began to learn how to find life in every-day work, just as she saw a new
sun rise every day." But she did agree that we would work together,
without asking where our sunshine came from, or our inspiration.

So it was settled. And her work was around and within the old
"natural-colored" house, whose walls by this time were half-embowered in
vines. There was gay sunshine without and within. And the lichen was
yellow that grew on the deeply sloping roof, and we liked to plant
hollyhocks and sunflowers by the side of the quaint old building, while
scarlet honeysuckles and trumpet-flowers and gay convolvuli gladdened
the front porch.

There was but one question that was left to be disputed between us.
Margaret still believed I was an artist, all-undeveloped.

"Those sunbeams"--

"I had nothing to do with them. They married golden threads that seemed
kindred to them."

"It is not true. Sunbeams cannot exist without the sun. Your magnetic
power, perhaps, attracted the true sunbeam, and you recreated others."

She fancies, if I would only devote myself to Art, I might become an
American Murillo, and put a Madonna upon canvas.

But before we carried the new sunshine into the old house, I had been
summoned again by Mr. Clarkson. Another wonderful piece of carpeting had
gone out from the works, discovered by our agent before it had left our
warehouse. It was the Water-Lily pattern,--lilies sitting among green
leaves with sunshine playing in and out and among them. So dazzling it
seemed, that it shed a light all round the darkened walls of the
warehouse. It was priceless, he thought, a perfect unique. Better,
almost, that never such a pattern should appear again. It ought to
remain the only one in the world.

And it did so remain. The rival establishment built a new chimney to
their mill, which shut out completely all sunshine or hope of sunshine
from our narrow windows. This was accomplished before the next May, and
I showed Mr. Clarkson how utterly impossible it was for the most
determined sunbeam ever to mingle itself with our most inviting fabrics.
Mr. Clarkson pondered a long time. We might build our establishment a
story higher; we might attempt to move it. But here were solid changes,
and the hopes were uncertain. Affairs were going on well, and the
reputation of the mills was at its height. And the carpets of sunshine
were never repeated.

       *       *       *       *       *


Whoever would read a profound political pamphlet under the guise of a
brilliant novel may find it in "Sibyl, or The Two Nations." The gay
overture of "The Eve of the Derby," at a London club, with which the
curtain rises, contrasts with the evening amusements of the _prolétaire_
in the gin-palaces of Manchester in a more than operatic effectiveness,
and yet falls rather below than rises above the sober truth of present
history. And we are often tempted to bind up the novel of the dashing
Parliamenteer with our copy of "Ivanhoe," that we may thus have, side by
side, from the pens of the Right Honorable Benjamin Disraeli and Sir
Walter Scott, the beginning and the end of these eight hundred years of
struggle between Norman rule and Saxon endurance. For let races and
families change as they will, there have ever been in England two
nations; and the old debate of Wamba and Gurth in the forest-glade by
Rotherwood is illustrated by the unconscious satires of last week's
"Punch." In Chartism, Reform-Bills, and Strikes, in the etiquette which
guards the Hesperides of West-End society, in the rigid training which
stops many an adventurer midway in his career, are written the old
characters of the forest-laws of Rufus and the Charter of John. Races
and families change, but the distinction endures, is stamped upon all
things pertaining to both.

We in America, who boast our descent from this matrimony of Norman and
Saxon, claim also that we have blent the features of the two into one
homogeneous people. In this country, where the old has become new, and
the new is continually losing its raw lustre before the glitter of some
fresher splendor, the traces of the contest are all but obliterated.
Only our language has come to us with the brand of the fatherland upon
it. In our mother-tongue prevails the same principle of dualism, the
same conflict of elements, which not all the lethean baptism of the
Atlantic could wash out. The two nations of England survive in the two
tongues of America.

We beg the reluctant reader not to prematurely pooh-pooh as a "miserable
mouse" this conclusion, thinking that we are only serving up again that
old story of Wamba and Gurth with an added _sauce-piquante_ from Dean
Trench. We admit that we allude to that original composition of English
past and present from a Latin and a Teutonic stock. But that is to us
not an ultimate, but a primal fact. It is the premise from which we
propose to trace out the principle now living and working in our present
speech. We commence our history with that strife of the tongues which
had at the outset also their battle of Hastings, their field of Sanilac.
There began the feud which to-day continues to divide our language,
though the descendants of the primitive stocks are inextricably mingled.

For it is as in "Sibyl." That novel showed us the peer's descendants at
the workman's forge, while the manufacturer's grandchildren were wearing
the ermine and the strawberry-leaves. There is the constant passing to
and fro across the one border-line which never changes. Dandy Mick and
Devilsdust save a little money and become "respectable." We can follow
out their history after Mr. Disraeli leaves them. They marry Harriet and
Caroline, and contrive to educate a sharp boy or two, who will rise to
become superintendents in the mills and to speculate in cotton-spinning.
They in turn send into trade, with far greater advantages, their sons.
The new generation, still educating, and, faithful to the original
impulse, putting forth its fresh and aspiring tendrils, gets one boy
into the church, another at the bar, and keeps a third at the great
_Rouge-et-Noir_ table of commerce. Some one of their stakes has a run of
luck. Either it is my Lord Eldon who sits on the wool-sack, or the young
curate bids his Oxford laurels against a head-mastership of a public
school and covers his baldness with a mitre, or Jones Lloyd steps from
his back parlor into the carriage which is to take Lord Overstone to the
House of Peers. From the day when young Osborne, the bold London
'prentice, leaped into the Thames to fish up thence his master's
daughter, and brought back, not only the little lady, but the ducal
coronet of Leeds in prospective, to that when Thomas Newcome the elder
walked up to the same London that he might earn the "bloody hand" for
Sir Brian and Sir Barnes, English life has been full of such gallant

So it has been with the words these speak. The phrases of the noble
Canon Chaucer have fallen to the lips of peasants and grooms, while many
a pert Cockney saying has elbowed its sturdy way into her Majesty's High
Court of Parliament. Yet still there are two tongues flowing through our
daily talk and writing, like the Missouri and Mississippi, with distinct
and contrasted currents.

And this appears the more strikingly in this country, where other
distinctions are lost. We have an aristocracy of language, whose
phrases, like the West-End men of "Sibyl," are effeminate, extravagant,
conventional, and prematurely worn-out. These words represent ideas
which are theirs only by courtesy and conservatism, like the law-terms
of the courts, or the "cant" of certain religious books. We have also a
plebeian tongue, whose words are racy, vigorous, and healthy, but which
men look askance at, when met in polite usage, in solemn literature, and
in sermons. Norman and Saxon are their relative positions, as in the old
time when "Ox" was for the serf who drove a-field the living animal, and
"Beef" for the baron who ate him; but their lineage is counter-crossed
by a hundred, nay, a thousand vicissitudes.

With this aristocracy of speech we are all familiar. We do not mean with
the speech of our aristocracy, which is quite another thing, but that
which is held appropriate for "great occasions," for public parade, and
for pen, ink, and types. It is cherished where all aristocracies
flourish best,--in the "rural districts." There is a style and a class
of words and phrases belonging to country newspapers, and to the city
weeklies which have the largest bucolic circulation, which you detect in
the Congressional eloquence of the honorable member for the Fifteenth
District, Mass., and in the Common-School Reports of Boston Corner,--a
style and words that remind us of the country gentry whose titles date
back to the Plantagenets. They look so strangely beside the brisk,
dapper curtnesses in which metropolitan journals transact their daily
squabbles! We never write one of them out without an involuntary
addition of quotation-marks, as a New-Yorker puts to his introduction of
his verdant cousin the supplementary, "From the Jerseys." Their
etymological Herald's Office is kept by schoolmasters, and especially
schoolma'ams, or, in the true heraldic tongue, "Preceptresses of
Educational Seminaries." You may find them in Mr. Hobbs, Jr.'s,
celebrated tale of "The Bun-Baker of Cos-Cob," or in Bowline's thrilling
novelette of "Beauty and Booty, or The Black Buccaneer of the Bermudas."
They glitter in the train of "Napoleon and his Marshals," and look down
upon us from the heights of "The Sacred Mountains."

Occasionally you will find them degraded from their high estate and
fallen among the riff-raff of slang. They become "seedy" words, stripped
of their old meaning, mere _chevaliers d'industrie_, yet with something
of the air noble about them which distinguishes them from the born
"cad." The word "convey" once suffered such eclipse, (we are glad to say
it has come up again,) and consorted, unless Falstaff be mistaken, with
such low blackguards as "nim" and "cog" and "prig" and similar
"flash" terms.

But we do not propose to linger among the "upper-ten" of the
dictionaries. The wont of such is to follow the law of hereditary
aristocracies: the old blood gets thin, there is no sparkle to the
_sangre azul_, the language dies out in poverty. The strong, new,
popular word forces its way up, is heard at the bar, gets quoted in the
pulpit, slips into the outer ring of good society. King Irving or King
Emerson lays his pen across its shoulder and it rises up ennobled, till
finally it is accepted of the "Atlantic Monthly," and its
court-presentation is complete.

We have thus indicated the nature of the great contest in language
between the conventional and the idiomatic. Idioms are just what their
name implies. They are the commonalty of language,--private, proletarian
words, who do the work, "_dum alteri tulerunt honores_." They come to us
from all handiworks and callings, where you will always find them at
their posts. Sharp, energetic, incisive, they do the hard labor of
speech,--that of carrying heavy loads of thought and shaping new ideas.

We think them vulgar at first, and savoring of the shop; but they are
useful and handy, and we cannot do without them. They rivet, they forge,
they coin, they "fire up," "brake up," "switch off," "prospect," "shin"
for us when we are "short," "post up" our books, and finally ourselves,
"strike a lead," "follow a trail," "stand up to the rack," "dicker,"
"swap," and "peddle." They are "whole teams" beside the "one-horse"
vapidities which fail to bear our burdens. The Norman cannot keep down
the Saxon. The Saxon finds his Wat Tyler or Jack Cade. Now "Mose" brings
his Bowery Boys into our parlor, or Cromwell Judd recruits his Ironsides
from the hamlets of the Kennebec.

We declare for the prolétaires. We vote the working-words ticket. We
have to plead the cause of American idioms. Some of them have, as we
said, good blood in them and can trace their lineage and standing to the
English Bible and Book of Common Prayer; others are "new men," born
under hedge-rows and left as foundlings at furnace-doors. And before we
go farther, we have a brief story to tell in illustration of the
two tongues.

A case of assault and battery was tried in a Western court. The
plaintiff's counsel informed the jury in his opening, that he was
"prepared to prove that the defendant, a steamboat-captain, menaced his
client, an English traveller, and put him in bodily fear, commanding him
to vacate the avenue of the steamboat with his baggage, or he would
precipitate him into the river." The evidence showed that the captain
called out,--"Stranger, ef you don't tote your plunder off that
gang-plank, I'll spill you in the drink."

We submit that for terseness and vigor the practitioner at the bar of
the Ohio had the better of the learned counsel who appeared at the bar
of justice, albeit his client was in a Cockney mystification at
the address.

The illustration will serve our turn. It points to a class of phrases
which are indigenous to various localities of the land, in which the
native thought finds appropriate, bold, and picturesque utterance. And
these in time become incorporate into the universal tongue. Of them is
the large family of political phrases. These are coined in moments of
intense excitement, struck out at white heat, or, to follow our leading
metaphor, like the speakers who use them, come upon the stump in their
shirt-sleeves. Every campaign gives us a new horde. Some die out at
once; others felicitously tickle the public ear and ring far and wide.
They "speak for Buncombe," are Barn-Burners, Old Hunkers, Hard Shells,
Soft Shells, Log-Rollers, Pipe-Layers, Woolly Heads, Silver Grays,
Locofocos, Fire-Eaters, Adamantines, Free Soilers, Freedom Shriekers,
Border Ruffians. They spring from a bon-mot or a retort. The log-cabin
and hard-cider watchwords were born of a taunt, like the "Gueux" of the
Netherlands. The once famous phrase, Gerrymandering, some of our readers
may remember. Governor Elbridge Gerry contrived, by a curious
arrangement of districts in Massachusetts, to transfer the balance of
power to his own party. One of his opponents, poring over the map of the
Commonwealth, was struck by the odd look of the geographical lines
which thus were drawn, curving in and out among the towns and counties.
"It looks," said he, "like a Salamander." "Looks like a _Gerry_-mander!"
ejaculated another; and the term stuck long and closely.

Now and then you have the aristocratic and democratic sides of an idea
in use at the same time. Those who style themselves "Gentlemen of the
Press" are known to the rest of mankind as "Dead Heads,"--being, for
paying purposes, literally, _capita mortua_.

So, too, our colleges are provided, over and above the various dead
languages of their classic curriculum, with the two tongues. The one
serves the young gentlemen, especially in their Sophomoric maturity,
with appropriate expressions for their literary exercises and public
flights. The other is for their common talk, tells who "flunked" and was
"deaded," who "fished" with the tutor, who "cut" prayers, and who was
"digging" at home. Each college, from imperial Harvard and lordly Yale
to the freshest Western "Institution," whose three professors fondly
cultivate the same number of aspiring Alumni, has its particular dialect
with its quadrennial changes. The just budded Freshmen of the class of
'64 could hardly without help decipher "The Rebelliad," which in the
Consulship of Plancus Kirkland was the epic of the day. The good old
gentlemen who come up to eat Commencement dinners and to sing with
quavery voices the annual psalm thereafter, are bewildered in the mazes
of the college-speech of their grandsons. Whence come these phrases few
can tell. Like witty Dr. S------'s "quotation," which never was
anything else, they started in life as sayings, springing full-grown,
like Pallas Athene, from the laboring brain of some Olympic Sophister.
Here in the quiet of our study in the country, we wonder if the boys
continue as in our day to "create a shout," instead of "making a call,"
upon their lady acquaintances,--if they still use "ponies,"--if they
"group," and get, as we did, "parietals" and "publics" for the same.

The police courts contribute their quota. Baggage-smashing,
dog-smudging, ring-dropping, watch-stuffing, the patent-safe men, the
confidence men, garroters, shysters, policy-dealers, mock-auction Peter
Funks, bogus-ticket swindlers, are all terms which have more or less
outgrown the bounds of their Alsatia of Thieves' Latin and are known
of men.

Even the pulpit, with its staid decorums, has its idioms, which it
cannot quite keep to itself. We hear in the religious world of
"professors," and "monthly concerts," (which mean praying, and not
psalmody,) of "sensation-preaching," (which takes the place of the
"painful" preaching of old times,) of "platform-speakers," of
"revival-preachers," of "broad pulpits," and "Churches of the Future,"
of the "Eclipse of Faith" and the "Suspense of Faith," of "liberal"
Christians, (with no reference to the contribution-plates,) of
"subjective" and "objective" sermons, "Spurgeonisms," and "businessmen's
meetings." And we can never think without a smile of that gifted genius,
whoever he was, who described a certain public exercise as _"the most
eloquent prayer ever addressed to a Boston audience."_ He surely created
a new and striking idiom.

The boys do, as Young America should, their share. And the sayings of
street urchins endure with singular tenacity. Like their sports, which
follow laws of their own, uninfluenced by meteorological considerations,
tending to the sedentary games of marbles in the cold, chilly spring,
and bursting into base-and foot-ball in the midsummer solstice, strict
tradition hands down from boy to boy the well-worn talk. There are still
"busters," as in our young days, and the ardent youth upon floating
cakes of ice "run bendolas" or "kittly-benders," or simply "benders." In
different latitudes the phrase varies,--one-half of it going to Plymouth
Colony, and the other abiding in Massachusetts Bay. And this tendency to
dismember a word is curiously shown in that savory fish which the
Indian christened "scup-paug." Eastward he swims as "scup," while at the
Manhattan end of the Sound he is fried as "porgie." And apropos of him,
let us note a curious instance of the tenacity of associated ideas. The
street boys of our day and early home were wont to term the _hetairai_
of the public walks "scup." The young Athenians applied to the classic
courtesans the epithet of [Greek: saperdion], the name of a small fish
very abundant in the Black Sea. Here now is a bit of slang which may
fairly be warranted to keep fresh in any climate.

But boy-talk is always lively and pointed; not at all precise, but very
prone to prosopopeia; ever breaking out of the bounds of legitimate
speech to invent new terms of its own. Dr. Busby addresses Brown, Jr.,
as Brown Secundus, and speaks to him of his "young companions." Brown
himself talks of "the chaps," or "the fellows," who in turn know Brown
only as Tom Thumb. The power of nicknaming is a school-boy gift, which
no discouragement of parents and guardians can crush out, and which
displays thoroughly the idiomatic faculty. For a man's name was once
_his_, the distinctive mark by which the world got at his identity.
Long, Short, White, Black, Greathead, Longshanks, etc., told what a
person in the eyes of men the owner presented. The hereditary or
aristocratic process has killed this entirely. Men no longer make their
names; even the poor foundlings, like Oliver Twist, are christened
alphabetically by some Bumble the Beadle. But the nickname restores his
lost rights, and takes the man at once out of the _ignoble vulgus_ to
give him identity. We recognize this gift and are proud of our
nicknames, when we can get them to suit us. Only the sharp judgment of
our peers reverses our own heraldry and sticks a surname like a burr
upon us. The nickname is the idiom of nomenclature. The sponsorial
appellation is generally meaningless, fished piously out of Scripture or
profanely out of plays and novels, or given with an eye to future
legacies, or for some equally insufficient reason apart from the name
itself. So that the gentleman who named his children One, Two, and
Three, was only reducing to its lowest term the prevailing practice. But
the nickname abides. It has its hold in affection. When the "old boys"
come together in Gore Hall at their semi-centennial Commencement, or the
"Puds" or "Pores" get together after long absence, it is not to inquire
what has become of the Rev. Dr. Heavysterne or his Honor Littleton Coke,
but it is, "Who knows where Hockey Jones is?" and "Did Dandy Glover
really die in India?" and "Let us go and call upon Old Sykes" or "Old
Roots" or "Old Conic-Sections,"--thus meaning to designate
Professor----, LL.D., A.A.S., F.R.S., etc. A college president who had
no nickname would prove himself, _ipso facto_, unfit for his post. It is
only dreadfully affected people who talk of "Tully"; the sensible all
cling to the familiar "Chick-Pea" or Cicero, by which the wart-faced
orator was distinguished. For it is not the boys only, but all American
men, who love nicknames, the idioms of nomenclature. The first thing
which is done, after a nominating convention has made its platform and
balloted for its candidates, is to discover or invent a nickname: Old
Hickory, Tippecanoe, The Little Giant, The Little Magician, The Mill-Boy
of the Slashes, Honest John, Harry of the West, Black Dan, Old Buck, Old
Rough and Ready. A "good name" is a tower of strength and many votes.

And not only with candidates for office, the spots on whose "white
garments" are eagerly sought for and labelled, but in the names of
places and classes the principle prevails, the democratic or Saxon
tongue gets the advantage. Thus, we have for our states, cities, and
ships-of-war the title of fondness which drives out the legal title of
ceremony. Are we not "Yankees" to the world, though to the diplomatists
"citizens of the United States of America"? We have a Union made up upon
the map of Maine, New Hampshire, etc., to California; we have another in
the newspapers, composed of the Lumber State, the Granite State, the
Green-Mountain State, the Nutmeg State, the Empire State, the Keystone
State, the Blue Hen, the Old Dominion, of Hoosiers, Crackers, Suckers,
Badgers, Wolverines, the Palmetto State, and Eldorado. We have the
Crescent City, the Quaker City, the Empire City, the Forest City, the
Monumental City, the City of Magnificent Distances. We hear of Old
Ironsides sent to the Mediterranean to relieve the Old Tea-Wagon,
ordered home. Everywhere there obtains the Papal principle of taking a
new title upon succeeding to any primacy. The Norman imposed his laws
upon England; the courts, the parish-registers, the Acts of Parliament
were all his; but to this day there are districts of the Saxon Island
where the postman and census-taker inquire in vain for Adam Smith and
Benjamin Brown, but must perforce seek out Bullhead and Bandyshins. So
indomitable is the Saxon.

We have not done yet with our national idioms. In the seaboard towns
nautical phrases make tarry the talk of the people. "Where be you
a-cruising to?" asks one Nantucket matron of her gossip. "Sniver-dinner,
I'm going to Egypt; Seth B. has brought a letter from Turkey-wowner to
Old Nancy." "Dressed-to-death-and-drawers-empty, don't you see we're
goin' to have a squall? You had better take in your stu'n'-sails." The
good woman was dressed up, intending, "_as soon as ever_ dinner was
over," to go, not to the land of the Pharaohs, but to the negro-quarter
of the town, with a letter which "Seth B." (her son, thus identified by
his middle letter) had brought home from Talcahuana.

For the rural idioms we refer the reader to the late Sylvester Judd's
"Margaret" and "Richard Edney," and to the Jack Downing Letters.

The town is not behind the country. For, whatever is the current fancy,
pugilism, fire-companies, racing, railway-building, or the opera, its
idioms invade the talk. The Almighty Dollar of our worship has more
synonymes than the Roman Pantheon had divinities. We are not
"well-informed," but "posted" or "posted up." We are not "hospitably
entreated" any more, but "put through." We do not "meet with
misadventure," but "see the elephant," which we often do through the
Hibernian process of "fighting the tiger."

Purists deplore this, but it is inevitable; and if one searches beneath
the surface, there is often a curious deposit of meaning, sometimes
auriferous enough to repay our use of cradle and rocker. We "panned
out," the other day, a phrase which gave us great delight, and which
illustrated a fact in New England history worth noting. We were puzzling
over the word "socdollager," which Bartlett, we think, defines as
"Anything very large and striking,"--_Anglicé_, a "whopper,"--"also a
peculiar fish-hook." The word first occurs in print, we believe, in Mr.
Cooper's "Home as Found," applied to a patriarch among the white bass of
Otsego Lake, which could never be captured. We assumed at once that
there was a latent reason for the term, and all at once it flashed upon
us that it was a rough fisherman's random-shot at the word "doxology."
This, in New England congregations, as all know, was wont to be sung, or
"j'ined in," by the whole assembly, and given with particular emphasis,
both because its words were familiar to all without book, and because it
served instead of the chanted creed of their Anglican forefathers. The
last thing, after which nothing could properly follow, the most
important and most conspicuous of all, it represented to our Yankee
Walton the crowning hope of his life,--the big bass, after taking which
he might put hook-and-line on the shelf. By a slight transposition,
natural enough to untrained organs, "doxology" became "socdollager."

We are not making a dictionary of Americanisms, but merely wandering a
little way into our native forests. We refer to the prevalent habit of
idiomatic speech as a fact that makes part of our literature. It cannot
be ignored, nor do we see how it is to be avoided. It is well, of
course, to retain the sterling classic basis of our speech as we
received it from abroad, and to this all that is best and purest in our
literature past and present will tend. But we hold to no Know-Nothing
platform which denies a right of naturalization to the worthy. As Ruskin
says of the river, that it does not make its bed, but finds it, seeking
out, with infinite pains, its appointed channel, so thought will seek
its expression, guided by its inner laws of association and sympathy. If
the mind and heart of a nation become barbarized, no classic culture can
keep its language from corruption. If its ideas are ignoble, it will
turn to the ignoble and vulgar side of every word in its tongue, it will
affix the mean sense it desires to utter where it had of old no place.
It converts the prince's palace into a stable or an inn; it pulls down
the cathedral and the abbey to use the materials for the roads on which
it tramples. It is good to sanctify language by setting some of its
portions apart for holy uses,--at least, by preserving intact the high
religious association which rests upon it. The same silver may be
moulded to the altar-chalice or the Bacchic goblet; but we touch the one
with reverent and clean hands, while the other is tossed aside in the
madness of the revel. Men clamor for a new version of the Sacred
Scriptures, and profess to be shocked at its plain outspokenness,
forgetting that to the pure all things are pure, and that to the
prurient all things are foul. It was a reverent and a worshipping age
that gave us that treasure, and so long as we have the temper of
reverence and worship we shall not ask to change it.

And to return once more to our original illustration. We have the two
nations also in us, the Norman and the Saxon, the dominant and the
aspiring, the patrician and the _prolétaire_. The one rules only by
right of rule, the other rises only by right of rising. The power of
conservatism perishes, when there is no longer anything to keep; the
might of radicalism overflows into excess, when the proper check is
taken away or degraded. So long as the noble is noble and "_noblesse
oblige_," so long as Church and State are true to their guiding and
governing duties, the elevation of the base is the elevation of the
whole. If the standards of what is truly aristocratic in our language
are standards of nobility of thought, they will endure and draw up to
them, on to the episcopal thrones and into the Upper House of letters,
all that is most worthy. Whatever makes the nation's life will make its
speech. War was once the career of the Norman, and he set the seal of
its language upon poetry. Agriculture was the Saxon's calling, and he
made literature a mirror of the life he led. We in this new land are
born to new heritages, and the terms of our new life must be used to
tell our story. The Herald's College gives precedence to the
Patent-Office, and the shepherd's pipe to the steam-whistle. And since
all literature which can live stands only upon the national speech, we
must look for our hopes of coming epics and immortal dramas to the
language of the land, to its idioms, in which its present soul abides
and breathes, and not to its classicalities, which are the empty shells
upon its barren sea-shore.




When Miss Kent, the maternal great-aunt of Mr. Raleigh, devised her
property, the will might possibly have been set aside as that of a
monomaniac, but for the fact that he cared too little about anything to
go to law for it, and for the still more important fact that the
heirs-at-law were sufficiently numerous to ingulf the whole property and
leave no ripple to attest its submerged existence, had he done so; and
on deserting it, he was better pleased to enrich the playfellow of his
childhood than a host of unknown and unloved individuals. I cannot say
that he did not more than once regret what he had lost: he was not of a
self-denying nature, as we know; on the contrary, luxurious and
accustomed to all those delights of life generally to be procured only
through wealth. But, for all that, there had been intervals, ere his
thirteen years' exile ended, in which, so far from regret, he
experienced a certain joy at remembrance of this rough and rugged point
of time where he had escaped from the chrysalid state to one of action
and freedom and real life. He had been happy in reaching India before
his uncle's death, in applying his own clear understanding to the
intricate entanglements of the affairs before him, in rescuing his
uncle's commercial good name, and in securing thus for himself a
foothold on the ladder of life, although that step had not occurred to
him till thrust there by the pressure of circumstances. For the rest, I
am not sure that Mr. Raleigh did not find his path suiting him well
enough. There was no longer any charm in home; he was forbidden to think
of it. That strange summer, that had flashed into his life like the
gleam of a carnival-torch into quiet rooms, must be forgotten; the forms
that had peopled it, in his determination, should become shadows.
Valiant vows! Yet there must have come moments, in that long lapse of
days and years, when the whole season gathered up its garments and swept
imperiously through his memory: nights, when, under the shadow of the
Himmaleh, the old passion rose at spring-tide and flooded his heart and
drowned out forgetfulness, and a longing asserted itself, that, if
checked as instantly by honor as despair, was none the less insufferable
and full of pain,--warm, wide, Southern nights, when all the stars,
great and golden, leaned out of heaven to meet him, and all ripe
perfumes, wafted by their own principle of motion, floated in the rich
dusk and laden air about him, and the phantom of snow on topmost heights
sought vainly to lend him its calm. Days also must have showered their
fervid sunshine on him, as he journeyed through plains of rice, where
all the broad reaches whitening to harvest filled him with intense and
bitterest loneliness. What region of spice did not recall the noons when
they two had trampled the sweet-fern on wide, high New England pastures,
and breathed its intoxicating fragrance? and what forest of the tropics,
what palms, what blooms, what gorgeous affluence of color and of growth,
equalled the wood on the lake-shores, with its stately hemlocks, its
joyous birches, its pale-blue, shadow-blanched violets? Nor was this
regret, that had at last become a part of the man's identity, entirely a
selfish one. He had no authority whatever for his belief, yet believe he
did, that, firmly and tenderly as he loved, he was loved, and of the two
fates his was not the harder. But a man, a man, too, in the stir of the
world, has not the time for brooding over the untoward events of his
destiny that a woman has; his tender memories are forever jostled by
cent. per cent.; he meets too many faces to keep the one in constant and
unchanging perpetuity sacredly before his thought. And so it happened
that Mr. Raleigh became at last a silent, keen-eyed man, with the shadow
of old and enduring melancholy on his life, but with no certain
sorrow there.

In the course of time his business-connections extended themselves; he
was associated with other men more intent than he upon their aim;
although not wealthy, years might make him so; his name commanded
respect. Something of his old indifference lingered about him; it was
seldom that he was in earnest; he drifted with the tide, and, except to
maintain a clear integrity before God and men and his own soul, exerted
scarcely an effort. It was not an easy thing for him to break up any
manner of life; and when it became necessary for one of the firm to
visit America, and he as the most suitable was selected, he assented to
the proposition with not a heart-beat. America was as flat a wilderness
to him as the Desert of Sahara. On landing in India, he had felt like a
semi-conscious sleeper in his dream, the country seemed one of
phantasms: the Lascars swarming in the port,--the merchants wrapped in
snowy muslins, who moved like white-robed bronzes faintly animate,--the
strange faces, modes, and manners,--the stranger beasts, immense, and
alien to his remembrance; all objects that crossed his vision had seemed
like a series of fantastic shows; he could have imagined them to be the
creations of a heated fancy or the weird deceits of some subtle draught
of magic. But now they had become more his life than the scenes which he
had left; this land with its heats and its languors had slowly and
passively endeared itself to him; these perpetual summers, the balms and
blisses of the South, had unconsciously become a need of his nature. One
day all was ready for his departure; and in the clipper ship Osprey,
with a cargo for Day, Knight, and Company, Mr. Raleigh bade farewell
to India.

The Osprey was a swift sailer and handled with consummate skill, so that
I shall not venture to say in how few days she had weathered the Cape,
and, ploughing up the Atlantic, had passed the Windward Islands, and off
the latter had encountered one of the severest gales in Captain
Tarbell's remembrance, although he was not new to shipwreck. If Mr.
Raleigh had found no time for reflection in the busy current of affairs,
when, ceasing to stand aside, he had mingled in the turmoil and become a
part of the generations of men, he could not fail to find it in this
voyage, not brief at best, and of which every day's progress must assure
him anew toward what land and what people he was hastening. Moreover,
Fate had woven his lot, it seemed, inextricably among those whom he
would shun; for Mr. Laudersdale himself was deeply interested in the
Osprey's freight, and it would be incumbent upon him to extend his
civilities to Mr. Raleigh. But Mr. Raleigh was not one to be cozened by
circumstances more than by men.

The severity of the gale, which they had met some three days since, had
entirely abated; the ship was laid to while the slight damage sustained
was undergoing repair, and rocked heavily under the gray sky on the
long, sullen swell and roll of the grayer waters. Mr. Raleigh had just
come upon deck at dawn, where he found every one in unaccountable
commotion. "Ship to leeward in distress," was all the answer his
inquiries could obtain, while the man on the topmast was making his
observations. Mr. Raleigh could see nothing, but every now and then the
boom of a gun came faintly over the distance. The report having been
made, it was judged expedient to lower a boat and render her such
assistance as was possible. Mr. Raleigh never could tell how it came to
pass that he found himself one of the volunteers in this
dangerous service.

The disabled vessel proved to be a schooner from the West Indies in a
sinking condition. A few moments sufficed to relieve a portion of her
passengers, sad wretches who for two days had stared death in the face,
and they pulled back toward the Osprey. A second and third journey
across the waste, and the remaining men prepared to lower the last woman
into the boat, when a stout, but extremely pale individual, who could no
longer contain his frenzy of fear, clambered down the chains and dropped
in her place. There was no time to be lost, and nothing to do but
submit; the woman was withdrawn to wait her turn with the captain and
crew, and the laden boat again labored back to the ship. Each trip in
the heavy sea and the blinding rain occupied no less than a couple of
hours, and it was past noon when, uncertain just before if she might yet
be there, they again came within sight of the little schooner, slowly
and less slowly settling to her doom. As they approached her at last,
Mr. Raleigh could plainly detect the young woman standing at a little
distance from the anxious group, leaning against the broken mast with
crossed arms, and looking out over the weary stretch with pale, grave
face and quiet eyes. At the motion of the captain, she stepped forward,
bound the ropes about herself, and was swung over the side to await the
motion of the boat, as it slid within reach on the top of the long wave,
or receded down its shining, slippery hollow. At length one swell brought
it nearer, Mr. Raleigh's arms snatched the slight form and drew her
half-fainting into the boat, a cloak was tossed after, and one by one
the remainder followed; they were all safe, and some beggared. The bows
of the schooner already plunged deep down in the gaping gulfs, they
pulled bravely away, and were tossed along from billow to billow.

"You are very uncomfortable, Mademoiselle Le Blanc?" asked the rescued
captain at once of the young woman, as she sat beside him in the

"_Moi?_" she replied. "_Mais non, Monsieur._"

Mr. Raleigh wrapped the cloak about her, as she spoke. They were
equidistant from the two vessels, neither of which was to be seen, the
rain fell fast into the hissing brine, their fate still uncertain. There
was something strangely captivating and reassuring in this young girl's
equanimity, and he did not cease speculating thereon till they had again
reached the Osprey, and she had disappeared below.

By degrees the weather lightened; the Osprey was on the wing again, and
a week's continuance of this fair wind would bring them into port. The
next day, toward sunset, as Mr. Raleigh turned about in his regular
pacing of the deck, he saw at the opposite extremity of the ship the
same slight figure dangerously perched upon the taffrail, leaning over,
now watching the closing water, and now eagerly shading her eyes with
her hand to observe the ship which they spoke, as they lay head to the
wind, and for a better view of which she had climbed to this position.
It was not Mr. Raleigh's custom to interfere; if people chose to drown
themselves, he was not the man to gainsay them; but now, as his walk
drew him toward her, it was the most natural thing in the world to pause
and say,--

"_Il serait fâcheux, Mademoiselle, lorsqu' on a failli faire naufrage,
de se noyer_"--and, in want of a word, Mr. Raleigh ignominiously
descended to his vernacular--"with a lee-lurch."

The girl, resting on the palm of one hand, and unsupported otherwise,
bestowed upon him no reply, and did not turn her head. Mr. Raleigh
looked at her a moment, and then continued his walk. Returning, the
thing happened as he had predicted, and, with a little quick cry,
Mademoiselle Le Blanc was hanging by her hands among the ropes. Reaching
her with a spring, "_Viens, petite!_" he said, and with an effort placed
her on her feet again before an alarm could have been given.

"_Ah! mais je crus c'en était fait de moi!_" she exclaimed, drawing in
her breath like a sob. In an instant, however, surveying Mr. Raleigh,
the slight emotion seemed to yield to one of irritation, that she had
been rescued by him; for she murmured quickly, in English, head
haughtily thrown back and eyes downcast,--"Monsieur thinks that I owe
him much for having saved my life!"

"Mademoiselle best knows its worth," said he, rather amused, and turning

The girl was still looking down; now, however, she threw after him a
quick glance.

"_Tenez!_" said she, imperiously, and stepping toward him. "You fancy me
very ungrateful," she continued, lifting her slender hand, and with the
back of it brushing away the floating hair at her temples. "Well, I am
not, and at some time it may be that I prove it. I do not like to owe
debts; but, since I must, I will not try to cancel them with thanks."

Mr. Raleigh bowed, but said nothing. She seemed to think it necessary to
efface any unpleasant impression, and, with a little more animation and
a smile, added,--"The Captain Tarbell told me your name, Mr. Raleigh,
and that you had not been at home for thirteen years. _Ni moi non
plus_,--at least, I suppose it is home where I am going; yet I remember
no other than the island and my"--

And here the girl opened her eyes wide, as if determined that they
should not fill with tears, and looked out over the blue and sparkling
fields around them. There was a piquancy in her accent that made the
hearer wish to hear further, and a certain artlessness in her manner not
met with recently by him. He moved forward, keeping her beside him.

"Then you are not French," he said.

"I? Oh, no,--nor Creole. I was born in America; but I have always lived
with mamma on the plantation; _et maintenant, il y a six mois qu'elle
est morte!_"

Here she looked away again. Mr. Raleigh's glance followed hers, and,
returning, she met it bent kindly and with a certain grave interest upon
her. She appeared to feel reassured, somewhat protected by one so much
her elder.

"I am going now to my father," she said, "and to my other mother."

"A second marriage," thought Mr. Raleigh, "and before the orphan's
crapes are"--Then, fearful lest she should read his thought, he
added,--"And how do you speak such perfect English?"

"Oh, my father came to see us every other year, and I have written home
twice a week since I was a little child. Mamma, too, spoke as much
English as French."

"I have not been in America for a long time," said Mr. Raleigh, after a
few steps. "But I do not doubt that you will find enjoyment there. It
will be new: womanhood will have little like youth for you; but, in
every event, it is well to add to our experience, you know."

"What is it like, Sir? But I know! Rows of houses, very counterparts of
rows of houses, and they of rows of houses yet beyond. Just the
toy-villages in boxes, uniform as graves and ugly as bricks"--

"Brick houses are not such ugly things. I remember one, low and wide,
possessed of countless gables, covered with vines and shaded with
sycamores; it could not have been so picturesque, if built of the marble
of Paros, and gleaming temple-white through masks of verdure."

"It seems to me that I, too, remember such a one," said she, dreamily.
"_Mais non, je m'y perds_. Yet, for all that, I shall not find the New
York avenues lined with them."

"No; the houses there are palaces."

"I suppose, then, I am to live in a palace," she answered, with a light
tinkling laugh. "That is fine; but one may miss the verandas, all the
whiteness and coolness. How one must feel the roof!"

"Roofs should be screens, and not prisons, not shells, you think?" said
Mr. Raleigh.

"At home," she replied, "our houses are, so to say, parasols; in those
cities they must be iron shrouds. _Ainsi soit il!_" she added, and
shrugged her shoulders like a little fatalist.

"You must not take it with such desperation; perhaps you will not be
obliged to wear the shroud."

"Not long, to be sure, at first. We go to freeze in the country, a place
with distant hills of blue ice, my old nurse told me,--old Ursule. Oh,
Sir, she was drowned! I saw the very wave that swept her off!"

"That was your servant?"


"Then, perhaps, I have some good news for you. She was tall and large?"


"Her name was Ursule?"

"_Oui! je dis que oui!_"

Mr. Raleigh laughed at her eagerness. "She is below, then," he
said,--"not drowned. There is Reynolds. Mr. Reynolds, will you take this
young lady to her servant, Ursule, the woman you rescued?"

And Mademoiselle Le Blanc disappeared under that gentleman's escort.

The ordinary restraints of social life not obtaining so much on board
ship as elsewhere, Mr. Raleigh saw his acquaintance with the pale young
stranger fast ripening into friendliness. It was an agreeable variation
from the monotonous routine of his voyage, and he felt that it was not
unpleasant to her. Indeed, with that childlike simplicity that was her
first characteristic, she never saw him without seeking him, and every
morning and every evening it became their habit to pace the deck
together. Sunrise and twilight began to be the hours with which he
associated her; and it was strange, that, coming, as she did, out of the
full blaze of tropical suns, she yet seemed a creature that had taken
life from the fresh, cool, dewy hours, and that must fairly dissolve
beneath the sky of noon. She puzzled him, too, and he found singular
contradictions in her: to-night, sweetness itself,--to-morrow, petulant
as a spoiled child. She had all a child's curiosity, too; and he amused
himself by seeing, at one time, with what novelty his adventures struck
her, when, at another, he would have fancied she had always held Taj and
Himmaleh in her garden. Now and then, excited, perhaps, by emulation and
wonder, her natural joyousness broke through the usually sad and quiet
demeanor; and she related to him, with dramatic _abandon_, scenes of her
gay and innocent island-life, so that he fancied there was not an
emotion in her experience hidden from his knowledge, till, all-unaware,
he tripped over one reserve and another, that made her, for the moment,
as mysterious a being as any of those court-ladies of ancient _régimes_,
in whose lives there were strange _lacunae_, and spaces of shadow. And a
peculiarity of their intercourse was, that, let her depart in what freak
or perversity she pleased, she seemed always to have a certainty of
finding him in the same mood in which she had left him,--as some bright
wayward vine of Southern forests puts out a tendril to this or that
enticing point, yet, winding back, will find its first support
unchanged. Shut out, as Mr. Raleigh had been, from any but the most
casual female society, he found a great charm in this familiarity, and,
without thinking how lately it had begun or how soon it must cease, he
yielded himself to its presence. At one hour she seemed to him an
impetuous and capricious thing, for whose better protection the accident
of his companionship was extremely fortunate,--at another hour, a woman
too strangely sweet to part with; and then Mr. Raleigh remembered that
in all his years he had really known but two women, and one of these had
not spent a week in his memory.

Mademoiselle Le Blanc came on deck, one evening, and, wrapping a soft,
thick mantle round her, looked about for a minute, shaded her eyes from
the sunset, meantime, with a slender, transparent hand, bowed to one,
spoke to another, slipped forward and joined Mr. Raleigh, where he
leaned over the ship's side.

"_Voici ma capote!_" said she, before he was aware of her approach.
"_Ciel! qu'il fait frais!_"

"We have changed our skies," said Mr. Raleigh, looking up.

"It is not necessary that you should tell me that!" she replied. "I
shiver all the time. I shall become a little iceberg, for the sake of
floating down to melt off Martinique!"

"Warm yourself now in the sunset; such a blaze was kindled for the

"Whenever I see a sunset, I find it to be a splendid fact, _une
jouissance vraie, Monsieur_, to think that men can paint,--that these
shades, which are spontaneous in the heavens, and fleeting, can be
rivalled by us and made permanent,--that man is more potent than light."

"But you are all wrong in your _jouissance_."

She pouted her lip, and hung over the side in an attitude that it seemed
he had seen a hundred times before.

"That sunset, with all its breadth and splendor, is contained in every
pencil of light."

She glanced up and laughed.

"Oh, yes! a part of its possibilities. Which proves?"--

"That color is an attribute of light and an achievement of man."

     "Cà et là,
       Toute la journée,
     Le vent vain va
       En sa tournée,"

hummed the girl, with a careless dismissal of the subject.

Mr. Raleigh shut up the note-book in which he had been writing, and
restored it to his pocket. She turned about and broke off her song.

"There is the moon on the other side," she said, "floating up like a
great bubble of light. She and the sun are the scales of a balance, I
think; as one ascends, the other sinks."

"There is a richness in the atmosphere, when sunset melts into moonrise,
that makes one fancy it enveloping the earth like the bloom on a plum."

"And see how it has powdered the sea! The waters look like the wings of
the _papillon bleu_."

"It seems that you love the sea."

"Oh, certainly. I have thought that we islanders were like those Chinese
who live in great _tanka_-boats on the rivers; only our boat rides at
anchor. To climb up on the highest land, and see yourself girt with
fields of azure enamelled in sheets of sunshine and fleets of sails, and
lifted against the horizon, deep, crystalline, and translucent as a
gem,--that makes one feel strong in isolation, and produces keen races.
Don't you think so?"

"I think that isolation causes either vivid characteristics or idiocy,
seldom strong or healthy ones; and I do not value race."

"Because you came from America!"--with an air of disgust,--"where there
is yet no race, and the population is still too fluctuating for the
mould of one."

"I come from India, where, if anywhere, there is race."

"But, pshaw! that was not what we were talking about."

"No, Mademoiselle, we were speaking of an element even more fluctuating
than American population."

"Of course I love the sea; but if the sea loves me, it is the way a cat
loves the mouse."

"It is always putting up a hand to snatch you?"

"I suppose I am sent to Nineveh and persist in shipping for Tarshish. I
never enter a boat without an accident. The Belle Voyageuse met
shipwreck, and I on board. That was anticipated, though, by all the
world; for the night before we set sail,--it was a very murk, hot night,
--we were all called out to see the likeness of a large merchantman
transfigured in flames upon the sky,--spars and ropes and hull one net
and glare of fire."

"A mirage, probably, from some burning ship at sea."

"No, I would rather think it supernatural. Oh, it was frightful! Rather
superb, though, to think of such a spectral craft rising to warn us with
ghostly flames that the old Belle Voyageuse was riddled with rats!"

"Did it burn blue?" asked Mr. Raleigh.

"Oh, if you're going to make fun of me, I'll tell you nothing more!"

As she spoke, Capua, who had considered himself, during the many years
of wandering, both guiding and folding star to his master, came up, with
his eyes rolling fearfully in a lively expansion of countenance, and
muttered a few words in Mr. Raleigh's ear, lifting both hands in comical
consternation the while.

"Excuse me a moment," said Mr. Raleigh, following him, and, meeting
Captain Tarbell at the companion-way, the three descended together.

Mr. Raleigh was absent some fifteen minutes, at the end of that time
rejoining Mademoiselle Le Blanc.

"I did not mean to make fun of you," said he, resuming the conversation
as if there had been no interruption. "I was watching the foam the
Osprey makes in her speed, which certainly burns blue. See the flashing
sparks! now that all the red fades from the west, they glow in the moon
like broken amethysts."

"What did you mean, then?" she asked, pettishly.

"Oh, I wished to see if the idea of a burning ship was so terrifying."

"Terrifying? No; I have no fear; I never was afraid. But it must, in
reality, be dreadful. I cannot think of anything else so appalling."

"Not at all timid?"

"Mamma used to say, those that know nothing fear nothing."

"Eminently your case. Then you cannot imagine a situation in which you
would lose self-possession?"

"Scarcely. Isn't it people of the finest organization, comprehensive,
large-souled, that are capable of the extremes either of courage or
fear? Now I am limited, so that, without rash daring or pale panic, I
can generally preserve equilibrium."

"How do you know all this of yourself?" he asked, with an amused air.

"_Il se présentait des occasions_," she replied, briefly.

"So I presumed," said he. "Ah? They have thrown out the log. See, we
make progress. If this breeze holds!"

"You are impatient, Mr. Raleigh. You have dear friends at home, whom you
wish to see, who wish to see you?"

"No," he replied, with a certain bitterness in his tone. "There is no
one to whom I hasten, no one who waits to receive me."

"No one? But that is terrible! Then why should you wish to hasten? For
me, I would always be willing to loiter along, to postpone home

"That is very generous, Mademoiselle."

"Mr. Raleigh"--


"I wish--please--you must not say Mademoiselle. Nobody will address me
so, shortly. Give me my name,--call me Marguerite. _Je vous en prie_."

And she looked up with a blush deepening the apple-bloom of her cheek.

"Marguerite? Does it answer for pearl or for daisy with you?"

"Oh, they called me so because I was such a little round white baby. I
couldn't have been very precious, though, or she never would have parted
with me. Yes, I wish we might drift on some lazy current for years. I
hate to shorten the distance. I stand in awe of my father, and I do not
remember my mother."

"Do not remember?"

"She is so perfect, so superb, so different from me! But she ought to
love her own child!"

"Her own child?"

"And then I do not know the customs of this strange land. Shall I be
obliged to keep an establishment?"

"Keep an establishment?"

"It is very rude to repeat my words so! You oughtn't! Yes, keep an

"I beg your pardon, Mademoiselle."

"No, it is I who am rude."

"Not at all,--but mysterious. I am quite in the dark concerning you."

"Concerning me?"

"Ah, Miss Marguerite, it is my turn now."

"Oh! It must be----This is your mystery, _n'est ce pas?_ Mamma was my
grandmamma. My own mother was far too young when mamma gave her in
marriage; and, to make amends, mamma adopted me and left me her name and
her fortune. So that I am very wealthy. And now shall I keep an

"I should think not," said Mr. Raleigh, with a smile.

"Do you know, you constantly reassure me? Home grows less and less a
bugbear when you speak of it. How strange! It seems as if I had known
you a year, instead of a week."

"It would probably take that period of time to make us as well
acquainted under other circumstances."

"I wish you were going to be with us always. Shall you stay in America,
Mr. Raleigh?"

"Only till the fall. But I will leave you at your father's door"----

And then Mr. Raleigh ceased suddenly, as if he had promised an

"How long before we reach New York?" she asked.

"In about nine hours," he replied,--adding, in unconscious undertone,
"if ever."

"What was that you said to yourself?" she asked, in a light and gayly
inquisitive voice, as she looked around and over the ship. "Why, how
many there are on deck! It is such a beautiful night, I suppose. Eh,
Mr. Raleigh?"

"Are you not tired of your position?" he asked. "Sit down beside me
here." And he took a seat.

"No, I would rather stand. Tell me what you said."

"Sit, then, to please me, Marguerite, and I will tell you what I said."

She hesitated a moment, standing before him, the hood of her capote,
with its rich purple, dropping from the fluttering yellow hair that the
moonlight deepened into gold, and the fire-opal clasp rising and falling
with her breath, like an imprisoned flame. He touched her hand, still
warm and soft, with his own, which was icy. She withdrew it, turned her
eyes, whose fair, faint lustre, the pale forget-me-not blue, was
darkened by the antagonistic light to an amethystine shadow,
inquiringly upon him.

"There is some danger," she murmured.

"Yes. When you are not a mark for general observation, you shall hear

"I would rather hear it standing."

"I told you the condition."

"Then I shall go and ask Captain Tarbell."

"And come sobbing back to me for 'reassurance.'"

"No," she said, quickly, "I should go down to Ursule."

"Ursule has a mattress on deck; I assisted her up."

"There is the captain! Now"----

He seized her hand and drew her down beside him. For an instant she
would have resisted, as the sparkling eyes and flushed cheeks
attested,--and then, with the instinctive feminine baseness that compels
every woman, when once she has met her master, she submitted.

"I am sorry, if you are offended," said he. "But the captain cannot
attend to you now, and it is necessary to be guarded in movement; for a
slight thing on such occasions may produce a panic."

"You should not have forced me to sit," said she, in a smothered voice,
without heeding him; "you had no right."

"This right, that I assume the care of you."

"Monsieur, you see that I am quite competent to the care of myself."

"Marguerite, I see that you are determined to quarrel."

She paused a moment, ere replying; then drew a little nearer and turned
her face toward him, though without looking up.

"Forgive me, then!" said she. "But I would rather be naughty and
froward, it lets me stay a child, and so you can take me in keeping, and
I need not think for myself at all. But if I act like a woman grown,
then comes all the responsibility, and I must rely on myself, which is
such trouble now, though I never felt it so before,--I don't know why.
Don't you see?" And she glanced at him with her head on one side, and
laughing archly.

"You were right," he replied, after surveying her a moment; "my
proffered protection is entirely superfluous."

She thought he was about to go, and placed her hand on his, as it lay
along the side. "Don't leave me," she murmured.

"I have no intention of leaving you," he said.

"You are very good. I have never seen one like you. I love you well."
And, bathed in moonlight, she raised her face and her glowing lips
toward him.

Mr. Raleigh gazed in the innocent eyes a moment, to seek the extent of
her meaning, and felt, that, should he take advantage of her childlike
forgetfulness, he would be only reënacting the part he had so much
condemned in one man years before. So he merely bent low over the hand
that lay in his, raised it, and touched his lips to that. In an instant
the color suffused her face, she snatched the hand away, half rose
trembling from her seat, then sank into it again.

"_Soit, Monsieur!_" she exclaimed, abruptly. "But you have not told me
the danger."

"It will not alarm you now?" he replied, laughing.

"I have said that I am not a coward."

"I wonder what you would think of me when I say that without doubt I

"You, Mr. Raleigh?" she cried, astonishment banishing anger.

"Not that I betray myself. But I have felt the true heart-sinking. Once,
surprised in the centre of an insurrection, I expected to find my hair
white as snow, if I escaped."

"Your hair is very black. And you escaped?"

"So it would appear."

"They suffered you to go on account of your terror? You feigned death?
You took flight?"

"Hardly, neither."

"Tell me about it," she said, imperiously.

Though Mr. Raleigh had exchanged the singular reserve of his youth for a
well-bred reticence, he scarcely cared to be his own hero.

"Tell me," said she. "It will shorten the time; and that is what you are
trying to do, you know."

He laughed.

"It was once when I was obliged to make an unpleasant journey into the
interior, and a detachment was placed at my service. We were in a
suspected district quite favorable to their designs, and the commanding
officer was attacked with illness in the night. Being called to his
assistance, I looked abroad and fancied things wore an unusual aspect
among the men, and sent Capua to steal down a covered path and see if
anything were wrong. Never at fault, he discovered a revolt, with intent
to murder my companion and myself, and retreat to the mountains. Of
course there was but one thing to do. I put a pistol in my belt and
walked down and in among them, singled out the ringleader, fixed him
with my eye, and bade him approach. My appearance was so sudden and
unsuspected that they forgot defiance."

"_Bien_, but I thought you were afraid."

"So I was. I could not have spoken a second word. I experienced intense
terror, and that, probably, gave my glance a concentration of which I
was unaware and by myself incapable; but I did not suffer it to waver; I
could not have moved it, indeed; I kept it on the man while he crept
slowly toward me. I shall never forget the horrible sensation. I did not
dare permit myself to doubt his conquest; but if I had failed, as I then
thought, his approach was like the slow coil of a serpent about me, and
it was his glittering eyes that had fixed mine, and not mine his. At my
feet, I commanded him, with a gesture, to disarm. He obeyed, and I
breathed; and one by one they followed his example. Capua, who was
behind me, I sent back with the weapons, and in the morning gave them
their choice of returning to town with their hands tied behind their
backs, or of going on with me and remaining faithful. They chose the
latter, did me good service, and I said nothing about the affair."

"That was well. But were you really frightened?"

"So I said. I cannot think of it yet without a slight shudder."

"Yes, and a rehearsal. Your eyes charge bayonets now. I am not a Sepoy."

"Well, you are still angry with me?"

"How can I be angry with you?"

"How, indeed? So much your senior that you owe me respect, Miss
Marguerite. I am quite old enough to be your father."

"You are, Sir?" she replied, with surprise. "Why, are you fifty-five
years old?"

"Is that Mr. Laudersdale's age?"

"How did you know Mr. Laudersdale Was my father?"

"By an arithmetical process. That is his age?"

"Yes; and yours?"

"Not exactly. I was thirty-seven last August."

"And will be thirty-eight next?"

"That is the logical deduction."

"I shall give you a birthday-gift when you are just twice my age."

"By what courier will you make it reach me?"

"Oh, I forgot. But--Mr. Raleigh?"  "What is it?" he replied, turning to
look at her,--for his eyes had been wandering over the deck.

"I thought you would ask me to write to you."

"No, that would not be worth while."

His face was too grave for her to feel indignation.

"Why?" she demanded.

"It would give me great pleasure, without doubt. But in a week you will
have too many other cares and duties to care for such a burden."

"That shows that you do not know me at all. _Vous en avez usé mal avec

Though Mr. Raleigh still looked at her, he did not reply. She rose and
walked away a few steps, coming back.

"You are always in the right, and I consequently in the wrong," she
said. "How often to-night have I asked pardon? I will not put up
with it!"

"We shall part in a few hours," he replied; "when you lose your temper,
I lose my time."

"In a few hours? Then is the danger which you mentioned past?"

"I scarcely think so."

"Now I am not going to be diverted again. What is this dreadful danger?"

"Let me tell you, in the first place, that we shall probably make the
port before our situation becomes apparently worse,--that we do not take
to the boats, because we are twice too many to fill them, owing to the
Belle Voyageuse, and because it might excite mutiny, and for several
other becauses,--that every one is on deck, Capua consoling Ursule, the
captain having told to each, personally, the possibility of escape"----

"_Allez au hut!_"

"That the lights are closed, the hatches battened down, and by dint of
excluding the air we can keep the flames in a smouldering state and sail
into harbor a shell of safety over this core of burning coal."

"Reducing the equation, the ship is on fire?"


She did not speak for a moment or two, and he saw that she was quite
faint. Soon recovering herself,--

"And what do you think of the mirage now?" she asked. "Where is Ursule?
I must go to her," she added suddenly, after a brief silence, starting
to her feet.

"Shall I accompany you?"

"Oh, no."

"She lies on a mattress there, behind that group,"--nodding in the
implied direction; "and it would be well, if you could lie beside her
and get an hour's rest."

"Me? I couldn't sleep. I shall come back to you,--may I?" And she was

Mr. Raleigh still sat in the position in which she had left him, when, a
half-hour afterward, she returned.

"Where is your cloak?" he asked, rising to receive her.

"I spread it over Ursule, she was so chilly."

"You will not take cold?"

"I? I am on fire myself."

"Ah, I see; you have the Saturnalian spirit in you."

"It is like the Revolution, the French, is it not?--drifting on before
the wind of Fate, this ship full of fire and all red-hot raging
turbulence. Just look up the long sparkling length of these white, full
shrouds, swelling and curving like proud swans, in the gale,--and then
imagine the devouring monster below in his den!"

"_Don't_ imagine it. Be quiet and sit beside me. Half the night is

"I remember reading of some pirates once, who, driving forward to
destruction on fearful breakers, drank and sang and died madly. I wish
the whole ship's company would burst out in one mighty chorus now, or
that we might rush together with tumultuous impulse and dance,--dance
wildly into death and daylight."

"We have nothing to do with death," said Mr. Raleigh. "Our foe is simply
time. You dance, then?"

"Oh, yes. I dance well,--like those white fluttering butterflies,--as if
I were _au gré du vent_."  "That would not be dancing well."

"It would not be dancing well to _be_ at the will of the wind, but it is
perfection to appear so."

"The dance needs the expression of the dancer's will. It is breathing
sculpture. It is mimic life beyond all other arts."

"Then well I love to dance. And I do dance well. Wait,--you shall see."

He detained her.

"Be still, little maid!" he said, and again drew her beside him, though
she still continued standing.

At this moment the captain approached.

"What cheer?" asked Mr. Raleigh.

"No cheer," he answered, gloomily, dinting his finger-nails into his
palm. "The planks forward are already hot to the hand. I tremble at
every creak of cordage, lest the deck crash in and bury us all."

"You have made the Sandy Hook light?"

"Yes; too late to run her ashore."

"You cannot try that at the Highlands?"

"Certain death."

"The wind scarcely"----

"Veered a point I am carrying all sail. But if this tooth of fire gnaws
below, you will soon see the masts go by the board. And then we are
lost, indeed!"

"Courage! she will certainly hold together till you can hail the

"I think no one need tremble when he has such an instance of
fearlessness before him," replied the captain, bowing to Marguerite; and
turning away, he hid his suspense and pain again under a calm

Standing all this while beside Mr. Raleigh, she had heard the whole of
the conversation, and he felt the hand in his growing colder as it
continued. He wondered if it were still the same excitement that sent
the alternate flush and pallor up her cheek. She sat down, leaning her
head back against the bulwark, as if to look at the stars, and suffering
the light, fine hair to blow about her temples before the steady breeze.
He bent over to look into her eyes, and found them fixed and lustreless.

"Marguerite!" he exclaimed.

She tried to speak, but the teeth seemed to hinder the escape of her
words, and to break them into bits of sound; a shiver shook her from
head to foot.

"I wonder if this is fear," she succeeded in saying. "Oh, if there were
somewhere to go, something to hide me! A great horror is upon me! I am
afraid! _Seigneur Dieu! Mourir par le feu! Périssons alors au plus
vite!_" And she shuddered, audibly.

Mr. Raleigh passed his arm about her and gathered her closer to himself.
He saw at once, that, sensitive as she was to every impression, this
fear was a contagious one, a mere gregarian affinity, and that she
needed the preponderating warmth and strength of a protecting presence,
the influence of a fuller vitality. He did not speak, but his touch must
in some measure have counteracted the dread that oppressed her. She
ceased trembling, but did not move.

The westering moon went to bury herself in banks of cloud; the wind
increasing piped and whistled in strident threatening through the
rigging; the ship vibrated to the concussive voice of the minute-gun. No
murmurs but those of wind and water were heard among the throng; they
drove forward in awful, pallid silence. Suddenly the shriek of one
voice, but from fourscore throats, rent the agonized quiet. A red light
was running along the deck, a tongue of flame lapping round the
forecastle, a spire shooting aloft. Marguerite hid her face in Mr.
Raleigh's arm; a great sob seemed to go up from all the people. The
captain's voice thundered through the tumult, and instantly the mates
sprang forward and the jib went crashing overboard. Mr. Raleigh tore his
eyes away from the fascination of this terror, and fixed them by chance
on two black specks that danced on the watery horizon. He gazed with
intense vision a moment. "The tugs!" he cried. The words thrilled with
hope in every dying heart; they no longer saw themselves the waiting
prey of pain and death, of flames and sea. Some few leaped into the boat
at the stern, lowered and cut it away; others dropped spontaneously into
file, and passed the dripping buckets of sea-water, to keep, if
possible, the flames in check. Mr. Raleigh and Marguerite crossed over
to Ursule.

The sight of her nurse, passive in despair, restored to the girl a
portion of her previous spirit. She knelt beside her, talking low and
rapidly, now and then laughing, and all the time communicating nerve
with her light, firm finger-touches. Except their quick and
unintelligible murmurs, and the plash and hiss of water, nothing else
broke the torturing hush of expectation. There was a half-hour of
breathless watch ere the steam-tugs were alongside. Already the place
was full of fervid torment, and they had climbed upon every point to
leave below the stings of the blistering deck. None waited on the order
of their going, but thronged and sprang precipitately. Ursule was at
once deposited in safety. The captain moved to conduct Marguerite
across, but she drew back and clung to Mr. Raleigh.

"_J'ai honte_," she said; "_je ne bougerai pas plus tót que vous._"

The breath of the fierce flames scorched her cheek as she spoke, the
wind of their roaring progress swept her hair. He lifted her over
without further consultation, and still kept her in his care.

There was a strange atmosphere on board the little vessels, as they
labored about and parted from the doomed Osprey. Many were subdued with
awe and joy at their deliverance; others broke the tense strain of the
last hours in suffocating sobs. Every throb of the panting engines they
answered with waiting heart-beats, as it sent them farther from the
fearful wonder, now blazing in multiplex lines of fire against the gray
horizon. Mr. Raleigh gazed after it as one watches the conflagration of
a home. Marguerite left her quiet weeping to gaze with him. An hour
silently passed, and as the fiery phantom faded into dawn and distance
she sang sweetly the first few lines of an old French hymn. Another
voice took up the measure, stronger and clearer; those who knew nothing
of the words caught the spirit of the tune; and no choral service ever
pealed up temple-vaults with more earnest accord than that in which this
chant of grateful, exultant devotion now rose from rough-throated men
and weary women in the crisp air and yellowing spring-morning.

As the moment of parting approached, Marguerite stood with folded hands
before Mr. Raleigh, looking sadly down the harbor.

"I regret all that," she said,--"these days that seem years."

"An equivocal phrase," he replied, with a smile.

"But you know what I mean. I am going to strangers; I have been with
you. I shall find no one so kind to me as you have been, Monsieur."

"Your strangers can be much kinder to you than I have been."

"Never! I wish they did not exist! What do I care for them? What do they
care for me? They do not know me; I shall shock them. I miss you, I hate
them, already. _Non! Personne ne m'aime, et je n'aime personne!_" she
exclaimed, with low-toned vehemence.

"Rite," began Mr. Raleigh.

"Rite! No one but my mother ever called me that. How did you know it?"

"I have met your mother, and I knew you a great many years ago."

"Mr. Raleigh!" And there was the least possible shade of unconscious
regret in the voice before it added,--"And what was I?"

"You were some little wood-spirit, the imp of a fallen cone, mayhap, or
the embodiment of birch-tree shadows. You were a soiled and naughty
little beauty, not so different from your present self, and who kissed
me on the lips."  "And did you refuse to take the kiss?"

He laughed.

"You were a child then," he said. "And I was not"----

"Was not?"----

Here the boat swung round at her moorings, and the shock prevented Mr.
Raleigh's finishing his sentence.

"Ursule is with us, or on the other one?" she asked.

"With us."

"That is fortunate. She is all I have remaining, by which to prove my

"As if there could be two such maidens in the world!"

Marguerite left him, a moment, to give Captain Tarbell her address, and
returning, they were shortly afterward seated side by side in a coach,
Capua and Ursule following in another. As they stopped at the destined
door, Mr. Raleigh alighted and extended his hand. She lingered a moment
ere taking it,--not to say adieu, nor to offer him cheek or lip again.

"_Que je te remercie!_" she murmured, lifting her eyes to his. "_Que je
te trouve bon!_" and sprang before him up the steps.

He heard her father meet her in the hall; Ursule had already joined
them; he reëntered the coach and rolled rapidly beyond recall.

The burning of the Osprey did not concern Mr. Raleigh's
business-relations. Carrying his papers about him, he had personally
lost thereby nothing of consequence. He refreshed himself, and proceeded
at once to the transactions awaiting him. In a brief time he found that
affairs wore a different aspect from that for which he had been
instructed, and letters from the house had already arrived, by the
overland route, which required mutual reply and delay before he could
take further steps; so that Mr. Raleigh found himself with some months
of idleness upon his hands, in a land with not a friend. There lay a
little scented billet, among the documents on his table, that had at
first escaped his attention; he took it up wonderingly, and broke the
seal. It was from his Cousin Kate, and had been a few days before him.
Mrs. McLean had heard of his expected arrival, it said, and begged him,
if he had any time to spare, to spend it with her in his old home by the
lake, whither every summer they had resorted to meditate on the virtues
of the departed. There was added, in a different hand, whose delicate
and pointed characters seemed singularly familiar,--

     "Come o'er the stream, Charlie, dear Charlie,
     brave Charlie!

     "Come o'er the stream, Charlie, and dine
     wi' McLean!"

Mr. Raleigh looked at the matter a few moments; he did not think it best
to remain long in the city; he would be glad to know if sight of the old
scenes could renew a throb. He answered his letters, replenished his
wardrobe, and took, that same day, the last train for the North. At noon
of the second day thereafter he found Mr. McLean's coach, with that
worthy gentleman in person, awaiting him, and he stepped out, when it
paused at the foot of his former garden, with a strange sense of the
world as an old story, a twice-told tale, a maze of error.

Mrs. McLean came running down to meet him,--a face less round and rosy
than once, as the need of pink cap-ribbons testified, but smiling and
bright as youth.

"The same little Kate," said Mr. Raleigh, after the first greeting,
putting his hands on her shoulders and smiling down at her benevolently.

"Not quite the same Roger, though," said she, shaking her head. "I
expected this stain on your skin; but, dear me! your eyes look as if you
had not a friend in the world."

"How can they look so, when you give me such a welcome?"

"Dear old Roger, you _are_ just the same," said she, bestowing a little
caress upon his sleeve. "And if you remember the summer before you went
away, you will not find that pleasant company so very much changed
either."  "I do not expect to find them at all."

"Oh, then they will find you; because they are all here,--at least the
principals; some with different names, and some, like myself, with
duplicates,"--as a shier Kate came down toward them, dragging a brother
and sister by the hand, and shaking chestnut curls over rosy blushes.

After making acquaintance with the new cousins, Mr. Raleigh turned again
to Mrs. McLean.

"And who are there here?" he asked.

"There is Mrs. Purcell,--you remember Helen Heath? Poor Mrs. Purcell,
whom you knew, died, and her slippers fitted Helen. She chaperons Mary,
who is single and speechless yet; and Captain, now Colonel, Purcell
makes a very good silent partner. He is hunting in the West, on
furlough; she is here alone. There is Mrs. Heath,--you never have
forgotten her?"

"Not I."

"There is"------

"And how came you all in the country so early in the season,--anybody
with your devotion to company?"

"To be made April fools, John says."

"Why, the willows are not yet so yellow as they will be."

"I know it. But we had the most fatiguing winter; and Mrs. Laudersdale
and I agreed, that, the moment the snow was off the ground up here, we
would fly away and be at rest."

"Mrs. Laudersdale? Can she come here?"

"Goodness! Why not? The last few summers we have always spent together."

"She is with you now, then?"

"Oh, yes. She is the least changed of all. I didn't mean to tell, but
keep her as a surprise. Of course, you will be a surprise to
everybody.--There, run along, children; we'll follow.--Yes, won't it be
delightful, Roger? We can all play at youth again."

"Like skeletons in some Dance of Death!" he exclaimed. "We shall be
hideous in each other's sight."

"McLean, I am a bride," said his wife, not heeding the late misanthropy;
"Helen is a girl; the ghost of the prior Mrs. Purcell shall be
_rediviva_; and Katy there"------

"Wait a bit, Kate," said her cousin.

"Before you have shuffled off mortality for the whole party, sit down
under this hedge,--here is an opportune bench,--and give me accounts
from the day of my departure."

"Dear me, Roger, as if that were possible! The ocean in a tea-cup? Let
me see,--you had a flirtation with Helen that summer, didn't you? Well,
she spent the next winter at the Fort with the Purcells. It was odd to
miss both her and Mrs. Laudersdale from society at once. Mrs.
Laudersdale was ill; I don't know exactly what the trouble was. You know
she had been in such an unusual state of exhilaration all that summer;
and as soon as she left New Hampshire and began the old city-life, she
became oppressed with a speechless melancholy, I believe, so that the
doctors foreboded insanity. She expressed great disinclination to follow
their advice, and her husband finally banished them all. It was a great
care to him; he altered much. McLean surmised that she didn't like to
see him, while she was in this state; for, though he used to surround
her with every luxury, and was always hunting out new appliances, and
raising the heavens for a trifle, he kept himself carefully out of her
sight during the greater part of the winter. I don't know whether she
became insufferably lonely, or whether the melancholy wore off, or she
conquered it, and decided that it was not right to go crazy for nothing,
or what happened. But one cold March evening he set out for his home,
dreary, as usual, he thought; and he found the fire blazing and
reddening the ceiling and curtains, the room all aglow with rich
shadows, and his wife awaiting him, in full toilet, just as superb as
you will see her tonight, just as sweet and cold and impassible and
impenetrable. At least," continued Mrs. McLean, taking breath, "I have
manufactured this little romance out of odds and ends that McLean has
now and then reported from his conversation. I dare say there isn't a
bit of it true, for Mr. Laudersdale isn't a man to publish his affairs;
but _I_ believe it. One thing is certain: Mrs. Laudersdale withdrew from
society one autumn and returned one spring, and has queened it
ever since."

"Is Mr. Laudersdale with you?"

"No. But he will come with their daughter shortly."

"And with what do you all occupy yourselves, pray?"

"Oh, with trifles and tea, as you would suppose us to do. Mrs. Purcell
gossips and lounges, as if she were playing with the world for
spectator. Mrs. Laudersdale lounges, and attacks things with her
finger-ends, as if she were longing to remould them. Mrs. McLean gossips
and scolds, as if it depended on her to keep the world in order."

"Are you going to keep me under the hedge all night?"

"This is pretty well! Hush! Who is that?"

As Mrs. McLean spoke, a figure issued from the tall larches on the left,
and crossed the grass in front of them,--a woman, something less tall
than a gypsy queen might be, the round outlines of her form rich and
regular, with a certain firm luxuriance, still wrapped in a morning-robe
of palm-spread cashmere. In her hand she carried various vines and
lichens that had maintained their orange-tawny stains under the winter's
snow, and the black hair that was folded closely over forehead and
temple was crowned with bent sprays of the scarlet maple-blossom. As
vivid a hue dyed her cheek through warm walking, and with a smile of
unconscious content she passed quickly up the slope and disappeared
within the doorway. She impressed the senses of the beholder like some
ripe and luscious fruit, a growth of sunshine and summer.

"Well," said Mrs. McLean, drawing breath again, "who is it?"

"Really, I cannot tell," replied Mr. Raleigh.

"Nor guess?"

"And that I dare not."

"Must I tell you?"

"Was it Mrs. Laudersdale?"

"And shouldn't you have known her?"


"Mercy! Then how did you know me? She is unaltered."

"If that is Mrs. Purcell, at the window, she does not recognize me, you
see; neither did -----. Both she and yourself are nearly the same; one
could not fail to know either of you; but of the Mrs. Laudersdale of
thirteen years ago there remains hardly a vestige."

If Mrs. McLean, at this testimony, indulged in that little inward
satisfaction which the most generous woman may feel, when told that her
color wears better than the color of her dearest friend, it must have
been quickly quenched by the succeeding sentence.

"Yes, she is certainly more beautiful than I ever dreamed of a woman's
being. If she continues, I do not know what perfect thing she will
become. She is too exquisite for common use. I wonder her husband is not
jealous of every mote in the air, of rain and wind, of every day that
passes over her head,--since each must now bear some charm from her in
its flight."

Mr. Raleigh was talking to Mrs. McLean as one frequently reposes
confidence in a person when quite sure that he will not understand a
word you say.

An hour afterward, Mrs. Purcell joined Mrs. McLean.

"So that is Mr. Raleigh, is it?" she said. "He looks as if he had made
the acquaintance of Siva the Destroyer. There's nothing left of him. Is
he taller, or thinner, or graver, or darker, or what? My dear Kate, your
cousin, that promised to be such a hero, has become a mere
man-of-business. Did you ever burn firecrackers? You have probably found
some that just fizzed out, then." And Mrs. Purcell took an attitude.

"Roger is a much finer man than he was, I think,--so far as I could
judge in the short time we have seen each other," replied Mrs. McLean,
with spirit.

"Do you know," continued Mrs. Purcell, "what makes the Laudersdale so
gay? No? She has a letter from her lord, and he brings you that little
Rite next week. I must send for the Colonel to see such patterns of
conjugal felicity as you and she. Ah, there is the tea-bell!"

Mr. Raleigh was standing with one hand on the back of his chair, when
Mrs. Laudersdale entered. The cheek had resumed its usual pallor, and
she was in her customary colors of black and gold. She carried a
curiously cut crystal glass, which she placed on the sideboard, and then
moved toward her chair. Her eye rested casually for a moment on Mr.
Raleigh, as she crossed the threshold, and then returned with a species
of calm curiosity.

"Mrs. Laudersdale has forgotten me?" he asked, with a bow. His voice,
not susceptible of change in its tone of Southern sweetness,
identified him.

"Not at all," she replied, moving toward him, and offering him her hand
quietly. "I am happy at meeting Mr. Raleigh again." And she took
her seat.

There was something in her grasp that relieved him. It was neither
studiedly cold, nor absurdly brief, nor traitorously tremulous. It was
simply and forgetfully indifferent. Mr. Raleigh surveyed her with
interest during the light table-talk. He had been possessed with a
restless wish to see her once more, to ascertain if she had yet any
fraction of her old power over him; he had all the more determinedly
banished himself from the city,--to find her in the country. Now he
sought for some trace of what had formerly aroused his heart. He rose
from table convinced that the woman whom he once loved with the whole
fervor of youth and strength and buoyant life was no more, that she did
not exist, and that Mr. Raleigh might experience a new passion, but his
old one was as dead as the ashes that cover the Five Cities of the
Plain. He wondered how it might be with her. For a moment he cursed his
inconstancy; then he feared lest she were of larger heart and firmer
resolve than he,--lest her love had been less light than his; he could
scarcely feel himself secure of freedom,--he must watch. And then stole
in a deeper sense of loneliness than exile and foreign tongues had
taught him,--the knowledge of being single and solitary in the world,
not only for life, but for eternity.

The evening was passed in the recitation of affairs by himself and his
cousins alone together, and until a week completed its tale of dawns and
sunsets there was the same diurnal recurrence of question and answer.
One day, as the afternoon was paling, Rite came.

Mr. Raleigh had fallen asleep on the vine-hidden seat outside the
bay-window, and was awakened, certainly not by Mrs. Laudersdale's
velvets trailing over the drawing-room carpet. She was just entering,
slow-paced, though in haste. She held out both of her beautiful arms. A
little form of airy lightness, a very snow-wreath, blew into them.

"_O ma maman! Est ce que c'est toi_," it cried. "_O comme tu es douce!
Si belle, si molle, si chère!_" And the fair head was lying beneath the
dark one, the face hidden in the bent and stately neck.

Mr. Raleigh left his seat, unseen, and betook himself to another abode.
As he passed the drawing-room door, on his return, he saw the mother
lying on a lounge, with the slight form nestled beside her, playing with
it as some tame leopardess might play with her silky whelp. It was
almost the only portion of the maternal nature developed within her.

It seemed as if the tea-hour were a fated one. Mr. Raleigh had been out
on the water and was late. As he entered, Rite sprang up,
half-overturning her chair, and ran to clasp his hand.

"I did not know that you and Mr. Raleigh were acquainted," said Mrs.

"Oh, Madam, Mr. Raleigh and I had the pleasure of being shipwrecked
together," was the reply; and except that Mrs. Laudersdale required
another napkin where her cup had spilled, all went on smoothly.

Mrs. Laudersdale took Marguerite entirely to herself for a while. She
seemed, at first, to be like some one suddenly possessed of a new sense,
and who did not know in the least what to do with it; but custom and
familiarity destroyed this sentiment. She did not appear to entertain a
doubt of her child's natural affection, but she had care to fortify it
by the exertion of every charm she possessed. From the presence of
dangerous rivals in the house, an element of determination blended with
her manner, and she moved with a certain conscious power, as if
wonderful energies were but half-latent with her, as if there were
kingdoms to conquer and crowns to win, and she the destined instrument
You would have selected her, at this time of her lavish devotion to
Marguerite, as the one woman of complete capability, of practical
effective force, and have declared that there was nothing beyond her
strength. The relation between herself and her child was certainly as
peculiar as anything else about them; the disparity of age seemed so
slight that they appeared like sisters, full of mutual trust, the
younger leaning on the elder for support in the most trivial affairs.
They walked through the woods together, learned again its glades and
coverts, searched its early treasure of blossoms; they went out on the
lake and spent long April afternoons together, floating about cove and
inlet of island-shores; they returned with innocent gayety to that house
which once the mother, in her moment of passion, had fancied to be a
possible heaven of delight, and which, since, she had found to be a very
indifferent limbo. For, after all, we derive as much happiness from
human beings as from Nature, and it was a tie of placid affection that
bound her to the McLeans, not of sympathetic union, and her husband was
careful never to oppress her with too much of his society. Whether this
woman, who had lived a life of such wordless emotion, who had never
bestowed a confidence, suddenly blossomed like a rose and took the
little new-comer into the gold-dust and fragrance of her heart, or
whether there was always between them the thin impalpable division that
estranged the past from the present, there was nothing to tell; it
seemed, nevertheless, as if they could have no closer bond, had they
read each other's thoughts from birth.

That this assumption of Marguerite could not continue exclusive Mr.
Raleigh found, when now and then joined in his walks by an airy figure
flitting forward at his side: now and then; since Mrs. Laudersdale,
without knowing how to prevent, had manifested an uneasiness at every
such rencontre;--and that it could not endure forever, another
gentleman, without so much reason, congratulated himself,--Mr. Frederic
Heath, the confidential clerk of Day, Knight, and Company,--a rather
supercilious specimen, quite faultlessly got up, who had accompanied her
from New York at her father's request, and who already betrayed every
symptom of the suitor. Meanwhile, Mrs. McLean's little women clamorously
demanded and obtained a share of her attention,--although Capua and
Ursule, with their dark skins, brilliant dyes, and equivocal dialects,
were creatures of a more absorbing interest.

One afternoon, Marguerite came into the drawing-room by one door, as Mr.
Raleigh entered by another; her mother was sitting near the window, and
other members of the family were in the vicinity, having clustered
preparatory to the tea-bell.

Marguerite had twisted tassels of the willow-catkins in her hair,
drooping things, in character with her wavy grace, and that sprinkled
her with their fragrant yellow powder, the very breath of spring; and in
one hand she had imprisoned a premature lace-winged fly, a fairy little
savage, in its sheaths of cobweb and emerald, and with its jewel eyes.

"Dear!" said Mrs. Purcell, gathering her array more closely about her.
"How do you dare touch such a venomous sprite?"

"As if you had an insect at the North with a sting!" replied Marguerite,
suffering it, a little maliciously, to escape in the lady's face, and
following the flight with a laugh of childlike glee.

"Here are your snowflakes on stems, mamma," she continued, dropping
anemones over her mother's hands, one by one;--"that is what Mr. Raleigh
calls them. When may I see the snow? You shall wrap me in eider, that I
may be like all the boughs and branches. How buoyant the earth must be,
when every twig becomes a feather!" And she moved toward Mr. Raleigh,
singing, "Oh, would I had wings like a dove!"

"And here are those which, if not daffodils,

     "'Come before the swallow dares, and take
     The winds of March with beauty,'"

he said, giving her a basket of hepaticas and winter-green.

Marguerite danced away with the purple trophy, and, emptying a carafe
into a dish of moss that stood near, took them to Mrs. Laudersdale, and,
sitting on the footstool, began to rearrange them. It was curious to
see, that, while Mrs. Laudersdale lifted each blossom and let the stem
lie across her hand, she suffered it to fall into the place designated
for it by Marguerite's fingers, that sparkled in the mosaic till double
wreaths of gold-threaded purple rose from the bed of vivid moss and
melted into a fringe of the starry spires of winter-green.

"Is it not sweet?" said she then, bending over it.

"They have no scent," said her mother.

"Oh, yes, indeed! the very finest, the most delicate, a kind of aërial
perfume; they must of course alchemize the air into which they waste
their fibres with some sweetness."

"A smell of earth fresh from 'wholesome drench of April rains,'" said
Mr. Raleigh, taking the dish of white porcelain between his brown,
slender hands. "An immature scent, just such an innocent breath as
should precede the epigea, that spicy, exhaustive wealth of savor, that
complete maturity of odor, marriage of daphne and linnaea. The charm of
these first bidders for the year's favor is neither in the ethereal
texture, the depth or delicacy of tint, nor the large-lobed,
blood-stained, ancient leaves. This imponderable soul gives them such a
helpless air of babyhood."

"Is fragrance the flower's soul?" asked Marguerite. "Then anemones are
not divinely gifted. And yet you said, the other day, that to paint my
portrait would be to paint an anemone."

"A satisfactory specimen in the family-gallery," said Mrs. Purcell.

"A flaw in the indictment!" replied Mr. Raleigh. "I am not one of those
who paint the lily."

"Though you've certainly added a perfume to the violet," remarked Mr.
Frederic Heath, with that sweetly lingering accent familiarly called the
drawl, as he looked at the hepaticas.

"I don't think it very complimentary, at any rate," continued
Marguerite. "They are not lovely after bloom,--only the little
pink-streaked, budded bells, that hang so demurely. _Oui, dà!_ I have
exchanged great queen magnolias for rues; what will you give me for
pomegranates and oleanders?"

"Are the old oleanders in the garden yet?" asked Mrs. Laudersdale.

"Not the very same. The hurricane destroyed those, years ago; these are
others, grand and rosy as sunrise sometimes."

"It was my Aunt Susanne who planted those, I have heard."

"And it was your daughter Rite who planted these."

"She buried a little box of old keepsakes at its foot, after her brother
had examined them,--a ring or two, a coin from which she broke and kept
one half"------

"Oh, yes! we found the little box, found it when Mr. Heath was in
Martinique, all rusted and moulded and falling apart, and he wears that
half of the coin on his watch-chain. See!"

Mrs. Laudersdale glanced up indifferently, but Mrs. Purcell sprang from
her elegant lounging and bent to look at her brother's chain.

"How odd that I never noticed it, Fred!" she exclaimed. "And how odd
that I should wear the same!" And, shaking her _châtelaine_, she
detached a similar affair.

They were placed side by side in Mr. Raleigh's hand; they matched
entirely, and, so united, they formed a singular French coin of value
and antiquity, the missing figures on one segment supplied by the other,
the embossed profile continued and lost on each, the scroll begun by
this and ended by that; they were plainly severed portions of the
same piece.

"And this was buried by your Aunt Susanne Le Blanc?" asked Mrs. Purcell,
turning to Mrs. Laudersdale again, with a flush on her cheek.

"So I presume."

"Strange! And this was given to mamma by her mother, whose maiden name
was Susan White. There's some _diablerie_ about it."

"Oh, that is a part of the ceremony of money-hiding," said Mr. Raleigh.
"Kidd always buried a little imp with his pots of gold, you know, to
work deceitful charms on the finder."

"Did he?" said Marguerite, earnestly.

They all laughed thereat, and went in to tea.

[To be continued.]




     O Love! the flowers are blowing in park and field,
     With love their bursting hearts are all revealed.
     So come to me, and all thy fragrance yield!

     O Love! the sun is sinking in the west,
     And sequent stars all sentinel his rest.
     So sleep, while angels watch, upon my breast!

     O Love! the flooded moon is at its height,
     And trances sea and land with tranquil light.
     So shine, and gild with beauty all my night!

     O Love! the ocean floods the crooked shore,
     Till sighing beaches give their moaning o'er.
     So, Love, o'erflow me, till I sigh no more!



     O wife! the fragrant Mayflower now appears,
     Fresh as the Pilgrims saw it through their tears.
     So blows our love through all these changing years.

     O wife! the sun is rising in the east,
     Nor tires to shine, while ages have increased.
     So shines our love, and fills my happy breast

     O wife! on yonder beach the ocean sings,
     As when it bore the Mayflower's drooping wings.
     So in my heart our early love-song rings.

     O wife! the moon and stars slide down the west
     To make in fresher skies their happy quest.
     So, Love, once more we'll wed among the blest!


We were standing in the old English church at Clevedon on a summer
afternoon. And here, said my companion, pausing in the chancel, sleeps
Arthur Hallam, the friend of Alfred Tennyson, and the subject of "In

     "'Tis well, 'tis something, we may stand
     Where he in English earth is laid."

His burial-place is on a hill overhanging the Bristol Channel, a spot
selected by his father as a fit resting-place for his beloved boy.
And so

     "They laid him by the pleasant shore,
     And in the hearing of the wave."

Dying at twenty-two, the hope and pride of all who knew him, "remarkable
for the early splendor of his genius," the career of this young man
concentres the interest of more than his native country. Tennyson has
laid upon his early grave a poem which will never let his ashes be
forgotten, or his memory fade like that of common clay. What Southey so
felicitously says of Kirke White applies most eloquently to young
Hallam:--"Just at that age when the painter would have wished to fix his
likeness and the lover of poetry would delight to contemplate him, in
the fair morning of his virtues, the full spring-blossom of his hopes,--
just at that age hath death set the seal of eternity upon him, and the
beautiful hath been made permanent."

Arthur Henry Hallam was born in Bedford Place, London, on the 1st of
February, 1811. The eldest son of Henry Hallam, the eminent historian
and critic, his earliest years had every advantage which culture and
moral excellence could bring to his education. His father has feelingly
commemorated his boyish virtues and talents by recording his "peculiar
clearness of perception, his facility of acquiring knowledge, and, above
all, an undeviating sweetness of disposition, and adherence to his sense
of what was right and becoming." From that tearful record, not publicly
circulated, our recital is partly gathered. Companions of his childhood
have often told us well-remembered incidents of his life, and this is
the too brief story of his earthly career.

When about eight years of age, Arthur resided some time in Germany and
Switzerland, with his father and mother. He had already become familiar
with the French language, and a year later he read Latin with some
facility. Although the father judiciously studied to repress his son's
marked precocity of talent, Arthur wrote about this time several plays
in prose and in rhyme,--compositions which were never exhibited,
however, beyond the family-circle.

At ten years of age he became a pupil at a school in Putney, under the
tuition of an excellent clergyman, where he continued two years. He then
took a short tour on the Continent, and, returning, went to Eton, where
he studied nearly five years. While at Eton, he was reckoned, according
to the usual test at that place, not a first-rate Latin student, for his
mind had a predominant bias toward English literature, and there he
lingered among the exhaustless fountains of the earlier poetry of his
native tongue. One who knew him well in those years has described him to
us as a sweet-voiced lad, moving about the pleasant playing-fields of
Eton with a thoughtful eye and a most kindly expression. Afterwards, as
Tennyson, singing to the witch-elms and the towering sycamore, paints
him, he mixed in all the simple sports, and loved to gather a happy
group about him, as he lay on the grass and discussed grave questions of
state. And again,--

     "Thy converse drew us with delight,
     The men of rathe and riper years:
     The feeble soul, a haunt of fears,
     Forgot his weakness in thy sight."

His taste for philosophical poetry increased with his years, and
Wordsworth and Shelley became his prime favorites. His contributions to
the "Eton Miscellany" were various, sometimes in prose and now and then
in verse. A poet by nature, he could not resist the Muse's influence,
and he expressed a genuine emotion, oftentimes elegantly, and never
without a meaning.

In the summer of 1827 he left Eton, and travelled with his parents eight
months in Italy. And now began that life of thought and feeling so
conspicuous to the end of his too brief career. Among the Alps his whole
soul took the impress of those early introductions to what is most
glorious and beautiful in Nature. After passing the mountains, Italian
literature claimed his attention, and he entered upon its study with all
the ardor of a young and earnest student. An Abbate who recognized his
genius encouraged him with his assistance in the difficult art of
Italian versification, and, after a very brief stay in Italy, at the age
of seventeen, he wrote several sonnets which attracted considerable
attention among scholars. Very soon after acquiring the Italian
language, the great Florentine poet opened to him his mystic visions.
Dante became his worship, and his own spirit responded to that of the
author of the "Divina Commedia."

His growing taste led him to admire deeply all that is noble in Art, and
he soon prized with enthusiasm the great pictures of the Venetian, the
Tuscan, and the Roman schools. "His eyes," says his father, "were fixed
on the best pictures with silent, intense delight." One can imagine him
at this period wandering with all the ardor of youthful passion through
the great galleries, not with the stolid stony gaze of a coldblooded
critic, but with that unmixed enthusiasm which so well becomes the
unwearied traveller in his buoyant days of experience among the unveiled
glories of genius now first revealed to his astonished vision.

He returned home in 1828, and went to reside at Cambridge, having been
entered, before his departure for the Continent, at Trinity College. It
is said that he cared little for academical reputation, and in the
severe scrutiny of examination he did not appear as a competitor for
accurate mathematical demonstrations. He knew better than those about
him where his treasures lay,--and to some he may have seemed a dreamer,
to others an indifferent student, perhaps. His aims were higher than the
tutor's black-board, and his life-thoughts ran counter to the usual
college-routine. Disordered health soon began to appear, and a too rapid
determination of blood to the brain often deprived him of the power of
much mental labor. At Florence he had been seized with a slight attack
of the same nature, and there was always a tendency to derangement of
the vital functions. Irregularity of circulation occasioned sometimes a
morbid depression of spirits, and his friends anxiously watched for
symptoms of returning health. In his third Cambridge year he grew
better, and all who knew and loved him rejoiced in his apparent recovery.

About this time, some of his poetical pieces were printed, but withheld
from publication. It was the original intention for the two friends,
Alfred Tennyson and Arthur Hallam, to publish together; but the idea was
abandoned. Such lines as these the young poet addressed to the man who
was afterwards to lend interest and immortality to the story of his
early loss:--

     "Alfred, I would that you beheld me now,
     Sitting beneath a mossy, ivied wall
     On a quaint bench, which to that structure old
     Winds an accordant curve. Above my head
     Dilates immeasurable a wild of leaves,
     Seeming received into the blue expanse
     That vaults this summer noon. Before me lies
     A lawn of English verdure, smooth, and bright,
     Mottled with fainter hues of early hay,
     Whose fragrance, blended with the rose-perfume
     From that white flowering bush, invites my sense
     To a delicious madness,--and faint thoughts
     Of childish years are borne into my brain
     By unforgotten ardors waking now.
     Beyond, a gentle slope leads into shade
     Of mighty trees, to bend whose eminent crown
     Is the prime labor of the pettish winds,
     That now in lighter mood are twirling leaves
     Over my feet, or hurrying butterflies,
     And the gay humming things that summer loves,
     Through the warm air, or altering the bound
     Where yon elm-shadows in majestic line
     Divide dominion with the abundant light."

And this fine descriptive passage was also written at this period of his

     "The garden trees are busy with the shower
     That fell ere sunset: now methinks they talk,
     Lowly and sweetly, as befits the hour,
       One to another down the grassy walk.
     Hark! the laburnum from his opening flower
       This cheery creeper greets in whisper light,
       While the grim fir, rejoicing in the night,
     Hoarse mutters to the murmuring sycamore.
       What shall I deem their converse? Would they hail
     The wild gray light that fronts yon massive cloud,
         Or the half-bow rising like pillared fire?
         Or are they sighing faintly for desire
     That with May dawn their leaves may be o'erflowed,
      And dews about their feet may never fail?"

The first college prize for English declamation was awarded to him this
year; and his exercise, "The Conduct of the Independent Party during the
Civil War," greatly improved his standing at the University. Other
honors quickly followed his successful essay, and he was chosen to
deliver an oration in the College Chapel just before the Christmas
vacation. This was in the year 1831. He selected as his subject the one
eminently congenial to his thought; and his theme, "The Influence of
Italian upon English Literature," was admirably treated. The oration is
before us as we write, and we turn the pages with a fond and loving eye.
We remember, as we read, his brief sojourn,--that he died "in the sweet
hour of prime,"--and we are astonished at the eloquent wisdom displayed
by a lad of twenty summers. "I cannot help considering," he says, "the
sonnets of Shakspeare as a sort of homage to the Genius of Christian
Europe, necessarily exacted, although voluntarily paid, before he was
allowed to take in hand the sceptre of his endless dominion." And he
ends his charming disquisition in these words;--"An English mind that
has drunk deep at the sources of Southern inspiration, and especially
that is imbued with the spirit of the mighty Florentine, will be
conscious of a perpetual freshness and quiet beauty resting on his
imagination and spreading gently over his affections, until, by the
blessing of Heaven, it may be absorbed without loss in the pure inner
light of which that voice has spoken, as no other can,--

     "'Light intellectual, yet full of love,
     Love of true beauty, therefore full of joy,
     Joy, every other sweetness far above.'"

It was young Hallam's privilege to be among Coleridge's favorites, and
in one of his poems Arthur alludes to him as a man in whose face "every
line wore the pale cast of thought." His conversations with "the old man
eloquent" gave him intense delight, and he often alluded to the
wonderful talks he had enjoyed with the great dreamer, whose magical
richness of illustration took him captive for the time being.

At Abbotsford he became known to Sir Walter Scott, and Lockhart thus
chronicles his visit:--

"Among a few other friends from a distance, Sir Walter received this
summer [1829] a short visit from Mr. Hallam, and made in his company
several of the little excursions which had in former days been of
constant recurrence. Mr. Hallam had with him his son, Arthur, a young
gentleman of extraordinary abilities, and as modest as able, who not
long afterwards was cut off in the very bloom of opening life and
genius. His beautiful verses, 'On Melrose seen in Company with Scott,'
have since been often printed."

     "I lived an hour in fair Melrose:
       It was not when 'the pale moonlight'
     Its magnifying charm bestows;
       Yet deem I that I 'viewed it right.'
     The wind-swept shadows fast careered,
     Like living things that joyed or feared,
     Adown the sunny Eildon Hill,
     And the sweet winding Tweed the distance crowned well.

     "I inly laughed to see that scene
       Wear such a countenance of youth,
     Though many an age those hills were green,
       And yonder river glided smooth,
     Ere in these now disjointed walls
     The Mother Church held festivals,
     And full-voiced anthemings the while
     Swelled from the choir, and lingered down the echoing aisle.

     "I coveted that Abbey's doom:
       For if, I thought, the early flowers
     Of our affection may not bloom,
       Like those green hills, through countless hours,
     Grant me at least a tardy waning
     Some pleasure still in age's paining;
     Though lines and forms must fade away,
     Still may old Beauty share the empire of Decay!

     "But looking toward the grassy mound
       Where calm the Douglas chieftains lie,
     Who, living, quiet never found,
       I straightway learnt a lesson high:
     And well I knew that thoughtful mien
     Of him whose early lyre had thrown
     Over these mouldering walls the magic of its tone.

     "Then ceased I from my envying state,
       And knew that aweless intellect
     Hath power upon the ways of Fate,
       And works through time and space uncheck'd.
     That minstrel of old Chivalry
     In the cold grave must come to be;
     But his transmitted thoughts have part
     In the collective mind, and never shall depart.

     "It was a comfort, too, to see
       Those dogs that from him ne'er would rove,
     And always eyed him reverently,
       With glances of depending love.
     They know not of that eminence
     Which marks him to my reasoning sense;
     They know but that he is a man,
     And still to them is kind, and glads them all he can.

     "And hence their quiet looks confiding,
       Hence grateful instincts seated deep,
     By whose strong bond, were ill betiding,
       They'd risk their own his life to keep.
     What joy to watch in lower creature
     Such dawning of a moral nature,
     And how (the rule all things obey)
     They look to a higher mind to be their law and stay!"

At the University he lived a sweet and gracious life. No man had truer
or fonder friends, or was more admired for his excellent
accomplishments. Earnest in whatever he attempted, his enthusiasm for
all that was high and holy in literature stamped his career at Trinity
as one of remarkable superiority. "I have known many young men, both at
Oxford and elsewhere, of whose abilities I think highly, but I never met
with one whom I considered worthy of being put into competition with
Arthur for a moment," writes his early and intimate friend. "I can
scarcely hope to describe the feelings with which I regarded him, much
less the daily beauty of his existence, out of which they grew," writes
another of his companions. Politics, literature, philosophy he discussed
with a metaphysical subtilty marvellous in one so young. The highest
comprehension seemed native to his mind, so that all who came within the
sphere of his influence were alike impressed with his vast and various
powers. The life and grace of a charmed circle, the display of his gifts
was not for show, and he never forgot to keep the solemn injunction,
_"My son, give me thine heart,"_ clearly engraven before him.

Among his favorite authors, while at the University, we have been told
he greatly delighted in the old dramatists, Webster, Heywood, and
Fletcher. The grace and harmony of style and versification which he
found particularly in the latter master became one of his favorite
themes, and he often dwelt upon this excellence. He loved to repeat the
sad old strains of Bion; and Aeschylus and Sophocles interested
him deeply.

On leaving Cambridge, he took his degree and went immediately to London
to reside with his father. It was a beautiful relation which always
existed between the elder and the younger scholar; and now, as soon as
Arthur had been entered on the boards of the Inner Temple, the father
and son sat down to read law together. Legal studies occupied the young
student till the month of October, 1832, when he became an inmate of the
office of an eminent conveyancer in Lincoln's Inn Fields. Although he
applied himself diligently to obtain a sound practical knowledge of the
profession he had chosen, his former habits of literary pursuit did not
entirely desert him. During the winter he translated most of the sonnets
in the "Vita Nuova," and composed a dramatic sketch with Raffaello for
the hero. About this period he wrote brief, but excellent, memoirs of
Petrarch, Voltaire, and Burke, for the "Gallery of Portraits," then
publishing by the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. But his
time, when unoccupied at the office, was principally devoted to
metaphysical research and the history of philosophical opinion. His
spirits, sometimes apt to be graver than is the wont of youth, now
became more animated and even gay, so that his family were cheered on to
hope that his health was firmly gaining ground. The unpleasant symptoms
which manifested themselves in his earlier years had almost entirely
disappeared, when an attack of intermittent fever in the spring of 1833
gave the fatal blow to his constitution. In August, the careful, tender
father took his beloved son into Germany, trusting to a change of
climate for restoration. Travelling slowly, they lingered among the
scenes connected with a literature and a history both were so familiar
with, and many pleasant and profitable hours of delightful converse
gladdened Arthur's journey. It is difficult to picture a more
interesting group of travellers through the picturesque regions they
were again exploring.

No child was ever more ardently loved--nay, worshipped--by his father
than Arthur Hallam. The parallel, perhaps, exists in Edmund Burke's fond
attachment for and subsequent calamity in the loss of his son Richard.
That passage in the life of the great statesman is one of the most
affecting in all biographical literature. "The son thus deeply
lamented," says Prior, "had always conducted himself with much filial
duty and affection. Their confidence on all subjects was even more
unreserved than commonly prevails between father and son, and their
esteem for each other higher.... The son looked to the father as one of
the first, if not the very first, character in history; the father had
formed the very highest opinion of the talents of the son, and among his
friends rated them superior to his own." The same confiding
companionship grew up between Henry Hallam and his eldest boy, and
continued till "death set the seal of eternity" upon the young and
gifted Arthur.

The travellers were returning to Vienna from Pesth; a damp day set in
while they were on the journey; again intermittent fever attacked the
sensitive invalid, and suddenly, mysteriously, his life was ended. It
was the 15th of September, 1833, and Arthur Hallam lay dead in his
father's arms. Twenty-two brief years, and all high hopes for him, the
manly, the noble-spirited, this side the tomb, are broken down forever.
Well might his heart-crushed father sob aloud, "He seemed to tread the
earth as a spirit from some better world." The author of "Horae
Subsecivae" aptly quotes Shakspeare's memorable words, in connection
with the tragic bereavement of that autumnal day in Vienna:--

     "The idea of thy life shall sweetly creep
     Into my study of imagination;
     And every lovely organ of thy life
     Shall come apparelled in more precious habit,
     More moving delicate, and full of life,
     Into the eye and prospect of my soul,
     Than when thou liv'dst indeed."

Standing by the grave of this young person, now made so renowned by the
genius of a great poet, whose song has embalmed his name and called the
world's attention to his death, the inevitable reflection is not of
sorrow. He sleeps well who is thus lamented, and "nothing can touch
him further."


It is not yet a year since I ceased to act as a Spiritual Medium. (I am
forced to make use of this title as the most intelligible, but I do it
with a strong mental protest.) At first, I desired only to withdraw
myself quietly from the peculiar associations into which I had been
thrown by the exercise of my faculty, and be content with the simple
fact of my escape. A man who joins the Dashaways does not care to have
the circumstance announced in the newspapers. "So, he was an habitual
drunkard," the public would say. I was overcome by a similar
reluctance,--nay, I might honestly call it shame,--since, although I had
at intervals officiated as a Medium for a period of seven years, my name
had been mentioned, incidentally, only once or twice in the papers
devoted especially to Spiritualism. I had no such reputation as that of
Hume or Andrew Jackson Davis, which would call for a public statement of
my recantation. The result would be, therefore, to give prominence to a
weakness, which, however manfully overcome, might be remembered to my
future prejudice.

I find, however, that the resolution to be silent leaves me restless and
unsatisfied. And in reflecting calmly--objectively, for the first
time--upon the experience of those seven years, I recognize so many
points wherein my case is undoubtedly analogous to that of hundreds of
others who may be still entangled in the same labyrinth whence I have
but recently escaped, so clear a solution of much that is enigmatical,
even to those who reject Spiritualism, that the impulse to write weighs
upon me with the pressure of a neglected duty. I _cannot_ longer be
silent, and, in the conviction that the truth of my statement will be
evident enough to those most concerned in hearing it, without the
authority of any name, (least of all, of one so little known as mine,)
I now give my confession to the world. The names of the individuals whom
I shall have occasion to introduce are, of course, disguised; but, with
this exception, the narrative is the plainest possible record of my own
experience. Many of the incidents winch I shall be obliged to describe
are known only to the actors therein, who, I feel assured, will never
foolishly betray themselves. I have therefore no fear that any harm can
result from my disclosures.

In order to make my views intelligible to those readers who have paid no
attention to psychological subjects, I must commence a little in advance
of my story. My own individual nature is one of those apparently
inconsistent combinations which are frequently found in the children of
parents whose temperaments and mental personalities widely differ. This
class of natures is much larger than would be supposed. Inheriting
opposite, even conflicting, traits from father and mother, they assume,
as either element predominates, diverse characters; and that which is
the result of temperament (in fact, congenital inconsistency) is set
down by the unthinking world as moral weakness or duplicity. Those who
have sufficient skill to perceive and reconcile--or, at least,
govern--the opposing elements are few, indeed. Had the power come to me
sooner, I should have been spared the necessity of making these

From one parent I inherited an extraordinarily active and sensitive
imagination,--from the other, a sturdy practical sense, a disposition to
weigh and balance with calm fairness the puzzling questions which life
offers to every man. These conflicting qualities--as is usual in all
similar natures--were not developed in equal order of growth. The former
governed my childhood, my youth, and enveloped me with spells, which all
the force of the latter and more slowly ripened faculty was barely
sufficient to break. Luxuriant weeds and brambles covered the soil which
should have been ploughed and made to produce honest grain.
Unfortunately, I had no teacher who was competent to understand and
direct me. The task was left for myself, and I can only wonder, after
all that has occurred, how it has been possible for me to succeed.
Certainly, this success has not been due to any vigorous exercise of
virtue on my part, but solely to the existence of that cool, reflective
reason which lay _perdue_ beneath all the extravagances of my mind.

I possessed, even as a child, an unusual share of what phrenologists
call Concentrativeness. The power of absorption, of self-forgetfulness,
was at the same time a source of delight and a torment. Lost in some
wild dream or absurd childish speculation, my insensibility to outward
things was chastised as carelessness or a hardened indifference to
counsel. With a memory almost marvellous to retain those things which
appealed to my imagination, I blundered painfully over the commonest
tasks. While I frequently repeated the Sunday hymn, at dinner, I was too
often unable to give the least report of the sermon. Withdrawn into my
corner of the pew, I gave myself up, after the enunciation of the text,
to a complete abstraction, which took no note of time or place. Fixing
my eyes upon a knot in one of the panels under the pulpit, I sat
moveless during the hour and a half which our worthy old clergyman
required for the expounding of the seven parts of his discourse. They
could never accuse me of sleeping, however; for I rarely even winked.
The closing hymn recalled me to myself, always with a shock, or sense of
pain, and sometimes even with a temporary nausea.

This habit of abstraction--properly a complete _passivity_ of the
mind--after a while developed another habit, in which I now see the root
of that peculiar condition which made me a Medium. I shall therefore
endeavor to describe it. I was sitting, one Sunday, just as the minister
was commencing his sermon, with my eyes carelessly following the fingers
of my right hand, as I drummed them slowly across my knee. Suddenly, the
wonder came into my mind,--How is it my fingers move? What set them
going? What is it that stops them? The mystery of that communication
between will and muscle, which no physiologist has ever fathomed, burst
upon my young intellect. I had been conscious of no intention of thus
drumming my fingers; they were in motion when I first noticed them: they
were certainly a part of myself, yet they acted without my knowledge or
design! My left hand was quiet; why did its fingers not move also?
Following these reflections came a dreadful fear, as I remembered Jane,
the blacksmith's daughter, whose elbows and shoulders sometimes jerked
in such a way as to make all the other scholars laugh, although we were
sorry for the poor girl, who cried bitterly over her unfortunate,
ungovernable limbs. I was comforted, however, on finding that I could
control the motion of my fingers at pleasure; but my imagination was too
active to stop there. What if I should forget how to direct my hands?
What if they should refuse to obey me? What if my knees, which were just
as still as the hymn-books in the rack before me, should cease to bend,
and I should sit there forever? These very questions seemed to produce a
temporary paralysis of the will. As my right hand lay quietly on my
knee, and I asked myself, with a stupid wonder, "Now, can I move it?" it
lay as still as before. I had only questioned, not willed. "No I cannot
move it," I said, in real doubt I was conscious of a blind sense of
exertion, wherein there was yet no proper exertion, but which seemed to
exhaust me. Fascinated by this new mystery, I contemplated my hand as
something apart from myself,--something subordinate to, but not
identical with, me. The rising of the congregation for the hymn broke
the spell, like the snapping of a thread.

The reader will readily understand that I carried these experiences much
farther. I gradually learned to suspend (perhaps in imagination only,
but therefore none the less really) the action of my will upon the
muscles of my arms and legs; and I did it with the greater impunity,
from knowing that the stir consequent upon the conclusion of the
services would bring me to myself. In proportion as the will became
passive, the activity of my imagination was increased, and I experienced
a new and strange delight in watching the play of fantasies which
appeared to come and go independently of myself. There was still a dim
consciousness of outward things mingled with my condition; I was not
beyond the recall of my senses. But one day, I remember, as I sat
motionless as a statue, having ceased any longer to attempt to control
my dead limbs, more than usually passive, a white, shining mist
gradually stole around me; my eyes finally ceased to take cognizance of
objects; a low, musical humming sounded in my ears, and those creatures
of the imagination which had hitherto crossed my brain as _thoughts_ now
spoke to me as audible voices. If there is any happy delirium in the
first stages of intoxication, (of which, thank Heaven, I have no
experience,) it must be a sensation very much like that which I felt.
The death of external and the birth of internal consciousness
overwhelmed my childish soul with a dumb, ignorant ecstasy, like that
which savages feel on first hearing the magic of music.

How long I remained thus I know not. I was aroused, by feeling myself
violently shaken. "John!" exclaimed my mother, who had grasped my arm
with a determined hand,--"bless the boy! what ails him? Why, his face
is as white as a sheet!" Slowly I recovered my consciousness, saw the
church and the departing congregation, and mechanically followed my
parents. I could give no explanation of what had happened, except to say
that I had fallen asleep. As I ate my dinner with a good appetite, my
mother's fears were quieted. I was left at home the following Sunday,
and afterwards only ventured to indulge sparingly in the exercise of my
newly discovered faculty. My mother, I was conscious, took more note of
my presence than formerly, and I feared a repetition of the same
catastrophe. As I grew older and my mind became interested in a wider
range of themes, I finally lost the habit, which I classed among the
many follies of childhood.

I retained, nevertheless, and still retain, something of that subtile
instinct which mocks and yet surpasses reason. My feelings with regard
to the persons whom I met were quite independent of their behavior
towards me, or the estimation in which they were held by the world.
Things which puzzled my brain in waking hours were made clear to me in
sleep, and I frequently felt myself blindly impelled to do or to avoid
doing certain things. The members of my family, who found it impossible
to understand my motives of action,--because, in fact, there were no
_motives_,--complacently solved the difficulty by calling me "queer." I
presume there are few persons who are not occasionally visited by the
instinct, or impulse, or faculty, or whatever it may be called, to which
I refer. I possessed it in a more than ordinary degree, and was
generally able to distinguish between its suggestions and the mere
humors of my imagination. It is scarcely necessary to say that I assume
the existence of such a power, at the outset. I recognize it as a normal
faculty of the human mind,--not therefore universal, any more than the
genius which makes a poet, a painter, or a composer.

My education was neither general nor thorough; hence I groped darkly
with the psychological questions which were presented to me. Tormented
by those doubts which at some period of life assail the soul of every
thinking man, I was ready to grasp at any solution which offered,
without very carefully testing its character. I eagerly accepted the
theory of Animal Magnetism, which, so far as it went, was satisfactory;
but it only illustrated the powers and relations of the soul in its
present state of existence; it threw no light upon that future which I
was not willing to take upon faith alone. Though sensible to mesmeric
influences, I was not willing that my spiritual nature should be the
instrument of another's will,--that a human being, like myself, should
become possessed of all my secrets and sanctities, touching the keys of
every passion with his unhallowed fingers. In the phenomena of
clairvoyance I saw only other and more subtile manifestations of the
power which I knew to exist in my own mind. Hence, I soon grew weary of
prosecuting inquiries which, at best, would fall short of solving my own
great and painful doubt,--Does the human soul continue to exist after
death? That it could take cognizance of things beyond the reach of the
five senses, I was already assured. This, however, might be a sixth
sense, no less material and perishable in its character than the others.
My brain, as yet, was too young and immature to follow the thread of
that lofty spiritual logic in the light of which such doubts melt away
like mists of the night. Thus, uneasy because undeveloped, erring
because I had never known the necessary guidance, seeking, but almost
despairing of enlightenment, I was a fit subject for any spiritual
epidemic which seemed to offer me a cure for worse maladies.

At this juncture occurred the phenomena known as the "Rochester
Knockings." (My home, let me say, is in a small town not far from New
York.) I shared in the general interest aroused by the marvellous
stories, which, being followed by the no less extraordinary display of
some unknown agency at Norwalk, Connecticut, excited me to such a degree
that I was half-converted to the new faith before I had witnessed any
spiritual manifestation. Soon after the arrival of the Misses Fox in New
York I visited them in their rooms at the Howard House. Impressed by
their quiet, natural demeanor, the absence of anything savoring of
jugglery, and the peculiar character of the raps and movements of the
table, I asked my questions and applied my tests, in a passive, if not a
believing frame of mind. In fact, I had not long been seated, before the
noises became loud and frequent.

"The spirits like to communicate with you," said Mrs. Fish: "you seem to
be nearer to them than most people."

I summoned, in succession, the spirits of my mother, a younger brother,
and a cousin to whom I had been much attached in boyhood, and obtained
correct answers to all my questions. I did not then remark, what has
since occurred to me, that these questions concerned things which I
knew, and that the answers to them were distinctly impressed on my mind
at the time. The result of one of my tests made a very deep impression
upon me. Having mentally selected a friend whom I had met in the train
that morning, I asked,--"Will the spirit whose name is now in my mind
communicate with me?" To this came the answer, slowly rapped out, on
calling over the alphabet,--"_He is living!_"

I returned home, very much puzzled. Precisely those features of the
exhibition (let me call it such) which repulse others attracted me. The
searching daylight, the plain, matter-of-fact character of the
manifestations, the absence of all solemnity and mystery, impressed me
favorably towards the spiritual theory. If disembodied souls, I said,
really exist and can communicate with those in the flesh, why should
they choose moonlight or darkness, graveyards or lonely bedchambers, for
their visitations? What is to hinder them from speaking at times and in
places where the senses of men are fully awake and alert, rather than
when they are liable to be the dupes of the imagination? In such
reflections as these I was the unconscious dupe of my own imagination,
while supposing myself thoroughly impartial and critical.

Soon after this, circles began to be formed in my native town, for the
purpose of table-moving. A number of persons met, secretly at
first,--for as yet there were no avowed converts,--and quite as much for
sport as for serious investigation. The first evening there was no
satisfactory manifestation. The table moved a little, it is true, but
each one laughingly accused his neighbors of employing some muscular
force: all isolated attempts were vain. I was conscious, nevertheless,
of a curious sensation of numbness in the arms, which recalled to mind
my forgotten experiments in church. No rappings were heard, and some of
the participants did not scruple to pronounce the whole thing
a delusion.

A few evenings after this we met again. Those who were most incredulous
happened to be absent, while, accidentally, their places were filled by
persons whose temperaments disposed them to a passive seriousness. Among
these was a girl of sixteen, Miss Abby Fetters, a pale, delicate
creature, with blond hair and light-blue eyes. Chance placed her next to
me, in forming the ring, and her right hand lay lightly upon my left. We
stood around a heavy circular dining-table. A complete silence was
preserved, and all minds gradually sank into a quiet, passive
expectancy. In about ten minutes I began to feel, or to imagine that I
felt, a stream of light,--if light were a palpable substance,--a
something far finer and more subtile than an electric current, passing
from the hand of Miss Fetters through my own into the table. Presently
the great wooden mass began to move,--stopped,--moved again,--turned in
a circle, we following, without changing the position of our hands,--and
finally began to rock from side to side, with increasing violence. Some
of the circle were thrown off by the movements; others withdrew their
hands in affright; and but four, among whom were Miss Fetters and
myself, retained their hold. My outward consciousness appeared to be
somewhat benumbed, as if by some present fascination or approaching
trance, but I retained curiosity enough to look at my companion. Her
eyes, sparkling with a strange, steady light, were fixed upon the table;
her breath came quick and short, and her cheek had lost every trace of
color. Suddenly, as if by a spasmodic effort, she removed her hands; I
did the same, and the table stopped. She threw herself into a seat, as
if exhausted, yet, during the whole time, not a muscle of the hand which
lay upon mine had stirred. I solemnly declare that my own hands had
been equally passive, yet I experienced the same feeling of
fatigue,--not muscular fatigue, but a sense of _deadness_, as if every
drop of nervous energy had been suddenly taken from me.

Further experiments, the same evening, showed that we two, either
together or alone, were able to produce the same phenomena without the
assistance of the others present. We did not succeed, however, in
obtaining any answers to our questions, nor were any of us impressed by
the idea that the spirits of the dead were among us. In fact, these
table-movings would not, of themselves, suggest the idea of a spiritual
manifestation. "The table is bewitched," said Thompson, a hard-headed
young fellow, without a particle of imagination; and this was really the
first impression of all: some unknown force, latent in the dead matter,
had been called into action. Still, this conclusion was so strange, so
incredible, that the agency of supernatural intelligences finally
presented itself to my mind as the readiest solution.

It was not long before we obtained rappings, and were enabled to repeat
all the experiments which I had tried during my visit to the Fox family.
The spirits of our deceased relatives and friends announced themselves,
and generally gave a correct account of their earthly lives. I must
confess, however, that, whenever we attempted to pry into the future, we
usually received answers as ambiguous as those of the Grecian oracles,
or predictions which failed to be realized. Violent knocks or other
unruly demonstrations would sometimes interrupt an intelligent
communication which promised us some light on the other life: these, we
were told, were occasioned by evil or mischievous spirits, whose delight
it was to create disturbances. They never occurred, I now remember,
except when Miss Fetters was present. At the time, we were too much
absorbed in our researches to notice the fact.

The reader will perceive, from what he knows of my previous mental
state, that it was not difficult for me to accept the theories of the
Spiritualists. Here was an evidence of the immortality of the
soul,--nay, more, of its continued individuality through endless future
existences. The idea of my individuality being lost had been to me the
same thing as complete annihilation. The spirits themselves informed us
that they had come to teach these truths. The simple, ignorant faith of
the Past, they said, was worn out; with the development of science, the
mind of man had become skeptical; the ancient fountains no longer
sufficed for his thirst; each new era required a new revelation; in all
former ages there had been single minds pure enough and advanced enough
to communicate with the dead and be the mediums of their messages to
men, but now the time had come when the knowledge of this intercourse
must be declared unto all; in its light the mysteries of the Past became
clear; in the wisdom thus imparted, that happy Future which seems
possible to every ardent and generous heart would be secured. I was not
troubled by the fact that the messages which proclaimed these things
were often incorrectly spelt, that the grammar was bad and the language
far from elegant. I did not reflect that these new and sublime truths
had formerly passed through my own brain as the dreams of a wandering
imagination. Like that American philosopher who looks upon one of his
own neophytes as a man of great and profound mind because the latter
carefully remembers and repeats to him his own carelessly uttered
wisdom, I saw in these misty and disjointed reflections of my own
thoughts the precious revelation of departed and purified spirits.

How a passion for the unknown and unattainable takes hold of men is
illustrated by the search for the universal solvent, by the mysteries of
the Rosicrucians, by the patronage of fortune-tellers, even. Wholly
absorbed in spiritual researches,--having, in fact, no vital interest in
anything else,--I soon developed into what is called a Medium. I
discovered, at the outset, that the peculiar condition to be attained
before the tables would begin to move could be produced at will.[7] I
also found that the passive state into which I naturally fell had a
tendency to produce that trance or suspension of the will which I had
discovered when a boy. External consciousness, however, did not wholly
depart. I saw the circle of inquirers around me, but dimly, and as
phantoms,--while the impressions which passed over my brain seemed to
wear visible forms and to speak with audible voices.

I did not doubt, at the time, that spirits visited me, and that they
made use of my body to communicate with those who could hear them in no
other way. Beside the pleasant intoxication of the semi-trance, I felt a
rare joy in the knowledge that I was elected above other men to be their
interpreter. Let me endeavor to describe the nature of this possession.
Sometimes, even before a spirit would be called for, the figure of the
person, as it existed in the mind of the inquirer, would suddenly
present itself to me,--not to my outward senses, but to my interior,
instinctive knowledge. If the recollection of the other embraced also
the voice, I heard the voice in the same manner, and unconsciously
imitated it. The answers to the questions I knew by the same instinct,
as soon as the questions were spoken.

If the question was vague, asked for information rather than
_confirmation_, either no answer came, or there was an impression of a
_wish_ of what the answer might be, or, at times, some strange
involuntary sentence sprang to my lips. When I wrote, my hand appeared
to move of itself; yet the words it wrote invariably passed through my
mind. Even when blindfolded, there was no difference in its performance.
The same powers developed themselves in a still greater degree in Miss
Fetters. The spirits which spoke most readily through her were those of
men, even coarse and rude characters, which came unsummoned. Two or
three of the other members of our circle were able to produce motions in
the table; they could even feel, as they asserted, the touch of
spiritual hands; but, however much they desired it, they were never
personally possessed as we, and therefore could not properly be
called Mediums.

These investigations were not regularly carried on. Occasionally the
interest of the circle flagged, until it was renewed by the visit of
some apostle of the new faith, usually accompanied by a "Preaching
Medium." Among those whose presence especially conduced to keep alive
the flame of spiritual inquiry was a gentleman named Stilton, the editor
of a small monthly periodical entitled "Revelations from the Interior."
Without being himself a Medium, he was nevertheless thoroughly
conversant with the various phenomena of Spiritualism, and both spoke
and wrote in the dialect which its followers adopted. He was a man of
varied, but not profound learning, an active intellect, giving and
receiving impressions with equal facility, and with an unusual
combination of concentrativeness and versatility in his nature. A
certain inspiration was connected with his presence. His personality
overflowed upon and influenced others. "My mind is not sufficiently
submissive," he would say, "to receive impressions from the spirits, but
my atmosphere attracts them and encourages them to speak." He was a
stout, strongly built man, with coarse black hair, gray eyes, large
animal mouth, square jaws, and short, thick neck. Had his hair been
cropped close, he would have looked very much like a prize-fighter; but
he wore it long, parted in the middle, and as meek in expression as its
stiff waves would allow.

Stilton soon became the controlling spirit of our circle. His presence
really seemed, as he said, to encourage the spirits. Never before had
the manifestations been so abundant or so surprising. Miss Fetters,
especially, astonished us by the vigor of her possessions. Not only
Samson and Peter the Great, but Gibbs the Pirate, Black Hawk, and Joe
Manton, who had died the previous year in a fit of delirium-tremens,
prophesied, strode, swore, and smashed things in turn, by means of her
frail little body. As Cribb, a noted pugilist of the last century, she
floored an incautious spectator, giving him a black eye which he wore
for a fortnight afterwards. Singularly enough, my visitors were of the
opposite cast. Hypatia, Petrarch, Mary Magdalen, Abelard, and, oftenest
of all, Shelley, proclaimed mystic truths from my lips. They usually
spoke in inspired monologues, without announcing themselves beforehand,
and often without giving any clue to their personality. A practised
stenographer, engaged by Mr. Stilton, took down many of these
communications as they were spoken, and they were afterwards published
in the "Revelations." It was also remarked, that, while Miss Fetters
employed violent gestures and seemed to possess a superhuman strength,
I, on the contrary, sat motionless, pale, and with little sign of life
except in my voice, which, though low, was clear and dramatic in its
modulations. Stilton explained this difference without hesitation. "Miss
Abby," he said, "possesses soul-matter of a texture to which the souls
of these strong men naturally adhere. In the spirit-land the
superfluities repel each other; the individual souls seek to remedy
their imperfections: in the union of opposites only is to be found the
great harmonia of life. You, John, move upon another plane; through what
in you is undeveloped, these developed spirits are attracted."

For two or three years, I must admit, my life was a very happy one. Not
only were those occasional trances an intoxication, nay, a coveted
indulgence, but they cast a consecration over my life. My restored faith
rested on the sure evidence of my own experience; my new creed contained
no harsh or repulsive feature; I heard the same noble sentiments which I
uttered in such moments repeated by my associates in the faith, and I
devoutly believed that a complete regeneration of the human race was at
hand. Nevertheless, it struck me sometimes as singular that many of the
Mediums whom I met--men and women chosen by spiritual hands to the same
high office--excited in my mind that instinct of repulsion on which I
had learned to rely as a sufficient reason for avoiding certain persons.
Far as it would have been from my mind, at that time, to question the
manifestations which accompanied them, I could not smother my mistrust
of their characters. Miss Fetters, whom I so frequently met, was one of
the most disagreeable. Her cold, thin lips, pale eyes, and lean figure
gave me a singular impression of voracious hunger. Her presence was
often announced to me by a chill shudder, before I saw her. Centuries
ago one of her ancestors must have been a ghoul or vampire. The trance
of possession seemed, with her, to be a form of dissipation, in which
she indulged as she might have catered for a baser appetite. The new
religion was nothing to her; I believe she valued it only on account of
the importance she obtained among its followers. Her father, a vain,
weak-minded man, who kept a grocery in the town, was himself a convert.

Stilton had an answer for every doubt. No matter how tangled a labyrinth
might be exhibited to him, he walked straight through it.

"How is it," I asked him, "that so many of my fellow-mediums inspire me
with an instinctive dislike and mistrust?"

"By mistrust you mean dislike," he answered; "since you know of no
reason to doubt their characters. The elements of soul-matter are
differently combined in different individuals, and there are affinities
and repulsions, just as there are in the chemical elements. Your feeling
is chemical, not moral. A want of affinity does not necessarily imply an
existing evil in the other party. In the present ignorance of the world,
our true affinities can only he imperfectly felt and indulged; and the
entire freedom which we shall obtain in this respect is the greatest
happiness of the spirit-life."

Another time I asked,--

"How is it that the spirits of great authors speak so tamely to us?
Shakspeare, last night, wrote a passage which he would have been
heartily ashamed of, as a living man. We know that a spirit spoke,
calling himself Shakspeare; but, judging from his communication, it
could not have been he."

"It probably was not," said Mr. Stilton. "I am convinced that all
malicious spirits are at work to interrupt the communications from the
higher spheres. We were thus deceived by one professing to be Benjamin
Franklin, who drew for us the plan of a machine for splitting shingles,
which we had fabricated and patented at considerable expense. On trial,
however, it proved to be a miserable failure, a complete mockery. When
the spirit was again summoned, he refused to speak, but shook the table
to express his malicious laughter, went off, and has never since
returned. My friend, we know but the alphabet of Spiritualism, the mere
A B C; we can no more expect to master the immortal language in a day
than a child to read Plato after learning his letters."

Many of those who had been interested in the usual phenomena gradually
dropped off, tired, and perhaps a little ashamed, in the reaction
following their excitement; but there were continual accessions to our
ranks, and we formed, at last, a distinct clan or community. Indeed, the
number of _secret_ believers in Spiritualism would never be suspected by
the uninitiated. In the sect, however, as in Masonry and the Catholic
Church, there are circles within circles,--concentric rings, whence you
can look outwards, but not inwards, and where he alone who stands at the
centre is able to perceive everything. Such an inner circle was at last
formed in our town. Its object, according to Stilton, with whom the plan
originated, was to obtain a purer spiritual atmosphere, by the exclusion
of all but Mediums and those non-mediumistic believers in whose presence
the spirits felt at ease, and thus invite communications from the
farther and purer spheres.

In fact, the result seemed to justify the plan. The character of the
trance, as I had frequently observed, is vitiated by the consciousness
that disbelievers are present. The more perfect the atmosphere of
credulity, the more satisfactory the manifestations. The expectant
company, the dim light, the conviction that a wonderful revelation was
about to dawn upon us, excited my imagination, and my trance was really
a sort of delirium, in which I spoke with a passion and an eloquence I
had never before exhibited. The fear, which had previously haunted me,
at times, of giving my brain and tongue into the control of an unknown,
power, was forgotten; yet, more than ever, I was conscious of some
strong controlling influence, and experienced a reckless pleasure in
permitting myself to be governed by it. "Prepare," I concluded, (I quote
from the report in the "Revelations,") "prepare, sons of men, for the
dawning day! Prepare for the second and perfect regeneration of man! For
the prison-chambers have been broken into, and the light from the
interior shall illuminate the external! Ye shall enjoy spiritual and
passional freedom; your guides shall no longer be the despotism of
ignorant laws, nor the whip of an imaginary conscience,--but the natural
impulses of your nature, which are the melody of Life, and the natural
affinities, which are its harmony! The reflections from the upper
spheres shall irradiate the lower, and Death is the triumphal arch
through which we pass from glory to glory!"

--I have here paused, deliberating whether I should proceed farther in
my narrative. But no; if any good is to be accomplished by these
confessions, the reader must walk with me through the dark labyrinth
which follows. He must walk over what may be considered delicate ground,
but he shall not be harmed. One feature of the trance condition is too
remarkable, too important in its consequences, to be overlooked. It is a
feature of which many Mediums are undoubtedly ignorant, the existence of
which is not even suspected by thousands of honest Spiritualists.

Let me again anticipate the regular course of my narrative, and explain.
A suspension of the Will, when indulged in for any length of time,
produces a suspension of that inward consciousness of good and evil
which we call Conscience, and which can be actively exercised only
through the medium of the Will. The mental faculties and the moral
perceptions lie down together in the same passive sleep. The subject is,
therefore, equally liable to receive impressions from the minds of
others, and from their passions and lusts. Besides this, the germs of
all good and of all evil are implanted in the nature of every human
being; and even when some appetite is buried in a crypt so deep that its
existence is forgotten, let the warder be removed, and it will gradually
work its way to the light. Persons in the receptive condition which
belongs to the trance may be surrounded by honest and pure-minded
individuals, and receive no harmful impressions; they may even, if of a
healthy spiritual temperament, resist for a time the aggressions of evil
influences; but the final danger is always the same. The state of the
Medium, therefore, may be described as one in which the Will is passive,
the Conscience passive, the outward senses partially (sometimes wholly)
suspended, the mind helplessly subject to the operations of other minds,
and the passions and desires released from all restraining
influences.[8] I make the statement boldly, after long and careful
reflection, and severe self-examination.

As I said before, I did not entirely lose my external consciousness,
although it was very dim and dream-like. On returning to the natural
state, my recollection of what had occurred during the trance became
equally dim; but I retained a general impression of the character of the
possession. I knew that some foreign influence--the spirit of a dead
poet, or hero, or saint, I then believed--governed me for the time; that
I gave utterance to thoughts unfamiliar to my mind in its conscious
state; and that my own individuality was lost, or so disguised that I
could no longer recognize it. This very circumstance made the trance an
indulgence, a spiritual intoxication, no less fascinating than that of
the body, although accompanied by a similar reaction. Yet, behind all,
dimly evident to me, there was an element of terror. There were times
when, back of the influences which spoke with my voice, rose another,--a
vast, overwhelming, threatening power, the nature of which I could not
grasp, but which I knew was evil. Even when in my natural state,
listening to the harsh utterances of Miss Fetters or the lofty spiritual
philosophy of Mr. Stilton, I have felt, for a single second, the touch
of an icy wind, accompanied by a sensation of unutterable dread.

Our secret circle had not held many sessions before a remarkable change
took place in the character of the revelations. Mr. Stilton ceased to
report them for his paper.

"We are on the threshold, at last," said he; "the secrets of the ages
lie beyond. The hands of spirits are now lifting the veil, fold by fold.
Let us not be startled by what we hear: let us show that our eyes can
bear the light,--that we are competent to receive the wisdom of the
higher spheres, and live according to it."

Miss Fetters was more than ever possessed by the spirit of Joe Manton,
whose allowance of grog having been cut off too suddenly by his death,
he was continually clamoring for a dram.

"I tell you," yelled he, or rather she, "I won't stand sich meanness. I
ha'n't come all the way here for nothin'. I'll knock Erasmus all to
thunder, if you go for to turn me out dry, and let him come in."

Mr. Stilton thereupon handed him, or her, a tumbler half-full of brandy,
which she gulped down at a single swallow. Joe Manton presently retired
to make room for Erasmus, who spoke for some time in Latin, or what
appeared to be Latin. None of us could make much of it; but Mr. Stilton
declared that the Latin pronunciation of Erasmus was probably different
from ours, or that he might have learned the true Roman accent from
Cicero and Seneca, with whom, doubtless, he was now on intimate terms.
As Erasmus generally concluded by throwing his arms, or rather the arms
of Miss Fetters, around the neck of Mr. Stilton,--his spirit
fraternizing, apparently, with the spirit of the latter,--we greatly
regretted that his communications were unintelligible, on account of the
superior wisdom which they might be supposed to contain.

I confess, I cannot recall the part I played in what would have been a
pitiable farce, if it had not been so terribly tragical, without a
feeling of utter shame. Nothing but my profound sympathy for the
thousands and tens of thousands who are still subject to the same
delusion could compel me to such a sacrifice of pride. Curiously enough,
(as I thought _then_, but not now,) the enunciation of sentiments
opposed to my moral sense--the abolition, in fact, of all moral
restraint--came from my lips, while the actions of Miss Fetters hinted
at their practical application. Upon the ground that the interests of
the soul were paramount to all human laws and customs, I declared--or
rather, _my voice_ declared--that self-denial was a fatal error, to
which half the misery of mankind could be traced; that the passions,
held as slaves, exhibited only the brutish nature of slaves, and would
be exalted and glorified by entire freedom; and that our sole guidance
ought to come from the voices of the spirits who communicated with us,
instead of the imperfect laws constructed by our benighted fellow-men.
How clear and logical, how lofty, these doctrines seemed! If, at times,
something in their nature repelled me, I simply attributed it to the
fact that I was still but a neophyte in the Spiritual Philosophy, and
incapable of perceiving the truth with entire clearness.

Mr. Stilton had a wife,--one of those meek, amiable, simple-hearted
women whose individuality seems to be completely absorbed into that of
their husbands. When such women are wedded to frank, tender, protecting
men, their lives are truly blessed; but they are willing slaves to the
domestic tyrant. They bear uncomplainingly,--many of them even without a
thought of complaint,--and die at last with their hearts full of love
for the brutes who have trampled upon them. Mrs. Stilton was perhaps
forty years of age, of middle height, moderately plump in person, with
light-brown hair, soft, inexpressive gray eyes, and a meek, helpless,
imploring mouth. Her voice was mild and plaintive, and its accents of
anger (if she ever gave utterance to such) could not have been
distinguished from those of grief. She did not often attend our
sessions, and it was evident, that, while she endeavored to comprehend
the revelations, in order to please her husband, their import was very
far beyond her comprehension. She was now and then a little frightened
at utterances which no doubt sounded lewd or profane to her ears; but
after a glance at Mr. Stilton's face, and finding that it betrayed
neither horror nor surprise, would persuade herself that everything
must be right.

"Are you sure," she once timidly whispered to me, "are you very sure,
Mr. ------, that there is no danger of being led astray? It seems
strange to me; but perhaps I don't understand it."

Her question was so indefinite, that I found it difficult to answer.
Stilton, however, seeing me engaged in endeavoring to make clear to her
the glories of the new truth, exclaimed,--

"That's right, John! Your spiritual plane slants through many spheres,
and has points of contact with a great variety of souls. I hope my wife
will be able to see the light through you, since I appear to be too
opaque for her to receive it from me."

"Oh, Abijah!" said the poor woman, "you know it is my fault. I try to
follow, and I hope I have faith, though I don't see everything as
clearly as you do."

I began also to have my own doubts, as I perceived that an "affinity"
was gradually being developed between Stilton and Miss Fetters. She was
more and more frequently possessed by the spirit of Erasmus, whose
salutations, on meeting and parting with his brother-philosopher, were
too enthusiastic for merely masculine love. But, whenever I hinted at
the possibility of mistaking the impulses of the soul, or at evil
resulting from a too sudden and universal liberation of the passions,
Stilton always silenced me with his inevitable logic. Having once
accepted the premises, I could not avoid the conclusions.

"When our natures are in harmony with spirit-matter throughout the
spheres," he would say, "our impulses will always be in accordance. Or,
if there should be any temporary disturbance, arising from our necessary
intercourse with the gross, blinded multitude, we can always fly to our
spiritual monitors for counsel. Will not they, the immortal souls of the
ages past, who have guided us to a knowledge of the truth, assist us
also in preserving it pure?"

In spite of this, in spite of my admiration of Stilton's intellect, and
my yet unshaken faith in Spiritualism, I was conscious that the harmony
of the circle was becoming impaired to me. Was I falling behind in
spiritual progress? Was I too weak to be the medium for the promised
revelations? I threw myself again and again into the trance, with a
recklessness of soul which fitted me to receive any, even the darkest
impressions, to catch and proclaim every guilty whisper of the senses,
and, while under the influence of the excitement, to exult in the age of
license which I believed to be at hand. But darker, stronger grew the
terror which lurked behind this spiritual carnival. A more tremendous
power than that which I now recognized as coming from Stilton's brain
was present, and I saw myself whirling nearer and nearer to its grasp. I
felt, by a sort of blind instinct, too vague to be expressed, that some
demoniac agency had thrust itself into the manifestations,--perhaps had
been mingled with them from the outset.

For two or three months, my life was the strangest mixture of happiness
and misery. I walked about with the sense of some crisis hanging over
me. My "possessions" became fiercer and wilder, and the reaction so much
more exhausting that I fell into the habit of restoring myself by means
of the bottle of brandy which Mr. Stilton took care should be on hand,
in case of a visit from Joe Manton. Miss Fetters, strange to say, was
not in the least affected by the powerful draughts she imbibed. But, at
the same time, my waking life was growing brighter and brighter under
the power of a new and delicious experience. My nature is eminently
social, and I had not been able--indeed, I did not desire--wholly to
withdraw myself from intercourse with non-believers. There was too much
in society that was congenial to me to be given up. My instinctive
dislike to Miss Abby Fetters and my compassionate regard for Mrs.
Stilton's weakness only served to render the company of intelligent,
cultivated women more attractive to me. Among those whom I met most
frequently was Miss Agnes Honeywood, a calm, quiet, unobtrusive girl,
the characteristic of whose face was sweetness rather than beauty, while
the first feeling she inspired was respect rather than admiration. She
had just that amount of self-possession which conceals without
conquering the sweet timidity of woman. Her voice was low, yet clear;
and her mild eyes, I found, were capable, on occasion, of both flashing
and melting. Why describe her? I loved her before I knew it; but, with
the consciousness of my love, that clairvoyant sense on which I had
learned to depend failed for the first time. Did she love me? When I
sought to answer the question in her presence, all was confusion within.

This was not the only new influence which entered into and increased the
tumult of my mind. The other half of my two-sided nature--the cool,
reflective, investigating faculty--had been gradually ripening, and the
questions which it now began to present seriously disturbed the
complacency of my theories. I saw that I had accepted many things on
very unsatisfactory evidence; but, on the other hand, there was much for
which I could find no other explanation. Let me be frank, and say, that
I do not now pretend to explain all the phenomena of Spiritualism. This,
however, I determined to do,--to ascertain, if possible, whether the
influences which governed me in the trance state came from the persons
around, from the exercise of some independent faculty of my own mind, or
really and truly from the spirits of the dead. Mr. Stilton appeared to
notice that some internal conflict was going on; but he said nothing in
regard to it, and, as events proved, he entirely miscalculated its

I said to myself,--"If this chaos continues, it will drive me mad. Let
me have one bit of solid earth beneath my feet, and I can stand until it
subsides. Let me throw over the best bower of the heart, since all the
anchors of the mind are dragging!" I summoned resolution. I made that
desperate venture which no true man makes without a pang of forced
courage; but, thank God! I did not make it in vain. Agnes loved me, and
in the deep, quiet bliss which this knowledge gave I felt the promise of
deliverance. She knew and lamented my connection with the Spiritualists;
but, perceiving my mental condition from the few intimations which I
dared to give her, discreetly held her peace. But I could read the
anxious expression of that gentle face none the less.

My first endeavor to solve the new questions was to check the _abandon_
of the trance condition, and interfuse it with more of sober
consciousness. It was a difficult task; and nothing but the circumstance
that my consciousness had never been entirely lost enabled me to make
any progress. I finally succeeded, as I imagined, (certainty is
impossible,) in separating the different influences which impressed
me,--perceiving where one terminated and the other commenced, or where
two met and my mind vibrated from one to the other until the stronger
prevailed, or where a thought which seemed to originate in my own brain
took the lead and swept away with me like the mad rush of a prairie
colt. When out of the trance, I noticed attentively the expressions made
use of by Mr. Stilton and the other members of the circle, and was
surprised to find how many of them I had reproduced. But might they not,
in the first place, have been derived from me? And what was the vague,
dark Presence which still overshadowed me at such times? What was that
Power which I had tempted,--which we were all tempting, every time we
met,--and which continually drew nearer and became more threatening? I
knew not; _and I know not_. I would rather not speak or think of it
any more.

My suspicions with regard to Stilton and Miss Fetters were confirmed by
a number of circumstances which I need not describe. That he should
treat his wife in a harsh, ironical manner, which the poor woman felt,
but could not understand, did not surprise me; but at other times there
was a treacherous tenderness about him. He would dilate eloquently upon
the bliss of living in accordance with the spiritual harmonies. Among
_us_, he said, there could be no more hatred or mistrust or
jealousy,--nothing but love, pure, unselfish, perfect love. "You, my
dear," (turning to Mrs. Stilton,) "belong to a sphere which is included
within my own, and share in my harmonies and affinities; yet the
soul-matter which adheres to you is of a different texture from mine.
Yours has also its independent affinities; I see and respect them; and
even though they might lead our bodies--our outward, material
lives--away from one another, we should still be true to that glorious
light of Jove which permeates all soul-matter."

"Oh, Abijah!" cried Mrs. Stilton, really distressed, "how can you say
such a thing of me? You know I can never adhere to anybody else
but you!"

Stilton would then call in my aid to explain his meaning, asserting that
I had a faculty of reaching his wife's intellect, which he did not
himself possess. Feeling a certain sympathy for her painful confusion of
mind, I did my best to give his words an interpretation which soothed
her fears. Then she begged his pardon, taking all the blame to her own
stupidity, and received his grudged, unwilling kiss with a restored
happiness which pained me to the heart.

I had a growing presentiment of some approaching catastrophe. I felt,
distinctly, the presence of unhallowed passions in our circle; and my
steadfast love for Agnes, borne thither in my bosom, seemed like a pure
white dove in a cage of unclean birds. Stilton held me from him by the
superior strength of his intellect. I began to mistrust, even to hate
him, while I was still subject to his power, and unable to acquaint him
with the change in my feelings. Miss Fetters was so repulsive that I
never spoke to her when it could be avoided. I had tolerated her,
heretofore, for the sake of her spiritual gift; but now, when I began to
doubt the authenticity of that gift, her hungry eyes, her thin lips, her
flat breast, and cold, dry hands excited in me a sensation of absolute

The doctrine of Affinities had some time before been adopted by the
circle, as a part of the Spiritual Truth. Other circles, with which we
were in communication, had also received the same revelation; and the
ground upon which it was based, in fact, rendered its acceptance easy.
Even I, shielded as I was by the protecting arms of a pure love, sought
in vain for arguments to refute a doctrine, the practical operation of
which, I saw, might be so dangerous. The soul had a right to seek its
kindred soul: that I could not deny. Having found, they belonged to each
other. Love is the only law which those who love are bound to obey. I
shall not repeat all the sophistry whereby these positions were
strengthened. The doctrine soon blossomed and bore fruit, the nature of
which left no doubt as to the character of the tree.

The catastrophe came sooner than I had anticipated, and partly through
my own instrumentality; though, in any case, it must finally have come.
We were met together at the house of one of the most zealous and
fanatical believers. There were but eight persons present,--the host and
his wife, (an equally zealous proselyte,) a middle-aged bachelor
neighbor, Mr. and Mrs. Stilton, Miss Fetters and her father, and
myself. It was a still, cloudy, sultry evening, after one of those dull,
oppressive days when all the bad blood in a man seems to be uppermost in
his veins. The manifestations upon the table, with which we commenced,
were unusually rapid and lively. "I am convinced," said Mr. Stilton,
"that we shall receive important revelations to-night. My own mind
possesses a clearness and quickness, which, I have noticed, always
precede the visit of a superior spirit. Let us be passive and receptive,
my friends. We are but instruments in the hands of loftier
intelligences, and only through our obedience can this second advent of
Truth be fulfilled."

He looked at me with that expression which I so well knew, as the signal
for a surrender of my will. I had come rather unwillingly, for I was
getting heartily tired of the business, and longed to shake off my habit
of (spiritual) intoxication, which no longer possessed any attraction,
since I had been allowed to visit Agnes as an accepted lover. In fact, I
continued to hold my place in the circle principally for the sake of
satisfying myself with regard to the real nature and causes of the
phenomena. On this night, something in Mr. Stilton's face arrested my
attention, and a rapid inspiration flashed through my mind. "Suppose," I
thought, "I allow the usual effect to be produced, yet reverse the
character of its operation? I am convinced that he has been directing
the current of my thought according to his will; let me now render
myself so thoroughly passive, that my mind, like a mirror, shall reflect
what passes through his, retaining nothing of my own except the simple
consciousness of what I am doing." Perhaps this was exactly what he
desired. He sat, bending forward a little over the table, his square
jaws firmly set, his eyes hidden beneath their heavy brows, and every
long, wiry hair on his head in its proper place. I fixed my eyes upon
him, threw my mind into a state of perfect receptivity, and waited.

It was not long before I felt his approach. Shadow after shadow flitted
across the still mirror of my inward sense. Whether the thoughts took
words in his brain or in mine,--whether I first caught his disjointed
musings, and, by their utterance reacting upon him, gave system and
development to _his_ thoughts,--I cannot tell. But this I know: what I
said came wholly from him,--not from the slandered spirits of the dead,
not from the vagaries of my own imagination, but from _him_. "Listen to
me!" I said. "In the flesh I was a martyr to the Truth, and I am
permitted to communicate only with those whom the Truth has made free.
You are the heralds of the great day; you have climbed from sphere to
sphere, until now you stand near the fountains of light. But it is not
enough that you see: your lives must reflect the light. The inward
vision is for you, but the outward manifestation thereof is for the
souls of others. Fulfil the harmonies in the flesh. Be the living music,
not the silent instruments."

There was more, much more of this,--a plenitude of eloquent sound, which
seems to embody sublime ideas, but which, carefully examined, contains
no more palpable substance than sea-froth. If the reader will take the
trouble to read an "Epic of the Starry Heavens," the production of a
Spiritual Medium, he will find several hundred pages of the same
character. But, by degrees, the revelation descended to details, and
assumed a personal application. "In you, in all of you, the spiritual
harmonies are still violated," was the conclusion. "You, Abijah Stilton,
who are chosen to hold up the light of truth to the world, require that
a transparent soul, capable of transmitting that light to you, should be
allied to yours. She who is called your wife is a clouded lens; she can
receive the light only through John----, who is her true spiritual
husband, as Abby Fetters is _your_ true spiritual wife!"

I was here conscious of a sudden cessation of the influence which forced
me to speak, and stopped. The members of the circle opposite to me--the
host, his wife, neighbor, and old Mr. Fetters--were silent, but their
faces exhibited more satisfaction than astonishment. My eye fell upon
Mrs. Stilton. Her face was pale, her eyes widely opened, and her lips
dropped apart, with a stunned, bewildered expression. It was the blank
face of a woman walking in her sleep. These observations were
accomplished in an instant; for Miss Fetters, suddenly possessed with
the spirit of Black Hawk, sprang upon her feet. "Ugh! ugh!" she
exclaimed, in a deep, harsh voice, "where's the pale-face? Black Hawk,
he like him,--he love him much!"--and therewith threw her arms around
Stilton, fairly lifting him off his feet. "Ugh! fire-water for Black
Hawk!--big Injun drink!"--and she tossed off a tumbler of brandy. By
this time I had wholly recovered my consciousness, but remained silent,
stupefied by the extraordinary scene.

Presently Miss Fetters became more quiet, and the possession left her.
"My friends," said Stilton, in his cold, unmoved voice, "I feel that the
spirit has spoken truly. We must obey our spiritual affinities, or our
great and glorious mission will be unfulfilled. Let us rather rejoice
that we have been selected as the instruments to do this work. Come to
me, Abby; and you, Rachel, remember that our harmony is not disturbed,
but only made more complete."

"Abijah!" exclaimed Mrs. Stilton, with a pitiful cry, while the tears
burst hot and fast from her eyes; "dear husband, what does this mean?
Oh, don't tell me that I'm to be cast off! You promised to love me and
care for me, Abijah! I'm not bright, I know, but I'll try to understand
you; indeed I will! Oh, don't be so cruel!--don't"----And the poor
creature's voice completely gave way.

She dropped on the floor at his feet, and lay there, sobbing piteously.

"Rachel, Rachel," said he,--and his face was not quite so calm as his
voice,--"don't be rebellious. We are governed by a higher Power. This is
all for our own good, and for the good of the world. Besides, ours was
not a perfect affinity. You will be much happier with John, as he

I could endure it no longer. Indignation, pity, the full energy of my
will, possessed me. He lost his power over me then, and forever.

"What!" I exclaimed, "you, blasphemer, beast that you are, you dare to
dispose of your honest wife in this infamous way, that you may be free
to indulge your own vile appetites?--you, who have outraged the dead and
the living alike, by making me utter your forgeries? Take her back, and
let this disgraceful scene end!--take her back, or I will give you a
brand that shall last to the end of your days!"

He turned deadly pale, and trembled. I knew that he made a desperate
effort to bring me under the control of his will, and laughed mockingly
as I saw his knit brow and the swollen veins in his temples. As for the
others, they seemed paralyzed by the suddenness and fierceness of my
attack. He wavered but for an instant, however, and his
self-possession returned.

"Ha!" he exclaimed, "it is the Spirit of Evil that speaks in him! The
Devil himself has risen to destroy our glorious fabric! Help me,
friends! help me to bind him, and to silence his infernal voice, before
he drives the pure spirits from our midst!"

With that, he advanced a step towards me, and raised a hand to seize my
arm, while the others followed behind. But I was too quick for him. Weak
as I was, in comparison, rage gave me strength, and a blow, delivered
with the rapidity of lightning, just under the chin, laid him senseless
on the floor. Mrs. Stilton screamed, and threw herself over him. The
rest of the company remained as if stupefied. The storm which had been
gathering all the evening at the same instant broke over the house in
simultaneous thunder and rain.

I stepped suddenly to the door, opened it, and drew a long, deep breath
of relief, as I found myself alone in the darkness. "Now," said I, "I
have done tampering with God's best gift; I will be satisfied with the
natural sunshine which beams from His Word and from His Works; I have
learned wisdom at the expense of shame!" I exulted in my new freedom, in
my restored purity of soul; and the wind, that swept down the dark,
lonely street, seemed to exult with me. The rains beat upon me, but I
heeded them not; nay, I turned aside from the homeward path, in order to
pass by the house where Agnes lived. Her window was dark, and I knew she
was sleeping, lulled by the storm; but I stood a moment below, in the
rain, and said aloud, softly,--

"Now, Agnes, I belong wholly to you! Pray to God for me, darling, that I
may never lose the true light I have found at last!"

My healing, though complete in the end, was not instantaneous. The habit
of the trance, I found, had really impaired the action of my will. I
experienced a periodic tendency to return to it, which I have been able
to overcome only by the most vigorous efforts. I found it prudent,
indeed, to banish from my mind, as far as was possible, all subjects,
all memories, connected with Spiritualism. In this work I was aided by
Agnes, who now possessed my entire confidence, and who willingly took
upon herself the guidance of my mind at those seasons when my own
governing faculties flagged. Gradually my mental health returned, and I
am now beyond all danger of ever again being led into such fatal
dissipations. The writing of this narrative, in fact, has been a test of
my ability to overlook and describe my experience without being touched
by its past delusions. If some portions of it should not be wholly
intelligible to the reader, the defect lies in the very nature of
the subject.

It will be noticed that I have given but a partial explanation of the
spiritual phenomena. Of the genuineness of the physical manifestations I
am fully convinced, and I can account for them only by the supposition
of some subtile agency whereby the human will operates upon inert
matter. Clairvoyance is a sufficient explanation of the utterances of
the Mediums,--at least of those which I have heard; but there is, as I
have said before, _something_ in the background,--which I feel too
indistinctly to describe, yet which I know to be Evil. I do not wonder
at, though I lament, the prevalence of the belief in Spiritualism. In a
few individual cases it may have been productive of good, but its
general tendency is evil. There are probably but few Stiltons among its
apostles, few Miss Fetterses among its Mediums; but the condition which
accompanies the trance, as I have shown, inevitably removes the
wholesome check which holds our baser passions in subjection. The Medium
is at the mercy of any evil will, and the impressions received from a
corrupt mind are always liable to be accepted by innocent believers as
revelations from the spirits of the holy dead. I shall shock many honest
souls by this confession, but I hope and believe that it may awaken and
enlighten others. Its publication is necessary, as an expiation for some
of the evil which has been done through my own instrumentality.

I learned, two days afterwards, that Stilton (who was not seriously
damaged by my blow) had gone to New York, taking Miss Fetters with him.
Her ignorant, weak-minded father was entirely satisfied with the
proceeding. Mrs. Stilton, helpless and heart-broken, remained at the
house where our circle had met, with her only child, a boy of three
years of age, who, fortunately, inherited her weakness rather than his
father's power. Agnes, on learning this, insisted on having her removed
from associations which were at once unhappy and dangerous. We went
together to see her, and, after much persuasion, and many painful
scenes which I shall not recapitulate, succeeded in sending her to her
father, a farmer in Connecticut. She still remains there, hoping for the
day when her guilty husband shall return and be instantly forgiven.

My task is ended; may it not have been performed in vain!

       *       *       *       *       *


Many of our readers will remember the exquisite lines in which Béranger
paints the connection between our mortal lives and the stars of the sky.
With every human soul that finds its way to earth, a new gem is added to
the azure belt of heaven. Thenceforth the two exist in mutual
dependence, each influencing the other's fate; so that, when death comes
to seal the lips of the man, a flame is paled and a lamp extinguished in
the gulf above. In every loosened orb that shoots across the face of
night the experienced eye may trace the story and the fall of a
fellow-being. Youth, beauty, wealth, the humility of indigence and the
pride of power, alike find their term revealed in the bright, silent
course of the celestial spark; and still new signs succeed to provoke
the sympathy or dazzle the philosophy of the observer.

     "Quelle est cette étoile qui file,
     Qui file, file, et disparait?"

It is unfortunate that such a pretty manner of accounting for the nature
and origin of falling stars should be unsustained by sound astronomical
data, and utterly discountenanced by Herschel and Bond. There is
something in the theory very pleasant and very flattering to human
nature; and there are passages in the history of our race that might
make its promulgation not unacceptable. When, among the innumerable
"patines of bright gold" that strew the floor of heaven, we see one part
from the sphere of its undistinguished fellows, and, filling its pathway
with radiant light, vanish noiselessly into annihilation, we cannot but
be reminded of those characters that, with no apparent reason for being
segregated from the common herd, are, through some strange conjuncture,
hurried from a commonplace life by modes of death that illuminate their
memory with immortal fame. It is thus that the fulfilment of the vow
made in the heat of battle has given Jephthah's name a melancholy
permanence above all others of the captains of Israel. Mutius would long
ago have been forgotten, among the thousands of Roman soldiers as brave
as he, and not less wise, who gave their blood for the good city, but
for the fortunate brazier that stood in the tent of his enemy. And
Leander might have safely passed and repassed the Hellespont for twenty
years without leaving anything behind to interest posterity; it was
failure and death that made him famous.

Eighty years ago a tragedy was consummated by the river Hudson, which,
in the character of its victim and the circumstances of his story, goes
far to yield another example to the list of names immortalized by
calamity. On the 2d of October, 1780, a young British officer of
undistinguished birth and inconsiderable rank was hanged at Tappan.
Amiable as his private life was, and respectable as were his
professional abilities, it is improbable that the memory of John André,
had he died upon the battle-field or in his bed, would have survived the
generation of those who knew and who loved him. The future, indeed, was
opening brilliantly before him; but it was still nothing more than the
future. So far in his career he had hardly accomplished anything better
than the attainment of the mountain-top that commanded a view of the
Promised Land. It is solely and entirely to the occasion and the
circumstances of his death that we are to ascribe the peculiar and
universal interest in his character that has ever since continued to
hold its seat in the bosom of friend and of foe. To this day, the most
distinguished American and English historians are at issue respecting
the justice of his doom; and to this day, the grave inquirer into the
rise and fall of empires pauses by the way to glean some scanty memorial
of his personal adventures. As often happens, the labors of the lesser
author who pursues but a single object may encounter more success on
that score than the writer whose view embraces a prodigious range; and
many trifling details, too inconsiderable to find place in the pages of
the annals of a state, reward the inquiry that confines itself to the
elucidation of the conduct of an individual.

John André was born in England, probably at London,--possibly at
Southampton,--in the year 1751. His father was an honest, industrious
Switzer, who, following the example of his countrymen and his kindred,
had abandoned the rugged land of his birth, and come over to England to
see what could be made out of John Bull. The family-name appears to have
originally been St. André; and this was the style of the famous
dancing-master who gave to the courtiers of Charles II. their
graceful motions.

     "St. André's feet ne'er kept more equal time,"

wrote Dryden, in his "MacFlecknoe"; and the same writer again brings him
forward in the third act of "Limberham." It must be remembered that in
those days the teacher of fencing and dancing occupied a very
respectable position; and St. André's career was sufficiently prosperous
to tempt a young kinsman, who felt the elements of success strong within
him, to cross the seas in his own turn, and find wealth and reputation
in those pleasant pastures which England above all other countries then
laid open to the skilful adventurer.

Nicholas St. André, who came to London about the close of the
seventeenth century, and who was undoubtedly nearly related to the
future Major André, seems to have passed through a career hardly
paralleled by that of Gil Blas himself. From the humblest beginnings,
his ready wit, his multifarious accomplishments, and his indomitable
assurance speedily carried him to the topmost wave of social prosperity.
A brief instruction in surgery gave him such a plausible appearance of
proficiency in the art as to permit his public lectures to be favorably
received, and to lead to his employment in the royal household. George
I. made him Anatomist to the Court, and, as a token of especial grace,
on one occasion, went so far as to bestow upon the young Swiss his own
sword. His attainments in all the amusements of a gentleman probably had
more to do with these advancements, however, than any professional
skill. He was a capital linguist; at fencing, leaping, running, and
other manly exercises, he found few rivals; and his dabblings in
architecture and botany were at least as notable as his mastership of
chess and his skill as a musician. But when it came to a scientific test
of his surgical and anatomical pretensions, his failure was lamentable
indeed. The unquenchable thirst for notoriety--which he may have
mistaken for fame--was perpetually leading him into questionable
positions, and finally covered his name with ridicule and confusion.

An impudent woman, known as Mary Tofts, declared to the world, that,
instead of a human child, she had given birth to a litter of rabbits.
How such a ridiculous tale ever found believers, it is impossible to
conceive; but such was the case. All England, with the very small
exception of those who united the possession of learning with common
sense, was imbued with the frenzy. The price of warrens was abated to a
mere song, and for a season a Londoner would as readily have eaten a
baked child as a roasted rabbit. The children of men were believed to
populate the burrows, and authorities of the highest reputation lent an
unhesitating support to the delusion. The learned Whiston published in
the circumstance a fulfilment of a prophecy of Esdras, and St. André
loudly urged the authenticity of the entire fable and of the theories
that were founded upon it. But the satiric pen of Swift, the burin of
Hogarth, and the graver investigations of Cheselden at last turned the
popular tide, and covered St. André in particular with such a load of
contemptuous obloquy as to drive him forever from the high circles he
had moved in. So great was his spleen, that, from that time forth, he
would never suffer a dish upon his table or a syllable in his
conversation that could in any way bring to mind the absurd occasion of
his disgrace.

If all reports are to be believed, St. André's career had led him into
many singular adventures. He had saved Voltaire's life, by violently
detaining Lord Peterborough, when the latter stood prepared to punish
with peremptory death some peccadillo of the Frenchman's. Voltaire fled
from the scene, while his adversary struggled to be released. His
services to Pope, when the poet was overturned in Lord Bolingbroke's
coach, did not protect him from a damaging allusion in the Epilogue to
the Satires, where the source of the wealth that he got by his marriage
with Lady Betty Molyneux is more plainly than politely pointed out.
Leaving forever, therefore, the sphere in which he had encountered so
much favor and so much severity, he retired to Southampton to end his
days in the society of his kindred; and it is more than probable that an
indisposition to proclaim too loudly their identity of race with the
unlucky surgeon was the cause of their modification of name by the
immediate family from which John André sprung.

The father of our hero was a thrifty London trader, whose business as a
Turkey merchant had been prosperous enough to persuade him that no other
career could possibly be so well adapted for his son. The lad was of
another opinion; but those were not the days when a parent's will might
be safely contravened. Sent to Geneva to complete the education that had
been commenced at London, he returned to a seat in the counting-room
with intellectual qualifications that seemed to justify his aspirations
for a very different scene of action. He was a fluent linguist, a ready
and graceful master of the pencil and brush, and very well versed in the
schools of military design. Add to these a proficiency in poetry and
music, a person of unusual symmetry and grace, a face of almost feminine
softness, yet not descending from the dignity of manhood, and we have an
idea of the youth who was already meditating the means of throwing off
the chains that bound him to the inkhorn and ledger, and embracing a
more brilliant and glorious career. With him, the love of fame was an
instinctive passion. The annals of his own fireside taught him how
easily the path to distinction might be trod by men of parts and
address; and he knew in his heart that opportunity was the one and the
only thing needful to insure the accomplishment of his desires. Of very
moderate fortunes and utterly destitute of influential connections, he
knew that his education better qualified him for the useful fulfilment
of military duties than perhaps any man of his years in the service of
the king. Once embarked in the profession of arms, he had nothing to
rely upon but his own address to secure patronage and promotion,--nothing
but his own merits to justify the countenance that his ingenuity
should win. Without undue vanity, it is tolerably safe to say
now that he was authorized by the existing state of things to
confidently predicate his own success on these estimates.

It is not easy to underrate the professional standard of the English
officer a hundred years ago. That some were good cannot be denied; that
most were bad is very certain. As there was no school of military
instruction in the realm, so no proof of mental or even of physical
capacity was required to enable a person to receive and to hold a
commission. A friend at the Horse Guards, or the baptismal gift of a
godfather, might nominate a baby three days old to a pair of colors.
Court influence or the ready cash having thus enrolled a puny suckling
among the armed defenders of the state, he might in regular process of
seniority come out a full-fledged captain or major against the season
for his being soundly birched at Eton; and an ignorant school-boy would
thus be qualified to govern the lives and fortunes of five hundred
stalwart men, and to represent the honor and the interests of the empire
in that last emergency when all might be depending on his courage and
capacity. Even women were thus saddled upon the pay-lists; and the time
is within the memory of living men, when a gentle lady, whose knowledge
of arms may be presumed to have never extended beyond the internecine
disputes of the nursery, habitually received the salary of a captaincy
of dragoons. In ranks thus officered, it was easy to foresee the speedy
and sure triumph of competent ability, when once backed by patronage.

So long, however, as his dependence upon his father endured, it was
useless for André to anticipate the day when he might don the king's
livery. The repugnance with which his first motion in the matter was
greeted, and the affectionate opposition of his mother and sisters, seem
to have at least silenced, if they did not extinguish his desires. And
when the death of his father, in 1769, left him free to select his own
pathway through the world, a new conjuncture of affairs again caused him
to smother his cherished aspirations.

The domestic relations of the André family were ever peculiarly tender
and affectionate; and in the loss of its head the survivors confessed a
great and a corroding sorrow. To repair the shattered health and recruit
the exhausted spirits of his mother and sisters, the son resolved to
lead them at once away from the daily contemplation of the grave to more
cheerful scenes. The medicinal waters of Derbyshire were then in vogue,
and a tour towards the wells of Buxton and of Matlock was undertaken.
Among the acquaintances that ensued from this expedition was that of the
family of the Rev. Mr. Seward of Lichfield; and while a warm and lasting
friendship rapidly grew up between André and Miss Anna Seward, his heart
was surrendered to the charms of her adopted sister, Miss Honora Sneyd.

By every account, Honora Sneyd must have been a paragon of feminine
loveliness. Her father was a country-gentleman of Staffordshire, who had
been left, by the untimely death of their mother, to the charge of a
bevy of infants. The solicitude of friends and relatives had sought the
care of these, and thus Honora became virtually a daughter of Mrs.
Seward's house. The character of this establishment may be conjectured
from the history of Anna Seward. Remote from the crushing weight of
London authority, she grew up in a provincial atmosphere of literary and
social refinement, and fondly believed that the polite praises (for
censure was a thing unknown among them) that were bandied about in her
own coterie would be cordially echoed by the voices of posterity. In
this she has been utterly deceived; but at the same time it must be
confessed that there was much in the tone of the reigning circles at
Lichfield, in those days, to contrast most favorably with the manners of
the literary sovereigns of the metropolis, or the intellectual elevation
of the rulers of fashion. At Lichfield, it was polite to be learned, and
good-breeding and mutual admiration went hand in hand.

In such an atmosphere had Miss Sneyd been educated; and the
enthusiastic, not to say romantic, disposition of Miss Seward must have
given additional effect to every impulse that taught her to acknowledge
and rejoice in the undisguised admiration of the young London merchant.
His sentiments were as pure and lofty as her own; his person was as
attractive as that of any hero of romance; and his passion was deep and
true. With the knowledge and involuntary approbation of all their
friends, the love-affair between the two young people went on without
interruption or opposition. It seemed perfectly natural and proper that
they should be brought together. It was not, therefore, until a formal
betrothal began to loom up, that the seniors on either side bethought
themselves of the consequences. Neither party was a beggar; but neither
was in possession of sufficient estate to render a speedy marriage
advisable. It was concluded, then, to prohibit any engagement, which
must inevitably extend over several years, between two young persons
whose acquaintance was of so modern a date, and whose positions involved
a prolonged and wide separation. To this arrangement it would appear
that Honora yielded a more implicit assent than her lover. His feelings
were irretrievably interested; and he still proposed to himself to press
his suit without intermission during the term of his endurance. His
mistress, whose affections had not yet passed entirely beyond her own
control, was willing to receive as a friend the man whom she was
forbidden to regard as an elected husband.

It was by the representations of Miss Seward, who strongly urged on him
the absolute necessity of his adherence to trade, if he wished to secure
the means of accomplishing matrimony, that André was now persuaded to
renounce, for some years longer, his desire for the army. He went back
to London, and applied himself diligently to his business. An occasional
visit to Lichfield, and a correspondence that he maintained with Miss
Seward, served to keep his flame sufficiently alive. His letters are
vivacious and characteristic, and the pen-and-ink drawings with which
his text was embellished gave them additional interest. Here is a
specimen of them. It will be noted, that, according to the sentimental
fashion of the day, his correspondent must be called Julia because her
name is Anna.

"_London, October_ 19, 1769.

"From the midst of books, papers, bills, and other implements of gain,
let me lift up my drowsy head awhile to converse with dear Julia. And
first, as I know she has a fervent wish to see me a quill-driver, I must
tell her that I begin, as people are wont to do, to look upon my future
profession with great partiality. I no longer see it in so
disadvantageous a light. Instead of figuring a merchant as a middle-aged
man, with a bob wig, a rough beard, in snuff-coloured clothes, grasping
a guinea in his red hand, I conceive a comely young man, with a
tolerable pig-tail, wielding a pen with all the noble fierceness of the
Duke of Marlborough brandishing a truncheon upon a sign-post, surrounded
with types and emblems, and canopied with cornucopias that disembogue
their stores upon his head; Mercuries reclin'd upon bales of goods;
Genii playing with pens, ink, and paper; while, in perspective, his
gorgeous vessels 'launched on the bosom of the silver Thames' are
wafting to distant lands the produce of this commercial nation. Thus all
the mercantile glories crowd on my fancy, emblazoned in the most
effulgent colouring of an ardent imagination. Borne on her soaring
pinions, I wing my flight to the time when Heaven shall have crowned my
labours with success and opulence. I see sumptuous palaces rising to
receive me; I see orphans, and widows, and painters, and fidlers, and
poets, and builders, protected and encouraged; and when the fabrick is
pretty nearly finished by my shattered pericranium, I cast my eyes
around, and find John André by a small coal-fire in a gloomy
compting-house in Warnford Court, nothing so little as what he has been
making himself, and in all probability never to be much more than he is
at present. But, oh! my dear Honora! it is for thy sake only I wish for
wealth.--You say she was somewhat better at the time you wrote last. I
must flatter myself that she will soon be without any remains of this
threatening disease.

"It is seven o'clock.--You and Honora, with two or three more select
friends, are now probably encircling your dressing-room fireplace. What
would I not give to enlarge that circle! The idea of a clean hearth, and
a snug circle round it, formed by a few select friends, transports me.
You seem combined together against the inclemency of the weather, the
hurry, bustle, ceremony, censoriousness, and envy of the world. The
purity, the warmth, the kindly influence of fire, to all for whom it is
kindled, is a good emblem of the friendship of such amiable minds as
Julia's and her Honora's. Since I cannot be there in reality, pray,
imagine me with you; admit me to your _conversationés_:--Think how I
wish for the blessing of joining them!--and be persuaded that I take
part in all your pleasures, in the dear hope, that, ere it be very long,
your blazing hearth will burn again for me. Pray, keep me a place; let
the poker, tongs, or shovel represent me:--But you have Dutch tiles,
which are infinitely better; so let Moses, or Aaron, or Balaam's ass be
my representative.

"But time calls me to Clapton. I quit you abruptly till to-morrow: when,
if I do not tear the nonsense I have been writing, I may perhaps
increase its quantity. Signora Cynthia is in clouded majesty. Silvered
with her beams, I am about to jog to Clapton upon my own stumps; musing,
as I homeward plod my way.--Ah! need I name the subject of my


"I had a sweet walk home last night, and found the Claptonians, with
their fair guest, a Miss Mourgue, very well. My sisters send their
amities, and will write in a few days.

"This morning I returned to town. It has been the finest day imaginable;
a solemn mildness was diffused throughout the blue horizon; its light
was clear and distinct rather than dazzling; the serene beams of an
autumnal sun! Gilded hills, variegated woods, glittering spires,
ruminating herds, bounding flocks, all combined to enchant the eyes,
expand the heart, and 'chase all sorrows but despair.' In the midst of
such a scene, no lesser sorrow can prevent our sympathy with Nature. A
calmness, a benevolent disposition seizes us with sweet, insinuating
power. The very brute creation seem sensible of these beauties. There is
a species of mild chearfulness in the face of a lamb, which I have but
indifferently expressed in a corner of my paper, and a demure, contented
look in an ox, which, in the fear of expressing still worse, I leave

"Business calls me away--I must dispatch my letter. Yet what does it
contain? No matter--You like anything better than news. Indeed, you have
never told me so; but I have an intuitive knowledge upon the subject,
from the sympathy which I have constantly perceived in the tastes of
Julia and _Cher Jean_. What is it to you or me,

     "If here in the city we have nothing but riot;
     If the Spitalfield weavers can't be kept quiet;
     If the weather is fine, or the streets should be dirty;
     Or if Mr. Dick Wilson died aged of thirty?

"But if I was to hearken to the versifying grumbling I feel within me, I
should fill my paper, and not have room left to intreat that you would
plead my cause with Honora more eloquently than the enclosed letter has
the power of doing. Apropos of verses, you desire me to recollect my
random description of the engaging appearance of the charming Mrs.----.
Here it is at your service.

     "Then rustling and bustling the lady comes down,
     With a flaming red face and a broad yellow gown,
     And a hobbling out-of-breath gait, and a frown.

"This little French cousin of our's, Delarise, was my sister Mary's
playfellow at Paris. His sprightliness engages my sisters extremely.
Doubtless they tell much of him to you in their letters.

"How sorry I am to bid you adieu! Oh, let me not be forgot by the
friends most dear to you at Lichfield. Lichfield! Ah, of what magic
letters is that little word composed! How graceful it looks, when it is
written! Let nobody talk to me of its original meaning, 'The Field of
Blood'! Oh, no such thing! It is the field of joy! 'The beautiful city,
that lifts her fair head in the valley, and says, _I am, and there is
none beside me.'_ Who says she is vain? Julia will not say so,--nor yet
Honora,--and least of all, their devoted

"John André."

It is not difficult to perceive in the tone of this letter that its
writer was not an accepted lover. His interests with the lady, despite
Miss Seward's watchful care, were already declining; and the lapse of a
few months more reduced him to the level of a valued and entertaining
friend, whose civilities were not to pass the conventional limits of
polite intercourse. To André this fate was very hard. He was hopelessly
enamored; and so long as fortune offered him the least hope of eventual
success, he persevered in the faith that Honora might yet be his own.
But every returning day must have shaken this faith. His visits were
discontinued and his correspondence dropped. Other suitors pressed their
claims, and often urged an argument which it was beyond his means to
supply. They came provided with what Parson Hugh calls good gifts:
"Seven hundred pounds and possibilities is good gifts." Foremost among
these dangerous rivals were two men of note in their way: Richard Lovell
Edgeworth, and the eccentric, but amiable Thomas Day.

Mr. Day was a man whose personal charms were not great. Overgrown,
awkward, pitted with the small-pox, he offered no pleasing contrast to
the discarded André: but he had twelve hundred pounds a year. His
notions in regard to women were as peculiar as his estimate of his own
merit. He seems to have really believed that it would be impossible for
any beautiful girl to refuse her assent to the terms of the contract by
which she might acquire his hand. These were absurd to a degree; and it
is not cause for surprise that Miss Sneyd should have unhesitatingly
refused them. Poor Mr. Day was not prepared for such continued ill-luck
in his matrimonial projects. He had already been very unfortunate in his
plans for obtaining a perfect wife,--having vainly provided for the
education of two foundlings between whom he promised himself to select a
paragon of a helpmate. To drop burning sealing-wax upon their necks, and
to discharge a pistol close to their ears, were among his philosophical
rules for training them to habits of submission and self-control; and
the upshot was, that they were fain to attach themselves to men of less
wisdom, but better taste. Miss Sneyd's conduct was more than he could
well endure, after all his previous disappointments; and he went to bed
with a fever that did not leave him till his passion was cured. He could
not at this time have anticipated, however, that the friendly hand which
had aided the prosecution of his addresses was eventually destined to
receive and hold the fair prize which so many were contending for.

Richard Lovell Edgeworth, the ambassador and counsellor of Mr. Day in
this affair, was at the very moment of the rejection himself enamored of
Miss Sneyd. But Edgeworth had a wife already,--a pining, complaining
woman, he tells us, who did not make his home cheerful,--and honor and
decency forbade him to open his mouth on the subject that occupied his
heart. He wisely sought refuge in flight, and in other scenes the
natural exuberance of his disposition afforded a relief from the pangs
of an unlawful and secret passion. Lord Byron, who met him forty years
afterwards, in five lines shows us the man: if he was thus seen in the
dry wood, we can imagine what he was in the green:--"I thought Edgeworth
a fine old fellow, of a clarety, elderly, red complexion, but active,
brisk, and endless. He was seventy, but did not look fifty,--no, nor
forty-eight even." He was in France when the death of his father left
him to the possession of a good estate,--and that of his wife occurring
in happy concurrence, he lost little time in opening in his own behalf
the communications that had failed when he spoke for Mr. Day. His wooing
was prosperous; in July, 1773, he married Miss Sneyd.

It is a mistake, sanctioned by the constant acceptance of historians, to
suppose that it was this occasion that prompted André to abandon a
commercial life. The improbability of winning Honora's hand, and the
freedom with which she received the addresses of other men, undoubtedly
went far to convince him of the folly of sticking to trade with but one
motive; and so soon as he attained his majority, he left the desk and
stool forever, and entered the army. This was a long time before the
Edgeworth marriage was undertaken, or even contemplated.

Lieutenant André of the Royal Fusileers had a very different line of
duty to perform from Mr. André, merchant, of Warnford Court, Throgmorton
Street; and the bustle of military life, doubtless, in some degree
diverted his mind from the disagreeable contemplation of what was
presently to occur at Lichfield. Some months were spent on the Continent
and among the smaller German courts about the Rhine. After all was over,
however, and the nuptial knot fairly tied that destroyed all his
youthful hopes, he is related to have made a farewell expedition to the
place of his former happiness. There, at least, he was sure to find one
sympathizing heart. Miss Seward, who had to the very last minute
contended with her friend against Mr. Edgeworth and in support of his
less fortunate predecessor, now met him with open arms. No pains were
spared by her to alleviate, since she could not remove, the
disappointment that evidently possessed him. A legend is preserved in
connection with this visit that is curious, though manifestly of very
uncertain credibility. It is said that an engagement had been made by
Miss Seward to introduce her friend to two gentlemen of some note in the
neighborhood, Mr. Cunningham and Mr. Newton. On the appointed morning,
while awaiting their expected guests, Cunningham related to his
companion a vision--or rather, a series of visions--that had greatly
disturbed his previous night's repose. He was alone in a wide forest, he
said, when he perceived a rider approaching him. The horseman's
countenance was plainly visible, and its lines were of a character too
interesting to be readily forgotten. Suddenly three men sprang forth
from an ambush among the thickets, and, seizing the stranger, hauled him
from his horse and bore him away. To this succeeded another scene. He
stood with a great multitude near by some foreign town. A bustle was
heard, and he beheld the horseman of his earlier dream again led along a
captive. A gibbet was erected, and the prisoner was at once hanged. In
narrating this tale, Cunningham averred that the features of its hero
were still fresh in his recollection; the door opened, and in the face
of André, who at that moment presented himself, he professed to
recognize that which had so troubled his slumbers.

Such is the tale that is recorded of the supernatural revelation of
André's fate. If it rested on somewhat better evidence than any we are
able to find in its favor, it would be at least more interesting. But
whether or no the young officer continued to linger in the spirit about
the spires of Lichfield and the romantic shades of Derbyshire, it is
certain that his fleshly part was moving in a very different direction.
In 1774, he embarked to join his regiment, then posted in Canada, and
arrived at Philadelphia early in the autumn of the year.

It is not within the design of this paper to pursue to any length the
details of André's American career. Regimental duties in a country
district rarely afford matter worthy of particular record; and it is not
until the troubles of our Revolutionary War break out, that we find
anything of mark in his story. He was with the troops that Carleton sent
down, after the fall of Ticonderoga, to garrison Chambly and St. John's,
and to hold the passage of the Sorel against Montgomery and his little
army. With the fall of these forts, he went into captivity. There is
too much reason to believe that the imprisonment of the English on this
occasion was not alleviated by many exhibitions of generosity on the
part of their captors. Montgomery, indeed, was as humane and honorable
as he was brave; but he was no just type of his followers. The articles
of capitulation were little regarded, and the prisoners were, it would
seem, rapidly despoiled of their private effects. "I have been taken by
the Americans," wrote André, "and robbed of everything save the picture
of Honora, which I concealed in my mouth. Preserving that, I think
myself happy." Sent into the remote parts of Pennsylvania, his
companions and himself met with but scant measure of courtesy from the
mountaineers of that region; nor was he exchanged for many long and
weary months. Once more free, however, his address and capacity soon
came to his aid. His reports and sketches speedily commended him to the
especial favor of the commander-in-chief, Sir William Howe; and ere long
he was promoted to a captaincy and made aide-de-camp to Sir Charles
Grey. This was a dashing, hard-fighting general of division, whose
element was close quarters and whose favorite argument was the cold
steel. If, therefore, André played but an inactive part at the
Brandywine, he had ample opportunity on other occasions of tasting the
excitement and the horrors of war. The night-surprises of Wayne at
Paoli, and of Baylor on the Hudson,--the scenes of Germantown and
Monmouth,--the reduction of the forts at Verplanck's Ferry, and the
forays led against New Bedford and the Vineyard,--all these familiarized
him with the bloody fruits of civil strife. But they never blunted for
one moment the keenness of his humanity, or warped those sentiments of
refinement and liberality that always distinguished him. Within the
limited range of his narrow sphere, he was constantly found the friend
and reliever of the wounded or captive Americans, and the protector and
benefactor of the followers of his own banner. Accomplished to a degree
in all the graces that adorn the higher circles of society, he was free
from most of their vices; and those who knew him well in this country
have remarked on the universal approbation of both sexes that followed
his steps, and the untouched heart that escaped so many shafts. Nor,
while foremost in the brilliant pleasures that distinguished the British
camp and made Philadelphia a Capua to Howe, was he ever known to descend
to the vulgar sports of his fellows. In the balls, the theatricals, the
picturesque _Mischianza_, he bore a leading hand; but his affections,
meanwhile, appear to have remained where they were earliest and last
bestowed. In our altered days, when marriage and divorce seem so often
interchangeable words, and loyal fidelity but an Old-World phrase,
ill-fashioned and out of date, there is something very attractive in
this hopeless constancy of an exiled lover.

Beyond the seas, meanwhile, the object of this unfortunate attachment
was lending a happy and a useful life in the fulfilment of the various
duties of a wife, a mother, and a friend. Her husband was a large landed
proprietor, and in public spirit was inferior to no country-gentleman of
the kingdom. Many of his notions were fanciful enough, it must be
allowed; but they were all directed to the improvement and amelioration
of his native land and its people. In these pursuits, as well as in
those of learning, Mrs. Edgeworth was the active and useful coadjutor of
her husband; and it was probably to the desire of this couple to do
something that would make the instruction of their children a less
painful task than had been their own, that we are indebted for the
adaptation of the simpler rudiments of science to a childish dress. In
1778 they wrote together the First Part of "Harry and Lucy," and printed
a handful of copies in that largo black type which every one associates
with the first school-days of his childhood. From these pages she taught
her own children to read. The plan was communicated to Mr. Day, who
entered into it eagerly; and an educational library seemed about to be
prepared for the benefit of a far-away household in the heart of
Ireland. But a hectic disorder, that had threatened Mrs. Edgeworth's
life while yet a child, now returned upon her with increased virulence;
and the kind and beautiful mistress of Edgeworthstown was compelled to
forego this and every other earthly avocation. Mr. Day expanded his
little tale into the delightful story of "Sandford and Merton," a book
that long stood second only to "Robinson Crusoe" in the youthful
judgment of the great boy-world; and in later years, Maria Edgeworth
included "Harry and Lucy" in her "Early Lessons." It is thus a point to
be noticed, that nothing but the _res angusta domi_, the lack of wealth,
on the part of young André, was the cause of that series of little
volumes being produced by Miss Edgeworth, which so long held the first
place among the literary treasures of the nurseries of England and
America. Lazy Lawrence, Simple Susan, and a score more of excellently
conceived characters, might never have been called from chaos to
influence thousands of tender minds, but for André's narrow purse.

The ravages of the insidious disease with which she was afflicted soon
came to an end; and after a term of wedlock as brief as it was
prosperous, Mrs. Edgeworth's dying couch was spread.--"I have every
blessing," she wrote, "and I am happy. The conversation of my beloved
husband, when my breath will let me have it, is my greatest delight: he
procures me every comfort, and, as he always said he thought he should,
contrives for me everything that can ease and assist my weakness,--

     "'Like a kind angel, whispers peace,
     And smooths the bed of death.'"

Rightly viewed, the closing scenes in the life of this estimable woman
are not less solemn, not less impressive, than those of that memorable
day, when, with all the awful ceremonials of offended justice and the
stern pageantries of war, her lover died in the full glare of noonday
before the eyes of assembled thousands. He had played for a mighty
stake, and he had lost. He had perilled his life for the destruction of
our American empire, and he was there to pay the penalty: and surely
never, in all the annals of our race, has a man more gallantly yielded
up his forfeited breath, or under circumstances more impressive. He
perished regretted alike by friend and foe; and perhaps not one of the
throng that witnessed his execution but would have rejoicingly hailed a
means of reconciling his pardon with the higher and inevitable duties
which they owed to the safety of the army and the existence of the
state. And in the aspect which the affair has since taken, who can say
that André's fate has been entirely unfortunate? He drank out the wine
of life while it was still sparkling and foaming and bright in his cup:
he tasted none of the bitterness of its lees till almost his last sun
had risen. When he was forever parted from the woman whom he loved, a
new, but not an earthly mistress succeeded to the vacant throne; and
thenceforth the love of glory possessed his heart exclusively. And how
rarely has a greater lustre attached to any name than to his! His bones
are laid with those of the wisest and mightiest of the land; the
gratitude of monarchs cumbers the earth with his sepulchral honors; and
his memory is consecrated in the most eloquent pages of the history not
only of his own country, but of that which sent him out of existence.
Looked upon thus, death might have been welcomed by him as a benefit
rather than dreaded as a calamity, and the words applied by Cicero to
the fate of Crassus be repeated with fresh significancy,--"_Mors dortata
quam vita erepta_."

The same year that carries on its records the date of André's fall
witnessed the death of a second Honora Edgeworth, the only surviving
daughter of Honora Sneyd. She is represented as having inherited all the
beauty, all the talents of her mother. The productions of her pen and
pencil seem to justify this assertion, so far as the precocity of such a
mere child may warrant the ungarnered fruits of future years. But with
her parent's person she received the frailties of its constitution; and,
ere girlhood had fairly opened upon her way of life, she succumbed to
the same malady that had wrecked her mother.

       *       *       *       *       *


     We know the spirit shall not taste of death:
       Earth bids her elements,
         "Turn, turn again to me!"
     But to the soul, unto the soul, she saith,
         "Flee, alien, flee!"

     And circumstance of matter what doth weigh?
       Oh! not the height and depth of this to know
     But reachings of that grosser element,
       Which, entered in and clinging to it so,
     With earthlier earthiness than dwells in clay,
       Can drag the spirit down, that, looking up,
     Sees, through surrounding shades of death and time,
       With solemn wonder, and with new-born hope,
     The dawning glories of its native clime;
       And inly swell such mighty floods of love,
     Unutterable longing and desire,
       For that celestial, blessed home above,
     The soul springs upward like the mounting fire,
       Up, through the lessening shadows on its way,
     While, in its raptured vision, grows more clear
       The calm, the high, illimitable day
     To which it draws more near and yet more near.
     Draws near? Alas! its brief, its waning strength
       Upward no more the fetters' weight can bear:
     It falters,--pauses,--sinks; and, sunk at length,
       Plucks at its chain in frenzy and despair.

     Not forever fallen! Not in eternal prison!
         No! hell with fire of pain
         Melteth apart its chain;
         Heaven doth once more constrain:
           It hath arisen!

       And never, never again, thus to fall low?
             Ah, no!
           Terror, Remorse, and Woe,
     Vainly they pierced it through with many sorrows;
      Hell shall regain it,--thousand times regain it;
             But can detain it
     Only awhile from ruthful Heaven's to-morrows.

         That sin is suffering,
         It knows,--it knows this thing;
         And yet it courts the sting
           That deeply pains it;
         It knows that in the cup
         The sweet is but a sup,
         That Sorrow fills it up,
           And who drinks drains it.

       It knows; who runs may read.
     But, when the fetters dazzle, heaven's far joy seems dim;
       And 'tis not life but so to be inwound.
         A little while, and then--behold it bleed
       With madness of its throes to be unbound!

         It knows. But when the sudden stress
         Of passion is resistlessness,
           It drags the flood that sweeps away,
           For anchorage, or hold, or stay,
         Or saving rock of stableness,
             And there is none,--
        No underlying fixedness to fasten on:
           Unsounded depths; unsteadfast seas;
              Wavering, yielding, bottomless depths:
              But these!

         Yea, sometimes seemeth gone
         The Everlasting Arm we lean upon!

       So blind, as well as maimed and halt and lame,
             What sometimes makes it see?
       Oppressed with guilt and gnawed upon of shame,
               What comes upon it so,
             Faster and faster stealing,
           Flooding it like an air or sea
             Of warm and golden feeling?
                  What makes it melt,
     Dissolving from the earthiness that made it hard and heavy?
               What makes it melt and flow,
               And melt and melt and flow,--
       Till light, clear-shining through its heart of dew,
                 Makes all things new?

     Loosed from the spirit of infirmity, listen its cry.
           "Was it I that longed for oblivion,
           O wonderful Love! was it I,
         That deep in its easeful water
           My wounded soul might lie?
         That over the wounds and anguish
           The easeful flood might roll?
         A river of loving-kindness
           Has healed and hidden the whole.
         Lo! in its pitiful bosom
           Vanish the sins of my youth,--
         Error and shame and backsliding
           Lost in celestial ruth.

             "O grace too great!
         O excellency of my new estate!

         "No more, for the friends that love me,
           I shall veil my face or grieve
         Because love outrunneth deserving;
           I shall be as they believe.
         And I shall be strong to help them,
           Filled of Thy fulness with stores
         Of comfort and hope and compassion.
           Oh, upon all my shores,
         With the waters with which Thou dost flood me,
           Bid me, my Father, o'erflow!
         Who can taste Thy divineness,
           Nor hunger and thirst to bestow?
             Send me, oh, send me!
         The wanderers let me bring!
           The thirsty let me show
         Where the rivers of gladness spring,
           And fountains of mercy flow!
         How in the hills shall they sit and sing,
           With valleys of peace below!"

     Oh that the keys of our hearts the angels would bear in their bosoms!
       For revelation fades and fades away,
         Dream-like becomes, and dim, and far-withdrawn;
       And evening comes to find the soul a prey,
         That was caught up to visions at the dawn;
     Sword of the spirit,--still it sheathes in rust,
     And lips of prophecy are sealed with dust.

         High lies the better country,
       The land of morning and perpetual spring;
         But graciously the warder
         Over its mountain-border
     Leans to us, beckoning,--bids us, "Come up hither!"
       And though we climb with step unfixed and slow,
     From visioning heights of hope we look off thither,
             And we must go.

       And we shall go! And we shall go!
       We shall not always weep and wander so,--
           Not always in vain,
           By merciful pain,
       Be upcast from the hell we seek again!
             How shall we,
     Whom the stars draw so, and the uplifting sea?
     Answer, thou Secret Heart! how shall it be,
     With all His infinite promising in thee?

     Beloved! beloved! not cloud and fire alone
       From bondage and the wilderness restore
     And guide the wandering spirit to its own;
       But all His elements, they go before:
         Upon its way the seasons bring,
         And hearten with foreshadowing
           The resurrection-wonder,
         What lands of death awake to sing
           And germs of hope swell under;
         And full and fine, and full and fine,
         The day distils life's golden wine;
     And night is Palace Beautiful, peace-chambered.
     All things are ours; and life fills up of them
           Such measure as we hold.
             For ours beyond the gate,
           The deep things, the untold,
               We only wait.




The young master had not forgotten the old Doctor's cautions. Without
attributing any great importance to the warning he had given him, Mr.
Bernard had so far complied with his advice that he was becoming a
pretty good shot with the pistol. It was an amusement as good as many
others to practise, and he had taken a fancy to it after the first
few days.

The popping of a pistol at odd hours in the back-yard of the Institute
was a phenomenon more than sufficiently remarkable to be talked about in
Rockland. The viscous intelligence of a country-village is not easily
stirred by the winds which ripple the fluent thought of great cities,
but it holds every straw and entangles every insect that lights upon it.
It soon became rumored in the town that the young master was a wonderful
shot with the pistol. Some said he could hit a fo'pence-ha'penny at
three rod; some, that he had shot a swallow, flying, with a single ball;
some, that he snuffed a candle five times out of six at ten paces, and
that he could hit any button in a man's coat he wanted to. In other
words, as in all such cases, all the common feats were ascribed to him,
as the current jokes of the day are laid at the door of any noted wit,
however innocent he may be of them.

In the natural course of things, Mr. Richard Venner, who had by this
time made some acquaintances, as we have seen, among that class of the
population least likely to allow a live cinder of gossip to go out for
want of air, had heard incidentally that the master up there at the
Institute was all the time practising with a pistol, that they say he
can snuff a candle at ten rods, (that was Mrs. Blanche Creamer's
version,) and that he could hit anybody he wanted to right in the eye,
as far as he could see the white of it.

Dick did not like the sound of all this any too well. Without believing
more than half of it, there was enough to make the Yankee schoolmaster
too unsafe to be trifled with. However, shooting at a mark was pleasant
work enough; he had no particular objection to it himself. Only he did
not care so much for those little popgun affairs that a man carries in
his pocket, and with which you couldn't shoot a fellow,--a robber,
say,--without getting the muzzle under his nose. Pistols for boys;
long-range rifles for men. There was such a gun lying in a closet with
the fowling-pieces. He would go out into the fields and see what he
could do as a marksman.

The nature of the mark that Dick chose for experimenting upon was
singular. He had found some panes of glass which had been removed from
an old sash, and he placed these successively before his target,
arranging them at different angles. He found that a bullet would go
through the glass without glancing or having its force materially
abated. It was an interesting fact in physics, and might prove of some
practical significance hereafter. Nobody knows what may turn up to
render these out-of-the-way facts useful. All this was done in a quiet
way in one of the bare spots high up the side of The Mountain. He was
very thoughtful in taking the precaution to get so far away;
rifle-bullets are apt to glance and come whizzing about people's ears,
if they are fired in the neighborhood of houses. Dick satisfied himself
that he could be tolerably sure of hitting a pane of glass at a distance
of thirty rods, more or less, and that, if there happened to be anything
behind it, the glass would not materially alter the force or direction
of the bullet.

About this time it occurred to him also that there was an old
accomplishment of his which he would be in danger of losing for want of
practice, if he did not take some opportunity to try his hand and regain
its cunning, if it had begun to be diminished by disuse. For his first
trial, he chose an evening when the moon was shining, and after the hour
when the Rockland people were like to be stirring abroad. He was so far
established now that he could do much as he pleased without
exciting remark.

The prairie horse he rode, the mustang of the Pampas, wild as he was,
had been trained to take part in at least one exercise. This was the
accomplishment in which Mr. Richard now proposed to try himself. For
this purpose he sought the implement of which, as it may be remembered,
he had once made an incidental use,--the lasso, or long strip of hide
with a slip-noose at the end of it. He had been accustomed to playing
with such a thong from his boyhood, and had become expert in its use in
capturing wild cattle in the course of his adventures. Unfortunately,
there were no wild bulls likely to be met with in the neighborhood, to
become the subjects of his skill. A stray cow in the road, an ox or a
horse in a pasture, must serve his turn,--dull beasts, but moving marks
to aim at, at any rate.

Never, since he had galloped in the chase over the Pampas, had Dick
Venner felt such a sense of life and power as when he struck the long
spurs into his wild horse's flanks, and dashed along the road with the
lasso lying like a coiled snake at the saddle-bow. In skilful hands, the
silent, bloodless noose, flying like an arrow, but not like that leaving
a wound behind it,--sudden as a pistol-shot, but without the tell-tale
explosion,--is one of the most fearful and mysterious weapons that arm
the hand of man. The old Romans knew how formidable, even in contest
with a gladiator equipped with sword, helmet, and shield, was the almost
naked _retiarius_ with his net in one hand and his three-pronged javelin
in the other. Once get a net over a man's head, or a cord round his
neck, or, what is more frequently done nowadays, _bonnet_ him by
knocking his hat down over his eyes, and he is at the mercy of his
opponent. Our soldiers who served against the Mexicans found this out
too well. Many a poor fellow has been lassoed by the fierce riders from
the plains, and fallen an easy victim to the captor who had snared him
in the fatal noose.

But, imposing as the sight of the wild huntsmen of the Pampas might have
been, Dick could not help laughing at the mock sublimity of his
situation, as he tried his first experiment on an unhappy milky mother
who had strayed from her herd and was wandering disconsolately along the
road, laying the dust, as she went, with thready streams from her
swollen, swinging udders. "Here goes the Don at the windmill!" said
Dick, and tilted full speed at her, whirling the lasso round his head as
he rode. The creature swerved to one side of the way, as the wild horse
and his rider came rushing down upon her, and presently turned and ran,
as only cows and--it wouldn't be safe to say it--can run. Just before he
passed,--at twenty or thirty feet from her,--the lasso shot from his
hand, uncoiling as it flew, and in an instant its loop was round her
horns. "Well cast!" said Dick, as he galloped up to her side and
dexterously disengaged the lasso. "Now for a horse on the run!"

He had the good luck to find one, presently, grazing in a pasture at the
roadside. Taking down the rails of the fence at one point, he drove the
horse into the road and gave chase. It was a lively young animal enough,
and was easily roused to a pretty fast pace. As his gallop grew more and
more rapid, Dick gave the reins to the mustang, until the two horses
stretched themselves out in their longest strides. If the first feat
looked like play, the one he was now to attempt had a good deal the
appearance of real work. He touched the mustang with the spur, and in a
few fierce leaps found himself nearly abreast of the frightened animal
he was chasing. Once more he whirled the lasso round and round over his
head, and then shot it forth, as the rattlesnake shoots his head from
the loops against which it rests. The noose was round the horse's neck,
and in another instant was tightened so as almost to stop his breath.
The prairie horse knew the trick of the cord, and leaned away from the
captive, so as to keep the thong tensely stretched between his neck and
the peak of the saddle to which it was fastened. Struggling was of no
use with a halter round his windpipe, and he very soon began to tremble
and stagger,--blind, no doubt, and with a roaring in his ears as of a
thousand battle-trumpets,--at any rate, subdued and helpless. That was
enough. Dick loosened his lasso, wound it up again, laid it like a pet
snake in a coil at his saddle-bow, turned his horse, and rode slowly
along towards the mansion-house.

The place had never looked more stately and beautiful to him than as he
now saw it in the moonlight. The undulations of the land,--the grand
mountain-screen which sheltered the mansion from the northern blasts,
rising with all its hanging forests and parapets of naked rock high
towards the heavens,--the ancient mansion, with its square chimneys, and
bodyguard of old trees, and cincture of low walls with marble-pillared
gateways,--the fields, with their various coverings,--the beds of
flowers,--the plots of turf, one with a gray column in its centre
bearing a sun-dial on which the rays of the moon were idly shining,
another with a white stone and a narrow ridge of turf,--over all these
objects, harmonized with all their infinite details into one fair whole
by the moonlight, the prospective heir, as he deemed himself, looked
with admiring eyes.

But while he looked, the thought rose up in his mind like waters from a
poisoned fountain, that there was a deep plot laid to cheat him of the
inheritance which by a double claim he meant to call his own. Every day
this ice-cold beauty, this dangerous, handsome cousin of his, went up to
that place,--that usher's girltrap. Every day,--regularly now,--it used
to be different. Did she go only to get out of his, her cousin's, reach?
Was she not rather becoming more and more involved in the toils of this
plotting Yankee?

If Mr. Bernard had shown himself at that moment a few rods in advance,
the chances are that in less than one minute he would have found himself
with a noose round his neck, at the heels of a mounted horseman.
Providence spared him for the present. Mr. Richard rode his horse
quietly round to the stable, put him up, and proceeded towards the
house. He got to his bed without disturbing the family, but could not
sleep. The idea had fully taken possession of his mind that a deep
intrigue was going on which would end by bringing Elsie and the
schoolmaster into relations fatal to all his own hopes. With that
ingenuity which always accompanies jealousy, he tortured every
circumstance of the last few weeks so as to make it square with this
belief. From this vein of thought he naturally passed to a consideration
of every possible method by which the issue he feared might be avoided.

Mr. Richard talked very plain language with himself in all these inward
colloquies. Supposing it came to the worst, what could be done then?
First, an accident might happen to the schoolmaster which should put a
complete and final check upon his projects and contrivances. The
particular accident which might interrupt his career must, evidently, be
determined by circumstances; but it must be of a nature to explain
itself without the necessity of any particular person's becoming
involved in the matter. It would be unpleasant to go into particulars;
but everybody knows well enough that men sometimes get in the way of a
stray bullet, and that young persons occasionally do violence to
themselves in various modes,--by fire-arms, suspension, and other
means,--in consequence of disappointment in love, perhaps, oftener than
from other motives. There was still another kind of accident which might
serve his purpose. If anything should happen to Elsie, it would be the
most natural thing in the world that his uncle should adopt him, his
nephew and only near relation, as his heir. Unless, indeed, Uncle Dudley
should take it into his head to marry again. In that case, where would
he, Dick, be? This was the most detestable complication which he could
conceive of. And yet he had noticed--he could not help noticing--that
his uncle had been very attentive to, and, as it seemed, very much
pleased with, that young woman from the school. What did that mean? Was
it possible that he was going to take a fancy to her?

It made him wild to think of all the several contingencies which might
defraud him of that good-fortune which seemed but just now within his
grasp. He glared in the darkness at imaginary faces: sometimes at that
of the handsome, treacherous schoolmaster; sometimes at that of the
meek-looking, but, no doubt, scheming, lady-teacher; sometimes at that
of the dark girl whom he was ready to make his wife; sometimes at that
of his much respected uncle, who, of course, could not be allowed to
peril the fortunes of his relatives by forming a new connection. It was
a frightful perplexity in which he found himself, because there was no
one single life an accident to which would be sufficient to insure the
fitting and natural course of descent to the great Dudley property. If
it had been a simple question of helping forward a casualty to any one
person, there was nothing in Dick's habits of thought and living to make
that a serious difficulty. He had been so much with lawless people, that
a life between his wish and his object seemed only as an obstacle to be
removed, provided the object were worth the risk and trouble. But if
there were two or three lives in the way, manifestly that altered
the case.

His Southern blood was getting impatient. There was enough of the
New-Englander about him to make him calculate his chances before he
struck; but his plans were liable to be defeated at any moment by a
passionate impulse such as the dark-hued races of Southern Europe and
their descendants are liable to. He lay in his bed, sometimes arranging
plans to meet the various difficulties already mentioned, sometimes
getting into a paroxysm of blind rage in the perplexity of considering
what object he should select as the one most clearly in his way. On the
whole, there could be no doubt where the most threatening of all his
embarrassments lay. It was in the probable growing relation between
Elsie and the schoolmaster. If it should prove, as it seemed likely,
that there was springing up a serious attachment tending to a union
between them, he knew what he should do, if he was not quite so sure how
he should do it.

There was one thing at least which might favor his projects, and which,
at any rate, would serve to amuse him. He could, by a little quiet
observation, find out what were the schoolmaster's habits of life:
whether he had any routine which could be calculated upon; and under
what circumstances a strictly private interview of a few minutes with
him might be reckoned on, in case it should be desirable. He could also
very probably learn some facts about Elsie: whether the young man was in
the habit of attending her on her way home from school; whether she
stayed about the school-room after the other girls had gone; and any
incidental matters of interest which might present themselves.

He was getting more and more restless for want of some excitement. A mad
gallop, a visit to Mrs. Blanche Creamer, who had taken such a fancy to
him, or a chat with the Widow Rowens, who was very lively in her talk,
for all her sombre colors, and reminded him a good deal of some of his
earlier friends, the _señoritas_,--all these were distractions, to be
sure, but not enough to keep his fiery spirit from fretting itself in
longings for more dangerous excitements. The thought of getting a
knowledge of all Mr. Bernard's ways, so that he would be in his power at
any moment, was a happy one.

For some days after this he followed Elsie at a long distance behind, to
watch her until she got to the school-house. One day he saw Mr. Bernard
join her: a mere accident, very probably, for it was only once this
happened. She came on her homeward way alone,--quite apart from the
groups of girls who strolled out of the school-house yard in company.
Sometimes she was behind them all,--which was suggestive. Could she
have stayed to meet the schoolmaster?

If he could have smuggled himself into the school, he would have liked
to watch her there, and see if there was not some understanding between
her and the master which betrayed itself by look or word. But this was
beyond the limits of his audacity, and he had to content himself with
such cautious observations as could be made at a distance. With the aid
of a pocket-glass he could make out persons without the risk of being
observed himself.

Mr. Silas Peckham's corps of instructors was not expected to be off duty
or to stand at ease for any considerable length of time. Sometimes Mr.
Bernard, who had more freedom than the rest, would go out for a ramble
in the day-time; but more frequently it would be in the evening, after
the hour of "retiring," as bed-time was elegantly termed by the young
ladies of the Apollinean Institute. He would then not unfrequently walk
out alone in the common roads, or climb up the sides of The Mountain,
which seemed to be one of his favorite resorts. Here, of course, it was
impossible to follow him with the eye at a distance. Dick had a hideous,
gnawing suspicion that somewhere in these deep shades the schoolmaster
might meet Elsie, whose evening wanderings he knew so well. But of this
he was not able to assure himself. Secrecy was necessary to his present
plans, and he could not compromise himself by over-eager curiosity. One
thing he learned with certainty. The master returned, after his walk one
evening, and entered the building where his room was situated. Presently
a light betrayed the window of his apartment. From a wooded bank, some
thirty or forty rods from this building, Dick Venner could see the
interior of the chamber, and watch the master as he sat at his desk, the
light falling strongly upon his face, intent upon the book or manuscript
before him. Dick contemplated him very long in this attitude. The sense
of watching his every motion, himself meanwhile utterly unseen, was
delicious. How little the master was thinking what eyes were on him!

Well,--there were two things quite certain. One was, that, if he chose,
he could meet the schoolmaster alone, either in the road or in a more
solitary place, if he preferred to watch his chance for an evening or
two. The other was, that he commanded his position, as he sat at his
desk in the evening, in such a way that there would be very little
difficulty,--so far as that went; of course, however, silence is always
preferable to noise, and there is a great difference in the marks left
by different casualties. Very likely nothing would come of all this
espionage; but, at any rate, the first thing to be done with a man you
want to have in your power is to learn his habits.

Since the tea-party at the Widow Rowens's, Elsie had been more fitful
and moody than ever. Dick understood all this well enough, you know. It
was the working of her jealousy against that young school-girl to whom
the master had devoted himself for the sake of piquing the heiress of
the Dudley mansion. Was it possible, in any way, to exasperate her
irritable nature against him, and in this way to render her more
accessible to his own advances? It was difficult to influence her at
all. She endured his company without seeming to enjoy it. She watched
him with that strange look of hers, sometimes as if she were on her
guard against him, sometimes as if she would like to strike at him as in
that fit of childish passion. She ordered him about with a haughty
indifference which reminded him of his own way with the dark-eyed women
whom he had known so well of old. All this added a secret pleasure to
the other motives he had for worrying her with jealous suspicions. He
knew she brooded silently on any grief that poisoned her comfort,--that
she fed on it, as it were, until it ran with every drop of blood in her
veins,--and that, except in some paroxysm of rage, of which he himself
was not likely the second time to be the object, or in some deadly
vengeance wrought secretly, against which he would keep a sharp
look-out, so far as he was concerned, she had no outlet for her
dangerous, smouldering passions.

Beware of the woman who cannot find free utterance for all her stormy
inner life either in words or song! So long as a woman can talk, there
is nothing she cannot bear. If she cannot have a companion to listen to
her woes, and has no musical utterance, vocal or instrumental,--then,
if she is of the real woman sort, and has a few heartfuls of wild blood
in her, and you have done her a wrong,--double-bolt the door which she
may enter on noiseless slipper at midnight,--look twice before you taste
of any cup whose draught the shadow of her hand may have darkened!

But let her talk, and, above all, cry, or, if she is one of the
coarser-grained tribe, give her the run of all the red-hot expletives in
the language, and let her blister her lips with them until she is tired,
she will sleep like a lamb after it, and you may take a cup of coffee
from her without stirring it up to look for its sediment.  So, if she
can sing, or play on any musical instrument, all her wickedness will run
off through her throat or the tips of her fingers. How many tragedies
find their peaceful catastrophe in fierce roulades and strenuous
bravuras! How many murders are executed in double-quick time upon the
keys which stab the air with their dagger-strokes of sound! What would
our civilization be without the piano? Are not Erard and Broadwood and
Chickering the true humanizers of our time? Therefore do I love to hear
the all-pervading _tum tum_ jarring the walls of little parlors in
houses with double door-plates on their portals, looking out on streets
and courts which to know is to be unknown, and where to exist is not to
live, according to any true definition of living. Therefore complain I
not of modern degeneracy, when, even from the open window of the small
unlovely farm-house, tenanted by the hard-handed man of bovine flavors
and the flat-patterned woman of broken-down countenance, issue the same
familiar sounds. For who knows that Almira, but for these keys, which
throb away her wild impulses in harmless discords, would not have been
floating, dead, in the brown stream which runs through the meadows by
her father's door,--or living, with that other current which runs
beneath the gas-lights over the slimy pavement, choking with wretched
weeds that were once in spotless flower?

Poor Elsie! She never sang nor played. She never shaped her inner life
in words: such utterance was as much denied to her nature as common
articulate speech to the deaf mute. Her only language must be in action.
Watch her well by day and by night, Old Sophy! watch her well! or the
long line of her honored name may close in shame, and the stately
mansion of the Dudleys remain a hissing and a reproach till its roof is
buried in its cellar!



"Abel!" said the old Doctor, one morning, "after you've harnessed
Caustic, come into the study a few minutes, will you?"

Abel nodded. He was a man of few words, and he knew that the "will you"
did not require an answer, being the true New-England way of rounding
the corners of an employer's order,--a tribute to the personal
independence of an American citizen.

The hired man came into the study in the course of a few minutes. His
face was perfectly still, and he waited to be spoken to; but the
Doctor's eye detected a certain meaning in his expression, which looked
as if he had something to communicate.

"Well?" said the Doctor.

"He's up to mischief o' some kind, I guess," said Abel. "I jest happened
daown by the mansion-haouse last night, 'n' he come aout o' the gate on
that queer-lookin' creatur' o' his. I watched him, 'n' he rid, very
slow, all raoun' by the Institoot, 'n' acted as ef he was spyin' abaout.
He looks to me like a man that's calc'latin' to do some kind of ill-turn
to somebody. I shouldn't like to have him raoun' me, 'f there wa'n't a
pitchfork or an eel-spear or some sech weep'n within reach. He may be
all right; but I don't like his looks, 'n' I don't see what he's lurkin'
raoun' the Institoot for, after folks is abed."

"Have you watched him pretty close for the last few days?" said the

"W'll, yes,--I've had my eye on him consid'ble o' the time. I haf to be
pooty shy abaout it, or he'll find aout th't I'm on his tracks. I don'
want him to get a spite ag'inst me, 'f I c'n help it; he looks to me
like one o' them kind that kerries what they call slung-shot, 'n' hits
ye on the side o' th' head with 'em so suddin y' never know what
hurts ye."

"Why," said the Doctor, sharply,--"have you ever seen him with any
such weapon about him?"

"W'll, no,--I caan't say that I hev," Abel answered. "On'y he looks kin'
o' dangerous. May-be he's all jest 'z he ought to be,--I caan't say that
he a'n't,--but he's aout late nights, 'n' lurkin' raoun' jest 'z ef he
wuz spyin' somebody; 'n' somehaow I caan't help mistrustin' them
Portagee-lookin' fellahs. I caa'n't keep the run o' this chap all the
time; but I've a notion that old black woman daown't the mansion-haouse
knows 'z much abaout him 'z anybody."

The Doctor paused a moment, after hearing this report from his private
detective, and then got into his chaise, and turned Caustic's head in
the direction of the Dudley mansion. He had been suspicious of Dick from
the first. He did not like his mixed blood, not his looks, nor his ways.
He had formed a conjecture about his projects early. He had made a
shrewd guess as to the probable jealousy Dick would feel of the
schoolmaster, had found out something of his movements, and had
cautioned Mr. Bernard,--as we have seen. He felt an interest in the
young man,--a student of his own profession, an intelligent and
ingenuously unsuspecting young fellow, who had been thrown by accident
into the companionship or the neighborhood of two person, one of whom he
knew to be dangerous, and the other he believed instinctively might be
capable of crime.

The Doctor rode down to the Dudley mansion solely for the sake of
seeing Old Sophy. He was lucky enough to find her alone in her kitchen.
He began talking with her as a physician; he wanted to know how her
rheumatism had been. The shrewd old woman saw though all that with her
little beady black eyes. It was something quite different he had come
for, and Old Sophy answered very briefly for her aches and ails.

"Old folks' bones a'n't like young folks'," she said. "It's the Lord's
doin's, 'n' 't a'n't much matter. I sh'n't be long roun' this kitchen.
It's the young Missis, Doctor,--it's our Elsie,--it's the baby, as we
use' t' call her,--don' you remember, Doctor? Seventeen year ago, 'n'
her poor mother cryin' for her,--'Where is she? where is she? Let me see
her!'--'n' how I run up-stairs,--I could run then,--'n' got the coral
necklace 'n' put it round her little neck, 'n' then showed her to her
mother,--'n' how her mother looked at her, 'n' looked, 'n' then put out
her poor thin fingers 'n' lifted the necklace,--'n' fell right back on
her piller, as white as though she was laid out to bury?"

The Doctor answered her by silence and a look of grave assent. He had
never chosen to let Old Sophy dwell upon these matters, for obvious
reasons. The girl must not grow up haunted by perpetual fears and
prophecies, if it were possible to prevent it.

"Well, how has Elsie seemed of late?" he said, after this brief pause.

The old woman shook her head. Then she looked up at the Doctor so
steadily and searchingly that the diamond eyes of Elsie herself could
hardly have pierced more deeply.

The Doctor raised his head, by his habitual movement, and met the old
woman's look with his own calm and scrutinizing gaze, sharpened by the
glasses through which he now saw her.

Sophy spoke presently in an awed tone, as if telling a vision.

"We shall be havin' trouble before long. The' 's somethin' comin' from
the Lord. I've had dreams, Doctor. It's many a year I've been
a-dreamin', but now they're comin' over 'n' over the same thing. Three
times I've dreamed one thing, Doctor,--one thing!"

"And what was that?" the Doctor said, with that shade of curiosity in
his tone which a metaphysician would probably say is an index of a
certain tendency to belief in the superstition to which the
question refers.

"I ca'n' jestly tell y' what it was, Doctor," the old woman answered, as
if bewildered and trying to clear up her recollections; "but it was
somethin' fearful, with a great noise 'n' a great cryin' o'
people,--like the Las' Day, Doctor! The Lord have mercy on my poor
chil', 'n' take care of her, if anything happens! But I's feared she'll
never live to see the Las' Day, 'f 't don' come pooty quick." Poor
Sophy, only the third generation from cannibalism, was, not unnaturally,
somewhat confused in her theological notions. Some of the Second-Advent
preachers had been about, and circulated their predictions among the
kitchen-population of Rockland. This was the way in which it happened
that she mingled her fears in such a strange manner with their

The Doctor answered solemnly, that of the day and hour we knew not, but
it became us to be always ready.--"Is there anything going on in the
household different from common?"

Old Sophy's wrinkled face looked as full of life and intelligence, when
she turned it full upon the Doctor, as if she had slipped off her
infirmities and years like an outer garment. All those fine instincts of
observation which came straight to her from her savage grandfather
looked out of her little eyes. She had a kind of faith that the Doctor
was a mighty conjuror, who, if he would, could bewitch any of them. She
had relieved her feelings by her long talk with the minister, but the
Doctor was the immediate adviser of the family, and had watched them
through all their troubles. Perhaps he could tell them what to do. She
had but one real object of affection in the world,--this child that she
had tended from infancy to womanhood. Troubles were gathering thick
round her; how soon they would break upon her, and blight or destroy
her, no one could tell; but there was nothing in all the catalogue of
terrors that might not come upon the household at any moment. Her own
wits had sharpened themselves in keeping watch by day and night, and her
face had forgotten its age in the excitement which gave life to
its features.

"Doctor," Old Sophy said, "there's strange things goin' on here by night
and by day. I don' like that man,--that Dick,--I never liked him. He
giv' me some o' these things I' got on; I take 'em 'cos I know it make
him mad, if I no take 'em; I wear 'em, so that he needn' feel as if I
didn' like him; but, Doctor, I hate him,--jes' as much as a member o'
the church has the Lord's leave to hate anybody."

Her eyes sparkled with the old savage light, as if her ill-will to Mr.
Richard Venner might perhaps go a little farther than the Christian
limit she had assigned. But remember that her grandfather was in the
habit of inviting his friends to dine with him upon the last enemy he
had bagged, and that her grandmother's teeth were filed down to points,
so that they were as sharp as a shark's.

"What is it that you have seen about Mr. Richard Venner that gives you
such a spite against him, Sophy?" asked the Doctor.

"What I' seen 'bout Dick Venner?" she replied, fiercely. "I'll tell y'
what I' seen. Dick wan's to marry our Elsie,--that's what he wan's; 'n'
he don' love her, Doctor,--he hates her, Doctor, as bad as I hate him!
He wan's to marry our Elsie, 'n' live here in the big house, 'n' have
nothin' to do but jes' lay still 'n' watch Massa Venner 'n' see how long
't 'll take him to die, 'n' 'f he don' die fas' 'nuff, help him some way
t' die fasser!--Come close up t' me, Doctor! I wan' t' tell you
somethin' I tol' th' minister t'other day. Th' minister, he come down
'n' prayed 'n' talked good,--he's a good man, that Doctor Honeywood,
'n' I tol' him all 'bout our Elsie,--but he didn' tell nobody what to
do to stop all what I been dreamin' about happenin'. Come close up to
me, Doctor!"

The Doctor drew his chair close up to that of the old woman.

"Doctor, nobody mus'n' never marry our Elsie 's long 's she lives!
Nobody mus'n' never live with Elsie but Ol' Sophy; 'n' Ol' Sophy won't
never die 's long 's Elsie's alive to be took care of. But I 's feared,
Doctor, I 's greatly feared Elsie wan' to marry somebody. The' 's a
young gen'l'm'n up at that school where she go,--so some of 'em tells
me,--'n' she loves t' see him 'n' talk wi' him, 'n' she talks about him
when she's asleep sometimes. She mus'n' never marry nobody, Doctor! If
she do, he die, certain!"

"If she has a fancy for the young man up at the school there," the Doctor
said, "I shouldn't think there would be much danger from Dick."

"Doctor, nobody know nothin' 'bout Elsie but Ol' Sophy. She no like any
other creatur' th't ever drawed the bref o' life. If she ca'n' marry one
man cos she love him, she marry another man cos she hate him."

"Marry a man because she hates him, Sophy? No woman ever did such a
thing as that, or ever will do it."

"Who tol' you Elsie was a woman, Doctor?" said Old Sophy, with a flash
of strange intelligence in her eyes.

The Doctor's face showed that he was startled. The old woman could not
know much about Elsie that he did not know; but what strange
superstition had got into her head, he was puzzled to guess. He had
better follow Sophy's lead and find out what she meant.

"I should call Elsie a woman, and a very handsome one," he said. "You
don't mean that she has any ugly thing about her, except--you
know--under the necklace?"

The old woman resented the thought of any deformity about her darling.

"I didn' say she had nothin'--but jes' that--you know. My beauty have
anything ugly? She's the beautifullest-shaped lady that ever had a
shinin' silk gown drawed over her shoulders. On'y she a'n't like no
other woman in none of her ways. She don't cry 'n' laugh like other
women. An' she ha'n' got the same kind o' feelin's as other women.--Do
you know that young gen'l'm'n up at the school, Doctor?"

"Yes, Sophy, I've met him sometimes. He's a very nice sort of young man,
handsome, too, and I don't much wonder Elsie takes to him. Tell me,
Sophy, what do you think would happen, if he should chance to fall in
love with Elsie, and she with him, and he should marry her?"

"Put your ear close to my lips, Doctor, dear!" She whispered a little to
the Doctor, then added aloud, "He die,--that's all."

"But surely, Sophy, you a'n't afraid to have Dick marry her, if she
would have him for any reason, are you? He can take care of himself, if
anybody can."

"Doctor!" Sophy answered, "nobody can take care of hisself that live wi'
Elsie! Nobody never in all this worl' mus' live wi' Elsie but Ol' Sophy,
I tell you. You don' think I care for Dick? What do I care, if Dick
Venner die? He wan's to marry our Elsie so's to live in the big house
'n' get all the money 'n' all the silver things 'n' all the chists full
o' linen 'n' beautiful clothes! That's what Dick wan's. An' he hates
Elsie 'cos she don' like him. But if he marries Elsie, she'll make him
die some wrong way or other, 'n' they'll take her 'n' hang her, or he'll
get mad with her 'n' choke her.--Oh, I know his chokin' tricks!--he don'
leave his keys roun' for nothin'!"

"What's that you say, Sophy? Tell me what you mean by all that."

So poor Sophy had to explain certain facts not in all respects to her
credit. She had taken the opportunity of his absence to look about his
chamber, and, having found a key in one of his drawers, had applied it
to a trunk, and, finding that it opened the trunk, had made a kind of
inspection for contraband articles, and, seeing the end of a leather
thong, had followed it up until she saw that it finished with a noose,
which, from certain appearances, she inferred to have seen service of at
least doubtful nature. An unauthorized search; but Old Sophy considered
that a game of life and death was going on in the household, and that
she was bound to look out for her darling.

The Doctor paused a moment to think over this odd piece of information.
Without sharing Sophy's belief as to the kind of use this
mischievous-looking piece of property had been put to, it was certainly
very odd that Dick should have such a thing at the bottom of his trunk.
The Doctor remembered reading or hearing something about the _lasso_ and
the _lariat_ and the _bolas_, and had an indistinct idea that they had
been sometimes used as weapons of warfare or private revenge; but they
were essentially a huntsman's implements, after all, and it was not very
strange that this young man had brought one of them with him. Not
strange, perhaps, but worth noting.

"Do you really think Dick means mischief to anybody, that he has such
dangerous-looking things?" the Doctor said, presently.

"I tell you, Doctor. Dick means to have Elsie. If he ca'n' get her, he
never let nobody else have her. Oh, Dick's a dark man, Doctor! I know
him! I 'member him when he was little boy,--he always cunnin'. I think
he mean mischief to somebody. He come home late nights,--come in
softly,--oh, I hear him! I lay awake, 'n' got sharp ears,--I hear the
cats walkin' over the roofs,--'n' I hear Dick Venner, when he comes up
in his stockin'-feet as still as a cat. I think he mean mischief to
somebody. I no like his looks these las' days.--Is that a very pooty
gen'l'm'n up at the school-house, Doctor?"

"I told you he was good-looking. What if he is?"

"I should like to see him, Doctor,--I should like to see the pooty
gen'l'm'n that my poor Elsie loves. She mus'n' never marry nobody,--but,
oh, Doctor, I should like to see him, 'n' jes' think a little how it
would ha' been, if the Lord hadn' been so hard on Elsie."

She wept and wrung her hands. The kind Doctor was touched, and left her
a moment to her thoughts.

"And how does Mr. Dudley Venner take all this?" he said, by way of
changing the subject a little.

"Oh, Massa Venner, he good man, but he don' know nothin' 'bout Elsie, as
Ol' Sophy do. I keep close by her; I help her when she go to bed, 'n'
set by her sometime when she 'sleep; I come to her in th' mornin' 'n'
help her put on her things."--Then, in a whisper,--"Doctor, Elsie lets
Ol' Sophy take off that necklace for her. What you think she do, 'f
anybody else tech it?"

"I don't know, I'm sure, Sophy,--strike the person, perhaps."

"Oh, yes, strike 'em! but not with her hands, Doctor!"--The old woman's
significant pantomime must be guessed at.

"But you haven't told me, Sophy, what Mr. Dudley Venner thinks of his
nephew, nor whether he has any notion that Dick wants to marry Elsie."

"I tell you. Massa Venner, he good man, but he no see nothin' 'bout what
goes on here in the house. He sort o' broken-hearted, you know,--sort o'
giv' up,--don' know what to do wi' Elsie, 'xcep' say 'Yes, yes.' Dick
always look smilin' 'n' behave well before him. One time I thought Massa
Venner b'lieve Dick was goin' to take to Elsie; but now he don' seem to
take much notice;--he kin' o' stupid-like 'bout sech things. It's
trouble, Doctor; 'cos Massa Venner bright man naterally,--'n' he's got a
great heap o' books. I don' think Massa Venner never been jes' heself
sence Elsie's born. He done all he know how,--but, Doctor, that wa'n' a
great deal. You men-folks don' know nothin' 'bout these young gals; 'n'
'f you knowed all the young gals that ever lived, y' wouldn' know
nothin' 'bout our Elsie."

"No,--but, Sophy, what I want to know is, whether you think Mr. Venner
has any kind of suspicion about his nephew,--whether he has any notion
that he's a dangerous sort of fellow,--or whether he feels safe to have
him about, or has even taken a sort of fancy to him."

"Lor' bless you, Doctor, Massa Venner no more idee 'f any mischief 'bout
Dick than he has 'bout you or me. Y' see, he very fond o' the
Cap'n,--that Dick's father,--'n' he live so long alone here, 'long wi'
us, that he kin' o' like to see mos' anybody 't 's got any o' th' ol'
family-blood in 'em. He ha'n't got no more suspicions 'n a baby,--y'
never see sech a man 'n y'r life. I kin' o' think he don' care for
nothin' in this world 'xcep' jes' t' do what Elsie wan's him to. The
fus' year after young Madam die he do nothin' but jes' set at the window
'n' look out at her grave, 'n' then come up 'n' look at the baby's neck
'n' say, '_It's fadin', Sophy, a'n't it?_' 'n' then go down in the study
'n' walk 'n' walk, 'n' then kneel down 'n' pray. Doctor, there was two
places in the old carpet that was all threadbare, where his knees had
worn 'em. An sometimes,--you remember 'bout all that,--he'd go off up
into The Mountain 'n' be gone all day, 'n' kill all the Ugly Things he
could find up there.--Oh, Doctor, I don' like to think o' them
days!--An' by-'n'-by he grew kin' o' still, 'n' begun to read a little,
'n' 't las' he got's quiet 's a lamb, 'n' that's the way he is now. I
think he's got religion, Doctor; but he a'n't so bright about what's
goin' on, 'n' I don' believe he never suspec' nothin' till somethin'
happens;--for the' 's somethin' goin' to happen, Doctor, if the Las' Day
doesn' come to stop it; 'n' you mus' tell us what to do, 'n' save my
poor Elsie, my baby that the Lord hasn' took care of like all his
other childer."

The Doctor assured the old woman that he was thinking a great deal about
them all, and that there were other eyes on Dick besides her own. Let
her watch him closely about the house, and he would keep a look-out
elsewhere. If there was anything new, she must let him know at once.
Send up one of the men-servants, and he would come down at a
moment's warning.

There was really nothing definite against this young man; but the Doctor
was sure that he was meditating some evil design or other. He rode
straight up to the Institute. There he saw Mr. Bernard, and had a brief
conversation with him, principally on matters relating to his personal

That evening, for some unknown reason, Mr. Bernard changed the place of
his desk and drew down the shades of his windows. Late that night Mr.
Richard Venner drew the charge of a rifle, and put the gun back among
the fowling-pieces, swearing that a leather halter was worth a dozen
of it.


I observe, Messieurs of the "Atlantic," that your articles are commonly
written in the imperial style; but I must beg allowance to use the first
person singular. I cannot, like old Weller, spell myself with a We. Ours
is, I believe, the only language that has shown so much sense of the
worth of the individual (to himself) as to erect the first personal
pronoun into a kind of votive column to the dignity of human nature.
Other tongues have, or pretend, a greater modesty.


What a noble letter it is! In it every reader sees himself as in a
glass. As for me, without my I-s, I should be as poorly off as the great
mole of Hadrian, which, being the biggest, must be also, by parity of
reason, the blindest in the world. When I was in college, I confess I
always liked those passages best in the choruses of the Greek drama
which were well sprinkled with _ai ai_, they were so grandly simple.
The force of great men is generally to be found in their intense
individuality,--in other words, it is all in their I. The merit of this
essay will be similar.

What I was going to say is this.

My mind has been much exercised of late on the subject of two epidemics,
which, showing themselves formerly in a few sporadic cases, have begun
to set in with the violence of the cattle-disease: I mean Eloquence and
Statuary. They threaten to render the country unfit for human
habitation, except by the Deaf and Blind. We had hitherto got on very
well in Chesumpscot, having caught a trick of silence, perhaps from the
fish which we cured, _more medicorum_, by laying them out. But this
summer some misguided young men among us got up a lecture-association.
Of course it led to a general quarrel; for every pastor in the town
wished to have the censorship of the list of lecturers. A certain number
of the original projectors, however, took the matter wholly into their
own hands, raised a subscription to pay expenses, and resolved to call
their lectures "The Universal Brotherhood Course,"--for no other reason,
that I can divine, but that they had set the whole village by the ears.
They invited that distinguished young apostle of Reform, Mr. Philip
Vandal, to deliver the opening lecture. He has just done so, and, from
what I have heard about his discourse, it would have been fitter as the
introductory to a nunnery of Kilkenny cats than to anything like
universal brotherhood. He opened our lyceum as if it had been an oyster,
without any regard for the feelings of those inside. He pitched into the
world in general, and all his neighbors past and present in particular.
Even the babe unborn did not escape some unsavory epithets in the way of
vaticination. I sat down, meaning to write you an essay on "The Right of
Private Judgment as distinguished from the Right of Public
Vituperation"; but I forbear. It may be that I do not understand the
nature of philanthropy.

Why, here is Philip Vandal, for example. He loves his kind so much that
he has not a word softer than a brickbat for a single mother's son of
them. He goes about to save them by proving that not one of them is
worth damning. And he does it all from the point of view of an early (_a
knurly_) Christian. Let me illustrate. I was sauntering along Broadway
once, and was attracted by a bird-fancier's shop. I like dealers in
out-of-the-way things,--traders in bigotry and virtue are too
common,--and so I went in. The gem of the collection was a terrier,--a
perfect beauty, uglier than philanthropy itself, and hairier, as a
Cockney would say, than the 'ole British hairystocracy. "A'n't he a
stunner?" said my disrespectable friend, the master of the shop. "Ah,
you should see him worry a rat! He does it like a puffic Christian!"
Since then, the world has been divided for me into Christians and
perfect Christians; and I find so many of the latter species in
proportion to the former, that I begin to pity the rats. They (the rats)
have at least one virtue,--they are not eloquent.

It is, I think, a universally recognized truth of natural history, that
a young lady is sure to fall in love with a young man for whom she feels
at first an unconquerable aversion; and it must be on the same principle
that the first symptoms of love for our neighbor almost always manifest
themselves in a violent disgust at the world in general, on the part of
the apostles of that gospel. They give every token of hating their
neighbors consumedly; _argal_, they are going to be madly enamored of
them. Or, perhaps, this is the manner in which Universal Brotherhood
shows itself in people who wilfully subject themselves to infection as a
prophylactic. In the natural way we might find the disease inconvenient
and even expensive; but thus vaccinated with virus from the udders
(whatever they may be) that yield the (butter-)milk of human kindness,
the inconvenience is slight, and we are able still to go about our
ordinary business of detesting our brethren as usual. It only shows that
the milder type of the disease has penetrated the system, which will
thus be enabled to out-Jenneral its more dangerous congener. Before
long we shall have physicians of our ailing social system writing to the
"Weekly Brandreth's Pill" somewhat on this wise:--"I have a very marked
and hopeful case in Pequawgus Four Corners. Miss Hepzibah Tarbell,
daughter of that arch-enemy of his kind, Deacon Joash T., attended only
one of my lectures. In a day or two the symptoms of eruption were most
encouraging. She has already quarrelled with all her family,--accusing
her father of bigamy, her uncle Benoni of polytheism, her brother Zeno
C. of aneurism, and her sister Eudoxy Trithemia of the variation of the
magnetic needle. If ever hopes of seeing a perfect case of Primitive
Christian were well-founded, I think we may entertain them now."

What I chiefly object to in the general denunciation sort of reformers
is that they make no allowance for character and temperament. They wish
to repeal universal laws, and to patch our natural skins for us, as if
they always wanted mending. That while they talk so much of the godlike
nature of man, they should so forget the human natures of men! The
Flathead Indian squeezes the child's skull between two boards till it
shapes itself into a kind of gambrel-roof against the rain,--the
readiest way, perhaps, of uniforming a tribe that wear no clothes. But
does he alter the inside of the head? Not a hair's-breadth. You remember
the striking old gnomic poem that tells how Aaron, in a moment of
fanatical zeal against that member by which mankind are so readily led
into mischief, proposes a rhinotomic sacrifice to Moses? What is the
answer of the experienced lawgiver?

     "Says Moses to Aaron,
     ''Tis the fashion to wear 'em!'"

Shall we advise the Tadpole to get his tail cut off, as a badge of the
reptile nature in him, and to achieve the higher sphere of the Croakers
at a single hop? Why, it is all he steers by; without it, he would be as
helpless as a compass under the flare of Northern Lights; and he no
doubt regards it as a mark of blood, the proof of his kinship with the
preadamite family of the Saurians. Shall we send missionaries to the
Bear to warn him against raw chestnuts, because they are sometimes so
discomforting to our human intestines, which are so like his own? One
sermon from the colic were worth the whole American Board.

Moreover, as an author, I protest in the name of universal Grub Street
against a unanimity in goodness. Not to mention that a Quaker world, all
faded out to an autumnal drab, would be a little tedious,--what should
we do for the villain of our tragedy or novel? No rascals, no
literature. You have your choice. Were we weak enough to consent to a
sudden homogeneousness in virtue, many industrious persons would be
thrown out of employment. The wife and mother, for example, with as
indeterminate a number of children as the Martyr Rogers, who visits me
monthly,--what claim would she have upon me, were not her husband
forever taking to drink, or the penitentiary, or Spiritualism? The
pusillanimous lapse of her lord into morality would not only take the
very ground of her invention from under her feet, but would rob her and
him of an income that sustains them both in blissful independence of the
curse of Adam. But do not let us be disheartened. Nature is strong; she
is persistent; she completes her syllogism after we have long been
feeding the roots of her grasses, and has her own way in spite of us.
Some ancestral Cromwellian trooper leaps to life again in Nathaniel
Greene, and makes a general of him, to confute five generations of
Broadbrims. The Puritans were good in their way, and we enjoy them
highly as a preterite phenomenon: but they were _not_ good at cakes and
ale, and that is one reason why they are a preterite phenomenon.

I suppose we are all willing to let a public censor like P.V. run amuck
whenever he likes,--so it be not down our street. I confess to a good
deal of tolerance in this respect, and, when I live in Number 21, have
plenty of stoicism to spare for the griefs of the dwellers in No. 23.
Indeed, I agreed with our young Cato heartily in what he said about
Statues. We must have an Act for the Suppression, either of Great Men,
or else of Sculptors. I have not quite made up my mind which are the
greater nuisances; but I am sure of this, that there are too many of
both. They used to be _rare_, (to use a Yankeeism omitted by Bartlett,)
but nowadays they are overdone. I am half-inclined to think that the
sculptors club together to write folks up during their lives in the
newspapers, quieting their consciences with the hope of some day making
them look so mean in bronze or marble as to make all square again. Or do
we really have so many? Can't they help growing twelve feet high in this
new soil, any more than our maize? I suspect that Posterity will not
thank us for the hereditary disease of Carrara we are entailing on him,
and will try some heroic remedy, perhaps lithotripsy.

Nor was I troubled by what Mr. Vandal said about the late Benjamin
Webster. I am not a Boston man, and have, therefore, the privilege of
thinking for myself. Nor do I object to his claiming for women the right
to make books and pictures and (shall I say it?) statues,--only this
last becomes a grave matter, if we are to have statues of all the great
women, too! To be sure, there will not be the trousers-difficulty,--at
least, not at present; what we may come to is none of my affair. I even
go beyond him in my opinions on what is called the Woman Question. In
the gift of speech, they have always had the advantage of us; and though
the jealousy of the other sex have deprived us of the orations of
Xantippe, yet even Demosthenes does not seem to have produced greater
effects, if we may take the word of Socrates for it,--as I, for one,
very gladly do.

No,--what I complain of is not the lecturer's opinions, but the
eloquence with which he expressed them. He does not like statues better
than I do; but is it possible that he fails to see that the one nuisance
leads directly to the other, and that we set up three images of Talkers
for one to any kind of man who was useful in his generation? Let him
beware, or he will himself be petrified after death. Boston seems to be
specially unfortunate. She has more statues and more speakers than any
other city on this continent. I have with my own eyes seen a book called
"The Hundred Boston Orators." This would seem to give her a fairer title
to be called the _tire_ than the _hub_ of creation. What with the
speeches of her great men while they are alive, and those of her
surviving great men about those aforesaid after they are dead, and those
we look forward to from her _ditto ditto_ yet to be upon her _ditto
ditto_ now in being, and those of her paulopost _ditto ditto_ upon her
_ditto ditto_ yet to be, and those--But I am getting into the house
that Jack built. And yet I remember once visiting the Massachusetts
State-House and being struck with the Pythagorean fish hung on high in
the Representatives' Chamber, the emblem of a silence too sacred, as
would seem, to be observed except on Sundays. Eloquent Philip Vandal, I
appeal to you as a man and a brother, let us two form (not an
Antediluvian, for there are plenty, but) an Antidiluvian Society against
the flood of milk-and-water that threatens the land. Let us adopt as our
creed these two propositions:--

I. _Tongues were given us to be held._

II. _Dumbness sets the brute below the man: Silence elevates the man
above the brute._

Every one of those hundred orators is to me a more fearful thought than
that of a hundred men gathering samphire. And when we take into account
how large a portion of them (if the present mania hold) are likely to be
commemorated in stone or some even more durable material, the conception
is positively stunning. Let us settle all scores by subscribing to a
colossal statue of the late Town-Crier in bell-metal, with the
inscription, "VOX ET PRAETEREA NIHIL," as a comprehensive tribute to
oratorical powers in general. _He_, at least, never betrayed his
clients. As it is, there is no end to it. We are to set up Horatius Vir
in effigy for inventing the Normal Schoolmaster, and by-and-by we shall
be called on to do the same ill-turn for Elihu Mulciber for getting
uselessly learned (as if any man had ideas enough for twenty languages!)
without any schoolmaster at all. We are the victims of a droll
antithesis. Daniel would not give in to Nebuchadnezzar's taste in
statuary, and we are called on to fall down and worship an image of
Daniel which the Assyrian monarch would have gone to grass again sooner
than have it in his back-parlor. I do not think lions are agreeable,
especially the shaved-poodle variety one is so apt to encounter;--I met
one once at an evening party. But I would be thrown into a den of them
rather than sleep in the same room with that statue. Posterity will
think we cut pretty figures indeed in the monumental line! Perhaps there
is a gleam of hope and a symptom of convalescence in the fact that the
Prince of Wales, during his late visit, got off without a single speech.
The cheerful hospitalities of Mount Auburn were offered to him, as to
all distinguished strangers, but nothing more melancholy. In his case I
doubt the expediency of the omission. Had we set a score or two of
orators on him and his suite, it would have given them a more
intimidating notion of the offensive powers of the country than West
Point and all the Navy-Yards put together.

In the name of our common humanity, consider, too, what shifts our
friends in the sculpin line (as we should call them in Chesumpscot) are
put to for originality of design, and what the country has to pay for
it. The Clark Mills (that turns out equestrian statues as the Stark
Mills do calico-patterns) has pocketed fifty thousand dollars for making
a very dead bronze horse stand on his hind-legs. For twenty-five cents I
have seen a man at the circus do something more wonderful,--make a very
living bay horse dance a redowa round the amphitheatre on his (it occurs
to me that _hind-legs_ is indelicate) posterior extremities to the
wayward music of an out-of-town (_Scotice_, out-o'-toon) band. Now, I
will make a handsome offer to the public. I propose for twenty-five
thousand dollars to suppress my design for an equestrian statue of a
distinguished general officer as he _would have_ appeared at the Battle
of Buena Vista. This monument is intended as a weathercock to crown the
new dome of the Capitol at Washington. By this happy contrivance, the
horse will be freed from the degrading necessity of touching the earth
at all,--thus distancing Mr. Mills by two feet in the race for
originality. The pivot is to be placed so far behind the middle of the
horse, that the statue, like its original, will always indicate which
way the wind blows by going along with it. The inferior animal I have
resolved to model from a spirited saw-horse in my own collection. In
this way I shall combine two striking advantages. The advocates of the
Ideal in Art cannot fail to be pleased with a charger which embodies, as
it were, merely the abstract notion or quality, Horse, and the attention
of the spectator will not be distracted from the principal figure. The
material to be pure brass. I have also in progress an allegorical group
commemorative of Governor Wise. This, like-Wise, represents only a
potentiality. I have chosen, as worthy of commemoration, the moment when
and the method by which the Governor meant to seize the Treasury at
Washington. His Excellency is modelled in the act of making one of his
speeches. Before him a despairing reporter kills himself by falling on
his own steel pen; a broken telegraph-wire hints at the weight of the
thoughts to which it has found itself inadequate; while the Army and
Navy of the United States are conjointly typified in a horse-marine who
flies headlong with his hands pressed convulsively over his ears. I
think I shall be able to have this ready for exhibition by the time Mr.
Wise is nominated for the Presidency,--certainly before he is elected.
The material to be plaster, made of the shells of those oysters with
which Virginia shall have paid her public debt. It may be objected, that
plaster is not durable enough for verisimilitude, since bronze itself
could hardly be expected to outlast one of the Governor's speeches. But
it must be remembered that his mere effigy cannot, like its prototype,
have the pleasure of hearing itself talk; so that to the mind of the
spectator the oratorical despotism is tempered with some reasonable hope
of silence. This design, also, is intended only _in terrorem_, and will
be suppressed for an adequate consideration.

I find one comfort, however, in the very hideousness of our statues. The
fear of what the sculptors will do for them after they are gone may
deter those who are careful of their memories from talking themselves
into greatness. It is plain that Mr. Caleb Cushing has begun to feel a
wholesome dread of this posthumous retribution. I cannot in any other
way account for that nightmare of the solitary horseman on the edge of
the horizon, in his Hartford Speech. His imagination is infected with
the terrible consciousness, that Mr. Mills, as the younger man, will, in
the course of Nature, survive him, and will be left loose to seek new
victims of his nefarious designs. Formerly the punishment of the wooden
horse was a degradation inflicted on private soldiers only; but Mr.
Mills (whose genius could make even Pegasus look wooden, in whatever
material) flies at higher game, and will be content with nothing short
of a general. Mr. Cushing advises extreme measures. He counsels us to
sell our real estate and stocks, and to leave a country where no man's
reputation with posterity is safe, being merely as clay in the hands of
the sculptor. To a mind undisturbed by the terror natural in one whose
military reputation insures his cutting and running, (I mean, of course,
in marble and bronze,) the question becomes an interesting one,--To
whom, in case of a general exodus, shall we sell? The statues will have
the land all to themselves,--until the Aztecs, perhaps, repeopling their
ancient heritage, shall pay divine honors to these images, whose
ugliness will revive the traditions of the classic period of Mexican
Art. For my own part, I never look at one of them now without thinking
of at least one human sacrifice.

I doubt the feasibility of Mr. Cushing's proposal, and yet something
ought to be done. We must put up with what we have already, I suppose,
and let Mr. Webster stand threatening to blow us all up with his pistol
pointed at the elongated keg of gunpowder on which his left hand
rests,--no bad type of the great man's state of mind after the
nomination of General Taylor, or of what a country member would call a
penal statue. But do we reflect that Vermont is half marble, and that
Lake Superior can send us bronze enough for regiments of statues? I go
back to my first plan of a prohibitory enactment. I had even gone so far
as to make a rough draught of an Act for the Better Observance of the
Second Commandment; but it occurred to me that convictions under it
would be doubtful, from the difficulty of satisfying a jury that our
graven images did really present a likeness to any of the objects
enumerated in the divine ordinance. Perhaps a double-barrelled statute
might be contrived that would meet both the oratorical and the
monumental difficulty. Let a law be passed that all speeches delivered
more for the benefit of the orator than that of the audience, and all
eulogistic ones of whatever description, be pronounced in the chapel of
the Deaf and Dumb Asylum, and all statues be set up within the grounds
of the Institution for the Blind. Let the penalty for infringement in
the one case be to read the last President's Message, and in the other
to look at the Webster statue one hour a day, for a term not so long as
to violate the spirit of the law forbidding cruel and unusual

Perhaps it is too much to expect of our legislators that they should
pass so self-denying an ordinance. They might, perhaps, make all oratory
but their own penal, and then (who knows?) the reports of their debates
might be read by the few unhappy persons who were demoniacally possessed
by a passion for that kind of thing, as girls are sometimes said to be
by an appetite for slate-pencils. _Vita brevis, lingua longa_. I protest
that among law-givers I respect Numa, who declared, that, of all the
Camenae, Tacita was most worthy of reverence. The ancient Greeks also
(though they left too much oratory behind them) had some good notions,
especially if we consider that they had not, like modern Europe, the
advantage of communication with America. Now the Greeks had a Muse of
Beginning, and the wonder is, considering how easy it is to talk and how
hard to say anything, that they did not hit upon that other and more
excellent Muse of Leaving-off. The Spartans, I suspect, found her out
and kept her selfishly to themselves. She were indeed a goddess to be
worshipped, a true Sister of Charity among that loquacious sisterhood!

Endlessness is the order of the day. I ask you to compare Plutarch's
lives of demigods and heroes with our modern biographies of deminoughts
and zeroes. Those will appear but tailors and ninth-parts of men in
comparison with these, every one of whom would seem to have had nine
lives, like a cat, to justify such prolixity. Yet the evils of print are
as dust in the balance to those of speech.

We were doing very well in Chesumpscot, but the Lyceum has ruined all.
There are now two debating-clubs, seminaries of multiloquence. A few of
us old-fashioned fellows have got up an opposition club and called it
"The Jolly Oysters." No member is allowed to open his mouth except at
high-tide by the calendar. We have biennial festivals on the evening of
election-day, when the constituency avenges itself in some small measure
on its Representative elect by sending a baker's dozen of orators to
congratulate him.

But I am falling into the very vice I condemn,--like Carlyle, who has
talked a quarter of a century in praise of holding your tongue. And yet
something should be done about it. Even when we get one orator safely
under-ground, there are ten to pronounce his eulogy, and twenty to do it
over again when the meeting is held about the inevitable statue. I go to
listen: we all go: we are under a spell. 'Tis true, I find a casual
refuge in sleep; for Drummond of Hawthornden was wrong when he called
Sleep the child of Silence. Speech begets her as often. But there is no
sure refuge save in Death; and when my life is closed untimely, let
there be written on my headstone, with impartial application to these
Black Brunswickers mounted on the high horse of oratory and to our
equestrian statues,--

_Os sublime_ did it!


_Fr. Rogeri Bacon Opera quaedam hactenus inedita_. Vol. I, Containing,
I. _Opus Tertium_,--II. _Opus Minus_,--III. _Compendium Philosophiae_.
Edited by J.S. BREWER, M.A., Professor of English Literature, King's
College, London, and Reader at the Rolls. Published by the Authority of
the Lords Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury, under the Direction
of the Master of the Rolls. London: Longman, Green, Longman, and
Roberts. 1859. 8vo. pp. c., 573.

Sir John Romilly has shown good judgment in including the unpublished
works of Roger Bacon in the series of "Chronicles and Memorials of Great
Britain and Ireland during the Middle Ages," now in course of
publication under his direction. They are in a true sense important
memorials of the period at which they were written, and, though but
incidentally illustrating the events of the time, they are of great
value in indicating the condition of thought and learning as well as the
modes of mental discipline and acquisition during the thirteenth century.

The memory of Roger Bacon has received but scant justice. Although long
since recognized as one of the chief lights of England during the Middle
Ages, the clinging mist of popular tradition has obscured his real
brightness and distorted its proportions, while even among scholars he
has been more known by reputation than by actual acquaintance with his
writings. His principal work, his "Opus Majus," was published for the
first time in London in 1733, in folio, and afterwards at Venice in
1750, in the same form. Down to the publication of the volume before us,
it was the only one of his writings of much importance which had been
printed complete, if indeed it is to be called complete,--the Seventh
Part having been omitted by the editor, Dr. Jebb, and never having since
been published.

The facts known concerning Roger Bacon's life are few, and are so
intermingled with tradition that it is difficult wholly to separate them
from it. Born of a good family at Ilchester, in Somersetshire, near the
beginning of the thirteenth century, he was placed in early youth at
Oxford, whence, after completing his studies in grammar and logic, "he
proceeded to Paris," says Anthony Wood, "according to the fashion
prevalent among English scholars of those times, especially among the
members of the University of Oxford." Here, under the famous masters of
the day, he devoted himself to study for some years, and made such
progress that he received the degree of Doctor in Divinity. Returning to
Oxford, he seems soon to have entered into the Franciscan Order, for the
sake of securing a freedom from worldly cares, that he might the more
exclusively give himself to his favorite pursuits. At various times he
lectured at the University. He spent some later years out of England,
probably again in Paris. His life was embittered by the suspicions felt
in regard to his studies by the brethren of his order, and by their
opposition, which proceeded to such lengths that it is said he was cast
into prison, where, according to one report, he died wretchedly. However
this may have been, his death took place before the beginning of the
fourteenth century. The scientific and experimental studies which had
brought him into ill-favor with his own order, and had excited the
suspicion against him of dealing in magic and forbidden arts, seem to
have sown the seed of the popular traditions which at once took root
around his name. Friar Bacon soon became, and indeed has remained almost
to the present day, a half-mythical character. To the imagination of the
common people, he was a great necromancer; he had had dealings with the
Evil One, who had revealed many of the secrets of Nature to him; he had
made a head of brass that could speak and foretell future events; and to
him were attributed other not less wonderful inventions, which seem to
have formed a common stock for popular legends of this sort during the
Middle Ages, and to have been ascribed indiscriminately to one
philosopher or another in various countries and in various times.[9] The
references in our early literature to Friar Bacon, as one who had had
familiarity with spirits and been a master in magic arts, are so
numerous as to show that the belief in these stories was wide-spread,
and that the real character of the learned Friar was quite given over to
oblivion. But time slowly brings about its revenges; and the man whom
his ignorant and stupid fellows thought fit to hamper and imprison, and
whom popular credulity looked upon with that half-horror and
half-admiration with which those were regarded who were supposed to have
put their souls in pawn for the sake of tasting the forbidden fruit, is
now recognized not only as one of the most profound and clearest
thinkers of his time, but as the very first among its experimental
philosophers, and as a prophet of truths which, then neglected and
despised, have since been adopted as axioms in the progress of science.
"The precursor of Galileo," says M. Hauréau, in his work on Scholastic
Philosophy, "he learned before him how rash it is to offend the
prejudices of the multitude, and to desire to give lessons to the

The range of Roger Bacon's studies was encyclopedic, comprehending all
the branches of learning then open to scholars. Brucker, in speaking of
him in his History of Philosophy, has no words strong enough to express
his admiration for his abilities and learning. "Seculi sui indolem
multum superavit," "vir summus, tantaque occultioris philosophiae
cognitione et experientia nobilis, ut merito Doctoris Mirabilis titulum
reportaverit."[10] The logical and metaphysical studies, in the
intricate subtilties of which most of the schoolmen of his time involved
themselves, presented less attraction to Bacon than the pursuits of
physical science and the investigation of Nature. His genius, displaying
the practical bent of his English mind, turning with weariness from the
endless verbal discussions of the Nominalists and Realists, and
recognizing the impossibility of solving the questions which divided the
schools of Europe into two hostile camps, led him to the study of
branches of knowledge that were held in little repute. He recognized the
place of mathematics as the basis of exact science, and proceeded to the
investigation of the facts and laws of optics, mechanics, chemistry, and
astronomy. But he did not limit himself to positive science; he was at
the same time a student of languages and of language, of grammar and of
music. He was versed not less in the arts of the _Trivium_ than in the
sciences of the Quadrivium.[11]

But in rejecting the method of study then in vogue, and in opposing the
study of facts to that of questions which by their abstruseness fatigued
the intellect, which were of more worth in sharpening the wit than in
extending the limits of knowledge, and which led rather to vain
contentions than to settled conclusions,--in thus turning from the
investigation of abstract metaphysics to the study of Nature, Roger
Bacon went so far before his age as to condemn himself to solitude, to
misappreciation, and to posthumous neglect. Unlike men of far narrower
minds, but more conformed to the spirit of the times, he founded no
school, and left no disciples to carry out the system which he had
advanced, and which was one day to have its triumph. At the end of the
thirteenth century the scholastic method was far from having run its
career. The minds of men were occupied with problems which it alone
seemed to be able to resolve, and they would not abandon it at the will
of the first innovator. The questions in dispute were embittered by
personal feeling and party animosities. Franciscans and Dominicans were
divided by points of logic not less than by the rules of their
orders.[12] Ignorance and passion alike gave ardor to discussion, and it
was vain to attempt to convince the heated partisans on one side or the
other, that the truths they sought were beyond the reach of human
faculties, and that their dialectics and metaphysics served to bewilder
more than to enlighten the intellect. The disciples of subtile
speculatists like Aquinas, or of fervent mystics like Bonaventura, were
not likely to recognize the worth and importance of the slow processes
of experimental philosophy.

The qualities of natural things, the limits of intellectual powers, the
relations of man to the universe, the conditions of matter and spirit,
the laws of thought, were too imperfectly understood for any man to
attain to a comprehensive and correct view of the sources and methods of
study and discovery of the truth. Bacon shared in what may he called,
without a sneer, the childishnesses of his time, childishnesses often
combined with mature powers and profound thought. No age is fully
conscious of its own intellectual disproportions; and what now seem mere
puerilities in the works of the thinkers of the Middle Ages were perhaps
frequently the result of as laborious effort and as patient study as
what we still prize in them for its manly vigor and permanent worth. In
a later age, the Centuries of the "Sylva Sylvarum" afford a curious
comment on the Aphorisms of the "Novum Organum."

The "Opus Majus" of Bacon was undertaken in answer to a demand of Pope
Clement IV. in 1266, and was intended to contain a review of the whole
range of science, as then understood, with the exception of logic.
Clement had apparently become personally acquainted with Bacon, at the
time when, as legate of the preceding Pope, he had been sent to England
on an ineffectual mission to compose the differences between Henry III.
and his barons, and he appears to have formed a just opinion of the
genius and learning of the philosopher.

The task to which Bacon had been set by the Papal mandate was rapidly
accomplished, in spite of difficulties which might have overcome a less
resolute spirit; but the work extended to such great length in his
hands, that he seems to have felt a not unnatural fear that Clement,
burdened with the innumerable cares of the Pontificate, would not find
leisure for its perusal, much less for the study which some part of it
demanded. With this fear, fearful also that portions of his work might
be deficient in clearness, and dreading lest it might be lost on its way
to Rome, he proceeded to compose a second treatise, called the "Opus
Minus," to serve as an abstract and specimen of his greater work, and to
embrace some additions to its matter. Unfortunately, but a fragment of
this second work has been preserved, and this fragment is for the first
time published in the volume just issued under the direction of the
Master of the Rolls. But the "Opus Minus" was scarcely completed before
he undertook a third work, to serve as an introduction and preamble to
both the preceding. This has been handed down to us complete, and this,
too, is for the first time printed in the volume before us. We take the
account of it given by Professor Brewer, the editor, in his

     "Inferior to its predecessors in the importance
     of its scientific details and the illustration
     it supplies of Bacon's philosophy, it is
     more interesting than either, for the insight
     it affords of his labors, and of the numerous
     obstacles he had to contend with in the execution
     of his work. The first twenty chapters
     detail various anecdotes of Bacon's personal
     history, his opinions on the state of
     education, the impediments thrown in his
     way by the ignorance, the prejudices, the
     contempt, the carelessness, the indifference
     of his contemporaries. From the twentieth
     chapter to the close of the volume he pursues
     the thread of the Opus Majus, supplying what
     he had there omitted, correcting and explaining
     what had been less clearly or correctly
     expressed in that or in the Opus Minus. In
     Chapter LII. he apologizes for diverging from
     the strict line he had originally marked out,
     by inserting in the ten preceding chapters his
     opinions on three abstruse subjects, Vacuum,
     Motion, and Space, mainly in regard to their
     spiritual significance. 'As these questions,'
     he says,' are very perplexing and difficult, I
     thought I would record what I had to say
     about them in some one of my works. In the
     Opus Majus and Opus Minus I had not studied
     them sufficiently to prevail on myself to
     commit my thoughts about them to writing;
     and I was glad to omit them, owing to the
     length of those works, and because I was
     much hurried in their composition.' From the
     fifty-second chapter to the close of the volume
     he adheres to his subject without further digression,
     but with so much vigor of thought
     and freshness of observations, that, like the
     Opus Minus, the Opus Tertium may be fairly
     considered an independent work."--pp.

The details which Bacon gives of his personal history are of special
interest as throwing light upon the habits of life of a scholar in the
thirteenth century. Their autobiographic charm is increased by their
novelty, for they give a view of ways of life of which but few
particulars have been handed down.

Excusing himself for the delay which had occurred, after the reception
of the Pope's letter, before the transmission of the writings he had
desired, Bacon says that he was strictly prohibited by a rule of his
Order from communicating to others any writing made by one of its
members, under penalty of loss of the book, and a diet for many days of
bread and water. Moreover, a fair copy could not be made, supposing that
he succeeded in writing, except by scribes outside of the Order; and
they might transcribe either for themselves or others, and through their
dishonesty it very often happened that books were divulged at Paris.

"Then other far greater causes of delay occurred, on account of which I
was often ready to despair; and a hundred times I thought to give up the
work I had undertaken; and, had it not been for reverence for the Vicar
of the only Saviour, and [regard to] the profit to the world to be
secured through him alone, I would not have proceeded, against these
hindrances, with this affair, for all those who are in the Church of
Christ, however much they might have prayed and urged me. The first
hindrance was from those who were set over me, to whom you had written
nothing in my favor, and who, since I could not reveal your secret
[commission] to them, being bound not to do so by your command of
secrecy, urged me with unutterable violence, and with other means, to
obey their will. But I resisted, on account of the bond of your precept,
which obliged me to your work, in spite of every mandate of my

"But I met also with another hindrance, which was enough to put a stop
to the whole matter, and this was the want of [means to meet] the
expense. For I was obliged to pay out in this business more than sixty
livres of Paris,[14] the account and reckoning of which I will set forth
in their place hereafter. I do not wonder, indeed, that you did not
think of these expenses, because, sitting at the top of the world, you
have to think of so great and so many things that no one can estimate
the cares of your mind. But the messengers who carried your letters were
careless in not making mention to you of these expenses; and they were
unwilling to expend a single penny, even though I told them that I would
write to you an account of the expenses, and that to every one of them
should be returned what was his. I truly have no money, as you know, nor
can I have it, nor consequently can I borrow, since I have nothing
wherewith to repay. I sent then to my rich brother, in my country, who,
belonging to the party of the king, was exiled with my mother and my
brothers and the whole family, and oftentimes being taken by the enemy
redeemed himself with money, so that thus being ruined and
impoverished, he could not assist me, nor even to this day have I had an
answer from him.

"Considering, then, the reverence due to you, and the nature of your
command, I solicited many and great people, the faces of some of whom
you know well, but not their minds; and I told them that a certain
affair of yours must he attended to by me in France, (but I did not
disclose to them what it was,) the performance of which required a large
sum of money. But how often I was deemed a cheat, how often repulsed,
how often put off with empty hope, how often confused in myself, I
cannot express. Even my friends did not believe me, because I could not
explain to them the affair; and hence I could not advance by this way.
In distress, therefore, beyond what can be imagined, I compelled
serving-men and poor to expend all that they had, to sell many things,
and to pawn others, often at usury; and I promised them that I would
write to you every part of the expenses, and would in good faith obtain
from you payment in full. And yet, on account of the poverty of these
persons, I many times gave up the work, and many times despaired and
neglected to proceed; and indeed, if I had known that you would not
attend to the settling of these accounts, I would not for the whole
world have gone on,--nay, rather, I would have gone to prison. Nor could
I send special messengers to you for the needed sum, because I had no
means. And I preferred to spend whatever I could procure in advancing
the business rather than in despatching a messenger to you. And also, on
account of the reverence due to you, I determined to make no report of
expenses before sending to you something which might please you, and by
ocular proof should give witness to its cost. On account, then, of all
these things, so great a delay has occurred in this matter."[15]

There is a touching simplicity in this account of the trials by which he
was beset, and it rises to dignity in connection with a sentence which
immediately follows, in which he says, the thought of "the advantage of
the world excited me, and the revival of knowledge, which now for many
ages has lain dead, vehemently urged me forward." Motives such as these
were truly needed to enable him to make head against such difficulties.

The work which he accomplished, remarkable as it is from its intrinsic
qualities, is also surprising from the rapidity with which it was
performed, in spite of the distractions and obstacles that attended it.
It would seem that in less than two years from the date of Clement's
letter, the three works composed in compliance with its demand were
despatched to the Pope. Bacon's diligence must have been as great as his
learning. In speaking, in another part of the "Opus Tertium," of the
insufficiency of the common modes of instruction, he gives incidentally
an account of his own devotion to study. "I have labored much," he says,
"on the sciences and languages; it is now forty years since I first
learned the alphabet, and I have always been studious; except two years
of these forty, I have been always engaged in study; and I have expended
much, [in learning,] as others generally do; but yet I am sure that
within a quarter of a year, or half a year, I could teach orally, to a
man eager and confident to learn, all that I know of the powers of the
sciences and languages; provided only that I had previously composed a
written compend. And yet it is known that no one else has worked so hard
or on so many sciences and tongues; for men used to wonder formerly that
I kept my life on account of my excessive labor, and ever since I have
been as studious as I was then, but I have not worked so hard, because,
through my practice in knowledge, it was not needful."[16] Again he
says, that in the twenty years in which he had specially labored in the
study of wisdom, neglecting the notions of the crowd, he had spent more
than two thousand pounds [livres] in the acquisition of secret books,
and for various experiments, instruments, tables, and other things, as
well as in seeking the friendship of learned men, and in instructing
assistants in languages, figures, the use of instruments and tables,
and many other things. But yet, though he had examined everything that
was necessary for the construction of a preliminary work to serve as a
guide to the wisdom of philosophy, though he knew how it was to be done,
with what aids, and what were the hindrances to it, still he could not
proceed with it, owing to the want of means. The cost of employing
proper persons in the work, the rarity and costliness of books, the
expense of instruments and of experiments, the need of infinite
parchment and many scribes for rough copies, all put it beyond his power
to accomplish. This was his excuse for the imperfection of the treatise
which he had sent to the Pope, and this was a work worthy to be
sustained by Papal aid.[17]

The enumeration by Bacon of the trials and difficulties of a scholar's
life at a time when the means of communicating knowledge were difficult,
when books were rare and to be obtained only at great cost, when the
knowledge of the ancient languages was most imperfect, and many of the
most precious works of ancient philosophy were not to be obtained or
were to be found only in imperfect and erroneous translations, depicts a
condition of things in vivid contrast to the present facilities for the
communication and acquisition of learning, and enables us in some degree
to estimate the drawbacks under which scholars prosecuted their studies
before the invention of printing. That with such impediments they were
able to effect so much is wonderful; and their claim on the gratitude
and respect of their successors is heightened by the arduous nature of
the difficulties with which they were forced to contend. The value of
their work receives a high estimate, when we consider the scanty means
with which it was performed.

Complaining of the want of books, Bacon says,--"The books on philosophy
by Aristotle and Avicenna, by Seneca and Tully and others, cannot be had
except at great cost, both because the chief of them are not translated
into Latin, and because of others not a copy is to be found in public
schools of learning or elsewhere. For instance, the most excellent books
of Tully De Republica are nowhere to be found, so far as I can hear, and
I have been eager in the search for them in various parts of the world
and with various agents. It is the same with many other of his books.
The books of Seneca also, the flowers of which I have copied out for
your Beatitude, I was never able to find till about the time of your
mandate, although I had been diligent in seeking for them for twenty
years and more."[18] Again, speaking of the corruption of translations,
so that they are often unintelligible, as is especially the case with
the books of Aristotle, he says that "there are not four Latins [that
is, Western scholars] who know the grammar of the Hebrews, the Greeks,
and the Arabians; for I am well acquainted with them, and have made
diligent inquiry both here and beyond the sea, and have labored much in
these things. There are many, indeed, who can speak Greek and Arabic and
Hebrew, but scarcely any who know the principles of the grammar so as to
teach it, for I have tried very many."[19]

In his treatise entitled "Compendium Studii Philosophiae," which is
printed in this volume for the first time, he adds in relation to this
subject,--"Teachers are not wanting, because there are Jews everywhere,
and their tongue is the same in substance with the Arabic and the
Chaldean, though they differ in mode.... Nor would it be much, for the
sake of the great advantage of learning Greek, to go to Italy, where the
clergy and the people in many places are purely Greek; moreover, bishops
and archbishops and rich men and elders might send thither for books,
and for one or for more persons who know Greek, as Lord Robert, the
sainted Bishop of Lincoln,[20] did indeed do,--and some of those [whom
he brought over] still survive in England."[21] The ignorance of the
most noted clerks and lecturers of his day is over and over again the
subject of Bacon's indignant remonstrance. They were utterly unable to
correct the mistakes with which the translations of ancient works were
full. "The text is in great part horribly corrupt in the copy of the
Vulgate at Paris, ...and as many readers as there are, so many
correctors, or rather corruptors, ...for every reader changes the text
according to his fancy."[22] Even those who professed to translate new
works of ancient learning were generally wholly unfit for the task.
Hermann the German knew nothing of science, and little of Arabic, from
which he professed to translate; but when he was in Spain, he kept
Saracens with him who did the main part of the translations that he
claimed. In like manner, Michael Scot asserted that he had made many
translations; but the truth was, that a certain Jew named Andrew worked
more than he upon them.[23] William Fleming was, however, the most
ignorant and most presuming of all.[24] "Certain I am that it were
better for the Latins that the wisdom of Aristotle had not been
translated, than to have it thus perverted and obscured, ...so that the
more men study it the less they know, as I have experienced with all who
have stuck to these books. Wherefore my Lord Robert of blessed memory
altogether neglected them, and proceeded by his own experiments, and
with other means, until he knew the things concerning which Aristotle
treats a hundred thousand times better than he could ever have learned
them from those perverse translations. And if I had power over these
translations of Aristotle, I would have every copy of them burned; for
to study them is only a loss of time and a cause of error and a
multiplication of ignorance beyond telling. And since the labors of
Aristotle are the foundation of all knowledge, no one can estimate the
injury done by means of these bad translations."[25]

Bacon had occasion for lamenting not only the character of the
translations in use, but also the fact that many of the most important
works of the ancients were not translated at all, and hence lay out of
the reach of all but the rare scholars, like himself and his friend
Grostête, who were able, through their acquaintance with the languages
in which they were written, to make use of them, provided manuscripts
could be found for reading. "We have few useful works on philosophy in
Latin. Aristotle composed a thousand volumes, as we read in his Life,
and of these we have but three of any notable size, namely,--on Logic,
Natural History, and Metaphysics; so that all the other scientific works
that he composed are wanting to the Latins, except some tractates and
small little books, and of these but very few. Of his Logic two of the
best books are deficient, which Hermann had in Arabic, but did not
venture to translate. One of them, indeed, he did translate, or caused
to be translated, but so ill that the translation is of no sort of value
and has never come into use. Aristotle wrote fifty excellent books about
Animals, as Pliny says in the eighth book of his Natural History, and I
have seen them in Greek, and of these the Latins have only nineteen
wretchedly imperfect little books. Of his Metaphysics the Latins read
only the ten books which they have, while there are many more; and of
these ten which they read, many chapters are wanting in the translation,
and almost infinite lines. Indeed, the Latins have nothing worthy; and
therefore it is necessary that they should know the languages, for the
sake of translating those things that are deficient and needful. For,
moreover, of the works on secret sciences, in which the secrets and
marvels of Nature are explored, they have little except fragments here
and there, which scarcely suffice to excite the very wisest to study and
experiment and to inquire by themselves after those things which are
lacking to the dignity of wisdom; while the crowd of students are not
moved to any worthy undertaking, and grow so languid and asinine over
these ill translations, that they lose utterly their time and study and
expense. They are held, indeed, by appearances alone; for they do not
care what they know, but what they seem to know to the silly

These passages may serve to show something of the nature of those
external hindrances to knowledge with which Bacon himself had had to
strive, which he overcame, and which he set himself with all his force
to break down, that they might no longer obstruct the path of study.
What scholar, what lover of learning, can now picture to himself such
efforts without emotion,--without an almost oppressive sense of the
contrast between the wealth of his own opportunities and the penury of
the earlier scholar? On the shelves within reach of his hand lie the
accumulated riches of time. Compare our libraries, with their crowded
volumes of ancient and modern learning, with the bare cell of the
solitary Friar, in which, in a single small cupboard, are laid away a
few imperfect manuscripts, precious as a king's ransom, which it had
been the labor of years to collect. This very volume of his works, a
noble monument of patient labor, of careful investigation, of deep
thought, costs us but a trivial sum; while its author, in his poverty,
was scarcely able, without begging, to pay for the parchment upon which
he wrote it, as, uncheered by the anticipation that centuries after his
death men would prize the works he painfully accomplished, he leaned
against his empty desk, half-discouraged by the difficulties that beset
him. All honor to him! honor to the schoolmen of the Middle Ages! to the
men who kept the traditions of wisdom alive, who trimmed the wick of the
lamp of learning when its flame was flickering, and who, when its light
grew dim and seemed to be dying out, supplied it with oil hardly
squeezed by their own hands, drop by drop, from the scanty olives which
they had gathered from the eternal tree of Truth! In these later days
learning has become cheap. What sort of scholar must he now be, who
should be worthy to be put into comparison with the philosopher of the
thirteenth century?

The general scheme of Bacon's system of philosophy was at once simple
and comprehensive. The scope of his thought had a breadth uncommon in
his or in any time. In his view, the object of all philosophy and human
learning was to enable men to attain to the wisdom of God; and to this
end it was to be subservient absolutely, and relatively so far as
regarded the Church, the government of the state, the conversion of
infidels, and the repression of those who could not be converted. All
wisdom was included in the Sacred Scriptures, if properly understood and
explained. "I believe," said he, "that the perfection of philosophy is
to raise it to the state of a Christian law." Wisdom was the gift of
God, and as such it included the knowledge of all things in heaven and
earth, the knowledge of God himself, of the teachings of Christ, the
beauty of virtue, the honesty of laws, the eternal life of glory and of
punishment, the resurrection of the dead, and all things else.[27]

To this end all special sciences were ordained. All these, properly
speaking, were to be called speculative; and though they each might be
divided into two parts, the practical and the speculative, yet one
alone, the most noble and best of all, in respect to which there was no
comparison with the others, was in its own nature practical: this was
the science of morals, or moral philosophy. All the works of Art and
Nature are subservient to morals, and are of value only as they promote
it. They are as nothing without it; as the whole wisdom of philosophy is
as nothing without the wisdom of the Christian faith. This science of
morals has six principal divisions. The first of these is theological,
treating of the relations of man to God and to spiritual things; the
second is political, treating of public laws and the government of
states; the third is ethical, treating of virtue and vice; the fourth
treats of the revolutions of religious sects, and of the proofs of the
Christian faith.

"This is the best part of all philosophy." Experimental science and the
knowledge of languages come into use here. The fifth division is
hortatory, or of morals as applied to duty, and embraces the art of
rhetoric and other subsidiary arts. The sixth and final division treats
of the relations of morals to the execution of justice.[28] Under one
or other of these heads all special sciences and every branch of
learning are included.

Such, then, being the object and end of all learning, it is to be
considered in what manner and by what methods study is to be pursued, to
secure the attainment of truth. And here occurs one of the most
remarkable features of Bacon's system. It is in his distinct statement
of the prime importance of experiment as the only test of certainty in
the sciences. "However strong arguments may be, they do not give
certainty, apart from positive experience of a conclusion." "It is the
prerogative of experiment to test the noble conclusions of all sciences
which are drawn from arguments." All science is ancillary to it.[29] And
of all branches of learning, two are of chief importance: languages are
the first gate of wisdom; mathematics the second.[30] By means of
foreign tongues we gain the wisdom which men have collected in past
times and other countries; and without them the sciences are not to be
pursued, for the requisite books are wanting in the Latin tongue. Even
theology must fail without a knowledge of the original texts of the
Sacred Writings and of their earliest expositors. Mathematics are of
scarcely less importance; "for he who knows not mathematics cannot know
any other physical science,--what is more, cannot discover his own
ignorance or find its proper remedies." "The sciences cannot be known by
logical and sophistical arguments, such as are commonly used, but only
by mathematical demonstrations."[31] But this view of the essential
importance of these two studies did not prevent Bacon from rising to the
height from which he beheld the mutual importance and relations of all
knowledge. We do not know where to find a clearer statement of the
connection of the sciences than in the following words:--"All sciences
are connected, and support each other with mutual aid, as parts of the
same whole, of which each performs its work, not for itself alone, but
for the others as well: as the eye directs the whole body, and the foot
supports the whole; so that any part of knowledge taken from the rest is
like an eye torn out or a foot cut off."[32]

Such, then, in brief, appears to have been Bacon's general system of
philosophy. He has nowhere presented it in a compact form; and his style
of writing is often so corrupt, and his use of terms so inexact, that
any exposition of his views, exhibiting them in a methodical
arrangement, is liable to the charge of possessing a definiteness of
statement beyond that which his opinions had assumed in his own mind.
Still, the view that has now been given of his philosophy corresponds as
nearly as may be with the indications afforded by his works. The details
of his system present many points of peculiar interest. He was not
merely a theorist, with speculative views of a character far in advance
of those of the mass of contemporary schoolmen, but a practical
investigator as well, who by his experiments and discoveries pushed
forward the limits of knowledge, and a sound scholar who saw and
displayed to others the true means by which progress in learning was to
be secured. In this latter respect, no parts of his writings are more
remarkable than those in which he urges the importance of philological
and linguistic studies. His remarks on comparative grammar, on the
relations of languages, on the necessity of the study of original texts,
are distinguished by good sense, by extensive and (for the time) exact
scholarship, and by a breadth of view unparalleled, so far as we are
aware, by any other writer of his age. The treatise on the Greek
Grammar--which occupies a large portion of the incomplete "Compendium
Studii Philosophiae," and which is broken off in the middle by the
mutilation of the manuscript--contains, in addition to many curious
remarks illustrative of the learning of the period, much matter of
permanent interest to the student of language. The passages which we
have quoted in regard to the defects of the translations of Greek
authors show to how great a degree the study of Greek and other ancient
tongues had been neglected. Most of the scholars of the day contented
themselves with collecting the Greek words which they found interpreted
in the works of St. Augustine, St. Jerome, Origen, Martianus Capella,
Boëthius, and a few other later Latin authors; and were satisfied to use
these interpretations without investigation of their exactness, or
without understanding their meaning. Hugo of Saint Victor, (Dante's "Ugo
di Sanvittore è qui con elli,") one of the most illustrious of Bacon's
predecessors, translates, for instance, _mechanica_ by _adulterina_, as
if it came from the Latin _moecha_, and derives _economica_ from
_oequus_, showing that he, like most other Western scholars, was
ignorant even of the Greek letters.[33] Michael Scot, in respect to
whose translations Bacon speaks with merited contempt, exhibits the
grossest ignorance, in his version from the Arabic of Aristotle's
History of Animals, for example, a passage in which Aristotle speaks of
taming the wildest animals, and says, "Beneficio enim mitescunt, veluti
crocodilorum genus afficitur erga sacerdotem a quo enratur ut alantur,"
("They become mild with kind treatment, as crocodiles toward the priest
who provides them with food,") is thus unintelligibly rendered by him:
"Genus autem karoluoz et hirdon habet pacem lehhium et domesticatur cum
illo, quoniam cogitat de suo cibo." [34] Such a medley makes it certain
that he knew neither Greek nor Arabic, and was willing to compound a
third language, as obscure to his readers as the original was to him.
Bacon points out many instances of this kind; and it is against such
errors--errors so destructive to all learning--that he inveighs with the
full force of invective, and protests with irresistible arguments. His
acquirements in Greek and in Hebrew prove that he had devoted long labor
to the study of these languages, and that he understood them far better
than many scholars who made more pretence of learning. Nowhere are the
defects of the scholarship of the Middle Ages more pointedly and ably
exhibited than in what he has said of them.

But, although his knowledge in this field was of uncommon quality and
amount, it does not seem to have surpassed his acquisitions in science.
"I have attempted," he says in a striking passage, "with great
diligence, to attain certainty as to what is needful to be known
concerning the processes of alchemy and natural philosophy and
medicine.... And what I have written of the roots [of these sciences]
is, in my judgment, worth far more than all that the other natural
philosophers now alive suppose themselves to know; for in vain, without
these roots, do they seek for branches, flowers, and fruit. And here I
am boastful in words, but not in my soul; for I say this because I
grieve for the infinite error that now exists, and that I may urge you
[the Pope] to a consideration of the truth."[35] Again he says, in
regard to his treatise "De Perspectiva," or On Optics,--"Why should I
conceal the truth? I assert that there is no one among the Latin
scholars who could accomplish, in the space of a year, this work; no,
nor even in ten years."[36] In mathematics, in chemistry, in optics, in
mechanics, he was, if not superior, at least equal, to the best of his
contemporaries. His confidence in his own powers was the just result of
self-knowledge and self-respect. Natural genius, and the accumulations
of forty years of laborious study pursued with a method superior to that
which guided the studies of others, had set him at the head of the
learned men of his time; and he was great enough to know and to claim
his place. He had the self-devotion of enthusiasm, and its ready, but
dignified boldness, based upon the secure foundation of truth.

In spite of the very imperfect style in which he wrote, and the usually
clumsy and often careless construction of his sentences, his works
contain now and then noble thoughts expressed with simplicity and force.
"Natura est instrumentum Divinae operationis," might be taken as the
motto for his whole system of natural science. In speaking of the value
of words, he says,--"Sed considerare debemus quod verba habent maximam
potestatem, et omnia miracula facta a principio mundi fere facta sunt
per verba. Et opus animae rationalis praecipuum est verbum, et in quo
maxime delectatur." In the "Opus Tertium," at the point where he begins
to give an abstract of his "Opus Majus," he uses words which remind one
of the famous "Franciscus de Verulamio sic cogitavit." He
says,--"Cogitavi quod intellectus humanus habet magnam debilitationem ex
se.... Et ideo volui excludere errorum corde hominis impossible est
ipsum videre veritatem." This is strikingly similar to Lord Bacon's
"errores qui invaluerunt, quique in aeternum invalituri sunt, alii post
alios, si mens sibi permittatur." Such citations of passages remarkable
for thought or for expression might be indefinitely extended, but we
have space for only one more, in which the Friar attacks the vices of
the Roman court with an energy that brings to mind the invectives of the
greatest of his contemporaries. "Curia Romana, quae solebat et debet
regi sapientia Dei, nunc depravatur.... Laceratur enim illa sedes sacra
fraudibus et dolis injustorum. Pent justitia; pax omnis violatur;
infinita scandala suscitantur. Mores enim sequuntur ibidem
perversissimi; regnat superbia, ardet avaritia, invidia corrodit
singulos, luxuria diffamat totam illam curiam, gula in omnibus
dominatur." It was not the charge of magic alone that brought Roger
Bacon's works into discredit with the Church, and caused a nail to be
driven through their covers to keep the dangerous pages closed
tightly within.

There is no reason to doubt that Bacon's investigations led him to
discoveries of essential value, but which for the most part died with
him. His active and piercing intellect, which employed itself on the
most difficult subjects, which led him to the formation of a theory of
tides, and brought him to see the need and with prophetic anticipation
to point out the means of a reformation of the calendar, enabled him to
discover many of what were then called the Secrets of Nature. The
popular belief that he was the inventor of gunpowder had its origin in
two passages in his treatise "On the Secret Works of Art and Nature, and
on the Nullity of Magic,"[37] in one of which he describes some of its
qualities, while in the other he apparently conceals its composition
under an enigma.[38] He had made experiments with Greek fire and the
magnet; he had constructed burning-glasses, and lenses of various power;
and had practised with multiplying-mirrors, and with mirrors that
magnified and diminished. It was no wonder that a man who knew and
employed such wonderful things, who was known, too, to have sought for
artificial gold, should gain the reputation of a wizard, and that his
books should be looked upon with suspicion. As he himself says,--"Many
books are esteemed magic, which are not so, but contain the dignity of
knowledge." And he adds,--"For, as it is unworthy and unlawful for a
wise man to deal with magic, so it is superfluous and unnecessary."[39]

There is a passage in this treatise "On the Nullity of Magic" of
remarkable character, as exhibiting the achievements, or, if not the
actual achievements, the things esteemed possible by the inventors of
the thirteenth century. There is in it a seeming mixture of fancy and of
fact, of childish credulity with more than mere haphazard prophecy of
mechanical and physical results which have been so lately reached in the
progress of science as to be among new things even six centuries after
Bacon's death. Its positiveness of statement is puzzling, when tested by
what is known from other sources of the nature of the discoveries and
inventions of that early time; and were there reason to question Bacon's
truth, it would seem as if he had mistaken his dreams for facts. As it
stands, it is one of the most curious existing illustrations of the
state of physical science in the Middle Ages. It runs as follows:--"I
will now, in the first place, speak of some of the wonderful works of
Art and Nature, that I may afterwards assign the causes and methods of
them, in which there is nothing magical, so that it may be seen how
inferior and worthless all magic power is, in comparison with these
works. And first, according to the fashion and rule of Art alone. Thus,
machines can be made for navigation without men to row them; so that
ships of the largest size, whether on rivers or the sea, can be carried
forward, under the guidance of a single man, at greater speed than if
they were full of men [rowers]. In like manner, a car can be made which
will move, without the aid of any animal, with incalculable impetus;
such as we suppose the scythed chariots to have been which were
anciently used in battle. Also, machines for flying can be made, so that
a man may sit in the middle of the machine, turning an engine, by which
wings artificially disposed are made to beat the air after the manner of
a bird in flight. Also, an instrument, small in size, for raising and
depressing almost infinite weights, than which nothing on occasion is
more useful: for, with an instrument of three fingers in height, and of
the same width, and of smaller bulk, a man might deliver himself and his
companions from all danger of prison, and could rise or descend. Also,
an instrument might be easily made by which one man could draw to
himself a thousand men by force and against their will, and in like
manner draw other things. Instruments can be made for walking in the sea
or in rivers, even at the bottom, without bodily risk: for Alexander the
Great made use of this to see the secrets of the sea, as the Ethical
Astronomer relates. These things were made in ancient times, and are
made in our times, as is certain; except, perhaps, the machine for
flying, which I have not seen, nor have I known any one who had seen
it, but I know a wise man who thought to accomplish this device. And
almost an infinite number of such things can be made; as bridges across
rivers without piers or any supports, and machines and unheard-of
engines." Bacon goes on to speak of other wonders of Nature and Art, to
prove, that, to produce marvellous effects, it is not necessary to
aspire to the knowledge of magic, and ends this division of his subject
with words becoming a philosopher:--"Yet wise men are now ignorant of
many things which the common crowd of students [_vulgus studentium_]
will know in future times."[40]

It is much to be regretted that Roger Bacon does not appear to have
executed the second and more important part of his design, namely, "to
assign the causes and methods" of these wonderful works of Art and
Nature. Possibly he was unable to do so to his own satisfaction;
possibly he may upon further reflection have refrained from doing so,
deeming them mysteries not to be communicated to the vulgar;--"for he
who divulges mysteries diminishes the majesty of things; wherefore
Aristotle says that he should be the breaker of the heavenly seal, were
he to divulge the secret things of wisdom."[41] However this may have
been, we may safely doubt whether the inventions which he reports were
in fact the result of sound scientific knowledge, whether they had
indeed any real existence, or whether they were only the half-realized
and imperfect creations of the prophetic soul of the wide world dreaming
of things to come.

The matters of interest in the volume before us are by no means
exhausted, but we can proceed no farther in the examination of them, and
must refer those readers who desire to know more of its contents to the
volume itself. We can assure them that they will find it full of vivid
illustrations of the character of Bacon's time,--of the thoughts of men
at an epoch of which less is commonly known than of periods more
distant, but less connected by intellectual sympathy and moral relations
with our own. But the chief interest of Bacon's works lies in their
exhibition to us of himself, a man foremost in his own time in all
knowledge, endowed by Nature with a genius of peculiar force and
clearness of intuition, with a resolute energy that yielded to no
obstacles, with a combination so remarkable of the speculative and the
practical intellect as to place him in the ranks of the chief
philosophers to whom the progress of the world in learning and in
thought is due. They show him exposed to the trials which the men who
are in advance of their contemporaries are in every age called to meet,
and bearing these trials with a noble confidence in the final prevalence
of the truth,--using all his powers for the advantage of the world, and
regarding all science and learning of value only as they led to
acquaintance with the wisdom of God and the establishment of Christian
virtue. He himself gives us a picture of a scholar of his times, which
we may receive as a not unworthy portrait of himself. "He does not care
for discourses and disputes of words, but he pursues the works of
wisdom, and in them he finds rest. And what others dim-sighted strive to
see, like bats in twilight, he beholds in its full splendor, because he
is the master of experiments; and thus he knows natural things, and the
truths of medicine and alchemy, and the things of heaven as well as
those below. Nay, he is ashamed, if any common man, or old wife, or
soldier, or rustic in the country knows anything of which he is
ignorant. Wherefore he has searched out all the effects of the fusing of
metals, and whatever is effected with gold and silver and other metals
and all minerals; and whatever pertains to warfare and arms and the
chase he knows; and he has examined all that pertains to agriculture,
and the measuring of lands, and the labors of husbandmen; and he has
even considered the practices and the fortune-telling of old women, and
their songs, and all sorts of magic arts, and also the tricks and
devices of jugglers; so that nothing which ought to be known may lie hid
from him, and that he may as far as possible know how to reject all that
is false and magical. And he, as he is above price, so does he not value
himself at his worth. For, if he wished to dwell with kings and princes,
easily could he find those who would honor and enrich him; or, if he
would display at Paris what he knows through the works of wisdom, the
whole world would follow him. But, because in either of these ways he
would be impeded in the great pursuits of experimental philosophy, in
which he chiefly delights, he neglects all honor and wealth, though he
might, when he wished, enrich himself by his knowledge."

       *       *       *       *       *

_Popular Music of the Olden Time_. A Collection of Ancient Songs,
Ballads, and Dance-Tunes, Illustrative of the National Music of England.
With Short Introductions to the Different Reigns, and Notices of the
Airs from Writers of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. Also, a
Short Account of the Minstrels. By W. Chappel, F.S.A. The whole of the
Airs harmonized by G. A. McFarren. 2 vols. pp. 384, 439. London: Cramer,
Beale, & Chappell. New York: Webb & Allen.

In tracing the history of the English nation, no line of investigation
is more interesting, or shows more clearly the progress of civilization,
than the study of its early poetry and music. Sung alike in the royal
palaces and in the cottages and highways of the nation, the ballads and
songs reflect most accurately the manners and customs, and not a little
of the history of the people; while, as indicating the progress of
intellectual culture, the successive changes in language, and the steady
advance of the science of music, and of its handmaid, poetry, they
possess a value peculiarly their own.

The industry and learning of Percy, Warton, and Ritson have rendered a
thorough acquaintance with early English poetry comparatively easy;
while in the work whose comprehensive title heads this article the
research of Chappell presents to us all that is valuable of the "Popular
Music of the Olden Time," enriched by interesting incidents and
historical facts which render the volumes equally interesting to the
general reader and to the student in music. Chappell published his
collection of "National English Airs" about twenty years ago. Since that
time, he tells us in his preface, the increase of material has been so
great, that it has been advisable to rewrite the entire work, and to
change the title, so that the present edition has all the freshness of a
new publication, and contains more than one hundred and fifty
additional airs.

The opening chapters are devoted to a concise historical account of
English minstrelsy, from the earliest Saxon times to its gradual
extinction in the reigns of Edward IV. and Queen Elizabeth; and while
presenting in a condensed form all that is valuable in Percy and others,
the author has interwoven in the narrative much curious and interesting
matter derived from his own careful studies. Much of romantic interest
clusters around the history of the minstrels of England. They are
generally supposed to have been the successors of the ancient bards, who
from the earliest times were held in the highest veneration by nearly
all the people of Europe, whether of Celtic or Gothic origin. According
to Percy, "Their skill was considered as something divine; their persons
were deemed sacred; their attendance was solicited by kings; and they
were everywhere loaded with honors and rewards." Our Anglo-Saxon
ancestors, on their migration into Britain, retained their veneration
for poetry and song, and minstrels continued in high repute, until their
hold upon the people gradually yielded to the steady advance of
civilization, the influence of the printing-press, and the consequent
diffusion of knowledge. It is to be borne in mind that the name,
minstrel, was applied equally to those who sang, and accompanied their
voices with the harp, or some other instrument, and to those who were
skilled in instrumental music only. The harp was the favorite and indeed
the national instrument of the Britons, and its use has been traced as
far back as the first invasion of the country by the Saxons. By the laws
of Wales, no one could pretend to the character of a freeman or
gentleman, who did not possess or could not play upon a harp. Its use
was forbidden to slaves; and a harp could not be seized for debt, as the
simple fact of a person's being without one would reduce him to an
equality with a slave. Other instruments, however, were in use by the
early Anglo-Saxons, such as the Psaltery, the Fiddle, and the Pipe. The
minstrels, clad in a costume of their own, and singing to their quaint
tunes the exploits of past heroes or the simple love-songs of the times,
were the favorites of royalty, and often, and perhaps usually, some of
the better class held stations at court; and under the reigns of Henry
I. and II., Richard I., and John, minstrelsy flourished greatly, and the
services of the minstrels were often rated higher than those of the
clergy. These musicians seem to have had easy access to all places and
persons, and often received valuable grants from the king, until, in the
reign of Edward II., (1315,) such privileges were claimed by them, that
a royal edict became necessary to prevent impositions and abuses.

In the fourteenth century music was an almost universal accomplishment,
and we learn from Chaucer, in whose poetry much can be learned of the
music of his time, that country-squires could sing and play the lute,
and even "songes make and well indite." From the same source it appears
that then, as now, one of the favorite accomplishments of a young lady
was to sing well, and that her prospects for marriage were in proportion
to her proficiency in this art. In those days the bass-viol
(_viol-de-gamba_) was a popular instrument, and was played upon by
ladies,--a practice which in these modern times would be considered a
violation of female propriety, and even then some thought it "an
unmannerly instrument for a woman." In Elizabeth's time vocal music was
held in the highest estimation, and to sing well was a necessary
accomplishment for ladies and gentlemen. A writer of 1602 says to the
ladies, "It shall be your first and finest praise to sing the note of
every new fashion at first sight." That some of the fair sex may have
carried their musical practice too far, like many who have lived since
then, is perhaps indicated in some verses of that date which run in the
following strain:--

     "This is all that women do:
     Sit and answer them that woo;
     Deck themselves in new attire,
     To entangle fresh desire;
     After dinner sing and play,
     Or, dancing, pass the time away."

To many readers one of the most interesting features of Chappell's work
will be the presentation of the original airs to which were sung the
ballads familiar to us from childhood, learned from our English and
Scotch ancestors, or later in life from Percy's "Reliques" and other
sources; and the musician will detect, in even the earliest
compositions, a character and substance, a beauty of cadence and
rhythmic ideality, which render in comparison much of our modern
song-music tamer, if possible, than it now seems. Here are found the
original airs of "Agincourt," "All in the Downs," "Barbara Allen," "The
Barley-Mow," "Cease, rude Boreas," "Derry Down," "Frog he would a-wooing
go," "One Friday morn when we set sail," "Chanson Roland," "Chevy
Chace," and scores of others which have rung in our ears from

The ballad-mongers took a wide range in their writings, and almost every
subject seems to have called for their rhymes. There is a curious little
song, dating back to 1601, entitled "O mother, a Hoop," in which the
value of hoop-skirts is set forth by a fair damsel in terms that would
delight a modern belle. It commences thus:--

     "What a fine thing have I seen to-day!
                         O mother, a Hoop!
      I must have one; you cannot say Nay;
                         O mother, a Hoop!"

Another stanza shows the practical usefulness of the hoop:--

     "Pray, hear me, dear mother, what I have been taught:
      Nine men and nine women o'erset in a boat;
      The men were all drowned, but the women did float,
      And by help of their hoops they all safely got out."

The fashion for hoops was revived in 1711, in which year was published
in England "A Panegyrick upon the Late, but most Admirable Invention of
the Hoop-Pettycoat." A few years later, (1726,) in New England, a
three-penny pamphlet was issued with the title, "Hoop Petticoats
Arraigned and Condemned by the Light of Nature and Law of God," by which
it would seem that our worthy ancestors did not approve of the fashion.
In 1728 we find _hoop-skirts_ and _negro girls_ and other "chattels"
advertised for sale in the same shop!

The celebrated song, "Tobacco is an Indian weed," is traced to George
Withers, of the time of James I. Perhaps no song has been more
frequently "reset"; but the original version, as is generally the case,
is the best.

One of the most satisfactory features of Chappell's work is the
thoroughness with which he traces the origin of tunes, and his acute
discrimination and candid judgment. As an instance of this may be
mentioned his article on "God save the Queen"; and wherever we turn, we
find the same evidence of honest investigation. So far as is possible,
he has arranged his airs and his topics chronologically, and presented a
complete picture of the condition of poetry and music during the reigns
of the successive monarchs of England. The musician will find these
volumes invaluable in the pursuit of his studies, the general reader
will be interested in the well-drawn descriptions of men, manners, and
customs, and the antiquary will pore over the pages with a keen delight.

The work is illustrated with several specimens of the early style of
writing music, the first being an illuminated engraving and fac-simile
of the song, "Sumer is icumen in,"--the earliest secular composition, in
parts, known to exist in any country, its origin being traced back to
1250. It should have been mentioned before this that the very difficult
task of reducing the old songs to modern characters and requirements,
and harmonizing them, has been most admirably done by McFarren, who has
thus made intelligible and available what would otherwise be valuable
only as curiosities.

1. _Folk-Songs_. Selected and edited by John Williamson Palmer, M.D.
Illustrated with Original Designs. New York: Charles Scribner. 1861.
Small folio. pp. xxiii., 466.

2. _Loves and Heroines of the Poets_. Edited by Richard Henry Stoddard.
New York: Derby & Jackson. 1861. Quarto, pp. xviii., 480.

3. _A Forest Hymn_. By William Cullen Bryant. With Illustrations of John
A. Hows. New York: W. A. Townsend & Co. 1861. Small quarto, pp. 32.

We have no great liking for illustrated books. Poems, to be sure, often
lend themselves readily to the pencil; but, in proportion as they stand
in need of pictures, they fall short of being poetry. We have never yet
seen any attempts to help Shakspeare in this way that were not as
crutches to an Indian runner. To illustrate poetry truly great in itself
is like illuminating to show off a torchlight-procession. We doubt if
even Michel Angelo's copy of Dante was so great a loss as has sometimes
been thought. We have seen missals and other manuscripts that were truly

       "laughing leaves
     That Franco of Bologna's pencil limned ";

but the line of those artists ended with Frà Angelico, whose works are
only larger illuminations in fresco and on panel. In those days some
precious volume became the Laura of a poor monk, who lavished on it all
the poetry of his nature, all the unsatisfied longing of a lifetime.
Shut out from the world, his single poem or book of saintly legends was
the window through which he looked back on real life, and he stained its
panes with every brightest hue of fancy and tender half-tint of reverie.
There was, indeed, a chance of success, when the artist worked for the
love of it, gave his whole manhood to a single volume, and mixed his
life with his pigments. But to please yourself is a different thing from
pleasing Tom, Dick, and Harry, which is the problem to be worked out by
whoever makes illustrations to be multiplied and sold by thousands. In
Dr. Palmer's "Folk-Songs," if we understand his preface rightly, the
artists have done their work for love, and it is accordingly much better
done than usual. The engravings make a part of the page, and the
designs, with few exceptions, are happy. Numerous fac-similes of
handwriting are added for the lovers of autographs; and in point of
printing, it is beyond a question the handsomest and most tasteful
volume ever produced in America. The Riverside Press may fairly take
rank now with the classic names in the history of the art. But it is for
the judgment shown in the choice of the poems that the book deserves its
chief commendation. Our readers do not need to be told who Dr. Palmer
is, or that one who knows how to write so well himself is likely to know
what good writing is in others. We have never seen so good and choice a
_florilegium_. The width of its range and its catholicity may be
estimated by its including William Blake and Dibdin, Bishop King and Dr.
Maginn. It would be hard to find the person who would not meet here a
favorite poem. We can speak from our own knowledge of the length of
labor and the loving care that have been devoted to it, and the result
is a gift-book unique in its way and suited to all seasons and all
tastes. Nor has the binding (an art in which America is far behind-hand)
been forgotten. The same taste makes itself felt here, and Matthews of
New York has seconded it with his admirable workmanship.

In Mr. Stoddard's volume we have a poet selecting such poems as
illustrate the loves of the poets. It is a happy thought happily
realized. With the exception of Dante, Petrarch, and Tasso, the choice
is made from English poets, and comes down to our own time. It is a book
for lovers, and he must be exacting who cannot find his mistress
somewhere between the covers. The selection from the poets of the
Elizabethan and Jacobian periods is particularly full; and this is as it
should be; for at no time was our language more equally removed from
conventionalism and commonplace, or so fitted to refine strength of
passion with recondite thought and airy courtliness of phrase. The book
is one likely to teach as well as to please; for, though everybody knows
how to fall in love, few know how to love. It is a mirror of womanly
loveliness and manly devotion. Mr. Stoddard has done his work with the
instinct of a poet, and we cordially commend his truly precious volume
both to those

       "who love a coral lip
     And a rosy cheek admire,"

and to those who

     "Interassured of the mind,
       Are careless, eyes, lips, hands, to miss";

for both likings will find satisfaction here. The season of gifts comes
round oftener for lovers than for less favored mortals, and by means of
this book they may press some two hundred poets into their service to
thread for the "inexpressive she" all the beads of Love's rosary. The
volume is a quarto sumptuous in printing and binding. Of the plates we
cannot speak so warmly.

The third book on our list deserves very great praise. Bryant's noble
"Forest Hymn" winds like a river through edging and overhanging
greenery. Frequently the designs are rather ornaments to the page than
illustrations of the poem, and in this we think the artist is to be
commended. There is no Birket Foster-ism in the groups of trees, but
honest drawing from Nature, and American Nature. The volume, we think,
marks the highest point that native Art has reached in this direction,
and may challenge comparison with that of any other country. Many of the
drawings are of great and decided merit, graceful and truthful at the
same time.

_The Works of Lord Bacon_, etc., etc. Vols. XI. and XII. Boston: Brown &
Taggard. 1860.

We have already spoken of the peculiar merits which make the edition of
Messrs. Heath and Spedding by far the best that exists of Lord Bacon's
Works. It only remains to say, that the American reprint has not only
the advantage of some additional notes contributed by Mr. Spedding, but
that it is more convenient in form, and a much more beautiful specimen
of printing than the English. A better edition could not be desired. The
two volumes thus far published are chiefly filled with the "Life of
Henry VII." and the "Essays"; and readers who are more familiar with
these (as most are) than with the philosophical works will see at once
how much the editors have done in the way of illustration and


[Footnote 1: Some time after, the Bey of Tunis ordered Eaton to send his
ship, the Gloria, with despatches to the United States. Eaton sent her
to Leghorn, and sold her at a loss. "The flag of the United States," he
wrote, "has never been seen floating in the service of a Barbary pirate
under my agency."]

[Footnote 2: The Administration was saturated with this petty parsimony,
as may be seen in an extract from a letter written by Madison to Eaton,
announcing the approach of Dale and his ships:--"The present moment is
peculiarly favorable for the experiment, not only as it is a provision
against an immediate danger, but as we are now at peace and amity with
all the rest of the world, _and as the force employed would, if at home,
be at nearly the same expense, with less advantage to our mariners_."
Linkum Fidelius has given the Jeffersonian plan of making war in
two lines:--

     "We'll blow the villains all sky-high,
     But do it with e-co-no-my."]

[Footnote 3: About this time came Meli-Meli, Ambassador from Tunis, in
search of an indemnity and the frigate.]

[Footnote 4: Massachusetts gave him ten thousand acres, to be selected
by him or by his heirs, in any of the unappropriated land of the
Commonwealth in the District of Maine. Act Passed March 3d, 1806]

[Footnote 5: He remained in Sicily until 1809, when he was offered the
Beyship of Derne by his brother. He accepted it; two years later, fresh
troubles drove him again into exile. He died in great poverty at Cairo.
Jusuf reigned until 1832, and abdicated in favor of a son. A grandson of
Jusuf took up arms against the new Pacha. The intervention of the Sultan
was asked; a corps of Turkish troops entered Tripoli, drove out both
Pachas, and reannexed the Regency to the Porte.]

[Footnote 6: The scene of Mr. Jefferson's celebrated retreat from the
British. A place of frequent resort for Federal editors in those days.]

[Footnote 7: In attempting to describe my own sensations, I labor under
the disadvantage of speaking mostly to those who have never experienced
anything of the kind. Hence, what would he perfectly clear to myself,
and to those who have passed through a similar experience, may be
unintelligible to the former class. The Spiritualists excuse the
crudities which their Plato, St. Paul, and Shakspeare utter, by
ascribing them to the imperfection of human language; and I may claim
the same allowance in setting forth mental conditions of which the mind
itself can grasp no complete idea, seeing that its most important
faculties are paralyzed during the existence of those conditions.]

[Footnote 8: The recent experiments in Hypnotism, in France, show that a
very similar psychological condition accompanies the trance produced by
gazing fixedly upon a bright object held near the eyes. I have no doubt,
in fact, that it belongs to every abnormal state of the mind.]

[Footnote 9: See _The Famous Historie of Fryer Bacon containing the
Wonderful Things that he did in his Life, also the Manner of his Death;
with the Lives and Deaths of the Conjurors Bungye and Vandermast_.
Reprinted in Thom's _Early English Romances_.]

[Footnote 10: _Historia Crit. Phil_. Period. II. Pars II.
Liber II. Cap. iii. Section 23.]

[Footnote 11: A barbarous distich gives the relations of these two
famous divisions of knowledge in the Middle Ages:--

     "_Gramm_ loquitur, _Dia_ verba docet, _Rhet_ verba colorat,
     _Mus_ canit, _Ar_ numerat, _Geo_ ponderat, _Ast_ colit astra."]

[Footnote 12: See Hauréau, _De la Philosophie Scolastique_, II. 284-5.]

[Footnote 13: Mr. Brewer has in most respects performed his work as
editor in a satisfactory manner. The many difficulties attending the
deciphering of the text of ill-written manuscripts and the correction of
the mistakes of ignorant scribes have been in great part overcome by his
patience and skill. Some passages of the text, however, require further
revision. The Introduction is valuable for its account of existing
manuscripts, but its analysis of Bacon's opinions is unsatisfactory. Nor
are the translations given in it always so accurate as they should be.
The analyses of the chapters in side-notes to the text are sometimes
imperfect, and do not sufficiently represent the current of Bacon's
thought; and the volume stands in great need of a thorough Index. This
omission is hardly to be excused, and ought at once to be supplied in a
separate publication.]

[Footnote 14: This sum was a large one. It appears that the necessaries
of life were cheap and luxuries dear at Paris during the thirteenth
century. Thus, we are told, in the year 1226, a house sold for forty-six
livres; another with a garden, near St. Eustache, sold for two hundred
livres. This sum was thought large, being estimated as equal to 16,400
francs at present. Sixty livres were then about five thousand francs, or
a thousand dollars. Lodgings at this period varied from 5 to 17 livres
the year. An ox was worth 1 livre 10 sols; a sheep, 6 sols 3 deniers.
Bacon must at some period of his life have possessed money, for we find
him speaking of having expended two thousand livres in the pursuit of
learning. If the comparative value assumed be correct, this sum
represented between $30,000 and $40,000 of our currency.]

[Footnote 15: _Opus Tertium_. Cap. iii. pp. 15-17.]

[Footnote 16: _Opus Tertium_. Cap. xx. p. 65.]

[Footnote 17: _Opus Tertium_. Capp. xvi., xvii. Roger Bacon's urgency to
the Pope to promote the works for the advancement of knowledge which
were too great for private efforts bears a striking resemblance to the
words addressed for the same end by his great successor, Lord Bacon, to
James I. "Et ideo patet," says the Bacon of the thirteenth century,
"quod scripta, principalia de sapientia philosophiae non possunt fieri
ab uno homine, nec a pluribus, nisi manus praelatorum et principum
juvent sapientes cum magna virtute." "Horum quos enumeravimus omnium
defectuum remedia," says the Bacon of the seventeenth century,
"...opera sunt vere basilica; erga quae privati alicujus conatus et
industria fere sic se habent ut Mercurius in bivio, qui digito potest in
viam intendere, pedem inferre non potest."--_De Aug. Scient_. Lib. II.
_Ad Regem Suum_.

A still more remarkable parallelism is to be found in the following
passages. "Nam facile est dicere, fiant scripture completae de
scientiis, sed nunquam fuerunt apud Latinos aliquae condignae, nec
fient, nisi aliud consilium habeatur. Et nullus sufficeret ad hoc, nisi
dominus papa, vel imperator, aut aliquis rex magnificus, sicut est
dominus rex Franciae. Aristoteles quidem, auctoritate et auxiliis regum,
et maxime Alexandri, fecit in Graeco quae voluit, et multis millibus
hominum usus est in experientia scientiarum, et expensis copiosis, sicut
historiae narrant." (_Opus Tertium_, Cap. viii.) Compare with this the
following passage from the part of the _De Augmentis_ already
cited:--"Et exploratoribus ac speculatoribus Naturae satisfaciendum de
expensis suis; alias de quamplurimis scitu dignissimis nunquam fiemus
certiores. Si enim Alexander magnam vim pecuniae suppeditavit
Aristoteli, qua conduceret venatores, aucupes, piscatores et alios, quo
instructior accederet ad conscribendam historiam animalium; certe majus
quiddam debetur iis, qui non in saltibus naturae pererrant, sed in
labyrinthis artium viam sibi aperiunt."

Other similar parallelisms of expression on this topic are to be found
in these two authors, but need not be here quoted. Many resemblances in
the words and in the spirit of the philosophy of the two Bacons have
been pointed out, and it has even been supposed that the later of these
two great philosophers borrowed his famous doctrine of "Idols" from the
classification of the four chief hindrances to knowledge by his
predecessor. But the supposition wants foundation, and there is no
reason to suppose that Lord Bacon was acquainted with the works of the
Friar. The Rev. Charles Forster, in his _Mahometanism Unveiled_, a work
of some learning, but more extravagance, after speaking of Roger Bacon
as "strictly and properly an experimentalist of the Saracenic school,"
goes indeed so far as to assert that he "was the undoubted, though
unowned, original when his great namesake drew the materials of his
famous experimental system." (Vol. II. pp. 312-317.) But the
resemblances in their systems, although striking in some particulars,
are on the whole not too great to be regarded simply as the results of
corresponding genius, and of a common sense of the insufficiency of the
prevalent methods of scholastic philosophy for the discovery of truth
and the advancement of knowledge. "The same sanguine and sometimes rash
confidence in the effect of physical discoveries, the same fondness for
experiment, the same preference of inductive to abstract reasoning
pervade both works," the _Opus Majus_ and the _Novum Organum_.--Hallam,
_Europe during the Middle Ages_, III. 431. See also Hallam, _Literature
of Europe_, I. 113; and Mr. Ellis's Preface to the _Novum Organum_, p.
90, in the first volume of the admirable edition of the _Works of Lord
Bacon_ now in course of publication.]

[Footnote 18: _Opus Tertium_. Cap. xv. pp. 55, 56.]

[Footnote 19: _Id_. Cap. x. p. 33.]

[Footnote 20: The famous Grostête,--who died in 1253. "Vir in Latino et
Graeco peritissimus," says Matthew Paris.]

[Footnote 21: _Comp. Studii Phil_. Cap. vi.]

[Footnote 22: _Opus Minus_, p. 330.]

[Footnote 23: This was Michael Scot the Wizard, who would seem to have
deserved the place that Dante assigned to him in the _Inferno_, if not
from his practice of forbidden arts, at least from his corruption of
ancient learning in his so-called translations. Strange that he, of all
the Schoolmen, should have been honored by being commemorated by the
greatest poet of Italy and the greatest of his own land! In the Notes to
the _Lay of the Last Minstrel_, his kinsman quotes the following lines
concerning him from Satchell's poem on _The Right Honorable Name
of Scott_:--

     "His writing pen did seem to me to be
     Of hardened metal like steel or acumie;
     The volume of [his book] did seem so large to me
     As the Book of Martyrs and Turks Historie."]

[Footnote 24: _Comp. Studii Phil_. Cap. viii. p. 472.]

[Footnote 25: _Comp. Studii Phil_. Cap. viii. p. 469.]

[Footnote 26: _Comp. Studii Phil_. Cap. viii. p. 473.]

[Footnote 27: _Opus Tertium_, Cap. xxiv. pp. 80-82.]

[Footnote 28: _Opus Tertium_. Capp. xiv., xv., pp. 48-53.]

[Footnote 29: _Id_. Cap. xiii. pp. 43-44.]

[Footnote 30: _Id_. Cap. xxviii. p. 102.]

[Footnote 31: _Opus Majus_. pp. 57, 64.]

[Footnote 32: _Opus Tertium_. Cap. iv. p. 18.]

[Footnote 33: See Hauréau: _Nouvel Examen de l'Édition des Oeuvres de
Hugues de Saint-Victor._ Paris, 1869. p. 52.]

[Footnote 34: Jourdain: _Recherches sur les Traductions Latines
d'Aristote_. Paris, 1819. p. 373.]

[Footnote 35: _Opus Tertium_. Cap. xii. p. 42.]

[Footnote 36: _Id. Cap. ii. p. 14.]

[Footnote 37: Reprinted in the Appendix to the volume edited by
Professor Brewer. A translation of this treatise was printed at London
as early as 1597; and a second version, "faithfully translated out of
Dr. Dee's own copy by T. M.," appeared in 1659.]

[Footnote 38: "Sed tamen sal petræ LURU VOPO VIR CAN UTRIET sulphuris;
et sic facies tonitruum et coruscationem, si scias artificium. Videas
tamen utrum loquar ænigmate aut secundum veritatem." (p. 551.) One is
tempted to read the last two words of the dark phrase as phonographic
English, or, translating the _vir_, to find the meaning to be, "O man!
you can try it."]

[Footnote 39: This expression is similar in substance to the closing
sentences of Sir Kenelm Digby's Discourse at Montpellier on the Powder
of Sympathy, in 1657. "Now it is a poor kind of pusillanimity and
faint-heartedness, or rather, a gross weakness of the Understanding, to
pretend any effects of charm or magick herein, or to confine all the
actions of Nature to the grossness of our Senses, when we have not
sufficiently consider'd nor examined the true causes and principles
whereon 'tis fitting we should ground our judgment: we need not have
recourse to a Demon or Angel in such difficulties.

"'Nec Deus intersit, nisi dignus vindice nodus Inciderit.'"]

[Footnote 40: _Nullity of Magic_, pp. 532-542.]

[Footnote 41: _Comp. Stud. Phil._ p. 416.]



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