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Title: The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 07, No. 41, March, 1861
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 07, No. 41, March, 1861" ***

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41, MARCH, 1861***


THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY.

A MAGAZINE OF LITERATURE, ART, AND POLITICS.

VOL. VII.--MARCH, 1861.--NO. XLI.



GERMAN UNIVERSITIES.


THE PROFESSORS.


"Which of the German universities would be the best adapted to my
purpose?" is the question of many an American student, who, having gone
through the usual course in the United States, looks abroad for the
completion of his scientific or liberal studies. Of Göttingen and
Heidelberg he will often have read and heard; the reputation of the
comparatively new university of Berlin will not be unfamiliar to him;
but of Tübingen, Würzburg, Erlangen, Halle, or Bonn, even, he will
perhaps know little more than the name. In the majority of the
last-named places, foreigners, especially his own countrymen, are rare;
none of his friends have studied there; they have followed the current,
since the last century, and spent their time in Göttingen or Heidelberg,
perhaps a winter in Berlin. They have found these institutions good, and
affording every facility for study; but would not Munich, or Leipzig, or
Jena, or any other one of the twenty-six universities of Germany, better
answer the purpose of many a student?

During the last winter, in many conversations with a retired professor
in Berlin, who manifested a special interest in American institutions,
mainly in the American educational system, he was very particular in
inquiring as to what we meant by our term _College_. He had read the
work of the historian Raumer on America, and declared that from this he
could get no notion whatever as to what the term meant with us. The very
same thing occurs daily in the United States in regard to foreign, or,
more properly, the Continental universities. Accustomed as we are to the
prevalence of the tutorial system, the use of text-books,--in many parts
of the Union not defining clearly the difference between the terms
University, College, Institute, and Academy, giving the first name often
to institutions having but one faculty, and that at times incomplete,
with no theological, and often no law or medical department, forgetting
that the University should, from its very name, be as universal as
possible in its teachings, comprehending in its list of studies the
combined scientific and literary pursuits of the age,--we are apt to
look upon foreign schools of learning as similar in nature and purpose
to our own, differing not in the quality or specific character of the
teaching, but rather in the scope and extent of the branches taught. Yet
nothing is farther from the truth. The result is, that many a one starts
for Europe full of hope, to seek what he would have found better at
home,--or, when prepared and mature for European travel, is left to
chance or one-sided advice in the choice of a locality in which to
prosecute further studies. Often with only book-knowledge of the
language of the country, accident will lead him to the very university
the least adequate to his purpose.

Having now spent some time in four of the leading German universities,
and contemplating a longer stay for the purpose of visiting others, the
writer has thought that some general remarks might call attention to
points often disregarded, and serve to give some insight into the nature
of the institutions of learning of the country,--rather aiming to
characterize the system of higher education as it now exists than to
give detailed historical notices, including something of student-life,
and the professors,--in fine, such observations as would not be likely
to be made by a general tourist, and such as native writers deem it
unnecessary to make, presupposing a knowledge of the facts in their own
readers.

The German universities are the culminating point of German culture.
They concentrate within themselves the intellectual pith of the country.
Dating their foundation as far back as the fourteenth century, as
Prague, Vienna, and Heidelberg,--or established but of late years in
the nineteenth, as Berlin, Bonn, and Munich,--they attract to themselves
the mental strength of the land, forming a focus from which radiates,
whether in Theology, Science, Literature, or Art, the new world of
thought, which finds its way to remotest regions, often filtered
and unacknowledged. They number among their professors the most
distinguished men of the century, whether poets, philosophers, or
divines. All who lay claim to authorship find in the lecture-room a
firm stand and rank in society, as Government is ever ready to insure a
life-position to distinguished scholars. To mention only a few
examples of men who would scarcely be thought of in a professorial
career,--Schiller was Professor of History in Jena, Rückert Professor in
Berlin, Uhland in Tübingen.

In nothing can Germany manifest a better-grounded feeling of national
pride than in this, its university system. Politically inert, divided
into petty states, powerless, the ever-ready prey of more active or
ambitious neighbors, it has played a pitiful _rôle_ in the world's
history, with annals made up of petty feuds and jealousies and
tyrannical meannesses, never working as one people, save when driven to
extremity. With countless differences of dialect, manners, customs, it
is one and national in nothing save in its literature, and feels that,
through the high culture of its scholars, through the new paths its
men of science have opened, through the profound investigations of
the learned in every sphere, it holds its place at the head of every
intellectual movement of the age. It feels that its universities are the
laboratories whence issue the thoughts whose significance the world is
ever more and more ready to acknowledge. France even, selfish and proud
of its past supremacy in all things, has within the last quarter of a
century laid aside much of its exclusiveness, and a Germanic infusion is
perceptible through all the mannerism of the latest and best productions
of the French school. Comparatively of late years is it, that the
English mind has fairly come in contact with this German culture. Its
first loud manifestation may be heard in the prose of Carlyle and his
school; yet even now its influence has permeated our whole literature so
much, that, when reading some of our latest poetry, tones and melodies
will come like distant echoes from the groves on the hillsides where
warble the nightingales of Germany.

A most unpractical people, however, the Germans, who have been so active
in almost every possible field of speculation, have produced nothing
which could give one unacquainted with their university system a true
notion of its workings and actual state. Much has been written on
Pedagogy, its history general and special, the common schools and
gymnasia; but until 1854 there was not even a general work on the
history of the universities. To Karl von Raumer, former Minister of
Public Worship in Prussia, we owe the first _Beitrag_, as he modestly
calls it, the fourth volume of his "History of Pedagogy" being devoted
exclusively to these. Partly made up of historical sketches, partly
narrations of the writer's personal experience as student from 1801, as
professor in various places from 1811, it does not aim and is but little
calculated to give a clear idea of the system itself. Special works, as
the one of Tomek on Prague, and of Klüpfel on Tübingen, do exist,
but otherwise nothing but personal observation can be made use of.
Statistics, every information, in fine, concerning the present
intellectual wealth of the nation, must be acquired either orally, or
from the catalogues, programmes, and hundreds of local pamphlets that
are issued yearly. The work of the Rev. Dr. Schaff, "Germany, its
Universities, Theology, and Religion," (Philadelphia, 1857,) rather aims
to characterize the nature and tendency of German theology, the latter
part being taken up with interesting and well-written sketches of the
leading divines.

Before proceeding to these high-schools themselves, let us glance at the
general system of German education. In spite of political differences,
there exists much uniformity in this throughout the Confederation. The
German States are exceedingly _paternal_ in the care they take of their
subjects. They extend their parental supervision even to the family
interior, every relation of life regulated by fixed laws, and even
after death the inhumation must be conducted the forms and with the
precautions prescribed. The new-born child _must_ be baptized within
six weeks after birth. If the parents neglect it, Government sees to
it,--unless they claim the privileges of Israelites, in which case the
rites of their religion must be followed. Between his sixth and
seventh year the child _must_ enter some school or receive elementary
instruction at home. So far is education compulsory; beyond, it is
optional. When duly prepared, he enters, if the parents desire it, the
Government Gymnasium or Lyceum, answering pretty much to our College; it
fits the youth for entering the University. It confers no degrees; only,
at the conclusion of the studies, an _Examen Maturitatis_ takes place.
The youth is then declared ripe for matriculation. Without having
undergone this examination, he can never become a regular student. Even
should he have attended regularly any of the many private academies, or
the _Realschule_, where thorough instruction is given, but with less
special, though no slight attention to Latin and Greek, and more to
mathematics and practical branches, even then he must acquire from
one of the gymnasia the exemption-and-maturity-right. In the slang of
student-life, the gymnasiast is styled a _Frog_, the school itself
a _Pond_; between the time of his declaration of maturity and his
reception as student, he is called a _Mule_.

The course is no light one the candidate has gone through,--nine or ten
years of classical training, Latin the whole time, Greek the last six or
seven years, Hebrew the last four, generally optional, though in many
cases required at future examinations. The modern languages have not
been neglected: French he has pursued seven years, English or Italian
the last three or four. Beside all these, the elements of Philosophy,
Moral and Natural, History, Mathematics, etc. In fine, the certificate
of maturity would in most cases equal, in many surpass, what our
colleges is styled the degree of A.M. Of course, the parallel must not
be understood as existing with respect to many of the older institutions
in the United States, which presuppose, in the entering freshman, a
preparatory course of several years.

The classical training so strictly required of natives who enter
these high-schools is not so rigidly inquired into in the case of
foreigners,--though in this respect the regulations differ in various
states. In Prussia and generally, the passport is all-sufficient; but
in Würtemberg, a diploma or some certificate of former studies must be
exhibited before admission. The officers of some of the universities, as
Tübingen, for instance, are very particular in enforcing all the rules,
inquiring of the applicant, whatever be his age or nationality, whether
he has a written permission from his parents to study abroad and in
their university, whether he has the money necessary to pay the debts he
may contract, and such other minute questions as will strike an American
especially as particularly impertinent. The precaution is carried
so far, that, when no positive information is given as to means of
subsistence, the letter of credit must be delivered into the hands
of the beadle as security. Yet such little incidents are but slight
annoyances at most, which a little good-humor and desire to conform to
the habits and ways of doing of the country will remove. He who goes
abroad always ready to bristle up against what does not exactly conform
to his preconceived ideas of propriety, measuring and weighing all
things with his own national weights and measures, will be continually
making himself disagreeable and unhappy, and in the end profit little by
his absence from home.

The conclusion of the training-system in the gymnasia usually occurs
before the nineteenth or twentieth year. With the reception of the
certificate of maturity the youth may be said to have donned the virile
toga. He enjoys during his university years a degree of liberty such as
he never enjoyed before, never will enjoy again when his student-days
are over. Having taken out his matriculation-papers, and given the
_Handschlag_ (taken the oath) to obey the laws of the land and the
statutes of the university, he has become a student,--a _Fox_, as the
freshman is styled,--he chooses his own career, his own professors,
hears the lectures he pleases, attends or omits as he pleases, leads the
life of a god for a triennium or a quadrennium, fights his duels, drinks
his beer, sings his club-and-corps songs.--But of student-life more in
due time.--There is no check, no constraint whatever, during the whole
time the studies last. At the expiration of three or four, sometimes
even five years, an examination takes place before the degree of Doctor
can be conferred,--not a severe one by any means, confined as it is to
the special branch to which the candidate wishes to devote himself.
In the Medical and Law Departments it is more serious than in the
Philosophical. This examination is followed by a public discussion in
presence of the dean and professors of the faculty, held in Latin, on
some thesis that has been treated and printed in the same language by
the candidate. His former fellow-students, and any one present that
wishes, stand as opponents. This disputation, whatever may have been its
merits in former days, has degenerated in the present into a mere piece
of acted mummery, where the partakers not only stutter and stammer over
bad Latin, but even help themselves, when their memory fails utterly,
with the previously written notes of their extempore objections and
answers. The principal requisite for the attainment of the Doctor's
degree, when the necessary amount of time has been given, in the
Philosophical Faculty at least, is the fees, which often mount quite
high.

From the ranks of such as have attained this _title_, for so it should
be called, every office of any importance in the State is filled.
Through every ramification of the complicated system of government,
recommendations and testimonials play the greatest _rôle_,--the first
necessary step for advancement being the completion of the university
studies--And by public functionaries must not be understood merely those
holding high civil or military grades. Every minister of the Church,
every physician, chemist, pharmaceutist, law-practitioner of any
grade, every professor and teacher, all, in fact, save those devoting
themselves to the merely mechanical arts or to commercial pursuits, and
even these, though with other regulations, receive their appointment or
permission to exercise their profession from the State. It is one huge
clock-work, every wheel working into the next with the utmost precision.
To him who has gone so far, and received the Doctorate, several
privileges are granted. He has claims on the State, claims for a
position that will give him a means of subsistence, if only a scanty
one. With talent and industry and much enduring toil, he may reach the
highest places. He belongs to the aristocracy of learning,--a poor,
penniless aristocracy, it may be, yet one which in Germany yields in
point of pride to none.

We proceed to the Professors. It is within the power of all to attain
the position of Lecturer in a university. The diploma once obtained, the
farewell-dinner, the _comilat_, and general leave-taking over, the man's
career has commenced in earnest. If he turn his attention to education,
he may find employment in some of the many schools of the State. Does he
look more directly to the University, he undergoes, when duly prepared
on the branches to which he wishes to devote himself, the _Examen
Rygorosum_, delivers a trial-lecture in presence of his future
colleagues, and is entitled to lecture in the capacity of a
_Privat-Docent_. As such be receives no remuneration whatever from
Government; his income depends upon what he receives from his hearers,
two to six dollars the term from each. All who aspire to the dignity of
Professor must have passed through this stage; rarely are men called
directly from other ranks of life,--though eminent scholars,
physicians, or jurists have been sometimes raised immediately to an
academical seat. After a few years, five or more, the _Privat-Docent_
who has met with a reasonable degree of success may hope for a
professorship,--though many able men have remained in this inferior
position for long years, some even for life. If their hearers are but
few, they resort to private lessons, to book-making, anything that
will aid them in maintaining their position, always with the hope that
"something must turn up."

The _Privat-Docent_ system, though condemned by some, has been much
extolled by many German writers. It is, say the latter, a warranty for
the freedom of teaching, no slight point In a country where all is
subservient to the political rulers, forming men for the professorship,
and giving them a confidence in their own powers, as they must rely
exclusively for their support on the income they receive from their
hearers. From among their number are chosen those constituting the
regular faculties; and thus there are ever at hand men ready to fill the
highest places upon any vacancy, men not new or inexperienced, but whose
whole life has been one training for the position they may be called to
occupy.

The _Privat-Docent_ may be raised directly to a seat in the faculty, but
more generally he passes through the intermediate stage of _Professor
Extraordinarius_. The Professors Extraordinary receive no, or at most a
very small, income from the State; they are merely titled lecturers,
and nothing more; yet in their ranks, as well as among the more modest
_Privatim-Docentes_, are often found men of the greatest learning, whose
names are known abroad, whose contributions to science are universally
acknowledged, whose lecture-rooms are thronged with students, while the
halls of some of the regular professors may be left empty. No vacancy
may have occurred in their department,--or, as is unfortunately
oftener the case, some political reasons may be the occasion of their
non-advancement.

We come to the regular faculty of the university, the _Professores
Ordinarii_. They enjoy the fullest privileges, are appointed for life,
and receive beside the tuition-fees regular incomes. They may be elected
to the Academic Senate and to the Rectorship, the Rector or Chancellor
not being appointed for life, but changing yearly,--the various
faculties being represented in turn. He is styled _Rector Magnificus_.

The faculties are usually four in number. In several universities,
of late, a fifth has been created,--the _Staatswissenschaftliche_,
Cameralistic; so that in institutions where both Catholic and Protestant
Theology are represented, there are in fact six faculties. The
Philosophical Department stretches over so wide a field, that, were it
separated into its real divisions, as Philosophy proper, Philology,
History, the Mathematical and Natural Sciences, the faculties would
extend far beyond the present number. In France, it is divided into
a _Faculté des Lettres and a Faculté des Sciences._ The present
comprehensive use of the term is but an extension of the Middle-Age
division of the liberal arts into the Trivium,--Grammar, Rhetoric,
Dialectics,--and the Quadrivium,--Arithmetic, Music, Geometry, and
Astronomy,--as expressed in the verse,--

  "Lingus, tropus, ratio, numerus, tenor,
  angulus, astra."

The term _Magister Artium Liberalium,_ so often met with, refers to
these. Those pursuing these studies were denominated _Artisti._ As the
number of studies increased, the name was changed, and the department
now includes all branches not ranged under one of the heads of Theology,
Law, or Medicine; so that every student, whatever his pursuits may be,
if he does not confine himself exclusively to them, will wish to hear
one or more courses of lectures in this faculty.

The Professors Ordinary and Extraordinary, together with the
_Privat-Docents_, form the active force of the German university. In
Tübingen are _Repetenten_, who lecture or comment on classical and
Biblical writers and form classes in the ancient or modern languages.
Those teaching the modern languages exclusively are styled _Lectors_.
The title, _Professor Honorarius_, as of Gervinus in Heidelberg, is
conferred merely as a mark of honor, the bearer lecturing only when he
pleases. To complete this enumeration, it may not be unnecessary to
state, connected with each university are masters for riding, fencing,
swimming, gymnastics, and dancing, regular places appointed for these
exercises, beside access to museums, the university library, scientific
collections, etc.

The number of professors--and under this name we include the three
divisions of lecturers--varies from forty to one hundred and seventy and
upwards, according to the size and importance of the institution. In
Berlin, last winter, there were one hundred and sixty-nine; in Erlangen,
but forty-four; in Munich, one hundred and eleven. The University
of Kiel, with not one hundred and thirty students, numbers fifty
professors. These each deliver at least one course of lectures; most
deliver more,--some as many as four or five. In Prussia, each is
required by law to read one course, at least, gratis (_publice_);
otherwise the lectures are _privatim_, a fee being paid by the
hearer,--say four or five dollars on the average for the term. The
_privatissime_ are private lessons or lectures, the when and where to be
settled with the lecturer himself.

The year is divided into two terms, varying somewhat in different
places. The summer session is the shorter of the two, lasting from near
the middle of April till August, when the long vacation takes place. The
winter semester usually commences in October and lasts till the latter
part of March.

As to the scope and variety of the lectures, it is unlimited, and varies
yearly. In Berlin, during the winter semester of 1859-60, there were
no less than three hundred and forty-six courses in all, besides the
clinics, demonstrative and practical courses, philological exercises,
and the like. These were divided as follows:--

  In Theology   .   .   .   .   .   .   38
  " Law.   .   .   .   .   .   .   .    56
  " Medicine     .   .   .   .   .   .  78
  " Philosophy     .   .   .   .   .   174

In the latter department there were,--

  In Philosophy proper  .   .   .  18
  " Mathematical Sciences  .   .   19
  " Natural          "       .   . 45
  " Political Economy, etc.    .   10
  " History and Geography    .   . 12
  " Aesthetics   .   .    .    .   19
  " Philology  .   .   .    .    . 51

But Berlin is by far the most complete university in Germany, however
much it may be surpassed in many points by others. Lesser institutions
do not exhibit half this number of courses, though there are always
enough to satisfy the student who does not devote himself to a narrow
speciality. Private tuition can always be resorted to.

Beside the lectures, there are also occasionally _Seminaren_, mostly
conducted in Latin, where classical or Biblical authors are explained
and read by the students, or where discussions take place, in presence
of a professor, on philosophical, historical, or philological
subjects,--resembling, however, in nothing our debating-societies.

It is only since the middle of the last century that instruction in
the higher branches has been usually carried on in German. Latin was
formerly in general use; it is now seldom made a medium. There is
occasionally a course delivered in English, Italian, or French,--in
Berlin often in one of the Sclavonic languages. Modern Literature and
Philology are by no means extensively cultivated. Lectures on the
Provençal, the Langue d'Oïl, the Old-German, the Cyrillic, are not
uncommon, though but poorly attended. The study of the modern languages
themselves must be pursued with private teachers. A knowledge of these,
as well as a thorough preparatory training in Latin and Greek, is
presupposed. Modern History, on the contrary, has of late years become
an important branch of study. The "Period of Revolutions" is fully
treated every semester, and always draws crowds of students. The spirit
that animates them is the unity of the Fatherland. Classical studies,
though not holding the same undisputed ascendency as in former times,
are yet very actively pursued, embracing Greek and Roman history and
antiquities, comments on classical authors, lectures, critical and
minute in the extreme, where every line is made the subject of
microscopic investigation, and different readings are weighed and
compared, with often an unlimited amount of abuse of editors who have
differed in opinion from the lecturer. The German philologers are not
remarkable for mildness when speaking of each other; and many a one,
as Haupt in Berlin, will enrich his vocabulary with ever-varying,
new-coined epithets to characterize the ridiculousness, tameness, and
stupidity of emendations proposed, and that, too, when speaking of such
men as Orelli and Kirchner, his own colleagues in the profession. A
laugh raised at the expense of a brother is enough to justify the
severest slash. Comparative Philology, which owes its existence
and progress to the labors of German scholars, and whose first
representative, Bopp, is still living and teaching in Berlin, is more
and more pursued of late. Sanscrit is now taught universally; and
lectures are delivered on the affinities of the Indo-Germanic languages
with each other and with the mother-tongue of all. A perceptible
movement is being felt to introduce this study into the preparatory
departments. Such a change would result in a complete revolution of the
methods formerly employed in elementary classical tuition. The higher
laws of affinity, as applied to the Romanic languages, are also daily
more a matter of investigation. Diez and Delius, in Bonn, are at the
head of this movement. In Philosophy, properly so called, the list
of studies is often very full, comprising lectures on Logic, the
Encyclopedia of Science, Metaphysics, Anthropology and Psychology,
Ethics, the Philosophy of Nature, of Law, of History, of Religion, the
History of Philosophy, general and special, and the Philosophy of Art,
or Aesthetics,--the latter general, or branching into specialities, as
Music, Painting, Sculpture, Ancient and Modern Art. Special points are
also treated,--as the Philosophy of Aristotle, of Kant, of Hegel, etc.
Mathematics and the Natural Sciences are not always cultivated to the
same extent as the above-named branches. They are made the subject of
particular attention, however, in the numerous Polytechnic Schools, the
most celebrated being those of Hanover and Carlsruhe. They have risen in
reputation and attendance of late to such a degree, that in the Grand
Duchy of Baden, for instance, a perceptible diminution is felt in
university attendance, while new appropriations have been made for the
enlargement of the Carlsruhe school.

The Theological Faculty ranks the highest, and comprises a wide range of
study. We quote from Dr. Schaff:--

"In modern times the field has been greatly enlarged by the addition
of Oriental Philology, Biblical Criticism, Hermeneutics, Antiquities,
Church-History and Doctrine-History, Homiletics, Catechetics, Liturgies,
Pastoral Theology, and Theory of Church-Government. No theological
faculty is considered complete now which has not separate teachers
for the exegetical, historical, systematic, and practical branches of
divinity. The German professors, however, are not confined to their
respective departments, as is the case in our American seminaries,
but may deliver lectures on any other branch, as far as it does not
interfere with their immediate duties. Schleiermacher, for instance,
taught, at different times, almost every branch of theology and
philosophy."

The Law Department, to which the celebrated school of Bologna served as
a first model, extends over a far wider field than similar institutions
elsewhere. Starting from the Roman Law, it embraces lectures on the
History of Jurisprudence, the Pandects, Civil, Criminal, and Common Law,
and Natural Rights, besides History and Philosophy, as applied to legal
studies,--branching into specialities for German Law and Practice, local
and general. To Americans, of course, only the first part of these
studies would be at all desirable. Moreover, the advantages are not all
of a practical nature.

The Medical Faculty embraces all the studies pursued in our medical
colleges, more specialities being treated,--the time required being
scarcely ever less than five years for the course, often more.
Examinations are severe. The faculties of Berlin, Munich, and Würzburg
are in especial repute,--Vienna also affording many advantages. In some
of the smaller university towns the means of study are limited for
the advanced student, extensive collections and large hospitals being
wanting. Medical studies are attended with more expense than any other.

The _Cameralistische Facultät_ is devoted to those preparing themselves
for practical statesmanship. It is new, and established only of late
years in a few of the universities. In others, the branches taught
are still comprehended under the philosophical. Munich is in especial
repute. It comprises lectures on Political Economy in all its branches,
Mining, Engineering,--in fact, whatever is necessary to fit one for
service in the State.

Let no one, from the above comprehensive list of studies, form the idea,
that the outward incarnation of the German intellect, in speech or deed,
corresponds to its inner worth and solidity. The name _Dryasdust_
must cling to many a learned professor more firmly than to the most
chronological of the old historians. Germany is not the land of outward
form. To one accustomed to public speaking, the lecturers will often
appear far below the standard of mediocrity in their manner. Though such
men as Lasaulx in Munich, Häusser in Heidelberg, Droyson and Werder
in Berlin deliver their lectures in a style that would grace the
lecture-room of any country, yet the great majority are far, very far,
from any eloquence in their delivery. Timid and bashful often to an
extreme, they ascend their rostrum with a shuffling, ambling gait, the
very opposite of manly grace and bearing, and, prefacing their
discourse with the short address, _"Meine Herren"_ keep on in one long,
never-varying, monotonous strain, from beginning to end,--reading wholly
or in part, often so slowly that the hearer can write down _every_ word,
often only the heads and substance of paragraphs, definitions and the
like,--and that so indistinctly, so carelessly of all but the very words
themselves, that it is not only unpleasant, at first, but even repulsive
to many. This dictating of every word, a relic of the times when
printing was yet unknown, is fast dying away. Many, both students and
professors, are loud against it, yet the tedious method is still pursued
in many places. The introductory remark of a celebrated lecturer is
characteristic. Seeing all his hearers, on the first day of the course,
ready with pen and paper, he began,--"Gentlemen, I will not dictate: if
that were necessary, I should send my maid-servant with my manuscript,
and you yours with pen and paper; my servant would dictate, yours would
write, and we in the mean while could enjoy a pleasant walk." This
is, however, not the only point that will be likely to produce an
unfavorable impression. To see a man whose name you have met in your
reading as the highest authority, whose works you have so often admired,
his style energetic, fiery, and impressive,--to see him ascend his
rostrum with every mark of negligence, uncouth and awkward in his
appearance, with every possible mannerism, talking through his nose,
indistinctly and unsteadily mumbling over his sentences, careless of all
outward form and polish, awakens anything but pleasant feelings, as the
preconceived ideal must give way to the living reality. And yet so it is
with many!

It may have contributed not a little to the reputation of Göttingen and
Heidelberg with foreigners, that a good and clear German is spoken in
both places by the professors. In Tübingen, on the contrary, even in
Munich, to a great extent, the local dialect prevails to such a degree,
that students from Northern Germany, many of whom frequent these cities
in the summer session, find it difficult, nay, almost impossible, to
understand at first, especially the broad Suabian of Tübingen. Here,
however, as the system of dictation prevails, the slowness of utterance
compensates in a measure for its indistinctness and incorrectness.

In some places, where academic freedom, as the students style it, exists
to a high degree, a general scraping of the feet admonishes the lecturer
to repeat his words or be more distinct and clear in his enunciation.
This pedal language, though often disregarded, still does not fail in
the end in producing the desired effect.

With such characteristics, it cannot be a matter of wonder, if some
time be required to be spent in hearing lectures daily before the full
benefit can be fairly appreciated. Many will appear slow in the extreme;
and the constant recourse to notes, and the tedious manner, will create
a feeling of weariness hard to overcome. However, these peculiarities
are soon forgotten in the excellence of the matter, and their
disagreeableness is scarcely noticed after a few weeks, except in
extreme cases. The mannerism fades away, and the hearer learns to follow
from thought to thought under the guidance of an experienced leader,
whose living words he hears, whose thought he feels as it is
communicated directly to him.

Not so much from the actual things heard, the actual facts mastered, is
the lecture-system valuable to the student, as for the method of
study which he derives from it. He is no longer like an automaton, a
school-boy guided by his teacher and text-book, but is spoken to as an
independent thinker. Authorities are quoted, which he may consult at his
leisure. No subject is exhausted,--it is only touched upon. He learns to
teach himself.

Far different is the mental training thus acquired from that gained in
the same amount of time spent in mere reading. Thought is stimulated to
a far greater degree. The lecture-room becomes a laboratory, where the
mind of the hearer, in immediate contact with that of a man mature in
the ways of study, of one whose whole life seems to have prepared him
for the present hour, assimilates to itself more than knowledge. The
lecturer gives what no books can give, his own force to impel his own
words. His mind is ever active while he speaks. The hearer feels its
workings, and his own is stirred into action by the contact. It is
not given to all to enjoy the conversation and intercourse of the
master-minds of the age: in the lecture-room they speak to us
immediately; we feel the current of their life-blood; it pulsates
through all they say.

That seeming exceptions may occur, as in the case of professors who year
after year deliver the same written course, can have no weight against
the system. The tone and gesture, the very look, must animate the
whole;--and these very written lectures, read and delivered so often,
are no dead stalk, but a living stem, which puts forth new leaves and
blossoms every spring.

Nor is the hearer himself without his corresponding influence. His
attention and eager desire for knowledge stimulate new thought in the
speaker day by day, hour by hour; and many a German scholar must have
felt with Friedrich August Wolf, when he says,--"I am one who has been
long accustomed to the gentle charm which lies in the momentaneous
unfolding of thought in the presence of attentive hearers, to that
living reaction softly felt by the teacher, whereby a perennial mental
harmony is awakened in his soul, which far surpasses the labors in the
study, before blank walls and the feelingless paper."


THE STUDIES.


The first entrance into a German auditorium or _Hörsaal_, as the
lecture-rooms in the universities are called, will show much that is
characteristic. But little care is bestowed on the decoration of the
apartment. Whatever aesthetic culture the nation may have, it finds
little manifestation in the things of daily life, and elegance seems
little less than banished from the precincts of the learned world. The
academic halls present to the view nothing but dingy walls, rough floors
coated with the dust and mud of days or weeks, and, winter and summer,
the huge porcelain stove in one corner,--that immovable article of
cheerless German furniture, where wood is put in by the pound, and no
bright glow ever discloses the presence of that warmest friend of man,
a good fire. For the students there are coarse, long wooden desks and
benches, with places all numbered, cut up and disfigured to an extent
which will soon convince one that whittling is not a trait of American
destructiveness exclusively. Here are carved names and intertwined
lettering, arabesque masterpieces of penknife-ingenuity, with a general
preponderance of feminine appellatives, bold incisures, at times, of
some worthy professor in profile,--the whole besmutched with ink, and
dotted with countless punctures, the result of the sharp spike with
which every student's ink-horn is armed, that he may steady it upon the
slanting board. The preceding lecture ended when the university-clock
struck the hour; the next should begin within ten or fifteen minutes.
One by one the students drop in and take their places,--high and low,
rich and poor, all on the same straight-backed pine benches. The days
fire over, even in title-loving Germany, though not long since, when
the young counts and barons sat foremost, on a privileged, raised, and
cushioned seat, and were addressed by their title.

As the hearers thus assemble, they present a motley appearance,--being,
in the larger cities especially, from all lands, all ranks of society,
and of every age. Side by side with the young freshman in his first
semester, the _Fat Fox_, as he is called, who has just made a leap from
the strict discipline of the gymnasium to the unbounded freedom of the
university, will be a gray-haired man, to whom the academic title of
_Juvenis Studiosus_ will no longer apply. Here sits, with his gaudy
watch-guard, the colors of his corps, one of those students by
profession who have been inscribed year after year so long that they
have acquired the name of _Bemossed Heads_. Were his scientific
attainments measured by his capacities for beer-drinking and
sword-slashing, he would long ago have been dubbed a Doctor in all the
faculties. He hears a lecture now and then for form's sake, though it is
rather an unusual thing for him. By his side, but retiring and earnest,
may be one of the younger professors, who the hour before stood as a
teacher, and now sits among some of his former hearers to profit by the
experience of his older professional brother. Where the court resides
and many officers are garrisoned, the hall presents a spangled
appearance of bright epaulettes and glittering uniforms. It is no
unusual thing for young men during their years of service to attend the
courses regularly. The uncomfortable sword is laid on the knee, where it
may not dangle and clink with every motion of the wearer,--no easy
task in the very narrow space left between desk and desk. In the last
century, it was a universal custom for all students to wear the sword;
but this academic privilege, as it was considered, leading to numerous
abuses, laws were enacted against it, as well as other eccentricities in
dress.

The regular students are provided with portfolios, or rather, soft
leathern pouches, which they can fold and pocket, containing the _heft_
or quire of paper on which the lecture is transcribed by them wholly or
in part. These _hefts_ are often the object of much care and labor. Each
plants his ink-horn firmly in front of him. As the time approaches,
and all are in readiness with pen in hand, there is a universal buzz
throughout the room. Though, when the auditory is large, many nations
are represented, as well as the various provinces of the Confederation,
still the language heard is predominantly that of the country. Though
Poles and Greeks, English and Russians, may be in abundance, still they
rarely congregate in nationalities,--save the Poles, who speak their own
language at all times and places, and cling the more fondly to their own
idiom since they have been robbed of everything else. After some fifteen
minutes of expectation the professor enters. All is still in an instant.
He advances with hasty strides and bent-down head to his rostrum, an
elevated platform, on which stands a plain, high, pine desk. He unfolds
his notes, looks over the rim of his spectacles at the attentive
hearers, who sit ready to write down the words of wisdom he is about to
utter, and begins with the short address, "_Meine Herren._" There is
then an uninterrupted gliding of pens for three-quarters of an hour,
until, above the monotony, rarely the eloquence, of the speaker, the
great clock in the centre of the building gives the significant sound of
relief to busy fingers and rest to ear and brain unaccustomed to such
slow, entangled, lisping, laborious, in rare instances manly delivery.
The lecture is at an end, and each prepares to enter another auditorium,
or wends his way home, to study out the notes taken, consult the
authorities quoted, complete or even copy his work anew. In the study of
these _hefts_ consists the main preparation for future examinations, as
text-books are rarely used, save in Austria, and the examiners are the
professors themselves, who will not ask the candidate much beyond what
they have embraced in their own lesson.

With a remarkable degree of skill, the practised German student can take
down, even when the delivery is by no means slow, the pith and essence
of a whole lecture. Yet there is much abuse in this; and it has called
forth, ever since the invention of printing has made the multiplication
of books by transcription unnecessary, much just, though at times unjust
criticism. A German writer has said, that the man of genius takes his
notes on a slip of paper, he of good abilities on a half-page, while the
dunce must fill a whole sheet. Now the reverse would be quite as true
in many cases. For though thoughtless writing may be little more than
wasted labor, yet there is nothing that can fix more steadily thoughts
and facts in the mind than the precision and constant attention required
in following a lecture with the pen, especially when the words of the
professor are not taken down with slavish exactitude, but when, as is
most generally the case, merely the thoughts are noted in the hearer's
own language. The ideas thus gained have been assimilated and become the
listener's own property. There is thus generated a steady transfusion,
the surest remedy against flagging mental activity. Many a foreigner
writes down the lecture in his own tongue, and values highly this
training of constant translation, though, before many months, the mere
transposition from one language into the other must become purely
mechanical. It is amusing to see the puzzled expression of countenance
of some Swiss student who takes his notes in French, when one of those
long German compounds, involving some bold figure of speech, is uttered.
What circumlocutions must he not use, if he wish to give the full force
of the idea!

A real abuse, however, is the perpetual dictation-system still used by
some. For these, the three worthies in profile on the title-page of old
Elzevir editions are as if they had never existed; they teach as they
have been taught, perpetuating the methods in use in the days of
Abelard, when books were dearer than time. All that has been said and
written against the custom will do less towards abolishing it than the
recent introduction of lessons in phonography, or stenography rather,
which is now taught in several universities. The question is agitated
of introducing this study into the preparatory schools. The system is
different from the English or American, being based on the etymological
nature of the language. It is fast coming into use, though as yet not
general. The old slow delivery seems little better than spelling
to those that have mastered it. The students have usually special
abbreviations of their own, and so find no difficulty in taking down all
the important points, even when the utterance is rapid.

Not all, by any means, go through this labor of transcription. Many of
the wealthier and high-titled attend but irregularly, and when they do,
are impatient listeners. In Berlin may be seen many a youth who, from
the exquisite fit and finish of his dress, if he be not an American just
from Paris, must at least be a German count The young _Graf_ plays
with his lips on the ivory head of his bamboo, as he holds it with his
kid-gloved hand, sitting carefully the while, lest the elbow of his
French coat should be soiled by contact with a desk ignorant of duster
for many a month. He is condemned, however, to hear, day by day, over
and over, many a truth that will scarcely flatter his noble ears. The
_heft_ and the toil of writing down a lecture are unknown to him. He
pays a reasonable sum to some poor scholar who sits behind and copies
it all afterwards, while he takes his afternoon-ride towards
Charlottenburg, or saunters along Unter-den-Linden, ogling the pretty
English girls, and spying every chance of saluting, whenever a royal
equipage, preceded by a monkey-looking lackey, rolls by. These are, of
course, exceptions, rarer in the present than formerly. In Padua, in the
sixteenth century, it became notorious that the richer students never
attended in person, but always sent one of their servants who wrote a
good hand. Laws were enacted to prevent the evil, yet long after this
there were still many promotions of these paper-doctors.

Many, in taking their notes, abandon the German script as too illegible,
and make use of the Latin letters. A word or two on this subject, as
connected with general education. The German script, which any one may
learn in a few hours, is a constant source of vexation to a foreigner.
To write, and write fast, too, is easy enough; but then to read one's
own handwriting, not to mention the crumpled notices of the professors
tacked on the blackboard in the _Aula_, is almost impossible without
much practice. Why the Germans should have kept their Gothic lettering
and peculiar script, when all other European nations, save the Russian,
have adopted the Roman, it is difficult to say, unless it be with them
a matter of national pride. And they have been unnational in so many
things! That the Russians should have their own alphabet is natural
enough; they have sounds and letters and combinations--which neither the
Germanic nor the Romanic group of languages possess. And yet both in
Polish and Zechish, where the same sounds exist to a great extent, the
deficiencies are made up by accented and dotted letters. So, though
we have a universal standard of spelling for names and places on the
Continent, we find in our most popular histories and geographies a
divergence in the lesser known Russian names, not far removed from that
we daily meet in the nomenclature of the gods of Hindoo mythology.

The like plea of necessity cannot be urged in regard to the Teutonic or
Scandinavian languages. Within the last quarter of a century, the chief
scientific works issued in Northern Germany, and many even in Southern,
have been printed in the Roman character. Were there no other argument
in favor of its universal adoption, it has been found less trying to the
eyes. It can be read by all nations; and the other is at best but an
additional difficulty for the learner, even in the case of native
children, who are plagued with two alphabets and two diametrically
opposite systems of penmanship in their earliest years. The result is
evident: a good hand is a rare thing In Germany. It is a good sign, that
of late years public acts and records, works of learning, all the higher
literature, in fact, not purely national, as poetry and romance, are all
printed in the Roman character. Nor will any look upon this as a servile
imitation. Some of the most national of German writers and scholars, as
the brothers Grimm, have pronounced themselves loudly in favor of the
change. The tendency of the age is towards universality. It will occur
to none to talk of French imitation because chemists make use of the
excellent and universally applicable system of the decimal French
weights and measures.

What has been said above is not altogether irrelevant as characterizing
the tendency of the higher institutions of learning. Every movement in
Germany, even the least, since the Reformation, whose chief
propagators were professors in the universities,--Luther, Reuchlin,
Melancthon,--every permanent and pervading conquest of the new and good
over the old and worn-out, has issued from the lecture-room. Whatever
sticklers for old forms and crab-like progress may be found, there is
always an overbalancing power. The unity of Germany as one nation has
never stood a better chance of being realized than now, when the very
men who were students and flocked as volunteers when the iron hand of
Napoleon I. weighed heavily on their Fatherland stand as lecturers in
the days of Napoleon III., warning of the past, and preaching louder
than Schiller or Körner or Arndt for the brotherhood of Prussian and
Bavarian, of those that dwell on the Rhine and those that inhabit the
regions of the Danube.

Thanks, not to her statesmen, not to her nobility, not to her princes
even, that Germany has at last fairly shaken off the self-imposed yoke
of servile French imitation, but thanks to her scholars who centre in
her twenty-six universities! There was a time, and that not a century
ago, when the German language was considered to be of too limited
circulation for works of general scientific interest. Lectures were
all delivered in Latin, until Thomasius broke open a new path, and now
lessons otherwise than in the vernacular tongue are exceptions. French
was long the universal medium. Even Humboldt wrote most of his works
in that language; and it is not two years since one of the most
distinguished Egyptian scholars of Prussia published his History of
Egypt in French. The last representatives of this tendency are dying
off. The days are over, when every petty German prince must create in
his domains a servile imitation of the stiff parks of Versailles,--the
days of powdered wigs and long cues,--when French ballet-dancers gave
the tone, and French actors strutted on every stage,--when Boileau was
the great canon of criticism, and Racine and Molière perpetuated in
tragedy and comedy a pseudo-classicism. They are far, those times when
Frederick the Great wrote French at which Voltaire laughed, and could
find no better occupation for his leisure hours at Sans-Souci than the
discussion of the materialistic philosophy of the Encyclopedists, while
he affected to despise his own tongue, rejecting every effort towards
the popularization of a national literature. Well is it for Germany that
other ideas now prevail,--well, that Goethe in his old age overcame the
Gallomania, which for a while possessed him, of translating all his
works, and thenceforth writing only in French. The iron hand of Goetz of
Berlichingen would burst the seams of a Paris kid-glove. The bold lyric
and dramatic poesy of a language whose figures well up in each word
with primitive freshness can ill be contained in an idiom _blasé_ by
conventionality and frozen into crystal rigidity by the academy of the
illustrious forty,--in an idiom in which an unfortunate pun or allusion
can destroy the effect of a whole piece. We need but call to mind that
Shakspeare's "Othello" was laughed off the stage of the Odéon, owing to
the ridiculous ideas the word "napkin" or "handkerchief" called up in
the auditory.

Nor is the influence of the university in Germany exerted in matters
of great national interest only. It pervades the social, literary,
and political organization of the people. The least part of what
characterizes an individual nation ever comes into its books. Here it
finds its way from mouth to mouth to the remotest corners of the land.
When Luther, the Professor of Wittenberg, spoke against indulgences, it
was more than priest or monk that was heard. The voice of the monk would
not have echoed beyond his cell, and the influence of the priest would
have been arrested and checked before it could have been exerted beyond
the limits of his parish or town. But the Professor Luther addressed
himself to a more influential audience. His words were carried before
many years into every part of the Empire.

Setting aside the Austrian universities, which are no longer what they
were formerly, the teaching in these higher schools, whatever the State
restrictions may be, is eminently free,--freer than in France,--freer
than in England,--in many respects even, however it may sound, freer
than in the United States. As a result, the land is a hot-bed of the
boldest philosophical systems and the wildest theological aberrations.
There is no branch of speculation that does not find its representative.
In law, in medicine, in philology, in history, the old methods of study
and research have been revolutionized. But the State stands before the
innovators, firm and conservative in its practice. And in the end it has
been found, that, whatever wild theories may spring up in theology and
in philosophy, the corrective is nigh at hand, and truth will make its
way when the field is open to all.

It must be remembered that the German university is no preparatory
school; those who enter it have gone through studies and a mental
training that have made them capable of judging for themselves. They
hear whom they please. Their chief study, whatever they acquire in the
lecture-room, is done when alone. They attend on an average for three
or four hours a day, spending as much time in the libraries, from which
they have the privilege of taking out books. As a completion to their
lectures, the professors generally have _Seminaren_ once or twice a
week, or _Exercitationes_ in history, philology, etc., in which the
Socratic method of teaching in dialogue is made use of. Museums and
scientific collections are richly provided in the larger institutions.
In some of these lectures are held: thus, Lepsius explains Egyptian
archaeology in the Egyptian halls in Berlin. The libraries provided by
the State, and to which all have access, are often considerable: thus,
Göttingen has 350,000 volumes; Berlin, 600,000; Munich, 800,000.

As for the expenses of study, they are inconsiderable; thirty or
thirty-five dollars the term will cover them, as there are generally
several courses public. The students often attend for months as guests,
_hospitanten_. As they say,--"The _Fox_ pays for more than he hears, and
the _Bursch_ hears more than he pays for." The lecturers take no notice
of those present; and, provided the matriculation-papers have been taken
out, the beadle has nothing to say. There is the fullest liberty of
wandering from room to room, and hearing, if only once or twice, any one
of the professors. As for the expenses of living, they vary. To one who
would be satisfied with German student-fare and comforts, four hundred
dollars a year will answer every purpose, even in the dearest cities:
many do with much less. In Southern Germany, life is simpler and cheaper
than in Northern, and the saying is true in Munich, that a _Gulden_
there will go as far as a _Thaler_ in Prussia. There are poorer
students, who are exempted from college-fees, and support themselves by
_Stipendia,_ whose outlay never exceeds a hundred dollars a year.

When several hundred or thousand young men are thus thrown together,
with their time all their own, and none to whom they are responsible
for their actions, it may easily be supposed that many abuses and
irregularities will occur. Yet the great mass are better than they have
been represented; though regular attendance upon lectures is true
only of those who _ox_ it at home, as the phrase goes, and who by the
rioting, beer-drinking _Burschen_ are styled _Philistines_ or _Camels_.
These same quiet individuals, whom the Samsons affect to despise, will
be found to be by far in preponderance, when the statistics of _Corps,
Landmannschaften_, and all such clubs, are looked into; though the
characteristic of the latter, always to be seen at public places of
amusement with their colored caps, gaudy watch-guards, or cannon-boots,
would lead one to suppose that German student-life was one round of
beer-drinking, sword-slashing, and jolly existence, as represented, or
rather, misrepresented, by William Howitt, in the halo of poetry he
throws around it. No,--the fantastically dressed fellows whom the
tourist may notice at Jena, and the groups of starers who stop every
narrow passageway in front of the confectionery-shops of Heidelberg, or
amuse themselves of summer-afternoons with their trained dogs, diverting
the attention of the temporary guest of "Prince Carl" from the
contemplation of the old ruined castle of the Counts-Palatine,--these
are but a fraction of the German students. From, among them may be
chosen those tight-laced officers who make the court-residences of
Europe look like camps; or, as they are often the sons of noblemen or
rich parents, they may reach some of the sinecures in the State. They
make their student-years but a pretext for a life of rough debauchery,
from which they issue with a bought diploma; and, in many cases,
satiated and disgusted with their own lives, they dwindle down into
the timeserving reactionaries, the worst enemies of free development,
because they themselves have abused in youth the little liberty they
enjoyed.

If the numbers be counted of those who lead the life so much extolled
by William Howitt,--who, by the way, has left out some of its roughest
traits,--they will be found, even where most numerous, as in the smaller
towns, never to exceed one-fourth of those inscribed as students.
The linguists and philosophers of Germany, her historians and men of
letters, her professors and _savans_, have come from the ranks of that
stiller and more numerous class whom the stranger will never notice:
for their triennium is spent mostly in the lecture-room or at home; and
their conviviality--for there are neither disciples nor apostles of
temperance in this beer-drinking land--is of a nature not to divert them
from their earnest pursuits.

Truth and earnestness are the distinguishing traits of the German
character; and these qualities show no less strongly in the youth who
frequent the universities than in the professors themselves. The latter,
conscientious to a nicety in exposing the fullest fruits of their
laborious researches, are ever faithful to the trust reposed in them.
Placed by the State in a position beyond ordinary ambition and above
pecuniary cares, they can devote themselves exclusively to their
calling, concentrating their powers in one channel,--to raise, to
ennoble, to educate. It contributes not a little to their success, that
their hearers are permeated, whatever wild and unbridled freaks they may
fall into at times, with the fullest sense of honor and manly worth,
with an ardent love for knowledge and science for their own sake, not
for future utility. Their sympathies are awake for the good everywhere,
their minds receptive of the highest teachings. Their loves and likes
are great and strong,--as it behooves, when the first bubblings of
mental and physical activity are manifested in action. They abandon
themselves, body and soul, to the occupation of the moment, be it study,
be it pleasure. Their gatherings and feasts and excursions are ennobled
by vocal music from the rich store of healthy, vigorous German song,--
from which they learn, in the words of one of their most popular
melodies, to honor "woman's love, man's strength, the free word, the
bold deed, and the FATHERLAND!"

       *       *       *       *       *


THE PROFESSOR'S STORY.


CHAPTER XXVIII.

THE SECRET IS WHISPERED.


The Reverend Chauncy Fairweather's congregation was not large, but
select. The lines of social cleavage run through religious creeds as
if they were of a piece with position and fortune. It is expected of
persons of a certain breeding, in some parts of New England, that they
shall be either Episcopalians or Unitarians. The mansion-house gentry of
Rockland were pretty fairly divided between the little chapel with the
stained window and the trained rector, and the meeting-house where the
Reverend Mr. Fairweather officiated.

It was in the latter that Dudley Venner worshipped, when he attended
service anywhere,--which depended very much on the caprice of Elsie. He
saw plainly enough that a generous and liberally cultivated nature might
find a refuge and congenial souls in either of these two persuasions,
but he objected to some points of the formal creed of the older church,
and especially to the mechanism which renders it hard to get free
from its outworn and offensive formulae,--remembering how Archbishop
Tillotson wished in vain that it could be "well rid of" the Athanasian
Creed. This, and the fact that the meeting-house was nearer than the
chapel, determined him, when the new, rector, who was not quite up to
his mark in education, was appointed, to take a pew in the "liberal"
worshippers' edifice.

Elsie was very uncertain in her feeling about going to church. In
summer, she loved rather to stroll over The Mountain on Sundays. There
was even a story, that she had one of the caves before mentioned fitted
up as an oratory, and that she had her own wild way of worshipping the
God whom she sought in the dark chasms of the dreaded cliffs. Mere
fables, doubtless; but they showed the common belief, that Elsie, with
all her strange and dangerous elements of character, had yet strong
religions feeling mingled with them. The hymn-book which Dick had found,
in his midnight invasion of her chamber, opened to favorite hymns,
especially some of the Methodist and Quietist character. Many had
noticed, that certain tunes, as sung by the choir, seemed to impress her
deeply; and some said, that at such times her whole expression would
change, and her stormy look would soften so as to remind them of her
poor, sweet mother.

On the Sunday morning after the talk recorded in the last chapter, Elsie
made herself ready to go to meeting. She was dressed much as usual,
excepting that she wore a thick veil, turned aside, but ready to conceal
her features. It was natural enough that she should not wish to be
looked in the face by curious persons who would be staring to see what
effect the occurrence of the past week had had on her spirits. Her
father attended her willingly; and they took their seats in the pew,
somewhat to the surprise of many, who had hardly expected to see them,
after so humiliating a family development as the attempted crime of
their kinsman had just been furnishing for the astonishment of the
public.

The Reverend Mr. Fairweather was now in his coldest mood. He had passed
through the period of feverish excitement which marks a change of
religious opinion. At first, when he had begun to doubt his own
theological positions, he had defended them against himself with more
ingenuity and interest, perhaps, than he could have done against
another; because men rarely take the trouble to understand anybody's
difficulties in a question but their own. After this, as he began
to draw off from different points of his old belief, the cautious
disentangling of himself from one mesh after another gave sharpness to
his intellect, and the tremulous eagerness with which he seized upon the
doctrine which, piece by piece, under various pretexts and with various
disguises, he was appropriating, gave interest and something like
passion to his words. But when he had gradually accustomed his people
to his new phraseology, and was really adjusting his sermons and his
service to disguise his thoughts, he lost at once all his intellectual
acuteness and all his spiritual fervor.

Elsie sat quietly through the first part of the service, which was
conducted in the cold, mechanical way to be expected. Her face was
bidden by her veil; but her father knew her state of feeling, as well by
her movements and attitudes as by the expression of her features. The
hymn had been sung, the short prayer offered, the Bible read, and the
long prayer was about to begin. This was the time at which the "notes"
of any who were in affliction from loss of friends, the sick who
were doubtful of recovery, those who had cause to be grateful for
preservation of life or other signal blessing, were wont to be read.

Just then it was that Dudley Venner noticed that his daughter was
trembling,--a thing so rare, so unaccountable, indeed, under the
circumstances, that he watched her closely, and began to fear that some
nervous paroxysm, or other malady, might have just begun to show itself
in this way upon her.

The minister had in his pocket two notes. One, in the handwriting of
Deacon Soper, was from a member of this congregation, returning thanks
for his preservation through a season of great peril,--supposed to
be the exposure which he had shared with others, when standing in the
circle around Dick Venner. The other was the anonymous one, in a female
hand, which he had received the evening before. He forgot them both. His
thoughts were altogether too much taken up with more important matters.
He prayed through all the frozen petitions of his expurgated form of
supplication, and not a single heart was soothed or lifted, or reminded
that its sorrows were struggling their way up to heaven, borne on the
breath from a human soul that was warm with love.

The people sat down as if relieved when the dreary prayer was finished.
Elsie alone remained standing until her father touched her. Then she sat
down, lifted her veil, and looked at him with a blank, sad look, as if
she had suffered some pain or wrong, but could not give any name or
expression to her vague trouble. She did not tremble any longer, but
remained ominously still, as if she had been frozen where she sat.

--Can a man love his own soul too well? Who, on the whole, constitute
the nobler class of human beings? those who have lived mainly to make
sure of their own personal welfare in another and future condition of
existence, or they who have worked with all their might for their race,
for their country, for the advancement of the kingdom of God, and left
all personal arrangements concerning themselves to the sole charge of
Him who made them and is responsible to Himself for their safe-keeping?
Is an anchorite, who has worn the stone floor of his cell into basins
with his knees bent in prayer, more acceptable than the soldier who
gives his life for the maintenance of any sacred right or truth, without
thinking what will specially become of him in a world where there are
two or three million colonists a month, from this one planet, to be
cared for? These are grave questions, which must suggest themselves to
those who know that there are many profoundly selfish persons who are
sincerely devout and perpetually occupied with their own future, while
there are others who are perfectly ready to sacrifice themselves for any
worthy object in this world, but are really too little occupied with
their exclusive personality to think so much as many do about what is to
become of them in another.

The Reverend Chauncy Fairweather did not, most certainly, belong to this
latter class. There are several kinds of believers, whose history we
find among the early converts to Christianity.

There was the magistrate, whose social position was such that he
preferred private interview in the evening with the Teacher to following
him with the street-crowd. He had seen extraordinary facts which had
satisfied him that the young Galilean had a divine commission. But still
he cross-questioned the Teacher himself. He was not ready to accept
statements without explanation. That was the right kind of man. See how
he stood up for the legal rights of his Master, when the people were for
laying hands on him!

And again, there was the government official, intrusted with public
money, which, in those days, implied that he was supposed to be honest.
A single look of that heavenly countenance, and two words of gentle
command, were enough for him. Neither of these men, the early disciple
nor the evangelist, seems to have been thinking primarily about his own
personal safety.

But now look at the poor, miserable turnkey, whose occupation shows
what he was like to be, and who had just been thrusting two respectable
strangers, taken from the hands of a mob, covered with stripes and
stripped of clothing, into the inner prison, and making their feet fast
in the stocks. His thought, in the moment of terror, is for himself:
first, suicide; then, what he shall do,--not to save his household,--not
to fulfil his duty to his office,--not to repair the outrage he has been
committing,--but to secure his own personal safety. Truly, character
shows itself as much in a man's way of becoming a Christian as in any
other!

----Elsie sat, statue-like, through the sermon. It would not be fair to
the reader to give an abstract of that. When a man who has been bred to
free thought and free speech suddenly finds himself stepping about, like
a dancer amidst his eggs, among the old addled majority-votes which he
must not tread upon, he is a spectacle for men and angels. Submission to
intellectual precedent and authority does very well for those who have
been bred to it; we know that the under-ground courses of their minds
are laid in the Roman cement of tradition, and that stately and splendid
structures may be reared on such a foundation. But to see one laying a
platform over heretical quicksands, thirty or forty or fifty years deep,
and then beginning to build upon it, is a sorry sight. A new convert
from the reformed to the ancient faith may be very strong in the arms,
but he will always have weak legs and shaky knees. He may use his hands
well, and hit hard with his fists, but he will never stand on his legs
in the way the man does who inherits his belief.

The services were over at last, and Dudley Venner and his daughter
walked home together in silence. He always respected her moods, and saw
clearly enough that some inward trouble was weighing upon her. There
was nothing to be said in such cases, for Elsie could never talk of her
griefs. An hour, or a day, or a week of brooding, with perhaps a sudden
flash of violence: this was the way in which the impressions which make
other women weep, and tell their griefs by word or letter, showed their
effects in her mind and acts.

She wandered off up into the remoter parts of The Mountain, that day,
after their return. No one saw just where she went,--indeed, no one
knew its forest-recesses and rocky fastnesses as she did. She was gone
until late at night; and when Old Sophy, who had watched for her, bound
up her long hair for her sleep, it was damp with the cold dews.

The old black woman looked at her without speaking, but questioning her
with every feature as to the sorrow that was weighing on her.

Suddenly she turned to Old Sophy.

"You want to know what there is troubling me," she said. "Nobody loves
me. I cannot love anybody. What is love, Sophy?"

"It's what poor ol' Sophy's got for her Elsie," the old woman answered.
"Tell me, darlin',--don' you love somebody?--don' you love----? you
know,--oh, tell me, darlin', don' you love to see the gen'l'man
that keeps up at the school where you go? They say he's the pootiest
gen'l'man that was ever in the town here. Don' be 'fraid of poor Ol'
Sophy, darlin',--she loved a man once,--see here! Oh, I've showed you
this often enough!"

She took from her pocket a half of one of the old Spanish silver coins,
such as were current in the earlier part of this century. The other half
of it had been lying in the deep sea-sand for more than fifty years.

Elsie looked her in the face, but did not answer in words. What strange
intelligence was that which passed between them through the diamond
eyes and the little beady black ones?--what subtile intercommunication,
penetrating so much deeper than articulate speech? This was the nearest
approach to sympathetic relations that Elsie ever had: a kind of dumb
intercourse of feeling, such as one sees in the eyes of brute mothers
looking on their young. But, subtile as it was, it was narrow and
individual; whereas an emotion which can shape itself in language opens
the gate for itself into the great community of human affections; for
every word we speak is the medal of a dead thought or feeling, struck in
the die of some human experience, worn smooth by innumerable contacts,
and always transferred warm from one to another. By words we share the
common consciousness of the race, which has shaped itself in these
symbols. By music we reach those special states of consciousness
which, being without _form_, cannot be shaped with the mosaics of the
vocabulary. The language of the eyes runs deeper into the personal
nature, but it is purely individual, and perishes in the expression. If
we consider them all as growing out of the consciousness as their root,
language is the leaf, music is the flower; but when the eyes meet and
search each other, it is the uncovering of the blanched stem through
which the whole life runs, but which has never taken color or form from
the sunlight.

For three days Elsie did not return to the school. Much of the time she
was among the woods and rocks. The season was now beginning to wane, and
the forest to put on its autumnal glory. The dreamy haze was beginning
to soften the landscape, and the most delicious days of the year were
lending their attraction to the scenery of The Mountain. It was not very
singular that Elsie should be lingering in her old haunts, from which
the change of season must soon drive her. But Old Sophy saw clearly
enough that some internal conflict was going on, and knew very well that
it must have its own way and work itself out as it best could. As much
as looks could tell Elsie had told her. She had said in words, to be
sure, that she could not love. Something warped and thwarted the emotion
which would have been love in another, no doubt; but that such an
emotion was striving with her against all malign influences which
interfered with it the old woman had a perfect certainty in her own
mind.

Everybody who has observed the working of emotions in persons of various
temperaments knows well enough that they have periods of _incubation_,
which differ with the individual, and with the particular cause and
degree of excitement, yet evidently go through a strictly self-limited
series of evolutions, at the end of which, their result--an act of
violence, a paroxysm of tears, a gradual subsidence into repose, or
whatever it may be--declares itself, like the last stage of an attack of
fever and ague. No one can observe children without noticing that there
is a _personal equation_, to use the astronomer's language, in their
tempers, so that one sulks an hour over an offence which makes another a
fury for five minutes, and leaves him or her an angel when it is over.

At the end of three days, Elsie braided her long, glossy, black hair,
and shot a golden arrow through it. She dressed herself with more than
usual care, and came down in the morning superb in her stormy beauty.
The brooding paroxysm was over, or at least her passion had changed its
phase. Her father saw it with great relief; he had always many fears for
her in her hours and days of gloom, but, for reasons before assigned,
had felt that she must be trusted to herself, without appealing to
actual restraint, or any other supervision than such as Old Sophy could
exercise without offence.

She went off at the accustomed hour to the school. All the girls had
their eyes on her. None so keen as these young misses to know an inward
movement by an outward sign of adornment: if they have not as many
signals as the ships that sail the great seas, there is not an end of
ribbon or a turn of a ringlet which is not a hieroglyphic with a hidden
meaning to these little cruisers over the ocean of sentiment.

The girls all looked at Elsie with a new thought; for she was more
sumptuously arrayed than perhaps ever before at the school; and they
said to themselves that she had come meaning to draw the young master's
eyes upon her. That was it; what else could it be? The beautiful, cold
girl with the diamond eyes meant to dazzle the handsome young gentleman.
He would be afraid to love her; it couldn't be true, that which some
people had said in the village; she wasn't the kind of young lady to
make Mr. Langdon happy. Those dark people are never safe: so one of the
young blondes said to herself. Elsie was not literary enough for such
a scholar: so thought Miss Charlotte Ann Wood, the young poetess. She
couldn't have a good temper, with those scowling eyebrows: this was the
opinion of several broad-faced, smiling girls, who thought, each in her
own snug little mental _sanctum_, that, if, etc., etc. she could make
him _so_ happy!

Elsie had none of the still, wicked light in her eyes, that morning.
She looked gentle, but dreamy; played with her books; did not trouble
herself with any of the exercises,--which in itself was not very
remarkable, as she was always allowed, under some pretext or other, to
have her own way.

The school-hours were over at length. The girls went out, but she
lingered to the last. She then came up to Mr. Bernard, with a book in
her hand, as if to ask a question.

"Will you walk towards my home with me to-day?" she said, in a very low
voice, little more than a whisper.

Mr. Bernard was startled by the request, put in such a way. He had a
presentiment of some painful scene or other. But there was nothing to be
done but to assure her that it would give him great pleasure.

So they walked along together on their way toward the Dudley mansion.

"I have no friend," Elsie said, all at once. "Nothing loves me but one
old woman. I cannot love anybody. They tell me there is something in my
eyes that draws people to me and makes them faint. Look into them, will
you?"

She turned her face toward him. It was very pale, and the diamond eyes
were glittering with a film, such as beneath other lids would have
rounded into a tear.

"Beautiful eyes, Elsie," he said,--"sometimes very piercing,--but soft
now, and looking as if there were something beneath them that friendship
might draw out. I am your friend, Elsie. Tell me what I can do to render
your life happier."

"_Love me!_" said Elsie Venner.

What shall a man do, when a woman makes such a demand, involving such
an avowal? It was the tenderest, cruellest, humblest moment of Mr.
Bernard's life. He turned pale, he trembled almost, as if he had been a
woman listening to her lover's declaration.

"Elsie," he said, presently, "I so long to be of some use to you, to
have your confidence and sympathy, that I must not let you say or do
anything to put us in false relations. I do love you, Elsie, as a
suffering sister with sorrows of her own,--as one whom I would save at
the risk of my happiness and life,--as one who needs a true friend more
than any of all the young girls I have known. More than this you would
not ask me to say. You have been through excitement and trouble lately,
and it has made you feel such a need more than ever. Give me your hand,
dear Elsie, and trust me that I will be as true a friend to you as if we
were children of the same mother."

Elsie gave him her hand mechanically. It seemed to him that a cold
_aura_ shot from it along his arm and chilled the blood running through
his heart. He pressed it gently, looked at her with a face full of grave
kindness and sad interest, then softly relinquished it.

It was all over with poor Elsie. They walked almost in silence the rest
of the way. Mr. Bernard left her at the gate of the mansion-house, and
returned with sad forebodings. Elsie went at once to her own room, and
did not come from it at the usual hours. At last Old Sophy began to
be alarmed about her, went to her apartment, and, finding the door
unlocked, entered cautiously. She found Elsie lying on her bed, her
brows strongly contracted, her eyes dull, her whole look that of great
suffering. Her first thought was that she had been doing herself a harm
by some deadly means or other. But Elsie saw her fear, and reassured
her.

"No," she said, "there is nothing wrong, such as you are thinking of; I
am not dying. You may send for the Doctor; perhaps he can take the pain
from my head. That is all I want him to do. There is no use in the pain,
that I know of; if he can stop it, let him."

So they sent for the old Doctor. It was not long before the solid trot
of Caustic, the old bay horse, and the crashing of the gravel under the
wheels, gave notice that the physician was driving up the avenue.

The old Doctor was a model for visiting practitioners. He always
came into the sick-room with a quiet, cheerful look, as if he had a
consciousness that he was bringing some sure relief with him. The way a
patient snatches his first look at his doctor's face, to see whether
he is doomed, whether he is reprieved, whether he is unconditionally
pardoned, has really something terrible about it. It is only to be
met by an imperturbable mask of serenity, proof against anything and
everything in a patient's aspect. The physician whose face reflects his
patient's condition like a mirror may do well enough to examine people
for a life-insurance office, but does not belong to the sick-room. The
old Doctor did not keep people waiting in dread suspense, while he
stayed talking about the case,--the patient all the time thinking that
he and the friends are discussing some alarming symptom or formidable
operation which he himself is by-and-by to hear of.

He was in Elsie's room almost before she knew he was in the house. He
came to her bedside in such a natural, quiet way, that it seemed as if
he were only a friend who had dropped in for a moment to say a pleasant
word. Yet he was very uneasy about Elsie until he had seen her; he never
knew what might happen to her or those about her, and came prepared for
the worst.

"Sick, my child?" he said, in a very soft, low voice.

Elsie nodded, without speaking.

The Doctor took her hand,--whether with professional views, or only in a
friendly way, it would have been hard to tell. So he sat a few minutes,
looking at her all the time with a kind of fatherly interest, but with
it all noting how she lay, how she breathed, her color, her expression,
all that teaches the practised eye so much without a single question
being asked. He saw she was in suffering, and said presently,--

"You have pain somewhere; where is it?"

She put her hand to her head.

As she was not disposed to talk, he watched her for a while, questioned
Old Sophy shrewdly a few minutes, and so made up his mind as to the
probable cause of disturbance and the proper means to be used.

Some very silly people thought the old Doctor did not believe in
medicine, because he gave less than certain poor half-taught creatures
in the smaller neighboring towns, who took advantage of people's
sickness to disgust and disturb them with all manner of ill-smelling
and ill-behaving drugs. To tell the truth, he hated to give any thing
noxious or loathsome to those who were uncomfortable enough already,
unless he was very sure it would do good,--in which case, he never
played with drugs, but gave good, honest, efficient doses. Sometimes he
lost a family of the more boorish sort, because they did not think they
got their money's worth out of him, unless they had something more than
a taste of everything he carried in his saddle-bags.

He ordered some remedies which he thought would relieve Elsie, and left
her, saying he would call the next day, hoping to find her better.
But the next day came, and the next, and still Elsie was on her
bed,--feverish, restless, wakeful, silent. At night she tossed about
and wandered, and it became at length apparent that there was a settled
attack, something like what they called formerly a "nervous fever."

On the fourth day she was more restless than common. One of the women
of the house came in to help to take care of her; but she showed an
aversion to her presence.

"Send me Helen Darley," she said at last.

The old Doctor told them, that, if possible, they must indulge this
fancy of hers. The caprices of sick people were never to be despised,
least of all of such persons as Elsie, when rendered irritable and
exacting by pain and weakness.

So a message was sent to Mr. Silas Peckham, at the Apollinean Institute,
to know if he could not spare Miss Helen Darley for a few days, if
required to give her attention to a young lady who attended his school
and who was now lying ill,--no other person than the daughter of Dudley
Venner.

A mean man never agrees to anything without deliberately turning it
over, so that he may see its dirty side, and, if he can, sweating the
coin he pays for it. If an archangel should offer to save his soul for
sixpence, he would try to find a sixpence with a hole in it. A gentleman
says yes to a great many things without stopping to think: a shabby
fellow is known by his caution in answering questions, for fear of
compromising his pocket or himself.

Mr. Silas Peckham looked very grave at the request. The dooties of Miss
Darley at the Institoot were important, very important. He paid her
large sums of money for her time,--more than she could expect to get in
any other institootion for the education of female youth. A deduction
from her salary would be necessary, in case she should retire from the
sphere of her dooties for a season. He should be put to extra expense,
and have to perform additional labors himself. He would consider of the
matter. If any arrangement could be made, he would send word to Squire
Venner's folks.

"Miss Darley," said Silas Peckham, "the' 's a message from Squire
Venner's that his daughter wants you down at the mansion-house to see
her. She's got a fever, so they inform me. If it's any kind of ketchin'
fever, of course you won't think of goin' near the mansion-house. If
Doctor Kittredge says it's safe, perfec'ly safe, I can't objec' to your
goin', on sech conditions as seem to be fair to all concerned. You will
give up your pay for the whole time you are absent,--portions of days to
be caounted as whole days. You will be charged with board the same as
if you eat your victuals with the household. The victuals are of no use
after they're cooked but to be eat, and your bein' away is no savin' to
our folks. I shall charge you a reasonable compensation for the demage
to the school by the absence of a teacher. If Miss Crabs undertakes any
dooties belongin' to your department of instruction, she will look to
you for sech pecooniary considerations as you may agree upon between
you. On these conditions I am willin' to give my consent to your
temporary absence from the post of dooty. I will step down to Doctor
Kittredge's, myself, and make inquiries as to the nature of the
complaint."

Mr. Peckham took up a rusty and very narrow-brimmed hat, which he cocked
upon one side of his head, with an air peculiar to the rural gentry. It
was the hour when the Doctor expected to be in his office, unless he had
some special call which kept him from home.

He found the Reverend Chauncy Fairweather just taking leave of the
Doctor. His hand was on the pit of his stomach, and his countenance
expressive of inward uneasiness.

"Shake it before using," said the Doctor; "and the sooner you make up
your mind to speak right out, the better it will be for your digestion."

"Oh, Mr. Peckham! Walk in, Mr. Peckham! Nobody sick up at the school, I
hope?"

"The haalth of the school is fust-rate," replied Mr. Peckham. "The
sitooation is uncommonly favorable to saloobrity." (These last words
were from the Annual Report of the past year.) "Providence has spared
our female youth in a remarkable measure, I've come with reference to
another consideration. Dr. Kittredge. is there any ketchin' complaint
goin' about in the village?"

"Well, yes," said the Doctor, "I should say there was something of that
sort. Measles. Mumps. And Sin,--that's always catching."

The old Doctor's eye twinkled; once in a while he had his little touch
of humor. Silas Peckham slanted his eye up suspiciously at the Doctor,
as if he was getting some kind of advantage over him. That is the way
people of his constitution are apt to take a bit of pleasantry.

"I don't mean sech things, Doctor; I mean fevers. Is there any ketchin'
fevers--bilious, or nervous, or typus, or whatever you call 'em--now
goin' round this village? That's what I want to ascertain, if there's no
impropriety."

The old Doctor looked at Silas through his spectacles.

"Hard and sour as a green cider-apple," he thought to himself. "No," he
said,--"I don't know any such cases."

"What's the matter with Elsie Venner?" asked Silas, sharply, as if he
expected to have him this time.

"A mild feverish attack, I should call it in anybody else; but she has
a peculiar constitution, and I never feel so safe about her as I should
about most people."

"Anything ketchin' about it?" Silas asked, cunningly.

"No, indeed!" said the Doctor,--"catching?--no,--what put that into
your head, Mr. Peckham?"

"Well, Doctor," the conscientious Principal answered, "I naterally
feel a graat responsibility, a very graiiiit responsibility, for the
noomerous and lovely young ladies committed to my charge. It has been a
question, whether one of my assistants should go, accordin' to request,
to stop with Miss Venner for a season. Nothin' restrains my givin' my
full and free consent to her goin' but the fear lest contagious maladies
should be introdooced among those lovely female youth. I shall abide by
your opinion,--I understan' you to say distinc'ly, her complaint is
not ketchin'?--and urge upon Miss Darley to fulfil her dooties to a
sufferin' fellow-creature at any cost to myself and my establishment. We
shall miss her very much; but it is a good cause, and she shall go,--and
I shall trust that Providence will enable us to spare her without
permanent demage to the interests of the Institootion."

Saying this, the excellent Principal departed, with his rusty
narrow-brimmed hat leaning over, as if it had a six-knot breeze abeam,
and its gunwale (so to speak) was dipping into his coat-collar. He
announced the result of his inquiries to Helen, who had received a brief
note in the mean time from a poor relation of Elsie's mother, then at
the mansion-house, informing her of the critical situation of Elsie
and of her urgent desire that Helen should be with her. She could not
hesitate. She blushed as she thought of the comments that might be made;
but what were such considerations in a matter of life and death? She
could not stop to make terms with Silas Peckham. She must go. He might
fleece her, if he would; she would not complain,--not even to Bernard,
who, she knew, would bring the Principal to terms, if she gave him the
least hint of his intended extortions.

So Helen made up her bundle of clothes to be sent after her, took a book
or two with her to help her pass the time, and departed for the Dudley
mansion. It was with a great inward effort that she undertook the
sisterly task which was thus forced upon her. She had a kind of terror
of Elsie; and the thought of having charge of her, of being alone with
her, of coming under the full influence of those diamond eyes,--if,
indeed, their light were not dimmed by suffering and weariness,--was one
she shrank from. But what could she do? It might be a turning-point in
the life of the poor girl; and she must overcome all her fears, all her
repugnance, and go to her rescue.

"Is Helen come?" said Elsie, when she heard, with her fine sense
quickened by the irritability of sickness, a light footfall on the
stair, with a cadence unlike that of any inmate of the house.

"It's a strange woman's step," said Old Sophy, who, with her exclusive
love for Elsie, was naturally disposed to jealousy of a new-comer. "Lot
Ol' Sophy set at th' foot o' th' bed, if th' young missis sets by th'
piller,--won' y', darlin'? The' 's nobody that's white can love y' as
th' ol' black woman does;--don' sen' her away, now, there's a dear
soul!"

Elsie motioned her to sit in the place she had pointed to, and Helen at
that moment entered the room. Dudley Venner followed her.

"She is your patient," he said, "except while the Doctor is here. She
has been longing to have you with her, and we shall expect you to make
her well in a few days."

So Helen Darley found herself established in the most unexpected manner
as an inmate of the Dudley mansion. She sat with Elsie most of the
time, by day and by night, soothing her, and trying to enter into her
confidence and affections, if it should prove that this strange creature
was really capable of truly sympathetic emotions.

What was this unexplained something which came between her soul and
that of every other human being with whom she was in relations? Helen
perceived, or rather felt, that she had, folded up in the depths of
her being, a true womanly nature. Through the cloud that darkened her
aspect, now and then a ray would steal forth, which, like the smile of
stern and solemn people, was all the more impressive from its contrast
with the expression she wore habitually. It might well be that pain and
fatigue had changed her aspect; but, at any rate, Helen looked into
her eyes without that nervous agitation which their cold glitter had
produced on her when they were full of their natural light. She felt
sure that her mother must have been a lovely, gentle woman. There were
gleams of a beautiful nature shining through some ill-defined medium
which disturbed and made them flicker and waver, as distant images do
when seen through the rippling upward currents of heated air. She loved,
in her own way, the old black woman, and seemed to keep up a kind of
silent communication with her, as if they did not require the use of
speech. She appeared to be tranquillized by the presence of Helen, and
loved to have her seated at the bedside. Yet something, whatever it was,
prevented her from opening her heart to her kind companion; and even now
there were times when she would lie looking at her, with such a still,
watchful, almost dangerous expression, that Helen would sigh, and change
her place, as persons do whose breath some cunning orator has been
sucking out of them with his spongy eloquence, so that, when he stops,
they must get some air and stir about, or they feel as if they should be
half-smothered and palsied.

It was too much to keep guessing what was the meaning of all this. Helen
determined to ask Old Sophy some questions which might probably throw
light upon her doubts. She took the opportunity one evening when Elsie
was lying asleep and they were both sitting at some distance from her
bed.

"Tell me, Sophy," she said, "was Elsie always as shy as she seems to be
now, in talking with those to whom she is friendly?"

"Alway jes' so, Miss Darlin', ever sence she was little chil'. When she
was five, six year old, she lisp some,--call me _Thophy_; that make her
kin' o' 'shamed, perhaps: after she grow up, she never lisp, but she
kin' o' got the way o' not talkin' much. Fac' is, she don' like talkin'
as common gals do, 'xcep' jes' once in a while with some partic'lar
folks,--'n' then not much."

"How old is Elsie?"

"Eighteen year this las' September."

"How long ago did her mother die?" Helen asked, with a little trembling
in her voice.

"Eighteen year ago this October," said Old Sophy.

Helen was silent for a moment. Then she whispered, almost
inaudibly,--for her voice appeared to fail her,--

"What did her mother die of, Sophy?"

The old woman's small eyes dilated until a ring of white showed round
their beady centres. She caught Helen by the hand and clung to it, as if
in fear. She looked round at Elsie, who lay sleeping, as if she might be
listening. Then she drew Helen towards her and led her softly out of the
room.

"'Sh!--'sh!" she said, as soon as they were outside the door. "Don'
never speak in this house 'bout what Elsie's mother died of!" she said.
"Nobody never says nothin' 'bout it. Oh, God has made Ugly Things wi'
death in their mouths, Miss Darlin', an' He knows what they're for; but
my poor Elsie!--to have her blood changed in her before--It was in July
Mistress got her death, but she liv' till three week after my poor Elsie
was born."

She could speak no more. She had said enough. Helen remembered the
stories she had heard on coming to the village, and among them one
referred to in an early chapter of this narrative. All the unaccountable
looks and tastes and ways of Elsie came back to her in the light of an
ante-natal impression which had mingled an alien element in her nature.
She knew the secret of the fascination which looked out of her cold,
glittering eyes. She knew the significance of the strange repulsion
which--she felt in her own intimate consciousness underlying the
inexplicable attraction which drew her towards the young girl in
spite of this repugnance. She began to look with new feelings on the
contradictions in her moral nature,--the longing for sympathy, as shown
by her wishing for Helen's company, and the impossibility of passing
beyond the cold circle of isolation within which she had her being.
The fearful truth of that instinctive feeling of hers, that there was
something not human looking out of Elsie's eyes, came upon her with
a sudden flash of penetrating conviction. There were two warring
principles in that superb organization and proud soul. One made her a
woman, with all a woman's powers and longings. The other chilled all the
currents of outlet for her emotions. It made her tearless and mute, when
another woman would have wept and pleaded. And it infused into her soul
something--it was cruel now to call it malice--which was still and
watchful and dangerous,--which waited its opportunity, and then shot
like an arrow from its bow out of the coil of brooding premeditation.
Even those who had never seen the white scars on Dick Venner's wrist,
or heard the half-told story of her supposed attempt to do a graver
mischief, knew well enough by looking at her that she was one of the
creatures not to be tampered with,--silent in anger and swift in
vengeance.

Helen could not return to the bedside at once after this communication.
It was with altered eyes that she must look on the poor girl, the victim
of such an unheard-of fatality. All was explained to her now. But it
opened such depths of solemn thought in her awakened consciousness, that
it seemed as if the whole mystery of human life were coming up again
before her for trial and judgment. "Oh," she thought, "if, while the
will lies sealed in its fountain, it may be poisoned at its very source,
so that it shall flow dark and deadly through its whole course, who are
we that we should judge our fellow-creatures by ourselves?" Then came
the terrible question, how far the elements themselves are capable of
perverting the moral nature: if valor, and justice, and truth, the
strength of man and the virtue of woman, may not be poisoned out of a
race by the food of the Australian in his forest,--by the foul air and
darkness of the Christians cooped up in the "tenement-houses close by
those who live in the palaces of the great cities?"

She walked out into the garden, lost in thought upon these dark and deep
matters. Presently she heard a step behind her, and Elsie's father came
up and joined her. Since his introduction to Helen at the distinguished
tea-party given by the Widow Rowens, and before her coming to sit with
Elsie, Mr. Dudley Venner had in the most accidental way in the world met
her on several occasions: once after church, when she happened to be
caught in a slight shower and he insisted on holding his umbrella
over her on her way home;--once at a small party at one of the
mansion-houses, where the quick-eyed lady of the house had a wonderful
knack of bringing people together who liked to see each other;--perhaps
at other times and places; but of this there is no certain evidence.

They naturally spoke of Elsie, her illness, and the aspect it had taken.
But Helen noticed in all that Dudley Venner said about his daughter a
morbid sensitiveness, as it seemed to her, an aversion to saying much
about her physical condition or her peculiarities,--a wish to feel
and speak as a parent should, and yet a shrinking, as if there were
something about Elsie which he could not bear to dwell upon. She thought
she saw through all this, and she could interpret it all charitably.
There were circumstances about his daughter which recalled the great
sorrow of his life; it was not strange that this perpetual reminder
should in some degree have modified his feelings as a father. But what
a life he must have been leading for so many years, with this perpetual
source of distress which he could not name! Helen knew well enough, now,
the meaning of the sadness which had left such traces in his features
and tones, and it made her feel very kindly and compassionate towards
him.

So they walked over the crackling leaves in the garden, between the
lines of box breathing its fragrance of eternity;--for this is one of
the odors which carry us out of time into the abysses of the unbeginning
past; if we ever lived on another ball of stone than this, it must be
that there was box growing on it. So they walked, finding their way
softly to each other's sorrows and sympathies, each meeting some
counterpart to the other's experience of life, and startled to see how
the different, yet parallel, lessons they had been taught by suffering
had led them step by step to the same serene acquiescence in the
orderings of that Supreme Wisdom which they both devoutly recognized.

Old Sophy was at the window and saw them walking up and down the
garden-alleys. She watched them as her grandfather the savage watched
the figures that moved among the trees when a hostile tribe was lurking
about his mountain.

"There'll be a weddin' in the ol' house," she said, "before there's
roses on them bushes ag'in. But it won' be my poor Elsie's weddin', 'n'
Ol' Sophy won' be there."

When Helen prayed in the silence of her soul that evening, it was not
that Elsie's life might be spared. She dared not ask that as a favor of
Heaven. What could life be to her but a perpetual anguish, and to those
about her an ever-present terror? Might she but be so influenced by
divine grace, that what in her was most truly human, most purely
woman-like, should overcome the dark, cold, unmentionable instinct which
had pervaded her being like a subtile poison: that was all she could
ask, and the rest she left to a higher wisdom and tenderer love than her
own.

       *       *       *       *       *


GYMNASTICS.


So your zeal for physical training begins to wane a little, my friend? I
thought it would, in your particular case, because it began too ardently
and was concentrated too exclusively on your one hobby of pedestrianism.
Just now you are literally under the weather. It is the equinoctial
storm. No matter, you say; did not Olmsted foot it over England under
an umbrella? did not Wordsworth regularly walk every guest round
Windermere, the day after arrival, rain or shine? So, the day before
yesterday, you did your four miles out, on the Northern turnpike, and
returned splashed to the waist; and yesterday you walked three miles
out, on the Southern turnpike, and came back soaked to the knees. To-day
the storm is slightly increasing, but you are dry thus far, and wish to
remain so; exercise is a humbug; you will give it all up, and go to the
Chess-Club. Don't go to the Chess-Club; come with me to the Gymnasium.

Chess may be all very well to tax with tough problems a brain otherwise
inert, to vary a monotonous day with small events, to keep one awake
during a sleepy evening, and to arouse a whole family next morning
for the adjustment over the breakfast-table of that momentous
state-question, whether the red king should have castled at the fiftieth
move or not till the fifty-first. But for an average American man, who
leaves his place of business at nightfall with his head a mere furnace
of red-hot brains and his body a pile of burnt-out cinders, utterly
exhausted in the daily effort to put ten dollars more of distance
between his posterity and the poor-house,--for such a one to kindle up
afresh after office-hours for a complicated chess-problem seems much as
if a wood-sawyer, worn out with his week's work, should decide to order
in his saw-horse on Saturday evening, and saw for fun. Surely we have
little enough recreation at any rate, and, pray, let us make that little
un-intellectual. True, something can be said in favor of chess--for
instance, that no money can be made out of it, and that it is so far
profitable to us overworked Americans: but even this is not enough. For
this once, lock your brains into your safe, at nightfall, with your
other valuables; don't go to the Chess-Club; come with me to the
Gymnasium.

Ten leaps up a steep, worn-out stairway, through a blind entry to
another stairway, and yet another, and we emerge suddenly upon the floor
of a large lighted room, a mere human machine-shop of busy motion, where
Indian clubs are whirling, dumb-bells pounding, swings vibrating, and
arms and legs flying in all manner of unexpected directions. Henderson
sits with his big proportions quietly rested against the weight-boxes,
pulling with monotonous vigor at the fifty-pound weights,--"the
Stationary Engine" the boys call him. For a contrast, Draper is floating
up and down between the parallel bars with such an airy lightness, that
you think he must have hung up his body in the dressing-room, and is
exercising only in his arms and clothes. Parsons is swinging in the
rings, rising to the ceiling before and behind; up and down he goes,
whirling over and over, converting himself into a mere tumbler-pigeon,
yet still bound by the long, steady vibration of the human pendulum.
Another is running a race with him, if sitting in the swing be running;
and still another is accompanying their motion, clinging to the
_trapèze_. Hayes, meanwhile, is spinning on the horizontal bar, now
backward, now forward, twenty times without stopping, pinioned through
his bent arms, like a Fakir on his iron. See how many different ways
of ascending a vertical pole these boys are devising!--one climbs with
hands and legs, another with hands only, another is crawling up on
all-fours in Feegee fashion, while another is pegging his way up by
inserting pegs in holes a foot apart,--you will see him sway and
tremble a bit, before he reaches the ceiling. Others are at work with a
spring-board and leaping-cord; higher and higher the cord is moved, one
by one the competitors step aside defeated, till the field is left to a
single champion, who, like an India-rubber ball, goes on rebounding till
he seems likely to disappear through the chimney, like a Ravel. Some
sturdy young visitors, farmers by their looks, are trying their
strength, with various success, at the sixty-pound dumb-bell, when some
quiet fellow, a clerk or a tailor, walks modestly to the hundred-pound
weight, and up it goes as steadily as if the laws of gravitation had
suddenly shifted their course, and worked upward instead of down. Lest,
however, they should suddenly resume their original bias, let us cross
to the dressing-room, and, while you are assuming flannel shirt or
complete gymnastic suit, as you may prefer, let us consider the merits
of the Gymnasium.

Do not say that the public is growing tired of hearing about physical
training. You might as well speak of being surfeited with the sight of
apple-blossoms, or bored with roses,--for these athletic exercises are,
to a healthy person, just as good and refreshing. Of course, any one
becomes insupportable who talks all the time of this subject, or of any
other; but it is the man who fatigues you, not the theme. Any person
becomes morbid and tedious whose whole existence is absorbed in any
one thing, be it playing or praying. Queen Elizabeth, after admiring a
gentleman's dancing, refused to look at the dancing-master, who did it
better. "Nay," quoth her bluff Majesty,--"'tis his business,--I'll none
of him." Professionals grow tiresome. Books are good,--so is a boat;
but a librarian and a ferryman, though useful to take you where you
wish to go, are not necessarily enlivening as companions. The annals
of "Boxiana" and "Pedestriana" and "The Cricket-Field" are as pathetic
records of monomania as the bibliographical works of Mr. Thomas Dibdin.
Margaret Fuller said truly, that we all delight in gossip, and differ
only in the department of gossip we individually prefer; but a monotony
of gossip soon grows tedious, be the theme horses or octavos.

Not one-tenth part of the requisite amount has yet been said of athletic
exercises as a prescription for this community. There was a time when
they were not even practised generally among American boys, if we may
trust the foreign travellers of a half-century ago, and they are but
just being raised into respectability among American men. Motley says
of one of his Flemish heroes, that "he would as soon have foregone his
daily tennis as his religious exercises,"--as if ball-playing were then
the necessary pivot of a great man's day. Some such pivot of physical
enjoyment we must have, for no other race in the world needs it so
much. Through the immense inventive capacity of our people, mechanical
avocations are becoming almost as sedentary and intellectual as the
professions. Among Americans, all hand-work is constantly being
transmuted into brain-work; the intellect gains, but the body suffers,
and needs some other form of physical activity to restore the
equilibrium. As machinery becomes perfected, all the coarser tasks are
constantly being handed over to the German or Irish immigrant,--not
because the American cannot do the particular thing required, but
because he is promoted to something more intellectual. Thus transformed
to a mental laborer, he must somehow supply the bodily deficiency. If
this is true of this class, it is of course true of the student, the
statesman, and the professional man. The general statement recently made
by Lewes, in England, certainly holds not less in America:--"It is rare
to meet with good digestion among the artisans of the brain, no matter
how careful they may be in food and general habits." The great majority
of our literary and professional men could echo the testimony of
Washington Irving, if they would only indorse his wise conclusion:--"My
own case is a proof how one really loses by over-writing one's self
and keeping too intent upon a sedentary occupation. I attribute all my
present indisposition, which is losing me time, spirits, everything, to
two fits of close application and neglect of all exercise while I was at
Paris. I am convinced that he who devotes two hours each day to vigorous
exercise will eventually gain those two and a couple more into the
bargain."

Indeed, there is something involved in the matter far beyond any merely
physical necessity. All our natures need something more than mere bodily
exertion; they need bodily enjoyment. There is, or ought to be, in all
of us a touch of untamed gypsy nature, which should be trained, not
crushed. We need, in the very midst of civilization, something which
gives a little of the zest of savage life; and athletic exercises
furnish the means. The young man who is caught down the bay in a sudden
storm, alone in his boat, with wind and tide against him, has all the
sensations of a Norway sea-king,--sensations thoroughly uncomfortable,
if you please, but for the thrill and glow they bring. Swim out after a
storm at Dove Harbor, topping the low crests, diving through the high
ones, and you feel yourself as veritable a South-Sea Islander as if you
were to dine that day on missionary instead of mutton. Tramp, for a
whole day, across hill, marsh, and pasture, with gun, rod, or whatever
the excuse may be, and camp where you find yourself at evening, and
you are as essentially an Indian on the Blue Hills as among the Rocky
Mountains. Less depends upon circumstances than we fancy, and more upon
our personal temperament and will. All the enjoyments of Browning's
"Saul," those "wild joys of living" which make us happy with their
freshness as we read of them, are within the reach of all, and make us
happier still when enacted. Every one, in proportion as he develops his
own physical resources, puts himself in harmony with the universe, and
contributes something to it; even as Mr. Pecksniff, exulting in his
digestive machinery, felt a pious delight after dinner in the thought
that this wonderful apparatus was wound up and going.

A young person can no more have too much love of adventure than a mill
can have too much water-power; only it needs to be worked, not wasted.
Physical exercises give to energy and daring a legitimate channel,
supply the place of war, gambling, licentiousness, highway-robbery, and
office-seeking. De Quincey, in like manner, says that Wordsworth made
pedestrianism a substitute for wine and spirits; and Emerson thinks the
force of rude periods "can rarely be compensated in tranquil times,
except by some analogous vigor drawn from occupations as hardy as war."
The animal energy cannot and ought not to be suppressed; if debarred
from its natural channel, it will force for itself unnatural ones. A
vigorous life of the senses not only does not tend to sensuality in the
objectionable sense, but it helps to avert it. Health finds joy in mere
existence; daily breath and daily bread suffice. This innocent enjoyment
lost, the normal desires seek abnormal satisfactions. The most brutal
prize-fighter is compelled to recognize the connection between purity
and vigor, and becomes virtuous when he goes into training, as the
heroes of old observed chastity, in hopes of conquering at the Olympic
Games. The very word _ascetic_ comes from a Greek word signifying the
preparatory exercises of an athlete. There are spiritual diseases which
coil poisonously among distorted instincts and disordered nerves, and
one would be generally safer in standing sponsor for the soul of the
gymnast than of the dyspeptic.

Of course, the demand of our nature is not always for continuous
exertion. One does not always seek that "rough exercise" which Sir John
Sinclair asserts to be "the darling idol of the English." There are
delicious languors, Neapolitan reposes, Creole siestas, "long days and
solid banks of flowers." But it is the birthright of the man of the
temperate zones to alternate these voluptuous delights with more heroic
ones, and sweeten the reverie by the toil. So far as they go, the
enjoyments of the healthy body are as innocent and as ardent as those of
the soul. As there is no ground of comparison, so there is no ground of
antagonism. How compare a sonata and a sea-bath or measure the Sistine
Madonna against a gallop across country? The best thanksgiving for each
is to enjoy the other also, and educate the mind to ampler nobleness.
After all, the best verdict on athletic exercises was that of the great
Sully, when he said, "I was always of the same opinion with Henry
IV. concerning them: he often asserted that they were the most solid
foundation, not only of discipline and other military virtues, but also
of those noble sentiments and that elevation of mind which give one
nature superiority over another."

We are now ready, perhaps, to come to the question, How are these
athletic enjoyments to be obtained? The first and easiest answer is, By
taking a long walk every day. If people would actually do this, instead
of forever talking about doing it, the object might be gained. To be
sure, there are various defects in this form of exercise. It is not a
play, to begin with, and therefore does not withdraw the mind from its
daily cares; the anxious man recurs to his problems on the way; and each
mile, in that case, brings fresh weariness to brain as well as body.
Moreover, there are, according to Dr. Grau, "three distinct groups
of muscles which are almost totally neglected where walking alone is
resorted to, and which consequently exist only in a crippled state,
although they are of the utmost importance, and each stands in close
_rapport_ with a number of other functions of the greatest necessity to
health and life." These he afterwards classifies as the muscles of the
shoulders and chest, having a bearing on the lungs,--the abdominal
muscles, bearing on the corresponding organs,--and the spinal muscles,
which are closely connected with the whole nervous system.

But the greatest practical difficulty is, that walking, being the least
concentrated form of exercise, requires a larger appropriation of
time than most persons are willing to give. Taken liberally, and in
connection with exercises which are more concentrated and have more play
about them, it is of great value, and, indeed, indispensable. But so
far as I have seen, instead of these other pursuits taking the place of
pedestrianism, they commonly create a taste for it; so that, when the
sweet spring-days come round, you will see our afternoon gymnastic class
begin to scatter literally to the four winds; or they look in for a
moment, on their way home from the woods, their hands filled and scented
with long wreaths of the trailing arbutus.

But the gymnasium is the normal type of all muscular exercise,--the only
form of it which is impartial and comprehensive, which has something for
everybody, which is available at all seasons, through all weathers,
in all latitudes. All other provisions are limited: you cannot row
in winter nor skate in summer, spite of parlor-skates and ice-boats;
ball-playing requires comrades; riding takes money; everything needs
daylight: but the gymnasium is always accessible. Then it is the only
thing which trains the whole body. Military drill makes one prompt,
patient, erect, accurate, still, strong. Rowing takes one set of muscles
and stretches them through and through, till you feel yourself turning
into one long spiral spring from finger-tips to toes. In cricket or
base-ball, a player runs, strikes, watches, catches, throws, must learn
endurance also. Yet, no matter which of these may be your special hobby,
you must, if you wish to use all the days and all the muscles, seek the
gymnasium at last,--the only thorough panacea.

The history of modern gymnastic exercises is easily written: it is
proper to say modern,--for, so far as apparatus goes, the ancient
gymnasiums seem to have had scarcely anything in common with our own.
The first institution on the modern plan was founded at Schnepfenthal,
near Gotha, in Germany, in 1785, by Salzmann, a clergyman and the
principal of a boys' school. After eight years of experience, his
assistant, Gutsmuths, wrote a book upon the subject, which was
translated into English, and published at London in 1799 and at
Philadelphia in 1800, under the name of "Salzmann's Gymnastics." No
similar institution seems to have existed in either country, however,
till those established by Voelckers, in London, in 1824, and by Dr.
Follen, at Cambridge, Mass., in 1826. Both were largely patronized
at first, and died out at last. The best account of Voelckers's
establishment will be found in Hone's "Every-Day Book"; its plan seems
to have been unexceptionable. But Dr. James Johnson, writing his
"Economy of Health" ten years after, declared that these German
exercises had proved "better adapted to the Spartan youth than to the
pallid sons of pampered cits, the dandies of the desk, and the squalid
tenants of attics and factories," and also adds the epitaph, "This
ultra-gymnastic enthusiast did much injury to an important branch of
hygiene by carrying it to excess, and consequently by causing its
desuetude." And Dr. Jarvis, in his "Practical Physiology," declares the
unquestionable result of the American experiment to have been "general
failure."

Accordingly, the English, who are reputed kings in all physical
exercises, have undoubtedly been far surpassed by the Germans, and
even by the French, in gymnastics. The writer of the excellent little
"Handbook for Gymnastics," George Forrest, M.A., testifies strongly to
this deficiency. "It is curious that we English, who possess perhaps
the finest and strongest figures of all European nations, should leave
ourselves so undeveloped bodily. There is not one man in a hundred who
can even raise his toes to a level with his hands, when suspended by the
later members; and yet to do so is at the very beginning of gymnastic
exercises. We, as a rule, are strong in the arms and legs, but weak
across the loins and back, and are apparently devoid of that beautiful
set of muscles that run round the entire waist, and show to such
advantage in the ancient statues. Indeed, at a bathing-place, I can pick
out every gymnast merely by the development of those muscles."

It is the Germans and the military portion of the French nation,
chiefly, who have developed gymnastic exercises to their present
elaboration, while the working out of their curative applications was
chiefly due to Ling, a Swede. In the German manuals, such, for instance,
as Eiselen's "Turnübungen," are to be found nearly all the stock
exercises of our institutions. Until within a few years, American skill
has added nothing to these, except through the medium of the circus; but
the present revival of athletic exercises is rapidly placing American
gymnasts in advance of the _Turners_, both in the feats performed and
in the style of doing them. Never yet have I succeeded in seeing a
thoroughly light and graceful German gymnast, while again and again I
have seen Americans who carried into their severest exercise such
an airy, floating elegance of motion, that all the beauty of Greek
sculpture appeared to return again, and it seemed as if plastic art
might once more make its studio in the gymnasium.

The apparatus is not costly. Any handful of young men in the smallest
country-village, with a very few dollars and a little mechanical skill,
can put up in any old shed or shoe-shop a few simple articles of
machinery, which will, through many a winter evening, vary the monotony
of the cigar and the grocery-bench by an endless variety of manly
competitions. Fifteen cents will bring by mail from the publishers of
the "Atlantic" Forrest's little sixpenny "Handbook," which gives a
sufficient number of exercises to form an introduction to all others;
and a gymnasium is thus easily established. This is just the method of
the simple and sensible Germans, who never wait for elegant upholstery.
A pair of plain parallel bars, a movable vaulting-bar, a wooden horse,
a spring-board, an old mattress to break the fall, a few settees where
sweethearts and wives may sit with their knitting as spectators, and
there is a _Turnhalle_ complete,--to be henceforward filled, two or
three nights in every week, with cheery German faces, jokes, laughs,
gutturals, and gambols.

But this suggests that you are being kept too long in the anteroom. Let
me act as cicerone through this modest gymnastic hall of ours. You will
better appreciate all this oddly shaped apparatus, if I tell you in
advance, as a connoisseur does in his picture-gallery, precisely what
you are expected to think of each particular article.

You will notice, however, that a part of the gymnastic class are
exercising without apparatus, in a series of rather grotesque movements
which supple and prepare the body for more muscular feats: these are
calisthenic exercises. Such are being at last introduced, thanks to Dr.
Lewis and others, into our common schools. At the word of command, as
swiftly as a conjuror twists his puzzle-paper, these living forms are
shifted from one odd resemblance to another, at which it is quite lawful
to laugh, especially if those laugh who win. A series of windmills,--a
group of inflated balloons,--a flock of geese all asleep on one leg,--a
circle of ballet-dancers, just poised to begin,--a band of patriots
just kneeling to take an oath upon their country's altar,--a senate of
tailors,--a file of soldiers,--a whole parish of Shaker worshippers,--a
Japanese embassy performing _Ko-tow_: these all in turn come like
shadows,--so depart. This complicated attitudinizing forms the
preliminary to the gymnastic hour. But now come and look at some of the
apparatus.

Here is a row of Indian clubs, or sceptres, as they are sometimes
called,--tapering down from giants of fifteen pounds to dwarfs of four.
Help yourself to a pair of dwarfs, at first; grasp one in each hand,
by the handle; swing one of them round your head quietly, dropping the
point behind as far as possible,--then the other,--and so swing them
alternately some twenty times. Now do the same back-handed, bending the
wrist outward, and carrying the club behind the head first. Now
swing them both together, crossing them in front, and then the same
back-handed; then the same without crossing, and this again backward,
which you will find much harder. Place them on the ground gently after
each set of processes. Now can you hold them out horizontally at arm's
length, forward and then sideways? Your arms quiver and quiver, and down
come the clubs thumping at last. Take them presently in a different and
more difficult manner, holding each club with the point erect instead of
hanging down; it tries your wrists, you will find, to manipulate them
so, yet all the most graceful exercises have this for a basis. Soon you
will gain the mastery of heavier implements than you begin with, and
will understand how yonder slight youth has learned to handle his two
heavy clubs in complex curves that seem to you inexplicable, tracing
in the air a device as swift and tangled as that woven by a swarm of
gossamer flies above a brook, in the sultry stillness of the summer
noon.

This row of masses of iron, laid regularly in order of size, so as to
resemble something between a musical instrument and a gridiron, consists
of dumb-bells weighing from four pounds to a hundred. These playthings,
suited to a variety of capacities, have experienced a revival of favor
within a few years, and the range of exercises with them has been
greatly increased. The use of very heavy ones is, so far as I can find,
a peculiarly American hobby, though not originating with Dr. Windship.
Even he, at the beginning of his exhibitions, used those weighing only
ninety-eight pounds; and it was considered an astonishing feat, when,
a little earlier, Mr. Richard Montgomery used to "put up" a dumb-bell
weighing one hundred and one pounds. A good many persons, in different
parts of the country, now handle one hundred and twenty-five, and Dr.
Windship has got much farther on. There is, of course, a knack in
using these little articles, as in every other feat, yet it takes good
extensor muscles to get beyond the fifties. The easiest way of elevating
the weight is to swing it up from between the knees; or it may be thrown
up from the shoulder, with a simultaneous jerk of the whole body; but
the only way of doing it handsomely is to put it up from the shoulder
with the arm alone, without bending the knee, though you may bend the
body as much as you please. Dr. Windship now puts up one hundred and
forty-one pounds in this manner, and by the aid of a jerk can elevate
one hundred and eighty with one arm. This particular movement with
dumb-bells is most practised, as affording a test of strength; but there
are many other ways of using them, all exceedingly invigorating, and all
safe enough, unless the weight employed be too great, which it is very
apt to be. Indeed, there is so much danger of this, that at Cambridge it
has been deemed best to exclude all beyond seventy pounds. Nevertheless,
the dumb-bell remains the one available form of home or office exercise:
it is a whole athletic apparatus packed up in the smallest space; it is
gymnastic pemmican. With one fifty-pound dumb-bell, or a pair of half
that size--or more or less, according to his strength and habits,--a
man may exercise nearly every muscle in his body in half an hour, if he
has sufficient ingenuity in positions. If it were one's fortune to be
sent to prison,--and the access to such retirement is growing more and
more facile in many regions of our common country,--one would certainly
wish to carry a dumb-bell with him, precisely as Dr. Johnson carried an
arithmetic in his pocket on his tour to the Hebrides, as containing the
greatest amount of nutriment in the compactest form.

Apparatus for lifting is not yet introduced into most gymnasiums, in
spite of the recommendations of the Roxbury Hercules: beside the fear
of straining, there is the cumbrous weight and cost of iron apparatus,
while, for some reason or other, no cheap and accurate dynamometer has
yet come into the market. Running and jumping, also, have as yet been
too much neglected in our institutions, or practised spasmodically
rather than systematically. It is singular how little pains have been
taken to ascertain definitely what a man can do with his body,--far
less, as Quetelet has observed, than in regard to any animal which man
has tamed, or any machine which he has invented. It is stated, for
instance, in Walker's "Manly Exercises," that six feet is the maximum
of a high leap, with a run,--and certainly one never finds in the
newspapers a record of anything higher; yet it is the English tradition,
that Ireland, of Yorkshire, could clear a string raised fourteen feet,
and that he once kicked a bladder at sixteen. No spring-board would
explain a difference so astounding. In the same way, Walker fixes the
limit of a long leap without a run at fourteen feet, and with a run at
twenty-two,--both being large estimates; and Thackeray makes his young
Virginian jump twenty-one feet and three inches, crediting George
Washington with a foot more. Yet the ancient epitaph of Phayllus the
Crotonian claimed for him nothing less than fifty-five feet, on an
inclined plane. Certainly the story must have taken a leap also.

These ladders, aspiring indefinitely into the air, like Piranesi's
stairways, are called technically peak-ladders; and dear banished
T.S.K., who always was puzzled to know why Mount Washington kept up such
a pique against the sky, would have found his joke fit these ladders
with great precision, so frequent the disappointment they create. But
try them, and see what trivial appendages one's legs may become,--since
the feet are not intended to touch these polished rounds. Walk up
backward on the under side, hand over hand, then forward; then go up
again, omitting every other round; then aspire to the third round, if
you will. Next grasp a round with both hands, give a slight swing of
the body, let go, and grasp the round above, and so on upward; then the
same, omitting one round, or more, if you can, and come down in the
same way. Can you walk up on _one_ hand? It is not an easy thing, but a
first-class gymnast will do it,--and Dr. Windship does it, taking only
every third round. Fancy a one-armed and legless hodman ascending the
under side of a ladder to the roof, and reflect on the conveniences of
gymnastic habits.

Here is a wooden horse; on this noble animal the Germans say that not
less than three hundred distinct feats can be performed. Bring yonder
spring-board, and we will try a few. Grasp these low pommels and vault
over the horse, first to the right, then again to the left; then with
one hand each way. Now spring to the top and stand; now spring between
the hands forward, now backward; now take a good impetus, spread your
feet far apart, and leap over it, letting go the hands. Grasp the
pommels again and throw a somerset over it,--coming down on your feet,
if the Fates permit. Now vault up and sit upon the horse, at one end,
knees the same side; now grasp the pommels and whirl yourself round
till you sit at the other end, facing the other way. Now spring up and
bestride it, whirl round till you bestride it the other way, at the
other end; do it once again, and, letting go your hand, seat yourself in
the saddle. Now push away the spring-board and repeat every feat without
its aid. Next, take a run and spring upon the end of the horse astride;
then walk over, supporting yourself on your hands alone, the legs not
touching; then backward, the same. It will be hard to balance yourself
at first, and you will careen uneasily one way or the other; no matter,
you will get over it somehow. Lastly, mount once more, kneel in the
saddle, and leap to the ground. It appears at first ridiculously
impracticable, the knees seem glued to their position, and it looks
as if one would fall inevitably on his face; but falling is hardly
possible. Any novice can do it, if he will only have faith. You shall
learn to do it from the horizontal bar presently, where it looks much
more formidable.

But first you must learn some simpler exercises on this horizontal bar:
you observe that it is made movable, and may be placed as low as your
knee, or higher than your hand can reach. This bar is only five inches
in circumference; but it is remarkably strong and springy, and therefore
we hope secure, though for some exercises our boys prefer to substitute
a larger one. Try and vault it, first to the right, then to the left, as
you did with the horse; try first with one hand, then see how high
you can vault with both. Now vault it between your hands, forward and
backward: the latter will baffle you, unless you have brought an unusual
stock of India-rubber in your frame, to begin with. Raise it higher
and higher, till you can vault it no longer. Now spring up on the bar,
resting on your palms, and vault over from that position with a swing of
your body, without touching the ground; when you have once managed this,
you can vault as high as you can reach: double-vaulting this is called.
Now put the bar higher than your head; grasp it with your hands, and
draw yourself up till you look over it; repeat this a good many times:
capital practice this, as is usually said of things particularly
tiresome. Take hold of the bar again, and with a good spring from the
ground try to curl your body over it, feet foremost. At first, in all
probability, your legs will go angling in the air convulsively, and come
down with nothing caught; but ere long we shall see you dispense with
the spring from the ground and go whirling over and over, as if the bar
were the axle of a wheel and your legs the spokes. Now spring upon the
bar, supporting yourself on your palms, as before; put your hands a
little farther apart, with the thumbs forward, then suddenly bring up
your knees on the bar and let your whole body go over forward: you will
not fall, if your hands have a good grasp. Try it again with your feet
outside your hands, instead of between them; then once again flinging
your body off from the bar and describing a long curve with it, arms
stiff: this is called the Giant's Swing. Now hang to the bar by the
knees,--by both knees; do not try it yet with one; then seize the bar
with your hands and thrust the legs still farther and farther forward,
pulling with your arms at the same time, till you find yourself sitting
unaccountably on the bar itself. This our boys cheerfully denominate
"skinning the cat," because the sensations it suggests, on a first
experiment, are supposed to resemble those of pussy with her skin drawn
over her head; but, after a few experiments, it seems like stroking the
fur in the right direction, and grows rather pleasant.

Try now the parallel bars, the most invigorating apparatus of the
gymnasium, and in its beginnings "accessible to the meanest capacity,"
since there are scarcely any who cannot support themselves by the hands
on the bars, and not very many who cannot walk a few steps upon the
palms, at the first trial. Soon you will learn to swing along these bars
in long surges of motion, forward and backward; to go through them, in
a series of springs from the hand only, without a jerk of the knees; to
turn round and round between them, going forward or backward all the
while; to vault over them and under them in complicated ways; to turn
somersets in them and across them; to roll over and over on them as
a porpoise seems to roll in the sea. Then come the "low-standing"
exercises, the grasshopper style of business; supporting yourself now
with arms not straight, but bent at the elbow, you shall learn to raise
and lower your body and to hold or swing yourself as lightly in that
position as if you had not felt pinioned and paralyzed hopelessly at the
first trial; and whole new systems of muscles shall seem to shoot out
from your shoulder-blades to enable you to do what you could not have
dreamed of doing before. These bars are magical,--they are conduits of
power; you cannot touch them, you cannot rest your weight on them in the
slightest degree, without causing strength to flow into your body as
naturally and irresistibly as water into the aqueduct-pipe when you turn
it on. Do you but give the opportunity, and every pulsation of blood
from your heart is pledged for the rest.

These exercises, and such as these, are among the elementary lessons of
gymnastic training. Practise these thoroughly and patiently, and you
will in time attain evolutions more complicated, and, if you wish, more
perilous. Neglect these, to grasp at random after everything which you
see others doing, and you will fail like a bookkeeper who is weak in
the multiplication-table. The older you begin, the more gradual the
preparation must be. A respectable middle-aged citizen, bent on
improving his _physique_, goes into a gymnasium, and sees slight,
smooth-faced boys going gayly through a series of exercises which show
their bodies to be a triumph, not a drag, and he is assured that the
same might be the case with him. Off goes the coat of our enthusiast and
in he plunges; he gripes a heavy dumb-bell and strains one shoulder,
hauls at a weight-box and strains the other, vaults the bar and bruises
his knee, swings in the rings once or twice till his hand slips and he
falls to the floor. No matter, he thinks the cause demands sacrifices;
but he subsides, for the next fifteen minutes, into more moderate
exercises, which he still makes immoderate by his awkward way of doing
them. Nevertheless, he goes home, cheerful under difficulties, and will
try again to-morrow. To-morrow finds him stiff, lame, and wretched; he
cannot lift his arm to his face to shave, nor lower it sufficiently to
pull his boots on; his little daughter must help him with his shoes,
and the indignant wife of his bosom must put on his hat, with that
ineffectual one-sidedness to which alone the best-regulated female mind
can attain, in this difficult part of costuming. His sorrows increase
as the day passes; the gymnasium alone can relieve them, but his soul
shudders at the remedy; and he can conceive of nothing so absurd as a
first gymnastic lesson, except a second one. But had he been wise enough
to place himself under an experienced adviser at the very beginning, he
would have been put through a few simple movements which would have sent
him home glowing and refreshed and fancying himself half-way back to
boyhood again; the slight ache and weariness of next day would have
been cured by next day's exercise; and after six months' patience, by a
progress almost imperceptible, he would have found himself, in respect
to strength and activity, a transformed man.

Most of these discomforts, of course, are spared to boys; their frames
are more elastic and less liable to ache and strain. They learn
gymnastics, as they learn everything else, more readily than their
elders. Begin with a boy early enough, and if he be of a suitable
temperament, he can learn in the gymnasium all the feats usually seen in
the circus-ring, and could even acquire more difficult ones, if it were
worth his while to try them. This is true even of the air-somersets and
hand-springs which are not so commonly cultivated by gymnasts; but it is
especially true of all exercises with apparatus. It is astonishing how
readily our classes pick up any novelty brought into town by a strolling
company,--holding the body out horizontally from an upright pole, or
hanging by the back of the head, or touching the head to the heels,
though this last is oftener tried than accomplished. They may be seen
practising these antics, at all spare moments, for weeks, until some
later hobby drives them away. From Blondin downwards, the public feats
derive a large part of their wonder from the imposing height in the air
at which they are done. Many a young man who can swing himself more
than his own length on the horizontal ladder at the gymnasium has yet
shuddered at _l'échelle périlleuse_ of the Hanlons; and I noticed that
even the simplest of their performances, such as holding by one hand, or
hanging by the knees, seemed perfectly terrific when done at a height
of twenty or thirty feet in the air, even to those who had done them a
hundred times at a lower level. It was the nerve that was astounding,
not the strength or skill; but the eye found it hard to draw the
distinction. So when a gymnastic friend of mine, crossing the
ocean lately, amused himself with hanging by one leg to the
mizzen-topmast-stay, the boldest sailors shuddered, though the feat
itself was nothing, save to the imagination.

Indeed, it is almost impossible for an inexperienced spectator to form
the slightest opinion as to the comparative difficulty or danger of
different exercises, since it is the test of merit to make the hardest
things look easy. Moreover, there may be a distinction between two
feats almost imperceptible to the eye,--a change, for instance, in the
position of the hands on a bar,--which may at once transform the thing
from a trifle to a wonder. An unpractised eye can no more appreciate
the difficulty of a gymnastic exercise by seeing it executed, than an
inexperienced ear, of the perplexities of a piece of music by hearing it
played.

The first effect of gymnastic exercise is almost always to increase the
size of the arms and the chest; and new-comers may commonly be known by
their frequent recourse to the tape-measure. The average increase among
the students of Harvard University during the first three months of the
gymnasium was nearly two inches in the chest, more than one inch in the
upper arm, and more than half an inch in the fore-arm. This was far
beyond what the unassisted growth of their age would account for; and
the increase is always very marked for a time, especially with thin
persons. In those of fuller habit the loss of flesh may counterbalance
the gain in muscle, so that size and weight remain the same; and in all
cases the increase stops after a time, and the subsequent change is
rather in texture than in volume. Mere size is no index of strength: Dr.
Windship is scarcely larger or heavier now than when he had not half his
present powers.

In the vigor gained by exercise there is nothing false or morbid; it
is as reliable as hereditary strength, except that it is more easily
relaxed by indolent habits. No doubt it is aggravating to see some
robust, lazy giant come into the gymnasium for the first time, and by
hereditary muscle shoulder a dumb-bell which all your training has
not taught you to handle. No matter; it is by comparing yourself with
yourself that the estimate is to be made. As the writing-master exhibits
with triumph to each departing pupil the uncouth copy which he wrote
on entering, so it will be enough to you, if you can appreciate your
present powers with your original inabilities. When you first joined the
gymnastic class, you could not climb yonder smooth mast, even with all
your limbs brought into service; now you can do it with your hands
alone. When you came, you could not possibly, when hanging by your hands
to the horizontal bar, raise your feet as high as your head,--nor could
you, with any amount of spring from the ground, curl your body over the
bar itself; now you can hang at arm's length and fling yourself over it
a dozen times in succession. At first, if you lowered yourself with bent
elbows between the parallel bars, you could not by any manoeuvre get up
again, but sank to the ground a hopeless wreck; now you can raise and
lower yourself an indefinite number of times. As for the weights and
clubs and dumb-bells, you feel as if there must be some jugglery about
them,--they have grown so much lighter than they used to be. It is you
who have gained a double set of muscles to every limb; that is all.
Strike out from the shoulder with your clenched hand; once your arm was
loose-jointed and shaky; now it is firm and tense, and begins to feel
like a natural arm. Moreover, strength and suppleness have grown
together; you have not stiffened by becoming stronger, but find yourself
more flexible. When you first came here, you could not touch your
fingers to the ground without bending the knees, and now you can place
your knuckles on the floor; then you could scarcely bend yourself
backward, and now you can lay the back of your head in a chair, or walk,
without crouching forward, under a bar less than three feet from
the ground. You have found, indeed, that almost every feat is done
originally by sheer strength, and then by agility, requiring very little
expenditure of force after the precise motion is hit upon; at first
labor, puffing, and a red face,--afterwards ease and the graces.

To a person who begins after the age of thirty or thereabouts, the
increase of strength and suppleness, of course, comes more slowly; yet
it comes as surely, and perhaps it is a more permanent acquisition, less
easily lost again, than in the softer frame of early youth. There is no
doubt that men of sixty have experienced a decided gain in strength and
health by beginning gymnastic exercises even at that age, as Socrates
learned to dance at seventy; and if they have practised similar
exercises all their lives, so much is added to their chance of
preserving physical youthfulness to the last. Jerome and Gabriel Ravel
are reported to have spent near three-score years on the planet which
their winged feet have so lightly trod; and who will dare to say how
many winters have passed over the head of the still young and graceful
Papanti?

Dr. Windship's most important experience is, that strength is to a
certain extent identical with health, so that every increase in muscular
development is an actual protection against disease. Americans, who are
ashamed to confess to doing the most innocent thing for the sake of mere
enjoyment, must be cajoled into every form of exercise under the plea of
health. Joining, the other day, in a children's dance, I was amused by a
solemn parent who turned to me, in the midst of a Virginia reel, still
conscientious, though breathless, and asked if I did not consider
dancing to be, on the whole, a _healthy_ exercise? Well, the gymnasium
is healthy; but the less you dwell on that fact, the better, after you
have once entered it. If it does you good, you will enjoy it; and if
you enjoy it, it will do you good. With body, as with soul, the highest
experience merges duty in pleasure. The better one's condition is, the
less one has to think about growing better, and the more unconsciously
one's natural instincts guide the right way.

When ill, we eat to support life; when well, we eat because the food
tastes good. It is a merit of the gymnasium, that, when properly taken,
it makes one forget to think about health or anything else that is
troublesome; "a man remembereth neither sorrow nor debt"; cares must be
left outside, be they physical or metaphysical, like canes at the door
of a museum.

No doubt, to some it grows tedious. It shares this objection with all
means of exercise. To be an American is to hunger for novelty; and all
instruments and appliances, especially, require constant modification:
we are dissatisfied with last winter's skates, with the old boat, and
with the family pony. So the zealot finds the gymnasium insufficient
long before he has learned half the moves. To some temperaments it
becomes a treadmill, and that, strangely enough, to diametrically
opposite temperaments. A lethargic youth, requiring great effort to keep
himself awake between the exercises, thinks the gymnasium slow, because
he is; while an eager, impetuous young fellow, exasperated because
he cannot in a fortnight draw himself up by one hand, finds the same
trouble there as elsewhere, that the laws of Nature are not fast enough
for his inclinations. No one without energy, no one without patience,
can find permanent interest in a gymnasium; but with these qualities,
and a modest willingness to live and learn, I do not see why one should
ever grow tired of the moderate use of its apparatus. For one, I really
never enter it without exhilaration, or leave it without a momentary
regret: there are always certain special new things on the docket for
trial; and when those are settled, there will be something more. It is
amazing what a variety of interest can be extracted from those few bits
of wood and rope and iron. There is always somebody in advance, some
"man on horseback" on a wooden horse, some India-rubber hero, some
slight and powerful fellow who does with ease what you fail to do with
toil, some terrible Dr. Windship with an ever-waxing dumb-bell. The
interest becomes semi-professional. A good gymnast enjoys going into
a new and well-appointed establishment, precisely as a sailor enjoys
a well-rigged ship; every rope and spar is scanned with intelligent
interest; "we know the forest round us as seamen know the sea." The
pupils talk gymnasium as some men talk horse. A particularly smooth
and flexible horizontal pole, a desirable pair of parallel bars, a
remarkably elastic spring-board,--these are matters of personal pride,
and described from city to city with loving enthusiasm. The gymnastic
apostle rises to eloquence in proportion to the height of the
handswings, and points his climax to match the peak-ladders.

An objection frequently made to the gymnasium, and especially by anxious
parents, is the supposed danger of accident. But this peril is obviously
inseparable from all physical activity. If a man never leaves his house,
the chances undoubtedly are, that he will never break his leg, unless
upon the stairway; but if he is always to stay in the house, he might
as well have no legs at all. Certainly we incur danger every time we go
outside the front-door; but to remain always on the inside would prove
the greatest danger of the whole. When a man slips in the street and
dislocates his arm, we do not warn him against walking, but against
carelessness. When a man is thrown from his horse and gratifies the
surgeons by a beautiful case of compound fracture, we do not advise him
to avoid a riding-school, but to go to one. Trivial accidents are not
uncommon in the gymnasium, severe ones are rare, fatal ones almost
unheard-of,--which is far more than can be said of riding, driving,
hunting, boating, skating, or even "coasting" on a sled. Learning
gymnastics is like learning to swim,--you incur a small temporary risk
for the sake of acquiring powers that will lessen your risks in the end.
Your increased strength and agility will carry you past many unseen
perils hereafter, and the invigorated tone of your system will make
accidents less important, if they happen. Some trifling sprain causes
lameness for life, some slight blow brings on wasting disease, to
a person whose health is merely negative, not positive,--while a
well-trained frame throws it off in twenty-four hours. It is almost
proverbial of the gymnasium, that it cures its own wounds.

A minor objection is, that these exercises are not performed in the
open air. In summer, however, they may be, and in winter and in stormy
weather it is better that they should not be. Extreme cold is not
favorable to them; it braces, but stiffens; and the bars and ropes
become slippery and even dangerous. In Germany it is common to have a
double set of apparatus, out-doors and in-doors; and this would always
be desirable, but for the increased expense. Moreover, the gymnasium
should be taken in addition to out-door exercise, giving, for instance,
an hour a day to each, one for training, the other for oxygen. I know
promising gymnasts whose pallid complexions show that their blood is not
worthy of their muscle, and they will break down. But these cases are
rare, for the reason already hinted,--that nothing gives so good an
appetite for out-door life as this indoor activity. It alternates
admirably with skating, and seduces irresistibly into walking or rowing
when spring arrives.

My young friend Silverspoon, indeed, thinks that a good trot on a fast
horse is worth all the gymnastics in the world. But I learn, on inquiry,
that my young friend's mother is constantly imploring him to ride in
order to air her horses. It is a beautiful parental trait; but for those
born horseless, what an economical substitute is the wooden quadruped of
the gymnasium! Our Autocrat has well said, that the livery-stable horse
is "a profligate animal"; and I do not wonder that the Centaurs of old
should be suspected of having originated spurious coin. Undoubtedly it
was to pay for the hire of their own hoofs.

For young men in cities, too, the facilities for exercise are limited
not only by money, but by time. They must commonly take it after dark.
It is every way a blessing, when the gymnasium divides their evenings
with the concert, the book, or the public meeting. Then there is no
time left, and small temptation, for pleasures less pure. It gives an
innocent answer to that first demand for evening excitement which perils
the soul of the homeless boy in the seductive city. The companions whom
he meets at the gymnasium are not the ones whose pursuits of later
nocturnal hours entice him to sin. The honest fatigue of his exercises
calls for honest rest. It is the nervous exhaustion of a sedentary,
frivolous, or joyless life which madly tries to restore itself by the
other nervous exhaustion of debauchery. It is an old prescription,--

  "Multa tulit fecitque puer, sudavit et alsit,
  _Abstinuit venere et vino_."

There is another class of critics whose cant is simply can't, and who,
being unable or unwilling to surrender themselves to these simple
sources of enjoyment, are grandiloquent upon the dignity of manhood,
and the absurdity of full-grown men in playing monkey-tricks with their
bodies. Full-grown men? There is not a person in the world who can
afford to be a "full-grown man" through all the twenty-four hours. There
is not one who does not need, more than he needs his dinner, to have
habitually one hour in the day when he throws himself with boyish
eagerness into interests as simple as those of boys. No church or state,
no science or art, can feed us all the time; some morsels there must be
of simpler diet, some moments of unadulterated play. But dignity? Alas
for that poor soul whose dignity must be "preserved,"--preserved in
the right culinary sense, as fruits which are growing dubious in their
natural state are sealed up in jars to make their acidity presentable!
"There's beggary in the love that can be reckoned," and degradation in
the dignity that has to be preserved. Simplicity is the only dignity. If
one has not the genuine article, no affluence of starch, no snow-drift
of white-linen decency, will furnish any substitute. If one has it, he
will retain it, whether he stand on his head or his heels. Nothing
is really undignified but affectation or conceit; and for the total
extinction and annihilation of every vestige of these, there are few
things so effectual as athletic exercises.

Still another objection is that of the medical men, that the gymnasium,
as commonly used, is not a specific prescription for the special disease
of the patient. But setting aside the claims of the system of applied
gymnastics, which Ling and his followers have so elaborated, it is
enough to answer, that the one great fundamental disorder of all
Americans is simply nervous exhaustion, and that for this the gymnasium
can never be misdirected, though it may be used to excess. Of course one
can no more cure over-work of brain by over-work of body than one
can restore a wasted candle by lighting it at the other end. But by
subtracting an hour a day from the present amount of purely intellectual
fatigue, and inserting that quantum of bodily fatigue in its place, you
begin an immediate change in your conditions of life. Moreover, the
great object is not merely to get well, but to keep well. The exhaustion
of over-work can almost always be cured by a water-cure, or by a voyage,
which is a salt-water cure; but the problem is, how to make the whole
voyage of life perpetually self-curative. Without this, there is
perpetual dissatisfaction and chronic failure. Emerson well says, "Each
class fixes its eye on the advantages it has not,--the refined on rude
strength, the democrat on birth and breeding." This is the aim of the
gymnasium, to give to the refined this rude strength, or its better
substitute, refined strength. It is something to secure to the student
or the clerk the strong muscles, hearty appetite, and sound sleep of the
sailor and the ploughman,--to enable him, if need be, to out-row the
fisherman, and out-run the mountaineer, and lift more than his porter,
and to remember head-ache and dyspepsia only as he recalls the primeval
whooping-cough of his childhood. I am one of those who think that the
Autocrat rides his hobby of the pavements a little too far; but it is
useless to deny, that, within the last few years of gymnasiums and
boat-clubs, the city has been gaining on the country, in physical
development. Here in our town we had all the city- and college-boys
assembled in July to see the regattas, and all the country-boys in
September to see the thousand-dollar base-ball match; and it was
impossible to deny, whatever one's theories, that the physical
superiority lay for the time being with the former.

The secret is, that, though the country offers to farmers more oxygen
than to anybody in the city, yet not all dwellers in the country are
farmers, and even those who are such are suffering from other causes,
being usually the very last to receive those lessons of food and
clothing and bathing and ventilation which have their origin in cities.
Physical training is not a mechanical, but a vital process: no bricks
without straw; no good _physique_ without good materials and conditions.
The farmer knows, that, to rear a premium colt or calf, he must oversee
every morsel that it eats, every motion it makes, every breath it
draws,--must guard against over-work and under-work, cold and heat, wet
and dry. He remembers it for the quadrupeds, but he forgets it for his
children, his wife, and himself: so his cattle deserve a premium, and
his family does not.

Neglect is the danger of the country; the peril of the city is in living
too fast. All mental excitement acts as a stimulant, and, like all
stimulants, debilitates when taken in excess. This explains the
unnatural strength and agility of the insane, always followed by
prostration; and even moderate cerebral excitement produces similar
results, so far as it goes. Quetelet discovered that sometimes after
lecturing, or other special intellectual action, he could perform
gymnastic feats impossible to him at other times. The fact is
unquestionable; and it is also certain that an extreme in this direction
has precisely the contrary effect, and is fatal to the physical
condition. One may spring up from a task of moderate mental labor with a
sense of freedom like a bow let loose; but after an immoderate task
one feels like the same bow too long bent, flaccid, nerveless, all the
elasticity gone. Such fatigue is far more overwhelming than any mere
physical exhaustion. I have lounged into the gymnasium, after an
afternoon's skating, supposing myself quite tired, and have found myself
in excellent condition; and I have gone in after an hour or two of some
specially concentrated anxiety or thought, without being aware that
the body was at all fatigued, and found it good for nothing. Such
experiences are invaluable; all the libraries cannot so illustrate the
supremacy of immaterial forces. Thought, passion, purpose, expectation,
absorbed attention even, all feed upon the body's powers; let them
act one atom too intensely or one moment too long, and this wondrous
physical organization finds itself drained of its forces to support
them. It does not seem strange that strong men should have died by a
single ecstasy of emotion too convulsive, when we bear within us this
tremendous engine whose slightest pulsation so throbs in every fibre of
our frame.

The relation between mental culture and physical powers is a subject of
the greatest interest, as yet but little touched, because so few of our
physiologists have been practical gymnasts. Nothing is more striking
than the tendency of all athletic exercises, when brought to perfection,
to eliminate mere brute bulk from the competition, and give the palm
to more subtile qualities, agility, quickness, a good eye, a ready
hand,--in short, superior fineness of organization. Any clown can learn
the military manual exercise; but it needs brain-power to drill with
the Zouaves. Even a prize-fight tests strength less than activity and
"science." The game of base-ball, as played in our boyhood, was a
simple, robust, straightforward contest, where the hardest hitter
was the best man; but it is every year becoming perfected into a
sleight-of-hand, like cricket; mere strength is now almost valueless
in playing it, and it calls rather for the qualities of the
billiard-player. In the last champion-match at Worcester, nearly the
whole time was consumed in skilful feints and parryings, and it took
five days to make fifty runs. And these same characteristics mark
gymnastic exercises above all; men of great natural strength are very
apt to be too slow and clumsy for them, and the most difficult feats
are usually done by persons of comparatively delicate _physique_ and a
certain artistic organization. It is this predominance of the nervous
temperament which is yet destined to make American gymnasts the foremost
in the world.

Indeed, the gymnasium is as good a place for the study of human nature
as any. The perpetual analogy of mind and body can be appreciated only
where both are trained with equal system. In both departments the great
prizes are not won by the most astounding special powers, but by a
certain harmonious adaptation. There is a physical tact, as there is
a mental tact. Every process is accomplished by using just the right
stress at just the right moment; but no two persons are alike in the
length of time required for these little discoveries. Gymnastic genius
lies in gaining at the first trial what will cost weeks of perseverance
to those less happily gifted. And as the close elastic costume which is
worn by the gymnast, or should be worn, allows no merit or defect of
figure to be concealed, so the close contact of emulation exhibits all
the varieties of temperament. One is made indolent by success, and
another is made ardent; one is discouraged by failure, and another
aroused by it; one does everything best the first time and slackens ever
after, while another always begins at the bottom and always climbs to
the top.

One of the most enjoyable things in these mimic emulations is this
absolute genuineness in their gradations of success. In the great world
outside, there is no immediate and absolute test for merit. There are
cliques and puffings and jealousies, quarrels of authors, tricks of
trade, caucusing in politics, hypocrisy among the deacons. We distrust
the value of others' successes, they distrust ours, and we all sometimes
distrust our own. There are those who believe in Shakspeare, and those
who believe in Tupper. All merit is measured by sliding scales, and each
has his own theory of the sliding. In a dozen centuries it will all come
right, no doubt. In the mean time there is vanity in one half the world
and vexation of spirit in the other half, and each man joins each half
in turn. But once enter the charmed gate of the gymnasium, and you leave
shams behind. Though you be saint or sage, no matter, the inexorable
laws of gravitation are around you. If you flinch, you fail; if you
slip, you fall. That bar, that rope, that weight shall test you
absolutely. Can you handle it, it is well; but if not, stand aside for
him who can. You may have every other gift and grace, it counts for
nothing; he, not you, is the man for the hour. The code of Spanish
aristocracy is slight and flexible compared with this rigid precedence.
It is Emerson's Astraea. Each registers himself, and there is no appeal.
No use to kick and struggle, no use to apologize. Do not say that
to-night you are tired, last night you felt ill. These excuses may serve
for a day, but no longer. A slight margin is allowed for moods and
variations, but it is not great after all. One revels in this Palace
of Truth. Defeat itself is a satisfaction, before a tribunal of such
absolute justice.

This contributes to that healthful ardor with which, in these exercises,
a man forgets the things which are behind and presses forward to fresh
achievements. This perpetually saves from vanity; for everything seems
a trifle, when you have once attained to it. The aim which yesterday
filled your whole gymnastic horizon you overtake and pass as a boat
passes a buoy: until passed, it was a goal; when passed, a mere speck in
the horizon. Yesterday you could swing yourself three rounds upon the
horizontal ladder; to-day, after weeks of effort, you have suddenly
attained to the fourth, and instantly all that long laborious effort
vanishes, to be formed again between you and the fifth round: five, five
is the only goal for heroic labor to-day; and when five is attained,
there will be six, and so on while the Arabic numerals hold out. A
childish aim, no doubt; but is not this what we all recognize as the
privilege of childhood, to obtain exaggerated enjoyment from little
things? When you have come to the really difficult feats of the
gymnasium,--when you have conquered the "barber's curl" and the
"peg-pole,"--when you can draw yourself up by one arm, and perform the
"giant's swing" over and over, without changing hands, and vault the
horizontal bar as high as you can reach it,--when you can vault across
the high parallel bars between your hands backward, or walk through them
on your palms with your feet in the vicinity of the ceiling,--then you
will reap the reward of your past labors, and may begin to call yourself
a gymnast.

It is pleasant to think, that, so great is the variety of exercises in
the gymnasium, even physical deficiencies and deformities do not wholly
exclude from its benefits. I have seen an invalid girl, so lame from
childhood that she could not stand without support, whose general health
had been restored, and her bust and arms made a study for a sculptor, by
means of gymnastics. Nay, there are odd compensations of Nature by which
even exceptional formations may turn to account in athletic exercises. A
squinting eye is a treasure to a boxer, a left-handed batter is a prize
in a cricketing eleven, and one of the best gymnasts in Chicago is an
individual with a wooden leg, which he takes off at the commencement
of affairs, thus economizing weight and stowage, and performing
achievements impossible except to unipeds.

In the enthusiasm created by this emulation, there is necessarily some
danger of excess. Dr. Windship approves of exercising only every other
day in the gymnasium; but as most persons take their work in a more
diluted form than his, they can afford to repeat it daily, unless warned
by headache or languor that they are exceeding their allowance. There
is no good in excess; our constitutions cannot be hurried. The law is
universal, that exercise strengthens as long as nutrition balances it,
but afterwards wastes the very forces it should increase. We cannot make
bricks faster than Nature supplies us with straw.

It is one good evidence of the increasing interest in these exercises,
that the American gymnasiums built during the past year or two have far
surpassed all their predecessors in size and completeness, and have
probably no superiors in the world. The Seventh Regiment Gymnasium in
New York, just opened by Mr. Abner S. Brady, is one hundred and eighty
feet by fifty-two, in its main hall, and thirty-five feet in height,
with nearly a thousand pupils. The beautiful hall of the Metropolitan
Gymnasium, in Chicago, measures one hundred and eight feet by eighty,
and is twenty feet high at the sides, with a dome in the centre, forty
feet high, and the same in diameter. Next to these probably rank the
new gymnasium at Cincinnati, the Tremont Gymnasium at Boston, and the
Bunker-Hill Gymnasium at Charlestown, all recently opened. Of college
institutions the most complete are probably those at Cambridge and New
Haven,--the former being eighty-five feet by fifty, and the latter one
hundred feet by fifty, in external dimensions. The arrangements for
instruction are rather more systematic at Harvard, but Yale has several
valuable articles of apparatus--as the rack-bars and the series
of rings--which have hardly made their appearance, as yet, in
Massachusetts, though considered indispensable in New York.

Gymnastic exercises are as yet but very sparingly introduced into our
seminaries, primary or professional, though a great change is already
beginning. Frederick the Great complained of the whole Prussian
school-system of his day, because it assumed that men were originally
created for students and clerks, whereas his Majesty argued that the
very shape of the human body rather proved them to be meant by Nature
for postilions. Until lately all our educational plans have assumed man
to be a merely sedentary being; we have employed teachers of music and
drawing to go from school to school to teach those elegant arts, but
have had none to teach the art of health. Accordingly, the pupils have
exhibited more complex curves in their spines than they could possibly
portray on the blackboard, and acquired such discords in their nervous
systems as would have utterly disgraced their singing. It is something
to have got beyond the period when active sports were actually
prohibited. I remember when there was but one boat owned by a Cambridge
student,--the owner was the first of his class, by the way, to get his
name into capitals in the "Triennial Catalogue" afterwards,--and that
boat was soon reported to have been suppressed by the Faculty, on the
plea that there was a college law against a student's keeping domestic
animals, and a boat was a domestic animal within the meaning of the
statute. Manual labor was thought less reprehensible; but schools on
this basis have never yet proved satisfactory, because either the hands
or the brains have always come off second-best from the effort to
combine: it is a law of Nature, that after a hard day's work one does
not need more work, but play. But in many of the German common-schools
one or two hours are given daily to gymnastic exercises with apparatus,
with sometimes the addition of Wednesday or Saturday afternoon; and this
was the result, as appears from Gutsmuth's book, of precisely the same
popular reaction against a purely intellectual system which is visible
in our community now. In the French military school at Joinville, the
degree of Bachelor of Agility is formally conferred; but Horace Mann's
remark still holds good, that it is seldom thought necessary to train
men's bodies for any purpose except to destroy those of other men.
However, in view of the present wise policy of our leading colleges,
we shall have to stop croaking before long, especially as enthusiastic
alumni already begin to fancy a visible improvement in the _physique_ of
graduating classes on Commencement Day.

It would be unpardonable, in this connection, not to speak a good word
for the hobby of the day,--Dr. Lewis, and his system of gymnastics, or,
more properly, of calisthenics. Aside from a few amusing games, there is
nothing very novel in the "system," except the man himself. Dr. Windship
had done all that was needed in apostleship of severe exercises, and
there was wanting some man with a milder hobby, perfectly safe for a
lady to drive. The Fates provided that man, also, in Dr. Lewis,--so
hale and hearty, so profoundly confident in the omnipotence of his own
methods and the uselessness of all others, with such a ready invention,
and such an inundation of animal spirits that he could flood any
company, no matter how starched or listless, with an unbounded appetite
for ball-games and bean-games. How long it will last in the hands of
others than the projector remains to be seen, especially as some of his
feats are more exhausting than average gymnastics; but, in the mean
time, it is just what is wanted for multitudes of persons who find or
fancy the real gymnasium to be unsuited to them. It will especially
render service to female pupils, so far as they practise it; for the
accustomed gymnastic exercises seem never yet to have been rendered
attractive to them, on any large scale, and with any permanency. Girls,
no doubt, learn as readily as boys to row, to skate, and to swim,--any
muscular inferiority being perhaps counterbalanced in swimming by
their greater physical buoyancy, in skating by their dancing-school
experience, and in rowing by their music-lessons enabling them more
promptly to fall into regular time,--though these suggestions may all be
fancies rather than facts. The same points help them, perhaps, in the
lighter calisthenic exercises; but when they come to the apparatus, one
seldom sees a girl who takes hold like a boy: it, perhaps, requires a
certain ready capital of muscle, at the outset, which they have not at
command, and which it is tedious to acquire afterwards. Yet there seem
to be some cases, as with the classes of Mrs. Molineaux at Cambridge,
where a good deal of gymnastic enthusiasm is created among female
pupils, and it may be, after all, that the deficiency lies thus far in
the teachers.

Experience is already showing that the advantages of school-gymnasiums
go deeper than was at first supposed. It is not to be the whole object
of American education to create scholars or idealists, but to produce
persons of a solid strength,--persons who, to use the most expressive
Western phrase that ever was coined into five monosyllables, "will do to
tie to"; whereas to most of us it would be absurd to tie anything but
the Scriptural millstone. In the military school of Brienne, the only
report appended to the name of the little Napoleon Bonaparte was "Very
healthy"; and it is precisely this class of boys for whom there is least
place in a purely intellectual institution. A child of immense animal
activity and unlimited observing faculties, personally acquainted with
every man, child, horse, dog, in the township,--intimate in the families
of oriole and grasshopper, pickerel and turtle,--quick of hand and
eye,--in short, born for practical leadership and victory,--such a boy
finds no provision for him in most of our seminaries, and must, by his
constitution, be either truant or torment. The theory of the institution
ignores such aptitudes as his, and recognizes no merits save those of
some small sedentary linguist or mathematician,--a blessing to his
teacher, but an object of watchful anxiety to the family physician, and
whose career was endangering not only his health, but his humility.
Introduce now some athletic exercises as a regular part of the
school-drill, instantly the rogue finds his legitimate sphere, and leads
the class; he is no longer an outcast, no longer has to look beyond the
school for companions and appreciation; while, on the other hand, the
youthful pedant, no longer monopolizing superiority, is brought down to
a proper level. Presently comes along some finer fellow than either, who
cultivates all his faculties, and is equally good at spring-board and
black-board; and straightway, since every child wishes to be a Crichton,
the whole school tries for the combination of merits, and the grade of
the juvenile community is perceptibly raised.

What is true of childhood is true of manhood also. What a shame it is
that even Kingsley should fall into the cant of deploring maturity as a
misfortune, and declaring that our freshest pleasures come "before
the age of fourteen"! Health is perpetual youth,--that is, a state of
positive health. Merely negative health, the mere keeping out of the
hospital for a series of years, is not health. Health is to feel the
body a luxury, as every vigorous child does,--as the bird does when it
shoots and quivers through the air, not flying for the sake of the goal,
but for the sake of the flight,--as the dog does when he scours madly
across the meadow, or plunges into the muddy blissfulness of the
stream. But neither dog nor bird nor child enjoys his cup of physical
happiness--let the dull or the worldly say what they will--with a
felicity so cordial as the educated palate of conscious manhood. To
"feel one's life in every limb," this is the secret bliss of which all
forms of athletic exercise are merely varying disguises; and it is
absurd to say that we cannot possess this when character is mature, but
only when it is half-developed. As the flower is better than the bud, so
should the fruit be better than the flower.

We need more examples of a mode of living which shall not alone be a
success in view of some ulterior object, but which shall be, in its
nobleness and healthfulness, successful every moment as it passes on.
Navigating a wholly new temperament through history, this American race
must of course form its own methods and take nothing at second-hand; but
the same triumphant combination of bodily and mental training which made
human life beautiful in Greece, strong in Rome, simple and joyous in
Germany, truthful and brave in England, must yet be moulded to a higher
quality amid this varying climate and on these low shores. The regions
of the world most garlanded with glory and romance, Attica, Provence,
Scotland, were originally more barren than Massachusetts; and there is
yet possible for us such an harmonious mingling of refinement and vigor,
that we may more than fulfil the world's expectation, and may become
classic to ourselves.

       *       *       *       *       *


LAND-LOCKED.


  Black lie the hills, swiftly doth daylight flee,
  And, catching gleams of sunset's dying smile,
  Through the dusk land for many a changing mile
  The river runneth softly to the sea.

  O happy river, could I follow thee!
  O yearning heart, that never can be still!
  O wistful eyes, that watch the steadfast hill,
  Longing for level line of solemn sea!

  Have patience; here are flowers and songs of birds,
  Beauty and fragrance, wealth of sound and sight,
  All summer's glory thine from morn till night,
  And life too full of joy for uttered words.

  Neither am I ungrateful. But I dream
  Deliciously, how twilight falls to-night
  Over the glimmering water, how the light
  Dies blissfully away, until I seem

  To feel the wind sea-scented on my cheek,
  To catch the sound of dusky flapping sail,
  And dip of oars, and voices on the gale,
  Afar off, calling softly, low and sweet.

  O Earth, thy summer-song of joy may soar
  Ringing to heaven in triumph! I but crave
  The sad, caressing murmur of the wave
  That breaks in tender music on the shore.



TWO OR THREE TROUBLES.


If there are only two or three, I am pretty sure of a sympathetic
hearing. If there were two-and-twenty, I should be much more doubtful:
for only last night, on being introduced to a tall lady in deep
mourning, and assured that she had been "a terrible sufferer," that her
life, indeed, had been "one long tragedy," I may as well confess, that,
so far from being interested in this tall long tragedy, merely as such,
I stepped a little aside on the instant, on some frivolous pretence, and
took an early opportunity to get out of the way. Why this was I leave to
persons who understand the wrong side of human nature. I am ashamed
of it; but there it is,--neither worse nor better. And I can't expect
others to be more compassionate than I am myself.

One of my troubles grew out of a pleasure, but was not less a trouble
for the time. The other was not an excrescence, but ingrained with the
material: not necessarily, indeed,--far from it; but, from the nature of
the case, hopelessly so.

The penny-postman had brought me a letter from my Aunt Allen, from
Albany. This letter contained, in three lines, a desire that her
dear niece would buy something with the inclosed, and accept it as a
wedding-gift, with the tenderest wishes for her life-long happiness,
from the undersigned.

"The inclosed" fell on the floor, and Laura picked it up.

"Fifty dollars!--hum!--Metropolitan Bank."

"Oh, now, that is charming! Good old soul she is!"

"Yes. Very well. I'm glad she sent it in money."

"So am I. 'T isn't a butter-knife, anyhow."

"How do you mean?" inquired Laura.

"Why, Mr. Lang was telling last night about his clerk. He said he bought
a pair of butter-knives for his clerk Hillman, hearing that he was to be
married, and got them marked. A good substantial present he thought it
was,--cost only seven dollars for a good article, and couldn't fail to
be useful to Hillman. He took them himself, so as to be doubly gracious,
and met his clerk at the store-door.

"'Good morning!--good morning! Wish you joy, Hillman! I've got a pair of
butter-knives for your wife.--Hey? got any?'

"'Eleven, Sir.'

"Eleven butter-knives! and all marked _Marcia Ann Hillman, from A.B.,
from C.D._, and so on!"

Laura laughed, and said she hoped my friends would all be as considerate
as Aunt Allen, or else consult her. Suppose eleven tea-pots, for
instance, or eleven silver salvers, all in a row! Ridiculous!

"Now, Del, I will tell you what it is," said Laura, gravely.

Laura was the sensible one, like Laura in Miss Edgeworth's "Moral
Tales," and never made any mistake. I was like the naughty horse that
is always rearing and jumping, but kept on the track by the good steady
one. Of course, I was far more interesting, and was to be married in
three weeks.

"Now, Del, I'll tell you what it is. Are you going to have all your
presents paraded on the study-table, for everybody to pull over and
compare values,--and have one mortified, and another elated, and all
uncomfortable?"

"Why, what can I do?"

"I know what I wouldn't do."

"You wouldn't do it, Laura?" said I, looking steadily at the
fifty-dollar note.

"Never, Del! I told Mrs. Harris so, when we were coming home from Ellis
Hall's wedding. It looked absolutely vulgar."

We all swore by Mrs. Harris in that part of Boynton, and it was
something to know that Mrs. Harris had received the shock of such a
heterodox opinion.

"And what did Mrs. Harris say, Laura?"

"She said she agreed with me entirely."

"Did she really?" said I, drawing a good long breath.

"Yes,--and she said she would as soon, and sooner, go to a silversmith's
and pull over all the things on the counter. There were knives and
forks, tea-spoons and table-spoons, fish-knives and pie-knives,
strawberry-shovels and ice-shovels, large silver salvers and small
silver salvers and medium silver salvers. Everything useful, and nothing
you want to look at. There wasn't a thing that was in good taste to
show, but just a good photograph of the minister that married them,--and
a beautiful little wreath of sea-weed, that one of her Sunday-school
scholars made for her. As to everything else, I would, as far as good
taste goes, have just as soon had a collection of all Waterman's
kitchen-furniture."

Laura stopped at last, indignant, and out of breath.

"There was a tremendous display of silver, I allow," said I; "the piano
and sideboard were covered with it."

"Yes, and thoroughly vulgar, for that reason. A wedding-gift should be
something appropriate,--not merely useful. As soon as it is only that,
it sinks at once. It should speak of the bride, or to the bride, or
of and from the friend,--intimately associating the gift with past
impressions, with personal tastes, and future hopes felt by both.
The gift should always be a dear reminder of the giver; a
picture,--Evangeline or Beatrice; something you have both of you loved
to look at, or would love to. But think of the delight of cutting your
meat with Edward's present! forking ditto with Mary's! a crumb-scraper
reminding you of this one, table-bell of that one; large salver,
Uncle,--rich; small salver, Uncle,--mean; gold thimble, Cousin,--meanest
of all. Table cleared, ditto mind and memory, of the whole of them--till
next meal, _perhaps!_"

Laura ceased talking, but rocked herself swiftly to and fro in her
chair. It is not necessary to say we were in our chambers,--as, since
our British cousins have ridiculed our rocking-chairs, they are all
banished from the parlor. Consequently we remain in our chambers to rock
and be useful, and come into the parlor to be useless and uncomfortable
in _fauteuils_, made, as the chair-makers tell us, "after the line of
beauty." Laura and I both detest them, and Polly says, "Nothing can be
worse for the spine of a person's back." To be

  "Stretched on the rack of a too-easy chair,"

let anybody try a modern drawing-room. So Laura and I have cane
sewing-chairs, which, it is needless to add, rock,--rock eloquently,
too. They wave, as the boat waves with the impetus of the sea, gently,
calmly, slowly,--or, as conversation grows animated, as disputes arise,
as good stories are told, one after another, so do the sympathizing and
eloquent rocking-chairs keep pace with our conversation, stimulating or
soothing, as it chances.

And now I come to my first trouble,--first, and, as it happened, of long
standing now; insomuch that, when Laura asked me once, gravely, why I
had not made it a vital objection, in the first place, I had not a word
to reply, but just--rocked.

She, Laura, was stitching on some shirts for "him." They were intended
as a wedding-gift from herself, and were beautifully made. Laura
despised a Wheeler-and-Wilson, and all its kindred,--and the shirts
looked like shirts, consequently.

I linger a little, shivering on the brink. Somehow I always say
"_him_,"--nowadays, of course, Mr. Sampson,--but then I always said "he"
and "him." I know why country-folk say so, now. Though sentimentalists
say, it is because there is only one "he" for "her," I don't believe it.
It is because their names are Jotham, or Adoniram, or Jehiel, or Asher,
or some of those names, and so they say "he," for short. But there
was no short for me. So I may as well come to it. "His" name was
America,--America Sampson. It is four years and a half since I knew this
for a fact, yet my surprise is not lessened. Epithets are weak trash for
such an occasion, or I should vituperate even now the odious practice
of saddling children with one's own folly or prejudice in the shape of
names.

There was no help for it. There was no hope. My lover had not received
his name from any rich uncle, with the condition of a handsome fortune;
so he had no chance of indignantly asserting his choice to be Herbert
barefoot rather than Hog's-flesh with gold shoes. His father and mother
had given his name,--not at the baptismal font, for they were Baptists,
and didn't baptize so,--but they had given it to him. They were both
alive and well, and so were seventeen uncles and aunts who would all
know,--in good health, and bad taste, all of them.

"He" had four brothers to keep him in countenance, all with worse names
than his: Washington, Philip Massasoit, Scipio, and Hiram Yaw Byron!
There was the excuse, in this last name, of its being a family one,
as far as Yaw went; but----However, as I said, language is wholly
inadequate and weak for some purposes. There was a lower deep than
America,--that was some comfort.

Hiram Yaw wasn't sent to college, but to Ashtabula, wherever that is,
and I never wish to see him. But to college was America sent,--to be
"hazed," and taunted, and called "E Plury," and his beak and claws
inquired after, through the freshman year. I never knew how he went
through,--I mean, with what feelings. Of course, he was the first
scholar. But that, even, must have been but a small consolation.

The worst of all was, he was sensitive about his name,--whether because
it had been used to torment him, and so, like poor worn-out Nessus,
he wrapped more closely his poisoned scarf, (I like scarf better than
shirt,)--or whether he had, in the course of his law-studies and
men-studies, come to think it really mattered very little what a man's
name was in the beginning; at all events, he had no notion of dismissing
his own.

My own secret hope had been, that, by an Act of the Legislature, which
that very season had changed Pontifex Parker to Charles Alfred Parker,
Mr. Sampson might be accommodated with a name less unspeakably national.
Dear me! Alfred, Arthur, Albert,--if he must begin with A.

  "A was an Archer, and shot at a frog."

I should even prefer Archer. It needn't be Insatiate Archer. So I kept
turning over and over the painful subject, one evening,--I mean, of
course, in my mind, for I had not really broached this matter of
legislative action. Luckily, "he" had brought in the new edition of
George Herbert's Works. We were reading aloud, and "he" read the chapter
of "The Parson in Sacraments." At the foot was an extract from "The
Parish Register" of Crabbe, which he read, unconscious of the way in
which I mentally applied it. Indeed, I think he scarcely thought of his
own name at that time. But I did, twenty-four times in every day. This
was the note:--

  "Pride lives with all; strange names our rustics give
  To helpless infants, that their own may live;
  Pleased to be known, they'll some attention claim,
  And find some by-way to the house of fame.
  'Why Lonicera wilt thou name thy child?'
  I asked the gardener's wife, in accents mild.
  'We have a right,' replied the sturdy dame;
  And Lonicera was the infant's name."

He stopped reading just here, to look at the evening paper, which had
been brought in. I read something in it, and then we all went to sit on
the piazza, with the street-lamp shining through the bitter-sweet vine,
as good as the moon, and the conversation naturally and easily turned
on odd names. I told what I had read in the paper: that our country
rivalled Dickens's in queer names, and that it wasn't for a land that
had Boggs and Bigger and Bragg for governors, and Stubbs, Snoggles,
Scroggs, and Pugh among its respectable citizens, to accuse Dickens
of caricature. I turned, a little tremulously, I confess, to "him,"
saying,--

"If you had been so unfortunate as to have for a name Darius Snoggles,
now, for instance, wouldn't you have it changed by the Legislature?"

I shivered with anxiety.

"Certainly not," he replied, with perfect unconsciousness. "Whatever my
name might be, I would endeavor to make it a respectable one while I
bore it."

Laura sat the other side of me, and softly touched me. So I only
asked, if that great star up there was Lyra; but all the time Anodyne,
Ambergris, Abner, Albion, Alpheus, and all the names that begin with A,
rolled through my memory monotonously and continually.

After we went up-stairs that night, and while I was trying in vain to do
up my hair so as to make a natural wave in front, (sometimes everything
goes wrong,) Laura said,--

"Delphine!"

My mother mixed romance with good practical sense, and very properly
said that girls with good names and tolerable faces might get on in the
world, but it took fortune to make your Sallies and Mollies go down. She
had good taste, too, and didn't name either of us Louisa Prudence, like
an unfortunate I once saw; and we were left, with our nice cottage
covered with its vine of bitter-sweet and climbing rose, fifteen hundred
dollars each, and our names, Delphine and Laura. Not a bad heritage,
with economy, good looks, and hearts to take life cheerily. Still it
is plain enough that a fifty-dollar note for the bride was not to be
despised nor overlooked. In fact, with the exception of Polly's present
of a brown earthen bowl and a pudding-stick, it was the first approach
to a wedding-gift that I had yet received. And this note was trouble the
second. But of that, by-and-by.

"Delphine!" said Laura, softly.

Some people's voices excoriate you, Laura's was soft and soothing.

"Well!"

"Don't say any more to--to Mr. Sampson about names."

"Oh, dear! hateful!"

"Delphine, be thankful it's no worse!"

"How could it be worse,--unless it were Hog-and-Hominy? I never knew
anything so utterly ridiculous! America! Columbia! Yankee-Doodle! I'd
rather it had been Abraham!"

All this I almost shouted in a passion of vexation, and Laura hastily
closed the window.

"Let me loosen your braids for you, Del," said she, quietly, taking up
my hair in her gentle way, which always had a good effect on my prancing
nerves; "let me bathe your forehead with this, dear;--now, let me tell
you something you will like."

"Oh, my heart! Laura, I wish you could! for I declare to you, that, if
it wasn't for--if it didn't----Oh, dear, dear! how I do hate that name!"

"It is not so very good a name,--that must be owned, Del. All is, you
will have to call him 'Mr. Sampson,' or 'My dear,' or 'You'; or, stay,
you might abbreviate it into Ame, Ami. Ami and Delphine!--it sounds like
a French story for youth. If I were you, I wouldn't meddle with it or
think any more about it."

"Such a name! so ridiculous!" I muttered.

"You have considered it so much and so closely, Del, that it is most
disproportionately prominent in your mind. You can put out Bunker-Hill
Monument with your little finger, if you hold it close enough to your
eye. Don't you remember what Mr. Sampson said to-night about somebody
whose mind had no perspective in it? that his shoe-ribbon was as
prominent and important as his soul? Don't go and be a goosey, Del, and
have no perspective, will you?" And Laura leaned over and kissed my
forehead, all corrugated with my pet grief.

"Well, Laura, what can be worse? I declare--almost I think, Laura, I
would rather he should have some great defect."

"Moral or physical? Gambling? one leg? one eye? lying? six fingers? How
do you mean, Del?"

"Oh, patience! no, indeed!--six fingers! I only meant"----

And here, of course, I stopped.

"Which virtue could you spare in Mr. Sampson?" said Laura, coolly,
fastening my hair neatly in its net, and sitting down in _her_
rocking-chair.

When it came to that, of course there were none to be spared. We
undressed, silently,--Laura rolling all her ribbons carefully, and
I throwing mine about; Laura, consistent, conservative, allopathic,
High-Church,--I, homoeopathic, hydropathic, careless, and given to
Parkerism. It did not matter, as to harmony. Two bracelets, but no
need to be alike. We clasped arms and hearts all the same. By-and-by I
remembered,--

"Oh! what's your good news, Laura?"

"Ariana Cooper and Geraldine Parker are both married,--both on the same
day, at Grace Church, New York."

"Is it possible? Who told you? How do you know?"

"I read it in the 'Evening Post,' just before I came up-stairs. Now
guess,--guess a month, Del, and you won't guess whom they have married."

"No use to guess. They've found somebody in New York at their aunt's,
I suppose. Both so pretty and rich, they were likely to find good
_partis_."

"Merchants both, I think. Now do guess!"

"How can I? Herbert Clark, maybe,--or Captain Ellington? No, of course
not. A merchant? Julius Winthrop. I know Ariana was a great admirer of
a military man. She used to say she would have loved Sidney for his
chivalry, and Raleigh for his graceful foppery; and Pembroke Dunkin she
admired for both. It isn't Pembroke?"

And here I sighed over and over, like a foolish virgin.

"Now, then, listen. Here it is in the paper," said Laura.

"'Married, at Grace Church, by the Rev. So-and-So, assisted, etc., etc.,
Ossian Smutt, Esq., of the firm of S. Hamilton & Company, to Ariana,
eldest daughter of the late George S. Cooper. At the same place, and
day, Hon. Unity Smith, M.C., to Geraldine Miranda, daughter of the late
Russell Parker of Pine Lodge. The happy quartette have left in the
Persia for a tour in Europe. We wish them joy.'"

"Ugh! Laura! goodness! well, that outdoes me," I screamed, with a sudden
sense of relief, that set me laughing as passionately as I had been
crying. For, though I have not before owned it, I had been crying
heartily.

The Balm of a Thousand Flowers descended on my lacerated heart. To say
the truth, I had dreaded more Ariana's little shrug, and Geraldine
Parker's upraised eyebrows, on reading my marriage, than a whole life of
_that_ name, on my own account merely. But now, thank Heaven, so much
trouble was out of my way. Mrs. Unity Smith, and Mrs. Orlando--no,
Ossian Smutt, could by no possibility laugh at me. Mrs. A. Sampson
wasn't bad on a card. It would not smut one, anyhow. I laughed grimly,
and composed myself to sleep.

The next morning had come the pleasant letter from my Albany aunt, with
the fifty-dollar note. Laura continued rocking, fifty strokes a minute,
and stitching at the rate of sixty. I held the note idly, rubbing up
my imagination for things new and old. Laura, being industrious, was
virtuously employing her thoughts. As idleness brings mischief, and
riches anxiety, I did not rock long without evil consequences. Eve
herself was not contented in Eden. She had to do all the cooking, for
one thing,--and angels always happening in to dinner! For my part, the
name of Adam would have been enough to spoil my pleasure. Here Laura
interrupted my thoughts, which were running headlong into everything
wicked.

"What do you say?"

"What do you?" I answered; for, like other bad people, I had the
greatest respect for good people's opinions.

"I think--a small--silver salver!"

"Do you think so, really?"

"Yes, Del. That will be good; silver, you know, is always good to have;
and it will be handsome and useful always."

"What! for us?"

"Yes,--pretty to hand a cup of tea on, or a glass of wine,--pretty to
set in the middle of a long table with a vase of flowers on it, when you
have the Court and High-Sheriff to dine,--as you will, of course, every
year,--or with your spoon-goblet. Oh, there are plenty of ways to make a
small silver salver useful. Mrs. Harris says she doesn't see how any one
can keep house without a silver salver."

The last sentence she said with a laugh, for she knew I thought so much
of what Mrs. Harris said.

"We've kept house all our lives without one, Laura."

"Yes,--but I often wish we had one, for all that. As Mrs. Harris says,
'It gives such an air!'"

What a dreadful utilitarian Laura was, I thought. Now, the whole world
and Boston were full of beautiful things,--full of things that had no
special usefulness, but were absolutely and of themselves beautiful. And
such a thing I wanted,--such a presence before me,--"a thing of beauty
and of joy forever,"--something that would not speak directly or
indirectly of labor, of something to be wrought out with toil, or
associated with common, every-day objects. When that life should come to
which I secretly looked forward,--when my soul should bound into a more
radiant atmosphere, where the clouds, if any were, should be all
gold- and silver-tinted, and where my sorrows, love-colored, were to be
sweeter than other people's joys,--in that life, there would be moments
of sweet abandonment to the simple sense of happiness. Then I should
want something on which my mind might linger, my eye rest,--as the bird
rests for an instant, to turn her plumage in the sun, and take another
and loftier flight. Not a word of all this, which common minds called
farrago, but which had its truth to me, did I utter to Laura. Of course,
none of these things bear transplanting or expressing.

"Laura, do you like that statue of Mercury in Mrs. Gore's library?"

"Very much. But I am sure I should be tired of seeing it every day,
standing on one toe. I should be tired, if he wasn't."

"Mrs. Gore says she never tires of it. I asked her. She says it is a
delight to her to lie on the sofa and trace the beautiful undulations
of his figure. How airy! It looks as if it would fly again without the
least effort,--as if it had just 'new-lighted on a heaven-kissing hill'!
Don't you think it perfect, Laura?"

"Well--yes,--I suppose so. I am not so enthusiastic as you are about
it."

"Why don't you like it?"

I would not let Laura see how disappointed I was.

"One thing,--I don't like statuary in any attitude which, if continued,
would seem to be painful. I know artists admire what gives an impression
of motion; and I like to look at Mercury once; as you say, it gives an
idea of flight, of motion,--and it is beautiful for two minutes. But
then comes a sense of its being painful. So that statue of Hebe, or
Aurora,--which is it?--looks as if swiftly coming towards you; but only
for a minute. It does not satisfy you longer, because the unfitness
comes then, and the fatigue, and your imagination is harassed and
fretted. I think statuary should be in repose,--that is, if we want it
in the house as a constant object of sight. Eve at the fountain, or Echo
listening, or Sabrina fair sitting

  "'Under the glassy, cool, translucent wave,
  With twisted braids of lilies knitting
  The loose train of her amber-dropping hair.'

"No matter, if she is represented employed. The motion may go so far."

I suppose I looked blank.

"Oh, don't think I am not glad to admire it. I thought you were thinking
of it for Aunt Allen's gift," continued Laura.

"And so I was. It costs just fifty dollars. But I think you are right
about it. And, besides, do you like bronze, Laura?"

"I like marble a great, great deal best. There is a bronze statue of
Fortune, and a Venus, at Harris & Stanwood's, that are called 'so
beautiful!'--and I wouldn't have them in my house."

Here was an extinguisher. Laura didn't like bronze. And Laura was to be
in my house, whether bronzes--were or not.

       *       *       *       *       *

The sun shone brightly through the bitter-sweet that ran half over the
window, and lighted on the corner of an old mahogany chest.

"That reminds me!" said I, suddenly. "Yesterday, I was looking at
crockery, and there was the most delightful cabinet!--real Japan work,
such as we read of; full of little drawers, and with carved silver
handles, and a secret drawer that shoots out when you touch a spring at
the back. Wouldn't that be a beautiful thing to stand in the parlor,
Laura?"

"For what, Del? Could you keep silver in it? How large is it?"

"Why, no,--it wouldn't be large enough to hold silver. And, besides, I
don't know that I want it for any such purpose. It would hold jewelry."

"If you had any, Del."

"There's the secret drawer,--that would be capital for anything I wanted
to keep perfectly secret."

"Such as what'?"

"Oh, I don't know what, now; but I might possibly have."

"I can't think of anything you would want to shut up in that drawer,"
said Laura, laughing at my mysterious face, which she said looked about
as secret as a hen-coop with the chickens all flying out between the
slats. "In the first place, you haven't any secrets, and are not likely
to have; and next, you will show us (Mr. Sampson and me) the drawer and
spring the first thing you do. And I shall look there every week, to see
if there's anything hid there!"

"Oh, bah!" said I to myself; "Sumner told me that cabinet was just fifty
dollars."

Something--I know not what, and probably never shall know--made me rise
from my rocking-chair, and walk to the chamber-window. At that moment, a
man with a green bag in his hand walked swiftly by, touched his hat as
he passed, and smiled as he turned the corner out of sight. A little
spasm, half painful in its pleasure, contracted my chest, and then
set out at a thrilling pace to the end of my fingers. Then a sense of
triumphant fulness, in my heart, on my lip, in my eyes. Not the name,
but the nature passed,--strong to wrestle, determined to win. Not the
body, but the soul of a man, passed across my field of vision, armed for
earth-strife, gallantly breasting life. What mattered the shape or the
name,--whether handsome or with a fine fortune? How these accidents fell
off from the soul, as it beamed in the loving eye and firm lip!

  "The moment that his face I see,
  I know the man that must" lead "me."

And gently as the fawn follows the forest-keeper does my heart follow
his, to the green pastures and still waters where he loves to lead. I
did not think whether he had a name.

"Are you considering what to put into the secret drawer, Del?"

"Yes,--rather."

Again Laura and I sat and rocked,--this time silently, for my head was
full, and I was holding a stopper on it to keep it from running over;
while Laura was really puzzled about the way to make a dog's eyes with
Berlin wool. As I rocked, from association probably, I thought again of
Eve,--who never seems at all like a grandmother to me, nor even like
"the mother of all living," but like a sweet, capricious, tender,
naughty girl. Like Eve, I had only to stretch forth my hand (with the
fifty-dollar note in it) and grasp "as much beauty as could live" within
that space. Yet, as fifty dollars would buy not only this, but that,
and also the other, it presently became the representative of tens
of fifties, hundreds of fifties, thousands of fifties, and so
on,--different fifties all, but all assuming shapes of beauty and value;
finally, alternately clustering and separating, gathering as if in all
sorts of beautiful heads,--angel heads, winged children,--then shooting
off in a thousand different directions, leaving behind landscapes of
exquisite sunsets, of Norwegian scenery, of processions of pines, of
moonlight seen through arched bridges, of Palmyrene deserts, of
pilgrims in the morning praying. Then came hurdy-gurdy boys and little
flower-girls again, mingling with the landscapes, and thrusting their
curly heads forward, as if to bid me not forget them. Then they all ran
away and left me standing in a long, endless hall with endless columns,
and white figures all about,--in the niches, on the floor, on the
walls,--each Olympian in beauty, in grandeur, in power to lift the
entranced soul to the high region where itself was created, and to which
it always pointed. The white figures melted and warmed into masses and
alcoves, and innumerable volumes looked affectionately at me. They knew
me of old, and had told me their delightful secrets. "They had slept
in my bosom, and whispered kind things to me in the dark night." Some
pressed forward, declaring that here was the new wine of thought,
sparkling and foaming as it had never done before, from the depths of
human sympathy; and others murmured, "The old is better," and smiled at
the surface-thoughts in blue and gold. Volumes and authors grew angry
and vituperative. There was so much to be said on all sides, that I was
deafened, and, with a shake of my head, shook everything into chaos, as
I had done a hundred times before.

"What are you thinking of, Del?" said Laura, pointing the dog's eye with
scarlet wool, to make him look fierce. "You have been looking straight
at me for half a minute."

"Half a minute! have I?"

That wasn't long, however, considering what I had seen in the time.

"At Cotton's, yesterday, I saw, Laura, a beautiful engraving of Arria
and Paetus. She is drawing the dagger from her side, and saying, so
calmly, so heroically,--'My Paetus! it is not hard to die!'"

I had inquired the price of this engraving, and the man said it was
fifty dollars without the frame.

"Those pictures are so painful to look at! don't you think so, Del? And
the better they are, the worse they are! Don't you remember that day we
passed with Sarah, how we wondered she could have her walls covered with
such pictures?"

"Merrill brought them home from Italy, or she wouldn't, perhaps. But I
do remember,--they ware very disagreeable. That flaying of Marsyas! and
Christ crowned with thorns! and that sad Ecce Homo!"

"Yes,--and the Laocoön on that centre bracket! enough to make you scream
to look at it! I desire never to have such bloody reminders about me;
and for a parlor or sitting-room I would infinitely prefer a dead wall
to such a picture, if it were by the oldest of the old masters. Who
wants Ugolino in the house, if it is ever so well painted? Supping on
horrors indeed!"

We rocked again,--and Laura talked about plants and shirts and such
healthy subjects. But, of course, my mind was in such a condition,
nothing but fifty-dollar subjects would stay in it; and, most of all, I
must not let Laura guess what I was thinking of.

"Do you like enamelled watches, Laura,--those pretty little ones made in
Geneva, I mean, worth from forty to sixty dollars?"

"How do you mean? Do I like the small timepieces? or is it the picture
on the back?" said Laura.

"Oh, either. I was thinking of a beauty I saw at Crosby's yesterday,
with the Madonna della Seggiola on the back. Now it is a good thing to
have such a picture about one, any way. I looked at this through the
microscope. It was surprisingly well done; and I suppose the watches are
as good as most."

"Better than yours and mine, Del?" said Laura, demurely.

"Why, no,--I suppose not so good. But I was thinking more of the
picture."

"Oh!" said Laura.

I was on the point of asking what she thought of Knight's Shakspeare,
when the bell rang and Polly brought up Miss Russell's card.

Miss Russell was good and pretty, with a peach-bloom complexion, soft
blue eyes, and curling auburn hair. Still those were articles that could
not well be appraised, as I thought the first minute after we were
seated in the parlor. But she had over her shoulders a cashmere scarf,
which Mr. Russell had brought from India himself, which was therefore a
genuine article, and which, to crown all, cost him only fifty dollars.
It would readily bring thrice that sum in Boston, Miss Russell said. But
such chances were always occurring. Then she described how the shawls
were all thrown in a mess together in a room, and how the captains of
vessels bought them at hap-hazard, without knowing anything about their
value or their relative fineness, and how you could often, if you knew
about the goods, get great bargains. It was a good way to send out fifty
or a hundred dollars by some captain you could trust for taste, or the
captain's wife. But it was generally a mere chance. Sometimes there
would be bought a great old shawl that had been wound round the naked
waist and shoulders of some Indian till it was all soiled and worn. That
would have to be cut up into little neck-scarfs. But sometimes, too, you
got them quite new. Papa knew about dry goods, luckily, and selected a
nice one.

Part of this was repulsive,--but, again, part of it attractive. We don't
expect to be the cheated ones ourselves.

The bell rang again, and this time Lieutenant Clarence Herbert entered
on tiptoe: not of expectation particularly, but he had a way of
tiptoeing which had been the fashion before he went to sea the last
time, and which he resumed on his return, without noticing that in the
mean time the fashion had gone by, and everybody stood straight and
square on his feet. The effect, like all just-gone-by fashions, was to
make him look ridiculous; and it required some self-control on our part
to do him the justice of remembering that he could be quite brilliant
when he pleased, was musical and sentimental. He had a good name, as I
sighed in recalling.

We talked on, and on, instinctively keeping near the ground, and hopping
from bough to bough of daily facts.

When they were both gone, we rejoiced, and went up-stairs again to our
work and our rocking. Laura hummed,--

  "'The visit paid, with ecstasy we come,
  As from a seven-years' transportation, home,
  And there resume the unembarrassed brow,
  Recovering what we lost, we know not how,'--

"What is it?--

  "'Expression,--and the privilege of thought.'"

"What an idea Louisa Russell always gives one of clothes!" said Laura.
"I never remember the least thing she says. I would almost as soon have
in the house one of those wire-women they keep in the shops to hang
shawls on, for anything she has to say."

"I know it," I answered. "But, to tell the truth, Laura, there was
something very interesting about her clothes to me to-day. That scarf!
Don't you think, Laura, that an India scarf is always handsome?"

"Always handsome? What! all colors and qualities?"

"Of course not. I mean a handsome one,--like Louisa Russell's."

"Why, yes, Del. A handsome scarf is always handsome,--that is, until it
is defaced or worn out. What a literal mood you are in just now!"

"Well, Laura,"--I hesitated, and then added slowly, "don't you think
that an India scarf has become almost a matter of necessity? I mean,
that everybody has one?"

"In Boston, you mean. I understand the New York traders say they sell
ten cashmere shawls to Boston people where they do one to a New-Yorker."

"Mrs. Harris told me, Laura, that she _could not_ do without one. She
says she considers them a real necessary of life. She has lost four of
those little neck-scarfs, and, she says, she just goes and buys another.
Her neck is always cold just there."

"Is it, really?" said Laura, dryly. "I suppose nothing short of cashmere
could possibly warm it!"

"Well, it is a pretty thing for a present, any way," said I, rather
impatiently; for I had settled on a scarf as unexceptionable in most
respects. There was the bargain, to begin with. Then it was always a
good thing to hand down to one's heirs. The Gores had a long one that
belonged to their grandmamma, and they could draw it through a gold
ring. It was good to wear, and good to leave. Indicated blood,
too,--and--and----In short, a great deal of nonsense was on the end of
my tongue, waiting my leave to slip off, when Laura said,--

"Didn't Lieutenant Herbert say he would bring you Darley's 'Margaret'?"

"Yes,--he is to bring it to-morrow. What a pretty name Clarence Herbert
is! Lieutenant Clarence Herbert,--there's a good name for you! How many
pretty names there are!"

"You wouldn't be at a loss to name boys," said Laura, laughing,--"like
Mr. Stickney, who named his boys One, Two, and Three. Think of going by
the name of One Stickney!"

"That isn't so bad as to be named 'The Fifteenth of March.' And that was
a real name, given to a girl who was born at sea--I wonder what _she_
was called 'for short.'"

"Sweet fifteen, perhaps."

"That would do. Yes,--Herbert, Robert," said I, musingly, "and Philip,
and Arthur, and Algernon, Alfred, Sidney, Howard, Rupert"----

"Oh, don't, Del! You are foolish, now."

"How, Laura?" said I, consciously.

"Why don't you say America?"

"Oh, what a fall!"

"Enough better than your fine Lieutenant, Del, with his taste, and his
sentiments, and his fine bows, and 'his infinite deal of nothing.'"

I sighed and said nothing. The name-fancies had gone by in long
procession. America had buried them all, and stamped sternly on their
graves.

"What made you ask about Darley's 'Margaret,' Laura?"

"Oh,--only I wanted to see it."

"Don't you think," said I, suddenly reviving with a new idea, "that a
portfolio of engravings is a handsome thing to have in one's parlor
or library? Add to it, you know, from time to time; but begin with
'Margaret,' perhaps, and Retzsch's 'Hamlet' or 'Faust,'--or a collection
of fine wood engravings, such as Mrs. Harris has,--and perhaps one of
Albert Dürer's ugly things to show off with. What do you think of it,
Laura?"

"Do you ever look at Mrs. Harris's nowadays, Del?"

"Why, no,--I can't say I do, now. But I have looked at them when people
were there. How she would shrug and shiver when they _would_ put their
fingers on her nice engravings, and soil, or bend and break them at
the corners! Somebody asked her once, all the time breaking up a fine
Bridgewater Madonna she had just given forty dollars for, 'What is
this engraving worth, now?' She answered, coldly,--'Five minutes ago I
thought it worth forty dollars: now I would take forty cents for it.'"

"Not very polite, I should say," said Laura. "And rather cruel too,
on the whole; since the offence was doubtless the result of ignorance
only."

"I know. But Mrs. Harris said she was so vexed she could not restrain
herself; and besides, she would infinitely prefer that he should be
mortally offended, at least to the point of losing his acquaintance, to
having her best pictures spoiled. She said he cost too much altogether."

"She should have the corners covered somehow. To be sure, it would be
better for people to learn how to treat nice engravings,--but they
won't; and every day somebody comes to see you, and talks excellent
sense, all the while either rolling up your last 'Art Journal,' or
breaking the face of Bryant's portrait in, or some equal mischief. I
don't think engravings pay, to keep,--on the whole; do you, Del?" And
Laura smiled while she rocked.

"Well, perhaps not. I am sure I shouldn't be amiable enough to have mine
thumbed and ruined; and certainly, if they are only to be kept in a
portfolio, it seems hardly worth while."

"So I think," said Laura.

This vexatious consideration--for so it had become--of how I should
spend my aunt's money, came at length almost to outweigh the pleasure of
having it to spend. It was perhaps a little annoyance, at first, but by
repetition became of course great. The prick of a pin is nothing; but if
it prick three weeks, sleeping and waking, "there is differences, look
you!"

"What shall I do with it?" became a serious matter. Suppose I left the
regions of art and beauty particularly, and came back and down to what
would be suitable on the whole, and agreeable to my aunt, whose taste
was evidently beyond what Albany could afford, or she would not have
sent me to the Modern Athens to buy the right thing. Nothing that would
break; else, Sèvres china would be nice: I might get a small plate, or
a dish, for the money. Clothes wear out. Furniture,--you don't want to
say, "This chair, or this bureau or looking-glass, is my Aunt Allen's
gift." No, indeed! It must be something uncommon, _recherché_, tasteful,
durable, and, if possible, something that will show well and sound well
always. If it were only to spend the money, of course I could buy a
carpet or fire-set with it. And off went my bewildered head again on a
tour of observation.

[To be continued.]

       *       *       *       *       *


HARBORS OF THE GREAT LAKES.


In a recent article upon "The Great Lakes,"[A] we remarked, that,
from the conformation of their shores, natural harbors are of rare
occurrence. Consequently, for the protection and convenience of
commerce, a system of artificial harbors has been adopted by the Federal
Government, and appropriations have been made from time to time by
Congress for this purpose; and officers of the United States Engineer
Corps have been appointed to carry on the work. It is to some extent a
new and peculiar kind of engineering, caused by the peculiar conditions
of the case.

[Footnote A: See _Atlantic Monthly_ for February.]

Most of the lake-towns are built upon rivers which empty into the lakes,
and these rivers are usually obstructed at their mouths by bars of sand
and clay. The formation of these bars is due to several causes. The
principal one is this:--The shores of the lakes being usually composed
of sand, this is carried along by the shore-currents of the lake and
deposited at the river-mouths. Another cause of these obstructions may
be found in the fact, that the currents of the rivers are constantly
bringing down with them an amount of soil, which is deposited at the
point where the current meets the still waters of the lake. A third
cause, as we are told by Col. Graham, in his Report for 1855, is the
following:--

"Although the great depth of Lake Michigan prevents the surface from
freezing, yet the ice accumulates in large bodies in the shallow water
near the shores, and is driven by the wind into the mouths of the
rivers. A barrier being thus formed to the force of the lake-waves, the
sudden check of velocity causes them to deposit a portion of the silt
they hold in suspension upon the upper surface of this stratum of ice.
By repeated accumulations in this way, the weight becomes sufficient to
sink the whole mass to the bottom. There it rests, together with other
strata, which are sunk in the same way, until the channel is obstructed
by the combined masses of ice and silt. In the spring, when the ice
melts, the silt is dropped to the bottom, which, combined with that
constantly deposited by the lakeshore currents, causes a greater
accumulation in winter than at any other season."

These bars at the natural river-mouths have frequently not more than two
or three feet of water; and some of them have entirely closed up the
entrance, although at a short distance inside there may be a depth of
from twelve to fifteen or even twenty feet of water.

The channels of these rivers have also a tendency to be deflected from
their courses, on entering the lake, by the shore-currents, which,
driven before the prevailing winds, bend the channel off at right
angles, and, carrying it parallel with the lake-shore, form a long spit
of sand between the river and the lake.

Thus, in constructing an artificial harbor at one of these river-mouths,
the first object to be aimed at is to prevent the further formation of a
bar; and the second, to deepen and improve the river-channel. The former
is attained by running out piers into the lake from the mouth of the
river; and the latter, by the use of a dredge-boat, to cut through the
obstructions.

These piers are formed of a line of cribs, built of timber, and loaded
with stone to keep them in place, and enable them to resist the action
of the waves. They are usually built about twenty or twenty-five feet
wide, and from thirty to forty feet long. They are strengthened by
cross-ties of timber, uniting together the outward walls of the crib.
Piles are usually driven down into the clay, inside of these cribs, and
they are covered with a deck or flooring of plank. As the action of the
currents is constantly tending to remove the bed on which the cribs
rest, and thus cause them to tilt over, their bottoms are constructed
in a sort of open lattice-work, with openings large enough to allow the
stones with which they are loaded to drop through and supply the place
of the earth which is washed away.

The effect of these piers is to concentrate and deepen the
river-channel, and to retard the formation of bars, though they do not
wholly prevent it. In the spring it is often necessary to employ the
services of a steam-dredge-boat to cut through the bar, before vessels
can pass out.

The portion of these cribs above water is found not to last more than
ten or fifteen years; so that it is now recommended to replace them with
piers of stone masonry, wherever the material is easy of access.

As to the cause of the shore-currents which produce this mischief, Col.
Graham says, in one of his Reports,--

"The great power which operates to produce the littoral or shore
currents of the lake is the prevailing winds; just as the great ocean
current called the Gulf Stream is produced by the trade-winds. The
first-mentioned phenomenon is but a miniature demonstration of the same
principle which is more boldly shown in the other. The wind, acting
in its most prevalent lakeward direction, combined with this littoral
current, produces the great power which is constantly forming sand-bars
and shoals at all the harbor-entrances on our extensive lake-coasts. To
counteract the effect of this great power, upon a given point, is what
we have chiefly to contend for in planning the harbor-piers for all the
lake-ports intended to be improved. The point which an engineer first
aims at, in undertaking to plan any of these harbor-works, is to
ascertain as nearly as possible the direction and force of the
prevailing winds."

The length of the Chicago piers is as follows:--North pier, 3900 feet
long, 24 feet wide; south pier, 1800 feet long, 24 feet wide; and they
are placed 200 feet apart.

Harbors of this kind have been constructed at Chicago, Waukegan,
Kenosha, Racine, Milwaukee, Sheboygan, Manitoowoc, Michigan City, and
St. Joseph, on Lake Michigan; at Clinton River, on Lake St. Clair; at
Monroe, Sandusky, Huron, Vermilion, Black River, Cleveland, Grand River,
Ashtabula, Conneaut, Erie, Dunkirk, and Buffalo, on Lake Erie; at Oak
Orchard, Genesee River, Sodus Bay, Oswego, and Ogdensburg, on Lake
Ontario.

For Lakes Huron and Superior it is believed that no appropriations have
been made, the scanty population of their shores not seeming as yet
to demand it, and those two lakes having in their numerous groups of
islands more natural shelter for vessels than Michigan or Erie.

Besides these river-harbors, Col. Graham recommends to Government the
construction at certain points on the lakes of sheltered roadsteads, or
harbors of refuge, to which vessels may run for shelter in bad weather,
when it may be difficult or dangerous to enter the river-mouths. These
are proposed to be made by building breakwaters of crib-work, loaded
with stone, and extending along the shore in a sufficient depth of water
to admit vessels riding easily at anchor under their lee. Many lives
and much property would undoubtedly be saved every year by such
constructions; for it is a difficult matter for a vessel to enter these
narrow rivers in a heavy gale of wind, and if she misses the entrance,
she is very likely to go ashore.

Another very important work to the navigation of the lakes is the
deepening of the channel in Lake St. Clair.

Between Lakes Huron and Erie lies Lake St. Clair, a shallow sheet of
water, some twenty miles in length, through which all the trade of the
Upper Lakes is obliged to pass. At the mouth of the river which connects
this lake with Huron, there is a delta of mud flats, with numerous
channels, which in their deepest parts have not more than ten feet of
water, and would be utterly impassable, were not the bottom of a soft
and yielding mud, which permits the passage of vessels through it, under
the impulse of steam or a strong wind.

Mr. James L. Barton, a gentleman long connected with the lake-commerce,
thus wrote some years ago upon this subject to the Hon. Robert
McClelland, then chairman of the House Committee on Commerce:--

"These difficulties are vastly increased from the almost impassable
condition of the flats in Lake St. Clair. Here steamboats and vessels
are daily compelled in all weather to lie fast aground, and shift their
cargoes, passengers, and luggage into lighters, exposing life, health,
and property to great hazard, and then by extraordinary heaving and
hauling are enabled to get over. Indeed, so bad has this passage become,
that one of the largest steamboats, after lying two or three days on
these flats, everything taken from her into lighters, was unable, with
the powerful aid of steam and everything else she could bring into
service, to pass over; she was obliged to give her freight and
passengers to a smaller boat, abandon the trip, and return to Buffalo.
Other vessels have been compelled not only to take out all their
cargoes, but even their chains and anchors have been stripped from them,
before they could get over. To meet this difficulty as far as possible,
the commercial men around these lakes have imposed a tax upon their
shipping, to dredge out and deepen the channel through these flats."

Col. Graham, in one of his Reports to the Department, writes as follows
upon the importance of this improvement in a military point of view:--

"Since the opening of the Sault Ste. Marie Canal, the only obstacle to
the co-operation of armed fleets, which in time of war would be placed
upon Lakes Superior, Michigan, and Huron, with that which would be on
Lake Erie, is at St. Clair flats. That obstacle removed, and a depth
of channel of twelve feet obtained there, which might be increased to
sixteen or eighteen feet by dredging, war-steamers of the largest
class which would probably be placed on these lakes would have a free
navigation from Buffalo at the foot of Lake Erie to Fond du Lac of Lake
Superior.

"It would be very important that these fleets should have the power of
concentration, either wholly or in part, at certain important points now
rendered impracticable by these intervening flats. It would no doubt
often be important as a measure of naval tactics alone. It would as
often, again, be equally necessary in coöperating with our land-forces.
It might even become necessary to depend on the navy to transport our
land-forces rapidly from one point to another on different sides of the
flats.

"When a work like this subserves the double purpose of military defence
in times of war, and of promoting the interests of commerce between
several of the States of the Union in time of peace, it would seem to
have an increased claim to the attention of the General Government. If
any work of improvement can be considered national in its character,
the improvement of St. Clair flats, in the manner proposed, may, it is
submitted, justly claim to be placed in that category."

The plan proposed by the United States Engineers for this improvement is
to construct two parallel piers of about four thousand feet long, as a
permanent protection to the channel-way, and to dredge out a channel
between these piers, six hundred feet wide and twelve feet deep. The
cost of this work is estimated at about $533,000. This may seem a large
sum of money; but when it is considered that the value of the commerce
which passed over these flats in the year 1855 was ascertained by
Col. Graham to be over two hundred and fifty millions of dollars, or
considerably more than the whole exports of the Southern States for the
year 1860, more than a million of dollars per day during the period of
navigation, and that the increased charge on freights by reason of this
obstruction is more than two millions of dollars per annum, which of
course has to be paid by the producer, the investment of one quarter of
that annual charge in a work which would do away with the tax might seem
to be a measure of economy.

To show the importance of these lake-harbors, and the vast amount of
commerce which depends upon them, and which has grown up within the last
twenty years, we will give an extract from another of Col. Graham's very
interesting Reports, upon the Chicago harbor.

"The present vast extent and rapidly increasing growth of the commerce
of Chicago render it a matter of absolute necessity, in which not
only Illinois, but also a number of her neighboring States are deeply
interested, that her harbor should be kept in the best and most secure
state of improvement, so as always to afford, during the season of
navigation, a safe and easy entrance and departure for vessels drawing
at least twelve feet water.

"The States which are thus directly interested in the port of Chicago
are New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois,
Wisconsin, and Minnesota. The shores of all these are washed either by
Lake Michigan or the other Great Lakes, with which Chicago has a direct
and very extensive commerce through the St. Clair flats. The other
States and Territories, which do not reach to the Great Lakes, but which
are nevertheless greatly interested in the preservation of Chicago
harbor, are Iowa and Missouri, and Nebraska and Kansas. A very large
portion of the wheat and other grain produced in those last-mentioned
States and Territories will be brought by railroads to the port of
Chicago, to be shipped thence to the Eastern Atlantic markets.

"The average amount of duties received annually at the Chicago
custom-house for three years, 1853, '54, and '55, was $377,797.86. The
imports at Chicago for 1855 were,--

  By lake shipment,                $100,752,304.41
  " Illinois and Michigan Canal,      7,426,262.35
  " Railroads,                       68,481,497.90

  Total imports in 1855,           $196,660,064.66

_Exports_.

  By lake shipment,                $34,817,716.32
  " Canal,                          79,614,042.70
  " Railroads,                      98,521,262.86
  ----------------
  Total value of exports in 1855, $212,953,021.88

"Aggregate value of imports and exports at Chicago in the year 1855,
$409,613,086.54.[B]

[Footnote B: This is more than half of the value of all the exports and
imports of the Union in the year 1860, King Cotton included.]

"These statistics have been obtained by much labor and perseverance,
with a view to the strictest accuracy. The result has amply justified
the labor; for the published statistics of this commerce, which have
gone forth to the country through the newspaper-press of the city, fall
far short of its actual extent. On discovering this fact, I felt it to
be a matter of duty to obtain the information directly from the only
authentic sources, namely, the custom-house, mercantile, and warehouse
records.

"Such are the claims which, in a civil point of view, are presented in
behalf of the preservation of this harbor.

"There is still another, of not less magnitude, which is exclusively
national. It is the influence it would have on the military defence of
this part of our frontier, and the success of our arms in time of war. A
single glance at the general map of the United States will be sufficient
to show the importance of Chicago as a military position in conducting
our operations in defence of our northwestern frontier in time of war.

"The great depth to which Lake Michigan here penetrates into a populous
and fertile country totally devoid of fortifications would constitute an
irresistible inducement to an enemy to aim with all his strength at this
point, should he find it divested of any of the chief means of defence
which are by all nations accorded to maritime ports of chief importance,
He would find Chicago very much in such a state of weakness, if the
harborworks here are allowed to fall into a dilapidated condition; for
then our naval force would not itself be secure in hovering about this
port, or in cruising in its immediate vicinity for purposes of military
defence. There is scarcely a week in the year that a fleet might not
have occasion to take refuge from the lake-gales in a safe harbor.
Deprived of this advantage, the only resort would be to take the open
sea, and there buffet out the storms. On their subsiding, this defensive
fleet, on attempting to resume its proper position, might find it
occupied by an enemy, with all the advantages, in a combat, which ought
to be secured to our side.

"An enemy, once possessing this harbor, could by a powerful fleet cover
the landing of an army in pursuit of the conquest of territory, or
designing to lay heavy pecuniary contributions upon the inhabitants.
Peace is the proper time to prepare against such a catastrophe, and the
protection of the harbor is the first element in the military defence
that should be attended to. With the harbor secured permanently in good
condition, the port of Chicago, through the enterprise of the people
of Illinois and the surrounding States, will possess the elements of
military strength in perhaps a greater degree than any other seaport in
the Union.

"The immense reticulation of railroads, amounting to an aggregate length
of 2720 miles, which are tributary to this port, now daily brings into
Chicago the vast amount of agricultural produce exhibited in our tables.
These are their peace-offerings to other nations. In the emergency of
war, however, these railroads could in a single day concentrate at
Chicago troops enough for any military campaign, even if designed to
cover our whole northwestern lake-frontier. Besides this, they would be
the means of bringing here, daily, the munitions of war, and, above all,
the necessary articles of subsistence and forage, to sustain an army of
any magnitude, and to keep it in activity throughout any period that
the war might last. In other words, Chicago would be in time of war the
chief _point d'appui_ of military operations in the Northwest."

In regard to the military importance of the command of the Great Lakes,
history ought to teach us a lesson. At the breaking out of the War of
1812, this matter had been entirely neglected by our Government, in
spite of the earnest appeals of the officer in command in this quarter.
The consequence was the utter failure of the campaign against Canada,
and the capture of the principal posts in the Northwest by the British,
who had provided a naval force here, small, indeed, but sufficient where
there was no opponent. It was not until the naval force organized by
Commodore Perry swept the British from Lake Erie that General Harrison
was able to recover the lost territory. From these considerations, the
importance of strong fortifications in the Straits of Mackinac, to
command the entrance of our Mediterranean, would seem to be evident.

The early advocates in Congress of these lake-improvements had to
encounter a very violent opposition from various quarters.

First, the abstractionists of the Virginia school--men who "would cavil
for the ninth part of a hair"--affirmed in general terms, that this
Government was established with the view of regulating our external
affairs, leaving all internal matters to be regulated by the States; and
then, descending to particulars, declared, that, while Congress had the
power to make improvements on salt water, it could do nothing on fresh.
Furthermore, they argued, that, to give the power of spending money, the
water must ebb and flow, and that the improvement must be below a port
of entry, and not above. Another refinement of the Richmond sophists
was this:--If a river be already navigable, Congress has the power to
improve it, because it can "regulate" commerce; but if a sand-bar at
its mouth prevents vessels from passing in or out, Congress cannot
interfere, because that would be "creating," and not "regulating."
Other Southern orators and their Northern followers denounced these
appropriations as a system of plunder and an attack upon Southern
rights, forgetting the fact, that, in these harbor and coast
appropriations, the South, with a much smaller commerce than the North,
had always claimed the larger share of expenditure. Thus, from 1825 to
1831,

  New England received      $ 327,563.21
  The Middle States, including
  the Lakes,                  982,145.20
  The South and Southwest   2,233,813.18

Others joined in this opposition, from ignorance of the great commerce
growing up on the lakes; and frequently, where bills have been passed by
Congress, Southern influence has caused the Executive to veto them. In
spite of all these obstacles, however, this great interest forced itself
upon the attention of the country; and in July, 1847, a Convention,
composed of delegates from eighteen States, met in Chicago, to concert
measures for obtaining from Government the necessary improvements for
Western rivers and harbors. This body sent an able memorial to Congress,
and the result has been that larger appropriations have since been made.
Still, however, much remains to be done, and it appears by the last
Report of Colonel Graham, that his estimates for necessary work on lake
harbors and roadsteads amount to nearly three millions of dollars, to
which half a million should be added for the improvement of St. Clair
flats, making an aggregate of three and a half millions of dollars,
which is much needed at this time, for the safe navigation of the lakes.

It may be remarked, in tins connection, that the lakes, with their
tributary streams, are furnished with nearly a hundred light-houses,
four or five of which are revolving, and the remainder fixed
lights,--Lake Ontario having eight, Lake Erie twenty-three, Lake St.
Clair two, Lake Huron nine, Lake Michigan thirty-two, and Lake Superior
fourteen.

When we say that Chicago exports thirty millions of bushels of grain,
and is the largest market in the world, many persons doubtless believe
that these are merely Western figures of speech, and not figures of
arithmetic. Let us, then, compare the exports of those European cities
winch have confessedly the largest corn-trade with those of Chicago.

  1854.                    Bushels of Grain.
  Odessa, on the Black Sea,        7,040,000
  Galatz and Bruilow, do.,         8,320,000
  Dantzic, on the Baltic,          4,408,000
  Riga, do.,                       4,000,000
  St. Petersburg, Gulf of Finland, 7,200,000
  Archangel, on the White Sea,     9,528,000
  ----------
  40,496,000

  Chicago, 1860,                  30,000,000

or three-quarters of the amount of grain shipped by the seven largest
corn-markets in Europe; and if we add to the shipments from Chicago the
amount from other lake-ports last year, the aggregate will be found to
exceed the shipments of those European cities by ten to twenty millions
of bushels. Will any one doubt that the granary of the world is in the
Mississippi Valley?

The internal commerce of the country, as it exists on the lakes,
rivers, canals, and railroads, is not generally appreciated. It goes on
noiselessly, and makes little show in comparison with the foreign trade;
but its superiority may be seen by a few comparisons taken from a speech
of the Hon. J.A. Rockwell, in Congress, in 1846.

  In the year 1844, the value of
  goods transported on the New
  York Canals was.....             $92,750,874

  The whole exports of the country
  in 1844.........                  99,716,179

  The imports and exports of Cleveland
  the same year amounted
  to the sum of......              $11,195,703

  The whole Mediterranean and
  South American trade, in 1844,
  amounted to.......                11,202,548

And if, as we have shown, the trade of one of these lake-ports, in 1855,
amounted to over four hundred millions, we may safely claim that the
whole lake-commerce in 1860 exceeds the entire foreign trade of the
United States.

A few statistics of the lake-steamboats may not he uninteresting. They
are taken from Mr. Barton's letter, above referred to.

"The 'New York Mercantile Advertiser,' of May--, 1819, contained the
following notice:--

"'The swift steamboat Walk-in-the-Water is intended to make a voyage
early in the summer from Buffalo, on Lake Erie, to Michilimackinac,
on Lake Huron, for the conveyance of company. The trip has so near a
resemblance to the famous Argonautic expedition in the heroic ages of
Greece, that expectation is quite alive on the subject. Many of our most
distinguished citizens are said to have already engaged their passage
for this splendid adventure.'

"Her speed may be judged from the fact that it took her ten days to make
the trip from Buffalo to Detroit and back, and the charge was eighteen
dollars.

"In 1826 or '27, the majestic waters of Lake Michigan were first
ploughed by steam,--a boat having that year made an excursion with a
pleasure-party to Green Bay. These pleasure-excursions were annually
made by two or three boats, till the year 1832. This year, the
necessities of the Government requiring the transportation of troops and
supplies for the Indian war then existing, steamboats were chartered by
the Government, and made their first appearance at Chicago, then an open
roadstead, in which they were exposed to the full sweep of northerly
storms the whole length of Lake Michigan.

"In 1833, eleven steamboats were employed on the lakes, which carried in
that year 61,485 passengers, and only two trips were made to Chicago.
Time of the round trip, twenty-five days.

"In 1834, eighteen boats were upon the lakes, and three trips were made
to Chicago. The lake-business now increased so much, that in 1839 a
regular line of eight boats was formed to run from Buffalo to Chicago.

"In 1840, the number of steamboats on the lakes was forty-eight.
Cabin-passage from Buffalo to Chicago, twenty dollars."

About 1850 was the height of steamboat-prosperity on the lakes. There
was at that time a line of sixteen first-class steamers from Buffalo to
Chicago, leaving each port twice a day. The boats were elegantly fitted
up, usually carried a band of music, and the table was equal to that
of most American hotels. They usually made the voyage from Buffalo to
Chicago in three or four days, and the charge was about ten dollars.
They went crowded with passengers, four or five hundred not being an
uncommon number, and their profits must have been large. The building of
railroads from East to West, such as the Michigan Central and Southern
lines, and the Lake Shore and Great Western, soon took away the
passenger-business, and the propellers could carry freight at lower
rates than those expensive side-wheel boats could pretend to do. So they
have gradually disappeared from these waters, until at present their
number is very small, compared with what it was ten years ago, while
the number of screw-propellers is increasing yearly, as well as that of
sail-vessels.

Great as is this lake-commerce now, it is still but in its infancy. The
productive capacities of most of the States which border upon these
waters are only beginning to be developed. If in twenty-five years the
trade has grown to its present proportions, what may be expected from it
in twenty-five years more?

The secession of the Gulf States from the Union, and the closing of the
Mississippi to the products of the Northwest, could we suppose such a
state of things to be possible, would still more clearly show the value
of the lake-route to the ocean.

Run the line of 36° 30' across the continent from sea to sea, and build
a wall upon it, if you will, higher than the old wall of China, and the
Northern Confederacy will contain within itself every element of wealth
and prosperity. Commerce and agriculture, manufactures and mines,
forests and fisheries,--all are there.



THE MAN WHO NEVER WAS YOUNG.


At Munich, last summer, I made the acquaintance of M---y, the famous
painter. I had heard much of him during my stay there, and of his
eccentricities. Just then it was quite the mode to circulate stories
about him, and I listened to so many which were incredible that I was
seized with an irresistible desire to meet him. I took, certainly, a
roundabout way to accomplish this. M---y had a horror of forming new
acquaintances,--so it was said. He fled from letters of introduction
coming in the ordinary way, as from the plague. Neither prince nor
noble could win his intimacy or tempt him out of the pale of his daily
routine. We are most eager in the pursuit of what is forbidden. I became
the more determined to make M---y's acquaintance, the more difficult it
seemed. After revolving the matter carefully, I wrote to America to my
intimate friend R., who I knew had subdued "the savage," as M---y was
sometimes called, and begged him to put me in the way of getting hold
of the strange fellow. In four or five weeks I received an answer.
R. simply inclosed me his own card with the painter's name in pencil
written on it,--advising me to go to the artist's house, deliver the
card in person, and trust the result to fortune. Now I had heard, as
before intimated, all sorts of stories about M---y. He was a bachelor,
at least fifty years old. He lived by himself, as was reported,--in
a superb house in an attractive part of the town. Gossip circulated
various tales about its interior. Sometimes he reigned a Sardanapalus;
at other times, a solitary queen graced but a temporary throne. He was
addicted to various vices. He played high, lost generally large sums,
and was in perpetual fear of the bailiffs. It was even reported that a
royal decree had been issued to exempt so extraordinary a genius from
ordinary arrest. In short, scarcely anything extravagant in the category
of human occurrences was omitted in the daily changing detail of the
scandal-loving society of Magnificent Munich. Only, no one ever imputed
a mean or dishonorable thing to M---y; but for the rest, there was
nothing he did not do or permit to be done. He painted when he liked and
what he liked. His compositions, whether of landscape or history, were
eagerly snatched up at extravagant prices,--for M---y was always
exorbitant in his demands. Besides, when he chose, M---y painted
portraits,--never on application, nor for the aristocracy or the
rich,--but as the mood seized him, of some subject that attracted him
while on his various excursions, or of some of his friends. Yet who
_were_ his friends? Could any one tell? I could not find a person who
claimed to know him intimately. Everybody had something to praise him
for: "But it was such a pity that"--and here would follow one of the
thousand bits of gossip which were floating about and had been floating
for years, I had seen M---y often,--for he was no recluse, and could be
met daily in the streets. His general appearance so fascinated me that
the desire to know the man led me to adopt the course I have just
mentioned. So much by way of explanation.

And now, furnished with the card and the advice contained in my friend
R.'s letter, I proceeded one afternoon to the ---- Strasse, and sought
admittance. A decent-looking servant-woman opened the door, and to my
inquiry replied that Herr M---y was certainly at home, but whether
engaged or not she could not answer. She ushered me into a small
apartment on my right, which seemed intended for a reception-room. I was
about sending some kind of message to the master of the house, for I did
not like to trust the magic card out of my possession, when I heard a
door open and shut at the end of the hall, and the quick, nervous step
of a along the passage. Seeing the servant standing by the door, M---y,
for it was he, walked toward it and presented himself bodily before me.
He wore a cap and dressing-gown, and looked vexed, but not ill-natured,
on seeing me. I was much embarrassed, and, forgetting what I had
proposed to say to him, I put R.'s card into his hand without a word.
His eye lighted up instantly.

"You are from America?--You are welcome!--How is my friend?" were words
rapidly enunciated. "Come with me,--leave your hat there,--so!"--and
we mounted a flight of stairs, passed what I perceived to be a fine
_salon_, then through a charming, domestic-looking apartment into one
still smaller, around the walls of which hung three portraits. Portraits
did I say? I can employ no other name,--but so life-like and so human,
my first impression was that I was entering a room where were three
living people.

"Never you mind these," exclaimed M---y, pleasantly, "but sit down
there," pointing to a large _fauteuil_, "and tell me when you reached
Munich, and if you will stay some time: then I can judge better how to
do for you."

My face flushed, for I felt guilty at the little fraud I seemed to have
practised on him. I hesitated only an instant, and then frankly told him
the truth: how it was eighteen months since I left America; how I had
been three months in Munich already; how, hearing so much about him
and observing him frequently in the streets, I became anxious for his
acquaintance, and had written to R. accordingly.

The man has the face of a child: cloud and sunshine pass rapidly over
it. Pleasure and chagrin, sometimes anger, oftener joy, flit across
it, swiftly as the flashing of a meteor. While I was making this
explanation, he looked at me with a searching scrutiny,--at first
angrily, then sadly, as if he were going to cry; but when I finished, he
took my hand in both of his, and said, very seriously,--

"You are welcome just the same."

Soon he commenced laughing: the oddity of the affair was just beginning
to strike him. After conversing awhile, he said,--

"Ah, we shall like each other,--shall we not? Where do you stay? You
shall come and live with me. But will that content you? Have you seen
enough of the outside of Munich?"

I really knew not what to make of so unexpected a demonstration. Should
I accept his invitation, so entirely a stranger as I was? Why not? M---y
was in earnest; he meant what he said; yet I hesitated.

"You need feel no embarrassment," he said, kindly. "I really want you to
come,--unless, indeed, it is not agreeable to you."

"A thousand thanks!" I exclaimed,--"I will come."

"Not a single one," said M---y. "Go and arrange affairs at your hotel,
and make haste back for dinner: it will be served in an hour."

The next day I was domesticated in M---y's house.

I have not the present design to give any account of him. Should the
reader find anything in what is written to interest or attract, it is
possible that in a future number a chapter may be devoted to the great
artist of Munich. Now, however, I remark simply, that the gossip and
strange stories and incidents and other _et ceteras_ told of him proved
to be ridiculous creations, with scarcely a shadow to rest on, having
their inception in M---y's peculiarities,--peculiarities which
originated from an entire and absolute independence of thought and
manner and conduct. A grown-up man in intellect, experience, and
sagacity,--a child in simplicity and feeling, and in the effect produced
by the forms and ceremonies and conventionalities of life: these seemed
always to astonish him, and he never, as he said, could understand why
people should live with masks over their faces, when they would breathe
so much freer and be so much more at their ease by taking them off. This
was the man who invited me to come to his house,--and who would not have
given the invitation, had he not wanted me to accept it.

I have spoken of three paintings which excited my attention the day I
paid my first visit. These were masterpieces,--three portraits, not
life-like, but life itself. They did not attract by the perpetual
stare of the eyes following one, whichever way one turned, as in many
pictures; in these the eyes were not thrown on the spectator. One
portrait was that of a man of at least fifty: an intellectual head;
eyes, I know not what they were,--fierce, defiant, hardly human, but
earthly, devilish; a mouth repulsive to behold, in its eager, absorbing,
selfish expression. Another,--the same person evidently: the same clear
breadth and development of brain, but a subdued and almost heavenly
expression of the eyes, while the mouth was quite a secondary feature,
scarcely disagreeable. The third was the likeness of a young girl,
beautiful, even to perfection. What character, what firmness, what power
to love could be read in those features! What hate, what revulsion, what
undying energy for the true and the right were there! A fair, young
creation,--so fair and so young, it seemed impossible that her destiny
should be an unhappy one: yet her destiny was unhappy. The shadow on the
brow, the melancholy which softened the clear hazel eye, the slightest
possible compression of the mouth, said,--"_Destined to misfortune!_"
Were these actual portraits of living persons, or at least of persons
who had lived? Was there any connection between the man with two faces
and two lives and the maiden with an unhappy destiny? After I became
better acquainted with M---y, I asked him the question, and in reply he
told me the following story, which I now give as nearly as possible in
his own words.

       *       *       *       *       *

Many years ago, in one of my excursions, I came to Baden-Baden. It was a
favorite resort for me, because I found there so many varieties of the
human countenance, and I liked to study them. One evening I was in the
Conversation-Haus, looking at the players at _rouge-et-noir_. At one end
of the table I saw seated a man apparently past fifty; around him were
three or four young fellows of twenty or twenty-five. It is nothing
unusual to see old men at the gaming-table,--quite the contrary. But
this person's head and forehead gave the lie to his countenance, and
I stopped to regard him. While I was doing so, his eyes met mine.
I suppose my gaze was earnest; for his eyes instantly fell, but,
recovering, he returned my look with a stare so impudently defiant that
I directed my attention at once elsewhere. Ever and anon, however, I
would steal a glance at this person,--for there was something in his
looks which fascinated me. He entered with gusto into the game, won
and lost with a good-natured air, yet so premeditated, so, in fact,
_youthfully-old_, I felt a chill pass over me while I was looking at
him. Later in the evening I encountered him again. It was in the public
room of my own hotel, at supper. He was drinking Rhine-wine with the
same young men who were with him at _rouge-et-noir_. The tone of the
whole company was boisterous, and became more so as each fresh bottle
was emptied. The young fellows were very noisy, but impulsively so. The
man also was turbulent and inclined to be merry in the extreme; but as
I watched his eye, I shuddered, for there enthroned was a permanent
expression indicating _a consciousness in every act which he committed_.
Once again our eyes met, and I turned away and left the apartment.
During my walk half an hour afterwards, I encountered the same party,
still more excited and hilarious, in company with some women, whose
character it was not easy to mistake. As I passed, the Unknown brushed
close by me, and again his glance met my own. He seemed half-maddened
by my curious look, which he could not but perceive, and, as I thought,
made use of some insulting expression. I took no notice of it, but
passed on my way, and saw him no more during my stay in the place.

From Baden I made an excursion into Switzerland. I was stopping at a
pleasant village in the romantic neighborhood of the Bernese Alps. One
afternoon I took a walk of several miles in a new direction. I left the
road and pursued a path used only by pedestrians, which shortened the
distance to another village not far off. A little way from this path was
erected a small chapel, and in a niche stood an image of Christ, well
executed in fine white marble. The work was so superior to the rude
designs we find throughout the country that I stopped to examine it.
I was amply repaid. In place of the painful-looking Christ on the
Cross,--too often a mere caricature,--the image was that of the Youthful
Saviour,--mild, benignant, forgiving. In his left palm, which was not
extended, but held near his person, rested a globe, which he seemed to
regard with a heavenly love and compassion, and the effect on me was so
impressive that the words came impulsively to my lips,--"_I am the light
of the world_."

For several minutes I stood regarding with intense admiration this
beautiful exhibition of the Saviour of Sinners. Presently, I saw the
door of the chapel was open. Should I look in? I did so. What did
I behold? The individual I had seen at Baden,--the gamester, the
bacchanal, the debauchee! Now, how changed! He was kneeling at a
tomb,--the only one in the chapel. The setting sun fell directly on his
features. His fine brow seemed fairer and more intellectual than before.
His eyes were soft and subdued, and destitute of anything which could
partake of an earthly element. Even the mouth, which had so disgusted
me, was no longer disagreeable. Contrition, humility, an earnest,
sincere repentance, were tokens clearly to be read in every line of his
face. I took very quietly some steps backward, so as to quit the spot
unobserved, if possible. In doing so, I stumbled and fell over some
loose stones. The noise startled the stranger, who was, I think, about
to leave the chapel. He came forward just as I was recovering myself. We
stood close together, facing each other. A flush passed over the man's
face. He seized my arm and exclaimed fiercely,--

"What are you doing here?"

Without appearing to recognize him, I hastened to explain that my
presence there was quite accidental, and it was in attempting to retreat
quietly, after discovering I was likely to prove an intruder, that my
falling over some stones had attracted his notice. Thus saying, and
bowing, I was about to proceed homeward, when the stranger suddenly
exclaimed,--

"Stop!"

He came up close to me. Every trace of angry excitement had vanished.
Calm and self-possessed, but very mournfully, he said,--

"Are you willing I should put my arm in yours, and walk back with you
to the inn? I am alone,--and God above knows," he added, after a pause,
"how utterly so."

I could only bow an assent, for this sudden exhibition of weakness was
annoying to me. My new acquaintance took my arm, much in the manner a
child would do, and we walked along together.

"I am staying at the same house with you," he said, as we proceeded.
"Did you know it?"

"No, I did not."

"Yes," he continued,--"I saw you when you dismounted, and I knew you at
once. Don't you recognize me?" he inquired, sadly.

"I do," was all I replied.

"So much the better!" he went on. "I like your countenance,--nay, I love
to look at your face. You are a good man; do you know it? I suppose not:
the good are never conscious, and I should not tell you. Excuse my rude
approach just now: the Devil had for a moment dominion over me. Will you
remain here awhile? Shall we sit and be together? And will you--say,
will you talk with me?"

I promised I would. My feelings, despite his miserable weakness, were
becoming interested, and in this manner we reached the inn. Then I
persuaded this strange person to sit down in my room, where I ordered
something comfortable provided for supper. In fact, I thought it the
best thing I could do for him. Very soon I gained his entire confidence.
After two or three days he exhibited to me a small portrait, exquisitely
painted, of a most lovely young girl, and permitted me to copy it. It is
one of the three which you see on the wall there. The others, I need not
add, are portraits of the man himself in the two moods I have described.
For his history, it teaches its lesson, and I shall tell it to you. He
narrated it to me the evening before he left the inn, where we spent two
weeks or more, and I have neither seen nor heard from him since. Seated
near me, in my room, he gave the following account of himself.

       *       *       *       *       *

I was born in Frankfort. My parents had several children, all of whom
died in infancy except me. I was the youngest, and I lived through the
periods which had proved so fatal to the rest. The extraordinary care
of my mother, who watched me with a melancholy tenderness, no doubt
contributed to save a life which in boyhood, and indeed to a mature age,
was at the best a precarious one. My parents were respectable people, in
easy circumstances. I grew up selfish and effeminate, in consequence of
being so much indulged. I exhibited early a studious disposition, and it
was decided to give me an accomplished education, with reference to
my occupying, could I attain it at a future day, a chair in some
university. My mother was a very religious woman. From the first, she
had a morbid sense of the responsibility of bringing up a boy. She
believed my way to manhood was beset by innumerable temptations, almost
impossible to escape, difficult to be resisted, and absolutely ruinous
to my soul, if yielded to. She preached to me incessantly. She kept
me from the society of boys of my own age, for fear I should be
contaminated,--and from the approach of any of the other sex, lest my
mind should be diverted from serious matters and led into wantonness
and folly. She would have made a priest of me, had it not been for
my father;--he objected. His brother, for whom I was named, was a
distinguished professor, to whom I bore, as he thought, a close
resemblance, and he desired I should imitate him in my pursuits. I had
good abilities, and was neither inefficient nor wanting in resolution or
industry. At first I longed for natural life and society; but by degrees
habit helped me to endure, and finally to conquer. In fact, I was taught
that I was doing God service in cultivating an ascetic life. My studies
were pursued with success. I rapidly mastered what was placed before
me, and my relations were proud of my progress. At the usual period the
ordinary craving for female society became strong in me. My mother took
great pains to impress on me that here commenced my first struggle with
Satan, and, if I yielded, I should certainly and beyond all peradventure
become a child of the Devil. I was in a degree conscientious. I was
ambitious to attain to a holy life. I believed what my mother had from
my infancy labored so hard to inculcate, and I trod out with an iron
step every fresh rising emotion of my heart, every genuine passion of
my nature. But I suffered much. The imagination could not always be
subdued, and there were periods when. I felt that the "strong man armed"
had possession of me. Nevertheless his time was not come, and at length
the struggle was over. It was not that I had gained a laudable control
of myself; but, having crucified every rebellious thought, there was
nothing left for control. I had marked my victory by extermination.
To live was no joy; neither was it specially the reverse: a long,
monotonous, changeless platitude; yet no desire to quit the terrible
uniformity.

I was forty years old. I had obtained my purpose. I was a learned
professor. As I gained in acquirements and reputation, I became more and
more laborious. My health, which had become quite firm, began to yield
under incessant application. I was advised, indeed commanded, by my
physician to take repose and recreation. I came here among the Alps. I
stopped at this very house. The season was fine, the inns were filled
with tourists, and great glee and hilarity prevailed. It was not without
its effect on me. By slow degrees, with returning health, the pulses
of life beat with what seemed an unnatural excitement. The world, as I
opened my eyes on it from the window of the inn, was for the first time
not without its attractions. I quieted myself with the idea, that, once
back with my books, my thoughts would flow in the regular channel; and I
called to mind something the physician had said about the necessity of
my being amused, and so forth, to quiet my conscience, which began to
reproach me for enjoying the small ray of sunlight which shone in on my
spirit.

One day, in a little excursion with two or three gentlemen, I was
attracted by the beauty of a spot away from the travelled road. Leaving
my acquaintances resting under some trees to await my return, I strolled
by a narrow path, across the small valley, till I reached the wished-for
place. You know it already. It is where you beheld erected the Christ
and the Tomb. I was looking around with much admiration, when from the
opposite direction came some strolling Savoyards, with a species
of puppet, or _marionnette_, called by these people _Mademoiselle
Catherina._ Without waiting for my assent, the man stopped, and with
the aid of his wife arranged the machine and set _Catherina_ in motion,
accompanying the dance with a song of his own:--

  "Ma commère, quand ja danse,
  Mon cotillon, va-t-il bien?
  Il va d'ici, il va de là,
  Ha, ha, ha!
  Ma commère, quand je danse," etc.

I stopped and looked, and was amused. The music was rude, but wild, and
carried with it an _abandon_ of feeling. I avow to you, it stole upon
me, penetrating soul and body. How I wished I could, on the spot, throw
off the coil which surrounded me and wander away with these children of
the road!

While I stood preoccupied and abstracted, I was roused by a low voice
pronouncing something,--I did not hear what,--and, coming to myself, I
saw standing before me, with her tambourine outstretched, a young girl,
fourteen or fifteen years old. She spoke again,--_"S'il vous plait,
Monsieur."_ Large, lustrous, beaming eyes were turned on me,--not
boldly, not with assurance, neither altogether bashfully,--but honestly
regarding me full in the face, questioning if, after being so attentive
a spectator, I were willing to bestow something. It was strange I had
not noticed this girl before. I had hardly perceived there were three
in the company. Now that I did observe her, I kept looking so earnestly
that I forgot to respond to her request. She was faultless in form and
physical development,--absolutely and unequivocally faultless. Her face,
though browned by constant exposure, was classically beautiful; the foot
and hand very small and delicate. Heavens! how every fibre in my frame
thrilled with an ecstatic emotion, as, for the first time in my life, I
was brought under the influence of female charms! My head swam, my eyes
grew dim,--I staggered. I think I should have fallen, had not the young
girl herself seized my arm and supported me. This brought me to myself.
I bestowed nothing on the strollers, but asked if they were coming to
the village. They answered in the affirmative; and telling them to come
and play at the inn where I was lodging, I hastily quitted the scene.

Do not think I am in the least exaggerating in this narrative. God
knows, what I have to recount is sufficiently extraordinary. I hastened
homeward, my soul in a tumult. On a sudden, the labor of a lifetime was
destroyed, the opinions and convictions of a lifetime stultified and set
at nought. And how?--by what? By a strolling, vagrant Savoyard. Rather
by an exquisite specimen of God's handiwork in flesh and blood! And if
God's handiwork, why might I _not_ be roused and touched and thrilled
and entranced? Something within boldly, in fact audaciously, put that
question to me.

I slept none that night. I was haunted by that form and face. I essayed
to be calm, and to compose myself to slumber. Impossible! For the moment
was swept away my past, with its dreary, lifeless forms, its ghostly
ceremonies, its masked shapes, its soulless, rayless, emotionless
existence. To awake and find life has been one grand error,--to awake
and know that youth and early manhood are gone, and that you have been
cheated of your honest and legitimate enjoyments,--to feel that Pleasure
might have wooed you gracefully when young, and when it would become
you to sacrifice at her shrine,--gods and fiends! I gnashed my teeth in
impotent rage,--I blasphemed,--I was mad!

The morning brought to me composure. While I was dressing, I heard the
music of my Savoyards under the window. I did not trust myself to look
out; but, after breakfasting, I went into the street to search for them.

I was not long unsuccessful, and was immediately recognized with a
profusion of nods and grimaces by the man and a coarse smile by the
woman, who prepared to set _Mademoiselle Catherina_ instantly at work.
The young girl took scarcely any notice of me. I bestowed some money
on the couple, and bade them go to the nearest wine-shop and procure
whatever they desired. They started off, quite willing, I thought, to
leave me alone with the girl. I lost no time. Going close to her, I
said,--

"You are not the child of these people?"

"Alas, no, Monsieur!--I have neither father nor mother."

"And no relations?"

"No relations, Monsieur."

"How long have you lived in this way?"

"Almost always, I suppose. But I remember something many years ago--very
strange. I was all the time in one place,--such a beautiful spot, it
makes it hurt here," (putting her hand on her heart) "when I think of
that. Afterwards it was dark a long time. I do not remember any more."

"And do you like to wander about in this way?"

"Oh, no, Monsieur!--no, indeed!"

"Would you be pleased to go to a nice home, and stay, as you say, all
the time in one place, and learn to read and write, and have friends to
love you and take care of you?"

"Yes! oh, yes!"

"Would you be afraid to go with me?"

The young girl regarded me with a look of penetration which was
surprising, and replied calmly, but with some timidity,--

"No."

"Then it shall be so," I said.

I bade the child sit down and wait for my return, I took the direction
which the man and his wife had pursued, and found them already busily
engaged in the wine-shop, where they had purchased what for them was a
sumptuous entertainment.

"You have stolen that girl," I exclaimed, with severity; "and I shall
have the matter investigated before the Syndic."

They were not so frightened as I expected to see them, although a good
deal decomposed.

"Monsieur mistakes," said the man. "It was we who saved the poor thing's
life, when the father and mother were put to death far away from here
in Hungary, and not a soul to take compassion on her. She was only four
years old; the prison-door was opened and her parents led to execution,
and she left to wander about until she should starve."

I asked if they knew who her parents were. They did not, but were sure
they were people of distinction, condemned for political offences. This
was all I could learn. The child, they said, was in possession of no
relic which betrayed her name or origin. She only wore a small gold
medallion on which was engraved a youthful Christ,--the same in
design as you see erected near the tomb in yonder valley. It has been
faithfully copied.

It was difficult to induce the couple to part with Eudora,--that was her
name. She was now useful to them, and her marvellous beauty began to
attract and brought additional coin to their collections, after the
performances of the _marionnette_. But I was resolved. I offered to the
strollers so large a sum in gold that they could not resist. It was
arranged on the spot. With very little ceremony they said "Good-bye" to
Eudora, and, taking the path over the mountain, in a few minutes were
out of sight.

What a new, what a strange attitude for me! Could I believe in my own
existence? There I stood, a grave professor of the University of ----,
educated and trained in the discipline I have already explained to you.
There stood Eudora, just as perfect in form and feature as imagination
of poet ever pictured.

My plan was formed on the spot, instantly. It was praiseworthy; but I
deserved no praise for it. A deep, engrossing selfishness, pervading
alike sense and spirit, actuated me. I had already brought under control
the fever of the previous day. I could reason calmly; but my conclusions
had reference only to my own gratification and my own happiness. I
regarded Eudora as mine,--my property,--literally belonging to me. I was
forty,--she not fifteen. Yet what was I to do with her? Recommend her
to the care of my mother, who was still alive? Certainly not; she would
then be lost to me. I had a cousin, a lady of high respectability, well
married, who resided in the same town in which I lived. She had no child
of her own; she had often spoken of adopting one. I frequently visited
her house; and when there, she never ceased to criticize me for leading
such an ascetic life. Here was an excellent opportunity for my new
charge. My cousin would be delighted to have the guardianship of such a
lovely creature. She would be as devoted to her as to an own child. She
would sympathize in my plans, and would be careful to train Eudora _for
me_.

Such was the programme. It flashed on me and was definitely settled
before I had time to bid her follow me to the inn. She came
unhesitatingly, and as if she had confidence in my kind intentions. I
did not converse much with her, but, making hasty preparations, we left
the place and proceeded rapidly homeward.

I was not disappointed. My cousin entered readily into my plans. She was
a really good person, seeing all things which she undertook through
the complacent medium of duty. This was, she thought, such a fortunate
incident! It gave her what she had long desired, and it would serve to
distract me from the wretched life I had always led. Thereupon Eudora
was installed in her new home, where she found father and mother in my
cousin and her husband, where her education was commenced and got on
fast. She had a quick intellect, instinctively seizing what was most
important and rapidly forming conclusions. How, day by day, I witnessed
the development of her mind! How I watched every new play of the
emotions! How I saw with a beating heart, as she advanced toward
womanhood, fresh charms displayed and additional beauty manifested! I
shall not tire you with a prolonged narrative of how I enjoyed, month
after month, for more than two years, the society of Eudora,
during which time she made satisfactory advances in education and
accomplishment and attained in grace and loveliness the absolute
perfection of womanhood.

And what, during this period, were my relations with Eudora?--what were
her feelings toward me? I approach the subject with pain. I look back
now on those feelings and on my conduct with an abhorrence and disgust
which I cannot describe. From the first she trusted to me with implicit
confidence. Discriminating in an extraordinary degree, her gratitude
prevented her perceiving my real character. She gave me credit for
absolute, unqualified, disinterested benevolence in rescuing her from
the wretched and precarious condition of a vagrant. Thus she set about
in her own mind to adorn me with every virtue. I was magnanimous, noble,
unselfish, truthful, brave, the soul of honor, incapable of anything
mean or petty. How often has she told me this, holding my hand in hers,
looking full in my face, her own beaming with honest enthusiasm! How my
soul literally shrank within me! How like a guilty wretch I felt to
hear these words! How I wished I could be all Eudora pictured me! How
I essayed to act the part! How careful I was lest ever my real nature
should disclose itself! Even when, despite my efforts, something did
transpire to excite an instant's question, she put it aside at once by
giving an interpretation to it worthy of me. Now, what was I to do?
Eudora had reached a marriageable age. She had seen but little of
society, though by no means living a recluse. My cousin had watched
carefully over her, and was to her, indeed, all a mother could be. I had
remained perfectly tranquil, secure, as I supposed, in her affections. I
thought I had but to wait till the proper period should arrive and then
take her to myself.

My cousin, as I have intimated, understood my views. It was therefore
with no sort of perturbation, that, one day, I heard her ask me to
step into her little sitting-room in order to converse about Eudora.
I supposed she was going to tell me that it was time we were
married,--indeed, I thought so myself. I was therefore very much
astonished when she commenced by saying that I ought now to begin to
treat Eudora as a young lady, especially if I expected ever to win her
hand. I turned deadly pale, and asked her what she meant.

"I mean," she replied, "that you ought to act toward Eudora as men
generally act who wish to win a fair lady. Do not deceive yourself with
the idea that she loves you. She would tell you she did in a moment, if
you asked her,--and wonder, besides, why you thought it necessary to put
the question. But she knows nothing about it. The thought of becoming
your wife never enters her head, and you would frighten her, if you
spoke to her on such a subject. No, my cousin; it is time you behaved
as other men behave. Eudora is grateful to you beyond expression. She
believes you to be perfect; and you seem content to sit and let her tell
you so, when you ought to be a manly wooer."

I will not detail the remarks of my cousin. She talked with me at least
two hours. I was perfectly confounded by what she said. I began to hate
her for the ridiculous advice she gave me. I put it down to a curious,
meddlesome nature. I grew vexed, too, with Eudora, because my cousin
said she did not love me. I did not reflect that I had done nothing
to excite love. I had drawn perpetually on a heart overflowing and
grateful,--selfish caitiff that I was! This, however, I did not then
understand,--so completely were my eyes blinded!

I left my cousin in a petulant spirit, and sought Eudora. She saw I
was troubled, and asked me the cause. I told her. A shadow, a dark,
portentous shadow, suddenly clouded her face;--as suddenly it passed
away, giving place to a look of sharp, painful agony, which was
succeeded by a return of something like her natural expression. Then she
scrutinized my face calmly, critically. All this did not occupy half a
minute. Ere one could say it had been, Eudora was apparently the same as
ever. God alone knows all which in that half-minute rose in that young
girl's heart. She took my hand; she reproached me for my apparent
distrust of her; she said she was mine to love and to honor me forever.
She would go at once to her mother--so she called my cousin--and tell
her so. Thus saying, she left me. And I--I did not then understand
the struggle and the victory of the poor girl over herself. I did not
reflect that no maidenly blush, no charming confusion, announced my
happy destiny,--no kiss, no caress, no sign that the heart's citadel had
surrendered; but, instead, a calmness, a composure, and a hastening from
my presence. No, I thought nothing of this; I only considered that now
the time was at hand when Eudora would be mine!

_I married her._ It was but three weeks after this conversation. I was
in haste, and Eudora herself seemed desirous that the day should be an
early one. My cousin was amazed. I enjoyed her discomfiture; for she did
not relish the thought that I should thus set at nought her advice and
overturn her theory. She shook her head,--she attempted a protest,--and
then began zealously the preparations for the wedding.

I wish I could give you some clear idea of the wife I had gained,
some slight notion of the happiness and delight and bliss in which I
revelled,--that is, if a man purely and unutterably selfish has a right
to call that happiness--which he enjoys. Eudora lived only for me. She
rose, she sat, she came, she went only to pleasure me. She had
one thought, one idea: it was for me. And what was my return?
Nothing,--absolutely and literally nothing. I accepted every service,
every sweet, loving token, every delicate act of devotion, as something
to which I was entitled,--as my right. Forty-four years old, a life with
one idea, a narrow, selfish, overbearing nature, ministered to by such a
creature, noble, lovely, true, with eighteen years of life!

Three years thus passed,--three years which ate slowly into Eudora's
heart,--teaching her she _had_ a heart, and bringing forth such fruit as
such experiences would produce. Yet she had not lost faith in me. She
might have felt that perfection did not belong to man, and therefore I
was not perfect; but she cheated herself as to all the rest. If she were
not perfectly happy with a husband who took no pains to sympathize with
her, who repressed instead of encouraging the natural vivacity of her
nature, who never went abroad with her to places where every one was
accustomed to go, still she did not lay the cause at my door.

I had another cousin: this cousin was a man, twenty-four years old when
he first came, by a mere chance, to the town where we lived. He was,
like you, a painter,--not one of those poor romantic vagabonds who
multiply pictures of themselves in every new composition, and who
starve on their own sighs. This man was in the enjoyment of a handsome
competence, and made painting his profession because he loved the art.
My cousin who resided in the place knew this man-cousin of mine. He paid
her a visit; and while he was in her house, my wife happened to go in.
Thus the acquaintance began. The next day he came to see me. I received
him cordially, and invited him to visit us often. At length he became
perfectly at home in our house. I was pleased with this,--for I began
to feel that Eudora drew heavily on my time, insisting too much on my
society; and I was only glad to escape by leaving her to the society of
my relative,--blind fool that I was! But I must do him justice. He was a
noble specimen of a fresh-hearted young man,--loyal and honorable. Yet
how could he escape the fascination of Eudora's presence?--how tear
himself away from it, when he had no thought that it was dangerous? At
my request, my wife sat to him for a small portrait: this is it which I
have permitted you to copy. By-and-by, and really to keep Eudora from
engrossing too much of my time, I allowed her to go out with our
artist-cousin; and in company they examined paintings, and viewed
scenery, and talked, and walked, and sometimes read together.

One evening, while seated in my library, deeply abstracted, the door
opened and Eudora entered. I looked up, saw who it was, and relapsed
into study.

"My husband," exclaimed she, in a soft, sweet tone, "put down your book;
sit upon this sofa; I want to speak with you."

I rose, a little petulantly, and did as she desired. She threw her arms
around my neck, and kissed me tenderly.

"I have something to ask of you," she said,--"something to request."

"What is it?" I exclaimed,--almost sharply.

"It is that you would not invite Alphonse to come here any more,--that
you would never speak of my going out with him again, but encourage his
leaving here,--and that you would give me more of your society."

"Pray, what does all this mean, Eudora?" I demanded. "Alphonse and you
have been quarrelling, I suppose."

"No, my husband."

"Then, what do you mean by such nonsense?" I asked, in an irritated
tone.

"I scarcely have courage to tell you," she cried,--"for I fear it will
make us both forever miserable."

Thoroughly aroused by this astounding avowal, I repeated, in a stern
tone and without one touch of sympathy, my demand for an explanation.
She knelt lovingly at my feet,--not in a posture submissive or
humiliating, but as if thus she could get nearer my heart,--and began,
calmly:--

"Sometimes, my husband, I have thought my feelings for you were such as
I ought to entertain for my father or an elder brother. I venerate and
admire your character; I would die for you,--oh, how willingly!--but
sometimes I fear it is not _love_ I feel for you."

She paused, and looked at me earnestly.

"How long have you felt as you now do?" I asked, with an icy calmness.

"I do not know. I cannot tell. But I have not thought of it seriously
till Alphonse came here,--and I want you to send him away."

"And do you love Alphonse?" I asked, slowly.

"Oh, God! I do not know. I cannot tell what is the matter with me.
Perhaps it is mere infatuation. Alas! I cannot tell."

"And why do you come with this to me?" I said sneeringly, devil that I
was.

"Because you are my husband,--because you are wise and strong and good,
and the only one who can advise me,--because I am in danger, and you can
save me," she cried, looking imploringly on my frigid features.

"And for that purpose you come to _me?_"

"I do, I do!" she exclaimed. At the same time she threw her arms around
me passionately, buried her face in my bosom, and wept.

There was a struggle within me,--not violent nor desperate, but calm and
cold,--while the face of that fair young creature was pressed close to
my heart by her own arms thrown clingingly around me. I did not move
the while; I did not respond to her sad embrace even by the slightest
pressure of my hand. Yet I was all the time conscious that a pure and
noble being was supplicating me for help,--a being who had devoted her
life to me,--whose soul was stainless, while mine was spotted with the
leprosy of a selfish nature. Like one under the influence of nightmare,
who knows he does but dream and makes an effort fruitless as imaginary
to lift himself out of it, I did try to follow what my heart said I
should do,--fold my dear wife in my arms, and reassure her in all
things. But I did no such thing. The other spirit--I should say seven
others more hateful and detestable than any which had before possession
of me--conquered. I raised Eudora from her kneeling posture. I placed
her on the sofa beside me. I began to hate her,--to hate her for her
goodness, her gentleness, her truthfulness, her fidelity,--to hate her
because she dared make such an avowal, and because it was true. What
right had she to permit her feelings to be influenced by another,--she,
my lawfully wedded wife? I would not admit the truth to myself that _I_
was the sole, miserable, detestable cause. Oh, no!

"Eudora," I said at length, "I have never seen you manifest so much
nervous excitement. Do you not see how ridiculous is your request? You
want me to bring ridicule, not to say disgrace, on myself, by suddenly
forbidding Alphonse my house. What will he suppose, what will the world
think, except that there has been some extraordinary cause for such a
procedure? And all out of a silly, romantic, imaginary notion which has
got into your head. Now, listen: if you would do your duty and honor me,
let Alphonse come and go as usual; let him perceive no difference in
your manner or in your treatment of him: in this way only I shall escape
mortification and chagrin."

She rose as I finished,--slowly rose,--with a countenance disheartened
and despairing. She uttered no word, and turned slowly to leave the
room. She had reached the door, when, not content with the merciless
outrage on her heart already inflicted, under the instigation of the
demon working within me, I prepared another stab.

"Eudora," I said, "one word more."

She came immediately back, doubtless with a slight hope that I would
show some sympathy for her.

"Eudora," I continued, rising and laying my hand on her shoulder, _"have
you permitted any improper familiarities from Alphonse?"_

Quick as lightning was my hand struck from its resting-place; swift as
thought her face changed to an expression so terrible that instinctively
I stepped back to avoid her. It was but an instant. Then came a last
awful look of _recognition_, whereby I knew I was found out, my soul was
stripped of all hypocritical coverings, and she saw and understood me.
What a scene! To discover in the one she had revered and worshipped so
long her moral assassin! To stand face to face and have the dreadful
truth suddenly revealed! The darkness of despair gathered around her
brow; an agony, like that which finds no comforter, was stamped on her
face; and with these a hate, a horror, a contempt, mingled triumphantly.
The door opened,--it was closed,--and my wife was lost to me forever. I
essayed to call her back. "Eudora" came faintly to my lips. It was too
late. Then a contemptible, jealous hatred took possession of me. Ere I
left my apartment, I said, "She shall pay dear for this! she shall soon
come submissive to my feet! she cannot live away from me; and before I
forgive, she must be humiliated!" How little did I know her!

From that period Eudora simply treated me with the courtesy of a lady.
She never looked in my face,--her eyes never met mine. On my part, to
carry out a plan I had adopted, I encouraged more and more the visits
of Alphonse. He had expected to leave that week; but I persuaded him to
remain another month, and pressed him to stay at my house. I told him
that this would be agreeable to my wife, who could have his society when
I was not able to be with her, and I should insist on his accepting my
invitation. This was after I saw how rebellious, as I termed it, Eudora
was becoming; and I was determined to torture her all I could.
Alphonse was now an inmate of our house, which greatly increased
the opportunities for his being with Eudora. She appeared to enjoy
intercourse with him just as usual; I think, in fact, she did enjoy
it more than usual; and it made me hate her to see that she was not
repentant and miserable. Three weeks passed in this way;--I becoming
more hateful and severe by every petty, petulant, despicable device of
which my nature was capable; she continuing with little change of manner
or conduct; and Alphonse unconsciously growing more devoted.

It was a cold, stormy afternoon: the rain had increased since morning.
Eudora had gone out immediately after breakfast. She did not come back
to dinner, and Alphonse, who had remained in all day, said she spoke of
going to my cousin's. I took it for granted the storm detained her; but
when it was evening and she did not appear, I began to be disturbed
and asked Alphonse to go for her. In a short time he returned with the
information that Eudora had not been at my cousin's that day. I was
alarmed; I could see the shadow of my Nemesis close by me. It had fallen
suddenly, and with no warning. For a moment I suspected Alphonse; but
the distress he manifested was too genuine to be counterfeited, and I
dismissed the thought. In the midst of this confusion and dismay,--now
late in the evening,--a letter was put into my hands, just left by a
messenger at my door. The address was in my wife's hand. I tore open the
envelope, and read,--

"Man! I can endure no longer."

This was the end of the chapter beginning with my introduction to the
strolling Savoyards, the dance of the _marionnette_, the transfer of
Eudora! I attempted no search for her; too well I knew it would be
useless; indeed, I felt a strange sense of freedom. My professor's life
disgusted me: I threw it off. I resigned my chair, and sold my house, my
furniture, my books,--everything. My nature clamored for indulgence, my
senses for enjoyment. I quitted the place. I threw off all restraint.
Literally I let myself loose on the world. I sought the company of the
young. I drank, I gamed, I was as debauched as the worst. But although
_with_ them, I was not _of_ them. _They_--only from the effervescence
of strong animal spirits did they do into excesses. What they did was
without reflection, impulsive, unpremeditated. _Me_ a calm consciousness
pervaded always. Go where I would, do what I would, amidst every
criminal indulgence, every noisy debauch or riotous dissipation, it
always rode the storm and was present in the fury of the tempest;--that
fearful, awful conscious _Egomet_! How I wished I could commit one
impulsive sin!

After three years, I was passing with a gay company through the Swiss
town of ----. In that place is the convent of the Sisterhood of Our
Mother of Pity. The night I stayed there, one of the number died. I
heard of it in the morning, as we were preparing to leave. From what was
said in connection with the circumstance, I knew it was Eudora. I left
my companions to go on by themselves. I made my way to the convent and
begged permission to look on the dead face of my wife. It was granted.
She was already arrayed for the grave. I came and threw myself on the
lifeless form, and cried as children dry. The fountains of my heart gave
way, the sympathies of my nature were upheaved, and for two hours I wept
on unrestrained. Even consciousness fled for once and left me to the
luxury of grief. At length the worthy people came to me and took me
from the room. I asked many questions, to which they could give me but
unsatisfactory replies. They knew little of Eudora's history. She had
come directly from my house to this place, and had been remarkable for
her acts of untiring benevolence in ministering to the sick and the
destitute. She lost her life from too great exposure in watching at
the bedside of a miserable woman whom all the world seemed to have
abandoned, and who died of some malignant fever. I will not attempt to
describe what I passed through. I became sincerely repentant. I saw my
character in its true light. I prayed that my sins might be forgiven.

The place where Eudora died was not far from the spot where we first
met. I begged the good priest who acted as her confessor to consecrate
a little chapel which I should build there, and permit me to place my
wife's remains in it. He consented. I caused the image of the Christ
which she always wore to be carefully copied in marble and placed before
the chapel, and I spent several weeks there, deploring my sins and
seeking for light from above.

It was not to be that I should thus easily settle the error of a
lifetime. After a while I felt the desperate gnawing of the senses
inexpressible and irresistible. Satan had come again, and I was called
for. And I went! There was no escape,--there _is_ no escape! Once more
I plunged into riotous folly and excess, giving full license to my
unbridled appetites,--but conscious always. When the fever subsided,
I was once more repentant and sorrowful, and I came here,--only to be
carried off again to renew the same wretched scenes. I know not how long
this will last. I know not if Heaven or Hell will triumph. Yet, strange
as you may think it, I believe I am not so bad a man as when I was a
professor in ----, slowly destroying my lovely wife. From each paroxysm
I fancy I escape somewhat stronger, somewhat more manly than before. I
think, too, my periods of excess are shorter, and of repentance longer;
and I sometimes entertain a hope that folly and madness will in me, as
in the young, become exhausted, and that beyond still lies the goal of
peace and wisdom.

Such as it is, strange as it may seem, you have from me a truthful
history. Would that the world might hear it and be wiser! Mark me! Let
not those who undertake to train the young attempt to destroy what
Nature has implanted. Let them direct and modify, but not extinguish.
The impulsive freedom of youth is generally the result of an exuberant
and overflowing spirit, and should be treated accordingly,--else, later
in life, it may burst forth fierce and unconquerable, or, what is worse,
be indulged in secret and make of us hypocrites and dissemblers.

WOE TO THE MAN WHO HAS HAD NO YOUTH!

       *       *       *       *       *


THE MEN OF SCHWYZ.


As you go from Lucerne in a decorous little steamboat down the pleasant
Vierwaldstättersee, or Lake of the Four Forest Cantons, with the sloping
hills on either side, and the green meadow-patches and occasional house
among the trees, you come to a sudden turn where the scenery changes
swiftly, and pass between steep and shaggy rocks rising perpendicularly
out of the blue water, which seems to get bluer there, into the frowning
Bay of Uri, guarded, as if it were the last home of freedom, by great
granite hills, lying like sleepy giants with outstretched arms, while
the heavy clouds rest black and broken on their summits, and the white
vapors float below. Just where the lake makes this turn is the hamlet of
Brunnen, which you will not hurry by, if you are wise, but tarry with
the kind little hostess of the Golden Eagle by the pleasant shore, and
learn, if you will, as nowhere else, what the spirit of the Swiss was in
the ancient time, as in this.

As you walk across the little valley which stretches down from the hills
to the lake where Brunnen is, you remember that it is the town of Schwyz
you come to, where dwelt once the hardy, valorous little colony
which gave its name to Switzerland,--famous in the annals of this
stout-hearted mountain-land for the "peculiar fire" with which they have
always fought for their ancient freedom,--worthy to leave their name, in
lasting token of the service they did to their fellows and to mankind.

Schwyz lies at the foot of the Hacken Mountain, which rises with double
peaks known as the Mythen, (Murray and the tourists, with dubious
etymological right, translate _Mitres_,)--with the dark forests above it
on the slopes, and the green openings sparkling in the sunlight,
where men and their herds of cattle breathe a purer air. Behind these
everlasting walls the spirit of freedom has found a resting-place
through the turbulent centuries, during which, on rough Northern soil,
the new civilization was taking root, hereafter to overshadow the earth.

Touching the origin of these men of Schwyz, there is a tradition, handed
down from father to son, which runs in this wise.

"Toward the North; in the land of the Swedes and Frisians, there was
an ancient kingdom, and hunger came upon the people, and they gathered
together, and it was resolved that every tenth man should depart. And
so they went forth from among their friends, in three bands under three
leaders, six thousand fighting men, great like unto giants, with their
wives and children and all their worldly goods. And they swore never
to desert one another, and smote with victorious arm Graf Peter of the
Franks, who would obstruct their progress. They besought of God a land
like that of their ancestors, where they might pasture their cattle in
peace; and God led them into the country of Brochenburg, and they built
there Schwyz; and the people increased, and there was no more room for
them in the valley. Some went forth, therefore, into the country round
about, even as far as the Weissland; and it is still in the memory of
old men how the people went from mountain to mountain, from valley to
valley, to Frutigen, Obersibenthal, Sanen, Afflentsch, and Jaun;--and
beyond Jaun dwell other races."

The time and circumstance of this wandering are unknown, and we may
make what we will of it; but to the men of Schwyz the tradition is an
affirmation of their original primal independence. And of old time,
also, the Emperors have admitted that these people of their own free
will sought and obtained the protection of the Empire,--a privilege by
no means extended to all the dwellers of the Waldstätte, (or Forest
Cantons,) but confined to the men of Schwyz.

As the Emperors were often absent, engaged in great wars, and the times
were very troublous, and there was need of some commanding character
among them, for the administration of the criminal law touching the
shedding of blood, they often made the Count of Lenzburg Bailiff. But no
matter of any moment could be acted upon without the sense of the people
being taken, of the serf as well as the freeman: for these two classes
existed not less among these primitive people than elsewhere, in the
feudal times; and this community of counsel of freeman and serf is
related to have worked harmoniously, "for equality existed of itself, by
nature, there." They chose a _Landammann_, or chief magistrate,--a man
free by birth, of an honorable name and some substance; and for judges
also they were careful to select men of substance, "for he careth most
for freedom and order who hath most to lose"; and for the greater peace
of the land there was a Street-Council, consisting of seven reputable
men, who went through the streets administering justice in small causes
here and there, as in the East the judges sat at the city-gate or at the
door of the palace.

As the people increased, the valleys of Schwyz, Uri, and Unterwalden
were separated and grew to be independent in their own domestic matters,
while united with respect to external affairs, as in the league made in
1251 between Zurich, Schwyz, and Uri;--they were like the Five Nations
of Canada, says the historian, but more human through Christianity.
Their religious belief was simple and fervent; the Goths, as Arians, had
rejected the supremacy of the Pope; and now there came secretly teachers
from the East, through Bulgaria, Bosnia, and Hungary, even into Rhaetia,
and thence to these fastnesses of the Alps. The mind of men, thus left
free, developed itself according to the different character of the
races. The people of Schwyz were strengthened in their adherence to the
authentic Word of God, as it was with the Apostles, without the use of
pictures or the bones of saints; this Word they learned by heart, and
made little of the additions of men; hence they got to be heretics, and
were called Manicheans; but Catholicism conquered them at last.

Thus simple and unknown lived this ancient people,--destined to restore
in the end the Confederacy of Helvetia, lost since the days of Caesar's
victory, thirteen hundred years before,--till Gerhard, Abbot of
Einsiedeln, complained of them to the Emperor Henry V. for pasturing
their cattle upon the slopes which belonged to the convent: for,
forgetful of the people who dwelt in these parts, whose existence,
indeed, was concealed from him by the monks, the Emperor Henry II., in
1018, had bestowed upon the convent the neighboring _desert_; and the
Abbot, of course, did not fail to make the most of the gift. Thus there
occurred a collision. The Abbot pursued these poor peasants with the
spiritual power, which was not light in those days, and summoned them
before the Diet of Nobles of Swabia; but they rejected that tribunal,
for they acknowledged only the authority of the Emperor. Whereupon the
Abbot laid his complaint before Henry V. at Basel, where Graf Rudolph of
Lenzburg, Bailiff of Schwyz, spoke for them. A simple people, innocent
of human learning, they could urge against the patent of the Emperor
only the tradition of their fathers, and judgment went against them
touching the matter, and no question was made in it as to the validity
of the Emperor's patent. It was an unexpected blow to the Schwyzers.
Tradition among people living solitary grows into a religious right,
which they fight for readily. For eleven years their turbulence went
unpunished; for Henry V. had other matters on his hands, and his two
successors conferred other privileges upon the convent. Thirty years
afterwards, however, in 1142 or thereabouts, at the solicitation of the
monks, obedience was commanded by the Emperor Conrad III., then on the
point of departing with his Crusaders to Palestine. But the people
answered,--"If the Emperor, to our injury, contemning the traditions of
our fathers, will give our land to unrighteous priests, the protection
of the Empire is worthless to us." Thereupon the Emperor waxed wroth;
the ban was laid upon them by Hermann, Bishop of Constance; but they
withdrew, nevertheless, from the protection of the Empire, and Uri and
Unterwalden with them,--fearing neither the Emperor nor the ban, for
they could not conceive how it was a sin to maintain the right, and so
they pastured their cattle without fear.

When Friedrich I. came to the throne and wanted soldiers, he sent Graf
Ulrich of Lenzburg, Bailiff of the Waldstätte, into the valleys to speak
to the men of Schwyz. "The heart of the people is in the hands of noble
heroes," says the historian;--gladly did the youths, six hundred strong,
seize their arms and go forth under Graf Ulrich, whom they loved, to
fight for the Emperor his friend, beyond the mountains, in Italy. And
now it came the Emperor's turn for the ban; the whole Imperial House of
Hohenstaufen fell into spiritual disgrace; Friedrich II. was cursed at
Lyons as a blasphemer; but these things did not turn away the hearts of
the men of Schwyz from his House.

Long after the time of this Ulrich, the last reigning Graf of Lenzburg,
shortly after the Swiss Union had been renewed, at the instance of
Walther of Attinghausen, in 1206, Unterwalden chose Rudolph, Count of
Hapsburg, for Bailiff. He endeavored to extend his authority over the
other two Cantons, in which he was aided by the Emperor Otho IV., of the
House of Brunswick, who had been raised to the throne in opposition to
the House of Swabia, and who, for the purpose of conciliating him, made
him Imperial Bailiff of the Waldstätte. An active, vigorous man this
Rudolph, grandfather of the Rudolph who was afterwards called to be King
of the Germans, whom the Swiss, scattered in their hamlets, were little
prepared to make head against, and therefore recognized him with what
grace they might, after an assurance that their freedom and rights
should be maintained; and he smoothed for them their old controversy
with the monks of Einsiedeln, and got a comfortable division of the
property made in 1217. But he was hateful to them, nevertheless; and
although we know nothing of the way in which he administered his office,
we conjecture that it was partly because the Emperor who appointed him
was not of the House of Hohenstaufen, to which they were attached, and
partly because he claimed that the office of Bailiff was hereditary in
his family, whereas the men of Schwyz preferred to offer it of their own
free will to whom they would. They made it a condition of assistance to
the Emperor Friedrich in 1231, when he went down into Italy to fight the
Guelphs, that he should deprive this Rudolph of the office of Imperial
Bailiff; and then they went forth, six hundred strong, and did famous
work against the Guelphs, with such fire in them that the Emperor not
only knighted Struthan von Winkelried of Unterwalden, but gave that
valley a patent of freedom, according to which the Schwyzers voluntarily
chose the protection of the Empire.

And now Rudolph, Count of Hapsburg, founder of the Austrian monarchy,
strides into the history of the men of Schwyz. A tall, slender man this
Rudolph, bald and pale; with much seriousness in his features, but
winning confidence the moment one spoke with him by his friendliness,
loving simplicity; a restless, stirring man, with more wisdom in him
than his companions had, equal or superior to him in birth or power,
working his way by device when he could, by the strong arm when that was
needed. He took the part of the peasants against the nobles, and used
the one to put down the other. In the midst of the turmoils in which he
got involved with Sanct Gallen and Basel, and while encamped before the
walls of the latter city, he was wakened in his tent at midnight by
Friedrich of Hohenzollern, Burgrave of Nürnberg; for there had come from
Frankfort on the Main Heinrich von Pappenheim, Hereditary Marshal of
the Empire, with the news, that, "in the name of the Electors, with
unanimous consent, in consideration of his great virtue and wisdom,
Lewis Count Palatine of the Rhine and Duke of Bavaria had named Count
Rudolph of Hapsburg King of the Roman Empire of the Germans": at which
Rudolph was more astonished than those who knew him, it is recorded. Not
because of his genealogy, nor his marriage with Gertrude Anne, daughter
of Burcard, Count of Hohenburg and Hagenlock, did he win this great
fortune, but, as the Elector Engelbrecht of Cologne said, "because he
was just and wise and loved of God and men." And now the world learned
what was in him; and how for eighteen years he kept the throne, which
no king for three-and-twenty years before him had been able to hold,
history will relate to the curious.

Switzerland was divided at this period into small sovereignties and
baronial fiefs; and there were, besides, also the Imperial cities of
Bern and Basel and Zürich. The nobles were warlike and restless. Rudolph
checked their depredations and composed their dissensions. Upon that
seething age of violence and rapine he laid, as it were, the forming
hand, as if in the darkness the coming time was dimly visible to him;--a
man to be remembered, in the vexed and disheartening history of Austria,
as one of her few heroes. The people of Schwyz, Uri, and Unterwalden,
notwithstanding the dislike they had shown to his ancestor, voluntarily
appointed him their protector; and he gave them, in 1274, the firm
assurance that he would treat them as worthy sons of the Empire in
inalienable independence; and to that assurance he remained true till
his death, which happened in 1291, in the seventy-fourth year of his
age.

It is related in the Rhymed Chronicle of Ottocar, how he had been kept
alive for a whole year by the skill of his physicians, but that they
told him at last, as he sat playing at draughts, that death was upon
him, and that he could live but five days. "Well, then," he said, "on
to Spires!" that he might lay him in the Imperial vault in the great
Cathedral there,--where many Emperors slept their long sleep, till, in
the Orléans Succession War in the time of Louis XIV., as afterwards in
1794, under the revolutionary commander Custine, French soldiers rudely
disturbed it, with every circumstance of outrage which Frenchmen only
could devise. Rudolph went forth thither, but fell by the way, and died
at Germersheim, a dirty little village which he had founded. And in the
Cathedral at Spires, where he rested from his activities, you may see
this day a monumental statue of him, executed by that great artist, the
late Ludwig Schwanthaler of Munich, for his art-loving patron, Ludwig
I., King of Bavaria.

Rudolph was succeeded by his son Albrecht, then forty-three years old,
likewise a vigorous man, whose restless spirit of aggrandizement gave
the Swiss much uneasiness. His purpose seems to have been to acquire the
sovereignty of the ecclesiastical and baronial fiefs, and, having thus
encompassed the free cities and the Three Cantons, to compel submission
to his authority. In the seventh week after Rudolph's death, they
met together to renew the ancient bond with the people of Uri and
Unterwalden; and they swore, in or out of their valleys, to stand by one
another, if harm should be done to any of them. "In this we are as one
man," ran their oath, among other things, "in that we will receive no
judge who is not a countryman and an inhabitant, or who has bought his
office."

After several years of troubles and frights among them, the Emperor sent
to the Forest Cantons to say, that it would be well for them and their
posterity, if they submitted to the protection of the Royal House, as
all neighboring cities and counties had done; he wished them to be his
dear children; he was the descendant of their Bailiff of Lenzburg, son
of their Emperor Rudolph; if he offered them the protection of his
glorious line, it was not that he lusted after their flocks or would
make merchandise of their poverty, but because he knew from his father
and from history what brave men they were, whom he would lead to victory
and knighthood and plunder.

Then spake the nobles and the freemen of the Forest Cantons: "They know
very well, and will ever remember, how his father of blessed memory was
a good leader and Bailiff to them; but they love the condition of their
ancestors, and will abide by it. If the King would but confirm it!"

And thereupon they sent Werner, Baron of Attinghausen, Landammann of
Uri, like his fathers before him and his posterity after him, to the
Imperial Court. But the King was quarrelling with his Electors, and was
in bad humor, and sent to Uri to forbid them from assessing land-rates
on a convent there. Whereupon the men of Schwyz, being without
protection, made a league for ten years with Werner, Count of Honburg;
and that their submission to the Austrian power might not be construed
into a duty, they sent to the King for an Imperial Bailiff. Albrecht
appointed Hermann Gessler of Brunek, and Beringer of Landenberg, whose
cousin Hermann was in much favor with him. Beringer's manners were rough
even at the Court; and to get rid of him, they sent him to tame the
Waldstätte. He appointed Bailiffs whose poverty and avarice were the
cause of much oppression, emboldened as they were by the ill-feeling of
the King towards the men of Schwyz, whose freedom the King had refused
to confirm, and waited only for opportunity to annihilate their ancient
rights, after the example he had already set in Vienna and Styria.

The Imperial Bailiffs resolved to take up their abode in the Forest
Cantons,--Landenberg in Unterwalden, near Sarnen, in a castle of the
King's, while Gessler built a prison-castle by Altorf in Uri; for within
the memory of men no lord had dwelt in Schwyz. They used their power
wantonly;--unjust and weary imprisonments for slightest faults; haughty
manners, and all the stings of insolent authority;--and no redress to
be had at the King's hands. The peace and happy security of the men of
Schwyz were gone, and they looked in one another's faces for the thing
that was to be done. The honored families of their race were despised
and called peasant-nobles;--there was Werner Stauffacher, a well-to-do
and well-meaning man; and the Lord of Attinghausen above all, of an
ancient house, in years, with much experience, and true to his country;
there was Rudolph Redings of Biberek, whose descendants live to this
day in Schwyz, supporting still the honor of their name; and the
Winkelrieds, mindful of the spirit of their ancestor who slew the
dragon. In such persons the people _believed_; they knew them and their
fathers before them; and when they were made light of, there was hatred
between the people and the Bailiffs. As Gessler passed Stauffacher's
house in Steinen, one day, where the little chapel now stands, and saw
how the house was well built, with many windows, and painted over with
mottoes, after the manner of rich farmers' houses, he cried to his face,
"Can one endure that these peasants should live in such houses?"

It came at last to insulting their wives and daughters; and the first
man that attempted this, one Wolfenschiess, was struck dead by an angry
husband; and when the brave wife of Stauffacher reflected how her turn
might come next, she persuaded her husband to anticipate the danger.
Werner Stauffacher at once crossed the lake to Uri, to consult with his
friend Walther, Prince of Attinghausen, with whom he found concealed a
young man of courage and understanding. "He is an Unterwaldner from the
Melchthal," said Walther; "his name is Erni an der Halden, and he is
a relation of mine; for a trifling matter Landenberg has fined him
a couple of oxen; his father Henry complained bitterly of the loss,
whereupon a servant of the Bailiff said, 'If the peasants want to eat
bread, they can draw their own plough'; at which Erni took fire, and
broke one of the fellow's fingers with his stick, and then took refuge
here; meanwhile the Bailiff has caused his father's eyes to be put out."
And then the two friends took counsel together; and Walther bore witness
how the venerable Lord of Attinghausen had said that these Bailiffs were
no longer to be endured. What desolating wrath resistance would bring
upon the Waldstätte they knew and measured, and swore that death was
better than an unrighteous yoke. And they parted, each to sound his
friends,--appointing as a place of conference the Rütli. It is a little
patch of meadow, which the precipices seem to recede expressly to form,
on the Bay of Uri, sloping down to the water's edge,--so called from the
trees being rooted out (_ausgereutet_) there,--not far from the boundary
between Unterwalden and Uri, where the Mytenstein rises solitary like an
obelisk out of the water. There, in the stillness of night, they often
met together for council touching the work which was to be done; thither
by lonely paths came Fürst and Melchthal, Stauffacher in his boat,
and from Unterwalden his sister's son, Edelknecht of Rudenz. The more
dangerous the deed, the more solemn the bond which bound them.

On the night of Wednesday before Martinmas, on the 10th of November,
1307, Fürst, Melchthal, and Stauffacher brought each from his own Canton
ten upright men to the Rütli, to deliberate honestly together. And when
they came there and remembered their inherited freedom, and the eternal
brotherly bond between them, consecrated by the danger of the times,
they feared neither Albrecht nor the power of Austria; and they took
each other by the hand, and said, that "in these matters no one was
to act after his own fancy; no one was to desert another; that in
friendship they would live and die; each was so to strive to preserve
the ancient rights of the people that the Swiss through all time might
taste of this friendship; neither should the property or the rights of
the Count of Hapsburg be molested, nor the Bailiffs or their servants
lose one drop of blood; but the freedom which their fathers gave them
they would bequeath to their children": and then, when remembering that
upon what they did now the fate of their posterity depended, each looked
upon his friend, consoled. And Walther Fürst, Werner Stauffacher, and
Arnold an der Halden of Melchthal lifted their hands to heaven, and, in
the name of God, who created emperor and peasant with the inalienable
rights of man, swore to maintain their freedom; and when the thirty
heard this, each one raised his hand and swore the same by God and the
Saints;--and then each went his way to his hut, and was silent, and
wintered his cattle.

In the mean while it happened that the Bailiff Hermann Gessler was
shot dead by Wilhelm Tell, who was of Bürglen, at the entrance of the
Schächenthal, a half-hour from Altorf, in Uri,--son-in-law of Walther
Fürst, and a man of some substance, for he had the steward-ship in
fee in Bürglen of the Frauenmüster Abbey in Zürich,--one of the
conspirators. Out of wanton tyranny, or suspicious of the breaking out
of disturbances, Gessler determined to discover who bore the joke most
impatiently; and, after the symbolical way of the times and the people,
set up a hat, (it was on the 18th of November,) to represent the dignity
of the Duke Albrecht of Austria, and commanded all to do it homage. The
story of Tell's refusal, and of the apple placed on the head of his son
to be shot at, the world knows far and wide. Convinced by his success
that God was with him, Tell confessed, that, if the matter had gone
wrong, he would have had his revenge upon the Bailiff. Gessler did
not dare to detain him in Uri, on account of Tell's many friends and
relations, but took him up the lake, contrary to the traditions of the
people, which forbade foreign imprisonment. They had not got far beyond
the Rütli, when the föhn-wind, breaking loose from the gulfs of the
Gothard, threw the waves into a rage, and the rocks echoed with its
angry cries. In this moment of deadly danger, Gessler commanded them to
unbind Tell, who, he knew, was an excellent boatman; and as they passed
by the foot of the Axen Mountain, to the right as you come out of the
Bay of Uri, Tell grasped his bow and leaped upon a flat rock there,
climbed up the mountain while the boat tossed to and fro against the
rocks, and fled through the land of the men of Schwyz. But the Bailiff
escaped the storm also, and landed by Küssnacht, where he fell with
Tell's arrow through him.

It should be remembered that this was Tell's deed alone: the hour which
the people had agreed upon for their deliverance had not come; they had
no part in the death of Gessler. Carlyle has remarked this as appearing
also in Schiller's drama, in the construction of which, he says, "there
is no connection, or a very slight one, between the enterprise of Tell
and that of the men of Rütli." It was not a deed conformable to law
or the highest ethics, yet it was one which mankind is ever ready to
forgive and applaud; and the echo of it through the ages will die away
only when hatred of tyranny and wrathful impatience under hopeless
oppression die away also from the hearts of men. Tell was an outlaw, and
he took an outlaw's vengeance: it was life against life. And yet it is a
curious fact, that the historian of Switzerland (that wonderful genius,
Johannes Müller, who is reported to have read more books than any man in
Europe, in proof of which they point you to his fifty folio volumes of
excerpts in the Town Library at Schaffhausen) suggests as a reason why
there were only one hundred and fourteen persons, who had known Tell,
to gather together in 1388, not much more than thirty years after his
death, at the erection of a chapel dedicated to his memory on the rock
where he leaped ashore, that Tell did not often leave Bürglen, where he
dwelt, and that, according to the ethics of that period, the deed was
not one likely to attract inquisitive wonderers to him.

There is hardly an event or character in history which is not to
somebody a myth or a phantom; and so Tell has not escaped the skepticism
of men. But those who doubt his existence have little experience of
history, says Müller. Grasser was the first to remark the resemblance
between the adventures of Tell and those of a certain Tocco, or Toke, or
Palnatoke, of Denmark, which are related by Saxo Grammaticus, a learned
historian who flourished in Denmark in the twelfth century, of which
kingdom and its dependencies he compiled an elaborate history, first
printed at Paris in 1486; but the Danish Tocco, who is supposed to have
existed in the latter half of the tenth century, was wholly unknown
to the Swiss, who, if ever, came to the Alps before that time. The
Icelanders, also, have a similar story about another hero, which appears
in the "Vilkinasaga" of the fourteenth century. It is more likely that
the Danes and other Northern people got their tradition from the Swiss,
by way of the Hanse Towns perhaps, if we are to be permitted to believe
in but one original tradition, which is not less arbitrary than
unphilosophic.

Moreover, for what did these one hundred and fourteen people dedicate a
chapel to him thirty years and a little more after his death? And there
is the Chronicle of Klingenberg, which covers the end of the fourteenth
century, which tells his story; and Melchior Russ, of Lucerne, who, in
compiling his book, about the year 1480, had before him a Tell-song, and
the Chronicle of Eglof Etterlins, Town-Clerk of Lucerne in the first
half of the fifteenth century; and since 1387, too, there has been
solemn service by the people of Uri to commemorate him. So that the
"Fable Danoise" of Uriel Freudenberger of Bern (1760) becomes a mere
absurdity, and the indignant Canton of Uri had no less right to burn it
(although to burn was not to answer it, suggests the critic,) than to
honor the "Defence" by Balthasar with two medals of gold. And what
has been written to establish him may be read in Zurlauben, (whose
approbation is almost proof, says Müller, reverentially,) and elsewhere
as undernoted.[A]

[Footnote A: In Balthasar, _Déf. de Guill. Tell_ (Lucerne, 1760); Gottl.
Eman. von Haller, _Vorlesung über Wilh. Tell_, etc. (Bern, 1772);
Hisely, _Guill. Tell et la Révolution de_ 1307 (Delft, 1826); Ideler,
_Die Sage vom Schüsse des Tell_ (Berlin, 1836); Häusser, _Die Sage vom
Tell_ (Heidelberg, 1840); Schoenhuth, _Wilh. Tell, Geschichte aus der
Vorzeit_ (Reutlingen, 1836); Henning, _Wilh. Tell_ (Nürnberg, 1836); and
_Histoire de Guill. Tell, Libérateur de la Suisse_ (Paris, 1843).]

Tell's posterity in the male line is reported to have died out with
Johann Martin, in 1684; the female, with Verena, in 1720. Yet it is
certainly a little surprising that the elder Swiss chroniclers, John of
Winterthur, and Justinger of Bern, for instance, who were almost Tell's
contemporaries, make no mention of him in relating the Revolution in the
Waldstätte, and that it should be left to Tschudi and others, almost two
hundred years afterwards, in the sixteenth century, to give his story
that dramatic importance upon which Schiller has set the seal forever.
It can be explained, perhaps, on the ground that it did not at the time
possess that importance which we have been taught to give it; though
roughly, thus, we do away with the poetry of it, to be sure. Let
Voltaire, whose function it was to deny, enjoy his feeble sneer, that
"the difficulty of pronouncing those respectable names"--to wit,
_Melchtad_, and _Stauffager_, and _Valtherfurst_, to say nothing of
_Grisler_--"injures their celebrity." Neither are we to conceal the
fact, that it is doubted, if not denied, that there ever was any Gessler
in Uri to perform all the wicked things ascribed to him, and to get that
arrow through him in such dramatic and effective manner in the Hollow
Way; for has not Kopp published, with edifying explanation, "Documents
for the History of the Confederation," (Lucerne, 1835,) in which, in the
list of Bailiffs (_Landvoigte_) at Küssnacht, we do not find the name of
Gessler? Perhaps there was a mistake in the name, the critic suggests.

The Revolution thus begun at the Rütli, and by Tell, went forward
swiftly in January, 1308; and, true to their oath, it was consummated
by the men of Schwyz without harm to the property of the Bailiffs, also
without the spilling of a single drop of blood. The prison at Uri was
captured, and Landenberg also, as he descended to hear mass, by twenty
men from Unterwalden; but, escaping, he fled across the meadows from
Sarnen to Alpnach, where he was overtaken and made to swear that he
would never set foot again in the Waldstätte, and then suffered to
depart safely to the King. And the peasants breathed again; and
Stauffacher's wife opened her house to all who had been at the Rütli;
and there was joy in the land.

And how in that same year Duke Albrecht met with a bloody end, such as
befell no King or Emperor of the Germans before or after him, at the
hands of Duke John, his nephew, whose inheritance he had kept back, and
other conspirators; and what vengeance overtook the murderers; and how
Duke John, escaping in the habit of a monk into Italy, was no more heard
of, but became a shadow forever, like the rest of them;--and how, eight
years afterwards, came the expedition of Duke Leopold of Austria against
the Waldstätte, and the fight at Morgarten, where the Swiss, thirteen
hundred mountaineers in all, Wilhelm Tell among them, routed twenty
thousand of the well-armed chivalry of Austria,--dating from that heroic
Thermopylae of theirs the foundation of the Swiss Confederacy, as,
larger and perhaps not less resolute, we see it to-day, ready to
defy, if need be, single-handed, the greatest military nation of the
earth;--and how, thirty years afterwards, the men of Schwyz and Uri go
forth, nine hundred strong,--among them Tell, and Werner Stauffacher,
now bent with years,--to the aid of Bern, threatened by the nobles
roundabout;--and how, in 1332, was formed the league with Lucerne,
whereby the beautiful lake gets its name as the Lake of the _Four_
Forest Cantons;--and how, one sultry July day in 1386, the men of Schwyz
and Uri and Unterwalden, together with other Swiss,--some of them armed
with the very halberds with which their fathers defended the pass at
Morgarten,--fought again their hereditary enemy, Austria, by the clear
waters of the little Lake of Sempach; how, when they saw the enemy, they
fell upon their knees, according to their ancient custom, and prayed to
God, and then with loud war-cry dashed at full run upon the Austrian
host, whose shields were like a dazzling wall, and their spears like a
forest, and the Mayor of Lucerne with sixty of his followers went down
in the shock, but not a single one of the Austrians recoiled; and how at
that critical, dreadful moment,--for the flanks of the enemy's phalanx
were advancing to encompass them,--there suddenly strode forth the
Knight Arnold Strutthan von Winkelried, crying, "I will make a path
for you! care for my wife and children!" and, rushing forward, grasped
several spears and buried them in his breast,--a large, strong man, he
bore the soldiers down with him as he fell, and his companions pushed
forward over his dead body into the midst of the host, and the victory
was won, and another book was added to the epic story of the men of
Schwyz and Uri and Unterwalden;--and how Duke Leopold fell fighting
bravely, as became his house, and six hundred and fifty nobles with him,
so that there was mourning at the Court of Austria for many a year, and
men said it was a judgment upon the reckless spirit of the nobles; and
how Martin Malterer, standard-bearer, of Freyburg in the Breisgau,
happening to come upon Leopold as he was dying, was as one petrified,
and the banner fell from his hands, and he threw himself across the body
of Leopold to save it from further outrage, waiting for and finding his
own death there;--and how this ruinous contest between Switzerland and
Austria was not finally closed till the time of Maximilian, in 1499,
when first the right of private war was abolished in Germany;--and how,
through the various fortunes of the succeeding centuries, the character
of the Swiss has remained for the most part the same as in the earlier
time:--these things one may read at large elsewhere; but we hasten to
the conclusion.

The story of Tell has been the subject of several dramas. Lemierre, a
popular French dramatist of his day, (though J. J. Rousseau affects to
call him a _scribe_ whom the French Academy once crowned,) produced
a play founded upon it, in Paris, in 1766; but the language of Swiss
freemen on a French stage was little to the taste of those days, and
it was a failure. Voltaire, when asked what he thought of it,
replied,--"_Il n'y a rien à dire; il est écrit en langue du pays._" But
twenty years afterwards it was revived with prodigious success; for the
truth which was in it flashed out then, forerunner of the storm which
was soon to break over France. Again, when Florian, whom we are to
remember always for his "Fables," banished in 1793 by the decree which
forbade nobles to remain in Paris, taking refuge at Sceaux, was arrested
and thrown into prison, he consoled his captivity by composing his drama
of "Guillaume Tell,"--the worst of his productions, it is recorded.
Lastly, it has been consecrated for all time by the genius of Friedrich
Schiller. The legend was first brought to Schiller's notice, doubtless,
by Goethe, who writes to him concerning it from Switzerland in 1797.
Goethe himself thought of founding an epic on it. It was not, however,
till 1801, before his journey to Dresden, that Schiller's attention was
permanently directed to it. Completed on the 18th of February, it
was brought out at Weimar on the 17th of March, 1804, with the most
extraordinary success: the fifth act, however, was suppressed, in
deference to the intended court alliance with the daughter of a murdered
Russian emperor; it not being considered good taste to represent the
assassination of an autocrat upon such an occasion.

Schiller's drama has been translated into French by Merle d'Aubigné and
others, and many times into English,--among us by the Rev. C. T. Brooks.
It follows the tradition substantially. Carlyle declares, indeed, that
"the incidents of the Swiss Revolution, as detailed in Tschudi or
Müller, are here faithfully preserved, even to their minutest branches."
We tarried once for several days at Brunnen, and read the play upon the
spot in sight of the Rütli, in the little balcony of the _pension_ of
the Golden Eagle, with the deep, calm, blue lake at our feet, and the
Hacken and Axen mountains and the Selisberg shutting out the world for
a time; and as we look at the play now, it recalls with the utmost
minuteness the scenery and the coloring of it all: yet Schiller never
was there. It was the last startling effulgence of his comet-like
genius; for when the spring-flowers came again, he was gone from our
earth.

In the last act of the great drama, as Tell sits at his cottage-door
in Bürglen in Uri, surrounded by his wife and children, after the
consummation of the deed, there approaches a monk begging alms;--it is
the parricide Duke John, flying the sight and presence of men. In the
contrast of the feelings of these two persons, then and there, one reads
Schiller's justification of his hero. As if to complete by contrast the
moral of the drama of "Tell," it is related also in the tradition, that
in 1354, when the stream of the Schächen was swollen, Tell, then bowing
under the snowy years, seeing a child fall into it, as he passed that
way, plunged in, and lost his life. Uhland has indicated this in his
"Death of Tell," as only Uhland could:--

  "Die Kraft derselben Liebe,
  Die du dem Knaben trugst,
  Ward einst in dir zum Triebe,
  Dass du den Zwingherrn schlugst."

Some liken life to a book to be read in. To us it is rather an unwritten
poem which each age repeats to the next,--melodious sometimes, as when
the blind old mythic bard of Chios sang it under the olive-trees, by the
blue Aegean, to the listening Greeks, thirsty for beauty, drinking it
ever with their eyes, and with their lips lisping it,--or rough and
more full of meaning, as when, with the men of Schwyz and Uri and
Unterwalden, the great idea of freedom, majestic as their mountains,
utters itself, composed and stern, in deeds which for all time make
Switzerland honored and free.

On the 10th of November, 1859, the heart of Germany beat with gladness,
if touched also with a certain sorrow, as in every hamlet, on every
hill-side, from the German Ocean to the Tyrolese Alps, from the Vosges
to the Carpathians and the Slavic border, the people met to celebrate
with simple rites the hundredth birthday of its great poet Schiller,
in whom they recognize not more what he did than what he sought after,
whose striving is their striving, from highest to lowest,--the ideal
man, burning to gather them together, and fold them as one flock under
one shepherd, that, no longer divided, they may face the world and the
future with one heart, with one great trembling hope, to lead the new
civilization to its lasting triumphs.

Schiller had sung of Wilhelm Tell; and the men of Schwyz remembered
him on that occasion, too, on the Rütli, with their confederates from
Oberwalden and Niederwalden. On the afternoon of the 11th of November,
they met at Brunnen,--on the lake, as we have said,--the men of Schwyz
embarking in one great boat, amidst peals of music, while numberless
little canoes received the others. The wind, blowing strong from the
north, filled the sail, and, as they floated down the Bay of Uri, they
remembered Stauffacher and his friends, who had glided over the same
dark waters at dead of night, past the Mytenstein to the Rütli, and
the old time lived again; and the little chapel on the spot where Tell
sprang ashore, erected by the Canton Uri, where once a year, since 1388,
mass is said, and a sermon preached to the people, who go up in solemn
procession of little boats, looked friendly over to them; and the
countrymen of Schiller, present for the first time from Stuttgart and
Munich, wondered at the solemn beauty of the snowpeaks reflected in the
waters below. A chorus of many voices broke upon the mountain-stillness,
as the little fleet approached the Rütli; the men of Uri, already there,
"the first on the spot," and with them the men of Gersau, a valiant
band, answered in a song of welcome; and they shook each other by the
hand, and made a little circle, three hundred in all, upon the Rütli;
and Lusser of Uri thanked the men of Schwyz for the invitation to
remember their fathers here on the five hundred and fifty-second
anniversary of the deeds which Schiller has so gloriously sung. We best
remember the poet by repeating and upholding his words:--

  "Wir wollen seyn ein einzig Volk von Brüdern,
  In keiner Noth uns trennen und Gefahr.
  Wir wollen frey seyn, wie die Väter waren,
  Eher den Tod als in der Knechtschaft leben.
  Wir wollen trauen auf den höchsten Gott,
  Und uns nicht fürchten vor der Macht der
  Menschen."

  "One people will we be,--a band of brothers;
  No danger, no distress shall sunder us.
  We will be freemen as our fathers were,
  And sooner welcome death than live as slaves.
  We will rely on God's almighty arm,
  And never quail before the power of man." [B]

[Footnote B: Rev. C. T. Brooks's translation, p. 53.]

Then they read the scene of the Rütli Oath from Schiller's play, and
sing the Swiss national song, "Callest thou, my Fatherland?" And the
pastor Tschümperlin admonishes them that they best cultivate the spirit
of Schiller and Tell by worthy training of their children. As they are
about to break up at last, the Landammann Styger of Schwyz suggests a
beautiful thing to them:--"As we came from Brunnen, and looked up at the
Mytenstein as we passed it,--the great pyramid rising up there out of
the water as if meant by Nature for a monument,--it seemed to us that a
memorial tablet should be placed there, simple like the column itself,
with words like these: 'To Him who wrote "Tell," on his One Hundredth
Birthday, the Original Cantons.'" And the proposition was received
with unanimous shout of assent. "This was the worthy ending of the
Schiller-Festival on the Rütli," says the contemporary chronicle.

On the 10th day of November, 1859, also, there was put into the hands
of the Central Committee of the Society of the Swiss Union the deed of
purchase of the Rütli. It is in the handwriting of Franz Lusser of Uri,
Clerk of the Court, and dated the 10th of November, the birthday of
Schiller. Thus Switzerland owns its sacred places, and the title-deeds
long laid up in its heart are written out at last.

On the 21st of October of last year, on a brilliant afternoon, the
men of Schwyz and Uri went forth again from Brunnen, with the chief
magistracy of the land. From Treib came the Unterwaldners, all in richly
decorated boats, and the inhabitants of Lucerne in two steamboats with
much music, meeting in front of the Mytenstein, which lifts its colossal
front eighty feet above the water there. The top of it was covered with
a large boat-sail, with the arms of the original Cantons and Swiss
mottoes on it; in a wreath of evergreen, the arms of the other Cantons;
in the middle of it, in token of the twenty-two Cantons, a white cross
upon red ground; above all, the flag of the Confederacy spread to the
Föhn. At the foot was a little stand made of twigs for the speaker,
about which the little fleet was grouped, under the charge of the
Landammann Aufdermauer of Brunnen, a gallant gentleman, host of the
Golden Eagle, with his kind little sister, of whom we spoke at the
beginning.

When all was still, Uri opens the musical trilogy,--the words by P.
Gall. Morell, monk of Einsiedeln, the music by Baumgartner of Zürich;
Unterwalden takes up the burden; then Schwyz; then all three in
chorus;--and the echo of the fresh voices among the rocks there was as
in a cathedral. Then Landammann Styger climbs to the stand, and makes a
little speech, and reads a letter from Schiller's daughter, (of which
presently,) while the curious shepherd-boys stretch out their necks over
the craggy tops of the Selisberg to look down upon the lively scene
below.

At the end of his speech, Styger lets fall the sail amid the beating of
the drums and the shouts of the multitude; and on the flat sides of the
rock appear the gilded metal letters, a foot high,--"To the Singer of
Tell, Fr. Schiller, the Original Cantons, 1859." And there were other
little speeches,--one by Lusser, who exclaims with much truth, "The
rocks of our mountains can be broken, but not _bent_"; and then followed
the Swiss psalm by Zwysig. And afterwards, in the evening, a feast in
the Golden Eagle in Brunnen, at which, with the ancient sobriety, they
remember the dangers of the present, and affirm their neutrality, which
should not hang upon the caprice of a neighbor, but be grounded in their
own will, for there is no Lord in Christendom for them except Him who is
above all.

Thus wrote Schiller's daughter:--

_"Gentlemen of the Committee of the Schiller Memorial on the
Mytenstein:_--

"Your friendly words have truly delighted and deeply moved my heart;--
not less the engraving of the Mytenstein, which shall stand as the very
worthy and noble memorial of the Singer of Wilhelm Tell in the land of
the Swiss for all time forever,--a token of recognition of the genius
which, struggling for the highest good of mankind, has found its home in
the hearts of all noble men and women. With infinite joy I greeted the
beautiful idea, so wholly worthy of the land as of the poet,--there,
where magnificent Nature, grown friendly, offers its hand on the very
ground where one of the noblest, most finished creations of Schiller
takes root, to consecrate to him a memorial which, defying time and
storms, shall illumine afar off every heart which turns to it.

"In memory also of my beloved mother, Charlotte, Schiller's earthly
angel, I rejoice in this memorial. She it was who, with deepest love
for Switzerland, which she calls the land of her affections, where she
passed happy youthful days from 1783 to 1784, led Schiller to it, and by
her fresh, lively descriptions made him partake of it; and so prepared
the way for the genius which could embrace and penetrate all things for
the masterly representation of the country, which, unfortunately, his
feet never trod. If, unhappily, I am not able to be present at the
festival on the 21st of October, I am not the less thankful for your
kind invitation; and in that sacred hour I will be with you in spirit,
deeply sympathizing with all that the noble _idea_ brought into life.

"A little memorial of the 10th of November, 1859, representing Schiller
and Charlotte, I pray you, Gentlemen, to accept of me, and, when you
recall the parents, to remember also the daughter.

"Respectfully yours,

"EMILIE v. GLEICHEN-RUSSWURM, geb. v. SCHILLER.

"_Greiffenstein ob Bonnland. 12 October, 1860._"

In the churchyard of Cleversulzbach lies buried, since the 2d of May,
1802, the mother of Schiller. Prof. Dr. E. Mörika, when he was preacher
there, erected a simple stone cross over the grave, and with his own
hands engraved upon it the words, "Schiller's Mother." On the famous
10th of November, 1859, woman's hand decorated the grave with flowers,
and put a laurel wreath upon the cross; and in the hour when great
cities with festal processions and banquets and oratory and jubilant
song offered their homage to the son, a few persons gathered around the
grave of the mother, and in the silence there planted a linden-tree;
for in stillness thus, while she lived, had his mother done her part,
lovingly and with faith, to unfold and consecrate the genius of
Friedrich Schiller.

       *       *       *       *       *


A NOOK OF THE NORTH.


Adventurous travellers, who penetrated into Canada during the late visit
of the Sovereign-Apparent of that colony, have furnished the public,
through the daily press, with minute and more or less faithful
descriptions of places upon the grand routes, Quebec and Montreal have
been done by them to a hair; Kingston and another wicked place made
notorious for bad manners; Toronto, Hamilton, and London of the West
photographed with a camera of maximum dimensions. Upon the two great
railroad-lines by which Canada is now traversed,--the Grand Trunk
and the Great Western,--there is hardly a station which has not been
mentioned by the reporters, either for the loyal manner in which it
was decorated to do honor to the youthful Prince, or for the rather
inhospitable display of certain objectionable symbols by the people
around.

But neither in Canada nor elsewhere is it upon the grand routes that
glimpses can be had of interior life and character. Primitive simplicity
is altogether incompatible with railroads. The boy who resides near a
station is quite an old man, compared with any average boy taken from
the sequestered clearings ten miles back: he may be a worse kind of boy,
or he may be a better, but he isn't the same kind, at any rate. Of
girls it is more difficult to speak with confidence in the present
era,--hooped skirts having pretty nearly assimilated them everywhere;
but I have noticed that they are less ingenuous along railroads than in
secluded districts, and their parents more suspicious,--a fact which
makes railroad-vicinities inferior places to dwell in, compared to those
that are rural and remote from the demoralizing influences of up and
down trains.

I do not aver that the railroad is devoid of a kind of poetry of its
own,--the same kind of sentiment, nearly, that resides about anvils
and smelting-furnaces in the Hartz Mountains and in the great
coal-districts: an infernal kind of sentiment, for the most part, being
inseparable from burning fiery furnaces and grime; as in "Fridolin," and
in the "Song of the Bell," and in the "Forging of the Anchor." Once,
particularly, in travelling by rail, did I experience the mysterious
glamour that seems to hang round iron more than about any other metal.
It was past midnight; and on waking up after a sleep of some hours, I
found myself alone in the long car, which had come to a stand-still
while I slept. The stillness of the night was broken at intervals by a
short, loud boom, as of an iron bell ringing up some terrible domestic
from the incomprehensible unseen. On looking out of the window, I saw by
some dim lamp-light that we were alone in an immense iron hall; _we_, I
say, for there was a ponderous, grimy being darkly visible to me, whose
gigantic shadow made terrible gestures upon the walls and among the
great iron girders of the roof, as he moved slowly along the train,
striking the wheels with a heavy sledge-hammer as he went. Of course
there was nothing unusual in such a proceeding, the object of which was,
probably, to ascertain something connected with the condition of the
rolling stock; but there was a kind of awful poetry in the toll of the
iron bell, which ran, and reverberated, and tingled among the iron ribs
in the building, making them all sing as if they were things of flesh
and blood, with plenty of iron in the latter, which is reckoned to be
conducive to robust health.

But the romance of rolling stock has yet to be disengaged, and the
inspired conductor or bardic baggage-master destined to do that is yet
in the shell. May he long remain there!

Off the track some ten or twenty miles, though, almost anywhere, some of
the materials, at least, for good, regular poetry of the old-fashioned
kind are to be found. A mill, for instance, with a wooden wheel,--no
demoralizing iron about it, in fact, except what cannot well be
dispensed with, in view of wear and tear. A white cottage, where
the miller dwells serene; mossy roof, red brick chimney, and no
lightning-rod or any other iron, being the principal features of the
serene miller's abode. Cherries, in that tranquil person's garden, that
are nearly ripe, and roses of a delicate red,--but none so ripe or so
red as the lips and cheeks of the serene miller's daughter, who trips
across the little wooden foot-bridge over the mill-stream, singing a
birdy kind of song as she goes. She is clad in a black velvet bodice
and russet skirt, and has no iron about her of any description, unless,
indeed, it is in her blood,--where it ought to be. The breath of kine
waiting to be relieved of their honest milk, which is a good, solid kind
of fluid in such places, and meanders about the land with great freedom
in company with honey. All these things will be very scarce in the world
by-and-by, on which account it seems to be a judicious thing to go off
the track a little, now and then, if only to "say that we have seen
them."

In following the graphic narratives of the Prince of Wales's tour, the
mind naturally wandered away to places _not_ visited by him, although
within easy distance of his fore-ordered course. It is well that there
are places left to talk about! Let us conjure up a few old reminiscences
of one,--a silent, primitive little nook of the North, within an hour's
ride of Quebec, but too insignificant a spot for the coveted distinction
of a royal visit. Crowned heads, then, will have the goodness to
transfer their attention, and skip to the next article.

The nook to which I refer is Lorette, in Lower or French Canada, where
it is commonly called _Jeune Lorette_, to distinguish it from _Ancienne
Lorette_,--a less interesting place, distant from it about four miles.

Jeune Lorette is situated about eight miles north-west of Quebec, upon
the beautiful, romantic stream called the St. Charles, which rushes down
many a picturesque gorge, and winds through many pleasant meadows, in
its course of some twenty miles from Lake St. Charles away up in the
hills to the St. Roch suburb of Quebec. Here it assumes the character of
a deep, tortuous dock, incumbered with the _débris_ of many ship-yards,
and reflecting the skeleton shapes of big-ribbed merchantmen on the
stocks. Here, too, it is generally called the Little River; probably to
distinguish it from the great River St. Lawrence, into which it oozes at
this point.

But higher up, as I have said, the St. Charles is romantic and rushes
on its fate. At Lorette, it divides the village in twain: a western
section, for the most part peopled by French-Canadian _habitans_; an
eastern one, inhabited by half-breed Indians, a remnant of the once
powerful Hurons of old.

These Canadian Hurons are not, in their present condition, corroborative
of the Cooper specifications of Indian life: rather the contrary, in
fact. There is a wing of them--a wing without feathers, indeed--settled
down at Amherstburgh, on the far western marge of Lake Erie, in Canada,
quite six hundred miles away from their brethren of Lorette. When
shooting woodcock once in that district, I entered the comfortable log
farm-house of the chief of the settlement, whose name was Martin. He
was a fat, rather Dutch-looking Indian, but still active and
industrious,--for a man who is an Indian and fat. I asked Mr. Martin if
he hunted much; to which he replied, No, he did not,--adding, that he
never was far into the woods but once in his life, and that was on
his own lot of a hundred acres of bush, in which he was lost, on that
occasion, for two days.

Among the Hurons of Lorette there are a few young men who hunt moose and
caribou in the proper season; but the men, generally speaking, as
well as the women, are engaged in the manufacture of snow-shoes and
moccasons,--articles for which there is a great demand in Lower Canada.
Philippe Vincent, a chieftain and shoemaker of the tribe, told me that
he had disposed of twelve hundred dollars' worth of these articles, on
a trip to Montreal, from which he had just returned. Many articles of
Indian fancy-work are also manufactured by them: beaded pouches for
tobacco, bark-work knick-knacks, and curious racks made of the hoofs of
the moose, and hung upon the wall to stick small articles into.

On the profits of this work many of them live in comfort,--nay, in
luxury. Paul Vincent, a cousin of Philippe mentioned above, and, like
him, a chief of the tribe and a renowned builder of snow-shoes, paid two
hundred and seventy-five dollars for a piano for his daughter, when I
was at Quebec, five or six years ago. Whenever I visited Philippe, that
stately man of the Hurons would usher me into a little parlor with a
sofa in it and a carpet on the floor; he would produce brandy in a cut
decanter, and cake upon a good porcelain plate, and would be merry in
French and expansive on the subject of trade.

Most of these hybrid Hurons are quite as white as their Canadian
neighbors; but they generally have the horse-tail hair, and black, beady
eye of the aborigines. The ordinary dress of the men, in winter, is a
blue blanket-coat, made with a _capuchon_, or hood, which latter is
generally trimmed with bright-colored ribbon and ornamented with beads.
Epaulettes, fashioned out of pieces of red and blue cloth, somewhat
after the pattern of a pen-wiper, impart a distinguished appearance
to the shoulders of these garments, which are rendered still more
picturesque by being tucked round the body with heavy woollen sashes,
variegated in red, blue, and yellow. Some of these sashes are heavily
beaded, and worth from five to ten dollars each; and they, as well
as the Indian blanket-coats, are to be had at the furriers' shops in
Quebec, where there is a considerable demand for them by members of
snow-shoe clubs, and others whose occupations or amusements render that
style of costume appropriate for their wear. The older women dress
in the ordinary squaw costume, with short, narrow petticoats, and
embroidered _metasses_, or leggings. When going out, they fold a blue
blanket over all, and put on a regular, unpicturesque, stove-pipe hat,
with a band of tin-foil around it,--which makes them look like one of
those mulatto coachmen one sees now and then on the box of a _bonton_
barouche, with his silver-mounted hat and double-caped blue box-coat.
The young girls are disposed to innovations upon the petticoats, and
modifications of the _metasses_. Once I saw one standing on a great gray
crag at the foot of the fall. She looked extremely picturesque at a
little distance, giving a nice bit of local color to the scene with her
scarlet legs; but on a nearer approach, much of the value of the color
disappeared before the unromantic facts of a pale-face petticoat and
patent-leather gaiter-boots. I have noticed several of the younger
people here with brown hair and blue or gray eyes, significant that the
aboriginal blood is being gradually diluted. In another generation or
two, there will be little of it left among them. But the correspondents
of the press, who described some of these Indians seen by them at
Quebec, are mistaken in attributing to them an admixture of Irish blood.
Until within eight years past, there were few, if any, Irish to be found
in the neighborhood of Lorette. Since that time, the construction of the
Quebec water-works, which are supplied from Lake St. Charles, has given
employment to hundreds of the Hibernian stock in that neighborhood;
and I know not whether their influence as regards race may not be now
discernible in the features of many pugnacious Huronites of tender
years: but the white element traceable in the lineaments of the present
and passing generations of the settlement is distinctly attributable to
the proximity of the French-Canadian, whose language has been transfused
into them with the blood.

Few, if any, of the older people of Lorette speak English,--Huron and
French being the only languages at their command. Since the building of
the great reservoir, however, many of the rising generation are picking
up the English tongue in its roundest Irish form. Previously, matters
were the reverse. I once noticed a handsome, brown-faced boy there, who
used to come about with a bow and arrows, soliciting coppers, which were
placed one by one in a split stick, shot at, and pocketed by the archer,
if hit,--as they almost always were. He spoke Indian and French, and I
took him for an olive-branch of the tribe; but, on questioning him, he
told me that his name was Bill Coogan, and that he first saw the light,
I think, in Cork, Ireland.

There is one charming feature at Lorette,--a winding, dashing cascade,
which boils and creams down with splendid fury through a deep gorge
fenced with pied and tumbled rocks, and overhung by gnarly-boughed
cedars, pines, and birches. There is, or at least there was, a crumbling
old saw-mill on a ledge of rock nearly half-way up the torrent. It was
in keeping with the scene, and I hope it is there still; but it was very
shaky when I last saw it, and has probably made an _éboulement_ down to
the foot of the fall before now. Some short distance above the head of
the fall, near the bridge by which the two villages are connected,
the scene is pictorially damaged by a stark, staring paper-mill, the
dominant colors of which are Solferino-red and pea-green. This, a
comparatively new feature in the landscape, is not visible from below,
however, and it is from there that the fall is seen to best advantage.

To the eye of the experienced fisherman, it is obvious that the St.
Charles, with its sparkling rapids, and the deep, swirling pools formed
by its numerous "elbows," must erstwhile have been a chosen, retreat of
the noble salmon. Even now, notwithstanding the obstructions caused by
the immense deposits of ship-yard refuse at its mouth, a few of these
fine fish are caught every season by one or two persevering anglers
from Quebec,--men who thrive on disappointment,--whose fish-hooks are
miniature anchors of Hope. Lake St. Charles, from which the river
derives its existence and its name, is a wild, beautiful tarn, about
five miles above Lorette, embosomed in hills and woods. There are good
bass in that lake, by whose shores there dwells--or dwelt--an ancient
fisherman called Gabriel, who supplied anglers with canoes, and paddled
them about the waters.

Lorette, although undistinguished by a glance from the mild blue eyes of
the Premier Prince of England, was flashed upon, years ago, by the awful
light that gleamed from the dark, fierce ones of Hamlet, Prince of
Denmark. This is how I came to know it.

Fifteen years ago,--it was on the seventeenth of August, 1845,--I made
my first pilgrimage to Lorette, in company with a friend. We wandered at
large through the village, talking _patois_ to the swarthy damsels, and
picking up Indian knick-knacks, as we went. At last, fired with the
ambition of doing a distinguished thing, we proposed calling upon the
head chief of the village, whose name, I think, was Simon, but might
possibly have been Peter,--for I regret to say that my memory is rather
misty upon that important point. That personage was absent from home;
but we were hospitably received by his father, who also appeared to be
his butler, as he was engaged in bottling off some root-beer into stone
blacking-jars, when we entered. I suppose the chief's father must once
have been a chief himself, and that his menial position arose from the
fact of his appearance being rather disreputable. He was a decrepit and
very dirty old man, in a tight blue frock-coat, and swathed as to his
spindle shanks with scarlet leggings. Sitting by a small window at the
farther end of the large, bare room, was the prettiest little Huronite
damsel I ever saw, rather fair than dark, and very neatly attired in a
costume partly Indian. This little girl--a granddaughter of the dirty
old man, as that person informed us--was occupied in tying up some small
bundles of what the Canadians call _racine_--a sweet-smelling kind of
rush-grass, sold by them in the Quebec market, and used like _sachets_,
for imparting a pleasant odor to linen garments. After some conversation
of a general character, the old man requested us to write our names in
his visitors' book, which was a long, dirty volume, similar in form to
those usually seen upon bar-counters. In this book we were delighted to
find the autographs of many dear friends, of whom we little expected
to meet with traces in this nook of the North. Mark Tapley and Oliver
Twist, for instance, had visited the place in company some two years
before. There could be no mistake about it; for there were the two
names, in characteristic, but different manuscript, bound together
by the mystic circumflex that indicated them to be friends and
travelling-companions. The record covered a period of ten years; but
was that sufficient to account for the appearance of Shakspeare on its
pages? And yet there he was; and in merry mood he must have been, when
he came to Lorette,--for he wrote himself down "Bill," and dashed off
a little picture of himself after the signature, in a bold, if not
artistic manner. Our friend Titmouse was there, too, represented by
his famous declaration commencing, "Tittlebat Titmouse is my name." He
seemed to have taken particularly fast hold of the memory of the old
Huron, who described him as a tremendous-looking, big person, with
large black whiskers, and remembered having enjoyed a long pull at a
brandy-flask carried by him. Of course there can be no doubt about that
man being the real Tittlebat of our affections. Of the other signatures
in the Huronite album, I chiefly remember that of M.F. Tupper, which I
looked upon at the time as a base forgery, and do aver my belief now
that it was nothing else: for the aged sagamore described the writer of
that signature as a young, cheerful, and communicative man, who smoked a
short, black pipe, and had spaniels with him. Could my friend, could I,
venture to inscribe our humble names among this galaxy of the good and
great? Not so: and yet, to pacify the Huronite patriarch's thirst for
autographs, we wrote signatures in his brown old book; and if that
curious volume is still in existence, the names of Don Caesar de Bazan
and Sir Lucius O'Trigger, Bart., will be found closely linked together
on a particular page with the circumflex of friendship.

And now the old man, delighted with the addition to his autographs,
proposed to treat us to an exhibition of several medals gained by him
for deeds of valor when he was a warrior, and previously to his having
entered upon the career of a bottler of root-beverages. He had silver
disks presented to him by at least two of Thackeray's Georges, a couple
from William IV., and I think one from her present Majesty, Queen
Victoria. All of these he touched with reverence, and not until he had
purified his hands upon a dirty towel. After we had duly admired these
decorations, and listened with patience to the old man's garrulous talk
about them, he told us that he had yet another to show,--one presented
to him many years ago by a great man of that day,--a man embalmed
for all posterity on account of his unrivalled performances upon the
tight-rope,--a man of whom he reduced all description to mendicancy in
designating him as _un danseur très-renommé sur la corde tendue_. The
medal was a small silver one, and it bore the following inscription:--

FROM EDMUND KEAN, THE BRITISH ACTOR,

TO TOUSSAHISSA, CHIEF OF THE HURON INDIANS. 1826.

And such is fame! It appears that Kean, always fond of excitement, had
organized a tremendous _pow-wow_ among these poor specimens of the red
man, on his visit to Quebec. They adopted him,--constituted him a chief
of their tribe. It would be interesting to have a full account of the
great passionist's demeanor upon that solemn occasion. Did he harrow
up his hearers with a burst from "Othello" or a deep-sea groan from
"Hamlet," and then create a revulsion of feeling by somersaulting over
the centre-fire of the circle and standing on his head before it,
grinning diabolically at the incensed pot? Or did he, foreshadowing the
coming Blondin, then unplanned, stretch his tight-rope across the small
Niagara that flashes down into the chasm of the St. Charles, and,
kicking his boots off, carry some "mute, inglorious" Colcord over in an
Indian bark basket? If he did such things, the old Huronite was foggy
upon the subject and reserved, limiting his assertions to the statement,
that "the British actor" was a _farceur_, and likewise _un danseur
très-renommé sur la corde tendue_.

Long afterwards, when I resided at Quebec, my visits to Lorette were
very frequent. Once, as I passed along the street, or road, between the
straggling log-houses, I was accosted, in good English, by a fat and
very jovial old squaw, who was attired in a green silk dress, sported
a turban, and appeared to be altogether a superior kind of person. On
inquiry, I learned from her that she was the widow of a former chief of
the tribe, and came originally from Upper Canada, where she learned to
speak English. Her husband had been presented with many medals, she
said;--would I like to see them? I followed the old lady into her
dwelling, where she showed me several silver medals, which I thought I
recognized as the same exhibited by the aged Huronite with the red legs.
But the Kean medal was not among them; nor could I, by any system of
description in my power, recall the features of the relic to the memory
of the old squaw.

Subsequently, I tried many times to trace it, but without success. Many
strangers visit Lorette during the summer season, and it is possible
that some virtuoso, struck by the associative value of the relic, may
have prevailed on its owner to part with it for a consideration. There
are people who would have possessed themselves of it without the
exchange of a consideration. Should this meet the eye of its present
possessor, and if so be that the medal came into his hands on the
consideration principle, so that he need not be ashamed of it, he will
confer a favor by giving the correct reading of the Indian name. For
"Toussahissa," as I have rendered it, is not exact, but only as near
as I can make it out from my pencil-memoranda, which, written in a
note-book that did occasional duty as a fly-book, have been partially
obliterated in that spot by the contact of a large and remarkably gaudy
salmon-fly, whose repose between the leaves is disturbed, perhaps, by
aquatic nightmares of salmon gaping at him from whirling eddies.

Between Lorette and the unexplored wilderness that stretches away to
polar desolation there is but a narrow selvage of civilization. Looking
toward it from my windows at Quebec, I could see the blue, serrated
ridge of highlands beyond which the surveyor has never yet run his
lines,--beyond which the surveyor's lines would be superfluous, indeed,
and futile; for the soil is of the barren, rocky kind, and the timber of
the scrubby. Not quite so savage is this frontier, indeed, as the wild
precincts described by the Nebraska editor, whose meditations for a
leader used to be cut short, occasionally, by the bellowing of the
shaggy bison at his window, or the incursion of the redoubtable
"grizzly" into his wood-shed where the elk-meat hung. But, in the clear,
cold nights that precede the punctual and distinct winter of these
regions, the black bears often come down from their fastnesses amid the
wild ridges, and astonish the drowsy _habitant_ and his household by
their pranks among his pigs and calves: also in the spring.

In a small settlement of this wild tract, a few miles to the north-east
of Lorette, there dwelt, some six or seven years ago, a poor farmer
named Cantin, who added to the meagre fare afforded by his sterile acres
such stray birds and hares as he could get within range of his old
musket, without risking himself very far away from the isolated
clearing. One night in the early part of May, when the snow had
disappeared from the open grounds, but lingered yet in the ravines and
rocky thickets, a dreadful tumult among the cattle of the settlement
indicated the presence of bear. Cantin had the old firelock ready, but
the night was dark and unfavorable for active measures. At gray morning,
traces of the nocturnal intruder were visible, and that close by the
_cabane_ in which Cantin lived, in the little inclosure near which a
struggle had evidently taken place, resulting in the discomfiture of a
yearling calf, portions of which were discovered in the thickets a short
distance from the clearing. Here the patches of snow gave ample evidence
of the passage of a very large bear. When the sun was well up,
Cantin sallied forth alone, with his gun and a small supply of
ammunition,--unluckily for him, a very small supply. He did not return
to dinner. Shots were heard in the course of the day, at a considerable
distance in the hills; and when the afternoon was far advanced, and
Cantin had not made his appearance, several of his neighbors--all the
men of the settlement, indeed, and they made but a small party--set out
in search of him. The snow-patches facilitated their search; and, having
tracked him a good way, they suddenly saw him kneeling by a tree at the
end of an open glade, with his hands clasped in an attitude of prayer.
He was a frightful spectacle when they raised his _bonnet-bleu_, which
had fallen down over his face. The entire facial mask had been torn
clean from the skull by a fearful sweep of the bear's paw, and hung from
his collar-bone by a strip of skin. He must have been dead for some
hours. Fifty yards from where he knelt, the bear was found lying under
some bushes, quite dead, and with two bullet-holes through its carcass.
Cantin, it appeared, had expended all his ammunition, and the wounded
beast had executed a terrible vengeance on him while the life-blood
was welling through the last bullet-hole. I saw this bear brought into
Quebec, in a cart, on the following day; and it is to be seen yet, I
believe, or at least the taxidermal presentment of it is, in the shop of
a furrier in John Street of that city. An enterprising druggist bought
up the little fat left in the animal after its long winter's fast; and
such was the demand among sensational people for gallipots of "grease of
the bear that killed Cantin," that it seemed as if fashion had ordained
the wearing of hair "on end."

Of the other wild beasts of this hill-district, the commonest is that
known to the inhabitants as the _loup-cervier_,--a name oddly enough
misconstructed by a writer on Canadian sports into "Lucifer." This is
the true lynx,--a huge cat with long and remarkably thick legs, paws in
which dangerous claws are sheathed, and short tail. Its principal prey
is the common or Northern hare, which abounds in these regions: but at
times the _loup-cervier_ will invade the poultry-yards; and he is even
held to account, now and then, for the murder of innocent lambs, and the
disappearance of tender piglings whose mothers were so negligent as to
let them stray alone into the brushwood. These fierce cats have been
killed, occasionally, quite close to Quebec. When thus driven to
approach populous districts, it must be from scarcity of their
accustomed food; for they are usually very savage and ravenous, when
found in such places. I know an instance, myself, in which a gentleman
of Quebec, riding a little way from the town, was suddenly pounced upon
and attacked by a _loup-cervier_, near the Plains of Abraham. He struck
the animal with his whip several times, but it persisted in following
him, and he got rid of it only by putting spurs to his horse and beating
it in speed. The animal was killed soon afterwards, near the same place.

I had heard of another variety of wildcat, seen at rare intervals in the
same districts. The _habitant_ is rather foggy on the subject of zoology
in general, and my attempts to obtain a satisfactory description of this
animal were futile. Some of the definitions of this rare _chat-sauvage,_
indeed, might have answered for specifications of a griffin, or of a
vampire-bat. At last, one day, when walking about in the market-place
at Quebec, I saw a crowd assembled round a gray-clad countryman, who
presided over a small box on which the words _Chat-Sauvage_ were
painted. Now was my time to set the question at rest. I invested
sixpence in the show. When a good number of sixpences had been paid in,
the proprietor opened his box, out from which crawled a fat, familiar
raccoon, apparently as much at home in the market-place as he could have
been in the middle of his native swamp. And this was the mysterious
"wild-cat" about which I had asked so many questions and heard so many
stories!

It is noticeable that thunder-storms, travelling from the westward
toward Quebec, usually diverge across the valley of the St. Charles in
the direction of Lorette, and coast along the ridge of ground on which
that place is situated to Charlesbourg, a small village lying about four
miles to the east of it, upon the ridge. There the storms appear to
culminate, pouring out the full vials of their wrath upon the devoted
_habitans_ of white-cotted Charlesbourg. The wayfarer who wends through
this rustical district will hardly fail to observe the prevailing taste
for lightning-rods. The smallest cottage has at least two of these
fire-irons, one upon each gable; houses of more pretensions are provided
with an indefinite number; and the big white church has its purple roof
so bristled with them, that the pause which a flash of lightning must
necessarily make before deciding by which of them to come down must
enable any tolerably active person to get out of the way in good time.
And yet, with all these defenders of the faithful, I remember how the
steeple was taken clean off the big white church, in splinters, one wild
night after I had watched a long array of cloud-chariots rolling heavily
away eastward along the ridge: also, how a farmer's handsome daughter,
the belle of the village, sat upright and dead upon a sofa when people
came again to their eyesight after a blinding flash. So much for
lightning-rods!--so much for the mystic iron!

When the day of the _Fête Dieu_ comes round, Quebec and its neighboring
villages are all alive for the celebration of the _fête_, which takes
place on the following Sunday. Then the great suburb of St. Roch is
a sight to see. Every street of it is converted into a green alley,
embowered with young pine-trees, and flaunting with banners temporarily
constructed out of all available pieces of dry-goods, lent by the
devoted shop-keepers of the olden Church. Most extraordinary lithographs
of holy personages are hung out upon the door-posts and walls of every
house. Bowers shading curious little shrines meet the eye everywhere.
The white tables of the little shrines are loaded with gilt and
tinselled offerings in immense variety. Curious bosses, like
lace-pillows got up for church, swing pendent from the verdant
pine-branches. The vast parish-church, of sombre gray masonry, flashing
carnival-fires from the tin-plated pepper-boxes and slopes of its acre
of roof, is receiving or disgorging a variegated multitude of good
Catholics. Within, it is a mass of foliage, a wilderness of shrines, a
cloud-land of incense. Long processions of maidens all in white, and
others of maidens all in pale watchet-blue, are threading the principal
streets. They are not _all_ very religious maidens, I am afraid;
because, as sure as fate, one very young one of those robed in pure
white "made eyes" at me as she passed. Now all this display in Quebec
and its suburbs is set forth on a great scale and with bewildering
turmoil; but if you want to see it in miniature presentment, you must
pass down through St. Roch, and take the road to Lorette. Arrived among
the _sauvages_,--for so the Canadian _habitant_ invariably calls
his Indian brother, who is often as like him as one pea is like
another,--you will there see the little old Huron church decked out in
humble imitation of its younger, but bigger brothers in the city. The
lanes between the log-houses are embowered in a modest way, and the
drapery is eked out by many a yellow flannel petticoat and pair of
scarlet leggings that dally riotously with each other in the breeze. The
shrines are certainly less magnificent than those fairy bowers of
the elf-land St. Roch, but there is a good deal of beaded peltry and
bark-work about them, giving them, in a small way, the character of
aboriginal bazaars. The Hurons are _bons Catholiques_, and everything
connected with the _fête_ is conducted with a solemnity becoming the
character of the Christian red man. So decorous, indeed, are the little
_sauvagesses_ forming the miniature processions, that I do not remember
ever detecting the eyes of any of them wandering and wantoning around,
like those of the naughty little processional in white about whose
conduct I just now complained.

The instinct of the French-Canadian for Indian trading has led one of
that race to establish a general store close by the Huron village,
though on the _habitant_ side of the stream. The gay printed cottons
indispensable to the _belle sauvagesse_ are here to be found, as well as
the blue blankets and the white, of so much account in the wardrobe of
the women as well as of the men. Here, too, are to be had the assorted
beads and silks and worsteds used in the embroidery of moccasons,
epaulettes, and such articles; nor is the quality of the Cognac kept on
hand by Joe for his customers to be characterized as despicable. Indeed,
it would be hazardous to aver that anything is _not_ to be had, for the
proper compensation, in Joe's establishment,--that is, anything
that could possibly be required by the most exacting _sauvage_
or _sauvagesse_, from a strap of sleigh-bells to a red-framed
looking-glass. Out of that store, too, comes a deal of the vivid drapery
displayed upon the _Fête Dieu_, and much of the art-union resource
combined in the attractive cheap lithograph element so edifying to the
connoisseur.

I think it was one of those _fêtes_--if not, another bright summer
holiday--that I once saw darkly disturbed in this quiet little hamlet.
Standing upon the table-rock that juts out at the foot of the fall so
as to half-bridge over the lower-most eddy, I saw a small object topple
over the summit of the cascade. It was nothing but a common pail or
stable-bucket, as I perceived, when it glided past, almost within arm's
length of me, and disappeared down the winding gorge. When I went up
again to the road, I saw a crowd of holiday people standing near the
little inn. They were solemn and speechless, and, on approaching, I saw
that they were gazing upon the body of a man, dead and sadly crushed
and mutilated. He was a _calèche_-driver from Quebec, well known to the
small community; and although it does not seem any great height from the
roadway near the inn to the tumbled rocks by the river's edge just
above the fall, yet it was a drop to mash and kill the poor fellow dead
enough, when his foot slipped, as he descended the unsafe path to get
water for his horse. A dweller in great cities--say, for instance, one
who lives within decent distance of such a charming locality as that
called the Five Points in New York--could hardly realize the amount of
awe that an event so trifling as a sudden and violent death will spread
over a primitive village community. This happened in the French division
of the place, which, of course, was decorated to the utmost ability of
the people in honor of the _fête_: and so palpable was the gloom cast
over all by the circumstance, that the bright flannels flaunting from
the _cordons_ stretched across the way seemed to darken into palls, and
the gay red streamers must have appeared to the subdued carnival spirits
as warning crape-knots on the door-handle of death.

I believe it is a maxim with the Italian connoisseur of art, that no
landscape is perfect without one red spot to give value to its varieties
of green. On this principle, let me break the monotony of this little
rural sketch with the one touch of genuine American character that
belonged to it at the time of which I speak. Let William Button be the
one red spot that predominated vastly over the green influences by which
he was surrounded. The little inn at Lorette was then kept by a worthy
host bearing the above-mentioned name, which was dingily lettered out
upon a swinging sign, dingily representing a trotting horse,--emblem
as dear to the slow Canadian as to the fast American mind. William
Button--known as Billy Button to hosts of familiar friends--was, I
think, a Kentuckian by birth; a fact which might honestly account for
his having come by the loss of an eye through some operation by which
marks of violence had been left upon the surrounding tracts of his
rugged countenance. He was a short, thick-set man, with bow-legs like
those of a bull-terrier, and walked with a heavy lurch in his gait.
William's head was of immense size in proportion to his stature. Indeed,
that important joint of his person must have been a division by about
two of what artists term heroic proportions, or eight heads to a
height,--a standard by which Button was barred from being a hero, for
his head could hardly have been much less than a fourth of his entire
length. The expression of his face was remarkably typical of American
humor and shrewdness, an effect much aided by the chronic wink afforded
by his closed eye. How Button found his way to this remote spot would
have been a puzzle to any person unfamiliar with American character. How
he managed to live among and deal with and very considerably master a
community speaking no language with which he was acquainted was more
unaccountable still. The inn could not have been a very profitable
speculation, in itself; but there was one room in it fitted out with a
display of Indian manufactures,--some of the articles reposing in
glass cases to protect them from hands and dust, others arranged with
negligent regularity upon the walls. Out of these the landlord made a
good penny, as he charged an extensive percentage upon the original
cost,--that is, to strangers; but if you were in Button's confidence,
then was there no better fellow to intrust with a negotiation for a
pair of snow-shoes, or moose-horns, or anything else in that line
of business. In the winter season he was a great instigator of
moose- and caribou-expeditions to the districts where these animals
abound, assembling for this purpose the best Indian hunters to be found
in the neighborhood, and accompanying the party himself. Out of the spoils
of these expeditions he sometimes made a handsome profit: a good pair of
moose-horns, for instance, used to fetch from six to ten dollars; and
there is always a demand for the venison in the Quebec market. The skins
were manufactured into moccason-leather by Indian adepts whom Button had
in his pay, and who worked for a very low rate of remuneration,--quite
disproportioned, indeed, to the fancy prices always paid by strangers
for the articles turned out by their hands.

The name "Billy Button" carries with it an association oddly
corroborated by a story narrated of himself by the man of whom I am
speaking. Of all the reminiscences connected with the illegitimate drama
that have dwelt with me from my early childhood until now, not one is
more vividly impressed upon my memory than that standard old comedy
on horseback performed by circus-riders long since gone to rest, and
entitled "Billy Button's Journey to Brentford." The hero of this
pleasant horse-play was a tailor,--men following that useful trade being
considered capable of affording more amusement in connection with horses
than any others, excepting, perhaps, jolly mariners on a spree. The plot
of the drama used to strike my young mind as being a "crib" from "John
Gilpin"; but I forgave that, in consideration of the skilful manner in
which the story was wrought out. With what withering contempt used
I, brought up among horses and their riders, to jeer at the wretched
attempts of the tailor to remain permanently upon any central point of
the horse's spinal ridge! How cheerful my feelings, when that man
of shreds and patches fell prostrate in the sawdust, where he lay
grovelling until the next revolution of his noble steed, when the animal
caught him up by the baggiest portion of the trousers and carried him
round the arena as a terrier might a rat! But, oh, what mingled joy and
admiration, when out from the worried mass of coats leaped the nimble
rider, now no longer a miserable tailor, but a roseate young man in
tights and spangles, featly posturing over all the available area of his
steed, and "witching the world with noble horsemanship"!

All these memories crowded upon me with a tremendous shock the very
first time I saw the name of William Button upon the dingy swinging
sign. Afterwards, when I became intimate with that curious person, I
discovered that he was a capital "whip,"--first-rate, indeed, as a
driver of the fast trotting horse, as well as a good judge of that
superior article. With respect to his experiences as a rider he was more
reserved; and it was not until after I had known him a long time that he
confided to me the particulars of a ride once taken by him, which bore,
in its principal features, a singular resemblance to the one performed
by his great name-sake of the sawdust-ring.

There is a pack of fox-hounds kept at Montreal, maintained chiefly by
officers of the garrison, as a shadowy reminiscence, perhaps, of the
real thing, which is essentially of insular Britain and of nowhere else.
Button happened to go to Montreal, on one occasion, for the purpose of
picking up a race-horse, I think, for the Quebec market. Somebody who
used to ride with the hounds had a horse which he wanted to get rid
of, on account of headstrong tendencies in general and inability to
appreciate the advantages of a bit. I remember the animal well. He was
a fiery chestnut, with white about the legs, and very good across a
country so long as he was wanted to go; but no common power could stop
him when once he began to do that. On this animal--"The Buffer," he was
called--Button was persuaded to mount, "just to try him a little,"
his owner said; and by way of doing that with perfect freedom from
restraint, they rode out to where the hounds were to throw off, a couple
of miles from the city. Button used to say that the term "throw off,"
which was new to him in that application, haunted him all the way out,
like a bad dream. It was a bag-fox day, I believe: that is, the hunt was
provided with a trapped animal, brought upon the ground in a sack and
let out when the proper time came,--a process known in sporting parlance
as "shaking a fox." The usual amount of "law" having been conceded, the
hounds were laid on, and went away, as Button said, like a fire-flake
over a prairie. No sooner did "The Buffer" hear the cry of the pack,
than he started forward with a suddenness and force by which his
wretched rider was jerked back at least a foot behind the saddle,
into which place of rest he never once again fell during his many
vicissitudes of position in that ride. I have said that Button was
bow-legged; and to that providential fact did he attribute the power by
which he clung on to various parts of the steed during his wild career
of perhaps a mile, but which seemed to the troubled senses of the rider
not much less than fifty. It was providential for him, too, that the
country was but sparsely intersected by fences, and those not of a very
formidable character: nevertheless, at each of these the too confiding
Button experienced a change of position, being, as he used to express
it, "interjuiced forrard o' the saddle or back'ard o' the saddle,
accordin' to the kind o' thing the hoss flew over, and one time
booleyvusted right under the hoss, whar he hung on by the girth ontil
another buck-jump sent him right side on ag'in; but never, on no
account, did he touch leather ag'in in all that ride." And thus Billy
Button might have ridden farther and fared worse, had he not seen a
terrible fate staring him imminently in the face. The hounds had just
entered a little grove of young pine-trees, which stood very close
together, and bristled with sharp, jagged branches nearly to the root,
after the manner of these children of the wood. At this place of torture
"The Buffer" was rushing with all his might, Button being then situated
upon his neck, in a position most convenient for being "skinned alive"
by the trees, as he said, when a plunge made by the animal over a plashy
pool transferred the rider to his tail, from which he "collapsed right
down in a kind o' swoon, and when he come to, found himself settin' up
to his elbows in muddy water, very solitary-like, and with a terrible
stillness all around."--What became of "The Buffer" I forget, and also
how Button got home; but he certainly did not ride. And he always wound
up the narrative of his first and last fox-hunt by invoking terrible
ends to himself, if ever he "threw leg over dog-hoss ag'in, to see a
throw-off."

Button left Lorette about two years after I first became acquainted with
him, and I next heard of him down at the rock-walled Saguenay, where he
had gone into a speculation for supplying the Boston market with salmon.
But horse-flesh seemed to be more palatable to him than fish; for, later
still, I met him at Toronto, in Upper Canada, mounted upon a powerful
dark brown stallion, and leading another, its exact counterpart.

"Hollo, Button!" said I, in response to his cheery, "How de dew?"--"On
horseback again, I see; have you forgotten the Buffer-business, then?"

"Forgot the yaller cuss!" replied he. "No, Sir-ree! He hangs round me
yet, like fever 'n' agur upon a ma'sh. But the critter I'm onto a'n't no
dog-hoss, you may believe; he don't 'throw off' nor nothin', _he_ don't.
Him and his mate here a'n't easy matched. I fetched 'em up from below on
spec, and you can hev the span for a cool thousand on ice."

And this was the last I saw of Button, who was one of the strangest
combinations of hotel-keeper, horse-jockey, Indian-trader, fish-monger,
and alligator, I ever met.

Tradition still retains a hold upon the Hurons of Lorette, little as
remains to them of the character and lineaments of the red man. A
pitiable procession of their diluted "braves" may sometimes be seen in
the streets of Quebec, on such distinguished occasions as the Prince's
visit. But it is with a manifest consciousness of the ludicrous that
these industrials now do their little drama of the war-dance and the
oration and the council-smoke. That drama has degenerated into a very
feeble farce now, and the actors in it would be quite outdone in their
travesty by any average corps of "supes" at one of our theatres.
By-and-by all this will have died out, and the "Indian side" of the
stream at Lorette will be assimilated in all its features to the other.
The moccason is already typifying the decadence of aboriginal things
there. That article is now fitted with India-rubber soles for the Quebec
demand,--a continuation of the sole running in a low strip round the
edge of the foot. With the gradual widening of that strip, until the
moccason of the red man has been clean obliterated from things that are
by the India-rubber of the white, will the remnant of the Hurons have
passed away with things that were. Verdict on the "poor Indian":--"Wiped
out with an India-rubber shoe."

And then, in future generations, the tradition of Indian blood among
Canadian families of dark complexion, along these ridges, will be about
as vague as that of Spanish descent in the case of certain tribes of
fishermen on the western coast of Ireland. From the assimilation already
going on, however, it may be argued that the physical character of the
Indian will be gradually merged and lost in that of the French colonist.
The Hurons are described as having formerly been a people of large
stature, while those of the present day in Lower Canada are usually
rather undersized than otherwise, like their _habitant_ neighbors. As
a race, the latter are below the middle stature, although generally of
great bodily strength and endurance.

Physical size and grand proportions are looked upon by the
French-Canadian with great respect. In all the cases of popular
_émeutes_ that have from time to time broken out in Lower Canada, the
fighting leaders of the people were exceptional men, standing head
and shoulders over their confiding followers. Where gangs of raftsmen
congregate, their "captains" may be known by superior stature. The
doings of their "big men" are treasured by the French-Canadians in
traditionary lore. One famous fellow of this governing class is known
by his deeds and words to every lumberer and stevedore and timber-tower
about Montreal and Quebec. This man, whose name was Joe Monfaron, was
the bully of the Ottawa raftsmen. He was about six feet six inches high
and proportionably broad and deep; and I remember how people would turn
round to look after him, as he came pounding along Notre-Dame Street, in
Montreal, in his red shirt and tan-colored _shupac_ boots, all dripping
wet after mooring an acre or two of raft, and now bent for his
ashore-haunts in the Ste.-Marie suburb, to indemnify himself with
bacchanalian and other consolations for long-endured hardship. Among
other feats of strength attributed to him, I remember the following,
which has an old, familiar taste, but was related to me as a fact.

There was a fighting stevedore or timber-tower, I forget which, at
Quebec, who never had seen Joe Monfaron, as the latter seldom came
farther down the river than Montreal. This fighting character, however,
made a custom of laughing to scorn all the rumors that came down on
rafts, every now and then, about terrible chastisements inflicted by Joe
upon several hostile persons at once. He, the fighting timber-tower,
hadn't found his match yet about the lumber-coves at Quebec, and he only
wanted to see Joe Monfaron once, when he would settle the question as to
the championship of the rafts on sight. One day, a giant in a red shirt
stood suddenly before him, saying,--

"You're Dick Dempsey, eh?"

"That's me," replied the timber-tower; "and who are you?"

"Joe Monfaron. I heard you wanted me,--here I am," was the Caesarean
response of the great captain of rafts.

"Ah! you're Joe Monfaron!" said the bully, a little staggered at the
sort of customer he saw before him. "I said I'd like to see you, for
sure; but how am I to know you're the right man?"

"Shake hands, first," replied Joe, "and then you'll find out, may be."

They shook hands,--rather warmly, perhaps, for the timber-tower, whose
features wore an uncertain expression during the operation, and who at
last broke out into a yell of pain, as Joe cast him off with a defiant
laugh. Nor did the bully wait for any further explanations; for, whether
the man who had just brought the blood spouting out at the tips of his
fingers was Joe Monfaron or not, he was clearly an ugly customer and had
better be left alone.

There are several roads from Quebec to Lorette, all of them good for
carriages except one, which, from its extreme destitution of every
condition essential to easy locomotion on wheels, is called, in the
expressive language of the French colonists, _La Misère_. And yet this
is the only road which, from touching various points of the River St.
Charles, affords the traveller compensating glimpses of the picturesque
windings of that stream. The pedestrian, however, is the only kind of
explorer who really sees a country and its people; and for him who is
not too proud to walk, _La Misère_ is not so hard to bear as its name
might imply.

If iron takes the romance out of things, in a general way, as I
mentioned at the beginning of this article my impression that it
rather does, I know not whether primitive Lorette has not become sadly
vulcanized into prosaic progress by the grand system of water-works
established there for the benefit of Quebec. Connected as it is, now,
with the latter place, by seven miles of iron pipes, I would not
undertake to say that it retains aught of the rustic simplicity of its
greener days. Had the pipes been of wood, indeed, the place might
yet have had a chance. To understand this, one should hear the
French-Canadian expatiate upon the superiority of the wooden to the
metal bridge. Five years ago, the road-trustees of Quebec undertook to
span the Montmorency River, just above the great fall, with an iron
suspension-bridge. This would shorten the road, they said, by some two
or three hundred yards of divergence from the old wooden bridge higher
up. They built their bridge, which looked like a spider's web spanning
the verge of the stupendous cataract, when seen from the St. Lawrence
below. It was opened to the public in April, 1856, but was little used
for some days, as the conservative _habitans_, who had gone the crooked
road over the wooden bridge all their lives, declined to see what
advantage could be gained by taking to a straight one pontificed with
iron. It had not been open a week, however, when, as two or three
hurrying peasants were venturing it with their carts, it fell with a
crash, and all were washed headlong in an instant over the precipice
and into the boiling abyss below, from which not one vestige of their
remains was ever returned for a sign to their awe-stricken friends.
Supposing this bridge to be rebuilt,--which is not likely,--I do not
believe that a _habitant_ of all that region could be got to cross it,
even under the malediction, with bell, book, and candle, of his priest.
And so the old wooden bridge flourishes, and the crooked road is
travelled by gray-coated _cultivateurs_, whose forefathers went crooked
in the same direction for several generations, mounted upon persevering
ponies which wouldn't upon any account be persuaded into going straight.

A gleam of hope for Lorette flashes upon me since the above was written.
On looking over a provincial paper, I find astounding rumors of ghosts
appearing upon the track of a western railroad. Things clothed in the
traditional white appear before the impartial cow-catcher, which divides
them for the passage of the train, in the wake of which they immediately
reappear in a full state of repair and posture of contempt. If this
sort of thing goes on, what a splendid new field will be opened for the
writer of romance!

Certainly, I do not yet see what antidote there is for the primitive and
pastoral against seven miles of iron pipe; but it is cheerful to know
that ghosts are beginning to come about railroads, and all may yet be
well with Lorette.



BEHIND THE MASK.


  It was an old, distorted face,--
  An uncouth visage, rough and wild;
  Yet from behind, with laughing grace,
  Peeped the fresh beauty of a child.

  And so contrasting, fair and bright,
  It made me of my fancy ask
  If half earth's wrinkled grimness might
  Be but the baby in the mask.

  Behind gray hairs and furrowed brow
  And withered look that life puts on,
  Each, as he wears it, comes to know
  How the child hides, and is not gone.

  For, while the inexorable years
  To saddened features fit their mould,
  Beneath the work of time and tears
  Waits something that will not grow old!

  And pain and petulance and care
  And wasted hope and sinful stain
  Shape the strange guise the soul doth wear,
  Till her young life look forth again.

  The beauty of his boyhood's smile,--
  What human faith could find it now
  In yonder man of grief and guile,--
  A very Cain, with branded brow?

  Yet, overlaid and hidden, still
  It lingers,--of his life a part;
  As the scathed pine upon the hill
  Holds the young fibres at its heart.

  And, haply, round the Eternal Throne,
  Heaven's pitying angels shall not ask
  For that last look the world hath known,
  But for the face behind the mask!



DIAMONDS AND PEARLS.


We were lately lounging away a Roman morning among the gems in
Castellani's sparkling rooms in the Via Poli. One of the treasures
handed out for rapturous examination was a diamond necklace, just
finished for a Russian princess, at the cost of sixty thousand dollars,
and a set of pearls for an English lady, who must pay, before she bears
her prize homeward, the sum of ten thousand dollars. Castellani junior,
a fine, patriotic young fellow, who has since been banished for his
liberal ideas of government, smiled as he read astonishment in our eyes,
and proceeded forthwith to dazzle us still further with more gems of
rarest beauty, till then hidden away in his strong iron boxes.

Castellani, father and son, are princes among jewellers, and deserve to
be ranked as artists of a superior order. Do not fail to visit their
charming apartments, as among the most attractive lesser glories, when
you go to Rome. They have a grand way of doing things, right good to
look upon; and we once saw a countrywoman of ours, who has written
immortal words in the cause of freedom, made the recipient of a gem at
their hands, which she cannot but prize as among the chief tributes so
numerously bestowed in all parts of the Christian world where her feet
have wandered.

Castellani's jeweller's shop has existed in Rome since the year 1814.
At that time all the efforts of this artist (Castellani the elder) were
directed to the imitation of the newest English and French fashions, and
particularly to the setting of diamonds. This he continued till 1823.
From 1823 to 1827 he sought aid for his art in the study of Technology.
And not in vain; for in 1826 he read before the _Accademia dei Lincei_
of Rome, (founded by Federico Cesi,) a paper on the chemical process of
coloring _a giallone_ (yellow) in the manufacture of gold, in which he
announced some facts in the action of electricity, long before Delarive
and other chemists, as noticed in the "Quarterly Journal of Science,"
Dec., 1828, No. 6, and the "Bibliothèque Universelle de Genève," 1829,
Tom. xi. p. 84.

At this period Etruria began to lay open the treasures of her art.
All were struck by the beauty of the jewels found in the tombs; but
Castellani was the first who thought of reproducing some of them; and he
did it to the great admiration of the amateurs, foremost among whom may
be mentioned the Duke Don Michelangelo Caetani, a man of great artistic
feeling, who aided by his counsels and his designs the _renaissance_ of
Roman jewelry.

The discovery of the celebrated tomb Regulini-Galassi at Cervetri was
an event in jewelry. The articles of gold found in it (all now in the
Vatican) were diligently studied by Castellani, when called upon to
appraise them. Comprehending the methods and the character of the work,
he boldly followed tradition.

The discoveries of Campanari of Toscanella, and of the Marquis Campana
of Rome, gave valuable aid to this new branch of art.

Thus it went on improving; and Castellani produced very expert pupils,
all of them Italians. Fashion, if not public feeling, came to aid the
_renaissance_, and others, in Rome and elsewhere, undertook similar work
after the models of Castellani. It may be asserted that the triumph of
the classic jewelry is now complete. Castellani renounced the modern
methods of chasing and engraving, and adhered only to the antique
fashion of overlaying with cords, grains, and finest threads of
gold. From the Etruscan style he passed to the Greek, the Roman, the
Christian. In this last he introduced the rough mosaics, such as were
used by the Byzantines with much effect and variety of tint and of
design.

The work of Castellani is dear; but that results from his method of
execution, and from the perfect finish of all the details. He does not
seek for cheapness, but for the perfection of art: this is the only
thing he has in view. As he is a man of genius, we have devoted
considerable space to his admirable productions.

The Talmud informs us that Noah had no other light in the ark than that
which came from precious stones. Why do not our modern jewellers take a
hint from the ancient safety-boat, and light up accordingly? We dare
say old Tavernier, that knowing French gem-trader of the seventeenth
century, had the art of illuminating his château at Aubonne in a way
wondrous to the beholder. Among all the jewellers, ancient or modern,
Jean Baptiste Tavernier seems to us the most interesting character. His
great knowledge of precious stones, his acute observation and unfailing
judgment, stamp him as one of the remarkable men of his day. Forty years
of his life he passed in travelling through Turkey, Persia, and the
East Indies, trading in gems of the richest and rarest lustre. A great
fortune was amassed, and a barony in the Canton of Berne, on the Lake of
Geneva, was purchased as no bad harbor for the rest of his days. There
he hoped to enjoy the vast wealth he had so industriously acquired. But,
alas! stupid nephews abound everywhere; and one of his, to whom he had
intrusted a freight worth two hundred and twenty thousand livres, caused
him so great a loss, that, at the age of eighty-four, he felt obliged to
sail again for the East in order to retrieve his fortune, or at least
repair the ill-luck arising from his unfortunate speculation. He forgot,
poor old man! that youth and strength are necessary to fight against
reverses; and he died at Moscow, on his way, in 1689. When you visit the
great Library in Paris, you will find his "Travels," in three volumes,
published in 1677-79, on a shelf among the quartos. Take them down, and
spend a pleasant hour in looking through the pages of the enthusiastic
old merchant-jeweller. His adventures in search of diamonds and other
precious commodities are well told; and although he makes the mistakes
incident to many other early travellers, he never wilfully romances.
He supposed he was the first European that had explored the mines of
Golconda; but an Englishman of the name of Methold visited them as early
as 1622, and found thirty thousand laborers working away for the rich
Marcandar, who paid three hundred thousand pagodas annually to the king
for the privilege of digging in a single mine. The first mine visited by
Tavernier was that of Raolconda, a five-days' journey from Golconda. The
manner of trading there he thus describes:--

"A very pretty sight is that presented every morning by the children of
the master-miners and of other inhabitants of the district. The boys,
the eldest of which is not over sixteen or the youngest under ten,
assemble and sit under a large tree in the public square of the village.
Each has his diamond weight in a bag hung on one side of his girdle, and
on the other a purse containing sometimes as much as five or six hundred
pagodas. Here they wait for such persons as have diamonds to sell,
either from the vicinity or from any other mine. When a diamond is
brought to them, it is immediately handed to the eldest boy, who is
tacitly acknowledged as the head of this little band. By him it is
carefully examined, and then passed to his neighbor, who, having also
inspected it, transmits it to the next boy. The stone is thus passed
from hand to hand, amid unbroken silence, until it returns to that of
the eldest, who then asks the price and makes the bargain. If the little
man is thought by his comrades to have given too high a price, he must
keep the stone on his own account. In the evening the children take
account of stock, examine their purchases, and class them according to
their water, size, and purity, putting on each stone the price they
expect to get for it; they then carry the stones to the masters, who
have always assortments to complete, and the profits are divided among
the young traders, with this difference in favor of the head of the
firm, that he receives one-fourth per cent. more than the others. These
children are so perfectly acquainted with the value of all sorts of
gems, that, if one of them, after buying a stone, is willing to lose
one-half per cent. on it, a companion is always ready to take it."

Master Tavernier discourses at some length on the ingenious methods
adopted by the laborers to conceal diamonds which they have found,
sometimes swallowing them,--and he tells of one miner who hid in the
corner of his eye a stone of two carats! Altogether, his work is one
worthy to be turned over, even in that vast collection, the Imperial
Library, for its graphic pictures of gem-hunting two hundred years ago.

Professor Tennant says, "One of the common marks of opulence and taste
in all countries is the selection, preservation, and ornamental use of
gems and precious stones." Diamonds, from the time Alexander ordered
pieces of flesh to be thrown into the inaccessible valley of Zulmeah,
that the vultures might bring up with them the precious stones which
attached themselves, have everywhere ranked among the luxuries of a
refined cultivation. It is the most brilliant of stones, and the hardest
known body. Pliny says it is so hard a substance, that, if one should
be laid on an anvil and struck with a hammer, look out for the hammer!
[_Mem_. If the reader have a particularly fine diamond, never mind
Pliny's story: the risk is something, and Pliny cannot be reached for an
explanation, should his experiment fail.] By its own dust only can
the diamond be cut and polished; and its great lustre challenges
the admiration of the world. Ordinary individuals, with nothing to
distinguish them from the common herd, have "got diamonds," and
straightway became ever afterwards famous. An uncommon-sized brilliant,
stuck into the front linen of a foolish fellow, will set him up as
a marked man, and point him out as something worth looking at. The
announcement in the papers of the day, that "Mademoiselle Mars would
wear all her diamonds," never failed to stimulate the sale of tickets
on all such occasions. As it may interest our readers to know what
treasures an actress of 1828 possessed, we copy from the catalogue of
her effects a few items.

"Two rows of brilliants set _en chatons_, one row composed of forty-six
brilliants, the other of forty-four; eight sprigs of wheat in
brilliants, composed of about five hundred brilliants, weighing
fifty-seven carats; a garland of brilliants that may be taken to pieces
and worn as three distinct ornaments, three large brilliants forming the
centre of the principal flowers, the whole comprising seven hundred and
nine brilliants, weighing eighty-five carats three-quarters; a Sévigné
mounted in colored gold, in the centre of which is a burnt topaz
surrounded by diamonds weighing about three grains each, the drops
consisting of three opals similarly surrounded by diamonds; one of
the three opals is of very large size, in shape oblong, with rounded
corners; the whole set in gold studded with rubies and pearls.

"A _parure_ of opals, consisting of a necklace and Sévigné, two
bracelets, ear-rings the studs of which are emeralds, comb, belt-plate
set with an opal in the shape of a triangle; the whole mounted in
wrought gold, studded with small emeralds.

"A Gothic bracelet of enamelled gold, in the centre a burnt topaz
surrounded by three large brilliants; in each link composing the
bracelet is a square emerald; at each extremity of the topaz forming
the centre ornament are two balls of burnished gold, and two of wrought
gold.

"A pair of girandole ear-rings of brilliants, each consisting of a large
stud brilliant and of three pear-shaped brilliants united by four small
ones; another pair of ear-rings composed of fourteen small brilliants
forming a clustre of grapes, each stud of a single brilliant.

"A diamond cross composed of eleven brilliants, the ring being also of
brilliants.

"A bracelet with a gold chain, the centre-piece of which is a fine opal
surrounded with brilliants; the opal is oblong and mounted in the Gothic
style; the clasp is an opal.

"A gold bracelet, with a _grecque_ surrounded by six angel heads graven
on turkoises, and a head of Augustus.

"A serpent bracelet _à la Cléopatre_, enamelled black, with a turkois on
its head.

"A bracelet with wrought links burnished on a dead ground; the clasp a
heart of burnished gold with a turkois in the centre, graven with Hebrew
characters.

"A bracelet with a row of Mexican chain, and a gold ring set with a
turkois and fastened to the bracelet by a Venetian chain.

"A ring, the hoop encircled with small diamonds.

"A ring, _à la chevalière_, set with a square emerald between two
pearls.

"A gold _chevalière_ ring, on which is engraved a small head of
Napoleon.

"Two belt-buckles, Gothic style, one of burnished gold, the other set
with emeralds, opals, and pearls.

"A necklace of two rows coral; a small bracelet of engraved carnelians.

"A comb of rose diamonds, form D 5, surmounted by a large rose
surrounded by smaller ones, and a cinque-foil in roses, the _chatons_
alternated, below a band of roses."

The weight of the diamond, as every one knows, is estimated in _carats_
all over the world. And what is a carat, pray? and whence its name? It
is of Indian origin, a _kirat_ being a small seed that was used in India
to weigh diamonds with. Four grains are equal to one carat, and six
carats make one pennyweight. But there is no standard weight fixed for
the finest diamonds. Competition alone among purchasers must arrange
their price. The commercial value of gems is rarely affected, and
among all articles of commerce the diamond is the least liable to
depreciation. Panics that shake empires and topple trade into the dust
seldom lower the cost of this king of precious stones; and there is no
personal property that is so apt to remain unchanged in money-value.

Diamond anecdotes abound, the world over; but we have lately met with
two brief ones that ought to be preserved.

"Carlier, a bookseller in the reign of Louis XIV., left, at his death,
to each of his children,--one a girl of fifteen, the other a captain in
the guards,--a sum of five hundred thousand francs, then an enormous
fortune. Mademoiselle Carlier, young, handsome, and wealthy, had
numerous suitors. One of these, a M. Tiquet, a Councillor of the
Parliament, sent her on her fête-day a bouquet, in which the calices of
the roses were of large diamonds. The magnificence of this gift gave so
good an opinion of the wealth, taste, and liberality of the donor, that
the lady gave him the preference over all his competitors. But sad was
the disappointment that followed the bridal! The husband was rather poor
than rich; and the bouquet, that had cost forty-five thousand francs,
(nine thousand dollars,) had been bought on credit, and was paid out of
the bride's fortune."

"The gallants of the Court of Louis XV. carried extravagance as far
as the famous Egyptian queen. She melted a pearl,--they pulverized
diamonds, to prove their insane magnificence. A lady having expressed a
desire to have the portrait of her canary in a ring, the last Prince de
Conti requested she would allow him to give it to her; she accepted, on
condition that no precious gems should be set in it. When the ring was
brought to her, however, a diamond covered the painting. The lady had
the brilliant taken out of the setting, and sent it back to the giver.
The Prince, determined not to be gainsaid, caused the stone to be ground
to dust, which he used to dry the ink of the letter he wrote to her on
the subject."

Let us mention some of the most noted diamonds in the world. The largest
one known, that of the Rajah of Matan, in Borneo, weighs three hundred
and sixty-seven carats. It is egg-shaped and is of the finest water.
Two large war-vessels, with all their guns, powder, and shot, and one
hundred and fifty thousand dollars in money, were once refused for it.
And yet its weight is only about three ounces!

The second in size is the _Orloff_, or _Grand Russian_, sometimes called
the _Moon of the Mountain_, of one hundred and ninety-three carats.
The Great Mogul once owned it. Then it passed by conquest into the
possession of Nadir the Shah of Persia. In 1747 he was assassinated, and
all the crown-jewels slipped out of the dead man's fingers,--a common
incident to mortality. What became of the great diamond no one at that
time knew, till one day a chief of the Anganians walked, mole-footed,
into the presence of a rich Armenian gentleman in Balsora, and proposed
to sell him (no lisping,--not a word to betray him) a large emerald, a
splendid ruby, and the great Orloff diamond. Mr. Shafrass counted out
fifty thousand piastres for the lot; and the chief folded up his robes
and silently departed. Ten years afterwards the people of Amsterdam were
apprised that a great treasure had arrived in their city, and could
be bought, too. Nobody there felt rich enough to buy the great Orloff
sparkler. So the English and Russian governments sent bidders to compete
for the gem. The Empress Catharine offered the highest sum; and her
agent, the Count Orloff, paid for it in her name four hundred and fifty
thousand roubles, cash down, and a grant of Russian nobility! The size
of this diamond is that of a pigeon's egg, and its lustre and water are
of the finest: its shape is not perfect.

The _Grand Tuscan_ is next in order,--for many years held by the Medici
family. It is now owned by the Austrian Emperor, and is the pride of
the Imperial Court. It is cut as a rose, nine-sided, and is of a yellow
tint, lessening somewhat its value. Its weight is one hundred and
thirty-nine and a half carats; and its value is estimated at one hundred
and fifty-five thousand, six hundred and eighty-eight pounds.

The most perfect, though not the largest, diamond in Europe is the
_Regent_, which belongs to the Imperial diadem of France. Napoleon the
First used to wear it in the hilt of his state-sword. Its original
weight was four hundred and ten carats; but after it was cut as a
brilliant, (a labor of two years, at a cost of three thousand pounds
sterling,) it was reduced to one hundred and thirty-seven carats. It
came from the mines of Golconda; and the thief who stole it therefrom
sold it to the grandfather of the Earl of Chatham, when he was governor
of a fort in the East Indies. Lucky Mr. Pitt pocketed one hundred and
thirty-five thousand pounds for his treasure, the purchaser being Louis
XV. This amount, it is said, is only half its real value. However, as it
cost the Governor, according to his own statement, some years after
the sale, only twenty thousand pounds, his speculation was "something
handsome." Pope had a fling at Pitt, in his poetical way, intimating a
wrong with regard to the possession of the diamond; but we believe the
transaction was an honest one. In the inventory of the crown-jewels, the
Regent diamond is set down at twelve million francs!

The _Star of the South_ comes next in point of celebrity. It is the
largest diamond yet obtained from Brazil; and it is owned by the King of
Portugal. It weighed originally two hundred and fifty-four carats, but
was trimmed down to one hundred and twenty-five. The grandfather of
the present king had a hole bored in it, and liked to strut about on
gala-days with the gem suspended around his neck. This magnificent jewel
was found by three banished miners, who were seeking for gold during
their exile. A great drought had laid dry the bed of a river, and there
they discovered this lustrous wonder. Of course, on promulgating their
great luck, their sentence was revoked immediately.

The world-renowned _Koh-i-noor_ next claims our attention.

A Venetian diamond-cutter (wretched, bungling Hortensio Borgis!)
reduced the great _Koh-i-noor_ from its primitive weight--nine hundred
carats--to two hundred and eighty. Tavernier saw this celebrated jewel
two hundred years ago, not long after its discovery. It came into the
possession of Queen Victoria in 1849, _three thousand years_, say the
Eastern sages, after it belonged to Karna, the King of Anga! On the 16th
of July, 1852, the Duke of Wellington superintended the commencement
of the re-cutting of the famous gem, and for thirty-eight days the
operation went on. Eight thousand pounds were expended in the cutting
and polishing. When it was finished and ready to be restored to the
royal keeping, the person (a celebrated jeweller) to whom the whole
care of the work had been intrusted, allowed a friend to take it in his
fingers for examination. While he was feasting his eyes over it, and
turning it to the light in order to get the full force of its marvellous
beauty, down it slipped from his grasp and fell upon the ground. The
jeweller nearly fainted with alarm, and poor "Butterfingers" was
completely jellified with fear. Had the stone struck the ground at a
particular angle, it would have split in two, and been ruined forever.

Innumerable anecdotes cluster about this fine diamond. Having passed
through the hands of various Indian princes, violence and fraud are
copiously mingled up with its history. We quote one of Madame de
Barrera's stories concerning it:----

"The King of Lahore having heard that the King of Cabul possessed a
diamond that had belonged to the Great Mogul, the largest and purest
known, he invited the fortunate owner to his court, and there, having
him in his power, demanded his diamond. The guest, however, had provided
himself against such a contingency with a perfect imitation of the
coveted jewel. After some show of resistance, he reluctantly acceded to
the wishes of his powerful host. The delight of Runjeet was extreme, but
of short duration,--the lapidary to whom he gave orders to mount his
new acquisition pronouncing it to be merely a bit of crystal. The
mortification and rage of the despot were unbounded. He immediately
caused the palace of the King of Cabul to be invested, and ransacked
from top to bottom. But for a long while all search was vain; at last a
slave betrayed the secret;--the diamond was found concealed beneath
a heap of ashes. Runjeet Singh had it set in an armlet, between two
diamonds, each the size of a sparrow's egg."

The _Shah of Persia_, presented to the Emperor Nicholas by the Persian
monarch, is a very beautiful stone, irregularly shaped. Its weight is
eighty-six carats, and its water and lustre are superb.

The various stories attached to the _Sancy_ diamond, the next in point
of value, would occupy many pages. During four centuries it has been
accumulating romantic circumstances, until it is now very difficult to
give its true narrative. If Charles the Bold, the last Duke of Burgundy,
ever wore it suspended round his neck, he sported a magnificent jewel.
If the Curate of Montagny bought it for a crown of a soldier who picked
it up after the defeat of Granson, not knowing its value, the soldier
was unconsciously cheated by the Curate. If a citizen of Berne got it
out of the Curate's fingers for three crowns, he was a shrewd knave. De
Barante says, that in 1492 (Columbus was then about making land in this
hemisphere) this diamond was sold in Lucerne for five thousand ducats.
After that, all sorts of incidents are related to have befallen it. Here
is one of them.--Henry IV. was once in a strait for money. The Sieur
de Sancy (who gave his name to the gem) wished to send the monarch his
diamond, that he might raise funds upon it from the Jews of Metz. A
trusty servant sets off with it, to brave the perils of travel, by no
means slight in those rough days, and is told, in case of danger from
brigands, to swallow the precious trust. The messenger is found dead on
the road, and is buried by peasants. De Sancy, impatient that his man
does not arrive, seeks for his body, takes it from the ground where it
is buried, opens it, and recovers his gem! In some way not now known,
Louis XV. got the diamond into his possession, and wore it at his
coronation. In 1789, it disappeared from the crown-treasures, and no
trace of it was discovered till 1830, when it was offered for sale by a
merchant in Paris. Count Demidoff had a lawsuit over it in 1832; and as
it is valued at a million of francs, it was worth quarrelling about.

The _Nassuck Diamond_, valued at thirty thousand pounds, is a
magnificent jewel, nearly as large as a common walnut. Pure as a drop of
dew, it ranked among the richest treasures in the British conquest of
India.

What has become of the great triangular _Blue Diamond_, weighing
sixty-seven carats, stolen from the French Court at the time of the
great robbery of the crown-jewels? Alas! it has never been heard from.
Three millions of francs represented its value; and no one, to this day,
knows its hiding-place. What a pleasant morning's work it would be to
unearth this gem from its dark corner, where it has lain _perdu_ so many
years! The bells of Notre Dame should proclaim such good-fortune to all
Paris.

But enough of these individual magnificos. Their beauty and rarity have
attracted sufficient attention in their day. Yet we should like to
handle a few of those Spanish splendors which Queen Isabel II. wore at
the reception of the ambassadors from Morocco. That day she shone in
diamonds alone to the amount of two million dollars! We once saw a
monarch's sword, of which

  "The jewelled hilt,
  Whose diamonds lit the passage of his blade,"

was valued at one hundred thousand dollars! But one of the pleasantest
of our personal remembrances, connected with diamonds, is the picking up
of a fine, lustrous gem which fell from O.B.'s violin-bow, (the gift of
the Duke of Devonshire,) one night, after he had been playing his magic
instrument for the special delight of a few friends. The tall Norwegian
wrapped it in a bit of newspaper, when it was restored to him, and
thrust it into his cigar-box! [O.B. sometimes carried his treasures in
strange places. One day he was lamenting the loss of a large sum of
money which he had received as the proceeds of a concert in New York. A
week afterwards he found his missing nine hundred dollars stuffed away
in a dark corner of one of his violin-cases.]

There is a very pretty diamond-story current in connection with the good
Empress Eugénie. Madame de Barrera relates it in this wise.

"When the sovereign of France marries, by virtue of an ancient custom
kept up to the present day, the bride is presented by the city of Paris
with a valuable gift. Another is also offered at the birth of the
first-born.

"In 1853, when the choice of His Majesty Napoleon III. raised the
Empress Eugénie to the throne, the city of Paris, represented by the
Municipal Commission, voted the sum of six hundred thousand francs for
the purchase of a diamond necklace to be presented to Her Majesty.

"The news caused quite a sensation among the jewellers. Each was eager
to contribute his finest gems to form the Empress's necklace,--a
necklace which was to make its appearance under auspices as favorable as
those of the famous _Queen's Necklace_ had been unpropitious. But on the
28th of January, two days after the vote of the Municipal Commission,
all this zeal was disappointed; the young Empress having expressed
a wish that the six hundred thousand francs should be used for the
foundation of an educational institution for poor young girls of the
Faubourg St. Antoine.

"The wish has been realized, and, thanks to the beneficent fairy in
whose compassionate heart it had its origin, the diamond necklace has
been metamorphosed into an elegant edifice, with charming gardens. Here
a hundred and fifty young girls, at first, but now as many as four
hundred, have been placed, and receive, under the management of those
angels of charity called the _Sisters of St. Vincent de Paul_, an
excellent education proportioned to their station, and fitting them to
be useful members of society.

"The solemn opening of the Maison-Eugénie-Napoleon took place on the
1st of January, 1857.

"M. Veron, the _journaliste_, now deputy of the Seine, has given, in the
'Moniteur,' a very circumstantial account of this establishment. From it
we borrow the following:--

"'The girls admitted are usually wretchedly clad; on their entrance,
they receive a full suit of clothes. Almost all are pale, thin, weak
children, to whom melancholy and suffering have imparted an old and
careworn expression. But, thanks to cleanliness, to wholesome and
sufficient food, to a calm and well-regulated life, to the pure, healthy
air they breathe, the natural hues and the joyousness of youth soon
reanimate the little faces; and with lithe, invigorated limbs, and happy
hearts, these young creatures join merrily in the games of their new
companions. They have entered the institution old; they will leave it
young.'

"The Empress Eugénie delights in visiting the institution of the
Faubourg St. Antoine. This is natural. Her Majesty cannot but feel
pleasure in the contemplation of all she has accomplished by sacrificing
a magnificent, but idle ornament to the welfare of so many beings
rescued from misery and ignorance. These four hundred young girls will
be so many animated, happy, and grateful jewels, constituting for Her
Majesty in the present, and for her memory in the future, an ever new
set of jewels, an immortal ornament, a truly celestial talisman.

"A fresco painting represents, in a hemicycle, the Empress in her bridal
dress, offering to the Virgin a diamond necklace; young girls are
kneeling around her in prayer; admiration and fervent faith are depicted
on their brows."

A very large amount of the world's capital is represented in precious
stones, and ninety per cent of that capital so invested is in diamonds.
This was not always the case. Ancient millionnaires held their
enormous jewelry-riches more in colored stones than is the custom now.
Crystallized carbon has risen in the estimation of capitalists, and
crystallized clay has gone down in the scale of value. If the diamond be
the hardest known substance in the world's jewel-box, the pearl is by no
means its near relation in that particular. The daughters of Stilicho
slept undisturbed eleven hundred and eighteen years, with all their
riches in sound condition, except the pearls that were found with their
splendid ornaments. The other decorations sparkled in the light as
brilliantly as ever; but the pearls crumbled into dust, as their owners
had done centuries before. Eight hundred years before these ladies lived
and wore pearls, a queen with "swarthy cheeks and bold black eyes" tried
a beverage which cost, exclusive of the vinegar which partly composed
it, the handsome little sum of something over eighty thousand pounds.
Diamond and vinegar would not have mixed so prettily.

Pearls are perishable beauties, exquisite in their perfect state, but
liable to accident from the nature of their delicate composition. Remote
antiquity chronicles their existence, and immemorial potentates eagerly
sought for them to adorn their persons. Pearl-fisheries in the Persian
Gulf are older than the reign of Alexander; and the Indian Ocean, the
Red Sea, and the Coast of Coromandel yielded their white wonders ages
ago. Under the Ptolemies, in the time of the Caliphs, the pearl-merchant
flourished, grew rich, and went to Paradise. To-day the pearl-diver is
grubbing under the waves that are lapping the Sooloo Islands, the coast
of Coromandel, and the shores of Algiers. In Ceylon he is busiest, and
you may find him from the first of February to the middle of April
risking his life in the perilous seas. His boat is from eight to ten
tons burden, and without a deck. At ten o'clock at night, when the
cannon fires, it is his signal to put off for the bank opposite
Condatchy, which he will reach by daylight, if the weather be fair.
Unless it is calm, he cannot follow his trade. As soon as light dawns,
he prepares to descend. His diving-stone, to keep him at the bottom,
is got ready, and, after offering up his devotions, he leaps into the
water. Two minutes are considered a long time to be submerged, but
some divers can hold out four or five minutes. When his strength is
exhausted, he gives a signal by pulling the rope, and is drawn up with
his bag of oysters. Appalling dangers compass him about. Sharks watch
for him as he dives, and not infrequently he comes up maimed for life.
It is recorded of a pearl-diver, that he died from over-exertion
immediately after he reached land, having brought up with him a shell
that contained a pearl of great size and beauty. Barry Cornwall has
remembered the poor follow in song so full of humanity, that we quote
his pearl-strung lyric entire.

  "Within the midnight of her hair,
  Half hidden in its deepest deeps,
  A single, peerless, priceless pearl
  (All filmy-eyed) forever sleeps.
  Without the diamond's sparkling eyes,
  The ruby's blushes, there it lies,
  Modest as the tender dawn,
  When her purple veil's withdrawn,--
  The flower of gems, a lily cold and pale!
  Yet what doth all avail,--
  All its beauty, all its grace,
  All the honors of its place?
  He who plucked it from its bed,
  In the far blue Indian ocean,
  Lieth, without life or motion,
  In his earthy dwelling,--dead!
  And his children, one by one,
  When they look upon the sun,
  Curse the toil by which he drew
  The treasure from its bed of blue.

  "Gentle Bride, no longer wear,
  In thy night-black, odorous hair,
  Such a spoil! It is not fit
  That a tender soul should sit
  Under such accursed gem!
  What need'st _thou_ a diadem,--
  Thou, within whose Eastern eyes
  Thought (a starry Genius) lies,--
  Thou, whom Beauty has arrayed,--
  Thou, whom Love and Truth have made
  Beautiful,--in whom we trace
  Woman's softness, angel's grace,
  All we hope for, all that streams
  Upon us in our haunted dreams?

  "O sweet Lady! cast aside,
  With a gentle, noble pride,
  All to sin or pain allied!
  Let the wild-eyed conqueror wear
  The bloody laurel in his hair!
  Let the black and snaky vine
  Round the drinker's temples twine!
  Let the slave-begotten gold
  Weigh on bosoms hard and cold!
  But be THOU forever known
  By thy natural light alone!"

One of the best judges of pearls that ever lived, out of the regular
trade, was no less a person than Caesar. He was a great connoisseur, and
could tell at once, when he took a pearl in his hand, its weight and
value. He gave one away worth a quarter of a million dollars. Servilia,
the mother of Brutus, was the lady to whom he made the regal present.

Caligula, not satisfied with building ships of cedar with sterns inlaid
with gems, had a pearl-collar made for a favorite horse! Pliny grows
indignant as he chronicles the luxury of this Emperor.

"I have seen," says he, "Lollia Paulina, who was the wife of the
Emperor Caligula,--and this not on the occasion of a solemn festival or
ceremony, but merely at a supper of ordinary betrothals,--I have seen
Lollia Paulina covered with emeralds and pearls, arranged alternately,
so as to give each other additional brilliancy, on her head, neck, arms,
hands, and girdle, to the amount of forty thousand sesterces, [£336,000
sterling,] the which value she was prepared to prove on the instant by
producing the receipts. And these pearls came, not from the prodigal
generosity of an imperial husband, but from treasures which had been the
spoils of provinces. Marcus Lollius, her grandfather, was dishonored
in all the East on account of the gifts he had extorted from kings,
disgraced by Tiberius, and obliged to poison himself, that his
grand-daughter might exhibit herself by the light of the _lucernae_
blazing with jewels."

Nero offered to Jupiter Capitolinus the first trimmings of his beard in
a magnificent vase enriched with the costliest pearls.

Catherine de Medicis and Diane de Poitiers almost floated in pearls,
their dresses being literally covered with them. The wedding-robe of
Anne of Cleves was a rich cloth-of-gold, thickly embroidered with
great flowers of large Orient pearls. Poor Mary, Queen of Scots, had a
wonderful lot of pearls among her jewels; and the sneaking manner in
which Elizabeth got possession of them we will leave Miss Strickland,
the biographer of Queens, to relate.

"If anything farther than the letters of Drury and Throgmorton be
required to prove the confederacy between the English Government and the
Earl of Moray, it will only be necessary to expose the disgraceful
fact of the traffic of Queen Mary's costly _parure_ of pearls, her own
personal property, which she had brought with her from France. A few
days before she effected her escape from Lochleven Castle, the righteous
Regent sent these, with a choice collection of her jewels, very secretly
to London, by his trusty agent, Sir Nicholas Elphinstone, who undertook
to negotiate their sale, with the assistance of Throgmorton, to whom he
was directed for that purpose. As these pearls were considered the most
magnificent in Europe, Queen Elizabeth was complimented with the first
offer of them. 'She saw them yesterday, May 2nd,' writes Bodutel La
Forrest, the French ambassador at the Court of England, 'in the presence
of the Earls of Pembroke and Leicester, and pronounced them to be of
unparalleled beauty.' He thus describes them: 'There are six cordons
of large pearls, strung as paternosters; but there are five-and-twenty
separate from the rest, much finer and larger than those which are
strung; these are for the most part like black _muscades_. They had not
been here more than three days, when they were appraised by various
merchants; this Queen wishing to have them at the sum named by the
jeweller, who could have made his profit by selling them again. They
were at first shown to three or four working jewellers and lapidaries,
by whom they were estimated at three thousand pounds sterling, (about
ten thousand crowns,) and who offered to give that sum for them. Several
Italian merchants came after them, who valued them at twelve thousand
crowns, which is the price, as I am told, this Queen Elizabeth will take
them at. There is a Genoese who saw them after the others, and said they
were worth sixteen thousand crowns; but I think they will allow her to
have them for twelve thousand.' 'In the mean time,' continues he, in his
letter to Catherine of Medicis, 'I have not delayed giving your Majesty
timely notice of what was going on, though I doubt she will not allow
them to escape her. The rest of the jewels are not near so valuable as
the pearls. The only thing I have heard particularly described is
a piece of unicorn richly carved and decorated.' Mary's royal
mother-in-law of France, no whit more scrupulous than her good cousin of
England, was eager to compete with the latter for the purchase of the
pearls, knowing that they were worth nearly double the sum at which they
had been valued in London. Some of them she had herself presented to
Mary, and especially wished to recover; but the ambassador wrote to her
in reply, that 'he had found it impossible to accomplish her desire of
obtaining the Queen of Scots' pearls, for, as he had told her from the
first, they were intended for the gratification of the Queen of England,
who had been allowed to purchase them at her own price, and they were
now in her hands.'

"Inadequate though the sum for which her pearls were sold was to their
real value, it assisted to turn the scale against their real owner.

"In one of her letters to Elizabeth, supplicating her to procure some
amelioration of the rigorous confinement of her captive friends, Mary
alludes to her stolen jewels:--'I beg also,' says she, 'that you will
prohibit the sale of the rest of my jewels, which the rebels have
ordered in their Parliament, for you have promised that nothing should
be done in it to my prejudice. I should be very glad, if they were in
safer custody, for they are not meat proper for traitors. Between you
and me it would make little difference, and I should be rejoiced, if any
of them happened to be to your taste, that you would accept them from me
as offerings of my good-will.'

"From this frank offer it is apparent that Mary was not aware of the
base part Elizabeth had acted, in purchasing her magnificent _parure_ of
pearls of Moray, for a third part of their value."

One of the most famous pearls yet discovered (there may be shells down
below that hide a finer specimen) is the beautiful _Peregrina_. It was
fished up by a little negro boy in 1560, who obtained his liberty by
opening an oyster. The modest bivalve was so small that the boy in
disgust was about to pitch it back into the sea. But he thought better
of his rash determination, pulled the shells asunder, and, lo, the
rarest of priceless pearls! [_Moral._ Don't despise little oysters.] La
Peregrina is shaped like a pear, and is of the size of a pigeon's egg.
It was presented to Philip II. by the finder's master, and is still in
Spain. No sum has ever determined its value. The King's jeweller named
five hundred thousand dollars, but that paltry amount was scouted as
ridiculously small.

There is a Rabbinical story which aptly shows the high estimate of
pearls in early ages, only one object in Nature being held worthy to be
placed above them:--

"On approaching Egypt, Abraham locked Sarah in a chest, that none might
behold her dangerous beauty. But when he was come to the place of paying
custom, the collectors said, 'Pay us the custom': and he said, 'I will
pay the custom.' They said to him, 'Thou carriest clothes': and he said,
'I will pay for clothes.' Then they said to him, 'Thou carriest gold':
and he answered them, 'I will pay for my gold.' On this they further
said to him, 'Surely thou bearest the finest silk': he replied, 'I will
pay custom for the finest silk.' Then said they, 'Surely it must be
pearls that thou takest with thee': and he only answered, 'I will pay
for pearls.' Seeing that they could name nothing of value for which the
patriarch was not willing to pay custom, they said, 'It cannot be but
thou open the box, and let us see what is within.' So they opened the
box, and the whole land of Egypt was illumined by the lustre of Sarah's
beauty,--far exceeding even that of pearls."

Shakspeare, who loved all things beautiful, and embalmed them so that
their lustre could lose nothing at his hands, was never tired of
introducing the diamond and the pearl. They were his favorite ornaments;
and we intended to point out some of the splendid passages in which he
has used them. But we have room now for only one of those priceless
sentences in which he has set the diamond and the pearl as they were
never set before. No kingly diadem can boast such jewels as glow along
these lines from "Lear":--

  "You have seen
  Sunshine and rain at one: her smiles and tears
  Were like a better day: Those happy smiles
  That played on her ripe lip seemed not to know
  What guests were in her eyes; which parted thence,
  _As pearls from diamonds dropp'd._"



REVIEWS AND LITERARY NOTICES.


1. _Lis Oubreto_ de ROUMANILLE. Avignon. 1860. 12mo.

2. T. AUBANEL. _La Miougrano Entreduberto._ Avec Traduction littérale en
regard. Avignon: J. Roumanille. 1860. 12mo.

3. _Mirèio._ Pouèmo Prouvençau de FREDERI MISTRAL. Avec la Traduction
littérale en regard. Avignon: J. Roumanille. 1859. 8vo.

4. _Las Papillôtos_ de JACQUES JASMIN, de l'Académie d'Agen, Maître ès
Jeux-Floraux, Grand Prix de l'Académie Française. Édition populaire,
avec le Français en regard, et ornée d'un Portrait. De 1822 à 1858.
Paris: Firmin Didot, Frères & Cie. 1860. 12mo.

5. _Lés Piaoulats d'un Reïpetit._ Recueil de Poésies Patoises. Par J.B.
Veyre, Instituteur à Saint-Simon (Cantal). Aurillac: Imprimerie de L.
Bonnet-Picut. 1860. 8vo.

Few persons, when they consider the present greatness and prosperity of
the French Empire, bear in mind the heterogeneous elements of which it
is composed. For us, Paris is France, and the literature of the realm
is comprised in the words, "Paris publications." We think not of the
millions of Frenchmen to whom the language of the capital is a sealed
letter,--of the Germans of Alsatia, the Flemings of the extreme
North-East, the Bretons of the peninsula of Finisterre, the Basques, the
Catalans of the mountains of Roussillon, and, more numerous than all
these, the fourteen millions of the thirty-seven departments south of
the Loire. These speak, to this day, with fewer modifications than have
taken place in any other of the European languages during the same lapse
of time, the very tongue in which wrote Bertran de Born and Pierre
Vidal, the idiom in which Dante and Petrarca found some of their
happiest inspirations, and which, we are told, Tasso envied for its
poetic capabilities.

True, the Provinces of Gascony, Provence, Auvergne may be traversed by
the stranger almost without his suspecting that other than the French,
more or less badly spoken, is in common use. In hotels and shops he will
hear nothing else.

The larger towns in direct communication with the capital, and all that
is purely exterior in the people, are becoming more and more French
every day. But in the family interior, far from the noise of affairs,
the bustle of towns, in hamlets, among the vine-growers and tenders of
the silk-worm, in the mountains and retired valleys, the home-tongue is
again at ease. Simple, ingenuous, amber-like in its sunny tints, it is a
reflection of that ardent poetical imagination which made the courts of
the Counts of Toulouse the nurseries of modern poesy, when the rest of
Europe was little else than one wrangling battle-field. Neither the
exterminating crusade against the Albigenses, after which the idiom
of Provence was wellnigh stigmatized as heretical, nor the civil and
religious wars of the seventeenth century, nor even the _dragonnades_ of
Louis XIV., have been able to outroot it. The levelling edicts of the
first French Revolution were powerless against it. The Provençal, or
Langue d'Oc, if you will, the Gascon, the Auvergnat, are spoken to this
day in their respective provinces, universally spoken by the people, who
in many instances do not understand French at all. They must be preached
to in their own dialect. They have their songs, their theatre even.

Nor must this be understood as referring only to the lower strata
of society. The better classes, even, retain a fondness for their
mother-tongue which years of residence in Paris will not obliterate. In
their very French, they still retain the inflections, the tones of the
South,--a measured cadence in the phrase, which the Parisian uniformly
styles _gasconner_. They feel ill at ease in what they call the
cold-mannered speech of the _Franchiman_. In the words of one of their
poets, Mistral, who has proved that he was no less a master of the
academic forms and rules than of the riches and power of his own
Avignonais:--"Those who have not lived at the South, and especially
in the midst of our rural population, can have no idea of the
incompatibility, the insufficiency, the poverty of the language of the
North in regard to our manners, our needs, our organization. The French
language, transplanted to Provence, seems like the cast-off clothes of a
Parisian dandy adapted to the robust shoulders of a harvester bronzed by
the Southern sun."

The Provençal, in its two principal divisions, the Gascon and Langue
d'Oc, is the current idiom south of the Loire. The South-West Provinces
had, in the seventeenth century, no mean poet in Godelin; and in our
own day, Jasmin has found a host of followers. The inhabitants of the
South-East, however, the more immediate retainers of the language of
the Troubadours, save in a few drinking-songs and Christmas carols, had
forgotten the strains that once resounded beyond the limits of Provence
and had first awaked the poetic emulation of Spain and Italy. The
princess of song, stung by the envious spirit of persecution in the
Albigensian wars, had slept for centuries, and the thick hedge of
forgetfulness had grown rank about the language and its treasures. What
Raynouard, Diez, Mahn, Fauriel, and others have done to bring to light
again the unedited texts was little better than an autopsy. A living,
breathing poet was wanting to reanimate by his touch the poesy that had
slept so long. That poet was Roumanille.

The Minnesingers have found heirs and continuators in the modern writers
of Germany. Side by side with the increasing tendency to unity in all
national literature is working the force of races confounded under one
political banner, to assert their existence as such. Congresses have
shaped new kingdoms; but they have not reached or removed the limits
of nationalities that have each their expression in song, whether in
Moldavia or among the Czechs of Bohemia. The regeneration of local
idioms, which is fast working its way from the Bosphorus to the
Atlantic, was first undertaken in Provence, at the instigation of
Roumanille. The son of a gardener of St. Remy, he was first struck with
the insufficiency of French literature for his immediate countrymen,
when, on his return from college, seeking to recite some of his earlier
poems in the language of Racine to his aged mother, she failed to
understand them. For her he translated, and found that his own Provençal
was richer, more copious and melodious than the French itself, and, if
less finical and restrained by grammatical forms, more pliant for the
poet, and better answering the exigencies of primitive, spontaneous
expression of feeling. From that moment his efforts were unceasingly
directed towards the reintegration of his mother-tongue, which had so
long played but the part of a Cinderella among the Romanic nations.

His poems, collected in 1847, under the title of "Margarideto,"
(Daisies,) were hailed by his countrymen with their habitual national
enthusiasm. Nor did he remain inactive during the Revolution of 1848,
addressing the people in home-phrase in several small volumes of prose.
In 1852, he sent forth a call to his brother-writers, the _felibre_, who
had joined with him in his efforts. The result was the publication of
"Li Prouvençalo," a charming selection from those modern Troubadours
who in all ranks of society sing, because sing they must, in bright and
sunny Provence, and who in very deed find poetry

  "In the forge's dust and ashes, in the tissues
  of the loom."

The call of Roumanille was the signal for a revival. Since that time, he
himself, now a publisher in Avignon, has steadily watched and
fostered the movement. The new literature has rapidly gone beyond its
home-limits. Within the present year, Paris has republished several of
the most noted works.

The volume which has called forth these remarks, "Lis Oubreto,"
comprises the poems of M. Roumanille,--"Li Margarideto," "Li Nouvè,"
"Li Sounjarello," "La Part de Dieu," "Li Flour de Sauvi." They are
characterized by an elevation in the thoughts and a religious purity
of sentiment, qualities which, it has been urged, and justly too, were
lacking in many of the former productions in various dialects of France.
We call the poetry of Roumanille elevated, yet it always addresses
itself to the people of Provence, and borrows its images from the
many-colored life of those to whom it speaks; religious, but simple and
ingenuous, with a tinge of mysticism,--not the mysticism that seeks the
good in dreamy inaction, as in some of the Spanish authors, nor has it
the obscure tinge of the transcendental English school. The religion
of Roumanille is active, not dogmatic; he incites to _do_, rather than
discuss or dream the good. There is a health, a vigor, an earnestness,
in this spontaneous poesy of an idiom which six centuries ago was the
language of courts, and now sings the song of toil. Side by side with
the over-cultured language of the Parisian, it seems so free and frank!
Where the one is hampered for fear of sinning, the other, buoyant and
elastic, treads freely and fears not to be too ingenuous.

Roumanille's poems have not been translated; it is hardly likely they
ever will be,--at least, the greater number. They were not made for
Paris. They are not at ease in a French garb,--nor, for that matter,
in any other than their own diaphanous, sun-tinted, vowelly Provençal,
unless they could find their expression in some _folk-speech_, as the
Germans say, that could utter things of daily life without euphuistic
windings, without fear of ridicule for things of home expressed in
home-words.

As characterizing the nature and tendency of the new poetry, we subjoin
a translation of "Li Crecho," (The Infant Asylums,) of which M.
Sainte-Beuve, of the French Academy, one whose judgment as literary
critic could be little biased in favor of the _naïve_ graces of the
original, said,--"The piece is worthy of the ancient Troubadours. The
angel of the asylums and of little children in his celestial sadness
could not be disavowed by the angels of Klopstock, nor by that of Alfred
de Vigny."

"Li Crecho" was recited by the author at the inauguration of the Infant
Asylum of Avignon, the 20th of November, 1851, and forms part of the
sheaf of poems entitled "Li Flour de Sauvi."

I.

"Among the choirs of Seraphim, whom God has created to sing eternally,
transported with love, 'Glory, glory to the Father!'--among the joys of
Paradise, one oftentimes, far from the happy singers, went thoughtful
away.

"And his snow-white forehead inclined towards our world, as droops a
flower that has no moisture in summer. Day by day he grew more dreamy.
If sadness, when in God's glory, could torment the heart, I should say
that this fair angel was pining with sorrow.

"Of what did he dream thus, and in secret? Why was he not of the feast?
Why, alone among angels, as one that had sinned, did he bow the head?"

II.

"Lo! he has just knelt at the feet of God. What will he say? What will
he do? To see and hear him, his brethren interrupt their song of praise."

III.

"'When Jesus, thy child, wept,--when he shivered with cold in the
manger of Bethlehem,--it was my smile that consoled him, my wings that
sheltered him, with my warm breath did I comfort him.

"'And since then, O God, when a child weeps, in my pitying heart his
voice resounds. Therefore forever now am I sick at heart,--therefore, O
Lord, am I ever thoughtful.

"'On earth, O God, I have something to do. Let me descend there. There
are so many babes, poor milk-lambs, who, shivering with cold, weep and
wail far from the breasts, far from the kisses of their mothers! In warm
rooms will I shelter them,--will cover and tend them,--will nurse and
caress them,--will lull them to rest. Instead of one mother, they shall
each have twenty that shall give them suck and soothe them to sleep.'"

IV.

"And with heart and hand did the angels applaud,--a tremor of joy shot
through the stars of heaven,--and, unfolding his pinions, with the
rapidity of lightning the angel descended. The road-side smiled with
flowers, as he passed,--and mothers trembled for joy; for infant-asylums
arose wherever the child-angel trod."

One of the first to respond to the call of Roumanille for the
composition of the selection "Li Prouvençalo" was Th. Aubanel, also of
Avignon. The "Segaire" (Mowers) and "Lou 9 Thermidor" made it plain,
that, of the thirty names, that of the young printer would soon take a
prominent place among the revivers of Southern letters. And now, eight
years later, the promise of M. René Taillandier, in his introduction to
the selection, has become reality.

"La Miougrano Entreduberto" (The Opened Pomegranate) is printed with an
accompanying French translation. Mistral, the brother-poet and friend of
the author, thus announces the poems:--

"The pomegranate is of its nature wilder than other trees. It loves to
grow in pebbly elevations (_clapeirolo_) in the full sun-rays, far from
man and nearer to God. There alone, in the scorching summer-beams, it
expands in secret its blood-red flowers. Love and the sun fecundate
its bloom. In the crimson chalices thousands of coral-grains germ
spontaneously, like a thousand fair sisters all under the same roof.

"The swollen pomegranate holds imprisoned as long as it can the roseate
seeds, the thousand blushing sisters. But the birds of the moor speak to
the solitary tree, saying,--'What wilt thou do with the seeds? Even now
comes the autumn, even now comes the winter, that chases us beyond the
hills, beyond the seas.....And shall it be said, O wild pomegranate,
that we have left Provence without seeing thy beautiful coral-grains,
without having a glimpse of thy thousand virgin daughters?'

"Then, to satisfy the envious birdlings of the moor, the pomegranate
slowly half-opens its fruit; the thousand vermeil seeds glitter in the
sun; the thousand timorous sisters with rosy cheeks peep through the
arched window: and the roguish birds come in flocks and feast at ease on
the beautiful coral-grains; the roguish lovers devour with kisses the
fair blushing sisters.

"Aubanel--and you will say as I do, when you have read his book--is a
wild pomegranate-tree. The Provençal public, whom his first poems had
pleased so much, was beginning to say,--'But what is our Aubanel doing,
that we no longer hear him sing?'"

Then follows an exposition of the hopeless passion of the poet,--how he
took for motto,

  "Quau canto,
  Soun mau encanto."

Hence the three books of poems now before us,--"The Book of Love,"
"Twilight," and "The Book of Death." "The Book of Love," "a thing
excessively rare," as we are told in the Preface, "but this one written
in good faith," opens with a couplet that is a key to the whole
volume:--

  "I am sick at heart,
  And _will_ not be cured."

We subjoin a literal translation of the eleventh song, line for line:--

  De-la-man-d'eilà de la mar,
  Dins mis ouro de pantaiage,
  Souvènti-fes iéu fau un viage,
  Iéu fau souvènt un viage amar,
  De-la-man-d'eilà, de la mar."
  etc., etc.

  "Far away, beyond the seas,
  In my hours of reverie,
  Oftentimes I make a voyage,
  I often make a bitter voyage,
  Far away, beyond the seas.

  "Yonder far, towards the Dardanelles,
  With the ships I glide away,
  Whose long masts pierce the sky;
  Towards my loved one do I go,
  Yonder far, towards the Dardanelles.

  "With the great white clouds sailing on,
  Driven by the wind, their master-shepherd,
  The great clouds which before the stars
  Pass onwards like white flocks,
  With the clouds I go sailing on.

  "With the swallows I take my flight,
  The swallows returning to the sun;
  Towards fair days do they go, quick, quick;
  And I, quick, quick, towards my love,
  With the swallows take my flight.

  "Oh, I am very sick for home,
  Sick for the home that my love haunts!
  Far from that foreign country,
  As the bird far from its nest,
  I am very sick for home.

  "From wave to wave, o'er the bitter waters,
  Like a corse thrown to the seas,
  In dreams am I borne onward
  To the feet of her that's dear,
  From wave to wave, o'er the bitter waters.

  "On the shores I am there, dead!
  My love in her arms supports me;
  Speechless she gazes and weeps,
  Lays her hand upon my heart,
  And suddenly I live again!

  "Then I clasp her, then I fold her
  In my arms: 'I have suffered enough!
  Stay, stay! I _will_ not die!'
  And as a drowning one I seize her,
  And fold her in my arms.

  "Far away, beyond the seas,
  In my hours of reverie,
  Oftentimes I make a voyage,
  I often make a bitter voyage,
  Far away, beyond the seas."

As may easily be seen, Aubanel writes not, like Roumanille, for his
own people alone. His Muse is more ambitious, and seeks to interest by
appealing to the sentiments in a language polished with all the art
of its sister, the French. There are innumerable exquisite passages
scattered through the work, which make us ready to believe in the
figurative comparison of the prefacer, when he tells us that "the
coral-grains of the 'Opened Pomegranate' will become in Provence the
chaplet of lovers."

If Roumanille and Aubanel contented themselves with the publication of
poems of no very ambitious length, the author of "Mirèio" aimed directly
at enriching his language at the outset with an epic. He has given us in
twelve cantos the song of Provence. He makes us see and feel the life of
Languedoc,--traverse the Crau, that Arabia Petrasa of France,--see
the Rhone, and the fair daughters of Arles, in their picturesque
costumes,--see the wild bulls of the Camargo, the Pampas of the
Mediterranean. We are among the growers of the silk-worm; we hear the
home-songs and talks of the Mas, listen to the people's legends and
tales of witchery, and can study the Middle-Age spirit that still in
these regions endows every shrine with miracles, as we follow the
pilgrimage to the chapel of the Three Marys.

"Mirèio" is all Provence living and breathing before us in a poem. No
wonder, then, that, in the present dearth of poetry in France, this epic
or idyl, call it as you will, was received with acclamations. M. René
Taillandier has consecrated to it one of his most masterly articles
in the "Revue des Deux Mondes." Lamartine has devoted to it a whole
_entretien_ in his "Cours de Littérature." It was discussed, quoted,
translated in all the journals of the capital. We may revert to it at
greater length in a future number of the "Atlantic."

The name of Jasmin, the harbor-poet of Agen, is already familiar to the
English public. Professor Longfellow has translated his "Blind Girl of
Castel-Cuillé." His name is known in Paris as well, perhaps, as that of
any other living French poet, if we except Lamartine and Victor Hugo.
Accompanied with a French translation, his principal poems, "Mous
Soubenis," "L'Abuglo de Castel-Cuillé," "Francouneto," "Maltro
l'Innoucento," "Lous Dus Frays Bessous," "La Semmâno d'un Fil," have
been read as much north of the Loire as south.

"The Curl-Papers"--for thus he styles his works--having been translated
into German and English, the reputation of the author may be called
European. The forty maintainers of the Floral Games of Clémence Isaure
at Toulouse awarded him the title of _Maître ès Jeux-Floraux_. His
progress through the South was marked by ovations, and every town, from
Marseilles to Bordeaux, hastened to recognize the modern Troubadour.
Happier than most of his predecessors, Jasmin receives his laurels in
season, and can wear the crowns that are presented him. The "Papillôtos"
were formerly scattered in three costly volumes; they have now been
collected in one handsome duodecimo, with an accompanying French
translation of the principal pieces,--a translation which called from
Ampère the remark,--_"A défaut des vers de Jasmin, on ferait cent lieues
pour entendre cette prose-là!"_

"Lés Piaoulats d'un Reïpetit" is one of the rare productions of the
written literature of Auvergne, so rich in antique legends and original
popular songs. The author, at the Archaeological Concourse of Béziers,
in 1838, obtained deserved encomium for his "Ode to Riquet," the
creator of the great Southern French Canal, linking the Atlantic and
Mediterranean. He has written in the Romanic dialect in use in Auvergne,
which, if it lacks the finish and polish of the Provençal, is not
wanting in grace and ingenuousness. It is characterized by a rude
energy, a sombre harmony, that tallies well with the wild and rural
character of the country.

At first sight, the dialect seems to have a marked affinity with that
made use of by Jasmin in his "Papillôtos." It is, however, easily
distinguishable by the frequent use of peculiar gutturals, the almost
constant change of _a_ into _o_, and a greater number of radicals of
Celtic origin. In a recent work on Auvergne, it is argued that these
Celtic words form the basis of the language. The history of the region
itself would tend to corroborate this theory.

Sheltered by rocky mountain-ranges, the Dômes, the Dores, and Cantal,
(_Mons Celtorum_) the Arverni obstinately repulsed every attempt towards
the naturalization of the Roman tongue, and battled for six centuries
with the same energy displayed by them, when, under Vercingetorix,
they fought for their nationality and the independence of Gaul against
Caesar. The Latin could exercise, therefore, but slight influence on
the idiom of these regions, which has preserved since then in its
vocabulary, and even in syntactical forms, a marked relationship with
the Celtic, which, according to Sidonius Apollinaris, was still spoken
there in the sixth century.

The actual dialect of Auvergne is peculiarly adapted to recitals of a
legendary nature, owing to its vivacity of articulation, coupled with
a kind of gloom in the quality of the sounds. _Naïf_ and touching in
popular song and Christmas carol, it is not divested of a certain
grandeur for subjects deserving of a higher style.

The works of M. Veyre comprise the various styles of shorter poems. His
"Ode to Riquet," and that in honor of Gerbert, (Pope Silvester II., a
native of Auvergne,) show what the language can do in the hands of a
master. In the latter he describes the career of that predestined child
whom legend accompanied from his cradle to the grave.

"La Fiëro de St. Urbo," curious picture of the manners of the country,
is written in that ironical and gay vein of which the older French
writers possessed the secret; but that is now fast dying away.
"Répopiado" and "Lou Boun Sens del Payson" show that the language of
Auvergne is no less adapted to moral teachings than to the touching
inspirations and free jovial songs of the country Muse.

The work of M. Veyre is the first tending to give his native province
a share in the literary revival of the Romanic idioms, which is so
universally felt in Southern France, and has of late produced so much.

_History of the United Netherlands, from the Death of William the Silent
to the Synod of Dort._ With a Full View of the English--Dutch Struggle
against Spain; and of the Origin and Destruction of the Spanish Armada.
By JOHN LOTHROP MOTLEY, LL.D., D.C.L. New York: Harper & Brothers. Vols.
I. and II. 8vo.

These volumes bear the unmistakable mark, not merely of historical
accuracy and research, but of historical genius; and the genius is not
that of Thierry or Guizot, of Gibbon or Macaulay, but has a palpable
individuality of its own. They evince throughout a patient, persistent
industry in investigating original documents, from the mere labor of
which an Irish hod-carrier would shrink aghast, and thank the Virgin
that, though born a drudge, he was not born to drudge in the bogs and
morasses of unexplored domains of History; yet the genius and enthusiasm
of the historian are so strong that he converts the drudgery into
delight, and lives joyful, though "laborious days." There is not a page
in these volumes which does not sparkle with evidences of an enjoyment
far beyond any that the rich and pleasure-seeking idler can ever know;
and while the materials are those of the barest and bleakest fact, the
style of the narrative is that of the gayest, most genial, and most
elastic spirit of romance. We have read all the best fictions which
have been published during the interval which has elapsed between the
publication of the "History of the Dutch Republic" and that of the
"History of the United Netherlands," but we have read none which
fairly exceeds, in what is called, in the slang of fifth-rate critics,
"breathless interest," this novel, but authentic memorial of a past
heroic age.

The first requirement of an historian in the present century is original
research,--not merely research into rare printed books and pamphlets,
but into unpublished and almost unknown manuscripts. No sobriety of
judgment, no sagacity of insight, no brilliancy of imagination can
compensate for defective information. The finest genius is degraded to
the rank of a compiler, unless he sheds new light upon his subject by
contributing new facts. The severest requirements of the Baconian method
of induction--requirements which have been notoriously disregarded
by men of science in the investigation of Nature--remain in force as
regards the students of history. The powers of analysis, generalization,
statement, and narrative in Macaulay's historical essays were fully
equal to any powers he displayed in the "History of England from the
Reign of James II." No candid critic can deny that there is little in
his "History" which, as far as regards essential facts and principles,
had not been previously stated in a more sententious form in his Essays.
But we recollect the time when the same dignified scholars who are now
insensible to his defects were blind to his merits, and with majestic
dulness classed him among the inglorious company of superficial,
untrustworthy, brilliant declaimers. The moment, however, he published
in octavo volumes a solid history, and appended to the bottom of each
page the obscure authorities on which his narrative was founded, and
which plainly exhibited the capacity of the brilliant declaimer
to perform all the austerest duties of the drudge, his reputation
marvellously increased among the most frigid and most exacting
dispensers of praise. To come nearer home, we remember the time when
Bancroft's rhetoric entirely shut out from the eyes of antiquaries and
men of taste Bancroft's industry and scholarship. It was not until he
plainly showed his power to "toil terribly," not until he palpably
_added_ to our knowledge of American history, that men who had sneered
at his occasional rhapsodies of patriotism admitted his claims to be
considered the historian of the United States. They resisted Bancroft as
long as Bancroft gave them the slightest reason to believe that he was
interposing his own mind between them and facts which they know its well
as he; but when, by independent and indefatigable research, at home and
abroad, he indisputably widened the sphere of their information, they
pardoned the faults of the rhetorician in their gratitude to the toiling
investigator who had added to their knowledge.

It is the felicity of Mr. Motley, that, like Prescott, he is not placed
under the necessity of overcoming prejudices. There is nobody on either
side of the Atlantic (whether we use the word as indicating its limited
sense as an ocean, or its larger and more liberal moaning as a magazine)
who would not rejoice in his success, and be grieved by his failure. And
this good feeling on the part of the public he owes, in a great degree,
to the individuality he has impressed upon his work. That individuality
is not the individuality of a partisan or of a theorist, but the
individuality of a broad-minded, high-minded, chivalrous gentleman. With
a soul open to the finest sentiments and ideas of the age in which he
lives, tolerant of frailty, but intolerant of meanness, falsehood, and
malignity, and writing with the frankness with which a cultivated man of
decided opinions might speak to a company of chosen associates, the
most obstinate bigot can hardly fail to feel the charm of his free
and cordial manner of expression. Hume, Gibbon, Hallam, and Macaulay,
Sismondi, Guizot, and Michelet, all have in their characters something
which invites and provokes opposition. But the spirit which underlies
Mr. Motley's large scholarship is so thoroughly genial and generous,
and is so purified from the pedantry of knowledge and the pedantry of
opinion, that it is impossible for him to rouse in other minds any of
the antipathy which is often felt for powerful individualities whose
powers of mind and extent of erudition still enforce respect and extort
admiration. The instinctive sympathy he thus creates is due to no lack
of intrepidity in expressing his love for what is right and his hatred
for what is wrong. No historian is more decisive in his judgments, or
more scornful of the arts and hypocrisies by which the champions of
opposite opinions are flattered and propitiated. But his spirit is that
of the knight "without reproach," as well as the knight "without fear";
and even his adversaries cannot but delight in the singleness and
simplicity of purpose with which he strives after the truth. Nothing in
his position or in his character gives them the slightest pretence for
supposing that his bold advocacy of liberal views is connected with any
ulterior designs or any "fatted calf" of theory or office. While he
is thus healthily free from the taint of the partisan, he is also
independent of the austere insensibility of the judicial Pharisee, whose
boast is that he decides questions relating to human nature without any
admixture of human instinct and human feeling. Mr. Motley, throughout
his History, writes from his heart as well as from his head; and we have
been unable to discover that he has swerved from the truth of things by
allowing his narrative to be vitiated by an undue prominence of either.

If we pass from the historian's individuality to his materials, we find,
that, in a great degree, his facts are discoveries, and that, if his
book possessed no literary value whatever, it would still be an'
important addition to the history of Europe during the latter part of
the sixteenth century. He has, of course, studied all the prominent
contemporary chronicles and pamphlets of Holland, Flanders, Spain,
France, Germany, and England; and if his materials had been confined to
published sources of information, he would still be in possession of
facts not generally known or carefully analyzed and combined; but the
peculiar value of his History is due to its exhaustive examination, of
unpublished private letters and political documents. The archives of
Holland, England, and Spain have been opened to his investigations,
and he has been particularly fortunate in being able to road the whole
correspondence between Philip II., his ministers, and governors,
relating to the affairs of the Netherlands, from 1584 to the death of
that monarch. Placed thus at the centre from which events radiated, and
understanding perfectly the real designs which Spain concealed under a
cover of the most diabolical dissimulation, and which are now for the
first time completely elucidated, he was able to judge of the mistakes
of the other cabinets of Europe, also laid bare to his unwearied
research. The study of the manuscripts in the English State-Paper
Office, and in the collections of the British Museum, has given him a
perfect insight into the characters and policy of the statesmen of the
England of Elizabeth; and the exact relations which England bore to
Holland and Spain he has for the first time clearly indicated. As
a contribution to the history of England, these two volumes are of
inestimable value. They will disturb, and in some cases revolutionize,
the fixed opinions which the most intelligent Englishmen of the present
day have formed of almost every public man of the Elizabethan era;
and we cannot but wonder that this work should have been left for an
American scholar to accomplish.

The present volumes of Mr. Motley's History begin with the murder of
William of Orange, in 1584, and extend only to the assassination of
Henry HI. of France, in 1589. These five years, however, are crowded
with individuals and events of special importance, and the historian
has shed new light on every topic he has touched. The determination of
Philip II. to put down the revolt of the Netherlands was part of an
extensive scheme, which involved the conquest of England and France,
the extermination of Protestantism, and the subjection of Europe to
the despotic sway of Spain and Rome. The interest of the history is
therefore European. To grasp it requires a knowledge of the minutest
threads of a tangled web of intrigue which spread from the Escorial to
the North Sea. This knowledge Mr. Motley has obtained. The cabinets of
Spain, England, and France have yielded up their inmost secrets to his
indefatigable research. He peeps over the shoulder of Philip, and reads
the despatch by which he intends to outwit Walsingham,--and in a second
of time is peeping over the shoulder of Walsingham, to see what the
latter is doing to outwit Philip. There is something inexpressibly
stimulating to curiosity in watching the movements of the nimble
historian as he speeds from one cabinet to another, and, the invisible
spy in the councils of all, detects the misconceptions and blunders
of each. In this complicated game of craft, policy, and passion, our
historian is the first writer who has arrived at the knowledge of the
cards which each player held in his hand at the time the game was
played.

In 1584, the subjugation of the Netherlands seemed to be but a question
of time; and the disparity between the power of Spain and that of her
revolted provinces is thus strikingly stated:--

"The contest between those seven meagre provinces upon the sand-banks
of the North Sea and the great Spanish Empire seemed at the moment with
which we are now occupied a sufficiently desperate one. Throw a
glance upon the map of Europe. Look at the broad, magnificent Spanish
Peninsula, stretching across eight degrees of latitude and ten of
longitude, commanding the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, with a genial
climate, warmed in winter by the vast furnace of Africa, and protected
from the scorching heats of summer by shady mountain and forest and
temperate breezes from either ocean. A generous southern territory,
flowing with wine and oil and all the richest gifts of a bountiful
Nature,--splendid cities,--the new and daily expanding Madrid, rich in
the trophies of the most artistic period of the modern world,--Cadiz, as
populous at that day as London, seated by the straits where the ancient
and modern systems of traffic were blending like the mingling of the two
oceans,--Granada, the ancient wealthy seat of the fallen Moors,--Toledo,
Valladolid, and Lisbon, chief city of the recently conquered kingdom of
Portugal, counting, with its suburbs, a larger population than any city,
excepting Paris, in Europe, the mother of distant colonies, and the
capital of the rapidly developing traffic with both the Indies: these
were some of the treasures of Spain herself. But she possessed Sicily
also, the better portion of Italy, and important dependencies in Africa,
while the famous maritime discoveries of the age had all inured to her
aggrandizement.

"The world seemed suddenly to have expanded its wings from East to West
only to bear the fortunate Spanish Empire to the most dizzy heights of
wealth and power. The most accomplished generals, the most disciplined
and daring infantry the world has ever known, the best-equipped and most
extensive navy, royal and mercantile, of the age, were at the absolute
command of the sovereign. Such was Spain.

"Turn now to the north-western corner of Europe. A morsel of territory,
attached by a slight sand-hook to the continent, and half-submerged by
the stormy waters of the German Ocean: this was Holland. A rude climate,
with long, dark, rigorous winters and brief summers,--a territory, the
mere wash of three great rivers, which had fertilized happier portions
of Europe only to desolate and overwhelm this less-favored land,--a soil
so ungrateful, that, if the whole of its four hundred thousand acres of
arable land had been sowed with grain, it could not feed the laborers
alone,--and a population largely estimated at one million of souls:
these were the characteristics of the province which already had
begun to give its name to the new commonwealth. The isles of
Zealand--entangled in the coils of deep, slow-moving rivers, or
combating the ocean without--and the ancient episcopate of Utrecht,
formed the only other provinces that had quite shaken off the foreign
yoke. In Friesland, the important city of Groningen was still held for
the King; while Bois-le-Duc, Zutphen, besides other places in Gelderland
and North Brabant, also in possession of the royalists, made the
position of those provinces precarious."

The safety of the Netherlands appeared to depend so entirely on their
success in gaining the assistance of foreign powers, that it is not
surprising that the Estates eagerly offered the sovereignty of the
country, first to France and then to England. The details of the
negotiations with these powers Mr. Motley recounts at great length.
When England, at last, adopted the side of the Netherlands, and caught
glimpses of the fact that the struggle of the latter against Spain
was her cause no less than the cause of the Dutch, the parsimony and
indecision of Elizabeth, and the hesitating counsels of her favorite
minister, Burleigh, prevented the English-Dutch alliance from being
efficient against the common enemy. An incompetent general, the Earl of
Leicester, was sent over to Holland with the English troops; yet even
his incompetency might not have stood in the way of success, had he
not been hampered with instructions which paralyzed what vigor and
intelligence he possessed, and had not his soldiers been left to starve
by the government they served. Elizabeth was trying to secure a peace
with Spain, while Philip and Farnese were busy in contriving the means
of an invasion of England; and up to the time the Spanish Armada
appeared in the British seas, she and her government were thoroughly
cajoled by Spanish craft. Mr. Motley remorselessly exposes, not only the
duplicity of Philip, but the credulity of Elizabeth; he demonstrates
the superiority of Spain in all the arts which were then supposed to
constitute statesmanship; and shows that it was to no sagacity and
vigor on the part of the English government, but to the instinctive
intelligence and intrepidity of the English people, that the nation was
saved from overthrow. Walsingham is almost the only English statesman
who comes out from the historian's pitiless analysis with any credit;
and, in respect to sagacity, Burleigh is degraded below Leicester: for
Leicester at least understood that the enmity of Philip of Spain to
England was unappeasable, and therefore justly considered his perfidious
negotiations for peace as a mere blind to cover designs of conquest.

But we have no space, in this hurried notice of Mr. Motley's work, to
linger on the fertile topics which his luminous narrative suggests. In a
future article we hope to do some justice to the facts, principles, and
judgments he has established. At present, after indicating his diligence
in exploring original authorities, and the importance of the conclusions
at which he arrives, we can only venture a few remarks on his historical
genius and method.

As regards his historical genius, it is sufficient to say that he
exhibits both sympathy and imagination. He has so completely assimilated
his materials that his narrative of events is that of an eye-witness
rather than that of a chronicler. Reproducing the passions, without
participating in the errors of the age about which he writes, he
intensely realizes everything he recounts. The siege of Antwerp and
the defeat of the Spanish Armada are the two prominent and obvious
illustrations of his power of pictorial description: in these he has
presented facts with a vividness and coherence worthy of the great
masters of poetry and romance; and his capacity of thus giving
unmistakable reality to events is not merely exercised in harmony
with the literal truth of things, but makes that truth more clearly
appreciated. Desirous as he is to impress the imagination, he never
sacrifices accuracy to effect.

The same picturesque truthfulness characterizes his descriptions of
individuals. In the present volumes he has analyzed and represented a
wide variety of human character, separated not only by personal, but
national traits. Philip II., Farnese, and Mendoza,--Olden-Barneveld,
Paul Buys, St. Aldegonde, Hohenlo, Martin Schenk, and Maurice of
Nassau,--Henry III., Henry of Navarre, and the Duke of Guise,--Queen
Elizabeth, Burleigh, Walsingham, Buckhurst, Leicester, Davison, Raleigh,
Sidney, Howard, Drake, Hawkins, Frobisher, and Norris,--all, as
delineated by him, have vital reality, all palpably live and move before
the eye of his mind.

The method which Mr. Motley has adopted is admirably calculated to
insure accuracy as well as reality to his representation of events and
persons. His plan is always to allow the statesmen and soldiers who
appear in his work to express themselves in their own way, and convey
their opinions and purposes in their own words. This mode is opposed to
compression, but favorable to truth. Macaulay's method is to re-state
everything in his own language, and according to his own logical forms.
He never allows the Whigs and Tories, whose opinions and policy he
exhibits, to say anything for themselves. He detests quotation-marks.
His summaries are so clear and compact that, we are tempted to forget
that they leave out the modifications which opinions receive from
individual character. The reason that his statements are so often
questioned is due to the fact that he insists on his readers viewing
everything through the medium of his own mind. Mr. Motley is more
objective in his representations; and his readers can dispute his
summaries of character and expositions of policy by the abundant
materials for differing judgment which the historian himself supplies.


_Life of Andrew Jackson_. By JAMES PARTON, Author of the "Life of Aaron
Burr," etc., etc. 3 vols. 8vo. New York: Mason Brothers. 1860.

We criticized Mr. Parton's "Life of Aaron Burr" with considerable
severity at the time of its appearance; and we are the more glad to meet
with a book of his which we can as sincerely and heartily commend. The
same quality of sympathy with his subject, which led him in his former
work to palliate the moral obliquity and overlook the baseness of his
hero, in consideration of brilliant gifts of intellect and person, gives
vigor and spirit to his delineation of a character in most respects so
different as that of Jackson. This man, who filled so large a place
in our history, and left perhaps a stronger impress of himself on our
politics than any other of our public men except Jefferson, was well
worthy to be made a subject of careful study and elucidation. Mr. Parton
has given us the means of understanding a character hitherto a puzzle,
and deserves our hearty thanks for the manner in which he has done it.

We think the book remarkably fair in its tone, though perhaps Mr. Parton
is now and then led to exaggerate the positive greatness of Jackson,
who, as it appears to us, was rather eminent by comparison and contrast
with the men around him. But there were many strong, if not great
qualities in his composition, and so much that was picturesque and
strange in the incidents of his career and the state of society which
formed his character, that we have found this biography one of the most
instructive and entertaining we ever read. If Mr. Parton sometimes
exaggerates his hero's merits, he is also outspoken in regard to his
faults. If here and there a little Carlylish, his style has the merit of
great liveliness, and his pictures of frontier-life are full of interest
and vivacity.

Mr. Parton begins his book with a new kind of genealogy, and one suited
to our Western hemisphere, where men are valued more for what they
themselves are than for what their grandfathers were,--for making than
for wearing an illustrious name. He shows that Jackson came of a good
stock,--pious, tenacious of opinion and purpose, and brave,--the
Scotch-Irish. He then tells us how young Jackson imbibed his fierce
patriotism, riding as a boy-trooper, and wellnigh dying a prisoner,
during the last years of the Revolutionary War. He lets us see his hero
cock-fighting, horse-racing, bad-whiskey-drinking, studying law, and
fighting by turns, leaving behind him somewhat dubious but on the
whole favorable memories, yet somehow getting on, till he is appointed
District-Attorney among the wolves, wildcats, and redskins of Tennessee.
The story of his emigration thither and his early life there is
wonderfully picturesque, and told by Mr. Parton with the spirit which
only sympathy can give.

A great part of the material is wholly new, and we are at last enabled
to get at the real Jackson, and to gain something like an adequate and
consistent conception, of him. We are particularly glad to learn
the truth about Mrs. Jackson, after so many years of slander and
misunderstanding, and to find something really touching and noble,
instead of ludicrous, in the grim General's devotion to his first and
only love. We get also for the first time an understandable account of
the Battle of New Orleans, made up with praiseworthy impartiality from
the accounts of both sides. Nor is it only here that the author gives us
new light. He enables us to judge fairly of the sad story of Arbuthnot
and Ambrister, and throws a great deal of light on many points of our
political history which much needed honest illumination. The book is of
especial interest at the present time, as it contains the best narrative
we have ever seen of the Nullification troubles of 1832. Mr. Parton not
only shows a decided talent for biography, but his work is characterized
by a thoroughness of research and honesty of purpose that make it, on
the whole, the best life yet written of any of our public men.


_Poems_. By ROSE TERRY. Boston: Ticknor & Fields. 1861. pp. 231.

We forget who it was that once charitably christened one of his volumes
"Prose by a Poet," in order that the public might be put on their guard
as to the difference between it and the others,--inexperienced critics
are so apt to make mistakes! The example seems to us worth following,
and, were this dangerous frankness made a point of honor in title-pages,
we should be able at a glance to distinguish the books that must be
bought from those that may be read. We should then see advertised "The
Ten-Inch Bore, or Sermons by Rev. Canon So-and-so,"--"Essays to do Good,
by a Victim of Original Sin,"--"Poems by a Proser,"--"Political Economy,
by a Bankrupt," and the like. We should know, at least, what we had to
expect.

We do not mean to apply this to Miss Terry; but her volume reminded us,
by the association of opposites, of the title to which we have referred.
We had long known her as a writer of picturesque and vigorous prose, as
one of the most successful sketchers of New England character, abounding
in humor and pathos; but we had never conceived her as a writer of
verse. The readers of the "Atlantic" remember too well her "Maya, the
Princess," "Metempsychosis," and "The Sphinx's Children," to need
reminding that she has qualities of fancy as remarkable as her faculty
for observing real life. Miss Terry seems in this volume to have sought
refuge from the real in the ideal, from the jar and bustle of the
outward world in the silent and shadowy interior of thought and being.
Her poems have the fault of nearly all modern poetry, inasmuch as they
are over-informed with thought and sadness. By far the greater number of
her themes are abstract and melancholy. It appears to us that her mind
moves more naturally and finds readier expression in the picturesque
than in the metaphysical; and in saying this we mean to say that she is
really a poet, and not a rhymer of thoughts. "Midnight" is a poem full
of originality and vigor, with that suggestion of deepest meaning which
is so much more effective than definite statement. "December XXXI."
gives us a new and delightful treatment of a subject which the poets
have made us rather shy of by their iteration. We would signalize also,
as an especial favorite of ours, "The Two Villages," and still more the
very striking poem "At Last." But, after all, we are not sure that the
Ballads are not the best pieces in the volume. The "Frontier Ballads,"
in particular, quiver with strength and spirit, and have the true
game-flavor of the border.


_Harrington_. By the Author of "What Cheer?" Boston: Thayer & Eldridge.

One of the most impossible books that man ever wrote. A book which one
could almost prove never could be written, and which, as an illogical
conclusion, but a stubborn fact, has been written, nevertheless.
"Harrington" is an Abolition novel, the scene of which is laid in
Boston, with a few introductory chapters of plantation-slavery in
Louisiana. Its principal merit is its burning earnestness of feeling and
purpose; and earnestness is sacred from criticism. Whenever the warm,
pulse of an author's heart can be felt through the texture of his story,
criticism is mere flippancy. But, at the risk of making our author's lip
curl with disdain of the sordid insensibility that refuses to join
in his enthusiasm throughout, we shall venture to remind him that
enthusiasm is no proof of truth, whether in argument or conclusion.

The introductory chapters, containing the flight of the slave Antony
through the Louisiana swamp, are almost unequalled for unfaltering
power, for gorgeous wealth of color. Many of the glowing sentences
belong rather to passionate poetry than to tamer prose. The agonized
resolution that turns the panting fugitive's blood and body to
fire,--the fear, so vividly portrayed that the reader's nerves thrill
with the shock that brings the hunted negro's heart almost to his mouth
with one wild throb,--the matchless picture of the forest and marsh,
lengthening and widening with dizzy swell to the weary eye and failing
brain,--all are the work of a master of language.

When the scene shifts to Boston, the language, which was in perfect
keeping with the tropical madness of Antony's flight and the tropical
splendor of the Southern forest, is extravagant to actual absurdity,
when used with reference to ordinary scenes and ordinary events. All the
force of contrast is lost; and contrast is the great secret of effect.
The lavish richness of our author's words is as little suited to the
things they describe as a mantle of gold brocade would be to the
shoulders of a beggar. Even the loveliest of young women is more likely
to enter a room by the ordinary mysterious mode of locomotion than to
"flash" into it like a salamander. That it was possible for Muriel
Eastman, in gratifying her "vaulting ambition" by a very creditable
spring over the parallel bars, to "toss the air into perfume," we are
not prepared to deny, having no very clear notion of the meaning of
those remarkable words; but when, we are told that Mrs. Eastman was
"ineffably surprised, yet more ineffably amused," we must be allowed to
enter an energetic protest. Harrington himself is perhaps a trifle too
"regnant" to be altogether satisfactory; and there are many similar
extravagances and inaccuracies.

The social intercourse of the ladies and gentlemen in this book is
particularly bad. It seems as if the author were ignorant of the usages
of good society, and, impatient of the vulgar ceremony of inferior
people, had seen no way to assert the superiority of his two fair ladies
and their unimaginable lovers, except making them dispense with all
such observances whatever. His uncertainty how people in their position
really do act has hampered his powers; and he is not that rarity, an
original writer, but that very common person, one who tries to be
original. Real ladies and gentlemen are not reduced to the alternative
of either being embarrassed by the ordinary social rules or disregarding
them altogether; they take advantage of them. It is a false originality
that is singular about ordinary forms; it is only the tyro in chess who
is "original" in his first move; Paul Morphy, the most inventive of
players, always begins with the customary advance of the king's pawn.

There is the usual partiality--one-sidedness--common to the writings
and orations of our author's political school. It may well be doubted
whether in reality all the virtues have been monopolized by the
Antislavery men, all the vices by their opponents. Our author only hurts
his own cause, when he invests with a halo of light every brawler
who echoes the words of the really eminent leaders. Because one
Abolitionist, who has sacrificed power and position to his creed, is
entitled to praise, is another, who perhaps, by advocating the same
doctrines, gains a higher position, a wider influence, perhaps an easier
support, than he could in any other way, to share the credit of having
made a sacrifice? One would not disparage martyrs; but Saint Lawrence on
a cold gridiron, and the pilgrim who boiled his peas, are entitled to
more credit for their shrewdness than their suffering. Our author,
however, makes no distinction; and a natural result will be that many of
his readers, knowing that in one case his praises are undeserved, will
be slow to believe them just in any case. And not only are all of
this particular school disinterested, but they are all among the
master-intellects of the age, apparently by definition. Mr. Harrington
himself is the commanding intellect of the story, perhaps because of his
belief in the greatest number of heresies,--being somewhat peculiar
in his religious views, believing in woman's rights, considering the
marriage ceremony a silly concession to popular prejudice, giving
credence to omens, active as an Abolitionist, and--to crown all--holding
that Lord Bacon wrote Shakspeare's Plays! We sympathize entirely with
the author's indignant protest against thinking a theory necessarily
inaccurate because it contravenes the opinion of the majority.
Certainly, a new thing is not necessarily wrong; but neither is a new
thing necessarily right; and we are heartless enough to pronounce the
"Baconian theory" rather weak than otherwise for a hero.

We cannot close our notice of this book without commending the old
French fencing-master as particularly good. He talks very simply and
well on matters that he understands, and is silent on those that he does
not understand,--affording in both respects an excellent example to the
more important characters.

       *       *       *       *       *


RECENT AMERICAN PUBLICATIONS

RECEIVED BY THE EDITORS OF THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY.


The North American Review. No. CXC. January, 1861. Boston. Crosby,
Nichols, Lee, & Co. 8vo, paper, pp. 296. $1.25.

Marion Graham; or, Higher than Happiness. By Meta Lander. Boston.
Crosby, Nichols, Lee, & Co. 12mo. pp. 506. $1.25.

Harry Coverdale's Courtship and Marriage. By Frank E. Smedley.
Illustrated. Philadelphia. T.B. Peterson & Brothers. 12mo. pp. 357.
$1.25.

Life in the Old World; or, Two Years in Switzerland and Italy. By
Frederika Bremer. Translated by Mary Howitt. Philadelphia. T.B. Peterson
& Brothers. 2 vols. 12mo. pp. 488, 474. $2.50.

One of Them. By Charles Lever. New York. Harper & Brothers. 8vo. paper,
pp. 187. 50 cts.

Human Destiny: a Critique on Universalism. By C.F. Hudson. Boston. James
Munroe & Co. 12mo. pp. 147. 50 cts.

Negroes and Negro-Slavery: the First, an Inferior Race; the Latter,
their Normal Condition. By J.H. Van Evrie, M.D. New York. Van Evrie,
Horton, & Co. 12mo. pp. 339. $1.00.

The Works of Francis Bacon. Vol. XIV. Being Vol. IV. of the Literary and
Professional Works. Boston. Brown & Taggard. 12mo. pp. 432. $1.50.

The History of Latin Christianity. By Henry Hart Milman. Vol. IV. New
York. Sheldon & Co. 12mo. pp. 555. $1.50.

The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus; to which are added those
of his Companions. By Washington Irving. Author's Revised Edition. New
York. G.P. Putnam. 12mo. pp. 494. $1.50.

The Westminster Review, for January, 1861. New York. Leonard Scott & Co.
8vo. paper, pp. 160. 50 cts.

Elsie Venner. A Romance of Destiny. By Oliver Wendell Holmes. Boston.
Ticknor & Fields. 2 vols. 16mo. pp. 288, 312. $1.75.

The Deerslayer. By J. Fenimore Cooper. Darley's Illustrated Edition. New
York. W.A. Townsend & Co. 12mo. pp. 598. $1.50.

American Slavery, distinguished from the Slavery of English Theorists,
and justified by the Law of Nature. By Rev. Samuel Seabury, D.D. New
York. Mason Brothers. 12mo. pp. 319. $1.25.





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