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Title: The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 08, No. 46, August, 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 08, No. 46, August, 1861" ***

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THE

ATLANTIC MONTHLY.

A MAGAZINE OF LITERATURE, ART, AND POLITICS.

VOL. VIII--AUGUST, 1861.--NO. XLVI.



TREES IN ASSEMBLAGES.


The subject of Trees cannot be exhausted by treating them as individuals
or species, even with a full enumeration of their details. Some trees
possess but little interest, except as they are grouped in assemblages
of greater or less extent. A solitary Fir or Spruce, for example, when
standing in an inclosure or by the roadside, is a stiff and disagreeable
object; but a deep forest of Firs is not surpassed in grandeur by one of
any other species. These trees must be assembled in extensive groups to
affect us agreeably; while the Elm, the Oak, and other wide-spreading
trees, are grand objects of sight, when standing alone, or in any other
situation.

I will not detain the reader with a prolix account of the classification
of trees in assemblages, but simply glance at a few points. The Romans
used four different words to express these distinctions. When they spoke
of a wood with reference to its timber, they used the word _silva_;
_sal[Transcriber's note: remainder of word illegible]_, was a collection
of wild-wood in the mountains; _nemus_, a smaller collection, partaking
of cultivation, and answering to our ideas of a grove; _lucus_ was a
wood, of any description, which was set apart for religious purposes,
or dedicated to some Deity. In the English language we can make these
distinctions intelligible only by the use of adjectives. A _forest_ is
generally understood to be a wild-wood of considerable extent, retaining
all its natural features. A _grove_ is a smaller assemblage of trees,
not crowded together, but possessing very generally their full
proportions, and divested of their undergrowth. Other inferior groups
are designated as _copse_ and _thicket_. The words _park_, _clump_,
_arboretum_, and the like, are mere technical terms, that do not come
into use in a general description of Nature.

Groves, fragments of forest, and inferior groups only are particularly
interesting in landscape. An unbroken forest of wide extent makes but
a dreary picture and an unattractive journey, on account of its gloomy
uniformity. Hence the primitive state of the earth, before it was
modified by human hands, must have been sadly wanting in those romantic
features that render a scene the most attractive. Nature must be
combined with Art, however simple and rude, and associated with human
life, to become deeply affecting to the imagination. But it is not
necessary that the artificial objects of a landscape should be of a
grand historical description, to produce these agreeable effects: humble
objects, indeed, are the most consonant with Nature's sublime aspects,
because they manifest no seeming endeavor to rival them. In the deep
solitary woods, the sight of a woodman's hut in a clearing, of a
farmer's cottage, or of a mere sheepfold, immediately awakens a tender
interest, and enlivens the scene with a tinge of romance.

The earth must have been originally covered with forest, like the
American continent in the time of Columbus. This has in all cases
disappeared, as population has increased; and groves, fragments of
wild-wood, small groups, and single trees have taken its place. Great
Britain, once renowned for its extensive woods, now exhibits only
smaller assemblages, chiefly of an artificial character, which are more
interesting to the landscape-gardener than to the lover of Nature's
primitive charms. Parks, belts, arboretums, and clipped hedge-rows,
however useful as contributing to pleasure, convenience, or science, are
not the most interesting features of wood-scenery. But the customs of
the English nobility, while they have artificialized all the fairest
scenes in the country, and ruined them for the eyes of the poet or the
painter, have been the means of preserving some valuable forests,
which under other circumstances would have been utterly destroyed.
A deer-forest belonging to the Duke of Athol comprises four hundred
thousand acres; the forest of Farquharson contains one hundred and
thirty thousand acres; and several others of smaller extent are still
preserved as deer-parks. Thus do the luxuries of the rich tend, in
some instances, to preserve those natural objects of which they are in
general the principal destroyers.

Immense forests still overspread a great part of Northern Russia,
through which it has been asserted that a squirrel might traverse
hundreds of miles, without touching the ground, by leaping from tree to
tree. Since the general adoption of railroad travelling, however, great
ravages have been made in these forests, and not many years will be
required to reduce them to fragments. In the South of Europe a great
part of the territory is barren of woods, and the climate has suffered
from this cause, which has diminished the bulk of the streams and
increased the severity of droughts. But Nature has established a partial
remedy for the evil arising from the imprudent destruction of forests,
in lofty and precipitous mountains, that serve not only to perpetuate
moisture for the supply of rain to the neighboring countries, but
contribute also to preserve the timber in their inaccessible ravines.
Were it not for this safeguard of mountains, the South of Europe would
ere this have become a desert, from the destruction of its forests, like
Sahara, whose barrenness was anciently produced by the same cause.

Most of the territory of North America is still comparatively a
wilderness; but in the United States the forests have been so
extensively invaded, that they seldom exhibit any distinct outlines, and
few of them possess the character of unique assemblages. They are but
scattered fragments of the original forest, through which the settlers
have made their irregular progress from east to west, diversifying it
with roads, farms, and villages. The recent clearings are palisaded by
tall trees, exhibiting a naked outline of skeleton timber, without any
attractions. It is in the old States only that we see anything like a
picturesque grouping of woods; and here, the absence of art and design,
in the formation and relative disposition of these groups, gives them
a peculiar interest to the lover of natural scenery. There is a charm,
therefore, in New-England landscape, existing nowhere else in
equal degree; but this is rapidly giving place to those artificial
improvements that are destined to ruin the face of the country, which
owes its present attractions to the spontaneous efforts of Nature,
modified only by the unartistic operations of a simple agriculture.

Travelling in a forest, though delightful as an occasional recreation,
is, when continued many hours in succession, unless one be engaged
in scientific researches, very monotonous and wearisome. Even the
productions of a forest are not so various as those of a tract in which
all the different conditions of wildness and culture are intermingled. A
view of an unbroken wilderness from an elevation is equally monotonous.
Wood must be blended with other forms of landscape, with pasture and
tillage, with roads, houses, and farms, to convey to the mind the
most agreeable sensations. The monotony of unbroken forest-scenery is
partially relieved in the autumn by the mixed variety of tints belonging
to the different trees; but this does not wholly subdue the prevailing
expression of dreariness and gloom.

Nothing can surpass the splendor of this autumnal pageantry, as beheld
in the Green Mountains of Vermont and Western Massachusetts, in the
early part of October. This region abounds in Sugar-Maples, which are
very beautifully tinted, and in a sufficient variety of other trees to
delight the eye with every specious hue. A remarkable appearance may
always be observed in Maples. Some trees of this kind are entirely
green, with the exception perhaps of a single bough, which is of a
bright crimson or scarlet. Sometimes the lower half of the foliage will
be green, while the upper part is entirely crimsoned, resembling a spire
of flame rising out of a mass of verdure. In other cases this order is
reversed, and the tree presents the appearance of a green spire
rising out of flame. We see no end to the variety of these apparently
capricious phenomena, which some have explained by supposing the
colored branches to be affected with partial disease that hastens their
maturity: but this can hardly be admitted as the true explanation,
as such appearances exist when no other symptoms of malady can be
discovered.

So much has been said and written of late in regard to the tints of
autumn leaves, that the writer of this cannot be expected to advance
anything new concerning them. Let me remark, however, that these
beautiful tintings are not due to the action of frost, which is, on
the contrary, highly prejudicial to them, as we may observe on several
different occasions. If, for example, a frost should occur in September
of sufficient intensity to cut down the tender annuals of our
gardens,--after this, when the tints begin to appear, the outer portion
of the foliage that was touched by the frost will exhibit a sullied and
rusty hue. The effects of these early frosts are seldom apparent while
the leaves are green, except on close inspection; for a very intense
frost is required to sear and roll up the leaves. Early autumnal frosts
seldom do more than to injure their capacity to receive a fine tint when
they become mature.

The next occasion that renders the injurious effects of frost apparent
is later in the season, after the tints are very generally developed.
Every severe frost that happens at this period impairs their lustre, as
we may perceive on any day succeeding a frosty night, when the woods,
which were previously in their gayest splendor, will be faded to a
duller and more uniform shade,--as if the whole mass had been dipped
into a brownish dye, leaving the peculiar tints of each species dimly
conspicuous through this shading. The most brilliant and unsullied hues
are displayed in a cool, but not frosty autumn, succeeding a moderate
summer. Very warm weather in autumn hastens the coloring process, and
renders the hues proportionally transient. I have known Maple woods,
early in October, to be completely embrowned and stripped of their
leaves by two days of summer heat. Cool days and nights, unattended with
frost, are the favorable conditions for producing and preserving the
beauty of autumnal wood-scenery.

The effects of heat and frost are not so apparent in Oak woods, which
have a more coriaceous and persistent foliage than other deciduous
trees: but Oaks do not attain the perfection of their beauty, until
the Ash, the Maple, and the Tupelo--the glory of the first period of
autumn--have shed a great portion of their leaves. The last-named trees
are in their splendor during a period of about three weeks after the
middle of September, varying with the character of the season.

Oaks are not generally tinted until October, and are brightest near the
third week of this month, preserving their lustre, in great measure,
until the hard frosts of November destroy the leaves. The colors of the
different Oaks are neither so brilliant nor so variegated as those of
Maples; but they are more enduring, and serve more than those of any
other woods to give character to our autumnal landscapes.

It would be difficult to convey to the mind of a person who had never
witnessed this brilliant, but solemn pageantry of the dying year, a
clear idea of its magnificence. Nothing else in Nature will compare
with it: for, though flowers are more beautiful than tinted leaves, no
assemblage of flowers, or of flowering trees and shrubs, can produce
such a deeply affecting scene of beauty as the autumn woods. If we would
behold them In their greatest brilliancy and variety, we must journey
during the first period of the Fall of the Leaf in those parts of the
country where the Maple, the Ash, and the Tupelo are the prevailing
timber. If we stand, at this time, on a moderate elevation affording a
view of a wooded swamp rising into upland and melting imperceptibly into
mountain landscape, we obtain a fair sight of the different assemblages
of species, as distinguished by their tints. The Oaks will be marked, at
this early period, chiefly by their unaltered verdure. In the lowland
the scarlet and crimson hues of the Maple and the Tupelo predominate,
mingled with a superb variety of colors from the shrubbery, whose
splendor is always the greatest on the borders of ponds and
water-courses, and frequently surpasses that of the trees. As the plain
rises into the hill-side, the Ash-trees may be distinguished by their
peculiar shades of salmon, mulberry, and purple, and the Hickories by
their invariable yellows. The Elm, the Lime, and the Buttonwood are
always blemished and rusty: they add no brilliancy to the spectacle,
serving only to sober and relieve other parts of the scenery.

When the second period of the Fall of the Leaf has arrived, the woods
that were first tinted have mostly become leafless. The grouping of
different species is, therefore, very apparent at this time,--some
assemblages presenting the denuded appearance of winter, some remaining
still green, while the Oaks are the principal attraction, with an
intermixture of a few other species, whose foliage has been protected
and the development of their hues retarded by some peculiarity of
situation. Green rows of Willows may also be seen by road-sides in damp
places, and irregular groups of them near the water-courses. The foreign
trees--seldom found in woods--are still unchanged, as we may observe
wherever there is a row of European Elms, Weeping Willows, or a
hedge-row of Privet.

One might suppose that a Pine wood must look particularly sombre in this
grand spectacle of beauty; but it cannot be denied that in those regions
where there is a considerable proportion of Pines the perfection of this
scenery is witnessed. Something is needful to relieve the eye as it
wanders over such a profusion of brilliant colors. Pine woods provide
this relief, and cause the tinted forest groups to stand out in greater
prominence. In many districts where Pines were the original growth, they
still constitute the larger sylvan assemblages, while the deciduous
trees stand in scattered groups on the edge of the forest, and the
contiguous plain. The verdurous Pine wood forms a picturesque groundwork
to set off the various groups in front of it; and the effect of a
scarlet Oak or Tupelo rising like a spire of flame in the midst of
verdure is far more striking than if it stood where it was unaffected by
contrast.

The cause of the superior tinting of the American forest, compared with
that of Europe, has never been satisfactorily explained, though it
seems to be somewhat inexplicably connected with the brightness of the
American climate. It is a subject that has not engaged the attention of
scientific travellers, who seem to have regarded it as worthy only of
the describer of scenery. It may, however, deserve more attention as a
scientific fact than has been generally supposed,--particularly as one
of the phenomena that perhaps distinguish the productions of the eastern
from those of the western coasts of the two grand divisions of the
earth. I have observed that the Smoke-tree, which is a Sumach from
China, and the Cydonia Japonica, are as brightly colored in autumn as
any of our indigenous shrubs; while the Silver-Maple, which, though
indigenous in the Western States, probably originated on the western
coast of America, shows none of the fine tinting so remarkable in the
other American Maples. These facts have led me to conjecture that this
superior tinting of the autumnal foliage may be peculiar to the
eastern coasts both of the Old and the New Continent, in the northern
hemisphere. May not this phenomenon bear some relation to the colder
winters and the hotter summers of the eastern compared with the western
coasts? I offer this suggestion as a query, not as a theory, and
with the hope that it may induce travellers to make some particular
observations in reference to it.

The indigenous trees of America, or rather of the Atlantic side of this
continent, are remarkable not only for their superior autumnal hues,
but also for the shorter period during which the foliage remains on the
trees and retains its verdure. Our fruit-trees, which are all exotics,
retain their foliage long after our forest-trees are leafless; and if
we visit an arboretum in the latter part of October, we may select the
American from the foreign species, by observing that the latter are
still green, while the others are either entirely denuded, or in that
colored array which immediately precedes the fall of the leaf.
The exotics may likewise be distinguished in the spring by their
precocity,--their leaves being out a week or ten days earlier than the
leaves of our trees. Hence, if we take both the spring and autumn into
the account, the foreign, or rather the European species, show a period
of verdure of three or four weeks' greater duration than the American
species. Many of the former, like the Weeping Willow, do not lose
their verdure, nor shed their leaves, until the first wintry blasts of
November freeze them upon their branches and roll them into a crisp.

In a natural forest there is a very small proportion of perfectly formed
trees; and these occur only in such places as permit some individuals to
stand isolated from the rest, and to spread out their branches to their
full extent. When we walk in a forest, we observe several conditions
which are favorable to this full expansion of their forms. On the
borders of a pond or morass, or of an extensive quarry, the trees
extend their branches into the opening, but, as they are cramped on the
opposite side, they are only half developed. But this expansion takes
place on the side that is exposed to view: hence the incomparable beauty
of a wood on the borders of a pond, or on the banks of a river, as
viewed from the water; also of a wood on the outside of an islet in a
lake or river.

Fissures or cavities sometimes occur in a large rock, allowing
a solitary tree that has become rooted there to attain its full
proportions. It is in such places, and on sudden eminences that rise
above the forest-level, on a precipice, for example, that overlooks the
surrounding wood, that the forest shows individual trees possessing the
characters of standards, like those we see by the roadsides and in the
open field. We must conclude, therefore, that a primitive forest must
contain but a very small proportion of perfect trees: these are, for
the most part, the occupants of land cleared by cultivation, and may be
found also among the sparse growth of timber that has come up in pasture
land, where the constant browsing of cattle prevents the formation of
any dense assemblages.

In the opinion of Whately, grandeur is the prevailing character of a
forest, and beauty that of a grove. This distinction may seem to
be correct, when such collections of wood exhibit all their proper
characters: but perfectly unique forms of wood are seldom found in this
country, where almost all the timber is of spontaneous growth. We have
genuine forests; but other forms of wood are of a mixed character, and
we have rather fragments of forest than legitimate groves. In the South
of Europe many of the woods are mere plantations, in which the trees
were first set in rows, with straight avenues, or vistas, passing
directly through them from different points. In an assemblage of this
kind there can be nothing of that interesting variety observed in a
natural forest, and which is manifestly wanting even in woods planted
with direct reference to the attainment of these natural appearances.
"It is curious to see," as Gilpin remarks, "with what richness of
invention, if I may so speak, Nature mixes and intermixes her trees, and
shapes them into such a wonderful variety of groups and beautiful forms.
Art may admire and attempt to plant and to form combinations like hers;
but whoever observes the wild combinations of a forest and compares them
with the attempts of Art has little taste, if he do not acknowledge with
astonishment the superiority of Nature's workmanship."

When a tract is covered with a dense growth of tall trees, especially of
Pines, which have but little underbrush, the wood represents overhead a
vast canopy of verdure supported by innumerable lofty pillars. No one
could enter these dark solitudes without feeling a deep impression of
sublimity, especially if it be an hour of general stillness of the
winds. The voices of animals and of birds, particularly the hammering
of the woodpecker, serve to magnify our perceptions of grandeur. A very
slight sound, during a calm in one of these deep woods, like the
ticking of a clock in a vast hall, has a distinctness almost startling,
especially if there be but little undergrowth. These feeble sounds
afford one a more vivid sense of the magnitude of the place than louder
sounds, that differ less from those we hear in the open plain. The
canopy of foliage overhead and the absence of undergrowth are favorable
to those reverberations which are so perceptible in a Pine wood.

In a grove we experience different sensations. Here pleasantness and
cheerfulness are combined, and the feeling of grandeur is excited only
perhaps by the sight of some noble tree. In a grove the trees are
generally well formed, many of them being nearly perfect in their
proportions. Their shadows are cast separately upon the ground, which is
green beneath them as in an orchard. If we look upon them from a near
eminence, we observe a variety of outlines, and may identify the
different species by their shape, while in the forest we see one
unbroken mass of foliage. A wild-wood is frequently converted into a
grove by clearing it of undergrowth and leaving the space a grassy lawn.
It may then yield us shade, coolness, and other agreeable sensations of
a cultivated wood, but the individual trees always retain their gaunt
and imperfect shapes.

The greater part of the woodland of this country partakes of the
characters of both forest and grove, exhibiting a pleasant admixture of
each, combined with pasture and thicket. In Great Britain the woods are
chiefly groves and parks: a wild-wood of spontaneous growth is now rare
in that country, once renowned for the extent and beauty of its forests.
Most of our American woods are fragments of forest, particularly in
the Western States, where they stand out prominently, and deform
the landscape by presenting a perpendicular front of naked pillars,
unrelieved by any foliage. They remind one of those houses, in the city,
which have been cut asunder to widen a street, leaving the interior
rooms and partition-walls exposed to view. These sections of wood are
the grand picturesque deformity of a country lately cleared. In the
older settlements, a recent growth of wood has in many instances come
up outside of these palisades, serving in a measure to conceal their
baldness.

The most lovely appearances in landscape are caused by the spontaneous
growth of miscellaneous trees, some in dense assemblages and some in
scattered groups, with here and there a few single trees standing in
open space. Such is the scenery of considerable portions of the Atlantic
States, both North and South. These varied assemblages of wood and
shrubbery are the characteristic features of the landscape in the
older villages of New England, and indeed of all the States that were
established before the Revolution. But the New-England system of
farming--so much abhorred by those who wish to bring agriculture to
such a state of improvement as shall make it profitable exclusively
to capitalists--has been more favorable to the sylvan beauty of the
landscape than that of any other part of the continent. At the South,
especially, where agriculture is carried on in large plantations, we see
wide fields of tillage, and forest groups of corresponding size. But the
small and independent farming of New England--as favorable to general
happiness as it is to beautiful scenery--has produced a charming variety
of wood, pasture, and tillage, so agreeably intermixed that one is never
weary of looking upon it. The varied surface of the landscape, in the
uneven parts which are not mountainous, has increased these advantages,
producing an endless multitude of those limited views which may be
termed picturesque.

In no other part of the country are the minor inequalities of surface so
frequent as in New England: I allude to that sort of ruggedness which is
unfavorable to any "mammoth" system of agriculture, and plainly evinces
that Nature and Providence have designed this part of the country for
free and independent labor. Here little meadows, of a few acres in
extent, are common, encircled by green pasture hills or by wood. A
rolling surface is more favorable to grandeur of scenery; but nothing
is more beautiful than landscape formed by hills rising suddenly out of
perfect levels. As it is not my present purpose to treat of landscape in
general, I will simply remark that the barrenness of a great part of the
soil of the Eastern States is favorable to picturesque scenery. This may
seem a paradoxical assertion to those who can see no beauty except
in universal fatness; but unvaried luxuriance is fatal to variety of
scenes, though it undoubtedly encourages the development of individual
growth. An agreeable intermixture of various sylvan assemblages is one
of the effects of a barren soil, containing numerous fertile tracts.
Not having in general sufficient strength to produce timber, it covers
itself with diverse groups of vegetation, corresponding with the
varieties of soil and surface. Thus, in a certain degree, we are obliged
to confess that beauty springs out of Nature's deficiencies.

We live in a latitude and upon a soil, therefore, which are favorable
to the harmonious grouping of vegetation. As we proceed southward, we
witness a constant increase of the number of species gathered together
in a single group. Nature is more addicted at the North to the habit of
classifying her productions and of assembling them in uniform phalanxes.
The painter, on this account, finds more to interest the eye and to
employ his pencil in the picturesque regions of frost and snow; while
the botanist finds more to exercise his observation in the crowded
variety that marks the region of perpetual summer.

But while vegetation is more generally social in high latitudes, several
families of Northern trees are entirely wanting in this quality. Seldom
is a forest composed chiefly of Elms, Locusts, or Willows. Oaks and
Birches are associated in forests, Elms in groves, and Willows in small
groups following the courses of streams. Those Northern trees which are
most eminently social, including the two just named, are the Beech, the
Maple, the Hickory, the coniferous trees, and some others; and by the
predominance of any one kind the character of the soil may be partially
determined. There is no tree that grows so abundantly in miry land,
both North and South upon this continent, as the Red Maple. It occupies
immense tracts of morass in the Middle States, and is the last tree
which is found in swamps, according to Michaux, as the Birch is the last
we meet in ascending mountains. The Sugar-Maple is confined mostly to
the Northeastern parts of the continent. Poplars are not generally
associated exclusively in forests; but at the point where the Ohio
and the Mississippi mingle their waters are grand forests of Deltoid
Poplars, that stamp upon the features of that region a very peculiar
physiognomy.

The characteristics of different woods, composed chiefly of one family
of trees, would make an interesting study; but it would be tiresome
to enter minutely into their details. Some are distinguished by a
superfluity, others by a deficiency of undergrowth. In general, Pine and
Fir woods are of the latter description, differing in this respect
from deciduous woods. These differences are most apparent in large
assemblages of wood, which have a flora as well as a fauna of their own.
The same shrubs and herbaceous plants, for example, are not common to
Oak and to Pine woods. There is a difference also in the cleanness and
beauty of their stems. The gnarled habit of the Oak is conspicuous
even in the most crowded forest, and coniferous woods are apt to be
disfigured by dead branches projecting from the bole. The Birch, the
Poplar, and the Beech are remarkable for the straightness, evenness, and
beauty of their shafts, when assembled in a dense wood.

Some of the most beautiful forests in high latitudes consist of White
Canoe-Birches. We see them in Massachusetts only in occasional groups,
but farther north, upon river-banks, they form woods of considerable
extent and remarkable beauty; and with their tall shafts, and their
smooth white bark, resembling pillars of marble, supporting a canopy of
bright green foliage, on a light feathery spray, they constitute one of
the picturesque attractions of a Northern tour. Nature seems to indicate
the native habitat of this noble tree by causing its exterior to bear
the whiteness of snow, and it would be difficult to estimate its
importance to the aboriginal inhabitants of Northern latitudes. Yellow
Birch woods are not inferior in their attractions: individual trees
of this species are often distinguished among other forest timber by
extending their feathery summits above the level of the other trees.

The small White Birch is never assembled in large forest groups. Like
the Alder, it seems to be employed by Nature for the shading of her
living pictures, and for producing those gradations which are the charm
of spontaneous wood-scenery. In this part of the continent, a Pitch-Pine
wood is commonly fringed with White Birches, and outside of these with
a lower growth of Hazels, Cornels, and Vacciniums, uniting them
imperceptibly with the herbage of the plain. The importance of this
native embroidery is not sufficiently considered by those industrious
plodders who are constantly destroying wayside shrubbery, as if it were
the pest of the farm,--nor by those "improvers," on the other hand, who
wage an eternal warfare against little spontaneous groups of wood, as
if they thought everything outside of the forest an intruder, if it was
planted by accident, and had not cost money before it was placed there.
Give me an old farm, with its stone-walls draped with Poison-Ivy and
Glycine, and verdurous with a mixed array of Viburnums, Hazels, and
other wild shrubbery, harboring thousands of useful birds, and smiling
over the abundant harvests which they surround, before the finest
artistical landscape in the world!

Pines are remarkably social in their habit, and cover immense tracts in
high latitudes, extending southward, on this continent, as far as the
very boundary of the tropics, where they are found side by side with the
Dwarf Palm of Florida. But in the region of the true Palms the Pine is
wanting. It is worthy of remark, however, that in the fossil vegetation
of the Eocene world these two vegetable tribes are found associated.
This fact, it seems to me, should be attributed to the mixing of the
mountain Pines with the Palms of the sea-level, during that revulsion of
Nature by which they were hurled into the same chaotic heap. We are not
obliged to infer from their contiguity in these geological remains, that
the two species ever flourished together in the same region.

Pine woods possess attractions of a peculiar kind: all lovers of Nature
are enraptured with them, and there is a grandeur about them which is
felt at once, when we enter them. Their dark verdure, their deep shade,
their lofty height, and their branches which are ever mysteriously
murmuring, as they are swayed by the wind, render them singularly solemn
and sublime. This expression is increased by the hollow reverberating
interior of the wood, caused by its clearness and freedom from
underbrush. The ground beneath is covered by a matting of fallen leaves,
making a smooth brown carpet, that renders a walk within its precincts
as comfortable as in a garden. The foliage of the Pine is so hard and
durable that in summer we always find the last autumn's crop lying upon
the ground in a state of perfect soundness, and under it that of the
preceding year only partially decayed. The foliage of two summers,
therefore, lies upon the surface, checking the growth of humble
vegetation, and permitting only certain species of plants to flourish
with vigor.

Mushrooms of various forms and sizes spring out of these decayed leaves,
often rivalling the flowers in elegance. Monotropas, uniting some of
the habits of the Fungi with the botanical characters of the flowering
plants, flourish side by side with the snowy Cypripedium and the
singular Coral-Weed. The evergreen Dewberry, a delicate species of
Rubus, trails its glossy leaves over the turfs, and mingles its beaded
fruit with the scarlet berries of the Mitchella. The Pyrola, named
by the Indians Pipsissewa, and regarded by them as a specific for
consumption, suspends its pale purple flowers in beautiful umbels, as if
to invite the feeble invalid to accept its proffered remedies. Variety,
indeed, may be found in these deep shades; but it exists without
that profusion which in more favored situations often benumbs our
susceptibility to the charms of Nature.

The edging of a Pine wood depends on the character of the soil. The
Pitch-Pine, that delights in sandy plains, is embroidered at the North
by White Birches; and if a road be cut through a wood of this kind,
these graceful trees immediately spring up in abundance by the wayside.
If a pond occurs in the middle of a Pine wood, its margin is covered
first with low bushes, such as the Andromeda, the Myrica, and the
sweet-scented Azalea, then Alders and Willows rise between them and the
forest. On the side of the pond that is bounded by high gravelly banks,
the margin will be covered by Poplars and Birches. The White Pine, the
most noble and the most beautiful tree of the whole coniferous tribe,
predominates in the New-England forest; though some wide tracts are
covered with the more homely Pitch-Pines, which are the trees that scent
the atmosphere on damp still days with their delightful terebinthine
odors. The woods in the vicinity of Concord, N.H., on the banks of the
Merrimack, known by the poetic appellation of "The Dark Plains", are
of this description. In still higher latitudes the dark, majestic Firs
become the prevailing timber, and are regarded as typical of sub-arctic
regions, where they are accompanied, as if to form a striking and
cheerful contrast with their melancholy grandeur, by groups of graceful
Birches, and lively, tremulous Poplars.

The Pine-Barrens of the Southern States are celebrated as healthful
retreats for the inhabitants of seaport towns, whither they resort in
summer for security from the prevailing fevers. They are of a mixed
character, consisting of the Northern Pitch-Pine, the Broom-Pine, and
the Cypress, intermixed with Red Maples, Sweet Gums, and other deciduous
trees. The Pines, however, are the dominant growth: but here they do not
grow so compactly as in colder regions, standing widely apart, with a
frequent intervening growth of Willows and shrubbery. The sparseness of
these woods may be in part attributed to the practice of tapping the
trees for their turpentine, which has caused them for a century past to
be gradually thinned by consequent decay. Their tall, gaunt forms and
almost branchless trunks show that they obtained their principal growth
in a dense wood.

The first time I entered one of these Pine-Barrens was some years since,
in the month of June, when vegetation was in its prime, before the
summer droughts had seared the green herbage, and when the flowering
trees and shrubs were in all their glory. During my botanical rambles in
the wood, I was struck with the multitude of beautiful flowers in its
shady retreats,--seeming the more numerous to me, as I had previously
confined my researches to Northern woods. The Phlox grew here in all its
native grace and delicacy, where it had never known the fostering hand
of Art. Crimson Rhexias, called by the inhabitants Deer-Weed, were
distributed among the grassy knolls, like clusters of Picotees.
Variegated Passion-Flowers were conspicuous on the bare white sand that
checkered the ground, displaying their emblematic forms on their low
repent vines, and reminding the wanderer in these almost trackless
solitudes of that Faith which was founded on humility and crowned with
martyrdom. Here, too, the Spiderwort of our gardens, in a meeker form of
beauty and with a paler radiance, luxuriated under the protection of the
wood. Already I observed the predominance of luxuriant vines, indicating
our nearness to the tropic, wreathed gayly over the tall and branchless
trunks of the trees: some, like the Bignonia, in a full blaze of
crimson; others, like the Climbing Fern, draping the trees in continual
verdure.

These Pines constitute a great part of the timber of the flat country
between the mountains and the coast, and render a journey through
that region singularly monotonous and gloomy. In the low grounds, a
considerable proportion of the wood consists of the Southern Cypress, a
graceful and magnificent tree, whose appearance would be very lively
and cheerful, were it not for the abundance of long trailing "moss"
(_usnea_) that hangs, like funereal drapery, from its branches, and
darkens the whole forest. This parasitic appendant wreathes the woods
sometimes almost in darkness, especially in those immense tracts on the
borders of the Mexican Gulf that consist entirely of Cypress. There it
has been poetically styled the "Garlands of Death," as significant of
the fevers that prevail wherever it is abundant.

It is remarkable that the two extremes of climate are distinguished
by the predominance of evergreens in their vegetation. Thus, the
acicular-leaved trees, consisting of Pines and their congeners, mark the
cold-temperate and sub-arctic zones, in north latitude,--while Myrtles,
Magnolias, and other broad-leaved evergreens, mark the equatorial and
tropical regions. The deciduous trees belong properly to the temperate
zones, and constitute, indeed, the most interesting of all arborescent
vegetation.

With regard to the age of forests, it may be affirmed that there are
some undoubtedly in existence which are coeval with the earliest history
of nations; but no individual trees are of such antiquity. Like nations,
the assemblage may be perpetual, while the members that compose it are
constantly perishing, and leaving their places to be supplied by others
of more recent origin. Probably the earth does not contain forests in
which any tree exceeds a thousand years of age, though the oldest forest
extant may be as ancient as the Chinese Empire; for the oldest trees
are not found in dense assemblages, but are probably such as have grown
singly in isolated situations. As soon as a tree in a forest begins to
feel the infirmities of age, its place is usurped by some young and more
vigorous neighbor, and it is gradually deprived of subsistence in this
unequal contest. The tempests and tornadoes, it may be added, which
occasionally sweep over a country, commonly make the oldest and tallest
trees their victims; for events seem to follow the same course in a
forest as in human society. The most vigorous growers at any period
continue to flourish a certain length of time at the expense of others;
but when they have risen above the common level, they become marks for
destruction,--they fall before certain inimical forces that do not reach
their more humble companions.

It was the opinion of Humboldt, that, if any tract of wooded country
deserves to be considered a part of the great "primeval forest", it is
"that boundless district which, in the torrid zone of South America,
connects the river-basins of the Amazon and the Orinoco." This tract,
unequalled in extent by any other forest in the world, occupies an area
of more than a thousand miles square. In this vast chaos of teeming
vegetation, trees of the largest dimensions are connected by an
undergrowth of vines and shrubbery which is almost impenetrable. Immense
rivers and their tributaries intersect the forest in all directions, and
constitute the only avenues of commercial intercourse. This impervious
thicket is like a huge wall, separating near neighbors, rendering them,
as it were, inhabitants of distant regions, and obliging them to make
long and circuitous river journeys before they can hold communication.

Here the leaves of the trees are always green, and flowers appear in
constant succession; but the surface of the ground is without herbage,
for the darkness of the wood is fatal to all humble vegetation. The
small plants are mostly parasites, thousands inserting their roots into
the bark of trees and garlanding them with beauty. Those that take root
in the ground show but few leaves or flowers, until they have clambered
upwards, through the underwood, into the light of heaven. Almost the
only relief afforded the sight, in this vast solitude, comes from the
rivers and other collections of water, over whose expanse the eye revels
with the delight we feel on emerging from the gloom of a cavern. Every
object seems to be struggling to get outside of this chaotic growth,
where it can obtain the genial influence of the sun: for near the
surface of the ground are perpetual shade and hideous entanglement.

In this primeval forest we must not expect to realize any of our
poetical ideas of the primitive residence of the first human family.
Here are no Arcadian scenes of peace and rural felicity. On all sides we
behold an undying competition for light and life, among both plants
and animals. We are reminded here of life in a crowded city, where
the excessive abundance of supplies for human wants imported from the
surrounding country causes a still greater superfluity of population,
and produces a struggle for a livelihood more severe than in a rural
district of gravel and boulders. The oases of this great wilderness are
those places in which there is an absence of the general fertility:
barrenness in such circumstances is a relief,--because it allows both
freedom and repose.

This wood is the nursery of all descriptions of monsters, living chiefly
in trees. On their branches and in their tangled recesses, adorned with
all sorts of foliage and flowers, creatures the most terrible and the
most loathsome are seen crowding and crouching in close proximity to
the most beautiful forms of living things. They fill the air with their
discordant utterances, and allow no permanent silence or tranquillity.
Hours of periodical stillness and repose, occurring mostly at noonday,
and affecting one with a sensation of awful grandeur, by contrast with
the preceding disturbances, are followed, especially in the night, by a
tumultuous roar from the legions of contending animals.

  "A universal hubbub wild
  Of stunning sounds and voices all confused,
  Borne through the hollow dark, assaults the ear
  With loudest vehemence."

Even the notes of insects are a deafening crash, like the rattling of
machinery in a cotton-mill. Except in the hush of noonday, the notes of
singing-birds are drowned amidst the howling of monkeys, the whining of
sapajous, the roar of the jaguar, and the dismal hooting of thousands
of wild animals that riot in these awful solitudes. The sight of the
fairest flowers and the most beautiful insects and birds only renders
one more keenly sensitive to the frightful discords that startle and the
perils that surround him.

Similar contrasts are observed in the vegetation of this region, where
the giant trees of the forest are chained in the embraces of vines that
contend with them for existence and finally strangle them. Trees and
other plants are crowded together so promiscuously, that Nature seems to
be striving to collect into one space every possible variety of species.
Trees of the most poisonous and deadly qualities grow side by side with
the Bread-Fruit, the Cocoa-Nut, and the beneficent Cinchona. Here
are the poison and its antidote,--the monster tree and its miniature
epiphyte,--the plant that astonishes by its magnitude, and the one that
delights us by its minuteness. Here, if anywhere on the face of the
earth, may we form some conception of the state of our planet during the
Eocene period, before the world had come under the dominion of the human
race.

But if Nature in this region has manifested an exuberance of animal and
vegetable life, thereby rendering her bounties almost unavailable to
man, there are other parts in which she seems to have provided for his
particular benefit. In these favored regions, we find the Banana, the
Cocoa, and the Date Palm, and other special gifts of Providence to the
inhabitants of the equator. Palms are generally found only in small
groups and plantations, but there are certain species of this family
which are associated in extensive woods, and constitute, in some
respects, one of the most charming descriptions of forest-scenery. The
Dwarf Palms of the sub-tropical regions are chiefly assembled in masses,
of which the Palmetto of Florida and the Chaemerops of the South of
Europe are conspicuous examples. The true Palms are likewise sometimes
associated in forests, though not generally of a social habit. In one
of the most celebrated of these, at the mouth of the Orinoco, composed
chiefly of the Mauritian Palms, the wild Guaranos have established a
national existence. Like monkeys, they live almost wholly in trees,
having their habitations supported either by wooden pillars or by a
matting suspended from tree to tree. In the wet season, when the ground
is inundated, the inhabitants travel about their village in canoes.

The beauty of a grove of Palms has been a favorite theme of travellers.
Humboldt, who saw Nature with the eye of a painter and the feelings of
a poet, amidst all the dry details of science, regards them as the most
beautiful of vegetable productions. It has always seemed to me, however,
that travellers in general have been led to exaggerate the charms of
Nature in the tropics, by observing the remarkable beauty of a few
individual objects. Their susceptibility to be affected by the scenes
presented to their view is likewise exalted by the confinement of their
voyage; they are enraptured with the novelty of everything about them,
by the voluptuousness of the climate and the abundance of delicious
fruits, and always afterwards recur to the scenes of their tropical
visit with an excited imagination.

In countries near the equator, many plants which are herbs in our
latitude assume arborescent forms. Such are the Tree-Grasses, which form
impenetrable forests, equalling some of the Fir woods of the North in
extent, if not in beauty and grandeur. In this part of the world we know
the Ferns only as a low herbaceous tribe of plants, consisting of mere
fronds rising out of the ground. We admire them for their beautifully
compounded leaves, and their colors of red, orange, and russet that
variegate our meadows in June, their garlands of verdure upon the rocky
hills in winter, and the profusion of their frondage in the shady glens
in summer. But in certain parts of the equatorial zone the Ferns put
off the humble guise in which they appear at the North. They no longer
associate with the lowly Violet, allowing themselves to be crowded by
the Hellebore and overtopped by the Meadow Rue; but they rear their
branches aloft and assume the dignity and stature of trees. Man, who
looks down upon them in our own latitude, and tramples them under
his feet, looks in that region far above his head, and beholds their
magnificent fronds spread out like a great tent between him and the
heavens.

Tree-Ferns, though confined principally to the equatorial zone, are
unable to endure the heat of the plains. They occupy an elevation that
affords them the continual temperature of spring, three thousand feet
above the sea,--the region of the lowest stratum of clouds,--where they
receive the benefit of their moisture before it descends to the earth
in showers. Humboldt ranks them with the noblest forms of tropical
vegetation,--less lofty than the Palms, but surpassing them in beauty of
foliage. The arborescent Ferns and Grasses are true specimens of those
plants, of simple organic structure, which are found in the fossil
remains of the early geological periods, and are the only plants now
extant which may be considered the representatives of that epoch, when
the saurians and the mastodons held dominion over the earth, and before
the Angel of Light had descended from heaven to make preparation for a
higher race of beings.

       *       *       *       *       *


MISS LUCINDA.


But that Solomon is out of fashion I should quote him, here and now, to
the effect that there is a time for all things; but Solomon is obsolete,
and never, no, never, will I dare to quote a dead language, "for raisons
I have," as the exiles of Erin say. Yet, in spite of Solomon and Horace,
I may express my own less concise opinion, that even in hard times, and
dull times, and war times, there is yet a little time to laugh, a brief
hour to smile and love and pity, just as through this dreary easterly
storm, bringing clouds and rain, sobbing against casement and door with
the inarticulate wail of tempests, there comes now and then the soft
shine of a sun behind it all, a fleeting glitter, an evanescent aspect
of what has been.

But if I apologize for a story that is nowise tragic, nor fitted to "the
fashion of these times," possibly somebody will say at its end that I
should also have apologized for its subject, since it is as easy for an
author to treat his readers to high themes as vulgar ones, and velvet
can be thrown into a portrait as cheaply as calico; but of this apology
I wash my hands. I believe nothing in place or circumstance makes
romance. I have the same quick sympathy for Biddy's sorrows with Patrick
that I have for the Empress of France and her august, but rather grim
lord and master. I think words are often no harder to bear than "a blue
bating," and I have a reverence for poor old maids as great as for the
nine Muses. Commonplace people are only commonplace from character, and
no position affects that. So forgive me once more, patient reader, if I
offer to you no tragedy in high life, no sentimental history of fashion
and wealth, but only a little story about a woman who could not be a
heroine.

Miss Lucinda Jane Ann Manners was a lady of unknown age, who lived in a
place I call Dalton, in a State of these Disuniting States, which I
do not mention for good cause. I have already had so many unconscious
personalities visited on my devoted head that but for lucidity I should
never mention persons or places, inconvenient as it would be. However,
Miss Lucinda did live, and lived by the aid of "means," which, in the
vernacular, is money. Not a great deal, it is true,--five thousand
dollars at lawful interest, and a little wooden house, do not imply many
luxuries even to a single-woman; and it is also true that a little fine
sewing taken in helped Miss Manners to provide herself with a few
small indulgences otherwise beyond her reach. She had one or two
idiosyncrasies, as they are politely called, that were her delight.
Plenty of dish-towels were necessary to her peace of mind; without five
pair of scissors she could not be happy; and Tricopherous was essential
to her well-being: indeed, she often said she would rather give up
coffee than Tricopherous, for her hair was black and wiry and curly, and
caps she abhorred, so that of a winter's day her head presented the most
irrelevant and volatile aspect, each particular hair taking a twist on
its own responsibility, and improvising a wild halo about her unsaintly
face, unless subdued into propriety by the aforesaid fluid.

I said Miss Lucinda's face was unsaintly,--I mean unlike ancient saints
as depicted by contemporary artists: modern and private saints are after
another fashion. I met one yesterday, whose green eyes, great nose,
thick lips, and sallow wrinkles, under a bonnet of fifteen years'
standing, further clothed upon by a scant merino cloak and cat-skin
tippet, would have cut a sorry figure in the gallery of the Vatican or
the Louvre, and put the tranquil Madonna of San Sisto into a state of
stunning antithesis; but if Saint Agnes or Saint Catharine was half as
good as my saint, I am glad of it!

No, there was nothing sublime and dolorous about Miss Manners; her face
was round, cheery, and slightly puckered, with two little black eyes
sparking and shining under dark brows, a nose she unblushingly called
pug, and a big mouth with eminently white and regular teeth, which she
said were such a comfort, for they never ached, and never would to the
end of time. Add to this physiognomy a small and rather spare figure,
dressed in the cleanest of calicoes, always made in one style, and
rigidly scorning hoops,--without a symptom of a collar, in whose place
(or it may be over which) she wore a white cambric handkerchief, knotted
about her throat, and the two ends brought into subjection by means of
a little angular-headed gold pin, her sole ornament, and a relic of her
old father's days of widowhood, when buttons were precarious tenures. So
much for her aspect. Her character was even more quaint.

She was the daughter of a clergyman, one of the old school, the last
whose breeches and knee-buckles adorned the profession, who never
"outlived his usefulness," nor lost his godly simplicity. Parson Manners
held rule over an obscure and quiet village in the wilds of Vermont,
where hard-handed farmers wrestled with rocks and forests for their
daily bread, and looked forward to heaven as a land of green pastures
and still waters, where agriculture should be a pastime, and winter
impossible. Heavy freshets from the mountains that swelled their rushing
brooks into annual torrents, and snow-drifts that covered five-rail
fences a foot above the posts and blocked up the turnpike-road for
weeks, caused this congregation fully to appreciate Parson Manners's
favorite hymns,--

  "There is a land of pure delight,"

and

  "On Jordan's stormy banks I stand."

Indeed, one irreverent, but "pretty smart feller," who lived on the top
of a hill known as Drift Hill, where certain adventurous farmers dwelt
for the sake of its smooth sheep-pastures, was heard to say, after a
mighty sermon by Parson Manners about the seven-times heated furnaces
of judgment reserved for the wicked, that "Parson hadn't better try to
skeer Drift-Hillers with a hot place; 't wouldn't more 'n jest warm 'em
through down there, arter a real snappin' winter."

In this out-of-the-way nook was Lucinda Jane Ann born and bred. Her
mother was like her in many things,--just such a cheery, round-faced
little body, but with no more mind than found ample scope for itself in
superintending the affairs of house and farm, and vigorously "seeing to"
her husband and child. So, while Mrs. Manners baked, and washed, and
ironed, and sewed, and knit, and set the sweetest example of quiet
goodness and industry to all her flock, without knowing she _could_ set
an example, or be followed as one, the Parson amused himself, between
sermons of powerful doctrine and parochial duties of a more human
interest, with educating Lucinda, whose intellect was more like his
own than her mother's. A strange training it was for a young
girl,--mathematics, metaphysics, Latin, theology of the driest sort;
and after an utter failure at Greek and Hebrew, though she had toiled
patiently through seven books of the "Aeneid," Parson Manners mildly
sniffed at the inferiority of the female mind, and betook himself to
teaching her French, which she learned rapidly, and spoke with a pure
American accent, perhaps as pleasing to a Parisian ear as the hiss of
Piedmont or the gutturals of Switzerland. Moreover, the minister had
been brought up, himself, in the most scrupulous refinement of manner;
his mother was a widow, the last of an "old family," and her dainty,
delicate observances were inbred, as it were, in her only son. This sort
of elegance is perhaps the most delicate test of training and descent,
and all these things Lucinda was taught from the grateful recollection
of a son who never forgot his mother, through all the solitary labors
and studies of a long life. So it came to pass, that, after her mother
died, Lucinda grew more and more like her father, and, as she became a
woman, these rare refinements separated her more and more from those
about her, and made her necessarily solitary. As for marriage, the
possibility of such a thing never crossed her mind; there was not a man
in the parish who did not offend her sense of propriety and shock her
taste, whenever she met one; and though her warm, kind heart made her a
blessing to the poor and sick, her mother was yet bitterly regretted at
quiltings and tea-drinkings, where she had been so "sociable-like."

It is rather unfortunate for such a position as Lucinda's, that, as
Deacon Stowell one day remarked to her father, "Natur' will be Natur' as
much on Drift Hill as down to Bosting"; and when she began to feel that
"strong necessity of loving" that sooner or later assails every woman's
heart, there was nothing for it to overflow on, when her father had
taken his share. Now Lucinda loved the Parson most devoutly. Ever since
the time when she could just remember watching through the dusk his
white stockings, as they glimmered across the road to evening-meeting,
and looked like a supernatural pair of legs taking a walk on their own
responsibility, twilight concealing the black breeches and coat from
mortal view, Lucinda had regarded her father with a certain pleasing
awe. His long abstractions, his profound knowledge, his grave, benign
manners, and the thousand daily refinements of speech and act that
seemed to put him far above the sphere of his pastorate,--all these
things inspired as much reverence as affection; and when she wished with
all her heart and soul she had a sister or a brother to tend and
kiss and pet, it never once occurred to her that any of those tender
familiarities could be expended on her father: she would as soon have
thought of caressing any of the goodly angels whose stout legs, flowing
curls, and impossible draperies sprawled among the pictures in the big
Bible, and who excited her wonder as much by their garments as their
turkey-wings and brandishing arms. So she betook herself to pets, and
growing up to the old-maidenhood of thirty-five before her father fell
asleep, was by that time the centre of a little world of her own,--hens,
chickens, squirrels, cats, dogs, lambs, and sundry transient guests of
stranger kind; so that, when she left her old home, and removed to the
little house in Dalton that had been left her by her mother's aunt, and
had found her small property safely invested by means of an old friend
of her father's, Miss Manners made one more journey to Vermont to bring
in safety to their future dwelling a cat and three kittens, an old blind
crow, a yellow dog of the true cur breed, and a rooster with three hens,
"real creepers," as she often said, "none of your long-legged, screaming
creatures."

Lucinda missed her father, and mourned him as constantly and faithfully
as ever a daughter could; but her temperament was more cheerful and
buoyant than his, and when once she was quietly settled in her little
house, her garden and her pets gave her such full occupation that she
sometimes blamed herself for not feeling more lonely and unhappy. A
little longer life or a little more experience would have taught her
better: power to be happy is the last thing to regret. Besides, it would
have been hard to be cheerless in that sunny little house, with its
queer old furniture of three-legged tables, high-backed chairs, and
chintz curtains where red mandarins winked at blue pagodas on a
deep-yellow ground, and birds of insane ornithology pecked at insects
that never could have been hatched, or perched themselves on blossoms
totally unknown to any mortal flora. Old engravings of Bartolozzi, from
the stiff elegances of Angelica Kaufman and the mythologies of Reynolds,
adorned the shelf; and the carpet in the parlor was of veritable English
make, older than Lucinda herself, but as bright in its fading and as
firm in its usefulness as she. Up-stairs the tiny chambers were decked
with spotless white dimity, and rush-bottomed chairs stood in each
window, with a strip of the same old carpet by either bedside; and in
the kitchen the blue settle that had stood by the Vermont fireside now
defended this lesser hearth from the draught of the door, and held under
the seat thereof sundry ironing-sheets, the blanket belonging to them,
and good store of ticking and worsted holders. A half-gone set of
egg-shell china stood in the parlor-closet,--cups, and teapot, and
sugar-bowl, rimmed with brown and gold in a square pattern, and a shield
without blazon on the side; the quaint tea-caddy with its stopper stood
over against the pursy little cream-pot, and held up in its lumps of
sparkling sugar the oddest sugar-tongs, also a family relic;--beside
this, six small spoons, three large ones, and a little silver porringer
comprised all the "plate" belonging to Miss Manners, so that no fear of
burglars haunted her, and but for her pets she would have lived a life
of profound and monotonous tranquillity. But this was a vast exception;
in her life her pets were the great item now;--her cat had its own chair
in the parlor and kitchen; her dog, a rug and a basket never to be
meddled with by man or beast; her old crow, its special nest of flannel
and cotton, where it feebly croaked as soon as Miss Lucinda began to
spread the little table for her meals; and the three kittens had their
own playthings and their own saucer as punctiliously as if they had been
children. In fact, Miss Manners had a greater share of kindness
for beasts than for mankind. A strange compound of learning and
unworldliness, of queer simplicity, native penetration, and common
sense, she had read enough books to despise human nature as it develops
itself in history and theology, and she had not known enough people to
love it in its personal development. She had a general idea that all men
were liars, and that she must be on her guard against their propensity
to cheat and annoy a lonely and helpless woman; for, to tell the truth,
in her good father's over-anxiety to defend her from the snares of evil
men after his death, his teachings had given her opinion this bias, and
he had forgotten to tell her how kindly and how true he had found many
of his own parishioners, how few inclined to harm or pain him. So Miss
Lucinda made her entrance into life at Dalton, distrustful, but not
suspicious; and after a few attempts on the part of the women who
were her neighbors to be friendly or intimate, they gave her up as
impracticable: not because she was impolite or unkind: they did not
themselves know why they failed, though she could have told them; for,
old maid as she was, poor and plain and queer, she could not bring
herself to associate familiarly with people who put their teaspoons
into the sugar-bowl, helped themselves with their own knives and forks,
gathered up bits of uneaten butter and returned them to the plate for
next time, or replaced on the dish pieces of cake half eaten or cut with
the knives they had just introduced into their mouths. Miss Lucinda's
code of minor morals would have forbidden her to drink from the same cup
with a queen, and have considered a pitchfork as suitable as a knife to
eat with, nor would she have offered to a servant the least thing she
had touched with her own lips or her own implements of eating; and she
was too delicately bred to look on in comfort where such things were
practised. Of course these women were not ladies; and though many of
them had kind hearts and warm impulses of goodness, yet that did not
make up to her for their social misdemeanors, and she drew herself
more into her own little shell, and cared more for her garden and her
chickens, her cats and her dog, than for all the humanity of Dalton put
together.

Miss Manners held her flowers next dearest to her pets, and treated them
accordingly. Her garden was the most brilliant bit of ground possible.
It was big enough to hold one flourishing peach-tree, one Siberian crab,
and a solitary egg-plum; while under these fruitful boughs bloomed
moss-roses in profusion, of the dear old-fashioned kind, every deep pink
bud with its clinging garment of green breathing out the richest odor;
close by, the real white rose, which fashion has banished to country
towns, unfolded its cups of pearl flushed with yellow sunrise to the
heart; and by its side its damask sister waved long sprays of bloom
and perfume. Tulips, dark-purple and cream-color, burning scarlet and
deep-maroon, held their gay chalices up to catch the dew; hyacinths,
blue, white, and pink, hung heavy bells beneath them; spiced carnations
of rose and garnet crowded their bed in July and August, heart's-ease
fringed the walks, May honeysuckles clambered over the board-fence,
and monthly honeysuckles overgrew the porch at the back-door, making
perpetual fragrance from their moth-like horns of crimson and
ivory. Nothing inhabited those beds that was not sweet and fair and
old-fashioned. Gray-lavender-bushes sent up purple spikes in the middle
of the garden and were duly housed in winter, but these were the sole
tender plants admitted, and they pleaded their own cause in the breath
of the linen-press and the bureau-drawers that held Miss Lucinda's
clothes. Beyond the flowers, utility blossomed in a row of bean-poles,
a hedge of currant-bushes against the farther fence, carefully tended
cauliflowers, and onions enough to tell of their use as sparing as their
number; a few deep-red beets and golden carrots were all the vegetables
beside: Miss Lucinda never ate potatoes or pork.

Her housekeeping, but for her pets, would have been the proper
housewifery for a fairy. Out of her fruit she annually conserved
miracles of flavor and transparence,--great plums like those in
Aladdin's garden, of shining topaz,--peaches tinged with the odorous
bitter of their pits, and clear as amber,--crimson crabs floating in
their own ruby sirup, or transmuted into jelly crystal clear, yet
breaking with a grain,--and jelly from the acid currants to garnish her
dinner-table or refresh the fevered lips of a sick neighbor. It was a
study to visit her tiny pantry, where all these "lucent sirops" stood in
tempting array,--where spices, and sugar, and tea, in their small jars,
flanked the sweetmeats, and a jar of glass showed its store of whitest
honey, and another stood filled with crisp cakes. Here always a loaf
or two of home-made bread lay rolled in a snowy cloth, and another was
spread over a dish of butter; pies were not in favor here,--nor milk,
save for the cats; salt fish Miss Manners never could abide,--her
savory taste allowed only a bit of rich old cheese, or thin scraps of
hung beef, with her bread and butter; sauces and spices were few in her
repertory, but she cooked as only a lady can cook, and might have
asked Soyer himself to dinner. For, verily, after much meditation and
experience, I have divined that it takes as much sense and refinement
and talent to cook a dinner, wash and wipe a dish, make a bed as it
should be made, and dust a room as it should be dusted, as goes to the
writing of a novel or shining in high society.

But because Miss Lucinda Manners was reserved and "unsociable," as the
neighbors pronounced her, I did not, therefore, mean to imply that she
was inhuman. No neighbor of hers, local or Scriptural, fell ill, without
an immediate offer of aid from her: she made the best gruel known to
Dalton invalids, sent the ripest fruit and the sweetest flowers; and if
she could not watch with the sick, because it interfered with her duties
at home in an unpleasant and inconvenient way, she would sit with them
hour after hour in the day-time, and wait on all their caprices with the
patient tenderness of a mother. Children she always eyed with strange
wistfulness, as if she longed to kiss them, but didn't know how; yet no
child was ever invited across her threshold, for the yellow cur hated to
be played with, and children always torment kittens.

So Miss Lucinda wore on happily toward the farther side of the middle
Ages. One after another of her pets passed away and was replaced, the
yellow cur barked his last currish signal, the cat died and her kittens
came to various ends of time or casualty, the crow fell away to dust and
was too old to stuff, and the garden bloomed and faded ten times over,
before Miss Manners found herself to be forty-six years old, which she
heroically acknowledged one fine day to the census-taker. But it was not
this consciousness, nor its confession, that drew the dark brows so low
over Miss Lucinda's eyes that day; it was quite another trouble, and one
that wore heavily on her mind, as we shall proceed to explain. For Miss
Manners, being, like all the rest of her sex, quite unable to do without
some masculine help, had employed, for some seven years, an old man by
the name of Israel Slater, to do her "chores," as the vernacular hath
it. It is a mortifying thing, and one that strikes at the roots of
Women's Rights terribly sharp blows, but I must even own it, that one
might as well try to live without one's bread-and-butter as without the
aid of the dominant sex. When I see women split wood, unload coal-carts,
move wash-tubs, and roll barrels of flour and apples handily down
cellar-ways or up into carts, then I shall believe in the sublime
theories of the strong-minded sisters; but as long as I see before me
my own forlorn little hands, and sit down on the top stair to recover
breath, and try in vain to lift the water-pitcher at table, just so long
I shall be glad and thankful that there are men in the world, and that
half a dozen of them are my kindest and best friends. It was rather an
affliction to Miss Lucinda to feel this innate dependence, and at first
she resolved to employ only small boys, and never any one of them more
than a week or two. She had an unshaped theory that an old maid was a
match for a small boy, but that a man would cheat and domineer over her.
Experience sadly put to flight these notions for a succession of boys in
this cabinet-ministry for the first three years of her stay in Dalton
would have driven her into a Presbyterian convent, had there been one at
hand. Boy Number One caught the yellow cur out of bounds one day, and
shaved his plumy tail to a bare stick, and Miss Lucinda fairly shed
tears of grief and rage when Pink appeared at the door with the denuded
appendage tucked between his little legs, and his funny yellow eyes
casting sidelong looks of apprehension at his mistress. Boy Number One
was despatched directly. Number Two did pretty well for a month, but his
integrity and his appetite conflicted, and Miss Lucinda found him one
moonlight night perched in her plum-tree devouring the half-ripe fruit.
She shook him down with as little ceremony as if he had been an
apple; and though he lay at Death's door for a week with resulting
cholera-morbus, she relented not. So the experiment went on, till a list
of casualties that numbered in it fatal accidents to three kittens,
two hens and a rooster, and at last Pink himself, who was pent into a
decline by repeated drenchings from the watering-pot, put an end to her
forbearance, and she instituted in her viziership the old man who had
now kept his office so long,--a queer, withered, slow, humorous old
creature, who did "chores" for some six or seven other households, and
got a living by sundry "jobs" of wood-sawing, hoeing corn, and other
like works of labor, if not of skill. Israel was a great comfort to Miss
Lucinda: he was efficient counsel in the maladies of all her pets, had
a sovereign cure for the gapes in chickens, and could stop a cat's fit
with the greatest ease; he kept the tiny garden in perfect order,
and was very honest, and Miss Manners favored him accordingly. She
compounded liniment for his rheumatism, herb-sirup for his colds,
presented him with a set of flannel shirts, and knit him a comforter; so
that Israel expressed himself strongly in favor of "Miss Lucindy," and
she said to herself he really was "quite good for a man."

But just now, in her forty-seventh year, Miss Lucinda had come to grief,
and all on account of Israel and his attempts to please her. About six
months before this census-taking era, the old man had stepped into Miss
Manners's kitchen with an unusual radiance on his wrinkles and in his
eyes, and began without his usual morning greeting,--

"I've got so'thin' for you naow, Miss Lucindy. You're a master-hand for
pets, but I'll bet a red cent you ha'n't an idee what I've got for ye
naow!"

"I'm sure I can't tell, Israel," said she; "you'll have to let me see
it."

"Well," said he, lifting up his coat and looking carefully behind him
as he sat down on the settle, lest a stray kitten or chicken should
preoccupy the bench, "you see I was down to Orrin's abaout a week back,
and he hed a litter o' pigs,--eleven on 'em. Well, he couldn't raise
the hull on 'em,--'t a'n't good to raise more 'n nine,--an' so he said,
ef I'd 'a' had a place o' my own, I could 'a' had one on 'em, but, as't
was, he guessed he'd hev to send one to market for a roaster. I went
daown to the barn to see 'em, an' there was one, the cutest little
critter I ever sot eyes on, and I've seen more 'n four pigs in my
day,--'t was a little black-spotted one, as spry as an ant, and the
dreffullest knowin' look out of its eyes! I fellowshipped it right
off, and I said, says I, 'Orrin, ef you'll let me hev that 'ere
little spotted feller, I'll git a place for him, for I do take to him
consarnedly.' So he said I could, and I fetched him hum, and Miss Slater
and me we kinder fed him up for a few days back, till he got sorter
wonted, and I'm a-goin' to fetch him to you."

"But, Israel, I haven't any place to put him in."

"Well, that a'n't nothin' to hender. I'll jest fetch out them old boards
out of the wood-shed, and knock up a little sty right off, daown by the
end o' the shed, and you ken keep your swill that I've hed before, and
it'll come handy."

"But pigs are so dirty!"

"I don't know as they be; they ha'n't no great conveniences for washin'
ginerally; but I never heerd as they was dirtier 'n other critters,
where they run wild. An' beside, that a'n't goin' to hender, nuther; I
calculate to make it one o' the chores to take keer of him; 't won't
cost no more to you; and I ha'n't no great opportunities to do things
for folks that 's allers a-doin' for me; so't you needn't be afeard,
Miss Lucindy: I love to."

Miss Lucinda's heart got the better of her judgment. A nature that could
feel so tenderly for its inferiors in the scale could not be deaf to the
tiny voices of humanity, when they reached her solitude; and she thanked
Israel for the pig so heartily that the old man's face brightened still
more, and his voice softened from its cracked harshness, as he said,
clicking up and down the latch of the back-door,--

"Well, I'm sure you're as welcome as you are obleeged, and I'll knock up
that 'ere pen right off; he sha'n't pester ye any,--that's a fact."

Strange to say,--yet perhaps it might have been expected from her
proclivities,--Miss Lucinda took an astonishing fancy to the pig. Very
few people know how intelligent an animal a pig is; but when one is
regarded merely as pork and hams, one's intellect is apt to fall into
neglect: a moral sentiment which applies out of Pigdom. This creature
would not have passed muster at a county fair; no Suffolk blood
compacted and rounded him; he belonged to the "racers," and skipped
about his pen with the alacrity of a large flea, wiggling his curly tail
as expressively as a dog's, and "all but speakin'," as Israel said. He
was always glad to see Miss Lucinda, and established a firm friendship
with her dog Fun, a pretty, sentimental, German spaniel. Besides, he
kept tolerably clean by dint of Israel's care, and thrust his long
nose between the rails of his pen for grass, or fruit, or carrot- and
beet-tops, with a knowing look out of his deep-set eyes that was never
to be resisted by the soft-hearted spinster. Indeed, Miss Lucinda
enjoyed the possession of one pet who could not tyrannize over her.
Pink's place was more than filled by Fun, who was so oppressively
affectionate that he never could leave his mistress alone. If she lay
down on her bed, he leaped up and unlatched the door, and stretched
himself on the white counterpane beside her with a grunt of
satisfaction; if she sat down to knit or sew, he laid his head and
shoulders across her lap, or curled himself up on her knees; if she was
cooking, he whined and coaxed round her till she hardly knew whether she
fried or broiled her steak; and if she turned him out and buttoned the
door, his cries were so pitiful she could never be resolute enough to
keep him in exile five minutes,--for it was a prominent article in her
creed, that animals have feelings that are easily wounded, and are of
"like passions" with men, only incapable of expression.

Indeed, Miss Lucinda considered it the duty of human beings to atone to
animals for the Lord's injustice in making them dumb and four-legged.
She would have been rather startled at such an enunciation of her
practice, but she was devoted to it as a practice: she would give her
own chair to the cat and sit on the settle herself; get up at midnight,
if a mew or a bark called her, though the thermometer was below zero;
The tenderloin of her steak or the liver of her chicken was saved for a
pining kitten or an ancient and toothless cat; and no disease or wound
daunted her faithful nursing, or disgusted her devoted tenderness. It
was rather hard on humanity, and rather reversive of Providence, that
all this care and pains should be lavished on cats and dogs, while
little morsels of flesh and blood, ragged, hungry, and immortal,
wandered up and down the streets. Perhaps that they were immortal
was their defence from Miss Lucinda; one might have hoped that her
"other-worldliness" accepted that fact as enough to outweigh present
pangs, if she had not openly declared, to Israel Slater's immense
amusement and astonishment, that _she_ believed creatures had
souls,--little ones perhaps, but souls after all, and she did expect to
see Pink again some time or other.

"Well, I hope he's got his tail feathered out ag'in," said Israel,
dryly. "I do'no' but what hair'd grow as well as feathers in a
sperctooal state, and I never see a pictur' of an angel but what hed
consider'ble many feathers."

Miss Lucinda looked rather confounded. But humanity had one little
revenge on her in the shape of her cat, a beautiful Maltese, with great
yellow eyes, fur as soft as velvet, and silvery paws as lovely to look
at as they were thistly to touch. Toby certainly pleaded hard for Miss
Lucinda's theory of a soul; but his was no good one: some tricksy and
malign little spirit had lent him his share of intellect, and he used it
to the entire subjugation of Miss Lucinda. When he was hungry, he was as
well-mannered and as amiable as a good child,--he would coax, and purr,
and lick her fingers with his pretty red tongue, like a "perfect love";
but when he had his fill, and needed no more, then came Miss Lucinda's
time of torment. If she attempted to caress him, he bit and scratched
like a young tiger, he sprang at her from the floor and fastened on her
arm with real fury; if he cried at the window and was not directly let
in, as soon as he had achieved entrance his first manoeuvre was to
dash at her ankles and bite them, if he could, as punishment for her
tardiness. This skirmishing was his favorite mode of attack; if he was
turned out of the closet, or off the pillow up-stairs, he retreated
under the bed and made frantic sallies at her feet, till the poor woman
got actually nervous, and if he was in the room made a flying leap as
far as she could to her bed, to escape those keen claws. Indeed,
old Israel found her more than once sitting in the middle of the
kitchen-floor with Toby crouched for a spring under the table, his
poor mistress afraid to move, for fear of her unlucky ankles. And this
literally cat-ridden woman was hazed about and ruled over by her feline
tyrant to that extent that he occupied the easiest chair, the softest
cushion, the middle of the bed, and the front of the fire, not only
undisturbed, but caressed. This is a veritable history, beloved reader,
and I offer it as a warning and an example: if you will be an old maid,
or if you can't help it, take to petting children, or donkeys, or even a
respectable cow, but beware of domestic tyranny in any shape but man's!

No wonder Miss Lucinda took kindly to the pig, who had a house of his
own, and a servant, as it were, to the avoidance of all trouble on her
part,--the pig who capered for joy when she or Fun approached, and had
so much expression in his physiognomy that one almost expected to see
him smile. Many a sympathizing conference Miss Lucinda held with Israel
over the perfections of Piggy, as he leaned against the sty and looked
over at his favorite after this last chore was accomplished.

"I say for 't," exclaimed the old man, one day, "I b'lieve that cre'tur'
knows enough to be professor in a college. Why, he talks! he re'lly
doos: a leetle through his nose, maybe, but no more 'n Dr. Colton allers
does,--'n' I declare he appears to have abaout as much sense. I never
see the equal of him. I thought he'd 'a larfed right out yesterday, when
I gin him that mess o' corn: he got up onto his forelegs on the trough,
an' he winked them knowin' eyes o' his'n, an' waggled his tail, an' then
he set off an' capered round till he come bunt up ag'inst the boards. I
tell _you_,--that sorter sobered him; he gin a growlin' grunt, an' shook
his ears, an' looked sideways at me, and then he put to and eet up that
corn as sober as a judge. I swan! he doos beat the Dutch!"

But there was one calculation forgotten both by Miss Lucinda and Israel:
the pig would grow,--and in consequence, as I said before, Miss Lucinda
came to grief; for when the census-taker tinkled her sharp little
door-bell, it called her from a laborious occupation at the sty,--no
more and no less than trying to nail up a board that Piggy had torn down
in struggling to get out of his durance. He had grown so large that Miss
Lucinda was afraid of him; his long legs and their vivacious motion
added to the shrewd intelligence of his eyes, and his nose seemed as
formidable to this poor little woman as the tusk of a rhinoceros: but
what should she do with him? One might as well have proposed to her to
kill and cut up Israel as to consign Piggy to the "fate of race." She
could not turn him into the street to starve, for she loved him; and the
old maid suffered from a constancy that might have made some good man
happy, but only embarrassed her with the pig. She could not keep him
forever,--that was evident; she knew enough to be aware that time
would increase his disabilities as a pet, and he was an expensive one
now,--for the corn-swallowing capacities of a pig, one of the "racer"
breed, are almost incredible, and nothing about Miss Lucinda wanted for
food even to fatness. Besides, he was getting too big for his pen, and
so "cute" an animal could not be debarred from all out-door pleasures,
and tantalized by the sight of a green and growing garden before his
eyes continually, without making an effort to partake of its delights.
So, when Miss Lucinda indued herself with her brown linen sack and
sun-bonnet to go and weed her carrot-patch, she was arrested on the way
by a loud grunting and scrambling in Piggy's quarter, and found to her
distress that he had contrived to knock off the upper board from his
pen. She had no hammer at hand; so she seized a large stone that lay
near by and pounded at the board till the twice-tinkling bell recalled
her to the house, and as soon as she had made confession to the
census-taker she went back,--alas, too late! Piggy had redoubled his
efforts, another board had yielded, and he was free! What a thing
freedom is! how objectionable in practice, how splendid in theory! More
people than Miss Lucinda have been put to their wits' end when "Hoggie"
burst his bonds and became rampant instead of couchant. But he enjoyed
it; he made the tour of the garden on a delightful canter, brandishing
his tail with an air of defiance that daunted his mistress at once, and
regarding her with his small bright eyes as if he would before long
taste her and see if she was as crisp as she looked. She retreated
forthwith to the shed and caught up a broom with which she courageously
charged upon Piggy, and was routed entirely; for, being no way alarmed
by her demonstration, the creature capered directly at her, knocked her
down, knocked the broom out of her hand, and capered away again to the
young carrot-patch.

"Oh, dear!" said Miss Manners, gathering herself up from the
ground,--"if there only was a man here!"

Suddenly she betook herself to her heels,--for the animal looked at her,
and stopped eating: that was enough to drive Miss Lucinda off the field.
And now, quite desperate, she rushed through the house and out of the
front-door, actually in search of a man! Just down the street she saw
one. Had she been composed, she might have noticed the threadbare
cleanliness of his dress, the odd cap that crowned his iron-gray locks,
and the peculiar manner of his walk; for our little old maid had
stumbled upon no less a person than Monsieur Jean Leclerc, the
dancing-master of Dalton. Not that this accomplishment was much in
vogue in the embryo city; but still there were a few who liked to fit
themselves for firemen's balls and sleighing-party frolics, and quite a
large class of children were learning betimes such graces as children in
New England receive more easily than their elders. Monsieur Leclerc had
just enough scholars to keep his coat threadbare and restrict him to
necessities; but he lived, and was independent. All this Miss Lucinda
was ignorant of; she only saw a man, and, with the instinct of the sex
in trouble or danger, she appealed to him at once.

"Oh, Sir! won't you step in and help me? My pig has got out, and I can't
catch him, and he is ruining my garden!"

"Madame, I shall!" replied the Frenchman, bowing low, and assuming the
first position.

So Monsieur Leclerc followed Miss Manners, and supplied himself with a
mop that was hanging in the shed as his best weapon. Dire was the battle
between the pig and the Frenchman. They skipped past each other and back
again as if they were practising for a cotillon. Piggy had four legs,
which gave him a certain advantage; but the Frenchman had most brain,
and in the long run brain gets the better of legs. A weary dance they
led each other, but after a while the pet was hemmed in a corner, and
Miss Lucinda had run for a rope to tie him, when, just as she returned,
the beast made a desperate charge, upset his opponent, and giving a leap
in the wrong direction, to his manifest astonishment, landed in his own
sty! Miss Lucinda's courage rose; she forgot her prostrate friend in
need, and, running to the pen, caught up hammer and nail-box on her way,
and, with unusual energy, nailed up the bars stronger than ever, and
then bethought herself to thank the stranger. But there he lay quite
still and pale.

"Dear me!" said Miss Manners, "I hope you haven't hurt yourself, Sir?"

"I have fear that I am hurt, Madame," said he, trying to smile. "I
cannot to move but it pains me."

"Where is it? Is it your leg or your arm? Try and move one at a time,"
said Miss Lucinda, promptly.

The left leg was helpless, it could not answer to the effort, and the
stranger lay back on the ground pale with the pain. Miss Lucinda took
her lavender-bottle out of her pocket and softly bathed his head and
face; then she took off her sack and folded it up under his head, and
put the lavender beside him. She was good at an emergency, and she
showed it.

"You must lie quite still," said she; "you must not try to move till I
come back with help, or your leg will be hurt more."

With that she went away, and presently returned with two strong men
and the long shutter of a shop-window. To this extempore litter she
carefully moved the Frenchman, and then her neighbors lifted him and
carried him into the parlor, where Miss Lucinda's chintz lounge was
already spread with a tight-pinned sheet to receive the poor man, and
while her helpers put him to bed she put on her bonnet and ran for the
doctor.

Doctor Colton did his best for his patient, but pronounced it an
impossibility to remove him till the bone should be joined firmly, as a
thorough cure was all-essential to his professional prospects. And now,
indeed, Miss Lucinda had her hands full. A nurse could not be afforded,
but Monsieur Leclerc was added to the list of old Israel's "chores," and
what other nursing he needed Miss Lucinda was glad to do; for her kind
heart was full of self-reproaches to think it was her pig that had
knocked down the poor man, and her mop-handle that had twisted itself
across and under his leg, and aided, if not caused, its breakage. So
Israel came in four or five times a day to do what he could, and Miss
Lucinda played nurse at other times to the best of her ability. Such
flavorous gruels and porridges as she concocted! such _tisanes_ after
her guest's instructions! such dainty soups, and sweetbreads, and
cutlets, served with such neatness! After his experience of a
second-rate boarding-house, Monsieur Leclerc thought himself in a
gastronomic paradise. Moreover, these tiny meals were garnished with
flowers, which his French taste for color and decoration appreciated:
two or three stems of lilies-of-the-valley in their folded green leaves,
cool and fragrant; a moss-rosebud and a spire of purple-gray lavender
bound together with ribbon-grass; or three carnations set in glittering
myrtle-sprays, the last acquisition of the garden.

Miss Lucinda enjoyed nursing thoroughly, and a kindlier patient no woman
ever had. Her bright needle flew faster than ever through the cold linen
and flaccid cambric of the shirts and cravats she fashioned, while he
told her, in his odd idioms, stories of his life in France, and the
curious customs both of society and _cuisinerie_, with which last he
showed a surprising acquaintance. Truth to tell, when Monsieur Leclerc
said he had been a member of the Duc de Montmorenci's household,
he withheld the other half of this truth,--that he had been his
_valet-de-chambre_: but it was an hereditary service, and seemed to him
as different a thing from common servitude as a peer's office in the
bedchamber differs from a lackey's. Indeed, Monsieur Leclerc was a
gentleman in his own way,--not of blood, but of breeding; and while he
had faithfully served the "aristocrats," as his father had done before
him, he did not limit that service to their prosperity, but in their
greatest need descended to menial offices, and forgot that he could
dance and ride and fence almost as well as his young master. But a
bullet from a barricade put an end to his duty there, and he hated
utterly the democratic rule that had overturned for him both past
and future, so he escaped, and came to America, the grand resort of
refugees, where he had labored, as he best knew how, for his own
support, and kept to himself his disgust at the manners and customs of
the barbarians. Now, for the first time, he was at home and happy. Miss
Lucinda's delicate fashions suited him exactly; he adored her taste for
the beautiful, which she was unconscious of; he enjoyed her cookery, and
though he groaned within himself at the amount of debt he was incurring,
yet he took courage from her kindness to believe she would not be a hard
creditor, and, being naturally cheerful, put aside his anxieties and
amused himself as well as her with his stories, his quavering songs, his
recipes for _pot-au-feu_, _tísane_, and _pâtés_, at once economical and
savory. Never had a leg of lamb or a piece of roast beef gone so far
in her domestic experience, a chicken seemed almost to outlive its
usefulness in its various forms of reappearance, and the salads he
devised were as wonderful as the omelets he superintended, or the gay
dances he played on his beloved violin, as soon as he could sit up
enough to manage it. Moreover,--I should say _mostover_, if the word
were admissible,--Monsieur Leclerc lifted a great weight before long
from Miss Lucinda's mind. He began by subduing Fun to his proper place
by a mild determination that completely won the dog's heart. "Women and
spaniels," the world knows, "like kicking"; and though kicks were no
part of the good man's Rareyfaction of Fun, he certainly used a certain
amount of coercion, and the dog's lawful owner admired the skill of the
teacher and enjoyed the better manners of the pupil thoroughly; she
could do twice as much sewing now, and never were her nights disturbed
by a bark, for the dog crouched by his new friend's bed in the parlor
and lay quiet there. Toby was next undertaken, and proved less amenable
to discipline; he stood in some slight awe of the man who tried to teach
him, but still continued to sally out at Miss Lucinda's feet, to spring
at her caressing hand when he felt ill-humored, and to claw Fun's
patient nose and his approaching paws when his misplaced sentimentality
led him to caress the cat; but after a while a few well-timed slaps
administered with vigor cured Toby of his worst tricks, though every
blow made Miss Lucinda wince, and almost shook her good opinion of
Monsieur Leclerc: for in these long weeks he had wrought out a good
opinion of himself in her mind, much to her own surprise; she could not
have believed a man could be so polite, so gentle, so patient, and above
all so capable of ruling without tyranny. Miss Lucinda was puzzled.

One day, as Monsieur Leclerc was getting better, just able to go about
on crutches, Israel came into the kitchen, and Miss Manners went out to
see him. She left the door open, and along with the odor of a pot of
raspberry-jam scalding over the fire, sending its steams of leaf-
and insect-fragrance through the little house, there came in also the
following conversation.

"Israel," said Miss Lucinda, in a hesitating and rather forlorn tone, "I
have been thinking,--I don't know what to do with Piggy. He is quite too
big for me to keep. I'm afraid of him, if he gets out; and he eats up
the garden."

"Well, that _is_ a consider'ble swaller for a pig, Miss Lucindy; but
I b'lieve you're abaout right abaout keepin' on him. He _is_ too
big,--that's a fact; but he's so like a human cre'tur', I'd jest
abaout as lieves slarter Orrin. I declare, I don't know no more 'n a
taown-haouse goose what to do with him!"

"If I gave him away, I suppose he would be fatted and killed, of
course?"

"I guess he'd be killed, likely; but as for fattenin' on him, I'd jest
as soon undertake to fatten a salt codfish. He's one o' the racers, an'
they're as holler as hogsheads: you can fill 'em up to their noses, ef
you're a mind to spend your corn, and they'll caper it all off their
bones in twenty-four haours. I b'lieve, ef they was tied neck an' heels
an' stuffed, they'd wiggle thin betwixt feedin'-times. Why, Orrin, he
raised nine on 'em, and every darned critter's as poor as Job's turkey,
to-day: they a'n't no good. I'd as lieves ha' had nine chestnut
rails,--an' a little lieveser, 'cause they don't eat nothin'."

"You don't know of any poor person who'd like to have a pig, do you?"
said Miss Lucinda, wistfully.

"Well, the poorer they was, the quicker they'd eat him up, I guess,--ef
they could eat such a razor-back."

"Oh, I don't like to think of his being eaten! I wish he could be got
rid of some other way. Don't you think he might be killed in his sleep,
Israel?"

This was a little too much for Israel. An irresistible flicker of
laughter twitched his wrinkles and bubbled in his throat.

"I think it's likely 'twould wake him up," said he, demurely. "Killin's
killin', and a cre'tur' can't sleep over it 's though 't was the
stomach-ache. I guess he'd kick some, ef he _was_ asleep,--and screech
some, too!"

"Dear me!" said Miss Lucinda, horrified at the idea. "I wish he could
be sent out to run in the woods. Are there any good woods near here,
Israel?"

"I don't know but what he'd as lieves be slartered to once as to starve,
an' be hunted down out in the lots. Besides, there a'n't nobody as I
knows of would like a hog to be a-rootin' round amongst their turnips
and young wheat."

"Well, what I shall do with him I don't know!" despairingly exclaimed
Miss Lucinda. "He was such a dear little thing when you brought him,
Israel! Do you remember how pink his pretty little nose was,--just like
a rosebud,--and how bright his eyes looked, and his cunning legs? And
now he's grown so big and fierce! But I can't help liking him, either."

"He's a cute critter, that's sartain; but he does too much rootin' to
have a pink nose now, I expect;--there's consider'ble on't, so I guess
it looks as well to have it gray. But I don't know no more 'n you do
what to do abaout it."

"If I could only get rid of him without knowing what became of him!"
exclaimed Miss Lucinda, squeezing her forefinger with great earnestness,
and looking both puzzled and pained.

"If Mees Lucinda would pairmit?" said a voice behind her.

She turned round to see Monsieur Leclerc on his crutches, just in the
parlor-door.

"I shall, Mees, myself dispose of Piggee, if it please. I can. I shall
have no sound; he shall to go away like a silent snow, to trouble you no
more, never!"

"Oh, Sir! if you could! But I don't see how!"

"If Mees was to see, it would not be to save her pain. I shall have him
to go by _magique_ to fiery land."

Fairy-land, probably! But Miss Lucinda did not perceive the _équivoque_.

"Nor yet shall I trouble Meester Israyel. I shall have the aid of myself
and one good friend that I have; and some night when you rise of the
morning, he shall not be there."

Miss Lucinda breathed a deep sigh of relief.

"I am greatly obliged,--I shall be, I mean," said she.

"Well, I'm glad enough to wash my hands on't," said Israel. "I shall
hanker arter the critter some, but he's a-gettin' too big to be handy;
'n' it's one comfort abaout critters, you ken get rid on 'em somehaow
when they're more plague than profit. But folks has got to be let alone,
excep' the Lord takes 'em; an' He don't allers see fit."

What added point and weight to these final remarks of old Israel was
the well-known fact that he suffered at home from the most pecking and
worrying of wives, and had been heard to say in some moment of unusual
frankness that he "didn't see how't could be sinful to wish Miss Slater
was in heaven, for she'd be lots better off, and other folks too!"

Miss Lucinda never knew what befell her pig one fine September night;
she did not even guess that a visit paid to Monsieur by one of his
pupils, a farmer's daughter just out of Dalton, had anything to do with
this _enlèvement_; she was sound asleep in her bed up-stairs, when
her guest shod his crutches with old gloves, and limped out to the
garden-gate by dawn, where he and the farmer tolled the animal out of
his sty and far down the street by tempting red apples, and then Farmer
Steele took possession of him, and he was seen no more. No, the first
thing Miss Lucinda knew of her riddance was when Israel put his head
into the back-door that same morning, some four hours afterward, and
said, with a significant nod,--

"He's gone!"

After all his other chores were done, Israel had a conference with
Monsieur Leclerc, and the two sallied into the garden, and in an hour
had dismantled the low dwelling, cleared away the wreck, levelled and
smoothed its site, and Monsieur, having previously provided himself with
an Isabella-grape-vine, planted it on this forsaken spot, and trained
it carefully against the end of the shed: strange to say, though it was
against all precedent to transplant a grape in September, it lived and
flourished. Miss Lucinda's gratitude to Monsieur Leclerc was altogether
disproportioned, as he thought, to his slight service. He could not
understand fully her devotion to her pets, but he respected it, and
aided it whenever he could, though he never surmised the motive that
adorned Miss Lucinda's table with such delicate superabundance after
the late departure, and laid bundles of lavender-flowers in his tiny
portmanteau till the very leather seemed to gather fragrance.

Before long, Monsieur Leclerc was well enough to resume his classes,
and return to his boarding-house; but the latter was filled, and only
offered a prospect of vacancy in some three weeks after his application;
so he returned home somewhat dejected, and as he sat by the little
parlor-fire after tea, he said to his hostess, in a reluctant tone,--

"Mees Lucinda, you have been of the kindest to the poor alien. I have it
in my mind to relieve you of this care very rapidly, but it is not in
the Fates that I do. I have gone to my house of lodgings, and they
cannot to give me a chamber as yet I have fear that I must yet rely me
on your goodness for some time more, if you can to entertain me so much
more of time?"

"Why, I shall like to, Sir," replied the kindly, simple-hearted old
maid. "I'm sure you are not a mite of trouble, and I never can forget
what you did for my pig."

A smile flitted across the Frenchman's thin, dark face, and he watched
her glittering needles a few minutes in silence before he spoke again.

"But I have other things to say of the most unpleasant to me, Mees
Lucinda. I have a great debt for the goodness and care you to me have
lavished. To the angels of the good God we must submit to be debtors,
but there are also of mortal obligations. I have lodged in your mansion
for more of ten weeks, and to you I pay yet no silver, but it is that I
have it not at present--I must ask of your goodness to wait."

The old maid's shining black eyes grew soft as she looked at him.

"Why!" said she, "I don't think you owe me much of anything, Mr.
Leclerc. I never knew things last as they have since you came. I really
think you brought a blessing. I wish you would please to think you don't
owe me anything."

The Frenchman's great brown eyes shone with suspicious dew.

"I cannot to forget that I owe to you far more than any silver of man
repays; but I should not think to forget that I also owe to you silver,
or I should not be worthy of a man's name. No, Mees! I have two hands
and legs. I will not let a woman most solitary spend for me her good
self."

"Well," said Miss Lucinda, "if you will be uneasy till you pay me, I
would rather have another kind of pay than money. I should like to know
how to dance. I never did learn, when I was a girl, and I think it would
be good exercise."

Miss Lucinda supported this pious fiction through with a simplicity that
quite deceived the Frenchman. He did not think it so incongruous as it
was. He had seen women of sixty, rouged, and jewelled, and furbelowed,
foot it deftly in the halls of the Faubourg St. Germain in his earliest
youth; and this cheery, healthy woman, with lingering blooms on either
cheek, and uncapped head of curly black hair but slightly strewn with
silver, seemed quite as fit a subject for the accomplishment. Besides,
he was poor,--and this offered so easy a way of paying the debt he had
so dreaded! Well said Solomon,--"The destruction of the poor is their
poverty!" For whose moral sense, delicate sensitivenesses, generous
longings, will not sometimes give way to the stringent need of food and
clothing, the gall of indebtedness, and the sinking consciousness of an
empty purse and threatening possibilities?

Monsieur Leclerc's face brightened.

"Ah! with what grand pleasure shall I teach you the dance!"

But it fell dark again as he proceeded,--

"Though not one, nor two, nor three, nor four quarters shall be of value
sufficient to achieve my payment."

"Then, if that troubles you, why, I should like to take some French
lessons in the evening, when you don't have classes. I learned French
when I was quite a girl, but not to speak it very easily; and if I could
get some practice and the right way to speak, I should be glad."

"And I shall give you the real _Parisien_ tone, Mees Lucinda!" said he,
proudly. "I shall be as if it were no more an exile when I repeat my
tongue to you!"

And so it was settled. Why Miss Lucinda should learn French any more
than dancing was not a question in Monsieur Leclerc's mind. It is true,
that Chaldaic would, in all probability, be as useful to our friend as
French; and the flying over poles and hanging by toes and fingers, so
eloquently described by the Apostle of the Body in these "Atlantic"
pages, would have been as well adapted to her style and capacity as
dancing;--but his own language, and his own profession! what man would
not have regarded these as indispensable to improvement, particularly
when they paid his board?

During the latter three weeks of Monsieur Leclerc's stay with Miss
Lucinda he made himself surprisingly useful. He listed the doors against
approaching winter breezes,--he weeded in the garden,--trimmed, tied,
trained, wherever either good office was needed,--mended china with an
infallible cement, and rickety chairs with the skill of a cabinet-maker;
and whatever hard or dirty work he did, he always presented himself at
table in a state of scrupulous neatness: his long brown hands showed no
trace of labor; his iron-gray hair was reduced to smoothest order;
his coat speckless, if threadbare; and he ate like a gentleman, an
accomplishment not always to be found in the "best society," as the
phrase goes,--whether the best in fact ever lacks it is another thing.
Miss Lucinda appreciated these traits,--they set her at ease; and a
pleasanter home-life could scarce be painted than now enlivened the
little wooden house. But three weeks pass away rapidly; and when the
rusty portmanteau was gone from her spare chamber, and the well-worn
boots from the kitchen-corner, and the hat from its nail, Miss Lucinda
began to find herself wonderfully lonely. She missed the armfuls of wood
in her wood-box, that she had to fill laboriously, two sticks at a time;
she missed the other plate at her tiny round table, the other chair
beside her fire; she missed that dark, thin, sensitive face, with its
rare and sweet smile; she wanted her story-teller, her yarn-winder,
her protector, back again. Good gracious! to think of an old lady of
forty-seven entertaining such sentiments for a man!

Presently the dancing-lessons commenced. It was thought advisable that
Miss Manners should enter a class, and, in the fervency of her good
intentions, she did not demur. But gratitude and respect had to strangle
with persistent hands the little serpents of the ridiculous in Monsieur
Leclerc's soul, when he beheld his pupil's first appearance. What reason
was it, O rose of seventeen, adorning thyself with cloudy films of lace
and sparks of jewelry before the mirror that reflects youth and beauty,
that made Miss Lucinda array herself in a brand-new dress of yellow
muslin-de-laine strewed with round green spots, and displace her
customary hand-kerchief for a huge tamboured collar, on this eventful
occasion? Why, oh, why did she tie up the roots of her black hair with
an unconcealable scarlet string? And most of all, why was her dress
so short, her slipper-strings so big and broad, her thick slippers so
shapeless by reason of the corns and bunions that pertained to the feet
within? The "instantaneous rush of several guardian angels" that once
stood dear old Hepzibah Pynchon in good stead was wanting here,--or
perhaps they stood by all-invisible, their calm eyes softened with love
deeper than tears, at this spectacle so ludicrous to man, beholding in
the grotesque dress and adornments only the budding of life's divinest
blossom, and in the strange skips and hops of her first attempts at
dancing only the buoyancy of those inner wings that goodness and
generosity and pure self-devotion were shaping for a future strong and
stately flight upward. However, men, women, and children do not see
with angelic eyes, and the titterings of her fellow-pupils were
irrepressible; one bouncing girl nearly choked herself with her
hand-kerchief trying not to laugh, and two or three did not even try.
Monsieur Leclerc could not blame them,--at first he could scarce control
his own facial muscles; but a sense of remorse smote him, as he saw how
unconscious and earnest the little woman was, and remembered how often
those knotty hands and knobbed feet had waited on his need or his
comfort. Presently he tapped on his violin for a few moments' respite,
and approached Miss Lucinda as respectfully as if she had been a queen.

"You are ver' tired, Mees Lucinda?" said he.

"I am a little, Sir," said she, out of breath. "I am not used to
dancing; it's quite an exertion."

"It is that truly. If you are too much tired, is it better to wait?
I shall finish for you the lesson till I come to-night for a French
conversation?"

"I guess I will go home," said the simple little lady. "I am some afraid
of getting rheumatism; but use makes perfect, and I shall stay through
next time, no doubt."

"So I believe," said Monsieur, with his best bow, as Miss Lucinda
departed and went home, pondering all the way what special delicacy she
should provide for tea.

"My dear young friends," said Monsieur Leclerc, pausing with the
uplifted bow in his hand, before he recommenced his lesson, "I have
observe that my new pupil does make you much to laugh. I am not so
surprise, for you do not know all, and the good God does not robe all
angels in one manner; but she have taken me to her mansion with a leg
broken, and have nursed me like a saint of the blessed, nor with any pay
of silver except that I teach her the dance and the French. They are
pay for the meat and the drink, but she will have no more for her good
patience and care. I like to teach you the dance, but she could teach
you the saints' ways, which are better. I think you will no more to
laugh."

"No! I guess we _won't_!" said the bouncing girl with great emphasis,
and the color rose over more than one young face.

After that day Miss Lucinda received many a kind smile and hearty
welcome, and never did anybody venture even a grimace at her expense.
But it must be acknowledged that her dancing was at least peculiar.
With a sanitary view of the matter, she meant to make it exercise,
and fearful was the skipping that ensued. She chassed on tiptoe, and
balanced with an indescribable hopping twirl, that made one think of a
chickadee pursuing its quest of food on new-ploughed ground; and some
late-awakened feminine instinct of dress, restrained, too, by due
economy, indued her with the oddest decorations that woman ever devised.
The French lessons went on more smoothly. If Monsieur Leclerc's Parisian
ear was tortured by the barbarous accent of Vermont, at least he bore it
with heroism, since there was nobody else to hear; and very pleasant,
both to our little lady and her master, were these long winter evenings,
when they diligently waded through Racine, and even got as far as the
golden periods of Chateaubriand. The pets fared badly for petting in
these days; they were fed and waited on, but not with the old devotion;
it began to dawn on Miss Lucinda's mind that something to talk to was
preferable, as a companion, even to Fun, and that there might be a
stranger sweetness in receiving care and protection than in giving it.

Spring came at last. Its softer skies were as blue over Dalton as in
the wide fields without, and its footsteps as bloom-bringing in Miss
Lucinda's garden as in mead or forest. Now Monsieur Leclerc came to
her aid again at odd minutes, and set her flower-beds with mignonette
borders, and her vegetable-garden with salad herbs of new and
flourishing kinds. Yet not even the sweet season seemed to hurry the
catastrophe that we hope, dearest reader, thy tender eyes have long seen
impending. No, for this quaint alliance a quainter Cupid waited,--the
chubby little fellow with a big head and a little arrow, who waits on
youth and loveliness, was not wanted here. Lucinda's God of Love wore a
lank, hard-featured, grizzly shape, no less than that of Israel Slater,
who marched into the garden one fine June morning, earlier than
usual, to find Monsieur in his blouse, hard at work weeding the
cauliflower-bed.

"Good mornin', Sir! good mornin'!" said Israel, in answer to the
Frenchman's greeting. "This is a real slick little garden-spot as ever I
see, and a pootty house, and a real clever woman too. I'll be skwitched,
ef it a'n't a fust-rate consarn, the hull on't. Be you ever a-goin' back
to France, Mister?"

"No, my goot friend. I have nobody there. I stay here; I have friend
here: but there,--_oh, non! je ne reviendrai pas! ah, jamais! jamais!_"

"Pa's dead, eh? or shamming? Well, I don't understand your lingo; but ef
you're a-goin' to stay here, I don't see why you don't hitch hosses with
Miss Lucindy."

Monsieur Leclerc looked up astonished.

"Horses, my friend? I have no horse!"

"Thunder 'n' dry trees! I didn't say you hed, did I? But that comes o'
usin' what Parson Hyde calls figgurs, I s'pose. I wish't he'd use one
kind o' figgurin' a leetle more; he'd pay me for that wood-sawin'. I
didn't mean nothin' about hosses. I sot out fur to say, Why don't ye
marry Miss Lucindy?"

"I?" gasped Monsieur,--"I, the foreign, the poor? I could not to presume
so!"

"Well, I don't see 's it's sech drefful presumption. Ef you're poor,
she's a woman, and real lonesome too; she ha'n't got nuther chick nor
child belongin' to her, and you're the only man she ever took any kind
of a notion to. I guess 't would be jest as much for her good as yourn."

"Hush, good Is-ray-el! it is good to stop there. She would not to marry
after such years of goodness: she is a saint of the blessed."

"Well, I guess saints sometimes fellerships with sinners; I've heerd
tell they did; and ef I was you, I'd make trial for 't. Nothin' ventur',
nothin' have."

Whereupon Israel walked off, whistling.

Monsieur Leclerc's soul was perturbed within him by these suggestions;
he pulled up two young cauliflowers and reset their places with
pigweeds; he hoed the nicely sloped border of the bed flat to the path,
and then flung the hoe across the walk, and went off to his daily
occupation with a new idea in his head. Nor was it an unpleasant one.
The idea of a transition from his squalid and pinching boarding-house to
the delicate comfort of Miss Lucinda's _ménage_, the prospect of so kind
and good a wife to care for his hitherto dreaded future,--all this was
pleasant. I cannot honestly say he was in love with our friend; I must
even confess that whatever element of that nature existed between the
two was now all on Miss Lucinda's side, little as she knew it. Certain
it is, that, when she appeared that day at the dancing-class in a new
green calico flowered with purple, and bows on her slippers big enough
for a bonnet, it occurred to Monsieur Leclerc, that, if they were
married, she would take no more lessons! However, let us not blame him;
he was a man, and a poor one; one must not expect too much from men, or
from poverty; if they are tolerably good, let us canonize them even, it
is so hard for the poor creatures! And to do Monsieur Leclerc justice,
he had a very thorough respect and admiration for Miss Lucinda. Years
ago, in his stormy youth-time, there had been a pair of soft-fringed
eyes that looked into his as none would ever look again,--and they
murdered her, those mad wild beasts of Paris, in the chapel where she
knelt at her pure prayers,--murdered her because she knelt beside an
aristocrat, her best friend, the Duchess of Montmorenci, who had taken
the pretty peasant from her own estate to bring her up for her maid.
Jean Leclerc had lifted that pale shape from the pavement and buried it
himself; what else he buried with it was invisible; but now he recalled
the hour with a long, shuddering sigh, and, hiding his face in his
hands, said softly, "The violet is dead,--there is no spring for her. I
will have now an amaranth,--it is good for the tomb."

Whether Miss Lucinda's winter dress suggested this floral metaphor let
us not inquire. Sacred be sentiment,--when there is even a shadow of
reality about it!--when it becomes a profession, and confounds itself
with millinery and shades of mourning, it is--"bosh," as the Turkeys
say.

So that very evening Monsieur Leclerc arrayed himself in his best, to
give another lesson to Miss Lucinda. But, somehow or other, the lesson
was long in beginning; the little parlor looked so home-like and so
pleasant, with its bright lamp and gay bunch of roses on the table, that
it was irresistible temptation to lounge and linger. Miss Lucinda had
the volume of Florian in her hands, and was wondering why he did not
begin, when the book was drawn away, and a hand laid on both of hers.

"Lucinda!" he began, "I give you no lesson to-night. I have to ask. Dear
Mees, will you to marry your poor slave?"

"Oh, dear!" said Miss Lucinda.

Don't laugh at her, Miss Tender-eyes! You will feel just so yourself
some day, when Alexander Augustus says, "Will you be mine, loveliest of
jour sex?" only you won't feel it half so strongly, for you are young,
and love is Nature to youth, but it is a heavenly surprise to age.

Monsieur Leclerc said nothing. He had a heart after all, and it was
touched now by the deep emotion that flushed Miss Lucinda's face, and
made her tremble so violently,--but presently he spoke.

"Do not!" said he. "I am wrong. I presume. Forgive the stranger!"

"Oh, dear!" said poor Lucinda again,--"oh, you know it isn't that! but
how can you like _me_?"

There, Mademoiselle! there's humility for you! _you_ will never say that
to Alexander Augustus!

Monsieur Leclerc soothed this frightened, happy, incredulous little
woman into quiet before very long; and if he really began to feel a true
affection for her from the moment he perceived her humble and entire
devotion to him, who shall blame him? Not I. If we were all heroes, who
would be _valet-de-chambre_? if we were all women, who would be men? He
was very good as far as he went; and if you expect the chivalries of
grace out of Nature, you "may expect," as old Fuller saith. So it was
peacefully settled that they should be married, with a due amount of
tears and smiles on Lucinda's part, and a great deal of tender sincerity
on Monsieur's. She missed her dancing-lesson next day, and when Monsieur
Leclerc came in the evening he found a shade on her happy face.

"Oh, dear!" said she, as he entered.

"Oh, dear!" was Lucinda's favorite aspiration. Had she thought of it as
an Anglicizing of "_O Dieu_!" perhaps she would have dropped it; but
this time she went on headlong, with a valorous despair,--

"I have thought of something! I'm afraid I can't! Monsieur, aren't you a
Romanist?"

"What is that?" said he, surprised.

"A Papist,--a Catholic!"

"Ah!" he returned, sighing, "once I was _bon Catholique_,--once in my
gone youth; after then I was nothing but the poor man who bats for his
life; now I am of the religion that shelters the stranger and binds up
the broken poor."

Monsieur was a diplomatist. This melted Miss Lucinda's orthodoxy right
down; she only said,--

"Then you will go to church with me?"

"And to the skies above, I pray," said Monsieur, kissing her knotty hand
like a lover.

So in the earliest autumn they were married, Monsieur having previously
presented Miss Lucinda with a delicate plaided gray silk for her wedding
attire, in which she looked almost young; and old Israel was present
at the ceremony, which was briefly performed by Parson Hyde in Miss
Manners's parlor. They did not go to Niagara, nor to Newport; but that
afternoon Monsieur Leclerc brought a hired rockaway to the door, and
took his bride a drive into the country. They stopped beside a pair of
bars, where Monsieur hitched his horse, and, taking Lucinda by the
hand, led her into Farmer Steele's orchard, to the foot of his biggest
apple-tree. There she beheld a little mound, at the head and foot of
which stood a daily rose-bush shedding its latest wreaths of bloom, and
upon the mound itself was laid a board on which she read,

"Here lie the bones of poor Piggy."

Mrs. Lucinda burst into tears, and Monsieur, picking a bud from the
bush, placed it in her hand, and led her tenderly back to the rockaway.

That evening Mrs. Lucinda was telling the affair to old Israel with so
much feeling that she did not perceive at all the odd commotion in his
face, till, as she repeated the epitaph to him, he burst out with,--"He
didn't say what become o' the flesh, did he?"--and therewith fled
through the kitchen-door. For years afterward Israel would entertain a
few favored auditors with his opinion of the matter, screaming till the
tears rolled down his cheeks,--

"That was the beateree of all the weddin'-towers I ever heerd tell on.
Goodness! it's enough to make the Wanderin' Jew die o' larfin'!"

       *       *       *       *       *


A SOLDIER'S ANCESTRY.


  When Nadir asked a princess for his son,
    And Delhi's throne required his pedigree,
  He stared upon the messenger as one
    Who should have known his birth of bravery.

  "Go back," he cried, in undissembled scorn,
    "And bear this answer to your waiting lord:--
  'My child is noble! for, though lowly born,
    He is the son and grandson of the _Sword_!'"



FIBRILIA.


There are not a few timid souls who imagine that England is falling into
decay. Our Cousin John is apt to complain. He has been accustomed to
enlarge upon his debts, his church-rates and poor-rates, his taxes on
air, light, motion, "everything, from the ribbons of the bride to the
brass nails of the coffin," upon the wages of his servants both on the
land and the water, upon his Irish famine and exodus, and his vast
expenses at home and abroad. And when we consider how small is his
homestead, a few islands in a high latitude inferior to those of Japan
in size and climate, and how many of his family have left him to better
their condition, one might easily conclude that he had passed his
meridian, and that his prospects were as cloudy as his atmosphere.

But our Cousin John, with a strong constitution, is in a green old age,
and still knows how to manage his property.

Within the last two years he has quietly extinguished sixty millions of
his debts in terminable annuities. He has improved his outlying lands
of Scotland and Ireland, ransacked the battle-fields of Europe for
bone-dust and the isles of the Pacific for guano, and imported enough to
fertilize four millions of acres, and, not content with the produce of
his home-farm, imports the present year more than four millions of tons
of grain and corn to feed nineteen millions of his people.

He has carried his annual exports up to six hundred and thirty millions
of dollars, and importing more than he exports still leaves the world
his debtor. He has a strong fancy for new possessions, and selects the
most productive spots for his plantations. When he desired muslin,
calico, and camel's-hair shawls for his family, he put his finger on
India; and when he called for those great staples of commerce, indigo,
saltpetre, jute, flax, and linseed, India sent them at his bidding. When
he required coffee, he found Ceylon a Spice Island, and at his demand
it furnished him with an annual supply of sixty millions of pounds. He
required more sugar for his coffee, and by shipping a few coolies from
Calcutta and Bombay to the Mauritius, once the Isle of France, it yields
him annually two hundred and forty million pounds of sugar, more than
St. Domingo ever yielded in the palmy days of slavery. He wanted wool,
and his flocks soon overspread the plains of Australia, tendering him
the finest fleeces, and his shepherds improved their leisure not in
playing like Tityrus on the reed, but in opening for him mines of copper
and gold. He had his eye on California, but Fremont was too quick for
him, and he now contents himself with pocketing a large proportion of
her gold, to say nothing of the silver of Mexico and Peru.

Wherever there is a canal to be excavated, a railway to be built, or a
line of steamers to be established, our Cousin John is ready with a full
purse to favor the enterprise. He turns even his sailors and soldiers to
good account: the other day he subdued one hundred and fifty millions of
rebels in the Indies, and then we find him dictating a treaty of
peace and a tribute to the Emperor of China from the ruins of his
summer-palace and the walls of Pekin. Although generally well disposed,
especially towards his kith and kin this side the water, he is choleric,
and if his best customers treat him ill, he does not hesitate to knock
them down. Although dependent on Russia for his hemp and naval
stores, and on China for his raw silk and teas, he suffers no such
considerations to deter him from fighting, and usually gets some
advantage when he comes to terms. He is belting the world with colonies,
and forming agencies for his children wherever he can send the
messengers of his commerce. At this very moment he is considering
whether he shall transport coolies from China to Australia, Natal, or
the Feegee Islands, to raise his cotton and help put down Secession and
export-duties, or whether he shall give a new stimulus to India cotton
by railways and irrigation. He seems to prosper in all his business;
for the "Edinburgh Review" reports him worth six thousand millions of
pounds, at least,--a very comfortable provision for his family.

The wealth and power of Great Britain are supposed to rest upon her
mines of iron and coal. These undoubtedly help to sustain the fabric.
With her iron and coal, she fashions and propels the winged Mercuries
of her commerce; with these and the clay that underlies her soil, she
erects her factories and workshops; these form the Briarean arms by
which she fabricates her tissues. But it is by more minute columns than
these, it is by the hollow tubes revealed by the microscope, the fibres
of silk, wool, and flax, hemp, jute, and cotton, that she sustains the
great structure of her wealth. These she spins, weaves, and prints into
draperies which exact a tribute from the world. During the year 1860
Great Britain imported or produced a million tons of such fibres, an
amount equal to five million bales of cotton, more than one-half of
which were in cotton alone. These fibres it is our purpose to examine.

       *       *       *       *       *

The thread of the silk-worm came early into use. The Chinese ascribe its
introduction to the wife of one of their emperors, to whom divine honors
were subsequently paid. Until the Christian era silk was little known in
Europe or Western Asia. It is mentioned but three times in the common
version of the Old Testament, and in each case the accuracy of the
translation is questioned by German critics. It is, however, distinctly
alluded to by St. John, by Aristotle, and by the poets who flourished at
the court of Augustus, Virgil, Horace, and Tibullus, and is referred to
by the writers of the first four centuries. Tertullian, in his homily on
Female Attire, tells the ladies,--"Clothe yourselves with the silk of
truth, with the fine linen of sanctity, and the purple of modesty." The
golden-mouthed St. Chrisostom writes in his Homilies,--"Does the rich
man wear silken shawls? His soul is in tatters." "Silken shawls are
beautiful, but they are the production of worms."

The silken thread was early introduced. Galen recommends it for tying
blood-vessels in surgical operations, and remarks that the rich ladies
in the cities of the Roman Empire generally possessed such thread; he
alludes also to shawls interwoven with gold, the material of which is
brought from a distance, and is called _Sericum_, or silk. Down to the
time of the Emperor Aurelian silk was of great value, and used only by
the rich. His biographer informs us that Aurelian neither had himself
in his wardrobe a garment composed wholly of silk, nor presented any to
others, and when his own wife begged him to allow her a single shawl
of purple silk, he replied,--"Far be it from me to permit thread to be
balanced with its weight in gold!"--for a pound of gold was then the
price of a pound of silk.

Silk is mentioned in some very ancient Arabic inscriptions; but down to
the reign of the Emperor Justinian was imported into Europe from the
country of the Seres, a people of Eastern Asia, supposed to be the
Chinese, from, whom it derived its name. During the reign of Justinian
two monks brought the eggs of the silkworm to Byzantium from Serinda in
India, and the manufacture of silk became a royal monopoly of the Roman
Empire.

From Greece the culture of silk was gradually carried into Italy and
Spain, and English abbots and bishops often returned from Rome with
vestments of silk and gold. Silken threads are attached to the covers of
ancient English manuscripts. Silk in the form of velvet may be seen on
some of the ancient armor in the Tower of London; and portions of silk
garments were found in 1827 in the Cathedral of Durham, on opening the
tomb of St. Cuthbert. The use of silk, however, was so rare in England
down to the time of the Tudors, that a pair of silk hose formed an
acceptable present to Queen Elizabeth.

The principal supply of raw silk is now derived from China, where silks
are much worn, and there Marco Polo several centuries since found silk
robes in very general use. Japan also abounds in silk, and the late
Japanese embassy and suite were arrayed in garments of that material.

The annual consumption of raw silk in Great Britain now averages seven
millions of pounds, and the value of the annual export of silk fabrics
is not far from ten millions of dollars.

The manufacture of silk was introduced into England by the French
Protestants who were driven into exile on the revocation of the Edict of
Nantes. Their descendants are still found in London and Coventry, where
the silk-trade has been long established, and is now going through the
ordeal to which it has been exposed by the new treaty with France.

The French undoubtedly take the lead in silk fabrics, for which they are
admirably qualified by exquisite taste and great artistic skill; but
the silk manufacture in England is now so interwoven, in many of its
branches, with the manufacture of wool and cotton, and aided by improved
machinery, that it may be considered as firmly established.

Our own climate is well adapted to the silk-worm, and we have had our
_Morus-multicaulis_ fever; but so light is the freight on silk compared
with its value, that we must defer our hope of any extended growth until
the price of labor in Europe approaches nearer to our own, or until the
excess of production in other branches shall divert genius into this
channel, in which it will eventually cheapen production by machinery as
it has done in other enterprises.

       *       *       *       *       *

We read in the classics of the Colchian and Milesian fleeces, of the
soft wools of Italy, and of the transfer of sheep from Italy to Bastica,
in Spain. Italy and Spain were both adapted to sheep husbandry. Virgil
writes,--

  "Hic gelidi fontes, hie mollia prata, Lycori";

while Spain, with her alternations of hill and dale and her varying
climate, was eminently fitted for the pasturage of sheep. Even in
ancient times Spain furnished wool of great fineness and of various
colors, and cloths like the modern plaids were woven there from wool of
different shades. Sometimes the Spanish sheep was immersed alive in the
Tyrian purple.

In modern times, the sheep of Spain have been introduced into France
and Germany, and from them have sprung the French merino and Saxony
varieties. These again have been exported to Natal and Australia.

Before the American Revolution, the sheep of this country furnished a
wool so coarse that English travellers reported that America could never
compete with England in broadcloth. But when the French armies overran
Spain, the vast flocks of merinos which annually traversed the country
in search of fresh pasturage were driven into Portugal, and by the
enterprise of Messrs. Jarvis, Derby, and Humphrey, large numbers of them
were imported into our Northern States. These have improved our wool,
until now it surpasses the English in fineness.

The fine-wool sheep thrive most in a dry climate and elevated country.
We learn from Strabo, Columella, and Martial, that the fine wool
of Italy was raised principally among the Apennines; and in Spain,
Estremadura, a part of the ancient Baetica, is still famous for its
wool. There the Spanish flocks winter, and thence in spring are sent to
pasture in the mountains of Leon and Asturias. Other flocks are led
in the same season from great distances to the heights of the Sierra
Morena, where the vegetation is remarkably favorable to improvement of
the wool.

In this country, the elevated lands of Texas and New Mexico are
admirably adapted to the fine-wool sheep; and upon the head-waters of
the Missouri and the Yellowstone is another district much resembling the
Spanish sheep-walks, where the mountain-sheep and the antelope still
predominate.

When Caesar invaded England he found there great numbers of flocks, and
for many centuries wool was the great staple of English exports; but
during the reign of Queen Elizabeth numerous artisans were driven from
Brabant and Flanders by the Duke of Alva, and the manufacture of wool,
which had enriched the Low Countries, was permanently established in
England.

With the progress of agriculture, the turnip-culture enabled Great
Britain to increase the number of her sheep; but they were raised more
for the market than for their fleeces, which were rarely fine, and the
demand for wool soon exceeded the supply. England then opened her ports
to the free importation of wool from every region, and now annually
manufactures two hundred millions of pounds, twice the amount
manufactured in this country, of which two-thirds are drawn from distant
lands, and her export of woollens for 1860 exceeded one hundred millions
of dollars.

The same policy which has built up this vast manufacture, namely, the
free importation of the raw material and of every article used in its
manufacture, with a moderate duty on foreign cloths, will enable us to
compete with England. Our farmers' wives prefer the sheep-husbandry to
the care of the dairy; much of our land furnishes cheap pasturage, and
the prices of mutton are remunerative; but many of the low grades of
wool come from abroad, and the mill-owner will not embark largely in
the manufacture, unless he can purchase his materials as cheaply as his
foreign competitor.

       *       *       *       *       *

Cotton is mentioned by Herodotus five centuries before the Christian
era. He alludes to the cotton-trees of India, and describes a cuirass
sent from Egypt to the King of Sparta embellished with gold and with
fleeces from trees. Theophrastus, the disciple of Aristotle, notices
the growth of cotton both in India and Arabia, and observes that the
cotton-plants of India have a leaf like the black mulberry, and are set
on the plains in rows, resembling vines in the distance. On the Persian
Gulf he noticed that they bore no fruit, but a capsule about the size of
a quince, which, when ripe, expanded so as to set free the wool, which
was woven into cloth of various kinds, both very cheap and of great
value.

The cotton-plant was observed by the Greeks who accompanied Alexander
in his march to India: and his officers have left a description of the
cotton dress and turban which formed the costume of the natives at that
remote period.

Cotton early found its way into Egypt, then the seat of arts and of
commerce; for Pliny in his "Natural History" informs us that "in Upper
Egypt, towards Arabia, there grows a shrub which some call _Gossypion_
and others _Xylon_. It is small, and bears a fruit resembling the
filbert, within which is a downy wool that is spun into thread. There
is nothing to be preferred to these stuffs for whiteness or softness.
Beautiful garments are made from them for the priests of Egypt."

The troops of Anthony wore cotton when he visited Cleopatra, and she
was arrayed in vestments of fine muslin. It was soon after used for the
sails of vessels, and the Romans employed it for awnings in the Forum
and the Amphitheatres.

It was cultivated at an early period in the Levant, whence it was
gradually introduced into Sicily, France, and England.

Arabian travellers who reached China in the ninth century did not
observe the cotton-plant in that country, but found the natives clad in
silk.

The cotton-plant, although indigenous in India, has also been found
growing spontaneously in many parts of Africa. It was discovered by
Columbus in Hispaniola, and among the presents sent by Cortés to Charles
V. were cotton mantles, vests, and carpets of various figures, and in
the conquest of Mexico the Indian allies wore armor of quilted cotton,
impervious to arrows.

The plant of India resembles that of America in most particulars. It
is there often placed in alternate rows with rice, and after the
rice-harvest is over puts forth a beautiful yellow flower with a crimson
eye in each petal; this is succeeded by a green pod filled with a white
pulp, which as it ripens turns brown, and then separates into several
divisions containing the cotton. A luxuriant field, says Forbes in his
"Oriental Memoirs," "exhibits at the same time the expanding blossom,
the bursting capsule, and the snowy fleeces of pure cotton, and is one
of the most beautiful objects in the agriculture of Hindostan."

The manufacture of cotton in India, with very simple machinery, was
early brought to high perfection. Travellers in the ninth century
describe muslins in India which were of such fineness that they might be
drawn through a ring of moderate size; and Tavernier speaks of turbans,
composed of thirty-five ells of the cloth, which would weigh but four
ounces. Muslin has been sold in India for five hundred rupees the piece,
so fine, that, when laid upon the grass after the dew had fallen, it
was no longer visible. The patience, the nice sense of touch, and the
flexible fingers of the Hindoos have with the simplest means achieved
results in this branch of manufacture which have not been surpassed by
any people.

But this manufacture is now breathing its last; the cotton-gin, the
spinning-frame, the mule with its countless spindles, and the power-loom
are fearful competitors; and although British India still produces quite
as much cotton as our Southern States, and while she exports at least
eight hundred thousand bales annually to England and China, continues at
the same time to make the larger part of her own clothing, flourishing
cities, like Dacca and Delhi, once the seat of manufactures, are going
to decay, and a large proportion of her people, willing to toil at six
cents per day in occupations that have been transmitted for centuries
in the same families, are either driven to the culture of the fields or
compelled to spin and weave for a pittance the jute which is converted
into gunny-cloth.

When India muslins and calicoes were first imported into England, they
met with a formidable opposition. They had suddenly become fashionable,
and threatened to supersede the long-established woollens; and the
nation, in its wisdom, first prohibited the importation of these
fabrics, and then subjected them to a duty of sixpence per yard. In
France, Amiens, Rouen, and Paris protested against cotton as ruinous
to the country. But it has surmounted all these obstacles, is firmly
established in both nations, and now its manufacture gives support to
one-seventh part of the population of Great Britain, employs there
thirty-four millions of spindles, consumes annually two and a half
million bales of the raw material, and sends abroad, in addition to
thread and yarn, twenty-eight hundred million yards of fabrics, of the
aggregate value of two hundred and thirty millions of dollars.

In 1856, Great Britain derived her supply of cotton from the following
countries, namely:--

  From the United States          71     per cent.
  "   the East Indies             19      "    "
  "   Brazil                       5      "    "
  "   Egypt                        4-1/2  "    "
  "   the West Indies                1/2  "    "

But while her supply from India in the twelve years from 1845 to 1857
increased nearly two hundred per cent, namely, from two hundred thousand
to six hundred thousand bales, she has increased her exports of cotton
fabrics to that country to such an extent, that, for every pound she
imports, she returns a pound of thread and cloth enhanced at least
fourfold in value, while she returns to the United States in cotton
fabrics less than three per cent, of the cotton she receives from them.
And since 1857 such improvements have been made in the cotton-mills of
New England, that we now consume more than a million of bales annually,
and our production and export are rapidly increasing.

Some curious alternations have attended the growth and manufacture of
cotton. As machinery has improved and the cost of goods diminished, the
price of cotton has advanced and a strong stimulus been given to its
production.

New States have consequently been opened to its culture, and the
alluvial lands of Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas
have been devoted to the plant. Slaves have thus been attracted from the
Middle States and diverted from the less profitable culture of wheat and
tobacco to the cotton-fields. Half a century since, the Middle States
contained two-thirds of the negroes of the Union; but under the census
of 1860 two millions and a half of slaves are now found south of North
Carolina, and but a million and a half north of the Cotton States. In
the Cotton States the negroes nearly equal the white population; in the
Border States the whites are at least four to one. In the Cotton States
the slaves and the culture of cotton are increasing at the rate of at
least five per cent.; in the Border States the slave population is
either stationary or retrograde, and the future of those States is
clearly indicated. Down to a recent period the march of the planter and
his forces across the Cotton States has been like that of an invading
army. Vast forests of heavy timber have been felled, land rapidly
exhausted and abandoned, and new fields opened and soon deserted for a
virgin soil.

But with the increased demand of the last seven years for cotton, and
with the enhanced price of the slave, which rises at least one hundred
dollars with each advance of a cent per pound on cotton, more permanent
improvements have been made, railways have been opened, and at least
fifty thousand tons of guano and cotton-seed have been annually applied
to the exhausted cotton-fields of the Carolinas and Georgia. Under
these appliances the crops of the United States have kept pace with
the manufacture, and in 1859 rose to the amount of twenty-one hundred
millions of pounds, thus replenishing the markets that had been recently
exhausted, and actually exceeding the entire consumption for the same
year of both Europe and America.

But the crops fluctuate from year to year, and a less favorable season
for 1860, accompanied by an increase of at least ten per cent. in
spindles, leaves the supply barely equal to the demand, while the
diminished crop, and the cry of Secession at the South, with the
introduction of an export-duty, have alarmed the spinners of England and
led them to consider the effects of a deficiency and to seek new sources
of supply.

With the progress of trade the price of the middling cotton of America
for the last fifteen years has varied at Liverpool from fourpence to
ninepence per pound, and now stands at seven and a halfpence by the last
quotations. As the stock accumulates or the sale of goods is checked,
the price naturally declines, and a check is given to production. As
the stock declines or goods advance, an impetus is given to prices, the
culture is extended, and cotton flows in from Egypt and India. When the
cotton of Bombay commands more than fivepence per pound at Liverpool,
it flows in a strong current from India to Manchester. Should the
export-duty be levied in the Cotton States, it may well be presumed
that the burden will fall principally upon the planter, and give an
additional stimulus to the growth of India, and a new incentive to the
British Government to start the culture in other colonies.

The gentlemen of the South sometimes imagine that Old England, as well
as New England, is entirely dependent upon cotton, and that society
there would be disintegrated, if the crop in the Cotton States should
be withheld for a single year. But the Northern mills have usually six
months' supply; and Great Britain holds upon an average enough for three
months in her ports, for two months at her mills, and as much more
upon the ocean. The English spinner, too, can not only reduce his time
one-fourth without stopping, but can reduce his consumption another
fourth by raising his numbers and increasing the fineness of his cloth;
and as he draws one-fourth of his supply from other countries, it is
obvious that he might hold out for nearly two years without a bale from
America.

Could the cotton-planter hold out any longer? Let it not be forgotten
that the Embargo was voted to bring England to terms by withholding
rice, cotton, wheat, and naval stores, but proved a signal failure. We
reaped from it no harvests, and were put back by it at least six years
in our national progress; while England enjoyed the carrying-trade of
the world, which we had abandoned, and drew her supplies from Russia and
India while our crops perished in our own warehouses.

The vast export of cotton goods from Great Britain to India has now
liberated at least half a million bales of cotton for the supply of
England in addition to what India previously furnished; and as the
export of goods to India and China continues to increase, the surplus of
cotton must rise with it. But India is able to treble her production. It
is true that the staple of her cotton suffers from the dry summers, that
her land is but half tilled by ploughs consisting of a simple beam of
wood with two prongs and a single handle, that she has been destitute
of roads and facilities for transportation, that her lands are held at
oppressive rents, that American planters there have failed to make good
cotton, and that the annual yield of her soil is as small as that of the
exhausted fields of South Carolina. But still she produces at least four
million bales of cotton, and great changes are now in progress: railways
are pervading the country; canals are being dug for irrigating, and
irrigation quadruples the crop, while it improves the staple; and the
diversion of a few districts from the ordinary crops, with improved
tillage, will increase the production to an indefinite extent.

The latest intelligence from India apprises us that in one large cotton
district the American planters have at length succeeded, and American
cotton is now growing there on one hundred and forty-six thousand acres.

IN DARWAR.

  _In American Cotton.  In Native Kupas.   Total._
  1851   31,688 acres      223,314 acres      255,002
  1860  146,320  "         230,677  "         377,003

In Africa, also, the export of cotton is on the increase; and Egypt is
erecting new works to retain and direct the overflow of the Nile, which
will augment her exports.

There is a belt around the earth's surface of at least sixty degrees in
width, adapted in great part to the culture of cotton. Great Britain now
commands capital, while China and India overflow with labor. Let Great
Britain divert a few millions of this capital and but half a million of
coolies to any fertile area of five thousand square miles within this
belt, and she can in a few years double her supply of cotton, and
command the residue of her importation at reasonable prices.

Among these spots none is more promising than Central America, where the
cotton-plant is perennial, and a single acre, as we are assured by Mr.
Squier, yields semiannually a bale of superior cotton. But let us hope
that the South may abandon her dream of a Southern Empire, and the
chimera which now haunts her, that the Northerner is hostile to the
Southerner, when in reality he has no such feeling, but merely recoils
from institutions which he believes to be at variance with moral and
material progress.

Hemp, or _Cannabis sativa_, from which we possibly derive the modern
term canvas, was known to the ancients and used by them for rope and
cordage and occasionally for cloth. It was found early in Thrace, in
Caria, and upon the Rhone. Herodotus says that garments were made of it
by the Thracians "so much like linen that none but an experienced person
could tell whether they were made of hemp or of flax."

Moschion, who flourished two centuries before the Christian era, states
that the celebrated ship Syracusia built by Hiero II. was provided with
rope made from the hemp of the Rhone. Although the plant is indigenous
in Northern India, where it is cultivated for its narcotic qualities, it
is adapted to a southern climate; and we may safely infer that it was
not a native of either Italy, Greece, or Asia Minor, but was doubtless
introduced into Caria by the active trade between the Euxine and
Miletus. Cloth of hemp is still worn by boatmen upon the Danube; but
although its fibre is nearly as delicate as that of flax and cotton, it
is used principally for cordage, for which purpose it is imported from
the interior of Russia into England and the United States. In 1858 the
entire importation into Great Britain was forty-four thousand tons.
A large amount is now raised in Missouri and Kentucky, whose soil is
admirably adapted to the hemp-plant. Hemp grows freely in Bologna,
Romagna, and Naples, and the Italians have a saying, that "it may be
grown everywhere, but cannot be produced fit for use in heaven or on
earth without manure." The Italian hemp is aided by irrigation.

The plant is annual, and attains a height of three to ten feet,
according to the soil and climate. Its stalk is hollow, filled with a
soft pith, and surrounded by a cellular texture coated with a delicate
membrane which runs parallel to the stalk and is covered by a thin
cuticle. In Russia the seed is sown in June and gathered in September.

The Manila hemp (_Musa textilis_) does not appear to have been known to
the ancients, and is now found in the Philippine Islands, the Indian
Archipelago, and Japan, regions unexplored by the ancients. It is also
found at the base of the Himalaya Mountains. It is a large herbaceous
plant, which requires a warm climate, and is cut after a growth of
eighteen months. The outer layers or fibres of the plant are called the
_bandola_, which is used in the fabrication of cordage; the inner layers
have a more delicate fibre called the _lupis_, which is woven into fine
fabrics; while the intermediate layers, termed _tupoz_, are made into
cloth of different degrees of fineness.

The filaments, after they are gathered, are separated by a knife, and
rendered soft and pliable by beating them with a mallet; their ends are
then gummed together, after which they are wound into balls, and the
finer qualities are woven without going through the process of spinning.
With the produce of this plant the natives pay their tribute, purchase
the necessaries of life, and provide themselves with clothing.

The imports of this article into Great Britain in 1859 were very
considerable, while the United States also imported a very large amount.
It is used for cordage by the ships of both countries. In one respect
it differs from wool, cotton, and hemp, the fibres of all of which are
found by the microscope to consist of tubes, while the filaments of
the _Musa textilis_, although often fine, are in no case hollow, and
consequently are less flexible and divisible than other fibres.

Within the last twenty years, a new export from India, in the shape of
Jute and its fabrics, has grown up from insignificance into commercial
importance, and is now among the chief exports of the country. This
article demands our particular attention, as it requires but four months
for its production, furnishes a very large supply of textile material,
is raised at one-fifth the expense of cotton, and has been sold in India
as low as one cent per pound.

Jute is generally grown as an after-crop in India upon high ground, and
flourishes best in a hot and rainy season. The seed is sown broadcast in
April or May, when there is sufficient rain to moisten the ground. When
the plant is a foot and a half high it is weeded. It rises on good soil
to the height of twelve feet, and flowers between August and September.
The stems are usually three-fourths of an inch in diameter. The leaves
have long foot-stalks, the flowers are small and yellow, and the
capsules short and globose, containing five cells for the seed. The
fruit ripens in September and October. The average yield in fibre to
the acre is from four hundred to seven hundred pounds. When the crop is
ripe, the stems are cut close to the root, made up into bundles, and
deposited for a week in some neighboring pond or stream.

The process of separating the fibre from the stem is thus described by
Mr. Healy in the "Journal of Agriculture for India";--

"The native operator, standing up to his middle in water, takes as many
of the sticks in his hands as he can grasp, and removing a small portion
of the bark from the end next the roots, and grasping them together, he
with a little management strips off the whole from end to end, without
breaking either stem or fibre. He then, swinging the bark around his
head, dashes it repeatedly against the surface of the water, drawing it
towards him to wash off the impurities."

The filaments are then hung up to dry in the sun, often in lengths of
twelve feet, and when dried the jute is ready for the market.

The color at first is a pure white, but gradually changes to yellow. The
fibre, which is fine and delicate, is tubular, like that of flax and
cotton, and is easily wrought; but its tenacity is not equal to that of
other textile materials, although it is substituted in many fabrics
for wool, flax, and cotton. A large portion of the crop, which already
exceeds two hundred thousand tons, is exported to England as it comes
from the field, and is there used in the manufacture both of wool and
cotton to cheapen the fabric. The vigilant eye will often detect it in
woollen manufactures, in shawls, and even in sail-cloths; but when spun
with cotton or wool, it is very difficult to discover its presence.

A few years since, there was a great reduction in the price of plaid
shawls from England, which took the dealers by surprise, as the cost
was previously supposed to have reached the lowest point; but a close
examination of the threads elicited the fact that the manufacturer had
adroitly twisted in with his wool a liberal allowance of jute, costing
but two or three cents a pound when wool cost thirty, and thus reduced
the price of the fabric.

By the use of shoddy in the manufacture of woollens, and of jute in both
cotton and woollen fabrics, the English artisan saves many millions
of pounds both of wool and cotton. In those districts of India where
British skill and commercial enterprise have checked the manufacture of
muslin and calicoes, the Hindoos of all classes find in the culture and
manufacture of jute employment for all, "from the palanquin-bearer and
husbandman down to the Hindoo widow, saved by the interposition of
England from the funeral pile, but condemned by custom for the residue
of her days literally to sackcloth and ashes." The fine and long-stapled
jute is reserved for the export trade, for which it bears a
comparatively high price; the residue is spun and woven by these classes
as a domestic manufacture; it is made into gunny-cloth, which is
circulated through the globe, forms the bagging for our corn, wheat,
and cotton on their voyage to distant ports, and finally makes its last
appearance as paper.

The long stems of the jute are highly esteemed in India; they resemble
willow wands, are useful for basket-work and fencing, for trellis-work
and the support of vines, and to make a charcoal which is valued for the
manufacture of gunpowder.

The export of jute from India to England for 1859 was sixty thousand
tons. The export of gunny-cloth from India to the United States in the
same year amounted to several millions of pieces.

Why should not this valuable plant be introduced into America? It
requires the same season and soil as our Indian corn, and would
doubtless flourish in the rich alluvial lands of the West, and furnish a
very cheap and useful domestic manufacture for our Western farmers.

The term Linen is doubtless derived from _Linum_, the classic and
botanic name of flax. In Holy Writ, Moses called down the hail upon the
growing flax of Lower Egypt, and Isaiah speaks of those "that work in
fine flax." According to Herodotus, the ancient Egyptians wore linen.
Plutarch informs us that the priests of Isis wore linen on account of
its purity, and mentions a tradition that flax was used for clothing
"because the color of its blossom resembles the ethereal blue which
surrounds the world"; and he adds, that the priests of Isis were buried
in their sacred vestments. An eminent cotton-spinner, who subjected four
hundred specimens of mummy-cloth to the microscope, has ascertained that
they were all linen; and even now, when aspiring cotton has contested
its superiority, and claimed to be more healthful and more beneficial
to the human frame, the choicest drapery of our tables and couches, and
many of our most costly and elegant articles of dress, are fabricated
from flax.

Flax is sown in the spring and harvested in the summer, and requires but
three months for its growth. While cotton grows in hot climates only,
flax grows both under the tropics and in temperate climates, and as far
north as Russia, Ireland, and Canada; and while at the South it runs
mostly to seed, the best varieties are produced in Normandy, Belgium,
and Poland.

In another particular flax has the advantage over cotton. While the
latter, under the ordinary course of cultivation in South Carolina,
yields but one bale to four acres, and in virgin soil rarely more than
one bale to two acres, flax yields in good soil from five to eight
hundred pounds of fibre to the acre, which may be converted into
flax-cotton by modern machinery; and as the product has but three per
cent. waste, while cotton loses eleven per cent. in its manufacture, the
flax-cotton which is produced from a single acre is the equivalent of
one to two bales of cotton.

With these important advantages, namely, its adaptation to a northern
climate where the white man can labor, and a capacity for yielding so
large an amount of fibre, flax holds a high place in the list of textile
materials.

Flax can be raised with very moderate expense up to the time of harvest.
If the soil is free from weeds, it requires little more preparation,
care, or expense for its culture than wheat or barley. But from this
point onward a large expenditure of labor is requisite, which greatly
enhances the cost, carrying it up as high as ten to twenty cents per
pound, according to the degree of fineness; for the filaments must be
separated from the stem by immersion in water, must be kept in parallel
lines, and prepared for the spindle by skilful and long-continued labor.

To insure the best quality, it must be pulled and bound in bundles
before it is entirely ripe, thus impairing the value of the seed, while
the edible and nutritious portion of the stalk is lost or injured in the
water.

For many years it was spun on the little wheel, but of late years
improved machinery has been applied at Belfast, Leeds, Dundee, and other
cities of Great Britain; yet nearly a third of the value is lost in the
broken filaments, which are reduced to tow in its preparation for the
spindle. With a fibre at least as fine and delicate as that of cotton,
its full value to the world will not be demonstrated until it is
effectually cottonized.

In its present state, however, it has come into very extensive use. More
than eighty thousand tons were, in 1859, imported into Great Britain,
and many acres are there devoted to its culture. The consumption in that
country is estimated to exceed one hundred and sixty thousand tons,
a quantity equivalent to eight hundred thousand bales of cotton. In
addition to this, ten millions of bushels of flax-seed are annually
crushed in Great Britain, a large portion of which is drawn from India.

The culture of flax was introduced into this country early in the last
century by the Scotch, who crossed over to Ireland under Elizabeth and
Cromwell, and soon after the siege of Derry transferred their arts and
their industry to this country. Several colonies of these were planted
in Pennsylvania and Tennessee, and a large colony was established at
Natfield, New Hampshire, upon a tract twelve miles square, one of the
best sections of the State, situate in the area between Manchester,
Lowell, Lawrence, and Exeter. Here every farmer cultivated his field of
barley and flax, here every woman had her little wheel, and the
article formed the currency of the place;--notes were given payable in
spinning-wheels. Girls were seen beetling the linen on the grass;
and when the harvest over, the men mounted their horses, and with
well-filled saddle-bags threaded the by-roads of the forest to find
a market in Boston, Lynn, Salem, or Newburyport. Fortunes were thus
accumulated and a flourishing academy and two Presbyterian societies are
now sustained by funds thus acquired by the Pinkerton family. But as the
wages of girls gradually rose from two shillings to two dollars per
week with the invention of the cotton-gin, the power-loom, and the
spinning-jenny, the culture of flax was gradually abandoned, the seat
of manufactures removed from the hills to the waterfalls, and the
flax-fields converted into market-gardens or milk-farms. The town
of Derry, once the great seat of New-England manufactures, is now
principally distinguished for the Stark, Rogers, and Reed it gave to the
French War and the Revolution, for the Bells, Dinsmores, Wilsons, and
Pattersons it has given to the halls of legislation, and the McKeens,
McGregors, Morisons, and Nesmiths it has furnished to commerce or the
Church.

At the present rates of labor, the culture of flax cannot be revived in
this region until the mode of curing and dressing it is cheapened; and
there is reason to hope that this revolution is at hand.

At the present moment flax is raised both in India and Ohio for the seed
alone. An acre of ripened flax yields from ten to twenty bushels
of seed, and each bushel affords nearly or quite two gallons of
linseed-oil. The well-ripened seed is most prolific in oil.

It has been supposed by some that flax exhausts the soil. It is
undoubtedly true that it does best under a rotation of crops, and
that the ingredients it withdraws from the soil should be restored to
preserve its fertility. But the reduction of the plant to ashes shows
that its chemical components can be restored at a cost of three dollars
per acre, while the properties withdrawn by the seed can be easily
supplied by returning in other fertilizers the equivalent for half a ton
of flax-seed. If the oil-cake be consumed upon the farm, little more
than the above and its product in manure will be required.

The ashes of the flax-plant have been analyzed. Dr. Royle, of England, a
distinguished writer upon fibrous plants, assures us that the following
compound will supply to one acre all that the plant requires, and leave
the land as fertile as before the flax was gathered:--

                              _lbs.      s.    d._
  Muriate of Potash            30   cost 2     6
  Common Salt                  28     "  0     3
  Burned Plaster of Paris      34     "  0     6
  Bone-Dust                    54     "  3     3
  Epsom Salts                  56     "  4     0
                                        10     6

It has been ascertained by the microscope that wool, cotton, hemp, jute,
and flax are composed of minute fibres, each of which forms a hollow
tube, and there is a close resemblance between the tubes of each,--the
tube of the cotton, however, collapsing as it ripens. These tubes in the
jute and flax are closely cemented together, and the term _Fibrilia_ has
been applied to fibres of the plant when reduced to a short staple
like cotton. The process for effecting this result is very accurately
described in a work just published, entitled "Fibrilia." The patentees
of this invention claim that their process, in the space of twenty-four
hours, converts the flax and tow, as they come from the threshing-mill,
into an article which may be spun and woven by the same machinery as
cotton. The article produced and lately exhibited at public meetings
resembles cotton in its appearance and qualities, with the advantage
that it wastes less in the manufacture, has more lustre, and receives a
superior color. The patentees and their friends further claim that this
cotton can be raised in all temperate latitudes, at the rate of four to
eight hundred pounds per acre, and profess within the past year to have
manufactured twelve thousand pounds.

These statements have been confidently made at public meetings in
the State House of Massachusetts, and it is understood that a mill
containing one hundred looms, half of which are now in operation, has
been erected at Roxbury, under the direction of gentlemen who are
familiar with the manufacture. Should the same results be obtained on a
large scale which have attended the manufacture of the first few bales,
the first step in a great revolution will be effected.

By the process of Mr. S.M. Allen of Boston, the great outlay of labor
which has usually attended the culture and preparation of flax is
avoided. When the plant has attained its full height of twenty to thirty
inches, and its seed is ripened, it is harvested like grass with a
mowing-machine, dried like hay or oats in the field, and then carried
to the threshing-mill. After the seed is separated, the stalk is
transferred to a patent brake, moved by two or four horses, and costing
from three to four hundred dollars. This machine is composed of several
sets of fluted iron rollers, between which the stalk passes from one set
to another, the rollers gradually diminishing in size, but increasing in
rapidity of motion, by means of which the woody texture of the plant is
effectually broken and separated. The filaments are then carried through
a coarse card or picker. The shives are thus separated, and two tons of
stalks reduced to half a ton of linten, which may be either taken at
once to the retort or baled for shipment. When the flax is thus reduced
by the farmer to linten, the article is reputed to be worth to the
manufacturer four cents a pound, or at least twenty dollars for the
product of an acre yielding a single ton of flax-straw.

According to this statement the farmer would realize from his crop at
least as follows:--

  Estimated value of seed, 14 bushels,
  at $1.25                                   $17.50
  Estimated value of 500 lbs. of linten,
  at 4 cts.                                   20.00
  Estimated value of 3/4 of a ton of shives
  from unrotted stems, valuable for
  cattle, at $8.00 per ton                     6.00

  Produce of an acre                         $43.50

And this produce would be realized with little more labor than a crop
of oats or wheat, returning less than twenty-five dollars to the acre.
Unless the soil should be foul, no weeding would be required, while the
breaking would cost little more than a second threshing, and a second
crop of turnips can be taken from the same soil.

From the patent brake and the picker the linten is carried to a retort,
which may hold from five hundred to three thousand pounds of fibre,--the
capacity of one hundred cubic feet being required for each thousand
pounds; and the retort, which may be made from boiler-plates, costs from
three hundred to fifteen hundred dollars. Here the linten is put into
a hot bath of air forced through heated water, and thus charged with
moisture, which softens the filaments and diminishes the cohesion of
the fibres. After this air-bath, pure water of the temperature of one
hundred and forty to one hundred and sixty degrees is admitted into the
retort, and the linten is immersed in it for five or six hours.

After this steeping process is completed, the water is let off from
below, and pure water admitted from above under pressure, until the
color begins to change; the fibre is then steeped for three or four
hours in a weak solution of soda-ash; the alkali is washed out by the
admission of pure water alternating with steam, and, if necessary to
complete the bleaching, a weak solution of chlorine is applied. All this
may be effected without removing the linten from the retort. The product
is then dried as in ordinary drying-rooms.

When dried, it is carried again through a set of cards, and a piece of
machinery termed a railway-head, with positive draught, which can be set
so as to give any length of staple, and to present the flax-cotton thus
produced in any form required for spinning, either separately or mixed
with cotton or wool, and thus adapted to the machinery used in the
manufacture of either of these articles. The cost of this process, from
the brake to the final production of the cotton, is set by the patentee,
after leaving him a fair profit, at three cents per pound of cotton;
and if we add this to the cost of the linten, and allow for freight and
storage, the entire cost of the fibrilia is but eight cents per pound,
or two-thirds of the present price of middling cotton.

The idea of modifying the filaments of flax and hemp so as to convert
them into cotton is by no means a new one. As long ago as 1747 it was
proposed to convert flax into cotton by boiling it in a solution of
caustic potash, and subsequently washing it with soap; and in 1775 Lady
Moira, aided by T.B. Bailey, actually converted some refuse flax into
cotton by boiling it in alkali. The result was, that the fibres seemed
to be set at liberty from each other; after which it was carded on
cotton cards, spun, and woven as cotton.

The Chevalier Claussen, as recently as 1850, claimed to have discovered
the process, and actually took out a patent; but his invention, which
consisted in boiling the cut and crushed stems of the flax in a solution
of caustic soda, turned out a failure,--the cutting, crushing, and
boiling processes proving alike defective.

New discoveries are the result of repeated trials; perseverance usually
prevails; and if States are to secede at pleasure and withhold their
cotton, and no other good uses can be found for flax or hemp, why should
not their fibres secede also,--be set at liberty and resolve themselves
into a cotton state?

We might pass from the fibrous plants, and the metamorphosis of flax
into cotton, to the _Pinna_, whose fibres grow in the sea on the coast
of Italy, and anchor the huge shell-fish to the rock or the sand. These
fibres are brought up by divers, and woven into beautiful fabrics. We
might repeat the tale of the crab which lives with this shell-fish,
and apprises his blind housekeeper of the approach of danger,--a tale
confirmed by ancient and modern naturalists,--for there are strange
doings in the sea as well as upon the land. We might also dilate upon
China grass, which is manufactured in the East into delicate fabrics.
But our limits compel us to defer these topics.



NAT TURNER'S INSURRECTION.


During the year 1831, up to the twenty-third of August, the Virginia
newspapers were absorbed in the momentous problems which then occupied
the minds of intelligent American citizens:--What General Jackson should
do with the scolds, and what with the disreputables,--Should South
Carolina be allowed to nullify? and would the wives of Cabinet Ministers
call on Mrs. Eaton? It is an unfailing opiate, to turn over the drowsy
files of the "Richmond Enquirer", until the moment when those dry and
dusty pages are suddenly kindled into flame by the torch of Nat Turner.
Then the terror flares on increasing, until the remotest Southern States
are found shuddering at nightly rumors of insurrection,--until far-off
European colonies, Antigua, Martinique, Caraccas, Tortola, recognize by
some secret sympathy the same epidemic alarms,--until the very boldest
words of freedom are reported as uttered in the Virginia House of
Delegates with unclosed doors,--until an obscure young man named
Garrison is indicted at Common Law in North Carolina, and has a price
set upon his head by the Legislature of Georgia. The insurrection
revived in one agonizing reminiscence all the distresses of Gabriel's
Revolt, thirty years before; and its memory endures still fresh, now
that thirty added years have brought the more formidable presence of
General Butler. It is by no means impossible that the very children or
even confederates of Nat Turner may be included at this moment among the
contraband articles of Fort Monroe.

Near the southeastern border of Virginia, in Southampton County, there
is a neighborhood known as "The Cross Keys". It lies fifteen miles from
Jerusalem, the county-town or "court-house", seventy miles from Norfolk,
and about as far from Richmond. It is some ten or fifteen miles from
Murfreesboro in North Carolina, and about twenty-five from the Great
Dismal Swamp. Up to Sunday, the twenty-first of August, 1831, there was
nothing to distinguish it from any other rural, lethargic, slipshod
Virginia neighborhood, with the due allotment of mansion-houses and
log-huts, tobacco-fields and "old-fields", horses, dogs, negroes, "poor
white folks", so called, and other white folks, poor without being
called so. One of these last was Joseph Travis, who had recently married
the widow of one Putnam Moore, and had unfortunately wedded to himself
her negroes also.

In the woods on the plantation of Joseph Travis, upon the Sunday just
named, six slaves met at noon for what is called in the Northern States
a picnic and in the Southern a barbecue. The bill of fare was to be
simple: one brought a pig, and another some brandy, giving to the
meeting an aspect so cheaply convivial that no one would have imagined
it to be the final consummation of a conspiracy which had been for six
months in preparation. In this plot four of the men had been already
initiated,--Henry, Hark or Hercules, Nelson, and Sam. Two others were
novices, Will and Jack by name. The party had remained together from
twelve to three o'clock, when a seventh man joined them,--a short,
stout, powerfully built person, of dark mulatto complexion and
strongly-marked African features, but with a face full of expression and
resolution. This was Nat Turner.

He was at this time nearly thirty-one years old, having been born on
the second of October, 1800. He had belonged originally to Benjamin
Turner,--whence his last name, slaves having usually no patronymic,--had
then been transferred to Putnam Moore, and then to his present owner.
He had, by his own account, felt himself singled out from childhood for
some great work; and he had some peculiar marks on his person, which,
joined to his great mental precocity, were enough to occasion, among his
youthful companions, a superstitious faith in his gifts and destiny.
He had great mechanical ingenuity also, experimentalized very early in
making paper, gunpowder, pottery, and in other arts which in later life
he was found thoroughly to understand. His moral faculties were very
strong, so that white witnesses admitted that he had never been known to
swear an oath, to drink a drop of spirits, or to commit a theft. And in
general, so marked were his early peculiarities, that people said "he
had too much sense to be raised, and if he was, he would never be of
any use as a slave." This impression of personal destiny grew with his
growth;--he fasted, prayed, preached, read the Bible, heard voices when
he walked behind his plough, and communicated his revelations to the
awe-struck slaves. They told him in return, that, "if they had his
sense, they would not serve any master in the world."

The biographies of slaves can hardly be individualized; they belong to
the class. We know bare facts; it is only the general experience of
human beings in like condition which can clothe them with life. The
outlines are certain, the details are inferential. Thus, for instance,
we know that Nat Turner's young wife was a slave; we know that she
belonged to a different master from himself; we know little more than
this, but this is much. For this is equivalent to saying that by day or
by night that husband had no more power to protect her than the man who
lies bound upon a plundered vessel's deck has power to protect his wife
on board the pirate-schooner disappearing in the horizon; she may be
reverenced, she may be outraged; it is in the powerlessness that the
agony lies. There is, indeed, one thing more which we do know of this
young woman: the Virginia newspapers state that she was tortured under
the lash, after her husband's execution, to make her produce his papers:
this is all.

What his private experiences and special privileges or wrongs may have
been, it is therefore now impossible to say. Travis was declared to be
"more humane and fatherly to his slaves than any man in the county"; but
it is astonishing how often this phenomenon occurs in the contemporary
annals of slave insurrections. The chairman of the county court also
stated, in pronouncing sentence, that Nat Turner had spoken of his
master as "only too indulgent"; but this, for some reason, does not
appear in his printed Confession, which only says, "He was a kind
master, and placed the greatest confidence in me." It is very possible
that it may have been so, but the printed accounts of Nat Turner's
person look suspicious: he is described in Governor Floyd's proclamation
as having a scar on one of his temples, also one on the back of his
neck, and a large knot on one of the bones of his right arm, produced by
a blow; and although these were explained away in Virginia newspapers
as being produced by fights with his companions, yet such affrays are
entirely foreign to the admitted habits of the man. It must, therefore,
remain an open question, whether the scars and the knot were produced by
black hands or by white.

Whatever Nat Turner's experiences of slavery might have been, it is
certain that his plans were not suddenly adopted, but that he had
brooded over them for years. To this day there are traditions among the
Virginia slaves of the keen devices of "Prophet Nat". If he was
caught with lime and lamp-black in hand, conning over a half-finished
county-map on the barn-door, he was always "planning what to do, if he
were blind", or "studying how to get to Mr. Francis's house." When he
had called a meeting of slaves, and some poor whites came eavesdropping,
the poor whites at once became the subjects for discussion; he
incidentally mentioned that the masters had been heard threatening to
drive them away; one slave had been ordered to shoot Mr. Jones's pigs,
another to tear down Mr. Johnson's fences. The poor whites, Johnson and
Jones, ran home to see to their homesteads, and were better friends than
ever to Prophet Nat.

He never was a Baptist preacher, though such vocation has often been
attributed to him. The impression arose from his having immersed
himself, during one of his periods of special enthusiasm, together with
a poor white man named Brantley. "About this time", he says in his
Confession, "I told these things to a white man, on whom it had a
wonderful effect, and he ceased from his wickedness, and was attacked
immediately with a cutaneous eruption, and the blood oozed from the
pores of his skin, and after praying and fasting nine days he was
healed. And the Spirit appeared to me again, and said, as the Saviour
had been baptized, so should we be also; and when the white people
would not let us be baptized by the Church, we went down into the water
together, in the sight of many who reviled us, and were baptized by the
Spirit. After this I rejoiced greatly and gave thanks to God."

The religious hallucinations narrated in his Confession seem to have
been as genuine as the average of such things, and are very well
expressed. It reads quite like Jacob Behmen. He saw white spirits and
black spirits contending in the skies, the sun was darkened, the thunder
rolled. "And the Holy Ghost was with me, and said, 'Behold me as I stand
in the heavens!' And I looked and saw the forms of men in different
attitudes. And there were lights in the sky, to which the children of
darkness gave other names than what they really were; for they were the
lights of the Saviour's hands, stretched forth from east to west, even
as they were extended on the cross on Calvary, for the redemption of
sinners." He saw drops of blood on the corn: this was Christ's blood,
shed for man. He saw on the leaves in the woods letters and numbers and
figures of men,--the same symbols which he had seen in the skies. On May
12, 1828, the Holy Spirit appeared to him and proclaimed that the yoke
of Jesus must fall on him, and he must fight against the Serpent when
the sign appeared. Then came an eclipse of the sun in February, 1831:
this was the sign; then he must arise and prepare himself, and slay his
enemies with their own weapons; then also the seal was removed from his
lips, and then he confided his plans to four associates.

When he came, therefore, to the barbecue on the appointed Sunday, and
found, not these four only, but two others, his first question to the
intruders was, How they came thither. To this Will answered manfully,
that his life was worth no more than the others, and "his liberty was as
dear to him." This admitted him to confidence, and as Jack was known to
be entirely under Hark's influence, the strangers were no bar to their
discussion. Eleven hours they remained there, in anxious consultation:
one can imagine those terrible dusky faces, beneath the funereal woods,
and amid the flickering of pine-knot torches, preparing that stern
revenge whose shuddering echoes should ring through the land so long.
Two things were at last decided: to begin their work that night, and to
begin it with a massacre so swift and irresistible as to create in a
few days more terror than many battles, and so spare the need of future
bloodshed. "It was agreed that we should commence at home on that night,
and, until we had armed and equipped ourselves and gained sufficient
force, neither age nor sex was to be spared: which was invariably
adhered to."

John Brown invaded Virginia with nineteen men, and with the avowed
resolution to take no life but in self-defence. Nat Turner attacked
Virginia from within, with six men, and with the determination to spare
no life until his power was established. John Brown intended to pass
rapidly through Virginia, and then retreat to the mountains. Nat Turner
intended to "conquer Southampton County as the white men did in the
Revolution, and then retreat, if necessary, to the Dismal Swamp." Each
plan was deliberately matured; each was in its way practicable; but each
was defeated by a single false step, as will soon appear.

We must pass over the details of horror, as they occurred during the
next twenty-four hours. Swift and stealthy as Indians, the black men
passed from house to house,--not pausing, not hesitating, as their
terrible work went on. In one thing they were humaner than Indians
or than white men fighting against Indians,--there was no gratuitous
outrage beyond the death-blow itself, no insult, no mutilation; but
in every house they entered, that blow fell on man, woman, and
child,--nothing that had a white skin was spared. From every house they
took arms and ammunition, and from a few, money; on every plantation
they found recruits: those dusky slaves, so obsequious to their master
the day before, so prompt to sing and dance before his Northern
visitors, were all swift to transform themselves into fiends of
retribution now; show them sword or musket and they grasped it, though
it were an heirloom from Washington himself. The troop increased from
house to house,--first to fifteen, then to forty, then to sixty. Some
were armed with muskets, some with axes, some with scythes; some came on
their masters' horses. As the numbers increased, they could be divided,
and the awful work was carried on more rapidly still. The plan then was
for an advanced guard of horsemen to approach each house at a gallop,
and surround it till the others came up. Meanwhile what agonies of
terror must have taken place within, shared alike by innocent and by
guilty! what memories of wrongs inflicted on those dusky creatures, by
some,--what innocent participation, by others, in the penance! The
outbreak lasted for but forty-eight hours; but during that period
fifty-five whites were slain, without the loss of a single slave.

One fear was needless, which to many a husband and father must have
intensified the last struggle. These negroes had been systematically
brutalized from childhood; they had been allowed no legalized
or permanent marriage; they had beheld around them an habitual
licentiousness, such as can scarcely exist except in a Slave State; some
of them had seen their wives and sisters habitually polluted by the
husbands and the brothers of these fair white women who were now
absolutely in their power. Yet I have looked through the Virginia
newspapers of that time in vain for one charge of an indecent outrage
on a woman against these triumphant and terrible slaves. Wherever they
went, there went death, and that was all. Compare this with ordinary
wars; compare it with the annals of the French Revolution. No one,
perhaps, has yet painted the wrongs of the French populace so terribly
as Dickens in his "Tale of Two Cities"; yet what man, conversant with
slave-biographies, can read that narrative without feeling it weak
beside the provocations to which fugitive slaves testify? It is
something for human nature that these desperate insurgents revenged such
wrongs by death alone. Even that fearful penalty was to be inflicted
only till the object was won. It was admitted in the "Richmond Enquirer"
of the time, that "indiscriminate massacre was not their intention,
after they obtained foothold, and was resorted to in the first instance
to strike terror and alarm. Women and children would afterwards have
been spared, and men also who ceased to resist."

It is reported by some of the contemporary newspapers, that a portion
of this abstinence was the result of deliberate consultation among the
insurrectionists; that some of them were resolved on taking the white
women for wives, but were overruled by Nat Turner. If so, he is the only
American slave-leader of whom we know certainly that he rose above the
ordinary level of slave vengeance, and Mrs. Stowe's picture of Dred's
purposes is then precisely typical of his. "Whom the Lord saith unto us,
'Smite,' them will we smite. We will not torment them with the scourge
and fire, nor defile their women as they have done with ours. But we
will slay them utterly, and consume them from off the face of the
earth."

When the number of adherents had increased to fifty or sixty, Nat Turner
judged it time to strike at the county-seat, Jerusalem. Thither a
few white fugitives had already fled, and couriers might thence
be despatched for aid to Richmond and Petersburg, unless promptly
intercepted. Besides, he could there find arms, ammunition, and money;
though they had already obtained, it is dubiously reported, from eight
hundred to one thousand dollars. On the way it was necessary to pass the
plantation of Mr. Parker, three miles from Jerusalem. Some of the
men wished to stop here and enlist some of their friends. Nat Turner
objected, as the delay might prove dangerous; he yielded at last, and it
proved fatal.

He remained at the gate with six or eight men; thirty or forty went to
the house, half a mile distant. They remained too long, and he went
alone to hasten them. During his absence a party of eighteen white men
came up suddenly, dispersing the small guard left at the gate; and when
the main body of slaves emerged from the house, they encountered, for
the first time, their armed masters. The blacks halted, the whites
advanced cautiously within a hundred yards and fired a volley; on its
being returned, they broke into disorder, and hurriedly retreated,
leaving some wounded on the ground. The retreating whites were pursued,
and were saved only by falling in with another band of fresh men from
Jerusalem, with whose aid they turned upon the slaves, who in their turn
fell into confusion. Turner, Hark, and about twenty men on horseback
retreated in some order; the rest were scattered. The leader still
planned to reach Jerusalem by a private way, thus evading pursuit;
but at last decided to stop for the night, in the hope of enlisting
additional recruits.

During the night the number increased again to forty, and they
encamped on Major Ridley's plantation. An alarm took place during the
darkness,--whether real or imaginary does not appear,--and the men
became scattered again. Proceeding to make fresh enlistments with the
daylight, they were resisted at Dr. Blunt's house, where his slaves,
under his orders, fired upon them, and this, with a later attack from a
party of white men near Captain Harris's, so broke up the whole force
that they never reunited. The few who remained together agreed to
separate for a few hours to see if anything could be done to revive the
insurrection, and meet again that evening at their original rendezvous.
But they never reached it.

Sadly came Nat Turner at nightfall into those gloomy woods where
forty-eight hours before he had revealed the details of his terrible
plot to his companions. At the outset all his plans had succeeded;
everything was as he predicted: the slaves had come readily at his call,
the masters had proved perfectly defenceless. Had he not been persuaded
to pause at Parker's plantation, he would have been master before now
of the arms and ammunition at Jerusalem; and with these to aid, and the
Dismal Swamp for a refuge, he might have sustained himself indefinitely
against his pursuers.

Now the blood was shed, the risk was incurred, his friends were killed
or captured, and all for what? Lasting memories of terror, to be sure,
for his oppressors; but on the other hand, hopeless failure for the
insurrection, and certain death for him. What a watch he must have kept
that night! To that excited imagination, which had always seen spirits
in the sky and blood-drops on the corn and hieroglyphic marks on the dry
leaves, how full the lonely forest must have been of signs and solemn
warnings! Alone with the fox's bark, the rabbit's rustle, and the
screech-owl's scream, the self-appointed prophet brooded over his
despair. Once creeping to the edge of the wood, he saw men stealthily
approach on horseback. He fancied them some of his companions; but
before he dared to whisper their ominous names, "Hark" or "Dred,"--for
the latter was the name, since famous, of one of his more recent
recruits,--he saw them to be white men, and shrank back stealthily
beneath his covert.

There he waited two weary days and two melancholy nights,--long
enough to satisfy himself that no one would rejoin him, and that the
insurrection had hopelessly failed. The determined, desperate spirits
who had shared his plans were scattered forever, and longer delay would
be destruction for him also. He found a spot which he judged safe, dug
a hole under a pile of fence-rails in a field, and lay there for six
weeks, only leaving it for a few moments at midnight to obtain water
from a neighboring spring. Food he had previously provided, without
discovery, from a house near by.

Meanwhile an unbounded variety of rumors went flying through the State.
The express which first reached the Governor announced that the militia
were retreating before the slaves. An express to Petersburg further
fixed the number of militia at three hundred, and of blacks at eight
hundred, and invented a convenient shower of rain to explain the
dampened ardor of the whites. Later reports described the slaves as
making three desperate attempts to cross the bridge over the Nottoway
between Cross Keys and Jerusalem, and stated that the leader had been
shot in the attempt. Other accounts put the number of negroes at three
hundred, all well mounted and armed, with two or three white men as
leaders. Their intention was supposed to be to reach the Dismal Swamp,
and they must be hemmed in from that side.

Indeed, the most formidable weapon in the hands of slave-insurgents is
always this blind panic they create, and the wild exaggerations which
follow. The worst being possible, every one takes the worst for granted.
Undoubtedly a dozen armed men could have stifled this insurrection, even
after it had commenced operations; but it is the fatal weakness of a
slaveholding community, that it can never furnish men promptly for such
a purpose, "My first intention was," says one of the most intelligent
newspaper narrators of the affair, "to have attacked them with thirty or
forty men; but those who had families here were strongly opposed to it."

As usual, each man was pinioned to his own hearth-stone. As usual, aid
had to be summoned from a distance, and, as usual, the United States
troops were the chief reliance. Colonel House, commanding at
Fort Monroe, sent at once three companies of artillery under
Lieutenant-Colonel Worth, and embarked them on board the steamer Hampton
for Suffolk. These were joined by detachments from the United States
ships Warren and Natchez, the whole amounting to nearly eight hundred
men. Two volunteer companies went from Richmond, four from Petersburg,
one from Norfolk, one from Portsmouth, and several from North Carolina.
The militia of Norfolk, Nansemond, and Princess Anne Counties, and the
United States troops at Old Point Comfort, were ordered to scour the
Dismal Swamp, where it was believed that two or three thousand fugitives
were preparing to join the insurgents. It was even proposed to send two
companies from New York and one from New London to the same point.

When these various forces reached Southampton County, they found
all labor paralyzed and whole plantations abandoned. A letter from
Jerusalem, dated August 24th, says, "The oldest inhabitant of our county
has never experienced such a distressing time as we have had since
Sunday night last..... Every house, room, and corner in this place is
full of women and children, driven from home, who had to take the woods
until they could get to this place." "For many miles around their
track," says another, "the county is deserted by women and children."
Still another writes, "Jerusalem is full of women, most of them from
the other side of the river,--about two hundred at Vix's." Then follow
descriptions of the sufferings of these persons, many of whom had lain
night after night in the woods. But the immediate danger was at an end,
the short-lived insurrection was finished, and now the work of
vengeance was to begin. In the frank phrase of a North Carolina
correspondent,--"The massacre of the whites was over, and the white
people had commenced the destruction of the negroes, which was continued
after our men got there, from time to time, as they could fall in with
them, all day yesterday." A postscript adds, that "passengers by the
Fayetteville stage say, that, by the latest accounts, one hundred and
twenty negroes had been killed,"--this being little more than one day's
work.

These murders were defended as Nat Turner defended his: a fearful blow
must be struck. In shuddering at the horrors of the insurrection, we
have forgotten the far greater horrors of its suppression.

The newspapers of the day contain many indignant protests against the
cruelties which took place. "It is with pain," says a correspondent
of the "National Intelligencer," September 7, 1831, "that we speak of
another feature of the Southampton Rebellion; for we have been most
unwilling to have our sympathies for the sufferers diminished or
affected by their misconduct. We allude to the slaughter of many blacks
without trial and under circumstances of great barbarity..... We met
with an individual of intelligence who told us that he himself had
killed between ten and fifteen..... We [the Richmond troop] witnessed
with surprise the sanguinary temper of the population, who evinced a
strong disposition to inflict immediate death on every prisoner."

There is a remarkable official document from General Eppes, the officer
in command, to be found in the "Richmond Enquirer" for September 6,
1831. It is an indignant denunciation of precisely these outrages; and
though he refuses to give details, he supplies their place by epithets:
"revolting,"--"inhuman and not to be justified,"--"acts of barbarity and
cruelty,"--"acts of atrocity,"--"this course of proceeding dignifies the
rebel and the assassin with the sanctity of martyrdom." And he ends by
threatening martial law upon all future transgressors. Such general
orders are not issued except in rather extreme cases. And in the
parallel columns of the newspaper the innocent editor prints equally
indignant descriptions of Russian atrocities in Lithuania, where the
Poles were engaged in active insurrection, amid profuse sympathy from
Virginia.

The truth is, it was a Reign of Terror. Volunteer patrols rode in all
directions, visiting plantations. "It was with the greatest difficulty,"
said General Brodnax before the House of Delegates, "and at the hazard
of personal popularity and esteem, that the coolest and most
judicious among us could exert an influence sufficient to restrain an
indiscriminate slaughter of the blacks who were suspected." A letter
from the Rev. G.W. Powell declares, "There are thousands of troops
searching in every direction, and many negroes are killed every day: the
exact number will never be ascertained." Petition after petition was
subsequently presented to the legislature, asking compensation for
slaves thus assassinated without trial.

Men were tortured to death, burned, maimed, and subjected to nameless
atrocities. The overseers were called on to point out any slaves whom
they distrusted, and if any tried to escape, they were shot down. Nay,
worse than this. "A party of horsemen started from Richmond with the
intention of killing every colored person they saw in Southampton
County. They stopped opposite the cabin of a free colored man, who
was hoeing in his little field. They called out, 'Is this Southampton
County?' He replied, 'Yes, Sir, you have just crossed the line, by
yonder tree.' They shot him dead and rode on." This is from the
narrative of the editor of the "Richmond Whig," who was then on duty in
the militia, and protested manfully against these outrages. "Some
of these scenes," he adds, "are hardly inferior in barbarity to the
atrocities of the insurgents."

These were the masters' stones. If even these conceded so much, it would
be interesting to hear what the slaves had to report. I am indebted to
my honored friend, Lydia Maria Child, for some vivid recollections of
this terrible period, as noted down from the lips of an old colored
woman, once well known in New York, Charity Bower. "At the time of the
old Prophet Nat," she said, "the colored folks was afraid to pray loud;
for the whites threatened to punish 'em dreadfully, if the least noise
was heard. The patrols was low drunken whites, and in Nat's time, if
they heard any of the colored folks praying or singing a hymn, they
would fall upon 'em and abuse 'em, and sometimes kill 'em, afore master
or missis could get to 'em. The brightest and best was killed in Nat's
time. The whites always suspect such ones. They killed a great many at
a place called Duplon. They killed Antonio, a slave of Mr. J. Stanley,
whom they shot; then they pointed their guns at him, and told him to
confess about the insurrection. He told 'em he didn't know anything
about any insurrection. They shot several balls through him, quartered
him, and put his head on a pole at the fork of the road leading to the
court." (This is no exaggeration, if the Virginia newspapers may be
taken as evidence.) "It was there but a short time. He had no trial.
They never do. In Nat's time, the patrols would tie up the free colored
people, flog 'em, and try to make 'em lie against one another, and
often killed them before anybody could interfere. Mr. James Cole, High
Sheriff, said, if any of the patrols came on his plantation, he would
lose his life in defence of his people. One day he heard a patroller
boasting how many niggers he had killed. Mr. Cole said, 'If you don't
pack up, as quick as God Almighty will let you, and get out of this
town, and never be seen in it again, I'll put you where dogs won't bark
at you.' He went off, and wasn't seen in them parts again."

These outrages were not limited to the colored population; but other
instances occurred which strikingly remind one of more recent times. An
Englishman, named Robinson, was engaged in selling books at Petersburg.
An alarm being given, one night, that five hundred blacks were marching
towards the town, he stood guard, with others, on the bridge. After the
panic had a little subsided, he happened to remark, that "the blacks, as
men, were entitled to their freedom, and ought to be emancipated."
This led to great excitement, and he was warned to leave town. He took
passage in the stage, but the stage was intercepted. He then fled to a
friend's house; the house was broken open, and he was dragged forth.
The civil authorities, being applied to, refused to interfere. The mob
stripped him, gave him a great number of lashes, and sent him on foot,
naked, under a hot sun, to Richmond, whence he with difficulty found a
passage to New York.

Of the capture or escape of most of that small band who met with Nat
Turner in the woods upon the Travis plantation little can now be known.
All appear among the list of convicted, except Henry and Will. General
Moore, who occasionally figures as second in command, in the newspaper
narratives of that day, was probably the Hark or Hercules before
mentioned; as no other of the confederates had belonged to Mrs. Travis,
or would have been likely to bear her previous name of Moore. As usual,
the newspapers state that most, if not all the slaves, were "the
property of kind and indulgent masters." Whether in any case they were
also the sons of those masters is a point ignored; but from the fact
that three out of the seven were at first reported as being white men by
several different witnesses,--the whole number being correctly given,
and the statement therefore probably authentic,--one must suppose that
there was an admixture of patrician blood in some of these conspirators.

The subordinate insurgents sought safety as they could. A free colored
man, named Will Artist, shot himself in the woods, where his hat was
found on a stake and his pistol lying by him; another was found drowned;
others were traced to the Dismal Swamp; others returned to their homes,
and tried to conceal their share in the insurrection, assuring their
masters that they had been forced, against their will, to join,--the
usual defence in such cases. The number shot down at random must, by
all accounts, have amounted to many hundreds, but it is past all human
registration now. The number who had a formal trial, such as it was, is
officially stated at fifty-five; of these, seventeen were convicted and
hanged, twelve convicted and transported, twenty acquitted, and four
free colored men sent on for further trial and finally acquitted. "Not
one of those known to be concerned escaped." Of those executed, one only
was a woman: "Lucy, slave of John T. Barrow": that is all her epitaph,
shorter even than that of Wordsworth's more famous Lucy;--but whether
this one was old or young, pure or wicked, lovely or repulsive, octroon
or negro, a Cassy, an Emily, or a Topsy, no information appears; she was
a woman, she was a slave, and she died.

There is one touching story, in connection with these terrible
retaliations, which rests on good authority, that of the Rev. M.B. Cox,
a Liberian missionary, then in Virginia. In the hunt which followed the
massacre, a slaveholder went into the woods, accompanied by a
faithful slave, who had been the means of saving his life during the
insurrection. When they had reached a retired place in the forest, the
man handed his gun to his master, informing him that he could not live a
slave any longer, and requesting him either to free him or shoot him on
the spot. The master took the gun, in some trepidation, levelled it at
the faithful negro, and shot him through the heart. It is probable that
this slaveholder was a Dr. Blunt,--his being the only plantation where
the slaves were reported as thus defending their masters. "If this
be true," said the "Richmond Enquirer," when it first narrated this
instance of loyalty, "great will be the desert of these noble minded
Africans." This "noble-minded African," at least, estimated his own
desert at a high standard: he demanded freedom,--and obtained it.

Meanwhile the panic of the whites continued; for, though all others
might be disposed of, Nat Turner was still at large. We have positive
evidence of the extent of the alarm, although great efforts were
afterwards made to represent it as a trifling affair. A distinguished
citizen of Virginia wrote three months later to the Hon. W.B. Seabrook
of South Carolina,--"From all that has come to my knowledge during and
since that affair, I am convinced most fully that every black preacher
in the country east of the Blue Ridge was in the secret." "There is much
reason to believe," says the Governor's message on December 6th, "that
the spirit of insurrection was not confined to Southampton. Many
convictions have taken place elsewhere, and some few in distant
counties." The withdrawal of the United States troops, after some ten
days' service, was a signal for fresh excitement, and an address,
numerously signed, was presented to the United States Government,
imploring their continued stay. More than three weeks after the first
alarm, the Governor sent a supply of arms into Prince William, Fauquier,
and Orange Counties. "From examinations which have taken place in other
counties," says one of the best newspaper historians of the affair,
(in the "Richmond Enquirer" of September 6th,) "I fear that the scheme
embraced a wider sphere than I at first supposed." Nat Turner himself,
intentionally or otherwise, increased the confusion by denying all
knowledge of the North Carolina outbreak, and declaring that he had
communicated his plans to his four confederates within six months;
while, on the other hand, a slave-girl, sixteen or seventeen years old,
belonging to Solomon Parker, notified that she had heard the subject
discussed for eighteen months, and that at a meeting held during the
previous May some eight or ten had joined the plot.

It is astonishing to discover, by laborious comparison of newspaper
files, how vast was the immediate range of these insurrectionary alarms.
Every Southern State seems to have borne its harvest of terror. On the
Eastern shore of Maryland great alarm was at once manifested, especially
in the neighborhood of Easton and Snowhill; and the houses of colored
men were searched for arms even in Baltimore. In Delaware, there were
similar rumors through Sussex and Dover Counties; there were arrests and
executions; and in Somerset County great public meetings were held, to
demand additional safeguards. On election-day, in Seaford, Del., some
young men, going out to hunt rabbits, discharged their guns in sport;
the men being absent, all the women in the vicinity took to flight; the
alarm spread like the "Ipswich Fright"; soon Seaford was thronged with
armed men; and when the boys returned from hunting, they found cannon
drawn out to receive them.

In North Carolina, Raleigh and Fayetteville were put under military
defence, and women and children concealed themselves in the swamps for
many days. The rebel organization was supposed to include two thousand.
Forty-six slaves were imprisoned in Union County, twenty-five in Sampson
County, and twenty-three at least in Duplin County, some of whom were
executed. The panic also extended into Wayne, New Hanover, and Lenoir
Counties. Four men were shot without trial in Wilmington,--Nimrod,
Abraham, Prince, and "Dan the Drayman," the latter a man of
seventy,--and their heads placed on poles at the four corners of the
town. Nearly two months afterwards the trials were still continuing; and
at a still later day, the Governor in his proclamation recommended the
formation of companies of volunteers in every county.

In South Carolina, General Hayne issued a proclamation "to prove the
groundlessness of the existing alarms,"--thus implying that serious
alarms existed. In Macon, Georgia, the whole population were roused from
their beds at midnight by a report of a large force of armed negroes
five miles off. In an hour, every woman and child was deposited in the
largest building of the town, and a military force hastily collected in
front. The editor of the Macon "Messenger" excused the poor condition of
his paper, a few days afterwards, by the absorption of his workmen in
patrol duties, and describes "dismay and terror" as the condition of the
people, of "all ages and sexes." In Jones, Twiggs, and Monroe Counties,
the same alarms were reported; and in one place "several slaves were
tied to a tree, while a militia captain hacked at them with his sword."

In Alabama, at Columbus and Fort Mitchell, a rumor was spread of a joint
conspiracy of Indians and negroes. At Claiborne the panic was still
greater; the slaves were said to be thoroughly organized through that
part of the State, and multitudes were imprisoned; the whole alarm being
apparently founded on one stray copy of the "Liberator."

In Tennessee, the Shelbyville "Freeman" announced that an
insurrectionary plot had just been discovered, barely in time for
its defeat, through the treachery of a female slave. In Louisville,
Kentucky, a similar organization was discovered or imagined, and arrests
were made in consequence. "The papers, from motives of policy, do
not notice the disturbance," wrote one correspondent to the Portland
"Courier." "Pity us!" he added.

But the greatest bubble burst in Louisiana. Captain Alexander, an
English tourist, arriving in New Orleans at the beginning of September,
found the whole city in tumult. Handbills had been issued, appealing to
the slaves to rise against their masters, saying that all men were born
equal, declaring that Hannibal was a black man, and that they also might
have great leaders among them. Twelve hundred stand of weapons were said
to have been found in a black man's house; five hundred citizens were
under arms, and four companies of regulars were ordered to the city,
whose barracks Alexander himself visited.

If such were the alarm in New Orleans, the story, of course, lost
nothing by transmission to other Slave States. A rumor reached
Frankfort, Kentucky, that the slaves already had possession of the
coast, both above and below New Orleans. But the most remarkable
circumstance is, that all this seems to have been a mere revival of an
old terror, once before excited and exploded. The following paragraph
had appeared in the Jacksonville (Georgia) "Observer," during the spring
previous:--

"FEARFUL DISCOVERY. We were favored, by yesterday's mail, with a letter
from New Orleans, of May 1st, in which we find that an important
discovery had been made a few days previous in that city. The following
is an extract:--'Four days ago, as some planters were digging under
ground, they found a square room containing eleven thousand stand of
arms and fifteen thousand cartridges, each of the cartridges containing
a bullet.' It is said the negroes intended to rise as soon as the sickly
season began, and obtain possession of the city by massacring the white
population. The same letter states that the mayor had prohibited the
opening of Sunday-schools for the instruction of blacks, under a penalty
of five hundred dollars for the first offence, and for the second,
death."

Such were the terrors that came back from nine other Slave States, as
the echo of the voice of Nat Turner; and when it is also known that the
subject was at once taken up by the legislatures of other States, where
there was no public panic, as in Missouri and Tennessee,--and when,
finally, it is added that reports of insurrection had been arriving all
that year from Rio Janeiro, Martinique, St. Jago, Antigua, Caraccas, and
Tortola, it is easy to see with what prolonged distress the accumulated
terror must have weighed down upon Virginia, during the two months that
Nat Turner lay hid.

True, there were a thousand men in arms in Southampton County, to
inspire security. But the blow had been struck by only seven men before;
and unless there were an armed guard in every house, who could tell but
any house might at any moment be the scene of new horrors? They might
kill or imprison unresisting negroes by day, but could they resist their
avengers by night? "The half cannot be told," wrote a lady from another
part of Virginia, at this time, "of the distresses of the people. In
Southampton County, the scene of the insurrection, the distress beggars
description. A gentleman who has been there says that even here, where
there has been great alarm, we have no idea of the situation of those in
that county.... I do not hesitate to believe that many negroes around us
would join in a massacre as horrible as that which has taken place, if
an opportunity should offer."

Meanwhile the cause of all this terror was made the object of desperate
search. On September 17th the Governor offered a reward of five hundred
dollars for his capture, and there were other rewards swelling the
amount to eleven hundred dollars,--but in vain. No one could track or
trap him. On September 30th a minute account of his capture appeared
in the newspapers, but it was wholly false. On October 7th there was
another, and on October 18th another; yet all without foundation. Worn
out by confinement in his little cave, Nat Turner grew more adventurous,
and began to move about stealthily by night, afraid to speak to any
human being, but hoping to obtain some information that might aid his
escape. Returning regularly to his retreat before daybreak, he might
possibly have continued this mode of life until pursuit had ceased, had
not a dog succeeded where men had failed. The creature accidentally
smelt out the provisions hid in the cave, and finally led thither his
masters, two negroes, one of whom was named Nelson. On discovering the
terrible fugitive, they fled precipitately, when he hastened to retreat
in an opposite direction. This was on October 15th, and from this moment
the neighborhood was all alive with excitement, and five or six hundred
men undertook the pursuit.

It shows a more than Indian adroitness in Nat Turner to have escaped
capture any longer. The cave, the arms, the provisions were found; and
lying among them the notched stick of this miserable Robinson Crusoe,
marked with five weary weeks and six days. But the man was gone. For ten
days more he concealed himself among the wheat-stacks on Mr. Francis's
plantation, and during this time was reduced almost to despair. Once he
decided to surrender himself, and walked by night within two miles of
Jerusalem before his purpose failed him. Three times he tried to get out
of that neighborhood, but in vain: travelling by day was, of course,
out of the question, and by night he found it impossible to elude the
patrol. Again and again, therefore, he returned to his hiding-place,
and during his whole two months' liberty never went five miles from the
Cross Keys. On the 25th of October, he was at last discovered by Mr.
Francis, as he was emerging from a stack. A load of buckshot was
instantly discharged at him, twelve of which passed through his hat
as he fell to the ground. He escaped even then, but his pursuers were
rapidly concentrating upon him, and it is perfectly astonishing that he
could have eluded them for five days more.

On Sunday, October 30th, a man named Benjamin Phipps, going out for the
first time on patrol duty, was passing at noon a clearing in the woods
where a number of pine-trees had long since been felled. There was a
motion among their boughs; he stopped to watch it; and through a gap in
the branches he saw, emerging from a hole in the earth beneath, the
face of Nat Turner. Aiming his gun instantly, Phipps called on him
to surrender. The fugitive, exhausted with watching and privation,
entangled in the branches, armed only with a sword, had nothing to do
but to yield; sagaciously reflecting, also, as he afterwards explained,
that the woods were full of armed men, and that he had better trust
fortune for some later chance of escape, instead of desperately
attempting it then. He was correct in the first impression, since there
were fifty armed scouts within a circuit of two miles. His insurrection
ended where it began; for this spot was only a mile and a half from the
house of Joseph Travis.

Torn, emaciated, ragged, "a mere scarecrow," still wearing the hat
perforated with buckshot, with his arms bound to his sides, he was
driven before the levelled gun to the nearest house, that of a Mr.
Edwards. He was confined there that night; but the news had spread so
rapidly that within an hour after his arrival a hundred persons had
collected, and the excitement became so intense "that it was with
difficulty he could be conveyed alive to Jerusalem." The enthusiasm
spread instantly through Virginia; Mr. Trezvant, the Jerusalem
postmaster, sent notices of it far and near; and Governor Floyd himself
wrote a letter to the "Richmond Enquirer" to give official announcement
of the momentous capture.

When Nat Turner was asked by Mr. T.R. Gray, the counsel assigned him,
whether, although defeated, he still believed in his own Providential
mission, he answered, as simply as one who came thirty years after him,
"Was not Christ crucified?" In the same spirit, when arraigned before
the court, "he answered, 'Not guilty,' saying to his counsel that he did
not feel so." But apparently no argument was made in his favor by his
counsel, nor were any witnesses called,--he being convicted on the
testimony of Levi Waller, and upon his own confession, which was put in
by Mr. Gray, and acknowledged by the prisoner before the six justices
composing the court, as being "full, free, and voluntary." He was
therefore placed in the paradoxical position of conviction by his own
confession, under a plea of "Not guilty." The arrest took place on the
thirtieth of October, 1831, the confession on the first of November, the
trial and conviction on the fifth, and the execution on the following
Friday, the eleventh of November, precisely at noon. He met his death
with perfect composure, declined addressing the multitude assembled, and
told the sheriff in a firm voice that he was ready. Another account says
that he "betrayed no emotion, and even hurried the executioner in the
performance of his duty." "Not a limb nor a muscle was observed to
move. His body, after his death, was given over to the surgeons for
dissection."

This last statement merits remark. There would he no evidence that this
formidable man was not favored during his imprisonment with that full
measure of luxury which slave-jails afford to slaves, but for a rumor
which arose after the execution, that he was compelled to sell his body
in advance, for purposes of dissection, in exchange for food. But it
does not appear probable, from the known habits of Southern anatomists,
that any such bargain could have been needed. For in the circular of the
South Carolina Medical School for that very year I find this remarkable
suggestion:--"Some advantages of a peculiar character are connected
with this institution. No place in the United States affords so great
opportunities for the acquisition of medical knowledge, subjects being
obtained among the colored population in sufficient number for every
purpose, and proper dissections carried on without offending any
individual." What a convenience, to possess for scientific purposes a
class of population sufficiently human to be dissected, but not human
enough to be supposed to take offence at it! And as the same arrangement
may be supposed to have existed in Virginia, Nat Turner would hardly
have gone through the formality of selling his body for food to those
who claimed its control at any rate.

The Confession of the captive was published under authority of Mr. Gray,
in a pamphlet, at Baltimore. Fifty thousand copies of it are said to
have been printed, and it was "embellished with an accurate likeness
of the brigand, taken by Mr. John Crawley. portrait-painter, and
lithographed by Endicott & Swett, at Baltimore." The newly published
"Liberator" said of it, at the time, that it would "only serve to rouse
up other leaders, and hasten other insurrections," and advised grand
juries to indict Mr. Gray. I have never seen a copy of the original
pamphlet, it is not to be found in any of our public libraries, and I
have heard of but one as still existing, although the Confession itself
has been repeatedly reprinted. Another small pamphlet, containing the
main features of the outbreak, was published at New York during the same
year, and this is in my possession. But the greater part of the facts
which I have given were gleaned from the contemporary newspapers.

Who now shall go back thirty years and read the heart of this
extraordinary man, who, by the admission of his captors, "never was
known to swear an oath or drink a drop of spirits,"--who, on the same
authority, "for natural intelligence and quickness of apprehension was
surpassed by few men," "with a mind capable of attaining anything,"--who
knew no book but his Bible, and that by heart,--who devoted himself
soul and body to the cause of his race, without a trace of personal hope
or fear,--who laid his plans so shrewdly that they came at last with
less warning than any earthquake on the doomed community around,--and
who, when that time arrived, took the life of man, woman, and child,
without a throb of compunction, a word of exultation, or an act of
superfluous outrage? Mrs. Stowe's "Dred" seems dim and melodramatic
beside the actual Nat Turner. De Quincey's "Avenger" is his only
parallel in imaginative literature: similar wrongs, similar retribution.
Mr. Gray, his self-appointed confessor, rises into a sort of bewildered
enthusiasm, with the prisoner before him. "I shall not attempt to
describe the effect of his narrative, as told and commented on by
himself, in the condemned-hole of the prison. The calm, deliberate
composure with which he spoke of his late deeds and intentions, the
expression of his fiend-like face when excited by enthusiasm, still
bearing the stains of the blood of helpless innocence about him, clothed
with rags and covered with chains, yet daring to raise his manacled
hands to heaven, with a spirit soaring above the attributes of man,--I
looked on him, and the blood curdled in my veins."

But the more remarkable the personal character of Nat Turner, the
greater the amazement felt that he should not have appreciated the
extreme felicity of his position as a slave. In all insurrections, the
standing wonder seems to be that the slaves most trusted and best used
should be most deeply involved. So in this case, as usual, they resorted
to the most astonishing theories of the origin of the affair. One
attributed it to Free-Masonry, and another to free whiskey,--liberty
appearing dangerous, even in these forms. The poor whites charged it
upon the free colored people, and urged their expulsion, forgetting that
in North Carolina the plot was betrayed by one of this class, and that
in Virginia there were but two engaged, both of whom had slave-wives.
The slaveholding clergymen traced it to want of knowledge of the Bible,
forgetting that Nat Turner knew scarcely anything else. On the other
hand, "a distinguished citizen of Virginia" combined in one sweeping
denunciation "Northern incendiaries, tracts, Sunday-schools, religion,
reading, and writing."

But whether the theories of its origin were wise or foolish,
the insurrection made its mark, and the famous band of Virginia
emancipationists who all that winter made the House of Delegates ring
with unavailing eloquence--till the rise of slave-exportation to
new cotton regions stopped their voices--were but the unconscious
mouth-pieces of Nat Turner. In January, 1832, in reply to a member who
had called the outbreak a "petty affair," the eloquent James McDowell
thus described the impression it left behind:--

"Now, Sir, I ask you, I ask gentlemen, in conscience to say, was that
a 'petty affair' which startled the feelings of your whole
population,--which threw a portion of it into alarm, a portion of it
into panic,--which wrung out from an affrighted people the thrilling
cry, day after day, conveyed to your executive, '_We are in peril of our
lives; send us an army for defence_'? Was that a 'petty affair' which
drove families from their homes,--which assembled women and children in
crowds, without shelter, at places of common refuge, in every condition
of weakness and infirmity, under every suffering which want and terror
could inflict, yet willing to endure all, willing to meet death from
famine, death from climate, death from hardships, preferring anything
rather than the horrors of meeting it from a domestic assassin? Was that
a 'petty affair' which erected a peaceful and confiding portion of the
State into a military camp,--which outlawed from pity the unfortunate
beings whose brothers had offended,--which barred every door, penetrated
every bosom with fear or suspicion,--which so banished every sense of
security from every man's dwelling, that, let but a hoof or horn break
upon the silence of the night, and an aching throb would be driven to
the heart, the husband would look to his weapon, and the mother would
shudder and weep upon her cradle? Was it the fear of Nat Turner, and his
deluded, drunken handful of followers, which produced such effects?
Was it this that induced distant counties, where the very name of
Southampton was strange, to arm and equip for a struggle? No, Sir,
it was the suspicion eternally attached to the slave himself,--the
suspicion that a Nat Turner might be in every family,--that the same
bloody deed might be acted over at any time and in any place,--that the
materials for it were spread through the land, and were always ready for
a like explosion. Nothing but the force of this withering apprehension,
--nothing but the paralyzing and deadening weight with which it falls
upon and prostrates the heart of every man who has helpless dependents
to protect,--nothing but this could have thrown a brave people
into consternation, or could have made any portion of this powerful
Commonwealth, for a single instant, to have quailed and trembled."

While these things were going on, the enthusiasm for the Polish
Revolution was rising to its height. The nation was ringing with a peal
of joy, on hearing that at Frankfort the Poles had killed fourteen
thousand Russians. "The Southern Religious Telegraph" was publishing an
impassioned address to Kosciusko; standards were being consecrated for
Poland in the larger cities; heroes, like Skrzynecki, Czartoryski,
Rozyski, Kaminski, were choking the trump of Fame with their complicated
patronymics. These are all forgotten now; and this poor negro, who did
not even possess a name, beyond one abrupt monosyllable,--for even the
name of Turner was the master's property,--still lives a memory of
terror and a symbol of retribution triumphant.



CONCERNING VEAL:

A DISCOURSE OF IMMATURITY.


The man who, in his progress through life, has listened with attention
to the conversation of human beings, who has carefully read the writings
of the best English authors, who has made himself well acquainted with
the history and usages of his native land, and who has meditated much on
all he has seen and read, must have been led to the firm conviction that
by VEAL those who speak the English language intend to denote the flesh
of calves, and that by a calf is intended an immature ox or cow. A calf
is a creature in a temporary and progressive stage of its being. It will
not always be a calf; if it live long enough, it will assuredly cease to
be a calf. And if impatient man, arresting the creature at that stage,
should consign it to the hands of him whose business it is to convert
the sentient animal into the impassive and unconscious meat, the
nutriment which the creature will afford will be nothing more than
immature beef. There may be many qualities of Veal; the calf which
yields it may die at very different stages in its physical and moral
development; but provided only it die as a calf,--provided only that its
meat can fitly be styled Veal,--_this_ will be characteristic of
it, that the meat shall be immature meat. It may be very good, very
nutritious and palatable; some people may like it better than Beef, and
may feed upon it with the liveliest satisfaction; but when it is fairly
and deliberately put to us, it must be admitted, even by such as like
Veal the best, that Veal is but an immature production of Nature. I take
Veal, therefore, as the emblem of IMMATURITY,--of that which is now in
a stage out of which it must grow,--of that which, as time goes on,
will grow older, will probably grow better, will certainly grow very
different. _That_ is what I mean by Veal.

And now, my reader and friend, you will discern the subject about which
I trust we are to have some pleasant and not unprofitable thought
together. You will readily believe that my subject is not that material
Veal which may be beheld and purchased in the butchers' shops. I am not
now to treat of its varied qualities, of the sustenance which it yields,
of the price at which it may be procured, or of the laws according to
which that price rises and falls. I am not going to take you to the
green fields in which the creature which yielded the Veal was fed, or to
discourse of the blossoming hawthorn hedges from whose midst it was reft
away. Neither shall I speak of the rustic life, the toils, cares, and
fancies of the farm-house near which it spent its brief lifetime. The
Veal of which I intend to speak is Moral Veal, or (to speak with
entire accuracy) Veal Intellectual, Moral, and Aesthetical. By Veal
I understand the immature productions of the human mind,--immature
compositions, immature opinions, feelings, and tastes. I wish to think
of the work, the views, the fancies, the emotions, which are yielded by
the human soul in its immature stages,--while the calf (so to speak)
is only growing into the ox,--while the clever boy, with his absurd
opinions and feverish feelings and fancies, is developing into the
mature and sober-minded man. And if I could but rightly set out the
thoughts which have at many different times occurred to me on this
matter, if one could catch and fix the vague glimpses and passing
intuitions of solid unchanging truth, if the subject on which one has
thought long and felt deeply were always that on which one could write
best, and could bring out to the sympathy of others what a man himself
has felt, what an excellent essay this would be! But it will not be so;
for, as I try to grasp the thoughts I would set out, they melt away and
elude me. It is like trying to catch and keep the rainbow hues you have
seen the sunshine cast upon the spray of a waterfall, when you try to
catch the tone, the thoughts, the feelings, the atmosphere of early
youth.

There can be no question at all as to the fact, that clever young men
and women, when their minds begin to open, when they begin to think for
themselves, do pass through a stage of mental development which they
by-and-by quite outgrow, and entertain opinions and beliefs, and
feel emotions, on which afterwards they look back with no sympathy or
approval. This is a fact as certain as that a calf grows into an ox, or
that veal, if spared to grow, will become beef. But no analogy between
the material and the moral must be pushed too far. There are points of
difference between material and moral Veal. A calf knows it is a calf.
It may think itself bigger and wiser than an ox, but it knows it is not
an ox. And if it be a reasonable calf, modest, and free from prejudice,
it is well aware that the joints it will yield after its demise will be
very different from those of the stately and well-consolidated ox which
ruminates in the rich pasture near it. But the human boy often thinks he
is a man, and even more than a man. He fancies that his mental stature
is as big and as solid as it will ever become. He fancies that his
mental productions--the poems and essays he writes, the political
and social views he forms, the moods of feeling with which he regards
things--are just what they may always be, just what they ought always to
be. If spared in this world, and if he be one of those whom years make
wiser, the day comes when he looks back with amazement and shame on
those early mental productions. He discerns now how immature, absurd,
and extravagant they were,--in brief, how Vealy. But at the time, he
had not the least idea that they were so. He had entire confidence in
himself,--not a misgiving as to his own ability and wisdom. You, clever
young student of eighteen years old, when you wrote your prize essay,
fancied that in thought and style it was very like Macaulay,--and not
Macaulay in that stage of Vealy brilliancy in which he wrote his essay
on Milton, not Macaulay the fairest and most promising of calves, but
Macaulay the stateliest and most beautiful of oxen. Well, read over your
essay now at thirty, and tell us what you think of it. And you, clever,
warm-hearted, enthusiastic young preacher of twenty-four, wrote your
sermon; it was very ingenious, very brilliant in style, and you never
thought but that it would be felt by mature-minded Christian people as
suiting their case, as true to their inmost experience. You could not
see why you might not preach as well as a man of forty. And if people in
middle age had complained, that, eloquent as your preaching was, they
found it suited them better and profited them more to listen to the
plainer instructions of some good man with gray hair, you would not have
understood their feeling, and you might perhaps have attributed it to
many motives rather than the true one. But now at five-and-thirty,
find out the yellow manuscript, and read it carefully over; and I will
venture to say, that, if you were a really clever and eloquent young
man, writing in an ambitious and rhetorical style, and prompted to do
so by the spontaneous fervor of your heart and readiness of your
imagination, you will feel now little sympathy even with the literary
style of that early composition,--you will see extravagance and
bombast, where once you saw only eloquence and graphic power. And as for
the graver and more important matter of the thought of the discourse,
I think you will be aware of a certain undefinable shallowness and
crudity. Your growing experience has borne you beyond it. Somehow you
feel it does not come home to you, and suit you as you would wish it
should. It will not do. That old sermon you cannot preach now, till you
have entirely recast and rewritten it. But you had no such notion when
you wrote the sermon. You were satisfied with it. You thought it even
better than the discourses of men as clever as yourself, and ten or
fifteen years older. Your case was as though the youthful calf should
walk beside the sturdy ox, and think itself rather bigger.

Let no clever young reader fancy, from what has been said, that I
am about to make an onslaught upon clever young men. I remember too
distinctly how bitter, and indeed ferocious, I used to feel, about
eleven or twelve years ago, when I heard men of more than middle age and
less than middling ability speak with contemptuous depreciation of the
productions and doings of men considerably their juniors, and vastly
their superiors,--describing them as _boys_, and as _clever lads_, with
looks of dark malignity. There are few more disgusting sights than
the envy and jealousy of their juniors, which may be seen in various
malicious, commonplace old men; as there is hardly a more beautiful and
pleasing sight than the old man hailing and counselling and encouraging
the youthful genius which he knows far surpasses his own. And I, my
young friend of two-and-twenty, who, relatively to you, may be regarded
as old, am going to assume no preposterous airs of superiority. I do not
claim to be a bit wiser than you; all I claim is to be older. I have
outgrown your stage; but I was once such as you, and all my sympathies
are with you yet. But it is a difficulty in the way of the essayist,
and, indeed, of all who set out opinions which they wish to be received
and acted on by their fellow-creatures, that they seem, by the very act
of offering advice to others, to claim to be wiser and better than those
whom they advise. But in reality it is not so. The opinions of the
essayist or of the preacher, if deserving of notice at all, are so
because of their inherent truth, and not because he expresses them.
Estimate them for yourself, and give them the weight which you think
their due. And be sure of this, that the writer, if earnest and sincere,
addressed all he said to himself as much as to any one else. This is the
thing which redeems all didactic writing or speaking from the charge of
offensive assumption and self-assertion. It is not for the preacher,
whether of moral or religious truth, to address his fellows as outside
sinners, worse than himself, and needing to be reminded of that of which
he does not need to be reminded. No, the earnest preacher preaches to
himself as much as to any in the congregation; it is from the picture
ever before him in his own weak and wayward heart that he learns to
reach and describe the hearts of others, if, indeed, he do so at all.
And it is the same with lesser things.

It is curious and it is instructive to remark how heartily men, as they
grow towards middle age, despise themselves as they were a few years
since. It is a bitter thing for a man to confess that he is a fool; but
it costs little effort to declare that he was a fool, a good while ago.
Indeed, a tacit compliment to his present self is involved in the latter
confession: it suggests the reflection, what progress he has made, and
how vastly he has improved, since then. When a man informs us that he
was a very silly fellow in the year 1851, it is assumed that he is not a
very silly fellow in the year 1861. It is as when the merchant with ten
thousand a year, sitting at his sumptuous table, and sipping his '41
claret, tells you how, when he came as a raw lad from the country, he
used often to have to go without his dinner. He knows that the plate,
the wine, the massively elegant apartment, the silent servants, so
alert, yet so impassive, will appear to join in chorus with the obvious
suggestion, "You see he has not to go without his dinner now!" Did you
ever, when twenty years old, look back at the diary you kept when
you were sixteen,--or when twenty-five, at the diary you kept when
twenty,--or at thirty, at the diary you kept when twenty-five? Was not
your feeling a singular mixture of humiliation and self-complacency?
What extravagant, silly stuff it seemed that you had thus written five
years before! What Veal! and, oh, what a calf he must have been who
wrote it! It is a difficult question, to which the answer cannot be
elicited, Who is the greatest fool in this world? But every candid and
sensible man of middle age knows thoroughly well the answer to the
question, Who was the greatest fool that he himself ever knew? And after
all, it is your diary, especially if you were wont to introduce into it
poetical remarks and moral reflections, that will mainly help you to
the humiliating conclusion. Other things, some of which I have already
named, will point in the same direction. Look at the prize essays you
wrote when you were a boy at school; look even at your earlier prize
essays written at college (though of these last I have something to say
hereafter); look at the letters you wrote home when away at school or
even at college, especially if you were a clever boy, trying to write
in a graphic and witty fashion; and if you have reached sense at last,
(which some, it may be remarked, never do,) I think you will blush even
through the unblushing front of manhood, and think what a terrific,
unutterable, conceited, intolerable blockhead you were. It is not till
people attain somewhat mature years that they can rightly understand
the wonderful forbearance their parents must have shown in listening
patiently to the frightful nonsense they talked and wrote. I have
already spoken of sermons. If you go early into the Church, say at
twenty-three or twenty-four, and write sermons regularly and diligently,
you know what landmarks they will be of your mental progress. The first
runnings of the stream are turbid, but it clears itself into sense and
taste month by month and year by year. You wrote many sermons in your
first year or two; you preached them with entire confidence in them,
and they did really keep up the attention of the congregation in a
remarkable way. You accumulate in a box a store of that valuable
literature and theology, and when by-and-by you go to another parish,
you have a comfortable feeling that you have a capital stock to go on
with. You think that any Monday morning, when you have the prospect of
a very busy week, or when you feel very weary, you may resolve that you
shall write no sermon that week, but just go and draw forth one from the
box. I have already said what you will probably find, even if you draw
forth a discourse which cost much labor. You cannot use it as it stands.
Possibly it may be structural and essential Veal: the whole framework of
thought may be immature. Possibly it may be Veal only in style; and by
cutting out a turgid sentence here and there, and, above all, by cutting
out all the passages which you thought particularly eloquent, the
discourse may do yet. But even then you cannot give it with much
confidence. Your mind can yield something better than that now. I
imagine how a fine old orange-tree, that bears oranges with the thinnest
possible skin and with no pips, juicy and rich, might feel that it has
outgrown the fruit of its first years, when the skin was half an inch
thick, the pips innumerable, and the eatable portion small and poor. It
is with a feeling such as _that_ that you read over your early
sermon. Still, mingling with the sense of shame, there is a certain
satisfaction. You have not been standing still; you have been getting
on. And we always like to think _that_.

What is it that makes intellectual Veal? What are the things about a
composition which stamp it as such? Well, it is a certain character in
thought and style hard to define, but strongly felt by such as discern
its presence at all. It is strongly felt by professors reading the
compositions of their students, especially the compositions of the
cleverest students. It is strongly felt by educated folk of middle age,
in listening to the sermons of young pulpit orators, especially of
such as think for themselves, of such as aim at a high standard of
excellence, of such as have in them the makings of striking and eloquent
preachers. Dull and stupid fellows never deviate into the extravagance
and absurdity which I specially understand by Veal. They plod along in
a humdrum manner; there is no poetry in their soul,--none of those
ambitious stirrings which lead the man who has in him the true spark of
genius to try for grand things and incur severe and ignominious tumbles.
A heavy dray-horse, walking along the road, may possibly advance at a
very lagging pace, or may even stand still; but whatever he may do, he
is not likely to jump violently over the hedge, or to gallop off at
twenty-five miles an hour. It must be a thoroughbred who will go wrong
in that grand fashion. And there are intellectual absurdities and
extravagances which hold out hopeful promise of noble doings yet: the
eagle, which will breast the hurricane yet, may meet various awkward
tumbles before he learns the fashion in which to use those iron wings.
But the substantial goose, which probably escapes those tumbles in
trying to fly, will never do anything very magnificent in the way of
flying. The man who in his early days writes in a very inflated and
bombastic style will gradually sober down into good sense and accurate
taste, still retaining something of liveliness and eloquence. But expect
little of the man who as a boy was always sensible, and never bombastic.
He will grow awfully dry. He is sure to fall into the unpardonable sin
of tiresomeness. The rule has exceptions; but the earliest productions
of a man of real genius are almost always crude, flippant, and
affectedly smart, or else turgid and extravagant in a high degree.
Witness Mr. Disraeli; witness Sir E.B. Lytton; witness even Macaulay.
The man who as mere boy writes something very sound and sensible will
probably never become more than a dull, sensible, commonplace man.
Many people can say, as they bethink themselves of their old college
companions, that those who wrote with good sense and good taste at
twenty have mostly settled down into the dullest and baldest of prosers;
while such as dealt in bombastic flourishes and absurd ambitiousness of
style have learned, as time went on, to prune their early luxuriances,
while still retaining something of raciness, interest, and ornament.

I have been speaking very generally of the characteristics of Veal in
composition. It is difficult to give any accurate description of it that
shall go into minuter details. Of course it is easy to think of little
external marks of the beast,--that is, the calf. It is Veal in style,
when people, writing prose, think it a fine thing to write _o'er_
instead of _over_, _ne'er_ instead of _never_, _poesie_ instead of
_poetry_, and _methinks_ under any circumstances whatsoever. References
to the heart are generally of the nature of Veal; also allusions to the
mysterious throbbings and yearnings of our nature. The word _grand_ has
of late come to excite a strong suspicion of Veal; and when I read the
other day in a certain poem something about a _great grand man_, I
concluded that the writer of that poem was meanwhile a great grand calf.
The only case in which the words may properly be used together is in
speaking of your great-grandfather. To talk about _mine_ affections,
meaning _my_ affections, is Veal; and _mine bonnie love_ was decided
Veal, though it was written by Charlotte Bronté. _Wife mine_ is Veal,
though it stands in "The Caxtons." I should rather like to see the man
who in actual life is accustomed to address his spouse in that fashion.
To say _Not, oh, never_ shall we do so and so is outrageous Veal.
_Sylvan grove_ or _sylvan vale_ in ordinary conversation is Veal. The
word _glorious_ should be used with caution; when applied to trees,
mountains, or the like, there is a strong suspicion of Veal about it.
But one feels that in saying these things we are not getting at the
essence of Veal. Veal in thought is essential Veal, and it is very hard
to define. Beyond extravagant language, beyond absurd fine things, it
lies in a certain lack of reality and sobriety of sense and view,--in a
certain indefinable jejuneness in the mental fare provided, which makes
mature men feel that somehow it does not satisfy their cravings. You
know what I mean better than I can express it. You have seen and heard
a young preacher, with a rosy face and an unlined brow, preaching about
the cares and trials of life. Well, you just feel at once he knows
nothing about them. You feel that all this is at second-hand. He is
saying all this because he supposes it is the right thing to say. Give
me the pilot to direct me who has sailed through the difficult channel
many a time himself. Give me the friend to sympathize with me in sorrow
who has felt the like. There is a hollowness, a certain want, in the
talk about much tribulation of the very cleverest man who has never felt
any great sorrow at all. The great force and value of all teaching lie
in the amount of personal experience which is embodied in it. You feel
the difference between the production of a wonderfully clever boy and of
a mature man, when you read the first canto of "Childe Harold," and then
read "Philip van Artevelde." I do not say but that the boy's production
may have a liveliness and interest beyond the man's. Veal is in certain
respects superior to Beef, though Beef is best on the whole. I have
heard Vealy preachers whose sermons kept up breathless attention. From
the first word to the last of a sermon which was unquestionable Veal, I
have witnessed an entire congregation listen with that audible hush you
know. It was very different, indeed, from the state of matters when a
humdrum old gentleman was preaching, every word spoken by whom was the
maturest sense, expressed in words to which the most fastidious taste
could have taken no exception; but then the whole thing was sleepy: it
was a terrible effort to attend. In the case of the Veal there was no
effort at all. I defy you to help attending. But then you sat in pain.
Every second sentence there was some outrageous offence against good
taste; every third statement was absurd, or overdrawn, or almost
profane. You felt occasional thrills of pure disgust and horror, and you
were in terror what might come next. One thing which tended to carry all
this off was the manifest confidence and earnestness of the speaker.
_He_ did not think it Veal that he was saying. And though great
consternation was depicted on the faces of some of the better-educated
people in church, you could see that a very considerable part of the
congregation did not think it Veal either. There can be no doubt, my
middle-aged friend, if you could but give your early sermons now with
the confidence and fire of the time when you wrote them, they would make
a deep impression on many people yet. But it is simply impossible for
you to give them; and if you should force yourself some rainy Sunday to
preach one of them, you would give it with such a sense of its errors,
and with such an absence of corresponding feeling, that it would fall
very flat and dead. Your views are maturing; your taste is growing
fastidious; the strong things you once said you could not bring yourself
to say now. If you _could_ preach those old sermons, there is no doubt
they would go down with the mass of uncultivated folk,--go down better
than your mature and reasonable ones. We have all known such cases as
that of a young preacher who, at twenty-five, in his days of Veal, drew
great crowds to the church at which he preached, and who at thirty-five,
being a good deal tamed and sobered, and in the judgment of competent
judges vastly improved, attracted no more than a respectable
congregation. A very great and eloquent preacher lately lamented to me
the uselessness of his store of early discourses. If he could but get
rid of his present standard of what is right and good in thought and
language, and preach them with the enchaining fire with which he
preached them once! For many hearers remain immature, though the
preacher has matured. Young people are growing up, and there are people
whose taste never ripens beyond the enjoyment of Veal. There is a period
in the mental development of those who will be ablest and maturest, at
which Vealy thought and language are accepted as the best. Veal will be
highly appreciated by sympathetic calves; and the greatest men, with
rare exceptions, are calves in youth, while many human beings are calves
forever. And here I may remark, as something which has afforded me
consolation on various occasions within the last year, that it seems
unquestionable that sermons which are utterly revolting to people of
taste and sense have done much good to large masses of those people in
whom common sense is most imperfectly developed, and in whom taste is
not developed at all; and accordingly, wherever one is convinced of the
sincerity of the individuals, however foolish and uneducated, who go
about pouring forth those violent, exaggerated, and all but blasphemous
discourses of which I have read accounts in the newspapers, one would
humbly hope that a Power which works by many means would bring about
good even through an instrumentality which it is hard to contemplate
without some measure of horror. The impression produced by most things
in this world is relative to the minds on which the impression is
produced. A coarse ballad, deficient in rhyme and rhythm, and only half
decent, will keep up the attention of a rustic group to whom you might
read from "In Memoriam" in vain. A waistcoat of glaring scarlet will be
esteemed by a country bumpkin a garment every way preferable to one of
aspect more subdued. A nigger melody will charm many a one who would
yawn at Beethoven. You must have rough means to move rough people.
The outrageous revival-orator may do good to people to whom Bishop
Wilberforce or Dr. Caird might preach to no purpose; and if real good be
done, by whatever means, all right-minded people should rejoice to hear
of it.

       *       *       *       *       *

And this leads to an important practical question, on which men at
different periods of life will never agree. _When_ shall thought be
regarded as mature? Is there a standard by which we may ascertain beyond
question whether a composition be Veal or Beef? I sigh for fixity and
assurance in matters aesthetical. It is vexatious that what I think very
good my friend Smith thinks very bad. It is vexatious that what strikes
me as supreme and unapproachable excellence strikes another person, at
least as competent to form an opinion, as poor. And I am angry with
myself when I feel that I honestly regard as inflated commonplace and
mystical jargon what a man as old and (let us say) nearly as wise
as myself thinks the utterance of a prophet. You know how, when
you contemplate the purchase of a horse, you lead him up to the
measuring-bar, and there ascertain the precise number of hands and
inches which he stands. How have I longed for the means of subjecting
the mental stature of human beings to an analogous process of
measurement! Oh for some recognized and unerring gauge of mental
calibre! It would be a grand thing, if somewhere in a very conspicuous
position--say on the site of the National Gallery at Charing
Cross--there were a pillar erected, graduated by some new Fahrenheit,
on which we could measure the height of a man's mind. How delightful it
would be to drag up some pompous pretender who passes off at once upon
himself and others as a profound and able man, and make him measure his
height upon that pillar, and understand beyond all cavil what a pigmy
he is! And how pleasant, too, it would be to bring up some man of
unacknowledged genius, and make the world see the reach of _his_
intellectual stature! The mass of educated people, even, are so
incapable of forming any estimate of a man's ability, that it would be
a blessing, if men could be sent out into the world with the stamp upon
them, telling what are their weight and value, plain for every one to
see. But of course there are many ways in which a book, sermon, or essay
may be bad without being Vealy. It may be dull, stupid, illogical,
and the like, and yet have nothing of boyishness about it. It may be
insufferably bad, yet quite mature. Beef may be bad, and yet undoubtedly
Beef. And the question now is, not so much whether there be a standard
of what is in a literary sense good or bad, as whether there be a
standard of what is Veal and what is Beef. And there is a great
difficulty here. Is a thing to be regarded as mature, when it suits your
present taste, when it is approved by your present deliberate judgment?
For your taste is always changing: your standard is not the same for
three successive years of your early youth. The Veal you now despise you
thought Beef when you wrote it. And so, too, with the productions of
other men. You cannot read now without amazement the books which used
to enchant you as a child. I remember when I used to read Hervey's
"Meditations" with great delight. That was when I was about five years
old. A year or two later I greatly affected Macpherson's translation of
Ossian. It is not so very long since I felt the liveliest interest in
Tupper's "Proverbial Philosophy." Let me confess that I retain a kindly
feeling towards it yet; and that I am glad to see that some hundreds
of thousands of readers appear to be still in the stage out of which I
passed some years since. Yes, as you grow older, your taste changes: it
becomes more fastidious; and especially you come to have always less
toleration for sentimental feeling and for flights of fancy. And besides
this gradual and constant progression, which holds on uniformly year
after year, there are changes in mood and taste sometimes from day to
day and from hour to hour. The man who did a very silly thing thought
it was a wise thing when he did it. He sees the matter differently in a
little while. On the evening after the Battle of Waterloo, the Duke of
Wellington wrote a certain letter. History does not record its matter or
style. But history does record, that some years afterwards the Duke paid
a hundred guineas to get it back again,--and that, on getting it, he
instantly burned it, exclaiming, that, when he wrote it, he must have
been the greatest idiot on the face of the earth. Doubtless, if we had
seen that letter, we should have heartily coincided in the sentiment of
the hero. He _was_ an idiot when he wrote it, but he did not think that
he was one. I think, however, that there is a standard of sense and
folly, and that there is a point at which Veal is Veal no more. But I do
not believe that thought can justly be called mature only when it has
become such as to suit the taste of some desperately dry old gentleman,
with as much feeling as a log of wood, and as much imagination as an
oyster. I know how intolerant some dull old fogies are of youthful
fire and fancy. I shall not be convinced that any discourse is puerile
because it is pronounced such by the venerable Dr. Dryasdust. I remember
that the venerable man has written many pages, possibly abundant in
sound sense, but which no mortal could read, and to which no mortal
could listen. I remember, that, though that not very amiable individual
has outlived such wits as he once had, he has not outlived the
unbecoming emotions of envy and jealousy; and he retains a strong
tendency to evil-speaking and slandering. You told me, unamiable
individual, how disgusted you were at hearing a friend of mine, who is
one of the best preachers in Britain, preach one of his finest sermons.
Perhaps you really were disgusted: there is such a thing as casting
pearls before swine, who will not appreciate them highly. But you went
on to give an account of what the great preacher said; and though I
know you are extremely stupid, you are not quite so stupid as to have
actually fancied that the great preacher said what you reported that he
said: you were well aware that you were grossly misrepresenting him. And
when I find malice and insincerity in one respect, I am ready to suspect
them in another: and I venture to doubt whether you were disgusted.
Possibly you were only ferocious at finding yourself so unspeakably
excelled. But even if you had been really disgusted, and even if you
were a clever man, and even if you were above the suspicion of jealousy,
I should not think that my friend's noble discourse was puerile because
you thought it so. It is not when the warm feelings of earlier days are
dried up into a cold, time-worn cynicism, that I think a man has become
the best judge of the products of the human brain and heart. It is
a noble thing when a man grows old retaining something of youthful
freshness and fervor. It is a fine thing to ripen without shrivelling,--
to reach the calmness of age, yet keep the warm heart and ready sympathy
of youth. Show me such a man as _that_, and I shall be content to bow to
_his_ decision whether a thing be Veal or not. But as such men are not
found very frequently, I should suggest it as an approximation to a
safe criterion, that a thing may be regarded as mature when it is
deliberately and dispassionately approved by an educated man of good
ability and above thirty years of age. No doubt a man of fifty may
hold that fifty is the age of sound taste and sense; and a youth of
twenty-three may maintain that he is as good a judge of human doings
now as he will ever be. I do not claim to have proposed an infallible
standard. I give you my present belief, being well aware that it is very
likely to alter.

It is not desirable that one's taste should become too fastidious, or
that natural feeling should be refined away. And a cynical young man is
bad, but a cynical old one is a great deal worse. The cynical young
man is probably shamming; he is a humbug, not a cynic. But the old man
probably _is_ a cynic, as heartless as he seems. And without thinking
of cynicism, real or affected, let us remember, that, though the taste
ought to be refined, and daily refining, it ought not to be refined
beyond being practically serviceable. Let things be good, but not too
good to be workable. It is expedient that a cart for conveying coals
should be of neat and decent appearance. Let the shafts be symmetrical,
the boards well-planed, the whole strong, yet not clumsy; and over the
whole let the painter's skill induce a hue rosy as beauty's cheek, or
dark-blue as her eye. All _that_ is well; and while the cart will carry
its coals satisfactorily, it will stand a good deal of rough usage, and
it will please the eye of the rustic who sits in it on an empty sack and
whistles as it moves along. But it would be highly inexpedient to make
that cart of walnut of the finest grain and marking, and to have it
French-polished. It would be too fine to be of use; and its possessor
would fear to scratch it, and would preserve it as a show, seeking some
plainer vehicle to carry his coals. In like manner, do not refine too
much either the products of the mind, or the sensibilities of the taste
which is to appreciate them. I know an amiable professor very different
from Dr. Dryasdust. He was a country clergyman,--a very interesting
plain preacher. But when he got his chair, he had to preach a good deal
in the college chapel; and by way of accommodating his discourses to an
academic audience, he rewrote them carefully, rubbed off all the salient
points, cooled down whatever warmth was in them to frigid accuracy,
toned down everything striking. The result was that his sermons became
eminently classical and elegant; only they became impossible to attend
to, and impossible to remember; and when you heard the good man preach,
you sighed for the rough and striking heartiness of former days. And
we have all heard of such a thing as taste refined to that painful
sensitiveness, that it became a source of torment,--that is, unfitted
for common enjoyments and even for common duties. There was once a great
man, let us say at Melipotamus, who never went to church. A clergyman
once, in speaking to a friend of the great man, lamented that the great
man set so bad an example before his humbler neighbors. "How _can_ that
man go to church?" was the reply; "his taste, and his entire critical
faculty, are sharpened, to that degree, that, in listening to any
ordinary preacher, he feels outraged and shocked at every fourth
sentence he hears, by its inelegance or its want of logic; and the
entire sermon torments him by its unsymmetrical structure, its want of
perspective in the presentment of details, and its general literary
badness." I quite believe that there was a moderate proportion of truth
in the excuse thus urged; and you will probably judge that it would have
been better, had the great man's mind not been brought to so painful a
polish.

The mention of dried-up old gentlemen reminds one of a question which
has sometimes perplexed me. Is it Vealy to feel or to show keen emotion?
Is it a precious result and indication of the maturity of the human mind
to look as if you felt nothing at all? I have often looked with wonder,
and with a moderate amount of veneration, at a few old gentlemen whom I
know well, who are leading members of a certain legislative and judicial
council held in great respect in a country of which no more need be
said. I have beheld these old gentlemen sitting apparently quite
unmoved, when discussions were going on in which I knew they felt a very
deep interest, and when the tide of debate was setting strongly against
their peculiar views. There they sat, impassive as a Red Indian at the
stake. I think of a certain man who, while a smart speech on the other
side is being made, retains a countenance expressing actually nothing;
he looks as if he heard nothing, felt nothing, cared for nothing. But
when the other man sits down, he rises to reply. He speaks slowly at
first, but every weighty word goes home and tells: he gathers warmth and
rapidity as he goes on, and in a little you become aware that for a few
hundred pounds a year you may sometimes get a man who would have made
an Attorney-General or a Lord-Chancellor; you discern, that, under
the appearance of almost stolidity, there was the sharpest attention
watching every word of the argument of the other speaker, and ready to
come down on every weak point in it; and the other speaker is (in a
logical sense) pounded to jelly by a succession of straight-handed hits.
Yes, it is a wonderful thing to find a combination of coolness and
earnestness. But I am inclined to believe that the reason why some old
gentlemen look as if they did not care is that in fact they don't care.
And there is no particular merit in looking cool while a question is
being discussed, if you really do not mind a rush which way it may be
decided. A keen, unvarying, engrossing regard for one's self is a great
safeguard against over-excitement in regard to all the questions of the
day, political, social, and religious.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is a curious, but certain fact, that clever young men, at that period
of their life when their own likings tend towards Veal, know quite
well the difference between Veal and Beef, and are quite able, when
necessary, to produce the latter. The tendency to boyishness of thought
and style may be repressed, when you know you are writing for the
perusal of readers with whom _that_ will not go down. A student of
twenty, who has in him great talent, no matter how undue a supremacy his
imagination may meanwhile have, if he be set to producing an essay in
Metaphysics to be read by professors of philosophy, will produce a
composition singularly free from any trace of immaturity. For such a
clever youth, though he may have a strong bent towards Veal, has in him
an instinctive perception that it _is_ Veal, and a keen sense of what
will and will not do for the particular readers he has to please. Go,
you essayist who carried off a host of university honors, and read over
now the prize essays you wrote at twenty-one or twenty-two. I think
the thing that will mainly strike you will be, how very mature these
compositions are,--how ingenious, how judicious, how free from
extravagance, how quietly and accurately and even felicitously
expressed. _They_ are not Veal. And yet you know that several years
after you wrote them you were still writing a great deal which was Veal
beyond all question. But then a clever youth can produce material to any
given standard; and you wrote the essays not to suit your own taste, but
to suit what you intuitively knew was the taste of the grave and even
smoke-dried professors who were to read them and sit in judgment on
them.

And though it is very fit and right that the academic standard should be
an understood one, and quite different from the popular standard, still
it is not enough that a young man should be able to write to a standard
against which he in his heart rebels and protests. It is yet more
important that you should get him to approve and adopt a standard which
is accurate, if not severe. It is quite extraordinary what bombastic
and immature sermons are preached in their first years in the Church by
young clergymen who wrote many academic compositions in a style the
most classical. It seems to be essential that a man of feeling and
imagination should be allowed fairly to run himself out. The course
apparently is, that the tree should send out its rank shoots, and then
that you should prune them, rather than that by some repressive means
you should prevent the rank shoots coming forth at all. The way to get a
high-spirited horse to be content to stay peaceably in its stall is to
allow it to have a tearing gallop, and thus get out its superfluous
nervous excitement and vital spirit. Let the boiler blow off its steam.
All repression is dangerous. And some injudicious folk, instead of
encouraging the highly-charged mind and heart to relieve themselves
by blowing off in excited verse and extravagant bombast, would (so to
speak) sit on the safety-valve. Let the bursting spring flow! It will
run turbid at first; but it will clear itself day by day. Let a young
man write a vast deal: the more he writes, the sooner will the Veal be
done with. But if a man write very little, the bombast is not blown off;
and it may remain till advanced years. It seems as if a certain quantity
of fustian must be blown off before you reach the good material. I have
heard a mercantile man of fifty read a paper he had written on a social
subject. He had written very little save business letters all his life.
And I assure you that his paper was bombastic to a degree that you would
have said was barely tolerable in a youth of twenty. I have seldom
listened to Veal so outrageous. You see he had not worked through it in
his youth; and so here it was now. I have witnessed the like phenomenon
in a man who went into the Church at five-and-forty. I heard him preach
one of his earliest sermons, and I have hardly ever heard such boyish
rhodomontade. The imaginations of some men last out in liveliness longer
than those of others; and the taste of some men never becomes perfect;
and it is no doubt owing to these things that you find some men
producing Veal so much later in life than others. You will find men who
are very turgid and magniloquent at five-and-thirty, at forty, at fifty.
But I attribute the phenomenon in no small measure to the fact that such
men had not the opportunity of blowing off their steam in youth. Give
a man at four-and-twenty two sermons to write a week, and he will
very soon work through his Veal. It is probably because ladies write
comparatively so little, that you find them writing at fifty poetry and
prose of the most awfully romantic and sentimental strain.

       *       *       *       *       *

We have been thinking, my friend, as you have doubtless observed, almost
exclusively of intellectual and aesthetical immaturity, and of its
products in composition, spoken or written. But combining with that
immaturity, and going very much to affect the character of that Veal,
there is moral immaturity, resulting in views, feelings, and conduct
which may be described as Moral Veal. But, indeed, it is very difficult
to distinguish between the different kinds of immaturity, and to say
exactly what in the moods and doings of youth proceeds from each. It is
safest to rest in the general proposition, that, even as the calf yields
Veal, so does the immature human mind yield immature productions. It
is a stage which you outgrow, and therefore a stage of comparative
immaturity, in which you read a vast deal of poetry, and repeat much
poetry to yourself when alone, working yourself up thereby to an
enthusiastic excitement. And very like a calf you look, when some one
suddenly enters the room in which you are wildly gesticulating or
moodily laughing, and thinking yourself poetical, and, indeed, sublime.
The person probably takes you for a fool; and the best, you can say for
yourself is that you are not so great a fool as you seem to be. Vealy is
the period of life in which you filled a great volume with the verses
you loved, and in which you stored your memory, by frequent reading,
with many thousands of lines. All that you outgrow. Fancy a man of fifty
having his commonplace book of poetry! And it will be instructive to
turn over the ancient volume, and to see how year by year the verses
copied grew fewer, and finally ceased entirely. I do not say that all
growth is progress: sometimes it is like that of the muscle, which once
advanced into manly vigor and usefulness, but is now ossifying into
rigidity. It is well to have fancy and feeling under command: it is not
well to have feeling and fancy dead. That season of life is Vealy in
which you are charmed by the melody of verse, quite apart from its
meaning. And there is a season in which that is so. And it is curious
to remark what verses they are that have charmed many men; for they are
often verses in which no one else could have discerned that singular
fascination. You may remember how Robert Burns has recorded that in
youth he was enchanted by the melody of two lines of Addison's,--

  "For though in dreadful whirls we hung,
  High on the broken wave."

Sir Walter Scott felt the like fascination in youth (and he tells us it
was not entirely gone even in age) in Mickle's stanza,--

  "The dews of summer night did fall;
    The moon, sweet regent of the sky,
  Silvered the walls of Cumnor Hall,
    And many an oak that grew thereby."

Not a remarkable verse, I think. However, it at least presents a
pleasant picture. But I remember well the enchantment which, when
twelve years old, I felt in a verse by Mrs. Hemans, which I can now see
presents an excessively disagreeable picture. I saw it not then; and
when I used to repeat that verse, I know it was without the slightest
perception of its meaning. You know the beautiful poem called the
"Battle of Morgarten." At least I remember it as beautiful; and I am not
going to spoil my recollection by reading it now. Here is the verse:--

  "Oh! the sun in heaven fierce havoc viewed,
    When the Austrian turned to fly:
  And the brave, in the trampling multitude,
    Had a fearful death to die!"

As I write that verse, (at which the critical reader will smile,) I am
aware that Veal has its hold of me yet. I see nothing of the miserable
scene the poet describes; but I hear the waves murmuring on a distant
beach, and I see the hills across the sea, the first sea I ever beheld;
I see the school to which I went daily; I see the class-room, and the
place where I used to sit; I see the faces and hear the voices of my old
companions, some dead, one sleeping in the middle of the great Atlantic,
many scattered over distant parts of the world, almost all far away.
Yes, I feel that I have not quite cast off the witchery of the "Battle
of Morgarten." Early associations can give to verse a charm and a hold
upon one's heart which no literary excellence, however high, ever could.
Look at the first hymns you learned to repeat, and which you used to say
at your mother's knee; look at the psalms and hymns you remember hearing
sung at church when you were a child: you know how impossible it is for
you to estimate these upon their literary merits. They may be almost
doggerel; but not Mr. Tennyson can touch you like them! The most
effective eloquence is that which is mainly done by the mind to which
it is addressed: it is _that_ which touches chords which of themselves
yield matchless music; it is _that_ which wakens up trains of old
remembrance, and which wafts around you the fragrance of the hawthorn
that blossomed and withered many long years since. An English stranger
would not think much of the hymns we sing in our Scotch churches: he
could not know what many of them are to us. There is a magic about
the words. I can discern, indeed, that some of them are mawkish in
sentiment, faulty in rhyme, and, on the whole, what you would call
extremely unfitted to be sung in public worship, if you were judging of
them as new things: but a crowd of associations which are beautiful and
touching gathers round the lines which have no great beauty or pathos in
themselves.

You were in an extremely Vealy condition, when, having attained the age
of fourteen, you sent some verses to the county newspaper, and with
simple-hearted elation read them in the corner devoted to what was
termed "Original Poetry." It is a pity you did not preserve the
newspapers in which you first saw yourself in print, and experienced the
peculiar sensation which accompanies that sight. No doubt your
verses expressed the gloomiest views of life, and told of the bitter
disappointments you had met in your long intercourse with mankind, and
especially with womankind. And though you were in a flutter of anxiety
and excitement to see whether or not your verses would be printed, your
verses probably declared that you had used up life and seen through
it,--that your heart was no longer to be stirred by aught on earth,--and
that, in short, you cared nothing for anything. You could see nothing
fine then in being good, cheerful, and happy; but you thought it a grand
thing to be a gloomy man, of a very dark complexion, with blood on your
conscience, upwards of six feet high, and accustomed to wander from land
to land, like Childe Harold. You were extremely Vealy when you used to
fancy that you were sure to be a very great man, and to think how proud
your relations would some day be of you, and how you would come back and
excite a great commotion at the place where you used to be a school-boy.
And it is because the world has still left some impressionable spot in
your hearts, my readers, that you still have so many fond associations
with "the school-boy spot we ne'er forget, though we are there
forgot." They were Vealy days, though pleasant to remember, my old
school-companions, in which you used to go to the dancing-school, (it
was in a gloomy theatre, seldom entered by actors,) in which you fell
in love with several young ladies about eleven years old, and (being
permitted occasionally to select your own partners) made frantic rushes
to obtain the hand of one of the beauties of that small society. Those
were the days in which you thought, that, when you grew up, it would
be a very fine thing to be a pirate, bandit, or corsair, rather than a
clergyman, barrister, or the like; even a cheerful outlaw like Robin
Hood did not come up to your views; you would rather have been a man
like Captain Kyd, stained with various crimes of extreme atrocity, which
would entirely preclude the possibility of returning to respectable
society, and given to moody laughter in solitary moments. Oh, what truly
asinine developments the human being must go through, before arriving at
the stage of common sense! You were very Vealy, too, when you used
to think it a fine thing to astonish people by expressing awful
sentiments,--such as that you thought Mahometans better than Christians,
that you would like to be dissected after death, that you did not care
what you got for dinner, that you liked learning your lessons better
than going out to play, that you would rather read Euclid than
"Ivanhoe," and the like. It may be remarked, that this peculiar
Vealiness is not confined to youth; I have seen it appearing very
strongly in men with gray hair. Another manifestation of Vealiness,
which appears both in age and youth, is the entertaining a strong belief
that kings, noblemen, and baronets are always in a condition of ecstatic
happiness. I have known people pretty far advanced in life, who not only
believed that monarchs must be perfectly happy, but that all who were
permitted to continue in their presence would catch a considerable
degree of the mysterious bliss which was their portion. I have heard a
sane man, rather acute and clever in many things, seriously say, "If a
man cannot be happy in the presence of his Sovereign, where can he be
happy?"

And yet, absurd and foolish as is Moral Vealiness, there is something
fine about it. Many of the old and dear associations most cherished in
human hearts are of the nature of Veal. It is sad to think that most
of the romance of life is unquestionably so. All spooniness, all the
preposterous idolization of some one who is just like anybody else,
all love, (in the narrow sense in which the word is understood by
novel-readers,) you feel, when you look back, are Veal. The young lad
and the young girl, whom at a picnic party you have discerned stealing
off under frivolous pretexts from the main body of guests, and sitting
on the grass by the river-side, enraptured in the prosecution of a
conversation which is intellectually of the emptiest, and fancying that
they two make all the world, and investing that spot with remembrances
which will continue till they are gray, are (it must in sober sadness be
admitted) of the nature of calves. For it is beyond doubt that they are
at a stage which they will outgrow, and on which they may possibly look
back with something of shame. All these things, beautiful as they are,
are no more than Veal. Yet they are fitting and excellent in their time.
No, let us not call them Veal; they are rather like Lamb, which is
excellent, though immature. No doubt, youth is immaturity; and as you
outgrow it, you are growing better and wiser: still youth is a fine
thing; and most people would be young again, if they could. How cheerful
and light-hearted is immaturity! How cheerful and lively are the little
children even of silent and gloomy men! It is sad, and it is unnatural,
when they are not so. I remember yet, when I was at school, with what
interest and wonder I used to look at two or three boys, about twelve or
thirteen years old, who were always dull, sullen, and unhappy-looking.
In those days, as a general rule, you are never sorrowful without
knowing the reason why. You are never conscious of the dull atmosphere,
of the gloomy spirits, of after-time. The youthful machine, bodily and
mental, plays smoothly; the young being is cheery. Even a kitten is very
different from a grave old cat, and a young colt from a horse sobered by
the cares and toils of years. And you picture fine things to yourself in
your youthful dreams. I remember a beautiful dwelling I used often to
see, as if from the brow of a great hill. I see the rich valley below,
with magnificent woods and glades, and a broad river reflecting the
sunset; and in the midst of the valley, the vast Saracenic pile, with
gilded minarets blazing in the golden light. I have since then seen many
splendid habitations, but none in the least equal to that. I cannot even
yet discard the idea that somewhere in this world there stands that
noble palace, and that some day I shall find it out. You remember also
the intense delight with which you read the books that charmed you then:
how you carried off the poem or the tale to some solitary place,--how
you sat up far into the night to read it,--how heartily you believed
in all the story, and sympathized with the people it told of. I wish I
could feel now the veneration for the man who has written a book which I
used once to feel. Oh that one could read the old volumes with the
old feeling! Perhaps you have some of them yet, and you remember the
peculiar expression of the type in which they were printed: the pages
look at you with the face of an old friend. If you were then of an
observant nature, you will understand how much of the effect of any
composition upon the human mind depends upon the printing, upon the
placing of the points, even upon the position of the sentences on the
page. A grand, high-flown, and sentimental climax ought always to
conclude at the bottom of a page. It will look ridiculous, if it ends
four or five lines down from the top of the next page. Somehow there is
a feeling as of the difference between the night before and the next
morning. It is as though the crushed ball-dress and the dishevelled
locks of the close of the evening reappeared, the same, before
breakfast. Let us have homely sense at the top of the page, pathos
at the foot of it. What a force in the bad type of the shabby little
"Childe Harold" you used to read so often! You turn it over in a grand
illustrated edition, and it seems like another poem. Let it here be
said, that occasionally you look with something like indignation on the
volume which enchained you in your boyish days. For now you have burst
the chain. And you have somewhat of the feeling of the prisoner towards
the jailer who held him in unjust bondage. What right had that bombastic
rubbish to touch and thrill you as it used to do? Well, remember that
it suits successive generations at their enthusiastic stage. There are
poets whose great admirers are for the most part under twenty years
old; but probably almost every clever young person regards them at some
period in his life as among the noblest of mortals. And it is no ignoble
ambition to win the ardent appreciation of even immature tastes and
hearts. Its brief endurance is compensated by its intensity. You sit by
the fireside and read your leisurely "Times," and you feel a tranquil
enjoyment. You like it better than the "Sorrows of Werter," but you do
not like it a twentieth part as much as you once liked the "Sorrows
of Werter." You would be interested in meeting the man who wrote that
brilliant and slashing leader; but you would not regard him with
speechless awe, as something more than human. Yet, remembering all the
weaknesses out of which men grow, and on which they look back with a
smile or sigh, who does not feel that there is a charm which will not
depart about early youth? Longfellow knew that he would reach the hearts
of most men, when he wrote such a verse as this:--

  "The green trees whispered low and mild;
    It was a sound of joy!
  They were my playmates when a child,
  And rocked me in their arms so wild;
  Still they looked at me and smiled,
    As if I were a boy!"

Such, readers as are young men will understand what has already been
said as to the bitter indignation with which the writer, some years ago,
listened to self-conceited elderly persons who put aside the arguments
and the doings of younger men with the remark that these younger men
were _boys_. There are few terms of reproach which I have heard uttered
with looks of such deadly ferocity. And there are not many which excite
feelings of greater wrath in the souls of clever young men. I remember
how in those days I determined to write an essay which should scorch up
and finally destroy all these carping and malicious critics. It was to
be called "A Chapter on Boys." After an introduction of a sarcastic and
magnificent character, setting out views substantially the same as those
contained in the speech of Lord Chatham in reply to Walpole, which boys
are taught to recite at school, that essay was to go on to show that
a great part of English literature was written by very young men.
Unfortunately, on proceeding to investigate the matter carefully, it
appeared that the best part of English literature, even in the range of
poetry, was in fact written by men of even more than middle age. So the
essay was never finished, though a good deal of it was sketched out.
Yesterday I took out the old manuscript; and after reading a bit of it,
it appeared so remarkably Vealy, that I put it with indignation into the
fire. Still I observed various facts of interest as to great things done
by young men, and some by young men who never lived to be old. Beaumont
the dramatist died at twenty-nine. Christopher Marlowe wrote "Faustus"
at twenty-five, and died at thirty. Sir Philip Sidney wrote his
"Arcadia" at twenty-six. Otway wrote "The Orphan" at twenty-eight,
and "Venice Preserved" at thirty. Thomson wrote the "Seasons" at
twenty-seven. Bishop Berkeley had devised his Ideal System at
twenty-nine; and Clarke at the same age published his great work on "The
Being and Attributes of God." Then there is Pitt, of course. But these
cases are exceptional; and besides, men at twenty-eight and thirty are
not in any way to be regarded as boys. What I wanted was proof of the
great things that had been done by young fellows about two-and-twenty;
and such proof was not to be found. A man is simply a boy grown up to
his best; and of course what is done by men must be better than what is
done by boys. Unless in very peculiar cases, a man at thirty will be
every way superior to what he was at twenty; and at forty to what he was
at thirty. Not, indeed, physically,--let _that_ be granted; not always
morally; but surely intellectually and aesthetically.

       *       *       *       *       *

Yes, my readers, we have all been Calves. A great part of all our doings
has been, what the writer, in figurative language, has described as
Veal. We have not said, written, or done very much on which we can now
look back with entire approval; and we have said, written, and done a
very great deal on which we cannot look back but with burning shame
and confusion. Very many things, which, when we did them, we thought
remarkably good, and much better than the doings of ordinary men, we now
discern, on calmly looking back, to have been extremely bad. That time,
you know, my friend, when you talked in a very fluent and animated
manner after dinner at a certain house, and thought you were making a
great impression on the assembled guests, most of them entire strangers,
you are now fully aware that you were only making a fool of yourself.
And let this hint of one public manifestation of Vealiness suffice to
suggest to each of us scores of similar cases. But though we feel, in
our secret souls, what Calves we have been, and though it is well for us
that we should feel it deeply, and thus learn humility and caution, we
do not like to be reminded of it by anybody else. Some people have a
wonderful memory for the Vealy sayings and doings of their friends.
They may be very bad hands at remembering anything else; but they never
forget the silly speeches and actions on which one would like to shut
down the leaf. You may find people a great part of whose conversation
consists of repeating and exaggerating their neighbors' Veal; and though
that Veal may be immature enough and silly enough, it will go hard but
your friend Mr. Snarling will represent it as a good deal worse than the
fact. You will find men, who while at college were students of large
ambition, but slender abilities, revenging themselves in this fashion
upon the clever men who beat them. It is easy, very easy, to remember
foolish things that were said and done even by the senior wrangler or
the man who took a double first-class; and candid folk will think
that such foolish things were not fair samples of the men,--and will
remember, too, that the men have grown out of these, have grown mature
and wise, and for many a year past would not have said or done such
things. But if you were to judge from the conversation of Mr. Limejuice,
(who wrote many prize essays, but, through the malice and stupidity of
the judges, never got any prizes,) you would conclude that every word
uttered by his successful rivals was one that stamped them as essential
fools, and calves which would never grow into oxen. I do not think it
is a pleasing or magnanimous feature in any man's character, that he is
ever eager to rake up these early follies. I would not be ready to throw
in the teeth of a pretty butterfly that it was an ugly caterpillar once,
unless I understood that the butterfly liked to remember the fact. I
would not suggest to this fair sheet of paper on which I am writing,
that not long ago it was dusty rags and afterwards dirty pulp. You
cannot be an ox without previously having been a calf; you acquire taste
and sense gradually, and in acquiring them you pass through stages
in which you have very little of either. It is a poor burden for the
memory, to collect and shovel into it the silly sayings and doings in
youth of people who have become great and eminent. I read with much
disgust a biography of Mr. Disraeli which recorded, no doubt accurately,
all the sore points in that statesman's history. I remember with great
approval what Lord John Manners said in Parliament in reply to Mr.
Bright, who had quoted a well-known and very silly passage from Lord
John's early poetry. "I would rather," said Lord John, "have been the
man who in his youth wrote those silly verses than the man who in mature
years would rake them up." And with even greater indignation I regard
the individual who, when a man is doing creditably and Christianly
the work of life, is ever ready to relate and aggravate the moral
delinquencies of his school-boy and student days, long since repented of
and corrected. "Remember not," said a man who knew human nature well,
"the sins of my youth." But there are men whose nature has a peculiar
affinity for anything petty, mean, and bad. They fly upon it as a
vulture on carrion. Their memory is of that cast, that you have only
to make inquiry of them concerning any of their friends, to hear of
something not at all to the friends' advantage. There are individuals,
after listening to whom you think it would be a refreshing novelty,
almost startling from its strangeness, to hear them say a word in favor
of any human being whatsoever.

It is not a thing peculiar to immaturity; yet it may be remarked, that,
though it is an unpleasant thing to look back and see that you have said
or done something very foolish, it is a still more unpleasant thing to
be well aware at the time that you are saying or doing something very
foolish. If a man be a fool at all, it is much to be desired that he
should be a very great fool; for then he will not know when he is making
a fool of himself. But it is painful not to have sense enough to know
what you should do in order to be right, but to have sense enough to
know that you are doing wrong. To know that you are talking like an ass,
yet to feel that you cannot help it,--that you must say something, and
can think of nothing better to say,--this is a suffering that comes with
advanced civilization. This is a phenomenon frequently to be seen
at public dinners in country towns, also at the entertainment which
succeeds a wedding. Men at other times rational seem to be stricken into
idiocy when they rise to their feet on such occasions; and the painful
fact is, that it is conscious idiocy. The man's words are asinine, and
he knows they are asinine. His wits have entirely abandoned him: he is
an idiot for the time. Have you sat next a man unused to speaking at a
public dinner? have you seen him nervously rise and utter an incoherent,
ungrammatical, and unintelligible sentence or two, and then sit down
with a ghastly smile? Have you heard him say to his friend on the other
side, in bitterness, "I have made a fool of myself"? And have you seen
him sit moodily through the remainder of the feast, evidently ruminating
on what he said, seeing now what he ought to have said, and trying to
persuade himself that what he said was not so bad after all? Would you
do a kindness to that miserable man? You have just heard his friend
on the other side cordially agreeing with what he had said as to the
badness of the appearance made by him. Enter into conversation with
him; talk of his speech; congratulate him upon it; tell him you were
extremely struck by the freshness and naturalness of what he said,--that
there is something delightful in hearing an unhackneyed speaker,--that
to speak with entire fluency looks professional,--it is like a barrister
or a clergyman. Thus you may lighten the mortification of a disappointed
man; and what you say will receive considerable credence. It is
wonderful how readily people believe anything they would like to be
true.

       *       *       *       *       *

I was walking this afternoon along a certain street, coming home from
visiting certain sick persons, and wondering how I should conclude this
essay, when, standing on the pavement on one side of the street, I saw a
little boy four years old crying in great distress. Various individuals,
who appeared to be Priests and Levites, looked, as they passed, at the
child's distress, and passed on without doing anything to relieve it. I
spoke to the little man, who was in great fear at being spoken to, but
told me he had come away from his home and lost himself, and could not
find his way back. I told him I would take him home, if he could tell me
where he lived; but he was frightened into utter helplessness, and could
only tell that his name was Tom, and that he lived at the top of a
stair. It was a poor neighborhood, in which many people live at the
top of stairs, and the description was vague. I spoke to two humble
decent-looking women who were passing, thinking they might gain the
little thing's confidence better than I; but the poor little man's great
wish was just to get away from us,--though, when he got two yards off,
he could but stand and cry. You may be sure he was not left in his
trouble, but that he was put safely into his father's hands. And as I
was coming home, I thought that here was an illustration of something I
have been thinking of all this afternoon. I thought I saw in the poor
little child's desire to get away from those who wanted to help him,
though not knowing where to go when left to himself, something analogous
to what the immature human being is always disposed to. The whole
teaching of our life is leading us away from our early delusions and
follies, from all those things about us which have been spoken of under
the similitude which need not be again repeated. Yet we push away the
hand that would conduct us to soberer and better things, though, when
left alone, we can but stand and vaguely gaze about us; and we speak
hardly of the growing experience which makes us wiser, and which ought
to make us happier too. Let us not forget that the teaching which takes
something of the gloss from life is an instrument in the kindest Hand of
all; and let us be humbly content, if that kindest Hand shall lead us,
even by rough means, to calm and enduring wisdom,--wisdom by no means
inconsistent with youthful freshness of feeling, and not necessarily
fatal even to youthful gayety of mood,--and at last to that Happy Place
where worn men regain the little child's heart, and old and young are
blest together.



REMINISCENCES OF STEPHEN A. DOUGLAS.


I do not propose to enter upon a discussion of the question that now
agitates the entire population of Brandon township, Vermont,--namely,
whether Douglas was born in the Pomeroy or the Hyatt mansion. It is
enough for our purpose to record the fact that he _was_ born, and
apparently _well_ born,--as, from the statement of Ann De Forrest, his
nurse, he first appeared a stalwart babe of fourteen pounds weight.

He lived a life of sensations; and that he commenced early is clearly
shown by the fact that he was a subject of newspaper comment when but
two months old. At that age he had the misfortune to lose his father,
who, holding the baby boy in his arms, fell back in his chair and died,
while Stephen, dropping from his embrace, was caught from the fire,
and thus from early death, by a neighbor, John Conant, who opportunely
entered the room at the moment. And here let me say, that for
generations back the ancestors of Douglas were sturdy men, of physical
strength and mental ability. His grandfather was noted for his strong
practical common sense, which, rightly applied, with industry, made him
in middle life the possessor of wealth, and the finest farm on Otter
Creek. This, however, in later years was gradually taken from him, by
means which had better, perhaps, remain unmentioned. The father of
Stephen was a physician of more than ordinary talent and of much
culture. He had attained but to early manhood, when a sudden attack of
heart-disease removed him from life, and compelled his widow, with her
infant boy, to face the world alone.

A bachelor brother of the Widow Douglas took her and the baby to his
farm, where, for several years, the one mourned the loss of her husband,
while the other grew in strength and muscle. The earlier developments of
the boy were characteristic, and typical of those in later life. He was
very quick, magnetic in his temperament, and full to the brim with wit
and humor. Beyond his uncle's farm ran the far-famed Otter Creek, whose
waters, in my boyhood, were forbidden me, as inevitably leading the
incautious bather to "a life of misery and a premature death." There it
was, however, that Stephen earned his earliest triumphs. It is a long
pull across the Otter Pond, and the schoolmaster's last charge was
always, "Keep this side of the rock in the middle,--don't try to cross";
but reckless then of life as since in politics, self-confident and
daring as always, Douglas, of all the boys, alone dared disobey the
charge, and succeeded in reaching safely the opposite shore.

His companions, sons of farmers well to do in the world, were preparing
to enter college; and Douglas, the best scholar in his class, the finest
mathematician in the township, and who without instruction had mastered
the Latin Grammar and "Viri Romae," applied to his uncle for permission
to join them. The uncle, however, never noted for much liberality either
of brain or pocket, having taken to himself a wife and gotten to himself
a boy, was unable to see the necessity of giving the orphan a college
education, and pitilessly bound him to a worthy deacon of the church,
as an apprentice to the highly respectable, but rarely famous, trade of
cabinet-making. In this Douglas did well. It has been stated elsewhere
that "he was not fond of his trade," and that "his spirit pined for
loftier employment." Possibly. But for all that he succeeded in it, and
these lines are being written on a mahogany table made by him while an
apprentice at Brandon. It is a strong, substantial, two-leaved table,
with curiously carved legs terminating in bear's-feet, the claws of
which display an intimate acquaintance on the part of the maker with the
physiological formation of those appendages, and a more than ordinary
amount of dexterity in the handling of tools. It was while in this
occupation that he gained the _sobriquet_ of the "Tough 'Un." He was
nearly seventeen years of age, and, though not handsome, was very
intelligent and bright in his appearance, so that he was able to compete
successfully for the smiles and favors of a young country lass who
reigned the belle of the village. This did not suit the "mittened" ones,
and they determined to draw young Douglas into a controversy which
should result in a fight,--he, of course, to be the defeated party. The
night chosen for the onslaught was the "singing-school night," and the
time the homeward walk of Stephen from the house of the fair object of
contention. The crowd met him at the corner store. From jests to jibes,
from taunts to blows, was then, as ever, an easy path; and in reply to
some unchivalric remark concerning his lady-love, Douglas struck the
slanderer with all his might. Immediately a ring was formed, and kept,
until Douglas rose the victor, and without further ceremony pitched
into one of the lookers-on, and stopped not until he, too, was soundly
thrashed, when, with flashing eye and clenched fist, he said,--"Now,
boys, if that's not enough, come on, and I'll take you all together!"
At this juncture, the good old Deacon, who had been trying cider in
the cellar of the store, came along, and, taking Stephen by the arm,
said,--"Well, Steve, you _are_ a tough 'un! What! whipped two, and want
more? Come home, my boy, come home!" He was allowed ever after to go and
come with his bright-eyed beauty, unmolested, and for years was known
there and in the neighboring townships as the "Tough 'Un." Here, too, he
gained the reputation of being a good fellow, a whole-souled friend, and
a jolly companion. He _would_ read, and his favorite works were those
telling of the triumphs of Napoleon, the conquests of Alexander, and the
wars of Caesar.

He was still desirous of a collegiate education, and it is undoubtedly
true that constant application to his books, when he should have been
resting from the labors of the day, brought upon him an illness, the
severity of which compelled him to abandon his employment and return
to his uncle's house. There he obtained permission to take a course
of classical studies at the academy, a permission of which he availed
himself with enthusiasm. He was then a fine, well-built youth, foremost
in plays, active in all country excursions, and ever popular with his
elders. Indeed, this last trait followed him through life; and when
those of his own age were at sword's-point with him, he was sure of
finding friends and favor amongst such as were older and wiser than
himself. His mother, about this time, married a lawyer of wealth and
position, residing in the interior of New York, who, appreciating the
talent of the boy, aided him in his laudable endeavors to obtain an
education, and sent him to the academy at Canandaigua in that State.
There Douglas was soon among the first. He was the most popular speaker
of them all, pleasing old and young, and causing the hall of the academy
to be filled with an interested audience whenever it was known that he
was to be the orator of the night. His love of humor and his keen sense
of the ludicrous aided him not a little in the quick repartee, for which
he was then, as since, noted. He was far from idle during the three
years of his life at Canandaigua; for, besides applying himself with
untiring energy and zeal to the pursuit of a classical course at the
academy, he devoted much of his time to reading in the law office of the
Messrs. Hubbell. His examiners for the bar stated that they had never
before met a student who in so short a time made such proficiency; and
while they took pleasure in complimenting him, they also extended to him
the privileges which are accorded by rule only to those who have pursued
a complete collegiate course. This was especially gratifying and
stimulating to Douglas, who remarked to a fellow-student that for the
wealth of a continent he would not have had his "mother die without
hearing that intelligence of her son's progress."

At the age of twenty, Douglas commenced, with the fairest prospects, the
practice of law in the beautiful village of Cleveland, Ohio. Hardly had
the paint on his "shingle" become dry, when a sudden attack of bilious
fever prostrated him, and confined him to his room for months. He was
thoroughly restless; he pined for action; and when his physician said
to him, "Sir, if you allow yourself to fret in this manner, you will
certainly frustrate my efforts, and die," he replied, "Not now, Doctor;
there's work ahead for me." Upon his recovery, he found himself in
a situation such as would crush the spirit of ninety-nine men in a
hundred. He was weak, with but a few dollars, with no friends, in a
region of country that did not promise him health, and with no knowledge
of other localities. He paid his debts and left the place. He wandered,
literally, from town to town, until his means were gone and his strength
well-nigh exhausted, when, on a bright Wednesday morning in the month of
November, 1833, he reached the village of Winchester, Illinois.

In his head were his brains, in his pocket his cash resources, namely,
thirty-seven and a half cents, and in a checkered blue handkerchief his
school-books and his wardrobe. He knew no one there, he had no plan of
action, and, foot-sore, with heavy heart, he leaned against a post in
the public square, and for the first time in his life gave way to gloomy
forebodings. He had, however, entered the town where his fortunes were
to mend, his life to receive new vigor, and his successful career to
begin.

While standing thus, he noticed at the farther end of the square a crowd
of people, and walked towards them. On a platform stood a red-faced,
burly auctioneer, with a straw hat and a loud voice, who was arguing
with some one in the crowd of expectant buyers the impossibility of
proceeding with the sale without a clerk to aid him. He was in the heat
of the discussion, when his eye fell upon the intelligent face and
fragile form of young Douglas, to whom he beckoned,--when the following
dialogue ensued.

_Auctioneer_. I say, boy, you look like you're smart; can you figure?

_Douglas_. I can, Sir.

_Auctioneer_. Will a couple of dollars a day hire you, till we finish
this sale?

_Douglas_. And board?

At which reply the crowd laughed, and the auctioneer, who thought he had
found a treasure, said,--

"Yes, and board; tumble up and go to work."

Whereupon, Douglas, whose legs were weak, whose stomach was empty, and
whose head fairly ached with nervous excitement, mounted the platform,
began his work as deputy-auctioneer, and laid the foundations of
a popularity in that section which increased with his years and
strengthened with his success. The sale for which he was hired continued
three days, and attracted the residents of the place and the farmers
from the neighboring towns, all of whom were favorably impressed by the
bright look, the quick, earnest manner, the frequent humorous remarks,
and the unvarying courtesy of the young clerk. In the evenings, when
gathered about the huge iron stove in the bar-room of the hotel, and the
doings, good or bad, of "Old Hickory" were the theme of discussion, one
and all sat quiet, listening with admiration, if not with conviction,
to the conversation of the youthful politician, who at that time was a
great admirer of General Jackson.

With the same tact and adaptability to circumstances which were
characteristic of him through life, Douglas determined to make use of
these people; and so dexterously did he manage, that, before he had been
with them a week, he had produced upon their minds the impression that
he was of all men the best suited to teach their district school the
ensuing winter. He dined with the minister, rode out with the doctor,
and took tea with the old ladies. He talked politics with the farmers,
recounted adventures to the young men, and, if my informant is
trustworthy, was in no way shy of the young ladies. The zeal with
which he sang on Sunday, and the marked attention which he paid to the
sermonizings of the dominic, advanced him so far in the affections of
the honest people of that rural town, that, had he asked their wealth,
their prayers, or their votes, he would have had no difficulty in
obtaining them.

There are no reasons for believing, that, as a schoolmaster, he was
particularly well qualified. He did very well however, and satisfied
the entire township, so that, had he been content with that that very
honorable, but somewhat inconspicuous life, he might doubtless have
remained there until this day. Up to this period he had been a strict
temperance man. No intoxicating drink had as yet passed his lips; and an
early experiment with a pipe had so sickened him, that he had resolved
never again to attempt it. It would have been well for him, had he
adhered to that resolve; but, like many other politicians, he thought it
necessary, in the days of his early public life, to mix with the crowd,
to join the bar-room circle, to tell his story and sing his song, to
smoke, and generally to conform to all those demands of pot-house
oracles which have perhaps elevated the few, but without doubt destroyed
the many. His aim then was popularity. He did his best as a teacher,
giving his spare time to the law. Before the Justices' Court he argued
frequently, and commonly with success. There he gained reputation, and
having been elected member of the legislature, he determined to devote
his life thenceforth to what seemed to him kindred pursuits, politics
and law.

In the latter his successes were frequent. At first he was employed,
naturally, in minor cases; but it was soon discovered that no one at the
bar was his equal in the dexterous management of a knotty point, the
successful defence of a desperate villain, or the game of bluff with
judge, jury, or opposing counsel. His cases were such as developed his
cunning, his ingenuity, and tact, rather than tested his learning or
research; and it is doubtful if he would, in the practice of law alone,
have achieved more than a local distinction, and that not in all
respects a desirable one. In the wording of the State Statutes he was
well read, and he often availed himself of his remarkable memory to
the entire discomfiture of an opponent, whose technical error, quickly
detected by the watchful ear of Douglas, would be turned against him
with great effect. So constant was his success in the defence of
criminal cases, that it was deemed well, by the powers that were, to
elevate him to the position of prosecuting attorney for the first
district of the State. This was done in 1835, when he was but twenty-two
years of age. At that time he was of singularly prepossessing appearance
and popular manners. The _people_ were fond and proud of him; and when
he made his acknowledgments to them for the above-mentioned token of
their confidence, he so excited them by his oratory, that they took him
from the platform, raised him upon their shoulders, and bore him in
triumph about the town, while hundreds followed, shouting, "Hurra for
little Doug!" "Three cheers for the Little Giant!" "We'll put you
through!" and "You'll be President yet!"

The judges of the Supreme Court thought that a great mistake had been
made; and one of them, who in later years was one of Mr. Douglas's
warmest friends, did not hesitate to say that the election was wrong.
"What business", asked he, "has this boy with such an office? He is no
lawyer, and has no books." Indeed, he met with no little opposition from
his brethren at the bar, but none that in any way impeded his progress
in the affections of the people, or disheartened him in his efforts
after loftier place. Judge Morton relates, that at no time was Douglas
found unprepared. "His indictments were always properly drawn, his
evidence complete, and his arguments logical." Before a jury he was
in his element. There he could indulge in story-telling, in special
pleading, and in all the intricate devices which beguile sober men of
their senses, and prove black white or good evil. From judge to jury,
from the highest practitioner to the lowest pettifogger, there soon came
to be but one impression. He was acknowledged to be the champion of the
Illinois bar.

His career upon the bench, to which he was soon after elevated, was
brilliant, because energetic, and successful, because he never permitted
contingencies to thwart a predetermination, and because that coolness
and grit which enabled him to whip a second sneering boy while he was
yet a youth had become a settled trait of his character. It was during
the sitting of his court, that the notorious Joe Smith was to be tried
for some offence against the people of the State. Mob-law had taken
matters somewhat under its charge in the West; and the populace, fearing
that Smith, in this particular instance, might manage to slip from the
hands of justice, determined to take him from the court-house and hang
him. They even went so far as to erect a gallows in the yard, and,
having entered the court-room, demanded from the sheriff the person of
the prisoner. Judge Douglas was in his seat; the room was filled with
the infuriated mob and its sympathizers; Smith sat pale and trembling
in his box; while the sheriff, after vainly attempting to quell the
disturbance, fell powerless and half-fainting on the steps. "Sheriff,"
shouted the judge, "clear the court!" It was easier said than done. Five
hundred determined men are not to be thwarted by a coward, and such the
sheriff proved. It was a trying moment. The life of Smith _per se_ was
not worth saving, but the dignity of the court must be upheld, and
Douglas saw at a glance that he had but a moment in which to do it. "Mr.
Harris," said he, addressing a huge and sinewy Kentuckian, "I appoint
you sheriff of this court. Select your deputies. Clear this court-house.
Do it, and do it now." He had chosen the right man. Right and left fell
the foremost of the mob; some were pitched from the windows, others
jumped thence of their own accord; and soon the entire crowd, convinced
of the judge's determination to maintain order, rushed pell-mell from
the court-room, while Smith, who had unperceived made his way up to the
feet of the judge, laid his head upon his knee and wept like a child.
"Never," said Douglas, "was I so determined to effect a result as then.
Had Smith been taken from my protection, it would have been only when
I lay dead upon the floor." The fact that he had no right to appoint
a sheriff was not one of the "points of consideration." "How shall I
execute my will?" was probably the only question that suggested itself
to his mind at the time, and the logic of the answer in no way troubled
him. The dignity of the bench was always upheld by Judge Douglas during
the sitting of the court; but he was no stickler for form or ceremony
elsewhere.

A friend tells an amusing anecdote illustrative of his daring and
somewhat foolhardy spirit, even in mature life. Mr. Douglas, then
a judge of the Supreme Court of Illinois, was one of a number of
passengers who, on the crack steamboat "Andrew Jackson," were going down
the Mississippi. The steamer was detained several hours at Natchez,
where she was supplied with wood and water, and during the delay a huge,
hard-fisted boatman, somewhat the worse for a poor article of strychnine
whiskey, made himself very conspicuous and exceedingly obnoxious by the
continual iteration of his intense desire to fight some one. He
was fearful that he would "ruin," if his pugilistic wants were not
immediately attended to, and in manner more earnest than agreeable
invited one and all to "come ashore and have the conceit taken out" of
them. From the descriptive catalogue he gave of his own merits, the
passengers gathered that he was "a roarer," "a regular bruiser," "half
alligator, half steamboat, half snapping-turtle, with a leetle dash of
chain-lightning thrown in," and were evidently afraid of him; when the
Judge, who had been quietly smoking on the deck, stepped out upon the
quay, and, approaching the bully, said, with a peculiarly dry manner,--

"Who might you be, my big chicken, eh?"

"I'm a high-pressure steamer," roared the astonished boatman.

"And I'm a snag," replied Douglas, as he pitched into him; and before
the fellow had time to reflect, he lay sprawling in the mud.

A loud shout, mingled with derisive laughter, burst from the spectators,
all of whom knew the Judge; and while the discomfited braggart limped
sorely off, the passengers carried Douglas to the bar, where, for hours
after, a general series of jollifications ensued, and he who a few days
before had sat the embodiment of judicial dignity on the supreme bench
now vied with a motley crowd of steamboat-passengers in song and story.
As a judge he was as he should be; but he was a judge only while
literally on the bench.

The decisions of Judge Douglas were recognized always as able and
impartial; but his habit of "log-rolling," or, as the extreme Westerners
call it, "honey-fugling" for votes and support, had so grown upon him,
that his sincere friends feared lest he would sink too low, and in the
end defeat himself. He had ascertained, however, that success was in the
gift of the multitude, and to them he ever remained faithful.

Had Mr. Douglas been born four months sooner than he was, he would have
been a Senator of the United States in 1842, when his age would have
been thirty years; but owing to the fact that he would not be thirty
until April of the following year, his friends found it would be
unadvisable to elect him. In November, 1843, however, he was elected to
the House, after passing through one of the most exciting canvasses
ever known in the West. Everywhere he met the people on the stump. That
seemed to be his appropriate forum, and the only position in which he
could indulge in his peculiarly popular style of oratory. His greatest
achievement during that Congress was his speech in defence of General
Jackson,--a speech begun when the seats and halls were comparatively
empty, but concluded in the presence of an overwhelming audience. After
the adjournment of Congress, delegations from many of the States were
sent to a monster Jackson Convention held at Nashville, and Mr. Douglas
was a member of the Illinois Committee. By invitation, he stopped at the
Hermitage. Hundreds of others were calling to pay their respects to
the old hero, and to congratulate him upon his triumph, when Douglas
entered. He was short and plain, and attracted little attention, till
presented by Governor Clay of Alabama. On the announcement of his name,
the General raised his still brilliant eyes, and gazed for a moment on
the countenance of the Judge, still retaining his hand.

"Are you the Mr. Douglas of Illinois who delivered a speech last session
on the subject of the fine imposed on me for declaring martial law at
New Orleans?" he asked.

"I have delivered a speech in the House on that subject," replied
Douglas.

"Then stop," said the General; "sit down here beside me; I desire to
return you my thanks for that speech."

And then, in the presence of that distinguished company, the aged
soldier expressed his gratitude for the words so kindly and justly
spoken, and assured him of his great obligations. At the conclusion
of the interview, Douglas, who was unable to utter a word, grasped
convulsively the aged veteran's hand and left the hall.

At his death. General Jackson left all his papers to Mr. Blair, the
editor of the Washington "Globe," and among them was a printed copy of
the speech, with this indorsement, written and signed by himself:--"This
speech constitutes my defence: I lay it aside as an inheritance for my
grandchildren."

In the famous Compromise struggle of 1850, Judge Douglas developed great
strength of will and wonderful executive ability. With Henry Clay he was
on the most friendly terms, and that statesman once said of him, that he
knew of "no man so entirely an embodiment of American ideas and American
institutions as Mr. Douglas." It is well known that to Senator Douglas
belongs the credit of initiating the great "Compromise Bill," and that,
though reported by Mr. Clay as from the Select Committee of the Senate,
it was in reality the California and Territorial Bills drawn up by Mr.
Douglas, united. It was at his own suggestion that this was done; and
when Mr. Clay objected, on the ground that it would be unfair for the
Committee to claim the credit which belonged exclusively to another, he
rebuked him, and asked by what right he (Mr. Clay) jeoparded the peace
and harmony of the nation, in order that this or that man might receive
the credit due for the origin of a bill. Mr. Clay was so struck by the
manner and observation, of Mr. Douglas, that he grasped his hand and
said,--"You are the most generous man living! I _will_ unite the bills,
and report them; but justice shall nevertheless be done to you as the
real author of the measures." It has been.

Some time after this, he had occasion, to visit Chicago, and his friends
were desirous that he should address the people in defence of the
principle involved in the Kansas-Nebraska Bill. On Saturday night he
appeared before his audience in the open square in front of North Market
Hall. His opponents had been more active than his friends. Ten thousand
roughs, determined to make trouble, had assembled there; and when the
speaker appeared, they saluted him with groans, cat-calls, ironical
cheers, and noises of all kinds. That sort of thing in no way annoyed
him. He was used to it. On similar occasions he had by wit and
good-humor succeeded in gaining a respectful and generally an
enthusiastic hearing, and he expected to do so now. He was mistaken. For
four hours the contest raged between them. He entreated, he threatened,
he laughed at them, told stories, bellowed with the entire volume of his
sonorous voice, but without success. They defied and insulted him, until
the clock in a neighboring church-tower tolled forth the midnight hour.
"Gentlemen," said Douglas, taking out his watch, and advancing to the
front of the stand, "it is Sunday morning. I have to bid you farewell. I
am going to church, and you--can go to ----." Whereupon, he retired, and
the crowd followed, hooting, jeering, and screaming, until they left him
at the door of his hotel.

No man living possessed warmer friends than Mr. Douglas. I saw tears
of sorrow fall from the eyes of hard-featured Western men, when at the
Charleston Convention it became evident that he could not receive the
Presidential nomination. Hard words were spoken and hard blows were
given in his cause there, and subsequently at Baltimore; and it is
doubtful if ever caucusing or struggles for success insured more bitter
or lasting hatreds than were engendered during the prolonged contests at
those places. The result of that strife, the subsequent canvassing of
the country in search of friends and votes, and the ultimate defeat,
worked wonderful changes in him, morally and physically. All that in
years past he had looked for, all he had struggled for, seemed put
forever beyond his reach; and he was from that hour a different man.
Fortunately for him, gloriously for his reputation, the people of the
South saw fit to rebel; and Douglas, espousing the side of the right,
has died a patriot. There had always been a feeling of friendship
existing between Mr. Lincoln and Judge Douglas; and the manner in which
the latter acted just prior to the Inauguration, and the gallant part he
sustained at that time, as well as afterwards, served to increase their
mutual regard and esteem. It was my good-fortune to stand by Mr. Douglas
during the reading of the Inaugural of President Lincoln. Rumors had
been current that there would be trouble at that time, and much anxiety
was felt by the authorities and the friends of Mr. Lincoln as to the
result. "I shall be there," said Douglas, "and if any man attacks
Lincoln, he attacks me, too." As Mr. Lincoln proceeded with his address,
Judge Douglas repeatedly remarked, "Good!" "That's fair!" "No backing
out there!" "That's a good point!" etc.,--indicating his approval of
its tone, as subsequently he congratulated the reader and indorsed the
document.

At the Inauguration Ball, all were waiting the arrival of the
Presidential party. Much feeling had been created in the city by the
announcement that Washington people did not intend to patronize the
affair, and it was feared that it might fall through. Presently the band
struck up "Hail Columbia," and President Lincoln with his escort entered
the room, followed by Mrs. Lincoln, who was supported by Judge Douglas.
A more significant demonstration of friendship and of personal interest
could not possibly be suggested; and Mr. Douglas, that night, by his
genial manner, his cordial sympathy with the _personnel_ of the new
Administration, and the effectual snubbing which he thereby gave to the
pretentious movers in Washington society, won for himself many friends,
and the gratitude of all the Republicans present.

About two months since, while in the telegraph office at Washington,
I saw Mr. Douglas. Accosting him, I asked what course he thought the
President should pursue towards the sympathizers with the South who
remained in that city. "Well," replied he, "if I were President, I'd
convert or hang them _all_ within forty-eight hours. However, don't be
in a hurry. I've known Mr. Lincoln a longer time than you have, or than
the country has; he'll come out right, and we will all stand by him."

The President was, in return, a warm friend of Mr. Douglas. I had
occasion to inquire of him if he had, as was reported in the newspapers,
tendered to Judge Douglas the position of Brigadier-General. "No, Sir,"
said Mr. Lincoln, "I have not done so; nor had I thought of doing so
until to-night, when I saw it suggested in the paper. I have no reason
to believe Mr. Douglas would accept it. He has not asked it, nor
have his friends. But I must say, that, if it is well to appoint
brigadier-generals from the civil list, I can imagine few men better
qualified for such a position than Judge Douglas. For myself, I know I
have not much military knowledge, and I think Douglas has. It was he who
first told me I should have trouble at Baltimore, and, pointing on the
map, showed me the route by Perryville, Havre de Grace, and Annapolis,
as the one over which our troops must come. He impressed on my mind the
necessity of absolutely securing Fortress Monroe and Old Point Comfort,
and, in fact, I think he knows all about it." The President continued
at some length to refer to the aid, counsel, and encouragement he had
received from Judge Douglas, intimating that the relations subsisting
between them were of the most amicable and pleasant nature.

It was evidently the purpose of Mr. Douglas, during the present crisis,
to impress upon the country the fact, that at the outset he had declared
himself a Union man, faithful to the Constitution and the upholding of
its powers.

Mr. Douglas has left many friends and many opponents, but few enemies.
Careless of money, he died poor. Generous to recklessness, he permitted
his estate to become incumbered and taken from him. Early in life he
aimed at personal popularity, and obtained it. In later years he desired
legal honors, and they were his. Successful in all he undertook, he
raised his ambition to the highest post among his fellows, and its
possession became the sole object of his life. For its attainment
he gave everything, yielded everything, did everything, and became
everything, without success. In all things he was extreme. His loves
and hates were strong. His habits, however they may be estimated, were
apparent to all. His life--was it a failure?

His death I will but mention. It has plunged a loving family into
sorrow, and taken from a party its leader. Thousands of sentences
gratifying to his friends are written about his greatness, and the
sacredness of his memory; and no word will be uttered here to offend
them. He shall himself close this paper, and I will be the medium of
conveying in his behalf a message to his fellow-countrymen,--a message
which he spoke into the ear of his watchful wife, for the future
guidance of his orphan children:--

"Reviving slightly, he turned easily in his bed, and with his eyes
partially closed, and his hand resting in that of Mrs. Douglas, he said,
in slow and measured cadence,--

"'TELL THEM TO OBEY THE LAWS AND SUPPORT THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED
STATES.'"



OUR RIVER.

(FOR A SUMMER FESTIVAL AT "THE LAURELS" ON THE MERRIMACK.)


  Once more on yonder laurelled height
    The summer flowers have budded;
  Once more with summer's golden light
    The vales of home are flooded;
  And once more, by the grace of Him
    Of every good the Giver,
  We sing upon its wooded rim
    The praises of our river:

  Its pines above, its waves below,
    The west wind down it blowing,
  As fair as when the young Brissot
    Beheld it seaward flowing,--
  And bore its memory o'er the deep
    To soothe a martyr's sadness,
  And fresco, in his troubled sleep,
    His prison-walls with gladness.

  We know the world is rich with streams
    Renowned in song and story,
  Whose music murmurs through our dreams
    Of human love and glory:
  We know that Arno's banks are fair,
    And Rhine has castled shadows,
  And, poet-tuned, the Doon and Ayr
    Go singing down their meadows.

  But while, unpictured and unsung
    By painter or by poet,
  Our river waits the tuneful tongue
    And cunning hand to show it,--
  We only know the fond skies lean
    Above it, warm with blessing,
  And the sweet soul of our Undine
    Awakes to our caressing.

  No fickle Sun-God holds the flocks
    That graze its shores in keeping;
  No icy kiss of Dian mocks
    The youth beside it sleeping:
  Our Christian river loveth most
    The beautiful and human;
  The heathen streams of Naiads boast,
    But ours of man and woman.

  The miner in his cabin hears
    The ripple we are hearing;
  It whispers soft to homesick ears
    Around the settler's clearing:
  In Sacramento's vales of corn,
    Or Santee's bloom of cotton,
  Our river by its valley-born
    Was never yet forgotten.

  The drum rolls loud,--the bugle fills
    The summer air with clangor;
  The war-storm shakes the solid hills
    Beneath its tread of anger:
  Young eyes that last year smiled in ours
    Now point the rifle's barrel,
  And hands then stained with fruits and flowers
    Bear redder stains of quarrel.

  But blue skies smile, and flowers bloom on,
    And rivers still keep flowing,--
  The dear God still his rain and sun
    On good and ill bestowing.
  His pine-trees whisper, "Trust and wait!"
    His flowers are prophesying
  That all we dread of change or fate
    His love is underlying.

  And thou, O Mountain-born!--no more
    We ask the Wise Allotter
  Than for the firmness of thy shore,
    The calmness of thy water,
  The cheerful lights that overlay
    Thy rugged slopes with beauty,
  To match our spirits to our day
    And make a joy of duty.



AGNES OF SORRENTO.


CHAPTER IX.

THE ARTIST MONK.


On the evening when Agnes and her grandmother returned from the Convent,
as they were standing after supper looking over the garden parapet into
the gorge, their attention was caught by a man in an ecclesiastical
habit, slowly climbing the rocky pathway towards them.

"Isn't that brother Antonio?" said Dame Elsie, leaning forward to
observe more narrowly. "Yes, to be sure it is!"

"Oh, how glad I am!" exclaimed Agnes, springing up with vivacity, and
looking eagerly down the path by which the stranger was approaching.

A few moments more of clambering, and the stranger met the two women at
the gate with a gesture of benediction.

He was apparently a little past the middle point of life, and entering
on its shady afternoon. He was tall and well proportioned, and his
features had the spare delicacy of the Italian outline. The round brow,
fully developed in all the perceptive and aesthetic regions,--the keen
eye, shadowed by long, dark lashes,--the thin, flexible lips,--the
sunken cheek, where, on the slightest emotion, there fluttered a
brilliant flush of color,--all were signs telling of the enthusiast in
whom the nervous and spiritual predominated over the animal.

At times, his eye had a dilating brightness, as if from the flickering
of some inward fire which was slowly consuming the mortal part, and its
expression was brilliant even to the verge of insanity.

His dress was the simple, coarse, white stuff-gown of the Dominican
friars, over which he wore a darker travelling-garment of coarse cloth,
with a hood, from whose deep shadows his bright mysterious eyes looked
like jewels from a cavern. At his side dangled a great rosary and cross
of black wood, and under his arm he carried a portfolio secured with a
leathern strap, which seemed stuffed to bursting with papers.

Father Antonio, whom we have thus introduced to the reader, was an
itinerant preaching monk from the Convent of San Marco in Florence, on a
pastoral and artistic tour through Italy.

Convents in the Middle Ages were the retreats of multitudes of natures
who did not wish to live in a state of perpetual warfare and offence,
and all the elegant arts flourished under their protecting shadows.
Ornamental gardening, pharmacy, drawing, painting, carving in wood,
illumination, and calligraphy were not unfrequent occupations of the
holy fathers, and the convent has given to the illustrious roll of
Italian Art some of its most brilliant names. No institution in modern
Europe had a more established reputation in all these respects than the
Convent of San Marco in Florence. In its best days, it was as near an
approach to an ideal community, associated to unite religion, beauty,
and utility, as ever has existed on earth. It was a retreat from the
commonplace prose of life into an atmosphere at once devotional and
poetic; and prayers and sacred hymns consecrated the elegant labors of
the chisel and the pencil, no less than the more homely ones of the
still and the crucible. San Marco, far from being that kind of sluggish
lagoon often imagined in conventual life, was rather a sheltered hotbed
of ideas,--fervid with intellectual and moral energy, and before the
age in every radical movement. At this period, Savonarola, the poet and
prophet of the Italian religious world of his day, was superior of this
convent, pouring through all the members of the order the fire of his
own impassioned nature, and seeking to lead them back to the fervors of
more primitive and evangelical ages, and in the reaction of a worldly
and corrupt Church was beginning to feel the power of that current which
at last drowned his eloquent voice in the cold waters of martyrdom.
Savonarola was an Italian Luther,--differing from the great Northern
Reformer as the more ethereally strung and nervous Italian differs from
the bluff and burly German; and like Luther he became in his time the
centre of every living thing in society about him. He inspired the
pencils of artists, guided the counsels of statesmen, and, a poet
himself, was an inspiration to poets. Everywhere in Italy the monks of
his order were travelling, restoring the shrines, preaching against
the voluptuous and unworthy pictures with which sensual artists
had desecrated the churches, and calling the people back by their
exhortations to the purity of primitive Christianity.

Father Antonio was a younger brother of Elsie, and had early become a
member of the San Marco, enthusiastic not less in religion than in Art.
His intercourse with his sister had few points of sympathy, Elsie being
as decided a utilitarian as any old Yankee female born in the granite
hills of New Hampshire, and pursuing with a hard and sharp energy her
narrow plan of life for Agnes. She regarded her brother as a very
properly religious person, considering his calling, but was a little
bored with his exuberant devotion, and absolutely indifferent to his
artistic enthusiasm. Agnes, on the contrary, had from a child attached
herself to her uncle with all the energy of a sympathetic nature, and
his yearly visits had been looked forward to on her part with intense
expectation. To him she could say a thousand things which she
instinctively concealed from her grandmother; and Elsie was well pleased
with the confidence, because it relieved her a little from the vigilant
guardianship that she otherwise held over the girl. When Father Antonio
was near, she had leisure now and then for a little private gossip of
her own, without the constant care of supervising Agnes.

"Dear uncle, how glad I am to see you once more!" was the eager
salutation with which the young girl received the monk, as he gained the
little garden. "And you have brought your pictures;--oh, I know you have
so many pretty things to show me!"

"Well, well, child," said Elsie, "don't begin upon that now. A little
talk of bread and cheese will be more in point. Come in, brother, and
wash your feet, and let me beat the dust out of your cloak, and give you
something to stay Nature; for you must be fasting."

"Thank you, sister," said the monk; "and as for you, pretty one, never
mind what she says. Uncle Antonio will show his little Agnes everything
by-and-by.--A good little thing it is, sister."

"Yes, yes,--good enough,--and too good," said Elsie, bustling
about;--"roses can't help having thorns, I suppose."

"Only our ever-blessed Rose of Sharon, the dear mystical Rose of
Paradise, can boast of having no thorns," said the monk, bowing and
crossing himself devoutly.

Agnes clasped her hands on her bosom and bowed also, while Elsie stopped
with her knife in the middle of a loaf of black bread, and crossed
herself with somewhat of impatience,--like a worldly-minded person of
our day, who is interrupted in the midst of an observation by a grace.

After the rites of hospitality had been duly observed, the old dame
seated herself contentedly in her door with her distaff, resigned Agnes
to the safe guardianship of her uncle, and had a feeling of security
in seeing them sitting together on the parapet of the garden, with
the portfolio spread out between them,--the warm twilight glow of the
evening sky lighting up their figures as they bent in ardent interest
over its contents. The portfolio showed a fluttering collection of
sketches,--fruits, flowers, animals, insects, faces, figures, shrines,
buildings, trees,--all, in short, that might strike the mind of a man
to whose eye nothing on the face of the earth is without beauty and
significance.

"Oh, how beautiful!" said the girl, taking up one sketch, in which a
bunch of rosy cyclamen was painted riding out of a bed of moss.

"Ah, that indeed, my dear!" said the artist, "Would you had seen the
place where I painted it! I stopped there to recite my prayers one
morning; 't was by the side of a beautiful cascade, and all the ground
was covered with these lovely cyclamens, and the air was musky with
their fragrance.--Ah, the bright rose-colored leaves! I can get no color
like them, unless some angel would bring me some from those sunset
clouds yonder."

"And oh, dear uncle, what lovely primroses!" pursued Agnes, taking up
another paper.

"Yes, child; but you should have seen them when I was coming down the
south side of the Apennines;--these were everywhere so pale and sweet,
they seemed like the humility of our Most Blessed Mother in her lowly
mortal state. I am minded to make a border of primroses to the leaf in
the Breviary where is the 'Hail, Mary!'--for it seems as if that flower
doth ever say, 'Behold the handmaid of the Lord!'"

"And what will you do with the cyclamen, uncle? does not that mean
something?"

"Yes, daughter," replied the monk, readily entering into that symbolical
strain which permeated all the heart and mind of the religious of his
day,--"I _can_ see a meaning in it. For you see that the cyclamen
puts forth its leaves in early spring deeply engraven with mystical
characters, and loves cool shadows, and moist, dark places, but comes
at length to wear a royal crown of crimson; and it seems to me like the
saints who dwell in convents and other prayerful places, and have the
word of God graven in their hearts in youth, till these blossom into
fervent love, and they are crowned with royal graces."

"Ah!" sighed Agnes, "how beautiful and how blessed to be among such!"

"Thou sayest well, dear child. Blessed are the flowers of God that grow
in cool solitudes, and have never been profaned by the hot sun and dust
of this world!"

"I should like to be such a one," said Agnes. "I often think, when I
visit the sisters at the Convent, that I long to be one of them."

"A pretty story!" said Dame Elsie, who had heard the last words,--"go
into a convent and leave your poor grandmother all alone, when she has
toiled night and day for so many years to get a dowry for you and find
you a worthy husband!"

"I don't want any husband in this world, grandmamma," said Agnes.

"What talk is this? Not want a good husband to take care of you when
your poor old grandmother is gone? Who will provide for you?"

"He who took care of the blessed Saint Agnes, grandmamma."

"Saint Agnes, to be sure! That was a great many years ago, and times
have altered since then;--in these days girls must have husbands. Isn't
it so, brother Antonio?"

"But if the darling hath a vocation?" said the artist, mildly.

"Vocation! I'll see to that! She sha'n't have a vocation! Suppose I'm
going to delve, and toil, and spin, and wear myself to the bone, and
have her slip through my fingers at last with a vocation? No, indeed!"

"Indeed, dear grandmother, don't be angry!" said Agnes. "I will do just
as you say,--only I don't want a husband."

"Well, well, my little heart,--one thing at a time; you sha'n't have him
till you say yes willingly," said Elsie, in a mollified tone.

Agnes turned again to the portfolio and busied herself with it, her eyes
dilating as she ran over the sketches.

"Ah! what pretty, pretty bird is this?" she asked.

"Knowest thou not that bird, with his little red beak?" said the artist.
"When our dear Lord hung bleeding, and no man pitied him, this bird,
filled with tender love, tried to draw out the nails with his poor
little beak,--so much better were the birds than we hard-hearted
sinners!--hence he hath honor in many pictures. See here,--I shall put
him into the office of the Sacred Heart, in a little nest curiously
built in a running vine of passion-flower. See here, daughter,--I have
a great commission to execute a Breviary for our house, and our holy
Father was pleased to say that the spirit of the blessed Angelico had in
some little humble measure descended on me, and now I am busy day and
night; for not a twig rustles, not a bird flies, nor a flower blossoms,
but I begin to see therein some hint of holy adornment to my blessed
work."

"Oh, Uncle Antonio, how happy you must be!" said Agnes,--her large eyes
filling with tears.

"Happy!--child, am I not?" said the monk, looking up and crossing
himself. "Holy Mother, am I not? Do I not walk the earth in a dream of
bliss, and see the footsteps of my Most Blessed Lord and his dear Mother
on every rock and hill? I see the flowers rise up in clouds to adore
them. What am I, unworthy sinner, that such grace is granted me? Often
I fall on my face before the humblest flower where my dear Lord hath
written his name, and confess I am unworthy the honor of copying his
sweet handiwork."

The artist spoke these words with his hands clasped and his fervid eyes
upraised, like a man in an ecstasy; nor can our more prosaic English
give an idea of the fluent naturalness and grace with which such images
melt into that lovely tongue which seems made to be the natural language
of poetry and enthusiasm.

Agnes looked up to him with humble awe, as to some celestial being; but
there was a sympathetic glow in her face, and she put her hands on her
bosom, as her manner often was when much moved, and, drawing a deep
sigh, said,--

"Would that such gifts were mine!"

"They are thine, sweet one," said the monk. "In Christ's dear kingdom is
no mine or thine, but all that each hath is the property of the others.
I never rejoice so much in my art as when I think of the communion of
saints, and that all that our Blessed Lord will work through me is the
property of the humblest soul in his kingdom. When I see one flower
rarer than another, or a bird singing on a twig, I take note of the
same, and say, 'This lovely work of God shall be for some shrine, or the
border of a missal, or the foreground of an altar-piece, and thus shall
his saints be comforted.'"

"But," said Agnes, fervently, "how little can a poor young maiden do!
Ah, I do so long to offer myself up in some way to the dear Lord, who
gave himself for us, and for his Most Blessed Church!"

As Agnes spoke these words, her cheek, usually so clear and pale, became
suffused with a tremulous color, and her dark eyes had a deep, divine
expression;--a moment after, the color slowly faded, her head drooped,
and her long, dark lashes fell on her cheek, while her hands were folded
on her bosom. The eye of the monk was watching her with an enkindled
glance.

"Is she not the very presentment of our Blessed Lady in the
Annunciation?" said he to himself. "Surely, this grace is upon her for
this special purpose. My prayers are answered.

"Daughter," he began, in a gentle tone, "a glorious work has been done
of late in Florence under the preaching of our blessed Superior. Could
you believe it, daughter, in these times of backsliding and rebuke there
have been found painters base enough to paint the pictures of vile,
abandoned women in the character of our Blessed Lady; yea, and princes
have been found wicked enough to buy them and put them up in churches,
so that the people have had the Mother of all Purity presented to them
in the guise of a vile harlot. Is it not dreadful?"

"How horrible!" said Agnes.

"Ah, but you should have seen the great procession through Florence,
when all the little children were inspired by the heavenly preaching of
our dear Master. These dear little ones, carrying the blessed cross and
singing the hymns our Master had written for them, went from house to
house and church to church, demanding that everything that was vile and
base should be delivered up to the flames,--and the people, beholding,
thought that the angels had indeed come down, and brought forth all
their loose pictures and vile books, such as Boccaccio's romances and
other defilements, and the children made a splendid bonfire of them in
the Grand Piazza, and so thousands of vile things were consumed and
scattered. And then our blessed Master exhorted the artists to give
pencils to Christ and his Mother, and seek for her image among pious and
holy women living a veiled and secluded life, like that our Lady lived
before the blessed Annunciation. 'Think you,' he said, 'that the blessed
Angelico obtained the grace to set forth our Lady in such heavenly wise
by gazing about the streets on mincing women tricked out in all the
world's bravery?--or did he not find her image in holy solitudes, among
modest and prayerful saints?'"

"Ah," said Agnes, drawing in her breath with an expression of awe, "what
mortal would dare to sit for the image of our Lady!"

"Dear child, there be women whom the Lord crowns with beauty when they
know it not, and our dear Mother sheds so much of her spirit into their
hearts that it shines out in their faces; and among such must the
painter look. Dear little child, be not ignorant that our Lord hath shed
this great grace on thee. I have received a light that thou art to be
the model for the 'Hail, Mary!' in my Breviary."

"Oh, no, no, no! it cannot be!" said Agnes, covering her face with her
hands.

"My daughter, thou art very beautiful, and this beauty was given thee
not for thyself, but to be laid like a sweet flower on the altar of thy
Lord. Think how blessed, if, through thee, the faithful be reminded of
the modesty and humility of Mary, so that their prayers become more
fervent,--would it not be a great grace?"

"Dear uncle,"--said Agnes, "I am Christ's child. If it be as you
say,--which I did not know,--give me some days to pray and prepare my
soul, that I may offer myself in all humility."

During this conversation Elsie had left the garden and gone a little way
down the gorge, to have a few moments of gossip with an old crony. The
light of the evening sky had gradually faded away, and the full moon was
pouring a shower of silver upon the orange-trees. As Agnes sat on the
parapet, with the moonlight streaming down on her young, spiritual face,
now tremulous with deep suppressed emotion, the painter thought he had
never seen any human creature that looked nearer to his conception of a
celestial being.

They both sat awhile in that kind of quietude which often falls between
two who have stirred some deep fountain of emotion. All was so still
around them, that the drip and trickle of the little stream which fell
from the garden wall into the dark abyss of the gorge could well be
heard as it pattered from one rocky point to another, with a slender,
lulling sound.

Suddenly the reveries of the two were disturbed by the shadow of a
figure which passed into the moonlight and seemed to rise from the side
of the gorge. A man enveloped in a dark cloak with a peaked hood stepped
across the moss-grown garden parapet, stood a moment irresolute, then
the cloak dropped suddenly from him, and the Cavalier stood in the
moonlight before Agnes. He bore in his hand a tall stalk of white lily,
with open blossoms and buds and tender fluted green leaves, such as one
sees in a thousand pictures of the Annunciation. The moonlight fell full
upon his face, revealing his haughty yet beautiful features, agitated
by some profound emotion. The monk and the girl were both too much
surprised for a moment to utter a sound; and when, after an instant, the
monk made a half-movement as if to address him, the cavalier raised his
right hand with a sudden authoritative gesture which silenced him. Then
turning toward Agnes, he kneeled, and kissing the hem of her robe, and
laying the lily in her lap, "Holiest and dearest," he said, "oh, forget
not to pray for me!" He rose again in a moment, and, throwing his
cloak around him, sprang over the garden wall, and was heard rapidly
descending into the shadows of the gorge.

All this passed so quickly that it seemed to both the spectators like a
dream. The splendid man, with his jewelled weapons, his haughty bearing,
and air of easy command, bowing with such solemn humility before the
peasant girl, reminded the monk of the barbaric princes in the wonderful
legends he had read, who had been drawn by some heavenly inspiration to
come and render themselves up to the teachings of holy virgins, chosen
of the Lord, in divine solitudes. In the poetical world in which he
lived all such marvels were possible. There were a thousand precedents
for them in that devout dream-land, "The Lives of the Saints."

"My daughter," he said, after looking vainly down the dark shadows upon
the path of the stranger, "have you ever seen this man before?"

"Yes, uncle; yesterday evening I saw him for the first time, when
sitting at my stand at the gate of the city. It was at the Ave Maria; he
came up there and asked my prayers, and gave me a diamond ring for the
shrine of Saint Agnes, which I carried to the Convent to-day."

"Behold, my dear daughter, the confirmation of what I have just said to
thee! It is evident that our Lady hath endowed thee with the great grace
of a beauty which draws the soul upward towards the angels, instead of
downward to sensual things, like the beauty of worldly women. What saith
the blessed poet Dante of the beauty of the holy Beatrice?--that it said
to every man who looked on her, '_Aspire!_'[A] Great is the grace, and
thou must give special praise therefor."

[Footnote A: I cannot forbear quoting Mr. Norton's beautiful translation
of this sonnet in the _Atlantic Monthly_ for February, 1859:--

  "So gentle and so modest doth appear
  My lady when she giveth her salute,
  That every tongue becometh trembling mute,
  Nor do the eyes to look upon her dare,
  And though she hears her praises, she doth, go
  Benignly clothed with humility,
  And like a thing come down she seems to be
  From heaven to earth, a miracle to show.
  So pleaseth she whoever cometh nigh her,
  She gives the heart a sweetness through the eyes
  Which none can understand who doth not prove.
  And from her lip there seems indeed to move
  A spirit sweet and in Love's very guise,
  Which goeth saying to the soul, '_Aspire!_'"]

"I would," said Agnes, thoughtfully, "that I knew who this stranger is,
and what is his great trouble and need,--his eyes are so full of sorrow.
Giulietta said he was the King's brother, and was called the Lord
Adrian. What sorrow can he have, or what need for the prayers of a poor
maid like me?"

"Perhaps the Lord hath pierced him with a longing after the celestial
beauty and heavenly purity of paradise, and wounded him with a divine
sorrow, as happened to Saint Francis and to the blessed Saint Dominic,"
said the monk. "Beauty is the Lord's arrow, wherewith he pierceth to the
inmost soul, with a divine longing and languishment which find rest only
in him. Hence thou seest the wounds of love in saints are always painted
by us with holy flames ascending from them. Have good courage, sweet
child, and pray with fervor for this youth; for there be no prayers
sweeter before the throne of God than those of spotless maidens. The
Scripture saith, 'My beloved feedeth among the lilies.'"

At this moment the sharp, decided tramp of Elsie was heard reëntering
the garden.

"Come, Agnes," she said, "It is time for you to begin your prayers, or,
the saints know, I shall not get you to bed till midnight. I suppose
prayers are a good thing," she added, seating herself wearily; "but if
one must have so many of them, one must get about them early. There's
reason in all things."

Agnes, who had been sitting abstractedly on the parapet, with her head
drooped over the lily-spray, now seemed to collect herself. She rose up
in a grave and thoughtful manner, and, going forward to the shrine of
the Madonna, removed the flowers of the morning, and holding the vase
under the spout of the fountain, all feathered with waving maiden-hair,
filled it with fresh water, the drops falling from it in a thousand
little silver rings in the moonlight.

"I have a thought," said the monk to himself, drawing from his girdle
a pencil and hastily sketching by the moonlight. What he drew was a
fragile maiden form, sitting with clasped hands on a mossy ruin, gazing
on a spray of white lilies which lay before her. He called it, The
Blessed Virgin pondering the Lily of the Annunciation.

"Hast thou ever reflected," he said to Agnes, "what that lily might be
like which the angel Gabriel brought to our Lady?--for, trust me, it was
no mortal flower, but grew by the river of life. I have often meditated
thereon, that it was like unto living silver with a light in itself,
like the moon,--even as our Lord's garments in the Transfiguration,
which glistened like the snow. I have cast about in myself by what
device a painter might represent so marvellous a flower."

"Now, brother Antonio," said Elsie, "if you begin to talk to the child
about such matters, our Lady alone knows when we shall get to bed. I am
sure I'm as good a Christian as anybody; but, as I said, there's reason
in all things, and one cannot always be wondering and inquiring into
heavenly matters,--as to every feather in Saint Michael's wings, and as
to our Lady's girdle and shoe-strings and thimble and work-basket; and
when one gets through with our Lady, then one has it all to go over
about her mother, the blessed Saint Anne (may her name be ever
praised!). I mean no disrespect, but I am certain the saints are
reasonable folk and must see that poor folk must live, and, in order to
live, must think of something else now and then besides _them_. That's
my mind, brother."

"Well, well, sister," said the monk, placidly, "no doubt you are right.
There shall be no quarrelling in the Lord's vineyard; every one hath his
manner and place, and you follow the lead of the blessed Saint Martha,
which is holy and honorable."

"Honorable! I should think it might be!" said Elsie. "I warrant me, if
everything had been left to Saint Mary's doings, our Blessed Lord and
the Twelve Apostles might have gone supperless. But it's Martha gets all
the work, and Mary all the praise."

"Quite right, quite right," said the monk, abstractedly, while he stood
out in the moonlight busily sketching the fountain. By just such a
fountain, he thought, our Lady might have washed the clothes of the
Blessed Babe. Doubtless there was some such in the court of her
dwelling, all mossy and with sweet waters forever singing a song of
praise therein.

Elsie was heard within the house meanwhile making energetic commotion,
rattling pots and pans, and producing decided movements among the simple
furniture of the dwelling, probably with a view to preparing for the
night's repose of the guest.

Meanwhile Agnes, kneeling before the shrine, was going through with
great feeling and tenderness the various manuals and movements of
nightly devotion which her own religious fervor and the zeal of her
spiritual advisers had enjoined upon her. Christianity, when it entered
Italy, came among a people every act of whose life was colored and
consecrated by symbolic and ritual acts of heathenism. The only possible
way to uproot this was in supplanting it by Christian ritual and
symbolism equally minute and pervading. Besides, in those ages when the
Christian preacher was utterly destitute of all the help which the press
now gives in keeping under the eye of converts the great inspiring
truths of religion, it was one of the first offices of every saint whose
preaching stirred the heart of the people, to devise symbolic forms,
signs, and observances, by which the mobile and fluid heart of the
multitude might crystallize into habits of devout remembrance. The
rosary, the crucifix, the shrine, the banner, the procession, were
catechisms and tracts invented for those who could not read, wherein
the substance of pages was condensed and gave itself to the eye and
the touch. Let us not, from the height of our day, with the better
appliances which a universal press gives us, sneer at the homely rounds
of the ladder by which the first multitudes of the Lord's followers
climbed heavenward.

If there seemed somewhat mechanical in the number of times which Agnes
repeated the "Hail, Mary!"--in the prescribed number of times she rose
or bowed or crossed herself or laid her forehead in low humility on
the flags of the pavement, it was redeemed by the earnest fervor which
inspired each action. However foreign to the habits of a Northern mind
or education such a mode of prayer may be, these forms to her were all
helpful and significant, her soul was borne by them Godward,--and often,
as she prayed, it seemed to her that she could feel the dissolving of
all earthly things, and the pressing nearer and nearer of the great
cloud of witnesses who ever surround the humblest member of Christ's
mystical body.

  "Sweet loving hearts around her beat,
    Sweet helping hands are stirred,
  And palpitates the veil between
    With breathings almost heard."

Certain English writers, looking entirely from a worldly and
philosophical standpoint, are utterly at a loss to account for the power
which certain Italian women of obscure birth came to exercise in the
councils of nations merely by the force of a mystical piety; but the
Northern mind of Europe is entirely unfitted to read and appreciate the
psychological religious phenomena of Southern races. The temperament
which in our modern days has been called the mediïstic, and which with
us is only exceptional, is more or less a race-peculiarity of Southern
climates, and gives that objectiveness to the conception of spiritual
things from which grew up a whole ritual and a whole world of religious
Art. The Southern saints and religious artists were seers,--men and
women of that peculiar fineness and delicacy of temperament which made
them especially apt to receive and project outward the truths of the
spiritual life; they were in that state of "divine madness" which is
favorable to the most intense conception of the poet and artist, and
something of this influence descended through all the channels of the
people.

When Agnes rose from prayer, she had a serene, exalted expression, like
one who walks with some unseen excellence and meditates on some untold
joy. As she was crossing the court to come towards her uncle, her eye
was attracted by the sparkle of something on the ground, and, stooping,
she picked up a heart-shaped locket, curiously made of a large amethyst,
and fastened with a golden arrow. As she pressed upon this, the locket
opened and disclosed to her view a folded paper. Her mood at this moment
was so calm and elevated that she received the incident with no start or
shiver of the nerves. To her it seemed a Providential token, which would
probably bring to her some further knowledge of this mysterious being
who had been so especially confided to her intercessions.

Agnes had learned of the Superior of the Convent the art of reading
writing, which would never have been the birthright of the peasant-girl
in her times, and the moon had that dazzling clearness which revealed
every letter. She stood by the parapet, one hand lying in the white
blossoming alyssum which filled its marble crevices, while she read and
seriously pondered the contents of the paper.

TO AGNES.

  Sweet saint, sweet lady, may a sinful soul
  Approach thee with an offering of love,
  And lay at thy dear feet a weary heart
  That loves thee, as it loveth God above!
  If blessed Mary may without a stain
  Receive the love of sinners most defiled,
  If the fair saints that walk with her in white
  Refuse not love from earth's most guilty child,
  Shouldst thou, sweet lady, then that love deny
  Which all-unworthy at thy feet is laid?
  Ah, gentlest angel, be not more severe
  Than the dear heavens unto a loving prayer!
  Howe'er unworthily that prayer be said,
  Let thine acceptance be like that on high!

There might have been times in Agnes's life when the reception of this
note would have astonished and perplexed her; but the whole strain of
thought and conversation this evening had been in exalted and poetical
regions, and the soft stillness of the hour, the wonderful calmness
and clearness of the moonlight, all seemed in unison with the strange
incident that had occurred, and with the still stranger tenor of the
paper. The soft melancholy, half-religious tone of it was in accordance
with the whole undercurrent of her life, and prevented that start of
alarm which any homage of a more worldly form might have excited. It
is not to be wondered at, therefore, that she read it many times with
pauses and intervals of deep thought, and then with a movement of
natural and girlish curiosity examined the rich jewel which had inclosed
it. At last, seeming to collect her thoughts, she folded the paper and
replaced it in its sparkling casket, and, unlocking the door of the
shrine, laid the gem with its inclosure beneath the lily-spray, as
another offering to the Madonna. "Dear Mother," she said, "if indeed it
be so, may he rise from loving me to loving thee and thy dear Son, who
is Lord of all! Amen!" Thus praying, she locked the door and turned
thoughtfully to her repose, leaving the monk pacing up and down in the
moonlit garden.

Meanwhile the Cavalier was standing on the velvet mossy bridge which
spanned the stream at the bottom of the gorge, watching the play of
moonbeams on layer after layer of tremulous silver foliage in the clefts
of the black, rocky walls on either side. The moon rode so high in the
deep violet-colored sky, that her beams came down almost vertically,
making green and translucent the leaves through which they passed,
and throwing strongly marked shadows here and there on the
flower-embroidered moss of the old bridge. There was that solemn,
plaintive stillness in the air which makes the least sound--the hum
of an insect's wing, the cracking of a twig, the patter of falling
water--so distinct and impressive.

It needs not to be explained how the Cavalier, following the steps of
Agnes and her grandmother at a distance, had threaded the path by which
they ascended to their little sheltered nook,--how he had lingered
within hearing of Agnes's voice, and, moving among the surrounding rocks
and trees, and drawing nearer and nearer as evening shadows drew on, had
listened to the conversation, hoping that some unexpected chance might
gain him a moment's speech with his enchantress.

The reader will have gathered from the preceding chapter that the
conception which Agnes had formed as to the real position of her admirer
from the reports of Giulietta was false, and that in reality he was
not Lord Adrian, the brother of the King, but an outcast and landless
representative of one branch of an ancient and noble Roman family, whose
estates had been confiscated and whose relations had been murdered, to
satisfy the boundless rapacity of Caesar Borgia, the infamous favorite
of the notorious Alexander VI.

The natural temperament of Agostino Sarelli had been rather that of the
poet and artist than of the warrior. In the beautiful gardens of his
ancestral home it had been his delight to muse over the pages of Dante
and Ariosto, to sing to the lute and to write in the facile flowing
rhyme of his native Italian the fancies of the dream-land of his youth.

He was the younger brother of the family,--the favorite son and
companion of his mother, who, being of a tender and religious nature,
had brought him up in habits of the most implicit reverence and devotion
for the institutions of his fathers.

The storm which swept over his house, and blasted all his worldly
prospects, blasted, too, and withered all those religious hopes and
beliefs by which alone sensitive and affectionate natures can be healed
of the wounds of adversity without leaving distortion or scar. For his
house had been overthrown, his elder brother cruelly and treacherously
murdered, himself and his retainers robbed and cast out, by a man who
had the entire sanction and support of the Head of the Christian
Church, the Vicar of Christ on Earth. So said the current belief of his
times,--the faith in which his sainted mother died; and the difficulty
with which a man breaks away from such ties is in exact proportion to
the refinement and elevation of his nature.

In the mind of our young nobleman there was a double current. He was a
Roman, and the traditions of his house went back to the time of Mutius
Scaevola; and his old nurse had often told him that grand story of how
the young hero stood with his right hand in the fire rather than betray
his honor. If the legends of Rome's ancient heroes cause the pulses of
colder climes and alien races to throb with sympathetic heroism, what
must their power be to one who says, "_These were my fathers_"? Agostino
read Plutarch, and thought, "_I_, too, am a Roman!"--and then he looked
on the power that held sway over the Tarpeian Rock and the halls of the
old "Sanctus Senatus," and asked himself, "By what right does it hold
these?" He knew full well that in the popular belief all those hardy
and virtuous old Romans whose deeds of heroism so transported him were
burning in hell for the crime of having been born before Christ; and he
asked himself, as he looked on the horrible and unnatural luxury
and vice which defiled the Papal chair and ran riot through every
ecclesiastical order, whether such men, without faith, without
conscience, and without even decency, were indeed the only authorized
successors of Christ and his Apostles?

To us, of course, from our modern stand-point, the question has an easy
solution,--but not so in those days, when the Christianity of the known
world was in the Romish Church, and when the choice seemed to be between
that and infidelity. Not yet had Luther flared aloft the bold, cheery
torch which showed the faithful how to disentangle Christianity from
Ecclesiasticism. Luther in those days was a star lying low in the gray
horizon of a yet unawakened dawn.

All through Italy at this time there was the restless throbbing and
pulsating, the aimless outreach of the popular heart, which marks
the decline of one cycle of religious faith and calls for some great
awakening and renewal. Savonarola, the priest and prophet of this dumb
desire, was beginning to heave a great heart of conflict towards that
mighty struggle with the vices and immoralities of his time in which he
was yet to sink a martyr; and even now his course was beginning to be
obstructed by the full energy of the whole aroused serpent brood which
hissed and knotted in the holy places of Rome.

Here, then, was our Agostino, with a nature intensely fervent and
poetic, every fibre of whose soul and nervous system had been from
childhood skilfully woven and intertwined with the ritual and faith of
his fathers, yearning towards the grave of his mother, yearning towards
the legends of saints and angels with which she had lulled his cradle
slumbers and sanctified his childhood's pillow, and yet burning with the
indignation of a whole line of old Roman ancestors against an injustice
and oppression wrought under the full approbation of the head of that
religion. Half his nature was all the while battling the other half.
Would he be Roman, or would he be Christian? All the Roman in him said
"No!" when he thought of submission to the patent and open injustice and
fiendish tyranny which had disinherited him, slain his kindred, and held
its impure reign by torture and by blood. He looked on the splendid
snow-crowned mountains whose old silver senate engirdles Rome with an
eternal and silent majesty of presence, and he thought how often in
ancient times they had been a shelter to free blood that would not
endure oppression; and so gathering to his banner the crushed and
scattered retainers of his father's house, and offering refuge and
protection to multitudes of others whom the crimes and rapacities of the
Borgias had stripped of possessions and means of support, he fled to
a fastness in the mountains between Rome and Naples, and became an
independent chieftain, living by his sword.

The rapacity, cruelty, and misgovernment of the various regular
authorities of Italy at this time made brigandage a respectable and
honored institution in the eyes of the people, though it was ostensibly
banned both by Pope and Prince. Besides, in the multitude of contending
factions which were every day wrangling for supremacy, it soon became
apparent, even to the ruling authorities, that a band of fighting-men
under a gallant leader, advantageously posted in the mountains and
understanding all their passes, was a power of no small importance to
be employed on one side or the other; and therefore it happened,
that, though nominally outlawed or excommunicated, they were secretly
protected on both sides, with a view to securing, their assistance in
critical turns of affairs.

Among the common people of the towns and villages their relations were
of the most comfortable kind, their depredations being chiefly confined
to the rich and prosperous, who, as they wrung their wealth out of the
people, were not considered particular objects of compassion when the
same kind of high-handed treatment was extended toward themselves.

The most spirited and brave of the young peasantry, if they wished to
secure the smiles of the girls of their neighborhood, and win hearts
past redemption, found no surer avenue to favor than in joining the
brigands. The leaders of these bands sometimes piqued themselves on
elegant tastes and accomplishments; and one of them is said to have sent
to the poet Tasso, in his misfortunes and exile, an offer of honorable
asylum and protection in his mountain-fortress.

Agostino Sarelli saw himself, in fact, a powerful chief; and there were
times when the splendid scenery of his mountain-fastness, its inspiring
air, its wild eagle-like grandeur, independence, and security, gave him
a proud contentment, and he looked at his sword and loved it as a bride.
But then again there were moods in which he felt all that yearning and
disquiet of soul which the man of wide and tender moral organization
must feel who has had his faith shaken in the religion of his fathers.
To such a man the quarrel with his childhood's faith is a never-ending
anguish; especially is it so with a religion so objective, so pictorial,
and so interwoven with the whole physical and nervous nature of man, as
that which grew up and flowered in modern Italy.

Agostino was like a man who lives in an eternal struggle of
self-justification,--his reason forever going over and over with its
plea before his regretful and never-satisfied heart, which was drawn
every hour of the day by some chain of memory towards the faith whose
visible administrators he detested with the whole force of his moral
being. When the vesper-bell, with its plaintive call, rose amid the
purple shadows of the olive-silvered mountains,--when the distant voices
of chanting priest and choir reached him solemnly from afar,--when
he looked into a church with its cloudy pictures of angels, and its
window-panes flaming with venerable forms of saints and martyrs,--it
roused a yearning anguish, a pain and conflict, which all the efforts
of his reason could not subdue. How to be a Christian and yet defy the
authorized Head of the Christian Church, or how to be a Christian
and recognize foul men of obscene and rapacious deeds as Christ's
representatives, was the inextricable Gordian knot, which his sword
could not divide. He dared not approach the Sacrament, he dared not
pray, and sometimes he felt wild impulses to tread down in riotous
despair every fragment of a religious belief which seemed to live in his
heart only to torture him. He had heard priests scoff over the wafer
they consecrated,--he had known them to mingle poison for rivals in the
sacramental wine,--and yet God had kept silence and not struck them
dead; and like the Psalmist of old he said, "Verily, I have cleansed my
heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency. Is there a God that
judgeth in the earth?"

The first time he saw Agnes bending like a flower in the slanting
evening sunbeams by the old gate of Sorrento, while he stood looking
down the kneeling street and striving to hold his own soul in the
sarcastic calm of utter indifference, he felt himself struck to the
heart by an influence he could not define. The sight of that young face,
with its clear, beautiful lines, and its tender fervor, recalled a
thousand influences of the happiest and purest hours of his life, and
drew him with an attraction he vainly strove to hide under an air of
mocking gallantry.

When she looked him in the face with such grave, surprised eyes of
innocent confidence, and promised to pray for him, he felt a remorseful
tenderness as if he had profaned a shrine. All that was passionate,
poetic, and romantic in his nature was awakened to blend itself in a
strange mingling of despairing sadness and of tender veneration about
this sweet image of perfect purity and faith. Never does love strike so
deep and immediate a root as in a sorrowful and desolated nature;
there it has nothing to dispute the soil, and soon fills it with its
interlacing fibres.

In this case it was not merely Agnes that he sighed for, but she stood
to him as the fair symbol of that life-peace, that rest of soul which he
had lost, it seemed to him, forever.

"Behold this pure, believing child," he said to himself,--"a true member
of that blessed Church to which thou art a rebel! How peacefully this
lamb walketh the old ways trodden by saints and martyrs, while thou
art an infidel and unbeliever!" And then a stern voice within him
answered,--"What then? Is the Holy Ghost indeed alone dispensed through
the medium of Alexander and his scarlet crew of cardinals? Hath the
power to bind and loose in Christ's Church been indeed given to whoever
can buy it with the wages of robbery and oppression? Why does every
prayer and pious word of the faithful reproach me? Why is God silent? Or
is there any God? Oh, Agnes, Agnes! dear lily! fair lamb! lead a sinner
into the green pastures where thou restest!"

So wrestled the strong nature, tempest-tossed in its strength,--so slept
the trustful, blessed in its trust,--then in Italy, as now in all lands.



MAIL-CLAD STEAMERS.


Exposed as we are to treason at home and jealousy abroad, it becomes the
policy as well as the duty of our country to prepare with promptitude
for every contingency by availing itself of all improvements in the
art of war. Superior weapons double the courage and efficiency of our
troops, carry dismay to the foe, and diminish the cost and delays
of warfare. The match-lock and the field-piece in their rudest form
triumphed over the shield, the spear, and the javelin, while the
long-bow, once so formidable, is now rarely drawn, except by those who
cater for sensation-journals. The king's-arm and artillery of the last
war cannot stand before the Minié rifle and Whitworth cannon any more
than the sickle can keep pace with the McCormick reaper, or the slow
coach with the railway-car or the telegraph. Mail-clad steamers,
impervious to shells and red-hot balls, and almost, if not quite,
invulnerable by solid shot and balls from rifled cannon at the distance
of a hundred yards, have been launched upon the deep, and already form
an important part of the navies of France and England. They have been
adopted by Russia, Austria, and Spain; and yet, although our country
furnishes iron which has no superior,--although it has taken the lead in
the steamship, the telegraph, and the railway,--although at this moment
it requires the mail-clad steamer more than any other nation, to relieve
its fortresses, to recover the cotton ports, and to defend its great
cities from foreign aggression, not a single one has yet been launched,
or even been authorized by Congress. For years we have had no more
efficient Secretary of the Navy, or more able and energetic chiefs of
the bureaus, if we may judge from what has already been accomplished;
but it depends on Congress to give the proper authority to construct a
mail-clad navy, and to provide the necessary funds.

The importance of defensive armor has ever been felt. The warriors of
ancient times went to the field in coats-of-mail, and both Homer and
Virgil dilate upon the exquisite carving of the shield. The hauberk and
corselet were used by the Crusaders, and the chain-armor of Milan was
nearly or quite impervious to the sword and spear. Mexico and Peru were
won in great part by coats-of-mail. They were used until gunpowder
changed the whole course of war,--and the Chevalier Bayard, that knight
"_sans peur et sans reproche_," who had borne himself bravely and almost
without a scar in a hundred battles, in his last Italian campaign, as
he was borne from the field, after being struck down by a cannon-ball,
mourned that the days of Chivalry were ended. And Shakspeare tells us
that this villanous saltpetre had prevented at least one sensitive
gentleman from being a soldier.

Defensive armor is still used by tribes who are destitute of powder; and
Barth and Barkie, in their African expeditions, found Moorish horsemen
pressing down from the North into the interior of the Soudan, arrayed
in coats-of-mail of the same description with that which figured in the
Crusades.

In the naval contests of the last century armed ships were inferior in
size to those of modern times, and their tough oak sides were not easily
pierced by the six- and nine-pound balls then in general use, and
twelve-pounders were considered of unusual dimension. During the war
between France and America, a merchantman, armed with nine-pounders,
actually beat off a sloop-of-war and several Spanish privateers; but now
frigates, and even sloops-of-war, are armed with Dahlgren guns of
eight- to eleven-inch bore, which throw balls of sixty to one hundred
pounds,--also with superior rifled cannon. Whitworth and Armstrong guns
are in use that throw shot or shell distances of three to five miles,
which "the wooden walls" of neither England nor America are able to
resist.

We have recently seen the Freeborn, the Pawnee, and the Harriet Lane,
when assailing the rebel batteries on the James and the Potomac,
compelled to take positions at the distance of two miles, and to keep
constantly moving, and compelled consequently to throw away most of
their costly ammunition in uncertain shots, at the same time that they
were constantly exposed to shots which might destroy their engines and
explode their boilers. There was no lack of courage on the part of their
gallant officers; but, from the insufficiency of the vessels, they were
obliged to use a wise discretion, and to take all reasonable precautions
for the safety of their ships, so important and yet so inadequate to the
service of the country. And when Fort Sumter was about to fall, and when
a single shot-proof gun-boat could have defied the rebel batteries, and
without the loss of a man have conveyed to the fortress stores for six
months and a whole battalion of troops, that single gun-boat,--a mere
gun-boat, which need not have passed within one thousand yards of any
batteries on her way,--could not be commanded by the Government, and the
gallant Anderson was compelled to lower to treason that flag whose fall
has aroused the nation to arms.

The earliest experiments upon the power of iron plate to resist the
force of cannon-balls appear to have been made in France by M. de
Montgery, an officer in the French navy, as far back as 1810. He
proposed to cover the sides of ships with several plates of iron, of the
aggregate thickness of four inches, which he alleged would resist the
force of any projectile. But Napoleon had not confidence in his navy; he
had lost the battles of the Nile and Trafalgar; ever successful on the
land, his ships had been swept by Nelson from the deep; and he
had neither time nor disposition to investigate new plans for the
restoration of the navy, or even to take up Fulton's new discovery. It
was reserved for the third Napoleon to develop the original idea of a
Frenchman, and thus to place France on the sea nearly or quite upon a
footing with England.

Some twelve years later, General Paixhans, who gave his name to the
large guns of modern times, (although their prior invention was claimed
by the late Colonel Bomford,) again commended plate-armor for ships to
his Government; but his advice was not then adopted.

With the improvement of cannon the importance of plate-armor became more
and more apparent; and at length Mr. Stevens, under the sanction of our
Government, instituted a series of experiments upon iron plates, and
soon after commenced building an immense floating battery for the
defence of New York, at Hoboken, which is still unfinished, but which,
it is rumored, will, if Congress appropriates the means, be completed
the present season.

Stevens was the first to carry out the idea of a mail-clad steamer; and
it is alone due to the apathy of the late Administration, which has
neglected our navy while indulging in its Southern proclivities, that
our nation has not the honor of launching the first steamer in a
coat-of-mail. The frame, however, of such a vessel has been long in
place, the hull is nearly complete, the engines are far advanced, and
the finishing stroke may soon be given.

Stevens, in the course of his experiments, made the important discovery,
that a single plate of boiler-iron, five-eighths of an inch in
thickness, and weighing less than twenty-five pounds to the superficial
foot[A], when nailed to the side of a ship, was impenetrable by shell
and red-hot shot, the two missiles most dangerous to wooden walls. When
a solid shot strikes the side of a wooden ship, it passes in and usually
stops before it reaches the opposite side. The fibres of the wood yield
and close up behind it, and it often happens, from the reunion of the
fibres, that it is difficult to find the place perforated by the ball,
and if found, it is often easy to remedy the injury by a simple plug.
But if a red-hot shot enter the ship, it may imbed itself in the wood or
coils of cordage or sails, or reach the magazine, and thus destroy the
whole structure, while the shell may explode within the ship and carry
destruction to both men and vessel. If, then, the iron-plate had
answered no other purpose, the discovery by Stevens of its capacity to
resist the two most formidable weapons of his day would alone have been
of great value to the country; but he went farther, and demonstrated by
actual construction the idea of Montgery, that successive plates of iron
would resist the cold spherical shot thrown by the best artillery, and
his floating battery or frigate is protected by plate within plate of
iron armor.

[Footnote A: Sheet-iron plates of one inch in thickness weigh forty
pounds per superficial foot.]

While our Government slept upon its unfinished frigate, and forgot
the honor and interest of the country in the lap of the siren of the
South,--of that South which sixty years since broke down the navy of
John Adams, and left us to encounter the embargo and war with England
without a navy, or, at most, with a few frigates which sufficed to show
what the navy of Adams might have effected,--the honor of launching the
first iron-clad steamer, the Gloire, was resigned to the French. The
first Napoleon made the army of France the best in Europe, if not in the
world; the third, while he maintains the standing of the army, aspires
to give the same position to her navy.

In 1854, Napoleon, who had long studied the art of war, and during his
stay in New York had doubtless seen or heard of the floating battery,
determined to construct two such batteries, and accordingly built the
Lave and Tonnerre. With one of these, the Lave, during the Russian War,
he assailed and destroyed in the brief space of one hour the strong
fortress of Kinburn, near Sebastopol; and in striking contrast to this
success, a large British steamship, heavily armed, but constructed of
wood, was actually captured near Odessa by a small party of Russians
with two or three thirty-two-pounders worked through a gap in an
embankment.

The invulnerable battery of France anchored close under the fortress.
Before its cannon, granite walls are shivered into fragments most
dangerous to the gunners, while the shells, burying themselves two or
three feet deep in the brickwork, by their explosion shake the walls to
pieces. Iron, protected by iron, triumphed over both bricks and granite,
which had defied the fleet of England.

The Emperor was not slow to realize the result of the problem he had
solved. He at once proceeded to test the strength of the best kinds of
plate made in his dominions, and found, by actual trial, that plates of
the best iron, but four and three-fourths inches in thickness, were able
to resist repeated shocks of solid balls fired at the distance of twenty
metres (less than four rods) from his sixty-eight-pounders, and from
rifled guns throwing shot of nearly the same calibre,--and this, too,
when the balls were impelled by more than one-fourth their weight of
powder. But ships rarely engage at such close quarters either with
vessels or fortresses, and the effect of the ball is greatly diminished
by distance, a single inch plate sufficing to stop a spherical shot at a
long distance.

As the result of these experiments, the Emperor proceeded to construct
the Gloire, an iron-clad frigate, which has been completed, has made
several voyages, been tried in a severe gale, for nearly a year has
been the pride of the French navy, and has recently run from Toulon to
Algiers in the brief space of sixty-six hours.

The Gloire is a steam-frigate cased in five-inch plates; she is two
hundred and fifty feet in length by twenty-one in width, mounts
thirty-eight rifled fifty-pounders, is moved by engines of nine hundred
horse-power, is manned by six hundred men, has a speed of twelve and a
half knots, and a capacity for five days' coal,--a capacity which might
be easily increased by a little more breadth of beam, but which is
sufficient for a passage to Algiers, or along the coast of Spain,
England, or Italy. This vessel is considered invulnerable by balls
discharged from rifled cannon at the distance of four hundred yards.

Encouraged by his continued success, the Emperor at once ordered the
construction of nine such frigates, several of which are already
finished. He has since ordered ten more iron-cased frigates and
gun-boats, which are now in course of construction. Before the present
season closes, his iron navy will be composed of twenty steamships and
four floating batteries.

During the contest with Russia, England would not venture to expose her
wooden ships of the line to the close fire of the batteries either
at Cronstadt or Sebastopol, and found it safer to shell them at a
respectful distance and with indifferent success. She was deeply
impressed, however, with the performance of the Lave and Tonnerre at
Kinburn, and seriously disturbed by the completion of the great naval
station at Cherbourg, armed with more than three hundred cannon, and
directly opposite her coast.

England at first sought to meet the new invention by improved artillery,
and produced the Whitworth and Armstrong cannon, which have a range of
four to five miles. With these she practised at short distances upon
targets of strong oaken plank faced with iron plates of four to five
inches in diameter, but found the plates impervious to balls, and
vulnerable only by steel bolts of small diameter, fired at short
distances from Whitworth and Armstrong cannon,--bolts so small that the
wounds they made in the frames faced with iron usually closed or did
little mischief. A few plates of inferior iron occasionally gave way
after repeated assaults, for English iron is coarsely made and poorly
welded,--a striking illustration of which may be found in a part of
the hull of the ill-fated steamer Connaught, which is preserved at the
ship-yard near Dorchester Point, South Boston.

England was at length convinced; she determined that she could not
safely permit the Emperor of the French to rule the sea with his iron
navy. She had not forgotten St. Helena. She realized that she had no
fleet that could safely encounter one of his mail-clad warriors, and
found herself obliged to copy the new invention. She commenced last year
ten iron-clad ships of the line, and has nearly or quite finished the
Warrior, Black Prince, Defiance, and Resistance, while others are
progressing. But she could not tamely copy France. Instead of confining
herself to the length of the Gloire, she is constructing vessels of
immense size. The Warrior, recently launched, is four hundred and
twenty-six feet in length, nearly fifty-two feet in depth, has a width
of fifty-eight feet, measures six thousand one hundred and seventy-seven
tons, and is moved by engines of twelve hundred horse-power. She is to
mount thirty-six cannon of the largest class, and her armor weighs nine
hundred tons.

This vessel will be a formidable antagonist upon the open sea; but her
great depth, with the weight of her armor, causes her to draw thirty
feet, which would prohibit her entrance into most of the seaports upon
our coast. She is vulnerable, too, at each extremity. Her iron plates,
four and a half inches thick, extend but half her length, leaving more
than a hundred feet at each end covered by a plate of only five-eighths
of an inch in thickness; and in case these portions should be injured,
she must rely upon her water-tight compartments. An adroit foe, in a
light craft of greater speed, avoiding her batteries, which are planted
behind her armor, might possibly assail her unprotected ends, and,
although he could not sink her, still, by shot between wind and water,
he might render her more unwieldy and less manageable,--a weight of
water being thus admitted which would bring down the ship so as to
endanger her lower ports and prevent the use of them in action. He might
thus also prevent her approach to shoal water. The Warrior and her
companions are, however, formidable ships, and in deep water, with ample
sea-room, must be most powerful antagonists.

The importance attached by England to mail-clad steamers may be inferred
from the debates in the House of Lords on the 11th and 14th of June,
1861, in which it was officially stated that the Government had not
authorized the construction of a single wooden three-decker since 1855,
nor one wooden two-decker since 1859, although it had launched a few
upon the stocks for the purpose of clearing the yards,--and that it now
contemplated culling down a number of the largest wooden steamships
of the line for the purpose of plating them with iron, while it was
constructing nothing but iron ships, except a few light despatch
frigates, corvettes, and gun-boats.

In the same debate it was stated that bolts of steel had been forced by
improved Armstrong cannon through an eight-inch mail composed of iron
bars dovetailed together; but the quality of the iron and the mode of
fastening were both questioned. These experiments did not deter the
Government from constructing mail-clad steamships. Indeed, it must be
obvious that the great cost of Armstrong cannon, fifteen hundred to two
thousand dollars each, together with the cost of steel bolts, combined
with the fact that this description of cannon is easily shattered, if
struck by a ball from the adversary, must long prevent its introduction
into use; and should it eventually succeed, it must prove far more
destructive to wooden walls than to iron-clad vessels.

It has, however, been urged in England against iron ships of all
descriptions, but more as a theory than as an ascertained fact, that a
solid shot would make a large and irregular aperture, if it entered the
side of a vessel, and a much larger orifice as it passed out on the
opposite side. To this theory, however, there are two answers: first,
that a solid ball can neither enter nor pass out of the sides of a
mail-clad steamer; second, that, when it enters a common iron ship,
there is evidence that it does less damage than would be suffered by
a wooden vessel. Captain Charlewood, of the Royal Navy, who recently
commanded the iron frigate Guadaloupe in the service of Mexico,
testified before a Committee of the British Parliament, that "his ship
was under fire almost daily for four or five months," that "the damage
by shot was considerably less than that usually suffered by a wooden
vessel, and that there was nothing like the number of splinters which
are generally forced out by a shot sent through a wooden vessel's side";
that "the vessel was hulled once in the midship part at about one
thousand yards," and the effect was "that the shot passed through the
iron, making a round hole in the iron"; "that at two feet below water
another shot passed through the vessel's side and one or two casks of
provisions, and that the hole was simply plugged by the engineer at the
time." He testified also that none of the shot disturbed any rivets. His
evidence is the more valuable as it relates to an inferior vessel, whose
plates were probably not more than half an inch thick.

The testimony of Captain W.H. Hall, R.N., in command of the iron frigate
Nemesis, in the Chinese war, was still more conclusive in favor of iron.
He stated, "that in one action the Nemesis was hit fourteen times," and
that one shot "went in at one side and came out at the other, and there
were no splinters; in case of that shot, it went through just as if you
put your finger through a piece of paper: nothing could have been more
easily stopped than I could have stopped that shot in the Nemesis";
that, "several wooden steamers were employed in that service, and they
were invariably obliged to lie up for repairs, whilst I could repair the
Nemesis in twenty-four hours and have her always ready for service." The
Nemesis was a common iron steamer, and not a mail-clad steamship.

As respects the strength and durability of these steamers, although
accidents have occurred from defective materials, it is in proof that
the Tyne and Great Britain ran ashore and remained for months exposed to
the open sea without going to pieces, and were finally rescued,--that
the Persia struck on an iceberg, filled one of her compartments with
water, and came safe to port,--that the North America and Edinburgh went
at full speed upon the rocks near Cape Race and yet escaped,--and that
the Sarah Sands, while transporting troops to India, took fire, that in
consequence the interior and contents of one of her compartments were
entirely consumed, that her magazine exploded, and that she then
encountered a ten days' gale, and after this exposure to such a series
of calamities she reached her port without losing one of her crew or
passengers.

The ambition of England to maintain her ascendancy upon the deep has
led her to disregard the advice of her Defence Commissioners, who
recommended a different class of mail-clad steamers, to measure but two
thousand tons and to draw but sixteen feet of water,--a class admirably
adapted to the sea-ports and requirements of the United States. And
singular as it may appear, by some coincidence at a moment when our
country requires this class of steamers, the enterprise of Boston is
completing two iron steamers whose dimensions and draught of water
conform to the recommendation of the British Commissioners,--steamers
which are nearly ready for launching, but which, if they can receive,
before they leave the stocks, additional plates of iron, would doubtless
prove the most useful and efficient mail-clad vessels which have yet
been constructed.

The stranger who would inspect these beautiful vessels may seat himself
at almost any hour of the day in the cars at the foot of Summer Street,
and in twenty minutes find himself at a point a little north of the
Perkins Asylum for the Blind. A walk of five minutes more will bring him
to a secluded yard sloping gently towards the water, where he will find
extensive offices, and two large buildings which cover the vessels upon
the stocks.

As he approaches these structures, he will notice many plates of
superior iron from the rolling-mills of Baltimore, combining the
toughness and strength and other excellences of the best Pennsylvania
iron; he will notice, too, immense ribs and beams of iron, and hear the
incessant din of hammers riveting the sides and boilers.

Under each of these sheds he will find an iron steamship, two hundred
and seventy-five feet in length by twenty-three in depth, exquisitely
proportioned; he will be struck by the fine entrance and run. The
extreme sharpness of the stem and stern, combined with great capacity,
seems to answer every requirement; and he will be surprised to learn
that the draught of these steamers is but sixteen feet when deeply
laden, and that their engines of thirteen hundred horse-power are
expected to give them a speed of fifteen knots per hour. When they reach
their destined element and have received their lading, the height from
the water-line to the deck will be but seven feet; hence it is apparent
that a belt of iron plates carried around them of eight feet four inches
in height would protect them from the deck to a point sixteen inches
below the water-line, or from the bottom of the deck-beams to a point
two feet below the water-line.

The iron plates which form the sides of these ships range in thickness
from one inch below the water-line to three-fourths of an inch above
it. And if we allow for the superior strength and toughness of American
iron, an additional plate of three inches in thickness would suffice
to give them more strength than that of either the French or English
mail-clad steamers.

By careful computation we have ascertained that each vessel might be
encircled by such plates, weighing but one hundred and twenty pounds per
superficial foot, and have her bulwarks plated also, without adding more
than three hundred tons to her weight,--actually less than one-third of
the cargo she was designed to carry. With an extra planking within, and
an armament of twenty-four rifled fifty-pounders or Whitworth cannon,
and select crews, such vessels need fear no antagonists upon the deep.
Low in the hull, they would offer but little surface to the fire of the
enemy, and their sides would be impervious to shot and shell. Beneath
the decks they could carry in safety a whole regiment of troops.
Selecting their position by superior speed, they could destroy a fleet
of wooden steamers or ships-of-the-line. Entering any of our large
seaports, they could pass the fortress at the entrance uninjured, and
lay cities under contribution, or destroy their ports, without being,
like Achilles, or the English "Warrior," vulnerable in the heel.

When such steamers come into general use, we shall hear no more of the
wooden walls of Greece or England, or of those modern platforms which
had not a stick of sound oak timber in them,--nothing, indeed, but
pitch-pine and cypress. Oak, pine, and cypress would fall into the same
category, when contrasted with the imperishable iron. Some new agency of
steel must be invented to cope with the adamantine iron. And it becomes
our Government, both for the armament of our ships and for defence
against iron steamers, to adopt at the earliest moment every improvement
in rifled cannon.

The Navy Department has recently put under contract seven steamships and
several steam gun-boats. They have intrusted the latter to some of the
ablest ship-builders of the country, and it is well understood that most
of these vessels are to be completed the present season. This measure,
as far as it goes, is eminently wise; but our navy must still be below
the requirements of the nation, and entirely disproportioned to the
extent both of our commerce and of our sea-coast. At a low estimate, our
country requires an additional supply of at least six mail-clad steam
frigates, twelve steam sloops-of-war, and twelve steam gun-boats,
with similar armor. It will require also for long voyages and
distant stations a dozen steam frigates of wood, and as many steam
sloops-of-war, like the best now in our service; and, with the materials
and armament now on hand, an outlay of twenty-five or thirty millions
well applied may suffice for the construction of the whole. With such a
provision we need feel no solicitude as to the intervention of England
or France in our domestic affairs.

The lighter steamships of wood will answer for long voyages to the
Mediterranean, the coast of Africa, India, and the Pacific, and will
protect our grain, flour, and corn, on their way from the West to
Europe. Our iron steamers will defend our commercial cities from attack
or blockade; they will level all rebel batteries on the waters of the
Chesapeake; they can batter down the fortresses of the Southern coast,
and restore to commerce the ports of Charleston, Savannah, Pensacola,
Mobile, Apalachicola, New Orleans, and Galveston.

Most fortunately for our country, at a moment when we cannot immediately
command the live oak of Georgia and Florida, the oak plank of Virginia,
or the yellow pine of the Carolinas, we have the most abundant supplies
of iron easily accessible, and now, relieved from the demands of
railways and factories, ready for the construction of our iron navy. The
iron plates of Pennsylvania and Maryland in strength and toughness know
no superior. The iron mountain near St. Louis and the mines on Lake
Champlain furnish also an article of great purity and excellence. But,
choice as are these deposits of iron, they are all surpassed by the more
recent discoveries on Lake Superior, now opened by the ship-canal at the
Straits of St. Mary. There Nature has stored an inexhaustible amount of
the richest iron ore, free from sulphur, phosphorus, arsenic, and other
deleterious substances, protruding above the surface of hillocks and
underlying the country for miles in extent. This ore is of the specular
and magnetic kind, yields sixty-five per cent. of iron of remarkable
purity, is easily mined and transported to the Lake, and is shipped in
vast quantities to the ports of Lake Erie, where it meets the coal of
Ohio. At least ten companies are now engaged in its shipment, which
has progressed thus far with great rapidity, doubling every year. The
shipments from Lake Superior, in 1858, were thirty thousand five hundred
and twenty-seven tons; in 1859, eighty thousand tons; in 1860, one
hundred and fifty thousand tons. So great are the magnetic powers of
this iron, that, buried as it was in the depths of the forest and
beneath the surface of the earth, it disturbed the compasses of the
United States surveyors while engaged in the survey of Northern
Michigan. For a time their needle would not work, and they were obliged
temporarily to suspend their operations. Their embarrassment led to the
discovery of these vast deposits of ore. It is now mingled with the
inferior ore of Ohio and Pennsylvania, and extensively wrought.

Our nation has strong motives to induce it to construct an iron navy.

_First._ The adoption of such a navy by the great powers of
Europe,--England and France,--followed by Russia, Austria, and Spain.
Our commerce will be in danger, if they once acquire the power of
assailing us with impunity.

_Second._ Our urgent want of this class of vessels to recover our
fortresses, repel blockades, and reopen our Southern ports, without
wearisome sieges, costly both in blood and treasure.

_Third._ Our inability to command our customary supplies of durable
timber.

_Fourth._ The abundance of iron, unrivalled in any part of the world.

_Fifth._ The durability of the ships constructed from iron. If well
manned and piloted, they will seldom need repairs; and instead of
failing, as many ships do in the sixth year, and requiring vast
expenditures to discharge and dismantle them for the renewal of the
decaying timber, plank, copper, and other materials, often amounting in
the aggregate to more than their original cost, the mail-clad steamers
built of American iron will outlive successive races of wooden
steamships. The iron such a navy would require will put many idle hands
in motion, which would otherwise be unproductive during war,--the miners
of Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York, the colliers of Ohio and
Pennsylvania, the mariners of the Lakes, the navigators of canals, and
the operatives of railways, down to the brawny smiths who fashion the
metal into shapes,--until their combined efforts launch it upon the
deep, and send it forth to

  "dare the very elements to strife."

How much better would it be to create such an iron navy than to expend
million after million on wooden walls that must soon perish by decay or
the shells of the enemy, or to lavish three or four millions upon the
conversion of our superannuated ships-of-the-line into steamships!
These, when converted, will still retain their age and constant tendency
to decay, their models long since abandoned, their original design,
height of decks, and other proportions adapted to the eighteen- and
twenty-four-pounders formerly in use, which are now giving place to
Dahlgren and rifled cannon carrying balls of sixty-four to one hundred
pounds weight. Such an expenditure would be like an essay to convert a
Yankee shingle-palace, such as Irving described half a century ago, into
a modern villa, and reminds one of a proposition made to an assembly
some twenty centuries since, which still has its significance.

An orator had proposed to convert an old politician into a general; but
a citizen moved an amendment to convert donkeys into horses, and when
the possibility of doing so was questioned, argued that the horses were
necessary for the war, and that his measure was as feasible as the
other.

To prepare our nation for war, let us select the Enfield rifle, the Colt
revolver, the rifled and cast-steel cannon, the mail-clad steamer, and
not resort to flint arrow-heads and tomahawks, or to any other fossil
remains of antiquity. The policy of creating an iron navy has been
repeatedly urged of late in the foreign journals. It has also been
advocated with signal ability by Donald McKay of Boston, one of our most
eminent naval constructors, who, after building the Great Republic, the
Flying Cloud, and a fleet of other celebrated clippers, has visited the
dockyards of France and England, examined their mail-clad ships upon the
stocks and those already finished. Although himself accustomed to work
on wood, and a candidate for employment as builder of some of our
wooden gun-boats, with great frankness as well as boldness he urges the
construction of mail-clad steamers. We trust Congress will no longer
neglect so important a means of protecting our national prosperity.



PARTING HYMN.

"_Dundee_."


  Father of Mercies, Heavenly Friend,
    We seek Thy gracious throne;
  To Thee our faltering prayers ascend,
    Our fainting hearts are known!

  From blasts that chill, from suns that smite,
    From every plague that harms;
  In camp and march, in siege and fight,
    Protect our men-at-arms!

  Though from our darkened lives they take
    What makes our life most dear,
  We yield them for their country's sake
    With no relenting tear.

  Our blood their flowing veins will shed,
    Their wounds our breasts will share;
  Oh, save us from the woes we dread,
    Or grant us strength to bear!

  Let each unhallowed cause that brings
    The stern destroyer cease,
  Thy flaming angel fold his wings,
    And seraphs whisper Peace!

  Thine are the sceptre and the sword,
    Stretch forth Thy mighty hand,--
  Reign Thou our kingless nation's Lord,
    Rule Thou our throneless land!



WHERE WILL THE REBELLION LEAVE US?


"The United States are bounded, North, by the British Possessions;
South, by the Gulf of Mexico; East, by the Atlantic Ocean; and West,
by the Pacific." So the school-books told us which we studied in our
childhood; and so, in every school throughout the land, the children
are taught to-day. The armed hosts whose tread resounds through thy
Continent are marching Southward to teach this simple lesson in
geography. They all know it by heart. "This they are ready to verify,"
as the lawyers say. Wherever, in any benighted region, this elementary
proposition shall be henceforth denied or doubted, schools for adults
are to be established, and the needful instruction given. By regiments,
battalions, and brigades, with all necessary apparatus, the teachers
go forth to their work. The proposition is a very simple one, easily
expressed and easily understood; but it tells the whole story. It is the
substance of all men's thoughts, and of all men's speech. Mr. Lincoln
states it in his inaugural. Mr. Douglas impresses it upon the Illinois
legislature. Mr. Seward announces it, briefly and with emphasis, to the
governments of Europe. Sentimental talk about "our country, however
bounded," is obsolete; and how the country is bounded is now the point
to be settled, once and forever. "This territory, from the Great Lakes
to the Gulf, belongs to the people of the United States, and they mean
to hold and keep it. We shall neither alter our school-books nor revise
our maps." So say the American people, rising in their wrath.

The practical question with which Mr. Lincoln's administration had to
deal in the first place was, Whether a popular government is strong
enough to suppress a military rebellion? And that may be regarded as
already settled. But the grounds upon which that rebellion is justified
involve the vital facts of national unity, and even of national
existence. As a people, we have always been extremely tolerant of
theories, however absurd. There is hardly a doctrine of constitutional
law so clear and well settled, that it is not, from time to time,
discussed and disputed among us. But when it comes to reducing
mischievous speculations to practice, the case is altered, and the
practical genius of the people begins to manifest itself. Thus, the
Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of '98 and '99 declared the Federal
Constitution to be merely a compact between sovereign States, created
for a special and limited purpose; and that each party to the compact
was the exclusive and final judge for itself of the construction of the
contract, with a right to determine for itself when it was violated, and
the measure and mode of redress. As a theory, this doctrine has been
very extensively accepted. Great parties have adopted it as their
platform, and elections have been carried upon it. Its value as a
support to the dignity and self-importance of local politicians was
readily apprehended by them; and it was in perfect harmony with the tone
of bluster which pervaded our politics. The thorough refutation which it
always encountered, whenever it was seriously considered, never seemed
to do its popularity any harm. In truth, mere vaporing hurt nobody, and
caused no great alarm. But when the Hartford Convention was suspected
of covering a little actual heat under the smoke of the customary
resolutions and protests, a bucket of cold water was thrown over it.
When, in 1832, South Carolina developed a spark of real fire, the nation
put its foot on it. And now, when the torch of rebellion has been
circulating among very inflammable materials, until a serious
conflagration is threatened, the instinct of self-preservation has
roused the energies of the whole people for its immediate, complete, and
final extinction.

The present insurrection has been so long meditated, the approaches to
its final consummation have been so steadily made, and the schemes of
the principal traitors have been so well planned and carefully matured,
that they have almost succeeded in making the vocabulary of treason a
part of the vernacular of the country. We all talk of the States which
have seceded or are going to secede,--of a fratricidal war,--of the
measures which this or the other State is determined or likely to adopt;
and a great deal has been said about State sovereignty, and coercion of
a State, and the invasion of the soil of one State and another. There
has been large discussion in times past of the danger of a dissolution
of the Union. Indeed, this danger has been so often held up as a threat
by one section, and so persistently used as a scarecrow by timid or
profligate men in the other, that it has become one of the commonplaces
of political contests. Our ears have hardly ceased to be tormented with
projects of reconstruction, and with suggestions of guaranties, and
pacifications, and mediation, and neutrality, armed or otherwise.
Border-State Conventions are projected, and well-meaning governors have
been arranging interviews or conducting correspondence with governors
who talked of Southern rights, and undertook to say what their States
would or would not permit the United States Government to do. Even a
Cabinet officer, of whom better things might have been expected, and by
whom better things are now nobly said and done, allowed himself to fall
into the error of explaining to the vacillating Governor of Maryland
that the intentions of the National Administration were purely
defensive. While such language is current at home, it is not strange
that foreigners should find themselves in a state of hopeless confusion
about us. Few European writers, except De Tocqueville, have ever shown a
clear comprehension of our political system; and the speeches of British
statesmen on American affairs are perhaps rather to be accounted for and
excused from want of information, than resented as hostile or insulting.
But it is time that this whole pernicious dialect should be exploded,
and the ideas which it represents be eradicated from the minds of
intelligent men everywhere.

The right of revolution it is needless to discuss. Resistance, in any
practicable method, to intolerable oppression, is the natural right of
every human being, and of course of every community. But such a right
is never included in the framework of organized civil society. From its
nature, it can form no part of a plan of government. The only formula
which embraces it is the famous one of "Monarchy tempered by Regicide";
and where that prevails, it seems to be adopted as a practical
expedient, rather than recognized as an established constitutional
maxim. But as a question of revolution the issue is not presented. If
it were, it would be easy to deal with. The only embarrassment in our
present condition, so far as reasoning goes, arises from confused
notions of constitutional law, and the inaccuracy of language which
necessarily attends them. In order, therefore, to know what is before
us, let us first see where we stand.

The London "Times" informs the people of England, that "the resolution
of the North to crush Secession by force involves a denial of the right
of each one of the seceding States to determine the conditions of its
own national existence." Precisely so. It involves all that; but the
whole fact comprehends a great deal more. Not one of the States of the
American Union has any national existence, or ever had any, in the sense
in which the "Times" uses the phrase. Not one of them has any of the
functions or qualities of a nation. In the case of the greater part of
the States in which the rebellion exists, the United States bought and
paid for the territory which they occupy, made States of them under its
own Constitution and laws, upon certain conditions made irrevocable
by the act which created them, and reserved the forts, arsenals, and
custom-houses which their treasonable citizens have since undertaken
to steal. The fundamental idea of the American system is local
self-government for local purposes, and national unity for national
purposes. Our national union is synonymous with our national existence.
When we speak of sovereign and independent States, the phrase has no
other just meaning than that each State is independent of every other in
all matters exclusively appertaining to its own powers and duties, and
sovereign upon all subjects which have not been committed exclusively
to the jurisdiction of the Federal Government. Any encroachment by the
Government of the United States upon the lawful jurisdiction of the
several States would be resisted as a usurpation; but the "reserved
rights" of the States, _ex vi termini_, cannot include any of the
attributes of power which the people of the whole country have conferred
upon the Union. But further,--and this is a point of great practical
importance,--the Federal Government has no relation to the several
States as States, and they have no relations to it, or to each other,
except so far as these relations are expressly defined and specified in
the National Constitution. Beyond these, the authority and jurisdiction
of the nation address themselves and are applied to the individual
citizens of all the States alike. "The king can do no wrong," is the
maxim of English law. A State of the American Union cannot secede, or
commit treason, or make war upon the United States. So the United States
cannot, and do not, make war upon any State. Virginia, for all national
purposes, belongs to the United States,--exactly as it belongs to the
State, for the purposes of local administration. In theory, and in
practice, the State of Virginia is at this moment a peaceful and
faithful member of the American Union. Her Senators and Representatives,
except so far as individuals among them may have disqualified themselves
by resignation, or, what may be held to be equivalent, by deserting
their posts to array themselves in active hostility to their country,
are still entitled to their seats in Congress. The State may be overrun
by armed insurgents, resisting the Federal authority; but so it might be
by a foreign army. The peaceful citizens, who remain faithful to their
constitutional obligations, are entitled to the aid of the national
power to suppress domestic insurrection, whatever proportions that
insurrection may assume. The soldiers of the United States, lawfully
mustered to resist invasion or put down rebellion, have nothing to do
with State lines, and act in perfect harmony with all legitimate State
action. They can no more invade a State than if they were in it to
resist a foreign enemy, or than a United States marshal invades it
when he goes to arrest a counterfeiter. The "Times" would have little
difficulty in understanding a denial of the right of the Isle of Man, or
of Lancashire, or of Ireland, "to determine the conditions of its own
national existence."

There is another fallacy in speaking of the resolution of the North to
crush Secession by force. It is the resolution of the nation,--of all
that is faithful and loyal in it, wherever found. The people of the
Southern States have not had any fair opportunity to express their
opinions. The military usurpers have allowed nothing to be submitted to
the test of a popular vote, except where they were able to take such
measures of precaution, in the way of hanging, confiscation, banishment,
disarming opponents, and the presence of an armed force which should
overawe dissenters, as might secure the unanimity they desired. There
is undoubtedly much more loyalty in the Northern than in the Southern
States of the Union, as there is less of passion, and more of
intelligence and principle,--although treason has, till very lately,
found more than enough apologists or abettors even in the Free States.
But the spirit which now actuates our people has little that is
sectional in it, and the principles at issue have the same application
to Maine that they have to Florida.

When we ask, then, where this rebellion will leave us, and what will be
the condition of the United States when the authority of the Government
has been vindicated and reëstablished, the answer must be sought in the
considerations already suggested. The rebellion cannot be ended, until
we have settled as a principle of constitutional law for our own
citizens, and as a fact of which all other nations must take notice,
that this whole country belongs to the people of the United States. No
foreign power shall possess a foot of it. If the majority of the people
of a State can throw off their allegiance to the Union, they can
transfer their allegiance to England or Spain at their pleasure, as
well as to a new confederacy of their own devising. The battles of the
Revolution which secured our independence were fought by the whole
country, and for the whole country, without reference to local
majorities. The accessions to our territory were made by the nation as
a unit, and belong to it as such. We did not acquire Texas, and pay the
millions of its debt, with the reservation that it might sell itself
again the next day to the highest bidder. That no foreign dominion shall
interpose between the Northwest and the Atlantic, or between the Valley
of the Mississippi and the Gulf, is a geographical necessity. But
that, the American Union is indissoluble is essential to our national
existence. If that be not so, we have neither a flag nor a country,--we
can neither contract a debt nor make a treaty,--we have neither honor
abroad nor strength at home,--our experiment of free government is a
blunder and a failure, and for us, "Chaos has come again."

But the further question remains, In what way is it possible that
harmony shall be restored between the parts of the country through which
the rebellion has spread and those which have remained faithful to the
Constitution and the Union? When we have dispersed the armies of the
rebels, and demolished their batteries, and retaken our forts
and arsenals, our navy-yards and armories, our mints and
custom-houses,--when we have visited their leaders with retributive
justice, and made Richmond and Charleston and New Orleans as submissive
to lawful authority as Baltimore or Washington or Boston,--what then?
Will a people we have subjugated ever live with us again on terms of
equality and friendship? Can the wounded pride of the Ancient Dominion
be so far soothed that she can allow us again to bask in the sunshine
of her favor? Will she ever consent to resume her old superiority, and
furnish our audacious army and navy with officers, our committees with
chairmen, and our departments with clerks? Or must we, for a generation,
hold the States we have subdued by military occupation? Must we make
Territories of them, and blot out those malignant stars from our
glorious and triumphant banner?

In all seriousness, there seems but one solution to the problem; and
it must be found, if at all, in the proposition already stated, that
treason is an individual act. A State cannot rebel, as it cannot secede.
A governor of a State may rebel, and a majority of a legislature may
join an insurrection, as a governor or legislators may commit larceny
or join a piratical expedition. But whoever arrays himself in armed
opposition to the Government of the United States, or gives aid and
comfort to its enemies, becomes thereby merely a private rebel and
traitor. Whatever office he may fill, with whatever functions of local
government he may be intrusted, by whatever name he may be called,
governor or judge, senator or representative, it is the treason of the
citizen, and not of the officer. And as a State has no legal existence
except as a member of the Union, and has no constitutional powers or
functions or capacities but those which it exercises in harmony with and
subordination to the rightful authority of the Federal Government, so
the loyal and faithful inhabitants of a State, and they only, constitute
the State. Mr. Mason tells the people of Virginia, that those of them
who, in their consciences, cannot vote to separate Virginia from the
United States, if they retain such opinions, must leave the State. We
thank him for teaching us that word. When the tables are turned, it will
form a valuable theme for his private meditation. The unconditional
Union men, who are of and for their country against all comers, who
neither commit treason openly nor disguise their cowardly treachery
under the shallow cover of neutrality, are to wield the power of their
respective States, and to be the only recognized inhabitants. All others
must submit or fly. If the Governor and Legislature of Virginia have
renounced their allegiance to the United States, and undertaken to
establish a foreign jurisdiction in a portion of our territory, their
relation to that State becomes substantially the same as if they had
gone on board a British fleet in the Chesapeake, or enlisted under the
standard of an invading army. They have abdicated their offices, which
thereby become vacant. It was for "having endeavored to subvert the
constitution of the kingdom by breaking the original contract between
king and people, violated the fundamental laws, and having withdrawn
himself out of the kingdom," that James II. was declared by the House
of Commons to have abdicated the government. Would it have been less an
abdication, if he had remained within the realm, and attempted to hold
it as the viceroy of France? When, in June, 1775, Governor Dunmore and
his Council took refuge on board a British man-of-war, the Virginians of
that day proceeded to meet in convention, and provide new officers to
manage the affairs of their State. Let this historical precedent be
followed now. Wherever, in either of the States which the rebels have
sought to appropriate, the loyal citizens can find a spot in which they
can meet in safety, let them meet by their delegates in convention, and
adopt the necessary measures to elect new officers under their present
constitutions. The only irregularity will be what results from the
fact that treason in such high places and on so large a scale was not
contemplated, nor was a remedy furnished for it, in their frame of
government. It is merely a case not provided for, and the omission must
be supplied in the most practicable way. The new organization should and
undoubtedly would be recognized by the National Government, and by the
other States, as, _de facto_ and _de jure_, the State. It was settled
in the Rhode Island case, under Tyler's administration, that, where
different portions of the people claim to hold and exercise the powers
of a State government, it presents a political question which the
National Executive and Congress must decide; and that judicial
recognition must follow and conform to the political decision.

When, by such a course, the proper relations and functions of each State
should be resumed, there would no longer be any matter of State pride
to interfere with the absolute assertion of national authority. The new
State governments would be protected against armed assailants at home
and invasion from abroad; they would apply for and obtain assistance to
suppress domestic insurrection; every misguided insurgent would have
opportunity to return to his duty under the protection of his own local
authorities; appropriations for the army and navy could be passed with
the aid of Tennessee and Alabama votes in Congress; and Davis, and
Tyler, and Mason be hung upon the verdict of a jury of the vicinage.

In Virginia, a movement based upon this principle has been already
inaugurated. From Western Virginia, the progress toward Eastern
Tennessee and Northern Alabama is natural and certain. The worst case to
deal with, unquestionably, is South Carolina. Hers is a peculiar
people, and zealous, though scarcely of good works. That fiery little
Commonwealth is remarkably constituted. The State is inhabited
principally by negroes; and the remaining minority may be divided into
two classes,--whites who are dependent upon negroes for a subsistence,
and whites whose chief distinction in life and great consolation is that
they are not negroes. The former and much the smaller class possess all
the wealth, all the cultivation, and all the political power, which
they are enabled to retain by an ingenious and systematic use of the
prejudices and passions of the latter. They are reputed to have much
earnestness of conviction, and claim an unusual amount of gallantry and
courage for their soldiers; though it is noticeable that their principal
exploits in our time have been the seizure of friendless colored
sailors, and selling them into slavery,--the achievement of that knight
of the bludgeon, the representative whose noble deed his constituents
could hardly admire enough, but the better part of whose valor was
the discretion that preferred to encounter his antagonist sitting and
incapable of resistance,--and lastly, that heroic and bloodless victory
at Fort Sumter, where imperishable glory was won by the ten thousand who
conquered the seventy. They seem now to be united, and substantially
unanimous. What elements a little adversity would develop in them, time
must determine. Whether there is any reserve of patriotism and fidelity,
overawed and silenced now, but which will come forth to serve as the
nucleus of reconstruction when it can find protection and security, or
whether we must wait for a new generation to grow up, remains to be
tried. Their leaders are subtle reasoners, and it has been shrewdly
observed of them that "they never shrink from following their logic to
its consequences because the conclusion is _immoral_." Perhaps they will
find no more difficulty in accepting the arguments we shall address to
them because the conclusion is a little humiliating. In their case, we
shall have little need to concern ourselves about the wishes of a local
majority. The fact that a majority are blacks, to begin with, must
deprive that consideration of all its force, even to their own
apprehension. It will not be the first time that they have received a
benefit which did not agree with the wishes of the greater part of those
upon whom it was bestowed. The men of Rhode Island and Massachusetts who
achieved the independence of South Carolina did not stop to consider
whether a majority of her white inhabitants were Tories.

When we hear that the colonel of a regiment of Secessionists sends a
flag of truce to Fort Monroe to ask for the return of his fugitive
slaves under the Constitution and laws of the United States, a painful
doubt must be suggested whether such gentlemen really believe themselves
to be so wholly and utterly out of the Union as the theory of Secession
would indicate. And when the novel, but very sensible doctrine with
which that singular demand was met, that slaves are to be regarded as
articles contraband of war, chattels capable of a military use, a kind
of locomotive gun-carriages and intrenching-tools, and as such to be
taken and confiscated when found belonging to armed rebels, shall have
been practically applied for a time, with its natural and obvious
result, it may be that even the Palmetto State will exhibit some general
symptoms of returning reason.



THEODORE WINTHROP.


Theodore Winthrop's life, like a fire long smouldering, suddenly blazed
up into a clear, bright flame, and vanished. Those of us who were his
friends and neighbors, by whose firesides he sat familiarly, and of
whose life upon the pleasant Staten Island, where he lived, he was so
important a part, were so impressed by his intense vitality, that his
death strikes us with peculiar strangeness, like sudden winter-silence
falling upon these humming fields of June.

As I look along the wooded brook-side by which he used to come, I should
not be surprised, if I saw that knit, wiry, light figure moving with
quick, firm, leopard tread over the grass,--the keen gray eye, the
clustering fair hair, the kind, serious smile, the mien of undaunted
patience. If you did not know him, you would have found his greeting a
little constrained,--not from shyness, but from genuine modesty and
the habit of society. You would have remarked that he was silent and
observant rather than talkative; and whatever he said, however gay
or grave, would have had the reserve of sadness upon which his whole
character was drawn. If it were a woman who saw him for the first time,
she would inevitably see him through a slight cloud of misapprehension;
for the man and his manner were a little at variance. The chance is that
at the end of five minutes she would have thought him conceited. At the
end of five months she would have known him as one of the simplest and
most truly modest of men.

And he had the heroic sincerity which belongs to such modesty. Of a
noble ambition, and sensitive to applause,--as every delicate nature
veined with genius always is,--he would not provoke the applause by
doing anything which, although it lay easily within his power, was yet
not wholly approved by him as worthy. Many men are ambitious and full
of talent, and when the prize does not fairly come they snatch at it
unfairly. This was precisely what he could not do. He would strive and
deserve; but if the crown were not laid upon his head in the clear light
of day and by confession of absolute merit, he could ride to his place
again and wait, looking with no envy, but in patient wonder and with
critical curiosity upon the victors. It is this which he expresses in
the paper in the July number of this magazine, "Washington as a Camp,"
when he says,--"I have heretofore been proud of my individuality, and
resisted, so far as one may, all the world's attempts to merge me in the
mass."

It was this which made many who knew him much, but not truly, feel
that he was purposeless and restless. They knew his talent, his
opportunities. Why does he not concentrate? Why does he not bring
himself to bear? He did not plead his ill-health; nor would they have
allowed the plea. The difficulty was deeper. He felt that he had shown
his credentials, and they were not accepted. "I can wait, I can wait,"
was the answer his life made to the impatience of his friends.

We are all fond of saying that a man of real gifts will fit himself to
the work of any time; and so he will. But it is not necessarily to the
first thing that offers. There is always latent in civilized society a
certain amount of what may be called Sir Philip Sidney genius, which
will seem elegant and listless and aimless enough until the congenial
chance appears. A plant may grow in a cellar; but it will flower only
under the due sun and warmth. Sir Philip Sidney was but a lovely
possibility, until he went to be Governor of Flushing. What else was our
friend, until he went to the war?

The age of Elizabeth did not monopolize the heroes, and they are always
essentially the same. When, for instance, I read in a letter of Hubert
Languet's to Sidney, "You are not over-cheerful by nature," or when, in
another, he speaks of the portrait that Paul Veronese painted of Sidney,
and says, "The painter has represented you sad and thoughtful," I can
believe that he is speaking of my neighbor. Or when I remember what
Sidney wrote to his younger brother,--"Being a gentleman born, you
purpose to furnish yourself with the knowledge of such things as may
be serviceable to your country and calling," or what he wrote to
Languet,--"Our Princes are enjoying too deep a slumber: I cannot think
there is any man possessed of common understanding who does not see to
what these rough storms are driving by which all Christendom has been
agitated now these many years,"--I seem to hear my friend, as he used to
talk on the Sunday evenings when he sat in this huge cane-chair at my
side, in which I saw him last, and in which I shall henceforth always
see him.

Nor is it unfair to remember just here that he bore one of the few
really historic names in this country. He never spoke of it; but we
should all have been sorry not to feel that he was glad to have sprung
straight from that second John Winthrop who was the first Governor of
Connecticut, the younger sister colony of Massachusetts Bay,--the John
Winthrop who obtained the charter of privileges for his colony. How
clearly the quality of the man has been transmitted! How brightly the
old name shines out again!

He was born in New Haven on the 22d of September, 1828, and was a grave,
delicate, rather precocious child. He was at school only in New Haven,
and entered Yale College just as he was sixteen. The pure, manly
morality which was the substance of his character, and his brilliant
exploits of scholarship, made him the idol of his college, friends, who
saw in him the promise of the splendid career which the fond faith of
students allots to the favorite classmate. He studied for the Clark
scholarship, and gained it; and his name, in the order of time, is first
upon the roll of that foundation. He won the Townshend prize for the
best composition on History. For the Berkeleian scholarship he and
another were judged equal, and, drawing lots, the other gained the
scholarship; but they divided the honor.

In college his favorite studies were Greek and mental philosophy. He
never lost the scholarly taste and habit. A wide reader, he retained
knowledge with little effort, and often surprised his friends by the
variety of his information. Yet it was not strange, for he was born
a scholar. His mother was the great-granddaughter of old President
Edwards; and among his ancestors upon the maternal side, Winthrop
counted seven Presidents of Yale. Perhaps also in this learned descent
we may find the secret of his early seriousness. Thoughtful and
self-criticizing, he was peculiarly sensible to religious influences,
under which his criticism easily became self-accusation, and his
sensitive seriousness grew sometimes morbid. He would have studied for
the ministry or a professorship, upon leaving college, except for his
failing health.

In the later days, when I knew him, the feverish ardor of the first
religious impulse was past. It had given place to a faith much too deep
and sacred to talk about, yet holding him always with serene, steady
poise in the purest region of life and feeling. There was no franker or
more sympathetic companion for young men of his own age than he; but his
conversation fell from his lips as unsullied as his soul.

He graduated in 1848, when he was twenty years old; and for the sake of
his health, which was seriously shattered,--an ill-health that colored
all his life, he set out upon his travels. He went first to England,
spending much time at Oxford, where he made pleasant acquaintances, and
walking through Scotland. He then crossed over to France and Germany,
exploring Switzerland very thoroughly upon foot,--once or twice escaping
great dangers among the mountains,--and pushed on to Italy and Greece,
still walking much of the way. In Italy he made the acquaintance of Mr.
W.H. Aspinwall, of New York, and upon his return became tutor to Mr.
Aspinwall's son. He presently accompanied his pupil and a nephew of Mr.
Aspinwall, who were going to a school in Switzerland; and after a second
short tour of six months in Europe he returned to New York, and entered
Mr. Aspinwall's counting-house. In the employ of the Pacific Steamship
Company he went to Panama and resided for about two years, travelling,
and often ill of the fevers of the country. Before his return he
travelled through California and Oregon,--went to Vancouver's Island,
Puget Sound, and the Hudson Bay Company's station there. At the Dalles
he was smitten with the small-pox, and lay ill for six weeks. He often
spoke with the warmest gratitude of the kind care that was taken of him
there. But when only partially recovered he plunged off again into the
wilderness. At another time he fell very ill upon the Plains, and lay
down, as he supposed, to die; but after some time struggled up and on
again.

He returned to the counting-room, but, unsated with adventure, joined
the disastrous expedition of Lieutenant Strain, during which his
health was still more weakened, and he came home again in 1854. In the
following year he studied law and was admitted to the bar. In 1856 he
entered heartily into the Fremont campaign, and from the strongest
conviction. He went into some of the dark districts of Pennsylvania and
spoke incessantly. The roving life and its picturesque episodes, with
the earnest conviction which inspired him, made the summer and autumn
exciting and pleasant. The following year he went to St. Louis to
practise law. The climate was unkind to him, and he returned and began
the practice in New York. But he could not be a lawyer. His health was
too uncertain, and his tastes and ambition allured him elsewhere. His
mind was brimming with the results of observation. His fancy was alert
and inventive, and he wrote tales and novels. At the same time he
delighted to haunt the studio of his friend Church, the painter, and
watch day by day the progress of his picture, the Heart of the Andes. It
so fired his imagination that he wrote a description of it, in which, as
if rivalling the tropical and tangled richness of the picture, he threw
together such heaps and masses of gorgeous words that the reader was
dazzled and bewildered.

The wild campaigning life was always a secret passion with him. His
stories of travel were so graphic and warm, that I remember one evening,
after we had been tracing upon the map a route he had taken, and he had
touched the whole region into life with his description, my younger
brother, who had sat by and listened with wide eyes all the evening,
exclaimed with a sigh of regretful satisfaction, as the door closed upon
our story-teller, "It's as good as Robinson Crusoe!" Yet, with all
his fondness and fitness for that kind of life, or indeed any active
administrative function, his literary ambition seemed to be the deepest
and strongest.

He had always been writing. In college and upon his travels he kept
diaries; and he has left behind him several novels, tales, sketches of
travel, and journals. The first published writing of his which is well
known is his description, in the June number of this magazine, of the
March of the Seventh Regiment of New York to Washington. It was charming
by its graceful, sparkling, crisp, off-hand dash and ease. But it is
only the practised hand that can "dash off" effectively. Let any other
clever member of the clever regiment, who has never written, try to dash
off the story of a day or a week in the life of the regiment, and he
will see that the writer did that little thing well because he had done
large things carefully. Yet, amid all the hurry and brilliant bustle of
the articles, the author is, as he was in the most bustling moment of
the life they described, a spectator, an artist. He looks on at
himself and the scene of which he is part. He is willing to merge his
individuality; but he does not merge it, for he could not.

So, wandering, hoping, trying, waiting, thirty-two years of his life
went by, and they left him true, sympathetic, patient. The sharp private
griefs that sting the heart so deeply, and leave a little poison
behind, did not spare him. But he bore everything so bravely, so
silently,--often silent for a whole evening in the midst of pleasant
talkers, but not impertinently sad, nor ever sullen,--that we all loved
him a little more at such times. The ill-health from which he always
suffered, and a flower-like delicacy of temperament, the yearning desire
to be of some service in the world, coupled with the curious, critical
introspection which marks every sensitive and refined nature and
paralyzes action, overcast his life and manner to the common eye with
pensiveness and even sternness. He wrote verses in which his heart
seems to exhale in a sigh of sadness. But he was not in the least a
sentimentalist. The womanly grace of temperament merely enhanced the
unusual manliness of his character and impression. It was like a
delicate carnation upon the cheek of a robust man. For his humor
was exuberant. He seldom laughed loud, but his smile was sweet and
appreciative. Then the range of his sympathies was so large, that he
enjoyed every kind of life and person, and was everywhere at home. In
walking and riding, in skating and running, in games out of doors and
in, no one of us all in the neighborhood was so expert, so agile as he.
For, above all things, he had what we Yankees call faculty,--the knack
of doing everything. If he rode with a neighbor who was a good horseman,
Theodore, who was a Centaur, when he mounted, would put any horse at any
gate or fence; for it did not occur to him that he could not do whatever
was to be done. Often, after writing for a few hours in the morning, he
stepped out of doors, and, from pure love of the fun, leaped and turned
summersaults on the grass, before going up to town. In walking about the
island, he constantly stopped by the roadside fences, and, grasping the
highest rail, swung himself swiftly and neatly over and back again,
resuming the walk and the talk without delay.

I do not wish to make him too much a hero. "Death," says Bacon, "openeth
the gate to good fame." When a neighbor dies, his form and quality
appear clearly, as if he had been dead a thousand years. Then we see
what we only felt before. Heroes in history seem to us poetic because
they are there. But if we should tell the simple truth of some of our
neighbors, it would sound like poetry. Winthrop was one of the men
who represent the manly and poetic qualities that always exist around
us,--not great genius, which is ever salient, but the fine fibre of
manhood that makes the worth of the race.

Closely engaged with his literary employments, and more quiet than ever,
he took less active part in the last election. But when the menace of
treason became an aggressive act, he saw very clearly the inevitable
necessity of arms. We all talked of it constantly,--watching the
news,--chafing at the sad necessity of delay, which was sure to confuse
foreign opinion and alienate sympathy, as has proved to be the case. As
matters advanced and the war-cloud rolled up thicker and blacker, he
looked at it with the secret satisfaction that war for such a cause
opened his career both as thinker and actor. The admirable coolness, the
promptness, the cheerful patience, the heroic ardor, the intelligence,
the tough experience of campaigning, the profound conviction that the
cause was in truth "the good old cause," which was now to come to the
death-grapple with its old enemy, Justice against Injustice, Order
against Anarchy,--all these should now have their turn, and the wanderer
and waiter "settle himself" at last.

We took a long walk together on the Sunday that brought the news of the
capture of Fort Sumter. He was thoroughly alive with a bright, earnest
forecast of his part in the coming work. Returning home with me, he
sat until late in the evening talking with an unwonted spirit, saying
playfully, I remember, that, if his friends would only give him a horse,
he would ride straight to victory.

Especially he wished that some competent person would keep a careful
record of events as they passed; "for we are making our history," he
said, "hand over hand." He sat quietly in the great chair while he
spoke, and at last rose to go. We went together to the door, and stood
for a little while upon the piazza, where we had sat peacefully through
so many golden summer-hours. The last hour for us had come, but we did
not know it. We shook hands, and he left me, passing rapidly along the
brook-side under the trees, and so in the soft spring starlight vanished
from my sight forever.

The next morning came the President's proclamation. Winthrop went
immediately to town and enrolled himself in the artillery corps of the
Seventh Regiment. During the two or three following days he was very
busy and very happy. On Friday afternoon, the 19th of April, I stood at
the corner of Courtland Street and saw the regiment as it marched away.
Two days before, I had seen the Massachusetts troops going down the same
street. During the day the news had come that they were already engaged,
that some were already dead in Baltimore. And the Seventh, as they went,
blessed and wept over by a great city, went, as we all believed, to
terrible battle. The setting sun in a clear April sky shone full up
the street. Mothers' eyes glistened at the windows upon the glistening
bayonets of their boys below. I knew that Winthrop and other dear
friends were there, but I did not see them. I saw only a thousand men
marching like one hero. The music beat and rang and clashed in the air.
Marching to death or victory or defeat, it mattered not. They marched
for Justice, and God was their captain.

From that moment he has told his own story in these pages until he went
to Fortress Monroe, and was made acting military secretary and aid by
General Butler. Before he went, he wrote the most copious and gayest
letters from the camp. He was thoroughly aroused, and all his powers
happily at play. In a letter to me soon after his arrival in Washington,
he says,--

"I see no present end of this business. We must conquer the South.
Afterward we must be prepared to do its police in its own behalf, and
in behalf of its black population, whom this war must, without
precipitation, emancipate. We must hold the South as the metropolitan
police holds New York. All this is inevitable. Now I wish to enroll
myself at once in the _Police of the Nation_, and for life, if the
nation will take me. I do not see that I can put myself--experience
and character--to any more useful use..... My experience in this short
campaign with the Seventh assures me that volunteers are for one purpose
and regular soldiers entirely another. We want regular soldiers for the
cause of order in these anarchical countries, and we want men in command
who, though they may be valuable as temporary satraps or proconsuls to
make liberty possible where it is now impossible, will never under any
circumstances be disloyal to _Liberty_, will always oppose any scheme of
any one to constitute a military government, and will be ready, when the
time comes, to imitate Washington. We must think of these things, and
prepare for them..... Love to all the dear friends..... This trip has
been all a lark to an old tramper like myself."

Later he writes,--

"It is the loveliest day of fullest spring. An aspen under the window
whispers to me in a chorus of all its leaves, and when I look out, every
leaf turns a sunbeam at me. I am writing in Viele's quarters in the
villa of Somebody Stone, upon whose place or farm we are encamped. The
man who built and set down these four great granite pillars in front of
his house, for a carriage-porch, had an eye or two for a fine _site_.
This seems to be the finest possible about Washington. It is a terrace
called Meridian Hill, two miles north of Pennsylvania Avenue. The house
commands the vista of the Potomac, all the plain of the city, and a
charming lawn of delicious green, with oaks of first dignity just coming
into leaf. It is lovely Nature, and the spot has snatched a grace
from Art. The grounds are laid out after a fashion, and planted with
shrubbery. The snowballs are at their snowballiest..... Have you heard
or--how many times have you used the simile of some one, Bad-muss or
Cadmus, or another hero, who sowed the dragon's teeth, and they came up
dragoons a hundred-fold and infantry a thousand-fold? _Nil admirari_
is, of course, my frame of mind; but I own astonishment at the crop of
soldiers. They must ripen awhile, perhaps, before they are to be named
quite soldiers. Ripening takes care of itself; and by the harvest-time
they will be ready to cut down.

"I find that the men best informed about the South do not anticipate
much severe fighting. Scott's Fabian policy will demoralize their
armies. If the people do not bother the great Cunetator to death before
he is ready to move to assured victory, he will make defeat impossible.
Meanwhile there will be enough outwork going on, like those neat jobs
in Missouri, to keep us all interested...... Know, O comrade, that I
am already a corporal,--an acting corporal, selected by our commanding
officer for my general effect of pipe-clay, my rapidity of heel and toe,
my present arms, etc., but liable to be ousted by suffrage any moment.
_Quod faustum sit_, ... I had already been introduced to the Secretary
of War..... I called at ----'s and saw, with two or three others,----
on the sofa. Him my prophetic soul named my uncle to be..... But in my
uncle's house are many nephews, and whether nepotism or my transcendent
merit will prevail we shall see. I have fun,--I get experience,--I see
much,--it pays. Ah, yes! But in these fair days of May I miss my Staten
Island. War stirs the pulse, but it wounds a little all the time.

"Compliment for me Tib [a little dog] and the Wisterias,--also the mares
and the billiard-table. Ask ---- to give you t'other lump of sugar in my
behalf.... Should ---- return, say that I regret not being present
with an unpremeditated compliment, as thus,--'Ah! the first rose of
summer!'.... I will try to get an enemy's button for ----, should the
enemy attack. If the Seventh returns presently, I am afraid I shall
be obliged to return with them for a time. But I mean to see this job
through, somehow."

In such an airy, sportive vein he wrote, with the firm purpose and the
distinct thought visible under the sparkle. Before the regiment left
Washington, as he has recorded, he said good-bye and went down the bay
to Fortress Monroe. Of his unshrinking and sprightly industry, his good
head, his warm heart, and cool hand, as a soldier, General Butler has
given precious testimony to his family. "I loved him as a brother," the
General writes of his young aid.

The last days of his life at Fortress Monroe were doubtless also the
happiest. His energy and enthusiasm, and kind, winning ways, and the
deep satisfaction of feeling that all his gifts could now be used as he
would have them, showed him and his friends that his day had at length
dawned. He was especially interested in the condition and fate of the
slaves who escaped from the neighboring region and sought refuge at
the fort. He had never for an instant forgotten the secret root of the
treason which was desolating the land with war; and in his view there
would be no peace until that root was destroyed. In his letters written
from the fort he suggests plans of relief and comfort for the refugees;
and one of his last requests was to a lady in New York for clothes for
these poor pensioners. They were promptly sent, but reached the fort too
late.

As I look over these last letters, which gush and throb with the fulness
of his activity, and are so tenderly streaked with touches of constant
affection and remembrance, yet are so calm and duly mindful of every
detail, I do not think with an elder friend, in whom the wisdom of
years has only deepened sympathy for all generous youthful impulse, of
Virgil's Marcellus, "_Heu, miserande puer!_" but I recall rather, still
haunted by Philip Sidney, what he wrote, just before his death, to his
father-in-law, Walsingham,--"I think a wise and constant man ought never
to grieve while he doth play, as a man may say, his own part truly."

The sketches of the campaign in Virginia, which Winthrop had commenced
in this magazine, would have been continued, and have formed an
invaluable memoir of the places, the men, and the operations of which
he was a witness and a part. As a piece of vivid pictorial description,
which gives the spirit as well as the spectacle, his "Washington as a
Camp" is masterly. He knew not only what to see and to describe, but
what to think; so that in his papers you are not at the mercy of a
multitudinous mass of facts, but understand their value and relation.
Immediately upon his arrival at Fort Monroe he had commenced a third
article, which was to have occupied the place of this. It is inserted
here just as he left it, with one brief addition only to make his known
meaning more clear. The part called "Voices of the Contraband" was
written previously, and is not paged in the manuscript. It was to have
been introduced into the article; but it is placed first here, that the
sequence of the paper, as far as the author had written it, may remain
undisturbed.


VOICES OF THE CONTRABAND.


_Solvuntur risu tabulae_. An epigram abolished slavery in the United
States. Large wisdom, stated in fine wit, was the decision. "Negroes are
contraband of war." "They are property," claim the owners. Very well! As
General Butler takes contraband horses used in transport of munitions of
war, so he takes contraband black creatures who tote the powder to the
carts and flagellate the steeds. As he takes a spade used in hostile
earthworks, so he goes a little farther off and takes the black muscle
that wields the spade. As he takes the rations of the foe, so he takes
the sable Soyer whose skilful hand makes those rations savory to the
palates and digestible by the stomachs of the foe and so puts blood and
nerve into them. As he took the steam-gun, so he now takes what might
become the stoker of the steam part of that machine and the aimer of its
gun part. As he takes the musket, so he seizes the object who in the
Virginia army carries that musket on its shoulder until its master
is ready to reach out a lazy hand, nonchalantly lift the piece, and
carelessly pop a Yankee.


The third number of Winthrop's Sketches of the Campaign in Virginia
begins here.


PHYSIOGNOMY OF FORTRESS MONROE.


The "Adelaide" is a steamer plying between Baltimore and Norfolk. But as
Norfolk has ceased to be a part of the United States, and is nowhere,
the "Adelaide" goes no farther than Fortress Monroe, Old Point Comfort,
the chief somewhere of this region. A lady, no doubt Adelaide herself,
appears in _alto rilievo_ on the paddle-box. She has a short waist, long
skirt _sans_ crinoline, leg-of-mutton sleeves, lofty bearing, and stands
like Ariadne on an island of pedestal size, surrounded by two or more
pre-Raphaelite trees. In the offing comes or goes a steamboat, also
pre-Raphaelite; and if Ariadne Adelaide's Bacchus is on board, he is out
of sight at the bar.

Such an Adelaide brought me in sight of Fortress Monroe at sunrise, May
29, 1861. The fort, though old enough to be full-grown, has not grown
very tall upon the low sands of Old Point Comfort. It is a big house
with a basement story and a garret. The roof is left off, and the
stories between basement and garret have never been inserted.

But why not be technical? For basement read a tier of casemates, each
with a black Cyclops of a big gun peering out; while above in the open
air, with not even a parasol over their backs, lie the barbette guns,
staring without a wink over sea and shore.

In peace, with a hundred or so soldiers here and there, this vast
inclosure might seem a solitude. Now it is a busy city,--a city of one
idea. I seem to recollect that D'Israeli said somewhere that every great
city was founded on one idea and existed to develop it. This city, into
which we have improvised a population, has its idea,--a unit of an idea
with two halves. The east half is the recovery of Norfolk,--the west
half the occupation of Richmond; and the idea complete is the education
of Virginia's unmannerly and disloyal sons.

Why Secession did not take this great place when its defenders numbered
a squad of officers and three hundred men is mysterious. Floyd and his
gang were treacherous enough. What was it? Were they imbecile? Were they
timid? Was there, till too late, a doubt whether the traitors at home in
Virginia would sustain them in an overt act of such big overture as an
attempt here? But they lost the chance, and with it lost the key of
Virginia, which General Butler now holds, this 30th day of May, and will
presently begin to turn in the lock.

Three hundred men to guard a mile and a half of ramparts! Three hundred
to protect some sixty-five broad acres within the walls! But the place
was a Thermopylae, and there was a fine old Leonidas at the head of its
three hundred. He was enough to make Spartans of them. Colonel Dimmick
was the man,--a quiet, modest, shrewd, faithful, Christian gentleman;
and he held all Virginia at bay. The traitors knew, that, so long as the
Colonel was here, these black muzzles with their white tompions, like
a black eye with a white pupil, meant mischief. To him and his guns,
flanking the approaches and ready to pile the moat full of Seceders, the
country owes the safety of Fortress Monroe.

Within the walls are sundry nice old brick houses for officers'
barracks. The jolly bachelors live in the casemates and the men in long
barracks, now not so new or so convenient as they might be. In fact, the
physiognomy of Fortress Monroe is not so neat, well-shorn, and elegant
as a grand military post should be. Perhaps our Floyds, and the like,
thought, if they kept everything in perfect order here, they, as
Virginians, accustomed to general seediness, would not find themselves
at home. But the new _régime_ must change all this, and make this the
biggest, the best equipped, and the model garrison of the country. For,
of course, this must be strongly held for many, many years to come. It
is idle to suppose that the dull louts we find here, not enlightened
even enough to know that loyalty is the best policy, can be allowed
the highest privilege of the moral, the intelligent, and the
progressive,--self-government. Mind is said to march fast in our time;
but mind must put on steam hereabouts to think and act for itself,
without stern schooling, in half a century.

But no digressing! I have looked far away from the physiognomy of the
fortress. Let us turn to the


PHYSIOGNOMY OF THE COUNTRY.


The face of this county, Elizabeth City by name, is as flat as a
Chinaman's. I can hardly wonder that the people here have retrograded,
or rather, not advanced. This dull flat would make anybody dull and
flat. I am no longer surprised at John Tyler. He has had a bare blank
brick house, entitled sweetly Margarita Cottage, or some such tender
epithet, at Hampton, a mile and a half from the fort. A summer in this
site would make any man a bore. And as something has done this favor
for His Accidency, I am willing to attribute it to the influence of
locality.

The country is flat; the soil is fine sifted loam running to dust, as
the air of England runs to fog; the woods are dense and beautiful
and full of trees unknown to the parallel of New York; the roads are
miserable cart-paths; the cattle are scalawags; so are the horses, not
run away; so are the people, black and white, not run away; the crops
are tolerable, where the invaders have not trampled them.

Altogether the whole concern strikes me as a failure. Captain John Smith
& Co. might as well have stayed at home, if this is the result of the
two hundred and thirty years' occupation. Apparently the colonists
picked out a poor spot; and the longer they stayed, the worse fist they
made of it. Powhattan, Pocahontas, and the others without pantaloons and
petticoats, were really more serviceable colonists.

The farm-houses are mostly miserably mean habitations. I don't wonder
the tenants were glad to make our arrival the excuse for running off.
Here are men claiming to have been worth forty thousand dollars, half in
biped property, half in all other kinds, and they lived in dens such
as a drayman would have disdained and a hod-carrier only accepted on
compulsion.


PHYSIOGNOMY OF WATER.


Always beautiful! the sea cannot be spoilt. Our fleet enlivens it
greatly. Here is the flag-ship "Cumberland" _vis-à-vis_ the fort. Off to
the left are the prizes, unlucky schooners, which ought to be carrying
pine wood to the kitchens of New York, and new potatoes and green peas
for the wood to operate upon. This region, by the way, is New York's
watermelon patch for early melons; and if we do not conquer a peace here
pretty soon, the Jersey fruit will have the market to itself.

Besides stately flag-ships and poor little bumboat schooners, transports
are coming and going with regiments or provisions for the same. Here,
too, are old acquaintances from the bay of New York,--the "Yankee," a
lively tug,--the "Harriet Lane," coquettish and plucky,--the "Catiline,"
ready to reverse her name and put down conspiracy.

On the dock are munitions of war in heaps. Volunteer armies load
themselves with things they do not need, and forget the essentials.
The unlucky army-quartermaster's people, accustomed to the slow and
systematic methods of the by-gone days at Fortress Monroe, fume terribly
over these cargoes. The new men and the new manners of the new army do
not altogether suit the actual men and manners of the obsolete army. The
old men and the new must recombine. What we want now is the vigor of
fresh people to utilize the experience of the experts. The Silver-Gray
Army needs a frisky element interfused. On the other hand, the new army
needs to be taught a lesson in _method_ by the old; and the two combined
will make the grand army of civilization.


THE FORCES.


When I arrived, Fort Monroe and the neighborhood were occupied by two
armies.

1. General Butler.

2. About six thousand men, here and at Newport's News.

Making together more than twelve thousand men.

Of the first army, consisting of the General, I will not speak. Let his
past supreme services speak for him, as I doubt not the future will.

Next to the array of a man comes the army of men. Regulars a few, with
many post officers, among them some very fine and efficient fellows.
These are within the post. Also within is the Third Regiment of
Massachusetts, under Colonel Wardrop, the right kind of man to have, and
commanding a capital regiment of three-months men, neatly uniformed in
gray, with cocked felt hats.

Without the fort, across the moat, and across the bridge connecting this
peninsula of sand with the nearest side of the mainland, are encamped
three New York regiments. Each is in a wheat field, up to its eyes in
dust. In order of precedence they come One, Two, and Five; in order
of personal splendor of uniform they come Five, One, Two; in order of
exploits they are all in the same negative position at present; and the
Second has done rather the most robbing of hen-roosts.

The Fifth, Duryea's Zouaves, lighten up the woods brilliantly with their
scarlet legs and scarlet head-pieces.

       *       *       *       *       *

These last words were written upon the day that the attack in which
Winthrop fell was arranged.

The disastrous day of the 10th of June, at Great Bethel, need not be
described here. It is already written with tears and vain regrets in our
history. It is useless to prolong the debate as to where the blame of
the defeat, if blame there were, should rest. But there is an impression
somewhat prevalent that Winthrop planned the expedition, which is
incorrect. As military secretary of the commanding general, he made a
memorandum of the outline of the plan as it had been finally settled.
Precisely what that memorandum (which has been published) was he
explains in the last letter he wrote, a few hours before leaving the
fort. He says,--"If I come back safe, I will send you my notes of the
plan of attack, part made up from the General's hints, part my own
fancies." This defines exactly his responsibility. His position as aid
and military secretary, his admirable qualities as adviser under the
circumstances, and his personal friendship for the General, brought him
intimately into the council of war. He embarked in the plan all the
interest of a brave soldier contemplating his first battle. He probably
made suggestions some of which were adopted. The expedition was the
first move from Fort Monroe, to which the country had been long looking
in expectation. These were the reasons why he felt so peculiar a
responsibility for its success; and after the melancholy events of the
earlier part of the day, he saw that its fortunes could be retrieved
only by a dash of heroic enthusiasm. Fired himself, he sought to kindle
others. For one moment that brave, inspiring form is plainly visible
to his whole country, rapt and calm, standing upon the log nearest the
enemy's battery, the mark of their sharpshooters, the admiration of
their leaders, waving his sword, cheering his fellow-soldiers with his
bugle voice of victory,--young, brave, beautiful, for one moment erect
and glowing in the wild whirl of battle, the next falling forward toward
the foe, dead, but triumphant.

On the 19th of April he left the armory-door of the Seventh, with his
hand upon a howitzer; on the 21st of June his body lay upon the same
howitzer at the same door, wrapped in the flag for which he gladly died,
as the symbol of human freedom. And so, drawn by the hands of young men
lately strangers to him, but of whose bravery and loyalty he had been
the laureate, and who fitly mourned him who had honored them, with long,
pealing dirges and muffled drums, he moved forward.

Yet such was the electric vitality of this friend of ours, that those
of us who followed him could only think of him as approving the funeral
pageant, not the object of it, but still the spectator and critic of
every scene in which he was a part. We did not think of him as dead. We
never shall. In the moist, warm midsummer morning, he was alert, alive,
immortal.



DIRGE

FOR ONE WHO FELL IN BATTLE.


  Room for a Soldier! lay him in the clover;
  He loved the fields, and they shall be his cover;
  Make his mound with hers who called him once her lover:
  Where the rain may rain upon it,
  Where the sun may shine upon it,
  Where the lamb hath lain upon it,
  And the bee will dine upon it.

  Bear him to no dismal tomb under city churches;
  Take him to the fragrant fields, by the silver birches,
  Where the whippoorwill shall mourn, where the oriole perches:
  Make his mound with sunshine on it,
  Where the bee will dine upon it,
  Where the lamb hath lain upon it,
  And the rain will rain upon it.

  Busy as the busy bee, his rest should be the clover;
  Gentle as the lamb was he, and the fern should be his cover;
  Fern and rosemary shall grow my soldier's pillow over:
  Where the rain may rain upon it,
  Where the sun may shine upon it,
  Where the lamb hath lain upon it,
  And the bee will dine upon it.

  Sunshine in his heart, the rain would come full often
  Out of those tender eyes which evermore did soften;
  He never could look cold, till we saw him in his coffin.
  Make his mound with sunshine on it,
  Where the wind may sigh upon it,
  Where the moon may stream upon it,
  And Memory shall dream upon it.

  "Captain or Colonel,"--whatever invocation
  Suit our hymn the best, no matter for thy station,--
  On thy grave the rain shall fall from the eyes of a mighty nation!
  Long as the sun doth shine upon it
  Shall grow the goodly pine upon it,
  Long as the stars do gleam upon it
  Shall Memory come to dream upon it.



REVIEWS AND LITERARY NOTICES.


_Currents and Counter-Currents in Medical Science._ With other Addresses
and Essays. By OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES. Boston; Ticknor & Fields. 12mo.

This volume contains seven occasional addresses and essays, written at
various periods between 1812 and 1860. The subjects of which it treats
are "Homoeopathy, and its Kindred Delusions," "Puerperal Fever, as
a Private Pestilence," "The Position and Prospects of the Medical
Student," "The Duties of the Physician,"--a Valedictory Address to
the Medical Graduates of Harvard University,--"The Mechanism of Vital
Actions," "Some more Recent Views of Homoeopathy," and "Currents
and Counter-Currents in Medical Science." They are characterized by
extensive information, fertile thought, strong convictions, keen wit,
sound sense, and unflinching intellectual courage and self-trust. They
are valuable contributions to the literature of the medical profession,
and at the same time have that peculiar fascination which distinguishes
all the productions of Dr. Holmes's ingenious and opulent mind. The
style is clear, crisp, sparkling, abounding in originalities of verbal
combination and felicities of descriptive phrase. In its movement, it
bears the marks of a kind of mental impatience of the processes of
slower, more dogged, and more cautious intellects, natural to a keen,
bright, and swift intelligence, desirous of flashing the results of its
operation in the briefest and most brilliant expression. The argument,
though founded on premises which have been gathered by careful
observation and study, often disregards the forms of the logic whose
spirit it obeys, and, by its frequent use of analogy and illustration,
may sometimes dazzle and confuse the minds it seeks to convince. In
regard to opponents, it is not content with mere dialectic victory, but
insinuates the subtle sting of wit to vex and irritate the sore places
of defeat and humiliation.

The reputation which Dr. Holmes enjoys, as one of the most popular poets
and prose-writers of the day, has made the public overlook the fact that
literature has been the recreation of a life of which medical science
has been the business. By far the larger portion of his time, for the
last thirty years, has been devoted to his profession. Perhaps the
value and validity of the conclusions he records in this volume may be
questioned from the very circumstance that he expresses them in the
lucid and vigorous style of an accomplished man of letters. "People,"
says Macaulay, "are loath to admit that the same man can unite very
different kinds of excellence. It is soothing to envy to believe that
what is splendid cannot be solid, that what is clear cannot be profound.
Very slowly was the public brought to acknowledge that Mansfield was a
great jurist, and that Burke was a great master of political science.
Montagu was a brilliant rhetorician, and therefore, though he had
ten times Harley's capacity for the driest parts of business, was
represented by detractors as a superficial, prating pretender." Indeed,
that peculiar vital energy which is the characteristic of genius carries
the man of genius cheerfully through masses of drudgery which would
dismay and paralyze the vigor of industrious mediocrity. The present
volume, bright as it is in expression, is full of evidences that the
author has submitted to the austerest requirements of his laborious
profession; and if his opinions generally coincide with those which have
been somewhat reluctantly adopted by the most eminent physicians of the
age, it is certain that he has not jumped to his conclusions, but has
reached them by patient and independent thought, study, and observation.

The courage which Dr. Holmes displays throughout this volume is of a
refreshing kind. His frank, bold utterance of his convictions not only
subjects him to the adverse criticism of a numerous and powerful body
of able men in his own profession, but brings him into direct hostility
with many persons who, outside of his profession, are among the warmest
lovers of his literary genius. Some of the most intelligent admirers
and appreciators of "The Autocrat" and "The Professor" are adherents of
Homoeopathy; and of Homoeopathy Dr. Holmes is not only a scientific, but
a sarcastic opponent. He both acknowledges and satirizes the fact, that
intellectual men, eminent in all professions but that of medicine, are
champions of the system he derides; but he does not the less spare one
bitter word or cutting fleer against the system itself. By thus daring,
provoking, and defying opposition both to his professional and literary
reputation, he seems to us to indicate a real, if somewhat impatient
love of truth. He valorously invites and courts the malicious sharpness
of the most unfriendly criticism. Some people may call by the name of
conceit this honest and unwithholding devotion of his whole powers to
what he deems the cause of truth; but, we must be allowed to object,
conceit is commonly anxious for the safety of the individual, while
Dr. Holmes intrepidly exposes his individuality to the fire of hostile
cannon, which are prevented from being discharged against each other
only by the lucky thought that they can do more execution by being
converged upon him. Had he appeared as an intelligent, knowing, and
efficient controversialist on the side of the traditions of his
profession, his wholesale denunciation of quackery, vulgar or genteel,
might be referred to conceit; had he turned state's evidence against the
accredited deceptions of his own profession, and gone over entirely to
the enthusiasts who think that medicine is not an experimental science,
but a series of hap-hazard hits at the occult laws of disease, he might
be accused of conceit; but we think the charge is ridiculously false as
directed against a man who boldly puts his professional and literary
fame at risk in order to advance the cause of reason, learning, and
common sense. Nobody can justly appreciate Holmes who does not perceive
an impersonal earnestness and insight beneath the play of his provoking
personal wit. We admit that he makes enemies needlessly; but all fair
minds must still concede that even his petulances of sarcasm are but
eccentric utterances of a love of truth which has its source in the
deepest and gravest sentiments of his nature.

The object of Dr. Holmes's volume is to bring physicians and the people
over whom they hold dominion into sensible relations with each other.
A beautiful scorn of deception and humbug shines through his clear
exposition of the facts and laws of disease. A high sense of the duties
and dignity of the medical profession animates every precept he enforces
on the attention of those who are to deal with disease. Like all the
advanced thinkers of his profession, he relies, in the art of curing,
more on Nature than on drugs; but in thus assisting to dispel the notion
that the prescriptions either of the regular doctor or the irregular
empiric possess the power to heal, he injures the quack only to aid
the good physician. The strength of the quack consists in the two-fold
ignorance of the sick,--in their ignorance of the superficial character
of their common ailments, and in their ignorance of the deadly nature of
their exceptional diseases. Panaceas, seeming to cure the former, are
eagerly taken for the latter; but it is well known that they do not cure
in either case. Physicians are tempted into quackery by the desire to
dislodge ignorant pretenders from bedsides which it is their proper
function to attend, and in ministering to sick imaginations they are too
apt to pour a needless amount of nauseous medicine into sick bodies. If
people, while in health, would heed the honest advice which Dr.
Holmes gives in this volume, they would force physicians to be less
hypocritical in their management of them when they are ill, and they
would destroy the wide-spread evil of quackery under which the world now
groans.


_History of Civilization in England._ By HENRY THOMAS BUCKLE. Vol. II.
From the Second London Edition. To which is added an Alphabetical Index.
New York: D. Appleton & Co. 8vo.

The present volume of Mr. Buckle's history consists of a deductive
application to the history of Spain and Scotland of certain leading
propositions, which, in his previous volume, he claims to have
inductively established. These are four; "1st, That the progress of
mankind depends on the success with which the laws of phenomena are
investigated, and on the extent to which a knowledge of those laws
is diffused; 2d, That, before investigation can begin, a spirit of
skepticism must arise, which, at first aiding the investigation, is
afterwards aided by it; 3d, That the discoveries thus made increase
the influence of intellectual truths, and diminish, relatively, not
absolutely, the influence of moral truths,--moral truths being more
stationary than intellectual truths, and receiving fewer additions; 4th,
That the great enemy of this movement, and therefore the great enemy of
civilization, is the protective spirit, or the notion that the good of
society depends on its concerns being watched over and protected by a
State that teaches men what to do, and a Church which teaches them what
to believe."

Mr. Buckle, with great abundance of learning and fulness of thought,
attempts to prove that the history of Spain and Scotland verifies these
propositions. The general causes which, according to him, have sunk
Spain so low in the scale of civilization are loyalty and superstition.
The Church and State have been supreme, and the consequence has been
that the people are profoundly ignorant. Under able rulers, like
Ferdinand, Charles V., and Philip II., the loyal nation attained a great
height of power and glory; under their incompetent successors, the loyal
nation, obedient to crowned sloth and stupidity as to crowned energy and
genius, descended with frightful rapidity from its high estate, thus
proving that the progress which depends on the character of individual
monarchs or statesmen is necessarily unstable. Circumstances similar
to those which made Spain loyal made it superstitious; and loyalty and
superstition early formed an alliance by which all independent energy
of conduct and thought was suppressed. According to Mr. Buckle, the
prosperity of nations, in modern times, "depends on principles to which
the clergy, as a body, are invariably opposed." This proposition is, to
him, true of Protestant as well as Catholic clergymen; and a nation
like Spain, looking to the Government for what it should do, and to the
Church for what it should believe, has necessarily become inefficient
and ignorant.

Spain has few friends among English readers, and Mr. Buckle's
contemptuous opinion of its civilization may not, therefore, rouse
much opposition that he will be compelled to heed. But it is not so in
respect to Scotland, a caustic survey of whose civilization occupies
three-quarters of the present volume. The position is taken, that
Scotland, of all the countries of Protestant Europe, has been and is
the most superstitious and priest-ridden. The only thing that saved the
people from the fate of Spain was the fact, that their insubordination
to temporal authority was as marked as their slavery to spiritual
authority. They had the good fortune to be rebels as well as fanatics;
but the reforming clergy having, after 1580, allied themselves heartily
with the people against the king and nobles, increased as patriots
the influence they exerted as priests. The love of country being thus
associated with love of the Church, the people were enslaved by the very
religious leaders who aided them in the fight against those forms of
arbitrary power they mutually detested. The tyranny of the Presbyterian
minister was lovingly accepted by the same population by which the
tyranny of bishop and king was abhorred.

Mr. Buckle, with the malicious delight which only a philosopher in
search of facts to fit his theory can know, has delved in a stratum of
theological literature now covered from the common eye by more important
deposits, in order to prove that in the seventeenth century the people
of Scotland were ruled by a set of petty theological tyrants, as
ignorant and as inhuman as ever disgraced a civilized society, and that
their ignorance and inhumanity were all the more influential from being
called by the name and acting by the authority of religion.

The author then proceeds to consider the philosophical and scientific
reaction against this ecclesiastical despotism, which occurred in the
eighteenth century. Why did it not emancipate the Scottish intellect?

Because, says Mr. Buckle, the method of the philosophers, like the
method of the theologians, was deductive, and not inductive; and this,
he thinks, characterizes the operation of the intellect of Scotland in
all departments. Now the deductive method, or reasoning from principles
to facts, does not strike the senses with the force of the inductive,
or reasoning from facts to principles, and it is accordingly less
accessible to the average understanding. The result was, that the
writings of Hutcheson, Adam Smith, and Hume had little effect on the
popular intellect of Scotland, and its people are now the most bigoted
and intolerant of those of any country in Europe, except Spain. This
portion of Mr. Buckle's volume, containing an analytical estimate, not
only of Hutcheson, Hume, and Adam Smith, but of Black, Leslie, Hutton,
Cullen, and John Hunter, is full of original thought and valuable
information, however questionable may be some of its statements.

Whatever may be thought of the general ideas which Mr. Buckle enforces,
few will be inclined to dispute the extent of his learning, the breadth
of his understanding, the suggestiveness of his generalizations, the
earnestness of his purpose, the mental honesty with which he seeks
truth, the mental hardihood with which he assails what he considers
error. He has not only no intellectual timidity, but no intellectual
reserve, and is indifferent to the opprobrium which may proceed from the
collision of his speculations with the strongest of prejudices and
the most immovable of convictions. But this intrepid sincerity is not
without the alloy of arrogance. He belongs to that school of able, but
dogmatic positivists, who are apt to consider their minds the measure
of the human mind, who are intolerant of those human sentiments and
qualities in which they are deficient, and who, occupying the serene
heights of a purely scientific wisdom, look down with pitying contempt
on all intellects, however powerful, which are not emancipated from the
dominion of theological ideas. Individually, he lacks both the sympathy
and the imaginative insight by which a man pierces to the heart of a
nation, and appreciates its life as distinguished from its opinions. All
readers of those portions of the literature of Spain and Scotland in
which genius exhibits the vital manners and representative character
of those nations will feel how partial and inadequate is Mr. Buckle's
historic sketch. The fundamental idea of his system, that human progress
depends on the success with which the laws of phenomena are investigated
and the extent to which a knowledge of them is diffused, overlooks the
essential element of _movement,_ which is not abstract knowledge, but
vital force. Men and nations move in virtue of their passionate, moral,
and spiritual forces, and these determine the character of their
intellectual development and expression. A nation which knew all the
laws of phenomena, but which was utterly lacking in moral force, would
not only not be civilized, but would hardly be alive. Mr. Buckle insists
that moral truths being relatively stationary, while intellectual truths
are constantly advancing and multiplying, civilization cannot depend
upon them. But even admitting that moral truths are stationary, still
moral life, the conversion of these truths into character, is capable of
indefinite advancement. There are moral truths more universal than any
scientific truths, and it is owing to the fact that these truths have so
imperfectly passed from abstractions into conduct, that civilization
is yet so imperfect, and the achievements of the intellect still so
limited. Out of the heart, and not out of the head, are the issues of
life; and how a mere knowledge of "the laws of phenomena" can regenerate
men from selfishness, ferocity, and malignity, can purify and invigorate
the will, can even of itself stimulate the intellect to a further
investigation of those laws, Mr. Buckle has not shown. Even the
theological abuses of which he gives so exaggerated a representation are
expressions of the passions and character of the people to which the
theology was accommodated, and not of the sense and spirit of the New
Testament, which the theology violated, so far as it was false in its
ideas or inhuman in its teachings.



RECENT AMERICAN PUBLICATIONS

RECEIVED BY THE EDITORS OF THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY.


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Volunteers' Camp and Field Book, containing useful General Information
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Lloyd's Military Campaign Chart. Pocket Edition. Arranged by E.L. Viele
and Charles Haskins. New York. H.H. Lloyd & Co. 18mo. pp. 12, and Map.
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Hints on the Preservation of Health in Armies, for the Use of Volunteer
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Tom Brown at Oxford. A Sequel to "School Days at Rugby." By the Author
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A Day's Ride, a Life's Romance. By Charles Lever. New York. Harper &
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The North American Review, No. CXCII., for July, 1861. Boston. Crosby,
Nichols, Lee, & Co. 8vo. pp. 300. $1.25.





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